Chapter 24 - The Little Monster
The boy stared down at his small hands. Never would he guess those same small, innocent hands would become those of a criminal, stealing what was not his, and fearing for his life every day.
The young boy looked up to his Uncle Bruce, hearing his solid emotionless voice bark out another swing in his training. Robin turned back to his wooden sword and swung down and then to the side in excellent precision.
"But Uncle Bruce, my arms are hurting!" Robin complained.
"They'll hurt even more if you don't do it again."
Robin blew a rasberry at the older man. "Meanie..."
"Again!" Bruse bellowed again pretending not to hear the child's muttering. Robin swung out again and again, over and over until suddenly he felt a bop on his head. Robin fell over, tired. He couldn't believe his own uncle had just pushed him over!
"Your form is slacking. You are not focusing anymore, these swings are just empty and mechanical." Bruce stated. Robin let his head fall over to one side. Bruse stared at the child. He had so much potential it was obvious. He laughed slightly to himself, it reminded him of his younger brother so much, hard working and determined... but hard-headed.
Robin got up finally trying to catch his breath. His arms were stinging with soreness but he didn't want to look weak before his uncle. Robin's father had told him that he and his two brothers, Bruce and Slade, were all martial artists. Bruce had been the top student of the three while Robin's father rather liked to seek out mischef and end up forgetting to attend class. Slade, the middle child on the other hand, wanted to be the strongest. Eventually he was kicked out of the class. He'd forgotten what fighting was supose to be about-- protecting those and fighting for right. But Slade just wanted to be the best and the strongest.
So the story went.
"Come on, Uncle Bruce... I can do it."
Bruce was silent for a moment. "Child, don't over work yourself. It is obvious you are tir..."
"I said I can do it!"
Suddenly Bruce found the child directly infront of him making a quick swing at him. Bruce held up his own wooden sword he'd been using and blocked the strangely powerful blow. He grinded his teeth together trying to push the child off of him as he lowered himself on his knees to look Robin dead in the eyes. Robin smirked while continuing to press all the weight he could on his uncle.
"I may be small still but I am going to keep training! And then one day..." Robin felt his upper body move further atop his uncle's. "One day I'm going to be as strong as you! And then it will make my dad proud! I'll protect those and use these skills to teach others to defend themselves! I'll never abuse my strength to harm people! I'll be the best so dad will be proud of me!"
Bruce was almost touched from the words coming from his nephew. It was sort of childish and talk of a kid that had not yet experienced the true sorrows and pains of the world. Robin would test those beliefs and dreams he held and see what a lie he'd try to live by. But for now... he'd let him be. A child was a child, just as a dream was only a dream.
The older man feigned an injury and let Robin topple over ontop of him. Robin shook his head and sat up on his uncle's chest. "Wow. You really are strong." Bruce complemented.
Robin's eyes blinked. Wow! He really knocked his uncle, the best martial artest ever, over onto the mat! "I knocked you over! I did it! I did it!" He cheered. Bruce let go of his usual cold facade and smiled. He'd just have to wait to see what kind of man Robin would really be. He almost wished and hoped that Robin's childish ideals would come true.
"You knocked me over... but I can still knock you over too." Suddenly Robin felt his uncle lift him over his head and plop him onto the mat while his uncle began proding his sides earning bursts of laughter from Robin.
"S-stop! It tickles! I'm so t-tired from training, Uncle Bruce! S-stop, plea- ahahaha!" Robin rolled over doubling over with pains from laughing too much.
"Bruce, playing with children is very becoming of you." Both martial artist looked up from their tickle fight to see Slade standing outside the door way. His small smirk grew. "It's almost disgusting."
Bruse stood up from the mat his cold wall being built up again. "At least children don't go running at the sheer look of my face."
Slade's smile suddenly dissapeared and he uncrossed his arms while moving toward his older brother. "That almost sounded like it was directed more towards me."
"Hm, that's because it was."
Robin felt his lips pull back as he fruitlessly held his laughter back. His mother said was not nice to laugh at other people but it was still funny. Slade's head snapped to Bruce's side making Robin's small body freeze. Those haunting eyes... he knew there was something off about his other uncle.
"What's so funny, boy."
Slade growled at the silent response. "Answer me when I'm talking to you. It's rude." He spoke his words slowly and deliberately. It was almost eerie like.
"What is it you came in here for, Slade." Bruce cut in.
Slade continued to glare at the child. From the day he was born he despised that small Richard Grayson. Disgusting vermen children were. The only good thing about them were they would believe anything you told them. Everytime he looked at Robin it reminded him that his younger brother took the girl he'd been pinning for and created a child. An actual child that should have been his in the first place.
He let his eyes soften to his eldest brother. "Why, it is time for dinner."
Cyborg threw his hands up into the air. "We've been telling you! We don't know any Richard! Gesh!"
The police shook their heads. "We're getting no where with this guy."
Starfire put a finger to her mouth in thought. "Does Robin... well..." she trailed off and thought more.
"Does he what?" Cyborg asked beginning to get irritated with the whole scene.
"Does he have a different name? With him being a..." Starfire paused to think of a better word but nothing else came to mind, "criminal..." The word felt horrible on the tip of her lips. She wouldn't believe that the boy she'd grown to care about was really what everyone thought he was.
"A different name... like an alias." Cyborg wondered aloud.
Beastboy on the other hand continued to think to himself. Things just were not adding up here. Robin was obviously stressed and not thinking correctly at the moment. He was about to make the biggest mistake of his life for one thing. Another was that he'd been so secretive about family, home, and personal questions that a normal person would just answer. It was hard enough just to get Robin's favorite color from him!
Another thing was the name Richard Grayson. It just sounded so familiar, but from where did he hear this name? "Richard Grayson... Grayson... Grayson..." The youngest of the three teens looked around Robin's abode for help. The place looked as if a hurricane came thrashing into his home, papers strewn everywhere and abandonded first aid supplies littering the floor. Suddenly the newspaper on the floor caught his attention.
"RICHARD GRAYSON!" He shouted suddenly surprising Cyborg and Starfire. "He's the only heir to that that rich dude in the newspaper!"
"What! Why would the police be looking for a rich guy's heir in Robin's..." Cyborg stopped dead in his sentance. "No way, that couldn't be."
Starfire thrust her hands openly to Beastboy. "Robin cannot be that same person. Robin says he has no family but Slade."
"No, in actuality that is incorrect." The entire room turned to the open door way to see a sharp looking man standing before them. He stepped into the room with his hands behind his back staring down at the young adults. They all suddenly felt so much smaller knowing the power the richest man in Gothem had. "Richard is in fact my only nephew and it has been quite a pain to find him."
After dinner was over, little Robin had washed up for bed, and his mom, dad, and uncles were sitting around talking when he ran into the room.
"All clean!" He smiled.
His mother turned around and opened her arms. "Mm! You smell good now." She patted Robin's head. "Oh we better get you a hair cut soon."
"It doesn't look that bad." Robin's dad laughed seeing Robin's discomforting face as his mother fussed with his unruly, spiky hair.
Robin's mother rolled her eyes. "That's because your hair used to look like this when you were younger." Both parents laughed at fond memories as Robin tried to crawl out of his mother's grasp.
"Mooom," he complained, "you're embarrassing me..." he said between his teeth while sliding a glance at Bruce. The older man pretended not to notice but chuckled anyway.
His mother laughed and motioned her child to go away. "I see how it is. You are just too grown up to have your mother hold you and hug you anymore."
"And have you tucked in bed, fed, and washed up." His father added. "Maybe it's time that we leave Robin, hua, darling?" Suddenly Robin got scared feeling his parents didn't think he appreciated everything they do. He felt his face flame up and instantly ran into his mother's arms.
"No no! That's not what I meeean!" The family laughed as Robin gripped onto his mother like she would disapear. "I don't want you do go away! Never ever!"
"Richard! We were kidding, baby!" His mother continued to laugh. "We won't be going anywhere for a long time."
How Robin wished that was true.
Bruce set his cup down and cleared his throat. "Well actually, Richard is training quite well thus far in his skills. It seems that you still remembered a thing or two from those old classes hm?"
Robin's father rubbed the back of his head laughing nervously. "When I wasn't skipping you mean?"
Bruce grunted. "Then again had you not been skipping you wouldn't have met your wife." That comment earned a blush from both of Robin's parents. Honestly Bruce wondered if they were still young teenagers the way they were acting right now. His attention turned to Slade. His face was of utter malice. He looked as if he would strangle their youngest brother before everyone's eyes without a care in the world.
Sometimes Bruce wondered HOW he was even related to Slade. He was not kind and slowly as time went by he presented himself like a ticking bomb. His face slowly resembling the devil himself. Bruce looked down to Robin now playing on the floor with some kind of marble game. He let a small smile pass his lips thinking to himself how lucky the child was that his father was not Slade.
It was in fact that in their later teenage years that Slade had fallen in love. If that was hard to believe as it was. He'd fallen in love with the sweetest girl on their block and was bound to show her that he was worthy of taking her out. He'd followed her around, walked her to class and found out everything about her. She'd flatly refused him not having any interest in his stalking ways and eerie way that he'd always be looming around her. It scared her. It scared her even more when Slade would take no for an answer.
Then one day, she met Robin's father by accident and the rest was history. Slade was not in the picture anymore and it angered him. Not the strongest of the three and the youngest had stolen the girl of his dreams.
Slade watched the small Robin play on the mat. All he wanted now was revenge.
And that was what he'd get.
Raven used her coat over her head as she came closer to her high school. Could Robin be here? She ran to the pavilion's overhang and looked around the building. Distant clanking noises could be heard from the field and track area. She gasped hearing the caterwauling of men. Robin!
She ran over to see Robin and Slade dueling it out, mud and rain water sullying their clothes from head to toe. She ducked behind a pillar, eyes wide with fear. 'Dear God please... please let him be okay!'
"I know you killed them!" Robin cried out. "I know you killed my parents!"
Raven paused at that.
Slade only laughed manically while stepping away from the enraged child. "Calm down, child. You have no proof of that."
"I SAW IT!" Robin cried. "I saw you chase my mother away! She was so scared and she got in the car and drove down the block towards that intersection! Dad chased her down a shorter street to the same intersection and tried to stop her. The intersection was so busy that Christmas night," Robin's eye set dead on Slade. "And they were both killed on impact! It was you that sent my mom running, you bastard!"
Suddenly Slade was infront of Robin and punched the smaller boy in the face, blood seeping from an open wound at the corner of his mouth. Robin coughed and looked up at Slades boots.
The man crouched down to Robin. "Only your idiot of a father was supposed to die that night, you fool. I wasn't expecting your whore of a mother to die as well. But what does any of that change, Robin? Look at the bastard they created. A little monster."
Slade kicked Robin making the boy double over in pain again. The gun with one bullet meant for one man slid away right where Raven his hiding behind a pillar and Slade's eye caught the black weapon. The man chuckled. "Boy... did you intend to kill me?"
"With," Robin choked, "all my heart."
"I see..." Slade's grin only diminished. "The little monster intends to kill his keeper." Robin's heart dropped when he saw Slade's hand snake into his own coat. "Don't worry," he pulled out a gun, his finger already on the trigger aimed at Robin's face.
"I was planning on doing the same thing."
Authoress's notes: "..." That's all I can say. To be honest, I wrote this chapter maybe five months ago and just finished it today. I know it's been SOOO long since I last updated this story! Sorry sorry sorry! But I just saw the Teen Titans Movie and that got me working again. There's just been so much, and I lost interest with this story unfortunatly. But no fear people! Only one more chapter to go and if anything, it'll be out by Christmas! Haha... (everyone throws tomatoes at me). Yeah I know that's a long time. Hope you enjoyed and see you in the last chapter! -Ochako-chan