Author's Note: Before we start, this is a Teen Titans and Young Justice crossover fanfiction. I have seen all the episodes of both series thus far, but have not seen Teen Titans for years. For the sake of this story, I would appreciate it if readers point out flaws or inconsistencies.
First and foremost, I am a Teen Titans fan through and through. Please don't be upset if I focus on a particular team. Hint/TeenTitans/hint.
Secondly, Young Justice is good, but I don't feel as attached to the characters. Thus, most of the characters in this story will retain some of their back stories and personalities from Teen Titans. I will endeavour to merge both TT and YJ characters for the best possible storytelling and for it to make sense.
Thirdly, this first chapter is posted in the Teen Titans section on FictionPress for a wider readership. From the second chapter onwards, you will be able to find this story posted under the crossover section of Teen Titans and Young Justice.
December 8, 06:47 PST
He watched the ocean ebb and flow from the boulders surrounding Titans Tower. It was not yet daylight, but strands of feeble light could be perceived from the horizon. The moon was dissipating, the stars already snuffed, and there were small snowflakes trailing down from the sky. Across the waters, their city stood tall and proud in straight towers and quaint shops. He felt like he was choking that morning.
He opened his communicator: 06:50 PST.
He stepped back from the windows — one last look at the rising sun — and into the kitchen. His steel-toed boots were soundless on the ceramic tiles as he filled the kettle and set it to boil. The tower was silent, save for the coastal winds passing by and the water in the kettle rising in temperature; the television was shut off, the game system laid motionless, and no one was awake save for him and one other.
He was in the kitchen and she on the roof.
The kettle clicked. The water was at the right temperature. He went to the cupboards and produced two mugs. He felt her move and readied the teas — green, 175 degrees Fahrenheit, steeped for three minutes — just as she favoured. Quietly, he set one mug at one end of the kitchen island and set his own at the other. He was being a coward, being so far away, but he needed the distance to hold himself steady. When she neared, he took pains to place walls around himself and close his thoughts from her. He was choking himself.
He straightened upon her arrival, her dark cape ghosting along the edges of the walls and floors. She was just as quiet as he, just as observative and calculating. Which is why, when she came to a careful halt at the kitchen's peripheral, he did not at once meet her eyes.
"How was your call?" she asked.
Her voice was flat and low, but he recognized her concern. Even so, even soft and quiet, he felt as if she had shouted. He flinched despite himself. She pretended not to notice. He was grateful for her subtlety.
She stepped into the kitchen and moved toward her tea, placed ever so discreetly in front of her self-designated seat at the island. He waited for her to sample her tea before answering.
"It was Batman," he said.
She gave him a flat look and his turned sheepish. She already knew. She knew him better than he knew himself.
"And?" she coaxed.
He looked wary. He had long stopped hiding himself from her — from them. This would be no different. Resolved, he looked her in the eye and knew that she could see through his mask and his lies, and said, "He wants me to join the Justice League."
He waited for a reaction, but all she did was take another sip from her tea. He didn't even realize he'd been holding his breath until she set her mug down and met his gaze. She was calm, unperturbed — knowing. He exhaled slowly, quietly and with care.
"Do you want to join, Robin?" she enquired.
There was no flux in her voice to indicate any distress or hurt, and he was not surprised. But he knew that she was bothered. He knew her better than she knew herself.
"I don't know," he answered honestly. He rubbed his forehead, a sign of his turmoil and stress. "It was… unexpected. The call this morning…" He broke off, not knowing what to say.
They stood in the silence. He was eager for, almost needing, a reply from her. She was practical and calm in ways he could never be, just as he was ruthless and sure in ways she could never be. In the mornings, they could resolve everything together before their friends even knew what had gone wrong. He needed her help to resolve this new obstruction in front of them.
"Raven," he broke the silence, "say something, please."
She set the mug aside and met him in the eye, very calm and sure: "Go."
His eyes went wide. He felt as if she had struck him. "What…?" he breathed, shocked and hurt.
She took his pain in stride. She knew his heart and his deepest secrets. She knew he wanted to go, but was obstructed by his loyalty to them. She would free him. She would free them all, and that was what he feared. That was what they all feared.
"We cannot be unchanging, Robin," she explained, very reasonably and intelligent. He could not find the words to counter. "We knew — all of us — that you could not be with us forever. Just as we knew — all of us — that Starfire could not remain on Earth indefinitely."
He pressed his lips, knowing her words to be true, but his heart protested — fervently.
"We have come to a crossroad," she continued, her gaze turning rueful and soft, "as we have come to our limits. You know, just as well as I, that we have nothing more to learn from each other. Already, our training has become didactic and our enemies minor. We must now take different paths if we wish to advance and grow stronger — to be who we truly are."
He shook himself, objecting. "I-"
"Robin," she said, firmly and without debate, her eyes narrowing and his mouth sealing at once, "we have journeyed together for that very purpose: to learn, to grow — to find ourselves. Your other self, your complete self, is with him and the Justice League. Our paths must divide from here on if we want our stories to continue."
He struggled with himself. He knew that her words were hurting them both, but they were needed words. They were no longer children, but were coming into maturity. They needed more challenges, more lessons, more everything — elsewhere. Not here. Not with each other. He knew that, one day, they would have to part.
"It's time, Robin," she said, sad and remorseful.
It hurt that it had to be now.
It had come sooner than either had anticipated.
"And the team?" Robin questioned, grasping at straws — not wanting to let go.
Raven lowered her hood, her amethyst eyes glowing in the morning sun. "Just because we will be apart, Robin, doesn't mean that we will be apart."
He looked to his tea, now cold and tasteless. They must resign to their fate. Sharing a look, they straightened when the rest of the tower stirred.
That morning, the Titans disbanded.
It was the coldest winter of their young lives.