A/N: Hello everybody! Here we are again, with 22 pages of New Year's special! Don't expect anything more than fluff, smut and the occasional laugh, it's not like I'm going to bring drama in NOW… ;) warning: I'm taking liberties with the characters history and stuff… a bit… you'll live! This starts on the 26th…
The Best Christmas Present Ever: NEW YEARS
The Best Christmas Present Ever: NEW YEARS
Robin left Slade's apartment early the next morning, and managed to return to the Tower before the Titans had woken up. Well. Most of them. As usual.
"Merry Christmas." Raven rasped as he passed the kitchen-area. She didn't sound like she was quite awake yet. Robin stopped.
"Merry Christmas, Rae. How come you are always awake when I try to sneak in?" he smiled. The empath was nursing a cup and Robin first thought it was her usual tea, before the smell of rose-hip soup reached him.
"Sooo… had a good night?" Raven smiled slightly, avoiding the question.
"Incredible." Robin grinned back.
"You would just get jealous."
"I am. You are a lucky guy."
"Oh, I know…" Robin chuckled. "Well… now I do…"
"He's damn lucky too."
"PRESENT-TIME!" a holler came from the hallway, and soon after, a green cheetah rushed into the main room, almost crashing into the big tree.
"We'll wait for everybody, BB!" Raven tutted.
Half an hour later, Robin was opening a present from the whole team. When he saw what it was, he chuckled and shook his head.
"You shouldn't have, guys… really… have you any idea what you have done?"
"Well… you can't kick us all off the team, can you?" Beast Boy grinned.
Robin held up the black t-shirt which, with orange, bold letters, announced 'Slade Is Hot'. As the shirt folded out completely, he saw that his team had added something in smaller letters underneath. 'And He's Mine'. Robin put it on straight away.
He was still wearing it that evening when Slade came by. By that time the team was too full of good food and candy to have much energy for teasing, and only waved lazily from the couch as BB zapped through Christmas specials.
Slade saw the shirt, read it, and smirked.
"Thank the guys." Robin muttered.
"I will. Right now, actually, as I have presents."
That got Beast Boy out of his stupor.
"Presents? Really?! Cooool! I'll never trash-talk you again!"
"You've been doing that?" Slade asked dryly.
"Err… No! No, of course not!" the changeling blushed. "Err… I'm sorry?"
"Yes, you are." Slade deadpanned. "Anyway, I got you these." In his hands were suddenly five cards in different colors.
"Cards?" Best Boy sniffed, sounding disappointed.
"Food." Slade clarified a little, making the green Titan punch the air.
"Food? Sweet! What? How?"
"These are special gift certificates… let's start with you then, the annoying one…Animal-Lad, was it?"
"Hey!" BB shouted, but then thought better of arguing with the man holding his present. "Yeah, whatever… what is it?"
"These gifts are similar; five of the world's most renowned chefs will come here and cook an exquisite dinner for you. For you, Beast Boy, I chose an Italian chef, since you seem fond of their food. I would recommend to let him decide the menu, though, but he is not only famous for his pasta, he also cooks exclusively vegetarian dishes."
"Wow! Great!" Beast Boy grinned.
"For you, Princess Starfire, since Robin tells me you like… exotic food, I arranged for a Japanese chef. But the rest of you won't have to fear, I guarantee you will love it."
"Thank you, our new friend!" Starfire beamed and flew in to hug the man with all her might. Robin was sure he heard a rib crack.
"Yes, well…" Slade didn't seem sure how to handle a very happy alien, so he looked over at the next Titan instead.
"Raven, I was not sure what you preferred, but you seem to be a woman of fine taste, so for you: the best the French kitchen have to offer."
"Thank you Slade, you are a good guesser…" Raven surprised them with a smile which wasn't ironic and actually lasted for more than a split second.
"Yeah, man, I'm sure it's great, but I'm not much into all this swanky food…" Cyborg grinned apologetically. "I mean, I'd love to try it, but-"
"I got you a chef who can barbecue every type of meat to perfection… and he will bring at least ten types to dinner. As well as a vegetarian option, naturally."
"BOOO-YAAAH!" Cy shouted, and slapped Slade's shoulder. Robin wondered if they were trying to kill his boyfriend.
"As for Robin…"
"But… you already got me… something…" Robin grinned and blushed.
"Yes, well, you get this too… and it is, naturally, a Greek chef for you."
"Thank you, Slade…" Robin grinned. "Err… Starfire? Can you let go now?"
The alien did, reluctantly it seemd, and she had a very suspicious blush on her cheeks for a while. Robin put the cards on display, and then went over to Slade, trying to surreptitiously snuggle up to him.
"Why don't you and I go… what was it you said you usually tell your team you are going to do when you don't want to be disturbed?"
"Filing." Robin admitted, glancing guiltily at his friends.
"Yes. Let's go do some filing."
"Really? Now? But that is soooo booooring!" Beast Boy objected. Even Starfire looked at him like he was stupid.
"Why don't you lot go to the city park? There's a surprise there." Slade suggested.
"What, it's there still?" Robin asked.
"Only a part of it, a hill for the kiddies."
"A hill? A hill of what?" Beast Boy wanted to know.
"Why don't you go see?" Robin suggested. "Dress warmly."
"You only want to be alone to do the filing…" Raven smirked.
"Like we would ever wanna help!" Beast Boy said, again getting the pity-looks. "Whaaat?!"
"Just go." Robin grinned. "You'll have a great time, I promise".
As they entered Robin's room, the teen turned around and drew Slade in for a kiss.
"I missed you." he smiled.
"Strangely, although I know it's only been a few hours, I agree." Slade chuckled.
"Don't go all rational on me… I don't feel like being rational for once…" Robin grinned. "Sooo… you haven't changed your mind about the ski-trip, have you?"
"Haven't had the time to."
"Of course not. You said I could kill two of your friends, right?"
"Noooo, none of them."
"Really? I'm sure I heard two… one, then?"
"They gave me this t-shirt." Robin pointed out.
"Yes, yes… they have taste…I guess I have to let hem live…" Slade smirked. "Actually, I think I have to take a closer look…" he decided, and pulled the shirt up over Robin's head.
"Hey! Liar! You just threw it on the floor!" Robin cried out, pretending to be upset.
"That's just because I saw something more interesting…" Slade purred and started to explore Robin's chest with his fingers.
"Oh… okay… it's all right then…" Robin decided, and pulled the man towards his bed.
Two hours later, Robin was surfing through some ski-resort's sites, while Slade was still stretched out on the bed.
"I could recommend a few places?" the man suggested.
"Nope! Sorry, Slade, I'm going to arrange this trip and everything that's included, all by myself, and you are not allowed to help. You have done so many amazing things for me, already."
"Why, thank you." Slade leered.
"I didn't mean that… although it was rather amazing…" Robin said the last part almost to himself.
"Want some more?" the man suggested.
"Yes. But I have work-ethics." Robin told him, slamming down a bit harder on the keys, like it was their fault he couldn't find the perfect place.
"Don't worry, I'll take care of that." Slade chuckled.
"No. Bad man! Stay away!" Robin warned him with a chuckle.
"I am. I'm just lying here…" Slade smirked.
Robin glanced over his shoulder, taking in the sight.
"Damn." The teen sighed and closed the browser. "I have to pounce on you now."
"Oh. Pity. And you who had all that work to do." Slade looked smug.
"What work?" Robin grinned. "I booked the cabins twenty minutes ago… I just wanted to see how desperate you would get." he said, straddling the man.
"Are you sure you're not evil?" Slade asked curiously.
"Maybe just little bit… bad company, you know."
"I'm glad to have made an impression."
"What about you? I was talking about Raven."
Slade growled and rolled them over.
There was a knock on the door.
"Friends? I was sent to ask if you were done with the files, because there soon will be dinner prepared." Starfire called through the intercom outside the door.
Robin pressed the button next to the bed.
"Just… twenty more minutes." he gasped, as it was pretty hard to talk almost bent double.
"Ten." Slade said, pushing into the boy. "You haven't deserved any foreplay."
Robin just managed to let go of the button before the moan escaped his throat.
"Yes, that's the way I want to hear my name…" the man smirked.
"Then do this… more often…" Robin gasped, clutching the man's neck for leverage.
"Believe me, if it wouldn't kill us in a week, I would never stop."
"But… what… a…week…" Robin grinned. "Go faster!"
"Yes, we better hurry up, since you friends know what we are doing and are waiting for us…. Mmm… I love the way you tighten up when you tense like that."
"Bastard." Robin muttered, red in the face.
"Oh, yes. Now… let's see what happens if I do this…" The man reached out, and, to Robin's horror, he pressed the intercom button, the one that would transfer their voices to the whole Tower.
"You… you…" Robin gasped in the man's ear.
"It's just a little game, Robin…" Slade whispered back. "Let's see how quiet we can be while I fuck you through the bed, shall we?"
Robin bit his bottom lip hard, as Slade started slamming into him even faster, and he was ashamed off how incredibly aroused his was at the thought of his friend's overhearing them.
Damn, I must be sicker than I thought… soon Slade will have me wearing skirts and fucking in public too…Robin thought to himself, the last thought not completely appalling to him, really.
"MMPHF!" Slade had hit his pleasure-spot dead on, and Robin had to slap his hand over his mouth, while trying to pull Slade's arm away from the button. At last he managed, and was about to cry out, when he noticed the glint in the man's eyes, and turned his head to check. Slade had locked the button down. Robin growled lowly and tried to reach for it, but his wrists were pinned down, stopping him from stifling any sounds and moving as well. Robin tried to glare, but to hold a grunge against someone who made him feel as good as he currently felt was useless… he decided to enjoy, quietly if possible, and then give back at Slade later. Then he got an idea. He smirked up at Slade. It was evil. It was very evil. The man above him seemed to notice it, but it was too late. They were both too close. Robin threw his head back and gasped, loudly, before the gasp turned into a moan. He needed to time this perfectly, but first he was going to let go and let himself be washed away by the perfect bliss which was building inside him.
"Yeah… yeah….. Slade, Yes! Yes, god! Yes!" Robin cried loud enough to make sure it carried throughout the building, and, as he was pushed over the edge and felt Slade fall with him, he added, "Ahhh… Slade… You might not be big, but size really doesn't matter, does it?"
The intercom got switched off very quickly.
"You are welcome to play with me, Slade…" Robin purred. "But beware… I can think of a few games as well…"
Robin walked into the living room with a wide grin on his face, followed by Slade who looked like he'd rather be somewhere else. They were met by the Titans who did everything they could to avoid looking at Slade at all.
"Tell them, Robin." Slade growled.
"Oh? Tell them what?" Robin snickered.
"That you knew I turned the intercom on, and that you said… that to get back at me!" Slade hissed, loud enough for the room to hear.
The Titans did a poor job of trying to look like they weren't listening.
"Oh, don't be ashamed of your body, Slade." Robin snickered. "It's… cute!"
"There is only one way to settle this." Raven told them sternly. "Slade, strip."
"Very funny." the man growled.
"Dang." The young woman muttered, clearly disappointed.
"No need to show us anything nasty!" Cyborg started. "The evidence is in Robin's limp. There. Let's eat and forget any of they ever happened, please!?"
"You are a very smart young man, I think you are my new favorite Titan." Slade smirked. "Though I'll keep fucking your leader, if you don't mind. He gets so needy."
"Hey!" Robin objected but then shrugged. "Okay, I guess that's true…"
"So Slade is not little, then?" Starfire asked carefully.
"Give me some measuring-tape and I'll give you the numbers later…" Robin muttered. To his astonishment the two girls literary flew out of the room. "Slade? Stay away from those two…" the hero warned his lover. "I mean it…"
"I have my hands full enough with one Titan…" Slade agreed with a chuckle.
A minute later the alarm blared, and the Titans all jumped from their seats.
"Gotta go, Slade, stay or let yourself out, okay?" Robin shouted over his shoulder as they headed to the elevator.
"What a terrible noise… is this what happened every time I did something public? No wonder you were cranky!" Slade called after him.
"Make it up to me!" Robin smirked back as the elevator doors closed.
"Seriously Slade, it's just a scrape!"
"I'll kill him!" the man growled, carefully cleaning the minute wound on Robin's knee.
"No, because one; conjugal visits gets old fast, two; it wasn't really his fault, and three; I think I would actually miss Red X once in a while if he was dead." Robin said sternly. "Could I have my leg back now, please, before the others die from laughing?"
"That would save me some time." Slade still growled and turned to the snickering Titans. "Aren't you lot supposed to protect him? He's not a meta-human, like you are, he's more vulnerable!"
The group of heroes wasn't laughing anymore, quite the opposite, they were quite pale and seemed to try to hide behind each other.
"That's enough, Slade, it started out sweet, but this is getting stupid! I'm their leader, they did a great job, as usual, and of course I might get hurt now and then! It's practically part of my job, and you know it!"
"Doesn't mean I have to like it." the man muttered.
"No, that would be creepy."
"Robin." Slade said his name with a hint of warning, telling Robin that the man wanted to keep their conversations serious.
"Sladey." Robin smirked back, making the man look to the heavens and sigh.
"I'm not going to win this, am I?"
"No… but if you are good you'll get to decide if we're going to your place tonight or stay here…" Robin offered generously.
"Let's go to mine. My plant needs watering."
"EEEEWWW!" Beast Boy exclaimed "That's nasty!"
The poor boy got looked at strangely yet again.
The days up to the 29th, when they were supposed to leave, was rather uneventful, although Robin tended to find a lot of tape-measures strategically placed around the Tower for some reason.
Unbeknownst to the Titans, Slade had spread the word that he would see it as a personal favor if things were kept quiet for the New Year-week, making clear that insulting him by not granting him this favor might not be good for one's health. The man delivered the message to Red X personally.
"Don't look at me!" the thief stammered, his shoulder blades trying to dig through the brick wall he was currently pushed up against. "I'm not even gonna be in town! Honest!"
"Such a strange word to come from a thief…" Slade smirked. "Very well. I won't get in your way any more, I think you should be allowed to make a living, whatever Robin claims… however… well. I'm supposed to mind my own business so I won't make any threats. Just remember that Robin is my business and I plan to mind him very well."
"I… I understand!" the thief's teeth were clattering by now. "I'll… I'll look after him, okay? I mean I'll keep my ear to the ground, and if I hear something fishy, I'll let you know!"
"That's a good thief. Now, run along and steal something low key."
On the 28'th something unexpected happened.
Robin and Slade were at his place, snuggled (although both would deny it) together on the couch, watching the news, when the doorbell rang.
"Did you order food?" Slade asked, going to open. "It better not be pi-"
Robin tensed as the man's voice was cut off so suddenly.
"Slade? Are you okay?" he called worriedly, jumping over the couch to get to the hallway faster.
"I'm not… sure." the man sounded very strange, and Robin reached for his belt, as he threw himself around the corner. He was glad he already had his mask on, since he had just come back from a mission. He stopped dead.
"He's in the phonebook." Bruce shrugged and looked at Slade again. "Are you going to ask us in?"
"Us?" Robin meeped, at the same time as Slade stepped to the side.
"Yes, of course. Welcome." the man said.
"Hello, little Robin. So this is your boyfriend's place then? Nice."
"Don't steal anything."
"Robin!" Bruce scolded him.
"Just tell your man not to kill anything and we have a deal." Selina grinned.
"O-okay? Slade?" Robin stammered.
"Of course not…" the man snorted.
"Good… err… Bruce?" Robin asked.
"I'm not making any promises." The Dark Knight muttered and was looking around like he expected to see dead bodies or worse; some evidence of Slade's and Robin's relationship.
Robin's eyes scanned the apartment frantically as well, and he thanked the gods above that Slade was a neat-freak, because he could have sworn his underwear was 'forgotten' out here somewhere, last night.
It suddenly dawned on Robin that Bruce and Selina was both wearing civilian clothes. Together.
"You… you two…?"
"It took him a while, didn't it?" Catwoman grinned.
"You- you told her?" Robin was rather astonished. Sure, Bruce and the thief had been hanging around each other more than was exactly proper, but Robin never thought Bruce would take this step.
"No, I told him I knew. It was my Christmas present to him…" Celina smiled and slipped into Bruce's arms. "I have known for a while now, and it was fun to stress him out for a bit, but… well… it's more fun now."
"This is why you didn't freak out about Slade being a criminal?" Robin asked accusingly "Because you and 'Hello Kitty' here were… were… having relations?!"
"What did you call me?" Selina asked, rather stunned. "And what the heck did you call it? If you're old enough to fu-"
"Oh, look at the helmet!" Bruce cried out pretty desperately, pointing to one of Slade's decorative objects. "Very interesting! Iron-age, right?"
"Yes. May I offer you something to drink?" Slade said smoothly, like being a host to someone who probably considered castrating him, was something he was pretty comfortable with.
"Yes, Bruce, you have to try the rose-hip soup!" Robin suggested eagerly.
"Really? I didn't know you had ties with Sweden?" Bruce asked Slade, while Robin gaped. He knew about that stuff? Robin snorted to himself, of course he did. Bruce could be infuriatingly well informed sometimes. It wasn't that the man was trying to be a know-it-all, but… Robin rolled his eyes. Yeah. He did. And the teen had a feeling that there was some pride at stake here. This might get fun. Not.
"I've… had some business there…" Slade answered evasively.
"1986? Olof Palme?" Bruce's questions were like whip-lashes.
"Oh, I thought everyone agreed it was the crazy drunk drug-addict who did it…" Slade smirked, before disappearing into the kitchen, leaving Robin alone with a potential murderer and a verified thief.
"It's… great to see you." Robin finally stuttered, and hugged the man, mostly, he admitted, to check if he was carrying any weapons. Who knew what that smart suit could hide?
"I'm not armed." Bruce said dryly.
"Just making sure." Robin muttered.
"Who do I think I am? A homicidal maniac?" Bruce snorted. "That's your so-called boyfriend."
"I heard that." Slade told them calmly from the kitchen.
Robin grinned as Bruce twitched.
"Sorry. Just a joke." The millionaire defended himself.
"I'm laughing in here. Quietly." the former mercenary informed them.
Bruce muttered something under his breath.
"Hey, cut it out! What happened to second chances and all that?" Robin asked, starting to feel irritated.
"Well, that was before I thought he had a chance with you." Bruce muttered. "But all right. We are all adults here." he said, glaring at Robin like he didn't think the teen really counted. "We are just here to… to…"
"Butt in and check up on you." Selina helped out.
"That's very nice of you." Robin muttered.
"Of course it is." Slade said, as he entered the room, carrying a tray of small mugs. "I would have done it too, if you were my son, Robin. Actually, I was thinking of asking you to invite Bruce and Alfred over after New Years."
"My boyfriend the liar." Robin said dryly. "And don't you two start ganging up on me, or I'm going to elope with Selina!" he threatened, making the woman laugh delightedly.
"A cat and a bird, huh? Might be fun…" she smiled in a way which made Slade take a step closer to Robin.
"Right…" Bruce grunted, sipping on the hot beverage. He seemed to reluctantly like it, while Selina had taken a small sip and sat it down on the coffee-table. "Well… have you had dinner?"
"No." Slade answered.
"Yes." Robin said at the same time. The others gave him a look and he blushed. "Oh… you mean today? Well…then, no…"
"I suggest we have some, then. Today." Bruce smirked a little, knowing he was torturing his young ward and loving it. "Should we order in or go out?"
"Let's stay here, then Robin can take the mask off, and I can get a look at those famous blue…" Selina purred.
"There's… there's a good Thai-place which delivers close by." Robin blushed.
"Yes, I think I have one of their menus somewhere." Slade said and disappeared into the kitchen again. He was back in three seconds flat.
"He probably had them filed in alphabetical order…" Robin muttered to Selina.
"Please. Have you seen Bruce's tie-rack? Is Slade completely anal too?"
"Hah, yeah, absol-" Robin caught the eyes of his lover and his guardian. "-lutely not. No, just organized. Nothing bad about that."
Selina followed his gaze.
"Pffft… kid, wanna in on a little secret? If you're giving it up, you can get away with pretty much anything…" the woman grinned.
"Really?" Robin hadn't considered this before.
"Oh, and a roman spear! Fantastic! I really love what you've done to the place!" Bruce's voice almost cracked this time. Slade was busy studying Robin, though. The man looked a bit scared.
After taking their orders, Slade made the call. Bruce and Selina took a seat in the sofa, and after looking longingly at the recliner, Robin joined them, leaving the chair for Slade… having him sharing the couch with Bruce… not a good idea.
"So, Slade…." Bruce started, and Robin rolled his eyes. He had that voice. "What are your plans for the future?"
"I thought I would hang around until you dropped dead, and then spend Robin's inheritance on weapons of mass destruction, before taking over the world." Slade deadpanned.
"Shhh Slade! That's our secret!" Robin hushed.
"Yes, and besides, that's my money!" Selina snickered, kissing Bruce's cheek to let him know she was only joking.
"I think the question is completely valid-" Bruce started and Slade raised a hand.
"Yes, it is. Sorry. Just a joke." Slade repeated Bruce's words. "The truth is, I have no set plans right now. I have enough funds to support myself comfortably for a lifetime, but I don't like being idle. I might set up a security-business or maybe some body-guard-work, although I didn't quite like my last job…"
"I know, why not a body-guard training centre?" Robin suggested. "You are great at teaching… you know, unless you have a control in your hand."
"Control?" Bruce asked sharply.
"Just an inside joke…" Slade smirked. "That's actually not a bad idea, Robin… I'll think about it, and we might come up with more ideas as well."
Robin beamed, very happy that Slade included him, especially in front of Bruce.
"It seems like a plausible plan…" Bruce grudgingly admitted. "Now, what are your intent-"
"Let me stop you right there. If you are going to ask me about Robin's and my future, I want to know what your intentions are with the lovely young lady on your arm? A spring wedding perhaps?"
"Err…we- this is-" Bruce stuttered.
"It's too soon and too personal, isn't it?" Slade smirked. "So is our relationship. We'll tell you when we're ready."
Robin fought an urge to add a 'so there!'.
"Well, how about dating someone your own age, then!" Bruce countered.
"Men and women my age tends to use some type of walking aid." Slade smirked.
"Looks your age then? That is; twice Robin's! Someone not in his teens?" Bruce growled.
Robin gave his mentor a glare, but he was quite curious abut Slade's answer, and the man didn't hesitate for a moment.
"Robin is a young man, yes. He is also very mature, responsible, extremely intelligent, well educated and travelled, as well as energetic and passionate about so many different things… Those are some of the reasons I became interested in him in the first place, and you have yourself to blame for many of them. You did an extraordinary job raising him, and he is who he is, mostly because of your influence."
"Oh, niiiiice…" Selina whispered to Robin. "How is Bruce going to argue with that?"
He wasn't, it turned out. The man looked like he didn't know whether he should be angry or proud, and the whole age-argument, one of Bruce's biggest guns, died with a few indistinct mutters.
"Give it a rest now, cat-nip, they are happy, can't you see that?" Selina purred.
"Cat-nip?" Robin grinned, and Bruce blushed a little. Slade did a bad job stifling a chuckle and Robin's eyes moved to him.
"Maybe I should think of a cute nick-name for Slade too?"
"Yes, it's soooo much fun!" Selina grinned evilly.
"You wouldn't dare." Slade growled.
"Maybe I should use 'Sladey' more often…" Robin pondered, pretending not to hear his lover. "Or 'cuddly-bear'…"
"Or 'Popeye', 'cause he's strong and only has one eye…" Selina snickered. That set the bird and the cat off in a fit of giggles which lasted until the food arrived.
The dinner, surprisingly enough, didn't go that bad. Selina and Robin were both extremely good at keeping their respective partners in check, so even though the jibes were flying at times, no fists were. Robin was actually glad the thief was there, she made it impossible for Bruce to get up on any high horses, especially since the woman was very vague about giving up her little 'hobby'.
"How's Alfred, then?" Robin asked, even though they had met a few days ago.
"Just fine, he didn't want to come now, saying something about 'invasion'… I bet he wants to meet Slade too, though." Bruce said the last part like it was some sort of threat.
"Maybe we can swing by after our trip?" Slade suggested.
"Trip?" Bruce sat up straighter.
"Yeah, me and the Titans are going skiing for New Years, and Slade is coming too!" Robin explained hurriedly. "So, maybe later in January?"
"You really feel like you are ready to take a trip together?" Bruce growled, even though Selina kept jabbing him with her elbow.
"Why not? I can fuck him just as well in a cabin as here…" Slade drawled.
It took a bit of work to smooth that one over.
The next day it was time to go. Robin packed his new diary into his rucksack, hoisted the duffel bag over his shoulder and, just on cue, a car horn honked down below. He grinned. He had let Slade help to the extent of getting the rental-car they would take to the airport. They wouldn't be able to fit in the T-car, though Robin couldn't help snickering a bit as he pictured Slade stuffed into the backseat surrounded by Titans and luggage.
They could have taken cabs, but Robin felt a rental was more 'low key', they didn't need to scream out to the city that they were leaving, after all. The Titans East had promised to look out for any major threats, but the police had been informed that, for once, they were on their own.
Robin walked out of the Tower to see the others already there, Cyborg ogling the silver-colored mini-van with a creepy gleam in his eyes.
"Don't." Robin smirked. "She'll know you've been cheating."
They got the luggage in, just a bag or so each, as they would rent all the equipment on site.
"Everybody ready to go?" Slade asked from behind the wheel. "The plane won't wait for us."
"Actually it will, since I will be flying it." Robin grinned as he jumped in next to Slade. Somehow Raven usually got shotgun, but no one dared to claim that privilege when Slade was driving.
"You will?" Slade asked. It was a fairly innocent question, but Robin immediately crossed his arms in the pose the Titans knew meant danger. Their leader might be about to explode. They ducked down a bit in the back seat.
"Yes. Any problem with that?" Robin asked in an overly sweet voice.
"No. Very smart to avoid the cost and the inconvenience of a hired crew. What plane did you choose? I gather the T-jet is a bit on the small side?" Slade grinned, ducking the danger like he was born to do it.
"Yeah, I rented a Cessna Citation CJ3 jet." Robin smiled, threat gone. "So, you have no problem with me flying then?"
"No. I'm not a century old, and you are not a woman from the fifties. Never expect me to treat you as such, please, it offends me." Slade said with a light snort.
"Good. So I'll be taking care of my own spiders then?" Robin grinned, making the other Titans giggle.
"Actually… you can take care of mine too." Slade shuddered.
The plane wasn't too big, but it seated five comfortably, and since Robin and Slade spent all the time in the cock-pit, space wasn't an issue.
The flight was uneventful, even though Slade suggested several ways to make it more interesting. Robin preferred not to risk crashing them into a mountain, though. Despite the conversation, Robin found that Slade wasn't a bad back-seat driver at all, something that he really appreciated. Bruce was a pain. If he let Robin fly at all.
They took two cabs from the airport, and, as they arrived at the resort, they spent almost an hour picking out all their gear. They needed both cross-county and down-hill skis, as well as snowboards and ice-skates and all the gear for each sport. Slade didn't pick out a snow-board, but Robin made him choose a pair of skates.
As they were finishing up, Robin clapped his hands.
"All right, listen up! Our cabins are rather secluded, so leave everything here, the staff will take our gear there. I thought we could either ski to the site or… take snowmobiles?"
"YEAAAH! Snowmobiles!" Cyborg and Beast Boy shouted.
"I'm with the loud ones." Raven concurred, and as they all seemed to agree, Robin led them out to three 'sleds' parked outside.
"What? Only three?" Beast Boy said, and then turned to Raven. "May I drive you, my lady?"
"Pfftt… I want to drive one myself, come on Star, we'll take the black one."
"Yeah, get on, squirt." Cyborg grinned, straddling another. "You bump into things when you walk, no one wants an accident."
"But, but-" Beast Boy started.
"Come on, BB, just drive half the way each." Robin snorted and turned to Slade.
"You know how to drive one of these?" The man merely raised an eyebrow, as if Robin had asked a very stupid question indeed. "Hey, I'm just making sure, these are powerful, dangerous machines, and I don't want to end up wrapped around a tree."
"Wrap yourself around me, then, and you'll be perfectly safe…" Slade grinned and straddled the last vehicle. Robin jumped on behind him.
"What, you are going to let him drive now?" Cyborg snickered.
"Yeah, I flew all the way here, my arms are tired." Robin rolled his eyes as Starfire giggled at the oldest joke in the book. "Anyway, I have the map. Can't navigate and drive at the same time. Okay, follow us. Keep the distance, no funny stuff."
"Yes mum." his team said as one.
"See what I have to deal with?" Robin sighed to Slade.
"Yes. But I wouldn't dare comment." the man smirked.
"You are trying to make sure you'll get some tonight, aren't you?" Robin laughed quietly.
"Yes, very much so. Is it working?" Slade asked.
"Yes. Very much so." Robin echoed and hugged the man's waist tighter.
As they arrived, they saw three cozy cabins in a row, and, in the middle one, soon dubbed Robin's and Slade's, there was a roaring fire and a warm lunch awaiting them.
After eating, their luggage and gear arrived, and everybody worked on settling in, but that was soon enough done, in the old tradition of 'let's just throw everything inside'. Slade took the longest, as he, apparently, hadn't heard of this particular tradition or didn't care for it.
After unpacking, Robin gathered his team again.
"So… everyone can do what they like, but I thought, why not leave the slopes for tomorrow, pack a picnic and go cross-county skiing instead? There's a track starting around a lake just a bit from here… anyone interested?"
They all were, and soon they had raided the stacked kitchens every cabin came with.
It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining like it got paid good money to do so, and it was only a few degrees below freezing, so as soon as they started moving, they easily kept warm.
It took a while to get the technique right, since none of them had stood on a pair of skis for a long time, but they soon got the hang of it.
"Hey, Star, flying is cheating!" Beast Boy grinned after a while.
"Oh? Oh! I am terribly sorry!" the alien, who had been hovering a few inches above the ground, gasped. "I was not aware. I was just so happy!"
Robin grinned, feeling very happy too.
They had almost reached the other side of the lake when Slade, who had taken the lead at the moment, stepped off track.
"Slade? You are not going to stop the ski?" Starfire asked, worried the man was tired or perhaps irritated over something.
"No, I'm just going to write my name in the snow. You go on, I'll catch up." Slade grinned.
"You are? May I watch?" the alien asked, clearly intrigued.
"Star! He's… he's going to… Raven help me out here!" Robin begged.
"Nah. I was rather hoping to get to see something myself." Raven smirked.
"You are a bad friend!" Robin snorted, but couldn't help but laugh. "Star, he's going to… he's going to the bathroom, okay?"
"Oh. I did not know that expression." Starfire blushed.
"That's okay, let's move out." Robin said, as Slade skied further in among the trees.
"… and that's why you shouldn't eat yellow snow…" Cyborg explained further.
"Talking about eating, I'm hungry! We've been skiing for almost three hours now!" Best Boy complained.
"There is supposed to be a resting site up ahead, we'll eat there… think you can make it that long?" Robin grinned.
"I'll try." The brave young man sighed.
Slade caught up with them just as they arrived at the site on the sea-shore. It had a wind- shelter built out of snow, and the remains of a fire inside. The Titans and Slade settled for their small, portable grill, though, and soon hotdogs, of both the usual and the tofu-variety, sizzled on it, as sandwiches and thermoses of hot chocolate and tea were passed around.
Robin found that it got quite warm in the sun, out of the wind, and he even had to unbutton his jacket a bit. They were sitting on foam mats to isolate them from the snow, and Robin felt quite cozy, leaning back on Slade, closing his eyes.
"Mmm… this is nice…"
"Yes." Slade agreed with a hum. "As nice as it can get out in the snow. With company."
Robin snorted softly.
"That's all you think about?"
"Yes, I'm pretty single minded."
"Me too, in fact, if my friends weren't here…" Robin smirked.
"Really? In the snow?" Slade chuckled.
"I figured I'd be riding you." Robin said.
"Hey guys, shut up!" Cyborg snorted. "Please keep the details to yourselves?"
"Can I ride-?" Starfire started.
"No." Robin cut her off. "And if you want to know what it means, you'll have to ask Raven this time."
"Thanks for that, fearless leader…" the dark woman muttered.
"Oh, I'm sure you can explain just fine…" Robin grinned.
After another hour of resting it was time to head off, as they wouldn't be home until dark if they stayed longer. Beast Boy muttered about being tired, until Slade suggested he could just fly home instead. The changeling looked appalled.
"We have this unofficial rule that we won't use any of our powers when we are on vacation." Raven explained. "Sure, we can when we need to, but we don't want to draw attention to ourselves, and it's rather easy to overlook us if we just act normal. Well. Most of us." she looked over at Cyborg.
"Hey, I'm all wrapped up here!" the half-metal man said, and indeed, he looked a bit like the Michelin-man. "Blame Beast Boy and his green skin instead."
"Wrapped up too!" the changeling objected. "I can't help if those people thought I had some sort of disease!"
"You could always blame it on colored sun-block?" Slade suggested.
"Wow! He is smart! I knew he would be good for something!" Beast Boy beamed, making Slade chuckle despite himself, and rummage around in his back-pack. "All right, this might be cheating a little, but since you are tired…" the man uncoiled a thin rope and attached it to his belt. "You can tag along with me."
Soon they set off again, Beast Boy very happily holding on to the rope, and he now felt like he flew over the snow, since Slade was a faster skier than he was.
"Yaaaay! Go faster!" he cried out, and the rest of the Titans worked up quite a sweat to keep up. Until…
After a while Slade looked behind him and smirked.
"You are all cheating, now?"
"Hey, you almost left us behind!" Robin defended himself, "Besides, you didn't even seem to notice."
"I didn't." Slade let them know. "Okay, want me to go faster, then?"
Robin insisted that they all skied by themselves for the last kilometer, saying Slade might be a bit of a dog, but he was his dog, and not to be tired out quite yet. He got five snowballs in the face for that one. Two things passed the young hero's mind as he brushed himself off. One; that he deserved that, and two; that it must be getting a bit warmer, as the snow was wet enough for the missiles to be formed. Let no one think that the teen's brain ever stopped analyzing everything.
They arrived back at the cabins dead tired but very happy with their day. To Slade's chagrin Robin invited the others to their cabin for some rose-hip soup, which he had brought, before bedtime, and, after changing, they all came by, sitting in front of the open fire, burning marshmallows and sipping on the hot drink.
After a while Robin yawned.
"I know it's barely eight, but I think a hot shower and some sleep is what I need right now."
"Awwww… Slade just looked so sad!" Cyborg grinned.
"If you want us to lay off the sex-jokes, don't goad us." Robin grinned, glancing at Slade to see if he could spot the same thing, but the man's face was carefully blank.
The rest of his team bid goodnight, and Slade came up behind him, winding his arms around Robin's waist and chest.
"Ignore the tin-man, if you are too tired…" he started, but Robin burst out laughing.
"Please! I just wanted them to leave before I jumped you and gave them a free show!" he admitted. "Come let's see if the shower is big enough for two!"
It was. Well. With one person being held up against the wall really tightly, it was.
The next day they hit the slopes, spending the whole day there. It had snowed a bit during the night, but all the slopes looked fine. They split up several times as they preferred different pistes, but they met for lunch around noon, at a restaurant next to the lifts.
"Slade and I are going to go for the double black diamond-trails after lunch, are you in?" Robin asked the others.
"No, I like my neck the way it is." Raven said. "I'll stick to the green and blue, thanks."
"We are taking Star snowboarding." Beast Boy told Robin.
"Sounds great, we'll join you after!" Robin grinned and glanced at Slade. "I'm going to try to get Slade to test it."
"I don't think so." the man muttered.
"What was it you said last night…? About being open to trying new things…?" Robin grinned wickedly.
"Will you please stop remembering what I say and use it against me?" the man sighed. "I wasn't exactly in a clear state of mind." The man glanced at the other Titans. "Because of... being tired… from skiing…"
"Yeah sure." Cyborg snorted.
Robin did get to see Slade snow-board. He also got to see him fall over no less than three times, which was a big bonus, especially since Slade soon was better than he was. The man preferred skis, though, and before quitting for the day, they heard about a great place to ski off-track, and soon they were flying through untouched, freshly fallen snow. As they came down to the bottom of the slope, they had quite a trek back, but they both agreed it was worth it.
They returned to the cabins for dinner instead of eating out, and, as the dark took over outside, they were snuggled up by the fire again.
"I feel like a traitor for saying this, but we should do this more…" Cyborg murmured, half asleep in one of the plush chairs.
"I don't mean to sound like the bad guy here, no pun intended," Slade started, "but who says you have to be on duty twenty-four/seven? I understand you wanting to protect people, well… up to a certain point I do, but is the world really going to end if you took the occasional day off?"
"Actually, it's been close a few times…" Robin grinned.
"I'm with Slade on this one." Raven said. "From now on there will be summer vacations, winter breaks and even the occasional weekend. Who is with me? Workaholic leaders don't get to vote."
"No fair." Robin pouted as the rest of the team raised their hands quickly. "Well, just go then… Slade and I can protect the city." he grinned.
Slade seemed to be choking on his beverage.
"Robin, there are very few things I wouldn't do for you, but playing hero?" he coughed.
"You'll get to name your price?" Robin suggested, looking up at the man. Slade was seated in one of the chairs and Robin on the thick rug in front of it.
"We'll talk." Slade smirked.
On New Year's Eve, they spent the morning at the slopes, and then Robin took them all out ice-skating. The area had a series of small lakes, all connected, and all plowed, so they could literary skate for miles on perfect ice. They all did a fairly good impression of Bambi at first, but even Slade agreed that it was a wonderful feeling once he had remembered the basics.
"I haven't done this since I was a teen." The man defended himself.
"Yeah, but there was lot's of space to practice on back then, huh, during the ice-age?" Beast Boy grinned, and then desperately tried to get out of reach on the slippery ice.
In the afternoon, Robin and Slade took a short cross-country ski-trip while Beast Boy and Cyborg built a snowman and Raven and Starfire enjoyed the sun by the wall of their cabin. When the couple came back, a spontaneous snowball fight erupted, with everyone for themselves when it came to teams. Everyone seemed to give up at approximately the same time, so Beast Boy announced himself the winner and they all agreed he was allowed to. For once.
"There's a New Year's Eve party at the resort, do you all want to go? I've made reservations at the restaurant at eight." Robin said, and they all were happy to. They spent the evening resting, and in Robin's and Slade's case, making out, until it was time to leave.
They had all dressed up for the occasion, and even Cyborg made his dark red sweater and black cargo-pants look good. The team was so used to seeing him in just his normal gear, so actually having him wearing clothes were a bit weird. Like a dressed up dog.
Robin had found some time for shopping after Christmas, and had chosen a pair of pale gray pants and a matching shirt with the smallest hints of silver threads in the fabric. It was New Years after all; he was allowed to go a bit crazy, right? Raven and Starfire were both wearing dresses, Raven a long, slim, black and silver one, and Starfire a shorter, slightly flared, dark green. Beast Boy also seemed to have actually planned what he was going to wear for once, and even Raven gave his shirt and blazer an approving smile. To Robin Slade was the stunning one, however, even though the man was only wearing an ordinary dark grey suit, and silvery-grey shirt. The men look at each other.
"How did we manage to get matching outfits?" Robin gaped.
"Don't blame me, I had the suit for months…" Slade grinned. "We look good, though, don't we?"
"Yeah, we do." Robin smirked and rolled his eyes.
"You'll soon be wearing matching sweat-suits too…" Cy warned them.
They took cabs to the restaurant, as their clothes didn't exactly go well with snow-mobiles, and had a wonderful, ridiculously over prized, New Years dinner, before heading to the next building where the party was being held. The whole place seemed to throb with music, and as they opened the door they went almost deaf.
The crowd was a very mixed one, from kids and young teens to senior citizens, going crazy on the dance floor. Some were even wearing masquerade-costumes, leaving the meta-humans and Robin's masked face fitting right in. Slade made his way to of the bars and ordered a round of mixed non-alcoholic drinks. Getting Robin drunk wasn't exactly something he wanted to do, especially not since it might get back to Bruce somehow. Cat-claws can only hold someone back for so long.
Robin took a trip to the bathroom, and, as he headed back, he spotted a guy at the bar. He didn't look familiar, exactly, but there was something about him… Just then the guy turned around, spotted Robin and almost dropped his drink, while going extraordinary pale. Robin pretended not to notice and just walked by.
"There you are." Slade said and handed Robin a drink which managed to be half yellow and half red. "You know who I think I spotted before?"
"Don't say it! I think I saw him too, but I'm on vacation, I'm going to look the other way." Robin hissed.
"It's extraordinary how you can recognize someone just from the body-type and the way he moves, isn't it?" Slade said.
"Yeah, but when he saw me, he almost crapped himself." Robin grinned. "Actually… Slade, do you promise no to get insanely jealous if I get back at him a bit for last year?"
"Yes, but you have to tell me what happened soon, you all seemed traumatized…" Slade grinned. "And it irks me that he seems to have made a greater impact on you than I have."
"Oh, don't worry, I still wake up screaming when I dream of you." Robin tried to comfort the former villain.
"Wet dreams doesn't count." Slade smirked.
Robin smirked back and then made his way over to the area where he first seen the young man. He spotted him soon enough, and walked up, ordering a soda at the bar next to him as an excuse. He then turned around and scanned the crowd, his masked eyes soon landing on his target next to him.
"Hey… nice party, huh?" Robin smiled.
"Y-yeah, great." The teen answered, and Robin flashed him a smile. He was absolutely sure now; it was Red X. The guy didn't look half bad, actually, and Robin's smile turned flirty.
"You wanna dance?"
"Err… you… you're not here with… someone?" Red asked, looking around.
"Nah, he doesn't dance, so I'm on my own… he won't be any trouble." Robin moved closer. "Come on… afraid someone will notice you dancing with a guy?"
"Hell no, free world and all that…" Red seemed to straighten up a bit.
"Yes… everything you see, just there for the taking…" Robin smirked suggestively. This time it worked, making Red forget his fear… or common sense, as it might be.
"I practically live by those words..." The thief grinned, and pulled Robin out on the dance-floor.
Dancing with Red was more fun than Robin expected, and he almost forgot it was supposed to be for revenge. The thief's hands were all over him, and, by the end of a series of up-beat songs, just as a calmer one started, the older teen bent down to Robin's ear.
"Hey… wanna go into the bathroom, and… you know… have some fun?"
At that moment a heavy hand landed on the poor guy's shoulder.
"Mind if I cut in?" Slade growled viciously, almost crushing Red's collar bone in the process.
Red made a noise like a small, scared animal dying a horrible painful death.
"N-no?" he managed to squeal out at the end.
"Good. See you back in Jump." Robin smirked at him, making Red's eyes go very, very wide as they flitted from one to the other. Then he turned and ran for his life.
"Jump might have one criminal less now." Slade chuckled.
"I hope not. I like him." Robin grinned.
"I saw that." Slade muttered. "You really wanted his hands groping you like that?"
"You know I want it to be yours." Robin laughed., "Don't be jealous! Besides, I had only been on the market for a few weeks when you snatched me up! Can you blame a guy for being curious?"
"Yes. Yes I can." The man let him know sternly, giving him a glare which reminded the teen of facing him as his enemy.
"Okay. Just checking." Robin said meekly. "Hey, we're dancing!" he added, just noticing. "I didn't think you danced…"
"Everyone can slow dance… I leave the jumping around to you, though." Slade grinned, relaxing. "Now… what was it about you wanting to be groped?"
Just before midnight, they were all ushered outside to watch a wonderful firework display. For the first time, Robin even got a midnight kiss, starting the year off in a spectacular way. Yeah… 2010 was gonna be great…
They didn't return to the cabins until after three in the morning, having had too much fun to leave. After saying goodnight to the rest of the group, Slade was surprised as Robin started rummaging through his backpack. The teen's actions made even less sense as he found a leather-bound book and settled with it in one of the recliners.
"You are going to read now?" the man asked, as he started undressing for the night.
"No, no read. Write. This is a diary, I got it from Alfred as a Christmas present." Robin smiled. "I decided to start it on the first of January, and, well… this is it." Slade had a strange expression on his face, and Robin raised an amused eyebrow. "What? Shocked I'm writing a diary? Not manly enough for you?" he smirked.
"No, that's… I'll be right back." Slade said, and disappeared towards the front door. Robin heard some rummaging and wondered what the hell was going on. As the man came back, the Titan was beyond curious.
"Slade? What are you doing?"
"I hid your boots."
"Oh, well, then… what?" Robin stared at the man, afraid that something in Slade's brain had snapped, and that he had gone insane. "Why?"
"Because without boots, you can't leave. You would think at least twice before running out in the snow barefoot." The man, kind of, explained. "Actually, I'd better-"
Robin gasped as Slade suddenly flipped the recliner back and then straddled him, pinning him to the chair.
"There. Now you can't move at all." Slade seemed pleased. "Oh, and I almost forgot…" the man swiftly grabbed Robin's wrists, trapping them as well.
"Slade, you're freaking me out here!" Robin explained. "Why the hell would I want to leave?"
"I know about the Titan's log."
"Ah… I think I understand why now." he frowned. "You have been reading my journal all this time?"
"No. Not yours. But the other's… and I have been writing my own."
"Like I'm supposed to believe that!" Robin snorted, starting to feel it wouldn't be such a good year after all. "Why wouldn't you have read mine? What stopped you?"
"I couldn't figure out your password."
Robin's eyes widened, and then he did something Slade hadn't expected: he started to laugh. Rather hysterically.
"You… you couldn't… figure out…?" he gasped between giggle-attacks.
"Yes, yes, very funny." Slade growled. "What was it, anyway?"
"Like I'd ever tell you…" Robin smirked. "So you wrote too? Can I read it?"
"I don't think-"
"Yes. Of course. Stay. Please?" the man asked and got up to sift through his own luggage.
Robin smiled. The tone of voice Slade used, told him that the man was actually really ashamed of himself, and genuinely afraid that Robin would walk out on him. Now, Robin wasn't exactly happy about this new information, but this was Slade. He doing something like this was expected. He just wouldn't let the man know that.
Slade returned shortly after with a laptop and Robin booted it up before logging into the Titan's main-frame. Shame on the ski-resort which didn't have complete wireless internet access nowadays. Slade directed him to the place he had hidden his log, and told Robin his password. Robin arched a brow and typed it in.
"You are a sick man." he muttered.
"Thank you." Slade grinned, forgetting he was in trouble. A look from Robin reminded him. "Sorry. Habit." the man shrugged.
Robin started reading. He would frown, or snort, or even chuckle at places, and once he finished, he closed the lid to the computer and stared into the dying fire.
"Robin?" Slade asked carefully.
"Go to bed, Slade. I need to be alone…" Robin said in a tired voice, which wouldn't stand for any arguing. The man obeyed.
1st of January 2010, about 4.15 AM
Sorry, I just thought I freak myself out by actually writing that…
I'm in love. True, he is completely impossible, he cheats, he's too smug about everything, he has a more than slightly sordid past and my guardian doesn't approve… and right now he is in the bedroom, afraid I will break up with him. Silly man. He's perfect. I just have to remember to never, ever let him know that I think that… a man like Slade needs to be kept on his toes, just a bit… that doesn't mean I won't tell him that I love him, of course! I will do that in a few minutes, actually… I'm just going to let him stew for a bit first…
Well, that's enough of that, I think. Maybe it wasn't long enough, but there's a man in a bed waiting to make a lot of things up to me, so I really can't spend any more time writing… I'm just going to set the password to this diary first… I think I'll use my old one, but since the combination lock doesn't use letters, I just have to put in the corresponding numbers, so… 19-12-1-4-5. That's it... now… I'm going to go forgive Slade…
A/N: Happy New Year everybody!