"You destroyed me in every way by bringing me here… But… you have also fixed me in every way."
Chapter 17: A Dog of a Day
Beastboy felt restless; it had been two days since Blorthog. Everyone went back to doing their own things. This presently was driving him absolutely insane since he had nothing to do and that was why he wound up in the basement slash work garage watching Cyborg tune up his T-Car through his iguana eyes. Climbing up the wall, he watched blue sparks fly until his feet lost their traction, and he fell right on the Titans arm. Maybe if he remained absolutely still Cyborg wouldn't…
Never mind. Cy wrenched his arm away, and BB hit the wall. Cy hit the ground dropping all of his bolts and his blow torch. Beastboy changed back and smiled sheepishly as Cyborg turned red in anger.
"Grr…Beastboy!" he yelled, starting to pick up the fallen tools.
"Heh, guess I should have knocked first," BB admitted wandering up to the mechanical teen's side.
"So what's up Cyborg? Working on your car? Bet you could use a few extra hands," the changeling offered turning into a green squid and grabbing the tools. Cy didn't look up as he continued to gather the bolts and nuts into his arms.
"Nah, I can handle it," he answered while Beastboy picked up a strange funnel shaped tool, "besides some of these tools are kind of danger…"
"Hey, what's this thing do?" BB asked, and Cy stuttered to a stop. All the tools clattered to the floor, and the green Titan pulled the trigger to the blow torch, Cyborg screamed again, flames erupted, and when the smoke cleared a nice black streak ran across his precious baby.
Cyborg snorted like a bull preparing to charge, "Maybe you should go help somebody else."
Beastboy slunk away quickly, sighing; he pulled out his communicator, debating whether or not he should call Danny. Then again, Robin said he was resting for two days before him and Raven headed to Clockworks.
"Robin!" Beastboy ran off to go find him.
The teen was on the banks of Titan's Tower working the training course, destroying targets left and right. He was moving as fast as an acrobat jumping and twisting with power, Robin grunted when his fist met solid wood. He was imaging it to be the reporters that would be coming at the end of this week; two of which he'd watched on the news. He really wanted Cindy to be hanged. The wood splintered and broke in two. Robin spun preparing to kick another target into the ocean when Beastboy jumped in front of it.
"Hey Robin! Ah!"
"Beastboy!" the boy wonder shouted. Well, at least the changeling hadn't been thrown into the ocean. Robin knelt down to steady his friend who was teetering on his feet.
"Need a sparring buddy?"
"Sorry, Beastboy, this is more of a solo thing?" Robin answered. In truth, he couldn't grantee the others safety since every target was currently a reporter. But the boy wonder felt his heart twist at the tell tale signs of gloom as those two pointy ears drooped.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
Robin watched his friend disappear from sight.
Beastboy kicked the rocks on the bank; the ocean's spray swirling around him. It made his eyes burn from the salt, but the scent of the water raised his spirits. He couldn't give up. Dashing back inside, he grabbed the big bucket of tofu and headed off to find Raven and Starfire.
"Azarath Metrion Zinthos," the two floating girls chanted with a sparkling crystal ball resting on a three pronged podium in between them.
"Tell me Raven, does it always take this long to contact the spirit world?" Starfire asked, her hands hovering over the jewel. Raven's eyebrows knitted together in concentration.
"Not always Starfire, but it does require intense focus, absolute quiet and…"
"Dudes!" BB shouted his face popping up on the glass, being distorted and creepy. Both girls screamed and backed away holding onto each other for protection, until they realized it was Beastboy. He stood up and smiled showing off the massive Chinese bucket of Hong's tofu.
"Check it out, if I can eat twenty pounds of tofu in under an hour, I'll set a new world record, want to be my official witnesses?"
"No," Raven stated, her monotone voice sounding like a hammer and a nail, with Beastboy as the coffin. With that, both girls kicked him out of the room. Starfire at least showed some sympathy in offering to go to the arcade of video games later. Beastboy wasn't reassured; dejectedly, he dragged his feet to the giant double doors at the bottom of the Tower. Red seats lining the walkway, the room was large and could easily fit a small army or hold a social gathering, most of the time it was empty, and a few times it had been used to hold press conferences. Beastboy always hated those; he turned around to look at his home.
"Okay well, if nobody needs me, I'm heading downtown. Crazy party in the big city, anybody wanna come with? Yes, No? Anybody?" his voice reverberated off the walls, and BB turned to the blue cast sky and flew. Letting his wings take him anywhere, he landed on an old streetlamp and transformed, hopping down onto the pavement the smells of food and oil washed over him. He walked with the crowd and found himself trotting behind some older teens who were excitedly talking about something. Beastboy didn't care. But he nearly laughed when he saw which store they walked into. It was plainly labeled bookstore and walking inside the changeling felt some of his downheartedness fade. Walking up to the register, he tapped Fixit on the shoulder who currently had his nose in an psychology book.
"Hey, is Danny busy?"
"He's resting, but I have yet to determine why he avoids every question and God forbid, when the day comes he decides to tell me, I will have found all the answers to the meaning of this blasted science," Fixit declared holding up the book and brandishing it like a weapon, his annoyance clear as day. Beastboy was shocked, and a little scared. The robot always seemed to have a bottomless pit of patience.
"Yeah, I'm just gonna go see how he's doing."
Fixit waved him off, and BB high tailed it out of there while Fixit stuck his nose back into the book, his hand flipping the page with a little too much mad vigor.
Padding down the steps the changeling smiled,
"Hey Danny…ah!" he dodged when a piece of fruit shaved past his head.
"Oh, Beastboy? Sorry, I thought for a moment you were Fixit."
The teen looked at Danny then the fruit.
"What the heck? You don't assault people with fruit!" Beastboy yelled storming forward with the projectile orange. The halfa skirted around him before laughing nervously and held out a hand asking for his breakfast back.
"What would you suggest then?" he asked as BB set himself down at the kitchen table and propped his feet up on the wood. Danny didn't seem to mind the dirt falling off his boots.
"Well, I tried this whole motor oil balloon thing, but that didn't go over to well, maybe… some balloons filled with flour and water! That would be so cool, not to mention whoever got pelted with one would end up looking like Casper the ghost!" Beastboy rocked on the back of the chair legs. His voice getting louder until he nearly fell over, setting his feet on the ground to steady himself Beastboy looked up to Danny, who looked torn between laughing and winching.
"Hey, are you okay?"
The halfa schooled his face and smiled, throwing the peel of the orange into the trashcan.
"Yeah, just a headache."
Danny shrugged and munched on the orange. Beastboy watched the light cast a shadow over the halfa's wrist and reveal the scar that the changeling knew wrapped around his arm from hand to elbow. A heavy silence filled the air.
"Why did Vlad send those things after you?"
"Huh?" Danny asked, before he followed Beastboy's eyes to the scar, "oh, that. Vlad was up to his usual tricks, he found a way to short circuit my powers and force me to consider making him my new father and my Mom his wife."
"Yeah, I refused and well, let's just say he sent his pets after me."
Danny's hand traced the scar, and Beastboy remembered the smell in the air, thick with blood.
"How did you get away?"
"Well, I kind of didn't. My Mom and I were stranded in the bleak Colorado Mountains. I could have overshadowed her and flown us home if she hadn't been wearing the Spectra Deflector. It electrocutes any ghost who touches the wearer," Danny clarified when BB gave him a confused look. "Anyways, after Vlad told Mom his hearts desires she stormed out, we were camping in the woods when his pet bear brought me back to the mansion, long story short, I lost my powers until midnight, while running for my life from him siccing his pets on me. After the bear sliced open my arm…" Beastboy flinched at Danny's words, "sorry, I managed to bandage it with my shirt, and make it back to camp I had a spare, clean shirt, don't ask, and ran off into the woods before the animals found me. Well more like my Mom found me right when the ghosts did, she totally kicked their butts."
A forlorn expression crossed the teen's face, and Beastboy's ears drooped.
"What?" He asked making Danny jumped.
"Nothing, after she saved me, Mom said we had to go back to Vlad's."
"What? Why?" BB exclaimed, leaning forward completely hooked.
"His home was the only place with a phone, and pancakes…never mind. Basically she flirted her way in which wasn't hard, I stole the key from her belt that locked the Spectra Deflector, which she put on me the second we were out of danger not knowing that when my powers activated I'd get zapped. I fooled Vlad into thinking I wanted him as my father, put the belt on him, exchanged witty banter while kicking his butt, and last but not least zapped him with his own Plasmius Maximus and got his wild beasts to chase him out of the house. Afterwards, we took Vlad's helicopter home; there wasn't a single phone in his house," Danny finished, and Beastboy found a new appreciation for his friend.
Offhandedly Danny added, "And thank god my shirt had been covered in so much mud, otherwise my Mom might have realized the cut I lied to her about was really a gash."
Beastboy nearly fell out of his chair. "She didn't know?" he screamed. The teen sitting across the table looked at him strangely.
"But, that was a really bad wound, how could she not…she didn't know you were part ghost," BB whispered his voice dropping in the cold realization. Danny looked at his hands.
"She did, in the end, right before…" his throat clogged, and Danny got up, stretching his back, letting his muscles relax and a content sigh escaped his mouth, but Beastboy didn't rise. The cogs in his mind turning, Raven had said Danny graduated at sixteen, he didn't look as old as Cyborg, and the mechanical Titan was only eighteen…
"Danny, how old were you when this happened?"
Beastboy felt the floor give out from under him; Danny had been fourteen. The age he was now. The changeling surged to his feet.
"I gotta go," Beastboy sputtered. Danny stared at him in confusion before rushing forward, the alarm bells ringing in the back of his head.
"Hey, Beastboy what's…" the halfa trailed off when he grabbed BB's arm and lightening zapped his friend. The changeling was blown into the main living area; dazedly, he stared up at the ceiling while Danny rushed over to him in panic.
"Shit. Beastboy, I'm so sorry! I completely forgot," Danny panicked bending down next to him with outstretched hands before he remembered and let them fall to his sides.
"Cool painting," BB groaned, slowly sitting up. The halfa looked at him before he turned his face towards the ceiling where the golden glass windows showed the clouds moving across the sky opening to the heavens and following the curves of the wall.
"Tucker was a techno geek, he was good at drawing architectural structures and design schematics, he probably picked it up from all the blueprints we stole from my parents' lab. Tuck showed me the ropes after class one day since I kept doodling on the desks," he explained in a monotone voice, grateful for the distraction. Beastboy sat up watching the pain etch across his friend's face; he really didn't like that expression.
Laughing he stood, "Well, I was going to ask you to party in the big city, but I don't think people would appreciate the power being blown out."
Danny snorted, "Or being shocked."
Beastboy truly smiled, "that too. I'll see you around 'kay?" The urge to leave was still strong, and the changeling felt grateful Danny didn't call him out on his excuse to leave.
"Sure, see ya."
When the door closed behind Beastboy, Danny face palmed.
"Great, Fenton, you already have one pissed off robot to deal with, and now you go and freak out one of the only friends you've got."
Sighing, the teen went over to the cabinet and pulled out two Tylenol, setting the bottle down he felt his mind wander. After Blorthog, he'd come home with a headache, probably from teleporting him and Raven to the Museum that had been bearable. He just slept the entire day until Fixit woke him up, and Danny nearly short circuited his mechanical heart from ten thousand volts of lightening. So here he was today, avoiding Fixit who was pissed off at Danny for not talking to him, mainly out of guilt, but the robot didn't know that, and now he'd gone and scared BB. Looking down at his hands the halfa swore colorfully at the electricity dancing in his palms. It fizzled away into nothing, but the halfa wasn't going to take any chances, he and Raven were leaving tomorrow, he just had to avoid everyone for the day…he could do that. Danny downed two other pills.
Beastboy wandered through the town, trying to quash the guilt at leaving his friend, but then he remembered the teen's story and the changeling wandered why the heck Danny even put up with him. The halfa had been fighting men like Vlad since he was fourteen, and he'd done it alone. Beastboy always had people beside him, first the Doom Patrol then the Titans, of course before…the Titan shivered and buried all those memories of screaming fear, of fighting to survive, the names, the beatings, the sneers… "There's gotta be somebody who wants to hang out with me." The giggling of two blonde girls, dressed modestly and covered in face makeup reached the teen's ears, Beastboy really hoped those two normal girls would be somebody.
"Hello ladies, wanna go for a spin on my moped?" his bravado was strong; he wiggled an eyebrow for added effect. The two blondes giggled in disbelief.
"You have a moped?" The one with bright pink lipstick asked.
"No, but I'm saving up," he informed while he laid a hand on the table, and it slipped on the pizza, "woah!" The pitcher of cola landed on his head, both girls giggled, it felt like needles stabbing his lungs. They got up and waved goodbye. Beastboy stood, pulled the pitcher off his head and shook out his hair. The girls laughed again, and the changeling turned to look across the street where one brown fluffy dog was receiving their undivided affection.
"Lucky dog, sure wish I was…oh, duh!" he transformed into a green mutt with patch spots and short soft fur. He ran up to them and barked, his tail wagging, droopy ears perked forward. Beastboy stopped in front of the girls and waited.
"Uh, why is that dog green?" One asked, the other plugged her nose,
"And ew, it smells like week old pizza."
"Shoo dog, get away, go," she stated sticking her nose in the air. Beastboy felt his heart expand painfully in his rib cage before collapsing.
Robin walked into the Tower and accessed the news feed, running over the safety specks of the city, no unusual occurrences; turning away, he looked at the atmospheric readings and paused, towel still in hand. In two strides, he crossed the room and double checked the readings.
"What happened last night?"
Beastboy wandered further into the park, his tail low and the wind lifted his short fur almost in comfort, he felt so useless.
Robin had called in Cyborg to run over the specs when the alarm blared red alerting them to trouble in sector five. The park.
"Alien space crafts, that hasn't happened in a while," Cy commented. Raven and Starfire joined them.
"It's still trouble."
"Where is Beastboy?" Starfire asked. Robin turned to her and shook his head.
"No time to find out, Titans move. Raven, contact Danny, we might need him on this."
They headed for the doors.
The lonely green dog paused mid stride, a whine passing his lips. Why couldn't he do things by himself? Why did he always depend on others? A scuffling caught his ears and they twitched, turning to the noise Beastboy watched startled as a dog no taller than a cat barrel into him. Shaking his head the Titan sat up and looked to the other animal, the all green animal.
Beastboy shook his head and moved forward when the sound of whirling engines caught both their attention, and the other took off. The Titan looked up as a space ship, red and yellow, descended, while the bottom of it flashed a white beam of light, and BB felt like he got zapped by one of Danny's crazy lightning bolts again. He disappeared, and the ground beneath was charred black, his communicator smoking beside it hidden in a thick patch of grass.
Groaning, he woke up and stared around the cool black room, and he yelped when something heavy shifted on his shoulders. Beastboy backed up and felt the weight constrict around his neck.
"Bad dog, you should not try to escape," the towering thing boomed. His entire body was hidden in shadows from the one bright florescent light above Beastboy. Feared curled in his stomach and he pawed at the collar, he shook out of that form and smiled sheepishly.
"Um, sure you got the right dog?" he asked, his hand yanked at the collar again. The thing was beeping red. The hunk of shadows merely glared at him. Beastboy stared back, and for the entire world, prayed this guy was friendly.
The Titans headed to the last place the ship was spotted, in the park near the forest. It didn't take long to find the eight foot crop circle burned into the ground. It was still warm. Robin ran his fingers across the grass, wafting the smell towards him while Cyborg examined his sensors.
"Word is it was some kind of flying saucer, exactly like the report," Raven stated walking up, her cloak flowing around her, Robin stood up and dusted off his gloves.
"Whatever it was, my sensors can't track it, didn't leave any kind of trail."
Robin's eyes widened looking at Cyborg before turning to the circle, "But something got zapped, question is what?"
Starfire who had been examining the sky felt her foot crunch on something, lifting her purple boot she gasped and bent down to pick up the fallen communicator.
Cyborg took it from her hand and smelled it before giving it back.
"It's BB's alright, smells like tofu."
"What about Beastboy?" Danny asked landing in the field looking between the team members.
Starfire grabbed the device and hugged it to her chest. "Oh, I fear our friend has gotten the zap," she exclaimed, the halfa flushed.
"What? But I said I was sorry! Wait…"
A bark was the team's only warning before Raven was bowled over, a small green dog licking her face and nuzzling her throat. Everyone stared, and the half-demon contemplated magicing Beastboy to kingdom come.
"I think we found him," Danny stated, and he quickly held up his hands in surrender when Raven glared at him. Starfire plucked the green dog from her friend and hugged him.
"Beastboy, you are unharmed," she happily hugged him again.
"Where have you been?" Cyborg asked while the team crowded around. Danny hedging closer since there was no way he'd risk bar-b-quing his friends. Beastboy merely barked covering Starfire in drool with his long pink tongue.
"Did you get a look at the UFO?" Robin asked, and Danny felt his mind stutter to a stop. He turned to look at the Titan and coughed a laugh.
"What?" Robin demanded.
"Nothing it's just UFO? Really? We've known about other planets, dimensions, universes for how long, and we're still sticking to the term UFO?"
Robin sighed dramatically, "Fine. Have you seen the unidentified space transportation vehicle?"
Danny tried not to smile, and Robin kicked him in the shin.
Beastboy wiggled out of Star's grasp and launched himself at Raven once more coving her in drool, his paws pressing down in some…questionable places.
"Don't make me send you to another dimension," she growled shoving him off of her. Beastboy decided to chase his tail.
"Alright, Beastboy, knock it off we have work to do. Beastboy?"
"Hey, is he alright?" Danny asked truly concerned. Why wasn't he changing back?
"Friend, why will you not speak with us?" Starfire questioned while the team hedged closer.
"Maybe he can't. Maybe something's wrong with him," Cy answered raising his arm to take a molecular scan.
A speeding red car caught the dog's attention; he looked to the team members then Danny and snarled before happily taking off after the car.
"What the…I said I was sorry!" Danny yelled the Titans gave him the look. "Why are you looking at me like I'm crazy?"
Cyborg gave a curved smile, "'Cause you screamed to a dog."
"It's still Beastboy." Danny huffed. The glint in Cy's eyes never let up.
"Not to them," he pointed to the nice elderly couple sitting on a bench who were feeding the pigeon's white bread.
"Never mind that, Titans we need to find Beastboy and figure out what's wrong."
They ran out of the park and into the city following the green blur and losing him in the traffic.
"Where did he go?" Robin asked scanning the sidewalk and cars.
"And what did he do to that car?" Raven questioned pointing to the Italian sports car currently missing a bumper, and the man weeping over it.
"Titans, split up and search, start with Beastboy's usual hangouts and fan out from there."
All four Titans took off leaving Danny standing there, "ugh, hangouts…right." He stood there for a moment longer before deciding to do an aerial sweep to avoid the civilians who were beginning to notice him. The search for Beastboy was almost as bad as chasing Mad Mod. Every time one Titan would be searching around BB's hangout the little dog would jump them before disappearing. Robin felt the tug on his cape, Starfire had her boot stolen in the park, Raven kept getting molested, and Cyborg was used for…restroom purposes. He chased the little grass stain for half a mile with steam coming out of his ears for that. And each time the Titans found him they'd call it in, and Danny would come flying, but by the time he got there Beastboy was gone. The victimized Titan had to deal with the emotional trauma. It was getting ridiculous. The sun was beginning to set; they had nothing, and Raven was beginning to turn into a prune if this kept up. Finally Danny saw Beastboy run into a dead-end alley.
"Hey, I know where he is."
"Wait for the rest of us, you'll need the backup," Robin answered over the speaker.
Danny landed at the mouth of the alley and kept one ear open to make sure BB didn't run away. Soon enough he was joined by the rest of the team, and they headed in watching their friend roll around in the trash.
"Careful everybody," Robin ordered. "We don't want to hurt him."
"Speak for yourself," Raven growled, and Danny feared for even his life.
Starfire plugged up her nose, "Ugh what is that smell?"
"Dog boy here confused me with a fire hydrant."
O.k. Beastboy was officially on both Cy and Raven's hit lists, Danny didn't envy the kid. When he told the halfa he was going for a night on the town, Danny hadn't thought he meant turning the town into an Animal House.
Beastboy stopped rolling around in the banana peels and looked to them. Everyone immediately raised their palms and started to slowly creep forward, Danny stayed towards the back not wanting to aggravate his friend.
"Easy, Beastboy," Robin cooed.
"We just wanna help," Cy continued moving forward. Then Beastboy burped, and he regurgitated Al Capone's bumper.
The Titans took one look at it.
All of them thought they were going be sick. Then Beastboy did something worse, Danny watched as his tongue extended out ten feet from his body to lick Raven. Star screamed, and Danny accidently released lightening into the ground. Raven had to spit out drool. BB then jumped down a bared drain by breaking apart like freakin' putty. Danny felt his head swirl, did he wake up on the wrong side of the bed today? Slowly, everyone walked up the to the sewer entrance.
"Ugh, o.k.?" Was all Cyborg could get out.
"I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that's not Beastboy," Raven uttered wiping the drool away.
"Ya think?" Danny replied.
"And if that's not Beastboy…" Robin stated.
"Then where could he be?" Starfire finished.
The wind gave a violent roar, making the papers in the alley swirl like a mini funnel cloud, and the trees in deepest part of the park rippled and creaked. Their leaves scratching up against the red and yellow spaceship.
"Dude, for the last time, I am not your dog!" Beastboy yelled yanking at the thick metallic collar willing it to snap. All the while the overgrown toddler, who looked a lot like Cinderblock, smiled and giggled in glee. Beastboy really hated kids right now.
"You are funny, Solo likes you," he praised clapping his big rock hands. And was that a yellow footie pajama he was wearing? Beastboy felt his heart pound away in his chest and fear began to claw its way around the edges of his mind.
"O.k. I didn't want to have to do this but…"
Beastboy transformed into a saber-toothed tiger and lunged for the rock's nonexistent neck. The overgrown toddler pressed a switch on his hand held remote and volts of electricity shot through the tiger sending him gasping and twitching on the floor. Beastboy lifted up the red cord and pawed at it, his claws doing no damage. He transformed into anything he could think of, the red leash wouldn't break and the shadows started to sneer at him. Beastboy was beyond scared; he was terrified. He turned into a hippo than a fish and the collar still remained. The rock, called Solo, laughed in childish glee. Desperate, the Titan transformed into a pterodactyl and took flight, it didn't work and he screamed. His cry sounded musical in these vocal cords, and Solo's smile looked like it could crack open his face. The toddler stood and pulled the dinosaur into a bone crushing hug.
"You are not Solo's dog; you are better than Solo's dog," he exclaimed dropping a now human Beastboy back onto the floor. He landed on the dog bed. Solo handed him a bowl of food, and the Titan wasn't sure if his stomach could handle anything at the moment, plus it didn't exactly look like food.
"Oh, uh…thank you," he said taking the bumblebee chicken leg, and Solo looked at him like a kid at Christmas.
"You can change into any pet, any pet Solo asks?"
Beastboy really wanted to punch the kid, he wasn't some...the Titan breathed, he needed to get away. He needed to play it smart. The shadows around them reminded Beastboy of his times on the streets of how to con fools. He hoped it worked on trigger happy toddlers.
"Well, I don't mean to brag but yeah, I can," he said smugly leaning back onto the purple comforter, relaxing every muscle to make himself at ease. He needed to look in control and not look like his heart was about to explode out of his chest.
"Change!" Solo screamed clapping his giant yellow hands. Beastboy leaned forward his gaze intense, hardened.
"If I do, will you let me go?"
Solo nodded feverently.
Beastboy extended himself into a giraffe, and Solo screamed in delight.
"Ugh, hello? Aren't we forgetting something here?" he yelled pointing at the collar, o.k. conning didn't work on the mentally unstable…or underdeveloped. Solo frowned stubbornly, like a three year old about to throw a tantrum in the middle of Wal-Mart, and crap, Beastboy knew he was in trouble now.
"Bad dog! Solo said Change!" he clicked the button, and Beastboy screamed, his body convulsed and he changed a parrot.
"Happy now?" He whistled.
Solo laughed. "Change!"
The torture went on and on, Beastboy lost count of how many animals he turned into too. He changed until Solo was practically rolling on the ground in glee. Beastboy hoped he peed himself.
"You're the best dog ever! And now you're Solo's new dog."
Beastboy felt the ground drop out beneath him. No. This couldn't be happening. Not now, not after everything he'd done to prove he was human. He survived being treating like filth on the streets; he survived being looked down upon. And now this, did the universe have it out for him? What did he do to deserve this? Anger clouded his eyes, and he turned human, glaring up at the seventeen foot toddler.
"Say what? Dude, I am no one's pet!"
Fat tears started to gather in the baby's eyes, and Beastboy had to remind himself that this hunk of rock wasn't like those hunters in his childhood. They knew what acts they were committing; Solo's only crime was that he couldn't get past the Neverland Phase.
"You do not like Solo's ship? You do not like Solo?"
He asked getting right up in Beastboy's face, and crap the dude could squash him like a bug. Or electrocute him. The Titan felt sweat begin to bead his brow.
Solo smiled. "Good dog!" he answered when Beastboy didn't reply. Solo patted his head, and the changeling realized he probably just avoided being deep fried extra crispy.
"Now we go home."
Solo got up and headed to the control panel that looked like baby toys. The floor rocking with each step he took.
"Home?" Dread filled Beastboy's gut.
"Solo's planet, on far side of galaxy."
Beastboy felt his ears droop. He was so screwed.
The Titans had split up again to cover more ground and still none of them could capture the green alien dog. Danny was about to start flying around the city looking for UFO's and Beastboy if they couldn't catch this dog soon. It also didn't help that his skin was humming with electricity.
"You o.k. man?" Cy asked, pausing from his work.
"No, but I'm not going anywhere till we get BB back."
Cyborg gave him a searching look filing the information away for later as he restarted the flame torch.
"Cyborg, you almost finished?" Robin cut in over the communicator.
"Yeah, tell Rae she can get into place."
"On it," the line went dead and Cyborg finished up the device. He stood and looked over to Danny.
"You too man."
"What? I'm not the one getting molested."
Cyborg smirked at that.
"No, but doggie breath has been avoiding you like the plague. So, just in case."
"You can't avoid the plague."
Danny smiled and did as he was told. The dog was smelling a tree right outside a café when Raven landed beside the bench and sighed.
"Uh, here doggie, doggie," Raven really didn't want to be here. The green dog turned, took one look at her and lunged; Starfire swooped down and dropped the solid cylindrical cage right in front of him. The dog yelped his momentum propelling him inside, he hit the glass hard as Robin slammed the lid shut. Cyborg and Danny joined the rest of the team watching the dog growl and turn himself into putty trying to get out of his new prison.
"Sorry, Fido, when Cyborg builds it, nobody breaks it," the man gloated patting the container, the dog merely glared.
"So what now?" Raven asked.
"We just have to figure out how he can lead us to the spaceship. I could do a chemical analysis on his fur, see where's he's been," Robin answered standing up.
"I can do a molecular scan; maybe he and the ship have the same isotopic signatures," Cyborg suggested.
"Perhaps you could use your powers to communicate with the creature?" Starfire asked looking to Raven, the teen practically growled.
"I'm still getting his drool off my face; I don't want him anywhere near my brain."
Starfire hedged closer to Danny for protection. He didn't blame her.
"Uh, pardon me?"
Everyone stopped talking and looked down to the dog, who just talked?
"But I believe we might be able to help one another."
The Titans jaws hit the concrete.
"O.k.? Am I the only one who heard that?" Robin asked.
"You can talk! Dogs don't talk!" Cy yelled.
Fido scratched behind his ear dismissively.
"Perhaps not on your planet my dear fellow, now if you'll agree to release me, I'll be happy to help you locate my odious former master. After I escaped his ship, he pursued me here and mistakenly captured another green dog, your Beastboy I presume," he said Beastboy with air quotes, and Danny suddenly got the urge to punch the dog right in his green smarmy jaw.
"And you didn't tell us this earlier because…" Raven hissed, at least she was able to voice her opinion Danny seriously doubted the other Titans would have been able to at the moment. Especially when the dog smirked and said:
"I was having too much fun."
Oh, yeah Danny really wanted to hit him…the halfa paused. He bent down to the dog's eye level and glared.
"Why did you growl at me first?"
The green dog's lips curled maliciously.
"Because you smell worse than graveyard dirt."
"Hey man, Danny doesn't smell bad." Cy cut in.
"He doesn't mean it like that," Danny answered his eyes never leaving the dog's black pupils.
"And if you try to welch out of this deal you promised us, I'll send you the Other Realm myself."
The green dog paled.
Danny hadn't been sure what the dog called the Ghost Zone but judging from his reaction, he got the message.
The ship continued to hum to life, the monitor showing the power cell charging up pac-man style and Beastboy would have laughed. If every bar eaten didn't mean he was one step closer to Never Never Land. Beastboy started yanking the red leash.
"Engine's ready, new dog. Time to go home."
"I am Home! Now let me Go!" Beastboy yelled pulling at the cord it snapped forward, and he fell down back into the cushion. The ship took off. They were rising, getting further away.
"Bye-bye!" Solo cried out happily. It stabbed Beastboy in the gut.
The ship suddenly dipped, then it groaned painfully before starting to descend back to the ground, protesting the movement. Beastboy felt his heart get lost in his throat. Solo screamed.
"No! Solo want up, not down," he continued to beat the controls, but the ship kept sinking. Starfire and Danny groaned, their arms beginning to shake against the strength of four massive engines. Star felt electricity stinging her nerves from Danny, but neither refused to move. She could handle it, and Danny knew that. So they continued to push downwards the engines flared and the ship began to move upwards again, they both shook.
"Oh, c'mon," Danny growled willing strength in his legs as they flew perpendicular to the aircraft. Black magic wrapped around one side wing, and Robin's grappling hook wound around the other as he, Cyborg and Raven pulled the ship. The Titans worked until they forced it to land. Raven slammed open the door with her magic.
Robin ran for the ships stairs and flipped out of the way as seventeen stories of a tall giant rock landed into the ground.
"No! New dog belongs to Solo! You go now!"
"I'm thinking you're the one who's gotta go," Robin growled stepping forward. Solo jumped high in the air going for a body smash.
The team broke apart where the crater formed. Danny hovered next to Robin who pulled out his bo-staff.
"Danny, get Beastboy, we'll hold off rock baby here."
Danny flew into the ship as Solo barreled towards the leader.
The inside of the ship was pitch black expect for the one light source, and there struggling against a leash and collar was the changeling.
"Beastboy!" Danny flew over to his friend in seconds.
"Danny?" Beastboy's voice flooded with relief as the halfa searched for the release switch.
"Hang on. I'm going to get you out," Danny turned towards the control panel.
Danny froze then whirled around.
"Don't help me," Beastboy stated. Danny felt his mind real.
"Because…" The teen trailed off, how could he say this to his friend. "Never mind."
Danny wasn't about to let this drop.
"No, you want me to let you rot here, go ahead, enlighten me," Danny whispered, his voice laced with venom and disbelief, and god that made Beastboy feel like a jerk.
"Because I don't deserve it. Not from you," he couldn't meet those shell shocked green eyes.
"Why?" Danny's voice was still quiet all rage gone and something in Beastboy snapped.
"Because I shouldn't need your help! I've never fought my own battles, instead I latch on to whoever's around me, and you don't need that. God, Danny you've been fighting the big baddies for what? Three years, and I can't even protect myself from toddlers or poachers who want me for nothing more than my green hide! I shouldn't need help; I shouldn't need to prove myself to them…I…" Beastboy couldn't finish, his throat clogged up and his head was spinning from too many emotions, and he was pretty sure he had salt in his eyes.
"You what? You shouldn't be afraid?" Danny asked, and Beastboy couldn't help it, he looked up to those eyes and into their understanding. "If you weren't then I'd say you're missing some marbles," Danny smiled sadly but Beastboy wasn't going to rise to that bait.
"I…you don't need to bother yourself with me."
Something flashed in Danny's eyes and then he was right up in Beastboy's face power crackling around him. The Titan suddenly wondered if this was what Cyborg was talking about when Danny got mad.
"I shouldn't bother with you? That's a load of crap. And you're reasoning behind that bright idea is what? Because I've fought more bad guys than you did when I was fourteen? Well guess what, who gives a damn."
"No," Danny cut him off and again the anger fled quickly as it came making the halfa's glowing green eyes seem overly bright. "Just, no. I was alone not by choice, and if I had had anyone besides that fruitloop, I would have asked to be saved every time. I was terrified out of my mind, I was alone, I had to protect everyone, and I couldn't…I…if I had…" Danny looked away the muscle in his jaw ticking, his eyes far away.
"Danny," Beastboy reached out but the teen floated away. He breathed than met Beastboy's eyes once more.
"I will always ask for help. I've been broken to many times not to."
Beastboy didn't know what to say to that, Danny's feet thumped back down onto the ground. The entire time he'd been floating, towering over Beastboy, it made him think of a big brother.
"I don't care what you think, you're worth my time. So suck it up and accept my help."
That sounded more like the old Danny and Beastboy found he couldn't help but smile.
"Alright, so what's the plan, dude?"
A boom outside caught both teens' attention, and Danny cursed at not paying closer attention to what had been going on. He looked back to Beastboy.
"I can't do much. My new power is preventing me from doing anything except use electricity so if you know where the release switch is…"
"I don't, but can't you just short out this collar?" Beastboy asked pointing to the device wrapped around his neck. Danny shook his head.
"I can't, you're attached to it, and if I do that, you'll get zapped."
"I'll be fine."
The earth rumbled outside.
"Just short circuit the collar."
Danny felt like the walls were closing in and Vlad's voice kept echoing in his head "you'll always be placed into the impossible situation."
The halfa shoved all those thoughts away. He could handle what the world was throwing at him.
Beastboy's eyes were steel.
Beastboy could handle it.
Danny stepped forward and lightening crackled at his fingertips.
The team had thrown everything they had at this hunk of rock, and no matter what they did he wouldn't stay down.
"This isn't working we need…" Robin trailed off when an elephant charged and knocked Solo to the ground throwing up mounds of dirt. Beastboy changed back.
Solo stood up and fumed, "Bad dog! Solo will punish you!" He pressed the button and nothing happened, he kept trying not knowing why until repulsed, Danny threw the collar at his feet and went to go stand by the other Titans. Solo picked it up then he felt a T-Rex breathe.
Beastboy attacked, and he didn't let up. He threw the toddler into the air, and the Titans charged. Cyborg and Robin kicked him mid air, and Star, Raven and Danny let their power soar hitting Solo square in the chest. He crashed into the ground forming a giant crater. When the dust cleared, Solo set up big fat tears welling in his eyes. Beastboy almost felt sorry for the kid until a pink tongue shot out, and the collar wrapped around Solo's neck.
"Sit," the green dog ordered sitting by the crater with the remote as if he'd been there the entire time. "Stay."
Solo beamed and rolled out of the hole next to the tiny dog.
"Doggie, you came back!"
The green dog examined his paws.
"On the contrary, I am only here to retrieve my squeaky toys. I refuse to be your pet any longer."
Solo looked heartbroken until he had a wonderful I deal.
"O.k. Solo will be the doggie now, and you'll be the master," Solo got down on all fours and rolled happily barking, the green dog smiled in complete surprise.
"What? Oh, my…"
The Titans had no idea what to say. Or what was weirder.
"Come along, Solo. Time to go home," the dog said from inside the ship. Solo bounded up the stairs, and the ship took off leaving the team completely at a loss.
"You know, my Mom thought it was bad to let me ride shot gun when I was five," Danny commented eyes still looking up at the sky.
"Yeah, I think she was onto something there man," Cy answered. The two snickered while Robin walked up and patted Beastboy on the shoulder.
"Welcome back," Raven said colorlessly.
"Give me some love dog!" Cy answered now fully intent on welcoming the little grass stain back. Starfire gave him a hug and refused to let go.
"Friend, I am elated to see you. We have all missed you so."
Beastboy felt his heart warm.
"You guys, missed me?"
"Absolutely, who else is gonna help me wax the T-Car."
"And spar with me in the gym."
"And eat nauseating amounts of tofu with while Raven and I watch."
"What she said."
"And decide to swing by my bookstore to come up with pranks," Danny finished.
"Thanks guys," Beastboy smiled, and he really meant it.
A comfortable silence settled over the group then Danny remembered.
"Crap, I need to go see Clockwork now, this lightening power is really getting annoying."
"Yeah, dude, I'm surprised you didn't short circuit that ship trying to get me out," Beastboy smiled.
Danny gave him a half hearted glare, but Beastboy figured he was fine since it looked like the halfa was trying not to smile.
"You and Raven head out then, we'll see you later," Robin replied both Titans nodded before taking to the sky.
"Who wants to go for pizza!" Cy yelled, both Robin and Star agreed, and they began to walk away. Beastboy looked out at the dark sky watching the fading glow of Danny and Raven, he couldn't help but smile.
"Beastboy? Aren't you coming?" Robin asked.
"Thanks, but if it's alright with you, I've kind of had enough attention for one day."
No one had to say anything because they all knew what he meant.
"I hear you're looking for a new apprentice," said a voice. Slade didn't bother to react, he simply stood his ground.
"Oh, and who might you be?" he asked still watching the computer screen.
The ghost appeared behind him, his black boots landing on the soil, white cape flowing around him, in the darkness his red eyes burned.
"Just someone who thought he could help."
Slade turned to the man, his eye flashed.
"Aw, Plasmius, so good to finally meet you. I've heard all about you from Danny."
"I didn't think the boy would talk about me." He answered, Slade hummed in the back of his throat.
"He didn't. However often times what isn't said holds the greatest power."
"Yes, but what the boy doesn't know about me could fill a book."
"Very well, and who am I looking for?"
"Someone uncontrollable, right now one of my pawns is driving a piece right to you. Consider her a gift for further endeavors."
Vlad raised a red palm and the screen changed over to a teen with blonde hair and blue eyes racing through the streets of Metropolis heading to the desert that would bring her here. Slade examined the girl, she held promise.
"Yes, well I believe Daniel will pose a problem. He seems to have solidified the Titans power; with him, I'm afraid this gift will be useless. The girl will meet him and undoubtedly stay."
Plasmius walked forward.
"True, but at this moment he is absent and will be for a couple of days."
"A golden opportunity."
"Indeed," Vlad smiled a fanged grin. He turned to leave.
"Oh, her name is Terra Ilona by the way."
The ghost disappeared in red smoke, but Slade never took his eyes off the screen.
"Well Terra, it seems we have a new player in town, and so little time to act."
Slade couldn't help but laugh as the girl continued to run.
AN: Hey guys I'm back! I hope you read, enjoy and review! I mean it, why is it that when I ask for help I get more reviews...ah well "HELP!" There now I should be getting more reviews, to encourage me, and give me ideas, *smirks and walks off*
Now to answer some questions:
1) I still believe registering for Fanfiction is free and all you need to do is give yourself a username and an e-mail and you're set to go after that it's pretty easy to use. Don't forget to PM me!
2) To answer the question if I'm goth, I'm not. While I am a bit of everything, I've grown to understand that happy endings don't just happen. Often times we have to wade through more than a river of blood to even try and achieve some form of peace. And while the little girl in me longs for happy endings (yes, I grew up with Disney, deal with it) I know life doesn't work like that and I'm trying to show this through Danny.
3) Thank you everyone who reviewed to help with Robin's identity, I'd like you to keep reviewing. Also the spoiler will be posted as a Oneshot for now until the chapter comes out.
4) Also I'd love to hear your feedback on my writing style, how it impacts you, how I can improve it, if you'd want to read any of my other works, is this fanfic worth reading a second time? Let me know. Believe it or not I do want to be a writer in my spare time.
5) I fixed the end with Slade and Vlad and Thank You Dizzly for editing for me!
Next Chapter of Titans Phantom: The Shade of Terra Ilona