Chapter 39: Only The Beginning
Four days later
"Why are they still making us sleep in here?" Danny asked as Robin helped him grab his crutches.
The Boy Wonder smirked. "Well I don't know why I'm still here, but all I have to do is hold your crutches out of reach and you're pretty much immobilized." He smiled, holding the crutches with his one hand as Danny glared at him. "Watch yourself, Grayson. Remember, blackmail is just an overshadowment, tutu and camera away." He growled with a smile.
Robin paled and threw the boy the crutches. Walking over, he helped Danny to his feet as the pair walked out of the medical room.
Reconstruction had started days ago, people coming in from all over to help the city get back onto its feet, including the Titans East and Justice League. Now, only after four days, the city was already beginning to appear normal once the least injured Titans joined the others in helping, while the more severely injured stayed at the tower and helped supervise throughout the city, helping to keep everything in order.
Entering the Ops Center, the two boys were met with bustling team members as they talked through communicators and TV screens. Beastboy sat on the couch, his cast-covered arm laying over his stomach while his other hand held the Titans communicator, where he was yelling at...someone angrily.
Starfire and Valerie sat by the Titans Computer, watching as Raven and Cyborg helped Superman clear rubble through the screen. The two headsets attached to the girls' heads buzzed with noise as they communicated with their comrades downtown.
Jazz sat across from them as she gazed at a portable screen in her hands, relaying instructions to Sam, Tucker and her parents as the group worked to repair one of the older buildings that had been destroyed. The ginger turned her gaze away from the screen as Robin and Danny entered the room.
Danny's chest still lay in bandages underneath his shirt, giving it a ruffled look. His ankle was thoroughly bandaged and set as he leaned on his crutches, as well as his left arm, which was wrapped up as well.
Robin had his left arm in a thick cast from his wrist to his elbow, the rest of the arm completely bandaged from the elbow all the way up and around his shoulder. He also had less severe burning on his leg and side.
Neither of the two looked to be in any condition to go help with the reconstruction, but that didn't stop them from whining about it to Jazz and the others.
"Please, friends. You are in no conditions to help with the reconstruction!" Starfire pleaded as she flew over.
Valerie nodded her head. "Yeah, you two kind of look like you got into an argument with a burning candle...a candle with boxing gloves...and lost...badly. No offense." She said, finishing off with a nervous smile.
Danny tilted his head. "Some taken..." He frowned.
Robin shook his head in frustration. "But we should be out there helping rebuild the city along with everyone else. We shouldn't just sit here and do nothing!" He said with a frown. Danny rolled his eyes and placed an arm around the boy's shoulder, pleased with himself for not falling as he took an arm off the crutches.
"Dude, do you really think we could do anything to help them? Really? I mean, you can barely raise that arm of yours, and I'm pretty much leaning on you just to stay upright." He sighed in exasperation.
Robin huffed angrily, his eyes widening as Danny frantically continued. "No really, Rob. I'm kind of leaning on you here. Falling! Falling!" He shouted, Robin smirking slightly as he helped steady his friend once more, Danny flashing a grateful look.
Jazz raised a brow. "Danny's right, Robin. You two are in no shape to be helping out over there." She said in a tone Danny recognized as her 'I'm your big sister, I know better so don't you dare try to argue with me' voice. He sighed. "Don't bother arguing Rob." He warned the boy, who gave him a confused glance.
Robin sighed. "You could have at least woken us up earlier." He grumbled. Jazz smirked. "As if. You two barely get any sleep at all. And if we have to put you two in comas to get you to sleep for a bit, then comas it is." She said, turning on her heel as she walked away, leaving two very shocked boys behind. "Besides, the city is already starting to look normal. I mean, there's tons and tons of people working there already, which is probably why the city is looking so good." She called over her shoulder.
"Well how long have they been working?" Danny asked as he hobbled over, cursing under his breath every few steps whenever he would stumble.
Beastboy shrugged his shoulders. "Couple hours. The first team should be getting back soon, though." He said, turning back to the communicator in his hand, eyes widening as he placed it to his ear. "Actually, they're coming back now." He said as he turned back to the group.
Right as the boy finished his statement, the door opened to reveal a tired group composed of Sam, Tucker, Cyborg, Raven, Aqualad, Bee, Dani, Speedy, Mas, Menos, Jack and Maddie. They wordlessly walked into the room, collapsing as soon as they were close to a couch, counter, chair or...floor.
"Friends! How was the joy of reconstruction?" She asked, spreading her arms, forgetting the large burn on her shoulder blade, which made the action excruciatingly painful. She quickly lowered her arms, a small whine escaping her lips.
Cyborg raised his head. "Super..." He sighed, lowering his head once more. Robin walked over to the group, Raven glancing over to him as he did. "I see you two are awake." She monotoned, even through breathlessness, which impressed and confused Robin at the same time.
The Boy Wonder shrugged. "Yeah, apparently, you guys all decided to have us oversleep." He said with narrowed eyes.
Cyborg rolled his eyes. "Please. If that's oversleeping to you, then Beastboy becomes comatose every morning." He chuckled as he slowly stood up, the others beginning to do the same. Robin rolled his eyes, Danny snickering besides him.
Bee took a seat on the counter, Dani joining her. "You know, your cousin's pretty tough, Danny." She said, scruffing up the girl's hair. "Have you ever considered becoming part of a team?" She asked the girl. Dani shook her head. "I mostly traveled the world for a while. But...guess I finished that. So...I'm pretty much free for the rest of my afterlife." She shrugged with a smirk.
"Well have you ever thought of becoming an East Titan?" Bee asked with a smile. Dani's eyes widened at the girl's question. "Umm...I..I don't know..." She said, rubbing the back of her neck, similar to her cousin. Mas and Menos rushed forward, flowers in hand as they spoke rapidly. "Por favor, permanezca, será muy divertido!" (Please stay, it will be so fun!)
Speedy and Aqualad walked over, each giving the girl a small smile of approval. "You'd be a great addition to the team." The Atlantian said with a smile. Dani turned to glance back at Danny, who was flashing her a big grin and a small nod. She smiled back and turned back to the Titans East. "Okay!" She shouted in excitement.
Mas and Menos quickly zoomed around her happily, Aqualad wrapping an arm around the girl's shoulders. "Alright, kid! Welcome to the team!" He said, Bumblebee handing her a blue and black communicator with a big black T in the middle.
Danny watched with a smile as his cousin was crowded by her new teammates. Finally, she was somewhere he knew she'd be safe. Now he didn't have to worry about her anymore. Robin walked over and took a seat next to the boy. "Guess she's taking after her cousin." He said, placing an arm around Danny. The boy chuckled. "Yeah, and it looks like she'll get that big sister she's always wanted." He said, watching as Bumblebee and Aqualad hoisted the girl onto their shoulders.
Jack and Maddie watched as Danny talked with Robin, the other Titans grouping together around them as they began discussing how the city would be finished. The Titans East walked out of the room to go tell their newest member about Steel City, leaving the two adults alone with the Titans and Valerie, the group seemingly oblivious to the two.
Jack and Maddie nodded to each other before Maddie stepped forward and cleared her throat, catching the attention of the teens. "Umm...listen kids. We've been here for a little while and now that the city is out of danger and starting to finish up on rebuilding, I think it's time we leave." She said.
Everyone instantly froze at her words, remembering last time the Fentons had tried to leave. Robin turned to give Danny a worried look, the boy giving him the same look as he turned back to gaze at his parents. "Umm...I-" He started, only to have his mother cut him off.
"Before you say anything, Danny. We want to explain what's going to happen." She said firmly. "Your father and I have been discussing this for a while and after a long debate, we've come to a decision on what to do, and nothing will change our minds, so you might as well save your breath." She said.
Danny narrowed his eyes as he waited for his parent's response, ready to plead his case once more.
Maddie took a deep breath before facing the group once more. "Your father and I have decided to allow you to live here in Jump City." She finally said calmly. Before any of the shocked teens could respond, Jack continued. "Your mother, Valerie and I will return to Amity and keep watch on Ghost Activity."He explained.
Maddie walked forward once more. "We've realized just how much this place means to you, Danny. And we can't take you away from here. It's...your home." She said with a small smile.
Danny could barely believe it. "You...you really mean it?" He asked with large smile.
Maddie and Jack nodded their heads with smiles of their own. "Besides, we can always pop by whenever. Through the Ghost Zone, it should take a few minutes to get here." Jack beamed with a huge smile.
Danny laughed in surprise as he turned back to face the other Titans. He didn't notice Sam, Tucker and Jazz rubbing their arms and biting their tongues as they internally debated telling the others what they had secretly discussed with each other. Finally, Sam took a deep breath and stood, placing a hand on Danny's shoulder, the boy turning to her in surprise.
"Actually...I think...the three of us should go home too." She said, Tucker and Jazz walking over to stand besides her.
"WHAT?!" Everyone exclaimed in shock.
Danny quickly stood up. "What are you guys talking about?" He asked with a confused look.
Sam sighed as she tried to remember the words she had been using in practice to explain the inevitable question Danny had been sure to ask. "Danny, these past few months have been the best of our lives. Even though most people wouldn't find running from the world enjoyable, it was one of the best things I've ever experienced." She sighed. "And joining the Titans was the coolest thing ever! But..." She trailed off, unsure of how to explain.
Tucker stepped forward. "But we're not heroes. At least, not real ones like you or the other Titans." He explained.
Cyborg stood up. "Of course you guys are! You've fought tons of villains while you were here! I think that qualifies as heroes." He exclaimed.
Jazz sighed. "But we only started that because we had to. Deep down...we're not heroes. We're just really good sidekicks." She smirked as she placed an arm around Danny. Sam and Tucker doing the same.
Danny lowered his gaze. "But...you guys can still stay here if you wanted to." He said, hoping they would take the offer.
Sam bit her lip. "We can't, Danny. Like it or not, we're still kids. Kids with no powers and no training whatsoever. Take away our weapons and we're pretty much useless." She sighed. "Besides, if I'm away from Amity any longer, my parents are sure to sent a SWAT team after me." She smirked, the smile falling at the look on Danny's face.
Tucker walked over and sighed. "Amity's our home, Danny. I don't think anything can really change that. But...but you belong here. Now you're finally in a place where people appreciate you and aren't afraid of you. And I mean, let's face it. You've connected with the Titans better than anyone else in Amity, other than us. You're finally...home." The techno-geek explained.
Sam smiled slightly as she placed a hand on the boy's shoulder. "Hey, it's not like you won't see us. Like your dad said, it only takes a few minutes through the portal to get back to Amity. You can drop by anytime, all of you can!" She explained, but that didn't seem to be enough for Starfire as the girl flew forward. "But I do not wish for you all to go! Who will I braid the hair with, or share the secrets?" Sh whimpered as she gave Jazz a puppy-dog look.
"And who's gonna help me gang up on Cyborg?" Beastboy whined as he turned into a kitten and jumped into Sam's arms.
"Or help me come up with crazier pieces of tech?" Cyborg sighed as he placed an arm around Tucker. The techno geek smirked. "Don't you worry. I'll be over here every chance I get. Besides, if you think I'll let you fend off against the tofu-terror over there by yourself, you're sadly mistaken." He smirked as the pair glared wickedly at Beastboy, who was still tucked into Sam's arms.
The goth placed the kitten back on the floor and walked over to Raven, who had stayed quiet throughout the conversation, keeping her hood tucked over her eyes. Sam reached out and lowered the garment from shielding the girl's eyes, seemingly the only person in the world who was allowed to do that. "Hey, now that I'm going back to Amity, I can show you to my favorite bookstore if you ever feel like visiting." She smiled. Raven hesitated for a moment, then returned the gesture.
The Titans all stood, Tucker rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly. "Guess we should start...packing?" He asked.
Cyborg placed an arm around the boy's shoulder. "Come on! Who knows how much stuff we need to pack?" He smirked as the two of them walked out of th room towards Tucker's room. Sam and Raven did the same as they made their way to the goth's room, Starfire flying behind Jazz as she followed the girl as well, Valerie intent on packing as well. "Wait up, guys!" Beastboy called as he ran after them, Jack and Maddie following as they left the room as well.
Robin then found himself alone in the room with Danny, who leaned backwards on the couch, his gaze trailed on the floor. Robin placed a hand on the boy's shoulder. "You okay?" He asked. Danny sighed and grabbed his crutches, hobbling out of the room, softly throwing his reply over his shoulder.
The Next day
Jack grunted with effort as he continued to press on the back of the RV, determined to shut the door. Finally, the door sealed, the man falling to the floor in surprise. "RV"S packed!" He called over his shoulder as the others came into view. Sam, Tucker and Jazz all carried bags over their shoulders as they walked over to the RV and placed their bags in their seats.
Valerie flew over on her hoverboard, landing silently on the ground next to the RV as she walked over to the others. Danny and the other Titans stood in front of the doors to the tower as they watched the Fentons load the vehicle in front of them.
Danny sighed as he lowered his gaze to stare out at the crashing ocean waves in the distance. Valerie, Sam, Tucker and Jazz mingled through the group, saying goodbye to the other Titans around them. Cyborg smirked. "You know...we don't have a Titans North set up yet." He said with a sly smile.
Tucker and the others smiled as they looked at their communicators. "Yeah, we can be your ghost division!" Tucker smirked.
Sam smiled. "Don't worry, we'll keep a firm handle on things back in Amity." She said staring back at Danny, who gave her a small smile. She glanced back to the others, who walked over. "You know...now that we know Danny Phantom and are official Titans, the girls are gonna be swarming all over me." Tucker said as he nudged Danny's shoulder.
Danny smirked. "Yeah, just don't call me to come take pictures with them." He growled with a smile.
Tucker pouted. "Just once?" He pleaded, Danny rolling his eyes, Tucker stepping forward as the two boys fist bumped each other. "Whenever you want to get away from the tower, drop on by, got it dude?" The techno geek smirked, Danny smiling as he nodded.
Robin smiled and stepped forward, handing Valerie a yellow and black Titans communicator. The girl stared at the device in her hands, then back up at Robin. "Just consider yourself part of the...Titans North." He said, realizing the name had a nice ring to it. The girl nodded and turned back to Danny, who gave her a small smile. Valerie smirked and gave the boy a quick hug. "Just watch yourself, Phantom, or I'll be forced to come back and kick your ecto-butt back into gear." She smirked, Danny laughing with her.
Jazz placed a hand on the boy's shoulder. "Just because we're leaving doesn't mean we won't check in every second we get." She said with narrowed eyes. "I need to make sure you don't fall into any trouble. I mean, what kind of sister would I be if I let my baby brother face off against things by himself?" She asked with wide eyes.
Danny smiled and wrapped the girl in a hug. "You'd still be a pretty great one." He sighed. Jazz pulled away and paced a kiss on the boy's forehead.
Danny shook his head, a smile on his lips as he turned to face Sam, the smile disappearing as the girl led him to the edge of the rocks, away from the others. Sam lowered her gaze. "You know, if this experience brought me closer to anyone, it would be you. You know that, right?" She asked as she lifted her gaze.
Danny nodded and the girl continued. "And just because I'm leaving doesn't mean we'll stop being friends." She explained.
"Just friends?" Danny asked as he gazed into her amethyst eyes.
Sam's eyes widened as she lifted her gaze and bit her lip. "Danny...I...I-" She started, only for Danny to cut her off. "I know, Sam. I...I do too." He said with a small smile. The girl sighed and reached up onto her toes, placing a small kiss on the boy's cheek. As she turned away, Danny grabbed her shoulder and pulled her closer, planting a kiss onto her lips.
Neither of them were aware of the smiles behind them. Cyborg nudged Robin's shoulder with a smirk. "Okay, he got his girl. Now it's your turn." He smiled. Robin's face flushed as his heart began to pound two times faster, especially when Starfire flew over and asked what Cyborg was talking about. Jazz sighed happily. That is until Tucker nudged her with his shoulder and cleared his throat, extending his hand in front of him. Jazz sighed grumpily and reached into her pocket, placing a $20 dollar bill into his hands.
The two teens pulled away and stared into each others eyes for a minute. "Now you have to visit." Danny sighed with a smile.
"Try and keep me away." The goth smiled back. "Watch those weekends, Danny. We'll be here every chance we get. Besides, you still have to help us with Astronomy homework." She smirked, Danny rolling his eyes.
Tucker walked over and placed his arms across their shoulders. "Always knew you two love-birds would get together." He beamed.
Sam rolled her eyes. "Yeah well let's have the kids back at school try and call us lovebirds again and see what happens." She smirked. "I have a ghost boy and I'm not afraid to use him." She smiled as the group began to walk back towards the group of Titans, the nine of them engaging in a large group hug.
"You know, your rooms will always be ready for you guys." Robin said as they all pulled away.
Jazz smiled. "We would expect as much." She smirked as the four of them began to walk back to the RV. "And we'll keep our communicators on hand, just in case." She called over her shoulder.
Maddie and Jack exited the RV and walked over to Danny, the others peeling away to let them talk. "We're so proud of you, Danny-boy." Jack beamed, wrapping his son in a large hug, one that might be able to rival Star's. Maddie smiled. "Just think, our baby boy is a superhero." She smiled as she stroked his hair. Jack raised his head. "Hey, yeah! Now that people know who you are, Fenton Inventions will sell like hotcakes! You can even be our mascot, son!" He smiled.
Danny laughed nervously as he hugged his parents, the two of them standing as they walked back over to the RV. Robin and the others walked over to stand behind Danny as Cyborg tapped into the security and raised up the large tunnel that connected the tower to the mainland.
Valerie hopped onto her hoverboard as she floated above the ocean waters. Robin furrowed his brow. "Couldn't they just take the portal?" He whispered to Danny, who snickered and held up a finger to shush him. Robin rolled his eyes and softly elbowed the teen in the side, Danny countering by thwacking the boy in the head.
"The Titans North, huh?" Robin asked. "Where would their base even be?" He turned to Danny, who had a pretty good idea as an image of Fenton Works popped into his mind. "Oh...I can think of a few places." He sighed with a smile as the RV sped off, a small red blur flying above it.
"You gonna miss them?" Robin asked.
Danny nodded. "Of course. We've been friends since forever." The two boys turned back to the other Titans.
"Alright ya'll, who's up for some lunch?!" Cyborg beamed. Beastboy bounced on his feet. "Veggie pizza!" He smiled. Cyborg furrowed his brow and stared down at the changeling. "There is no way I'm letting you mess up pizza with your disgusting vegetables!" He growled. Beastboy narrowed his eyes. "And if you think i'll let you ruin it with that horrible thing you call meat, which I call murder, then you're stupider...stup...dumber than I thought!" The changeling growled.
That started the match as the two began to roll around on the ground, dust and rocks flying everywhere. Starfire stared at the fight for a minute before turning back to Raven. "Please, this is a food fight, correct?" She asked, Raven proceeding to slam her palm into her forehead and drag it down her face.
Danny turned back to Robin with a smile. "But I think I'll be okay. After all, I have a pretty awesome family to keep me busy." He smirked, Robin placing an arm around the boy's shoulder. "Yep." Robin agreed. "This is only the beginning." He sighed as the two of them walked over to the brawl, the sun shinning on the water behind them, casting a warm orange glow on the glistening ocean, the shining city standing tall in the distance.
Danny smiled as his mind replayed Robin's last words.
Only the beginning.