Well, I hadn't actually planned on posting this, as many of you know I swore off writing long-form fics, but it's actually over half-way finished and it seems a waste not to. :P AU, RaeBB, CyJinx and RobStar pairings. I don't own Teen Titans, if you think I do you're crazy. Hope you enjoy it!
Mr. Logan nervously smoothed his tie as twenty pairs of eyes stared up at him curiously. The first day of school at Green Valley High, and he still wasn't sure he had what it took to survive being in high school a second time around.
"Well," he said, brushing dark brown hangs out of forest green eyes that already had half the girls swooning over him. "Uh, welcome to freshman biology. My name is Mr. Logan, and hopefully you're all awake enough to remember it."
The weak joke was met with a few timid chuckles, and as he began to pass out the syllabus he gave a sigh of relief. He hadn't died (yet) and neither had anyone else.
"Hey, can you help me pass these out?" he asked a blonde girl in the front row, a tomboy by the looks of things with a pink, short-sleeved jacket over her white t-shirt and blue jean shorts. The pink flower ties holding her pigtails in place seemed a bit odd, but so did the black skulls and crossbones she'd drawn in marker on her shoes. She gave a nod with a grin and slid out of her seat. "What's your name?"
"Melvin," she said with a smile. That, at least, seemed to fit her just right.
"Well then, Melvin, you take the yellow and blue stack, alright?"
[Odd name he mused as the school policies, lunch menus, guideline reminders and science syllabus were distributed among his students. He was quickly distracted from that train of thought as the principal came over the PA and reminded them they were on a shortened bell schedule that day. Going over his lessons for the year rather quickly, and letting them read the school paperwork on their own, he then got them each to stand up and say their name, age, and the worst joke they'd ever heard.
The groans that came from the class as the parade of stupid jokes went forth was loud enough to attract the attention of one of the hall monitors, who stuck their head in briefly. When he assured the rather important looking senior that he had things under control, the pimple-faced young man had rolled his eyes and left again.
"I've got a good one," he said as they waited for the bell to ring over the last few minutes. "Just heard it yesterday. A family of tomatoes is walking along, and the youngest one falls behind. The dad slows down to wait for him, and when the little one gets close he whacks him on the back," Mr. Logan slapped his desk. "And says 'Ketchup!'"
The resulting groans were so loud they almost missed the bell, and as the students began to file out he remembered something.
"Hey, does anyone know where the school library is?" he asked, a few glancing back and pointing to Melvin who rolled her eyes. "I guess you do, huh? I couldn't find it on the map, what's the deal?" He was surprised when he realized she could almost look him in the eye standing up, her thin frame stretching a great deal farther than one thought it did.
"We don't have one, because the public library is right next door," Melvin explained with a shrug. "When they needed more classroom space, they decided it was easier just to convert the old library into more rooms and renovate the one next door rather than building a whole new wing that they don't have room for."
Gar blinked in surprise as his brain tried to assimilate such an odd combination. "Oh! So, students and faculty can just go over when they need to?"
The lanky blonde nodded with another grin. "Yeah, there's a pass from the office for study hours during school time, and teachers are always there during lunch or their planning periods. Sorry, Mr. Logan, but I gotta run. Math's at the other end of the building, and the warning bell just rang."
"Oh, sure. Thanks, Melvin, see you tomorrow!"
Most of his next class had already filed in, and as he turned to face them he was once again assaulted by the stomach butterflies of doom. "Well, uh, welcome to freshman biology. My name is Mr. Logan, and hopefully you're all awake enough to remember that tomorrow…"
At lunch, the new science teacher fled the building, his cafeteria duty not starting for another week and his need to be free of the confining classroom most pressing. There were a few fast food places relatively close to the school that other teachers had informed him of during the one meeting he'd been able to attend after they'd hired him three days ago, but he had brought a bag lunch for the day. To the right, with only an old playground in the way, sat the aforementioned library, and he figured it couldn't hurt to check it out as he pulled out some carrots and munched his way through them. His egg salad sandwich had been gone by the end of the previous period, and he wanted to save his yogurt for later- just in case.
The front looked new; with bright red bricks forming two sets of double doors gave visitors a glimpse inside of a reception desk and dark colored walls. The girl at the front, a short-haired blonde with spiky, pink tips, cracked her gum noisily as he came in the front door, her pink eyes (contacts, he guessed) rolling over him suggestively.
"Heya, cutie," she said with a wink. "What can I do you for?"
"I'm a new teacher at the high school," he said, pulling out his ID card on its bright orange lanyard. "I was told there's a quiet place to eat…?"
"Through those doors, to the right," she said, seeming to lose all interest. "If there's kids out there, you can tell 'em to bug off, it's for teachers only from eleven to one."
"Oh, thanks…" His eyes glanced at her name tag. "Jennifer."
Wondering at her sudden change in mood, he made his way through the doors and to the right, coming to a small courtyard walled in on all sides and shaded a few large trees scattered throughout.
"Can I help you, sir?
The teacher jumped as he whirled around, finding a small, but well-developed woman behind him with an inquisitive look in her dark purple eyes. She was young in age, but there was a presence to her that he immediately respected and admired. Rectangular frames perched on her petite nose, and her shoulder length hair was an inky black. Pale skinned, her professional, dark clothes made her look even paler in the shadow where she stood.
"Uh, I'm a new teacher," he stammered out quickly when he realized he'd been staring for far too long. "The girl at the front said…"
The lady had already taken a hold of the card at the end of the lanyard, and after a brief perusal she let it go with a nod.
"My apologies, Mr. Logan," she said with a faint smile. "I know all the teachers who come here during their lunch, and it is a rare occurrence when we get anybody new."
"No, it's fine," he chuckled weakly, scratching the back of his head as he did. "I understand completely, Miss…uh…" His eyes dipped to her shoulder, where he found no name tag."
"Miss Roth," she said after a moment of confusion. "My apologies again, for not introducing myself from the start. I am in charge of the library, and if you need anything or my workers are being unhelpful just have them page me at the front."
"Thanks, I'll keep that in mind." Noticing the brown paper bag in her hands, he added, "Were you coming to eat, too? I'd be more than happy for the company, Miss Roth."
Her brows rose ever so slightly, and she took an almost unnoticeable step back. "Thank you, but no, I'm on my way to meet a friend. Perhaps another time, Mr. Logan. It was a pleasure to meet you. Good day."
Staring after her, he gave a short sigh and settled down on the bench to eat alone. This wasn't turning out quite like he thought it would.
"Richard Greyson, top of your class, a stellar police record, and so obsessed with your job your Chief sent you to us to teach you to relax," the old Sheriff chuckled with a cough. The man across from him was sitting rigidly in his chair, sharp blue eyes staring at him ceaselessly as he hardly blinked. Thin and fair-skinned with black hair, he would be handsome if he wasn't so tightly wound. "Well, son, looks like I got my work cut out for me. Let's start you on traffic duty at the school crossings, and go from there. Mike'll show you the ropes this afternoon, and you can do it yourself tomorrow morning. You'll spend the rest of your day patrolling the mall or the park for kids skipping classes. When school lets out, you'll come in to do some filing work and-"
"I'm a top Inspector, one of Gotham's finest!" the young man finally exploded, his face having turned steadily redder the last few moments. "It is an insult to my abilities to have me babysitting…"
"You also were evaluated psychologically to get yourself killed within the next six months trying to catch the bad guys," the Sheriff exploded back, his easy manner replaced by one of cold steel. "Mentally, you're toast, Greyson, and this is your one chance to prove to me that you truly understand what's important in life. Getting the bad guys is what I do too; boy, but I also have a wife and a family. Friends and hobbies that balance the stuff we see everyday."
"What, like when you apprehend the local 'bad boys' for stealing cookies from the corner sweet shop?" Greyson yelled back, his lips curling into a cruel sneer. "Or when you catch the boys cow tipping on the weekends? What's your biggest problem around here, a DUI every couple of months?"
"Try a murder that happened just last month, only it wasn't some nameless face on the street, it was a kid I coached in little league and watched him take my daughter to prom two years ago," the Sheriff said in a low, dangerous voice. "Our crime isn't like it is in the big city, Mr. Greyson, but when it happens it's personal. Mike!"
The door opened to admit a middle-aged man with brown hair and eyes, a slight gut hanging over the edge of his belt as he ran a hand over his thick mustache. "Yessir?"
"Show Greyson how the school traffic works, now. I want him out of here for awhile."
The veteran knew better than to argue and nodded affably. "Yessir."
The hard-eyed newcomer followed the officer out of the room, the door closing behind him firmly.
"So, where you from?" Mike tried as he led the way outside.
The officer pulled out his keys and unlocked the first car in the lineup outside. "Huh, don't get many transfers from there."
Richard rolled his eyes as he got in the passenger side. "I imagine not."
"You gotta place to stay?"
"Yeah." The transferee held in his wince as his escort pulled out into traffic like a 92 year old grandma that couldn't see over her steering wheel. Why were they all so slow…
"That place is nice, we almost moved my grandmother there for awhile, but they got a place in the nursing home quicker than we expected."
The short, almost rude answers didn't seem to bother the man as they made their way through the fairly traffic-free streets. He continued to fill the silence with questions and local gossip until they pulled up in front of the old elementary/middle school. One block over was the high school, and that would be where they headed next after they finished here.
The bell rang a short while after they arrived, and Mike showed his fellow officer how to keep an eye on the seventh and eighth graders that manned the cross walk and the parents that lined up with the buses to pick up their kids at the front.
Geryson was obviously not impressed as Mike detailed the worst things he might encounter (parents that tired to cut off the buses, kids that crossed when the street wasn't clear, etc.) but the officer still diligently covered all of his bases and when it was through introduced him to the principal of the school.
The bird-like woman only had time for a quick handshake before she had to run to a meeting, but Mike just shrugged and got back in the car. Greyson followed, and a short while later they were repeating the process only with a teacher acting as the cross walk guard and another directing traffic out of the school parking lot.
The one directing the crosswalk seemed to have his own trainee in tow and with things grinding to a halt Mike hailed the bald man holding the stop sign with a smile.
"Hey, Travis," he said, shaking hands vigorously with the man. "How's Karen?"
"She's good, Marge?"
"Better. Doc says the cast can come off next week, and she's itching to get off her crutches. Who's this?"
"Gar Logan, our new science teacher," Travis replied with a grin. "Gar, this is Mike Holt, one of our policemen, and…?"
"Richard Greyson," Mike finished. "Just in from Gotham. Greyson, this is Travis McDonall, a history teacher here at Green Valley."
Handshakes were made all around before the men parted ways, the teachers heading back into the school and the policeman the car.
"I'll drop you by the station, and Clara, the lady at the front, will give you your schedule. You gotta problem, call me, you gotta problem with me, call the Sheriff. Any questions?"
"No," Greyson ground through gritted teeth.
"Good. I think you'll do alright, son."
Richard just ground his teeth all the more and doubted very much that that would be the case.
Victor sat in the small office of his shop as he ran some figures through an algorithm, trying to figure out which new pieces of equipment would be worth it in the long run. The front of the small mechanic's garage was open, and one of his part-time assistants could be heard tinkering around with an old junker towards the back. The phone rang as the large black man got to his feet, wondering if there was still a donut left in the box in the fridge.
"Hello?" he asked as he put the phone to his ear, opening the old appliance's door and finding one last circle of fried goodness waiting to be eaten. "Oh, hey, whatcha need?"
"Uh huh, I can do that." He popped the donut in his mouth as the voice on the other end went on. "Nope, shouldn't be a problem. I'll bring my tools and a new bulb over when I come for dinner."
The box was tossed in the trash as he settled in the chair once more. "Alright, see you tonight."
Putting the phone down, Vic smiled as he licked the sweet remains from his finger tips. Oh, the joys of the simple things in life.
"Uh, anybody here?"
"In the back," Vic called, wondering who it was as the clock read fifteen to closing. "How can I help?"
"I've got a turn signal bulb out," the newcomer replied, pushing dark brown bangs out of forest green eyes. "I know you're about to close, but I couldn't get here any sooner…"
"Not a problem," Vic said with a nod as he checked the make and model and went to pull a bulb from the back. "It's a quick fix and very common, my sister just asked me to bring one for her, too. Pop the hood, will you?"
The man had the hood up and secured by the time Vic was back with the bulb and his tool box.
"By the way, I'm Gar," the new comer said as he offered one hand with a goofy smile.
"Nice to meet you, Gar, I'm Vic," the large man replied, giving the offered hand a friendly pump. "New to the area?"
"Yeah, I'm teaching at the high school."
"Science?" the mechanic asked as he pushed up his suit's sleeves and pulled out all the tools he might need.
Gar blinked in surprise. "How'd you know?"
"Old man Crank retired last year, and they said they were going to hire someone out of town to take his place."
"Oh…" Gar seemed to be at a loss for what to do as the other man disappeared under his hood. Glancing around, he spotted an old beat up couch towards the back with a game station and four controllers. "Hey, you've got Mega Monkeys 8!"
Victor nodded where he was, even if the other man couldn't see. "Yeah, you like playing?"
"You bet! I've still got the Original Mega Monkeys."
That made the larger man perk up in interest. "Quest for the Cursed Shrine?"
Gar's grin was almost big enough to split his face. "Heck yeah!"
"Awesome! You ought to bring it over some time; the kids I usually play just don't appreciate anything old school. What else do you play?"
"Some racing games, a little bit of role play. I had a crazy high level half-elf ranger on WOW for awhile, but I got tired of putting in four weeks for a single level or stat gain."
"Yeah, I race a lot, little of first person shooter too."
"Cool." Gar was about to elaborate more when he realize the large man had emerged and was putting his tools away. "Hey, are you done already?"
Vic wiped his hands as he tossed the old bulb in the trash can, closing the hood with a grin. "Told you it was a quick fix."
"Very cool. How much?"
Vic rattled off his price without even glancing at the list, scrubbing the remaining grease from his hands. Gar reached for his wallet with a low whistle, his grin becoming a very sincere smile.
"A car shop that gets it done quickly, and doesn't try and get every penny they can in the process. I'm impressed."
"We don't roll that way around here," Vic laughed with a wan smile. "You know what, consider this one on the house and you can pay me back by coming around and letting me beat your butt at Mega Monkeys."
"Bring it on, buddy. I'll make you eat those words."
"Yeah right, little man."
"Say, any good places to eat around here?" Gar asked as Vic finished cleaning up and threw his tool box in the back of an ancient pick up truck.
The large man nodded. "Yeah, I'm actually off to one of the best places in the area tonight, but it's by invitation only and surprise guests are not an option."
Gar's brow rose knowingly. "Your girlfriend's house?"
Vic laughed. "Nah, my sister's."
"Ah. Anywhere else? All I've got is Mac'nCheese and ramen in a cup, and that gets old after awhile."
"Yeah, Meg's Diner around the corner isn't bad. Don't drink the coffee or order the special, but the rest of it is pretty good."
"Come by if you need anything, even if it's just to veg for awhile with a game. I'm usually around."
"I'll remember that. See you around."
"Yeah, you too." Victor watched as the new comer pulled away before closing the door to the front of the shop and locking it with a sigh. He hoped the fellow would take him up on that, there weren't many around anymore who enjoyed a good game of Mega Monkeys with him. "Hey, Trent, you about done back there?"
"Yeah boss, just a minute."
"I'm locking up and heading over to my sister's place, make sure you close the door when you're done."
Officer Greyson stood under the tree outside the elementary/middle school just as Mike had showed him the day before. The deep scowl that lined his face seemed to scare the parents and children into good behavior, so his direct intervention had been unneeded so far, but knowing his luck a crisis would break out the moment he cut out early.
"Hey, mister officer."
Richard glanced down to find a blonde eight year old boy with bright blue eyes staring up at him.
"What?" he asked, practically biting the word in two.
"No need to bark, I thought officers were supposed to help people."
Richard gave the boy a skeptical look. "You need help?"
"Let's go find someone else, Tommy, this guy looks like a jerk." The red head behind him was taller than the first boy, his eyes squinted shut as he glowered up at the man sullenly.
Greyson sighed, they'd probably report him if he didn't help…"What sort of help do you need?"
"My ball got stuck in a tree."
The kid pointed to the tree next to them where a beat up football was lodged in the upper branches.
"Betcha he climbs up and gets stuck," the red-head snorted, elbowing the younger boy in the side.
The officer's frown twisted downwards even more. "Hey, I can hear that."
Greyson stared down at the older boy, who stared back up at him defiantly until the officer looked away with a huff. Pulling out his weighted baton, he carefully took aim at the ball. He had one shot to do this without looking stupid, and he just knew the red head was the kind who never forgot anything.
The short, heavy wand flew from his hand and neatly cracked one of the branches holding the ball in two. Both fell to the ground a few feet away, the blonde boy whooping for joy as he scooped up his toy and the officer retrieved his baton.
"I guess you're not a complete moron," the red head conceded," when Richard gave him a triumphant smirk. "But you're still a jerk-ow!!"
The red-headed woman leaning over him smiled as she tugged on his ear again. "Now, friend Timmy, do I need to tell Rachel of what just left your mouth?"
"But he is a jerk," Timmy protested as he tried to get free, almost up on his toes as the woman twisted his ear a bit more. "Ow-ow-owwww!!"
"He's just mad because the policeman got my ball out of the tree and he couldn't," the blonde said with a smile when the woman looked to him. "Thank you, sir!"
"Huh? Oh, sure, anytime." Richard cleared his throat and fought the blush that threatened his face. He had been watching the lovely woman holding Tommy's ear more than he had been following the conversation. She was tall, easily looking him directly in the eye, and very tan with a mane of flaming hair that fell to her waist and glowing green eyes that seemed to shine with joy. "I'm always happy to be of service, ma'am."
"You will behave, or I will inform Rachel of your actions," she told the boy firmly. "And she will not be happy if she must hear of this. It's just us and friend Victor tonight, it is inventory time and she must work late."
"We can walk ourselves home," the red head grumbled, falling silence when she gave him one more warning look.
"Thank you, Officer Greyson, for helping Timmy and Tommy retrieve their toy," the beautiful woman said, turning back to the policeman with a brilliant smile. "We must be going now, but I wish you a most pleasant day!"
"O-of course, you too!" He cleared his throat again as they walked away, unable not to notice the way her pants hugged her hips and everything below them just right. "I have got to find out who she is and if she's single…"
Rachel Roth sat in her kitchen as she went through the piles of paperwork the kids had dumped on her desk, Kori cleaning up the paper plates and pizza boxes and Victor playing video games in the other room with the kids.
"Melvin," she called over her shoulder as she glanced through the girl's schedule. "Is your science teacher new?"
"Yeah," she called back, eyes glued to the track they were racing.
"Young or old?"
"Young. Brown hair, green eyes, he ate in the library?"
"You told him about it?"
"Alright. You have Mr. Ikenmo for English Lit, do you want me to ask for a transfer or will you tough it out?"
"We've got an understanding."
"Ok. What's your gym elective?"
"I thought you weren't going to play this year."
"Not on the school team, no, but for now I'd rather do that than soccer or football in gym."
"Alright." Rachel turned to the next sheet in the pile. "Timmy," she asked carefully. "Why are you in choir?"
The boy stuck his head into the kitchen as there was a lull in the game. "'Cause art with Klaus sucks and I refuse to be a band geek. Besides, Mrs. Rodgers said I have a good voice, I need an arts credit and the girls think it's cool."
"You know the rules."
"I won't quit or cause trouble."
"Alright. Tommy, the envelope with your fieldtrip money is on the fridge. Don't forget to take it in the morning."
"The kitchen is clean, and the now empty pizza bearing boxes have been disposed of." Kori wiped her hands on a towel before hanging it on the bar in front of the oven again.
Rachel glanced around, and then gave her friend an appreciative smile. "Thanks Kori."
Kori's smile was bright enough to rival the sun. "You are most welcome, friend Rachel. Shall I see you at lunch tomorrow?"
"Same time as always."
"That is most excellent!" She caught Rachel in a rib crushing hug briefly, then let go and stuck her head in the living room. "Farewell, my friends, until we meet again!"
Rachel had to wait a moment to breathe again, but she smiled none the less and was sincere in it. "Bye, Kori. Victor, it's almost nine, you know what that means."
"Hey, I thought I got an extra hour now that I'm in high school." Melvin almost pouted as she looked at her mother through the living room entrance.
Rachel gave a small nod. "You do, but that's in your room keeping quiet so you don't keep your brother's up, alright?"
Vic nodded, his eyes still glued to the screen. "We'll be done in a sec, Rae; the finish line is in sight."
The four bedroom house was a blessing; for it meant each person living there had their own place to retreat to in times of stress. Tommy was the first to be put to sleep after Vic had made his exit, his small futon tucked away in its corner with a lamp that always stayed on by the door. The room was sparsely decorated with a book shelf, a chest of drawers and some posters and pictures tacked up on the walls, most of the boy's belongings easily fitting in his tiny closet with his clothes. Rachel leaned over and tucked the covers around him, letting him place a kiss on her cheek before she returned it with a smile.
"Goodnight," she said as she closed the door gently.
Timmy was next, and as he had recently decided he was too old for tuck-ins or kisses goodnight she stood by the door and watched him crawl in his bed. The mattress lay on the floor, the blankets molded into a nest that held two or three pillows and a scrap of the blanket he had carried around as a child. His walls were covered in pictures of dinosaurs and soldiers, some cut from magazines and books and others drawings he had done himself. The mass posting was mainly done to cover the horrible puce wall paint that Rachel had never been able to replace, and where it wasn't covered by pictures a book shelf and an ancient dresser stood.
"Goodnight," she said as he burrowed under his covers, a muffled 'Night!' coming back through the blankets.
Melvin was already in bed when Rachel reached her room. It was rare, but they did have an overnight guest from time to time and the agreement was the girl got the queen sized bed she loved to sprawl in as long as she slept in Rachel's room on the blow up mattress whenever someone else needed her space. Rachel's bed, in converse, was a twin.
"All settled?" she asked, sitting on the edge of the girl's bed as she did most nights. Melvin sat with the covers to her waist, a book in her lap and Bobby, the deformed teddy bear Rachel had made in Home Ec during Middle school, tucked beside her. The librarian had more than once tried to replace the abnormal looking creature; the girl had thus far refused all other offers though.
They talked for awhile about classes and work until there was a short silence; Rachel watching as the blonde girl affectionately toyed with one of her bear's ears. The young girl had grown exponentially over the summer, finally shooting past her guardian's less than impressive height and suddenly showing curves she had never shown before. It was strange in a way, Rachel reflected as she ran a finger along the spine of the book the girl was telling her about. The child she had known and raised for so many years was becoming less and less a child…and what would happen next?
"How do you think this year is going to go?"
The question snapped Rachel back to the present, and she gave a rueful smile. "Better, I hope. For all of us."
"I think so. Goodnight, Mom."
A good intro if I may say so, and I do believe I may. Please review, it helps me get the chapters up faster, and it makes me very happy. For the record, WOW, and any other games that might have been mentioned do not belong to me. Basically, if a licensed produce appears simply assume it's not mine unless I say otherwise. Hope you enjoyed it, and with luck the next chapter won't be long in following.
Here is the test to
find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you're alive, it