Disclaimer- i don't own the TT.
Story By StormDancer
It is not light that we need, but fire; not the gentle shower but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.
"Yo, Cy! Anyone home?" Changeling yelled as the heroes entered the Tower. The women exchanged an uncertain glance. This wasn't how they were supposed to return, as guests. They should have been greeting their friends after a mission well-done, not trailing after strangers who were once their family. Starfire held back a pace to walk beside her friend, sensing with the ease of long partnership Raven's discomfort.
"How are you doing?" Starfire muttered, lips barely moving. Robin could read lips, and though it was a fairly innocent question, neither wanted any suspicion on them.
"Fine," Raven replied through gritted teeth, not wanting to risk the power of a telepathic conversation even as she could feel her old wards writhe around her to embrace her with the familiarity of a cat. She was still welcome here, the old spells opening to accept her. "The block only has to hold this strongly for a little while. Then it'll be easier."
The way they were being hidden, as far as Starfire could understand, was not an illusion. Raven could not cast illusions without huge waste of power, and even they she couldn't hold them long. In actuality, a telepathic suggestion was being sent to the Titans, not in words but in feelings. Raven had once described it as felicitating certain paths of thought, and making others harder. In this case, it guided the Titans' thoughts to believe that Hecate and Kore were not Starfire and Raven, and whenever someone tried to think that, the spell, for Starfire knew of no better name for it, would find some doubt to contradict the thought. In some ways this method worked better than a illusion and didn't need a complicated spell to set up and renew, but it did require constant concentration.
Hecate stumbled slightly over a tile in the almost familiar entrance way, having trusted to old memories that were slightly faulty to guide her when her focus was elsewhere. Arsenal, walking only slightly in front of her, spun instinctively to catch her.
"You okay?" he asked, setting her back on her feet. Wide violet eyes glowed back at him from beneath her hood at the mere hint of patronization, just like Raven's had.
"Fine," she snapped and strode ahead. Arsenal shook his head to clear it. Other people had purple eyes, of course. Hecate wasn't Raven, he had to remember that. Even if her eyes nearly glowed with their beauty, like he had always said Raven's did.
The doors of the common room swung open as the 5 walked in, ignored by the occupants. The large man on the couch was absorbed in his video games, and the slight figure beside him was watching him with just as much absorption.
"Dude, we called!" Changeling whined, vaulting over the couch to land next to his friend, "Why didn't you answer?"
"Busy." Cyborg didn't look up from his game. Starfire and Raven exchanged amused glances. It was nice to know not everything had changed. Indeed, Changeling was quickly sucked into the game. The woman beside them sighed and turned to idly give the newcomers a casual inspection.
"In other words, he couldn't be bothered," she explained with fond exasperation, noticing the women's lack of annoyance at Cyborg's negligence. The tall red head looked shocked, though not at that, she noted, and the hooded one was amused. "And who are these?" she flicked a strand of pink hair out of her eyes, calculatingly ignoring the women until she figured where the murmur against her mental shields was coming from.
"This one's Kore," Nightwing announced, not understanding why Jinx smirked at him. He didn't know she had seen him standing a whisper to close to the tall red head already. He continued regardless, "And that's Hecate."
"Nice names," Jinx replied distractedly, still laughing at Nightwing's obvious partiality and the fact that Arsenal's eyes were firmly fixed on Hecate, and not on her eyes. "Do you actually know who you're named after?"
"I'd be ashamed of myself if I didn't," Hecate retorted languidly. Finally managing to trace the psychic signal, Jinx hopped over the back of the couch to meet look her in the face. Pink eyes met violet, and Raven knew the game was up.
She should have known the moment the house wards told her of another sorceress within, Raven admonished herself. The spell only worked if the other had no shields, and Jinx's mind was heavily shielded, of course. Jinx could see straight through the spell, and give them up for who they were.
Jinx reeled back, shocked by the revelation that the two missing Titans had come back, though incognito. Why weren't they telling the boys? She would give them such a talking to… She rolled her eyes at Raven's violent head shake. How stupid did they think she was?
"Good for you," she agreed, giving their hands a firm shake, "I'm Jinx, resident bad luck charm for these morons."
"But you love us!" Changeling exclaimed, his sharp ears picking up on the conversation despite his concentration on the game. Jinx sighed and ruffled his hair, casually leaning on Cyborg's massive back.
'Of course I do," she agreed sarcastically, slapping her backrest gently, "Cy, put down the controller and greet these nice ladies."
The big man obediently tossed his controller to Changeling and rose, striding around the couch and catching Jinx before she over balanced. He hadn't changed a bit, Raven decided. He was still just as big and bulky and welcoming. "Hello, ladies, welcome to Titan's Tower"
He clasped Kore's hand firmly, not trying to intimidate, but not condescending either.
"Thank you, friend!" Kore exclaimed as she responded in kind, not exerting any of her inhuman strength. She favored him with an ear-spitting grin, and Cyborg gave her a friendly smile back. "I am Kore!"
"And I'm Hecate," the hooded figure cut in, giving his hand a quick, informal squeeze before the gloved hand retreated back beneath the hood, "nice to meet you."
Cyborg's voice recognition sensors twitched, but he ignored them. They had been acting up lately, and he had never really let go of his instinctive favoring of his biological components over his technology. HE met the violet eyes shadowed by the hood and swallowed, trying not to match them to another face like that, now long gone and sorely missed.
"They don't have anywhere to stay," Arsenal cut into the conversation. Jinx hid a grin at his jealous look, well hidden and quickly subdued. "They were camping out in the alley."
He watched the half-robot carefully. 'Wing might call himself their leader but everyone knew well that he was only the leader in the field. At home, Cyborg was the head of their small family. If he approved of these women, all would be well. If he didn't, they were back on the street. Nightwing and Arsenal watched their teammate apprehensively.
But Cyborg grinned, and Changeling's and his eyes met. Hecate felt the lash of joyful competition like she hadn't felt in years, and couldn't help but smile at the small comforts of a homecoming.
"Waffles!" Cyborg cried, dashing into the kitchenette, "And none of your tofu junk!"
"It's not junk!" Changeling retorted before morphing into a cheetah and racing his friend to the kitchen, any thought of the video game forgotten in the face of a Breakfast Bonanza. Jinx sighed.
"I'll referee," she informed the other two Titans, rolling her eyes at their antics. "Why don't you find rooms for these girls," she suggested, meandering over to the counter and taking a seat on it, adeptly dodging flying food and occasional limbs.
Nightwing and Arsenal shrugged at each other.
"You girls ready?" Arsenal asked. Hecate nodded and was suddenly by his side.
"Of course!" Kore chirped, "Lead on friend Nightwing!"
Nightwing looked down to hide the blush that showed damnably well on his pale cheeks. He hadn't been this immediately attracted to anyone since Starfire left, Hecate sensed with a smirk. Their plan was working perfectly.
Arsenal rolled his eyes beneath his mask.
"Oh, come on you two," he growled in a passable imitation of Batman. Nightwing's head jerked up at the sound of his mentor's voice, then glared at Arsenal when he realized where it had come from. He stalked past hi teammate and into the hall, Kore following him with Hecate bringing up the rear.