Disclaimer: See previous chapters
SladinForever: Next chapter will be censored, just a heads up! The full chapter on another site will be linked to you at the very top, so that you can go straight to it from there :) And sorry for slacking again! These chapters are just so LONG, OTL. But with some of Kaz's help, I was FINALLY able to get it done! I will definitely try my damn hardest to finish the next chapter asap! Again, very sorry *hug*
Kazhiru: SCHOOL IS KILLING ME! Engineering is so asdfgh... Oh, and on a lighter note, the angry commenter before is still totally on the same boat with us, and obviously still reading : D
Finding a dress that would suit him was a challenge he had yet to accomplish. And Robin would never admit to finding a dress for himself. He was a man; he didn't dress up all pretty. It was just wrong; a man shouldn't be beautiful. He should be handsome!
Robin had to frown at seeing himself in the mirror for about the hundredth time with yet another dress that didn't suit or fit him. He had too wide of shoulders to wear most of the dresses and he had none of the hips to compliment his features. Not to mention he lacked the one important piece of female anatomy: breasts. The dresses seemed like a bag he had thrown on himself. They were much too loose from the chest or hips, but the shoulders seemed too tight. He had too strong of arms to fit the sleeves comfortably. If he lifted his arms, he was sure one of the tighter silk ones would rip the seam. He would either have to have a dress with comfortable, loose sleeves or no sleeves at all. And that wasn't even the worst of it. Even if he didn't have overly hairy legs, he was still proud to call himself a man and admit that he had to shave if he intended to wear anything that didn't drag. And his legs weren't smooth. They were muscled and strong, not the smooth and soft legs of a female. He had to admit, he wasn't feminine.
Robin was wearing thin on patience as he was now openly pouting at his reflection. He just couldn't pull it off. He didn't have those small and petite hands females did. His hands were too big to fit in small sized gloves, his hair was too short to compliment any dress without looking radical and tomboyish, and his face was too angular. Well, his chin was almost plausible thanks to his heart-shaped face but… NO! He did not just humiliate himself by telling himself he was girly. He wasn't girly in any sense of the word!
Robin tore off yet another dress. Anything that was higher than his knees was out of the question. He had square knees. They didn't look good in a dress. His feet were rather big too, so he would look idiotic in any kind of revealing shoes, like women's sandals. And he definitely couldn't fit his legs into stiletto heels! Not only were they pressing sharply against his toes, but the zipper could barely go all the way up because of his muscled shin. The one pair he actually did get on, he refused to use. How in the hell women walked in those things was beyond his comprehension. Stilettos were not for him in the first place.
Robin tore off, once again, another dress, grunting in annoyance. This was a doomed idea anyway! There simply wasn't a dress for someone like him. He looked awkward in a mere Armani suit even. Robin sighed and scratched his head, ruffling his already messy and static hair even further. He hadn't even gotten to the point of worrying about how to hide his eyes and he was already facing major difficulties. Robin ought to have quit the whole thing and he should have just gotten himself out of the room and demand to fit on some suits. He was a man and he demanded to be treated as such.
Slade on the other hand had been final with his words. He had locked the door behind him and Robin knew that he wouldn't let him out if he wasn't dressed.
Robin kicked a nearby stiletto in frustration as he cursed Slade. He knew that this was some kind of punishment by him or God himself. For what, he didn't know. Maybe it was for fighting with him earlier and hiding his feelings. Right now, he would take back his stupid banter of the morning and admit that he liked to dress as a man. Even if it meant that he'd have to say that he preferred men. Which he did not. He had never thought of any man as anything more than a friend. Never. Either he wasn't gay or Slade was the only who made him all confused like he was now. Just then, Robin heard a clatter as a hanger fell from the rail it was on, breaking his train of thought. The distraction came right on time, because if he was left to think another second, he would be even more confused than he was before.
Robin rose up to examine the fallen hanger. It seemed that the stiletto he had kicked had hit the dress that was hanging from said hanger and thus caused it to fall from its place. He lifted the dress to examine it. It was red, just like his hero uniform's chest, which pleased Robin immensely. It also had some yellow with gold linings and only one suspender. It had frills on it. Below that was a flower made by the same garment as the linings. It was a nice looking dress, he had to admit.
Oh the hell with it! He might as well just try it on. That's what he was there in the first place for, right?
The dress had a zipper on the left side, so it was easy to put on. The frills on the right tickled only slightly but they were so soft that he enjoyed the feeling of them brushing against his shoulder. Once Robin zipped up and evened out the dress on him, he looked in the mirror.
It wasn't too bad for a dress. It didn't sit, but he knew none ever would anyway. It was slightly on the loose side in the waist and breast area, but it was okay. The golden flower on his right chest looked intimidating and the red and yellow colors reminded him of his original uniform. The dress hem reached past his knees, which was good since it hid his manly knees from view. There was a long slit on the side that revealed half of his thigh, which made the dress look tempting and graceful. It made it easier for Robin to move around since his legs could move freely. If the situation aroused, he might even be able to run in it! Finally, a dress that didn't make him look absolutely ridiculous while wearing it. If he could find something to stuff in his hips and chests to pass off as breasts, it would be near perfect.
Robin's smile suddenly faltered. He saw his Adam's apple moving up and down as he swallowed and his arms were still slightly too muscular to fit with the dress. And he still had to shave. Robin frowned and started to search for something to wear to hide his arms. He rummaged through the piles of clothes and found ones he had missed. At the end of one, there was something that caught his attention. Robin hadn't noticed it before he had actually thrown it against the wall on accident as he searched. The thing made a small clicking sound as something solid hit the wall, and Robin went to find the cloth once again. The cloth had fallen on a green silk scarf and Robin picked up both. At closer examination Robin noticed that it wasn't a cloth at all, but a choker. The choker was green with a lucid rhinestone diamond hanging from it. It was the shape of a tear drop. It seemed like it was a tear yet to fall. Robin examined the thing before he walked in front of the full body mirror and, out of curiosity, tried it on.
The choker was thick enough to hide his Adam's apple from view and as he slid the silky green scarf on, he had to smile. The scarf was transparent enough to show the dress and his arms, but it smoothed them out, making them appear less muscled. Robin was glad. He had found a perfect dress and the colors made him happy. It was like a more formal, female version of his uniform. Robin went on to hunt for shoes. After skipping every pair of stilettos, which he absolutely refused to use, he found a pair of platform shoes. The mahogany sole was rich and it clattered when he walked. The shoe itself was red just like his dress. Robin was pleased with his finding. He was returning to the full body mirror when he saw something from the side of his vision. It was black and the garment looked like it was part of some wetsuit. He had no idea what it was. It looked like some very stupid pair of boxers and the material was so thick that it looked like it would add a few pounds. But then it dawned on Robin. Maybe it didn't make one fatter, but it was more for someone who had hips. He just hoped that his skin could breath through the cloth and it wasn't too sweaty.
Robin took the thing with him and looked at himself from a smaller mirror on the make-up table. On the table, to his surprise, he found some balloons and a red mask with gold linings that covered the upper half of his face without looking too offensive.
Robin laughed as he moved to the bathroom to shave his legs. He'd have to take the dress off if he'd want to wear those things to make him have some hips. Once he had shaved and put everything back on, he looked at the mirror. It was time to dry and fill the balloons with water. He had seen Beast Boy use water balloons as breasts before as he had taunted the girls. In Robin's opinion, those things had seemed rather realistic. He had taken a random pair of bras with him and was now weighing his options. He didn't want to make his chest excessively huge and he knew that his dress wasn't meant for D cups either. Robin tried to have some decent A, nearly B cups pair, and noticed that it was harder to get equal amount of water in both balloons than it looked. But after some trial and error, he finally got it right and he had to admit that he looked good. Now he only had to mind his movements and be sure to not to kneel or bow too deeply to accidentally flash anything. He didn't want anyone to discover his secret.
Robin was about to step out from the bathroom, but on the last thought he decided to add some lipstick and rouge. Not too much, but only slightly to make a difference. He refused to wear a wig so he just made sure that his hair was okay. He had combed it backwards against his head and wore a hair band. The hair on his forehead formed a small, round, wave-like addition to the hairdo and from the sides of his face, he let a couple of bangs fall along his face to frame it. He looked cute, yet intimidating. Slade would be proud. Robin suddenly blushed as he thought of him. He hadn't even noticed it, but he knew now why he wanted to look good: he wanted to impress Slade. He didn't know why, but he did. It wasn't like he was even coming with him, so why bother?
Robin settled the silk scarf on his shoulders more securely and grabbed a small purse with the invitation tucked in as he excited the room. He was about to knock on the door to let Slade know that he was ready, but froze just at the last second to grab a pair of long, red gloves to hide his manly hands. He didn't have well pedicured fingers either. He didn't want anyone to mock him for his calloused hands and hard knuckles. Robin pulled the gloves on before knocking on the door. It was open for him almost immediately after.
"Well, you sure took your time. You―" Slade cut himself off when he saw Robin exit the room. He examined him thoroughly, admitting to himself that Robin indeed looked good. Even with the color choices he was stunning. Slade had to quickly recompose himself before Robin noticed his slip. "―Look good. Have you thought of a name?" he inquired.
The door closed behind Robin as he froze for a moment. He had almost forgotten about that. "Um, will Christine do?" he mumbled, throwing a name at random.
Christine wasn't half bad. He had no idea where it came from, but it had a nice ring to it.
"Christine it is then. I'll take you to the gala."
Slade took hold of Robin's hand and led him through the hallways. Robin couldn't help but blush over the fact he was leading him like they were a real couple going to the dance floor. To get his mind off this, he absentmindedly toyed with the mouthpiece that was to alter his voice. He fondled it in his fingers for a while before lifting it to his lips and slipping it into his mouth. He pressed it against his palate and was almost surprised to notice that it actually stayed in place.
"So how do you adjust this thing?" Robin asked, almost shocked at his own voice.
It sounded really odd and different. It flickered from deep to high and broke off here and there. Robin shut his mouth in fear of making the same sound again.
"There's a wheel on the side. Roll it with your tongue," Slade advised in slight amusement. Robin, of course, started searching for the wheel, only to get scolded right after. "Try not to make that face in the near future, especially if you don't wish to be found out at the party."
Robin tried to even out his grimace as he adjusted the wheel. "I can always say that I got some food stuck between my teeth," he said without thinking.
Robin's voice cracked and was suddenly such a deep baritone that he had to cover his mouth and hide his face for the absolute mortify he felt. Slade only laughed at this, probably highly amused by Robin's antics.
"That wouldn't be a womanly thing to say, Robin."
The boy tried to adjust the dial once again, only to end up with a way too high pitched voice that was more shrill than what a real women could achieve. Slade tried to help him by giving which direction to turn it, but Robin was embarrassed enough as it was and ended up turning the dial too much one way or the other. Finally getting sick of his incompetence, Slade reached for him.
"Here, let me. Now say aah."
Robin was about to shake his head and deny his help, but before he could protest, Slade had a firm hold of his jaw and his forefinger was already in his mouth, reaching for the dial. Robin made a surprised noise that slightly resembled the "aah" sound Slade had requested. He didn't know if he should bite the finger or not, but as he noticed his voice actually changing, he relaxed and let Slade adjust the thing. His voice went from shrill to something slightly deeper and, soon, started to sound more feminine. With a final turn, it finally resembled a kind woman with a delicate voice. It was almost astounding as his own voice sounded so different and foreign to his own ears. Robin couldn't wait for him to be done with the adjustment. Having Slade's finger in a place where it definitely wasn't welcome was more awkward than it was disturbing. Once he finally announced that he was done, Robin was more than eager to close his mouth, even if he did so too early, which accidentally allowed Slade's finger to brush against his lips as he retracted it. Robin had to rub his lips automatically afterward.
"Is it any good?" Robin finally asked, hoping his face didn't rival the tomatoes that were set at the breakfast table this morning.
"Pristine. Now, try getting used to using it. Try some high and low voices and see how it works," Slade recommended with an encouraging tune in his voice.
Robin gave a questioning glance at the man, but tried it out anyways. "I don't know what to say." Robin's voice was perfectly in sync with a woman's gentle tone and hearing his voice alone made him excited. "Oh wow, this actually works!"
At the "works" part, his voice cracked, reverting it to his regular voice for a moment before it adjusted back to the girly warble. That's how Robin found his limit. The machine would talk over his voice as long as he kept it at an indoor voice. He then tried to sound excited, scared, overjoyed, and even slightly rushed to see if he could get enough emotion behind his words without cracking the voice.
"Good job Robin. You better train more while we drive there, then you'll get to try it out in action." Slade was proud that Robin had mastered the thing as fast as he had and was glad that he was eager to learn how to use it. "Remember, when adjusting the wheel, only use slight movements. It's a rather delicate project after all."
Robin nodded. He was getting over his previous embarrassment thanks to the excitement he now felt. He was more than eager to test out the small project. The next thing he knew, he was trying to master as sultry and seductive of a voice that he could muster, just to see if he could get Slade to retract. When it was laced with a slightly husky, but absolutely tempting voice of a female, Robin was glad to find out that Slade had indeed been taken aback. Even if it was for the shortest of time, Robin saw the small twitch in his walk and how his brow arched, which pleased him. He couldn't hold back the alluring smile on his face as he walked to the car, leaving Slade to walk behind and stare after him.
Soon, they were outside Slade's base, ready to step into a rather fine looking car—probably rented out just for this one night. Robin had waited for Slade to catch up. Once there, he opened the back door of the limousine. Robin didn't comment on his help, even though he was eligible to help himself. He hoped that Slade was just as considerate to not laugh at his stumbling with the platform shoes. First of all, he had tried to get to the car the old fashioned way, by leg first. Everything else followed while he took a leap in, until he noticed his error thanks to the ten-centimeter high sole of the platform shoe. Giving himself some more height, he decided on a more feminine kind of way to approach the situation: lay his ass on the seat, then bring his feet in while minding the hem. Yet, Robin forgot to lift his leg high enough and accidentally banged his heel on the side of the car. But hey, this was the first time he wore heels. He deserved some credit.
"I'm not fit for this female role, am I?"
Robin wasn't asking it as much as he was admitting it to himself and Slade. The man had to agree, but a reassuring pat on his shoulder was all the comfort he needed. "You'll get the hang of it. Just try to empathize."
Robin felt reassured, but he knew that he was too clumsy for the such a petite person he had dressed up to be. No, he didn't really stumble with his feet and he had somewhat mastered the use of a higher heel already, but he kept forgetting that he was a delicate woman in a beautiful dress. He couldn't just get rid of his previous habits that quickly or easily. He wasn't used to acting in a female's point of view, but if he wanted this to go well tonight, he had better master it pretty soon or he'd be doomed.
Robin had gotten rather silent for the ride. Mostly because he was trying to clear out his brain and concentrate on the female role. Once he stepped out of the car, he would have to act like a graceful woman. And on top of that, he had to act natural and manage to steal the pass card. So the heels he wore were the least of his problems.
And with those thoughts, it didn't take long until the car already drove close to the entrance of the gala. The robot that had driven them there wished Robin a good evening with a static voice, but it was Slade's words that finally got his attention.
"Enjoy the party and don't drink too much, m'lady," Slade sneered, friendly shoving Robin on his arm to get him to move.
Robin slapped Slade's hand off and playfully added, "Don't worry, I'll be too young to drink anyway. See you in a bit."
Robin didn't plan on staying at the gala any longer than he absolutely had to. Outside of the car, he could see people walking into the huge white marble building, all wearing beautiful and fancy dresses and suits. He could hear people talking all around him, as well as the clatter of high heels against the pavement as women walked on the pavement with their lean and long legs. Next to those beautiful women were men strutting alongside, looking handsome with their hair slicked back and the shining cufflinks holding their collars and ties to match their companion's dress. And just then, Robin realized what he had gotten himself into. He was lucky that he knew well the proper etiquette when attending a formal party. Now if he could only manage to act like a proper snob lady, he'd be all set. Robin leaned out his now smooth and shaved leg and rose to stand with class. From now on, he couldn't afford mistakes. If he could at least make himself believe that he was a rich, confident and stylish lady, he'd be all set. Luckily, he knew that he was. He hoped that he could believe on those thoughts, if only for the next hours or so. Robin paid his last good-byes to Slade before closing the door silently. He then fixed the hem of his dress nervously before walking all the way into the building, reminding himself to step with his heel and not with his whole sole.
The building was more impressive from the inside than it was by the outside, even if Robin had taken a liking to the marble pillars outside. Inside, there were high alcoves and tall red curtains and long carpets. People were all around, some sitting by the fire on really comfortable looking chairs while others just enjoyed the company by trading topics near the huge table filled with food, snacks, and drinks. Some people were even taking a stroll on the dance floor, the music playing loud enough to be heard around the house, but not enough to drown out people's conversing. Robin was sure that even if this was a gala, there had to be a high entry fee to be able to attend this. With a house this big with so many people to attend to, there had to be more than just fundraiser money involved. And even if the mood was actually rather enjoyable, the sheer amount of people who had come to attend was impressive. On the black and white marble floor, there were more than enough people doing their own thing. It seemed almost impossible for Robin to find the one person he was looking for: Russell Stevens.
Robin zigzagged in the crowd, trying to avoid bumping into too many people, while minding his dress and posture. Even if Russell wasn't a man to draw attention to himself, the man wasn't hard to find. He was a man that was attracted by attention after all. He was sitting on one of those huge red armchairs by the fire, enjoying a chat with his colleagues and their wives. It was clear in the man's gaze that he had not brought his own companion along. His eyes were practically undressing his friends' girlfriends with his gaze and the looks that were passed dared them to come along into the game. But the girls were too shy and modest to answer his needs, not with their boyfriends or husbands right there with them. It was a wonder none of said colleagues had taken the hint yet. But the fact was that there he was, with people, Robin didn't have the guts to just waltz in and intrude. He didn't know what to say to the man even if he dared to step into the conversation. But, if he was lucky, he might get his attention without putting himself on the line.
With that, Robin went to stand and lean against the nearby wall that was right at the end of Russell's gaze. If the man could read him right, he would be over here, asking about him in no time. Girls did this all the time. Something about subtle hints and all that. But Robin was no girl. So he didn't know if it would actually work or not. In the end, he ended up in his thoughts, thinking about another idea. Maybe a more direct approach? Would getting on the dance floor next to him work? That was easier said than done. Robin wasn't that good with slow dances. And this wasn't a disco, this was a formal ball. He had danced formal before, sure. He knew the steps, for men that is, and even then he was slightly stiff. Maybe he just hadn't gotten to relax with his previous dance partners and was too nervous to actually enjoy the dance. He already had one not so pleasant dance partner in his mind and anyone could take a wild guess on who that was. Wait, this was a formal prom. The teen princess Kitten wouldn't be here, would she? No, even she wouldn't recognize him in this dress. Now Robin, focus. He lifted his eyes from his platform shoes to look at Russell. Or at least the armchair the man had vacated just a while ago. Don't tell him that he had just lost him!
"Why so glum, princess?" a man, who was suddenly standing right next to him and offering Robin a drink, asked. Robin turned to face the man only to recognize the familiar face. It was none other than Russell who had retrieved, what Robin hoped, was a glass of punch. Robin took the glass and paid a hurried glance at the bottom of it to make sure it wasn't spiked. Not that he could have seen if it was tampered with, anyway. Usually people couldn't see, smell, or taste if a drink was spiked, but he promised himself that if he would come to feel faint at any point, he'd call Slade immediately.
"I…It's nothing." Robin smiled at Russell, even if it was just a small tug at the corner of his lip. "Mister," he added quickly.
Robin wanted to appear polite and, even if he knew exactly who he was dealing with, Christine did not.
"Pardon my rudeness, I'm Russell. Russell Stevens."
The man offered his hand for Robin to shake and he accepted it immediately. He reminded himself to hold his fingers loosely together and not squeeze very hard, or at all. He didn't want to hear any jokes about his good grip.
"Christine. Pleasure to meet you," Robin cooed and he was glad that his voice was altered. He couldn't imagine himself blabbering like he just did.
"No, the pleasure is all mine. But tell me, what is such a pretty thing like yourself doing here, and not to mention, alone?" Russell wrapped his hand around Robin's shoulder while he flirted and sweet coated his words shamelessly. Even if he had to cringe when the man leaned too close to his liking and acted like he had just found his future soul mate, Robin couldn't say that he minded. After all, this was what he had wanted, to get the man's attention, and now he had it. Slightly too much so, but he had it all the same. Russell then turned Robin to face the dance floor and pointed at the people dancing. "Shouldn't you be over there, having fun and showing off that sweet body of yours?"
As Robin thought Russell's words couldn't get more cloying, he found a whole new ultimatum. Apparently, Robin had to stifle both a "yuck" and a fit of laughter, because he himself knew exactly what was behind the dress he wore, and it was far from the "sweet body" Russell had mentioned.
"I couldn't possibly!" Robin slapped his hand on the air as if brushing off the topic. Thank god the project altered his voice automatically, because he knew that he couldn't master such a sweet tune. "I'm too shy to go out there alone."
Robin hoped he looked at least slightly more sincere than he felt. He took a fake sip of his drink to pretend a blush. He seemed to sound good enough for Russell as he slowly dragged his fingers against his bare arm, which caused him to shiver from head-to-toe and almost swallow the voice altering device. He was glad that he hadn't because Russell had already continued his pursuit.
"Why did you come here then, honey? You don't dance and you seem too shy to socialize. You are like a sheep in the middle of a pack of wolves. You could use someone to show you around."
Robin could have painted wolf in bold letters on Russell's forehead because of how he was hitting on him, but he had to play along. "I like the mood. I also love to meet new people."
Robin smiled shyly. He knew that Russell was already onto him and he didn't want the man to hump his leg too. If this is what girls had to deal with every moment they step outside their front door, he was glad to be born male.
"Oh, anyone in particular?" Russell cooed.
Robin flinched as he felt the man's hand that had just been petting his arm now sliding against his side to his waist. He had to swallow down the lump in his throat. "Just one."
He had made that sound more like a question than it was an answer. He forced his eyes to stare at Russell's own. He was so glad that he had a mask on his face, so he wouldn't see the more than worried look he now adorned. Russell seemed to make his own opinion of his look and the smile he wore was one to make sure that everyone knew that once this night was over, this particular woman would be spending the rest of the evening in his bed. Robin didn't plan on letting that happen. Ever.
"Care to take a spin on the dance floor, sugar?"
It wasn't that much of a question anymore since Russell was already leading Robin away from the spot they had been standing. Which was probably a good thing because Robin didn't trust his voice right now. He feared of snapping at him.
Russell led Robin by his arm to the dance floor, but they made a quick loop by the huge dinner table so they could find someplace to place their glasses. Russell had been occupying Robin the whole time, talking about himself, his job, his reputation, and his wealth, to which Robin hadn't paid much mind. To be honest, he didn't care that much. Everything the man had said, he had read from his files already. Once he was setting away his glass of nearly untouched drink, he froze, eyes glazed straight ahead of him.
"But it wasn't until a couple of years ago when my company finally got the kick that made it what it is today… Are you listening?" Russell asked as Robin had not nodded back to him in a while.
"Y-Yeah, I'm fine," Robin mumbled.
Russell followed his gaze to see what had caught his "sweet heart's" attention. "Ah, you are looking at the Teen Titans. We know each other rather well."
'We do?' Robin had to ask himself. He couldn't imagine dealing much with the man in the past and he was on the Teen Titans himself. Not that the man knew that. So instead, he asked, "You do?"
Russell only laughed wholeheartedly and took Robin's arm again. "Of course I do. Would you fancy to meet them? Of course you do! Come, I'll introduce you," Russell instantly insisted, nearly dragging Robin by his arm to his friends.
Right then, Robin felt as if he should fight for his life. Anything to stay as far from the other Titans as he could. He couldn't trust himself around them. He had missed them so bad for the last few days, he was sure that he couldn't keep his cool. He was afraid that he would blow his cover immediately. He wanted to run to them, talk to them, tell them to not worry about him, yet, he was too scared to even fight back Russell's grip as he dragged him closer to his impending doom. Robin hoped that he didn't seem too hesitant since Russell had seen it clear that he had wanted to meet them, but now it took all his will power to keep on walking. It seemed that his legs had just frozen in place when he saw Starfire among his friends. She looked tired, worried, and one could even say depressed. Robin hated to be the cause of her distress. Fortunately, Beast Boy was already cheering her up and offering her some grapes. They all seemed to be there, even Cyborg and Raven, and everyone had dressed up formally. Robin only had to wonder what got them to arrive at this occasion?
"Good evening, Titans," Russell welcomed himself into their conversation, pulling Robin along. Robin couldn't even put to words how nervous he felt at the moment. Slade was probably watching this whole ordeal from his monitors with a grave look. Russell, as obvious as he could be, ignored the Titans' wary greetings and continued. "I wish to introduce you to Christine."
Russell put his hand on Robin's waist, squeezing his side to emphasize the point. Robin felt really embarrassed. If only his friends knew who he was, all hell would be let loose.
"Hi. Nice to meet you."
Robin was so nervous that his voice-altering project would fail him now that it mattered the most, but it never did.
"Nice to meet you too," Cyborg answered.
From his quick greeting back, Robin noted that he had filled his place as leader for the time being.
"Hey, aren't there five of you? Where's the last one?"
Russell was pointing at each of the Titans, leaving the question hanging in the air. The last of Starfire's happiness seemed to have been sapped from her at that moment. Robin had to wonder if she could even fly in her current condition. He hated himself for causing so much grief in his friends. They were so badly dependent on him. This made Robin wonder: would it always be like this if he left them for good?
"Robin is absent and taking care of personal matters at the moment," Raven cleared up.
Raven sounded almost offended, but after all, this was Raven they were talking about, so she just sounded strict and emotionless. Her words didn't ease Starfire at all though. Robin, on the other hand, was slightly relieved. If Raven said that he was taking care of business, rather than admitting that he was missing, that meant that Slade had given them his letter. A small victory, but a victory nonetheless.
"I'm sure he is alright. I bet he misses you as much as you do them," Robin said earnestly, without thinking his words, with his metaphorical hand on his heart.
All of the Titans stared at him for a long while before Beast Boy cut in. "I bet you are right. He said he would be back soon."
Robin saw the gleam of faith in his eyes. He knew that the kid had placed his trust on his return. Robin had to smile encouragingly at him.
"Why is it that you have come to talk with us?" Starfire asked, finally feeling comfortable enough to let herself into the conversation, which delighted Robin immensely. He still liked her after all, and he couldn't endure to look at her when she was so sad over him.
"I wanted to meet you all. I have seen you do all these wonderful things for the city and I ought to thank you for that."
Robin felt so uncomfortable speaking from someone else's point of view for a change. It was harder and harder to hold back his true feelings and opinions when they got the conversation going. It seemed that the Titans liked Christine as much as they liked Robin. The feeling of being accepted by his friends was overwhelming.
The conversation was soon picking up with them all and even Russell seemed to get himself in a rather nice conversation with Cyborg over some mechanics. The man even offered to get him some parts, so long as Cyborg paid him a call. Not that Robin had been paying any attention to him, he merely made sure that the man didn't escape on him. Robin was busy with Starfire.
"Girl's gotta stick together. He'll come back in one piece and all of your worry would have been for nothing," Robin tried to reassure her. "It's okay to worry, but you shouldn't let it take over you."
At some point, Robin was sure that he saw her smile and laugh along with the others. He was having such a good time that he barely even remembered his original mission. It was just so easy to let his guard down around his friends. He was overjoyed to reunite with them, sure, but he also felt guilty for causing this. Guilt was starting to creep higher and higher on his list of concerns. It felt like maggots were gnawing at his skin and he was worried that his friends might someday hate him for all he had done. But soon, the mission came back, haunting Robin, reminding itself to him, and he was making his way to have a word with Russell when he felt a tug at his arm. Looking over, he saw that it was Beast Boy.
"Erm, hi, Christine," he mumbled, his ears twitching slightly.
Robin realized he was slightly distressed. "Hello Beast Boy. What's up?" he asked, not even remembering to act his part. But thankfully for him, Beast Boy hadn't seemed to notice.
"You seem like a pretty cool person, you know, and I was wondering… Would you like to dance with me?"
Beast Boy had blabbered the whole last sentence out in one fast breath, making Robin blush. Dance with Beast Boy?
Robin was kind of surprised that he wanted to dance with him, but at that moment he remembered that he was, after all, dressed up as a girl. Beast Boy had no idea that he was just asking his best friend to dance with him. Oh no, he couldn't possibly have a crush on him when they just met!
"Well, it's a good song and I kinda like it and I would like to ask you and…" Beast Boy rambled.
Robin had to hold back a laugh. Good song? In any other situation, he would be nagging about how boring the song was and question why they couldn't play something more…modern on the speakers. But Robin had to stop the boy from embarrassing himself even further.
"Sure," Robin replied, to Beast Boy's delight, for his eyes seemed to lighten up.
Robin couldn't resist smiling, even though he knew he would look like a complete idiot with that face. At the moment, he had to admit that Beast Boy seemed too cute and naive for his own good.
"Yes, really. You asked, didn't you?"
He couldn't help but tease, but it went unnoticed.
"That I did. Come on, I call the bids to the next song!" Beast Boy declared, and took Robin by his wrist to pull him on the dance floor.
Robin tried not to stumble with his shoes as Beast Boy obviously was eager to get to the dancing part. He couldn't help but laugh. Once they both were on the floor Robin was surprised that Beast Boy even knew how to dance. He had taken hold of Robin's waist and the fingers of his left hand were entwined with his. If it wasn't for the gloves he wore, he would feel the smooth skin against his palms. Robin was, in one way, glad that the song was a slow one, so he didn't have to put up with Beast Boy's usually annoying and immature self, but the closeness he had to endure now was almost unnerving. He could feel his breath on his neck and was able to smell him since his head was on his shoulder. Beast Boy danced so close that he was almost pressed against his chest, and the height difference made it slightly funny. Robin had to always remind himself that he had to let Beast Boy lead.
With how slow the dance was, Robin felt like it seemed to last for hours. He could feel Beast Boy's arm on his waist and his fingers traced small circles on his skin. He almost wanted to push him slightly further away, but he didn't dare. This moment had to be the longest and most awkward four minutes of his life. But as the song ended, Cyborg was clapping his hands at them and Beast Boy turned as red as a fire truck. It took no time for Robin's not-so-charming knight without a white horse to swoop over him and continue where Beast Boy had left off.
"May I have this dance?" Russell had the decency to ask, but Robin knew that he wouldn't accept 'no' for an answer.
"Of course, Russell," Robin tried to purr at his ear.
This was for the mission, Robin reminded himself, as he grudgingly placed both his hands on Russell's shoulders. He rested his chin against his collarbone while Russell had his hands on his hips. Robin would pay anything to push them away as he massaged his skin through the red dress. This evening had so much wrong in it that it wasn't even funny anymore. He had been reduced to a mere fool and one might even say a whore for two hours of his miserable life, and it wasn't even with his consent. Now, he just needed to grab the pass card and get the hell away. What time was it anyways? Robin took a look at the clock and almost felt his heart at his throat. He already spent nearly two hours on this. He had spent an hour and a half joking around and had only half an hour left. Robin almost dug his hands into Russell's shoulder in his panic, but it just caused him to moan in his ear. Robin suddenly recoiled. He was enjoying this? Robin shuddered. This was turning vile. He didn't want to be in any contact with the man and, right now, he was practically forced to be pushed against him. He could even feel his groin against his thigh. He hoped to god that he wouldn't come any closer. One, because he had man bits down there that he didn't want Russell to know about, but mostly, he just wanted him as far away from him as physically possible, preferably out of his life as well.
Robin felt Russell's deep breaths on his neck. His fingers got bolder, going lower, pressing harder, and massaging wider areas. Robin hated it. He had to gulp down the disgust in his throat as he slid his hands against his chest, causing his breath to falter. Russell moaned when Robin slid his fingers under his black dress jacket. The man traced his lips against his neck, which Robin hated with every fiber of his being. All he wanted to do was scratch his face, but since he wore gloves, he would have to resolve with his purse making sweet contact with Russell's face. Not that he dared to do that. He needed the pass card, not more attention.
Robin searched Russell's inner pockets for the card, making him moan and nibble on Robin's neck. The bastard thought he was feeling him up! Good thing, because it distracted him from what Robin was really doing, but dear Christ, he hated how close the man got. He was too close for comfort, invading Robin's comfort zone completely. He eased his fingers into Russell's inner chest pocket and grabbed the pass card in his hand. He then slid his hand against his chest and down his side before sliding the card to his purse. And Russell didn't suspect a thing! Thank god. Then the dance ended and Robin was glad to push him off.
"You're a good dancer," Russell commented in a purr.
Robin felt like gagging. He didn't have time to think though as Russel got closer to him, his hands feeling the sides of Robin's mask before taking a grip on it. He didn't have time to pull it off as Robin already had his firm grip on his wrist. He wouldn't let him take his mask off.
"You shouldn't," Robin mumbled, pulling his hand off his face.
"Or maybe I should?" Russell intimidated, but Robin took none of that. What kind of mixed signals was Russell getting? No meant no!
"Not on the first date. Oh, look at the time! I should be leaving," Robin commented, taking a step back to get Russell off his neck.
"On the second date then? Can I have your number?"
Russell was sticking to him like glue, but luckily Robin had thought a resolve for this. "I would be offended if you wouldn't want one," he cooed.
Smirking, Russell was digging in his pockets for pen and paper. In this state, he didn't even notice the missing card. Robin smiled as he took the offered items. He couldn't even hide his evil smirk as he wrote on the paper.
'Enjoy her company, you sick piece of grime,' Robin thought to himself as he wrote Kitty's cell number on the paper. 'Consider this payback.'
Don't even ask why he knew Kitty's number, he just had a bad habit of memorizing all he could about his potential opponents, so he knew how to take them down when the time came. And this was one of those times. Robin still wore the devil's smile as he handed the paper back. He then took a more than alluring retreat, indicating with his fingers a "call me" gesture before he walked off. He wouldn't, repeat, wouldn't, do this again. Ever. Robin was almost running to the exit when he was stopped by someone's words.
"Christine, freeze." Robin somehow couldn't move. Maybe it was the snide tone in Raven's voice, or something else completely. Robin carefully turned around. Not many feet away stood Raven. She hovered to stand only a couple of feet from him. "I saw what you did," she said, her unemotional and cold voice digging under Robin's skin, making him shiver in nervousness.
He couldn't afford this tirade. The Titans could decide to fight him any minute now and that might cause him to reveal his identity, or worse, hurt them. Neither was an outcome that he anticipated.
"What are you talking about?"
Raven didn't buy Robin's innocent voice and words at all. "Don't act coy. I know that you stole something and I want you to return it," she demanded. She didn't move at all and it was intimidating.
"I didn't take anything," Robin tried once more, taking a step backwards. He would flee, but he wouldn't fight. He didn't have any equipment to fight with except his fists and he wouldn't hurt his friends.
"I will tell you one last time: return what you stole or face the consequences," Raven threatened.
Right then, Robin ran. Raven wasn't letting the subject go and he knew it. The only option was to flee, as cowardly as it seemed. Robin heard Raven call for the other Titans and Beast Boy was on his heels in no time. At the moment, he was the fastest of the group and the shoes Robin wore were seriously hindering. He almost made it to the fire exit door, but was pulled back as Beast Boy took a grab of the dress hem. Robin, of course, had been running during this chase and now that he had been rudely halted, the dress was almost pulled off of him. Thankfully, the suspender kept it somewhat in place, so only one of the water balloons he had used as a fake breast fell out.
Beast Boy stared at the thing like it was an unknown projectile from Mars before he turned his confused face to Robin. He even looked a little shocked. "Who are you and who did I dance with?"
Robin tried to pull the hem from Beast Boy's grasp, but his grip held tight. "Fine, if you want them so badly, have them!" Robin yelled with his girly voice, which cracked only once.
Robin gravely hoped that the Titans couldn't recognize the small crack in his voice with his true persona. He didn't have time for that though. He shoved his hand down the collar of his dress and pulled the other water balloon off as well before throwing it straight at Beast Boy's face. He made a sound of surprise, which was similar to a yelping dog, as the water smeared Beast Boy all over. He let go of Robin's dress to wipe the water off his face, giving Robin the opportunity to make a mad dash to the door. He ran up the stairs to get to the roof while rummaging through his purse for the hook shot and smoke bombs.
The Titans weren't far away. Raven and Starfire were right behind him thanks to their ability to fly. They were almost reaching him when Robin pulled the hook shot from his purse and shot it at the roof, to pull himself up faster so he wouldn't need to run up the stairs. He just barely missed Starfire's dive and Raven threw random objects at him, almost knocking him down, but his hold on the grapple was sturdy. He was glad that it reeled him up rather fast, faster than he anticipated. Once he was up there, he ran to reach the edge of the building.
"You must stop!" Starfire yelled, dashing after him.
But Robin was already in position, right at the edge of the building. The other Titans were by the door, so Robin did what he had to do. He threw a flash bomb at them and, without worrying what would happen, turned himself around to wrap his scarf around the wire that would reel himself down. The bomb went off only a little after Robin turned his back to the teens. He was glad that he had. The flash was so powerful that it made the edges of Robin's vision white and he was sure his friends would be blind for a while.
"I'm sorry!" he yelled before jumping off the building and sliding along the wire to get to a lower level.
Robin knew that what he did was for the best. He had to stop his friends from tracking him so he could complete his deal with Slade. He missed them too, but he needed to get back. What he had done was for the best, but why did it feel so wrong? Why did he feel like he was betraying his friends? Robin shook his head and rushed downwards on the wire. At this precise moment, it wasn't important to get back to Slade. Robin needed to get his priorities in order. He was really afraid that after this, his friends would hate him and desert him. But, deep down inside, he knew that they would never do such a thing. And if he was lucky, they'd never even know. Robin felt so much guilt for them that he felt it at the bottom of his stomach. With his whole being, he wished that his friends wouldn't hate him.
Robin soon hit the floor, but couldn't quite control his footing with the stupid shoes on, so he fell and scraped his knees and arms as he tried to protect himself. The moment he finally managed to get himself to sit up, he tore the shoes off. So far, they had only been a hindrance! Robin wrapped the now ruined scarf around the shoes and made a make-do backpack with said scarf. He didn't dare leave anything behind as evidence. Robin then took a mad dash to reach Slade's base. He had only five minutes to reach his destination. He couldn't possibly make it! But he tried anyways. He ran as fast as he could, scowling and wrinkling his face every time something dug at the sole of his feet. He didn't have time to wonder about such a thing. The Titans would be gaining on him if he stopped for a moment. Not that he could stop anyways, because he knew that time was essential now.
Robin tried to take not so obvious routes, but he favored all kinds of short cuts, and by the time he reached Slade's base, he was sure that he had just broken all his previous records with his speed. He was thankful that the doors opened automatically for him. Making a mad dash at the room with the storage in it to return his earpiece and the rest of the junk to call off the timer, Robin heard the faint taps of the sole of his feet hitting the floor and echoing against the walls. He rushed into the room and threw all of his tools in their proper place without thinking. Only then did he stop to breathe. His lungs burned like never before and everything stung. His head was pounding and he was panting so hard that he thought that no matter how much air he got, it just wasn't enough. Robin turned to look at the timer, to see how much time he had left, and his next breath hitched. He stared at the counter in disbelief. The line of round zeros blared at him like a last sentence. Robin couldn't do much more than pant for breath and to try swallowing down the foaming drool.
"You are late, Robin." Slade appeared behind him, looking disappointed. Robin knew that he was. The man also looked rather mad for some reason and Robin retreated to lean against the wall. "You know what we promised as consequences."
Slade leaned over Robin and grabbed him by his arm to pull him up.
"I'm sorry, I tried to get here as fast as I could, but I got the card! The Titans, they were there, and-!"
Robin was cut off when Slade shushed him while taking the card from his shaking hand. "No excuses, Robin. Communicating with the Titans was also on the list of unforgivable actions. Just be glad I'm not punishing you for that too." Grabbing his arm, Slade dragged Robin out of the room, guiding him down the hall. Robin tried resisting him the whole way, but he was too tired from his running and it took most of his concentration to just even out his breathing. "I'm sorry for this, I really am, but you leave me no choice. Don't take this as an act of cruelty, because I hate to do this. Just remember that hardships build character, Robin."
Slade took long steps, making Robin jog to keep up with his pace.
"What are you planning to do?" Robin questioned.
Slade's lack of an answer only made him more nervous. He knew Slade was not a man known to spare the rod. And then they entered a room. It was odd to Robin, because honestly he had been expecting something like a torture chamber. He wouldn't even be half surprised if it was. He could take a hit, that was for sure, so he was more than surprised to see a small room with nothing inside of it expect a box that was two feet every which way. It definitely wasn't a huge box. Robin bet that Slade kept all of his tools in there.
Slade dragged Robin to the middle of the room to stand by the box. He was almost surprised that he didn't fight back too much. Robin, on the other hand, was nervous as all hell, but he also wanted to know what was inside the box. Slade hadn't said anything yet. He could do a number of things: whip him, cut him, beat him, anything. Whatever he planned to do, the tools were inside the box. Robin couldn't help the nervousness that crept up to his neck from the bottom of his churning stomach. It felt like it was filled with butterflies, all flying around in panic as chaos was released inside his very being. It made him tense and his hands itch. Slade then pulled Robin against his side, pressing him so tight that he couldn't even move, not even an inch of his limbs. Slade then knelt in front of the box and, while still holding him, took a key from his pocket to open the padlock. Robin didn't dare fight against the man's hold. The room was filled with the sound of his heavy breathing and the faint click of the lock that was opened. Slade then removed the lock and opened the lid of the box. Robin peered inside, prepared to see all kinds of tools, only to find it empty.
Robin was so confused. He didn't know how to react except gape with his mouth opening and closing like a fish on dry soil. He had planned on asking what the heck this was about, but he couldn't address his thoughts in words. All that came out was some random gibberish like, "Slade, I, what, this, I-" without any sense really. Slade then stood up to stand, Robin still hard pressed against his chest. Once he stood to his full height, Robin couldn't reach the floor with his feet anymore.
"I'm sorry, Robin," Slade murmured into Robin's ear, the words like ice cold water pouring onto his back. He felt like he had just swallowed a glassful of ice cubes at once.
"Slade, no! No, no, no, no, no! Don't, please, please!" The last plea wasn't one of those moaned begs like the words before it, but more like a scream of absolute horror. Oh god, Slade wasn't going to do what he thought he would. Slade was lowering Robin inside the box. He was thrashing and kicking as hard as he could, fighting against his grip, as if his life was on the line. "Slade! Don't do it, no! I'll do anything! Please, let go! Don't!"
Robin yelled, whined, begged, and cried for all he was worth. He thrashed in Slade's grip, ready to go on a full rampage if it meant that he wasn't forced to go inside the box. Oh god, Slade would stuff him in and lock the lid and he'd leave him down there to die! It would be dark, cramped, the air would be so thick, and he wouldn't be able to move. The space would become smaller and smaller, crushing his bones as the walls ground him to mush. Robin could see himself as his bones snapped and broke as the walls constricted against him.
"Don't do it, I beg of you, please!" Robin managed to get his hands free. He tried swinging them in the air, to catch whatever he could. He even tried to grab and scratch at Slade, whatever to get him to let go. But nothing helped. The man was strong and Robin was already sitting inside the box with his knees against his chest. Slade forced his hands to stay put while pressing his head down and sealed the lid. The moment he had let go, Robin started to claw at the lid, trying to force it open. He could barely lift it one millimeter, letting only a sliver of light into the box. Not soon after, the lid was forced shut once again and Robin heard a click.
"Slade let me go! Please let me free! Slade!" Robin pleaded and begged, not at all ashamed of his cowardice. It was like reliving the moment of his youth. Robin felt the tears stream down his cheeks. "Slade, please, let me go!" Robin was losing his confidence and will to fight. He just wanted to go unconscious.
"I'll return for you after two hours."
Robin could note the sorrow in Slade's words. If Robin had been coherent enough, he would know that he was truly sorry for what he had done. Instead, he felt rage take over him. He wanted to yell, wanted out, and wanted to tear Slade a new one for locking him up like this.
"Slade, you bastard! I hate you! You are the vilest thing of them all! You are a complete waste of flesh, an idiot, a…" Robin was ready to think up more curses to call him, but he didn't get the chance when he heard Slade's retreating footsteps. Sadness soon overtook him. "Why Slade? Why do you do this? Slade, I'm so scared! Please, let me go! Slade, help me! I'm so scared! Take me out of here! Slade, you promised me! You promised me you would never use this weakness against me! Why have you taken your words back? …Slade please, open the lid! Get me out of here! Slade…!"
Robin knew he was pleading and whining like a little kid, he couldn't deny that, but he was just so terrified of the enclosure. The emptiness of the box came crushing against him. The silence was so overwhelming. It seemed that every sound was swallowed up by it and crushed by the limited space in the box. The only sounds he heard were his own gasps, the loud sound of blood pulsing in his veins, even the loud ringing in his ears and the popping of his joints, but most of all, he heard the retreating footsteps outside the box and then the sudden, loud slam as the door was shut. Robin instantly felt the panic overwhelm him. It was too tight. The box was too narrow. He had to bury his head to his knees to fit and his hands were in an extremely uncomfortable position. He felt his joints becoming stiff and was feeling faint. His neck hurt and he felt like his skin was impaled by hundreds of needles. Suddenly, his skin became cold as ice, even as if his insides were burning him alive. This was it, he was going to die. Not because of the lack of space, but because his body was killing him. He was burning from the inside out. Robin could swear that his guts were twisting and clenching inside of him, forming knots. It felt like they were about to snap if he tried to reach out to push against the walls to try and break the box. It was like something was about to make him collapse in on himself. Robin could feel saliva foaming from his mouth and he was shaking. He was shaking like a weathered leaf in the autumn breeze. He could feel the walls pushing against him everywhere. Robin tried to gasp for air, but it was like breathing old air, which wasn't right. That meant he was only getting carbon dioxide to his lungs instead of oxygen.
Robin weakly tried to push against the walls in a last ditch effort, but he only managed to squeeze himself into a more uncomfortable position. The box's edge was making him curl into sharper angles. He hurt, his blood wasn't circulating properly, and it felt like the pincushion for every needle in the world. Every time the sharp point stuck deeper and deeper into his skin, Robin cried and moaned in pain. The box was so dark that he barely saw a thing, but he hated it. He couldn't push away the fact that he was inside a box and couldn't get free.
He would never get out of this box. He'd be mummified inside of it. His skin would rot and maggots would eat him alive. It wasn't long before he started to hallucinate. It seemed like the box walls were bending, coming closer, crushing him. He could feel maggots as they bit his skin on their way up his feet. Robin couldn't take it. He started to crash. He tried to hit and stomp on the worms to kill them, but no matter what he did, they just kept coming. The walls of the box intimidated him and the air was too thin to breath.
"Slade please. Please help me," Robin begged weakly.
He started to hyperventilate, trying to take in all the air he could. He didn't stop, even when the headache was too bad to bear. The blood came rushing to his brain and he felt heavy. He felt so heavy and stiff it was like all his weight was packed to his head. He couldn't even move it anymore. His lungs hurt and he felt as if there was something impaling his whole chest, pushing past his intestines and crushing his lungs until it reached his heart, tearing and shredding it. His mouth and throat had suddenly gone completely dry, almost as if they were stuffed with cotton. His lungs stung so bad that he couldn't even describe it with words. Robin's last words, before he felt like he was drowning, were a moan and Slade's name on his lips. Soon, sweet, sweet darkness consumed him, turning his brain off and letting him rest. Robin got to enjoy the bliss of ignorance, even if it only lasted for a moment…