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Running Empty

by: amokima (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 016 Word Count: 9346
Rating: TEEN
Warning(s): Violence
Character(s): Tony DiNozzo
Category(ies): Angst/Drama
Pairing(s): - No Pairing -
Summary: He woke, everyone is trying to kill him and he has no idea who they are or why.

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16

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Survival

Except for the part about dodging evil, murderous fiends, he found the actual surviving part surprisingly easy. Early on he had a knack for being watchful without others noticing, of seeing details that were difficult to discern, of being able to blend into the crowd to the point where he may as well have been invisible. He discovered that he could use that to his advantage

It was a week after hed escaped from the hospital. He hadnt eaten in a few days and his stomach was resentfully letting him know it. He was bored; idling along the isles of a market hed stumbled across, browsing through the stalls. He was slowly following along with the crowd passing a vegetable stall, right at the edge of the flow, brushing against the tables. He didnt really stop to think about it. He observed that the marketeer was busy with another customer and it was like his hand moved of its own volition. It moved discreetly but quickly and before he knew it there was a tomato sitting in his pocket. Then hed been swept away with the throng and nobody else was the wiser. Frankly, hed been a little shocked. At both the fact that hed done it and also that hed actually gotten away with it. It was like he knew what to do without knowing what to do. He must have done this before; lots of times for his body to be able to react automatically like that. Like a sort of residual muscle memory from his life before the shooting.

He discovered he also had the same talent as a pickpocket when hed stolen the keys from his nurse.

So he found himself able to survive. He stole food when he couldnt get enough money from picking pockets. He picked pockets and bought food and other necessities when he wasnt able to shoplift. And he found himself yet again wondering how it was that he knew how to do this kind of stuff

His ability to steal came in handy when it was time for him to move on, to relocate himself to a different city away from those hunting him. He could by a bus or train ticket or hitchhike and help pay for fuel.

He had to be careful here though. Even though he gave a false name (ha, false! How could it not be false?) when they wanted one, there were still cameras around. The people after him could be watching the cameras, watching the stations and depots ready to catch him. So he blends into the crowds and if they do realize hed been there, then its long after hes left.

Hitchhiking carried with it its own brand of problems. You never know what kind of creep will pick you up. Hed heard some horror stories from people about psychopaths, rapist and serial killers. They made him not want to travel in this fashion, but unfortunately he had to get to his next destination somehow. So he kept the knife hed managed to flog at that first market hidden up his sleeve for entire trips, ready to defend himself.

He managed to only have one bad incident while hitchhiking. He was exhausted and hed dozed off about half an hour into the trip, waking up to find the other mans hand feeling up his thigh, creeping closer and closer to regions which should remain private. He gave a startled yelp, brought his knife out of hiding and screamed at the driver to get your fucking hands off me you fucking sadistic fucking pervert or Ill cut your fucking balls off! Pull the fuck over now or I swear Ill fucking kill you!

The driver saw that he meant every word he said and pulled over off the road, pissing himself as he did so, let him out and quickly drove off.

He soon found another lift bet he stayed wary and suspicious for the rest of the journey.

Another survival trick, though he never really thought about it in those terms, was always changing his name. It wasnt hard. It wasnt like he had a real name anyway. He never bothered to try and remember what name he was going by at any given moment, so anytime anybody asked for one he just gave him or her the first name that popped into his head. At the back of his mind, there was also a half formed notion that if the people who wanted to kill him didnt know what name he was going by then it would be just that much harder to find him.

He also found he could fight like a son of a bitch. Knife fighting, some of that karate type fighting and some of the lowest, dirtiest type of fighting. He got into a lot of fights and won most of them.

He used all these survival tricks as well as some others he only remembered instinctively. For seven long desperate, despairing, lonely months he managed to survive due to these tricks and that small almost unheard whisper coming through all the darkness inside, telling him to hold on.

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