Despite costume changes, name changes, even the darkness that drove him temporarily to his side, he would always be Robin.
Slade had always felt a proprietary claim on the young man, and it never once had bothered him. He never pursued whether it was in the role of mentor or lover. Either would work for him. His presence in the young man's life, his subtle molding over the years were the important issues, and he was content to wait for the other man to make the move to make him anything else but an enemy.
He had full confidence it would happen at some point. Through all the battles--at each other's side, against one another--the truth that they were meant to be together had been clear and he knew his student/nemesis/eternal partner knew it as well. He just had to accept it.
And come to him.
Rationally Slade knew that destroying Robin's city was going to be a wedge between them for a while, but everything was a learning experience, and he could be patient. He had time. The young man would be his eventually.
Until then, the battles would continue.
Those, too, would teach and mold the young man into Slade's perfect heir.
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