Ah, so new, so empty... Hopefully not for long though!
Doncha just hate those welcome posts that have like, nothing to do with the actual comm? WELL THIS ISN'T ONE OF THEM.
Go on, have fic!
Title: Ceiling Tiles Pairing: Slade/Robin, Red X/Robin Rating: Hard-R Warnings: Angst, non-con, character death
Waking up in the hospital... The hospital? Robin has never needed the hospital before, the med bay in the tower has always been good enough. What happened?
“Hey kid.” Red X, in his room, by his bed, staring at him. What? He’s not scared -- he feels grateful -- but he doesn’t know why.
He tries to reply, but his voice comes out hoarse and cracked, like he’s been screaming.
You were. He saved you, brought you to the hospital. You owe him.
Robin doesn’t understand. The strange floating feeling that comes with strong painkillers is clouding his mind, sending him to sleep. The last thing he remembers is not being scared, now that he knows Red X is here.
The bright morning light hurts his eyes, so he tries to roll over, but the cables and tubes feel really weird, pulling and stretching numb skin. It’s not numb if he can feel it though, is it? Not painless. Something, somewhere, deep down, is hurting. Clawing at his gut and tightening his throat, but Robin’s not sure there’s any kind of drug that stops that kind of pain.
His friends came around. They looked awkward and uncomfortable. Starfire brought flowers. None of them told him what happened, and they looked relieved when the nurse ushered them out.
Robin feels bored and restless; he’s analysed the nurses already (dependant on coffee, sensible shoes, apathetic), counted the ceiling tiles (damp in the corner, health hazard), and eaten the bland food (runny soup, dry potatoes, overcooked cabbage) they presented him with.
Now it’s night and he’s not scared of the dark, but he doesn’t want to shut his eyes. The deep black solid dark in the corner especially doesn’t scare him.
“Hey kid.” Red is there again, like he has been these past few nights. Robin doesn’t jump, or say anything.
Keeps staring at the corner.
He lies there and Red sits next to him. For a while, they don’t do anything, but eventually, Robin has to ask. “Why am I scared of that corner?” It’s not a rhetorical question, the kinds you see in films where the character already has the answer deep inside and they’re just waiting for the great pep talk to make them see they’re really not fat in those jeans, and oh, the missile code is that cute guy’s number. It’s the kind where Robin is crying because he doesn’t have the answer, but he knows it’s bad. He’s known it’s bad since he woke up in the hospital, since his friends didn’t smile, since he depended on Red X to keep him safe.
His tears catch the moonlight, and they’re like glass sliding over his skin, and that’s so familiar, glass slipping down, over, in. Something else... something else sliding in, worse than glass, worse than that, so much worse...
Red doesn’t answer him, just grips his hand.
*~* This fight is dragging on for a very long time, and Robin is panting, sweating and his legs are screaming in pain. Slade jumps forward, knocks him down, and then his hand is glittering, close, closer.
When he wakes up, his hand is clutching at his face, and finally he can feel properly, feel the raised skin. A nurse is looking at him sympathetically, telling him he’s so lucky there wasn’t glass in his eyes, but what’s a mask for?
When Red appears this night, Robin is sitting up, looking closer to his normal self, if only because he’s frowning.
“He...” If Red didn’t know any better, he’d say Robin was looking broken. Slipping into the bed next to Robin and putting his arms around him, Red figured that was fair.
“He did. And he’ll pay. I promise, hero, he’ll pay.” Red hopes that Robin isn’t listening to him, since he’s not sure how to make Slade pay, and the idea frankly terrifies him, but then again, he supposes he doesn’t mind being terrified for Robin.
-Please, no!- Robin is bleeding, he can’t see, can barely breath. Slade is pressing down... so hard so close oh god no.
-Get the fuck off him!- Slade’s suddenly not there, the grasping hands are gone, he’s being picked up...
The gravel of the roof top digs in, but that tiny infinitesimal pain is nothing compared to his face. He’s been ripped open and left to bleed. Is that the roar of his blood in his ears? Has he got enough left for it to roar? Is it traffic down below?
“Come on kid, god, oh shit oh fuck!” The hands grasping him now lift him up, up as the breeze sweeps across his face, into bright light.
346 ceiling tiles, damp in the corner...
The Titans were never old enough to deal with the horrible petty crimes committed in the city they protect. They can’t help the woman understand that it was never her fault, can’t tell the widower why his wife, so kind , so beautiful, was gunned down, can’t tell the shop owner why his life’s work wasn’t covered in the insurance, can’t tell the orphan kids why they can’t fly away and find their parents.
They can’t tell Robin why they weren’t there then, and aren’t there now, can’t tell him that they don’t know how to deal with their leader when he needs them. Can’t tell him anything, because they’re not there.
In a few days Robin is going to leave. Leave where, he doesn’t know. Can he go back to the tower? Is that home? Should he go to Gotham? He doesn’t know. Do his friends want him? They don’t need him, is he taking up space there unnecessarily? What should he do?
As it happens, Robin doesn’t have a say in the matter. Red comes by, as he usually does, but he’s got a large bag.
“You’re coming with me, kid.”
So he does.
Red’s apartment is comfortable; clothes scattered everywhere, plans written in Red’s scrawl, and a few priceless diamonds, here and there.
Robin knows that the diamonds should make him outraged. They don’t, and just glitter at him, reminding him of terror and pain and so many things he can’t remember, and can’t forget.
He’s staring at them when Slade bursts in, when Slade grabs Red by the neck and snaps him, when Red falls down and doesn’t move. Then Slade is picking Robin up and throwing him so that he lands on his back, staring at the ceiling.
Robin’s seen it all before, doesn’t need to count, can’t, because Slade is over him, blocking the view.
He lies on his back, strapped down, naked and cold. Slade feeds him of course, but not much else.
There are 657 tiles and only darkness in the corners.