Okay, I'm making a revision of my earlier amendment. I will publish one chapter, the opening chapter of all of my stories. But then I won't update until I complete it. We'll try this system out.

Ultimate Teen Titans

Deadlocked

Chapter I

Identity Crisis

"Robin, why are you saying this?

"Because I have to, Star. We can't keep seeing each other like this. It's bad for our teamwork.

"But... I thought you liked me..."

"I do. Really, Star, I do... but we have to be friends. And friends only."

"Robin, I thought we had already talked about this. About being more than superheroes..."

"Well, I'm not a superhero. And stop calling me Robin... it's Nightwing now."


Titans' Tower, somewhere off of San Francisco Bay.

Dick Grayson had had better days.

A few days ago, he had broken off his relationship with Starfire. It was a decision he had regretted since.

Regretted, but not questioned... he knew his reasons. He had to be more aloof, as was his responsibilities as team leader. He couldn't keep feeling heart failure every time Starfire was hurt. But even he couldn't detach himself completely from his feelings.

But more that, he also felt betrayed. Not by Starfire... but by Batman.


"Say what?"

"I'm sorry, Dick. But there's more to this than you know."

"Okay, first, you try to take my teammate away from the Titans. Now you take my identity..."

"I'm not taking it. I'm recreating it. And you should meet Tim, he's a fine young man."

"I'm Robin! Why do you have to take this away from me?! You've done nothing but crap all over my life ever since I decided to go solo. Well, thanks a lot, Wayne!"


But, truth be told, Dick had been considering making the transition fully from Robin to Nightwing. Because, to be honest, the red and green suit had been getting a little small for him.

And not just physically, too.

Because Robin would always be proceeded by "Batman and-." He had known that in his heart. So why deny it?

Because he had loved being Robin. But now he had to move on, grow up... face the night.

He kept remembering the look on Starfire's face when he had told her to stop calling him Robin. He kept picturing Bruce's face when he had spat out Wayne.

I'm seventeen, and already I've hurt those closest to me. Well done, Grayson. Can't wait till you graduate high school...

Suddenly there was a knock on his door. He looked up, then walked over to it, pressing a button.

The door slid open with a hiss. There stood Peter Parker, Spider-Man. He was dressed in a combat training version of his costume, blue and red, but without the webs and spider symbols.

"Hey, Dick," he said. He always called him by his real name, except when they were in public. None of the others did that. "Wanna practice some of those new aerial moves?"

Dick almost said no, but then reconsidered.

"Sure," he said.


"Uph!"

Peter's breath was blown out in a gasp as Dick hurled him out of mid-air onto the opposite wall. He fell with a crash, moaning slightly.

Dick immediately felt bad.

"Are you okay?" he said, holding out his hand. Peter grabbed it, using it as leverage to pull himself to his feet.

"Yeah, fine," Peter said. And indeed he was. That was another reason why Dick liked him so much... he could take a beating where the others couldn't. "You really... got the hang of that spinning kick, there."

"Long hours of practice," Dick said, going over to the towels and tossing Peter one. "You're not so bad yourself."

"Long hours of getting my butt kicked," Peter said. "You learn when to take blows and when to dodge."

That was true, Dick reminded himself. He had the benefit of training from the best. Peter had to learn his abilities on his own.

They sat on the bench in silence for a while, wiping the sweat of their faces. Finally, Peter spoke.

"How're you holding up?" he asked, glancing at Dick.

"What do you mean?" Dick asked him, choosing his words carefully. Peter scoffed.

"Oh, come on," he said. "I may be a mediocre fighter, but I've been through the dating game too. With probably less success than you have. Trust me..." he added, hitting Dick on the shoulder. "... there's nothing you've seen that I haven't."

Dick took a deep breath.

"Okay..." he said. "I had to break up with Starfire. Remember when we fought Mad Mod? When Beast Boy almost died because I was too concerned about her safety? That's why."

Peter was silent for a moment.

"Sounds to me like you're punishing yourself for being a lousy leader," Peter finally said. "No offense, you can lead this team, but you haven't yet found a balance."

"Balance?" Dick repeated. "What do you mean?"

"Balance between who you are, and what you're willing to sacrifice," Peter said. "I never joined a team on my world. And not just because no team would have me. Because I wasn't willing to trust someone enough to make that call that might hurt someone close to me."

He was silent for a moment. Dick saw the truth in what he said.

"What do you suggest?" he asked.

"Take a break," Peter said. "Go on a vacation. Discover yourself. Are you gonna be Nightwing now, or what?"

Dick thought about this.

"Yes," he said at last. "I think I will."


Okay! Let the waiting game begin! BTW, Wadey Wilson will be returning in this story, so hang in there!