Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Chapter Seven: Interrogations and Information

Chapter Seven: Interrogations and Information

"You scuz-munching creeps! Take that!"

"Ah! My baby!"

"Azarath Metrion Zinthos!"

"Kyd Wykkyd, are you okay?"


"Cyborg, forget the car!"

"Billy, what'd ya do that for?"

"Nawt my fault, Billy."

Chaos was a good way to describe downtown Jump right now. With the Hive Five running around and the Titans each tackling a new opponent every five minutes, there was no telling who was winning or losing. The only thing that all of the Titans were sure about was that they all wanted to hit Gizmo. Raven had changed from facing the Kyd Wykkyd to helping Beast Boy with the Billies. Robin was fighting Gizmo while Cyborg took on See-More. Starfire, meanwhile, dealt with Mammoth, which was turning out to be a sorry sight.

"Here I am."

"No, here I am."

"Oh you forgot about me, Billy!"

Raven looked at the multiple Billies in disgust, "No matter how many times he duplicates himself, he'll never be able to improve himself."

"Raven, how many times has he multiplied? I've lost count," Beast Boy asked, after being thrown across the street and changing back from a tiger.

He had been attempting to keep Billy Numerous from leaving the area, but had failed when Billy had literally come up behind him to move BB out of his way.

Billy began to surround them as Raven answered, "In my opinion, there's too many for my liking."

Meanwhile, See-More taunted Cyborg as he floated above him, "Sorry 'bout the car, man. It was just too pretty to not look at."

"Oh you'll be really sorry in a minute," Cyborg told him.

With a yell, he blasted See-More's balloon eye out of the sky. See-More landed on the ground only to have Mammoth fall on top of him after being thrown down to the ground by Starfire who was smiling above their heads.

"Told ya, you'd be sorry," Cyborg said with a smirk, "And now for Gizmo."

With her opponent down for the count, Starfire took the opportunity to take out Kyd Wykkyd, "I do not wish to fight you."

"Trust me, neither do I," Kyd Wykkyd replied, as though thoroughly bored, "Doesn't mean I won't, though."

He started to disappear into a hole in his cape, but Starfire, not exactly willing to have her opponent just walk out on her, grabbed his shoe and pulled him out and threw him into the air. Kyd Wykkyd looked down only to see Starfire coming up with a starbolt in her hand.

"Crud," he muttered, before receiving a pounding headache and passing out on top of the pile of the Hive Five that was quickly filling up.

Before going off to help Raven and Beast Boy with the Billies, Starfire finished by saying, "You have brought this upon yourself."

"You nose pickin' snot brain, I'd like to see you try to get me!" Gizmo yelled at Robin and Cyborg, while flying circles around them. He was supposed to be leading them since he was the smartest of the group.

"Who are you callin' a nose picker?" Cyborg yelled, shooting out his hand to grab on to Gizmo, effectively keeping the little rascal distracted for a brief moment.

Robin used the opportunity to yell orders to the others, "Don't let him get away! Surround him!"

Raven nodded and began to create a wall surrounding Billy Numerous while Beast Boy and Starfire teamed up to just plain start knocking out all of the Billies to keep him from re-multiplying. Finally, Gizmo got rid of Cyborg's hand and was once again taunting the two Titans.

"Is this the best you got?" Gizmo asked, laughing.

"You're one to talk," Robin remarked, "Unless you didn't notice, you're losing."

"Maybe that doesn't matter to me," Gizmo told him, "By the way, how much goop did you put in your hair this morn..."

"Hey Gizzy! Hey Gizzy! I got that thing-a-ma-gig you wanted!" A random Billy that Raven had missed yelled.

Robin's eyes widened for a moment as he saw Billy carrying the most random and most dangerous thing in the world that he could possibly have in his hands. Chemical tanks from P.I.Z.Z.A.?

"You idiot! You weren't supposed to bring it here!"

"I wasn't?"


"Oh," the Billy shrugged, "Sorry."

Robin made a move to focus on Billy, but Gizmo wasn't willing to play nice.

Instantly, he multiplied himself with holographic images to confuse the Titans.

"Billy! Get that and the others out of here! I'll take care of the Titans!" Gizmo yelled.

Acting fast, Billy multiplied and carried off the chemical tanks and the other Hive Five members. Robin and Cyborg fought off the multiple Gizmos hitting each one of them until they disappeared. Finally, just one Gizmo remained. Robin pulled out his bo-staff and pinned Gizmo to the ground.

"You're not doing this for yourself, are you?" Robin asked the kid.

"You'll never know, scuz-muncher," Gizmo answered.

He laughed and then disappeared into oblivion. The other Billies that had been fighting the three Titans vanished as well. They had nothing. Robin was kneeling on the ground, infuriated. The others walked over, unsure as to how to respond to the defeat around him. Robin scrunched up and he let out a yell, slamming his fist into the ground.

"That. Was. Pathetic!"

The others all took a step back as Robin stood up. Nearly all of them looked like they were about ready to hide behind Cyborg. But instead of taking out his anger on them, Robin turned around and stared at the area. It was a littered mess of debris. He let out a sigh.

"That's the third time. This isn't random," he told them, "They don't want what they're stealing. They're stealing this stuff for someone or something else."

"But who would want that junk?" Beast Boy asked.

"Anyone," Robin answered.

His friends looked down. That was the 'we're pathetic because we don't know who's ordering this stuff' answer. Nothing good ever came out of that.

"I want to take the fight to them," Robin said in a low voice.

"What?" Cyborg asked.

Starfire cut in, "But Robin, how will you...?"

"I'm going to the City Jail," Robin told them, "Raven, I want you to call Jinx and Kid Flash. Jinx might be able to help us on this."

Raven nodded slightly, even though she wasn't too sure about this. In fact, they all were a little tentative about it. This spelled 'obsession' for Robin with a capital 'O'.

"Robin," Starfire spoke up, "Why do I not go with you to the jail of the city? Just in the case that I might be of some assistance."

The others nodded in agreement and Robin answered, "Alright. I want Jinx and Kid Flash here at three."

Raven and the boys nodded as they watched Robin and Starfire hop onto the R-Cycle and speed off in the other direction. They looked at each other and sighed.

"He's right, that was kinda pathetic," Cyborg admitted.

"Thanks for the added guilt, Cy," Beast Boy remarked.

"Oh, like you were doing your part?" Raven asked.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Beast Boy asked back.

"You let that Billy get away," Raven answered, "That's what it means."

"We don't even know when that Billy duplicated! It's not always my fault!" Beast Boy argued back.

"Whoa, whoa, guys," Cyborg intervened, "Let's take a chill pill and all go back to the tower, alright?"

Raven glared at Beast Boy for a moment and then walked off. Beast Boy sighed and looked down at his shoes.

"What is with her, Cy?" Cyborg led the way to the dented T-Car and answered,

"Well, you know Ray, she's just who knows, you know?"

"What?" Beast Boy asked.

"Never mind, I guess she just was annoyed. That's all," Cyborg told him, "I mean, your game's kinda been on the down side lately..."

Beast Boy glared at him and Cyborg added, "no offense."

They opened up the doors and Cyborg started the car, "And you know, now Jinx is coming, and they never liked each other anyway so..."

"I'm not trying to mess up, Cy," Beast Boy interrupted, "I'm just sort of sick of being put in the back seat sometimes. And seeing Terra's site tampered with has just, I don't know, made me so mad that I couldn't do anything about it."

Cyborg looked out at the road. He could see that. That was one thing that Terra had been to BB. She hadn't ever put him in the backseat without putting herself there as well. No wonder the green dude was frustrated lately.

Quietly Cyborg answered, "I know, man, I know."

"Do you think Robin and Starfire will get anything out of this?" Beast Boy asked.

"I bet five pizza toppings that they kiss before they get back," Cyborg answered.

"Yeah right, you're on," Beast Boy replied, placing the bet of what pizza topping he would risk losing.

The wind whipped the car as they sped in the opposite direction of the jail where Starfire and Robin had just arrived. It was a cold place and the gray stone was turning black with dirt. Starfire shivered as she followed Robin inside. The guards let them pass and slowly, they made their way down deep into the jailhouse. Starfire would have lighted a starbolt, had they not been told to not take out any weapons unless needed. They made their way to a restricted area where Robin took out a small card and opened up the door. Starfire hesitated, but followed seeing that Robin wasn't about to stop.

Suddenly, she found herself being stared at. Not stared at with affection and gratitude, like normal, but with hate and repulsion. Robin was used to this. The faces were nothing to him as the glow from their cells hit his face. Finally, they ended up next to one cell painted green (to avoid red, white, and blue). Robin looked in to see Mad Mod. The man was walking from the sink inside to his bed. Robin knocked on the glass.

"Mad Mod."

Mod looked up and answered, "What is it that cha want?"

"Are you willing to talk?" Robin asked.

"There's no need for me," The old man grumbled.

Robin looked down and then back at Mod. He was about to continue when he heard a voice on the other side,

"You want to talk, Robin?"

Starfire gasped as she turned to see Blackfire behind her in another cell, one that was white this time. Robin looked over and opened her cell, walking inside. Starfire followed staying behind Robin just because she knew that Blackfire's rage at her could be set off at any moment.

"You and Cheshire, you were working for someone. Who?"

"That would be telling now, wouldn't it?" Blackfire answered back.

"I'm giving you a chance to shorten your time here, but I'm not about to waste my time. So be useful for once," Robin told her.

Blackfire walked up to him. Her hands were in clasped gloves to keep her from igniting Starbolts while her shades had mirrors on the inside to reflect any Starlazers. But she smiled, loving her sister's bewildered look and Robin's handsome face.

"I'm really not at liberty to give you that information, says my lawyer," Blackfire answered, walking up to Robin, "But what's the rush?"

"I've got an appointment," Robin answered.

"Well, if I'm right, I should be at a party, but I'm not. So I'm not really in a rush. What bad timing," Blackfire told him sarcastically.

"Talk, or we leave," Robin growled into her face.

Blackfire closed the gap between them and got into Robin's face, "How about I tell you what I know for one delicious kiss?"

Robin's eyes bulged at Blackfire's statement, but it was Starfire who pushed Blackfire to the ground, her eyes glowing emerald green, "This is not the time or the place for your sick games. Do not try them on my friends."

Blackfire wiped her mouth and stood back up. She was having fun. She liked seeing Starfire's anger. That's why she was doing this. Sure, she thought Robin was hot, but he wasn't her type. He was too much of a boy scout. But if she could get under Starfire's skin by doing something low like that, why not?

Although she backed off for a moment, Blackfire decided to turn back to her sister as she stood up. "How's the Titans, darling?"

Starfire looked at Blackfire, her eyes returning to normal and answered, "We are fine. But please, Blackfire you surely do not wish to stay here any longer than need be?"

"Does it scare you, Starfire, this place?" her sister asked.

Starfire clenched her teeth. The thing about growing up with a sibling is that you know when they're playing games and you know how to win. The hardest part about winning, though, is always defying your instincts because they plan on you to follow them. So Starfire held her ground even though she couldn't withstand the temptation to glare resentfully at Blackfire.

Robin moved between the two and continued, "You've got thirty seconds. Use it."

Blackfire's smile diminished in size slightly, but answered, "I'm feeling generous so I'll tell you this: It's amazing how a simple little error can mess everything else up."

Robin glared at her and then turned while Starfire waited for a moment, "Blackfire?"

Her sister turned to see her, but there was a hatred, a loathing, in her eyes. Starfire backed down and sighed, leaving her sister in her cage. And she soon had a new problem to worry about. Robin was already about fifty feet ahead of her, storming out. She quickly flew ahead to catch up with him.

Hesitantly, she tried to make conversation because his silence was irking her, "Robin, I am sorry that my sister was of no help."

When he didn't respond she asked, "Robin?"

He stopped only to swipe a card to let them out and after he headed straight for his bike.

Worried, Starfire flew in front of him and asked, "Robin, are you okay?"

Robin seemed to have just been in a trance as he finally noticed her, "Huh? Oh, sorry, Star. I'm fine. It's just that was a big waste of time."

Starfire looked at him. He was thinking, seeing if he could get anything out of what Blackfire had said. There had to be something and it was probably right in front of... He felt a dizzy spell come over him and he reached out to Starfire for support who quickly caught him to keep him from falling down. Robin brought his hand to his head in an attempt to keep the world from spinning.

"Robin, why...?" she began, but Robin shook his head and stumbled over to his bike so that he wouldn't have to face her.

She caught his arm and looked at him closely and then realization, mixed with worry, came to her, "You have not been having the sleep."

Robin looked up at her and scoffed, "It's nothing."

"What do you mean that it is nothing?" Starfire asked, concerned, "Have you not had any of the sleep?"

Robin paused before answering, "I think I might've had an hour last night."

Starfire looked at him, astonished and confused, "Why?"

Robin finally slid down against his bike to sit down, the fatigue wearing on him, "I... I wanted to spend more time with you... You and the others."

He added it quickly. But yet, she felt a blush come and leave in seconds.

He continued, "but the work. It's just... It's just gotta be done, Star."

Starfire shook her head. It made sense now. Robin's temper being so short. His eagerness to hang out with them. And yet, he had no longer been getting up to train at five. Instead, he had resorted to training at six. This wasn't right, though, it was... unnecessary.

"But it is not healthy," she told him, kneeling down next to him.

"I can handle it... My mentor does. I can too," Robin answered, leaning his head against the bike.

Starfire had hit a road block and it was a tall one at that, "Robin... That does not mean that you have to. And, I mean no disrespect to your mentor, but he does not... venture into social meetings as often as you do. As Raven said, if this has been bothering you, then let us help you. Please, you need the rest."

Robin sighed, "Starfire... You don't know..."

Robin caught the look Starfire's eyes. What was he about to say? He was so tired he couldn't think straight. Or maybe he was thinking straighter. He couldn't tell what was up or down. He could only tell what felt right. She watched him for the minute of silence. He didn't move, but she could tell that he was thinking. About what? She didn't know. His unpredictability could baffle her sometimes. Slowly, Robin began to smile and with a small laugh, he looked back up at her.

"Huh?" she asked in confusion.

"Why are you always right?" he asked back.

Her sudden confusion melted and in its place came a warm smile. "So you will let us help you?"

Robin nodded. "With what you can, alright."

He was starting to think that he could never say 'no' to her. Starfire smiled, but she smiled trying to hide a hint of doubt. He had said this before. But he had barely ever come through. It was one of his faults. But it was one that she knew came from one of his perfections. The thing about talents is that they each have a curse and a gift. Should the gift out weigh the curse, we put up with it. If not, the talent is disposable. Robin's problem was that both the gift and the curse were so prominent, so equal in importance that there was no healthy way to rid him of the protectiveness inside of him. But he kept promising and that showed that he was trying. And he did come through sometimes. Not all the time, but still, he tried. And right now, that's what was important.

"Do you think that you are able to ride?" she asked.

"I think so. We better get back anyway. Jinx and Wally will be there in fifteen minutes," Robin told her, looking at the clock on his communicator.

Starfire glanced down and saw the clock read 2:50 PM, "But you said to meet at three."

"Yeah, well, Kid Flash is always five minutes late," he explained, "Trust me, its baffled me for years."

His strength regained, Robin hopped onto the bike and Starfire with him. She kept alert though, just in case he had a dizzy spell. But he didn't and they made it back at 3:02. Sure enough the other three were waiting upstairs for their late arrivals. Raven was tapping her foot while Cyborg whistled. Beast Boy was bored already.

"They'll be here in three minutes," Robin called and they all looked up at the two Titans.

"Why is he late?" Cyborg asked.

"That's just how he is, Cy," Robin answered.

"Did you get anything out of Mad Mod or Blackfire?" Raven asked.

"Mad Mod refused to talk and Blackfire just seemed to want attention," Robin told them.

"Isn't that what all girls want? Attention and world domination?" Beast Boy asked.

Raven and Starfire threw him death glares and he quickly added, "Kidding, guys, I mean, girls, I mean, never mind."

Robin shook his head and went up to the mainframe computer. "She wanted attention. But she seemed... annoyed. She was working for someone so that means that she might be under contract to not say some things..."

There was a whoosh of air and suddenly, Kid Flash was standing in the middle of the room, Jinx's windblown self in his arms looking thoroughly ticked.

"Hey Robin!" Kid Flash said immediately, "How's things been?"

"Alright, you're late," Robin stated.

"No I'm not. It's three oh four," Kid Flash told him.

"You were supposed to be here at three," Robin answered.

"Yeah, but I wasn't five minutes late. Come on, you know you were planning on it," Kid Flash replied.

Robin rolled his masked eyes as Jinx finally spoke, "Um, Flash, can you put me down?"

"Oh, sure," Kid Flash answered and, doing as she said, put her down.

"So why'd you call us here?" Kid Flash asked, "You know we were dealing with this big baddy in Central City and..."

"We need to speak to Jinx," Robin told them.

Jinx looked a little startled at first, but it was quickly replaced by hesitancy, "Why?"

The others watched Robin as he motioned her to come forward, "We need information. The Hive Five stole Hexane today which is used for making cooking oil. We're pretty sure it's connected to two previous robberies pulled off by Mad Mod, Cheshire, and Blackfire which means that they most likely were working for someone else. Other than Cheshire and Blackfire, the others don't seem like the type to all collaborate together."

Jinx looked down. She was still new to this hero thing. Kid Flash had brought her to Central City, offered her a lot, and taught her all of these new morals and ethics. But she couldn't deny, it was hard being the one who changed their ways. The threats she received from the opposing side were out of bitter feelings of betrayal. She didn't blame them. She couldn't blame them. But the hardest thing was that she was now, as Robin had put it, 'a source of information'.

"Look, I don't really feel... comfortable doing that," Jinx answered.

Raven stepped in, "Jinx, you can't just..."

"Don't tell me what to do, Witch!" Jinx yelled and the others backed off.

Yeah, she noticed. She noticed Wally's eyes, too. That push, that look. The one that said, 'It's alright if you don't want to, but, you know, it would help if you did'. How she hated how right he was.

Robin stepped in, "Jinx, I'm not asking you to do anything that you don't feel comfortable doing. I'm not asking you to betray your former teammates, your friends."

Jinx looked at him in surprise. He had said that they were still her friends. He was right, "We've all been betrayed here and honestly, I know doing things against your friends hurt. But I promise, if you help us, we'll get them another day for something else. They're not really our target today anyway."

The girl with pink hair smiled, "I can see why you're our leader."

Robin shrugged, "So you'll help us?"

"Well, what do you want me to tell you?" she asked as she noticed Kid Flash walking up behind her.

"Two things. First, who would contract such random people?" Robin asked.

"You're kidding right?" Jinx asked, "Tons of people. I hate to say it, but that's the truth. Brother Blood might be one. I don't know who'd hire Mad Mod. Most of us hated him, anyway. Could be some aliens maybe, considering Blackfire's doing it. I'd say Slade might of hired them if he wasn't AWOL."

"Slade?" Robin asked as the others mouthed to her behind him 'NO! BAD IDEA!'

Jinx got the message and quickly added, "Yeah, but Slade's been gone, hasn't shown his face, or I guess, mask to any of us. Besides, he hated dealing with the Hive. Thought we were useless because of Mammoth's puny brain and Gizmo's immaturity. Besides, I know the Hive did business with everyone. It could be the Joker or Lex Luthor for all we know."

Robin accepted this, only turning around to see the others all looking anywhere but at him, "Alright, well, if you can't tell us who it might be, maybe you can make sense of Blackfire's interrogation. I was telling the others, she might not have been allowed to tell us certain things, but that doesn't mean she couldn't give us hints."

"Wait, Robin," Beast Boy interrupted, "Why would she do that?"

"Maybe someone wasn't coming through on their end of the deal on time," Raven answered.

"That would make sense, considering she said something about 'errors' right before we left," Robin added.

"Just let me listen," Jinx told him and he handed her a pair of headphones.

It took a moment, but within a couple minutes, Jinx spoke, "Replay the last thirty seconds."

Robin did and unplugged the headphones allowing everyone to listen, "Well, if I'm right, I should be at a party, but I'm not."

"What's that got to do with anything?" Cyborg asked, "The girl's insane, no offense, Star."

"I do not take any," Starfire replied.

Jinx was quiet, as though contemplating as to whether or not she should go into this. Kid Flash noticed and nudged her, giving her an encouraging smile.

"Dances. We'd have them twice a month," Jinx told them.

"What do you mean?" Robin asked.

"There was this restaurant, dance, whatever you want to call it, place," Jinx started, "We'd have parties. The younger 'villains', so to speak were the ones who mostly went, but anyone, anyone bad enough to get in the paper to fight you guys or any member of the JLA basically could get in."

"Wait a minute, you mean to say that all of this time, there's been parties that we could have crashed and arrested all of the super villains in town?" Cyborg asked.

"Sort of," Jinx answered, "Only, I wouldn't recommend it. With everyone there, the odds would be against you."

Raven looked at her questioningly and asked, "Why did Blackfire care to tell us this?"

Jinx turned around to face Raven and answered, "She's mad, right? Mad at whoever employed her. She was leading you to the trail. If this person is hiring people, there's bound to be something there that..."

"... Knows who's hiring," Robin finished, "Jinx, how can we get in? Where is it?"

"Wait, a minute, I didn't..." Jinx started.

"I promise, we're not going to get the Hive Five," Robin told her, "We just want to get in and out in one piece and find out who's behind this."

He was motivated. Despite Jinx's remark, bringing up Slade had kicked him into gear.

"It's a place called 'Zenith's Fire'. The only way you're getting in there is if only one or two of you go. They never let anyone in five at a time, given how many are in the Titans," she explained.

"So basically, one of us has to dress up as though we're a bad guy and pretend to get down and dirty so that we can get into this stupid dance?" Raven asked.

The others looked at her and they didn't stop. Raven looked startled as the others began to smile at her.

"That's exactly what you're going to do," Robin answered.

"What? I didn't volunteer for this," Raven told him.

Robin wasn't listening, "No, but really. You should do it. Starfire can't pretend to be Blackfire since she's in jail and they all know it and guys asking around about this sort of thing just looks suspicious."

Jinx stepped forward and added, "Besides, I think with a little change in your wardrobe, you could pull off being a bad girl."

"I don't want to be a 'bad girl'," Raven said bluntly.

Robin intervened, "I think you're going to have to tonight."

"Why not Jinx?"

"Are you kidding me? That would be like giving her the death sentence considering all of the people that betrayed her are there," Kid Flash told her, "and we..."

"We've got plans," Jinx interrupted, not wanting to publicly announce their dinner date.

"I can't go in there alone," Raven stated, almost desperately.

"We can bug you," Cyborg told her.

"Hey, wait," Beast Boy added, "Why don't I go?"

The others all looked at him, silent. Robin didn't know what to say and that meant no one did. It was just uncomfortable, like there was this uneasy air that they were all breathing making them fidget, if only a little bit.

"Come on, guys. I won't blow her cover. We don't even have to go in together," Beast Boy added, "Besides, what happens if she needs back up, like her cover gets blown and it's not even her fault?"

The Titans all caught each others gaze. Raven stepped forward, "Beast Boy, I appreciate your concern, but really I can..."

"Look, I wouldn't mess up. I know you think that I would, but I won't, I promise," he told her.

Raven looked at him with a glare, but considered. He was being honest. There was no doubt in that. But the question of 'can he actually do this?' was another. That was it, though, right? He wanted to prove to them he could. Yet, there was something that she couldn't place. There was a level of eagerness that seemed out of place. She hoped that he wasn't going into a 'protective of everyone' stage as Robin always was in again, as he had been after Terra... It was up to her.

"Fine," Raven said, "he can come."

"How are we gonna manage that?" Cyborg asked.

"I've got make up, maybe he could pose as something," Robin answered.

Jinx added, "Maybe he could be the DJ. They always arrive early."

"Oh, and Raven, I can most certainly help you get ready for the party!" Starfire exclaimed, making Raven a tad bit more nervous.

Robin however, smiled. This could actually work. They could actually get some... where. Starfire looked at him. She was smiling at him. He was doing what he promised earlier and he hadn't even realized it. The Tamaranean knew this, but her gaze conveyed a meaning. 'Please, do not stop. It means a lot to everyone...to me. ' They both understood it. He felt something creeping up on him. It was color coming to his face. She felt the same and they both quickly lost the eye contact that they had had for the short moment.

"Cyborg, do you think that you could get BB ready later? Pale skin, all of that?" Robin asked.

"Sure, you got that stuff?" Cyborg asked.

"Yeah, I always keep some," Robin answered, "Jinx, do you think if BB went in around seven and Raven went in around eight, we'd be alright?"

"Sure, but seriously, do all you can to avoid being caught. It won't be pretty if you are," Jinx warned him.

Raven sat down, bowing her head in total defeat, "This is so bad."

"I know, friend Raven," Starfire told her, "We are late!"

"Late?" Raven asked, glancing up at her, "Late for what?"

"We are behind the schedule. We must go to the mall of shopping and buy you some new clothes and redo your look to..."

"Okay, I get it. I get it, but do we have to do all of that?" Raven asked.

Robin answered for Starfire, "Yes, we can't risk you being recognized. Considering that BB will just need a color change, you're the one I'm more worried about in terms of if people will recognize you or not."

Raven looked like she was ready to kill him, "Fine, Star, let's go."

Starfire grabbed Raven's arm and the two flew out of the room. Kid Flash shuffled his feet slightly while the five remaining teens waited in silence. Jinx tapped her foot. She wanted to go.

"Well, Jinx, do you want to stick around or not...?" Kid Flash asked.

Jinx answered, "Yeah, you don't need me anymore, right, Robin?"

Robin shook his head, "No, thank you, Jinx. I know how hard things like that can be."

"No problem," she responded, "Come on, Flash. Let's go."

"Hey," Robin said, "Kid Flash, Jinx, it was good seeing you."

"Good seeing you too," Jinx said quietly, "Come on, twinkletoes."

"Why do you call me 'twinkletoes'? Robin doesn't call me 'twinkletoes'. Only Speedy ever calls me 'twinkletoes'," Kid Flash asked.

"Stop whining and let's go," Jinx told him.

"Alright," Kid Flash answered, picking her up and smiling at the others, despite Jinx's protests.

With another whoosh of air, the two Titans were gone and in Central City, an industrial, but innovative area. Kid Flash put Jinx down again, her hair a mess and her normal scowl back on her face.

"Where do you want to go to dinner?" Kid Flash asked.

"I'm thinking, I want you to cook me an elaborate dinner to make up for ruining my hair!" She yelled.

"How about we go to my Aunt Iris's and we have a homemade dinner there?" He inquired.

She rolled her eyes at him and answered, "You're such a dork!"

Back in Jump, the three boys looked at each other. They had at least two or three hours to kill. It was one of those times where there was this awkwardness, and it was because they had nothing to do, but wanted to do something.

Robin shrugged and stretched, "Well, I hope you guys don't mind, but I think I'm going to take a nap."

The other two boy's eyes bugged, "You? Take a nap? Why are you...?"

Beast Boy stopped and Cyborg finished, "You haven't been sleeping, have you?"

"Well, that's why I'm going to sleep now so I won't have to catch up while you and Raven go on a mission." He motioned to Beast Boy, "So, wake me up in two hours. BB, I'll leave the skin dye outside my room. Put it on half and hour before you wake me up so it will be dry."

"Alright, alright," Beast Boy told him, "go take your nap."

Robin smiled and left the two, sure that they would go for the...


"You know it!" he heard Cyborg yell.

Robin felt his eyes sagging. He barely managed to get to his bed, his feet didn't want to move. It was that feeling where if you're really tired and you're about to sleep, you just get even more tired. He closed his eyes and felt himself drift off into his mind's own realm.

The realm caught him up in the air. He was above and below everything. Flying. That's what he was doing. The sun shown. Everything was bright. Everything was right. But a sudden cold swept him up. He shivered and felt himself falling down slowly. He hit the street, the ground, and the cold air just got heavier. He knelt down. He could barely lift his head.

"Do you really think that things will get better so easily, Robin?"

Robin shook his head. Not in response. But in disbelief, with a heavy heart, he shook his head. Every time. Every time he felt like he was in the clear, bad memories, they just reached from their graves to grab his ankles and pull him back under with them. And Slade, he embodied every one of those decrepit dead hands that wanted to bring him down. Jinx said Slade probably wasn't behind this, but it didn't matter. Slade was still in this nightmare.

He looked up to see Slade's mask. He saw the bright sky turn dark and felt the guilt, the weakness, the helplessness, the worthlessness that scared him so much. He could swear that the man was smiling. Robin knew this was a dream. He wanted to ignore it. He had to sleep and that meant that nightmares couldn't get in the way. He willed himself to pick himself up again. He willed himself to keep his promise to Star and get his rest. Slowly, Robin forced himself to stand.

He looked around. The sky was gray, but not without sunlight. There was no one around him. But somehow, that was better than Slade being there. The street was quiet and only loose papers blew in the wind. He didn't care. He walked over to a building and sat down against the wall. Starfire was right. He must need his rest if even his dreams made him tired. Robin heard laughter. He kept his eyes closed, but he listened. People, people that he knew. They were laughing and he could just hear the smiles on their faces. It meant the world to him. It meant everything to him.

And he never wanted to lose it again.

No comments:

Post a Comment