Thank God

by Siarade



All characters herein belong to Marvel. Used without permission. No money being made; for entertainment only.

In tribute to my favorite automobile accessory: the seatbelt.

Warnings for language, but nothing else.

You wouldn't believe how bad it hurt. It doesn't sound like something that's really impressive, in terms of pain, but it hurt. A lot. That shoulderstrap crosses you like its suddenly made out of metal, and the impact of it makes you just groan. Most of the eyewitnesses swarmed on his car, not mine, but somebody came up to my smashed door, poked their head through the window and said,

"Buddy, you all right?"

My reply, my suave, sophisticated, gentlemanly reply? "_Fuck_...."

Whoever it was went away, didn't say another word. Not that I expected him (or her, I wasn't paying attention) to respond kindly, and really, I didn't care, but I didn't meaning to be rude...

Just like I didn't mean to smash this guy's car. It was a nice car - SUV, actually - but I have, er, had this enormous one-ton Silverado, and no matter how nice your Expedition is, it's hard to beat my truck. Plus, I was going near 30 through that intersection. But like I said, I didn't _mean_ to hit him...

It was an accident.

He's okay, thank god. He gets out of his mangled blue Expedition and looks at me. I'm blathering on like an idiot, "Jesus, man, I'm so sorry, I'm _so_ sorry, it was all my fault, I've got great insurance, though. Are you okay?" Even as I walked towards him, eyeing his car, and mine, as the pedestrians and witnesses start to congregate, I can't help but notice how big this guy is. Not the "I'm a trucker and eat too many doughnuts" big, but the "I crush you" big. BIG. Really big.

He has to be older - people don't have white hair because they're young - but he's okay. Thank god. If he'd been hurt - fuck, I don't know how I'd ever be okay with myself, knowing I messed somebody up because I was stupid.

I just rolled right through that stop. Instead of looking first, I looked as I went - and by then, it was too late to stop. My foot got ahead of my brain, and looking both ways before you cross was suddenly confused: it was look both ways _as_ you cross.

Man, you should hear the woman next door! She's pissed! Glad I'm not her husband. My wife, on the other hand, will probably just hug me and be glad I'm okay. "Thank god you were wearing your seat belt," she'll say.

The ER isn't so bad....kind of smells strange, and the doctors aren't really interested in me. I'm waiting for X-Ray results, apparently; they're worried about my chest, but I think it's just standard procedure. They've got him in here too, had to just about drag him - but I asked him to, because I didn't want him to show up three days later dead from a brain injury he didn't know about. It was the least I could do - make sure he gets checked out, stays alive. I mean, I could have killed him, if he wasn't wearing his seat belt...

Fuck. I could have killed him.

Man, she is _pissed_. You should hear her - whatever her husband did, she's letting him have it. Wish I could hear what she's saying...then again, maybe I don't.

I know he's in here somewhere - that's not him, is it? Next door, getting yelled at; maybe she's mad about the SUV. I could go over there, tell her it wasn't his fault, I'm totally to blame in this one.

I hope this doesn't take too much longer. Damn, these places can make you wait...but shit, I shouldn't be pushy. I should be thanking somebody that I'm still around. My head went right for that windshield - coulda cut my face to pieces, embedded my eyes in the back of my skull. Could've been so much worse.

She must have calmed down, because the snarling's gone away.

_Oh FUCK_, that hurt. Oh fuck. Fuck fuck fuck, that hurt.

If I ever say that a car accident hurts, just remind me of that woman's right cross. Jesus. I can't...feel my ear. Oh Christ, that hurt.

"Next time you might wanna actually fucking STOP your fucking car, asshole!" she said, she growled. My ears were still ringing with that punch - she rang my bell like she was calling for dinner - but I heard her. That must be the wife. Pretty, too, even with that mark on her eye. Like a birthmark, or something.

If I ask the doc, will he give me morphine? No, not for the accident...for that woman's right. Damn, she can hit.

Not like I didn't deserve it, thought. I wasn't fucking looking, and I could have killed that man. I am such an asshole.

I should go apologize. To him, and to her. I should ask his name, know who it is that I tried to kill by being stupid.

Yup, she must have been the one yelling, cuz he's right next door. I peek around the corner; they don't see me. He's lying on the bed with an ice pack on his cheek (what, she hit him too?) and there's a blonde kid standing beside her, looking miserable as a puppy that just got caught peeing on the rug. The woman has a scowl on her face a mile wide.

"Nate, I swear to got, if you ever do -"

"I didn't do anything! He hit me!" He winces like it hurt to yell, and I remembered how big this guy was. Even lying on the bed, he was huge...thank god he wasn't pissed. If he had been, I would be wishing I hadn't worn that seat belt.

"You could have said something - you could have at least said I'm fine' on the link!"


"Do you know how I found out?" She grabs the kid's t-shirt and made a tight fist with it, "Cable's been in an accident, ma'am.' He's so grim-faced I thought you were dead! All I could think was this is it - you've fought every possible thing there is to fight, you've been near-dead and half-dead and just-dead more times than anyone can count, and a fucking _car accident_ gets you!"

Fought? What, is this guy a vet? Oh Christ.

At that point, the man shoots the kid a glare, and the kid just withers even further, red to his ears and ready to just die, I can tell. "Sam,"

"I know, sir, I know. I shoulda told her you were okay, first."

"I'm fine! The car is obliterated, but I'm fine! I didn't even need to come here, I'd get better treatment at the med lab. Not that I need it."

"You're getting X-Rays," the woman points out, eventually letting go of the kid's shirt. "That dumbshit might have done something to your cheek."

The man shakes his head. "Oath, I'm fine, okay?" He reaches out with his hand, and takes hold of the woman's. I can tell she's tense to her toes, a big ball of fury, and I should go shoot myself. She had every right to be pissed.

"Oath, Dom, you're just mad because I scared you," he murmured, tossing her a grin. She scowled back at him.


"C'mon. You were scared, huh?" He's teasing her now, smiling, tugging at her hand. Her scowl just gets bigger. "Don't worry, I think it's cute."

"Cute? You think it's _cute_? You wanna see cute? I'm gonna go drag that asshole over her and turn him black or blue. Then I'm gonna shoot you in the stomach and be done with you!"

Okay, I think I should go and blue doesn't sound like fun to me, really, much as I may deserve it...

"C'mon, just say it, Dom." He kisses the back of her hand. "You were scared."

"I was NOT scared." Her voice is quieter now, but just as stern. "Christ, Nate, why didn't you shield? You could have done it."

I'm starting to think she's nuts. She doesn't make sense when she talks. Shield? Link? Cable?

"Even I can't react that fast, Dom. Split second. I didn't even see him."

I am _such_ a fucking asshole.

The boy - Sam - suddenly slinks out of the room, sees me. His eyes go flinty, and I think I just might pee my pants, because he wants to kill me for eavesdropping. Or, if he's guessed, for being so damn dumb that I almost killed his....whoever that Nate guy was to him.

"Just don't do it again," I hear her say, quietly, and I glance in; she's leaning over the bed now, kissing him, and I jerk away fast.

"I'm okay, Dom," he says, I can hear him as I walk away. "I promise."

"Thank god you were wearing your seatbelt," I hear her say as I go back into my room.

Closing my eyes, I think the exact same thing. Thank god.

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