Stiles was just eight years old when they moved to Gotham City. Only a month ago his mom had finally succumbed to Frontotemporal Dementia and his dad quit his job to take one at the GPD. Just a month ago he had packed up his whole life, said goodbye to his best friend in the whole entire world, left his school, and moved across the world (well, country technically). A month ago he met Commissioner Gordon and his daughter Barbara, who became like family to him in just a few days. Just under a month ago he started going to Gotham Academy with a Wayne Scholarship (according to Barbara, Mr. Wayne granted the scholarship to all the police officers kids. Only a few accepted it). It was there he was introduced to Tim Drake-Wayne and his older brother Dick Grayson. The adopted children of the one who had given him the scholarship that brought him to this school.
It was only a week ago his life went downhill. During class they had gotten the announcement that the Joker escaped from Arkham. Pandemonium broke out, kids crying and screaming. The entire school was put on lockdown, just until the parents came to collect their children. It was a requirement to have an ID, their child’s confirmation, and a pat down for any weapons of any sort before they were allowed on campus to collect their child. Any children of police officers were rounded up and set in a different room, where a temporary guardian would watch them. If their parent was unable to take them home they would be sent to their closest living relative, a family friend, or (if there were none) they would be sent to a host family from the school. For Stiles, that meant a host family. That family, was the Wayne’s.
At first, Stiles thought there was a mistake. Why would he be sent to the Wayne family? It wasn’t until he got there that he realized exactly why that would be. There was a picture, a little bit hidden, on a bookshelf. No one was in the room so he took it down, brushed the very fine layer of dust off of it, and finally realized why exactly his dad took him to Gotham City. In the picture were his paternal grandparents (his grandmother had died a year before he was born and his grandfather was in a nursing home with frontotemporal dementia) standing next to his dad. They were all wearing formal wear. His mom was stood on the other side, arm linked with his dad, wearing her wedding dress. Besides his mom was Mr. Wayne, beaming at the camera with his hand on her shoulder. Brows furrowed he looked closer at the picture. Why would Mr. Wayne be at his mom’s wedding.
A throat cleared behind him and Stiles jumped, turning around. The butler, Alfred?, was stood there. Turning bright red Stiles tried to hide the picture behind him, refusing to look at Alfred. The older gentlemen, because there was nothing else he could be, moved closer and knelt in front of him. Stiles flicked his eyes up to the butler in what he hoped to be an innocent movement.
“Mr. Wayne doesn’t look at that picture much anymore,” the butler started, gently taking the picture away from Stiles, “He’s lost just about all of his family, I think looking at his sister hurts.”
“Sister?” Stiles immediately clamped his mouth shut, not having meant to say anything.
“Oh yes. Claudia Wayne, such a bright little girl. While Bruce moved away to train himself, Claudia was given to a foster family. They kept in touch of course, often spending the summers together.” Alfred was holding the picture tenderly, a gently smile on his face, “She met your father in school. I believe she changed her name to the ones of her foster family, the Gajos if my memory serves, and kept her distance from the Wayne family name. It didn’t make Bruce all that happy, but he didn’t challenge her. Instead of returning to the family home, she stayed in Beacon Hills with your father. Claudia liked the simple life, she was never one for material objects.”
“My mom was a Wayne?” Somehow Stiles just couldn’t see it.
“Oh yes. In fact, I have more pictures of her around if you would like?”
That was how Stiles spent the next few hours. Curled up in the study, away from the rest of the Wayne family and Barbara. Instead he listened to Alfred tell stories of his mom, Mr. Wayne, and his deceased maternal grandparents. The stories captivated him and the pictures were mesmerizing. Each one had a different tale behind it, ones that Alfred were all too happy to share. Eventually he found himself waking up hours later, the fire still burning brightly, and a blanket tucked around his shoulders. Voices were coming from the entrance hall, the door to the study open slightly. Curiosity took the better of him and, with the blanket over his shoulders like a cape, he crept to the partially open door. In the entrance hall was the shadowed figure of Bruce Wayne. Red and blue lights flashed outside, two police officers standing in the doorstep talking quietly with him.
“I’m sorry to wake you so late Mr. Wayne,” one of the police officers said.
“It’s no worry. I was already awake,” Mr. Wayne replied, “Now please. Would you tell me why you decided to grace my doorstep with your presence.”
“Mr. Wayne, I’m afraid we have some terrible news to tell you. It has to do with one of your temporary wards,” the other police officer said, “Mr. Stilinski was shot in the confrontation with the Joker. He died on the way to the hospital. I’m terribly sorry.”
Despite the warmth of the fire and the blanket around his shoulders, ice seemed to grow through his chest and spread throughout his body. Numbness filled his brain, making the next few words spoken between the officers and Mr. Wayne nothing but white noise. His chest seemed to contract and he stumbled backwards, deeper into the room. Labored breathing, wheezing more accurately, escaped his lips and he glanced around in a blind panic. His Dad. His Dad was gone.
“Stiles,” a voice broke through the panic, “Mieczyslaw.”
Somehow that one word, the proper pronunciation of his real name, broke through the blind haze. A sob escaped him and he flung himself into the chest of Mr. Wayne. For a second the man tensed, before relaxing and running a hand through his unruly brown hair and wrapping his other arm around Stiles’ torso. If anything this just made Stiles cry harder. Everything around him was crumbling too little pieces. Only a month ago his mom had died, now his dad was dead. Why did everyone leave him?
Due to some bribing in high up places and his Uncle’s status as a billionaire and the White Knight of Gotham City, the adoption process for Stiles happened in a little under a month. During that month Stiles had figured out (it wasn’t that difficult) that his Uncle was Batman and his new brother, in the form of Tim Drake, was Robin. Barbara Gordon was batgirl too, which was a weird thought. Taking it in stride, after some minor fangirling, Stiles was now a constant in the batcave. His nickname had become Baby Wing. Stiles realized not long after was a mix of the nicknames Dick had given his two little brothers. Jason Todd (deceased and buried next to his grandparents) had been Little Wing and Tim’s as Baby Bird. However whenever they had to reference him in any situation when they were keeping their identities a secret he was called Batkid (which offended him a little). Only the bat-family knew why that was, as he was the only one (and soon to be Robin) related to Batman.
“Hey Baby Wing,” Dick draped himself over the couch that Stiles was sitting on, “You escape from training?”
“If I was escaping,” Stiles replied, tongue sticking out as he worked on the math homework on his lap, “I would be hiding.”
“He let you go early?”
“No. He’s with the team that Robin and Batgirl is on.” He threw his pencil across the room a few minutes earlier, “I don’t understand! How does this work?!”
Just like that Dick launched himself over the back of the couch, plopping down on the cushion next to Stiles. The older male, who technically lived in Bludhaven but always seemed to be in Gotham, looked over his shoulder with a furrowed brow. Stiles glanced up to his new brother. It seemed that he was mentally trying to figure out the problem before he would help him solve it.
“Do you know how many times three goes into eighteen?” Dick asked.
Stiles mentally did the math, “Six.”
“Then put six over the eighteen, multiply the six by the three, then subtract the quotient. Keep doing that until you get the answer.”
Following these instructions, Stiles struggled his way through the rest of his problems. Besides him Dick hummed some sort of catchy tune, flipping through a random book. The pages of the book seemed well worn and the binding had obviously been broken in. Looking more carefully at the book he noted it was a book of poems. It didn’t look like it would be something Dick would be interested in, maybe Tim but it was too worn to be Tim’s. Besides, from what he could see of the first page that was slightly risen, the initials on it were those of the dead Wayne brother; Jason Todd.
“When’s Uncle Bruce and Tim getting home?” Stiles asked, doodling a stick figure Batman on the side of his homework paper.
It was around a month later that Stiles graduated from Batkid to Robin. Tim had become Red Robin, gladly handing over the Robin title to Stiles. The explanation he had been given was that it was Stiles’ to begin with, that he had a stronger claim to it then Tim did. Accepting it without argument, Stiles began his term as Robin. Just like most of the other Robin’s he was only eight years old.
That was when Jason Todd came back.
His first major mission was actually the one after the one that Red Hood was revealed as the second Robin. Due to it being one of his first missions, the other two Robin’s were with him. Well, Nightwing was staying closer whereas Red Robin seemed to be all over the place. Batman was, of course, nearby. Standing right behind him actually.
“Long time no see old man,” an almost lazy voice said behind him, “I’m assuming the Joker is still alive? Who’s the new Robin? Already replaced the Replacement I see.”
“Jason,” Batman said evenly, Stiles turning to see the only Robin he had never met, the one that had died before he had even come to Gotham, “I’m assuming you came here for a reason.”
Stiles glanced behind him, sensing Nightwing move closer. The way the older man was standing seemed almost protective. Instead of getting annoyed, which he felt he probably should be, Stiles felt safer. The Red Hood on Jason’s head scared him a little. One of the first things he learned as Batkid was everything about the Joker. As well as not to ever (EVER) go off alone if there is even a possibility that the Joker is around. Batman did not want another incident like what happened with Jason.
“Just wanted to see the new Robin,” Jason replied, pushing off of the wall.
There was a woosh in the air, Red Robin dropping down behind him. It was clear to Stiles that none of the others trusted Jason. His little eight year old mind just didn’t understand what it was. Wasn’t this their brother? The one that had died? Shouldn’t they be happy that he was back? Why didn’t they trust him? He was a Robin. Wasn’t he?
“Well you’ve seen him,” Tim growled.
“Heard a rumour that Ivy and Harley are planning an escape. I suggest you stay prepared. Keep this Robin safe. Don’t want another death now do you?” Jason slipped off his helmet, the compressed air releasing.
The first thing Stiles noticed was the white strip of hair in the mix of the black. Biting his lip to keep the question in, something that Dick had been trying to teach him, Stiles glanced over at Dick. From the little bit he could see, the first Robin was trying to hold back tears. It looked like he was close to failing. Nightwing turned away and Red Robin moved closer to the older male.
“You could help us you know,” Stiles spoke up, ignoring the glare Batman sent him, “Despite what you think you’re still part of this family. Somewhere in there is still a bit of Robin in you!”
“I think Batsy here would disagree kid,” Jason replied as he tucked the helmet under his arm.
“You’re still my son Jason,” Batman interjected, “I don’t approve of your methods but you are always welcome home.”
“Even after I tried to kill Replacement over there? Forgive me if I don’t believe you old man.”
This was news to Stiles. It would explain why Red Robin was in the hospital for so long, looking like he was death warmed over. No one told him what had happened. Instead they just said that a mission had gone wrong. Eyes flicking between Red Robin, who was glowering at Jason, and Jason himself. Jason was keeping his emotions under check, Stiles unable to read him, especially with the red domino mask covering his eyes.
“You weren’t in control, it was the Pit,” Red Robin finally said, after a few seconds of awkward silence, “I trust you.”
“Oh trust me kid. It was still me,” Jason crossed his arms over his chest, “And if you trust me so much why are you guarding the kid?”
Silence overtook the group. He had a point. Nightwing was besides him, slightly in front in a defensive motion. Red Robin was on the other side, not in front of him, but able to move in front in a moments notice. His hands were poised next to his weapon as well. Then lastly there was Batman, looming behind him. It was probably the most strategic place for him to be as well. Able to throw a batarang in a second or cover his sons with his kevlar cape.
“You attacked me because I was Robin,” Red Robin eventually said, “And we weren’t sure if you would do the same. Or even if you were actually here on pleasant terms.”
“I attacked you ‘cause you’re my replacement. This kid has done nothing to upset me, yet,” Jason didn’t even touch the last comment.
“Look, Jaybird, whether or not we are guarding the kid doesn’t matter,” Nightwing cut in, “What matters is that we do want you back. We miss you Little Wing.”
Everyone tensed around Stiles as Jason reached into his pocket. Glancing at the ones around him he noticed that they all twitched towards their weapons. Jason pretended he didn’t notice, pulling out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter. No one seemed to agree with that, but no one said anything. Stiles wasn’t exactly sure why that was. If they didn’t agree with him smoking why didn’t they tell him? The second Robin lit the cigarette between his lips before taking a deep inhale and blowing it out, the smoke clouding his face for a second before dissipating into the polluted Gotham air.
“You not just gonna lock me up are ya Dickie?” Jason demanded, brows drawing together in an angry way.
“I won’t let them,” Stiles spoke up, giving a meaningful look to his uncle who looked ready to chastise him, “If you really come back and don’t hurt anyone in our family, then I won’t let them lock you up.”
“You think you can stand up to them kid?”
“No, but they won’t risk losing me too.”
A second after he said that he felt unsure. What if they would risk losing him just to lock Jason up? He hadn’t been around very long, not as long as the other two had been. While he might be blood related Bruce doesn’t know him that well. Biting his lip unsure, Stiles glanced over at Nightwing. One of his hands had rested on his shoulder, squeezing it gently.
“We won’t lock you up,” Nightwing finally said, “Come home Little Wing.”
“Please,” Stiles added, looking up at him.
“Alright,” Jason conceded, dropping his hands.
And so, the four Robins and their Bat mentor returned to the cave. A little more whole.
It took nearly a week for Jason to fully integrate back into their lives. To Stiles it was almost like he had always been there. Somehow they managed to feed the story to the reporters that Jason had survived the explosion and the body they had found was in reality a John Doe. Due to the mangled body they had mistaken it for Jason. They were currently looking for the identity of the John Doe in missings person reports and were hoping to find who it was soon. In this way it explained Jason’s long disappearance and who they had buried in the casket.
A celebration was held and due to the nature of the celebration there were Justice League members and their proteges, if they had any, at the party. It was here that Stiles met some of the past teammates of Dick and the current teammates of Tim (as Stiles would not be joining the team until he was thirteen). Only Clark and Diana seemed to know the identity of Batman, everyone else was in the dark. Thankfully though, Cassie and Connor (the proteges of Superman and Wonder Woman) didn’t know who they were.
“I wonder if Batman and Red Robin are here. Maybe even the new Robin, wonder when we’ll meet him,” he overheard Artemis say too Wally as they walked by, “I think Nightwing is in Bludhaven right now. He didn’t respond to any of my texts.”
However, Stiles knew that Wally knew of their identities. It was one of the few things that Bruce had admonished Dick for during his time as Robin. Sliding over to them, slipping between people, Stiles grinned widely at them. Both looked startled, Artemis stepping back slightly. They both cleaned up nice, he noted. Artemis had on a one shoulder green (the same color green as her costume) dress. There was a slit in her dress, making it easy to fight in. Wally was wearing a tuxedo with a gold vest and bowtie, his hair actually combed for once.
“Did you say Batman is here? That’s so cool!” Stiles exclaimed, catching the attention of his uncle and brothers, it wasn’t that difficult to sound excited too. Even before he knew about his uncle being Batman, he was always his favorite hero.
“Umm,” Wally stuttered, looking over at Artemis for help.
“Don’t these events usually get crashed, by bad guys?” Artemis eventually took over, “Shouldn’t that mean that Batman is actually here just waiting to save the day.”
“That’d be awesome! Not the whole party getting crashed though. Uncle Bruce worked really hard on this, well… Alfred did but Uncle Bruce sure helped a lot!”
“Mr. Wayne is your uncle?” Wally sounded surprised and Stiles suppressed a smirk.
It was at that moment that Dick came up behind him, resting a hand on his shoulder. His adopted brother was wearing a dark tuxedo with the same blue color as his nightwing costume for his tie and a silvery blue vest. Alfred had practically thrown it at him that morning, demanding that he wear that instead of his normal tux. No one went against Alfred, so that was the suit that Dick was wearing. Then his hair was slightly neater than normal, a few strands in front of his face.
“Who are your friends Stiles?” Dick asked.
Wally nearly choked on his drink and Stiles felt slightly offended. Yeah, okay. His name might be abnormal. But at least his name wasn’t Dick. That was just a disaster waiting to happen. Especially when it came too older kids. No offense or anything.
“Stiles? Your name is Stiles?” Wally demanded.
“So? You got a problem with that?” Stiles didn’t care if this was Kid Flash, he would leave him a bruised pulp.
“No, no problem. Just slightly shocked. I’m Wally West, this is my girlfriend Artemis Crock.”
“Dick Grayson, this is my new brother Stiles Stilinski. Bruce adopted him recently,” Dick gave a small smile, “Though I’m sure you already knew that.”
Now that he was the center of attention all Stiles wanted to do was escape. It was honestly easier than he thought it was, slipping out of Dick’s grip and disappearing into the crowd of people. The people were all so fake here, especially the undercover superheroes. Off to the side he could see Megan in her human form with a black dress that had red sheer sleeves and a red collar. She was standing with Connor who had a tux matching her dress. Then there was the leader of the group, Kaldur’ahm, wearing a blue tux with a silver tie, who was talking animatedly with the civilian version of Green Arrow. Deciding to avoid anyone else who was part of Young Justice, that was just going to be a disaster waiting to happen, Stiles scanned to find someone else. Off to the side, looking very uncomfortable despite (or probably because) the party being for him. No one seemed to notice him there, except for Stiles. Squeezing past a couple, Stiles moved to stand behind him.
In his black tux, with a blood red tie, Jason glanced over to face him. One of his eyebrows was risen and Stiles noted the white streak was parted to the right. Obviously done at the request of Alfred, otherwise Jason wouldn’t have bothered to do anything with his hair. Much less wear a tux in the first place. If Bruce had suggested it there would have been a fight and Jason wouldn’t be as dressed as nicely as he currently was. Sure he would wear the tux, as that was what Alfred had demanded, but it wouldn’t be as clean and precise.
“What do you want kid?” Jason grouched.
“Do I need a reason to stand here?” Stiles replied, leaning against the wall.
“It’d be nice.”
“Wanted to get away. Dick is talking to his friends, the ones that are part of the ‘covert’ team and don’t know who he is. Tim is who knows where. Uncle Bruce is talking with the grown ups,” he spat out grown ups like it was an insult, “You’re the only one that isn’t busy.”
“So I was your last choice?”
“You wanted a reason. This one just made the most sense. You wouldn’t have accepted any other explanation.”
“You’re right I probably wouldn’t have.”
Instead of responding in a sarcastic way, which he probably would have done if it were anyone else, Stiles just looked down. It seemed everything he said Jason twisted the words around or he took it wrong. There never seemed to be anything he could say that Jason wouldn’t make sound like he was subtly insulting him. If he was insulting Jason, Jason would know! It would be obvious. Not a subtle insult, that was just degrading to Jason.
“Are you going to stay there?” Jason demanded.
“You’re the only one that isn’t boring,” Stiles practically whined, “Everyone here is a stuffy adult or some stuck up teenager. This tux is stuffy and I can’t drink any of the drinks here and all the food is groooooooss.”
“Sometimes I forget you are only eight. You act older.”
Stiles gave him a little pout and Jason sighed. A second later his older brother (and current favorite but don’t tell Dick that) lightly pushed on his shoulder before walking across the room to Uncle Bruce. Stifling a yawn Stiles rubbed at one of his eyes. It was eleven at night and his usual bedtime was around seven or eight, when he wasn’t Robin. But right now the adrenaline of Robin wasn’t helping keep him awake. Eyelids fluttering he barely noticed when Jason came back, putting his hand on Stiles’ shoulder.
“Come on kid, let’s get you to bed,” Jason suggested, guiding him out of the ballroom.
“But,” Stiles tried to stifle a yawn however it didn’t work.
“You’re exhausted. Trust me I know. The nights I wasn’t Robin, I would crash at nine. That was the latest.” They headed up the stairs, heading towards the bedrooms. “And you are going to end up crashing. Wanna do that in your room or in front of everyone kid?”
“Room,” Stiles yawned once more, rubbing his eyes again, “Don’ wanna… embarrass.”
Stumbling on the stairs, Stiles found himself getting swept up into Jason’s arms. He mumbled something to his brother, leaning his head on the older male’s shoulder. It was too late and he was exhausted. Tomorrow he would just pretend nothing happened. No one could get it out of him on pain of death. Nope. Drifting off, even before he got to his room, Stiles closed his eyes and fell asleep in the arms of his rebellious older brother.
That was only the start. While Jason could barely seem to tolerate Tim and Bruce (Dick somehow forced himself to be close to Jason and they seemed to have a weird relationship going on there), Stiles quickly became his favorite. Training with Jason was amazing and he never held back like the others always seemed to do. Bruce crossed the line at Jason training Stiles with guns, but everything else was fair game. While Jason couldn’t teach him the acrobatic tricks that Dick did, or hacking as well as Barbara, he could teach Stiles all the underhanded dirty tricks in the book. For example, if a guy was trying to kidnap him or something along the lines, the nuts were always a fair shot. Something that Stiles had actually used on some creep that tried to do who knows what to him on his way home from school.
“Spread your feet,” Jason told him, around a year or so later, wearing only a pair of black sweatpants.
“Like this?” Stiles on the other hand was wearing a black t-shirt with a red Superman symbol on it (Tim had given it to him a while back) and some jogging pants.
Both bat brothers were barefoot. They were practicing with whips right now, which was a bit more difficult than most other weapons. Especially if you were using them too entangle your opponent instead of a torture weapon. Stiles wasn’t picking up on it as easily as he would like. Most of the bats didn’t even really use whips anyways, it just didn’t make sense in Stiles’ eyes to know how to use it. However Jason insisted on Stiles knowing to use a little bit of everything, so Stiles was dealing with it. This was better than being alone at least. Tim was with the protege team, Dick was out in Bludhaven, and Bruce was at a meeting with the League.
“Now, bring your arm back, over your head, then throw it forward. Make sure to use your wrist, that’s what guides the whip. Your arm is just for power,” Jason told him, holding onto Stiles’ arms and bringing it back before pushing it forward, “Try it. Wrap the whip around the dummies arm.”
Jason stepped off to the side, arms crossed over his chest. There were multiple scars on his body, the most obvious one being the ‘Y’ autopsy scar on his torso. Occasionally Stiles’ eyes would glance over to it. The autopsy scar was covered with what looked to be some sort of tribal tattoo, with runes on it. Stiles noticed that Jason really only was shirtless in training with him, maybe because he didn’t want the others to question him about the scars or the tattoos. Jason had a few tattoos on his body, Stiles was sure he hadn’t seen them all. There was Jason’s take on the bat symbol in red on his lower back, a robin with its wings spread for flight hidden under his right arm on his ribcage, and a skull between his shoulder blades with what looked to be batwings spread behind it. Not to mention the tribal looking tattoo over his autopsy scar. Stiles never asked about any of them, doesn’t plan to either.
“Kid,” Jason’s voice broke him out of his thoughts, “Does Bruce not give you your adderall or something? Try it.”
“Don’t be sorry. Do it.”
Lifting the whip above his head, Stiles brought it down hard and snapped his wrist. The edge of the whip curled, hooking under the dummies arm and wrapping around it. Continuing on instinct Stiles yanked the whip back towards him, successfully tightening the whip and knocking the dummy off balance. A loud crash echoed in the training room, despite the dummy hitting the padded training room floor. Wincing Stiles glanced back over at Jason biting his lip.
“Good job kid. Think you can do it on a moving target?” Jason asked.
“It’ll be like using the batarangs. Figuring out where your target is before you actually attack. Except with a whip.”
“Who am I gonna practice on?”
In response Jason raised an eyebrow and spread his arms as though asking who else was there to practice with. Immediately Stiles didn’t like this idea. What if he hurt Jason? No one else was here. Only them. Even Alfred was gone, out shopping for them. This was a horrible idea. Stiles also didn’t want to have to call someone in case something happened. Shifting uncomfortably Stiles worried on his bottom lip.
“It’ll be fine kid. I’ve had worse,” Jason got in a fighting position across from him, “Try avoiding my face though. Gotta keep my good looks after all.”
That succeeding in relaxing Stiles a bit. It took Jason making the first move though, kicking out at him. Stiles leapt backwards and flicked the whip restlessly next to him. He really didn’t want to use it against Jason. Despite what the older Robin thought he didn’t hate him. Circling around Stiles was content to dodge every swipe at him from Jason.
“Come on kid. We’re practicing the whip remember? Not you dodging,” Jason reminded him.
Stiles raised the whip above his head and studied Jason. Despite looking like he was going to the right, he could see the subtle tension in his muscles and the slight lean to the left. Bringing down the whip in Jason’s direction he snapped his wrist to the right. Just in time too, Jason leapt to the right as well. The whip encircled his ankle, instead of his arm like Stiles’ intended, and Stiles yanked the whip down. Gravity worked in his favor and Jason fell on his back hard. When Jason didn’t move for a good five or so minutes Stiles started worrying. Horrified that he might have hurt his brother Stiles rushed to his side, dropping the whip.
“Jay?” Stiles asked, tears already starting to gather in his eyes as he knelt beside his brother.
“Give me a sec,” Jason groaned, “Need to get my breath back. Last time it all came out like that was… god I don’t really remember. Probably with Ra’s.”
Stiles didn’t respond, hands shaking slightly. One of Jason’s eyes opened, teal green eyes squinting at him. A soft groan escaped his older brother as he yanked Stiles down besides him. The younger boy came down willingly, not fighting against his older brother. He was still a little shaky from the fear that he might have seriously hurt his brother. Burying his face in his brother’s side Stiles tried to hide away from the world. However both were sweaty and smelly. Soon they would have to go hit the showers.
“Alright, get up. I say that’s enough training today,” Jason lightly pushed on Stiles’ arm.
Whining softly, sue him he was turning ten tomorrow, Stiles sat up. Scrambling to his feet in order to pick up all the stuff on the ground before Jason could order him to do it, Stiles glanced back over to his brother. He still hadn’t moved yet, other than putting both arms on the other side of him. How badly had he hurt Jason with that move? A dislocated ankle (could you even dislocate your ankle?) or possibly a sprain. Maybe a few bruises on his ribs.
“Ow, fuck,” Jason cursed, bringing Stiles back to reality.
His brother was holding his side, sat up now. Dumping the whip in its spot inside a locker, Stiles rushed back to his brothers side. There wasn’t any bruising on his scarred body, as far as Stiles could tell. He also didn’t want to prod him, for fear of hurting him even more. Jason waved his concern away and got to his feet, biting his tongue to keep another cuss in. Hovering uncertainly nearby, was he supposed to call someone in this situation?, Stiles tried not to be too annoying.
“I’m fine. Go hit the showers,” Jason told him, using his weird older brother sense to know what Stiles was thinking, “Go.”
Frowning Stiles rushed off to the showers. If Jason still looked to be hurt later he would tell Alfred or whoever else was home. They would take care of it. After stripping out of his clothes Stiles went into the shower, the warm water cascading down his back. It was around now that he realized he had worked himself up again and his hands were shaking. His pills were in the medicine cabinet upstairs, locked by Alfred. While he was certain he could pick the lock, his hands were shaking too much right now. Taking steadying breaths Stiles clenched his fists and let the water rush over his body. There was no need to be worked up. Jason wasn’t in any danger, the injuries were minor. If he was still in pain Alfred or Bruce or someone would take care of it.
Turning off the water Stiles stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around himself. Water dripped down his nose and he rubbed his face against the towel. Shivering softly he got dressed and towel dried his hair, leaving it mostly damp. Tossing the towel into the hamper he padded down the hall, hearing another shower going in Jason’s room as he passed by. That was a good sign at least. There were noises in the kitchen and he peeked into it from the staircase, seeing Alfred unpacking the food. Sliding down the banister, Stiles rushed into the kitchen.
“I see you didn’t take your pills this morning,” Alfred greeted, giving Stiles a stern look.
The nine year old flushed and picked at the hem of his Green Lantern t-shirt (Dick gifted to him as a joke, but Stiles wore it a lot as it made Bruce jealous) avoiding Alfred’s eyes.
“They taste gross,” Stiles complained.
“That’s why you take it with juice Master Mieczyslaw.” Stiles made a face at the name. Alfred insisted on calling them all by their full names or in Stiles’ case his real name.
“Yeah but then I can’t drink my favorite juice cause it tastes like my pills.”
“What a conundrum.”
“That’s not why I came in here though.” Without a word Alfred handed Stiles a couple of boxes of cereal before pointing to the pantry. Stiles began to help put the food away while still talking. “Can you check on Jason later? There was an accident in training and he got hurt. I think he’s pretending to be okay for me but he just kinda laid on the ground for a long time and seemed really hurt when he finally got up. He even cussed! He doesn’t cuss around me cause Dick told him he’s not allowed too.”
“I shall check up on Master Jason when I see him. Thank you for telling me. Now run along, Master Timothy should be home soon.”
“Thanks Al!” Stiles fled the kitchen a few minutes later, rushing past Jason who was on his way to the lounge.
The older boy turned to look at him as he ran past, but Stiles was not going to be there when Alfred checked up on him. Nope, not gonna happen. Firstly cause Jason was gonna be upset when he found out Stiles told Alfred that he was hurt. Secondly because Jason was not a good patient. He complained a lot. Worse then Stiles did when he had to take his Adderall. Though he usually complained at Bruce. Dick always forgot to remind him (which was why he ended up skipping this morning, Dick had been put in charge of reminding him), Tim was never around in the mornings, and Jason could care less if he took them or not (though if Alfred told him to make Stiles take it he would, even if it meant stuffing the pills in his mouth and blocking his nose to make him swallow). It was really only Alfred that could make him take it in the mornings without complaints. No one went against Alfred.
“Tim!” Stiles jumped on the boy that was currently sitting in the study with a book on his lap.
“Whoa, Stiles.” Somehow Tim managed to move the book out of the way before Stiles landed on his lap. “Did Dick not remember to give you your pills.”
“They taste gross. It doesn’t matter. I’m bored and Jason is getting checked over by Alfred. Dick is somewhere and Uncle Bruce isn’t here.”
“I’m doing homework. Which I know you have to do.” Tim replied, flicking Stiles’ nose.
Stiles scrunched up his nose and gave a small pout. School was boring. They didn’t teach you anything interesting. Who cares about cells?! Stiles wants to learn about fun things. Stuff like why your lips are red and why babies are so squishy. That’s fun. Math is torture. Science has some cool things but why do they need to learn about cells? Those aren’t fun.
“No I don’t,” Stiles replied.
“Really? So you don’t need to make a model of plant and animal cells?” Tim asked.
“I think you’re lying.” Tim poked his side and Stiles squealed and rolled off the older boys lap.
“So if I was too ask Alfred…?”
Stiles pouted on the ground and crossed his arms. Tim was mean. There was no need to threaten him with Alfred. He would do his homework… eventually… maybe… probably never. An idea grew in Stiles’ mind and he gave an innocent look to Tim. Immediately the older boy grew wary.
“Will you help me? I was thinking a cake. Making a small cake for them both and using candy and stuff for all the weird thingies inside,” Stiles begged.
“Fine,” Tim set his book to the side, “But only because it’s your birthday tomorrow.”
“Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”
“Did you ask Alfred to bake a cake?”
Stiles was eleven when he first learned what true fear was. Not the fear of getting caught doing something you weren’t supposed too, not the fear of disappointing one of his brothers or his Uncle, not the fear of accidentally breaking something. No. This fear was true fear. The fear that made you wonder if you were going to survive, the fear that often caused the bed-wetting nightmares that woke the others in the house with your horrified screams, the fear that changed you. Before Stiles never was truly afraid, Batman or his brothers were with him. Sometimes even Batgirl was with him. He was safe with them and he knew it. This time was different. He was alone. He was scared.
During the patrol he got separated from Batman. Hood, Red Robin, and Nightwing were all busy. Nightwing patrolling his own city, Hood with a being a Crime Lord, and Red Robin was on a mission with Aqualad, Impulse, and Blue Beetle. It was just him and Batman patrolling tonight. He couldn’t remember what happened to separate them. It was fuzzy. He remembered heat, on his face. Smoke, burning his lungs. And hands grabbing him. Nothing after that. Stiles was sure he had passed out. Who knows how long later he woke up, hands chained to a pole. Every weapon on him had been taken, thoroughly searched. The mask was securely on his face still. Mouth was gagged. Whoever did this wasn’t new to it. Silently he categorized what was around him. There were boxes, too far away for him to reach. Light was filtering in from somewhere, windows maybe?, casting him in the beams from the moon. A few support beams were around him, including the one that had the pole he was attached too.
“Hehehehehe,” an insane laugh echoed throughout the warehouse, he was in a warehouse, “Looks like the bird finally woke up. Wonder if you’ll be as much fun as the other birdies.”
A chill ran down his spine. It was the Joker. The Joker had taken him. This never ended well, he knew. Look at what happened to Jason. However it was clear that Harley wasn’t here, she was never far from the Joker when she was out of Arkham. That was if the Joker wasn’t in Arkham as well. Closing his eyes tightly Stiles braced himself. Batman would be here soon.
“Now, now. Don’t be scared. Uncle J is here. We’ll have lots of fun before Batsy comes and ruins it. Now. I’m sure you’ve noticed my mark on the Husky Robin.” Stiles had, a carved J scar under Jason’s right eye. It was hardly noticeable, really only to those paying attention. The scar was only slightly off color and was only really red and angry looking after a shower. “Where should I put it on you? Cheek?” the knife pressed against his cheek, drawing blood. “Chest?” It forcefully tore open his Robin suit, pressing over his heart and cut into it. “Oh I know!” The knife cut downwards, leaving a trail of blood as it opened his skin. It stopped on his left thigh, pressing even deeper. “Right here.”
Joker dug the knife into the soft skin of his thigh, drawing a muffled scream. The insane man stopped, cocking his head to the side, before tutting softly. Yanking the knife out of his thigh, another muffled scream escaping, he cut upwards. The knife sliced through his cheek and forehead, but also through the fabric of the cloth gagging him. It fell to the ground, blood dribbling out of the cut on his cheek.
“That’s better.” Joker jabbed the knife back into his thigh and pulled.
Tortured screams escaped Stiles. It seemed to take forever, but soon there was the marking of a J on his thigh. Blood flowed freely from the wound and Stiles sobbed softly. The others hadn’t taught him to withstand torture, nor did he think they planned to. With the Joker though, he didn’t want information. He just did it for fun. Stiles desperately clung to the hope that Batman would be there soon to save him. Someone had to have heard his screams. Stiles forgot that the Joker was still there until something was forced into his wound. Salt. A scream, louder than before, pulled through his throat. His vocal chords tore and the scream cut off into a sob.
“There we go. Now to leave you here for Batsy to find. Oh and kid. Tell him that the Joker is back and waiting!” The laugh followed him out.
It felt like hours later when Batman finally came crashing through the door. With him was Nightwing and Red Hood. Tears were still streaming down Stiles’ face and when he saw them he full on broke down. Nightwing and Red Hood went through the boxes, finding Stiles weapons and utility belt. It was Batman that came to Stiles side, gently cupping his bloody cheek and releasing him from the bonds keeping him there. Stiles fully collapsed against his uncle, clutching the fabric of his suit and refusing to let go. Surprisingly enough (or not surprisingly to those that truly knew Batman) all his uncle did was lift him into his arms, letting Stiles cling. Both needed it.
It took Stiles months before he fully recovered and even longer to get used to the J scarred into his thigh.
Meeting Superman (or Clark Kent) was one of the most exciting thing that had happened in his twelve year life. Not the most shocking though, most shocking definitely was finding out his Uncle was Batman. Everything else seemed to be nothing compared to that. However, meeting Superman would take most exciting. Even if Superman had been a douche to Connor (Stiles met him cause he was a really really good friend of Tim’s, they wore each other’s shirts a lot) at first. And Connor was Stiles’ friend too. But Stiles hadn’t met Superman when he was being a douche.
“Clark,” Uncle Bruce said, Stiles hiding slightly behind him (he was a little shy too new people and he doesn’t really see Clark/Superman a lot) while clutching the kevlar cape tightly in one hand, “I don’t believe you’ve met Stiles properly.”
“Despite you having him for four years now?” Clark sounded almost offended, which drew a small smile from Stiles, “Even Connor has met the kid.”
“Connor also comes around more than you do.”
He wasn’t wrong. Be it with Connor as Superboy or just as Connor he spends more time around Tim and by default Stiles and Uncle Bruce than Clark does. Stiles had never met Clark before, either in his Superman persona or as Clark Kent. Every single time Clark had come around Stiles was either at school or he had been on patrol with Jason or Tim (sometimes Dick but he was usually in Bludhaven). This was his first time meeting Superman. And the cool thing was, he was on patrol with his Uncle. Which meant that Clark was in his Superman attire, the cape and all.
“It’s nice to meet you Robin,” Superman, since he technically was Superman at the moment, “Your mentor sure likes to keep you to himself.”
Smiling a little, Stiles peeked out around the cape some more. Superman was pretty cool, but Batman was still better. However, Wonder Woman beat them both in awesomeness. Stiles knew Jason would agree with him. Dick would argue full heartedly argue that Superman was better and Tim was biased towards Green Lantern. But both Jason and Stiles knew the best hero was totally Wonder Woman.
“Why are you here Clark? It’s not just because you wanted to meet Robin. If that was the case you would have come much sooner,” Batman spoke up, a frown clear on his face.
“I don’t think the kid-” Stiles bristled, he was not a kid. This just further cemented Wonder Woman being cooler in his mind. “-should hear this one.”
“I’m not a kid!” Stiles argued, but his uncle stood straighter and grew grim.
“Robin, go find one of the others. I need to talk to Superman,” Batman ordered.
Frowning heavily, Stiles turned to a different rooftop and jumped onto it. Maybe Tim would know what was going on. He certainly seemed to know everything. The better question was where Tim was. Tracing back in his head to when they were sending out orders he remembered that Tim was sent to the edges of Jason’s territory, patrolling nearby there. At worst he could go encroach on Jason’s territory (he was one of the few that wouldn’t immediately be shot at, even if it was just rubber bullets) and bug Jason instead.
“Red!” Stiles landed in a roll in front of Tim and Connor, “Superboy!”
They broke apart. The two had been doing the thing (kissing? Jason called it shoving their tongues down the other’s throat whereas Dick called it making out) that he often saw people do on TV’s. Whatever it was, it was gross. And Stiles was disgusted and surprised to see them doing it in costume! Batman would have a fit if he saw that.
“Hey Robin. Aren’t you supposed to be with Batman?” Tim asked, a slight flush on his face even as he wiped his mouth.
“Superman showed up and I got sent to you. Or Hood, but I found you first,” Stiles rocked on his feet, “Can you figure out what’s going on?”
“Luthor has something in Gotham,” Connor replied instead, arms crossed in front of his chest in a defensive maneuver, “That’s all I know. Nothing more. Whatever it is they don’t want us getting involved.”
For the second time Stiles got cut off, “One thing I’ve learned while being a Bat, is that if Batman doesn’t want us involved there’s usually a pretty good reason. Even if it is that he’s just being overprotective.”
Stiles scoffed and kicked a loose piece of gravel angrily. There was no need to be overprotective, everyone had helped in his training. Dick had, Tim had, heck even Jason had. Though Jason had probably been the most thorough in the whole training thing (after all who trains a nine year old to use a whip effectively?). He could protect himself. Batman was just being unreasonable.
“Hey, trust him okay? If he deems it safe you’ll be right there by his side,” Tim continued, putting a hand on Stiles’ shoulder.
“He lets me help him with the Joker!” the memory of what happened last year flashed through his mind and he couldn’t help but flinch a little. “How can any of Superman’s villains be worse?”
“Lex Luthor is not just a psychopath. He is manipulative and cunning. Uses everything against you. If he can’t hurt you physically he ruins you, mentally and emotionally. He’ll take everything from you without a thought,” a dark voice said behind them, Stiles’ wincing when he recognized it as his Uncle’s.
“Batman,” Connor mumbled, “I’ll just…”
The clone leapt off the building and disappeared. Silently Stiles cursed him for leaving them alone. Instead of looking at his Uncle’s face, Stiles focused instead on his boot clad feet. There would only be frustration or disappointment there, maybe even a bit of anger. Stiles didn’t want to see it.
“Robin.” Wincing Stiles raised his head slowly, meeting his Uncle’s gaze. “I don’t want you anywhere near this. Do you hear me?”
Stiles swallowed deeply and nodded.
For the next few days afterwards Stiles tried to learn everything he could about Lex Luthor. His past, his present, everything that seemed important and the things that didn’t seem as important as others. No stone was left unturned and not one thing overlooked. Soon he stumbled across just exactly why Lex Luthor was in Gotham in the first place. Arkham Asylum, a new security system there for those with superpowers. Narrowing his eyes Stiles dug a little deeper, hacking into the classified files about the security system. There was one flaw, one major flaw. So easily overlooked in the long run. Too many powers at once, too many people trying to use their powers at once, and the whole system would fry. It was due to get setup today. His Uncle didn’t know about it. Earlier he had overheard his uncle and Superman theorizing just what Lex Luthor wanted with Arkham. But they didn’t know about the security system.
Rushing down the stairs Stiles flung himself into the cave, landing next to a startled Superman. Even with the disapproving look sent at him from his Uncle, he could see the slight quirk in his lips that showed amusement. Slamming the papers on the table Stiles crossed his arms. Instead of questioning him, Bruce knew that Stiles liked to research anything that caught his attention and would often show it to him regardless of where or who he was at the moment, he just picked up the papers and flicked through them. The more he read the deeper the frown on his face got.
“How did you find this?” Bruce demanded.
“I may have… hacked into… Luthor Corp and read the information,” Stiles winced slightly.
“Despite my telling you to stay out of it?”
“What is it?” Clark asked, his arms crossed over his chest.
“The security system in Arkham, the one that Luthor Corp has funded, it has a major design flaw in it. Especially with all the different superpowered villains in there. Any overuse in trying to use their powers, too much at once, and the whole thing goes down.” Bruce tossed the papers too Clark.
Stiles shifted awkwardly in his spot beside Clark. For now his Uncle was distracted, but that wouldn’t last long. And if he was going to be honest he was not looking forward to the inevitable admonishing he was going to get. You didn’t go against Batman’s orders and get away with it. At least not easily.
“We need to get there now,” Clark said, starting to float of the ground.
“No!” Stiles exclaimed, “You can’t go! You’ll just help overload the system. We need to fix it and replace the security without them learning. Those without superpowers need to go.”
“I’ll call in Hood, Nightwing, Batgirl, and Red Robin. Robin, you stay here and fix the code. Send it to us when you’re done,” Bruce ordered.
“You’ve done good Robin. Finish the mission. Which you can do here.”
Deflating Stiles nodded. It was better than nothing, even if he was technically getting benched. However Stiles knew there was a bigger reason why Bruce was benching him. The Joker. He could escape from Arkham and there was no telling what Stiles would do. Jason had already crossed the killing line and Bruce wasn’t even going to risk Stiles crossing it. Taking a shaky breath, Stiles clenched his fists and looked down. A stiff nod escaped him and he headed to the computer.
It took over an hour, a long tenseful hour where he could hear every fight and every conversation, before he had the improved coding for the security system. The system that didn’t have a glaringly obvious flaw. Quickly uploading it to the computer gloves on all of the batclan’s computer glove (even Jason had one after a long argument with Dick that ended with them heading to Dick’s bedroom to talk it over (their version of talking was different than Stiles’ apparently) which ended with Jason getting one). Fumbling around with the comm link Stiles managed to turn it on.
“The code is on your gloves. One of you needs to upload it to the mainframe and it should take hold and override the last security update,” Stiles said.
~I’m a few doors away from the control room~ Barbara replied over the comm. ~I’ll upload it and head back out.~
~We’ll herd them all to the cafeteria~ Dick added ~Anyone in your hall Batgirl?~
~Only a few unconscious guards. Place is deserted. Uploading now~
There was a long tense silence, even Clark was tense behind him. Soon there was a whoop from Dick’s comm and a quiet ‘Good job Batgirl’ from Tim. Relaxing Stiles slumped down in his chair, blushing when he got a ruffle on his head from Clark. Whereas Clark disappeared to go help cleanup, Stiles stayed behind. Opting to stay up to see them in before heading to bed.
Ten minutes in, Stiles drifted off. He didn’t even wake up when the others returned, or when Bruce carried him up to bed, or even when he was changed into pajamas.
Today was the day, the day that Stiles was finally too join the Young Justice team. While he was excited (it was a tradition, every Robin joined when they were thirteen) he also had dread pooling in his gut. Making him feel sick and twitchy. Alfred had dosed him with his pills this morning; one for his ADHD, another for his anxiety, and a last for his PTSD. The pills didn’t seem to be doing anything however, the relentless gnawing at his gut didn’t relent. Ever since he had become Robin he had wanted to join the team. But now, now that it was today , Stiles wasn’t sure if he really wanted too.
What if they hated him? Despised him. The other Robin’s were so well loved, well respected, by the team. Well, Jason had been totally awkward and probably a bit of an outsider (if what he heard from Dick was too believed) when he was actually part of the Young Justice team but afterwards they treated him like he had been one of their closest members. Already he was working himself up. Hands shaking, breath coming out in short pants. So, much like he had done when he first met Superman on the rooftops of Gotham, Stiles clung to Batman’s kevlar cape.
Thankfully his uncle didn’t say anything, just letting him do it. Stiles knew that Dick was meeting them there. Probably informing the team that Robin, the Robin that had been around for five years that none of them had met, was finally joining the team. That thought did nothing to comfort him. When he showed up they would have all sorts of expectations for him. The grip on the kevlar cape tightened.
“You’ll be fine kid,” Jason grunted to him, red helmet tucked under his arm with the matching domino mask covering his eyes.
Everyone was in their costumes, including Stiles. Already Bruce had the whole spiel about keeping their identities a secret and that no one (absolutely no one) could know about Robin being the Bat’s nephew. Not that Stiles planned to in the first place. If anyone found out about them being related, there were so many scenarios in his head about how badly that would go down. Already it would be difficult enough just being Batman’s protege. All the expectations on his shoulder, especially based off of him being Robin for five years already.
“Here we are. Hood, Red Robin, follow behind us,” Bruce ordered.
“Yeah yeah, go introduce the kid,” Jason muttered.
Stiles tightened his grip once again. If only he could hide in the cape like he used to do when he was younger. But now he was a bit to old. Not that it stopped him from wishing. And as far as he knew he would be the first Robin to actually hide inside of Batman’s cape when meeting the younger team, there was no way he was actually going to do it. Then again, he knew he wasn’t the youngest to join the team. That privilege actually went to Bart Allen, who was only a year older than him now if he remembered right. Ten when he joined the team. Not that he actually gave them a choice.
The Zeta Beam startled Stiles, even if it was only a second transportation. His grip on the cape, somehow, became even tighter. Nails dug into his palm painfully through the cape. However his grip didn’t loosen. The announcement of their arrival cut off any conversation going on and Stiles was startled by the sudden wind in his face, the cape dropping from his hand. Yellow goggles were the only thing he could see of the person, eyes staring right at him.
“Hi! I’m Bart! You must be Robin! Funny, I don’t remember any Robin with brown hair.” There was suddenly a hand holding a piece of his hair before it was gone. “I know all the Robin’s too. I’m from the future, well an alternate future. Maybe that’s why there’s a different Robin. Which number are you?”
“Bart, hermano, slow down. You’re scaring the kid,” someone else said.
Suddenly he could see everyone again, not just the yellow goggles. Blinking slowly Stiles tried to process the overload of information. There was someone from an alternate future on the team (so researching that later) and he knew all the Robin’s. However in that kid’s future, Bart Allen he was guessing (the only current speedster on the team), he hadn’t been a Robin. Which probably meant he never met his Uncle Bruce, which meant his father hadn’t died and maybe his mom hadn’t too? Biting down on his lip gently Stiles glanced over at his Uncle, who didn’t even look over at him.
“Team, this is Robin. Robin, meet the Team,” Batman said.
“Introductions are in order,” Nightwing added, taking over when Batman didn’t, “Who wants to start?”
“Umm, why is Red Hood here?” a blonde girl asked, a golden lasso by her hip.
“Why shouldn’t he be?” Bart demanded, “He’s a hero. At least in my future he was. Is he not here?”
“I prefer anti-hero,” Red Hood replied.
“Introductions,” Nightwing repeated.
“I’ll start. Bart Allen, Impulse but I think that superhero identities are stupid and don’t understand why they insist on-” the boy that called off Bart from earlier, Jaime?, covered the speedsters mouth.
“I’m Jaime Reyes,” so he was right, “also known as Blue Beetle. Bart ever gives you issues just call me.”
“Cassie Sandsmark, also known as Wonder Girl,” the blonde girl that questioned Jason earlier said.
“Kaldur’ahm, Aqualad,” he obviously seemed to be a leader, probably in charge.
“La’gaan, Lagoon Boy,” Stiles didn’t really like him. Seemed a bit stuck up to him, obviously trying to copy Kaldur.
“I’m Megan! The others call me Miss Martian, though some of the older members call me Miss M.” She seemed really peppy to him.
“Conner, Superboy.” He just seemed grumpy, not trying to impress anything and keeping it to the point.
“Artemis Crock, now known as Tigress. I’m just here to meet the new Robin.” That meant she wasn’t really part of the team, Stiles assumed at least.
“Wally West, Kid Flash. Also retired with Tigress.” That confirmed Stiles’ suspicion.
Everyone that was there introduced themselves. Now that left Stiles standing there awkwardly as the rest of the team had glanced at the others in the batclan, like Barbara for instance, as if waiting for them to introduce themselves. However none of them did and Stiles rubbed the back of his neck nervously. Batman was no where near him to hide behind anymore, Red Robin was standing between Wonder Girl and Batgirl, and Red Hood was leaning on the wall near Nightwing with a clear leer on his face. Wrinkling his nose slightly Stiles decided not to go bother them and instead he silently begged the world for something to happen to get them to rid the awkwardness. This was exactly what he was afraid of.
“Team, we aren’t only introducing you to Robin today. There is a meeting going on between Lex Luthor and Pamela Isley, also known as Poison Ivy, as well as Sportsmaster in Chicago. This is a covert mission only. Nightwing, Aqualad, I trust you two to deal with the rest,” Batman left in a flourish.
“You wanna take the lead on this Kaldur?” Nightwing asked.
“With the addition of Robin I believe it would be beneficial for you to place him with those you believe his skills would be best used,” Aqualad replied.
“Good point. Team Alpha consists of Wondergirl, Batgirl, and Red Robin. You three go through the vents, stay up high and out of sight. Team Beta consists of Blue Beetle, Impulse, and Robin,” Stiles looked up at his codename, “You three stay outside. Beetle in the air, Impulse and Robin on the ground. Impulse keep track of the perimeter, Robin on the rooftops nearby. Team Gamma consists of Miss Martian, Superboy, and myself. Team Delta consists of Lagoon Boy and Aqualad. You guys know what to do and I’ll bring Gamma up to speed on the way there. Hood, Tigress, Kid Flash you guys are welcome to join us if you want.”
“Nah, I should keep watch on Bludhaven for you Nightwing. You can pay me later,” With a wink Jason disappeared into the Zeta Tube.
“We’re watching Lian in an hour for Roy,” Artemis offered, Wally already disappearing into the tube after Jason.
The mission was simple, at first. Everything seemed to go downhill, the plants nearby having informed Poison Ivy of their presence. Stiles soon found himself surrounded by plants, vines wrapping themselves on his legs and making their way up his body. Squirming around Stiles tried to break out, but the vines got thicker with every slash of the birdarangs. Jaime, thankfully, found him and blasted the vines off before hooking his arms underneath his armpits and lifting him to the sky.
“Can you get me close?” Stiles shouted to him over the wind, “I can knock her out.”
“You sure amigo?” Jaime asked.
“Like, ninety-five percent.”
Jaime mumbled something that Stiles was fairly certain was directed at the scarab on his back. Yes Stiles knew about that thing that had its own mind. He was a Bat after all.
“You better know what you’re doing,” Jaime muttered, “Or else Khaji Da is gonna kill something.”
“I thought you could control that thing?”
“Umm… it’s fifty fifty most of the time.”
Stiles rolled his eyes and reached into his utility belt awkwardly. Pulling out some knockout pellets and this weird weed killing thing that Jason had put in as a joke and Stiles kept forgetting to get rid of (which turned out to be a good thing) before dropping them near Poison Ivy. She laughed loudly, Stiles getting a glimpse of the other teams fighting Luthor and Sportsmaster, before suddenly choking. Stiles desperately hoped what he did wouldn’t kill her, even as Jaime set him down on the ground before landing himself. Bart skidded to a stop next to them.
“Is she dying?” Bart demanded
“Um, the weed killing thingie should have just weakened her enough for the knockout gas to work… hypothetically,” Stiles winced.
“Khaji says its fifty fifty,” Jaime added helpfully.
The team had gotten pretty close in the two (almost three in around a few weeks) years they worked together. Jaime, Bart, and Stiles had become a seamless team and were almost always paired together. Tim hadn’t left the team, exactly, but instead was almost like Jason in a way. When they needed him he was there, but for the most part he stayed in Gotham. However he was still a pretty permanent fixture in the Young Justice team, showing up quite often to just train them. He was basically another one of their leaders.
However what none of them knew, was that this mission was probably going to change things. It was a mission that Batman had done his best, unknown to Stiles, to avoid giving the team. Not only did this mission mean Stiles identity would most likely be blown to the team (at least the team members that would be going), but it meant Stiles returning to a place he hadn’t been since he was young.
“For this mission,” Batman intoned deeply, “It requires being undercover for an unknown amount of time. I already have chosen the best candidates for this team. And that’s you four.”
The four chosen looked at each other. Standing there was Cassie, her blonde hair pulled in a ponytail and wearing her normal attire, Bart, his goggles pushed up into his flyaway red hair, Jaime, the only one in a completely casual look, and Stiles. Furrowing his brows Stiles wondered why exactly he had been chosen for this mission. There had to be a reason, otherwise Batman wouldn’t allow it. Undercover for an undetermined amount of time seemed almost unusual.
“Your covers have already been explained. You leave tonight. Red Hood is your mission leader and is being put undercover with you,” Batman said.
“Wait, what are our covers? And what is this mission?” Stiles demanded.
“Your names will remain unchanged, all except for your last names. Exception being you Robin.”
“The mission?” Cassie prooded.
“You are going undercover in Beacon Hills High School.” The blood in Stiles’ face drained. “We have reason to believe that there is a group of supernaturals wreaking havoc. You are going undercover to find the supernaturals, determine them friend or foe. This mission will most likely go throughout the rest of the time you’re in highschool.”
“That’s two years,” Bart spoke up, “ThoughI’vetechnicallyalreadygraduated.”
“Cariño, no one can understand you,” Jaime told him patiently.
Stiles ignored the two and instead stared at Batman. How could he do this to him? After all these years. He left after his mom died. It was too painful. And to return without his father, to the place where both his mom and his dad had died. This was… he…
“Jaime, Bart, and Cassie are all foster kids. Living with their foster parents. Jaime your last name has changed to Garcia,” Jaime hit a giggling Bart, “Bart yours is now Johnson,” Bart pouted, “And Cassie you are going with Demos. Your foster parent is Red Hood. Robin your cover is you’re staying with your brother for the remainder of High School due to the recent kidnapping.”
Stiles winced at the reminder. That had barely been a week ago. The injuries from that one were still fresh in his mind. They hadn’t really enjoyed the fact that Bruce hadn’t paid the ransom immediately after they sent it out. And when Batman showed up, it was really only due to the shock that the bullet had only grazed his side and hadn’t actually gone into his stomach like it was supposed to.
“I’m assuming Robin gets to keep his last name?” Bart said, “Which is?”
After getting permission from Bruce, Stiles peeled off his mask. The others stared at him in shock before Bart shook his head.
“Yep, no Robin ever had brown eyes. All looked shockingly a lot like good ol’ Batsy over there,” Bart said with a grin.
“You’re Stiles!” Jaime yelped, “Bruce Wayne’s nephew that he adopted.”
“Guilty, Stiles Stilinski at your service,” Stiles gave a mock bow.
“Does your guardian know you are doing this?” Cassie demanded.
“He knows. Him and Batman go way back. Have each other on speed dial. Probably why he agreed to let me stay with Hood for this mission.”
Yeah, no way was he saying that Bruce was Batman. That was just a no go, despite the whole being able to reveal his identity to the group. If it weren’t for this mission he wouldn’t have been allowed too. Scratching his nose Stiles bit his lip.
“You leave tomorrow. Pack up your stuff. Hood will meet you at the house. There he’ll reveal his identity to you. This mission will mean radio silence. Robin, let’s go,” Batman called to him.
Once they were home Stiles stripped out of the Robin suit and returned to his civilian clothes. Across from him sat his Uncle, also in civilian clothes. Stiles tried to figure out the best way to word what he was going to say. The best thing to do was too peel off the bandaid immediately, or else he was never going to be able to say it. Taking a deep breath Stiles ran a hand through his hair and looked his Uncle in the eye.
“I don’t think I should go on this mission as Robin,” Stiles shifted, “Robin stays in Gotham. I need to become something other than Robin.”
“What do you suggest?” Bruce replied.
Honestly Stiles was shocked by the easy take from Bruce. While Robin was, in some ways, Stiles’ birthright, it also was Batman’s. It wouldn’t be right to take Robin to Beacon Hills for an undefined amount of time (High School was only if they couldn’t finish it before and if they didn’t finish the mission by the end of the two to threeish years they had…) so he needed a new name. Like Tim and Jason did, like Dick. It was time to move on.
“Find a new Robin. Batman needs Robin. I can become a new Superhero, like how Dick became Nightwing,” Stiles bit his lip gently.
“Finding a Robin isn’t as easy as you think it is Stiles,” Bruce replied with a small laugh, “It’s not like I have a vault to pick them out of.”
“I’m sure you’ll find one. They just kinda seem to fall on your lap.”
“What will you become?”
Stiles bit his lip. This had been a long time coming, he had been thinking about a name. And making a costume wouldn’t be too difficult, especially since he had talked a bit to Alfred about what he was going to do when he grew out of Robin. If he was being honest Alfred had probably made the costume he had been talking about as soon as he had learned about this mission. It was time.