"TITANS GO!" Robin's enraged sentiment rang with every word. It echoed throughout the warehouse walls without difficulty. Robin's sudden enthusiasm struck his team into hostile-mode. It was because of one man Robin was obsessed wholly. It was because of one man Robin's life was plagued with rage. It was because of one man Robin couldn't think straight anymore. It was because of one man Robin was going insane with fixation. It was because of Slade.
The one who held the Boy Wonder's passion merely grinned a half-wicked smile. The other half held his pleasure as he thought of their cries of pain under his steel-like grip. He imagined their tear-streaked faces of defeat.
The images comforted him like having armor on and a sharp blade in his hand in a full-out war. His pride clouded his eyes a few moments before he was charged. The charge was a wise formation, keeping Robin in front, Beastboy to flank his right, and leaving Cyborg to become his right-wig. Raven covered the space between Beastboy and Robin, flying at overwhelming speed. A black, evil aura loomed about her. Starfire took her place between Robin and Cyborg, the alien flying just above them, keeping at a leisurely speed. Her hands were illuminated with a green laser that threatened to shoot whoever was most unfortunate.
"Titans, how nice of you to join me…" Slade's malicious voice welcomed them coldly. "And here I thought you'd forgotten me." He sighed tauntingly. He wore his usual suite: grey metal with black. His pocket belt hung to him effortlessly. His one eye glared at their rare and fearful expressions. One stood out – Robins. His expression was priceless to the nemesis. Anger and determination controlled wonder boy's face, leaving no trace of mercy within the tight lines of his mouth.
Robin's eyes, covered as always with the mask, were narrowed to the width of a dime, barely allowing him to see. He scrutinized Slade's orange and black mask, slowly taking in his coolness.
Slade stood comfortably on the other side of the warehouse that was soon to be destroyed. The Titans closed the space between him and them quickly yet gracefully. It was about a thousand yards long, barely enough for him to prepare himself for their incoming attacks.
Raven, cunning as always, threw an abandoned large box at her enemy, but Slade side-stepped it elegantly, his hands behind his back. Slade said nothing, but set his gaze onto the violet-haired half-demon. His eyes became entranced with her form, tense and tired. Sweat rolled down the side of her eye. Her lips were pursed into a frown of tenacity. Her leotard caressed her sides and angles beautifully, her cape billowing loudly behind her.
Slade turned his attention back to the Tameranian girl, who eagerly but thoughtlessly shot a laser aiming for his chest. Not a second too late, he quickly ducked. When he saw the imminent danger was gone, he stood and let his eyes drift to her. Her uniform was slightly small, and hugged her chest and waist tightly. Her red, fiery hair whipped behind her carelessly. She managed a choked, "Be gone!" as she shot another green laser at him. This time, it just nearly hit its mark, scorching his shoulder.
He growled angrily and threw a bomb at the Titans which exploded. It engulfed them, earning coughs and chaos. The Titans struggled uselessly in Slade's trap. The smoke entered their lungs mercilessly. It prodded through their bodies unknowingly to the Titans.
"Hey, man!" Beastboy complained. He tried to transform into something until fresh air could freely enter his lungs, and no matter what form he took, the smoke crowded his face as if it were magnetically pulled to it.
"Can't…see!" Cyborg shouted. He waved his hands about, flapping and fanning the air. No matter how hard he tried, though, he had no success.
"Damn smoke!" Robin gritted his teeth angrily. His hand covered his mouth as he was overcome with a round of coughing. He dropped to his knee slowly, trying to keep his balance.
Starfire said nothing but tried to fly her way above the fog. As she started to rise, though, she was rebounded back to the ground quickly. She screamed.
"Starfire! Damn it! Can't…ugh!" He then became intoxicated with his anger. But before he could do more, he coughed again.
"Azarath…" Raven coughed. "Metrion…" She panted quickly and struggled to continue. "Zinthos!" Even though the last word was forced, it still held meaning as the black aura shoved away the upsetting smoke. She gave a relieved sigh as the mist cleared and her friends became visible once again. They appeared unharmed, but surprised at their luck.
Raven, physically fatigued, plunged to a knee and caught herself with her hands. She looked up to see Slade gone, the stolen artifact along with him.
Starfire was slumped on the ground, noticeably unconscious. Her limp arms lie beside her head, somewhat clawing at the ground.
Robin hurried to Starfire's side as Raven gave him a sideways glance that was filled with pure jealousy. It tore at her core to see him worrying about another than her. Her stomach tossed and turned furiously as she watched him comfort her in her sleep.
Beastboy, who undoubtedly was a faithful dog at times – literally – rushed to Raven's side to quickly grab her waist and yank her up. She wrapped an exhausted limb around his neck for support. Her violet eyes glared dangerously at where Slade was a minute ago. He had escaped yet again, this time pulling a trick on them. In the end, he got away with the stolen piece.
Cyborg stood in the middle of the two groups, pondering on the encounter. The research he had did said that artifact wasn't anything that valuable…so why that? It was only a painting from the 1800s. Nothing too special about that…who knew Slade was a fan of art? Or was he not? Who was he to know what Slade likes or doesn't like? The whole ordeal confused him, but he let it go reluctantly.
"Titans, meet in the living room in an hour. We're having another meeting." Robin snapped at them irritably. And with that, he picked Starfire up in his thin arms bridal style. He carried her off without another word.