It had been a week since the Team had been rescued from the Joker. A funeral for the Chucker, or Harry Jensen as his name had been before he had gone missing a month prior to the mission, had been held four days after. Robin had been treated for injuries and had attended the funeral in a wheel chair, much to his embarrassment and annoyance. Roy had attended too. Even if he didn't admit it Wally and Dick knew that he had felt guilty about not being there for his little brother. That was his way of making it up to them, despite the fact that there was nothing to make up. Robin didn't wear his glasses anymore. Everyone knew who he was after Artemis had suddenly figured it out after a day on pondering it. She had shouted it out at the top of her lungs in Robin's hospital room. But everyone still called him Robin out of habit. Everyone else's injuries had healed within two days after the mission. Everyone was fine now and only one problem still remained unsolved with; what had the Joker injected into Robin? All the tests he had been through had provided little to no answers. He seemed fine so soon it was pushed into the back of everyone's minds. That was a big mistake.
"R-Robin. What are you doing?" Wally asked his friend. The ginger's skin slipped to the color of ice faster than a traffic light. Robin, his best friend, his little bird, his brother, was covered in blood on the floor of his bathroom. Harsh waves of nausea pushed upward and it took everything Wally had not to throw up. The brown tile floors were now a rusted red color. The bathtub, whose sides Robin was half laying on and half sitting on, had gone from a perfect cream color to a glistening scarlet. The room stunk of it, it covered everywhere, and it stained his best friend. Blood, blood, blood.
"It looks pretty" Robin whispered in a dazed tone. The boy's arms were covered in deep slashes made by the knife he was gripping tightly as if afraid someone would take it from him. The red liquid rushed down Robin's white skin to drip into the bathtub. It flowed into the water and created swirling patterns and huge clouds of darkness. To Robin it was pretty. To Wally it was a horrific omen.
Wally used his super speed to appear next to Robin in less than a millisecond. He reached for the blood stained knife in Robin's hand. The young teen's eyes widened as if he misunderstood Wally's actions. His hand jerked upward followed by a weak scream of "NO!"
The rest of the young justice team ran into Robin's bathroom. They were met by this: Robin was curled up in a fetal crouch, his eyes wide and scared. His arms and hands were dripping blood and his clothes were stained with it. Wally was nursing his left arm which was covered in sharp slashes made by the knife that was abandoned in the middle of the blood covered floor. He was muttering soothing words to Robin quietly, trying to calm the boy. When that clearly didn't work he got up to face the rest of his stunned team.
"Get Batman" he ordered in a voice no one tried to disagree with. Well…almost no one. As M'gann nodded and left to call Batman, Artemis stepped forward.
"What happened?" she asked, her voice heightened an octave and shrill. It stabbed into Wally's ears as the accusing tone bit down.
"I don't know. I came in because I was worried that he hadn't come out of his room in a while and I found him cutting himself with the knife. I asked him what he was doing and…and he said it…it looked pretty?" he made the statement a question, glancing at Robin in confusion. Robin just stared, wide eyed, back at him. "I tried to take the knife away but he just attacked me."
"Are you sure?" Artemis asked. The whole scenario sounded very farfetched to her but she also knew that Wally was no liar.
"Yeah, I'm pretty sure." Wally snapped back in a no-duh tone, rolling his eyes. As Artemis and Char began a small argument, mostly as a way for them both to relieve the tension, Kaldur started walking slowly towards Robin. Superboy made a small warning noise as he watched from the door. Something was definitely not right.
"Robin?" Kaldur asked gently. He got no response.
"What's wrong?" he tried again. Robin just sat there with an unreadable look on his face. "What happened?" As if to answer the question, Robin's eyes flickered to his deep cuts that were still leaking blood then to Wally, who was still arguing with Artemis, and then back to Kaldur.
"Why?" This question didn't come from the Atlantian, it instead came from the Dark Knight who had just arrived next to Superboy with M'gann in tow. Everyone in the room jumped, and Artemis and Wally were silenced. The sight of Batman petrified them , and not for the usual reasons. His skin around his mask was stretched and misplaced to suggest that his eyes were widened. His body was shaking and instead of carrying an aura of emotionless cold he radiated horror and fear. Batman silently swept into the room and crouched down next to his son. Kaldur backed off and pulled Artemis and Wally out of the room. The team watched silently as Batman was converted from…well, Batman to a caring, scared father.
"Robin?" Robin refused to answer as his blue eyes watched Batman, chest heaving as his breath came out in gasps. Batman reached out as if to comfort the boy. Robin's eyes widened in horror.
"No!" he screeched. A pale shaking hand flew to Batman's wrist. The Dark Knight jerked away. Black cloth slipped away from his glove just enough for the rest of the team to see three bleeding scratch marks made by Robin. A few moments of silence went by, creating more tension and, in Robin's case, fear to grow.
"Shhh its okay." Batman whispered, not caring that the Team was watching or not. His son was hurting. "I'm not going to hurt you. I just need you to relax. I am going to find out what's wrong with you, promise."
I am going to find out what's wrong with you? There was something wrong with him? Robin didn't understand anymore. What happened? Was it bad to make the pretty patterns in the water? Why was there so much blood? Had he done that? A sharp sting announced the fact that batman was injecting a sedative into his arm. His blood turned an icy cold and then Robin didn't have to worry or be confused anymore.
Robin lay in between pearly white sheets, shivering. His Gypsy tan had been replaced by an icy white. He was also wearing white clothing and everyone had double checked that there was nothing he could use as a weapon in any way around him. They had even taken away the blood bag and I.V. despite it being too early. When complete silence and a blank stare, belonging to Robin, aimed at the ceiling was good then they knew something was wrong.
"WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?" A yell announced that Roy had arrived; only five minutes after Wally had called him.
"We don't know" Wally answered. That was the first thing he had said, no, that was the first time he had actually moved any part of him after sitting down next to Robin's bed. Roy fuming aura deserted him as soon as his eyes landed on Robin.
"Oh my god Rob." He half whispered as he walked forward, pushing past M'gann and Kaldur non too gently. They didn't retaliate in anyway; instead they just looked at him sympathetically.
Roy sat on Robin's bed with almost too much gentleness and care. His strong fingered slipped through Robin's dark locks, his large hands caressing half of the too white face. Robin was so small….so young. That fact was even more pronounced now while he lay among the blankets, not because a villain had hurt him physically but because something was wrong with him mentally.
"Roy?" Robin asked, blinking weakly and arching his head to watch the older hero.
"Hey, Robin" Roy soothed, letting a small comforting smile play on his face. Wally tensed on the other side of the bed. Now this was something that he never thought would be possible. He was worried about Robin, their youngest brother, hurting Roy, their oldest brother. Wally's heart was in his throat as a few seconds of silence filed the air. Then, before anyone could react, Robin lunged. His wiry arms wrapped weakly around Roy's neck in a hug. Roy didn't even hesitate before returning the hug and letting the young hero lay his head and Roy's shoulder.
"Shh it's okay. We are going to fix this." He soothed
"I can't even remember most of it. Nothing makes sense. I can't think." Robin's shoulder's shook as he let out tears. Roy hugged him tighter as Wally let out a sigh of relief and let his hand rest on Robin's shoulder. The team watched in awed silence. Robin only let his emotions show like this around Wally and Roy, Robin and Wally could only make Roy act like this, and only Robin and Roy could calm and worry Wally like this. It was amazing: this brotherly bond.
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