ORIGINALLY POSTED 04.20.2006
Lady Shiva & Tim Drake
Tim picked himself up off the floor and spat blood, coughing weakly. His whole body ached, protesting loudly with a scream of muscle-burn the fact that he had even thought to try and move. He stumbled, swaying unsteadily on his feet, and staggered against the wall. Positive that he had blacked out, but not sure how long he'd been unconscious, Tim held his breath to listen for his opponent. He couldn't ignore how swollen his face was on the left side, throbbing and dry and stiff with old blood. He could barely see through that eye, but he could feel her watching him.
"Ah - nnghhmph." Tim had no idea where his ability to form words had gone, and he tried again, breathlessly. "A-aaaugh!"
Angry, he lashed out with one two-ton fist and missed, unsurprisingly. His body felt too heavy for him. The force of his lurching movement swung him off-balance, and he slammed back into the wall.
"Your efforts are most admirable, little bird," Shiva said, effectively masking her own discomfort with smooth, solid intonation. She sounded unshakable, though the fight had been brutal.
Tim whimpered softly, his breath ragged as he slid back down to the floor. She took a step toward him, and he lashed out again, knuckles raw and bloodied where his gloves had torn. He went for her throat, and she laughed at him. Even as he crashed into her and let out a long, loud, animalistic cry, she laughed. Shiva had always thought that she could beat the logic out of Tim, but she had never expected to do it at his own request. He had practically begged her for the opportunity to spar with her again.
Landing a hard, sharp blow to her ribs, Tim made a triumphant grunt before she flipped the two of them over, pinning his hands high above his head. With her feet, she kicked her legs far apart and rested the whole of her weight on his knees, effectively rendering him immobile. He struggled, unsuccessfully, and finally snarled, "Shiva."
He couldn't finish his thought though, grinding his teeth together and clenching his jaw. He was out-muscled and out-skilled, and had been from the start.
"Admirable indeed," Shiva nearly purred, unable to mask her amusement, "But not nearly enough." Leaning back, sitting up against his thighs, Shiva slammed her fist across Tim's face, breaking his nose and eliciting a deliciously helpless keening that rose up from the very center of his chest.
Tim had asked to be trained again, because he knew he had to get stronger, to be able to protect the people he still had. The ones who had mattered most were all dead or missing or disconnected, and the young Robin had only been able to think that if only he were stronger, or faster, or better, he could have saved them. Fighting the blackness at the edges of his vision, he groaned, "N-no. I'm not done yet."
"You are finished, little bird. I've killed you," Shiva replied plainly, only to have his body surge beneath her. With all the strength he had, Tim threw her off of him.
"No!" howled the blue-eyed boy, struggling to balance on all fours. "I’m not dead yet," he gasped, the blood from his nose making it hard to breathe.
"Why not," Shiva hissed, an eagerness in her voice as she wiped blood from the corner of her mouth, her fingers pressing hard into the fast-rising bruise across her belly.
"I won't die now," Tim groaned, a dizzy throb burning at the back of his skull. "I won't die."
"Answer the question!" she barked, eyes burning when they leveled on him.
"I have to kill you some day," he ground out, tears slipping down his cheeks against his will, to mix with the blood that stained his skin. His voice was gruff and intense, when he said again, "I won't die before that."
Shiva savored, for a moment, her victory. "Then live," she purred, "and fight." Crossing the room to crouch at his side, Shiva cradled Tim's head in her hands. He closed his eyes, trembling, waiting for her to break his neck. Shiva thought that there was no need to; even the Bat would not be able to win Tim back, now.
Tim blinked, looking up at her for a moment, before he snapped his eyes tightly shut and collapsed against her, face pressing flush against her thigh. She curled her fingers in his hair, certain that some day, many years down the road, he would make good on his promise.
Shiva had found her successor.
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