TT Story: Trial and Error

Chapter One: A Killer's Dawn at Midnight

Disclaimer: Oh, please, I only WISH that I could own the Teen Titans…although, I'm pretty sure that I could just be happy with owning Slade, really…. XD lolz!

A.N.: So, can y'all keep a secret? Well, here's mine: I have absolutely NO experience whatsoever with writing any type of fight scene or sex scene. This is basically just my set of practice rounds with the damn things.

Also, I have decided to dedicate this entire thing to both Wynja and SladinForever, because I asked for their help and they gave it to me in the exact way that I needed it; no flames, just valuable suggestions! So, thanks, girls, and I really hope y'all like this! (Oh, and Wynja? This is the present that I told you you'd get for your The Best Christmas Present Ever, okay? ;) )

Mmmm…. I think it'd be best if this were read with the sort of feel that you might have if you were reading a sonnet. Don't ask me why, that's just what I think would be best.


Robin leapt from rooftop to rooftop in the light, drizzling night rain, determination seemingly permanently drawn onto his features. He was out alone again, searching for the one man alive that could make him fight in rage, beg for mercy, and scream with frustration within seconds of each other. He was searching far and wide for Slade.

He needed to find him.

He needed to fight him.

He needed to end him.

But where was the bastard? The boy had been out hunting the man for hours, but still not a trace of him was to be seen. He was beginning to get angry, first at the mercenary for being so astute and imperceptible, and then at himself for not being able. But able for what he wasn't quite certain yet.

Able for nothing, for the unexpected that one should always expect?

Or able for everything, for the always anticipated but never fulfilled?

Robin allowed his thoughts to wander as he rested tiredly on the roof of a tall building that had designated itself in the center of the city. He leaned against the side of one of the sky-lights that was in the middle of the flat quarter, and it was shaped like a triangle and colored a bleak, undesirable blue. He gave a weary look around the desolate place, but he figured that if Slade was, in fact, here at this very moment, then he probably would have made himself clearly known by now. He sighed, aware that the pursuit of his enemy had undoubtedly been over before it had even began, and slumped over in defeat against the glass. He rubbed the eyes that were behind his damp mask, wishing that, for just once, something would go his way. But it was a wasted and pointless desire, and he knew it.

But, oh, how wonderful it would be to finally get something that he wanted! He deserved at least a little compensation for all of the work that he had done, all of the exhausting, time-consuming effort that he put into every little thing. To be honest, he was getting tired of being tired all the time simply because he laid his all into all that he did. He knew, too, that he desperately needed a break, but he would never give himself one, no matter how much it was necessary for him to have it. There would always be something that was required to get done, and he would always be the one to deal with it. Because if he didn't, then who would? This was a question that Robin was constantly asking himself, and he found it to be a great way to get himself back to the job at hand whenever he really didn't want to do it. But the great words were already losing their effect on him, and he was getting rather annoyed at having to listen to them all the time in his psyche.

As he heard a deep roll of thunder somewhere in the distance, he gave one last glance around the area before he got up and decided to head home. He knew he wouldn't be able to sleep that night, the way he so often couldn't, but he would at least try. And then, in the morning, when he would drag himself out of bed without his sleep, he would crawl off towards the training room and toil away, trying -- and failing -- to perfect himself. He would come out later and cook breakfast for everyone, force on his practiced smile, and work with them on their different cases. They would probably fight a monster or a villain or two, win, and then go out for a pizza as a way of congratulating themselves on the victory, coming back to the tower soon after, "full" and "happy". Beast Boy and Cyborg would be busy playing against each other on one of their video games while arguing about which was better, meat or tofu, with Raven making sarcastic comments about…well, everything, really. Starfire would pester Raven by saying that she wanted to go to the "mall of shopping" with her or how they should do girly things with each other that normal earth girls did, while Raven would deny every tactic the alien would try. Eventually, Robin would go out on patrol while everyone else would go off to bed, saying that he was going to make sure that the city was safe, when really, he just needed to get out and do something. And if that something meant going around, looking for Slade, then so be it.

How annoyingly predictable this life is, a small voice in the back his mind said. Robin blinked in surprise. He hadn't expected that voice to come up the way it did, and he definitely hadn't known that it would say something so strange. He didn't even know that he could have thoughts like that. Thoughts of that variety seemed so…jaded. Cynical. Selfish. Mean.


Robin would never admit it to anyone, but he knew that the voice spoke the truth. But what was even worse was that he didn't hate the voice for it, he simply felt…quiet. He wasn't sure if such a thing could be considered an emotion, but that's how he felt. The quiet was neither a good thing nor a bad thing, it was just something that felt similar to tranquility but was far more confusing, but somehow not upsetting. Not in the least.

He had given this emotion a name a few months ago, when he had first felt it, and oddly enough, it had only taken him a few seconds to give it the name that fit. He didn't understand it, though, and that was mostly what was bothering him about it, if it bothered him at all.

If what the voice meant by what it said was that he should leave the Titans, then did this feeling -- this quietness -- mean that he agreed with it? The conscious part of his mind said no, but his heart did not…but it didn't say yes, either.

Robin growled out loud, barring his teeth almost animalistically as he neared the edge of the building. He hated how flummoxing his thoughts could be! They needed to be in check! But would they ever truly be…?

As Robin whipped out his Bo staff, knowing that he'd have to pole vault his way over to the next building since it was much higher up than his current position, he thought he heard the whisper of soft footsteps behind him. Scratch that: he knew he'd heard them.

"Leaving so quickly, Robin? Funny. Here I was, thinking you were…looking for something…"

The "something" that had said those words had sounded smoother than silk but colder and harder than ice and had spoken quite dangerously, with all the vicious intent that resided behind such words and more. There was no need for the Titan to whirl around on his toes and face the man that was now before him to figure out who it was; he had known it was Slade from the first sound he had heard come from the man's feet.

"Slade," he snarled as he fell into his fighting stance, the Bo staff in his hand now held as a weapon instead of just a simple length of metal to jump around with.

"Robin," Slade leveled calmly, but his demeanor still dripped with frost, hinting that the boy was not out of hazardous waters yet. Not that Robin expected to be. He had been looking for a fight with the criminal, and now that he'd found one, there was no way he'd give it up.

Another snarl escaped the teenager's throat, and if he didn't know any better, Robin would swear that Slade was smiling -- or at least, smirking -- behind his mask from what he said next: "Oh, Robin, I'm hurt; I thought that you would've been happy to see me. After all, I am the reason why you came out here tonight, aren't I?" -- it wasn't a question, it was a proclamation with a useless question mark at the end of it. He could have very well made it a simple period instead of that stupid question mark, but he did it just to insult Robin by feigning innocence, and they both knew it. "Just like every other night you go out on patrol…. My, my, how…annoyingly predictable your life is…."

That single statement right there -- the one that had somehow flown directly from his mind to Slade's mouth -- was the one thing that set Robin off like a rocket. With a loud cry that couldn't even compare to the fury that he felt, the adolescent brought his free hand back into a fist and set it flying upwards to meet the man's jaw. But rather than it connecting with the masked face that it should've hit, it was caught by Slade's own vise-like grip. As the strong fingers and palm wrapped around and covered Robin's entire hand, sudden, absolute pain shot through it as his bones were cracked and crushed.

There's an interesting thing about rage, however: when one let's such a dark fervor to take complete control over oneself, it becomes nearly impossible to feel any pain at all until the emotion is wholly spent, despite how intense that pain should be. Slade could see this feeling now emanating from Robin as the teen brought his foot up and slammed it against his chest, sending him into the downpour and landing with a grinding slide onto the floor of the roof a few yards away. His lips were set to show all his teeth, his nose flared as he inhaled and exhaled the sharp, frigid air, and his eyes being glaring white slits through his soaking black hair had nothing to do with the rain that was falling far more heavily than before. There was no fear, there was no agony, there wasn't even any willpower or restraint. There was only anger and hatred.

Although it was just a flicker on his firm young face, Slade saw it and immediately knew what it was and what it meant, as he had seen it probably dozens of times during his career.

The beginnings of a killer were finally showing through Robin, and it was obvious to the man that he was going to be the boy's first.

"A killer's dawn at midnight…. How poetic…." Slade murmured with a hidden grin as he looked up at his adversary from the ground, sitting up slightly on his elbows to see him clearly. If he was indeed going to be Robin's first "victim" (could he really call himself that? He did deserve whatever was coming to him), which he didn't doubt for a second, he was going to make sure that the boy knew exactly what was going on the whole way through it.

But his tauntings went unheard of as Robin slowly advanced on him. "Get up," he growled lowly, his entire body shaking with his pent up wrath as his unbroken knuckles tightened upon his staff.

Slade's grin widened even more. This might actually be fun…. "No," came his challenging reply, his voice just as low and hard as Robin's had been. He was almost eager to see where this was going, and he soon saw where as the smaller of the two knelt down beside him and grabbed him by his shirt with his massacred hand, yanking him frontward.

"Fine," was all that he said before he whipped his staff back behind him and snapped it forwards again around his torso, bringing the full force of it to the side of Slade's skull. A diminutive grunt was heard over the dull boom of thunder when the metal cracked itself against him, and Slade was almost seeing stars as he rolled away from the wallop.

Turning over onto his front, Slade tried to get onto his hands and knees, into a position to jump to his feet, but Robin wouldn't let him. With another thwack of the Bo, he was slammed onto his stomach again, but still the blows didn't stop. Robin kept beating him with the rod, blind to what he was doing now, and Slade would tolerate it no longer. Rounding onto his already-welting back, he caught the staff in his waiting hand when it tried to go for his chest.

"Enough," he said coldly, seething. With that, he grasped another part of the long pole with his other hand and sent the enraged Robin flying, crashing somewhere beyond Slade's head. But the bird didn't stay there for long; instead, he flipped himself up once more, and, with a resounding screech, raced towards the rogue as he picked himself up.

When he got within distance of the man, Robin turned, brought his leg up, and shot it out in a perfect side kick, made heavier with the water that drenched it. Slade had figured that he might try as much, however, and had blocked the strike to his abdomen with the "borrowed" bar that was still in his hold.

If Robin's foot could break a six-feet-long, two-inches-in-diameter, titanium-alloy Bo staff in half, then what could said foot do to a certain someone had it actually hit its intended target? The thought whispered itself through Slade, but he took no notice of it as he skillfully dodged another attack that was attempted upon his person, charily relinquishing the broken shaft pieces and tossing them away, out of sight. Fists and feet were being hurled at him from every angle, forcing him backwards, and it was getting harder to avoid and block them all.

Finally, however, he saw an opening, and he took it. Robin had left his body unguarded in the heat of it all, and when Slade's clout unexpectedly collided against his solar plexus, he was propelled back and instantly crumpled to the floor.

Robin's breaths were deep and heavy as he stared up into the rain, the clear drops mingling with the sweat on his skin as his sentiments died on his face. Now, only quiet remained within him, but he wasn't sure if he even wanted to feel that much anymore.

He simply wanted to stop.

Then, Slade stepped closer to him, entering his vision at his side as a silhouette surrounded by a blanketed grey. The deluge bounced off of him in an outlining spray, and Robin saw something in his gaze that he never wanted to see again, especially not from him: he saw disappointment.

Robin had lived with disappointment all his life, oozing from those he loved the most.

And he hated it.

"Robin, Robin, Robin…." Slade cooed softly, "What's wrong? Don't you want to fight me anymore?"

"No," he said, and his voice was soft and whispered. It hurt so much to breathe…!

The man cocked his head to the side, his silvery eye dark. Robin had never refused battle from him before, offered or not. "No?" he asked; he was genuinely bemused.

Robin veered his judgment away from that silver, and instead returned to the grey.

"…What do you want?" Slade murmured, and he truly wished to know.

Genuine…. True…. Disappointment….

Robin's lexis were grasped from his lungs and pushed out of him, his body responding no more, but he was the same. No effort showed, only quiet. "I…want to stop."

Slade knew better, though.

He knew Robin didn't mean stop fighting.

He meant stop living.

"You've given up," he said, but his words sounded strange against the pounding of the gale.

"Yes," was all that was hummed from the being. He was not Robin, not the one Slade distinguished, but a mortal, a thing, it only looked and sounded like the hero, but him it was not.

"You're lying." He would not believe the forsaken body of what once was.

It did not reply, but slowly brought the hands to the face, the arms shaking from the restraint of the gravity that was now too heavy for the dead. The fingers clutched Robin's mask before pulling the black shield off completely.

Slade turned away, not wanting to see those orbs of cobalt.

"Get up," he hissed, mimicking the words that the now-gone Titan had said what felt like days ago.

"Look at me."

Slade obeyed, but he was angry.

It blinked slowly as it stared upon the man, it's deep respirations becoming shallow as the time ticked by, and again it turned back to the clouds.

"Kill me."


A.N. 2: O.O Whoa. Okay, I don't know how this is even possible or how it happened, but somehow, this little practice-drabble-thing actually got a PLOT.


THAT. Was definitely NOT intended. Sorry, plot-lovers.

Sadly, though, this one kind of reminds me of someone else's fanfic that, although I absolutely LOVED it, mine was not intended to follow. Sorry for that to whoever wrote that kick-ass story (and sorry AGAIN for not remembering any names. You ARE in my favorite stories, though!--THAT much I can remember!)

Alright, well, thanks anyway for reading, y'all! Now, please, please, PLEASE tell me everything that's wrong with this, m'kay? I really need to know, so PLEASE TELL ME EVERYTHING! I DON'T CARE, JUST LET ME KNOW SO I CAN FIX IT AND MAKE IT BETTER! (Wow, that's a lot of capitals right there! Haha!) Anyway, everything's appreciated, y'all! Thanks for all the help with this and, yes, there shall be a Chapter Two.

What?! I gotta fit some sex in here somehow! XD

P.S.: Yes, I know it's rather small and there's not much fighting (as I now realize), but please don't hate me for that! X] Maybe it'll get better…?