Dick looked around, realizing he was on the plateau back in Jump City. "Donna?" he looked around for the dark-haired angel. "Where did you go?" His hand was cold and his heart was slightly empty; she was gone. He pulled his mask out of her utility belt, slipping it over his eyes.
"Robin!" A strong body wrapped itself around him, hugging hard.
"Starfire…" he knew her embrace anywhere and hugged back, burying his face into her hair. "Oh, thank god…"
He felt a hand on his shoulder, turning to see Beast Boy smiling at him. "We were worried about you, dude! Why'd you run off like that?"
Dick reached to the back of his head where it had slammed into the brick of the building; there was no evidence that a wound had ever been there. "I guess I just got dizzy and wandered off. But why were you searching for me after what happened?"
"Man, Raven was able to contain the blast," Cyborg told him. "You got the brunt of it, but no one else got hurt."
A black aura surrounded him as Raven checked over his body. "We saw some blood leading away from where you were hurt, but you seem fine…"
"It, um, wasn't as bad as it seemed," he sighed. "I'm…I'm just glad no one was hurt. I thought I had ruined everything."
"Oh, Robin, no! You were only trying to help," Starfire looked at him anxiously. "But please, may we return home now?"
He smiled at her. There was nothing else he wanted at the moment. "Yeah, I've just got to get the R-cycle." Pulling the key out of his utility belt, he pondered them for a second before tossing them to Beast Boy. "It's probably not a good idea for me to be on the road right now. I'm still a little dizzy. Mind bringing it in for me?"
The green man gaped openly. "I, well, yeah! Of course! I'm on it!" He turned into a bird, key in his mouth as he flew towards town center.
Starfire took that as her cue to scoop him up and fly off. There was a serene smile on his face as he saw the Tower in the distance. Waves of exhaustion washed over him. Feeling completely secure in her grasp, Dick allowed his eyes to close.
Apparently he'd fallen asleep, because the next time he opened his eyes was the next morning in his room. A glance at the clock told him it was half-past nine. There were voices out in the common room, including Cyborg telling Beast Boy that they were waiting until Robin waited up. Dick knew that Gar didn't have that much patience, but there was something he had to do first.
Crawling out of bed, he opened one of his dresser drawers, fumbling in the back for something. It was a cell phone, one he hadn't used for a long time. As it started up, he wondered if it was still being paid for. There was a dial tone though, and he punched in the familiar number.
It was answered after two rings. "Wayne Manor," the familiar voice announced. "May I ask who is calling?"
"Hey, Alfred, it's me."
"Master Dick!" his old butler sounded happily surprised. "Well, if this isn't a delightful Christmas gift, I'm not sure what is. How are you?"
Dick grinned; at least he knew there would always be someone in Gotham who was happy to hear from him. "I'm doing well, actually. I just called to wish the two of you merry Christmas."
"And a very merry Christmas too you too, sir. Master Bruce just sat down to breakfast, but I think this is an appropriate reason to interrupt him. One moment."
He waited until the deep voice greeted him. "Dick?"
Taking a deep breath, he said, "Hi, Bruce. Merry Christmas. I hope I'm not keeping you from breakfast."
"No, it's ok. Merry Christmas to you too. Is everything…alright, son?" He sounded concerned.
Dick smiled a little bit at the term of endearment. "Actually, everything's going pretty good. I just called because, well, Christmas is supposed to be a time for family, isn't it?"
There was silence for a moment. "You're right, it is. We have some Christmas presents here for you. I can send them to you if you'd like."
He considered this. "Bruce, would you mind if I came to get them in person?"
"You want to come get them?" He tried not to get a sick pleasure from surprising the Batman. "No, of course we wouldn't mind." There was some background noise. "Alfred just reminded me that I've been forced into throwing a New Year's Eve party. I'd like it if you can come."
"The Titans can get along without me for one night," he smiled against the mouthpiece. "It sounds like fun. I haven't seen my friends in Gotham for a while. And I miss Alfred's cooking."
That got Bruce to chuckle. "Yes, well, there's none better in the world. You won't be the only teenager here though, for once. Barbara's coming, as usual, as well as some other people you might know. Oh, and Wonder Woman's bringing her little sister, Donna."
"Excuse me?" Dick coughed.
"What? That Diana's bringing her sister, Donna? I thought it would be all right if I invited the Princess to the party this year and she's now mentoring her sister. She's your age. Very sweet girl, I think you'll like her."
"That, um, that sounds good. I guess I'll see you then," Dick ran a hand through his hair.
He could almost see Bruce nodding on the other side of the line, a plate of forgotten pancakes—the traditional Christmas breakfast—in front of him. "The party doesn't start until eight, but feel free to show up whenever you get a break from work."
"Will do," he smiled lightly. "Bye, Bruce."
"Good bye, Dick."
The phone flipped closed in his grasp, a light smile on his face. For the life of him, Dick couldn't remember the last time he and Bruce had had such a good conversation. It felt good though, and he was determined to have more of them.
Before he could think about it anymore, his door slid open. "Robin?" Starfire poked her head in hesitantly.
"Hi, Starfire," he smiled at her, a sense of relief filling him. He had almost expected her to start speaking Tamaranean for a moment.
"Beast Boy was wondering if you would come join us. It is Christmas!" She smiled joyfully.
A grin spread over his face, her energy being infectious. "I was just coming out." Setting the phone on the table, he followed her out towards the Great Room.
"Hey, Merry Christmas, man!" Cyborg greeted him. "I was just about to make breakfast. Anything special you want?"
"Kind of have a craving for pancakes," he decided. "Merry Christmas."
Beast Boy looked distraught. "Dude! I thought we were opening presents!"
Raven rolled her eyes. "You can wait until we eat."
"But…the presents!" His eyes fell on the large tree, several gifts underneath it.
"Maybe if you helped for once, we'd be able to eat quicker," Cyborg pointed out, beginning to mix up batter for the pancakes.
The green man considered this. "Ok, I'll start making the tofu bacon."
He froze mid-stir. "Actually, never mind, stay out of my kitchen."
Dick couldn't keep the smile off his face as he and his friends sat down for breakfast. Cyborg had whipped up some light, fluffy pancakes—including chocolate chip ones to shut Beast Boy up—along with bacon, sausage, fruit and the holiday tradition of eggnog.
"Now can we open presents?" Beast Boy asked, rubbing his fully stomach.
"Oh, yes, may we open the gifts of the Christmas?" Starfire begged, clasping her hands together eagerly.
Dick stood up, wiping his mouth on a napkin. "You guys go ahead, I'll clean up."
Raven and Cyborg exchanged a look before joining their friends underneath the tree. He really didn't care what he got—being the son of a rich billionaire that he was now talking to did have its perks—but watching everyone else's face light up made his day.
When he had finally finished with the dishes, the large screen of their TV flashed to life. "Merry Christmas, Titans!" Bumblebee greeted them. "Feliz navidad!" the twins added.
They chorused back as Aqualad waved. "So, everyone get what they wanted?"
"I still didn't get a moped," Beast Boy pouted.
Raven noticed something in the background of the screen. "What's up with Speedy?" The redheaded archer was sitting on the couch, staring dazedly at the ceiling.
Aqualad rolled his eyes. "A girl. He's been like that since he met her."
Speedy snapped out of his trance. "Not just any girl. The most beautiful girl in the world."
"I'll give you that," the swimmer shrugged. "She is pretty."
"And what girl is this?" Dick asked, eyes running over Roy's arms, looking for any punctures.
He grinned wickedly before rambling on, "Her name's Donna, I met her with Green Arrow the other day, she's Wonder Woman's little sister. I mean, Wonder Woman herself is hot, but the big three won't let anyone near her." He glared at Aqualad for a second. "But she's new to Man's World so Wondy is giving her some room to breathe. It's too bad you're not going to the New Year's party, you'd get to meet her." As he stopped for a breath, Roy realized something. "Oh, man, Ollie told me not to mention that!"
Before he could go off on another tangent, Dick lifted up his hand in a signal to stop. "I'll be at the party."
Everyone turned to look at him. Roy blinked. "Oh. Well, ok then. I'll see you there."
"Now that you've finally done your rant about Wonder Girl for today, you might shutting up?" Bee requested. "We all know she's nice and sweet and gorgeous but we're really pretty sick of it."
"If you keep acting like that I'm not going to give you your present," Speedy told her, holding up a box wrapped and topped with a bow.
His team leader looked insulted. "Hey, now, that's not fair!"
As the two argued, Aqualad rolled his eyes. "Well, we just wanted to say hi. You guys probably have some things to do, so we'll see you later."
"Adios!" Mas y Menos chimed as the screen went black.
"What party are you going to, Robbie?" Cyborg asked, picking up some of the unwrapped paper.
"Actually, Batman's throwing a party," he explained.
Beast Boy scratched his head. "Wait, I'm lost. I thought you and the Bat called it splitsville?"
He shrugged. "We talked and made up, I guess. He invited me to his party. I hope you guys don't mind if I take a night off."
They murmured their consent and it took a few minutes before Starfire voiced what they were all wondering. "Robin, you…you will not leave us to go partner with the Batman again, will you?"
Dick blinked in surprise. "What? No, no, of course not! The thought didn't even cross my mind. This is my team and my home now. I'm not going anywhere."
They spent the rest of the day doing some pr. After visiting the children's hospital, Dick made a special visit to the orphans that had been in the square the night before. Each kid had dog-piled him for a thank you.
For once there was nothing wrong with his city. Later on in the day, he relaxed on the roof, thinking of everything he had seen the night before. It had broken his heart and there was a feeling relief knowing everything was back to the way it was supposed to be.
As he continued to watch the sunset, Starfire looked over him, matching his eyes underneath the mask. "Oh, hey, Star." Dick hopped up. "What's going on?"
"I am not sure," she admitted. "Beast Boy told me to come hold this over your head, but I do not know what it is."
Her arm stretched above his spikes and Dick looked up to see what it was. To his surprise, she was holding a piece of mistletoe. "Um, well, it's kind of a Christmas tradition."
"Oh?" she cocked her head to the side curiously.
"Yeah. You're…you're supposed to do this." He leaned up, pressing his lips to hers softly.
When he pulled away, a blush was spread over her cheeks. "Oh…I believe I shall like this tradition." They kissed again, continuing to do so until Cyborg poked his head up.
"Excuse me for interrupting," he cleared his throat, "but the movies starting."
"We'll be right there," Dick promised, running a hand through his hair. Cyborg made a disbelieving noise before going downstairs. They followed a minute later, setting in the last open space on the couch.
Starfire leaned inconspicuously against his side. "What is it that we are watching?"
"It's A Wonderful Life," Raven answered as Dick's arm wrapped around the alien beauty.
Dick looked around at his friends, soaking in the knowledge that they were safe and they cared about him and he finally had his father back. An extra star twinkled in the night sky above them. "Yes, it is."
A/N: Happy holidays and happy New Year to everyone!
Questions, comments, reactions and reviews are greatly appreciated.