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Fic: Trapped Chapter 12

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 Chapter Eleven

Dick’s dead. It’s pretty much the only thought running through Jason’s head right now, and he’s fairly certain that he’s shortly going to be following him. He’s dodging and blocking Tim’s strikes the best that he can, but his injured leg isn’t helping matters. So far, he hasn’t gotten many hits of his own in. The wound on his leg burns and seeps blood with every movement. All of the stitches popped a while ago, and Jason knows that if he somehow miraculously makes it through this fight, it’s going to be a bitch stitching the wound himself later.

It’s then that Jason realizes that, while not for the first time by a long shot, but for the first time in a long time he’s truly alone. Everyone else is dead. It’s just him and Tim…and Tim’s not really here right now. Jason doesn’t know how to feel about that other than empty. There’s no pain…no rage, not yet, at least. Instead, there’s just a sense of loss and hollowness.

After all, this whole situation is his fault. He should have been faster. He should have saved Tim sooner, killed The Joker sooner, or maybe Dick and Jason should have just accepted that there really was no way to save Tim and let him go. He’s sure that that’s the option Tim would have chosen, if he had known. Hell, Jason’s starting to think that it’s the option he should have fought for all along. It feels like he’s made the wrong choice at every turn, and Jason knows that there’s no possible way for him to make up for it…not now…not when Dick is dead and Tim is the one responsible.

Jason shakes his head as if to clear it and focuses his efforts on avoiding the shuriken Tim just aimed at his throat. It doesn’t matter what he should have done. It doesn’t matter that he’s the last one standing – although, admittedly probably not for long. It doesn’t matter that everything is his fault once again, because there’s nothing that he can do about it. He can, however, do what he has been doing ever since he was brought back from the dead in the first place, and that’s keep surviving. Dick might be dead, but Jason’s not and he refuses to die here, even if it’s just so that Tim won’t have that piled on his conscience later, as well.

He slides underneath Tim’s sword strike, glad that at least Tim’s shoulder injury seems to be slowing him down as much as Jason’s leg is. “I know this is going to mean absolutely fucking nothing to you right now.” He blocks a kick and moves in close for his own attack. “But you need to remember this moment…you need to remember that Dick and I will never blame you for this. You need to remember that he died not blaming you.” Tim doesn’t really seem to be paying attention to a single word that he’s saying, which is fine. Jason’s mostly hoping that Tim won’t notice that his hits are nothing but distractions for what he’s planning next.

Jason waits for Tim to respond. He’s not actually sure that the guy will. After all, the talkative Robin just died in a fiery car explosion -- or so Tim claimed. However, given how confident the homicidal former Robin is, Jason’s guessing that it isn’t a lie. Still, Jason needs Tim to take the bait before he can make his move. Tim doesn’t seem to like how close Jason is to him, so he attempts to back flip away, but if this is going to work, Jason knows that he needs to stay inside Tim’s striking range. Preferably, without getting stabbed, gutted, maimed, or killed…obviously easier said than done.

Tim glares at him as he spins away from Jason, only to have Jason follow his movement expertly. “Why would I care if either of you blame me? You deserve every ounce of pain I’ve caused you. I only wish his suffering would have lasted longer.”

Jason growls. He wants nothing more than to all out attack, but he can’t. He knows that if he does, he’ll be cut down before he can even get close to hurting Tim. Tim thrusts his sword forward and Jason just barely manages to sidestep it in time. His leg throbs and nearly gives out on him, but Jason ignores it, because he finally has his opening. Before Tim can try to stab him again, Jason lashes out, punching Tim’s injured shoulder, driving his fist into the flesh until he feels all of the stitches he placed there give and the flesh tear open underneath his hand. Tim yells in pain as blood pours down his suddenly limp arm. The sword he was holding falls to the floor with a loud clatter.

Jason makes a dive for the sword, but before he can get his hand around the hilt, there’s a flash of agonizing white hot pain coursing through his entire injured leg. He rolls away and glances down to see that Tim has driven a kris blade into the exact same place he stabbed him before. “The irony of the kris blade is not lost on me, but the same exact spot, really? You’re not very creative, are you?”

Jason has every intention of blaming the blood loss for his stunning lack of intelligence. He really should know better than to bait the guy who’s trying to kill him. However, instead of getting up and attacking him right away, Tim just smirks. “Attacking previously inflicted wounds…one could say that you started it.”

Jason blinks rapidly as he tries to get to his feet, but he can’t put any weight on his injured leg without it giving out underneath him. He’s exhausted and confused, and he’s not entirely sure if it’s the blood loss or the sleep deprivation. Either way, he’s not entirely sure why Tim sounds like that, because if this wasn’t a fight to the death, he’d say that sounded a hell of a lot like the old Tim. Maybe there’s something to this talking thing, after all. Jason would be pissed that Dick was apparently right all along, if he was still alive.

As things stand, Jason does his best to ignore the heart-wrenching pain the thought causes him, because he knows that his little discovery is meaningless in the grand scheme of things. There’s no chance of him surviving this now…not with a useless leg. He knows Tim won’t give up. It’s just not who he is, and Jason…well, Jason’s not entirely sure that he can do much more than stand here, weight entirely on his uninjured leg, and bleed. Still, Jason made a promise and he hates breaking promises. “So, you’re pissed that Dickie-bird didn’t die slower, what’s that mean for me?”

“You’ll see.” Tim’s smirk only grows and Jason can see the pit rage and insanity gleaming in his eyes even in the semi darkness of the cave.

It’s eerily familiar in the worst way possible and it takes all of Jason’s willpower not to look away from the sadistic glimmer in Tim’s eyes. Tim’s rage…his pain…his pit-related insanity brings back far too many horrible memories that Jason would rather shove away and never have to face again, but he can’t do that -- not now, not ever. Instead, he grinds his teeth together and braces himself for whatever Tim’s got planned for him, knowing that he deserves every second of it -- and not just for everything that’s happened since Tim’s death and subsequent dip in the pit.

Tim’s smirk suddenly shifts into a furious glare. “You’re to blame for everything! You gave my execution order! You stopped Joker from killing me and letting me die with some semblance of dignity. You ruined everything! You ruined me! Death is too kind for you. You already know what to expect.” Tim lets out a feral scream as he leaps at Jason, hands looking more like claws than anything else.

Jason throws himself out of the way, grabbing the forgotten sword as he rolls out of Tim’s range. The guy looks like he’s going to just tear Jason to shreds with his bare hands, despite how many weapons he’s still carrying, and that worries Jason more than anything. He doesn’t remember ever being so consumed by the pit that he turned into…well, whatever the hell Jason’s currently looking at. Jason uses the sword as a crutch as he gets back to his feet and braces himself for another onslaught.

Tim’s angry outburst replays through his head again, and Jason knows that he needs to find an exit now, because, even if Tim is so consumed with the pit that he’s nothing more than this feral beast, Jason knows it’ll only last for a short time before lucid, yet still homicidal Timmy resurfaces. Given that Tim flat out said death is too kind for him, Jason doesn’t want to be anywhere near this place when that happens. He’s not entirely sure how he’s going to manage to get away, but Tim’s hardly the only resourceful Robin, or so Jason’s been saying for years.

Jason searches for some kind of escape while still using the sword as a crutch, as well as blocking Tim’s attacks the best that he can with his free arm. He knows that none of his usual exit strategies will work, since his leg is hindering him in defending against Tim’s suddenly relentless attacks. His eyes fall on the most plausible way out, but it’s just as likely to kill him as save him. However, since Tim is definitely going to kill him if/when he gets his hands on him; Jason figures he doesn’t really have a choice.

He ducks under more of Tim’s wild strikes as he hobbles his way to the edge of the chasm running through the cave, and glances down into the water below. He waits for Tim to charge him once again, and then braces himself for the inevitable pain of what he intends to do. Jason knows without a doubt that this is damn well going to hurt, but he also knows from previous experience that he can, in fact, survive the fall. Surviving once he hits the water, however, is another story entirely, and Jason has never tried it with an out of commission limb. Still, he figures drowning or being bludgeoned to death by the water smashing him into rocks is preferable to whatever the hell Tim has in store for him.

Tim leaps at him and Jason takes the full force of the hit, allowing the momentum to carry him over the edge. He doesn’t scream as he falls, even though a long string of curses comes to mind. Instead, Jason just focuses on breathing and trying to stay conscious through the exhaustion and blood loss. He knows how easy it would be to just let his body be pulled under the water and stop fighting, once he hits -- especially now that Dick is dead and he’s alone -- but Jason has never been one for giving up without a fight. Besides, there are worse deaths than this one. Hell, he’s already endured one, so he figures this can’t possibly end that badly.

The moment his body hits the water, his breath leaves him in a rush. It hurts a hell of a lot more than he remembers, but Jason wasn’t bleeding profusely the last time he did this. He breaks the surface and gasps for air, but he’s immediately dragged back under. He tries his best to kick and propel himself back up to the surface, but he’s weak, injured, and fatigued, and this is taking far more out of him than he originally anticipated. Jason manages to pull his head above water enough to take another breath, and then the current violently thrashes him against a cave wall. Jason gasps out a harsh; “Fuck!” as a jagged rock slices into his side and his head bounces off the wall. He has just enough time to think about the fact that this time there’s no one to bury him before everything goes dark.

The End (for now)