Slade emerged out of the shadows where he had been thrown by a burst of energy from an extremely scary alien. He glared at them for interrupting him in forcing his dominance on Robin. He stalked toward his rebellious pupil, "Robin, attack!"
Robin turned helplessly, "Get out of here! Go! You don't know what those beams did to you-"
"Dude-" Beast Boy began, but was interrupted by slade.
"Too Late." He pressed the button.
They collapsed in the darkness, not afraid of the pain, but of losing Robin again.
"Robin, come. Or I will finish them off." Slade said calmly, a smile clear in his voice.
Robin took a deep breath, "No."
He glanced at the maker of his problems: The reactor. But it gave him away.
Slade had him on the ground in a second, keeping Robins hands pinned behind his back. Robin grimaced in pain.
"Slade." His utter hatred for him was obvious in his voice, but Slade was oblivious to it.
"My boy, you work too hard. Any longer and your friends will die. Do you really want that?" Slade mocked sadness coolly, with his mask right next to Robin's ear.
A second was all Slade needed, and he had gotten it. Robin relaxed, resigning to his fate. Slade got what he wanted.
"Good." He let Robin up.
"Robin." Starfire whispered
"I'm sorry." He looked away.
"Robin?" Slade called impatiently.
"Coming . . . Master." Just like that, they were gone with the pain.
"Robin." Starfire whispered, "ROBIN!"
"Star . . . ."
. . .
The Teen Titans sat in their meeting room with a gloomy atmosphere slowly picking away at them as they removed the tiny machines from their blood cells. Never had they been so . . . utterly defeated. Hurt. Miserable. Anguished.
Never had they realized how bad this situation was. Or at least until they lost Robin.
Robin. That was their new word for anguish beyond any words.
"Think there's any way to get him back?" Cyborg muttered after he had debugged everyone.
It was quiet, but after a moment, the others started talking.
"We can't go after him. We'll always lose the fight." Raven looked away, wishing she could do something.
"We don't even know where they are." Beast Boy whined uncomfortably.
"Well, maybe Robin has other friends that would help us." Starfire pointed out.
"But how are we supposed to know who they are? He didn't like to talk about his past . . . ." Cyborg sighed.
"Then we check his room." Raven replied, "If we can do nothing else, then we can at least tell a friend."
They stared at her at the uncharacteristic act she proposed they do. She sunk deeper into her cloak when there was a silence.
"Raven," Beast Boy gasped, "That's . . . amazing!
They all agreed. They were all edgy when they reached his room, though. Starfire gently pushed open the door into the shadows of his room. There were newspaper articles taped to the walls. Everywhere.
"Well, find something that didn't occur since we knew him along with something from another city." Cyborg said as if they didn't know what they were looking for and weren't already searching.
"Gotham." Beast Boy whispered quietly, which was really not something he did a lot.
"What?" Starfire asked.
"Gotham. It's where he came from, or at least he stayed there for a while." They stared at him, "When we first set up a . . . base here, I found a newspaper article that . . . wasn't from around here. I asked him about it and he told me he liked to keep a piece of home with him. I-I think he carries it around with him. It's his . . . good luck charm."
They stared at him for a second, then got back to work. After hours of fruitless, or rather article-less, work Raven fell on his bed.
"This isn't getting us anywhere!" She yelled, frustrated, then opened her eyes, "What?"
"Raven?" Cyborg asked.
She stood, and let a shadow hand flip the mattress. Underneath was a normal sized metal box . . . that just so happened to be locked.
Beast Boy picked it up and shook it up and down. He nodded, "Definitely newspaper clippings."
"Okay." Starfire said as she picked it up. She pried it open with her super human strength.
Raven picked up the newspaper clippings inside, "These are about a Batman and Robin."
Cyborg and Beast Boy's jaws dropped, "Batman!"
While Cyborg and Beast Boy fought over the clipping carefully, Star picked up another with raven looking over her shoulder.
"Robin looks so . . . happy." She whispered.
"We'll find him." Raven replied.
It was different. The article showed a real smile. One they only saw on celebrations, buts still not as big.
"Batman! But how are we supposed to contact him if we don't know his identity?" Cyborg asked.
Raven plucked another article from the box, "'Millionaire Bruce Wane Takes in Orphan'." That caught their attention, "'After Two Face, a notorious criminal, took an entire circus hostage, with millionaire Bruce Wane and many others in attendance, he played games. A bomb, a trapeze group, and a madman caused mayhem. He took the lives of all but the youngest of the trapeze family, Dick Grayson. The rest of his family, his parents, brother, and sister, were all murdered before even Batman himself could save them."
It was quiet.
"A-at least we know who Batman is." Beast Boy whispered.
Everyone that day was being uncharacteristic.
. . .
"Go. Sleep off your wounds."
"Yes, Master." Robin choked. He hated calling him that, but it was becoming easier. It made Robin wonder whether or not it meant he would become like a slave, no a slave. He was already like a slave.
Robin turned and walked away.
Slade would always be Slade. He chose another clock tower, but this time, he winced every time he looked out the window. Robin had spent so many bad times . . . and good times here. The good times were harder to accept.
He knew that was the reason they were there.
Because Robin would rather be dead than back in this place. It gave Slade too much control.
He reached his room. He changed into easier clothes to be in, skipping out on a shirt when there were only full body outfits.
He pulled a small crumpled up paper out of the pocket of his original outfit. It was a photograph, not a article, of Robin, no, Dick, Barbara, Alfred, and . . . Bruce.
Barbara, Batgirl, whatever, had left shortly before Bruce . . . .
She was probably happy. Alfred was still good old Alfred and helped Bruce - wince – with everything Batman. The rest of the titans were safe. Everyone but Robin was happy. That was good enough for Robin.
He laid down.
That was alright with him. He'd forfeited his future anyways. No use crying over it now.
So Robin simply lived angrily. Actually, it wasn't even good enough to be called a life. It was just existence.
Just like Slade wanted.