Teen Titans Fan Fiction ❯ The Real World: Titans Tower ❯ Relative Chaos! ( Chapter 9 )
[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
DISCLAIMER: The New Teen Titans were created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. I owe my inspiration to them as well as the myriads of other talented writers who've worked with the Titans—in comics, animation or otherwise—over the years. Thank you. Also, all the Titans and related characters are owned by DC Comics, and I use them without their permission. I just have mine ^_^
“All Star Teen Titans”
“The Real World: Titans Tower”
Chapter 9: Relative Chaos!
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.
Speed—Wally West: A bitter, living embodiment of the mythical Speed Force.
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—Princess Koriand'r: Honest, caring newcomer to Earth capable of flight and generating energy blasts.
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—KOMAND'R'S GUEST ROOM, TITANS TOWER, SAN FRANSCISCO, CALIFORNIA, USA***
Princess Komand'r of Tamaran lay overtop a tiny Earthling. Though they had just shared a most intimate activity, her thoughts were about as far removed from the boy as possible. Her glance was cast towards her younger sister, the Teen Titan Starfire, Komand'r's hated enemy. She wanted to see the pain in the girl's eyes as she watched her sleep with her boyfriend, as she took away the love she had found here on this new world. It was what Komand'r lived for.
However, the Tamaranian wasn't quite going to get the reaction she hoped for—for the boy in actuality was not Starfire's boyfriend! Matt Logan was euphoric, wrapped up in the emotions of the moment, in the amazement that a girl like this had gone for him! So fixated was he that he totally forgot his lie was just that—a lie, a prank, just some fun. Then again, the slacker had no reason to suspect that that was why Komand'r had suddenly come onto him!
Her eyes shot down at Matt again for only a brief second before she said, “I'm sorry, little sister, it's just—”
“Oh, there is no reason to apologize!” exclaimed Koriand'r, her eyes open wide and her mouth spread open in a full, joyous smile. “It is wonderful that you have found love with Matt! I am so happy for you!”
Starfire: “I do wish that I would have had the same luck with Dick…but that does not take away from my joy for my sister!”
Komand'r raised one slender eyebrow in utter confusion, but with seven teenaged superheroes watching them, didn't have much time to try to understand why her sister wasn't devastated. Robin brazenly wandered forward, extending his open palm. “Dude, Matt, seriously. High five!”
“Do you mind?!” The Tamaranian topper both blushed and fumed—both turning her face steaming red—as she retreated further beneath the sheets.
Wonder Girl: “It's Dick. Of course he doesn't!”
Robin: “S---! Lost a perfectly good chance to glimpse some boobies! Damn, these are the kinda regrets you live with till your dying day!”
Garfield Logan, green shapeshifting cousin of the “layee”, was still a bit too shocked to say much of anything. He just stood, slightly limp, his jaw agape. Cyborg, standing with his arms crossed to the boy's side, looked over at him, both angry and yet pitying him.
Beast Boy: “Man, it took me a bit to really get what just happened, but once I did, well, wow! I always knew Matt was a pimp!”
Cyborg: “I always knew Matt was a bad influence. This seals it. As soon as the JLA heads outta here, I gotta do something about this!”
“Well, this was far less drastic than my empathy led me to believe,” Raven said dryly as she turned for the door. “If anybody else wishes to have sex in the tower, they would be wise to let me know first, lest this happen again.”
Raven: “After all, it is not as if I cannot keep a secret.”
As the dark empath floated briskly down the hallway, Wonder Girl grabbed Dick and pulled him towards the door, waving the others out behind her. “C'mon guys, let them be. We've got more important things to tend to!”
Wonder Girl: “I will never understand how in Zeus's name those two ended up together, but even a couple like that deserves their privacy. Besides, the last thing I needed was Kyle and J'onn showing up while we were all still in there and tracking us down…the sooner I got everybody out of there, the better!”
As she ushered out the last of her teammates and let the door close behind her, Donna Troy noticed Robin lingering around behind her. “What is it, Dick?” she asked glumly, having by now realized it was best just to get whatever he wanted out of the way as fast as possible.
“Well,” began Dick hesitantly, “Look, I know I really hurt Kory, so you don't have to tell me I screwed up. I…I just want to know how to make it up to her. I don't like her being pissed at me and I don't like her always being sad.”
Robin: “She's just too cute to be sad!”
Wonder Girl: “I don't want to help him, I really don't. As thickheaded as he is, he doesn't deserve it. But, I'm going to anyway—for Kory. He doesn't deserve the help, but she does deserve the peace.”
“Just apologize, Dick,” Donna said, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. “Tell her you're an idiot and that you're sorry for acting like such a jerk to her.”
“Yeah,” replied Dick Grayson, “Guess that'll work.”
Robin: “Or not—last time I take advice from a girl. Jeez, I thought they knew all about this s---! It's not that I wasn't a jerk—I was—and even someone as awesome as me can be an idiot every once'n a while, believe it or not. But Kory deserves more than just an apology.
“After all, she really is sweet. Hell, she even likes Wally! Plus she's hot—and, well, s---, what more is there to like? When she first asked me how I felt, she took me off guard, but now that I've been able to think about it…well, I think I finally know!”
Meanwhile, Raven floated down the hallway, her body slouched forward as if she was staring at the floor, trying to keep everyone and everything away. If this was her intent, it wasn't working—a being made totally of energy was zooming towards her, calling out for her to stop. “Raven! Raven!” Wally West skidded to a stop besides the cloaked Titan. “Raven, why are you running off so fast?”
Raven: “I knew I should have just teleported.”
“What do you want, Speed?”
Now that he was face to face with his forbidden love, Wally started to lose his nerve. “I just wanted to know, I mean, is sex really that overwhelming to you? You seemed to think something dangerous was going on!”
Speed: “And definitely not in the way that it actually is dangerous.”
The empath sighed heavily. “Sex is a function with a plethora of extreme emotional repercussions, Speed. To an empath, picking up on all those without the context, yes, it is nearly crippling.”
Raven: “Speed's romantic feelings towards me, and the constant fishing for questions it entails, are growing rather annoying. Perhaps I need to try a different method for handling his queries.”
“Wow,” marveled the speed specter. “I bet it'd be pretty hard for you to have sex at all, then, wouldn't it?”
“Speed,” growled Raven, her voice nearly inhuman, “That is a very personal question.”
Speed: “Well duh. Everything's a secret with her! That's why I keep asking questions, but I guess she hasn't taken that hint yet!”
“I'm sorry, Raven,” Wally stuttered, his voice equal parts anger and sadness. “It's just that I l—”
Darkness leaping from her cloak, the girl curtly replied, “I know: You love me.” Black exploded into a birdlike silhouette before disappearing entirely, leaving Wally West with just one more word: “Stop.”
Speed: “Jeez, I really am the biggest loser here, aren't I? I mean, a machine like Cyborg can score a hottie like Sarah Simms, and Matt hooked up with Komand'r of all people, but the girl of my dreams will barely talk to me!
“I really do hate my life.”
However, Matt Logan wasn't doing nearly as well as Wally thought. His partner was still disappointed, crestfallen even, at her little sister's reaction. Komand'r had let this wretched boy inside her just to devastate Starfire, yet she didn't even bat an eye. Worse, she said she was happy for her!
“Komand'r, m'love,” Matt said, doing a terrible impression of a British accent as he grabbed the alien's shoulders, “I'm ready for more!”
The Tamaranian's stomach started to hurt—something was up, and she had to figure out what before she made any more mistakes! “Matt, dearest,” she began, pausing only for a second to collect her thoughts. She knew Matt wouldn't take no for an answer—but to an idiot, a thinly veiled `no' easily looks like a `yes'. “This room is boring. Why don't we find someplace more…exciting to have our fun?”
***A LITTLE LATER—STARFIRE'S ROOM***
The beautiful alien floated across the floor of her brightly colored room, sweeping across the walls and furniture with a feather duster—she only stirred up clouds of dust, though Starfire seemed oblivious to this.
Starfire: “This certainly seems an odd way to clean, but it is how I have seen it done on television, so no doubt it is the correct way, no?”
Princess Koriand'r's room was painted a muted shade of pink—a circular bed was the centerpiece, and a couch and two small bookshelves lined the walls. A few books and photographs filled the shelf space, but none of them belonged to the orange-skinned beauty—everything she had was left behind when the Gordanians kidnapped her.
Starfire: “It has been difficult, restarting my life on this new world. Everything I ever had I lost that night I was ripped away from home—then again, however, I long ago learned that happiness does not come from objects. Somehow, whatever I had I seemed to lose anyway. My playthings often disappeared or broke when I was not around, and even my pet Tauranik, Yeppi, did not have a long life.
“So I had to learn to be content with what I had. I learned to find the best in people, and discovered that their happiness brought me happiness as well. And that, I believe, is the secret to finding contentment no matter where one is!”
As Kory lifted a picture frame to dust underneath, she heard several quick raps at the door. “Come in!” she called happily, not even caring who it was—at least until the door slid open and she saw Robin standing on the other side. “Oh, it is you.” Starfire barely gave him a glance before turning her attention back to her dusting. “Why do you wish to see me?”
Robin: “Ouch. I've never seen Kory be such an ice queen! Good thing I'm an expert at warming girls up…”
“Look Kory,” he began, not wasting a second, “I'm sorry. I dunno how things got so screwed up, but I'm sorry it happened. I never had any intentions to lead you along or hurt you, and I'd really like to make it up to ya'.”
Koriand'r looked over her shoulder at Dick, as if mulling over it for a second, before giving him a small “humph” and returning to her cleaning.
“C'mon, you know you wanna!” Sighing, Robin played his trump card—he ducked into the hallway for a split second and returned with a large brown basket with the edges of a white and red checkered cloth sticking out the sides. “I even made us a picnic lunch! We can go out to the beach, eat a little, watch the tide come in…”
Robin: “Okay, I didn't make the lunch, but Kory hasn't been on Earth long enough to tell the difference anyway—and everybody loves some KFC…almost as much as all the girls love picnics on the beach! That cutie down in Florida sure fell for it…
“Not that I'm trying to trick Kory! But I'm just sayin', it never fails!”
Finally looking up as his tangent came to an end, Dick noticed Starfire had finally put down the feather duster. She was standing still, lost in thought, trying to figure out what to do.
Starfire: “Thinking about it, my mind is giving me numerous reasons not to go with Dick. I keep hearing Donna's voice in my head, telling me not to let myself get hurt. However, my gut tells me to give him a chance. After all, he did come here to apologize. I want to believe him—so I am going to. My instinct will be correct.”
Slowly Princess Koriand'r turned back towards the anxious Dick Grayson, and as he saw the smile spread across her face, he couldn't help but smile in turn. “That sounds wonderful, Dick.”
Robin: “God she's beautiful when she smiles.”
As soon as the two stepped into the hallway they were greeted by a lanky green boy falling from the ceiling. “Is that a picnic basket? Can I come?!”
“Don't scare people like that, Gar!” Dick yelled—he then blushed and tried to play off his nervous reaction. “What are you doing here?”
“I was hiding from Donna and her cleaning,” Beast Boy said. “Even Wonder Girl would have a pretty hard time finding a green spider in a Tower this big—Vic or Raven could I guess, but Vic at least doesn't have the heart!”
Beast Boy: “That Vic—he never stops caring. Heck, sometimes he cares too much!”
“Well,” Kory began, “I suppose it would not hurt if you ca—”
Not giving her a chance to finish, Dick grabbed the younger Titan by his shoulder and led him off. “Be back in a sec, Kory,” he called over his shoulder before leaning down to talk to Gar face to face. “C'mon man, I just want this to be Kory and me, if you catch my drift…”
Gar's expression drooped. “Yeah, I get it…I'm just lonely…”
Robin: “Jeez, talk about being the ultimate little brother. Dammit Dick, don't fall into his guilt trip!”
Beast Boy: “I mean, Matt's off doing the nasty with Komand'r, Vic's been on the phone with Sarah for the last hour, and now Dick's running off too! I guess I can really see what everybody thinks of me…”
“I'm sure,” Dick said with a sigh. “Look man, I really need to take care of this right now, just me `n her. I promise, we'll hang out sometime soon. We cool?”
Garfield Logan looked doubtful, but regardless of his feelings replied with, “Yeah, we're cool.”
Beast Boy: “We'll see—people just don't seem to be able to keep their promises to me, for whatever reason. I got used to crap like this a long time ago…”
“So,” asked Starfire—slipping her slender orange arm around Robin's as they resumed their walk towards the exit, “How are we going to get to the beach?”
“Actually, I was kinda counting on you flying us there!”
Victor Stone, the machine man known as Cyborg, sat on the Teen Titans' long couch, leaning back with his arms sprawled out to the side, his head cocked backwards, resting against the top of the sofa as his mind pondered the day's events.
Cyborg: “It'd been nice to turn on the TV and distract myself from Matt, I suppose, but Donna was already bringing the JLA up, and I'm sure she'd of killed me if they walked in and everything wasn't perfect!”
Despite Wonder Girl's summoning of the entire team, so far only Vic had arrived in the living room. Suddenly a yellow blur added itself to the equation, and the phantom made of energy from the mythical source of all motion, Speed, skidded to a stop besides the metal-man.
“Why does she want us all lined up like this?” asked Wally as he grinded the solidified energy that represented his `teeth'. “Are we going to do some stupid song and dance number for them, like the `Sound of Music' or something?”
“Can you stop complaining, for once?” grunted Cyborg, not bothering to even look towards his bitter teammate. “I've got enough t'worry `bout.”
Cyborg: “Out of character for me? Yeah—give me a break! I'm not allowed to be cranky sometimes?!”
Crossing his arms and cocking his head, Wally looked down at Vic for a second before laughing. “You're still all worked up about Matt, aren't you?”
Speed: “Honestly, you'd think he'd be tired of wasting his energy worrying about idiots. I know I am.”
“Of course I am,” sighed Victor as he slumped forward and finally faced Wally. “I mean, I guess, eh—just, tell me, what do you think about him an' Komand'r?”
Wally shrugged. “It's kinda icky, and I definitely don't want to think about them, but I'm not surprised.”
Speed: “Girls always go for the vapid, moronic guys, after all. Usually they're more muscle-bound, but still, girls' lack of judgment in guys never surprises me. Sickens, depresses, yeah, but I'm never surprised.”
“Then I guess you just don't understand,” said Vic with yet another deep sigh. “Gar practically worships his cousin. I'm not going to let him follow his example and screw his life up!”
Speed: “He really wants to help, doesn't he? Stupid—people don't want help.”
“Okay!” Before the conversation could continue, Wonder Girl entered the room, walking backwards as she showed off the living room to her two guests. “Here's our living room, and my team!”
“Pretty nice digs,” smiled Kyle Rayner, the young artist and intergalactic peace keeper—and boyfriend of Donna—known as the Green Lantern. “Like the TV!”
Following Kyle was a larger, more imposing figure. His skin was green and his Neanderthal like forehead sloped over his orange eyes. He wore a long turquoise cloak and gloves, boots and briefs of the same hue. Red straps crossed his chest, creating an X-shaped pattern.
Wonder Girl: “That's J'onn J'onnz, the Martian Manhunter! When an alien invasion threatened the entire Earth, it was J'onn who first telepathically summoned the founding members of the Justice League! Now, he's just kind of like the League's spine—it's hard to imagine it even being able to exist without him!”
Cyborg: “Wow! Now Martian Manhunter, that's a superhero! I've read all up on his files! Guy's got almost as much strength as Superman, plus the flight, but he can also shapeshift or become goo-like to survive being ripped apart, he can change his density to become as hard as rock or light enough to move through solid objects, plus he's probably the most powerful telepath on Earth!
“I'm glad he's on our side.”
“The tower is very impressive,” J'onn said as he looked around.
Donna beamed. “Thanks!”
Speed: “What's with her? She's acting like she actually had something to do with building or designing the place!”
“Sorry I am late.” Appearing—as she usually did—out of nowhere, Raven was now standing behind the members of the Justice League. Nodding first towards Kyle, then to J'onn, she said, “Lantern, Martian Manhunter, it is good to see you.”
Raven: “I sense within the Martian Manhunter a deep, lingering sadness, a tremendous sense of loss. Considering he is the last of his species, I suppose this is no surprise. He is an outsider to this world, and I can tell he has some mistrust and disgust for humans. Yet, at the same time, he has been able to maintain a firm wall of hope that they can make this world a better place.
“I wish I could have faith like that.”
“Likewise, Raven,” returned the Manhunter. Though he maintained his stoic stance, Kyle took a step backwards, unsure what to think of the empath.
Raven: “They do not trust me—and I do not need to be an empath to tell that. For once, I cannot blame them.”
“How is Zatanna?” she asked, trying to allay their concerns by showing concern herself.
“She's fine,” grunted the Green Lantern, “No thanks to you.”
Speed: “Oh yeah, I forgot about her messing up the magician like that. I wonder what she did to jack her up that badly? Guess that's another question to add to my list.”
“However,” added J'onn, “Her mind contained no traces of the manipulation. It is as if it never even happened.” Despite having a heart bigger than the average Leaguer's, J'onn J'onnz always sounded grim—but now his deep baritone took on an even grimmer tone, and everybody knew he meant business. “It is imperative that we find out if the same is true with all of you.”
Wonder Girl: “Right down to business—that's J'onn. And I respect that. But it was hard enough to finally get Kyle here in the first place—I really need some time with him alone!”
“Well,” stammered Donna, “I really wanted to give Kyle a tour of the Tower. Can you look at the others first?” The Manhunter nodded, and Donna Troy's grin filled her entire face. “Great, I'll try to find the stragglers too!”
Wonder Girl: “Dick and Gar I'd expect this from, but I'd never have thought Kory wouldn't show up! I hope she's okay!”
As Donna eagerly pulled her boyfriend into a hallway, J'onn turned towards the other Titans. “So, who will be the first?” Raven was unresponsive, and Wally took a step backwards.
Speed: “I really don't like the idea of him screwing around in my head!”
“There is no reason to worry,” he continued. “I will not access your personal memories, only search for traces of mental influence occurring during your confrontation with the League.” The Titans still didn't budge, until finally Vic Stone sighed.
“I'll do it,” said Cyborg as he walked over to the Martian.
Cyborg: “This is kinda creepy, but maybe if I go first I can inspire the others. Worth a try!”
“Thank you,” said J'onn J'onnz as he moved behind Cyborg. He put his hands around the Titans head, and tilted his own backwards. His orange eyes started to glow as his powerful mind telepathically explored Victor Stone's.
“Let us see what se can find.”
***AN UPSTAIRS HALLWAY***
“Jeez, how long are we gonna do this?” Matt Logan was being pulled down one of Titan Tower's less used hallways by his lover, the beautiful alien Komand'r. “Just what t'hell are we looking for anyway?”
Sighing, Komand'r's regret over ever sleeping with the fool deepened and deepened. She was told he was her little sister's boyfriend, and had sex with him in hopes of finally crushing Starfire's spirit. Yet, the Titan was unfazed, and she needed to know why before she made another move!
“We're looking for Koriand'r,” said the Tamaranian, annoyed by the constant questions. “How can you not remember that? This is the seventh time you've asked!”
“But you said we were going to look for a new place to f---!” whined Matt.
Purple energy started to come to life in Komand'r's eyes, and it took every ounce of her restraint not to reduce the teen to cinders right then and there. “We will, I promise you that. First, however, I need to find my sister!”
“Yo, Matt! Komand'r!” Suddenly a green tiger leapt out of nowhere, knocking the spindly slacker over and licking the back of his neck. Only a second later the beast shrunk into the tiny form of Garfield Logan. “What're you guys doing here?! Hiding from Donna too?!”
Burying her forehead in her palm, the dark-haired princess was more than happy to let him think that. “Sure,” she sighed as she continued to move down the hallway, no longer caring if they even followed. After all, if Matt actually did turn out to be useful, it would certainly be easy enough to get the poor sap back at her beck and call.
Beast Boy: “Jeez, she's kinda a jerk. Then again, I hate to say it, but it's startin' to look like a lot of girls are like that. I mean, three out of four girls in the tower are kinda jerks!
“But she sure is hot! Man, Matt's one lucky dude!”
Climbing off his cousin's back, Gar cast his glance down the hallway at the curvy alien before asking, “Dude, how'd you manage to hook up with her?! You're such a pimp!”
“You know it,” smiled Matt as he tugged at his collar. “I mean, it had to be my animal charm. All she did was ask me if Starfire had a boyfriend, and when I told her I was she just shoved her t--s in my face and pulled me off to her room an' threw me on the bed!”
Beast Boy: “Wow, that—hold it! I know I'm not the smartest animal in the jungle, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't miss something that big!”
“What do you mean you're Kory's boyfriend?” Beast Boy was puzzled, his head cocked to the side. “C'mon cuz, that's total bull!”
Even from halfway down the hall, Komand'r couldn't miss that. Matt wasn't Koriand'r's boyfriend?! What?!
“Well, of course!” exclaimed Matt with a smile. “But it's totally the best prank ever!” Gar burst out laughing, nearly falling over from the sheer force.
Beast Boy: “See?! This is why I love this guy!”
Suddenly Komand'r was back, looming over both boys menacingly. “Matt, darling,” she said, trying her hardest to still sound sweet and loving despite the anger boiling over inside her, “What are you saying?!”
Blushing, the slacker stumbled backwards. “M'love, I'm sorry! It was just a joke, I swear!” Waving his arms before him, his smile actually started to return. “Seriously though, I'm sure you're really relieved! Now you don't have to worry about how you giving into my sheer animal magnetism hurt your sister!”
“But,” Komand'r seethed, clenching both her fists, “Does this mean my little sister doesn't have a boyfriend, or…”
Garfield Logan shrugged. “She has a thing for Robin, but then she got all mad at him, but I think she's back to liking him again, `cuz they just flew off to the beach to eat a picnic lunch.”
Beast Boy: “I didn't think it would hurt to mention it—dude, that was such a mistake—but I guess I was trying to figure out why she was so nosy. Guess they even have Gossip Girls in outer space!
“That sure sucks for the aliens…”
“See?” Matt asked, standing on his top-toes as he placed his hand on his lover's bronze shoulder. “You know where Starfire is, so now can we go—”
Matthew Logan didn't even have a chance to finish his sentence as Komand'r span, hurling the back of her palm into the boy's cheek. He span like a top, flying through the wall and into one of the storage rooms.
“You ingrate!” she screamed, holding up her clenched hand as a sparking ball of purple formed in her palm. “You could have ruined everything!”
“Matt!” Without giving it a second's hesitation, Beast Boy leapt forward, expanding into an Ankylosaurus. The prehistoric creature's armored hide allowed both boys to survive, but Gar and Matt both lay unconscious in the blast's wake, smoke pouring from their skinny frames.
Beast Boy: “I never even thought about what I was doin'—I wasn't gonna let her hurt my cousin! I only wish I got to lay into the witch myself!”
Turning towards the far wall, Komand'r blasted a hole straight through to the outside.
“Little sister, this game of cat and mouse is growing old. I may just have to end it tonight!”
***A SECLUDED BEACH***
“Dick, this meal you made is wonderful!” Starfire opened her mouth wide and heartily sank her teeth into a chicken leg, showing no modesty as she ripped meat from the bone.
Smiling like an infatuated schoolboy—which wasn't too far from what he was—Robin replied, “You bet it is! Want more?”
Robin: “Man, this is going great! She even loves the food—so happy I didn't make it myself. Anything I try to cook just ends up tasting like s---, and hell, pretty much tasting like it too!”
Starfire: “Of course, I am rather sure he simply bought the food from that Kentucky place with the pleasant looking man with the white beard on the sign that Jupiter got us dinner from the other day, but that does not bother me. Dick's intent is still sincere, and that is what makes the food taste so wonderful!”
“No, thank you,” Kory answered, tossing the eaten-clean bone in her hand atop a rather large pile of similar bones. “I do believe I have finally eaten my full.”
“Ah,” Dick said, nodding. No more words were exchanged for several moments, and finally the acrobat just decided to blurt out the first thing that came to mind to break the awkward silence. “Y'know Kory, I've been wondering just how you can speak English. When we first met you said you didn't know how to read, but yet…”
Robin: “Hell, she speaks it better'n most of us!”
“Oh,” laughed the Tamaranian as she wiped a few crumbs off her lips with a napkin. “I am surprised I never mentioned that. My species has the ability to gain the full knowledge of a spoken language through lip contact—it is called tactile language absorption. That is how I learned English, but written language cannot be passed along the same way.”
Starfire: “It is quite a useful ability, especially for the Tamaranian ambassadors when they have to negotiate with other species. Of course, it has been useless during the Gordanian conflict, because they will not let us get close to them!”
Robin: “So she had to kiss somebody to learn English! Holy s---, whoever got that smooch is one lucky son of a b----!”
“So I guess that explains why you're always so proper too,” he chuckled.
The alien was confused. “Proper? But…that is good, yes?”
“I guess it doesn't really matter,” Dick shrugged, “I just mean you don't, like, use contractions. Y'know, like `stead of saying `don't', you say `do not.'” Scratching his chin, he mused, “Course, thinkin' `bout it, your sister uses `em all the time.”
Robin: “With detective lessons from the little Robin comin' up soon, I'm trying to start noticing things more. Not hard to remember `em either—don't see what's so hard about this detective s---!”
“Komand'r has been away from Tamaran far more than I have,” Starfire said, “So it is no surprise she is better acquainted with foreign languages than I.”
Starfire: “Of course, Komand'r had no reason to be around Earth, so I do not know why English would be one of those languages she would know better than I. In fact, I do not even know how she found me here—it seems too amazing to be a coincidence, but every time I inquire this of her she is just evasive.
“Evasive—how that describes my sister. In so many ways, she is rather unlike almost all of us Tamaranians. It is no wonder she so often ventured away from home.”
“Yeah,” Dick said absently, his mind having already wandered away from his random thought and the conversation that ensued. “Hey Kory, do y'know that the `lip contact' you learn to talk with means something totally different here on Earth?”
Robin: “Real smooth, Dick. Lead her right into the kiss.”
“Of course,” Kory replied, a hint of anger in her voice as her eyebrows arched. “Late night television called it `kissing.' From watching you with that girl you saved from Deathstroke and at the club, you seem quite proficient at it, no?”
Robin: “S---! Yeah, as smooth as chunky peanut butter, Dick…”
“Alright, fine,” sighed the acrobat. “I guess this is why I brought you here anyway…” However, just as Robin was about to launch into his apologies and explanations, his ears perked up. “Wait…do you hear something?”
“Dick, do not try to evad—” Before she could even finish putting him back on track, Koriand'r heard the same noise. “No, I am sorry, you are right—and it is moving in fast!”
Starfire exploded forward, practically clotheslining Dick in the stomach as she grabbed him and flew as fast as she could. Behind them, their pristine picnic spot erupted into flames as a purple projectile detonated. The force knocked both Titans from the air, and as they tumbled across the sand they could hear the cackle of a familiar laugh.
“How lucky of you to evade my attack,” laughed Komand'r as she emerged from the smoke, balls of purple energy sparking around both her hands. “Of course, I was hoping that wouldn't kill you. After all we've gone through, it would have been so…anti-climatic!”
“Big sister?!” Koriand'r was crestfallen, feeling like her heart fell deep into her stomach. “What—what is the meaning of this?!”
Starfire: “Komand'r has always been somewhat dishonest, somewhat distant, somewhat…odd…but I still loved her and I thought she felt the same. For her to attack me was the last thing I ever would have expected in my life!”
“Meaning?” Her magenta Starbolts grew larger. “I'm going to kill you and the boy you love, little sister. And please, while I'm doing it…call me Blackfire!”
***TITANS TOWER—LIVING ROOM***
Three Titans later, the Martian Manhunter had found nothing. Now he probed the mind of Wonder Girl, Donna Troy, as those three teammates and her boyfriend, the Green Lantern, watched eagerly.
The lull ended, and Donna slumped forward for a second as the Manhunter stepped away. “Nothing,” he mumbled angrily to himself, before looking up to face his audience. “Just as with the rest of you, just as with the Justice League, there is no sign of the manipulation.”
Wonder Girl: “Wow, that was odd…but not necessarily bad. It was kind of like getting my brain massaged, or like the reflection ritual the Amazons use before they go into battle.”
“I'm sorry, J'onn,” Donna said sadly. “Maybe if I could've found the others we'd have had some luck.”
“Doubtful, Wonder Girl,” J'onn J'onzz replied. “Whoever is behind this, they have covered their tracks well. They could not have possibly been sloppy enough to have left traces within your missing friends.”
“Who even has that kind of power?!” Kyle asked incredulously. “Doctor Destiny? Despero? Starro?! What would any of them gain from this?!”
“You know,” interjected Cyborg, who cleared his throat before he continued, “Before our confrontation we were attacked by Deathstroke, and before that by Dr. Light. Both were hired by somebody to kill us—could this have been the same? Are there any telepathic mercenaries?”
Cyborg: “I think everybody just forgot about why those guys attacked with everything going on around us, but I sure didn't. Damn I wish Raven hadn't put Light in a coma—Deathstroke'll never talk, but a moron like Light would've been easy to crack like an egg…”
Unseen by the others, Raven slumped backwards just a tad. In reality, she was the one who had manipulated the other Titans and the Justice League into fighting each other, all to further Mr. Jupiter's mysterious plans. Jupiter had said he'd cover up the signs of her manipulations, and she was impressed by his work—not only had J'onn come up completely dry, but he hadn't even found out about her further manipulation of Wally's emotions!
Still, she couldn't have the others snooping further into who hired the mercenaries—not without jeopardizing everything they'd been working towards. She could manipulate them into apathy, and they wouldn't even know it—however, a loud cry distracted them for her.
“Guys!” The four Titans and two Leaguers turned towards the living room door, where Beast Boy stood with his cousin, Matt Logan, slumped in his arms. Matt was unconscious, half his face swelled to immense sizes thanks to Komand'r's attack. Gar looked even worse—bleeding from cuts across his body, much of his green skin was now purple instead from the bruising. He was fortunate his dinosaur form's thick armor took the majority of the attack—or he might not have made it through!
Beast Boy: “Jeez, I can't believe how much that freaking hurt! Those Starbolts really pack a wallop! We all thought Kory was, like, real vicious, but from that I think she's actually been holdin' back a lot!”
“Gar!” Vic exclaimed, stopped from running to his best bud's side only by Raven's cloak springing to life, sending a tremendous black bird-shaped projectile soaring towards the two relatives. Kyle's green ring sparked to life as he prepared to restrain the empath he clearly didn't trust, but he needn't have worried—as it approached Gar and Matt it started to glow fluorescent blue, and as it surrounded them their wounds slowly healed, cuts sealing up and bruises disappearing completely.
Kyle growled, but backed off. He still didn't trust anybody that creepy.
Speed: “See, I knew she had to care! I wish I knew why she doesn't want to admit it!”
Raven: “I could feel Speed's thoughts on my actions, but I simply knew that the sooner Beast Boy was back on his feet, the sooner we would find out about the threat that put him in that state in the first place.”
Beast Boy: “Crap, this is the second time she's had to heal me like that, and I don't think she's done it for anybody else! Why am I the one crap like this always happens to?”
Moaning on the floor, Matt started to come to. “S--- Komand'r, you know how to turn me on,” he mumbled happily as he pulled himself to his feet—however as he finally looked up, a sad, quizzical look filled his face. “Wait a sec—Komand'r?!”
“Calm down, cuz'” Gar said as he took the slacker by his shoulder. “You're just suffering from amora…homi…phobia, yeah, amorahomiphobia: being turned on by somebody tryin' to kill ya'!”
Beast Boy: “That's the way to do it Gar—make `im forget his problems, make `im laugh! It always works!”
“Phobias are fears, Gar,” sighed Donna, “Not fetishes.”
“She tried…to kill me?” His cousin's humor hadn't helped. “F---, she's the worst girlfriend I've ever had!”
“Hold it,” growled Cyborg. “What the hell are you guys talking about?!”
Gar jumped to his feet, seething. “Komand'r punched Matt through a wall, then tried to blow `im up! I barely saved us!”
“She must've been really pissed I told her I was Starfire's boyfriend,” Matt mused to nobody in particular, staring blankly nowhere in particular either as he comprehended his loss.
“Okay,” demanded Wonder Girl, “Gar, give me the whole story here. This isn't making sense!”
“Fine, but there's not much more to it,” sighed Beast Boy. “Komand'r asked Matt if he was Kory's boyfriend, he said yeah, as a joke—cracked me up when I found out—then she just dragged him off an…and…” Garfield paused, trying to find appropriate words.
“F---ed him?” suggested Wally with a shrug. Vic tried to smack him across the head, but he became intangible, chuckling as the metal man's hand sailed harmlessly through his `body.'
Beast Boy: “Eh. I don't like cussing. Dad would've smacked me if I used a word like that, and Steve—that's Mento, my adopted dad on the Doom Patrol—jeez, he'd of given me a telepathic headache!”
Shrugging, Gar acquiesced with a “Sure…so they did…that, then she took Matt to go find Kory, and then I found `im and Matt slipped up an' told me about his joke, and Komand'r got so pissed she tried to kill us! She said Matt almost ruined it all, whatever that means!”
Cyborg: “Damn Matt…he would get us into something like this…”
“Yo,” interrupted Kyle Rayner, his ring sparking, “This Komand'r girl you're talking about, she's Starfire's sister, a Tamaranian, right? This her?” A green energy construct perfectly replicating the princess's appearance formed, and Donna nodded yes to both questions. The Lantern smacked himself in the face.
“Then you guys are in it deep!” he exclaimed. “That's Princess Komand'r of Tamaran—known across space as the tyrant Blackfire! She's wanted in a dozen galaxies for crimes ranging from burglary to war crimes to treason to murder!”
Wonder Girl: “Damn her! Damn me! I'm team leader! I should have been able to tell! How could I have let her stay here?!”
“But…” stammered Donna, still trying to comprehend, “But why come here then?!”
“Because of Starfire,” stated Raven, with absolute certainty. “Blackfire, from the moment she arrived here, was consumed by hatred and jealously for her younger sister. I did not say anything because she was not acting on her impulses, but…”
Donna nearly exploded. “What?! Raven, how could you keep that from us?!”
“As I was about to say, that was a mistake,” growled the empath.
Raven: “Hypocrite. As if she has never made a mistake…”
“Save your arguments for later,” commanded the Martian Manhunter, stepping into the middle of the group. “Obviously this Blackfire wished to use Matt to harm her sister—so who knows what she might be planning now. Time is of the essence!”
“I can sense her,” Raven said, her eyes glowing as her nearly limitless emphatic powers spread across the city. “Starfire and Robin are with her as well. From the anger, tension and surprise I sense, their confrontation has already begun. I could teleport there, but I do not have the power to take all of us…”
The room filled with emerald light as Kyle spoke. “Don't sweat it, Raven. I can get us there faster than you can say `Komand'r, in the name of the Green Lantern Corps you're under arrest!'”
Beast Boy: “Actually…it kinda takes a long time to say that!”
***A SECLUDED BEACH***
“B-Blackfire?! What are you saying, Komand'r?”
“You took on the name Starfire to help people here,” growled the dark-haired princess, “So I took on the name Blackfire to hurt you! After the Gordanians lost you I had to travel halfway across the universe, but finally I found you! Thanks to that skinny little bastard though, all my hard work was for nothing!”
“Yo, b----!” called Robin, his hands already holding several explosive disks. “You're not making any sense!”
Nearly in tears, Koriand'r agreed. “Indeed! Sister, I cannot believe what you are saying! You are my sister, and sisters love each other!”
Starfire: “I mean, I have never been anything but nice to Komand'r! I have gone out of my way to help her my entire life, because I know how much she has had to endure!”
“That's exactly what I'm talking about!” shouted Blackfire. “You're a suck-up, you're self-righteous, phony, and spoiled! All my life I've been looked down upon just because I don't meet some arbitrary set of standards! Everything that should have been mine was given to you! My love, my attention, my throne! Everybody loved you and you didn't even appreciate it! Everybody hated me and I didn't even deserve it!
“All I ever wanted to do was make you suffer! I don't know how you can be so stupid, so trusting, so naïve to have never caught on! Everything bad that's ever happened to you has been my doing! And yet, even after everything I've ever done to you, you're still happy! How can you still be happy?!”
The red-headed alien stared sadly at her sister. “Because our problems only make us stronger, sister! I have never condoned how our people sometimes treated you, but had you kept a better attitude—”
“That's exactly what I'm talking about!” interrupted Komand'r. “You have no right to lecture me!”
Suddenly, an explosion rocketed from the tyrant's stomach. The disks that had been in Dick's hand were now gone, the source of the attack. “Enough bulls---!” he cried.
Robin: “Blackfire is so totally full of it! There's no way I'll let people talk like that about my friends—especially Kory!”
“She has every right to lecture you!” the acrobat continued. “You know as f---ing well as I do that she's right! Maybe I wasn't there, but it's pretty g--damn obvious people didn't like Kory cause she could fly, and, at least after a while, they didn't hate you because you couldn't!
“People love Kory because she cares about them, even when they don't deserve it! Because she'll always help out, because she always makes us see the best even when we think things are the worst, because she never tolerates evil motherf---ers like you—and if you'd been nice, they would've felt the same about you! So don't act like you've got anything at all to say—you're just a petty, jealous b----!”
Seething, her teeth nearly biting through her jaw they were clenched so hard, Komand'r had nothing to reply with. She simply launched a Starbolt—or perhaps `Blackbolt' would be more appropriate—large enough to level a mountain in retaliation.
“Yeah, can't handle the truth, can ya?” taunted Dick as he desperately searched for a way out of this one. He needn't bother—the blast was stopped cold in its tracks by a similar projectile from Starfire. Luminescent green energy leaked from the alien's hands and eyes as she stared coldly at her traitorous sibling.
Starfire: “Today I was actually surprised twice—and not both of them were bad. I—I had no idea Dick felt the way he did! Forget any apologies or picnics—that was all Dick ever needed to say all along! And that was all the encouragement I needed to face Komand'r!”
“So, you do like him,” said Blackfire with a malicious smile. “That will certainly make killing him even more fun.”
“I do not want to fight you, Komand'r,” replied her sister grimly, “But I will not allow you to harm him!”
The older princess actually laughed, nearly doubling over. “Little sister, I don't think you have a choice!” Suddenly another Blackbolt exploded from her palms. “I always was the better fighter!” Starfire could barely escape the tremendously fast projectile, her feet nearly touching the dangerous energy as she soared above it.
Starfire: “She had a point—to an extent. Komand'r always did beat me, but we always fought under rules, in an arena. Now, there are no rules. She had made this personal, made this a war, and in this war I have one advantage my sister does not: flight.”
Soaring high above the beach, Koriand'r released a flurry of scatter-shot blasts that covered for the entire area surrounding her opponent. Again, Blackfire only seemed amused. “Of course, take advantage of my disability.” The same energy that formed the alien's Blackbolts surrounded her body, creating a sparking, purple aura, similar to the Green Lanterns. “Too bad that won't work anymore!”
As Kory's shots ricocheted harmlessly off the energy aura Komand'r shot forward, the force of the power in her shield actually propelling her across the sand! Kory started to panic as her big sister shot into the air, and even a head-on Starbolt didn't deter Blackfire as she collided with her opponent's gut at full speed. In a stunning combination, violet energy exploded around her, leaving no room for Kory to escape.
Still, Starfire was a warrior, and this couldn't stop her. Somersaulting backwards and out of range, she released a full force blast from both her outstretched hands. Komand'r's aura amassed into a full-fledged shield before her, effortlessly deflecting the shot. Not wasting a second, several long, thin Blackbolts lashed out like whips, restraining Koriand'r's wrists and ankles.
Starfire: “They burned, but the pain never even entered my mind. I was more worried about how my sister was doing the things she was doing—I trained very hard, and thought my Starbolts should be capable of such feats, but I could never learn to manipulate them once I released their power!”
“H-How can you—”
“Oh Koriand'r, it seems you've again underestimated just what I'm capable of,” gloated Blackfire as she began an, at first, seemingly unrelated tangent. “I hate our petty homeworld nearly as much as I hate you, and one day after years of tiny successes, I decided to attack both at the same time.
“I contacted our enemies, the Gordanians, and pledged my allegiance to them. I gave them every secret of our kingdom, every strategy of our armies. I even helped them into our home, because I wanted them to kidnap you! Every torture you endured was my design, every horror you experienced my idea!
“When one of those torturous experiments accidentally produced your Starbolts, I tinkered with it. I was never the Gordanian's slave, little sister—I was their master. I had them give me these enhanced Blackbolt abilities! I helped them attack Tamaran's weak points, until our Father was forced to start negotiations! And when the moronic guards I had watching you sold you behind my back, I tracked you to Earth and sacrificed those worthless pawns back at the club to make you think I was kidnapped, to make you feel sorry for me!”
Starfire: “Komand'r was right about one thing…I was blind to never notice my sister's madness. I love my Starbolts, but the Gordanian torture that produced them was the worst experience of my life—I would never wish that on anyone! Yet, just to aid her journey of revenge, she willingly underwent them! I cannot believe the monster that lurked inside her!”
Still, as far as Kory thought, her sister was also definitely wrong about one thing. “Sold…what are you talking about? I escaped from the Gordanians! Mr. Jupiter found me and gave me a home here, a refuge!”
Komand'r snickered. That Jupiter sure was a master manipulator! “Delude yourself however you wish, little sister. It can't cloud the fact that I have had control of your entire life, and I'm not letting it go now!”
“Yes you will!” A Starbolt burst from each of her hands like flashes of light, dissolving the Blackbolts' grip on her. Kory tagged her sister with a second blast—it couldn't penetrate her aura, but it did send the elder princess reeling. Every inch closer Starfire soared she lopped off another blast, desperately hoping to keep Blackfire off balance.
However, she was greeted by a purple blast, about the size of a baseball, zipping through her barrage until it collided with the Tamaranian powerhouse herself, detonating on contact. Smoke poured from the battered Titan, and as it cleared she could see her sister floating before her, laughing maniacally behind her impenetrable aura.
Starfire: “Deep down inside I did not want to know, but I simply could not stand to see her so smug anymore. I had to know. I despise being lied to!”
“What else?!” Koriand'r cried. “What else did you do?!”
Tilting her head so she was looking down her nose at her little sister, Blackfire happily started to list her acts of revenge. “You know how you lost all your toys when you were a child? Well, you didn't. I destroyed them all—every single one.”
Kory exploded forward, launching her emerald energy blasts with reckless abandon. Komand'r didn't even need her aura—she simply weaved between them. “Your pet Tauranik, Yeppi? It didn't run away—I snapped the beast's scrawny little neck!”
Spinning, Starfire's foot landed in her sister's face with a squish, but Blackfire only had to launch a Blackbolt to stop herself from flying off. “That time Father accused you of painting all over his Royal Armor? I framed you—even studied your drawings to make it convincing!”
Koriand'r had to bite her lip. She couldn't believe her sister would do all this, would go to such lengths for something as simple as jealously!
“Of course,” continued Komand'r, each word filled with gleeful malice, “that was all kids stuff. My first real achievement was General Karras…”
Starfire: “No! General Karras was…my first love—on this planet I believe he would be called a `crush.' He was a wonderful, sweet, strong man, a powerful warrior and a true hero, and he gave his life at the very beginning of the Gordanian war…Until today I thought it was an accident, but…”
“The only kids stuff there,” gloated the hateful Tamaranian, “Was overriding Father's command center and sending Karras's unit on that suicide mission…”
“That is enough!” cried Starfire as she lunged for her sister, balls of compressed Starbolt energy surrounding both her fists as she flew into a fluid volley of alien martial arts. At this point, Komand'r little cared what hit or missed—this was the rage she'd been waiting for her sister to display!
A Blackbolt zigzagged forward, striking the younger princess and sending a shock throughout her entire body. Blackfire caught her with one hand, holding her by the neck as another blast started to crackle in her free hand.
“And the inevitable outcome has been reached,” said Komand'r with a smirk. “Tell me my sister, do you finally understand how I feel? I can see the rage on your face, and oh how glorious it is!”
Pausing for a second, she pointed the growing attack towards the tiny red and black dot on the ground—no doubt Robin, helpless to even assist in such a high-flying battle. “You know, until today I'd been going about this all wrong. Sneaking around behind your back? That's nothing compared to seeing the pain of my betrayal on your face.
“But now, it's time for that all to end. I will kill the man you love, and then you, and attain my happiness once and for all!”
Starfire: “When she first started talking I indeed was angry, angrier than I had ever been. But that was what she wanted—that was what had ruined her life, made her into this monster. When I took a good long look at my sister, I realized that I could not hate her, despite how much I wanted to. I could not hate somebody so sick…”
“You know, sister,” said Kory, her voice straining over Blackfire's grip on her windpipe, “You are wrong. I can never feel the way you do. I could never throw away my life like that! You want me to hate you, to be angry, vengeful, miserable, devastated…but all I can do is pity you.”
“What?!” screamed Komand'r, her face snarling in disgust and rage.
“I pity how sick you are, I pity how you could not appreciate the love your family showed you, and I pity how you have wasted your life!” Her opponent could only grow more enraged as Koriand'r chuckled. “Big sister, you have been a fool.”
The raging ball of purple energy in Blackfire's palm started to grow as her arm moved forward. “I'm only a fool letting you live so long! Good riddance, Koriand'r! Go make somebody else's life miserable!”
“No!” exclaimed Starfire as emerald energy sparked to life in her eyes. “You were a fool to let me in this close!” Much to the surprise of Komand'r, a tiny, concentrated Starbolt erupted from her younger sister's eyes! Firing like a bullet, it actually managed to penetrate her Blackbolt aura!
Exploding on contact, the beam drove Blackfire into the ground, each new burst of energy exploding—the alien must have endured nine or ten before she crashed. A pillar of black smoke churned from the crater she now inhabited. Meanwhile, her sister slowly floated to the ground, rubbing her tearing eyes.
Starfire: “I only save that maneuver for such situations…it is rather painful to execute, but certainly the best trick I have when there is nothing left to try!”
“Kory!” The bronze-skinned beauty turned to see Robin running across the beach. “Kory! Are you okay?!”
“I am…fine,” she said as she slumped slightly. “I am simply tired.”
“You're…not…gonna be okay…for long…” growled a battered voice. Both Titans turned to find—to their shock and surprise—Blackfire crawling out of the crater! Her wicked beauty, however, was hidden behind burns and bruises. There simply wasn't much fight left in her.
Koriand'r frowned. “Komand'r, stand down. The fight is over.”
“Never,” gasped the battered Tamaranian. “Not until…you're dead”
“Yeah, fat chance of that happening.” Suddenly Blackfire was crushed by a giant green energy construct shaped like an anvil, with the words '50 tons' written on the side. The two Teen Titans were greeted by none other than Kyle Rayner, the Green Lantern!
As the anvil construct melted down into a straightjacket, restraining Komand'r as it dragged her from the crater, the other Titans emerged from an energy spaceship Kyle had created. “Dude, that was more fun than Disney World!” exclaimed a very dizzy Beast Boy as he stumbled across the ground.
“Is that…Komand'r?” asked Matt pitifully as he saw his battered love. Suddenly Starfire's arm was around the boy. Looking up into her eyes, he could see how sorry for him she felt. “Did she…really try to kill you?”
“I am afraid so,” said Kory with a sigh. “Matt, I know you cared for her, but…she did not care for anybody.”
Blackfire moaned pitifully as Kyle pulled her close. “Princess Komand'r of Tamaran, a.k.a. Blackfire, in the name of the Green Lantern Corps you are under arrest for crimes on twelve different worlds!” The Lantern paused for a second as he looked over his shoulder at his prisoner's sister. “Actually, make that thirteen.”
Starfire: “I know the others did not understand, but there was no doubt I had to do what I did next.”
“Kyle,” began Kory, “How long will she be in prison for?”
“A lot longer than any of us'll be alive for,” he replied. “Hell, half of her crimes carry life penalties!”
Pausing for a second, making sure she was truly convinced of her decision, Starfire spoke up. “Than I refuse to press charges.”
The majority of her teammates had only one reply: “What?!”
“She may have tried to kill me,” said Koriand'r sadly, “But she is still my sister. The punishment is bad enough already.”
Speed: “I like Kory, just because of stuff like this, but really, some people don't deserve forgiving, family or not!”
Wonder Girl: “Now that's how families are really supposed to stick together!”
Raven: “Starfire's actions here tonight may turn out to be a mistake, but I still cannot help but respect her decision. She really is a good person…no surprise, then, that she is not a human being…”
The Martian Manhunter silently approached his teammate and his prisoner, wrapping his pale green hands around Blackfire's head. His orange eyes lit up for a second. “There, now she shall remain unconscious until you and her arrive at trial. Should I alert the League of your leave of absence?”
“Yeah, thanks,” said Kyle. “I'll try to pull in Guy or John to replace me while I'm gone!”
“John please, if at all possible,” said J'onn dryly. He just wasn't up to enduring Guy Gardner anymore.
“You're leaving?!” Suddenly Donna was at her boyfriend's side. “Can't you get somebody else to take her in?”
Kyle's smile dropped slightly. “But I'll get a ton of brownie points with the Guardians for bringing in a criminal this big!” he exclaimed.
“I know,” sighed the Amazon. “I just hate to see you go.”
“It's not my favorite thing to do either Wonder Chick, but c'mon, its part of the job! I won't be gone that long!”
Wonder Girl: “No, not for all super-heroes have to work that much…sometimes I almost think he doesn't want to spend time with me! I'm getting really tired of fighting over my boyfriends' attention with a bunch of criminals!”
Meanwhile, Dick Grayson had something he had to do. “Kory?” The alien nodded as the acrobat sat down beside her on the sand. “I got interrupted by, y'know, the whole desperate fight for your life, but I still want to say what I brought you here to—”
Koriand'r shushed Robin with one finger to his lips. “Please, it is not necessary,” she smiled. “What you said about me to my sister—that was sincere. It came from your heart, and was better than any apology!”
Robin: “Wow, the one time I'm not trying I'm totally a pimp!”
“Though,” she continued, “There is the matter of what you are going to do about all those other girls…”
Starfire: “I do hope that was a little subtle…I am trying to play a little more by Earth's rules at least.”
Robin: “Direct and to the point! Just how I like `em!”
“Oh, no contest,” laughed Dick. “Kory…do you want to be my girlfriend?”
“I'o!” exclaimed the alien.
Dick just raised an eyebrow. “What the hell?!”
“I'o…it is a contraction!” Upon seeing his confused look, she lost some of her excitement. “You know, I plus do…”
“Not bad, but we still got a lotta work to do on those,” smiled Robin. “But first, let's celebrate by trying out some of that…'lip contact' we were talking about earlier.”
Starfire: “I was starting to think he would never ask!”
Without wasting a second the extraterrestrial bombshell grabbed the boy and pulled him close, and much lip contact was had by all.
Robin: “G--damn! She certainly doesn't need to practice that, that's for sure!”
***A LITTLE LATER—TITANS TOWER***
“Vic, I can't believe you!”
Cyborg: “Whaddaya know, Wally was actually right for once. Well, I told Gar about Matt's house, and to put it lightly…Gar's pissed.”
Beast Boy: “Matt's a slacker! I'm not surprised at all that he got kicked out, but dude, he would never just come here to mooch off us!”
“I got kicked out of my apartment?” asked Matt quizzically.
“Yeah,” growled Victor Stone. “That's what happens when you don't pay your bills.”
“Dude, what's wrong with you?!” Garfield exclaimed. “You've had it out for Matt ever since he got here!”
Vic buried his face in his metallic palm for a second. “He's using you, Gar! He's done nothing since he got here but get you in trouble!”
“I know!” countered Beast Boy. “That's what I like about him—I mean, the getting in trouble part! I'm not being used!”
“Seriously man, I'd never do that,” Matt said somberly. “I just went to stay over with some friends, and next thing you know, I'm livin' there, and I forgot I even ever had an apartment.
“And you know what? Hell, I'm wanted there, and obviously I'm not here!”
Matt stormed out the door, heading for the Tower entrance. “Matt, come back!” cried his cousin, who didn't catch up with him until he got outside. “Dude, don't leave just because Vic's bein' a jerk today! I want you here!”
“I know cuz',” Matt said with a sigh. “It's not just that. Just…man, don't tell anybody, but I lost my virginity here. Maybe I'll be fine in a couple of weeks or something, but right now I just don't want to be here and think `bout how much that b---- Komand'r used me, y'know?”
Beast Boy: “Wow. That took guts. Matt's always passin' himself off as this huge pimp…see, maybe he's not the most polite guy or whatever, but I don't see how Vic could think he was a bad person!”
“You should totally come by and visit sometime though,” continued Matt, his smile perking back up. “We've got a keg on tap 24/7!”
Gar laughed. “Well, I may skip the booze, but I'll definitely be by soon. And hey, you should come visit sometime too, y'know...when you feel better—and when Vic's out on a date or somethin'.”
With that last line Matt Logan couldn't help but to laugh out loud. “Totally.” The slacker ran his hand through his cousins green hair for a second before walking towards the Titans Island dock. “See ya soon, little `cuz.”
Back inside, Cyborg was leaning against a wall when Beast Boy stormed in. “Gar!” he exclaimed, rushing after his friend.
“Dude, Vic, I really don't want to talk right now.”
“But, I was—”
Garfield Logan sighed. “I know, you were just trying to help. Normally that's cool, but c'mon man, I didn't need help! You were treating me like a little kid again! I thought we talked about that!” Before his half-robot companion could reply, the green kid ran for the stairs. “I'm sorry, but I just can't talk now!”
Beast Boy: “If I stayed down there, I'd start feeling sorry for him…and I just really needed to be mad for a while. Vic meant well, so I know I can't stay mad at him forever, but for now…I just want him to stop treating me like I'm in diapers!”
Cyborg: “Man, I was doing great then WHAM, I screw up like this again. Good person or not, using Gar or not, Matt was still a bad influence, and I stand by that. But I should never have butted in like that—lotta good that does me now though. I can't believe Wally was right—Gar didn't went help, and Wally doesn't want help…Nobody wants help.
“So I'll limit my helpin' to superhero stuff. They want to be left alone? They got it…”
***WONDER GIRL'S BEDROOM***
Donna Troy lay on her side on her bed, a glum expression on her face as she wrote in her diary, looking up every few minutes to glance at her phone.
Wonder Girl: “I don't know why I kept expecting Kyle to call—I guess I just hoped he would change his mind and stick around…but of course, he didn't. He said he'd come visit me as soon as Blackfire's trial is over, and I know he's telling the truth, but I'd still rather have him here now…”
Suddenly the phone rang, and the Amazon's excitement was peaked for a split second—until she saw it wasn't Kyle. Actually, she didn't know who was calling her at all. “Hello?”
“Donna! Hey! It's me—Terry!”
The Titan raised an eyebrow. “Terry?”
“Y'know, Terry Long! We met in Jupiter's office!”
Wonder Girl: “Oh, him. Unless he can bring Kyle back, I'm not interested.”
“Terry, how did you get my number? I never gave it to you—you gave me yours!”
“Yeah,” chuckled the gofer. “Don't tell anybody, but I hacked into Jupiter's database to get it.”
Donna rolled her eyes. “Um, you do realize your call is being filmed, right?”
Wonder Girl: “I have to admit, though, he is an oddly charming little doof.”
“Anyway Donna, I'm sorry for being stalkerish, but you hadn't called me back, and I reeeeeally want to take you out to this little café I found!”
“Terry, I told you, I have a boyfriend!”
“I know, but…can't you just go with me once?! Please?!”
Wonder Girl: “Actually, it's somewhat ironic. A boy I have no interest in is begging for a date, while I can't get my boyfriend to stay around for anything!”
Burying her head in her pillow, Wonder Girl sighed. “Fine,” she said with a huff. “But just this once! No matter what happens, you can never guilt me again!”
“Great!” exclaimed Terry. “You won't regret this, Donna!”
Wonder Girl: “I mean, how else am I going to get him to leave me alone? We'll go out, he'll realize we have nothing in common, and that'll be the end of it. I mean, Kyle's not here…he'll never find out! And even if he did, he'd understand.
“What harm could that possibly do?”
Next time: Titans East