I do not own TT. And although TTGO is quite comical, I much prefer the original and hope they bring it back!
Raven leapt away just in time to dodge falling shards from the one-story building. Glass splashed across the street, shimmering under the street lamp like stars on a clear night, as blast after powerful blast echoed through the area.
Determined to get back into the fight, she settled her thundering heart to try reaching for her powers again. She whispered the mantra over and over until desperation pushed her to vocalize them aloud.
"Azarath Metrion Zinthos!"
Nothing. She clenched her fists, her teeth grinding at the frustration. That red beam did something to her powers, but what or how, left her baffled.
A shout cut through the air followed by a glint of silver arcing high into the dusky sky and falling to rest with a loud smack at Raven's feet. The case!
Recognizing Robin's shout made her glance up in time to see the air in front of her twist into a black portal to which Kyd Wykkyd emerged. Forgetting she had no powers, Raven leapt for the case. As her fingers barely curled around the handle, a cold force hurled her backwards.
The world spun as she painfully rolled to a stop, the ground vibrating beneath her. Sucking in air from the wind being knocked out, she realized with surprise that she had somehow managed to hang on to the case.
She propped herself up on both hands and knees preparing for another attack, calculating her survival odds, but stopped, seeing Robin engage Kyd Wykkyd in combat. A mask of pure rage twisted his features, sending an odd pinching feeling in her gut.
Cyborg and Beastboy were merely feet away from him, corralling the others into a tight circle as Starfire assisted from above. The H.I.V.E. were surrounded. Gizmo put a hand to his ear, as if straining to hear something. He signaled his teammates. Each of them ceased fighting immediately and appeared ready to surrender.
"Well," Gizmo started, "it's been fun with you lame-o's, but I'm afraid we can't kick your sorry butts anymore."
"What? That's it?" Cyborg said in disbelief.
Beastboy morphed back into his human form. "I thought you were after whatever is in that case."
Gizmo snorted. "We know when we've lost the fight, but you can bet it's not over."
Their bodies began to flicker unnaturally, fading until empty space replaced the area. They had vanished.
"Since when could the H.I.V.E do that?" Cyborg waved dramatically.
Raven rose to her feet still clutching the case. She labored to breathe, just now noting the tenderness of her left ribcage. Great. A sweet ending to a perfect day. Raven wanted to curse something, but then remembered one tiny little problem. A flash of anxiety struck her as the quiet aftermath of the fight brought her predicament to the forefront and a heavy weight plummeted to her core. How was she going to tell the others? How would they take it?
Robin stepped into her line of sight, throwing off her train of thought. "Are you okay?"
She wasn't sure if he was referring to Kyd Wykyd's attack or the slightly terrified look she suspected she was giving off. Either way, she nodded. She needed time to figure this out before coming clean. Perhaps this was merely temporary and after a long sleep of recharging, her powers would be present and under control as usual. Revealing now might create unnecessary drama and stress on the already exhausted team.
"We should probably return this." She suggested, holding the case up for Robin to take. He reached for it, but remained locked on her face when she refused to make direct eye-contact.
It didn't take their bond to sense what the other was feeling. Raven was very worried about something. He tried to catch her amethyst eyes.
"Raven, is there something wrong?"
For a moment, it looked as if she was trying to speak, slightly parting her lips and then biting on them. Once she confessed, he was sure to have a million questions, and she didn't have a single answer yet.
Robin's brow creased deeper with concern. He touched her arm. "You know you can tell me anything, remember?"
His touch sent up a shiver and her eyes involuntarily lifted to meet his. She opened her mouth again, nearly ready to oblige him despite her reservations, but the sound of sirens and rubber burning against pavement interrupted them.
Firefighters were on scene first, hooking up hoses to douse the scattered flames and tend to any bystanders that may have gotten hurt in the crossfire. A slew of police vehicles followed closely by media news vans, swarmed the area and tried to approach the Titans.
Robin sighed, feeling the weight of the day heavy on his shoulders as the thought of talking to the police again made him inwardly groan. He glanced back at Raven who now held up her usual indifferent face.
Dammit, he thought. His rare opening had closed.
"You're bleeding." She pointed out. He peered down at the singed ragged holes stretched across his chest and legs where a few small threads of blood fell from. It wasn't serious and stitches probably weren't required but it was a hindrance.
He cracked a sly smile. "I've had worse."
She opened her lips to scold him and suggest he be seen by Cyborg but a few yelps and loud cursing from the media group took their attention. They shouted and waved obscene gestures to a black limo that was nearly plowing through them to get to the Titans.
The chief of police rushed over waving his arms at the limo until it stopped a few feet from them. Raven recognized the two identical miniature flags that flanked the windshield, and creased her brow in confusion.
"Who's the hot shot?" Beastboy cackled next to Starfire who was combing debris from her hair with her fingers. She looked at him puzzled.
"What is a hot shot?"
"It's just a figure of speech. You know-"
His words trailed off when the doors to the limo opened and out emerged three men. The robust elder gentleman in the middle donned a thick cloak adorned with intricate embroidery that clasped together at the neck with gold. A black hat hid most of his bald head and a long red cane rest at his side. The two other men, clad in matching tuxedos and presenting fierce faces, flanked him like bodyguards.
Their massive form and deadly aura deterred most of the crowding reporters, and they reluctantly held back.
Shaking the intimidation away, the chief stepped towards them. "You don't have authority to be in this area, sir."
The cloaked man smiled. "Pardon me, but they have a trinket most valuable that belongs to my patron."
He pointed a heavily ringed hand in Robin's direction, his accent heavy and drawl.
"That belongs to the museum." The chief argued, putting a hand over his holster.
Both bodyguards pulled their hands up to their sides, probably touching their own guns, Raven guessed. "And my patron sponsors the museum."
"I'm sorry, but this is a matter for the city police, and foreign diplomats do not have immunity here."
The man took a few solid steps forward, closely followed by his men, causing several other policemen to reach for their guns. The chief warned, "If you come any closer I will open fire, do you understand?"
A white handkerchief rose to wipe sweat from the man's head before he replied, "Nu, I am not a diplomat. I am Sir Enric de Bălan and my patron is Count Radu cel Rău of Transylvania."
At the mention of the Count, a hush fell over the crowd and the officers slowly dropped their hands. "The Count Radu?"
"Da." Sir Enric stuffed his handkerchief in a side pocket. "He will be displeased to hear how a lack of security nearly cost him his most valuable treasures."
Robin glanced down at the case, wondering of the supposed priceless contents. What item, that belonged to a foreign lord, could be rich enough for the H.I.V.E. to risk their lives for? Raven nudge his side to get him to look back up at the gentleman who set a fierce gaze on both of them.
"Dude, you better give it to him." Beastboy hissed out the side of his mouth. His wide green eyes darting from the case and the foreigner. "He's from Transylvania. He could be a vampire."
It took Robin every ounce of strength not to roll his eyes, instead shooting him a disapproving glare.
With their weapons lowered, Sir Enric felt brave enough to saunter forward past the chief, followed closely by his bodyguards.
Soft tapping from the cane echoed eerily though the simmering battleground as Enric muffled a few grimy coughs from the lingering smoke. He cleared his throat, stopping in front of them, and said, "Salut. You must be the Teen Titans."
Cyborg nodded once, unsure what to make of him. His sensors quietly ran a face recognition program, only taking seconds before an identical image and name displayed his screen. Sir Enric was indeed who he said he was, but that did little to quell the uneasiness settling in his stomach. And when he looked at the others, it seemed those feelings were shared.
Robin peered once more at Raven whose brow was drawn in concentration, hoping her exceptional observational skills of the man dug up something he couldn't see.
"Thank you." Sir Enric spoke again, smiling. "You have prevented the loss of my patron's precious belonging. Although the security lacks here, your skills do not, and for that I thank you most sincerely on his behalf. Multumesc foarte mult."
His deep accent made them strain to understand.
"If I may, you are the one called Robin, da?" The cane by Sir Enric's side shifted to stand in front of him with both hands resting on the rounded top.
Robin nodded. "With all due respect, I'm going to have to see proof of ownership."
Sir Enric's gaze flickered to Raven before retrieving a piece of folded paper from his inner coat pocket. Robin closed the distance, reaching for it and a short silence followed. His shoulders relaxed as he handed it back, the paper having been an authentic certificate. He lifted the case into the man's hand who took it gratefully with a long sigh.
"We are in your debt, Robin."
"Just doing our job."
"Da, as are we all." Sir Enric turned back, passing the case along to one of the bodyguards who disappeared into the back of the limo.
"So, what exactly is in that thing that's so important?" Beastboy threw in, giving the rest of the titans the urge to swat him over the head for his bold question. It wasn't their business to know, as long as it was legal and in the proper hands, they didn't require the details. But when Sir Enric turned back, a grin spread over his pale face and something sparked in his dark eyes.
"A small currency coin marked by the name of Count Radu's ancestors. They were a ruling family from the 14th century and it's very rare. The Count has been tracking it down for... quite some time."
Beastboy crossed his arms a little deflated. "All this for a coin? Man, I thought it'd be some sort of rare diamond or something."
"The Count already possesses a diamond collection." Sir Enric stole another glance at Raven, piquing her annoyance. It seemed to have gone unnoticed, so she kept her studies on him, searching for signs of deception. She was certain Robin was doing the same.
"If it's as rare as you say, then I can see why the H.I.V.E. tried to steal it." Robin pondered then added, "they've promised to take it again."
Sir Enric straightened but his smile didn't falter. "I am no longer concerned of them. I can assure you now, that there is no threat of security while it stays in my possession. Nu vă faceți griji!"
"Very well." Robin turned to his teammates. "Let's go home."
He will deal with the police later. The sanctuary of their tower beckoned with promises of rest and peace, something they all desperately craved after a trying day. Soaking in a hot bath was going to be the first thing Robin enjoyed, followed by freshly delivered pizza, and then finally he will sink into his own cozy bed to block out the world for at least the next 12 hours.
"Wait! Please, we are not finished."
Or not. Robin and the others stopped with heavy sighs but faced the man with as much respect as they could muster.
"I am very much in your debt, and it is a custom in my country to pay it back with an equal or greater gesture. Please accept my invitation to be guests at my household for the annual festival on All Hallow's Eve."
Beastboy, who had perked at the idea of juicy reward, reacted first. "So you want us to go to your place in Transylvania for Halloween?"
"All your expenses shall be taken care of, of course."
"Dude!" He jumped in front of Robin, excitement washing away the fatigue from moments ago. "A vacation!"
The leader frowned not liking being put on the spot. "And who will watch over the city and take care of the tower?"
Beastboy clasped his hands together in a begging motion. "Come on, it's a free trip, we can't turn it down! You heard what he said, it's their custom to pay a debt back."
Robin set his jaw, not in the mood to argue and looked to Cyborg for backup. But he only shrugged back. "We could use a little break."
"I am in agreement with Cyborg. It is not often we get to travel for pleasure." Starfire added.
"But who will watch over the city and the tower?" He repeated. Protecting was their job and it was a 24/7 commitment that they all promised.
"We can call Titans East and see if they can spare a few people until we get back" The suggestion came from Cyborg.
A gloved hand rubbed the length of Robin's face. They could do that, but it was terribly short notice as Halloween was only a week away. He felt his resolve weaken at the excitement upon his teammates' faces masking what he knew was exhaustion. Maybe they did need a break.
"I can have a car waiting for you tomorrow morning to take you to the airport. I am departing in a few hours, but rest assured, you will be traveling as first class passengers."
Well, Robin couldn't turn him down now, not after a squeal of glee escaped Beastboy's mouth. Not to say that the idea of a free trip to Romania wasn't tantalizing, because it really was, he just didn't feel too comfortable leaving his post.
He faced his quiet female teammate, who was attempting to conceal her troubled expression. Once they had a moment alone, he vowed to figure out why.
"So, are you against me too, Raven?" He expected her to say no but instead she appeared to be weighing something in her mind. Then after a small pause, she shrugged and her face smoothed to indifference again.
"It could be fun."
Robin wasn't sure if he just heard Raven say "fun," but Beastboy must have because he slid up to them wearing a smirk. "I knew you liked that kind of stuff, Raven. There's tons of haunted places over there and we can't forget about the vampires. It's the perfect time to go!"
"Will you stop with the vampire thing?" Cyborg hissed. A quizzical look spread over Starfire's face. "I thought the vampire was of the mystical earth creature. It is only legend, correct?"
Cyborg nodded and sighed. "There are no such things as vampires. Don't worry."
"So?" Beastboy was practically bouncing on his toes. "Can we go, Robin, please?"
Feeling outnumbered and impatient to get home, the Titan leader quickly divided the pros and cons of leaving and the sum came out to a weak yes. Besides, turning down such an exquisite invitation would be considered rude. That, and the fact that Beastboy probably wouldn't let him live it down if he refused. He checked Raven one final time, to see if she had somehow came up with an arguable reason to stay behind, but she remained quiet, and that was as good a yes as any. He took a deep breath and addressed the cloaked foreigner.
"Mr. Enric, on behalf of my team, we gladly accept your invitation."
Finally! On to Romania for an awesome vacation... maybe. Any questions? Concerns? Advice?