It was a cold night in Gotham. The filthy streets, caked with dirt of the society Gotham had the so called pleasure to call residence, was layered in a thin coating of frost. The delicate flakes of sloppy snow fell clumsily, collapsing into the ground to be treaded on by uncaring citizens. The sky was dark with pollution, not a single star in sight. And that was what a lone figure, crouched in-between two buildings was staring at while the world slipped by.
Robin missed the stars. They were hidden now, like he was, behind curtains of filth and contamination. No matter how brightly they shined, or how carefully he looked, there would never be stars again. It was as if they had died along with his family. But Robin was the only one to notice.
The boy was sitting with his back to one wall, and his feet propped against another. Like a bird in a cage. Both arms were draped over his stomach, where small threads of red were crawling. He was hurt. Shot to be exact. And also injected with…something. He didn't know what. He'd been so out of it when they'd escaped, he hadn't got a chance to ask. In fact why was he here? He was hurting…why? Oh yeah! He got shot! And something else... Shouldn't he be at the Batcave?
Batcave…Bats….Why did Batman like bats? Or hate them, actually. Not that Robin liked bats too much either. They were evil little monsters, eating up the darkness and shrieking like banshees. But Batman was afraid of them. So then why was he Batman? When Bruce was in costume he was supposed to bring light and hope to Gotham. Not fear. The city had enough fear. That's why Dick's name was Robin. That name meant something bright and happy in a whirl pool of memories waiting to drag Dick down. He wanted to share that light with his city. Why did Bruce want to share his fear?
"Robin!" A loud voice pulled Robin out of his thoughts. The raven haired child flinched at the closeness of the voice. He blinked and looked around, wondering who it was. His blue eyes were met with wide green ones and locks of flaming orange hair.
"Shhh Wally," he whispered, hand coming to head as if to flick away the pain that resides there like a fly. Wally narrowed his eyes, looking curiously at his best friend.
"Wally?" he whispered to Robin, crouching down, "And you always harass me about using our civilian names in costume. You gotta stick to your own rules Dick."
"You," Wally replied slowly, although he wasn't really sure himself by now.
"No. I'm Robin," the younger corrected. His voice sounded funny to Wally. All raspy and out of breath.
"Ok fine, Robin, what's up? We've been looking for you for hours! Why'd your communicator go off line? What happened? You were supposed to report back to Bat-….Robin?" He got no response from the other boy, who was staring off into the sky. "Okay, I'm getting you to the Batcave." The speedster reached out to grab Robin, pulling him up by his wrist. But almost immediately after Wally touched him Robin let out a hollow scream.
"Rob! What's wrong?" The younger panted heavily as he lifted his arms up, to reveal a huge hole in his suit, stained scarlet with wet blood. "Oh shit, Robin!"
"Where's the light gone?" Robin asked, looking back up at the sky as if he didn't have a huge bullet hole in his chest. As if he wasn't having trouble breathing. As if this was all perfectly normal.
"I- I don't know Rob," Wally spoke carefully, trying to take hold of the situation. "I'm going to call for Red Arrow, kay? He's gonna help….just sit tight."
"But Wally, the light…"
"Wh-when we get you help, we can figure that out, ok?" Robin seemed to consider that for a moment, before nodding. Wally forced a smile, stumbling back out into the street next to Robin's hiding place. Muffled voices replaced Wally's frantic gush. What was Wally doing? ...Something about help…
Dick? Robin? Richard? What was he? Dick was the circus boy, fallen to the ground with his family long ago. Dick was dead. Richard was the boy adopted by Bruce Wayne. The child that the press had torn apart, and scattered the remains to the bullies and gossip of Gotham Academy. Richard had never made it into the world in the first place. Robin was the light that swam through the horror of Gotham. The light that made up for the stars, and outshone the sun. But the light was gone now…
"Robin. I called Red Arrow," Wally's voice whispered to him. Where had he come from? Robin didn't have enough strength to jump in surprise anymore. There was so much sticky blood. And his brain felt like mush. "He's going to be here okay, just hold on."
"Who am I?"
"Who am I?" Robin repeated patiently, as if talking to a very stupid three years old.
"You're…Umm…You are-" Thankfully the sound of quick footsteps nearby cut Wally off from having to think too in-depth about the question.
"Robin? Kid Flash?" The two boys heard their names being called, although only one seemed able to truly process the sound.
"We're over here!" Wally called loudly, refusing to take his eyes off his raven haired companion. Red Arrow quickly appeared, coming up from behind the two. His sullen figure was bathed in dim city lights and a dark frown was etched into his face. He had not been having a good month.
"Roy?" Robin whispered, confused. His eyes blinked behind the mask, head lying against the wall weakly. He didn't look too good.
"Hey, kid. Don't worry it's all good now," The older hero soothed, smiling a little at his brother. It'd been his first smile in….a while. "What happened, KF?" he asked, turning to the other red head.
"I don't know. He won't tell me anything. He just keeps going on about lights and stuff. I think he hit his head or something. Definitely got shot though, but I think it's only a flesh wound. He's lost a lot of blood. We need to get him to the mountain."
"Okay, let's go," Red Arrow said, shrugging, not really seeing what the problem was. He leaned over to Robin and touched his arm gently. Immediately the youngster let out a pain filled cry as he flinched back. "H-hey it's ok. What's wrong?" Red Arrow asked, panicky. He got no answer. "Robin?"
"What do you mean, Rob?"
"Y-you said you'd be here fo-for us. You said you were our b-brother."
"So then why'd you l-leave? When you found-d out you were a cl-clone. Why'd you leave?"
"I didn't leave Robin. I just… needed to figure a few things out," Roy soothed gently.
"You le-left. Again"
"…And I won't do it again. Promise. Ok?" Robin nodded slowly. "Ok, we have to move you now, ok?" Roy asked with exaggerated patience, inching towards Robin again. The younger flinched at the movement, pulling away slightly before wincing. "It's going to be ok, Robin," Red Arrow whispered. Robin finally nodded and leant into Red Arrow's hold.
"The light's back," he mumbled, just before his vision went black.
When Robin woke up three days later, he never explained what he'd been talking about.
I found this floating around my other documents a few days ago. Enjoy, and sorry for the delay in all my other stories. I have writers block.