Disclaimer: I do not own Teen Titans or any if its affiliates.
Chapter One - Fallen
There were some days Robin just regretted getting out of bed at all. In this case, it had been an entire day of wishing he was still surrounded by his soft cotton sheets and heavy comforter. He'd been up way too late last night playing Mega Monkey Madness 8 and on top of that, had not slept well. He was coming down with something, so he could only breathe through the nostril that was on top, everything moving to the other side when he flipped over. Finally, after tossing and turning for half the night, he took some nighttime cold medicine and promptly fell into a green death flavor-induced coma.
Only a few hours later, first thing in the morning, he had been awakened by Beast Boy crashing into a sleep walking Cyborg right outside his door. Unable to get back to sleep, he dragged himself off the bed, fell into his wrinkled uniform, and crawled into the kitchen to get some hot tea to clear his head. He searched the cupboards but couldn't find any kind of tea at all. Raven, who had been sitting silently on the couch the whole time had read his confusion and piped up, scaring him out of his wits, "I took the last teabag. Sorry." Since his head had started to hurt, Robin sniffled in defeat and forced down a glass of soy milk from the fridge instead.
The longer he was awake, the better he felt, and soon the only symptom of his cold was a slightly scratchy throat. The emergency alarm didn't sound once, so the Titans decided to venture into the chill autumn weather for a little time at the brilliantly colored city park. Starfire was sure the trees were changing colors because they had entered their mating period, which brought an really funny image to mind that got everyone snickering. When Robin laughed, it caused him to sneeze, which in turn made him wipe the dashboard of the T car off with his cape and even Beast Boy got grossed out. Red faced, Robin tried to sink into his seat , he just wanted to go back to bed.
The time at the park was really the only nice time that day. The sun was shining, the air was crisp, kids were playing everywhere and the Titans had a good game of volleyball going. Raven was refereeing, Starfire had agreed not to use her super strength and Cyborg and Beast Boy were throwing some pretty funny jabs back and forth. Robin actually enjoyed himself quite a bit, even though his head felt like it was full of cotton and he could feel a fever coming on. As dusk began to fall, everyone agreed they were starving, so they headed to their favorite corner pizzeria. As much as Robin wanted to eat, nothing tasted right to him, so he only managed to get down one slice.
It was dark when they finished, and Robin could hardly wait to crawl under the covers. It figured that a call would come in just as they pulled into the tower. Transferring to his motorcycle, he raced out of the building with the other Titans not far behind. According to the computer, the police had already found three people in a row suffering from hemorrhagic shock, nearly dying from blood loss. Robin didn't feel up to dealing with a real sicko tonight, but the innocents of Jump City had to be protected. The Titans split up to cover the city more effectively, and Raven was the first to make a sighting. By the time they converged on her location, she was standing alone, staring blankly in fear. It took a couple of tries to get her back to reality, and when she snapped out of it, she seized Starfire by the arms and said, "We have to leave this one…we shouldn't go after this one!"
The Tammaranian flinched under her friend's intense gaze and looked at Robin worriedly. "Do not worry friend Raven, we will capture this bad person." Before she could continue, Raven shook her head and stepped back, allowing her cloak to fall around her.
"If we must," she was much calmer now, "then let's get going." Her eyes glowed as she hovered and surrounded herself with dark energy shaped like a bird. The others began to wonder what could have frightened Raven enough for her to wear energy armor.
Now a bit more subdued, the Titans split up again, this time being more careful in their search. Instead of becoming a blood hound, Beast Boy turned himself into a German shepard, constantly stopping to listen and scent the air. Robin switched the Birdcycle into silent running mode and placed a few more Birdarangs onto his belt. Starfire flew a little higher off the ground, holding green energy bolts ready at her fingertips. Cyborg switched his vision to infrared and shut down any non-essential functions in an effort to preserve as much energy as possible. Raven completely hid herself in her energy and glided silently through the streets, alerting no one to her presence as she looked for the monster she'd crossed paths with.
Robin had already covered an eighth of the large metropolis when he had to stop. His head was pounding and he knew the fever was in full form because he was shivering and sweating at the same time. He popped two cold pills and sat for a moment, trying to force his sickened body to respond as usual. He swayed in his seat and felt a little ill, so he dismounted and dashed for the dumpster in the alley he'd stopped beside. After emptying the contents of his meager dinner into the container, he staggered backwards, bumping into something hard and warm. He whipped around, fists at the ready, only to be swept by a wave of dizziness. This cold was really beginning to cramp his style.
Before him stood a huge black man dressed in black. His head was shorn and Robin could see jagged tattoos covering his scalp. His leather jacket was covered in chains and spikes, and his blue jeans were ripped and holey. The steel toes on his black boots were covered in a sticky red substance, and Robin had no doubt it was blood. Before he could even throw a punch, the teen was slammed up against the brick wall behind him by his throat, and held with his feet dangling ten inches off the ground. The hulking punk leaned forward and seemed to inhale his scent. His voice sounded like stepping on gravel when he spoke, "Ah, the boy wonder at last. I've heard a lot about you."
Robin struggled weakly against the man's hand, but it didn't move an inch. He wanted to shout for help, but he couldn't get any air either. He simply hung there, choking, frantically searching for away out. The man breathed in again and smiled, revealing brilliantly white teeth. Through his darkening vision, Robin did a double take, were those fangs he had just seen? Moving faster than humanly possible, the thug removed his hand and held Robin against the wall by his shoulders. His head darted in and Robin yelped as he felt teeth cut through the sensitive skin on his neck. When he heard the bigger man swallow repeatedly, he tried to wrap his mind around what was happening.
This…wasn't a vampire…was it?! This only happened in B movies, not in real life! To his horror, he could no longer move his limbs, or feel them, for that matter. When the man let go, Robin crumpled on the alley floor. He couldn't get the world to stop spinning and he was aware that his body wasn't moving at all. He wasn't even sure if he was breathing. He turned his head toward his cycle, and felt a slight twinge of pain from the bite mark on his neck. Willing every bit of strength he had, Robin tried to reach for the communicator on his belt. As his fingers closed around it, the black man crouched down and smiled, revealing blood-stained teeth and fangs. "Now, now, we can't have you calling your friends," he tisked as he took the device from Robin's hand. Panic began to set in as the teen realized that he might not live through this.
The vampire must have sensed it because he said, "Oh, now don't worry little bird, you won't be leaving just yet." With that, he leaned over the fallen crime fighter and cut his own jugular with a switchblade he'd pulled from his pocket, making sure the foul blood fell right into his victim's mouth. At first, Robin tried to gag, but his body was too weak to even do that. As more of the warm liquid slid down his throat, his body seemed to move with a will of its own, greedily consuming the life-restoring blood. Warmth and strength began to return to his limbs and as soon as he could move, Robin rolled away, trying not to retch in revulsion at what he had just done. He heard a low throated chuckle as the thug stood, wiping the blood from his already healed neck.
He turned toward the dark end of the alley and sauntered away, saying one last thing over his shoulder, "Be seeing you."
The teen's veins lit on fire where the foreign blood coursed through them. He curled into the fetal position as waves of pain crashed through his body. It felt like he was dying, a little piece at a time. He was hurting too much to notice that his communicator had been dropped right next to him; he couldn't get enough of a handle on the pain to use it anyway. The boy wonder screamed and writhed as the agonizing burning reached an unbearable level, falling still as the last of his breath escaped. He was paralyzed with painbut the last thought he had was of the other Titans before his world went dark.
Robin lay dead in the alley.