The Roles we Play
Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to read my story!
***Nothing claimed nothing earned. ***
"In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." – Abraham Lincoln
The results of Robin's "press leak" were not quite what the Titans had expected.
The Boy Wonder figured that it would cause some issues for the government, maybe hurt Luthor's public image and help super heroes around the world just a bit.
Heck at worst it would give The Justice League a heads up on the plan.
What he hadn't predicted was the public outrage at what the American government was up to.
Apparently using teenage super heroes as glorified 'suicide bombers' was one of the things that outraged people on a global scale.
Thus when the president refused to step down, and the Legislative branch refused to even attempt to impeach him the results were less than pleasant for the evil masterminds.
People rioted in the streets across the country, Local and State governments were forced to call in the National Guard, part of whom refused to even show up since they were part of the rioters themselves.
Over a million civilians marched on Washington DC a month later, demanding the resignations of the entire government.
Even with the military being called in to secure the city the riots went on for days.
But the results did not stop there. The dominoes were already falling faster than anticipated.
Across the globe committees were being formed to investigate foreign countries.
The U.N. was immediately placed under scrutiny for possibly being involved in the horrific actions as well.
The world was plunged into near anarchy, until the remaining government leaders took drastic action and begged The Justice League to intervene and prevent further loss of life.
The heroes agreed, only as far as stopping any potential killings, they would not be involved in any kind of political situations.
Not after the world had turned on them.
After close to a year of chaos the planet began to settle down.
Most of the governments had been radically changed and purged of older members entirely, the United States being among them.
President Luthor was forcibly dragged from his office and put on trial before being found guilty of 'Crimes against humanity'.
He was executed via hanging the following morning.
None of The League attended the execution.
The various other scientists and military leaders who had been directly involved with the project were also tried and found guilty.
Punishments were either life in prison or execution.
"Titans, I am glad to see you all recovering so well." Robin called out, earning the attention from all of his teammates that were currently relaxing in a living room type of setting.
"Yeah no thanks to those sociopaths." Speedy replied in a slightly edged tone.
"True, luckily for us it seems that our little 'press leak' has at least put enough media attention on the situation that no one will be walking away from this without some sort of punishment." Cyborg responded.
The Boy Wonder took a deep breath before continuing on. "The reason I wanted to speak with you all is to come clean about a few things, mainly my own involvement in the situation we found ourselves in."
"Yeah Robin we get it, you pulled the team together and saved the day like always, listen if that is what you wanted to say could we just skip it for now and do the medal ceremo…" Bumblebee began before the Titan leader raised his hand to interrupt her.
"No it's not that. During the attack on Titans Tower I realized that the enemy had gained intel on our weaknesses and prepared accordingly for them."
The other Titans seemed to think this over for a minute before Aqualad's eyes narrowed in suspicion. "Come to think of it the same happened with us too, it was like they knew exactly how to beat us and counteract all of our powers. Do you think someone has been monitoring us, maybe the government itself?"
Robin let out a sigh before glancing over to his own team and saw them nodding to continue.
"I am not sure about the government's involvement. It may very well be possible that they are monitoring us but I believe the explanation is far simpler, it was my fault."
The various heroes stared at the masked boy, a bit confused as to what he was saying.
"What Robin mean?" Gnarrk asked.
"What I mean is that… Some time ago I developed an emergency protocol for every person in this room, a plan should any of us go rogue or attack the others. These included strengths, weaknesses, and ways of disabling and beating our powers."
The silence was deafening.
"What the hell do you mean Robin?" Speedy growled out.
"Exactly what I said, there have been incidents of other heroes going rogue before. Superman and Terra are just two examples of this. Both of these events caused massive damage and could very well have turned into catastrophes not only for those who were forced to deal with them, but even the world at large. We are too dangerous for there not to be these systems in place. Cyborg figured out that our home base was hacked into and these files removed and most likely exploited some time ago. Since I was the only one involved in the creation of these and their storage I accept full responsibility for this."
Again the teenagers stared at the man who had brought them together, who had given them a common purpose and a common team. This man who had now betrayed their trust and was one of the reasons they had been injured, both physically and mentally.
"How could you do that to us… how could you betray us like that?" Argent muttered out.
"I make no excuses, I did what I thought was correct at the time."
"And now, now that your stupid plan practically turned us into mindless killing machines what do you think? Was it worth it Robin? Making the perfect team like you always wanted a bunch of mindless soldiers carrying out orders!?" Hotspot's volume continued to increase until he was practically shouting at the vigilante.
"I stand beside my original argument that it is necessary, the same reason that people are required to register guns and that information is kept on private citizens. There are metahumans who have the power to lay waste to cities, to kill without detection, and to survive even the strongest man made weapons. What would happen if Superman decided to kill humanity? If we didn't have a plan in place to stop him should he attempt this?"
"I DON'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT SUPERMAN!" Pantha roared in anger.
"She's right, you betrayed our trust. Even if you did develop these 'safety protocols' you should have told us about them. The fact of the matter is that you developed plans to defeat us should we turn evil." Argent called out, louder than before but not quite as enraged as the others were.
Robin sent a pleading glance towards Beast Boy who nodded before stepping forward.
"They weren't developed to defeat us… they were developed to kill us."
A few gasps sounded throughout the room.
"How do you know that Beast Boy?" Aqualad inquired, turning much of the focus onto the changeling.
"Because I was aware of the plans, and to a degree I agree with him. Most of you in this room have never dealt with opponents who were serious in taking lives. We battle against bank robbers and thieves. Sure there are the occasional 'super villains' who are targeting us but it is hardly ever a life or death situation, I have. I have seen super powered individuals lay waste to towns and villages. I have watched creatures tear human beings apart by the dozens. Observed telepaths powerful enough to force innocent people to brutally kill their own family, the fact of the matter is that there are monsters out there that need to have defenses put in place to deal with. Should Robin have informed us? Yes. Should he have trusted us with this information and told us before this even began? Yes. But it still needed to exist regardless of how we feel about it."
The room fell silent once more as the various teenagers thought about what had been said so far.
"Everyone's personal information will be given to them before this is all over, and afterwards if you wish it to be destroyed it will be. Also if The Titans do stay intact after all of your recovery then we will be having a potential change in leadership. Since many of you have enough reasons not to trust me right now I will most likely resign as overall leader and as leader from my team if that is what is chosen. Until then we still need to make sure that everyone here is free from any further influences. Once that is done you are all free to do as you wish."
With that the masked boy turned and left, determined to make up for his mistakes in the future.
After their recoveries the various teenage heroes had come to the conclusion that Robin's motives for what he did were noble.
But it did not excuse what had almost happened or the lies and cover ups.
With that the other Titans disbanded. Some left their secrets with Robin, under the condition that the information be kept under far higher security than it was before.
Cyborg agreed to take up the task to alleviate fears.
Some of the heroes would go on to form their own groups, training the future superheroes or just continuing to protect civilians themselves.
None returned to The Titans though.
With that the original team was all that remained, with Jinx added in, and although they never joined back together many of the other former Titans remained in contact, most notably those who had close interactions with the changeling.
Over the years life continued to change for the heroes. One of the most important, at least politically, was the 'Metahuman Protection Act'. It was this that first outlawed all experimentation and attempted weaponization of metahumans. It also established training schools that could be used to comfort the public as well as teaching the, often teenagers, how to control their own abilities and not hurt those around them.
Through these programs the number of 'super villains' dropped dramatically. With a place to go and get both physical and psychological help many of those who would have spiraled into crime and violence instead found places of comfort and training to help them.
It was twenty years after the riots that the first metahuman was elected President of the United States.
A few years after the majority of The Titans disbanded Starfire had been contacted by her home world, Galfore had fallen ill and it was nearing the time where he could no longer take the stress of ruling a planet. Starfire had been called upon to return and take her place on the throne.
After some tearful goodbyes and promises to stay in touch the girl had left. Months later she had contacted her friends and informed them of her engagement with another prince on their world, someone who she could share a culture with without feeling left out or confused.
Robin had returned to take Batman's place full time and had reunited with Barbara Gordon to attempt their relationship once more.
Cyborg and Beast Boy had moved to the Watchtower to help the improved Justice League with Raven following shortly after.
The mechanical Titan went on to become a full time hero and official leader of the new Justice League, after marrying Jinx of course. The two even had a pair of kids who had followed in their father's footsteps and become scientists who worked with various superhero groups in developing new technologies to save lives.
Jinx had decided to retire from the super hero business after a close call on one of the missions, preferring to spend more time with her and Cyborg's kids and starting a career in the civilian section as a prison security inspector.
Bumblebee had actually moved in with Jinx and became a personal trainer. She was more than adequate with her 'in your face' attitude and near celebrity reputation gave her an edge over others.
Argent took on a variety of careers until she found one that suited her interests, a fashion designer. Within months of opening her first store she had a line of customers out the door and around the block. Everyone from the rich and famous celebrities, who wanted the claim of wearing something that "A true superhero designed" to the typical teenagers who found the outfits rebellious and fun.
The fact that Argent was able to create parts of her production line's machinery herself certainly saved on costs.
The gothic girl had remained in contact with both Raven and Beast Boy through the years, despite the fact that she had moved on and was now happily married.
Raven had been her Maid of Honor.
The empath herself often volunteered at libraries to promote reading with children, despite continuing her 'career' as a full time hero.
Beast Boy never took on the mantle of The Doom Patrol, opting to let that legacy die with his former teammates, even after being contacted by a mysterious man to inquire about restarting the group.
The rest of the Titans had similarly found their own place in society, a small portion continuing on the original plan of being heroes while most chose retirement rather than continue pushing themselves mentally and physically.
Eighty years after Slade's death found Cyborg laying in a comfortable bed with the, still young, changeling sitting in a chair next to him.
"We sure had a hell of a lot of fun huh BB?"
"That we did Cy. I still can't believe you were able to convince Jinx to keep involving Bumblebee in your little 'game nights' as you called them."
"Yeah me either, that first time though I swore I saw my death in her eyes… "The older man shivered in fright at the memory, earning a chuckle from his friend. "I do miss em though.
"I know it hurt to see them go Cy… but we all knew it was inevitable. People aren't meant to live forever." The boy sadly muttered out.
"Except you eh?"
"I would rather be just like everyone else, being able to go on and see my parents peacefully. I would hate to be stuck in this world forever, never seeing you guys again. Hell I even miss Robin and his 'early morning training sessions' some days."
The mechanical man laughed, shaking his head in the process.
"Only you… I still can't believe that Star and him never ended up together."
"Guess he had more of a thing for Batgirl in the end, plus Starfire wanted to have kids some day and that wouldn't be possible without either adopting or finding a donor."
"True, still though they were the 'power couple' of the team, a shame that Star went back to her home world to find a husband and settled down there I really did miss seeing the girl more often than a few video chats."
The changeling nodded in agreement. Starfire leaving had been the last real moment of The Teen Titans.
"So how are you and Rae man? I was hoping to hear the pitter patter of green and grey feet before I moved on."
Beast Boy just smiled before shaking his head.
"We have no plans for that kind of thing. No telling what might happen if you mix half demon, half human, and whatever the hell I am at this point together. If they didn't inherit our powers we would have to watch them grow old before us and…" The boy trailed off, leaving the outcome to the other man's imagination.
"Yeah I understand, plus I know Raven doesn't want to potentially create any more portals for Trigon to use by accident, still though I always thought you two would have cute kids."
"Of course they would be. Crossing my awesome with Rae's awesome? How could they not be epic?"
Cyborg's chuckle turned into another coughing fit for a few moments before he settled down.
"Well it looks like it's time for that one last rodeo man, just wanted to say it's been fun and... Semper Fi." The man smiled as his eyes began to close.
"Fair wind and following seas my friend." Beast Boy responded softly, before the steady beeping ended, signaling the former Titan's departure from this world.
"It was peaceful?"
Beast Boy nodded toward the empath as she approached his position at the front of the large windows overlooking the planet
"He earned that much at least, Cyborg had a hard life."
"Yes he did, but so have you Gar." The white cloaked girl noted.
"I suppose so, but I doubt any superhero has had a 'normal' one otherwise we wouldn't be doing what it is we do."
"I don't think I would have it any other way. Without everything in our lives leading up to The Titans we might never have met, I might never have had the family that I did."
"Nah your wrong Rae, no matter what might have changed you would always end up with a family. You are too likable not to."
The girl gave the boy a playful glare.
"Oh yes I am such a friendly person, full of happiness and joy, a big bottle of sunshine."
"Maybe not sunshine but moonlight is just sunshine reflected isn't it? You might be dark and mysterious and even a bit intimidating but you give hope to those who don't have it Rae, you always have."
The sorceress gave the boy a smile, before reaching over and subtly intertwining their fingers together.
The future, no matter how long it lasted, seemed infinitely bright.
As I come to the end of this story I find myself with a mix of emotions, happy that I finished it, sad that it is over, elated to continue working on other stories, and anxious to start a new one.
It must be murder for Raven to have these screaming at you all the time.
Regardless it has been a wild ride so far. I was hoping that this chapter would fit into my new 'shoot for around 5k words' idea but I felt it was starting to ramble on a bit and so I would rather have a better short chapter than an annoyingly boring long chapter.
Some of you might want me to continue the story but to be honest unless I threw Trigon in, which I feel is a bit cliché considering he is almost always the ending villain, I had run out of fun ideas to roll with.
In the original script Terra was going to make an appearance but… well somewhere along the way she got lost and meh. Maybe if I write another Teen Titans story she will show up.
I want to give a HUGE thank you to all my readers, reviewers, followers, and…. Favoriters? I would still have written this story even with no views but having people actually comment that they enjoy my work certainly makes it a thousand times more fun.
If you did enjoy this story feel free to check out my other ones ^.^
As always I hope you all enjoyed the read, I know that I had a hell of a fun time from start to finish.