The Teen Titans: self-righteous, brave, courageous and a dedicated team of heroes.
Robin was a firm believer that his team made a difference. From the depths of his heart, he believed that the Titans were a symbol of hope. Maybe it was just his habit of trying to find the best in people, but he thought their flaws made them strong and unique.
But he was wrong about the Titans… he knew that now. They took away his hope, and what is a person without hope?
"You ready?" Slade called out patiently.
"Uh, yeah one second," as he reached for his gear, his eyes caught on the monitor broadcasting the news.
And there they were, saving the day and shaking hands. His eyes lingered on her and her expression, her body language…her bright green eyes. He was torturing himself – and he knew it – but it was all he had.
It was like picking off an old scab as he watched the blood slowly ooze out, morbid curiosity maybe?
He quickly turned his back and walked out of the control room.
As he was taught, he completed the mission objective. No matter the cost.
Closing his door behind him, he peeled off his black costume and threw it in his laundry basket.
He threw himself on his bed and stared blankly at the ceiling. He turned his head and peered out his window to the vast forest that surrounded the house. Even now, he still searched the skyline for something he knew he couldn't see.
He missed them. If that made him weak so be it. Lying to himself only gave Slade more power over him and he would be damned before he let that happen.
He sighed and turned his back to the window. He fingered the stray thread from his comforter and slowly his thoughts gravitated back to the Titans.
Why didn't they do more to help him? Did they so blindly turn their backs on him, or was there a part of them that still believed he could still be saved? It definitely felt like the former but he couldn't differentiate the two anymore.
At the beginning, they were what held him together. If he could believe that they would never give up on him, he could continue on.
He tugged the thread and tore it from the comforter. The satisfying pop pulled him back to the present.
"They will never give up on me," he whispered.
"If you stopped pulling your punches, you'd take them down in half the time."
Slade cut him off. "Don't lie to me."
He opened his mouth to reply but Slade held up a warning finger. Dick nodded in resignation.
He had stopped like Slade had asked. His attacks became borderline brutal because he just wanted it to stop—to make them stop.
He didn't want to face them. He didn't even want to look at them.
God they hated him.
He was starting to hate them too.
Batman was so close to figuring it out.
He had been right there, standing at the cusp of the truth, and then Parallax created an interplanetary crisis and the truth had all been but forgotten.
Slade, knowing Batman was on his trail, made sure to hide the nanoprobes in the Titan's bloodstreams. Dick suspected he called in a favor with Felix Faust to make his problem "magically disappear".
His life as Slade's apprentice was swept under the rug and was never uncovered.
Batman was the last hope of a desperate boy. But that was then and this is now. He wasn't a boy anymore and he didn't need Batman; no matter how desperate he had become.
Within the first two months of the apprenticeship, he had lost everyone. All he had for company was the devil himself and Wintergreen. It didn't matter; he was going to get out of this by himself. Afterward… well he didn't have a plan.
Slade—in cruelty or kindness, Dick wasn't sure which—let him keep tabs on the Titans and Batman.
Research, he called it, both comforted him and tore his heart out. He would sit there and analyze their pictures. It was the only time he ever saw them without the usual hatred in their eyes.
One day, he just stopped. He stopped keeping tabs on them because the truth was too much. They were moving on without him.
"MAYOR WELCOMES NEWEST TITAN" was displayed in bold on the Jump Times.
The newspaper smacked against the desk. Slade looked up as Dick took a step back from him.
Dick ran his fingers through his hair and frowned. He nervously wiggled his fingers and tried to shake the nervous energy out of his hand.
"I know I'm not in a position to demand things, but I need information on her."
"Correct, you're not," Slade said slowly, "why?"
"I want to take her down," Dick replied grimly.
Slade lips twitched and for a brief moment, Dick thought he'd say no. But then he smiled and turned towards his computer.
"If you want information on her, you'll have to recover that yourself," Slade typed something into the computer.
Dick kept his posture rigid and nodded.
"I'll allow you access to the main computer, provided you keep in mind our arrangement."
Slade pressed a few more keys and then backed away from the computer.
The tension bled out of Dick's shoulders as he said humorlessly, "Yeah yeah, I try to contact them and you kill them."
END OF PART I
Finally got around to redoing this story and redid it entirely. I'll be working on my other ones as well.