His Match

by Lara Wilson

The pounding in his skull brought him awake and Tim groaned and tried to roll over to shield his eyes from the light and his ears from the noise of his own harsh breathing.

He couldn't move.

That's when he remembered and he forced his eyes to open despite the daggers of pain to his brain.

He was sprawled on the stone floor of his 'cave', his uniform half torn from his bruised and bleeding body.

Slade had given him to Match.

The perverted clone of his best friend had already used up Cassie, leaving her nearly catatonic, and so he'd turned his attention to Tim.

Tim didn't want to remember the last few hours but squeezing his eyes shut and pressing his fists to his temples didn't prevent the images and the horror.

He shut down again.

*****

A loud noise brought him back the next time, and this time he found the strength to turn onto his side, hissing as air hit his scraped and bloody back. Carefully blinking into the light, he let the pain become manageable through even breathing and relaxation techniques.

The noise sounded again, loud cracking of flesh to flesh, and Tim frowned, then his breath caught in his throat.

Match had to be hurting someone else.

Please, not Cassie again. The sight of her naked and bleeding, curled in a corner of the mock ice fortress, moaning tunelessly to herself would haunt him as much as the memories of his own...

No.

Pushing up on his hands, Tim fought to steady himself, then got to his knees, then to his feet. He nearly fell, swaying with the pain and fatigue, but his mind was in control, and he had to find a way to escape. Wrapping his cape around his body, he ignored the synthetic material touching wounds and causing more pain, and shuffled towards the noise.

Because every step made him want to groan, he stopped breathing until he reached a wall next to a carved opening. Pressing himself against the rough stone, he carefully looked into the next room.

And nearly cried out in shock.

Silently he sank to the floor and curled into himself and, for the first time in his life, prayed.

*****

After defeating his evil, twisted, falling apart clone, Kon found Tim there, barely alive, and with tears on his pale, bruised cheeks. As he cradled his best friend in his arms and tried to come up with something to say to make him wake up, Tim opened his eyes and smiled from cracked and bleeding lips.

"You're back."

"Yeah."

"Good."

"...Yeah."

Kon smiled in relief. Tim closed his eyes again. Despite all the horror of the last few days, he knew everything was right with the world again.

End

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