By: Lena (Airelle Vilka)
Fandom: Teen Titans
"…REX SEDET IN VERTICEM
He had little to go on.
Even he had to admit it, in his victory, watching her as she slept. The mind of an adolescent was a wonderfully fragile thing, easily broken and made to suit his own needs. It had not been the first time he had used the strategy; and if he had his way, it would certainly not be the last.
And, annoying delays aside, Slade always had his way.
However, the delicacy of Terra's mind also jeopardized his plans. Willing though she was to abandon herself to his care, she had barely known the Teen Titans before forming her opinions of them. Views so easily formed could also be reversed, especially with the Titans's stubborn, infuriating goodwill. Which was why Slade would see to it that they never got close enough to influence his precious apprentice.
And in the meantime, his grip slowly tightened.
Terra shifted slightly, shivering and sending up a small wisp of shampoo scent. Like everything else in the base, the bed dwarfed her. Moving carefully, Slade leaned over her, and inspected the bearings of her new armor.
Perfect. Phase Two of his plan had finally been put into action. Soon, the internal mechanisms of the suit would take over, steal her power, allow him to control her from the inside out. A safety mechanism in case she attempted to betray him – not to mention the ultimate goal of dominion.
It was strange, he mused, inspecting her glove as the wires ate their way into her skin. She was so eager to share her incredible strength with him, something he would never have done had he been in her position. It was almost as if she wanted to be rid of the responsibility.
And Slade was all too happy to relieve her of it. The stupid girl could not, and would not, develop her power without his aid. She would never stand her ground - (he almost chuckled, but caught himself in time) – against adversity. She'd run screaming at the first sign of it, when the Titans had questioned her abilities. And she'd keep running from place to empty place. Until now, this moment, when he'd make her stop. And turn around. And make the earth tremble as she smiled.
Initially, he had not considered all the means he'd employ to keep her under his control. Physical power, even one as strong as the suit he'd made her, paled in comparison to the mental chains that he could wrap her in. He needed a little more than cleverness here; his experience told him so.
And thus, he'd deployed that most tried and true of methods; and indeed, the most dastardly, as some people insisted on seeing it. Slade was one of those rare individuals who would never do to others what they would not endure themselves. Of course, being smart, he'd never give others the chance to 'do unto him,' so to speak…
He brought her the suit. "It is a gift, my apprentice. Wear it with pride, and it will protect you from harm."
"For me?" Initially cautious, Terra stayed back, but then approached and grasped it, failing to hide the hunger in her eyes. Slade smiled beneath the mask, waiting for a good moment.
"What are you waiting for? Put it on."
It was so easy. The girl nodded and began to walk toward the adjacent room that served as her quarters. He waited until she had gotten about two meters from the door, and then said, "No."
Terra turned, confusion painting her blue eyes. "Um. Master?"
"I need to oversee the change myself. The suit is... quite special, Terra. It will mold to you, augmenting your power, allowing me to guide you. I assume we are both old enough to refrain from silly modesty."
She bit her lip, thinking hard, but did not approach him. "Will it… hurt me?"
"You really can be disappointing sometimes, my dear," he replied carefully, putting a slight emphasis on the last word. "For some reason, you still believe that I would intentionally cause you harm."
"No, Master… no, never. It's not what I mea—"
"Indeed. Now oblige me."
Terra brushed her long hair from her face, and nodded. Slade watched as she worked her way out of her suit, fingers moving methodically. He also saw that she was attempting to keep herself from trembling; an admirable notion, if futile.
She did not look up throughout the process, and he would have gambled his base that her face was red beneath the blonde curtain of hair. Her frame was tiny, barely developed, bony and disgustingly fragile like her mind. He could break her with a fist.
But somewhere inside that sack of limbs and joints lurked a power beyond anything Slade had ever seen – a power fit for mountains, for storms, for kings… for him. And it was the reason for her presence here; this beautiful dichotomy that made him move closer and grasp her chin in his hands. He pulled up, gently.
Her face could have fried a small breakfast, but there were no sign of tears in her eyes. Which was an improvement. She was learning.
"Lights off," he said, and they plunged into darkness.
The end really did justify the means, he thought, rising from the bed, the shadows slicing him. If the girl had not belonged to him before, she had little chance of leaving now. He'd anchored her in the most primal of ways – a regrettable but necessary deed.
Not that the means to this end were particularly unpleasant, he conceded to himself. In fact, Terra had been appealing, even beautiful beneath him, reciting the possessive mantra of his name over and over…
He shook his head. He'd boarded an interesting train of thought, but this was his stop. Besides, what use would a villain be without his mental faculties?
Certainly, he had enough to think about, for the both of them. Plans to make. Actions to take. And of course, thanks to the multiple bonds of metal and flesh – mental, physical, mechanical – every step they took would be consensual. He'd see to it.Finis
A/N: Written at, erm, 6-7 AM on a whim while helping the roommate stay up to do a paper.