Short fic inspired by the long, technically arduous process of putting on a marching band uniform. So many buttons in so many hard to reach places, I weep…. Plus nobody ever really describes super-hero costumes in great intricate detail. I've tried to keep it as accurate as possible, going by costume drawings and equipment schematics produced by DC, some room for artistic interpretation allowed because I can. Robin and all related characters property of DC comics, and not me. Copyright infringement is merely a byproduct of an overactive imagination.

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"Change of Clothes"
By Slipstream


"Yo Batboy, can Rob come out and play?"

Robin looked up from his game of Rodent's Revenge on the YJ computer terminal to see the wolfish grin of Superboy. "What is it, Kon?"

"Weeellll…. I figured that since you have nothing better to do than turn cats into cheese you might want to suit up and head out for a round of super-heroing with Bart 'n me!"

This got Robin's attention. He raised one eyebrow above the rim of his sunglasses and regarded Superboy with suspicion. "Who are you and what have you done with the Kryptonian clone that's always bugging me to take off the cape and be a normal kid?"

Superboy shrugged off Robin's sarcasm with a wave of his hand. "Har har. I'm serious, man. It's a beautiful Thursday afternoon just bursting with the possibility of a horrendous crime in need of three competent super-heroes. How can anybody just ignore it and stay inside?"

In a blur, the pair were surrounded by the blurred after-image of a teenage speedster. "PleasepleasepleasepleasepleasePLEASEwithacherryontop come with us!!!! Neither of us know how to drive the Super-Cycle!" Superboy reached out and with great luck kicked Impulse discreetly in the shin.

Robin sighed and lost all hopes of winning with one glance at twin sets of pleading puppy eyes. "Okay. Just give me a minute to change into my working clothes."

"Yes! Whoo-hoo! Be waiting for you in the 'Cycle, Al!" Impulse dragged Superboy off as Robin turned and headed for the locker rooms.

The long row of metal lockers and the double sets of benches gleamed under the florescent lighting, the blue and white checkered tile floor reflecting the tubes of light. Robin counted the third one down and entered in the security code. It never hurt to be overly cautious, after all. The door opened with an undramatic click, and Robin began the transformation into myth.

The mask came first. He couldn't risk having just anybody see him in the midst of his change of identities, so he did it as quickly as possible. Taking a moist towelette from the top shelf he cleaned the area around his eyes in a quick wipe to help the mask stick better, then peeled the backing off of a pre-cut mask adhesive strip. He smoothed the air pockets out of the strip onto the back of his domino mask, then slipped the piece of green cloth over his eyes.

After stripping down to his skivvies (black boxers with a Marvin the Martian stencil, for all the BNR fans out there that care…), he pulled on his standard calf-length tights and thanked the god of super-hero fashion that he didn't have to wear the short pants. Next came his undershirt, and feel of the heavy fabric and sleeve pockets weighted with gear was reassuring.

Robin reached into his locker and pulled out the tunic and cape from their respective hooks, tossing the cape onto the bench for now. The gold lacing was still loose from when he'd taken the costume off, so he stepped into the red body tunic with a minimum of tugging. The thick kevlar gave his thin frame a more muscular definition. Plus it itched like nobody's business. The Timothy Drake part of him thanked Alfred for having the insight to sew some sort of liner and not expect him to deal with it like Bruce did. He fumbled for the ends of the laces inside his tunic and pulled them tight before knotting them. A few quick tugs set his sleeves strait in the arm holes and ridded him of that annoying tights wedgie.

The golden metal of the utility belt was heavy in his hands as he undid the back clasp, wrapped it around his waist, and refastened it with a firm snap. He closed his eyes and let his fingers touch each individual compartment in the belt, checking to make sure that all of his gear was where it should be. Satisfied with this, he dug around in his locker some more and emerged with his collapsible bo staff, which he strapped into place in the small of his back. Digging some more, he found his various communicators, which he tucked into their various pockets, and shoved in the earpiece Oracle required him to wear.

Robin hooked the two pairs of shoes from the bottom of his locker and dragged them onto the floor. The green half slip-ons were tough enough to protect his feet from blisters, yet flexible enough to allow for the delicate foot placement required in rooftop navigating. Two stomps and he was in his boots, the corresponding niche between his toes corresponding with it's mate in his ninja footgear. Stuffing his hands into the tops of the boots he shoved down the edges of his tights and made sure the boots were fitting snug enough.

Robin looked at his last two remaining bits of costume- his cape and his gloves- and debated which should go first, before deciding that zippers and clasps were easier done with bare fingers. The cape connected to the tunic with a zipper that ran around the circumference of his necks, followed by a series of snaps at the base and a clasp at the front that joined the edges of gold trimming together seamlessly. He pulled on his gloves and slapped the backs of them in a quick supply check and he was ready.

The sight that greeted him when he entered the hanger was definitely not what he was expecting. Superboy and Impulse were dozing lightly in the separate passenger compartments, arms and legs splayed every which way. Robin nudged both of them with the toe of his leather boots and raised an eyebrow as Kon-El groaned and rubbed at his eyes.

"FINALLY!!! Took you long enough to get ready! Geez, you'd think you were a girl the way you take your time getting dolled up!"

Robin simply sighed and climbed aboard, revving the engine to drag Bart from the furthest traces of La-La Land and allowed himself a smile at Bart's bemused expression. "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful. It's not like there's a phone booth anywhere near. Bullet proofing takes time."

"Still…" he thought as they flew off in search of adventure. "I can't help but feel that I've forgotten something…."

Back in the locker room, the lighting glittered off of the gold sheen of an "R" shaped shruiken on a black field that rested, all alone, on the bench.

-Fin