Okay. I had the idea for this one for a fair while before I started writing this. I'm sorry, but I just think that Batman being a dad to Robin is very sweet.
I tried to keep the Rob/Star to a minimum, since I wanted this to be a mainly Bruce/Dick father/son story, but there's still a bit of Rob/Star. Just a little, though, and most of it you can write off as friendship.
Uh, you'll need to know a little bit about Robin's past. Not a lot (I don't know a lot) but just a little. Slight mentions of Robin's parents.
Disclaimer: I don't own the Teen Titans. Or Batman. Or Alfred, for that matter. Anyone you recognise, it is safe to assume I don't have any ownership of.
Starfire sneezed and groaned, lying against the bed.
"You okay Star?" Robin asked, rubbing a hand against hers.
The Titans were all sitting in the medical ward with their sick team-mate. Robin was sitting right next to her, holding her hand.
"I am fine. But I have this 'headache' that will not go away." Starfire grimaced.
Raven placed a hand on her forehead. "She's running a fever." The grey-skinned girl announced.
"From what I can figure," Cyborg looked over from where he'd been running tests, "it's just a bad case of the flu. Seems to have reacted pretty hard but nothing lethal."
Everyone let out a sigh of relief.
"So, basically she just has to take it easy for a few days? Bit of chicken-noodle soup and some medicine and she'll be fine?" Beast Boy checked.
"Yep." Cyborg nodded.
"The flu? What is that? Is it some manner of horrible disease?" Starfire asked.
"Yeah, but it won't last long." Cyborg assured her. "You'll be up and flying in no time."
"I hope so." Starfire said.
Apparently when Tamaraneans got the flu, it interfered with their ability to fly. Starfire had been stuck on the ground for two days now.
"Her immune system probably hasn't warned itself against the flu. That's probably why it's so strong." Raven mused. "She hasn't had it before, so…"
"Is this 'flu' contagious?" Starfire asked Robin who was holding her hand tightly.
So tightly, in fact, that it might have hurt anyone without super-strength. But no-one could tell that.
"Yep." Robin nodded.
"Then perhaps you should stay back Robin? I do not wish for you to 'come down' with this disease as well."
"Nup." Robin shook his head, loosening his hold but not moving.
"Star's right. You shouldn't…" Beast Boy began.
"It's fine." Robin shook his head again. "I'm not going anywhere."
The other Titans glanced at each other.
"Okay then." Cyborg shrugged.
"But you can't stay with her twenty-four seven." Beast Boy said. "Just saying this in advance. You have to go to sleep sometime."
"Okay." Robin agreed, not looking away from Starfire's face.
Starfire smiled at him and closed her eyes to sleep.
Starfire stirred and woke up.
Her throat was hoarse and her nose wasn't breathing very well.
Fumbling, she groped for a tissue and looked around the darkened, empty med-ward.
She was indeed alone.
Some part of her was pleased that Robin had taken his own wellbeing into consideration (or possibly someone else had taken it into consideration for him), but another part wished he had stayed.
Just as this thought occurred to her, the door opened and Beast Boy poked his head in. "You awake Star?"
"Yes." Starfire answered softly.
"Oh. You want me to turn the lights on?"
"That would be nice." Starfire admitted.
A moment later weak light was shining. "Sorry. Figured you didn't want it much brighter…" Beast Boy said sheepishly.
"Thank you very much Friend Beast Boy." Starfire said, sitting up.
"Whoa, Star. Cyborg said you needed lots of rest…"
"But I have been sleeping for… however long I was resting for." Starfire protested, but reluctantly fell back down on the bed. "And these pillows are rather uncomfortable."
"Oh, really?" Beast Boy awkwardly grabbed one from behind her. "What's wrong with them?"
"I do not usually sleep with my head on a pillow."
Beast Boy took each of the pillows off and placed them on the ground. "Better?"
"Yes. Thank you Friend Beast Boy."
"You're welcome." Beast Boy blinked, remembering something. "Oh, just remembered. Rob wanted to be told as soon as you woke up. I'll go get him?"
"Please." Starfire smiled as he left.
A few seconds later Robin and Beast Boy returned. Robin grinned at her and Starfire felt herself automatically smile back.
"You okay, Star?" Robin asked.
"Yes. I am… not well, but I am the 'okay'."
Beast Boy looked at the boyfriend/girlfriend smiling at each other and had a feeling he wasn't needed. "I'll go… make some soup or something." The green changeling said, sliding out of the room.
"Bye." Robin said without taking his eyes off his sick girlfriend.
"Bless you." Robin grinned, sitting down.
"Tell me a story."
Robin blinked. "Uh, okay…"
He racked his brains for a few seconds, trying to remember a story. "Okay. This one's called 'Cinderella'. It's one of our fairy-tails. Once upon a time, there lived a-"
Starfire shook her head. "No."
"Please, I have told you many stories about my first home. Can you tell me a story about yours?"
Robin blinked in confusion. "I don't understand…"
"Friend Cyborg said that you were originally from a place called Gotham City?"
"Yeah, but…" Robin hesitated. How to describe this? "There aren't really… all that many 'bed-time stories' about Gotham."
"Please, do attempt it."
Robin froze, his mind working rapidly to come up with a story. "I'll try…" He closed his eyes, thinking.
"I first fought the Joker when I was ten, but when I first saw him I was nine. He absolutely terrified me – I was glad that Batman said I had to stay hidd-"
Okay, not that story.
"Okay, okay, something else… um, when I was twelve, Scarecrow managed to infect me with a certain type of gas that was delayed. I didn't know anything was wrong until school the next day and I saw my most horrifying visions come to life. My schoolmates all looked-"
Robin broke off when Starfire flinched again.
"Sorry, sorry. I'll try again. Uh… oh! When I was ten, Poison Ivy had both me and Batman captured. We couldn't move at all with roses and briars creeping all over us, holding us tight. I think I might still have a scar from that time. Anyway, she tried to infect us with-"
"Robin," Starfire said weakly. "Please, can you not converse of villains? I have enough of them in regular life."
"Well, sorry Star, but there aren't really that many stories about Gotham otherwise." Robin shrugged.
Starfire looked at him sadly. "You mean that you spent most of your childhood fighting villains and the rest of it training?"
"No, I-" Robin faltered.
For a moment he was silent, trying hard to think of what he could say to explain how his childhood had been.
"You never had a chance to truly be a child?" Starfire's voice was small.
"No, I did." Robin shook his head slightly. "Like the time when I was about eleven. I went off on a school camp.
"It was a lot of fun, sure. But then I overheard a boy called Brian wondering if you could jump from the top of the cabins we were in to the tree next to it. It was about three metres jump. In hindsight, I was an idiot, but I told him I could do it."
Robin realised Starfire was listening intently to this story, a slight smile crossing her face. With a thrill of satisfaction, he continued the story.
"I managed to jump the whole way and catch onto the tree. But the branches weren't as strong as I thought they were and it snapped. I hit the ground and sprained my ankle. Bru-Batman was really ticked off."
"Really?" Starfire asked, smiling.
"Yeah. They had to call him down from Gotham. When he arrived he was so mad… actually he seemed more concerned then mad at first. Once he realised I was okay, that's when I got into serious trouble. He took away all my games – even programmed my phone and laptop so that I couldn't play anything – and once I was all healed, I had to clean and wax the Batmobile three times."
Starfire blinked. "Is that a harsh punishment?"
"Depends on your point of view. But the Batmobile came up with more dirt and stuff than the T-Car… actually it was about the same. But I really hated waxing it."
"Aah." Starfire nodded. "Do you have any more stories of this topic?"
"Oh, well…" Robin faltered. "Yeah, actually. I do.
"When I was nine… when I was nine, I wanted to train. This was when I was still training to be Robin – Batman didn't let me go out onto Gotham without months of work first. Anyway, Batman never let me train with the stuff he did, and I wanted to fight the robots.
"So, I waited until he went out on patrol. Alfred thought that I was asleep-"
"Who's Alfred?" Beast Boy asked.
Robin jerked. "When did you get here?" He spun around to face the changeling.
"A few seconds ago. Who's Alfred?" Beast Boy asked, passing the soup in his hands to Starfire. With a grateful nod, Starfire picked up the spoon and swallowed a mouthful.
"Alfred was the butler." Robin admitted, slightly reluctantly. "Anyway, Alfred thought I was asleep so he went to… actually I can't remember what he was doing.
"So I snuck out of bed and went down into the Bat-Cave. I set up the training simulation and got ready to fight.
"Problem was, I had no idea how to change the level. I didn't even realise I had to. But… well, Batman trains at a lot harder level then any nine year old could handle. Can't remember the fight – that's probably a side-effect of the concussion. All I know is I ended up with bruised ribs, a deep cut over my leg, and I was unconscious."
As he talked, Robin could see Beast Boy had dropped down on one of the other beds. With a slight smile the Teen Wonder continued.
"I was lucky. The robots had an automatic shut down if anyone got seriously hurt. When they sensed I was lying on the ground, unconscious, they didn't rip me to shreds. They turned themselves off.
"I think I was down there for about another two hours before Batman got back. In a way that was also pretty lucky – he was home early that time.
"He checked on me, and when he found I wasn't in bed, both Batman and Alfred tore the place upside down looking for me. Eventually, they found me bleeding and unconscious in the Bat-Cave training room."
Robin heard the door open and glanced around to see Cyborg had arrived. Cyborg moved over, checking the computer screens. "What'choo all talking about?" He called over his shoulder
"Robin is telling us stories of the previous residence he had – 'Gotham City'." Starfire answered, before sneezing.
"Bless you." Beast Boy said.
"Really?" Cyborg raised an eyebrow at their masked leader.
"Really." Robin nodded.
"Please, Robin. Continue with the story of what happened when the 'Batman' and 'Alfred' found you unconscious after training." Starfire pleaded.
Robin smiled slightly as he turned back to the sick alien. "Okay.
"Well, I woke up in the medical bay. Alfred was taking care of my wounds while Batman was watching anxiously. It was the first time I'd ever seen him really worried.
"As soon as I woke up, Bruc-Batman actually hugged me. Then he began to practically rip my head off. Barely conscious with Alfred stitching up my leg and I was getting a lecture.
"Although after it all and when Alfred had left, Batman carried me up to my room and put me in bed. Then he told me that while he was still really angry, he was impressed I'd managed to do so well."
Robin's voice had taken on a slightly wistful tone.
"How well were you expected to do?" Cyborg asked, drawn into the conversation.
Robin smirked slightly. "Not as well as I did. Probably due to a lifetime of acrobatics, I could jump and dodge the laser blasts pretty well."
Starfire smiled slightly. She sneezed, sitting up. "I cannot breathe lying down." She complained.
"Oh. Try the pillows again then." Robin suggested. "You could breathe before with them."
Beast Boy handed Robin a pillow, who then placed it under Starfire. She snuggled down into it again. "Thank you friends."
She took another sip of the soup, placing the bowl back on her bedside table.
"No problem Star." Beast Boy shrugged. "Any other stories Rob?"
Robin paused, thinking. "Well, I guess… maybe."
"So tell us!" Cyborg insisted.
Finding out about Robin's past wasn't an opportunity that came everyday. Actually, all of the Titans had a mysterious past. And Cyborg wasn't going to pass up this chance.
Robin grinned. "Okay. What about the first time I ever went trick-or-treating?"
"Trick-or-treating? Oh, that is the custom on the earthly holiday known as 'Halloween', yes?" Starfire asked.
"Yep." Cyborg nodded.
"Well, I was about ten. I'd never been allowed to go trick-or-treating before – when I was with my parents, we always had to… to work… and Batman had me training the year before.
"But this time, we were patrolling Gotham. I could see all the kids running around, going up to houses, and I was really jealous.
"Then I saw this kid who was dressed up as me. And I realised that he wasn't the only one – there were a lot of copy-cats out there. I could go down and trick-or-treat in between patrolling and no-one would be any the wiser.
"So I did. Every time Batman sent me off to do another part of town or told me to wait behind, I'd always run down to a nearby house and knock. I'd put the candy in my utility belt and then run up."
"Didn't anyone ever notice you were really Robin?" Beast Boy asked.
"Nup. Now I think about it, there was actually this one girl, about nineteen or so, who said that my costume was stupid and I looked nothing like Robin."
"Really?" Beast Boy cracked up.
"Yep. Actually, her little brother was dressed up like me – complete with feathers and beak." Robin made a face. "A few months after that I made sure a photographer caught a half-way decent photo. But that's another story.
"Anyway, the night went pretty much the same as most nights in Gotham. We took down a couple of petty criminals but no supervillains – I guess that they were at some kind of villain Halloween party or something.
"Batman never noticed that I was sneaking off to go trick-or-treating. Actually, I think he did notice but he let me do it anyway.
"So after it was all over and I went to bed, I didn't go to sleep. I stayed up to begin to eat the candy. And I'd managed to get a lot.
"Br-Batman came in though, and found me hyped up with all these candy wrappers around me. I remember him telling me to stand still while he began to explain why you can't go trick-or-treating on patrol, and I physically couldn't stand still. I was bouncing around, and no-matter what happened I couldn't keep myself on the ground.
"Eventually Batman gave up and sent me down to the bat-cave to do training for a while while he worked on a case. When he came back down to finally send me off to bed, I'd crashed on the ground. Later Batman said I was curled up, using my cape as a sheet. He had to carry me to bed.
"I don't think I learnt my lesson though, because I had all the rest of my candy the next day for breakfast. Went through school literally bouncing off the walls.
"I was almost caught climbing on the roof during lunch and had to scramble into the window of an empty classroom to keep people from wondering how I climbed up four storeys."
"You had to go to school?" Raven asked curiously.
Robin didn't flinch this time, just looked around as the dark girl pulled her hood down.
"Yeah. I had to learn somehow, and Batman was busy during the day."
"Didn't they notice, though?" Raven enquired, moving forwards and sitting on a chair. "That you had bruises and cuts and sprained ankles and that?"
"About once a year someone would notice. And they always came to the same conclusion – that Br-Batman was hitting me. No matter how often I explained that the worst he ever did was ground me they'd always be convinced that I was covering up."
"Really? That was the worst?" Beast Boy blinked.
Robin gave him a sharp glance at what almost felt like a slight on his old mentor, then decided it was an honest question. "Well, no, but telling them he'd stop me from patrolling didn't exactly work. I guess since it made me stuck on the ground, it sorta counts as grounded…"
"Ah." Beast Boy nodded.
"Last time it happened, I think I was thirteen. I'd been called in from class and the teachers were asking about it. They kept going all 'sweetie' and 'are you sure there's nothing you want to tell us' and that.
"Finally they began to ask if anyone was hitting me. This time they'd brought photos of it, and reminded me of the time a cut had broke open in class and I had to get a bandage from the nurse's office.
"They had a doctor there, and they tried to get me to take off my shirt to show him the bruises they were certain were there. I was refusing, but since I couldn't fight them off in civilian clothes, they ripped the whole shirt off."
"Is that legal?" Raven cocked her head to the side and took her hood off, sitting next to Beast Boy on the bed.
"…No. I don't think it is." Robin paused. "Anyhow, I did have all the bruises. I had to tell them I'd been doing acrobatics and had fallen off the trapeze."
"Without a net?" Cyborg asked, blinking.
"And they fell for it?"
"Well, yeah. They knew that my parents never used a net and-" Robin shut his mouth, flushing red.
Each of the Titans knew that he had given away a bit more than he had planned to, even if they didn't know what it was he had given away.
"So, they all fell for it?" Beast Boy asked, trying to get away from the subject of his parents.
"Yep." Robin nodded, gratefully grabbing onto the old topic. "They were all really embarrassed about it – once I convinced them, anyway. They let me go home for the rest of the day. Alfred came to pick me up, and he definitely wanted to know what happened to my shirt. I told him that it was stolen by a doctor because I didn't use a net."
Starfire giggled, and then sneezed.
"Bless you." Raven said calmly.
"How come your powers don't go crazy when you're sneezing like this?" Beast Boy asked.
"I… I do not know." Starfire blinked, green eyes glancing over the rest of the team.
"Maybe it's part of the allergic reaction that makes her loose control?" Cyborg suggested.
"That seems most logical." Starfire agreed.
"Any other stories Rob?" Cyborg asked.
Robin paused, thinking.
"Okay. There was when I was eleven and was being bullied.
"It was the typical sort of school bullying thing. The guy – his name was Brandon – kept pushing me over, tripping me and stealing my stuff. It was going on for about two months.
"Of course, I could have beaten him up at any point in time. But I couldn't hurt civilians – and that went double for hurting someone while in civvies. But he was really pushing my patience to the limits.
"So one day, I was patrolling the city. Batman was taking one half, while I was taking the other half. And I saw Brandon down below, with his friends and picking on a little girl.
"I figured that this was probably the best chance I was ever likely to get, so I swooped down and landed on the ground. I told them that they'd better leave the girl alone.
"While I said it, I made sure to be in the shadows. So when they all refused, I jumped out. They freaked out when they recognised me, and all started to run. Naturally, I followed Brandon.
"He was sobbing and screaming when I knocked him to the ground. He was literally begging me not to hurt him. I was trying to copy Batman's intimidating aura, and I guess I succeeded.
"I told him I wasn't a bully like him. I'd only do what he had done to others. And then I threw him against a wall, and stole his wallet since he'd stolen mine."
"You stole his…?" Cyborg blinked.
"I didn't keep it. I gave it to a charity." Robin flushed. "And anyway, he had stolen mine earlier. I was just repaying the favour."
"Yeah, but…" Cyborg protested.
"What do you want me to do? Not one of my proudest moments, but it was just karma getting back at him, and I can't go back and change it. I wouldn't if I could anyway."
"Fair enough." Beast Boy shrugged. Considering everything, he applauded Robin's action. He would have done the same given the chance. And what with the whole 'Red X' thing and being forced to be Slade's apprentice, Robin had done worse. "So what happened then?"
"Well, the next day he was literally shaking. I asked him casually whether he was alright. He told me that it was none of my business. I told him that honestly I didn't care, but since I wasn't a bully like him I'd ask, since people do to you what you do to others. He literally turned so white, I thought he was going to faint. Then the bell went.
"About twenty minutes later, I was called out of class because apparently Brandon still hadn't moved. Someone had seen me talking to him, and then they'd seen that he went catatonic.
"They ended up calling Batman, since they didn't believe me when I told them that I'd just asked him if he were okay, then told him I actually didn't care but was asking to be nice. I was telling the truth that time and they didn't believe me but they believed my lies. Life lesson for living in Gotham there.
"Batman eventually managed to convince them that there was nothing I could have said to make a boy two years older than me and much bigger catatonic and it must have been a coincidence.
"Later, I had to tell both him and Alfred what had really happened. Instead of getting into trouble, Batman actually said that he was impressed and Alfred told me it was obvious who had taught me." Robin smiled slightly.
For a second there was silence as Robin mentally returned to Gotham City.
"Do you still miss them?" Starfire asked softly.
Robin came out of his reverie. "What?"
"Do you… do you miss the 'Batman' and 'Alfred'?"
Robin hesitated. "Yeah. I do, a little. But I don't live in Gotham anymore, I live in Jump. And I'm part of this family now."
"Why'd you leave?" Beast Boy asked tentatively.
Robin bit his lip. "I left because… I was sick of being a sidekick."
"Were you sick of being a son?" Raven asked, observing the masked leader.
Robin glowered at her. Raven didn't flinch and returned his stare.
"I am glad that you have come to Jump City. Otherwise we would not have met." Starfire said softly. Robin looked over to her. "And I understand that things have changed since the stories you told us. But do you communicate at all with Batman?"
"No." Said Robin shortly.
"Maybe you should." Cyborg said. "I mean, from what you've told us, you two really were close. You should write a letter or something."
Robin's glare was just as good as his old mentor's.
"Just saying." Cyborg shrugged. "I can understand why you decided to leave Gotham and all. But Raven said it – just cause you were sick of being Batman's sidekick doesn't mean you couldn't stay Batman's son."
Starfire gave a loud sneeze. Everyone automatically glanced at her for just the briefest of seconds.
When they glanced back, Robin was gone.
"Dude, I've never met Batman, but if what I've heard is true, then he might have picked that up from him." Beast Boy commented, looking out the door where he assumed Robin had gone.
"Probably." Cyborg agreed.
Outside, no-one saw Robin hesitate in the kitchen.
The masked Titans Leader reached for a piece of paper and a pen, and then retreated to the privacy of his room.
Sorry I haven't written before. I guess I was just trying to forget about Gotham, I think. But my new friends managed to convince me that just cause I have a new home, doesn't mean I have to forget my old one.
Life here is pretty similar to Gotham City. Okay, my spare time is used differently (and no more high-class functions!) but my studies are the same as ever.
There's less criminals and stuff around here, but then considering where I'm from it'd be hard to have more. There's enough villains that you have to be on the lookout, and one or two that are really bad, but all in all I can actually walk down the street without having to be paranoid someone will jump out at any minute (okay, they sometimes do but not every time).
My new friends are great. I've even gotten a girlfriend now, who is absolutely amazing. I'll stop before I turn this into a babble on my crush, but let's just say I'm head over heels for her.
My other friends are also awesome. We all have the same studies and classes, and work pretty in sync in them. We're all in the same class and get along great. And although our personalities sometimes clash we're pretty close. We're practically family.
If they're as close as my brothers and sisters, then you're as close as my father, I guess.
I'm sorry I had to leave, Bruce. I'm not coming back any time soon, but I'm sorry anyway. I just can't be a little kid forever – I needed to have a life of my own and not simply stand in your shadow.
I don't miss standing in your shadow. I don't miss only being Dick Grayson, Bruce Wayne's ward. Now I'm just me, and if they add a title it's something that I earned. Even if it's an insult, it's still something more than just your ward.
But not missing being your ward that doesn't mean I don't miss you. Because I really do.
Give my best to Alfred.
Robin read through the letter again, trying to see it from someone else's point of view. More precisely, from a villain's point of view.
There was no way Robin could have written a letter to Batman – he couldn't exactly address it to the Bat-Cave. Maybe sending it to Commissioner Gordon would work, but that would mean someone would be almost certain to steal it if they knew who had sent it.
So, all up it would be safer for Dick to write to Bruce.
The last bit was when he'd been most truthful. He'd had to erase the word 'side-kick' and replace it with ward, actually. But that, and the bit when he was called 'Dick Grayson' instead of Robin was the only part anything close to the normal boy persona Robin was trying to exhibit.
Robin folded the piece of paper up and slid it into an envelope. Gently he picked up the pen again and wrote the address for Wayne Manor on the front. He picked up a stamp and placed it on the corner.
Then the Teen Wonder opened the window and leaped out, catching himself with a grappling hook.
Now, just to figure out how to get it into the post office without anyone seeing him and he'd be golden. But that wouldn't be too hard for the boy who'd been trained by the Dark Knight himself, now would it?
Three days later.
"Coupla fan-mail letters." Cyborg said, passing the letters around.
Robin reached up and took his bundle. "Thanks. How long's it been since the last bunch?"
"Bout a month." Cyborg shrugged.
Starfire picked hers up, rubbing her eyes.
She'd mostly gotten over the cold, but she was still a little sick. However she could fly again, and that was as much as she cared about.
"Ooh, how kind. That young boy I rescued two weeks ago sent me a drawing." She smiled slightly.
"Good likeness." Beast Boy grinned, looking at the purple stick-figure with red lines to represent hair and blue dots for eyes. "Think he messed up your eyes though. Hey, Star, can you translate this for me? It's a letter from one of my lovely fans in Tokyo."
"Mm-hmm." Starfire nodded, smiling.
Raven didn't look up from her book as Cyborg dropped her letters next to her.
Robin began to shuffle through his letters, searching for a particular handwriting.
He probably hadn't replied… it had only been three days, and anyway he might not reply at all…
His fingers curled around a business envelope with the Titan's Tower address, neatly typed. There were probably another four or five just like it in the pile. But his eyes fell upon the stamp.
It was from Gotham. The picture was of the bat-signal.
It might have been a coincidence – it wasn't the first time someone used a bat-signal stamp to send an envelope to Robin. And anyway, it wasn't really Bruce's style…
He opened it and his eyes widened at the familiar handwriting. Without a word he vanished.
Starfire glanced up. "Where did Robin go?"
The other Titans glanced around. "I swear he was here a second ago…" Cyborg frowned.
"Consider who taught him. It's amazing he doesn't do this more often." Raven said calmly, turning another page in her book.
Green gloves tightened on the letter. Robin closed his eyes and then opened them, reading.
I hope that this finds you well. I wasn't sure how else to send it to you since you gave up your secret identity and I can't leave Gotham at the moment to deliver it personally (Arkham recently had another mass-breakout), so I'll just have to hope you get this letter safely.
I'm glad to know that life in Jump is good. I was extremely proud of and happy for you when I discovered that you were dating the girl – Starfire, right? I wish you both the best of luck.
Okay, I know that this sounds as formal as I ever write. So I'll try to change that.
I do miss you in Gotham, but I understand that you need your own life. If ever you want to return home, though, you'd always be welcome. Maybe you can visit again one day.
I'm sorry if you ever felt like you were in my shadow. I hope I never treated you like a side-kick – I can honestly say that I never felt that way.
To me you were my partner – and my son. And even if you stopped being my partner, you will always be my son.
A says that both of us were just being stubborn and that we should have written long before. He might have a point, but don't tell him that. He misses you too.
Robin took a deep breath.
Bruce really missed me?
Okay, maybe the other Titans had a point. And so did Alfred – he really should have written earlier.
"Robin?" Starfire knocked on the door gently. "May I come in?"
"Uh, sure Star." Robin called back, not looking away from his letter.
Starfire gently opened the door. "Why have you come to your room? Has someone offended you in some way?"
"No, it's fine." Robin said, still not looking at her.
He didn't register the danger until the alien girl flew behind him and looked at what was so intriguing. Her eyes fell on the signature and widened.
Quickly Robin folded the letter but the damage was done.
"Was that from your old mentor, Batman?" Starfire asked.
Robin looked at the ground. "Yeah."
"That is most exceptional Robin!" Starfire hugged him tightly. Robin gasped as she let him go. "I am so pleased that you did indeed communicate! Or did he write first?"
"No, I wrote the first letter…" Robin shook his head slowly, massaging his stomach where she had hugged him.
"Wonderful!" Starfire beamed. "That is marvellous news!"
He straightened again, smiling. "Yeah, I guess it is."
"Please, when did you write to him?"
Robin hesitated. "Three days ago. After you all told me to."
Starfire grinned. "That is excellent! What news has 'Batman' given you of 'Gotham'?"
She stopped when Robin hesitated again.
"Or, if it's personal then I can…" Starfire blushed.
"No, it's okay. He was just telling me that he… that he missed me but he got why I came here." Robin admitted, flushing.
Starfire beamed and hugged him. "I am so pleased that you stopped being stubborn!"
"Thanks." Robin grinned sheepishly, remembering what Bruce had said Alfred said. "Being stubborn runs in the family, though."
Starfire grinned back, but didn't get the significance of him calling Batman his family. Of course, she couldn't know that he was talking about his mentor.
"Well, I came up to tell you that Friend Cyborg and Friend Beast Boy want to go out for pizza. Are you coming?"
Robin nodded. "Sure."
Carefully he folded his letter back up, placed it back in the envelope and put it on his bedside table.
Starfire flew out of the room while Robin followed her, his footsteps almost as light as her non-existent ones.
"Come on!" Beast Boy said, already in the T-Car. "Let's go!"
The other Titans followed.
Robin glanced around at his 'brothers and sisters' with a slight smile as he leaned back against the seat in the T-Car.
Yes, he missed Gotham. He missed Bruce, he missed Alfred, he missed his old friends, he missed Commissioner Gordon, he missed the sky-line… he even missed Gotham Academy, to an extent.
But he could definitely say that his new home was just as good, if not better.
The alarms blared in their T-Comms. In tandem they all pulled the beeping communicators out and looked over them.
"Dr. Light." Robin said, stating what was obvious but needed to be said.
"Joy." Raven sighed. "Shall we go?"
Cyborg spun the steering well and the T-Car did a 180 turn, leaving skid-marks as it sped off in the opposite direction. "Power Plant, right?"
"Right. Prob'ly stealing the power-supply or something else just as lame." Beast Boy nodded.
Robin smirked. "He is probably going to fail even without our help, but let's speed it up, then?" The Teen Wonder glanced at his friends.
"Definitely." Cyborg agreed, turning on the speed.
Robin glanced out the window as the background blurred.
The T-Car and the Batmobile were different – but right at that moment, watching the scenery flash past, Robin could almost swear that Jump looked just like Gotham.
Hehe, I didn't realise that Starfire's meant to lose control of her powers when she sneezes until halfway through writing it. And it wouldn't fit it I changed it, so I just gave her a random halfway-useful reason for her to sneeze normally.
So, was it good father/son fluff? I thought it went okay, personally, but your opinion is much appreciated. If I didn't care about your opinion, I wouldn't put it on the internet, and I would certainly not be asking you to review. REVIEW PEOPLES!