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Rebirth Online

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Gamer ID: Robin
Inputting password...
Synching neural interface data…

Saved data found. Proceed? (Y) (N)
(N)

Loading new game...
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Welcome to REBIRTH!

-----

Damian opened his eyes and scanned his surroundings. He was standing in the middle of what looked like a cathedral. High ceilings, arched windows, and marble statues were all around him. It reminded him of the old buildings in Gotham itself. He guessed it wasn’t that surprising considering Drake had supposedly assisted in building the game.

He leapt down from the stone slap he had “woken” up on when he logged in. The dark clothes he chose for his avatar felt light just as he wanted to. He wondered if Richard would be upset that he had changed the attribute of the character file they gave him to try.

Robin may have originally been Richard’s avatar but if Damian going to play this game, he was going to do it by his rules.

He heard a chime and cocked his head, glancing around the room before pulling up his menu. His inbox already had several messages from his siblings. Some were just greetings and invitations. Drake sent a list of guides and tutorials that Damian glared at. He scowled, his finger hovering over the delete button before deciding to store it instead. Drake may be incompetent most of the time but he did well in information gathering at least.

He closed the rest of the messages, intending to do as Todd suggested by killing several mobs around the area when he heard the telltale sound of a respawn on the altar behind him.

The new player looked around the interior of the cathedral with awe and wonder. He looked young, maybe Damian’s age or younger but that didn’t mean anything in Virtual reality. He could be an old man for all Damian knew. The young man’s gaze finally found Damian and he grinned, running up to him.

“Are you new as well?”

“Yes,” Damian answered, crossing his arms over his chest.

“Great!” The newbie said, laughing. He rubbed his hand over the back of his neck, smiling sheepishly. “I only got this game today so I don’t know how to play yet. We can play together!”

“Why would I do that?”

“Why not?”

Damian frowned. He thought of his siblings’ constant conversations and competitions involving this game. He had a lot of catching up to do if he was to maintain the fact that he was better than them. He can’t do that with a new player slowing him down. “I’m going to be the best,” Damian replied. “I can’t have you slowing me down.”

“But you just started too,” the other said, scowling at Damian. “You’re new like me.”

“Yes, but I know how to play.”

“Then you can teach me!”

“Are you even listening?” Damian huffed. He thought it was difficult to make his family listen sometimes but it seemed this player was just a new level of obstinate. “I don’t need a partner.”

The boy ignored Damian and stuck out his hand. Damian stared at it, uncomprehending until the boy spoke again. “I’m Superboy.”

Damian blinked. He fought the urge to summon his katana to his hands. He probably shouldn’t commit a PK on his first day in the game. He was sure that Richard would be sorely disappointed and the others would be very much justified in vilifying Damian when they meet again. Instead, he blurted out, “What kind of ID is that?”

“What’s wrong with it?” Superboy cried out defensively, scowling at Damian. “I don’t see how yours could be any better.”

That wasn’t at all what Damian was implying. The ID, Superboy, seemed vaguely familiar and he felt as if he had heard of it from one of the others at one point in time. But, that should be impossible, shouldn’t it? You cannot use the same ID without rewriting an old saved file and you could only do that by using the old character drive that the owner would have.

It’s how all the Wayne brothers have gone through the Robin ID since Dick had created it when the game was still in beta.

“Nevermind,” Damian said, turning away and heading for the exit.

Superboy easily caught up with him, and Damian took a pause when he realized that the other was floating. Kryptonian race, his mind supplied. One of the many alien races REBIRTH gave as a choice for players to choose from. One of the more powerful races, another part of him supplies. Damian didn’t want to make the game too easy for himself by choosing one of those races but perhaps, there would be merit in having an ally have those advantageous abilities.

“Just like that?” Superboy was saying as he kept up with Damian’s strides. “Are you sure you don’t want to team up? You didn’t even tell me your name, I mean, your ID. Not your name. It’ll be good, you know. We could be a team. That’s a thing in this game, right?”

“Do you ever shut up?”

“Do you ever not frown?”

“Of course,” Damian said. He almost frowned again but caught himself stopping it. He could tell from the grin on Superboy’s face that he wasn’t as successful as he thought. “My ID is Robin. Are you satisfied?”

Superboy’s eyes widened. “What? You’re lying. You can’t be Robin.”

Damian didn’t bother hiding the frown on his face this time. “And why not?”

“My brother said Robin’s retired. I mean, the ID. He used to play with Robin.”

“It’s rude to talk about your real life in the net.” Damian pointed out. “And I’m Robin now.”

“Oh,” Superboy licked his lips and the look on his face as he grabbed Damian’s shoulders was one of excitement and joy. “This is awesome then!”

“Is it?”

“My brother was Superboy and he played with Robin.”

Now, Damian remembered. It was Drake who talked about playing with a team that included someone with the Superboy ID, this boy’s brother it seemed. Damian scowled. Somehow, he did not like the idea of being seen as just another copy of Drake or any of his older brothers really.

“No,” Damian shrugged the hold Superboy had on him off and stepped away. “I don’t plan on copying anyone.”

“Of course not,” Superboy said. Damian was startled enough that he whirled around to face him. Superboy had a guileless look on his face as he smiled at Damian. “We’re not gonna copy them. We’re gonna be better than them, aren’t we?”

And that? That was something Damian was very much willing to do. “I thought you admired your brother.”

“That doesn’t mean I want to be him,” Superboy landed softly on the floor and stepped closer to Damian. Damian hated that even though the other had stopped floating in mid-air, he still stood a couple of inches taller than Damian. Maybe Damian should modify the avatar he’s using instead of just using the model of his own physical body. “I want to be better. I’m Superboy now. What about you?”

“I’m Robin,” Damian answered with a smirk. He took Superboy’s wrist and started pulling him towards the exit, startling the other boy. “And I guess I’ve got a lot to teach you if we’re going to be better than our brothers.”

Superboy cheered and Robin grinned. They had a new team and Rebirth online wasn’t going to be prepared for what he’s got planned.

-----

Gamer ID: Superboy

Progress Report:
Contact added: Robin.
Quest 1 Completed.
Level Progress: 7
Party Registered...
Saving Game...
Save Completed. Log Out? (Y) (N)

-----

Chapter Text

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Gamer ID: Superboy
Inputting password...
Loading terrain...
Synching neural interface data…

Saved data found. Proceed? (Y) (N)
(Y)

Loading saved data...

Welcome back, Superboy!
Player Data:
Level: 29
Race: Kryptonian
Class: Brawler
Sub-class: Scribe
Last Known Save: Fortress of Attitude

You have (1) message from [Robin]...
You have (1) visitor. Do you want to allow access? (Y) (N)
(Y)

-----

Jon bounced on the balls of his feet in excitement as his home base appeared around him. School kept him from playing Rebirth in a while and he was sure that Robin was going to be angry that he hasn’t logged in for a while.

The visitor the system warned him about appeared just as Jon was checking out his partner’s message. Curt and straight to the point as always, Robin had only attached the information to a newly released team quest.

“I can’t believe you don’t already have me on your access list.”

Jon looked up and grinned at the sight of one of his many brothers. “La—I mean, Prime!”

“Hey,” Lane said and held out his hand for a high five. “Everything okay?”

“Yeah,” Jon frowned. “Why wouldn’t it be?”

Lane shrugged casually and took a seat on one of Jon’s scattered beanbags. “I never hear anything.”

“That’s cause you never visit,” Jon shot back. “Even Kon comes to visit sometimes.”

“I’m worse than Kon,” Lane laughed, leaning backwards and levelling a look at Jon. “You shouldn’t hang out with me. I’m a bad influence.”

“Don’t be stupid, you’re my brother.” Jon grinned. “And you’re just acting.”

“Sure, if you say so,” Lane said. He stretched his feet in front of him and crossed his ankles. He looked like he didn’t have a care in the world but Jon knew his brother well enough to see through the ruse.

“So, why are you here?” Jon asked.

Lane smirked. “Can’t I visit my little brother?”

“Not if you’re here waiting to threaten Robin,” Jon said as he stood up, crossing his arms and scowling down at his brother. “Kon wanted to do that. I already told him no.”

“Oh did he?” Lane smirked. “But it’s not like Kon could bring your little Robin to somewhere like NOWHERE, could he?”

“You’re not bringing him anywhere!”

“Oh come on, Jon!” Lane said. “I thought you missed me.”

“You’re bullying my friend.”

“I’m looking out for you,” Lane corrected. “People don’t have good things to say about this Robin.”

“People don’t have good things to say about you!” Jon exclaimed without thinking. When his brother’s face went blank, he realised his mistake and paled. “I didn’t mean that, Lane.”

“Of course not,” Lane said, giving Jon a tense smile. “Say hi to mom for me, Superboy.” With a flicker and a wave, his older brother’s avatar disappeared. Jon pulled up the menu to try and get him a message but words blinked in front of him, large and accusatory.

[Prime] has blocked you.

-----

“So you’re the new Robin.” Kon said. “Huh, you’re nothing like Tim.”

Jon glared his warning at Kon, who ignored him, staring down at Robin. Robin didn’t look impressed. But, Jon had yet to see Robin impressed so that didn’t really matter. “Call off your dog, Red Robin. He’s being stupid.”

Red Robin sighed and placed a hand on Kon’s arm. “I thought Nightwing got you to play nice today.”

“I don’t play nice,” Robin said.

“Come on, Robin,” Jon said, nudging at the other playfully with an elbow. He was hoping he could diffuse the situation before it got any worse. “It’s just one quest.”

“You’re my last choice for this quest too, Robin, don’t worry,” Red Robin said with a laugh. Jon shot him a betrayed look. He thought they were supposed to be all working together. It was supposed to be fun working with their older brothers just once. “Kon, stop glaring at my brother.”

“You told me he hurt you before,” Kon said. “If he does anything to Jon…”

“Again, you’re being stupid,” Robin said with a sneer. “We don’t use real names in the VR, Kon-El.”

Kon glared and scowled at Robin. Jon almost expected him to use one of the many abilities granted to their race in the game to kill Robin which would no doubt get him banned since they were still in a peaceful zone.

But, Kon just turned away and started walking to the town’s entrance. “You shouldn’t tempt him, Robin. He will kill you.”

“He could try.”

“Maybe I’ll watch him do it,” Red Robin said before following Kon towards the entrance. Jon gaped at them all. Maybe Lane was right to always stay away. Their friends and family were all crazy.

“He was joking, right?”

“It’s just a game, Superboy. Who cares?”

“But he’s your brother.”

Robin pressed his lips in a line. “Only in name.”

“That’s--let’s go, Jon. Before another one of your overprotective family tries to threaten me.” Robin said as he started following after the older two players as well. Jon easily caught up with him even before his mind caught up with what Robin had said.

“Hey!” Jon exclaimed. “That’s unfair. I want to know your name too.”

Robin smirked. “Another time, perhaps.”

-----

[You have (1) Visitor in the Fortress of Attitude]

Jon fumbled with his phone, glancing away from his homework to open the mobile link to his VR home page. It wasn’t Lane like he expected. It was, however, Robin telling him that he had been ‘accosted’ by the rest of Jon’s family.

Jon locked his phone and turned it away from with a groan. He buried his face in his arms and wondered why he ever thought it was a good idea to admit to any of them that he had a crush on his online gaming partner.

He hoped none of them revealed his secret. He could probably trust them that much, right?

His phone chimed again and Jon dragged it towards him to see another message from Robin.

[Robin]: New Quest. Meet me in an hour.

Jon glared at the message. He should probably say no. Robin never asked if Jon was available after all. It was perfectly natural. He had more homework to do. He had another paper that was due that night. Still he found himself typing a different reply.

[Superboy]: Sure. Why not?

He tossed his phone and took up his pen. He had to finish his school work in an hour.

-----

“Take this,” Robin demanded and Jon tossed the premium healing potions the other had thrown at him into his inventory. Robin was still shuffling around his own Home Page while Jon waited for him to finally ready. This was their routine, after all.

Robin always fussed over him before they went on a quest. As if Jon didn’t know how to take care of himself. As if he didn’t have his own stash of high-grade potions and armor from the quests they did.

Well, Jon had to admit that he didn’t have some of the paid special items that Robin always insisted he take.

“Here, change into this,” Robin said, tossing something at him. Jon groaned under the lightweight armor that had been thrown.

“What is this?” He asked. The clothes were very light but when he checked its stats, the defense and durability were both higher than he would ever think, than anything Jon could afford. “I can’t take this, Robin.”

Robin scowled. “Why not?”

“Kryptonians are invulnerable.”

“To most things,” Robin pointed out. “Not everything. We don’t know if kryptonite will play a role in this quest. It did before. Not gonna make the same mistake. Wear the armor, Jon.”

“Hey!” Jon playfully kicked at Robin only for the other to perform some quick maneuver that Jon was sure he didn’t even need to use an assassin skill for. Show-off. “Rude. I still don’t know your name and it’s unfair.”

“Just wear it.”

Jon mumbled something as he finally pulled up his menu to begin doing as Robin had asked.

“What did you say?”

“I said,” Jon smirked as he looked at Robin. “You’re the one most guilty of being overprotective.”

“I’m not,” Robin scowled and Jon grinned, amused and entirely too fond of the other to be intimidated. “I just can’t have my partner dying and losing levels again, can I?”

“Sure, Robin,” Jon said. “That’s what it is.”

-----

Gamer ID: Robin

Progress Report:
Contact added: Kon-El, Prime, Supergirl, Lor-Zod, Bizarro...
Quest Completed: [When I Grow Up], [Planet of the Capes], [Sons of Tomorrow]...
Level Progress: 47
Sub-Class Changed to [Tamer]...
New Area discovered...
Saving Game...
Save Completed. Log Out? (Y) (N)

Chapter Text

——-

Gamer ID: Robin
Inputting password...
Loading terrain...
Synching neural interface data…

Saved data found. Proceed? (Y) (N)
(Y)

Loading saved data...

Welcome back,Robin!
Player Data:
Level: 53
Race: Human
Class: Assassin
Sub-class: Tamer
Last Known Save: Al Ghul Island

You have (3) messages from [Nightwing]...
You have (1) message from [Red Hood]...
You have (2) messages from [Black Bat]...
You have (1) messages from [Red Robin]...
You have (1) messages from [Signal]...
(3) players visited your homepage while you were away. (View)

-----

Damian didn’t bother looking through his messages. His siblings have been bothering him about the raid battle that was going online in a few days. He was sure the contents of the message would be another similar invitation.

He wasn’t sure if he wanted to accept it. Jon had already made his excuses with all their friends and family that he wouldn’t be able to come. School finals, he had said. Damian didn’t have to bother with such things but he still kept hesitating before giving a final answer.

With a sigh, he moved to his teleportation gate. He still had some things he had to prepare for when Jon logs in again.

The sight of his island disappears around him. Slowly, it is replaced by the familiar sight of Gotham city. He was standing on a rooftop and he could see Wayne Tower from afar. He shivered at the sudden cold and opened his menu to equip a warm coat over his attire. His hand stopped, hovering over the exit button of the menu, as he heard the distinct click of a gun.

Damian turned, dragging his katana from the menu into his hand as he faced his brother. “Red Hood,” Damian greeted. He gave his brother a once over and frowned. “No, that’s a new skin?”

Jason’s avatar flickered. The red and black heavy armor disappeared replaced by the more familiar red hood attire. The guns disappear from Jason’s hand and he removes his helmet to smirk at Damian. “Demon brat, are you lost?”

“No,” Damian said. “So, what was that build?”

“You’d know if you attend the meetings,” Jason said.

“What meetings?” Damian nodded in understanding at the pointed look Jason gives him. “The raid event. I told you I’m not sure I even want to go.”

“It’s a one-time event,” Jason said. “You’ll regret not being there.”

Damian shrugged. “Perhaps,” he said.Rebirth was a good game and Damian will always want to be the best but he didn’t have the same kind of dedication his brothers sometimes had.

“Suit yourself,” Jason said, crossing the rooftop to lean at the edge, one hand braced on the gargoyle beside him. Sometimes, when Damian visited his brother’s homepage, he often forgot that they weren’t actually back in the city. Jason’s Crime Alley might as well be the actual street from back home. “So, what are you doing here if it’s not for the raid? I’m not farming materials for you.”

“I never asked you to,” Damian said.

“But you asked ‘Wing,” Jason smirked. “I’m just sayin’ I’m not doing it.”

Damian shook his head. “That is not why I’m here.” He looked around Jason’s page once again, looked at the city they called home. He stepped closer and ran his hand over the stone gargoyle, marvelled at the rough texture underneath his avatar’s skin and at the scent of the rain that was to come. Yes, maybe Jason can help him. “I bought a new home page.”

“Why? Tired of Al Ghul Island?”

“No, but that is my private page. This is--I was thinking of making it the Super Sons’ Homepage.”

“I thought that was what the Fortress of Attitude was for.”

“Don’t be stupid, Red Hood. That’s Jon’s private page.” Damian said as he crossed his arms over his chest. “This one is for our team.”

“Why not ask Dick for help?”

“I thought you would be better suited to help. It was you or Red Robin.” Damian frowned at the thought of asking Drake for help. Drake had owned the avatar that Damian was using before him after all and even now, there are people who thought that Drake was better than Damian.

“You don’t have to use our ID. We’re on a private page and my network’s always secure.” Jason chuckled. “Also, don’t think I didn’t notice you practically complimented my page.”

“I did no such thing.”

“If you were anyone else I would say that too but since you’re here for help,” Jason grinned.

“Crime Alley is adequate,” Damian said. “Our page would be better.”

“Sure, I’m sure your boyfriend would appreciate the gift after his finals.”

“This is not a gift. It’s a necessity.”

“Let’s get to work then.”

-----

[You have (1) Visitor in Al Ghul Island]

“Robin!” Jon exclaimed and flew into Damian at full speed. Damian toppled to the ground and glared at the other player who just smiled sheepishly. “Oh man, I can’t believe it’s finally over. I missed you! I missed playing games. I missed my home page and I even missed yours even though I still think it’s creepy as heck.”

“Breathe, Superboy.”

“Freeze breath?”

“No,” Damian poked the other on the chest until Jon got the idea and flew off from his position of straddling Damian. “How did you do on your tests?”

“Don’t ask me that!”

Damian looked at the other boy in judgment. Jon had plopped down on the ground and was trying to catch one of Damian’s pets in his arms. He was already distracted and Damian wasn’t even sure if everything was ready.

Maybe he should postpone things until later.

Then, Jon looked up and smiled. “I heard you joined the raid!”

“Are you upset?”

“Why would I be?” Jon asked tilting his head and frowning in confusion. He shrugged and leaned back. “I guess it sucks I couldn’t join but mom would kill me if I failed.”

“Jon,” Damian said and Jon turned to him in surprise. His eyes widened and he gaped. It was almost comical, Damian thought. Damian didn’t blame him. It must have been surprising to have Damian breaking his own rule of only using their IDs in-game. “I have something I want to show you.”

“What?”

Damian offered his hand and Jon looked at it in confusion for a second before taking it. Damian pulled him towards the teleportation gate. Jon looked even more confused now, looking at the gate curiously. “Are we going somewhere?”

“Do not ask something so obvious.”

Damian changed the default destination of the gate which leads to Jon’s Fortress. He positioned himself so that Jon would not see where they would go. Jon squeezed his hand as the world blurs around them, shifting until they were standing in the middle of a living room.

The page wasn’t complete yet and Damian was starting to regret bringing Jon here now. He was still working on improvements he could make, programming the place and bringing new mods to make it a mix and an improvement of both their personal pages.

“What is this place?” Jon asked.

“This will be our team’s new base of operation.”

Jon turned to him with wide eyes, almost dropping one of the weapons he’d picked up from a display cabinet Damian had installed. “This is our home?”

“Yes,” Damian replied. He swallowed nervously. “It’s...ours. Do you like it?”

Jon grinned at him, already flying to explore the different parts, most of them still bare and unfinished. He rushed back to Damian, holding him by the shoulders before crushing him in a hug. “I love it, Robin! It’s great!”

“It’s the latest model, of course. I wanted us to have a good place to come back to after our quests.”

“You mean a home?”

“Well, it’s just virtual,” Damian said. “It’s not real.”

“Of course it is,” Jon grinned at him. “We’re friends. That’s real.”

Damian cocked his head, examining his companion curiously. He stood up from his seat and stood in front of Jon. The other boy was giving him a strange look now and Damian decided to just go through with it. “It’s real,” he said, taking Jon’s hand in his. “My name is Damian.”

Jon’s eyes lit up in delight. “I’m home, Damian! Let’s go have fun today too.”

-----

Gamer ID: Superboy

Progress Report:
Quest Completed: [Parent Trap]
Level Progress: 46
New Area discovered...
Saving Game...
Save Completed. Log Out? (Y) (N)

-----

Chapter Text

-----

Gamer ID: Superboy
Inputting password...
Loading terrain...
Synching neural interface data…

Saved data corrupted. Load backup data? (Y) (N)
(Y)
Avatar data cannot be loaded. Searching files...
Avatar found. Restoring Avatar data: [Son of Krypton]. Proceed?
(Y) (N)
(Y)

Saved data recovered. Proceed? (Y) (N)
(Y)

Loading saved data...

Welcome back, Superboy!
Player Data:
Level: 57
Race: Kryptonian
Class: Brawler
Sub-class: Scribe
Last Known Save: Super Sons HQ

You have (3) messages from [Prime]...
You have (1) message from [Kon-El]...
You have (11) messages from [Robin]...
(5) players visited your homepage while you were away. (View)

-----

“What did you do!?”

It was strange seeing Damian look panicked. It was a good reminder that, no matter what the contrary evidence says, Damian was as human as Jon. He wasn’t some deviant AI masquerading as a player like some people have said.

Jon just felt like he shouldn’t have gotten that kind of reaction. “It doesn’t look bad, does it?”

“It looks weird,” Damian scowled. Damian looked him over and Jon felt oddly nervous about the sudden examination. It wasn’t like it was his real body and any judgment on Damian’s part would be about the Avatar skin he was wearing at the moment. He didn’t even design that specific skin. He shouldn’t care what Damian thought.

“Why can’t you change back again?” Damian asked, no, more like demanded the answer.

“My saved file got corrupted,” Jon explained, rubbing his neck with his hand.

“How?”

“I dropped my drive?” Jon chuckled. “I’m lucky some data was even recovered, you know. My granddad made this new skin for now while the system’s trying to restore my old one.”

“So this isn’t about that issue?”

Jon frowned at Damian who was now pacing their HQ like a trapped animal. “What issue?” He asked as Damian turned to face him.

“The teen titans issue,” Damian gave him a look like it should have been obvious. Maybe it should have been. After all, it was such a big thing when it happened. Damian didn’t seem like the type to join any sort of guild. But, it was also Damian who said that Robin had always been a part of the teen titans. For someone who wanted to surpass his predecessors, Damian really was quite determined to inherit some of their legacies.

“Oh,” Jon said as he stretched his legs out in front of him. The avatar did feel strange for him. It looked older, taller and probably had some stat adjustments that would make its abilities stronger. That would be a problem if he and Damian ever went on a quest. He would have to learn to dial it down again. He frowned at the expectant look on Damian’s face. “That issue, huh?”

“So, it’s not that? You’re not upset?”

“Oh, I’m still upset about it,” Jon said. He shrugged and sighed. “But, that’s not why my avatar changed. Not everything’s about you.”

“Fine,” Damian said, crossing his arms defensively. One of Damian’s pets, Pennyworth, brushed up against his leg as he cocked his head and looked at Jon with those same assessing eyes. “Can you still do quests with that avatar?”

“Good question,” Jon grinned. “Let’s find out?”

-----

Jon was right. The balance of his stats for the new skin was all wrong and it caused some problems as they farmed for materials. Damian didn’t say anything about it. He just huffed and slashed more viciously at the mobs as if they had offended him.

Jon wondered if he should feel guilty for being so amused. Maybe he should keep this avatar in his saved files just to mess with Damian sometimes.

Damian stabbed at the last of the monsters and it disappears in a flurry of pixels. The katana disappeared from his hands into his inventory and even Jon had finished with his own targets.

“What next?” Jon asked eagerly. If there was anything good with his new skin, it was the DPS that he could deal. He’d take advantage of it however. From the look on Damian’s face, it looked like he was thinking of the same thing.

“We should clear some dungeons.”

“Yeah?”

“I think you’d do as a tank today, Superboy,” Damian said with a smirk.

Jon rolled his shoulders and grinned. “I think I could solo a boss now if I wanted to.”

“I wouldn’t go that far,” Damian said. “Let’s go. Nightwing showed me one of the newly opened dungeons.”

“From the latest update?” Jon asked excitedly as he caught up with Damian. “I didn’t think anyone has found those yet.”

Damian smirked. “You underestimate my family and their teams. I’m pretty sure Red Hood and his outlaws have found some more that they’re keeping secret. The traitor.”

Jon walked beside Damian, placing his hands behind his head as he watched the assassin. “Fighting with your brothers again?”

“They annoy me,” Damian scowled. “Red Hood won against me in a PVP match.”

“Ah, the explains how you lost your levels,” Jon said, chuckling. “Told you to just wait for me before you play.”

“Your level is lower than mine.”

“You don’t have to go to school like me,” Jon pointed out with a scoff. “That’s a disadvantage right there.”

“We’ll just clear this dungeon and raise our levels then,” Damian said.

“See, something good happened with this,” Jon said humming. “Maybe I should make this my default avatar.”

“No!” Damian glared at him. “I refuse to have you that much taller than me. I’m older.”

Jon couldn’t help it. He burst out laughing. He was still laughing when they reached the dungeon they were planning to clear. He was definitely at least keeping this avatar in his saved files.

-----

Gamer ID: Robin

Progress Report:
Quest Completed: --
Dungeon Cleared: [Futures End]
Level Progress: 57
New Area discovered...
Saving Game...
Save Completed. Log Out? (Y) (N)

-----

Chapter Text

-----

Gamer ID: Robin
Inputting password...
Loading terrain...
Synching neural interface data…

Saved data found. Proceed? (Y) (N)
(Y)

Loading saved data...

Welcome back,Robin!
Player Data:
Level: 72
Race: Human
Class: Assassin
Sub-class: Tamer
Last Known Save: Fortress of Attitude

You have (1) invitation from [Nightwing]...
(2) players visited your homepage while you were away. (View)

-----

Richard’s public home page was pretty much active when Damian teleported to it. People were milling around the booths and attractions of the circus. There was a large timer hovering over the big top tent which you could see from everywhere in the page. It was counting down the time until the next full performance. The performances were always much anticipated and it was a running joke among their friends and family to say that Dick’s home page was the cause of much lag or system crashes.

But, Damian wasn’t there for the performance. Not tonight, at least. He’s seen Richard perform in reality. While it was always breathtaking, he didn’t have to force himself to join the crushing crowd for it.

“Dami!”

Damian braced himself for the sudden hug from his older brother. “Names, Nightwing,” Damian hissed, scowling.

“Relax,” Richard said, laughing. Damian crossed his arms and glared at the older man. “It’s my home page, remember? People won’t hear us if I don’t want them to.”

Damian nodded. “What was the invitation for? Is there something wrong? Should I tell father?”

“No,” his older brother shook his head and Damian waited expectantly for the answer. “Didn’t you see the announcement for the new update?”

“I was visiting mother with Todd, remember?” Damian said. “It wasn’t exactly the time to play games all the time.”

Richard pursed his lips and looked confused. “But, Jason knows about it.”

“Well, Todd’s priorities are skewed,” Damian clicked his tongue as he answered. He knew that wasn’t quite true but it was still an automatic response to say such a thing. “What is this about?”

“A tournament, Robin,” Richard said, grinning and throwing his arms wide. “It’s a team tournament. Everyone’s talking about it. You can only enter as part of one team though.”

“Oh,” Damian said. It did sound interesting and another chance to prove his strength. But, the idea that you could only enter as part of one team. He wondered if Jon would be available for the time of the tournament. They should try and grind their levels soon if they were to face others in this tournament.

“Nevermind,” Richard said with a sigh and Damian blinked, coming out of his reverie.

“What?”

“I was hoping that we could all enter as the batfamily, but I guess everyone’s already planning stuff with their own teams.” Richard shrugged as if it didn’t matter but Damian knew that his older brother had his own teams so it seemed strange to want to work together. Maybe it was another one of his brother’s plans to get the family getting along better. “So, how’s Superboy? Or are you thinking of joining the tournament with the teen titans?”

“No,” Damian said, pursing his lips as he thought of strategies. A tournament. It might not necessarily be just a PVP battle. He and Jon didn’t join the last tournament that was held in Rebirth but Damian had been able to watch some parts of it. If he was right, there had been other challenges and special quests involved. He will have to examine this further. “Thank you for the information. I’ll see you for breakfast on Sunday then.”

“Wait, Dami, what does that mean?”

“Oh right, do send me all the available information on the tournament. You have my thanks.” With that final request, Damian activated his Teleport travel skill and left his brother sighing in exasperation.

-----

“A tournament?” Jon capped the elixir he was drinking. Damian glanced at him momentarily before going back on his menu to distribute some of his stat points. “You want us to join?”

Damian exited the menu and turned to look at Jon. “Don’t you?”

“Isn’t it a team tournament though?”

“We’re a team, aren’t we?”

“I mean, yeah,” Jon floated above Damian. Damian frowned and pushed away the cape that fell over his head. “I read the announcement you sent. The party limit for this tournament is ten per team, isn’t it? We’ll be outnumbered. I thought you’d participate with the teen titans or something because of it.”

Damian had considered the same things that Jon was saying now. Still, he knew that he did want to win this tournament with Jon this time. He could always join it with the teen titans in the future. The teen titans, Damian also knew, already had the achievement of winning tournaments from his brothers’ tenure as Robin.

He and Jon, on the other hand, still did not have that same achievement. But, it will be difficult to win the tournament by themselves. Damian heard the ping that signalled a new message in his inbox. He opened his menu once again and smirked. Now, he just had to convince Jon of what they could gain from this tournament.

“Superboy, come here.”

Jon landed in front of him and Damian manipulated his menu to have it face Jon. The translucent screen didn’t do anything to disguise the look of interest in Jon’s face as he scanned the contents of the message on Damian’s screen. “You didn’t ask me?”

“You’ve met them before?”

“Yeah, but we’re a forming a new team?”

“A temporary team,” Damian clarified.

“Temporary?” Jon hummed, looking thoughtful as he turned the screen back to Damian. “Why not make it official?”

“We’ve both reached the limit of teams joined, haven’t we?”

“I meant a guild, Dami,” Jon chuckled. “We still haven’t done that, right? It’s on the list of achievements.”

“That’s a really simple way of looking at it,” Damian said, frowning. He didn’t think of it. Richard has handled guilds before and Damian knew guilds came with its own achievements with prizes. Winning a server-wide tournament will sure to be a part of that. “A guild. That is possible.”

“See,” Jon said, grinning. “I’ll send some other people a message too. Let’s hit the limit, Dami!”

“Names, superboy,” Damian chided as he drew a sword from his inventory. “This is a public dungeon. Anyone can hear.”

“Alright, alright,” Jon stretched his arms over his head as they walked to the next area. Damian watched him for a moment. It was such an easy, innocent, and simple suggestion. A guild can be made up of several teams but the teams could combine into one party. Of course, Jon will remember such a mechanic. He was the kind of player that managed to befriend everyone.

Damian gave a fond smile before following his best friend further into the dungeon.

-----

“So, team submission is tomorrow,” Jon said as he plopped down next to Damian. He poked the assassin on the cheek and grinned when Damian turned a scowling face at him. “Have you decided on our guild’s final lineup?”

Damian turned the document file he was working on so Jon could better see it over his shoulder.

[Neo Titans] Team Submission
Rebirth Annual Tournament

[Robin]
Damian Wayne
Level: 72
Race: Human
Class: Assassin
Sub-class: Tamer

[Superboy]
Jonathan Kent
Level: 68
Race: Kryptonian
Class: Brawler
Sub-class: Scribe

[Nobody]
Maya Ducard
Level: 75
Race: Human
Class: Assassin
Sub-class: Hunter

[Abuse]
Colin Wilkes
Level: 60
Race: Metahuman
Class: Guardian
Sub-class: Berserker

[Beacon]
Kathy Branden
Level: 68
Race: Alien
Class: Mage
Sub-class: Adventurer

[Speedy]
Lian Harper
Level: 70
Race: Human
Class: Ranger
Sub-class: Artificer

[Lu’un Darga]
Suren Darga
Level: 73
Race: Undead
Class: Mage
Sub-class: Arcanist

[Impulse]
Irey West
Level: 71
Race: Metahuman
Class: Warrior
Sub-class: Tracker

“Just eight?” Jon asked. He sounded disappointed and Damian sighed as he took control of his screen once again. “We’re not going for the limit?”

“Impulse claimed that she would ask her brother,” Damian replied. He frowned as he looked through the files of the team they were building. Their balance was okay, he thought. Better than what it was, definitely, when Damian was just planning on inviting Maya and Colin. Jon had been able to contact other players that was interested in a new guild and a new team for the tournament forming.

“What about your cousin? Did you ask her?”

“The Demon’s Fist are not our allies, Superboy. Mara has made it clear that we will either submit to her or be destroyed,” Damian said. He smirked as he looked through the rest of the files. There were other people who signed up for their guild but they hadn’t be quite as interested in joining the tournament. “She fails to see the third option in which we will see to their defeat.”

“But, even if Irey convinces Jai to join, we’d still be missing one player.”

“Then we shall just make do.”

“Nah, Dami, we’re going to win, remember?” Jon grinned and pulled Damian closer. Damian froze at the sudden weight of the other boy’s arm around his shoulders. “We should do everything we can to let that happen.”

“And where do you plan on getting our last member?”

Jon shrugged. “Dunno,” he said with a yawn. He rested his head on Damian’s shoulder and Damian pursed his lips as he looked at the other boy who’s already closed his eyes. “I’m gonna take a nap first.”

“It’s the first time you’ve logged in in a while,” Damian pointed out. “Should you really be sleeping?”

“Shush, Dami,” Jon said, smiling and shuffling closer. “You don’t go to school. You don’t get a say. You’ll see. I’ll think of someone by the time I wake up. Then, we can go train in some dungeon.”

“Of course,” Damian smiled even though Jon couldn’t see him. “Sleep well, Jon.”

-----

Gamer ID: Superboy

Progress Report:
Quest Completed: [Amazo]
Level Progress: 70
Joined the Player Guild [Neo Titans]...
Tournament Entry submitted...
Saving Game...
Save Completed. Log Out? (Y) (N)

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