Hey (insert your name here)! This isn't really an action-packed Die Hard fic, so sorry to mislead you if I do. This is just a little scene I added at the end of Live Free or Die Hard where John, Matt, and Lucy are in the hospital. Yes, I was a little hopeful for Matt and Lucy to get together, and this is just a provocative scene in that direction. Plus, the tension between John and Matt on the subject of Lucy is just great. Anyhoo, just this little thing I wrote since I watch it almost everyday at work (I work in a cinema, lol). Please let me know what you thought! And as always, thanks for reading. Any questions, please ask! Disclaimer.
Though this hospital wasn't filled to full capacity with injured and dying people, Matt Farrell knew that wasn't the case in other parts of the country (especially Washington D.C.). An involuntary shiver went up his spine at the memory of the chaotic situation in one of the city's tunnels a few days prior. How many people did die in that tunnel?
He pushed the thought to the back of his mind, trying to focus on using his new crutch to get around the halls of the hospital. He was moving at a snail's pace with the dead weight of his leg, but at least the morphine was still holding off the majority of the severe pain. People blew passed him in a rush as he clumsily tried to move out of the way.
"Look out!" an old woman in a wheelchair said, hitting his arm with her bag as she passed.
"Ah! Okay! Okay! I'm moving!"
"Crazy youth today," she muttered angrily, speeding down the hallway on a motor scooter. "Trying to walk around in a cast…"
"It's a knee brace, grandma," he murmured with a dismissive glare at the back of the old woman as he went to turn. "Not that you could tell the difference while you beat me with your brick-"
A nurse ran right into him as he turned around, knocking his crutch and her paperwork to the floor. He grabbed his side where the clipboard had rammed into his ribs and hopped on his mobile foot a few times, but he was losing it.
"Ah, ah, ah!"
He began to topple sideways, but the nurse quickly stood and eventually steadied him against the wall.
"Careful!" she said, helping him to balance with his crutch again. "You'll end up with another knee brace."
"Yeah, I'm not used to this thing just yet," he confessed, adjusting it under his arm uncomfortably. She laughed and bent over, getting her spilled papers. "Uh, hey, you wouldn't happen to know who's in what room, would you? Like a chart or, or a list or something?" he clarified.
"Sorry," she said sincerely, collecting the last of her flyaway papers from the ground. "The front desk would know, but I'd imagine you don't want to go clear back downstairs. Who are you looking for?"
"Uh, John and Lucy McClane. I actually came in with them, but-"
"I'll call the front desk real quick," the nurse said, dashing back down the hallway again.
"Wait! No, that's okay, I know they're on this floor, I just-"
"Just give me a second!"
Matt sighed despondently, resting his head against the wall. Just a room number. One – damn – room number! Jesus. It's like he'd asked for a snorkel or something…
x x x
"Now, the secret of this dish is how you add the basil to the nut sauce…"
Lucy watched Emeril drop some tiny green flakes of basil into a thin beige-colored sauce from her spot on the hospital bed boredly. The Food Network was probably the only station not showing devastating pictures or talking about the horrific aftermath of Gabriel Thomas's masterminded fire sale, and so she kept it on. Her eyes drooped a little as if mesmerized by the smooth swirling of his spoon. It quickly cut away from the hypnotic motion of the spoon however, and Lucy looked across the room at her father's dormant form in a clean bed.
John McClane was uncharacteristically asleep and quiet in a hospital bed, from what his daughter could see. She smiled over at him fondly, a guilt steadily growing for the way she had treated him over the years. Not that he had treated her any better at some points, but at least he had remembered her birthdays, came out for Christmases, and came to her when she needed him most. Even though she said many times that she hated him, it was farthest from the truth; she loved him very much, and that was why she was so angry to see their family slowly break apart when she was younger.
Slowly, Lucy turned her attention back to the television as Emeril's 'divine holiday nut sauce' was poured into a saucepan for heating. The sound of the man's voice somehow drifted into John's ear, bringing about an inkling of consciousness. His body was ready to shut down immediately again as he inhaled a good, deep breath (one he hadn't taken in a few days' time), but a shockingly loud crash came from outside the room, jolting him from a state of rest.
"Oh! Oh, I'm so sorry!"
"No, it's okay-"
"Oh! OW! Geez!"
Instead of sitting up and opening his eyes, John lay silent at the sound of Matt Farrell's voice out in the hall. What was he doing, for god's sake?
"Sorry about that tray of pills, ma'am," Matt's voice said sheepishly from the doorway. "N- I'm really sorry…"
Lucy looked up from her bed in confusion as he stumbled into the room, barely catching himself on his crutch. He met her surprised eyes, somewhat embarrassed by his grand entrance. John listened closely as the kid laughed nervously.
"Are you always this graceful when you get shot in the knee?" Lucy asked with a chuckle.
"All the time," Matt said sarcastically with a wince. "It's… ah…" – John heard him fall on the bed – "It's just the crutch I need… getting used to."
Another small chuckle. "I couldn't tell." John could practically hear the soft smile on Lucy's face. He didn't like it one bit.
But he kept listening.
"So uh… They, they didn't admit you?" Matt asked, setting his crutch against the end of the bed. John opened his left eye ever so slightly, Matt's back to him from across the room. He could see maybe a quarter of Lucy (which he wasn't thrilled about) sitting on the upper end of the bed.
"Aw, no," Lucy said as John shut his eye. "I'm just… really tired from everything, so they let me have this bed while I stay with my dad."
Matt looked over his shoulder, fairly surprised to see McClane sleeping (or so he thought). He was used to the man running around and screaming with several guns, therefore he emitted a short laugh at the sight of McClane quiet and immobile.
"For some reason, he seems way too quiet," Matt said. Lucy laughed and said, "Yeah. Hard to believe he can sleep sometimes, huh? He seems so invincible sometimes, I think he even forgets he's human."
Thanks, honey, John thought sarcastically. Another short laugh came from Matt.
"I know he didn't sleep the entire time I was with him. He mainly ran around shooting people and… driving cars into helicopters…"
"He what?" Lucy asked disbelievingly.
"Yeah," Matt confirmed, a hint of excitement in his voice. "He jumped out of a car just in time to send it airborne into a helicopter that was shooting at us in D.C! It was crazy!"
Silence. Then, "He sent a car into a flying helicopter?" John heard the skepticism in her voice and frowned.
And broke a rib.
"I'm telling you, it was a molten pile of black when he was done with it," Matt said. "And he ran over this Asian ninja chick with another car in Middleton after she kicked his ass-"
She did not kick my ass, John thought defensively. She threw me out a window.
"-and then after the power plant exploded, he stole a helicopter and we flew to Warlock's house and saw Gabriel tell you he was going to come get you from the elevator and-"
Lucy started to laugh, slowing Matt's extremely long run-on sentence.
"What? What, you don't believe me?" he asked incredulously. "We saw him call you and everything! He even-"
Matt stopped. "Huh? Oh, yeah… He's a super tech-savvy dude… He's like Thomas Gabriel's evil twin, which would in turn make him good since Gabriel was, in fact, evil himself if you wanna go into all that-"
"You talk too much," Lucy said matter-of-factly, a tender smile melted onto her face that Matt couldn't help but admire briefly. He smiled and laughed uneasily at length, however; McClane's little warning from earlier tensed him.
Either that, or he was sending a telepathic vibe (which, he was). John recognized the situation even with his eyes shut. He would have narrowed his eyes if they were open.
I meant what I said back at the ambulance, kid...
"I talk too much?" Matt asked. "That's… that's funny, because usually a guy says that to a girl-"
"How drugged up are you?" Lucy asked in amusement.
"Ummm... I… A little? A lot? I… don't know actually…" Matt confessed. "I know I'm really tired, but I can't fall asleep. I'm too… awake. Does that make sense?"
Another silence before John heard Lucy huff out a withheld laugh. "No," she said.
"I didn't think so…" John listened to the disappointment and embarrassment in Matt's voice.
Take your crutch and leave, kid... Before I have to wake up and kill you...
For a few more extended moments, all he could hear were the faint sounds of Emeril on the television until Matt let out a sound between a moan and a yawn. Several seconds later:
"So where do you live?"
John groaned inwardly. Jesus, Lucy…
Matt laughed. "Well, I used to live in Camden, New Jersey before my apartment and my stuff got blown all to shit…" A clever smile dawned on Lucy.
"That's not far from where I go to school," she said.
Matt did a double take. "Where do you go to school? Philadelphia?"
Lucy sighed. "Well, maybe it's not as close as Philadelphia, but I'm in the same state. I got to Rutgers."
Matt nodded. "Oh. So you, you l-live with your d-dad?" he stammered uncomfortably, looking over his shoulder again. "In… In New York?"
The question hit John unexpectedly, along with the longing feeling he always felt when thinking of what life would be like had he stayed with his family.
I wish she did…
Lucy shied away with a guilty smile, looking at her hands. "No, I live out in California with my mom and brother," she told him, meeting his eyes again. "My parents divorced when I was young." She looked over at John, his sleeping charade still in full effect. Lucy sighed somewhat regretfully before shrugging the feeling off with a loose smile. "It happens, right?"
"Yeah… My parents… live in New Hampshire," he said awkwardly.
"Have you heard from them?" Lucy asked with a touch of concern.
Matt shook his head. "Nah," he half-laughed. "I don't really have time for phone calls when the world stops turning and I'm in the middle of it. Besides, if you can find me a working phone right now…"
She giggled. John was growing antsy under his closed eyes.Stop it, Lucy…
"If you can't get to your parents right away, then what?" she asked him.
Matt shrugged. "I don't know… Maybe take some sort of class on how to find your inner balance with your crutch," he said, glancing over at it. "I'll need it since it's my new best friend and worst enemy for the next eight weeks… Good news, though. I can still drive."
"I don't recommend it," Lucy said, looking at the bulky knee brace he wore. Again, John heard the smile she expressed, and he knew where this was going.
Kid, I'll give you one last chance to take your crutch and hobble on out of here.
"Doesn't matter," Matt said. "Flights are grounded, roads are closed, power's out… No one's going anywhere anytime soon."
"Then how about we get something to eat?" Lucy suggested hopefully. "We've got the time."
The nervous laugh came back, along with McClane's reoccurring threat of beating him to death 'after all they'd been through.' Matt managed a smile and said, "How? I can't get around that good, and the world, as we said, has stopped turning... Starbucks is definately closed-"
"Then how about when it starts turning again?"John knew that tone. Oh no. Lucy, stop with the charm… Stop it…
Matt swallowed, still trying to remain calm, what with McClane in a bed behind them and his daughter somehow inching closer to him with her eyes completely distracting him and rendering him speechless.
"W-well I… My leg and…y-you-"
Lucy suddenly gave him a level stare. "Did my dad say anything to you?"
Damn right I did, John thought.
"W- He, he-"
That's right, just get out of here.
Lucy nodded. "I thought so."
Matt launched into a bout of objection. "B-but I didn't say that he said anything to me!"
"You didn't have to," she said with a thin trace of impatience. "You hesitated, therefore he said something to you. What was it this time? The usual 'I'll beat you senseless and kill you,' or did he get creative and threaten to 'shove a .22 up your ass?'"
Matt grimaced. "Shove a .22 up my ass?" Lucy nodded as he stared at the floor. "Definitely sounds worse than a pine cone…"
"What?" Lucy asked.
John smiled briefly at the memory before relaxing his face again and suppressing a laugh caught in his throat.'You don't like Creedance?'
'This is like having a pine cone shoved up my ass.'
Matt looked up, his comment accidentally voiced. "Oh, nothing. Just…" What were they talking about?
Oh! Eating together.
"You know, my leg is really starting to stiffen up. Look…" He lightly punched the side of his knee brace. "Ow, see that? It's swollen still."
"So we'll get you some more morphine," Lucy said with a gentle smile. Matt mouthed wordlessly for a few moments as Lucy shook her head at him. She took his hand.
"Look," she said, looking over Matt's shoulder at her father's bed. "He's asleep."
"Somehow that doesn't seem to change anything," Matt said uneasily, looking John up and down several times. He felt like McClane would sit up, whip out a gun, and shoot him at any second.
Damn fucking straight it doesn't change anything, John thought. And don't you forget it.
"Don't be afraid of him," Lucy said. "He wouldn't really do anything."
Oh I won't, will I?
Matt suddenly laughed at what he considered a huge understatement. "I beg to differ!" Lucy just fell into his eyes with a lopsided grin, unable to help herself.
"You're cute," she said effortlessly, taking great pleasure in just watching him.
John sighed. You never know when to quit, do you, Lucy?
Matt reacted with another sarcastic laugh, and she saw the prominent fear in his face. She bit her lip to keep from laughing out at his outburst.
"Oh! So now I'm cute because I'm scared to death that Mc- your dad'll… ram me in the ass with a gun if I…" Words failed him as he looked over at her, shameful images projecting from his mind right before him. His stomach twisted as his eyes grew. "Oh… oh, god…"
Matt ran his hands over his face and through his hair, slightly shaking. Lucy could only beam a smile at him before laughing as John fought more and more for his own self-control after piecing together Matt's guilty thoughts.You dirty son a bitch…
Lucy made eye contact with Matt eventually, successfully capturing all of his attention with her bright smile. "No… You're just cute," she told him. "Plus stumbling over the crutch constantly factors in…"God damn it kid, you're going to die…
"And… you did save my life," she said, a little quieter. Matt nodded as much as his jumbled mind would direct him to.
"Yeah… I guess…" Then, when Matt looked up, his eyes were sincere and serious. Lucy was somewhat surprised as he began to speak.
"I didn't want anything to happen to you," Matt said in a low, meaningful tone. "If your dad would've woken up with you dead… If I had seen that guy shoot you…" - Matt blinked a few times to break eye contact with her, but he couldn't do it -"I would've had to live with that for the rest of my life. I couldn't do that," he finished rather hoarsely.
John did hear it. The sincerity was distracting him from wanting to beat him to death, but the kid was right. Had he, John, woke up with no daughter, all hell would have broke loose.
A laugh from Matt. "Besides, you're…" Hesitation, followed by a rueful smile.
You're what? John asked dangerously.
Son of a bitch.
Lucy smiled silently as Matt murmured quietly, "I know that's tacky, but… it's true."
John's ears perked up even more at the silence that followed. They weren't saying anything. There wasn't a sound. Oh no, wait. He heard a hand move over a shirt, more silence, the light sound of… parting lips?
He chanced opening his eye fully to confirm his suspicions. They leaned away from one another, the distance still way too close for John's liking. Lucy's eyes were shut in contentment, and god damn Matt was lucky that he couldn't see his face, though he was sure it resembled Lucy's.
Slowly, Lucy's eyes opened. To John's surprise, they locked right into his from across the room, a very dangerous warning in her glare. He casually smirked, shutting his eye.
All right, I'll be good. For now.
Matt caught sight of Lucy's narrow eyes towards John's bed and bent his brow, the smirk still on John's face.
"How about we see if the world's still turning in the cafeteria?" Lucy suddenly asked, still watching her father's bed. She got up after a second, helping Matt to stand and prop himself up with the crutch. "You can get some practice in while we're at it."
Slowly, it dawned on Matt as he headed to the door with Lucy. He stared at McClane's bed in terror, his face going pale.
"Y-you mean he was… H-He's awake?"
"Come on," Lucy said, making sure he didn't run into anything or lose his balance. "I'm suddenly starving."
"Really?" Matt asked, his voice drifting out the doorway to McClane's ear. "Cause I just lost my entire appetite…"
John smiled with satisfaction at striking fear into the kid, but eventually, his mentality softened. Lucy had her hero and was going to cling to him no matter how much he threatened to beat him or ram a gun up his ass.
Though he didn't like it, it seemed like Matt wasn't just 'that guy' right now – he was also 'that guy'.
God damn it.
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