It was so obvious.
Why not us, too?
But none of them had planned for it to happen.
It just sort of did.
It was election night 2008 and all the Titans were gathered at Titans Tower in Jump City. Titans East were all there and so were most of the auxiliary members, old and new. Wonder Girl, Red Star, Super Boy, Gnark, Kole, Arrowette, Argent, Hot Spot, Herald and others. There was excitement in the air. Everyone knew what the polls were saying. There would be the country's first african american president. And there would be a young president. That seemed good in itself. They were the Teen Titans, after all.
Some of the Titans most impressed with the whole process were those of exotic origins, like Aqualad, Herald and Red Star. The Atlantean, in particular was effusive in his praise for the process finally wondering aloud about the wisdom of Atlantis being an absolute monarchy.
Even the Titans who seemed to be supporting McCain acknowledged the historic nature of the occasion and how wonderful it was that the process was so orderly. As the returns rolled in, everyone watched on the giant screen in the great room in a festive atmosphere. And when the various networks called the election for Obama, a cheer went up at Titans Tower. And as the festive mood was winding down a bit, Robin stood up in front of most of the crowd and started talking about how great a night it was.
" . . . And power will be transferred without a fight or bullets flying. The people spoke in a free election and their will is respected. That's the way it's supposed to be."
Everyone agreed. There was clapping and smiles all around.
Then Beast Boy asked the question.
"But, uh, Dude? How did you get to be leader?"
"Well . . it just sort of . . happened," answered Robin.
An odd sort of hush fell over the room. Robin could tell it hadn't gone over well. They were all thinking the same thing. He could see it in their eyes as they all glanced around, brows furrowed. If it's good enough for everyone else . . .
He saw immmediately where things were going. That was his special knack, strategies, predicting how things might go and preparing for them. Thankfully, Arrowette asked it again.
"How did you get to be leader?"
He tried to mollify the crowd. "Things just fell into place that way. Titans Tower was rising from the bay and the leadership role came to me as if pushed by natural currents."
There was a moment's pause, a split second when Robin thought the issue might be dropped. But they just haaaaad to make fun of him.
"You don't get executive power from some farcical aquatic ceremony!" snapped Kid Flash, stepping forth from the crowd.
"Wally!" Robin groaned.
"It derives from a mandate from the masses."
"If I went around saying I should be the head of the Justice League because the tide went out a certain way, I wouldn't get very far, would I?"
The chuckles of the other onlooker heroes were irritating Robin. He gave Kid Flash a small push to have him back up. Kid Flash, play acting, fell to the ground with a shout. "Come see the violence inherent in the system!" Speedy, who enjoyed a Monty Python sketch or two himself, helped Kid Flash to his feet in such a way that he was almost forced back into colliding with Robin. When Robin pushed back just slightly, Kid Flash, again, flopped dramatically to the ground, with another shout.
"Help! I'm being repressed!"
Robin was now a combination of exasperation and embarassment. He had both hands up demanding to be regarded as innocent.
"I barely touched him," and adding "He's-he's my best friend," as though they didn't all know.
But the genie was out of the bottle and could not be returned. One party in particular made sure of it. Bee stepped forward from the crowd of teen heroes toward Robin.
"It would be pretty hypocritical of us to salute elections for the general populace but not have them ourselves, don't you think, Robin?"
Yeahs and sures and of courses were muttered and spoken all over the room by everyone in attendance. If it had been a voice vote, it would have been near unanimous. Only Robin held out. As much as he understood that it was right, he felt defensive about the whole thing.
"I-I hope no one's dissatisfied with my leadership. I give everything to the team," said the still diminutive crime fighter.
"No one's really questioning that, streetlight. But why not put it to a vote?" Bee suggested silkily.
There were assenting grunts, nods and "yeah"s from the assembled heroes.
"You want to just vote right now, after 5 seconds' thought about who should be overall Titans leader?!"
Now the murmur of forty odd voices was on his side. Bee, sensing this, turned on a dime.
"No. You're right. There should be a campaign," said Bee.
This elicited more nods and grunts of assent, but no one could agree right away on how it should be handled. And then pockets of the crowd broke into arguments about what qualities the Titans' leader should have. One faction was adamant that the leader should be tough, should be able to make difficult decisions always with the team's best interests in mind. Another faction thought the most important thing was that the leader was cool and understood the feelings of everyone so as to be able to render decisions that were fair to them.
Beast Boy stepped forth the crowd. Teen heroes had roughly formed into two circles of conversation and the combined din of discussion and argument was so great that it was becoming harder and harder to hear even the hero next to you speaking.
"People! People!!" he bellowed before turning himself into an elephant and trumpeting loud enough that the glass of the windows rattled. He then turned back into Beast Boy.
"People. Why don't we do this the way that they do it," he said pointing to the screen where someone had one representative each of the Democrats and Republicans flanking him for an interview. A few teen heroes suggested that they should break up into democrats and republicans but were shouted down by more voices not wanting to be associated with either group of politicians.
The conversation broke into two large groups talking about what qualitites a leader should have. Voices were getting louder and louder as everyone felt encouraged to speak their piece. Finally, Beast Boy shouted over the din.
"People! People!! . . . . Thank you! Okay. You people over there," said Beast Boy pointing to the group including Robin, Pantha, Aqualad, Gnark, Wonder Girl and some other heroes, "think that the leader should be . . "
"Tough," said Pantha. "He must be willing and able to work harder than anyone and make the tough decisions."
"Okay," said Beast Boy. "That's one party. The Tough Party."
Raven rolled her eyes and Jinx buried her face in her hand, snickering on Kid Flash's shoulder.
"And you people over here," said Beast Boy, gesturing to an equally large group centered around Bee, Speedy, Arrowette, Hot Spot, Starfire and some other heroes, "think that the leader should be . . "
"Cool," said Hot Spot. "I know. Ironic. But he-or she," he quickly added glancing at Bee, "should be cool enough to understand the situation that everyone's coming from."
"Okay!" said Beast Boy, excitedly. "That's the other party. The Cool Party."
Jinx chuckled. "Oh my god. Those names are like something out of 5th grade,"she whispered in Kid Flash's ear.
In short order, Robin offered his candidacy on behalf of the "Tough" party and Bee offered hers on behalf of the "Cool" party.
"She has always wanted this," Jinx whispered in Wally's ear loud enough for Raven to hear as well. "Always. Trust me on this one."
That seemed to settle it except that Speedy, Arrowette, Beast Boy and some others thought that someone else should run for overall Titans leader other than one of the two people already serving as team leaders.
"Wally, what about you?" suggested Beast Boy to Kid Flash.
"Uh, no way. I'm married," said Kid Flash holding up Jinx's hand in his. "I'm doing, um, other things with my time."
There were smiles all around.
"Um . . Aqualad?"
"No thank you, Garfield. But it's very kind of you to suggest that it might be appropriate."
Gar sighed in frustration at being called "Garfield". Why did Aqualad always do that? He noded slowly. Okay. Who else, he wondered as Bee smiled at her amphibean teammate. That's right, she seemed to be telling him. You'd better not.
"No thanks, greenie."
"Um . . Raven?"
The crowd turned to her as she shook her head in disgust. "Oh please, Beast Boy. Run yourself if you're so concerned that someone else should run."
"Well . . . alright! I will then! Fine! Does anyone else want to run for overall Titans leader?" He spun around to make sure he wasn't missing anyone in the room. "Anyone . . ? Anyone at all . . . . ?"
"Alright, then," said Beast Boy in the tone of an official announcement. "Robin, Bumblebee and I are running for overall Titans leader."
"Which party are you running in?" asked Bee with a smile.
"Oh . . the uh, the Cool Party," said Beast Boy and Bee's smile suddenly seemed very forced. "We'll meet back here in two weeks to have, like, the party conventions and then two weeks after that the general election."