Alright folks, this is it. The grande finale, the coup de grace. That one time Wally sort of kind of accepted. I know you've been looking forward to this.
This fic, which was written in literally about twenty minutes, was not meant to be a masterpiece. It was just meant to be a funny kind of 'what-if' fic. Definitely not one of my best works, but so much fun to write. I hope you've enjoyed reading as much as I've enjoyed writing. :)
I thank all of my wonderful reviewers from the bottom of my heart. You guys are amazing.
EDIT JULY 2013: This chapter is the most edited and reworked out of all of them. It's still not wonderful, but it makes much more sense now, in the context of the story. Enjoy.
6. …and that One Time (OR: Will Be Apprentice for Chocolate)
The world was ending. No, that was not a dramatic statement, Robin. The world actually was ending.
Well…it wasn't ending, exactly. More like being taken over by hostile alien forces that wanted the human race to be subjugated and enslaved. Big difference, right?
So anyway, they had called together every hero they could find, no matter how young, old, experienced or inexperienced they were. They needed every hand on deck.
When Wally West walked through the door with Slade Wilson, everyone was shocked into silence. All eyes were on them as they walked through the Watchtower control room (more like sauntered, in Slade's case).
Barry groaned and put his head in his hands. Trust it to his nephew to bring a criminal that kidnapped him every other day onto the Watchtower.
Of course they were placed on a team together. Of course Slade, however hesitantly, was placed in command of the unit. And of course, Wally had to obey every order from Slade.
"Funny, isn't it?" Slade mused as the Team suited up for the impending battle around them.
"I finally got my apprentice, in a sense. You're following my orders, calling me leader. And I wasn't even trying."
"You still haven't got me, old man," Wally retorted, pulling his cowl over his face.
"Oh? And why not?"
"Cause apprentices follow their 'masters' willingly; learning from them, training with them, and obeying them. In return, masters give their apprentices training, advice, and helpful skills."
Slade raised an eyebrow (though of course, Wally couldn't see it behind his mask).
"…isn't that exactly what we've been doing?"
The look on Wally's face was priceless.
"Well…that's not…that's…" he spluttered. Slade smirked.
"I haven't been willingly following you. You still have to kidnap me to get me to come."
"Only because you never know where I'm going to be or what haunt I'm going to take you to."
"And what if I suddenly decided to stop putting up with you?"
"You want to go back to the old system? I'm pretty sure I still have the nanoprobes..."
The boy (now rapidly approaching the title of 'man', Slade mused offhandedly) shrugged and looked down. He seemed to be contemplating something. Exchanging a glance with Nightwing (the former Robin; Slade had gotten to know him as well in the past couple of years-he and Wally were a package deal. The boy was…intriguing, for lack of a better word. Slade knew that if he hadn't chosen Wally, that boy would have been his next pick), Wally finally spoke.
"So what're you going to give me in exchange for me following you?"
Slade was actually floored. That's it, he thought. I'm going deaf in my old age. The boy was actually agreeing to work with him, to train with him under the official title of 'apprentice'? He thought quickly. He needed to come up with something that would convince the boy to stay. Then he smirked. Over the past two years, he had gotten to know the kid quite well.
"Chocolate. All the chocolate you want until you turn eighteen. No holds barred."
Slade winced internally. He was probably going to pay for that later. Literally. Wally may only be four months from turning eighteen, but a lot of money could be spent in four months, especially on food for a speedster. He may be a multi-millionaire, but even he had limits.
Wally considered this for a moment. He had to admit, it was a tempting offer.
"No more kidnappings, either. Just invite me 'round if you want to train or talk. I kinda get tired of getting knocked out, you know."
Slade sighed. That was an extremely small price to pay. He would miss the challenge though.
Wally grinned broadly, and, to Slade's surprise, ran up and hugged him.
"YES! FREE CHOCOLATE! LET'S GO KICK SOME ALIEN BUTT!"
He and Nightwing exchanged high-fives and cackled all the way out of the room, leaving Slade standing there with a slightly bemused look on his face.
To think, all it took was some petty bribery, chocolate, and a couple of conversations.