posted by robinfanforever
A week after the dreaded mission to save Joseph Billing and the Immobilizer, Robin sat on the sopa updating the security codes for his glab computer. He felt a lot better with himself after the several missions with the team afterwards, or at least he felt madami useful with the team.
Things were still strained back at Wayne Manor between Bruce and him though. Neither one of them were talking with each other, which was making Robin feel like Bruce didn’t want anything to do with him.
He had been spending the last few days at the mountain so he wouldn’t have to hear the silence that always came when Bruce and him were in the same room. He felt better around his friends, like he belonged with them madami than Bruce.
Kaldur was leaning up against the pader sa pamamagitan ng the kusina watching Robin. He had noticed the change in Robin since the Billing mission, how he went from fine and in a good mood to the days before, to quiet and madami reserved the araw of, to almost locking himself away, to becoming his madami normal cheerful self. This bothered Kaldur greatly, but he didn’t know how to approach Robin without him going back to secluding himself, or brushing it off all together. ‘Perhaps I should talk to Batman about it.’
Wally walked out of the kusina area, holding a few of M’gann’s burnt cookies, and saw Kaldur leaning against the pader with his arms crossed over his chest staring at Robin.
“Uhhhh… what are you doing?” Wally asked with his mouth full.
“Robin has been pagganap differently over the past week. I am trying to decide if I should talk to Batman about it, or leave the matter alone,” Kaldur answered not looking away from Robin.
Wally looked over to Robin. “I don’t see anything wrong with him,” he sinabi and then popped the last bite of the burnt cookies into his mouth then looked back to Kaldur.
“Recognize Batman, 02. Martian Manhunter, 07. Captain Marvel, 15. Red Tornado, 16.”
Kaldur, Wally, and Robin all looked up at the arrivals, Robin looking ashamed when he saw Batman. M’gann, Conner, and Artemis came in the room from different parts of the mountain.
The four Leaguers walked to the large holo pad that the team used for training. When everyone was present, they made six stone tables appear in a bilog in the middle of the pad.
“What are those for?” Wally asked.
“Well, if you’d shut up for five minutes, Batman could tell us,” Artemis sinabi in her usual snippy tone.
“We are going to put you all through a virtual training exercise,” Batman answered ignoring their bickering.
The team all looked at him confused. Batman saw this and continued. “Manhunter will psychically link the six of you in an artificial reality.”
“Will we know it’s an artificial reality?” Robin asked quietly.
Batman turned to him. This was the first time Robin spoke to Batman in over a week without being spoken to first. “Yes,” he answered then turned to the rest of the team before continuing. “You will go in knowing that what you are seeing is not real. If anything should happen to you while you’re in there, you will wake up back here.”
“Anything, like us dying?” Wally asked.
“Yes. This exercise will be a real life situation, so you have the possibility of dying if you make the wrong decision,” Batman answered then explained. He looked at the entire team as he explained and sinabi the part about making the wrong decision when he looked toward Robin.
Robin looked away from Batman in shame. He knew Batman was directing that statement toward him and he felt small.
The others just nodded then the entire team went up to a different stone mesa and laid down.
I was finally starting to think I was useful somewhere. That I wasn’t such a big mistake. That I actually belonged somewhere, then Batman goes and ruins it. He reminds me that no matter what I do, where I go, I will always be a problem.
Maybe he’s right. Maybe I should just quit before I hurt anyone.
No. I can prove I’m still worth something. I can prove to him that I’m not a failure, not a mistake.
I can do this. I can be someone. I won’t fail.
The exercise was going according to plan, that is, until Artemis didn’t wake up.
She had failed, died in the simulation, but she didn’t wake up like J’onn sinabi she would. Instead, she went into a coma.
Something was wrong. J’onn sinabi that Miss Martian was causing this. That she had taken over the simulation.
We kept an eye on the others, and as the simulation continued, each of them slipped into comas, Aqualad, Superboy, then finally Robin and Kid Flash.
I really hope J’onn can bring Miss Martian out of this. I don’t know what I would do if Robin was permanently stuck in this coma.
We’ve been so distant lately. I really need to talk to him about everything. Figure out why he’s always quiet, always moping around. I’ve noticed that every time I look at him, or he looks at me, he always looks ashamed of something.
I’m not the reason he’s pagganap like this, am I?
M’gann gasped then sat up and saw that all her mga kaibigan were alive and ok.
When Batman asked J’onn about what happened, the Leaguers found out that the team forgot that the exercise wasn’t real. Batman then explained everything that happened.
Once Batman finished explaining everything, M’gann started crying. Marvel went over to her, pulled her into his arms, and tried to comfort her. The others just sat there.
After about ten, fifteen minutes, the team started moping around the mountain. Everyone was distressed and was taking the whole thing pretty hard, especially Robin and M’gann, but for totally different reasons.
M’gann knew that she caused the whole problem. She had a right to take it hard, but Robin didn’t. He was taking it hard for a different reason, he believed he failed again.
A week after the training exercise, everyone was still moping around. The League decided that Black Canary would talk to them and try to get them to open up and talk about what they saw.
Everyone talked to her openly the first time except for Conner which took him two sessions before he opened up.
I failed again. Yes, I know that we were supposed to fail, but I failed the team. I finally got the chance to become leader and what do I do, I kill them all. Ok, so Kaldur wasn’t my fault, but Superboy and KF, they were. I made Superboy distract the aliens so the rest of us could get in the ship and he dies. Then KF and I were trapped in a ship that was supposed to blow up and all we did was fight the aliens that were coming until it did blow. M’gann didn’t die, but still, she probably would’ve if it was a different situation.
And after all that, they had us talk to Canary, who helped me see the whole truth, that the one thing I was hoping I would become someday, was the thing that I feared the most.
I can’t sacrifice my mga kaibigan like that, like him. I can’t watch my mga kaibigan die or get hurt because of me. I was desperate to be like him, to be the leader of my team, but after that simulation, I can’t do it. I don’t want to do it.
And did I lie to Canary when I sinabi that I still wanted to be a hero? I’ve made so many mistakes as Robin, and put so many people’s lives in danger.
Maybe it would be better if I stopped being Robin.
Batman sat outside the room where Black Canary was talking with the young heroes. He needed to talk with Robin and now would be just as good as any.
Robin walked out of the room, his head hug. He didn’t see Batman sitting there, so he jumped when Batman spoke his name.
Robin looked up surprised then looked away. He tried to walk away so he didn’t have to face him, but Batman blocked his path.
“Robin, we need to talk.”
‘Here it comes,’ Robin thought as Batman led him to the zeta tubes. Batman knew that the conversation could, and probably would, lead to them talking about things that could reveal their secret identities, so he would talk to Robin in the Batcave so the others couldn’t eavesdrop.
“Recognize Batman, 02. Robin, B01,” the computer announced as they disappeared.
As soon as they got to the cave, Robin ran to where they changed from their bumagay to regular clothes.
“Robin,” Batman called after him. Robin just ignored him and kept running.
sa pamamagitan ng the time Batman got to the room to change, Robin was already dressed and heading toward the elevator to take him up to the manor.
“Dick,” he called a bit louder as he ran to the elevator to stop Dick, but the door closed before he got there.
Bruce quickly changed, took the elevator up to the manor, and walked to Dick’s room.
Bruce could see Dick’s door was closed and he guessed that it was locked, so when he got up to it, he knocked. “Dick, please, we need to talk.”
He could hear what sounded like drawers opening and closing. ‘What is he doing?’ “Dick?”
Bruce knocked again and then tried the doorknob with no luck then knocked again, begging Dick to open the door.
‘Is he crying?’ Bruce could hear what sounded like sniffing. This started to make Bruce worried.
“Dick, open this door,” Bruce sinabi a bit madami sternly. He hoped that if Dick heard him madami serious, he would open the door.
“Dick, open this door right now, or I’ll break it down.”
Bruce is really starting to get mad. He’s threatening to break the door down, he never does that unless he’s really mad.
I have to get out of here. I can’t take him yelling at me for my mistakes again. I can’t listen to him telling me how much of a disappointment I am to him. I have to leave, get away.
“Good bye, Bruce.”
“Alright, Dick, I’m coming in,” Bruce sinabi then took a step back. He kicked the door hard with his foot and the door broke in two and fell to the ground.
Bruce’s eyes went wide at what he saw, or rather, what he didn’t see. Dick was not here.
He looked around the room. Dick’s drawers were open and empty, his four pictures, Dick and his parents, Dick and Barbra, Dick and the team, and Dick, Bruce, and Alfred, were gone, the window was open, and when he looked to Dick’s bed, he saw a not on his pillow. Bruce went over, picked up the note, and then sat down on the kama to read it.
I’m sorry for all the problems I have caused you, both as Bruce
and Batman. I am grateful for all your help over the past four
years, but I’m nothing but a problem. I’m a target for criminals
who want to ransom me for money, and a threat to the people
of Gotham, the team, and you, so I’ve saved you the trouble
and ran away. I won’t tell you where I’m going or how I’m
getting there, and I got rid of all the tracers that you put on me
so you can’t follow me. Again I’m sorry and I’ll never forget
what you and Alfred have done for me. Tell Alfred bye for me.
I’ve always thought of you like a father, Bruce, and I pag-ibig you,
but it’s better this way. Good bye, Bruce.
Tears started to well up as he read the note, and sa pamamagitan ng the time he finished pagbaba it, the tears were streaming freely down his face.
He drove his son away with the way he was pagganap and treating him.
“I’m so sorry, Dick,” he sinabi as he buried his face in his hands.