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

After Red X

by DrT 0 reviews

Not sure why this old story wasn't uploaded; set right after the episode 'Red X.'

Category: Teen Titans - Rating: G - Genres: Drama - Characters: Raven,Robin,Starfire - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2023-09-05 - 2362 words

After Red X
A Teen Titans story by DrT


After Robin failed to lure Slade out into the open by becoming Red X, Starfire was only the last Titan to confront him.
This characters in this story are the property of DC Comics and the various licensees, no infringement is intended; I’m just playing. The stories concerns the Teen Titan characters from the 2003-2006 animated show, not the many other versions.

Robin walked towards what he liked to call ‘the evidence room’ or ‘the incident room’ – he refused to call it ‘Robin’s hidey-hole’ like Cyborg and Beast Boy. He was embarrassed and he was angry, and he needed to get away, and in the Tower, that meant this room.

He was angry because in the end, he hadn’t fooled Slade. Perhaps he hadn’t fooled Slade for a moment, which was an uncomfortable thought. Either way he looked at it, he had failed; and he had alienated his team while doing it. He had anticipated there would be blow-back from his deception, especially from Cyborg, who had only recently stopped trying to run the team in his place, so the argument he had just had with the older teen hadn’t upset him too much.

Worse, Beast Boy had laid into him even harder than Cyborg – Beast Boy, of all people! Of course, Robin knew the reputation of the Doom Patrol, especially of Mento as a field leader – one of the few super heroes more hard-nosed than Batman. That Mento must have driven Beast Boy off the team in some way had been Robin’s unspoken assumption – Beast Boy had no more talked about his reasons for running away at barely fourteen any more than Robin had about his reasons about leaving Gotham at seventeen. Tonight had been the first time Beast Boy had brought any of that up, and Robin knew he did not like being shown as the equivalent of either of their mentors. Where Cyborg’s diatribe had only somewhat added to Robin’s anger, Beast Boy’s rant shamed and embarrassed him, because Beast Boy had been mostly right.

Coming up to the junction in the corridor that would lead him to his bolt hole, Robin was only slightly surprised to see Raven stepping out of the shadows that he should have realized shouldn’t have been there.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” he growled.

Raven glared at him, and both the way past her and the way to the incident room were blocked by her Dark Energy. He did not have to look behind him to know that his retreat would also be blocked off.

“If you wanted to yell at me, you should have stayed and joined in Cyborg and Beast Boy,” Robin snapped.

“Their anger would have fed mine, and you do not want me angry,” Raven said coolly.

Having seen Raven’s anger unleashed on Doctor Light, and heard what it was like inside her head from Cyborg, Robin had to agree his teammate had a point.


“Let me start by asking you a question. In your mind, are the Titans ‘a team,’ or ‘your team’?”

That puzzled Robin, so he had to ask, “What do you mean? They’re the same thing.”

“Not at all. If we are a true team, then when I say it’s my team it means the same as if any of us say it’s our team, including you. Or are we your team? In the sense that you are not just the coordinator/leader but the leader in the sense that we work for you as opposed to with you – and that if we disagree with you, you can remove and replace us? It’s your way or the highway, as the saying goes?”

Robin stood still, as the implications sank into his head. “I . . . I. . . .”

“I know you will dislike the question – I apologize for having to ask it – but since your skill set is so similar, are we a version of the Justice League with you as our Batman, the hero who strives to make us better and to work together, even if you’re the one without special powers, or are we the Bat-clan, and the clan leader rules the roost?”

“Not the second!” Robin almost yelled.

“I understand why you did what you did – part of you still wants to be the solo hero, to prove yourself, to yourself if not to others. But what you did was wrong, no matter how good your motives were. Tell me honesty, while I know it would have been difficult for Starfire or Beast Boy to have treated you differently in those confrontations, do you really think Cyborg or I couldn’t have? Can you honestly say that the only reason you didn’t tell one of us is because it wouldn’t have been fair to the others? Did the thought of telling me, of trusting me, ever even cross your mind?”

Robin winced; Raven was right, she wouldn’t have given any hint that she knew who he was. “No,” he answered, ashamed, “the thought never occurred to me. I just lumped you in all together. The fact that I wouldn’t have told you, because I wouldn’t want to put that burden just on you, didn’t occur to me, and it should have, just in case something went wrong.”

“Yes, if you had been killed and we only found out then, it would have torn us up even more than your loss would have, especially if one of us was in any way responsible.”

Robin grimaced at the thought, which had never occurred to him either. He had just thought of the idea and had gotten carried away with it. “Thinking about it, I should have at least left a letter, but to be honest, it occurs to me that if you had known it was me you were fighting, you wouldn’t have given anything away, but you still would have reacted differently.” See Raven frown, he told her, “You know me well enough to have anticipated my moves and taken me down.”

That took Raven back, but she still pressed, “I can see that, but you didn’t answer the most important question.”

“No,” he agreed, “I didn’t, and you deserve an answer. This is our team, not just my team. But I acted as if it was.”

“And so you were what?”

“I’ve been trained never to admit that,” Robin told her wearily. “To always acknowledge it, but not to verbally admit it.”

“Well, think on it some more.” Raven started to turn, but instead stopped herself. “I know how difficult it is to trust others. I have a longer way to go on that road myself than you do, and therefore please believe me that, while I am upset, I forgive you.” There was a Prophecy that might be hanging over her, after all, as much as she hoped it was nonsense. Someday, she might have to come clean; she couldn’t really complain too much about how Robin had acted. “I have every confidence you’ll do better. I hope I do not emulate your recent behavior and am able to do better as well.” The Dark Energy disappeared, and Raven turned and walked away.

Somehow, that made Robin feel worse, even if his anger was gone.


Later that evening, as Raven floated in meditation over her bed, there was a soft knock on her door. “Come in, Starfire.”

A troubled-looking Tamaranian came reluctantly into the room as Raven floated down to sit on her bed.

“I guess your talk with Robin didn’t go well?”

“How. . . ?”

“I sensed you making your way to him shortly after he left me and I came back here.”

“Raven . . . did you do the yelling at Robin?”

“Yell? No, why?”

Starfire looked confused. “When I entered Robin’s hide-away, he asked if I was coming to do the yelling, as all the others had.”

“Ah; while I did not raise my voice when speaking to Robin, I did let him know I was disappointed in his decisions. I might even go so far as to say I scolded him a bit. Metaphorically, he could consider himself yelled at, especially since Cyborg and even Beast Boy certainly did so literally.”

“I see.” Starfire’s eyes dropped to the floor, her shoulders slumped. “I also did the scolding; so I too may be considering having done the yelling.”

“And you really don’t like yelling,” Raven mused. “Shouting to be heard is fine, gentle reprimands or even some of the verbal fencing that goes on around here don’t upset you . . . granted no one likes being yelled at, is there any particular reason why you dislike true yelling so much more than the rest of us? You even flinch at times.”

“In part, I fear it might someday drive us apart, but also . . . I do not like thinking of my time of captivity.”

As all the Titans well knew, Raven was not a tactile person, and of course she gave all the outward signs of being a fairly uncaring person. None of the other four thought of her as unfeeling, however. Even Beast Boy (usually) knew that what she felt and what she could show were poles apart. Starfire was therefore pleased rather than shocked when Raven didn’t hesitate to stand and go to her friend, putting her arm around her waist (since Starfire was just a shade too tall for Raven to put her arm around her friend’s shoulders) and guided her over to sit on her bed.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Raven asked.

“About that time? No. Someday, perhaps, but not now. About Robin? Yes.”

“If you’re sure?”

“About the not talking? Yes; most certain. Again, I say maybe someday, but not tonight.”

Raven hugged Starfire a bit tighter for a moment, and then go.

Starfire slumped on the bed even more. “I hope I did not hurt Robin’s feelings.”

“Perhaps we did, but we had to let him know we found his actions . . . objectionable. I hope I did that without him taking it as a personal attack.”

“I compared him to Slade,” Starfire mumbled.

‘Ouch,’ Raven thought. ‘That’s probably worse than comparing him to Batman.’ What she said, however, was, “In a sense, you were right.”

“Perhaps. I do not understand why Robin is becoming so obsessed.”

“That I think I do understand.” Starfire looked at her friend for enlightenment. “There are two reasons. One is, Slade is an enigma to all of us. The others we’ve run into, well, their motivations were clearer. Slade is after something, and we don’t know what. Robin hates puzzles like this. He wants to be a step ahead, not two steps behind. Therefore he is trying too hard to get that edge.”

“And the other?”

“We tend to have to deal with two types, either basic criminals or those who are either metas or who are enhanced with technology, or a bit of both. Slade is certainly not a basic criminal, and while he may be using enhanced technology, like those robots, we’ve now seen that his own skill set is basically the same as Robin’s. Robin is used to besting those with greater powers than he has, to run into someone who not only he can’t beat, but is coming out ahead using the same skill set he has, well. . . .”

“It is the personal affront, the personal challenge.”


After a pause, Starfire said softly, “I have feelings for Robin.”

“Romantic feelings, you mean? I thought as much.”

Starfire looked away. “You do not mind?”

Raven frowned. “Why would I mind?” Starfire blushed. Raven rolled her eyes, but she had found herself closer to all her teammates than she had imagined possible. She had not been raised with ‘girl talk,’ but if Starfire hadn’t been, she still seemed to desire it. Therefore, at times, Raven would indulge her friend. “I don’t know what you might be thinking, but while you and Robin are both . . . aesthetically pleasing, and good friends, I don’t have any romantic or physical desires for either of you.”

“I am . . . aesthetically pleasing to you?”

“You are.” Raven frowned. “Err, are you saying, well. . . ?”

“No, I am just surprised at the thought. Although it is not unknown, such is less common on Tamaran than it seems to be here. I originally had wondered if you were attracted to Robin. You . . . seem close at times.”

“To a degree, Robin and I instinctively understand each other, but not in that way. Cyborg seems determined to treat you, me, and Beast Boy as younger siblings. Beast Boy . . . when he’s not being thoughtless or deliberately trying to be funny, I sometimes thinks he’s the person that keeps us going as friends more than teammates. Perhaps someday I’ll find one of you attractive the way you and Robin currently find each other attractive, but not today.”

“You reassure me, but I do wonder if Robin feels for me as I do him.”

“He does, but right now, the most important thing to Robin is the team. He needs to prove himself, to himself if not to others. When he realizes he has done that, he might realize that he can acknowledge his feelings for you. You have to decide if you can wait until then.”

“Robin is worth the waiting for,” Starfire declared.

“Then he is worth training a bit, by all of us. This stunt he pulled is not the way for him to go, if we want him to become the Robin who can return your feelings, not to mention us wanting the team to be more than his team.”

Starfire hugged her friend. While she didn’t hug Starfire back, she made no objection or movement away from the hug. To Starfire, that was another victory. “Thank you, friend,” she said, and dropped the hug.

“You can always talk to me . . . friend.”
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