Disclaimer: Since I obviously don't own the copyright to Teen Titans, I'm taking advantage of the Fair Use Clause of the Copyright laws to write a story with them in it. Who knew the government would protect the little guys? Anyway, I hope you enjoy.
Red X stopped at the edge of the roof, taking his time to watch the Titans go to the window and slink inside as quietly as they could. Unsurprisingly, it was far less quiet than it should have been, Cyborg having to be held up as the roof started to give beneath him as he walked to the window. It might have been comical if it wasn't so utterly pathetic. X shook his head and back flipped off the building soundlessly.
Robin was the first inside; slipping threw the window and landing hard on the conveyor belt in between two robots, but not making much sound. Starfire flew in between the window, followed by Beast Boy and Raven and then finally Cyborg who was hovered in by Raven's powers. Robin looked at the machines between him, X was right, they weren't responding in any way, they weren't finished… but they looked different. He held up his hand for quiet as the team slowly descended to the ground around him.
"What is it?" Cyborg asked as quietly as he could.
"I don't know… just something's wrong." Robin said, moving from the one he was looking at to the next one, and moving on the line with the conveyor belt.
"What's wrong?" Raven asked, looking around, scanning the machines warily.
"Cyborg… give me some light." Robin asked, as he jumped down from the conveyor belt.
"Robin, are you sure that is wise?" Raven asked, looking at him, "If anyone is watching…"
"Something is wrong with these robots, I can't see it in the dark, I need some light, it'll only be a few seconds." Robin replied, staying as silent as he could.
Cyborg stood between the two, watching as Robin slowly nodded, then opened up the small flashlight on his shoulder. The light flickered into existence and they stared at the machines. The light reflected off of the blue and white cross-mesh of circuitry that served as it's outer skin. It took everyone a second to respond, but where quiet had reigned seconds before yelling took over. "HE STOLE MY BLUEPRINTS!" Cyborg yelled pointing at the machinery, the human half of his face turning beat red.
"Cyborg, calm down." Robin said, taking a step away.
"HOW DID SLADE GET MY BLUEPRINTS?!" Cyborg continued shouting, oblivious to the other Titans' dismay.
"It's very simple really…" The lights came on suddenly, nearly blinding the Titans who were completely surrounded by hundreds of robots with glistening white and blue circuitry.
"Slade…" Robin growled in a low tone.
Slade stood above them, his eye narrowed, "… my new apprentice got them for me."
The Titans stared at him for a moment and then Red X suddenly appeared, "Hi kids. Surprised to see me?"
Robin snarled, "X!" The other Titans fixed him with steely glares, "You tricked us!"
X moved to the edge of the platform, leaning on one knee, "Oh please, kid, you didn't trust me from the beginning." he said cynically.
"Enough. Destroy them." Slade said coldly, moving to his apprentice's side.
The first wave of robots charged the Titans. Robin took out his bo staff and began whirling it to draw them in closer while Cyborg charged the machines that mocked his existence. Starfire launched star bolt after star bolt at them, using eyebeams to destroy them. Beast Boy changed into a rhinoceros and charged while Raven hovered above and began chanting.
Cyborg smashed the first one he saw, and fired a sonic blast into a second one, tearing up its insides. One of them lunged on him, but he threw it off and into a wall. A sonic blast hit Cyborg in his side hurling backwards into a wall. He growled, but another blast hit him in his chest hit him sending him back into the wall. He stayed there, where he had made the indent, then collapsed onto his hands and knees.
Raven finished her chant of 'Azarath Metrion Zinthos' and a wave of darkness spread from her hands smashing into a group of three robots that were attacking Cyborg. More sonic bursts issued from around her and before she could truly react one had hit her and she was sent spiraling out of the air and landed hard on the ground skidding across the floor. Robin rushed to her side, grabbing and lifting her as a boot landed heavily where her head had been moments before.
Robin ducked, holding Raven close, and rolled to avoid another blast, "Raven, are you ok?"
Raven winced in pain, and rubbed her head, "I'm fine, help Cyborg." She said, as she got up. Robin nodded and rushed forward towards Cyborg, who still lay on his side, clutching his stomach where he had last been hit. Starfire hovered above, firing more star-bolts, while Beast Boy circled around rending arms and legs from the machines while ignoring the majority of their attacks, making a clear path for Robin to follow to reach their wounded companion.
From his platform above, Slade watched the Titans back themselves into a corner intently. Red X starred at his new master intently, "It's amazing, isn't it?"
Slade turned to his new apprentice, eye narrowing, "The Titans are about to be destroyed. No one will be able to stop me."
"That's not what I was talking about." X said, and pressed the button on his belt, disappearing.
Meanwhile, Robin almost reached Cyborg's side when Beast Boy was hit in the horn by one of the blasts, knocking his head to the side. Another blast hit him in the head and he was sent him crashing to the floor, transforming back into his human form. Robin grabbed him and threw himself forwards as another blast flew by. Starfire yelled and destroyed another machine, dodging as quickly as she could between the sonic bursts, until one finally landed hitting her in the stomach and sending her flying backwards and into the wall directly above Cyborg who she fell on as he began to stand. Robin looked back to see Raven's shield shatter after a seemingly endless tide of sonic bursts hit it. She was sent flying as she was hit heavily in the chest by a direct blast.
Robin looked back towards Cyborg and Starfire who were being fired upon even though they were already on the ground. The sound of a sonic cannon opening caused him to turn. One of Slade's robots was directly in front of him, the cannon directed at his head. Robin tried to throw himself away from the blast but didn't have the time. But it wasn't a sonic blast as he was expecting. The machine's arm exploded without warning, followed by several of the robots that were firing upon Starfire and Cyborg.
Robin looked up, and found a hand waiting for him, "Surprised to see me?" Robin stared at Red X, who stood in front of him, offering a helping hand.
"Whose side are you on?" Robin groaned, still hurting from the concussion of the robot's explosion.
"My own. But working with you is just oh so fun, kid." More of the robots were exploding as their canons seized up and self-destructed. Robin growled, then grabbed X's hand.
Slade starred for a moment at his apprentice helping Robin up. More of his robots were self-destructing. Slade's formed a fist with one hand, then pointed forward at them, "Destroy them all!" He shouted. More of the robots flooded into the room, just in time to be hit by a massive explosion as one of the machines that produced the robots exploded. He looked at it for a moment then looked down at the Titans and found Red X waving at him.
Robin ran towards Starfire, Beast Boy, and Cyborg as the explosion wracked the building. Red X smiled and waved at Slade who had fixed him with an angry stare. Chuckling to himself, he looked at the exploding machine. His heart dropped for a moment as he saw something on the ground, the mage girl, Raven. "Son of a…" he growled to himself and dashed towards her, dodging sonic bursts from the remaining robots and the flaming wreckage from the machine. Reaching Raven after ducking under a chunk of twisted burning metal, Red X heaved her from the floor and ran as a wall of machinery fell with a thundering crash, shattering the cement where it landed. Sighing with relief Red X lowered her to the floor.
The other Titans rushed to her side, and Red X took a step back, taking a look to see if Slade was still standing above them. He wasn't. Red X shook his head, "Not my job…" He turned to look at the Titans to find Cyborg's canon directed at his face.
"You gave him my blueprints." Cyborg said, his voice filled with venom.
"I gave him faulty blueprints, not yours." X said indignantly, pointing to the smashed machinery around him.
"Fine, you STOLE my blueprints." Cyborg said, snarling.
"And if you want me to stop him from figuring out what I did to them, I suggest you let me get them back." Red X said, taking a brief look at Raven before Cyborg moved the blaster to cover his view again. "Do you even know if she's ok?"
Cyborg frowned and took a second to look back at Raven; she was starting to sit up with Starfire and Beast Boy supporting her. When he looked back Red X was already gone. Cyborg growled, but was stopped by Robin, "Don't worry about X, we can still catch Slade. Star, Beast Boy, get Raven back to Titan Tower." He said quickly.
The Titans stared at Robin reluctantly, and Starfire spoke up, holding her arm, "Robin, should we not leave? The base has been destroyed…"
Robin balked; looking at the place Slade had been standing moments before, "I know I can catch him, come on Cyborg."
Cyborg looked over at Starfire who bit her lip then lifted Raven to her feat, "We'll take her back to the Tower…" Beast Boy nodded, putting Raven's arm around his shoulder.
"Come on Cyborg, we're loosing time!" Robin said and rushed off.
Slade slammed his fist into the wall in front of him, scowling beneath the mask. Red X had not only failed him he had tricked him. That treachery would not go unpunished.
"My, you have quite the temper Slade." Red X's voice echoed threw the blackened room.
"You are going to pay far more for betraying me than you would ever believed possible thief." Slade said coldly.
"Probably not the first person to think that today Slady-boy…" X said and chuckled.
Slade smirked behind his mask, eye narrowing, as he said, "Arrogance is your downfall." Slade shook his head and launched himself forward in the direction the voice came from.
Robin dodged down a small hallway, yet another hallway Cyborg thought to himself. Robin didn't know where he was going, but this was like going through a maze with no end. They had reached the ledge that Slade had been on earlier but the tunnel that they had entered was enough to make Cyborg's head spin. Still Robin wasn't giving up. "This way Cyborg, hurry up!" Robin yelled, not even bothering to turn around to see if Cyborg was following him at this point.
Cyborg shook his head and continued, "Robin I don't think…" but before he could finish talking the floor beneath him had given way and he had fallen into a small room. It took a moment before he got up, rubbing his head and taking stock of his surroundings. "Oh dang…" He said as dozens of Slade's robotic mockeries charged him. "Robin you take…" He looked to his side, to where Robin probably should be standing, and where he was noticeably absent, "…I'm gonna have to speak to him about that…" Cyborg murmured to himself then charged into the robots.
Robin, meanwhile, continued rushing down the halls, blindly dodging down another and another. He would find Slade; he wouldn't let him get away, not again, not after everything that had happened. He didn't even notice Cyborg was gone.
Red X weaved between Slade's punch and the follow up kick, "You certainly are persistent, aren't you, Slady-boy."
Slade took out his staff and it sprung outwards from the size of a coin to nearly as tall as he was, "You are about to find out, apprentice, the price that traitors pay." He swung it at Red X's legs.
Red X made a quick jump over it and landed a swift kick into Slade's chest, "Let's see, how many apprentices have you had? Three, right? Birdbrain, that earth girl, and me. You're a really bad judge of character you know that, right?"
Slade stumbled back a few steps then charged forward using his staff like a spear.
X ducked it and rolled under him, "Maybe you should invest in a dog, a small, toothless dog Slady-boy? I mean, if THAT betrays you the worst he can do is pee on your leg."
Slade whirled and swung the staff hitting X in the shoulder hard, sending X twirling around. Before X could turn back around Slade planted his boot heavily in his back, sending him stumbling a few steps forward, "When I'm done with you, you will be less than a small toothless dog."
Meanwhile, Robin slammed his fist into a wall;, he was going nowhere and he had lost Cyborg somewhere along the way… and worst of all he had lost Slade. That's when the wall he had hit shook. Robin took a step back and it shook again and there was an audible grunt from the other side. Robin quickly put a bomb on the wall and took a few steps back, "You're not getting away this time Slade."
Red X struggled with the boot crushing his throat. Slade leaned forward and applied more pleasure, "You see, once you become my apprentice, you never again leave my control." Slade casually removed his foot from his throat and the did a swing kick to Red X's head, sending him sprawling just in time to miss the explosion that would have torn his back apart. It took a second for the smoke to clear and then Robin rushed Slade.
The sound of metal hitting metal filled the air as both used their bo staffs to swipe and smash at each other, deflecting each others shots and sending them back at the other. Red X sat up, once again grabbing his sore throat. Watching Slade push Robin back he got up and released the sharpened X-shaped blades on his gloves. Launching himself at his former 'master'. Slade threw the full force of his attack on Robin's staff, snapping Robin's in two. The staff was inches from hitting Robin in the forehead when it stopped. Red X shook his head, barely holding the staff up with the bladed gloves, "Tsk, tsk, Slady-boy. I guess you forgot about Birdbrain here!"
Robin glared at X for a moment, but then slammed the two halves of his staff into Slade's sides. Slade grunted and let go of the staff, kicking X in his side and sending X into Robin who tumbled to the ground. X rolled off Robin immediately, just in time to miss Slade landing heavily on Robin's chest. Robin stopped for a moment, all the wind knocked from his chest. As X stood Slade kicked him in the jaw sending him flying to the wall. "Pathetic, both of you. Neither of you are worthy of my apprenticeship." Slade said angrily, taking a step off Robin and then kicked him in his side.
Robin wheezed clutching at the spot had landed on, while Red X sat against the wall, not moving. Slade looked at Robin, but then walked over to X, lifting him up by the neck and holding him against the wall. Red X didn't struggle, simply dangling as Slade pulled back his arm to send a hard punch into his head. Robin nearly shouted as the fist flew forward, but without a sound, X tipped his head to the side and Slade's fist connected with the wall. Slade dropped X with a growl, but didn't have time to react as X pulled out an X and stuck it on his chest. A large shock coursed through Slade and he growled, pulling off the X-shaped taser off his chest and tossing it away. X's eyes went wide, but ducked neatly as Robin jump kicked Slade in the back, right over the crouching Red X.
Slade stumbled forward instead of simply falling on the ground. Red X and Robin looked at each other and launched themselves at Slade, kicking him in the back. Slade slumped forward and they stood above him. "Well, that went well, don't you agree kid?" Red X said, looking at Robin.
Robin looked at him first scowling, but then shaking his head, trying to keep a smile from appearing on his face, "Yeah that went well."
Slade rolled over to find the two of them staring down at him, "You're defeated Slade." Robin said flatly.
"Yeah, what mister melodrama said." Red X added.
"Another day…" Slade said disconcertingly, touching something on his wrist, "another day." The building shuddered and pieces of the roof began to crack. Slade rolled backwards, jumped to his feet and ran, shards of the ceiling blocking Robin and X from following.
Red X turned and started walking away, "Well then, be seeing you kid."
"Sorry X but…" Robin reached for a birdarang, but found his belt missing. He stared for a moment, but then looked up to see Red X looking back at him. And holding up his belt.
"Payback for the last time, birdbrain." X said, and disappeared.
Robin took a step to follow Red X, but stopped, he had other belts, and would have far more opportunities to get Red X. He had to find Cyborg before this place completely crashed down on his head.
Cyborg finished the last of the robots off by sending his fist threw its head. He took a moment to pull it off his arm and toss it onto the pile, and then the room began to splinter. Cyborg looked up as shards of the ceiling came crashing down. Taking a moment he aimed his hand and fired it, grabbing the ledge as best he could. He was pulling himself up when it began to crack. He winced; not looking forward to another fall into this pit while the building was collapsing around him. The ledge shattered and he started falling back into the pit when his hand was grabbed, Robin stood above him, trying his hardest to drag him back up. "IT TOOK YOU LONG ENOUGH!" Cyborg shouted, trying to be heard above the sounds of the building collapsing.
"STOP EATING!" Robin growled, pulling up hard, "YOU'RE TOO HEAVY!" He pulled up harder as Cyborg pulled himself forward up the length of the metal cord.
"YOU SHOULD TALK! YOU ATE ALL THE PIZZA LAST NIGHT!" Cyborg said, and managed to grab the ledge with his other hand and pull himself over the edge.
A small wall of stone fell directly in front of them as the rushed forward, trying to find an exit. Cyborg blasted it with his sonic canon and they rushed through, trying to avoid shards of ceiling and keep their footing while the floor shook. The hallway ended abruptly, and they were standing at a ledge several stories up. They looked at each other briefly, "Exactly how did Slade construct this place anyway?! IT DIDN'T LOOK THIS BIG FROM THE OUTSIDE!" Cyborg yelled above the din of falling stone.
"I don't know, I just know it's falling apart around us!" Robin shouted back. "We can fall or we can jump, it's your choice Cyborg." Robin said, gritting his teeth looking at the drop. "I wish Starfire was here…" Robin murmured, staring down at the fall.
"… You have the best timing on earth." Cyborg managed to mumble.
Robin looked at Cyborg who was staring slack jawed, "Huh?" He followed Cyborg's gaze to where it led, Starfire. "STARFIRE I'VE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER TO SEE YOU!" Robin shouted, to which Starfire blushed. Wordlessly, Starfire grabbed their hands just as the floor fell from beneath them.
"Raven told me to come back." Starfire explained, "Where is Red X and Slade?"
"They both got away…" Robin said as silently as he could.
"Where is your belt?" Starfire asked, lowering the two of them to the ground.
Robin winced, "Red X has it…" Robin said and sulked briefly, as Cyborg started to crack up, "he said it was payback for last time…" Robin looked back at the flaming rubble that used to be Slade's base. Perhaps searching for Red X right now wouldn't be a good idea. He had helped to destroy the base and nearly capture Slade… but he had also led them into a dangerous trap. Robin sighed another case where Red X led to more questions than answers…
Starfire lifted his chin up; "Raven has asked me to bring you home… Slade and Red X are gone. I think it is time to go home please?" She smiled at him hopefully.
Robin looked at her and smiled weakly, "Yeah… let's go."
Cyborg, Robin, and Starfire walked into the medical wing of the tower in time to see Beast Boy scamper from the room. He breathed a sigh of relief and ran to them, "Raven's gone NUTS! Totally flipped out cuckoo lobanza!"
They watched him warily, Cyborg finally asking the question, "What did you do to Raven that you had to run away for?"
Beast Boy bit his lip, "I… sort of found out that the jewel on her forehead is missing…"
The Titans stood there for a moment, stunned and Robin's eyes went wide, "Red X…"
Beast Boy waved his arms frantically, "THAT'S WHAT I TOLD HER BUT SHE THINKS I'M PLAYING A PRACTICAL JOKE!"
Robin sighed then stepped past Beast Boy and walked over to the treatment room. "Raven…"
There was an angry growl from inside the room, "Tell Beast Boy to give me my jewel back."
Robin shook his head looking back at Beast Boy who took a step behind Cyborg, "Raven… Red X took your jewel. Probably when he saved your life."
There was a short pause, "… you mean Beast Boy wasn't joking about that?"
Robin sighed heavily and shook his head, "Yes, and just so you know you're not the only one he robbed. He took my belt too..."
There was a long pause and the door opened Raven walked out, the hood of her robe covering her face. She walked silently past Robin and straight to Beast Boy, who smiled gingerly, as she mumbled "Sorry."
Beast Boy wiped the sweat from his brow in relief, then looked at Robin, "So… Red X stole your belt?" Robin twitched ever so slightly and Beast Boy held his hands up in front of him, "sorry, sorry, hehe… hey… didn't you just whip Slade's butt?"
"He got away." Robin growled.
"As much as I hate myself for saying it… Beast Boy" Raven glared at him causing him to shrivel under the wilting glare of two of his comrades, "…has a point."
Beast Boy's eyes lit up, "Do you know what this means?" Raven cringed knowing she had made a very foolish mistake.
Cyborg smiled, "All you can eat…"
"…free form…" Beast Boy continued on without missing a beat.
"…BREAKFAST EXPLOSION!" They yelled in unison.
Before Raven could protest, she was already being dragged off to the operations room with Starfire and Robin following.
The door to the operations room opened but before the Titans could enter, the screen had flickered on and Red X was filling the screen, "Well hello kids…"
"Give me back my jewel." Raven growled.
Red X tipped his head to the side, "Oh, don't worry, everything is safe. Just check on the table in front of the TV. I was just holding it in safe keeping." Scowling Raven walked forward to the table and grabbed the red sliver, placing it on her forehead, "Happy now, birdie girl?" Raven glared at him, but didn't speak.
"As for you metal head, I destroyed Slade's database on the way out, and I have a little present for you on the table as well."
Cyborg took a few tentative steps forward, then launched himself forward and grabbed the disk lying on the tabletop, "This better be the last copy." He rumbled.
"Don't worry metal head, it is." X said cheerily, "As you for birdbrain, I gave you your precious belt back, with the homing bugs you put on mine. Nice trick, too bad I have an IQ higher than a brick. Speaking of which, Beast Boy, you'll find your game station in working order." Robin and Beast Boy walked forward, Beast Boy not quite understanding the barb Red X had thrown at him, and retrieved their valuables.
Starfire took a step forward, "Why do you steal from us and then give the items back?"
Red X shrugged, "For fun, oh, and by the way cutie, you'll find your item in your third drawer…" Her eyes went wide for a moment, although the other Titans could only guess at what she had kept in there. "… Although I must say, I really would have expected little-miss-gothic to be into leather, not you." Starfire's mouth opened but before she could respond, the screen went dead, leaving the Titans staring at Starfire in both shock and odd curiosity. Starfire trembled ever so slightly then sent her fist into the couch, shattering it's center and sending the two ends into the air at least three feet before falling back down. Without another word the Tamaranian princess turned and walked out.