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Fic: A Displaced Red Robin Chapter 3

Title: A Displaced Red Robin
Author: Brokaw22
Disclaimer: The norms
Rating: T
Story Synopsis: Tim gets transported to the cartoon Young Justice world, and he's not sure he knows how to deal with it.
Thanks to Kathy for beta work.
Chapter One Chapter Two

 

It's been two days since he started training with Superboy, and it's already extremely obvious that Tim's going to have to work with him on controlling his anger if he's ever going to have the control that Conner has. Tim doesn't know why this Superboy is so angry all of the time, and he honestly doesn't even know how to broach the subject; but Tim's well aware that it's something that has to be done...sooner, rather than later. They're in the training area. They have been for most of the day, and Tim is really starting to wonder if he should have Superboy list his powers for him, because other than the typical Superboy strength, he hasn't seen much of anything else. Tim isn't sure if Superboy is just holding them back, or if he just doesn't have as many powers as Kon yet. He can't imagine it's the former, because of the lack of control the kid seems to have in general, but it's a possibility. It seems a little weird to Tim that there hasn't been the slightest hint of TTK yet, and he's starting to honestly wonder if this Superboy will ever develop that particular power.

 

Tim has Superboy tossing fruit to him in order teach him how to handle things with less strength. Superboy seems to be getting increasingly more frustrated every time he crushes one of the apples, and the entire room smells like citrus thanks to all of the oranges he managed to smash into the wall earlier. The angrier Superboy gets, the more Tim wants to smile. It's really going to be torture for the boy when they switch to eggs. The thought is enough to make Tim want to smirk evilly, but instead he just tosses another apple to Superboy, who catches it without turning it into applesauce. “You're doing better. Do you want to stop for the day? We've been here for hours, and this room is starting to smell like a particularly ripe fruit salad.”

 

Superboy shakes his head. “No, lets keep going.”

 

Tim shrugs, and motions for him to pass him the apple again. So far, they've only managed to volley a handful of times before the fruit inevitably gets crushed, either by Superboy catching it too roughly, or by his throwing it so hard that Tim is forced to dodge if he doesn't want to be covered in fruit and bruises. They're on the tenth toss for this particular apple when Kaldur walks into the room. “Is it customary for land dwellers to throw fruit at each other?”

 

Superboy loses his concentration, and the next catch has apple bits spraying all over his face and chest. Before Superboy can get angry enough to punch something...or Kaldur for that matter, Tim moves to clasp a hand on his shoulder. “You did good, really good. We managed to get ten tosses on that one.”

 

Superboy looks like he's caught between wanting to growl and hit something, and wanting to just sigh and walk away. Instead he turns his attention to Kaldur. Given that two days ago he would have just put his fist through a wall and walked away, Tim considers that quite an improvement in such a short time. “Red Robin is teaching me to control my strength.”

 

Kaldur stares at Tim for a moment. “And this has what to do with crushing fruit?”

 

Tim breathes out a laugh. “The goal is to toss the fruit gently enough that it doesn't get damaged, eventually we'll work up to tossing eggs.”

 

Tim's pretty sure that he just saw Superboy pale a little, and it makes Tim want to smirk a whole hell of a lot. “Eggs? Really?”

 

Tim nods at Superboy's obvious wary tone. “Probably not for a while, but eventually. Anyway, you should go get cleaned up, while I start taking care of this mess.” Tim gestures to the room at large, and suddenly he misses Alfred more than usual.

 

Superboy doesn't say anything else before leaving, and Tim goes to gather supplies to start cleaning the training area. He's not surprised when Kaldur follows him, but he is surprised that, when they return to the room, Kaldur starts to help him. After all, it's not really his fault Tim chose such a messy training activity. After a few moments of silence, Kaldur stops scrubbing at the obliterated orange on the wall. “What can you teach me?”

 

Tim is so caught off-guard by the question that he nearly drops the scrub brush that he's using. “What do you mean?”

 

Kaldur stares at him seriously for a long moment. “It's clear that you're a natural born leader--much like Robin--but unlike him, you are used to leading. I know I am not the best leader, or the one that this team deserves, but I wish to become better for them.”

 

Tim shakes his head. “I don't think that you're a bad leader by any stretch of the imagination. You're exactly what this team needs and deserves. It's just that this team is new--both to you and to each other. It's going to take time for all of you to become comfortable enough with each other to work in the way that your team needs to. I don't really know how much I can teach you versus what you'll have to learn on your own, just from being around them more, but I'm willing to work with you on anything that you feel you need to improve on.”

 

Kaldur stares at the smashed fruit on the wall for a moment before answering. “I think I need to learn how treat them like operatives while we're out and friends while we're here. It's hard when some of them act so...child-like.”

 

Tim smiles to himself. “You're talking about Kid Flash and Robin now, aren't you?” At Kaldur's nod, Tim continues. “Look, I don't know either one of them all that well, but I can tell you this. If this Robin is anything like his counterpart on my world, he won't grow up all that much...no matter how old he gets. He'll always make groan-worthy jokes--even in the midst of a battle--but that doesn't mean that he isn't fully capable of doing what needs to be done and taking orders. And, as far as Kid Flash goes, well, I feel confident that he'll eventually grow out of it. Learning to separate my leader duties from my friend duties took a long time, and I'm not really sure I've ever really perfected it, but...I'll help you as much as I can.”

 

Kaldur nods once again as he starts scrubbing the wall once more. “Thank you.”

 

Tim shakes his head again and smiles ruefully. “No, thank you. You really didn't have to help me clean this mess.”

 

Kaldur gives him a small smile. “That's what friends are for.”

 

Tim pauses for a second before inclining his head, and returning to cleaning the floor. He isn't sure when Kaldur started thinking of him as a friend, but Tim doesn't say anything. After all, if he's going to be stuck here for a long time, it'd be nice for this team to think of him as such, even if it makes him miss all of his friends back home even more. “Yeah, I guess.”

 

Once Superboy has finished changing, he comes back and starts helping them clean without a word. Tim is actually feeling rather relaxed, all things considered. The three of them work silently together, and it isn't long before M'gann enters the room, too. “What happened in here? She glances at the room, and sniffs the air a little. “And why does it smell like a fruit salad?”

 

“It was a training session.” Superboy replies before either Tim or Kaldur gets a chance.

 

M'gann glances around the room, which they aren't even halfway done cleaning yet. “Must have been some training session. Do you want some help finishing up?”

 

The boys all smile and nod at her. Tim stands up to hand her another scrub brush. “You don't have to. I'm sure you have better things to do, but if you want to, your help would be greatly appreciated.”

 

M'gann blushes slightly as she grabs the scrub brush off of him. “I don't have anything else to do, besides I don't mind helping.”

 

The four of them work quietly together for awhile, before M'gann sighs at a particularly tough orange stain on the wall. “I wish Wally was here. I'd bet he'd have this done in no time.”

 

Kaldur doesn't even pause in what he's doing to respond. “Yeah, or he'd start throwing soapy water on people, and then we'd just have twice as much to clean up.”

 

M'gann laughs at that. “Yeah, that's true. He does have a way of making a mess of things sometimes.”

 

Superboy grunts in agreement. “I think this room is going to smell like fruit for weeks.”

 

Tim smirks to himself. “Just think of how it'll smell when we switch to eggs.”

 

All three of the others groan at that, and M'gann turns to face him. “Can't you pick something a little less messy?”

 

Tim holds up his hands in the air defensively. “It's the best way for him to learn, and, believe it or not, I'm the tidy Robin.”

 

M'gann stares at him for a moment. “Wait...there are other Robins where you're from?”

 

Tim doesn't really know how to answer that. He doesn't really want to go into detail, for fear that the others will reveal that little tidbit to this Robin. Tim can only imagine how much that information will screw with such a young Dick Grayson's head. He knows that this Dick probably still believes he'll always be Robin. “Um, sort of...people grow up...grow into new roles, you know?”

 

M'gann loos like she doesn't know what to say to that, so instead of saying anything, she just shakes her head and switches the subject. “Well, if you're the tidy Robin, I'd hate to see the others.”

 

The other two nod in agreement as they continue cleaning, and Tim can't help but laugh. It doesn't take too much longer with the four of them working together to finish cleaning the room. It still smells strongly of fruit once they're done, but now it has the added scent of chemicals from the cleaner they used. Tim thinks about working on a better ventilation system in here, but he'll need the blueprints of the room, and he has a feeling that request won't go over well. He considers discussing the matter with Robin the next time that he sees him, but Tim doesn't want to give any of them a reason to distrust him anymore than he needs to.

 

The four of them head out of the room together, and Tim is almost tempted to ask which one of them is on 'watch the creepy Red Robin' duty, but before he gets a chance, Red Tornado calls them to the entrance room. Well, to be fair, he calls the other three, but it's not like he's really allowed to walk around the place alone, so he follows along like a good little former Robin. When they get to the entrance room, Red Arrow is standing there, looking extremely annoyed with the wait. Tim is a little startled by his appearance.

 

It hadn't occurred to him that if Robin is only 13, then Roy would have to be only a few years older. It takes Tim a moment to recover. After all, being taller than Dick was weird, but being able to stand eye to eye with Roy Harper is just awkward, and then Tim remembers something. He tries to be as subtle as possible while looking for obvious signs of drug use. It doesn't look as though this Roy has gone down that path...at least not yet, anyway...although, Tim isn't sure how much would be obvious. He's always assumed that Roy was just really good at hiding the symptoms since Dick hadn't noticed right away. Tim makes a mental note to talk to Robin about it, just in case--especially since the arm guard on his right arm could be hiding track marks. Tim thinks about it for a moment. It seems like a reasonable assumption to make that this Dick and Roy are friends, but he might have to do more research before he broaches the subject with Robin.

 

It takes Tim a few seconds to realize that no one is saying anything, and that Roy is staring at him. Roy's facial expression is the type of nonchalant look used when one is forcing oneself to project calmness. It's times like this that Tim wishes he was more like Cassandra, even if he himself is sometimes disturbed by her ability to read people. He'd really like to know what Roy's actually feeling right now. “Who the heck is this?”

 

Before he gets a chance to answer M'gann steps in front of him. “This is Red Robin. He's from a different Earth, and he's staying with us until Batman can find a way to get him back home.”

 

Roy stares at him for a moment. “So, Batman deems him a non-threat?”

 

“Not exactly, but when does Batman ever say anything directly?” Kaldur speaks up this time, and Tim would really like to know when he gained so much trust from these people.

 

Roy glares at him. “Or maybe Batman is just waiting for him to do something.”

 

Tim sighs to himself. He doesn't really feel like playing the silent threat game right now. “To be honest, I would be quite offended if I wasn't considered some type of threat. I was trained by the Batman back on my own world, and my only goal at the moment is to get back home.” Tim doesn't see any reason to mention that he was also trained by one of his world's best assassins, as well. He already has enough problems without them knowing that little bit of information.

 

Roy's glare only intensifies before he turns to the others. “When's the last time any of you have spoken with Batman?”

 

The others glance at each other for a few moments, before Kaldur steps forward. “Batman only contacts us when there's a mission for us.”

 

“But he sent Black Canary here two days ago to spar with Red Robin.” Superboy is suddenly standing in front of Tim protectively, which Tim finds very interesting, since two days ago Superboy had slammed him against a wall, and nearly choked him out.

 

“Why do you ask?” M'gann is biting her bottom lip nervously.

 

“Because no one has heard from him or Robin since after he sent Black Canary here. Green Arrow asked me to come here and speak with you personally while the league searches for them.” Roy suddenly shifts his attention back to Tim. “If you have anything to do with this...”

 

Before he can finish his idle threat, Tim heads him off. “I couldn't possibly have anything to do with this. I've been here ever since my arrival one week ago, and I've been watched every moment of every day ever since.”

 

The others nod, and Kaldur speaks up again. “It's true, and he's been working with Superboy to help him to control his strength. I have no doubt that Red Robin is a friend.”

 

Roy doesn't seem convinced of that one little bit. “Oh really? Does that mean someone watches him sleep?”

 

Tim's almost starting to wonder if that's drug paranoia, or if the Arrows in this world really are just more Bat-like than the ones in his own. “Instead of accusing me, shouldn't you be trying to find them?”

 

Roy growls at him, and looks like he really wants to leap on him and pummel him into the ground. “I don't trust you.”

 

Kaldur steps between the two of them. “That's understandable, but he is right. We should work on trying to find Batman and Robin.”

 

Roy gives him one final glare before turning back to the others. “And how do you suggest we do that?”

 

Tim doesn't want to give Roy any more reasons than he already has to be suspicious of him, but if Batman and Robin have really been missing for two days there's no telling what terrible things might be happening to them. “Is this computer system linked to the Batcave?”

 

The others stare at him for a moment, clearly confused, before M'gann shyly responds. “I believe so, why?”

 

Tim doesn't waste time. He heads over to the main console, and gets to work. “Because if it is, I can hack into the Batcave's system and figure out what case they were working on last. It might give us a lead at the very least.”

 

Superboy, Kaldur, and M'gann all stare at him with disbelief, while Roy readies an arrow. Kaldur steps in between Roy and Tim. “What do you think you're doing?”
 

“Can't you see that this is all part of his plan? What if he crashes both systems? Then we'll never be able to find them.” The anger and disbelief that Kaldur is actually protecting him is evident in Roy's voice.

 

Kaldur moves to place a gentle hand on Roy's shoulder. “Friend, I understand your distrust, but he may be the only one who can find them. Red Robin has been here for over a week, and has yet to do anything to make us mistrust him.”

 

Roy growls at him. “And it doesn't seem the least bit odd to you that he's able to hack your systems?”

 

M'gann shakes her head. “Why should it? Robin can, and it's obvious that they've both been trained by different versions of the same man.”

 

Roy snarls at her. “You...all of you have always been far too trusting.” He turns his attention to Kaldur. “It's easy to see now why you actually believed that the Hall of Justice was the League's real HQ.”

 

“If you guys want to put aside the infighting for a moment, I'm in.” Tim doesn't take his eyes off the screen. He figures if Roy is going to shoot him, the least he can do is give them the information he's found first.

 

Kaldur turns back to Tim, and stares at the screen for a moment. “Even Robin isn't that quick.”

 

“See, this is one giant trick.” Roy replies, before Tim even gets a chance to respond.

 

Tim sighs heavily at Roy's accusation. “Actually, I'm just naturally good with technology. In fact, Robin's counterpart on my world is in his late 20s, and I'm still better at this stuff than him. Now, I can share what I've found, but it'll be more expedient without any further interruptions.” The others remain quiet, and Roy reluctantly gestures for him to continue as he puts his arrow away. “From what I've found so far, Batman and Robin were tracking a new gang that was trying to get a foothold in Gotham. They had a lead which led them to a large crime family from the Ukraine. I can find out if the two off them went to the Ukraine to head of the gang at the source, but it'll take me some time, and...” Tim pauses for a moment, knowing full well that none of them are going to be happy with his next request. “I'll need some privacy.”

 

“Oh right, 'cause that doesn't sound suspicious at all.” Roy folds his arms over his chest, and Tim's fairly certain that he's rolling his eyes behind his mask.

 

Tim eyes the others for a moment. He can tell that they're starting to think that Roy has a point, which, Tim has to admit, he'd think the same thing in their position. “Look, I'm going to have to track them in their civilian identities, and I know for a fact that none of you know who they are, so I'm sorry, but this has to be done in private.”

 

Roy's eyes obviously widen beneath the mask. “Wait, you know who they are? And this isn't sending off warning bells to any of you?” Roy glances around at the others.

 

M'gann stares down at the ground sheepishly for a moment. “Um, we kind of already knew that he did. It makes sense. After all, even Robin said that it was apparent that he had been trained by a Batman just by the way he acts.”

 

Roy looks as though he really wants to attack Tim, but in the end, he just throws up his hands in the air. “Fine, but make no mistake. If I find out that you've done anything to hurt my friends, I will make you pay.”

 

Tim smiles at him brightly. “I wouldn't have it any other way.” He watches as the others leave him alone in the room. He's not naïve. He knows that they'll have Red Tornado watching everything that he does, and Tim's more than okay with that, but right now, he just wants to find out what happened to Batman and Robin.

 

The End (for now)

 

Comments

kimchiburger
May. 3rd, 2011 08:07 am (UTC)
I don't normally leave comments because I'm a huge lurker, but... you can't imagine the giant grin I'm making right now. ♥ I have an au-traveling kink for fics and this is perfect.

I hope you can churn out another chapter soon!
brokaw22
May. 3rd, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
Well, thank you. I'm glad that you liked it enough to come out of lurkdom. I'm hoping to do more of this soon. I just sent two chapters of Purple Arrow to my beta, and then I have to do another chapter of another that I don't post here, then there's one more that needs an updated, and then finally I think it's this one's turn to get updated.