A black hemisphere rose from the asphalt in the shopping mall's parking lot. It melted away, revealing two adults and two teenagers. Arella and Marie looked around and pointed at the nearby mall entrance. A few pedestrians noticed their green and gray parents and there were some double takes. Raven and her husband ignored the attention and made their way into the mall, followed by their blond twin daughters. They stopped in front of shopping center's directory, where Raven located the shop where Starfire was sending them. Once she found it Raven took off, followed by her family.
"You seem like a woman with a purpose." Her spouse teased her.
"I just want to quickly find something to wear to the reception tonight. Starfire says that the shop has in in-house seamstress who can make the alterations while we wait."
"What's so important about this dumb reception anyway?" Arella asked. "Isn't it just a party?"
Raven glared at her daughter. "It's not a party. It's a formal event that is being held in your father's honor in recognition of all he has done. But now it's more than that. Since your siblings scared off Dr. Molyneux we need find someone else to join your father's practice so we're going to try and recruit at the reception."
They arrived at the store. It looked expensive, not that it was an issue for the Logans. Nevertheless, Marie pouted when she saw that it had nothing she would want to buy. She turned to her father. "You said we could buy some stuff for ourselves."
Raven opened an old fashioned coin purse and pulled out some money, handing it over to her daughters. "Whatever you buy, keep it sensible. And I don't want to see anything with holes or tears in it."
"But Mom …"
"No holes or tears. And nothing that looks like lingerie, unless it really is underwear."
Marie pouted. "OK … can we spend some of it at the food court?"
"Yes, but don't fill up on junk food and …"
Before Raven could finish the two teens were gone. Her husband chuckled. "Unlike you, they enjoy shopping."
"I don't mind shopping, I just don't see as a sport the way they do. Are those two really my girls?"
"You gave birth to them. If anyone should be wondering about parentage, it's me."
Raven gave him an icy glare. "What are you talking about? You said yourself that they look just like your mother."
"Hey, you know that I'm just kidding."
Before she could reply a matronly salesclerk with a measuring tape draping around her neck approached them. "You must be the Logans. Ms. Starfire told me about your needs and tastes. She also told me that this is an emergency. I already picked out some outfits for you to try on. If you'll follow me we can get started."
-( - )-
Two hours later …
The twins, each carrying several bags from different shops emerged from The Gap.
"I guess we're out of money, all I've got left is $15." Arella remarked.
"I've got twenty. Let's get some junk food." Her sister replied.
Arella flipped open her Titan communicator. Her father's face appeared. "Mom isn't done yet."
He chuckled. "They have some nice stuff here, right up your mom's alley. I don't know how Starfire finds these places … anyway, she finally picked something and they're making the alterations. We should be done in about half an hour."
"We'll be at the food court, dad."
"OK, we'll see you there … and don't flirt with any boys!" He winked before ending the call.
Arella grinned. "Great idea, dad."
The two girls hurried over to the cavernous food court. Arella stopped in front of a pizza stand, where she ordered a whole pie with the works.
"A whole pizza? I'm not that hungry." Marie quietly remarked.
"It's not all for us, doofus."
"What do you mean, who is it for then?"
"It's bait." Arella remarked as she subtly nodded at two teenage boys standing nearby.
"Ohhh!" Marie replied as she grinned.
Within minutes the pizza was ready and the twins picked up the box and a pitcher of soda pop. As they headed for the seating area they passed by the two boys. One was tall with dark hair; the other was average sized and blond. Marie immediately decided that the tall one was hers. Arella stopped in front of the boys and smiled.
"We have some extra pizza, would you like to join us?"
"Sure!" The two boys replied. They quickly found an empty table and set up shop there.
"I'm Nick." The tall boy announced. "And I'm Drew."
"I'm Arella and this is my sister Marie, and yes, we're twins."
They opened the box and began to eat the pizza.
"Marie and I are from out of town. We're from Jump City."
"You are? Jump City is so cool. We went there last year on vacation." Drew remarked.
"Have you ever seen the Teen Titans?" Nick asked.
"We see them all the time." Marie answered.
"You mean like when they're fighting bad guys?"
"Sometimes, but not just when they're kicking bad guy butt."
Nick turned to Drew. "We gotta go to college in Jump. Nothing cool ever happens here."
"We don't even have any super heroes around here. We used to a long time ago. One of the old Titans went to college here. His name was Beast Boy." Drew remarked. "My dad met him once when he was also in college. He said he's real cool."
"He is cool." Arella beamed. "Especially in person."
"Don't tell me you guys have met him."
"Met him? We know him."
The two boys began to laugh. "Now I know that you're yanking our chain. You don't really know Beast Boy!"
Before either of the girls could respond a robbery alarm went off. Three masked men emerged from a jewelry store.
"Holy shit! Those dudes are robbing Jared's!" Drew shouted.
The two girls stood up. "Don't worry; we'll take care of this." Arella announced.
"Shouldn't we call mom and dad?" Marie whispered to her.
"Are you guys nuts!? They've got guns! They're thugs!" Nick shouted.
The boys' eyes boggled as the girls became airborne.
"We're Teen Titans. Watch our stuff for us, this shouldn't take long. And save some pizza for us."
-( - )-
Raven and Garfield were still waiting for the dress when they heard gunshots. They ran out of the store and heard more gunfire.
"That's coming from the food court." He gasped. "The girls are waiting for us there."
Raven took off flying while her mate morphed into a falcon and followed her.
-( - )-
Mento and Mark were sitting on the hood of the SUV, eating their lunch, taking a break from their snowshoeing.
"Grandpa, can I ask you a question?"
Mento nodded. "Sure, fire away."
"You guys let dad be a superhero when he was a little kid …"
"And you're wondering why your parents won't let you, even though you're older."
Mento didn't answer right away. He put his sandwich down and gazed off into the distance at the snow covered valley below them.
"I made a mistake. Your father was a child and I expected him to be an adult. He wasn't prepared for it and it wasn't fair to him. And if that isn't bad enough I put him in grave danger … more than once."
"But dad wanted to be a hero."
"What little boy doesn't want to be a hero? But this isn't a game, Mark."
"I know it's not! But I'm not a kid anymore!"
His grandfather smiled. "Technically, you are a kid."
"I'm almost seventeen! Mom and Dad were both Titans before they turned fifteen."
"I know, we never should have allowed that. It was too dangerous."
"They did fine, grandpa."
"They were lucky; they didn't know what they were doing. We and the Justice League had long discussions about the Titans. They only reason they were allowed to operate without supervision was because of Batman and the Doom Patrol. We both thought it would an educational experience. What were we thinking?"
"Just because they had powers didn't mean that they knew how to fight crime. They could have been killed."
-( - )-
Arella and Marie flew out of the food court, zooming towards the jewelry store.
"You're under arrest!" Marie bellowed as the approached the robbers, who at first looked puzzled. There were three of them. One of them pointed up in the air and his companions opened fire. He dropped his loot bag and decided that it would be better to flee than face meta-human vigilantes. Arella gestured and a black tendril shot out of her hand. It wrapped itself around the fleeing thug's ankles and he fell face first onto the marble floor, bumping his head and appeared to be out cold.
The girls also raised dark shields in front of themselves, which absorbed the volley of bullets sent their way, which fell harmlessly to the floor. They each picked a robber and slammed into them with their dark energy shields, knocking them both out. The girls gracefully landed and were greeted by a round of applause. Grinning, they both bowed repeatedly.
The first robber, unnoticed, slowly got up. The girls had their backs to him and a snarl formed on his face when he saw that his accomplices had been captured. He pulled out his pistol and aimed it at Arella's back. His snarl became a grin as he began to pull the trigger.
A green blur knocked him to the ground and he found himself staring into what looked like a monster out of a horrible nightmare. It was green, huge and furry and its teeth looked razor sharp. It picked him up with one of its enormous paws and drew him close until they were face to face. It snorted on him, its humid breath smelled like a jungle and it had murder in its eyes. The robber opened his mouth but no words came out. He then gasped as the leviathan, which had to be at least 12 feet tall, morphed into a much smaller but equally angry green man, who snarled at him.
"Nobody messes with my girls."
-( - )-
The police arrived within minutes and cuffed the captured robbers. They thanked Raven and Beast Boy for their help, but also reminded them that this wasn't Jump City, that they had no jurisdiction in Fort Collins and were asked in the future to leave police work to the locals.
As soon as the police left Raven turned to her daughters and gave them a glare worthy of Trigon. Nick and Drew gave Beast Boy the girls' shopping bags before making a hasty getaway.
"What have I told you about being vigilantes?" She shouted at them. "You think that just because you have powers that you can put people in danger!?"
"But mom …" Arella whimpered.
"You have absolutely no training as crime fighters! That you forgot about that first robber is proof."
"But I knocked him out."
"You left him unsecured." Gar reprimanded them. "He was going to shoot you."
"I didn't have any handcuffs." Arella retorted.
"I don't want to hear any sassing from either of you. I don't believe this! I would expect something harebrained like this from Mark or Coraline, but not from either of you! What were you thinking?"
"But mom, you used to fight criminals at our age." Marie complained.
"I was older and I was trained. But that's not the point. You're father and I decided that you can't fight crime until you're adults. And this is why!"
"Enough! This discussion is over!"
Raven raised her arms and her dark hemisphere appeared, whisking them away.
-( - )-
Later that evening, back at the rental house …
"Rave, are you ready?"
Raven stared at her reflection in the mirror, brushing her hair as her husband entered the room.
"We need to get going … is something wrong?"
She put the brush down. "No … I'm fine."
He approached her from behind and kissed her on the nape of her neck. "It's the girls, isn't it?"
She sighed. "Why are they so eager to be heroes?"
"Why were we?"
"It's not the same. We took it very seriously, for them it's a game."
He shook his head. "I think you're wrong about that."
"Gar, they were bowing like it had been a performance."
"OK, so they're still immature. But think about it, Rave. Their mom and dad used to be big superheroes. Even though we retired years ago we're still well known in Jump. People still ask us for our autographs even though we haven't busted a bad guy in over 10 years. We rub elbows with other heroes, we still visit the Tower. Can't you see that for them being a superhero is a normal lifestyle?"
Raven shook her head. "Children shouldn't be superheroes."
"And yet we were."
"We were stupid. We could have been killed."
"We saved the world, more than once." He retorted.
She gave him a mild glare. "So you're saying that I should throw my babies in harm's way?"
He wrapped and arm around her and pulled her into a hug. "You weren't the only one who cried when Melvin died."
"Gar … what am I supposed to do?" She whimpered.
"Rave, I agree with you, they have to wait until they're 18. But …"
She looked up into his eyes. "But what?"
"I think we should start training them. Mark's almost 17. I don't want him to go into the business unprepared. And we both know Coraline will be right behind him. My dad wants to train him. I think we should let him."
She nodded. "You're right, he's going to run to the Tower the day he turns 18. He needs to be prepared."
"I'll talk with my dad later. Now let's go, we don't want to be late for my party."
"I'm ready, Dr. Logan."
He smiled back at her and offered her his arm. "Then let's go, Dr. Logan."
-( - )-
And that's the end of the bonus epilogue. I hope you enjoyed it.
And if you made it this far, thanks! I would love to hear from you, about what you liked about this story, or even what you didn't like. I look forward to hearing from you. Don't be shy!