Dick loved the circus, he was taught by his mom and his aunt with his friends. John kept calling him squirt. His dad kept saying John’s attitude would keep him that height forever. The center pole was the second best place to be in the world, following the air. He was Robin. He was destined to fly.
And nothing was better than hearing the crowd’s oh’s and ah’s of the crowd as he flipped through the air and performed. Nothing beat that feeling, he was loved by his family and by the crowd. He wouldn’t give anything to change it, they weren’t rich in possession but they were rich where it mattered.
“Oh, do be careful, Robin.” Mary said loud enough for her voice to carry through the tent, she was watching her son on the trapeze with her brother in law. Dick waved down at her as John put an arm around her comfortingly.
“Come on Mary, Rich wouldn’t drop him.” John’s easy grin dropped for a second,”At least, I don’t think.”
Mary glared at him,”Don’t even joke about that Giovanni. He is little. I know you and your brother have some twisted sense of humor but if he drops our son I drop him. Understand?”
John looked nervous but nodded enthusiastically,”Yes, ma’am.”
Jack walked up beside his adopted son,”Did your wife just threaten to knock your brother out?”
“Yep,” John shot Jack a mischievous grin,” What a woman.”
“With any luck John, Dick won’t inherit Mary’s temper, or he’ll at least have your smile to hide it behind.”
Dick shot down the ladder into his dad’s arms,”Didya see? Was I good?”
John lifted his son up in front of him,”Amazing, spectacular. You might be the best out of us one day, Dick.”
Dick laughed and hugged his dad.
Kaldur knew he was one of the best fighters in his rank, if not the best. Even his magic was weapons based. His water bearers could become sabers, a mace a sledge hammer. He was proud of the fact that he was elected leader of the team, Robin would have become a good leader but he was too young, not used to working in a group compared to working with Batman.
He was heartbroken when Tula died, and when Garth went back to Atlantis. Nightwing had barely finished his undercover mission, had barely started grieving for his brother. But Nightwing was ready to be the leader, Kaldur was going to step away but finding out that his father was Black Manta meant that he needed not just time to think but time didn’t grant him that. He decided to go undercover instead giving himself a polite amount of distance from the team but able to watch over them and see them work well under Nightwing, help the “chess pieces” move to their proper location.
He officially had the coolest uncle ever. Not only did he fight crime as a CSI, he was the Flash. How many people could say that. He had to be his uncle’s partner. Batman had Robin, and Green Arrow had Speedy the Flash needed a sidekick, and what better than his nephew?
What’s the worst that could happen, he was a chemistry genius, and had access to all the chemicals and his uncles meticulous notes. He could recreate the experiment and then Uncle Barry would have to take him on, he’d have super powers too.
Connor loved the farm. He could lay in the sun for hours. He couldn’t fly, but it wasn’t that great and Clark wouldn’t admit it but Connor was capable of beating him. He didn’t want to be Superman anymore, and he couldn’t be a normal guy, constantly looking 16. He only looked like Clark from a distance as well. He couldn’t be Superman.
Connor liked not having to worry about missions of helping his parents around the farm,”Pa? Anything else you’d like me to do before I head back to Happy Harbor?”
“No, just enjoy yourself and give Megan a kiss from me and your ma.”
Connor laughed,”Will do. She’ll want to stop by to cook for you guys and get some more recipes from Ma.”
“She’s always welcomed.”
She didn’t understand what Connor’s issue was, they were bad guys. They had made their decision to be bad and they needed the information for the mission. It didn’t matter.
Connor wasn’t going to tell she had faith in him, if they had all the information Troia would be here, Jason and Tula would be alive and Garth and Kaldur wouldn’t have left the team.
She didn’t like what she was doing but she was doing it for the betterment of the world, doing the hard work to make the defensive look in Nightwing’s eyes to disappear. She’d be willing to lose some sleep to make sure they all lived to see another day. She’d be willing to compromise her ideals to help the team, it was worth it for them.
Roy liked the kid, he was hilarious. The jokes were stupid but the timing was impeccable. Gotham sucked ass and he was definantly going to kill Oliver for leaving him here even if it was for a day, why did Gotham’s arsonist have to fly. Robin was sitting next to him, surrounded by smoldering debris, giggling,”Cash is going to lose his mind.”
“Why?” Roy said pulling Robin to his feet.
The police car turned the corner and a man emerged from the cop car,”Why does our arsonist have to fly?“
“Because Gotham hates you, Cash.”
“Robin, any idea where he or Batman went?”
“No, Lynns bolted and Bats went after him. Our plan kinda went up in flames.” Roy snorted as Robin was staring at Cash with a shit eating grin, and Cash looked like he’d rather be dealing with Batman himself instead of the sidekicks.
Artemis belonged on the team, she didn’t care what Roy said. He was barely even there most of the time. He did not get to say what she was capable of or what her place on the team actually was. She spent her whole life fighting, fighting Jade, her father, the bad guys before she joined the team and the new bad guys with the team and Green Arrow. She belonged on this team she earned her damn spot, she wasn’t going to let some pompous brat who wore tights and a Robin Hood hat tell her that she didn’t belong. She got enough of that crap at school without him weighing in.
Her Dad couldn’t be more wrong the rest of the team liked her, who cared what Wally thought she sure as hell didn’t. He was just mad that she apparently scared off Red Arrow but if his masculinity was so fragile that he couldn’t handle a girl taking the place of the archer on the team, he wouldn’t be able to handle being a hero. She couldn’t understand what her sister saw in Roy he was a stubborn hardass, but then again Jade was most likely certifiable.
The team didn’t care who she was related to in the long term. Right?
Zatanna missed her father, there was no other way of putting it. She wanted her dad back. There was that British Warlock that she met while traveling that said there might have been a way to get the Helmet of Fate. She didn’t give up on saving him when she found out what removing the helmet from her father would entail, she just accepted that maybe she couldn’t. Constantine was right most of the time but she wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction.
She didn’t know why Dick wanted to stay with the team even though they were all offered spots on the Justice League. But then again people rarely knew what ran through a Bat’s brain. She decided to join the league because she didn’t want to operate from the shadows forever, she wanted to be able to help more people then she could on the team. She’d always have a soft spot for the team and would be willing to help in whatever manner they needed. But a physical glamour charm was a strange request who wore a mask or sunglasses so much she almost forgot that he had blue eyes.
Amistad loved Lian, he was a little upset that he was no longer the baby, but he took to being Lian’s “big brother” quite well.
He was often seen trying to make Lian smile, or trying to be helpful around the Watchtower. He was only three years old and kept trying to help Batman fix the tech around the tower. The team adored the unofficial team mascots and protected them.
Hell their babysitter was basically a guarantee that Deathstroke wouldn’t mess with them unless he was hired to and even then Jericho has some stories about what happens if you messed with someone under Deathstroke’s protection.
He couldn’t be there anymore, he had to leave. Nightwing And Troia left after Robin died. He got to leave, he needed to go back to Atlantis on find himself again away from the team, away from the surface. Away from everyone, even King Orin and Queen Mera.
The woman he loved died, sacrificed herself to save the world. He got to be angry about that, because if he wasn’t where would he be? Like Nightwing who went disappeared for a year and then never got closer because he’d come back and Robin had been replaced? Troia who ran back to Themyscira after Jason died and wasn’t coming back? He was going to rejoin the team, he just needed a little time to himself and that wasn’t such a bad thing.
Tula understood why Kaldur loved the surface world and the people who dwelled on it, they were resilient and capable of so much on their own. Curious as well. The little Robin would stare when she, Garth and Kaldur would use their water magic, utterly fascinated with how it worked.
Tula never regretted joining the team, learning about the world, the culture, the different types of magic. She was the most talented in that aspect out of the three of them and studying surface world magic helped grow her abilities.
Queen Mera was often adamant that all stories of the gods had grains of truth within them and you had to be able to divine the truth from fiction, from hyperbole. This story about the alien Tiamat and the Babylonian demigod Marduk was interesting but it felt like something was missing, the fact that Marduk was introduced to the pantheon of gods posthumously promoted more research. She would ask John Constantine or the Lord of Order, Nabu, about it.
Troia couldn’t handle being on the team after Robin died. Before then it felt like a game, in the back of her mind she knew it wasn’t but after seeing Jason’s body the gravity of what they did, what they were doing became much more real and all she wanted to do was go home to her mom. She loved Jason as if he was her own flesh and blood, she was his big sister and Dick was her best friend. She felt awful about leaving him but she couldn’t work above a memorial to her baby, she knew Dick understood when he left as well.
When she returned to Themyscira she practically threw herself back into her mother’s arms crying about him. Diana talked about humans being good and just. Where was the goodness in that? The justness? The man that killed him could barely be called a man. Jason was a child, he didn’t deserve that.
Jason hated the pitying and distrustful looks from the league and the team. They weren’t from Gotham, none of them have been the little guy, no one had know what he’d seen. Batman didn’t live in Gotham he spent the day in his mansion, Superman was a pompous goody two shoes from Kansas, he wouldn’t know how to Gotham. Crime Alley, Jason did. He stole the wheels of the Batmobile. He survived Crime Alley by himself for years before Bruce came along, he just had his wits, no armour, no training from around the world, no tech, just him. Jason did just fine without anyone. He didn’t need the team, or Nightwing, or Batman, you can’t count on anybody.
“Jason, you can do better. Dick does this easily. He doesn’t need to hit as hard.” Bruce said watching Jason hit the mannequin hard enough to snap bone.
“I’m not him, Okay!” Jason said snapped at Bruce,”I’ve done pretty well by myself, I sure as hell don’t need you to tell me what I am doing wrong.”
Jason stormed out of the Batcave and hunkered down against the wind, it was a long walk back to Gotham. He couldn’t be there anymore, the manor wasn’t his home.
It was odd being able to walk again. Especially knowing the cost, his grandfather comatose, and him a superhero. He got along well with Billy, the guy was his best friend but god was this stressful.
He didn’t want to worry about coming home alive every time he went on a mission maybe Billy thought he was indestructible and that was well and good but Freddy has had his back broken and been helpless and he doesn’t want to go back to that ever.
She didn’t get why Billy liked this, it was dangerous and scary and she didn’t like the fact that there was the chance that one of them wouldn’t come home. She was 13 she couldn’t handle the responsibility of the team on her shoulders.
She hated abandoning the team but she wanted to come back when she was older, more responsible, more capable of losing someone. According to the young Robin, he was her age, how cool was that? Anyway she was getting side tracked, he said that losing people didn’t get easier. It didn’t matter if you were 7 and it was your mom or if you were an adult and lost your friend. Losing people sucked and Mary wasn’t prepared for that.
Barbara knew that her dad didn’t necessarily approve of her being on the team, but after realizing grounding her wasn’t going to work, he decided that Batman did a nice job of protecting her since she started. He still thought that dating Dick was the dumbest thing she could do, but he wasn’t home half the time and she was an adult.
She was still mad at Dick for lying to her about Artemis, about Kaldur. What she didn’t expect was for Dick to drunk dial her secure line from his phone and explain everything. That he was going to go back undercover, fake his death let Azrael be Batman for a bit, help Kaldur, keep Artemis and Wally out of it. She was supposed to be his contact. Artemis decided to go after knocking some sense into him.
”She, she said it’d be less painful. We couldn’t lose another-” Dick already sounded near tears as his breath hitched but his voice now made Barbara’s heart clench,”Jason. We couldn’t lose a bat. She’d retired it wouldn’t be as painful for the new members, and Tim he’d be alone. No Robins.”
His voice sounded like cracking ice,”You should delete my number. I understand if you never want to see me again.”
Barbara didn’t delete his number but stopped by his apartment and unlocked the door, coughing reflexively from the dust that had gathered over the 6 months that he was Batman, Nightwing and team leader. She didn’t stay very long but rearranged his photos so the photo of Catherine was no longer next to the Graysons but next to Jason like she was looking at him, the photo of her and her dad was switched with the photo of a blonde boy with a mass of curly hair and an Asian girl with silver hair with their arms around Dick smiling.
One of her best friends was superhero. That was so cool. And she got offered an internship under Dr. Raymond Palmer! The Atom! She would get to be a superhero and study under one of the best minds in molecular physics. She was so excited. She couldn’t wait. But for a superhero uniform, like that Nightwing guy said, go with your gut. It’s usually right.
Bumblebee wasn’t a bad idea, she’d been playing with the idea since Dr. Palmer offered to teach her. Wings, the independent mobility would help when she was smaller. The energy pulses or “stingers” could be used offensively and being able to shrink would help with espionage like the team was meant to do.
La'gaan didn’t know how to feel on the team, he was the only Atlantean on the team. Kaldur left, he was a regular fish out of water. He needed to prove himself. Show them that he was better than Kaldur, not a replacement. Especially Miss Martian. She was really pretty, and had a nice laugh.
The more time La’gaan spent on the surface world the more he felt out of place. He couldn’t spend time with the team without hiding how he looked he didn’t blend in as easily as Kaldur did or was able to shapeshift like Miss Martian or Garfield could. He just was there, and it was trying hard to find his place on his team besides just the water guy.
M’gann was really upset about something and she wasn’t talking to him about it. Maybe it was something to do with getting kidnapped by Deathstroke and he was a lot scarier than Sportsmaster. La'gaan said he was a lot faster than Sportsmaster and stronger too. When M’gann got kidnapped and La’gaan broke his leg. Lagaan said that Deathstroke said something more chilling then Sportsmaster ever could,”Now I hate to see any poor animal in pain, but you aren’t on the Light’s list. How about a little anesthetic for the pain?”
Nightwing, Dick, said he was lucky to be alive and to just have a broken leg with a few bruises. La’gaan kept arguing with Nightwing about going to save M’gann, while Nightwing remained adamant about doing things his way, Gar couldn’t help but to agree with La’gaan, that was his sister, and he needed to get her back safely.
Nightwing and Robin were gone, Jason died. Tim knew that much, it was all over the news. Bruce Wayne’s ward Jason Todd murdered in Ethiopia by the Joker. Nightwing stopped patrol with Batman after that and Dick stopped going outside, stopped being seen around Gotham altogether. People at Gotham Academy said that he had a mental breakdown or tried to kill himself. Tim knew better, knew that Nightwing, Dick, left for a reason he wouldn’t just abandon Batman.
So Tim waited for months but he watched as Batman began to deteriorate. Read the stories about the criminals begging to be takening straight to Blackgate just don’t let Batman get at them. Then Tim had to act, Batman was going to kill someone or get himself killed. So Tim broke into the batcave, and offered to make himself Robin, he was denied. Then he followed Batman in a homemade Robin costume, telling Batman he needed a Robin and Tim was willing to fill that role for the time being, just until Nightwing came back.
She was on the team! How cool was that! Nightwing was her boss, and he was so nice. A little sad and guilty but really nice. Anyway, back to the real point, she was related to Wonder woman, not like cousins or her mom married Wonder Woman’s brother or something. Her dad was Zeus, making her Wonder Woman’s little sister.
Kiran was going to be so jealous when she heard about it. She got to fight bad guys while her mother explored ruins. She met Superman. This is officially the best day ever. And Batgirl. The Batgirl, the only way this could get any better is if she met Robin. The first sidekick, the best one in her opinion.
B22-Blue Beetle III
Jaime thought the team was so cool, real live super heroes to help him use his powers. He was a little disappointed that he didn’t have someone familiar with the scarab like the previous Blue Beetle.
Everyone on the team was really nice but it felt like the senior members where hiding something. Besides the whole secret identity thing. Khaji Da said that you could tell what people were hiding by cold reading them but to Jaime that seemed like a bigger invasion of privacy then having an annoying bug trapped to your spine. “Jaime Reyes, our partnership can be seen as symbiotic.”
“Yes, because I have an annoying little voice second guessing my every move.”
“I do not second guess, I analyze and offer alternative courses of action. Take another look at the Red Arrow and the Nightwing. They seem to be arguing something.”
Nightwing seemed to be switching apathy and frustration, Red Arrow seemed to be concerned and had Nightwing sort of boxed in, he wasn’t touching the younger vigilante but he wasn’t letting him escape either. Nightwing eventually pushed Red Arrow away from him, and Jaime caught the last part of the conversation,”I feel bad because of what I did not who it was done too. Batman should have left it alone, it’s my guilty conscience not his.”
B23-Impulse/Kid Flash II
It was terrible, the future, having to scavenge for parts, for food. One of the reasons he talked so much was because the two men that he worked with bordered nonverbal. The blonde was mute due to the large scar that crossed his throat, the one who wore a helmet would speak but hated to show his face so he wore a mask of poly-carbonate. They were built by the Hood when he saw that Bart was having trouble using his speed, so he based them off Kid Flash’s old lenses. Bart was going to go back to the past before the Reach invaded to prevent this future, his grandfather dying started this whole mess. If he saved Barry Allen he saved the world. Neutron was the chronal expert in the operation. The Hood was the engineer and tactician. The mute guy was the best scavenger and could find out any information you wanted, no one knew how or wanted to know how.
Hood looked up from the meal he scavenged for Bart,”You sure about this, kid? If what Nathaniel says is true. You won’t be coming back. If you are successful this time line will cease.”
The mute came back carrying the pieces of what’s going to be the time machine’s energy source, and looked at Bart expectantly,”I’m fine with it. This really isn’t a future worth coming back to.”
“Ain’t that the truth?” Hood let out a hysterical laugh,”Hey, Jericho you got some blood on your collar.”
The mute made some motions with his hands, the Hood’s tone was mocking,”Oh, it’s not yours. That’s reassuring. Well it was a pleasure working with ya.”
Jericho motioned to Hood, his version of agreeing, Bart shook their hands,”May we meet again in the past. In the future and the life after that.”
Mal finally understood what Nightwing meant. The rush, the feeling of adrenaline coursing through your veins, the feeling that you were doing good. It was addicting.
When he first joined the team he wasn’t wearing the Guardian helm, he helped Nightwing run missions and coordinate communications between the team members. Finding out that the guy with the big blue bird on his chest was the first Robin, the first sidekick. The reason there was a team.
If it wasn’t for him who knew what would have happened, the team might not have existed. Connor might not have come to Rhode Island, he wouldn’t know about M’gann. He may not have been still together with Karen.
Mal didn’t have many regrets since he met Connor and M’gann but one of them was not picking up a suit sooner.
The audacity of Nightwing to kick him off the team after he rescued everybody. He’s just so infuriating, he belonged on that team his clone was placed n that team. He earned his spot, more than the rogue Blue Beetle did, or the time traveler impulse. Where did Nightwing get the authority of telling him what to do? He was just one of Batman’s apprentices. Hell Robin had been in the game longer then he had, and yet there he was differing to him, like NIghtwing was the alpha dog.
“I can’t believe him.” Arsenal said storming into Red arrow’s apartment.
“Can’t believe who?” Red Arrow looked up from holding Lian in a Nightwing onesie, Arsenal could not escape the guy. What made him so great anyway?
“Nightwing, he kicked me off the team.”
Red Arrow sighed,”What happened?”
“Blue Beetle turned on us so I opened the airlock, and he started to take us out. Superboy provided a distraction so I could escape.” Arsenal sat down on the couch as Red shifted Lian so she was laying on his chest,”What’s his deal anyway? He seems to have it out for me after we went to Smallville.”
Roy pursed his lips,”Was Robin in any danger on the Warworld? In Smallville?”
“No, I had it under control.” Arsenal said crossing his arm.
Roy rolled his eyes at the moody teenager on his couch, he knew why Nightwing kicked him off the team. He didn’t want to get Tim killed like Jason, even though the only person you could blame for Jason’s death was the Joker, ”Nightwing’s brother died. He blames himself. He doesn’t let Robin be put in danger and when he is, he’ll remove that threat or protect Robin anyway possible.”
“Robin’s been around for 10 years, he can handle himself. Nightwing doesn’t need to interfere.”
“Nightwing’s nineteen and buried his brother before he could vote, hell the Robin you know is the third one. Nightwing was the first. Part of him will always be that scared little kid, he didn’t mean any harm by it. He’s trying to protect his family.”
“I didn’t know.” Arsenal said, feeling a little sorry.
“Most people don’t. They think there were only two, and it’s gotten to the point where it’s easier for Nightwing not to mention the second one. He’ll come around just let him mellow out.”
Virgil joined the team because what else would he do with his powers. Black Lightning offered to train him and he was excited about that. This team was full of skilled people who would have his back at the expense of him having theirs.
He liked the team, sure he was a little bristly toward Nightwing after he fired Arsenal but he hung out with the older vigilante and he was always willing to give advice or training, and Arsenal said he was Robin, the first Robin. How cool was that?
“Hey Nightwing?” Nightwing looked up from his tablet and Nightwing did not look thrilled at what was going on on the screen,”Oh am I bugging you?”
“Nah just discussing how to best piss off an assassin, what’s up?” Nightwing said turning the tablet off.
“You think you could teach me how to fight?” Virgil saw how Nightwing fought he had a lot of skills, and if he was Robin he was used to fighting people bigger and more dangerous than him.
“Of course, lesson 1. There is no dirty tricks.” Nightwing stood up and stretched,”Lesson 2 and Robin taught me this, if someone is bigger than you hit fast. You hit hard. Then run as far away as you can.”
“Wait, Robin who’s dating Cassie?”
Nightwing’s easygoing grin faltered, but then he shrugged,”Could have been Troia, black hair pain in my side. Who knows?”