"To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day."
It seems like ages before Superboy, before Conner, has the chance to meet another Robin.
In the span of years that has passed, his teammates come in and then go on their way, either leaving lasting impressions on his memories (it's somewhat still eerie when Superboy discovers the pantry cupboards are fully stocked twenty-four hours after a grocery run) or mere blips on the radar (the young archer Artemis has trained — nicknamed "Cissie" — visits the mountain for two weeks, reluctantly tested in her ability to socialize properly, and makes the decision to quit on her own).
The only people who have stayed all through the span of years are Nightwing and Conner's ex-girlfriend.
The Robin after Nightwing struts around his first mission, like he's Commander and Chief — using backtalk like questioning orders from the team leader at the time, criticizing, laughing sarcastically and backflipping, punching the bad guys too hard, all too ready to draw blood, and his blazingly colorful uniform smells heavy like cigarette smoke.
Conner has a very strong feeling that this punkass kid constantly rolls his eyes at him behind that domino mask.
But true to Batman's reputation for choosing his partners, Robin is the first to locate the senator's kidnapped children, using the comm-link to report back immediately to the team leader, about the physical conditions of the shaken but unharmed kids, about the skyscraper's basement giving off thermic frequencies similar to bomb readings they had been sniffing out. Conner overhears as Robin instructs the kids, calmly, gently, to evacuate as fast as they can through the nearby exits.
He overhears Robin's outright refusal to evacuate with them, to stand down. To analyze the consequences of his reckless actions in deciding to seek out a weapon that couldn't be disabled from a safe distance, that they were having trouble seeking out in the first place. But this was Robin — if anyone would find where the bomb had been tucked away, Robin could do it.
The solid ground of the city street beneath Conner's boots quakes violently.
M'gann contorts her face, pressing a hand to the side of her head.
The skyscraper continues to stand tall, the glass on the windows also quaking but remain in place, no signs of fire or tendrils of black.
Blood drips down Robin's hairline, his dark bangs, as he emerges from the front entrance, singed and grinning proudly.
Permanent suspension — initiating unnecessary conflict, arguing with direct orders, self-endangerment…
Conner just can't get the kid's cocky, bloody grin out of his head.
Or the bitter, heavy aroma of smoke clinging onto him.
"My name is Robin."
"I can see that," the half-Kryptonian responds, stone-faced, observing as a pair of shoulders terse and one of this Robins' hands twitch halfway out from his side — as if it can't surmise, to finally reach out in a greeting or retreat.
Nightwing had always been a bit on the short side, with small and flexible muscles, smaller and mischievous features. The second Robin — his blood-dripping, happy face peeking out from the revolving, skyscraper doors, Command and Chief of being a punkass kid, beaten to an ugly and inescapably tragic death on the outskirts of Gotham a week after being suspended — had a lot more meat on him. More strength, more blind determination. More courage.
This third Robin — a leaner build but taller than Nightwing had been, sterner and more calculating expressions than any of his predecessors, not so self-confident of his role to play — could barely meet his gaze, his pulse galloping.
Grunting aloud with impatience, stepping away from the Super-Cycle, Conner half-turns to face his newest teammate — his newest Robin — shifting his wrench to his left hand and covering the boy's thin hand into his own, shaking their arms up and down.
"Try not to get killed."
As the sentence passes Conner's lips — mildly, a bit willfully — Robin's face blanches away from the working blush.
He smells heavy, like wet perspiration slick against padded Nomex. His voice even, undaunted.
"I won't be making the same mistakes, Superboy."
YJ and the quote above is not mine~. So, I started to work on a sequel for "I Have You" and I ended up with this, instead. Not complaining, not really. DawnFyre, I know you wanted something with Conner and Earth-16!Tim some time ago so heeeeere. I added Jason, though he may not actually have been a Robin in this universe... whatever. THIS IS FANFICTION. I DO WHAT I WAAAAANT. Hope everyone enjoyed reading~! Comments are always appreciated. You know me, I love hearing everyone's thoughts. x3