A/N: This is the last "top" A/N, so, as a gift…I'll skip it… read the bottom one, though…
Disclaimer: I do not own the Teen Titans. See? I CAN do it correctly!
Chapter thirteen: Play the Game
After the usual shower Robin was very close to put on Slade's T-shirt to sleep in again, but he stopped himself in time. He had to shut all thoughts of the man out and focus on tomorrow. Donning his usual pyjama pants and one of his own old t-shirts he went to bed and closed his eyes. Unfortunately that is only the first step of actually getting any rest.
Falling asleep wasn't easy. Trying not to think of tomorrow is never a good way to relax, and thinking to much about it was equally bad. After some time he started to feel his eyes getting heavy and then he, finally, fell asleep.
Robin was having the strangest dream. He was trying to find someone. He was running down a mirror labyrinth, seeing glimpses of familiar faces, looking for the right one. Batman was there. Cyborg. Alfred. The Joker. His parents. Commissioner Gordon. Starfire. The Penguin. Poison Ivy was winking at him from one mirror. Raven. Mumbo. Beast Boy. Catwoman. The waiter at the local pizza-place… that was weird… Then. Slade. He was standing on both sides of the aisle, the left image clad in full body armour and mask and the right one mask-less in a black gi. Robin found himself standing between them, thinking how strange it was that he himself didn't seem to appear in any of the mirrors, when the both figures simultaneously reached for him. He stood still as they both stroked his cheek with their fingers, one pair cold and hard in metal gauntlets and the other pair warm, alive.
"Slade…" Robin whispered as the images darkened and seemed to fade.
"Right here…" one of the figures answered, he wasn't sure which one. As the world turned completely dark around him, Robin almost panicked. Where had everybody gone? Why was he alone? Then warm lips met his and he reached out for whoever it was, glad that someone was there. His hands found broad shoulders and a muscular neck, and then the side of the bed dipped down… what?!
His eyes snapped open. The lips didn't disappear. His hands were still wrapping themselves around the neck and shoulders of
"S… Slade?". He pushed the man away, still confused about the dream. "You… you're in my room?!".
The man, now stretched out over him, and, Robin noticed, naked, grinned and arched a eyebrow.
"If I was the type of person who would say such a thing, I believe the proper phrase would be 'duh!'"
"How did you get in?!" Robin was tense, his fight-set mind screaming at him to do something, that this was wrong.
"How come you are surprised, Robin?" the man wanted to know. "Haven't I made it quite clear that I have access to the tower?"
"Yes… but- but my room. It was locked. I…" Robin saw a glint of steel in Slade's eye.
"Not very happy to see me, are you?"
Robin stared up at the man. He was afraid… what if Slade had found the war-room? What if Robin left a clue up here? No, they had been careful, but… What did Slade want?
What do you THINK he wants, the man's on TOP of you, NAKED… Robin tried to relax.
"I'm sorry… I was having this weird dream… you scared me…" He tried to move his hands again, but they were slow, unwilling.
"You better show me how glad you are to see me, then… and make it believable…" Slade lowered his face once more, and Robin again felt his lips on his. He froze. He couldn't move at all. A small sob escaped him as Slade broke the kiss. The game was supposed to be over now, he had picked his side and Slade couldn't do this to him anymore!
"Please, Slade, I'm sorry… I can't… I…"
"You can and you will. You are not allowed to refuse me. I don't need your permission." Slade knew very well what was going on. He knew that Robin must have made up his mind to fight him by now, and this visit was all about shaking the boy up again. Whatever it took. He flipped the boy over on his stomach. Robin cried out in fear and surprise. He looked back at Slade, dread and confusion in his eyes. Slade wasn't really… he wasn't going to rape him, was he? Then his pants were yanked down.
"Slade! Master, please, I-"
The man leaned over him, putting his weight on Robins back, crushing him into his bed.
"Shhhhh, Robin. Do you want your friends to hear?"
"Please…" the boy pleaded, quieter now.
"This is what you need, Robin. You want this…" Slade kissed his neck and ran his hand up under the boy's t-shirt. Then, in one fast motion, he ripped the old shirt off. Robin cried out again, but this time it was a muffled sound as he had buried his face in one of his pillows. As Slade's hands started to caress his naked body again, Robin's resolve wavered. He had been so sure, so strong. What happened? He moaned, lifting his upper body so Slade's hands could slide underneath to his nipples and stomach. He felt his legs being pushed apart and gasped as Slade lifted his hips. Something cold told him that Slade was using lubricant, but this time there was nothing else to prepare him. He cried out into the pillow again as Slade pushed in. It hurt this time, but a small part of Robin's mind felt like he deserved it. Deserved this after refusing his master who owned him, who cared, who knew what he needed and wanted. Robin gasped and sobbed as Slade quickened the pace. He was able to get to his knees and as Slade managed to hit that wonderful spot connected to his prostate he pushed back, gasping.
"Slade…. mmhh… master, yes! Please fuck me, I'm sorry!" He muttered, rather incoherently.
Slade leaned over him again, thrusting harder.
"I told you that you wanted this." he whispered in Robin's ear.
"You…yes… right…" Robin only gasped, turning his head so he was able to kiss the corner of Slade's mouth. His master must have liked that, because, without pulling out of him, he turned him over again. Robin legs were now twisted around Slade's back and the man leaned in to him once more, putting pressure on all the right places as he did so. Robin could now kiss his master and tried his hardest to make up for rejecting him earlier.
"Please! More! More!" The boy moaned and pushed himself up. "Please forgive me, I'm so sorry!" he added, pleading. The eye that looked down on him seemed hard and cold to Robin. A surge of fear made him cling harder to the man, and go on begging. "Please, master, please, I am sorry, I didn't know, I never meant to… pleeeeease…" he cried, his words as jumbled as his thoughts. "Please don't stop caring, please! I'll do anything, I'll… I'll love you; I promise I'll love you, just…" Lips caught his and as the kiss ended Slade lips trailed down to his ear.
"I have your heart, Robin?"
"Yes! Yes you do! Only… yours…" The boy gasped.
"Then I'll forgive you."
Robin sobbed again, but now in relief "Thank… you… Master…" He arched his back as he felt his climax building, slightly blacking out as he came.
When he opened his eyes he found himself looking up at Slade's face, drowning in that single grey eye.
"I need to hear you say it, Robin."
The boy wrapped his arms securely around the man and looked deep into his eye. Even though there was a hint of a smile on his face, Robin's blue eyes were tinged with sadness. He drew a small breath.
"I love you." he whispered. "I love you."
Slade pulled away and after a short while he left a now sleeping Robin. Mission accomplished. He was tempted to find out what exactly the teens had planned for tomorrow, but what was the fun in that? He knew he would be successful, and by this time tomorrow, the team wouldn't have a leader anymore. If they do even now… he smirked, glancing back at Robin's door. The boy was finally going to be all his. He knew it was a childish notion, but Slade did not like sharing. Robin was precious to him, and had grown even more so during this time. He did care about the boy, maybe even beyond an investment. The man smiled again, a warmer smile this time. He was looking forward to showing Robin his world and… yes… share it with him.
Robin didn't wake up until morning. He had plunged into a deep, dreamless sleep where no feelings or realities could touch him. As he opened his eyes he prayed for last nights events to be only a dream, but he knew they had been real. Slade had been there. They had… and he'd said… He'd said…
"Nooooo…" he groaned into his pillow. He didn't say it, did he? No, he… yes, he had… He had told Slade that he loved him. Oh god, why? Because it's true? No! No fucking way in hell it was true! He was just confused, and… He got out of bed in a rush. He was not confused! This was just psychological warfare and he was not, repeat not, going to let himself fall for that! So what if he told the man he loved him!? That was good, right?! Maybe that would put the man at ease, expecting an attack even less. Yes. Yes. It was a good thing.
This self-delusional thing is really working out for you, you know…
Shut up. Okay. Shower. Get dressed. Breakfast. Kick Slade's ass. He could do that. Let's start with the shower then.
After getting dressed he stood looking at his computer for a while. He kind of wanted to call Batman… just to let him know what they were planning for today. His mentor had so far stayed out of the game, but sent him some useful research information from time to time. Robin had purposefully kept the man out. He didn't need more people to worry about and with Slade knowing Bruce's identity… well, it had been better to cut those bonds until Slade was safely in prison. I got to go back to Gotham after this. Visit. Try to explain. He nodded to himself. Maybe Gotham wasn't such a bad place to start over either… It was close enough so he could keep in touch with his friends and big enough… Slade was right… Jump City IS just too small…
He smiled a bit to himself as he entered the kitchen. Cyborg smiled back at him, busy making breakfast. Robin took a look around. A big breakfast.
"Wow Cy, are we expecting company or something?"
"Nah," the older teen grinned "I just thought we should start the celebration early… and since none of us can agree on what to eat, I made it all… pretty much… I avoided Star's things, but she'll be happy as long as there's mustard…"
"What's so funny?" Raven wanted to know, gliding towards them.
"Well… there's food…" Robin tried to explain, cracking up again for no reason.
"Yes. That is… funny…" Raven arched an eyebrow looking like she thought Robin might have fallen on his head.
"Good morning, friends!" A sparkling Starfire appeared in the room, followed by a not-so-sparkling Beast Boy who practically dragged himself along on his knuckles. The kid perked up, though, seeing the breakfast… and there was tofu!
"Dude…" he whispered, nearly teary-eyed.
The breakfast was a delight. It couldn't last forever though, and Robin checked the time. The delivery was to take place at noon. Damn stupid time… There would be even more people out and about, for lunch and such, around then… What to do until then? They spent the time in the "war-room", preparing further.
"Everyone has facemasks, right?" Robin wanted to know. Slade would most likely use some sort of gas or smoke bomb as a distraction, and they couldn't be caught coughing their lungs out. Confirming everyone was geared up, he checked the time again. Close to eleven. Time to go.
He pulled out Slade's communicator from his pocket and placed it firmly on the table. It was a breech of contract, but, of course, that didn't matter any more. He wasn't quite as stupid as to give away his location to Slade at this stage.
As they gathered together before leaving Robin cautioned them.
"Slade's hideout is right across the water, at the docks. We have to go around so we are not picked up on any sensors or, worse, seen. Let's head north along the shore for a bit and then make our way into town, all right?"
"He's been that close all this time?! Creepy!" Beast Boy muttered.
"Are you sure we should fly? Why not take the car?" Cy asked.
"Slade will most likely have the tunnel entrance guarded in some way, the same for the bridge. I don't like being out in the open either, but it will be quick. BB, you take Cy and Starfire carries me. Raven, you just concentrate on reserving those powers… everyone ready? Then let's go…"
They arrived at their target, hopefully unseen, fifteen minutes later. They spread out and took their predetermined positions, none too close to the building. Staying close to the delivery site, Robin hid on ground level, as did Cyborg. Robin was across the street in an ally and Cyborg a bit farther away. The others, as they could fly, had the greater advantage of the roofs. As the time drew closer Robin swore under his breath. There sure were a lot of people around. Shopping, having lunch, strolling… The damn street was one of the more popular walks on a nice warm summer day like this. Vendors were selling ice-cream and hotdogs, couples sat on the benches with their arms around each other, and kids were running around like kids do… Please, Slade, don't do anything terrible…
Suddenly the armoured truck pulled up. Robin wished that he had some notice, but he had forbidden the team from using their communicators in case Slade listen in again. The vehicle pulled up on the sidewalk, as close to the doors of the building as possible, and some of the people thankfully moved away, being disturbed by the truck. The two guards opened the doors and leapt out, heading for the back doors. They were joined by some security from inside the building, preparing to help with the move. So far just as planned, Robin had time to think, and then there was an explosion. It seemed to come from under the truck, as smoke or gas welled out from beneath it. I really hope it's not poisonous, Robin thought as he donned the mask over his mouth and nose. There! A slade-bot! Robin didn't wait any longer, he sprung into action.
His friends joined him, first concentrating on bringing civilians to safety. The smoke had several of them down so it had to at least be a knockout-gas of some kind… Robin didn't want to think of the possibility that it might be more serious. So far he hadn't seen Slade, but his robots seemed to be everywhere. Defending his friends against them, while keeping an eye on the still locked truck, Robin revelled in the fight. With robots he never had to hold back. Soon they were all more or less scrap metal. As the people were out of harms way, Raven started holding up a small shield, like a wall, around the area. It wasn't really that strong yet, as they hadn't seen Slade. Where are you?! Robin wondered, looking around. A movement caught his eye and he saw one of the security-men walking up to the back of the truck, unlocking the door.
"Hey! Stop! What do you thing your doing?!" Robin yelled and ran up to him, gripping his wrist. The man spun around, hitting the boy on the side of his face with his fist. Robin, taken completely by surprise, fell to the ground, dazed. What the heck? What is going on here? As the doors to the van opened, some of it became clearer. Stepping out from the vehicle, carrying a steel container in his left hand, was Slade.
'It could be done, but only with a lot of time and planning' Slade had said. Robin should have known that he considered himself to have that time, and would regard the trouble as a challenge.
"Robin. Glad you could join me."
The bastard doesn't even sound surprised!
"End of the line, Slade. We stop playing now."
"But we had so much fun…" Slade smirked behind his mask. "Besides, you have bigger problems right now."
"Wha-" Robin didn't have time to ask before he heard Raven give a startled cry.
"What are you doing, I'm trying to help!" he heard the Goth try to explain.
Robin backed away from Slade, unwilling to let him go this easily, but he needed to see what was happening.
His eyes widened at the sight. The civilians they rescued earlier were trying to pull Raven down. Her defensive walls were already wavering and more people closed in on the whole team. Robin swore. Must have been something in the gas! Some sort of drug. If the civilians kept coming like this it would only be a matter of time before Slade got his hands on a hostage.
"Keep them away!" Robin shouted. His team tried their best and Robin turned back to Slade, drawing his bo. Slade put down the container and did the same. Robin's heart pounded. He was not supposed to try this by himself. He knew by now that he didn't have a chance, but he also knew it didn't matter. He just had to try to do the most damage to Slade that he could, while still alive… and he had a small idea how to do it. He attacked.
His friend's cries told him that, unfortunately, so had the civilians. The street was pure chaos. Four of the Titans were trying to keep from hurting the attacking people while keeping them and themselves safe. Trying not to hurt someone who tries his hardest to kill you, is not uncomplicated. The fifth was just trying to survive. It didn't look good. It was the fight before the punishment all over again. The only thing different this time was that Robin now had the plan… if he could just get close enough…
Someone grabbed him from behind. The driver. Robin couldn't afford to be held, not for a second, and reached with his free hand into his belt, drawing a sharp bird-a-rang. He plunged the steely edge into the man's thigh, quietly asking for forgiveness. He felt blood well out from the wound, hot around his fingers, but suddenly jerked as he felt something else. The man screamed in pain and did let him go, but as Robin glanced down on him, wondering what it was he had felt, he saw something. He blinked. There it was again. Small, blue sparks. It couldn't..? He was abruptly brought back to reality when Slade's bo hit him across the chest, throwing him backwards. He barely had time to duck the follow-up punch but he got to his feet again. Slade had to wait! If his suspicions were real, his friends were in bigger trouble than he first thought… Cyborg was in the most danger at the moment, having about ten people trying to tear him apart.
Robin avoided another one of Slade's attacks and ran to his friends' side. He still held the bird-a-rang in his hand and started slashing at Cy's attackers.
"Man?! What are you doing?!" Cyborg was shocked at seeing Robin injuring these innocent people. Robin, on the other had, was far to busy to notice. He aimed for arms and legs, not wanting to cause any serious damage, if his theory was wrong. It wasn't. Faint blue sparks emitted from these wounds too. They were all robots. All of them.
"Team! This isn't people, they are Slade's new robots. Attack them and go after Slade!"
"But Robin, these are surely not machines!"
"Man, they are bleeding, they are in pain! Are you CRAZY?!" Cy shouted.
"Stop!" Raven cried and Robin had to duck one arm of black energy.
"Listen to me! Please!" Robin shouted, frantic now. Then he froze. He had seen Slade, lifting a hand holding a… no! It was a control, just like the one used against his friends then he was forced to be Slade's apprentice. Robin really, really, didn't want to know what that button did. Slade looked at him, tilted his head slightly and pressed it.
The situation immediately got worse. Every one of the robots now produced weapons. Some had knifes and other sharp objects, some had batons or had simply picked up anything they could find on the street. As Robin heard Starfire scream after being stabbed in the thigh by someone she was trying to help, he drew another bird-a-rang. He launched himself into the battle again, a blade in each hand, and, this time, he didn't go for arms and legs.
His friends still screamed at him, they still didn't see… Who expects to see small blue sparks in a gaping, bleeding wound, anyway? Besides, it was the middle of the day and the tiny points of light were hard to make out.
"Damn you, just listen! They are robots!" Robin yelled again. Getting an idea how he could make them see, he continued: "Rae, use your mind, you must be able to sense that they aren't, human! BB, smell them! Cy, check for abnormal electricity charges!" His team was more or less frozen to the spot, though. Useless.
The boy continued to fight alone, and one by one, the robots fell. To his team they were men, women and children. Innocents, who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. They didn't know what they were doing, and yet… their leader slaughtered them. Robin, covered in blood, his own as well as the robots, was fighting dangerously close to Slade now, but that was part of his plan. As he pretended to throw himself at the next opponent he suddenly changed direction, colliding with Slade. His hand shot up like a flash, searching, groping…. finding! A faint click and the man's mask fell off. Slade's hand grabbed him around the throat, but a brief look of triumph crossed Robin's face, as he looked up into the unmasked features of his nemesis. Now everyone knew. He was sure there were TV-cameras around, and some must get a glimpse of him, even through the smoke. His friends would see. Slade would no longer be able to hide behind his mask. Slade's fingers closed slowly. He was holding him like he had held John Olsen, just before breaking his neck. Robin knew that he was going to die. But his friends. They would be safe. That was all he could ask for, all he wanted.
"Robin is right! They are fake!" he heard his team shout behind him, and the sound of the battle intensified. Not many left of the robots now. They would make it… Robin saw Slade smile. The man lifted the remote control once more, looking into the boy's eyes. Terrified, Robin stared back. What… what...? Slade clicked the button. Everything went quiet. And then... the world exploded.
Robin regained consciousness some time later. He lay face down on the street, among a lot of rubble. As he groaning got up on his hands and knees, a shadow fell over him. He didn't need to look up.
"Just kill me, Slade. Just… get it over with…" he growled.
The shadow walked around him, and Robin tensed, waiting for the stab or the blow that would make everything go away. End. Instead he felt familiar fingers under his chin, lifting his face. He wants me to look at him when he does it… Robin thought, but he didn't have the strength to fight. Looking up at Slade's face he saw something… was it pride? Was Slade proud of him? Why? How?
"I am not going to kill you, Robin. You are mine, remember…? It's time to go."
Robin staggered to his feet, turned around, looking for his friends. Every one of Slade's robots had exploded. Shrapnel and rubble was everywhere. A heavy dust-cloud made it hard to see. Where are you?! He started to hear faint groans and then he saw them, one by one. They were alive! They were still alive!
Slade stood still, a few steps behind him.
"You played well, Robin, but it's over. You decide how you want it to end. That is still your choice."
As the boy turned he saw what Slade was holding. In his hand, aimed at the ground, was a semi automatic weapon. This was not the time for complex nano-probes, honourable one-on-one battles or non-lethal thermo-blasters. Robin knew that those bullets would rip his friends, and maybe him, apart. No more soft stuff. No more toying. No more games.
"No! Get away from him!"
Robin looked around. Starfire had dragged herself to her feet, practically swaying, faint starbolts in her hands. His other friends were stirring to, muttering threats and edging closer. They had noticed that the man wasn't wearing his mask anymore and maybe that made them braver… seeing that Slade was human after all… Robin never thought of the possibility that his plan to unmask him would backfire in such a way.
"No! Stay back" Robin warned
But his friends were still coming. They would still fight. And they would still die. He would not let that happen. He got into a fighting stance facing his team, scowling.
"I told you to stay back. Are you going to listen to me?" They didn't. I have to push them away…
"You are worthless! Master Slade tried to get me to realise that, but I was too thick-headed to see it at first… It is so obvious, though! A machine who can't even build a half decent security system, even though his friends' lives depend on it? An empath who can't tell when someone lies to her straight in the face, and a little mutant-boy who is so naive that even when he smells Slade all over me he accepts the explanation that it was from a fight? And Starfire? A clueless alien who can't even grasp the concept of language… you probably still think I like you, right? Pathetic. All of you are pathetic." somehow these horrible words came easier and easier to Robin as he went on…"You let yourselves be played while I did what I really wanted. I got to spend time with my master without any pitiable Titans trying to stop me, no you helped!" Robin's breath was ragged. He was filled with fury and, somewhere deep inside, he really meant these words. He continued. "But I wanted to give you one last chance to prove yourself, to prove that you deserved me as your leader. And what do you do? You ignore my commands! I damn well begged you to fight them, and none of you even considered that I might be right until I told you to use your abilities to check for yourselves, did you? You know what? I'm done with you. You even have powers and you still manage to be useless…" Robin ripped off his mask, crumpled it up and threw it to the ground. He glared at his former team with a snarl of contempt on his face. They looked shocked, hurt, but… somehow, they still seemed ready to fight Slade.
"Please, Robin…" Starfire's eyes were full of tears.
"Don't do this, man." Cyborg's voice was tense.
"Dude! Slade's not your master! Get away from him!"
Raven just stared at him, wrapped in her dark magic.
Robin backed away, closer to Slade. "He is. He is my Master and he always will be! Leave us alone!" Still coming. Damn them! He started thinking that maybe they really were as stupid as he told them they were. Must get them to turn away! He took another step back and stood now with his back against Slade.
"No! Get away!" Star shouted.
Didn't they see the gun? Didn't they understand what was going to happen? He had to take this one step further. He got to get them to realize that he was a lost cause. Not worth fighting for. He half turned and let one arm wrap itself around Slade's waist and the other rest against the man's chest. "He is my Master. I love him." he said, and his snarl died away, replaced with something that scared his friends even more. A smile. Robin suddenly felt Slade's hand on his neck, not really gripping him hard, but more stroking, his neck and shoulder.
"He is mine now." Slade said with a low growl. "Accept it." he told the shocked team, but they still kept coming. Robin saw how Slade raised the weapon slightly.
There was only one way. One way to save his friends.
"I am. I am yours. I'm sorry I was so stubborn, Sorry I wasted all this time with them!" Robin looked up at the man. His hands travelled up Slade's stomach over his chest and reached, lovingly, as far as he could around his neck.
"What about your friends?" the man asked, loud enough for the teens to hear.
"I don't care. Kill them." Slade met the boy's pleading eyes and saw that it was a lie. But he didn't call the bluff. He is trying to save them. He respected the sacrifice the boy was about to make. He just had to make sure the boy knew what the prize was. He bent down a bit, whispering in Robin's ear.
"What about your soul?"
Robin's eyes met his. They seemed pretty calm. He knew. He had known all along.
So Slade obliged. He had planted this idea of a way out in the boy's mind, from the very beginning. 'What will your friends say'… 'In front of your friends'… 'Wouldn't you love for your friends to see'… He leaned down further and kissed Robin.
The kiss was filled with passion and desire. Tired of having to bend down, Slade put the gun in its holster behind his back, and lifted the boy up. Robin wrapped his legs around Slade's hips and clung to him while deepening the kiss. Slade's hands cupped Robin's ass, supporting and caressing, while the boy's own hands now could reach around Slade's shoulders, pressing himself closer still.
Robin could hear the gasps and cries from his friends behind him, but that only urged him on. Grinding against Slade, showing, beyond any doubt, that he desired him, he moaned into the man's mouth. Finally breaking the kiss to get some air, Robin could feel the waves of shock and disgust that emitted from the team.
Good. Let me go. Let me go.
Nuzzling against Slade's neck he continued caressing the man's chest and toying with his hair, lips trailing along his throat and jaw. He couldn't see the look on the Titans faces, but Slade could.
"As I said. He is mine. Do you even want him back now?"
The silence was broken by the blood chilling scream of the alien warrior, as she started hailing the pair with searing bolts of green fire. For every one that hit Robin, he could hear his former friend, his former love, scream out her pain and grief.
"NO! WE! WOULD! NOT!"
Still holding the boy, Slade moved away. He left the steel case. It had been a decoy anyway. He got what he wanted. The Titans didn't follow. Too hurt, too shocked or too angry… didn't matter.
He wasn't heading towards the base Robin knew, but to another one, just as well hidden and secure. As the first door to this secret base closed behind them, the boy in his arms started to sob. Robin clung to him still, refusing to let go, heart wrenching cries shaking his body. Slade would have to come up with a punishment for the betrayal, a sever one, but for now, he just carried Robin to the bedroom. The boy wasn't coherent enough to be punished at the moment.
Suddenly Slade could make out faint words between the sobs.
"I… kept… them… safe…"
"You did. If not for you, they would have been dead by now."
Robin's head gave a bit of a nod against Slade's chest.
"They hate me now…"
"Perhaps. Does that matter to you?"
The boy went still.
"Didn't it feel good, telling them how you felt?"
"No need to worry anymore…"
"No need to be torn between sides. There is only one side left. Only one place for you. With me."
Robin's head tilted back a bit, looking up at Slade. His blue eyes were filled with loss. The loss of his friends. His life. His soul. The loss of the game… never play again! But he felt that Slade was right. He had made his friends turn from him to save their lives, yes, but it was also a way out. An escape. An emergency exit. It didn't mean he wouldn't mourn, though. The cost was too high. His head fell back against Slade's shoulder once more, as a fresh set of sobs shook his body.
Robin stood on a rooftop, looking out over his new city, stretching away towards the horizon as far as the eye could see. His city. Theirs. It just doesn't know it yet. He leaned back against his lover's chest, feeling Slade's arms wrap around him.
"Happy?" the man whispered in his ear. He didn't have to bend down quite so low to do this anymore.
He had someone. Someone who would never let him go. So Robin nodded.
"Yes. Yes I am."
A/N: So this was it. Terms of Endearment. Just because this is the end does NOT mean you get out of reviewing! Now, more than ever, your opinions are important as you now know the whole story!
I'm sure the plot is full off holes the size of football-fields, but I really hope you have enjoyed it. Did you like/hate the end? I'm prepared to go into hiding… I wasn't sure for the longest time, but I started out telling you that the aim for writing this story was to try to find a way for Slade to turn Robin over to his side…
For those of you who have really liked the story, there will be more… at least two shorts stories (one "what if" and one set in the future of this story) which will be published in my 'drabbles collection'… I 'm working on them now, so if you are curious, add me to your "Author alert-list" so you'll know when the collection is up. ( I kind of wanted to have at least three stories ready so it's a collection from the START… then it will grow… It will be mostly Slade/Robin, might have some Red X to.. and Raven as a side-dish… ;o) )
I have loved writing this and I hope it shows… Writing fan-fiction was supposed to be a short break from working on my original novel, but it managed to take over completely… I'm not planning any more long stories right now, but, as I said, I have some ideas for drabbles… The "drabble-collection" I will add is thanks to Alonein-Darkness7, Phoenix Skyborne, Dstar504 and SladexRobinForever AMONG OTHERS who, with their collections, has inspired me…
Thank you all for doing this with me, and don't forget that I gladly invite you to write spin-offs, alternative endings or "what-if's" for this, or any, of my stories… read my bio for more info…(so if you HATE the ending... well... you know what you will have to do...)
Hugs and kisses!