The Usual Suspects
It was an unusually peaceful morning at Titans Tower… at least until Robin discovered the prank set against him. Now, a green glob of goo stands in Robin's way of a nice, relaxing day – much to the other Titans' respective annoyances. Mostly Raven's, actually. Starfire is really quite pleased…
A/N: Hi there! I'm not a new writer to FanFiction, but I am to Teen Titans. I did watch the show myself when it first graced the cable networks, but I'd all but forgotten about it until someone mentioned something to me about the 2013 cartoon Teen Titans Go!. This prompted me to take a look back, and then eventually to come back to FanFiction itself.
Before I get started, I want to let you all know that I am not anywhere near comfortable with the Teen Titans' personalities, thought processes, and for Starfire, speech patterns. I am doing the best I can and am trying my utmost to keep them in-character, but I will inevitably mess up. If you see anything completely wacky or blatantly out of character, please send me a private message or a review and I'll make an effort to correct my mistake. But please, try not to be overly critical with your words. I am not a professional writer and I do not claim to be. As such, I would appreciate constructive criticism only. "This is stupid" or "This is wrong" don't help me become a better writer or inspire me to continue writing.
Without further ado, I hope you enjoy and thank you for reading!
The Usual Suspects
the usual suspects: the persons most often involved or suspected in an activity, especially criminal, and/or the persons predictably involved in a certain context
It was a relatively normal day, if a bit late for the Titans' intrepid leader to be up and about. Even Beast Boy had already graced the land of the living, and was sitting cross-legged beside Cyborg in front of the GameStation. Raven, as usual, was tucked in the corner of the furthest couch, reading a book and glancing occasionally upward in order to glare in the flashing television's general direction. Of course, she could pass the morning in her own room, but doing that at this stage of post-end-of-the-world life would inevitably lead to four different Titans bothering her at four separate times of the day. At least here she could be seen – yes, Raven is okay, go back to what you were doing – and thus relax in relative peace.
Well, relative was the operative word. In fact, the game they were playing seemed more annoying and flashy than the last one, and that was saying something. Raven glanced up from behind her book again and gave the back of her teammates' heads yet another unnoticed (and mostly mental) death glare, which relieved some (but certainly not all) of her growing ire.
Beast Boy cheered, oblivious to Raven's faces, while Cyborg groaned. There was nothing unusual about that, unless one counted the fact that Cyborg was usually doing the cheering. Raven had long since learned to tune them out at will, and could no longer be bothered by their antics… well, completely bothered, anyway. The game itself was the thing that would take some getting used to, and indeed, it was a bit distracting – but really, all-in-all, Raven could almost describe that particular morning as being quiet. In fact, it was oddly so. There weren't any villains to lock up, no natural disasters needed to be curbed, and a second world-ending experience didn't seem to be on the horizon. All was calm. All was perfectly, uninterruptedly (dare she say it) uneventful.
Raven had just settled back into her book, convinced that this might be the opportunity of a lifetime (she could, perhaps, finish her book without having to conquer something made of slime!), when a loud shout and several banging noises came from overhead. Glancing over at the two oblivious young men a few feet from her, Raven reluctantly lowered her book, only to snap it back up as the yeller himself barged into the room, looking positively livid.
Raven may have been able to heal herself if worse came to worst, but that didn't mean she was eager to be assaulted. With only a quick once-over of their leader's face, the pale empath hurriedly returned her attention to the book. It was one of Robin's few novels, today, and a good old whodunit at that. And even though Raven was completely sure of the murderer's identity (it was blatantly obvious – didn't Robin, as a master detective, get bored of these things?) and completely unsure of her choice to read it in the first place (it really wasn't her style), it wouldn't hurt to finish out the last pages. It also certainly wouldn't hurt to stay off the Boy Wonder's warpath.
And so she would have read those last few pages, too, if Robin hadn't been carrying a large, wiggling green monstrosity into their common room, which effectively shocked even her. It looked like it could have once been mold, or even (once upon a time) something dangerous, something alive. She would deny it if anyone asked – she certainly did not gasp, no matter what Beast Boy might have claimed at a later date – but that something Raven did was somehow able to capture the other boys' attention, and then the platter of goo held it.
"Alright," Robin demanded, looking to be just on the edge of calm. His appearance was frazzled: he hadn't yet styled his hair, it looked as if he had not changed his uniform, and even his mask was lying slightly askew and dirtied across his face, "who did this?"
"Dude," Beast Boy muttered, looking slightly sick. "What is that thing?"
Cyborg looked equally disgusted. "Is that chunks of tofu in there?"
It seemed as if Robin was turned unnaturally far away from the thing in his arms, even though he could have looked away without turning his head if he had so wished, without anyone (with the possible exception of Raven) having known the wiser. But his blatant avoidance of the slime in his hands seemed to be with good reason: the thing looked like it could sprout legs at any second. Raven felt her lip curl as she looked at it.
And then Beast Boy began to laugh. Raven wasn't sure exactly why he'd done it – he didn't seem to have suicidal tendencies... at least, if one discounted the death wish he apparently had in regards to Raven – but what she did know was that it was a mistake of epic proportions, possibly fatal. Perhaps her interrupted morning could be salvaged after all?
Robin's mask began to knit together, his face growing red, until Starfire (who had impeccable timing, really, having become both Beast Boy's unknowing savior and the cause of Raven's disappointed sigh) swept into the room, effectively halting his train of thought with a few simple words:
"Glorious! Friend Robin, you have prepared the Pudding of Fellowship?"
Oh no. Oh, no.
Raven was unsure about which emotion was pulling at her at that revelation, but what she did know was that she might want to seriously reconsider sitting on this particular couch, so close to Robin. In fact, she was sure it was a terrible, no good, very bad idea. The question was: would it be easier to slip through the floor or to go through the wall? The floor was quick, easy, and had the least risk of detection, but there was the distinct possibility that she might have to pass back through to get to her room, and if the pudding was a prelude to some sort of Tamaranean festival… maybe the wall, though much more obvious, was the better choice. Before she had time to finalize her escape route, however, she was effectively neutralized by a Starfire-sized tackle, thrown to the floor in a purple, black, orange, and red-colored heap.
"We shall partake in this delicacy, yes?" the bright-and-shiny girl questioned happily from her place hugging an infuriated and slightly shell-shocked Raven, who struggled without much luck against Starfire's alien strength.
Even preoccupied Robin grimaced at the hug, which looked to be restricting Raven's airflow and – more worryingly – her ability to control her powers.
"You seem to have added an extra ingredient," Starfire continued wonderingly, none the wiser about both Raven's dilemma (to kill or not to kill, that was the question) and Robin's growing anxiety. "Is it Earth custom to put part of your crime-fighting outfit into your puddings?"
"Wait, what?" Beast Boy questioned, daring to get closer to the thing his leader was reluctantly holding onto, despite the displeased narrowing of Robin's current, haggard-looking mask as he leaned in.
And there it was… or rather, there they were. At least a dozen different domino masks of the same shape and size were floating listlessly inside what was apparently a Pudding of Fellowship, looking to be encased in a glow of sickening green.
A glowing, evil-looking pudding was not what Raven had signed up for on what could have been a relaxing day.
Far, far, far from it.
This had to be karma. Or Thursday. It could also be Thursday.
With an explosion of power, Starfire was launched perhaps ten feet before recovering herself and hovering in midair, unoffended (as per usual) by Raven's violent brush-off. Raven struggled to her feet, still a bit winded, and reluctantly joined the other Titans as Starfire hovered just behind Robin, still transfixed by the thing in his grip. "Shall I prepare the… oh, the translation is quite odd… the Utensils of Fellowship, then?"
"No!" Robin snapped at her, to which Starfire blinked. "Beast Boy, where are my other masks?"
"Your other masks, dude?"
"This isn't all of them?"
Beast Boy's brows shot into his hairline. "How many masks do you need?!"
The pudding swung dangerously in Robin's arms as he sputtered, causing Starfire great alarm. "It is not meant to be handled that way, friends," she exclaimed desperately, watching as it jiggled to one side of the plate. "Friends!"
Cyborg and Raven looked at each other, which perhaps marked the first time they had agreed about the insanity of all of the other members of their team (Robin was generally left out of the equation in this exchange of thoughts).
"I know you did it," Robin growled, his voice low and dangerous.
"I deny the allegation!"
There were several long moments of silence as the four other Teen Titans stared at their shortest member, expressions varying from shocked surprise to blatant suspicion.
Beast Boy, quite typically, was oblivious. "What?"
The moment stretched out further as everyone who wasn't Beast Boy exchanged long, tense glances. What could have possibly inspired the notoriously lazy Beast Boy to learn a word that seemed more of a fit for Raven… or even Robin on a good day? And why on earth would he use it in normal conversation – or, at least, normal argument? One thing was certain: it couldn't be good.
"We don't want to know," Robin spoke for the group, still looking wary.
"I didn't do it!" Beast Boy claimed again. "You've got to believe me!"
Raven gave a harsh snort. "This coming from the boy that stole my waffles just last week and claimed polar bears," she grumbled.
"What?" Cyborg piped up, appalled. "You stole Raven's waffles? You know she loves them more than life itself!"
"You remember that?" Robin questioned while Raven's eyes twitched, resisting the allure of an overdramatic roll.
"Of course I remember that! My memory banks weren't compromised – okay, well, not completely compromised… I got my memories back. I mean, I think I did–"
"I don't care, Cyborg! No one cares! What we do care about is why Beast Boy put my masks into this… thing!"
"Actually, we don't really care about that, Robin," Raven informed him, to which he seemed to swallow a scream.
"No, I care," Starfire contradicted.
"Thank you, Star!"
"About the Pudding of Fellowship," Starfire continued blithely. "I have not partaken in this delicacy in many of your Earth years!"
This time, Starfire was the one left out of the group stares. Delicacy? Scratch that, a delicacy that she hadn't had in years? That couldn't bode well, and they all knew it. Beast Boy shuddered in apparent disgust, Cyborg seemed to have resigned himself to his fate (if the toothbrush and large bottle of mouthwash that had appeared in his hand were any indication), the white of Robin's mask had receded into a barely-visible line, and even Raven's visage looked slightly pained.
"What?" Starfire questioned.
"Oh, please, no," Robin intoned under his breath, to the point where only Raven caught it.
Beast Boy looked to be considering his luck before deciding to press it. "Does this mean I'm off the hook?"
Robin's temper immediately flared. "I knew it! You admitted it! You little… you…" he trailed off, his teeth clenched into a snarl and his fingers closed tightly over the rim of the plate in his hands, which was creaking in a way that Raven didn't know dishware could creak.
"I didn't admit it! I didn't do it! Robin, please! Robin… Robin?"
But Robin was too far gone in his rage. Knowing a death sentence when he saw one, Beast Boy morphed into a cheetah and quickly fled, leaving only air in his wake. Robin could not be deterred, however, as he pulled something out of his utility belt and gave immediate chase (Raven had to pause at this to consider the humor in the fact that, for once, it wasn't she that was doing the chase-and-threaten with Beast Boy, with Robin trying to calm her down. In fact, it was nearly the opposite – excepting, of course, the fact that Raven was perfectly happy with the notion that Robin might murder her least favorite green changeling).
Starfire, for her part in the morning's escalation, exclaimed in alarm as Robin ran with what the alien had assumed was a Pudding of Fellowship, she too joining the madness as she appealed for Robin to "Stop! Stop! Friend Robin, you will upset the delicate balance of Fellowship…!"
And so without further ado, three-fifths of the Titans hastily exited the room, all with different goals (and food items) in mind. Cyborg, left alone with Raven, considered the pale empath as he happily put away his toothbrush. The usually unaffected girl had seemingly forgone any sarcastic comment she could have made and had instead immediately and coolly gone back to the far couch. On her way, she picked up the (admittedly uninteresting) book and dusted it off before opening to her last page, beginning once again to read.
After a few more moments, Cyborg sat heavily beside Raven on the couch, causing the cushions to slope towards him. He stared blankly at his friend until the fellow teenager lifted her eyes once again off the pages of her book and looked at him with what was supposed to be disinterest, but really wasn't.
There was a very long silence then, in which the two Teen Titans considered each other a bit warily. Eventually, Cyborg sighed. "Why would you do that?"
Raven's lips twitched minutely upwards as she reached behind her and pulled on a clean domino mask. They had always made her feel… cool. "In my defense, it was supposed to be Jell-O."
A/N: Raven is worst cook! I hope it wasn't too obvious. Either way, thank you so much for reading and I hope that you enjoyed it. If you have a comment or a criticism, please leave me a review or send me a private message. Have a wonderful rest of your morning/day/evening/night, and thank you again!