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I'm not entirely sure that I'm happy with this but I've rewritten it to the point of almost over-writing it so it's about time I just gave in and posted it. Writing long stories always frustrates me. I find it so hard to make sure that the whole thing makes sense and actually goes where it's suppose to go.

Title: Bank Robbers and Cutpurses
Characters: Rip Hunter, Leonard Snart
Rating/Warnings: PG-13
Genre: Action/Adventure, Drama, Hurt/Comfort (sort of)
Word Count: 3500 for Chapter 2, about 15,000 in total
Spoilers: Set between 1x12 and 1x13.
Summary: Rip Hunter, Leonard Snart, a concussion, a broken ankle, and a time pirate prison cell.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Their progress down the corridor was slow and awkward. Arms wrapped around each other, they tried to find some sort of rhythm in their walk, but all they achieved was an uneven, staggering gait, barely managing to move in a straight line. Rip really hoped the time pirates were occupied elsewhere because with the amount of noise he and Snart were making, they had no hope in hell of sneaking by anyone.

Snart's ankle was definitely broken. Rip became more and more convinced of this as the former crook hobbled along. The man still insisted on placing some weight on his bad foot despite how painful it must be, and Rip knew it must be painful because each time Snart took a step, he would stumble slightly and his breath would catch. As they made their way down the corridor, Snart's skin grew paler and clammier, and despite his efforts to hide it, his face became fixed in a permanent wince. Rip was tempted to mention just how much of an idiot the man was being, but he had a feeling that if he did, it would only make things worse, so instead he remained silent and kept an eye out for pirates.

The corridor, however, remained empty. Where the time pirates had gone Rip had no clue. He kept expecting them to appear at any moment, but none did and it left him worried. The barred entrances of more prison cells lined the corridor and Rip wondered what sort of building they were in. It definitely wasn't something the pirates had constructed. Time pirates never made things. They just stole them. From what Rip could make of the place’s bland, industrial décor, the technology it used, and its numerous prison cells, he guessed it was some sort of abandoned military base, or at least, he hoped it had been abandoned before the pirates commandeered it. He didn’t what to think of how powerful the pirates would have had to have been to have taken it by force.

Each time they passed a cell, Rip would peer through the bars to see if anyone was inside, but they all appeared to be empty. Someone would have probably called out by now if they hadn't been, having heard Rip and Snart's clumsy escape attempt, but Rip kept checking them just in case. He was half relieved, half disappointed to not find any of their teammates. He was glad the others were free, but had to admit that given the state he and Snart were in, having another of their team there would have been extremely useful. At the rate they were going, Rip wasn’t sure they’d even make it safely down the corridor.

They didn't.

After they’d gone a dozen meters or so, Snart stumbled badly. Rip tightened his hold on Snart trying to keep him upright as he lurched forward, but unfortunately, Rip's concussion had left him with a certain amount of vertigo and the sudden shift of Snart’s weight threw him off balance. Rip tried to regain it, but was hampered by Snart own efforts to right himself. There was a brief amount of floundering and flailing, and then they both ended up sprawled in a tangled heap on the floor.

Cursing, they disentangled themselves and lay there groaning.

“When we tell the others about this,” said Snart, breathlessly, “let's leave this part out.”

“Agreed,” said Rip, grimacing.

The sudden fall hadn't helped the pain in his head and he clutched at it as he slowly pushed himself to his knees. He shifted over so he could sit with his back against one side of the corridor while he waited for the pain to die back down. On the other side of the corridor, Snart moved to a similar position against the opposite wall, but instead of clutching his head, the man clasped both hands around his right ankle, his jaw tight with tension.

“You alright?” Rip asked.

“Just peachy,” said Snart, the strain evident in his voice. “This was a stupid idea.”

Rip let out a humorless chuckle. “And you have a better one?”

Snart tilted his head to the side, derision in his gaze. "Well, I'd suggest leaving me here and getting help, but that would be assuming you'd actually come back for me."

Rip bristled unsure if Snart were being serious or just baiting him. "I don't abandon members of my crew."

"Unless, of course, it threatens the mission or your precious timeline," said Snart, snidely, "And I really doubt you consider my life a priority."

The words were like a slap across Rip's face. In some ways he would have preferred a slap. Had he failed so badly as a captain that his crew thought that way? Just because they had a tendency to infuriate him didn't mean he didn't care about them. Though he might not like Mr. Snart, he was still a member of his crew, his responsibility. A dark part of Rip wondered if Snart was right, if he would really place his mission, his family ahead of the lives of his crew, but he quickly squashed that thought.

Using the wall for support, Rip got to his feet. He walked over to Snart and gazed down at him. “I'm not leaving you behind,” he said, putting as much conviction as he could behind the words.

Snart narrowed his eyes at him, his expression dubious but thoughtful, for once without a wiseass comeback.

"Come on," said Rip, offering his hand.

Snart grasped Rip's hand and let him haul him to his feet. Once Snart was upright, Rip placed his arm around his waist once more and Snart in turn put his arm over Rip's shoulders.

"Remind me not to get in any three-legged races with you," Snart said as they continued on, but at least this time he was willing to let Rip take more of his weight, his hobble turning into more of a hop.

On their second attempt, they made it all the way to the end of the corridor and turned left into another. This corridor was shorter and lined with a series of closed doors instead of cell bars. At the end was a lift.

“There,” said Snart pointing towards it. “We need to take that elevator. We're about two levels below ground and no way am I climbing any stairs.”

They took a few more stumbling steps towards the lift, but then Snart abruptly stopped. It threw Rip off balance and nearly sent them both back to the floor. Rip was about to curse out Snart when he felt it. Every single muscle in Snart's back had grown tense. Holding onto him as Rip was, it was easy to feel. Snart had good instincts. Rip had learned to trust them on occasion and he, somewhat grudgingly, decided to trust them now. Stifling the protest he’d been about to voice, he stopped and listened.

There was a sharp mechanical hum in the air and it was rapidly growing louder. The lift, Rip realized. Someone was coming.

Without bothering to speak, they both dove for the nearest door. Thankfully, it proved unlocked. Rip yanked it open and they tumbled through almost crashing into a pile of crates they found on the other side. It was some sort of storage room filled with stacked containers of various sizes and shelves loaded with various goods. As soon as Rip regained his feet, he quickly turned to shut the door. As he closed it, he heard the doors of the lift slide open. He held his breath praying that whoever was inside hadn't seen the door close.

Outside, two pairs of heavy footsteps could be heard entering the corridor accompanied by a pair of voices, one rough and deep, the other high and breathy.

“...really. He's got a whole crate stashed down here,” said the high voice.

“He'd better. I'm out of the good stuff and I ain't drinking that shit we picked up in 2028,” said the deep voice.

“It's not that bad.”

“Wouldn't even feed it to the damn prisoners unless we wanted to drown them in it. Is this it?”

The footsteps drew closer, and then stopped right outside the room Rip and Snart were currently hiding in.

Rip spun around gazing at Snart in alarm and saw the same look of consternation on the man's face as he knew must be on his. Snart grumbled something under his breath and pulled out his knife bracing himself against a large crate. Rip in his turn positioned himself so he would be behind the door when it opened. They only had a moment to meet each others' eyes and exchange nods, a mutual agreement to their unvoiced strategy, before the door swung open.

Into the room strode a short, dark skinned man dressed in tattered black clothes. He spotted Snart almost immediately.

“Hey, what they hell are you doing in here?” he demanded.

Snart smirked at him. He was leaning casually against the crate as if he were relaxing instead of needing it to stay upright. “I don't know,” he said. “I guess I just like the ambiance of the place.”

A tall, pale man with shaggy hair pushed past the short man into the room. “That's one of the prisoners!”

“Obviously,” said Snart.

“How the hell did he escape?” asked the short man.

“Way too easily,” Snart replied. “I've got to say I'm sorely disappointed. I was expecting a lot more from a bunch of high-tech pirates. Instead the sorry state of your operations is giving criminals like me a bad name.”

Neither man looked pleased by Snart's comments.

“Grab him,” ordered the tall man. “We've got to get him back in the cell before...”

He didn't get to finish his sentence because as the pair took a step towards Snart, Rip emerged from behind the door slamming it shut as he did so. The sound drew them up short and they swung around to look at him.

“What...?” was all the short man managed to say before Rip's right hook hit his cheek. The man made an odd, muffled yelp as his head snapped to the side.

Though his focus was on the shorter pirate, Rip was dimly aware of Snart taking on the taller one in the background and he worried about how Snart would manage to fight with his injured ankle. He wasn't able to worry long though. His punch had staggered the short man, but he hadn't gone down. Rip tried to hit him again before he recovered, but he wasn't fast enough. The man blocked Rip's punch and sent forth one of his own. Rip managed to dodge out of the way. Unfortunately, his concussion made itself known once more and the move threw him off balance. He stumbled. The pirate took advantage of that kneeing him in the stomach.

Rip fell backwards, his back colliding against a large set of shelves. Their contents clanked and rattled.

The pirate smirked at him and raised his fist.

Rip reached frantically behind him into the shelves he'd fallen against. One of his hands hit something smooth and cold and he wrapped his fingers around it.

The punch fell.

Rip blocked it with his left forearm and swung his newly acquired weapon with his right.

The weapon turned out to be a large, glass bottle which shattered against the man's head spraying its contents across both the pirate and the floor.

The pirate went down and stayed down.

Rip leaned against the shelves and let out a loud breath of relief.

“Took you long enough,” Snart called out from the other side of the room.

Gazing over, Rip was surprised to see Snart's opponent was also on the floor, unconscious or dead he wasn't sure. He wondered how Snart had managed to fight with his broken ankle, but didn't wonder long because between the concussion, the knee to his stomach, and the smell of whatever it was that had been in that bottle, Rip realized he was going to have to give in to the inevitable.

He managed to turn away and stumble towards a corner of the room before he was sick. There wasn't much to come up but bile, his last meal having been awhile ago, but it was just as unpleasant all the same. When he was done, he leaned against a wall and closed his eyes, breathing heavily. He mentally added fighting pirates and throwing up to the list of things that were not an aid to the pain in his head. It was becoming quite a long list.

“If you're done puking, would you mind checking the pirates for weapons Still a gimp over here in case you've forgotten.”

Rip added the voice of Leonard Snart to the list.

Unfortunately, Snart was right. They needed to see if the pirates had anything they could use. Rip returned to the pirate he'd downed and knelt, somewhat clumsily, on the floor beside him. The search proved fruitful though not as much as he'd have liked. Each pirate had a knife on him and the taller one also had a communications device and some sort of passkey, but that was it.

“No guns?” exclaimed Snart. “What sort of idiot pirates don't carry guns with them? These must be the worst pirates ever.”

“I've certainly met better,” said Rip.

He tied up the time pirates using their own belts. It was doubtful it would hold them long but it would slow them down. The pirate Snart had taken care of was surprisingly still alive though he would be in a fair amount of pain and suffering a certain amount of blood loss when he woke up.

Rip pocketed the communicator, the passkey, and one of the knives and handed the other knife to Snart. It was slightly bigger than the one he already had and Rip was sure Snart could easily find a use for two.

Despite getting up as slowly as possible, Rip nearly ended up back on the floor when he tried to stand. He staggered over to where Snart sat on one of the larger crates and gratefully sat down beside him.

Snart had his injured foot propped up on another crate nearby and was carefully loosening the laces of his boot. Rip could see why. Leonard's foot was so swollen it was starting to strain against the leather.

“How's the ankle?” he asked.

“Great,” said Snart through gritted teeth. “I'm considering cutting it off and having your pal Gideon make me a new one.”

“There's no need to do anything quite so drastic,” said Rip. “Gideon's actually quite good with broken bones. You'll probably be on crutches for a few days but it's better than a few months.”

“Good to know.” Snart turned just enough to give him one of his lopsided smirks. “Of course, as long as I no longer have to use you as a crutch I'm happy.”

Rip snorted. “Same here.”

He pulled the communications device out of his pocket. It wasn't a kind he recognized but it should be relatively easy to figure out how it worked and tune it to the Waverider's subwave frequency. If he could reach Gideon, the signal from the device should lead the rest of the team right to them. They certainly could use their help. He and Snart were both a mess. Rip was beginning to wonder if they would have been better off waiting in the cell.

Of course, 'should' was the operative word. He should be able to retune the communications device, but his brain was refusing to cooperate. He couldn't concentrate. The steps he needed to perform kept slipping from his mind. Even his eyes were having trouble focusing on the small device in his hands.

Giving up, Rip put the device back in his pocket. He squeezed his eyes shut and leaned forward resting his aching head in his hands.

“...couldn't be your real name,” Snart was saying. “Did you make that up when you were a kid or something?”

Rip raised his head and blinked at Snart. “Sorry, what?” he said, feeling like he'd just missed something.

Snart cocked his head at him. “Your name,” he said. “Rip Hunter. As a thief, you should've really picked something a bit more inconspicuous.”

Rip groaned. “Why are you bringing this up again? I'm not a thief, not anymore.”

“Like I said, once a thief, always a thief,” Snart replied. “And I've been talking about it for the past five minutes.”

Rip frowned at him. He didn't recall Snart saying anything until a moment ago. Had he drifted off while he’d been sitting there?

Leonard stared back, his gaze calculating. For a moment, Rip thought he saw concern in those ice blue eyes but decided he must be seeing things.

“Personally, I think you're in denial of your true nature,” Snart continued as if nothing had happened. “There's nothing wrong with being a thief. It's a time honoured profession. What was the first thing you ever stole?”

Feeling as if he were stuck in a reoccurring nightmare, Rip placed his head back in his hands, rubbing the heels of his palms against his eyes. “I honestly don't remember.”

“Come on,” said Snart, drawing out the lazy drawl in his voice. “Everyone remembers the first thing they stole.”

“I told you I don't remember,” Rip insisted with a slow shake of his aching head. “I was five. It was probably a pie or an apple from a market stall or something.”

“Mine was a box of cookies,” said Snart. “Double Stuf Oreos, my favourites. Most people would have started with something easier like a chocolate bar, but I was ambitious even as a kid.”

Rip let out a heavy sigh. “Your point being?”

“I just think it’s interesting that we both started off with food." Snart gave him another one of his self-satisfied smirks. "It seems we’re alike in more ways than one.”

The ongoing comparison was not one Rip appreciated. “Except I stole because I had no choice,” he snapped. “I was starving, living on the streets. I had nothing, nothing at all, not after...” Cutting himself off, he turned away biting his lip before he let something slip he would later regret.

“And who says I wasn’t starving,” said Snart, matter-of-factly.

Surprised, Rip turned back. “You? But...?”

Snart shrugged. “Maybe not as much as you were, but it’s not like Mom and Dad were big on the whole grocery shopping thing. Mom was usually too drunk and Dad was usually too busy getting his ass thrown in jail. My sister and I might not have made it if I hadn’t stolen a few things here and there.”

Rip stared at him not knowing what to say. He’d known Snart had had a rough childhood, but he may very well have underestimated just how rough it had been.

“Our crappy childhoods aside,” Snart continued, “we may have both started stealing in order to survive, but it didn’t stay that way, did it?”

Rip narrowed his eyes at him. “What are you getting at?”

“Please,” said Snart. “You know what I’m talking about. The anticipation of the heist. That rush of power when you nab something. The thrill of getting away with it. Just because you were forced to start stealing doesn’t mean you didn’t learn to enjoy it. Admit it. You miss being a thief.”

Getting to his feet, Rip took a step towards Snart. “How could you think I...” he began, but his oncoming rant was interrupted by a groan from one of the bound pirates, the tall, pale man Leonard had downed.

“Would you mind?” said Snart.

Deflating slightly, Rip went over to the pirate and delivered a swift kick to his head. The man grew silent once more.

“We need to get going,” Rip said, his anger still simmering but now mostly directed at himself, annoyed that he'd let Snart get to him. “We've already wasted too much time here.”

“Lead the way, Captain,” said Snart with a wave of his hand.

Rip glared at him, but the glare turned into a frown. Snart was looking rather pleased with himself and it left Rip with the strange feeling that he’d just missed something, again. He took ahold of Snart and they rearranged themselves into the increasingly familiar position. Snart was no longer able to put any weight on his bad ankle and was forced to hop along, but Rip carefully adjusted his stance so he could take the extra weight. Together they slowly made their way past the unconscious pirates and out of the storage room.

Chapter 3
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