Note: Second Teen Titans fanfic ever. This will be detailing the pasts of all the Titans in a unique way, so that it ties into the present. The first one to get this treatment is Robin! Raven is next. Now, to get a few things clear. I have never read the Batman and Robin comic books, or the original Teen Titans. I have however, studied each Titans comic book history, on Titans Tower and Wikipedia. So I have the gist. Now, the comic book history here influences this tale of Robin's past. Here, I guess we're working on the assumption that Robin is Dick Grayson, though I have no real feelings on the matter, and feel that Robin is simply Robin- Dick Grayson, Jason Todd and Tim Drake all mashed together in one Titanic package-and debate is pointless. I have made some drastic changed to Robin's history-partly due to lack of knowledge, partly for purposes of the plot, and partly because the cartoon characters history is different than the comic counterparts-just look at BB and Star for examples of that. So, don't be offended, and I hope you don't find something hideously wrong with Robin's past. Enjoy.
"Where is the stupid remote?"
"Don't tell me you've lost all nine of them," Robin said, looking up briefly at the frustrated Cyborg.
"We only have five now. Beast Boy destroyed them all when he used the INSIDES to make a TRAIN."
"Look, I'm sorry, okay?" Beast Boy said. "It doesn't even work, anyway."
"OF COURSE IT DOESN'T! YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT MECHANICS!" Cyborg shouted.
Raven stormed into the room. "I am trying to meditate," She said in a voice of forced calm, "but am finding it difficult to concentrate due to the fact your voices are carrying all the way to my room."
"Why don't you meditate outside? We're trying to find the remote."
"Haven't we already had this conversation? It is a useless-Robin, what are you doing?" She looked over to Robin and Starfire.
"Teaching Starfire to play chess," Robin said. "Your move, Star."
"I found this game of checkered squares and wooden figurines in the game room, and wished to know how to play!" Starfire said happily.
"Who bought a chess set?" Beast Boy asked.
"Me," Robin said.
"You play chess?"
"I forget…when you say Knight, are you referring to evening or the metallic warriors of the past of Earth?" Starfire asked.
"The metallic warriors. See how it's a horse?"
"What is a horse?"
"Um, I hate to interrupt the match of intellects, but I still CAN'T FIND THE REMOTE!" Cyborg bellowed.
Raven sighed and rubbed her head. She held up a hand and a black bolt snaked out, carefully searching every nook and cranny. Finally, she retrieved the remote from under one of the chairs. "Here. Now can you be quiet?"
"Thanks Rae!" Cyborg switched on the television. "Now where's the football channel? Commercial…commercial…chef show…news…cartoon…commerc-hey, a circus!"
"Um," Robin said looking up as Starfire moved and absently moving his own piece as he focused on the television. "What?"
"There's a circus in town!" Cyborg said excitedly.
"Joy," Raven said sarcastically.
"What is a circus?" Starfire asked while taking one of Robin's pieces.
"Animal abuse," Beast Boy snorted.
"Where do you get that from?" Cyborg said.
"Do you have any idea how they TREAT those animals? Bears and elephants should be in their natural habitats, not physically abused and trained to-"
"It's a cool place where you see clowns and animals doing tricks and acrobats-" Cyborg cut off Beast Boy.
Robin tugged on the collar of his cape nervously.
"Ooooh, that sounds delightful!" Starfire cried. "May we go?"
"NO!" Beast Boy cried. "Did you not listen to my rant? Animal abuse!"
"Not all circuses abuse animals," Robin sighed, moving a piece.
"Oh really? How would you know?"
"I know. Okay?" Robin snapped.
"Please, may we go?" Starfire wheedled.
"It'll be fu-un…" Cyborg said.
"Fun for YOU maybe! I wouldn't want to be one of those animals-" Beast Boy began.
"And maybe we can ship Beast Boy off to the circus and never have to listen to him again!" Cyborg cried, his eyes gleaming.
"As tempting as that sounds…" Raven said.
'We're not going to the circus," Robin snapped.
"What…why? I wish to experience it, Robin."
"I don't want to go, okay?" Robin cried.
"Me neither…" Raven said.
"Oh yeah? Do any of you have a reason?" Cyborg countered.
"ANIMAL ABUSE!" Beast Boy cried.
"Uhhh…" Robin tried to think of a believable reason.
"Crowds…stupid people…would any of you believe me if I said I had a massive fear of clowns?" Raven said.
"C'mon, guys, Star's never been to a circus before! She really wants to go! And so do I!" Cyborg pleaded.
"Yes, please, friends."
"Well…I guess I could go," Raven sighed.
"Can I try to free the animals?" Beast Boy asked.
"Ummm…sure, why not," Cyborg said.
"Robin?" Starfire asked.
"No," Robin said.
"Because I said so okay?"
"C'mon, man, that's not a reason…Star wants to go, why are you being-?"
"I SAID NO!" Robin screamed.
The room fell silent.
"Way to pull a Raven, dude," Beast Boy said finally.
"What is that supposed to mean?" Raven said menacingly.
"Robin…are you all right?" Starfire asked.
"Robin, what's the deal? Are you afraid of clowns or something?"
"I just don't want to go, okay?" Robin said through gritted teeth. "Drop it."
A dead silence filled the room again, as his teammates stared at him.
"Um…Matecheck," Starfire said.
"Wha-Star, that's not the right move," Robin said, glad for an excuse to look away from his friends. "Wait…it is…you beat me…how'd you do that?"
"Admittedly, I was taking advantage of your distraction with the argument of circuses. Am I still the victor?"
"I am victorious!" Starfire blasted Robin's king into smithereens.
"You're not supposed to do that."
"Oh, I am sorry. Shall we have a rematch?"
"Actually, I think I'll just go to my room," Robin said.
"All right then…I will see you…"
Robin left the room, but not before he heard Cyborg comment. "One things for sure, the man has issues with circuses."
The kid stood at attention, ready for action. When the bell dinged, he took off, doing multiple flips and a perfectly executed triple somersault. He spun around the practice trapeze, flipped into a handstand on it, back to his feet again, a few more tricks and he spun off, his momentum allowing him to run up the length of the wall and with a tremendous back flip, land.
"Kid, you freak me out when you do that," the lion trainer said.
The boy smiled and flipped around so his head was level with his ankles. "Says the man who puts his head in a lions mouth. Besides, I gotta practice."
"Yeah, but I'm not nine years old. And Pearl's just a big sweetie," Moe said. "Now stop that ankle thing, yer givin' me a backache just lookin' at you."
The boy obliged, but immediately flipped into a one handed handstand.
"Show off," Moe muttered, going to get the lion.
"Okay, sweetie, we're on in five, then you come in round the middle…when they announce you, okay?" The boy's mother walked in and surveyed her son. "Freaking out Moe again?"
"Uh huh…" the young acrobat said from his upside down position.
"My little robin, always bobbin' along…" She said fondly.
"Mom…don't call me that…"
"Okay, okay, just remember you're on in fifteen…"
She strolled out the door. It was the last time he'd ever see her alive again.
His dad came in a second later.
"On in fifteen, son."
"I know, Mom just told me…"
"With that attitude, you'd think you were a teenager already," the man sighed.
The kid softened slightly. "See you in fifteen then."
"Yeah, see ya," the man left after his wife.
The young circus performer remained in his original position for a couple more seconds, and then flipped back on his feet.
"And now…the Amazing Flying Graysons!" He heard the conductor announce.
He shook his head. He wondered what it was like to be a normal kid. He wandered down the hall, bored, checking his watch every few minutes. His stupid red and green costume itched. Seriously, what was he, a Christmas tree? As he passed his bosses office, he thought he heard voices. Loud, male voices. He knew he shouldn't eavesdrop, but when had that ever stopped him? He pressed his ear to the door.
"If you don't give us that money, we'll make you pay in other ways."
"Is that a threat? That sounds like a threat to me!" The circus owners voice sounded indignant.
"It doesn't just sound like a threat, it is one! Unless you want some very bad accidents to plague your little act, you better pay!"
"I do not give into threats! Go now, or I'll call the police."
"You'll be sorry, man. I always get my way…one way or another…"
The young acrobat jumped back just in time as the door opened. Two men in dirty suits passed him, one flipping open his cell phone and muttering into it. The boy distinctly thought he heard the word "Graysons".
"Unless you want some very bad accidents to plague your little act…"
"Oh no…" the kid muttered to himself. Like a shot he took off after the suited men, but by the time he turned the corner, the men had disappeared. Ignoring this unpleasant fact, he barreled right towards the circus stadium. Within three minutes he had reached the edge and…
His parents were already up on the trapeze. Like a nightmare, everything seemed to slow down. As the boy stood frozen in shock, he saw a man in a trench coat cut the wire…and he saw his parents fall…slowly…surely…wreathed by shadow…and as they plummeted to the ground, he only managed to choke out one word.
When Robin looked back on the day, he always saw it as his ultimate mistake. One second sooner, had he not hesitated…had he not frozen…he knew it wasn't his fault. In his brain, at least. It was why Robin didn't like making mistakes. Mistakes cost lives. He tried not to look back on it much. Tried not dwell on it. He always was in the moment, looking forward. He didn't want to live in the past. He'd learned the hard way what that could do to a person.
It was a big mansion, no doubt. The kid didn't think he'd ever be able to see all the rooms. Kind of made it easier to stay in one place, being in a place this big. It was odd, not being on the move, running with the wind.
Why had Bruce Wayne taken him, if he was never going to talk to him? Isn't that the reason you adopted kids? So you could know, see them once every couple of days?
The place was creepy, large and haunting. It needed a dog…or something. Better than the stupid orphanage anyway. He would have gone with an old lady with green hair and rotten teeth just to get out of that place. He plopped down on the steps, watching servants drift in and out the house like ghosts. He didn't know how long he sat there, but he was startled when he heard someone clear his throat behind him. He turned around to face a tall muscular man with black hair, wearing a suit. His adoptive guardian…Bruce Wayne.
"Can I get by?"
"Oh…yeah…" the orphan scrambled out of the way. "Uh, going somewhere?" he said to his guardians retreating back.
"Business meeting," the man grunted and he disappeared into the darkness of the hallway.
"Okay, nice talking to you too," the boy snapped once he was sure the recluse was out of earshot. "That guy seriously needs a girlfriend. Or a dog. Or, I dunno, a therapist."
"Talking to yourself again, Master Grayson?" a butler asked passing him.
"Yup. No one else to talk to," the kid replied.
"Why don't you go watch television?" said the man looking sympathetic.
"Okay," the irate nine year old dragged himself up and made his way to the television. He flicked it on and it landed on news.
"And in other news…update on the case of the murder of the popular acrobats, the Flying Graysons,"
The kid's hand froze on the remote where he was about to change the channel.
"Suspects for the murder are being apprehended by the police and the masked vigilante…"
A buzzing filled the boys head…
"…At Gotham circle…"
The remote crashed to the floor and the kid was out of the room before the newscaster could finish her sentence.
The small black haired boy arrived on Gotham Circle in record time. And he saw them. The dirty suit men. There were a couple of policemen, but they had been rendered unconscious and were lying on the pavement. The suits were wrestling with someone the boy recognized as Batman, the mysterious "masked vigilante" that had been a hot topic on the Gotham news. The orphaned boy saw one of the men bring out a knife, and Batman wasn't looking…he went into a flying leap and somersaulted right into the aggressor. He landed and the knife wielding man fell over. Next thing he knew, a strong hand had grabbed him a dragged him behind a statue.
"LET ME-" but he realized it wasn't one of the dirty suit men…it was Batman.
"What are you doing here?" the hero hissed. "You're supposed to me at the mansion!"
"How do you-wait…" the kid recognized the voice…"Bruce?"
"Damn," Bruce muttered. "This is just great." He looked out from behind the statue. "And now they're gone."
"You're Batman?" the boy said, confused.
Bruce sighed. "Let's go back to the mansion."
Everyone knows what happened next. Bruce explained about his parents, and how he protected the city. The kid begged Bruce to let him help. Surprisingly, the man accepted. Before they did the oath, he asked the boy what he wanted his alter ego to be named. It took almost no time to decide.
"Robin," said Robin.
Six and a half years later, Robin left Batman. No one knows why. Not even his teammates. Not even his friends. Sometimes not even Robin. It had been a really slow process, but Robin could always bring it back to that one fight.
"Would…you…just…stay…still? "The villain said, as Robin hopped out of the way of his multiple punched and kicks.
"Sorry, not part of the job description," Robin nailed the guy in the chin with an uppercut.
The villain stumbled reeling, but Robin felt tentacles wrap firmly around his torso. He looked up to see a human face, but a green and scaly one leering down at him. He struggled fiercely trying to reach for a gadget or weapon, but the thing merely hugged him tighter. Suddenly, he was yanked free and the creature was sent flying, Batman had rescued him. Robin dodged another jab of the villain he had recently punched, and jerked his knee up to kick, but the man grabbed his leg and Robin was sent flying into a box of crates. Batman was wrestling the tentacled man viciously and called "Robin! Get him with the net!"
"I can't!" Robin cried, rolling out of the way just in time to miss being flattened by his adversary. He flipped out a birdarang to throw at the fighting pair, but his opponent caught his arm and the throw went wide, hitting Batman instead of the squid thing. The villain lifted Robin by the arm and threw him into a nearby monument. In a rush Robin felt impact, the crumbling of stone and a sickening crack accompanied by a burst of red-hot pain. Blearily, the Boy Wonder looked over and saw his arm was bent at an odd angle. The tentacled monster threw Batman into a nearby wall and both he and his partner escaped into the night.
"Ow," Robin said, looking down at his arm.
"They got away. This has been happening a lot lately. Too much."
Admittedly, Batman was right. It had been happening way too much. This concerned Robin quite a bit, though not quite as much as his shattered arm at the moment.
"Yeah, we'll have to do something about that. Er, my arms kind of broken."
"Something's wrong here," Batman said, helping Robin up. "Something's off."
Robin cradled his arm, walking after Batman. "Maybe. I think it might just be bad luck."
"It's something more than that. We should have defeated those two easily."
"I guess…this is the first time I've ever seen them, though. Where are we going?" Robin asked.
"Back to the mansion."
"Okay. Did I mention my arm was broken?"
Bruce ignored Robin.
When they got back to the sprawling mansion, they found servants awaiting him.
"How was crime fighting, sirs?"
"He got away," Batman and Robin said together.
"And I broke my arm," Robin showed his arm, which was dangling limply and swelling.
The butler looked at it in concern and disgust while the maid turned faintly green.
"Tell me, sir, do you even feel pain? At all?
Actually, his arm hurt quite a bit and there was a mad pounding in Robin's head. "I try not to."
"I need to think," Bruce muttered.
"Shouldn't I go to the hospital…or something?"
"No. The nurse will take care of you."
Robin sighed and followed the butler up to the mansions infirmary.
"He does care for you, sir. Very much. He just has a hard time showing it."
About a week later, Bruce called Robin into his office.
"Listen…I've been thinking about our recent failures to capture villains. And I have come to the conclusion that we are just not working right together anymore."
"What?" Robin said incredulously.
"We haven't been getting along lately. We haven't done well as a team. And you breaking you arm has opened my eyes to the danger I've been putting you in."
"Bruce, I've been injured before."
"I know. But are you listening to me? We aren't working well. You need to spend more time in school. You need to try to be a normal boy."
"Wait…are you firing me?"
"Listen to me, Robin. This is for the best. We haven't been getting along. You can't deny that-why are you in here?" Bruce turned to the butler. "Go."
"No, stay," Robin said.
"Go!" Bruce countered.
"HE STAYS!" Robin said furiously.
"He goes! I am the owner of this house." Bruce turned to the confused butler. "Get out."
The man obliged, leaving Robin steaming.
"See? You've been arguing with me like this for the past two months. We just can't do it anymore."
"You're firing me."
"I'm giving you chance for a normal life."
"You're firing me."
"Okay, yes, I am."
Robin had never felt so hurt and confused. Batman had never been the most affectionate guy, but Robin would have never expected him to do something like this to Robin. This was low.
After a few seconds glaring at Bruce, Robin said, "Okay. Fine. But if I have to stop being your sidekick, I'm not living here anymore."
"You're right, Bruce. We aren't working well together anymore. So I'm going to go pursue my own destiny. If I can't be your partner anymore, I'm going to go be a superhero in my own. Which means, I'm leaving, and I'll be taking all my gadgets too."
"Richard, you can't leave this house. You are my adopted son."
"Then go ahead and disown me. You practically already have," Robin stormed out of the room.
It took ten minutes to pack. Then he left, without saying goodbye.
One mistake. That was all it ever took. But Robin was happier now. He had friends. He would not end up like Batman. He would not be bitter; he would not live in the past. Present. Always in the present. What was in the present? Robin thought blearily. Slade. He was still out there, planning something. Had to find out what he was planning. Terra was back too, according to Beast Boy, attending a high school near the tower and claiming to not remember them. Robin wasn't sure what to do about this, but the fact was, it was killing Beast Boy. He acted more obnoxious than usual during the day, trying to put on a normal face, but went to bed early at night, yet didn't go to sleep, Robin had woken up more than once, hearing Beast Boy wander the halls. Slade had some connection to all this…yes, present. Present problems, present villains…Robin pulled out Slade's file and began to comb through it, looking for clues.
Robin must have fallen asleep at some point looking over the files, because he woke up with a jolt when Beast Boy pounded on his door.
"Um, Robin, I know you don't like circuses, but there's kind of a big crime going on that the circus, so I guess we have to go anyway…"
"What?" Robin said sitting up. "What kind of crime?"
"The owner called and said some guy was threatening him, trying to get money…said his name was Zucco, or something…"
Time slowed down infitestamlly. They had never caught the murderers of the Flying Grayson…after that encounter with Batman, they had skipped town and never been seen again…but Robin had always known they were still out there…he had always known…
Robin was off like a shot, past Beast Boy and to the front of the Tower in a split second.
"Titans GO!" He managed to croak before flashing out the door and onto his R-cycle, zooming full speed toward the circus.
Whatever time it took him to get there wasn't fast enough, but he managed to screech to a stop in front of the massive circus tent.
He prepared to go in but- "Robin, WAIT!"
Starfire was flying towards him very, very fast.
"WHOAAAA!" She screeched to a stop, knocking Robin off his feet despite the fact he was ten feet away from her. "I am sorry. I was attempting to keep up with you."
Raven blossomed from the ground in a wave of black energy and Beast Boy dropped from the sky. Cyborg screeched up in the T Car a few seconds later.
"Dude, for someone who doesn't like circuses, you sure wanted to get to this one," Beast Boy panted.
"Yeah, Robin, I thought going at the speed of light was Starfire's shtick," Cyborg said.
"Come on, we have to move," Robin said, racing inside the tent. In a split second, he'd maneuvered his way into the circus.
"Okay, now we just have to find the perpetrators-" Raven began
"THERE!" Robin cried, pointing as he saw the all too familiar dirty suits.
"How do you-?"
But Robin was already off. He saw the flash of a knife in the suits hand, prepared to cut the trapeze wire, just before Robin planted the sole of his combat boot into the mans chin. The man flew backward and the knife flew out of his hand, it's point lodging in a nearby wall.
"I think you've made a big mistake," Robin said menacingly to the criminal at his feet.
"Who the hell are you?" the man spluttered.
Robin answered by attempting to stomp the criminals face in, but the man rolled out of the way in time to avoid a broken nose. Out of the corner of his eye, Robin saw two other men coming, the complete trio. He grabbed the trapeze and with a swing through the air, had nailed them both in the face.
The third man made for the door, but gave a high-pitched scream when a cloaked girl materialized in front of him.
"Azarath Metrion ZINTHOS!" Raven cried forcing the man back with a bolt of black energy.
"No way," said one of the two men, laying on the floor and looking up at Robin. "It's the little acrobat kid from that circus!"
"Robin? What do they mean by "little acrobat kid"?" Starfire asked floating down beside him.
"Yeah…the 'Flying Graysons'. The kid on the trapeze!" The other one answered.
"I think he's gonna end up like his parents!" The first one said menacingly, getting up and drawing out a knife. Unfortunately for him, the knife was knocked out of his hand by a starbolt from a very angry Starfire and an even angrier Robin then tackled him. Robin punched as hard as he could at the man's face and felt blood gush out from under his hand. The second man tackled him, but Robin grabbed the knife Starfire had knocked loose and slashed him in the face.
"ROBIN!" Starfire cried in horror. Beast Boy and Cyborg looked up from their attack on the third man to see Robin attempting to stab his opponent to death. Finally he had the man on his knees, knife poised to strike the heart…but he threw it down after a seconds hesitation and hit the man with his staff, knocking him out. Raven quickly summoned the knife with her power and crumpled it up while the others watched in shock. The other man dived at Robin, but the Boy Wonder caught him with a spinning kick and as the third man joined in, now that his fight with the other two boys was abandoned, Robin jumped up on the trapeze and climbed up it, halfway to the very high ceiling. He threw a birdarang down, and it hit the third man directly on the head knocking him out.
"Come down here and fight like a man, you little circus freak!" the first man cried. Robin obliged, somersaulting down, landing a kick on the man's head. The murderer merely stumbled though, and Robin brought out his fighting staff. He struck it at his adversary, but the man jerked it out of his hand with a surprising amount of strength and punched Robin in the mouth. Robin stumbled back, tasting a small amount of blood. The embezzler and Robin then locked hands, wrestling each other vigorously.
"Robin!" Starfire cried, warming up her starbolts.
"No…Star…let…me do…this…one alone…" Robin groaned.
"Shall I listen to him?" Starfire asked the others.
"I think you should, Star," Cyborg said.
Robin dodged a punch.
"You're…Tony…Zucco?" he gasped in between strikes.
The man laughed and nodded, catching Robin with his elbow. "Kid, I killed your parents and I'm gonna kill you."
Robin felt anger cloud his head. "You first." And he kicked Zucco away, skidding him about fifty feet across the floor. He then lunged on the man, and planted his elbow in his face. Seeing the world through a red film of anger, he threw punch after punch after punch. He couldn't even see Zucco's face…all the could see were his parents, falling, falling…Too late…Too late…
"Robin…Robin…Robin!" He felt a strong hand grip his wrist and pulled him of Zucco. He looked over to find Starfire holding him and Zucco's face a bloody mess.
"You have effectively pounded the villain. The authorities are here to retrieve him. It is all right." She squeezed his arm, as usual a little too hard; he felt pain shoot up with it. He looked at his teammates, who were regarding him cautiously.
"No…it never was," Robin managed to say before looking away.
Robin sat alone in his room. His friends had pretty much left him alone after the big fight and he had come here, to stare blankly at the wall…waiting to feel…something. There was a knock on the door.
"Who is it?"
"It is Starfire."
He allowed the door to open.
"I was just checking to see if you were all right."
"Well…dinner is almost ready. Do you wish to-?"
"I'll be out in a minute."
There was a short silence. "Do you wish to talk about it, Robin?"
"Not right now."
"But, perhaps later?"
"I am always here to listen, Robin."
Robin smiled at her. "I know, Star."
"All right. I will see you in a minute."
Starfire left the room.
Robin looked after her for a minute. He flipped on the small television he kept in his room.
'Today, after being at large for seven years after the murder of the Flying Graysons, Tony Zucco and his stooges were taken down by the Teen Titans and arrested…"
Robin turned off the TV and slowly got up. No, he would not live in the past. He would not dwell on the deaths of his parents. He would always look forward, forever forward.
Never look back. Because no matter what he did, he could never erase his mistake.