DISCLAIMER: I don't own Teen Titans. If I did, this would be on TV and not here.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: About Sanza/Red X: When he's wearing the mask, he's Red X. When he's not, he's Sanza. Simple as that.
SECOND AUTHOR'S NOTE: This fanfic was not written by me!! This was written by an author named 'oneortheother', who gave me his express permission (and in fact insisted!) that it be posted on this account. This is the fourth installment of the Sanza Salazar saga, following "A Tale of Two Apprentices". Read the last three fanfics in the series before you read this. Also, this fic COMPLETELY IGNORES the events of the fifth season (with the exception of "Go"). For the purposes of this fic, "Things Change" NEVER HAPPENED.
It had been an average day for Sanza Salazar, average in a sense that after that fateful incident two months ago that had completely changed his life, he had grown to accept his new routine. Sanza Ruiz Salazar, one-time master thief, was once proud bearer of the title of most wanted thief in Jump City, but that really was all in the past. These days Sanza and his ominous alter-ego, the eager kleptomaniac, the compulsive-stealing disorder sufferer/embracer, the ex-notorious Red X, had both very much changed from the first time the powerful one-of-a kind Red X suit had came into Sanza's possession. Red X had walked on both sides of the law, straying along the fine line between light and dark, the difference between being free and being misguided. He had been one of Jump City most fearsome and lethal scoundrels, one of its most proficient thieves, one of its many scourges and one of the names spoken with such contempt and scorn by the everyday citizen. Yet he had also been one of its most revered heroes, one of the most noble saviors of the city, one of the most noble and efficient warriors, one of Jump City's many heroic saviors and one of the names spoken with reverence and awe by the everyday citizen.
The young Hispanic teenager had indeed walked on both sides of the law, though nowadays he did consider his thieving days behind him, at least mostly. But Sanza had vowed to only don his Red X suit and all its power when there was a clear, noble purpose to it, to keep from pursuing that enjoyable ritual of stealing again. After all, Sanza was practically the definition of a redeemed villain these days. It wasn't entirely an optional choice. During a previous mission in Los Angeles, while pursuing a dangerous and devious supervillain who had ambitious schemes to destroy the City of Angels, Sanza had unintentionally revealed his secret identity and alter-ego as Red X on national television. Undoubtedly an act with potentially severe consequences, as Sanza Salazar as the thieving addict that was Red X had committed numerous crimes, and now the Jump City police department and the respective technological firms which the master thief had stolen from could press charges. But thankfully due to Red X's involvement in the saving of Los Angeles, he was unbelievably offered an official pardon straight from the president himself. The gesture was graciously accepted by Sanza, who was quite relieved he wouldn't be going to jail for a long time due to the sins of his thieving past.
Now a model citizen who was simply determined to remain strong and vigilant in case evil ever returned to threaten the city, Red X was currently training regularly with the Teen Titans, the resident superhero group who still considered him a friend despite how Sanza as his conniving alter-ego had once fought them on a regular basis. Sanza, the masked master thief Red X had once upon a time stolen for no purpose aside from the sheer thrill and exhilaration from committing such exciting deeds. He had fought the Titans, including the attractive orange-skinned Tamaranian Starfire, partially because of how they always seemed to try to show up and stop Red X from stealing his technological trinkets and partially because Red X simply enjoyed dueling with the Titans, often winning despite the odds being stacked against him… five-on-one at any given time. Having a lethal suit that was wholly designed to counteract the abilities of the five Titans in question was an encouraging factor in not fearing the Titans.
The unique and destructive Red X suit was initially created by the Boy Wonder and leader of the Teen Titans, one-time understudy of the great Batman, Robin himself. The skintight outfit worked by using the expensive power source that was the miracle polymer Xynothium. Sanza was no physicist or engineer, but he understood that Xynothium was required for the suit to work. However, finding the elusive compound was a whole different matter. Most of Sanza's first thieving experiences were hunting for fuel for his suit. But thankfully, not long after Sanza had obtained the suit, he had managed to get his gloved hands on a priceless Xynothium self-staining reactor, formerly a Lysentian military secret. Thanks to this gadget, the suit had enough of the unique polymer that was the compound Xynothium to power the suit's many weapons and tools infinitely. Though the suit he now proudly called his own bore quite a history, the youthful leader of the Titans had created the suit to attempt to go undercover as a lethally-efficient thief to try to catch out a nefarious supervillain who had been terrorizing the city for quite some time. Regardless of its previous uses and purposes, the suit had very many weapons and tools. When Robin had been designing the suit, he had anticipated authentically fighting against his friends and fellow Titans. However, since Robin did not actually possess any powers, the Boy Wonder had decided to artificially augment the suit to even the odds against his fellow super-powered comrades. After all, the only way Robin's mission for the suit was to succeed was if he could sell the deception through stealing and fighting of Jump City's resident protectors, the Teen Titans, and hope that the villain he was trying to take by surprise would trust him.
Robin's ingenious scheme had however failed miserably, but the fact remained, or namely the suit still remained, the suit which had the handy power of being able to counteract and overwhelm the abilities of the Teen Titans. The suit offered circuit-shocking charges to the deal with the robotic warrior that was Cyborg, chunks of expanding red goo to hamper and reduce the effect on the transformative abilities of the green Teen Titan that was Beast Boy, sticky adhesive tape to interrupt the focusing chants of the half-demoness telepath that was Raven, and extremely strong metallic Xynothium bands to neutralize the strength and energy blasts of the striking yet strong Tamaranian that was Starfire. The suit's ingenious inventor Robin had even included an entangling net and Xynothium blades for hand-to-hand combat. These were to help sell the deception during a false makeshift battle with 'Robin' and 'Red X', in which an incognito Robin basically fought a hologram of himself simply to try to fool the other Titans.
But only Sanza was the real Red X now. And despite the fact that Sanza had basically stolen the suit right from under their noses, Robin didn't insist on him returning to suit to him, despite him being the original owner and creator. This was a fact that Sanza truly found reassuring that perhaps the Titans all did actually did trust him as a friend now, and Terra had helped convince the more skeptical ones. The Hispanic teenager couldn't say how grateful he was for that fact, while Sanza accepted that the suit wasn't all important, and he certainly could function and be happy without it. But for better or worse, the incredible Red X suit was part of who he was, part of his identity and despite all Sanza had going for him, he still craved, enjoyed the rush of adrenaline and the thrill of the chase. He didn't especially wish to become just plain old Sanza Salazar again, especially after all he had seen and experienced. In a way, Sanza just didn't the ride to be over. After all, who would? Sanza had been through so many experiences since the suit had came into his possession, and was immensely grateful for all the suit was capable of doing. But there were days Sanza couldn't help but daydream, wonder, about what could have happened, if he could have gotten that teleporter to work…
Sanza figured it was something like human nature to look back on events, all the mistakes he had made and wish you could somehow change all that had happened. About what he could have done differently, what he could change, the difference it would have made. But Sanza knew it wouldn't have meant that much and obtaining the reactor and sacrificing the ability to teleport had been a necessary loss. The reactor meant Sanza no long had to go out 'purchasing' Xynothium for dubious sources, albeit at the cost of losing one of the handier Xynothium tools, the teleporter which due to being the most taxing on the Xynothium fuel supply meaning that very high-purity Xynothium would be required in order for it to work. While it was certainly an acceptable loss, being able to teleport made life much easier and Sanza did miss not being able to appear anywhere he wanted on a whim. But it made his exploits more exciting, and that was what Sanza lived for.
And what was life if not a challenge?
Recently, as all of Jump City and much of the world realized the secret identity of the elusive master thief, Red X, Sanza had become somewhat of a celebrity. These days, everywhere he went people would recognize him and greet him, although often in very different ways. Some people would bluster one about his recent heroic exploits, some would judge and criticize him (these were the ones to avoid and ignore) and a small few would even ask Sanza for an autograph, which was flattering to say the least, albeit a bit strange. Though all in all, life was very good.
However this day, this frosty, chilly day, during mid-winter, would soon prove to be vastly different from the blissful existence that Sanza had become accustomed to. Sanza groggily awoke to the sound of his alarm clock blaring. As he sleepily got up and got dressed, ready for another dull day of school, he was slightly invigorated that he could actually take his time and have some breakfast with his family and the girl that gave him meaning in his life, the one who had almost single-handedly persuaded him to give up the thrills of being master thief Red X, Terra. This was due to the fact that it was Sanza's senior year, and his mother Maria had finally succumbed to his begging and had allowed him to purchase a car, seeing as how he could use his car to drive Terra to school with him as well.
Then right on cue, after Sanza had brushed his teeth and went down the stairs, tempted by the aroma of his mom's breakfast, he greeted Terra. She was sporting her normal Titans outfit, a tight black t-shirt and baggy, khaki cargo shorts. Terra was sitting at the kitchen table conversing with Maddy who today seemed surprisingly energetic at this time of day, rambling on about some random girly topic as the smiling Terra looked up and waved happily to Sanza. She was positively beaming with happiness. As she finished off her conversation with Sanza's vibrant and gossipy sister Maddy, she pushed off from the table and walked over to greet Sanza.
"I still think Raven's cloak would look cooler in black, Maddy," Terra replied to her companion's comment, as she walked over to give Sanza a 'special good morning'.
"No way! It would look way cooler in purple!" Sanza's dark-haired sister squealed in protest as their amusing debate over the interesting fashion choices of the Teen Titan gals came to an end.
Sanza, who still had interesting memories of the time he had been stuck in Raven's head due to a mystical magic mirror which he had been forced to get, recalled the lustful Purple Raven, bringing back amusing memories. However, mercifully, Terra's greeting promptly knocked him out of his stupor.
"Morning, Sanza!" Terra smiled as she leaned forever and gave Sanza a quick kiss on the lips, which he eagerly accepted and returned. This was certainly a welcome start to the day. Terra was hot and soft to the touch, her long blonde hair smelled of shampoo and her breath like minty toothpaste. Sanza certainly wouldn't consider himself a romantic, but it was things like this that really made him actually consider becoming one, Sanza wondered how he could possibly explain, possibly describe the comforting warmth he felt when he was with her, the amazing buzz he got when he kissed her and the impossible-to-describe warm fuzzy feeling he got when he was simply in the presence of her. The reassuring fact was that simply being in the same room with her undoubtedly brightened up his whole day, and today seemed to be no exception.
"This is what
it's like to be in love." Sanza thought, trying to phrase it
"With the finest girl in the world..."
"Eww, get a room guys!" Maddy exclaimed, making a disgusted face as she interrupted Sanza and Terra's near-daily romantic interlude, though Sanza and Terra both knew she was just joking around.
Sanza promptly then unwound herself from Terra and laughed, "If it wasn't so early we might…"
This garnered an amusing response from Terra as she giggled at his incredulous idea, playfully punching him on the shoulder and telling him not to tease his little sister.
"C'mon Sanza, your mom is preparing breakfast, let's help her set the table," Terra said as she gestured Sanza to follow her.
As Sanza said "good morning" to his mom, who was preparing pancakes, the perfect delicious warm food to stave off the cold during these chilly times, he heard her nag him to take a jacket because the weather forecast said it would be very cold tonight… perhaps even some snow. Sanza just nodded his head as he looked out the window. It certainly didn't look like a very chilly day, but he decided that perhaps his mom did know best and he removed an adequate amount of silverware from the drawer and gave it to Terra to set the table.
As Sanza walked up the stairs to his closet to pick up his jacket, he could hear Terra and Maddy resume their conversation, though Sanza couldn't help but be amazed how they could have such a great interest in something like fashion. Sanza had always thought that if it was comfortable and functional that would be good enough without a ton of frilly things and the like. This was a comment which he happily let the two fashionable females know about, which spurred his dear sister Maddy to ridicule him for leaving Terra to set the table,
"I thought you were meant to be a gentleman, Sanza!"
Despite his little sister's annoying remark, Sanza couldn't help but feel so happy, that this was his life on a daily basis; he sometimes truly did struggle to think how it could be any better. He loved his family very much, while his sister could be annoying and pestering at times, Sanza knew that his sister really adored and admired him and he was so grateful for that support, because despite whatever he did, even if he felt he had done the wrong thing, she would always be willing to be his moral pillar and someone who would always support him.
As Sanza chuckled to himself as he walked over to his closet and picked out a jacket to wear over his sweater, but while he was there he couldn't help but gaze momentarily in the mirror.
"Vanity always was a tough sin to avoid…" Sanza thought. He couldn't help but admire how much more toned and streamlined he felt his body had gotten ever since that gruesome 12-day straight training session he had done with the sadly recently-deceased True Master Chu-Hui. Sanza still went to church and did all the things a good Catholic was meant to do, like going to a confessional every week and the like. But he still felt he wasn't all he could be. After all Sanza still wasn't that good of a Catholic; he had thought that he had probably broken all ten of the famous Ten Commandments one time or another. But he still did his best to try to do what the big guy upstairs thought was right and despite the fact that Sanza had violated the vows and commandments on numerous occasions, Sanza really actually hoped that he could just 'allow the light of God to flow inside of him and no longer feel the urge to sin'.
However, it was never as easily said as done.
Though recently Sanza had really turned into quite the Samaritan, he had saved the city with the Titans, essentially renounced his life of thievery and was only donning his Red X suit when there was a clear purpose to it, not just having trivial fun and embracing the thrill he got from stealing rare and priceless technology, dodging complex security entanglements, even fighting the Titans. Nowadays, the Titans and Sanza were on considerably good terms, as Terra and Sanza both went off to train with the Titans every now and then to continue to hone their skills should the need arise. The couple were certainly willing to aid the Titans in combat against the city's many villains. Red X had really turned into quite the hero.
what I've done, I think I'm almost entitled to a bit of vanity…"
As Sanza and Terra both arrived in their familiar high school in Sanza's flashy new ride, they were greeted by another couple, the couple of Steve and Cleo, as Cleo steered her car into the available space right next to the space where Sanza had parked his car. While the passengers of both vehicles alighted, Sanza couldn't but hope that Cleo wasn't still angry at the 'little incident' that had happened so long ago. That little incident was the traumatic event that had perhaps changed Cleo forever, it was the tragedy that drove her away from Sanza, despite the fact that he had saved her. That little incident was when the rich, sadistic, perverted Lonnie Jarvin had come into the room in which Cleo had been imprisoned and had stolen Cleo's innocence... had raped her repeatedly.
Lonnie Jarvin and his cruel father, Nicholas Jarvin were a pair of wealthy businessmen who had been involved in a evil plot to level and wreck the city for greedy financial gain, hoping to profit from all the money they could make from the restorations. Sanza knew that after that night, Cleo's feeling had certainly gone sour. She had blamed him for everything that had happened to her in the hands of the heartless Lonnie Jarvin and despite the fact that Red X had knocked nine bells out of him, it didn't change anything. Cleo's abduction was Sanza's fault, as the Jarvins had only taken Cleo to ensure Sanza, namely Red X, wouldn't stop them. The were essentially holding her hostage to keep her then-boyfriend Sanza, aka Red X, from aiding the Titans in thwarting their plans. However, thanks to some decisive action from the Titans and Red X, the Jarvins had been stopped, the city had been saved, and Cleo had been freed. But that didn't change what had happened to Cleo. Even the fact that both of the insidious Jarvins that had participated in the plot were gone, missing and presumed dead, it still just didn't change anything for Cleo. It failed to put her at peace.
But it seemed that time truly did heal all wounds. Cleo was happy again. Over time, she had managed to forget about most of the horrors that had happened to her in the hands of Lonnie Jarvin and had almost completely recovered, both emotionally and physically. And she seemed to be like just as she was when she and Sanza had been in love with each other… the fun amiable redhead. Sanza wondered if they could be friends again. Cleo had said she had finally forgiven Sanza but she still hadn't talked to him much these days, opting to spend more of her time engaged with school work and her boyfriend, Steve.
As Sanza exited form his car, he made eye contact with his ex. Cleo didn't look upset and she certainly wasn't simply avoiding him like she used to do. It was a good sign; perhaps she truly had forgiven him and no longer blamed and resented him for what had happened, Sanza still help fond memories of what it was like when he was with Cleo, he and the sweet redhead had a real good thing going long ago. "Perhaps I can rekindle an old flame…"
But Sanza quickly pushed the thought away from his mind, knowing that coveting and cheating were both sins. Sanza wanted to avoid intentionally sinning, he sinned plenty of times when he wasn't even aware about than he was! And he was with Terra now! As Sanza tried to focus his mind on what was happening right now, Cleo's cheerful voiced snapped him out of his trance.
Sanza craned his neck and smiled as he looked over at Cleo who had just exited her car and was slamming the door shut. He gave her a 'good friend'-smile to make sure Terra didn't think anything of it. Sanza was truly quite grateful when Terra responded with a similar greeting to Cleo and Steve. As they all walked off from the parking area, and just chatted as a group, Sanza couldn't help but be slightly relieved, he'd assumed that there might be some friction between Terra and Cleo, considering Cleo was Sanza's ex after all. Sanza and Steve both lagged behind as the girls happily nattered on about the kind of thing girls talk about.
Steve was a friend of Sanza's who was in many of his classes, he was also a Christian, though a different denomination from Sanza. He and Sanza began conversing, his short blonde hair gleaming in the morning sun as they walked behind the girls. After they chatted and gossiped for a while, Sanza noted how Steve seemed to be positively beaming with confidence and happiness. Sanza didn't remember his blonde friend being this outspoken before, Steve had previously been more the strong-but-silent type but these days he seemed so much… cockier? No, that wasn't the word for it… maybe 'candid' or 'daring' was more appropriate but still Sanza couldn't quite put his finger on it…
Sanza had a theory about his Christian friend's transformation, he figured having Cleo in his life, having someone who cared about him and supported him, having a girl as great as her had really changed him, and it looked like it was for the better.
"She changed me
too… and for the better I hope, you treat her well Stevie boy, or
A familiar and very interesting topic promptly came up, interrupting Sanza's train of thought.
"Wow, man, I heard about you being Red X," Steve remarked casually.
Sanza couldn't actually tell if Steve was criticizing him, sure Red X was a renowned, infamous, practically super powered thief but we was also a hero who had saved the city, Sanza wasn't sure which aspect of Red X Steve was referring to. But seeing as how Steve was a Christian as well, he could be slamming Sanza for not following the most basic of God's rules, the Ten Commandments… most notably 'thou shall not steal'! But Sanza couldn't really tell from Steve's tone... so he opted for the safe route.
"Yup, that's me," nodded Sanza, looking for a response.
"Woah! I can't believe you did all that stuff like saving the city, that's so exciting!" Steve said as he ran his hand through his hair, almost a bit envious of the fact Sanza basically had superpowers and had done all this adventurous stuff.
"Actually, I did almost get killed quite a few times, so it isn't actual as fantastical as you make it sound."
"But being a superhero has got to have some serious perks right?" Steve asked curiously.
"Actually… it was kinda more profitable when I was a thief. Though being a hero does certainly grant you a few perks…" said Sanza, as his eyes went to the skinny frame of the blonde girl who had been his ultimate treasure, perhaps the greatest reward of 'playing the hero'… winning Terra's heart.
Steve noticed the glazed over look in Sanza's eyes as he looked over at the blonde in front of them and he worked out exactly what he was thinking about.
"Congrats on getting the girl dude, I mean slammin' a Titan! That's just classy." Steve grinned mischievously, teasing Sanza as he nudged him gently, taking care to turn the volume down so that the girls ahead of them wouldn't be able to hear them.
Sanza returned the grin, not just because he knew exactly what Steve had in mind but also because he was amazed as his friend's conversion, the Steve of yesteryear would never have dared say something like that, especially nowhere near the vicinity of the females in question as well.
"So what's it like with Cleo? She doing better?" Sanza asked quizzically, still concerned for Cleo, they had been good friends after all.
"Well she was miserable for a bit, after you and her, y'know… breakup. But eventually after those crazy bots tore up the school, she y'know, opened up to me. And then we have the present." Steve stated, smirking as he gave Sanza a knowing grin. Communicating exactly what he meant by 'opened up to me'. As Sanza grinned back, he couldn't help but feel a bit conflicted, in a way he was glad that his friend Steve had scored, but he couldn't help but feel a tiny bit jealous, he had really liked Cleo after all…
After this interesting conversation with Steve, they had finally arrived at the entrance to Sanza's high school and the two groups had both parted ways, both pairs giving respective good byes. Cleo and Terra were looking to ask Marcy about some slumber party and Steve and Sanza were finishing up their chat about the baseball exploits of Jump City's home team, the Jump City Zeppelins. As Steve and Cleo went off to their lessons and Terra and Sanza went to off to continue with off to their classes, it was normal life as usual for all. A normal life... normal friends, normal problems... that was the best part of the return to normality for Sanza.
After a considerably typical day of school, hearing his teacher drone on about theorems and other stuff he couldn't give a damn about, Sanza was still coping with his onset of fame, or perhaps even infamy, as several of his teachers and other students were certainly treating him differently. For example… his physics teacher, who had been a vocal protestor of how 'Red X was a heartless and crazed thief' for quite a while, sent him to detention for a non-existent act that had somehow offended him. This act didn't really come as any surprise to Sanza, who got in enough trouble at school anyway, but it was perhaps a first to be sent to the dean for something he hadn't even done. Thankfully, Sanza had managed to weasel out of it. The last thing he wanted was to spend a day with the demonic detention supervisor, Mr. Backlund.
And his mathematics lesson had certainly been amusing to say the least. Math class was usually pretty dull, but Terra was in his class and sat next to him, which certainly made it much more tolerable than usual. She smiled at him, playing the attentive student but giggling and conversing with Sanza when the teacher's back was turned. Sanza looked over at Mrs. Perlitz, the young Math teacher who Sanza had previously, in a moment of weakness, foolishly asked for advice regarding how he could get Terra to be his girlfriend. Needless to say the advice to buy her flowers had been pretty useless, but seeing as how Mrs. Perlitz's eyes seemed to almost admire the practical aura that the couple gave off, Sanza just felt that she had realized he had succeeded. Mrs. Perlitz did, and was noting the subtle details that made up her theory as she observed the class while she taught. It was subtle, but there was something about the way the pair's eyes meet and the way the tone of their voices slightly changed when they addressed each other. That much was undeniable.
Today, Mrs. Perlitz seemed to be especially acute about in her observation skills. And when she had gathered enough to prove her suspicions, she summoned Sanza outside. The Hispanic teen, who had been chatting with his friends when the stern-looking teacher called for him, was actually a bit worried he might have gotten in trouble… but as soon as he was outside and saw the stern scowl on his young-looking teacher's face disappear, he knew it had been a false alarm. The teacher just gave Sanza a smile, a smile that communicated how happy she was that her student had succeeded on his mission, even if she hadn't been able to help at all.
"Congratulations, Sanza… Terra likes you. Am I correct?"
"Yes you are, Mrs. P. Thanks," Sanza replied with a light laugh and a near-identical ear-to-ear grin on his face. He was quite tempted to divulge some details about exactly how much Terra liked him, but Sanza knew that gossip spread like wildfire around here so he felt it was best to just keep quiet.
Then his teacher asked a question Sanza would rather not answer. "Did my advice help?"
Sanza just grinned back, as he slowly trod back to the Math classroom, taking care to do his best to remove the smirk from his face as he heard the click-clack sound of his teacher's stiletto heels as she followed him in the corridor still lightly chuckling. Both pupil and teacher both arrived back in the classrooms, doing their best to look as stony-faced and impassive as possible, but their eyes betrayed their true feelings. Sanza walked back to his seat and sat down while Mrs. Perlitz barked out orders for the class.
Terra leaned over and mumbled out of the corner of her mouth, "What happened? Did you get in trouble?"
Sanza just smiled
at her, smiling at how Mrs. Perlitz had said she could practically
see the chemistry between them in the air, smiling because she cared
enough to ask and just smiling because of the sheer bubbly happiness
he was feeling, it was an irrational feeling but that didn't mean
it wasn't enjoyable. He shifted his body slightly, preparing his
He leaned over, parted the hair around Terra's ear so he could whisper in her ear and recapped what had happened in the corridor with Mrs. Perlitz. Looking at Terra's wonderful giggling face, Sanza couldn't help but lightly chuckle back at the funnier parts of the story.
The Math teacher in question, who was currently trying to get her class to pay attention so they could learn trigonometry, noticed Sanza and Terra giggling in the back, but to give her credit she at least gave them a few more moments to let Sanza finish up his amusing little tale before telling him off.
"Please pay attention in my class, Mr. Salazar!"
Sanza nodded happily as he shifted his body so he was facing his teacher and the whiteboard. As he let Mrs. Perlitz's mathematical lecture wash over him, he felt Terra's hand gently grasp his from under the desk. Sanza couldn't turn to look at her without looking like he was slacking off again, but he could just tell she bore the same identical dopey smile on her face.
He could just sense it.
Sanza and Terra sat on the school steps as they watched the hectic school buses fly out of the parking lot. Life seemed to be too fast, there were times you really needed time to just stop and smell the roses.
So that's exactly what Sanza opted to do, though perhaps his metaphorical rose was the tranquil flower that was his beloved girlfriend Terra as they just set and let minutes flow past them. What they were doing wasn't so important as they both walked off from the steps to the nearby garden. The important thing was they were doing things together and Sanza was happy to just spend his time talking and being with his girl.
Terra was griping about how horrid her afternoon classes (which Sanza weren't in) just happened to be.
"Phys ed is so bad! Our usual teacher wasn't there so we got a sub and we were so unlucky!"
"Your substitute teacher can't have been that bad," laughed Sanza, amused by Terra's exaggerated rant.
"It was Mr. Backlund!"
"Good ol' Mr. Asslund, how was he? Did he send the whole class into detention?" Sanza laughed cheerily.
"Nearly. But that would have been good! He made the whole class do punishment laps because these boys made fun of him!"
Sanza was practically rolling on the floor laughing at this point, but he stood up and asked her teasingly, "But you're a Titan! I thought you could take rigorous training."
"Well technically I am, but-"
Sanza interrupted her midsentence by smoothly going around behind the pacing Terra and wrapping his arms around her. He then allowed his fingers to gently squeeze and massage around her ribcage, causing Terra to let out a series of adorable squeaks as Sanza counted her ribs. Her giggling intensified, until she complete forgot to finish her sentence. Sanza continued roaming his fingers up along her sensitive ribcage, gently squeezing and tickling along her abdomen before he stopped to give her a brief breather.
She was wriggling about a little, to try to avoid the teasing tickles… but is wasn't like she really wanted to escape, she wasn't thrashing about or anything. Terra was just playing along, which indicated to Sanza that maybe she was enjoying this just as much as he was… maybe even more based on the way she was giggling, though that could have just been due to ticklish ribs.
"I thought you Titans practically all had six-packs, I'm sure you have some endurance," said Sanza jokingly as he stroked his fingers along Terra's ribcage again.
"Hehee… not all of us, Sanza!" came Terra's giggled reply as she squirmed gently, trying to playfully avoid Sanza's teasing fingers. She eventually gave up and tried to tickle him back.
"Let's see your six-pack then, Sanza!"
After a bit more of this foreplay, Terra spun loose and turned around, so that she was facing Sanza. They were both a little giggly (or in Terra's case very giggly), and both of them, without saying a word, just embraced each other. Perhaps it was moments like this that they both lived for. The couple exchanged a quick peck on the lips before murmuring softly...
"I'll see you later, okay?" Terra whispered.
And with that they were both off on their separate roles. As enjoyable as it was as a couple, they both had tasks they could only accomplish on their own.
Sanza had homework. Terra had a sleepover.
Life can't all be that exciting, sometimes it was just… ordinary.
And that really wasn't a bad thing.
This is mostly a recapping chapter just reminding you lot what has happened, and all that has changed, enjoy the recap!
Next up: Chapter II- Slumbering Affairs