(Hi guys, I've gone through this story and hopefully spotted all of my terrible typos. If you spot any feel free to let me know and enjoy the story.)
"Don't worry Zatanna, we'll be right here," Robin could just about make out Megan's comforting words to Zatanna as she packed her belongings into boxes with the help of the team. Only a few hours ago, Nabu had taken control of her father's body and left Zatanna alone. Batman had promised to take care of her, which meant Zatanna relocating to Mount Justice.
"Robin, pay attention," Batman stared down at Robin, talking in a quick hushed voice. "Giovanni was a good friend of mine. His daughter has lived a very sheltered life in comparison to you and the rest of the team." Batman held a picture frame in his hand, staring down at his friend, slightly younger looking with a little girl laughing in his arms. "I'm counting on your...experience.. handling this situation. It will take time, but I think it's best if Zatanna is integrated into the team."
"I unde-" Robin began, but Batman was already walking away, the photo frame back on the table.
'My experience..' he thought, 'My experience losing my parents, my family. My experience moving to a new home, with people I barely know...'
He shook his head and picked up the photo. Batman had an odd choice of words. Experience wasn't going to help the empty pit Zatanna was feeling right now.
'Don't cry, Don't cry, Don't cry,' two simple words were on repeat in Zatanna's head. It was better than,
'It's my fault'
'I have to leave my home'
Her eyes started to water again, and this time it took a long shaky breath to hold it back. Artemis and Megan were busy putting her belongings in boxes, while Wally, Conner and Kaldur carried them out to be transported to Mount Justice. The only one missing was Robin, the only one she truly couldn't face right now. From the very moment she had seen Robin, she'd fallen for him. His cheeky grin and extremely obvious flirting made her stomach flutter like the school girl she was, not to mention his blatant misuse of the English language which made her chuckle. For someone who's use of English had to be perfect for spell casting, it was a relief to relax and have some fun, especially with someone as cute as Robin. She never wanted Robin to see her cry, and right now she'd be collapsing into his arms in tears if she didn't control herself.
"Do you need any help?" Even though he had walked right up to her, Zatanna jumped. She was miles away.
"Oh em.. I think we've got everything now..," she turned, trying not to make eye contact. Robin caught her arm lightly, and held out the photo frame. She took it from him and for a moment her eyes flickered to his.
"If..I..you..," Robin stuttered, completely tongue tied. He'd forgot how much pain can be seen in a person's eyes, and it startled him to see the spark of life in Zatanna's eye's so dull and life-less. He wanted to reach out to her, tell her it would be okay with time, let her know he was there, that he knew the pain she was feeling, but all he could do was stand there. "You..you should keep that near you," he motioned to the photo. Zatanna stood for a long time and just stared at the photo. A small droplet of water landed on photo, followed by another. He reached out wanting to comfort her but was interrupted before he could.
"Hey Rob, grab this box and let's get a move on. We've got everything," Wally shouted over his shoulder. While Robin was trying to talk to Zatanna, everyone had left. One box stood by the door.
"Zatanna, I know its-"
"Don't!," her shoulders were visibly shaking, her voice cracked, and her eye's remained fixed on the photo, "Just... don't, please." So without another word, Robin picked up the last box, leaving Zatanna standing alone in the middle of the emptied room.
Day three. Day three was when she would make her move. Robin knew this, he could see it in her eyes. The day after moving into the cave, Zatanna stayed in her room, sorting out her belongings and occasionally crying. Robin couldn't bring himself to knock on the door, and so spent most of the day sitting in the hall outside her room. He could nearly feel his heart breaking whenever he heard the outburst of sobs. By the following morning, the breakdowns were few and far between. The team, minus Zatanna, had just finished training and were lounging in the kitchen when Robin saw Zatanna in the door way. There was a hard look in her eyes. Dark, determined, ready to do something foolish. Bruce had once described seeing the exact expression on Dick's face about a week after his family's death. That is how Robin knew, he knew Zatanna was going to do whatever it took to get her father back, even if that meant endangering herself. That night, he changed the security access to the cave. After 5pm, Zatanna wouldn't be able to use the zeta tubes, or exit the cave without permission from him or a league member. All he could do now was wait.
"Emit ot sserd rof htlaets," Zatanna's spell was spoken quietly, she knew Conner had super hearing, but luckily him and Megan were busy entertaining each other. A quick glance at the clock showed it to be roughly 10:30pm. The hallway was clear, and getting to the hanger was no problem. She went straight for the red motorbike in the corner. The helmet was already sitting on top. 'If I start it here, Conner will definitely hear. I need a spell,' Zatanna thought of every spell she knew, and decided a levitation spell would work.
"Etativel ekibrotom ot em," As the motorbike was making its way towards her, Zatanna walked up to the Zeta tube. Nothing happened.
"Umm.. Zatanna Zatara A-03?"
"That won't work," Robin's voice from behind her startled Zatanna so much that the motorbike clattered to the ground. A loud crunch of metal made her winch.
"Planning a late night drive? Looks like that," Robin gestured to the motorbike, "won't be working any time soon." He couldn't hold back a smirk. He was right after all, he didn't want to be, but he was, and he just loooooved being right.
"Why can't I get out?" Robin thought he could detect a tone of hostility in her voice, but he chose to ignore it. He walked over to the damaged bike. Talking to Zatanna might make things worse, he had to think before he replied. "Am I a prisoner here? Don't ignore me!" There was definitely hostility in her voice now. She was losing it, getting angry, aggressive, and impatient. He knew what was coming next.
"tnarg em ssecca ot eht metsys niboR" Was the spell Zatanna intended to say, but before she could even say the second word, Robin had dashed behind her, clamped a hand firmly over her mouth and pulled her tight to him to restrain her with his other arm.
"I didn't want to do this," His voice was soft, sympathetic even, "I had to stop you Zatanna, before you got hurt." She was struggling against him, her angry words lost in a muffle against his gloved hand. "Zatanna stop!" Perhaps his shout was a little too harsh, or maybe it was enough to get through to her.
Zatanna stopped struggling and let Robin take her weight. As two teens sank to their knees, Robin could feel the tears landing on his glove, which still covered her mouth. He couldn't take this. He was so afraid she would hate him forever.
"It's okay Zatanna, let it all out," His eyes were closed now, his head resting lightly on the back of her shoulder. His guard dropped. That's when he felt his body go rigid. Robin's brain sprung into a panic. His body was moving on its own! He stood up, stepped away from Zatanna and approached a black motorbike. He was wheeling it back to Zatanna when he noticed the blood coming from her finger tips, and the writing on the ground beside a small razor blade.
"Tel em tou niboR. T'nod kaeps"
Damn! He didn't know she could do that. Those tears were from cutting her fingertips. He'd been fooled. "Recognized, Robin, B-01," Zatanna was putting on her helmet and getting on the black bike as Robin was unwillingly granting her access to the Zeta Tubes again.
"I'm sorry Robin.. I have to do this"
"Recognized, Zatanna Zatara, A-03"
Robin felt control of his body come back just as he saw the rear light of the motorbike disappear through the zeta tube. Batman was going to be pissed.
He wasn't far behind Zatanna, just a few moments after he regained control of his body he was on a motorbike, exiting to the same location as Zatanna. Unfortunately, a few moments was a pretty good head start when on a motorbike in a city, Gotham city to be exact.
'Guess I gotta do this the old fashioned way,' Robin hid the motorbike and grappled up to the nearest roof top. He had more chance finding her from above. He could call in the rest of the team, but Batman had spoken to him alone about making sure Zatanna was okay. He understood to some extent how she was feeling.
'I have to find her before she does something reckless'
Finding her way through Gotham was trickier than Zatanna remembered. She knew she needed somewhere secluded, less chance of people being hurt, and this late at night, the park was her best option. 'Robin won't be far behind,' How had he even known she would try to sneak out? She should of just gone back to her room, tried another night, but it was too late for that now.
"Dad, I'll find a way.." she whispered to herself. After reaching the park, Zatanna ran to the center. It was completely deserted and she knew it wouldn't be long before the possible commotion caught Robin's attention and spoiled her idea.
'Deep breaths girl. Calm down.. concentrate,' She steadied herself, raised her hands towards the open area and closed her eyes.
"Dnif ruoy yaw ot em, NoiralK, drol fo soahc!," it was too late to turn back now. A bolt of red energy shot down from nowhere right in front of Zatanna. It started it take the shape of a large red circle. A silhouette appeared, a familiar shape of a slender person holding something in its arms.
"Well, well, well, if it isn't the pretty little magician girl!," Klarion's familiar Teekl, jumped from his arms and landed outside the portal, swiftly followed by Klarion himself. "I see Fate let you go" His sly movements and grin set Zatanna's teeth on edge, but he was her only hope.
"I need your help."
Klarion's laugh was maniacal, and a little over dramatic, "Want to step up to the big leagues, baby magician?" Klarion's laughter continued. Zatanna gritted her teeth and stood her ground.
"Doctor Fate possessed my dad," She paused. The last thing she wanted was to sound like she was begging, but it seemed like that was her only option. "I need a way to free him from Nabu, without hurting him."
This caught Klarion's attention. His laughter stopped but his grin remained on his face. Teekl was circling Zatanna, watching her intently. "You want me, to help you? After you and you little friends keep ruining my plans?" his eyes narrowed as he spoke, the amusement leaving his expression. He walked towards Zatanna, stopping a foot in front of her. "What makes you think I won't just kill you now?" Klarion's hand shot out, his long slender fingers wrapping around Zatanna's neck, his black nails digging into her flesh.
She stared at Klarion and tried not flinch. This wasn't going well. "Please, take the Helmet, anything, just help me get my Dad back," Zatanna pleaded with Klarion, and his grip on her neck loosened. The thought of getting his hands on the Helmet of Fate was a very alluring prospect. Klarion moved his face inches from Zatanna's face. He stared intently at her. She was desperate. That much was clear. This could be amusing, a little bit of fun to distract him from the Light for a while.
"I think I m-" There was a loud hiss as Teekl jumped behind Klarion. One of Robin's batarangs was in the ground where Teekl was only moments ago.
"KLARION! GET AWAY FROM HER!" Robin was rushing towards them, an obvious rage radiating from him.
"Hmm well that's no fun," Klarion turned back to Zatanna, leaned in close and whispered, "I'll find you next time." His grip on her neck tightened as her flung her towards Robin. In one clean movement, Klarion picked up Teekl, leapt back into the air and opened a portal. His maniacal laughter echoed around the park when Zatanna crashed into Robin, sending them both tumbling to the ground.
"Hmm a baby birdie minding a baby magician ! How quaint!" His laughter faded as he swept through the portal, closing it after him.
A small groan escaped Zatanna's lips as Robin lifted her into a sitting position. "Zatanna, are you okay?" he moved her hair from her neck and saw small drops of blood running down her neck. Klarion's nails had pierced her skin. 'That bastard!'
"ugghh.. Robin..What are you..?" Zatanna started to stand up, stumbled a little, and chose to remain on the ground. She had passed out on impact with Robin, partially from being choked by Klarion.
"Zatanna what the hell were you thinking!" The anger was really boiling up. Robin took a deep breath and looked at her. She couldn't even look at him. "You could have been hurt! You were hurt! You're lucky to be alive! Did you forget how dangerous Klarion is? How did you even know he was here, what did he say to you!" he ran out of breath. There were so many questions he needed answers to right now. She was hurting, and Robin wasn't making it any easier. He clenched his fists. Now wasn't the time.
"Come on. I'll take you home." He held out his hand to help her up. "I will have to tell the league that Klarion is coming after you. He's probably trying to get to Dr. Fate." Zatanna took his hand and let him pull her into a standing position. She really liked Robin, she was hating herself inside for what she did to him tonight, and for the lies she was about to tell him.
"Yeah, he mentioned Dr. Fate, and.. oh I don't know it all happened so fast," a twinge of guilt was emanating from her chest. "I'm a little confused. Must of hit my head or something," she let her sentence trail off into silence, and silence was the only thing that passed between them on the journey back to mount justice.