AN: Look at me, writing a second story! A few days ago my new fiance decided we need time alone and thought a three day canoe trip down river would be the perfect idea! …I love him, but I really don't understand why he thought that was a good idea. I have pale skin, I'm allergic to grass and I hate bugs. Nature's cool, it just hates me. ANYWAY, I thought you know who would hate this? Raven. And this short story was born. I hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Not the Teen Titans franchise, not any brand names mentioned, nothing.
Robin stood on the rooftop, admiring the view of the bay. No matter how many times he had seen it, it never grew less beautiful. This was his city, his home. He smiled as he turned his face up towards the sunshine. Today was going to be a beautiful day. Living on the California coast, they were prone to heat waves this time of the year, but today was in the lower 80's and breezy.
Robin checked his communicator. It was almost noon. Their schedule was clear today, permitting no one decided to strike up trouble, and he decided it would be the perfect time to relax in the sun. He mused about what they could do as he descended the stairs from the rooftop and headed towards the common room. Swimming at the beach, a picnic in the park, or a trip to the pier were all viable options.
He strode into the common room with a smile on his face. Fortunately, everyone was there.
"Hey guys!" he called in greeting. "I was thinking we could go out this afternoon. It's beautiful outside and..." he trailed off when he realized no one was listening to him. He drew his eyebrows together as he studied his teammates' behavior.
Beast Boy and Cyborg sat on the couch, furiously clicking away at the buttons of two video game controllers. No surprise there. Around them was a smattering of empty pizza boxes, soda cans, and chip bags. The intermittent sound effects from the game were loud enough to drown out his words. He drew closer to the couch and tried again.
"Guys! Did you hear me? I think we should do something together this afternoon. Outside," he added. Cyborg only gave him a grunt, whereas Beast Boy had a few words in return.
"Why? It's like a million degrees out there." He didn't take his eyes off the screen as he spoke. Robin frowned.
"Actually it's eighty two. The weather's great today. Cyborg?"
"Uh, sounds fun Robin, but we're kinda in the middle of a tournament here." He too was totally immersed in the game. Robin sighed. He clearly wasn't making any progress here. Turning around to find his next target, he spotted Starfire leaning against the kitchen counter. Silkie was lying next to her, and if Robin wasn't mistaken there was an unhappy expression on the larva's face.
"Hey Starfire, what's up?"
She looked up at him and gave him a genuine smile. "Greetings to you as well friend!" After her unusually short reply she turned back to what she was doing. Robin peeked at the object in her hands.
"Is that a... cell phone?" It was pink and covered in glitter, making it hard to tell. Starfire nodded as her fingers danced over the keyboard, as if with much practice.
"It is indeed. I am using it to communicate with others whom I have never before met in person," she explained, giggling as the phone chimed with another message. "It is a fascinating Earthly concept called a 'chat room!'"
Robin narrowed his eyes. "Who taught you about those?"
"Friend Beast Boy was most kind in instructing me in their use." The phone chimed again, eliciting another round of giggles.
"Great. Anyway I was wondering if you'd like to hang out with me this afternoon. I thought we might go to the park."
Starfire looked up, a frown on her face. "Though I would enjoy that Robin, I have promised my friends on the line that we may continue our discussions. Perhaps we could venture out tomorrow?"
"Uh, sure," he answered, though her attention was already back to the phone. Silkie made a noise at him as he walked away, as if to say 'nice try.' He too was being neglected.
Finally he turned to locate the last member of his team: Raven. He spotted her at the kitchen table. As he made his way over an argument erupted between the two on the couch.
"Hey Raven, I was wondering if—"
"This is my controller!"
"Yeah but it's my turn to play and mine ran out of batteries!"
"Then go get some more batteries!"
He cleared his throat loudly, causing Raven to look up but doing nothing to quiet the arguing idiots.
"I wanted to know if—"
"Hey! Get your tofu-loving hands off my game system!"
"Your game system? I thought this was 'our' game system. That was what you told me when I asked for my own one in my room!"
"Do you want to come with me—"
"Robin?" Starfire called from the kitchen. "Please, what is the meaning of the phrase 'hook up?' If I plan to meet this friend in person, shall I be required to bring a hook?"
"Give me the phone!" Robin and Raven said at the same time. He looked back to her, thankful for her support on this matter.
"Wait a minute... are you reading on a Kindle?" he asked incredulously, noticing the tablet in Raven's hands. She simply shrugged.
"It beats going out to the bookstore." Those were words he thought would never come out of her mouth. She used to love going to the bookstore. When had they all gotten so lazy?
"Cyborg, STOP IT!"
"NOT UNTIL I GET THE CONTROLLER BACK!"
Robin felt the blood rushing to his head, which was now pounding with the beginnings of a headache. It was all too much for him.
"EVERYONE BE QUIET!" he shouted, causing every one of them to turn and stare. He seethed, trying to keep his temper at bay. The only sound was the faint music from the video game.
"That's it! Team meeting right here in two hours. Attendance is mandatory," he added, catching looks from a few of them. Without another word, he turned on his heel and strode from the common room.
Raven examined the smooth surface of the kitchen table, wondering how long it had had those stains on it. They seemed ground in, like they were a part of the once yellow counter top. Robin had yet to make his grand entrance, though the four of them had already assembled around the kitchen table.
Raven had no idea what this was about, but judging by Robin's reaction earlier, it was something serious. It seemed like it was a reaction to what was happening in the common room, though that explanation made little sense. Beast Boy and Cyborg were arguing, Raven was reading, Starfire was immersed in her newly-discovered world of social media. In other words, life was going on as normal.
Finally she heard the swish of the common room doors, indicating that Robin had joined them. She looked up to see him descend the stairs, an almost-hidden grin on his face. Raven instantly narrowed her eyes in suspicion, picking up vibes of excitement and pride from him. What's he so happy about? she wondered.
Without any introduction, he laid out his complaints. "The reason we're having this meeting is because we need to reevaluate our lifestyle outside of crime-fighting. Looking around the common room this morning, I can see that it's only a matter of time before these things start affecting our performance as a team."
"Uh, Robin?" Cyborg interjected. "Mind cluing us in on what the heck you're talking about?" Beast Boy nodded enthusiastically beside him. Though she wouldn't admit it, even Raven was curious.
"Cyborg, when was the last time you left the tower? And in response to an alarm doesn't count," he clarified.
"Uh..." Cyborg trailed off, drawing his brows together in concentration as he recalled his schedule. "Two weeks ago to get some parts for the car," he admitted. Saying it out loud seemed to drill in Robin's point.
"And Beast Boy," he continued, "how many hours did you spend last week on the game console?" Beast Boy's sheepish grin was enough to prove his point. "Starfire has a cell phone, Raven has a Kindle, and the only time we spend together is when a bad guy shows up in Jump City." Looking around at her teammates, they all wore pensive expressions. They got his point. However, the lecture failed to explain the excitement rolling off of him in increasing intensity as he moved through his speech.
"So what's your suggestion Robin?" she asked, not liking where this was headed.
"Team," he said, eyes shining, "we're going camping!"