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Teen of Steel: Reforged

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Story

Summary: YAHF. When a young man comes back from the dead, how will his friends react?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > Teen TitansCycloneFR151120,4812811975,50724 Jul 0723 Jul 08No

Chapter 2

Title: Teen of Steel: Reforged (2/?)
Author: Cyclone

Feedback: Please be gentle.

Distribution: Gimme credit and a link.

Rating: Maybe a little harsh language, certainly some violence, but nothing worse than on BtVS.

Spoilers: Diverges wildly after Halloween for BtVS with possible spoilers up to the season eight comic and pretty much up to current DCU.

Disclaimer: The characters depicted herein belong to other people. I'm just borrowing them for a while.

Summary: YAHF. When a young man comes back from the dead, how will his friends react?

Author's Note: Yeppers. Another bunny that wouldn't leave me alone. I guess I'm about due another barrage of new WIPs.


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Rose Wilson, aka Ravager, was furious. And hurt. And alone.

She shook it off and held onto her anger. Fine, she thought. If they don't want me around, then I'm leaving. I don't need them! I don't need the Titans!

She almost managed to convince herself. Almost.

After Bombshell had accused her of being the traitor, Cyborg had told her to take the T-Jet and use the autopilot to return to the Tower. So, like a good little soldier, she did. Not that she was going to be with the Titans much longer if this kept up.

She got up as the plane landed and headed for the hatch, and as the hatch opened in front of her... her jaw dropped.

"Xander?"


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It wasn't quite what Xander had expected. He knew the layout of the Tower -- not too much had changed -- but it was practically deserted, with the other Titans globetrotting to find Raven. Sure, Wendy and Marvin were trying -- Cassie too -- but he still felt awkward, wandering around in the Tower.

Even virtually empty, though, it felt more like home than the Harris household ever had. Which was really, really depressing.

He really missed Uncle Jo-... Mr. and Mrs. Kent.

"Hey, you hear that?" Cassie asked, perking up.

"I don't-" he started to shake his head, then stiffened. "Yeah, I do. What is that?"

It was a high-pitched whining sound, very faint, but getting closer.

"It's the T-Jet," she said, leaping to her feet. "C'mon, the others must have found Raven. Let's go meet them!"

"All right, all right," he said, unable to muster up quite as much enthusiasm. After all, Cassie might have accepted him, but how would the other Titans react to a chump like him trying to take Conner's place? He knew how he'd react if Buffy had actually died that night, and some new Slayer tried to take her place. Not well. Not well at all.

With him trailing behind Cassie, they headed for the hangar. When the hatch opened, however, he heard the last thing he expected:

"Xander?"

His head snapped up, and as his eyes processed what he saw, he sputtered, "Rose? What... but... huh?"

"You jackass," she said, walking up and smacking him in the head. "What the hell do you think you're doing here?"

Xander rubbed his head sheepishly and said, "Hey, it was Cassie's idea, not mine. Jeez, I really need to pay more attention to the news. So many Titans the past year, I hadn't realized you'd joined."

Cassie scowled, "You two know each other?"

"Yeah," Rose glared at her. "You got a problem with that?"

"It was last year," Xander said. "During the summer. Her foster parents were visiting from Chicago and took her along. I sort of know their niece, Amy, so that's kinda how we met. She taught me and Jess some neat self-defense tricks. Personally, I still think it was just an excuse to smack us around for hitting on her."

"Of course it was," she teased. "Just be glad you boys stopped when you did, or I'd have broken something."

"You mean besides our pride."

"What pride?"

"Okay, good point."

"How is Jesse doing, anyway?"

Xander's smile faded, and he turned away from both girls, "He's dead."

"Oh, f---," Rose swore quietly. "What happened?"

"Officially?" he glanced back at her. "He died in a gang fight at the Bronze."

"And unofficially?" Rose asked.

"Unnofficially?" Xander repeated quietly as he stalked away. "I killed him."

Wendy and Marvin walked right past him on their way in, blinked at the expressions on the two female Titans' faces, then asked in stereo, "Is this a bad time?"


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Rose stepped out onto the roof of Titans' Tower and looked around. There was no sign of Xander.

"What are you doing here?"

She turned and glared at Wonder Girl. "Looking for Xander," she replied. "Knowing him, this is where he'd be."

The blonde lowered her head, "I was thinking the same thing. Conner used to come up here all the time."

Rose frowned. Conner? What does Superboy have to do with...?

Then, it clicked. Xander had said his presence was Wonder Girl's idea. There had to be a good reason she didn't go with them to find Raven. And what else could possibly be more important to her than Raven besides finding a way to bring her dead boyfriend back to life?

And she thought Xander would act like Conner. There had to be a reason for that...

Frankly, she thought it was pathetic, but it did give her an idea where to find him. She spun on her heel and headed for the stairs.


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"I can't be you, Conner," Xander murmured to the statue. "Much as I want to be, for her sake, I can't. There's a part of you still in here, in me, but I'm more than that..." his head dropped, and he closed his eyes, "...though I'm starting to wonder just how much more."

"A whole lot more, Xander."

He looked down and floated to the ground, "Rose?"

She pulled him into a hug, "I know you, Xander, and trust me, you're not him."

"Thanks, Rosie."

Thwap!

"Ow! What was that for?"

"As I said, you're still Xander, which means I'm still allowed to smack you around when you deserve it."

"Damn it, it's bad enough you got Will doing that," he grumbled.

"So, uh, how is Willow, anyway?" Rose asked hesitantly, considering his answer to the last person she'd asked that about.

"Oh, Will's fine," Xander waved it off... right before his eyes shot to the size of dinner plates. "Oh, hell, I've got to call her. Be right back!"

Rose watched him run back into the Tower, then shook her head in amusement as Wendy and Marvin rushed up to her and began talking about an old encyclopedia volume that went missing and parts of pages found in the trash.


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"Xander?"

"Hey, Cassie," Xander waved, then spoke into the phone. "Sorry, Will, that was Wonder Girl. What did you say?"

"Did you just blow off Wonder Girl?" Willow sputtered.

Tap, tap, tap.

"Yeah," Cassie asked, her hands on her hips, tapping her foot. "Did you?"

Xander blinked slowly. "There's no way I can answer this and not get hit, is there?"

Thwap!

"Not likely," Cassie grinned, having given him a very mild swat to the head.

"I'll call you back later, Will," Xander spoke into the phone. "Love ya, bye." He hung up and turned to Cassie, "So, what's up?"

"We're heading out," she said. "Phoenix, Arizona. We're going to join up with the other Titans."

"So, what's that got to do with me?" he asked. "I'm not a Titan, remember?"

"Not yet, maybe," she said. She shoved a folded shirt into his hands and gave him a peck on the cheek. "Come with us, Xander. Meet the team."

Xander held up the shirt. It was one of Superboy's black S shield T-shirts. "I-I can't..."

"I can understand if you're not ready," she said quietly, "but we've got to go now. At least wait here for us if you won't come along."

Xander sighed, "All right."


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"By Hera," Cassie stared out the window of the T-Jet at the other plane as it began to plummet after having something -- or someone -- thrown out through the fuselage's wall.

"That's G.I. Jane's plane," Rose snapped. "The other Titans are on there! Eddie!"

"They're not dead yet," Cassie said, bracing herself as she opened the T-Jet's hatch and flew out. "Hang on!" she warned the occupants of the plane as she caught hold. "This might get a little rough!"

She grunted as she strained against the weight of the plane, slowing it to a controlled crash on a mostly deserted freeway.

"Ouch."

"I'm glad you decided to join us," Robin said, climbing out of the plane. "I didn't know you were that strong."

"Me either."


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In Sunnydale, Dawn Summers wept.

She wept for a past forgotten, a world destroyed, and a future that would never be.

Buffy didn't remember. Willow didn't remember. Not even Xander remembered, and he was right there when it happened.

But Dawn remembered. It had happened just like in the comics.

It had started when they'd brought Buffy back. The second time. The first time Buffy died, she hadn't really gone, but the second time... they had pierced the barrier. It was hard, almost impossible. But they had done it. Like Superman, she was the world's greatest hero. And like Superman, she was the first of many.

Willow had mentioned that it had seemed much easier when she brought Kennedy back, barely two years later. And Amy, they suspected, had actually brought Warren back, rather than swapping him for a fake-out like they claimed; the First Evil wouldn't have been able to use his form if he hadn't died. And Spike had come back too, in L.A.

And then there were the ones they had never expected, the ones who came back on their own. Cordy. Anya. Tara. Kendra. Even Mom.

The door had been opened. Reality had been fracturing. The only way to save it had been with a powerful and dangerous ritual. It was a gamble. It needed to happen at the right time, the right place... and it needed the Key. It needed her.

There had been chaos. She remembered little of the experience itself, but she remembered some of it, the fear, the desperation. They couldn't just fill the gaps. Perhaps, had they tried earlier, they could have, but the damage had been too great.

She remembered flailing around, grabbing for something -- anything -- to help her anchor it. She found it. Another reality was going through similar toils, a devastating crisis that fractured one into fifty-two. She wasn't sure how she did it, but she had managed to fuse them together.

She didn't know why it had settled on that one Halloween, or why the changes she noticed had come about, or even why it had finally settled over a year after the other reality's crisis.

But when the dust cleared, she did recognize the other reality.

"And now, Xander's apparently hooking up with Wonder Girl," she muttered sourly. "Figures."

She wept for a past forgotten, a world destroyed, and a future that would never be.

But mostly, she wept for her chances of getting a date within the next five years.

"Being eleven again really sucks."


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Author's Postscript:

So... who was expecting any of that? Anyone? Anyone?

Oh, this may, in fact, be the first of a group of series hingeing on Infinite Crisis. Or maybe not.
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