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Alphabetical Observations of the Titan Kind

Prologue: The Plan

Robin sat in the room that had been dubbed by the other Titans as his 'office'. Robin didn't like the name himself, not liking the formal feeling the word 'office' let off. It made him feel like he was running a business rather than a team of teenage superheroes. In any case, Robin had let the name slide, simply because he didn't care enough to make a fuss about it, but also because no one took him seriously when he was angry anyway. They only took it seriously when he was really angry.

Robin sighed.

He had retreated to the room to get his mind off the various distractions around the tower, specifically one big distraction that he wasn't particularly ready to face up to yet. He was trying to work on some leads given to him by the Jump City Police Department. There had been a recent rash of thefts in the area of high priced art and artefacts from museums and the like, and Robin was desperately trying to piece together any of the clues for the identity of the thief. But the truth was that his heart was not in it. Usually, he poured his heart and soul into these investigations, resulting in an unhealthy amount of time spent alone in this small room. To begin with, it hadn't occurred to him how much he was becoming like Batman until the incident with Slade's mask. It was a testament to how much the experience shook him that Robin could only call it an 'incident' before trying to redirect his mind elsewhere.

He sighed again.

It was no good. He was being driven mad by the aforementioned distraction, and trying to turn his attention elsewhere wasn't going to work this time. He attempted to look at the problem logically. How did he usually deal with problems? He carefully constructed a plan and carried it out to the letter. Unfortunately, this wasn't a logical problem. It was purely emotional. But that didn't mean he couldn't try to apply logic to it. He rummaged around his desk for a blank sheet of paper and a pencil. Upon finding them, he scribbled a list of names on to the paper:

1. Aqualad

2. Batman

3. Beast Boy

4. Bumblebee

5. Cyborg

6. Mas

7. Menos

8. Raven

9. Speedy

10. Starfire

Robin looked at the list. Did he deliberately put Starfire at the end? He shook his head. The suggestion was ridiculous. The list was alphabetical. That was the only reason she was last. He checked down the list again and groaned as he spotted Batman's name. He turned the pencil around and erased his name from the list. Robin already knew what his response would be anyway, so why bother? He lifted the list up to look at it once more, and yawned mightily. It was a rather simple plan, but he thought it could work. He realised that in order for his grand plan to be truly effective, he would need to be awake. Satisfied with his work for the night, he stood up and left his 'office'.

He went to the common area to check the time, and was surprised to see everyone still up. He entered, and was greeted by the usual faces. And by the usual faces, he meant Starfire. Beast Boy and Cyborg were absorbed in their usual Space Race Tournament 4 marathon, while Raven was similarly engrossed in a book, only looking up to give Cyborg or Beast Boy a glare, depending on who made the most noise. Robin looked over at the clock and saw that it was nearing midnight.

"Good evening, friend Robin," Starfire said happily, looking up from a bowl full of… something blue. Robin hoped he didn't look as ill as the stuff in the bowl made him feel.

"Hi, Starfire. What's cooking?"

"I am not cooking."

Robin raised an eyebrow as he pointed at the bowl. "So, what's this?"

"This is kmarganarff," she said, looking back down at her bowl.

Robin sat on a stool on the other side of the counter. "And what's kmargen… kmarg…?"

"Kmarganarff is…" she put her eyes to the ceiling as she seemed to contemplate the correct translation. She cast her eyes back downward sheepishly and played with her hair as she blushed. "I am afraid I do not know the correct word to describe it," she said with a shy smile.

Robin smiled back, trying to reassure her. "It's okay, Star. I'll just try and guess. So… I'm guessing you don't eat it?"

She shook her head vehemently. "Most certainly not. It is quite toxic to ingest, even with nine stomachs."

Robin nodded slowly. It still disturbed him that there were nine stomachs squeezed into that tiny body along with all the other internal organs. "Okay… is it for Silkie?"

"I do not wish to kill Silkie, Robin," she said with a disapproving tone.

"Okay, okay… um… do you… put it on your face?"

Starfire gasped as her eyes lit up. "Yes!"

Robin smiled, trying hard not show how goofily happy he felt. "Okay. That's what we call a face mask, I think."

"A… face mask. Yes, that seems accurate."

Robin tilted his head slightly. "Why do you need a face mask? I mean, you're pretty-" he stopped himself short as he realised that Cyborg and Beast Boy had stopped their game to listen to their conversation. He also noticed Raven looking at them over her book.

"What?"

Cyborg smirked. "Nothin', lover boy."

The smirk was contagious, apparently, because it soon spread to Beast Boy as they turned around, snickering. Robin glowered at the back of their heads, and whipped his eyes on to Raven, who had put the book in front of her face to hide the small smile on her own lips. Robin tried his best to fight the heat climbing into his cheeks, and turned back to face Starfire.

"Uh… I'm gonna… um… I think I'll call it a night."

She smiled in a way that Robin had never seen before, and nodded, keeping her eyes down on the bowl.

"Yes, Robin. Good night."

Robin pushed himself up off his stool, and walked over to the sofa, slapping Beast Boy and Cyborg round the back of the heads before turning around to leave for his room.

"OW! What'd you do that for?" Cyborg yelled.

"Yeah dude! It's not our fault!" Beast Boy agreed, rubbing the back of his head.

Robin headed out through the doors and stopped once they had closed. He pulled the piece of paper out of a compartment in his utility belt, and looked at the list again.

The sooner I implement this, the better.

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(A/N: A bit short, I know, but it is a prologue. You like? You hate? Review and tell me.)