N2: YO! How are you my adoring fans? *chirp chirp* ok I get ya' The silent treatment for leaving it at a cliffy and then no updates. Well this is a REALLY long chapter to compensate. I won't harp any longer other than to say I've brought a guest to do the dedication and disclaimer. So please welcome *drum roll* Riqis Inna Sunja! *Riqis walks in and waves* Welcome Riqis thanks for doing this. So go ahead do your thing!
Riqis Inna Sunja: Noa Nee does not own Young Justice, if they did, i would have tracked them down long ago and forced them to sign the Rights to me :)
Thanks Rigis! Hopefully we'll here some more from them in the next chapter. SO the dedication OF COURSE goes to the wonderful author that did our disclaimer and FLUFFY ranger sages's plot dragon! NOW ON WITH THE TOTALLY AWESOME FIC!
Chapter 5: Lifeline
Kid Flash's POV
Zucco pulled the trigger and smiled.
"Bang." Kid Flash watched as his best friend fell in front of him. Robin screamed as the bullet entered his chest, having just recovered from graze in that spot, the bullet reopened the wound, and at point blank range there was no way Zucco could miss he vital organ he was aiming for.
"Robin!" The speedster cried and rushed to catch him. Wally caught the Boy Wonder just before he hit the ground. The thirteen year old was miraculously still conscious, "Hang in there, Rob! We'll get you help soon." The younger teen was barely breathing and blood was coming out of the wound next to his heart. We have to pull out! Thought a panicked teen speedster.
/Aqualad! We have got to get help! / He called out to his leader, who had along with the rest of the team, attacked Zucco.
/Agreed! / Replied his leader, /Miss Martian! Have the Bio-ship meet us outside the tent and prep the medical equipment. /
/O-Okay! /The Martian stuttered she was obviously shaken and under normal circumstances, he would have rushed to comfort her, but now his best friend's life was on the line.
/Hurry! / He urged, each moment lost was a moment lost to the raven-haired boy's life. "Robin? Come on, stay with me now!" he yelled at the boy. Who was still conscious and moaning in pain, "No dying!" Robin looked up and gave a weak grin.
"Well this was a disaster, heavy on the dis, huh KF?" he said making the speedster smile a little back at the English twisting hero.
"Yeah, heavy on the dis." He laughed as he ran out to the bio-ship followed closely by the rest of the team. The door to the bio-ship opened and he placed the small boy on the bed that served as a medical bed, "Rest easy now Rob. Okay?" Robin looked ready to reply when all of a sudden he began to seize and yell out in pain; "Rob!" yelled the speedster as Miss Martian and the others came in. The green female, being the best medic, flew (literally) into action and attempted to stop the bleeding.
"It went in between the third and fourth rib bones and grazed the right lung near the heart." The Martina girl stated, "It's all I can do to stop the bleeding. Truthfully, its amazing Zucco missed his heart. I guess we have Robin's reflexes to thank for that. Apparently he moved at the last second to dodge."
"You are doing just fine Megan. Robin will be fine." Replied Kaldur in a placating tone, albeit sounding a little forced. No one, not even Wally dared question this statement for they all hoped it to be true.
Batman's POV ~ 3 weeks later
It was a nightmare, a truly horrible nightmare. His son lying there broken and bloody, being carried out of the Bio-ship by Superboy. I should have been there for him and now…Batman was racked with guilt at the fact he had sent Dick after Zucco, I knew he was upset. Today is the anniversary after all. Batman watched Dick sleep on the hospital bed in Mount Justice. The medics had quickly gotten the bullet out, but his foster son still hadn't woken up as the medic had promised he would. The team filed in slowly, observing the night personified with caution. Kaldur was the first to speak,
"Batman, I-We want to express our deepest apologies for allowing this to happen to him. But, we also believe we have a right to know what cause Robin to act in such a manner." They're smart kids, thought Batman, Dick trusted them, and so will I.
"Indeed, Kaldur. You do have a right to know." The Caped Crusader replied. The team looked at him in shock, they had obviously not been expecting him to agree,
"Sit." He motioned to the chairs that sat outside the room where the Boy Wonder rested, and the team once again filed out followed by their leader. He closed the door behind him as he watched the team sit and followed their actions as he took the seat closest to the door. Bruce Wayne looked around the room. Kid Flash, Miss Martian, and Superboy sat on the opposite wall, while Kaldur and Artemis were on his left,
"Tell me what Robin told you, and don't lie, because I know he did." They nodded, and quickly recounted the story of how Robin had told them the Zucco had given his first experience with death. Clever, Dick, very clever. Thought Batman, You didn't lie to them outright, but not the whole truth either. When you said you would avoid lying to them you meant it.
"Is it all true, Batman?" Kid Flash asked. Before he could answer, Aqualad replied to the yellow suited teen.
"I believe that he knew the Graysons personally, or he wouldn't have gotten so mad over their deaths. He was to upset for them to be strangers." He looked at the night personified awaiting an answer.
"Most of it is true." Bruce replied, "Zucco did give Robin his first experience with death, but he also knew the Graysons personally."
"I knew it!" cried Wally West, "I knew he wasn't telling the truth on the Bio-ship when he said he had no history with Zucco!"
"If he lied to us then, has he lied to us before?" Miss Martian questioned.
"I don't trust him." Said Superboy, repeating himself for when he said that during the mission.
"Megan is right," added Artemis, "Has he been lying to us the whole time?" Batman couldn't take much more of them questioning his foster son's loyalty.
"Enough." He hadn't raised his voice, but the speculations instantly stopped,
"First, know that Robin didn't want to lie to you on the Bio-ship, and he has never lied to you inside the halls of Mount Justice. He himself told me that he avoid lying to you at all costs."
"Then why did he lie?" said the ever smart aleck Artemis, "He secrets can't be that big, or important?"
"Yes they can, Artemis. Robin is my partner." Batman replied, "If one of you were to let his identity slip, our enemies would us you to get to us." They looked at him in shock, "I'll explain." He paused for a moment to allow them to absorb the information and prepare for the bombshell that was about to hit,
"Aqualad was correct in assuming that Robin knew the Graysons. They were his parents."
Miss Martian's POV
His Parents! The green telepath thought in shock. She could feel the shock rolling off her teammates collectively; they had not been expecting that. No wonder he was so upset!
Kaldur felt his eyes widen in shock. H-His parents! T-That would make him… All of the team had reacted similarly. Expressions of shock, understanding, and horror made up heir expressions. Will Batman tell us his name next?
Kid Flash's POV
Rob's Parents! I-I thought he lived with them in Gotham City! I-I don't understand! Wally stared wide eyed at the closed door that held is best friend. But it does explain why he reacted the way he did. Who is Robin?
Artemis simply stared at Batman. I-I thought I went through a lot with my mom! His parents are d-dead for crying out loud! So his parents were murdered right before his eyes? Wait! If he's the Grayson's son, that means he's…an orphan!
Robin's P-Parents, so that's his secret? Superboy was racked with guilt for saying he didn't trust him. H-He was keeping his identity safe, but why lie to us? Questions pored into Superboy's head. Why, why, why!
Batman once again began to speak,
"Robin his the son of the late Mary and John Grayson's son. He came an orphan when he was nine and became Robin the following year." Batman paused and looked around. Kaldur and the others waited expectantly. We need to know this! Thought Kaldur. Batman began the story,
"They Graysons worked for a circus in Gotham called Haly's Circus. They performed an acrobatic act, called the Flying Graysons. They were the only human beings who could do a triple back flip and catch each other without nets. It was during this stunt that they were murdered."
"Mr. Haly, the circus' proprietor, had gotten into trouble with Anthony Zucco, and Mr. Haly had refused to pay up the money he owed to Zucco. Zucco threatened to kill the employees if Mr. Haly didn't give him the money, but Haly still refused."
"But the Graysons performed anyway. Their son had already left the stage. The parents were ending the act with their signature, the triple back flip and were about to catch each other and the ropes snapped. The Graysons fell to the ground they died of fractured skulls, broken bones, specifically the neck, and many of their vital organs had been crushed on impact." Aqualad did not miss the looks of horror that crossed his team's faces, "The ropes had been cut, but had been sprayed with a chemical mixture that ate away at the rope to make the cut a clean one."
"Robin went out to their bodies as people filled out of the circus. Zucco henchmen found him, before I could get to him. They took him a little ways from the cave interrogated him for information. He gave nothing away, but I still haven't been able to figure out how they interrogated him. It seemed more like torture; when he came running out, he was beaten badly, and Robin still won't go into detail about what happened that night. Robin somehow managed to get out of their hold and came running out screaming for help. I was nearby and managed to get to him fairly quickly and he pointed me to the cave. When I got inside several of Zucco's henchmen were unconscious or injured inside. Zucco was raving like a mad man, and was taken to Blackgate Prison, but was soon transferred to Arkum when it be came clear he was insane."
"Robin came to live with me at my house, and became my legal ward eight months later. He figured out I was Batman and took on the identity Robin four months after he turned ten." Batman finished his recounting of Robin's past and Kaldur and the team were shocked. All that happened? Just what did they do to him? Thought Kaldur I-It's horrible. No one should have to go through that, a-and yet…he did, and he manages to smile, laugh even! Even after that and Neptune know what else. The dark skinned Atlantean leader felt a whole new degree of respect for his younger teammate.
"W-Why did he chose the name Robin?" Artemis questioned.
"He never told me." Replied the cowled man in black, "But I suspect it has something to do with a nickname of his as a child." Kaldur'ahm fell back into thought about the information he had just heard. Batman stood,
"He should be waking up shortly, when he does contact me."
"Wait!" yelled Kid Flash, who along with the others had temporarily lost his voice and was apparently the first to regain the ability to speak, "You didn't tell us his name!" Batman turned back to look at them.
"That is now his choice to make." The black caped hero began to walk away his cape billowing out ceremoniously behind him. When he disappeared from view, the team turned to look at each other, wondering what to do with this knowledge of their little brother.
"That's horrible." Megan summed up what they were all thinking.
"We should go in there." Artemis said standing up, "We need to be there when he wakes up." Kaldur nodded and followed the female green arrow into the hospital room. The others followed close behind. Wally ran into the room and skidded to a stop beside the bed on which the Boy Wonder was sleeping. Wally began to speak, summing up what they all wanted to say,
"Hey, Rob. Batman just told us what happened to your parents. Geez man, how could you bare all that for so long? Why did you never say anything? Was it because Batman told you not to? Was it because you don't trust us? Or was it because you just…couldn't? Was it all just to painful to recount? Heck, Batman had a hard time telling us, and it's not even his story. Why, Rob? Why didn't you tell us? Why won't you just wake up so I can yell this to your face?" Wally yelled that last part. Kaldur walked up behind him and placed a hand on the fifteen-year-old speedster.
"Wally is right, Robin. On all counts, we are all thinking the same thing no telepathy required. Why did you not ever say anything? I feel a whole new respect for you. Though you may be younger in years, I feel you are worlds older in experience, not just as a hero but mentally as well." Artemis spoke next,
"Kaldur and, I never thought I'd say this, Wally are right. Why wouldn't you tell us? We're more than a team now, we're family. Whether we like it or not, and family trusts each other with these kind of secrets." After Artemis finished speaking they all stared at the young hero, as if waiting for a response. There was none. Robin still had his mask on, and the top off his uniform was open to reveal the thick bandages that held the blood inside of him. An IV was in a bin next to his arm, indicating that he should be waking up now that he wasn't being given a sedative. Overall, his appearance was one of a fallen hero.
"Come on!" yelled Wally suddenly, moving at so fast even Conner's advanced eyes had trouble keeping up. The other members of the team saw Robin's arms moving and his body shaking like some invisible person was trying to shake him into waking up, "Come on, Rob! You're not the type to go down like this! WAKE UP!" As if responding to his friend's voice Robin began to stir. Wally stopped moving and the others gathered around his bed their faces leaning in over his. The Boy Wonder opened his eyes slowly.
"AHHH!" he yelled and sat straight up nearly crashing heads with Wally and instead knocking his head against Kaldur's forehead.
"Ouch!" He yelled while Kaldur simply rubbed his head.
Dang! Why is the World against me today? That hurt! The sight of his team leaning over his bed had been frightening, but coupled with the fact that his head had smacked against a much thicker Atlantean skull, made him pretty mad.
"What the Heck!" he yelled at them. Wally laughed sheepishly, while the other just looked relieved, "What's the big idea! Leaning over me like that! Ow!" He yelled again as his chest erupted in pain. That's right he remembered I got shot.
"Robin!" Megan cried as she swooped over to his side, "Are you alright? You just got shot, you should be more careful!" Smiling at the Martian girl's motherly attempts, even if it was a bit obvious. He obliged and lay back down.
"Geez, Rob? You really had us worried there." Added Kid Flash.
"Sorry Wally." He said with a grin.
"Umm, Rob. I-We kindda have a confession." The teen speedster said suddenly turning serious.
"What?" Dick replied. Now he was getting worried. Had Zucco told them?
"Well, while you were out…"Wally seemed unable to continue. KF also seemed unable to make eye contact with the younger vigilante. Robin recognized that look on his face. He had seen it so many times before…on criminals who knew he was going to take them out, fear. Behind his mask, his eyes widened, his best friend was afraid of him! He looked at the others and they had similar expressions on their faces. They were all afraid of him! Kaldur placed a hand on Wally's shoulder stopping him from continuing.
"While you were asleep Batman told us of your connection to Zucco and…your parents." Robin gasped. Batman? Bruce Wayne? King of secrets? He had told them his name?
"H-He told you my name?" The thirteen-year-old stuttered.
"No," Aqualad told him, "He only told us of your history, he said you're free to tell us you're name if want to."
"Oh." Robin looked away from his team, "Well?"
"Well what?" asked Artemis.
"Don't you have questions? I can answer them freely now."
"Yeah, we have questions!" yelled Wally, "Like, Why didn't you tell us any of this? Do you not trust us? Have you lied to us before? Why didn't you say you were an orphan? And most importantly, WHAT'S YOU'RE NAME!"
"Slow down, KF. Which one do I answer first?" the Boy Wonder responded. His best friends out break had really hurt his ears since he had been yelling the whole time.
"Why didn't you tell us this sooner?" Superboy answered before the speedy teen could say any more about the name thing. Robin mentally thanked Conner. The Boy Wonder took a deep breath and answered. This is gonna be tough.
"I didn't tell you because…Batman told me I couldn't. You knew that Wally, why did you need to ask? Also, I guess I wasn't sure if I wanted to. Why did you need to know? But now I guess that it was wrong. We're a team, and a team doesn't keep secrets like that."
"Okay next question," KF stated, "Do you trust us?"
"Absolutely," Dick answered with hesitation, "I trust you guys with my life, literally. I hated lying to you. That's why I avoided answering questions that steered to close to my past or my identity."
"But on the Bio-Ship you lied to us about not knowing Zucco." Megan added, "What about then?"
"I hated that. I told Batman I would avoid lying to you as much as I could, but you know that lying and keeping secrets is a part of my life. In my house there are always secret, so keeping them has been come second nature. Opening up to people is…difficult for me to do, after all these years of keeping secrets, it may take a while for me to be able to be open with people." The team was silent.
"Alright." Kaldur said, "We understand. And now, do you trust us enough to tell us your name?" Dick opened his mouth to answer when suddenly the door opened and Red Tornado walked in.
"Are you feeling well, Robin?" The android hero asked in a robotic monotone voice.
"Yeah, I've been through worse!" The Boy Wonder replied cheerily. Good timing, Red Tornado! The surviving Grayson was relieved at their "babysitter's" timing. He was still unsure if he was ready to tell the team his name, despite what he told them in the cave.
"Excellent." Red Tornado replied, "The Batman contacted me and said he required the team to fulfill their capture of Anthony Zucco, as he has been spotted again near Gotham's perimater. Whether Robin comes with you or not he has left up to you to decide." With out waiting for the team to reply, Dick answered,
"I'm coming with you." There was a split second of silence and then they all began to talk at once. "Are you sures?" and "Are you really up to its?" became one loud buzzing before he had to stop them from exploding his ear drums, "Guys!" he yelled and they sufficiently shut up, "You're all whelming me! No matter what you say I'm going with you…besides I need to ask him something…" The team was silent.
"Okay, Rob, okay." KF said quietly, "Come on!" the speedster began to lift him up from the bed. As Robin started to fall, Kaldur grabbed his upper arm, and pulled him to a standing position. Dick Grayson smiled at his big brother figure; the silent show of support meant more to the small hero than the Atlantean knew. Kaldur helped him get steady then turned to the rest of the team.
"Young Justice, Let's go!"
The flight on the Bio-ship was silent except for the occasional sound of weapons being checked. Artemis had been immersed in her thoughts when a sudden thought occurred to her.
"Hey, Robin?" she called to the Boy Wonder sitting in the seat on her left.
"Hm?" He said looking up from the birdarang he had been sharpening.
"Well, Me'gann said that the bullet missed your heart because you started to dodged at the last minute. Why didn't you get out of the way and avoid getting shot with a .38?" The rest of the team turned to look at Batman's protégé.
"Simple. Wally was behind me." He answered as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"What do you mean, Wally was behind me?" asked Artemis replied.
"Well I wasn't about to let my best friend get shot now was I?" The thirteen-year-old vigilante replied and went back to sharpening his weapon. Everyone stared at him for a moment in shock. The rest of the way was flown in silence.
Touch down in the outskirts of Gotham was smooth and uninterrupted.
/No sign of any enemies, Aqualad. / Dick told his team's leader, /I'm going to find out what I can from the computer. /
/Good. / Replied the Atlantean leader, /See if you can find out where he's hiding, perhaps we can set up an ambush. /
/On it. / The thirteen-year-old replied and after a pause suddenly spoke, /Hey in disappear and appear are opposites. Then is escape the opposite of cape? I mean instead of getting out of a placed you get in? / The team laughed out loud. Little id they know they were entering hell and that laugh would be their lifeline.
OHHHH sorry that took so long! No excuses I was just being a little lazy :-( i hope you enjoyed it. I thinks it's pretty good myself. SO the FYIs
A .38 is a type of gun, sorry a didn't mention it in the fic, but I couldn't find the right place. Sorry if Batman is a little OOC, but I have a hard time writing him i rewrote it like 3 times before I got it right. If you've got any questions places them in the form of wonderful reviews, because i'm to lazy to go back and look for all the confusing parts, plus i don't feel so hot right now so... R+R please! and i got ALOT of reviews complaining about thet lack of realism so I added a time skip and kindda fixed it soI hope it's more realistic now cause its not gonna get much better. Also sorry about the really REALLY bad Robin english part (the part just above this part) I know it's horrible. lol
Thanks a bunch ~Noa Nee