A/N: Just wanted to jot down some thoughts before "Performance". I have not seen the episode yet, but I have seen pics and the preview clips. So this'll be pretty killer as far as I can tell.

There's a mini-spoiler if you haven't already seen the "Invasion" preview. Nothing way too important.

Based off the scene in the "Invasion" preview where Robin is falling out of the helicopter and M'gann grabs him. Since that is all we've seen, I'm building off of it.

Disclaimer: Nope, I don't own.

Grand Finale

Her hand clasped his just as he was falling from the helicopter; the mission was over, and while Roy tried to get the chopper back on the ground and Artemis and Conner tied up the last of the goons, their youngest member just needed to be pulled back to safety...

"M'gann," he breathed, his blue eyes, the holes in the mask shining the orbs' true colors, "let go."

He was done fighting it. Everyday, he woke up in a world where his parents were dead, where he lived under a constant cloud of grief. There were days where he could lift his head up high and keep his chin up, but just the same, there were days when he couldn't. Robin couldn't fight it anymore.

He wore a mask to hide his secrets, his past, and his life. But even without that mask, he wore another to hide his grief and misery. Never did a day go by where he didn't think of them. He knew they were safer now, and he knew they had to be happier now, but neither of those thoughts stopped his pining.

Richard Grayson missed his parents, and for almost a year now, he was wishing he'd joined them. And maybe this was his chance.

"Robin, no!" she insisted, chocolaty eyes widening in terror at even the slightest thought of letting her friend fall to his death in the big Italian city below them.

"M'gann," he whispered, voice barely heard over the whirring and slicing of the chopper's black blades. Then he pleaded silently, telepathically, Please. His blue eyes shone with the faintest tears. I need to be free from this burden.

Through the link, she caught snippets of images: graves, a trapeze, bloody bodies, hurt, the pain of living-

Let me go.

Slowly, her hand released his, tears bubbling up in her milky brown eyes. "Robin..."

He offered her a soft smile just before he released his grip on her hand, and then the wind caught him, and he was gone, falling into the smog below. A cackle even wafted through the air to her, the last thing she heard from him.

And when Roy landed the chopper and the questions were asked, she lied through her teeth: "He slipped."

Two years later, European officials are calling for Justice League assistance, and since the global invasion, the Leaguers are busy with the clean up and taking care of their own towns.

So the team is sent over to deal with it; Batman as well, just to make sure the mission wasn't something too far above them.

When one of the MI6 agents pulled up a clip, they knew.

The problem had been, for almost a year now, a young vigilante taking care of any petty crimes deemed unworthy of true investigation. He did not kill; he didn't even maim. Simply enough, he dealt with it and delivered the said criminals to the nearest station to await their fate by the law's hands.

"He survived," breathed the Martian girl, eyes glistening with new tears as her friends were all shocked at this sudden revelation.

Even after finding enough blood to keep an entire colony of vampires alive and no body, no one was convinced he was dead. No one had reported a body, but on the same note, no one had reported any dark-haired child being admitted into any hospitals either. There was no evidence of his death, but there was just as much evidence of his life.

"That has to be him," breathed Wally. And as his jade eyes glanced around at the rest of the team, watching their shocked faces dull out to something of melancholy. "He's just about the right age, his hair, his fighting style." Something of hope swelled inside him.

"The bo staff's new though," remarked Conner darkly, arms folded tightly across his chest. Some part of him refused to accept this instantaneous abandonment. "And he looks scraggly..."

"But he's alive!" squealed M'gann. "Superboy, it doesn't matter that he's different, it's that he lived!"

The clone shook his head softly, watching as the kid on the screen swiped his staff under feet and then delivered a nice kick as the villain was falling to the ground. Conner, for some reason, didn't exactly believe in it all.

"Hell yeah, he's alive!" Wally couldn't contain his excitement. "Let's go get him!"


The three sets of eyes swung to Batman, the few of the team who had been permitted to go and were still on the team. "What?" hissed Conner; his countenance was suddenly hard as stone. The raven-haired man didn't like taking "no" for an answer.

The Dark Knight stood, face and cowl hidden by shadows, and began a slow, steady mantra despite his own raging heart. "If he wanted to come back, he could have come back at any time. Robin is smart enough to know where we are at any given time and is more than capable of finding his way home." His lips pursed darkly, watching as the boy on the screen walked away from his work, just wiping a hand over his forehead, folding his bo staff, and leaving without a look back. "We don't need to bring him back if he doesn't want to come back."

As if he wasn't already abandoned enough in his life, Conner was suddenly furious. The raven-haired man gave a glare at the screen and then looked to his shoes, hoping that all of this was some sort of mistake.

"What if he has amnesia?" pleaded Wally; if he couldn't have his best friend back, maybe they could at least see him one more time and have a good laugh before parting ways. And if the circus was in town, he could always try and catch up with his favorite bird brain, but it just wasn't the same as having Robin at his beck and call to hang out with and harass.

"He would not remember his training or his history, meaning he would be confused rather than traveling with his old family and fighting crime along the way." Batman began to move back towards the door, silent as a ghost and just as ominous. "Robin is happy with his decision, and we have to let him go."

M'gann had tears in her eyes; she'd aided him in escaping something, but it was not what he had intended. And now she just wanted to know why she had to deal with all of the guilt of being his assistant in it all.

"He can take care of himself," the Dark Knight finished. His back was turned to the screen as he left, not bothering to watch any more footage of his son using his training to do good for the world instead of just Gotham. "If Robin wants to come home, he will come home. For now, we let him be."

Really, under the cowl, he was trying to keep himself together. For almost two years, he'd assumed the worst, that his son was dead, that Richard Grayson was never coming back. And his boy had never even called…

The plan had never been to die. Sure, he thought he was going to be dead after falling so hard and busting up his knee so badly. There was blood everywhere from the numerous scrapes and that one wound he'd hidden before falling. He'd been cut up pretty bad by the end of it, then limping off with his knee so completely shattered, he wasn't sure if he'd even make it back to Haly's to hide until he knew his friends were gone.

His goal was to stay with his other family. As much as he loved Bruce, he had forgotten how much he loved the circus, being the center of attention. Being the ward of a billionaire covered a lot of it, but there was something about flying in the spotlight that made him crave attention. But on the same note, he still wanted to help the world. And for as much as he did in Gotham, he knew he could do more elsewhere. The fact of the matter was, Batman took care of most of the danger. Robin was just there to aide with minions; he did very little, really.

Going somewhere else, maybe, he could do more for the world. And traveling with Haly's? Sure. Definitely. He could do a lot internationally.

Leaving the team had been the hardest decision. He loved being with them so much, and every day he'd looked forward to that moment when he could take his role as leader, but just leading in Bialya and leading in the scenario had shown him that he wasn't ready.

Maybe he could come back ready. He'd come back with more experience under his belt, with plenty to teach his friends. He could get the job done. He'd help the world and go back and help his team one day. But today, he wanted to be out of the Dark Knight's shadow, in the public's spotlight, and doing just as much good for the world as he would if he were still working as Robin in Gotham.

Nightwing was born to teach himself something.

There were days where he longed to be home, but he was happy with his choice, at least for the moment. After Mr. Haly paid to get his knee fixed up, he'd joined the circus again, playing on the trapeze night after night.

He could do this. He wanted to do this. He loved this.

Yet there were still nights where he wished he were back in Gotham, patrolling with his father…

A/N: Review? Written before "Performance", so I'm just playing with previews and pictures. I know it's probably not going to actually happen in the episode.


(EDIT: SPOILERS: I saw the episode. It was a train, not a helicopter. Whoops. And Roy definitely was not driving the train. So I see the flaws. Oh well. I still like how it turned out.)