I own nothing.
"Speech"; 'Thought'; Narration. We'll get along fine.
Beastboy's Favor and Raven's Price
For every kind of media, another media is born from it. Stories create books, books create movies, the list goes on and on. "For every market, there is a sub-market." A famous grave robber once said. This fact is also true for Jump City's annual Amateur Comic Con. It's a place that allows young up-in-coming artists to show off their work and discuss current events with like-minded individuals.
Three teenagers walked around the crowds looking disgusted. The first boy shoved his hands into football jersey. "Why are we here again, Dwain?"
"Because my dumb little brother wanted to come and my mom threatened to ground me if I didn't watch him."
"Ok. So why are me and Sally here?" He said, pointing to himself and the girl between them.
Dwain snaked his arm around Sally's waist. "So that I don't have to be at this dorkfest alone." An overweight Robin walked by. "See what I mean?"
"What really sucks," Sally chimed in, "Is that most of this place is dedicated to the Titans. Like half the damage done to this city is caused by those freaks, right?"
"Exactly. They're just daring these criminals to set up camp here."
"And those outfits. If anyone else ran around in their underwear, they'd get arrested for streaking. Or at least get fined by the fashion police."
The three of them stared laughing until they heard a mixture of a "huff" and a growl beside them. A blue blur rushed past. "Hey, you got something to say, freak?"
The blur, which happened to be a person in jeans, a hoodie, with the hood up, and a side bag stopped. The figure slowly turned until the trio realized it was a girl, or at least that's what they could tell from the part of her face that wasn't masked by her hood. "Yes?" A monotone answered.
They started laughing again. "What is that? Some kind of lame Raven-wanna-be costume?"
The girl glared and her lips began to form a snarl. She suddenly glanced to the right, shot another glare, and turned to walk away. The three continued jeering as she sulked over to a nearby artist's table and picked up two different fan comics. The vendor noted in disappointment that she wasn't really looking at them but just holding them in front of her face. After a few minutes of muttering to herself and glancing through them, she chose the one in her right hand.
"You have good taste, young lady." The vendor said. "That will be Five Dollars, please." The girl gave him a Ten. He handed her a Five and thanked her. She muttered what sounded like "You're welcome" as she tried to stuff it in the already full bag. "So what made you choose that one?" He asked with a smile.
"Because the voice in my head told me to." She answered, walking away. The vendor almost laughed, then looked serious and continued switching between the two as she walked out of sight.
A small green spider crawled out of the girl's violet locks near her right ear. "That wasn't very nice, Raven. He was just trying to be friendly."
Raven pulled her hood down further and tried not to shiver at the tiny legs prickling around her ear. "Can't help it." She muttered so that only Beastboy could hear. "I'm still pissed at those three idiots. Besides, isn't it nice for one to come all this way undercover just so you could get your precious comics?"
"Well, technically, we agreed that if you did this for me then I'd owe you a favor."
"Yeah, whatever I want. No questions asked and you follow my instructions to the letter."
"That's my point. It's more of an exchange then altruism." Raven held the bursting bag over a trash can. "WHAAAA! I mean thanks for going out of your way like this!"
"That's what I though you said." She repositioned the bag on her other shoulder. "You come here every year?"
"Yep! Except last year someone realized I wasn't wearing a costume and a kind of… riot broke out."
"They ban you?"
"Naw, they loved it. In fact I got a VIP invite this year."
"So why are you pretending to be my earring?"
"Robin got mad and told me not to come back."
"Did you remember to call ahead and politely tell them you won't be here right?"
"Um…oops?" Raven facepalmed. "Ah, careful!"
"Ugh, I need a break from all this. Too loud; too many people." She started messaging her temples.
"If you need to phase out and meditate, I'll understand." Beastboy whispered frantically.
Raven let out a small huff. "And give you a loophole out of our little agreement? I don't think so. Ow! You bit me!"
"Yeah, cuz I'm concerned!"
"What, that I'll freak out or because Robin would find out?"
"Because… I-I just don't want to see you hurt."
"Why do you care?"
"Maybe we should finish this conversation later."
"Hey! Don't think you can just talk your way out of a serious conversation."
"I'm not. We're just drawing a crowd."
Raven looked up and realized a giant circle had formed around her. She blushed, tried to hide deeper in her hood and ran through the scores of people until she plowed through some curtains at the back of the convention hall. "Well (huff) this was (huff) fun. After I catch my breath (huff) we're leaving."
"It's ok, just don't overexert yourself."
"What?" Beastboy said with actual concern. 'Cyborg's right, she might actually hate me.'
"Nothing. Why are there so few people here and how come we didn't come here before?"
"Well, this is kinda the adult section."
"Adult?! Adult as in what?!"
There was a flicker of black in Raven's eyes. "This I have to see."
"Wait, Raven! Remember that these are all amateurs. Some of them don't know any other outlet!"
"Are you questioning my control?"
"Just don't kill anyone." Beastboy pleaded as Raven went over to one of the Teen Titans displays. The young man behind the table was rocking back and forth on the back legs his chair. He regarded Raven with a dangerous smile and motioned the comics between them. She kept her glare, nodded and looking over his "outlets."
There were various pairs, Raven noticed. Most of them involved her and Beastboy, Robin and Starfire, some just her and Starfire or all three boys on the cover and quite a few that were her or Starfire surrounded by multiple villains. She didn't touch any, out of fear of infection, until one of her and Beastboy caught her eye. After wiping her sweaty palms on her jeans, she picked it up and started flipping though it, eyes wide and a blush engulfing her face.
"Dude!" Beastboy groaned with a mixture of disgust and slight curiosity. "What is this?"
"I- I believe the technical term is 'bestiality.' But this is more like multiple-bestialities."
Beastboy gulped. "Ok, I'm ready to go home."
Raven closed the book. "You seem really into it." Her eyes snapped back up to the vendor. He licked his lips. "It's free for a cutie like you. If you want to see some of my better work, I'm free in twenty." Unable to compose herself, she started to run towards the exit curtains. The vendor was laughing, she almost ran into some familiar looking jerseys; more laughing. Beastboy was cursing but Raven stayed her course until she safely hit the normal tables. She found a wall, sat down and started panting with her arms pulling her knees to her chest.
The next few minutes involved Raven panting and trying to shut out the world as Beastboy kept whispering into her ear that everything was ok, apologizing and that they would get them all later. When Raven calmed down, she realized that Beastboy wasn't a spider on her ear; he was hugging her in his normal form. She gave him a quick hug in return and he morphed back into her hair when they were sure no one was looking. "You ready to go?" Raven let herself shiver at his voice in her ear.
"Yes, let's head back."
She stood up and noticed a small Beastboy in front of her. He couldn't be more then nine, wore black pants, a makeshift black and purple shirt with his face painted green. "Are you ok?" He asked.
He looked around, confused. "Wasn't there a boy with you earlier?"
"He left…to get me a drink." Are you here alone?"
"Nope! My brother Dwain and his friends are here. They just wanted to go in there." He pointed to the curtains but turned away as if looking at them was a sin.
"He doesn't seem too nice if he left you alone."
"That's why I try and be as nice as I can. So mom can be proud. We both really admire superheroes, even if Dwain hates them."
"Sounds like you might make a good hero yourself one day." Raven noticed his disposable camera. "Has anyone taken your picture yet?" The little boy shook his head. Raven smiled, brushed the hair around her right ear and crouched down in front of him. "Would you like me to?" He nodded vigorously and handed her the camera. She stepped back a few feet as the boy put his fists on his hips and puffed out his chest. Beastboy leaned in behind him, gave a toothy grin and a V with his right hand.
Smiling, Raven took the shot, and crouched down to give the boy back his camera and to gather Beastboy back in her hand. Dwain started calling from the other side of the hall. The young boy ran away smiling. "Now that was nice." Beastboy mused as they headed for the exit. "So what's this favor gonna be anyway? No jokes for a month? Stay in my room for forty-eight hours straight? Muted video games until further notice?"
"Hmmmm." Raven smiled. "All good suggestions but I've got something else in mind." Beastboy braced himself. "We're going to dinner tonight. The French Restaurant on the other side of town has a private table on reserve for any of us thanks to Robin. My treat but you have to wear a tie and not mention this to anyone, or else."
"Huh? Wait, are we going on a-"
"Yes! But just to see how it goes and I hold no promises for the future."
She expected a groan or victory cheer but instead heard a soft, "It sounds wonderful."
"Well, if it ain't the Blue Freak, again?"
"Ugh, I'm in too good of a mood to deal with this." Raven said as she pulled off her hood. She erupted into a giant black raven and phased through the convention hall's roof, leaving behind a combination of frightful screams, slacked jaws and cheering fans, which included a small Beastboy.