Author: HaloFin17 PM
An AU for the World Race movie. Oneshot, focuses mostly on Wylde brothers. Please enjoy, and feel free to review!Rated: Fiction K - English - Family/Hurt/Comfort - Words: 4,961 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 9 - Follows: 1 - Published: 07-24-06 - Status: Complete - id: 3063946
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Summary: An AU for the World Race movie. Focuses mostly on the Wylde bros. Oneshot. Please enjoy and feel free to review!
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters or ideas, I just play around with them.
Author's Note: I tried to write this so that even if you haven't seen the World Race you should still be able to follow along okay. Just a random idea I gota while back,hope you like it!
(If there was justice in the world…)
"Markie! It's too dangerous on your own, Markie!" That was the voice of Vert Wheeler, the surf rat.
"I don't need help to win! I don't need anybody!" came Markie's defiant reply.
Professional driver Kurt Wylde sighed sadly and spared a look down at his car radio. So, his younger brother had pulled ahead of the other drivers, who had no doubt been deterred by a roadblock left behind by his own companions. He glanced out his window in silent contempt at the two drone racers who had accompanied him onto the track at Gelorum's command.
Kurt thought back to his brother's words. I don't need help to win. I don't need anybody. Good grief, Markie sounded so much like him! But was that necessarily a good thing?
"All mines are laid on the track and armed," a robotic voice broke into his thoughts.
"You have to detonate the mines before the racers reach them, so you just block the track," Kurt responded, returning his attention to the present, then adding with some concern, "I don't want anybody to get hurt."
"What you want does not matter." The voice was so harsh and cold it sent shivers running down Kurt's spine.
"That's my brother in the lead!" he exclaimed in panic, suddenly slamming on the brakes and wheeling his car around.
"Your brother does not matter, either."
At that moment, whatever loyalty Kurt Wylde might have previously felt toward Gelorum and her drones was now gone. If he had to choose between them and Markie, it was no contest.
"Markie?" he called, attempting to contact his only sibling over the radio. "This is Kurt. You've gotta stop, now!"
Markie's fiery response was immediate. "Oh yeah, right, like I'm gonna do anything you say! You're just trying to keep me from winning!"
He won't take me seriously, Kurt thought despairingly. But on the other hand, he couldn't really blame Markie. He wouldn't have believed himself, either, if he were in Markie's position. And hadn't he just been thinking that he and his brother were so similar?
"Markie!" Kurt tried again, his voice urgent, but the connection was suddenly broken. "Markie? Can you hear me?" That little punk hung up on me! he thought angrily, but the anger soon dissipated as he again realized the deadly peril his little brother was driving directly into.
Without another thought, he sped off down the road back in the direction he had just come from. Hopefully, he could get through the mines himself and intercept Markie before he reached them – but no. He had only been driving a short time when a crashing BOOM! resounded across the snow-capped mountains.
Markie! Kurt thought desperately, his face stricken with sudden dismay. And as he thought of the drone racers, his eyes blazed. If Markie was seriously hurt, or…Or worse, a small voice in the back of his mind finished for him. But Kurt shoved the thought aside, leaning forward anxiously as he neared the sight of the explosion. He brought his car to a screeching halt and quickly scanned the jagged edge of a newly-formed cliff. The mines had blown away the entire section of track, sending it crashing down to a river running along the bottom of a deep canyon below.
But wait – there! Right along the cliff's edge, a grappling hook was dug into the rock and snow. Kurt sighed in relief. Markie's car must have been on the other end of the strong cable. Hopefully he's still in there, Kurt thought grimly as he remembered that his brother's Stingray was a convertible. He got out of his car and ran toward the edge of the cliff. Looking closer now, it was difficult to tell just how secure the grappling hook was, and Kurt was in no mood to gamble with his brother's life. Suddenly, there was a roaring noise off to his right.
"Why are you stopping?" a familiar voice questioned. "Your orders are to reach the end of the track and get the Wheel of Power."
Kurt looked and saw one of the drone racers, or pilots really, since their cars could transition into very efficient aircraft.
"The other drivers are heading out of the glacier," that same hollow voice told him. "We must stay ahead of them. Get back in your car, Zed 36."
"You go get the Wheel of Power!" he shouted angrily in reply, now regretting that he had ever heard of the blasted thing.
"Our orders are to help you win the race."
"What difference does it make if it's me or one of you?" Kurt was livid now. His brother was hanging for his life, and it was entirely their fault. Or was it partly his fault, too? Maybe entirely…
"Get back in your car, now!"
"No!" Kurt replied adamantly. "Not unless I help Markie first."
There was a lingering silence, and Kurt held his breath, waiting. Then, without warning, the drone shot past him and turned sharply so that the tip of his left wing made hard contact with the grappling hook of Markie's car. And Kurt could only watch in horror as the hook came loose and slid back down the cliff-side.
"Markie!" he cried and rushed to the edge of the cliff, his emotions torn between helpless shock and rage, as he saw his brother's car plummet toward the rushing river below. Now barely aware of what he was doing, Kurt sprinted back to his car and began to drive down the side of the cliff where it was least steep. He never once looked back at the drone racer.
This is insane! the voice inside his head screamed. You're going to get yourself killed! There's nothing you can do now. Even if you make it down there and somehow manage to help him, you'll never be able to get back up. But again he refused to listen, and though it was by far the most dangerous ride of his life, the car slipping uncontrollably from side to side and bumping off boulders, he somehow made it to the bottom; and the car somehow stopped along the narrow, snowy riverbank before careening into the frigid waters.
Kurt looked around frantically, and his hope sprung up anew when he saw Markie's car half-submerged in water but nicely lodged against a large rock near the opposite shore. He looked closer, and sure enough, Markie was still inside, though clearly unconscious. Kurt quickly activated his own car's grappling hook, and it shot true, latching firmly onto the front of the Stingray.
The convertible broke free from the rock as Kurt pulled it away, but at the same time, it filled with water and was soon completely submerged. Panicking, Kurt accelerated backwards and finally dragged the other car up onto the river bank. He then got out of his car and rushed toward his brother's limp form slouched against the steering wheel.
"Markie!" Kurt called, opening the door and cautiously removing his younger sibling from the car. Water sloshed on him when he opened the door, and he involuntarily shivered. It was biting cold, making his breath catch in his chest. He hurriedly laid Markie on the snow, removed his helmet, and checked to see if he was still breathing. But there was no whisper of movement, no sign of life at all.
"Come on, Markie, breathe!" Kurt gently shook him by the shoulders, but it did no good. Why me? he thought, allowing himself a brief moment of pity before opening Markie's mouth and leaning down to blow air into his lungs. When nothing happened, he tried again, this time pressing down lightly on his brother's chest when he had finished.
Water came up into Markie's mouth, and his eyes shot open as he coughed and sputtered. Kurt quickly rolled his brother onto his side so that he wouldn't inhale the water again. Markie lay gasping for breath, his entire body convulsing as he continued to cough up water. Kurt held him firmly by the shoulders and waited, his face drawn in concern.
"Markie?" he asked finally when the coughing fit had abated.
"Kurt?" Markie's voice was weak yet noticeably surprised as he at last turned to look up at his older brother.
"Yeah," Kurt assured him softly, "I'm here. Are you all right?"
"No." Markie started to shake his head but immediately stopped, his hand rising involuntarily toward his temple. "Ah, my head…" He tried to sit up, but intense nausea made him drop right back to the ground.
"Can you see straight?" Kurt asked him worriedly.
"No. I'm seeing double, and everything keeps spinning. Actually…I think I'm gonna be sick."
With that, he rolled over onto his side with his back toward Kurt and vomited miserably onto the snow. And again, Kurt simply waited, his hands never leaving his brother's shoulders. When Markie had finished, he returned to lying on his back, his eyes tightly shut as he fought the vertigo.
"Easy, Markie. It sounds like you've got a concussion," Kurt told him gravely, brushing the wet, black hair away from his brother's face. Only then did notice the cold air and the icy water, remembering that he desperately needed to get Markie warm and dry as quickly as possible. Without another thought, he stood and took off the outermost layer of his driving suit, his gloves, and his boots.
"Come on," he said, kneeling back down and slowly lifting Markie into a sitting position. "We need to get you out of those wet clothes."
"Huh?" Markie still seemed a bit dazed from the crash, but he had enough control over his senses to protest when Kurt began to undress him in the open. "Hey, stop it," he moaned, trying feebly to push his brother away.
"Don't fight me, Markie," Kurt pleaded with him. "You'll get hypothermia if we don't do this."
Markie thankfully seemed to understand and relaxed at that, though he was still shivering violently, and his teeth chattered incessantly. But he hissed sharply in pain and pulled back when Kurt's hand brushed against his left side.
"Sorry, Markie," Kurt apologized before proceeding with greater care. And once the shirt was fully removed, it became clear what was causing Markie so much pain. His entire left side was badly bruised, a blend of black, purple, yellow, and green blotches.
"You must've bruised or broken several ribs," Kurt told him. He very gently touched the wound again, but Markie shied away from the touch, his face drawn in a painful grimace. Kurt quickly finished undressing him and slowly helped him into the covering of his own dry suit, gloves, and boots.
"Can you make it over to my car?" he asked, gesturing toward the Sling Shot parked some distance away. But Markie briefly shook his head. He couldn't even stand up to save his life right now.
He's a wreck, Kurt thought grimly, mentally and physically. And he must be cold, so cold…
With that thought, he gingerly gathered Markie up into his arms and began carrying him toward the car.
"Don't throw up on me now, okay, Little Brother?" He tried unsuccessfully to keep his voice light, but Markie did not respond, only leaned his head wearily against his brother's shoulder.
He's definitely too big to be carried now, Kurt concluded silently as he shifted the shivering body in his arms. With over five years' age difference between them, Kurt had always been the more physically dominating of the two, and he had carried his younger sibling many times over the years. There's still time for him to catch up to me, though, he admitted to himself.
He reached his car without incident and carefully lowered his brother down into the passenger's seat. Markie appeared to be drying out somewhat, but he was still shivering uncontrollably.
"Curl up as tight as you can, and hug your chest," Kurt told him.
Markie tried to comply, but his injured ribs stopped him. "I can't," he managed to say through clenched teeth. "It hurts…."
"I'll turn on the heat as soon as I get in the car," Kurt said, but he still found himself thinking, He needs to be even warmer than that.
The one seat wasn't nearly big enough for both of them, but body heat was as good a source of warmth as any, and Kurt somehow managed to squeeze into the seat beside his brother.
"What are you doing?" Markie asked indignantly with a roll of his dark eyes.
"Keeping you warm," Kurt replied seriously as he wrapped his arms around his brother's body and pulled him close, taking care not to apply too much pressure on his injured side. Markie resisted briefly, but his strength was gone, and the sheltering warmth of his brother's body was too alluring to turn down.
"I can't believe you're actually doing this," he still verbally protested through chattering teeth as he leaned back against his brother's strong chest.
"And why not?" Kurt chided him impatiently. "I'm your brother! Besides, there are worse things."
"Yeah." Markie managed a grin. "Like mouth-to-mouth." But Kurt was silent, and Markie's face suddenly fell. "Kurt?" he quickly asked, turning his head to look up at his brother. "Please say you didn't have to give me mouth-to-mouth! Please?"
Kurt shrugged slightly. "Well, it was either that or let you drown, Markie," he answered at last.
"Ough!" Markie exclaimed in disgust before again trying to break free from his brother's grasp. But Kurt showed no sign whatsoever of releasing him.
"Hey, you were unconscious through the whole thing, I don't want to hear it. Just be glad it was me and not one of the other drivers," he retorted.
Markie had no argument for that and remained silent, shifting even closer to Kurt's body heat.
After a moment, Kurt sighed. "I don't know how we're going to get out of here. It's way too steep to drive back up, and I think my radio was damaged on the way down. I've sent out a call for help, but I don't know if anyone even heard it." He glanced down at his brother. "Markie?"
Markie blinked his eyes open and lifted his head from where it had been resting on Kurt's shoulder.
"You need to stay with me, Markie. Stay awake," Kurt told him, running a hand through his damp hair. "Don't go fading on me now, Little Brother."
Markie just sighed and closed his eyes, leaning wearily back against his older sibling. "I can't," he said, shaking his head ever so slightly. "I'm exhausted, and it's still so cold!"
Kurt hugged him a little tighter. "You can make it," he assured him. "You can do this."
But Markie didn't even seem to hear him. His eyelids began to droop shut, and before long, he simply couldn't keep them open any longer. "Bye, Kurt," he managed to whisper before going limp in his brother's arms and lapsing once again into blissful unconsciousness.
"Markie? Markie!" Kurt shook him, but to no avail. We've got to get out of here, he thought desperately. He reached for the radio to send out yet another distress call when suddenly he felt the car jerk underneath him, like it usually did when they went through a portal. And sure enough, the icy scenery abruptly vanished and was replaced by a familiar desert.
Vert Wheeler had won, taken the Wheel of Power from Highway 35, and all the cars with their drivers had been returned to World Race's place of origin. Kurt's resentment at seeing his chief rival, and Markie's team captain, victorious was short-lived, however, and he immediately turned his attention back to his brother. Markie's pulse was now very slow, and his breathing faint.
"You'd better be okay," Kurt whispered in his ear, half scolding, half pleading. He opened the door and got out of the car, intending to take Markie back to Dr. Tezla's headquarters right away where he could hopefully get some medical treatment, but Vert saw him first.
"Kurt!" the blonde sixteen-year-old called and ran up to him. "What happened to Markie? Is he okay?"
"It's a long story," Kurt answered simply, but when Vert and the other drivers who had now crowded around them looked at him incredulously, he added, "He ran into some mines laid down by those drone racers and ended up in the water."
"And you went back to help him?" Vert's tone was almost skeptical.
"Yeah," Kurt replied calmly, returning the young surfer's steady gaze. "I did."
"How serious do you think it is?" asked Lani Tam, another of Markie's teammates.
"I don't know yet," Kurt answered truthfully.
"We need to get him back to the complex," Taro Kitano spoke up as he stepped forward. "It's the only place within fifty miles where he can get adequate medical help."
"Right," Kurt agreed. "We'll see you all there." With that, he got in Sling Shot's driver's seat and sped off down the dusty road.
Several hours later, Kurt Wylde sat by his brother's bedside, still not confident enough to leave him, even though Markie had been sedated and would not wake until morning.
"Hey," a familiar voice called softly from behind him.
Kurt jumped at the sudden noise, despite recognizing it almost immediately as his longtime friend and opponent, Dan Dresden.
"Sorry," Dan apologized, "I didn't mean to startle you."
"That's all right, Dresden," Kurt told him. "It's too quiet in here anyway."
Dan grinned briefly, but his face soon grew serious again as he cast a scrutinizing gaze at Markie. "How is he?" he asked, pulling a chair up beside his former team leader.
"He'll survive," Kurt replied simply.
"Is it that bad?" Dan prompted.
"He's just gonna be in a lot of pain, that's all," Kurt finally confessed, staring down at his brother's inert form. "He's still recovering from a bad concussion and mild case of hypothermia; his left side is all banged up, he's running a high fever, and it looks like he's developing a deep infection in both his ears." He looked up at his companion. "And don't get me wrong, he's a tough kid, but this'll be very…intense, to say the least. He's on a sedative right now, and honestly, I'd like to keep him unaware for as long as possible."
There was a short pause. "I'm sorry, Kurt," Dan said suddenly with a deep sigh.
"What do you mean?" Kurt asked, confused. "It's not like any of this is your fault."
"But I can't help feeling that it is," Dan insisted. "I'm not sure if Markie told you, but I was the one who told him about the race and where we were in the first place. Of course, I couldn't promise him a spot on your team or anything, but the fact remains that if I hadn't gotten in touch with him, he wouldn't have come here, and none of this would have happened. I'm very sorry."
Kurt shook his head. "Don't be. Because despite all this, I'm sure he would still thank you just for telling him about the race. To tell you the truth, I never even thought of asking him. It was…quite a surprise when he showed up. Did you bring him here also, then?"
"No, I have no idea how he got here. He just told me he would find a way."
Kurt chuckled. "That's so like him. And you know, if he'd gotten here sooner, I probably would have let him join. But by the time he arrived, my team was already full, and I wasn't about to send one of those guys home so that my kid brother could have their place."
"I can understand that." Dan paused. "But that's not the only reason you didn't want him in the race." It wasn't a question.
"No," Kurt admitted. "It's not. Gelorum was asking me to sabotage the other drivers, and I didn't want Markie to be in the middle of that. After he joined the Wave Rippers, I still tried to look out for him." He snorted. "A lot of good that did. This is exactly what I was afraid would happen, exactly what I trying to keep him out of."
"Who's Gelorum?" Dan asked suddenly.
Kurt shook his head and looked down at the floor. "She asked me work undercover for her in the race, and I agreed because I didn't trust Tezla. I still don't – not entirely. I knew she wanted me to get the Wheel of Power, but I had no idea she would ask me to endanger the other racers. When I tried to back out after the third leg, she wouldn't let me and told me to break into the next track."
He paused and lifted his eyes until his gaze was level with his companion's. "I didn't ask for those drone racers to come through with me," he said earnestly. "I wanted to go in alone, but she wouldn't allow it. And again, I didn't know exactly what they would do, didn't know that they would almost kill my brother." His eyes blazed, and he ran a tired hand over his face. "I know that in the end, it is more my fault than anyone else's, but I never meant for it to go this far. I could never hurt him, Dan."
"I know," Dan replied quietly. "He's a good kid, Kurt, you really shouldn't be so hard on him. All he wants is your respect, believe me." He stood to leave but then added, "And you know, you're really not all that bad yourself. So don't be too hard on yourself, either, okay?"
Kurt grinned. "Yeah. Thanks, Dresden. I needed that."
Dan smiled in return, clasped him on the shoulder, and left the infirmary without another word.
Kurt slowly turned back to his brother and laid a hand on Markie's forehead. He was still feverish, but he was sleeping soundly. There's nothing more I can do for him tonight, Kurt told himself before rising and heading toward his own room to try to catch a few hours of sleep.
"Kurt? Kurt, wake up!" Someone was shaking him gently by the shoulder.
With a weary groan, he opened his eyes and sat up in the bed. Dr. Tezla was standing beside him.
"Kurt, your brother wants you."
"Already?" Kurt glanced at his watch. "But it's not even two o'clock yet. I thought that sedative was supposed to keep him out of it until morning."
"The sedative is still effective, Kurt, but he keeps asking for you. He grew restless almost as soon as you left, and he hasn't calmed down since."
"All right," he complied, rubbing his eyes. "I'm coming."
They entered the infirmary where Vert and his friend and teammate Alec Wood waited beside Markie, who was indeed tossing and turning in a restless sleep. Dr. Tezla left almost immediately, but Kurt went forward to Markie's bedside and took his brother's hand in his own.
"Markie?" he called softly, but Markie only murmured something incoherent, a sheen of cold sweat glistening on his face.
"He's been asking for you for a long time," Vert spoke up from behind him. "We and a couple of the other drivers have tried sitting with him so you could rest, but he can somehow tell the difference between you and the rest of us."
Kurt nodded, though he was still unsure how to proceed. Just then, Markie rolled over onto his stomach as he slept and began rubbing his head against the pillow, moaning softly. Kurt recognized the movement as Markie's usual reaction to the migraine headaches that occasionally plagued him, and he reached over to gently rub his brother's neck and shoulders as he had done in past years during moments such as these. Markie's movements stilled almost immediately, and soon it seemed as though he was sleeping peacefully.
"Well, since it looks like you've got things under control now, we're gonna go back to bed," Vert said softly. "Is there anything we can get for you before we go?"
Kurt shook his head. "No thanks."
"All right. Good night, then."
"Good night," Kurt called quietly after Vert and Alec as they exited the infirmary. He then looked back at his brother and slowly removed his hands from Markie's shoulders, thinking his work was done, but Markie only resumed his restless tossing, calling desperately for his older brother. He grew calm once again when he felt the pressure of his sibling's hands return to his shoulders.
Kurt sighed. It was going to be a long night.
Markie awoke fairly early the following morning, and Kurt was still the only other person in the infirmary.
"Hey, Markie," he called softly, leaning forward anxiously. "How you feeling?"
"Okay, I guess," Markie replied. He tried once again to sit up on his own but still found the task to be nearly impossible. He groaned pitifully and shut his eyes, his hand moving toward his injured side. "My head still kills," he informed his brother. "And why do my ears hurt so bad now?"
"I'm afraid they're both infected. If you still feel dizzy, they're just as much to blame now as the concussion. You've got a pretty high fever, too."
Markie blew out a quick sigh. "I really am a wreck, huh, Kurt?"
Kurt reached over and gently squeezed his shoulder reassuringly. "Yeah, but you'll pull through. You always do. Give it enough time, and you'll be good as new."
"I hope so, cause I feel terrible right now."
Kurt grinned at that. "I'm sure. You should go back to sleep now if you can. There really isn't much else you can do."
Markie took a deep breath, though it was clearly painful, and let it out slowly. "Okay," he complied, but then suddenly asked, "What about you? You haven't been in here all night, have you?"
Kurt nodded tiredly. "Yeah, I have."
"Why? You didn't have to. I mean, I was unconscious, it's not like I would have noticed if you'd left for a few hours to get some sleep."
Kurt snorted softly. "I tried that, and you did notice."
"Really?" Markie asked, amazed.
"You threw a fit every time I left, so I had to stay here with you all night."
Markie blushed slightly. "Man, that's embarrassing. Sure am glad I can't remember any of it."
Kurt smiled at him in reply. "It's okay, no big deal. Remember, I'm your big brother – it's my job."
"Thanks," Markie acknowledged with a somewhat sheepish grin. "So, you didn't get any sleep at all last night?"
"Not really, no."
"Then go rest now. I'll be fine."
"But what if your fever starts acting up again? I still don't think I should leave you yet."
"Fine," Markie gave in. He then forced himself to scoot over in the bed, grimacing despite himself at the pain it caused him.
"Markie, what are you doing?" Kurt demanded, his sleepless eyes bright with sudden concern.
"Making room for you since you won't leave," Markie explained impatiently. "I don't want you killing yourself on my account. Now, come on before I change my mind."
Kurt just grinned and shook his head, knowing full well that nothing would make Markie change his mind. He lay down next to his brother with a weary sigh, gently laid an arm across Markie's shoulders, and gratefully closed his eyes as sleep soon embraced them both.
Author's End Note: Sorry for the somewhat cheesy ending, but sadly, this is where my ideas for this particular story run out. Please be good enough to assume that the overall story ends much like the actual World Race movie, with Vert and the other drivers successfully returning the Wheel of Power to Hot Wheels City where it is supposedly safe from Gelorum and the racing drones. Thank you all for your patience and understanding, and as always, thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed it, or at least found parts of it amusing!