Teen Titans: Never Alone
Rating: Meh, probably just a T or something… Yeah, we'll go with T.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Teen Titans. They are the joint property of DC comics, Warner Bros, and YOUR MOM! (That's what she told me last night anyways. I mean, why else would we have done what we did last night? AWWWW SNAAAAP!)
Summary: It was supposed to be over. The reagent was gone from his system. The lights were on. So, how could he still be seeing Slade…? Immediately Follows "Haunted."
Pairings: Some hints of SF/Robin, some hints of BB/Raven, but nothing more than depicted in the show. NO SLASH! Just cuz Slade and Robin are both listed does not mean they're paired up. Sheesh.
Author's Opening Statement: So, I've recently exposed my best geek Catherine to the wonders that is the Teen Titans. The other day, we were watching Haunted together (because I forbade her to watch it without me – it's my favorite episode), and halfway through, she grinned and said, "Crazy Robin makes Catherine HAPPYYYY!... Except they're going to find a reasonable explanation for why he's crazy, cuz this is a KIDS show. It's gonna be the dust or something. Why can't it just be that he had a mental breakdown? I mean, he TOTALLY has the personality type to have a complete mental breakdown."
….then the wheels began to turn.
I'm sure this is not a new idea by any means – I mean, god, 10 other Teen Titan fics on have "Not Alone" in their titles… But I love the title, and goddamnit, I wanna write this story. It's right up my alley. I don't think anyone will complain.
Read, review, and enjoy Robin lose his mind in yet another way. (I do this far too often, don't I, Robin?)
Chapter 1: Haunted
"Looks like Slade pulled off one last trick…"
Robin lifted his heavy, achey head, his eyes – one swollen, both burning with exhaustion – falling on the cybernetic teen speaking to him. Nearby, his other friends turned, their attentions beckoned by the enormous screen that comprised one entire wall of the hospital wing. Concern mingled with curiosity on faces deeply illuminated by the fluorescent lighting from above.
Cyborg noted their attention, and continued. "His mask contained a chemical reagent that infiltrated your central nervous system."
It clicked in Robin's mind, as tired as it was. "The dust…" The Boy Wonder lifted one of his bruised hands, pulling off the electrodes taped to his forehead and held them out in his palm, as though they weighed heavily. He stared down at them, mulling the information over. "It caused me to see, hear and feel Slade… even though he wasn't really there…"
"And the more you fought," Starfire spoke up, a sadness to her voice, "the more harm it did to you."
"And anyone else who got in the way," Raven griped, rubbing her chin.
Cyborg was still staring up at the monitor. A small, relieved smile spread across his half-human face. "Scan says you're all clear now, though."
"Yeah? Well… just to be sure…" Robin got carefully to his feet, his aching body sluggish as he moved to the lightswitch by the door. He paused a moment, glancing out into the room, at all of his friends. He flicked his wrist, and the room plunged into darkness interrupted only by the screens and monitors of the wall. He glanced around, eyes moving from the bed, where not even an hour ago he had ripped himself from his bindings thinking Slade was trying to kill him, over to the window, where rain still drummed its soft melody. His gaze scanned back, falling on his friends, who stared back at him with quiet apprehension.
But there was no sign of Slade waiting for him in the darkness…
Robin sighed, and turned the light back on. His heart felt heavy, and his brain was muddled with humiliation, guilt, confusion, exhaustion… "I've been fighting Slade so long…" he found himself saying, almost to himself. "I guess it's hard to just let it go. But sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who's still looking for him. The only one who can stop him."
He looked up, to find other others still watching him with careful consideration. There was a long moment of silence, no one quite sure how to respond.
Finally, Starfire stepped forward, hands clasping sincerely. "Robin, you are never alone…"
Robin looked at her a long moment. He'd heard those words once already that night, but somehow, coming from her, it sounded wonderful…
"And if Slade ever does come back, we'll be ready," Cyborg added determinately, then, a little more gently, "We got things covered here, man. Why don't you go get some rest?"
"Sounds like a good idea," Robin murmured with a grateful smile. He looked around at them all one last time, before turning and exiting the hospital wing.
As he made his way down the hallway, he could hear their voices filtering after him. Beast Boy was saying something… the girls responded with laughter… and Robin smiled to himself. All was right with the world again.
He turned a corner, listening as the distance growing between them withering their voices into silence. His footsteps faltered to a halt, and he glanced around, eyes falling on a patch of shadow in a far corner
I am the thing that keeps you up at night… the evil that haunts every dark corner of your mind…
Robin winced at the memory of those words. His hand clutched at his side, sending shooting pain up his ribs.
Slade hadn't done any of this... Slade had never been there at all… He'd done all of this to himself… He glanced down, at his tattered, almost mutilated costume. The bruises on his arms. The drips of blood here and there. His heart was pounding a little fast in his chest.
He knew it was over… but his overactive nerves were still on end. He glanced over his shoulder without thinking, and then caught himself with a growl.
Slade isn't going to leap out of the walls and attack you… he told himself, pushing on towards his bedroom. Not anymore. Just go get some sleep…
He couldn't help but eye every dark area suspiciously the whole way back to his room. He turned the light on as he closed the door, and paused a moment. His lungs pulled in a deep breath, and he relaxed a little with the comforting scent of his own little space. Setting the lock on the door, he made his way to his closet and began peeling off the shredded layers of his costume, wincing anytime he had to move his arms or legs too much.
There were more bruises than he'd realized. More cuts, more scrapes. His wrist felt swollen, his ankle hurt… his eye was almost completely swollen shut now. He glanced at his full-length mirror. He looked a complete mess… he looked like he'd just had a run-in with Slade…
He swallowed hard, looking away as memories began flooding back to him.
It'd all felt so real, and his mind remembered it as though it was… he remembered being on the floor of the basement, begging Slade to stop… begging…
And that wasn't an effect of the reagent… his reactions, his pain… the conviction that he was going to die… that'd all been real… too real…
He suddenly became aware that he was shaking a little. His eyes shot to the mirror again, meeting his own terrified gaze through it. He could see himself trembling. He was barely able to stand. His stomach was twisting and churning like it wanted to throw up. A little too quickly, Robin swung the closet door open, banishing the mirror to face the wall as he pulled a fresh costume from its hanger.
All he needed was some sleep. He was still on edge because of all that had happened that night, that's all. It was understandable that his body was shaking, that his brain was a little scrambled. He'd gone through a lot of stress that night... He pulled his costume on as quickly as his weak, tired, injured body would allow, and made his way to his bed, falling gratefully face-first into his plush pillow. His hand grappled automatically on the nightstand for the remote that extinguished the light, but as his finger hovered over the appropriate button, he froze, twisting his head and looking out into the room with wide, anxious eyes.
Come on, Dick. What are you, three? Just turn of the lights… you've faced scarier things…
Finally, holding his breath, he shut his light off, dowsing the world with darkness. He barely blinked as he continued staring out into the room. His heart was racing, his hands sweating. He waited…
But nothing happened. Of course nothing happened. He set his remote back on the nightstand and plopped back into his pillow with a huff of frustration. He couldn't believe he was acting this way. It was all over. He didn't have to be afraid of the dark. Slade was not going to jump out at him.
There was a small sound. He snapped his head up expectantly, glancing around nervously
It's just the tower settling… there are always noises in the night… nothing's coming to get you…
He made himself put his head back on the pillow, but he had a hard time settling himself down. Every creak, every noise, every far-off crash of thunder made him internally jump, his eyes clenching shut as tightly as his bruised knuckles clutched his bedsheets
Nothing's going to happen nothing's going to happen nothing's going to happen, he chanted to himself silently in his head.
After a long time, his exhaustion began to override his paranoia. His tense muscles slowly began to relax into his mattress, his hyperactive pulse slowing to normal speed, breathing growing steady.
Nothing's going to happen…
Then, before he knew it, he began to feel the familiar pull of sleep…
"Don't think this is the end, Robin."
Robin snapped back to full awareness with a gasp of horror, flailing out onto his back and scrambling himself backward up against the headboard of his bed. His breathing was harsh and labored as he frantically looked around the room, a hand snatching up a birdarang from his belt, ready to strike.
He was still here. Slade was still here… he was certain… he… hadn't imagined it, right?
But there was no one staring at him through the darkness. No breath of air, no voice, no glint of gold as the lightning flashed in his window. Robin felt a trickle of sweat roll past his ear, sending a shudder through his spine.
…had he just imagined it? He'd nearly been asleep… sometimes you hear things when you…
He was just being paranoid… there was no way he had actually heard that…
A trembling hand reached for the remote. He turned the light back on and laid cautiously back down. He barely blinked as he watched the room, his hand still shakingly clutching the untransformed birdarang.
It was a good hour before he could fall asleep again, and even then, his sleep was restless, haunted by terrible memories and that horrible, familiar mask…
And that's the end of chapter 1! :3 I'm excited. Are you excited? Please review and follow! You wont want to miss out on this!