DISCLAIMER:  I DON'T OWN THE DEAD ZONE.  THAT RIGHT BELONGS TO THE USA NETWORK.

A/N:  Well here it is folks!  I've been working on this off and on for the past couple of weeks in my spare time.  Now, in case you're wondering I'm trying to test out my writing abilities with every character.  In each chapter I want to include a portion of the story from the viewpoint of a different major character.  So far I've got Johnny, Dana, Sarah, and now Bruce.  And for those of you who noticed, I didn't mean to call Dr. Gibson Helen in a previous chapter.  Lol  I realized a couple of days ago that her real name was Janet.  It took me awhile to figure out where I got the name Helen from.  There was an elderly woman who used to attend my church that was named Helen Gibson.  Lol  I hope you have enjoyed this and continue to enjoy this!  Please R&R! 

VIRAL ZONE

By InsaneGenius

Chapter 4:  Debate

Bruce watched Johnny as he limped around the house the next morning.  His limp was more pronounced than ever.  This meant Johnny could look forward to some serious physical therapy.  Right now, Johnny was stalling.  He was trying his hardest to avoid the intensification of the pain in his leg.  He gave him an "A" for effort.

            "Come on Johnny, We've got to get started.  We've lost enough time as it is," he said rather sternly.

            "I'm starting to feel really bad, man.  I'm not up to a 'physical torture' session right now," said Johnny pleadingly.

            "Yeah right.  Enough stalling.  Let's get a move on," said Bruce with much exuberance.

            "I'm serious, Bruce.  I really don't feel well.  I'm getting the Flu."

            Bruce cast him a questioning glance.

            "The Flu?  How do you…" he stopped mid sentence and looked up at Johnny as the impact of Johnny's statement hit him in the face.

            "You had a vision didn't you?"

            "Yeah," and then Johnny abruptly added, "And before you say anything, I've already been to the doctor.  Twice.  Don't think for a minute I'm going back."

            "You serious?  You?  Doctor?" he responded incredulously, " That's like an oxymoron.  Who blackmailed you into going?"

            "Well nobody the first time, but Dana sort of did the second time."

            "And what did the doctor say?"

            Johnny may have actually gone to the doctor, but Bruce new better than to think that Johnny had listened to whatever she said.

            "She said I should probably… well she didn't really say anything," he replied with a guilty look on his face.

            Johnny had to be the worst liar Bruce had ever met.  It was always glaringly obvious whenever he attempted to lie, and it was glaringly obvious now.  Bruce decided not to say anything and instead rolled his eyes with frustration.  He didn't press for any more information.  Past experiences had taught him that the most effective way to determine "Zone" information was to talk to the medical staff of the Neurology Department himself.

            "Well whatever man.  If you really do feel bad than I guess I can excuse you from 'Physical torture' for a couple of days.  But after that, you're going for the work out of your life."

            He jabbed Johnny in the shoulder with this last statement for the emphasis of his point.

            Upon contact, Johnny suddenly looked off to the side with that far away look in his eyes that could mean only one thing:  a vision.  He stayed that way for at least a minute.  When he came out of his "trance" Bruce could tell whatever he had seen wasn't good.

            "Bruce, don't go to the hospital.  There's gonna be an accident and you're gonna total the Cruiser."

            "What?!" asked Bruce vehemently, "My Cruiser?!  You realize, of course John that if my Cruiser were to get totaled it would be your fault because the only reason I was planning to go to the hospital today was because you didn't tell me what the doctor said!"

            After blowing up at Johnny, Bruce thought about Johnny's vision.  This was actually good news.  Because of course he wouldn't go to the hospital now.  He knew to take Johnny's visions seriously.  Instead of doing murder on his Cruiser, this would do murder on Johnny's conscience.  In fact, it was already doing murder.  Johnny's face held a look of deep thought.  He looked appalled at the idea that he was nearly the reason for an accident.  Bruce didn't have to be a psychic to know that his admission of guilt was coming soon.  He hoped Johnny felt really horrible for nearly causing the death of his beloved Cruiser.

            Johnny sighed, "Alright, man.  You win."

            Bruce grinned.

            "She said I should probably stay at the hospital because I keep having visions whenever I sneeze.  There you go.  You happy now?"  admitted Johnny angrily.

            "Both me and my Cruiser are both very much happy," he laughed.

            Johnny quickly retorted.

            "Good for you.  Maybe, if you had gotten hit by a car you could have gone into a coma and awakened with visions.  Then maybe you could go save the world from a seemingly inevitable apocalypse and a psychopath senator."

            They both chuckled at this.

            It was at that point in time that Johnny sneezed.  His already slightly pale face turned abruptly sheet white.

            "Oh no," Bruce said worriedly, "Johnny, speak to me.  Are you alright?"

            "I'm… fine," he gasped as he trembled slightly.

            Johnny's lungs were rising up and down quickly.  He appeared as though he couldn't get a breath of air into his lungs.  It was almost as if he were having an asthma attack, but Johnny didn't have asthma.  Bruce himself had asthma though…  Then, with as much alacrity as it had come, the "asthma attack" seemed to leave him.

            "What just happened, John?"

            He was still struggling a little bit for breath, "I told you I had visions when I sneeze, right? Well… I got… a vision of you having an asthma attack… I didn't know you had asthma."

            "So you got a vision of me having an asthma attack, and then you actually had an asthma attack.  I see now why Dr. Gibson wanted you to stay in the hospital."

            "It only happens when I'm around people.  I've sneezed at least a dozen times today and this is the first time it's happened.  Like I told Dr. Gibson, being around a hospital full of sick people will make it worse.  I've got enough stuff here to be all right for a while.  I'll be fine," replied Johnny stifling any other debate.

            Bruce looked down at his watch.  It was nine.  He had another patient to take care of in thirty minutes.  He would have argued more with Johnny otherwise.

            "We'll talk about this later.  I gotta go to another patient.  Don't sneeze anymore."

            Johnny nodded in return.

            "I'll try not to.  See ya later, man."

                                                            ******

            It had been an hour since Bruce had left in a hurry.  Johnny was sitting quietly on his couch, reading a book.  The X-Files just didn't really seem appealing at the moment for some reason.   The book he was reading was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  He was nearing the point in the book where Harry was to face the first challenge in the Triwizard Tournament.  They were children's books, but he found them to be very entertaining, and they helped to take his mind off of his current predicament. 

            He took a time out from his book and started to ponder something that had been on his mind.  Why had Bruce never mentioned he had asthma?  Asthma is serious, and from what he had felt it was something he was glad he didn't have.  He couldn't remember feeling so scared in all of his life.  He thought for sure he was going to die.  He couldn't get any air into his lungs.  He had felt as though he had been drawing air through a pinched straw.  It was one of the most horrible feelings he could recall ever having.  He prayed he didn't have any more visions of that sort.  Two were enough.    

            This led him to his next question.  This one had been bugging him for the past two days.  He caught the flu once when he was ten.  He never remembered throwing up ever, and he certainly wasn't having a vision of himself the last time he was sick.  The last time he had been sick was about a year before the coma.  He remembered having Strep Throat.  Maybe this Flu would be worse.  Who knew?  He didn't.  And he was supposed to be the one that could see the future.

            He tried to continue his reading but he found he was distracted and just couldn't continue.  His head was starting to hurt.  He already had a clogged nose, and a little bit of a sore throat.  It was going to be a long couple of days.  He was already tired of sitting around the house.  How was he supposed to keep that up?  Maybe he didn't have to.  He could go out somewhere, anywhere just today.  He wasn't feeling that bad, and he could see if that trick on cartoons really works.  The trick where you stick your hand underneath your nose and you don't sneeze.  Why hadn't he thought of this before?  He could go out to at least rent a couple of movies or something, and maybe get something to eat.  His appetite wasn't quite gone yet.  That would work.  His plans set in motion, he grabbed his leather jacket and his car keys and hurried out the door.

            It didn't take too long to drive to the nearby Blockbuster.  He had realized a couple of days ago that he had not yet caught up on the latest Star Wars movies.  In fact, he wasn't even aware of their existence until then.  Both Dana and Bruce had given them "two thumbs up."  Those would be perfect. 

            He browsed through the other videos and saw two more that stuck out to him.  They were called The Mummy and The Mummy Returns.  They both looked interesting, so he placed them upon his ever-growing collection of videos.  And finally, after fifteen more minutes of searching he discovered The Sixth Sense.  This one seemed absolutely perfect.  After all, many people said he himself had a sixth sense. 

            He presented the movies and his Blockbuster card to the young girl waiting behind the cash register, and waited patiently for her to check each and every tape before handing them to him. 

            Then he felt it.  That all too familiar feeling.  He was about to sneeze.  He attempted to bring his finger up to his nose in the same manner he had seen cartoon characters do many times, but he was too slow.  His last thoughts before the vision hit him were,

            "John, how could you be so stupid?"

            He was warped into a hospital room.  It was your normal, average hospital room.  There was nothing particularly special about it.  The cashier was lying in the bed asleep.  The girl's father was sitting on a chair directly across from the bed.  Her hands were firmly engulfed in his. 

            "Of all things," he said quietly to himself, "It had to be Pneumonia."

            The vision ended then, and he was back in the video rental place.

            "Did you hear me sir?  Sir?" she said as she handed him his videos.

            "What?  Oh, thanks," he replied dazedly.

            He felt really hot.  He new his face had to be flushed, and it hurt to draw in a breath.  This was all he needed.  Pneumonia after an asthma attack.  Perfect.

            He stumbled out to his car, and quickly sat in the driver's seat.  He sat there for a few minutes until the feeling passed.  He had observed that it had taken him a smidgeon bit longer to recover from this vision than the one before.   It looked like he was really going to have to become Willy Wonka for a week, or better yet, Charlie's grandfather.  And by that he meant the one who was bed ridden until Charlie received his golden ticket.  This was really not going to be fun.