Disclaimer: don't own ^^

No porn, but there's important emotional development ^^

The sound of of the door opening ripped him of his endorphins and adrenalin-caused high. There in the doorway was Slade, looking approvingly at his performance. "Very good, Robin. Now, lets begin our training." He turned around, clearly expecting Richard to follow him.

Chapter 6

Cautiously, Robin followed Slade through the hallway to another room. Entering the room, he felt himself getting nauseous. On the left side was a professional shooting area and on the right were several cans built up far away, reminding him of an old training western with the goal of aiming with a gun and hitting the target from a great distance. It didn't take a genius to figure out what his self-accounted master would start to teach him.

"I'm not using guns," he said clearly, trying to make himself sound as commanding as possible.

The answering smirk destroyed any kind of hope that it might have worked. "Oh, I understand and even share your dislike for guns," Slade said in a mocking, sweet voice. "Any idiot can use them to kill. It lacks style, doesn't it? However, it is a good alternative plan and knowledge never hurt anyone. So, how do you want to start? With the physical," he pointed to the left side, "or the mental part of the training."

'Mental part?' To Richard, both areas seemed similar. 'What could be the mental challenge in shooting tin cans?' A sick curiosity filled him, but his self preservation instincts shouted at him to take the physical training. Whatever Wilson had planned couldn't be good for him. "I would like to start with the physical part, sir."

Slade nodded and they went to the shooting area where he handed him a loaded gun. It felt heavier than its actual weight. Buried images of being fourteen years old and being shot by the Joker violently resurfaced and Richard started to tremble violently until strong arms pulled him against a hard chest, hugging him from behind. Unthinking, he leaned into the embrace, not caring who comforted him, but simply knowing that he was comforted as dry sobs shook his body. The overwhelming fear, but, the worst of all, losing his faith in Batman since he wasn't always there to save him. Even if his best wasn't good enough to get a happily ever after, he lost the last remaining shred of childish innocence as the bullet pierced his flesh above his heart, leaving a scar as a reminder of not only his, but also Batman's failure.

Robin's dark thoughts were interrupted by a stream of soft, whispered words. They didn't make sense in his blurred mind, but the constant rush of the calm voice started to set his mind at ease.

"Would you care to explain what your little panic attack was all about, apprentice?" his master demanded.

"I was shot in the past, sir."

While he spoke, he tried to come up with a good cover story that left as little detail of Batman as possible.

"Who shot you?"

The voice had grown icy, making him almost feel sorry for the next words; almost.

"The Joker. He tried to blackmail my guardian to give him a few millions."

That seemed believable enough, didn't it? Of course, the ward of a billionaire could be kidnapped. It happened far too often for his liking. Unable to do anything to not reveal his secret identity. He truly hated that part of the job.

"And you guardian didn't pay?" Wilson sounded disbelieving.

Why would his guardian pay? He never did, saying that the money would only end up being used for weapons and to hurt other people. He, Robin the hero, had to make sacrifices for the greater good.

"Well no, he was sure Batman would save me in time."

Was it him or did he just make him guardian sound irresponsible? But no, that couldn't be. Batman was always right, wasn't he?

"How irresponsible of him. You are worth far more than a few millions." Richard was stunned. Slade had said it with such conviction. It made his heart flutter to be considered this precious to someone. Trying to swallow with his sudden dry mouth, he wanted to say something to protect Bruce, but he couldn't. There was nothing he could say. Yes he had taken him in and trained him, but that was it. Bruce had never made Robin feel important, no matter how hard he trained or how good his grades were…

"Don't worry, my little bird. I will take good care of you," the man said in a soft, purring voice.

For the first time, belonging to the man didn't seem to be all that bad…

Slade smirked victoriously as his little hero relaxed into his embrace. Wayne wasn't a cruel man out of some conviction, but Richard had grown up in a circus. He always had a lot of attention, be it from the crowed or the circus artists, which were more or less like one big family. To Wayne, being raised by a butler with little to no attention seemed normal, but for Robin it was torture. In short, his toy was dying to be the focus of gentle affections. Like a starved animal, he would start to seek him out, to feed that burning need deep inside him.