So I figured that the way they get thrown around during battles, they gotta have some scars and bruises, right? And they all have scars from the past. Whether it's emotional or physical, they all have scars.
Prompt: One member of the team discovers all the scars their teammate has, and confronts them about it.
Bonus: it's Robin or Artemis.
Bonusbonus: with Robin it's more emotional, with the death of his parents and all, but physical, too, from his early days of crimefighting. (Rainbow bonus if a member of the team confronts Batman about it.) With Artemis it's the same; from what I've seen her dad was pre-tty abusive with her (MINI SPOILER: \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ when Jade was fighting Artemis: "Just like old times, huh? Dad pitting us against each other.") and she's got to have a lot of physical scars from all the fighting he's made her do.
Bonusbonusbonus: said member of the team explains all the scars and they wind up asleep in a group huddle.
Hands run over calloused skin, tissue scarred from cuts and beatings.
You can't let them know it hurts grit your teeth and avoid reacting to the pain.
Please stop! No!
Some are pink, fresher, newer. Most are white or fading back into a skin color, older, a couple fading completely.
He can't remember where he got most of them, there were too many, to count, to recall.
No! Stop please! It hurts too much! I can't! Agh!
A few are worse than worse, Two Face thought of the brilliant idea to pour acid in some of his wounds. Those were bad, at the time he couldn't help giving out a scream, tearing his throat raw.
You can't let them know it hurts.
Some were shaped in the form of a question mark, Riddler's signature mark.
Grit your teeth.
The Joker's were the worst. He had given him laughing gas and he could remember every painful expanding of his chest when he didn't stop laughing and when the Joker wouldn't stop hitting him. The Joker just kept laughing, and hitting, laughing, and hitting.
He had almost died from that one.
Avoid reacting to the pain.
His chest looked like someone had torn up a doll and the stitched it back up, many, many times.
Sometimes he wondered if his heart was torn up with his body sometimes. It used to feel that way when he thought about Zucco and his parents. Now it's just a dull ache. It must have scarred over like everything else.
Robin grins manically at his reflection and puts his mask on.
Things like that don't matter when he's Robin.
Because then, then he can fly.
Someone was murdered.
Usually that doesn't warrant for anything but a police investigation, but a lot of someone's were murdered, all the same way.
A slit throat and a tally mark of blood written on their chest.
And a letter.
One tally mark, and an R.
Two tally marks, and an O.
Three tally marks, and a B.
It worried the Justice League, especially since the tally mark wasn't the victim's blood.
Young Justice were sent to locate, and not engage unless necessary, the serial killer.
Robin had a feeling he knew who it was, but he wasn't sure, until he saw the uneasy look Batman had when looking at documents from Arkham, then he knew.
It was an almost impossible mission and they were basically just sent out for patrol.
Robin didn't say anything though because he thought it was better than if they just stayed in the Mountain.
That was until they found the fourth body.
Four tally marks, and an I.
The difference though was the almost nonexistent trail, thin short streaks of blood, drops here and there, and even half a foot print.
The others looked pale and slightly horrified by the images, but it isn't anything new to Robin and that seems to disturb his team mates more than anything.
Aqualad had even suggested lightly to Batman and the Black Canary that maybe it would be better to leave Robin out. Robin could've laughed.
He was the one taking photographic evidence of the trails and the crime scene.
He was the one to approach the body and with gloves secured and disinfected to examine the body with as little contact as required.
Because Superboy was horrified at the new sight and couldn't stand the smell, and Miss Martian was horrified at the blood, and Kid Flash looked like he was about to be sick, and Artemis didn't want blood on her hands, and Aqualad was about to begrudgingly approach the body, but it was obvious he hadn't done it before.
There wasn't much to see, so with two fingers he carefully moved the hair away from the incision.
She had red-hair and looked so much like what he imagined Barbara to look like if she were older, but her eyes were so empty and her hair was stained with the dark blood and she just looked, lifeless.
And examined the wound. It was a clean cut and he kept a straight face, no emotion.
He squinted his eyes and noticed that there were actually two cuts.
Looking back at the trails that followed the corner of the ally deeper into the dark ways of the city, he guessed it was for the extra blood.
Turning, he quickly relayed the information to his team before heading in the direction the trail led.
The team followed soundlessly, Aqualad could see Robin taking leadership for this mission, and maybe it was irresponsible of Kaldur to let a thirteen year old lead a mission like this, but he wasn't sure he could do this as well as the detached way Robin handles it.
He leads them quietly to an abandoned alley.
The tracks stop and nobodies there.
Suddenly gas fills the space of the alley and Robin quickly put a gas mask over his face and tried to jump out of the alley.
Bodies hit the ground with a soft thud as Robin falls with his teams.
The gas had already entered their bodies
Robin was the first to wake up.
They were in a room with a cement floor and walls. The ceiling was also cement, a single light bulb hung from it.
Metal doors clanked open as a man enters.
Victor Zsasz enters through metal doors like the one they have in cheesy-slasher films, the kind that lead into a creepy basement with the killer's victims.
Zsasz smiles and Robin can see the knife tucked into the side of his pants.
Robin is handcuffed in the middle of the room, and his teammates are still passed out pressed against the wall.
His body feels lethargic and heavy and the only reason he can think of that he's awake for his death is the gas mask he put on.
He almost wishes he hadn't.
Don't think like that, just try to keep him talking until the others wake up.
Zsasz approaches, like usual he wasn't wearing his shirt, revealing all his self-inflicted scars.
Red lines show that the newest ones were on his face though.
There were four tally marks, just waiting for one more to complete the set.
"Scars always mean something. They tell a story." Zsasz says.
Robin looks up at him.
KF will probably wake up first with his fast metabolism. I hope he doesn't do anything stupid.
Zsasz's fingers stray to the newest scar.
It was still bleeding.
"She barely fought. I brought the knife to her throat and she just looked at me with big scared eyes."
He won't be able to do anything though, I'll have to wait for Superboy or Miss Martian.
"I could see it in her eyes though, her life was useless, meaningless."
The hand-cuffs are only metal. They can break them.
"She was already dead any way. Just a zombie. Just like you."
Zsasz walks out of Robin's sight.
It's painful as the knife runs a line through his clothes and down his back.
"Your skins tough, reminds me of a hobo I found. He had scars on his neck, they weren't as easy to cut through as the ginger's skin, it was soft."
Kid Flash begins to stir.
Robin wished he would remain unconscious.
Kid Flash opens his eyes.
Zsasz is looking at his scars with interest, Robin shudders as he feels his eyes on him.
His chest and back is exposed, the top of his costume is ripped to shreds and the cape is discarded on the ground near his feet.
"The worst ones, were by the Joker right? I could hear him laughing all the time, his cell is heavily guarded, in the same area as mine." Zsasz asks.
Robin doesn't answer.
Kid Flash was staring blearily at the scene before him, unbelieving.
His mouth opens a bit and his eyes widen.
Kid Flash was staring at his chest, he had so many scars.
Then Kid Flash noticed the man behind Robin, and became aware of the fact that he was hand-cuffed and his feet were tied together.
Zsasz looked at the question mark scars.
"The, uhm, what's his name? The Question? Something like that… I passed his cell a few times, question marks all over his cell and he was always mumbling riddles."
Kid Flash looked around the cell, there had to be some way out.
Zsasz lifted Robins head by his hair, readying the knife by wiping the blood off onto his pants.
Kid Flash looked at Superboy, he was close.
Zsasz lifted the knife.
Kid Flash placed his hand on Superboy exposed arm, he was tired but he managed to make his hand vibrate almost violently.
Zsasz smiled maniacally.
Superboy started to stir and Kid Flash attempted to smack him to wake him up more.
As Zsasz prepared to slash the knife across Robin's throat, a black and red blur crashed into him.
Robin was breathing heavily, body twitched at the pain in his back as he fell onto his back.
Superboy gave one punch effectively knocking out Zsasz, then he went back to the others, and starting with Kid Flash, broke the restraints.
Kid Flash immediately ran to Robin.
"H-he missed g-giving any major nervous system damage and my spine." Robin whispered out between the spasms.
"What am I supposed to do?" Kid Flash said hands everywhere in an attempt to do something.
"I h-have medi-medical tape in the center back pocket, use the s-suit scraps a-as bandages."
Kid Flash nodded and grabbed pieces of the ripped suit and the medical tape, in no time Robin was all patched up. Temporarily.
Just then Superboy came and he carefully broke Robin's restraint.
Kid Flash and Superboy looked at Robin, Robin stared back at them for a moment then realized they were waiting for him to give an order.
Slowly he lifted his head to assess the situation.
Miss Martian's hand twitched and she shifted slightly, the others were still out cold.
Laying his head back down he said, "Wait for Miss M to wake up and then we'll leave on the bio ship."
Superboy nodded, but Kid Flash looked unsure and chewed at the bottom of his lip nervously.
"Are you sure you want to wait? I can run you back." He offered.
Robin shook his head then groaned, causing Kid Flash and Superboy to approach him in concern.
"N-no that w-would just j-jostle the wounds more."
Kid Flash nodded and stepped back, he was practically vibrating in place, and Superboy looked lost.
"Urgh, Kid Flash, check that the coast is clear, Superboy, stand guard at the entrance to make sure Kid Flash doesn't get himself killed."
They nodded and Kid Flash sprinted off, obviously relieved to do something, while Superboy walked at a slower pace looking less lost and more determined. Oh the wonder of directions is that you don't have to know what to do yourself and risk being wrong.
When they finally made it back to Mount Justice the rest of the team was more or less awake.
Artemis was staring at the scars on his skin with a troubled and almost disgusted and angry face.
Everyone looked at him, not at his scars, but him, his face, his mask.
"They're kind of gross, I prefer to keep them covered up, but, you know."
"They aren't gross. What's gross is the fact that you have them." She spat out.
Robin glared at her and his glare only deepened as the others gave a sign of agreement.
"It's a risk, just part of the hero life." He said, wincing as Superboy squeezed a little too tight.
"Relax Superboy, I'm fine, I just need some stitches to patch me up, and in no time I'll be good as new." Robin said trying to reassure the clone who was currently carrying him to the medical bay.
Superboy shook his head.
"I know about scar tissue."
Robin winces slightly at that. Yes, the wound would scar, but that didn't mean he would be any less than fine.
"I'll be fine…" Robin mumbles.
Artemis growls, "You have more scars than I have ever seen! What was Batman thinking! You're thirteen, and you look like you've been beat to death and back multiple times!"
Robin rolls his eyes beneath his mask.
"It's just something that happens in Gotham. Like a said, a risk. I completely understood when I started."
Artemis looks at him, "Did you? You were, what, eleven, maybe ten, when you started did you really understand?"
"I was nine, and ya, maybe I didn't understand exactly what it would feel like to be beat to death, or to have acid poured on you, but, you know what, I wouldn't trade being Robin for anything else in the world!" the last part was emotional desperate for her to understand.
They had entered the medical bay.
Artemis sneered and turned on her feet to leave when from the doorway a shadowy figure made itself known. Artemis jumped back slightly, cursing the silent steps of a bat, before directing her rage on the imposing figure.
"And you! What were you thinkingHe was nine! Nine! What sane person allows a nine year old to fight crime in Gotham!" she shrieked parts of her, very, brief speech and was left breathless in the aftermath of her passionate fury.
Batman stared at her, scowl deepened, but there was no terrifying bat-glare. He just looked tired and worn.
"It was circumstantial, something he needed to do in a healing process, something that made him feel like he was doing what he needed to do, that he was where he needed to be. I couldn't have stopped him if I wanted too."
His words were calm and obviously thought about many times.
Artemis was shocked. The team was shocked.
Letting the words soak in they remembered how little they knew about their teammate's life. They didn't know why he became Robin, most of them had assumed something along the lines of him being Batman's illegitimate or legitimate child.
"But, you're an adult! Are you telling me you can't keep a nine year old out of costume?"
Batman's look dropped to a glare.
"If you're done lecturing me about my protégé, I think Robin needs medical attention." He growled out.
Everyone turned to Robin who was holding his sides, face scrunched in trying to hold in the pain.
Batman took Robin from a reluctant Superboy, and laid him on the bed gently, taking out the medical supplies.
"I'm not done! He's thirteen and look at him! He looks like Catwoman used him as her personal scratching post!"
Robin couldn't help but give a pained chuckle at that one and his hand passed over scars that looked like giant cat claws.
Artemis groaned and was close to a face palm moment.
Batman continued the argument while tending to Robin's wounds, "I can't be there all the time, I'm not Flash or Superman, but we manage. Crime in Gotham is bad, the villains are nightmares in multiple ways, and much more dangerous than other cities, but because of that, we are needed, because of that we find purpose in taking risks, injuries are just one of those risks."
Artemis growled but gave in, she turned to leave but turned around quickly, stormed past Batman, and gave Robin a hug.
"It's not that I don't think you should be Robin, but I don't like seeing you this injured." She whispered quickly.
Robin nodded and felt touch by her concern, it sounded like his mother's worrying when he started out on trapeze with his parents.
No net. There was never a net anymore, nothing left to catch him.
"I understand, but being Robin is something that I need, a part of me, sure I might have been a little young, but I can handle myself."
Miss Martian, now M'gann, approached and joined the hug.
"We're here for you Robin." She said.
Robin couldn't help but wonder if she knew. If she knew the pain he felt, the trauma he forced into the back of his mind, the sound of bodies breaking upon the ground.
"It's okay I understand." She whispered soothingly running her hand though his hair in a comforting motion.
She did know, he could see it projecting from her eyes.
Robin bit his lip as a few tears escaped his eyes, but not his mask.
The two girls backed away and M'gann smiled.
M'gann dragged Artemis out and the rest followed uneasily, Wally, with his mask pulled from his face, looked at him in concern but turned and left.
All alone, with Batman having disappeared in the shadows during the hug fest, Robin settled down to get some sleep.
He knew even if M'gann tried to explain, Artemis and probably Kaldur and Superboy, and maybe even Wally, would pester him about it, and he knew the fact that he hadn't reacted to the body and the crime scene would probably concern them as well, for now he just knew that they cared enough to be concerned about him, to catch him if he fell, and with that in mind, he quickly fell asleep, feeling light and comforted.