Four years after Young Justice is founded, they are finally allowed to become independent. They go looking for old members who have left – including Robin and Kid Flash – but they don’t know that Robin and Kid Flash have found a new team: the Teen Titans. It is a pre-flashpoint story arc.
I dnt own Teen Titans or Young Justice.
It was a clear, sunny day in Jump City, the type that looked as if it’d been designed for heaven itself. The sheer beauty of the day sorely tempted the inhabitants of the city. Employees sat at their desks or behind their counters, wishing they could leave their dull jobs for the glory of being free. Housewives paused between chores to inhale the sweet, fresh air drifting in their kitchen window. Teenagers and schoolchildren squirmed in their seats, longing to be outside the confining walls of their education institutes. It’s probably safe to say that the only people who could truly enjoy this glorious day were the Teen Titans.
The five superhero teens lounged in their tower, blissfully free until some villain decided to come along and ruin their peace. But for Robin, his peace would not be disrupted by a villain today, but by a friend.
It started with the soft beeping of his Titan communicator. Robin, who was halfway into a game of chess with Starfire, pulled it out almost absent-mindedly, not even pausing to wonder why the caller didn’t contact the Tower mainframe. He didn’t even bat an eye when Kid Flash appeared on the communicator’s screen. He got his first clue only when Kid Flash uttered one word: “YJ.”
Robin stiffened immediately, his hand hovering over his knight. Starfire, intent on the game, did not notice.
Forcing himself to remain calm, Robin mouthed, “One minute” to Kid Flash before closing the communicator. He plastered a smile on his face and turned to Starfire.
Starfire looked up from the board. “Yes?”
“I’m gonna go to the bathroom for a while. I’ll be right back.”
Starfire nodded. “Okay, Robin.”
Robin acted naturally as he made his way out of the hall, but once he was out of sight, he dropped all pretense and bolted for his room, closed and locked the door behind him, and called Kid Flash back.
“Okay, KF; what’s the situation?”
Kid Flash sighed and rubbed his nose. “They looked me up”, he replied. “Goodness knows how they found me or what they were doing in Central, but this morning Miss M shows up at my door asking if I want to be part of the team again.”
“What did you tell her?”
“I said I needed time to think. She told me not to take too long, then she gave me one of those shy smiles. Some things never change. Man, what a crush I used to have on her.”
Robin resisted the urge to swear. “KF, you’re getting off topic,” he reminded his friend.
“Right.” Kid Flash pulled himself back from his reminisce. “Anyway, Megan gave me the lowdown on what’s been going on since we left. Apparently the League finally cut Young Justice loose. They’re completely independent now, although they still work with the League. But they’re a team in their own right every bit as much as the Titans now. They’re trying to find everyone who left to see if we want to rejoin the group you know, since most of us left because ” He trailed off.
Because we were tired of being treated like sidekicks, Robin finished in his head. Out loud, he said, “Yeah. I know. What does that have to do with me?”
Kid Flash looked exasperated. “Haven’t you been listening to anything I’m saying? They’re looking for you, Robin. If they could find me, they’ll find you. I didn’t tell them about the Titans, but I can almost guarantee they’ll know about us once they manage to locate you.”
Robin sighed. “There’s a lot of history to be sorted out, you know that?” he said. “We didn’t exactly part on the best of terms, and the Titans will make things complicated.”
“I know,” Kid Flash sighed. “But Rob, maybe we should make our peace and let bygones be bygones. It was over two years ago, after all.”
“Maybe you’re right,” Robin agreed. “Grief, this will be messy but what choice do we have? Tell Megan we’ll meet them at the beach outside Mount Justice, and speak to Speedy about this. Tell him he has to go. Then you’d better talk to Jinx.”
Kid Flash nodded, his expression rueful. “She is so not gonna like this.”
Robin winced sympathetically. “I’ll talk to Starfire and the others. You’d better let Speedy know he should discuss this with Titans East as well. I just hope they don’t hate us for keeping this from them.”
“Who do you mean by ‘they’?” asked Kid Flash. “The Titans, or Young Justice?”
Robin smiled wryly. “Both.”
Starfire glanced up as Robin re-entered the room.
“There you are,” she said, smiling broadly. “I was beginning to wonder if you were ill. You were gone for some time.”
“Something’s come up, Star,” Robin said. He looked around the room. Aside from Raven, who was in her room probably reading the Titans were all in the main room.
“Cyborg, Beast Boy,” Robin called to them, interrupting their video game. “Can I talk to you for a second?”
“I will go get Raven,” Starfire volunteered as Cyborg paused the game.
“What’s up, Robin?” Beast Boy asked.
“Let’s wait for Raven before I say anything.”
It didn’t take long for Starfire to return, with Raven in tow.
“What’s this all about?” Raven asked with just a hint of curiosity in her emotionless voice.
“Sit down, guys. This will take a while.” Robin cast his gaze upwards. This was not going to be easy to explain.
“Okay,” Robin began, “here’s the thing. You all know I moved here about two years ago, right?”
“Of course.” Starfire nodded. “I could never forget that day.”
“But I never told you why I came here.”
The other Titans looked at each other.
“We figured it had something to do with Batman,” Cyborg ventured. “But we didn’t want to pry, since you didn’t seem to want to talk about it.”
“In a way that’s true, but Batman’s not the only reason I left Gotham. It was the whole Justice League in general, plus some rather big misunderstandings with the others.”
Raven raised an eyebrow. “You’re not making sense, Robin. Start from the beginning.”
“Okay.” Robin exhaled. “Let’s see when I was thirteen, I and some other apprentices to League members well, we’d been trying to get into the League for some time. Then the day finally came when the League agreed to let us take a tour of their Headquarters, as the first step to becoming members. Only, it wasn’t the real Headquarters. They didn’t trust us with that secret they thought we weren’t ready.”
“Hold up,” interrupted Beast Boy. “Who’s ‘we’?”
Robin hesitated before dropping the bombshell. “Myself, Speedy, Kid Flash, and Aqualad.”
Beast Boy stared at him. “Dude!” he complained. “You all tried to get into the League? And this was before we founded the Titans? What are we, some sort of second-hand group?”
“No!” Robin denied. “It’s not like that will you just let me finish?”
Beast Boy held up his hands. “I know, I know, wait for the whole story. I’m sorry. Go on.”
“As I was saying, we weren’t happy,” Robin continued. “So we went looking for a mission we could do to prove ourselves to the League. Long story short, we were successful, and Batman decided to make us a team called Young Justice. We were a covert branch of the League.”
“You were on a team with Speedy, Kid Flash, and Aqualad before the Titans?” Cyborg asked.
“Not exactly.” Robin sighed. This was proving to be more complicated than he’d thought. “Speedy well, Speedy didn’t take the news too well. He cut ties with Green Arrow and went solo. He changed his name to Red Arrow. We tried to get him on the team, but he wouldn’t join but he still ended up working with us anyway. And before we go any further, the Aqualad in Young Justice wasn’t Garth. He was Kaldur’ahm, the original Aqualad. Garth took the name when he started out, but by that time Kaldur had changed his name to Aquamarine. Kaldur was our leader. He always said he’d turn over leadership to me when I was ready, but I never was not while I was with them, anyway.”
“And Kid Flash?” Starfire inquired.
“He’s the same person,” Robin confirmed. “The two of us left at the same time but I’m getting ahead of myself. Anyway, the original Young Justice consisted of me, KF, Kaldur, Superboy, and Miss Martian. Superboy’s a clone of Superman, and Miss M’s the Martian Manhunter’s niece.”
“Wow,” commented Beast Boy. “You were hanging around all these people at thirteen?”
“Yes.” Robin paused. “Later on we were joined by Artemis, Wonder Girl, Secret, and Arrowette all girls, if you can believe it. Secret and Arrowette left soon after they joined, but the rest of us stayed until about two years ago.
“Some of us senior members Superboy, KF, and me felt that even though we had surpassed all expectations the League had for us, we were still being treated as sidekicks rather than fully-fledged heroes. I was fifteen at the time, and I talked to Batman about letting us have more independence. He shot me down. I got angry, and then a series of arguments and misunderstandings within the group contributed to my final decision. I left.
“Kid Flash tried to talk me out of it, but I was tired of being treated like an inferior. I refused to change my mind. Eventually KF decided to do the same, because he didn’t like it either but more, I think, because he didn’t want me to have to leave alone. Superboy stayed, though.
“So we left. KF decided to stay in Central City to keep partnering with the Flash, but I moved away from Gotham because Batman was one of the main reasons Young Justice was so supervised. I even changed my costume because I didn’t want to be reminded of what had happened. Then I came to Jump City and imagine, the very first day I’m here I get involved with four other teenage heroes and end up founding another group with them. But believe me, you’re not second-hand. You guys are the best teammates I could have wished for. Being a Titan gave me the freedom and independence I wanted but never got as a member of Young Justice. When we founded the Titans, I felt like I’d finally found where I belonged.” Robin gave them a small smile.
The other four Titans were silent for a while. Then Starfire said, “Robin, I am honored that you have chosen to trust us with this part of your life, but why tell us now?”
Robin bit his lip. This was the part where it got super-complicated. “Kid Flash called me earlier,” he said. “He said Young Justice is finally an independent team, and they’re looking for all the members who left to see if we want to join up again, now that they’re no longer just an extension of the League.”
“And will you?” Raven asked.
“No. Maybe. I don’t know.” Robin sighed. “It all happened so fast. We had a lot of problems, and I didn’t resolve anything with them before I left. And I already have a team but if they’re really independent now, there’s something in old ties that pulls me to them. We may have had our differences, but we were good friends, and we had a lot of fun.” He looked at his teammates tentatively. “I hope you guys don’t hate me for that.”
“Why should we hate you, Robin?” said Cyborg. “We get that there are some parts of your life that we aren’t part of we’ve always known that. Of course we wish you’d trusted us with this earlier, and we’d really prefer if you don’t decide to rejoin Young Justice, but ” He shrugged.
“But I know how family issues can intrude on your life,” Raven put in.
“Yeah, dude, don’t worry about it,” Beast Boy seconded. “Take all the time you need.”
“And no matter what you decide, we’ll be here if you need us,” finished Starfire.
“Robin, are you sure you want to do this?” Kaldur asked. “I know we’re not very independent as a team, but we still work well together. Can’t you “
“No,” Robin replied shortly, jamming his belongings into his suitcase. “I’ve had enough, Kaldur. I’m going.”
“Robin, this team needs you,” Kaldur tried. “You’re supposed to assume leadership as soon as “
“Well, I’m never going to be ready if Batman refuses to let me off the leash!” Robin flared. “I have to find my own way, Kaldur. I can’t stay here anymore.”
Artemis waited with her arms crossed, looking at the sea. “They’re late.”
“Give them time,” Kaldur said in his soothing voice.
“I still don’t think this is a good idea,” Artemis grumbled. “Look at what happened last time.”
“Things are different now,” said Kaldur.
Nearby, Miss Martian paced around the beach, both excited and nervous to see her old teammates again.
“What if they say no?” she asked. “What if they shoot us down?”
“Then we’ll move on,” Superboy responded. “We can’t force them to join us. But no matter what, the five of us will stay together.”
“I’ll second that,” said Wonder Girl. Of all the members still on the team, she was the newest.
“Here they come,” said Miss Martian, anxiousness evident in her voice.
The other four Young Justice members looked to the east, where Kid Flash was raising a trail of dust. Moving beside him was a motorcycle bearing two passengers, whom the heroes recognized to be Robin and Speedy.
The three former associates stopped next to the group, awkwardly approaching them.
“Hi,” Kid Flash said.
Megan, after a moment’s hesitation, flung herself at the speedster and hugged him fiercely. “Oh, Wally, we’ve missed you.”
“Speak for yourself,” retorted Artemis, coming over. She eyed the three heroes critically. “I see you’re Speedy again,” she said to the archer.
Speedy shrugged. “I decided to change back.”
“Welcome,” Kaldur said warmly. “You’ve all been missed.”
“Kaldur, I’m sorry about what I said the day I left,” Robin said awkwardly. “I didn’t mean it, and ”
“You were angry. I understand.” Kaldur gazed at him with acceptance and forgiveness, and Robin felt guilty for what was about to be said.
“Are you going to join us again?” Wonder Girl asked, eyes shining.
Robin, Speedy, and Kid Flash exchanged glances.
“We haven’t decided yet,” Robin replied slowly at the same time Speedy said, “No.”
The Young Justice looked stunned and rather hurt at Speedy’s quick and abrupt refusal of their request. Kid Flash elbowed Speedy.
“That is I don’t think it’s possible,” Speedy amended apologetically. “I’m sorry, but I already have a team.”
Another elbow from Kid Flash. This time the shock was obvious on the faces of Young Justice.
“Gee, nice going, Speedy,” Kid Flash said sarcastically. “Just blurt it out like that, will ya? And while you’re at it, why don’t you tell them we’re on the same team too?”
“What?” Megan gasped.
“Oops,” said Kid Flash, looking sheepish. This time he was elbowed by Robin. Then the Titan leader sighed.
“We need to talk,” he said.
“You’re about to get a new member”, Batman said.
“All right!” Kid Flash exclaimed. “Who?”
“She’ll be here soon,” said Batman.
Less than a minute later, the entrance to Mount Justice opened, and the computer system announced, “Recognized. T03. Wonder Woman. B07. Wonder Girl.”
“Wonder Girl?” Miss Martian repeated.
“Young Justice, this is my younger sister, Donna,” said Wonder Woman, indicating the black-haired, blue-eyed girl by her side. “She’s your new teammate.”
“So, these Titans they’re made up of three separate groups?” Kaldur asked.
“And several honorary members,” Robin affirmed. “We’re spread out across the globe.”
“And they’ve been active for the past two years?”
“Why haven’t we heard of them?” questioned Artemis.
“Well, it was just the five of us at first,” Robin explained. “My team were the only Titans for about a year. Then we started meeting other young heroes. Some became honorary Titans, and then Titans East was founded. Speedy dropped Red Arrow and joined them not too long after. Titans West was formed only two months ago, and I think there’s a plan to set up a Titans South.”
“You’re all over the place!” Miss Martian exclaimed.
“Still doesn’t explain how we didn’t know about them,” Superboy reminded them.
“I was getting to that,” said Robin, “and honestly, I don’t really know. My best guess is that you guys don’t see the news when they talk about us.”
“I don’t really watch a lot of TV at Mount Justice,” Miss Martian admitted, “and I know Superboy doesn’t, either.”
“I’ve got better things to do than sit down to read or listen to what a bunch of pompous goons are saying,” Artemis added.
“And when I’m not with Young Justice, I’m in Atlantis,” said Kaldur.
“Same here,” agreed Wonder Girl. “Themyscira’s isolated from Man’s World as well.”
“I guess that’s why you didn’t know about us,” Kid Flash concluded. “That’s a shame. We could have has this talk a long time ago. Who knew we’d leave YJ to form our own hero group, huh? Guess we never forget our roots.”
Kaldur observed the three former YJ members with serious eyes. “You’ve changed,” he noted.
Robin shrugged. “We did a lot of growing up.”
“Except for Speedy,” Kid Flash joked. “He did a bit of growing down which was good, ’cause he needed it.”
“Watch it, KF,” said Speedy. “I haven’t fought anyone yet who could outrun my arrows.”
“That may change if you try to nail me.”
“This still doesn’t answer the question,” Superboy pointed out patiently. “Are you in or not?”
Robin, Speedy, and Kid Flash looked at each other.
“I’m not,” Speedy answered. “Look, don’t take it personally I have nothing against you guys. You’re my friends, and under different circumstances, I might have joined. But I have my own team now, and I belong with them.”
Kid Flash leaned in and whispered conspiratorially to Miss Martian, “Not to mention he’s got a girlfriend.”
Speedy shot him and irritated look. “I heard that.” Then he smirked. “I’m not the only one who paired up with someone. Robin and KF both have girlfriends of their own.”
“Speedy!” Kid Flash exclaimed.
“No way,” said Artemis, looking at Kid Flash. “You actually managed to get a girl?”
“Don’t act so surprised,” Kid Flash muttered.
“Again, to get back on topic,” said Superboy, exasperated. “Speedy’s already said no; what about you two?” He looked at Robin and Kid Flash.
Kid Flash chewed on his lip. “Don’t think so,” he said finally. “I like being an honorary Titan. It makes me part of a team, but it still leaves me free to do my own thing. Besides, I don’t think Jinx would ah, never mind.”
“Yes?” breathed Wonder Girl with an arch eyebrow. “Do go on.”
Superboy sighed. Clearly, they would keep getting off track until he personally dragged out the answers they were looking for. “Robin, what about you?”
Robin exhaled. “I really don’t know,” he confessed. “I’ve been with the Titans for so long I can’t imagine not having them by my side. But I still have a soft spot for Young Justice. I don’t know.”
The other two Titans nodded sympathetically while the Young Justice members wore expressions of understanding disappointment. Then Miss Martian suddenly brightened.
“Hello, Megan!” she exclaimed, slapping her forehead. “Maybe if we met the Titans, it could help you decide,” she suggested.
“How’s that supposed to help him decide?” asked Artemis.
Megan shrugged. “I don’t know how to explain it. Interaction, perhaps? I don’t know. It’s just a hunch. But come on, aren’t you the least bit curious about our former teammates’ new friends?”
“That might not be such a bad idea,” Kaldur said thoughtfully. “Even if it doesn’t help Robin make his decision, it will give us the chance to meet with a group of young heroes who have been working independently for over ywo years.”
“As well as allow us to check up on Robin’s new friends?” Wonder Girl suggested archly.
Kaldur smiled briefly. “Perhaps.”
“Come on, guys,” Robin protested. “I’m seventeen now. I don’t need you guys constantly looking out for me.”
“Old habits die hard,” quipped Miss Martian. “Come on, Robin. Let’s go see your new friends.”
Starfire floated around the room, chewing on her lip. Raven looked up from her book with a raised eyebrow and a knowing look in her eyes.
“He’ll come back, Starfire. No matter what Robin decided, he’ll come back to tell us.”
Starfire bit her lip and came to hover beside the empathy. “Oh, Raven, I know we told Robin that we would support him no matter what, but I feel so anxious. What if he chooses Young Justice and leaves the Titans? I confess I do not know what I would do should that situation occur.”
Raven exhaled calmly and shut her book. “Starfire, Robin will do what he has to do. I know him well enough to know he’ll make the right decision. Whether that decision takes him away from, the Titans, I don’t know. But Starfire, Robin cares for you very much, and whether he stays with the Titans or goes back to Young Justice, that won’t change.”
Starfire blew out. “Thank you, Raven. But I do hope Robin chooses to stay.”
Raven picked up her book again. “So do I, Starfire, and I’m sure Young Justice wants him with them, too. My advice: don’t worry too much about it. Things will sort themselves out somehow.”
Just then the plasma communications screen flashed on, revealing Robin’s face.
“Robin!” Starfire greeted eagerly.
“Hey, Star. Listen, I’m gonna be bringing some people over in a bit; can you round up the team?”
“Of course.” Starfire nodded.
“Thanks. I’ll be back in a few minutes. Robin out.” The screen blanked.
Starfire immediately flew out to get Cyborg and Beast Boy. Raven watched her go with a half-amused expression on her face. The empathy closed her book and put it away. Though she wouldn’t admit it to anyone, she was genuinely curious about Young Justice.
“You live in a giant T?” Superboy asked as Robin led them to the Tower. “Tacky, Robin.”
“Good one, Connor,” Kid Flash said appreciatively.
“It’s a nice T,” Robin defended.
Superboy smirked. “At least we’ve got one over you in the matter of headquarters.”
“Don’t listen to him,” Wonder Girl said. “I think it’s unique. I’ve always been fond of the Phoenician letter T.”
“Tell us about your teammates, Robin.” It stung Miss Martian a little to use that word for someone else besides Young Justice, but she was getting used to it.
Before Robin could reply, Kid Flash jumped in and launched into an (embellished) summary of Robin’s team.
“Well, as you know there are four others besides Robin. There’s Cyborg, a half-metal guy who’s really cool; and Beast Boy a green shapeshifter who used to be a member of the Doom Patrol ”
“I’ve heard about them,” said Artemis. “They were before the League. I think Metamorpho used to be a member.”
” and then there’s the girls,” Kid Flash continued. “Raven and Starfire. Raven’s an empathy with supernatural origins I won’t say what they are ’cause she doesn’t like publicizing it and Starfire’s the only true alien in the entire Teen Titans. She’s a princess of Tamaran who can shoot energy bolts, and she’s much stronger than she looks. She could probably take you on, Superboy.”
Superboy raised an eyebrow. “Really? I doubt that.”
“Plus,” added Speedy with a wicked grin, “she’s Robin’s girlfriend.”
“Now I really want to meet this girl.” Artemis smirked.
“Coming right up,” said Kid Flash as he zipped through the entrance.
“Don’t you have any security measures?” Kaldur asked Robin. He found it hard to believe Batman’s former aide would leave his headquarters so unprotected.
“We do, but they’re not activated right now,” answered Robin.
The Titan leader led Young Justice to the main room, where Starfire, Raven, Cyborg, and Beast Boy were assembled. Kid Flash was already there.
The atmosphere was cordial, but politely cautious as the two teams assessed each other. There was an evident stiffness and tension in the air. They had, after all, never even heard of each other before yesterday.
“Titans, this is Superboy, Wonder Girl, Miss Martian, Artemis, and Aquamarine,” Robin introduced. “They’re the Young Justice. Young Justice, meet Starfire, Cyborg, Raven, and Beast Boy.”
“It’s nice to meet you,” Miss Martian greeted politely and a tad nervously.
“The feeling is mutual,” returned Starfire. “Robin has told us so much about you.”
Cyborg coughed while Superboy raised an eyebrow. “Really?” he asked skeptically.
Starfire blushed. “Well, he did but only yesterday,” she admitted.
The Tamaranean princess’ endearing nature and refreshing honesty helped break the ice between the two teams, and within a few minutes the atmosphere thawed considerably. As they warmed to each other, the Titans and Young Justice connected with each other until they were talking as though they’d known each other for months.
Robin looked on at his teammates, both former and current, with a small, bittersweet smile. He sighed heavily. He could clearly feel the undercurrent of slight anxiety about his unmade decision permeate the whole room. Everyone was wondering who he would choose, and what they would do if he didn’t choose them.
The thing was, Robin didn’t want to choose. He cared for everyone, and wanted to be part of both teams, because each group offered him something different. Young Justice was his family, his origin but the Titans were truly his team. He’d founded the Teen Titans they hadn’t been created like Young Justice had and it was as a Titan that he had really grown into his role as a hero.
So yes, Robin wanted both. He knew it was being selfish and that was the last thing a hero should be but how could he possibly choose between his family and his team?
Why does this have to be so complicated?
Silently, his mind full, Robin rose and exited the room.
Kid Flash had noticed Robin go out of the room. He knew how heavy the decision that had to be made must weigh on the young leader’s mind. His own decision had been fairly easy to make. Kid Flash loved being an honorary Titan, traveling around the place to fight crime with Jinx while still having time to double with his uncle in Central City and team up with the rest of the Titans if the need arose. He missed Young Justice, but he liked his current situation much better.
And Speedy well, Speedy had never really been part of Young Justice anyway. Of the three of them, his was probably the easiest decision. Speedy had no ties of team brotherhood to Young Justice like Robin and Kid Flash did. Speedy’s team was, and always had been, Titans East.
For Robin, however, the choice was far more balanced and therefore so much more difficult to make. He loved both Young Justice and the Titans, and was, in all likelihood, pulled to both equally. Kid Flash really felt for his friend.
Without attracting attention from the others, he slipped out of the room in a blur of red and yellow.
It didn’t take long for Kid Flash to find Robin. The Titan leader was on the roof (Question, Kid Flash thought to himself, Why do people always like to go to the roof to think?), staring out over Jump City.
“Hey, KF.” Robin shifted his position.
“You’re gonna have to decide soon, you know,” said Kid Flash.
“I know.” Robin sighed.
“I wish I could help, man,” Kid Flash offered. “Really I do.”
There was a slight pause.
“What I don’t get,” said Robin, “is why I have to make a choice at all. Young Justice is its own team now, so why can’t we all just work together?”
Kid Flash’s jaw dropped at the same time Robin’s eyes widened.
“That’s it,” Robin breathed. “That’s it!” He turned and raced down the stairs.
Kid Flash blinked. “Wow.” Then he too vacated the roof.
Artemis knew something was up the second Robin and Kid Flash burst into the room. They both looked too excited not to have something up their sleeve. Her eyes narrowed.
The others looked startled, too.
“What’s the matter, Robin?” Cyborg asked.
“Everything okay?” questioned Miss Martian.
“It’s fine,” Robin answered. “I just had an idea.”
“Which is?” Superboy inquired.
“Okay, you know I still haven’t made my decision about rejoining Young Justice,” began Robin, “but I don’t want to make that choice if I can avoid it altogether. So I have a proposition.”
“We’re listening,” said Wonder Girl.
“Kaldur, how free is Young Justice?” Robin asked.
“Completely,” the Atlantean replied. “The League promised we could do whatever we wanted no strings attached.”
Robin nodded. “Good. Then what do you think of integrating the team with the Titans?”
Several people gasped.
“Dude, are you serious?” asked Beast Boy.
“I’m absolutely serious,” Robin replied. “I love both teams. I don’t want to choose, because whatever I decide, it won’t be the right choice. I’d forever wonder what it would be like if I’d picked the other team. So maybe I have a selfish reason for wanting to integrate us too. But there it is. I can’t choose, and this is the only alternative I can think of.”
“Won’t we lose our identity if we joined the Titans?” Superboy inquired. “We just got out of one so-called partnership; we don’t need another.”
“Connor, you know me better than that. I didn’t like it either, remember? You have my word that you’ll all still be completely independent.”
“It’s a pretty sweet deal,” Kid Flash agreed. “Trust me, I know.”
Kaldur sighed and passed his hand over his eyes. “We’ll need to discuss this,” he told Robin.
“Take all the time you need.”
“What do you think they’ll decide?” Speedy asked.
“They might not take to the idea, you know,” Speedy warned. “I mean, whatever you say, they’ll still be becoming part of the Titans. One group is gonna have to die, and it’s not gonna be the Titans. We’re too big for that. They’re not. If they do decide to take you up on your offer, Young Justice is going to disband. They won’t like that.”
“I know,” sighed Robin. “But I’ve looked at this from every angle I can. I’m either not gonna choose or have somebody make the choice for me either way, I’ll be unhappy.”
“So what are you gonna do if they don’t say yes?”
“I haven’t a clue.”
“Well, we’re about to find out,” Kid Flash commented as Young Justice broke up the confab they’d been having.
Kaldur sighed as though what he was about to say weighed heavily on him. Robin’s heart sank when he heard that sigh.
Kaldur opened by saying, “Look, Robin, you understand how much we care for you and Speedy and Kid Flash.”
Robin nodded, not trusting himself to speak. He was going to have to make a choice after all. How would he ever decide?
“But we cannot accept your offer,” Kaldur finished, looking apologetic.
Kid Flash exhaled slowly. “That’s too bad ” he started to say, when Wonder Girl interrupted.
“You have to understand, we want to stay as Young Justice,” she said earnestly. “If we integrated, Young Justice would be all but dead, because the Titans are too big a group to change just like that.”
Speedy nodded knowingly while the other Titans looked on with interest.
“So we’ve decided not to join the Titans,” finished Artemis.
“Okay, guys,” Robin said. “I respect your decision. But you’ll have to wait ”
“No, we won’t,” Superboy cut him off. “We’re not joining the Titans, Robin, but you can consider us part of the group anyway.”
Robin stared at him. “What?”
“What we’re saying,” interjected Miss Martian, “is that even though we’re staying as Young Justice, we’ve agreed to become a sort of extension of the Titans.”
“Kind of like Kid Flash,” added Artemis, glancing sideways at the speedster. “We’ll be the same thing he is, just with our own name.”
The Titans stared at them as if they couldn’t believe their ears. Robin’s face was the most incredulous. After thinking that his offer would be rejected completely, this
“So you’d be sort of a Titans group? Only as Young Justice?” Beast Boy asked.
“Exactly.” Wonder Girl nodded.
“Cool.” Beast Boy grinned. “I’d really like to get to know you guys better.”
“What he said,” agreed Cyborg. “I think you guys becoming honorary Titans with your own name is the perfect solution. Somebody say boo yeah!”
Miss Martian giggled. Robin broke out into a wide smile. Starfire did a few flips in the air, eyes shining. Raven quirked a small smile. Beast Boy and Speedy high-fived each other. Artemis gave a theatrical sigh and shook Kid Flash’s hand.
“Don’t think this changes anything, Wall Man,” she said.
And then, for some reason, everyone was laughing. It was a good laughter one that cleared the air, banished old wounds, forged new bonds, and sealed the pact the two teams had made.
It was a new beginning for everyone.