Jericho sat atop his mountain, peacfully watching the clear horizon. The birds flew boldly from one tree to another, gliding freely as though nothing had ever been wrong in the skies they flew in. As though, not only days before, a war had been brutally fought, taking so many with it, it made Jericho's heart drop.
He thought back to to his battle with the Brotherhood, almost taken down by a plastic bag. Of course, he'd been rescued, as every superhero cliche would have it. Barely.
The Titans, for whatever reason, had put their lives on the line for him. They'd trusted him, even when they knew nothing about him. He was a Titan. That was enough.
They didn't see who he really was.
A fifteen year old boy, born unwanted, raised an assasin. Throat sliced because his father refused to give a morcel of information out of "professional ethics". Not even at the sight of his youngest son held at knife point.
He hadn't flinched when he found out that the very same son would be mute for this mistake. Or when he found out that, because of a pointless experiment, he could never look him in the eye.
Family's the most important thing, he quoted bitterly to himself, hating the irony of the statement. Your family, he had learned throughout the years, was no better then anyone on the street. Just another person, whether to protect, or destroy, it meant nothing. Blood meant nothing. Blood could be spilled, and it would be no different then another's. It didn't matter. If you were the enemy, you were the enemy. You chose to care for someone. There were no obligations.
Blood was meant only to keep you alive, and nothing more.
A brave field mouse dared scurry around Jericho his little claws scratching against the stone. Jericho watched it go desipearing around a boulder, his sqeaks still echoing through the silent mountains. The only sound for miles.
He thought back to his earlier years. Would the Titans accept him so easily if they knew he could decapitate a man in thirty seconds? Would they call on him for help if they knew he had killed eight times by the time he was seven?
No. He'd redeemed himself. He'd done good. He'd saved people. He was a hero now. He used his unwanted power as best he could, helped whenever he could. He'd made up for it.
A silent sigh slide through his throat. He could never make up for the things he's done. The things he'd allowed to be done.
Why was it, he wondered, that, as a child, he killed without a thought, but as a teenager, nearly a man, he could even bring himself to swat away the spider that had crawled up his arm. His father's words rang through his mind, cruel and condesending;
Weakness is not acceptable.
He'd lived by that rule, whether he knew it or not. He'd spent more energy then he had to appear in control, calm, when in truth he was screaming, willing the pain to stop. For someone to make more then a half-hearted effort to communicate with him. For someone to look him in the eyes, despite his powers. He needed it. To be something more then 'the mute kid'.
Better the mute kid, he decided grimly, then the assasin.
Which brought him back to that question. Why did he do it?
Was it because he wanted to step out from hs father's shadow? Was it because he wanted to make him feel as powerless as he had for all those years? Was it revenge?
He thought of the Titans. Robin, the circus freak. Starfire, the alien princess. Raven, the demon's daughter. Beast Boy, the green shape-shifter. Cybrog, the half robot, and all the rest. All able to forget their past, their differences, and fight for one common goal. To trust each other, no matter what.
He smiled as the realization dawned on him, the sun sinking down below the mountain range, the sky around it fading to orange.
He did it not because he was Joseph Wilson, son of Slade the Terminator, the mute assasin. He did it because he was Jericho, the Teen Titan. It was because he had allies. He had Friends. He had a family.
And it was all he needed.
A/N This is a bit corny, isn't it?