“Alright dude, I gave you a week to sulk. You have to come out of your room now.” Wally's voice was firm and determined through the door. “Dude, Alfred actually let me in without a thinly-veiled insult about my intelligence. We are concerned. Now either you open the door, or I open it.”
“It's not locked.”
Wally was silent for a minute. Then he opened the door.
“Oh.” He scratched the back of his head, the wind having been taken out of his sails. “And you're dressed. And the curtains are open.”
“I've even showered.” He was depressed, he wasn't comatose. He'd done the same thing every day since Kaldur'ahm announced that, hey, he was leaving the team to join the Justice League as a full time member, without talking about it with him even once, and then oh, by the way, that relationship they'd been in for two years now? Over.
It had been a week. He'd gotten up every day, gotten dressed, made his bed, sent in his school work, and trained. He just hadn't left his room for any of it. Wally had called him about a dozen times, M'gann had thought really hard at him, and even Artemis had sent a text his way. Conner likely had no idea anything was going on.
He apparently warranted a home visit now.
“I'm not about to take to my boudoir.” He said, spinning in his chair lazily. “I'm just not in the mood to go out.”
Wally shut the door.
“Look, man, you cannot let yourself get like this. So he's going to the Justice League. And he did it without telling you. It's not like you're never going to see each other again. I'm sure he had his reasons, I mean, he was probably thinking you would take it personally or something,”
“He broke up with me.”
That shut Wally up for a minute.
“Kaldur and you broke up?”
“No. Try listening for once. He broke up with me. Told me that day.”
He hadn't even seen it coming. He'd been so mad at Kaldur when he'd stormed into Kaldur's room, because Kaldur had just sprung it on him, in front of everyone, and he'd said it like it was something he'd decided on awhile ago, all without ever talking to him, his boyfriend.
And he'd been angry, and ranting at him, and asking why he hadn't talked to him, and then Kaldur had looked at him in a really sad way. And it had been like a punch to the gut, as he realized that whatever Kaldur was about to say, he wasn't going to like it. And then Kaldur started talking about their ages again, that same thing that kept getting between them, even though Robin was legal now, and then he said something about this being a good thing, and then Robin had.
Then he had embarrassed himself by looking Kaldur right in the face and telling him he loved him. Because he did.
And Kaldur had looked at him. Without saying anything back. And Robin had just stood there, waiting, like an idiot, because he wanted to hear it back, and he thought maybe if he stood there long enough, Kaldur would say it. Because, you know, two years. He'd say it. He had to feel it. Right? He hadn't waited for two years for nothing, right?
Only he didn't say anything.
Robin had gotten the point.
He'd never been more humiliated in his life when he left Kaldur's room. Christ, just thinking about it was awful.
“Oh man, that's harsh. I knew you two were having some issues, but I didn't think it was that bad.” Wally was saying it like Robin knew.
“We didn't have any issues!”
Wally made a face.
“Dude, you really didn't know?”
“Didn't know what? We were fine until he, I don't know, decided he was too cool for me.”
“Man.” Wally sat down in the wing-back chair across from the desk chair, leaning over so that his elbows were on his knees. “Are you serious? You really didn't know? Because we all thought, I mean, dude, you had to know he wasn't happy.”
“Why did I have to know? He always seemed fine.”
If he denied it enough, it wouldn't be true.
“You were always taking advantage of him. Like the sex thing.” Wally said, in a condescending kind of way.
“Like you and Artemis aren't having sex?” He snapped, kicking his desk hard to turn more forcefully.
“Artemis and me are the same age though. Kaldur is three years older than you. You were thirteen when you met. And you two started dating when you were fourteen. Think about it. Would you date a thirteen-year-old right now?” Robin chose not to dignify that with an answer. “Kaldur really cares about you. But you've always kind of pushed him when he wouldn't give you your way. And it was funny sometimes, but it wasn't fair to him.”
No one but Wally would have said it to him.
He probably wouldn't have listened to anyone else.
“I told him I loved him.” Wally gave him a low, surprised whistle in response. “He just kept looking at me.”
“That kind of sucks.” Because Robin hadn't worked that out already.
“Has he called you?” He asked.
“Do you really have to ask?”
He'd sent twenty-seven texts so far. They'd been angry at first, accusations and just whatever had seemed like a good idea at the time. And then they'd turned sad and pathetic and pleading. He'd deleted them from his sent folder just so he wouldn't have to see them anymore, remind himself how low he was willing to sink for Kaldur.
“Alright, well, come on. You need to go out. Do something. This isn't going to help, trust me.” Wally stood up, hands in his pockets. “Come on, we'll go get coffee or something.”
“I really don't want to.” The thought of going out made him want to crawl under his covers and never come out. How the hell was he supposed to go out and act normal when Kaldur didn't love him, when what he'd thought was a sure thing was actually just him lying to himself? Kaldur had acted like he loved him. Or what he thought people in love were supposed to act like.
What had he done wrong? He had been pushy at times, but Kaldur always seemed to think it was kind of cute, and he'd never done anything to compromise Kaldur as a leader, or if he had, it hadn't been on purpose. They'd had some fights, but that was normal, right? Wally and Artemis fought all the time, and even M'gann and Superboy had arguments.
Maybe some of them had been a bigger deal than he'd thought.
“Come on. No choice.” Wally threw Robin's jacket at him, and he caught it through pure reflex. “You need some fresh air.”
Robin really didn't want to go, but Wally was his best friend, and he was asking. So he put the damn jacket on and followed him out.
Alfred gave them a ride into the city, and dropped them off in front of a Starbucks with a wave and a smile, like everything was fine and he wasn't completely relieved that Robin was leaving his room. Alfred tended to leave him alone when he asked, which he liked, but that didn't mean he didn't fuss from afar. He had to have been worried.
He didn't actually feel any better out with Wally, and, god help him, he actually wanted Artemis. Wally was great, but he didn't want to hear Robin talk about this. He wanted him to move on and get over it. Artemis would have some real advice.
“So,” Wally said, after they'd gotten coffee and walked a ways. “Feel up to going to the mountain? M'gann would feel a lot better if she saw you.”
He actually kind of did. M'gann would have cupcakes, or something. That would definitely make him feel better. M'gann made awesome cupcakes.
It wasn't until they got there that it occurred to him Kaldur might be there. From the look on Wally's face, it hadn't occurred to him either.
He wasn't wearing his uniform, just his track pants and a hoodie. He had a duffel bag at his feet, which meant he'd come to get the last of his stuff.
M'gann waved at the two of them and flew over, obviously thrilled to see Robin, but when she hugged him, the way she tensed told him she'd picked up on his feelings. She pulled back and stared at him.
-Oh god, I had no idea. I'm so sorry.-
-It's fine.- He told her, though that was a total lie. It wasn't fine. If they'd been alone, he'd have walked out, because being in the same room with him made Robin want to do something stupid, like walk over and tuck himself under Kaldur's arm, where he'd gotten used to standing when they were in civvies. He could almost feel him right now, the weight of him across Robin's shoulders, or sometimes down, so that his hand was on Robin's hip.
“So um, I've said good-bye, but maybe you want a chance to do it?” In the most awkward and obvious exit ever, Wally took off, a blur headed somewhere that wasn't there.
-Do you want me to go?- M'gann asked, her brown eyes big and wide in sympathy. He really wasn't sure, because if she left, he had to talk to Kaldur, and he didn't want to. But at the same time, he really did.
M'gann felt his decision, and disappeared, phasing through the floor.
They were alone now.
“I'm assuming they know then?” Kaldur asked, as Robin walked over to meet him.
He was frowning, in that way that meant he thought he'd done something really wrong. For some reason, it always made Robin want to kiss him, if only to make him feel better, and he'd stepped forward to do it before he could stop himself, his arms half raised to wrap around Kaldur's neck.
“Robin.” Kaldur's hands closed around his wrists, lowering them.
“Sorry. Habit.” Kaldur still had him, his hands warm on Robin. “You can let go now.”
“Robin, please, you have to see this is for the best, for both of us.” Oh, he was not doing this. He was not turning this into some noble sacrifice.
“Fuck you,” He hissed, shaking Kaldur off. “Don't try to justify this. You're tired of me, fine, whatever, I get it, but don't act like you're doing me some big favor.”
“But I am.” He actually looked like he meant it too. “Robin, I will be twenty this year.”
“And I'll be seventeen, so what? If I was twenty and you were twenty-three, this wouldn't even matter, would it? It's just your excuse.”
“You are not twenty though. You are sixteen, and you should be with someone your own age.”
“What other sixteen-year-olds? What do I even have in common with them?” Kaldur looked torn, like he always did when they had this argument. He knew Robin was right, that the only place he was sixteen was on paper. He'd been older than that mentally for a long time, just like Kaldur. They understood each other completely. It was just Kaldur's stupid sense of right and wrong getting in their way.
“Do you love me? At all?” He wanted to know, right now. Because Kaldur wouldn't look like this if he didn't. He wouldn't have waited two years to have sex if he didn't care about Robin.
“Yes.” He didn't sound happy about it, but Robin didn't care. He put his arms around Kaldur's neck and kissed him, Kaldur meeting him halfway. He never wanted to stop, never wanted to let Kaldur go, because if he did, Kaldur would start questioning things again.
They had to stop eventually though, and when they did, Kaldur pulled away, making a face like it actually hurt to do so. Robin knew it hurt like hell for him, to be pulled away from, no matter how hard he tried to hold on.
“This is why I cannot stay. If I do, you will get your way, like you always do with me.” His resigned tone pissed Robin off, because it sounded like he was blaming him.
“I don't force you to do anything, so don't even try that. That's not fair.”
“I am not faulting you for anything. This is on myself.” That was not what Robin wanted to hear. He wanted Kaldur to take it back and go back to kissing him. They could pretend this never happened. It could even be funny, at some point.
It could be something other than horrible.
“You're serious then. You're really breaking up with me, for good.” To be honest, he hadn't accepted it until right then. He'd still believed Kaldur would change his mind, would figure out that they were supposed to be together and everything would be okay.
“Please stop trying to convince me otherwise. This decision is for the best. For both of us. You'll understand one day.”
It was the first time Kaldur had ever sounding condescending to Robin.
“You know what?” He sneered. “I do understand. You don't love me, and you want to get rid of me while still looking like the good guy. Because you can't stand to ever look bad, can you?”
“Robin,” He looked hurt, and it felt good. He wanted Kaldur to hurt.
“Robin, I do love you.” Why did he have to say it again? Why did he have to make this so hard? He had no right to do this, not when he was breaking Robin's heart. “But I know I am making the right decision.”
“Whatever.” He stuffed his hands in his pockets and looked at the floor, his throat hot and tight. He was not going to do this, he was not going to prove Kaldur right.
“Do not,” Kaldur started, his tone soft and pleading.
But he had to sniffle, and his eyes were tearing up. His sunglasses would only hide it for so long, but he refused to acknowledge it and wipe his eyes. It was bad enough he couldn't keep himself under control, he wasn't going to wipe his eyes and show his face where everyone could see it.
“Dick, please,” Kaldur put his hand on Robin's neck, warm and comforting, so Robin pushed it off.
“You don't get to call me that. And you don't get to touch me anymore.” He had a feeling what was about to come next was pretty immature, but it would hurt Kaldur, and that was really all Robin wanted to do right now. “We're not friends. Don't act like we are.”
Kaldur put his hands in his pockets too, frowning at the floor.
There was a horrible silence as he tried to get himself under control, tried to be an adult. It hurt so badly though. It really did.
“I will try to stay away from you, if that is what you want.” Kaldur said, after Robin had managed to stop sniffing.
“Yeah. It is.”
Kaldur picked up his bag and started walking away, probably off to the Watchtower with the rest of the League. Or maybe he was going home to Atlantis, to see his friends.
Wherever it was, it didn't concern Robin.