Hello everyone! Shadow's back again, but I'm not alone in this one! I'm proud to introduce the co-author of this tale. Please give a round of applause to E. whose help is the only reason I've gotten around to trying to make this thing! Also, we need some OCs so send them in! PM either one of us please!
Disclaimer: neither Hades nor myself own the rights to anything or any reference that may or may not appear within this story!
Chapter 1: A Plan for the Future
Garfield Logan walked calmly through the halls of Titan's Tower. He had long since stopped being the scrawny little prankster that ran around these same halls a few years ago. He was still a prankster, but now lean muscles rippled across his frame. He had abandoned his old outfit in favor of a new short sleeved white one with purple trim racing up and down his form. The short sleeves revealed his green, fur covered skin. He had lost the gloves and boots to reveal his feral claws at the ends of all four limbs, allowing his feet to savor the feeling of the soft carpet between his toes. Similarly, he had long since forgone the name Beast Boy, taking up the mantle of Changeling.
He waited for the doors to slide open before bounding through and into the vast living room of the Tower. It had changed little over the years, the long carpet still stretched between the stereo system and the kitchen before passing under the black crescent couch which sat behind the coffee table in front of the massive T.V. screen that doubled as a window.
Although Changeling rarely stayed there alone, he was the Tower's most frequent visitor. He simply aided the Doom Patrol from time to time, staying Jump City's main hero. His long time companions were now forced to split their time between their other responsibilities and the Titans, taking turns helping him guard their old home. Cyborg and Raven were now full blown members of the Justice League. Starfire had to split her time between being a guardian of earth and the queen of Tamaran, becoming an emissary to improve relations between both. Robin, or Nightwing as he was now called, spent much of his time patrolling the city of Bludhaven. Even so, they were still a team, and Gar had been summoned by their leader.
He hopped over the back of the couch and sat back, resting his feet an the coffee table. "What's up Dick?" He said lazily, looking over to where Nightwing was fiddling with a computer. The former Boy Wonder had swapped out the old traffic light-themed uniform for one of supple black leather. A utility belt wrapped around his waist, no longer shielded by his cape. A picture of a blue bird stretched across his chest, wings ready to lift into the air. Despite being in the safety of the Tower, Dick Grayson still used his eye-mask to protect his identity.
He looked up. "Hey Gar. How's it going?"
"Not bad, though I'm curious why you wanted to see me. That is, besides my devilishly good looks, charming personality, and amazing sense of humor." The shapeshifter grinned.
Nightwing rolled his eyes. "We can't forget your humble nature. Actually, I was thinking-"
"Don't hurt yourself now."
"-and I remembered something from back when we fought with the Brotherhood of Evil. Do you remember how, just before things turned South, we were starting a global organization? We had Titans everywhere, ready to go to war with the army that the Brain had amassed to crush us. And we've continued to expand over the years, now numbering how many? Personally, I've lost count. What does that tell you?"
"That you can't count very high?" replied Gar with confusion. "I know it's difficult, but just remember, eleven comes after ten."
"Oh shut up!" growled the dark haired man. "It means that there are a lot of young super heroes out there! It's a number that grows everyday, and none of them have any clue what they're doing! They need to be trained into heroes before they wind up villains."
"Ok, so what are you suggesting? Without an army of robot chimpanzees, my hands are tied."
"I'm planning on enlarging the Tower and turning it into a reverse H.I.V.E. Academy. I plan on introducing the world to the first ever Titan's Academy."
"Okay, slightly better than what I had in mind, but I still don't see what this has to do with me," replied Changeling.
Dick met his eyes. "I want you to be in charge of it."
Changeling shook his head. "No. No way. Absolutely not. I'm no leader."
"I seem to remember it differently. When the Brotherhood took all of us down, you led the Titans. You saved everyone, no one else. You managed to take a team of rag-tag survivors that you had no experience working with, whatsoever, and saved everyone with a plan that you made up on the spot. And even more impressive, one of them was really just a ten-year-old in a costume without his brother. You are more than capable to lead this. Besides, you're the only one with the free time to even try."
Gar sat there, pondering the request. Dick made a lot of sense, even if he didn't like it. Finally, he sighed. "I'm going to need a team. People with the know-how to help the other students and the ability to help patrol the city."
Nightwing smiled. "You'll have to select those from your students. I've got a list of recommendations that I think you should take a look through."
"In all fairness, I already know who I want watching my back. Though I suppose the old team is out, and I highly doubt Wonder Woman would be willing to help, no matter how badly I want to see her in a bikini on the beach. That just leaves one person."
Changeling met his friend's gaze and watched it narrow. "No," replied the former Boy Wonder shortly. "She's not a good influence to have around when you're trying to train the next generation of heroes, regardless of her change of heart or your own personal feelings."
"Too bad. Either call her up, or find someone else. I don't like the way she's been acting ever since she and Wally broke up. I think this would be a good influence on her, especially considering the most likely alternative. Besides, she has more experience than almost anyone on the planet. She has plenty to teach the kids."
Nightwing appeared to be having a serious internal debate. Finally, he slumped over and loosed a sigh. "Fine, I'll give her a call."
Jinx watched the truck approach and considered the best way to blow it up.
She had changed much over the years, deciding a new look was in order to match her new change of heart. She decided to keep the gothic look, though she had given it a makeover. She now wore a simple long sleeved black shirt with red trim and a black and purple skirt. Black boots sat snugly on her feet while stockings rose up her legs. She had tanned her skin to help erase the sickly gray tone, as well stopped wearing the pink makeup that coated her cheeks. Gone were the devil horns that her hair had been styled after. Instead, she let it fall naturally and smoothly down her back. The only real sinister looking part of her left were her silted pink eyes that were narrowed in concentration.
Finally deciding on a method, she sidestepped out of the way as the stolen money truck barreled past, waving her hand as it went. There was a loud BOOM as all four tires simultaneously popped and the truck swerved out of control. Seconds later, it spun around and crashed into the brick wall of a nearby building. For a moment, she calmly wondered if any of the six robbers had survived the crash. That is until four of them emerged from the wreckage and aimed machine guns at her.
With a sigh, she snapped her fingers and listened to four clicks as the bullets jammed into the chambers of their guns. With another wave, she sent out a blast of pink energy that tossed them from their feet and knocked them unconscious.
Out of the corner of her eye, Jinx spied a fifth man rising up and aiming a pistol at her. She dropped out of the way as he pulled the trigger and snapped her fingers. Several pinging noises rang out rapidly in places outside of her line of sight before the ricocheting bullet slammed into the gunman's shoulder and pulled him from his feet. As he fell, his head slammed into a brick and ushered him into unconscious.
She turned towards the final member of the little gang and cocked an eyebrow. "Shall we?" She wondered aloud. Wordlessly, the man dropped his gun and put his hands in the air. She smirked and sent out another blast of pink energy to knock him out.
She slowly stretched out her arms and yawned, totally bored with the day. Suddenly, her gaze fell upon the crashed truck. When the vehicle had crashed, the back doors had been thrown open. Inside sat a massive amount of cash, ripe for the picking. It would be more than enough to get her out of the dingy old apartment in downtown Central City that she lived in, barely making rent each month. She could simply walk away with a couple thousand dollars and no one would be the wiser. Maybe a couple more good scores and she'd be out of the city entirely. Licking her lips, she slowly reached outward.
A beeping in her pocket made her freeze. Slowly, she pulled her hand back and slipped her old Titan's communicator out of her pocket and slipped open the screen. To be perfectly honest, she had only put it on out of habit, seeing as the Titans hadn't really been the Titans in a long time. Nightwing's face gazed back at her.
"Jinx? It's Nightwing. Are you doing anything?"
She shrugged. "Just dealing with a couple of punks who decided to drive by the bank and make a illegally quick withdrawal. You?"
"Putting together a plan. Changeling wants you to be a part of it. Do you think you could swing by the Tower for a briefing?"
She nodded. "Give me a few hours and I'll be there. See you then." With that, she flipped the communicator shut. She glanced at the money, biting her lip uncertainly. Before she could take action, however, the sound of sirens approaching announced the arrival of the police.
She glanced back behind her and sighed, partially with relief. Quickly, she turned and hurried off down the street.
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