Author: Bananna PM
A phone call over Christmas forces the Strongholds to get to know the Peaces better...Chapter 6 up short but hopefully a bit of a cliffie...as always reviews are appreciated.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama - Warren P. & William S./Will - Chapters: 7 - Words: 13,895 - Reviews: 43 - Favs: 30 - Follows: 60 - Updated: 02-13-13 - Published: 08-30-11 - id: 7337345
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Josie was in the kitchen mediating a 'discussion' between her mother and her mother-in-law on how to best baste a turkey when the phone rang. Tactfully excusing herself, she tried not to seem too desperate to reach the phone; mentally promising great and glorious rewards to whomever was calling.
"Josie Stronghold how may I help you?" she asked hoping that note of desperation in her voice was not obvious to the caller.
There was a moment of silence on the other end.
"Is this the Stronghold residence?" came a polite and professional feminine voice.
'Didn't I just say my name?" Josie thought but said politely "Yes, this is the Stronghold residence."
"Oh good." There was relief evident in her voice. "May I speak with Josie or Steven?" the women on the other end of the line asked.
"This is Josie." She said, her desperation to escape the turkey basting discussion was quickly turning to irritation.
"My name is Agent Angela Watkins. I work with the Public Incident department in the N.S.C. I've been trying to contact the parents or guardians of one…" she paused as though she were consulting paperwork, "Warren Peace. I was directed by the head of the S.A.I.D (Department of Super Alternate Identities) department to contact you or your husband." The words came out in a rush, a touch of nervousness in her voice.
Will insisted that the young man was his best friend. She hadn't seen much of him; apparently he didn't feel comfortable enough to come to their house. She counted that a failure on her part. The brief interactions that she had had with the teen had left her with a good impression and her mother hen instincts on hyper-drive.
"I don't understand." Josie said, truly puzzled.
"Ma'am, Mr. Peace was one of the victims in a multiple vehicle accident the morning of the 20th. That is all I am aloud to disclose over the phone. If you or your husband will meet me at St. Mary Catherine's Hospital, I can explain everything there."
Josie felt her knees weaken and she leaned heavily on the counter for support. There was only one multiple car pile up that she could be referencing to. She and Steve had been called to deal with a group of villains that thought the Christmas holidays would be the perfect time to usurp control of Maxville. One of the villains had decided to use a semi tanker full of gasoline as a bowling ball, trying to take Steve out of the game.
Steve had acted to save both their lives and had deflected the tanker away from them. Unfortunately, the tanker had been deflected into a busy intersection three blocks away. The resulting explosion had taken out 20 cars and damaged the lower stories of three buildings. By the time she and Steve had neutralized the villains there wasn't anything they could do to help at the secondary site other than rearrange the rubble.
The guilt that she had just managed to force down resurfaced tenfold. She knew citizens had been injured. She had wondered who the pyro that had kept the fire under control was, and was grateful that they had been there to help.
Now she knew.
"Ma'am?" she heard vaguely in her ear. The second time the voice sounded, she realized that she needed to respond.
"Is he alright?" Josie asked; the worry and guilt she felt could clearly be heard in her voice. The other two women in the kitchen, who up to this point had been politely pretending not to eavesdrop, were now listening with their full attention. "Wait…if he's been in the hospital all this time why are you just now calling us?" she asked.
"As I said before Ma'am, I'm not aloud to discuss the particulars over the phone…" Agent Watkins repeated.
"Right…meet you at the hospital." Josie interrupted, "STEVE! Get the car!" she yelled. "You said St. Mary Catherine's?"
"Yes Ma'am." Agent Watkins said.
"Where should we meet you?" Josie asked.
"I'll meet you at the main desk." Agent Watkins said slightly relieved.
Steve being the good husband that he was didn't question his wife's holler, but went directly to the key rack for the keys to the sedan and went out to warm it up.
But her shout had gotten the attention of the whole household. Grandma West and Grandma Stronghold were now looking at her with expectant expressions; turkey basting forgotten.
"What's going on mom?" Will asked uncertainly from the kitchen doorway. He was flanked closely by his friends that had come over to enjoy the pre-feast celebration.
"I'm not sure yet." Josie said as she headed toward the door, grabbing her coat on the way. "But Warren was caught in the whole mess earlier this week. They need your father and I at the hospital for something."
Her words brought varying degrees of confusion and concern to the faces of the teens crowded in the hall.
"Hospital?" Layla asked fearfully, "Is Warren in the hospital?"
"Is he OK?" Will asked reaching for his jacket as well, vague panic tinted his voice.
"I don't know, they wouldn't say anything over the phone." Josie said hand on the door nob. "Will you need to stay here. We'll be back soon, just…play a couple of games or help your Grandmas in the kitchen."
With that she quickly exited the house, leaving a group of very confused, very concerned teens in the hall.
"You think he was the one controlling the fires?" Magenta asked.
"I don't doubt it." Will answered.
"Do you think he went in to power exhaustion?" Layla asked.
"Power exhaustion?" Zack asked.
"Normally not a dire situation. For most supers it simply means that they've pushed their powers past their natural limits and they will be unable to use them until the body has recovered, which can take days to months, even years after ward depending on the extent of over use." Ethan said. "But the term is more sever for pyros. They usually suffer severe dehydration, hypertension caused by sustained elevated temperatures, the hypertension can lead to heart attack…" he continued to explain.
"Heart attack!" They all exclaimed at once. It was the only thing that they could get worked up about, because it was the only thing in Ethan's explanation that they understood.
Ethan involuntarily melted at the group's sudden intense interest in him.
"Let's not jump to conclusions." Magenta said, "We don't even know if he was capable of controlling the fire. All we've seen him do is throw fireballs at people."
"Magenta is right." Lalya joined her friend in rationality. "Warren could have just been near the intersection when the tanker crashed."
"But why would he be at the hospital? Would an explosion like that be able to hurt him? I through him through a wall and it didn't seem to phase him." Will asked. "And why would they call my parents?"
His questions were met with silence as the group tried to come up with some explanation to rationalize the dread they saw in Will's mom's eyes.