Author: Aviva Tsuion PM
"I know who Slade is." Robin announced, "I think it's time I pay my dear old mentor a visit." After season one of Teen Titans, Robin realizes that Batman is Slade and goes to confront him about it, but when the Joker gets involved, things don't go quite as planned. Oneshot.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Family/Adventure - Bruce W./Batman & Robin - Words: 2,095 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 1 - Published: 08-08-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8406495
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Note: At this point I have not seen past Season 1 of Teen Titans when this takes place, so please don't review with spoilers. I know Batman can't be Slade, I'll find out who is when I get to it. Thank you for your consideration.
"That's it, we're all clear!" Cyborg announced.
It was then that Robin finally let himself a sigh of relief. It was over, Slade no longer held his and his friends' lives in his hands. Robin would make sure he would never be forced to fight them like that again. He was about to join in the other's celebration when he realized that a question remained; who was Slade? The first thing that came to mind was Slade's retreat, how he had been covering his face as he ran away... He had to be someone at least one of the titans knew, if not knew well.
What about the thefts? Maybe that would hold the key. If he remembered correctly, all of them had been from Wayne Industries...
"Shit!" he said before he could stop himself. He usually didn't curse, but in this case, the circumstances warranted it, without a doubt.
Silence fell over the tower.
"Hey, was that just me, or did Robin just curse...?" Beast Boy asked, stunned as the rest, though not quite as speechless.
Robin ignored him and announced, "I know who Slade is."
"Really? That is most great!" said Starfire, too excited to remember the correct expression.
Cyborg and Beastboy high-fived with exclamations of "Awesome!" and "Victory is ours!"
Even Raven permitted herself a smile, albeit a small one.
When Robin didn't continue, their expressions fell. An awkward silence formed. Everyone but Robin began to fidget.
Cyborg couldn't stand it any more. "Well, who is it?" he demanded.
All Robin said was, "I think it's time I pay my dear old mentor a visit."
The next day a plane touched down in Gotham City Airport. Robin filed out with all the other patrons, looking like a normal teenage boy in long jogging shorts and a red and black t-shirt. His only luggage was a cary-on backpack, so he exited the airport without stopping for baggage claim. He quickly found a taxi to take him to Wayne Manor, as the sun began to slip below the horizon.
He paid and thanked the driver, before making his way up the dark driveway. The door soon loomed ahead of him, he hesitated for a moment. Did he really want to do this? But he had to! He needed to confront his former mentor. Batman had gone too far. He knocked at the door, once, twice before it was answered.
"Master Dick! It's been too long." Alfred greeted him, "Master Bruce is in the cave."
"Thank you, Alfred." Robin replied with a slight smile.
He felt a wave of relief from seeing the familiar face, but it wasn't over yet. His face set in a grim expression, he made his way down, into the large cave, filled with state of the art computers, gadgets and vehicles. For a moment he felt like he was home, but this wasn't home, not any more.
"Finally, it took you long enough." Bruce Wayne said from behind him. His former mentor's voice sounded so much like Slade's that it made a shiver run down his spine.
Robin spun around to face the man behind the mask that had tormented him for so long. It was Bruce alright, his expression serious as ever, though now there was a slight smirk, with a slight malevolence to it, that hadn't been there before.
"What were you playing at?" Robin demanded, "You almost killed them!"
Bruce shrugged, "I wanted to see how much you'd improved and I decided that this was the best way."
"The best way? You almost killed my friends!"
"If you actually did it properly, you would have noticed that the probes only caused intense pain and did not kill."
"Great!" Robin exclaimed, gesturing wildly, "You were torturing my friends, not killing them. That makes everything better!"
"As you very well know, I do not kill."
"Yes, you only torture!" he fumed, "And for what grand purpose?"
"Your friends are your weakness, Robin." Bruce replied, "It was a test: Were you willing to make the sacrifice necessary to stop the criminal and save the innocent lives at risk. Unsurprisingly, you failed."
"The only innocent lives at risk were those of my friends! You're as bad as the Joker!"
Bruce shrugged off the comment, "If you're going to be an effective crime fighter you need to be able to think like a criminal," his voice became even more serious than before, "And be able to sacrifice personal matters for the greater good."
"Again, you call torturing my friends 'the greater good'?"
Bruce was about to retort when the lights flashed on and off.
"The signal." Bruce remarked under his breath.
Robin took the opportunity to punch Bruce in the face before he could react.
"That was payback." the teenage hero explained with grim satisfaction.
Bruce extended a hand to his former student. "Even?" he asked.
"Not even close." Robin replied, before turning tail and leaving.
Bruce was about to chase after him, but the signal was more important.
He quickly changed in to his Batman gear and sped off to police headquarters in the car. The night was clear and dark, with not a cloud in sight. The main roads were busy with the regular nightlife, but the back alleyways were still empty as ever. He parked the car a few blocks away from headquarters and covered it with an old tarp, before taking to the rooftops.
A well aimed grappling hook sent him flying up to the roof of police headquarters, on the opposite side from the signal. From there, he heard Commissioner Gordon talking to someone... Robin! What was the boy doing there? Didn't he know he was safer in Jump City? Gotham City is no place for a kid to fight crime, Jason's death had taught him that much. Still, his interference could bring nothing good at this point. Reluctantly, he waited and listened.
"Alright, I'm on it." Robin exclaimed, before presumably vanishing into the night.
"Nice to see you again..." Gordon replied, but from his voice Batman could tell that Robin was already gone.
While Gordon was predictably looking around, Batman took the opportunity to appear.
"Oh, Batman! There you are, I was wondering when you'd show up." Gordon replied, completely unphased by Batman's sudden appearance.
"Where did you send Robin?" he demanded, his eyes burned with anger from behind the mask.
"After Joker..." Gordon was obviously taken aback, but he held his ground better than most would under the circumstances. But then again, his ability to take whatever was thrown at him was what had enabled him to survive as Police Commissioner in Gotham City when so many others had failed.
"Joker?" Batman asked, his voice a deadly hiss. Louder, he demanded, "Where?"
"The circus." Gordon replied, "One of my men saw him heading that way. I'll send backup, but it'd be best if you went to check it out."
Batman was gone before Commissioner Gordon finished speaking, speeding off into the night, racing towards Gotham fairgrounds. As he approached, the sound of laughter and loud, relaxed conversation washed over him. Joker hadn't done anything – there was no screaming, yet. He parked the car in an alleyway, with a tarp over it, and maneuvered from shadow to shadow, into the fairground.
He felt like a criminal, hiding in the shadows, focused on his mission as the happy masses passed him, ignorant of what could so easily befall them. It wasn't an unusual feeling for him, but after what Robin had said, that he was no better than the criminals he fought, it left a bad taste in his mouth. But no matter, the taste his actions left in his mouth was irrelevant. He had a job to do, lives to save.
He ran through the fairgrounds, ducking behind pavilions covered in bright stripes. Everyone around him was too preoccupied with the bright colors and cheery atmosphere to notice a shadow of a bat.
In the largest pavilion in the center of the fairground, an audience cheered as a circus troupe preformed. A platform rose amidst the unicycling elephants, daring trapeze artists, and clowns in miniature cars. On it stood a tall, thin man in a bright purple jacket and pants, leaning on a cane of some sort. The chaos died down around him and soon the only spotlight was focused on him.
Suddenly he spun around, showing his gaunt, white face, red smile, and bright green hair. There was utter silence as everyone realized the identity of the man in front of them. Before anyone else cold move a grappling hook on a rope shot from the crowd and landed in the rafters. An instant later, a young man, in reds and greens with a yellow cape, flew after it. A domino mask surrounded his eyes. He swung at Joker, who barely leaped out of the way at the last minute.
"Robby? I thought you were dead!" Joker exclaimed.
Robin took the opportunity to lunge at him again and he countered with the cane, flinging Robin from his feet, onto the ground.
"Oh!" Joker's eyes widened as it hit him, "You're the first one. It's been a while Robby. We all missed you." he laughed wildly.
But his laughter was cut short, Robin was back on his feet, punching and kicking fast as he could. Joker countered it with ease. The clown prince of crime leaped into the air, did a somersault in midair and landed on his feet directly behind Robin. He shoved the 'boy wonder' to the ground with his cane.
"Robby, you've lost you're edge! Bats must be very-" Joker never had the chance to finish his statement.
Something sharp tore into his shoulder and he spun around, letting Robin go. He found another batarang racing towards him, followed by an angry Batman. He ducked the batarang, but the bat flew into him, knocking him to the ground. He struggled, but Batman had him pinned there. He was soon tied up. Batman helped Robin to his feet. The police were called and Joker was collected to be brought back to Arkham Asylum.
Robin and Batman watched from a nearby rooftop, just in case.
"Thanks for helping me out against Joker." Robin remarked awkwardly, breaking the silence that had settled between them ever since the fight had ended.
Batman turned to look at his former pupil. For a split second his eyes widened in surprise, but he quickly regained his composure. He took a little longer to speak. "I-I'm sorry for becoming Slade and using your friends." He said it so quickly and quietly that most would have asked him to repeat it, out of indigence at such a poor apology, if they had been able to understand it in the first place, but Robin didn't say a word.
Batman took a deep breath before continuing more slowly, "And I'll stop testing you, I know you can handle yourself."
"Thanks." Robin replied, "Truce?" he extended a hand for Batman to shake.
"Truce." Batman agreed with a slight ironic smile, and shook the offered hand.
They sat there in silence for a few more minutes before Robin said goodbye to the man who was his surrogate father and former teacher. He returned to Wayne Manor while Batman continued his nightly patrol of the city. Robin stayed the night in his old room before returning to Jump City the very next morning. Bruce was still out on patrol when he left, so Robin simply collected his things and let Alfred drive him to the airport.
"Goodbye Alfred." Robin said as he got out of the car.
"Goodbye Master Dick, I hope you'll visit again soon." Alfred replied.
The boy permitted himself a slight smile, "Maybe I will. Tell Bruce goodbye for me."
"Very well, sir." Alfred said, before driving off.
"Thanks for driving me!" Robin shouted after him, and made his way into the airport. It was time to go back home.
If you liked this story, check out my original stories on my blog at camillevwatson . tumblr . com.