[Several days later]
The Titans finally had the downtime needed for the game of volleyball that was a stress reliever for the entire team, Edward included.
Raven was off to the side of the Tower, meditating as usual. Edward, Robin and Terra were on one side, Cyborg, Starfire and Beast Boy were on the other side. If was felt that the couples should be on opposite sides of the net for fairness sake at least.
"Aw," Beast Boy complained, "Edward's taking away my advantage."
"You mean being able to hit the ball so it hits me," Raven deadpanned, "I think it's very fair as Edward won't let the ball hit me."
Beast Boy sighed.
"She's right, Beast Boy," Robin said, "I got a feeling that if you were to do that, the resident Dragon might take temporary exception. The teams stay as they are set."
"Want to referee?" Edward asked his new girlfriend.
"I have to meditate," Raven said.
"That's fine," Edward said.
"Who gets to serve first?" Robin asked.
Terra pulled out a coin, "Flip for it. You call it, Robin." She flipped it and Robin called out "Heads."
The coin landed and she said, "It's tails."
"Boo yeah!" Cyborg called. He quickly set up how he wanted Beast Boy and Starfire lined up as Robin did the same.
Beast Boy had the honor of serving the ball and he threw the ball into the air. As it came down, he transformed into a gorilla, aiming for the first point.
He smacked the ball and as it flew, Edward jumped into the air and deflected the ball to Terra, who bounced it into the air and stepped back. Robin hit the ball towards Cyborg who lofted it into the air for Starfire to return over the net.
The ball went toward Edward, who attempted to smoke the ball into the other side of the court, to see a green kangaroo kicking the ball back at Edward, who quickly transformed into his own gorilla and smashed the ball past a stunned BB for the first point of the game.
Edward shapeshifted back and chuckled, "Not bad for an old-timer."
"Dude," BB said, "You're so going to pay for that."
"What's wrong, grass stain?" Cyborg asked, "Can't take your own medicine? Looks like Edward's got you evenly matched."
"Actually, Cy," Edward said, "I still have to hold back…a lot."
Edward, Terra and Robin braced for the next volley as Beast Boy tried again to ace the ball over the net with a shapeshift back to gorilla.
The ball flew hard and fast towards Raven.
[Head's up!] Edward called through the link. The ball was covered in a black aura and rocketed back the way it came, hitting Beast Boy and knocking him flat.
"That's two points in our favor," Terra said with a chuckle.
It was Starfire's turn to serve and Edward braced for a powerful serve. But, Starfire surprised him and hit the ball at a more human level of strength. It lofted towards Terra this time and she hit it towards Edward, who hit it straight up and moved back to allow Robin to hit the ball.
However, the angle was wrong and the ball hit the net and bounced back. 2-1 for Robin's team.
Robin muttered under his breath as he tossed the ball to Cyborg.
Well, the game went on for over an hour as the teams were evenly matched strength wise. Edward countered all of Beast Boy's attempts to spike the ball. Then, Beast Boy was able to counter Edward's attempts as well.
Finally, though, the game was declared a draw as the sun started to set. Raven had emerged from meditation before the game ended, having only been interrupted once.
"We'll continue this later," Robin said with a smirk. Everyone was sweaty and in need of a shower, Edward included.
"Good game!" Edward said.
"A glorious game," Starfire cheered.
"Oh yeah!" Cyborg said, "What's for dinner?"
"I have pasta planned tonight," Edward said, "Vegan for Beast Boy and meaty for the rest of us."
"Yes!" Beast Boy said, "I love your sauce, man!" Edward had made a huge batch of sauce recently and it was a hit with the Titans. Beast Boy had finally found someone who respected his vegan diet without complaining about it. It kind of shamed Cyborg a bit, but, he didn't mind.
After dinner, Starfire asked, "When would you like to go to the mall of shopping?"
"Tomorrow would work," Edward said, "As long as a mission doesn't interfere, obviously."
"Glorious!" she replied happily.
"Mind if I come with you guys?" Terra asked.
Edward raised an eyebrow. It was the first time Terra had been willing to leave the Tower since her rescue.
"Please do!" Starfire said, eye softly glowing.
"How are your powers coming along?" Edward asked.
"Definitely returning," she said, "I've been slowly discovering that I can move larger and larger rocks. It does take more effort, though."
"How about control?" Robin asked.
"I'm being careful, limiting myself to moving smaller things," Terra replied, "Control is there for now."
"Come with me, please," Edward asked her, "Not in trouble, I'm curious to see how you are doing with control and how strong your powers are."
"All right," Terra replied, getting up. Beast Boy got up as well. They headed towards the shore at the base of the Tower.
"Let's see what you got," Edward said, picking up a stone.
"What do you want me to do?" Terra asked.
"Pick it up and make it float for 30 seconds," Edward suggested.
Terra focused and her hands started glowing softly. The stone rose off Edward's hand and he let the hand drop.
The stone wavered. "Focus, Terra," Beast Boy encouraged, "You can do it."
The stone stabilized and after the time elapsed, Edward grabbed the stone and said, "Not bad. What's the heaviest stone or boulder that you've tried to move since you came back?"
"No idea," she said honestly.
Edward looked around and found a large boulder that weighed several hundred pounds. He went over and picked it up.
"I want you to try to take this from me," he said, "Don't strain yourself, though! If you can do it, great, if not, don't worry about it."
Terra hands glowed and as she focused on the boulder, she reached out and started to try. The boulder started to lift out of his arms, but, it faltered as well. Terra started sweating with the effort. She pushed harder and the boulder lifted out of his arms. He stepped back and smiled.
He let her continue for a few moments and said, "All right. You can let it go now."
The boulder dropped with a resounding thud.
"Way to go, Terra!" Beast Boy cheered. She hugged him gratefully, then, hugged Edward.
"That's a lot of progress, Terra," Edward said, "A little loss of control, but, I expected that. That said, I don't think it's a good idea, yet, for you to go on missions. I'd say a while yet. We'd have to give you a lot of space to let your powers expand to where they were before."
"There's a desert about 30 miles from here," Beast Boy said.
"That would be the space needed, that's for sure," Robin said as he and the rest of the team arrived.
"Glorious!" Starfire said, "We saw you doing the lifting of the rock."
"You've improved," Raven said with a soft smile. From Raven, that was a huge compliment in itself!
"Way to go, girl!" Cyborg enthused as well.
"When can she start going on missions?" Robin asked.
"Well," Edward said, "She struggled initially with the boulder, which I expected. With respect, not for at least 6 weeks. She's going to need a lot of practice."
With that, the team settled in for the long haul. There's more adventures to be had, but, those will wait to be told…
The End (For now)
A/N: Hi Everyone! Hope you all liked this initial installment. I know it was like three stories in one. That was intentional :) I wanted to get several plot elements in place for other stories.
Thanks in advance for reviews, story alerts, fav. Story alerts and others. While reviews are nice, I'm not going to insist on them.
Thanks for reading as well. It's been a while since I put anything on FF (I have several Dragon stories on my personal website).