Training Days by amaresu
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Author's Notes:
Written for infiniteviking in this year's fandom_stocking.

“Get up.” Connor said, his sword held casually at his side.

Tim didn't even pretend to make an effort to get up from where he was sprawled on his back. “I can't. I can barely breath, I can't get up.”

“Do you want to die?” The question was asked quietly as Connor walked towards him.

“No.” Tim didn't want to die. The whole point of learning how to use a sword was to not die. “But you're not going to kill me.”

“I won't, not today at least, but someone else will.” The sword was laid on Tim's throat and he swallowed thickly. “Sooner or later you'll face someone with better stamina, who's rested longer, or maybe you've just been up for three days straight working on a case, but sooner or later you'll be in this position in real life. With your head on the line.” The sword was removed and Connor backed up several steps. “Now, get up.”

Groaning Tim rolled over and grabbed his sword. Biting his lip to keep from crying out in pain and exhaustion he managed to get to his feet and bring up his sword. Connor nodded at him, for a second Tim thought he saw approval in his eyes, and then attacked. Tim managed to block the first few strikes before Connor ran him through. The sound of Connor's stupid laugh was the last thing he heard before dying.

He woke up on one of the practice mats. Turning his head he saw Connor cleaning up his blood. Sensing he was awake Connor looked up and nodded his head towards the water bottles. “That was good. I didn't think you'd manage to stand up again.”

“I didn't either.” Tim replied as he opened one of the bottles. Water never tasted as good as it did after dying.

“You might last a few years after all.”