Hello, again. I am beginning to write another story along with this one, so it might take me awhile after this chapter.
A New Titan
Paige hugged her brother with all her might.
"I'm going to miss you so much!!"
"It's alright, sister, you will have a better life here, and your powers make you special. You're can do something with your life that helps people. You deserve a life that's as good as what lies before you."
She let go of her brother. She looked up to him so much, he was like her role model. He helped her with singing lessons and with all of the things that the circus people taught her. She let go of him and walked over to her parents and hugged them.
"Bye mom and dad, I promise to keep in touch." Marcia looked at her only daughter; she was growing up and leaving her right before her eyes. She thought of when they first took her in, how happy they were to have a child.
Paige had already said goodbye to her other circus friends, but saved the most important friends and family for last.
Paige walked over to her best friend. Alexis hugged her tightly.
"You promise to visit us whenever you can?"
Alexis looked sad. She felt like she was losing her best friend.
"I'll e-mail you every day." Paige said. Her eyes started to glaze. She sniffled and fought back her tears. She then turned to Jacob.
His face showed a look of depression, sadness, and worry. He looked weak, alone. Paige ran to him as fast as she could and threw herself in his arms. Slow, steady tears began to fall from her metallic-blue eyes.
"I'm going to miss you the most," she said, holding back so many tears now it was suffocating her.
"Paige, come over here. I need to tell you something." Jacob's deep voice was like music to the girl's ears.
"yes," she stared into his chocolate eyes.
"There's something that I've been meaning to tell you." Paige's heart started to beat faster. Her stomach was doing backflips.
"And what is that?" she tried her hardest to stay calm. He was her best guy-friend, and he knew everything about her. They had spent endless times staying up late, talking. She loved to talk to him. He understood so much of her, he helped her control her powers, taught her how to paint, and attempted to teach her woodwork. He was so patient, so calm, so easygoing. After awhile she realized that she had fallen in love with him. Everything about him made her swoon. Nothing seemed to bother him. Until now. She had never seen him so nervous. She diverted her attention back to the boy she loved as he began to speak again.
"Well, what I'm trying to say is, I like you. A lot. I think I'm in love with you." Paige's blue eyes widened with excitement and happiness. As he said his last sentence he looked at the ground, prepared for the worst rejection of his life. And he looked up. He saw the light in her eyes that told him what he wanted to know. He knew that her eyes only got that glow when she was overcome with joy. She could barely speak. After a few seconds a calm smile spread across her beautiful face. The blush on her cheeks began to fade.
"I love you too." She said it with such practicality Jacob almost couldn't believe his ears. He immediately understood now. She loved him as much as he loved her. He cared about her more than anything.
He then moved closer to her and they shared their first kiss.
She wept silently in his arms, never wanting to let go. But she knew that this is what she had to do. She didn't belong with the circus anymore. Her home, her family, her friends, her love, would always be with the gypsies. She knew that much. But she also knew that she couldn't stay here any longer. She never felt like she belonged with the circus, but she always belonged with them. The gypsies. Her family. Her intuition kicked her in the stomach again. She had to leave. She felt that she had a destiny that she had to fulfill. And if it meant leaving the place she lived in for the past ten years, she was prepared to do so.
As Jacob held her, a few unwanted tears slowly fell down his tan face. He didn't want to lose her. He didn't want her to leave. But this was what she wanted, so he didn't try to persuade her to stay. He didn't want to make this any harder for her than it already was. He looked into her eyes and said with full confidence,
"I promise never to date or love another girl," he meant every word. "and I will wait for you until you feel the need to come back home." Sadness overcame him. 'She's so pretty,' he thought to himself, 'even when she's sad'.
"I will wait for you as well." She choked on her tears; they were beginning to blur her vision. They kissed one last time. She slowly walked to the titans, she knew what she had to do. She wasn't going to give Jacob up, but she was going to have to live without him for awhile.
Starfire and Raven watched in sadness as the two loves departed from one another. Starfire was moved to tears, and Raven, for just a moment, got something 'caught in her eye'. She put her hood over her head so no one would notice her quick shed of a tear. Not one titan noticed that she had done this. No one could know that she showed emotion for once.
Even Cyborg, Beast Boy, and Robin felt a twang of sensitivity towards the gypsy girl. The titans looked at her as she walked over to them. Her tears stopped. She regained her composure and smiled at her new teammates. Robin looked at the Bohemian with concern,
"Are you sure you want to do this? You really love him, I mean them." She smiled again at her leader with a new confidence.
"Yes. I will get through it. I know what I'm doing, and it's all for the best."
She then turned around to face her family and friends.
"Goodbye. I will miss you all so much!" Cyborg thought he saw a tear in her eye, but it disappeared as soon as it had come.
The circus waved back to her. Her friends, her family, and her boyfriend all waved with mixed feelings of sadness and joy.
She got in the T-Car and rode to her new home. The giant "T" stood unsurprisingly visible on the sun-setting horizon. Mixed colors of red, orange, yellow, and pink were spread across the sky like a painting on a canvas. She was then reminded of Jacob again. He loved to paint. She then realized, once again, that she had to learn to live without him. It wouldn't be forever; she would see him again, she just didn't know when. Musing about it wasn't going to make her feel better. The Egyptian shook her boyfriend from her mind as they neared their destination.
They went inside the tower. Robin turned to his new teammate to see her gaping at the place. Wide-eyed, she circled the living room with enthusiasm.
"Wow," was all they could hear, "I tell you what, wow."
The green shape-shifter edged his way towards the gypsy as he looked at the girl with expectation.
"Soooooooo, do you like it here?" his tone of voice made her giggle.
"Yes, truly." Her playful smile hadn't yet left her face. Robin spoke up to get the girl's attention,
"Paige, now that you're one of the teen titans, you need somewhere to sleep. Raven and Starfire will show you to your room."
"My room?" she looked surprised and unbelievably grateful as a giant grin of anticipation came across her face.
"Oh, yes, new friend," Starfire's bubbly voice came to Paige's ears as her mind instantly came back down to earth, "you will be most comfortable here." Paige felt a sense of maleficent power around Raven as the telepath's intoned voice could be heard echoing throughout the corridors as she spoke,
"And besides, your room is near ours, so if you need help with anything, just ask one of us." Raven normally wasn't this hospitable towards newcomers, but her telepathy screamed to her how innocent the newest titan was. The gypsy had worked in the circus her whole life, and hadn't really had as many opportunities as most teenagers. But that didn't mean her intelligence level was lower than theirs. She felt a sense of experience that came with her circus-filled life; a sort of hidden wisdom that hadn't had a chance to take its course. With these few but efficient new things she had learned about the Bohemian during the past few minutes, she realized that this girl was powerful beyond her want, but notably harmless.
Paige quickly followed the Tameranian and the half-demon down the long, winding hallways that led to her room. Starfire burst out in happiness,
"Friend, this is your room, right around the corner from mine and Raven's." Raven gave a small smile as she looked at the Egyptian; her fair skin was all flushed. Raven had never seen the girl happier.
"Thanks so much you guys," Paige said quietly but full of gratitude. She heaved a small sigh of contentment, "I'm gonna unpack. I'll meet you downstairs when I'm all set up." And with a broad smile on her pretty face, Paige's door swiftly shut behind her as she walked into her new room.
Beast Boy turned, and, to his delight, the blonde now stood in the doorway of their living room. She was his new friend. Yes, a friend. He came to the conclusion that she was pretty, but she didn't really fit that "like as a girlfriend" description. So, he decided, he would only think of her as a friend. Nothing more. He had a strong compatibility towards the girl, partially because she actually thought his jokes were funny. After spending some time with the Bohemian, he realized that she also made him laugh, which made them become friends almost instantly. She was fun, an attribute that none of the other titans quite fit to. Raven was practical. Starfire was happy. Cyborg was fun, but extremely competitive, which usually led to a game that Beast Boy would eventually lose. Robin was serious, most of the time. The changeling suddenly became unfocused from his thoughts as he said to the gypsy,
"So, what took you so long?" a big toothy grin stood out on his green features.
"You have any idea how much stuff I brought?" she eyed him with a playful expression. Clearly the green titan and the gypsy's feelings about each other were mutual. "I packed everything but my kitchen sink."
Cyborg smiled at this. She had brought a lot of stuff. But before Starfire could interject with confusion on the possibility of Paige bringing a sink with her, Robin quieted her with his hand. He said to her with anticipation,
"You told us you would try out our obstacle course," he said, "to show us what you can really do."
"It is true that you don't know the full extent of my powers," she said almost quietly, "but I don't know if you guys really want to bore yourself with training me." An uncomfortable smile was shown on her face now. She honestly thought that she would merely train herself, like the rest of the titans. She figured it would be less of a burden to them. Besides, they really didn't know how dangerous her powers could be if she couldn't control them. 'I shouldn't worry,' she thought, 'I already have complete control, I just need a little more practice. Yes, practice is what I need.'
Robin looked confused. He was baffled at the mere thought that they, the teen titans, wouldn't want to help a friend in need. He smiled reassuringly,
"I think you would do fine." Paige suddenly zoned out of her thoughts as she heard Robin speak.
"Ok." her voice was steadier now, "I'll do the obstacle course. But just so you know, I may not be as good as you guys are at this sort of thing. Well, I'd better change into something that would be more 'fighting material'".
She then went up the long steps to her room. She came back out wearing a tight-fitted, long-sleeved, turtle-necklike black shirt that showed her stomach. She wore yellow gloves that were similar to Starfire's. Her pants, also tight-fitted, were black and had a yellow-white belt around it. She gleefully skipped steps down the stairs as she reached her fellow teammates. All they could do was stare.
"W-w-where did you get th-that outfit?" Beast Boy said, beginning to drool again. Paige didn't notice as she replied,
"From the circus. I used it when Curtis and the other acrobats taught me how to do all of those flips that you saw. You can't do those kinds of things in my normal gypsy-dress, you know. I also sometimes did acrobat performances, once in awhile. It didn't interest me as much as dancing, so I didn't do the acrobat stuff all the time. I was kept up to date with lessons, though.
"So, your saying you know how to do all of the stuff that the acrobats do?" Cyborg said, mouth agape.
"Yeah. When you live in a circus, and you get bored, well, lets just say you're willing to try anything."
"Ok, then," Robin said, "I'll show you to the obstacle course. It's outside" Robin then led Paige outside of the tower to a place that, Paige realized, was truly a place for fighting. By the looks of these weapons, guns, lasers, and explosion cannons, she also noticed that you definitely needed superpowers to survive five seconds in a crossfire between these defense systems.
"Whoa." Was all she could say.
"Don't worry," Raven's deadpanned voice had a hint of concern in it, "I know what you can do," Paige looked at the telepath in surprise as she said, "and I think you'll do just fine." Raven cracked a small smile at the blue-eyed beauty. This boosted Paige's confidence and she walked out onto the clearing, where she would await the many weapons that would all at once charge at her.
Robin then pressed the button that started the course. A laser quickly started up, and shot at her. She quickly dodged it, and her hands begin to glow with fire around them. Her eyes turned the same neon orange as they did when the titans first saw her. She immediately threw a huge fireball at the machine, and it went up in flames. Many other weapons shot and aimed at the girl, but she dodged them all with the most elaborate flips and turns that the titans had ever seen. She jumped in the air, threw more fireballs, and landed with extreme grace every time. Cyborg looked at Beast Boy and muttered under his breath,
"Daaaaaanng, the girl's got skills." Beast Boy heaved a giant nod,
"She wasn't kidding when she said that the acrobats taught her stuff." The two boys gaped as the girl continued the course. After she had been fighting and doing other gymnastic stunts for several minutes, a small, sizzling, yellowish-orange ball of fire appeared in her hand. She threw it at a laser, and after a second or two, it exploded. She created another "bomb" and threw it at a gun, which caused it to explode. Robin looked at her wide-eyed and said,
"She's a pyrokinetic," he stared in disbelief. The rest of the titans looked on in awe. Beast Boy groaned and began to whine,
"Come on, you guys know I don't know what that means!!!!" Starfire looked at the shape-shifter with compassion and calmly explained to him,
"She has the ability to create small flammable explosives that she can mentally control."
Beast Boy began to get more frustrated. He looked at Starfire with a dumb expression that says, 'in one ear and out the other' all over it. Starfire slightly rolled her eyes as she realized that he hadn't understood a word she said. Cyborg interrupted the green titan's confused thoughts,
"It means that she can make little cherry bombs that go off when she wants them to." A smile appeared on the boy's face,
"Oooooooooooh, I get it now." He then focused his attention back to the gypsy.
She was blocking, dodging, aiming, hitting, and destroying everything in her path. Robin turned the course to an even more difficult level. She continued to fight. Then, all of a sudden, Paige's body began to glow orange, red, and yellow as different parts of her body began to flame. Her hits were more powerful this time and almost everything she touched, or looked at, exploded or went up in flames.
After a few more seconds of watching, the titans saw her create several balls of melted magma. She would toss it at something, and it would melt whatever it touched. The course then finally ended. Still dumbfounded by her power, the five teen superheroes gaped at the girl.
"Whoa, man! That was AWESOME!!" Cyborg's loud voice rung in Paige's ears.
"Yes, new friend! You are the one who has to teach us how you do so many things!" Starfire squealed.
"Well done, Paige." said Raven in her usual emotionless tone.
What neither the titans nor the blonde knew, was that they weren't the only ones watching the Bohemian fight. Something, or someone, was watching the girl very intently. At that moment, Paige felt that well-known feeling that you are being watched. She whirled around, suspecting someone to be there. She saw nothing. She squinted her eyes suspiciously, turned around, and ignored her intuition. But something in her gut told her it was there, and a chill ran down her spine.
"Hey, guys," she said warily, "maybe we should just go inside and have some lunch."
"Is something wrong?" Robin asked.
"It's nothing," her voice almost had a hint of nervousness in it, "I'm just kinda tired, you know?"
"I would be too, if I could put on a show like that." Beast Boy said, smiling.
"Yeah." Paige forced a weak smile and almost hurriedly walked toward the tower, that awkward feeling never leaving her until she was inside.
Day after day Paige would continue to train, each day getting somewhat better. But, that haunting feeling of being watched also continued. She didn't like this. Something wasn't right.
"I'm probably fooling myself," the Egyptian would constantly tell herself, "titans tower is like, the safest place in the whole city." She would pause, and try to ponder the situation, and would find countless reasons of why she was overreacting. Finally, she made up her mind that there was nothing there, and that she was completely safe.
This alternative didn't last long.