First of all, I'm posting this in honor of my best friend Amanda's sixteenthbirthday, which is October second. Of course, since it's after midnight when I'm posting this, it'll say it's the third. xD
She's already seen this though, because this is something that I posted on our roleplay forum; I just cleaned it up a bit and then put it here. Amanda was actually the one who was wondering what would happen if Batman came to talk to Slade after Apprentice, I just wrote it and she loved it. xD
I hope this turned out well; I'm not used to writing Slade. It is possibly believeable that he could deduce their identites, so just go with it. Haha, it's just kind of funny; I expected my first oneshot to be fluffy, not some action-y thing. xD Ah well, it's got Batman, so I don't really care.
Last thing: this is named after one of Amanda's favorite songs that I got turned onto. It does really remind you of Batman and Slade both trying to convice Robin to side with them if you thing about it; I've got a preview of a video for it on my homepage if anyone wants to check it out. -shamelessplug- The weird thing is that I'm making a video as a present, but it's not Pet... it's Pretty Fly For a White Guy, starring the good old Caped Crusader. O.O
Disclaimer: I don't own Teen Titans, Batman, the song Pet, the band A Perfect Circle, or even Pretty Fly For a White Guy. All I own is what's in my head, and that's not saying much.
He had half expected the man to do something, but he didn't think that it would take this long.
He knew he had struck a nerve somewhere when he had sent Robin to a spot near Wayne Enterprises, the first assignment where the Titans had found him. The Boy Wonder had stiffened slightly when he pointed at the area, but suddenly relaxed (as much as he could in a situation like this) when the pointing finger moved off the Wayne Enterprises building to point to the correct spot.
At first he thought it was because it was Robin's first time stealing. ... Correction, first time stealing when everyone could see it was their beloved leader really in the act. But he had a hunch that wasn't it.
It was only when Robin was making his way back to the lair and avoiding Wayne Enterprises did it dawn on him.
After a bit of quick research on Bruce Wayne, he saw what millions of others had seen years before.
Thomas and Martha Wayne are murdered, leaving eight-year-old Bruce Wayne an orphan and a millionaire in the same instant. Years later and after countless days of travel, a fully-grown Bruce returns to Gotham.
Batman appears soon after.
Haley's Circus has its star performers, The Flying Graysons, die in a tragic "accident." Young Dick Grayson is left an orphan and taken in by Bruce Wayne.
Robin appears soon after.
Bruce Wayne and Richard Grayson.
Batman and Robin.
But, unlike him, the public hadn't connected the dots.
Of course, he said nothing. The only hint he gave Robin was an offhand remark when the Boy Wonder returned:
"I thought he would've taught you better than that..."
It was quiet, musing, but effective all the same.
Robin had whirled around, an angry look on his face somehow different from the other usual ones. "He was better teacher than you will ever be," the unwilling apprentice spat darkly.
He had let out a velvet chuckle, a cruel mockery of a father amused at his son's naïveté. "Not the bat, the billionaire."
The teenager looked like he had been socked in the stomach. He knew that Robin had grasped the message:
I know who he is.
Robin looked like he was torn between self-loathing and loathing the man standing across from him. It seemed his reasons for hating himself were stronger at the moment, seeing as he growled and turned off.
After that, he had tested the waters again, trying to see how far he could provoke Robin about it; how much he cared for his... "father." He would have to get the Boy Wonder over it; break him if he had to.
That was why Wayne Enterprises was his next target. The look Robin sent him was pure hate, but there was nothing but an emotionless expression under the grills of his mask.
Afterwards, Robin had calmed some. The vital signs had said he had enjoyed stealing from dear old dad. Hm. Maybe there was a bad parting of ways...
Afterwards, Robin had rebelled and the Titans came to his aid, but the masked mercenary had managed to escape from the team attack. Of course, now in his newly restored and relocated lair, he was expecting an unexpected visit any time now.
The doors behind him blew open, the sounds of the explosion lingering in the stagnant air.
Slade didn't flinch.
"I see where Robin gets his flare for the dramatic," he murmured, eye flicking around him as he turned, body tensed slightly for attack.
The dust settled, but there was no one in the doorway.
Slade slid his bo staff out. While he wasn't really concerned when he fought Robin, knowing that the teenager would never do enough damage in a fight to actually kill, Slade didn't know how hard the new arrival could hit.
He'd heard a bit about him; mostly from lower class criminals who had run-ins or knew those who had, and they all said he was a monster. No one knew if he killed the criminals, or sucked their blood; Slade had even heard of one man who begged the legend not to eat his soul.
Hmph. How pathetic. Well, now Slade wanted to try his hand at slaying the beast.
Something whizzed by, striking a computer panel and sending up sparks. Slade jumped back, snapping his head in that direction.
Something else knocked the back of his head, making a loud CLANG! as it hit the metallic mask.
A crack ran up the back at the point of impact.
Instead of probing the back of his mask to see just how large it was, Slade whipped out a few explosive disks and flung them around the room. His intention was not to hit the intruder, merely to help locate him.
Every corner and crevice lit up with an eerie white light, shadows flickering and jumping along the walls.
Slade knew he'd never hit him with a random shot, even though there was a small chance. His efforts paid off when he saw the waver of a cape behind a pile of metal barrels, picked up by the wind and only visible for a split second.
Taking the chance, Slade carefully approached it. When it didn't move or run, his muscles tensed and he gripped his bo staff tighter, expecting a sudden attack.
To his surprise, he found nothing but the dark cape, unattached and flipping around freely, wedged between two barrels to keep it there and make it look like someone was behind the pile.
Slade yanked it out with a sharp tug and let it float to the floor. Narrowing his eye, he was now ready for an attack. There was nowhere else to-
Batman dropped from the very top barrel and slammed his palms into the other's back, bringing Slade crashing down onto the floor.
Now in a handstand position on Slade's back, he flipped over his victim's head and landed in a crouched position. He felt lighter without the cape, more vulnerable. Shedding a bit of armor for a distraction was risky, but necessary. He wouldn't be able to sneak up on Slade or scare him into submission. The Dark Knight knew that his hit wouldn't do much to the man, which was why he didn't make a grab for his abandoned cape.
This was smart move, as Slade pushed off the floor and stood again. His harsh breathing had calmed and he gazed evenly at Batman.
"I suppose this is about your... ex-sidekick?" Slade asked, sounding nonchalant.
Batman slid into a fighting stance, feet firmly on the ground, knees bent, fists ready to fly up. It felt strange without his cape.
"Either way, he's not yours anymore."
"He's not an object."
"But he is easily dispensable. When he left you, you went on without hassle. When he... rebelled against my apprenticing, I can still function just as well." Slade looked idly at the end of his staff. "I suppose this is about your roof, then?"
If Batman was surprised that Slade knew his alias, he didn't show it.
"Perhaps you'd like to know that your little "ex-partner" enjoyed stealing. He may deny it, but his body says otherwise. It was a thrill, one which you could never provide him with."
Nothing. No response, no expression. Just those cold, emotionless eyeslits staring back at him.
Turning, Slade folded his arms behind his back and began walking away. "Well, I suppose you won't say anything else. I actually got more out of you than I had expected."
Pivoting in his spot, he lashed out with his staff and hit something hard.
Batman was hit in mid-jump and sent flying across the room, hitting the wall with a dull thud and sliding down with a grunt. His soft panting echoed in the deadly silence of Slade's lair. Getting up without another word, he took the stance again. His eyes narrowed.
Slade smirked. Finally, a challenge.
He lunged at Batman with inhuman speed, bringing his staff down diagonally to hit his target in the left shoulder.
Slade was slightly taken back at upon seeing that the Caped Crusader had managed to move his right forearm in front of shoulder in time, the staff lodged between the scalloped edges of his gauntlet that was pressing into the targeted shoulder.
Wrenching his arm away from his shoulder, Batman hit Slade squarely in the side of the face with the back of hand, making Slade stumble to the side a bit. The bo staff went skittering across the floor, making metallic clangs as it went.
Gathering his bearings quickly, Slade rushed again, this time landing a punch to Batman's stomach, and while the man was doubled over Slade kicked him into the stack of barrels.
The shadowy figure was hidden from view as the metal barrels came crashing down, the hollow drums echoing one another. When everything quieted down, Slade strode leisurely over and shook his head in mock-lament.
"Pity. I would've expected more."
A few moments later, the barrels began moving slightly, and Slade stepped back, wary. Batman sprung out from the pile, and Slade, shocked the man (or was he truly inhuman?) had retained consciousness, had barely enough time to move out of the way.
Batman sailed by, but only when the Dark Knight rolled into his landing and spun to face him did Slade feel a stinging sensation on the side Batman had passed by.
Looking down, he noticed a clean tear on his armor. The cut was thin and not very deep, but it was rapidly turning red. One glance at Batman and the Batarangs he was holding between his fisted fingers like throwing stars, and Slade had found the cause.
"Well, well... First blood goes to you, Wayne," he muttered.
"It won't be the last."
Just full of surprises tonight, wasn't he? Slade suddenly noticed the cape enshrouding Batman's body; he must've reattached it while under the pile.
"So, talking again, are we?" Slade murmured, rushing Batman and feinting another slug to the stomach, intending a right hook.
Batman grabbed the fist coming at his face. "Only to warn you. I don't want you near Robin again, Wilson." He finished the statement with a punch to the face, making the other lurch back a bit.
"Touché," Slade replied, both knowing he wasn't talking about the move. This time when he was tossed with a judo throw, Slade rebounded quickly and slammed his shoulder into Batman's gut.
Batman stumbled back into the large keyboard attached to the wall, and Slade took this chance to advance. "But, if you don't want people bothering him about… switching sides, perhaps you shouldn't have let him go."
They began trading blows, conversing as if it was a merely a meeting.
"I wasn't about to stop him from doing something he felt he needed to do. If he wanted to leave, I wasn't about to stop him. His decision to resist you had nothing to do with me."
A punch; Batman ran forward and swung his leg at Slade's side.
"Well, then I guess I can't give you all of the credit. Whatever morals he retained from you must have kept him from crossing the line, however."
A grab; Slade's hands clamped around Batman's leg and flung him back at the keyboard where he had started.
"That wasn't morals, it was common sense."
A kick; Batman swung his leg around and swept Slade off his feet. He jumped on top of Slade, pressing his knee into the other's back forcefully. "I don't want him learning tricks from an assassin."
Under the mask, Slade cracked a cold, mirthless smile. Rolling over, he pinned Batman to the ground.
"Speaking of that..."
A small dagger was produced, hidden in his sleeves, and shoved into Batman's side.
It twisted painfully, ripping tissues and skin, blood flowing out already.
"...Die hard," he finished in a satisfied tone. "I'm sure Robin will realize which side really has the most to offer someone like him."
Batman's fist smashed into the side of his face, much stronger than Slade would've thought possible. It sent him flying off the vigilante and rolling away onto the floor.
Slade looked up at Batman, eye wide in surprise. He couldn't tell the effect of the wound, as Batman stood straight and tall, body covered with his cape, his panting unnoticeable unless you noticed the tiny heave of the strong shoulders.
"Stay away from him."
The bloody dagger clattered across the floor and stopped in front of Slade, red almost up to the hilt.
The instant later when Slade looked up, he was gone, leaving to wonder about how human The Batman really was.
Everyone in the common room of Titans Tower looked up just in time to see a hysterical Beast Boy run in, arms flailing around his head.
Robin arched a brow. "What's the problem Beast Boy?" he asked, wondering if he really wanted to know.
The changeling dove behind the couch, popping his head up right next to an irritate Raven. "I was looking outside to see if it would stop raining anytime soon, and I saw..." He paused for dramatic effect.
"... A ghost," he finished in a serious whisper.
"... But Beast Boy, are ghosts not myths?" Starfire asked from where she was sitting next to Robin, breaking the silence.
"They are, Star," Robin nodded. "Beast Boy's just imaging things."
Beast Boy shook his head vigorously and hid under the bit of Raven's cloak that was hanging over the couch where she sat. "I am not!" he shouted indignantly. "There was a shadow right outside the window; it was going up really fast and I know it was a ghost!"
Raven's eye twitched. "Beast Boy, when you're making irrational claims about poltergeists, could you use your inside voice?" she muttered, yanking her cape back up on the couch.
Both of Robin's eyebrows shot up in disbelief, but he shrugged. "Maybe he's just overreacting to the movie last night."
Cyborg snorted from his spot in the kitchen. "I doubt Casper the Friendly Ghost would scare BB that much."
"Don't be so sure of that," Raven put in dryly, taking the green kitten off her lap and dislodging it's claws.
It scampered over to the counter and jumped into Starfire's lap. She began petting him, making the little green feline purr. "I must agree with Raven; perhaps Beast Boy truly saw something," she suggested, scratching the furry head.
"I don't know..." Robin trailed off.
Beast Boy gave him The Face, to who Robin was immune. Starfire, however, was not, and once the big eyes looked up at her she looked to Robin, giving him her own face that he couldn't resist.
He caved and got off the stool, shooting Beast Boy a "you-better-not-be-lying" look. "I'll check it out. Where did you see it?"
Beast Boy hopped off Starfire's lap and resumed his human form. "Near your room. Don't let it steal your soul," he warned seriously.
Robin rolled his eyes. "Yeah Beast Boy, I'll watch out for that," he muttered sardonically as he exited.
There was a thunderclap and Beast Boy shrieked, turning into a puppy and hiding under a chair, whimpering.
Robin's door swished open, and the owner of the room stepped inside. After making sure there were no "ghosts" (or intruders), he had decided to check his room, one of the only places to hide on that floor.
Deciding to leave the light off (he did spend half his life in the Batcave), he strode around his room, checking under the bed and in the closet. When he came to his desk, he noticed a small folded paper that hadn't been there before.
Curiously, he picked it and unfolded it, reading the note by the lighting flashes coming in through the window.
I already know about what happened at the Enterprise. You don't have to explain, I know why. I paid him a visit. Alfred says hello and wants to know how you're holding up; so do I. He wants you to call, and I think we need to discuss some things.
There was no signature, but Robin knew who it was. He rolled his eyes, wondering how much damage Batman had done to Slade. There must've been some bloodshed, judging from a small red blot near the lower left corner of the paper. He knew that the villain wasn't dead, but still... he wanted to do that, not Batman. He was trying to get out of the man's shadow for Pete's sake.
Hearing that he had swooped in like some overprotective parent frustrated Robin; he could take care of himself. That was part of the reason he had left Batman; he was tired of being treated like a little kid, tired of having to have his hide saved time and time again like he was ten.
But still… He had come all this way; Robin would've at least liked a chance to say hello… maybe yell at him for coming here when he had it under control… and possibly, against his better judgment, thank him for not barging in the moment trouble started.
The Boy Wonder crossed the floor and looked out the rain-streaked window just in time to see something take off across the water with Beast Boy's wail coming right afterwards.
"ROBIN, THE GHOST IS TAKING OFF ON HIS RAFT OF UNDEAD SOULS TO GO TERRORIZE THE CITY!"
Just stay with me
Hold you and protect you from the other ones
The evil ones
Don't love you son,
Go back to sleep
- Pet, by A Perfect Circle
Huh, I don't know if that was my best. I keep getting this feeling that I screwed something up... Hm. Anyways, hope it was satisfactory.
In case she reads this:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMANDA ILU.
And this is the part where I finally shut up.