Notes: takes place after Employee of the Month and involves BB's moped. Also has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference to Fractured.
"Give me the keys."
Beast Boy tried to maintain his defiance, but it swiftly withered beneath the Boy Wonder's unyielding gaze. "It's not like anyone got hurt or anything," he groused as he fished the keys from his pocket.
"You were lucky," Robin deadpanned.
"It's gonna take Cyborg a while to fix it. Why can't I hold onto the keys—it's not like I'll be able to ride it anyway."
"Your little stunt this afternoon proved that you can't handle the responsibility. When you've shown me otherwise, you can have them back."
Beast Boy flailed his arms, indignant. "Dude, do you remember what I had to go through in order to get that moped? It's mine, ok? Not yours, not the team's—mine! Who do you think you are, tryin' to tell me when I can ride it?"
"Cyborg and I spent a week modifying that bike of yours for crime-fighting, and as team leader I have every authority to restrict your field use of any crime-fighting equipment."
"Hello! Did you miss the part where I said I was taking it for a test drive? Or did you think it would be better if I went riding off to fight the badguys while being totally clueless about how to use it?"
Robin was unimpressed by Beast Boy's snark. "If anyone had been traveling beneath the overpass when your moped caromed over the guardrail, you could have been guilty of vehicular manslaughter." He punctuated this pronouncement by jabbing a green-gloved finger at his subordinate. "Or maybe you wanted to share a cell with Johnny Rancid?"
Beast Boy paled slightly at the thought that he could have killed someone, but it was banished quickly by the reality that he hadn't. "Dude,no one was hurt. You really think I would have ditched the bike like that if I thought it would land on someone's windshield?"
"I think you tried to impress the ladies on the University swim team while their bus was sitting in traffic, but you lost control when you hit the nitrous and only barely managed to clear the guardrail."
Beast Boy nearly prat-falled. "How the heck did you know that?"
Robin's eyes narrowed in his mask. Beast Boy hadn't been lying when he said that he'd wanted to test drive his newly upgraded moped, but he'd been showing off when he crashed it and had deliberately withheld that information. "If Cyborg can fix it, you can have the keys back when you've proven that you're mature enough to handle the responsibility." Robin had yet to raise his voice this entire time, but all the same, his tone brokered no argument.
Not that Beast Boy paid attention. "That's so totally not fair! I already earned my right to that moped and you can't take it away from me!" He shoved his own green finger back at the Boy Wonder.
"One, I don't care; two, yes I can; and three, I just did." Robin ticked each declaration off his fingers.
Beast Boy didn't know what annoyed him more: Robin's sudden display of authority, or that fact that he remained perfectly calm while wielding it. Years of superheroism aside, Beast Boy found himself rebelling against it like the teenager he was. "Like hell! You're the team leader, not my goddamn father!"
"Would you like me ask Mento's opinion?" Robin asked after only a slight pause, the barest hints of a threat in his voice.
"Yeah, you do that while I call Batman," Beast Boy shot right back. "I bet he doesn't know about the time you crashed the R-cycle drag racing with Rancid—maybe you should share that cell with him, ya flippin' hypocrite!"
Robin took a deep, silent breath, and forcibly unclenched his jaw. "You are not allowed near that moped until I say differently. You can either obey me on this, or—"
"Or what?" Beast Boy challenged, defiance burning brightly in his green eyes.
Robin's voice dripped jagged ice. "Or consider yourself dismissed from this team."
Beast Boy gaped in disbelief. "You can't do that!"
"No?" Robin's tone practically dared Beast Boy to challenge him on it. "You can always take what's left of your moped back to the Doom Patrol. I'm sure Robotman would love to fix it for you after he hears what happened to it." The menace in the Boy Wonder's voice sounded almost gleeful. Beast Boy recognized it as the tone Robin used to 'negotiate' with criminals.
"You wouldn't." Beast Boy tried to sound sure of himself, but came up a bit short.
"I have no use for Titans who don't follow orders," Robin mercilessly declared.
Beast Boy stared defiantly up at the Boy Wonder (since when was Robin tall?), and his leader met his gaze through the dispassionate Starlite lenses of his mask. The cold, sterile whiteness bore down at Beast Boy, and a battle of wills began. Yet for all his indignation, the will to rebel swiftly deflated from the changeling, and the tension drained from his frame like water from the rooftops. Bitterness replaced it, and the contempt that laced his final pointed glare was unmistakable as he chucked the keys at Robin's head. The Boy Wonder caught them harshly in one hand. Beast Boy stalked off without another word, his feet plodding heavier than necessary as he made his way to the stairwell. He threw the door open with enough force that it slammed into the wall, and the deafening CLANG of steel slapping steel echoed in the strained silence even after the door had swung shut behind his stormy exit.
In the aftermath Robin sighed tiredly, and his shoulders slumped enough for his cape to spill forward and envelope the front of his costume. He hung his head, staring at the keys in his hand almost absently, as though lost in thought—or memory. Then finally the keys made their way to his utility belt, and Robin quietly made his way to the elevator.
From across the room, Cyborg stared slack-jawed in utter disbelief while Starfire sat withdrawn, torn by conflicting sympathies, and Raven turned her face away with muted sadness. Silence settled thickly between them.