(The young Titans) Robin is kidnapped by Slade and is rescued by an unlikely source.
He sits in the dark isolation of his room. He knows to some extent that this is what he must become in order to keep his friends safe and alive. He sits on the floor, staring at the red and black costume incased in glass. It stands as a reminder of what he was, the symbol that he once was.
In the dark, where Slade has left him alone he remembers. After Slade had told him that if he didn’t stay, then his friends would die, he gave him his new costume. He couldn’t remember feeling so degraded. As he changed, Slade sat and watched. Under Slade’s instruction he de-activated the tracer that would have alerted Batman. The one that Slade didn’t know about (the one on the inside of the bottom on his left boot), he left on. He just hoped that Nightwing wasn't so busy as to not notice that it was blinking.
Now, almost a full month later he was in despair. There wasn't much he could do about the situation that he was currently in. His friends probably thought that he had joined the dark side. He shuddered as he thought about what Slade could possibly want with him. The only hope that he had was that Nightwing would come before anything really bad happened.
Slade was watching Robin through the camera he hid in the room. There was no doubt that the boy had a beautiful body. But the fact was he couldn't keep him. There was someone else that wanted him, more than he. This other man was not one that he would be willing to cross.
Slade turned off the monitors and started towards Robin's room. He saw through the window, that his pupil was now standing in front of his mirror. He was staring at his own reflection. Slade smiled. He had made the boy change, forcing him to show his obedience to whatever Slade would have him do. He made Robin hang up his old costume in the case. This was so that the boy would have to admit defeat. Then as his final insult he allowed Robin to keep his mask.
He remembered how the boy shook (although he tried to conceal it) as he hung up the costume. Then he turned so he was facing Slade, standing defiantly. Not at all, the broken young man he envisioned. He was half tempted to rip the mask off his face but then he smiled. He thought that it would be much crueler to allow the mask to stay. In his mind, every time Robin looked into any reflective surface he would have to look at whatever was left; even if it was broke.
Slade opened the door. He knew that it was time to deliver the package. He walked up behind Robin and placed his hands on his shoulders. He was not pleased at losing his apprentice so soon but a deal was a deal.
"It's time to go, Robin. Get dressed."
Robin looked at Slade. He was unsure as to what Slade meant. "I am."
Slade grinned behind his mask. This child had a way of making every comment and sentence sound like an insult.
"No. I captured you for a reason. Yes, I trained you as my apprentice but then you caught someone else's eye. So, you will dress in your old costume as he requested. Change. Now."
Robin sighed mentally. He knew that showing exactly how much he hated changing in front of Slade would just give the madman more power over him. He stripped out of his Slade attire and back into his red and black costume. He had more to worry about then whatever perverted thoughts Slade could be having over his body.
Once he was dressed he stood facing his captor. There was a list of people whose attention he could have caught. There was one that he was particularly hoping for. He was hoping that Nightwing had noticed the S.O.S. that his tracer was sending. He knew that the odds weren't in his favour but he was confident that that night he would be rescued.
As they left the room, he felt Slade's hand clamp down hard on his shoulder. "This man is well-respected among everyone. This means that you will show him the proper respect, for he shall own you now."
Robin was taking measured breaths; to lose his cool now would be stupid. He inhaled. He knew that if he was going to get anywhere with Slade he had to play by his rules. "Master?"
Once again Slade smiled. If he had had more time with the boy he would have been a great successor. "Yes, Robin?"
"What about our deal? What about my friends?"
"As soon as you are, shall we say, delivered I will kill the probes that are inside your friends. If you do not behave accordingly I will kill them." Slade grabbed Robin's chin and forced him to look up. "Understand?"
Once again Robin sighs mentally before speaking. "Yes master."
They walk in silence to a large room. It's a room that Tim's never been in before. The room is gigantic and there is very little light. Slade nods at Robin. Robin walks to the middle of the room and gets on his knees and lowers his head, so that he's focusing on the ground. He knows that this is completely unnecessary but everything that Slade has told him to do is to humiliate him, to constantly remind him of who is in control. Robin hates not being in control.
The man walks from his chair to where Robin is kneeling. "Keep your head down." The man turned to Slade. "So this is Robin. Somehow I thought you'd have a harder time catching him."
"Not at all. You just need to know what leverage to use." Slade looked at Robin, tilted his head up. "He's got spirit, but I think with the right amount of, shall we say, persuasion, he could be loyal." Slade ran a hand down Robin's arm. Robin didn't want to respond, he tried to fight it but it was no use. He leaned into the touch and almost sighed.
The entire time Slade and the mystery guest were talking he was trying to place the voice. It was obvious that the owner of the voice knew him, and didn't want him seeing his face. He couldn't place the voice. He had been tempted to sneak a look but the hand in his hair prevented him from lifting his head. When Slade touched his face, a dark green hand reached out and clasped Slade's arm.
"Don't touch what's no longer yours."
Robin wanted to laugh but it was at that moment that he realized he was in serious trouble. He was now owned by Croc. Croc noticed the boy was shaking and ran a hand down his back.
He gave Slade a bag of money. "I'll be taking him now." His hand traveled up to the Boy Wonders neck and he forced him to walk. Once they were outside he put the kid in the back of a van.
Robin began doing a relaxation breathing technique. He needed his mind clear and focused. Croc walked over to the driver side window. "Take him home."
The air condition vents opened and a mist began to fill the back. He looked at Croc with wide eyes. The man reached into the back and laid him on mattress that he had placed there.
"It's okay. You'll be home soon."
As Robin's head began to swim with the effects of the drug-laced air, he was feeling lost and alone. He curled up on the mattress using his cape to cover himself and he let the tears fall. He was pretty sure that no one would notice. He cried softly until the drugs lulled him to sleep.
Tim awoke several hours later dazed and confused. His head felt like it was splitting apart and his arms and legs felt like they were made of lead. He struggled to sit up. He was starting to panic as he realized that things were far worse then he had anticipated. He was lying on a bed in black jeans and a blue sweater and his mask was gone.
Dick Grayson walked into the room and Tim sighed in relief. If Grayson was there then everything was okay. "Dick?" As he said his older "brother's" name, he began to shake and the tears began to fall.
Dick sat on the bed and picked up Tim until he was settled in his lap. "It's okay Tim. Slade's gone. Croc isn't as bad as you might think. He found you, called me and brought you home."
Tim buried his face in Dick's shirt. This was too much, Tim was exhausted and over-emotional but Dick knew that Tim would be all right. He was more than prepared to tell Tim why Croc had known where to find Dick (mainly because he had been in Croc's bed) but figured if the kid wasn't asking then he wouldn't say.
He knew that Bruce had been worried sick, he didn't blame him. Bruce had tried so hard to protect Tim and make sure that he was able to protect himself, despite that, when he had went missing Batman had been going crazy trying to find him. Dick figured once the kid was asleep he'd tell Bruce that Tim was safe and that he'd bring him home once he was awake.
As was previously discussed by him and Croc, he'd leave Croc out of it. If Tim happened to mention Croc to Bruce; that would be their problem.
He watched Tim sleep and was glad that he was looking peaceful. He was grateful that he had caught Slade before Tim's real buyer had shown up. He shuddered to think what the Joker could have wanted with him. He kissed Tim's forehead and walked into the living room to call Bruce.