Don't own Young Justice. Also, this was made for a prompt on the YJ: Anon meme!
Laughing. He was always laughing. Laughing and snarking and teasing like he was in on some private joke. Even in the most dire situations, the most inappropriate moments. He laughed in that unnaturally creepy way of his as he swung down on their enemies. He laughed and joked as he dashed about dodging bullets that only missed him by a hairs inch. And he'd always laugh and give a sarcastic reply when they asked if he was hurt though they could see the blood seeping into his black Kevlar tunic and spreading downward to darken his black pants too. He didn't care.
It had never bothered them before-Robin's laughter. They all agreed it was creepy and definitely unnerving how he could sit through being beaten and bloodied and occasionally even shot and still laugh afterward, completely oblivious to how inappropriate it was, but it wasn't really harmful so it didn't really bother them. They all sort of figured it was his way of coping with the pressure. Laugh.
But sometimes, when a mission went bad and they trudged back to the bio ship beaten and bruised, hearts heavy with loss and he's start joking about it and teasing them they'd snap and end up yelling at him, confused and slightly envious of his ability to simply not care:
"Why are you laughing? This isn't a game Robin! We almost died!"
And he'd go silent, eyes falling to the ground, and they'd spend the rest of the ride back to the mountain feeling guilty. And for a while they'd think that this was going to be it. He was going to take things more serious and in a way that was good.
As guilty as they felt they all knew that he had to learn. Superheroing was NOT a game. People were depending on them and one mistake could cost someone their life. It wasn't something to laugh about.
He had to learn that it just wasn't okay to laugh and joke after you failed to do your job and someone died. It was unnatural to just be able to bounce back from that. It wasn't right. It wasn't human.
Eventually they began dropping hints during relaxation hours, trying to explain why it upset them so much. Explaining how it was strange and unnerving how he seemed to laugh at everything. Robin would just shrug it off and smile.
"Trust me. Laughter is better."
Then he'd go off to train leaving them all thinking the same thing.
Better than what?
Now they knew. Better than this.
Because now that he wasn't laughing...
They'd been on a regular mission, only it wasn't. It was a trap. The Joker cornered them. They thought they could take him, but they were wrong. He was more twisted than anything they'd ever dealt with before. He was what nightmares were made of. And they couldn't take it.
The Joker captured them, trapping them in reinforced clear tubes with long hoses attached, even Superboy. They had Kryptonite for him, a gift from Lex Luthor. They'd stabbed him with it. He wasn't getting up. He might've been dead. Miss Martian was sobbing and crying out for him and Robin was rocking back and forth.
And there was no way out. The Joker had them trapped. They were bait. Bait for Batman who was on a mission halfway across the world and would never get there in time.
They were going to die.
And Robin for once wasn't laughing, jesting about how he could easily get out of it or how everything was fine. He was dead silent as the Joker pumped chemical Toxin into their tubes, his now mask less ( The Joker took it) eyes staring blankly ahead. The lights around them flickered making his eyes look dead.
Kid Flash was the first to comment. "Rob...You okay man?" Because if anything was worse than his laughter it was his silence.
Then Kaldur. "We're going to be alright."
Robin shook his head. "We're going to die. Just like Superboy."
"No we're not. We WILL get out of this." Artemis said.
"No we won't." Robin gestured to the Joker with a scary calmness. "He doesn't play around."
The Joker nodded at this. "He's right you know. You are going to die, just like Superbaby over there.", then he grinned wider. "He knows me so well. Almost makes me proud."
Megan roared at this, shocking everyone. "SHUT UP!"
A cackle then dead seriousness. "Make me." The Joker moved to the switch for the gas control and pulled it lower letting more gas in. "Oh that's right! You can't."
And as the gas flooded in all went silent except for the occasional taunt from the Joker and reassurance from one of the teens for the others. And Robin got more and more quiet and detached shuffling back towards the pipes and rocking.
They were dying. The gas filled them up and made them cry. They cried red as it burned their insides and made them whimper in pain and still Robin rocked.
And as it got harder and harder to breath and his teammates dropped one by one, blood fallign from their eyes, he did something worse than laughing. He started to hum, soft and slightly off tempo, and then he was singing, equally soft and off tempo as his hands busied themselves behind him.
His eyes had moved to them and his pupils had shrunk to pinpricks as they writhed in agony and he writhed to, bllody tears slipping down pale cheeks. And he still sang.
"...Ring around the rosie...Pocket full of posies...Ashes, ashes...We all fall down..."
And as the others eyes slipped closed he kept it up and a strange click met their ears. And there was a strange hissing noise. Then the shattering of glass. And singing...
"...Ring around the rosie...What do you suppose we..."
"What? How did you get out?"
"...can do to fight the darkness...in which we drown...?"
"NO! Stop it! STOP IT! This isn't how it goes! THIS ISN'T HOW IT GOE-"
And there was the sound of more shattering glass and screams of agony. They felt air rush into their lungs as red splattered around. And that singing...
"...Ring around the rosie...This evil thing, it knows me...Lost ghosts surround me..."
And he was right. It was better if he was laughing. Because now that he wasn't laughing...
He was humming...
And then he was singing...
And it was like some demon had been unleashed and they could barely see the shadowy figure of Batman descend and pull him off their Kidnapper. Their nightmare. And he clutched the boy to him and the singing faded.
"...I can't fall down..."
Well? Watcha tink eh? Bit dark in my opinion. Oh well. Review plz?