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Last Man Standing

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Story Title: Last man standing

Type of story: Oneshot

Main Characters: Robbie Hunter, Natasha Andrews

BTTB rating: G

Genre: General

Does story include spoilers: no

Any warnings: no

Summary: Post the chopper crash in 2006. Robbie Hunter just needs to keep going. One step at the time. Keep walking. Until he gets home to Tasha. But there's only so much one body can take. And Robbie is beginning to realize that this might be the end of it all.

Okay. I was rewatching some old episodes on my computer. And I stumbled on the chopper crash episodes. And so this story was born. Quotes are not mine. Hope you'll like it.

Just one more step.

One more. One foot in front of the other.

One step at the time.

One by one. Step by step. One step at the time. And with every step they get further and further away from the crash site. Just keep going. Don’t turn around. Don’t look back. Don’t stop. Don’t think about the journey ahead. Just keep going. Just place one foot in front of the other. Keep going. Every step takes him closer to his home. Takes him closer to Tasha. No time for second guessing. No time to think about what has happened. Just keep going.

One step at the time.

He counted them. In the beginning when they first started walking he counted the steps he took. He doesn’t know why. Maybe he simply did it to have something to do. But he lost count. Doesn’t know how many steps he’s taking. He has no idea how long they have been walking. He doesn’t even know where they are. He can’t remember anything anymore. Just that he needs to get home. He just needs to keep walking.

He’s tired. They’re all tired. With each step they take they start walking slower. But they can’t give up. They can’t sit down. They had to leave Kit and Kim behind. And they promised them they would send somebody to help them. And Robbie is a man of his word. He will keep his promise. They are tired. And hungry. And thirsty. But they have to keep going. They can’t give up. They just need to keep going. He just needs to keep going. He needs to get back to Tasha.

Just one foot in front of the other.

Just one more step. Just keep going. He can’t sit down. Can’t even rest for a second. Because he knows – they all know – if they sit down they will never get up again. And he has to keep going. He can’t give up. But if he rests he will. He won’t be able to get up again. So no matter how hungry or tired he is, he just keeps going. As long as one of them keeps going they will be fine. If one of them doesn’t give up they will be strong. They will get home. They will live.

He stopped counting the steps he took a long time ago. But he wishes he had never done that. Just so it would give him something to do. He doesn’t have much strength left. None of them do. And he thinks – no he knows – he might have completely lost it. He supposes it’s a combination of everything that has happened. But he swears he hears Tasha’s voice. And once or twice – for just a second – he swears he sees her standing there. He’s gone crazy. It doesn’t matter. Seeing her reminds him of where he has to go. Of what he has to do.

Just keep walking. Don’t give up.

One by one they begin to give up. One by one they sink down on the hard ground. But he doesn’t. He keeps standing tall. Can’t sit down. Can’t rest. Can’t go to sleep. No matter how much he wants to. They’re all sick. – he’s glad he didn’t drink that water. They shouldn’t have either – and then Belle gets bitten by that animal. And he knows it’s all over. They’re all giving up.

He can’t keep standing forever. He knows this. There’s only so much one person can take. Only so much stress and pain and tiredness one body can withstand. His knees tremble and he sinks down on the ground. He can’t keep standing. He tells himself he’ll rest. Just for a while. He’ll get back up. He’ll keep on going. Going until he gets home. Until he can hold Tasha in his arms again. That’s his only reason to keep going. He wants to see Tasha. He wants to hold her. He’ll get up again – deep down inside he knows he never will – he just needs to rest for a while.

No more walking. No more steps to take.

He’s giving up. They all are. He knows it. There’s nothing left anymore. The strength they had in the beginning is gone. Nobody is coming for them. It’s sad to think that after everything that has happened to him – to all of them – this will be the end. They will die. Somewhere in the woods. And nobody will ever know where they are or what happened to them. This is the end of the road. They know deep down inside – even if they don’t even admit it to themselves – they are never getting up again.

Robbie closes his eyes. And he remembers. He swears he can hear Tasha. He tries to hold the tears in – crying will not help them at all. In fact he’s sure it will make everything worse - and breath. One breath at the time. Just keep breathing. Don’t give up. As long as he’s alive. As long as there’s one breath in his body he can still fight. Can still go on. Can still get home to Tasha. He’s not sure how this will happen. Nothing short of a miracle can save them now.

‘You invent stuff yes?’ ‘Yeah’ ‘Well you should be able to figure out what to do next.’

He remembers it as if it was yesterday. It was the first time he and Tasha really talked. Not exactly how he had imagined it would be. He had somehow managed to get himself trapping inside his own trap. And she had just left him hanging there. Sure he knows she hadn’t been far. And if she had thought he was in real danger she would have helped him. But still. He had figured out a way out of that situation. And out of every one that followed after that.

‘You should be able to figure out what to do next.’

No Tash, he thinks, I don’t know what to do next. I don’t know how to get out of this. There is no way. No more strength left. Noting to do anymore. He’s tried it all. This is not some crazy invention gone wrong. They crashed. And now they are lost in the middle of the woods. God only knows how far they are from Summer Bay. It’s cold. They have no water. No food. This is the end. No he doesn’t know how to get out of this. There is simply no way.

‘For the rest of your life I’m making sure nothing happens to you.’

‘For the rest of my life? ‘

‘Well for as long as you are in the Bay.’

‘Guess I’ll have to stay here forever then.’

‘Yeah, I guess so. ‘

He had promised her. Such a long time ago. That he would protect her forever. He failed. Of course he had failed before this. But still. He had always managed to make it better. Always managed to find his way back to her. This time there was no way back. From this there was no coming back. He had promised her he would always be there. And now he was breaking that promise. Once and for all. This is the end. He knows it is. He’ll never get back up. The others around him have already fallen asleep. But he can’t sleep. He’s to afraid to go to sleep. Afraid that then he’ll really give up.

‘What’s so special about you – is not so much all the jokes …. It’s not the surprises.’

‘And it’s not the fact that you never give up. It’s that you never stop giving. So I promise to never stop giving back to you.’

He never gives up. He doesn’t. He keeps going. For her. He would keep going forever. But there is only so much one body can take. And his has given all it has. He’s got no strength left. And no way of getting more. Sleep won’t help him at all. Finally he begins to accept it. Acknowledge that he’ll never see Tasha again. That when he kissed her in the hospital it was the last time. He wishes he knew it had been. He would have said something worth remembering. Instead of just ‘I love you’ and ‘see you later.’

It gets colder by the second. And he’s not sure if that’s because of him or if it’s really colder. He can’t fight sleep much longer anymore. In the distance – the far distance. So far that Robbie himself doesn’t hear it – a clock strikes twelve. Indicating the start of a new day. But Robbie doesn’t know this. He doesn’t know it’s tomorrow. His eyes close. One breath at the time. Just keep breathing. But he can’t do it. And so it was that while sleep overtook him and a new day actually started.

Robbie Hunter, the last man standing, finally gave up.

All six of them were asleep. Unaware of the fact that four of them were relatively close to their home. But they had already given up. Darkness swallowed them whole. The woods were silent. To silent perhaps. Robbie had given up. And with him their last hope had died down. And Robbie hopes that he’ll never wake up again. That if nobody is coming and he’s never going home that this is it. That he’ll die now. That he won’t have to think about it anymore.

The woods are completely dark. And silent. There’s no sound at all.

They are waiting for the end to come.


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