a/n: HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! This is the second time I've mentioned Slade not practicing voyeurism--- but this time it's not a slash couple. IT"S FREAKING SLAVEN!!! R+R!!

She squirmed in her sleep.

He suppose there was nothing to be surprised about in that effect. Squirming was something she did constantly, albeit usually without anyone else taking note. Her teammates never noticed— and it was only recently that he himself had become privy to that little fact. But that secret, once learned, failed to leave his mind; he started looking for it, for signs and indications, and found them everywhere.

She squirmed when Robin gave out orders and she threw her black spirit into the air. She squirmed when, pausing in battle, she cast an eye towards her comrades, all of them at risk, all of them capable of dying at any moment. She squirmed when she watched them all doing normal teenager things, thinking to herself that she doesn't belong there, she doesn't fit in, she could kill them at any moment. She squirms when she meditates, pulls her lily-colored legs into their delicate lotus pose, when she focuses her mind and exudes a tranquil veneer when, really, she's counting every second, challenging her every breath. She squirms when he breaks off his customary taunting speech to Robin and looks her dead in the eye, bringing to the surface fresh memories she has to tuck quickly away before readying her fists and bringing herself to fight. Every waking moment is a battle for her. Sleep should be no different.

Silently, motionlessly, he watched as her round, heart-shaped face dove in and out of expressions. Thin, velvety purple brows creased in some emotion generally unfathomable, lips pursing and tightening; she clenched her teeth, and he knew her jaw would be sore the morrow. Her lips were parted, and her breathing was uneven, labored, short-start-and-stop-gasping, with intermissions of awkward regularity. She slept like the troubled dead: tormented, yet unable to wake.

The act of watching her like this, pure and unaware and vulnerable, seemed to him almost like voyeurism. But he was not viewing this from some obscure standpoint like a silently excited spectator— his body was hidden beneath the same black blankets as hers, laying languid on the same stiff bed, inches from her clammy-white flesh.

He was not the fly on her wall. He was the skeleton in her closet, the demon in her bed.

Or, to be politically correct, she is the half-demon in my bed.

Slade gave an extremely uncharacteristic almost-sigh, looking over the purple-haired oddling in his bed. Really, he shouldn't have let her stay; before, if he had ever found the time to plan out his actions in the event of . . . well, of this occurring . . . he would have probably driven himself to use her, abuse her, and then dump her somewhere. He wouldn't have let her fall asleep next to him after both their startlingly equal savage needs were met; with planning, he certainly wouldn't have allowed himself to stay in the bed alongside her, observing her with astute fascination.

And yet here he was, eyes experiencing the delicious luxury of studying her as they were unprivileged to do when she was awake. Conscious, she presented far more interesting opportunities; asleep, she was a picture worth studying.

Carefully, he slithered one hand across the covers, fingers coming to rest gently on her fabric-sheathed thigh, slowly running up her leg and along the curves of her waist, over her shoulder, stopping just at the base of her neck. Her moth-wing-soft eyelids fluttered. She was dreaming; and, judging by the panicked way her mouth twitched, these phantasmal images weren't pleasant ones.

Of course, there was an endless list of things she could be dreaming of that she would find so distressing; there were plenty of things about her and her past that could easily warrant nightmares. Something told him, however, that most of the ones she had were about her father. At least, his was the name she sometimes whispered whilst she gave her minuscule sleep-spasms (accompanied, occasionally, by Slade's own name). And he wondered, cruelly and unabashedly wondered what it was that daddy dearest had done to merit this kind of mention, this quivering fear, this ceaseless morbidity.

Then again, there was not much wondering to be done. Because he knew: somehow, he knew.

Somehow, he knew when she buried her face into the covers and curled up into a little ball; he knew when he reached over and, careful not to wake her, pried her arms apart, pressing her wrists to the mattress at either side of her head; he knew when he quietly lay himself atop her dream-suspended form, when he held her down and breathed hot and close to her neck, when he licked slowly and cruelly at her salty skin; he knew when he pinned her down and her breathing became all the more frantic, that her daddy dearest had not kept his carnal appetites to himself.

And what was more disturbing, when suddenly her struggling stopped and her face cleared of all emotion, bleeding out into to the true tranquility of sleep, he knew that it didn't make her feel quite as dirty as she fooled herself into believing.

Maybe there were no words for what her father had done to her; but whatever he did do, it had left its mark upon her. She could trick herself and everyone else on the planet into thinking that she had a virgin mind, unaccustomed to such depraved and needy ecstasies. But her knew better.

And maybe she didn't come for the sex, the back-breaking contortions of their two hungry-lustful bodies grinding against one another. Maybe she came for what followed, for the plagued sleep and the reminder that he gave her like a shock to her subconscious that, in reality, she was indeed that wicked and dissolutely lascivious.

Eyes cold and caustic, he brought his hand up unaffectionately to her cheek. And it was a light touch, but she seemed to feel it all the same, because she turned her head ever-so-slightly. Her breathing slowed. Her eyelids stopped flickering.

She did not move again all night.