Author's Notes: Wow. Five months between chapters. What the hell is wrong with me? (that's a rhetorical question, please don't answer!) All I can say is that I'll try and not let it happen again. I am starting work on another Teen Titans fic (if only because I work better when I can move from one to the other when I'm stuck for motivation). This one is called The Boy Wonder Legacy (if you think you can guess what it is about from the title, you are probably wrong). It's a little darker than this fic and I have a definite end in mind for it (unless I get the motivation for a sequel). The fist three chapter should be out before chapter 13 of this fic (but only because I've already written the first two and am a quarter of the way through chapter 3).
This is another set-up chapter. It sets up a few things that I wanted set up for the next and/or later chapters. I usually spread these out over a few chapters but I felt it was best to get all these out now.
I had no Beta this time (I tried to get in touch with Daybreak25 with the 2 email addresses I have for her and didn't get a response) so if there are any major mistakes I apologize in advance.
This chapter is dedicated to sadfru. For the pure genius of your power suggestions. I used one in this chapter (after Raven's feeding) and I may very well use all of them, even the ones that made me laugh.
Teen Titans: Blood, Earth and Shade
Author: The Omakeer
Disclaimer: Teen Titans belong to Warner Brothers and DC Comics
Chapter Twelve: Invictus
"Raven… Raven… Wake up Raven… We need to talk to you… RAVEN."
Raven slowly opened her eyes. She was lying under the covers of her bed, only now the bed was in her Mindscape in the middle of the stone meeting area of her emotions. Various emotions were standing around the bed staring at her. Knowledge was standing the closest, pushing her glasses up her nose as she looked Raven up and down.
Raven closed her eyes and snuggled into her covers, a dreamy smile forming on her face, "hello everyone. I had a very… interesting dream last night."
The emotions all exchanged looks before Knowledge spoke up, "actually, Raven…"
"It wasn't like one of my usual ones," Raven continued, oblivious to Knowledge's words, "It was really… intense. Wild even."
"Raven I think you should know that…" Knowledge tried again.
"It was the kind of thing I've only read about in romance novels, or seen in movies. All full of lust and pent up sexual tension. I just threw Robin down on to my bed, tore the clothes from our bodies and…"
"RAVEN," all the emotions said at once.
"Mmm?" Raven said, opening one eye.
"That wasn't a dream," Knowledge said simply.
Raven instantly sat bolt upright, she was back in her bedroom.
She looked at the pieces of clothing littering the floor of her room and winced, Terra was going to think she had destroyed her new clothes on purpose, at least on a subconscious level. With another look around the room Raven saw that she was alone. Thankfully before she could be struck with any kind of worry or crippling self doubt her bathroom door opened and Robin stepped out wearing nothing but a towel.
"I was just checking myself out in the mirror," Robin said with a small smile, "no new scars."
Raven just smiled back nervously, she didn't know what to say. She hadn't expected them to do what they did last night so soon. She had expected them to go out on a few dates first, maybe have a couple of make-out sessions. She definitely didn't expect to throw him down on the bad and have her way with him. She didn't know what to say or do now. But she was suddenly aware of how naked she was under her covers.
"So…" Robin said as he sat on the edge of the bed and stared at Raven, "about what happened last night…"
"I'm sorry," Raven said urgently, "I… I just don't know what came over me. Having a full stomach for the first time just released a lot of pent up sexual ten… a lot of pent up feelings," she corrected, trying to fight a blush, "I never would have done that if…"
"Raven stop," Robin said, the friendly smile never leaving his face, "I'll admit you took me totally by surprise but it wasn't something I wouldn't have wanted to happen, at least partly. Though I expected our first time to be a little further down the line, and for me to be a little more involved obviously."
Raven pulled the covers over her head and let out a moan of embarrassment, "I've never done anything like that before, ever. I don't know what came over me." As she felt Robin sit next to her she pulled the covers down enough to show her eyes.
"Don't worry about it Raven," Robin said with a smile, before his face became serious, "but we do have to talk about what happened though. Last night we didn't use any kind of protection and I…"
"I DON'T HAVE ANY DISEASES," Raven yelled before clamping both hands on her mouth and blushing deeply, surprised at her own outburst.
"I didn't think you did," Robin said with a chuckle, "I'm more worried about pregnancy."
"Oh," Raven said with a relieved sigh, "you don't have to worry about that happening. Vampires can only get pregnant on Halloween."
"Really?" Robin asked.
"Yes, thank god. The Vampire Elders cast a massive spell over the planet a couple of millennia ago so that we could only get pregnant one day a year. That way we wouldn't over populate the planet. Could you imagine what it would do to the world if every female vampire was giving birth every nine months for the rest of time? Nightmare."
"But what about turning someone into a vampire?" Robin asked, absorbing everything Raven was saying.
"That's a lot more complicated then all the stupid movies say it is," Raven said with a frown, "you can't just bite someone and turn them into a vampire like some kind of supernatural STD. If you just go out and bite some random person without doing the proper checks or ceremonies you could turn them into… something else."
An uneasy silence settled over them after Raven spoke. She still didn't know what to say after everything that had happened. She was trying to think of the right words when Robin spoke.
"So how do you feel after finally having a full stomach?"
Raven smiled despite herself, "amazing, truly amazing. Like going from prison to a five star hotel. I'd forgotten how good it feels."
"So you're happy then?" Robin asked, laughter evident in his voice.
"Absolutely," Raven said whilst getting to her knees, pulling the covers around her so she wouldn't be exposed, "I could definitely get used to this."
"You can," seeing the confusion on her face Robin continued, "when ever you need to feed you can just use me."
Raven was visibly shocked, "Robin I couldn't…"
"Yes you can Raven," Robin said seriously, "you drained me dry last night and yet I'm still here. Now I'm not saying I want you to squeeze me like an orange every morning but you can feed off me whenever you need too. It would be a lot less dangerous than biting some random stranger."
Raven could only stare at Robin in surprise and wonder, "how do you do it Robin?"
Robin smiled mischievously, "well after last night I would have thought you'd know."
"That's not what I'm talking about," Raven said, trying to will her blush away, "I mean how is it you can handle everything life has thrown at you and still be so stoic. Slade, the HIVE, Gotham's gang wars, your father's death, that stupid daydream potion, your real parents being monsters, your sex life being exposed, getting powers. Not to mention Terra and I trying to get you into a relationship and me forcing myself on you… I mean… I just don't know how you do it. If half of that happened to me I'd lose control of my emotions. And yet you're still in control. How do you do it?"
Robin thought about it for a second before answering, "Well… it's all mostly thanks to my training. I've been doing it since before I can remember. I was never really that emotional as a child, but I learned how to channel the negative feelings I did have into something more productive. Batman also taught me a lot of mental disciplines. How to stay focused in surprising situations and how to quickly weight all the pros and cons in your favour. Expect nothing, anticipate everything.
"But… whenever that didn't work, I'd just recite Invictus," Robin said simply.
"What?" Raven asked, clearly confused.
"Invictus. It's a poem," Robin said, staring at the far wall, lost in thought, "by William Henley. I had read when I was younger, when I still had time to read.
Out of the night that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole.
I thank whatever gods may be, for my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance, I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance, my head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears, looms but the horror of the shade.
And yet the menace of the years, finds, and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.
"It just stuck with me. It seemed like the story of my life… my life in Gotham at least. And whenever things seemed like they might bury me, I'd just recite this… kind of like my own personal mantra… and I just knew it could only conquer me, if I let it. I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul."
Raven just stared at Robin in silent wonder. She had expected him to mention Eastern training and the Dark Knight's philosophy, but certainly not a morbid piece of poetry. He was constantly surprising her.
"So, how about some breakfast then?" Robin asked with another smile.
Raven frowned at the Boy Wonder, "I haven't even decided if I want to feed off you on a regular basis yet, though I do appreciate the offer."
"Okay, but I was talking about some actual food."
"Oh… no, thank you," Raven said, feeling a little stupid for not realising what he meant, "After drinking so much blood in one go I need a lot of sleep so my body can metabolise it properly."
"Well I actually do need to eat something," Robin said. He gave Raven a kiss on the forehead, causing her to blush again, before standing up and moving to the door, "I'm just going to borrow this towel till I get to my room."
"You're going out like that?" Raven asked, almost jumping up to try and stop him, "what if someone sees you?"
"Raven, people don't see me when I'm wearing a traffic light coloured costume, they won't see me in this," Robin said with a smirk, "besides… someone ripped up my clothes."
"Robin I… about what happened last night…" Raven said, avoiding Robin's gaze, "I think we should…"
"We can take things as slow as you want Raven," Robin said, smiling as she did, "but just so you know, even though I couldn't move, I still enjoyed last night."
Raven then had a rare moment of spontaneity, "just wait till next time Boy Wonder."
Robin stared at Raven in shock before a smile spread across his face and he left the room. Raven let a blush fill her face before falling back onto the bed and waiting for sleep to take over.
It would be a while before it did.
Beast Boy wasn't enjoying his first class of the day.
It wasn't because it was the first and that meant there was more to come, it wasn't because he sucked at geometry, and it wasn't because the teacher, Ms DeMille, obviously hated him, although they were all factors.
It was because he was nursing the mother of all hangovers.
Last night, despite it obviously being a school night, Cyborg, Aqua Lad and himself went to the meta-club 'Secret Weapons'. Beast Boy had suggested this little trip for one reason. To meet girls.
It didn't go exactly how he hoped.
Aqua Lad had a large number of girls clambering over him; even Cyborg had left the club with a girl at the end of the night. But even though Beast Boy had gotten a decent number of phone numbers (he figured it was mostly because he was famous) and despite his reputation as a horn-dog, he wasn't looking for a one nightstand this time.
He wanted a girlfriend.
So after a night of fan girls fawning over him and a little too much to drink, all he had to show for it was a blinding headache. He just wished there was somewhere else he could find a girl that would like him for him, and not just for being famous. Someone who wouldn't pretend to laugh at his stupid jokes. Someone he could take care of without being a superhero, and who would take care of him in return. Someone he could love.
Just as he finished this thought an Instant Message appeared on his computer. Every desk in every class room in the school had its own computer, donated by the Justice League to help secure Beast Boy and Starfire's admittance. They were supposed to be used for work. But most students just surfed the internet and IM'd each other between answering questions and writing essays. Every student had, thankfully, been smart enough to put their computers on mute, so the teachers wouldn't be alerted to the various annoying noises computers seemed to make.
ZodiacGirl002: U look like Hell!
Beast Boy looked to his left at the girl sitting two desks over and next to the window. Chloe DeMille, the daughter of their current teacher, much to her eternal shame. She had shoulder length black hair, deep, sparkling green eyes, and just a subtle amount of makeup. She also had a slight, athletic body, despite the fact she wasn't part of any of the school assorted teams. She was also incredibly down to earth, nothing like her mother as far as Beast Boy could tell. She was one of the few people he could actually talk to, without the conversation devolving into stories of his missions or what famous people he knew. And best of all, unlike most of the annoying girls in his class, she didn't want to know all the gory details about Robin or Aqua Lad. He liked that.
PartyAnimal2000: I'll have you know I was out saving the world last night!
ZodiacGirl002: what did you do? Drink Captain Jack Daniels to death?
Beast Boy laughed despite himself, earning him a glare from the teacher.
PartyAnimal2000: not all of him… maybe half.
PartyAnimal2000: I actually went out with some of the Titans. We were looking for girls.
ZodiacGirl002: any luck?
PartyAnimal2000: no. I was looking for a girl to date not a one night stand. I should have known better than to try a night club.
ZodiacGirl002: do U want to go out with me on Saturday?
Beast Boy stared at the screen in surprise, before turning to look at the Chloe. He saw she was blushing as she turned to look out the window. He looked back at the screen just to make sure he had read it right.
PartyAnimal2000: like on a date?
ZodiacGirl002: No! I need help walking my dog!
ZodiacGirl002: yes on a date!!
Beast Boy chuckled to himself, earning another dirty look from the teacher, before answering.
PartyAnimal2000: absolutely. I'll meet you at the Pizza Place at 8 and we can go from there.
ZodicGirl002: that's perfect. I can't wait.
Beast Boy looked across at Chloe and smiled. She smiled back nervously before looking back out the window. That was when he realised something.
He had never been out on a successful date with a girl.
He had had a few one nightstands that he had never called back, but when ever he had tried for more with a girl, they had just ended up being friends, and never got passed first base. If he was going to have more with this girl he was going to need some advice.
Then he thought of Robin. He had not only managed to have sex with Supergirl, but had also managed to stay friends with her. Not to mention Robin was probably the smartest person he knew, both book and street smarts. If anyone could help him get a girl it was definitely the Boy Wonder.
Now he'd just have to convince him to help.
That would be tougher than finding a girl.
Robin didn't feel as comfortable in his uniform as he used too. He could hardly look at himself in the mirrored doors of the wardrobe. It just seemed too… bright.
He had always had a special attachment to his uniform. Not only because of how much skill was needed to move around in something so brightly coloured and remain unseen, but because it symbolised his transition from a slightly unusual but highly trained boy, into one of the worlds best crime fighters.
Robin pushed all these thoughts from his head. Nostalgia and sentimentality weren't going to protect his friends or free Jump City of its criminals. He made a mental note to redesign it latter in the week before leaving his room and heading to the Ops-Room.
Robin moved into the kitchen area. All the counters were littered pizza boxes, takeaway boxes and empty bottles of wine, no doubt leftover from Starfire's little party last night. Deciding it was best left for the alien to clean up, Robin picked up a fork and a half filled box of chicken-fried-rice and started eating.
"Dude, I've never understood how you could eat cold leftovers," Cyborg said as he walked out of the lift to the garage with a box of donuts under his arm. He put them on the dining table before joining Robin in the kitchen.
"And I've never understood how someone who once ate a bouquet of flowers on a bet can be so picky about cold leftovers," Robin said before continuing with his meal.
"Heh, yeah," Cyborg said, smiling fondly at the memory, "I think that was the healthiest thing I've ever eaten." He then piled leftover slices of pizza and Chinese takeaway onto a plate and put it all in the microwave.
"No arguments here," Robin said with a laugh, "so did you have a good night out with Aqua Lad and Beast Boy?"
"Oh yeah," Cyborg said with a giant smile, "I just got back actually. I met a tight little blonde girl who teaches yoga at one of the local gyms. I went back to her place and almost completely drained my batteries -- she was pretty wild."
"Are you going to see her again?" Robin asked.
"Oh hell no," Cyborg said, taking his food out of microwave and sitting down at the dinning table. He waited until Robin sat down opposite him before continuing, "She was nice enough I suppose, and had a smoking body, but she kept calling me Cy-Pie."
Robin shuddered, "I just had a Kitten flashback."
"So you know what I mean," Cyborg said, quickly shovelling down half of his food before speaking again, "what about you? Did you do anything last night?"
Robin didn't want to lie to Cyborg, but he knew that Raven, and possibly Terra, didn't want what was happening between them to be advertised. He knew it had more to do with her being a vampire than anything else. That was okay with him, if Batman had taught him anything, it was how to keep a secret.
"I did fight a demon," Robin said with a shrug.
"Oh," Cyborg said with a concerned look, "did you kick his ass?"
"I vaporised his arm too," Robin said with a fond smile.
"Cool," Cyborg said, before his face became serious, "he wasn't after you because he found out about your new weird power thing was he?"
"No he wasn't," Robin said, becoming serious, "I used them once but I was well hidden. To be honest I haven't really tried to use them yet. It's probably better to figure out how they work sooner rather than later thought. I'll ask Raven when…"
"Oh damn! I almost forgot," Cyborg said suddenly, jumping to his feet and running out of the room. Robin sat in mild confusion for almost two minutes before Cyborg ran back into the room. He handed the Boy Wonder a small black leather book with "ROBIN" printed on the front in gold leaf.
"I found that on the floor of the hotel room after you were… after you were attacked," Cyborg said, rubbing the back of his neck nervously, "I thought it was your diary or something at first. But when I realised you wouldn't take something like that out of the tower I had a look. It's from The Shade and Multi-Man."
Robin instantly opened the book, quickly reading the message on the first page…
My name is Richard Swift, but I am also known as The Shade. By now you are aware of the unusual powers passed on to you by myself and my associate Multi-Man.
The urgency with which we must transfer these spectacular abilities to you means that we cannot ask for you permission. For this I convey my deepest apologies.
There is however no excuse in not giving you at least some rudimentary information on how to use said abilities. Hopefully this little guide, with several entries from myself and Multi-Man, will help with your fledging powers.
Richard Swift (The Shade)
…Robin read through the introduction again just to make sure he had taken it all in. he didn't know how to feel. He was still angry about having powers forced upon him without his permission, but at least they had had the decency to leave him a guide.
"Do you think this will help?" Cyborg asked after downing the last of his food and taking the plate into the kitchen.
"It couldn't hurt," Robin said, closing the book and looking up at his friend, "I think I'll read through this before I talk to Raven. Thanks Cy."
"No problem dude," Cyborg smiled, before moving towards the door, "I'll talk to you later. I promised the others I'd take them bowling tonight and I need to charge my power cell beforehand. Do you want to join us?"
"No thanks," Robin said simply, "I think I might try patrolling tonight. See if I still have what it takes."
"Whatever floats your boat dude," Cyborg said as the automatic doors closed behind him.
Robin sat in silence for several minutes just staring at the book. A big part of him knew that he couldn't really trust criminals, especially criminals that forced powers on to him. But another part knew that he had to get his powers under control before they became a problem. He had finally made up his mind to read it when Terra walked into the room.
Terra just gave him a nervous smile before going into the kitchen and making herself a bowl of cereal. Robin just watched as she made her breakfast, a small smile on his face. Terra sat down opposite Robin, eating a few spoonfuls before looking up to see he was still staring at her.
"So…" Terra said quietly.
"So…" Robin said with a smile.
"I… want to apologise for last night," Terra said with a sigh.
"Yeah, I tend to be forward with people I like, incredibly forward even, and the kisses were probably a mistake, not that I didn't enjoy them, they were great, fantastic even, I mean you might not have liked them, but I hope you did, but I understand if you didn't, I just mean oh god shut up Terra," she said, covering her face with her hands as Robin chuckled.
"I enjoyed last night Terra," Robin said with a laugh, "if it wasn't for the demon I'm sure it would have just gotten better."
"So what did you do last night?" Terra said as she ate a spoonful of cereal, desperately hoping to change the subject.
"I had sex with Raven," Robin said simply.
Terra choked on her cereal, coughing and sputtering as Robin chuckled. It was almost five minutes before Terra had regained enough composure to speak.
"What?" she asked, "are you kidding me? When did this happen? How did this happen?"
So Robin told her the whole story. Raven needing to feed. Offering himself to break the curse. Raven finally agreeing. The feeding. And Raven's… surprise. When he finally finished Terra just sat there with a shocked expression.
"I just… I can't believe she did that."
"Well we knew she couldn't kill me if she drank my blood. Convincing her to feed wasn't that…"
"No, I mean Raven pouncing on you," Terra said, her eyes still wide, "I never expected it from her. I mean I can barely even get her to use toys and…" Terra blushed heavily and clasped her hands over her mouth as she realised what she just blurted out.
"I'm sorry, I didn't hear what you said then, my mind was wondering," Robin said kindly.
"I knew there was a reason I liked you," Terra smiled thankfully, before smirking mischievously, "but don't think you're going to get me into bed that easily mister. I need to be wined and dined a bit first."
"I'll keep that in mind," Robin smiled.
"Now, if you'll excuse me," Terra said as she put her bowl in the sink, "I think I'll go and get all the juicy details from Raven."
"I think she's sleeping," Robin said.
Terra smirked, "tire her out did you?"
"Not me, just my blood," Robin chuckled, "she needs to time to metabolise it all apparently."
"Then I think I'll go check on her," Terra moved towards the door. Then stopped and said, almost shyly, "I'll see you latter."
Robin smiled, "absolutely."
There is a mansion on the outskirts of Jump City that almost no one knows about. It sits deep in the woods. In a clearing surrounded by overgrown trees. The mansion had stood since before the civil war, though it had been updated since then with electricity, phone lives and indoor plumbing. It sports over a hundred rooms, including dinning room, ballroom, library, indoor swimming pool, a large communal bathing room, sauna and twenty car garage converted from the old stables. This extravagant house is not owned by an eccentric millionaire or reclusive actor however, but by a Vampire Lord.
A Vampire Lord is, basically, the mayor of the supernatural beings in Jump City appointed by the Vampire Elders. It is their job to keep vampires and other creatures from exposing themselves to the world and to keep their breeding in check. After that they can do what they like with the city.
The inside of the mansion was not as impressive as first time visitors would think. There were no antique furnishings, crystal chandeliers or grand pianos in this house. None of the furniture was more than five years old, all of it flat-packed or out of catalogues. With all of the supernatural killers, vampire hunters and Vatican based slayers out to destroy vampires' covens by any means necessary; it didn't pay to fill their homes with anything expensive.
In the master bathroom, which had recently been refurbished by a group of hypnotised humans, sat a brand new Jacuzzi. Filled to the brim with virginal blood. The Vampire Lord Corinthian Nightchild, Nocturnal-Mayor of Jump City, lay at the bottom of the Jacuzzi absorbing the blood through the pores in his skin, deep in thought.
He had had such plans. He had walked the earth for almost three millennia, spending centuries at a time building up his various powers and magics. He had only become a Vampire Lord five years ago after defeating the previous Lord, an ostentatious vampire who had named himself Crimson-Blade. Giving oneself a striking or poetic name was something a lot of powerful vampires did, Lord Nightchild always thought doing so was too pretentious. It had been a long, dangerous life since he had been turned into a vampire. But it had all been part of the plan. With the Vampire Lord title under his belt he was going to build himself a secret army, start turning the metas that seemed to infest the city, takeout the Vampire Elders and bring the world to heel. But that all changed when the Teen Titans came to town.
He hadn't believed what his scouts had told him about these teens, so he had gone out to watch these five children fight crime, personally. And it had worried him. The alien strumpet that had a childlike naivety, but the power of a star flowing through her veins that she barely even used. The machine clad moor, that if decided to turn his technological know-how towards vampires could devastate their numbers. The infected changeling, with the whole menagerie of nature at his disposal. The warrior, their leader, the human who could obliterate metahumans as if they were children, who was suspected to have ties with the demon Etrigan. But even though he was weary of the Titans and what they could do to his plans, he knew that he could take them all if he handled them individually.
The only one he feared was the spawn of Skath.
Though he would never admit this to any other creature in all of existence. When he first saw her, he was terrified. Here was this girl, with powerful demonic heritage that allowed her to walk in the sun light, who even though she consumed barely enough blood a week to live, still had enough power to destroy a vampire millennia old. And she hadn't even seen her first century yet. Terrifying, and at the same time infuriating.
Lord Nightchild's plans were in the toilet while she was around doing her hero work. The only bit of good news to come out of the whole situations was the curse. While the curse was on the demon child she wouldn't be getting any stronger, not physically at least. He had practically cried with joy when his spies had told him that.
So with this information he had set about making himself strong enough to challenge Skath's Princess. He had battled Thor's Fury on the coast of Greenland. Slaughtered the Brotherhood of the Shattered Emerald in Saint Petersburg. Tore out the Pale Duke's throat in Dublin. And, to his own eternal joy, he had managed to catch the supposedly "great" Death's Wings in his apartment in Washington DC, and smother him in his sleep.
He was almost ready to face her, another month and he would wipe her from the face of the earth. There were a couple of more vampires he had to take out first. Some for their powers, others for more… personal reasons. With her power flowing through him, his plans to take out the Elders could jump forward a millennia or two.
Nightchild's blood bath was interrupted as he felt the aura of one of his spies as they entered the room. He fully stood up in the bath, the blood on his skin absorbing in until it was its regular milky white. The spy, though he looked fifteen had been in Nightchild's services for five hundred years after the Lord had turned him personally. He wore a black motorbike helmet and black leather clothing that covered his whole body; this costume protected him from the sun glare, as most of the people he spied on could move about freely in the day.
"What news do you have Herod?" Lord Nightchild asked.
"Skath's Princess has not fed this week my lord," Herod said, bowing low to his master, "she did not have the chance to feed at the club last night with the daemon's interruption and she did not appear for her daily meditation on Titan's Tower roof this morning."
Nightchild nodded along with the report. He had been at the club last night, saw Skath's Princess enter with her human companions and the battle that followed with the monstrosity. Further proving the threat that she and her team mates posed. But the part about not feeding was what really caught his attention. He had though something like this had happened a few months ago. He had gotten very excited only to find out she had fed off a team mate.
But this time it could be different. If she hadn't appeared for her meditation, then she might not have fed off a team member. If that hadn't happened then she would have slipped into a regenerative coma for the next twenty-four hours, while her body built up enough energy for her to go out and feed. Leaving her vulnerable.
Nightchild decided it was worth the risk… or at least, worth risking his men over. Even if she was healthy, his men could issue the Vampire Duel for next month, something no vampire could refuse.
"Well done Herod," Lord Nightchild smiled, showing off his fangs, "there are twenty teenagers locked up in the basement. Help yourself to any three you like."
"Thank you my lord," Herod bowed, before turning around and leaving the room.
Nightchild sent out a psychic pulse to Caleb, one of his lieutenants. He had had to stop Caleb from attacking the warrior and the geomancer in the club last night. It would have drawn far too much attention to himself. Caleb wasn't happy about it. Making him the perfect man for this mission. He entered his bedroom and put on a robe. He walked around his four-poster bed, the only finely build piece of furniture in the mansion, and opened one of the draws on his flat-pack dresser. He pulled out a smooth silver stone with magical glyphs carved across it. He whispered his words into it and it glowed slightly.
Caleb entered the room, the pout on his face barely concealed by his long hair hanging loose, "how can I serve you my lord?"
"Now, now Caleb stop that pouting," Nightchild teased with a smile, "I have a mission that I think you will enjoy… I want you to invade Titan's Tower. Tonight."
Caleb's face lit up, "really my lord?"
Nightchild chuckled at the predictability, "yes, really. I need you to gather a group of your best men and invade the tower. Find the demon spawn. If she has entered the regenerative coma bring her to me unharmed. If she isn't give her this," Nightchild handed Caleb the stone, then his smile widened, "you can do what you want with the rest of them."
Caleb however only heard the part about doing what he wanted to with the rest, already mentally planning what he would do to Robin and Terra. "I'll get a group together right now my lord," he said, running out of the room before his master could excuse him.
Nighchild laughed out loud. Caleb's enthusiasm would be his downfall. He doubted Caleb would last the night, even if the demon child was in a coma. But that didn't matter. Caleb and his men were expendable.
All that mattered was his plan.
Robin sat on the edge of the roof of Titan's Tower watching the sunset. He was supposed to be reading the book left to him by the men that gave him his powers. But so far all he had been able to do was skim through it. With the new powers, Raven and Terra, his parents, it was too many emotional problems to think about. And he didn't know how to solve emotional problems.
Robin stopped skimming when he came across a section written by Multi-Man…
Your New Powers
This couldn't be simpler. After you come back from the dead a new power will be added to the ones you will already have. To find out what this power is, simply close your eyes. You should see a little white light (or multiple white lights if you have been killed a few times before you get to try this). If you focus on said lights (one at a time) it will seem to fly towards you. Once it fills your vision you will instantly know what the power is and how to turn it on and off. However learning how to use these powers in every day life will be entirely up to you.
…Robin closed the book. Could it really be that simple?
He put down the book and closed his eyes. Seeing two lights floating in the darkness. He focused on the first one as it quickly engulfed his vision.
"Electrical discharge," Robin said. He opened his eyes and quickly pulled off his gloves. He held his hands a couple of inches apart. On his mental command electricity sparked between them. A small smile graced Robin's face as he thought of the possibilities. Now he would definitely have to redesign his uniform. His current uniform blocked electricity.
With his success in hand, Robin closed his eyes and tried the next one. "Colour change," he said as he looked at his hands. With a simple thought his hands changed from his natural skin colour to bright green and back again. Robin spent the next half-hour changing his hands to different colours; even making his right hand one colour and his left another. Though it didn't have as many uses as the electrical power he could still see a use for this one, if only to go undercover with. He could look tanned one minute and sickly pale the next.
Robin sat in thought for a while, just considering the various uses these powers could have and how he could design his new uniform to help foster them. He picked up the book again and was about to read about The Shade's powers when he was interrupted.
"Hello Friend-Robin," Starfire said as she floated down and sat next to him. Her skin was glowing, matching the sky around the setting sun as if her shape had been cut from it.
"Hello Star," Robin smiled, as the alien's good natured joy washed over him, "how was school?"
"Glorious," Starfire beamed, "I have just finished watching the Cheering Leaders perform their show. They preformed their moves with the same grace as you."
Robin's smile widened slightly, "and what about last night? You had some friends over. You weren't too hung over for school were you?"
"None of earths fermented, alcoholic, grape drinks can bring down a mighty Tamaranean," she said as she held her arms up in a muscle pose. Robin chuckled softly, he stopped however when he saw the serious look on the princess's face, "I did not come here to talk of such things though. I wish to know how you are doing."
"Me? I'm fine Star, I…" Robin stopped talking as Starfire placed a hand on his.
"Friend-Robin I want to help you," Starfire said with a comforting smile, "please let me."
Robin was about to do his customary blow off, like he had always done with his friends. But he stopped himself. His friends cared about him. Cyborg, in his own way, wanted to know how his life was going, Starfire always wanted to make sure he was okay, even Beast Boy wanted everyone to laugh, albeit unsuccessfully. They deserved better than being blow off.
"There are a few things bothering me Star," Robin said with a sigh, "too many things really. I don't have the emotional range to deal with it all and I quite frankly don't want to depress you."
"Why don't you just tell me the problem that is bothering you the most," Starfire said with a warm smile.
"I… I'm worried I won't be able to have a proper relationship with…" Robin paused to wipe his hand down his face, "…well with anyone, but mostly with a girl."
"Is that because you prefer one-night-stands?" Starfire asked with a smile.
Robin was taken back, he had forgotten that Starfire could surprise him, "you know what a one-night-stand is?"
Starfire gave him a condescending smile, "I am not as stupid as people think Friend-Robin. I am just learning about an alien culture in an alien language on an alien planet. Most of the people on this planet can barely speak their native language. I think I am doing quite well."
Robin looked straight into Starfire's eyes, "I don't think you're stupid Star."
Starfire leaned over and kissed the Boy Wonder on the cheek, "I know you don't Robin. And just so you know, one-night-stands are not something native to this planet. It is a universal constant, like light, gravity and females going to the bathroom in groups."
Robin laughed out loud, relaxing more into the conversation, "well to answer your question, no it's not because I prefer one-night-stands. It's just… I've kept my emotions buried for so long that I'm not even sure how to use them any more…"
"Robin I don't think…"
"That's not all," Robin interrupted, "I also just found out who my parents are… my birth parents. And they aren't nice people not by a long shot. I'm worried how much I'm like them… how much I'm like my father."
Starfire sat in silence for a few minutes, just staring at Robin, before she finally spoke, "he is Slade is he not?"
Robin was taken back again; he couldn't stop the shock from showing on his face, "how…? I mean, how…?" Robin couldn't even form the words, he just never expected Starfire to figure it when Raven and Terra didn't.
"I… I noticed a few similarities between you both and… well… after what he put you through… after what he put us all through…" Starfire said with a frown, "only he being your father… could affect you like this."
Robin just sat there, quietly looking at Starfire, "I'm just worried that I'm like him… even if it's only a small part and…"
Robin was interrupted as Starfire hugged him. Not one of her usual bone crushing hugs, but a soft comforting one. And, for the first time that Robin could ever remember doing, he hugged back.
"You are nothing like him Friend-Robin," Starfire said softly into his ear, "you have proved that. He tried to make you as twisted as he is and you still put the lives of your friends before your own. You have a heart bigger than this planets sun and twice as warm. You could have been like every other teenager on this planet, or like Slade, yet you decided to save lives. And when you have dug up all of your emotions you will make a lucky girl feel truly glorious. I don't believe this is true. I know it is true."
Robin just whispered, "thank you."
They hugged for another few minutes before finally breaking apart and smiling at each other.
"Can we keep this between us Star?" Robin asked, "I'm not sure the others will react to the news that Slade is my father quite as well as you have. I'd like to ease them into it."
"Of course Friend-Robin," Starfire smiled, before floating up onto her feet, "I must go now. I must give Matthew a bath before we all go bowling. Would you like to join us? Apparently we roll heavy balls down a wooden lane at wooden statuettes. It sounds most enjoyable."
"No, I'm going to out on patrol tonight and see if I still have what it takes, but thank you Star," Robin smiled. He watched the princess move towards the roof access before calling out to her. "I'm not just afraid that I might become like him. I'm also worried that if I get in a relationship… he'll come after them."
"And when he does," Starfire said with a confident smile, "we will make him sorry he ever had such thoughts." and with a final bright smile, she disappeared down the stairs.
Robin turned back to the sunset, feeling, for the first time since he found out, okay with being his parents child.
Brother Blood's personal office wasn't like the rest of the HIVE institute, with its canary yellow and black beehive motif. No, his office looked like it had been pulled straight out of a Victorian manor. Oak wood panelled walls, high bookshelves, plush red carpeting, antique chairs and a large mahogany desk. The only things in the room that looked modern were the voice activated mini-rail guns concealed in the ceiling, the hi-tech computer on the desk, the 200 inch LCD wide-screen with inbuilt video phone mounted on the wall behind the desk, the duel barrelled blaster taped to the underside of the desk and, of course, Brother Blood himself.
He was currently going over the HIVE's financial records that had just been updated since his student's last job with Slade. Despite the cost of hiring a reputable medical team to fix most of the team's perforated eardrums and their shattered teeth, not to mention the mess Mammoth was in, the coffers were exceedingly full.
Brother Blood rubbed his hands together with glee. With this money he could go on another recruitment drive and get some fresh blood. He could update the training rooms and improve the robots. But first he'd get that mansion in Monte Carlo he had had his eye on, or that Van-Gogh painting he liked, maybe even a couple of high class hookers, girls no one would miss.
Maybe he'd even hire some professionals to find Jinx. The team wasn't working as well without her. It wouldn't take much power to get her back into her leadership role. Or maybe he'd just have his way with her. Her body had been driving him crazy for a while. He couldn't do anything while she was with the team as most of the members were her friends, and it was hard enough controlling so many children when they liked you. But now he would be able to do what he wanted with her.
He was interrupted from his thoughts of bending a girls mind will and violating her mind and body by a knock on his office door. Before he could respond the door was opened and Psimon stepped in, closing the door behind him.
"You wanted to see me Headmaster," Psimon said, his voice lacking any kind of respect.
Though his face was devoid of emotion, on the inside Brother Blood was furious. He had accepted Psimon into the HIVE almost a month ago with high hopes. The boy displayed powers beyond anything Blood had ever seen in anyone who wasn't a 'good guy' and he had gotten the highest scores in his initial trials of any student admitted. Ever. But the Headmaster's excitement over his new student soon ended.
Psimon rarely turned up to his classes, he took almost no active involvement in any of the missions he was sent on, he showed no respect to any of the faculty, and, Brother Blood suspected at least, he was using his powers to control some of his fellow students.
But that wasn't what bothered the Headmaster the most. What really annoyed him was the fact that Psimon resisted every attempt to control him. Blood's powers just seemed to roll of the boy like a light breeze. But that was when he was trying to control him and the rest of the student body at the same time. Now they were alone together, Blood was confident he could force his way through the boy's formidable mental defences.
"I have to say that you haven't been living up to expectations Psimon," Brother Blood said with a fabricated concerned smile.
"Well I'm sorry to hear that Headmaster," Psimon said, his voice dripping with sarcasm, "what ever can I do to rectify this problem?"
"You don't have to do anything child," Blood smirked, "I'll take care of everything."
Before Psimon could respond Brother Blood's eyes flashed with crimson energy. His blood red aura flaring up around him instantly as he poured all of his power into the boys mind.
It was the first of two disastrous mistakes Brother Blood would make today.
The power was blasted back into Brother Blood's mind with enough force to knock him off his chair. Blood rolled about on the floor in the fetal position, clutching his head in agony. What felt like a thousand daggers stabbing into his brain, burning with the intensity of a sun, the pain of it was too much for him to even scream. He took in quick, short, ragged breaths as blood leaked from his eyes and ears.
Psimon quietly stood up, casually straightening his clothes and brushing the creases out of his jumper. He walked out of the room, leaving Blood on the floor. He soon returned, a six foot, gold framed standing mirror floating in behind him as the door closed on its own. With a flash of his power the desk skidded across the room and into the wall, leaving the centre of the room clear. He put the mirror down a few feet in front of Brother Blood, before crouching down to smile calmly at him.
"You really shouldn't have tried that Headmaster," Psimon smiled; sound like he was playfully reprimanding a child.
The pain in his head lessened enough for Brother Blood to speak, "how… how did you… do that? My… my power is…"
"Your power is a gift," Psimon said, his face becoming deadly serious, "A generous gift passed on to all the males of your blood line. A gift that you have used for your own personal gain. A gift that can be taken away."
Brother Blood glared at Psimon, breathing through clenched teeth. He tried to say the words to activate the mini rail guns, but every time he tried to form them in his mind they were scattered away with more pain. Psimon was a step ahead. Building up the last of his strength, Blood lunged, grabbing the collar of Psimon's jumper and tearing the front of it open. What the Headmaster saw there terrified him.
In the centre of Psimon's chest, right above his heart, was the mark of four red eyes. They momentarily flashed and Brother Blood felt pain like nothing he was receiving from Psimon. Every fibre of his being felt like it was burning and freezing at the same time. It finally stopped as Psimon moved away and stood next to the mirror.
In the mirror the shadow of a man appeared, featureless in every way. As he moved closer to the glass four red eyes flared to life on his face, glowing sinisterly. The temperature in the room increased rapidly to oppressive levels. Brother Blood started sweating profusely, either from the heat or from fear he couldn't tell.
"Lord Skath," Brother Blood said, the colour draining from his face, "I… I just…"
"Lord Skath? Oh I haven't been called that in centuries," the shadow man chuckled, "these days I am mostly called… Lord Trigon."
"I just… I just never believed…" Brother Blood pleaded, tears and blood streaming down his face, "I thought you were something my father made up… a cautionary tale he told me to keep me inline…"
"You should have really listened to your father," Trigon said, his eyes flashing, "Children should always listen to their fathers."
"I… I just… I…"
"You have abused your gifts Brother Blood," Trigon said, crouching down to look the Headmaster in the face, "sending your "students" out on missions to train them is all well and good, but spending the money you received on property and whores instead of improving the would-be-soldiers wasn't smart. I'm all for my disciples exploring their hedonistic desires, but not when it works against my plans."
"Please… please my lord," Brother Blood choked out, trying, and failing, to will his body to move, "I didn't know… I didn't believe… but… but now that I do… I will serve you… I will train your army… please…"
"I'm afraid it's too late for that," Trigon said as he stood up, "you have become too accustomed to giving orders but not receiving them. I've already found your replacement."
The door to the office opened as Trigon finished talking. Sebastian Blood, Brother Blood's albino son, walked into the room. He looked as weak and sickly as he always did, swaying slightly as he knelt before the mirror bowing his head.
"Sebastian?" Brother Blood asked Trigon, "but he is far too sickly to do anything. He does not even have any mind powers."
"He doesn't need them," Trigon said.
He held his shadowy palm towards Sebastian. Crimson energy shot out of the mirror, surrounding Sebastian in a magical aura and lifting him off the ground, his arms spread out at his sides. He stayed there for half a minute before the energy stopped and Sebastian landed softly on his feet, steam rising from his body.
"Sebastian?" Brother Blood asked, the pain finally leaving his body so that he could get up on to his knees, "are… are you okay son?"
Sebastian turned to his father, looking just like he always had, "I'm fine father, I've never been better."
Brother Blood stood up, face to face with his son, looking him up and down. As Sebastian held his arms wide open, the Headmaster begrudgingly accepted his son's hug.
This was Brother Blood's second, and final, mistake.
The teeth in Sebastian's mouth instantly lengthened into fangs as he bit into his father's neck. Brother Blood couldn't even scream as his own blood splattered down his robes and drained into his son's throat. Sebastian kept drinking until his father was dead. He dropped the lifeless corpse to the ground, licking the blood from his lips. The sounds of his muscles stretching and his tendons popping filled the room as his muscles grew bigger, denser, stronger. His eyes flashed with crimson energy as his brain power increased, psychic powers spreading across his frontal lobes.
"I have tasted his blood," Sebastian said as he looked down at his father with a twisted smile, "now his power is mine."
"Brother Blood is dead," Psimon said as he pulled the robes off the body and place them on Sebastian's shoulders. They both stood before the mirror, getting down on one knee and bowing their heads.
A large, blood red, fanged smile appeared on Trigon's shadow form as he looked down on his disciples.
"Long live Brother Blood."
To Be Continued…
Author's Notes: This chapter had a lot of emotion in it… a lot more than I intended if I'm honest… and I'm not as happy with it as I would like. I just feel like it's missing… something. Something I can't put my finger on. But it has been five months since my last chapter and I had to post something… I hope you all still enjoyed it.
After reading the poem I included, some of you are probably thinking I'm well read and educated… I'm not. I actually heard Invictus on an episode of One Tree Hill and thought "I'm nicking that!"
Next Chapter: While Robin is out on patrol and Raven sleeps, Terra must fend off a vampire attack and Robin has a few ssuprise enocunters of his own.