Disclaimer: This is a fan work created at no profit and for entertainment purposes only. The author acknowledges that Teen Titans and related characters are property of Warner Entertainment.
Teen Titans: Menace in Mexico City
Chapter 8 – What's a Meet Cute Anyway?
The nearest parking garage without a valet was three blocks away and cost four times what the hotel's valet charged. Still Cyborg paid the fee gladly, chalking the increased price up to the value of his peace of mind. He was walking the three city blocks back less gladly as it was occurring to him how much time that walk back and forth from hotel to garage was going to eat out of his vacation time.
"Why do valet even exist anyway?" He asked the night air. "I mean, if you drove the dang car there in the first place, you better know how to park, so what's the point? And these guys they hire... I ask you, is there any kind of certification? Accreditation? No, it's just 'can you par a car? Yeah? Here's the keys. Tell ya what: if I ever started a valet service, I'd have a six week training course..."
His rant went on more than a block and likely would have continued all the way into the hotel if he hadn't noticed her:
She was about his age; about five-eight with light, freckled skin and red hair held back by a red Alice band, dressed in a calf-length red skirt, and a white tee with a blue hooded jacket worn open over it. It wasn't her appearance that to his attention so much as the fact that, seemingly lost in thought, she was about to step off the curb in front of a bus.
Other men might have looked on in horror at the scene unfolding, their fight-or-flight response locking them into inaction until it was too late. They would have been helpless as they watched the terrible accident and spend the rest of their days replaying the whole thing in their heads, trying to figure out what they could have done differently.
Victor Stone, however was no 'other' man. He was Cyborg, a hero who had spent his teen years honing his reactions, both technological and mental to eliminate hesitation and uncertainty. When someone's life was at stake, there was never any question of 'what do I do?', there was only action—as instantaneous and natural as breathing.
He lunged forward, not caring any bystanders might notice that he was moving faster than flesh and bone would have allowed. Taking hold of the young woman's shoulder, he yanked her backward at the last possible moment. "Whoa, girl! The right way to catch the bus is at the stop at the corner."
The girl let out a yelp of surprise, then another was the bus passed within a handspan from her nose. She stumbled back (and if Cyborg had been paying attention to the motion, he would have noticed she actually floated for a moment) and into Cyborg's chest.
After a moment of confusion, in which the bus continued on, she stepped away and looked back at the man who kept her from becoming a hood ornament. Soulful brown eyes widened with shock, not from his appearance, but as what just happened settled in on her. "You... saved me."
It had been a while since someone had thanks him for saving them. It wasn't that the citizens of Jump took the Titans for granted—they got awards, banquets and public declarations of thanks for their actions almost weekly—but face-to-face thanks were usually precluded by some on-going emergency. He grinned in spite of himself and gave a nonchalant shrug, "Well I couldn't just stand by and let you get hit. Wouldn't have been the neighborly thing to do."
What Victor Stone, the hero known as Cyborg couldn't have known was that the person whose life he just saved was M'gnn M'rzz.
M'gnn watched his humble reply with interest. She'd seen people acting like this before on Earth television: the everyday human with a heroic heart. Given everything that had been happening since she came to Earth, she'd been starting to suspect that nothing she'd seen on TV was true and that all of her encyclopedic knowledge of proper Earth behavior was incorrect.
Here however was a situation she'd seen many, many times. As the rescued girl faced with her (admittedly handsome...for a human) savior, she knew exactly what to do.
Cyborg was about to say something else when the girl reached up, grabbed his shoulders, and pulled him down so she could give him a kiss on the cheek.
"Thank you so much." She said, smiling sweetly.
He blinked, staring at the young woman for a moment. That... was a thing that didn't happen. In years of kicking butt and saving lives, no one but adorable little girls ever rewarded such actions with a kiss on the cheek, no matter what TV and movies suggested.
In fact, it was a frequent argument he and Beast Boy had. BB, having been raised by an actress, was all about the improbable tropes and insisted that it was just a matter of time before he had his 'meet cute' with some girl he saved from a burning building who then of course kissed him for it.
Cyborg mocked the grass stain continuously for it. Except now that he thought about it, Beast Boy had gotten his 'meet cute', only in the form of him being in the role of person being rescued way back when Raven shielded him from one of those nasty aliens who came to capture Starfire. It just took a while for it to take.
Plus, as was fresh in his memory, a lot of things that Didn't Happen had over the past week, like Raven and Beast Boy getting together, Beast Boy managing to come up with a credible plan, and Raven threatening his prize ham. If all that could happen... well Cyborg getting his own 'meet cute' (whatever that actually was) with a hot redhead while on vacation wasn't completely out of the question.
"Well alright then." He mused aloud.
M'gnn blinked, taking a step back from him. It was possible that she'd been wrong again. "Excuse me?"
Cyborg shook his head. "Uh, sorry. I just wanted to ask if you were okay. You seemed a little lost in thought before... you know." He gestured in the direction the bus had gone.
"Oh." M'gnn said, hanging her head. "Just some problem with my... friends. Nothing to worry about."
"I don't mean to pry, but: wanna talk about it?"
That was a bad idea, part of M'gnn told her. Another part pointed out that maybe it wasn't. After all, if she let all the stress distract her to the point that she almost got flattened by some sort of Earth ground vehicle, how could she ever manage to complete her mission? It wasn't as if she had to tell him her plans, just her problems, which cold be obfuscated.
Hey, that was what she'd always been good at: obfuscating. Lying.
A shadow passed over her expression, but she forced a smile before Cyborg could get concerned. "That might actually be kind of nice."
Booyah, Cyborg didn't say out loud. Instead, he whipped out his smartphone. It was bulkier than a commercial phone because Cyborg was more concerned about computing power and functionality than stylish thinness; it had a seventy-two hour battery, a laptop CPU and a cooling system—more of a palmtop computer than a phone. "No reason to talk on an empty stomach. What do you say we find a place to sit down and have a bite? I've got all the top rated places within walking distance on this thing."
M'gnn suddenly felt her lost appetite return. This was the Earth she always dreamed of seeing: a place where nice and interesting people did nice and interesting things. "That... sounds great. Thank you."
"No problem, little lady. Just let me tell my friends I'll be back at the hotel late and we can pick a place." Texting with one hand, Cyborg offered her the crook of his free arm. Once again thanks to television, M'gnn knew to lopp her own arm in his. Together, they set off into the city.
"The name's Vic, by the way. Vic Stone."
"Megan Morse." Inside, M'gnn couldn't help but squee at finally getting a chance to use that alias—and on Earth no less! "It's an Er...merican name. Because I'm from America."
Cyborg chuckled. "Same here. Me and my friends are on vacation; staying that the Trinity Towers."
"Really? Me too." As they walked, M'gnn resolved to enjoy this little slice of Earth life—as well as to find a way for Vic Stone, along with Jaime and Cassandra, to escape what was coming.
A/N – It's been a while folks, but once more, there is traction on this story. Hooray!
There's quite a bit I'd like to talk about in this one, starting with Miss Martian. I originally considered trying to play it off that she was evil through and through, but that's really not what her character is about. I see her typical character arc as something like a long term Spider-man: she's a kid who makes some bad choices that eventually come back on her, but at her core, she's not bad herself.
Also, I didn't want her to come off as another Aionor from What Grows In Deception: a sympathetic, but thoroughly person. So I came right out of the gate showing her side of this thing. The mystery is why she's doing this and what her employers are up to.
Fans of Young Justice will notice I changed her civvie outfit. That's because I just like her color coordinating her uniform and civies and the latter doesn't have any blue in it.
Now for the part that I'm sure is going to attract some attention: the shipping. Originally, there was going to be CyJinx in this (with Jynx being a fourth member of the enthralled team), but someone suggested this in a review and the possibility intrigued me. Cyborg usually gets the least pairing attention in the fandom and I thought it might be interesting to make a pairing with him the focus of a fic. Seeing as how I was already doing stuff from M'gnn's viewpoint, I figured it was worth a shot and... I think it works pretty well. They would, in my opinion, be really cute together.
By the by, a 'meet cute' is a writer's term for the first meeting between two intended love interests. The scene is supposed to set up audience interest in seeing the two together by showing how nicely the two personalities and their quirks play off of each other. A common variant is the 'Crash Into Hello', where the characters literally run into each other. The variant here is the 'Rescue Romance', which is self explanatory.