Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Robin's hours of furtive research had produced the same results as could have been achieved by simply taking everything that they had said at face value. And it irked him.

As unlikely as it seemed, there appeared to be no prior connection at all between any of them. Cyborg had been easy to trace- he had vanished from a lab in Metropolis a year ago. Robin had covertly made some inquiries and discovered the whole tale from one of the scientists. He'd then written it all down, and hidden his notes.

Starfire's story had been harder to verify, but after confirming that there was a planet called Tameran, and there was an empire that called themselves the Citadel, he felt that that was enough to go on for now. But he would watch her closely. At least she seemed open to his questions, what few he had asked.

The other two were more problematic. Beast Boy had introduced himself as 'ex-Doom Patrol', which had been a starting point. A little research had uncovered that the Doom Patrol were all supposed to be dead. When confronted with this, Beast Boy had become withdrawn and sullen, but had suggested that he had in fact survived, and had implied that Robin ought to get his eyes tested, since he obviously couldn't tell the difference between a living person and a corpse. He'd suggested that his mask in some way impeded his vision.

Frankly, Robin thought he was being needlessly unhelpful.

As for Raven, she had offered only the most scant of details, such as her age and dimension of origin. She gave no explanation as to why she had left Azerath, and had made it very clear, without saying a word, that further questions would be unwelcome. Robin knew when to retreat.

So he would watch them. He would lead them, he would fight alongside them, he would be as open and friendly as he felt he could be with them. But he wouldn't trust them, not until he could be sure he wasn't making a huge mistake.


Beast Boy sat in his brand new room, feeling pleased with himself.

He'd come up with a solution, a way to beat the Curse.

It was quite simple, really. Every time he had found a family, they had died. Violently. So, the only logical solution was to avoid any kind of familial feelings. Even with Galtry, or the two crooks, he had relied on them for food and shelter, if nothing else.

Sure, they could be friends, that wasn't a problem. But he wouldn't rely on them. He would buy his own food, his own stuff, he would clean his own room, he would lay down very clear barriers. Self reliance was the name of his game.

It wouldn't be so hard, either. He was already a vegan, so that would explain his neurotic food preparation habits. He couldn't foresee any situation where anyone else would volunteer to clean anyone else's room, so that was alright.

Now the only obstacle left was avoiding labelling any of the Titans things like "brother", or something, even if it was in his own head. This would be easier if Robin didn't remind him so much of Mento right now. That guy needed to chill out.

Personally, Beast Boy considered that all the soothing music and incense candles in the world (and those things had always smelled way too strong for him, anyways) wouldn't unwind Robin a notch, but the guy needed something, or else his brain'd pop.


Starfire's morning had been spent exploring the Tower. It seemed strange to her that such a huge edifice would house only five people, but Robin had assured her that the space would be necessary.

Yesterday she had gone shopping for everything her room would need, and had found some wonderfully diverting items, such as a perfectly circular bed, and a clock (which she had only recently learned to decipher) that took the form of a small black cat with the display on it's belly, and every second would be heralded by a swish of its tail.

This afternoon, she was engaged in somewhat more serious pursuits.

Using what technologies she could cobble together, and enlisting the help of Cyborg, she managed to create a device to allow her to communicate with Tameran. It wasn't the most user-friendly of devices, as each message would have to be coded into 8-bit binary before sending, and translated manually at the other end, but it was functional, and that was all that mattered.

The news she received gave her pause for thought.

Her father was ill, and not expected to live much longer. The council had elected Galfore to rule in his stead, and Starfire was pleased with that. He would make an excellent ruler, in her opinion. There was also a point where it was asked whether she would return home or not.

She would not. Completely ignoring the fact that her being seen to be alive and at liberty anywhere near the Citadel would be foolhardy in the extreme, she had little tying her to Tameran. Any 'friends' she had were really little more than sons and daughters of Councilmen, attempting to curry favour with the next ruler, her sister was as banished as her, her brother had vanished years ago, her mother was dead, and she had little love for her father. Galfore, her K'norfka, was the only reason she could have to return.

She had four reasons to stay.


Raven was rethinking her position.

She might have been hasty in her judgement of Robin and Beast Boy.

In the months in between the meeting and moving in to the tower, she had only seen either of them sporadically, usually when they were all called upon to deal with some criminal activity or other. The change in Robin had been startling.

When they had first met, he had been dangerously close to snapping. His mind seemed to be held together through sheer stubbornness as much as anything else. Now, it seemed as if he was healing. The process was slow, of course, but Raven could sense that he was definitely more controlled than he had been. Who knows, in a year or two it might no longer physically pain her to be in his presence.

As for Beast Boy, he was still the same. She had no idea what events lead to his mind being such a maelstrom of pain and confusion, and frankly she didn't want to know.

It was a supreme irony, but Raven had very little empathy for her fellow human. She was dimly aware that a childhood of almost complete isolation hadn't helped matters, but the fact remained, and thus she considered herself the last person equipped to deal with a sob-story.

Besides, from his behaviour, he had no desire to confront his problems, and Raven was content to let them lie. She knew that the most sensible course of action would be to avoid him as much as possible, as well as Starfire. The two were too full of life for Raven; they both emoted so strongly that it bled over into her, and then things would explode.

But, Azar help her, she did think he was funny. On occasion.

Not that that would ever get mentioned. Ever.


Cyborg was poring over blueprints for a car, but his mind was far away.

Victor Stone was dead. That hadn't changed.

But Cyborg was alive. Alive, and it was about time the world knew it.

He could do some good with his new body. The idea had never occurred to him before, and not just because he wouldn't look good in spandex.

But it was oddly persuasive. He could save lives, and maybe, just maybe, find a measure of solace in doing so.

He'd spent a lot of his free time poring over philosophy texts, and one had been fascinating, in the works of Aristotle. The man had postulated that the soul was linked to purpose. Cyborg interpreted that as evidence that while he had wandered the country, without rhyme or reason, he'd had no soul.

Now he had a purpose. Perhaps he could find his soul along the way.

I'm just a tin man looking for a heart, he thought to himself.

But if I catch myself linking arms with anyone and skipping, I swear to God I'll have myself committed.


That's it. We're done. I've got nothing else to distract you people with while I wait for my sister to finish the picture.