The empty streets of Jump City stood deserted. The grey buildings loomed in the background, just as bleak. A silence accompanied the doomed setting. Not a single being had occupied the once friendly city for three years.
The silence was broken by a spiky- haired adolescent slowly cruising down the empty street on his jet black motorcycle. His helmet covered his eyes, but the visor could not shield the ruins of Jump City from the boy's view.
The mysterious boy, almost a man now, skidded his bike to a stop with ease. He swung off his ride and leaned it against a nearby streetlight that had run out of use. He then raised his black helmet off his head and placed it on top of his matching motorcycle. The boy ran his hand through his black hair and shook it free, then let his crystal blue eyes survey the landscape about him once more.
Jump City hadn't changed a bit since he had left. The crumbled streets and buildings stood as a reminder of the events that had occurred three years ago. Since then, the city had fallen.
The boy in his late teens strode along the sidewalk. The metal soles of his boots clicked against the cracked pavement. The boy slid his hands into his jeans' pockets and walked along.
"Dude, What's wrong?" Beast Boy asked his friend and leader.
Robin looked up with an annoyed look in his eyes. He got up from the couch he had been sitting at and bumped into his friend hard, on purpose, as he left the room.
He walked down the hallway towards his room subconsciously.
Then he just stared at the door to his own room and then turned around.
"Hey Robin, what's up?" Cyborg asked enthusiastically.
Beast Boy mouthed, no, don't bother, behind Robin's back.
"Just leave me alone, okay? Is that so hard?" He headed for the door that led outside.
"Friend Robin, where are you going?" He heard an innocent girl's voice call behind him.
"Yes, but for where?"
"I'm leaving permanently."
"What?" Raven entered the room.
"You heard me. I'm leaving. I'm getting out of this place. I don't need any of you."
"But Robin, I do not understand." Starfire looked confused and as if she was about to cry.
"None of you do!" Robin turned. "You don't understand me period!"
"Robin, stop!" Raven's monotone cut in. "What's wrong? There's something you're not telling us."
"I'm leaving. That's final."
Cyborg went after him. "But man, we're your friends. Come on, tell us what's really going on."
"I don't need any friends!" He threw the verbal punch before he quickly disappeared behind the automated door, and by the time the other Titans had attempted to go after him, the Boy Wonder was gone.
"Please, friends, I wish to know, why did Robin wish to leave? He is coming back, yes?" Starfire began to cry.
"I don't know, Star." Cyborg stared at the door.
The boy walked along the sidewalk until he came to a dark alleyway. He turned into the destroyed alley. It looked like a section of it had been blown out by a bomb. He stepped in. Memories flooded his head.
"Argh!" Robin, the now former leader of the Teen Titans by his standards, ran down the street. He sighted an alley, and ran into it.
He punched the brick wall, releasing some of his emotions.
They don't understand, Robin thought to himself. They never do. They see me as the perfect guy with no problems whatsoever. I'm always there for them, but they'll never be able to be there for me.
He was downright sick of playing the good guy all the time. He always had to be the strong one, the one who could never make a single mistake or wrong choice. Yes, the time he had been obsessed with Slade had shaken them up a bit, but he had made it up to them. Why couldn't somebody else play the ultimate hero for a change?
"Hello, Robin." A dark figure stepped out of the shadows.
"Slade," Robin growled in an undertone. As if his day couldn't get any worse.
"What, no welcome back?" Slade droned sarcastically.
"Go find someone else to bother."
"I see someone is having more issues than usual today."
Robin lunged at Slade and attempted to throw a hard punch. Slade caught it, though, and held the boy against the wall.
"Your role model's gone. You see no point in holding out any longer. Want me to go on?"
Robin screamed and broke free of Slade's grasp. He kicked his arch enemy in the gut. His opponent fell back, but not for long.
"You're losing it, Robin. You've left your team, and your only friends. Just because of his death."
Then Robin did something he'd never let anyone see him do before. He sat down, right on the cement in the middle of the dark alley, in front of Slade, and cried.
Slade pitied the boy. The loss of Batman was really taking its toll on Robin. Now he had no home and had no desire for allies. He was too independent.
The villain put a hand on Robin's shoulder. The Titan reminded him so much of his son.
"It's all right, my boy. We all suffer the loss of a loved one at some time or another."
He continued. "Come with me. Become my apprentice again. I will teach you more than Batman did. Let him go. You have no one else to turn to."
Robin looked up, his face tear-stained, and for a moment it seemed as if he would accept the invitation. But then he made an unexpected move. He sprang up and launched four of his strongest birdarangs at Slade before the Man knew it. They pinned the older man to the wall, helpless.
"You're wrong, Slade. I do have someone else to turn to. Myself. I don't need you or the Titans. None of you understand!" He jumped to the wall where his arch-nemesis was up against and attached an exploding disk on it.
"I can handle my problems on my own."
And with that he jumped out of the alleyway as Slade's eye widened and a chunk of the alley exploded.
The boy turned away. He knew the most painful memories would come next. He wasn't ready to deal with them. He faced the street.
He had just killed. His worst enemy, maybe, but it was murder nevertheless. Strangely, to Robin it felt good.
Bruce wouldn't have wanted you to do that, a voice in the back of his head whispered.
"Well, then screw Bruce!" Robin shouted, venting out his emotions.
He ran as fast as he could down the middle of an intersection. Cars honked, buses crashed, but none of that mattered to him. All that mattered to Robin was to make this pain stop.
He was afraid. Afraid of facing the world alone. He had only felt this once before, and that was when he lost his parents. But Bruce had been there, then, and took him in. He had been younger at the time, anyway. He had grown stronger since then. He had to be. He was a superhero and leader of a team of them for crying out loud! But then, still, once again, Batman, Bruce Wayne, had always been there offering his help. Robin rejected it, saying that he could handle things on his own. He had never expected to lose the man any time soon.
Now he was gone, and Robin was left alone. No, Dick was left alone. Robin was gone. He died with Batman. The two were no more.
Robin stormed into a grocery store. He needed something more to take his feelings out on. Suddenly he felt a body slam against his. He heard a clatter on the floor.
"I'm so sorry, sir- kid." The clerk who had just bumped into him apologized. He had been carrying a crate of oranges, which were now on the floor. He stooped to pick them up, but stopped. "Hey, you're Robin! My son loves you!"
Robin clenched his fists and teeth. He was in no mood to socialize with the public right now.
The man stared at him as he began to pick up his oranges and put them back in the crate.
"Take a picture," Robin grunted. "It'll last longer." He kicked the fruit, making them roll even farther across the floor. He turned around and saw a bunch of people staring. He ran out of the grocery store back out onto the blacktop, and saw that a fight seemed to be going on. He recognized four teens battling a large thing that looked like a big ball of goop.
"Yo, Robin, if you're done sulking, can you help us out a bit here?" The cybernetic one shouted across the street. The team was struggling to fight Plasmus. Starfire and Raven's energy blasts were just flying right through him and Beast Boy just couldn't get his hands/paws on the monster. Cyborg held up his sonic cannon and aimed it at Plasmus. Not surprisingly, the blue blast soared right through the giant zit. They could use their leader and his freeze disks as well.
Robin just stared at his friends and walked away. As he turned away, he paused as he heard a cry.
"Starfire was being squeezed by the monster. Its goo had just plastered itself onto the alien girl's mouth. She tried to create her starbolts and eye lasers to escape, but to no avail.
Robin bit his lip and kept walking. He heard Cyborg rush to help Star. He broke her free, and they continued to fight. They glanced at Robin, concerned, but the four had work to do.
Starfire soon flew over and caught up to Robin.
"Robin, why is it that you not aid us in the battling of Plasmus? What is wrong? Something is on your mind, yes?" Robin kept walking. "Please, I wish to help."
"Well you can't help, okay?" Robin snapped. "Listen up, everyone," He shouted all around him. Citizens stopped what they were doing and stared. "You all just leave. Me. Alone! I don't need any of you, do you hear me? Any of you!"
He rampaged through the city, destroying everyone and everything that was in his way. He ran and left the Titans, especially Starfire, with shocked and hurt faces. Starfire's eyes grew watery, and she ran away, too, heading towards the Tower. She could not fly.
"Starfire, wait!" Raven started to go after her, but was stopped by a very large and disgusting creature named Plasmus crashing down on her thin body.
"Raven!" Beast Boy cried out. But he was too late. For Raven and also himself. Plasmus flung a string of his toxic goo and enveloped the changeling, suffocating him to death.
Cyborg was the only one left. He had to give it all he got. For the rest of the team.
He screamed a battle cry, and charged towards the monster as fast as he could. He smashed into Plasmus, destroying his mutant form but making the villain drop the tank of toxic waste he had been chugging.
"Robin, what is up with you, man!" He screamed his last words as the tub fell right on him. He saw no more.
Robin had seen all this from afar. Reality hit him. My friends are dead, he realized. Because of me. They wouldn't have lost if they hadn't fussed about me. Starfire would have been able to fly if I was there.
Everyone was gone now. Robin was alone. For real this time. But surprisingly, Robin didn't feel any more guilt, grief, or anger than the time he had killed Slade.
"Well, at least they won't bother me any more," Robin shrugged, and ran out of the city.
The teen couldn't take it any more. He keeled over on the ground and wept. He wept for his careless actions, his stupidity, for his friends, and for the loss that had started it all. He broke down, crying for all his wrongs.
He was ashamed, ashamed of everything. Hadn't Batman taught him not to let his emotions get the better of him? Now all his friends were gone, too, all gone forever.
Dick Grayson felt a soft touch on his shoulder. He turned around to look into the face of someone he hadn't seen for three years. Someone he had never thought that he would see ever again. Her emerald green eyes looked deep into his, full of understanding.
"Starfire, oh, I'm so sorry." Robin embraced his friend, the girl he had loved above all the others. He cried into her shoulder as she spoke. He voice pierced the darkness of the abandoned city that was once their home.
"It is all right, Robin. I am right here. And I forgive you. Everything is going to be all right."