Teen Titans Fan Fiction ❯ The Real World: Titans Tower ❯ Incoming Trouble ( Chapter 6 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
Disclaimer: The New Teen Titans were created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, and much of my work is influenced by them as well as by the other talented authors who've worked on the Titans, such as Geoff Johns and the staff of the animated series. I hope my work can even begin to compare to theirs.
“All Star Teen Titans”
“The Real World: Titans Tower”
Episode 6: Incoming Trouble!
Robin—Dick Grayson: Arrogant former circus star, acrobat extraordinaire and hopeful ladies man.
Wonder Girl—Donna Troy: Adopted sister of Wonder Woman, bestowed with the powers of the Amazons.
Cyborg—Victor Stone: Half flesh, half machine—all human.
Beast Boy—Garfield Logan: Goofy, insecure animal shapeshifter and former member of the Doom Patrol.
Raven: Cynical empath shrouded in mystery.
Starfire—Koriand'r: Honest, caring newcomer to Earth capable of flight and generating energy blasts.
And just maybe…or maybe not:
Speed—Wally West: A bitter, living embodiment of the mythical Speed Force.
This is the true story of seven teenaged superheroes, picked to live in a house, fight crime together and have their lives taped, to find out what happens when heroes stop being polite, and start being real. The Real World: Titans Tower.
***ON THE AIR—ALLEN RESIDENCE, KEYSTONE CITY, KANSAS, USA***
While the stereotype of Kansas as a monotone, desert-like state full of absolutely nothing certainly has some truth behind it, one certainly wouldn't draw that conclusion by looking at Keystone City, Kansas. The sprawling city was home to countless factories, which churned out quality, made-in-America auto parts. Unions full of hard-working gear-heads ran this town—its reputation was known across the whole country.
In fact, the only thing Keystone was more famous for was for being the home of the Flash. The scarlet speedster protected Keystone with his life, and its people loved him, adored him for it. They'd even erected a museum in his honor! However, they didn't know that he was Barry Allen, a seemingly normal, ordinary citizen.
Actually, hardly anybody knew this important piece of information—just his family and a few close friends on the Justice League. The Flash's secret identity was his most well guarded secret as, in his opinion, a public identity only brought danger to everybody the hero loved.
Unfortunately, then, Barry's identity was now known to one person who, perhaps, it wasn't very safe with: his nephew through marriage, Wally West. While visiting his aunt, she introduced him to the Flash—through pure coincidence the same accident that gave Flash his powers occurred again. However, the circumstances weren't the same, and without the guarantee of another positive outcome, the Flash took action. Unfortunately, the combination of the lightning, the chemicals and perhaps Flash's rescue sent Wally barreling head-first into the mythical Speed Force.
Wally emerged later in complete control of the force's energy—but without a body to call his own. Always stubborn and impatient to begin with, this loss drove him over the edge—he became consumed over his anger, focusing it on the Flash, whom he believed responsible for his predicament. Wally—taking on the code-name “Speed”—even went as far as to join a reality show superhero team, the Teen Titans, just to draw the Flash onto TV so as to call him out. When Wally found this endeavor not bringing him immediate results, he fled, saying that he quit the team.
Fortunately for the Flash, one thing kept Speed from revealing Barry Allen's identity on national television: Iris Allen, Wally's best friend and aunt and the love of Barry's life. She was everything in both men's eyes.
As a reporter, Iris was used to sometimes keeping odd hours. As she entered her home one afternoon, she expected to have the house to herself. From all appearances, it seemed that way—but she knew it wasn't true. She knew she had a visitor.
“Wally?” she called. “Wally? I know you're here.”
Speed: “I shouldn't have been surprised she could sense me. After all, Aunt Iris knows me better'n anybody. Nobody else ever cared enough to. My mom and dad, they had no business being parents. God, I hope I never see them again. But Aunt Iris? What can I say—she's my best friend. After that crap with the Justice League, I didn't know where else to go—but really, there was only one choice. I had to talk to Aunt Iris.”
Air shimmered around Iris Allen as Wally appeared, the golden energy of the Speed Force solidifying into a primitive body. “Hey, Aunt Iris,” he said meekly. “How's it going?”
“Not so good,” replied Iris, crossing her arms. “I heard about your little confrontation with the Justice League. What were you thinking?”
Wally's good mood instantly vanished. “God, I came here to get away from this crap, not to get lectured. Can't we just, talk, like we used to?!”
“That's what we're doing,” said Iris with a slight smile. “We're talking about your future. And the fact is, nobody really knows what's going on with you yet. I hate to say it, but…you could be stuck like this for a long time. You're not going to be able to survive that long if you stay as angry as you are. And embarrassing yourself on TV certainly isn't helping.”
Speed: “Like I care what any of you guys think of me.”
“Well don't worry,” said the speed specter, “I'm done with that stupid show. I just don't know where to go now.” They both knew he wouldn't stay with his Aunt Iris, even as much as he wanted to—not while the Flash lived there.
Wally was shocked, and stumbled backwards. “What?! Why the hell would I want to do that?”
“Watch the language, Wally,” said Iris with a frown. “And yes, I think you should go back.”
Speed: “I mean, what's to like about any of them? They certainly didn't give me a chance!”
“Because, they've all gone through rough times like you are now.” Iris rested her hand on her nephew's shoulder. “I know you've always had a hard time making friends, Wally, but now you've been given the chance to really find some people your age that actually have things in common with you. You should take the opportunity.”
Grumbling, Wally didn't have much to say but, “C'mon, you can't be serious.”
“Wally, I am,” she said, looking into his eyes. “You'd be helping yourself, but if you don't care about that, then do it for me. Please.”
Speed shifted his stance, actually giving the thought consideration.
Speed: “The last thing I wanted to do was go live with Dick or Donna again, but this is my Aunt Iris! She's…never lead me wrong before.”
“Fine,” growled the Titan, “I'll go back. But they get one chance. They keep treating me like crap, I'm out for good.”
Iris Allen wanted to tell her nephew that much of his treatment was his own fault, but she knew what he could handle and couldn't, and this certainly was filed under the `couldn't'. “That's all I'm asking, Wally.” Suddenly they both heard the door slam. “Well, sounds like your uncle's home. Want to stick around for a bit?”
Grumbling, Speed replied with a, “No thanks.” The last thing he wanted to do was see his uncle the Flash again. Fortunately, he had an excuse. “If I'm going to be doing this, I better get back before they give my spot on the team away!”
“That's the spirit, kiddo,” smiled his aunt. “I love you.”
“I love you too, Aunt Iris.” Then Wally faded away into energy, merging through the walls and speeding away in a flash of gold back towards Titans Tower.
Speed: “It feels good to be doing something for Aunt Iris. She always reminds me that there's at least one good person out there in a world full of idiots and jerks.”
***TITANS TOWER, LIVING ROOM—SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, USA***
“Man,” remarked Gar Logan, sprawled across the couch. “I can't believe we lost a cast member already. This'is got to be some sort of record, right?”
The mechanical eye in Victor Stone's eye lit up as he accessed the internet. “Probably, but just give me a second and I can look it up.”
Beast Boy: “Holy crap that's cool. Wireless internet right in your head! Wow, just think of the things you could look up without anybody even knowing!”
Suddenly Robin grabbed the machine-man's shoulders from behind, shaking him slightly. “Forget that, tin man!” Tapping one of the pouches on his utility belt, music started blaring from the tower's speakers. The teen started dancing—albeit poorly—as one of the seventies' greatest hits filled the tower. “Celebrate good times—COME ON!”
Cyborg just replied with a raised eyebrow. “When did I say you could mess with my sound system?”
Beast Boy: “Geez, Dick's sure happy that Wally's gone.”
Robin: “Why shouldn't I be throwing a party now that the druggies gone? C'mon, who could like such a killjoy? Now just have to get the other two guys out and all the girls will be mine…”
“C'mon you guys, join in!” smiled the acrobat, ignoring Cyborg's questioning as he pulled out moves that would have made John Travolta envious—in 1975. Shrugging slightly, Garfield slank to his feet and tried to pull off a few moves of his own.
Beast Boy: “Hey, at least I know I'm not any good. I think Dick thinks he's the king of disco or something!”
Cyborg: “Damn. It might not beat out Gar's video of Starry naked, but Dick's dance moves should still give me some serious kudos on YouTube!”
Sighing, Donna Troy pushed aside what little was left of her lunch and floated into the air. “You all look ridiculous, you know that right?”
With a shrug Beast Boy asked, “What's so bad about looking ridiculous if you're having fun?”
Beast Boy: “Y'know, forget `The Real World', Donna'd fit right in over on `Laguna Beach'!”
“Oh come on Donna,” smiled Dick Grayson, “You know you want to too! We can do the tango!”
Robin: “Or maybe even the horizontal tango!”
Wonder Girl just glared down at her teammate. “No. Never.”
“I do not know, Donna,” replied Starfire as she floated in between Gar and Dick, spinning into several lethal combat moves, striking only air. “This seems to be fairly effective combat training, and that is what you want us to be doing, no?”
Donna rolled her eyes as the rest of the team chuckled. “No, Starry,” said Cyborg, “It's not fighting, it's dancing.”
Cyborg: “Though I guess Dick's dance moves could be considered fighting, since if any bad guys saw `em they'd be too busy rolling `round on the ground laughing to fight us!”
“Yeah,” smiled Robin as he grabbed the alien beauty's hand and span her into his grasp. “It's fun!”
Koriand'r smiled. “Could you teach me?” Dick's eyes nearly exploded out of his eyes.
Suddenly Gar found himself being pulled aside by his mechanical buddy. “This ain't gonna end well,” whispered Vic. “I'm gonna download `em some dance lessons—”
“Don't worry about it, bro,” replied Gar, smiling as he gestured towards the happy couple. “They're having fun. Why ruin that?”
Pondering over it for a second, Victor Stone just smiled. “Guess you're right.”
Beast Boy: “Really, is something like bad dancing such a problem? It's gotta be better for them to be enjoying themselves while messing up something stupid then to be miserable trying to be perfect.”
Wonder Girl: “Dancing really isn't the point. Mind control or not, we just embarrassed ourselves big time with the Justice League debacle. I feel we should at least be trying to track down the perpetrator if not perfecting our fighting skills. And also, really, there's nothing wrong with having a little fun, but even as much as I disliked Wally, it really seems heartless to be so happy about him falling apart like that.
“Sadly, I think the only one would agree with me about all this might just be Raven…and she won't come out of her room long enough to hear about any of this!”
Oblivious to any debate on their actions were Robin and Starfire. The acrobat swung his orange-skinned partner as she ducked beneath his arm, both smiling and laughing like it was their prom.
Robin: “At least somebody here knows how to party!”
Starfire: “Dancing with Dick was most enjoyable. It has been a long time since I have had this much fun! Of course, on Tamaran movements of this nature would only be reserved for more…intimate couples? I do not know the customs of Earth very well yet…could Dick be trying to tell me something?”
Dismissing everything with a shrug, Donna Troy looked for her cell phone, hoping to find out just when Kyle would be stopping by. Cyborg, meanwhile, plopped himself down on the couch and turned on their giant-sized TV—taking up an entire wall—just by pointing at it.
Cyborg: “This just mebbe my favorite invention of all—a remote control built right into my hand! No more losing the remote or fighting for control! From now on I'm large and in charge!”
Just as Beast Boy's tiny attention span was distracted by the television, his pointy ears perked up—though nobody else could hear it over the roar of Robin's music, he detected the doorbell ringing!
“Anybody else hear that?” asked the changeling, who was answered with nothing but silence. His expression dropping into a frown he continued with, “Fine, I'll go check.” Gar shrank and stretched into a green wolf and bounded off towards the elevator that would take him to the tower's lobby on the ground floor.
Only a minute later his scream echoed throughout the tower.
The other four Titans jumped, surprised they could hear their teammate's cry through the reinforced tower walls. Something must have been horribly wrong!
“Gar!” Robin was thrown backwards as Koriand'r bursted forwards, leaving behind a flame-like trail as she flew through a window and soared towards the front door.
Cyborg: “Dammit, we just got that window fixed from the Dr. Light fight!”
Starfire: “With a scream that loud, Gar had to be in trouble! Did anybody really expect me to worry about anything else but saving him?!”
Wonder Girl: “Didn't surprise me, but I really wish Kory would've thought before she stormed out there on the warpath! We didn't even know who it was or if it was a threat!”
“I got her!” exclaimed Donna as she followed, tying her lasso and sending it looping through the air towards her Tamaranian teammate. Starfire didn't even notice as she barreled towards the figure standing next to Beast Boy by the front entrance.
Just as the alien drew within feet of her target, green energy flaring from her palms like bonfires, she was restrained, wrangled within a sparking golden rope. “What are you doing?!” growled Starfire over her shoulder.
“Stopping you from doing something stupid!” replied Wonder Girl, pointing towards the “target.” “Did you even know who you were attacking?”
Kory glanced towards the stunned Gar, and noticed standing next to him another stunned boy, slightly taller but just as thin and lanky. He must have been 20 at the most—his black hair was trimmed short, and he wore sandals, denim shorts and a t-shirt emblazoned with a picture of a beer keg. “Who are you?”
Blushing slightly, Garfield gestured towards the boy. “This is my cousin, Matt.”
With a shrug, Matt simply said, “Hey. `Sup?”
***TITANS TOWER, LIVING ROOM/KITCHEN***
Sitting at the kitchen table, Matt Logan moved like a human whirlwind as he gobbled down food, almost seeming not to even chew! Just outside the room stood the five Titans, staring in at him.
“He sure eats a lot,” marveled Starfire, her pupil-less green eyes wide as she observed the teen nearly swallow a turkey whole. “I did not think humans could consume so much so quickly!”
Starfire: “Even a Tamaranian would have trouble consuming that much, though we are known to eat with the same intensity! Matt would fit in well on our world!”
“So anyway,” interrupted Donna, trying to gain their attention for a second, “The more important question here is: if it was just your cousin, why did you scream?”
Vic grinned. “Believe me, family can be pretty damn scary sometimes.”
Cyborg: “Hell, if I saw my grandparents coming I'd run until my power sources died!”
Wonder Girl: “That's kind of sad. On Themyscara we were all one big family, and we all loved each other. Here in this world I thought families were supposed to be closer than anybody—it's a shame to throw that away. Hades, I just wish I knew mine…”
“It's not that,” dismissed Beast Boy with a smile. “Matt's awesome! I was just surprised that he showed up here! I haven't seen him in years—I didn't even know he was on the West Coast!”
Beast Boy: “I mean, last time I saw Matt I didn't even have my powers yet! My aunt an' uncle an' him saw my family off at the airport before our expedition to Africa—and then I got sick and mom and dad died an' man, with life so screwed up I didn't even know how to track him down!”
“So, like, is he staying?” Robin asked nervously as he looked at the growing pile of trash and the shrinking reserves of food. “'Cause the rest of us'll need to eat too…”
“I was hoping I could,” replied Matt himself, emerging from the wreckage. Before he could start his next sentence he belched, and this made him notice the patches of barbeque sauce left scattered across his face. He wiped them off with his shirt. “Gar'n I have a lot of catching up to do.”
Wonder Girl: “Congratulations, Dick! Turns out you don't have the worst manners in the world after all!”
Garfield Logan's eyes lit up. “That'd be totally sweet!” The young Titan started jumping around like a hyperactive squirrel. “What're you doing out here? Are your mom and dad here?”
“'Nah,” Matt said as he yawned and stretched. “Haven't seen mom or pops in over a year. They kicked me out `cuz I wouldn't get a job.” The teen grunted. “Like I could afford to waste time on some dead-end job. I want to be big. So I decided to hitchhike out West, try my luck here. I've already had a few parts in some pretty big movies, I've got a couple've screenplays going along pretty well—”
“Happening to be standing on the street when a film is shooting doesn't count as being in movies,” interrupted Cyborg.
Matt didn't even seem embarrassed. “How'd you figure that out?”
“Googled ya',” smiled Vic. “And just how far along are you with those screenplays?”
Smiling, Matt tapped the side of his head as he replied, “I've got some pretty good ideas for `em brewing around up here.”
Cyborg: “Figures as much. I can say the same, but it doesn't mean I'm a writer!”
Beast Boy: “See, he's on the right track! That sounds like such a cool year, hitchhiking across America, striking out on his own! Sounds a lot better than how I've spent my last year since the Doom Patrol was killed…”
Oblivious to any criticism being thrown his way, Matt surveyed the room, almost looking bored. “So what you guys got to do around here?” Before anybody could even begin to formulate a response, he answered his own question. “Holy s---!” The teen dashed forward and leapt over the back of the couch, lying across the sofa with his stomach on the seat and his legs dangling over the back.
“This is the most kickass TV I've ever seen!” he exclaimed as he grabbed the back-up remote and quickly found suitable entertainment. “Check it out guys! Women's beach volleyball!”
“A man after my own heart,” smiled Dick Grayson. “Your cousin's pretty cool,” said the acrobat to Beast Boy as he dashed past the changeling to take his place on the couch. As he watched the bikini clad athletes bounce about, Gar was a tad too distracted to have a reply.
From her vantage point near the kitchen, Donna just scowled. “Shameful.”
“What is the matter with it?” inquired Kory.
Her voice filled with disgust, Wonder Girl explained, “They don't care about volleyball! They're just watching it for the girls!”
“Then those airing the show are rather smart,” mused Starfire, “As they know how to attract every possible viewer to their program.” Donna just replied with a sigh. “Am I wrong?”
Wonder Girl: “No, she's not, but that's half the problem! It's horrible that it works that way!”
“Forget it Kory,” dismissed the Amazon. “You wouldn't understand.”
The alien only looked on sadly. “No, I suppose I would not.”
“Aw man!” Both girls turned to see Cyborg yelling into the refrigerator, which was filled with about twenty empty boxes and cartons—but not food! “Matt got everything!”
Wonder Girl: “Metabolisms like that are wasted on men…I'm so jealous.”
“How dare he?!” questioned Donna, her anger blazing. “We can't let him stay here if he's going to be like that!”
“Why not?” asked her Tamaranian teammate. “MTV provides us with as much food as we need. It is only a minor inconvenience, no?”
“It's just the principal of it all!” replied Wonder Girl.
Starfire: “Yes, it is always just principal with you.”
“Nah, we can't kick `im out,” said Vic. “Matt's pretty much the only family Gar's got. We owe it to `em to let him stay for a bit.”
Cyborg: “I mean, it'd break the little guy's heart if Matt couldn't stay for a while. I don't want to do that to my friend, `specially since it looks like he's had his heart broken a lot in his life already.”
“Fine,” acquiesced Donna Troy. “If I could put up with Dick and Wally both, I can put up with Matt for a bit.”
Wonder Girl: “But I have a feeling I'm going to be spending a lot of time in my room for the foreseeable future.”
“Now this is the life,” smiled Gar over on the couch, the smile so large it was taking up much of his face.
“You said it, cuz',” replied Matt, his eyes never leaving the screen. As one of the girls leapt and spiked the ball onto her opponents' side, the camera zoomed down low for a panty shot. “Man, that director knows what he's doing! God, the camera angles!”
“It's official,” declared Robin. “Nothing could ruin this day for me.”
***OFF THE AIR—APPROACHING TITANS ISLAND***
Though Wally West could move practically at the speed of light no matter what his form, he preferred to keep his “body” solid as he ran back towards Titans Tower. While running, with his arms pumping and his feet beating across the ground, he at least could pretend he was human.
The speedster had barely even entered California before he was already within sight of the island, and within an instant he was at the entrance. Reverting to pure energy, Speed slid through the closed front doors effortlessly and skidded to a stop within the tower lobby. Hardening back into his body-like shell, he took a look around the spacious room.
This was his last chance to turn back before he rejoined for good. A huge part of him wanted to. He was so angry at the Teen Titans that he never wanted to see them again. Yet, deep down inside even he knew it was jealously that made him feel this way—maybe if he treated them with some respect, they'd repay him in turn. For his Aunt Iris, he had to take the chance.
Maybe it would work out fine. Maybe he'd even like it. Heck, maybe he could be a hero. For a brief moment, Wally started to smile. Maybe life wasn't as bad as he always made it out to be.
“You are sadly mistaken.” The ominous voice brought Speed to attention—instantly a bird shaped blob of darkness exploded before him, ensnaring the teen's feet within black as the same darkness filled the room like a fog. Emerging from the chaos was Raven, almost completely obscured besides her glowing white eyes.
“You may think you could change, but you again are sadly mistaken,” continued the empath mercilessly. “For even while you are thinking clearly now, your anger would too quickly again obscure your mind. You are unstable and cannot be trusted, Speed.”
Wally was spinning his arms at mach two, trying to drive off the darkness enveloping his body, but it was all for naught. “How can you say that?!” growled Speed. “Why the hell are you doing this? Have you gone insane again?!”
“No. I am thinking quite clearly,” replied Raven as the room was completely filled with black, which was nearly swallowing Wally West alive. “I have been given the assignment of bringing you back to the program and ensuring that you remain with us. I cannot depend on your unstable free will for this.”
“What're you talking about?!” screamed Wally. “A job? For who?! I don't understand what's going on!” With the darkness up to his neck, the speedster was getting desperate. “Please, stop!” he pleaded.
“I cannot, and it is a waste of my time to answer your questions, as I will ensure you do not remember this encounter anyway.” Gritting his `teeth' in anger, Speed looked straight up, trying to keep his mouth free. “As I was saying, I must take matters into my own hands. Now, I could just manipulate you into wanting to stay, but that is no fun.”
Suddenly, the empath smiled. “As I am sure you know, I do not like you, Speed. You are so consumed in self-pity and anger that you cannot even begin to fathom the pain others have gone through. So I will make you stay by inflicting the cruelest punishment possible: I shall make you fall in love.”
Wally's screams were swallowed up as he was immersed by complete and total darkness. Then, in an instant it all disappeared as quickly as it had appeared, and the Titan's unconscious form fell to the ground. Floating above him, Raven only smiled, relishing the hatred and arrogance she was so rarely allowed to display.
“You shall stay because I have made you fall in love with me.”
***ON THE AIR—TITANS TOWER, LIVING ROOM***
Having joined the other men on the couch, Cyborg sighed heavily as the beach volleyball game continued. “C'mon, this isn't fair!”
“I'll say,” growled Robin. “All the panty shots are of the same couple've girls! They've barely shown the Asian chick at all!”
“Eh, that's probably because she's got her own website,” mentioned Matt, never ungluing his eyes from the screen as he spoke to the others. “Want the link later?”
“No, it's not that!” interrupted Vic Stone—purposely, as he wished this conversation to go on no longer. “It's just the game is so one sided! That one team's got all the points! It's not any fun to watch!”
This statement stunned the three boys, actually causing Matt Logan to look away for a second and scratch his head. “You care about the game?”
Victor was confused by Matt's confusion. “Um…yeah?”
“That's not why you watch beach volleyball, bro.” The slacker looked deathly serious, as if the world revolved around watching girls bounce around on television. “You do like girls, don't you?”
“Of course,” grunted Cyborg sincerely, “But it doesn't mean I have to be a horndog like you guys. I like `em, but after a while it gets old if everything else is boring.”
Cyborg: “'Sides, while I like girls, they don't like me much anymore. Girls and cyborgs don't exactly gel, `specially the kind that can't do anything with `em anymore. Sometimes I think it'd be better for my sanity just to forget about `em altogether.”
Meanwhile, Starfire still stood by the dining room, watching the four teens much more closely than the game.
Starfire: “Their actions are…confusing. They watch this game as if they were hypnotized, yet they care nothing of the actual competition? I understand that Donna said they simply watched so that they could observe the females, but are they truly that obsessed with appearances?”
While the alien was lost in her thoughts, Donna Troy emerged from the elevator, tucking her cell-phone away in her belt. She became slightly irate as she noticed the boys still immersed in their fan-service, but quickly calmed down as she next observed her teammate.
“You don't have anything better to do then watch them?” asked the Amazon.
“Truthfully, no,” replied the Tamaranian, “Though I suppose that even if I did I would still be here.” Never one to hide her thoughts or be shy, she asked, “Donna, are they truly that concerned with appearances?”
Wonder Girl frowned. “You have no idea. Most guys their age don't really care about anything but how hot a girl is.”
“Hot?” asked Koriand'r. “So they are concerned with their temperature as well? Does temperature perhaps affect their ability to mate properly?”
Wonder Girl: “You know, I don't know about humans, but I hear that is something to worry about with some animals…but really that's just trailing off the subject. There are some pretty nasty things Kory's going to have to learn about living on Earth, so I might as well get one over with now.”
“No,” sighed Donna, “It just means really, really attractive. And no matter how great a girl's personality is, most guys don't seem to even care, as long as they're hot.”
Wonder Girl: “Which is why I tend to like slightly older guys…though Kyle being a bit mature for his age also helps.”
Starfire: “Donna…cannot be correct! Dick has been giving me so many signals! It is obvious he enjoys the…'hot girls'…but there must be more to us!”
“Are you sure?” questioned Kory. “On Tamaran physical attraction, while present, was often the least important thing in a relationship. What is important there is love and passion and how someone makes us feel!”
Wonder Girl: “Sometimes I just want to take Kory aside and yell at her, `This isn't Tamaran!!'…but then I remember how naïve, truthful, and innocent she is and I just can't.”
“Believe me,” said the Wonder Girl sadly, “I'm sure. Don't let yourself get hurt.”
Her alien friend was confused, but before she could fire off any more questions she was interrupted by a yellow streak zooming into the room, demanding the attention of even those transfixed by the volley ball.
“Hey guys!” exclaimed Speed with a half grin. “Miss me?”
“Wally!” Suddenly Starfire was on the speed specter's back, hugging him so hard she started to crack his Speed Force shell. “It is so good to see you back!” If Wally was still capable of blushing, he would have.
Speed: “I…had no idea she cared!”
Starfire: “Sure, Wally occasionally annoyed me while he was here, but how can I not be overjoyed to see him return and give us a second chance?! I shall be sure to do this for him as well!”
Seeing something shimmering out of the corner of his eye as he strained from the alien hug, Speed noticed the disco ball hanging. “What's with the disco ball?”
Instantly Wonder Girl slapped her hand over the brutally honest Starfire's mouth, and Cyborg followed suit with Robin, for reasons that needn't be explained. Instead, Beast Boy stood. “Oh, Dick went all John Travolta on us a little while back, you're better off having missed it anyway man.”
Beast Boy: “Hey, and I didn't even have to lie!”
Raising an eyebrow, Matt Logan had only one thing to ask: “Who the hell's this guy?”
“I could ask the same of you,” growled Wally, noticing the teen for the first time. “Did you guys replace me already?!”
Speed: “Dammit, wouldn't that totally be my luck?”
“Nah,” smiled Gar, “It's just my cousin, Matt. He's visiting us for a little while.”
“Sup?” shrugged Matt.
Breaking free from his mechanical friend's grip, Dick Grayson preceded to answer the other half of that question. “And the yellow guy, meanwhile, is Wally West, the fastest attitude alive. He's also popularly known as Speed, the druggie, or Emo-Boy.”
Robin: “Okay, I just made the last one up, but from now on I'm going to try to make it popular.”
Already Wally had lost it. “Listen up you bast—”
“Calm yourself, Speed,” commanded an unearthly voice. Everybody stopped in their tracks, as if mesmerized by the Titan known as Raven as she emerged from the shadows. “You returned today with a better attitude: do not ruin it already.”
Again, Wally West wished he could blush. “O-Okay, Raven, I'll be more careful.”
Speed: “Jeez, what's wrong with me? Raven's always been a class-A jerk to me. Why did it make me feel so good when she complimented me? For that matter, why can't I remember all the times she's pissed me off? I know they've happened, but it's almost like they don't matter. God this has been such a strange day!”
“So okay, the weird yellow guy's back and everybody's happy or something,” said Matt, thinking aloud. “That's all well and good and junk, but there's girls playing volleyball on!”
Looking back to the TV, he was crestfallen to see that the game had ended! “Ah no, wrestling?!”
“What's the matter with wrestling?” asked Cyborg.
“Dude, it's fixed,” replied Gar Logan.
Cyborg: “Jeez, not this crap again…”
Growling slightly, Vic Stone tried to explain. “It's not fixed, it's scripted. They still have to be good enough athletes to pull all that stuff off!”
“Man, that's not why I don't like it though,” finally answered Matt. “I mean, it's just a bunch of guys jumpin' around in their underwear.”
Robin: “Matt totally stole that from Batman.”
“So…um, I'm bored. What else you guys got to do?” asked Matt.
“Train?” answered Dick.
“Meditate,” replied Raven.
“Dance!” exclaimed Starfire, to several groans.
With a shrug Gar answered, “Mess with Vic's stuff?” Cyborg shot an evil glare towards the changeling.
Matt sighed. “You guys're boring.” Suddenly his eyes lit up. “I've got it! We're goin' clubbing!”
Wonder Girl: “Great Hera, this is getting ridiculous!”
“You comin' big guy?” asked the slacker, and the robotic “big guy” in question just shook his head.
“No thanks, man.”
Cyborg: “Those places are only good for picking up girls, and like I said earlier, girls an' me just don't mesh that well anymore…”
Replying by shaking his head as well, Matt just said, “Suit yourself, bro. Gar, you're in, right?”
Garfield Logan wasn't so sure. “I dunno cuz…isn't it illegal? I mean we're all underage.”
“Pushaw,” dismissed Matt as he grabbed his cousin by his tiny shoulder. “This is `Real World' tradition!”
Beast Boy: “He's got a point there. Besides, if Matt's there then it'll be fine—and it'll be fun!”
“Well,” stammered the green boy, “Okay I guess. Sounds good!”
“That's my cousin!” exclaimed Matt, heartily slapping the tiny Titan across his back, sending him stumbling forward.
Rushing to join up with the two teens, Dick Grayson seemed perhaps even more enthused than Matt! “And you can count me in, too!”
Robin: “Good thing I keep one of the pockets on my utility belt full of single dollar bills at all times, just in case!”
She didn't quite know what was going on, but as ideas sprung into her head Koriand'r squealed out of pure delight.
Starfire: “This practice of `clubbing' seems rather…strange…but I think it will be the perfect opportunity to find out exactly what Dick thinks of me!”
With another burst of super-enthusiastic speed the enthused alien soared to the boys' side. “Ooooooooh, I wish to come too please!”
Matt only gave her a blank stare. “Girls can't go clubbing with us!” As the Tamaranian's elation slowly dropped to confusion, sadness, and then anger, the teen just turned his gaze to Raven. “Speaking of which, are you a boy or a girl?'
“Girl,” replied the empath curtly, obviously annoyed. Wonder Girl, who was already standing with her back to the proceedings and her arms crossed, looked over her shoulder towards Raven as she rattled off her advice.
“Maybe if you pulled down your hood sometimes this wouldn't keep happening to you.”
Raven's reply was just a fierce glare that, honestly, spoke more than words could.
Raven: “No. Never.”
Speed: “I like that advice! I'd actually love to see Raven without her hood—yet at the same time, the mysterious aura around her is pretty damn sexy!
“…What's wrong with me?!”
“So yeah, yellow guy, you coming?” Speed looked rather taken aback to even be invited, but his surprise quickly turned to anger as he contemplated the idea.
“No freaking way,” growled the speed specter. “The only reason anybody goes to those places is to pick up girls, and look at me—I don't even have a body! How could girls like me? What's the point?!”
Robin: “Now there's the Wally we all know and love.”
Speed: “Yet…it seems like Raven wouldn't think that way. We've never seen any of her body…I'm starting to wonder what exactly she is under there…and I'm not leaving this tower until I find out!”
As he watched the exchange, Cyborg grew sullen. Wally's attitude was far too familiar for the metal-man's tastes. Suddenly he had joined the group. “You know what? I've changed my mind. Count me in!”
Cyborg: “Wally's reasons for not going were the same exact reasons I had, even if I didn't say them out loud. Y'know, he's always reminded me of myself right after my accident—so it's kinda scary to see that I can still be that bitter sometimes. Even if my thinking was right, I still have to go, just `cause I can't be that person anymore.
“And hopefully now that he's come back, I can help Wally the same way everyone else helped me back then.”
“Sweet!” exclaimed Gar. The foursome moved towards the elevator, waving goodbye to those who wouldn't—or couldn't—come.
“Peace out, homie g's,” smiled Matt towards the other four.
As the doors closed, Robin looked towards the slacker. “Where're we going anyway?”
“Oh,” replied Matthew happily, “I've got some pretty good ideas.”
Wonder Girl: “What, you expected me to try to stop them? Believe me, I wanted to, but this time I'm just going to let them go. More likely than not, their own stupidity will punish them more than I ever could.”
Frowning, Raven said, “Well, that was a colossal waste of time,” as she vanished, remaining as anti-social as ever.
“Well, I guess I should go see that geek Jupiter and make sure we're still cool for me to be here,” mumbled Wally as he dissolved into energy, phasing through the floor beneath him.
Speed: “Then, it's onto Raven.”
Donna Troy too moved to get on with her life, but she was stopped in her tracks as she noticed Starfire in near tears.
“Kory?” Quickly realizing exactly what was going on, the Amazon just sighed. She had told her not to let herself get hurt. “Look Kory, you can't let them get to you like that. They're idiots—they probably don't even realize how sexist they really are.”
Sniffling, the alien girl just tried to comprehend what was going on. “But—but why wouldn't Dick want me there? I—I thought we had something special.”
Wonder Girl was baffled at her teammate's bizarre logic. “You've known him less than a week, that's far too soon for anything seriou—”
“You are wrong!” exclaimed Koriand'r, smashing her fist against a wall. “Thinking too much only complicates it! I felt something as soon as I met him!”
Wonder Girl: “I will never understand her line of thinking…but then again I suppose she feels the same way about us, and really, I guess I felt the same way when I came here from Themyscara. She's so sweet that I don't want to hurt her...but if she's going to learn anything here on Earth, it might as well be this.”
“Calm down, Kory,” suggested Donna, resting her hand on the other girl's shoulder. “I've got an idea.”
Wonder Girl: “And not only will it hopefully help Kory see the light, but it should be a lot more fun then just letting the boys be punished by their own stupidity…”
***ABOVE SAN FRANCISCO***
“I still do not think it is right to spy on them like this.”
Starfire and Wonder Girl soared high above the city as the sun set behind them, the flaming trail Kory left in her wake blending in perfectly with the evening sky. Unfortunately for her, the alien girl's mood wasn't as pleasant.
“It is dishonest,” she continued, “And that just makes it wrong!”
“Dick's not being honest with you either,” countered Donna, only paying half attention as she stared into a small device in her hand.
Wonder Girl: “It doesn't blend into Earth culture very well, but Kory's philosophies do have some very good points to them…it just gets old quick hearing about them constantly. Why is she away from her beloved Tamaran anyway?”
The doohickey Donna Troy held started beeping wildly. “The Titans Communicator has tracked them to right below us.” Landing atop a ritzy night-club, the two girls found themselves next to a massive skylight that provided an excellent vantage point into the club's interior.
Wonder Girl: “How convenient!”
However, Koriand'r was rather hesitant to look inside.
Starfire: “Oh, this is all my fault. I did not stop to think and instead assumed things were the same here as on Tamaran. There asking Dick about his feelings would not have been necessary, but here…Do not get me wrong, I am loving my stay here on Earth, but it is making me doubt myself, leading me to things like this that I do not like doing. My gut never let me down on Tamaran.”
Again the alien felt the Amazon's hand on her shoulder. “You know, you'll feel better if you just look in and see what he's up to.” Donna then laughed to herself. “I mean, an attention hog like Dick shouldn't be hard to find.”
With a heavy sigh Starfire finally gazed inside, and sure enough Robin stood out like a sore thumb—he was dancing, bouncing back and forth between four or five different partners, all scantily clad and probably inebriated. He pulled one random girl from the crowd and planted a passionate kiss firmly on her lips.
Koriand'r was ready to kill. “Dick!”
Translucent emerald energy exploded all around the alien, so powerful that it would've sent her Amazon friend flying off the roof had she not been, well, an Amazon.
Wonder Girl: “Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all…”
The Tamaranian's eyebrows arched, her anger peaked.
”Dick, we are going to figure out just what is going on here, right now!”
Next time: They Came Through the Skylights