Authors Note: I've always loved apprentice fan-fiction. I don't know why, I just have. So, I was watching Titan Rising and had a thought: what would happen if Terra had been actively working with Slade at that time? It's not terribly clever, and I guarantee you that I'll be pulling a lot of references from the hundreds of other fics I have read. If I pull a reference from your fic feel special, or I guess you can opt not to if that is your prerogative.
I should probably note the entirety of this fic takes place during season two in an alternate universe where Titan's Tower wasn't saved. This first bit, the prologue if you will, is pretty much just a refresher of the episode for those who haven't seen it in forever. The real exciting stuff is next chapter and I won't fault you for skipping ahead.
Also! Due to my sense of humor being incredibly awkward at times I'm going to state ahead of time that this isn't slash. Pairings are...well, they're a surprise, but I can tell you right now it isn't Slade/Robin.
I'm not making any money off of this, and I don't own Teen Titans. Though, that ought to be obvious.
Anyway, enough blabbing, enjoy the ride.
The game was heated, but how could a game between a bunch of super powered teenager's not be? Robin smashed the ball back across the net, landing like a cat, and barely giving a thought to the empath sitting on the sidelines and chanting in her monotone.
It was him and Beast Boy against Starfire and Cyborg. He and the green bean might not have had the same power packed strength as the other two, but they were certainly more agile. Robin made this abundantly clear as he arced up into the air and smashed the ball downwards.
Starfire went to intercept but Cyborg was faster. There was an epic showdown, cybernetic teen versus a gigantic green gorilla. It could have easily gone either way but Beast Boy was the first to smash it. The ball went rocketing through the air.
It was headed straight for Raven.
"Raven! Heads up!" the changeling shouted, pumping his arms like he was trying to fly. She didn't need the warning. The ball was suddenly engulfed in black energy and rocketed back towards Beast Boy. The changeling caught it with a winded expression on his cheerful grin face before flopping over. Robin couldn't help but wince.
His masked eyes widened as he glanced down at Beast Boy, who was on the ground, and then back at Raven. "Are you sure you don't want to play, Raven?"
The others enthusiastically jumped in trying to entice her to join them, but the response she gave made it very clear that she couldn't. She had to mediate to keep a handle on her powers. The team could respect that, even if they didn't think it was much fun. They shrugged at each other before starting the game up again.
Beast Boy was up to serve and it wasn't long before Raven was back in the firing range. As the ball rocketed towards her the second time she simply moved out of the way. It sailed past and presumably down to the ground below even as the Titans cried out that it should give a thought to defying gravity. Giving out a defeated sigh Beast Boy said. "I'll get it."
He didn't have to. Moments later the ball landed on the roof, seemingly on it's own.
Then she appeared.
"So. Which team am I on?"
Robin stared at the girl with the blond hair for a moment before his attention turned to the reactions of his teammates. Starfire and Beast Boy were practically falling over each other to greet the little geomancer. Cyborg was more reserved, but he still had a smile on his face. Only Raven looked unmoved, her back still to them, staunchly ignoring them.
When she greeted him he stayed professional, even detached. "Good to see you again," he said with a smile, reaching out a green gloved hand to shake hers.
Beast Boy protested that it wasn't just good, but Robin wasn't so sure yet. Especially after Raven's less than friendly greeting. Terra didn't seem terribly perturbed by this, however, as she stated she wasn't going to leave this time.
"I wanna be a Teen Titan!" she proclaimed, flinging her arms open and smiling at them winningly.
The resounding silence that followed, and the perplexed expressions on the others faces, caused the blond's expression to falter.
"Uh..." Beast Boy tried to explain.
"Got it," Terra replied frowning and backing up, her hands in font of her. "Sorry. Didn't realize the offer had an expiration date." she turned to leave but was stopped by a green gloved hand reaching for her shoulder.
Robin shook his head, frowning. "The offer didn't expire." he glanced towards his team. "We're just...concerned."
"Yeah..." Beast Boy haltingly tried to explain the situation. He couldn't manage it until Raven stepped in.
"You couldn't control your powers," the empath said, bluntly. Terra didn't seem to find it as offensive as they thought she would.
"Hello!" she exclaimed. "That's why I left! Robin said I needed practice," she gestured to the boy, who nodded affirmation. "So I've been practicing. Check it out."
She flipped backwards and began a controlled display of her powers. It was an impressive light show. Even Robin had to admit that she had gotten better.
"See!' she proclaimed. "I have everything under control."
Irony would have an earthquake occur at that moment.
Everyone turned to stare accusationally at Terra. The girl's face turned bright pink.
"Wasn't me!" she protested.
Robin took off for the door. This needed to be researched further.
"Earthquakes," Cyborg proclaimed as they stood in front of a massive map of the city. "Small ones, but they're happening all over the city."
"Too many to be natural," Terra pointed out.
"That's because they're not earthquakes," Robin replied, frowning as he analyzed the computer in front of him. Tiny red dots danced in lines. "They're a trail. Something is moving under the city. We need to find out what."
It was the battle cry. The team moved out. Robin and Raven paused when they noticed that Terra wasn't following. "Are you coming or not?" the spiky haired leader asked bluntly.
"Does this mean I'm on the team?" the blond asked hopefully.
"It means we could use your help," Robin replied, narrowing his masked eyes at her. The little geomancer nodded eagerly and raced past, brushing into Raven. The expression on her face gave Robin pause. He reached out a hand to steady her, noticing her face was slightly flushed. "Everything okay?"
"Can't tell," the young witch replied in her monotone. "Are you sure it's safe to have her around?"
"Not entirely," Robin confided. "But everyone deserves a second chance."
He had no idea those words could come back to haunt him so soon.
Robin caught up to the rest of the team downtown. They were engaging one of the things, Robin assumed, that had been causing the localized seismic activity. It looked like a cross between a worm, a subway car, and ugly.
The Titans fought it just like any other monster. As a team they were far more efficient then children were normally thought to be. Raven saved a busload of people before Cyborg distracted the beast by throwing a taxi cab at it. Terra created a rock wall when it charged, shoving the thing backwards so it fell heavily on the street behind it before being smashed into by a giant green mammoth.
It turned out the thing had lasers when a red beam smashed Beast Boy into a nearby building. He landed with a groan and Terra barely managed to save him before another laser hit where he had been standing.
Starfire drew the laser fire skywards, a green blur sailing through the sky followed by a red beam.
"Good work, Terra," Robin said, gritting his teeth and glaring up at the beast when the geomancer and the changeling landed behind him. "Now help me get in his face!"
With a glow of brilliant yellow energy she ripped up a floating pathway of rocks. The Boy Wonder hopped from one to the other barely avoiding the red beam once a few targeted explosions brought the thing's attention back to himself. Flinging himself into the air the little acrobat released a flurry of tiny explosive pellets. They flew into the monster's mouth.
Those things would give it awful indigestion.
Starfire caught him as he began to free fall back towards Earth. He could always trust her to catch him. Behind them the worm belched explosives. A green pterodactyl carrying Cyborg flew past for the kill shot. It was unsuccessful. It did, however, distract the worm enough for Robin to attack again.
He landed at a run. Starfire deposited him safely back on solid ground, a rooftop in this case, and he pulled out his grappling hook as he raced off of the building to start another aerial assault. The hook connected on the worm and he was sent flying around it until he landed, crouched, on it's back.
The boy pulled out his bostaff with a twirl and hit the button in the center that extended it before jamming the thing into what appeared to be a control panel. His attempt at added leverage failed when the staff broke and the monster he was currently riding gave a Wookie-like shriek.
Below him, a robot man riding a triceratops attacked.
While it did not capture Robin's full attention, staying on top of the stupid worm-bot had that honor, he did notice what appeared to be Raven and Terra struggling over a giant rock. He landed smoothly on the ground while they were still fighting over it. The robot worm's laser turned towards the two girls.
"Look out!" Robin cried.
And then the rock exploded.
Fragments went everywhere and momentarily stunned the Titans and the worm. Not for long, however.
"It's getting away!" Robin cried, pointing in the direction of the worm robot that was burrowing back underground. They stopped in front of the hole and stared into the blackness when Robin's communicator rang.
He already had an idea who it was before he had reached back to open it. The black and orange face confirmed his suspicions.
"Slade," the boy said with venom that leaked into his scowl.
"Robin," the man greeted smoothly. "Good to see you again. I do hope I haven't called at a bad time."
"The worm!" Robin cut right to the chase. "What are you planning?"
"Well now, Robin, if you're so very curious why don't you come down here and find out?" it was an invitation. One Robin had no choice but to accept. He frowned and shut the communicator with more force than necessary after the man's image had faded out. They were following that worm. They were going to stop Slade.
It was dark in the tunnels. Luckily Starfire made a good nightlight and Cyborg had a built in flashlight. There were theories about what the worm was doing down here. Raven and Terra had a heart to heart that the others tried to ignore.
Suddenly they were dumped into a huge cavern.
"Dead end," Raven reported.
"Not necessarily," the Boy Wonder turned towards a wall scrutinizing it as though it would expunge all it's secrets to him. His device, however, made it do so. "I'm picking up a signal from deep inside the rock."
"Way deep," Cyborg confirmed, coming closer. "Electronics, and a heartbeat."
"Slade," Robin said with a wide scowl.
"How about we dig down there and see what's up?" Terra suggested, she drew her hands out and they glowed a bright yellow. Suddenly, the cave around them began to shake. Accusatory glares were shot in Terra's direction. It wasn't her fault this time.
The worm was back. He brought friends...or maybe cousins?
The three seemed to converge on the young heroes and it looked for a moment like they were about to become worm food. Then, all three of the monstrous robots simply left. The team stared dumbfounded.
"Helloooo!" Beast Boy cried after them waving his hands. "The good guys are over here!" he turned back towards the team. "Dude! We got snubbed!"
"Because we are not their target," Starfire pointed out.
"Three of those worms together could wreck anything in the city." Cyborg cried.
"We have to stop them." Terra decided.
"We have to stop Slade," Raven pointed out.
"We split up," Robin decided, taking charge. "Cyborg, Starfire, Beast Boy, go after the worms. Terra and Raven, we're going after Slade."
Cyborg called to his teammates and the three going after the worms left. Robin was left alone with the empath and geomancer who didn't like each other much.
"I can make a tunnel on my own," Terra protested with a hand on her hip. She gestured to raven with her free hand. "Shouldn't she go with-"
"No," Robin interrupted. "Raven is almost as good at moving Earth as you are. We're digging through solid rock. I'm gunna need you both."
"Nice try," Raven said emotion creeping into her voice.
"I've got a fix on the signal. Forty degrees down, six hundred meters deep," Robin interrupted before they could start an argument.
"No problem," the girls answered in unison. They began to dig. Robin wasn't paying much attention to what they were saying, his masked gaze firmly on his communicator.
"Be careful, this rock isn't stable just take it a little," he glanced up to see them meters ahead of him. His masked eyes widened comically. "...slow."
The two girls made fast work of the tunnel, Robin walking behind them after he had managed to catch up. It wasn't terribly long before they burst into a subterranean cavern. It was huge. Scaffolding kept the walls in place and a gigantic computer sat at the center. Something spun around the ceiling. The boy's shocked expression was laughable. Neither girl looked half as surprised.
The Boy Wonder made a beeline for the computer, frantically typing and trying to figure out what was going on.
"Robin!" Cyborg's frantic voice crackled to life on his communicator. "It's the tower! They're attacking Titan's Tower!"
The boy's expression turned dark as the realization hit. "It's not just under attack. It's about to be underground."
They tried to stop the drill on their end. A pair of birdarangs and a few flung rocks later showed their efforts were futile. "Not even a scratch." the leader pointed out before turning his attention back to the computer. Green gloved fingers danced over the keys. "If we can't break the drill hacking this computer is our only shot at shutting it down."
He wasn't going to get that chance.
Slade decided to make his move them, racing towards the boy hacking his computer, and sailing into him with a kick to the chest. Robin went flying. He landed on his back, skidding across the platform they had been standing on. He rolled to his feet clutching an aching arm and watched as Slade jumped up into the air, and with a yell, struck another kick at him.
Robin flipped out of the way at the last second. The pair moved in sync, but what the boy didn't realize until the lift doors closed behind them, was that Slade had been herding him there.
"Robin!" Terra's voice cut through the fighting. "Hang on!"
"Forget about me!" the leader ordered as he dodged a series of punches. The tower was the higher priority. "Shut down the drill!"
"Good, Robin," Slade said. "Now I have you all to myself." he slammed the door of the lift shut and suddenly they were rocketing skywards. The boy didn't have much time to think about that, however, as Slade attacked.
Their fight was silent, but heated. Robin had to be careful to stay away from the open edges of the lift or he would be hurt. Suddenly, there was a rumble, and the boy nearly lost his footing in the elevator. He turned his head to see what was causing it, and his eyes widened in shock. "The tower!" he exclaimed, noticing that the red beams were now higher intensity.
"Going down," Slade affirmed before jumping out of the lift.
Robin raced to the side, mouth agape, and stared after where the masked man had vanished. Then he glanced upwards and realized why. He leaped out at the last second, grappling hook shooting out to slow his descent. He landed, with a flip, on a nearby beam.
"Robin we did it! We took out the drill!" Cyborg's exuberant voice on the other end of the communicator was enhanced by the whoops and cheers of the Titans behind him.
The leader didn't have a chance to celebrate, however, as their end of the drill was still operational. Then, the tower began to sink.
"There's nothing we can do," Raven protested as Robin neared the two girls. "We have to go."
"No!" Terra protested. Her eyes glowed yellow and she seemed to shoot up with her powers.
Something smashed into the back of Robin's skull. He fell forwards, a dazed expression on his face. The last thing he saw, before everything went dark, was a gigantic rock crushing Raven and Terra.
Author's Note: Okay...so...maybe I went a little overboard. But, you don't have to watch the episode to know what's going on now. Right? Right?