From Clark and Bruce’s world, to the past of their world, it was one hectic journey to the next. By the time they finally returned to their own world and time Conner found himself utterly disappointed. Beyond was sick with a high fever from straining himself to care for not only them, but Bart as well. His fellow project banned them from informing his remaining family that he was alive.
He knew full well that going against the small project’s word would be hazardous to his health, he couldn’t sit by and watch him seclude himself away from the world. But he couldn’t phantom on where to start to help his dear fellow project. That was why he decided to hunt down Tim while Beyond was sick and bedridden. It was the only time he could risk leaving him attended. Had Beyond been healthy, he would’ve pulled a Houdini and it would’ve been who knows when, when he finally see him again.
Unfortunately, finding Tim was not an easy task. The former teen wonder was a hard person to contact and a harder bird to find if he wanted to disappear. Fortunately, he had Krypto and his super hound senses. He managed to trace him to Paris, where the other was racing down the streets chasing after some man. Normally as his friend, Conner would’ve stepped in and tactile kinesis the man’s ride to scrap metal, but after not seeing his friend for two years, he was curious of how much the other changed.
Keeping himself out of the other’s detection radius, he first noticed the change of costume. He was surprised to see Tim no longer in his Robin costume; instead he was now in full cowl calling himself Red Robin. The next he noticed was how much colder and harsher his friend became in his absence. In the past he’s seen how serious Tim was to keeping his identity from the Young Justice and how cold he was to keep a contingency plan incase anyone decided to go rogue.
He knew how much pain his friend has gone through losing his father and his girlfriend…but this was nothing compared to that. He looked tired, angry and even miserable. At this rate, he would end up like that alternative Batman wielding guns and… killing. He couldn’t let his friend fall towards that path.
Conner waited until Tim was asleep before he came closer, but even then the other was alert as always. The moment he entered the room, the de-costumed Tim was out of bed with a staff in hand, demanding to know who was intruding.
“Show yourself!” Tim snapped.
He closed his eyes for a moment. What he was going to do will probably hurt his friend, but he needs him to wake up. Opening his eyes, he allowed the heat of his laser vision glow. “Why?” He tried growling, but it came out as a hiss. “Why did you betray us?”
Tim lost his offensive stance as a lost and pained expression crossed his face. “…Conner?”
It was a chance! He zoomed forward tossing the staff aside before holding Tim in a chokehold, he was careful not to hurt him, but he needed to show himself as a threat. “Tell me why!”
“I-I didn’t!” It hurt to hear his friend struggling in such pain, but he had to continue.
“You left! You abandoned the titans when they needed you!”
The current Red Robin stopped struggling. “I’m sorry,” he whispered. “I just couldn’t stay.”
“You were all gone.” His voice cracked with agony. “Each of you died and left. I couldn’t take it.”
That was no excuse! “You tried to replace us.” He accused. “You tried to clone us!”
“I was desperate!” Tim shouted in tears. “I’m sorry.” He whimpered. “I just wanted to see all of you again. I just wanted to stop losing the people close to me.”
His heat vision started to falter; it was impossible for him to keep it up when he doesn’t want to hurt his friend. “Are you going to do it again? Are you going to replace us by cloning again?”
“No… I’d be a monster if I did.” Tim laughed bitterly.
What could’ve happened? He knew Beyond’s dad was dead in this world, but that couldn’t be just that. Maybe Beyond’s death has pushed Tim to this point? No… that was only part of the reason. He soon found out while he and Beyond was gone, Tim was visited yet again by the murderous Batman from the future. Not only did Tim succeed in cloning them, he had ended up killing Dick in the process. No wonder the former teen wonder was so miserable. Not only the people around him were dying, there was a probability that he would end up killing the rest that he cared for.
He couldn’t torture him any further. With a flick of his hand, his tactile kinesis turned on the lights and he decided to do something absurd and juvenile. Giving his friend a random smooch and a peppy forgiveness, he’d got him laughing in tears.
“How are you back? How are you alive?” Tim had said through tears.
Since he promised Beyond that he wouldn’t tell, he gave the other an abridged version of his venture after death, but after seeing the lack luster look in the other’s eyes, he decided a risky move.
“What’s your plans after this? You look exhausted… Maybe come visit Smallville? You can use some fresh small town air and some of grandma Martha’s home cooking.” Technically, this wasn’t considered telling, it was indirectly leading them to find out he was alive.
Unfortunately, luck wasn’t at his side as Tim shook his head. “I’m still looking for Bruce. I don’t think he’s dead, but… no one believes me.”
“… I believe you.” He said supportively. After all, Beyond’s alive… there might be a chance that his dad is alive too.
That had lifted Tim’s spirit some, but it was nowhere as close as knowing someone he cares for is still alive. It was then he knew what he had to do. He needed to get Beyond to go home, but he couldn’t blatantly do it. Beyond would suspect and if he knew, there would be hell to pay.
The next opportunity that came was two years later. With the Black Lanterns and the mess in Gotham, Conner rarely had an excuse to convince Tim to visit the Titans. Beyond had integrated with the titans, he was sure he could use this chance to keep the current Red Robin there long enough to see him, but he didn’t expect Tim to bring along a guest.
“… What’s so interesting about this place?” The condescending voice gave away its owner almost immediately when Conner greeted them at the landing pad.
“Hey! I see you brought Robin…” This was a bump in his plans. The brat wanted Beyond dead since their first meeting… if he risked keeping them here, they might just meet and put his fellow project’s life in danger again.
“Is that a problem?” the brat prince crossed his arms with a challenging scowl.
“Aren’t you a ray of sunshine?” He replied sarcastically before Tim grabbed his arm and dragged him aside.
“Look, he’s just not used to interacting with people… I just want to give him a chance to open up outside of the family.”
The tower shook. “What the hell was that?” Conner grounded himself and glanced around, he didn’t see any attackers.
Tim stumbled slightly as he regained his balance. “Damian are you okay?” He glanced towards where the youngest Robin stood, but he was nowhere in sight. “… Oh no…” Without another word, he ran towards the door and down into the tower with Conner close behind.
Another explosion shook the tower. It didn’t take long before they found the source. Bombshell was attacking the flighty Robin.
“What’s the matter? Can’t take the truth?” the brat prince smirked. “Uncute, butch.”
“I’m going to fucking kill you!” Bombshell growled, but before she could attack again, Conner had restrained her while Tim dragged the obnoxious Robin away.
“Just what did he say that you want to destroy the tower along with him?” Conner grunted as she jabbed him with her metal-coated arm.
“I’m not a fucking lesbian that gets off on dildos!” She snapped. “Let go before I kill you too!”
… How does that brat get away with saying that? If grandma Martha or his pa heard him say anything similar, they would’ve washed his mouth with soap. It took a while, but eventually Bombshell was calm enough for him to leave alone... with Megan at least. But that wasn’t his greatest concern; the brat prince was loose in the tower and who knows what’d he do if he saw Beyond.
With a quick glance through his x-ray vision, he found him separated from Tim again and rummaging through the other titan’s rooms.
“Shit.” Conner hissed under his breath, the brat was ten rooms away from his and Beyond’s. He wasted no time speeding towards the brat and tailing him, but like Tim he knew there was someone following him.
“Stop following me.” He paused in mid-step before glancing back with a glare.
“I’m not following you. I’m just walking in the same direction.” Conner drawled sarcastically as he strolled behind him.
“Your boyfriend Drake is on the other side of the tower. You can go molest him.” He said snidely.
“What jealous?” Conner grinned cheekily surprising the younger boy.
The youngest Robin gave him an odd eye before ignoring him and continuing on. Not being able to vex the super clone must’ve deterred further insults. As they went on, the youngest Robin didn’t care the super watching him as he blatantly invaded the rooms of the other titans.
He was trying to rouse a reaction out of me. Conner concluded when the other show no care for the property of the other titans. When he did nothing, the other left the room without a word and continued onto the next. It went on until the young man he was stalking stumbled into the training room.
Unlike the other rooms, the brat didn’t rummage through and leave immediately. Instead, he took his time looking over each of the control panels until he finally settled on the hologram controls.
“Are you interested in trying?” Conner asked. Maybe the brat is just being a kid. He was making a nuisance of himself because he was bored… Maybe…
“… Can you get anyone onto these holograms?” He asked bluntly as he took a step back from the controls.
“Sure, who do you have in mind?” Conner tilted his head curiously.
The kid stared at him for a moment before looking away. “…My father and brother.”
The request took him by surprise why did he want to make those holograms? Did he want to kill Beyond again, but then why would he request for the elder Wayne as well? Conner kept those questions to himself as he entered the specifications into the system. Best to just humor him and keep him out of everyone else’s hair. As he tapped enter, the room glowed briefly as two figures appeared before them.
One was the intimidating cowl-figure of the former Batman and the other was the helpless looking Beyond. Conner glanced away from the two and at Robin who was staring at them with unmoving eyes. His face was still, giving away no emotions. It was hard to read what was he thinking.
“…Enough.” He whispered. “Get rid of them and make Jason Todd.”
Conner did so without a word, but the only record of Jason Todd was as Robin when he came to attack Tim. “What are you—”
Robin interrupted him. “When I kill it, re-spawn him.” He said as he unsheathed his sword and charged at the hologram.
It was like watching a massacre. One after another, the Jason Todd Robins dropped dead to the ground dead as the younger Robin sliced through them swiftly either decapitating their heads or limbs. Conner was mildly glad that these corpses were holograms and wouldn’t leave much of a mess when they turn off the program, but it was disturbing to see how skillfully murderous the young Robin was.
If he were anyone but a super clone, he would be worried to stand in the same room with him, but since that wasn’t the case, he had the pleasure to watch and study the violent Robin without worry. Ten minutes passed, then twenty, it seems that Robin was killing the Jason holograms faster than it was being produced before the system decided to spawn an army of Jason holograms to attack. He waited until it seem like Robin was beginning to lose before he decided to end the program. By then, forty minutes had elapsed since they first entered the training room.
Robin stabbed his blade into the ground as he tried to keep himself standing. His breath heaved heavily it didn’t look like he felt any better after that endless slaughter of Jason holograms. All he got from this endeavor was exhaustion. Yet, while it might not seem like the brat cared for anyone, that brief moment he stared at Batman and Beyond before the hologram slaughter hinted an ounce of longing he had for his dad and brother.
Conner found himself smiling faintly as he walked over to the exhausted Robin. “You want to take a break in my room?”
Almost immediately, the blade was retrieved from the ground and the young Robin walked away. “I’m not your boyfriend, go find Drake to share a bed with you.”
“Wait—what?” Conner was flabbergasted he just wanted to give him a chance to run into Beyond!
Unfortunately, the other didn’t think so and kept to Tim for the rest of the trip and haven’t returned to the tower since.
Maybe he was going at it the wrong way. Three years later he made no progress. He had no clue what was he doing wrong. Not only Beyond wasn’t interested in returning to his family he was asking for present suggestions for his murderer. Just what was he doing wrong?
“… Pa… What do you do when… the bats act insane?” Conner asked quietly as he spun his stick of marsh mellow over the laser-heated grill.
The elder super glanced at him in surprise. “Why do you ask? Did something happen with Tim?”
“It’s not Tim… I mean… hypothetically…” He stumbled over his own words he almost let slip that Beyond was alive. “You know their family misses them, but they refused to go home… what can you do?”
Clark’s glasses slipped down to the bridge of his nose as he dropped his stick of marsh mellow into the grill in surprise. “What can I do? I… Um…” He laughed sheepishly. “I guess I’d try my best to convince them to go home.”
“And if it doesn’t work?” Conner asked quietly.
Clark sighed and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. “They’ll go home eventually. Just trust them.”
He trusted Beyond, but after four years he made no move to go home. Even when he family found him alive, he avoided them like the plague. As much as he wanted to trust his pa’s words, waiting for eight years was enough. He will make sure Beyond talked to his family and finally go home! When Alfred called for him to settle the tower for Tim to visit, he found it the perfect time.
“Hey Bart, can I talk to you for a bit?” Conner said as he slung a hand over the speedster’s shoulder.
“Yeah, sure. What’s up?” Bart asked without pulling his attention away from the TV screen. His hand blurred for a split second to shove a hotdog into his mouth.
“Tim’s coming for a visit to the tower.” He started casually.
“M’kay, I’ll make sure to warn Terry.” Bart leaned over to sip out of his straw.
“NO!” He shouted making the other jump in surprise.
“What?” Bart rubbed his ear as he glanced at him. “You can warn him if you want to so badly.”
Conner calmed down sheepishly. “I mean… Beyond wants to talk to Tim.”
“Really?” The speedster perked up excitedly. “About time!”
“Yeah, but it’s a surprise. He told me to get you to bring Tim down to his room later. Since uh… last time I tried doing something like that… His brother got the wrong idea.”
Bart broke out laughing. “All right! I’ll go get him when he gets here.”
“Don’t bother Beyond until then okay? He’s working on something.” Conner said as he broke away from the one-arm hug.
“No problem.” The speedster chirped.
“Thanks.” Conner said as he walked out of the room, but once he was out of Bart’s sight, he quickly zipped out of the window and flew for his life. He didn’t want to be there when Beyond figures out that he indirectly manipulated Bart to tell Tim he was in the Titans. He doesn’t regret what he did, but he sure as hell doesn’t want to die for it. Little did he know, a round of bullets was waiting him the morning after.