Disclaimer: If I owned Teen Titans then we'd have more seasons than just five. Is that proof that I don't own them? Okay? Good.

Author's Note: Hey, another One-Shot! Well, that's not too big of a surprise. But anyway, this takes place during Season Four of Teen Titans. You know, when Raven's father comes to the Earth and Slade's working for him and has those new powers? Yea...so, in any case, this takes place between the episodes "The Prophecy" and "The End pt.1" . Hope you like it. Enjoy!


Thin Patience

The sun had gone down on Jump City. It was quiet, except for the cars sitting at red lights with their occupants waiting to get home. What was worse was the heat. Even though it wasn't normally this hot in the evening, nature had decided that Jump was overdue for a long scorching hot night. The piers were empty of people looking for a good time. Everyone was inside, turning whatever form of AC they had on high. In the middle of the bay Jump City surrounded, the waters on the shores of the isle lapped each other when they could go no further.

On the isle was a structure unlike any in the surrounding area. In fact the structure was possibly the only of it's kind. Titans Tower was a building shaped like a giant "T" and had a view of the entire city. A basic watch tower, sure, but also the home of five extra-ordinary teenagers: Raven, Starfire, Cyborg, Beast Boy, and Robin, The Boy Wonder. At this point, every one of the Teen Titans were sound asleep and all of them were grateful that Cyborg had updated the Tower's AC a month ago because it was now being put to good use by being blasted.

Events were unfolding, though. Even as the citizens of Jump slept, deep in the caverns under the city, a mystic power was waiting anxiously to be released. Actually, it was an inter-dimensional demon that was waiting to be released so that he could wreak havoc on the world above. Trigon was pleased that the time was soon ending and that his daughter, Raven, would soon become the portal, but there was only one that thought that it was taking forever.

Trigon marked his servants with the mark of Scath: A twisted 'S' with spikes seeming to be protruding from it. Trigon's power was still not at its height, but even with one servant on the Earth, the Teen Titans were already well aware of the damage and destruction that could occur. His servant, even before Trigon had given him his powers, had been feared in Jump City. His name: Slade.

While Slade normally had patience, he was in no mood for it right now. He actually despised being called anyone else's servant. He was only doing this to complete a deal. But the end reward was beginning to seem farther off with every second. Perhaps it was because if he did a job for someone else, he liked it to be quick and clean. This 'job' was dragging out and while it was sorely entertaining to beat the Titans, Slade was beginning to wish he could just move the stars himself to save time.

'Maybe a little excursion,' he thought.

Silently, he sneaked into the night. Hey, he could do that. Trigon couldn't do anything without him really. He was like the go-between for Trigon and Raven. When Trigon could talk to Raven, Slade would be long gone and off the hook.

Jumping on the rooftops, Slade pushed himself. He couldn't deny that his newly found powers were fun, but sometimes just physically pushing one's self could be rewarding. Slade turned his attention towards Titans Tower. He could have smiled. Something of his own could sooth his nerves quiet a bit. How to travel? Slade decided to take one of his favorite routes.

Going in and around the rough parts of Jump, he came across some of the run down buildings that desperately needed to be torn down. At a one story building he stopped. Below, he knew that there was an old lair that was once his own. The night he had almost died, that had been the location.

Triumphantly, Slade threw out his arms as though taunting the frozen, rock-hard statue far below that was once his apprentice, Terra. He should have known that she was a little traitor from the start. If she could betray the Titans with such ease, why not him? Yet he was alive and she was an incarcerated prisoner.

At the shore, Slade took a direct approach and began to let heat and fire carry him to the isle. Landing with ease, Slade looked up at the building. Security for him would be up to its maximum thanks to Cyborg and Robin. No matter. Slade walked up to the wall. Placing his hands on the wall, he amplified heat into it. He could practically feel the wires that the heat found.

They burned easily. Slade walked through the door. Silence. No one knew he was there and that was what he wanted. Now the question came. What to do? Walking up the steps, Slade brushed his hand against the wall, effectively melting the wires inside of them. The Titan's Main Room was of no interest to him. What was he going to do? Murder their TV and GameStation? Please.

Walking down the halls, Slade came to two doors. Taunting the Titans would be fun... Slade figured that basically wreaking the wires in Titans Tower would be enough misery for Cyborg. For Beast Boy, that would go directly to wrecking the GameStation, a low that Slade wasn't willing to go to. That would be desperatation. Shrugging, Slade figured he had caused Beast Boy enough misery with Terra to make up for it.

The next hallway led to Raven and Starfire. Slade had to fight to suppress a chuckle. There wasn't anything that he could do to Raven that would be worse than what her father had in store for her. Starfire though... Slade was personally stumped on how to taunt her. Noticing the AC monitor, Slade couldn't help as he let heat radiate from his hands and destroy the wires that were keeping the Tamaranean cool. He'd figure out something, but that would do for now.

Moving on, Slade came to the last of the Titans's rooms, Robin's. Perhaps something a little special for his former apprentice...

Parting the door, Slade carefully stepped inside. The room was pitch dark, save from the window that illuminated the bed where Robin was sleeping. While Slade had to give Raven some points for being the daughter of his boss, he couldn't help but find Robin the most interesting of the Titans. Leader, protégée of Batman, martial artist, etc. The teen acting more like an adult than any of the others. He always understood risks and he always knew, in general, how to handle a situation. He had no superpowers, but was the leader of the Titans.

Slade knew that he would always be entertained the most by Robin.

A thought crossed his mind and Slade smiled. Slade barely touched the AC and let the wires melt, but not before changing the temperature from cool to off. Now all he had to do was wait. The temperature change would be enough. And just to be safe...

Slade walked to the side of the room where Robin's closet was. The mirrors gleamed back the blue moonlight. Protruding from his body was heat allowing Slade's form dissipate. Well, it wasn't dissipation really. It was merely that he was creating enough heat so that the heat waves that one might see rising off a hot paved road in the middle of the summer obscured him. If Robin were to look over at him, all he would see is a wave of air and think that he just wasn't awake enough.

Minutes passed. Soon Slade heard the groans from the teenager. Robin began to flail about in his sleep. Finally, his eyes opened and Slade heard Robin moan. Robin sat up and tore off his cape, then laid back down. Five minutes later, Robin kicked off his shoes. Three minutes later, the Boy Wonder unbuttoned his shirt. Two minutes later he kicked off the sheets.

A minute passed before Robin got up, obviously irritated that he was unable to get back to sleep due to the temperature. Dragging his feet over to the therma-state, Robin blurry-eyed punched in the numbers that he knew would make it cooler in the room. Then he walked back to his bed. Slade smiled. He couldn't resist making the room even more uncomfortable. Slade created more heat in the room.

Robin rolled around, then got back up. Rubbing his masked eyes, Robin looked again at the therma-state. The teen squinted at the blank little screen. It read nothing. Robin attempted to get it to work with a quick hit, but nothing happened.

"Stupid AC," he muttered.

Robin went to his desk and pulled out some batteries. After finding the appropriate batteries, Robin grabbed a small screwdriver and went to replace the batteries. Pulling it open, Robin found the batteries practically stuck in place. Robin gave up getting the batteries out and leaned against the wall.

"Oh yeah Cyborg, a new AC system will be great. Go right ahead," he whispered to himself sarcastically.

Robin looked at the mirror. He stared at his reflection. It was blurred. Robin rubbed his eyes again and walked forward slowly. He couldn't understand why his image was so blurred. It wasn't his eyes. It was too hot... And why is it that it got hotter as he got closer?

Slade couldn't resist it any longer. It was too perfect. As Robin stared at his reflection, something changed. His right eye changed. It had an iris and the end was pointed up in a spike. Robin's eyes scrunched up as he looked at it.

"Boo," Slade said letting himself appear in front of his former apprentice.

Robin gasped and stumbled backwards and fell over, "Slade."

"Bingo," Slade replied.

Robin immediately turned around and went straight for his desk that had his belt. Slade sighed and put his hands out. Emerging from his fingertips, fiery cords came out and made their way towards Robin. Robin looked back just in time to see the cords grab his ankles, attach to the floor, and cause him to fall forward. Robin sat up and pulled at the binding cords. They were hot and burned at his skin if he pulled too long.

Robin looked up at Slade as though demanding an explanation and Slade complied, "Thought I'd pay a visit."

"Whatever you do Slade, don't you dare go..." Robin began, but Slade cut him off.

"Don't worry about Raven. She'll know when I'll be here to get her. Her father didn't send me out for any reason," Slade told him.

"Then why are you here?"

"Simple. I wanted to stop by. Figured it wouldn't hurt anybody and besides..." Slade trailed off, "I wanted to give a little attention to my former apprentice."

At this Robin growled and Slade turned, "What? Still sour about that, Robin?"

"I'll be sour all I want, Slade," Robin replied defiantly.

"That's just like you, isn't it?"

Robin's eyes became slits behind his mask. He wasn't going to take this. Not here. Not in his own home. Not when his friends were a simple yell away.

"TITA..." Robin found his mouth stuck shut as something hot and sticky hardened on his lips.

"I really don't want to see your friends right now, Robin, if you don't mind," Slade said as he picked up the small pieces of what looked like modified paint balls. The only difference Robin guessed that they carried something that Slade could mold with heat.

Robin started muffled yells, but Slade decided to 'skip' that part, "So really, Robin, how have things been, other then finding out that Raven's the portal, of course. I already know about that. All too well, actually."

Slade glanced up towards his forehead where the mark of Scath glowed red, then continued, "I heard about Brother Blood. He was smart to move to Steel City. Honestly, he'd would have been making it hard on himself if he just stayed here in Jump. I would have made sure of that."

Robin glared and grabbed at whatever was on his face, but was unsuccessful at pulling it off.

Slade chuckled, "Don't bother, Robin. It won't help any."

Slade paused. Robin began to stand up, but Slade pushed hard on one of Robin's shoulders and caused him to fall once again. Robin's glare didn't move from Slade as Slade circled the teen.

"Don't you have any respect for your elders, Robin?" Robin lashed out and attempted to hit Slade in the shin, but Slade easily side stepped it, "Oh, and speaking of which. You know who I passed on the way here?"

Of course, Robin couldn't say anything, so Slade answered, "Terra."

Robin's narrow eyes suddenly became wide with shock and a bit of anger, "Yeah, she's doing alright, except for of course the whole petrification deal. Pity, she really wasted her life like that. And for what? To kill me. I'm still here. But I guess good apprentices are hard to come by these days, aren't they?"

Inside, Robin was fuming. How dare he? How dare he talk about Terra like that. How dare he even mention her name? She was a hero. Her name shouldn't come from the lips of one so vile. At the same time Robin felt pangs of guilt. If only he had taken the time to warn her when she had met them. If only he had explained to her what Slade was capable of. If he had, maybe Terra would never have suffered the petrification. Maybe Beast Boy wouldn't have been heart broken.

Slade continued on, "Although, you were a good apprentice, weren't you, Robin?

Robin turned red in embarrassment from the mention of being Slade's apprentice and silently glared. It wasn't like he had much of a choice when he had worked for Slade. It was either that or his teammates getting killed. While Terra had worked willingly so that she could control her powers, Robin had been forced. It was humiliating and he hated Slade for it.

"True, you were a little rebellious at some times, but still, if I had to choose it would probably be you who was better," Slade told Robin, whose face was slowly coming back to its natural pale color, "After all, Terra was more like a puppet. Her potential was only as high as people told her it was. But you, you never let anyone's opinions get in the way, do you, Robin?"

Robin's muffled yells barely carried passed the gag, but Slade was amused all the same, "You still don't fail to impress me, Robin. Even now."

Slade chuckled. Robin didn't see the point to any of this. Yet still, the Teen Wonder wanted more than anything to start beating Slade till he bled. This was his territory, not Slade's or Trigon's.

"Do you ever wonder what things would be like if you were still my apprentice?" Slade asked Robin in his ear, "You wouldn't be dragged down by this team of yours."

'Yeah, I'd be dragged down by you,' Robin thought bitterly.

"Guess it doesn't matter now, does it? What's done is done. How have the late nights been, by the way? I'm guessing my absence caused you suspicion," Slade said.

Immediately, Robin thought of the dust. That night his own demon had risen from his mind into reality. And tonight he was real and standing over him. The only difference was that this time, he was real. Slade didn't know about the dust. He hadn't actually been to his haunts scattered through out Jump in a while. Reason being that Trigon didn't want Slade going off to his old haunts and doing his own huge projects during the aligning of the stars. That said, Slade didn't know about the dust being activated.

"I'm guessing you lost at least some sleep," Slade just kept talking, "You always have. Another similarity, huh?"

Robin's screams were completely directed at Slade this time, but Slade couldn't make them out. Honestly, he didn't really care about them.

'I'll give you similarity!'

"Now Robin, no need to get riled up. I'll be leaving soon. The night will be ending soon after all. Don't bother telling the others hello for me, though. I'm sure it would blow the roof off if Raven knew. I just wanted to stop by and give you some attention. Working for a demon often takes away one's time," Robin listened to this casual disclosure silently, but still fuming.

Slade brought his hand to Robin's mouth. The gag heated and fell off into Slade's hand. Robin took deep breaths of air. Slade looked at Robin and had to repress a smile.

"You really were the perfect apprentice," He said, "Hope you survive the end of the world."

Robin was without words.

Slade walked to Robin's doorway and left. The cords binding Robin's ankle's dispersed into the air. Robin just sat there looking at the doorway, incredibly baffled at what had just happened. Slowly, he stood up, but he didn't walk to the door. Slade wasn't doing anything and somehow, Robin had a feeling that if he woke up the Titans there wouldn't really be a point. Slade had left. He didn't really hurt anybody, except for of course destroying the heat system. This little visit would just be... unmentioned unless something brought it up.

Robin sighed and went to his closest where a dresser fan was stored. He put it into the outlet and let the cool air start to flow through out the room. The Boy Wonder went back to his bed to lie down. By the time Robin soon found himself able to sleep, Slade was back underground and ready to wait.

In the morning, Raven, Starfire, Beast Boy, and Robin woke up to, "Yo! Who messed with my AC System?!?!"


A/N: Yea, not much, but I thought it was worth the write up. Hope you liked it! Please review! Thanks for reading! Later!