Chapter 8: Co-Conspirators Conforming to Counter Corruption / Cohorts Coalescing to Cease Corruption

or One Down, Two to "Go!": Part II

"I wish there was another way I could help…" Brave mumbled through the pillow that was now cradling her face in warmth from her own breath.

Slowly, she sat up again on the bed, her eyes bearing down on the door leading out to the hall. An urgent thought crossed her mind and she instantly appointed herself a new, top priority.

'If Raven wakes up before they finish healing her…' She jumped up from the bed in alarm, and swiftly made her way for the door. '…she's going to be in a lot of pain.'

As she reached the door, she leaned an ear against it and listened for anyone in the hallway, before quietly sliding it open. As she stepped out into the hallway, she quickly looked around, trying to orient herself, and focused.

Her feet gently levitated off the ground and she floated on down the hall so as not to make footsteps, and headed in the direction she thought was right. After all, seeing places through Raven's eyes was completely different than experiencing them firsthand. Luckily, most of the doors were labeled, and she soon found the one labeled 'STAIRS'. She quietly made her way down one level, and opened the door; immediately knowing she was in the right place. The hall took on the smell of disinfectants and sterile instruments, and as she walked down it and opened the door to the Medical Bay of the tower, it only became stronger. This was the only level that never had a mess in it, and even she knew each of the Titans made sure it stayed that way.

Brave hurriedly looked around the room, vaguely remembering cabinets and drawers full of pills, but nothing had ever been really explained to Raven. Cyborg took care of everything and Raven almost never needed healing. Any time she had been in here, she was either a spectator or in a trance.

"Meds, meds, meds… where are the painkillers?" She muttered under her breath as she began searching through all the possible places that could hold some sort of medication.

"Blankets…. Gowns… Cotton balls… " She carried her search from the cabinets and drawers down below to those up above.

"Aha!" She opened a cabinet full of pills, bottles, and syringes.

Running a finger along the labels on the bottles filling the cabinet, she started to read them off.

"Icy.. pro- whatever the hell, Io-dine… Glu-tar-al-dehyde… why aren't these in English?" She aggravatingly spat.

Just then, a poster on the wall grabbed her attention. On it, was a layout of the cabinets, apparently displaying different colors for different types of drugs. Brave gave it a once over and immediately moved to a cabinet marked red for painkillers on the layout sheet.

"Figures." She mumbled. "With someone like Beast Boy around, there's gotta be instructions laying around that even a monkey can understand."

She opened the cabinet before her, and started taking one of each bottle, and placing them in her hood.

'I hope Knowledge knows how much she'll need and what all these do.' She told herself as the hood slowly started to fill up, pulling her cloak back. With a few extra bottles in her hand, she quickly grabbed a handful of syringes just in case, and headed for the door.


"Huh." Beast Boy huffed as he held a hand up to his chin, thinking. "So… You have an evil twin, who does evil, and you're a good guy who does good. Your evil twin gets in trouble with the bad guys and then purposely fights us—the good guys—in hopes that he'll be captured so he can be protected from the bad guys, or turn good, and defeat the evil that he was a part of in the first place that is simultaneously after us, and then probably go back to doing evil again?" He looked up at Robin who had crossed his arms after he had finished explaining the deal with Red X and the Blue Flame. "If my head ever stops spinning, I think I'd say your alter ego is either really stupid or has lost his marbles."

"Yeah man, why should we help him, even if it helps us?" Cyborg cut in.

"Because." Robin turned around to look out the window. "Believe it or not, I do sort of trust him. He's saved me more than once… If he's even half right about this new… army or whatever it is in Jump that's coming for us, we could use all the help we can get."

"So you're just going to let him go? Man, what are you on? How do you know he's not going to just come up and backstab us from behind lik-…" Even Bumblebee caught the tension that suffocated the room before Cy caught himself. She was curious as to why, but immediately knew it was something no one wanted to talk about.

"Perhaps… this Red X deserves a second chance." Starfire decided to break the tension still lingering in the air. "Though it is true he attacked us to steal the suit, he has never confronted us, or been a major threat. We never gave him a chance and the only reason he fought today was because we attacked him."

"I guess Star's right." BB scratched his head, still trying to comprehend all that was happening. "He did sorta help save our butts with Dr. Chang and that stupid race for Robin's 'prized' possession." Everyone but Robin and Bumblebee rolled their eyes at the mention of the briefcase. "And he totally could have had us if he wanted today, but he didn't."

"Uh… aren't you forgetting something?" Bumblebee leaned over to stare at him. "I saved your butts. He would have had you if I wasn't here."

"Oh yeah? Well…" The changeling was at a loss for a comeback. She had saved their butts. "That's still two for three, so I'm still with Star."

"Dudes, I don't care what you think." Cy added in. "Why don't we just throw his butt in jail, keep the belt, lock it away—safer this time—and call it a day? Heck, if you really want to risk it an' all and be his friend, I suppose we could keep him here, but I ain't trustin' some vigilante that just managed to take us all down-"

"Ahem"

"-all but Bee here, down, and givin' him back that belt of his!"

"Bumblebee," Robin turned back to look at his teammates. "I think it goes without saying that I'd like you to stay here to help out."

"Like she was really going to leave anyway..." Beast Boy muttered under his breath.

Bumblebee reached across Cyborg's lap and slapped Beast Boy in the gut at the comment.

"Certainly." She happily replied to Robin. "Should I call my team as well?"

"Not yet. Let them keep tabs on Steel City for now. We don't quite know how much trouble, if any we're in for right now."

"So are we to do the recruiting of the Red X or not?" Starfire piped up, still curious over the decision; although it was addressed more to the others than it was to Robin.

"We are not recruiting him." Robin spat. "We would accept him as an ally for the time being—until this is over—and then turn him in." Robin gritted through his teeth. "He's still a criminal."

Beast Boy couldn't help but snicker at Robin's accusations.

"So what? The guy probably just steals candy bars or something in his spare time. He just wanted to look cool doing it with some fancy 'powers' and a mask."

Cyborg turned to and loomed over the green boy sitting at his side.

"Aaannd he got involved with some major villain by stealing a Crunch bar for him, right?" He questioned the changeling sarcastically.

"More like… a Klondike Bar!" Beast Boy fell to his side laughing and Cyborg fought to stifle a laugh. "Haha you know? What would you do-ooh-oo-…ahahahaha!"

"Grow up Beast Boy!" Robin yelled, his voice full of anger. "You know… I'm beginning to think that perhaps Red X would be a better Titan than you!" Everyone on the couch froze. "Hell, he may not follow my orders—though neither do you sometimes—but at least he'd listen instead of making-"

"Woah, woah, woah." Bumblebee jumped up from her seat to stop the Boy Wonder from encroaching on Beast Boy any more. "Chill, Robin. That's not going to hel-"

"I know it isn't. It never does." He angrily muttered.

Beast Boy had stopped his laughing, and straightened in his seat, now hanging his head in shame.

"So… I guess we're helping him out. Aren't we..." He bashfully tried to change the subject.

Robin took a deep breath.

"It's really up to you guys I guess. If you can't trust working with him… we can always leave him in the interrogation room until this is over."

"I guess we take a vote?" Bumblebee interpreted. "Majority rules."

"I'm still not exactly sure what 'this' is, but I guess I'm in." The changeling muttered.

"I too, am the 'in' for fighting with Red X" Starfire responded, averting her eyes from Robin.

"Well Bee, what's it gonna be?" Cyborg stared down his girlfriend. "You already know my opinion, and the closest vote is only going to be a tie if you and Raven decide to be on my side."

Bumblebee raised her eyebrow at the challenge, and placed her hand on her hip.

"From what it sounds like, your 'villain' is just misinformed. He could have been wreaking havoc all over Jump with that suit, but yet, he hasn't. Clearly, he has some sense of control and if he's saved your butt at least once, and your own leader thinks it's a good idea to team up with him, then I think you'd just be creating excuses to argue over and being that typical stubborn boy I fell in love with not to allow it."

"Ah-hemm…" Starfire cleared her throat at the word love, making sure that everyone in the room took notice of it.

"What?" The yellow and black teen asked.

"It's nothing." Robin grudgingly answered on Starfire's behalf. "So, are one of you in? Or should I go wake Raven?"

"I really don't have much of a choice." Cy muttered. "I'm in, but that doesn't mean I like it."

"Good, cuz I'm in too." Bee added.

"Shall we go inform him of our decision?" Starfire asked.

"I suppose we should." Robin sighed. "I still have a few questions to ask him, and I'm sure most of the answers are what you'd like to hear as well."

"Well… might as well get this over with." Cy grumbled and stood up.

Star and Beast Boy followed suit, and all of them trailed behind Robin as he made his way for the doors.

Beast Boy let out a small laugh.

"I sure hope Raven doesn't mind us making decisions behind her back." He smirked. "'Cuz if she does…"


"We're so screwed." Rude worriedly stated to the rest of the emotions now milling about Brave's common room.

"I wouldn't worry too much; it sounds like miss smarty pants knew something she could do to help Raven." Lust crossed her arms, and leaned on one leg. "I just don't understand why she let that black runt stay in there when she forced the rest of us out."

"Why all the hostility?" Love asked. "You don't even know her yet."

"Because." Lust growled. "If the lump on my forehead isn't going to be enough for you, she almost jumped Red Riding Hood over there, and woke her up on me." She nodded in the direction of Rage who was still out cold behind her.

"Well, why is she running around on her own?" Friendship added in, finally settling to the floor. "Shouldn't someone be looking after her and that other new one?"

The lilac emotion quickly decided that standing wasn't as good an idea as she originally thought, and slowly made her way to the green high backed chair in the room. Lust watched her as she headed towards it, and noticed the limp she carried.

"I think that's what Timid or Sadness are supposed to be doing…" She dazedly replied before arriving to her question at hand. "What happened to you?"

"Ha! You mean you didn't see it?" Rude replied. "She totally got owned by Rage."

"Just like someone else we know?" Happy attempted to lighten the mood, but it was hard. Things seemed to keep piling up instead of thinning out as she hoped.

"I doubt her 'ownage' was as humiliating as yours though." Love added on to Happy's retort.

"You know what? Fine. If you all feel like ganging up on me, I'm going to my room." Rude grunted. "I had no part in what happened, and I think I've more than filled my quota for helping. Since no one else seems to want to help, and no one wants to listen to me, I don't see any point in sticking around." She headed for the door and no one made a move to stop her. "I sure as hell don't want to be here when Raven calms down enough to start going ballistic on your asses over everything that's going on." The orange emotion paused at the archway to glance back at the others. "Just let me know if I need to sweep up any dropped heads." With that, she vanished into the portal before her.

Lust blinked once after the orange emotion's little rant ended, before turning back to the lilac one sitting in the chair before her.

"So why don't you just heal your leg?"

"Because." Friendship spat out as she massaged the leg. "I can deal with it. I'm not about to just waste my energy when Raven's sitting in the other room needing all the help she can get."

Happy plopped down in a green bean bag chair and let out a sigh, trying to think over all that was going down, and find something good in it.

"That's very noble of you, dear," Love took a look at the injured leg. "But-"

"I said I can handle it." Friendship practically growled at her sister, making the purple emotion visibly recoil at her words.

"You do know that the battle scar thing only works for guys, right?" Lust teased, and was instantly rewarded with a sinister glare.

"Why is it that despite the very fact that Raven—the only reason you even exist—is in great pain in suffering not feet away, you still manage to pretend like nothing's wrong?!"

Lust's eyes opened wide at the aberrant animosity teeming from her sister.

"But Knowledge is working on it right no-" Love tried to calm the infuriated lilac emotion down.

"So?" Friendship cut her off. "It doesn't matter. She still should've been in there with us, helping instead of just relaxing out here because she doesn't feel like she gets enough 'love' from Raven." She cringed as she stood up again, letting her anger override the pain in doing so to make her point. She shifted her weight and grabbed the back of the chair, steadying herself into a more comfortable position.

"Is it just me, or am I the only one who is actually grateful for her? I mean, Brave runs off, Sad goes and hides, Knowledge decides to run errands instead, Rude's only half-assing her way because she doesn't want to get yelled at for not doing anything, and Timid… has a valid excuse I guess, but still." She took a deep breath and narrowed her eyes on Lust. "No sister of mine would be so-…" She stumbled over her own anger to find the right word "…cold hearted not to jump at the chance to help someone as close to them as Raven."

At this, Lust's countenance darkened emphatically and she took a step forward that dared the lilac cloaked emotion to continue.

Happy sighed out heavily.

'Here we go again…' She moaned inwardly. Not even a minute alone, and they were already fighting…again.

"Well maybe you haven't noticed, but she doesn't exactly get along with m-"

"She was out cold! What would it have matter-?"

"Well, I was out here keeping an eye on Rage! Someone had to! I figured-"

"A blind monkey could do that job! You could've let Timid or Sad or even one of those new simpleto-"

"Like they'd be able to handle her!"

"And you could? When's the last time you put that gutter of a book down and actually practiced fighting with your powers?"

"A while. But, I don't see the point when we're stuck in here all the time. Ms. Vicious isn't that tough."

"You probably wouldn't stand a chance against her even with her hands tied behind her back!"

"Wanna bet? With some basic defenses, she'd wear out as fast as your-"

"Don't even-"

"Are you two done?" Love aggravatingly let out. If there was something more repulsive than two emotions that were supposed to be filled with love arguing with each other, she couldn't come to think of it.

"Oh, it's been done for a looong time. Little miss 'Robby-wobby lover' here just won't put aside the fact that there are more prudent efforts that take precedence over her obsession with finding every last ounce of energy to get something she wants accomplished before thinking things through."

"You call fantasizing about BB twenty four seven an effort?"

"It would be for you, since you don't actually-"

"Sorry to interrupt the love squad and all, but YOU'RE GIVING ME A HEADACHE!" Happy finally yelled, clearly losing the character of her name with every passing second.

Love rolled her eyes at the pink emotion.

"Great. More yelling. That'll certainly help." She muttered sarcastically before turning her head to the other two stubborn emotions who were now caught in a sardonic stare down. "She's right though, you're giving me one too."

Friendship quickly broke her stare to furrow her brow and rub her temples.

"Me too." She moaned.

Suddenly, everyone snapped their gaze to Rage as she started mumbling in her sleep.

"Hate… Cold. Must burn… Flames…"

"Apparently it's everybody." Lust said as she rubbed the cold spot on her forehead like the rest. "What the heck is…"

A deep chill quickly came over all of them, causing Happy to start chattering her teeth, and Friendship to shiver, crumbling to her feet so she could use her supporting hand to try and rub the cold out.

Rage abruptly awoke, rolling off her makeshift bed, and onto the floor with her hands still tied behind her back.

"WHAT MALIGNING FOOL-… WHAT'S THIS ALGIDITY?"

"Knowledge!..." Love worriedly cried out, running for the door. A shivering Lust hesitatingly followed shortly after, realizing Rage was more confused by the current situation than she was angry at them for tying her up.

---------------

The bright yellow cloak that hung beside Brave's bed was violently shaking in response to the two girls beneath it.

Knowledge found herself desperately trying to break her hands free from the spell's grasp. Once she noticed the horrible mistake she had made, she found it to be too late. The spell quite literally was doing what it was meant to, which would have been fine, had Knowledge not been the one to actually cast it.

The translation of the spell roughed out to freezing the mind in order to put one to sleep, but the one slight detail she hadn't thought of, was that Nevermore was part of Raven's mind. In essence, everything within was now in the process of being frozen and she couldn't do anything to stop it.

As the caster in particular, her body was freezing twice as fast—due to not only the effect of the spell—but the chill that usually accompanies the caster themselves. She could already feel the numbness in her extremities, and her body was becoming stiffer than even the spell itself typically enforced. In an effort to save herself –and Nevermore for that matter- she tried kicking Fear from her leg and yelling out to her, but the black lump hanging on to her leg was being stubborn. With her hands over her ears, and her eyes shut tight, Fear wasn't taking a hint of anything, and with Knowledge's hands stuck in one position, the situation was turning grim. Sheets of ice began forming in the pit of the yellow emotion's stomach, both from guilt and fear as she helplessly watched the spell unwillingly pull the power from within her and penetrate Raven's mind to create this frozen hell.

Love finally managed to stumble into the room, and immediately took notice of the dramatic drop in temperature accompanying it.

"Kn-nun-nun-owl-le-ledge?" She chattered as she cautiously walked toward the emotion, rubbing her arms beneath her tightly wrapped cloak to keep warm.

Knowledge tried to cry out, but soon found that in the short time since she had given up yelling at Fear, her vocal chords had frozen up. That, or her fear had completely rendered her devoid of any body functions besides breathing.

"Ohhh shit." Lust tepidly renounced as she entered the frigid room. At the sight of the unresponsive emotion before them, thoughts of the first fight she witnessed Raven in came pouring back to her. It was no doubt dark magic, and Knowledge had no control.

"Knowl-?" Love rested a hand on the yellow emotion's shoulder, and instantly withdrew it, when she found it to be ice cold.

"Take her down!" Lust yelled, and ran towards the two, remembering how Beast Boy had stopped Raven before.

"Wha-?" Love watched as Lust lunged at Knowledge's midsection, and tackled her to the ground, revealing a shivering Fear in their wake.

The force of the impact was enough to disrupt the spell, and the ice that had slowly started trickling down their spines began retreating, leaving a frigid trail in its path.

"Was-s that r-really necess-ssary?" Love looked down at the two emotions now lying on the floor.

Realizing the yellow cloak had left her, Fear opened her eyes and looked up to find the two other girls in the room, and took her hands away from her ears. As she continued to shiver, she looked over at the evil maroon one, now realizing she had done something to her friend.

"W-wh-what's g-going on?" She asked tepidly.

Lust got up to a knee, and looked the girl right in the eyes.

"Not now, kid. Look, I know we got off on the wrong foot, but Knowledge needs help now. It seems we all do, so just bear with me…" She looked up to Love, and gave her a nod. "Love, I need you to get the others to round up a bunch of blankets, and get yourselves warmed up slowly."

The violet emotion nodded, and took a step before hesitating to take another.

"What about Raven?"

The velvet-clad emotion stood up, and pulled the covers over the somber girl lying on the bed.

"Whatever Knowledge did has her knocked out pretty good right now. Let's just hope it stays that way for a while."

Love simply nodded and swiftly left the room, leaving Lust and Fear to deal with the motionless yellow popsicle that used to be Knowledge.

"As for you, my dear…" Lust gently rested a hand on the black emotion's shoulder, "I presume your name is- Fear?"

"Y-yes."

"Well, before you go running off again to Azar-knows-where, I want you to know that I–the name's Lust by the way—would never hurt anyone unless they gave me just cause."

Seeing the girl still gazing up at her with an unnerved look in her eye, Lust tried to explain.

"You've come at a very… complex time, and a lot of what's going on doesn't even make sense to me; I can only imagine what it's like for you."

Fear continued to shiver as she started to timidly play with the tattered hems of her cloak.

"That girl in red you tried to wake up earlier is Rage. The reason I didn't want you near her is because she's the reason why Raven here," She patted the bed top "—the one you're an image of, and the reason why you're here—is in a great deal of pain."

The girl in black worriedly looked up from Raven to meet Lust's eyes.

"Will she be alright?"

"We hope so. Your friend Knowledge here was trying to put her back to sleep or ease the pain or something of the sort after she woke up in agony. It seems like it worked, but it added a few… side effects; which is where you come in."

"H-how so?"

"I assume you don't know how to use your powers yet, and I suppose I shouldn't be wasting mine, so if you're up for it, we're going to carry your friend to the other room to thaw her out, and introduce you to… well… mostly everyone."

Fear shifted uneasily as she looked down at the now-quiescent Knowledge.

"I promise I won't let them bother you."

"What about Raven? Shouldn't-"

"We'll get someone else to stay and watch her." Lust answered her question, "So are you going to help, or not?"

Fear stood still for a moment before gently nodding her head and pulling her hood up to cover her face. Taking a few steps towards Knowledge's legs, she looked up at Lust long enough for the girl to notice how the jagged edges of her hood created a unique shadow across her face.

"S-sorry I hit you earlier." She sheepishly added as she took hold of the yellow emotion's legs.

Lust's voice softened to the likeness of melted butter as she hooked her arms under Knowledge's.

"It's alright… you were frightened and confused; but I had to get you away from falling prey to that ruse."


"So how are we supposed to know who these people are?!" Cyborg exclaimed, trying to take out some of his anger over the team's decision on Robin. "Do they wear some sort of uniform or at least have some sort of marking, or are we just flying blind and labeling every citizen of Jump a threat?"

"I don't know Cy." Robin glowered at the metal teen while punching in a code on the door to the interrogation room. "All I know right now is the leader has some 'glowing blue tattoo' on his forehead."

He pushed open the door and found Red X still sitting patiently at the table.

"Well, well, well… you came back. And you brought your little friends. How cute."

Cyborg's face drooped with concern at his leader's last statement.

"Uh… Robin…" He tried to get the Boy Wonder's attention.

"You better cool it, because as of right now, no matter how uneasy they are about it, they're your friends as well."

"That quick, huh? Maybe I should've cut to the chase a little sooner."

"Robin…" Cyborg tapped the boy's shoulder.

"Well… maybe if you hadn't attacked us-" Beast Boy tried to barge in.

"You still have some questions to answer, X" Robin overtook BB's outburst and took a seat, still ignoring the metal teen poking his back.

"Yes, like why you are intending to be on the hero side now." Starfire added in.

"YO BIRD BRAIN! Listen up!" Cyborg finally yelled, tired of being ignored. The room stood silent as everyone turned to face him with questioning looks.

"The pizza guy… he was actin' kinda strange, and he had a blue tattoo on his arm. Come to think of it, he was askin' about our little boy here." He turned to a puzzled Red X. "Sound like one of your buddi-?"

Cy's question was cut short by the howl of the alarm sounding out in the tower.

Red X dropped his head a little in frustration.

"They're already here." The man ground out before looking to Robin for what to do next.

The Boy Wonder stayed stagnant in his chair, staring at the masked man before him.

"Bee?"

"Yeah?"

"Go find his belt."

"On it!"

Robin narrowed his eyes on Red X.

"You're coming with me."

There was a slight chuckle, but the man stood up cooperatively, following Robin to the door.

"You got it, kid."

After a few strange looks were cast about the room, the group quickly made their way to the elevator to go see what had triggered the alarm.


"What the-?"

Brave almost dropped dead the moment she took a step outside the Medical Bay; the moment her foot had touched the ground, the cantankerous claxon to her right had blasted the alarm straight into her ear.

Once she finally convinced herself she hadn't been the one to trigger it, she took in a deep breath of relief and collected herself.

"Well today's certainly turning out to be an eventful joy ride…"

Figuring that it would probably be best to make sure no one saw her in the hall with a giant stash of painkillers, Brave focused on her destination, and carefully sank through the floor in a pool of black.

---

"I'm not sure if I should feel lucky, or like the odds are against me."

She quickly unlatched her cloak, and dumped the painkillers into a nearby drawer.

"I guess I'll just have to hope Raven won't need these before I get back." The girl mused as she shut the drawer.

With everything safely stashed away, Brave made her way to the door, and deftly threw the cloak back over her shoulders; latching it up before she paused in front of the cold metal.

"You've got this." She took a deep breath. "Just act… cool."

"Yo Raven!" Brave practically jumped out of her skin as the changeling started banging on the door right in front of her. "You comin' or what?"

She quickly composed herself, and slid the door open.

"BB-…" 'Crap! Don't use his nickname!' "Gar… do you really have to knock so loud?"

"Uh…" Beast Boy waveringly answered. "Robin said you might be asleep… so I figured-"

"Well, I'm wide awake now, thanks to you."

The changeling stood in front of her, unsure what to say, and the two fell into an awkward silence.

"The… alarm!" Beast Boy finally came back from his thoughts.

"What's that, boy?" Brave playfully asked. "Timmy's stuck in a well?"

She amusingly watched as he struggled to not only regain his bearings, but figure out what she had meant by her remark.

"H- hey! I'm not Lassie!" He growled.

"Coulda fooled me…" She said coolly as she closed her door and slinked by him down the hall, "I wouldn't've known the difference had you shifted into a dog."

"Bite me." He muttered, as he quickly caught up beside her.

"Where, and how hard?" She retorted, not realizing her mistake until she noticed the changeling had stopped in his tracks. She slowly turned around to face the dumbfounded boy, cursing herself for not only being a bit too bold that time, but more so for using one of Lust's trashy comebacks.

She looked like a deer caught in the headlights, but it failed to register in Beast Boy's mind as he looked up at her. He was too busy trying to figure out if she had just made a joke, or whether she was actually serious about possibly chomping down on him. She rarely joked, and was always serious, so naturally, he couldn't quite shake the latter possibility. To make matters worse, he wouldn't have put it past her to do something strange like that either.

Needless to say, as the two stared at each other in shock and confusion, they fell into yet another awkward silence.

"Hey! You two in a staring contest or sumthin'?" Bumblebee yelled down the hall after exiting the elevator.

The two snapped back to reality, and Beast Boy flushed, while he quickly tried forming a cover.

"C'mon Rae… I said I was sorry."

Brave kept her back to Bumblebee and gave the changeling an inquisitive look.

"For…" She tried to play along while reading his emotions, wondering why he—of all people—was avoiding what had happened instead of making it into a joke.

"Banging on your door so loudly." He replied rather convincingly.

"…And?" She decided to push it, seeing just how far he would go.

'AND?!' Beast Boy yelled in his head. 'I just saved her from embarrassment, and she's giving me a hard time? What the hell!'

"A-and uh… for ummm… calling you Rae?"

Brave held back her smile, but gave him a wink instead.

"Well if the apologies are all over and done with, we've got bigger problems to attend to." The yellow and black teen rolled her eyes and made her way through the doors to the Common Room with a familiar belt in her hand.

Beast Boy just stood dumbfounded. 'Did Raven just wink at me?'

"Nice save there, Beast Boy; who knew you could think that quickly?" 'Raven' quipped, continuing her way on down the hall to where Bumblebee had been.

"Dude! That was so unnecessary." The green teen complained.

"Was it? You were the one who put me on the spot by making up a lie."

"Oh c'mon… It wasn't a total lie; you were mad that I was banging on your door…"

"Yet for some reason, instead of making a joke or shrugging it off… you lied." She turned to the green changeling now walking beside her. "Why?"

Beast Boy gave her and incredulous look.

"If there's one thing I know for certain, it's that if you get embarrassed—especially by me—nothing good ever comes from it."

"So… you'd go against your very character to keep me happy…" She reached forward for the button to the doors.

"Well… when you-"

"…or are you just a coward?"

Beast Boy bit his tongue as the doors to the Common Room slid open.

'I'm not a coward.' He growled in his head. 'I'm just trying to be nice.'

"Guess I'll just go back to my cell again-" Red X called out behind him, as he almost ran into the couple entering the room.

Brave immediately readied herself for a fight.

"Hey there sweetheart. Still mad over our little fight earlier? I didn't see y-" His welcome was cut short when her hand caught his throat, and she slammed him into the floor on his back in one swift movement.

"Raven!" Robin shouted out. "Let him go, he's on our side."

She confusedly looked up to her leader and noticed everyone in the room staring at her.

"What's going on?" She demanded.

"Seems your teammates decided to team up with me without telling you." Red X choked out as she released her grip.

Feeling the guilt building in the room, she realized the villain wasn't lying. Somehow, an enemy had become an ally behind her back.

"What's the alarm for, then?" She finally asked.

Robin turned back to the monitors in front of him.

"Control Freak. He's messing around downtown again."

"Aww man…" Beast Boy whined. "Don't the bad guys know we only schedule one villain a day?"

Brave stood up from her crouched position and watched as Bumblebee carried out exactly what she was thinking of doing herself—giving the green teen a slap up the back of his head.

"Hey!"

"Don't be daft." Bee responded. "Besides, I thought we froze that annoying kid with the Brotherhood of Evil…"

"We did." Cyborg confirmed.

"Well…" Red X sat up on the floor to brush himself off. "Looks like you have your hands full. Like I said before, I guess I'll be heading back down to my-"

"No." Robin stopped him. "If we're going to work together, I need to know we can trust you in battle. You're coming with us."

The man looked over at Robin questioningly before growing a small smile.

"If it'll really make you happy…" He replied and went to get up, but found a blue boot catch him in the chest before pressing him into the floor again.

"Just don't call me sweetheart ever again." Brave menacingly cautioned. "Got it?"

The masked man nodded a curt affirmative.

"Raven." He glared up at her, and the two shared a strained moment of agreement before she hesitantly removed her foot.

"I guess you'll be needing this then." Bumblebee handed the man the belt in her hands.

"You're all but too kind…" He searched for her name, but came up blank. "…Goldie."

"Name's 'Bee… Bumblebee." She informed him.

Brave looked on disgustingly at the friendliness between the two.

"Alright, enough with the acquaintances, let's get moving." The blue-garbed teen let out half-annoyed, half-excited to be going to battle.

"You're coming?" Robin asked with a puzzled look on his face.

She turned around with an equally puzzling look.

"Why wouldn't I? Especially if you had Beast Boy come get me."

The Boy Wonder looked on, as his voice started to show some worry.

"I wasn't sure if you'd come though… your powers earlier… are you sure everything will be fine?"

Brave remembered how Raven had left things out here in the real world. Her powers had been out of control and gone completely before she entered Nevermore, which left Brave in a tight spot for an explanation of how she got them back.

"Oh… Right. I just… needed a little meditating. I was really worn out this morning, is all."

"Alright! To the T-Car!" Beast Boy yelled out, and made a break for the door.

Robin scowled at the boy who ruined his cry, but took a breath and went to carry it out anyway.

"Robin?" Starfire piped up.

"Yes, St- Kori?"

"I-… I cannot join you to do battle against the Control Freak."

"Why no-? Oh." Robin hung his head in shame, realizing what she had meant. She was still mad at him, and her powers would no doubt be failing because of it.

Bumblebee took notice of the downtrodden leader, and decided to step in.

"It's okay Star, you can stay here. I'm sure Red X and I will be enough to fill in for ya right now." She gave the girl a wink, and turned expectantly to the Boy Wonder.

"Robin?"

The boy took a deep breath, and set his stance before calling out to everyone except the changeling that had fled down the hall.

"Titans, GO!"


Hmm. Starfire's getting left behind? That poor Tameranian. That's one down, but Red X and 'Bee are ready to Go! :) Brave also looks like she's going to get some real action! Meanwhile, BB gets a little tripped up by 'Raven', and Cyborg is slightly mad about having Red X join the team. Robin on the other hand just seems to keep going down. He gets mad at his teammates, hurts them, and then gets mad at himself for hurting them, and takes out his anger on others! We need to fix that, don't we? Nevermore is a whole other jungle. Raven wakes up, but then gets put back to sleep again by Knowledge who almost freezes everyone to popsicle sticks! We also see a bit more of Fear as she searches the rooms of the girls in her attempt to find Knowledge.

A lot of stuff has happened, so let me know what you think! Reviews don't only keep me inspired, but they also keep me in check, so I don't go bonkers on any of you. If it is too much for your brain to handle, and you're a bit confused, I'd be glad to try and get you up to speed as well!

What's next? Well... a thaw-down of Nevermore, and a battle with Control Freak! I would assume.... ;)

Until next time,

~VociferousVixenofDarkness