I'm holding a challenge, just because I feel there should be more of these. I want you lovingly awesome people to write a one-shot or a song fic or something along the lines of that about one of the following subjects:

1). Robin.

2). Robin and his dead parents

3). Robin and his relationship with Bruce [family wise]

4). Robin and how awkward it is for him to be the youngest member of the team, or how awkward it is for him to not have powers.

5). Robin after an unmentioned fight with someone close to him

6). A vulnerable, distraught Robin

It has to be longer than 1,000 words and can be no longer than one chapter. It has to be mostly about Robin and I'd prefer if it wasn't all happy and mushy and all that junk because I'm not in a mood to be happy. If I don't review it in 2 or more days, send me the URL or title through an inbox message and I'll let you all vote… I just want more stories like the six above out there.

If you do, I'll be awfully grateful! Shouldn't grateful be spelled like great-full? I mean, a grate is like, a hole with bars in front of it to keep larger objects from entering it, and when I say grateful, I am not talking about those. I am referring to thinking that you're full of greatness, not grate-ness. I hate the English language :P But still, please? It's something to do…?

-I'll start, just 'cause I'm bored, but mine won't count—

Caged Birds

Richard's wary eyes were trained on the cage in front of him. He stood silently, his face masking uncontrollable anger. His body shook slightly, his hands bunched into fists and his teeth gritted. He wasn't angry at the poor soul in the cage in the least. In fact, he empathized with it and wanted nothing more than to free it from its prison. He was angry at the owner. Actually, anger was an understatement. Richard was as furious as a ten year old with a history like his could be at the man.

Inside the cage was a small robin, its stomach a deep orange and its wings a dark gray, its head as black as could be. It beat its wings tirelessly, fighting against the bars of the cage, attempting to break free. It chirped furiously before falling to its perch, his wings weakly wrapping around it again in pain. Feathers lay abandoned at the bottom of the cage from the times they had been torn off by the frantic beatings they had been given by the metal of the cage.

Richard's blue eyes burned with hated as his eyes stayed on the bird. He wished he could speak its native tongues and promise it that he could help it, that he could grant it the freedom it longed if it gave Richard the wings he needed to fly far away. He wished that his hands could pass through the bars and that he could pick up the robin and gently stroke its feathers, making its desperate prayers for help turn to gentle chirps of happiness and relief, if only brief.

A hand was set on Richard's jacketed shoulder and he nearly jumped out of his skin before whirling around and raising his hand, ready to pimp slap whoever was there[1]. His heart slowed and his hand lowered when he recognized Bruce staring down at him, confusion seen only in his eyes, nowhere else.

"Are you alright?" Bruce asked, his voice gentle.

Richard didn't answer. Instead, he just turned back around and rested a hand against the cage. The robin in the cage suddenly leapt forward and nipped his finger, breaking the skin. Richard jerked back his hand in horror, holding his hand to his chest in surprise. He glanced at his hand, relieved to see how little blood there was. He stuck the edge of his finger with the bite into his mouth and licked the blood from it before returning his hand to his side. Bruce looked ready to toss the bird cage across the room, but he remained calm.

Richard stared intently at the bird, turning his head gently to the side. The bird copied him and the two gazed into each other's eyes for a long while.

"Dick… I'll be with Mr. Morrison… We're leaving in five minutes."

Richard nodded briefly as Bruce walked away, his eyes still on the bird. He heard the bird chirp pitifully and flail its arms against the bars again.

"Stop," Richard cried, finally cracking.

Bruce froze at what had been Richard's first word in the past two days. He turned to see what Richard meant. He felt disappointed to see that his ward's voice had been directed toward the caged bird, not him. The bird let out a beautiful warble, as if it hoped Richard understood his foreign tongue.

"Quit fighting! Quit singing!" he begged, his voice barely above a whisper.

The robin cocked its head to the side, staring intently at Richard, blinking in its awkward fashion twice before it began to attempt to fly away again, much to Richard's frustration.

"No! You're like me! We can't fly away!" he scolded the bird, sorrow in his eyes but anger heavy on his face.

The bird stopped flying and chirped furiously back at Richard. Bruce watched, cocking his own head to the side, confused by the exchange of words and warbles. The bird kept on chirping, its words sounding like music to Bruce's ears.

"Stop singing…" Richard commanded, covering his ears. "You're caged! You're trapped! Why do you sing? Why?"

"Dick, please stop," Bruce ordered his ward.

Richard, whose mouth was open as if he still had more to say, closed his mouth angrily, but he didn't turn to face the man who he legally belonged to now. The bird continued to sing and slowly beat its wings, as if telling a story to the broken hearted, parentless boy of ten years. The blue eyed boy listened intently, looking for a trace, a hint, a suggestion of an answer. Then he thought that he finally understood. He turned around slowly towards Bruce and blinked his eyes slowly, looking up at the man before him. Bruce blinked back, as if the blinks actually meant something.

"Do you… know why the caged bird sings?" Richard said the first words directed towards Bruce in a week.

Bruce was silent, thinking hard. He could think of no explanation though. They had nothing left to turn to, taunted by images outside of their reach.

"I don't," he admitted.

Richard blinked, as if waiting patiently for Bruce to continue. Bruce noticed.

"Do you know why?" Bruce asked.

For the first time in a long while, Richard smiled softly. He turned around and unlocked the bird's cage door and backing up, letting the bird fly up and away, listening to it warbling happily. His smile widened to a grin, his eyes sparkling.

"Because he has hope of one day flying away to get to what has been right in front of him and out of his reach his whole life. Hope is why he keeps singing," Richard replied, his eyes tracing the bird's flight.

Bruce tried not to think of the Hell he would receive from Mr. Morrison later when he heard that Bruce's ward had released his prized robin from its cage, but he did think hard on Richard's words. It was as if he had it planned, as if he had rehearsed it all.

Dick…he thought gently to himself, his eyes soft. Is that how you feel? Do you want to fly away too?

Richard couldn't hear his thoughts though. Instead, he held out a hand weakly to let the robin fall on. The bird flew down to his finger, gripping it light the perch. It warbled happily to the black haired boy, rubbing its soft head against the cut on his finger, almost in an apology. Richard lowered his hand to in front of him and stroked the bird softly, hearing it sing happily of freedom and hope. The smile on his face caused silent happy warbles of his own in Bruce's ears and he watched as his own Robin held his future in his hands.

Richard mouthed something to the bird and obediently, it flew up into the air and landed up on one of the many high bookshelves that belonged to Mr. Morrison. Then Richard, still smiling happily, turned to Bruce, ready to go.

I'm the reason the caged bird sang…he thought to himself, feeling a funny feeling deep in his heart.

He knew, deep down, that the feeling wouldn't last, but it held him down now. That feeling made him feel like singing happily until the day he grew a pair of his own beautiful wings and could fly off to get what was right in front of him, just out of his reach.

[1] My best friend, every time you tap her shoulder, she turns around and raises her hand, ready to pimp slap people, so I felt that this was necessary.

This was inspired by a shirt I saw my friend wearing. It said 'I'm the reason the caged bird sings' and it inspired this. Thanks, and if you enter the contest, good luck and what not. Thanks! Review? (I worked hard on this)