The Bird and His Cage

What if the Titan's rescue of Robin at the end of Apprentice pt.2 had failed? Chronicals Apprentice episodes and beyond from different POVs. SxR slash, you've been warned. Flaming will be giggled at. Constructive criticism is appreciated.

Disclaimer: I.don't.own.Teen Titans! So don't take my material possessions. I like my material possessions...

Notes: I haven't updated in quite a long time have I? More than half a year... DAMN. I actually felt quite out of it and school was getting to me pretty badly- and summer just became much worse... basically a rough period of life that didn't any have room for writing fanfiction. I didn't think I was going to finish this chapter and I didn't know if I would decide to update this again.. but now I have a little more time and this fanfiction is very important to me, so I'll be continuing. Reviews are appreciated and loved.

This chapter is all about Slade! I just loved writing it for some reason and I bet you'll enjoy it. Maybe because he's naked for the entire thing? Probably. In fact, I'm sure that's the reason.

And no, this isn't Divergence pt.2. Next chapter. I hope. This chapter's name was borrowed by an album name by Skunk Anansie.. but it makes a lot of sense.



Slade's POV

I wake up with a start, my heart pounding in my ears- bolting up-right, covered in freezing sweat, my eyes wide and my fingers shaking with a start. I search anxiously around, on immediate guard, and slowly become accustomed to the dark, small room. I'm sitting on a bed, where I had been sleeping previously- feeling not at all comfortable, with foreign-smelling sheets and pillows and an air of unfamiliarity around me.

Where am I?

I find myself trying to concentrate, forcing myself to breathe slowly and evenly. I wipe the sweat off my brow and move my hair away from my face, my chest now rising and falling in a much more relaxed way. I look down at myself and realize with surprise that I'm completely nude, covered only by a thin sheet now resting at my knees.

I look around the room with a new sense of apprehensive curiosity, my head groggy and humming dumbly. I'm in either a hotel room or an apartment- and if my head were on straighter, I could probably tell the difference. The more I try to concentrate on things, like the television across the room or the framed paintings on the wall or the shaded window beside me, the more my head starts to hurt. A sharp pain like a migraine but also a fair amount of dizziness and nausea.

I haven't felt this in a while. A hang over.

I bite my lip and try to get up from the bed, stumbling slightly as my feet touch the soft-shaggy-rug floor with palpable unsureness. I brace my hand against the nearest wall and inch myself across the room slowly but surely, until I make it to the closest door that I can reach. I open it and hit the light-switch and immediately flinch away at the sudden exposure to illumination. After forcing my eyes to get used to the darkness earlier, even opening my eyes in the painfully artificially lightened room is a nauseating and painful experience. I try my best to look around and focus my eyes; I normal bathroom, completely spotless and mundane; obviously not lived in, so most likely I'm in a hotel room of some sort.

My head is thumping with pain and I groan loudly, leaning against the nearest wall in fatigue and staring at myself in the mirror. I try to think about what happened to put me in this situation but all it does is make my head hurt. All I can think about is where Robin is and whether or not he's alright. I try to think back; back to a while ago, and suddenly I can remember Robin's voice screaming at me, angry with me, crying, sobbing- hating me.


Before I can even think to keep it down I feel a guttural, debilitating upheaval in my stomach and suddenly I'm vomiting my guts into the spotless ivory sink, hunched over and holding it's marble sides as though I'm sea-sick on a rocking boat-deck.

When the moments passed I feel a small tear roll down my angular cheek and I wipe it away quickly, sniffling and panting and trying to get my head straight. With my head still down I grope beside me and find a single white towel hanging on the wall. I use it to wipe off my mouth and then I rinse off my face. There are no toothbrushes, but a miniature portion of mouth wash sits at the corner of the sink and I use the entire bottle in earnest.

Feeling slightly more settled than before but still trying to overcome the annoying buzz in my head, I regulate my breathing and find a level of composure. With a feeling of sadness and guilt, I dejectedly rinse out the vomit-splattered sink and throw the dirty towel away.

I'm left alone, quiet, leaning against the sink and looking at my reflection in the glossy, expensive looking mirror. It beats the small, rusty, cracked old one I have hanging in my locker back at the base, and for the first time in a long time I see my face in crisp, crystalline clarity. Too bad- I look like shit. Shaken up. Not myself. Like a beaten, tortured puppy that's been kicked and abused for far too long. Dark circles under my eyes and sickly pale. Just... fucked up.

I stare at my face and all I can see are Grant and Joey and Robin's faces all reflected together in my own; how Grant's face looked so identical to mine, like a childhood replica of myself- tough-angry-misled and rejected by the world and betrayed by his own father just as I had been. I can barely remember his face now.. faded after years of being apart. Just that it looked exactly like mine used to look..

No. I've betrayed everyone. Grant, Joey, Robin, Wintergreen.. They've all been hurt because of me.

I stare at the now clean sink and think and think and try my damndest to remember what happened all this time. Thinking about Robin and Joey.. About how Joey stole Robin's body from him and used it against me. He baited me.. he wanted so much to live again. To live the life I took from him.

But it wasn't the same. It wasn't the sweet, gentle Joey I knew and took advantage of. This one was... still the same person in essence but malformed by his soul living inside mine for so many years, hiding. I suppose he truly hated me and wanted revenge, to blackmail me with Robin, who has so far captured all of my attention. He felt jealousy, assuming I was, whether consciously or not, using Robin as a replacement for him.

Even I cannot deny whether or not that is true or not.. not anymore. Not with all that's happened. All I know was that for ten years, all I had thought about was how I'd give anything and everything to have my son back in my arms. The son I'd loved.. romantically.

I felt such strong feelings come to the surface after all these years when I found out that Joey was still alive. I was ready to let him have Robin's body for himself, at a point- to have the old Joey back with me, back in my arms, to try to make up to him what I did, but.. it wasn't the same. It wasn't fair to Robin. It didn't go the way I wanted it to, and after all- the same as Joey had changed, I had changed as well. I wasn't the same man who had loved Joey so long ago.

Joey died again and it wasn't any easier to handle than the first time it had happened.

He'd found peace, but it didn't make me feel any better.

I'm not sure how to cope with it anymore. Why did it have to happen to him twice? Why am I allowing myself to become affected by it now?

I'd never let the sorrow stop me, not for ten years...Of course I remembered him, mourned him in my own way.. I knew there was no one on Earth who'd been more in love with Joey than I had. No one had treasured him more than me. I regretted my actions, and it hurt- but I always managed to shove my feelings back into the crawl-space of my mind, left alone to be forgotten and ignored for the sake of sanity...and life still went on.

But what I feel right now.. this pain.. this sorrow. It's so crippling that it's overwhelming every part of me. It makes me sweat, makes me shake, makes me unable to breathe. Something inside me has changed somehow. I can't brush things off.. I can't ignore or lock things up in my heart anymore. I'm no longer efficient...

I sigh to myself heavily, suffering in the defeat of my own thoughts. Thinking about it all will just make my head hurt more and right now it feels like it's splitting in half. My hand wanders to rest on my stomach, the tight muscles tensing up at the contact. Hungry. Thirsty. I stare at myself with disgust in the mirror at how weak I feel. Now, more than ever, I just want to be a machine... dependent on nothing but myself. Self sufficient. Not needing nor wanting anybody's care or affection or warmth, not Joey's, not Robin's, not anybody's.

..Just by myself.

Feeling unkept, I step into the shower and let the water heat up. I notice that the water feels slightly dulled. Not enough for anyone else to notice, but someone with my heightened senses is immediately able to tell. Did someone take a shower before I did? Who was here besides me?

I turn on the shower head and gratefully let the water beat down on me, letting out a soft sigh. My arms braced in front of me on the shower wall and my head lowered in thought, I try to think back to what I could have possibly done to get myself to this place and this situation. I was obviously drunk.. reckless. Did I not care what happened to myself? I'm sure it would take near poisoning depths of alcohol to get myself so intoxicated that I would throw away all thought, all reason, so that the next day I would forget everything that had happened prior... Why did I want to do that?


Washing myself, I glance over and see a pink bottle of shampoo. It's not the type a hotel would provide itself- something store bought- special, for a girl. Interested, I turn to take the bottle in my hand and read the cover aloud. "Specially formulated for blondes." The bottle's been opened and a third of it has already been used up- suds still linger at the bottom contours of the bottle. Someone must have used it this morning before I woke up...

The thought of a stranger being around me whilst I slept bothers me. But even more so, I wonder what I could have been thinking to let my guard down so much when so many people- police or otherwise- would love to find me weakened, inebriated, and disheartened. Who wouldn't have taken advantage of that?

Blonde...blonde.. something about that is jogging things in my brain, clicking- like a finger-snap, like someone flicking on the light switch of a darkened room. Feelings of dejected amnesia swim around inside my skull, teasing me, mocking me, dangling memories over my head but not letting me have a single bite.

I lean my head against the tiled wall of the shower and groan and sigh. The warm, steamed feeling of the water begins to relax me and relieve me of some of the pain in my head a bit. My mind clears.. calms. I sort through my thoughts on automatic, as though flipping through a filing cabinet; I remember as far back as when Joey had passed on and Robin was just coming to. I'd kissed him as he was waking; I'd been relieved to have him back, that I'd chosen the right boy. I felt.. feelings I'd felt for Robin for a while now were coming to a head, and as we kissed I was sure we would be alright, that after everything that had happened, Robin would be alright.

But I was wrong. To save Robin, I had to get Joey to relinquish control over his body. I'd threatened him with rape, and twisted his wrists and ankles to near-breaking to make him recede.

I was so lost in the moment of having him back that I'd disregarded that fact. And so, Robin woke up; shocked and frightened and in pain because of the injuries I'd inflicted on his body. It didn't help that he woke up myself beside him dressed in nothing but a towel, looking quite pleased with myself... I'm sure it was easy to take the situation in the wrong way when in such blinding pain as he'd been.

Robin believed... that I'd caused him to lose consciousness and.. took advantage of him.

Understandably, he got scared. He had a nervous breakdown and cried and screamed and said a lot of things that hadn't made much sense- and honestly, it hurt me to think that Robin would actually believe that I'd done that to him, despite the evidence clearly going against me. It hurts to know that Robin didn't take me for my word, but I don't fault him for it; after all, how easy is it to trust the word of someone who threatened your friends with death to keep you by their side? I'd asked Robin to finish off his near-dead mentor just for my amusement... Of course Robin's thoughts would lead back to distrust, even reverting back to pure hatred as he'd felt almost a year ago.

I sigh unhappily, resting my cheek against the warm, hard shower wall. But even now, for some reason I don't yet understand, I want him beside me.. with me. Close to me. My heart sinks when I think of how I've hurt him. I miss him now that he's not within my reach, now that I cannot touch him. I've never felt sorry for the things I've done to him until now.. now that it's come to this.

Perhaps I'm just becoming weak. Forgetting my purpose.

My purpose? Yes.. what was my purpose?

To have an heir. My two sons are missing and dead... that was the general, underlying purpose at the beginning. I wanted the perfect student, someone young enough that I could teach and take under my wing. To guide. But when I found Robin, the situation changed. The underlying principle was still there, but the feeling changed. We were polar opposites, and so it became my greatest challenge; why would such a pure, superbly well-behaved child like Robin come to serve someone like him?

It was simple. The boy was a challenge, and it just so happened that I liked those.

He was the only one. The only possible choice or candidate. There could be no one else.

Of course there was an instant attraction from day one; I hadn't denied it, but at the same time, I'd promised myself that I wouldn't let it get in the way of things. Of the purpose, the prize, the challenge. There was a greater good and I wouldn't let my peculiar taste in young men upset the plan. It was fun to tease the boy, push and prod him, see how far he could get; it had been fun, even exciting at times to flirt with the boy watch his mutual feelings develop, but there was always something in the back of my mind that kept me from doing all that I'd wanted to do to him, that I'd ached and clamored to do all along, and that was the part of me that wanted the boy to look up to me, to eventually trust me to a point. How could I hope to achieve that in the long run if I made him disgusted of me, if I tried to have sex with him.. if I'd raped him?

It would all fall apart right in front of me. It was a balancing act. A struggle between building up to the grand finale or quick, easy satisfaction.

I promised him that I would never do anything unless Robin wanted me to; with no regrets, no fears, no attachments to the past. Though that wasn't necessarily the way I wanted it, it was the way things had to be.

I'd thought that Wintergreen would keep me in line. He'd always been a surrogate father, a partner, a teacher. I knew I'd never get away with anything if Wintergreen was caring for Robin. I'd planned for Wintergreen to be there for him, to bring up Robin in the same way he'd raised me. Where I was strict and punishing, Wintergreen would be generous; where I was a harsh and reprimanding master, Wintergreen would be doting and relatable. Where I would make the bruises and injuries on Robin's body day after day, Wintergreen would help mend them and always be at the child's side for care and assistance.

But Wintergreen was gone now and it was all my fault. But I learned from my mistake, and without him I've had to fill the role of both the disciplinarian and the care-taker. Again, a balancing act that I'm not sure I can handle any longer. My personal feelings are getting in the way of me being strict, of me shaping and molding Robin into the perfect fighter I know he has the potential to be. I'm sure one pout, one frown, one kiss from him would make me melt and faulter, and I can't let that happen.

And Robin, back at the base, yelling.. screaming and crying because of what I'd done to him... because of me...that was too much. I couldn't stand it. The pain he was going through because of what I'd done to him, the crumbling of his trust and the fear of me in his eyes... I couldn't handle it. I had to run away. I couldn't do the balancing act alone anymore. Losing Robin, his trust, I'd been worried about it from the beginning and no matter what measures I'd taken to prevent it, it ended up happening anyway.

I can't control myself anymore. The wanting for the boy, the consummate lust I feel when I see him, it only got worse and worse up until what happened with Joey, and that very event had actually helped nudge my feelings for Robin to the breaking point. It helped me realize that Joey was done, part of the past, and that Robin was part of my future. With Joey out of the picture there was now a kind of room and space inside of me that was suddenly wanting to be filled; despite how I would love to deny it isn't real, the sensation I'm feeling is so strong that I can't stop it.

I'd realized all over again. Robin was the only one. The only. possible. choice.

Have I... fallen for him?

I close my eyes and let the thought sink in. It's humorous to think that before, I would have shrugged these sort of thoughts away as childish and foolish, stupid even, berating myself for them if indeed they even ever crossed my mind in the first place.

Yet...these feelings of yearning for this boy fill me with a guilty sort of happiness that I'd never allowed myself until now.

I know I shouldn't be feeling anything like this. My subconscious is worried sick over it. It reminds me of how I'd also admitted to loving Addie and Joey, and look where it got me. It observes bitterly, "Things like this always end the same with you."

I would love nothing than to be self sufficient... for a long time, I was. I needed no one, and that's the way I liked it. I was a machine and did what I had to do to survive. After Adeline and Joey, after everything, I vowed I would never get attached to anyone again.

But.. something feels different now. And the fear I had of hurting him, of losing him, is overwhelmed by feelings of... need for him..

I think of him now... of his young face, of his pretty deep blue eyes, and his straight, crisp black hair that I want badly to dig my fingers into... his adorably soft, pink lips that dare shyly to be kissed...

I turn so that my back is resting against the shower wall, directly beneath the flow of spraying water. I begin to wash myself again, but this time not with a cloth, but my bare hands. I absent mindedly rub the hard, almost sexual pattern of muscles running down my stomache, enjoying the feeling of my own warm, rough hands.

I think more of Robin, of how small he is.. his tiny shoulders. His small hands. His slender legs.. his thin hips that beg to be held, to be pushed and bruised and ground against..

I remember him, fully and completely... the image of him dripping wet, naked. Panting breathlessly at my touch, his cheeks pink with desire... How could I forget?

After gently touching and giving each muscle of my stomache attention, my hand slides down and I briefly feel the smoothly cut indents of my hip bones right beneath my navel, that trail sensually down to the most intimate part of me. Of its own accord my hand dips lower, finding a familiarly hard dick to wrap its fingers around. I inhale sharply, every muscle in my body tensing and growing hotter at that one gentle touch.

A vague smile forms on my lips, reminded of how Robin's boyhood had been just as small and tiny and humiliated as he'd been. Yet despite himself, guiltily excited and aroused. How adorably apprehensive he'd been in the beginning, biting his lip and avoiding looking at me though he clearly wanted to badly. How easily he'd given up the charade once he saw first-hand what I had to offer him.

I can't help but let my mind wander, wondering what would have happened if things had gone differently. If I hadn't asked him to take off his mask... if we'd never made eye contact.. things would have turned out better.

I'd've kissed him. Touched him...Pleased him... Fucked him...

He'd've squirmed underneath me... his arms would have wrapped around my shoulders pleadingly, his little hands clawing at my back. I'd've kissed his lips till they were swollen and pink, pleasuring and cajoling him with delicate touches and nips and kisses till he begged for me. Explored and caressed every inch of his soft, wet little body before lifting his hips and taking him for myself.

I close my eye and my hand is stroking, teasing... the warmth of flesh against flesh becoming almost too much to bare. I moan softly as I caress the underside of my cock, then move my hand gently up and down the shaft.

My other hand reaches up to attend to my chest, beading with shower water and sweat. The memories of Robin only get more detailed, more physical, more explicit, and I want so much for it to be little Robin's soft, supple ass closed tight around my dick rather than my own calloused palms.

"Oh...!" I toss my head back against the shower wall, gasping softly as I lovingly rub and massage the head.. fondling the most sensitive part of my swelling manhood. My breathing becomes faster, my body heat growing warmer and hotter, as the delicious pressure in my lower body builds to new levels. I feel myself begin to leak over my hand, my finger tips growing sticky wet with cum. My hand rushes back down to close around the base while I keep the second hand still teasing and worrying the head, playfully rubbing and coating it in its own velvet white fluid.

I cry out in true ecstacy, feeling as though my legs will buckle at the sensations. I swiftly begin to pump the base of me, gripping as hard as I can without causing pain. My hips move by themselves, rocking back and forth against my closed fist. I lean my head back, moaning and whimpering at the feeling, at the friction, building a swift but careful rhythm.

I go faster, harder; exhaling softly every time my hips roll forward and back, forward and back, humping the closed warm space of my cum-soaked fingers, all of my troubles melting away as if they were nothing in the eyes of that simple animalistic pleasure.

After one last gratuitous thrust I come, groaning breathlessly as my whole body tenses at the waves of pleasure running their course through out. I bite my lip at the perfectly warm and exquisite feeling, my eyes still shut tight as I ride it as long as I can.

But after a few minutes the heat and trembling and excitement is dead. All that remains is the singular sound of running shower water and the lonesome sound of my own harsh breaths. I open my eye and stare up at the ceiling, my vision clouded by spraying shower water and my own wet white bangs hanging soggily in front of my face as the last waves pleasure die out. The shower water's run cold.

Post Orgasmic chill.

Fin! (To be continued..)

Kind of an abrupt end, sorry. Wow. Even Slade gets horny once in a while. So I am totally hating myself for choosing First person to write this entire fic in. But I will deal.. I always wanted Slade to be the one to 'fall head over heals' first in this fic and not Robin, and now I have! Instead of like before when Slade and Robin had mutual 'I don't like you' attitudes but were still somewhat attracted to eachother, now Robin completely distrusts and has forsaken Slade, while Slade now is completely in love with him. It's really kind of sad.. But it is called The Bird and His Cage, so I guess it should be expected to go this way.

And it's official: Slade's theme song for this fic is definitely Protege-Moi by Placebo. It just fits him so well!

OK, So because this fic has not been updated in half a year, Here is a short recap of what all of the characters are doing, feeling, etc, so as not to be confused, because soon all of the story lines are going to blend together.


Robin: After being body-snatched by Joey, he wakes up with injuries that Slade inflicted on him to make Joey give Robin his body back, only to assume the worst, saying he can never trust Slade again. He is still at the base recuperating the best he can from his injuries.

Slade: Woke up with amnesia only to find himself far away from and rejected by Robin after Joey's body-snatching incident. Is beginning to admit and embrace feelings for Robin.

Wintergreen: After losing contact with Batman, he plans to initiate his back-up plan to conspire with the Titans to do in Slade and save Robin. Having difficulty deciding his loyalty.

Sweet Lili: Pregnant with Slade's child. Despises and is jealous of Robin and wants Slade for herself and will do anything to make it happen.

The Titans: With Cyborg as their new leader now that they believe Robin has betrayed them and is working for Slade, they attempt to save their city (now overrun with criminals and gangs) But have effectively given up on Robin for good.

Yup! Well that's the story so far. And NO, Terra is not going to be a main character. It's just for the next chapter. Sorry I said she'd be in this one, but I didn't take into account that I wanted this segment to happen so early. But I did. So yeah.

Thanks for all the support guys!

And if you read it, review it! It's just the nice, positive thing to do.