That explosion… that explosion should have torn his face clean off. Melted his face off. It should have— even with Batman swooping in to save him those last few seconds from a fiery death inside that courthouse. The high temperature from it gave Robin lasting effects, making the somewhat peeling skin on his cheeks and his temples sting and itch…crawl and itch ("There weren't any traces of atomic residue from the bomb's explosion nor were there anything unusual about the readings, you'll be fine," and Batman doesn't lie to him, he never lies). Robin supposed that Two-Face was hoping to high Hell that it would have destroyed part of him for the very least and, of course… with Batman distracted, he got away.

Now they would have to track him all over again ("If you had been more careful this wouldn't have happened," and Batman's cowl does not mask the obvious disappointment… no… don't…please).

They would have to start over again ("I expected better from you…", and Robin's skin started itching, itching, itching, and he sat on his hands quietly until they pulled the Cave's parking entrance).

He was stupid, stupid, stupid

Robin's bare, long and pale fingers were twitching into his palms when he entered the bathroom. The long mirror showed where his once spotless and bright uniform and cape had been dirtied from the mission. Nothing singed. Flame-resistant clothing was useful. At least something had been useful. Robin reached up or his eye mask, feeling along for the adhesive edges. A procedure that should have taken only mere moments to finish progressed into terror as Robin's fingers scrambled for purchase.

Not coming off, not coming off, not coming off

The plugged sink water muddied to a chalky gray color as Robin scrubbed his face, scrubbed hard, hard (stinging, itching) and as he choked on the scalding water spouting from the faucet head (and it burned, it burned into his gasping mouth and into his nose) as he continued scrubbing to get at his eyes. Dampened and heavy with the water, the mask slid down on one side, and Robin ripped the remainder of it from his face, rasping out a short, pained scream when the right side clung to him.

He wiped the cloudy steam from the mirror with his uniform's sleeve to see his magenta-flushing face and his own dilated blue eyes. The lines of grime and purpled scabs circling around the outside of his eyes and the bridge of his nose perfectly shaped the outline of his mask. Terror instead clenched the walls of his throat.

No, no, no

Robin's fingers scrambled once again on his own face, digging into the marks, digging into the scabs to remove them. (It hurt… why… itching… not coming off…) Fresh blood trickled between the beds of his nails. School. Chem test. Wally. M'gann. Supes. Kaldur. Artemis. Secret identity. Rules. No exceptions.

They will know, they will know, they will know

Robin froze up when he was spun around in place and his twitching hands were snatched from him and held between two very tensed, very large hands. "No one will know," and Batman's scarred, pale hands squeezed, smudging with Robin's blood, as he murmured calmly, "Dick… …you are okay…"

(And Batman doesn't lie to him, he never lies…)


Prompt from YJ Anon Meme: "Robin - On those days in Wayne Manor, he doesn't recognize the face in the mirror." I did some alterations and twisted the prompt a bit to suit what I was writing. Mostly because I got a very graphic visual image of Robin trying to claw himself as he looked into the bathroom mirror. I kinda just ran with my ideas. Oh, the Robin whump/angst/whatever... I never get tired of writing you...