EvergreenGirl: This chapter's less action, more drama, but enjoy! Things will just keep getting more and more serious as the story goes on. And no, I'm not a doctor, so forgive me if I made a medical mistake! I looked up the stuff in a medical encyclopedia and used my imagination. Please review, follow, and favorite! I love you guys!
"How's your leg and shoulder?" Simmons asked Peter when they got off the plane.
"Well, my leg's stiff. And I could swear my shoulder's still out of socket," he mumbled, massaging his shoulder.
"Your shoulder's going to feel like that for a while. And if there was tearing, it might be making it feel worse. What were you doing when I told you to stretch your leg?"
"How the hell am I supposed to stretch it in the splint thing?" Peter asked, leaning on his crutch to wiggle his leg.
"You do it just like that."
They stopped to claim their baggage, and Fitz wondered, "Where are we going to go? I really don't think I have money for a hotel."
Peter leaned on his crutch. He didn't have a bag to claim. "Hold on a second," he said, and pulled out his cellphone.
He dialed Aunt May. "Hey, Peter. Is everything okay?"
"Yeah, I'm, um, coming home now. Do you think you could go to the grocery store and pick up some stuff for me?"
"Sure. What do you need?"
Peter gave her a long list of things. "Okay, but it'll take a while. You might get home before I do," she replied.
"Alright, thanks Aunt May. Bye."
"Bye," she said, and hung up.
Simmons and Fitz watched Peter expectantly. Peter said, "I've got an hour or two to sneak you into my house while she's gone. You can stay there for now, okay?"
"Works for me," Fitz answered awkwardly fast.
. . . . . . .
Fitz and Simmons put their bags in the spare room at Peter's house. "There aren't any beds in here," Simmons noticed.
"Yeah, I know. That's what the blow up mattresses in the basement is for," Peter replied.
"So, what's the plan?" Fitz queried as they stood in the hallway upstairs.
Simmons raised an eyebrow. "There is no plan, Fitz. We're off the team, remember?"
"Come on, Jemma! Peter's got to have a plan, right Peter? I mean, you're still in this, right?"
"I don't know," Peter muttered, and limped to his bedroom to plop onto his bed wearily. "When I tried to fight Schmidt, even with help, I still got my ass handed to me. There's nothing left to do but leave it to the professionals. It's like Nick Fury said, 'That's why you're not an Avenger.' And he was right. I'm an idiot if I think I can do this with hardly a team."
"But you are a professional! You've been Spiderman for like two years or longer, haven't you?" Fitz defended, standing in the doorway with Simmons.
"It doesn't matter. To everyone else, I might as well be wearing diapers. Besides, why are you defending me? Why'd you even leave Shield for me after I acted like a jerk to you?"
"Because you're important to me, to all of this," said Fitz. "And I know you didn't really mean what you said. You were just angry about your dad being Hydra. And I'm sure there's a way to prove that wrong."
"Look, I'm sorry for yelling at you."
"You're forgiven. And I probably would've exploded at somebody, too, if I'd found out that my mum or dad were Hydra."
Peter stretched out and put his hands under his head on the pillow. His shoulder popped loudly, making it hurt more. He grunted in pain, and straightened his arm back out at his side. "Damn, I can't even lift my stupid arm."
"Just be careful with it, please. I just set it last night. You don't need to make it worse," Simmons cautioned.
"At this point, I don't think anything could get worse than it already is." Peter closed his eyes. "What's wrong with me?"
Fitz pulled Peter's chair out from under his desk and sat. A picture of Peter with a blonde haired girl caught his eye. "Who's that?" Fitz inquired, pointing at the photograph.
Simmons slapped Fitz on the arm. "Ow," he grumbled. "What was that for?"
"Didn't you get the memo Coulson gave you about Peter?" she whispered.
"Oh, that's her?"
Peter opened his eyes to look at Fitz. "Yes, that's Gwen Stacy."
"Oh, uh, I'm sorry. She was beautiful."
"Yeah, she sure was," Peter said mutedly.
There it was again—the queasiness in the pit of his stomach. Peter could feel the tears coming on, but he didn't fight it. After all that had happened in the past few days, he needed to let it out or else he'd explode again. Tears snaked down his cheeks. They were cold and made his face glisten in the sunlight flooding the room from his bedroom window. With the tears came the images. They flashed in his mind so fast it startled him. He couldn't breathe. Gwen was dangling from the web. He held her in his arms, a drop of blood rolling down her face from her nose. Peter sat up on his bed and wiped his face with his hands. "Gwen," he sobbed.
Simmons sat on the bed beside Peter, putting a comforting hand on his back. She shot a glare at Fitz. "What?" he asked self-protectively. "I didn't know. I couldn't remember where I'd seen her before."
Simmons didn't respond. She was trying to calm Peter down. Fitz coughed into his hand, and when he looked down, he saw a crimson drop of blood. "Oh, crap!"
Fitz wiped more blood off his mouth. He could feel a coughing fit coming on fast. He clamped his hand over his mouth. "Where's your toilet?" he pressed.
Peter wiped his eyes. "It's across the hall. Are you okay?"
Fitz darted to the bathroom without a reply. "We should go check on him," Simmons stated, and stood.
The bathroom door was wide open when they got there; Fitz hadn't bothered to close it. They turned the corner to go in, and Peter started to ask, "Hey, Fitz, are you—"
Agent Fitz was lying on the floor, convulsing. "Fitz!" Simmons cried. "Call 911!"
Peter hobbled as fast as possible with a crutch to his room to grab his cellphone. Simmons dropped to the floor at Fitz's side, holding one of his arms with her hand. Fitz was shaking violently, his breathing coming in short and shallow puffs, his eyes staring straight ahead, unresponsively. Peter came back into the bathroom, talking to the dispatcher. "I need a flashlight!" Simmons urged.
Peter handed her the one from the drawer under the sink. Simmons flashed the light across Fitz's eyes. His pupils didn't react. "Oh, no," she whispered.
. . . . . . .
Peter and Simmons sat beside each other in the waiting room of the Emergency Room. Simmons was tightly clinging to Peter's arm, trembling like a leaf. She had tears in her eye; she knew the seriousness of the situation. They'd called Coulson to tell him what was going on, and he was on the next flight. After over an hour of waiting, a doctor came out to the waiting room to inform them. "Is he going to be okay?" was the first thing they both asked.
"He has severe cerebral hypoxia, meaning his brain is damaged from lack of oxygen."
"But he was already treated for that when he drowned," Simmons reminded him.
"That's where it gets complicated. You see, his lungs weren't working. It seems they were failing when the seizure came on. We also discovered he has deep vein thrombosis."
"What's that again? I don't remember that part of my old biology class," Peter said.
"It's clots in the veins. That's why he was coughing up blood. It was triggered by his previous oxygen deprivation."
"But is he going to be alright?" Simmons repeated herself.
"I don't know how to say this in a way that's less painful, but . . . he's in a coma."
Simmons sobbed into Peter's shirt. "How likely is it he'll recover?" Peter asked.
"That ultimately depends on the extent of brain damage. In this case, it's in God's hands now. And even if he comes out of the coma, he could still have symptoms—worse than the ones he had after his drowning. He may get myoclonus, which is abnormal movement like twitching, or have more seizures. He may not even regain full movement either."
Peter stared down at the cold, tiled floor. "I'm sorry," the doctor said. "You can see him now, if you'd like. He's in room ten."
Simmons held Peter's hand as they slowly made their way to Fitz's room. Peter reached to open the door, but Simmons froze. "I don't think I can go in there. I don't want to see him like this."
"I'll be right next to you. It's okay. No matter what happens, I'll be there. Coulson will be soon, too."
Simmons nodded, and Peter opened the door. Simmons immediately burst into tears again. They sat by the hospital bed, and Peter leaned his crutch against his seat. Fitz was lying there so peacefully, his eyes closed. But he had dark circles under his eyes, and he was a little green around the gills—like someone at Death's door. Coulson came in about 40 minutes later, his face somber. He seemed close to tears, but not quite there yet. He pulled up a chair. Simmons had fallen asleep leaning on the bed, her hand on Fitz's. Peter was wide awake, watching in depression. Coulson rested a hand on Peter's uninjured shoulder. "Fury's holding down the fort for me in Iceland," he updated.
"Has Wilson got there yet?"
"Yes, he finally did."
"Director Coulson, sir?"
"You don't have to be formal right now," Coulson told him.
"Look, I'm sorry I went after the head of Hydra like that. My pride got in the way of my judgment, and it was foolish and childish of me. I guess what I'm saying is . . . Will you take me back? If you don't, I understand. But I'm begging you, please let me help Shield get the bastard who did this to Fitz. If Hydra hadn't tried to drown him, he wouldn't be in the hospital right now. Just let me help, please. I swear I'll never pull a stupid stunt like that again, I swear."
Coulson paused for a good while before answering. "No."
"Come on! Please, Coulson, please! I'll do—"
"I said no because I don't want you helping Shield. I see now that putting you with tech support or in a meeting room is a waste of your talent. Now, if you're done interrupting me, I'd like to ask you to help the Avengers get the bastard."
Peter's jaw dropped, and he stared at Coulson, awestruck. "Really?" he asked, "I'd love—"
"You wouldn't be an Avenger, but you belong with them, fighting on the front lines. But I do think you have the potential to be one of the next Avengers, in the very, very distant future."
"Alright!" he nearly yelled, causing one of the nurses in the hall to poke her head in to shush him.
"Sorry," he whispered at the peeved nurse.
Wow, just wow! Fighting up front with Cap, Ironman, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Widow, and Falcon is something he's dreamed about for a while now. "Simmons will remain here, but tomorrow you and I are returning to Iceland for unfinished business," Coulson stated.