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Disclaimer: I do not own the Tri-State Area Convention Center. Or this fictitious awards ceremony. Or anything associated with Phineas and Ferb.


Chapter 9 – Beauty and A Breakdown?

The drive to the ceremony was largely uneventful, if only for the fact that Coltrane was sitting between Baljeet and Ginger, robbing him of any opportunity to embarrass himself again. Stacy and her mom were preoccupied with some discussion that he couldn't hear, so he was content with looking out the window, watching the other cars pass by.

He could almost feel her gaze on him, even though he didn't dare take a chance to return the stare. If Coltrane was purposefully blocking her, he didn't know it.

But he was still doing a very good job all the same.

"Alright, guys, we're almost here."

Wait a minute.

Baljeet craned his neck to see the convention center come into view. He had been there before for the Sci-Fi Convention not too long ago, but the large amount of grown-ups in suits was a stark contrast to the costumed kids he was accustomed to. There was already a group lined up at the door, which Mrs. Hirano drove up to, where a valet was waiting for her.

"Lance!" She clearly knew who he was. "What do they have you out here for? Aren't you usually at downtown?"

"They needed all hands on deck, Doctor," the young man replied. "We have more VIPs than expected coming out tonight."

"Well, that makes me feel better," Mrs. Hirano said, rolling her eyes. "Give me a minute to get the posse out."

"Very well, Doctor."

As the five of them made their way out of the car, Baljeet walked around to the woman's side, followed closely by Coltrane and Ginger. Stacy was close to her mom as they headed into the center.

Inside was even more crowded. Several men and women were gathered in the lobby, making small talk. Baljeet was only able to recognize a couple of them as being clients of his mother. A few of the couples were walking around arm in arm, dressed to the nines.

"I...did not think there would be that many people here."

"Well, this is the greater medical community from all across the Tri-State area. And there are more people being honored other than myself, so they had to make enough room here," Mrs. Hirano explained. "Or did Ginger not tell you that?" she added with a smirk.

Baljeet said nothing, instead continuing to gaze around the lobby.

"Stacy, I'm going to find someone who has an itinerary. I'll be right back. Don't go anywhere."

As she headed off, Coltrane leaned into his girlfriend. "You recognize anybody here?"

"Absolutely not. Although I thought I saw another kid running around as we walked in. It looked like one of Ginger's friends."

At the mention of her name, Baljeet looked over to the younger Hirano, whose eyes were darting around at all of the people. He walked over to her just as she seemingly finished a conversation with herself.

"...Like that one time."

"Are you OK?"

Ginger's eyes went to Baljeet, not moving her head. "There was one time...where we had to dress up for a Fireside Girls ceremony. Nice clothes and all. It wasn't anywhere as formal as this, though."

He looked down at her white knuckles. "Your hands are shaking. You're nervous."

"Of course I am." Ginger's voice quivered slightly. "It's a little different when you're not the center of attention. I just don't want to do something stupid and embarrass Mom. I probably look like a horrible mess."

"Ginger, you look the exact opposite of a horrible mess. You're...wonderfully tidy."

"...You have a weird way of trying to make me feel better."

"Listen, you are the one that invited me. And I am somewhat used to this. It is nothing to worry about."

She looked away from him. "Technically, you invited you. I didn't want you to feel like you were forced. You're here because of me."

Aaand there were the nerves again.

Baljeet felt his face get red. "I am here because I want to, Ginger. Besides," he added, looking up at Stacy and Coltrane, "this is an opportunity we will probably not be able to get to experience for quite some time. We'll meet a few people, get fed, listen to a couple of speeches, and knowing you, probably get a few job offers."

Ginger giggled nervously. "Little too young, right?"

"No, probably not."

She felt an elbow gently poke her in the ribs, and she turned to see Baljeet offering his arm.

"If indeed you still are, there is no point in being alone. We can be nervous together."

"Baljeet...I thought..."

"Ginger, I am saying this as your friend and keep in mind that it is me who is saying this: I believe we are both thinking too much."

She smiled as she looped her arm through his. "Thank you," she whispered.

"Well, is this the Hirano posse?"

Both Ginger and Baljeet looked up to see a portly man walk up to them, his cane clacking on the floor. "I'd recognize a Hirano anywhere. You've got your mother's looks, the both of you."

"I'm glad I gave them something, Robert."

"Ahh, Naomi!" The man turned to see Dr. Hirano right behind him, a paper in her hands. "Always able to sneak around this old guy! You should go to ninja school!"

"Flunked out of it, unfortunately," she laughed, giving him a hug. "Robert, I don't think I've properly introduced my family. This is my oldest daughter Stacy with her boyfriend Coltrane, and this is my youngest daughter Ginger with her friend Baljeet. Kids, this is Robert Goulding, my boss at the hospital."

"A pleasure to meet you all!" Robert exclaimed with a wave of his cane, which Baljeet had to duck. "Naomi speaks very highly of each of you. I expect great things in the future from you kids. Not to mention you, son."

The Indian boy was confused. "Why me, sir?"

"Because I've worked with your mom on numerous project, Mr. Tjinder. She has a great brain between her shoulders and always tells wonders of your schoolwork. You could probably join our medical team right now and outpace a quarter of my staff!"

"That is very flattering, sir. But I do believe I need a little bit more education."

"Of course! Don't want to rush these things, do we?" Robert spied Ginger's arm on his and winked. "Although it seems there's at least one idea you've scurried along at a fast pace, if I don't say so myself!"

"As much as I would love to talk further," Mrs. Hirano said, cutting him off, "I believe the dinner is about to start. Don't you have a speech to make?"

"Oh dear, I suppose I do! Best to be off! Congratulations again, Doctor! I'll see you in the gala!" Robert scurried off, almost bowling over another couple before disappearing into the crowd.

Coltrane snorted, barely able to contain himself. "That's your boss?"

"Yes," the woman said simply. "You'll have to forgive him; he gets sort of excitable at these events. Robert is a really kind gentlemen, though." She waved them forward. "Come on, they're filing everyone into the ballroom now."

As they made their way to the entrance, Baljeet noticed that a certain someone was still looking at him.

"Not. A. Word."

Coltrane's smile only became wider. "I didn't say a single thing."

Now Stacy was the one elbowing. "Leave him alone, Coltrane. We have to give them at least a little break."

"Fair enough."

Baljeet could feel Ginger's hand tighten around his arm. Evidently their words were not lost on her.

"You know," he said, turning to her, "If they were to suddenly find themselves glued together tomorrow, and thus you would be able to earn your "Stuck Together" patch, I would be all for assisting you in that endeavor."

Ginger chuckled. "I've had to live with it for a while. You don't really get used to it. Besides...I don't think I have enough glue."

"Why-"

"Party of five, ma'am?"

Baljeet saw that they had stopped in front of a podium, where another sharply dressed man was talking to Dr. Hirano.

"Yes, sir."

The man appeared to cross something off of his notebook, then motioned into the ballroom. "You will want to head to your right. You'll be seated near the front stage."

"Thank you, sir."

Baljeet turned to Ginger. "And here comes the free food part. We are through the first part. See? Nothing happened. Except for the eventual congregation of Stacy and Coltrane. Shall we go in?"

Ginger smiled, her arm still with his. "Let's."

With that, they walked in behind the others. It was lucky he was busy paying attention to where they were going, because if Baljeet had looked at her again, he would've noticed her quickly glanced at her other hand, the writing almost impossible for her to make out.

-----

This Crazy Little Thing - Chapter 9

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Girl, will you ever learn?

OK, so I was one day off. I also had to split this chapter into two, because I apparently still can't properly plan out these things.

So, I did hear the news that Phineas and Ferb was ending. I would love to go into detail my thoughts, but now is not the place. I'll put up a journal on DevArt before too long.

Until then, next week will be our final climax, as well as a face we haven't seen in a bit come back. Who is it? You'll just have to find out.

Read and review, if you like. Until next time, everyone.

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Disclaimer: The Teen Titans characters and animation are the property of Glen Murakami and Warner Bros. Animation.


Chapter 3 – Ringmaster

Over a thousands years ago, a young wizard and a dark dragon battled at the Castle of Nol. The battle lasted for a long while, neither force giving much of an edge to the other. After hours on continuous fighting, it would seem that the dragon had finally gained the upper hand. However, the wizard had one last trick up his sleeve: his spellbook. He spoke the forbidden curse, which trapped the dragon inside the book.

And that is how it came to pass that the grand wizard Malchior laid siege to the dread dragon Rorek.

...Or that's what he wanted her to believe.

Raven would later be gifted his spellbook before she left to go to Jump City, and in the doldrums of a boring afternoon, she had started to read it. Over the course of a few days, she had become enthralled with the story.

And that's when he had made his move.

Malchior had seduced her, strung her along, pretended to be a friend just so that he could escape his prison. He had succeeded, laying waste to the Tower and almost bringing the entire team to their knees before Raven used Rorek's same curse to trap him back into the book.

She had been heartbroken, naturally. Not only had she been lied to about everything Malchior had told her, but she knew better than that. She had always prided herself on being the most levelheaded of the team. She was always looking for suspicion and deceit.

And when it was right underneath her nose, she didn't smell it.

During their final battle with the Brotherhood of Evil, Raven had seen the resurrected Malchior dive toward the child trio of Melvin, Timmy, and Teether. Preoccupied with Psimon, she yelled out for them to get out of the way, only for Herald to show up just in the nick of time, trapping his flame breath inside a portal and sending the dragon in after it.

Raven was never able to figure out exactly how the Brotherhood was able to release Malchior from his prison, nor did she really care. She thought he was gone for good.

And then today happened.

"Raven?"

The spellcaster had gotten so sidetracked in her mind that she completely forgot that her book was speaking to her. "Don't move," she said, her magic at the ready.

"I do not think I'm really capable of moving anywhere, but your threat has been noted."

The last time a book spoke to her, it had led to it turning into a dragon, so naturally Raven was a little hesitant. "Why are you here?"

"To help aid you in your quest to vanquish the dread dragon Malchior. I would assume that would be obvious." The corporal form of Rorek crossed his arms. "I thought that you were taught better than this."

"And what exactly makes you think that I'm going to believe anything you say?" Raven asked. "For all I know, you could be an illusion of Malchior's. Something sent to trick me again."

"A fair assumption. But that can be explained as well." Noting the spellcaster's silence, he continued. "When I sealed away the dread dragon with that curse, it locked away a part of my soul within the book as well. Think of it as a safeguard. That is why I am able to speak to you on a corporal level while Malchior wrecks havoc in your world."

"But it didn't work," Raven said, lowering her hand. "After I put him back into the book, Malchior was still able to get out. My team and I fought him before this time. Some other villains were able to convince him to fight against us."

Rorek rubbed his chin in thought. "He was not anywhere near full strength, though. You defeated him rather easily."

Raven raised an eyebrow. "How do you know that?"

"Soul link, remember? I can tell what his power is like even in this state. And I can tell you right now his power grows by the hour. It will eventually reach the point where not even you can hope to defeat him."

She cautiously walked over to the book and picked it up, the open pages glowing with light. "Tell me more about this link of yours. How much information can you get from it?"

"A fair amount. I know that now the dragon slumbers at this time. Malchior has spent much of the energy he has gathered, but on what I do not know."

"He's been possessing children. Sending them around our city to do his bidding."

Rorek growled angrily. "That foul beast. Bringing the blood of innocents into his fights. I would expect nothing else from him."

Raven walked over to her window, where the sphere of black energy could be seen even in the dark of night. She pointed out to it, with Rorek following her gaze. "What do you make of that? My power wasn't able to pierce through it."

The ancient wizard narrowed his eyes. "The Sphere of Staldar. A spell that's virtually impenetrable for outsiders to infiltrate. He's used this many a time during my battles with him. And the spell grows stronger the more he's released from his prison." He turned back to Raven. "Dear Raven, the link I share with him will be severed if he does not return to the book before too long. If it is broken...well, your world would be in great peril."

Raven processed this all in her head. The last few minutes had been mind-boggling. She was still a little suspicious, but given the circumstances, she didn't have much of a choice. She looked down at the miniature projection. "If I get inside and perform the curse, do you think it would work?"

"At this point, no. Even now, his power is too great, even for your magic."

"Ugh. So much for that option."

Rorek didn't not respond right away as he tapped one of the runes on the page. "Hmm."

"What is it?"

"There...may be another way. We would need additional resources, however." Rorek closed his eyes in thought. "You said you have a team. Are any of them adept in magic?"

"If you count Beast Boy killing the mood when he tells a joke, then yes." Raven lightly chuckled at her joke, but remembered who she was talking to. "Er...no. I'm the only one with magic."

"Hmm. They will have to do under the circumstances." Rorek raised a hand, letters appearing in front of him. "Take me to them with haste. I will explain the preparations to you all when we are gathered."


"So...let me see if I have this straight."

The team was gathered around the living room console, Raven's book in the center of them. The announcement of Raven having a plan to rescue the children and defeat Mumbo was met with confidence and gratitude. The announcement that it was really Malchior and they would be needed to help vanquish him was met with...less enthusiasm.

"You want us to help you participate in some sort of demon black magic ritual thingy that would result in us getting the giant dragon back into the book that we put in him before?"

"Yes, Cyborg. That's what I'm asking."

"And you want us to take the word of him?" Cyborg pointed to the tiny Rorek, who had his head in his hand.

"I do realize that this seems very implausible, but I assure you that this is the only option that we have. Raven will have to-Hey!"

Rorek was cut off by the finger of Beast Boy prodding him in the back. "Dude, how did you fit in there?"

"Beast Boy, will you please stop messing with him?" Raven almost yelled. "He's trying to explain what we need to do."

"I've never seen a tiny man before. Except when we were at the circus before Mumbo started throwing magic around-"

"Beast Boy! Enough." Robin cut him off. "Look, this is crazy, and I can't believe this is happening either, but the fact of the matter is that we have the threat of this...thing...getting out and flattening the entire city. And frankly, I don't care if we get the aid of a magician from centuries ago. We could use it." The team leader turned to Rorek. "So all you need from us is to assist Raven?"

"Of sorts. You four (Rorek pointed to the rest of the team) will be needed for opening a door through the Sphere. Once inside, you shall provide assistance to Raven as she uses the curse to return him to his prison. Once returned, I can strengthen our soul link and contain him in the book."

"Umm...Mr. Rorek, sir," Starfire interjected. "You mentioned earlier that friend Raven's magic may not work this time. Is there an alternate plan in case our first does not work?"

"There is, young maiden. However, I have the fullest belief in Raven's abilities. I am confident she will come through."

Beast Boy leaned into Raven. "Does he know that I don't know a thing about magic?" he whispered.

"I may be of miniature size and on another plane of existence, but my hearing is as sharp as ever, green warrior."

"Oh. Oops."

"This is not a world where magic is prevalent to everyone, but you five have as strong a bond as I have seen. I have faith that you will be victorious." Rorek pulled his scarf closer to his face. "Now, I must prepare Raven for the ritual. The rest of you should get as much rest as possible. We must strike at nightfall tomorrow, when Malchior least expects it. We will not have much more time than that."


The next few hours consisted of Raven dabbling in deep meditation, chants of Azarian languages, and the reading of spells from cultures Raven didn't even know existed. The ordeal was energy-draining, and even with the relaxation exercises, it was the sight of the rising sun that made her realize that time had practically flown by.

"Ugh." Raven plopped herself down next to the window. "I feel like my head's about to explode."

"We certainly do not want that, now do we?" Rorek was sitting cross-legged on the book. "You are almost done. Regain your composure for a moment, and we will finish afterward."

Relieved, she tried to relax a little bit, but being up all night was not really the best thing to do before going into battle with a magical dragon, so the intended outcome didn't happen. She instead tried to focus on something else. Her gaze fell to the tiny figure of Rorek.

Raven quickly glanced back at the dome outside, then back at him.

"Can I ask you something, Rorek?"

"Ask away."

Raven stared out the window before asking. "Why would you subject yourself to linking with Malchior? Was that the only way to defeat him?"

Rorek was hesitant to answer. "Evil is never truly defeated, Raven. The sealing magic that I had used previously was not working, and our last battle was approaching the point where I could not waste any more time. The curse I used, as you know, was a last resort. It linked our souls together for eternity. As soon as my physical existence ended, I was bound to be within these pages with him forever. But at least, I would be able to contain him."

She looked down at him. "But he escaped. He...appeared as you." Her cheeks grew hot. "He managed to get me on his side, pretending to be you."

"Unfortunately, in our eternal battle of wits and magic, Malchior was able to catch me off guard. He imprisoned me and made himself the predominate presence in the spellbook. I could only watch as he manipulated you into his bidding." Rorek paused briefly. "If I had been stronger-"

"It wasn't your fault, Rorek," Raven cut him off. "He fooled me. I should have known better." She glanced down at her hands, still faint with her magic. "The trade-off, if anything, is that he taught me all sorts of magic that I used to defeat him and even use to help the Titans."

"Malchior does indeed know very powerful magic, and always had a thirst for more knowledge. As much as I hate to admit, it is a trait that I have in common with him. Of course, he strode off the path of righteousness a long time ago when he..."

Raven noticed the shake in his voice. "When he what?"

"...When he took away my beloved."

Her heart sank as she saw his body slump. "I'm...sorry. I didn't know," she whispered. "You never mentioned that in your book."

"I couldn't bring myself to relive that part of my past again. That is why she was excluded."

"What was her name?"

Rorek wiped away a tear before continuing. "Amalia. She was a wonderful sorceress and companion. It was such a dreary day when she was taken from me." He looked up at his companion. "I see a lot of her in you, Raven. Strong, courageous...quite beautiful as well."

"Uhh..." Now the blush was even brighter.

"I apologize. I did not mean to cause you discomfort."

"No, it's fine. I just don't really get complimented that often."

"Your teammates don't marvel in your ability? Not even the green one?"

"Trust me," Raven said, dipping down toward the white-haired sorcerer, "Beast Boy's more concerned about beating Cyborg in video games than complimenting me."

"He certainly has an eye for you, though."

Raven looked away, saying nothing. Rorek took the silence as the cue to move on. "The time is almost upon us. You should get some rest. I've taught you all that you need to know to deal with Malchior. Now it's up to you. You and your team can do this. I believe in you."

She picked up the book, holding the pages open for Rorek. "Do soul selfs even need sleep?"

"It most likely would not hurt. Sleep well, Raven." In a wisp of light, he disappeared back into the book. Slowly, she closed it up, her next works barely audibly.

"You too, Rorek."


Spectacle - Chapter 3

AUTHOR'S NOTE: I had to go back and watch Spellbound for a little bit in order to get my bearings again. Remember, I didn't originally have Rorek and Malchior in the early version of this story.

Next chapter will be the second to last, methinks. Confrontations will be made, spells may be broken...and demon children might flock around for a bit. I haven't figured out how many will fly around, though.

And no, I won't say next week will have the next chapter, because I'm not a schmuck. Like I was before.

Read and review, if you like. Until next time.

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Disclaimer: Phineas and Ferb are not mine. If they were, I'm pretty sure millions of people would have my throat.


Chapter 8 – Dress to Impress

Baljeet shut the door to his mom's car, careful not to let it close on his jacket. "You should probably come back at around eleven; that is when I would expect for us to be back."

"Do remember that you are suppose to have fun at this event, Baljeet. You are more uptight than a tent pole during the trapeze performance."

"...I do not even know what that is suppose to mean." He adjusted his tie out of habit. "I am starting to think that this was not the best of ideas."

His mom peeked at him over the window. "That is not the best thing to say when you are already in front of their house. Just be your normal gentleman self and you will be fine. Enjoy yourself!"

As she drove away, Baljeet couldn't help but chuckle nervously. "Sage advice as always, Mother." With that, he took the short walk up to the front door of the Hirano household.

Why was he doing this again? Pity? Attraction? Needing to get out of the house for one night? All of them? The only thing he knew for a fact was that he was at the door far too quickly than he imagined.

He was about to knock on the door when it flew open on its own accord. Great, now he had even less time to-

"Hey there, bud."

Baljeet blinked twice. "Coltrane? What are you doing here?"

Sure enough, the black hair and dark skin of his Summer Rocks! Instructor was already in the house, looking dapper in his suit. "I was about to ask you the same thing. Come on in."

Baljeet walked into the house, Coltrane closing the door behind him. "I imagine that you are accompanying Stacy to this event."

"And you would be right." The teen took a seat on the couch, tapping his foot. "But why are you here?"

"Ginger...is going as well. And I am accompanying her."

"Oooh! So like a date?"

"It is not a date. I am merely seeing to the fact that the outing that she wanted to go to is fruitful and to her liking."

"...Need I remind you that I don't speak your language, Baljeet." Coltrane looked at his watch. "All of the girls are upstairs getting ready. Mrs. Hirano said it wouldn't be too much longer."

Baljeet took the seat next to him. "Is it always like this? Just waiting around for them to get ready?"

"Dude, when you get in a relationship, you'll find out that this is a common occurrence. Heck, depending on how this goes tonight, you might see yourself in one."

The Indian boy threw his hands up in the air. "I really wish that everyone would stop saying that."

"What? I think you guys would make a cute-"

"I am perfectly aware of that fact, thank you very much." He slouched deeper into the couch. "Things are...complicated, however."

"I can understand that," Coltrane agreed. "Stacy and I weren't really together for a long time. It wasn't really our faults, though. It just took some time."

Baljeet got off of the couch, his frustration ebbing forward. "It is not even that! I don't want everyone to think this situation out before myself. I do not want to get stuck in some sort of romance novel."

Coltrane joined him at the foot of the stairs, interest piqued. "I'm confused, Baljeet. Don't you like her?"

"I do. I do not. I do not know!"

"I think you just gave three different answers to the same question."

"The situation that is currently arising is nothing short of a commonplace trope. Not to mention me being here right now."

"...English, Baljeet.

"A cliché, Coltrane! It is a cliche!" Baljeet paced in front of him, his arms raised. "It is something that you see in every movie. A young strapping male waits at the bottom of a set of stairs for his young maiden to appear. I can already picture the movie scene in my head!"

Coltrane was about to interrupt him with the statement that there was not that many movies out there like that, but Baljeet was too much on a roll for him to get a word in.

"And then said male looks up said stairs to said girl and is so stunned by her beauty that he can do nothing but stare...and...wonder..."

What exactly Baljeet was staring and wondering at became very apparent as Ginger came into their view. She was wearing a ankle-length dress that was the same color as the one she wore on Picture Day. Her hair was back in a ponytail, but this time it was in an intricate braid. A purple ribbon held it all together. On her wrist was a white corsage, it also with purple ribbon.

She was, in a word, stunning.

Coltrane had one finger in the air and the smuggest look on his face. "So...kind of like this?"

The look that Baljeet threw him was a mixture of disdain and embarrassment. He made a note in his head not to press the issue any further.

By this time, Ginger had made her way to the foot of the stairs. Now that she was up close, he could see that she was wearing the slightest amount of blush on her cheeks. She looked into his eyes and smiled.

"Hi, Baljeet."

This was not the Ginger that was bumbling through her words whenever they were around at school. Neither was this the girl that he was beginning to know a little better over the past couple of weeks. No...this was someone else.

Baljeet was so transfixed by her that he didn't even bother notice Stacy entering the room as well. The older Hirano strode up to her boyfriend, greeting him with a quick peck on the cheek. "How long has Baljeet been sitting here looking at her?"

"Not very long. You did a very good job with her."

"Thanks. I do my best." She did a little twirl in her light blue dress. "I assume you agree with this one as well?"

"Of course. I agree with everything you wear."

"Smart man." Stacy looked around the room. "Did Mom walk through here? We're only waiting on her."

On cue, Mrs. Hirano walked into the living room from the kitchen as she leafed through her purse. "Is everyone ready to go? I figured that we should get there a little early so that we can get seated." She looked up to see the four kids before her, breaking out into a huge grin. "Well, don't I have the best dressed boys and girls in the world? All of my coworkers are going to be jealous."

"Ahh, the 'self-promotion' angle." Coltrane said. "I'm sure they'll love it."

"We're all going to find out soon enough.

"Oh darn, where did I leave it? Baljeet, could you be a dear and see if I left my phone in the kitchen? Stacy, take Ginger and Coltrane to the car. We'll be out in a moment."

The mention of his name snapped him back to the present. With one last glance at Ginger, he went to the kitchen and started peering around for her phone. A moment later, the shutting of the door was followed by the click of her heels back to him, and he turned to see her in the doorway. She still had her purse in one hand, and the other...

Was her phone.

Hmm.

"Mrs. Hirano, I am going to take a guess and say that you had not misplaced your phone."

She couldn't help but laugh at his statement. "No. No, I didn't. But I had to keep you in here somehow."

"If it is any consolation, between my mother and Coltrane, I have already been given the third degree for this evening."

Chuckling, Mrs. Hirano placed a hand on his shoulder. "Baljeet, I'm not going to give you a hard time tonight. Honestly, I haven't even figured out what I'm going to say in my acceptance speech. That's going to require all of my attention." She straightened back up and put her phone in her purse. "Just try to enjoy yourself tonight. Ginger really does appreciate you doing this. Probably more than you know."

Baljeet blushed. "I will certainly try."

The Asian woman looked over her shoulder toward the driveway. "OK, I think I've stalled long enough. Anyone asks, it was in the fridge."

"Have you...left it in there before?"

"Baljeet, that's a story that I'm sure Ginger would love to tell you sometime." She motioned him toward the door, and they made their way outside. "By the way, you might meet a couple of your mom's colleagues at this event. They would probably enjoy meeting you."

"From my mother's pharmaceutical firm?" Baljeet asked.

"Yup. I'm sure they're going to try to get me on some new contract, but I can distract them by throwing you and Ginger at them. Besides, you two make such a cute-"

She looked down to see the Indian boy blushing again and looking away. "Oh, come on. I'm her mother. I'm contractually obligated to tease you."

"I do not think it would be legally binding anyway," he whispered.

Mrs. Hirano raised her hand, palm outward. "I won't tease you anymore tonight. Fireside Girl's honor."

"...Ginger has already told me you were not a Fireside Girl at any point."

"Details, Baljeet." Mrs. Hirano opened the door, waving the boy through. "Details."

-----

This Crazy Little Thing - Chapter 8

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Well, this took a long time.

For those of you who are still with this story (and more power to you if you are), I am desperately trying to get this done. I have it planned out; I just need to write it. Doesn't help that I'm about to hit the busy period at my job. Looks like more late nights for me.

Good think I have caffeine.

Looking to get the next chapter out Friday. Until then, read and review, if you like. Until next time.

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Disclaimer: Magic is real. So are the owners of Teen Titans and the animation.


Chapter 2 – First of May

"New at ten tonight, the citizens of Jump City continue to come to grips with the sudden disappearance of the Graham Brothers Circus and the appearance of what appears to be a giant dome of dark energy in the downtown area. It is believed that the villain known as Mumbo Jumbo has taken residence inside with an unknown number of hostages."

The newsman paused for a moment, looking slightly off-camera. "Police have now been focused on stopping what appears to be children being possessed by this dark energy. Reports of children robbing banks and causing mayhem have come in from all over the city, with seemingly no end in sight-

"Turn it off, Beast Boy."

"But what if we see-"

Robin glared him down. "We have more important things to worry about than the media right now."

Begrudgingly, Beast Boy powered down the TV, jumping over the couch to join the rest of the team. "Then what are we doing here?"

"We needed to regroup. We tried to corral one of those kids and got thrown halfway across the city. We need to come up with a plan and understand what's going on." Seeing Beast Boy's scoff, he sighed. "Look, I don't like it any more than you do, but I'm hoping this won't take long."

Robin brought up the map of the city on the monitor, and then turned to the rest of his team. "All right, people, what do we know?"

"Other than the fact that there's a giant dome right off the coast and people are getting sucked into it?" Cyborg quipped. "Not much else."

"We know that Mumbo's in there somewhere. He hasn't come out since the dome went up," Robin corrected. "We also know that he's using kids to do his dirty work."

Starfire hovered off to his right, deep in thought. "But Robin, the Mumbo is certainly not capable of performing arts of magic like this. Something is suspicious here."

"But who else would it be, though?" Beast Boy asked. "Mad Mod?"

Robin shook his head. "No, this isn't his style. I agree with Star. There's another player here. Maybe Slade? Didn't Mumbo have that crystal on his second wand?"

Cyborg had his own schematic up on his wrist, leafing through pages of material. "Doubtful. Through all of the tests we've run with that weird mineral, it only affect mechanical things. Not magic. It wouldn't have suddenly upgraded it from card tricks to what we saw today."

"Uhh...guys?"

The trio turned to Beast Boy, who was busy waving his arms around.

"What's up, B?"

"If it's magic we're dealing it, should we ask the one person who knows this stuff?"

Cyborg shifted his gaze around the common room. "Yeah...where is Raven?"


Raven stood on the top of the nearest building, looking down at the energy dome with growing disdain.

"She already left. She's trying to figure out how to dispel this thing, or at least try to get inside and stop Mumbo. Beast Boy's right; she has the most experience with dark magic, and not of the rest of us are even close to her understanding. If there's a way to stop this, she'll find it."

She had no idea what to do.

By the time she had been dispatched out to the scene by Robin, the traffic of children going out and coming into the dome has ceased. All she could do was study the magic and try to find a solution.

She had agreed with Robin; something was indeed off with Mumbo. This was not his usual method of operation; Mumbo liked to do things on his own. That way, the only person that would get the money was himself.

But that stare. Raven couldn't help but flash back to the look that girl had given her. It was...evil. Mumbo was a lot of things. Comedic, villainous, foolhardy...but evil? It was such a strong word. It didn't suit him. It didn't suit this.

Raven was so lost in her thoughts she had almost missed the person floating out of the dome. It was definitely one of the children, but they were heading off toward the shopping district, not aware of the Titan. Slowly, Raven began to follow, keeping at a safe distance.

A couple of minutes late, the unknown person landed in a alleyway, just across from the Jump City bank. They were just about to cross the street and head inside...

"Stop."

Raven materialized in front of them, her palm held forward. "Whoever you are, I don't want to hurt you."

The human gave an almost serpentine hiss, then darted back up into the sky.

"...Well, so much for civility." Raven flew up after them, but not before she had to leap out of the way of a magic blast.

"Mumbo's passing his magic off to others? Now I know something's up."

She had half a mind to call the other Titans, but as she swerved around another building, the hood of her escapee flew down...

Raven gasped. Deja vu all over again. It was the girl from before.

"I have to do something," Raven muttered. She closed her eyes and began to focus. "Azarath..."

Her hand glowed with energy.

"Metrion..."

Raven snapped her fingers.

"Zinthos!"

A large energy net appeared in front of the girl, who was not able to swerve in time. She flew headlong into the net which snared her from neck to toe.

"Let me go, you insufferable heathen!"

...OK, that was definitely not the talk of a little girl. Raven began to guide her captive back to the ground. "Whoever you are, demon, you're messing with the wrong people. They're under the protection of the Teen Titans."

"I am no demon, girl," the voice spoke. "Surely you would have figured it out by now."

"Listen to me..." Raven yelled, trying a different approach.. "I don't know your name, kid, but this isn't you. Someone's controlling you."

"I don't listen to whelps like yourself."

"Then it looks like I have no choice." The spellcaster spun the girl around and grabbed the clasp of the cloak. "Funny how everyone just started wearing these things around once the circus came into town. Is this how you're controlling them?"

"No!" The girl tried to squirm out of her trap. "Stop!"

"Looks like I guessed right." Raven flowed some energy into her hand again, aiming to weaken its hold on the cloak. "I'll just-"

The enormous magic shockwave sent both parties in opposite directions. Raven slammed into the ground, the remnants of the cloak showering over her. Recovering quickly, she looked up to see the girl careening towards an apartment building.

She swore under her breath and melted into the ground. Right before the girl hit the wall, she was able to appear between them and catch her. Her back hit the wall, aggravating the heavy pain she was already feeling.

"It's OK. I got you."

Raven floated down to the ground and set her down. She was surprised to see she was not only awake, but on the verge of tears. "Are you alright?"

"My head hurts." Her eyes were wet and bloodshot. "I was hearing very bad voices."

"Trust me, I know what that feels like," Raven quipped, her hand glowing bright blue with her healing magic. "What's your name?"

"May." The girl looked up and appeared to just notice her savior's identity, almost immediately beginning to gasp. "You're Raven!"

"Indeed I am."

"I saw you at the circus!"

"Yeah." Raven silently cursed her lack of conversational skills. "Listen..." She placed her hand on the girl's back, steadying her. "I'm going to take you back to your parents, but I need help. There's a lot of kids like you that are in trouble right now like you were. Do you remember anything from when you were in that dome?"

May narrowed her eyes in thought. "I remember the weird blue man. He was saying a bunch of weird things."

"Like what?"

"About money or something. The man in the shiny stone didn't like that."

Raven's mind stopped. "What man?"

"There was a man that the blue guy was talking to. On his table. He kept talking really loud."

"Do you know what he looked like?"

"No." May looked down to the ground. "I'm sorry."

"It's okay," Raven said warmly. "Do you remember anything else about this man?"

The kid thought for a moment. "Ooh! I remember his name! But..." May got nervous again. "The blue man got yelled at whenever he said it. I don't want to get in trouble."

"Tell you what." Raven leaned forward. "You can tell me. I promise I won't tell."

May brightened and tilted her head to the Titan's ear and whispered something in a soft tone.

Raven's heart dropped.

"Are you sure?"

May nodded. "Is something wrong?"

Raven glanced behind her shoulder, not answering her question. "It's late. I need to get you back to your parents, and I need to talk to the other Titans." Putting on her bravest face, she looked back down at May. "You've been a big help, May. Now it's my turn to help everyone else."


To be honest, Raven almost wished that Slade had been behind this.

But it was not. Instead, it was him.

Raven walked into her room, the cool breeze of familiarity in her nostrils. She saw her bed and almost jumped into it. Her

body needed sleep.

Her mind disagreed.

She strode over to the large locked chest near the back wall. Steeling herself, she flipped the lid open.

The worn cover of the white and black book was still there.

The last time she had heard his name, Raven was staring into his bright red dragon eyes.

Malchior.

She took the book over in her hands. Nothing appeared to be out of the ordinary. The book had not been touched since the

Titan's battle with Malchior the first time. She still remembered the entire ordeal like it was yesterday. How he had mislead her into believing he was Rorek. How he had promised to teach her magic once lost to time.

How he cared about her.

Raven shook her head. "Can't think about that right now. He needs to be stopped. The book was able to stop him before; it should be able to do it again."

"I'm afraid it's going to be more complicated than that."

SMACK!

"Ow!"

The collision of the book hitting the ceiling was apparently enough to cause the mysterious voice to flinch in pain, although that was nothing compared to the scare Raven had just experienced.

"I am not doing this again," she said firmly, magic at the ready. "Malchior, you're going to remove your influence from those children-"

"I would love to do that, actually. But that foul beast is not present in this conversation."

Raven lowered her hand only slightly. "And what makes me think I should believe you?"

"Because I can show you."

Raven saw the open book begin to glow, a few of the pages beginning to turn. She half expected for the paper to materialize, the dark eyes to look at her, and the humanoid guise of Malchior to appear before her again.

Instead, a ghostly figure started to form above the book. She wasn't sure who was going to materialize, but the instant the white hair and gray armor were visible, there wasn't any more doubt.

Raven lowered her arm in shock as she stood before the magician. So much so, he could only whisper his name.

"Rorek."

-----

Spectacle - Chapter 2

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Well, this story took a weird turn.

As I was writing this chapter, I never had the odd couple known as Malchior and Rorek showing up at all. It was just going to be Mumbo. But as more and more of this got written down, it just sort of...steered into that direction. But I think this will actually make the story more interesting in the long run.

I'm sure some people are thinking "But Arct, you shining example of a human being, how are you going to explain these shenanigans? I thought Malchior was cursed away in the book."

Well, person I just made up, the Brotherhood of Evil somehow got a hold of him, because he was present at the final battle. Herald shooed him away, remember? Trust me, all will be explained with the two and how they ended up where they are now.

Chapter 3 will be next week, and also might be a little shorter. Read and review if you like. Until next time.

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Surprise.

This isn't really a new chapter to this story. I have an update that I need to share, and I didn't really know how else to do it.

There's also a really good chance that I will have to take this down at some point because I'm pretty sure Author's Notes as chapters is against the rules, but I don't care. If I have to, I have to.

Anyways...funny story.

I was perusing through some of my stories (because I'm so egotistical like that) where I came across something that made me cringe.

Over on FF.net, the fourth chapter for this story (Duplicate) was suppose to be the setup for the story where Rose is properly introduced and things start developing into the second part of the story.

What it really was was Chapter 5 of the Phineas and Ferb story that I had been working on, Rush.

And I never noticed.

Now, the normal person would have looked into the reviews, noticed that people were mentioning things like "Oh hey, what is this? You have the wrong chapter, dude." and changed it to the correct one, and no one would have been any the wiser.

However, I had taken a back seat in reading my reviews, whereas I wouldn't even read them.

And that is what is the most infuriating thing to me.

I've literally become the kind of writer that I hate. The kind that takes years to update, doesn't read reviews, and is a general recluse from the people who reads their stuff.

And it's not right.

When I started uploading my stories to the Internet, I used to love it when I got reviews and general correspondence. The vast majority of people were kind, excited, and generally nice. Few bad eggs here and there, but hey. You can't please everyone.

Even now, that I've actually had an opportunity to meet people in the real lifes through my work and other venues, it's been great.

But I've ignored all that over the past year, and I hate it. When it comes down to it, you guys are the reason why I even write to begin with.

Well, that and the girls, but the latter hasn't actually happened yet.

So, long story...well...long...I'm sorry.

I realize that I could very possibly be blowing this entirely out of proportion, and to tell you the truth, I probably am. But it's important for me to do this, because otherwise I've not going to get over it. That's me. Jason the overreaction guy.

So I'm going to spend the weekend cleaning up some of my old stories, and personally reaching out to the people who have reviewed my stories and thanking them for doing so. And I will do my very best in the future to make sure that something like this does not happen again.  On either here OR FF.net.

In the meantime, for those of you who would like to read the actual Chapter 4 of this story, you can do so now at FF.net. I fixed it last night, but I realize not a lot of people are probably reading fanfiction at four in the morning. So if you're still interested, go read it. It's pretty important to the story.

And Ferb doesn't show up. I swear.

If you made it to the end of this "chapter", thanks for reading. If not...you didn't miss much.

Until next time, everyone.

I wonder if Senpai will notice me.

...Whoever Senpai is.
  • Mood: Artistic
  • Listening to: "I'm Alive" - Michael Franti
  • Playing: Binding of Issac

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Arctimon
Jason
United States
Current Residence: MD
Favourite genre of music: Anything
Personal Quote: HOLY SCHNIKES!
E-mail: Just ask.
Skype: arctimon
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Comments


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:icondattoonywarriortoon:
datTOONYwarriortoon Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Wow it seems like you put lots of work into your stories.

I applaud you.Epic clap 
Reply
:icondessertsarestressed:
DessertsAreStressed Featured By Owner May 31, 2013  Student Writer
Heyhey! Saw it was your birthday so.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! :D :huggle:
Reply
:iconphintasticflynn:
PhintasticFlynn Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013
I haven't talked with you in a while. How's it going, buddy?
Reply
:iconphinbellaninja123:
PhinbellaNinja123 Featured By Owner Aug 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Amg, I didn't know you had a dA! :giggle: I read one your stories on Fanfiction hehe cx
Reply
:iconpnffan101:
PnFfan101 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2012
Hey Jason, could you look at the new journal in the group?
Reply
:icondessertsarestressed:
DessertsAreStressed Featured By Owner May 27, 2012  Student Writer
HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY!!! :D
:party::party::party::party::party::party::party::party::party::party:
Hope ya hav another awesome year!!! :huggle:
Reply
:iconpnffan101:
PnFfan101 Featured By Owner May 14, 2012
I have a new story on fanfiction.net!
Reply
:iconpnffan101:
PnFfan101 Featured By Owner May 11, 2012
Hey, did you see Minor Monogram? Feretchen is gonna win!
Reply
:iconkeyblademaster113:
keyblademaster113 Featured By Owner May 4, 2012
...How is it you aren't more well known around here? :nuu:
Reply
:iconarctimon:
Arctimon Featured By Owner May 5, 2012
Don't update often enough?

Fanfiction's not the best way to get known on a art-centric website?

Take your pick. I don't really know why myself.
Reply
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