Hi! Thank you so much for giving this story a chance!
I can't believe Young Justice is coming to an end and there will be no mention of the second Robin. It feels like such a waste!
I guess it's up to fans like us to fill the void. I hope I did a good job with it.
Disclaimer: Don't own Young Justice or any of its characters. If I did, they wouldn't have skipped Jason Todd.
The Boy in the Red Hood
This wasn't meant to happen.
Robin and Artemis were supposed to be in Mount Justice by now. They were supposed to be getting ready to go on their mission with the Team which, by the way, was going to be lead by none other than the Boy Wonder.
Dick had spent two whole weeks working on intel about Vandal Savage's hideouts and Kaldur had insisted that he be the one to lead them.
"You're the one who his meant to do this" Aqualad had said with a reassuring smile. "We all know that you will take the mantle and I couldn't be more proud of my successor."
Successor. There was a time when Robin would have jumped at the opportunity to run the Team, but he found himself hesitant and… scared. It wasn't like he couldn't do it, he knew he could, but the responsibility of having his friends' lives in his hands… if he messed up… How could he live with himself knowing that failed them?
He wondered if Batman ever felt that way when they went on patrol together. The Dark Knight was known for not showing his emotions, but Dick knew that he was always attentive to his movements, always ready to jump and protect him from an unknown assailant. Now he understood why Bruce had been so broody before he finally let him join the Team. It wasn't easy seeing your partner go to places where you knew you couldn't protect him, no matter how much you trusted his abilities.
"I guess this means I'm growing up" Dick thought, smiling. "Speaking of which… I need to get a new costume, this one his getting tight! Sweet, I'm getting tall!"
"What are you laughing about?" Artemis asked as they jumped from roof to roof.
"Huh? Nothing, nothing! Just enjoying this lovely night!"
The blonde archer rolled her eyes. "You've been spending way too much time with Wally. I hope you don't start making stupid jokes too."
"My jokes are never stupid" Robin laughed mischievously. "Besides… we both know you love his sense of humor."
Though she would never admit it, Artemis felt her cheeks blush under her mask. "Not exactly his best feature!"
"Right! I'll make sure he…" the two youths stopped on their tracks as they heard the sound of breaking glass followed by several male grunts which was never a good sign near a store in Gotham.
The two heroes exchanged glances and jumped swiftly to the ground. Sure enough, the shop's window was broken; the door showed signs of forced entry and the alarm had been disabled.
"I guess someone is planning a midnight shoplifting" Robin whispered.
"Why can't thieves just work at regular hours!" Artemis groaned. "We're gonna be late!"
"C'mon! Let's crash this party" Robin said as they both entered the dark store.
In less than five minutes, the two managed to knockout four guys who had already stolen from the cash register and were apparently trying to blow up a safe.
"There! Swiftly and with style" Robin said, calling 911 while Artemis tied the thugs together. "See? I said we could be quick!"
"Yeah, yeah… Let's just go already."
"Can't wait to see your boyfriend, huh?"
"Wha..? That's not what I meant!" the blonde teen hissed, blushing again.
"Silence!" Robin whispered.
"What? Don't tell me to shut up!"
"No… listen…" There were noises coming from a door behind the counter. They seemed to be metallic. "I'll check it out."
While Artemis stayed with the unconscious thieves with her bow ready to help, Robin slowly opened the door and jumped towards the last thief, grabbing something small, light and red.
"What…?" Batman's sidekick gaped, completely taken aback.
He was holding a little kid! A very thin, very aggressive little kid, wearing a dirty red hoodie.
"Lemme go!" the boy shrieked, trying to kick Robin in the gut. "Lemme go, you asshole!"
The boy's sudden swearing broke Dick from his stupor and he tried to pin him down to the floor.
"What are doing here, kid?" Robin asked, still trying to immobilize the boy without hurting him. He could feel every bone in his body. "Did you come with those guys? Ouch… stop it! Were you stealing?"
"It's none of your business!" the boy yelled before punching Robin right in the nose.
"OW!" Robin was truly surprised by the strength of the punch and let go of the kid.
Dick looked up in time to see the red hood slip down the boy's head, revealing a black-haired kid with fiery green-blue eyes.
"Robin!" Artemis screamed, running to the room.
The boy's face paled as he heard the girl and his eyes focused on the teenage hero holding his bloody nose, widening as he recognized the famous Boy Wonder. In panic, the kid pulled a cabinet filled with flour and spices on top of Robin, filling the entire room with white power.
"Robin!" Artemis yelled, moving to the fallen cupboard and helping her friend get up. "Are you alright? What happened? Is your nose bleeding?"
"I'm fine" Robin said, staring at his ruined costume and trying to ignore the pain on his nose. "There is a kid in here! We can't let him escape."
Artemis looked around and frowned. "Seems like he's gone."
Robin followed her gaze and saw the open air vent.
The boy in the red hood fled the dark streets of Gotham holding the only thing he had managed to swipe from that store: a chunk of bread.
He knew he shouldn't have agreed to help stealing the store, but the guys needed someone small enough to fit the air vent and bust the alarm. Then, they had said, he could have his fair share of the money.
Yeah, right! Like those idiots were actually gonna share the money with him. He wasn't stupid, but he was so hungry. He needed to eat and he needed the money, which was the only reason why he agreed. He thought he could just swipe some food and cash while they were distracted with the volt and take off before they remembered that he was there. But Robin and some other hero girl had shown up and everything went wrong.
The kid ran and jumped through the darkest alleys he could find with his heart beating painfully against his skinny chest. By the time he arrived at the rundown apartment where he lived in an abandoned building in Crime Alley, he made sure to close every window before hiding in a corner.
Why? Why did Robin have to show up tonight? He was never in Gotham anymore! People said he had some other team of kid heroes in Rhode Island, so why the hell was he there?
The boy looked at his hand. It still hurt after punching Robin which… was kinda cool because Robin was what every kid wanted to be and he had managed to punch him in the face. He would brag about it… if he had someone to talk to.
Still, Robin worked with the Bat and everyone with more than two working brain cells knew not to mess with him. Not that he was afraid of him or anything! The guy was crazy. How stupid is it to dress up like a bat to beat up criminals?
There was a time when he remembered thinking Batman was cool and dreamed that he would show up in their house to save him and his mom from the her dealers. But Batman didn't save them. He and his hero friends were too busy saving the upstanding citizens. That was when he realized that Batman only cared about people like him. Just like the cops and the stupid people in the orphanage and the foster care! They didn't understand.
He didn't want to be a crook; he just wanted to stay alive. It was easy to say that stealing was wrong when they didn't know how it felt to be so cold and so hungry to the point where he was afraid to fall asleep and die. They didn't know how hard it was like to see the other kids complaining to their parents when he was all alone.
Slowly, the boy ate the bread. He had no idea when his next meal would be, so he kept some of it for the morning. He should have tried to steal the cash, that way he could buy a burger or something warm for a change.
He had no choice. Tomorrow he was going to steal some tires. He just hoped the old guy who he sold them to was still in business.
Curling up against the wall, he stayed awake for a while, listening to the sirens, the yelling and shouts. Just another night in Crime Alley, he barely flinched when he heard the distinct sound of a gun and a high-pitched scream. However, the eleven year old still hugged himself and stared at the visible Bat signal in the sky.
A few minutes later, Jason Todd fell asleep still waiting for Batman to show up, but he never did.
Here we go. Should I continue or leave it as a one-shot? Is it good enough for more chapters?
Dick and Jason didn't have the best introduction, huh? Also, Robin isn't weak, he was just trying to not to hurt the skinny kid and got caught by surprise. Jason has one hell of a punch! ^_^
Thanks for reading!