Author's note: I want to apologize in advance for any spelling and grammar errors. I read through it once or twice to catch what I could, but I just don't have the heart to do it again. I wrote this one evening when I was feeling sick and overly dramatic. It was my way of dealing with some of the dark and gritty things going on in the world. I was unaware at the time that come summer, my husband and I will become responsible for a life aside from our own two. Knowing this now, I just don't have the heart to read something dramatic over and over again. That said, I still like the writing and I'm rather pleased with how this piece turned out. As always, comments and critiques are welcome.


Facing Fate

Two-Face put a single bullet into the old handgun and spun the cylinder to a random position.

Once chance out of six.

"Let's see. Heads for the original and tails for his replacement uh?" The coin glittered through the air, flipping faster than an acrobat's summersault before landing in the former cop's palm.

"heads." He announced casually, as if the answer really didn't matter to him. He then turned, pointing the barrel of the gun against the side of Dick Grayson's head.

Tim's world slowed down as he uttered a strained cry and struggled, trying to pull free of the heavy rope and handcuffs wrapped around his wrists and hands, several more latched agaist his feet. He yanked and pulled and tried not to cry. Tears were useless. They felt awful and made it hard to see what was really happening. But that was just it. . . He could see what would happen. A gun, a bullet. . .straight to his brother's head.

Click.

No shot fired though the trigger had been smoothly pulled.

Two-Face lowered the weapon "Uh." He spun the cylinder for round two and again, the coin flipped through the air like a circlet of gold.

Tails.

"Stop it Two-Face." Nightwing demanded as Tim shut his eyes tightly, feeling his insides lurch to his throat.

"He's never done anything to you."

How could Dick be so calm?

Tim had been trying to catch and mimic that calmness ever since he started training, that ease of handling life or death situations. But no matter what he did, he could never keep his heart from pounding. This mission, One of his first few to really prove himself? How could it go so wrong?

"If you have to shoot someone." Dick was saying calmly "If you think that will help, then shoot me. I'm the one you hate."

"Funny. All these years and I thought Robin was responsible. Not Nightwing." Two-face commented, for no other reason than perhaps to make Dick feel guilty if this one in six chance succeeded.

Click.

Safe.

Embarrassed by his fear, terrified for his life and that of his partners, Tim let out a soft sob. Trying to jerk his wrist forward again, metal biting to flesh.

The coin flipped again.

The cylinder spun.

Heads.

Empty chamber.

Heads again

Empty.

For the first time in his young life Tim thought maybe he could start believing in God again. Please. . . Tim thought, body trembling Please be tails. . .

The Joker had threatened him once. He told him that while he wouldn't kill Batman, Robin was all his for the taking. He said it would hurt worse that way. . . And now Tim knew why. The thought of anyone else dying. . . Dick, Bruce, Barbara. . . Any of his friends. . ,His family. Loosing them ". . . Just please. . . Stop." He didn't even realize he'd said it out loud.

"Tails." Two face announced.

Tim felt cold metal.

But once again, he was met with an empty click.

In so many ways it was worse than being shot.

It meant he lived yes but it meant next time he might not. . . It meant next time, Dick might not.

"Heads."

A deep, cold dread settled over Tim as he locked eyes, Robin's with Nightwing's. Dick didn't blink, didn't gulp or tear up, though his face was pale, and there was still blood from where he'd gotten knocked out earlier that evening. He just looked calm, as if reminding Tim to 'Stay whelmned' He'd think of something. They'd get out of this.

Somehow.

Ka-Ching!

A bat shaped piece of metal flew mere inches from Dick's nose, hitting Two-Face in the hand and causing the man to drop the gun with a curse.

In an instant Batman pounced from above. He threw two more Batknives, one landing snug near Tim's right wrist, cutting the ropes, the other near Dick. Glued to the smooth pieces of aerodynamic metal was a thin lock pick. Tim felt the sticky metal slide into his fingers as he began working on the metal of his shackles.

Dick released himself first, if only by seconds. Once he hit the ground he pulled the knife free for his only weapon "There were others!" he yelled.

"Back door." Batman commanded, shoving Two-Face into a nearby wall and kicking the villain in the chest.

Tim slipped to the floor, falling to his knees, his whole body shaking. By the time he became aware that he'd truly escaped, Batman had already tied a nearly unconscious Two-Face, hands and feet. Meanwhile Dick had taken out the gang members who had helped capture them in the first place and the two Gotham warriors freed the civilian prisoners.

All Tim saw was that gun.

Someone might have called for Robin, but he wasn't sure. Slowly, he picked the weapon off the ground. He couldn't see the bullet in any of the cylinders circled in front of the trigger. Slowly he slid the cylinder out just a hair, fingers trembling.

There it was.

The only bullet in the gun, preciously in line with the barrel.
The chances
50 -50 chance the gun would point in one or the other direction, 1 in 6 chance each time that the shot could actually fire. Perhaps weight or gravity played a part too but it didn't matter.

If batman hadn't come right then. . . It would have. . .

Nightwing would be dead.

And he could have done nothing but watch, and feel 'grateful' that 'luck' hadn't chosen him instead.

"Tim? Tim!"

Batman's growl forced him to 'Robin Mode' The gun slid from his damp fingers and hit the floor with a clatter.

"Call the Commissioner."

"Right," He slowly found where his and Dick's weapons and utility belts had been thrown to the corner, their wrist computers and gloves included. He started up a secure link, the programming already altering his voice to Batman's to make it harder for potential enemies to identify and locate Robins. "Commissioner. . . We have Two-Face. He's ready for pick up."

He gave the police the address, than cut the com link. He took one last look at the gun on the floor."

"Move out." Batman commanded.

And soon, all three victors had vanished into the night. But Tim didn't feel like he'd beat anyone. He felt like a hunted animal instead.


to be continued...