I do NOT own Teen Titans
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Of course Beast Boy wins. He may get badly hurt, and had to retreat once to regroup, but he's one of the two main characters in the story. The hero usually does win.
The Gordanian enemies might not be so considerate, but Beast Boy did leave their infrastructure intact. They'll rush build more missiles and should be fine. They just won't be eager to make new enemies for a while.
Starfire I think would just be glad to have someone to shop with. Which begs the question: just what does she buy when she shops. Her outfit doesn't change much. I wonder if she actually buys stuff, or just browses the stores. it would certainly be a novelty compared to Tamaran culture.
If they don't more time with Aeopie her emoticlones would probably revolt. Even if not written I'm sure she'll be visiting Nevermore a lot.
Time: Two weeks later.
Life on earth continued. With the Gordanians kicked off the world for a bit Aeopie started sleeping better. Her nightmares disappeared, and she'd even graduated to sleeping in Beast Boy's old room. They'd painted the walls a very mild shade of orange, and had installed orange tinted windows. The shape shifter had to admit that when the sun shone through it the color was rather nice. More clothes were bought, though the small telepath had pointed out the still very relevant fact that it was pointless given she had to wear a robe over them. Her chair was left in Raven's room for when she napped in the evenings.
Movie night continued, though it was most Disney romances and cartoons. What else could they let the girl watch? Starfire was the only other person who took an interest in the shows, while Cyborg and Beast Boy played video games. A certain violet-eyed girl often sat with them, reading as she enjoyed the sounds of cheerful chatter. Robin usually obsessed over stuff in the evidence room, and disappeared for long periods of time.
Raven, to her everlasting embarrassment, had been given a stern talking to by the young telepath about projecting during certain activities. It was, she knew, a talk she would never forget. It seemed the same method that prevented Talynians from accessing her mind would also keep her from transmitting her lust filled thoughts to any innocent telepath within a hundred mile radius. Wondering just who else might've overheard those activities worried her sometimes.
The Tamaranians were finding the limits of earth's technology as they tried to use it to restore their home world. Sure, some companies were able to do simple gene splicing, but it was nowhere close to what was needed. Starfire often came to the shape shifter concerning such problems.
"The algae you created is thriving, and the small amount of life in our oceans is no longer in danger of starving. We've stopped using the vats." The orange-skinned alien informed him, bouncing around the room. Then she sat in a chair. "However, the toxins with which the Gordanians poisoned our world remains. The fish live just long enough to spawn before they succumb to it. We're trying to breed a new version of algae that will ingest massive amounts of the poisons and then die, taking the toxins to the bottom of the sea with them. In time silt would cover them, and the water would become safe for all life again."
"How's it going?" Beast Boy asked.
"Not well. The algae you created for us expels all toxins from their bodies, which is good for the fish that eat them. But it means the water is no purer. The old form of algae still dies too quickly to be of use."
"I see. What did they use to poison Tamaran with?"
"Chromium. It's the one thing all life on our world finds poisonous. The Gordanians ground it into a fine dust so that it doesn't settle out of the oceans. At least not quickly. More than ten parts per billion in sea water is toxic."
"I see. Let me think." Beast Boy wondered if he could create a form that could consume chromium. Don't need to. He suddenly realized. "There's a planet that has a lot of heavy metals. Life there needs quite a bit of it to survive. Just transplant some of the algae from that world to Tamaran. Without many predators it will breed quickly and consume the heavy metals in your oceans along with the chromium. Then it will starve, and naturally die away when the water isn't as polluted. I forget the name, but a search of the data banks on the Gordanian ships should locate it."
"That would be excellent." The girl paused and frowned. "That's something we should've found on our own. Sadly the efforts to keep our world alive meant our education has suffered."
"Hire a biologist." Beast Boy suggested. "Of course given they would be given a chance to see a whole new ecosystem, they would probably be willing to pay you for the opportunity."
The shape shifter felt a tug on his sleeve.
"Orange." Aeopie said, pointing to a picture of a witch and a pumpkin on a poster.
"I see." He smiled. "That's a pumpkin. Next time I'm in the city I'll get a pumpkin pie for you to try."
She tugged again. "Halloween." She stated, clearly wanting to ask something but not willing to be too direct about it.
"Already? Today?" The shape shifter blinked. "We'll need to rent scary movies for tonight."
"Trick-or-treat?" The small telepath asked hopefully.
"Oh. You want to go trick-or-treating?"
She nodded. "Candy." She said, drooling.
He laughed. "As if you don't get enough sweets. It's almost all you eat."
"Fun." Came the reply. She smiled brightly at him, with her eyes almost glowing as they became a very pretty shade of orange.
The shape shifter gulped as he felt his ability to resist the little monster vanish. Her smiles did that. There goes movie night. He mused without ire. The girl might be on earth for a long time, and she had to keep hidden, so letting her have some fun trick-or-treating would be okay. However, given her frail nature, they would need to keep a close eye on her.
"You need a costume." He pointed out.
"Orange." Aeopie stated again, pointing at the pumpkin.
"Hrm. I'm not sure that's an appropriate costume." Having never been trick-or-treating himself he had no idea if it was or wasn't, but his gut instinct said it wasn't.
"Oh." She frowned, and his heart broke.
"I guess we'll be going shopping." He told her. "Maybe one of the sales persons will know for sure."
Her eyes lit up and she nodded vigorously. "Okay." She turned to Starfire. "Want to go to the mall with us?"
The Tamaranian hit the ceiling. It was a very rare occasion that anyone asked her to go to the mall of shopping. "I would." She happily exclaimed.
"Guess I'm in too." Raven intoned impassively, putting a book aside. She had to make sure the costume was appropriate, and besides, she didn't want Starfire and Beast Boy alone too much. Sure she trusted him, but she could still recall a certain orange-skinned alien's comments a few weeks back about him being a good kisser. Better safe than sorry.
At the store Beast Boy asked if a pumpkin was a suitable costume for a girl. The stares he'd gotten had turned him red; obviously it wasn't.
With Aeopie refusing any costume that didn't have orange as its main theme, they'd been stumped. Then Starfire had remarked some children were going as Tamaranians. They'd seen the aliens destroy the silver minion, and then stick around saving lives as heroes did. For the little girl, whose skin tone was exactly the same as Starfire's, it was perfect. A quick dye job had given her red hair, while contacts had made her eyes appear large and green. What to wear had been more of a problem. Despite her own outfit, Raven had declared most of the clothing the aliens wore not suitable for a nine-year old girl. On that account Beast Boy had agreed with her a hundred percent. They'd settled with jeans, along with a shirt that had a picture of an orange kitten on it. Finally, they'd been ready.
So it was later that night that Raven created a black disc and let the small telepath climb aboard. Beast Boy sat beside her. Starfire took to the air besides them, insisting on watching the earth ritual of candy giving. With three superheroes watching her, the small telepath was going to one well guarded little girl.
"So playing tricks is okay?" Starfire asked, frowning.
"No. It's just a phrase." Beast Boy tried to explained, though he didn't know much about the custom himself. "You knock on the door, say trick-or-treat, take what they give you, and leave. If they got nothing you just try the next door."
"Oh. Then why say the trick part?" The alien frowned, looking confused.
"No idea." The shape shifter admitted. "It's just a custom."
"A custom where you lie?"
He sighed. "Is it a lie if everyone knows what it means? A lie is an attempt to deceive, but since everyone knows what it means, that's impossible."
"Oh." The Tamaranian sat back on the disc along with the three of them, and prepared to watch Halloween and trick-or-treating in action.
The city was well lit. Jump City was a good place to live. Unlike Gotham, here people were put first. Anyone who placed a bright light outside their residence, or business, on Halloween got a small break on property taxes. It ensured there were no spots of darkness, and that even late at night it was safe for children to roam the streets. On that one night of the year the city glowed as if it was high noon.
"Just take what people give you. No bargaining." Raven informed the little girl who frowned at the words. "That's not the way it works." She gave the small telepath a small hug. "You sure you want to try this?"
The girl nodded. "Yes." When it came to sweets she never hesitated.
The violet-eyed girl found herself suppressing a grin. She gave the small telepath another hug and set the disc down so she could get off. "We'll be watching." She informed the girl. "And if you need anything use your telepathy. Use it even if you only think something is wrong." She instructed.
"I will." Aeopie said, turning around on the street, wondering which place to get sweets from first.
Raven let the disc rise into the air. Beside her Beast Boy took on the form an owl so as to observe the young trick-or-treater better. Starfire sat on the disc and kept watch as well.
Obviously the young telepath didn't know which way to go. Given this is a whole different culture from her own. The violet-haired Titan mused. She might not even be able to tell what's a house and what isn't.
She turned around on the street corner, just in front of a brightly lit bungalow, yet not moving from the spot.
"You're dressed as one of the new superheroines too." A cheerful voice, obviously riding a sugar high, spoke to Aeopie.
She nodded. "I'm dressed as a Tamaranian." The young telepath replied.
"Tamaranian?" The new girl, who appeared to be twelve looked puzzled at the term. "First time trick-or-treating alone?" She asked.
Aeopie nodded. "I've never been trick-or-treating before." She explain.
"Never?" The new girl asked, looking stunned.
"Never. I'm sort of lost. I don't know what to do." The telepath admitted, looking a bit scared.
"Want to join us?" The girl asked, pointing at the other two girls with her. "I'm Jenny. This is Katie and that's Cammy." They both appeared to be around twelve as well, and where also dressed as Tamaranians. It seemed the alien newcomers were making a hit with the young female population as role models.
"Strange name. But cute." Jenny said. "Come on. The night isn't getting any younger." She led the group up a walkway at a dash, leaving the frail girl behind. At the house they waited for her. "Definitely not one of the new superheroines." Jenny mused with a smile. Seeing the girl frown she quickly added. "But that's okay. We can go a bit slower. Trick-or-treating is much better in a group." She beamed a smiled at the girl.
Cammy knocked on the door and then held out her back. Seeing the other girls do the same Aeopie opened her bag as well. When an oldish woman peered out, looking glad to see them, they chorused trick-or-treat. Soon all four bags contained a couple of mars bar.
"Next door." Jenny, who was definitely the leader of the group, exclaimed. She started to dash off, but then slowed to a fast walk. "I planned this." She told the small girl. "There're about two hundred small houses around here, all very close together. Maximum gain for the least amount of work." She smiled again.
"Whew." Beast Boy said from two hundred feet up as he resumed his human form. "Looks like she's made a few friends."
"That's good. Still, I'm going to watch her." Raven replied.
"Trick-or-treating seems like fun. Are you sure I can't join them?" Starfire asked, practically pleading.
"I'm sure." The shape shifter responded. "It's only for kids."
The orange-skinned girl looked thoughtful. "But when we have children they can go trick-or-treating." She decided emphatically. "A giving of many small gifts of food to show we love them." She smiled and sat back to continue watching the four cheerful girls scurrying around below.
The trick-or-treaters raced from door to door. Jenny had planned it well, and there was no more than forty to fifty feet between the houses. Along the way they talked and joked.
"What sort of stuff do you like?" Cammy asked their new friend.
"Beast Boy and Raven and Starfire and Cyborg and Robin and sweets and checkers." The small telepath answered.
"You like the Titans too." Jenny exclaimed, as she happily skipped along to the next house and knocked. Soon all four bags held a snickers bar. "Wow. These people give out good stuff." She added gleefully.
"Very good." Aeopie nodded emphatically. "Ten houses and twelve bars." She drooled.
"You live near here?" Cammy asked.
"Titan's Tower." The telepath responded, scampering along beside them.
"Don't be silly. Only the Titans live there." Katie pointed out. "And you're too young to be one."
"That's where I live with my friends." The small girl frowned.
"She's playing one of the heroes." Jenny interrupted. "If that's where she says she lives then it's fine. She's just playing her role." The leader glared at Katie. "Don't be so uptight." She said with her tone firm. Still, she smiled as she spoke, playing the part of a peacemaker perfectly.
"Sorry." Came the humbled response.
"What sort of stuff do you like?" Aeopie asked the other three.
"Reading and drawing." Cammy replied.
"Soccer and trick-or-treating." Jenny grinned. "I love trick-or-treating."
"Don't forget Mark." Katie and Cammy poked at her.
"And Mark." The leader blushed a bright red that showed through her orange makeup.
"I like computers and solving problems with them." Katie said. "I've tried writing games, but they're not all that good. People say I'm too logical."
"Oh." The girl replied, wondering what else to ask her new friends. Out of breath, she decided to focus on just keeping up.
Laughing and talking, they struck house after house, managing to get through over a hundred of them in less than two hours. It would've been more but Jenny always stayed and chatted sociably with the people who answered the door. They were usually oldish people who always smiled at the trick-or-treaters.
"Most of the people around here are seniors." Jenny explained. "They don't see many people at Halloween, but they always prepare." Obviously she'd planned the outing with the cunning mind of a brilliant tactician.
The bags of gathered loot quickly grew as at each house the people realized they'd over prepared, and gave out twice or even triple what one would normally expect. Aeopie had to struggle to keep hold of her bag and was quickly tiring, but there was no way she was stopping until the others did. Beyond happy, yet exhausted, she lost track of what lay beyond the small group.
Suddenly they were scattered as a small gang violently rushed through them. Aeopie went flying to the ground, while the other three managed to maintain their footing. Laughing, the would be thieves snatched the girls' bags. Twenty feet up the road they turned and mocked the four young trick-or-treaters.
"What heroes." A boy of around fifteen yelled back.
"More like a bunch of losers." Another one who looked fourteen mocked.
"Thanks for the loot." A girl of fifteen told the trick-or-treaters.
"You okay?" Jenny asked, ignoring the thieves as she helped Aeopie stand.
The girl nodded, looking down at her hands. They were scrapped and bleeding. There were tears in her eyes. She sniffled and wiped her eyes as the concerned leader put her arm around her.
"It's okay." The twelve-year old told her. "Half the fun is in trick-tor-treating with friends, and we had that anyway. Don't let a bunch of losers take that away."
"It was fun." Aeopie smiled, feeling the genuine concern flowing from the other girl.
"It was. We meet a new friend." Katie and Cammy comforted her as well.
Despite the bright lamps that lit up the city the night suddenly darkened.
"Uh oh." Aeopie suddenly gulped. "She's mad. Really really mad."
"Who is?" Jenny asked, looking up to see what was causing the darkness.
The shadow of a giant raven seemed to descent from the sky. Then they all turned to stare as a towering fifteen foot figure appeared out of nowhere. Her four eyes glowed red, and her faced was twisted up in a smile that definitely wasn't sane.
"So you like stealing from kids." Rage asked. Dark magic flickered around her hands and tentacles reached out from her cloak towards the would be thieves.
"Not nice." Starfire spoke, hands blazing with starbolts ready to fire. Her eyes glowed a bright green, ready unleash their own fury upon the would be destroyers of fun.
A huge T-rex lumbered out of the shadows. Not able to speak it roared as it opened its jaws wide enough to swallow all three offenders whole.
Pale faced, the three thieves let the bags they'd stolen drop to the sidewalk. Eyes bright with fear they were frozen stiff, unable to move as tentacles of darkness reached out from the enraged emoticlone and wrapped around them. Then they began to violently thrash and scream, futilely trying to resist the dark demon's hold on them.
"Stop." Aeopie demanded. She tried to place herself between the would be thieves and Raven, but her three new friends fearfully held her back. "Stop." She yelled again, gulping. It's okay. She projected into the mind of Raven who was manifesting Rage. Please stop.
The tentacles withdrew, letting the two boys and the girl they'd held drop to the ground. They immediately dashed off, terrified out of their wits.
"Sorry." Raven replied, looking normal now. "Guess I got carried away." She didn't sound sorry.
Beast Boy resumed his human form. "Looks like you're getting a lot of loot." He mused, not sounding the least bit sorry himself.
"I should've smote them with starbolts." The orange-skinned alien, who the four trick-or-treaters were dressed up as, settled to the ground and examined the girl. "You're bleeding." She stated with a frown.
"Here honey." Raven held the young telepath's hands between her own and a brief glow encompassed them.
Beast Boy touched her shoulder and examined her carefully, looking for more signs of harm.
"I'm okay." She insisted.
"You're Beast Boy." Jenny, Cammy, and Katie stated as one. Their eyes were wide. "You're Starfire." They chorused, turning to the Tamaranian. "You're Raven." They gulped, staring at the half demon. "Can we have your autographs please?" All three suddenly stated.
"Ready to come home?" Raven asked, signing one of the three Halloween bags held out to her.
"Not yet." The young telepath determinedly stated. She looked at Jenny. "There's more houses?" She asked hopefully.
"We're only halfway done yet." Came the distracted reply of the girl who was staring at the three superheroes.
Aeopie held her bulging bag, eager to continue. Her arms trembled.
Seeing the girl struggle with her bag Raven disappeared for a few second, and returned with a large garbage bag. "Dump that in here." She instructed. "That's too heavy for you to carry."
Relieved, the small telepath obeyed.
"You know them." Jenny stated in an awe-filled tone.
"She said home. You do live with them." Katie gulped. "Sorry I didn't believe you." She added a second later.
"Why do you live there? Do you have super powers too?" Cammy asked.
"It's safe there." Aeopie replied, not liking the intensity of the attention. "Where next?" She asked, looking at Jenny who seemed to understand how she felt.
"That way." The leader pointed.
"I know she practically lives off sweets." Raven intoned. "But there's no way we can let her eat all of that." The violet-eyed girl stared at the three huge bags of loot. Together they probably weighed more than the small Talynian herself did.
"It's quite a bit." Beast Boy mused.
"What a fun custom." Starfire remarked, floating in the air.
On her bed, still dressed in her costume, the exhausted girl was softly snoring. Her smile indicated pleasant dreams; the drool meant it was probably about the loot she'd collected.
"I didn't plan to manifest Rage though." The half demon sat beside the sleeping girl and ran her hand through the soft hair that was still dyed red.
"She wouldn't have hurt any of the kids." The shape shifter replied with a shrug.
"You can't know that." Raven replied, sounding worried.
"Yes I can. You seem to think you're the only one who can manifest rage, but that's far from the truth." Beast Boy turned to Starfire. "What emotion do you use to fire starbolts?"
"Righteous fury." The orange-skinned alien was following the conversation closely.
"Rage and fury are the same thing." The shape shifter said, turning back to Raven. "She only manifested because in that particular situation what she was feeling was righteous fury. She likes Aeopie, and always guards the portal into Nevermore when she's there so as to keep her safe. I have no doubt she would've scared those kids even more, but she wouldn't have hurt them anymore than Starfire would've. Or I would've for that matter. Do you honestly believe I was thinking straight when I became a T-rex to scare three kids?"
"Hrm. I see the comparison." The violet-eyed girl admitted with a smile. "It helps."
Beast Boy leaned down to give her kiss; it lasted a long time. When the two became aware of their surroundings again Starfire was gone. He looked at the sleeping telepath. She was sound to the world. The shape shifter grinned and looked at the empath who grinned lustfully back. With a last glance at the sleeping girl, she reach out and grabbed his arm, teleporting them to her bedroom.
For the next hour her emotions found an interesting way to display themselves. From the tower roof there were sudden explosions that shot up into the air and burst into multi-colored hearts, looking for all the world like a huge fireworks display. It took the rest of the Titans a while to figure out just what was going on. Eventually they determined the cause and, red-faced, all four of them decided to take another spin in the T-car. It didn't help. In the clear night the bright lights could be seen for more than a hundred miles. Everyone in Jump City knew something was up at Titan's Tower, and immediately the media went to work on figuring out just what it was.
End of Story.
The Titans are reunited, even if Beast Boy is still maintaining some distance; he does after all have a small kid to look after. The Gordanian threat is ended. Beast Boy and Raven are definitely a couple. This, it seems, is a good way to end the story. I had other possible endings, and even wrote one, but this I think is best. Simple and to the point. And given Halloween is coming up in a few days, I thought it a nice theme to end on.
Many thanks to those who read and review.