Intervention

Summary:
November 15, 2014: The Titans try an Intervention on the Boy Wonder… unsuccessfully

Titans Castle

The inside of the three-lobed castle is modern in style, with a smoothly curved,bullet-proof tempered glass wall revealing the courtyard to anyone on the ground floor of the building; concrete and steel pillars at the towers and halfway along the walls for structure, securable doors opening to the courtyard at the towers, and the tree in the middle, sometimes lit by internal lights.

The front tower door opens (with a weather-lock entry hall) onto an entrance parlor that can be used to entertain guests. The left tower ground floor holds a library, research, and study area. The right tower ground floor holds a kitchen and dining area, along with a laundry and other utilities.

The walls are lined on the inside, away from the glass, with stretched-X doubled-back stairways leading up to the second floors, and with bookshelves and artwork niches under the stairs; the hall itself is wide enough for two people to walk side by side easily.

The front tower upstairs has a set of four guest rooms sharing a single bathroom; the left and right towers have been set up with four residence-rooms each. Each room is large enough to be comfortable for one person, two if they're friendly.

Concealed elevators at each tower give access from the ground floor and also give access to the underground.


Characters

NPCs

  • None

Mood Music:
You Are Not A Robot


«Robin, I need to show you something important. Get to the castle ASAP. Library. - V»

As far as texts go, it is incredibly unspecific. The Titan's castle in the twilight is an imposing sight- Windows lighting up as residents go to their rooms. The drive up to the driveway is as uneventful as always, the security system always on the alert to recognize authorized and unauthorized visitors.

"He should be coming soon," Vorpal says to those assembled in the library. There's a fire going at the fireplace, since it is that time of the year already, and the blinds are closed. Looking at the assembled party, the cheshire smirks to himself.

It's like a murder mystery, of sorts, everybody assembled at the library. "Not quite sure who will be able to make it… but, also, just in case…" He takes his phone out and taps the app, to let Oracle know that things were set up. "Now it's just a matter of waiting."

Miguel is pacing; he can't help but be worried. He's out of costume and in a plain set of jeans with a simple blue t-shirt. He's practically invisible, considering the clothing he usually wears. "How do you think He's going to react to this?" he says, walking back and forth, back and forth.

Back in the Clocktower, Oracles systems notify her that Vorpal has activated his app. Listening to the audio for a minutes, ensuring Tim isn't there. "Hello Titans, this Oracle. I'm grateful for your assistance. Robin…. is troubled… he's taking greater and greater risks. I'm concerned it will kill him. As I said, I'm concerned."

Gar seriously considers a couple bags of microwave popcorn. But it would probably be mean and cruel and far too much fun, at Tim's expense, and that might drive him even more Batty than he seems to be getting lately.

"Interventions are always messy. Seriously. They wouldn't even let me be there for the first one for Speedy," Gar admits. Of course, that was because Gar was "the kid" and Speedy was doing something other than Speed. He perches on one of the tall library chairs, and waits quietly.

The idea of having to deal with what must be an incendiary device of some sort has Tim arriving quickly. The batbike roars to a stop outside and rather noisily parks alongside the Titans' tower. The Boy Wonder strides to the door, and, unlike his first visit to this castle, walks inside.

It takes him a few moments to make his way to the Library, and when he does, he manages a lopsided smile for the group, but it loses some of its ouster at the mood of the room — thank goodness for a stitch of intuition. "Uh," he begins. "Hey guys." His eyes flit between them behind the mask, "How's it going?" Instinctively, whether purposive or not, Robin lingers in the doorway and leans against its frame as he eyes the group. His arm folds tightly over his chest in a nearly defensive posture.

Robin, this is an intervention- No, those aren't good words to get their friend comfortable. "Hey, Robin! Come on in, we're having a bit of a meeting and were waiting for you. D'you want some-" tea, no, bad, caffeine -"fruit juice?" the cheshire offers to the vacant chair in the library. It's a nice one, close to the cozy fire.

Miguel forces himself to stop pacing and lean on the back of a tall chair, arms crossed and his smile genuine. "Hey, Robin!" he says, not moving from his current location. For now.

Gar says nothing for a bit too long. He fidgets a bit. He really wants popcorn. "Hey Robin. How are the injuries doing?"

The offer of juice has Robin's expression turning downright perplexed. "I don't think you've ever offered me juice." There's a pause "But I will grab a coffee — " which is like Robin's version of water, probably, considering how often he guzzles it. He begins to pad towards the kitchen, but he stops. "Unless this is a quick meeting?" his eyebrow arches wryly. "I can always stop at Starbucks on the way back to Gotham. I'm pretty sure the baristas like the mask…"

His throat clears and he leans heavier agains the door frame. "What's up?"

Vorpal looks at the pacing Miguel (now Still Miguel) and at his fidgeting, slow to speak boyfriend (Gar? Slow to speak? This was a record), and the look on his face is like that of the member of the Fighter's Guild who has just drawn a short straw in the middle of Dragon Tuesday.

Vorpal decides to lead by example and slips into one of the chairs. Important goal: Get Robin away from the door. "There's a couple of things we need to talk about, Robs. C'mere and grab a chair so we can get things started." And so that they all could be on the same level, so to speak. If Robin took a chair and they remained standing, it would come across like a lecture, and it wasn't. Not really. Or at least that was not the intention.

Miguel also takes teh cue and slips around to the front of his chair and flops across it, then realizes that he won't be able to move quickly if it comes to that, so he squirms around to sit in the thing normally - then he remembers that he controls bricks that move as fast as he can think, so the position he was in was of no consequence. So he simply smiles and props his feet up on a pile of dquishy glowing purple bricks and waits to see if he needs to brick up the doorway….

Gar picks up a sheaf of papers and starts flipping through it, his attention (apparently) focussed on the pages. Various colored squares, triangles, etc. laid out in patterns, it's the current refinement of his training protocol for the team. It's got all of his attention; he cannot possibly be thinking of anything else.

Gar is good at lying with body language nowadays. Not that he likes doing it. But, it's a hunting-animal trick. And today, we're hunting Rabbit, er Robins.

With everyone else taking seats, Robin rolls his eyes, "Should I grab a coffee?" but with the question posed, he's treading back to the chair to sit by the fire. "Alright…" he glances between those gathered and shoots them a lopsided smile. It's only now that he answers the questions about his injures, with the coffee no longer on his mind. "I'm fine. Took a bit to feel like myself again, but am bouncing back just fine."

His head turns to watch each in turn, "So… what's up?"

Good lead-in, point for Gar, and good for Bunker, too. Okay. Deep breath.

Vorpal smiles a little. "Robs, you know that we're your friends. First and foremost, we want to thank you for being there as our team-mate and our friend, we've always known we could depend on you. As of late… well, we know things have been going very hard for you."

Easy, don't scare him into bolting. All the articles he had red on the Webternets told him to introduce the subject with some tact, and to bring the positive things out first.

Well, MOST of the articles suggested that. He did not listen to the articles that suggested that he 'slam the truth down their throats' and 'get them to man up.' Sometimes he wanted to grab people by the throat and scream 'Oh my god what is wrong with you?'

He gets the impression Oracle has wanted to do this at one point or another. Maybe Gar, too. He'll have to ask.

Miguel nods slowly as Vorpal begins to lay things out. "It's just that we're really concerned," he says, carefully, keeping a casual manner about him.

Gar looks up from the training diagrams.

"You've shown a pattern of what looks like unconsciously self-destructive activity where you go into a situation that you're not equipped to handle, get beaten into near-paste, and well before you've healed or learned what you did wrong, you do it again. You've done this three times. That is even more bat-headed than your mentor. Please cut it out. I don't want to attend another Titan funeral."

What? What? Everyone was pussy-footing around.

And just like when he'd felt cornered by Dick and Babs at the Clocktower, Robin's expression deadpans. The phrase Robs, you know that we're your friends is plenty enough to grant an inkling. Tim's face steels. His shoulders tense. His posture straightens, and he leans forward in his seat. Tim sits in silence as everyone says their pieces. It's Gar that causes Robin's lips to part. But instead of saying anything, he rises from his seat to tread back to the door. "I should go," he states evenly.

And Gar hit the ground running, suddenly making the Cheshire have to sprint like crazy to catch up.

"Please don't go," Vorpal says, standing up as well. "Robs, what Gar says is true-" albeit said in a more direct way than he had planned to say it… but maybe it was for the best. "-and you can't deny it. Look, I know you usually deal with your problems the Bat-Way, which means nobody gets to hear about them…"

He rabbit-holes so that he's at the door before Robin, "… but you're not alone here. You've got a castle full of people ready to listen, who are concerned… you're not alone in this." Heck, the other Robin wasn't doing very well either. Well, in a way. He wasn't wearing the Robin costume as much as he was wearing those… crimes against fashion, and Keith has checked- any time he was not out with Kate, he was spending it at the Castle.

Batman, Keith and Kate had come to agree, was Worst Mentor Ever.

"I remember when this trend started, Robin. It started with that thing you and Batman talked about… now you're taking deadly risks. I'm not stupid, you know…"

The Cheshire pauses. "Okay, I may give off that impression from time to time, but I'm really not."

Miguel puts a wall of bricks behind Vorpal - which actually don't mess up his color-coordination at all - and shakes his head. "Please don't," he says, over Vorpal, then quiets as his other teammate speaks. When Vorpal pauses, he picks up. "We're afraid, I guess. You're the most experienced of us all, by a long shot, and we all look up to you. But that doesn't mean you have to go all Batman and be the lone guy at the top. I wanna keep being your friend. I want you to know I can help shoulder your problems. We all can."

"Robin, If I thought you were unwilling to hear honesty from your friends, I wouldn't have told you … I'd have told the Bat. And he would have done something batty about it, but to be honest, the man has the emotional delicacy of a five mile asteroid dropping from orbit. We all see this, and it's scaring us. If all of us see this thing, and you think it's not true, then as your teammates and friends, please. Explain why it's not true," Gar says.

He puts the papers back down in their stack and tries not to give Miguel a noogie for that 'experience' crack — what is it about the green tights that makes people defer to the wearer? Maybe it's why Namor wears them too? FOCUS, Garfield.

"Tell us why you're so driven that you're willing to fight with half-healed broken bones, what's the big emergency? How can we help you?"

"Look guys, I appreciate the concern. I do." His hands are held out in front of him as he stands now in the centre of the room thanks to bricks and friends and random walls of being caged in. "But I have been doing this for awhile. A long while. I didn't go out there seeking to be pummeled. And it was a legitimate dead zone — no sound escaped. And it happened. Second time it happened? Well I literally didn't see it coming," because the robot was invisible.

Robin stares at Gar at the notion of Bats doing something batty about it and, for a moment, Tim wonders if he's had an aneurysm, but considering he can follow Taylor Swift's advice and shake it off, it's not likely.

"And I wasn't going out again looking for trouble. I didn't even take out low level gang members last time. I was going out looking for him. For a lead. Because that's what I do. As far as Robins go I'm not the strongest fighter or acrobat, but I am a bloody good detective. But to detect anything a person needs clues. And look guys, you don't know my day life, but that guy is the furthest thing from a detective. Furthest."

"So yeah. I am fine. I'm balancing everything. And I am Robin. Gotham can't be down one of its soldiers."

"You are not a soldier." Vorpal says, narrowing his eyes. He heard Robin say that before, the night he had to fricking kiss the guy to get him to stop short-circuiting. And here is that word again.

"Robin, I am hearing a lot of rationalizations. You know- things that we tell ourselves in order to make an event look better after the fact and justify it. If I come back with a blaster to the thigh, it's because I'm a Rookie and it's going to take some time before I get enough experience points to level up. But you said it- you've been doing this for years. Four years of being Robin, and being a good one."

Pause, for effect. "And suddenly, you're not. Suddenly, you're making mistakes that a Rookie would make. Or someone with a death wish. And five will get you twenty plus some change for shipping and handling that it all goes back to the shadow of the Bat. And the fact that… like it or not, you are not Batman. You will never be Batman, and that's a good thing," because being Batman sounded like being in hell, constantly.

Maybe he was drawing the wrong conclusions from only having one side to the story, but hey- it was Batman's fault if he chose to confide and trust in nobody. His story wasn't getting told, Tim's was. "One thing that has more or less been the thread of being Robin is that you are Robin… until you're ready not to be. Because being Robin means being under his control, your life always his to examine and criticize for not living up to his life… whatever that may be. Robins are sidekicks, they grow, they master being Robins… and then…"

He looks around the room, catching Garfield's glance, then looking at Bunker, and then back to Tim. "… boys grow up, Robin. Beast Boys and Kid Flashes and Robins have to hatch out of the egg and fly out of the nest. We worry because you are trying to be Batman… and it's because you are a Robin. And maybe the vest has grown small for you?"

Miguel whews, his cheeks puffing out as he listens to Vorpal. He shrugs. "I got nothing more. I don't wanna see you go splat, is all," he says, fidgeting with a swarm of tiny, tiny purple cubes between his fingers. "I just know you have to slow down and rest and heal. I know there has to be a Robin on guard in Gotham, but we can help with that, too. I could."

Gar is pretty sure that Vorpal has over-analyzed this and is going all meta. Gar is pragmatic; Robin gave him a specific clue there with the 'looking for him' thing that may be a lead to the current obsession.

"Who HIM? Robin. Your predecessor, when he was your age, went out to get a lead from a 'him' — the him in question being Deathstroke — and got some advice over time that estranged him from your mentor for a few years. Don't take advice from career villains, especially Gotham villains because every one of them is pretty much a nutcase. No matter how credible it seems. Trust me on this, I made the same mistake. They will screw with your brains, whether because they want to be bastards, or because they're bugnuts crazy. Their advice will be bad, and it will sound ever so reasonable but it isn't. Their entire world view is skewed.

Robin squints behind his mask at the onslaught of considerations Vorpal gives him. A gloved hand rakes through his hair and he emits a sigh. "Look. I just want to put this metahuman trafficking thing to bed. And that requires investigation which I'm doing. If I don't do it, who will? My face was a message, do you think I want that to happen to someone else? At least i know what to expect now. I run through the conversation in my head again and again looking for clues, but I can't even tell you if everything I remember is real or if it's from a concussed hallucination." His chin lifts at the notion of never being Batman and Tim emits a soft sigh. "Believe it or not, Batman needs Robin. I know most people don't believe it, but it's true. And…" Tim groans. "I… should go." He repeats from before.

"He may need a Robin, but I don't think you're the one who needs to be Robin anymore. Take that as you wish," Vorpal says, nodding to Bunker as a sign that he could take the wall down. He walks towards Gar and sits down on the desk next to the stack of papers.

~He's not going to listen.~
~Not that you were the right person to say it, you're not very good at this.~
~Gee, and to think that I missed you at one point.~

He reaches for a glass of water and starts drinking.

Miguel nods to Keith and lets the brick wall vanish. POpo - it's gone the next second.

"If you were concussed to the point of hallucination, then the entire conversation is useless as evidence, as you well know," Gar says as as Mig's Tetris-blocks vanish.

"And lots of parents need their kids to fill in for their maturity issues, but that doesn't make it a good thing for the kids. Batman needs an assistant, but he has several of those. He doesn't need a dead Robin, and you don't need to die following this case to the ground alone — because you're not alone. So climb out of your ego hole and give us, your friends, the information you've got, and let us help you and keep you safe while you do the investigation."

Gar is, at this point, a bit exasperated, and ready to call in the Bat-Butler to have Robin strapped to his bed for a while and fed tranquilizer tea and finger sandwiches until he finishes healing up enough to meet the Bat Fitness Requirement.

"If you go out and get broken again, we're going to the Bat. If you don't go get broken or better yet, come back and ask for help, we'll be here."

"I shared what I already knew," Tim counters with a shake of his head. "But I will find more. I always do." Eventually. With an exasperated sigh of his own, Robin treads out the entrance back to the Batbike because he has to get home to do more things that Robins do.

Vorpal sighs and watches Robin walk out. Putting the glass of water down, he slides off the desk.

"That went about as well as lunch for the Archduke Ferdinand-" historically inaccurate tale, but accuracy has to be sacrificed sometimes for the sake of a line. He walks over to Gar and puts an arm around the green man's waist. "… I'm worried. And scared for him… " he looks at those assembled, "… I'm going to call it an early bedtime, I'll be in the room when you're ready to turn in," he says to Gar. And then stops and looks at his phone, "Oracle, I'm sorry I failed you."

"That boy… You didn't fail me Vorpal… " Oracles voice filters through. "That's exactly what it's been like." The green eyed gaze of the woman is sad… "I have to get him off the streets before he kills himself. Oracle out" Watching her feeds, she watches the Boy Wonder speed away on the Batbike.


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