A/N: this started as a little story for an art piece I did on deviantART. It's a one-shot and pretty meaningless when you get down to it.Meeph… meeph… meeph…
The muted noise echoed through the murky darkness, swirling around him in the vast nothingness. Senses dull, he clawed at the void with all his might, searching for a way out. Memories that flashed before him retreated as fast as they came, leaving the boy in fear and confusion.Where am I? Why can't I move? Meeph… meep… beep… beep…
The small blonde painfully cracked his eyes open, try to make sense of what was going on, only to gasp in horror.
He was in a tank.
About to take a deep breath so to prevent him drowning, he paused. He was already breathing. What he had assumed to be water was much chemical induced, leaving everything a tinted blue. Cautiously he began breathing normal, fascinated as his breathing emitted bubbles from his mouth, which churned throughout the tank with every movement. Upon further exploration, he blushed as the realization of his nudity dawned upon him. Of course he had swimming briefs on, which provided some comfort, but overall he was completely exposed.
A slight movement from outside the tank caught his attention and he pressed against the glass. His cell appeared to reside in an immense medical chamber. Examination tables were aligned in several neat little rows, their metal surfaces shimmering in the light. Machines beeped and hummed along with blinking lights, wires stapled to the ground so to prevent tripping. He gulped as he eyed the sharp instruments littered on a cart, their blades glinting in the light.
"Ah, Master Joseph. I see that you are finally awake," a familiar voice broke the silence, drawing his attention away from the offending tools. "It is delightful to see you again."Wintergreen?
"I must admit that I was quite worried when your vitals began to drop, but they seem to have improved immensely over the night." The old man turned with a reassuring smile toward the young boy. Love… relief… fear… anger… confusion… happiness… sadness… all swam through the ancient eyes in a chaotic pool. Trying to raise his arms so to communicate, he found his arms became like led. "Please, Master Joseph, you are still weak. You will only exhaust yourself further."
Puzzlement flooded his mind as he let his arms go, allowing them to merely rest upon the glass. He had not seen Wintergreen since he was just a little boy.How is this possible? Where am I? How did I get here?
"I must admit I never expected you to recover this quickly. You have grown into quite a strong young man…"
"Of course he has…" A dark chill ran down his spine as he slowly recognized the new voice. He should have known HE would have had something to do with this. Wherever Wintergreen was, that monster was surely close nearby. "He is my son, after all."
"But of course, Sir. Shall you be needing my assistance further?"
"Thank you, Wintergreen, but I wish to have a little heart-to-heart with my son."
"As you wish, Master Slade."
Jumping back, the small blonde stared in horror as Slade's image reflected through the glass, the single eye looking back at him through the hideous black and orange mask. Clad in his armor, the man's arms were held behind his back.
"It's been awhile, Joey," Even within the glass he could hear a tone of mockery in the voice. "Or should I say… Jericho? I must admit I was surprised when I discovered that you had joined the Titans. Who would have thought that Robin would have let the son of his most hated enemy become a member of his little club of friends? Oh… but you never told him, did you?" Strolling up to the glass, he looked down at his frightened son, whose green eyes had glazed over in fear. "Do you know why you're here, Joey? Do you remember what happened? You were in a battle against Kardiak. You were captured, and partially devoured. The Titans freed you after the destroyed the creature, but you were practically dead. They left you, Joey. They left you to die."
Jericho's mind exploded as memories came flashing in every direction. He was remembered the battle. The creature had been able to sneak up on them, taking them unaware. He remembered the sudden blast as it attacked. It had almost snatched Herald, it didn't. He recalled the pain as he shoved his friend with his shoulder. There was slime and pain as he found himself in a small area, red was everywhere. Mute screams had escaped his throat as his flesh began to burn. Everything had blurred as he barely made-out voices in the background. There was a flash of light, and his body screamed as the ground pounded against him. There was chaos everywhere. Voices… pain… fear… a face…
His eyes widened as he realized the face he had last seen was that of his father's. His father had rescued him, had brought him back and healed him.Why him? Why not the Titans? Why did they leave me? Why did Herald leave me?
"They never cared about you, Joey," Slade removed his mask, his one good eye gazing into the boy's with the one emotion that Joey had not seen since he was five. Pure concern. "They left you. I've been watching you longer then you realize. I don't want to lose you Joey. I've lost Grant… I've lost your mother… I can't bear to lose you as well. Please, Joey… I don't want to watch them cause you to suffer."
Whatever tears the green orbs had released were lost in the blue sea that he had found himself trapped in. Part of him knew that these were all lies. The Titans did care; at least Herald did anyways. Yet at the same time, this was his father. He was all Jericho had left, and he didn't want to leave him. He wanted things to go back to the way it used to be. Back when there were no Teen Titans, no villains, and no fear of being rejected. He just wanted to be with his Daddy again. He wanted to go back to his old life.
He was caught in the tide.