Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I do not own Teen Titans. Otherwise I would undoubtedly not be writing this fan fiction.
Author's Note: It really has been forever since last I updated. I have had this chapter ready for quite a long time however with entering a new school and having a crapload of work, I have been unable to update or write. However, alas I will be finished with finals soon and thus you can expect more chapters up sooner. Once again sorry and don't forget to review so that I know if you're still interested. Thanks a bunch!!
X Marks the Spot
Raven once again found herself encased within her room, except this time she was sitting on the ledge of the open window instead of meditating. She had been sitting there for two hours time pondering on how to accomplish her nightly visits without getting caught. She had narrowed it down to several options. The first being that she gave up that job all together; which she sure as hell wasn't going to do. Second, she could somehow persuade them into allowing her to go, which she doubted would ever happen. Third, she would just have to find something that she could use against them.
The third option was by far the best, or seemingly only possible option, she had left. Using force to get them to obey her would only cause them to release her identity to the world, which of course she couldn't have. That only left finding enough dirt to use as a trade off. But how would that possibly work when she hardly even knew them? Sure, Robin may have had some dirt on his profile but she was pretty damn sure that not a single trace of that file was existent anymore. She could always try to find out his secret by using other sources but that would take at least a week or so of time, probably even more now that the traffic light knew his secret was almost found out.
But what could be so important that he'd so desperately try to keep it hidden? Raven pondered the question over and over until a comment from before suddenly struck her.
"But do you know what I find odd? Is that it's harder to try to decode a simple vault than a supposedly 'complex' security system."
That's it! Whatever is in that vault must have some clue to Bird Brain's secret. Why else would it be so heavily guarded? And now that I think about it, his room is on the same floor as the vault. There must be something in there that will give me some sort of clue. I could try to read his mind but doing that would be too dangerous especially when the person is unwilling to go through with it. I wonder if another of those Titans know what is in that vault. It could be possible, but also they might not. And even if they did know I don't think they'd trust me enough to tell me. So I have one of two choices. Either I wait the week it will take me to decode the vault or I just try to get friendly with the rest of those Titans. Both don't sound very appealing but perhaps doing both would be for the best. That way I could lure them into trusting me while also taking their attention away from doing the act.
"If he plans on using blackmail to keep me here then I'll just have to use blackmail to get me out." Raven smirked triumphantly as she stood up from the sill and pulled her shades closed. This plan was foolproof. It would take time but in the end it would be well worth it.
The sound of loud, obnoxious humming assaulted Raven's ears as she entered into the kitchen which would have been empty if not for the happy alien girl floating around it. Unaware of the new arrival Starfire continued gathering items and placing them on the table. For several minutes this continued and the items on the table were just getting stranger and stranger. After a while, Starfire settled to the ground and started to sort them out. The sight was enough to make Raven want to puke. Deciding that if she continued her observations she really would get sick she stepped from the shadowed doorframe and into view. Starfire automatically jumped into the air, her hands glowing with green power as a shadow fell over her work.
"It's only me, no need to have a heart attack," Raven told her as Starfire registered who she was and lowered herself back to the ground.
"I am sorry. I was not expecting you."
"No problem," Raven dead panned.
"Have you come to join me in the creation of friendship pudding?" Starfire asked, eyes alight with enthusiasm now that she finally had another female to cook with.
Raven noticed this but ignored it. "Actually I just came for a cup of tea."
"Oh," Star responded sounding a little put out before going back into over-cheerful mode. "Would you like to join me then?"
"No, cooking is not one of my strong points." Raven replied honestly as she began rummaging through the cabinets looking for the kettle she had used just the day before.
"Here you go!" Starfire offered as she suddenly was floating right in front of Raven's face holding the kettle.
"Um…Thanks," Raven said as she took the kettle before grabbing it and filling it with water.
"It was nothing. I am glad that I could help a friend." Starfire announced in that sickeningly sweet voice.
Raven didn't reply, only continued settling the kettle on the stove and grabbing a box of pocky. Starfire turned back to her concoction, feeling a bit uncomfortable with the dead silence only interrupted by the clang of her kitchen utensils.
"Friend," Starfire began uneasily, "perhaps you would like to sample my cooking when it is completed?"
Raven poured the tea in a mug and sipped at her tea. "No, I wouldn't." With that statement Raven exited the room.
Raven was practically drowning in the waves of dejection that the abandoned alien was feeling as she walked down the staircase. Well that sure didn't go as I had planned. It seems like I can't be even friendly to over-obnoxious aliens. It wasn't that she hated the alien girl, it was just the fact that her innocence pissed Raven off more than she would admit. Besides, Raven had other plans for today instead of cooking grotesque dishes in the kitchen.
Today would be day one of her investigation into the Bird Boy's secret. Upon mulling over the possible options on the roof while sipping her tea she had come to the conclusion that Starfire was too naïve and Beast Boy too dumb to interrogate the secrets of the Blunder Boy. Of course she couldn't go to the rainbow man himself and so that left only one possible option: the cybernetic teen so aptly named, Cyborg.
After returning her cup to the kitchen Raven had done a quick soul stretch to find the cybernetic teen which revealed he was located in the garage Robin had previously caught her in the night before. Deciding to see the tower with her own eyes instead of relying on the blueprints, she walked down twenty flights of stairs until they finally stopped before the entrance to the garage.
"Nice car." The compliment sounded startlingly loud in the quiet room. Raven was leaning against the doorway with her hands folded over her chest.
"Don't touch it." Cyborg commanded, not looking as he continued his work under the Tcar's hood.
"I wasn't going to," Raven replied not moving from her spot in the doorway. For a while it was so quiet that Cyborg believed she had left, but when he glanced up she was still in the same position. Cyborg quickly cast his gaze back to his work and tried to ignore her platonic stare.
When five minutes later he looked again to see her still standing there he roughly asked, "What do you want?"
"Perhaps I don't want anything," was Raven's monotonous reply.
"Perhaps you do," Cyborg quickly retorted as he now focused his eyes on hers. "Why else would you come down here?"
"Maybe I simply wanted to."
"But we both know that's not the case," Cyborg voiced aloud.
"True," she agreed, still maintaining her position in the doorway.
They both stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity before Cyborg waved his hand signaling her to come over and sit on a nearby stool. She silently obeyed, while Cyborg leaned against the Tcar with his arms folded across his broad metallic chest.
"I don't trust you." Cyborg's blatant statement echoed throughout the silent garage.
"You have no reason to," Raven offered.
"And you're giving me nothing to go on."
"No, I'm not,' she once again agreed.
"Why not?" Cyborg asked.
"Because I don't believe in giving false pretense."
"But you believe in killing people," Cyborg accused.
"No, only demons."
"And that's it?" Cyborg asked incredulously.
Another long tense pause before Raven opened her mouth to speak again.
"If you're worried about yourself and your friends, I have no intention of hurting you or them. It wasn't in my plan to have any of you involved but once you're in, you're in."
"What are you talking about?" Cyborg asked, his tone losing its sharp edge and his eye softening up a tinge.
"I'm not going to lie to you, Cyborg; you're way too intelligent for that. Unfortunately getting involved with me will most likely drag all of you into harms way. I will do what I can to prevent this from happening, but the truth can only remain hidden for so long."
"What kind of danger are you talking about?" Cyborg asked concern evident in his voice.
Raven looked him straight in the eye. "The killing kind."
"Figures," Cyborg sighed before turning around to once again work on his car. "I guess I should have expected it." He continued as he worked. "You are an assassin; it's only plausible that someone wants you dead after you keep killing their brethren off."
"That's part of the situation, but it goes deeper than that."
"And you're going to tell me how deep the rabbit hole goes, Morpheus?" Cyborg asked sarcastically as he once again locked his brown orbs with her amethyst ones.
Raven looked away. "No, I can't."
"Is it that you can't or that you won't?"
Raven sighed. "Believe me the more help I could get with this situation the better it would be. However, I already tried that and the results were disastrous. Certain demons can recognize lies, smell secrets or forbidden knowledge. It allows them to pinpoint exactly who their enemies are and how long they need to torture them to extract the information they need. It's too dangerous for anyone but me to know, because I can shield my mind from their probes. But for people like you and your teammates, you'd all be torn so easily apart it will seem like child's play. Right now, there is no need for you to get involved, and I'm hoping that you'll never need to be. But for the moment for all of you: ignorance is bliss."
There was a pause as Cyborg absorbed this information during which he was screwing on a new wheel.
"Shouldn't you be telling Robin this first?"
"So he could kill me on the spot? I don't think so."
"You got a point. He can be pretty single minded."
"No kidding." Raven said to his broad metallic back.
Once the last bolt was screwed in Cyborg got up and turned around with a rather odd look on his face.
"You've got my trust," he told her extending out his hand.
Raven gave him a bit of an almost genuine smile as she shook his hand. "That's good to know. Thank you, Cyborg."
"No problem. If anything too dangerous comes up, let me know alright?"
"I'll try to fill you in," Raven replied as she stood up from the stool and headed towards the door. "I'll see you around."
Raven had already retreated up the stairs before Cyborg could reply. Raven grinned. She may not have found out the secret but this was just the first step to accomplishing her goal. It's easier to sneak around when no one has their guard up. Speaking of which, Robin was now standing on the top of the stairs, arms folded across his chest.
"Where were you?" he queried, trying not to sound suspicious but failing.
"What's the matter? I can't take a simple stroll around my new home?" Raven retorted back in a lethargic tone bound to piss him off.
"Never mind," Robin sighed as he dropped one of his arms and ran the other through his hair.
Raven smirked and went to move around him.
Raven stopped in her tracks and rolled her eyes before reluctantly turning back to face the traffic light.
"Are you doing anything right now?"
"Nothing imperative," Raven monotoned. "Why do you ask?"
"Then come with me. I have some important things I want you to look at."
Apparently what Robin considered important, Raven considered trash. Stacks and stacks of papers and file folders littered the room that Raven stood in the doorway of.
"And what exactly is so important about stacks of papers?" Raven asked incredulously.
"They are not just stacks of papers!" Robin huffed. "They are the files of every criminal that has ever surfaced in Jump City."
"They still are just stacks of paper," Raven reaffirmed. "Messy stacks of paper at that."
"Well that's why we're here," Robin announced.
Raven raised a slender brow. "I am not doing office work."
"It's not office work. We're going to review all these criminal files so you can become familiar with the villains we fight and their powers."
"Oh," Raven said in a bored as hell tone.
"Yeah, and then when we're done looking through all the case records we'll just put them back where they belong," Robin attempting to hold back a snicker as he saw the assassin getting a tick in her temple.
"What a convenient coincidence," Raven muttered.
"Isn't it?" Robin agreed as he feigned cheerfulness.
Raven didn't reply, instead she moved to one corner of the room and picked up a file folder to examine.
Robin was surprised. He had half expected the assassin to dismiss him right then and there but to see her actually obey… He grinned. Well no matter what the reason at least he now had a helping hand. Robin quickly went to another stack on the other side of the room and began to file them into their proper places.
For an hour the only sound that could be heard in the records room was the shuffling of paper and the barely audible intakes and exhales of breath. So far Raven had found nothing interesting.
Originally she had planned on storming out of the room and leaving the work to Rainbow boy, but then she realized that perhaps by looking through the files she could possibly find someone who was connected to the demonic occurrences in the city. However, most of the villains in the files she had heard about in the newspaper and so she found it unnecessary to look through their files.
Raven was about ready to give up on this fruitless search when she spotted a name she had never seen before on the bottom of a stack. Gingerly she took the file out and read the cover: RED X: CONFIDENTIAL CASE FILE. Raven grinned and opened the file only to be dismayed by the lack of information. Apparently the only facts they had about this Red X villain was that he was a thief with a xynothium powered suit and no known other abilities other than what the special suit provided. Raven read down to the bottom where the date of the last citing/confrontation with the thief had been two years ago. Raven stared into the mask of Red X in the full body shot that was in the file. For some odd reason she felt as if she knew who this person was. Raven scanned her memories but came up with a blank. However, this did not deter Raven, whenever her empathic abilities sensed something odd they had always been right.
She turned around and held out the picture of the criminal out in front of her. "Hey, bird boy."
"What?" Robin asked not turning from his rummage through the file cabinets.
"Who's this Red X?"
The response was immediate. Robin twirled around, snatched the picture from her hand, and looked at the open case file with an angry look on his face. He stared at it for some time before realizing that Raven was staring at him with one brow arched in question.
Robin looked away. "He's just a criminal that got away," he stiffly answered before turning around and trying to focus on filing the folders while his heart pounded furiously in his chest.
"I see." Raven tucked the snapshot back in its holder and grabbed the file. "Then," Raven stood up, "You won't mind if I borrow this for a few days."
Robin turned abruptly about to protest but she had already left. He silently cursed and left for the training room.
From the shadows in the stairwell Raven watched him leave. He certainly was pissed. Perhaps because she had stung his ego by bringing up a criminal he had failed to capture. Or perhaps this meant something more?
Raven grinned and looked down at the folder. Maybe not just trash after all.
Dinner that night was uneventful and Raven tried to play it nice with everyone even though Robin kept drilling holes in her head when he thought she wasn't looking.
Raven tired of his ridiculousness stood up and pushed herself away from the table. "You have a problem boy wonder?" Raven demanded, arms crossed and foot tapping.
"What are you talking about?" Robin asked trying to play innocent.
"Don't pull that bullshit with me," Raven said trying to keep herself from blowing up the kitchen. "You know damn well what you've been doing."
Robin stood up, his feet spread out as though prepared for a fight. "Oh? And what exactly have I been doing?"
"You've been staring holes into my head for the last fifteen minutes."
"That's only because you took the file from the records room when you're not supposed to!" Robin growled at her.
"How the hell was I supposed to know that?" Raven asked incredulousness lacing her monotone. "You should have said something before I left the room."
"I figured that the CLASSIFIED would deter you from doing so and you left before I could even tell you!"
Raven angrily drew the file, seemingly from out of midair, and threw it towards the traffic light. "Fine, have it."
Robin angrily grabbed the file and marched out of the room.
For a while there was silence. No one moved and no one spoke.
Finally Raven sat back down and asked, "Is he always so childish?"
"Don't worry about him," Cyborg told her. "He's a by the book type of guy. You don't know all the rules yet, so don't worry about it. He can be very stubborn sometimes."
"Yeah," Beast Boy agreed. "Which file did you take anyway?"
Beast Boy almost spit his food out all over the table. "You took WHAT?"
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"No wonder Robin was upset," Starfire chirped in. "Red X is a sore spot for him. He was the only criminal Robin could never capture."
"Really?" Raven asked now interested.
"Yup, when we fought Red X he always knew our weaknesses and used that to his advantage, especially Robin's. Robin was always getting caught in one of his booby traps and that left us to duke it out with Red X with no leader when we finally caught up to him. If Robin had the chance to fight him in hand to hand combat I'm pretty sure he would have beat X. But Robin never got the chance, and so Red X has become a very touchy subject for him," Cyborg explained.
"It's hard to believe that Bird Brain was caught by a mere trap," Raven led on. "It must have been a pretty difficult trap to escape from if he couldn't catch up with you guys."
"Actually it was just a net," Beast Boy blurted out.
"A net powered by zynothium," Cyborg chipped in. "Or so that's what Robin said oozed out after he managed to smash the thing and escape."
"So I assume it's somewhere in the Jump City landfill by now," Raven muttered, disappointed that one of her only clues was resting in a trash heap.
"Actually it's in the evidence room. If you want you can go take a look. There's lots of interesting stuff in there."
Raven tried to hide her excitement, for once things were going her way. "Nah," she replied, "that type of stuff doesn't interest me."
"Too bad." Cyborg returned to eating his food as Beast Boy once again dug into his food like the animal he was.
"Friend would you like desert?" the Tameranean princess held in her hands what looked to be a mysterious concoction of jello and dirt.
"No thanks." With those words Raven got up, placed her tray in the sink, and disappeared in a wisp of black.
Author's Note:Okay so there was a reference to a line from The Matrix, which by the way I do not own either. Also in this story nobody knows that Robin was Red X, and nobody has stolen the suit. Expect more action and sarcasm in the next chapter! Yay! Read and Review and I will update faster!!