Unsurprised, Slade looked into the eyes of the man straddling him, holding a sword at his throat.
"It has to end," Dick said softly.
Surprise did flicker in those gorgeous blue eyes and Slade smiled in acceptance. "I always knew you'd betray me, Grayson. It's alright."
"You thought you'd covered all your tracks, that by cutting all ties to your heroic past, I'd believe you were sincere in wanting to be with me."
"I wanted to," Slade corrected, relaxing beneath the blade that would bring his death, while remaining completely alert, his mind scanning through a dozen possible finales to this scenario. "I wanted you, so I let this happen, knowing it would end here."
Too fast for Dick's eye to register, Slade's hand came up and his body moved and the blade was reversed and at the younger man's throat.
"You should have struck while I was asleep," Slade said softly, a hint of regret in his deep voice.
"I...couldn't. Cowardly." The blue eyes widened in sorrow and resignation, but no fear.
"Always the hero."
It wasn't mockery, and Dick nodded, then closed his eyes.
Slade wasn't surprised when the younger man's blade sliced true.
The training hadn't been a lie, just his goal.
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