All recognizable characters belong to their respective owners (Cartoon Network). For a prompt on YJ_Anon_Meme.


The kids don't talk to him at school.

Or, rather, they do, and that's the problem.

Alex and Billy and whoever-all-else talk to Richard Grayson. They laugh and cheat off his homework and bemoan the fact that their smartphone is second-generation already, or how they need a new laptop because theirs is slow.

Richard laughs and agrees. Dick seethes. And Robin smiles.

That's how it goes. He dislikes all the charity events. Bruce is not his Bruce, nobody's his friend, and he's expected to be charming. The adults gather in gaggles to cluck and coo at the poor orphan boy thrust into their society. They agree he's handsome and eloquent and ever so sweet, and how cute it is that he acts like he thinks he belongs here.

And he has to smile and make nice, while people give him demeaning complements they don't mean, and sometimes can't remember his name. He likes those people best; they're unlikely to hang around. Others wonder, why him? Why this boy? If Bruce Wayne had to take in an orphan, why some no-account, low-class circus whelp? No one says that, of course, but he knows anyways.

They think he doesn't belong here.

Richard is furious. Dick totally agrees, and doesn't want to be here anyways. And Robin smiles.

There's this one girl at school. She transferred from somewhere not-Gotham, and either didn't hear about the scandal, or doesn't care. She treats him like a person. Well, like a rich kid, but like a normal rich kid. He could fall for this Barbara, just for that, but she's also gorgeous.

She hears his story, and all of a sudden, she doesn't know how to act around him anymore. She'll talk to him, then talk at him, then ignore him, then joke with him, and it's driving him mad.

And then she's transferred out. He should have seen it coming, really should have, but in any case, she doesn't need to stumble around him anymore.

Richard is relieved. Dick's a bit lonely. And Robin smiles.

Bruce somehow knows about what is happening at school. That, or maybe his timing is just that good, but he's taught Dick enough to be paranoid by now.

And so Robin meets Kid Flash. They hit it off instantly, because Kid Flash only knows Robin, not the rich-snob-out-of-water Richard, or the poor-boy-out-of-his-depth Dick. Robin is Robin is Robin, and that's all he needs to be.

It's great. Kid Flash respects him for his skills and his acrobatics and his ability to punch out guys three times his size. Kid Flash is not trying to be friends with Richard because of his money, nor with Dick out of a misplaced sense of kinship or of compassion or of pity.

And then Kid Flash is seriously hurt while in Gotham. Robin panics, and does the first thing he can think of; he brings the boy to the Bat Cave.

Alfred's there waiting, with a first aid kit the size of a suitcase. Bruce hurries back to the cave as fast as he can, and the Flash shows up at some point.

Turns out KF wasn't hurt that badly, after all, and it's just possible that Robin overreacted. But Bruce reassures him he did the right thing, and the Flash actually thanks him.

Only then, Kid Flash—Wallace West—wakes up, and ends up in Dick's room, and later, plays on Richard's gaming systems. He mostly lets the whole "rich" thing go, only occasionally oohing and aahing over various things, but that's fine. Dick's still in awe over some of the things Richard has, too.

And just like that, Robin and Dick overlap. It's a strange sensation, but not a bad one. The only bumps are the times Wally pokes at Richard, and Dick can let that go. Even if it makes him uncomfortable sometimes.

Richard feels left out. Dick is wary, and just little shy, but he's reaching out all the same. And Robin smiles.

So then comes his shiny new team, and they know him as Robin. Only, he's not, he's Dick when he's in the mountain, hiding behind the Robin name in order to make sure they never meet Richard. Only he doesn't want them to know Dick, either, but he can mix-and-match as Robin. He can be a little bit proud and a little bit poor, and no one can call Robin a hypocrite.

Richard knows he's better than the others, and he wants to prove it. Dick wants to hang back a bit, in order to fit in. And Robin, oh, how he smiles.

A year goes by just like that, and Robin loves it. Richard enjoys school and hates the parties, Dick glides through the society bashes and cringes from school, and Robin gets to go out and play.

But his birthday's coming up. The past few years, he's done the expected and let Bruce throw him lavish parties. People who think they know him, strange drinks with stranger names, and the room is huge, but it feels smaller with every breath. Richard is stifled, Dick is condescended to, and Robin draws up plans to bring down the house. Literally.

Then, after that, a small "family" dinner, and Wally comes over to hang out. Richard gets the new tech he's expected to have, Dick gets a poster from his circus, or tickets to a show, or something that suits him equally as well, and Robin gets new toys.

He hates his birthday party, is all.

This year, Bruce casually tells him to invite his new team over, if he likes. He casually responds that he'll think about it.

But Artemis knows Richard, Wally knows Dick, and the others know Robin. He's not sure if he's ready for his worlds to collide that much.

He's not sure he could handle being just one person again.


He goes to Mount Justice, and watches his team.

Richard is worried. Dick is troubled. And, because it's expected, Robin smiles.

"Wally?" he says at some point. "I need to talk to you."

"Sure," his friend says, and a second later, they're in the privacy of Wally's room. "What's up?"

Robin sighs, and takes off his glasses. "Bruce says I can invite the team over to the manor for my birthday. If I want," Dick explains.

Wally twitches. "I'd say, 'Great!', but I don't think you think it is."

Richard tears down Wally's grammar in his head, and Robin shivers. "I don't want them to treat me differently," he admits quietly.

"Oh, is that all?" Dick glares at him, and Wally backpedals. "I mean, not that that's not enough. It's just...It'll be fine. I mean, I didn't treat you differently after I found out, right?"

And none of them have anything to say to that, and instead, he holds his friend's gaze.

Wally goes from waiting, to confused, to horror. "You don't want them to make rich kid jokes. Like I did. Oh, man, I'm sorry, I didn't realize..."

"I know," Dick sighs. "And it's okay. Really. We're cool now. But I can't go through that again. Not with four people at once. And we're remembering that Artemis knows Richard Grayson."

Wally actually stops to give it some thought. "You know," he says slowly, "I...actually don't think it'll be too bad. I mean, I can run interference. Kaldur is the protégé of a king, for chrissake. He can't say anything. M'gann, well. Martians aren't materialistic by nature. And she and Superboy are used to Mount Justice by now. I doubt they'll notice the Manor as anything spectacular."

Dick thinks about it, Richard turns it over in his head, but it's Robin who finally nods. "And Artemis?"

Wally blows out a breath. "I think...you'll just have to readjust her. Like you did me. And I'm sorry I never noticed you doing that."

Richard waved it off, because it was past. "So...you think I should do it."

"S'your call, man," Wally shakes his head. "Wait...Artemis. Isn't Green Arrow...?"

"Oliver Queen," Robin breathes. "She's used to playboy billionaire superheroes."

"And there you go!" Wally says triumphantly. "It'll be a shock, but I honestly don't think you'll have the problems you think you will." Dick nods mechanically, and Wally reaches out to grab his chin, to hold his face still.

"I'm sorry," Wally says, green eyes boring into blue. "I didn't realize it made you uncomfortable. You didn't say anything, and I didn't think. I apologize, okay?"

Richard likes this guy. Dick is breathless. And, after a long second, Robin smiles.

It's later in the evening, and they've all gathered around the table, picking at the remnants of pizza. There's a lull in the conversation, and Robin takes a deep breath, and jumps in. "Are you guys busy next weekend?"

Everyone confirms that they're free, and Robin's fingers move up to toy with the stem of his glasses.

If he does this, he can't be Robin, he realizes. They'll know him as Dick, or Richard, but he can't be Robin with them. It hurts to think about, and he's still not sure this is the right thing to do.

He meets Wally's eyes, and the speedster nods. He breathes, and feigns unconcern. "It's just, next Friday's my birthday, so I was wondering if you guys would save me from the terrible fate of having a large party. Like, maybe we could have a sleepover? At my place?"

It doesn't take a second before Megan squeals with joy, but it feels like forever. She tackles and hugs him, and Superboy is smiling, and Kaldur looks pleased, Wally couldn't be grinning any broader, and Artemis is looking contemplative.

"So do we finally get to know who you are?" Artemis asks.

"Sure," Robin says, "but you're not allowed to treat me differently at school."

Artemis's eyes get wide, and she breathes, "You go to Gotham Academy."

Robin sticks his tongue out at her, and then takes off his glasses. "Hi," he says, "I'm Richard Grayson. But you can call me Dick."

Predictably, Megan says, "I've seen you on TV!"

"I know," Dick says wryly. "I've seen you see me on TV."

"That's right," Megan agrees. "You're the adopted son of Bruce Wayne, the circus boy."

Richard and Dick both grimace at that statement.

And then M'gann flushes deep red and covers her mouth with her hands. What she says is all garbled, but Dick knows she's remembering all things she said about Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne, when they were just people in the television, and Robin can't help but laugh at her.

"Tell me Bruce Wayne is not Batman," Artemis says, defeat heavy in her voice. "God help me, I don't think I could take another yuppie billionaire superhero."

"Bruce Wayne is not Batman," Dick says obligingly.

Artemis glares at him. "Liar."

He grins again, and Wally interjects with, "Wait until you meet him. It's so strange to see Bats acting like an actual person. He smiles." Wally shudders. "It's creepy. This one time, he laughed, and—"

"I like your eyes," Superboy butts in. "They're very..." he apparently can't find the word. "...blue" he ends lamely.

"Thank you." It's nice to know at least one of his teammates doesn't care what is name is. And Kaldur's just sitting back and watching the proceedings. Robin meets his eyes, and Aqualad smiles at him.

"It suits you," Kaldur says, and Robin doesn't want to ask what it is that suits him.

And then Megan says, "Artemis, didn't you tell me that rumor about Bruce Wayne...?" And Artemis blushes too, and Wally's cracking up at them, and Superboy is watching the girls get redder and redder, and Kaldur seems inordinately pleased with the whole team..

Richard lets out a sigh of relief. Dick looks around at his friends, his new family. And Robin smiles.