Disclaimer: If I owned the Teen Titans, do you really think I'd be posting this story here?

Ascension of the Beast


For Want of a Foe

To everyone else, January 1 was a happy time, filled with hope and joy for the beginning of a new year and welcoming the hopefully constructive changes to come. This would, on any previous year, have been the prevalent sentiment in Titans Tower as well, but this year was different. For Richard Grayson, Koriand'r of Tamaran, Victor Stone, Rachel Roth, and Garfield Logan, there was very little joy in welcoming this particular new year.

To achieve the greatest victory can sometimes be a mixed blessing. When the Teen Titans conclusively defeated the Brotherhood of Evil and relegated such a large number of villains to cryogenic slumber, it was cause for great celebration. However, even the most triumphant of acts can have unforeseen consequences which unfortunately alter the lives of the actors.

What is a hero without a villain? The absence of metahuman criminals can only mean the elimination of the need for metahuman crime fighters. Not long after the Titans returned from their adventures in Japan, it quickly became clear that Jump City no-longer needed them in the same way it had prior. The Titans found themselves, more often than ever before, simply lounging around the Tower, trying to pass the time. Boredom was just the first of the negative consequences.

Jump City lacked the corruption which was notable in such other places as Gotham. This fact had always played in the Titans' favor before, but honest politicians tend to be honest in their concerns over public spending. For want of a foe, the Titans no-longer had much purpose; for want of a purpose, the funding they had previously enjoyed from the city was no-longer justified.

The budget cuts began in the year following their return. Initially, Robin and Beast Boy were able to make up the difference with private funding they had respectively negotiated from Wayne Enterprises and Dayton Industries. However, each new fiscal year brought new cuts, and, by the time of Beast Boy's eighteenth birthday, the vast majority of the Titans' funding ultimately came from these two private sources.

It helped that Beast Boy acquired his full inheritance of his biological parents' estate, but the situation was unsustainable. Nearly as soon as Beast Boy obtained control of the Logan estate, both Batman and Mento decided that it was entirely unreasonable to continue spending money and resources in a city which no longer needed the effort. The Titans were without a niche and the JCPD could easily handle policing the remaining criminal elements.

Beast Boy's inheritance, while certainly substantial, could only go so far. Mark and Marie Logan were scientists after all, not capitalists. Although it took a great effort to convince Beast Boy to disclose exactly how much money he had inherited, Robin was eventually able to calculate that, if they continued the team with the Logan money, Beast Boy would be completely broke within 15 months. As much as everyone hated the prospect, the writing was on the wall.

The Teen Titans were more than just a team. They were the closest thing to a family that any of the them had, and Beast Boy was completely willing to spend every last dime of his fortune to keep his 'pack' together. However, Robin was entirely unwilling to allow his teammate, friend and surrogate brother to spend away his entire inheritance on maintaining a team of crime fighters which no-longer had a purpose.

On Labor Day, Robin finally decided to put the question of disbanding the team to a vote. Although it was ultimately difficult for any of them to accept the idea of breaking up their family, dissolution carried the vote by a margin of three-to-two. It was entirely unsurprising that Beast Boy would be in the dissenting column, but it was somewhat surprising that the team's more logical and solitary member joined him. But Raven, of course, had her reasons—as much as she was introverted, there was no one in the world she could trust like she trusted her four teammates, and there were exceedingly few people who would give any effort to understanding her. It also didn't help that she had no idea what she was going to do without the team and, like Beast Boy, she was (secretly, as is the case of any of her emotional responses) quite fearful of major changes.

The three who voted in the affirmative all had options they could fall back on. Cyborg could choose either to join the Titans East or to accept a position with S.T.A.R. Labs. Starfire could either return to Tamaran and resume her reign as Grand Ruler, or follow Robin wherever he decided to go. Robin could either set himself up as the solitary hero Starfire had seen in her trip to the future, or he could go to Tamaran as Starfire's consort. But the options for the team's youngest two members were scant, and neither was particularly ready to let go.

AN: I know the prologue is quite short and lacks any dialogue whatsoever, but I'm just using it to set up the background for the story's proper beginning.