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Fic: Trapped Chapter 11

Title: Trapped
Author: Brokaw22
Disclaimer: The norms
Rating: T
Story Synopsis: It's been years, Dick, Tim, and Jason are the only ones left, but Tim's not really himself anymore.
Thanks to Kathy for beta work.
Previous Chapters: Chapter one Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten

Dick has his face buried in his hands, and he refuses to even look at Jason. They’re in Dick’s room. Jason is pacing as much as he can with his injured leg and Dick is just sitting on his bed, trying desperately to deal with everything that’s going on. He can still hear Tim’s screams echoing in his ears, despite the fact that he’s been asleep for hours. This is entirely his fault. After all, it was his idea to place Tim back into that damn medical bed. He should have known better. He should have realized what that would have felt like to Tim. The only real solace Dick has right now, however, is the fact that Tim seems to be sleeping peacefully in his old room -- for the moment, at least. He doubts the peace will last, but Dick decides to enjoy the reprieve while he can. He never expected this to be easy, but he also never expected it to be this hard. Still, he’s glad that Jason is still here, because he’s not really sure what he would do without him.

Jason abruptly kicks Dick’s foot, which he guesses is better than Jason kicking his knee again. “It’s not your fault. It’ll take time for the pit rage to subside.”

“And what do we do in the mean time? We can’t just keep him sedated forever.”

Jason looks as exhausted as Dick feels, and the wound on his leg is inflamed. Dick thinks about offering to redress the wound for him, but he knows Jason will just refuse. “I don’t know, Dickie-bird, but we’ll figure something out.” Dick figures he should try to convince Jason to sit down and stop overworking his injured leg, but he just doesn’t have it in him to have that fight right now.

Dick sighs heavily, feeling as though the weight of the world is on his shoulders. He’s missed Alfred and Bruce a lot over the years, but never as much as he does right now. “What if we don’t figure something out?” His voice comes out as a whisper, but Dick’s not surprise that Jason hears him.

Jason merely shrugs. They still haven’t slept, both of them too wired, and yet too exhausted for sleep. “That’s no way for a Batman to talk and we don’t have much of a choice. We either figure something out or Tim gets the best of us and kills us, which I’m guessing he would immediately regret once the pit rage subsides.”

“Would he regret it, though?” Dick stares up at Jason, searching for…he doesn’t even know what. He just wants everything to be okay again, but things haven’t actually been okay since The Joker captured Tim all of those years ago. “We killed him.”

Jason punches him in the arm, moving surprisingly fast on his injured leg. “Enough about that! Yeah, we did, and there’s nothing we can do about that. We just have to suck it up and deal. Besides, from what I remember of the kid from before the whole Joker incident, he would, in fact, regret killing us, so we should probably do our fucking best to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Dick breathes out a large sigh. He knows that Jason is right, but he’s never been particularly good at shoving down his emotions like…well, like Bruce and Tim. Those two always had a penchant for stoic professionalism that Dick just doesn’t and probably never will have. “What are our options? I mean, really, what options do we have, little wing? We can’t keep him restrained and sedated forever, and I’d prefer it if he didn’t go on a massive killing spree to deal with the pit rage, and not just because he would definitely start with us.”

Jason plops down beside him onto the bed, seemingly tired of standing on his bad leg; Dick’s eyes are instantly drawn to it. He really should reconsider having that redressing fight. “Yeah, as much as I’d hate to agree with you, I doubt Tim’s killing spree would end the same way mine did. After all, the kid’s a bit too smart for that.”

“Man.” Dick runs his hand through his hair out of frustration. There are just too many horrible possibilities. “He could destroy the world, if he wanted to.”

Jason huffs out a laugh, though they both know Dick really isn’t joking. “Then I guess we should just be thankful that he seems rather focused on us at the moment.”

It’s not funny. It’s really not, and yet Dick can’t help but snort out a laugh of his own, because this is just the way his life always goes. “Small favors and all of that, right?”

Jason shrugs once again. “Don’t look at me. I’m just as lost as you are; but I promise, Dickie-bird, we will figure something out, even if it involves a remote location far away from any bystanders.”

Dick leans back on the bed, trying to stretch out his back. The two of them have been tense for hours and it’s doing a number on both of their bodies. He figures that, if they can just get through tonight, they’ll handle whatever tomorrow decides to throw at them when it comes. Dick pauses for a moment before sitting back up and placing a hand on Jason’s shoulder. “Jay, thanks. Really.”

Jason raises an eyebrow at him out of obvious confusion. “For what?”

Dick breaths out another laugh. “For being here. I don’t think I could handle this alone. I really need you here.”

Jason rolls his eyes, but there’s suddenly less tension in his shoulders, so Dick can tell that his words have an effect on the other man. “Don’t mention it.” Dick’s about to smirk and tell him that it’s too late, he already did, but before he can say a word, the cave intruder alarm starts blaring in the room. Dick glances over to Jason, who is already on his feet, glaring as he reaches for one of his knives, and the two of them make a mad dash for the cave. “I’ll give you one guess as to who that is.”

Dick doesn’t doubt that it’s Tim for a moment, but he can’t for the life of him figure out how the former Robin managed to get out of his restraints and out of his room without setting off at least one of the other alarms. “That remote location is looking more appealing by the second. Any ideas how he managed to only set off the cave alarms?”

Jason just shrugs as the two of them head for the cave entrance. “Don’t know what you’re askin’ me for. He always was the smart Robin.”

They enter the cave, weapons poised; knowing that, even though it only took them a matter of seconds to get down here, Tim has probably already gathered at least a few weapons. Dick just hopes that Jason’s leg will hold out and the two of them are ready for another fight. This won’t be like last time, Tim hasn’t had nearly as much time to prepare as he did before, and they won’t be walking into the unexpected. Tim will attack them. They both know that, and Dick will protect Jason this time, if only to keep Tim from doing something that he can’t come back from.

Jason would probably have something rather scathing to say if he knew what Dick was thinking, but Dick doesn’t care. These are his little brothers, whether either of them wants to admit it or not, and he won’t let anything else happen to either of them. They’re all he’s got left and he’s not giving up on either one of them any time soon. Jason’s right. They will find some way through this, and once Dick has both of his little brothers back, and safe, and as whole as any of them can be, they are leaving this damn city. Dick has borne the weight of the cowl long enough. To hell with Bruce and his damn mission, the three of them are leaving it behind; they’ve given enough to a dead man, and he won’t let the other two give anymore of themselves than they already have. He can’t…not anymore.

They descend the stairs slowly, checking for traps or any other surprises Tim might have rigged for them, but the stairs are clear. It’s nearly pitch-black in the cave. Tim already cut the power completely, but that’s not what Dick finds disconcerting at the moment. The thing that bothers him is that Tim didn’t bother to lock down the cave. He wants them here, and doesn’t feel as though he needs extra time. Dick knows they probably should have taken different entrances, but he figures there’s no point in wasting time. Tim knows they’re on their way, and they both know that the more time they give Tim, the worse things will be for them. Dick gestures for Jason to make his way towards the computers as Dick makes his way to the armory, knowing that it’s the most likely place Tim headed first. At the very least, he needs to know what weapons they’re up against and maybe get a few more of his own.

His path to the armory leads him in front of the batmobile, which immediately turns on when he’s in front of it, blinding him with the high beams. Dick grabs his escrima sticks and spins around, expecting Tim to come flying out of the darkness, but instead there’s nothing. Dick waits a moment, signaling for Jason to stay put, and searches the shadows, but still there’s nothing. He chalks it up to a scare tactic and distraction technique and is about to continue on his path when suddenly he hears the batmobile sliding open. He swiftly spins around, getting ready for the inevitable attack, but the vehicle is empty. The unease in the air is palpable and Dick can tell that Jason wants him to get the hell away from the vehicle, but Dick waits for the next light show, knowing that Tim definitely has something planned.

It isn’t long before the lights over the giant dinosaur start flickering. Jason turns toward it, keeping his eyes peeled for any movement, while Dick searches the shadows on the other side of the cave. Just when they’re both ready to move further into the cave and continue searching for Tim, a loud bang that sounds suspiciously like a grapple gun erupts from behind the batmobile. Dick turns toward the sound expecting to see Tim land in front of him, and instead falls forward into the open batmobile as two feet connect with his back. The batmobile instantly closes on him, and Dick scrambles to try and stop it as the platform spins toward the cave exit. He watches as Tim back flips away from the vehicle and turns to face Jason before the batmobile speeds out of the cave.

Dick’s not sure how Tim managed to mask the sound of the direction his grapple was coming from, but he has bigger problems to deal with right now, because whatever Tim did to the batmobile, Dick can’t stop it. The car is speeding along, weaving in and out of traffic of its own volition, seemingly heading out of the city and Dick has no idea where it’s headed or why. The inside panel that should allow him to access the car’s autopilot is gone and in its place is a rather ominous looking contraption. After a lot of fiddling, Dick does manage to pull up the guidance system, but he can’t change the destination nor stop the car. All he knows is that the car is headed to a remote location, far away from the city limits. He takes another long look at where the access panel should be and realizes the ominous contraption is an explosive, and he can bet it’s going to go off once the car reaches its destination.

Any comfort Dick has in the knowledge that Tim isn’t willing to risk innocent lives is pretty much evaporated by the fact that the car is on lock down and he doesn’t really have many options here. He could just start cutting the car’s main lines, but he has a feeling that Tim would have accounted for that. He has to figure something out in a really big hurry, though, because he doesn’t have a lot of time. If he doesn’t find a way out of the vehicle, Tim won’t just be responsible for killing Dick, because Dick can’t imagine Jason is faring too well against their homicidal brother.

Dick heaves a large breath as he climbs into the back of the car. He’s going to have to tell Jason that he was right and that keeping the battery operated micro plasma cutter that they made in the car was a good idea, even though this plan is going to end in a ton of pain. Dick cuts a hole into the side of the car, shielding his eyes from the intense light the best that he can with his hand, while simultaneously trying not to breathe in the noxious smoke and avoid the sparks. He waits for ground as level as he’s going to get and then jumps out of the moving vehicle. He rolls, trying to protect his head as much as possible, but there’s not much he can do against the damage of hitting the ground without the right suit on. There are few times Dick has ever wished he was wearing the Bat suit, but right now is one of them. He lies on the ground, breathing heavily, and trying to ignore the pain of road rash and any other injuries he’s too tired to assess right now.

Dick knows he needs to get up. He needs to get back to Gotham and help Jason subdue Tim, but right now he needs a moment to just lie on the ground and breathe. Everything hurts, he’s tired; he listens to the batmobile as it explodes behind him, feeling the heat of the fire. All Dick wants to do now is pass out; even though he knows that he doesn’t have time for that. He gets to his feet, ignoring the pain lancing through every inch of his body and the blood seeping out of various lacerations, and starts walking. He just hopes that Jason can hold his own until he can find a vehicle to commandeer. Dick limps away, praying that this is all just some horrible nightmare, because he needs for both of his little brothers to be okay, even though he knows they aren’t.

The End (for now)