Jump City Cantata
A Teen Titans Fanfiction by Jacob McDonald
Opening Notes: This was hard to write. Not just because I was trying to keep it under 10,000 words (I did) but also because there was so much emotion to portray. I left a lot of it open to the interpretation of the reader, because I felt that if I tried to describe what they the characters were feeling too much, then they would come across as being too emotionally narrow. There's just way too much going on in all of their heads as they try to cope with the loss of Robin, the disbanding of the Titans, and the other major surprises in this chapter, that they can't feel it all at once. So if it seems like no one is grieving for Robin, or people are just taking new shocking events into stride, it's just because they're on emotional over load right now. It'll all be taken care of later... in the next story.
Jinx sat on a pile of rubble, her head in her hands. With a sigh, she looked over at the book sitting next to her, the Libris Mortis, and the staff made up of the Four Worthy Objects next to it. Both artifacts of purest evil, and she was just toting them around town like they were a phone book and a walking stick.
Sighing again, she looked up at the night sky, noticing for the first time how clear it was. No clouds, but no stars either. The city lights were still too bright, even after half the power in the city was cut off, and the other half set on fire.
"Feels right though." she mumbled up to the sky, "Open and free... but still so dark and empty inside." She shifted her gaze back down to the rubble at her feet and growled out, "Gar, you idiot. I know you still like me, but... you love her." As her shoulders slumped she picked up the book and flipped it open.
Her eyes skimmed over the page (not all of it was written in Sanskrit) and she suddenly sat up straight. Leaning forward, she inspected the spell once more and then looked over at the staff.
"No way..." she breathed, "I could..."
Before she could change her mind, Jinx grabbed the staff and took off for the park in the center of the city.
Titan Tower was asleep. One of the last nights the Teen Titans would spend there. Beast Boy tossed and turned in his bed, nightmares of flesh eating zombies and blond haired loves haunting him. Speedy slept fitfully, still and quiet in the darkness of Raven's room, having trained himself long ago to sleep when he went to sleep, with no dreams. Sarah slept in Robin's bed again, Silke curled up next to her, but she was also plagued by horrible dreams of zombies and blood.
Cyborg sat in front of a computer terminal, flashing through screens upon screens of blue prints. Sitting back, he rubbed his human eye and sighed.
"This is getting me nowhere." he muttered.
Cy started before he realized it was just Red-X, his mask and uniform taken off, walking into the living room.
"Just going over my prints... if I can't live here, then I have to find a new way to keep myself powered. I can't just plug in and recharge at Sarah's place... the electric bill would be huge."
"Well," Brian sat down next to him, straddling the back of a chair, "I'm no genius, but I've had to learn a little about how a power cell works to be able to do maintenance and repairs on my suit. Maybe I could help a little?"
"Naw, you should get some rest. You took some hits out there today, and I know you have to be tiered."
"I'm insomniac." he shrugged, "Come on, give me something to do."
"Alright." Cy relented and pulled up his plans on the monitor in front of the thief, "That's it. You come up with any brilliant ideas, go ahead and tell me."
"Will do." Brian started inspecting the prints, clicking through them slower than Cy was, but still at a steady pace.
Raven wasn't in the Tower. After the news of their disbandment had come, she had gone to her room, changed into civilian clothing, and left. Now she wandered the streets, taking in the horror of the small war that had just happened hours before.
So many were dead, and thousands more were seriously injured. Families torn apart, lives destroyed, businesses wrecked... the list went on and on. Jump City had suffered worse than she had ever imagined it could while they were protecting it.
"I failed..." she whispered to the night and the fire, "I failed... so badly."
Starfire lay in the bed she and Robin had shared just the night before, and stared at the ceiling. She had run out of tears long ago, and now simply replayed that one horrible moment over and over in her mind. Robin running back, then fire and force and then there was nothing left.
She had searched the warehouse thoroughly, suffering minor burns in the process. He was just gone. He and Tim both. She had no idea how she was going to explain to Tim's father what had happened, or how she was going to be able to go on without...
"Richard..." she whispered into the darkness, and another tear fell down her cheek.
There came a knock at her door, and she sat bolt upright. Calming herself after a moment, she called out in a weak voice, "Who is it?"
The door opened a little, and a red head of hair peeked in, "It's me, Kori... Babs."
"Babs!" Star stood up from the bed and walked over to the door, opening it fully and taking in the sight of her friend, sitting in a wheel chair, dressed in jeans and a simple sweater, "What are you doing out of the hospital?"
"Bruce came... he... told me." she looked like she was fighting tears, "I checked myself out, and called Alfred. He brought me here."
"But... you should be in the hospital! You should not have come here just to see me-"
"I just..." Babs cut her off, then paused, unsure of how to continue, "I just wanted to be with someone I know loves him like I do."
Star's heart melted, and she quickly pushed Babs into the room. Shutting the door, she walked over to the bed and lifted the other girl easily into it, "We shall spend the night here then." Star nodded, fresh tears filling her eyes, "It is customary on my planet to spend the night after a soldiers death with the friends of the warrior, and those that served with him, proclaiming his deeds, and exulting his virtue and bravery. We shall do so now."
"That sounds... really good..." Babs smiled weakly and poked Star in the shoulder as her friend crawled onto the bed next to her, "You start."
Jinx slowed to a stop in the center of the memorial park in the center of Jump City. Leaning forward and breathing hard, she took a moment to catch her breath. Looking back up at the statue in the center of a wide, stone clearing, she frowned.
"It's you he still cares for..." she said, walking over to where Terra stood petrified, cold and unmoving, "It's you he still wants."
Pulling the Libris Mortis up and flipping open to the page she had read before, she stared deep into the stone eyes of the statue, "It'll be your choice..." she said, and lifted the staff as well, "Petrifictius, Garontholos, Rezigotian!"
Light and sound. The first she'd seen or heard in a while. Was that... someone calling her name?
"Who's there?" she called back.
"What's going on? I was fighting Slade, and I opened that volcano, and-"
Terra stopped. No, that couldn't be right, "If I'm dead, then how are you talking to me?"
I can bring you back.
"So you can talk to dead people, and bring them back to life? Sounds a little too good to be true."
There was a long pause, It is.
"I knew it." Terra smirked, "You can't really bring me back, can you?"
Yes, but... it's not free.
"What's that mean?"
A... sacrifice is required.
"What is it that I have to give up?"
Nothing... it's what I have to give up.
"So... you're going to bring me back, loose something that you sound like you really don't want to loose, and I don't owe you a thing?" Terra scoffed, "Right. Who the hell are you?"
I'm a friend... a Titan.
"Raven? That doesn't sound like your voice..."
Not Raven... a new Titan.
"And just why the hell are you making this huge sacrifice for me? I've obviously never met you, and the Titans wouldn't let a new member give up something big just so they could get back a girl that betrayed and almost destroyed them."
They don't know I'm here.
"That explains a few things. Why do you want me back? Why not just leave me dead and gone?" her voice grew quiet, "Like I deserve..."
... I love someone. Someone... who I think loves you. I'm bringing you back, so he can be happy again.
Terra's reply was almost a whisper, "Beast Boy?"
We call him Gar now.
"His real name. He finally get sick of being Beast Boy?"
Do you want me to do this or not?
Terra thought for a moment. Did she deserve it? She'd betrayed them. She's turned on her only real friends, and given them to Slade, then tried to kill them. Did her sacrifice really mean that much to them? That they would forgive her?
Only one way to find out, "Yes. Let's do it."
Alright then. Welcome back.
Jinx pulled back from the mental conversation and watched in fascination as the stone started to crumble away from Terra's body. White light started emanating from her, and then there was an explosion.
The pink haired girl was flung away by the blast, covering her face with one arm to avoid the rock shards flying every where. As the dust settled, she sat up and looked over to where a tall blond girl was trying to pick herself up out of the rubble. She was coughing horribly, and for a moment, Jinx thought the spell had gone wrong.
Rushing over, she helped Terra up. "What..." the blond coughed again, "What the hell did that spell do to me? I feel like I've had my guts torn out..."
Jinx inspected her. She looked fine. Just a bit older than the statue had been. Older...
"The spell took some of your life force. You're older." she went back to her book and started flipping pages.
"What kind of spell takes a part of your life force?" Terra coughed again and rose to one knee, "And you look really familiar..." Terra scratched her head.
"Well this isn't exactly White Magic I'm working with here! It's actually about as Black as it comes! And my name is Jinx. Maybe you've heard of me?"
"When the hell did you turn Titan? I thought you were with the HIVE!"
"I quit the HIVE almost a year ago. I became a Titan last week." Jinx found what she was looking for and pointed at it, "Ah ha!"
Terra looked over her shoulder, "I can't read that."
"It's Greek. It says that if the Dark Powers are called upon to return the body of one so petrified to it's natural state, they will exact their toll in the form of the subjects life force, taking five years from them, and from the caster's soul, taking away..."
Terra gawked at her, "You just took away five years of my life? And what did you loose?"
Jinx looked up with red rimmed eyes and a weak smile, "Five years isn't so bad... you're just a little over what you would have been anyway."
"Wait... how long was I gone?"
"Two years. You're seventeen now. Only, in the body of a twenty year old."
"Really?" Terra looked down at herself, and noticed her slightly more developed body, "Man, I still haven't got boobs."
"I know the feeling." Jinx looked around, and picked up the staff and the book, "Look, I'd love to fill you in on everything, but we just got done saving the city from an army of zombies, and the place is kind of a mess right now." she looked Terra up and down, "Slade Approval rating is kind of at an all time low right now too, so we might have to get you different threads."
Terra looked down at her mettle uniform and scowled. Reaching up, she ripped the 'S' insignia off of it and hurled it at the ground. Looking back up at Jinx, she smiled, "Where are we shopping?"
"Dude, I don't know about you, but I think we might have to completely redesign your power core." Brian flipped to another print and sighed, "I can't see anyway short of cold fusion to power all of your systems."
"I know... there's nothing small enough though... it'd have to fit in the same space. I don't exactly have too much room to grow."
Brian rubbed his chin, and thought for a moment, then looked at the robotic Titan sideways, "What about Zynothium?"
"What?" Cy glanced at him like he was crazy, "Your suit might run on that stuff just fine, but my power cell is-"
"Obsolete." Brian shook his head, "We need something that will allow you to keep functioning for years at a time, Cy. I know it's kind of unstable, but the system Robin designed works really well. It could work, as long as you don't take any tank shells to the chest..."
"It's expensive though. I can't afford to go picking up another..." he did some quick calculations in his head, "four ounces of Zynothium every year."
"So get it like I do!" he smiled that Red-X smile of his and shrugged.
"I'm not going to steal it either."
"I only steal it from the bad guys you know."
"Who steal it from the good guys."
"Who shouldn't be refining weapons grade Zynothium in the first place."
Cyborg looked at him hard, "You know... you're making it really hard to say no to this."
"That's because I'm so right about it. You want me to go get my suit so you can check out the core?"
"Yeah." Cy nodded, "Yeah, let's look at it."
The window of an electronics store smashed in as two thugs tossed a trash can through it. The glass tinkled down to the ground and the they looked at each other with huge grins.
"This is easy money." one of them said as he started to climb through the broken window.
"Yeah, it's like Christmas came early!" the other replied.
"You guys need a hobby." said a brooding sarcastic voice from behind them.
They never even got a chance to turn around before the dark energy slipped around them and hurled them back into the front of the bridal shop across the street. Groaning, they both stood up and located the source of the power.
Raven, dressed in blue jeans and a dark blue, short sleeved top, stood in the middle of the street, her eyes glowing with sinister black energy and her hands held out in front of her, ready to strike again.
"See if you can handle this!" one of the thugs yelled and they both pulled out hand guns.
They found themselves hanging upside down, unable to move, and staring at Raven, who yawned, "After taking out an army of zombies, you guys are cake."
"Stop right there!" came a shout from behind her, and Raven turned to see two cops walking up, "Put those men down and clear out of here, Titan!"
"Excuse me?" Raven turned around fully and stared at them, the two looters still suspended in the air behind her.
"You heard me!" the cop shouted as he came within ten feet of her, "Jump City doesn't need help from a bunch of teenage punks that wreck half the place before leaving thousands of bodies in the streets!"
Raven's mouth fell open as she listened to the man rant. The JLA being mad at them for not reacting fast enough, or well enough she could understand, but this man probably owed his life to the Titans for what they had done.
"We saved the city!" Raven shouted back, "Yes, there was extensive damage, and yes, many, many people died, but over a hundred thousand are still alive because of what we did! And you're telling me you don't want us to help any more?"
"That's right!" he was getting red in the face now, "If the Justice League had been here-"
"Because they did such a great job of showing up! When are you people going to learn that Superman can't fix everything?"
"We've already had confirmation that the Titans are being disbanded!" the other cop finally spoke up, much more calm than his partner, "Put those men down, and leave. You're not needed here any longer."
Raven glared at the cops for a few more seconds, then whirled around, "Fine! You want them down?" she righted the men, set them down on the ground, and released them, "There! Have fun!"
The two thugs looked at each other, saw that they had their guns out and the cops didn't then looked back at the cops.
Raven ignored the sounds of gun fire as she walked away. She didn't look back to see if the cops were still alive. She didn't pay attention to the screams and cries of pain.
Tears streamed down her face as she realized that even though she was angry, and even though she knew they didn't want her help, she couldn't not care.
"So then what?" Babs asked as she leaned forward.
"Then he just said, 'We fight anyway,' and we did. That was the kind of man he was... able to keep fighting against impossible odds, and able to make everyone around him want to help. He would never give up."
"I know where he gets that from..." the human girl shook her head, "Bruce has always been... intense..."
"I am going to miss him... very much." Starfire shook her head and yawned, "Now that the Titans are being disbanded, and Richard is... gone... I feel empty."
"Maybe you should take some time... rediscover yourself. We can morn Dick all we want to, but... he wouldn't want us to stay sad about it forever. He made a lot of difference in his life. Saved a lot of lives... he'd want us to honor that memory."
"I know." Star smiled weakly and lay down on the bed, "I think... I will look into contacting my home planet... perhaps I should go home for a while."
Babs didn't look very happy, "If it's what you want Kori." she lay down as well, "Sleepy time huh?"
"Yes... thank you for being here with me Babs... you are a true friend."
"Any time Star... any time."
Jinx was bent over at the waist, tears streaming down her face as she held her nose in her hands. She growled in pain and frustration, and gave a quick jerk of her hands just as Terra stepped out from behind a rack of clothes.
With a loud snap she put the bones and cartilage in her nose back in place.
"Okay, that was nasty." Terra walked over and helped Jinx to stand up straight. Blood poured down the pink haired girls face, and she quickly grabbed a shirt off a nearby rack to stop the flow.
"Sucked..." Jinx replied. They had broken into an abandoned clothing store on their way back to the tower to get Terra some different clothes, and as she had picked out an outfit and changed, Jinx had been patching herself up. Her nose was just the last of the field work she could do. The medical lab at the Tower was calling her name.
"You ready then?" she asked.
Terra looked down at her baggy khaki's with cargo pockets, and her mid-drift exposing black top. Black boots on her feet, and her long blond hair swept back from her face, and she looked fairly sexy for just having been un-petrified.
"Yep. I'm good."
"Then let's get out of here." Jinx reached down and picked up the staff and the book, and started for the door, Terra in tow. When they were back out on the street and on their way to the Tower, Terra spoke again,
"So... you and BB, huh?"
"Not so much... we had a thing, I guess, and we did have sex once, but-"
"You slept with him?" Terra gaped at her.
Jinx rolled her eyes, reminding herself that Terra still thought like a fifteen year old girl, "Yeah. Him and Raven."
"Raven's bisexual. And she's dating Speedy now anyway."
"Oh... um... okay."
"Any other questions?"
Terra was quiet for a moment, then in a much softer voice, she asked, "Why'd you bring me back if you like Beast Boy?"
Jinx sighed, "It's not important. Safe to say that he said some stuff today that gave me the impression he was still in love with you. When I found the spell to bring you back, I jumped at the opportunity."
"But... he has to have moved on by now... I mean, I'd like to think that he misses me, but I don't know about love... I cared for him a lot, but... we were only fifteen, and... damn it all, this is too confusing."
After a few minutes of silence, Jinx motioned up ahead with the staff. Titan tower stood tall and dark against the night sky, "Almost there."
"I'm scared." Terra looked nervous.
"I... hurt them pretty bad. I betrayed their trust, tried to kill them... I don't deserve a second chance."
"But they'll give you one anyway... you know they will."
"What about you?"
"I've done my fair share of horrible things in my time. Fighting off one army of zombies doesn't make up for it all." Jinx shook her head.
"Do you think... BB will be happy to see me?"
"I think he'll flip out. I just don't... know if he'll want to keep seeing me, or if he'll just fall back to you."
"I hope he keeps seeing you... you deserve it."
"But he deserves to be happy... and if that's with you, then that's with you."
"But you're the one that made the sacrifice for me."
"Let's just let him decide on his own." Jinx said with a weary smile, "Come on."
As they started to cross the bridge to the island, and Jinx walked ahead of her a little ways, Terra suddenly realized that Jinx had never told her exactly what it was she had given up.
It was dark downtown.
It wasn't usually, but tonight the only light came from the flickering flames in the street where cars had been over turned and blown up.
Here, at the epicenter of the zombie attack, there was only one survivor.
Her parents were gone, and after she had come out of her hiding spot, she'd just stood and stared up at the dark buildings and broken cityscape. Rubble littered the streets, and the clean up crews were slow in getting to this part of the destruction. Bodies lay all over.
Her dry eyes scanned the area, searching the dead for the bodies of her parents. They couldn't have survived. It just wasn't possible. Even at just twelve years old she was smart enough to know that if one of the explosions hadn't killed them, the raging army of the living dead probably had.
As she stepped past the last of the bodies in the immediate area, she came to a place where the zombies hadn't fallen, but had been blow apart and hacked to bits. It looked like a war zone.
The sound of foot steps behind her made her whirl about with wide eyes. Had one of the zombies survived? Was she going to die now too?
What she saw instead of a zombie though was a young woman wearing dark jeans and a blue shirt, stepping around some rubble. She had shoulder length hair, straight, and purple in color. A blood red jewel adorned her forehead, and she moved with an other-worldly grace.
As the young girl watched, the older one stepped up to her and knelt down so they were eye to eye, "Hello." the young woman said.
"H-hello." the girl replied.
"My name is Raven. What's yours?"
"That," Raven said with a slight smile, "is a pretty name. Where are your parents, Kylee?"
"I think... I think they're dead."
Raven closed her eyes and swallowed hard, "I'm... so, so sorry..."
"Why? It's not your fault." Kylee's voice was flat and dead.
"I still feel responsible. I... feel like I could have done more to stop it."
"Where are your parents?" Kylee took a step forward and touched Raven's shoulder.
Raven looked down at the girls small hand and then back to her eyes, "My Mother died... a long time ago. My Father... well, he's never really been too much of a parent."
"So neither of us have families anymore." Kylee shook her head, and for the first time, tears started to form in her eyes, "That's... very sad."
"But we have each other." Raven reached out and wrapped her arms around the child, feeling the great sadness that was emanating from her, "How would you like to come back to my home? We can try to find whoever your legal guardian is going to be in the morning."
"I don't have one." Kylee said, tears running down her face, "My parents were always worried... they said if they were gone, I'd become a ward of the state."
"Don't worry about that, then." Raven hugged her tighter, "I'll take care of you."
"Because... I feel like I should give something back after taking so much away."
"But it wasn't your fault."
"It was more than you know."
"The Titans did what they could, Raven."
Raven sat back and looked at the little girl with shock on her face. Kylee smiled a little, "What? I'm not allowed to know who the super heroes are who defend my home town?"
"You're a smart one, aren't you?" Raven arched an eyebrow.
"My teachers always say so." Kylee shrugged.
"Let's head to Titan Tower. We'll be moving soon, but I'm sure you can stay with me. I know people."
"Okay." Kylee nodded, and they set off, hand in hand, back to the Tower.
Leslie Thompkins opened the door to her free medical clinic at exactly 5:30 A.M., just as she did every day. Flipping on the lights in the waiting room, she walked briskly to her office and dropped off her purse.
Making her rounds of the clinic, she checked to be sure everything was in order for when she would open up at 6:00. Coming to the last room in the gun shot wounds ward, she opened the door to check on the supplies there.
Before she could flip on the light, a voice rasped from the darkness, "Dr. Thompkins..."
She looked over with wide eyes and gasped, "Is that... Ti-"
"Please... Leslie... we need your help."
"It could work." Cyborg nodded his head, "I think we could build this in a day or two."
"I'll have to see about getting some Zynothium, for you then." Red-X nodded as well, "I'll head out today and make some inquiries."
Sarah, who had joined them just a half hour before shook her head, "Do you have to steal to function, Cy?"
"It's starting to look that way. I don't think I have much of a choice here."
She was silent for several moments before she looked away and sighed, "Okay."
"Let's get on it then." Red-X stood up from the computer her had been working at and gathered his suit, "I'll be taking off in a little bit. If you need anything, you've got my cell number now."
"Yeah." Cy nodded, "See ya later, Bri."
Sarah waved as well with a smile and turned back to her boyfriend as X walked off, "So, where are you going to live after you leave the Tower?"
"Well, I know this girl... she's always complaining about how it's so hard to make rent and go to school at the same time, so I was thinking about asking her if she needed a roommate."
"Really?" Sarah winked, "I think she just might say yes."
Cy smiled back in a loving manner, "I'll have a job in no time. The JLA might have fired us, but we're still useful to the community as public figures. People will be clamoring to hire us."
Sarah's smile widened into an evil grin, "Want me to help you write a résumé? We could put down all your previous job experience." she held her hands up, forming a window with them in the air and acting as if she was reading something, "Computer hardware expert! Mechanic! Kicker of bad guy butt!"
"Quiet, you." Cy rubbed her head, and Sarah giggled.
Across the living room, Speedy stood in the kitchen sipping a mug of coffee. He looked up as Beast Boy walked in and nodded at him, "Hey. Sleep okay?"
"Hell no." Speedy shook his head, "Rea was gone all night. She still hasn't come back."
"She can take care of herself. I just hope that Jinx comes back at all. I... hurt her pretty bad I think."
"She'll be back. She probably just had to think things through. She and Rae are a lot alike in that respect." taking another sip of his coffee, Speedy nodded at his friend, "You sleep okay?"
"I'll be having nightmares about zombies and blood for the next five or six years." Beast Boy frowned as he pulled down a box of cereal and got out a bowl, "I don't know if I'll ever sleep okay again."
"Yeah." Speedy nodded in agreement, then started as the doors to the elevator leading to the garage opened. He turned to see who was coming in, "Rae?" he called.
"Sorry, Jason." Jinx stepped out of the elevator, still splattered with blood. She carried the Libris Mortis in one hand, and the staff in the other, "I thought Raven came back with you guys..."
"She took off again after we were handed down orders from the JLA... you'd better sit down for this."
"Later." Jinx waved it off, "I... did something while I was out..." she shuffled her feet, and glanced through the still open doors of the elevator. Beast Boy walked over and stood next to Speedy, his eyes asking her all the questions she couldn't answer. After a few moments of stalling, she just sighed, "Oh, what the hell. There's no easy way to do this, so... come on."
Speedy and Beast Boy both felt their jaws drop as Terra stepped off the elevator. There was a beat of disbelieving silence, then the blond girl smiled weakly and said in a falsely cheerful voice, "Surprise!"
The sound of movement woke Starfire from her slumber, "Hmm... Richard?" she mumble.
There was a long pause, then a familiar voice brought her fully awake, "No, Kori, it's me."
Sitting up and looking around, Star's eyes fell on Babs, who had maneuvered herself into her wheelchair and rolled over to the door. The events of the previous night came crashing back down on her then, and Star fell back to the pillows, "I... do not know if I can get up."
"Try to." Babs encouraged, "I'll have Alfred bring you some breakfast, but you should try to get up and do something today."
"Where are you going?"
"Bruce said he had something he needed to discuses with me today. I don't know what, but it's time for me to meet him in the foyer." she smiled back at the alien girl, "I'll catch up to you later today. We'll hang out."
"I would like that." Starfire nodded, "Though... I may have to think about my travel arrangements."
"Going back to Jump?" Babs asked.
"No," Star shook her head, "Without the Titans, and without Richard... I do not feel that I can stay here any longer... I am going back to Tameran."
Beast Boy found his voice first, "T-terra?" he asked, reaching out with trembling hands, "You... you're not... you were petrified, and Slade... Slade wasn't Slade, but he killed you, and-"
Terra stepped forward and put a finger on his lips, silencing him, "Jinx brought me back."
Beast Boy blinked, "Jinx?" he looked around the blonds shoulder at the pink haired girl, "You... how?"
Jinx held up the book and the staff, "This stuff doesn't do just zombies."
Speedy stepped up then, looking at Terra in a wary fashion, "But... isn't that all Black Magic?"
"Yes." Jinx nodded, "It took it's toll on both of us, but we're fine."
Speedy didn't look convinced, but let it go for the time being, "And Terra, you... you're better now, right? I mean... no more wanting to kill the Titans and destroy the city?"
"Slade did... horrible things to me. He tricked me, and he used me as a weapon against you guys..." she shook her head, "I'll never betray my true friends again. I want to be a Titan again."
"You're a little late." everyone whirled around to see Raven, standing just outside the elevator, holding the hand of a young girl dressing in a skirt and simple red blouse. Raven herself looked grim, "The Titans were disbanded by the JLA as of last night. We've been fired."
Jinx and Terra both felt stumbled, "What?" they said in unison.
"Apparently we didn't handle the situation last night in the proper manner. We fucked up big time, and they got rid of us. We're moving out of the Tower by the end of the week."
"But... that's not... how-" Jinx stuttered out before Raven cut her off.
"Robin was also killed last night in Gotham." the two girls stared at her in shock and she sighed, "I know it's a lot to take in, but with Terra here now, things just got a whole lot more complicated. I know I'm not technically in charge any more, but here's what I want you guys to do..." she looked around at all of them. Cyborg and Sarah were walking over now as well, looking more confused than anything else, "Jason, take Kylee up to my room and show her where she can get cleaned up. I'll be up to talk to you in a bit. Gar, Terra, go talk. You two have a lot to talk about. Cy," she turned to the robotic Titan as he and Sarah stepped into the kitchen, "You and Sarah should review our severance packages from the JLA. They should be in the system by now. Jinx!" Raven sounded angry for the fist time since she had come back to the Tower. Jinx had been trying to slip away un-noticed, and had made it across the room to the elevator that led to the upper floors before Raven had caught her. She looked back over her shoulder with wide, frightened eyes as Raven glared at her, "Put the artifacts of untold evil in the evidence lock up, then report to the medical lab. I'll meet you there to patch you up in a little bit, and we'll have a nice long chat. You know what about."
Jinx nodded once and Raven looked around at everyone, "Well? Hop to it!"
"This is the bathroom in here." Speedy showed Kylee the connected bathroom in Raven's room, "Rae really pampers herself with expensive stuff, so I'm sure you'll find everything you need."
"Shut up, Jason." Raven stalked into the room behind them and walked directly to her closet, "I'll see if I can find something for you to wear, okay, Kylee?"
"Okay." the young girl nodded and stepped into the bathroom. She paused, and turned back to Speedy, "Which Titan are... were you?"
Speedy smiled sadly, "I'm Speedy."
"Are you and Raven married?"
"Not yet. Maybe someday."
"Raven said I could live with her. Are you going to live with us too?"
Speedy's smile went away, "I don't know yet. I'm still part of Titan's East. I'll have to contact them."
Kylee smiled at him weakly, "I... wouldn't mind if you lived with us. It would almost be like having a family again."
With that, she stepped back into the bathroom and quickly shut the door. Speedy stood up straight and looked over at Raven's closet. Walking over, he leaned on the door frame and looked in on her.
"You're going to adopt her?" he sounded disbelieving.
"I'm going to get guardianship. I know some people down in child services."
"She doesn't have anyone else?"
"No... she'd become a ward of the state, and I don't want to see her in an orphanage." Raven sighed and stopped rummaging through her things, "It's... important to me, Jason. She was right in the middle of it... her parents were probably eaten, and it's a miracle she survived at all. I just... think she'd be better with me."
Speedy's eyes softened, "Us." he said.
"Us?" Raven looked over at him, "Jason, I'm sure you could go back to Titans East-"
"I want to stay with you." he cut her off with a degree of finality she didn't argue with, "If you're done with the hero gig, than so am I. Besides... Kylee seemed to want a family. With the both of us... she'll kind of have one."
Raven stood up and walked over to her boyfriend. Wrapping her arms around his waist, she fell into his embrace. They stood like that for several minutes before she whispered, "Thank you."
Babs looked around in awe, "What is this place, Bruce?"
The billionaire had taken her down to Tricorner directly from the Manor, and had stopped the expensive sports car he had been driving right in front of a large clock tower. From there, he had wheeled her up the wheelchair ramps inside, all the way to the top, where the face of the clock served as a huge window.
It faced out from a large room with polished hardwood floors. Doors off the main room revealed a kitchen, a bathroom, and a few bedrooms. Babs was looking around with wide eyes.
"This," Bruce said with a small smile, "is your new apartment."
"What?" she spun her chair around and stared at him with an open mouth, "Are you serious?"
"Of course I am. There's just one condition."
"What's that?" her eyes told him that the condition could be just about anything and she'd say yes.
"If a certain costumed crime fighter drops by in need of medical attention or a place to rest, you'll always have open doors."
Her eyes softened and she smiled at him, "Of course Bruce. You know you're always welcome at my home, be it here or any where else."
"In that case, let me give you a tour. We'll start with the hidden rooms back here, where you have your own T-3 line connection to the Net and act as your own ISP..."
After the Titans had broken up to carry out Raven's final orders, they had all gone separate ways, save for two of them. Beast Boy and Terra stood exactly where they were, staring at each other.
After several minutes, Beast Boy stepped forward, took her hand, and led her to the elevator. They went down, exiting the Tower on the West side. A short walk later and they were sitting on the rocky beach staring out over the ocean, facing away from the devastated city.
After fifteen minutes of silence, Beast Boy finally spoke, "So... Jinx brought you back, huh?"
"Yeah..." Terra was slow to respond, "She used that book of dark magic and that staff thingy. It... um... took away five years of my life. I'm physically nineteen now."
"That's kind of creepy. What happened to Jinx? She doesn't look any different."
Terra shook her head, "I don't know. She didn't say."
They sat in silence again for a long time, then Beast Boy broke it again, "Why'd you do it, Terra?"
He hadn't defined what exactly it was but she knew anyway. Closing her eyes, she sighed, "Slade... he offered me control. He offered me power, and fame, and money, and everything I ever wanted... or everything I thought I wanted. I thought the only way to ever really gain total control of my powers was to stay with him, to learn from him... to be his apprentice."
Beast Boy was silent, so she pressed on, "I wanted control. I was sick of being a freak. I was sick of not... fitting in. Raven had so much control... and Star, her powers are like, second nature. You just shape shift like you were born to, and Cy... well, Cy really was built to do everything he does. Robin had trained so hard and so long to be perfect... I just didn't want to wait. I didn't want to have to work at it." she trailed off and sighed again, "Slade showed me the quick way. The brain altering way."
"He messed with your brain?"
"Kind of. It was more of a reprogramming of the part of my brain that controls my powers. He used some advanced gene therapy of some sort... he was kind and good to me. He was harsh in his training, true, but when he wasn't teaching me to fight, he was almost... like the father I'd never had."
"Forgive me if I don't see Slade as the neutering parent type." Beast Boy's voice was harsh as he faced away from her.
"I tried to grow up to quickly." a tear trickled down her face, "If I were a normal girl that would have meant finding some leather clad bad boy and sleeping with him, but for a super powered chick like me, it meant finding an evil master mind and trying to kill the only people in the world who ever really cared for me." she laughed a bitter little laugh, "I guess we never have normal problems do we?"
"No, we don't." Beast Boy sighed and turned back to her. He wrapped an arm around her shoulder and hugged her close to him. She buried her face in the crook of his neck and cried as he held her. He took a deep breath, "When you died... when it was all over... I was crushed. It... really hurt. You had turned back to us, did the right thing in the end... and you still died. That hurt more than anything. Not the fact that I had loved you, not the fact that a team mate had just died... that you had tried to come back, only to be killed in the end anyway." he shook his head and squeezed her, "You deserved better. So what are you going to do with your second chance?"
"What do you mean?" she sniffed and sat up.
"Well, the JLA told us to hold off on the hero work until we're older, but you were still dead when that order came down, so it doesn't really apply to you."
"I think..." she smiled, "I think I'd like to retire with you guys. I don't think I can ask for a third chance after this one." she leaned into him, "I plan on living my life to the fullest while I still can. I'm down a year on you guys, remember."
"Yeah. Living a normal life wont be so bad, huh?"
"Yeah." she smiled at him widely, "Full life living starts now, with you." and she grabbed him around the shoulders and kissed him firmly on the mouth.
It only took him a few seconds to melt into her and deepen the kiss. They stayed like that for several seconds before she pulled away and grinned in a saucy manner.
"Wow... that was... we really should have done that before." he grinned at her, "Maybe you wouldn't have left for Slade then."
"Well, I'm sure I'm no Jinx, but..."
"Oh..." Beast Boy blushed, "So she told you about us kissing huh?"
"She told me about you sleeping with her, B."
"What?" he gawked at her, "She told you about all that already?"
Terra just leaned back and laughed as Beast Boy's skin took on a decidedly red ting all over.
Jinx's eyes were watering again.
The cartilage in her nose had been pushed around enough to slice up the tender tissue inside, which had continued to ooze slightly ever since she had re-set it. Now she had two long q-tips covered in a mild acid shoved up her nose and against the lacerations, cauterizing them shut.
It hurt like hell, but she felt she kind of deserved it.
After she pulled the bloody q-tips out and tossed them in the trash, she set about taking off the bits of cloth she'd torn from the clothes in the store Terra had picked up her clothes at. She had used them to wrap the worst of her cuts and scrapes, and now they were pulling away in sticky and covered in grime and blood.
"I need a shower..." she mumbled. Glancing around, she saw a privet room off to the side of the medical lab that housed a bath tub, "Or a sponge bath."
Ten minutes later, she was sitting naked in a tub full of warm water, cleaning her cuts with a soft cloth. The water was soothing, and she soon found herself just laying there and soaking.
An untold amount of time later, she heard the doors to the medical lab open. There was a pause in the foot steps, then they walked directly to the door of the bath area and opened the doors.
Jinx looked up to see Raven standing there, hold some clothes in one hand, and a towel in the other, "Come on, Jenny. Let's get you patched up."
Jinx nodded and stood up out of the bath, accepting the offered towel. After a few minutes, she was sitting on one of the beds in the lab, wearing only her underwear, and letting Raven tend to her wounds.
"I can do this stuff myself, you know." she said as Raven dabbed at one of the cuts on her leg with a bit of gauze.
"I'm just making sure nothing is infected before I heal you entirely. Hold still."
Jinx fell silent again, and waited. She knew it was coming. Even after only really knowing Raven for a week or so, she knew the other girl was about to-
"Did you have fun playing with the worlds Blackest Magic?"
Jinx winced, "No. I did it for a reason though."
"And bringing Terra back to steal away your boyfriend was worth the price you paid?"
Jinx was silent again for a moment. Raven continued to work.
Looking down at her friend, Jinx saw the intense look of concentration Raven had on her face, diligently cleaning every cut so that she could ensure a clean heal. It touched her that the dark psion could be so tender and angry at the same time. She cared for her friends, and Jinx suddenly felt a swelling of affection for the girl next to her.
"I want him to be happy."
"He could have been happy with you."
"Do you not like Terra?"
"We never really got along when she was with the Titans, no. I checked her emotions and mind over once when I came in with Kylee, and she definitely wants to make up for what she's done, but that's beside the point. The point is, you didn't have to do what you did. You weren't thinking straight, and now, if we ever to go back to crime fighting, you'll be short a few tricks."
Jinx stared at her. Raven looked up into the pink haired girl's eyes, "What? Just because I don't use the spells in the Libris Mortis, doesn't mean I haven't read them. I knew we could bring Terra back the way you did, but I wasn't willing to give up my magic to do it."
"So... you know that I'm useless in a fight now." Jinx looked away.
"No, not useless. Robin was hardly useless in a fight. If you ever decide to go back to the vigilante life style though, you're going to have to get a lot better than you are now."
"Well, since we've been sacked that's pretty much a non-issue isn't it?"
"No." Jinx looked over at Raven, surprised to hear a tone of cunning in her voice. Raven grinned, "Just wait. When things start to go to hell again... you just wait."
Jinx smiled weakly, "Guess I'd better get back to training, huh?"
"After I heal you." Raven held out a glowing black hand, "Hold still."
Starfire stepped into the main room of the clock tower apartment that now belonged to Babs Gordan. Looking around, she called out, "Babs! I am here!"
"Back here!" came the reply. Following the sound of the voice, Star walked through a panel in the wall that had been moved to reveal a secret area that was almost the same size as the apartment it's self. She found Babs leaning over in her chair, plugging a laptop into a cable coming out of the wall.
"You wished to see me about something before I stated making plans to leave?" Star asked as she watched the other red head sit up and turn the laptop on.
"Yeah... look around this place for me, will ya?"
Star did so, "It is quite large for just one person. Bruce's gift is quite nice."
"Yeah... Kori, if I were to offer you a job, would you think about it?" Babs turned to her and smiled.
"A job?" Star blinked, "I guess that would depend on the job, and the nature of the work to be done."
"Well, you see, I had this idea..." Babs turned back to her computer, "Bruce gave me a line of credit, much like the one Dick had, and told me to set myself up however I like. Well, that got me thinking about all the great hardware I could buy... and that got me thinking about all the crooks out there that never expect a digital attack."
"What are you saying?" Star's mouth was starting to twitch up into a smile. Babs had an infectious attitude, and it was rubbing off on the Tameranian.
"What I'm saying is that I can bust the bad guys from Cyberspace all I want to, Kori, but I would still need a field agent to do the leg work for me, if you'll pardon the pun."
Star stared at her, "You wish... for me to stay here in Gotham and help you?"
"If that seems like too much, then I could use some help... moving in as it were. At least stick around and think about it while you help me get set up."
Star grinned, "Batgirl the computer expert?"
"No, I need a new name. Batgirl was the old me... this new crime fighting me... needs a different handle."
"Do you have any ideas?"
Babs smiled a grim smile, "I think I'll call myself The Oracle."
As the noon hour approached, one by one, the Titans started to find their way to the living room. As the clock struck 12:00 exactly, Beast Boy and Terra walked in from outside and sat down on the couch, on either side of Jinx. The pink haired girl was a little shocked by it, and looked at both of them before smiling weakly and settling back.
Speedy sat in a squashy arm chair not far away, Raven curled up on his lap. Cyborg leaned against the computer array next to the TV, with Sarah sitting in the chair next to him.
All of the Titans looked at each other with small smiles for a few moments.
"So what's it look like, Vic?" Speedy finally asked.
"Well, the packages aren't bad, but we'll definitely need jobs if we're going to pay the rent for more than six months or so. Apartment vacancies have opened up all over the city-"
"Several thousand, I bet." Raven mumbled. Speedy pinched her rear and she yelped.
Cyborg chuckled at them before he continued, "They want us out of the Tower by the end of the week. That gives us time to find places to live and move all of our stuff."
"What about Starfire?" asked Jinx.
"We got a communiqué from her just a little while ago actually." Sarah replied with a small frown, "She said she's going to be staying in Gotham for now to help Batman. A secure JLA jet will be here to move her stuff in the morning."
"Are you two going to live together?" Raven arched an eyebrow at Cyborg and Sarah.
"Yeah. What about you two? And where did that kid go, Rae?"
"Kylee is sleeping in my room." Raven shook her head, "She was right in the middle of the Cursed Dead out there... I'd rather it be me helping her move past the horrors she saw than some stressed out, under paid social worker. She needs an empath to help her."
"We're going to apply for guardianship and become her foster parents." Speedy said with a slight blush, "And we'll have our own place, yeah."
"Well," Beast Boy sat up and looked at the two girls next to him, "Guess we'll just have to get our own place then, huh?"
"Wait..." Jinx blinked, "All three of us?"
"Yeah." Terra placed a hand on her shoulder, "We don't know what's going to happen, Jinx, but we figured rent is cheeper with three than with two, so... let's give it a shot, eh?"
Jinx nodded slowly as a smile spread on her face.
Cyborg suddenly stood up and clapped his hands, "Well, there's no telling what the future holds, but as far as I'm concerned, tonight we're still the Titans."
"Yeah." Raven got up off of Speedy's lap and smiled as well, "Let's do one last Titanish thing."
"Like what?" Speedy arched an eyebrow up at her.
"Order pizza of course!" Cyborg shouted, "Booya! Meat Lovers here I come!"
"Aw, no!" Beast Boy leapt off the couch and grabbed him about the neck as he charged for the phonebook in the kitchen, "We are NOT ordering all meat pizza!"
As the rest of the evening descended into chaos, the Titans thought of nothing except each other. There would be time the next day to think about where they were going, what they were going to do, and how they were going to go about all of it. There would be worry, and stress, possibly tears of sorrow, and definitely tears of sadness as they left their home behind. They would grow up, and they would move on. But for the rest of that night, they we exactly who they had been for the past five years.
They were the Teen Titans.
Closing Notes: Thank you, thank you, thank you, to each and every one of my readers that reviewed. Your encoragement and compliments mean the world to me. As I start in on the next story, I hope you'll all remain faithful readers, as well as faithful reviewers. The next one is going to be slower, but I'll make up for that in the fourth and finally instalment of the Music of Jump City Series.
cyberclock - Did I kill Robin? Hmm... I don't remember killing Robin...
Terra Basher -Your handle tells me you hate me right now. Terra's not so bad though... and who knows? Maybe you'll like the way I write her...
Heaven's Angel - Yes, Jason Todd (never liked that punk) did get his refrence with the crow bar to the head Dick took, then getting blown up by the Joker. That can't feel good. But Jason died. I'll leave you with that bit of crypticness. Is that a word? Crypticness? Hmm...
The Nanosaur - In the comics, Tim Drake is the third Robin, after Jason Todd (See the comment above) but since I don't like Jason all that much (too rash for me) I skipped him in the story. And why's everybody so down on Cy? It's like... everyone wanted him dead. I don't get it.
NalaravatheRed - Chapter 10 review, but oh well. Yeah, blood, zombies, more blood, more zombies and some blood. A little bit about Raven's sex life, a few jokes, and that's chapter 10. Boy was it fun to write. :)
Sympathique - I've recently been trying to hack my way through 'These Black Eyes' and I'm on chapter like, thiry something now... only what? 200 more to go? Post writes some CRAZY long stuff. Starting from the begining is hard, but you have to in order to understand anything. And yes, no body, no dead Robin. Glad you picked that up. :)
StarryRavenFire - I'm really sorry to hear your father passed... it's always hard to loose someone that close to you. I feel you. Thanks for reading and reviewing anyway though! Hope this chapter was able to pick you up a bit. I figured that I messed around with everyone except Jinx really bad. So why not screw over Jinx too? Giving up her magic to bring Terra back was stupid, but it just might work out for her in the end. You'll just have to keep reading.
Stolen Valkyrie - Another chapter 10 review! The story topped out at exactly 230 pages without coments and reveiwer responses. Moving on to chapter 11, I have a comment about Star: her powers are extreamly closely tied to her emotions, yes. She's been walking around not flying, and she hasn't exactly been shooting starbolts either. She's in shock. Wait until the next story, when her emotions are decidedly negitive, and see what she's like. I have big plans for the little princess.
MintPizzaQueen - Hey, don't shoot the messenger. Green Lantern was just passing on the info. And they must end because it's fits my plot line. Heh. I'll have the next story up and started soon, I promise.
goldfish demon -Yes. :)
Yeliak - The explination comes in the nextstory. Be sure to check it out, and put me on your e-mail updates list if you haven't already so you can read it as soonas Ipost it.
yournotthebossofme! -A lot of fans showing an outpouring of love for Robin.Did you catch the bit with Dr. Thompkins? That should answer most of your questions. :)
Kokuryu -I needed a reason to shut down the Titans. Soway back before I started writing JCS, I intertwined the JLA with the Titansso there could be a lack of funding issue. It all worked out. :)
ravene-It's really easy to off a Robin. You just bash itin the head with a crowbar, then blow it up. See? No more Robin! Atleast, not for now...
MaNiAc - I hope you lived long enough for this update to come out. As you can see,Robin may still be around, but that's still up in the air... oh who am I kidding? Any idiotcan see that I didn't off Robin, orTim. They play a big role in the next story though, so keep reading!
Summer comes to Jump and Gotham Cities, and brings with it a whole host of new problems for the Titans. Problems like, how to scrape enough money together to pay the rent? Problems like, why is there nothing to eat except Ramen? Problems like, how are they supposed to NOT use their powers and abilities when there are so many evil people our there just begging for a beat down?
As Starfire helps Babs establish herself as the Oracle, and the Titans adjust to civilian life, two dark haired boys embark on a quest for self discovery. One trying to find out who he really is, and the other trying to find out what he really wants to become. The lazy heat of summer provides the perfect backdrop to our Intermission...
Enjoy the brife rest, and listen to the sweet tones of the Gotham City Concerto.