YAY! Everyone's been waiting for the last chapter- ROBIN! (but this makes the story slightly more Robic-centric- AS IT SHOULD BE!)
I do not own Young Justice or the Justice League
Robin walked out, ready for whatever this machine threw at him. He had gotten all the way to level six! And, from what he had seen, he assumed it was set to level 5. He had already beaten that, so how hard could this really be? He had faced Joker, Penguin, and Scarecrow in level six, and he had beaten them all! What could this machine possible throw at him?
His froze. "Oh, God..."
In the command center, Batman revved the level up to 8. Diana grabbed his hand. "Bruce! What do you think you're doing-"
"He can handle it," Batman snapped. "He already got to level six. This should be no problem for him."
Diana looked unconvinced, and the other Leaguers all seemed nervous as they watched the Boy Wonder.
Slowly, everything in his eyes faded to black.
Then, the circus appeared.
Robin felt all of the blood drain from his face as he saw the yellow and red tent, the ring on the floor, and- the trapeze bars. He looked up at the perches where the acrobats would wait for their turn.
Suddenly, a spotlight flashed in Robin's eyes. His own voice came over an invisible microphone. "Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, I give you, YOUNG JUSTICE!"
Robin gaped up at the perch. He saw Wally grabbing the bar. "No!" he cried out, trying to stop his friend.
But Wally jumped.
As he swung by, just at the arc of the swing, the ropes snapped.
"NO!" Robin screamed. Wally fell, down, down, down, down, down...
Kid Flash's head compacted with the hard ground. Blood exploded everywhere. Robin cried out as he felt his heart being ripped in two. The spotlight lit up the scene of red liquid all around his best friend's body. "No, no, no, no, no!" the young boy cried as he held his friend to his chest.
The spotlight lit up the perch again, and Robin gasped when he saw Artemis.
"NO!" he shrieked, running to catch her as she fell.
Her body crashed against the ground, too, becoming a mess of blood, bones, muscle, and skin. Robin fell to his knees, crying. He heard more crunches, CRUNCH, CRUCH, CRUNCH!
He didn't want to, but some force made him look up.
He was surrounded, a perfect circle, of his teammates, soaking in blood and looking at him with empty eyes. Tears streamed down Robin's face as he felt their blood seeping into the dirt below him.
"Nu, nu, nu, nu!" he screamed. "Wally... Artemis... Kaldur... Miss M... Superboy... Nu, nu, nu, nu, nu!" He pulled on his hair. The spotlight again ran up to the perch. Again, an outside force made the boy looked up. His tear-stained face paled when he saw Bruce- Bruce, in his normal clothes, a not-too-fancy suit and black dress shoes, grab onto the bar.
"NU!" he shrieked, grabbing his hair just as Bruce put both hands on the bar. "Nu te grabi! Nu! Nu! Ai sa cazi! Bruce! Bruce! Tazi! Nu ti grabi! NU!"
He heard the CRUNCH!
Memories flooded back.
"Okay, Dickie," his mother said, patting her son's hair down. "Wait for your cue, okay, draga?"
The black-haired boy nodded, his blue eyes shining with pride as he saw his father walk up. "Mary, we need to go. Our cue is coming up."
He crouched down to be eye-to-eye with his son. He grabbed the boy's arms gently and kissed his forehead, wiping the long locks from his son's face. "I'm proud of you, Richard," he said with a grin. "This is your first show with us without a net!"
Dick nodded, trying to hide his nerves. But his parents saw. His mother crouched down next to her husband and held Richard's hand. "I won't let you fall, draga. Okay? Do you trust Mamica and Tati?"
Richard nodded, and his father kissed him again before saying, "Te iubesc, Fiul."
Richard hugged his father. "I love you, too, Tati."
Mary and John walked out to the perch, holding eachother's hands. Richard heard Mr. Haley cry out, "THE FLYING GRAYSONS!"
His mother and father did a few flips. Richard watched proudly, but heard something.
He turned sharply and saw a man with a long, white scar running down his cheek. He held a long butcher's knife. "Hey!" Dick cried, recognizing the man as the mobster who had threatened Mr. Haley and John Grayson the night before. He had wanted money for 'protection' as he put it, but the two co-owners of Haley's Circus had rejected him and called the police.
The man turned and grinned at the eight-year-old. "Hiya, Boyo! How're the parents? Not too good soon, I'd think..." And he walked off.
Richard mumbled to himself in Romanian, wondering aloud what the mean man had meant.
Dick ran out onto the perch. He saw his mother arc as his father held onto her ankles. She came back to him, her hands out. But suddenly, her eyes grew wide. She screamed in Romanian, "FIUL!"
"NU!" Dick screamed, falling to his knees just as his parents fell to their deaths. He saw the whole thing- he heard the whole thing- the CRUNCH that went with the cracking of their skulls and bones, the SQUISH that went with their insides being tossed around, the SPLAT of their blood exploding everywhere.
He knew what the mean man had meant now.
He reached their sides and sat in the blood, sobbing his eyes out. "Mamica! Taticul! Nu, nu, nu! Sa nu fi mort! Nu ma lasa! Nu poti! Te-ai zis ca iubesti-ma! Nu ma lasa singur aici!"
Robin didn't realize that he had been screaming out those exact words aloud. The same words he had screamed to them almost five years ago. He was on his knees, shaking violently, holding his hair in his hands.
Batman saw his son shaking. He paled and turned off the machine as he started screaming in his first language. All of the Leaguers ran after Batman as he dashed out onto the practice floor.
Robin was still shaking, still crying, still screaming in pain. His team surrounded him, trying to consol the young teenager. But he wouldn't be consolled. "De ce? De ce? Dumnezeu ma uraste! Li lasa sa moara! Bruce, Bruce este mort... Mama este mort... Tati este mort... Eu sint singur... Toate singur... Nu, nu, nu, nu, nu! NU! NU! NU! Omoara-ma! Omoara-ma! OMOARA-MA!"
Batman shoved away the teens and grabbed Robin's chin in one hand, untangling his left hand from his hair with the other. "Robin, Robin..."
Batman's heart broke when he heard those words. He didn't know much Romanian, but he knew what those words meant... "KILL ME! KILL ME!"
Robin's face was red, and he still wasn't responding.
"ROBIN!" Batman shouted.
Robin's eyes snapped open, and he saw his father. He shuddered and threw his arms around Batman as he wept, speaking to him. "Te-ai aruncat, Bruce... Te-ai aruncat, si ai cazut, si tu... tu... m-ai parasit, asa cum au facut!" he cried out.
Batman tried to hush him. "Robin, Robin I would never let that happen..." he whispered in his son's ear as the others made a protective circle around the mentor and apprentice. "Robin, I would never leave you..."
Robin kept babbling in Romanian. The words echoed in Bruce's mind as they were spoken: "Kill me!... Don't leave me, Bruce... You jumped, just like they did... Wally and M'gann and- and the others all jumped... I saw the blood... All the blood... So much blood... Kill me!"
Bruce picked his son up in a cradle-hold and swiftly walked away towards the boy's room in Mount Justice. Barry, Oliver, and Clark followed. Kid Flash tried to follow, but Kaldur'ahm grabbed his arm.
"What?" he exploded on his leader. "Look, Rob's hurt, or upset, or... something! I've got to be there for him!"
"We need to let Batman deal with him," Kaldur replied evenly.
Kid Flash looked furious, but he didn't try to leave.
The Young Justice turned to the adult heroes. Green Lantern and Hawkgirl stood there, shocked at what had happened. Green Lantern was also angry, angry at Batman for turning up the level so high. That's what had set Dick off like that... J'onn was trying to consol M'gann, who was, for a lack of better terms, flipping out. Black Canary was trying to keep Superboy from killing someone. Red Tornado seemed indifferent. And Diana- Diana was pale, the blood drained from her face.
Artemis brought it up first. "What the heck was Rob saying?"
Diana almost collapsed at this. Shayera and John helped her sit on the couch. Kaldur'ahm rushed to the woman's side. "Wonder Woman, ma'am, are you well?"
She shook her head, eyes still wide open, face still pale. She tried to form words. "He- he was- he was speaking Romanian..."
Superboy was a bit calmer. He cocked an eyebrow. "How does Robin know Romanian?"
Diana didn't want to give anything away, and the other Leaguers looked at her sharply as if to say "Change the subject, change the subject..."
"He was trained by Batman," she lied.
"But why Romanian and not English?" Artemis accused.
Shayera gave in first. "It's his first language, even before English."
Young Justice looked incredulous. Wally approached Wonder Woman. "What was he saying?"
She shuddered, shaking her head, and repeated the phrase that stuck out in her brain. "Omoara-ma... Omoara-ma..." Everyone looked at her worriedly.
"What does it mean?" M'gann asked slowly, innocently.
Diana, tears overflowing, wetting her eyelashes, looked M'gann in the eyes. "Kill me..."
Meanwhile, Bruce was tucking his son into bed, having removed the boy's cape, belt, shoes, and gloves. He rubbed the boy's head slowly, holding his hand the whole time as Dick muttered over and over, "Au murit... Au murit... Au murit..."
Tears filled his eyes, and the Dark Knight struggled to hide them.
Only Oliver, Barry, and Clark felt like Robin was their nephew, they were all extremely worried. Clark was also furious, furious as in super P.O.'ed. He glared at Bruce. "You just had to up the level, didn't you?"
Bruce stood to face Clark, but Robin whimpered and reached for his father's hand. Bruce sat back down, his eyes on Dick the whole time. But Clark wasn't done. "He saw them, didn't he? He saw them die-"
"NU!" Robin screamed at the 'd' word. "NU! NU! NU! MAMICA! TATI!"
Bruce hushed his son and glared at Clark, the Bat-glare, no- even worse than the Bat-glare- it was the Daddy-Bats-Glare.
Barry sat on the other side of the bed and held Robin's free hand as the boy wept. Oliver pulled Clark away. "Bruce didn't realize that Dick would see his- would see them..."
"Well he should have!" Clark growled.
Barry opened his mouth to speak, but Bruce cut him off. "Clark's right... It was a stupid move. I should have known... It's just, he told me about how the other times he had done it, it was Joker and Freeze and Scarecrow and Penguin, but never..." A tear slipped from beneath his mask. He quickly turned away from his teammates, but they had seen it. "I-" his voice croaked. "I'm a fool..."
Robin had fallen asleep, but Bruce didn't move.
It was silent for the longest of moments, then Barry said, "The kids are gonna want to know what he was saying, and what he... saw and all-"
"He didn't just remember it, Barry," Bruce snapped. Barry recoiled. "He-" Bruce stammered as he continued, "-he saw his teammates jump... He relived that moment... He lived in his team's de- in that moment..." His voice broke again. "He saw me fall..."
It was quiet again.
Bruce suddenly said, "Omoara-ma..."
"What?" Barry and Oliver said in unison.
"What he said last," Bruce spoke with no emotion, "Omoara-ma..."
"What does it mean?" Clark asked slowly.
Bruce didn't answer.
Barry and Oliver eyed eachother, then went to leave. "We'll think something up to tell the kids and the others," Barry said over his shoulder. They left.
Clark put a hand on Bruce's shoulder, and, shockingly, the Dark Knight didn't pull away. Clark opened his mouth to speak, but didn't know what to say. He stood there, mouth opening and closing like a fish for a few moments, then snapped his jaws shut. He squeezed Bruce's shoulder, then left the room, shutting the door behind him, sending the room into complete shadows.
Robin's voice sounded in the black. When had he woken up? "Bruce?..."
"I'm here, Dick," Batman said, blindly brushing hair from his son's face. "I'm not leaving, I promise. And, Dickie, I am so, so sorry about... About the Check... I-"
"Don't," Dick said suddenly. "Don't, Bruce... It wasn't your fault. The test was to see if we could face our fears. I guess I'm just not as strong as I thought I was... I'm a weakling..."
"You were on level 8."
Dick froze. "W-what?"
"I set them on level 5, but I thought you could handle level 8."
Robin suddenly chuckled. Bruce frowned. "Dick, what's-"
"You are finally wrong. For once, you're wrong..."
Bruce sighed. "Dick, I..."
Dick's eyes flew around the room. Now that they had adjusted to the dark, he could barely see his father's blue eyes mirroring his own.
Bruce spoke. "Dick, you are the strongest person I know... To have gone through everything you've gone through-" Dick flinched, and Bruce gripped his hand tighter, "- Dick, I just mean... I'm proud of you, son..."
Dick smiled softly, then nestled deeper into his pillow. "B- Bruce?"
"W- Will you stay with me?"
Bruce smiled and nodded. "Yes, I'll stay."
And he sat there for the next eight hours while Robin slept, rubbing circles into the boy's hand. "I love you, son," he said softly, kissing Robin's forehead.
To his surprise, there came an answer: "Te iubesc, prea, Tata..."
"I love you, too, Dad..."