Gosh, I've been working on this FOREVER, but I had to get it out...Happy New Year, everyone! Lol here in America it's still New Year's Eve...
I've been thinking about a new story (once I finished Egypt) called Remixed...it's like Teen Titans, but they're gonna be put in all these classic tales, like Great Expectations or something. I just don't know whether I should do them in one story and have them all as one shots, like in Randomness, or have them all as their own stories...what do you guys think?
Disclaimer: I don't own the Teen Titans or anything else...
"Hurry, hurry, Richard! They're coming, at least I know Roy and Jade will be here in five minutes!" Kori fretted, trying to clean the already spotless mansion a few million more times after the maids had done it. Richard kicked back and relaxed.
"Knowing Roy, he'll stop at McDonald's for another hour."
"Knowing Jade, she won't let him," Kori corrected. "Where is Mar'i?"
"Mommeeeeee! Look! I made pretty!" The Grayson's two year old daughter tottered into the room, covered in her mother's lipstick.
Richard chuckled weakly as his wife rounded on him, her eyes blazing. "Heh, found her."
"I told you repeatedly to make sure she did not find that hiding place! As I told you for the last three hiding places!"
"Uh...I love you?"
"Oh, you are very, very wrong if you think that will work again. I will...first let us get this reunion out of the way, and then I will think up a suitable punishment for you. As for you, my little bumgorf..." her voice softened at once, lulling Mar'i into a false sense of security as she ran into her mother's arms. "We will make you even more pretty, I promise. Just a little water...and a little soap...and a lot of scrubbing..."
The doorbell rang.
Kori panicked, motioning for Richard to go get it, and then wiping off Mar'i's face with a towel and smoothing down her hair, hoping she looked presentable. She heard voices coming from the foyer and relaxed. Her friends.
Roy and Jade Harper had been the first out of many to arrive at Wayne Manor. Kori hugged them both tightly. "How was your honeymoon? Did you like the hotel I recommended?"
"It was great, and Maui was beautiful," Jade said admiringly, a tinge of an accent still remaining after three years in America. She clung to her new husband's arm lovingly. "I have never been anywhere so exotic. We wanted to stay longer, but we would never miss Roy's reunion."
"Yes. High school...what an adventure..." Kori's eyes dulled considerably as Dick struggled back into the room, a tiny child clinging to each of his legs.
"Gar and Rachel are here. And so is this one." He shook his right leg gently and the little boy on it giggled.
"Dylan!" muttered Rachel sharply, picking up her son. "We had a talk about this. Hi, Kori. How are you? It's been a whole three weeks now." She allowed herself to be hugged by her friend and shook hands with Richard. "Where's Gar?"
He jogged in. "Sorry! The car was making that weird noise again...you know, the one that sounds a lot like Journey?"
"That's my cell phone, you idiot."
"Oh yeah...why d'you keep changing your ringtone?"
"I haven't changed it for six months, Garfield."
Kori could still remember them bickering from back in high school. Good times, she thought wistfully, trying to keep three little kids from running outdoors and letting everyone come in at the same time.
"Did I ever mention how much I loved your house?" Colette murmured in awe.
"A couple of times," Richard answered, offering her a drink.
"Come on! No one up for pool?" asked Alan, banging around a couple of cues. "You guys were a bunch of wimps at this in high school, too!"
"We were just afraid of making you cry when we kicked your butt!" Wally shot back.
The doorbell rang again, and Kori stepped over her talking and laughing friends to get it. "Oh...hello, Babs." It irked Kori that her former rival was still single. It wasn't like she was still waiting for Richard...was she?
"Kori. Where's Dick?"
As if Kori hadn't been expecting that.
"In the living room, with everyone else." Babs walked away. Kori added under her breath, "It is nice to see you, too. I am fine, thank you."
She returned to the living room, trying to ignore Babs's extra long hug with an uncomfortable Richard. "Hey, Kori. How've you been? How's work?" asked Karen. "I heard you got a contract with Chanel?"
The redhead blushed modestly. "Yes. It was very difficult...especially after having Mar'i."
"I bet. Well, congrats, girl! And how'd Dick doing with his whole Wayne Enterprises deal?"
"Very well. He misses Bruce very much, though. It does get difficult at times. How are you and Vic?"
"Kori! Watch out!" Seven little kids barrelled into her, all screaming something about ice cream. Kori swerved out of the way until the worst of the stampede was over, searching for the one who'd tried to save her. Gar grinned sheepishly.
"Sorry. I...might've mentioned to Dylan that there was soymilk ice cream in the fridge. I didn't know the rest of them heard...I don't think they caught the soymilk part."
"They will soon enough," said Richard, wrapping his arms around Kori's waist. "What do you say we all get some dinner? I'm starved."
"Was she..." Kori started as everyone filed out of the room.
"All over me? Yes. I can't believe it." He shifted so Babs had a perfect view of them making out. "How are you not mad? Didn't you just about kill me last time this happened?" Kory rolled her eyes. "That AND Mar'i's lipstick incident...I'm lucky to be standing here, aren't I?"
"Yo! Lovebirds! I thought you were starving?" Vic called from the dining room.
"Same old Vic," Richard observed, following his friend's example and heading to the dining room to load up his plate. They had specially requested a buffet table to be placed in this room (though that was the official name; it was one long table cloth over three normal tables). Both Rchard and Kori remembered how their friends could eat.
"Oh hey, Dick, Kori. We were all just talking about that summer we had before senior year. You guys remember that?" Babs asked innocently.
Richard grabbed Kori's hand, hating the memories he could tell his wife was having. "Yeah, I remember it. Good thing that didn't last, huh? Nearly couldn't fix up our group after that. But hey, we're all still here," he answered loudly. A chorus of agreements sounded.
"Hey Dick...how come no one invited Kitten?" asked Roy. Everyone laughed as Richard buried his face in his hands.
"That girl...what a pain. Haha, I remember throwing something in her face once, wasn't it in front of the whole school?"
"Nah, just in front of the juniors, but it was still pretty sweet, dude!"
"X'hal, you should have been there when I set her up with Richard! I believe I still have the picture of the expression on his face somewhere..." Kori added, while Vic and Gar howled. "I believe we should organize some sort of scavenger hunt to find it after dinner..."
The doorbell rang yet again. Kori frowned. "Who is it? Everyone is here...and it is so late..."
"Friend of mine," Richard said breezily. "I got it."
Kori squealed when Steven and Nicole Redd walked into the dining room, jumping up to hug them both. "It has been so long! How is Russia? You must be freezing--I did not even know you were coming! Was your flight late? There was no storm, was there? Are you--"
"Kori. Honey, let them breathe," Richard told her, pulling her away gently. He allowed Nicole to kiss him on the cheek, and let Steven give him a huge bear hug, though it took a little bit for him to recover his macho-ness after that.
"How've you been, Dick?"
"Good, good. How about you guys? It's Colonel Redd now, isn't it? And how're you, Nicole?"
"Fine. Russia's a beautiful place, have you ever seen the Winter Palace? It's absolutely amazing."
Steven smiled wryly at her. "Yes, Nicole seems to be having a wonderful time in Russia. She has picked up the language very well, and my parents adore her...oh, and she is also very successful in her professional wrestling career."
"I see she has not mentioned that to any of you yet."
"No kidding! Girl, maybe you could teach me somethin'!" Karen called. "I could use a little help looking after this guy...and Vic, too. Who knows, the two of them might prove too much for me sooner or later."
"Oh come on, Karen, Vic'll never be able to take you down," Alan joked.
"Maybe not her, but I could kick your prettyboy butt any day!"
"Gosh, I've missed you guys," Nicole cut in serenely.
Dinner was a loud affair, especially with half the kids throwing up after their experience with Gar's homemade tofu delight ("How do you stand it, Rachel?"). Kori hadn't seen all of her old friends in one place at one time since high school. It was the best night she could have asked for.
"Let's cut some cake, y'all! Gar! Get away from that knife, I meant me, not you!"
"Why? Dude, I know how to handle a knife!"
"Let's not risk the lives of thirty people, Gar," Rachel advised.
Kori sighed happily and pried the knife from Gar's fingers.
After their cake-induced sugar high had worn off, every one of the kids had dropped. Literally. All of them had been tucked in various guest bedrooms, and the women finally deemed it safe to bring out the champagne.
"Can I do this? I swear I won't harm anyone!" Gar pleaded with the crowd.
"Go ahead," said Colette, covering her ears. Gar popped the cork on the bottle, watching in horror as half the contents sprayed all over his wife. Everyone waited with baited breath for her to explode with anger. Rachel turned a steady red as she stared at her soaking dress.
"Heh. At least you're not injured," Gar offered.
"Wrong. Thing. To. Say."
"I'm sorry!" Gar handed the slippery bottle to Richard as he ran out of the room.
Angelina and Jenny, barely supressing chuckles, offered to go find him. As soon as they were in the hallway, everyone heard them break into peals of laughter. Wally, Alan, and Roy, however, didn't bother hiding their amusement.
"Nice look, Rachel!"
"This is better than the broken water fountain thing!"
"Geez...you're so plastered you missed your mouth..."
"Shut up," Rachel muttered, blushing. "Immature idiots."
"Come, I'll get you something else to wear," Kori said, grabbing her arm. "And perhaps a bath...this smell will not suit you after a few minutes..."
Richard took the liberty of pouring what was left into a few glasses. "We can wait for the rest of them. Anyone up for a round of DragRacer--ouch!"
Karen had slapped him hard. "You're twenty-seven, Dick! Grow up!"
"Whaddya mean, grow up, I AM grown up, I'm the CEO of a huge company! I have a right to play a couple video games when I feel like taking a break! Look at Vic. I don't see you slapping him, and he's already got the darn thing turned on!" Richard pointed out, rubbing the back of his head. Karen turned to see her husband whooping and hollering as he squashed Alan to a pulp on Richard's new video game.
"I'm still blaming this on you, Grayson. He hadn't touched one of those things for years until you brought it up!"
Gar, Angelina, and Jenny emerged from the hallways, one of them calming down immensely when he saw that Rachel was nowhere in sight. His relief was short-lived, however; Rachel was out in less than two seconds in one of Kori's dresses, grabbing a glass of champagne. "Everyone ready to toast?" Without waiting for an answer, she continued, "To the class of 2000..."
And every drop of her champagne was poured onto Gar's head.
Everyone watched as Gar sputtered indignantly, trying to make sense of what just happened. He saw the satisfied smirk on Rachel's face and growled, "It's on!"
Unopened bottles of champagne were now ammunition. He grabbed one of them and popped the cork, aiming it at Rachel.
"No, Gar!" Kori cried, pushing him.
The geyser hit Gregor instead, and then swerved to catch nearly every member of the panicked party while Gar struggled to regain his footing. Alan, Wally, and Roy, always looking to cause more mischief, grabbed another bottle. Screaming, "CHAMPAGNE FIGHT!" they unleashed their fury on everyone. Richard, not one to miss out, nailed all three of them in the face with his jet stream of wine.
"Yo, Dick! That was your door...I'll get it!" Vic said, escaping the muddle. He opened the doors, and suddenly, everyone stopped moving.
"Hey, heard there was a reunion," greeted Xavier smoothly. He remained outside with Sara Simms, Terra Markov, and Malchior Draco, just noticing the wet streaks down nearly everyone's front and the reek of drinks. "Um..."
Someone--was it Kori?--let loose a muffled giggle, and everyone broke into laughter. Vic invited them in jovially, offering them a bottle of sparkling wine, which they all declined politely. Xavier approached Kori and Richard cautiously. "Nice to see you two again," he said.
Richard held Kori closer protectively. "Yeah."
"Listen...I went through with it this time. Rehab and everything. And I wanted to say sorry, for all that stuff I did. I mean it." Xaiver looked it. The last time they'd seen him, he'd been a druggie and an alcoholic. Today he was clean-cut, well-dressed, and a lot friendlier. He held out his hand for Kori to shake. "Could you ever forgive me?"
She glanced at it, remembering the teen who'd tried to rape her, and who'd hurt her more times than she could count. Xavier faltered, but Kori separated herself from Richard and gave him a quick, light hug.
"Thanks, Kori." He shook hands with Richard, and said, "Dick, I know this won't matter now, since Slade's in jail, but there was this cam--"
"I know. We got rid of it."
"Hello, cousin." Steven approached, enveloping Xavier in an army-worthy hug. It's nice to see them act like cousins, I guess. Last time Steven saw Xavier, he beat him up, Richard remembered. He glanced around at the rest of the party: Karen taking extra pains to get to know Sara, Terra and Gar joking around again...the camaraderie was great.
"Cousin," Xavier replied. "How are you?"
The party died down, and most people wanted to head home quickly. The champagne-y smell was enough of a tip off to cops, and they'd much rather get home and change out of their clothes. Vic and Karen were the first to leave, after being the first to find their son in the many guest bedrooms. Two by two, the mansion cleared out.
"We'll see you later, Babs," Richard said, stressing the 'we' part. Babs nodded, still looking reluctant to leave.
"Kori, I think I owe you an apology. I...always thought there was a chance..." Kori's eyes widened, but Richard didn't miss a beat. He hugged his wife closer to him, frowning at his ex. "I really loved you, Dick. I swear I did. But...it's no use, is it?" she asked, obviously hoping for a different answer. Richard shook his head.
"I'm sorry, Babs."
"Okay. Well, just wanted to put that out there, I guess. Have a nice--well, life together." She smiled sadly at the two of them. "Bye. I'd better call that taxi guy again..."
"Babs!" Xavier called. "I could give you a ride."
He dangled his keys in front of her for added effect. Babs grinned. "Sure."
"G'night, Dick, Kori."
"Don't make us have to come back and chaperone you two!" Wally cried, ducking to avoid Jenny's slap.
"Nice seeing you again too, Wally," Richard muttered. Kori giggled.
"I think that is everyone."
"Good. There's something we need to talk about, Kor..."
"I FOUND IT!" Gar's triumphant yell sounded throughout Wayne Manor. Richard and Kori blinked in surprise.
"Why aren't you at home, Gar?"
"There he is...that little, tofu-loving, ignorant--" Rachel grabbed him by the collar, seething.
"Heh. This is why I don't want to go home." He grinned at his wife. "If it helps, honey, I love you more than I love tofu."
Richard winced. "I wouldn't try that if I were you, Gar...they've gotten smarter...you'd better throw a party to get her mind off of it--ouch! Seriously, between you and Karen, I'll land in the hospital!" he groaned, massaging his cheek.
"But look what I FOUND! Look at the ENVELOPE! It says 'Richard and Kitten's date, November 1999'! Terra gave it to me. It's the PICTURE!"
Kori laughed. "Take it out, let us see!"
Gar fumbled around for the one picture in the envelope and swiped it out. Kitten was nowhere in it. Only a very green Kori and a very worried Richard holding her took up any space.
"Oh Terra, really, she does need to improve her photography skills. She was supposed to get Kitten."
"Aw, man...we've got enough of those from when you were pregnant, Kori!"
Richard laughed. "I remember this! That was the worst cruise of my life! I think this is my new favorite picture," he decided.
"That makes sense," muttered Rachel. "Come on, Gar. Get Dylan and let's go, Kori and Dick want to sleep."
"See you, you two." Richard led Kori up to their room and sat her on the bed. He crouched on the floor inf ont of her. "Kori, we haven't really, really been over this, even since we got married...that summer, before senior year..." Kori's smile faded completely. "Babs just mentioned it to get under your skin. But are you okay with it? Because I'm not. And I wasn't the one she hurt the most."
Kori hugged him tightly. "It is in the past."
"You know that'll never happen again, right? Ever? I don't want to see you get hurt over my stupid mistakes." Richard knew very well what the outcome of that summer would have been if Jenny and Terra hadn't been there for Kori when the girl thought she had no one else. Most definitely, at best, Kori wouldn't be as happy as she was today. All because of how idiotic Richard had been.
"Richard," she said firmly. "I know this. I know you would never hurt me, and I know you love me, and nothing else matters, not even the jealous talk of your friend." Richard waited for her to answer his real question. Kori sighed. "I agree...everything seemed far too bad to fix, at one point. I remember thinking that if my parents could not come back to me, I should--I should go to them..."
"But it was only passing! It never occured to me again when you were with me, Richard. Ever."
He frowned up at her. "Why didn't you ever tell me?"
"Truly, at that moment, I was beyond believing that I mattered to you. And when I realized I did, what point was there in making you upset?"
Richard wanted nothing more than to knock some sense into his jerk of a junior self. "Kori, I was such a--"
"If Mar'i is up and she hears your language," Kori interrupted, "and X'hal forbid repeats it, I will never forgive you."
He grinned and sat next to her, cuddling her close. "Okay. Well then, I'm sorry you had to put up with an--ahem--like me."
Kori nodded approvingly, and then kissed him. "It is late. And we should change out of all this wine-covered clothing. I do not believe the maid will be very happy on seeing the chaos downstairs."
"We'll help her out tomorrow," Richard yawned, rummaging around in drawers to find something else to wear. "Good night, Kori."
"Good night, Richard." She watched him for a little while, then got up and kissed the back of his neck. "I apologize for slapping you."
That doesn't seem TOO out of character, right? I don't know, seems like with all the stuff I put an ALREADY emotional Starfire through in ELAHSS, I thought she's get pushed that far...I know I would...I'm such a jerk...
Let me know about that next story!
And Happy New Year again!
And no more YAHSS stories! YAY!