YJ: Seeing Without Sight
The first thing Robin noticed when he regained consciousness was that he could not see, at first he thought it was dark, but then he noticed he could not see at all. The lack of sight is followed up a pounding headache as he sat up pushing aside a large piece of rubble that landed on him. Reaching up he felt for his mask and was relieved to find that it was still there.
"Hey Robin are you alright? You were right next to the explosion." Kid Flash's voice told Robin that the older boy was approaching. "Dude your head is bleeding." Robin could hear KF's voice right next to him. "Can you stand?" Robin tried to nod but that made his already aching head pound with pain. "You stay here I'll get help." Then there was a moment of silence, Kid Flash did not walk away. "Rob? Robin what's wrong?" Robin could feel the air move around his face. His friend must have been waving his hand in front of it.
"Huh? Oh right. I can't see." Robin replied.
"What?" Kid Flash exclaimed. Robin sighed inwardly; he knew KF would start freaking out. "What do you mean you can't see? Are you like… Blind?"
"When I came to again I can't see." Robin said reaching out towards KF's voice to try and calm the older boy down, his hand landed on what felt like KF's knee and Robin patted it reassuringly. "I don't know how, but it's okay. How are the others?"
"You are blind and you are worried about the others?" Wally said still frantic.
"Shut up. I am blind not dead." Robin said slowly getting up.
"Kid Flash, Robin. Are you two okay?" Aqualad's voice and footsteps were followed by three other sets of footsteps much to Robin's relief.
"We are fine." Robin replied. "Are you guys okay?"
"Yeah." Megan was the one who replied.
"What do you mean we are fine?" KF exclaimed. "Robin is blind."
Back at Mount Justice the teens waited anxiously as Batman checked over Robin in the infirmary. Robin had been the closest to the explosion at the time and the boy must have been flung at least six feet into a concrete wall. What disturbed Wally the most though was how calm the boy seemed to be even when he found out he was blind. A few moments later the dynamic duo came out, Robin in his civilian clothes with shades on and Batman, well, still Batman.
"Robin is suffering from temporary blindness." Batman announced. "When he hit his head there is swelling that is pressing against the vision center of his brain causing the blindness. His vision should return once the swelling goes down."
"See? No big deal." Robin said cheerfully, but everyone frowned at the boy.
"Robin will remain here at Mount Justice. I trust all of you to take care of him until his sight returns." Batman instructed.
"I can take care of myself just fine." Robin protested with a pout.
"Don't worry Batman, we will take good care of him." Megan said taking Robin by the arm, Artemis took the other arm and before the boy could protest they began leading Robin towards his room. "Come on Robin. Let's get you tucked in bed." Wally fought the urge to laugh at the situation.
"On top of the blindness he also has a concussion." Batman said addressing the boys. "If he starts having severe headaches, dizziness or vomiting, contact me right away." The boys nodded. "Effective immediately the team will be taken off active duty until Robin recovers." Wally didn't want to be off of missions, but it made sense it would be dangerous to bring a blind kid on a mission.
Friends, you really got to hate them sometimes. Robin thought to himself closing his bedroom door and locking it. The last two days have been the longest days Robin has ever had. Robin has lived with Batman and Alfred for more than three years now so when he thinks his teammates are hovering far too much he was not exaggerating. At first Robin had been glad Batman was letting him stay at Mount Justice so he could be away from Alfred babying him all the time, but somehow his team is worse. The team, now taken off missions, has made it their goal to keep Robin from doing anything.
"Hey Rob, did you need anything? Still good on drinks?" KF had been zipping in and out of Robin's room all day checking on him. "Need a lift to the bathroom?" No matter how many times Robin had proved himself capable of taking care of himself even without his sight. Robin was fully capable of taking care of most of his day to days, he has even reprogrammed most of his computer system to function on voice control.
"I swear if you come into my room one more time I am going to set up a trip wire at my door." Robin said grasping at the last thread of patients he had.
"Really? And how are you going to…" Kid Flash didn't get to finish because Robin threw a punch out. "Woah what was that for man!"
"Sorry didn't see you there." Robin said sticking his tongue out in the general direction of where he thinks his friend is.
"Fine, fine, but if you need anything." Kid Flash paused for emphasis. "Anything, we are just a holler away."
Robin had managed to creep out of the room he wanted to train and exercise is muscles, or he thought he had managed.
"Robin, what are you doing?" Superboy's voice stopped Robin in his tracks. Robin could hear Aqualad's steady steps a few feet behind Superboy.
"Just stretching my legs?" Robin said with a sheepish smile.
"You are supposed to be on bed rest." Aqualad said with his leader voice.
"I am not actually that injured, just going to exercise a little…" Before Robin could finish he had to side step Kid Flash's attempt at picking him up only to step right into Superboy's arms.
"You have a concussion." Superboy said simply holding onto the squirmy boy.
"Oh come on. I have been in bed for two days doing nothing thanks to you guys. A guy like me has to exercise to keep up." Robin protested. "My head doesn't even really hurt anymore."
"But you still can't see." Robin could picture the concern on Aqualad's face.
"Batman taught me how to use my other sense. I could hold my own in a fight." Robin said finally hopping out of Superboy's arms. Robin did a back flip away from his friends gracefully. "See guys? I am just fine."
"No exercise." Kid Flash was the next to pluck him off his feet. "Sorry dude. Batman's orders." Robin could only pout.
"Fine, I am just going to go to the kitchen and grab a bite." Robin said trying to get out of KF's arms.
"I will get it for you." Megan offered. "I will get you whatever you want."
"You know what? That's enough. I thought it would be better here, but you guys suck!" Robin walked said jumping out of KF's arms and headed into his room slamming the door behind him.
Two hours later and still nothing from Robin the teens were beginning to get worried about their youngest teammate, yet none of them wanted to upset the boy more by checking in on him. The teens sat staring at each other the only sound was Kid Flash's steps as he paced back and forth.
"Okay guys, one of us is going to have to go and check on Robin, and I think to do this we should use the age old rule, one-two-three NOT IT!" Kid Flash
"Not it." Three voices chorused and Artemis found herself staring at the team in disbelief.
"How the hell did I get beaten at 'Not it' by an Atlantean, an alien and a clone?" Artemis exclaimed gesturing at the others.
"This is how most chores are distributed among the team." Kid Flash stopped doubling over laughing to explain.
"I believe according to the 'Not it' rules the last person to say it must go do the deed." Superboy said pointedly looking at the halls that lead to the bedrooms. Artemis sighed and trudged down the hallway. Only a few moments later the blond came racing back into the living room.
"Guys. Robin is gone."
"How the hell did he get out?" Artemis wondered out loud as the team sprung into action. "Did you hear him leave Superboy?"
"Nothing, but it's not the first time he has snuck off without me noticing." Superboy admitted.
"We are so dead." KF was freaking out, "if Batman finds out he is going to kill us."
"That is not important right now. Knowing Robin he is probably doing something reckless trying to prove himself." Aqualad said as they brought up Robin's tracking device. "He is in Gotham. Shit!" Aqualad said as the beacon that marked Robin's location disappeared.
"The kid is blind, how could he have known that we are tracking him?" Kid Flash exclaimed. "Either way we need to find him before Batman does or we are all screwed."
"Well let's split up." Aqualad instructed as the team reached Gotham. "Remain in radio contact when you find him try to convince him to go back, if not stay with him and we will regroup."
Robin walked through the familiar streets of Gotham, even without his sight Robin knew exactly where he was, he could tell by the sounds, smells and the feel of the pavement beneath his feet. This was actually one of the first areas Robin had patrolled with Batman in his early days of being Robin. Robin could hear a window break fifty feet away from him up the street and around the corner. Steadily Robin ran towards the source of the break in.
"Hurry. Just grab everything and go!" A gruff voice spoke, Robin could hear two more sets of heavy footsteps. The one set of steps is lighter probably a lean man, the grunt and the staggered steps told Robin that this man at least was not very strong. The other set of steps were much heavier set, steadier, experience told Robin that this would be a larger man, in his late thirties definitely stronger than the first. The one who spoke seemed to be in charge and the click of metal told Robin that this man had a gun. Robin heard nothing else, no sounds of panicked steps of civilians, that made things much easier.
First rule of battle: level the playing field. Robin pulled out a smoke canister and rolled it towards the men.
"What the… shit!" The men didn't notice until it was too late. Robin moved towards the voice of the leader, he had to eliminate the gun first. The man would be holding the gun at chest level Robin judged the man to be at about five-foot-six which would mean that a hand stand will bring his feet up to the right height to kick the gun out of the man's hand. Robin's feet connected with the metal and Robin could hear the offensive metal fall and slide along the concrete.
"What's going on?" The youngest one with a higher voice and lighter set asked frantically. Robin landed on his feet and with a swift right hook he knocked the leader off his feet and the man banged against a car hood. That guy was not getting up any time soon. Robin could hear the light foot falls approaching him. Robin would take him out first, it was not hard, the man not inexperience and unbalanced Robin high kicked the man in the chin and before the younger man saw anything coming he punched him in the stomach knocking the wind out of the man.
Suddenly the heavy steps approached him from behind but he heard it too late. The prickle of the smoke dancing his skin was dissipating. A sharp disorientating pain erupted in the back of his skull. The slight ringing in his ears got so loud it hurt. Pushing past all of the pain Robin was able to roll out of the way of the man's second attack. An anguished roar got the bad guy's attention. A loud crash emanating form behind the man shook the ground and as the man turned around to see who it was he was greeted with a large fist that knocked him out in one hit.
"Robin." Superboy's baritone voice rang out as he approached the boy to help him up but Robin waved his hand in the direction he thought Superboy was trying to swat away his hand.
"I had it." Robin said picking himself up, his head still aching.
"That guy was about to pummel you with a crowbar." Superboy argued.
"I would have dodged it." Robin said starting to walk away with exasperation. "Just because I am blind doesn't mean I can't handle myself. This isn't the first time I've gone around blind why can't everyone just believe me when I say I am okay?"
"Because you are blind." Superboy said following the small boy down the empty streets of Gotham. The way the boy moved no one would be the wiser that the boy couldn't see.
"Can a normal blind person do this?" Robin jumped up and grabbed a rail using it to swing up onto a fire escape and began climbing up the ladder. "See? I am fine. I can still hear and I can hear the way sound bounces off objects to let me know how close they are. I have memorised the structure of pretty much every single building in Gotham like I knew this fire escape rail would be here because I know this building on the corner of Morgan and Westin. I don't need to see. I know."
By the time they reached the roof of the building Robin could feel his anger subside a little bit since Superboy kept quiet and just let him rant. Perhaps Robin was being a little reckless, even Batman wouldn't go out on patrol blind, at least not by himself. Robin's head still throbbed from the hit he took earlier.
"We should go back." Superboy said after a moment of silence. "Batman will be angry to find you here." The frustration that was starting to fade burned with renewed flames.
"You don't get it do you?" Robin pulled out his grappling hook and secured it to a building across the street. "I am done being treated like a kid. By all of you! For God stakes you are only like six months old!"
"We…"Superboy started but Robin cut him off.
"Save it." And Robin jumped.
Mid swing Robin knew that something was wrong, his line had been strong, but he had not been able to see what the hook was attached to, the compromised metal bent and gave way as Robin's full weight was placed on it. Robin could feel himself falling, unable to see any other place to catch himself on. Robin's mind was working on over drive the he knew this was an office building that was seventeen floors high with a lobby and one mechanical floor that makes this building just shy of fifty meters, problems with office buildings is the lack of anything to grapple onto. He was falling too fast and he knew it, the only hope he had was to catch the lobby awning but if he timed it wrong…
Robin did have to find out when he felt a familiar arm circle around him and the next thing he knew he was soaring through the air with Batman.
"That was reckless and stupid."Robin cringed at the anger in Batman's voice but felt guilt at the worry in his mentor's voice. Once they were back on solid ground and Batman set Robin down on his feet. "What are you trying to prove? That you are capable? Because we all know that you are capable. Your sight is one of your main assets, sure you can function without it but it would be irresponsible of me to let you fight in this condition. It would have been the same had anyone else on the team lost their powers."
"Then why…" All rebellious thoughts and feelings died within him. He was being stupid. They all knew that he was capable. They were trying to protect him because they cared. How could he have been so blind? "I'm sorry…" Robin knew he would be severely punished for this. What Robin didn't expect was for Batman to pull him into his arms. Once he got over his surprise he noticed that the man was shaking. Robin relaxed slightly and hugged his mentor back.
"Don't think this means you are not going to be punished." Batman said still holding on. "You are grounded until your sight returns and you will be scrubbing the entire Batcave with a tooth brush."