Alrighty people… Ya ya, I know… This chapter took forever for me to get out… I got nothing much left to say… Except I am very very very sorry for the huge delay this one took… Please forgive my lame-ass ways… Just, read and enjoy…


Disclaimer: I do not own the Teen Titans… So sad for me… They are owned, I have been pwned…

Tonight was what one might call perfect. The full moon cast down its light and basked the coastal city in tranquility. There wasn't a cloud in the night sky, and the stars added their light to the moon's hardly ever having the opportunity to do so.

Yes, tonight could be described as perfect, the scenery absolutely beautiful. But Raven wasn't staring out her window gazing at nature's painting of peace. Instead, the purple haired girl sat atop her bed, her sight fixated on the necklace her secret admirer had given her. The jewelry dangled from her fingers, the golden raven and its crimson gem slowly turning, allowing Raven's eyes to see the gift from every angle.

This X person had exquisite tastes Raven had to admit. And that also went for his latest gift, which Raven was wearing at the moment. It was a gorgeous crimson red ballroom gown that had made Raven gasp when she first laid eyes on it. The masked mystery seemed to have a thing for red Raven noticed. She had stared at herself in the mirror for at least thirty minutes, admiring herself. It was a backless gown with a slip on the right side that ran from her feet up to her thigh. Something a guy would absolutely love to see a girl wear. Raven smirked, but she had to admit, she actually looked good in the dress. Though it was a little disturbing that it fit so snuggly around her every curve. But it didn't matter. She loved this gift as much as the first, and with the necklace added, the look was complete.

And so, there Raven sat in that sexy gown staring at the necklace that had bewitched her. But she wondered, when would X come to her again so that she could thank him for these gifts? But most importantly, thank him for making her feel happy, a feeling she hadn't known in a long while. Once again, Raven's eyes were captured by the glistening gold, and the girl couldn't help but stare at it.

"It's beautiful, isn't it?" a distorted voice asked from behind the girl. "But then again…"

Raven closed her eyes as she felt the gentle touch of his hands caress against her shoulders. They began to slowly snake along her arms, the feel of his hands on her exposed skin made her shiver. His hands met hers, delicately playing with her fingers until the necklace she held was in his grasp. He pulled the necklace towards her, letting his hands brush against her skin as he brought the jewelry to its rightful place around her neck.

"Its nothing compared to you."

Raven's breathing was heavy, her heart was pounding. His touch brought so many new feelings to her, Raven was overwhelmed. A cool breeze past by which brought a tingle to the girl's exposed skin. Raven opened her eyes to find she was no longer in her room, but atop one of the many skyscrapers that reached to the heavens in Jump City. He change in scenery was certainly unexpected. How exactly had she gotten here? She was in her room just a few seconds ago.

"Where… how did I get here?" Raven asked more to herself than to anyone that was around.

"Simple. I brought you here."

That distorted voice, the one Raven had heard moments ago. And even then, it wounded so familiar. Raven tore her eyes from the city skyline to face the one who brought her here. And immediately all actions were ceased

There standing before Raven was Red X. The same Red X the news was always talking about. The same Red X that harassed the popular jerks at school. The same Red X that blew her a kiss. But was it the X that had given her the gifts and the lost feeling of happiness? A slight breeze passed by, picking up X's tattered cape. Raven pushed some hair out of her eyes due to the wind to keep her gaze on Red X.

His gaze turned from her skyward. His pupiless eyes seeming to close, savoring the moment.

"Do you hear it?" his distorted voice rang out, causing Raven to stir.

"Hear what?"

"The music."

Raven skewed at this. The music? What music? She didn't hear anything, at least… not at first. Soon though, Raven heard the sound of instruments playing in a melodious tune. It came from the somewhere down below, from the streets of the city. A street band playing by a curb for money, or from a ballroom band playing at some elegant party, it didn't matter. Raven stared out into the city, letting the music fill her senses.

"Care to dance?"

Raven turned back around to face Red X. He stood there in front of her, arm and hand outstretched, asking for hers.

"Wha… what did you say?"

"I asked if you would care to dance with me. It's such a lovely night out tonight, and the accompanying music just adds to the overwhelming mood. But its not quite perfect," Red X said while staring at her. "At least, not yet."

Raven stared at the outstretched hand that was beckoning to her, then to X. This guy sure knew how to treat a girl. Another breeze past by, letting X's tattered cape flutter aimlessly in the wind. For some reason, the image that lay before her took Raven's breath away. Red X might have been a thief. He might have been a jerk terrorizing other jerks. But right now, he was the person that made Raven feel special, something she had never felt before. And to her, nothing else mattered.

Without another moments hesitation, Raven took X's hand. Raven could almost see the smile that formed on X's face under that mask. He drew her close, her body inches from his. His arm wrapped around her waist as she rested her hand on his shoulder. Her eyes met his pupiless gaze, and she couldn't help but return his smile.

It happened so swiftly, Raven didn't even realize she was dancing until Red X dipped her. Raven was caught off guard at first, but soon began to follow X's lead. Across the rooftop they danced, spinning and turning atop the building as fluidly as water. It came so natural to Raven, it seemed as if she had been doing this for years. Raven drew closer to X, drawing comfort from his embrace. She was enjoying this immensely, being truly lost in the moment. Raven felt as if this could last forever.

"Red X, I want to thank you," Raven whispered to X.

"Hmm? What for?" Red X asked in that famous distorted voice of his.

"For… everything. For the necklace, for the dress, for-"

"Raven, those are just things. Anyone with enough money can get them. Well, you don't have to have money, if you catch my drift," X said with a smirk.

"Hmph, funny. But its not just the gifts. They may be beautiful, but they pale in comparison to what you've really given me."

"And, that would be…?"

"You've given me this feeling I haven't felt in such a long time. You've made me feel happy, special. I'm usually overlooked, viewed as plain and dull. And so I receded myself from public, hiding who I really was under a false façade. But you, you've seen me for more, who I really am. And, I thank you for that."

"Well, you're very welcome. But I must say, this is quite ironic."

Raven skewed at this.

"Ironic? How?"

"Well, you're thanking me for making you feel happy, when I want to do the exact same thing. I too haven't felt this good for quite some time, as long as I can remember actually. But, since I met you, things have never been better. And for this, I want to thank you."

Raven's eyes widened at this statement. He wanted to thank her?

"You've already done so much for me. You don't need to do anything else."

"No, it's not enough. But, I think I know of a way to even the score." Red X held Raven at arms length before his hands went towards his face.

Raven didn't know what was going on, what to say. This was so strange. This guy who she liked, yet knew nothing about. He was going to reveal to her something so secret, something so important to him, that he had never done this for anyone else.

Red X's hands reached to his face and slowly began to pull the mask off to reveal his face. Raven gasped at the sight she saw before her.

"Ka… Kale! Is that really you?" Raven couldn't believe her eyes. Her best friend who she had come to know so well was the thief that was all over the news. They seemed like two different people, but they were actually one and the same. Raven was speechless.

"Well Raven, I'll take it from your wide eyed expression and gaping open mouth you're surprised it's me under this mask." With the mask off, his voice was no longer distorted. Instead it was the voice that Raven had come to know and draw comfort from.

"Well yes, I am shocked. But also relieved."

"Come again?" Red X was confused.

"You see, I've found myself being attracted to both Kale and Red X, with many reasons for each." Raven began to advance towards X, closing the gap that separated them until she was inches from him. "But now that I find that Kale is Red X, I no longer have to choose between the two men that I care for."

Raven wrapped her arms around Kale's neck drawing her body closer to his until they met. In turn, Kale let his arms fall around her waist, holding her body close to his. Raven knew what she wanted to do, but she didn't know if she had the courage to do so. But this was a once in a lifetime moment. Who knew when this kind of opportunity would present itself again.

Raven leaned in closer to Kale, her lips growing closer to his, quivering in anticipation. She could feel his hot breath on her lips as they were centimeters away. She wanted this so badly, something she had wanted to do for a while. This night was perfect, this moment was perfect. Nothing was going to ruin it. She closed the gap, ready to feel his lips press passionately against hers.

"Gooooooooooooood morning Jump City! Rise and shine everybody, it's a beautiful day!"

Raven's eyes shot open at this strange and unwanted voice. She looked around to find that she was lying down in her bed. It had only been a dream. Raven rose out of bed covering her face with her hands.

"Yes, that's right folks. Today is going to be another beautif-"

BANG!

That shut that stupid clock up. Raven glared at the now broken timer before closing her eyes in thought.

"It… it was, just a dream. But it felt so real. I could have sworn I… ugh."

Raven couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. Kale was just a really good friend and nothing more. Red X was just a thief and nothing more. She didn't love them... or at least she didn't think she did. Besides... Kale... and X? The same person? They were total opposites. On second thought... why did she dream of those two being the same person anyway? Why was Kale the person behind the skulled mask?

Raven turned her gaze to glare at the broken alarm clock that had so rudely awakened her from her blissful dream. She sighed as she let her gaze drop to the bed she lay on.

"Great, now I need to get a new clock… ugh. I need to get ready for school."

XxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXx

It was just another night out on the job for Red X. And as strange as it seemed, this part of X's day was always the most relaxing. By day, a mild-mannered loser who was always harassed nonstop. But by night, he could cut lose and become the master thief Red X.

In the short time since Kale had donned the battle suit, thieving had become second nature to the teen. It came as easily to him as breathing. Kale loved the sense of euphoria he got as he ran across roof tops, leaping from building to building, and the occasional free fall. Such an adrenaline rush the thief experienced every time he went out. X absolutely loved this feeling.

Tonight was just like any other night Red X decided to grace Jump City with his presence. He would slip in undetected into his target location, steal whatever it was he was after, and silently vanish from within the building. Completely routine. Or at least, that's how it was supposed to go anyway.

"Ah damn it!"

See? What I tell ya.

There right in front of the black clad thief was his prize, the Crimson Sapphire. Normally, sapphires are of a bluish color. Actually, sapphires could be a range of colors, except for red. But that was not the case with this particular gemstone. A royal blue was the main pigment of this gem, but a crimson red also flowed through giving it an elegant look. Such a rarity as this is considered priceless, and it was considered to be something any shifty eyed malefactor would desire.

The reason for X's frustration was how well this sucker was guarded. Pressure sensitive floor tiles, auto laser weapons primed and ready, and to top it all off, a laser grid surrounding the valuable gemstone ready to decimate anything it touched.

"Holy crap, these guys sure go all out on security for just a single sapphire. Seems kinda eccentric really."

X stood there, assessing the situation and pondering over this seemingly hopeless predicament. The thief crossed his arms across his chest in deep thought.

'Okay Kale, tell yourself exactly why you are trying to steal this thing in the first place. I mean, it's not like I can just go to the nearest jewelry store and sell this sucker for a crap load of cash. Yeah, that would go over real well. I mean sure, its shiny and all that, and I do like shiny things, but come on.'

Red X turned his glare from the sapphire towards the wall opposite him, not really staring at it, but through it into space. He scratched his chin as he continued to think.

'Right, so let's say I actually am able to steal this gem, what could I do with it? I could sell it to the highest bidder in some underground crime syndicate, but I really don't like associating myself with those cretins. Hmm… I could sell it to some whacked out nut who wants to use the gem to power some machine that could harness the power of the Northern Lights for unreasonable purposes.'

X paused after that last thought, actually going over what he had just thought to make sure he had heard himself correctly.

'Oh my God, what the hell was I thinking? That is the craziest thing I've ever heard of, and I thought of it. What kind of nut would even do something like that? HA!'

The master thief once again turned his gaze to the captivating gemstone and sighed.

"Ugh, what do I care what I'm gonna do with it? I'm just going to steal it because I can. Besides, I can always figure out what I'm going to do with it once I'm outta here."

With those "noble" words said, X turned his attention to study the laser grid surrounding the Crimson Sapphire, checking it to see if there were any holes he could exploit. He found one.

Red X grinned.

"Come to me my pretty."

XxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXx

X strolled across the rooftop, tossing the Crimson Sapphire up into the air, and catching it in his nimble hand as gravity played its role.

"Smooth as silk baby. Smooth as silk."

The thief tossed the gemstone up one last time before grabbing it in midair and placing it in one of the compartments in his belt. He patted the stone's resting place confidently as he continued to pace across the roof.

"I'll see to it that you find a good home. But first, its time to head back home for a little rest and relaxation."

"Very impressive my young thief. I haven't seen your kind of skill and potential in such a long time."

X had been so distracted with his pride and sense of accomplishment that he nearly fell flat on his face when the dark calm voice spoke out.

"What the hell!"

X stirred as he turned to meet the man behind the voice that had snuck up on him. Facing back at him was the one eyed, bisected mask of a man clad in black and orange.

"Your little endeavor back there was quite impressive. Diving towards the laser grid above the floor tiles and reaching your hand through a small opening, very daring. But grabbing the gem and teleporting to the opposite wall before any more of your body came close to the grid, now that is talent. Marvelous really. Simply astonishing if I do say so myself."

X skewed as he stared at this stranger praising his accomplishments. The teen didn't like this situation. The man was too calm. Red X couldn't explain why, but he was getting a bad vibe about this guy.

"Okay Mr. Mystery. First off, who the hell are you, and what do you want?"

The bi-colored man seemed to smile behind his mask, but his voice showed no change in emotion.

"I do apologize, Red X was it? Sometimes I do forget myself. My name, is Slade."

X cringed at the mere sound of that name.

'Slade? The same Slade I took this suit from? Is he here to take it back? Not good.'

"As for why I'm here… I'm here to discuss that suit of yours."

'Ah crap.'

Red X knew that sooner or later he would confront this man, but he didn't think it would happen this soon.

"I'll cut right to the chase. You and I both know where that suit of yours came from. I was disappointed at the news of its theft at first... that suit was for a family purpose..."

"And let me guess mister upstanding citizen. You want to take back your suit by beating the living crap out of me and teach me a lesson to never steal from you again."

Slade shrugged his shoulders in an indifferent sigh.

"My my, you do have a vivid imagination. No, I have other plans. You see, you have so much untapped potential. You've already demonstrated to me that you are a more capable pilot of that suit than my first choice could ever be. But you are a bit reckless, and that can be a dangerous thing. I can help with that little problem. Grant was going to become my apprentice, but you seem to be a much better candidate."

The black adorned thief just stared gawking at this Slade person. Was this guy for real? Did X hear him correctly?

"Uh… come again?"

Slade outstretched his hand, gesturing for X to take it.

"Join me Red X, become my apprentice. You will come to learn so many new skills that you couldn't possibly comprehend. You will be unstoppable. But in order for you to gain such power, you must become my pupil."

X skewed.

"Thanks for the offer one eye," Red X said while batting Slade's extended hand aside. "But I think I'll pass. I'm not into the whole evil thing, which clearly you are. And besides, I work alone."

Slade sighed as he walked towards X. The teen braced himself for combat, but the fight never came. Instead, Slade merely walked by him.

"It saddens me that you will not take my offer at this moment. It would save you so much grief. But alas, you chose this way. So be it. You will join my cause, sooner or later you will come to me, begging for my leadership. But until then…"

Slade raised his hand high above his head, letting X see what was in his grasp. The thief's eyes widened in shock.

"What the…?"

X instantly turned his glare towards his waist to find it barren. His belt was not where it was supposed to be. It wasn't on his person, but in Slade's possession.

"When did… how did you… how the hell did you do that?"

X's stare slowly crept up in awe and horror at Slade.

"I think I'll keep your gem and belt safe for now. Oh, and I do hope you are able to get out of here safely without your belt. You see, I tipped off the police in this district. They should be arriving any minute. I would hate to see my future apprentice taken in by the law so quickly."

As if Red X's eyes weren't wide enough, they grew in size at the mention of the cops. He turned a 180 and spotted the blue and red flashing lights as they barreled down the streets. X turned back to Slade to question his motives, but the masked man had disappeared.

He could here the sirens drawing ever closer to his location, shattering the silence that once dominated the night air. The only sound that could rival the sirens was the sound of X's beating heart.

Red X had to get out of there. He couldn't get caught. Not here, not now, not ever. There was no time for rational though as primal instincts to escape took over. The thief ran towards the edge of the roof and without a moment's hesitation, he leapt off the building.

It was there in mid air that Red X figured that wasn't the best decision in the world. His chest slammed into the other building, knocking the wind out of the teen. But he wasn't given a chance to recuperate as gravity worked its cruel ways and instantly pulled X down towards the unforgiving earth.

Instead of becoming a pavement pancake on the cold unforgiving ground however, Red X plummeted into a dumpster with a loud slam. Once again, what little air he had left was knocked out of the thief. He couldn't breathe, and he desperately needed to change that. X furiously groped at his face, trying to get a firm grip on is mask. In desperation, the thief yanked off the mask, anything to help him breathe easier.

The putrid air of the dumpster was welcomed into the gasping teen's lungs. But the relief didn't last. The momentary peace was shattered as excruciating agony overwhelmed the boy. Falling from such a height into a dumpster would hurt anyone. Everything was going dark as the pain took over. Red X closed his eyes, trying to make the pain go away, but it was too much. Constricting his every sense, Kale passed out from the throbbing pain that bonded him.

XxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXxXx

Raven pulled her hood tighter around her face as she walked down the moonlit streets of Jump City. She had to get out of the house away from her father. This was her only option.

But it wasn't just her father that drove her to the streets tonight. The dream she had had earlier this morning was still nagging at her. She needed some fresh air to try and help her think things over.

"Raven, you are a total mess, and that's that. Nothing left to say."

The hooded girl sighed as the image of Kale slowly morphed into Red X in her mind. Did she like the idea of them being one and the same? Would it help if that were even the case if she found that she had feelings for both? Or did it appall her that she liked both the kind hearted boy and the mysterious thief. Again the girl sighed in exasperation.

"This, is insane."

The sounds of sirens blaring brought Raven from her daze.

"Uh oh. Better not let the police catch me out this late at night, less they get the wrong idea. I better get out of here."

Raven looked around and found her escape in the form of an alley way. She ducked into the alley and began her trek back to her house. But her journey was cut short as a loud slam sounded a couple yards away.

Normally, this would be the time to flee and run away and just high tail it out of there. But curiosity can be a very strange thing, causing investigating rather than leaving. And of course, this was one of those cases.

Raven crept closer to where the sound had originated from, leading her to a dumpster. Heavy breathing could be heard from within. Fear overwhelmed the girl, causing her to freeze right in front of the dumpster. All was silent except for the breathes that hovered in the air.

'I can just walk away right now, and I won't ever have to worry about this every again. Really, I can walk away. Right now. Just walk away.'

But no matter how many times she said it, Raven did not walk away. Quite the opposite actually. Instead of running away, she found herself creeping ever closer to the dumpster and whatever lay within. Raven removed her hood as she was right next to the object of her captivation. Her hands rested on the cold metal rims. There was no turning back now. She peered inside and instantly froze in horror.

There, writhing in pain was the master thief Red X. The same Red X that had fascinated her so much. But something was different. The skulled visage that was the thief's mask was strewn recklessly aside next to the thief. His face was exposed. Raven stared wide eyed at the face before her.

"KALE?"


Once again, super sorry for the delay… Hope it was worth it though… Well, review and tell all… Till next time… laterz...