Disclaimer: I don't own Young Justice
Talons are supposed to be emotionless. Talons are supposed to be unable to feel pain. Talons are supposed to submit to the Court.
Why couldn't I have done these things? The former Talon, the new Robin, asked himself. Why couldn't I have been a good little Talon like the Court wanted? My great-grandfather was. He was their greatest…
Dick Grayson knew the answer: he couldn't be a good Talon, because he could not figure out how to dehumanize his victims. Sure, he could do it at times, but then he looked into their eyes…
Her eyes looked up at him pleadingly. How old was she, the Talon wondered. Eight maybe? She was just a little younger than he was. What had she done?
Beware the Court of Owls that watches all the time, ruling Gotham from their shadowed perch beneath the granite and lime. They watch you from your hearth, they watch you from your bed, speak not a whispered word of them or they will send the Talon for your head.
Had she spoken a whispered word? Or was the Court just trying to test him, to see if he would follow orders?
"P-please!" she begged.
The Talon wanted nothing more than to let the little girl go, but then he remembered what the Court did to disobedient assassins. He remembered the screams and the thrashing and the injections…
"I am sorry," he said to her, and then his knife flashed out.
Robin snapped his mind out of the flashback. "Ucigaş," he whispered, directing the word at himself, for that is what he was: a murderer, a killer, an assassin… it was his only purpose anymore. Ever since his parents' line was sabotaged by Tony Zucco…
Zucco. That was the only part of being a Talon Dick liked. He had been allowed to slaughter the man. He had gotten his revenge, but at the same time, he hated himself for it, because he remembered everything he did. Zucco may have killed his parents, but Robin dragged his death out for days, severing limbs and cutting him in places that would hurt but wouldn't kill right away.
He remembered how impressed William Cobb, his great-grandfather, had been at his brutality. How thrilled he was to see his descendent rip and tear into what he considered to be nothing more than a living corpse.
That is how Talon's are supposed to see things: human bodies, breathing and alive, are nothing more than a living corpse, for sooner or later, they are all going to die. So, what is wrong with speeding up the process in the name of the Court of Owls?
Robin had believed that for a while, but he couldn't anymore. He wouldn't have started saving people if he hadn't.
I need to get out of Gotham, the ex-Talon thought. It is too dangerous here, what with the Court, Batman, and those teen heroes-
The Talon stopped suddenly, jerking up, fully alert like a wolf on the hunt. Nothing gets past a Talon, especially not footsteps in the catwalks.
Robin picked up his swords, waiting for the mere mortals to show themselves. He waited a moment, before saying: "You can come out now. Only cowards hide in the dark."
"Why did you run away?" a deep, growling voice asked.
The Batman emerged from the shadows.
Robin gazed at him. The great Batman, the one the Court always talked about killing. This was him.
"You know, I always imagined you to be taller," Robin said, gazing up at the dark figure.
"Answer me," he growled.
Robin cackled. "Sure, I'll answer you: I ran away, because I don't like people."
"If that were the case, you wouldn't have saved that woman," the Batman said.
"Correction: I don't like being around people," the ex-Talon said. "You can say I came from a society where we… how do I put this? Weren't taught social skills."
The Batman just glared at him.
Robin began to glare back, refusing to back down. This man did not intimidate him, nor did he intimidate the Batman. He did, however, surprise him; after all, Batman had never seen someone give him something so close to his own Bat-glare.
"What's your name?" Batman asked.
"You can call me Robin," Dick replied.
"Where are your parents, Robin?" he asked.
"Underground," Robin said.
"I'm sorry," Batman said.
"Why do people say that? 'I'm sorry'. It doesn't make any sense. Saying it doesn't change the truth; it doesn't even make someone feel better. And in reality, no one is ever really sorry, nor should they be, since it isn't their fault," the former Talon said. "So why do you?"
"That… is a question I cannot answer," Batman said.
"Then answer me this: what do you want?" the ex-Talon asked.
"Are you alone out here?" the Batman asked.
"Yes," Robin replied.
"You have no one here with you?"
"Nope; I ran away," Robin said.
"Hell," the little bird replied. "They don't really like it when you do that though, so I would appreciate it if you wouldn't inform Hell that you found me. Don't put up Found Bird posters or anything."
"Will you not be sarcastic for one moment?" Batman snapped.
"Why would I do that?" the former Talon asked. "Does it bother you?"
"Do you live in this warehouse?" Batman changed the subject.
"For now, Batsy," Robin said. "I will be leaving your precious Gotham soon though, don't you worry."
"No, you won't," the man replied.
"I won't? Are you going to stop me?"
"Yes," Batman said.
"Why?" Robin asked, annoyed. "If I leave, then I don't bother you anymore and you don't bother me anymore. I would call that a win."
"You can't live out there on your own," Batman said.
"I have been for a year," the ex-Talon said. "I have been fine. I can take care of myself, I grew up when I was eight."
"Was that the day your parents died?" Batman asked.
"Yes," Robin replied, making himself impassive. It was a skill learned in the Court, the ability to detach oneself from things that would normally give an emotional impact. Sometimes, Robin had to admit, it came in handy.
"You don't learn to use swords on the streets," Batman said. "So where did you train? Was it the League of Assassins?"
"Nope, but I've met a few of their members," Robin said. "The people who taught me associated with them on occasion."
"Hmmm, none of your business." The acrobat sheathed his swords and flipped back, landing on top of some boxes where he proceeded to flip into the catwalks.
Batman grappled up after him.
The Bat chased the Bird.
The Owl still hunts the Robin.
But the Bat… he caught the Bird.
AN: Hiding in a tiny corner where no one can find me and murder me for not updating in so long.