"Dick!" The shout came from the tent's exit. Dick stopped talking and looked up to see who was calling him. Amelia came running over to him. "Are you alright? What did you do?" Amelia asked. She looked flustered, and a little irritated.
"I'm fine. Sorry…it was a stunt…that's all," he told her.
"A stunt! Don't you think you should have told me about that? I was scared to death when you fell. Was it supposed to be a joke or some kind of prank you thought of at the last minute?" She shouted furiously. "It wasn't funny and taking into consideration of your past I thought you would have been the last person to do such a thing! It was completely disrespectful!"
Dick jerked back at that last shout. It definitely struck a nerve and it didn't go unnoticed to the team.
"Lord, your parent's didn't they fall? How dare you…"Amelia continued.
"Hey!" Conner said stepping toward the girl. She flinched and looked at Conner as if she just noticed he was standing there, and then she looked to the others surrounding Dick. They were all watching her with stern expressions. "You need to stop," Conner growled.
"Amelia," Dick started quietly. "It wasn't a prank or anything like that. I-I'm sorry," Dick whispered. "I have to go," He turned on his heal, and walked away as fast as he could. Dick heard Megan shout after him, but he ignored her. He ducked down in-between two tents and made his way to the back fields where it was completely empty.
Dick fell to the ground with a huff. He was lying on his back and held his arm over his eyes, partially to block out the sun, and partially to stop the unwanted tears from escaping. It was stupid that he had become so upset, but after everything that happened so far today he just couldn't help it. It was overwhelming, the sounds, the people, the setting…it brought back so many memories both good and bad he was losing control of his emotions.
He heard the sound of footsteps on grass, but he didn't look up. He knew his team had come out to find him. Wally must have followed him when he ran away, and waited for the others to catch up. He just listened as they got closer, and then he heard rustling and felt something touch both of his sides. His team had lain down in the grass next to him.
It was quiet for a while, only the sound of a light breeze blowing through grass could be heard, but then Wally finally broke the silence. "Do you feel like sharing your thoughts with us?"
"Yeah," Dick replied quietly. Although he had stopped crying as soon as his friends had shown up, he didn't remove his forearm from his eyes. It was easier if he couldn't see right now.
"What upset you?" Kaldur asked calmly.
"It's stupid really. Amelia yelling at me just got to me for some reason, she mentioned my parents and…and I couldn't think anymore."
"She had no right to yell at you," Conner said.
"What happened to your parents?" Wally asked.
Dick took a deep breath, calming himself. "I used to live with my parents at this circus. We would travel all over the country and they would perform, but one day when I was eight there was a man here. A crime boss called Tony Zucco threatened businesses to pay him money for protection. refused him but he said that the circus would regret not listening to his offer," Dick paused and took another shaky breath. "The night we were supposed to perform I saw a man who didn't belong to the circus crew. I tried to tell my parents but there wasn't enough time because the show was starting," Dick stopped. He hasn't had to tell this story out loud for years now. It was difficult to get the words out.
His friends waited patiently for him to continue. They were all completely caught up in what Dick was saying. "So my parents went out on the trapeze and I was waiting on the tower for my cue. My mom came towards me and I was supposed to jump and she would catch me, but then…then t-the wires came free. No one was there to catch them and my mom and dad fell to their deaths. Tony Zucco had sabotaged the trapeze."
Megan gasped lightly, and Dick could feel Wally flinch a little. Dick didn't realize the small tears had started forming in the corners of his eyes while he recounted his past. It was a hard topic to talk about because it was one of the most painful moments of his life, but he was glad to share his past with people who cared enough to listen.
"What did you do after that?" Conner asked softly.
"Uh, I was questioned by the police. I told them what I had seen and then I met Bruce for the first time. He had been in the audience and saw the whole thing. The police were supposed to take me to an orphanage, but in Gotham City they were all full. I ended up in a juvenile correction facility instead," Dick said sadly and shivered at the memory.
"But you did nothing wrong…"Megan sobbed.
"Yes, but there was nowhere else for me to go. I spent three weeks there until Bruce came and asked me to come home with him. I remember how happy I was when he asked me that. The place I had been tossed in was terrible; no one…cared about me there. I was treated like all the other criminal kids."
Dick had paused again, so Kaldur asked, "When did you become Robin?"
"Shortly after moving in with Bruce. I accidentally stumbled into the Batcave one night and saw Batman. He was working on finding Zucco, who had escaped the night my parents died. I told him that I wanted to work with him so that I could protect people from suffering the same things as me," Dick told him. He placed his arm down at his side and looked up at the sky. "And although I miss my parents, I'm happy now. I know they would be proud of the work I do, and even though they're gone I still have a family."
"Aw, Rob called us family!" Wally laughed and pulled him into a hug. "That's so sweet!" Dick started laughing with him and pretty soon they were all laughing together.
Dick pulled away still smiling. "In all seriousness though thank you... for everything. I'm sorry for not telling you before now."
"There is no need to apologize. You are entitled to keep your personal life private, but the fact that you shared this with all of us says a great deal. We appreciate that you trust us enough to tell us something so personal, and we will not betray that trust." Kaldur said. Everyone else nodded in agreement.
"We will always be here for you," Megan smiled warmly and pulled Dick into an embrace.
"I know that now," Dick replied. "And it means a lot."
"Should we head back to the circus?" Wally asked after a few minutes went by.
Dick shook his head. "In a bit. I want to stay here for a little while longer."
He wasn't ready to leave quite yet because right then everything was as it should be. He had nothing more to hide from his friends, and they didn't patronize him for keeping secrets. Instead they supported him, listened to him, and cared about him and he couldn't ask for anything better.
Well, here's the last chapter! I hope you enjoyed reading this last chapter, and the story as a whole. Thank you so much for reading and all of the great support!