Road to Vengeance

Fandom: Teen Titans
Character: Robin
Word Count: 2,183
Warnings: Blood and Violence

A young boy, dressed all in black slunk through the trees silently. He moved swiftly but it appeared to be more out of habit than necessity. He stopped suddenly and stared around him for a moment before pouncing into a bush. He came out holding a rabbit, neck snapped and ready to cook. He started a fire and went about fixing his dinner silently, never making any sound louder than the ficker of the flames before him.

Once he'd eaten he decided that this would be a good place to rest and settled back against a tree with a sigh. This was probably the loudest sound he'd made thus far but he didn't see the harm in it. He ran a hand over his hair and laid back into the soft foilage around him. He'd grown accustomed to sleeping this way over the years so the twigs that poked into his back didn't bother him any.

His masked eyes drooped and closed gently. He wasn't asleep yet but he couldn't seem to keep them open. He had a long way to go. The last he heard, the man he was searching for had been seen in the Forest of Light to the north. He'd been heading for this destination for weeks now and felt he would never find it. He was sure he should have reached it by now. His thoughts slowly faded away into the back of his mind as he allowed sleep to take him at last.

"Well done Robin!" his father exclaimed, placing a hand on his small shoulder gently. "You'll be able to join us up there any day now."

"Really?" he asked happily, staring up at the tranpeze artists tossing one another around so carelessly.

He'd been trying his hardest to learn the art his parents were so skilled at. He wanted to perform with them more than anything. He watched as his mother climbed down to congratulate him as well. He smiled happily at them and was glad that he could stay here with them this way. Most circus performers' children didn't stay in the family business and normally grew up wanting something more, ashamed of their parents' position in the world. Not Robin. He never thought there could be anything more exciting then having your mother throw you through the air at incredible heights only to be caught just in time by your father.

He was only twelve but he was already skilled enough to perform with his parents and the others which was something to boast of. They were known throughout this land as the greatest trapeze artists to live and no one was better than his father. A praise from him was like a praise from the Gods in Robin's eyes. He laid awake at night, letting that praise echo through his mind with a smile.

However, that feeling seemed to fade suddenly, replaced by a forboding sense that something was wrong. The comfortable darkness around him felt heavy as though it were pressing him into his small futon, trying to squeeze him to death. Something felt so wrong for some reason. He sat up uneasily and considered running over to his parents' small tent. He pulled his knees up to his chest and sighed. He couldn't believe he'd just thought of that. He wasn't a little kid anymore. He shifted in his covers still thinking about it when he heard a shrill, piercing scream ring though the night. His mother!

He shot up and ran across the damp grass to his parents' tent, throwing the flap open the minute he got his fingers around the cold cloth. He gasped as he stared in at the most horrifying sight he would ever lay eyes on. A large man was standing in the middle of the tent. His face was concealed by a mask. Half red, half black. Never in his life would Robin forget that mask nor the sight of his fingers tangled in his mother's hair.

His face lost all color when he saw those long black strands clenched in those thick, gloved fingers. The man's face seemed to be smiling. Somehow, beyond the mask, Robin could feel that unseen smile burn him to the core. He glanced to the right to find his father curled up in a corner of the tent, blood pouring from his stomach and soaking into the ground around him. He returned his eyes to the man who held his mother.

Rage and anger beyond anything he ever felt welled up inside his heart and tears spilled down his face. He let out a scream as he jumped at the man, aiming a wild punch at his head. He wanted to knock that mask from his face and see who he had done this horrible deed. Who could be so vile as to take his parents from him? Unfortunately the stranger simply stepped to the side gently and grabbed the front of his shirt, slamming him into the side of the tent. It collapsed under his weight and he struggled out of it quickly to face the man. He dropped his mother as he pushed the side of the tent that had managed to cling to his shoulder aside. Her head hit the ground with a sickening thump and Robin fought the urge to throw up. She was dead too. In the moonlight he could see the blood that covered her back, spilling from a hole in her neck.

He looked up as the man stepped toward him but Robin didn't give him the chance to get his hands on him. He took flight over the circus grounds, calling for help. Why hadn't the other performers awoken? He scrambled into a nearby tent but tripped over something soft. He pulled his feet back as he realized it was the fire eater. Rather than step over the body again Robin ripped the tent open and ran out the back. As the tent fell it revealed the stranger just on the other side and Robin screamed in surprise.

The man laughed as he ran but Robin didn't have the ability to think about that right now. All he knew was that he had to get help before he became this madman's next victim. He stopped suddenly and looked around at the tents in panic. Who would survive an attack from this guy? He didn't have much time to think as he caught a glimpse of him through the tents and took off again. He ran to the strongman's trailer and threw the door open. He was disappointed to find even this man schlumping in the corner of his room, blood covering the floor. He turned to leave only to find his exit blocked.

He stepped back from the man's face and almost slipped in all the blood. If he survived this he was sure he'd have nightmares for the rest of his life. He backed up to the wall as the man entered with that invisible smirk. He had Robin cornered and he knew it. There was no telling what he'd do or what weapon he had used to murder everyone here. Robin stopped cowering in fear long enough to notice he had no weapon. He must have dropped it somewhere. He looked around him and picked up the nearest thing he could get his hands on. It was the metal bar to a set of weights though the weights themselves had fortunately been removed. He aimed it at the man and glared at him threateningly.

The man only laughed again, infuriating him even further. His grip on the pole tightened and he screamed as he launched at the man. He threw a hand up and caught the rod before it could smacked him in the side of the head. Robin looked shocked as he pulled him close and grabbed his shirt. He'd done it so fast Robin hadn't even realized he was moving until the man had a handful of his shirt.

He struggled as he picked him up off his feet and turned around calmly. Robin screamed as he slammed him against the doorframe, sending shattered pieces of wood falling to the floor. He dropped the pole and went limp as the stranger pulled him away from the broken wall. He could feel his smirk grow behind the mask and his visible eye narrowed joyfully. Robin couldn't feel his back so he wasn't aware he had been removed from the wall until he tossed him. He cried out again as he hit the floor and bounced a few times, sliding through the blood. He groaned as he tried to return to his feet but his toes couldn't get a grip on the slipperly wood. He couldn't allow himself to just give up. He coughed as he got to his hands and knees. Tears dripped from his cheeks and hit the floorboards under his face. His vision was blurred and he choked out a sob as his wrists weakened and he dropped to his arms. He couldn't get his body to stand. He was barely able to maintain this vulnerable position.

"There's no need for you to die this night." the man whispered in an icy voice.

"Wh-what?" he asked, shocked into looking up at him.

"You don't even know why they've died do you?" he asked, crouching beside him.

"Why would I know how a sadistic killer thinks?!"

The man laughed and it sent chills down Robin's spine. He could feel that horrible grin again. It seemed to emmit an unmistakable demonic glee. It was apparent that this man took pleasure in others' pain. It was obviously much more enjoyable for him to toy with Robin's emotions than to kill him. That took a very sadistic man indeed.

"My boy, your parents killed themselves." he said, causing Robin to just gape at him silently. "But you don't have to commit suicide. Don't be like them."

He laughed again and rage overtook Robin's heart, giving him enough energy to move again. He shot foreward and tried to tackle the man to the ground. He managed to get his arms around his legs and his chest hit his boots but the man didn't move. It was like hitting a brick wall. He couldn't believe that he could render him immobile with one move. Why couldn't he move?

"End it Slade." a demonic voice echoed. "You have a mission to accomplish."

Robin shouted out as a foot came at his face and sat up suddenly. The night air around him smelled of pine trees and flowers. A petal fell from his spiked hair and he sighed as he looked around. He couldn't even sleep without the memory returning to him. He buried his face in his hands and refused his eyes their urge to cry. He wouldn't allow himself to be weak. Instead he took a deep breath and fell back into the flowers he'd been sleeping among, sending their petals flying into the air around him. He let his eyes wander over the sky lazily, following constellations he'd been taught to observe for navigational purposes. That was five years ago but it was still so fresh in his mind. He would never forgive that man for that night nor forget that face.

He'd been training from the very next day never caring why he was allowed to live only knowing what he would do with that blessing. Vengence would be his if it took him til the day he died to do so. He would search his whole life for Slade and never regret it as long as he could avenge his parents one day. That was all he had thought of since that night and lived for nothing more.

The last scource he'd come into contact with had told him that Slade was searching for something rare and valuable. Something that was said to be possessed only by the elven folk. The most likely place the elven folk would keep something of great value was in the Forest of Light where the royal family resided. If he was wrong the least he could do was question them as to where it actually was. If this Slade character was after an object possessed by the Elves there were only two things he'd be planning to do with it. His most likely intentions were probably to sell it but if he was seeking it for it's magical properties Robin could have a problem. He may have learned every martial art known to man within the last five years but he knew nothing of magic.

He stretched and stood once more. The sun would be rising soon. He'd atleast managed to get in a couple of hours of sleep before the nightmare and that was reassuring. Sometimes he didn't get any sleep at all and would go days without rest. He hoped he wasn't in such a condition when he encountered Slade at last. It would be a shame to lose to him because of a nightmare that was induced by him.