Note: This story happened because of all the wasted potential of Teen Titans since One Year Later. JOUNOUCHI-sama and I have taken it upon ourselves to do something about that wasted potential. This is why this story exists.
Disclaimer: Teen Titans belongs to the overall DC Universe, and the DCU belongs to DC Comics. We are not professionals associated with DC Comics, and even if we were, we probably would not be entitled to full creative control.
"Titan of the Future"
Chapter 1: "To Fly"
20 years later . . .
Two male figures stood facing each other in front of an impossibly large computer screen. One was an imposing man in a black cape and pointy-eared cowl over a dark gray body armor suit with a black bat symbol plastered over his chest. The other was a slightly smaller young man with mussed blond hair and dressed in a black suit with a stylized blue-on-black symbol on his chest and a blue-lined black cape around his shoulders.
The Batman stared at the younger man before him. "There's something I need your help with." He turned to the screen and brought up some images, specifically of a character named Warp.
"Warp?" the younger man, barely a man at that, asked.
"Yeah," Batman confirmed. "He's stolen some dimensional refraction technology from S.T.A.R. Labs. If I didn't know better – and frankly, I don't – I'd swear he wanted to use it to go backwards or forwards in time or other dimensions."
"And you want me to stop him."
Batman smiled good-naturedly. "That would be nice."
The young man turned to leave, but Batman stopped him. "It'd ease my mind if you'd wear something to conceal your identity from Warp."
"Warp's fought you enough times that he knows his way around your abilities. If you disguised yourself, you might be able to surprise him, especially if you don't use the more . . . obvious of your abilities."
The young man looked at Batman askance. "You're awfully worried."
"I'm your dad. I have a right to be."
The young man sighed. "Fine. If it'll make you feel better, I'll wear whatever it is you want me to wear."
"Good," Batman stated. "I have just the thing."
He went to the row of display cases that showed the costumes of various warriors in the crusade begun by Bruce Wayne so many years ago. He looked at the original Robin costume and smiled impishly at his son.
"Oh. No. Hell, no! I am not wearing the little green shorts again!" the young man declared.
"Think of all the girls who'll be all over you," Batman teased him.
"No. I am not wearing the little green shorts again," the young man insisted.
"Everyone's a critic," Batman moaned good-naturedly. "How about this?" He showed the young man the original Nightwing suit.
"You have no taste," the young man mumbled.
"Ok, how about this?" This time, Batman showed him a different Nightwing suit. It was pitch black, with a bright red wing-like stripe running across the chest, over the shoulders, and down the arms. In the center of that stripe was a diamond shape designed to resemble the head and tail of a bird in northward flight. It came with armored braces around the wrists and shins and guards for the shoulders and knees. The braces and guards were made of a special light plastic that wouldn't sacrifice the wearer's freedom of movement for added protection against gunfire.
"I can live with that," the young man said.
"Good," Batman replied. "You might want to change your hair and eye color, too; wouldn't want Warp to recognize you."
"Sure," the young man agreed, concentrating for a moment and his blond hair darkened to black and his eyes shifted from blue to green.
"Just remember to be home before nine," Batman suggested. "Or else your mother's going to wipe the floor with you."
The newly dark-haired young man repressed a shudder. His mother could be scary when she was mad. Dinner was a very important occasion for her, never before having really had the comfort of a family, and if her only son was going to be late, it would not bode well for his health.
Batman chuckled. "Good."
The young man, known as Nightwing, groaned as he opened his falsely green eyes. "What . . . where am I?"
He looked around. "And where's Warp? That's the last thing I need, us being in separate dimensions. Not that I want to be in the same dimension as that bastard, but . . ."
That didn't matter right now. The thing that mattered now was figuring out where – and when – he was. Once that had been done, he could take the rest as it came. The first order of business was finding a newspaper, and luckily enough for him there was a discarded newspaper about a hundred meters down from his position. Quickly racing down those hundred meters, he picked up the paper and looked at the date.
The month and day made no real difference, but the year . . . "Aw, crap. I just went back in time, didn't I?"
Throwing the newspaper aside, and only idly memorizing the year, he took to the sky, darting from rooftop to rooftop at blinding speed. He recalled another piece of information that newspaper had given him. The title of that newspaper had marked it as a local paper, of the city of San Francisco.
That's where the Teen Titans are, at least for now . . . he thought. Might as well find them first.
It turned out to be child's play to infiltrate Titans Tower and access its database. Granted, the only reason he had an advantage was that he was from the future and thus this time's security was like a low fence that someone of sufficient athletic ability could jump over, but that didn't make much of a difference. It especially helped that Selina Kyle, the original Catwoman, had taught him everything he knew about stealthy entrances and exits.
If he wanted to not be found out just yet, he would have to create a false file for himself, so no one would think to ask where and when he really came from. The database did yield other interesting details, like the current Titans roster – Robin, Ravager, Wonder Girl, Miss Martian, Kid Devil, Raven, Cyborg, and Jericho. Before he could continue on, he heard someone come in.
"May I help you?" Nightwing asked.
"Who are you?" Cyborg asked. "You're not Nightwing."
"Semantics," Nightwing answered. "Spell mine with a 'k' if it helps you tell us apart."
Cyborg pointed his cannon arm at Nightwing. "You have until the count of ten to explain yourself, and after that I'm throwing you out!"
Nightwing sighed. "It's actually quite pointless for us to fight each other over a misunderstanding like this. If you'll bring me to the other Titans and allow me to explain myself, you might see that I mean you and your team no harm."
Cyborg's sensors told him that Nightwing was telling the truth and he lowered his cannon arm. "Fine. But I see any hint that you're trouble, and I'm knocking you out on your ass."
"Fair enough," Nightwing said.
"I'm from the future," Nightwing explained. "I was chasing Warp through time and things happened. Really strange things. Then I woke up here. Oh, and my father sent me to stop him."
"Who would your father be?" Robin, Tim Drake, asked.
"Batman," Nightwing replied.
"What?" Robin, Tim Drake, uttered in quiet suspicion.
"My father is Batman," Nightwing replied. "Or as you call him now, Nightwing."
"Nightwing – our Nightwing – became Batman?" Cyborg restated. "I thought he didn't want to become Batman!"
"No," Nightwing admitted. "But my grandfather didn't want to leave Gotham without Batman and he thought my father was the best for the job."
"So who's your mother?" Raven asked.
"I'll keep that to myself for now, since I don't want to risk altering the timeline, but here's a hint – my real hair color's red," Knightwing replied. His hair momentarily took on a particularly apple-like shade of red, only to revert to black.
"Figures," Cyborg muttered to himself. "Nightwing sure loves his redheads."
"Neat trick," Kid Devil remarked. "How'd you do it?"
"Nanites," Knightwing replied. "Pretty useful for when I don't want anyone to recognize me."
"Wow, so you're a cyborg like Cyborg, only more advanced!" Kid Devil nearly gushed. "That is so cool."
"How did you get here?" Wonder Girl asked.
"Jumping rooftops, like a good Bat does," Nightwing replied impishly.
"You're holding back a lot," Robin stated suspiciously.
"Sorry, but my secrets are necessary. Besides, even to your closest friends, would you reveal everything?" Nightwing questioned coolly.
"No," Robin replied. "But that just makes it even more curious who your mother is."
"Not telling," Nightwing said.
"We could always do a DNA test, see if you are who you say you are," Cyborg suggested.
"I sense he is telling the truth," Miss Martian interjected. "Or at least most of it."
"Yeah," Cyborg agreed. "My sensors aren't picking up any abnormalities in his heart rate or breathing, either, so he could be on the up-and-up. Just need a little concrete proof, though."
Ravager smirked, her blue eye alight with mischief. "I know a way we could get that DNA from him."
Wonder Girl rolled her eyes. "No, Rose, you aren't going to sink your claws into him."
"Who said it'd be claws?" Ravager asked. "I can be gentle."
Nightwing looked at Ravager curiously. "I'll be ok. Just . . . could I stay here for a while? At least until I find a place of my own?"
"Fine," Cyborg assented. "But we'll be watching you."
"I'm sure you will," Nightwing acknowledged.