(Author's note: Well, I had hoped to get this finished by Halloween, but unfortunately life had drastically different ideas about where my mental focus was going to go. Note to relatives: QUIT DYING. Anyway, even though the intended date is past I'm not at all compelled to abandon it, so let's see how quickly this goes.
And no, I'm not abandoning Titan Knight either. When the idea for this came to me with some slight prodding by Cylor, I started writing it; and the way things have been going lately, being able to do any sort of creative writing is an improvement.
And I still don't own the Teen Titans, to the best of my knowledge.)
A green sparrow flitted through the night sky above Jump City, searching for a vantage point. It eventually settled on top of an old apartment building, across the street from one of the city's more popular parks.
The bird turned into Beast Boy, instinctively adjusting his posture to maintain his balance during the transformation. Taking in a deep breath of the cool night air, he grinned to himself. Halloween was one of his favorite holidays, and this year it came with great night scenery. The full moon bathed the city in its cold light, and a light fog was just beginning to creep in from the bay. While little more than a thin mist, it added a cool bite to the autumn breeze that gave an eerie waver to the branches of the trees in the park. The end result could hardly be called chilly, as this was still California, but it still made a nice contrast to the heat rising from the crowded streets.
Streets crowded with a steady stream of mythical beasts, aliens, undead ghouls and other monstrosities; which would be a cause for alarm on any other night of the year. This night, though, all were simply middle-schoolers out to draw attention to themselves, whether for candy or for attention's own sake. But despite the costumes calling up thoughts of nameless horrors, dire forces from beyond the grave and other neat things like that; the laughter, music and cheers that reached his ears told him the city was never more alive.
Still, he'd been on patrol for hours, and the nagging sensation that he was missing a movie marathon was pushing him to his limits. With a yawn, he pulled out his communicator. "Ten o'clock and all's well," he drowsily muttered. "Can we go home now? Halloween fever's gotta be fading out."
"How's the foot traffic looking?" came Robin's voice over the communicator.
Beast Boy blinked a couple times, then focused his eyes on the occupants of the streets. A few clusters of trick-or-treaters were all he could see. Kids around his own age, wearing costumes of ghosts, skeletons, various other monsters, Robin, Cyborg, Starfire, Raven....
Trick-or-treating had always been a subject of fascination for him. First, there was free candy. Second, there was just something fun about dressing up as things he couldn't just transform into. Kind of like being a superspy, disguising his disguising. And then there was free candy. It was one of very few days when you were supposed to act all crazy. And then there was free candy. Why, it seemed like just yesterday that he considered using multiple costumes to pick up tons of extra candy.
Wait. That was yesterday. And before he had found out about the movie marathon that was going on...at that very moment.
"Just a few kids," Beast Boy muttered in answer to Robin's question. "I bet the rest of them went home, like we should be doing. And how come none of these kids have costumes of me? And...why do they look cooler than me?"
"Focus, Beast Boy. If the rest of the city is this slow, we might be able to get out of here early. The police aren't going to need the extra help if that's the case."
"Wait, something going on," Beast Boy said. He craned his neck to get a better look at the source of the sudden motion he had caught.
A small pack of trick-or-treaters had been crossing the street, but for whatever reason the taller kid in the front had stopped in the middle of the road, and the followers had stumbled into him. As an argument unfolded, Beast Boy realized their costumes looked very familiar, and almost laughed at the irony.
"Oh," he said dismissively, "It's just some kid in one of your costumes talking smack to some kid in a Slade costume." He'd need to try something of the sort for April Fool's day...or sooner. "Wait. How come people get Slade costumes but not mine?"
Robin's sigh came in loud and clear. "I wish I knew."
"Hold on." He'd just seen the miniature Slade, the one who'd stopped in the middle of the street, backhand the miniature Robin, sending him sprawling to the pavement. Even more unusual than the act itself, was the way in which the kid had moved. It was almost unnatural. There was no warning, no tensing of muscles prior the blow. Simply a swing. And even now, as the other kids recoiled in alarm, his posture was disturbing. His arms were hanging off his shoulders, stiff and limp, causing his candy collection to fall unceremoniously to the ground. "That's not right," he concluded as he prepared to leap down and intervene in...whatever it was.
"What's not right?" Robin asked over the communicator.
Right as he was about to leap down and put a stop to the fight, he felt something constricting his leg.
He didn't have time to wonder what it was.
With a sudden pull and a slight rustle of leaves, Beast Boy was slammed to the ground, unconscious.
"Beast Boy!" Robin yelled over the still functioning communicator on the ground. "Beast Boy, report! Beast...Wait, what is--"
The muffled sounds of Robin's struggle quickly went silent.