They've captured Red X, finally. He is bound (humanely) against a table, wearing the orange jumpsuit that thrusts him into anonymity, an insignificant blip amongst a sea of criminals. His mask is still stubbornly plastered to his face, the bold design leering vacantly at the security camera avidly watching across the room.

They've caught him. But they don't know his identity, not because he won't let him, but because they are obligated to follow their leader's commands.

Robin. Yes, Robin. The bird that flew far, far away in a futile attempt to run from what he could not hide. The precocious boy, who, for all his clever tricks and his vast array of knowledge, is stuck, trapped in a concrete world of good and bad. A child forging a path through an adult world, with the concept of maturity superimposed on his brain, and the perverted belief that he can force himself to become what he is not, to be what he can not be.

And because of his straight set world, his narrow understanding of morality and crime, he is forcing himself to unmask the thief, his evil twin, his doppelganger, what he was and what he is.

He runs his green-glove hand through the spiky mop he calls his hair, opening the door with a cr-cr-creak. He squares off against the villain (Is that the right term?), who sits defiantly and nonchalantly in a plastic chair.

"Who the hell are you and what do you want with me?"

Red X, despite the mask, manages to look sufficiently surprised.

"Look," he drawls, "I don't want to have anything to do with you or your pals, k? I don't care if you fight me, hell I love it, but all this is is self-preservation. Lighten up, Chuckles, and figure it out. I'm NOT the bad guy."

SLAM!

The table flies back and hits the man hard across the stomach as the Boy Wonder pins Red-X to the wall, both twitching hands around his throat.

"You. Are. Evil. I. Am. Good. That's it. There is no more. Nothing!"

Robin grasps the base of the mask and pulls. The mask still grins at him, but the eyes peering through the fabric are vast and stormy, and much too human.

He pulls again frantically, averts his eyes, tugs harder, harder…and then it's off! It lies softly, innocuously against the floor, an accusation. He draws his face up slowly to meet the man who destroyed simplicity, the individual who obliterated his understanding of the world.

Dark eyes stare solemnly back, crowned by nest of strawberry-blond hair.

"Jason Todd."

Red X shatters, splinters that hit the ground in an eloquent trickle of noise, gentle and resigned. Robin kneels, frantically grabbing at the remnants of the man's being, at the fragments of that dark gaze that are puddling into mercury droplets, soaking deep into the porous floor.

And Robin is left with a stare and a broken room.


"Robin."

"Friend!"

"Dude..."

"Rob?"


Author's Note: Please realize that everything (except for grammar mistakes) I wrote in this story was done INTENTIONALLY, including the parenthesis. Sorry if you find it weird. Hell, I find it weird and I wrote it, though it didn't turn out quite as I hoped. Oh well.