Categories > Cartoons > Teen Titans > Tales from Titans' Tower

Early Reflections

by DrT 1 review

Robin and Raven have early reflections on their new team.

Category: Teen Titans - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Drama - Characters: Raven,Robin - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2016-05-19 - Updated: 2016-05-23 - 3162 words

Early Reflections
A Teen Titans story by Dr T


This is based on the Teen Titans animated show, not the comics, Teen Titans Go!, or other iterations of the characters. I do not own these characters in any way, shape, form, and get nothing from the story except the fun of it. YMMV


The story is set after the Titans form, a few weeks after they move into the Tower, a month or perhaps two before any Season One episodes. Raven and Robin reflect on their team.


Robin stood at the window of the living area of the new Titan’s Tower, looking into the darkness towards the lights of Jump City across the bay. There are always lights on in a city, of course, even at 3:45 in the morning.

Robin just stared, almost in a military ‘at ease’ posture, but of course he wasn’t at ease in any meaningful way.

He just managed not to turn around with a startled jerk when he heard the distant door to the area open softly behind him. At first, he figured it was Cyborg or Beast Boy up for a late snack and there was a good chance neither would notice him as he was in the furthest corner of where the huge window met the far wall; it certainly shouldn’t be someone coming to attack him or the others. He had, after all, checked the alarms and sensors six times since midnight.

“Still on edge, I see,” came a soft voice behind him

Robin turned around; he should have realized it was Raven that had come into the area. She was the only one of the others nearly as quiet as he was, unless Starfire was floating.

Seeing he was about to deny being on edge, Raven simply remarked, “Empath, remember?”

“True,” Robin replied. “I have to admit I don’t really know what that means in practice.”

“I sense the feelings around me; in some ways I feel the feelings around me. Think of it as emotional white noise, always in the background, with sounds occasionally becoming disturbingly loud and yet not usually identifiable. I have been trained to partially ignore the details of the noise unless I want to focus on them, or a particularly strong one. If I couldn’t mostly ignore it, it would drive me to insanity after a while.”

Robin grimaced. “Well, it’s better than knowing our thoughts at least.”

“True, and I do have to concentrate to isolate a person’s feelings in any sort of crowd. Starfire was alone in a business district on an early Sunday morning, which is why I could pick her up as I did.” She gave Robin a dirty look. “And I doubt if it was intentional, but whoever put me in the room next to Beast Boy made it harder to pick up on the rest of your feelings – his are always hyperactive, making some real ‘white noise’.”

“Except when he’s asleep, I take it.” Which no doubt why Raven was with him now. With Beast Boy asleep, he had in a sense been broadcasting the loudest feelings on the island.

“I am sorry if you find this intrusive, but it is as much a part of my senses as our sense of sight or hearing . . . or perhaps I should say, Beast Boy’s hearing, as with ears shaped like his, he can probably hear better than you.”

“How about you?”

“I have slightly better than the range of human hearing as well, but not nearly as good as his. As quiet as it is right now, if we were silent for a few minutes, and I was a bit closer to you, I could probably hear your heart beat. Now, enough trying to deflect me, or learn about me, whichever you are doing. . . .”

“A bit of both,” Robin admitted.

“Tell me, what is bothering you tonight? Is it the fact that we had our biggest challenge since the invasion today?” It had been a bank robbery, but the gang had been armed, and three of them had more-than-human strength and some formal fight training, although they were not quite more than twice as strong as normal person. The fight had been tough, and they had been shot at and one of the gang members had come after himself and Beast Boy with a knife. Except for a lot of muscle strains, scratches, and bruises, the Titans had escaped unscathed and victorious, and no civilian had been seriously injured.

“I guess so. We did alright. . . .”

“Robin, we have just started. You might have had a partner before this, and Beast Boy was a junior member of an established team, but we have not yet learned to operate as a unit. We’re getting there. . . .”

“I hope so,” he muttered.

“So, what else is bothering you? That you and Cyborg are competing to be the leader?”

“I’m sure that’s part of it,” Robin had to admit.

“You two need to work that out between you, and not bring the rest of us into unless you have to,” Raven pointed out. “You’re also worried that one of us will go too far – you have no idea what my powers, or Starfire’s, might do; if Beast Boy can really control the instincts of the animals he turns into; if Cyborg’s sonics might be tuned wrong; or that when one of us brings down debris by accident that it might injure or kill someone, especially a civilian.”

Robin nodded. “As skilled as Batman is, while he – or I – might misjudge a punch and cripple or even kill someone, we’re not going to blow up a building or step on a car and crush it – which would be even worse if it turned out people were hiding in either.”

“True. But that is a risk all of us who try and do this work take. What else is bothering you? The fact that we have all put our collective selves into the hands of four other potentially reckless teens?”

Although her tone hadn’t changed, Robin could tell he was being teased at least a little. “I suppose.” He looked Raven in the eye. “I do worry about how each of you fights.”

“I know I’m not very good at hand-to-hand. . . .”

“No offense, but to my surprise, you are adequate.”

“Coming from you, that’s almost praise.” The teasing was a bit more evident now.

“Actually, you’re the one I’m least worried about.”

Raven blinked in surprise.

“Any of us could be caught by surprise, but you’re the only one who is more-or-less as aware of your surroundings as I am. You’re the hardest to rattle, even more than I am. You’re methodical, you’re smart, and hopefully, like the rest of us, you’re only going to get better as you get experience, both in the field and in knowing how the rest of us might react in any given situation. You’re not predicable, but you’re the least likely to do anything that will cause one of the rest of us to get thrown off what we need to be doing. If we make it as a team, you will likely be one of the rocks we build off of.”

“Thank you,” Raven said, touched, although not showing it outwardly. “And what about the others?”

Robin paused for a moment, and then realized what Raven was doing. Making him talk about these things, sharing the burden in a sense, would help him deal with the issues, and perhaps even resolve some of them.

“Let’s start off easily,” Raven went on when she saw Robin had relaxed a tiny bit. “Starfire?”

“On the one hand, from what little she’s said and from how she acts in the field, she has had some sort of combat training. She’s the most likely of us to be willing to engage directly with an opponent first, even more than I am. However, that training means she is going to attack first, perhaps even when it might not be the best reaction. The type of crime fighting we do will certainly involve that sort of fighting, but even though you’re untrained, you’re the only one besides me likely to be willing to engage in field investigation. Despite appearances. . . .”


Robin flushed slightly.

“Go on; this is private, and I will certainly try not to take offense at anything you say.” She smiled slightly. “I won’t send you to an alternate dimension.” She had already threatened Beast Boy with that a few times.

“Alright; to outward appearances, you are a small, fragile-looking girl. I’ve already seen you take hits that would certainly stop, if not seriously injure, a normal girl, even a trained athletic one, so you’re not anywhere as fragile as you look. Starfire is more athletic looking than you, me, or Beast Boy, but she seems to be even more physically resilient than you.”

“Probably she is, just as I am probably nearly as resilient to blunt trauma as Cyborg, who is much more so than you are. I am, however, as susceptible to puncture wounds as you; I don’t know about Starfire. Beast Boy, well, that would depend on his form.” She looked at Robin in such a way that he almost squirmed. “I know how I appear – by the way, remember I am the same height you are – so what is the part I would resent?”

“Well, even though you try and hide it, you and Starfire are both very attractive girls. I do worry that some people might try to . . . impose themselves on you, especially if either of you were captured.”

Raven looked surprised at that. No one had ever really told her she was attractive, but it did underline the feeling she had gotten from some males. She had just assumed they were all perverts; could it be that only most were? She wrapped that thought up in her mind and put it aside for later. “It could happen, if we were unconscious.” Her face hardened. “I can assure you, if awake, they would never be able to carry out their threats on me at least.”

She could see Robin wanted to know more, but he was able to ignore it, at least for the moment. “Anyway, Starfire, like all of us, needs to learn how to operate as part of a team, but I think we can work that out, so far as she, you, and I are concerned.”

“And Cyborg?”

“I assume you were born with your powers and then they developed over time?”

“Very true.” Somehow, Raven’s inflections of those two words seemed to contain the warning ‘DO NOT DARE TRESPASS FURTHER’.”

Robin didn’t. He was striving for their trust and hoped to lead the team, and he couldn’t press – yet. “Starfire was either born with all her current abilities, or they developed over time as part of her species.” Neither knew at this point that she had been ‘enhanced’ during her captivity. “You both therefore have years of training with your abilities, even if you are using them in new ways.”

Raven merely nodded her agreement.

“I have lots of years of training as well, and believe it or not, so does Beast Boy. But Cyborg was a normal, if brilliant, high school student and star athlete when he was almost killed in an accident not quite two years ago. His father managed to save him, and eventually put him together in this form just under a year ago. I don’t know how well he’s adjusted to the changes, or how well he can use his abilities. I don’t think he fully knows yet, either.”

“I can see why there could be residual problems, or at least resentments,” Raven agreed. “And why an ex-jock feels the need to establish himself in the pecking order more than Starfire, Beast Boy, or myself.”

Robin grimaced slightly, but acknowledged, “I know, I’m just as bad. Batman and I had a blowup, and I came here to establish my own life.”

“None of us, except maybe Beast Boy, came to Jump looking to be part of a team,” Raven agreed. “I won’t speak for you, but being on this team gives the rest of us a sense of purpose we otherwise would have been worse off for not having. From what I have gathered, Cyborg spent much of his time working on technical projects in a small workshop. Starfire was of course some sort of captive. I . . . well, I needed a home and a purpose, and I think Beast Boy was really a runaway from the Doom Patrol. He was actually living rough in the different parks around the city.”

“I know, that’s why we moved in before the Tower was even close to being finished,” Robin said quietly.

“So, will you and the other Alpha male be able to work out your differences?” Raven asked.

Robin’s shoulders sagged just a trifle. “I hope so.”

“And that leaves us with the problem child, or am I the only one who sees him that way?”

“To be honest, you seem to think of him that way the most,” Robin told her. “I think Cyborg and Starfire like him the way he is. I wish he would take more care of his conditioning, but he does at least take the team exercises somewhat seriously. I do worry about his fighting style. . . .”

“He seems to end up being as bruised as the rest of us together,” Raven pointed out. Not for the first time, the thought flickered through her head that she might use the powers that she used to heal herself to heal her team mates. She knew it was possible in theory, but no one on Azarath would allow her to try and heal them, so it was untested.

“He’s the only one of us almost always totally physically engaged,” Robin said with a shrug. Robin was second in that regard, but he usually started off at least using a batarang or martial arts weapons of one sort or another. Robin looked like he was about to say something, but then held back.

“Go on,” Raven commanded quietly.

“I know you don’t like personal questions, but . . . but are you, well. . . .”

“Human?” Seeing Robin flush, she let him partially off the hook. After all, there was a true alien on the team. “In terms of ancestry, half, and I’ll thank you to leave it at that. I know my coloration would encourage the idea that I am not, but ignoring that, I would physically seem to test out as fully human – all my bits and pieces are in the same place and function essentially as any Earth human female’s. While my blood shouldn’t be used to transfuse anyone, I can accept O negative blood and the standard blood plasmas. I am slightly stronger and have faster reflexes, and am more resistant to blunt force trauma, and of course have my powers.”

“Right. So I’m not sure how old Starfire is, in her own terms or compared to us, but I would say that Beast Boy is the youngest of us, and on average girls to mature a bit faster than boys. Part of what you see as his faults is the result of his being the youngest, which also means he probably thinks he has the most to prove. And even though his jokes are usually as awful as you seem to think they are, they are a sign not just of his insecurity but just part of his nature.”

“I suppose. I do not know much about Batman, and less about Mento, but both are experienced and you two have been trained. I should give him the benefit of the doubt.”

“I suppose I should as well, but sometimes he just doesn’t seem to, well, think. That’s why he needs even more practice than the rest of us.”

“I would slightly disagree. Yes, he relies on his instincts, not the hand-to-hand combat conditioning that you have had engrained into you, but that is how he has to operate: for you, training and conditioning; for him training and instincts. If I've learned anything these last few weeks, it is that we react in a fight. Once we engage, we do not have time for internal debate. Yes, he ends up the most bruised, but it is how he has been trained to use his powers. We have to learn how to incorporate that, not oppress it. He needs some general physical conditioning, just as I do, as much as I hate to say it, and we all need team building exercises so we can work together and anticipate each other better. I may need more hand-to-hand training, but it might actually damage Beast Boy to have your conditioning fighting the animal instincts.”

“You may be right,” Robin agreed with a sigh.

“And while I do not wish to get between two alpha males butting heads, Cyborg was partially right yesterday, just as you were partially right this morning.” Raven sighed in turn; she didn’t like aspects of what she had to say. If nothing else, however, she was determined to be honest with herself. “We need to be a true team, not a group. So yes, that means some of your team combat exercises, but it also means doing other things together as a team, like Cyborg said.”

Robin just looked at her.

“I know, that means more than everyone else has to participate. Just remember, my powers depend on my being in emotional control – not just using them, but containing and controlling them.” She looked him in the eye. “Go to bed Robin. Get some sleep. Since only you and Cyborg have actual money, why don’t you suggest an hour of physical team building exercises after breakfast settles, and then offer to take us out for lunch as one of Cyborg’s versions of team building?”

“And you’ll come?”

“If it’s to someplace that offers enough meat to keep Cyborg quiet and vegetarian options for Beast Boy, so the two won’t argue – or at least argue as much as they usually do – then yes.”

“Do you like pizza?”

Raven thought a moment. “I’ve never had pizza, but I’ve had enough similar foods than I’m sure I can eat it.”

“So first exercise and then pizza it is – if I can get the others to go along.”

“Agreed.” And with no further comment, Raven started walking away. After a few steps, she was floating/gliding away and out of the room.

Robin shrugged, and decided he needed at least a few hours sleep.
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