i own nothing.
It was that week.
Normally, someone might say, 'It was that day', but, when you watch your parents fall to their death when you are eight, well, a week is... proper.
Robin was acting mopey.
Yes, the Boy Wonder, the Robin, the baby boy of the Team was being mopey.
He dragged his body around the mountain wearily, his shoulders slumping, mouth in a grim line- not a scowl, not a frown, not a smile, just. a. line.
That in itself drove everyone (Wally) over the edge.
As Robin came into the 'entertainment' room, he leered over the couch. Wally was sprawled out on it- nothing new- while Kaldur'ahm was over in the corner, sitting on a plush chair, reading his book. It was a new one that Robin had given him- War and Peace- and the Atalantean seemed to be enjoying it. Connor was sitting on what little space Wally gave him on the couch, scowling at the TV. M'gann was in the kitchen, baking something, and Artemis sat in the middle of the floor, having pushed the coffee table out of her way, polishing her bow.
Robin licked his lips, pushing his glasses up on the bridge of his nose, just to give his itching hands something to do. "What're we watching?"
Wally jumped about ten feet, his green eyes widening in shock. He firmed his hands and face and shouted, "DON'T DO THAT!"
Robin, instead of coming back with a snarky retort, just shied away towards the kitchen. He rubbed the back of his neck and muttered, "Sorry..." as he went.
Artemis turned to Wally, and the two had a silent, arm-waving, mouth-opening and shutting argument.
"I can see you," Robin called out from the kitchen, though he had never turned towards the two.
They froze and stared at the back of the Boy Wonder's head. Artemis scoffed and went back to polishing her bow as Wally slunk further into the couch, muttering unintelligibly. A satisfying pop, hiss sounded as Robin opened a soda can next to Wally's ear.
The hacker sat down silently, just staring at the TV. Connor eyed him when he thought the boy wasn't looking.
"Why are you watching me?"
The clone turned on Robin. "You've been... cold all week."
Robin snorted into his soda. "Look who's talkin'."
Trying to ignore the insult, Connor continued, "You're not acting like yourself. You're... distant."
"Like you care," the boy muttered, looking into the dark brown soda. Kaldur had put down his book and was now watching Robin.
"Robin, we are your teammates- your friends. We care about your well-being-"
Robin was up on his feet, now, the soda knocked over into the gray-speckled carpet. "Well, maybe my well-being would be better off without your accusations!" he snapped.
Artemis and Wally both pulled back, while the two others just frowned. "Dude!" Wally cried, holding up both hands, "we're just trying to help-"
"-Well stop trying to help!" Robin shouted before turning and leaving the room.
M'gann floated forward, frowning. "Robin-" She was about to follow him, but Kaldur rose and held out a hand.
"M'gann, I do not believe that would be wise."
She frowned, biting her pink lip. "What's wrong with Robin?"
Everyone turned to Wally, who shrugged. "Dunno- despite what you guys think, I really don't know anything about his civvie-life."
Everyone shrugged. "We'll keep an eye on him," Connor spoke and turned back to the TV.
It was that day.
Normally, Robin would say, that week, but it was the day.
The day he became an orphan.
He had been spending the week at the mountain, to Bruce's dislike, to try something new- maybe being at the mountain would help his nerves.
He wanted to go home, but that would only pry himself open for more questions.
So he stayed.
Now, everyone was in the kitchen, laughing over a box of pizza (Wally had consumed the other two boxes already). Robin sat on the couch, his face stoic. But, really, if you could see his eyes, you'd see the crystal tears that welled up.
Wally was suddenly sitting next to his best friend, waving a piece of too-stretchy-cheesy cheese pizza under the boy's nose. "C'mon, Robbie! You didn't have lunch or breakfast! You must be starving! I am-"
"You're always starving," Artemis snapped as she leaned over the counter. She turned her gaze to Robin. "But really, Robin, you need to eat."
"I'm not hungry," the boy said, trying to keep his voice from cracking.
His stomach decided to rumble just then.
Wally rolled his eyes, waving the pizza in the air. "Right, right. Boy Blunder's not hungry. Let's just leave him be."
"Thank you," Robin snapped, not being able to help himself.
Wally picked up the remote and began flipping through channels. He settled on some stupid movie (you know, the ones that the channels make, and not actually directors) called Circus Life.
Robin tensed in his seat. "Can you change it?"
Wally was leaning forward on the coffee table. "No way, dude! This is, like, my favorite movie!"
"It's stupid," Artemis objected, reaching for the remote.
They fought over the black plastic while Robin sat there, unable to tear his eyes from the screen.
Wally had turned it on at the perfect time- the acrobats were coming out.
Their costumes sparkled in the lights, bright -green and shiny with a large 'G' on the front- red with yellow trim. There was- a dad and a mom and a son- a mom and two sisters. The mom had- red hair and blue eyes- blonde hair and shiny black eyes. Both girls had- shaggy black hair- straight red hair.
"And noooooow," came the announcer's voice, "Please welcome, the- Flying Graysons!- Soaring Smiths!"
They went through their routine- two back-flips, a front-flip, quadruple somersault- a back-flip, three front-flips, and a triple somersault. Wally grinned, turning to the TV. Apparently, he had won the fight. "I love this part! It's so freaky- watch!"
All three were on the trapeze- he was holding her hands while I climbed down the pole- when there came a sudden CRACK, POP!
Then, there was screaming.
The ropes had broken.
Robin's heart slammed into his throat. He gripped the arm-rest until he knuckles went snow white. He closed his eyes tightly, breathing coming sharply, as he waited to hear the silence.
Cheers- dead silence- rang out through the fake tent. The family had fallen- to their deaths- into a net.
It had been- murder- old ropes, nothing- intentional- on purpose.
Robin felt the nausea rising in his stomach. He could feel the puke in his throat. "Turn it off," he croaked. His voice broke, and a tear came down his cheek.
Wally was oblivious to his friend's pain.
But Artemis saw. Her face scrunched up with worry. "Wally, turn it-"
"No way, Blondie! They're gonna go on to the next-"
"Stop ordering me around, Art-"
Robin couldn't help himself. He doubled over, spilling his stomach contents onto the ground (which wasn't much, honestly). Wally jumped up. "EEK!"
Kaldur'ahm, Connor, and M'gann ran into the room.
Robin was on his knees, now, his body shaking violently as he tried to stop the sobs. Tears dripped down his cheeks, falling off his chin. He heaved again, a sickening splash echoing throughout the room. M'gann paled and darted back into the kitchen, emerging with a bucket. (Why she had a bucket in the kitchen, no one knew.) Flying over to Robin, she turned him away from the mess and put the bucket under his chin- and just in time. The poor young boy, yet again, heaved up an empty stomach. He was panting now, shaking terribly, and his sobs were coming out strained and as whimpers of pain. M'gann rubbed his back, her face that of a motherly worry.
"Robin, Robin why didn't you tell us you were sick-"
"Not... Not sick," he managed before throwing up again. He just couldn't stop- he didn't know why.
That scene... It kept playing over and over and over. He had seen it once in his life- he didn't need to see it again-
But he did.
Their bodies were splayed on the ground. His mother's neck was at an odd angle, and there was a puddle of blood under her head. His father's eyes were wide open, yet unseeing, glazed over and wide with shock. His mouth was open slightly, and a trickle of crimson liquid fell out slowly. Both of his parents' legs were tangled together, bloodied and twisted oddly, even for two acrobats.
"Mommy!" Dick cried, fingers tracing her cheek. He set his hand down- right in a pool of her blood.
He screamed loudly, shaking his hand, trying to get it off, but it only flung onto his face and suit. He tasted it in his mouth. "NO!" he screamed, spiting the red out. "NO, NO, N-" But he was cut off a vertigo washed over him, making his dinner from earlier emerge from the boy's lips and onto his knees. He heaved and heaved and heaved, not being able to stop himself.
Finally, four arms dragged him away.
"Yeah right," Wally scoffed, crossing his arms over his chest- but his cocky stature didn't match his face at all. It was worried and pained. Robin's body suddenly lurched, but he bit down on his tongue to keep from heaving again.
He tasted blood-
"BLUCH," came the sickening sound.
M'gann gasped loudly when she saw the blood on Robin's lip. "He's bleeding," she said aloud to no one.
Suddenly, Robin was in Connor's arms. He didn't care how or why- he just curled into the clone's chest, grabbing his black shirt tightly in one fist. "M-Make it s-s-stop..." he whimpered.
Wally was walking right next to Connor, but he didn't hear the comment. However, Artemis, who was walking backwards in front of the three, lowered her face to Robin's. "Make what stop, Robin?"
He didn't answer.
Everyone thought that Robin just had a stomach bug. So, when they all set him down in the Medical Bay, after Red Tornado said that Robin had no fever nor any unnecessary bacteria in his system, they were all very, very confused, to say at the least.
Robin was asleep now, his eyes closed beneath his glasses. He lay on his side- jacket and shoes off- with a thin sheet over his body. He seemed so calm, so... serene like that- but his cheeks were tear-stained, and his lips were open and quavering, proving the 'serene' and 'calm' theory incorrect.
"What's wrong with Robin?" M'gann voiced her earlier question.
Everyone shrugged. Kaldur'ahm held up a hand as he thought aloud. "Perhaps something in the show you were watching brought up a bad memory, or a dream, Wally."
Artemis rounded on the speedster, her clenched fists at her sides. "Way to go, Baywatch! I told you that something on that stupid movie was bugging him!"
"No," Wally shrieked, "you didn't!"
Robin suddenly shifted, drawing everyone's attention. Connor walked slowly over and stood, a shadow, over Robin's side. The boy shivered and whimpered, eyebrows coming together beneath his shades. His hand suddenly clenched the sheets tightly. "N-No..." he murmured, drawing the others over.
Kaldur stood next to Connor, watching curiously as Robin's fingers intertwined with the blankets. Wally was crouching down to be face-to-face with Robin on the left. "Rob?"
The Boy Wonder lurched slightly, spitting out and hitting Wally's face with saliva. The speedster reeled backwards and fell into a table, knocking it over with a clang! Artemis laughed while M'gann helped Wally up. Connor was just glaring at Wally. "Shut up," he hissed, gesturing towards Robin.
But the raven-haired boy was still in his nightmare.
Wally frowned, wiping the spit from his face. "Rob's normally a light sleeper-"
Suddenly, the boy's blood-curdling scream filled the air, and Robin was sitting bolt-right in the bed, panting as his shoulders rose and fell rapidly. One hand went to his undershirt-clad stomach, and his throat clenched. M'gann sent for the bucket by mental note, and it rested in between Robin's legs just in time.
Artemis rubbed soothing circles in Robin's back. "It's okay, Robin... Just breath... Breathe..."
"Where are we, La Mas?" Wally asked exasperatedly. He plopped down in front of Robin on the bed and pulled the bucket away. "Okay, you're not getting Pukey back until you tell us what's going on."
Robin glared from behind his shades at the speedster, who gave a satisfied smirk. The hacker shook his head, gasping, "I- I can't-"
Instead of barking back, as everyone expected he'd do, Robin's face screwed up, as if he was in pain, and his shoulders lightly shook. Then, Wally realized that Robin was crying. Woah... Did- Did I just make Rob... cry?
He slowly handed the bucket back, but Robin just turned away. Artemis gave Wally her best glare, then hugged Robin's shoulders lightly. "You don't have to tell us, Robin, it's okay-"
"B-But I-I want t-t-to..." he rasped.
"So tell us," Connor said bluntly. M'gann elbowed him gently, and while the clone felt no pain, he instinctively moved away an inch. Kaldur stood silently, waiting for Robin to catch his breath. Even Wally showed restraints of trying to be patient.
Finally, Robin looked like he had gotten a hold of himself. "I-" he began, then looked down at his hands. Artemis still hugged his shoulders lightly. "I can't tell you everything, with my ID and all, b-but..." His voice quavered, and everyone knew that he was again close to tears.
"Let's go back to La Mas, shall we?" Wally joked.
Robin almost smiled, and Wally took that as a point.
Taking in a few deep breaths, Robin began. "I-I don't want you all to think differently about me after... after I tell you-"
"We won't, Robin," M'gann assured him.
Robin smiled gently at her. "Thanks, Miss M..." After taking yet another deep breath (Wally's patience was running thin), Robin continued.
"My- well, oh God, I don't even know where to begin... See, my- my parents were..." he groaned. "I don't really know how to say this-"
"THEN JUST SAY IT!"
Everyone glared at Wally, who blushed. "Oh, yeah, right, um... La Mas, Rob, La Mas."
Robin rolled his eyes, trying to smile. "Sorry. I just- it's a... touchy subject..." Licking his lips, Robin just blurted it out: "I'm an orphan."
There was silence in the Medical Bay, in which M'gann's hands flew to her mouth, Wally's jaw dropped to the floor, Artemis's hold on Robin's shoulders tightened, Kaldur'ahm's eyebrows furrowed farther, and Connor just... was Connor.
Wally broke the silence first. "Dude- why didn't you- I mean- I- You- I'm your best friend! Why didn't you tell me-"
"Well, KF," Robin snapped, "I don't really run around telling people I watched my parents being murdered."
There was more silence.
Robin sighed, looking back at his hands. "I'm sorry, Wally, I-I don't know what got into me-"
"Naw," the ginger said instantly, "it's okay... I understand- kinda."
Robin smirked at this, then his face fell again. "Can... Can I tell you- how it happened?" He looked up slightly at Kaldur, waiting for his leader's input. "I mean, it's kinda... gory, and I understand if you guys don't wanna hear, but no one ever asked about what I saw- how I- how I..."
Kaldur put a hand on Robin's shoulder. The hacker jumped slightly- he hadn't realized that the boy had moved. Man, I am really off my game today...
"Of course, Robin," he spoke.
Robin nodded, licking his quickly drying lips. "My parents were... They fell to their deaths-"
"Then how was it murder?" Wally asked before he could stop himself.
Robin didn't bite his head off- thankfully. "They were hanging onto... ropes. Someone had purposely cut them..." He balled up his fists. "I- I was on the ground. I- I saw them fall the whole way... They- they hit the ground, and- and I saw it all..." his voice cracked. "I- I heard it all... I felt the g-ground shake under my feet, like I was at a rock concert or something... And I- I ran to their sides... And I-" Tears were falling now. "-I accidentally got some of my M- my M- some of her b- b- some of it on my hand, and it flung into m-my m-m-mouth... I- I could taste it-" He gasped, tears falling fiercely and freely now.
Everyone was still. M'gann was now holding the bucket tightly as her face turned green- well, greener. Kaldur was frozen, still holding Robin's shoulder. Artemis now sat on the side of the bed, leaning up against Robin's side, still holding him. Connor's face had melted slightly to show his worry, and his arms were crossed over his chest. Wally looked like he was about to be sick, too.
"I'm so, so sorry, Robin..." Artemis said suddenly.
"T-Today is- is the day," Robin said gently, shaking again.
Wally's eyes widened. "And I made you watch- I- oh, God, Rob- I'm so sorry, I didn't know, I wasn't trying to-"
"It's okay, KF," Robin lied. "I- I'm fine-"
"No, you're not!" Wally objected. He looked down at his feet, disgusted with himself. "I am so, so sorry, Rob..."
Robin nodded. "Thanks, KF... It- It means a lot..."
Artemis bit her lip. "What do you, well, ya' know, do on today? I mean- how do you... deal?" She didn't mean for it to sound so harsh.
Robin shrugged. "I sleep in my bathroom, puking up everything I try to put in my stomach. And I snap at everyone all week, or just act like a bipolar preggo-lady."
"La Maaaas," Wally sang.
Everyone rolled their eyes (except for M'gann, who didn't know what 'La Mas' was).
Kaldur'ahm squeezed Robin's shoulder affectionately. "Robin, you no longer have to spend this day alone... We will be here for you."
Robin looked up, a ghost of a smile on his face. "Thanks, Kaldur. Thanks- Really... It- It means a lot to me... A lot."