In the Dark
A/N: Hey guys! I've had some major crazy writers block so I've decided the best thing to do is go back and edit some of my one-shots from a couple of years ago. If anyone remembers reading this story you (and liking it) you will be happy to know I have gone back through and improved upon the already existing story.
A cool breeze moved through the trees and shifted the summer heat that had been weighing heavily on the forest that rested quiet and dark at the edge of town. The moon, a glowing orb, cast shadows and spilled pale light across the expansive earth.
On a night like this a person would have expected to hear animals prowling in the silvery light but except for the whisper of the wind only one sound could be heard. The rough breathing of a young boy spilled out through the air. He was searching for someone, and the shadows gave no aid as his eyes tried to press through the darkness and utilize the light of the moon to his advantage.
Robin rushed through the darkness; his shadow was stretched out before him as the moon continued it's slow rise from behind.
His eyes were searching and his senses reaching. He was looking for someone the monster who had been taunting him for years.
Robin knew that Slade was in the forest; he had tracked the assassin for over two hours. Even though Robin didn't have any accelerated senses he swore he could smell the man, a musty scent of blood and metal.
Sweat was pouring from Robin's body and his fatigue was becoming a hindrance but he couldn't give up. Slade had separated Robin from his team for a reason.
It had been like this for months now, Slade popping up and causing trouble, Robin trying his damndest to fix the problems and trying to capture Slade. The man was as good at escaping as he was at fighting.
The floor of the forest was un-tamed and Robin had not been on or near a true path for hours. He had been having a hard to negotiating the craggy surface and had stumbled in the dark over roots several times.
It came as no surprise when Robin suddenly fell forward; he tried desperately to keep himself upright but he lost his balance and went crashing to the ground. He rolled awkwardly down a hill bruising his body and damaging his uniform along the way.
He found himself plunging into an icy pool of water that was only a foot or so deep. He quickly sat up and looked around trying to regain his senses. A steep slope rose up around him on all sides and he saw roots, rocks and other obstacles jutting out here and there around him. The trees grew up tall around the edges and Robin, in a moment of weak fatigue could bring himself to do nothing but sigh in frustration.
"Great," He stood on shaky legs and was well on his way to climbing out of the small pond when he heard the snap of a twig and felt the earth shift. Robin froze and waited but nothing came, still his instincts urged him not to move so he waited longer still.
Only silence greeted him and so with a large amount of hesitation Robin started to move again when suddenly a cry filled the night and the boy's stale reflexes reacted just in time to avoid a fist, which came out of no where and slammed into the water where Robin had been only seconds before.
Robin fell back in shock and stared up at Slade who radiated an aura of smug satisfaction. The man stared down at him with a narrow eye but said nothing and as Robin managed to get up he took a fighting stance and mentally tried to prepare for the fight ahead.
"You were following me weren't you," Robin asked with a bitter tone having long since lost his fear to speak to this man with no respect.
"You gave me a good run for the first hour but I eventually doubled back," Slade stood and cracked his knuckles and then shook out the tension in his hand.
"Let's end this," Robin responded as he tightened his fists and started advancing.
The man before him was a powerhouse but it didn't detour Robin from attacking.
This was their game, circling each other, sizing each other up. Trying to find the weakness, trying to find a way to disable and conquer. It was their dance, their way and neither would change it because one day one of them would win.
"Come and get me," Slade ordered and Robin didn't hesitate to comply.
They fought for an hour, none-stop and with full force, and though Robin was showing more signs of fatigue then Slade he managed to hold his own.
It reached a point were even Slade was beginning to breath heavy and so Robin flew at the man and took hold of his uniform with every intention of throwing Slade over his back and forcing the man's head underwater.
But the man's balance was impeccable, he brought his fist down hard on Robin's back and the teen splashed into the water. His fist which ha been holding Slade's uniform had not let go when his back had been hit and a section of Slade's uniform came with him.
Robin pushed himself up and heard his back crack in anger, he managed to move away from Slade just as the man's foot came down pinning a small portion of Robin's uniform underneath his metal clad boot. Water forced it's way into Robin's mouth and nose and his instincts took over. Robin's strength propelled him forwards and the resounding rip was unnerving.
As Robin scurried to the banks to catch his breath he looked at Slade and saw for the first time a pale strip of skin glowing in the moon's cool light. From his collar bone to his hip on the right side Robin could see exposed and flawless skin that flowed smoothly over expansive muscles.
Robin's uniform was in no better condition, the entire middle section hung from his torso like a dirty rag leaving his lean belly exposed to an attack.
Slade's eye narrowed and he advanced on Robin, the boy threw down the cloth he held from Slade's uniform and advanced as well. In this moment Robin knew that Slade was human, which meant Slade could be taken down and brought to justice.
Another half-hour of intense fighting ensured and by the time round was done both fighters were breathing heavy and little was left of their previous uniforms. The weight of the water combined with the sharp roots and rocks had slowly eroded their protective skins to show their tender under bellies. It was reassuring to see some of Slade's metal armor fall into the water and Robin watched it sink below the now muddy water.
It was hard to fight since the water wound around their ankles and legs, it added resistance to kicks and the cold water made advancing on Slade slow and laborious.
Slade was also feeling the effects of fighting in the cold and resistant water; Robin could tell, perhaps he should have fallen into a pond sooner.
Slade ripped off the remaining sleeve of his uniform and allowed the last piece of metal to fall from his shoulder. His torso, arms and hands were bare. Save his mask, mesh pants and his combat boots he was exposed and easily could be laid down by a weapon.
Robin was not to far behind; his pants clung to his legs in shreds from the sharp rocks in the pond and on the embankment. His shirt was torn and tattered and much of his skin was exposed and covered in small cuts and bruises. Trace amount of blood slowly mixed with water and quickly flowed down his chest and back.
Slade's body looked about the same but for some reason he seemed to have fewer cuts, perhaps Robin had not gotten him to fall as many times as he had thought.
"This is getting tedious," Slade said as he ran his hands along his body to try and remove some of the water.
"Then give up," Robin barked as he charged and jumped. His legs wrapped around the man's waist as his fist flung down at the man's face. The power of his blow collided with the mask as Slade turned in an attempt to regain balance and then slammed Robin's back into a near by tree trunk.
Robin's eyes shut with the sudden blow to his back as air was pressed out of his lungs. He could feel Slade's fingers digging into his hips as the elder man tried to pry him off. But in that instant Slade sagged against the boy who was suddenly pinned to the tree. Robin heard how heavy Slade was breathing despite the fact Robin was breathing harder.
The boy finally felt the hot air of the night fill his lungs as his brain managed to tell his lungs to breath. Slade had knocked the air out of him hard and Robin greedily gulped down air in order to keep from blacking out.
Robin leaned forward onto Slade and took in slower mouthfuls of fresh air. His arms once around the man's throat now hung limp at his sides.
And here was now a silent peace spoken between them until they both could catch their breath. The blow to Slade's head had probably stunned the man and blurred his vision and created a wave of dizziness that not even Slade could shake off so easily.
Robin had never punched him that hard or that accurately before. The sudden blow to Robin's back had pushed their air from him and shot pain through his body leaving him sore and weak and currently helpless.
The two warriors were both dead in the water so a few minutes of peace wouldn't hurt either of them as long as neither tried to attack first.
Robin tried to get Slade to move back a little and allow him to drop from his pinned position but the man was heavy and didn't seem to register Robin's movements.
The boy blushed despite himself as he knew how awful it must look, his legs wrapped around Slade's waist as the man pinned him to a tree and lean on him for support.
"Slade-" Robin said through gulps of air, "Drop me. I won't attack… I need a break."
Slade said nothing and didn't even make an attempt to move, Robin suddenly felt uneasy,
"Slade," Robin said again in a more demanding tone.
Slade didn't move, was the man unconscious? Robin squirmed and finally wiggled lose from the man's grasp. He slid to the ground and lay on his back watching as Slade's still figure slumped down to his knees and he fell over face first into the water.
Robin scrambled, he hated Slade with a passion but he wasn't going to let the damn man drowned. He would rather see Slade behind bars.
It took longer then expected because Robin was so weak but he managed to pull Slade a decent amount up the steep embankment and roll Slade onto his back. He looked the man over but couldn't believe his eyes. Slade's body was impressive to say the least, powerful, strong, deadly and yet when he was completely relaxed in this state of unconsciousness Robin felt no threat from him at all.
He moved towards the man's face and looked at his mask, it was cracked. The large cut ran from just below the eyehole of his mask down to the slits that allowed Slade to breath. Robin traced it with his fingers.
"Who are you?" Robin whispered out loud as he reached behind to unclasp the mask.
Robin unclipped one and was about to undo the other when Slade's eye shot open and his large hand firmly took hold of Robin's thin wrist.
The man pulled robin forward and then flung him away, "Brat," Slade said standing.
Robin was crouched on the embankment across the pond and waited for Slade to move towards him.
"Attempting to remove my mask while I am unconscious? That's low even for you. Do you really want to know who I am so badly that you would forget the truth behind honoring your opponent?"
"You honor no one! Why should I give you what you give to no one else?"
"I never made you remove your mask in front of me Robin… I never dug into your past. And I never made you do anything that would have revealed your true identity. I allowed you to keep that for yourself until you were ready to show me. You left the apprenticeship before that could happen."
"You beat me!" Robin yelled back.
"I taught you… had you not been so resistant I wouldn't have had to be so hard on you."
"You ruined everything!"
"That's it then isn't it. I took away everything you had and everything you were and tried to make you a better fighter, a stronger person… and now you want revenge. You have no intention of taking me into jail despite what I am sure you have told yourself. You want to kill me don't you?"
Robin didn't say anything, "Or do you? Could it be that you are confused? I did offer you things that no one else could. I offered you training you've never had before, you felt powerful, you felt flawless, and unstoppable. You loved the thrills I gave to you…but you were also afraid of what you were becoming. How much you were beginning to enjoy it. How much you were beginning to like me."
"Shut up! It wasn't like that at all! I hated what you did to me, I hated who you made me become!"
"And now you want to kill me for it. Don't you?" Slade asked in a dark tone, Slade ran his arm across his jaw line as if he was wiping away blood or spit, an action that was more subconscious than anything else but Robin wondered if he was bleeding under his mask.
"I will never kill Slade. I am not like you."
"You never know… you may surprise yourself." Slade pulled something from his belt; it was in a rather large side pouch. Slade had been wearing a utility belt that Robin had never seen, he hadn't really thought twice about it but now he was curious.
"I was on my way to a job when you caught me… so I am wearing my special belt. Here… show me how much you don't want to kill me."
Slade tossed whatever it was he was holding and Robin caught it. He brought it close so he could see it and then felt all the blood drain away from his face.
"It's a gun Robin. You can end this game of ours right now… permanently…. Just pull the trigger."
Robin stared at the object, cold and heavy, it weighed down his hands and he hated the feeling of it. He glanced up at Slade who just stood there and stared at him.
"Shoot me," Slade said.
Robin made the motion as if to throw the gun but stopped as his hand was mid throw and looked at the gun. He brought it down before him again and pointed it at Slade, "Tell me… do you really want this to be over? Our late nights together… our little rendezvous? How lonely will you be when you no longer have someone to hunt? How will it feel to know you will never have to deal with me again?"
Robin's hand shook as he held the gun, it was pointed as Slade's chest. He wouldn't shoot the man; he couldn't but something about pointing a gun at him made Robin feel good. He felt safe, and in control.
"I know what you are feeling right now, isn't it amazing the sense of security a gun can bring. How powerful you feel… how in control it makes you feel?"
Robin stared at Slade as the man took slow and even steps towards the boy sloshing through the water far to slowly, Robin didn't back away. When Slade reached him he gently took hold of the boy's forearm and guided the gun to rest against the center of his chest.
"Shoot me," The man all but cooed, his voice of silk made Robin's heart skip a beat," Shoot me and end this all now," Slade's thumb gently rubbed the inside of Robin's arm up and down.
Robin's eyes glanced to Slade's thumb and then back at his one piercing eye.
"Shot me Robin… shot me now before it's to late!" Slade said in a slightly more hurried voice.
Robin's heart sped up and he started to shake more, "Kill me now and you will never have to see me again… shot me…. Shot me now!"
Robin jumped at the man's sudden outburst and his finger instantly pulled the trigger.
Robin opened his eyes and looked down at the empty gun, "See Robin… you are just like me."
The satisfaction in the man's voice was enough to make Robin scream, the boy lifted the gun and planned to slam it down on Slade's shoulder but the man blocked the blow and shoved Robin onto the ground. He pinned him there, "I never thought you would do it… but now we understand each other don't we. You would have killed me… taken my life… all to be selfish and save yourself the trouble of having to deal with me later."
Robin struggled as Slade pinned his hands to his sides, "You and I are brothers now… murderer."
"NO! I didn't shoot you! There wasn't a bullet!" Robin bellowed.
"But you didn't know that the gun was empty… you thought it was loaded… you tried to kill me. That's considered attempted murder… you are a killer. A cold blooded killer."
"NO! NO IT'S NOT TRUE!" Robin said.
"You did so well tonight, you passed every test and proved to yourself and to me that you belong with me. I am so proud of you. I think I will give you a little reward."
Slade released Robin's hands long enough to unclip his mask, he tossed it to the side and then quick as lightning ripped away Robin's mask.
The boy gasped and shut his eyes, "Your reward is simple, though not with out it's own spoilers, you can see my face… if you open your eyes."
Robin laid there, his fingers digging into the muddy bank as he pinched his eyes shut.
"Three years of waiting Robin… my face is just an eye lid away… look at me."
Robin gave a small whine and kept his eyes closed, Slade's hand cupped the boy's jaw,
"Robin," he said in the softest kindest voice he manage, "Look at me boy… see the man I am… let me see the man you are."
Robin shook his head and turned his face away, "You're a killer Robin… look into the eyes of another killer and see that we are not as evil as you think."
Robin's breathing didn't calm down, but he did turn his face back towards Slade's slowly, and after a moment he open his eyes.
"Look at my face, see me for who I am. A murderer like you."
"No." Robin said almost calmly, "I am not a murderer."
"You pulled the trigger… you thought the gun had bullets… you would have killed me had the gun been loaded."
"No." Robin said staring at the man's face.
"Yes." Slade almost whispered as he leaned in and gently placed his lips onto the Robin's.
Slade didn't pull back to see if Robin was okay with this, the boy would need him now more then ever and if they consummated Robin's first attempted kill with something that would bond them together… Robin wouldn't be able to leave his side.
Slade slowly deepened the kiss; Robin shook his head in an attempt to shake Slade's mouth free but the man held firm. He removed his lips for mere seconds to whisper into the boy's ear, "Don't fight me anymore Robin… don't resist me."
He slowly traced his lips across the boy's cheek back to his lips where he hovered waiting, Robin didn't move to meet his lips and Slade tried one more time, "Please…"
Robin stared at him with his big scared eyes and then, as if all his barriers to the man had been breeched Robin slowly lifted his lips to Slade's.
Slade allowed Robin to kiss him, he went at Robin's pace and didn't try to lead or dictate the depth of the kiss. He didn't have to wait for long before Robin deepened the kiss. However it remained slow and steady as if Robin was battling an inner demon. He was unsure, confused, disgusted and yet curious.
Slade eventually moved to the boy's neck and kissed and sucked at it lightly, just enough to keep Robin's mind confused and scared. As Slade did this he worked on getting the tattered remains of the boy's pants off.
Robin didn't seem to notice as he focused on the feeling of Slade's lips on his neck. Soon the boy was naked. Slade pulled his own pants down and managed to kick off his boots. He wrapped his big warm arms around the boy's thin and cold body and hoisted the boy up. Slade sat on his own legs and pulled Robin up onto his lap. The boy's legs wrapped around his waist instinctively and Slade whispered words of reassurance into Robin's ear.
Robin wrapped his arms around the man's neck and buried his face into the man's shoulder. Slade gently spread the boy's ass and with the patients of a saint slowly worked Robin down onto his shaft. Slade would occasionally whisper words into Robin's ear but Robin remained silent and still.
After what seemed like hours Slade was all the way inside of him and Robin finally released his death like grip on the man, "That's it Robin… relax." Slade said softly.
The boy shuddered and Slade started to work his hips up and down. Robin didn't make a sound and neither did Slade. The silence surrounded them as they fucked like animals in the dark of the forest.
Finally Slade felt Robin's back arch and a heated groan escaped from the boy's throat. Slade felt his hot cum explode all over his chest and Slade quickened his pace and soon enough came inside the boy which seemed to drive Robin to another orgasm.
They both fell silent as Slade's seed slipped out of Robin and ran down Slade's penis.
They both panted and felt the sweat trickle down their bodies. Slade managed to stand and moved towards the pond. He sank down into it very slowly removing himself from Robin. As Slade went to set the boy aside Robin tried to latch on.
"Tsk tsk… no clinging… you have work to do… clean me up." Robin stared at him for a moment. It was Slade's first order to Robin… would the boy take it or refuse? This was the real moment of truth… the real deciding factor if Robin was finally his and could finally be Slade's apprentice and eventual partner.
Robin stared a moment longer before he leaned forward and started to clean Slade. The man didn't smile; he didn't move or make any kind of gesture or cruel comment. He simply allowed Robin to clean him.
When Slade was cleaned he smiled, "Good boy… now clean yourself." Robin hesitated and then complied.
After a few more moments of silence between them, Slade motioned for the boy to come to him. Robin crawled on his hands and knees through the water. When he got close he reached for Slade but the man held up his hand.
Robin stopped and waited, watching the man intently, "Did you think there was a bullet in that gun?"
Robin waited a moment and then nodded.
"Did you intentionally pull that trigger?" Robin nodded again slowly.
"Did you really want to kill me?" Robin hesitated again as if he was really thinking about it and then nodded again.
"What are you?" Slade asked in a dark and seductive tone.
Robin stared at him with sad eyes; the boy didn't want to say it but he needed to come to terms with the truth.
"Tell me what you are or I will leave you hear naked and dirty." Slade said.
Robin looked into the man's eye and said in a defeated voice, "A murderer."
"Good boy. Come here." Robin crawled the rest of the way to Slade who took the boy up in his big warm arms, "You are mine now… because I know you know… that no one wants a murderer."
Robin closed his eyes, leaned into the man's bare chest, Slade released the boy who gave a small whine, Slade stood and didn't bother to collect his clothes.
"Apprentice… grab my things… and yours and then follow me." Robin slowly stood and crossed to the remains of their clothes.
He picked them up and turned to Slade, "The gun too." Slade said.
Robin turned and eyed the weapon, but reluctantly picked it up and turned towards Slade.
"Good boy. Come." Robin walked over to him and they disappeared into the night.