Disclaimer: Well, well, well, don't we all love disclaimers? No, because they make me depressed and ready to sigh, aggravated that I have to write them up. Okay, so here you go: I don't own Teen Titans or Batman or any DC comic related character. I own way too many comics, though.
Author's Note: Might I say, I hate it when Batman's like absolutely and entirely forced to save Robin's butt. I really do, but I had to write it in this case, just this once. Also, I do realize how ironic it is that Batman would be trapped in a cave. The details don't matter as much as the story in this one, I guess. Anyway, I'm posting a bunch of new One-Shots before I start my new multi-chapter stories "Sincerely Adeline" and "Flying". So feel free to check those out as well. I hope you enjoy the story! So may I present "Angry Glances"!
"We gotta get out of here!" The cybernetic teen, Cyborg, yelled.
It's not exactly like that wasn't obvious. Pieces of rock were falling from the mountains in response to our opponent's increasingly dangerous and destructive behavior. Cinderblock was a cement-based monster, or at least, that's what Robin had told his mentor in his rushed explanation. It's the same thing everywhere. For Bruce to go anywhere for a visit, whether it be Metropolis, Star, or Jump, every time something goes wrong. So while Bruce Wayne is only supposed to be here for one day on business, Batman's also here fighting some sort of monster.
"Starfire! Look out!" Robin screams.
He silently rolls his eyes. It doesn't matter really. The phrase got the point across: 'Look out for falling rubble!' Unfortunately, it seems a lot more like a matter of luck when it comes to not getting hit by falling slabs of rock or not. The Tamaranean flies out of danger while the telepath transports herself and the green one out of the way. He watches as Cyborg takes a hit to the head, but the rock only knocked against the metallic section.
To his side, he hears a grunt and sees Robin fall into the foot high snow. Racing over, the Dark Knight sees where the Boy Wonder was heading. Quickly grabbing his arm and wasting no time to get to the large gaping hole that is heading downwards into the ground, he runs. Before long, the entry way is closed up behind the two. Figures. Switching his cowl to night-vision, the legend of Gotham was able to find a soft area to rest inside of the moist cave. Carefully, he lowered Robin down to the ground. He's unconscious. But there's no blame attached for getting hit by the debris. He knows that he was just lucky.
Taking out a mini-flashlight and looking around the cave, the Knight could tell that there was no way out, at least from what he could tell. There were probably a few exits, but for now, the best thing to do was stay put. Putting the small flashlight in his mouth, Bruce leaned over to access Robin's blow to the head. It wasn't too bad. He had braced for impact, like Batman had taught him. There were sounds that echoed through out the cave. It was probably just rodents or a small animal, but still, he didn't like it. Even so, there wasn't much that he could about it anyway.
Batman took out a gauze to wrap Robin's head with. The cut is just above the top of his neck. As he finished, he heard the sounds again. Standing up, the bat walked over to the edges of the cave area. He scanned the place until he saw a glint of something. An eye.
"I was wondering when you were going to notice that there wasn't just you and him in the room," the man said.
"It's hard not to notice with all the noise you're making," he answered.
The man stepped out of the shadows. He was dressed in a militaristic looking costume. Most of it was black with silver armor, but the mask was black and orange. He looked confident and strong, collected. Batman's narrowed his eyes. He didn't like this man. He didn't like him from the start and that was never a good sign.
"Who are you?" he asked.
The man chuckled, "You don't know?"
He crossed the room before continuing and eyed Batman. "My name is Slade, but really I would have thought that the 'World's Greatest Detective' would know that. Especially when his associates know it and use it on a regular basis."
Slade's gaze turned down at the Boy Wonder who was still unaware of anything. Batman glanced down and then back at Slade who had taken to leaning against a wall of their current prison.
"You seem amused," Batman said.
"Well, if you were to see the effects of my name in that Tower then you'd understand," Slade said, not caring that he had just told Batman that he was an enemy and that he could at any time view what was going on inside Titans Tower.
"Don't you?" Slade asked, "How's he doing?"
Batman never took his eyes off of Slade as he answered, "Why would you care?"
Slade just shrugged, "Do people always have to have reasons, Batman? Look at Joker, he's insane and that's as close as a reason that you'll ever get for his behavior."
"You're not insane though, are you?" Batman countered, "Why would you care?"
Slade's eye narrowed, "I don't."
Batman nodded, but in his gut he knew that it wasn't the truth, "We're probably going to be here a while. We can either stay out of each others' way or we can try to corroborate with one another. It's your choice."
"We'll see how things work out," Slade answered.
Batman nodded and turned to check to see if Robin was bleeding anywhere else. He felt Slade watching him. It was an unwelcoming feeling. He hated being seen. He hated being in a clear view for an attack. It was just illogical. And Slade, he seemed to relish in this. He seemed to not care whatsoever if his gaze was apparent. Batman finished checking Robin over and turned back around.
Slade seemed to laugh at an inner joke before answering, "Sure, what do you suggest?"
Batman took out a small cloth from his belt and a piece of flint, "Look around for things that will burn and last for a while."
Slade nodded. Up by the cave were pieces of wood and leaves that he brought down with ease. Batman lit the cloth and put it underneath the wood and leaves and soon they had a small fire. Slade sat down by the wall while Batman stood up by the fire. He watched Slade closely and was surprised that on occasion, Slade wouldn't look at the fire or at him, but at Robin who was still unconscious.
"Do you have something against him?" Batman asked, quickly getting to the point.
Slade looked up at Batman and replied, "Everything and nothing, Batman, everything and nothing."
"What threat are you to them?" Batman asked.
"Is this your idea of a conversation?"
Batman's eyes narrowed, "Answer the question."
"Why should I?"
Batman seethed, annoyed, "I got the impression that you were a gentleman."
"Funny, I got the same from you."
"Then why don't you answer?"
Slade cocked a brow, "Touche'! Well, let's just say I'm nothing at all."
"Nothing? You make yourself seem more than that by your attitude."
"I'm nothing but a nightmare, Batman," Slade answered, "Your protege's team is easy to figure out. I know all of their weaknesses. Their greatest is how much they rely on their leader. And his weaknesses are his fears and worries and doubts. He's hard to figure out at first, you did well in that, though."
While Bruce refused to get angry at the former insult, He did cock a brow and nod. He looked away and then down at Robin. It was...interesting. Slade was only a man, yet from what he had just heard and by his presence, he seemed much worse. An infiltrator, a spy, a fighter, a destroyer.
"He's impressive, you know, quite a remarkable young man," Slade commented.
Batman's eyes didn't shift. He didn't know what it was, but Slade had called himself a nightmare. Nightmares, people didn't get nightmares about just anything. Nightmares terrified people, put them under stress, and worse, instilled a person's greatest fear at their height. The word had come from a mythical, evil monster that plagued people's dreams, like a demon. Batman knew of nightmares. He knew their power. He used some of their power. He wondered if Slade did the same.
And if so... what had he done to cause the Titans nightmares?
"They're good opponents, the Titans," Slade said, starting the conversation again, "Many people underestimate them."
"But you don't," Batman replied, seeing where he was going with this.
"I know their power. Have you ever seen the demon girl? Raven? I've met her father, and I've seen his influence in her," Slade told him, then he noticed something, "You don't trust her on your side, do you?"
Batman said nothing and watched for Slade's reaction, "Don't worry, I don't blame you. There are those who are extremely... unstable."
"You seem to relish in that," Batman commented.
Slade smiled beneath the mask, "It's an advantage if you use it properly."
"So you enjoy controlling people?"
"It's... entertaining to exploit people's fears and see what words can affect them. I'm sure you know the feeling. Criminals make you a legend because of that-- it seems so extraordinary," Slade answered, "Have you heard of Terra?"
"Robin mentioned her, said she died a hero," Batman answered.
"What is a hero these days? A football star? A political leader? A soldier?" Slade answered, "Or is it still Homer's Odysseus? Doesn't the world change the definition?"
"It's never changed, Slade," Batman answered.
"What's your definition then?"
Batman thought for a moment, "Heroes do things for others, whether it be giving hope or protection or something else, even if it would be a burden on themselves... Did she die because of you?"
Slade laughed, "She attempted to kill me and I would have if not for Trigon, Raven's father. But her death was her own fault."
"I see." he answered bluntly.
A sudden noise from the corner made them both look over and see Robin moving his head slightly. Batman came over and lifted the teen's head up. Robin looked like he was going to pass out again at any moment, his vision shifting in and out of focus.
"Robin, can you wake up?" Batman asked.
Robin breathed in deeply and tried to keep himself awake. Slade walked over and looked down at him. With a sudden intake of air, Robin gasped as he saw the face above his mentor, the eye watching in the corner, and fell unconscious again.
"Robin, Robin!" Batman repeated.
He was silent for a moment and then looked up at Slade. It didn't last long, but they both could tell that Batman was annoyed that Slade had come over and that Slade had no remorse for doing so. The Knight then looked back down at Robin and felt himself willing the teen wonder to wake up. If Slade was this much of an annoyance and thorn to the Titans, he had every bit of sympathy for them.
"You need to replace the gauze," Slade commented, "And keep his head up."
Batman glanced up at Slade, sending him a warning. But it was true. The gauze was caked with blood and if he kept Robin's head up, then the blood flow wouldn't be as great. "I could have figured that out, Slade."
Slade chuckled. Time passed. The fire died down. Slade stayed on the far side of the cave while Batman had stayed over near Robin, like a protective guard dog. The longer they were trapped in here, the more Batman was starting to despise the idea of hiding out in a cave. He'd be spending time in the manor a bit more from now on. The Caped Crusader couldn't help but hate Slade watching him and his ward. The single eye seemed to imitate a collected evil or malintent. But after a while, the angry glances that they shot each other every now and then began to cease and silence remained the only common factor.
"So he's never told you anything?" Slade asked out of the blue.
"He tells me what happens here in Jump City," Batman answered.
"But you didn't know my name," Slade said, as though concluding something. He then directed his attention over to Robin, "Are you that afraid of me, Robin? You're so afraid that you won't even tell dear old Bats about the monster under your bed?"
Suddenly, Batman became enraged. He had Slade pinned against the cave wall in less than half a millisecond-second, but Slade didn't seem to mind, "What have you done in Jump, Slade? It's evident that the Titans find you a threat. So why is that? And what makes Robin's fear your favorite?"
Slade seemed amused. "Why don't you ask Robin?"
"Because I'm asking you," Batman seethed.
Slade calmly answered, "The boy's perfect, Batman, you must know that. He's a skilled fighter, he's an intellectual. He's a challenge."
"When we get out of this worthless piece of rock, you have five minutes to run," Batman said letting Slade go.
He turned, but that was his mistake. Slade lashed out and kicked the Dark Knight into the wall.
"Thanks," Slade said, cracking a knuckle, "But I won't need it."
Batman shook off the attack and went over to the opposite end of the cave. Slade only smiled. It was obvious where Robin got his stubbornness from. In fact, he could see many similarities between the Knight and his Squire. Both were capable and worthy opponents.
"It's no wonder why everyone compares you two. It's almost in the way you both walk," Slade told Batman.
"You sound like there's irony to it," Batman responded.
"There is. Robin has even admitted to it, he and I are also alike in personalities," Slade told him, "Three similar people and yet neither you or Robin are willing to get along with me."
"There's different ways of comparing people, Slade. Personalities are only a portion of a person," Batman replied, "Character is another part, a more important part."
Slade shrugged and answered, "You'd like to believe the character was everything though, wouldn't you?"
Batman looked over at Slade. It was like looking in a mirror and seeing one's opposite. Batman sighed. He wondered what had made this man this way. He knew his was out of grief. He knew that Slade could have been here for a number of reasons: revenge, loss, love, thrill, pain, money, hate, torture, insanity... the list could never end. He often wondered what caused people who had seemingly pointless or no reasons to do what they did and often the answer was that they didn't need one because they didn't care.
"Character determines a person's conscious, Slade, and from how you've acted," Batman continued, "You don't have one, or at least, you don't listen to it if you do."
"Think what you'd like, Bats," Slade answered, "It doesn't bother me in the slightest."
Batman didn't nod, his eyes didn't narrow, he only turned when he heard the sound of shifting earth. Slade heard it too and slowly started walking away.
"Again, ask Robin, Batman," he told him, "I assure you that the young apprentice can give you an explanation for why he fears me."
Batman looked at Slade at the mention of the word 'apprentice', but another slab of rock moved and light flooded the dark cave. As he looked back, Slade was gone. Batman went over and picked up Robin's limp form. Sounds of voices came were heard.
"Robin! Batman! Are you in there?" The changeling asked.
"We're in here," Batman said, "Robin's unconscious."
Within minutes, the rock was open just wide enough for the two to get out unharmed. They sun had gone down and the outside looked like a storm had rushed through it.
"He needs to get back to the tower," Batman told them.
"I'm on it," Cyborg said as Batman passed Robin over to the teen who took the leader to the back seat of his car that was parked nearby.
The others followed closely behind, but Batman lingered. Slade hadn't come out. Not yet. He must like the shadows as well. And it was true what he had said; fear was a powerful element. If Batman was a demonic legend to his enemies, then Slade was an eye watching you from the dark to his. He eyed the small opening for a moment, as though looking for that single eye, but he saw nothing. Slowly, the Dark Knight walked away and soon was lost to the darkness of the night.
A/N: Okay, so there it is. It was short and simple, but I thought that it was worth the write up. This was sparked by the fact that Deathstroke is basically an anti-Batman and I thought it would be interesting to see Batman and Slade getting stuck in the same situation. I hope you enjoyed it. Later!