For those of you who haven't seen the new episode, Image, this would be considered a spoiler alert, but you should be thanking me. The scene is worthy to be investigated! I found it suspicious, and worthy of a full back story in a coming up episode. Not before episode 24 though. Performance is going to be the best episode ever, hands down. It'd be even better than seeing a KF/Rob kiss (for me at least) and seeing how much I love the couple, you should know that my statement there says a lot.

We're independent women; some mistake us for whores. I'm just saying, why spend my money when I can spend yours?


"Dick…?" Wally tried the name on his tongue, pursing his lips and crossing his eyes to see if the name had opened a rip dimension.

The air between him and those pretty blue eyes was as clear as day though, not a cut or tear in sight. Those pretty blue eyes, once Wally uncrossed his eyes, quickly belonged to the little ebony beside which he found himself. They sat out on the edge of the mountain, their bare feet dangling far above the water, swinging back and forth against the surprisingly warm spring winds that swept their hair about. They were in their civvies, baggy white shirts billowing as it caught in the wind, their jeans rolled up to the middle of their thighs to dry. It was just them, the way they preferred it.

Everything about Robin or Kid Flash was sealed away in lockers and drawers in the Cave, left behind with the rest of the world because this moment was just for two best friends. There were no jackets, no shades, no costumes, no spandex, no gloves and no lies. All walls, fears and regrets were now shattered on the ocean floor thousands of feet below them, long forgotten as the words flowed easily between them. There were no cameras, no mentors; just the two of them.

"Yeah," Dick smiled, the outside edge to his ears burning scarlet, "My name is Richard John Grayson, but my parents used to call me Dick and it just stuck."

Wally grinned over at the ebony, putting his hands back behind him to hold himself up, tilting his head towards the boy to his left. The glint in his emerald eyes, locked hard on his friend, could be nothing short of pure amazement. He had dreamt of this day, but he hadn't imagined it this easy. He had thought he would've had to use drugs or alcohol to impair his bird's judgment. That obviously wasn't the case though, thank goodness.

"What about your folks?" Wally probed, ghosting his hand closer to the ebony. "What do they think of you spending all your time with a grown man in a bat suit?"

Dick laughed, just now realizing how awkward the idea was. He was used to seeing it just as a father and a son working together, but the rest of the world probably suspected Batman was a pedophile! Just the thought of his mentor creeping outside windows with a rapist face made his laughter jump an octave, becoming cute little giggles.

"Batman isn't a pedo, I promise," Dick assured Wally, touching a reassuring hand to the freckled arm, a grin still stretched wide over his lips.

The ginger returned the grin, his eyes darting to Dick's hand before going back to those blue eyes. The wind was just so perfect, keeping those soft black bangs off of the exposed eyes, making them easier to gaze at, and even easier to see get embarrassed when they realized that their hand had lingered just a moment too long so they pull back with a flustered blush.

"But seriously bro, what do your parents think about it? I mean, they probably never get to see you…" Wally said innocently, oblivious to the effect of his simple question.

Dick's face fell as he leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees, looking down at the grass between his knees with dark features. The words hit it home, stirring up the shards of his broken heart, kicking his smile and its bags to the curb without even bothering to hear its side of the story. When the ginger noticed, his eyebrows furrowed and he opened his mouth to apologize for something he didn't know the roots to. He never got a word in, but he actually never planned to say anything at all. He wanted to hear why his words had such an effect.

"I um… they don't…" he tried to explain, his voice broken until he coughed the shards into the ocean, turning his head and forcing a look a million times stronger than how he felt. "My parents… they… they are- were… They were murdered when I was nine."

Wally's eyes swelled in a mixture of surprise, fear and sorrow. Almost instantly, he had both arms around Dick's muscular stomach, hugging him comfortingly, his eyes closed to hide his self-anger for upsetting his buddy.

"I-I'm so sorry…" the ginger whispered, not knowing what else to say. "Do you… wanna talk about it?"

Dick looked from the grass to Wally's arm, choosing to focus on the grass because it didn't put pressure on his tear glands. He was going to be a superhero, even though he didn't feel like one. For his strong face, his eyebrows were furrowed, his eyes blurry and his frown shaky. That was near a million times stronger than he felt on the inside, the times' digit slowly dropping zeroes as Wally's arms comforted him.

"I guess… I might as well. It looks like I'm telling you everything else anyway… Do you want to hear it?" he made sure to ask, just in case.

When those protective emerald eyes locked onto his teary ones, he took that as a yes with a mildly deep breath that shook his throat as he struggled to take it in.

"It was five years ago… My parents and I were part of an act called the Flying Graysons for Haley's Circus [1]. We were acrobats- the trapezists if you would… The day before our big show, a man named Tony Zucco approached us, wanting us to extort money from the circus with the threat of killing us if we didn't obey," Dick began shaky, forcing his wide to stave off tears.

Wally tensed as he recognized the name. Anthony Zucco. That was the fat guy who had been on the News a couple years after Batman accused him of murder. He had been let off due to insufficient evidence. The world had been- well, the United States anyway- had been up-in-arms about the case as once again, the judiciary branch failed them, but that was the past and this was now.

"Well… my dad was being… well, dad," Dick smiled faintly, "and he refused to help them. He said we weren't afraid of them so we carried on with the show. On the night, everything started easy. We decided not to use the net because… um… we wanted to impress people! Mom and dad started off like always because they were older and my tricks were saved more for the end because triple somersaults and nose dive flips were pretty popular with the crowds…"

Dick paused, his breath ragged in his throat. He blinked once, wincing as a tear managed to escape his defenses. He cursed it angrily, reaching up to wipe it away. Wally beat him to it, a soft thumb brushing it from his cheek before the hug tightened and the ginger looked up at him, sorrow written into his eyes, begging to know how the story ended. Those eager, consoling eyes gave him the confidence to let the tears fall and to continue on, his voice trembling like mad.

"Mom's start went off without a hitch. She flew through the air, gliding with perfect form and flipping, swinging back to meet dad who had already grabbed his bar and slid. They flipped past each other, switching bars which always gained the crowd's attention. When dad got close to me, he flipped so his feet were on the bars which gave him better leverage. Mom flipped and dad caught her ankles, swinging my way for me to join to finish the act… and…"

Dick chewed at his lip, looking over at the setting sun. The golden rays struck the water with a navy blue, the sky a perfect golden orange tint. The grass was its greenest, the air its most refreshing, and he had two protective and loving arms wrapped around him, holding him tight. This should've been a perfect scene, one that would bring the most vivid of blushes to his cheeks and the shyest of smiles to his lips, but here he was crying… He shrugged off the thought, trying to finish strong.

"When mom came up to the right height, she held her hands out f-for me… smiling in pride… that's when the wire snapped. Zucco had unscrewed the bolts to a point where they'd break… mid-performance. I just… I remember seeing her eyes widen in fear as she j-just… dropped… dad right behind her. She screamed my name and I j-just… cried."

Dick tensed as he heard a sniffle that wasn't his own, felt a tear that wasn't his own, felt a fast heartbeat that wasn't his own. He opened his eyes and looked over at Wally, jumping when he saw how heartbroken his friend looked. Just as heartbroken as he did. Finally… someone understood.

"That's why you're afraid of falling isn't it? Ah, Rob, I'm sorry for that time I pushed you off the high dive and dropped you from the piggyback ride and left you on the roof with no way to get down and peer-pressured you into cliff-diving with me and made you ride that rollercoaster with me and made you-," the ginger began to speed talk, his words spilling faster than his lips could move.

Dick smiled softly, lifting his arms from his side and wrapping them tight around his friend to return the hug.

"It's alright dude," he promised, leaning his head on Wally's, hoping it'd be enough to shut him up for a second or two. "I'm not… afraid of falling… I mean, I am, but if I know I can survive it, I'm fine. It's mostly watching others fall. Scares me pretty bad… so take the hint and don't fall."

Wally chuckled dryly, taking a deep and calm breath.

"No promises, but I'll try my hardest," he vowed, his arms shaking.

Dick ignored how wrong their position would look if anyone else from the team came by, keeping his best buddy close to heart because home is where your heart is after all and he'd rather come to a loving ginger than a black haired stranger. The two sat there in a comfortable silence, the chirping of the birds and the crash of the waves against the shore enough of a conversation for them.

"Hey Dick?" Wally asked lightly, breaking the quiet with a whisper.

Dick looked down at him, his eyes sore from the few tears, a smile on his lips anyway. He hummed to show the ginger had his attention, his gaze lightly nesting in the freckled face.

"If your parents died… where do you live now?"

Dick blinked in surprise at the question, his eyes widening just in the slightest. His face relaxed quickly, but he was still a little off-set by it.

"What do you mean?" his eyebrows furrowed, his hands falling back behind him to support his weight.

Wally took that as a hint to back off so he did, leaning back and putting his hands under his head to hold himself up, his feet still hanging in dead air. Dick felt odd being the only one still sitting up so he let himself fall back into the grass beside his friend, interlacing his fingers over his stomach with a faint smile, lolling his head to the side so he could meet gazes with the pretty emerald eyes not too far from his.

"I mean… are you an orphan? Do you… Do you actually have a home or do you like, live in the infamous Batcave… or…?" Wally elaborated, secretly hoping that the Robin lived with the Batman in the Batcave where he had learned to sleep upside-down from the ceiling.

Dick paused, pursing his lips and drawing them off to a corner, sorting through the answers Wally wanted to hear and the truth. The ones Wally wanted to hear were a lot cooler than the truth, but he didn't feel like lying. He hadn't lied yet and he didn't plan to. Someone needed to hear what was eating away at him if he had any chance of surviving the next century without his emotions offing him.

"I am an orphan… I guess. I mean, Bruce never really adopted me. He just let me live with him and trained me to be his side-," Dick caught his words from the air and kicked them hard in their sensitives, beating them down to a mess of gooey organs as fast as his bare metaphorical feet could work, but it was too late. "S-Side assistant! At his job! He uh... needed help and uh... I was there for him and..."

Wally caught the slip-up, his eyes widening and a playful smirk quickly widening to a grin. He turned on his side, curling up beside the ebony, his eyes alive with mischievousness, the sunlight captured in their simplicity and somehow managing to become something dangerous in a single blink.

"You were going to say sidekick!" his face was alive with excitement. "Bruce is Batman's name! That has to be it!"

Dick's eyes widened, but he forced them calm and did his best to hide the blush.

"Don't be stupid, KF," he tried to argue.

Wally was a mule though and he wasn't budging one stubborn inch until he was told that he was right. He had decided that Batman had to be named Bruce and he planned to hear the confirmation flow past Dick's pink curved lips with the small curve in the upper lip but the perfectly rounded bottom to make up with it.

"Nuh uh, Boy Wonderful. You goofed and I caught it. Bruce is Batman's real name!" when Dick simply smirked, Wally frowned hard, narrowing his eyes in a menacing way. "You'll tell me I'm right or I'll whelm you so hard I break your aster."

The ebony's face flashed to a vivid color with a heavy blush, causing him to scoot over nervously, his eyes wide and his lips drawn into a suspicious straight line.

"Th-that doesn't make any sense!" he claimed, making sure to keep his back pressed hard into the ground just in case it meant what he thought it did.

Wally hid a smirk, crawling over towards Dick in a cat-like fashion.

"It'll make sense when you just sit back and let me work my magic," he got up on his knees, popping his fingers for effect.

Dick's eyes were wide, trained fearfully on the ginger, his courage starting to whither away quickly with every knee-step. When Wally touched a hand down on either side of him, Dick finally surrendered.

"Alright, fine, you caught me! It is! You got his first name. Now get off me perv," Dick brought his legs up off the edge, balancing Wally's chest on his shins and lightly dumping the ginger back to his right where he belonged.

Wally smirked confidently, snuggling up beside Dick again like a leech.

"Whatever you say Dick," he rested his forehead against the ebony's shoulder, hiding a smile.

Dick couldn't help but laugh, reaching his opposite hand over and tousling Wally's hair.

"You're such a moron, KF. You know that, right?"


Robin leaned forward in the armchair in Marie Logan's living room, his arms laying on the rests of the chair, a smirk lining his lips as he watched the news. Across from him, Megan and Conner occupied two other armchairs, copying his posture, their eyes following his gaze. Behind him was Wally who stood with a hand to the back of the Boy Wonder's chair, a hand on his hip, copying all of the others in their task.

It was all over. Qurac was saved; for now. Queen Bee wasn't the supreme ruler and Bruce Wayne was patching things over with President Rumaan Harjavti at the intention of keeping Qurac as one of the United States' allies.

Marie shut the TV off with the remote in her hand from her spot against the bookshelf, smiling proudly at the blackened screen. Maybe these heroes weren't so bad after all. They did get Garfield hurt, but he was okay now and their country was at peace again! Peace. What a beautiful word. She had waited so long for it to describe her country and now, she owed it all to a bunch of kids. She never thought she'd see the day.

Wally smirked confidently at the TV screen, looking down at the bird below him in the armchair. He was almost tempted not to say anything, but the red and black boy looked way too happy to not be messed with. Something had to be done, something that would amuse the ginger for a minute or two, or something that would at least lighten the tension and break the ice. He had the perfect idea, the perfect way to creep under the blue eyed babe's skin.

"Gee, Bruce Wayne sure got here fast," Wally observed in a sarcastically oblivious voice, backing up from Robin to avoid being hit. "It's almost like he-!"

Robin's eyes widened as he figured out what Wally was going to say, quickly reaching a glove back and swiping blindly, successfully snagging the ginger in the gut despite his best attempts to not be hit. That drew a surprised cry out into the air, making the mini Flash jump, but the ebony played it off by supporting his head with his hands in an innocent act. Of course he didn't mean to hurt Wally! That would make him a jerk! He was just putting his arms behind his head. No harm there...

"Don't you have a souvenir to collect or something?" he growled through gritted teeth, forcing a smile.

Wally failed to hide a smile of his own, rubbing his stomach and backing away from Robin's hands. He knew he never would've told the secret, but it was fun to toy with the fact that he had the power to; he had the black mail. He could forever keep Robin in line, as long as he had this kind of power at his fingertips. Blackmail wasn't his thing though. He'd much rather tease and keep Dick Grayson to himself, only sharing Robin with the rest of the world.


[1] I don't care what "Performance" says. Haly is not how you spell his circus' name. It's with an e. I have researched it before. It's always been with an e and I'm keeping the e, no matter what any of you say, same with the original brunette claim for baby Grayson up there.

I'm sorry about the whelm and aster quote. I needed something to get Dick to break and I figured it was creepy enough to work. The last scene, obviously, is from Image. I figured there needed to be a story and I was bored. Whatever, I'm just trying to get back up to 200! Coming up is a 'Chocolate' story recommended to me by a dear friend and then a story about 'the mole' on the team. So… review?

-F.J.