Disclaimer: I don't own the Teen Titans.
Summary: Slight Crossover with Batman and mentions of Justice League. Takes place in 'The Apprentice, pt. 2. Just a brief one-shot.
I Already Have A Father
I Already Have A Father
"Who knows, I may even become like a father to you."
Robin was silent as Slade fixed the thermal blaster to his wrist and walked away. Slade would never be like a father to him. Robin would admit to similarities between the two of them, yes, they were both stubborn, close to obsessive, determined, occasionally vengeful...
But there were differences, too, and Robin refused to let himself become a second Slade. His face set, Robin looked up at the night sky. Besides… "I already have a father."
Far above him, bats flew in the night sky.
Miles away, in Gotham City, the occasional bat swooped through the underground cavern that had been affectionately dubbed 'The BatCave'. The occupant of said cave, however, had become used to the quiet noises long ago, and remained focused on the task before him.
A few weeks ago, someone had hacked into his criminal databases, looking for information. Only a few hours ago, someone had broken through top security in the Wayne Enterprises to steal something. The first was an unprecedented occurrence, the second virtually impossible, so the Dark Knight of Gotham, more commonly known as Batman, had been using every resource he had to track down the culprit.
Every Bat-Nemesis or villain he knew was either in Arkham Asylum, or had nowhere near the level of skill needed to hack into the BatComputer. In fact, the only ones who could access the BatComputer were himself, Alfred, or one of his side-kicks. The original Bat-Girl, now known as Oracle, had denied any knowledge, and actually looked mildly insulted that someone had managed it before her. Alfred had no reason to access the BatCave for anything more than dusting without letting Batman know.
That left Robin, Batman's adopted son and original side-kick.
First and foremost, Batman was a detective, perhaps the greatest in the world. Behind everything, there was a motive. Robin seldom did anything without a solid reason. While Batman and Robin had their differences, especially in recent years, there was no way Robin would break into Batman's security without outside pressure.
Now all Batman had to do was find the person behind that pressure. Then he would come up with something especially painful for whoever was fool enough to threaten one of the BatClan.
The Titans were no amateurs when it came to fighting, but Robin had been trained by the best, his body honed to the peak of physical perfection. He had been performing acrobatics almost as soon as he could stand, as at home swinging through mid-air as he was on the ground. Batman had taught him how to merge those skills into a lethal fighting style, and the Dark Knight of Gotham was a perfectionist.
If only Slade hadn't made him steal from Wayne Enterprises. Besides the guards and the probability of the Titans showing up, the very location posed yet another danger. If Batman found out about this, Robin was so dead!
Robin was not enhanced by powers or the best cybernetics STAR labs had to offer, but he could still beat his former team easily.
No matter how much he didn't want to.
One of these days, Robin really needed to work up an immunity to Starfire's eyes.
Her large, sorrowful green eyes had caused him to hesitate when they faced off on the roof of Wayne Enterprises, made him stop and try to explain when she had refused to fight him. He had faltered because of those eyes, and Slade had given him a demonstration of exactly how those probes worked. Robin had never been so scared, and had been forced to fire a potentially lethal blast at his friends to save them.
Slade still had the controller to activate the probes, and so far had beaten Robin every time he tried to fight. But Robin could be patient, occasionally. One day, Slade would slip up, and the moment his friends were safe, Robin would fight and win. All he had to do was keep the Titans safe until that chance came.
If it was the last thing he did, Robin was going to take Slade down.
The fact that he could sneak back into Slade's base of operation actually gave Robin Hope. The combination of Alfred and Batman had made that impossible back in Gotham, but pulling it off with Slade implied that Slade could only sense him within a certain range.
Slowly creeping up behind the Super villain, Robin listened to his comments as Slade watched the fight between Robin and the Titans. "Thrilling. My apprentice is progressing even faster than I had hoped. All he needed was a little motivation."
Oh, that did it. "Motivate this!"
The fight ranged all over the base. Robin had the upper hand at first, but eventually wound up struggling against Slade, who was slowly wearing the boy wonder down. The other Titans showed up and were being attacked by Slade's nanobots, and could not help him. Slade had just started to revel in his moment of Triumph when he was distracted by a cold voice. "Leave. Robin. Alone."
It was a voice that could, and frequently did, inspire nightmares. It was a voice that struck fear into the worst dregs that society had to offer, from petty criminal to psychotic killer. It was a tone that clearly stated 'final warning'. It was closely followed by a gauntleted fist that sent Slade flying across the room.
It was Batman.
If the situation hadn't been so serious, Robin would have laughed. As it was, he left Slade exchanging blows with an irritated Batman, leapt to his feet and ran for Slade's nanobot' machine, bracing himself against it as he tore off the nanobot emitter at the top.
There were five screens against the wall of Slade's headquarters. One was blank, the others filled with an outline of Starfire, Beast Boy, Raven and Cyborg. It only took a few seconds for the blank screen to be filled with an outline of Robin, who was now fighting against the nanobots infecting him.
Throwing Batman off for a few moments, Slade saw this new development. "NO! You little fool! What have you done?"
Robin remained standing through sheer force of will. "New deal, Slade. If I lose my friends, you lose your apprentice. I know how you hate to lose."
The last time Robin saw a look of such fury, it was on the face of Poison Ivy, just as he destroyed the seedlings of a new plant-hybrid she had been creating. Or possibly the Joker, when Robin had commented that his tricks were getting old and unimaginative. Slade visibly shook with rage, and for a moment, Robin worried that the villain would actually let them die.
Thankfully, that was not the case, as Slade finally removed the nanobot' transmitter and let it fall to the ground. "You have made a terrible mistake, Robin. I could have been your mentor, even your father."
Extending his bo staff, Robin struck the transmitter as hard as he could, shattering it. "I told you before, Slade, I already have a father."
Looking only a few seconds away from murderous, Slade reached for a lever, but never made it, a batarang hitting the outstretched hand as a birdarang slashed across his mask, sending Slade backwards. Robin had been away from Gotham for nearly a year, but some things just couldn't be un-learned. Dark Knight and Boy Wonder fell into a familiar stance against their opponent, ready for any move he might make.
Slade had planned on fighting Robin, and for all his back up plans, had failed to factor in the appearance of a new player. Looking back, most of the potential minions he had approached had obviously encountered the Dynamic Duo before, and had all but run screaming when they found out that Robin was to be involved. Their reactions really should have warned him.
While crafty and calculating, Slade was, in his own way, a bad egg as scrambled as the Joker. Robin and Batman had spent years fighting Insane Criminals, and while Slade was a new face, it didn't stop the inevitable thrashing.
Robin leapt into the air and caught a swinging bar, as graceful as when he had flown with his birth parents. An airborne somersault landed him behind Slade, and a powerful kick sent the sinister man reeling into Batman's closed fist. A following punch to the gut and another blow from Robin's staff sent Slade to the floor, unconscious.
Restraints designed and made by the Batman were almost impossible to get out of, and even then, only by master escape artists. With Slade bound and unconscious, Robin turned back to the man who had raised him, suddenly feeling like he was ten years old again and trying to explain the demise of a priceless Ming dynasty vase. Somewhere in the background, the other Teen Titans were picking themselves up from the ground. Robin heard at least one of them slip and fall again in shock as the Batman pulled him into a hug.
They weren't the only shocked ones. Batman was known for never showing emotion, for being hard and unyielding. A hug - in front of witnesses, no less - went against everything Robin knew about the man who had raised him. Oh well, he could worry about the impending apocalypse later. Robin returned the hug, releasing all of the pain, fear and loneliness that had built up during his time with Slade.
Robin didn't know how long he spent there, clinging to his father, but he finally pulled away, only to be knocked backward as Starfire wrapped him in an even harder embrace. "Friend Robin, you are safe!"
From Batman's carefully neutral expressing, Robin just knew that he would be hearing about this later. That argument could wait, however, as Robin had a more pressing problem. Starfire's hugs were always enthusiastic, but her alien strength meant that this one was cutting off his air. "Star…need…air!"
The pretty alien let him go, only to be crowded by the other Titans. "Man, Ah knew you could kick Slade's butt!"
"See, I told you it wasn't zombie mind control! I was right!"
"Statistically, Beast Boy, it had to happen some time."
It took several minutes before Robin could reassure the Titans that he was relatively unharmed and they could stop smothering him now and could they please get out of the collapsing base. Immediately?
Back at the Titan Tower, the first order of business was to get rid of the nano-probes. Next was hiding as Cyborg and Beast Boy fought over whether or not tofu was an acceptable breakfast food. Robin used the routine argument to slip outside, where Batman was waiting.
It was rare to see the Dark Knight standing out in the open, much less in broad daylight (he had an urban myth to protect, after all). Robin walked up to where his adoptive father stood, looking out at Jump City. "How did you know something was wrong? How did you know it was me?"
Robin knew Batman well enough to know that there was an eyebrow raised in amusement under that mask. "There are three people who can make it through my Top Security like that. It wasn't me, and Oracle is annoyed that someone managed it before she did, so that left you."
Robin looked skeptical. "And you aren't furious and giving me a BatGlare because…?"
The BatStare wasn't quite as bad as the BatGlare, but it still felt disturbingly similar to the look Robin's mother used to give when he was a child. "As rebellious as you may have been, I know that you wouldn't steal unless there was no other choice to save someone."
The Dark Knight turned slightly, facing his old partner. "I'm proud of you, Robin. I've never felt as honored as when I saw you standing up against Slade and saying that you already had a father."
Robin only smiled. "It's the truth." He turned serious again. "How long before you have to return to Gotham?"
Batman sighed slightly. "I have Oracle and Huntress keeping an eye on things, but I need to be back by tonight. The Joker has been in Arkham for nearly three months, so I expect Harley Quinn will try to break him out very soon."
Robin nodded. "That relationship disturbs me. Villains in love, especially the Joker's twisted kind of affection, are just too weird for me to think about."
A very rare smile. "I agree. But speaking of relationships, what is between you and Starfire? Dating within the team is a bad idea, and it would be far too easy for one of your enemies to use her against you."
If Robin himself ever figured that out, Batman would still be one of the last to know. Besides, it wasn't like Batman himself had any room to talk. "One word: Diana. Any of my team mates can be used against me, but that's the risk we all take. Anyway, Starfire can more than take care of herself."
This was a point to be argued another day, it seemed. "I'll always be there if you need me. Try to keep in touch this time."
A nod. "I'll do my best. Tell Alfred and Babs I said 'hi'."
Robin had no idea how Batman still managed to disappear into the shadows, despite the bright sun, but accepted it as one of the facts of life. He distantly heard the Batmobile roar away as Starfire floated down beside him. "I am sorry, Robin."
That was unexpected. "You're sorry? What for?"
She didn't meet his eyes. "When I saw you with Slade, I doubted you, and for that I am sorry."
Robin wrapped an arm around her. "I doubted myself, Star. Focused, serious, determined: as much as I hate to admit it, he and I are kind of alike. But there's one big difference between me and Slade." Robin gave the pretty alien a shy smile. "He doesn't have any friends."
Starfire lit up like a Christmas tree, returning the smile. Both of the teens winced as the sound of Cyborg and Beast Boy arguing over breakfast grew louder. "We'd better get inside, before Raven gets mad and blows something up."
Starfire lifted him up and the two of them flew into the tower. Just another day.
A/N: I'm new to the Teen Titans fandom and so far only have the first two seasons. I am also going on sketchy trivia knowledge with the Batman movies and Trivia for the relationship between Batman and Robin. If anyone spots any glaring mistakes, please point them out for me.
Reviews are very much appreciated, but flames will be laughed at and used to toast Slade's backside. On second thought, disregard that last bit. I don't want to encourage flamers.