Notes: First off, for those who follow me, I won't be updating during the Easter weekend (Thurday to Tuesday) because there's a family reunion on and I'll be away from internet. Of course, I hope to finish this two-shot by them (at least, I hope it won't be longer than a two shot). This is a different prompt to the other de-age fic I wrote but I couldn't refuse it. It just turned out longer. Also, this one has Tim and Jason in it.
One of the reasons why Dick is so young compared to the rest of the superheroes is because he's already been de-aged and is gettting a kick out it.
When he was Nightwing, he had to bare responsibility of great lengths and a tense relationship with Bruce.
When he's Robin, he's allowed to act immature for a while therefore he isn't expected to take on the role of team leader and Batman is a lot nicer to him this time around.
This is the reason why he has a newer suit and is taking place of Tim Drake.
His public personality was kept hidden from the media up until now and the reverse process doesn't look like it's coming anytime soon, until now that is.
Please show how the team and everyone reacts to find out their baby bird is actually the oldest out of all them.
Bonus! Jason Todd and Tim Drake making an apperance, nothing too major though.
Notes: Also took some inspiration from this comment on the thread:
Holy cow! This prompt is epicness. Now I wonder about how the team would act at figuring it all out. Probably one of them will find an old newspaper that shows a teen that looks remarkably like Robin with Bruce Wayne but it's like 7-8 years old. And Wally will be the only one that notices the name Richard Grayson in the tagline and then run over to the Wayne mansion and speak with Robin.
Messed Up Aging
Dick Grayson glared at Bruce Wayne.
"What do you want?" he demanded to know. He stood tall and tried to look intimidating, even though he was only in slacks and the bruises from last night were stinging.
"Alfred has called everyone home for the weekend," Bruce said.
"Oh. Well, I might be there," Dick responded awkwardly. He couldn't say no to Alfred. However, "as long as nothing comes up with the Titans or the League."
"The League can handle themselves," Bruce responded with a tight frown.
Dick pressed his lips together in order to stifle a sigh. He might not be a member of the Justice League but they did ask him for help from time to time. He had duties as a founding member of the Teen Titans. And there was his job as a barkeeper and his training to be a police officer and this had been the first time he had seen Bruce in months and...
He felt dizzy.
"Dick?" There were strong hands on his shoulders and worry in Bruce's voice. "Dick? Have you been anywhere strange lately?"
Bruce's voice sounded warped, like he was listing through water. Without the abilities of an Atlantean.
Strange? Not by their standards. He tried to remember but a shot of shocking pain and heat went through his spine.
He cried out. The ground beneath his feet vanished and he could hear Bruce talking to someone.
His muscles jolted out of control and his body cramped and he would have cried out but his throat was tight and he couldn't think.
That weekend was to be his twentieth birthday.
They ended up celebrating his tenth.
Three years later and there was no sign of Dick going back to his original age; Batman had run test after test. Life had settled into a new routine where Dick went to school and Bruce would be there to see him off and pick him up at the end of the day.
Then, at night, Batman and Robin would take to the skies. The previous Robin, Tim Drake, had decided to craft the new persona of Red Robin and to rebuild the Teen Titans which had been dismantled after Nightwing vanished.
July fourth came and went.
Aqualad, Kid Flash, Robin, Superboy with the late additions of Miss Martian and Artemis, created Young Justice.
Robin was the youngest. Their little bird; it probably didn't help that he was the shortest too.
Aqualad, Kaldur, would watch over him and Robin could trust him to answer any question he asked.
Kid Flash, Wally, was his best friend and they often hung out just doing whatever.
Superboy, Conner, was great fun to climb. Conner didn't even complain when Robin used him as a spring board.
Miss Martian, M'gann, would offer him cookies and other baked goods with a smile.
Artemis, just Artemis, went to school with him and he loved trolling her.
Because he was the youngest, they indulged him. He wasn't expected to know everything. He wasn't expected to lead and keep them safe. He would and could but he wasn't expected to.
Dick didn't know this, but during the Failsafe mission his body had seized. Later, Batman figured out it happened sometime after Miss Martian unconsciously took over and caused the team to forget it was only a simulation. It triggered after Aqualad died and Robin had to take over, step up as leader when there was no one else. Responsibility fell onto his thirteen year old shoulders.
Batman's working theory was that the influence of Miss Martian's powers had caused it. The power somehow knew that Dick's body wasn't right and tried forcing it to change back. But, he was only human and couldn't force a change like that.
"It was horrible," Dick whimpered later. "If we had survived, who would be Batman? I wouldn't ask Jason or Tim to do it. Jason's unable to be both Batman and head of Wayne Enterprises and Tim's not even- he's still a teenager."
"So are you," Bruce responded.
There was a flash of a smile.
"Barely." And it was gone. "It was just one of those rare times I actually missed being Nightwing, being an adult and able to reassure people because of it."
Batman didn't know how to respond to that. He didn't know Nightwing as well as he knew Robin. As horrible as he sometimes felt about it, he liked having Dick back by his side.
A motorbike revved, coming down into the cave. It skid to a park, almost dislodging one of the two riders.
The handler of the bike snickered as the person behind him side off, almost kissing the ground.
"That was. Mean." It was Tim Drake in his new Red Robin outfit; having replaced the cowl with a domino mask. He finished with his little display on the ground and stood up.
Jason Todd, dressed in his Red Hood outfit with a red bat symbol on his chest and had just the domino mask on under the bike helmet, waved up at them.
Dick had to climb up on the rails to see them properly and when he did, he looked over at Bruce, just to see if he planned this.
The grim frown suggested not.
"Come on, squirt." Jason grabbed Dick and hoisted him into the air and over his shoulder. "Replacement declared a movie night."
Dick wriggled and struggled but Jason was Jason and he didn't want to hurt him. For some reason, Jason liked hanging around him now that he was younger. The previously renegade anti-hero had first travelled home to check out the mini-Dick as he had called him. Now, he called Dick 'Squirt' and visited more often than Dick had as Nightwing.
"I'm not a squirt!" he cried out reflexively.
"Movie night?" Bruce questioned. He noticed that Alfred had entered the cave and was nodding at Jason and saying that everything was prepared to Tim.
"You're welcome to join us," Tim said as he followed Jason up the stairs after pulling a shirt, jacket and jeans over his uniform and stripping off his mask.
A week after the Failsafe mission, Kid Flash was sitting in the library with books and newspapers around him. He was frowning and oddly still when Artemis came in.
"What are you looking at?" she asked. The newspapers were old.
Kid Flash didn't respond. She walked around and caught a glimpse of the picture he was staring at.
"Hey, that's a kid from my school! Dick Grayson," she realised. It certainly looked like the kid with the dark hair and small frame. "He's a little troll. What's your interest in him?"
Kid Flash made a tiny whimper-squeak and pointed to the date on the paper. Over fourteen years ago.
"Are you playing a joke on me, Baywatch? Did Robin help you with this?"
"There's more," Kid Flash said. He pulled out a paper with 'Batman and Robin?' printed on the front page and another asking in bold letters 'The Dynamic Duo; Do they exist?' and there were a few more with Dick Grayson from over a decade ago; reports on his parents falling to their deaths and Bruce Wayne taking him in.
"Robin's been around that long?" Artemis questioned. She grabbed a few of the papers and stormed out of the library. Kid Flash followed, stammering about how it was probably a legacy or something but she wasn't listening.
"Hey Artemis, Kid Flash, what have you been doing?" Robin asked wiggling his eyebrows as suggestively as a dorky thirteen year old could manage.
"Explain this, boy wonder," Artemis said, utilising one of the names printed in the newspaper.
Robin's face froze. He looked at the pages with Dick Grayson and turned to Kid Flash.
"I didn't tell her," he defended instantly. Then he lowered his hands and said, "but they're over a decade old."
"Who. Are you?" Artemis demanded to know. The rest of the team had gathered now and were watching intently.
"You can't be. According to this," Artemis smacked an artist's image of Batman and Robin, "Robin's been around for over ten years. Possibly as long as you've been alive."
Robin took deep breath. Maybe this was it. This was how they would find out.
"There's been more than one Robin." Maybe he should feel a little guilty for the easy way he ducked around the question.
Artemis raised a suspicious eyebrow and showed him the other paper.
"Explain Dick Grayson then?"
"He's supposed to be twenty something," she brandished the paper in front of him. "But, he goes to my school! And he doesn't look twenty something. Are there two Dick Grayson's or something?"
Robin blinked, not that they could tell underneath the mask. His heart was hammering in his chest.
"Why are you asking me? Shouldn't you talk to him?" Wait. That might not be a good idea. The last thing he wanted was Artemis to confront him in front of their classmates.
Superboy nudged M'gann.
"Artemis," M'gann said, kindly. "Maybe you shouldn't..."
"Something's going on here and I don't like it!" Artemis said. She was worried and scared about what this all meant. She didn't like the feeling. Robin took the moment of distraction as a chance to escape. Before they knew it, the computer was announcing his departure.
"Artemis, that wasn't right!" Kid Flash spoke up. He took the papers from her hands. "No one likes being put on the spot!"
"I was just trying to get some answers."
"Kid Flash is right. That was not the right way to approach this," Kaldur said. "However, this information is strange."
"Weird," Kid Flash nodded.
"I do not understand," M'gann said, "what's strange about it?"
"Robin has been around longer than we thought. But the one we know is only a teenager, too young to have taken the mantle when it was first created. We have only met Batman and Robin. So, who else is there?"
"Ugh. It's the Justice League headquarters thing all over again," Kid Flash grumbled. A member of the Justice League keeping information from them. It didn't matter that it was Batman, the most secretive of all the members, just that the information concerned their friend. But, their hunt for answers had hurt their friend. "Look, I'm going to go apologise to Rob."
Artemis sighed and gave him a soft glare.
"I'll come with you," she said because she cared about Robin and was sorry, not because she wanted to go with Kid Flash.
"I'm going to his place and you'll just slow me down," Kid Flash responded, leaving in the time it took her to blink.
"Perhaps we should try Google?" Superboy suggested.
"Oh yes! Our classmates suggest that Google has the answer to all questions!"
Artemis really wished Robin was here to hear this. She glanced down at the article in her hand on Richard Grayson and wondered if Google would be able to tell her more about him.
Dick stripped off his mask and costume as soon as he reached the cave. He pulled on his civvies and tried to ignore the red helmet on top of Jason's locker which said his older-younger brother was home.
He found Tim sleeping in front of the computer and placed a blanket over him. Tim had been getting very little sleep lately. Bruce had asked him to find out whatever he could on Cadmus, hacking into Cadmus labs.
Dick felt guilty.
Here was Tim, taking over the work Dick could have been doing but he was too young and too easily overlooked now. His chest felt tight.
For the second time that day, Dick fled. He pushed past someone on the way to his room and locked the door before dropping onto his bed.