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Shield of Stone

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[ E A R T H ]


Missions were showing up left, right, and centre, global crime had gone up whilst the Justice League were preoccupied in their own areas on a universal level, which left dealing with the growing crime rates to the Titans who had to recruit new members in various sections, not so much as permanent team mates but more as a form of backup if things were to go down south. This meant collecting as many super or skilled beings as possible and coordinating their movements as best as they could with the substantial numbers.


This was nothing new however, it was normal, when the big guys, no matter if they’re good, neutral or bad, go M.I.A the crime rates increase. The bigger they are, the higher the crime rate everyone else is left to clean up as an inevitable cycle which is doomed to repeat itself no matter what. Crime lord gets arrested or killed, there’s competition to take over. Word gets out that a very well known hero is inactive then criminals from the area cause chaos under the assumption that there is no longer someone to stop them.


Robin was based back in Gotham, temporarily taking the Batman’s place despite the smaller stature, along with having to lead the Titans. It wasn’t easy but it had to be done. Jason wasn’t old enough to be left unsupervised just yet. Barbra still had to maintain her cover with her father which meant that she couldn’t spend every night on the streets. The Teen Titans needed a leader to keep their movements well organised and prevent miscommunication, arguments, and more people than necessary being in certain places.


Cyborg was recently recruited to keep guard of the Justice League’s space headquarters on a temporary trial for being part of the Justice League. It was a position he longed for, his friends knew this. He still did his best to do what he could from where he was when ever he could, keeping Robin updated on what he saw from the satellite view if anything serious goes on during the period Robin can’t have his eyes on the monitors.


Starfire was doing her part, being one of the only titans who could fly with minimal muscle requirement along with having a better method of self defence whilst in the air in comparison to Beast Boy. She would travel around the globe from Titan to Titan, trying to ensure that they either got a break or didn’t always have to fight solo if it seemed as though it was a bit too much.


Beast boy was helping out underwater, it wasn’t somewhere he stood out too much and he was needed there to report back to Aqualad if there were ever sea creatures who suddenly stopped reporting back given how that usually meant they were lunch it was generally an annoyance but sometimes it was actually something which was why he continued despite all of the false alarms.


Raven was initially on standby for whenever the titans might need fast travel too and from a location under urgent situations but this proved to be a tougher task than it was initially supposed to be which became apparent after the area she was situated in being broken into whilst she was in the midst of helping people to transport from one place to another, almost reaching the end of her limit given how this was over two weeks in and her human half was in need of rest.


The half-demon had been lucky that Robin had the connection with her and saw it coming from a fair way away as a shield of stone came crashing down seconds before the gunfire could be heard, followed by the sound of earth parting, then a loud scream which gradually faded. A quadrant of red eyes locked onto a pair of blue ones, taking in what had just happened. “You didn’t kill him did you?” Was her first question, well aware of how brutal the elemental could be.


Terra could only respond with a frown at the first words she received, not a thank you but a question about whether she crossed the line but tried not to overthink it given how they had history. “Maybe a broken bone or two, but he’s behind bars now if you want to check.” She said firmly, gesturing to the nearest police station which could be seen in the distance.


“Azarath metrion zinthos.” Was her simple response, not saying anything further after checking to see that he was still alive, being met with the man covered in stone, behind bars as Terra had said but she didn’t bother to grace the blonde with a response other than a nod of approval when she was satisfied with the sight of the man still being in one piece for the most part, granted there were more than just two broken bones in the rock filled cell.


The fact that Raven wasn’t phased in the slightest at the fact that she was still alive only irked her all the more, the lack of reaction meant that either she didn’t care or… “You knew, didn’t you.” It was more of an observation than a question. “You knew I was still alive this entire time. You knew that he got me out and that I was living a normal life.” The elemental said with almost full certainty.


She didn’t make a single move, not a gesture toward Terra being right or wrong, the expression on her face remained the same as ever as she debated her response, not entirely sure that Terra was ready to know the truth yet. The half-demon’s human needs soon came back into play just as they had with the lack of reflexes from the exhaustion, to this moment she was transporting Titans from place to place as her eyes were beginning to shut, doing one last task and talking to Robin through telepathy, no longer noticing what was going on around her as her body finally went to sleep.


Terra took the communicator, turning the volume up and continuing with transporting Titans from place to place, having to move them slower than raven would for various reasons such as not wanting to cause any natural disasters and make things so much worse than they already were. There was the addition of not wanting to damage any of the titan during their travel period, awaiting orders from her own communicator, only willing to respond if it was Robin on one way, still not ready for Beast Boy to know it really was her who he had seen at the school a few years ago after having gone so far to try and convince him it wasn’t her.


[ G O T H A M ]


Robin was showing Jason the more complex computer things that he needed the kid to keep an eye on and informed Cyborg that he needed him to take over in directing Titans, only briefing him on Terra’s return so that he wouldn’t be caught with any surprises and left unfit to lead if he wasn’t thinking clearly, simply advising the half-machine to leave it for Terra to bring up with Beast Boy, but in the end that was his decision as a leader whether he continues to keep it hidden or not, only whilst Robin was asleep.


He’d managed to get Batgirl on patrol and helped Jason to get up and started on helping her from the computer before laying on the first aid table despite Alfred’s objections. It was where he’d been sleeping after crime rates picked up whenever he found a requirement for sleep, Raven being the main reason, timing it for every second time to be at the same time as her, this time was intentional, knowing she wanted words with him.


Sleep didn’t come easily for the male, he remained restless until suddenly he was yanked into pitch black by a familiar phantom touch, well aware that the touch wasn’t really there but he knew who it was just from touch alone. “You were in trouble, no one else was available. I had to find her and send her in.” He said firmly with a stern expression, hoping that it was clear to Raven that he was telling the truth.


The half-demon remained silent, keeping her emotions in check, not wanting to damage Robin’s mental state, even if that would be harder to do in comparison to the other Titans at this point, it was still possible and she had no intention on testing how much damage he could take. She took a deep breath, hand remaining on his shoulder. “I didn’t bring her back just for her to get involved all over again.” Was stated in a monotone voice, Terra’s reappearance left her a bit on edge, especially after Beast Boy came so close to finding out that both her and Robin had lied to him about Terra, leaving him to think he was being paranoid.


A long sigh passed his lips before he finally spoke up, “I’m sorry, but there’s nothing I can do now, her school was attacked, I went in to deal with it, personally. She’d used her powers in self defence by the time I’d already made it there. It was either welcome her back or risk her being manipulated again.” He explained, justifying his choices, “if I made it there sooner then maybe things would be different. This is just the way things turned out and the way we’re going to have to live with it whether Beast Boy hates us or not.” He detected the obvious discomfort over what he’d said but stayed still, faced the opposite way. “If it makes you feel any better, I kept her hidden for as long as I could after the incident, but she was needed with you and we can’t afford for transport to suddenly stop.” The brunette added, “we need her, Rachel.”


Eventually she finally spoke up, “warn me next time.” Her tone featured a fair amount of malice but the lack of action being taken against the male spoke otherwise, meaning that she simply meant it as a warning with high expectations that he’ll actually tell her next time instead of drop the bombshell on her like he did this time, no matter how busy he is or even how much he doesn’t want to say it.


For the rest of the time they talked over what had been happening whilst the two allowed their bodies to sleep, which usually lasted up to around twenty nine hours to keep them lively until they reach their next limit in sync. Conversations like the one they were having this very moment were what kept them reasonably sane and reasonably hopeful amongst other things. It was like a day off, although it wasn’t as regular as most people’s were.


[ T W E N T Y - N I N E - H O U R S - L A T E R ]


Robin woke up to a rather excited Jason, seemingly excited to be off of the complex computer jobs meaning he could go out in the field with Batgirl whilst Robin caught back up on his duties as leader, reading through notes Jason had left, keeping note to explain how to do certain things next time, still having to work out what Batman has and hasn’t taught the kid.


[ J U M P - C I T Y - R E B U I L T - C L O C K T O W E R ]


Terra had relocated the pair after the area had been surrounded whilst Raven was in her slumber and there was little left to protect them in the way of protection or convenience of a bedroom with the rooms that got damaged from the battles that she’d gone through, all the while having to carefully relocate team members which got held up slightly every time she was under attack, leaving her with little choice and no way to consult either of the raven locked teammates whilst they were both asleep at the same time and she didn’t want to talk to Cyborg in case he didn’t already know, knowing how close he was to Beast Boy.


Raven’s eyes gradually opened to the new environment, checking what had happened to the previous place that she’d resided in, then working out her current location before she sat up. She glanced around the room before heading out to the main room where she’d detected the blonde’s presence. She grabbed her forearm, taking in memories, more so poking for the recent ones of where Titans were presently located and where they wanted to go, finishing the jobs up for her reasonably quickly, well aware that the elemental’s powers more than likely sap up a larger amount of energy at a faster rate. As soon as the current requests were dealt with she let go, not making eye contact even as she finally spoke, “...Thanks.” Was the only word she’d uttered, her talk with Robin during the period of rest allowing her a bit more clarity.


There was only silence that followed after the ravenette had spoken as the blonde tried to register that she’d actually thanked her, thinking through whether it would’ve been sarcasm or genuine, in the end she decided to accept it as a potentially genuine comment of appreciation, although she may never know but she was fine with that for the time being. “You knew about me already. You didn’t know that I’d be there but you knew I was alive.” The elemental said, bringing the previous topic up which had dwelled on her mind for days over the possibilities over how she knew or if she even did at all.


A simple nod was offered as she resumed her task of relocating people as the requests came in from the communicators. “I’ve known the moment you got out.” She said, honestly, with no intention of lying, knowing that would leave them off at a bad start, although she wasn’t willing to add much more in than an answer to what the questions were, whilst trying not to be dismissive as she may usually come across, having kept note of how overly sensitive the blonde was as a teenager, just in case.


Before the blonde had time to respond there was the sound of a loud crash of glass as a lock on missile was fired at the duo, leading the blonde to instinctively pull up a stone wall, leaving multiple rocks in the line of fire to try and slow down the projectile enough to ensure that it wouldn’t go all the way through or even break their current shield on impact, then multiple shots began firing from the same gun, the attacker’s reload being faster than they could handle.


Raven sent one more person to their requested location before putting all of her focus on the enemy at hand, shielding them in a hemisphere as she helped out with the stone shield so the elemental could attack before movements became mutual as missiles changed their trajectory pathway, they shielded each other whilst attacking as many projectiles as they could on their side.


They tried to buy time to come up with an attack plan which became priority with heightened urgency as the amount of attackers increased. They both knew that the sudden mass in attacks meant that someone had leaked who transports them from place to place, which was an issue they planned to deal with as soon as they both get out of this in one piece.


There was soon a mass of very sharp rocks prepped up, immediately blunted down by Raven before they were sent flying in the direction of the people targeting them, whilst they used a different set to get rid of the missiles that aimed to hit them, soon enough screams could be heard as some of the attackers fell and some levels of earth were heightened just enough for them to live, but not high enough to be without broken bones.


Even as the numbers died down they still had each others back, both refusing to leave the other open in the one place they tended to be vulnerable when ever they were in battle. The final man with a red lens over his eye eventually retreated with much reluctance, turning his back only briefly before firing one more trick shot directly at Raven as soon as they’d temporarily lowered their shields, thinking the man was done with how much distance he’d gotten in the helicopter.


The elemental hadn’t seen it with enough time to pull up another shield, instead turning her forearm to hand beneath the armour back into its previous stone form to block the bullet with heavy consequence as her arm began to shatter. She couldn’t feel a thing but the sight of it in itself was enough to leave her in a state of complete horror as she watched it begin to shatter and crumble even more when the bullet vibrated, causing a high frequency, shattering the glass of the window completely, along with the rock and stones surrounding them, in the end it caused her to pass out before Raven managed to destroy the bullet.


[ G O T H A M ]


As soon as Raven had arrived with Terra in a close grip, using her powers to keep her arm as intact as possible along with carrying along the pieces that fell off, trying to find how they reattach correctly like a nearly impossible puzzle with the fact that she was working with a dust like substance by this point. She placed her down on the first aid table of the Bat Cave without hesitation. This was one of the only places they couldn’t be found.


As soon as Robin was met with what would be a mutilated sight, had the blonde’s arm not been made out of stone at this very moment, his first instinct was to get Alfred for help, not the best when it came to first aid and he wanted to leave Terra in good hands. He wasted no time to call in for an emergency, informing Cyborg of the situation before he took over.


Alfred had given the elemental some general anesthesia to keep her out for long enough to get what was left of her arm attached, fixing up the excess cuts whilst the other two were working out which piece goes where beneath the microscope before joining them as soon as he was done patching her up, eventually managing to piece together what they could and filling in the rest before attaching the arm back to Terra, well aware that she may end up with nerve damage as soon as she turns it back.


Whilst they pieced the arm and hand back together Raven gave the rundown of the situation and what had happened, leaving Robin to think over who it could be, running names over his head along with potential affiliations with people who match the description, along with people who would potentially be leaking information to the criminals.


“Deadshot.” Robin said as soon as they’d finished with the arm, allowing Terra to rest. “He usually works alone, meaning that someone hired him and some goons joined him to make sure he finishes the job.” He said and thought over who had affiliations with the man in the crime world, along with whether or not the mole ratted them out willingly. “Three suspects, we’ll work from there.” He remained in his space of thought as he said this, “Red X, Jinx, and…”


Raven waited for him to continue before the eerie silence registered as her eyes met with where he was looking.




[ E N D ]




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