by Lara Wilson

The boy had grown over the last year and a half in inches and muscles and maturity, and, as he'd studied him for weeks prior to the attack, Slade had seen the darkness unspooling inside him. The red and black suited him now much more than the green and gold.

As it had suited another fallen Robin.

The bitterness and anger and lack of fear were familiar as well.

Apparently those emotions ran in the family along with black hair and...

Needing to know, Slade crouched in front of the boy--no, the man--tied on his knees between stone columns, and carefully removed the mask.

Tim Drake glared at him from eyes that snapped with blue flames, and the older man felt that look rock him.

Yes, cobalt blue eyes and midnight black hair and a curse on lips meant to be ravaged.

Here was the brother of the man Deathstroke had never quite conquered and Slade Wilson had always lost.

Maybe in this Robin he'd find a corruption to match his own.

As Slade rose, he saw the boy's eyes go past him, widening in shock, and he glanced over his shoulder in time to see Cassandra unceremoniously dump Nightwing's bloody corpse on the floor. As Robin's curses filled his ears, he caught a glimpse of tears mingling with blood on the young man's pale cheeks, and nodded to himself.

While a part of him regretted killing such a worthy adversary, Nightwing had been in the wrong place at the wrong time, ready to spoil his plans once again, and Slade had made the decision in an instant and taken him with one stroke of his sword.

As he watched the shocked fury flare in Robin's eyes, he knew it was time to move on from Dick Grayson, a man who would never be corrupt enough to be his.

Hatred could corrupt very easily and the boy was brimming with it.


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