DISCLAIMER: I do not own Teen Titans or its characters, TV show or otherwise. This story is for entertainment purposes only. It will take place within the universe of the TV series (though within the alternate universe I established with Raven's Story and Nothing Is Harder Than Love), and be after the end of said series as well as the movie Trouble in Tokyo. If you don't like yuri, don't read any further. If you don't like Teen Titans, then I have no idea how you found this story in the first place. Rated M for later chapters.
DISCLAIMER II: I do not own the character named Artemis; she is a creation of Echo of an Idiot. He has given me permission to use her in this story, though I have re-imagined her for this purpose. I do, however, own the characters Shadow (daughter of Raven and Jinx), Phase (son of Changling and Lavender), Stinger (son of Cyborg and Bumblebee), Nightfire (daughter of Nightwing and Starfire), and Lavender herself.
Author's Note: This story is a direct sequel to Nothing Is Harder Than Love, and will revolve mainly around a new team of Teen Titans consisting of the previously mentioned characters. I apologize in advance; this chapter is meant to be a recap for those who read NIHTL, or a summary for those who haven't. Though I really recommend you read NIHTL first.
Prologue - What Came Before
Eighteen years ago, a blue-feeling Jinx followed a depressed Raven into a cafe with the hope of lifting the other girl's spirit. There, Jinx revealed a side of herself that no one had previously seen and the two formed a fast friendship. Because of Jinx's promise and desire to not judge Raven, the dark-powered Titan's mood began improving. She began shocking her friends by talking to them after staying virtually silent and distant since the death of her first love, Terra. Eventually, Raven and Jinx began officially dating each other, and Raven spirit lifted even further.
When she told the rest of the Teen Titans about her new girlfriend, Robin welcomed her to the team and approved of their relationship, as it was obviously making Raven happy. Jinx proved to be a valuable member of the team, and was made the team's sixth member. She and Raven were a natural team, of course, combining the latter's dark powers and teleportation abilities with the former's 'bad luck' powers.
But, alas, the happiness they had would be short-lived.
A dark entity moved against Raven, seeking to punish her for a past defeat. This entity infiltrated her dreams, turning them into nightmares, via her subconscious. This was compounded in the real world by the efforts of a specially chosen band of super villains, who committed crimes that seemed to belong to some devastating plan. Patience was the key for this plan against the goth-like Titan to succeed. And it was succeeding. Raven began withdrawing from her friends once more, but she was also drawing away from her beloved Jinx. Though she had first told the hex-powered girl about her nightmares, this began to change until Raven no longer spoke about them, claiming they were unimportant. These actions were precisely what her hidden enemy was wanting to happen.
Things came to a head when the New Titans (the new name for the Teen Titans to reflect their maturity) went to stop a H.I.V.E. attack on an important technological research and development center. There, Raven and Jinx had a minor argument that would be a precursor to what was to come. Once inside the facility, Raven became seperated from the team and found her way to its primary technological research room and encountered Brother Blood. The master of the H.I.V.E. then unveiled the true plan to her, but refused to name the one truly responsible for it all. This proved to be Raven's breaking point, for she succumbed to her demon-corrupted anger and unleashed her powers against Blood - without restraint. When her friends finally reached her, they found her glorying in the middle of a blood-drenched room - with what remained of the corpse of Brother Blood held up in her hand.
As a precaution, Cyborg had created a tranquilizer compound months ago that was specifically targeted against Raven's blood. Knocking her out with it, the cyberized Titan had then proceeded to wipe out the security footage for that one room. Her actions had stunned and sickened them, but they still considered her their friend. Except for one. When Jinx tried to talk to Raven about everything that had suddenly come up between them, it turned into an argument that rapidly devolved into a shouting match - that ended when Raven snapped and slammed Jinx almost through a wall with a burst of dark energy. She got her once-beloved to the infirmary, then retreated to her room. When Jinx recovered fully a few days later, she left the Tower and the New Titans behind.
That's when everyone realized Raven had vanished, as well.
During the next six months, both Jinx and Raven were very busy. Jinx went back to her H.I.V.E. Five ways, searching for meta-humans to build her a new team. Raven, meanwhile, had learned that her father, Trigon, was the one behind everything that had happened to her. Though the blame was his, she knew that the responsibility was hers. It took her a while, but she managed to get into the dimension to which her father had been banished. Their confrontation, had anyone been there to witness it, would have seemed like the death of the universe was at hand. In the end, Raven left Trigon in only slightly better shape than she had Blood. She knew that he hadn't been permanently stopped, only delayed for quite some time as he recovered from her assault and rebuilt his energies. Her final words to him were, "Remember that when you play with a tiger's tail, there are teeth and claws on the other end." Afterwards, she spent the next four months getting to know herself. Her weakness, she had realized, was her need for control. She had believed that in order to control her powers, she had to maintain complete control over her emotions, since her powers were tied to her emotions. The successful manipulation of her had made her realize that this was, in fact, her weakness. Meditating on the problem, and meeting wisemen from across the world, she came to the realization that what she needed to do was embrace her emotions, not repress them. Control would still be necessary, but no more so than anyone else now. This newfound confidence in her abilities was tempered by the knowledge of what she had done to the one woman who meant everything and more to her.
During Raven's sojourns, Jinx was busy returning to her evil ways. While assembling her new H.I.V.E. Five team, she committed many acts of theft, though not one innocent bystander was hurt, nor was anyone who opposed her killed. While a villain, she refused to become like Raven and murder anyone. Though her physical wounds had long-since healed, the emotional wounds she had suffered had merely scarred over, leaving her with a burning hatred and unbearable pain towards her former love. She vowed that she would make Raven suffer as she had suffered. Six months after Raven's return, the two came face-to-face once more.
Their fight was as once-sided as had been expected. However, it was Jinx that held the upper hand, not Raven, even though the latter was more powerful than the former. Raven refused to fight the woman she still loved, and allowed herself to become badly injured. It was then that Jinx realized that, in spite of all the pain she had suffered, she still loved Raven. Jinx and the New Titans managed to get Raven to Titan Tower in time to stablize her, but her injuries were severe. Too severe, in fact, for her to survive long enough for them to heal. Everyone did all they could, but it did not seem to be enough. At Raven's request, Jinx went to be with her. There, it came out that Raven lacked the energy to heal herself and live, while Jinx lacked the skill and power to be a healer.
So Jinx offered Raven her energy.
The other Titans only became aware of what was going on after it was too late to stop it; by the time they managed to break into the mysteriously sealed infirmary, both Raven and Jinx had vanished - as if they had never been. Then began a global search for the two young women that would end in failure.
During this doomed search, Bumblebee of Titans East teamed up with the New Titans and ended up marrying Cyborg; they would have a son they would name Stinger. Robin, having been going by Nightwing since the Teen Titans turned into the New Titans, finally married Starfire, and the two had a daughter named Nightfire. Beast Boy, going by Changling for the same length of time, met a young woman his age, going by the name of Lavender, in the jungles of South America. He helped her fight off a corporation that was illegally harvesting the rare trees of the rain forest. The two fell in love, though he would never eat meat and she absolutely despised tofu. But they had enough common and overlapping interests that they were able to overcome - or at least tolerate - that tidbit about the other. They would have a son named Phase.
After three years of non-stop searching, everyone just gave up, assuming the two were dead. The New Titans disbanded, though Cyborg, Bumblebee, and Stinger would remain at Titan Tower as the protectors of Jump City. Nightwing moved to New Gotham to become its protector, with Starfire and Nightfire coming with him. Changling, Lavender, and Phase would return to Lavender's adopted home of South America and become the guardians of the rain forests and jungles. Though now scattered, the six nevertheless kept in touch, holding a reunion each year on the date that Raven and Jinx vanished.
However, six months before the tenth anniversary reunion, Cyborg received a shock: a call from Raven on a communicator that was roughly ten years out-of-date. After recovering from his shock, he had a long conversation with her and Jinx - and their daughter, Shadow. He agreed to keep their survival a secret, so they could surprise the others at the anniversary reunion.
And it was a wonderful surprise for them, indeed. Neither could explain what had happened that day; only that there had been an intense flash of indescribable light and energy one moment, and the next they were outside a monastery of some kind - and Raven was a few months pregnant. Genetic tests conducted by Cyborg confirmed that Shadow was, indeed, the biological daughter of Raven and Jinx. No one could explain how that was possible; not even Raven and Jinx. They had spent a few years at the monastery getting themselves and their relationship to each other straightened out and raising their daughter. They decided to remain at the monastery for the next few years as its protectors - until one day Raven found her old communicator.
And the rest is, as they say, history.
Around the same time as the children of the New Titans were being born, a woman by the name of Harley Quinn - the former side-kick of notorious Gotham City villain The Joker - gave birth to a daughter she named Hayley Quinn. When the girl was nine years old, her mother was murdered - and she had vanished. No clues as to who was behind the crime were ever found, nor was the girl ever recovered.
Now, five years after the return of Raven and Jinx, a new threat is looming on the horizon. A threat that could destroy a civilization and send a world into an unending reign of tyranny and despair. It may be time for the children of the New Titans to step up, and reclaim the mantle of
The Teen Titans
Author's Note: And there it is. A recap of what happend in Nothing Is Harder Than Love, with some extra tidbits thrown in. I hope that those of you reading this have already read the aforementioned story anyway; that way, you'll know what's been added that wasn't mentioned in the prior story. Reviews very much welcome.