Little (actually long) idea spawned while reading The Blink
Trilogy and listening to Behind Blue Eyes, by Limp Bizkit. The
song/poem was written by me, so you can cool your jets now. I took
Furubafun24's example and decided to stop bucking the system. Italics
is flashbacks, thoughts, and telepathic communication, bold is the
lyrics. This is kinda a BB/RaeXRob/Star...or something, but I'm not
really focusing on any but the middle pairing.
"I don't think that's a good idea, Star." Cyborg refused to look at her as he continued tapping away on the keyboard, eyes locked on the screen.
Starfire's face fell. "Why is it not a good idea, friend?"
"Hmm, let's think about that for a sec. One, we found out he's been running around doing Slade's errands for him, two, he attacked Beast Boy, and three, he's absolutely insane. Should I go on, or do you get the picture?" Cyborg still didn't look at her, but his voice was cold enough.
Starfire drew back, eyes wide in shock. Then she nodded slowlly, turning her back on her friend and whispering, "Perhaps Robin should have locked you in the Nothing Room, for I fear that you are the one who needs it." Then the door slid shut, and Cyborg was left alone with his thoughts.
Raven glided slowly down the hallway, waiting patiently as the elevator doors slid open and granted her entrance. She automatically reached for the button marked "roof", but then something else caught her eye. B. Basement...fourty-five floors away from her destination. Biting her lip, her gaze burned into that button as though she was seeing her best friend impaled on a spike...and in some ways, she was. It didn't take long for her to make a decision.
The elevator dropped rapidly, giving her that uncomfortable leaping sensation as the floors clicked by on the bright green read-out above the door. 35...36...her stomach clenched more with every floor that passed her by, and for a moment she wanted nothing more than to fly up through the roof of this dratted metal box and be free of that horrid feeling curling its fingers around her throat. It was a terrible thing, admitting that you were afraid of someone you once considered your best friend.
A green B flahsd above the door, and the metal wall parted to reveal the darkness of Titans Tower's very last floor. Mountains of boxes and crates loomed out of the darkness, a flickering light bulb casting eerie shadows across the concrete floor. The sight brought that horrible feeling to a stomach-turning crescendo, but Raven forced herself to walk past the threatening shadows, headed for a plain, unmarked door at the very back of the room, a faint glow visible in the space beneath it. The light automatically shut off at 7:00 every night, then came back on at 7:00 every morning: twelve hours of light, twelve hours of darkness, perhaps to give the room's occupant some sense of time. Aside from three meals a day, that was the only courtesy the half-robot gifted their former leader with. In his mind, this was far better than doing what they should (turning him over to the police), and much more than Robin deserved.
Raven froze outside the door, listening to the complete and utter silence within the room. If her senses hadn't told her otherwise, she would have believed it empty. A lone tear escaped her violet eyes and streaked silently down her cheek, but she made no attempt to hide it. There was no one here to see, anyway. Hesitantly, she reached out and laid her hand flat against the cold metal as more of the prisoner tears coursed down her cheeks to fall like impossible rain on the concrete. Raven opened her mouth to say something, anything, everything, but the words stuck in her throat like so many rocks, making it harder and harder to breathe in the silence. Why?
With a light touch of her finger, the smallest circle of black energy appeared on the door at eye level, then the metal slowly parted to reveal a tiny hole. It had been so long since she'd seen him...seven days, she realized with a start. Why did it feel like an eternity?
He was crouched in the corner, head in his hands and completely still. Raven could barely even see the slight rise and fall of his breathing. The tears came faster now, burning rivers of guilt and regret. He looked so hopeless, so weak...why did she let them do this to him? Everything they had heard, everything he had done, none of it was true. It couldn't be! Not Robin, never Robin. Surely there was some mistake.
Something caught her eye, drawing her attention away from Robin and towards the ground before him. Amethyst eyes widened as she realized what the discarded piece of cloth was: Robin's mask, powerful and undefeated, defiant and apathetic. It wasn't the weapons that made him dangerous, it wasn't the costume that transformed him. It was that mask. That mask was Robin.
And there it was, carelessly tossed aside, lying in a weak and crumpled heap on the ground. If he wasn't Robin...then who was he?
The empath jumped as a shout came, not from the figure in the room, but from behind her, back in the direction of the elevator. She whipped around to see Beast Boy running toward her. "What are you doing down here?"
Within the confines of his prison, Raven felt him stir, lifting his head at the sound of the changeling's voice. The room was soundproof...except when someone went around putting magical holes in the door.
Raven shifted slightly to the right, concealing the door from her friend's view. "I was looking for a box of my old spell books. There's an incantation in one of them that might be able to improve my meditation." The lie was as smooth as silk, and the darkness was kind enough to shroud her face, concealing the tears.
But, for the first time in Raven's experience with him, Beast Boy wasn't fooled. "Well, if you were thinking of looking in there for it, I can tell you that there's nothing worthwhile in that room." She was slightly surprised at the utter scorn and hatred his words displayed for someone he had once called leader and friend.
Half of her wanted to yell and scream at him for those words, but the other half resigned in silent agreement. Torn, Raven's mind reached back into that room, desperately casting out the one question she had to have the answer to, her last effort before giving up entirely. "Who are you?"
Stunned silence was the only response he gave.
"Why are you down here, Raven? You should be up there, with us. With the Titans, not down here in the dark and...scum." Beast Boy reached out to take her hand, and as he did so, Raven's eyes fell on the slight bulge around his chest. Bandages, to hold the ribs in place as they healed. The sight still made her blood run cold.
"You're right. I'm coming." She consented, but did not take his hand.
Slightly hesitant, Beast Boy made his way back to the elevator, then halted, waiting for her.
Raven slowly turned back to the door, breathing in sharply as her wide eyes met a pair of the deepest blue, staring back at her with such intensity that she felt as though she was being x-rayed. Hope leapt within her...but a closer look showed the empath something she had dreaded, feared, desperately ignored, and yet always been aware of. There was a darkness in his eyes, revolting and terrifying, so potent that it made her stomach turn and her skin crawl.
With a shiver, she tore herself away and allowed the hole to close over, blocking the eyes from her view...though she could still feel his gaze. Breathing hard, she backed away slowly, then began to run, eager to get away from the dark and away from those eyes. That wasn't Robin. Robin was dead.
Beast Boy wrapped a gentle arm around her shoulders, whispering words of comfort as the elevator door slid shut, and the darkness of the basement vanished from her sight...but not her mind.
The Nothing Room, as Starfire had taken to calling it, was appropriately named. There was absolutely nothing of interest in it, just white walls, concrete floor. Oh, and a person. Robin, he was once called.
He stood staring blankly at the door, gaze fixed on the place where her eyes had been just moments before, where her eyes had vanished, melting back into the metal. She had looked at him with ultimate disgust, fear, disappointment. It would have frozen his heart, had it not already been stone cold.
I walked a line
And nothing at all
Constructed of weak materials
They were his friends. He loved them like the family he no longer had, protected them, defended them to the death. And they did the same for him. They were a team, united in heart, body, and mind.
Until he drove that love back into their hearts like a knife, effectively killing any affection they ever had for him.
"What the heck do you think you're doing? Get your filthy hands off him!"
Robin cried out in pain as the blast caught him in the back, sending him flying into the wall. Vision red with anger, he jumped back to his feet only to be met with a cold iron fist, smashing his head back into the wall. He growled, struggling to hit the half-robot as a hand clamped around his neck in a vice-like grip. He choked, gasping for air and glaring daggers as he tore at Cyborg's fist in vain. The grip became tighter as his body convulsed with the need for air...
Robin's eyes widened in horror as Cyborg's face slowly morphed into one far more terrifying, a single cold gray eye glaring indifferently up at him as the fist tightened yet again. "I oughta snap your scrawny little neck!" Slade hissed, eye narrowing malevolently.
"Cyborg, let him go!"
The image of Slade flickered momentarily, his vision beginning to darken, chest crushed in the absence of desperately needed oxygen.
"I said, Let Him Go!"
The hand was suddenly released, but by then, the darkness had already closed in on him.
He woke up to find himself here, door locked and utility belt confiscated. Just like that, he lost everything.
Staring at the blank metal door for the thousandth time, there was nothing he wanted more than to see those eyes again, hated stare and all. Somewhere in the back of his mind he had hoped that Raven, his best friend, his confidant, his defender, might still care for him, maybe even rescue him from this miserable hole. That hope was crushed now, but still...he would have given anything he had left to offer for just one more glimpse of Raven's eyes.
One hand, white and gloveless, reached shakily toward the door and touched it gently, imagining that he could still see her face. He focused so hard on it that he could almost feel the warmth of her skin. "Come back," he croaked, voice hoarse from long periods of screaming and silence. He was vaguely surprised to feel the warmth of a tear on his cheek. It was the first to escape him in this place. "Raven...please."
The plastic smile on her face
The promises I never keep
Friendships long dead
But stubbornly gripped
All that is meaningless
He knew she wasn't coming. Not with what Beast Boy said. Robin blinked another tear from his maskless eyes, his icy indifference melting enough to uncover the pain. No one was coming. To say that he could rot here before being released would be no exageration at all. Part of him wished they would just turn him over to the police. At least then he could walk around a bit, maybe even go outside if he didn't cause any trouble. His body was screaming for excersice, for air, for sunlight! He felt himself slowly growing weaker by the day, slowly submitting to this nightmare. If Hell is a state of mind, then he was consumed by the flames.
Robin spent the first day screaming for release and pounding on the door until his hands were bruised and bleeding. On the second he shifted to desperate threats and insults. The third marked his stoop to promises and bribes. He passed the fourth day in silence. And on the fifth day, Robin genuinely begged and pleaded for freedom. None of the above phased them in the slightest, so on the sixth day, he gave up and relinquished the control he never had in the first place. He hadn't seen another human being since that first day...until Raven. And now she too had slipped away.
This was all because of Slade.
One wrong step
The line will break
Nothing to keep me from my fear
I'm all alone
At first, he kept telling himself that it was all an act. Know your enemy, keep your friends close and your enemies closer, the end justifies the means. What were a few robberies, if it meant he could catch the greatest threat to the city he stole from? What was arson, if the most dangerous man in Jump ended up behind bars? Just a few petty crimes, he told himself, just a few more, and I'll have him.
But before long, he began to forget his objective. Slade began looking less and less like an enemy, and more and more like an ally. He was caught up in the thrill, the challenge, the risk...and slowly, little by little, he started to like it.
Slade him him in up to his neck and thinking that he wanted it that way, no doubt all according to his "Plan". Of course, Robin did eventually snap out of it...
You say you want to help me
You say you'll be there
But you're not real
You're not real
Robin choked, spitting out a mouthful of blood as he ran his hand along his ribcage and felt the sharp jut of broken bones.
"Now, Robin, why the theatrics? We both know that this is what you want. You enjoy being my apprentice, any fool can see that. So please, stop the charade so I can give you your next assignment." Slade offered him a hand, eye as empty and emotionless as ever.
"No..." Robin groaned, not so much from the pain as from the battle within. "I...I'm a hero, Slade! I'm a hero! I'm the good guy!"
Slade laughed openly, finding Robin's desperate lies extremely amusing. "Of course. Now, about your next mission..."
Robin spat out a mouthful of blood, letting it land with a gruesome splash on his Master's shoe. "I'm not going on any stinking mission, Slade! This has all been an act! You lose, and now I'm going to kick your sorry butt into a jail cell, you psycho! I win!"
Slade was no longer amused, but thoroughly annoyed with Robin's stupidity. He bent down and easily lifted his rebellious apprentice off the ground, giving him a condescending glare. "Is that so?"
In one fluid movement, he tossed Robin away from him, sending him crashing straight through the pile of crates and old machinery. Before the boy could even move, he jerked him to his feet and delivered a stunning blow to his head, knocking him back enough to kick him full in the chest.
Robin let out a cry of pain as he hit the ground, retching as Slade stood over him, hands behind his back and a smirk on his lips behind the mask. "Have you had enough, or shall we continue this little game?"
Robin rolled over on his side, eyes squeezed shut as he coughed and gagged, blinding pain surging through him as Slade's words rang in his ears.
"I'll take that as a no." Master turned his back on the wounded boy, headed for the door. "Sleep on it. I'm sure my pathetic little robin will be singing a different tune in the morning."
And that was the last time he resisted.
How can I lose something
I never had at all
Never had at all
Robin slowly made his way back to his corner, joints stiff from cold and sleeping on the concrete floor. Easing himself down with a grimace, his eyes fell on it. A cold fire awoke deep within them as he cursed that object with all his strength. That thing was what got him here in the first place. If it wasn't for Robin, he would never have met that twisted psychopath, he would never have become a Titan, never have hurt them, never have been locked away in this wretched hole. It was Robin. He was to blame for everything.
Adrenaline bolstering what strength he had left, he leapt to his feet and stomped, kicked, and tore it to shreds, a howl like that of some poor, lonely dog bursting from his lips as what was left of it fell from limp hands. Chest heaving, tears streaming from his tortured eyes, he screamed loud and hard, head thrown back and eyes screwed up against the pain. Somewhere inside him he was praying that someone would hear.
All that was my world
Just crashed down
Horror so powerful it paralyzed his lungs and crushed his chest took hold of him as the scream echoed in the silence until his ears were ringing, bringing no response. They had left him here, he was alone and locked away. He would die here, abandoned, forsaken. They were gone.
Any remaining strength drained out of him, and he fell against the wall, sliding to the ground. Eyes wide and breath permanently lodged in his chest, he stared at the thing with red eyes as it slowly advanced, fangs dripping and claws clicking against the concrete. His lips formed the words, but no sound met his ears. "Help me."
The thing growled low, eyes burning with Hellfire, breath hot and foul on his face. His head spun and reeled as though intoxicated with fear, the words chasing themselves around and around in his mind as it opened its mouth and roared, rows upon rows of razor sharp teeth glinting in the artificial light. "I'm sorry! Help me, please help me!" But still no sound escaped his lips.
You can stop now
You've won, but it's not enough
Not enough for you
There is no mercy here
Some hint of reason broke through the fog of panic in his brain as he realized just how impossible this creature was. His hand shook wildly, going against all his better judgement and reaching straight toward its gaping mouth. The hand passed through thin air as the creature flexed its claws and glared viciously back at him.
So he really was insane.
"Raven." The thing's eyes morphed from burning red to deep, soft purple as it lunged, slashing a claw across his unprotected chest. Something echoed in his head, shouting over and over again until he was tempted to beat the words out of it.
"Who are you? Who are you? Who are you?"
With a cry of pain, he gripped his head in his hands and shouted into the stale air, voice cracking, full of desperation and longing. "Richard Grayson! I'M RICHARD GRAYSON!"
One wrong step
The line will break
Nothing to keep me from my
I'm all alone
"He's sick, Cyborg."
The hybrid didn't even break his speed as he typed away on the keyboard. "Tell me something I don't know."
Anger burned behind Raven's eyes, and if he could have seen them, he might have used a different tone. "No, I mean sick. Delirious. Fevering. If someone doesn't go down there and help him, he could...die." The last word was barely a whisper, hardly even heard above the clicking of the keys.
Cyborg was unimpressed. "Maybe he should have thought of that before he decided to become Slade's filthy little lapdog."
Raven had heard enough. In the blink of an eye she stood beside him, forcing his head up with a black tentacle of power until he was forced to look at her. "Maybe you didn't understand me. If he doesn't get help soon, he will die!"
Cyborg's gaze was cold and unaffected as he stared calmly back at her. It was clear that he didn't care. "An eye for an eye. Justice is served."
All that was my world
Just crashed down
Well there you have it. I know the poem doesn't fit quite as well as the song did...but bear with me here, I'm doing the best I can. Quite long, so congrats if you made it this far. I poured my heart and soul into this thing, so if you don't like it I just might cry. -Dusty