The usual disclaimer. I own nothing.
"Verbing weirds language."
"I've had more intelligent conversations with anemones."
"My apologies," a puzzled Starfire said. "But from Robin's stories, I was believing you were a man."
"Aren't these things great?" Jinx beamed. "Hey Rae, do you like my costume?"
"Is that one of my cloaks?"
"And one of your leotards. I thought these things were supposed to be elastic, but it's kinda loose in the back."
Glaring, Raven snarled. "Plenty of room up front, too."
Some distance away, a girl squealed. "Oh my GAWD! Your Starfire costume in amazing!"
"Many thanks, friend!"
"Please," she pleaded to them. "I...I don't know what to do- I don't know what I want."
The doppelganger cloaked in green stepped forward. "Don't give us that- you know exactly what you want."
Another one in a smokey gray cloak peeked timidly from behind the first. "Y-you're just...too afraid to admit it."
The team watched their TV quietly as President-Elect Luthor strode up to the podium in a flurry of patriotically colored confetti and gave his victory-speech to a cheering crowd.
Robin shook his head. "Those people really have no idea."
"I fear for the Republic," Raven said somberly.
"Don't look at me," Cyborg said. "I didn't vote for him."
"Friends...why were we not permitted to cast our votes, again?"
"Because," Beast Boy snorted. "Under-aged kids would make bad decisions."
For a time he just stood there, his bulk a metal barricade in doorway while he stared dumbly at the frail, unrecognizable man in the hospital bed with wires and plastic tubes growing out of him.
The role reversal was eerie.
"Say 'goodbye', freak," the man with the gun said.
Beast Boy watched the shadows behind the man shift and thicken, and grinned as four sanguine eyes narrowed reprovingly.
"Goodbye," he said cheerfully.
"I thought this was 'cheap teenage soap-opera garbage'?"
"That was before Vanessa started blackmailing Blair with a photo of Catherine and Marcus."
"Can't you like...meditate or something?"
"Quiet, now she's trying to get even by having Chuck seduce Vanessa."
The girl's feet dangled and kicked as her fingers struggled against the steel vise crushing her throat. It was impossible to focus, gasping for air and scrambling to reach out with her power for something...anything she could find purchase on.
Slade caught the small rock she had hurled at his head like a fastball without even breaking eye contact with her. His fist crushed it into gravel.
"Pathetic. The power of earthquakes and landslides and you toss a pebble at me?"
She uses most of her air to manage "...please...I c-can't..."
"No discipline. No control. You're a natural disaster with hormones. Do you really think those children can help you with supportive words and darling green eyes?"
Beast Boy huffed and crossed his arms watching Starfire and her new partner high-five again. "I still say having him for charades is cheating."
Flicking on his shoulder light, Cyborg groaned. "I think we blew a fuse."
"Worth it," Beast Boy said immediately.
"I am very sorry, friend Raven! I should not have picked the 'dare'!"
When she was still a little girl the monks saw fit to tell her she would be responsible for the death of every living thing on Earth. At the age of seven, she nodded and thanked them with practiced indifference, went home, and informed her mother she did not want a gift for her birthday for that year- or for any year hence.
She stayed long enough for her mother's somber acknowledgment, then locked herself in her room and cried.
Beast Boy only half-recalled the tongue of the little African tribe he had spent the last happy years of his childhood in, Raven was fluent in German, Latin, Romanian, Ancient Sumerian, Sanskrit, and was studying French in her free time (all the best playwrights and poets wrote their original works in French), and along with binary Cyborg could understand any language so long as he had the proper software drivers installed.
Somehow Starfire still managed to surprise everyone when she approached a pair of lost-looking tourists on the street and gave them directions in perfect Mandarin. When Cyborg asked her where she'd learned Chinese, she only shrugged coyly and snuck a smile at Robin, who was trying to blush as inconspicuously as possible.
Raven woke up muddled. She had dozed off on the couch reading Dostoyevsky (perfectly understandable in her opinion), but the book wasn't left open on her chest or on the carpet where it sometimes ended up. It took a moment for her to find it sitting on the coffee table with a bookmark saving her place.
That was when she felt something warm next to her, and turned to see a green cat curled against her side, fast asleep.
"Sweet!" Beast Boy pointed. "This guy looks like Hotspot's dad! You have all these aliens with different powers?"
"It's pretty cool," Heatblast said. "But I can only turn into ten aliens for ten minutes. You can turn into any animal anytime you want!"
"I am pretty awesome."
Arms crossed, both girls watched their respective idiots from afar.
"I'm pretty sure mine trumps yours in the obnoxious contest."
"Yeah," the red-head agreed. "But at least you're not related to yours."
Even his eyes were green, she thought. They were a light, bright shade like a leaf when sunlight streams through it.
"Wait..." Kid Flash winced, rubbing the back of his head. "That...uh...that came out wrong."
Leering like a cat, Jinx leaned towards him and brushed her finger on his chest. "No, by all means...go on."
"This game is bogus! There's no way someone can conquer the world with Australia!"
"No one ever expects the Aussies."
"Friends, does this mean I have won?"
From the couch, watching the boys trudge home splattered with colorful paint was a tad more satisfying than Raven thought it would be.
"I did say paintball would be a bad idea."
She shudders as Starfire's fingers lightly brush her back, tracing the raven's design
"I am surprised you would do something so..."
"Impulsive? Permanent? I don't know why, but I feel...content being able to express myself like this. It's something that's just for me."
"It suits you very well."
"Thanks...but can I put my shirt back on now?"
The three hecklers stopped laughing after Starfire stomped on the sidewalk hard enough to splinter the concrete. Suddenly Beast Boy remembered that first night when the kind, gentle alien princess came down from the sky with blazing eyes and wrecked several city blocks with her bare hands.
"You will apologize to my friend this instant!"
Squinting with the only eye not uselessly swollen shut, Wintergreen could barely make out the man in black and red that had somehow massacred the entire contingent of NVA holding him prisoner single-handed. He scarcely believed it when his rescuer pulled off his mask.
"My God...Slade? How did- what are you doing here?"
"Repaying a debt, old friend."
"A debt? This is nothing like Quang Tin! Sampson will have you court-martialed. At the very least he'll force you to resign your commission- your career will be over!"
"If those are the consequences, so be it."
After Slade cut him loose and helped him to his feet, Wintergreen grabbed him by the collar and looks him dead in the eye. "This doesn't make us even, Slade. I owe you everything; I am your man for life, do you understand? For life."
His friend safe and leaning on his shoulder, Slade said "Let's just get you home, Will."
Beast Boy first met the Brain when he was still in the Doom Patrol. Mento had been drilling horror stories into him about how the Brain was their greatest, most dangerous foe; described him with big words like 'diabolical' and 'iniquitous'-which Gar had to look up later.
Needless to say, when he finally came face to face with Mento's 'nemesis', he took one look at the oversized metal trash can with the brain in the glass jar and broke out into hysterics.
Apparently the big, diabolical Brain wasn't used to kids pointing and laughing at him. "Do you find me amusing, boy?" his computer-generated voice demanded tonelessly.
Oh God, even the voice.
"Dude," he managed between giggles. "Can you say 'Exterminate'?"
The bedroom safe was even more of a jackpot than he thought. Insider trading, short selling the company, offshore bank accounts; lots of people lost their life savings so this putz could have a summer home in Switzerland.
First he'll clean out the safe, blackmail the guy for a little extra, and dispense every cent in his accounts back to his victims. Then he'll turn over the evidence to the feds anyway.
"And they call me a crook."
"Alright," Robin said, nodding towards the diagram. "Any questions?"
Beast Boy's hand shot up. "Ooh! Oooh! Robin! Over here!"
Robin looked past the changeling's wildly waving arm. "Anyone?"
This guy could not be for real. Suit, bow-tie, top hat, even a black cape.
Sweeping off his hat with overly dramatic bow, he said, "I am Zachary Zatara, the world's greatest and most popular teenaged magician."
"We're overwhelmed," Raven assured him. "Really."
Always courteous to fellow heroes, Robin stepped forward and offered his hand. "It's a pleasure to meet-"
Which Zatara blatantly ignored, brushing past Robin with his eyes fixed on the Titan's witch. "You're Raven, aren't you? I've heard a great deal about your abilities ..."
Hand still outstretched, Robin's eyelid twitched.
"By all means," she rolled her eyes. "Don't let that discourage you."
"Would you perhaps care to rendezvous later in a more...comfortable setting?" An expert flick of his hand conjured a blooming bouquet of blue roses. "I'm sure there's much we could teach other."
Beast Boy's fangs had to bite back his growl. "Hey dude, ever hear of a guy named Dr. Light?"
It has far too long since I've posted anything on my account. Years, I think. Anyway, started writing this a long time ago on a whim just to challenge myself- left it half finished for months until I decided that enough was enough. And yes, I'm aware 'X-tortion' is not a real word- Saiyoko called me out on cheating and I still stand my 'cheesy as exception' defense.
Thanks for reading, reviews always welcome!