Disclaimer: I wished I owned Robin. That would be awesome, for multiple reasons. Also illegal, and widely frowned upon.
It is easier to treat "Robin" and "Dick Grayson" as though they are two completely different people. There was nothing that the two had in common; Robin was a hero, The Boy Wonder. He could preform amazing and dangerous feats, flying and twisting through the air as he fought alongside Batman to rid Gotham of crime. Robin was a smart alack, a computer whiz, and confident in these abilities of his. When faced with the insane criminals that had a reserved space in Arkham, Robin would laugh and fight and carry on until the next threat fell upon his beloved city. He had no fear.
Dick Grayson was not the opposite of these things. He was a hero in his own right-after all, it had been his intimate knowledge of double integration that brought the Gotham Academy's mathlete team victory in the sectionals. But in no way was he the Caped Crusader's young ward. In no way could he-quiet, well mannered, frail Dick Grayson-be.
Or perhaps, in no way could Robin be the adopted son of Gotham's most eligible tycoon.
Sometimes the line was blurred between who the boy really was, and who he (had to) pretend to be.
"The boy." That is all he truly is. He has no personality of his own, no skills. He is a blank slate on which to be written, a doll who becomes a new person with each change of clothing. Today I am a student. Today I am a soldier. Today I am a leader. Without his mask (domino or otherwise), the boy stands naked and without purpose in a white void, unthinking, waiting for his cue to pull out the precise strands of knowledge and experience from the tangled mass of memories in his possession, but that do not belong to him.
Sometimes the boy wonders what would happen if he let the two out of their cages at the same time. Would they merge? Become the same person? How ideal would that be-Dick Grayson wouldn't have to hold himself back during gym period. Robin could complain to his teammates about that eight page English paper on Huckleberry Finn he has to write by Monday morning.
And then the Joker would set off a bomb in his school.
Maybe one would dominate the other, swallow him whole and absorb everything he had, or snuff all of it out with his own life, so it was as though the other never existed to begin with. But who would win? Who gets what? Obviously Robin gets the combat skills. But Dick was a Flying Grayson first, so he has dibs on the acrobatics-it's only fair. What about the brains? Dick Grayson should take all of the academic stuff, which would leave the hacking codes for Robin... But then, what about cheesy pick up lines and dissected words and song lyrics?
In the end, would the boy ultimately be Robin, or Dick Grayson?
But it didn't matter either way-the Joker would still set off a bomb in his school or assassinate Bru-Batman (oh god who is he?) regardless of which of the two sides would win because you can't be a costumed crime fighter without a secret identity and expect that the people you love will be safe.
So back to square one.
Actually, it isn't easier to treat "Robin" and "Dick Grayson" as though they are two completely different people. There was too much they had in common; both are wide-eyed boys stepping around the fluctuating shadows of a corrupt world, heaving their broken and beaten hearts (and minds, and sometimes bodies) onward along the path from childhood to being a man. Pain played a prominent role in both of their lives-unimaginable agony was brought upon Dick Grayson, and Robin had brought unimaginable agony of an entirely different kind upon others. People envied the two, the Caped Crusader's young ward and the adopted son of Gotham's most eligible tycoon.
It would be nice if the team made the effort to reveal who Robin paraded around when not fighting the good fight. They're his friends, right? Don't they care to know? Do they not realize that, every time the boy slips on a pair of tinted designer frames or carefully centers the sculpted black mask, he is not just hiding his face, but an entire part of him? If they knew about the two (three? Does the empty shell of a boy count?) sides, then he could let his guard down (just a little bit) and relax and maybe discover for himself who he really is, see who-Robin or Dick-would win.
The risk of Robin's secret identity falling into the wrong hands certainly couldn't be that high if just the team knew. Wally knows, and Dick Grayson is as safe as the day he was first brought under the protection of Bruce Wayne. And yeah, his best friend knowing should be more than enough for the boy-and it was, back before they were a part of a team. Now, the boy (as Robin) watches as his friend freely mingles with the others, as both Wally and Kid Flash (were they the same person, just different names? Lucky.), dropping stale compliments on M'gann and advising Kaldur to lighten up. Robin laughs, as always, while on the inside, Dick just wants to be included.
If that is the case, though, are Superboy, Artemis, Kaldur, and M'gann really the boy's friends? No, no, of course they are his friends-he was the one that isn't their friend. He couldn't be, not when he has to conceal a part (or two parts? Seriously, does blank slate-boy count?) of who he is from them.
Maybe he didn't, though, and it is the Robin identity that is the boy's true self. And maybe, all along, the team has been exposed to who the boy really is on the inside, and it is Dick Grayson that is fabricated.
But that's the name on the boy's birth certificate. Technically, he, Richard John Grayson, was there first...
This was written for summerotaku, for the Young Justice gift exchange that was held on tumblr for Valentine's Day.
I've never written a Robin centric story before, so I took the opportunity and the brilliant phrase "secret identity porn" that summerotaku had in her request form and ran with it. At some point, it may have run away from me, so this story may or may not make sense.
I hope you enjoy!