"The circus is in town!" Wally yelled as he sped down the hallway toward the common room. His voice echoed off the cave walls, as he made his way to his teammates. Most of the team was sitting around the television watching a movie.
"So?" Superboy said.
"So…we should go," Wally said, stopping in front of them. "It'll be awesome. I haven't been in so long," Wally was nearly bouncing out of his shoes with excitement.
"It might be interesting to see," Kaldur said.
"I would like to go. From what I've heard they sound like a lot of fun," Megan chirped.
"Great, then it's settled. We'll go tomorrow," Wally pulled out some tickets from his pocket and began passing them to the team members. "Where's Rob?"
"Robin is in the gymnasium training," Kaldur answered.
"Cool thanks!" Wally said and zipped out of the room.
He came to the gym door, and stopped. He peeked around the corner and saw that some of the gymnast equipment was set up. Robin was currently on the rings doing flips in the air. Wally had seen him doing it before. It was a pretty impressive show of gymnastic talent to say the least. Then Robin let go of the rings and did a double back flip, landing on the balance beam. As soon as he was on the beam he began cart- wheeling across it, finishing off with a one-handed hand stand. Wally waited until he stopped, not wanting to make him fall, but he stayed like that for well over a minute. Wally was impressed to say the least. That kid had amazing upper body strength. Finally, Robin put his other hand down and did a front flip off the beam, facing Wally at the door.
"Oh hey," he greeted.
"Hey, how long have you been in here?"
Robin glanced at the clock on the wall. "A few hours now."
"Do you need something?" Robin asked, curious.
"Oh yeah, I had a question. The rest of the team and I are going to the circus tomorrow for some fun. I've got a ticket for you. You want to come?" Wally flashed the ticket at him, wagging it up and down.
"No thanks, I'll pass," Robin said, taking a sip from his water bottle.
"What why? It'll be great! It's the really famous Haley's Circus."
"I just don't want to go. You can go without me," Robin gathered his things and quickly left the room, leaving behind a baffled Wally.
Robin sighed once he was beyond Wally's sight. It's not like he didn't want to join his friends, and go and have fun. He really wanted to go to the circus, he missed it, and he was definitely surprised to hear that it was in town. His circus; he missed it so much but he didn't want to risk accidentally revealing something by going with his team. Frustrated, Robin smacked the wall, and continued to his room.
Wally had returned to the team in the living room, and frowned. "I don't understand him sometimes," he muttered as he plopped down on the sofa.
"Who…Robin?" Megan asked.
"Yeah. He doesn't want to go to the circus with us tonight, and he wouldn't give me a reason why," Wally grumbled.
"I'm sure he has his reasons for not wanting to go," Kaldur said.
"I guess so, but he's always so quiet about everything. I just wish he would open up once in a while," Wally replied.
"Robin just left the cave," Superboy said. "I heard the zeta beam teleporter activate."
"What's with him today? Where would he go without telling us?" Wally said, mostly speaking to himself. "I'm going to go see what he's up to," Wally said and ran after him before anyone could stop him.
As he got outside he noticed Robin opening the garage manually from the outside, and take out one of the less conspicuous street bikes. He started it, put his helmet off and sped down the mountain's dirt road towards the small town of Happy Harbor.
Wally followed him, easily managing to keep pace with the motorcycle. He remained far enough away so that Robin wouldn't be able to see him from the rearview mirrors.
"Where are you going?" Wally wondered to himself.
Robin turned and entered the fairgrounds where large tents and food stands were in the final stages of being set up. Robin stopped and parked his bike in the grass, and began to walk toward the center of the grounds. Wally watched utterly confused. The kid would come here by himself when it's closed, but not when the actual show was going on?
Robin walked through the grounds seemingly unnoticed. The workers were too preoccupied with setting up to notice him. Robin was back by the animal pens standing next to the elephants. A five foot tall fence had been set into place to keep the elephants from wandering too far. Robin watched them curiously as they ate. There were two now, but when he was a kid the circus only had one. He had spent much of his free time with the elephant, but now he wasn't even sure if one of these elephants was the one from his past.
"Rob," Wally said, making himself known. Robin turned to him, a serious grimace on his face.
"You followed me," he said. It wasn't a question.
"Well yeah. I was just curious. Why did you come here now, but you won't come with us tomorrow?"
"It's none of your business," Robin said bluntly. "Just go back to the cave."
"Dude, we're supposed to be friends. Don't act like that. You could explain things once in a while, you know."
"I just wanted to check things out by myself." Robin muttered, and turned to leave but out of nowhere he was pulled into the air. Robin yelped in surprise as one of the elephants had lifted him up with its trunk.
"Robin!" Wally shouted. "Don't worry, I'll get you down."
Robin shook his head. "No, it's fine. She's just saying hi," Robin explained. A small, knowing smile was on his lips as he patted the large animal on the trunk. "It's nice to see you too."
Seemingly satisfied, the elephant put Robin back down on the ground, but kept her trunk around his waist. "Come on, I've got to go," he said trying to pull away. But she wouldn't budge. Wally just watched as Robin interacted with the large animal. He was somewhat in awe.
One of the caretakers for the elephants came over. He was an older man, probably in his fifties, balding, and yet he was quite muscular. "Hey now, release him," the man said. The elephant let go, and Robin turned around to face the man. "You know she doesn't normally pick up strangers," the man explained.
"Are you okay?" Wally asked.
"Sorry about that, son," the caretaker said.
"It's okay. I know Sitka's a good girl."
"How'd you know…"the man looked at Robin, sizing him up for a minute. Robin clapped his hand over his mouth realizing what he had just said. The man smiled. "Little Dicky, is that you?"
Robin tensed at the title he was just called, and mentally scolded himself for letting the elephant's name slip out. Wally knew his name, so that wasn't a problem, but he didn't know anything about his history. This place was going to reveal everything he tried to hide in an instant. But he sighed and answered. "Yes, sir. How are you Mr. Cleary?"
"I'm fine, but how are you doing, son? It's been a few years. I hope you're still practicing, you were one of the best little performers we had here," Mr. Cleary continued giddily.
Robin laughed a short, nervous laugh. "I've been well, and I practice every day."
Wally was watching the conversation trying to piece everything together. Robin, or rather Dick had been a circus performer? That actually made some sense. He had no problem doing tumbles and flips, but he wondered what role he actually had within the circus.
"Good, good. I'm glad to hear that," the older man smiled. Sitka, the elephant tapped Robin on the shoulder again. He patted her trunk. "You know what they say about elephants…they never forget a face." The man chuckled.
"Yeah, I know," Robin smiled.
"So is this one here your friend?" Mr. Cleary asked.
"Oh yeah, this is Wally. We just wanted to check out the circus before the show tomorrow night," Robin explained.
"Nice to meet you, sir," Wally said, raising a hand in greeting.
"Pleased to meet you as well, but I'm sorry to say the show tomorrow night might have to be cancelled. One of our performers got injured this morning during practice, and they were part of the main act and the grand finale," Mr. Cleary said, shaking his head.
"Which act is out?" Robin asked.
Mr. Cleary was about to answer, when his eyes brightened with an idea. "Hey, Dick come with me to see Mr. Haley. Maybe you could help us out, that's if you'd like to."
"Um, I don't know. It's been a while," Robin said looking nervous.
Mr. Cleary put a hand on Robin's shoulder. "Please consider it. If not we'll have to cancel the show here, and we've already sold the tickets."
Robin deflated. He just couldn't say no, this circus was his family at one point. "I guess I could help. I'll have to call my…guardian first though. Can you give me a minute?" Mr. Cleary nodded with a grin and Robin walked away.
Wally followed him. He had a lot of questions he was just dying to ask. "Rob, you worked in a circus?"
"Yes," Robin said taking his cell phone out of his pocket.
"Then why do you have to ask for permission if you used to work here?"
"I'm calling Batman…he needs to know," Robin said, and put the phone to his ear. Before Wally could ask any more questions, Robin began speaking on his cell.
"Hey," Robin began to say. "You probably know this already, but I ran into some old friends down here in Happy Harbor." Robin paused as Batman replied. "Oh…you didn't? Well that makes two of us. Anyway, Haley's Circus is in town. Yes, I'm okay…I think. They want me to help with their performance tomorrow."
Batman probably wasn't very happy to hear that because Robin's face immediately fell as Wally continued to watch the one-sided phone conversation.
"Yes, I know it's risky, but no one knows I'm going to be in it. Yes, my team is going to be there, and I know they might figure some things out, but they don't know I'm here right now," Robin turned to Wally and gave him a look that told him to not say anything.
"I sort of want to do this. And I would appreciate it if I could get your support," Robin said, and then smiled slightly. "Yes, I'll be careful. Okay, thanks."
Robin disconnected the call and placed the small phone back in his pocket. "Haha, he wasn't too happy about the news."
"Why?" Wally asked.
"Well, it's a long story, but it's mostly about the reason why I had to leave the circus. He's just worried," Robin told Wally.
"Why did you leave?" Wally asked.
"I-I can't tell you that. I'm sorry," Robin looked at Wally, and then back towards the circus tents. "It's not something I like to remember."
"Oh, okay. Sorry for bringing it up," Wally said.
Robin began to walk back towards Mr. Cleary and could see Mr. Haley walking out to meet him. Before they reached the two men, Robin spun and stood in front of Wally.
"Can you go back to the cave, please?"
"What? Why? I wanna hang out here at the circus with you," Wally protested.
Robin sighed. "I don't want you to see. It…it will be a surprise for tomorrow when the show starts, okay? Just go back and wait with everyone else, and don't tell them what I'm doing."
Wally shoulders sagged defiantly, but then he stood up straight and nodded. "Fine, I'll go…but only because you asked so nicely," Wally smirked.
"Thanks," Robin replied, and then Wally was gone as he dashed off back to the cave.
Robin finally met up with the two senior circus members, and they began to discuss the evening's events. Robin listened eagerly, yet warily as Mr. Haley described the act he wanted Robin to participate in. Yet by the end of the conversation most of Robin's worry had subsided.
gave a hearty laugh and clapped Robin's shoulder. "Dick, my boy, you're going to be stupendous tomorrow night!"
"Thanks, Mr. Haley."
"Now how about you go get into costume, and head to the big top for rehearsal with Amelia," Mr. Haley said. Robin nodded and ran off the familiar costume trailer to get suited up.
Well, I hope this was semi-interesting to anyone who reads this. I'm probably going to make this a two or three chapter story. So, let me know what you thought of the first chapter. Thanks!