A/N: Yes, I know that I'm screwing with the timeline by putting this episode up so soon, but I wanted to and really, it's not messing with much.
"Friend Phantom, what have you done to your communicator?" Starfire asked as we flew to the dance.
"Hmm? Oh, it was just a touch too cheery for me, so I added my own flare to it." My Com was now black, instead of yellow, and white were there was previously black. The red button was now neon green and instead of the Titan's symbol my own DP insignia was there instead on the cover. It still worked just the same, but now it looked cooler.
"Oh, I see, I did not know we could do that." she brightened "Perhaps you could help adorn my communications device in a unique fashion!"
"Uh, sure, I guess." her smile was so bright I swear I might have gone blind from it. How can anyone be so...cheery? "So Starfire, I gotta ask, do you actually know any earth dances?" we were touching down outside of the boat on which the party was being held.
"I believe so. I have learned the pokie of the hokie and the fox with the trots." Oh dear lord someone needed to teach her about earth slang and proper sentence structure.
"Yes friend Phantom?"
"Never say anything about anything having the trots." she opened her mouth to speak but I cut her off "Just don't." she closed her mouth. I held out my arm to her and she took it "Ready to have some fun?"
"Of course! And I shall be ready to stop all nefarious plots of the blonde crr'tang Kitten."
"It is a tamaranian translation of an earth insult. The female dog, yes?" I just laughed
"Ah, who cares if you're a bit confusing at times, at least you know the insults, and really, that's all that matters." as we descended to the pavement the murmuring started
"Oh my god it's more Titans!"
"It's that alien girl!"
"Do they go to our school?"
"What do you think they're doing here?"
"I wish she'd never come to our planet."
"Oh my god! It's that dead freak!"
"Doesn't he have a girlfriend?"
"I thought he hated them."
"Why do you think they're here?"
"Why isn't his hair on fire?"
"Do you think she has a sister?"
"Do you think he knows any vampires?" Oh yeah, we were totally feeling the love.
"Why do they talk as if we were not here and can not hear them?" Starfire asked me
"Because, they're rude, and gossiping. It's a human thing, you just have to get used to it."
"I see. I do not find it very pleasant."
"Me either, but the best thing to do is just ignore it" with that last comment we saw Robin show up on his R-cycle and remove his helmet. I nudged Starfire. "Go talk with him." she nodded and began to smile in earnest before she went over to him.
They seemed a lot closer since I last saw them. There was the news conference where they were just normal team mates, then they bust into my shop a month later and she seemed to be concerned that I might have mistreated him. Then there was the three week cooling off period after Danielle came, followed by two weeks of me studiously ignoring the communicator...and now she's acting like a jealous girlfriend. Sure they're not really...are they? How close could they have gotten? Suddenly my ghost sense went off and I turn around looking for the disturbance. I turn to see Ember, Kitty and Johnny, Queen Dora and Pandora in a group with Dani.
Pandora was in her six foot form, she wanted to dance, not step on any of the party goers, and was wearing a white Greek dress edged in teal and gold. She was without any battle armor or weapons and her hair was over one shoulder, a mass of brilliant pink curls, but it looked good. Dora had let her hair down as well and was wearing a new gown you just know was hand made for her. Kitty was in a small red dress that sparkled slightly in the light and Johnny was wearing clothes with no holes or stains in them, plus, an actual tie, go figure. Ember was wearing her best leathers and had a, no joke, bedazzled guitar with her name on it slung across her back. Dani was in her human form wearing a light blue single strap dress and white bicep length white gloves. I decided to go over and greet them.
"Hey girls, you're all looking particularly beautiful tonight." Pandora inclines her head to me in simple thanks
"Many thanks good Sir Knight." Queen Dora says, in response I bow at the waist, take her hand and kiss the back of it looking into her eyes.
"T'is my pleasure Fair Queen Dora." she blushes and smiles off to the side
"Oh stop, we're all good friends here." I smile and stand, turning to Kitty
"Ever the pretty Kitty I see." she smiles more and Johnny glares slightly "Johnny."
"Punk." Kitty swatted him on the arm
"Ow, what was that for Kitten?" she gives him the evil eye for a second before gesturing to me
"His name's Da-" can't have anyone making the connection, no matter how slim the chance.
"Thanatos." Minus Dani and Ember they all look at me a bit surprised, and Pandora looks amused. Johnny starts
"My hero name, it's Thanatos now." Pandora smirks
"I have known Thanatos, and while you do bear a certain resemblance you are not a god of death Thanatos." I shrug
"It's my working name, and I honestly never thought I'd have to use it again, but for tonight's mission, I'm Thanatos. When this is all sewn up I'll go back to just being me." Dora smiled a tiny bit
"Mission? Is that what they call dates now-a-days?"
"Hey! This is us going undercover as a date so we can provide help to Robin if he needs it."
"Dipstick needs a wing man bad enough to make it mission? Talk about pathetic." I turn to tell Ember that it's not the case but Dani beats me to it
"Actually he's being held hostage along with the rest of the city or a madman will release a plague of mutant killer moths to devour everything." the rest of them just blink a few times "Yeah, I know."
"Okay, I retract my previous statement, whoever Robin's date is is pathetic. Holding the city hostage for a date? It's nice and evil but really, who would be so desperate as to-" she's cut off as a honking pink limo nearly runs her over. "OI! I'M STANDIN' HERE!" out from the pink monstrosity comes another pink monstrosity. Blonde, stuck up, in a dress that radiates 'I have money but no taste', and looking so far down her nose at everyone I was surprised she could see where she was going. Then she spotted Robin and started gushing. It was enough to make me want to strangle her, but I think I would have had to stand behind Starfire in the line.
"YOO-HOO! ROBIE POO! YOUR KITTEN HAS ARRIVED! ME-OWW!" her voice was so high pitched. And the way she spoke...I was seriously contemplating the pros and cons of a strong bitch-slap at the moment. The only con being that I might get some of her blood on me.
"Am I the only one feeling serious homicidal urges right now?" the rest of the group was twitching and I could see murder in their eyes. They hated her on principal. I think Sam would have exploded if they were within three miles of each other. I felt sorry for the guy as he trudged over to her.
"OH ROBIN. MY DATE. ROBIN." after she whispered to him for a few seconds I thought his jaw might break from how hard he was clenching it and he muttered something to her. "OH ROBIN, YOU'RE SUCH A GENTLEMAN! NOT AT ALL LIKE MY WORTHLESS EX BOYFRIEND FANG!"
"Oh boy, this is going to be long night." Just then Starfire came up and growled "Oh, guys this is my 'date' Star-" Starfire punched the hood of the car, completely decimating it. "-fire..." she turned her bright glowing and possibly smoking eyes to me, grabbed my arm and said
"Uh, Starfire, are you alr-" I couldn't hear the rest of my what I said over the vicious growl that came out of her mouth. I've faced down robots, storm deities, psychotic madmen, evil fruitloops and myself from an alternate evil timeline...but the look on her face just then scared me.
"Now." she then tugged my arm and suddenly we were on the ship just as the party started. Robin was adamant about sitting there doing nothing and so Starfire sat at a table close and watched them intently. Dani and her group had fun and I sent one of my duplicates to join in on the fun and dance with Dora. She always did want to go to a ball. Eventually, (i.e. - when it became clear Robin was just going to sit there all night) I got her talking again and we talked about what she had been doing with the Titans since I last saw her. Mainly they just took care of a few things like bank robberies and furnished the tower.
"I could probably get Dora to loan it to you. I don't really think she'd mind if you turned into a ghost dragon and ate Kitten."
"That would be most helpful."
"But you'd probably get indigestion."
"She is most foul." Coming from Starfire, that meant something, she told me what some of her planet's dishes were made of. I may never eat again. she gasped "Look!" I looked. Robin was slow dancing with Kitten
"Uh, why don't you go get some punch?" she glared at me before floating off to the 'food' table. Dani comes over to talk to me.
"Having fun pops?"
"Not really, mostly distracting Starfire by getting her to talk about her time as a Titan. How about you?"
"I'm having a blast! Pandora can really dance y'know? And Dora is really having a good time with you, well, other you. I think Ember's waiting for a dance with you. She doesn't look very patient." I glanced over to see her hunched over with her legs crossed and tapping her foot, sending me a glare just full of killing intent.
"Well, she looks happy." Dani rolled her eyes
"Oh yeah, totally." suddenly there was a horrible screech ripping through several octaves
"WHAT?" everyone turned to look at Kitten and Robin, who was grinning like a devil. In the background Starfire could be seen smiling broadly as Robin told Kitten
"Killer Moth is being taken down as we speak. We're done here."
"NO we are NOT!" Kitten ripped the flower off of her chest to reveal a grey cylinder that looked suspiciously like a detonator "Daddy's not calling the shots tonight, I AM!" his eyes went wide
"One press of this button will emit a sound wave that will drive the moths crazy, so, unless you want me to let those nasty bugs out for a late night snack, you better PUCKER UP!" she then proceeded to make kissy faces at him. Dani leaned over and whispered in my ear without taking her eyes off of the scene
"I think that broke Starfire's mind."
"We should have brought pop-corn."
"Way ahead of you dipstick." Ember plops down beside me crunching on some popcorn. She holds the bowl out. I take some and ask
"Where did you get this? I didn't see any pop-corn up at the table."
"I always carry around pop-corn, just in case some shit like this happens." the rest of the ghosts come over and watch as suddenly a man with a four legged spider for a head comes up, hits Robin, get's blasted by Star and confesses to loving Kitten before they proceed to make out. "This shit's better than a soap opera." I hear an unintelligible grumble and look over at Pandora with two of her arms crossed and two of her arms on her waist.
"Why are you so grumpy?"
"Who's shield do you think is being used as the pop-corn bowl?" I glance at the underside of the bowl and, sure enough, it's carved with ancient Greek designs.
"INCOMING!" In quick succession I put up a green dome, two pink beams deflected off the side and hit a couple going out onto the dance floor, a splat of grey goo and a flying table both hit the dome. Once I blasted the table away and saw Robin kick Fang down from the string lights and jump down to stomp on him but instead, he ends up being juggled by the spider legs.
"When did they get up there?"
"Who cares?" Starfire started to screech
"THEY ARE NOT FIGHTING OVER YOU!" Kitten tackled her into a tray of food and they started rolling around in it. Then came an enthusiastic
"CAT FIGHT! Ow, Kitten!" Ah, Johnny and his mouth
"Ember's right," said Dani "way better than TV. Pass the pop-corn."
Pie in Starfire's face. Kitten thrown across the table knocking several dishes off. Starfire lunges but Kitten kicks her into the punch bowl and holds her down. Star wraps her legs around Kitten and slams her into a giant chocolate cake. There are several gasps from all around me, then just as I'm about to ask, the answer comes.
"You. Ruined. MY. DRESS!" With the last word Kitten brings her hand up and slams her thumb down on the trigger. Oh, this won't end well. Just over my shoulder, and past Robin who had dodged it, a clump of spider goo lands on Pandora's dress. The two keep fighting but from all of us who know Pandora there is a beat of silence...and then we all step away from her. She's pissy when slightly irritated. She just had her dress ruined. Kitty had her dress ruined and let loose a swarm of mutated giant moth like killing machines. Pandora...is considerably more dangerous. Pandora got up, a blank expression on her face.
"Uh, Pandora, I know you're angry bu-" one of her arms comes out and slams into me, sending me at least a hundred yards into the night. Luckily, I can fly and go through solid objects, or I'd be done right there. When I get back she's just reached the two battling boys. Robin comes in from above, attempting an aerial assault but Pandora catches his leg and throws him off to the side. She looks up at Fang.
"You ruined my dress." he just stares at her like she's crazy. "My mother made this for me before she passed on, and I had Clockwork restore it to it's former glory. It's thousands of years old." she...doesn't look pissed at all...which is somehow scarier.
"Look chick, I don't got time t-" Pandora grabbed his leg and pulled him down.
"You ruined my dress." Off to the side Robin is about to jump in again but is held back by Dani. He's about to object but she just shakes her head and tells him to stay out of it. Robin...listens. "And now you shall pay for it." The guy laughs. Well, Darwinism and all, I don't think he'll be around much longer.
"Yeah, and just what are you gunna do? I'm bigger and badder and more powerful than you!" Okay, he really needs to shut up now before she sinks the ship we're on.
"Oh really?" he cocks his fist back as Pandora hunches over and, just as he's about to strike, she turns into her thirty foot self, impressive black and gold dress, War helmet, her hair gone from curls to a mane of phosphorescent pink flame, eyes glowing red. Her voice, when she speaks, is full of authority, severity and most of all, power. "I AM PANDORA AND YOU SHALL KNOW MY WRATH!" While everyone is distracted by Pandora, I look to Kitten, also distracted, and blast her detonator to pieces, stopping the signal and the moths. Hopefully. Kitten lets out a screeching 'Nooooo!' very dramatically. Fang hears this and is about to go to her when Pandora steps in and proceeds to beat the ever lovin' crap out of him, and several wads of that grey goo. He gets up one last time, clearly very stupid when I speak.
"Hey Pandora, when you were a child, did you ever go out and find a daddy long leg and rip all of its legs off to see what would happen?" she grins a very creepy grin.
"No," she looks at Fang "but I'd like to." he faints. I honestly can't blame him for it.
"You do realize I was kidding right?" she looks at me for a minute then back at Fang
Of course it was only a half hour later that the police showed up...in...storm trooper-esk uniforms. Was I the only one who found that odd? Anyways, by then the other three titans showed up with...a large silkworm.
"Y'know," Beastboy starts "when nobody's making them all mutated, these little guys might actually make good pets." he looked at Reven for confirmation but she just leaned away from him and said
"Don't even think about it." When Robin separated from the group to talk to the couple who became paralyzed Starfire looked at him...like Sam used to look at me. I nudged her shoulder.
"Just talk to him Star. He's going to be stupid and awkward but just keep talking to him." she nodded to me and left to talk but before she could spotlights turned on them and the PA system came on
"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN YOUR PROM KING AND QUEEN THIS YEAR ARE...ROB-IN AND STARFI-IRE!" the two immediately relaxed ant turned to each other. Starfire blushed and Robin said
"I guess one more Dance wouldn't kill me."
After the dance everyone was getting ready to leave when Ember came up to me.
"Hey Da-uh, Thanatos, can we talk?"
"Uh, yeah Ember what's up?"
"In private?" I nodded and opened a portal to the Zone when Robin called
"Thanatos! I need to speak with you!"
"UGH!" I turned to the rest of the ghosts present "You guys go home, I have to talk to some people. Dani?"
"You going to sleep over one of their houses or are you going home?" she glanced between the other two girls and me, going back and forth, back and forth. "Go, I'll see you tomorrow." she ran over and hugged me
"Love you daddy."
"Love you too li'l girl." she smiled at me and I smiled right back and ruffled her hair
"DADDY! Don't do that!" she scowled at me and I just laughed at her and shooed her off
"Go, have fun." she scowled a bit before smiling again and flying off and pulling both Pandora and Dora into the portal. Robin put a hand on my shoulder and before he could say anything I held up a finger. My index finger. "Ember asked first, I'll talk to you in a minute." both Ember and I flew up above the ship "So, what did you want to talk to me about?" she looked down and then, if anyone could be said to have done it in mid air, I think Ember did, she scuffed her foot.
"Well, um...I got asked out." I smiled, she couldn't see it, but I did. "I uh, do you...ugh."
"Ember...we're not going out, we were helping each other feel better and having a good time doing it. I'm not your boyfriend, and I'm not your father, I'm your friend. If you want to go out with someone, you don't need my permission, okay?" she looked up at me and smiled
"Still a dipstick."
"Still a bitch."
"Thanks dipstick." she suddenly grew fierce "Tell anyone I said that and I'll kill you."
"I don't think they'd believe me." she slugged me
"Shaddup moron." she flew through the portal before it closed and I descended to Robin.
"So, what's up Robin?" he shook his head.
"At the tower." I roll my eyes, duplicate four times, and port the rest of the titans to the top of the tower
"OK, so now what?"
"I know who you are." I freeze and turn to look at him. I'm sure my eyes are red.
"What was that?" the ice in my voice froze the rest of the titans Robin kept on talking, he even put his hand on my shoulder
"I know who you are. Look, Danny, I know what happened and-"
"YOU KNOW NOTHING!" the titans flinched away from me as I jerked myself out of his grip. "You know nothing of what happened. You may know my name but that does not mean you know who I am, just what I am called." I leaned in close to him and whispered so no one else could hear "Dick Greyson." He was ashen and then hostile, grabbing my tux and pinning me to the wall. I smiled, but it didn't reach my eyes "Oh, did I strike a nerve? Good, and no I didn't read it, I figured it out. I may be clueless but I'm not a moron, in fact, I'm from a family of geniuses." his voice was low as he growled
"If you tell ANYONE-"
"I won't. Just because I can do something doesn't mean I should. Does that seem like something you should take to heart D.G.?" he just growled some more "Just because you know what other people say doesn't mean you know anything at all, much less the truth. Don't act like you know me D. You know what blind rumor mongers recorded to sell papers, nothing more, nothing less. This changes nothing." I cock my head to the side "Actually, it just shows that you're a lot more stupid than you think you are." he leaned in close, still holding me to the wall.
"I know how to stop you, to remove your ghost half and destroy it." I smile and lean in close too. Not a pretty smile.
"I know how to travel back in time and make sure you were never born."
"You're not a killer."
"Can't kill what was never alive. How about I make your mother barren? Make sure your parents lived? That you were switched at birth? That, just before one of us could get to you aliens put you in a coma? Make sure that you were delayed a few days, that the titans formed, without you?" his glare hardened "I could do so very many things to you Robin, and all without my powers. Don't threaten me Dick, you might succeed but you sure as hell won't win. See you later Dick." I phase out of his grip and start to walk away.
"Thanatos," Raven "may I...?" sigh
"Why not? Everyone else today has." I open up two consecutive portals, one to the Ghost Zone and one in the Zone just beyond the first and from there to my living room. The portals were less than an inch apart "C'mon." I stepped through, leaving the titans on the roof.
"Dude, what just happened?"
"I...am not sure friend Beastboy."
"Whatever, I'm going to bed. Night y'all." Star and Beastboy looked at each other and Beastboy shrugged before following Cyborg.
"RAVEN. I don't trust him."
"You have done nothing to earn his trust either. You have only alienated alienated him by invading his past, a past, you have no right to."
"It concerns the safety of this team, of this city, then it gives me that right."
"You don't know what information is dangerous. Something innocuous might be earth shattering and something closely guarded may be just an embarrassing memory. Unless you know every detail of his life you won't know anything for sure."
"Which means I need to know everything."
"What about his right to privacy?"
"No such thing." Raven just stared at him for a moment
"I rarely like anything, but I find I like what you say less than almost anyone else I have ever met."
"I can deal with that." Raven shook her head and walked over stepping through the portal, but a second before she did Robin flicked his wrist out and a small object attached to her cape.