Jay, Herry, Odie, and Theresa head to look for clues
It was the released wire of Archie's whip.
Theresa froze her brown eyes scanning the trees. Jay heard what had caught her attention. A small noise reached them.
Instinctively the group backed up and created a circle. Jay's xiphos was out, Theresa's numbchucks, and everyone held a glow stick above their head trying to increase the area of forest lit.
"Stay close," Jay whispered.
"Archie?" Theresa called, "Archie I know it's you we just wanted to talk."
"As you wish drama queen" Archie said as the light illuminated his features.
"Archie," Jay sighed and put down his weapon. Everyone relaxed ever so slightly.
"Arch what's up?" Jay asked as everyone stared at Archie.
"Look Jay I told you I had some stuff I needed to deal with." He looked to the side, "Ill be back I promise"
Jay looked at him.
"Archie," Theresa said angrily, and the boys stepped back. "Atlanta told me something very special today, you are a teammate and as much as I hate to admit it especially when you and Neil involved. We have become a family. We should help you through your time of need. Listen Archie we haven't gotten along well in the past and sometimes we just fight and argue. Atlanta was right I think of you as a brother."
"Does she think of me as a brother? Do the rest of you?" Archie asked.
Jay, Herry and Odie stood quietly.
"You know you have feelings for Atlanta. Don't deny it, and even though she hasn't told me, yet I'm sure you yourself know the answer to the first question." Theresa replied bravely taking a step forward. "Archie," her tone was quiet she was trying to get through to him. She continued until she gave him a light hug. Herry and Odie's eyes flickered to their proud leader, his face red in the light.
Archie thrashed out, his hand hitting Theresa across her cheek. A growl of surprise and anger emitted from the other boys. Jay leapt to Theresa's fallen side as Herry and Odie raced to Archie trying to restrain him.
His Hephaestus whip was out causing Herry and Odie to pause.
Jay was helping Theresa helped up as she was watching Herry and Odie.
"I don't need your help," He cried whipping it as xiphos got caught within the wire
Jay let it go as Herry got around Archie and leapt on his back. Archie whipped his whip around, his whip cutting across Jay's face.
Everyone paused as they saw the blood dripping down Jay's face. Herry fell down staring at Archie.
Theresa was at the teen's side examining the cut on Jays right check bone.
Archie's whip was flicked behind his head, "I told you I don't need your help"
"Need or want Archie?" Atlanta called stepping out of the trees to stand by Jay and Theresa her laser crossbow level and aimed perfectly at Archie.
The other teens froze.
Archie quieted and relaxed; his hazel eyes not focusing on Atlanta's gray eyes. Atlanta still stayed tense.
"Damn it Archie," she called, everyone but her realized she had tears running down her face. "Why won't you tell us?"
Archie shook his head and dropped his whip in his pocket.
"Come on Jay lets get you to Chiron," Theresa said as Odie pressed an old shirt to Jay's head.
The started to walk away but paused when they realized Atlanta and Archie were silently battling each other.
"Archie," she whispered, "you have made your choice" her voice was cold and whipped in the forest allowing everyone to hear her. "If you can't trust us enough to tell us when you are in trouble, you are not part of this team, you never have and you never will. If you come back, I'm a team player Ill accept you and respect you for that. But you are no team mate of mine, no friend, nothing more." Her eyes were fixed upon his, "and never will be anything more."
With that she turned and walked back to Herry's truck with the other teens that were quiet with shock.
Theresa sat in the back with Jay helping him keep pressure to the cut. The shallow cut was not long, just from his cheekbone to his jaw line, the blood would not clot.
Atlanta was curled up in the front seat. Her knees were up and her head was resting on the window sill. Her eyes were shut and whenever Herry watched her out of the corner of his eye the eye lids never flickered. But tears were rolling down her cheeks as her ragged breath was quiet leaving her mouth. The titans left her alone. They didn't ask, Herry carried her up to her room, and Theresa gently removed Atlanta's shoes, socks and her laser crossbow. She was curled up like a little girl. The older titans left and letting Atlanta sleep.