Disclaimer: Refer back to First Chapter, First page.

Chapter 2- (Diversionary Tactics)

-TT-

Normal teenagers are born with boundless energy. Top that with sports drinks, caffeine, and sugar and there can possibly be no limit to how long they keep going, but even with the boundless supplies available, a person can only rely take so much; sooner or later, eventually the mind forces the body to give the battle up, to surrender.

The group that came home to Titan Tower looked wiped out and ready for a very long needed rest. "How is it possible?" shrieked the smaller one. "What?" did we suddenly get a new sign at the city entrance that says: "Come to Jump City; while there be sure to rob, plunder and run amuck, all types of criminals welcome to drive the Titans crazy" Beast Boy's voice fell, he was too tired to even keep his face from crying out in plea. "All I want to do is sleep."

-C-

Cyborg didn't answer his small friend but he felt exactly the same; having a sympathetic look with Raven, as he plopped down on the couch beside her. She too was looking exhausted and forlorn, even for her.

Cyborg's arms were so tired; his battery cell's dangerously low on energy and all he wanted to do was watch TV or veg out while recharging, they were all both mentally as well as physically tired. "I really needed to recharge," but that would mean having to make the effort to get up, and his mind and body were just too tired to obey him right then.

-Ra-

Raven's normally non emotional self was on the verge of giving out; she'd become snappy at every comment made to her thus far, if she didn't get some time to meditate soon she was going to probably lose control and that would mean her powers would lash out indiscriminately. Something she could not permit to happen.

-St-

The most obvious, if it were possible, worst of all of them was Starfire. The red head; always happy, always full of energy, peppy alien was practically dragging herself through the livingroom. Raven had noted that she'd only seen her friend this low one other time, that being when her sister Blackfire had come for a visit, at that time it had been attitude not physical exhaustion that had been the cause.

"I do not think I can go on any further," lamented Starfire collapsing onto the floor by her friends sides.

-R-

Robin too was tired too; perhaps worse than them all, seeing as he was the only one not relying on super powers to fight or sustain himself. He'd taken the lead every time, fought the hardest of them all; after all it was his responsibility to keep the pace set for his team, but this was getting ridicules, It was becoming extremely hard to keep focused and going when one was teetering between walking dead and zombie-ized, even the sports drinks and caffeine pills were running out, no longer producing any effect at helping keep him going.

Robin walked into the main living room just in time to see a normally energetic Starfire collapse onto the floor exclaiming defeat. Her plea of "no more" got to Robin in a way the look of his team didn't. A smile crossed his face though, he was so proud of them.

Of how they'd held up thus far, but his smile faded into a look of concern. He knew they were on the verge of collapsing both emotionally and physically. Robin stepped down into the carpeted floor and started to say something when the alarm sounded. This made it the twenty-second time in four days.

Everyone groaned in unison and rose to meet the new challenge it was admirable; Cyborg speaking out "it's a small break in at the post office," informing the team. Everyone began to head towards the door when Robin's commanding voice stopped them "no wait! Were not all going this time."

Four pairs of tiered and brightly hopeful eyes stared back at him. "What?" asked Beast Boy, his voice relaying to respond; he couldn't believe his mind would ask such a question at a time like this. "I should just shut up and run with this, I should be happy to hear were not going, why am do dumb that I'm asking "what" for."

But echoing Beast Boy's "what" was Raven's voice "Robin we have to go stop them, we can't just give up!"

Their leaders face tired as it was still held strength in it to smile "We will," clarified Robin "but we're going to start playing this smart, to take the calls in teams. Raven you and Cyborg need to rest. You need to meditate, sleep, Cyborg's power cells must be nearly on empty and he could use some sleep as well."

"No argument there," mumbled Cyborg from the sidelines.

"You two stay here, while Starfire, Beast Boy and I go stop the post office crooks. Then next time, Starfire and Beast Boy can sleep while we take the next threat. Trade off till things calm down and we can fight as a team once more."

His team was smiling at him; it was kind of making him uneasy, but at least they weren't arguing with what he'd just suggested.

"Man that's why you're the leader," praised Beast Boy, they had a look of pure pride and happiness. "You're the best. Only you would can up with such a great idea when were all too tired to even think, much less be smart."

Raven gave a small smile at what Beast Boy had said and then had to admit it, the green annoying freak was right Robin was the best leader they could ever want. "Yes" she added into the conversation, "even if some of us are never smart to begin with" dogging Beast Boy affectingly like she always did. The small green changeling just turned and glared at her "That is so not true…

Raven just rolled her eyes and turned walking off, Cyborg right behind her as each to the remaining team members took off for the Post Office.

-S-

Slade had been keeping the Titans busy.

Making sure that he had no interruptions while he planned, prepare for, and collect everything that he needed to begin and finish Robin's treatment. He was surprised the teens hadn't just given up and passed out by now. He'd needed to make a quick trip to Gotham City in order to collect some chemicals vital to the serum Robin would be injected with, leaving the Titans to wonder why it was too quiet, so instead he'd arranged for them some entertainment while he was away. They'd been bombarded for four days straight while Slade he'd been gone; making sure that Robin had no chance of inquiring about Slade's whereabouts.

The plan for Robin's new challenge to come was still a well hidden secret & his trip to Gotham had been more then productive, it had gained him an ally, with better results then he'd possibly hoped for. He'd stolen the needed chemicals right under Batman's nose too, literally. Escaping with several million dollars worth of precious stones, and hooked up with some very unique individuals. Overall, Slade had to admit the trip had brightened his spirits, and, if you believed in signs; which he didn't, but it was still the result he felt worth mentioning, a sure sign that Robin would very soon (in the not so distant future) be joining him, as his long awaited and sought after apprentice.

Better still, had been Slade's return, not only find the Titans still fighting each criminal thrown their way, but Robin had apparently thought up a brilliant plan to keep them going strong. Having split the team up into two groups, he was rotating them so one would stay behind and sleep while the others fought; they were all keeping up on their sleep and still managing to go out and fight the bad guys, "Brilliant my boy, really keen"

However, not leaving anything to be missed Slade had left several of his robots and hidden cameras recording the Titans while he was away. That was now what he was doing; playing back his surveillance tapes for the last four days, surprisingly, and to his delight Robin had never seemed unimpressive.

Slade noted 'that every criminal, every alarm they'd responded to Robin had been there.' While his team had rested and took shifts, he'd neglected to take a break or rest himself. Despite Robin's obvious tiredness, he was still fighting strong, 'indeed powerful and unaffected; say for the slight missed timing his moves were making and that minor slipup here or there, things only Slade who knew Robin better than anyone, would take note of.

Watching Robin for so long and having studied his moves, habits, likes, ends and out's, Slade knew the boy's mind well. Thinking and, his operational methods; it was only Slade who would have noticed that the boy was actually nudging his way beyond his limits of endurance. See reflected Slade, this is exactly what he often reminded and talked with himself about, Robin's suicidal tendency. While admirable in one way, very foolish of Robin it was in many others.

"Tisk, Tisk, Tisk," spoke Slade to the video recording of his boy. "I guess I'll have to teach you a lesson in not neglecting yourself, my precious bird." Slade smiled and turned around to face a group of individuals standing quietly behind him. They almost in unison looked up and smiled wide. All four faces held the same facial look upon them. They could almost be clones of each other if one did not know what they were, that in fact one of them was a girl.

"You know what needs to be done, and I assume you are ready?" asked Slade, not really expecting to hear an answer from any of the four. Bobbing heads was his only answer, as they moved up and down in sync a silent "Yes" was answered, then they were ready and they knew exactly what to do, so he let them disappear…

Slade smiled behind his mask; how could he not, their smiles were infectious after all. Besides, Slade planed big, things were about to be set in motion. He was looking forward to seeing how much of a challenge this new game of cat and mouse would turn out to be between himself and Robin. The fun was in the chase, the thrill was always in the challenge his mouse presented him with.

'Run mouse, fly Robin'

Slade chuckled, he wondered how far he'd get before Robin began to suspect something was happening to him. It was about to get fun, perhaps Slade would add some challenge for the rest of the Titans into the mix as well; he felt generous 'why not' he really didn't know. Only time would tell.

A/N: again just a little hint and background for what's to come. It's going to get into some action next chapter and then you'll be really surprised. Oh, and who might these unique individuals be? Guess you'll just have to wait and see.

Till next week...Later

D.