A/N: Okay, flying all alone is not a walk in the park! I don't know why, but my nerves are on the edge at this point. This is my first time flying on a plane all by myself. I'm at the gate this very second of writing this chapter. The reason for not updating is because for a whole week I was at my aunt and uncles house in Georgia. And I live in Pennsylvania! I'll spare the details because I have a big chapter to write right now, so enjoy and review!
Disclaimer: Nope. Never. Nunca! Too much Spanish for me.
Chapter 13 A Killer or A Friend
Sweat dripped down his forehead and back in fat droplets because of the killing heat and of how nervous the boy was. Just an hour ago he had been a confident teen with a mission on his mind and determination burning in his strong eyes. Amazing how all that vanished in such a little bit of time. He had no clue what he was doing, and it was scaring the hell out of him!
Robin jumped off the branch he was on and landed on the ground with his knife held tightly in one hand. He was ready for anything John would throw at him. Even though his head was swimming with unease and nervous thoughts, he still managed to keep a cool and collected air around him.
He was sure John was somewhere out there watching his every move and expression and waiting for the precise opening to attack him. He had to be on high alert and extremely careful till he won this dangerous game. Only then would John stop and leave Robin alone. At that time Robin knew he could convince John to come to America to get help. If John said no again Robin would still live. But winning was the only way he would stop this nonsense…or so he thought.
Robin muttered a curse under his breath as he peeked out through the protection of the thick green leaves of the jungle. The third destination was on the very top of a steep cliff similar to the one he had jumped off of. But this one seemed ten times higher and there was no sign of water at the bottom if he did have a desperate thought. If he fell off this cliff there was a 100 percent chance he would die. And there was no good cover anywhere along the way up.
How did Batman ever survive this? How would he? The thought made Robin's stomach drop. He had to somehow gather up enough guts to get out of his only good cover if he ever wanted to end this nightmare. (A/N: I'm in the plane now. Holy crap! I'm going to miss good old Georgia!)
"No turning back now!" Robin whispered to himself as his mind turned over his plan. He finally summed up enough courage and took off into a sprint right before he put his knife into his pocket. His bare feet barely touched the smooth rock surface of the cliff as he ran uphill. He had to keep moving or John could easily shoot him. And at this point in the game, Robin was sure John would not hesitate like he did so many times before.
The teen was running out of breath. He was halfway to the top and high hopes were going through his quick mind when he heard the dreaded bang of a gun being shot. He gave a sharp yell when the rock next to his foot showed him how good John's aim was.
Robin gritted his teeth together and started to zigzag to the top. More shots went up around him. The teen stole a quick glance behind his shoulder and saw John running up behind him. This just made Robin push harder.
He was so close to being there. This was it! He would win. The thought made Robin smile a little. He would live!
Too bad John had other ideas.
Robin came to a sharp stop at the edge of the cliff and turned around to face John to show him that he had won. He frowned as he saw John stop and aim at him. He had so little time to react.
- Starfire & Raven -
Raven walked next to Starfire in silence. They would have searched from the air, but the thick canopy prevented them from seeing anything on the ground. They had to search on foot. The heat was making even the pleasant Starfire complain. Raven had little trouble with it. Her demon side took care of the temperature around her most of the time. That was why she was fine wearing such clothes all the time.
"It is way too hot, Raven," Starfire said while fanning herself with a hand. "I need a break."
"Fine with me," Raven muttered while stopping close to a small rock. Starfire sat down in an exhausted and sweaty mess. "Robin!" Raven yelled as her eyes went wide from the sudden change in her poor friend's emotions and feelings.
Starfire gasped from the outburst and she asked Raven, "What is going on?" she was now deeply worried for her leader. "Is Robin okay?"
Raven sat down next to Starfire and tried hard to keep control of Robin's and her own emotions. "He's in big trouble, Starfire," she said to her friend beside her. "He's hurt really bad."
"No," Starfire said as the vision of Robin dying came into her head. It had been such a morbid thought. She grabbed Raven's arm and said to her with some unknown strength in her voice, "He will make it, Raven! Is there some way you can help him?"
"Maybe," Raven said quietly. "I just need to concentrate." Starfire nodded and let her friend do whatever she needed to do. Raven hovered into the air and sat crossed-legged. She took in a deep breath and let it out slowly before she started to silently chant. She focused all her energy on him. If he was hurt then maybe she could heal him this way. She just hoped that she wasn't too late.
- Beast Boy & Cyborg -
"Dude, it is hot," Beast Boy said to his robot friend as he turned into his human self. He had been a dog for too long and it was getting too hot for him with all that fur. Cyborg only nodded as they kept walking at a fast pace.
"You're too quiet," Beast Boy said while glancing up at Cyborg strangely. "Something you're not telling me, dude?"
"I'm just worried," Cyborg muttered. "What if the girls bump into John?"
"What if John bumps into Robin?" Beast Boy asked him. "That would be worse. There are a lot of 'what ifs' in this world. Let's just find this house. I bet you it has an AC system in it and food! I could go for a tofu burger right about now." He rubbed his stomach and licked his dry lips at the tasty thought.
"Even if that was the last food on the earth I would never eat it," Cyborg said with a teasing smile coming to his lips. He pushed a leaf away and suddenly stopped in his tracks in surprise. Beast Boy stopped next to him and they both stared at the mansion standing there in the middle of nowhere.
"DUDE! It's huge!" Beast Boy said while jumping for joy. "Food, here I come!"
"I wonder what the guy has in there," Cyborg said.
"Race you there!" Beast Boy yelled as he took off as a cheetah to the mansion.
"Hey, you had a head start!" Cyborg yelled back at him. He started to run after the changeling. With a few strong punches the door was down and the two entered the home of their enemy. They enjoyed the cold air in the house and started to search the place for anything to get them off the island.
"We should call Batman right now," Beast Boy said as they walked down the hallway. He opened random doors to see if any kitchen would show up.
"Good idea," Cyborg said while typing in a few things into his arm communicator. In only the matter of seconds they saw Batman's head pop up into the tiny screen. Cyborg could swear that he saw a hint of the faintest of smiles come to the guy's face.
"I see that you found the house," Batman said with a small nod.
In the background Cyborg and Beast Boy could hear Prosper saying, "I want to see! Who is it, Bats?"
"Yeah," Cyborg said. "The T-sub is destroyed, so we split up. The girls are searching for Robin while we searched for the house. We need something to get us back to Jump City. Prosper might know where there could be a boat or plane."
"Of course I know!" Prosper's voice yelled into the communicator. They still could not see his face, but they for sure knew he was there. "He has a big helicopter somewhere there. Get some food while you're at it. I'm starving!"
"Okay, we will keep in touch," Cyborg said. "Have you found Robin yet? Starfire said that you had him, but when we searched for you three, you guys were long gone."
"I don't have him anymore," Batman said simply. "Lost him a few hours ago. But I know where he is."
They then heard Prosper yell, "Hear that, BB? The Bat lost a small teen! You said it could not be done. You're going to have to pay up!"
Cyborg looked over to Beast Boy strangely. The green teen gave a sigh because he had lost a bet the two had made during the boring ride there. Cyborg could not help but give a small laugh when he heard Batman hiss at Prosper, "That is enough. I don't want to hear another word out of you!"
"We need to get going," Cyborg said while hiding a smile under his other hand. He saw Batman frown at him deeply. "I'll pick you guys up once we find the helicopter. So just hang in there." Batman nodded and the two hung up.
- Robin & John -
"You were stupid to come back, kid," John said down to Robin as he watched the teen deal with the excruciating pain. He had shot Robin in the side, and this was worse than that cut back in the kitchen. The kid was in a lot of suffering at the moment. He was on his knees and was holding onto his side. The crimson color of blood dripped down to the rocky ground and stained the teen's hands that held tightly onto his side.
Robin did not answer. He winced again as another wave of extreme pain swept over his body. John used the end of his gun to lift the teen's chin up to look into his face. "What about the rules?" Robin growled at him through clenched teeth. His plan was failing. His chances of surviving were getting slim.
"I had to twist them a little to win," John said with a simple shrug. "How does it feel, Robin, to lose finally? After so much struggling and fighting you finally fall."
John frowned when he saw Robin actually smile up at him. "You don't get it, John," he said. "I won this game. I followed the rules. You're just killing me now and changing the rules to make yourself happy. But I won. You lost."
This only made John angry. He did not like having Robin shove all that in his face with that smug smile planted on his lips. "I did not break the rules," he yelled at Robin. He grabbed the teen and forced him to his feet. He gave the teen a sinister smile as he saw him wince in the pain.
"Yes, you did!" Robin shouted back. He ignored the pain in his side as he stared up at John. He was going to force this guy to change. "But you don't want to admit it. All you want to do is kill me. So if you really want to kill then just do it. Do it now. Shoot me and convince yourself that you won this stupid game. Go back to that life you hate. Be alone once again. Everyone will hate you. The Titans and Batman will never forgive you. And what about Prosper?"
"Prosper?" John asked him with a hint of sadness in his voice. It quickly vanished, though. At least Robin had hit a soft spot. "What about him? He is just a snot-nosed kid. I don't care about him."
Robin laughed in John's face. He shook his head and said, "No you don't. You care too much about him. But he will see you as a monster. He will see you as a killing machine. Do you really want all that?" He then stood up straight and tall. "So shoot me now. Just tell my friends that I love them all."
Time seemed to freeze. Robin knew that John would not be able to kill him. He knew John too much by now. He did not like the break the rules he had set up for himself in his head. Killing someone that was completely defenseless was against them. John did not want Robin to die without any fight in him. In his head it was the worst way to die. Robin was testing everything in John. His goal was to push John till the man could not take it anymore and finally stop.
But John's evil side was still fighting to kill Robin. He grabbed the teen by the shoulder and turned him around so they were facing the edge of the high cliff. He smiled wickedly as he saw the surprise on Robin's face. He made it so that Robin's feet were only an inch away from the edge. But the teen did not fight back.
"So what kind of death do you want, kid?" John said into Robin's ear. "Shooting you is too boring and less painful. How about falling to your death. I get to see the horror on your face till the very end of your life."
Robin said nothing. A flash of memory flew through his head. His parents fell to their death. Would he die the very same way they did?
"Goodbye, Robin," John said. "I had a hell of a time playing my game with you. Better hope the one over head loves you enough to give you a good after life." With that said, he shoved Robin off the cliff. The teen let out a small yell while falling.
Robin took out the hidden grappling hook he had gotten from Batman and aimed it at the top of the cliff. He was suddenly going the opposite way he had been. He saw the shock on John's face and managed to smile again while saying, "God want's me to live a bit more longer."
John growled and took out his knife. "You will not be smiling for long," he said while starting to cut the cord of the grappling hook. Robin quickly let go of the gadget and hung onto the rock while still staring up at the man. His feet were dangling in the air because he had no footholds. He glanced down and was surprised that he was not afraid at all. He had a sense of calmness in him.
The grappling hook dropped down and Robin watched it fall. It seemed like it took forever to hit the top of the trees. He looked back up into the evil eyes of John. His arms were starting to hurt and his side pain was coming back. But it had less pain in it. It felt like Raven had fixed it. She had healed him a few times and he recognized the feeling. He would have to thank her after this.
"You can't hang there for forever, kid," John said. He stood at the top of the cliff with his hands on his hips and a hellish smile planted on his face. "The most would be a hour. Starting to feel the burn yet?"
"No," Robin said while returning him with a sweet smile. "This is nothing compared to my normal workout. I have good upper body strength. In less than an hour my friends will be here. I guess you really want me to live."
"No more games," John said after a long silence. His face was serious as he stared down at Robin. "Let's end this once and for all." He slowly took out his gun and aimed it at the dangling kid that was completely hopeless. He paused.
"Do it," Robin said. He was pushing his luck. This was the moment of truth. He would either die or live. He was at the mercy of one man. His life on earth was in John's hands. It almost scared him.
"This is my favorite part of the hunt," John said.
Robin opened his eyes and saw that he was still alive. He was breathing hard as he hung there with a stunned expression on his face. He thought for sure that he had pushed John too much and he was dead. He looked up to see something different in John. For a moment Robin only saw John standing there, silent and still.
John opened his eyes, and Robin saw them tear up. "I'm such a terrible person," John whispered. "I kill people for my own amusement. I got so used to it that I really did not value any life including my own. I knew that I could always leave this old life behind, but I don't think the world could ever accept me. How can anyone see me as something other than just a crazy killer?"
Robin was silent for a while. Had he done it? Had he really pushed so hard that he changed John? He let a warm smile come to his lips and said to John, "I see you differently. Everyone thought I was crazy to continue this game. But I wanted to help you, so I kept playing. And what about Prosper? You do know that he is on this island right now?"
"Yeah," John said with a weak smile. "That kid sure is great. Smartest thing I've seen!"
"He is worried about you," Robin said.
John took a deep breath and let it out slowly with a nod. "I'm sorry for all this, Robin," he finally said. "How could I ever make you forgive me for making you go through hell?"
"You could start by helping me off this cliff," Robin said. "This is kind of painful."
John gave a short laugh and extended his hand out to Robin. "Grab hold," he said. He then pulled Robin up with ease and checked his side. "I thought I got you right there," he said with confusion. "There is barely a trace of a shot now."
"Some help of a friend," Robin said while sitting down to catch his breath. His arms were shaking from hanging there for so long. He glanced over to John and saw the man taking off his belt with all his ammo and weapons in it. "What are you doing?" he could not help but ask the man.
"I'm leaving this old life completely behind," John said. With that said, he flung all the weapons over the edge with a smile planted on his face. "I'm not that person anymore." He smashed his gun against the rock surface then kicked the pieces off the edge as well. He gave a sigh and looked back to Robin.
"So what now?" Robin asked him. "What job do you want in America?" The two then laughed out loud at the strange thought. They stopped when they heard the sound of a helicopter. Robin stood up and they both saw the flying machine come up to them. Robin seemed to brighten up as he saw Cyborg driving it with Batman sitting next to him as copilot. The rest of his team and Prosper were in the back and were all too happy to see their leader once again.
Robin looked up into the sky before getting in. These past two days had changed his faith a little. He knew for sure that there was someone watching him from above and helped him when he asked. A silent thanks was needed, and he did just that.
Robin and John jumped into the back, and the teen heard Cyborg ask Batman beside him quietly, "Are you sure it is okay to bring John home with us?"
"He's fine," was Batman's simple answer. Robin heard his answer and smiled inwardly but stayed silent.
Robin gave a small sigh of relief and said to Cyborg, "Let's just all go home."
"I bet you miss it," Cyborg said with a laugh. "Glad to see you again, man. Next stop…Titans Tower!"
- Three Days Later -
Robin was alone in the main room of the Tower and just enjoying the sunset from the big windows that acted as a wall. The others were still suffering from jetlag. Going through all those time zones can really do a number to your inner clock. Robin never really had an inner clock, so he was the only Titan that was fine that day. Batman was getting ready to leave any minute now. John had gone back to his island to pack up a few things for his new home in Jump City with his new job.
Robin wore a black sleeveless shirt and baggy jeans. He had gotten used to the feel of not wearing his costume for once. He also was barefoot. Maybe those two days on the island had changed him a little bit too much. The others even gave him strange looks when he did not change into his uniform when he got back to the Tower. They had rarely seen him wear anything different.
There was a beeping sound from the main computer, and this caught Robin's attention. He pulled his eyes off the breath taking sight of the sunset to answer the call. He let himself express a small smile when he saw that it was John.
"Hey, kid!" John said with a wide grin. The screen showed him picking up a small box. He was talking to a hovering computer screen that was of course his own creation. "I was not expecting you to answer. You of all people should be sleeping."
"I'm kind of an insomniac," Robin said while scratching the back of his neck. "Plus, Jump City sometimes get really good sunsets."
"It is sun rise over on this side of earth," John said. He gave his box to a robot and told it where to put it. "Well, I'm heading to Jump City in a couple of hours. But I want to ask you something, Robin."
"Sure," Robin said with a shrug. "I'm ready for anything." They both smiled while remembering the last time Robin had said that. John then gave a serious nod and went on.
"What do you think of the idea of me adopting Prosper?" he asked Robin with a nervous smile. "I've been thinking a lot about it lately. He said that he hated his parents, and I think it would be best for him and me."
"Great," Robin said with a sigh. "Two evil geniuses living together. This might be trouble."
"But what do you think?"
"I love it," Robin said. Something at the corner of his eye made him frown. He had seen Batman heading out of the room to the front door. He was leaving without saying any goodbye. He turned his head back to the computer screen.
"Hurry, or you will not see him again in a long time!" John said with a knowing smile.
"Thanks," Robin said with a grin. "See you soon, John." John only waved goodbye. He was already focused on something else. One of his robots was doing something strange and he had to go fix it. The screen then went black. Robin was already running after his father. "Bruce!" he yelled after him as he saw the big doors open up to indicate that the man was almost out the door.
Batman turned sharply around and saw Robin running towards him with a distressed look on his face. "What is it?" he asked Robin while stopping.
"I…um." Robin stopped in front of Batman, and for once in his life he was out of words. He had no idea what to say. How come it was so hard to talk to his own father? Maybe it was because they had not talked in at least two years. Had it really been that long?
"Are you okay?" Bruce asked Robin while looking strangely at him.
"I'm fine," Robin mumbled. He ran his fingers through his hair as he blushed slightly. He must have looked like a complete idiot to Batman right now. "Are you leaving?" he finally asked while looking up.
"Yes," Batman answered with a nod. "I have my own city to protect."
Robin nodded silently. He summed up enough guts and asked, "Without a goodbye?" He bit his lower lip as Batman just stared down at him for a few seconds. His face was a mystery. Robin had no idea what was going though his father's head.
Then Bruce smiled at him. Robin knew it was not forced, and he could not help but smile himself. "Goodbye, Richard," Bruce said quietly to Robin. "I might not tell you this too often, but I'm proud of you. You're the leader of a great group…even if they are only kids." He rested his hand on his son's shoulder to show him how much he really did care.
"Thanks," Robin said with his smile widening. He opened his mouth to say his own heart-warming goodbye, but the alarm went off at the worst of times. He cringed while looking behind him. He had to get dressed! He never had that problem before.
But when Robin turned his head around to talk to Bruce again the Bat was long gone. A small frown came to his lips as he watched the doors to the outside slid shut. A small tinge of sadness tugged at his heart as he snapped back into gear. He started to run down the hallway and head for his room for a quick change.
Back to the normal life of saving the city. He loved it!
A/N: There it is, people! The ending to this story. I finished! I'm proud of myself. I proved to myself that I could end a long fan fiction with no trouble. Well, I did stay up till around three in the morning on some chapters to perfect them. But I'm an insomniac. I always stay up that long, so maybe there really was no trouble. But did I mention that I want to do a sequel? Maybe I can pull it off, but I need some people to encourage me to do it or I might chicken out. I tried to do one sequel and it sucked so bad! But that was in seventh grade. I can do better ones now. So what do you think? If I do make one then I'll just add it on to this one so you people will not have to look hard for it. So please give a review. And you readers are great! I love to read each of your reviews. You guys are all different and point out different things. Keep it up! Pixiegirl is finished here!