Chapter Six: A Day with the Titans pt. 3
He was shaking. No, more like shivering. Vibrating, perhaps? Either way, electrocution in his human form hurt like a bitch.
It didn't help that they were laughing. He didn't think it was funny. You'd think that kid screaming so hard his voice box ruptured and blood started leaking out of his throat would make them sad, but no. They were living it up on the other side of the missile-proof glass. Documenting his every twitch and cry of pain like an author writing down a particularly good scene in their story pissed him off.
On the outside, he was crying his eyes out. All this was internal. It was amazing how clear-headed he got on Torture Night. Or was it Day? He couldn't even bring himself to actually care at this point. It wasn't like knowing if the moon was up was going to get him out of here.
Danny Fenton was a trooper. He'd toughed it out before. Who said he couldn't do it again?
Then they had to turn up the voltage.
He thought he was shaking before? If it weren't for the thick leather restraints binding him to the operation table, he would have flown clean off.
Someone was yelling over him. People were scrambling around behind the tinted glass like ants. Something was splitting from him, leaving… his vision started tunnel, then go white…
"Friend Phantom, please awaken so we may bask in the glorious day marking the official start of our friendship!"
Danny woke up to seen Starfire leaning over him with Beast Boy peeking on her shoulder
"Hehe… good morning? Sorry Star shook you awake."
Danny stared at the changeling. His heart had stuttered into oblivion- or was that a dream?
"You sleep as stiff as a board, you know. I think that's bad for your neck muscles or some other crap like that." Beast Boy grinned down at him.
Oh, so it was a nightmare! He hadn't had one of those in a while. Danny sat up and stretched. "What's on the menu?" He asked the Titans absently.
Starfire giggled. "Friend beast Boy has concocted the waffles of tofu for nourishment! And I have acquired more of the tangy yellow goodness so you could consume it with the fast of break!" The alien squealed as she led him toward the kitchen. Danny blinked slowly and tried to brake down the sentence into plain and simple English.
All I understood was 'consume' and 'tofu waffles'…I have got to learn Starfire if I ever plan on understanding what the hell is going on around here.
"Hey, where are Tall, short, and Creepy at?" Danny thought out loud as Beast Boy handed him a plate of tofu waffles.
The changeling laughed. "Raven's at the bookstore, Cyborg's at the racetrack, and Robin's doing whatever Robin does to pass the time." He waved a jar at him. "Mustard?"
"God, yes!" The teen snatched the jar out of his hands and started to slather it onto the stack of waffles.
Beast Boy's nose wrinkled in disgust. "Dude, how can you eat that stuff? It's, like, mustard!"
Danny stabbed two waffles with his fork and shoved them into his mouth. "I just suddenly gained a taste for it. You must eat something most people wouldn't eat." When he shook his head, he laughed. "Oh yeah, I forgot, you're a bottomless pit-you eat everything!"
"I do not! I will never touch that stuff Starfire makes." He paused and shivered. "I suggest you don't either."
Suddenly the waffles in front of him weren't as appetizing as they were five minutes ago. Danny pushed the plate away from him. "What are we doing today?"
Starfire appeared out of nowhere and got in his personal bubble. Not that he really minded. "We shall journey to the park and consume flavorful icicles upon sticks! Then we shall go to the human recreational center and purchase wonderful attire. After that we shall return home and play the games of video."
Danny glanced at Beast Boy.
"First we go to the park and eat popsicles. Then we go to the mall. Then we go home and play video games," He translated quickly, then squinted at the halfa and frowned.
"What? Is there mustard on my face?"
He shook his head. "Dude, don't you have any other clothes besides the HAZMAT suit? We're going to the park, not a toxic waste site."
Danny shrugged. "I can change." Danny closed his eyes and concentrated. The white gloves turned grey and the tops of the fingers disappeared. The DP symbol on his chest morphed into a Coke symbol. In a matter of seconds, Danny had transformed from a specter to a normal high school teen.
Beast Boy ran over and started poking him. "How did you do that?! Your hair's red now! But why long sleeves? It's boiling outside."
"Crap. I was going for black, but it always gets stuck on red…" He sighed. "I'm still working out the kinks on the shirt." True enough; the logo on his shirt was leaning ninety degrees to the right.
Starfire tugged on his hair gleefully. "We are now identical! What a glorious occasion!"
He gave her a smirk. "I guess we are."
Beast Boy was still prodding him relentlessly. "Can you do another?"
No one sees that side of me anymore, he thought darkly. On the outside, we shrugged. "This is the limit. Sorry."
Beast Boy waved him off. "Whatever. Now that you look normal, we can go."
Neon green eyes appraised Starfire's miniskirt and the green teen's spandex. "Alright."
The park was a horrible idea.
As soon as the trio walked into the area, they got mobbed. Strangely enough, the mob was mostly focused on Danny. A girl with a notepad and a pencil tucked behind her ear grabbed his arm and stared at him. She whipped the writing utensil out from behind her ear and gave a false grin.
"I'm Denise Livaditis, head reporter/editor for Strider High School." She struck a pose and wiggled her penciled in eyebrows. "Do you mind if I ask you some questions?"
"Do you mind getting the fuck out of my personal bubble?"
Denise glared at him with furious grey eyes. "Look pal, there's no need for you to be rude. Just answer some quest-"
Danny held up his other hand to silence her. "Why don't you go ask those two?" He pointed at the two heroes who were signing about twelve sketchbooks and T-shirts each per minute. "They're the Titans after all."
"This is precisely my point!" The girl bellowed, flipped her chestnut hair behind her violently. She began to jab him in the chest with her pencil, punctuating the end of her sentences with a jab from the object.
"What's a regular guy like you doing with two Titans? Are they testing you to see if you've got the potential to become their newest member? And do you have any," here she batted her eyes and mimed drawing a heart in the air, "love interests? And if so, is it Starfire or Raven? Or are you one of those heroes who date villains?"
He stared at her. "You really are a paparazzi material. Fake as fuck, breasts that look like they've been pumped full of silicon- don't make faces. Your body structure is way to thin for those to be real. I'm surprised your back hasn't fractured! Anyway, you literally latched onto me like a leach. You're a petty crappy reporter, throwing all your questions at me like that. And you said you're the head editor? Strider High must have real shitty news."
With every sentence that Danny uttered, Denise's face got darker. She smacked his repeatedly with her notebook and flicked him off. "I'll ruin you!" Out of some random dimensional pocket the reporter produced a camera and snapped a picture. Huffing angrily, she stormed off.
Noticing that their fearless leader had retreated, the mob abandoned their prey and trailed after her.
Beast Boy trudged his way up to the halfa and grinned sheepishly. "Sorry about that, dude. We honestly thought they wouldn't be here today. How about we try the mall?"
Danny stared at the receding back of Denise Livaditis.
I am so going to regret that later, aren't I?
"Titans, any leads on Phantom?" Robin stared down at the screen of his communication.
Cyborg scratched his head. "It's…"
"Complicated," Raven finished for her teammate.
The Boy Wonder rubbed his eyes from under the mask. "Raven, you go first."
"Phantom's not intentionally blocking his mind. Someone is blocking it from us. Apparently, some of the things he's done or been through would cause him to have a psychotic break."
Beast Boy rolled his eyes. "English please?"
Raven closed her eyes. "Break the mind block and we break Phantom. Once we do it, we can't undo it."
Starfire gasped. "Not even the cement of rubber will fix it?"
"We have a winner. But in this case, no prize"
Beast Boy started humming Humpty Dumpty under his breath.
Robin glared at him, and then returned his attention back to the sorceress. "Can you try to get in without snapping the block?"
Raven sighed and flipped up her hood. "I need another book," she muttered under her breathe. Her feed fizzled, and the four sections widened into three.
"Starfire, Beast Boy, how's Phantom acting?"
The fanged boy grinned. "When you aren't around, he's pretty awesome! He didn't even get mad when I tackled him earlier!" Beast Boy couldn't see the hurt behind the mask.
Starfire nodded in agreement. "Friend Phantom is most kind. He gifted an earth child with an icicle upon a stick when she dropped hers. It was most chivalrous." She giggled. "He is wonderful!"
Robin narrowed his eyes. "It could be a trick to lure us in, you know. He makes us feel like he's perfectly harmless… then he goes in for the killing blow."
"Friend Phantom would never do such I thing!" Starfire screamed into the communicator. "He is a kind person!"
Cyborg remained silent.
Best Boy nodded furiously. "Dude, the guy could have whacked us ages ago. He's pretty cool when you're not calling him an assassin and interrogating him!"
"Beast Boy, I-"
"See you later Robin. Starfire and I are going to go hang out with Phantom." The two shot daggers at him through the screen and signed off, leaving Cyborg the only one left.
"Cyborg, I'll talk to you later," the boy said dejectedly. He turned off his communicator.
The Titan started waving his hands in the air. "Yo wait up! I think you need to hear…this…" He rolled his eye and look down at the newspaper article in front of him.
"This could become a huge problem."
Danny frowned at the leather jacket Beast Boy had forced him to try on in the mirror. Starfire had shoved a purple shirt and ripped jeans at him and together the Titans had pushed him into the dressing room.
"I can't go out in this!" Danny fingered the worn holes in his pants and cringed. "I hate holes in my stuff. I look like a homeless person. Oh wait, I am a homeless person. Now I'm talking to myself. I really need to kick this habit. Only crazy people talk to themselves. Great, now I've called myself crazy and homeless!"
Someone knocked timidly on the door. "Friend Phantom, are the clothes not to your liking?"
"I'll be out in a second, Star!" He heard her giggle through the door.
"Ugh!" Danny beat his head softly against the wall "Now I've lied! I've condemned myself. Alright, pull it together. It's not like they're going to buy it and make you wear it or anything." He fixed the collar on the jacket and opened the door.
Starfire was trying to get Beast Boy into neon green cargo pants when she saw Danny emerge. "Friend Phantom, you look glorious!"
He tugged at the leather and made a face. "Does this come in polyester? I'll settle for cotton, too. I'd wear anything but this material, really."
Beast Boy laughed behind his glove. "I think you look awesome," he said, then proceeded to roll on the floor in front of Danny with tears streaming down his cheeks.
"Thank you for the confidence boost," he sighed and tried to step on him.
The alien girl pushed him back inside with more of the offensive leather. "Please shed your current garments and don these!" She waved and slammed the door.
Danny stared at the crack slowly creeping from the hinges. Note to self: refuse all future trips to the mall when Starfire is involved.
"This excursion was most wonderful!" Starfire declared and flung her arms up to the sky. "We must repeat this action."
Beast Boy nodded. "I don't have to carry any of the stuff anymore." He turned around and grinned at Phantom. "How's it going back there!"
Phantom gave him a withering look from under a mountain of shopping bags. "I will throw this fifteen pound bag of shoes at your balls," he called out, flashing him a smirk. A man moved farther away from him on the sidewalk.
Beast Boy trembled in mock fear. "Don't damage the merchandise," he scolded and turned back to Starfire. "He doesn't seem like he wants to hurt anyone, does he?"
She shook her head. "Friend Phantom is most kind," she replied quickly.
"Yeah, Robin and the others are acting weird."
"Friend Raven seems to enjoy the presence of Friend Phantom!"
He shrugged. "She probably just doesn't care. Emos are like that, ya know."
"What is an Emo?" Before Beast Boy could explain, Phantom ran up behind them and grabbed their shoulders.
"Friend Phantom," the girl said worriedly, "what is the matter?"
He tensed and whispered, "I hope you believe in ghosts."
Robin sat alone atop a rooftop. The giant letters loomed above him, casting their shadow over his body. He stood up and gazed at the five letters silently.
The Boy Wonder laughed bitterly. "Guess I could never really step out of your shadow, could I?'' The howling wind answered him.
The communicator in his utility belt beeped and flashed red. He dug it out of its compartment and flicked the device open. "What is it Beast Boy?"
The changeling was flailing his arms around in hysteria. "Phantom's trapped, Starfire's surrounded, and I'm the only one left!"
Robin's leader senses were kicking in. He quickly linked Raven and Cyborg to the conversation. "What do mean you're the only one left? How did Phantom get trapped? How did Starfire get surrounded?"
"They're everywhere, dude. Flying around and hitting people. This is madness!"
"Actually, this is Sparta," Cyborg said. "But continue."
Beast Boy began to flail again. "He's getting closer!" Suddenly the teen's communicator screen fizzled.
"I AM THE BOX GHOST! AND I WILL HAVE MY CUROGGATED CARDBOARD VENGEANCE!"
Danny was getting sick and tired of the Box Ghost. In the span of nineteen hours the fourth rate villain had managed to collect enough boxes to start his reign of cubic terror. People were locking themselves inside their cars to get away from the flying projectiles.
Starfire was blasting as many as she could, but she was getting tired. Beast Boy was having a severe panic attack behind a semi, so he was completely and utterly useless. To top it all off, Danny was stuck in some sort of super charged box that could withstand his ecto blasts.
He hated to say it, but the Box Ghost was getting tough to beat.
There goes Beast Boy, he thought while watching him hyperventilate himself into unconsciousness. Danny tried once more to break free of his square prison, but apparently the thing was secretly made out of reinforced ghost proof titanium steel.
"Hey, Box Ghost!" Danny called out to the blue man. He turned around to face him. "So you plan on taking over the world?"
The specter's eyes lit up. "I have gotten enough material to turn this city into a cardboard utopia!" A woman ran by being chased by several iPhone containers. "Just think, a place ruled by me. I'll call it…Box City!"
"How original," Danny toned blandly. "What about the next city?"
The Box Ghost faltered. "What are you talking about?"
Danny rolled his eyes and mentally face-palmed. "You honestly only planned on taking over Jump? See, this is why you're fourth rate. I can think of at least one ghost who would plan two- no three steps ahead!"
"I'll probably have some left for Gotham."
"You'll never make it to Gotham!" A voice hissed from behind Danny. He craned his head and rolled his eyes when he saw his rescuer.
"Took your sweet time getting here, didn't you Spiky?" He squinted. "And why are you standing like that? Are you trying to flash the citizens? Those tights leave nothing to the imagination, Boy Blunder."
The boy took a double take. "Phantom? How did you change your hair?"
"Shouldn't you focus on the cardboard wielding maniac?"
Robin glared at him from his heroic pose from the top of the hardware store. "We're talking about this later!" He turned back to face the rampaging ghost. "As I was saying, you'll never get to Gotham." Raven and Cyborg appeared from out of the shadows. "Because we're going to take you down, here and now."
"I suggest one of go help Star." The incapacitated teen tilted his head toward the dragging alien. "She's not gonna last much longer." Robin nodded at Cyborg. The metal Titans ran off toward his teammate.
Raven floated toward him while Robin charged forward with an irritating battle cry. "Looks like you're stuck."
"Way to state the obvious hippie."
"Can't you just phase out?"
He stared at Raven and pouted. "Why are you asking me? You're the sorceress here. You know I can't. It's ghost proof!"
She pulled down her hood and studied his brown prison. "True. Let's try this." She muttered a long phrase under her breath and the box disintegrated. "I believe the correct response here is 'Thanks'."
Danny grumbled a thank you under his breath. He stood up and stared at the scene before him. Robin's powerful kicks and chops were passing through the ghost and he was starting to just swing randomly. Starfire and Cyborg were trying to wake up Beast Boy while defending the citizens.
"Amateurs." He sighed and brought out his thermos. "Can you get the Box Ghost to hold still for me?" He turned to Raven, who nodded, not even questioning the tech in his hands.
Raven floated up into the air behind the Box Ghost. "You do realize," she muttered darkly, her eyes raging with black energy, "that boxes," she raised her hands over her head, "are easy," she aimed, "TO CRUSH!"
Little black and white spears whizzed toward the quaking ghost. They went through him and stuck into the wall behind him.
The Box Ghost laughed triumphantly and danced in midair. "You're spears cannot hurt me! For I am the Box Ghost! Ruler of everything cardboard and square! BEWARE!"
"Like I said, boxes are easy to crush." Raven's left hand was still up in the air. She closed it into a fist and tugged.
All the boxes in the air jerked to a halt. The Box Ghost froze in his pose. Danny looked at the dark girl. She manipulated the spiritual energy the Box Ghost was emitting and mixed with her own! It connected him and all the boxes to the wall. Maybe she's not such an amateur after all…
Danny raised the thermos up to the spirit and smirked. "See you later, Boxy." He whipped off the cap and watched the ghost spiral into the tiny portal.
He nodded to Raven. "That was pretty smart thinking."
She shrugged and pulled up her customary hood. "Someone has to use their brains around here."
"I use my brain!" Beast Boy yelled indignantly.
Cyborg shot a ray at him. "Now you decide to wake up?!"
"Dude, you'd be scared too if boxes randomly started coming to life!"
Robin stalked over to Danny and jabbed him in the chest with his staff." First you endanger he lives of the citizens-"
"Whoa, wait on fu-"
"Then you put the safety of Starfire in jeopardy-"
Beast Boy flailed in the background angrily. "Dude, I was here, too!"
"-by attracting a ghost into my city!"
"He's nuts, Spiky. He follows me wherever I go!"
Robin stopped his rant and leaned on his weapon. "Yet you helped safe my town, even though you said you quit the business. So thanks." He held out his hand.
Danny stared at it and groaned. "No problem," he ground out and shook the extended hand. "But now you own me another dinner."
The hero cracked the barest smile. "I think that can be arranged."
There! No more a day with the Titans chapters! Now review!