Sup peeps! Happy New Year! ...Even though it's February now... I suppose I'll get right to it then.
Disclaimer: Do not own TT or DP or anything you see here that definitely does not belong to me. *oh sigh*
"The Phantom has not done any wrong!" Starfire exclaimed angrily.
"But in the clearing with Slade, I saw him about to waste Vlad Masters with my own eyes! He lied to us!" Robin argued.
Sam wanted to get involved. She clenched her fists and opened her mouth to object, but Jazz shot her a look, trying to convey the point that Sam's work was already done. She had managed to convince Starfire of Danny's innocence. Starfire was the one that had to persuade the rest of the Titans. Sam shut her mouth, but continued to look on in frustration.
"I do not recall us ever giving to him a fair chance to explain his actions. We have failed to address both sides of this issue. Because of one man's tales, we have chased a completely innocent teen hero. He is afraid. Imagine what he is forced to face at his home." Starfire replied, more calmly now.
For once, Robin didn't have a response. He racked his brain, trying to remember the confessions Danny had made to him before the Titans had figured out his secret. Danny had told him his problems during their conversation, under the guise of typical teenage angst and drama.
As Robin was enjoying some peace and quiet on the roof of the tower, he heard a loud bang. The rooftop door swung open and another raven-haired teen appeared, clearly frustrated. Robin's cape rustled as he turned to get a better look at the other boy. Danny was slightly startled by the soft noise and turned to look at the Boy Wonder.
"Something bothering you?" Robin was the first to speak.
"A couple things actually." Danny muttered, turning to survey his surroundings once more.
"Care to explain?"Robin tried to interrogate further.
"Not really. You couldn't possibly understand." Danny responded, settling into a sitting position on the ledge.
"Try me." Robin challenged. If the kid had a problem, Robin wanted to help. It was just in his heroic nature. Danny sighed and began to explain what was troubling him.
"Vlad Masters is on the top of a long, long list of people that I hate. Higher on the list than the loser who beats me up in school. He hates my dad and is in love with my mom. Gross, right? He's really open about it too. It's creepy." Robin nodded attentively. "Ever since he met me, we've both noticed… some similarities. He wants me to be just like him; his son; his… apprentice." It was odd that Danny had decided to use that term to describe Vlad Masters' intentions towards him. Robin knew exactly how Danny felt, having gone through it himself with Slade.
"I know what you're talking about… all too well, I'm afraid." Robin turned away from Danny. All the painful memories were rushing back to him with an excruciating intensity.
"There's a villain in this city. He goes by the name of Slade. As much as I hate to admit it, we're also very similar. A while back, he forced me to become his apprentice by threatening my friends. I did some things I really don't want to talk about." Robin admitted quietly.
"Wow… sounds a lot like what I have to deal with…" Robin shot him a suspicious glance. 'A lot like what he had to deal with?' Danny had no idea about the intricacies of this kind of superhero-supervillain relationship. "On a much larger scale of course." The other teen added hastily to ease Robin's suspicions.
All of a sudden, everything clicked in Robin's mind. Danny knew more about this than he let on. He did know what it was like to be a pawn to a supervillain… because Vlad Masters must have wanted him as an apprentice. The only explanation for Slade's involvement is that he wanted in on this deal. A teen who could become intangible and invisible would be invaluable to Slade's villainous efforts. As soon as he saw Vlad Masters, he was going to… Robin didn't know what he'd do to the treacherous formerhouseguest when he saw him again. Vlad was the real liar here, and didn't deserve any more of the Titans' kindness and hospitality.
But who is Plasmius? Robin thought suddenly. Why is he involved? Robin knew he was linked to Vlad Plasmius. Was it only a coincidence that they had the same first name? Robin was getting close to a solution. He could feel it.
He couldn't think too much about it now. Now, he needed to rally the Titans and find Danny.
"Starfire, you're right." Everyone in the room seemed surprised that Robin was swayed so easily. "Danny is a hero, and he's just trying to escape being mixed up in the chaos I was forced into so long ago. We need to go find him and apologize."
"Seriously, Rob? Are you sure?" Cyborg asked uneasily, obviously not convinced of Danny's innocence just yet. BeastBoy's confused and concerned expression showed that the green changeling seemed to take the same stance as his robotic best friend.
"I'm positive." Robin looked at them sincerely, and they relaxed only the slightest bit.
"Okay. We'll believe you." Cy said, still with a hint of wariness in his voice, like he still wasn't totally swayed by Robin's sudden change of heart. Robin looked over to BeastBoy to gauge his reaction. The green changeling shifted apprehensively beside his cybernetic friend. His silence was definitely a sign that he wasn't completely on board with Robin's decision either.
Finally BeastBoy spoke, shrugging his shoulders. "Let's go find that ghost kid."
"Titans, search the city. He could be anywhere." Robin ordered and began to get ready to leave. Jazz stopped him.
"Thank you, Robin, for understanding. I just have a word of advice. Danny gets a little skittish when he knows someone's after him. I would pursue him gently. And don't use force by any means." The ghost boy's older sister advised. Robin nodded.
"I promise I won't. I'll pass it along to the Titans."
"Thank you. We'll try our best to get a hold of him as well. We'll call if we're able to contact him." Jazz's cheerful expression was tainted by her worry. She was scared for her brother. He was alone in a big city with thousands of ghost hunters and two supervillains trying to find him. Her concern was understandable.
The Titans bid Danny's friends goodbye and left to find the ghost boy.
I woke with a start, my head pounding. What happened last night? Oh, right. The Titans discovered me, chased me out, and I was attacked by a ton of ghost hunters. What a lovely way to spend my evening. And now I'm on the run. I had to pack my stuff, and quick, before the Titans checked this hotel. They had to be searching for me by now.
I grabbed my duffel bag and started carelessly tossing all of my belongings into it. Once I knew that I had everything, I yanked the hood of my sweatshirt over my head and dashed out of the room. I wasn't going invisible. I figured someone somewhere in the city would sense my ectoplasmic energy and come after me. And besides, after using every single ounce of energy I had during the battle yesterday, I was still pretty drained. I needed to regain my strength.
Where could I go? I couldn't go back to my parents. They'd ask too many questions. I couldn't explain why I was alone while Jazz, Sam, and Tucker were still out in the city. Plus there was an off-chance that there was a single competent individual in that horde of ghost fighters who could recognize me. I didn't feel like pushing my luck any more than I already had.
I rushed down the hallway to the back stairs. The elevator was way too public. I had to keep to the shadows if I wanted to stay hidden.
I descended the stairs, as fast as I could and arrived in the lobby in a matter of minutes. As I strode to the closest exit, I received only a few suspicious stares. That didn't surprise me. Who wouldn't be worried about a hooded youth who looked like he was hurrying away from something?
I stepped out onto the sidewalk and took a look around, then decided to turn right. After I had walked a few blocks, I heard a noise coming from my pocket. My phone!
The caller ID told me that Jazz was the caller. My first impulse was to answer, but then my paranoia got the better of me. What if the Titans were using her phone and tracing the call? I had no idea what could have been going on. The phone rang a few more times before I made my decision.
"Hello?" I answered.
"Oh, thank goodness! Danny!" My sister's relieved voice sighed through the receiver.
"Hey Jazz. I'm okay. Trying to keep a low profile. This call isn't being traced, is it?" I asked hesitantly.
"No, Danny, but I need to tell you something."
"Alright. Go ahead." Just then, I saw a flash of blue and white at the end of the street. The T-Car! I had to hide someplace. Luckily I found an alleyway to my right and ducked into it before the T-Car passed me.
"The Titans –" She started.
"Are hunting me? Yeah, I already knew that, Jazz." I interrupted.
"No! That's not what I was going to say. Just listen to me, Danny. They're not –" Jazz was interrupted by my hand being hit by a projectile with an unknown source. My phone fell to the ground and shattered from the impact. What in the world…?
Wait, let me think… what Titan was that good with projectiles? *Hint hint* It was most likely a certain Boy Wonder.
"Well that was pretty rude, Robin. I still had plenty of minutes left!" I turned toward the one who had thrown phone-destroying projectile, who was still enveloped in the shadowy darkness of the alley.
"I'm not Robin." The person in the shadows said simply. The somewhat gravelly male voice definitely didn't belong to Robin.
"Who are you?"
"My name is Slade." Slade took a step forward, out of the shadows.
"You! The guy from the clearing! You're working with Vlad!" I exclaimed, countering his step forward by taking two steps back.
"Okay, now that we've established the obvious information that we both already know, I'll give you five seconds to explain why you're here before I blast you." I charged an energy beam in my palm and aimed it at the masked man. I couldn't trust this guy. He was just as dangerous as Vlad, maybe even more so, judging from what I had been told.
"I only wish to make a proposition with you." He explained calmly. I detected no traces of nervousness or fear of my previous threat in his voice.
"And what would that be?" I retorted warily.
"I understand the Titans are searching for you. I have the means to keep you hidden and protected. I can help you defeat them." He explained. Just as I was about to spit a biting retort about how I didn't need any help from the likes of him, he held up a hand and continued. "Before you answer, you should know that I am not asking you for a solid commitment. I am only offering an alliance."
"But what about your little partnership with Vlad?" I sneered questioningly, raising my eyebrow. Surely Vlad wouldn't appreciate his partner aiding his target.
"Vlad doesn't need to know a thing." He responded. "I've spent a lot of my time with Plasmius these days. I have had enough time to assess his flaws. He certainly is a master at planning and organization. However, he throws himself into his plans, concentrates too hard on making things happen accordingly. He would be unable to detect anything going on without his knowledge."
"So," He extended out his gloved hand, "do you accept?"
EEEEP! Sorry. That was a totally mean cliffie, I know. I'm so sorry. But DRAMA! AAAHHH!
Shoutout time! To the peeps who reviewed last chapter:
j158n: Eeek! Don't be mad! (And don't get even more mad because I said to not get mad again! I'm starting to confuse myself...)
Pinkie of the 4th wall
DannyPhantomFan: I really don't know how you predicted that because I had that part all written out by the time you reviewed. But I'm seriously impressed.
...THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING! Praise, is so much appreciated. I never expected my story to be this popular and well-liked! Thank you all so much!
Keep on reviewing, guys! Love you all :) *heart*
Till next time!
*EDIT* Okay, so I got a review from blackjay48 regarding the moment when the rest of the Titans decide to believe that Phantom isn't evil. You were absolutely right. It did go way too fast! Thanks for catching that! So I edited it. Hope it sounds better now!