Setting: 2.08 Seeing Other People- Tim's been kicked off the team, and "ran away from home"-he left after finding Billy with the neighbor, which he took personally. Tim's been staying at Tyra's house. It's just before he leaves to move in with the crazy drug dealing ferret dude
Disclaimer: Based on characters and situations created by NBC Universal, Peter Berg, Jason Katims, Brian Grazer, etc. No harm intended.
Summary: Tim takes a look back into his past.

A/N:First posted Dec. 15, 2007, slightly revised Nov. 15, 2012. I'll be moving some fics from my Live Journal Site to here in the future... I like having them here. I am so intrigued when I look at the hits (I don't get that on LJ), and where they are from...i.e. Spain, Finland, Australia, Eithopia, Egypt, Singapore, Germany, UK...etc, Thank you for reading, and happy writing, my fellow global fanfiction fans!

No Way Out

It was all set then, Mindy told him. Tim wondered if this was a good idea, and wished like hell he could suck it up and just go home. But he couldn't. He couldn't do it. Not with Billy and Jackie carrying on all the time the way they were. He was not going back there.

He looked over at Tyra to see if there was any room at all there. She instantly met his gaze. That said it all. He bit his lip. He'd stayed his welcome.

"I'm gonna go for a run and then I'll take off." He hadn't been working out regularly since before he went to Mexico. And he was feeling it. He grabbed his MP3 player and cranked it up.

He easily got into the rhythm of the run. As he got comfortable, his mind started to wander.

What the hell had happened? One minute, everything was on cruise control, and the next he was watching his whole world slip away.

Tim ignored the stitch that had started to stab and gouge away in his side. He'd always had pain in his life. He just pushed through it. What else was there to do?

It wasn't the first time his life had turned upside down. He unconsciously ran harder as his mind waded through his black past.

"Tim! Tim, honey. Tim!" Tim heard his mother's voice calling from what seemed like was far away. She sounded anxious. He dropped the action figures he was playing with and ran around to the back of the house, to where his mom spent most of the late afternoons, out on the back porch.

"What, Mom?" He called as he ran up to her. She took a drag on her cigarette and handed him an empty glass.

"And make it strong, alright sugar?" Tim stared at the glass before he took it and turned away. "Strong, you hear me?"

Tim trudged into the house. He filled the glass up with ice and using both hands, held the bottle and tipped it to pour the glass half full. He finished it off with some water and stirred it a few times. He took a whiff of it, and made a face. It was strong, just the way she liked it. He poured a little more booze on the top so she'd get a good taste of it right away. That should make her smile. Make her happy.

He wrapped both hands around the glass so he wouldn't spill and carefully carried it out to the back porch.

"Here you go, Mom."

"That's my baby." She took a drink and sighed. "You sure can pour a good drink, Tim." She ruffled his hair. Tim almost grinned, he was so glad that his mother was being nice to him. He pushed the hair out of his eyes so he could stare up at her. She was so pretty, he thought. Her long straight brown hair was pulled up into a high ponytail, and her long tanned legs and smile made her look like a young girl.

His stomach growled loudly. He almost jumped.

Mom frowned. "What was that, Tim? Haven't you had anything to eat lately?" Just like that, his mom was gone.

Tim cringed. He hadn't had anything to eat since last night. Billy had come home from football practice and made himself some macaroni and cheese. He'd shared it with him, just like always.

He shook his head slowly, "I'm not hungry." He said lamely.

"What is the matter with you boy? You just gonna starve, just gonna let yourself waste away?" she sneered at him.

Tim shrugged and looked down at his feet.

"Just look at you Tim. You're as filthy as a chimney sweep. What have you been doing, playing in the dirt?"

Tim looked around at their yard, there hadn't been much rain that year so yeah, he'd been playing in their yard, in the dirt.

His mom looked at him with disappointment clear on her face. Tim wished he could just disappear. He was at the mercy of the moods of this woman, and he never knew who he was going to get.

"Well for god's sake Tim, go take a bath. Get on in the house, and clean yourself up, and when you get done with that then get yourself something to eat. I didn't realize I was raising such a stupid kid, one that can't even do for himself," she trailed off and took another sip of her drink. "And change those clothes. Dammit Tim! What is wrong with you boy?"

Tim looked down. He didn't know. His mom was in one of her rough phases. So he just kept switching the piles. One pile was clean and the other pile was dirty. Every so often, they'd switch. After awhile, Billy would notice and step in and wash his clothes.

He gulped, and cringed when he heard the screen door slam from inside the house. He started to back off, maybe he could get to the bathroom before his dad got out here…

His dad opened the screen door and joined them on the porch. He reached over to take a sip from his wife's drink, but she slapped his hand away.

"Come on baby, you ain't gonna let this hard working man go thirsty, are ya?" and he reached again for the glass.

His mother pushed his dad's hand away, and slapped it again, harder this time.

His mother snarled, "Hard-working? That doesn't even belong in the same sentence with you. You ain't worked hard since I don't know when!"

"Damn it woman. Here we go again. I got laid off, all right? I wasn't fired. There's a big difference."

"Well, if that's true, then why are you still out of work? Why can't you get a job?"

His dad's voice rose and his tone turned nastier. "You have got to be kidding me, you… bitch! You know damn well I've gone after every job I could find!" His dad had finally lost his last bit of control.

"Well try harder. Huh? I don't see you trying any harder, damn you. We got bills, Walt. They don't pay themselves."

"Damn and don't I know it. If we're so hard up, why aren't you out there hitting the pavement?"

"Excuse me? I'm raising a family. I've got my hands full here."

"I can see that. Looks like your hands are damn full. Look at your boy here. He looks like he hasn't bathed in weeks, his hair's too damn long and he's wearin' some of the dirtiest, grubbiest clothes I've ever seen! He probably hasn't eaten since yesterday. I'll say your hands are full. I guess you couldn't get a job, could ya? Not if ya can't even manage whatcha got right here."

Tim hated this. He shrank back against the wall. He hated when they talked about him like he wasn't even there. And at the same time he just wanted to be invisible.

"When's the last time you did any laundry? Made something to eat for this kid that didn't come from the god damned freezer or straight from a box? You call yourself his mother?"

"Well it's a damn site better than you, Walt. You're never here, and when you are here you're drunk all the time. You don't pay any attention to me at all, oh except of course, once a month when the damn bunny magazine shows up. And you have the nerve to question my parenting? Do you call what you do being a father? Is that right? The only time you show any signs of fatherly interest is when Billy's got a game, and even then Walt, you're damn drunk by halftime. Why do you think I won't go? That's all you are, and that's all you'll ever be Walt. A no good, low down, dirty old drunk."

Walt lunged at his wife and slapped her hard across the face. "Damn you to hell woman. Maybe if you weren't such a fishwife I'd have more of reason to make right! But look at you. What do I got? You're nothing. That's what I got, cause that's what you are. Nothing."

She screamed and charged. Tim slunk into the bathroom and leaned up against the door after he'd closed it. He started to cry and his legs buckled before he crumpled down onto the cold floor. He could hear the yelling and screaming continuing, and he could hear his parents getting even more nasty, more hateful, more vicious with each other. He held his hands over his ears, tight.

When it ended an hour later, with his dad storming off and taking off to god knows where, and his mom crying her eyes out on the floor in the living room, bottle in hand, he quietly opened the door and hoped he could sneak by without her noticing him. He'd barely stuck his head out before she'd started screaming.

"Did you clean up in there yet Tim? Dammit, don't you listen to a word I say? I said TAKE A BATH TIM! Damn you!"

Tim rushed back into the bathroom and shut the door behind him. He paused before his hand turned the doorknob to lock it. He hurried to turn on the water to fill up the tub. Tears were streaming down his face. He hated this. But he couldn't do anything about it. What could he do? Where could he go? The best he could hope for was that she would drink some more and pass out. He instantly felt bad, but it was true. Being alone. It was almost as good as being with Billy. He could just exist, without fear of what might happen next. Until his dad came home and his mom woke up, he could just be.

His mom had left the very next day and he hadn't seen or heard from her since. No goodbye. No tears. No nothing. He was eight years old. And if he'd thought things were bad before, well that didn't begin to cover what happened over the next few years. All Billy and Dad did was fight. Every night, every day, every second. And as soon as he'd graduated, Billy was gone, just like that. Out of the house for good. And he'd stayed gone, for a good five years.

He thought back to dinner over at Smash's house the other night. How was he supposed to get back on the team if Coach wouldn't let him? What did Smash expect him to do? Coach had said no. He'd asked him more than once, and Coach still said no. What else could he do?

With Coach, no meant no. Tim didn't know much, but he did know that Coach meant what he said. He didn't want him and he didn't need him. Same with Tyra. Billy too. Hell, nobody did. That was pretty damn clear. This pain was familiar. So he did what he'd always done. He just ran harder, and pushed on.