We own the rights to nothing of this story.
'The Beginning is in the End' is performed by Thousand Foot Krutch.
"I don't see how we can let her join the Titans. She's probably just trying to infiltrate it for Slade. I mean, what actual proof do we have that she's changed?" Nightwing ranted fiercely to the other members of his team.
"Roy vouched for her," Changeling offered.
"Roy," Nightwing spat, "Roy has made it a habit to be a bad judge of women's character if his own love life is any sort of sign. He willingly had a child with Cheshire when he knew she had no intent to turn herself in!"
"We cannot choose who we love or who our family is," Raven pointed out before pressing a few of the keys on the console in front of her seat. The holographic projection of the shapely young woman with flowing white hair dissolved before it was replaced by a red-skinned boy possessing horns and a barbed tail, unleashing a gout of flame into the air. "However, such was not the case when Eddie Bloomberg struck a bargain with the fell demon Neron for powers. I do not know the details of this deal, but Neron is ever-scheming and ever-malevolent."
"Tim's worked with Eddie before. Says he's got a good heart," argued the leader of the Titans. The empath remained unconvinced and Nightwing sighed before pressing a few keys and replacing the image once again. A dark-haired beauty with golden skin appeared on the screen, emerald eyes narrowed as she smirked in the shot. "Recently, Blackfire's been making claims that she's reformed. She came to us instead of the League because, aside from Cyborg, she knows us better. However, we know her. Star, what do you think? Is she being honest?"
The Earthbound queen of Tamaran gnawed upon her lip, obviously unsure, before she hung her head and admitted, "It would bring me immense joy to learn that my sister has changed her ways, but she is highly skilled at appearing to be honest. It is most troubling and while I would prefer to believe her . . . I cannot bring myself to do so."
The resident shape shifter propped his feet up on the considerably expensive projector table and rocked back on the hind legs of his chair. He clasped his hands behind his head and seemed to be musing to himself before he asked, "So, what? We're just going to reject them? Let them just slip through the cracks?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, remember how last month I went to get groceries and then it was storming and I came back and all the cold stuff was all spoiled? See, I had to take refuge from the rain and all and I wound up in this building where they were having an AA meeting. Pretty informative. Anyway, the people, you know the ones with the drinking problem, had people supporting them called sponsors. The sponsors helped them and made sure that they didn't slip back into old habits."
"Soooo . . . you want us to be sponsors for them?" Nightwing gestured towards the three individuals who were now being displayed by the holographic projector.
"With the other option being to let them slip back into their old habits? Hell yeah."
Raven frowned, crossing her slender arms across her chest, "I dislike the idea of any of them being near any sensitive information regarding us. The choices they've made in their lives are hardly reassuring."
"Friend Garfield makes sense. I believe that we should give my sister and the others a chance. Though precautions must be taken," Starfire added. Changeling beamed at her before leaning forward, the forelegs of his chair clacking against the floor as he set his elbows on the table and stared intently at the Batman's former protégé. Starfire followed his stare, fixing Nightwing with a cold stare and he sighed under the pressure before throwing up his hands in defeat.
"Alright, fine, fine. I'll make a call to some of the other Titans and try to find a supervisor for –"
"I'll do it."
Nightwing and Starfire blinked in surprise as they stared at the verdant young man who had his arm up in the air like an overeager schoolboy while Raven's frown intensified. Retracting his hand, Changeling continued, "I'll supervise 'em. We'll set them up on a different network so that they can't get into all the files we have on everybody, except for probably the villains. Might wanna keep those around."
Surprise turned to frowning consideration as Nightwing mulled over the offer. "You sure, Gar? I'm sure I could find somebody else willing-"
"I got it, dude. Honestly, I've been itching for a chance to get back to regular field work. Handling stuff is cool and all, but I'd rather be beating feet on the street."
"Friend Garfield, do you no longer desire to work alongside us?" Starfire asked. Over the years, she had become aware of how she could influence others, particularly male specimens, by putting a quaver to her lips or a tremble to her voice. If Gar had not been around to watch her develop that particular skill, he would have been just as susceptible to it as anybody else. Instead, he simply smiled and gave a slight shake of his head.
"Definitely not, Star. I couldn't dream of better coworkers slash friends slash interim family. But, I'd like to be the one that helps these kids – plus, you know, Blackfire. It's not like you guys don't have backup to call in."
Begrudgingly satisfied by the answer, the alien girl settled back in her seat while Nightwing drummed his fingers upon the table and finally sighed. "You realize that I can't give this team full backing. You're going to have to take care of funds, equipment, and even a base on your own."
"Might as well put some of Steve's funds to use. Plus, there's a whole slew of decommissioned Patrol bases. I'll just bring 'em back online and we'll be good to go," he said though his pleasant demeanor diminished marginally, his eyes losing their spark and flickering down to his now clasped hands. A short silence settled over the room and Nightwing gave a nod.
"All right. Changeling, you are going to operate as the supervisor and team leader for the newly sanctioned Titan Team 14, composed of Rose Wilson, Edward Bloomberg, and Komand'r of Tamaran."
Tossing an arm behind the back of his chair, the animal shifter grinned broadly, "Sweet."