Greetings! I was planning on updating a LOT sooner, but life is full of crap, and I've been getting some huge, steamy helpings of life lately.
First I'd like to reply to my wonderful reviewers:
Alexi Laiho Guitar Hero: Dude, you just became my idol. Lol. I haven't heard someone mention At the Gates or Dark Tranquility in a loooong time. I definitely approve of your interest in the Gothenburg sound! I like COB (Alexi Laiho is awesome) and Norther too, but to me, ATG and DT are better (In Flames are good too). I wasn't going to make 'em Scandinavian metal because, sadly, the genre lacks the mainstream elements I'm looking for here. Sorry!
O.o endorsement deals? I haven't even thought of that yet! Thanks for bringing that up. I'll be sure to add those to a later chapter. I don't recognize half those endorsements, but I've only just started playing gigs and stuff. Thanks, Laiho! Hope to get more reviews from you in the future!
Quietcornerbookworm: Thanks for reviewing! I hope you like this installment as well. If you got any constructive criticism or questions, please don't hold back on me! Hope to hear from you soon!
Okay, back to the story…
"Damn it," growled Victor, who currently had his huge frame squeezed underneath a car, trying to detach a damaged muffler. He was currently at his place of employment, a car repair shack called "Mr. Fixit's Auto Repair Shop".
"Need some help, grease monkey?" sneered a less-than pleasant voice. Victor let out a sigh of irritation. He didn't have to get out from under the car to know that that voice belonged to Giovanni, another employee at "Mr. Fixit's".
"Buzz off," grumbled Victor, working furiously with a wrench to loosen the stubborn muffler. He heard Giovanni give a disdainful snort, but heard him saunter away. Giovanni was crude, rude, and prickly, but he wasn't flat-out hostile. As long as Vic took the appropriate actions around him, Giovanni remained gruffly respectful of Victor's wishes. It was an odd relationship they shared. Victor wouldn't say they were exactly friends, but they had a bond with each other. They were rivals in some ways, but they both had a mutual understanding and a wary symbiosis with each other.
Victor's thought train was derailed as the muffler finally came free, clanking down onto the floor mere inches from his head, making him wince. After much wiggling, Vic was able to squeeze himself out from under the car.
"My baby all fixed up now, hunky?" purred an oddly familiar female voice behind Vic. Blinking in surprise, Victor turned around to see none other than Jennifer Hexson, or "Jinx", leaning on the doorway of the workshop smirking with feline smugness at a startled Cyborg.
"Uh… Not quite… I-I have to install the new muffler first," stuttered Vic, suddenly feeling a rush of blood creeping its way to his cheeks. Jinx stared at Cyborg expectantly as he stood there in an awkward stupor, her mouth forming a small, mischievous smile.
"Well, do you plan on installing it sometime today, or do you just wanna stare at me for another good hour or so?"
Cyborg recoiled slightly, just realizing he had just been standing there, gawking at the unique girl before him for reasons he wasn't even sure of. Quickly locking his gaze on the floor, he grumbled an apology, shuffling towards a workbench to prepare to install the new muffler. Jinx giggled behind him, making him once again blush. Once he had prepared the muffler, the big man once again crawled under the car (which was apparently Jinx's) to hook up the new muffler.
"Sooo…. Has your band decided whether or not they want a manager yet?" queried Jinx as Cyborg toiled underneath the vehicle. Victor and Robin (a.k.a. Richard. This nickname came about as a joke about his usual attire of a black overcoat and a red shirt, giving him a red chest and long black "wings") had talked about it briefly over the pancake breakfast, and they had decided that if they wanted to make a living from music, a band manager was a good idea. Robin had purposefully avoided explicitly picking Jinx, due to her seeming unprofessional, but he hadn't completely counted her out either. Cyborg decided to take a gamble.
"Uh, yeah, we're interested. We were gonna call you tonight to arrange a meeting, but since you're right here… Yeah. Does Thursday night at 7 o'clock work for you?" Cyborg knew he should've talked to Robin before making such a decision, but he felt like following his gut instinct and his gut was telling him to act first, think later. Caught off guard, Jinx took a second to formulate a reply.
"Um, sure! I got nothing going on, so that should work," replied Ms. Hexson, and Vic could just hear her grin in her voice.
"Cool. So, the address on your business card is to your office, right?"
"Nope, it's for my favorite pizza joint. Of course it's my office, silly!"
"Er, right. Okay, then we'll see you soon, Ms. Hexson!"
"Jinx, if you please. You fellas won't regret this, I guarantee it."
Cyborg finally managed to squirm out from under the car, covered with black smudges. His rather comical appearance earned him a giggle from Jinx, who quickly climbed into her car and drove out of the garage, waving cheerfully at Victor. Vic faintly returned the gesture, his mind in a daze. How was he going to tell Robin they had a meeting with Jinx?
Raven (a nickname for Rachel, due to her favorite poem, "The Raven") sighed, twirling a pencil between two fingers in boredom. As always, she had completed her articles for the newest issue of `Azarath' in record time, and had nothing to do for the rest of the day. She stared at her spinning pencil for a while, before glancing up from her desk to see a man standing in front of it. Despite herself, Raven gave slight flinch of surprise. She hadn't heard so much as half a noise to make her suspect someone had entered her work space.
"And you are?" questioned Rachel gruffly, not liking to be snuck up on. Instead of replying, the man simply tapped on his name tag. It read "Kyd Dawson", a name Raven immediately recognized. Kyd Dawson was 'Azarath''s cover artist, and was well known in the art world for his ability to capture beauty in its most eerie forms. His dark yet elegant drawings were one of the main reasons 'Azarath' had gained the respect it had in the gothic scene. Although he was considered one of the most valued employees of the industry, few were the people who met him, and fewer still were those who got a vocal response from the artist, who for unknown reasons rarely talked unless absolutely necessary.
"M-Mr. Dawson! I'm sorry for snapping at you. I was just startled," Stammered Rachel in a very un-Rachel manner. She knew that anyone who got on Kyd's bad side was on a one-way road to unemployment.
Kyd Dawson gave her a dismissive shrug to tell her he wasn't offended by her outburst. He then proceeded to pull out a folded article from his pocket, which Rachel recognized as an article she had written a few weeks ago about her life as a Gothic keyboardist. Kyd Dawson placed the now unfolded paper on her desk and gestured at the article's picture, a photo of the band during rehearsal. Rachel looked at the shot and noticed a question scribbled on it in neat writing: How fares the band?
Rachel was puzzled by the question. Why was Mr. Dawson taking a personal interest in the band? As far as she had heard, the silent man never personally sought out the writers of articles. He always seemed consumed by his own projects, and rarely interacted with anyone at work unless it was absolutely required. Rachel decided there wasn't any harm in responding to the question.
"We're doing well. We just had our first gig last night. Why do you ask?"
The artist merely shrugged before promptly plucking back up the article and swiftly exiting Rachel's office, leaving a very baffled writer in his wake.
"And I thought I had people issues," grumbled the Goth, focusing on her pencil again.
As the day winded to an end, the Titans found themselves back at the apartment complex, all with news to share. As was tradition amongst the five members, they grouped inside Robin and Starfire's room around 6:00 pm to discuss their day and plan upcoming events. Garfield told them of his meeting with Willard, while Rachel mentioned that Kyd Dawson had an interest in the band for some reason. Then Kori told the group of her encounter with Tyler, and proceeded to produce his CD. Everyone was blown away by the obviously masterful guitar playing. The CD tracks also had drums and bass, as well as an occasional keyboard, but the other instruments merely supplied support for the dominating guitar.
Next Victor nervously told Richard about his chance meeting with Jen, and how he had agreed to meet her on Thursday. At first Dick was angry, but Cyborg eventually managed to calm him down, telling him they simply would decline her offer if they were unimpressed.
"So, how was your day, Robin?" asked Kori curiously. Richard brightened at this, standing up and turning to his band. He then announced of his intentions to arrange a meeting with the band and Bruce Wayne, Jr. about a record deal. His announcement was met with stunned silence, then fist-pumping from Garfield and Victor, excited clapping from Kori, and a smidgen of a smirk from Rachel. Today had been an eventful day!
REVIEW, I BEG OF YOU!
As always, flames are a no-no and constructive criticisms are a yes-yes.
Okay, here are just a few fast notes:
Giovanni = Gizmo, Willard Sikes = Mammoth, Kyd Dawson = Kyd Wykkyd (y'know, the cool quiet kid from the HIVE Five?)
I just realized I set this day up as Sunday and they're all going to work! XD sorry, guys, that's a "my bad". I meant it to be Monday, so next chapter will be Tuesday!
I realize I haven't uploaded in forever, and I'm really sorry to leave you guys hangin'. I'll do my best to lower my update intervals to under 6 months lol (or whatever the ridiculous number of days it's been since I've been on this sight).
Tyler Watson and Cyra Sage are OCs. Most of the time, I'm strongly opposed to OCs in TT stories when they're superheroes, but I figure it's fine for this scenario.
I realize this chapter is a lot shorter than my previous one. I think, in order to maintain more routine updates, I will be doing chapters of approximately this length from now on.
Next Chapter: Another work day brings more unexpected events for the Titans band. Also, I think the group is due for a rehearsal.