Being with the Titans is simultaneously the best and worst thing of Roy’s life. The best because the Titans are amazing and every single day with them is an adventure, to say the least.
The worst, because everyday with the Titans are a bit crazy and every single day with them is an adventure.
Roy and Wally were just playing table tennis in the clubhouse, trading quips, when Dick drags them off to do something.
“Wild child day,” is the only thing Dick needed to say to get the two of them in. No three words have managed to strike more fear into Roy’s heart. He also asked Donna and Garth but they’d refused.
“Where are we going for this year?” Wally asks.
“No,” Roy says. “No. We are not doing wild child day in the Batcave. ”
Dick throws his head back and laughs, high and giddy. Childlike in a way that Roy hasn’t heard in a while, which is especially egregious given the fact that despite his reputation, Dick is still an actual literal child. Roy’s about to shit his pants, though, and Wally’s not really much better.
“Yes we are,” Dick says, pushing Roy and Wally into the zeta tube built into the clubhouse.
“I don’t like the sound of this,” Roy says. “This is possibly the worst idea you’ve ever had, Rob.”
“The worst,” Wally agrees. “And I was the one who helped you for that thing with the alien bird.”
“You promised you’d never mention that!”
“If it gets you to reconsider this, then I am happy to break my promise.”
“You already agreed. No take-backs,” Dick says. “Besides, it’s gonna be fun, I promise.”
Wild child day has never been fun. Exciting, sure. Interesting, crazy, terrifying, crazy terrifying, definitely. Roy never really found them fun.
Doing it for Dick, though. Doing it for Dick. Dick always comes up with his stupidest, craziest plans around this time and Roy and Wally are good friends and his stupid, crazy plans mean a lot to Dick. Also he needs someone to make sure he’s not going to accidentally burn Gotham to the ground.
They’re doing this for Dick.
“Are we really going to sneak into the Batcave?” Wally hisses.
“Have a little faith, KF,” Dick says. “When have I ever led you guys astray?”
“He’s got a point,” Roy mutters. Wally glares at him.
Roy holds his hands up in surrender. “Just saying,” he says.
Dick’s plans, even the stupid, crazy ones, always work. It’s his actual superpower. Wally’s known him longer than Roy. He should know this by now.
Dick’s grin is blinding. There’s something a little manic in his eyes. He’s bouncing up and down like a little kid with too much pent up energy. Roy feels an odd sense of foreboding.
“We are going to do the best wild child day ever,” Dick says.
“Yes.” Roy swallows. Tries to sound like he’s not terrified out of his mind. “Of course we are.”
Dick laughs again. It sounds a little crazy, a little bit hysterical. Robin’s always been a goody two-shoes, always the kid doing the exact thing adults want you to do, exactly how they want him to do it. Not really the kind of guy who does the Grand Theft Auto thing.
But then again, no one gets into the sidekick business by being a good kid. He’s had a good rep for the past five years. Maybe he’s getting it out of his system all at once. Like an annual wild child thing.
(It actually is an annual wild child thing. Garth named it that on the first year of the Titans because it happens with a terrifying kind of regularity, actually, some time around late spring early summer. It’s really around that time that Dick gets sick of playing good kid and remembers that he’s a kid who regularly rode elephants and jumped off high places for fun for the first nine years of his life.
Dick always goes a bit crazy. Or a lot crazy. Or reminds the world that he’s always been crazy. The Titans even before they became the Titans, being the amazing friends they are, enabled the hell out of him.)
“It’s really simple, actually,’’ Dick says. “I have a plan. Don’t worry about it.”
“Oh my god,” Roy says. “I hate you so much. What’s the plan?”
“It’s a surprise.”
“This is so gonna backfire on us,” Wally moans. “I am too young to die.”
(They try to enable the hell out of him, at any rate. Dick’s plans can get really crazy.)
Dick laughs again. Roy resists the urge to put his face in his hands.
Come to think of it, Roy should have known it was a bad idea when even Donna opted out of Dick’s plan, dragging Garth with her, muttering about not tainting his innocent mind.
Dick went to Donna and Garth before he went to Wally and Roy. Donna, eyes sparkling, looking like she’s trying not to laugh, opted out. That should have been a sign of how bad of an idea this was. Roy should have known.
Dick tells Donna everything. Donna loves enabling Dick’s crazier schemes. Roy should have known something was wrong when she opted out.
Dick does the stuff of all their nightmares: He actually sneaks them into the Batcave. He said he would, but Roy was still hoping he was just playing a really bad joke on them. Wally looks like he’s gonna have a breakdown just stepping out of the zeta tube. Roy likes to think he’s managed to keep some of his composure.
He only yelps in terror a little. And backed away a bit. But he has a good excuse. He’s just really never liked the Batcave. He’s only been there once, when Dick dragged him there, and he’d never liked it. Never.
(It was another one of his wild child days. One of the first. Pretty early into their friendship, too. Roy didn’t know then if he should be honored that Dick brought him along or horrified.)
The Batcave looks like a crazy person put it together. There’s a penny taller than the house Roy grew up in. And a giant dinosaur. And bats. Actual living bats. That the butler feeds regularly. The fact that a nine-year-old circus kid who dresses up like a talking stoplight was involved in the decision making makes it worse.
(Roy was fourteen when he first saw it. He dressed up in red and yellow. His weapon’s the bow and arrow. Even he thought it was more than a little on the unsubtle side.)
Dick just gets a playful look when Roy asked about who’s idea the dinosaur was. That look haunts him to this day.
“I’ve always hated this place,” Roy whispers. They’re hiding behind a stalagmite, because the Batcave is that much of a cliche. “I hate this place so much.”
“Same,” Wally says.
“You guys always say that,” Dick says. “It’s really not that bad if you give it a chance.”
“It is so that bad, Rob.”
“Dick,” Roy says. “What are we even doing here?”
“Oh that. We’re here to steal the Batmobile, of course.”
Roy chokes and trips over his feet, nearly falling face first into the ground. “We’re doing what ?!” So, so bad. This was such a bad idea. This is, by the by, the worst idea Dick’s ever had and Roy’s agreed to.
The Batmobile sits in the center of the Batcave, all big and black and intimidating. There is no way in hell Batman wouldn’t notice when it inevitably goes missing. Roy wouldn’t even be surprised if all the alarms of the Batcave went off at the same time the moment Roy and Wally go within two feet of the thing.
Roy is terrified out of his mind. Out of his body. It genuinely feels like an out of body experience.
Wally, on the other hand, is indignant. Really, really indignant. It’s not really the reaction Roy expected. Kinda the exact opposite, actually.
“Last time we did that we got caught!” says Wally.
“That was just a minor problem!” Dick says.
“Wait, you’ve already tried stealing the Batmobile without me?!”
“It was the wild child day last year,” Wally says. “It was so so horrible. Batman drove me all the way to Keystone and lectured the entire way there. ”
“Why was Wally the only one invited to that one? I’m betrayed, Rob.”
“I sent everyone a message!” Dick says. “Everyone was busy. Ollie said you guys were going on vacation.”
Oh right. Donna and Garth were taking care of stuff in their own homes at the time. And Ollie wanted to go fishing that week, for some godforsaken reason. He dragged Roy and Dinah with him. They somehow ended up not drowning, which was the only thing Roy had hoped for.
“You could have said it was Titans business,” Roy says. “I was nearly murdered by a fish! Several times!”
“Garth would have found that hilarious.”
“Pretty sure he sent them,” Roy mumbles. “He had that thing with me back then.”
“Oh yeah, the thing with the koi and--”
“I don’t really need a reminder, Wally.”
Roy and Wally’s head whips towards Dick. He’s already standing in front of the Batmobile, hands on his hips, practically vibrating. He’s in costume but without the mask. Roy and Wally are in full gear. Dick is on his fullest wild mode. Roy is only beginning to realize how bad of an idea this is.
So, so bad. Roy is regretting all his life choices right now.
“Let’s go,” Dick says. He pops into it like it’s no problem. No alarms go off. No flashing red lights. Batman doesn’t emerge from the shadows. They don’t hear that terrifying growl of a man.
They don’t spontaneously die from the Bat-glare.
“We are going to get caught!” Wally says.
Still, the two of them get in the car and close the door gently behind them. Titans together and all that. If one of them goes down, they all go down. And they’ll go down fighting.
(The philosophy’s a bit dumb but Roy can’t bring himself to regret it.)
Dick is sitting behind the wheel. His feet don’t quite reach the pedals. Roy rolls his eyes and shoves him off the driver’s seat so he can get into it.
“I’m guessing this was the problem the first time?”
“Among other things,” Dick says, squeezed against the door. His voice is a little bit muffled.
“You didn’t even know how to drive!”
“I still maintain that I would have figured it out eventually.”
“Would that be before or after you crashed us into the computer?”
“Honestly Wally you make it sound--”
“Shut the hell up you two!”
Roy takes a deep breath. He’s not panicking. Nope. Definitely not.
He grabs the steering wheel and fiddles with the controls. The Batmobile looks a lot like a regular car and then some. There’s no label on any of the new fangled buttons and it feels like an act targeted at Roy specifically. Like Batman is watching him from somewhere and knows that Roy is about to steal his car and made his car as inaccessible as possible. Ollie’s taught him how to drive normal cars, more or less. Got one lesson. He knows where the pedals are, anyway. Theoretically.
(Roy wasn’t really paying much attention at the time. It was sort of an impromptu thing. They were in a car chase. Ollie was kind of bleeding out and worried he’d be too unconscious to get them back to the Arrow cave. Roy was too busy shooting at criminals and making sure he doesn’t get shot. He didn’t really have time to pay attention which one was the gas and the clutch.)
He can do this.
“I can do this,” he tells himself.
“Sure you can, Speedy,” Dick says cheerfully. “Now step on it!”
“I hate you so much,” Wally says. “Do you even know what that means?”
“It means go before B gets here!”
Roy takes a deep breath and steps on it.
They’re well away from the manor when Wally finally speaks again. It was about two seconds from when they left. The Batmobile’s crazy fast. Like speedster going on their evening stroll fast.
“We are so gonna get caught,” he says.
Roy glances at Dick, who’s somehow managed to flip himself onto a more comfortable position in the backseat with Wally, through the rearview mirror. Dick’s grin just keeps getting more manic as the night goes on.
Roy is starting to get seriously concerned.
“We got caught the moment we stepped in the cave, dude,” Dick says. “That’s not the point.”
“Dick,” Roy says in his calmest voice. “Rob, my best friend in the entire world, my brother in all but blood, fearless leader of the Teen Titans, what the fuck are you talking about? What is the point?”
Dick leans over, leaning his chin against Roy’s shoulder. “Honestly, Alfie would have alerted B the moment we stepped in the cave. I wanted to get caught.” He presses a huge green button that is almost terrifyingly round. It honestly looks like something Lex Luthor would have put on his evil death machines.
Roy swallows. The Batmobile begins vibrating ominously.
“Getting caught is the point,” Dick says. “He’s been chasing after us the moment we got out of the cave.”
“What?” Roy is officially panicking now. Judging from the intense hyperventilating from the back, so is Wally.
“It’s a really good thing you’re so bad at driving, Speedy. You’re overspeeding like hell. Not even B drives this fast. He couldn’t catch us at all. ”
“Rob, in what universe is that supposed to be comforting?”
“Hey Dick,” Wally says. “Is the--Is this thing flying ?”
“Oh yeah I was just getting to that part.” Dick lets out a cackle. It’s a lot like the one he gets when he’s fighting ten guys and plans on raising hell on earth. “The point is we are going to fly this thing and we’re gonna skydive out! B wouldn’t let me but--”
“You are not skydiving out of a flying car, Dick Grayson!” Wally sounds a tinge too hysterical. Roy can sympathize so bad.
“Yes I am,” Dick says. “It’s wild child day guys! Come on and live a little!”
Wally makes a keening sound that sounds a lot like a cross between a dying cat and a dying beever. He looks like he’s about to cry. Roy kinda wants to join him but someone has to be the sane person in this situation. Donna is not here because she is smarter than all of them and she took Garth with her. Dick is the one doing the crazy. Wally is literally panicking. Roy is the last resort. He’s the only one left.
Shit. They are so fucking screwed.
“Dick,” Roy says. “This thing is on autopilot, right?”
Roy catches Wally’s eye in the rearview mirror. He’s managed to calm down a little. Well, he’s not trembling like he fell in an icy river, anyway. They are now at least ninety feet above the ground. Out of the corner of his eye, Roy thinks he sees the Batplane.
Adrenaline. Does wonders for the mind, really.
‘You okay,’ Roy mouths. Wally nods. Roy nods back. Before Dick has a chance to react, he shouts,
Spoiler alert: Roy’s planning skills? Yeah, nowhere near as good as Dick’s planning skills. At all. He’s more of the make it up as he goes kind of guy. It doesn’t always work in his favor.
The thing is--
Well here’s the thing--
Well, the thing is restraining Dick Grayson on any kind of situation is a near impossibility. He’s like an octopus. The kid has no bones. He can bend and twist in ways that should be impossible and punches like bulldozer. He is also not afraid of playing dirty. Point is that it’s really hard, nigh impossible, to restrain Dick Grayson.
Restraining Dick Grayson in an enclosed space he’s known since he started being Robin would take an act of several alien gods.
Wally and Roy, for all their skills, are not alien gods.
There’s a scuffle. Roy nearly fell out the window three times. Wally was vibrating like a hummingbird at some point and nearly vibrated out of the car. Dick, on the other hand, somehow managed to climb to the roof by the end of it. Wally and Roy somehow got tangled into each other in the back seat.
“Dick Grayson get off the car roof and get back inside right now!” Wally shouts. He is currently tangled with Roy in ways neither of them will ever speak about again. “You are not jumping off the roof!”
His voice is lost in the whistling wind. Roy is gripping Wally’s hair like a lifeline, which it might really be. Gotham’s getting really small.
“Roy let go of my hair! I’m gonna go bald, dude!”
“Not the time, West!”
“Totally the time!”
“This is totally safe!” Dick shouts. His voice carries because everything about the world is unfair. “I’ve thought this through a lot!”
Roy’s heart skips a beat. Dick only says that when he has not thought something through. Or he has and is completely ignoring the logical conclusions in favor of doing what the hell he wants.
“Robin what the hell are you on?” Roy demands. “This is way more than wild child day!”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about!”
“Four cans of Red Bull, coffee, and a lot of licorice! It’s good for me, okay!”
Dick’s been addicted to coffee and licorice since before they met him. There’s nothing they could do about it. It was Donna who introduced him to Red Bull. The Titans make a point of indulging in little things, there’s so little time for it in the superhero business, after all, but they definitely gave Donna hell for turning Robin into even more of a hyperactive mess than he already is. Red Bull is permanently banned within a twenty feet radius of the clubhouse.
“Where did you even find Red Bull?” Wally demands. “You know you’re not supposed to be drinking Red Bull.”
“Donna gave them to me!”
Roy remembers the look on Donna’s face just as they were about to leave. He is so gonna kill Donna.
“Are you guys really not gonna jump with me?”
“Robin just get down--”
Roy doesn’t get to finish his sentence. Robin’s already jumped with a loud whoop of joy.
“Worst. Idea. Ever,” says Wally.
A few hours later, they’re back at the clubhouse. Dick somehow got away with only a mild concussion.
(Actually, Batman also grounded him, but knowing him, he’d be back in the streets in a week at most. And Dick seems completely immune to Batman’s glare so really, is that any kind of punishment?
He also said that he wants to jump off something higher which is really just plain disturbing. Roy will have absolutely no part in it.
Wally looks queasy at the thought.)
Roy and Wally are traumatized. Roy will have nightmares about the look on Batman’s face for weeks. Not to mention his hour long lecture.
“Hey guys!” Donna greets them cheerfully. “How was wild child day?”
Roy glares at her. Donna’s smile is perfectly sunny. Roy hates his life so much.”
“There is no wild child day,” Wally says. He sounds dead to the world. “I am going to punch the next person who even mentions wild child day.”
“Did it not go well?”
Roy’s head whips up. Donna’s eyes are sparkling. He shares a look with Wally.
They tackle her to the ground before she could react. Donna just laughs and punches Roy in the face. Not enough to bruise, but definitely enough to hurt. Garth jumps in a moment later because why not.
Just another day with the Titans, really. Worst and best, and all that stuff.
At least it's never boring.