Summary: Set in the beginning of the Nightwing arc, Batman needs help to defeat an insane Superman. He decides to hire another human who had hold his ground against the Man of Steel before, Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke the Terminator.
The mercenary is willing to help, for the right payment.
Disclaimer: don't own
Bruce looked at the document on the desk before him.
The wet letters seemed glitter accusingly in the dim light of the cave.
It wasn't his proudest moment, yet he hadn't had much of a choice had he?
Clark Kent, aka Superman, had been drugged out of his mind and had gone into a psychotic rage.
With a berserk Kryptonian Batman had needed a way to knock him out.
The other members of the Justice League had been busy battling the alien who poisoned Clark,
He hadn't called any of the younger heroes, Superman was still too strong for any of them,
which had left the Dark Knight on his own.
It would have been possible to wait for the other heroes, but every second had mattered with the unstable alien.
An emergency plan, for any hero who for whatever reason went evil or insane, involved Deathstroke the Terminator.
The mercenary had hold his ground against the whole League before, it should have been possible for the two of them to defeat the wayward hero.
It had been.
Unfocused in his rage Clark had been like a wounded animal, his attention had shifted seemingly randomly between the two of them.
Coordinated through gestures, which the alien hadn't been able to comprehend in his state, and precise movement, they had won the fight without any causalities.
Afterwards Superman had been safely locked away in a special cell in the Batcave.
Now, the mercenary sat across him with a disgustingly smug smile on his uncovered face.
They knew each others identity, the only reason to wear a mask would be to hide their facial reactions.
Slade had taken his mask off and Bruce had followed the unspoken challenge.
The problem was that due the nature of the emergency they hadn't been able to specify his payment and the hero wasn't going to con him out of it.
Such an attempt would only cause trouble currently.
"You could have money", proposed the billionaire with a stoic face-
"I have enough money", answered the other lightly with the same smile still on his lips.
" I could give you access too a new security system Wayne Enterprise is developing", offered Bruce again.
"I have enough money to legally buy it", replied the mercenary, unchanged in his demeanour.
Money would have been too easy, wouldn't it?, complained the hero mentally.
He knew what the other wanted, Slade's obsession with his oldest son was hardly a secret.
Only his son didn't put himself out for sale.
Dick was still a rather modest young man.
Neither money nor some new piece of technology could really tempt him.
The adrenaline Junkie was still honestly happy about a new motorbike and had several in Wayne Manor, but it was more of a "rich people habit" Bruce had helped him to cultivate.
For a party with rather shallow small talk, an invested monologue about a new overpriced piece one was more than adequate and kept the other guests entertained.
Dick might enjoy a little luxury here and there, but he didn't need it, yet his son was incredibly loyal too him.
Even if the billionaire knew that he wasn't always that deserving of it.
For example right now...
He had called Agent A, better known as the Wayne's family butler Alfred, with the request to sent Nightwing down in the cave.
Slade's muscles slightly tensed, like a predator ready to pounce, and Bruce knew who had just entered the cave behind him.
"Boss?", asked his son, obviously unsettled by their guest.
Even with a mask the young hero displayed more uncontrolled emotion than the two unmasked men.
"Deathstroke had assisted me with an emergency", explained Bruce while his focus remained on the mercenary.
The man in question was looking at his son, unbothered by the older hero's gaze.
Nightwing's eyes were fixed on the backside of his father's head, as if he was trying to avoid the predatory gaze.
"We are currently discussing his payment", continued the billionaire and inwardly winced, he could practically hear the pin drop in his son's head.
"What did you agree on?", asked the acrobat in a forced clam tone.
Bruce looked at the drying ink before him.
Neither killing nor stealing.
They could train, including the use of deadly violence like guns, and Slade might use him as his bought fuck toy
But his son wouldn't suffer from any permanent damage or be forced to get a 'modification' like a tattoo as a mark of ownership.
This was pretty much the content of the contract, just in the appropriate legal language.
The mental consequences of enduring something like this shoved the older hero back in his mind.
It was nothing more than an undercover mission wasn't it?
Theoretically Nightwing could refuse, Deathstroke would honour it and become rather greedy in a payment Batman couldn't refuse.
They would both need to get at least one lawyer for a long discussion about the proper wording and it's implications.
The Dark Knight knew that he could depend on Dick's loyalty, that his boy would offer himself so he could cure Clark in peace.
"He requested your obedience for four weeks", answered Bruce finally and could hear a soft exhale behind him.
"There will be no third party involved, nor are you going to be permanently hurt", he tried to reassure his son.
That the duration of four weeks included an extra favour from Deathstroke wasn't something he would specifically tell his boy.
Dick could read the contract, yet as expected he signed the contract without reading it.
He truly didn't deserve such a loyal son.