A/N: Welcome to the last chapter! A long last chapter! Well… long-ish… I hope you enjoy!
Black Sheep - Third Time's the Charm
Chapter 15: The Winner Takes it All
The tables were arranged as an 'E' with the bride and groom sitting in the middle of the main table under an arch of white and lilac roses. The main wedding party was placed at that table as well, of course, even though it got a bit complicated since the father of the bride and the best man were a couple. They got to sit next to each other anyway, but Robin could see Alfred flipping through mountains of etiquette-books to try and sort out the seating arrangement.
"This is Bruce's idea of a small, simple wedding?" Slade asked Robin in a whisper.
"Oh yes, this is so informal I think that's part of why Alfred is crying…" Robin grinned back.
"Someone should tell him that informal means jeans and sneakers…" the man muttered.
"Don't you dare! He'll die!" Robin snickered. "It's bad enough for him that there's a buffet!"
At that moment the old butler, who was sitting on the other side of the newlyweds, clinked his glass and stood up.
"Dear friends and family, I am sure that no one, apart from Bruce and Rose, of course, are happier than me today."
"He's damn right about that…" Slade muttered into Robin's ear, before Alfred continued.
"I worried for many years about whether or not there was a woman out there who did not only want Master Bruce for his money, but also would accept his… extracurricular activities…"
There were some snickers around the tables, and Robin looked out over the large group of heroes and confidants. Some of them had chosen to come masked, but many were in civilian clothes, and Robin had a hard time placing them all.
"Rose however," Alfred went on, "is a remarkable woman. I liked her instantly, and if Master Bruce hadn't had the good sense to propose to her, I would have been forced to make him. Now, before we enjoy dinner, a few words from the bride's father, but first; Bruce, Rose, I wish you all the happiness in the world."
There was a smattering of cheers across the room and then Slade stood up.
"I'm afraid I have been away until very recently, so I didn't have time to prepare a speech. Work does that, I'm afraid. It takes away the opportunity for lovers to be together, for parents to spend time with their children, and for me to stop this before it could go this far…" Slade muttered the last bit loudly enough for everyone to hear, and the guests grinned and snickered. They all knew about the 'delicacy' of the situation, after all. "Still, Rose, you are stubborn, I'm afraid, and Robin insists that Bruce is not the worst man in the world. I agree. I've met a few men I would have liked you to marry even less. I also killed most of them, but no matter. You are, as Alfred so correctly described you, remarkable, however, and I'm sure you can keep him in line. And Bruce, there are two people I trust more than anything in this room and they both vouch for you and have forbidden me to kill you. I respect them and their wishes so I won't, unless, of course, you ever hurt either of them. Or call me 'dad'. Then you're dead. To the bride and groom," Slade said and raised his glass.
Even Bruce laughed as the cheers exploded in the room, and then someone called for the best man to make a speech. The call was echoed until Robin stood up uncertainly and swallowed.
"Ermm… Okay, I was also busy and didn't have time to prepare anything, but Bruce, Rose, congratulations. I know, despite some people's misgivings, that you will be very happy together. Bruce, I will do my best to keep Slade from attacking you, but I should heed his warning if I were you. If there's something I've learned, it's that he's very protective of the people he loves." The words were out of his mouth before he even realized what they meant. Or might mean. He felt mortified, wondering if Slade thought that Robin took it for granted that he loved him. Maybe the man would even standup and object. There was a moment of emptiness until he felt a hand on the back of his leg, under the table so no one could see it, squeezing softly. Robin looked down at the man and got a smirk and a small nod, which made it possible for him to continue.
"Now, let's not focus on the dangers," Robin said, "but on the thing so many of us in here live for: the adventure. I have a feeling this will be your biggest one yet." With that he raised his glass and again the rest of the guests joined in.
Robin sank down on his chair, almost shaking, but no one noticed, as Alfred stood up at that moment and invited the guests to the buffet table.
"I do tend to get rather annoyed when people try to hurt you, you know…" Slade whispered in his ear, and Robin blushed, his heart skipping a beat.
"Yeah… same here…" he mumbled back.
The food was absolutely delicious and there were lots of it; chicken, fish, roast beef and vegetarian dishes, so everyone could find something they liked. Robin found himself with too much on his plate as usual when there was a buffet… he always wanted to try a little bit of everything, and things piled up.
After dinner it was time for Bruce and Rose to open the wedding-presents.
"I'm going to stand behind you, so don't move…" Robin hissed as their present was the next to be chosen. So far they couple had gotten a very beautiful assortment of glass, silver, art and textiles, as well as generous donations to the Wayne Foundation and the Brother/Sister program Rose was running. Slade's and Robin's gift was… a bit different.
"Oh, this one is from dad and Robin," Rose said, reading the card of the small, flat, present. "Oh… it's a… book?" she said when she started to open it. "Let's see, it's called 'How to-'" Rose stopped there, stared at the title and colored rather strangely. "Here," she said in a strangled voice and gave the book over to Bruce, who read the title and then glanced up at Slade and Robin.
"It's called 'How to Shit in the Woods' by Kathleen Meyer," he said, and the room erupted in a roar of laughter.
"It will come in handy. Trust me," Robin said from where he was half hiding behind Slade. "Open it."
"Do I dare?" Bruce smirked but did. "Oh, what's this?"
"That is a list of camping-gear you now own, as well as an open reservation to a wilderness-site and a map of their hiking-trails," Slade explained.
"We wondered what to get you, since you have it all, but then we decided not to actually get you more, but to take things away. You will camp for a week every year, to remember what's really important in life. Not things, not money, not work, but each other," Robin filled in. "And, to make sure you can leave, Slade and I will look after Gotham when you're gone."
"Every year?" Rose asked, smiling a bit teasingly at her father.
"Yes," the mercenary nodded, like he wasn't aware of the commitment he had made, not only to his daughter and her husband, but perhaps especially to Robin.
"Does that include baby-sitting?" Bruce asked with a grin.
"Of course!" Robin smirked, at the same time as Slade said "Hell no!"
"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it…" Robin snickered, holding Slade's arm as it seemed that the thought of a baby and what Bruce had to do to his daughter to have one, didn't sit very well with the man.
"Thank you. Both of you," Bruce said, still looking highly amused by the whole thing, and Rose's lips was twitching as well. Robin drew a deep sigh of relief. It seemed the couple had a sense of humor after all. The guests certainly did.
The enormous cake was in the same color-scheme as the rest of the wedding, of white frosting and lilac details. Robin was already full, but couldn't resist a piece, of course.
"I'm going to swell up like a whale…" he murmured between bites.
"You could do with a few more pounds, especially after our… little trip," Slade said next to him.
"It never hurts to keep an eye on one's weight, though…" a voice said next to them and Shift came forward. "But of course, tights have a bit of give…"
"Ah, that's sweet of you… oh, by the way…" Robin said, looking somewhat worried, "I think your nose is a bit crooked…"
This made the shape-changer flee to the closest bathroom.
"Not nice, Robin…" Shield chuckled. "But deserved. I swear he doesn't mean to be nasty, he just has a bit of trouble getting the hang of not just saying what he is thinking…"
"That's alright, he's actually better now…" Robin chuckled. "Please go tell him I was only joking before he has an accident?"
"I will," the large teen grinned and followed his gender-challenged girlfriend.
"Everything is so beautiful!" someone else said, and it turned out to be Flame, framed by Speedy and Aqualad. The teen's hair and eyes were flickering from yellow to pink and red, like it really was on fire.
"Yeah, it's all posh enough…" Speedy grinned.
"You served fish, though…" Aqualad pointed out.
"Sorry, but people do want some salmon from time to time…" Robin sighed with a smile.
"Yeah, yeah, I know…" the dark-haired teen mumbled.
"I'm sure they weren't personal friends of yours…" Slade, who thought the conversation was stupid, snorted.
"Ignore the insensitive bastard. I do," Robin muttered.
"We were wondering if there will be dancing?" Speedy asked.
"I'm scared now, but yes…" Robin admitted. "In the ballroom in a minute I should think."
"Flame wanted to ask you for a dance," Aqualad revealed.
"What? I didn't… I … damn you!" Flame spluttered and turned pink all over.
"Of course I'll dance with you," Robin laughed.
"'Of course'?" Slade growled.
"I'll dance with you too, Slade," Robin sighed.
"Slade knows how to dance? This I gotta see!" Speedy grinned, safely out of reach from the man's fists.
At that moment the doors to the ball-room opened. The room was seldom used, although Wayne Enterprises had the occasional board-meeting there.
The bride and groom had decided against live music due to the security-risk, but when the first notes began streaming out of hidden speakers, the quality of the sound made it seem like there was an orchestra in the room after all.
Bruce and Rose had the first dance alone and Robin thought it was even more romantic than the wedding-ceremony. He felt an urge to hold Slade's hand, but didn't think the man would appreciate it, so he settled for leaning back against him slightly while watching the couple, instead. Slade didn't seem to have any problems with that. Robin smirked. One had to be shifty to get away with romantic gestures when one was with a mercenary.
After the song finished, Slade danced with his daughter, and then it was Robin's turn to dance with Rose, while other couples joined in as well. Bruce was dancing with Wonder Woman at the moment, who was wearing a very nice dress, although Robin couldn't help but think she looked weird in it.
"You take care of my daddy now, won't you?" Rose said.
"Likewise… kind of…" Robin grinned.
"Oh, our family ties are rather complicated, aren't they?" the bride snickered.
"They match our relationships, I think…" the teen smiled.
"They do. But I mean it… look out for him. Don't let him do stupid things."
"I'll try… if he'll let me," the hero blushed.
"Oh, he'll let you… he'll gladly let you. He can barely keep his eye off you, you know."
Robin snorted softly and blushed deeper.
Rose delivered him into Slade's arms a little while later.
"What did my daughter tell you to make you that red in the face?" the man asked, carefully placing his hands around the teen, mindful of his burns.
"I don't believe you."
"Well, I'm not telling…" Robin grinned up at the man.
"Maybe it's for the best…" Slade muttered. "I have a feeling I don't want to know."
A while later a very reluctant Slade had to give Robin up to a nervous Flame for one song, but as the evening turned into night, the couple danced more and more exclusively. Slade was not a bad dancer, it turned out. He knew how to waltz, for example, where most people just shuffled around. There was no modern dance-music, although the classical score morphed into love ballads as time went on, which suited most people who wanted to slow-dance.
Robin spotted Green Arrow and Black Canary, and had a feeling there was another wedding on the horizon.
"What are you thinking about?" Robin asked Slade as he was leaning against the man, eyes closed, moving slowly to the tune.
Robin stepped back.
"I'm sorry it wasn't what you wanted to hear, but at least I was honest. But, if it makes you feel better, I only just thought of him… he hasn't been on my mind all evening."
"Good. I was worried there for a while," Robin snorted.
"When can we leave for Metropolis?"
"The day after tomorrow… remember the official wedding-reception? Dick has to show."
"Right…" Slade said. "Have you any ideas about what you want to do about Lex?"
"Yes," Robin grinned. "Just make sure we get in…"
"Why would I leave the fun part to you?" the man objected. "It's more up my alley anyway. You are cheating me out of a job."
"Well, you owe me."
"I thought it was the other way around?"
"No, you owe me for not backing down. You should have, you know."
"Business and pleasure, Robin…" Slade sighed.
"Bullshit!" Robin hissed. "You should thank Lex for setting it all up, because if this had been a real mission, and you had put your damn work ahead of me… you would have lost me."
"But it's alright for you to do the same thing? You should always get to complete your mission while I have to step aside?" the mercenary asked a bit stiffly.
"Yes. Life's unfair like that…" Robin smirked. "I'm one of the good guys, Slade. We always win. Deal with it."
"I'd love to deal with you…" the man growled playfully.
"Later. Seriously, though, if we have to face each other again…" Robin mumbled unhappily and buried his face against his partner's chest.
Slade sighed deeply, and rested his chin on top of the black locks.
"You really have me by the balls, don't you?"
"Mm-hmm," the teen said, pressing himself closer.
"Maybe we better compare notes before any assignments from now on, then…" the man muttered.
"Because you wouldn't step aside"? Robin asked anxiously.
"No, because I would. And my image would never recover," the mercenary admitted.
"Oh, just tell them I have you by the balls, people will understand…" Robin snickered.
"Not very likely… but I have to keep you around until you have paid off your debt… how about nine thousand nine hundred and ninety five?"
"Okay... but not in the middle of the dance floor…" Robin chuckled and dragged the man upstairs.
The wedding reception at the hotel the next day was exceptionally boring, with long, droning speeches where all of Bruce's contacts pretended that they had known Rose for years. Her sudden appearance on the society scene in Gotham had raised quite a few questions and given her several female enemies as well, of the bitchier kind.
The whole thing had been set up by a wedding-planner working with the PR-staff of Wayne Enterprises, and, though probably beautiful to an outsider, spoke nothing of the bride and groom's personalities. Still, this was what Bruce and Rose had wanted, they had preferred to spend all their energy on the real wedding, and leave the public appearance up to the professionals.
Robin made sure he was in as many photographs as he could, in his 'Dick Grayson' disguise, and answered all of the reporter's inane questions. By the end of the day he came back to the mansion and collapsed in Slade's arms, claiming to hate the world.
Bruce and Rose had left for their honeymoon and, apart from Alfred and the staff, the house was now empty.
"I got us plane-tickets for tomorrow. We'll fly most of the way and then drive the rest," Slade informed the teen while undressing him.
"Mmm… sounds good…" Robin grinned. "Arrgh, I have to get these extensions out…"
"Don't… I'd like to fuck Dick too… he's such a pompous little brat," Slade grinned.
"Yes, but Dick doesn't fuck criminals. He's not even gay," Robin pointed out.
"Then he's in for a new experience…" Slade smirked and flipped the teen over.
"Get you filthy hands off me, you beast! Do you know who I am?" Robin exclaimed in his snooty Grayson-voice.
"Of course I do… and if you want to keep that pretty little face, rich boy, you should consider playing nice…" Slade growled, making a pleasant tingle race up Robin's spine.
"Who do you think you are?" he replied, uncharacteristically weakly fighting the man, who was now pressing him down on the bed.
"I'm stronger, faster, more ruthless and considerably more dangerous than anyone you've ever met," Slade hissed in his ear. "And there's no one around to help you."
"What… what are you going to…?"
"I'm just gonna show you a good time, pretty boy…" Slade purred, and let up on the teen's back only to pull his legs apart.
"No! No, you can't! I have money… I'll pay you!" Robin, or rather Dick, pleaded, trying to crawl away.
"You'll pay, alright… and you will feel it for a long time…" the mercenary promised as he got in position.
"No! You ca-aaahhh!" The scream was half faked, half real, as the man had plunged straight in and the little role-play had actually managed to tense the teen up.
"Look at it this way… if your sugar-daddy Wayne abandons you, you now know a new skill… you'll make a lot of money on a corner, boy…" the man told him as he started thrusting. "I might even sell you myself…"
"You… you're a monster…" Robin tried to sound like he was sobbing, but he was panting too hard, and when Slade pulled him up on his knees he didn't struggle very much at all.
A while later the couple was catching their breaths, grinning at each other.
"That was… pretty hot…" Robin admitted.
"Yes, we should do this more often…" Slade smirked.
"You just want to rape me again."
"Yeah, well… I want you to," the teen snickered and then rolled closer for a kiss.
They said goodbye to Alfred early the next morning.
"Did you find what you needed in the lab, Master Richard?" Alfred asked.
"The lab?" Slade frowned, not knowing that the hero had been down to the cave.
"Yeah, thanks," Robin nodded to the butler, ignoring Slade for now. "Oh, I almost forgot, I need to borrow something from the kitchen…"
"Of course…" the old man said and showed him the way, while Slade packed their rather light bags into the car. One of the staff-members would take them to the airport, since Robin had decided that Alfred needed some time off. The faithful servant had still insisted on making a wonderful breakfast for them, however.
As they drove away Robin leaned back into the back seat next to Slade and drew a deep breath.
"Well, it's over... and no one killed anyone else…" he grinned. The opaque partition separating them from the driver was raised and soundproof, which gave them some privacy.
"You've been worried?"
"Oh, yes… through all of this, having guns pointed at me, almost dying from thirst and being chained out in the dessert… all I was worried about was the wedding…" Robin chuckled.
"Let's just say I don't blame you."
"So… have your feelings about Bruce changed?"
"Yes, I adore him now…" Slade muttered sarcastically. Robin gave him a look which made the man continue. "Well, fine. He does have a sense of humor, and is not a total waste of atoms, I guess… and Rose actually married him, so…"
"You will be golfing together in no time…" Robin chuckled.
"Don't make me throw up in the car…" the man groaned. "By the way… how long is the drive to the airport?"
"About thirty or forty minutes, depending on the traff-mmmpph!"
Slade knew how to make every minute count.
The flight was uneventful, but thankfully not too long. They still traveled on their fake ID's but had no problems with security.
Afterwards they had to drive for what should have been a little over an hour, but, because of roadwork, it took them more than two. No matter. They weren't in a rush… besides, the adult versions of car-games were rather fun.
They arrived in Metropolis completely anonymously, just one of the flood of cars that entered the city.
"If you see Superman; duck," Slade told the teen as they cruised the city's streets.
"Yeah, it would be rather difficult to explain what we are doing here…" he admitted. "So, what's next?"
"The normal office-hours will end in a while… We're going to start with borrowing one of LexCorp's computers, but first we need a bit of a disguise…"
Robin only nodded. Slade was in charge of getting them into the building, and he trusted the man to figure out how to do it with as little violence as possible. He blinked when he realized this, because they hadn't actually discussed it. Still, Robin had complete faith that the mercenary wouldn't simply open fire in the lobby.
An hour later they were standing pretty close to the LexCorp headquarters. They were wearing sunglasses, baseball-caps, horrible t-shirts and cameras. Again the teen reflected over the fact that he might end up on the 'worst dressed hero'-list if he continued to hang out with Slade. Especially since Robin also had a fanny-pack. The getup did its job though; they looked like the rest of the tourists milling around on one of Metropolis main streets. They took photos and consulted a map while waiting. They had been careful not to get there too early, and already people were leaving.
"That one. He's one of Luthor's secretaries. With laptop," Slade suddenly muttered, having recognized the man from a meeting with Lex a few years back.
"I'm on it," Robin nodded and hurried forward. The target was heading down the street, perhaps to the subway-station close by, and they had little time to lose.
"Sir? Sir, please sir?" Robin called out in a very broken accent. The man turned his way and slowed down. "I am sorry, sir, could you help? Looking for Glen…. Glenmorgan Square?" Robin said and waved his map. They had chosen a destination tourists would want to visit, but made sure it would be a little bit difficult to describe the route there. "You show me where on map I am? Please?" Robin begged.
The man shrugged, figuring it wouldn't take more than a second or two.
"Sure son," he said and came closer.
They were still surrounded by a stream of people going in both directions, however, and Robin pretended to have trouble with the huge map. He looked around and, as by accident, spotted an open gate, leading into an enclosed courtyard. Robin stopped in the tunnel-like entryway, out of the rush of the people, and smoothed the map out on the wall, twisting and turning it as he pretended to look for the square. He looked back at the secretary pleadingly. The guy shrugged yet again and walked into the trap.
As soon as the secretary had left the sidewalk, Slade came up behind him. The mercenary blocked the narrow doorway very efficiently, and their victim didn't notice a thing before he was expertly hit on the base of his neck and crumpled to the ground.
Slade caught him before he fell over completely, and Robin deftly caught the computer-bag.
If Luthor's employee should wake up and discover that his computer had been stolen, that would mean that alarms would go off, however, so they took the man into the courtyard, which was made up as a small garden, leading off to different businesses, and quickly hid him behind some bushes. Slade tied him with plastic cable-ties they had picked up, and gagged the man using his own socks and ties, while Robin hacked the computer.
"We're still close enough to LexCorp's wireless grid… wonderful…" Robin grinned, glad that they didn't actually have to be inside the building. Still, with any other computer, they wouldn't be able to access it. This one, however, was already connected, and Robin had found the code to the laptop itself in the man's wallet. Lazy and stupid people made the world a much better place for the criminally inclined. Even if they happened to really be heroes.
"I'm in, what am I looking for?" Robin asked.
"Luthor's schedule. I just got the guy's key-card," Slade told him.
"Check his wallet and see if there's a code in there…" Robin grinned as he started looking, "Ah, they use the mail-program's calendar-system. How… well… dull! Let's see, Lex is added to his 'share calendar' list… okay, today… oh, he's a busy man, let's hope he drops dead from a heart attack soon. He's in a meeting right now, in the 'blue conference room' wherever the hell that is. It's ending at six, and then he has a phone-meeting overseas at seven-thirty. No one else invited."
"Good, he'll probably take that in his office, then… It's a quarter past five now, that means we have forty-five minutes to reach his office before he gets there."
"Sounds like plenty of time," Robin shrugged. "Lead the way."
Lex Luthor walked into his office at ten minutes past six. He stopped in confusion as his high-backed office-chair swung around and there was Robin, grinning like a maniac.
"I always wanted to do that…" the teen snickered. "Welcome, Mr. Luthor! I wish I had a white cat to pet and a trapdoor in the floor, but I have something better. I have Slade."
The billionaire heard the door behind him click shut and lock. He knew the mercenary stood there, but chose to ignore him at the moment and focus on the brat in his chair, who now placed very dirty sneakers on his expansive mahogany desk.
"So you both survived then?" the businessman said. "My men reported you missing a few days ago, but I still had my hopes…"
"Sorry to disappoint. And yeah, we did. And now we've come for that coffee, although we'd rather skip that actually… though it was tiring getting up here… I'm not allowed to tell you how we did it, however, because we might have to visit again," Robin said, checking his nails.
"Won't you sit down, Lex?" Slade asked behind the man, and Robin smiled, waving at a chair.
"I think I'd rather stand."
"Ah, then we have to insist…" Slade growled and grabbed the man. Lex Luthor was no puny lightweight, but Slade handled him like he was nothing more than a ragdoll, and soon he was bound to one of his own visitor's chairs. Slade had used cable ties again, as they were very quick, very effective, and cut into the skin if the victim struggled enough.
"I wonder how many people have been in your situation in that very chair?" Robin asked.
"You don't have to answer that, of course," Slade interrupted, "but think about where they are now, and whether or not you would like to end up like them."
"You can't kill me," the man said, trying to sound calm.
"We can't?" Robin gaped. "Slade, is that true?"
"Yes, well, it would involve some serious economical problems for the U.S and actually the world in general…" the mercenary muttered, pretending to think it over.
"Oh… do we care about those kinds of things?" the teen asked.
"Not much, no."
"Good. Seems you were wrong, Lex!"
"So you have joined the other side, little Robin? What will the Bat say?" Luthor tried to taunt the teen.
"Seriously? Do you have any idea how many people he's killed? But Superman would be a bit pissed, perhaps… for a minute or two…"
"Now, now, Robin," Slade scolded the young man, "Don't talk badly about your mentor… sure, he crosses the line to get what he wants, but there are other ways as well… let's suggest a deal to Mr. Luthor and see what he thinks about it…"
"Sure, I wouldn't mind a billion dollars or something like that to play around with…" the teen shrugged.
"I had something much simpler in mind," the mercenary admitted.
"Simpler? He almost got us killed! Worse than that; he set out to get us killed…"
"Yes, that is a problem… if we had endangered some business of his on the mission, and he had merely defended himself, well, that is according to the rules… but he did plan this especially, with your death in mind. I'm annoyed."
"Oh-oh, Lex, Slade's annoyed at you… have you pissed yourself yet?" Robin asked the bound man.
"Enough! Stop this insanity! What is this deal of yours?" the man barked.
"Ah, but we were having fun…" Robin sighed. He loved playing this role of the dangerously insane. "But alright… the truth is, I haven't gone bad, not very, at least, and Slade hasn't, unfortunately, even found the narrow path on a map yet, but we do work together now and then… and would like to continue to do so without getting attacked by suicidal maniacs," the teen explained. "The question is, do we remove the man who sent those maniacs, or do we kindly ask the man to not do that again? We might even add a 'please' at the end of that."
"No we won't," Slade snorted.
"Sorry. No we won't," Robin nodded. "But it's still a pretty good deal… stop dropping things on us and stuff, and you'll live. Oh, and you also have to give up on the idea of hiring Slade, because he's mine."
"Get out of my office!" the billionaire growled. Robin could see the pearls of sweat on his brow, however; Luthor wasn't as calm as he pretended to be.
"Fine, we'll leave you with a warning this time…" Slade said.
"We will?" Robin asked.
"We know where to find him, and I think we have proved that we can get at him at any time. Unless he is absolutely one hundred percent sure that we are dead, he's not safe."
"Oh, and if we die, we can make sure that the JL will find out… and I think Batman will take this personally," Robin smirked. "He's a vindictive bastard, my mentor. I like him. And we'll let him know how to get in as well, of course…"
"Yes, I'd almost like to see that…" Slade smirked. "Think about it, Mr. Luthor. Do you really need more enemies right now? If you are really that tired of living, I can help for free. You know how to reach me."
"Yeah, you better not answer that call during sex…" Robin muttered.
"I promise. Shall we go?" Slade asked.
"Not… quite yet… I know we said we'd let him live, but I don't think it's fair!" Robin objected. "He left us chained in the desert!"
"Yes, but you have to remember; he gave us a way out…"
"Yeah, the saw… that was nice of you, Sir…" Robin glared at the tied man. "What do you think Lex will do when we leave?" he then asked Slade.
"He'll yell for help, probably… security will hear him sooner or later," Slade answered.
"I don't like that. I think he should sit here and calmly and quietly contemplate our generous offer," Robin said.
"Yes, but how to convince him to do that?" the mercenary asked.
"Oh… I have an idea…" Robin grinned, the smile itself making more pearls of sweat appear on the billionaire's face.
Robin searched his fanny-pack and came up with half a roll of duct tape. He quickly taped the man's mouth shut and paused for a moment.
"You can breathe alright, can't you? You're sounding like a snorting bull. Don't do that. You remind me of Slade in bed… So… Now you will be quiet, but will you be calm? Will you really think this over? Hmmm… no, I have a feeling it will take something more…" Robin rummaged through the small bag and smiled. "Ah… here it is… You know, something you did really impressed Slade; those suicide-rings… or rather, what was inside them… We kept a few rings to analyze them, you know, but I guess I can spare this…"
Robin showed the man a very small glass vial with a cork stopper, the kind of fragile container Batman used in many of his smoke-bombs, not much bigger than a finger-nail, half filled with a white powder. Luthor's eyes went very big.
"Now…" Robin said, taping the thing a bit under the man's flaring nostrils, "you will be perfectly safe… as long as you don't breathe too heavily, of course… you don't want this powder to fly up in the air, now do you? Imagine breathing it in… getting it in your eyes… There, are you calm? I'm going to remove the stopper now." Robin could hear the man holding his breath, and grinned. This was fun. Maybe he was in the wrong line of business after all? "Goodbye, Sir. Don't let any of us be annoyed with you again, or you will get much worse. Take it easy now! Don't panic!" Robin snickered.
Fifteen minutes later they were out on the street. Four minutes after that, they had cut the secretary free and soon they were heading out of Metropolis in their car.
"That went well," Slade hummed, looking very pleased.
"Yeah, it did. See, we should go on missions together!" Robin grinned.
"The vial was a surprise, though."
"I know… you didn't like it?"
"I loved it. What was the white stuff?"
"Marvelous," Slade chuckled. "He'll be furious when he finds out."
"Furious enough to come after us?" Robin asked worriedly.
"No, I doubt that he'll want any more trouble…" the man smirked. "He's smart enough to lay low for a while."
"I sure hope so…" Robin sighed and remained quiet for couple of minutes. As they hit the main motorway out of the city, however, the teen chuckled softly.
"What is it?" Slade asked.
"You know what? We're driving away into the sunset together…"
"It would seem like that, yes…" Slade grinned.
"It's very romantic, you know…"
"It is… It makes me… want to ask you something…"
"Oh? What?" Robin asked, his heart skipping a beat.
"How about number nine thousand nine hundred and eighty seven?"
A/N: Thank you for the music! –grins and hope people gets it- And thank you Kam-frenshi who reminded me of the wonderful book mentioned in this chapter. Yes, it's real. Haven't read it, but couldn't resist. ;)
Here it ends… with Slade proving he's as romantic as ever… I hope Robin bites him…
Anyway, I would like to thank all of you who has read and reviewed during this story! Please leave a final one… or a first one… no matter! ;) People hate me for my endings, but, hey, I thought I wrapped this story up pretty well, and I don't think the fluff-level got COMPLETELY out of hand, did it? (I'm not talking to those of you who are fluff lovers and secretly wanted it to be a double wedding…) ;)
I have no more planned for this universe at the moment… A trilogy is a good place to end, after all, but I'm not saying there won't be any more EVER, just don't hold your breath… Especially as the evil Tinclay has, unbidden of course, come up with so many wonderful suggestions for titles… -mutters-
A last, very big and warm thank you to Jayto who has juggled real work and beta-work during this time, I couldn't have done it without you!
All the best!
Notes on this chapter:
Metropolis location in relation to Gotham has changed from them being twin cities to on different sides of the continent, according to Wikipedia, so I just went with a relatively short flight and drive…
Glenmorgan Square is a canon Gotham location, again according to Wikipedia.
Green Arrow and Black Canary are already married… or not… it was a bit confusing there, I think, once more according to Wikipedia, but I simply pretended they are not YET in this universe.