Hello, my new followers! I come bearing an update! First off, in response to the people who commented:
plainf: Thank you! And look, you didn't have to wait that long!(:
Kaye: Really? I'm so glad! I was afraid I'd be so off and situation wouldn't seem realistic at all! Thanks!
PorcelainQueenXD: Thank you! Yes, there really deserves to be more long Roy/Dick fics!
Madame: I know it's a bit short now, but that'll probably change as it goes on. Dark and confusing was kinda what I was going for, so I guess I'm doing my job! Also, thanks, I did have a better day!
music-is-luv: Yes, he did sort of mess that up bad, huh? But thank you, I'm glad I have you hooked! I shall try and update quickly as much as possible, since you seem to be a faithful reviewer so far!
For those of you who wanted a response or a question answered, why didn't you leave a review? Well, what are you waiting for! Do so now!(;
Warning: Bad words & teenage angst. Meh, you'll live.
Disclaimer: Don't own. Thanks for reminding me.
The worst I have to waste on finding Roy again is gas. Which is no big deal, really, when that tab is easily rectified by the lucrative allowance implied when you have a billionaire guardian. Nor is making a spur-of-the-moment trip to Star City a real issue either, not when I leave a message for Alfred to give to Bruce anyway
The true problem—the ugly, unwanted turmoil—is all inner and raging on inside my head rather than hindering my physical mission. Which was to find Roy before he did something stupid that he will regret—er, again.
I add a D) Roy might be shooting up! to my list of cons and suddenly the scale doesn't seem so promising anymore. My picture-perfect plan is falling apart, yet all I can do is keep flashing back to that night or recalling the young ginger I had grown up with, his feathered-cap relinquished by my crafty arms. Remembering sends an odd chill through my core though, so I push the past away until only the present and future remain.
There is a coldness in my chest that only secrets can warm. It took several hours of brooding consideration, but I need the truth, no matter how badly I crave otherwise. I need to hear it from Roy's own lips. Because Roy trusts me. That trust deserves to be returned.
I park my beloved cycle in the empty lot of some bank and scan the premises from beneath the tint of my helment. It was silent, but not overly so; nope, there was the normal abundance of city noise, cars screeching, dogs barking, etc, etc...
Deciding the peripheral perimeter secure, I abandon my helmet along with my vehicle and leap into the night, with only the wandering shadows as my seatbelt. They are all the protection I need.
In the process of scouring for my intended target, I catch two would-be muggers and accidentally subdue an armed attacker. (I don't care if you believe me or not, I'm serious!) I leave them tied up, confiscate the knife-wielder's weapon, dispose of it, then back to my original task. Just a regular night for us crime fighters.
Dealing with not only the drama of being an adolescent, but also taking sharp objects away from wrongdoers and tying them up for the police to find. Yeah, just a regular afterschool special.
Regardless of my inward ridicule, compensating for the fact that if I start to wander towards more unsavory subjects that I may leave myself open for an ambush, I'm actually quite unnerved. I know I will find him soon, but soon never seems quite soon enough.
It's an old trick I picked up from Batman when he's angry; follow the bodies. Or really, follow the trail of piteously moaning criminals with their heads cracked into the gutter.
I find the masked vigilante with his legs swung over the edge of some tall insurance building, gazing out at the flickering skyline. I creep up quietly, but like myself, he is experienced in the code of stealth and undoubtedly hears my approach. I'm not hiding, after all. Nonetheless, he still does not turn to greet me.
"Red Arrow," I address without stutter. Victory number one. When I receive no response, I call again, more firm and personal this time, "Roy."
He still refuses to face me. Well, fine, I can play hard to get too. My inner interrogator gets pumped up to work his diabolical magic, but what really comes out is,
"About what happened...that night...we—you—I mean—" I am just full of wit tonight. I breath in deep, attempting to calm my nervous pulse, releasing it slow. My hands tremble for a simple second. "Were you...high?"
No reply is uttered, however, just when I am about to ask again, he pulls something out of his pocket and lets it fall listlessly onto the rooftop.
I cringe as I watch the object descend, the cruel clatter of the syringe grating like razors against my ears. I gulp at the dissolution in which he provides me my visual. He looks so defeated, so apathetic.
"Is that the answer you wanted?" he queries, in a gravelly voice.
"Yes," I admit, sighing informally, "but not the one I was hoping for."
His lips quirk up sardonically. "Sorry to disappoint you." Softly then, barely audibly he adds, "Though I seem to be doing that more often as of late."
"Hey, don't be like that," I soothe, urging him to face me. "I'm not mad. Really. This is proof. You weren't yourself. You would have never done that had you been clean."
"I wouldn't," he agrees, whipping around to look me in the eyes, maskless and full of remorse. The earlier haze in that predatory front is all but nonexistent now. "I would never hurt you, Dick."
Both the intensity in which he states that and the way he says my name leaves me breathless.
"I know," I assure him, truthfully, and without hesitation. It calms the emerald storm behind those glassy eyes somewhat. "How did this even happen?"
Roy peers back off to side, unwilling to face me as he explains,
"Three months ago, I was patrolling one night and caught wind of a dealer a few streets west from my position. I followed the trail and found him trying to sell to some teenage girl in fishnets. I scared her away and cuffed the guy. He screeched the whole way to the police station, babbling incoherently, trying to hook me up fat in return for freedom. I scoffed and let them throw his sorry ass into a cell. There's no reasoning with guys like that..."
"...but you didn't go away empty handed," I finish knowingly.
He at least has the decency to look ashamed of himself. "No. I was going to turn it in, just like protocol discloses. But then everything just started...weighing down, you know?"
There is something casual about the way he says that, some obligatory note that sends my analytical gears swirling. "This isn't the first time you've used, is it?"
He shakes his head, somber and tight-lipped. "I was sixteen. At first, it was just a little pot. I got involved with a certain group of people and I just needed something...something to keep my mind off things. I tried the needle once, got hooked for a while. I kicked it pretty quick, got help and got sober. I was real sick for a while. Didn't like it, being so weak and dependent."
"You stop hanging out with those 'people'?" I press, trying to figure out how I couldn't have known of his previous habit beforehand. Now that I look back, I hadn't seen much of Roy that year, between school and patrols with Batman. Not only that, but I had been just a naive eleven-year-old at the time.
Roy snorts, "No way. Not like they were really my friends per se, just people I bummed off to get high."
I digest this with scarce satisfaction. Secrets between us have been exposed, yet a question still aches inside of me, begging to be answered, and I can't help but reckon he has been expecting this one all along. "Why?"
A scowl frames his face, glowering darkly, "You know, that's a really good question. Wish I had a plausible answer for ya', Boy Wonder." His bitter snark is not lost on me.
"Hey," I demur, laying a gentle hand upon his shoulder. His body language is poised for danger, screaming stay away, but I have no fear. Four years raised by the Bat has left me immune. I can handle myself, and I think this is partially why he is so comfortable around me. He knows I have what it takes to fight him off if I tried.
So, he must be wondering, Why hasn't he driven me off yet?
Good question. Great, now I'm spewing snark.
Roy's lips curl in a bitter mockery of a smile. "Nothing I say is gonna satisfy you, so why bother?"
"Try me," I usher. His grimace enhances.
"I don't even have an answer for myself, for every time I've asked that same question," he responds, his tone hinting towards despondency, "What do I say? That it hurts? That sometimes simply getting up in the morning is a freakin' burden and dealing with all the crap going on with Ollie, being out in the world, seeing all the shit we do, all the evil and bad...It's just so easy."
"Easy for what?" I ask, almost afraid of the reply I would receive. Roy flinches imperceptibly.
"To get lost in it all," he all but whispers, hanging his head low. "Especially when you're fighting it alone."
"You're not alone!" I interject, my tongue quicker than my mind. But my heart shushes the logic for a fruitful moment, and yes, I realize, it is the truth. And I will drill it into his cerebrum if I have to.
Roy snorts, unconvinced. My fingers tighten into fists, before I reach out and clasp one of his unguarded hands in mine.
"You're not alone," I repeat, desperate to infringe it into his memory for the rest of his lonely days, because I know. I know all too well the pain of thinking you're all alone, and I would never wish that on him.
No one deserves that kind of suffering.
"You have me," I allege, and bring his hand to my lips, placing a gentle kiss on his palm. He watches the movement with wide, amazed eyes, so while I have him so enthralled, I go forth and take the plunge, "If you want me, that is."
I shouldn't be offering up my soul on a silver platter, but I want to help him so much it hurts. I want this. I want this thing, whatever it is, to work out between us.
If that means my better judgment may be compromised, well, it is a sacrifice I will have to make.
"Yes," Roy affirms tenderly, and that single word is like a crow's talon snaking into my chest and engulfing my heart with care, the sensation fluttering through me like an arrhythmia, "Of course I do."
Miraculously, I smile. I am happy, despite the pinch of forebode shuffling in the pit of my stomach.
I try to convince myself I can fix him. Nothing is impossible for the Boy Wonder. I'm the League's Golden Boy.
Yet no matter how far my luck or reputation proceeds me, I was human like everyone else. More vulnerable than I cared to realize.
At least I wasn't the only one.
Maybe that was another pro to add to the list. E) With Roy, I never felt alone. I always belonged somewhere in the middle of his muddled mess of a world.
It might not appear as much, but it really did matter.
It mattered a lot.
I wish he hadn't found me. If I'm truly being earnest, I made it too easy. I should have run to the fucking ends of the earth to avoid meeting again. I don't deserve to see his face.
I especially don't deserve his forgiveness.
I nearly raped him for God's sake. Not that I meant to—the drugs conducting my movements, feeding my disease, the retched desire to just take, take, take— Christ, Dick was the last person I ever wanted to hurt! I swear on my father's grave.
Robin always seemed too good for hate, even when we were kids. Dislike, sure. Irritation? He was Batman Jr. and friends with Wally, it was bound to happen. But to go to the point of actually loathing someone?
Nope. Even while I as Speedy built up a steady disgust for the criminal society surrounding me, Robin met it all in stride and took every bad thing he was up against without malice. He wasn't immune, but he wasn't damaged.
Or, perhaps, he had seen so much already, that the world could throw nothing worse his way.
I never really considered that one. Dick was on pedestal in my mind. While he was younger and maybe idolized myself to a point, it was clear to me that he was better than us all, underestimated for his age. Obviously, people weren't looking at him close enough.
Because when I stared into those blue orbs, I saw a window wiser to the world than any other.
I'm not a cradle-robber or any other term you might want to fling at me. Age never mattered when we were growing up together or hanging out when our mentors teamed up for a mission. Robin can be immature at times, but that is only the root of his naivete (another endearing quality) peeking out around the edges.
So yes, I am attracted to him. Then again, maybe that is putting it lightly.
I want him so bad it hurts, but I don't want to cause him pain. I couldn't live with myself to ruin something so pure and hopeful. Dick is like the light to my darkened days.
He's loyal. Trusting. Always there. Curious. Bubbly. Full of laughter. I don't want to take any of that away. He's perfect. Everything I need and all the remedies my heart so desperately craves.
I should say no—it is the right thing to do. Without a doubt. He isn't dumb and I suspect he knows better than I.
So, why isn't he saying no?
It is this nagging thought, this fleeting detail of hope that blinds me to all the bad willing to happen. If he is willing to give me a chance, even seeing me like this, then damn it, how I can I give that up? I may never have another option like this. He has seen me at my worst, but he hasn't seen me hit rock bottom yet.
I pray to whatever God left that he never has to.
"Yes." The single words escapes my mouth like the breath of the flame, the light sensation of his lips pecking my palm upgrading to a dull burn, invigorating my deepest confession, "Of course I do."
I'm not forcing him this time. It is mutual. I'm not just some pining cradle-robber. He likes me, too.
It is so childish—and by God do I berate myself for it—but the revelation is so whole-hearted and uplifting. Ten times better than finding out your playground crush liked you back.
Then he smiles at me, the grace of that grin like a million reprieves on my soul. And no matter how this is destined to end, I feel inexplicable cheer bubble up inside. Even I manage to smile back.
I cannot promise him reform or change. I will not raise his expectations and swear I'm the man he deserves. However, I will try to be that person, even if it kills me. I want this to work and I have a gut-wrenching thrill that says he does too.
I was always a very upfront person. I will not delude myself and claim I'm not craving the needle right now. Nevertheless, I can say with utter honesty that I desire Robin even more.
And if that is not a sign of good faith, ship me off to Hell this instant and throw away the key.
I try to convince myself I'm what's best for him. I'm Red Arrow, a great hero in the making, after all. Even Batman could approve of that to some degree, right? ...maybe not.
Either way, with this recent relapse, it seems likely I'm headed for a fall.
But this time, I may just have someone to catch me when I do.
Hm. Roy's pov was interesting, yet challenging, since this fic is almost all Dick's point of view. Hope I nailed it right.
So one person has asked so far, and I didn't really elaborate well, but Robin/Dick is fourteen in this fic, headed towards fifteen.
Oh, and if no one has noticed by now, each chapter title has a theme? Anyone know what it is?^^
See that button down there? You know what it wants. You know what it needs. So don't disappoint!