DISCLAIMER: I don't own the titans, nor do I own anything affiliated with them. I do, however, retain the right to call any unique characters I create my intellectual property. That about sums up the disclaimer. Have fun reading the story!

By the way, feel free to flame me when I reveal the eventual pairings. It won't bother me at all, and if it makes you feel better to do so, go for it. Not that it'll do you any good. Heh heh heh.

Now, on with the show. (Oh yeah, Terra is currently a statue at this time. Also, for my purposes, 'Birthmark' and 'The End' have not occurred.)

I will never, ever, go back to that place as a prisoner. No matter what, I won't let Theresa's memory die in vain.

Trash cans and old dumpsters flew past the young man as he barreled down the dark alleyway; escape being the only thing on his mind. His movements were erratic and unpredictable as he raced in between abandoned factories and warehouses, exhibiting a singular concentration centered on nothing more than making it to the next shadow undetected.

He could not stay within the darkness forever, and his occasional dash under a street lamp brought clarity to an otherwise mysterious figure. A boy of no more than seventeen years, he was possessed of a certain character that gave him the likeness of someone much older.

Sandy blonde hair reached below his neck, tied back into a ponytail, while short bangs danced wildly across his forehead. Dark, penetrating hazel eyes peered forth from a sun-darkened complexion, accentuated by a strong jaw that currently harbored a deep scowl tinged with an unmistakable hint of fear. As he ran on, broad shoulders could be detected beneath the flowing cream-colored jacket draped across his back.

Those monsters might have stolen who I am, but they will never take what's in my heart.

Thinking that he must have escaped his pursuers by now, the young man dared to look back before cutting through a broken down assembly plant. To his horror, three figures wearing oversized orange HAZMAT suits were hot on his trail, less than thirty feet behind him. Panicked, the youth forgot to look where he was going and nearly ran face first into a large support beam spanning the length of the building.

A quick tuck and roll brought him safely under the shaft, but it was with a bit of bad luck that he slipped on a loose pipe and landed in a small puddle of rainwater. Acting quickly, the young man made the best of a bad situation and sprang to his feet. His body was immediately surrounded in a blue aura, and his eyes seemed to glow an iridescent shade of aquamarine. Though nothing about him actually looked different physically, it almost appeared as if his body was somehow more fluid, as if he were moving in a slight breeze despite standing perfectly still. The lad made a quick gesture towards the small puddle, and it quickly spread itself thin over the entire floor behind him, coating the tiles with a film of liquid. Turning tail once again, the aura dissipated and he ran off at full speed.

I won't forget you, Theresa. Everything I do, I do because I know you would have wanted me to be free.

Just as the youth was exiting the building, he heard a resounding crash from one of his trackers followed by two more as all three of them slipped and fell on the slick ground. Turning a corner revealed seven more HAZMAT suits, and it was with a flurry of movement that the frightened lad kicked and punched his way through before they even had a chance to retaliate.

Of course, the element of surprise did not last long, and it was a short while later that the young man was once again running for his life. Passing through another narrow alleyway, the youth held his arms in close. A white aura appeared around his person and eyes, conveying the sense of a ghostly apparition. The odd likeness of a spirit was made even clearer as his body seemed to become insubstantial, if but only a little. Spreading his arms out wide, a powerful gale descended upon the alleyway, sending all manner of things flying into the pursuing group and steering them into a state of disarray.

Using the opportunity to escape, the mysterious young figure disappeared down a side passage perpendicular to the path he was just on. A chain link fence blocked the small route, though luckily for him there was a hole just big enough to squeeze through. Scarcely a minute later, the youth was through the other side, though his jacket was hopelessly caught on the jagged edges of the fence.

Deciding there was no point in saving the item, he cast it off. Beneath the article of clothing was a two-piece, dark gray cotton johnny; something not unlike what a hospital patient might wear. Concentrating on the task at hand, a red aura surrounded the lad from head to toe, likewise casting his eyes in a deep fiery light. His body seemed to ripple under the red glow, almost as if heat waves were rising up before him. Taking hold of the two sides of the tear, the young man pulled the now red hot metal together and hastily fashioned a makeshift web to keep others from taking the same path.

Someday, I'll go back and rescue the others. The least I can do is give them the same chance that I now have.

The youth raced headlong down the only remaining path open to him, and it was a short few minutes later that he saw cars passing across his line of vision in the distance. Somehow, he had managed to find a main road. With any luck, he would be able to find some help on the busy street.

Arriving at the sidewalk a few minutes later, it was a relief for the young man just to see other people. Even though it was far past nightfall, several individuals still dotted the streets as well as a modest amount of traffic, offering a small sense of security to a lad far too used to living in fear. He stepped out into the open and was about to ask a passing young woman where exactly he was when he caught sight of something that sent shivers down his spine.

Exiting the alleyways both to the left and right of him were several dozen individuals clad in the same orange jumpsuit that had plagued his nightmares day after day. Too afraid to move, the young man froze in place, terrified at the thought that he no longer had anywhere left to run. In a desperate act, he began backtracking, hoping that somewhere along the way he had overlooked another small alleyway by which he could escape.

He hardly took two full strides before seeing the ten or so HAZMAT suits coming up the alleyway behind him.

Horrified, the youth hardly thought of what he was doing. The whole world seemed to be closing in, and there was nothing he could do to stop it. Without thinking, he spun around and ran straight-ahead…right into the street. It was only by the greatest amount of luck that the pick-up truck he had just jumped in front of didn't hit him.

His fortune did not last long, though. No sooner had he leaped to the side to avoid the truck than the lad met face to face with a white compact car sporting blue highlights barreling towards him. A thousand images passed through his mind in an instant, not the least among them thoughts of him and Theresa together at the complex. All the times they talked to one another, comforted each other when things seemed hopeless, and reassured themselves that nothing would ever come between their friendship.

Other thoughts inevitably found their way into his consciousness, and he mentally recoiled at every one of them. The brutal testing, painful experiments that seemed to last for hours, horrible rooms where bodies lay for days before finally being carted away to be dissected. Perhaps the most painful memory of all was when Theresa would collapse against his chest after a particularly excruciating "treatment" session, and she would cry herself to sleep while he cradled her in his arms.

Thinking of you always gave me strength. Now, I need you more than ever. Because of you, I'm who I am today. Because of you, I'll never give up hope.

Purely on instinct, the young man balled up his fists and fell to his knees. A bright yellow glow surrounded his entire body, and his eyes seemed to resemble liquid gold. All of his features hardened instantly, and he looked to all the world as if he had been chiseled out of granite. Without a moment's hesitation, both hands met the asphalt with a deafening crack, splitting the earth and sending a huge piece of roadway heaving upward in a makeshift ramp.

That desperate move was just in the nick of time, for no sooner did the slope ascend to a height above his head did the car sail over him, creating a tremendous roar that momentarily paralyzed the youth in a state of terror. Regaining his senses a few moments later, the young man looked over to see the car already skidding to a stop, and five very unique looking teenagers jumping out.

A purple skirt, that black rimmed mask, green skin, robotic limbs, and a dark blue cloak.

Something tickled the back of his mind, but he couldn't quite place where he might know these people. The obvious leader, a young boy with spiky black hair, had an "R" insignia on his uniform. His shirt, though, was what caught the youth's attention. It was bright red, similar to what a bird might look like.

In fact, it looked just like a…robin. At that thought, the young man's eyes grew wide, and he silently mouthed the words that would prove his salvation.

"The teen titans."

So, what did you think? Do you like my style of writing? Hate it? Was it too long? Too short?

Well, regardless, I hope you leave a comment telling me what you thought. Oh, and I should mention that yes, I am fully aware the storyline was very fast-paced. I thought it would go along well with the rising panic that the mysterious young man was feeling (Who, of course, will be named in a different chapter).

I guess that's it. Hope you enjoyed my work!