by TwinEnigma

Standard Disclaimer applies - I do this for fun and do not profit from this. I don't own any of the Young Justice characters or the show.

NB: originally done as a response to a prompt on YJ-anon-meme. De-anoning like a boss.

Warnings: character death(s)

It's hard to look at him, knowing what he is.

Because he's not Robin, not really. He's a clone, cooked up in one of the Waynetech Military Research and Development Labs, and paid for by ambiguous defense contracts co-signed to the Justice League. He's never known the parents that exist in his programmed memories. He's never walked in sunlight, been hugged, or played pickup hoops in the Batcave. And perhaps most egregiously, he shares his face with the corpse that Batman had been cradling in his lap on the battlefield as the world went to hell around them.

But he's still Robin. He has all the skills, all the memories, and when he opens his mouth and says, "Batman,"he can close his eyes and pretend.

They say it gets easier if you pretend, if you just think of it as them going to sleep and waking up refreshed, miles away from the mangled husks they leave behind.

It doesn't.

And it's different, anyway, because Robin has come to be his son, the newest light in his universe to chase away the shadows.

Batman will never see the real Robin again. He's dead. What woke up here is little more than a homunculus.

Water, 35 liters. Carbon, 20 kilograms. Ammonia, 4 liters. Lime, 1.5 kilograms. Phosphorous, 800 grams. Salt, 250 grams. Saltpeter, 100 grams. Sulfur, 80 grams. Fluorine, 7.5, iron, 5, silicon, 3 grams, and trace amounts of 15 other elements.

That's all.

Not-Robin gives him a thin, watery smile, and he tries not to show how much it hurts when he smiles back.

"We should probably get going now," Black Canary says from behind the Not-Robin. "The meeting's about to start."

Batman nods and heads for the door, his cape swirling around him and tries not to think of the blood that had stained his uniform the night before or the limp, weightless body in his arms.

The silence he leaves behind with the homunculus and Black Canary is deafening.

"You need to tell him," says Black Canary.

Robin raises his head to look at her, scowling. "And tell him what, exactly?That he's the fifth Batman clone? That I've watched him die, over and over?"

There is no answer for him, not from her, not from anyone.

AN: I've made only minor corrections, as I was half-asleep when I posted the original on the meme and I'd made a few typos.

I've planned on expanding on this a bit, so I'm not marking this as complete just yet.