Disclaimer- Totally don't own Young Justice.
Sorry about the delay! I struggled with this chapter until I went and saw The Lego Movie. Came home and had a spark of inspiration. I hope you guys enjoy this chapter!
Wally's shoulders tensed and his back stiffened, his mind rapidly spitting out thoughts as he watched his best friend's worst fear playing out in front of him.
Rob's going to kill me-
Dick never wanted them to know-
They're going to pity him like everyone else-
They're never going to take him seriously-
Oh, yeah. Rob is going to kill me!
Wally always understood why he never wanted their teammates to know the truth about him, why he didn't want them to know how he became Robin. Even if Dick never outright said it or gave him any hints, Wally knew that Dick felt that he was being underestimated because of his age and height. He knew that Dick felt that he had to work twice as hard to be taken half serious. To be honest, Wally felt that Dick's constant jokes and laughter didn't help those facts but he couldn't bring himself to tell his friend that. Dick barely had a childhood as it was. Why deny him the joy of pretending that he was still a child?
You know you can't do that when even Batman doesn't say anything about it. That was when you knew where the line was, where it had been drawn. Batman knew Dick better than anyone else, even Wally. Batman knew when to push and when to pull away, when to hug him and when to let him go. If Batman said to let it be, you let it be.
If only Batman was here. He could just give them the old glare and tell them to shove it. But he's not. The only person here that can stop it is me . . . That's a scary thought.
Shrugging, Wally broke the silence. "Doesn't matter. It's still not any of our business."
The others fidgeted uneasily (even Superboy), flickers of guilt showing up on their faces. They knew that what Wally said was true (and that disturbed them to no end) but they were only human . . . Well, most of them were. They could handle only so much of Robin's secrecy and evasiveness before they would fall victim to their nearly controllable curiosity. No one could blame them, right?
But their curiosity wasn't the only issue.
"Wally," M'gann started as her eyes softened with something that Wally couldn't identify. "I . . . I cannot say that I'm not curious about Robin's personal life and secret identity . . . Nor can I say that I don't wish to such information. But that's not why I wanted to talk you guys."
She took a deep breath in and exhaled, her green hands tightly holding on to each other.
"Wally, what do you know about Robin's childhood?" M'gann asked quietly, turning her eyes to stare at her shaking, clenched hands.
What a loaded question.
Shrugging his shoulders, Wally attempted to act collected, calm and ignorant. "Not much. He doesn't like to talk about the time before he became Robin."
"I was afraid of that," she whispered, closing her eyes.
The teens tensed at her words.
"Why, M'gann?" Kaldur asked, his calm demeanor slowly but surely starting to fade.
M'gann licked her lips and gave her teammates a sad smile. "It was so horrible . . . The memories. I thought I would lose my mind. They kept flashing and skipping, never staying long enough for me to really look at them. But I did manage to see a few quite clearly."
"It doesn't matter . . . It's not any of our business," Wally said faintly, his hands tightly gripping the arms of the chair he was sitting in.
Dick had a wonderful childhood . . . with his parents . . . and with Batman . . . He told me so.
. . . What if Dick had lied?
What if the parents that Dick mourned these past few years weren't so great after all?
M'gann's head snapped to her left and she aimed her eyes at Wally. "It does matter, Wally! All of that pain, all of that darkness . . . It is our business! Especially because he could be-"
Her voice died just then and the fire in her eyes dimmed, leaving her eyes to mirror the thoughts dancing round and round in her mind. She knew that Dick was an Earthling and had grown up here but . . . The memories that she had seen, the face she had seen . . .
She could only hope that her conclusion was wrong, that Robin would laugh it off like a bad joke.
"What, M'gann? Robin could be what?" Artemis asked, leaning forward in her seat.
" . . . I think Robin could be the alien that Daniel is looking for."
Immediately following M'gann's solemn words, there was a familiar laugh that bounced off the walls and into their ears.
"Oh, M'gann. You know it's not April Fool's Day, right?"
His head hurt.
His eyes hurt.
His heart hurt.
Everything that he claimed as a part of himself hurt with the intensity of a thousand suns and it made him want to die.
Hadn't he said that once before? Or twice? Hadn't he whispered that with such despair, with such pain that it had stunned the person he had been talking to? Who had he been talking to again? What had they been talking about? Dick couldn't seem to remember.
But he wanted to.
He needed to.
He needed to remember that so he could remember how to fix himself again, so he could remember what he was living for. Dick really needed to remember if he was to act a normal Earthling around Daniel.
The person his . . . biological father had sent to find him and . . .
What was Daniel going to do with him again? Something tickled in the back of Dick's mind but he couldn't quite grasp it. It was something that he dreaded and wanted to desperately avoid, that he knew. But what was it? He needed to remember if he was going to stay with Bruce-
I want to stay.
Don't make me go!
Let me stay!
Dick's eyes flung open, revealing blazing, blue eyes that showed extreme, rare anger. The man that claimed to be his father wanted him back! He wanted to take Dick from the people who actually wanted him, that actually loved him! He had the nerve to send his little, green minion to do his dirty work and kidnap his son!
Take into custody because, apparently, Dick was a dangerous criminal.
Yet another lie he told to get what he wanted. I shouldn't be surprised.
But he was! Dick couldn't help but feel the smallest, slightest tinge of betrayal that stirred in his heart when he heard Daniel describe him. He hadn't thought his . . . father would have done that to him. No, he thought that perhaps his . . . father had recognized the mistakes he had made with Dick and the damage he had done to Dick. He thought that maybe his . . . father would let him be happy on his mother's planet and with her kind, with Dick's kind. He thought that his . . . father would at least regret the things he had done to Dick, what he had let be done to him.
But Dick had thought wrong.
That man didn't give a lick about Dick or his happiness. He merely wanted Dick back for reasons that Dick couldn't fathom. Whether it had something to do with the sickness that was sweeping across Terra or with the man's obsessive need to control him, Dick didn't know.
Dick didn't care about the man's reasons.
Why should he when the man obviously didn't have an ounce of love for his only child? Why should he when the man held a grudge against him for something he did when he was two?
Mom . . .
The thought of his deceased mother, his biological mother, made Dick remember just why his entire being hurt. He had dreamed about what happened, about her and about the day he discovered the truth. His nightmare had been a mixture of his memories and his own fears about the truth. It had broken something deep inside of him, something that he had shoved away such a long time ago.
But he would deal with that later.
Right now he needed to fix something else.
She had been in his room, had seen his pathetic state. He suspected that she had experienced the nightmare with him or at least pieces of it. Why else would she have been at his door and in his room? Did that mean that she knew his secret? Or did she merely have a theory or two?
Dick severely hoped that she only suspected the truth. Then he would be able to convince her that he wasn't the person Daniel was looking for and he didn't have a power that could literally kill.
Then everything would be okay, back to the way it was supposed to be-
A buzzing sound snapped Dick's train of thought in half and tore him away from his inner musings. Realizing it probably was his cell phone, Dick stumbled out of his bed and grabbed the vibrating phone off his desk.
"Hello?" he said softly, realizing that it was very early in the morning.
"Dick, do you know a Terraen named Beth?" Haly asked him calmly.
Dick's back stiffened. If Beth was here, then the situation with Daniel wasn't something he would be able to avoid. She would only be here if she knew that Dick wouldn't be able to pretend to be human and that Daniel wouldn't give up after a couple of months of looking.
This meant Daniel was here to stay until he either found Dick alive or Dick's grave.
"Yeah. She's my cousin," Dick said faintly, his mind racing with scenarios of his future.
Being imprisoned in that dark room again.
Having his powers tested.
Bruce hating him . . . Bruce letting them.
"Good or bad?" Haly asked, knowing enough about Dick's history that his Terraen side of the family pretty much hated his guts.
Dick knew that it was ridiculous to think that Bruce would hate him and would let Daniel take him away to a place that would definitely torture him . . . But he was scared, so dang scared that Bruce would see this as a betrayal of his trust, trust that he gave to hardly anyone. He was scared that Bruce would act out of anger and push him away, that Bruce wouldn't understand Dick's side of things.
He didn't want to lose Bruce.
Bruce was like a father to him.
"Good. She helped me out of there. What did she say? What did she want?"
Let it be a house call . . . Let it be something completely and utterly stupid.
"She said she wanted to see you. I'm sorry that I don't know more . . . I know that makes you nervous."
Nervous? Haly thought he was merely nervous? Ha!
Dick choked out a laugh. "I wish I was just nervous, Haly . . . Where do I meet her?"
Haly sighed into the phone, obviously concerned with Dick's response and tone of voice. "Tonight at six. She said she'd be at Gotham Park . . . Dick, what's this about? Are you in trouble?"
Dick swallowed. "I don't know . . . I hope not."
"Okay . . . Dick, after you talk with her, come see me. We're leaving for Italy tomorrow morning but I want to talk to you. You know, catch up on your life. See how you're doing."
Dick smiled. Haly did always worry about him like a grandfather would, like the grandfather he never met.
"Stay out of trouble, kiddo."
After those words, Dick hung up and his shoulders sagged. Beth was here which didn't comfort him. It only made him more nervous.
I can't a break, can I?
Resisting his bed's siren call, Dick walked over to his closet and changed into his standard civilian outfit that he wore only at the Cave. He also grabbed his dark shades and slipped them onto his face, effectively his blue eyes.
Time to fix this . . .
A/N- Published on 2-15-14 with the length of 2,137 words.