A/N: I'm very sorry for making you wait so long, and I completely understand if you have moved on and no longer care for this story. To my dedicated readers: I am so grateful for your support. In fact it was those supports that lead me to begin writing my own original novel, which is part of the reason I've been so busy away from fan fiction. But that's water under the bridge now. Please enjoy this chapter, and let me know if the quality is less than what you've come to expect.
P.S.: Because I have been away from this site for so long, consider all of the un-started stories on my profile page as challenges, since I will very likely never write them. I'll post them as such later but feel free to look ahead. If you accept, PM me so I can follow it when you start.
Vinter held the badge like particle disrupter against the block of ice for only 25 seconds, least he destroy the prison he'd created. Not that it mattered, as Tennyson was likely in so much agony that it seemed like hours. During that time he looked around, and managed to locate what appeared to be a large red reactor, the size of a plumber issue space craft.
To the average human it would appear to be a furnace containing a dull red fire, but Vinter knew the energy within was beyond nuclear. Halting his torture he secured the device onto a nearly invisible black case within his cloak, unfurling his wings, and lifting the block over his head with one arm. Necrofriggians may be skeletal, but weak they are not.
He hovered towards the reactor and chuckled humorlessly, his laugh like the crunching of sleet and snow. "In the end, all it took was a basic ambush to take down the mighty Ben Tennyson. To think that the Ultimatrix could belong to such a fool." He whispered to no one. He reached out his free hand to open the hatch at the top of the massive machine…
When a blast of yellow energy shot him in the side.
"Hrah!" He cried out in pain and the block of ice slipped from his hand and fell to the floor of the room, causing it to crack in several places.
He looked to the direction of the shot, and discovered that it had come from a small laser pistol barely bigger than the hand of the girl who was wielding it. A human girl to be exact.
"Your plan was pretty well thought out." Eunice said with clear and professional malice. Her glare meets his quickly, but she was clearly afraid. Her hands were shaking, and her skin was perspirating. "You shut down every security obstacle in this section of the building without alerting the rest of it. Not only that," She looked down to where the ice block had fallen. "You managed to catch Ben pretty easily."
Vinter was not the least bit intimidated. He was more concerned with whether or not she had alerted security than what she could do with a tiny hand gun. Although it hurt more than he'd expected. "How did you know I'd be here human? Did you know where he'd be?"
Eunice smirked, although very half heartedly. "Ben and I have very similar abilities. I was able to sense where he was the moment he activated the Ultimatrix. And in case you're wondering, security is already on their way here. They have quite a ways to go since the ones you took out are nowhere to be found."
Vinter sighed. "Then I will take my leave." He turned intangible and leaped towards the ceiling at an alarming rate, but was shot by another burst of yellow energy dispite his phantom like powers.
"UGH!" He cried as his organs convulsed and his head buzzed. "What is this?" He managed to yell when he was bombarded with more expertly aimed shots from Eunice. He could feel gravity begin to drag him down as his body felt as though it was gaining more weight. He could not phase through the shots nor could he clear his head enough to dodge them. Before he knew it he knew it he was on his hands and knees on the floor.
"My particle disrupter is a bit more weaponised than yours Vinter." Said Eunice with her voice gaining more confidence now that she held the power. "That should keep you pinned until the security arrives. I think it's safe to say you just ruined your case."
"As if…I care about…that…" Vinter shuddered out. "My task…is nearly complete." Vinter's arm suddenly shot out, and an icicle pierced the barrel of Eunice's gun, causing her to drop it in shock. Vinter lunged at the distracted girl and pinned her to the floor. In the struggle, Eunice grabbed his arm with her own hands.
He shook her off and froze her arms against the ground. The ice slowly began creeping over her when her body became like blue vapor and she phased into the ground.
"WHAT!" He shouted in frustration. "How is she able to-" He suddenly jumped straight into the air just as Eunice's fist came from below his midsection. She flew straight at him, only to be caught by the wrist and have her arm twisted behind her. Vinter used his power to push her straight into the ceiling before she could become intangible again.
Thanks to her knew found durability she did not suffer injury, but then she was immediately flung to the floor. She used her powers to catch herself before she hit the ground, but then heard a heavy exhaling sound followed by a sharp whistling. As she turned she barely managed to phase through the rain of icicles that impaled the floor beneath her.
Vinter then dove at her once more, this time with a three foot shard of ice in his right hand. With his left hand around her throat he slammed her against the wall, he willed his power over hers and she began to phase out of her intangibility.
"How are you doing this?" She grunted through clenched teeth.
"I am a trained warrior. You are a scientist." He raised the shard until it was just at the base of her ribs. "Dispite your abilities, you know nothing of the true potential of Necrofriggians. And now-"
Just as he began pressing the blade into Eunice's skin a black and purple tentacle wrapped around his arm. The next second three more wrapped around his other limbs and two more around his waist. He was yanked back and Eunice fell to the ground, landing on her feet.
Vinter tried to break free and phase out but sharp pain shot into his back accompanied by a pink light. The tentacles released and what he assumed was a beam began pressing him into the wall and seconds later he dropped to the floor with this back scorched. 'How am I burned?' He thought through his intense pain, with good reason considering Necrofriggians could survive in lava. Looking up his eyes widened as the ectonurite sucked the extra limbs back into its body.
"H-how did you-"
"You took too long." Ghost freak hissed. "By the way Eunice, thanks for stalling him."
"Right, stalling." Said Eunice rubbing her hurting throat.
Vinter struggled to his feet looking back and forth between his two opponents. Deciding to take care of Ben first he once again drew the particle disrupter from his cloak.
Ben raised his hand towards Vinter and a blue glow began to surround his fingers. He concentrated on the device in the young Necrofriggian's hand yanked it into mid-air with his telekinesis.
There it floated until Vinter leaped at it, only for it to be flung back at his face and suddenly activated. His entire body convulsed in agony as the orange and yellow sparks shot through-out his body. Seconds later he fell to the floor in a heap.
Exhausted, Eunice fell to her knees and put a hand to her bleeding side. "G-good job-b-b-Ben." She stuttered.
The Ectonurite floated down and landed beside her. In a flash of green light a shivering Ben, covered in frost put a hand on her shoulder. "Y-y-y-you all-r-r-light?" He asked, stuttering for an entirely different reason.
She smiled and nodded. "It'll heal in a few minutes." She nearly whispered. "What do we do with him?"
Before Ben could answer the door to the boiler room burst open and nearly a dozen guards rushed in holding laser lances. "Freeze! Everyone put your hands up, and don't move a muscle!"
Ben a Eunice did as they were told. "T-t-these t-two n-n-need medic-c-cal at-t-t-t-attention." Ben said struggling to move his arms above his head.
Robin leaned against the wall outside of the door of the Justice League conference room with his arms crossed over his chest. He sighed heavily in relief as he had done several times that day already. Dispite his harsh moral upbringing as Batman's partner the Dark Knight had been less than merciful. Dispite his obvious grounds to do so (as much as Robin hated to admit) the Titans themselves were being pardoned for their "attack" on the Plumbers and their base thanks to the consideration of Max Tennyson.
As much as Robin appreciated that he wasn't being disciplined by an openly judgmental authority he didn't like that his act of investigation could have been considered a federal offence. Although looking back he could see why everyone seemed so disappointed in him. Frowning, he went over the list once more in his head.
He attacked an alien military officer. In retrospect that never works out well for anyone, heck even Beast Boy knew that.
He resisted arrest. Even though it wasn't his crime he prevented Starfire from being arrested which was pretty stupid since she asked him to trust her and he basically acted on his lack of trust of anyone's abilities other than his own.
He sought out an officer with a criminal record with the intension of fighting him, dispite his lack of knowledge of the situation.
And worst of all he got his team involved dispite their protests.
Because of this Robin was feeling a bit anxious about his pardon from Max Tennyson. When people committed crimes punishment was in order. That's the way he'd been taught. He didn't feel right walking away from this. It left him asking too many questions about what was really going on. He was so deep in thought he didn't see the hooded girl float up to him until she was resting against the wall with him.
"You seem stressed." Raven said softly. "You're not still thinking about what Batman said are you?" She asked dispite knowing the answer.
"Of course I am." He said looking at the ground. "Dispite what happened I can't help but wonder whether what he said was even necessary. Or maybe it was more than necessary, and I just didn't like being humiliated in front of all of those other people."
"You weren't the only one." She said with her own frown deepening a little. "Even though what you did was foolish it's not like he has the right to treat you like a child, you're seven-teen."
"No Raven, it's not that simple." He sighed. "You know he used to be my mentor, but there's a side to him you don't know about. He's not the type to let things like this go. He's gonna be all over us from this point forward." He said clenching his fist. "I messed things up for all of our fellow Titans. Anyone with a criminal record might be looking at serious consequences for unpunished crimes."
Raven rolled her eyes. "And where was he when you defeated Slade?" She said. "He knows how much good you've been doing yet he only wants to acknowledge your mistakes?" She paused to let the sentence sink in. "You're not some child going out into the world for the first time. You've been a good leader to us for years and dispite the mistakes you've made before we've all forgiven you. You never held anything against us either."
"He doesn't see it that way." Robin said. "It's pretty black and white with him. He considers himself the grey area." He put his hand to his chin and sighed again.
"Okay, stop that." Raven said irritably. "Seriously if you sigh one more time I'm going summon a fungus from another dimension and place it in your underwear drawer."
Dispite the horrifying thought Robin smirked a bit.
"You need to stop feeling so sorry for yourself." She said putting a hand on his shoulder. "We know you would do anything to protect Starfire, and anyone of us. You just made a bad call."
"I made a lot of bad calls."
"Boo-hoo. I stayed on Earth for years knowing that the Eighth Devil of Hell, My father, was coming to destroy everything including you and the others. But all you cared about was saving everyone." Raven turned herself to face him and turned his body to face her. "You teamed up with a man you hated, who you knew was responsible for the death of hundreds of people, who manipulated you and us on several occasions, and who made you question your morality. You saved the world Robin. Did that ever occur to you?"
"No." He said bluntly, looking away from her. "I never even considered that."
"Why? Do you even care that you saved everyone on the planet from eternal damnation? Not to mention the demons Trigon sent to other planets. That's a big deal." She said in disbelief. "Even though it was my fault you-"
"It wasn't your fault."
"You know what I mean." She grumbled. "Under you leadership the world…no…the Universe was saved. If you can't acknowledge that how can you expect him to?"
"I didn't do all that stuff to save the world, or the galaxy or the universe or anything like that."
Raven's eyes widened a bit. "Then why-"
"All I was concerned about was saving you." He said looking her in the eyes. His voice was quieter than normal. Raven could sense he was getting very nervous.
"I…okay…" She stuttered a bit. She felt her body tense up as she felt his hand pull the hood from her head. "I-I always thought that…" She didn't seem to notice that they were unconsciously leaning closer to each other.
"Raven," Robin whispered. "I don't want you to think-" She placed a hand behind his head and pulled him closer. Robin had already forgotten what he was going to say.
Just as she was closing her eyes, and she felt his lips touch hers…
Robin and Raven jumped in surprise at the explosion. "What was that?" He said looking around, and instinctively reaching for a belt that was no longer there.
"It came from inside the conference room." Raven said pulling her hood back up. She was feeling extremely embarrassed after what almost happened.
Robin was just opening the sliding door as Superman and Flash suddenly appeared behind them.
"What happened, we heard an explosion." Superman said in a surprisingly even tone. Robin the two teen heroes had just stepped into the room only to find the table and chairs thrown everywhere. Nothing seemed to be broken, or even burned but it almost looked like a tornado hit the room. Against the wall two men were grumbling as they picked themselves up.
"Okay, that was different." Said Max rubbing his already sore back. "What was that some kind of security measure."
"No." Grumbled Batman. "It wasn't." He picked himself up easily and turned directly to Robin. "Any ideas Robin?"
"No, I don't know what it was." He said with a tinge of malice. "Although I was getting tired of waiting outside." He turned and began walking back outside. "If you two are done talking I'd like to speak to my team now."
"No, we need to discuss-"
"Do we really?" Robin said. "Is it necessary to drag this out any further?" Before he could continue flash stepped in front of him.
"Um, no offence kid but you did start this." He said condescendingly.
"That's not true." Max said in a very calming tone. "This conflict started because of a series of misunderstandings in such a short time period. If anything it's my fault."
Before anyone could say anything the Titans, Plumbers, Gwen and Kevin suddenly appeared in the doorway. "Grandpa?"
"Dude what happened?"
"Quit pushing man."
"I can't help being this big."
"Yeah dude, give Cyborg a break."
"I think that was Manny."
"Are someone's clothes burning?"
"Who's breathing on my neck."
Batman slammed his hand against the wall. "Quiet!"
Robin sighed in annoyance. If the Justice League knew anything about teenagers, it's that putting them in the same room for 3 hours will result in lots of noise.
20 minutes later:
Raven sat by herself on one of the many sofas in the lounge of the Watch Tower. Sighing to herself she thought back to what almost happened with Robin. Not only were they cut off, but know she had to endure the awkwardness that was sure to follow for the next several days.
So wrought was she with internal conflict she didn't sense the massive source of magic approaching her from behind until the very last second. Instinctively she jumped from her seat and floated straight into the air, her eyes glowing and looking down at the deceptively average teenaged red head below her.
"Um, hi?" Gwen said awkwardly.
Raven floated back down and folded her cloak back over her body, she let the hood cast it's mask like shadows over her eyes in her best (and very effective) attempt at looking intimidating. To Gwen's credit, she was only mildly uncomfortable. It was one thing to stare down an opponent, but all she wanted was to talk.
"I wanted to ask you a question about what happened earlier." Gwen said in her nicest voice.
"I was just a misunderstanding. I wasn't actually trying to hurt you or anyone else." Raven said plainly.
Gwen unconsciously rubbed the back of her head. "Um, actually I meant what happened in the room upstairs." To Gwen's surprise, the shadow over Raven's face seemed to expand slightly as she tried to hide an otherwise obvious blush. Then she sensed it again. Raven's magic slowly began seeping out of her body, the room started to vibrate as though there were a loud sound coming from beneath it. Cautiously, Gwen continued. "I felt a burst of dark magic in the room upstairs, and when I got there everything was-"
"It was me." Raven said looking away.
"How? Was it a control thing?"
"No…It's just," Raven took a deep breath to calm herself. "Whenever I experience intense emotion my powers sort-of…slip out." She said without looking at Gwen. "That's all."
"Oh." Gwen said in a way that suggested she already knew that. "What happened specifically?"
"I don't really see how it's your business." Raven hissed.
"I know, I know…I just thought that maybe, we could help each other out." She said nervously.
"What could you possibly need my help with. You seem powerful enough." Raven said as she contemplated leaving the alien enchantress and heading to the cafeteria.
"I noticed that you use…I don't know…some kind of chant to keep your powers under control, and I was hoping…"
"That I could teach it to you?" Raven finished for her.
"And you wanted to know about what happened upstairs because you were curious as to why I didn't use it then?" She added.
"That too." Gwen said as she nodded.
Raven took a deep breath and turned back to Gwen. "Honestly, I'm not sure if I can help you." She said in a surprisingly calm voice. "You seem to have plenty of control without it and honestly what happened before was just a hereditary fluke." Raven then pulled her hood back and looked directly at Gwen. "Why would you need a control spell?"
Gwen put her hands behind her back and rocked on her heels. "Well," She stopped and looked away a little. "Whenever I get angry, like really angry…my body gets overtaken by my internal energy." She stopped rocking and looked Raven in the eyes. "Every time I lose control I get closer and closer to losing my physical body. By the time I become powerful enough to make a new one that can sustain my full power I'd be a whole different person." She brought her thumbs together and twiddled them unconsciously. She wasn't very comfortable telling this to people she barely knew. "Not to mention decades will likely have passed on Earth.
Raven, to her credit, managed to keep her shocked face within character and shook it off in a few seconds. "I see. Well if you must know the spell I was taught is purely meditative. It requires internal serenity and is designed to draw power from the soul, or suppress it. It might actually make things worse in your case since you're trying to keep your body and soul the same."
"I see." Gwen said, trying to keep dejection beneath her professionalism.
"…but, I might be able to help you a different way. Are you familiar with meditation?"
Starfire sat in her cell alone. She was curled up on top of the uncomfortable metal platform bed with a thin mattress and a single thin pillow. The room itself was quiet put the asylum like babbles of the other inmates made the lonely room seem haunted. The innocent people that found themselves here must feel so betrayed by society. Much like how Starfire felt.
She also felt more alone than she'd felt in years, as her friends were light years away and the two new friends she had made were likely very angry with her. Her family, her deceased parents and brother, and incarcerated sister could not be here and the people of Tameran probably did not even know she was here.
But she wouldn't cry yet. Not until she could apologize to Ben. As long as he was her friend again she wouldn't have to cry. No sooner had she thought this did the door to her cell open.
Her first instinct was panic, for she was sure that some other jailer had been assigned to her and this one would be far worse than the other to other two. But as she looked up all she felt was elation.
"Ben!" She shouted as ran up to him, stopping as soon as she saw his head looking down and realized how mad he might be. "Friend Ben, I am very sorry about how I treated you. I should not have ignored your kindness. Please…" Before she could even utter another sentence she caught site of something that made her emotions run rampant. Ben was crying.
Before she could ask what was wrong he embraced her and held her body against his. He felt unusually cold, but Starfire's sun powered warmth overtook it instantly.
"I'm so sorry Koriand'r." He said in a horse voice. "I'm sorry I was so selfish, and that I treated you like child." He stopped and forced himself to hold back a sob. "All I care about right now is getting you home again. That's all I'm going to focus on. Just please forgive me. I know I don't deserve a friend as loyal and caring as you but I'm begging you. Please forgive me."
The complete shock that had overtaken Starfire began to settle as she realized what was happening. Ben Tennyson, a Magister of the Plumbers, and one of the most powerful beings in the known universe was begging for her forgiveness on a simple argument. What Starfire didn't know was the Ben's immediate assumption after fighting Vinter was that he was being distracted while someone attacked her, and he'd ran all the way back here to make sure she was okay.
The room was quiet a little too long for Ben's own emotional security, until he heard-
"EEEE!" And found himself in a spine breaking hug and being swung back and forth like a little girls rag doll.
"!" She squealed with joy.
"Glad to hear it." Ben said dispite his collapsing lungs. Even though the moment was strange he felt a something right then (it wasn't his bones breaking) that made him feel different about Starfire. She wasn't like humans, who held onto emotions dispite moving on. It seemed Starfire had completely changed her view of her situation. And Ben thought he might as well too. She was going home, whether he had to win this case or take her home himself.
A/N: Well…..that was nice wasn't it. The next Chapter focuses more on the next half of the case. But it seems more happened on this night than anyone could have predicted. Not even Ben could pull a Deux ex Machina in this plot twist. And what happened to Vinter? What about Gwen and Raven? Did Starfire get enough mustard? Did Beast Boy get the chicken pox?
You'll have to wait and find out!
You know; I really liked how this turned out. Especially the way I tied Ben and Starfire's scene with Raven and Robin's. And look Raven and Robin had a scene! Where Raven acknowledged the fact that if the Titans hadn't defeated Trigon he would have concord the universe. Or at least gotten pretty close. Take that Ben!
And yes, Gwen and Raven will have further interaction later on. I'll try to post again by next Saturday.
P.S: I want Ben 10 Omniverse to come out already! Want…new…Omnitrix.