Author's note: Welcome to "You Never See it Coming", a Teen Titans "What If?" story. Originally published on . "What If" what? What if ***spoiler alert spoiler alert*** Beast Boy died ***end spoiler alert***. I hope you didn't read that spoiler because I really want to surprise you with that. Each chapter will be from a different character's perspective. To coin a phrase, "LOL I suck at summarizing."
It started out as a simple robbery.
As usual, Cyborg was the one who got us going.
"Guys!" he yelled. "I just picked up a police dispatch. Multiple armed robberies in the Bank District."
We all piled into the T-Car. Cy set off at his usual teeth-rattling speed.
"Some guys hit the Jump City Savings & Loans for a few hundred grand," he prepped us. "Their cohorts went for the First National at the same time."
"Just men with guns?" I asked.
"Sweet!" announced Beast Boy from the back. "I'm tired of fighting metahumans all the time." I heard him slapping one first into a palm. "I can't wait for a good old-fashioned smackdown!"
"What did the First National gang get away with?" Me again.
"Report's coming in right now." He put a hand to one metallic ear. "They didn't manage to take any money." His grip on the wheel tightened. "They shot up a teller."
Raven punctuated the sudden silence in the car. "Still ready for that old-fashioned smackdown, Beast Boy?"
"Bring it on," he shot back, but in a much more subdued tone of voice.
"They're all in a gray van traveling down Kane Street past East 109th, E108--" the T-Car swerved sharply--"E107, E106--there they are!"
It was them all right. If the dollar bills flying out the unlatched back door didn't give it away, the men leaning out of both side doors cradling submachine guns were.
I hate guns. Been that way for a while now.
Said men opened fire, even before we'd come within a range where they could harm us. Cyborg began evasive maneuvers anyway. So did the getaway driver--Cyborg couldn't hit him with his sonic cannon and drive wildly at the same time, but Starfire was not so impeded. Bullets and starbolts rained past each other. Eventually, the starbolts proved more effective.
POW! That was the sound of the van's right rear tire exploding.
And so now here we are.
After the tire blew, the van fishtailed and came to a grinding halt. As we pull up alongside, four gunmen jump out and head for the nearest alley. Raven gets one with her mental powers, flipping him in the air and landing him on his head. Cyborg stops another with his sonic cannon. That's two down. The other two make it in. And not a one has discharged a single bullet since their best bet of escape came to a screeching stop.
"Cowardly, superstitious lot," runs through my mind.
"Starfire!" I order. "Get up top and make sure they can't exit somewhere else. Everybody, on your toes."
Now... we wait.
It is not a long wait.
The sound of exploding starbolts starts up, then gets rapidly closer. Backlit by flashes of green, the two perps come racing into view.
"Maneuver B-9, execute! Drop your weapons!"
One complies. His friend is more determined and opens fire. Unfortunately, he's up against the B-9 Formation.
Cyborg advances in the front, shielding his vulnerable face as bullets bounce off his Molybdenum armor. His attention thus diverted, the shooter is unprepared for being felled by a set of bird-bolas, shot by me from between Cyborg's legs. He is down, but not out, and keeps firing in a singleminded panic.
That's where Raven and Beast Boy enter play. BB morphs into something small--doubtlessly a bug--and Raven levitates him into a position over the shooter. Then she lets go, he morphs, and--well, an 800-pound gorilla dropping on top of you is enough to occupy anyone.
Victory is ours.
"OK, gang," I say. "Now all that's left is for us to pick up the--"
A sound! From the van!
Stupid, stupid, stupid! Of course there were more than four robbers. They hit two banks. That's two primaries and two backups. So who drove the van?
Answer: the guy climbing out of the back.
He freezes in place. He also, however, draws a gun of his own.
Now it's our turn to freeze. Beast Boy on my right. The others just behind.
"You look like you've been havin' a bad day," Cyborg points out. "And unless you want it to get worse--" Beast Boy adds; I pick up the patter: "--You're going to drop that gun."
The man hesitates. Then he throws the gun down at my feet. I bend down to take it and look up.
He's pulled another gun.
There is a BANG.
There is no time, there is no time left, and there are people yelling and screaming and making noises, and I am screaming too as I catch Beast Boy, and there is no time, no time, and I am screaming because I am screaming into the T-Communicator. "Wally! Stat! Now now now!!"
Because it is Beast Boy's only chance. There is no time.