A Teen Titans fiction
Warning: This is rated T for a reason. There will be blood and character death and a bad case of schizophrenia. If you can't handle that, don't read on.
Four walls. Twenty-seven tiles long and thirteen wide. My four walls. My room. My cell. I knew the numbers by heart, when you're completely alone twenty-four/seven it's pretty easy to remember. Alone; yes, I was so very alone.
"Alone, alone, alone. Little Robbie's alone," I sang quietly. My small bed was stuffed in the corner, I sat curled upon it; hugging my knees close to my chest. The black mask still covered my eyes and for that I was grateful.
I knew what my eyes looked like now, and I didn't like seeing them.
"Oh you poor, poor thing," I crooned gently, a small giggle escaping my lips. "Poor little Robin, afraid to look in the mirror are you?"
I clenched my eyes shut, trying desperately to block out that horrible voice. "Go away," I moaned, covering my face with my hands. The white prison garbs scratched uncomfortably against my cheek but I ignored the feeling.
"What'sa matter Boy Blunder?" The voice, my voice, whispered. "You know you want to listen to me, I'm your friend. I'm the only one you have left."
"Yes, yes," I nodded slowly, long black bangs falling into my eyes. "My only friend. My only true friend."
I winced when I said these words; horrible memories beginning to assault my senses. Memories I had been trying to suppress for weeks. "No, no, no," I said frightened. Not the visions, not the hallucinations. I couldn't- I just couldn't take them anymore. "I don't want to remember!" I shouted, my hoarse voice echoing off the metal walls.
I curled into a fetal position, a terrible shaking overtaking my body. "Oh yes, Robin. It's time to remember. It's time to remember why you're here," this voice wasn't mine, I realized in horror. It was his. It was his ominous tone. It was the voice of my master, and I had to listen. No matter how much I didn't want to.
"Y-yes master," I stammered; my grip on reality lessening.
I felt myself giving in to the memories as Slade's voice continued to speak to me, and my cell faded away, "It was no more than six weeks ago, my apprentice. Only six weeks ago …"
"Titans Go!" I shouted triumphantly, flinging myself forward. I, along with my friends, charged into battle. This was a different me than I was used to seeing in the mirror. This Robin still wore his bright traffic light costume, he still wore his normal mask; there was no sharp points at the ends. Instead of looking defeated and disheveled he had a sense of valor about him. I envied this Robin; this Robin was a proud, strong leader.
He was everything I no longer was. This Robin was a symbol of everything I had lost and would never have again. I couldn't refer to him as me, because it wasn't me. It just wasn't.
The Robin leapt through the air, whipping out his bo-staff seconds before colliding head on with a Slade bot. His powerful swing smashed the robots head in and its body crumpled into a heap of sparking metal. I could barely keep up with this Robin's movements; he was so fast. All I saw was a red and green blur and then another robot fell to the same fate as the first. This Robin left a path of destruction in his wake and I could feel the emotions leaking off him.
He was furious. Mouth set in a feral snarl, he lunged forward and destroyed yet another robot. I remembered why he was angry. My master, Slade, had contacted him only minutes before the robots attacked downtown. He had taunted this Robin; saying that today he would have to make a decision that would alter his perception of everything.
Needless to say Robin hadn't listened. Maybe if I had, if he had … maybe she would still be okay.
"Is that all you've got?" Robin shouted, a cocky grin etching itself across his face. He stood alone, surrounded by piles of broken and twisted metal; the only remains of my Master's robots. As Robin looked around he seemed to realize that he was alone, he couldn't see his team; he couldn't see her. "Titans? Titans report!" He shouted, but no one answered him.
A panicked expression wove its way onto his face. Behind the mask his eyes stretched wide as he whipped out his communicator and called frantically into it. No one answered, only static was heard. I felt the horror rising in his body and it sent a wave of nausea through my stomach.
And then his communicator crackled to life … "Hello Robin," Slade's silky voice greeted the boy.
With trembling hands Robin put the device to his lips and growled, "Where are they?"
"Why, Robin I don't think that is anyway to speak to me," Slade exclaimed in mock surprise. I could see Robin's face contort in fury and he clenched the communicator tighter, imagining it was Slade's neck he was squeezing.
"Where are they?" The boy demanded in a snarl.
A dark chuckle followed his question and Robin's fists clenched. He was very angry. Red was coating his vision from the sheer rage coursing through his veins. "Wayne Enterprises, my boy. Don't be late." The line disconnected but Robin was already moving.
The building was only a block over and he made it in a matter of minutes. After shooting a grappling hook he flew to the top of the building and landed with grace next to the giant white E. What he saw froze him in his tracks, mouth gaping open.
At least twenty robots surrounded his three teammates, guns aimed at their vulnerable forms. Cyborg had been drained of power and merely lay face down on the ground, his normal blue glow nothing but a dull gray. Beast Boy had been caught in a glowing red net that stretched to fit any animal he changed into, leaving him trapped. And Raven was lying drunkenly beside Cyborg, two small darts sticking out of her left shoulder. She appeared to be fighting off unconsciousness as her vision swam in and out of focus.
But where was Starfire? Robin thought frantically; his heart rate increasing. Maybe she had gotten away. Maybe she was okay, she had to be alright.
"Ah Robin, so you did decide to join us. How wonderful."
Robin turned to face Slade and his hopes dropped like a lead weight. The mercenary stood at the edge of the building holding a struggling Starfire by the shoulders. Her hands and most of her arms were contained in dark manacles, obviously suppressing her powers. She stared at Robin with wide green eyes, a gag stuck in her mouth. Robin's fury returned.
"Let them go!" he shouted, taking a furious step forward as he reached for his bo-staff.
"Patience Robin," Slade said, stopping the boy's hand as he nodded his head. "Before you do anything impulsive, care to take a look to your right."
Robin didn't want to; I knew he didn't want to, but when he felt the nozzle of a gun brush the side of his head he turned slowly. A Slade-bot held the gun pointed at his face, two more flanked him and after a signal from Slade, they moved forward and pulled Robin's arms painfully behind his back before the teen could move. The robot with the gun removed Robin's belt and tossed it over the roof as he had been instructed. Robin watched it go with a sense of growing despair.
He struggled against the robots grip, but they were too strong. His thoughts were becoming frantic. He couldn't get out of this. What did Slade want? What was he going to do? With his weapons gone he was at the mercy of Slade, or lack thereof.
Robin set his face into a fierce scowl and glared at his enemy, as the man strolled leisurely closer, Starfire still held in his tight grip. "Let them go, Slade." Robin said his voice low and aggressive. He so desperately wanted to punch the man in the face, but the robots tightened grip reminded him of his situation.
"Oh don't worry, Robin, I will." Slade assured, coming to a stop mere feet from his young adversary. "After we play a little game."
Robin blanched at him. How could he speak of playing a game at such a time? Was he truly mad? "What are you talking about?"
"Don't tell me you forgot our conversation from this morning already, my boy." Slade said condescendingly.
Robin's eyes widened and he shook his head numbly. A shaking had overcome his body and he lowered his gaze, eyes darting back and forth quickly. He was thinking of a way to escape, his incredible mind working with amazing speed. But this was a problem he was destined to never solve. "No," he whispered, choking back a sob.
"Good, because it is time to make your decision," the man said with a nod. He dropped Starfire to the ground and the girl collapsed unable to move. Slade stalked forward and grabbed Robin's chin, roughly yanking his head up to look him in the eye.
"You must choose." He turned Robin's head to face his three friends. "Your friends," he turned to Starfire. "Or you love." Slade brought Robin's head up again. "Who will live is your decision, but a decision must be made or I will kill them both myself."
I could feel the pure horror shoot through Robin's body at these words. He went completely stiff, fear breaking through the careful mask he had over his emotions. His brain just couldn't process what Slade had said. I felt his pain because it had been mine; it had been what pushed me over the edge.
"Y-you can't be serious," Robin whispered, staring between Starfire and the rest of his team with wide eyes. How could he possibly decide between the two?
"I am very serious," Slade answered, staring the boy down. "And I would decide quickly or I will choose for you."
Robin continued to shake his head disbelievingly. There was no lie in the man's voice. Slade was being completely honest, and Robin knew he would carry out his threat. Robin looked back to Cyborg, Raven and Beast Boy. The latter of the two who was still struggling valiantly, "Dude," the changeling called fearfully. "Don't listen to him Robin! We'll get out of this!"
But the Titan's Leader didn't hear him he was staring dully into Starfire's pleading eyes. He knew what he had to do; tears began to form in his eyes. I felt my own vision begin to blur with salty liquid.
"Tick tock, Robin," Slade interrupted their staring. "Choose now," he pulled out a small black gun and held it lightly in his large hand. "Or I will."
Robin stared at the man in undisguised sorrow, tears making tracks down his pale face as he struggled once more against the robots. I can't escape, was all he was thinking. Over and over, becoming more hysteric with each passing second. His reddening eyes sank to his feet again and he trembled with rising emotions.
"Robin," Slade said, his tone sounding angry. "I am losing my patience."
The trembling boy stared at the gun, his masked eyes wide. Batman had always despised guns and he had made sure to pass on that trait to his protégée. Just the sight of it sent his stomach into uneasy rolls. I could see this Robin crumbling into me. The proud, cocky fighter was becoming a pathetic weakling right before my very eyes. I could feel us changing positions. Before I knew it I felt the cold metal hands griping my forearms into a painful angle, causing agony to rush through my shoulders.
I felt complete helplessness drain the strength from my body. Robin had gone, and I had taken his place. But I couldn't control anything. Not how I felt, not my movements, nothing. Slade pulled my chin up higher and I whimpered.
"Choose Robin." The man breathed, "Who dies today?"
The gun was in my face again; it filled my vision. It was all I could see. I broke away from the horrible weapon and looked to Starfire once more. Her eyes were filled with tears but there was a determined expression on her face. She knew what I had to do too, and she accepted it.
"I'm sorry," I whispered brokenly to her. She tried to say something to me but, because of the gag in her mouth, I couldn't understand her. "St- Starfire. It's Starfire."
I could tell Slade was smiling behind his mask and I felt rage, that wasn't mine, course through my body. Robin was still there; he was still clinging to life inside me. I glared at the man as he released my chin and stood to his full height. He looked over to Starfire and shook his head, "It seems you got the short end of the stick, my dear." He said, chuckling evilly.
He gripped the gun in his hand and unlocked the safety. The sound seemed to echo through my mind and I closed my eyes and turned my head away. I couldn't watch this. I couldn't watch the one person I really cared about die right in front of my eyes, not again. But it only got worse.
One of the robots released my right arm, while the other tightened its grip on my left. I was forced to my knees so I couldn't gain any leverage on my attackers. Before I could comprehend what was going on, something cool and heavy was pressed into my right hand. "Wha-" I started but Slade cut me off, gripping my hand with amazing strength.
"Why Robin, did you think I would be responsible for her death?" The man said, forcing my hand that held the gun to aim directly at Starfire's chest. "No, this is your decision, my boy. And you will follow it through."
"No," I gasped, desperately trying to pull my hand away from the gun, but Slade's grip tightened. "You can't make me!" I struggled against him, but my arm remained immobile, still pointing directly at Starfire. Slade slowly pulled my index finger off the handle of the gun and placed it over the trigger, I froze. One wrong move and the gun would fire. I don't think I was even breathing.
"I can, Robin," Slade whispered into my terrified face. "But you will be the one to pull the trigger."
No, no, no, no! He couldn't possibly be this cruel. I stared into his one gray eye, searching for any bit of mercy, but there was none. "Either she dies or they do." Slade said, nodding his head over to my other three friends.
My two conscious teammates were staring at me with horror clear on their faces. Beast Boy was still struggling and Raven was even attempting to conjure up a spell, but nothing was working. I knew they couldn't help me. I had to make a decision because I was their leader. And Slade wasn't giving me any choice.
I looked shakily back at Starfire, tears streamed down her cheeks, but she didn't cower. As I looked into her eyes I could see what she was trying to say, Do what you must, Robin. Save our friends. She understood.
"I'm sorry, Starfire. I'm so sorry." I looked away and pulled the trigger. My arm jerked violently and there was an explosion of sound. I felt something hot and sticky splash across my face and run down my chin. The warm liquid oozed down my scalp and I opened my eyes, trembling all over.
Starfire was lying on her side in a pool of blood. The bullet had torn through her chest and exploded out of her back. Her sightless green eyes stared directly at me; filled with accusation. I tried to look away but Slade forced me to gaze directly at her. The pool of blood inched steadily closer to my knees and I squirmed to get away from it, quickly beginning to hyperventilate. I kept glancing between the dead eyes of Starfire and the gun in my hand.
Back and forth, back and forth. I had shot her. I had killed my best friend in cold blood. My chest began to heave up and down as I gasped for breath.
"Yes apprentice," Slade whispered. "You are responsible for her death. It is your fault. You are a murderer."
"No," I chocked as fresh tears spilled down my cheeks. "I … I di-didn't. I-I," the words just wouldn't form because I had killed her. Something broke inside me that day. I had already been obsessing over Slade again before his robots starting attacking and I was on edge but now … I didn't feel anything. I was just numb, the pain would come later. I lowered my head and began to sob, but I drew in a sharp breath when the warm blood ran around my knees.
It soaked into the green fabric of my suit, creating a gut churning brown color. But I didn't see it, I didn't feel it. I was slowly falling into the present me; the one who was in the cell dressed in white asylum garbs. The one who heard voices of the girl he killed … the one who was Slade's faithful apprentice.
"You murdered her, you chose to murder her," my master explained and I slowly found myself nodding in agreement. He was right I did choose to kill her. It was my decision. I looked up through the tears in my eyes to see Slade pull his arm back and bring it down with deadly force to the back of my head, knocking me out instantly, and I fell face first into the blood of Starfire …
The hallucination faded away and I was back in my cell, shivering on the floor. "Aw, poor little Robbie-poo," the voice crooned again. This time it belonged to Starfire, I hated hearing her voice most of all. Slade had made it go away for a while, but now she was back and she was angry. "Why does my death affect you so? You pulled the trigger, you wanted to. You enjoyed it."
I tried to object, but found that I couldn't. Master had told me the same thing and he was always right. "I did," I whispered, tears forming in my eyes, but I continued to laugh under my breath. "I did, I did, I did." I could hear all of Slade's lectures coming back to me.
I remembered the weeks he had spent training me, explaining my new position to me. He had promised to make the voices stop and they mostly did, except his. I could hear his all of the time. My dark chuckling cut short when a loud creaking drew my attention to the door.
An imposing figure filled the doorway, garbed entirely in black, with two horned ears atop his head. "Robin," the man said gruffly, his harsh voice grating on my ears. I didn't respond and just sat there, curled into a fetal position. "Robin," he repeated and I pushed myself up into a sitting position.
"Heh heh," I giggled a bit, pulling my knees up to my chest. Master had told me about him, not that I actually expected him to come see me. "Hello Bats," I greeted, placing my chin on my knees. "Welcome to my humble abode."
Batman took a slow step into my cell; the part of his face that I could see held a large frown. "Richard … what happened?"
ML: There will probably be another chapter to this, maybe two at the most. I hope that was angst ridden enough for everyone.