I OWN NOTHING! (WAH!)
Superman looked around the conference room. "Flash..." Barry waved, a grin on his lips. "Wonder Woman..." Diana smiled. "Martian Manhunter..." J'onn nodded. "Hawk- Shayera?" Shayera nodded, blushing at the almost-use of her old name. Superman sent her an apologetic glance. "Green Lantern?" John said gruffly, "Present." Superman looked at the empty chair across the table. "Where's Ba-"
The metal doors whisked open, and Batman walked in, his right leg moving stiffly. He stopped in front of his seat, looking at the others. "Sorry I'm late," he grunted. He looked down at his closed cape. "Okay, I have to sit down now, lad, so you need to let go."
Everyone exchanged confused glances, but, just then, 8-year-old Robin poked his head out of the cape, his mouth in a frightened frown. He whimpered as Batman picked him up, pulling him out of the black cape. Everyone gasped when they saw all of the bandages on the boy's hands, arms, legs, head, and a tiny one on his cheek. He cuddled into Batman's chest as the Dark Knight sat down. Superman eyed Batman. "Bruce... why is Richard here?"
Batman gave Superman his best Daddy-Bats-Glare ever. "He encountered Jo- him about two nights ago... I didn't have the heart to leave him at hone. He's been following me around since... then..."
Barry turned to Batman and stroked black locks out of Robin's face. "You're just here to make sure Big Ol' Bats stays safe, aren't you?"
Robin nodded slowly, holding tightly onto Batman's suit as he whimpered. Batman sighed, putting a hand on Robin's head. "Go to sleep, lad. This won't take too long..." Robin nodded and closed his eyes, sniffling heavily and gasping as he held tighter onto Batman's suit. Bruce abruptly swung his cape over the boy so that no one would stare at him during the meeting. Everyone was quiet. "Well..." Batman grumbled. "Are we going to start or not?"
Superman gaped for a moment, then blushed. "Right."
He turned to the holo-board and started the meeting.
The whole time, Robin was awake. He listened tentatively as Superman spoke about Lex Luthor's latest plan. He talked about how one of his arch-nemises, Blood-Rite, had been missing for some time now. Flash put in how Captain Cold had been gone, and Green Lantern spoke of a man called Sinestro. Batman nodded, and Robin felt the movement. He closed his eyes again, trying to go to sleep. Batman's voice rang out, muffled by the cape.
"I haven't seen Joker doing anything major, besides two nights-"
Robin whimpered loudly, and Batman's eyes grew wide. He opened the cape and saw Robin crying, shaking. He held him closely. "Ssh... Ssh, lad. I'm sorry I said his name... Ssh..."
Robin tried to stiffle a wail, but Bruce saw his lips part in a silent sob. He looked to Superman, who nodded. Batman stood and left, taking Robin to his quarters.
When they got in, Robin wailed and began to weep loudly, his shoulders shaking violently. His head hurt, his lungs burned, and his arm felt like it was on fire. Batman took his cowl off, becoming Bruce Wayne, Robin's foster father, once more. He shushed the child softly, murmering soothing words like: "It's okay, lad..." and "You're safe now..." He brushed the child's jet-black hair from his face. "It's okay, Dick... You're safe... You're safe..."
Outside, Green Arrow, Zatanna, Elastic Man, and Wild Cat were walking by. They stopped suddenly at the door when they heard the high-pitched weeping. Green Arrow frowned and put his ear to the door. He could hear talking, but couldn't make out what was being said. He knocked. "Bats? Bats, you okay?"
Batman stood, but Robin grabbed his arm. "Don't leave, Tata... Please..."
Batman sighed and sat back down next to the bed. He turned to the door. "Come in."
The door opened slowly, and Oliver, Zatanna, Ralph, and Wild Cat walked in slowly, cautiously. Oliver's face bunched up when he saw Robin, or rather Dick, since his mask was off. He swiftly moved over to crouch next to Batman. "What happened?" he whispered to the Dark Knight.
Bruce sighed as he rubbed Robin's head. The boy whimpered and grabbed Oliver's hand. The man smiled weakly at the boy, then said, "Go to sleep, Dickie..."
The boy nodded and drifted off. Batman stood slowly, turning to the others. Oliver stayed at Dick's side. "Who's the kid?" Wild Cat growled (he wasn't angry, it's just how he spoke).
"My ward," Bruce said, pulling up his cowl. "Richard Grayson, Bruce Wayne's foster son."
The three nodded knowingly. It was common knowledge- the identities of the Founding Seven. "What happened?" Zatanna asked quietly, gazing at the boy, whose cheeks were stained with tears.
Batman sighed heavily. "Joker broke out of Arkham two nights ago. I told Robin to stay put, but he snuck into the Bat-Mobile when I took off. Joker hit me with laughing gas, and, by the time I injected myself with the antidote, he was beating Robin with a piece of plywood."
Ralph winced, his neck stretching out towards the bed to get a better look at the boy. "He looks pretty busted up, Bats," he said as his neck returned to the normal human length. Batman growled, "Don't you think I know that? I kind of dressed his wounds."
Zatanna walked over to the bed. "I can put a spell on his that will take away some of the pain. It will put him to sleep for a couple of hours, though."
Batman hated magic with a passion, but if it would help his Little Bird... He nodded. "Do it."
Zatanna nodded, drawing out her wand from some invisible pocket. Her eyes went bright blue as she waved it over the boy's head, sending neon blue sparks all around his face. "Niap, niap, esaler siht s'dlich lous..."
Robin's pained face suddenly relaxed. Bruce gave a small smile to the magician as she strolled over to the door. "Thank you," he mumbled.
Zatanna, grinning, nodded. "Tell me when he wakes up. I can do the spell again, if he needs it." And she left, Ralph behind her.
Wild Cat looked at Dick. "How old is he?" he wondered aloud.
"Almost nine," Batman said.
Wild Cat growled, a twinge of anger in his throaty voice. "And he's running around on the streets with jackwads like Joker?"
It was also common knowledge how demented, possessed, deranged, and murderous Joker was. Wild Cat glared at the Bat, his muscular arms crossed over his broad chest. "Not very smart, Bats."
"Do you think I wanted this to happen?" Batman growled furiously at Wild Cat. He didn't care if the man was a senior hero or not. He had no place telling Batman how to raise his son, his sidekick.
Oliver stood and put a hand on either man's chest. "You guys need to calm down, alright?" His blond mustache twitched as he looked at Wild Cat. "Trust me, Robin is capable, but even we expirienced heroes get bumps and bruises, right, Wild Cat?"
"That's not a bump," he muttered, gesturing to Robin's blood-stained bandage, wrapped around the boy's head.
Batman glowered. "Get. Out."
Wild Cat frowned and wrinkled up his nose, his fists clenched at his side. "Fine."
He left, leaving Batman and Green Arrow in the room with a sleeping Little Birdie. Then, the intercom unit came over their heads. "Batman, report to the Bridge for an emergency mission."
Batman growled. "I can't leave him," he said to no one, facing his son. "I just can't..."
"I'll stay with him," Oliver offered, his hands out and up. "Zatanna said he wouldn't wake up for a few hours. You'll be back by then. I'll watch him for now. I promise."
Batman looked longingly at Dick, who was muttering in his sleep. He sighed, walking out the door. "Alright," he threw over his shoulder. "But if he wakes up before then, let me know."
Oliver nodded, a thumb up. "No prob, Batsie."
Batman left, shutting the door behind him. Oliver sat next to Robin, holding the small boy's wrapped hand gently. "I won't leave ya', buddy..."
A few minutes later, Oliver was asleep...
He walked slowly through the fog. The gray stuff was so thick that he couldn't see a hand in front of his face.
He didn't know where he was.
With a shock, the boy realized that he didn't know who he was.
He continued to walk through the fog, not knowing what else to do. He walked for what seemed like hours. His legs soon grew weary, and his eyelids drooped. Then, he heard it. It was a high-pitched laugh, eery and filled with a distinct kind of demented chime.
The boy split open the fog and pushed through it, only to come face to face with-
Oliver's eyes snapped open at the scream. His neck hurt from falling asleep on the side of the bed, but he ignored it. He looked to Robin, who was thrashing and screaming. Oliver grabbed the boy's arms as he twirled in the blankets, getting his legs stuck in them. "Dick," he said softly. "Dickie, it's a nightmare! You're okay, kid. Wake up. Wake up! Dickie, wake up!"
The man had frizzy green hair and a purple suit. His smile looked as if it had been carved into his face with a meat cleaver. He howled with laughter as he hit the poor boy all over with a crowbar. The pain ebbed into the boy's body. He screamed, gasping for air and coughing as he hyperventilated. The man threw away the crowbar and said happily, "Ooh! Is widdle birdie wordie hurt?"
The boy looked up at the clown and saw a blood-thirtsy glint in his beady black eyes. He suddenly pulled out a butcher knife, raising it above his head.
He swung down.
Dick let out a high-pitched, blood-curdling screech, thrusting his head back, hitting it into the headrest.
"Richard!" Oliver was shouting by now. "RICHARD! WAKE UP!"
The boy made no move to wake up. Oliver swore. "The spell..."
The bedroom door opened, and Dinah, Diana, and Ralph ran in. Barry appeared suddenly next to the bed. He held down Robin's arms to keep him from injuring himself as he thrashed. The boy kicked up his legs, screaming, "Va rog! Va rog! Nu, nu, nu! Nu! Opriti-va! Ajuta-ma, te rog! Sa mori! Ajutor! Va rog!"
The boy's screams only inclined as Oliver stroked his hair, whispering in his ear. "Dick... Dick, wake up... C'mon, kid! Wake up..."
Seeing that nothing was working, Oliver snapped his neck as he turned to Diana. "Wonder Woman! Go get Zatanna!"
Nodding, she flew off to find her. Oliver looked at Flash. "Barry, help her find Zatanna!"
Frowning, Barry nodded and zoomed off. Oliver nedent say anything to Ralph. The man expanded his torso like a thin blanket and laid it over the boy's body, keeping him still. "What's happening?" the younger hero asked Green Arrow.
The archer was pale, and he shook his head. "He- he's having a nightmare! And, with Zatanna's spell, he can't wake up!"
Dick couldn't move his body, but his head was thrashing about every which way, and Oliver winced, knowing that the kid was going to have some major whip-lash.
"Opriti-va! Ve rog!" the child screamed.
"What's he saying?" Ralph nearly had to shout over the boy's pained screams.
"I don't know!" Oliver replied.
Dinah appeared at the door, hearing the screams. She was abruptly followed by Captain Atom, Superman, and Wild Cat. They all rushed into the room and saw the poor, black-haired boy, tears falling rapidly from his eyes as he cried out in pain, "Doare! Oh, nu doare! Va rugam sa va opriti-va! Va rog! AUGH! Sa mori! OPRESTE-TE!"
Superman rushed over, pulling Elastic Man back. He rubbed his ribs slowly. "Man, that kid can kick!"
Superman grabbed Robin's face gently in his hands. "Dick, Dick- wake up."
"VA-ROG!" the boy screamed.
Flash appeared at the door, face pale. "Zatanna's on a mission!"
"Find Doctor Fate!" Ralph ordered.
Nodding, the Flash jetted off again. Superman turned to Dinah and Wild Cat. "Help him find Doctor Fate, Black Canary! Wild Cat, go get J'onn! He's on the Bridge!"
Nodding, the two ran off in opposite directions. Superman turned back to the boy, whose face was pale, devoid of all blood. His lips were wet as tears streamed from his red eyes to his nose, down to his lips, which were open in a large 'O'. Captain Atom turned on the lights. "What can I do?" he asked in his country twang, his face melted with worry.
As Oliver said the words, he gulped. What would the Dark Knight do?
Robin went suddenly still.
"DICK!" screamed Clark and Oliver together.
The evil clown had the butcher knife in the boy's chest. Blood flowed freely from the small, short cuts on his face, neck, arms, and legs. The blood seeping from his heart wet his shirt. He may not know who he was, but he did know how much he hurt.
He gave one more scream, then went still. The fog invaded his mind, and he felt his soul fading away...
Doctor Fate ran into the room and pushed Oliver out of the way. Putting a hand on Dick's head and another on his chest, his eyes began to glow as he said in a deep voice, "Helen de ziel van de gewonden, reinigen het bloed dat cursussen via dit kind zijnerven, en wekken hem tot een nieuw licht!"
Dick's eyes snapped open, revealing bright blue orbs. He gasped and sputtered for air, coughing up thick saliva. He closed his eyes and tried to sit himself up, shaking and shivering as he went.
Everyone waited patiently, nervously, for the boy to catch his breath. Meanwhile, Flash appeared with J'onn in tow. The Martian swiftly crossed to the boy and waited kindly for him to catch his breath.
Panting heavily, his eyes shut tightly, Robin gripped his chest tightly. It took several minutes for him to catch his breath, and, in this time, Superman shooed everyone, except for J'onn, Doctor Fate, Oliver (as he had been there when Dick had began his nightmare), Barry, and himself, out of the room. The others waited outside the door, gazing into eachother's eyes, biting their lips, and whispering quietly as they listened at the door.
Dick caught his breath after about five minutes, but his eyes were still closed, and he still clutched his chest. J'onn slowly put his hand up to the boy's cheek-
And Dick cried out indignantly, falling off the bed. He looked up and shrieked, then whimpered, when he saw the five heroes staring down at him. He scooted himself back into the corner of the room, bringing his knees up to his chest. "Cine- cine esti tu? Unde sunt eu? Ce fac eu aici? Va rog... Nu- nu ma doare..." he finished with tears glistening in his eyes. Barry, Clark, and Oliver looked clueless, while J'onn and Doctor Fate eyed eachother nervously.
"He is speaking Romanian," J'onn finally said.
"Can you speak it?" Superman asked, a hand on the Martian's shoulder.
J'onn shook his head. Doctor Fate crouched down next to the boy. "But I can..." He stared Dick straight in the eye. "Cum te cheama?"
The boy whimpered and said, "Nu stiu..."
Doctor Fate's eyes looked pained as he narrated for the others. "I asked him what he name is... he said he doesn't know..." He looked deep into Robin's baby blues, holding out his hand slowly. "N-am sa-ti faca rau, copilul... Poti avea incredere in mine... Hai acum. N-am sa-ti faca rau..."
Ever-so-slowly, his lip quivering, Dick reached out his tiny, pale hand. Doctor Fate didn't rush him, didn't move an inch, didn't breath or speak. Robin took his hand, and the man stood slowly, bringing the 8-year-old with him.
"He doesn't know where he is, or who he is," Doctor Fate adressed the group. "This is likely a coping mechanism triggered by... whatever happened to make him have those nightmares."
"Joker," Superman, Flash, and J'onn all growled together.
Oliver and Doctor Fate looked incredulous. "You mean that psychotic clown that wants to kill Bats?" Oliver asked, astonished.
Superman nodded and crouched down next to Robin. "Dick... You can trust us."
The boy cocked his head, pulling his body behind Doctor Fate, latching himself onto the hero's leg. The gold-clad man picked the boy up, and Dick grabbed his cape and used it as a blanket as he shivered furiously. Barry put a hand on the boy's forehead and frowned instantly. "He's got a pretty high fever."
"Can he understand us?" Oliver asked Doctor Fate, who sighed.
"It is likely not-"
Everyone turned and saw Batman dashing into the room. He reached out to take his son from Doctor Fate, but the boy cried out and burst into tears, trying to pry away from the man who held him. "Nu ma doare, ma, te rog!" he cried out, digging his face into Doctor Fate's uniform. The man stroked the young vigilate's hair lovingly, whispering in his ear.
It was hard for Batman to hide his hurt. "As face niciodata vreun rau tu, micuta mea birdie... Te iubesc, fiul..." he said softly.
The boy looked up at him. "Fuil?" he inquired, his face tear-stained.
Batman pulled down his cowl, revealing the handsome, brown-eyed Bruce Wayne. "Da fiul meu... ca-ti sint centre de plasament tata, si numele tau este Richard Grayson..."
He looked longingly into his foster son's blue eyes. Doctor Fate informed the group quietly, "He is trying to jog the boy's memory- telling Robin that he is his foster father, and that Robin's real name is Dick Grayson..."
The boy nodded reluctantly, then held a hand out to Bruce. He swallowed and said slowly. "Dick... Grayson..." He looked up at Bruce. "You... my father?" He strained to speak in English.
His eyes tearful, Bruce nodded, picking up Richard and cradleing him to his chest. The boy sobbed into Bruce's uniform, again gripping it tightly, as he had done hours before. Bruce kissed his hair, slowly breathing in the slight smell of strawberry shampoo from the boy's black hair. He closed his eyes, swaying as he rocked the boy back and forth. "Ssh, Dickie Bird... I'm here- Daddy's here... He's not going anywhere, my Little Bird... Ssh..."
Doctor Fate looked incredulously at the others, whispering, "Batman has a son?"
"Foster son," Barry whispered back.
After a few minutes, Dick's sobs subsided, and Bruce looked up, realizing that several other heroes and lined into the room. There was now Wild Cat, Black Canary, Elastic Man, Flash, Superman, Doctor Fate, Captain Atom, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Hawk- Shayera, Martian Manhunter, Zatanna, and himself. Dick looked around the room, his eyes wide as he strained to speak English. "Where... am I?" He looked up at Bruce.
The man looked at J'onn, his eyes pained. "Can you bring back his memories?"
J'onn nodded, "But it could possibly be painful for him..." He looked at the boy, who was sniffling, using Batman's cape as a blankie as he gripped it tightly, his little body shuddering.
Bruce nodded. "Do it."
Zatanna blushed at the phrase. "Batman, I-"
"Save it," he growled and swiftly walked towards the Medical Room.
Superman dismissed all of the heroes, but the other Founders refused to leave. "That kid's like my own!" John (Green Lantern) objected.
Barry nodded at high speeds. "Yeah! He's like a nephew to me!"
Shayera rolled her eyes as she sashayed after Batman. "Obviously we're all going," she said, not looking back, raising her mace as she shrugged.
The others followed her movement and then followed.
Batman laid his son lovingly on a bleach-white bed. He pulled the thin sheets gently over the boy's body. "Dick... O sa mergem in ajuta va mai aduceti aminte, bine?"
The boy nodded. "I- I... want to remember... I just..." he strained to find the word. "Nu pot..." he finished in Romanian.
Bruce nodded, taking his son's tiny hand in both of his. J'onn appeared at the boy's side, and the other heroes stood all around the bed. "Give him some air," Batman growled at them. Warily, slowly, so that the puma wouldn't pounce, they all stepped back, hands up in surrender.
Bruce turned back to his son and stroked his hair with his large, gloved hands. He looked up at Martian Manhunter and nodded. "Do it."
J'onn didn't reply. He put four fingers on Richard's head, a pointer and a middle finger on either side of the boy's temple.
He was in another world. Everything floated around, memories, in the fog. The Martian turned around and around, seeing the atrocities of the small boy's life. There was blood, gore, and pain everywhere he turned. But then, there were also a few distinct memories- a little boy with a blue-frosted birthday cake; the same boy playing with trucks on the tile of Wayne manor as his foster father looked on lovingly; an image of a red-haired woman and black-haired man kissing.
J'onn shook his head. He needed to find Dick.
"Richard?" he called out. "Robin?"
He was answered by a squeak.
Turning swiftly, the caped 'man' saw a tiny body, covered in blood, and looking up at him with an extremely pained expression. Growing a pale green, J'onn picked up the boy in a bridal-hold. "Richard..." he whispered in his almost-Russian accent, "you must wake up... Remember, Richard... Remember, Dick, your father and mother- your foster father, the Justice League... Remember Robin...
Robin's eyes snapped open and he gasped, sputtering, and coughing up saliva.
His eyes met Bruce's and he cried out- only this time, with joy. He flung his arms around his foster father's neck, but winced and pulled back when his bruised ribs protested. Bruce was smiling genuinely, stroking Richard's hair from his sweaty face. He still had a fever.
"You have a fever," he said softly.
Diana flew off to grab some medicine. Robin yawned and looked his 'father' in the eyes. "I saw him..." he said, his voice cracking. "He... he hit me with a crowbar... He... El ma injunghiat cu cutite, unul chiar in pieptul meu..." he whispered the last phrase, pulling a hand to his chest.
He began to weep again, his tiny shoulders shaking as Bruce pulled him close- gently, but still safe.
Diana reappeared with a syringe. She handed it to J'onn, who nodded his head in thanks. He filled it up with a clear liquid, then wiped Robin's inner elbow with a wipe. The boy flinched as the needle went into his arm, but Bruce stroked his cheek.
"Just something for the pain, micuta Mea Pasari..."
Dick nodded, yawning as the drug took effect.
He heard Bruce's heart beating and felt the man's warmth radiating from his black suit to the boy's own sweat-covered one. Yawning loudly, he tried to ignore the amused giggles and chuckles in the background.
Bruce wiped his hair from his face again, planting a kiss on his Little Bird's forehead. "Go to sleep, micuta Mea Pasari... You're safe now... Nothing's going to hurt you, I promise..."
And nothing did hurt the Little Bird as he dreampt peacefully...
1. I know Dick was almost 10 when he became Robin, but i did 8 to make him cuter!
2. I have been corrected that Dick speaks Romani and not Romanian, but I didn't feel like fixing it.
3. Doctor Fate was speaking Dutch: "heal the soul of the injured, cleaning the blood that courses through this child veins, and give him to a new light"
4. Zatanna's spells are just her speaking backwards.
5. Here is everything Dick, Bruce, and DF said in Romanian (if ur interested): (NOT EXACT due to language changes) I credit .com
Va rog! Va rog! Nu, nu, nu! Nu! Opriti-va! Ajuta-ma, te rog! Sa mori! Ajutor! Va rog- Please! Please! No, no, no! No! Stop! Help me, please! To die! Help! Please!
Opriti-va! Ve rog- Stop! Please!
Doare! Oh, nu doare! Va rugam sa va opriti-va! Va rog! AUGH! Sa mori! OPRESTE-TE- It hurts! Oh, it hurts! Please stop! Please! augh! To die! Stop!
Cine- cine esti tu? Unde sunt eu? Ce fac eu aici? Va rog... Nu- nu ma doare...- Who who are you? Where am I? What am I doing here? Please... Don't hurt me.
Cum te cheama- What's your name? (yes, DF knows Dick's name, he's just trying to calm him down, plus see what Dick previously said, and it makes sense.)
N-am sa-ti faca rau, copilul... Poti avea incredere in mine... Hai acum. N-am sa-ti faca rau- I won't hurt you, child. You can trust me... Come on now. I won't hurt you.
Nu ma doare, ma, te rog- Don't hurt me, please...
As face niciodata vreun rau tu, micuta mea birdie... Te iubesc, fiul- I would never hurt you, my little birdie... I love you, son...
Da fiul meu... ca-ti sint centre de plasament tata, si numele tau este Richard Grayson- Yes, my son... I am your foster father, and yuor name is Richard Grayson.
O sa mergem in ajuta va mai aduceti aminte, bine- We're going to help you remember, good?
Nu pot- I can't...
El ma injunghiat cu cutite, unul chiar in pieptul meu- He stabbed me with knives, one of them even in my chest. (Morbid-sounding, i know, but it DIDNT REALLY HAPPEN! nightmare, duh)
micuta Mea Pasari- My Little Bird
One more thing:
I know Batman sounds kind of OOC, but I wanted to show the soft, mushy Bruce Wayne side of him- the side that adopted Dick
REVIEWS MAKE ME HAPPY!
(but i dont like flames! constructive critisism= :) Flames= :(