Disclaimer: don't own

He 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 crowd 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.

They stayed like this for some time: Richard basking in the seemingly innocent affection and Slade savoring his victory like an expensive brandy. Leaning forward, he inhaled his sweet scent and reveled in the sight of tears. The open weakness only spurred his predatory side to take him right then and there. Yet, another part took pride in the fact that Richard was comforted by his presence. For now, the gun training would have to wait. Slade wouldn't allow him to leave his home anytime soon, so they had time. But the news about the Joker… Why were there no other real villains in Jump City but him? Because Deathstroke had claimed the city as his territory and the others knew better than to disrespect him.

His musings were interrupted as Robin tensed up. The vulnerability in his eyes was gone, replaced by a hard look. Obviously the moment was over and his bird got his mind back on track. He didn't move, just relented as Robin took an effective step forward to break the contact. He shook himself. Really, a moment of emotional vulnerability in front of a man who tried to control him, really? He was better than that.

"Could we train with something else?" he asked in a far too weak of a voice for his liking.

"Why? Because you are afraid of guns? They are a common sight in our social circle. To have such a weakness in unacceptable. You will learn to handle a firearm and by the end you, will be grateful you learned it," his self proclaimed master said in a harsh tone. "But for today, we might do something more different to get your emotions under control."

Taking the small break as a victory, Richard simply nodded and they left the room.

The new training room looked like a lab. There was a big control station with various screens and a chair in the middle. The cables were connected to a rather small metal box, no bigger than a broom closet. It was far too familiar to him. He had seen and worked in such a machine before. If he wasn't mistaken, this was a very advanced training tool. The box worked as an advanced holographic machine, which made everything seem very real, all controlled by the computer input outside. He felt like a lamb being lead to the butcher as Slade gestured him to enter. He was reluctant, feeling something wrong with the box, but he entered anyway.

Slade smirked as Robin entered the machine. He had some very fond memories of it. While the primary function was to a be training simulator, it could be used differently. With all the data he had about Robin, it was easy for the machine to make a replica of the younger man with a behaviour he could control and modify with a few hours of work. And really, after a strenuous hunt, he deserved some pleasure, didn't he? He would have to use the machine again sometime soon, to relieve some tension…

Richard looked around the small box. If it wasn't a training simulation, then it was nothing more than an ugly, metal box. This changed when lights flickered on, the metal blinding him for a moment. As he reopened his eyes, he was in the middle of a desert.

"Lets start with a trust building exercise, shall we?" asked the annoying voice rhetorically. Robin just nodded. "This is an old mine field. If you don't follow my orders exactly, things could become very painful for you my dear apprentice. So just close your eyes and let me guide you."

Déjà vu much? Slade has used this exact same choice of words and even setting. A growing part of his mind demanded to make a run for it and activate as much mines as possible. It wouldn't be the most intelligent thing to do, but his rebellious side needed it, especially after the earlier display of weakness; to prove himself that he was just as headstrong as before. In a mad dash, he ran forward. By the third shock, he lost consciousness with a satisfied smile on his face.

Slade's little bird was full of surprises, wasn't he? The desperation of the act was slightly worrying though. Had he already pushed him too far? No, he needed to mold him while he was in a vulnerable state of mind, otherwise most attempts would rebuff and only build counterproductive animosity. A man having nothing left to lose will either rise above or shatter. Should he risk it or try something else? A gentler approach? But what could his pet value? Another person was out of question. Slade was a jealous man and he didn't share his toys. Maybe a pet of his own? Well, why not? The hero side was still strong in him. Giving him something to protect and treat with affection would make a result of Robin's obedience. A dog would be acceptable.

Satisfied with the plan, Slade carried Richard to his room. Afterward, he returned to the training room and started a personal favourite of his: Richard as his devoted lover, very eager to please his master after a long day…