Dear dudes and dudettes, I proudly present you my newest one-shot about our favorite teen heroes (whom I still don't own). Enjoy and SMILE!
"Raven, I think it's time to initiate mission T.O.F.U.: Turn Our Friends Un-carnivore!"
The dark empath looked up from her book to her boyfriend who just had busted into her room. He was covered in barbeque sauce, supposedly due to his newest argument about tofu with their metallic meat-loving friend. If he'd have suggested this a week ago, she just would have plainly ignored him, but things had changed since then.
She smiled wickedly and answered: "I thought you'd never ask, Gar…"
"I still can't believe you're vegan too now Rae! What happened to you? That green bean hypnotized you or what?" Cyborg whined the next morning at breakfast as she plainly declined his waffles and got for BeastBoy's infamous tofu-waffles. He hadn't seen her much this week for meals, so he was even more surprised than Starfire, who was wolfing down her share of waffles, or Robin, who quietly read his newspaper and occasionally took a bite of his favorite breakfast ham and eggs. Plus, Cy took it personal if someone declined his meat-tastic meals, even if they only had eggs and milk in them.
"Gar came home last week from the 'Organic Taste', you know the vegan shop downtown, and told me about the vendor who had anger issues before becoming vegan. I gave it a try and I must admit, I'm more emotionally balanced then before."
"You sure that it isn't 'cause BB isn't getting on your nerves about tofu anymore?" the meat-lover asked grumpily.
"Positive. I found out that by eating animal products I fed my demon side, when I eat vegan nutrition I feed my human side. I only have to meditate half of the time as before to control my powers."
Cyborg mumbled something incomprehensible pouting at his waffles.
Still BeastBoy couldn't stop himself teasing his friend: "Come on, Cy. Join the vegan side; we have soy-milk cookies!" At his words he waved with a soy-milk chocolate-chip cookie and grinned vicious before he threw the cookie in the air and caught it with his mouth.
"I NEVER will become a stinking VEGAN, you hear me?" the older teen growled suppressing his anger.
Raven quizzically lifted an eyebrow: "No offense, right?" she asked in a sarcastic tone.
"Dude, if you'd give me one day, I'd convince you to never touch any animal product anymore."
"Is that a bet I hear sneaking in?" Cyborg asked with a grin.
"Totally! You in?" the green youngster asked.
"Show me what you got, grass stain!" They shook hands to seal it. BeastBoy turned to the other couple of the team who hadn't interfered their usual bickering.
"How about you two? Wanna join?"
Starfire swallowed her last bite of waffles with a sip of mustard and smiled: "I am most endeared by the idea of a vegan experience day, friends! I will gladly join you on your adventure."
"Awesome! What about you Rob'?"
"Sorry guys, I got other plans for today. But have fun."
BeastBoy glanced at his girlfriend who returned it and grinned. "We will!"
Raven drove the T-Car safely through the morning traffic of the sunny Wednesday they had. She had been the only one allowed to drive it beside of Cyborg himself, because she was careful of his baby, swore to protect it with her powers if necessary and could repair it by herself in case of any misfortune.
"Please, friends, where are we going first on our adventure?" Starfire asked from the backseat sitting next to Cyborg, who swore to make the backseats more comfortable now he sat on them.
"It's a surprise, Star, but you'll like it!" BeastBoy grinned at her from the pillion.
An hour later they were at an isolated farm outside the city boundaries petting farm animals. Hal, the farmer, apparently someone BeastBoy already knew, stood at their side and watched peacefully.
At first, Cyborg had been hesitant, but as a little baby calf nudged him at his knee he couldn't help himself but enjoying the animal company.
"Wanna feed Hubert?" Hal asked him from behind.
"Huh?" Cy asked clueless.
The farmer passed him a huge baby bottle with a white liquid in it.
"Hubert gets milk substitute, you can feed him."
"Where is his mother?"
"Over there in the milk cow run. Can't keep them together if we want sell the milk." Cy's heart crumbled at Hal's words.
"He is not growing up with his mother?" just like me, Cyborg thought.
"He's not gonna grow up much anyways, in two weeks it will be the slaughter house for him."
"Say WHAT?" the half mechanic teen shouted.
"Calm down, young man, how many veal have you eaten in your life? You surely didn't care about their story, did you?"
Cyborg felt like someone punched him in the stomach. He had devoured countless animals not caring about their background. Why was this calf so different? Hubert nudged him again, eying the bottle he held and blinking at the young half-robot. As he looked at his furry new friend he felt like a monster.
"Is there no way you can be saved?" he murmured sadly.
At this very moment BeastBoy stormed up to him and yelled: "Yo, tin-man, watch this! It's hatching!"
Before he could protest, his green friend laid a cracked up egg in his palm and he watched in awe as a tiny beak broke through the shell followed by the most adorable chick he ever had seen. It opened his eyes and piped at him.
"Hey little fellow, welcome to the world," he said gently, feeling warm and fluffy inside. Unfortunately, BeastBoy was there to ruin his mood.
"You should name him Cy! How about 'Breakfast'? You surely had some of his relatives in your waffles this morning…"
Cyborg gasped: "How can you say something like that in front of him?!"
"Just telling the truth. You could also call him 'Nugget' or 'Roasty' or 'Pie', he surely will end like this one day."
"Stop it! I forbid you to say such horrible things around the little champ!"
That was when Hal decided to talk up again: "Well, if the little chick really is a rooster, and usually your young friend is right about that, he will be fattened and sold to get cooked."
Cyborg looked at the tiny rooster chick in his hands, tears forming in his eyes.
"But it's not fair!"
"Life isn't fair if you're an animal, Cy," BeastBoy said quietly with his arms crossed over his chest.
Hal took pity on the teen and said: "You know you can keep him, if you want. I think he already grew a liking on you."
"I can?!" he asked hopefully. If he couldn't safe Hubert, he at least wanted to safe Champ, like he already had named the small rooster in his mind.
BeastBoy smiled. He knew his big friend, especially his soft spot for the weak.
At this moment Starfire hovered over to them, with a rosy piglet in her arms and tears in her eyes, just like Cyborg had before.
"Please, friends, tell me that cute little Delbert isn't ending up as ham on a plate like the nasty farm lady said!"
Hal didn't get offended by the insult of his wife Claire who had stood with Starfire at the pig run, but answered: "He also may become steak or burger or bacon, dear."
Starfire started to cry in agony. "What a horrible fate to face for young Delbert! I'd never let this happen."
At her words Raven turned around the corner next to an elderly women, apparently the 'nasty farm lady' also known as Claire.
The purple haired girl spoke up indifferent: "Calm down, Star, you can make a sponsorship ensuring a happy and long life on this farm. Gar already sponsors half of the animals here. Never wondered why he always is broke so fast?"
BeastBoy scratched the back of his head slightly blushing: "Hehehe, you know I just can't stand them suffering."
"I will take the sponsorship of Delbert and his family, so they can grow up in peace and love and joy!" the alien girl squealed excited.
"And I will sponsor Hubert and his mom!" Cy added determinate.
"What about the rooster chick?" BeastBoy asked.
"Champ is coming with me of course! Right little buddy?" he answered petting his new tiny friend, "Look, he likes mechanical devices, just like me. You like that stuff don't cha, Champ?"
After they negotiated their sponsorship with Hal, Raven drove them even further away from the city. Cyborg was idly chatting with his baby rooster, making his friends smile warmly.
"Where are we heading next, friends? Is it a place as fun as the farm?"
BeastBoy grew a grim expression: "Not exactly, Star. But it will cure you from ever wanting to eat meat again…"
Raven parked outside a huge building that looked like some kind of factory.
"Cyborg, maybe you better leave Champ with BeastBoy in the car," she said as she unbuckled her seat belt.
"Say what? Why should I? And why isn't he coming along anyway?"
"Uhm, dude…" the green teen said pointing at a sign next to the entry of the building, "It's kind of one of my worst nightmares, you know."
As Starfire read the sign she asked: "Friends, please, what is the 'butchery'?"
Cyborgs expression darkened. "It's the slaughter house, Star. That's where they would have turned Delbert into ham and bacon."
BeastBoy idly fed Champ with the food they had purchased for the tiny rooster at Hal and Claire's farm as his friends returned from their slaughter house tour one hour later.
As they got into the car, he knew his plan worked, even if it meant some emotional turmoil for his friends. Starfire looked rather shaken, she was white as a sheet, tears streaming down her usually lit up face while Cyborg still wore his grim expression, looking down and muttering something that sounded like: "Never again…"
BeastBoy quickly glanced over at his girlfriend who gave him a weak smile before she started the car while he turned to his half-metal friend and handed him over his pet.
"He behaved very well, Cy," he said softly.
Cyborg looked up straight into the changelings eyes with a grievous trait around his mouth and simply stated: "Thanks', Gar," as he carefully took back his tiny rooster.
"Come on, guys, let's go for lunch and afterwards somewhere to have fun!" BeastBoy cheered.
They sat at a picnic-table in the park, BeastBoy unpacked some take-away tofu-burgers with fries and handed everyone a share.
Cyborg sighed as he glanced at the meatless burger. He gave Champ who was sitting on the table picking up bread crump a side look and said: "I'll do it for you, buddy."
BeastBoy chuckled at the sight. "Hey Cy, look! I got a surprise for you! Vegan barbeque sauce!" he chanted holding the bottle up to his friend.
Cyborg's eyes shined and he gratefully beamed at the green teen as he took the bottle and drowned his tofu-burger in vegan barbeque sauce. He took a bite and stopped in track, looking incredulously at his burger.
"This… actually tastes damn good, man!" he mumbled through his food.
"Told ya!" the other one said with a victorious smile.
In two bites Cyborg had devoured his burger and asked: "Got some more?"
The green teen chuckled and handed him the take-away bag. "Treat yourself!"
"Oh glorious! Look at the colors this fish displays! It's so wonderful!" Star chirped.
Since they had gotten to the city's aquarium her mood had mostly been restored. Cyborg had lightened up as well, but he still was thoughtful.
"Hey, dude, you okay?" BeastBoy asked worried. Maybe he had gotten too far with the slaughter house.
"I'm fine. I'm just sorry about all the times I taunted you with meat while you had all those horrible pictures in mind."
"Don't be, Cy. You didn't know better."
"But I could have if I would have seriously asked. I never cared how they produce the stuff I ate; I didn't consider animals as… I don't know…"
"… Living beings with a conscious mind?"
"Exactly. I treated them like an object, exactly the way I hate to be treated myself. And worst of all, I treated you the same way with my actions. I'm sorry about that."
"It's okay, Cy. We're friends, remember? As long as you see your errors and try to change, there is no reason for hatred."
Cyborg smiled at his younger friend who somehow had grown without him noticing. "I guess you won our bet, BB."
"Huh?" the changeling asked confused.
"You made me join the vegan side… So what about those soy-milk cookies?"
"They're in the car. But let's just enjoy natures beauty until we go there, okay?" the younger teen chuckled.
The ride back home was a pleasant one as BeastBoy could see. Cy was chatting with his pet Champ again, smiling peacefully to himself, while Star could be seen doing almost the same. At the aquariums souvenir shop they also sold goldfishes and care supplies and Starfire had fallen for a tiny orange fish she called Goldie. She insisted on buying Goldie, complaining like a child that Cyborg already had gotten a pet on the farm. Raven bought it swearing she wouldn't take care of it in the process.
BeastBoy considered his day successful, regarding two team members becoming vegan, but they still were bound to pass one more station on their journey, although they would only drive through.
As they drove by the docks, he pointed: "Look, they bring home a big catch."
Cyborg and Starfire looked out the window and regretted it immediately. They saw a ship unloading a huge net full of fishes, unmoving, pale, dead fishes. Coming out of the aquarium this was a nasty and shocking sight.
"All right! It's official, I AM VEGAN! Can you please drive a notch faster so we don't have to see this?" Cyborg yelled with a contorted face as if it caused him pain to see these dead animals.
Starfire in the meantime cringed over Goldie's fish bowl, whimpering: "Don't look, my little bumglorv! This is nothing you want to see! I swear to you I will never eat anything animal ever again!"
Raven stepped on the gas and drove them home without any further interruptions.
They entered the common room reminiscing on their day as they saw Robin standing in the kitchen setting the table.
"Hey team! You're just in time, I ordered some pizza! Vegan for Raven and BeastBoy, extra cheesy meat-lover for Cy and anchovies with ham for you Star!" he grinned delighted.
BeastBoy flinched. This was probably the worst day Robin could have chosen to display how well he knew their eating habits.
Star tightly hugged her fish bowl yelping: "Robin, you MONSTER!" before she flew away in tears with Goldie in her arms.
Raven sighed. "I'll go after her."
Cyborg covered Champ protectively in his hands and shouted: "Meat-lover? Do you know how many animals had to give their lives for one meat-lover pizza? It should be considered as a crime to sell such a hideous thing!"
Robin looked confused. "Of course I do. You usually count them before you start eating, Cyborg. It never bothered you. Do you know that you sound like BeastBoy?"
"Well, if you don't mind, bird-brain, I am vegan now! And you should consider becoming one too, 'cause I won't allow any animal source food in my tower anymore! Do you know how horrible they are killed?"
"I was in a slaughter house before and I have no problem with our food industry. So if you don't mind, I will stay the way I am," the Boy Wonder stated slightly annoyed causing Cyborg to gasp.
"You KNOW the horrors of butcheries and still eat meat?! Why don't you kill the animals on the kitchen table, you cold blooded beast! Will you look at my buddy Champ and see him as a meal as well?" Cyborg held out the tiny rooster with an accusing frown.
Robins jaw dropped: "Cy, is this a chick?"
"Yes, genius, and he is my new buddy, so answer me: are you a thread for him or not?"
"Listen, Cyborg, I may go to the hunt with Bruce from time to time but I won't touch your pet. I promise!" he tried to negotiate but at the look in his friend's face he could tell that he failed horrible.
"You… you murderer…" the half-robot whispered in shock, clutching the chick to his chest and stomped out of the room.
Robin angrily faced the silent BeastBoy and growled: "What have you done to them, brainwash?"
"Just showed them my point of view, you know," the younger teen shrugged indifferent.
"Well, seems you've done a good job on that…" Robin said through gritted teeth, "But you won't turn me into a vegan!"
BeastBoy looked at him thoughtful before he asked: "Wanna go hunting tonight?"
"W-What?" the older one replied startled.
"I'll accompany you on a hunt and give you my point of view. Afterwards you can decide if you'd give veganism a try. Deal?"
Robin put on a grim face but said: "Deal."
Half an hour later as the pizzas lay forgotten in the kitchen, BeastBoy and Robin headed out to the woods. The changeling had turned into a bloodhound, tracking down a doe he had picked up the scent, his team leader following on the track. It didn't take long until they spotted it. BeastBoy let out a low growl, and then Robin jumped into action. With a single roundhouse kick he took the doe out cold. The green teen had been surprised as his friend had announced that he hunted only with a dagger, which he pulled out from his belt now as he bowed over the unconscious deer.
"So you really have no problem with killing her?"
"It. I don't have any problems killing it," Robin said coldly.
BeastBoy didn't care about his leaders comment and pursued: "Okay. It's not like you have to explain her husband why you did it. Not that a stag would care much about one wife gone, he still has others."
Robin had stopped in his movements, the dagger already at the doe's throat. This strengthened BeastBoys determination as he continued: "Although her child will die without her. Fawns tend to be rather reliant on their mothers."
"She… has a fawn?" the masked boy asked with a hint of hesitation in his voice. Gotcha, the other thought.
"Yep. It's hiding in the underwood half a mile from here. Not that you should care about. You came here to hunt. So finish your dirty work and kill her. Her family won't mourn for her that long…"
"Stop it!" Robin yelled as he got to his feet, the dagger laid forgotten in the moss, "why do you keep talking of that animal like she was human?"
"Tell me, Robin, what distinguishes an animal from a human? What distinguishes one living being from another?"
His fearless leader blinked in confusion but didn't reply, so BeastBoy continued.
"They all have families and even friends, they can feel pain, they can love and they can mourn. They have a home and they have jobs, even if they do their jobs while eating or their only job is to stay alive and reproduce. They can fear and they have enemies. So I repeat, tell me, what makes you so much better than any animal?"
"I… I can control myself! I… I am aware of what I am doing!" he tried to reply, but even in his ears he sounded unsure.
"Animals are mostly aware of what they do, but you are right, humans CAN control themselves. We can choose the way we act, we aren't bound by our instincts, while animals usually can't help but follow them even when they are aware of their own flaws. But aren't you the one always lecturing us about our responsibility of having a choice? You keep saying that we have the choice if we want to save life… or destroy it," BeastBoy said calmly, at his last words he nodded towards the doe.
Robin dropped to his knees as realization hit him. "I AM a monster… and a murderer!"
BeastBoy smiled gently as he got on his knees too, placing his hand on his friend's shoulder.
"Don't be so hard on yourself. You still can change…"
As he lifted his head and smiled sadly at his younger friend he could hear a rustle behind him. They both got up and turned only to see the doe disappear in the woods.
"You know, BeastBoy, you have grown…"
"Bah, just a few inches…"
The next morning in the Titans tower was slightly different, although there still was an argument about tofu.
"It's the last package of tofu and I want to make Champ and me tofu-waffles!" Cyborg insisted.
"Well, I don't care what you and your chick want! I'll make myself grilled tofu!" Robin argued.
Starfire, who had calmed down from her shock of the last evening interfered: "Please, friends, let's not argue, I am sure we can make a bit of both if we share the tofu!"
"But I am starving! I want waffles!"
"And I want it grilled!"
Both of them staying adamant caused the bickering going on.
"You know, Gar, you played us well," Raven stated as she watched her friends arguing while sipping her tea.
"You got us all by our weaknesses to make us vegans. My emotional issues, Cyborg's soft heart, Star's love for everything cute, Robin's sense of responsibility… Don't tell me you did it without noticing!"
Her boyfriend chuckled: "I did it rather on instinct, you know. But with your help, the mission couldn't fail!"
"Just one problem left: not enough tofu for today's breakfast and it's sunday… "
"Don't fret, my love! I have a backup for this!" he smiled pulling out his communicator.
Using it like a cell phone, she could hear him say: "Hey Lance! Mind if we join your buffet? Great, we'll be there in an instant!"
Raven lifted an eyebrow. What was her boyfriend planning now?
"Dudes! Listen up!" he yelled causing the others to silence, "to celebrate your partaking in the vegan community, my fellow vegan Lance and me invite you all to an all-you-can-eat vegan breakfast buffet! Whatcha say?"
"Awesome! I'll go fetch Champ!"
"Glorious! I will take Silkie and Goldie along as well!"
"Lance is running that vegan shop downtown, right? I'll get some bags; he can supply us with some nutrition…" Robin said.
They all left and the changeling smirked at his girlfriend: "Mission T.O.F.U. accomplished!"
"You are an evil mastermind…" she said smirking too, "And I like it a lot!" she added pulling him closer to kiss.