288/Visiting Hours at James Barnes VAMC

From Heroes Assemble MUSH
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Visiting Hours at James Barnes VAMC
Date of Scene: 04 March 2020
Location: James Barnes VA Medical Center, Bronx, NY
Synopsis: Peter comes to face his bully, only to find out that Flash has already been cut down to size.
Cast of Characters: Peter Parker, Flash Thompson

Peter Parker has posed:
The doors opened smoothly.
Peter felt a little uncomfortable. On some level, he was hoping for an alert to show up, a bank being robbed, anything, but his police scanner app was annoyingly silent.
He had heard it through the grapevine, as the old song goes. One person, telling another, who told another, on and on until the news reached Aunt May's ears. A leads to B leads to C, all the way to Z.
She had told Peter to go. She had known of Peter's persecutors, King and Thompson leading the way. "It's a chance to face him, to relate to him as a person."
So here he was, with a coffee mug with a bouquet of balloons saying pithy things like GET WELL SOON.

The young man in the baggy shirt and jeans walked up to the nurse's desk. "Hi. I'm here to see Fl...uhm EUGENE Thompson."

Flash Thompson has posed:
The nurse glances up and offers a warm smile. The James Barnes Center may be an older building on the outside, but on the inside, it's updated at least to the 2000s. Smiling, she's wearing scrubs and her 'I CARE' pin on her lanyard. "He should be up in a couple of minutes from physical therapy. But his room's 602 if you want to wait. Third door on the left." she offers.

Flash's room is pretty non-descipt. No flowers. There is however, a card from his sister, Jesse, proming that she'll be dropping in soon. A tray with the remnants of a meal and a root beer, and the TV is sent to the NFL Network, of course.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter frowned at the NFL channel. Of course. Mister Star Quarterback, Big Man On Campus, and never without a snide comment or cutting remark about Peter "filling the loser quota" and, that eternal chestnut of a title, the King of Geeks.

He closed his eyes. Maybe this wasn't such a hot idea.
He placed the mug with its balloons on the side table, looking around before finding a seat to wait for Flash. He'd heard he'd been wounded. Flesh wound, of course. A nice scar to show the talent scouts...

Flash Thompson has posed:
There's an opening of the door, and a bump of metal on wood before the door swings open wider. "I know, I know, use the button!" comes the familiar voice as Flash calls down the hall. And then Flash arrives.

Down here.

Settled in his wheelchair, dressed in the dull green scrubs of a patient, he's at least clean shaven and well maintained. And his chest and arms are as broad and muscular as ever. He doesn't look barely changed from his high school days. Until one reaches the lower legs. Or rather -- the lack of them. From his knees down, there's just nothing. Empty sleeves, as they're called.

And Flash tilts his head curiously. "Parker? Peter Parker?" he asks, lifting both of his blonde brows. "Shit, I didn't expect you here. What, heard someone finally cut me down to size?"

He'll beat Peter to the STUPID MOUTH comment, thank you very much.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter turns to look...
And then everything seemed to stop.
He'd heard he'd been wounded. He was thinking a gunshot wound, a broken limb, maybe even a facial scar (something he had been unconsciously rooting for), but...

No. No no no no no...
And suddenly every hateful and venomous thought he'd ever felt about Flash since he heard about the attack was there, in his mind's eye, piled up in half-cooked chunks of dark-meat chicken.
Not chicken. CROW.

Peter's mouth dropped open, and the defensive comments were replaced with a lost-sounding, "Oh, Jesus...Flash, your...your..."
He couldn't say it. His vapor-locked mind couldn't say the word.

So much for the genius IQ.

Flash Thompson has posed:
"Looking better than ever? Damn right." Flash gives a grin, and moves to the edge of the bed. Grabbing the riser bar hanging over the bed, he grabs it and swings himself to the bed to drop himself onto the bed. "Not what you expected?" he asks as he finally notices the cheery little mug and ballons. "Oh hey, that from you? Thanks."

And the sad part? That sounds sincered as he settles himself in. "How's the gang? Jesse told me you and MJ were doing a thing. Man, I never got how much girls wanted nerds over jocks. Maybe I should have paid more attention in Ms. Nelson's class, am I right?"

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter, for a few more seconds, is just gobsmacked. Then part of his brain comes online and he realizes he is staring at where Flash's legs used to be.

A leads to B leads to C what you have become.

"I'm...what?" Peter blinked. "Me? MJ? Uhm...yeah, that...didn't work out. I was...late to some of our dates..."
Try all of them. and the fifth date he no-showed. Sandman screwed that one up proper. "And...well, she said she needed someone reliable in her life. We're still friends, I...we're just that, though."

It was surreal to be talking to Flash when he wasn't shoving Peter into a locker or watching some of his team-mates play keep-away with Peter's backpack. He was being...sociable. Personable instead of boastful.

Cautiously, Peter went on. "Harry's...still Harry. He told me to find out how much this doctor's visit was costing so he could pay for it. His words. And...I guess you heard about what happened to Gwen."

Flash Thompson has posed:
"Damn. She's a good un, Parker. Stop botching it up." Almost coach like in that comment. Flash adjusts the bed into position and then laughs outright. "Harry would need to talk to the American government on the cost of this, got shot on the taxpayer's dime."

"Shot five times, eighteen shrapnel wounds." he corrects himself. "And all I could think, while I was pulling people across the sand to cover?" Flash asks in mild amusement.

"How awesome it'd been to have Spidey's webshooters. Or at least that whole chucking cars thing. Or Captain America's shield. Or hell, even Iron Man's armor. That'd been sweet." Bittersweet is the order of the day as he runs it down. "Saved my squad, they told me. Pulled them out one at a time. All I remember is some blonde girl helping me with it. But she was nowhere to be found. Stupid, right?" he asks Peter.

"Maybe it was Gwen looking out for me. Don't know why. Heard about what happened to her on the bridge. With Spidey. I don't believe it. Can't believe it. Not something he'd ever do." He lets out a breath. "Sorry I didn't come home for the funeral. I couldn't. Was already in Iraq by then."

Peter Parker has posed:
Wait...what? He was talking about Spider-Man? Only the grognards of the Internet had clued into the webshooters. And the fans.
Nah. Flash COULDN'T be a fan. That might break his brain. But what he did...
"You saved your squad? Holy Toledo...Flash, you're a hero! A REAL hero. I..." He took a deep breath. "Look...if you did that, that's something awesome. I think even Spider-Man would be proud of you."

In fact, he could pretty well guarantee it.

"I didn't even know you'd gone into the army until three hours ago. I thought you'd be in some PAC-10 university, going for touchdowns for the college..."
...dating cheerleaders left and right...
"...I just never imagined you'd do...well, the military."

Flash Thompson has posed:
"According to the recommendation for the MOH my CO put in, I stopped a major advance." Flash shakes his head. "I just did my job and helped those I could, Pete. Shit... Spider-Man could have done it and not gotten a scratch. Me? Got both my legs blown off. Not a hero. Not by a long shot. Just another wounded warrior, man. But the Army's gonna help me get some new legs, eventually. In the meantime, I'm interviewing at Happy Harbor. Heard they need a gym teacher. What's that old saying?"

"Those that can't teach, do."

Then there's the elephant in the room. "I never told anyone this, man. But you know my mom left me and Jesse when we were pretty young. Pops took that out on us. More on me than her cause I didn't want her hurt. When I saw a chance to get away? I took it. Figured the Army would get me further away than USC, right?" he asks with a laugh. "You know what I discovered there? Big fish little pond at Midtown becomes tiny fish in a huge ocean. And I got ate the fuck up."

"They tore me down more than I ever did back in school. And it got me to thinking. And I've had a lot of time to think in this bed. But I was a jackass to you. You and Jessica, and others. To what, put myself on a pedestal? Make myself feel better because my old man was beating the crap outta me? I was a grade A fuck up, Pete."

"And I can only start to ask you now for forgiveness on that. Because I need to start facing that stuff."

Step 8.

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter said nothing for a moment. If he could only tell Flash. He couldn't, of course. He'd never IMAGINE thinking about telling Flash, because it was FLASH THOMPSON.

"Flash...those people are alive because of you. That whole operation worked because you DID something. You didn't run. You...faced it."

And then Eugene "Flash" Thompson drops the next bomb. He's asking for forgiveness from Peter. For a moment, a hundred childish fantasies of revenges, of having Flash under his thumb, of making his beg for forgiveness flitted through his head.

And then he recognized that feeling. That was the "Looking Out for Number One" feeling. He had been here before. Carradine was going to run right past him, and he was too caught up in his own dreams of power. He had let him pass...and his uncle died because of it.


"I...forgive you, Flash. Eugene. I accept your apology." And just like that, that power went away. And he was never so glad to see it go.

Flash Thompson has posed:
Apparently, it was a mutual thing, because Flash blows out a breath he didn't know he was holding. "You have no idea how relieved I am to hear that, Peter. Because you may only be one of many... but really. You're the most important one." he admits with a shrug of his shoulders. "I went harder on you than anyone else. Maybe I just felt like I needed to stand on someone. But I was jealous. You were smart, knew everything... and girls..." he laughs. "You're talking to me about cheerleaders, and here you were with Mary Jane and Gwen and..." he laughs.

"So. Now here I am. But there's hope yet. The government's offered me a chance to walk again. I'm going to take it. And I'll be back on my feet. Because that's what my battle buddies would have wanted. It's what Captain America and Spider-Man would want."

"It's what I want. I can't wallow. I did enough of that after I came to at a hospital in Germany."

Peter Parker has posed:
Peter suddenly looks intrigued. "Really?" He pulls the chair over to look at Flash intently. "I'm going to college and going into the Neuroscience program. Do you have any idea how they're going to manage that? Cybernetic-prosthetics? Some kind of suit?" He had that focused look on him. People joked about him being the "Absnet-Minded Professor," but this was the "Professor" part of him. He listens, and Flash gets the feeling Peter is ignoring anything else around them.

Flash Thompson has posed:
"Nope, nope, no favors here!" Flash says with a laugh. "But I don't know the details. Was handed a card for someone that's offered me part of the project." he admits. "I don't know the plan yet. I figure they'll tell me when I get there. You know. Usual military way." Rolling his shoulders in a shrug, he adjusts his blanket slightly as a nurse comes to knock on the door.

"I'm sorry, visiting hours are ending. And we need to get him bathed and fed." Flash smirks as he glances over at the nurse. "Best part of the day, right?" he asks her. It drawa a giggle.

Okay, he might still be the same in some ways.