A/N: I re-read two of my fav author's stories, their called Touch and Terms of Endearment, amazing author, amazing stories. Anyway I read them again for like the 50th time and I just was sooooooooo in the mood to write a Slash one shot. Sladin just sounds so good right now! Mmmmmmm Sladin. It's a one-shot. Possibly an add on chapter to my three chapter "one-shot" called The Screens. Idk, interp as you like.

The steam that exploded from the pipes washed across the young boy's back. He gritted his teeth and let out a growl. The pain shot through out his nerves and he almost felt like he was going to lose himself to the pain at any moment. But no, he pushed on; he had to make it through. He was getting stronger and stronger the more he pushed through the pain, the pain was what drove him forward.

As the steam rolled down his back and over his shoulders the boy started doing his pull-ups. His hands, though gloved, felt like they where being cooked. He held onto another pipe, the hot water pipe that ran through out the entire compound. He was on his third set of three hundred. His body ached, not just from the searing hot steam, or the pipes that he used to exercise, but also from the fact that he was pushing himself to the limit tonight.

This would be his fifth hour in this particular room, his personal favorite. The boiler room. Though this compound was one of the smaller ones that his partner had built, the boiler room was rather large. It was dark, and with only four or five lights that lit up small areas of the room it happened to be the darkest room in the whole place.

Finally the steam stopped, it would be about another thirty seconds before it erupted again so he could relax and not push so hard. Silence filled the room now however, and even though he was on the far side he still heard the almost inaudible whoosh of the door as it slid open. He dropped from his pip and stepped out of the light into the darkness. He heard the door whoosh shut, but no sound followed. No footsteps, or voices, nothing but silence. He crept slowly along the wall in the dark; he allowed his hand to skim the wall a little ways before himself. The boy didn't want to be surprised right now.

The coolness of the wall felt great on his back and for a moment he closed his eyes to enjoy the small relief. He jumped however in surprise when the steam poured out from the pipes again. The hissing filled the air, the boy focused on the sounds beyond the hissing instead of the hissing itself. His eyes flew open and he rushed forward throwing his fist out into the darkness. He felt something brush his knuckle and the next thing he knew he was being flipped over and shoved into the floor.

"You must be very tired Robin, I haven't seen you this sloppy in months." The voice cooed softly.

"I'm sorry. I was thrown off." The boy said angry with himself that his attack had been so horribly off.

"Out in the field you cannot allow yourself to be thrown off by anything! Especially something as minimal as steam from pipes." Robin nodded and allowed the man's face to grow close to his own. "However, I will admit, I did not mean to let your knuckle graze my mask. You may have missed the perfect moment to attack, but you are getting much faster."

Slade let Robin down and they stood together, Robin adjusted his gloves back into place and gave a small nod, "Thank you."

The bigger man nodded back.

"Tell me Robin, where have you been… and why did I end up finding you in THIS particular room?" Slade asked looking around.

Robin turned away from Slade and started to walk back to his pipes, the hissing stopped just in time. He took his place on the pipe and started to do pull ups.

"I was on my third set of three hundred when you walked in."

Slade stood back and watched, "So for the last five hours…" Slade started.

"Yup." Robin said, his voice was monotone, because he was focusing.

The pipes started to rattle and Slade held out his hand to tell Robin the pipe was about to explode but before he could get a word out the searing hot steam erupted from the pipe and smashed into Robin's back, across his shoulders and up his arms. Even though it was very dark he could almost see the boy's face contort. No noise except a small growl escaped. Slade watched very unsure but very impressed as Robin continued to do pull ups through the pain.

Finally the steam stopped again, Robin kept pumping, "What number are you on?" Slade asked.

"Two-fifty." Robin said again in the level voice.

The pipe eventually went off again and Robin pumped through it all, though this time there was a slightly louder growl. When the hissing stopped for the second time Robin dropped to the ground and leaned over slightly, he inhaled and then slowly stood up straight.

"I may be in here a few more hours, I want to do some more work… I'll be out around one, if that is alright with you."

"You will be in the bedroom by eleven. There are a few things I would like to talk to you about."

Robin sighed and nodded and walked off towards another part of the room, Slade watched for a moment and then turned and left.

ONE HOUR LATER

Robin walked into the bedroom; he had slid his shirt back on and made the long walk back slightly earlier then planned. Slade words had distracted him and he had been unable to focus on finishing what he had started.

The shirt he was wearing was a plain black t-shirt, he wore it when he was training or exercising. Despite the fact it was light cotton it still stung quite a bit as it gently rubbed at his skin. He wasn't complaining though, the pains made him want to get better, and try harder. As long as he had the aches and pains and the pressure he would get stronger.

He looked around; the large two-person bed straight to his left shoved up into the corner was empty. To his right the computer desk's chair was also empty. He knew he was a little early but Slade was usually a little early. He sighed and decided that since he was early it would be the perfect time to jump in the shower and get some of this muck off of him.

He walked across the space and entered the bathroom; he closed the door behind him. Robin slowly peeled off the shirt from his body and turned slightly, of what he could see, his upper and lower back, arms, shoulders and neck where bright red, with blisters and small amounts of blood.

This was going to be a long healing process, but as long as he kept the wounds dressed with medication they shouldn't affect his performance. Robin jumped in the shower and once again found himself gritting his teeth as the hot water ran down his back. He couldn't hold back the tears this time and was glad that Slade was not there to see him give in so easily; Robin dared not wash his hair, the soap would probably kill him.

He turned off the water and stepped out of the shower and walked back to the mirror, he whipped the mirror clean and his reflection peered at him. He turned to admire his back again, still red, with lots of blisters, but nothing seemed to be seeping now.

He turned to the small thin closet door and opened it. Pulling out some gauze he began to wrap, he didn't have time to put antibiotic on tonight so he just wrapped it and hoped he would have more time tomorrow to take care of it. When he was done he grabbed a fresh shirt and slid it on. Though the pain kept him sane Robin was glad to have some relief. The gauze kept the shirt from rubbing, now all he had to do was keep Slade from rubbing. The thought made Robin blush and smile.

When he emerged from the bathroom he found Slade slowly removing all his metal gear and his belt. "I see you showed up a little earlier then I asked. Wanting to get a head start on tonight's activities?" Slade asked in a teasing voice.

Robin gave a small smirk and started to walk towards the bed, "Actually I am pretty tired. Would you be offended if I went to bed?" Robin said climbing onto the soft mattress and sliding under the covers. He yanked off his pants, leaving his boxers in place.

When Robin realized Slade had not responded he looked over to the man, Slade stood almost frozen in his place, holding up a piece of metal armor like he was about to put it away.

"What?" Robin asked pulling the covers closer to him.

Slade looked at the armor and his eye narrowed, he finished undressing down to his black boxers. To Robin's dismay he still had the mask on. That evil mask. Even now that they where partners and had been so for a few years that mask still unnerved him. Because it was the man under the mask that Robin loved.

As Slade approached the bed Robin felt like it was the first encounter all over again. That evil glare, the rigid body posture, something was not right tonight and Robin was praying to God it was not something he did.

"We need to talk Robin." Slade said sitting down next to the boy.

"As long as you are not breaking up with me then okay." Robin said teasing trying as hard as he could to lighten Slade's mood.

"This is no joking matter Richard."

Robin swallowed and nervously looked at the grey blue eye that stared down at him. Slade had used Robin's real name, something was seriously wrong. The only time he used Robin's real name was either when he was seriously pissed or when they made love.

"What is it?" Robin asked quietly.

"It is about…. The boiler room."

Robin swallowed and nodded slowly, "Okay." he said fidgeting with the blankets.

"Stop." Slade said placing his hands on the boy's hands. "And listen."

Robin nodded one more time hoping Slade would start to explain.

"Now Robin, I want you to tell me the truth… when ever you disappear… do you always go to the boiler room?" Slade asked.

Robin nodded not seeing why this question was relevant.

"What do you do there? The whole time, do you train?"

Robin nodded again.

"And the steam? What of that?" The man asked, his eye boring into the young boy, he could see the concern.

"What do you mean Slade?" Robin said half seeing where this was going and half in the dark.

"I mean, what is the point of letting hot steam scorch your back? I see no benefit for you in the long run besides pain."

Robin stiffened, he didn't say a word and for a long time there was silence. Finally Robin knew that he had to break the silence.

"The steam just… it helps me is all…. it helps me focus."

Slade looked to him, the mask made Robin's insides squirm. "Focus?" Slade asked reaching up to remove his mask. Robin instantly relaxed and laid back down. "Yes, it's like a stress release."

Slade placed his mask beside the bed like always and pulled the covers back so he could get in. For a long while Slade laid close to Robin on his side and played with the snoozing boy's hair. He was almost nineteen. Soon he would reach twenty, then twenty-one. In five years Slade had seen Robin grow into a young man, his body was gorgeous and he was a very strong fighter with the will power of a hurricane. But, he had bent to Slade all those years ago… despite his strong will to exist for himself, he somehow bent himself to exist for Slade. He owed the boy so much more then he would ever be able to understand. Not only did he have a partner, a student and a apprentice, he had a lover. A trust friend. He had a purpose again.

Slade knew Robin was not yet in a deep state of sleep so he leaned in close to the boy's ear and spoke, "Robin…"

"Mmmm?" Was the boy's reply.

"You are…. Happy here right?" Slade asked.

There was a short pause from the boy and then a happy sounding, "Mmhmmm." Robin turned to face Slade and nuzzled into the bigger man's chest. "Things have changed so much over the last few years, even I have changed slightly… for you of course. I have changed for you and only you… but even change can't always make a person happy. I just want to be sure, you have learned under me, studied and trained. We are master and apprentice, from that you can take away what ever you like. But… from me as a person… as your partner… in so many more ways then just two men making profit… you are happy correct? You have everything you want? Everything you need? When it comes to companionship?"

Slade looked down and was slightly surprised to see Robin's big blue eyes looking up at him. The boy ran his hand up the man's bare chest and then laced his fingers into Slade's white locks of hair. "I have everything I could ever want… I love you." The boy pushed himself up slightly and kissed the older man gently on the lips. "As long as I have you, as long as I have us… I could be a poor beggar on the street and I wouldn't care." Slade gave a small smile and kissed the boy back, when the two pulled away Robin laughed a little, "What is it?" Slade asked looked down at Robin with a un amused look on his face.

"For an assassin, you sure are insecure…" Robin rolled over laughing and pulled Slade's arm around him, he locked his fingers in between Slade's and sighed. "That's alright, I will teach you some self-confidence." Robin said yawning. The next thing he knew Robin was asleep and Slade was smirking. "You do try."

Soon both rested, and any unpleasant thoughts would be left to tomorrow.

R&R