10. Without a Trace

Robin woke up with a groan. Glancing around, he saw where he was, and memory flooded him.

*Good grief, did that all actually happen?* he thought with disbelief. Glancing around, he saw fingerpainted pictures and other evidence that proved irrefuteably that it had. *Man...I owe Raven and Beast Boy a huge vote of thanks.*

Moving to stand up, he found himself pinned. Turning, he saw Starfire was cuddled up to him, holding him tight. He couldn't help but smile. Suddenly his communicator beeped. He flipped it open. "Robin here."

"Robin!" It was Argent. "Jinx and Cyborg are gone!"

"What?" Robin sat up quickly, sending Starfire tumbling. "Did something happen to them? Search for clues!" Now filled with panic, he moved to search the tower. Suddenly, Starfire groaned.

"Ow...what is this I have landed on?" she asked, picking up a small bundle.

Robin flipped it open. Inside were two Titan communicators, Raven and Beast Boy's superhero costumes...and two sheets of paper. Taking out the pieces of paper, Robin read them and paled.

"What is it?" Starfire asked, concerned.

"It's...notices of termination..."

"What? They are...terminated?" Starfire asked in fear.

"No...termination of employment. They've...they've quit the Titans."

"What?" Starfire was even more shocked. "Without even saying goodbye?"

"This is their goodbye. They say they couldn't go back to being heroes with us after what had happened. They're leaving for personal reasons. The only other detail...is a note from Beast Boy, saying I owe him big, and someday he'll collect." Robin shook his head. "I can't argue with him." He checked in the computer. "his is their handwritting, that's for sure. This is their decision."

As memory returned to Starfire, a thought occured to her. "Perhaps...perhaps they felt the need to have bumgorfs of their own, having discovered great joy in taking care of us."

"You mean they left to get married and start a family? Then why wouldn't they want us to be a part of it?"

"Perhaps they do not want to give you the opportunity to talk them out of it," Star said pointedly, causing Robin to sweatdrop. "Or perhaps they fear a threat from this life putting their future bumgorfs in danger, and seek to keep their two lives seperate. I do not think they are just leaving the Titans...I think they are leaving heroing entirely."

Robin looked at the papers...and at the costumes left behind. "Maybe..." He sighed. "Well, if that's their decision, I won't stand in their way." He went into the Titan database, and altered Raven and Beast Boy's status to "Retired."

The comms went off again. "Robin here."

"Robin!" It was Argent again. "We found-"

"A bundle containing Cyborg and Jinx' communicators, Jinx costumes, and papers informing you that Cyborg and Jinx have quit?"

Argent stepped back, shocked. "How'd you know?"

"We found the same thing here, for BB and Raven. Looks like Cyborg and Jinx decided to do the same thing. We know they were keeping in contact over what had been happening. Perhaps they came to the decision together."

Argent nodded. "You'll be down three Titans at your Tower, then. What are you gonna do?"

"We'll figure something out." The comms went off. Robin switched lines. "Hey, Bumblebee."

Bumblebee stepped back. "How'd you know I was calling?"

"Because I've already spoken with Argent. It seems everyone who was taking care of us while we were babies has gone missing."

"Yeah, everyone." Bumblebee held up a few objects, one sheet of paper and two masks. "I found these on the table. The paper is Speedy, saying he quits for personal reasons."

One mask was your standard eye mask, that managed to conceal far more of a person's identity than it really should. The other was full face, styled like a cat.

Robin nodded. "Looks like, just like the others, they've left their masks behind..."

When he severed the communications, he wrapped his arms around Starfire, who was crying despondently at so many of her friends leaving without saying goodbye.

"Robin...what will we do now?"

Robin held her close, wishing he had an answer.

To be continued...