Chapter Twelve: Back to Reality.
"So," Beast Boy said as the pair walked up the path "what's happened since I've been out?"
Raven looked at him. "Well, the Titans have arrived in Star."
"Oh? How come?"
"Negative Man showed up claiming you were in danger. It looks like it was just as well."
Beast Boy's eyes lit up at that. "Really? Larry's here?"
Raven started. "Larry? There's actually someone in the world called Larry?"
Beast Boy chortled. "Yeah. Well, everyone on the Doom Patrol has a stupid name. Larry, Garfield, Cliff, Rita…the only normal one was Steve."
Raven remembered suddenly what Negative Man had told them. She didn't want to be the one to break the news to Beast Boy, but there wasn't anyone else around.
"Beast Boy…we found out who was behind the attack."
Beast Boy's ears perked up at this. "Oh?"
Raven paused, composing herself. "It was Mento."
Beast Boy was silent for a long time. "Tell me what happened." His voice was small, unsure, like it would crack if used too much.
Raven told him everything.
"Is there anything to drink around here?"
Arrowette turned to the source of the tired voice, and found herself staring at bandages.
"Sure. Coffee or tea?"
"Not exactly what I had in mind, but I'll have tea, if you don't mind."
"Static, put the kettle on, would you?"
"Why me?" He groused.
Arrowette smiled sweetly. "Because I'm in charge here, and I say so. Consider it partial revenge for making me ride that flying bin lid of yours."
Static mumbled insulting things about abuse of the chain of command, but started rifling through the cupboards. His fingertips brushed a box, and he pulled it out. However, he made a face when he read the label.
"Herbal tea? Who drinks this crap?"
Arrowette shrugged. "Gar bought it a while back, I think."
"It's full." He shrugged, and turned to Negative Man. "Want some?"
"I suppose so." With that he wandered over to the sofa and sat down, passing Cyborg, who was staring at the deactivated Robotman with a mixture of horror and awe.
Standing on a chair, Static waved the box of tea in the air. "Herbal tea? Anyone for miscellaneous leaves in boiling water? Last chance…okay, one for Ray Of Sunshine. Coffee? Last call for coffee…okay, one for Traffic Light Man, one for Lil' Miss Bossy, one for Richie, and one for that epitome of human perfection, me."
With that, Arrowette took the opportunity to knock him off his chair.
Gear turned away from the amusing sight of his best friend being beaten up by a girl five inches shorter than him, and saw Mary sitting in the corner, looking thoroughly sorry for herself. Sighing, he made his way over to her, and sat on the floor next to her.
She paused for a moment, then answered. "I guess I've been better."
"Wanna talk about it?"
"Not really. I mean, we've got enough problems as it is. Adding a hormonal teenage drama into the mix would really not help."
He held her gaze. "It's about Logan, huh?"
"Yeah." She continued in a sing-song voice. "It looks like he still has a thing for the purple haired girl, and I was just there to help him get over her, which kinda didn't work because we got interrupted on our first- and almost certainly last- date by a hypnotised superhero who hospitalised him for a week, which gave purple haired girl time to arrive, and now she's demonstrated that she clearly has a thing for him- you don't do what she is now doing for friends, that's for sure. So that leaves me out in the cold, I guess. Oh well." She sighed theatrically, to punctuate her tirade.
Gear chose his next words carefully. "If I was gonna look on the bright side, I'd say that it's better you found this out now, as opposed to, say, six months from now, when It'd be even more messy. As it is, I guess you could cut your losses without too much heartache. At least, I hope you can."
"Yeah. At least you aren't too heavily emotionally invested in the guy. I just hope you can stay friends with him after this. We don't want to wreck the team so soon."
Mary was quiet for a while. "Thanks, Richie. I think you're right. Staying friends with Gar shouldn't be too hard, but I want to keep my distance for now, I think."
"Okay." With that, he stood up, and went to retrieve his coffee.
"So, what are we going to do?" Raven asked, uncharacteristically breaking the silence that had descended with the news.
Beast Boy stared hard, straight ahead. "We've got to stop him."
Raven coughed. That's not what I was talking about." She glanced down, where Beast Boy's hand was still meshed with hers.
"Oh." He scowled at nothing. "Can we table discussion of that until we've dealt with my dad going batshit crazy? I think that we've got enough problems to deal with right now."
Raven decided not to comment on the fact that neither of them moved to let go.
I'm alive! Sorry for the delay, folks. (Glances at the seven stories that I have started since I last updated this one). Hopefully my muse will stop playing FFX now. Or not. I still have "Transposed" to finish, after all.