A/N: Yaaaaaaaayyyyyyy! New chapter, my lovies! Am I the only one who wants to drop dead from exhaustion right now? Anyway, expect a new drabble in the next few days, it's a bit long and will be consist of several installments, but it's AWESOME. It's actually a bit of Sladin and Red X/Robin… so expect jealousy, attempted smexin' and some serious humor! xD Brace yourself!
Chapter III : Your New Life
Oh god… everything hurts…
Robin reluctantly opened his masked eyes, finding that the bright light of fluorescent bulbs were there to greet him. His head was throbbing, a sharp pain that flooded his body and made every fiber of his being pulse with every strong beat of his heart. His pupils fluctuated wildly behind his mask as he rocked his hips a bit to help ease his aching muscles, a jab of pain shooting from his right side at it protested from his slight shift in position.
"Mmmph…" Robin moaned, attempting to lift to hands to cover his sensitive eyes, but they felt uncharacteristically heavy and refused to be elevated over an inch's height. He looked down and quickly discovered the heavily padded leather restraints that held him firmly to what appeared to be a stainless steel examination table. "Fuck."
The Boy Wonder made a valiant effort to escape from his holds for a brief time before his head was prodded with a rather jarring pain. He leaned his head back onto the table and settled for visually scoping out the room, since physical exploration was clearly not possible.
The table he lay on was indeed an examination table, complete with the horribly thin sheet of paper that tears whenever one takes a breath. It was freezing, as Robin had expected, and appeared to have been produced custom with the added restraints. He couldn't help but marvel over how uncomfortable it managed to be, even though it was padded under the paper lining.
Across the room, Robin noticed the presence of his utility belt, its contents scattered across a wheeled table for examination. He spotted a few daring smoke bombs who had attempted escape, only to end up falling onto the cold, unforgiving floor.
The room itself seemed to be constructed of some sort of natural stone, light grey in color with splotches of darker shades here and there, and its surface appeared smooth to the touch. Robin vaguely wondered if they were underground as he scanned the walls, his mind working in overdrive to assist in the plotting of his location.
"Finally awake I see."
The Titan jumped in alarm, his minor panic attack cut short when he accidently slammed his head off the rather solid examination table. His hands twitched in a mixture of irritation and pain as he gently lowered his freshly smarting head back onto the cool metal, his pale features twisted in realization.
Robin dared crack open a blurry eyes to glare fiercely at the man. To his surprise and joy, Slade's face was hidden from sight, that familiar two-toned mask clamped firmly into place. Only that forever taunting dark eye was visible, glinting in was appeared to be amusement.
"Indeed." Slade said passively, fixing the restrained boy with a calculating eye.
"Where am I? Let me go!" Robin howled, resuming his battle with his limitations.
"Always the fighter." Slade chuckled, a sound that was foreign and momentarily startled the raven-haired teen, who quickly recovered and resumed his rebellion. He folded his hands behind his back and strode towards the hero. "You do realize that I restrained you so you would not harm yourself, correct? Though you will end up doing just that if you keep thrashing about."
Robin eyed him cautiously before settling back, relaxing his tense muscles and slowly lowering himself back onto the cool silver surface, the paper making a light crackling as he shifted.
"Good boy." Slade praised, and Robin felt his temper flare again. "Now then. You are at my secret base. Where? None of your business."
Robin snorted and rolled his eyes.
"You haven't honored my second request." he said.
"And what was that?"
"LET ME GO!" the blue-eyed Titan snarled and Slade chuckled at the fire that managed to show beyond even the obscuring lenses of his mask.
"Have you forgotten our deal so quickly, apprentice?" Slade purred, smirking behind his mask. He almost laughed out loud at the look of surprise that crossed his little bird's face. "Now stop moving. I'm going to loosen the restraints."
Robin nodded dumbly, mind racing, and started when Slade's gloved hand touched his own. It was big and warm, and he couldn't hold back the shiver that raced down his spine. The hero frowned and locked away the reaction for future examination. He quickly snatched his hand away from the padded buckles and out from under Slade's warm fingers.
Slade fixed the boy with his even gaze, then turned, resuming the task of unbuckling the tightly held leather restraints. He allowed his fingertips to linger on Robin's lean thigh, ghosting over the green tights before he moved further down and released the straps that held his thin ankles down.
Robin scowled at the man and swung his legs over the side of the table, massaging his thighs to coax the blood back into proper circulation. Once he regained full use of them, he jumped down from the cold surface, his steel plated boots sending a resounding clap echoing around the room, where it continued down the hallway from which Slade had entered.
"Come." Slade's voice shattered the tense silence, turning and striding down the aforementioned hallway.
"Where're we going?" Robin asked hesitantly.
Slade looked at the teen, noticing his tense muscles and slightly bent knees. To him, the child had just adopted the stance and expression of a young fawn caught in the headlights of an oncoming semi.
He reached a gloved hand forward and, briefly noting the boy's instinctive flinch, took Robin by the shoulder, steering him through the doorway and down the corridor. His hand absently ran down the hero's tense shoulder blades, stopping to rest at the small of his back, fingertips planted firmly on the base of his spine.
Slade seemed perfectly at ease with the current situation, but Robin was completely horrified.
Being led by his arch nemesis through said arch nemesis' home… not exactly goal number one on his to do list.
Slade applied a bit more pressure to the left side of his hand, and Robin took the hint to turn right, bringing them down another corridor. A light shone faintly at the end, and the little hero felt his hopes for the luxury of civilization rise.
Robin glanced up at Slade's dark eye, quickly scanning for emotion before looking back ahead and focusing on the hand that was currently steering him around. It was warm against back, surprising given the thickly layered, protective gloves the man constantly wore. In fact, now that he chose to pay attention to such an aspect, Robin noticed that his whole body radiated heat…
What the hell am I thinking? Robin mentally howled and suddenly wished he could slap himself without making Slade suspicious. Stop thinking… just… clear your thoughts… Robin began to exercise the calming breathing techniques he was taught during his sidekick days, drawing in deep breaths through his nose and releasing them slowly through his mouth.
Slade pressed a bit harder into his spinal base, and Robin hurried up, now realizing that he had slowed during his panic attack.
The pair passed through and the hallway and entered a larger room, the dark hardwood floors and creamy caramel walls casting a warm sense of safety over the younger of the two. The blue-eyed hero took in the off-white of the couch and matching loveseat, a few black pillows lounging on each. A fireplace was situated on the wall in front of the glass top coffee table that rested in between the furniture, it's smoothly crafted surface the same dark red-brown as the flooring. It harbored no fire now, but Robin was sure that when it did, the room was any interior decorator's wet dream.
He could honestly say that he would never expect such fine taste in his enemy. Never would he have thought the man's home would be so… normal. He had expected an abundance of bloodstained concrete, plank-barred windows and prisoners suspended from rusty chains.
Robin was thrown back into reality when he realized his company was still there, and they exited the warm living room, heading down another corridor.
"Here we are."
Robin gazed around the kitchen, taking in the marble countertops and stainless steel appliance as he did with the living room. The floors and cupboards were the same wood as in the living room, but the counters were capped by black marble that shone brightly in the light, the white and pale grey veins that snaked through the black practically glowing. There were a few stools set up at the island that was situated in the middle of the kitchen, their plush padding carefully stitched in a creamy white that offset the black of their sculpted black metal bodies nicely.
The hero nearly smiled at the quaintness of it all, but quickly hid the quirk with a scowl when Slade looked down at him. The amusement glinting in that dark eye however, said that the man had seen the slight twitch of his lips.
Slade maneuvered the boy over to the island and pulled one of the stools out from under the overhanging countertop, looking at him expectantly. Robin arched a brow at the rather mannerly display, but stepped forward anyway. He couldn't help the blush that stained his cheeks crimson when he had to step up onto the base bar to hop up onto the stool, and his face flushed darker when the man chuckled at his minor struggle. The mercenary pushed him up to the counter, moving around to take a seat opposite of Robin.
As soon as Slade was seated, the air buzzed with a mechanical hum that caused Robin's instincts to go haywire. His muscles instantly tensed and his fingers twitched for his bo-staff, which he knew wasn't there.
The Slade-bot ambled through the doorway to the right of the refrigerator, opposite of the corridor in which Slade had brought him. It reached out and opened the right door of the fridge, pulling out various foodstuffs and setting them on the counter by the stainless steel sink.
Robin watched every move the metal man made with keen masked eyes, muscles tensed and ready if it suddenly decided to turn on him. Perhaps Slade had programmed it with a timer so it would attack him at a certain time!
Quit being paranoid… Robin was startled by how malicious the voice in the back on his mind sounded. You're sitting here with an absolutely delectable hunk of man meat… how could you possibly be so tense?
Said Titan's head snapped up to stare at the mercenary with wide eyes, the surprise they held hidden by the frosted lenses of his mask. Unfortunately, it didn't hide the bright blush that painted his cheeks a very pretty shade of crimson.
"I told you that there's no need to be afraid of the robot." the man said. He grabbed his mask and unclipped the clasp, sliding it off and setting it next to his elbow, his head moving back to its former position resting on his laced fingers.
Robin blushed darker in embarrassment and looked away, trying his hardest to ignore the probing eye that so blatantly stared at him. He was sure there was plenty of amusement shining in that dark eye, and he refused to meet Slade's taunting gaze.
"I'm not afraid of it!" Robin huffed, crossing his arms over his chest and glaring at the mercenary from the corner of his eye. "S'not like it's gonna' attack me or something…" he added under his breath, but he knew Slade heard him, judging by the way he smirked smugly.
"I didn't set a trap of any sort." Robin snorted, rolling his blue eyes behind his mask. "Oh, stop. You're in no danger as long as I'm near."
Robin tried his best to appear indifferent to the statement, but he couldn't repress the butterflies that fluttered like deranged one-winged beasts in the core of his belly. He had never felt truly protected before, and having it so blatantly forced on him was a nice change of pace.
Even if it was Slade.
A sizzling sound was heard, and Robin's head whipped back, startled, to eye the metal man that clambered around behind Slade. It wandered about, tending to the food that was cooking on the stove. Eggs and bacon, Robin's nose informed him, and his mouth began to water as he realized he hadn't eaten since the morning before.
Slade smirked as full plates were placed in front of them, the boy's empty stomach rumbling as the delicious breakfast was placed before it, just in reach. The child's eyes grew wide and he reached for the fork that was placed nect tot eh plate, but soon thought better, and withdrew the gloved appendage as it burned.
"What?" Slade questioned, picking up his own fork and swirling the eggs around to help cool them off.
"How do I know this isn't some trap…?" Robin hissed, visibly bristling to Slade's surprise, and glared at the mercenary.
"You think I poisoned your food?" the man smirked, raising a brow in amusement. Robin however, did not find the situation as amusing as Slade did, and merely glared fiercely at him. "No need to worry, little bird. I did not poison your food or anything of the like." He lifted a forkful of scrambled eggs to his mouth. "Why would I go through the hassle of obtaining a worthy apprentice, only to kill him off?"
Robin fidgeted on his stool, mulling over the various scenes that could take place depending on which action he chose. He could eat the obviously delectable breakfast, but he would could risking his health or even his life. If he didn't he knew the man would force him to eat.
With turmoil splashing about in his head, Robin lifted the discarded fork to his lips and nearly inhaled the eggs. Damn they were good! The bacon came next, the crispy pork slices easily disappearing faster than Slade himself could see. He would have to keep an eye on this bacon obsession. He didn't need a fat apprentice.
When both the males were finished, plates and glasses empty, Robin hopped down from the stool and Slade steered him back out into the opposite corridor, leading him down until they reached was appeared to be a bedroom.
The bed was huge, layered in blood-red silk sheets and a black down blanket. The pillows were also down, thick and fluffy, and sported deep grey silk coverings. The frame of the bed was the same black metal of the stools in the kitchen, styled and crafted to seem simple yet modern at the same time.
On the opposite side of the room, a desk and computer monitors were set up. A single large screen was fixed on the stone wall and towered over the smaller ones, humbling them and sparking in all its high-tech glory.
A few feet down th wall from the desk was a door, a bathroom he presumed, and the blue-eyed Titan could make out the corner of a countertop and single sink handle. The dark redwood floors cut off into black tiles, the grouting in between a clean, pristine white.
Robin stared, fixated, at the bed with wide eyes, realizing now just how tired he truly was. After the wonderful breakfast the pair had indulged in, the hero could feel the food coma setting in, and his eyelids seemed uncharacteristically heavy. This bed looked wonderfully comfy, even though he was sure it couldn't rival his own canopy bed.
"This will serve as your room." Slade spoke up, and Robin jumped at the sound of his deep voice. "Change out of those clothes." Robin cringed and unconsciously withdrew further into his cape. "I shall provide you with other clothes."
This was obviously not a request, and Robin nodded slightly, allowing the man to herd him into the bathroom.
"You'll find everything you need here, including a toothbrush and other toiletries."
And with that, the door was closed, and Robin was left to his own devices.
Glancing around the bathroom, the raven swiftly began to open drawers, peering into them and digging about, searching for something, anything, that could assist him in his escape. Sure, the food was good and the décor was tasteful, but he sure as hell wasn't about to stay here anyway.
Finding nothing in the drawers but a few boxes of Band-Aids and a rather lacking first aid kit, Robin moved on to the medicine cabinet, pulling it open and moving aside a few various bottles. There was a few bottles of over-the-counter drugs and a bottle of old Neosporin, but nothing more useful than that.
Resigning with a big sigh of exasperation, the teen rolled his eyes and scanned the room, opening up the shower door and scoping out the shampoo bottles. He was startled to find that Slade wasn't lying, and that he possessed the exact brand of shampoo and conditioner that Robin used. Not only that, but there was the same face wash and body wash!
Robin shivered in alarm, stepping back out of the shower and slowly forcing himself to strip out of his clothes and step back inside, knocking the knobs on and waiting for the water to heat. The stream slowly warmed, and Robin found his hands moving up to peel his mask off, but the spirit glue refused him, and he frowned. He had seen an unmarked bottled in the medicine cabinet…
The Boy Wonder stepped out onto the cool tile floor, dripping, and padded over to the sink as quickly as he could manage without spraying water everywhere. He pulled the mirror back and peered around for the plain brown bottle he had spotted earlier. There it was!
Robin snatched up the small plastic bottle and turned it in his hands, seeing no official label or even a single clue written in pen or Sharpie. He really had no clue what this was, but it was his only choice, and he couldn't leave his mask on in the shower without weakening the glue and filling both the lenses and his eyes with unwanted soap and water.
He dabbed some of the clear liquid onto a cotton ball he scavenged out of a drawer, and rubbed it about his mask, peeling back the fabric until it was tossed onto the counter, ridding the wearer of his burden.
Robin reveled in the feel of being completely naked, both physically and mentally, and stepped back into the shower, allowing himself a bit of time to forget where he was and who he was with, focusing on his friends and how they were most likely working on a way to find him.
He showered slowly, scrubbing his hair with the fruity shampoo and running his soaped up hands down his body until he knew he could get no cleaner and stall no longer. The only reason he truly left the warm shower was because the water had begun to cool, and he didn't want to open the door to find an angry Slade fuming on the other side.
Then again, he didn't want to open the door at all, Robin realized as he wrapped a towel around his naked body. He didn't want Slade of all people to see him maskless and dripping, standing there half naked and dripping on his nice wood floors.
So the black-haired teen settled for slapping on his used mask, pressing the edges roughly to his now dry face to get the edges to adhere, and cracked the door open, peeking out into the bedroom.
There was no mercenary in sight, and the door was firmly closed, meaning he could dress and sleep without his 'master' breathing down his neck. Speaking of dress… Robin glanced over to see a pile of clothes folded and placed neatly on the bed. He scurried over and unfolded them, revealing a shirt and pair of shorts.
Holy shit! Robin gasped as he took in the size of the clothes. These must be Slade's… The boy hesitantly brought the large white shirt to his face and inhaled deeply, locking away the musky scent in his mind for further examination. The shirt would hang off his shoulders, and the shorts would fall off him no doubt.
Undressing quickly, Robin slipped under the covers, reveling in both the silky sheets and the huge clothes he was currently drowning in. he sighed and snuggled his face into the soft downy pillow, imagining that it was his own, even though it smelled of the familiar scent of Kevlar and steel that he had come to recognize as Slade's own unique scent.
The young Titan's eyelids grew heavy and slowly slipped closed as he fell asleep, snuggled into the mountain of blankets, his small form dwarfed by the sheer mass of the bed he lay in.
Just as he was about to drop into blissful unawareness, a strong arm wound around his waist, and the child yelped in alarm and jumped away from the invading body. He would had fallen off the bed and smashed his head off the small bedside table had the arm not tightened around him and pulled him flush against an impossibly large and warm chest, causing his face to blaze as he realized just what he was laying against.
"Easy there, little bird." a deep voice rumbled, and Robin felt the vibrations of a chuckle wrack the broad chest he was comfortably resting against. "Wouldn't want you to harm that pretty face on the table now would we?"
Robin, who had slowly managed to claw his way back into reality, blushed and shoved his small hands against the very broad and very naked chest, stuttering and clamoring for words in his embarrassment.
"S-Slade? What are you doing?" he squeaked, and his struggle ceased when he was only pulled closer, squeezed up against the warm skin, the masculine scent filling his nostrils and causing his head to spin.
"This is my bed." Slade said simply. "I have no other for you to use, so you will sleep here with me. Plus, I can keep an eye on you this way."
"Shhh…" Slade breathed, and Robin gradually sagged against the man, gasping slightly and listening to the steady best of the strong heart beneath his ear. He felt his eyes closing, and noted the shifting of his body, but he was too far gone to notice anything else but the musky smell of his worst enemy and the dampness of his own hair.
A/N: Yeah, yeah, I know I jumped into the bed-Sladin too fast, but I couldn't help myself! I ended up surprising Robin by tossing Slade under the covers, so I guess I unconsciously used it as an excuse to start the lovin' right now… I made this chapter extra long and descriptive, so forgive me, please…? :'3
Also, as I side not I suppose, for thoseo of you who sent me ideas and prompts for my drabbles (keep 'em comin' guys!), they will be a bit delayed, as I have been uber busy with a drabble that consists of several installments... se keep your eyes open for In Heat a wonderfully long drabble-ish thing that stems from Wynjas' story Is There a Vet in the House!