Disclaimer: DC Comics owns all rights to the characters within. They are used without permission and not meant to infringe on copyrights or meant to generate income.

Also, if you have not read my other stories, it would be helpful to do so before reading this one. The chronology goes: Brothers in Arms, Where Do We Go From Here, Tragedies of the Past, Betrayal From Within, Future Sins, Reestablishing Bonds, Parents and Children, New Allies, Rivals or Friends, Public Enemy Number One, Double Date, Mind Games, Solar Complications, Mentors and Pupils, Brother Against Brother, Calm Before the Storm, Opening Moves, Isolation, The Great Father and Son Contest, Fugue State, Fallout, and Holidays.

Confidence and Envy

Titans Tower

"I need to go," Match announced. "I'll be back in a while."

"You're not planning on getting into trouble, are you?" Robin asked. "It's not going to involve overthrowing any governments, is it?"


"He's just messing with you," Kon told his brother. "Go on, and let us know if you need any help."

"That shouldn't be necessary," Match said before flying off.

"That's odd," Wonder Girl remarked. "He was so stiff and formal just now, it's almost like he's backsliding."

"Maybe he just got tired of the kissy faces you two were making at each other?" Kid Flash suggested.

"Bart!" the two shouted, blushing.

Atop a mountain, outside the city limits

Match landed at an isolated mansion on a mountaintop. A large man that he recognized from files was at the door waiting for him.

"This way," the man said, as he entered the house.

The interior was dimly lit. The mad did not speak, and Match did not attempt to prompt him. They arrived at a sitting room, where an older man was waiting.

"Welcome, Nemesis," the man said. "Thank you for accepting my invitation."

Match did not show any reaction to the name he had just been called. "Hello, Ra's Al-Ghul."

Titan's Tower

Alarms in the Tower went off.

"There's a giant robot rampaging through the city," Cyborg reported. "Let's get to it!"

The Titans scrambled to meet this sudden threat.

In the mansion

The two silently appraised each other for a moment, looking for any sign of weakness.

Ra's broke the silence first. "Thank you, Ubu. You're excused while I discuss matters with my guest."

Ubu bowed and left, closing the door behind him.

Match spoke next. "I received your subsonic message, obviously. I've fulfilled my part of your request; please keep your end of it."

Ra's picked up a phone and pressed a number. "Prepare to deactivate the bombs."

"Was there a reason you wished to talk with me? Threatening thousands was a way to gain my attention, but not my goodwill."

"I thought we'd discuss your future."

"Wouldn't your own naming scheme have decided what you believe my future to be? You've declared me to be your nemesis."

"You are not my nemesis."

"And whom do you think I shall oppose?"

"Why, the Icon and his Inheritor, of course."

In the city

Robin went over the strategy while the Titans flew out to meet the robot. He, Raven, and Beast Boy would evacuate the area and see to any civilians while the others engaged the robot. However, the situation on the ground required a change of plans. Kid Flash and Cyborg were needed to help the evacuation, while Wonder Girl had to use her lasso to hold a building together while it was evacuated by the others. This left the robot to Superboy.

"Get ready, you bucket of bolts!" he called out as he charged. "Time for the scrapheap!"

In the mansion

A shocked silence hung in the air.

"That's absurd," Match said forcefully. "I have no reason to oppose them. On the contrary, I have a very good relationship with them."

"Families do not always get along, as my daughters could tell you. You are, more or less, equally powerful?"

"What does that have to do-"

"You think differently than they do," Ra's interrupted him. "You are not at ease with being a so-called hero, are you?"

"I would think that my actions have more than answered that."

"Oh really? Have you not considered the trade-off of so-called innocent lives if you were to capture me? Have you not thought that their sacrifice may be justified or even acceptable to apprehend me? Do you think that those thoughts would have crossed the mind of the Icon or his Inheritor?"

Match sat there, stone-faced and silent. He could not deny those words.

In the city

Conner couldn't help himself from grinning. The situation was against him, having to deal with a giant robot by himself, but when challenged, he always tried to rise to it.

The robot was probably powerful enough to give the entire team a good fight, and his heat vision had little effect on it. Kon was wondering how he was going to deal with it when he had a flash of realization: the robot had a high center of gravity.

Swooping down to its legs, Superboy was able to get the robot off-balance enough for it to fall down. Before it could rise, Superboy lifted it in the air and flew it out over the water. Checking to see that no one was in the water, he dropped the robot in. The water caused it to short-circuit.

"Oh, yeah!" he exclaimed.

In the mansion

"Was this meeting to persuade me to join you?" Match asked. "If so, it didn't work."

"I wished to make you aware of the truth," Ra's said, evenly. "In my many years, I've brought many revelations to various individual's attentions."

"What's your point in doing this?"

"You're a very powerful young man. The Icon and his Inheritor fit naturally into their roles; you do not. Will you continue to fight your nature or will you acknowledge it?"

"I see. Was there anything else you wished to discuss?"

"That's all. Ubu will escort you to the exit. After you and I have left, the bombs will be deactivated and taken away."

"I see. It's been...interesting."

At Titan's Tower

Match arrived to find the team celebrating.

"Where were you?" Robin asked.

"Taking care of an errand," Match answered. "What happened?"

"A giant robot was trashing the city, but now it's the trash," Superboy said happily. "You should have seen it!"

"I'm glad it worked out."

Raven gave a rare smile. Superboy's confidence and happiness gave her a war, fuzzy feeling.

The smile vanished when she felt a stab of envy in the room. She flicked her eyes to the source and watched with wariness. She felt that little good could come from this, especially given who was involved.

The source of these feelings was Match.


It's been a while since I've posted anything; I needed a little bit of a break.

Any and all comments welcome!