Disclaimer: I don't own the Teen Titans, or anything else of genuine value.
Jeremy the bartender was having a very strange day. Not that this was necessarily a bad thing. Normally his day was full of wrestling car keys from disgruntled drunks, preventing fist fights with a swing of his broom, and cleaning barf off the floor (his small pub didn't have any other employees to do the dirty work). But ever since a certain customer had walked into the bar, everyone had been on their best behavior. People drank in moderation, called a taxi to ride home, and no one even thought about starting a fight. A few customers left, but they were mostly the troublemakers anyway, so it was no big loss.
Still, Jeremy couldn't figure out why Robin, the boy wonder, leader of the Teen Titans, was in his bar apparently trying to get drunk by downing glass after glass of Coca-Cola.
Jeremy was just grateful that he hadn't asked for any alcoholic beverages. He didn't know if he would have had the nerve to ask for ID.
But while Robin hadn't been any trouble, it was getting late, and Jeremy wanted to close up for the night. Unfortunately, the teen superhero showed no sign of moving from the stool where he had been sitting all evening, hunched over his drink ignoring the world.
Jeremy didn't have much experience with heroes, but he was familiar with all the reasons why people came to bars. Many of the depressed types simply wanted someone to talk to. Jeremy, on the other hand, simply wanted to go home, which he couldn't do until everyone left the bar. So he marched over to where Robin was sitting and asked, "What's wrong?"
There was no response. He repeated the question.
Finally, Robin raised his head and looked up at Jeremy through bleary eyes. "It's nothing that you'd want to hear," he said flatly.
"Try me. I've heard a lot of things in my line of work."
Robin looked skeptical, but like Jeremy had suspected he seemed to want to confide in someone. "Well, you see…" he paused dramatically "…I made a mistake."
Jeremy waited, but nothing more seemed to be forthcoming. "That's all?" he asked incredulously.
Robin's eyes flashed. "A lot of people could have been hurt!"
"But were they?"
"Then just learn from it and move on."
"But he's still out there! Who knows what he could do!"
"Red X!" The name was spit out with intense bitterness.
Jeremy frowned. "I think I heard about him in the news. What, did you let him escape?"
"Worse. I created him."
Jeremy made his trademarked "encouraging noise" and Robin continued.
"A while back, I created the identity- and equipment- of Red X in order to infiltrate a criminal plot. It didn't work. But later, someone snuck into Titan's tower and stole the suit. Now he's using it to steal things, and it's all my fault!"
"So, you think Red X is innocent?" Jeremy asked.
"What? Of course not!"
"Then his actions aren't entirely YOUR fault, are they?"
"Well, no. But if I hadn't made the suit in the first place, none of this would have ever happened! I can't believe I was so stupid!"
"Why didn't you just destroy the suit after your plan failed?"
Robin blinked. "Umm…I guess I just forgot. I meant to get around to it."
"Well, that was your real mistake. Take a lesson from it: Don't leave dangerous equipment lying around. You got off fairly lightly- at least you ended up with a thief not a killer. Everyone messes up sometimes, it's learning from your mistakes that's important."
Robin smashed his fist against the table. "But it's too late! All Red X's thefts are on my hands!"
"Nonsense. If this guy was good enough to sneak into your tower and steal from you, he would have been able to make it as a thief without any help. In fact, he probably only took the suit to tick you off."
Robin moaned. "Well, he certainly made a fool out of me!"
"How do your teammates feel? Do they blame you?"
"Well, not for Red X stealing the suit. I suspect some of them thought it was sort of amusing."
"They sound like good friends."
"For making fun of me?"
"Sometimes showing us the humor in our mistakes is what friends are for."
"Are you saying mistakes can have a positive side?" Robin sounded utterly taken back by the notion.
"Everything always has a positive side for someone. For example, I bet the criminals are grateful for every time you screw up."
Robin actually laughed. "You know, I do feel kind of better now."
"Glad to hear it." Jeremy smiled. "Now stop angsting all over my bar and go home!"
As Robin vanished into the night, Jeremy breathed a small sigh of relief. At least that hadn't been as bad as the time Slade paid a visit…
Sometimes I think Robin could use a shrink, but it was even more fun to put him in a bar. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my poor story!
If you liked it, feel free to check out "Diary of an Ordinary Citizen" my other Teen Titans humorfic. (Also, I have more chapters forthcoming.)