And, licking dry lips, he held out his arm.
Taking the arm in one hand, Slade examined it with clinical detachment. Muscular, pale, and bruised in one spot. One thumb rubbed over that bruise, feeling the hole it surrounded, and he ignored the almost undetectable moan of pain from the boy about to collapse at his feet. Releasing the arm, he opened the small kit and removed an alcohol swap. He cleansed the injection site, then tossed the swab back in the kit before taking out the already prepared syringe.
Again he took the boy's arm and waited for his response.
It was a dry, thready whisper, almost but not quite begging, but enough.
Slade slid the needle home.
Hours later Tim came back to himself to find himself staring down at a bloody corpse. His mind, drugged and confused, knew enough to know he had killed the man, and he wanted to vomit, wanted to scream, but the serum never allowed him enough sanity to do more than tremble in shock.
A heavy hand landed on his shoulder and, not in control of his legs, Tim could only turn helplessly and let his captor and tormentor wrap an arm around him. Sometimes he thought these instances of partial sanity were worse than his norm, because he knew what he was doing was wrong and evil and yet he couldn't stop any of it. The frustration of being trapped in his own body was worse than reveling in the power and insanity brought on by the serum.
Slade was speaking to him, but Tim tuned him out, not wanting to know if it was praise or censure or something even worse. In these few rational moments, he knew what else Slade used him for besides murder, and his soul cringed in horror, even as his body curled into Slade's.
Tim knew that, under the influence of the drugs, he was also a willing participant in everything.
And he wasn't certain he'd every recover from any of it.
He was almost grateful when he felt the serum begin to sweep away his sanity.
He felt Slade's mouth on his before it happened.
Slade had learned years before that sex was a good method of control. He hadn't expected the kid to enjoy it so much, though. Everything he'd seen of this Robin, all his surveillance and research, had shown that the kid was nowhere near as tactile, as loving, as needy as the first Robin. In battle he was practical, cool, analytical, and incredibly deadly.
But, in bed he was a different creature.
Slade hadn't expected to enjoy it himself as much as he did either.
Tim made a lot of noise, too. Where he was a silent killer, he was a loud and exuberant bed mate. Currently he was moaning into the pillow, writhing as Slade pushed three lubricated fingers into him and held him down as he tried to buck.
Tim slipped back into sanity to feel the heavy body on his back, the ache deep inside him as something hard was pushed in and out, the accompany ache in his groin from his own desire. He wanted to weep into the pillow but could only bite back the cries he knew the man fucking him enjoyed so much, and hold on, silently praying he'd leave again before the need became too much and he spilled himself on the sweat-dampened sheets beneath him.
Hard hands held his hips, lifting him higher, and he couldn't contain a groan of both pain
and pleasure as the cock pounding into him hit that sweet spot, making his own cock throb
with need. Tim squeezed shut his eyes and pushed his hips back, one hand reaching down,
the need for release greater than the need for control. When he wrapped it around his cock,
sending a shudder of bliss through him, he let himself go, coming and sinking into insanity,
both mixing in his mind as ecstatic horror.
Slade was slipping. It was the only explanation he could come up with for why they'd found him so quickly, why they'd been able to slip a series of cameras into the safehouse, why Slade hadn't found any of them.
Or maybe he was just distracted.
Dick couldn't watch the seduction of his little brother. When he'd seen the bloodied red and
black costume--Renegade, you bastard? You put him in the Renegade costume?--begin to
come off under Slade's experienced hands, he'd looked away. The sounds were inescapable,
though, and finally he turned the volume down as low as it would go and still allow them to hear anything spoken that might be important.
As he waited, seething, knowing his partners would catch anything he missed, he let his mind slip back to the night Tim disappeared, to the weeks of searching for him, to the team-up with first Cassandra--not a surprise as she was Tim's friend and trying to find him kept her from dealing with her own problems with the League and her mother--and then Jason--a true surprise, but welcome. Bruce wasn't happy that Dick refused to accompany him on his quest. Dick was truly pissed that Bruce hadn't done more than he had to find Tim. He figured that final argument drew Jason's attention to him.
Bitching about their asshole father had bonded them more than once.
So, the three continued the search, and within weeks they found Slade, and, more importantly, found that Slade had a new companion.
Who fought like Shiva and Dick and Connor Hawke combined, yet used a bo staff.
And a sword.
Dick knew instantly, and it took only a couple more days to figure it out. The serum, that damn serum. It had driven Rose to take her own eye in her insanity. It had driven Addie to her own death.
That it was running through his little brother's system, driving him mad enough to kill, hurt
Dick's heart. The first time he found proof of Tim working as an assassin, he cried in Cass'
arms for over an hour.
The second time, he beat the crap out of Jason then begged him to help Tim deal with being a killer once they freed him.
They still didn't know why Slade had done this, but once they found the safehouse, Dick no longer cared. He just needed to get Tim out of there, get him help, get him sane and keep him there.
Now the knowledge that Slade was using Tim for more than just killing was driving him into a rage he didn't know if he could control.
It was too damn familiar. In Tim, writhing beneath Slade in that wide bed, Dick saw Tara.
And, Dick knew full well that he'd come damn close to being in that bed himself.
And he wouldn't have been able to use the drug-induced insanity defense.
"Snap out of it 'Wing." Jason's snarl, accompanied by a buffet on the shoulder brought Dick back to the present and he turned his attention back to the monitor, wincing as Tim's cry of pleasure rang out even through the nearly muted speakers.
"We go now." Cass' voice was clipped, angry, cold.
On the screen, Slade slumped over Tim, both of them shaking in release, and Dick nodded tightly. "Cass, you get Tim. Jay and I'll take Slade."
"Can I shoot him?"
Jason grinned and slipped a gun from behind his back.
It wasn't like a bullet would kill the son of a bitch, but they didn't have much of a chance of stopping him without spilling his blood.
And Dick really didn't care if Slade got hurt.
He deserved every ounce of pain.
The confusion and fear in Tim's eyes as he rolled away from Slade and curled into a ball only bolstered that desire to hurt him.
The serum had run through him too fast, bringing him back to sanity and withdrawal too soon, and Tim, body shaking from release and sickness, curled into himself, trying to escape again. He saw the needle coming for his arm, tried to twist away, and saw Slade frown.
This time he wouldn't ask for it, he wouldn't, he...
Slade smiled and lifted the trembling arm to the tip of the needle.
And all hell broke loose.
Slade broke out of jail within two hours of being taken into custody despite the three bullets in his chest. Dick never found out what he'd wanted with Tim, why he'd gone after the youngest Bat.
Why he hadn't gone after him.
As the threesome nursed Tim back to health and sanity, Dick found he didn't care. Slade had always been an enigma, and he had much more important things to worry about.
In the first month, Tim tried to kill himself three times. Jason and Cass became a couple. Dick quit the Outsiders and focused solely on his family.
When Bruce returned after less than six months away, they fought and argued and Dick screamed at him, and none of it mattered when Tim clung to his eldest mentor, sobbing for forgiveness.
And Bruce gave it unconditionally.