Teen Titans: Times Like These
Author's Notes: Soooo first Titan's fic, but not asking to go kind in the reviews, honesty rather than hostility though. Few changes to the universe, takes place after the bulk of the series, and has chunks of the DCAU and portions replaced with stuff from the comics I like more. Kinda timed it out as the first series and movie were about 4 years, and this is about a year after that. Raven/BB centric, but a good chunk of Starfire/Robin and a smattering of Kid Flash/Jinx too. Writing note: "talking" 'thinking'
Also I do not own Teen Titans. almost forgot that. Did actually on the original posting.
Well that's long enough; as the old Ork saying goes, 'Ere we go!
Chapter 1: Wake Up
The alarm clock blared in each room, all set to seven for morning practice. Well, Robin's morning practice at least. In an almost mechanical motion, one of much repetition, the twenty-one-year old Dick Grayson hit the snooze button on the clock. He sat up carefully, making sure not to disturb Kori, who is still very blissfully ignoring her own alarm. Stretching as he stood up, Dick walked over to the mirror in the room to check for any lingering bruises from last nights patrol. He had aged well, finally reaching 5'10 two years ago and years, now decades, of hero work had filled him out into a athletic, muscular form. Which he also noticed a very large bruise on his side.
'How the hell did I miss that one?' floated through his mind as he examined it, then realized there was a similar one on the other side. As he put his hands on them to check what they were, it clicked once he noticed the positions. 'Oh...right...she was on top last night...' strayed through his mind as he smirked, beginning to throw on his work out clothes and apply the spirit gum for his mask.
Dick didn't really need to wear the mask around the tower, at least around the other Titans, identities were exchanged after the Brotherhood fiasco to build trust. Random crazies seemed to pop up at the tower and in the tower some how, though, so he kept it on. He could almost hear Bruce every time he put the mask on.
"You never know when you could be attacked, it's better to be prepared in case someone found out who you were and attack you through your loved ones." The growl seemed to echo.
Dick looked at the bed and chuckled to himself. 'Let's see 'em try' He noted while looking at Star sleeping soundly. While she looked like a 6'4, over-bronzed, redheaded supermodel, the green glowing eyes give away that she is in fact a genuine Tamaranean alien warrior princess. Dick would almost pay to see someone try and hurt her to get to him. Almost, he would not want to explain to the police how the blood stains got everywhere, and where the body went, and why there's a burnt crater in the ground.
As Robin walked down the hall to the Tower's gym, Cyborg's alarm turned off for the third time. Vic yawned and unplugged himself from his recharge station. Metal clanked as he stepped onto the plating in his room and stretched, making an odd assortment of cracking and grinding noises. In an extremely bored manner, he tapped on panel next to his bed to check the nightly diagnostics. 'Nothing out of the ordinary, good'. Vic slightly slouched as he yawned loudly again, lumbering into the kitchen to begin his normal breakfast routine. 'Eggs, bacon, don't forget to put on Dick's coffee and be ready for him to tell me I don't need to do so as he pours his first of many cups for the day. Still don't know how Batman taught a kid to drink it black. Put out tea for Raven, a mustard for star and leave BB's disgusting shit in the fridge for him to get hours from now.' He ran over it every morning so he didn't forget anything. Cyborg wasn't quite sure if he could forget anything but it woke him up, so he kept it as a routine.
As predicted, 30 minutes later, Robin, showered post run and acrobatics routine, appeared in the common area kitchen.
"Cy, you don't have to do this every morning, c'mon man, I can work a coffee maker." he complained while pouring a large cup and then set it down on the table as he went to grab something to toast.
"I'm never too sure, Rob, I mean, there's more buttons than the birdarangs, or the damn bike even, so I don't wanna risk you getting confused." Vic replied as he lazily cooked his eggs to perfection while listening to the morning news in the background. An eyebrow raised slightly under the domino mask.
"Hell, you keep making coffee for me, I might just forget how to use it." stated Robin dryly as he sat down, putting a tablet on the table to begin checking police reports from over night, munching on his dry toast.
"Be another machine brother saved from slavery." Cyborg muttered
"...What?" crumbs fell from Robin's mouth as he looked up from the tablet, confused.
"What?" Cyborg responded, sounding almost convincingly as confused.
Raven walked into the middle of the false tension in the room, ignoring it as per usual to make her tea. The 5'6" purple haired, petite young woman held up the container for her tea, allowing herself a small smile.
"Thank you, Vic." she said softly as she began boiling the water and setting up her cup for the tea. Cyborg used the opportunity to evade any response Dick may have been thinking up.
"Mornin', Raven." He said pleasantly. Such an exchange would not have happened 2 years ago. Hell, maybe even a year ago. But with Raven's defeat of her father, and general support of her Titans family, these little moments have subtly been integrated in the tower's daily life. To a point where Robin didn't even blink as she sat down at the table with her tea steep in the cup, pulling out a large book and opening it to it's saved spot, casually stealing a piece of toast. Vic looked over at her and asked a question that she believes he purposefully asks at once a week.
"Hey, Rae, why don't you get e-books or something? Has to be lighter than lugging those books everywhere." He said with polite but calculated tones as Robin's hand reached for, but failed to find his other piece of toast.
"There's something about the feel of paper, Cy. Besides, I'm pretty sure they do not make e-books of 13th century magical texts in a dead Russian dialect." Raven flatly responded, eyes not moving from the pages and punctuating her statement with a sip of tea. "So no, we are not getting another gadget for you to set up and play with for weeks on end." She followed this with a bite of stolen toast. Cyborg and Robin grumbled for different reasons. Purpose once again uncovered, Vic sat down to dig into his now perfectly cooked food as Dick got up to make himself more toast.
The morning moved at a slow pace, nothing major happening in town, no alerts thus far and patrols didn't start cycling to afternoon, both as relaxed measure to Jump City's lowered crime rate due to a major superhero team being stationed there and due to a certain changeling's usual sleeping schedule.
Beast Boy rolled out of bed onto the floor, landing with a dull thump, then quickly leaping up, alert. Bleary eyed, the green titan examined the room, sniffed and listened around him before concluding that it was, in fact, a false mental alarm. Gar calmly grabbed his alarm clock, squinting at it in the shaded darkness. 'Wow, I'm up at 10:30.' He smiled to himself as dropped the alarm back to the cluttered night stand as he stretched all 5'8" of his lean form. He then began the daily search through the drawers for a clean uniform. Finding one, lucky day it seemed, he pulled it over his Star Wars boxers. Once he fitted his gloves on he walked out to greet the new day and far more importantly, breakfast. Beast Boy made his way to the common area, where everyone was in their usual spot. Robin still glued to the tablet in front of him at the table, scanning and swiping through various reports and notes. Cyborg was finishing up cleaning his mess in the kitchen from cooking and eating. Raven, having finished her stolen toast was reading one of her books on a couch corner, back turned away from the sun and hood up to keep her attention on the book sitting in her crossed legs, tea resting on the center table in front of the couch. Of the three, she was the first to look up in his direction, having sensed him walk in. Her face made a small twitch then her eyebrows raised slightly.
"My god, you're awake before noon." She intoned, slightly more hostile than normal. "I'm not sure whether to be impressed or terrified to look for flying pigs followed by the four horsemen." Gar chuckled rubbing the back of his head smiling warmly.
"I'm a little scared too." He rejoined. "Though I can make a flying pig if you want. Cy will have to throw me though." he tapped his chin in thought, concentrating on the idea now.
"I'm game." Cyborg's voice came from the kitchen cheerfully. Raven smirked and returned to her book as Beast boy went to the kitchen to prepare his breakfast, which he had his cooking just as down pat as Cy.
"Y'know, I still can't figure out how you eat that crap, I mean, it's shaped like meat. Flavored like meat. Why not just eat meat?" Cyborg asked, just like he did every morning.
"Because the thought of eating a thing I can possibly turn into is really damn uncomfortable." Beast Boy responded in a flat tone, as he did every morning. As the years have gone on, their debate eventually just had boiled down essentially to those two statements, resulting in a much shortened, if less entertaining routine. As Gar sat down to eat on his soy products, he looked around, still very much waking up as he did so.
"Where's Star?" he asked after it clicked that she wasn't chirping happily and floating about as per usual.
"Sleeping in." Robin replied, not even looking up from his reports. Almost at once, the other three paused their actions and looked up between each other from their currents spots in slight panic. There was really only one reason Starfire slept in and they now must prepare themselves for incredible levels of cheer.
"Good morning, friends! Is it not a fantastically glorious morning?" Starfire announced as she entered the common area. The others, Raven more so, flinched at the phrase, knowing the meaning and thus confirming the previous evenings post-mission activities for the Tower's resident couple. Star continued floating towards Robin, paused kiss him on the cheek, gaining a smile from him, before setting up her own breakfast. Mustard, hyper-sugary cereal and an unknown juice from one her home planet's many strange plants settled next to Beast Boy at the table as she sat down. He made a slight, if unnoticed, face of discomfort.
'Moments when I hate an enhanced sense of smell. Really, really hate it.' He thought as he cautiously stood up to clean off his plate, even though plenty of food remained.
"Are you okay, friend Garfield? You did not finish your meal of broken fast?" Starfire queried, cheerfulness infecting even a question of concern.
"Made too much." BB stated more quickly than he intended as he put his plate in the dishwasher. Kori returned to her meal, finding the answer satisfactory. Gar hopped over the back of the couch to plop near, but not quite next to, Raven and pick up his game controller from it's resting place on the table. Raven's eyes flickered up, catching the movement, then back down to her book, resuming her ignoring of the others presence.
"Cyyyyyborg, got a controller and a digitized race car with your name on it!" Beast Boy called out from his spot on the couch as he hijacked the TV as it went into the 360 sign on screen.
"Can't dude, got to do my weekly check up of our East crew. Make sure Roy and Garth haven't killed each other and Karen hasn't killed them." Cyborg responded as he walked over the comm station next to the TV.
"Who the hell is Karen?" Beast Boy asked as he flipped through the games collection on the screen, face screwing up in confusion.
"That's Bumblebee's name, man. We go over this every time." Cy rolled his eye waiting for the next part. BB leaned over, cocking an eye brow, wide grin on his face.
"Ohhh so it's Karen now, not Bee? Has she moved up from Sparky to Vic yet?" the changeling inquired playfully as he leaned over, waggling his eyebrows suggestively.
"Not quite. Jealous?" Cyborg looked back at Gar, smirking.
"Shit, only of her. Tell her to get to hurry up or you're going to be taken by my lean, green goodness." Beast Boy motioned over his form with a dramatic wave. Raven rolled her eyes next him pulling her hood down over her face more so she could read better. Vic grinned, shaking his head as he started going through the ever so many comm protocols to set up a secure connection.
"I'll let her know, give her fair warnin'." He replied cheerfully. His face then fell as he watched the loading screen of the comm systems moving at a snail crawl."They had to let Batman AND Mr. Terrific set it up, couldn't be just one or the other." he muttered to no one in particular. The comm screen had a initially a floating,spinning version of the league symbol as the protocols loaded through, then the the Titan's symbol as it connected roughly five minutes after it began the process. A ringing noise went off as it connected and then the symbol blipped away, replaced by a tall, slightly muscled lean young man with a mop of red hair, wearing a bright red hoodie and domino mask. He blinked slowly, yawned then answered the call in his usual manner.
"Titans East, they threaten, we beat 'em; Speedy speaking, how may I help you today?" the redhead asked in a weary, sarcastic voice.
"Mornin' Roy. Where's Bee?" Cy peered at the screen, trying to look behind Speedy at the common area of the east tower. The redhead grumbled.
"Mornin' Vic, Bee an' Aqua-punk had to run out, little bank robbery. Seriously, people here have no sense of common courtesy." As he finished, Speedy cleaned his ear with his pinky, flicking whatever he found away without looking.
"So I noticed." Vic dryly replied as he raised an eyebrow. Roy yawned again.
"Other than that, nothin' to report, oh fearless cybernetic black one. Big shots seem to be avoiding Steel City and keep goin' either south to Gotham, north to Metropolis or less south to Bludhaven. Lotsa traffic to and from Bludhaven, actually. Some starters seem to be fliterin' in and coming out with either full gangs or good starters for one. Probably should ping the League if it gets worse. Bat's probably already knows though." Vic nodded with interest.
"Sounds good, seems to be the same here, bigger, not stupid, dudes keep either heading south to hassle Green Lantern in Coast or north to try and find soft spots in the port cities. Wondergirl's been keeping an eye in Seattle though and Kid Flash an' Jinx have been in Portland...so no one's really gained much a foot hold. Add in a few friends in between who've been helping out we've really had a smooth couple of months."
Roy just stared blankly at the screen, nodding when he felt it should appear he cared.
Vic sighed, then looked around the room slyly to definitely make sure no one was paying attention, then leaned in to the screen slightly. "Sooo up for another relationship bet?" he smiled, raising his eyebrows hopefully. Roy jumped a little at the change of topic, not-so-subtly looking around then leaning towards his end of the screen.
"I dunno man, still feel pretty burned about the Rob-Star thing. You really had a leg up, and that, my friend, is unfair bullshit. They were obviously a couple for years before they announced it." he glared at the half-bot on the other end of the line folding his arms in the manner of a grumpy child.
"And I quote;" Cyborg lifted his arm and pressed a button, it began playing a recording of Roy's voice.
"Never in a thousand years, man. You're on. Easiest 200 bucks I'll ever make."
"And that'll never cease to be creepy." Roy replied pointing accusingly at the screen, eye twitching slightly. "So who'd you have in mind? I figure there'd have to be a good reason for you to try and bet me again."
"I was thinking Raven and Beast Boy." Cyborg waited patiently to see if he'd take the bait. Roy folded his arms again, eyebrows furrowed and tongue rolling around in his mouth in thought.
"That's...hrm, I dunno, man...they were mingling preeetty well at the post-Brotherhood bash...and the holiday get together after that..." As if to prove him wrong, Roy watched as Beast Boy flung out of his screen view from behind Cyborg, pushed by a wreath of black energy, the 360 controller he was holding spinning in the air before landing on the couch with a delicate thump.
Beast Boy decided to trek through the neon-filled fields of Blood Dragon, as Cy was busy. "I still don't get how you can't play these, Rae." He asked randomly with calm.
"It...really doesn't appeal, Gar. Especially this." Raven waved her hand lazily at the screen without looking up from her book. "Whatever this is. Not. My. Thing." She punctuated with increasing disdain,hand returning to book to turn a page. BB paused the game and leaned over to her, motioning to pat her lower leg.
"I'm sure I could find a game you'd li-" He stopped mid-sentence as her eyes widened slightly as he was a bit closer than both thought he should be. They looked down at the same time to realize his hand missed his mark and hit her bare upper thigh instead. They looked back up, again simultaneously, faces tinged slightly red. "-ke...ehehehe...uhm...sorry?" Beast Boy strained a smile on his face as he laughed nervously. He,incidentally, was not moving his hand. Raven glared, eyes surrounded by black energy. Then a dark smirk crossed her lips.
"Seems I get to see a flying pig sooner than I thought." She said a tad louder than necessary. BB tried to maintain the smile but winced, as many a year of bad jokes, pranks and poor luck in general had prepared him for what was next.
Back to the now:
"You're on." Roy said with a devilish smirk, then cut the feed.
Next time; Main bulk of the story begins with a call from The Batman.
Yes, that The Batman.
Reviews would be nice. Chapter title from: AWOLNATION
Chapter title from: AWOLNATION