Much like how I claimed I'd never write a holiday story, I said that I would never take up this topic. Guess that "never say never" phrase applies here. I had this crazy idea, and after going over it with a friend, decided to share (thanks Phoenix!). So, apologies if you've read other " Auggie's sight returns" fics, but I think I have something unique to offer here. Give it a chance?
Strangely, I came up for the title for this one first (never happens), and the story came naturally out of it. Hope you enjoy!
Flashes Before Your Eyes
"Were you using this to spy on your neighbors?"
He carefully lays the telescope on the edge of his desk, chuckling at her teasing, faux-suspicious tone.
"Me use Company toys for my own benefit?" he scoffs lightheartedly. "You must have me mistaken for someone else."
Annie's heels carry her over to stand behind his chair, and Auggie feels the space over his shoulder shrink as she leans forward to read the computer screen.
"What is all this?"
"Just the modification specs. I've tweaked a few things," he tells her as he prints out the sheet of adjustments to be made to the current telescope model. With a couple of technical upgrades and a few minor alterations and additions he's designed, the mid-sized telescope will be able to count the number of hairs on a person's arm standing 100 yards away.
Annie pulls back, standing straight again and walking back and forth, probably killing time after finishing her paperwork. In all the years he's been with the Company, he's never come across a person who can speed through tedious forms and reports quite as fast as she can.
"I thought that the tech team just sent this up with the new changes," she comments, indicating the telescope by tapping the top of the glass desk as she passes by.
"It's not equipped with audio yet," he explains, "which is why it's being sent back to the tech house for more upgrades."
When his project is complete, the telescope will also be able to digitally record any audiovisual information. They'll be able to set the telescope up in remote locations and capture everything on tape without risking agent exposure.
"Doesn't this telescope make human recon missions obsolete?" Annie asks. "You tryin' to put me out of a job?"
He knows it's a joke, but one day Auggie hopes to find a way to operate the telescope like a remote-controlled car. That way, no agents will have to go into the field for simple, or overly dangerous, recon missions.
"Not obsolete, just safer," he says. "Plus, it's going to be a while before it's approved for field anyway."
Right now—even with the changes he has planned—the equipment is still too large and too heavy to make it completely self-operated and mobile. He'll just have to be happy with a glorified security camera, which is really what it is, except this "camera" has a much farther range and can zero in on specific human voices clearly while keeping static—environmental sounds or other interference—to a minimum.
"You might want to tone down that smile," Annie says, her own grin evident in her voice. "People might actually think you enjoy doing your job."
His smile grows at her teasing. "It's pretty amazing isn't it?"
She laughs. "From anyone else that comment would be incredibly egocentric."
"I can't help it if I'm a genius," he tosses back casually, folding his hands behind his head in a display of smug pride to make her laugh, though in truth, he is pretty pleased with himself and what he's created.
The new voice brings an end to their conversation, and Auggie returns to the task at hand.
"Stu!" he says in greeting as he stands. "Ready to take my baby back to the tech house?"
"Convenient lackey, at your service," Stu responds. "This it? I was expecting something smaller."
He lifts the telescope from Auggie's desk. A small grunt escapes him as he hoists it up over his shoulder.
"Handle with care, please. She's fragile," Auggie says. "Not to mention she's worth about fifty G's."
Auggie hears the heel of Stu's shoe grind against the floor as he pivots. He feels the disturbance in the air in front of his face as Stu turns. But what he can't do is see what's coming.
"Auggie, look out!" Annie yells too late.
There is no time to react. Her sentence isn't even completely finished when the hard, cylindrical body of the telescope hits him in the side of the head, full force.
The blow is so unexpected that his body tips to the left; his knees buckle and twist, and he loses his footing, dropping to the ground. The left side of his head connects with the edge of his desk on the way down and he's infinitely thankful that the desk doesn't have any sharp corners.
His name falls from her lips sounding like an exclamation in a slo-mo sequence in an action movie. His right ear rings from the contact with the larger end of the telescope. The sting burns and makes his ear pound painfully with every thump of his heart.
Finally the left side of his body crashes to the floor of his office, pushing the air from his lungs on a half-groan. From the time he is hit to the moment he lands on the floor, two seconds pass, but the time seems to stretch out.
It's when his head bounces off of the office floor that it happens.
A flash. Not stars or the multi-colored dots that come with too much pressure. This is brighter, fuller, more real. It reminds him of halogen bulbs that might light an office. He has to blink because it hurts to see such light. It hurts to see. To see.
But when he opens his eyes again the white is gone. The black is as dark as ever, darker even, after such light.
He groans and raises his hand to where it feels like a bruise might already be blooming on his cheek. He won't be surprised if the blow leaves him with a black eye. Warm blood trickles from his hairline, past his temple, and along the curve of his jawbone.
There are two sets of hands touching him. The first is soft, feather-light on the center of his ribcage and the back of his shoulder, holding him in place with negligent pressure. The second pair is larger, heavier, and trying to push him up to a sitting position, which Auggie allows and immediately regrets. Another groan escapes him.
"Stu, go call an ambulance," Annie orders.
"No." Auggie struggles to protest, still a little dazed from the hit and what he thinks he saw. "No, I don't need an ambulance."
"You're bleeding," she responds. "It looks pretty deep."
He shakes his head a little to dismiss her worry.
It happens again. Another flash. But this one has more. More colors. More shapes. The images are fuzzy and more like outlines, but they're there. He keeps himself from blinking for as long as he can, but when he does, the images disappear once again.
"Auggie?" Annie asks, one of her hands moving to the side of his head that wasn't hit by the whirling telescope. "What is it?"
"I'm okay," Auggie tries to assure her, even though he's lying. He has to be imagining things, because it isn't possible for him to be seeing anything. It's just not.
"See?" Stu says somewhat nervously. "Augs is fine. Just a little bump."
The Tech Ops analyst grasps Auggie underneath his armpit and yanks upward to help him stand, but Auggie isn't far enough away from his desk, and his head connects with the underside of the glass painfully.
"God dammit!" Auggie swears loudly.
Stu lets go of him, letting his backside hit the floor again. Auggie closes his eyes and tries to rub the soreness away from the crown of his head.
"Stu!" Annie exclaims. "I swear if you don't go and call an ambulance. . ."
"On it!" he says, hastily rushing to the phone. "I am so, so sorry Auggie."
Grumbling and ready to continue arguing with Annie about not needing to go to the hospital, he opens his eyes, half-expecting another flash.
Instead, what he sees—yes sees—is a forehead furrowed in concern, chocolate brown eyes staring at the blood dribbling down into his right eyebrow, and long blonde hair framing the near-angelic face floating before him.
Then he blinks.
But the face is still there, in even more detail.
He traces the slight 'M' of her glossed lips and notices the flecks of amber-gold coloring her irises. Has he ever seen a woman this beautiful? His imagined mental picture of what Annie Walker looks like doesn't do her justice. Not. Even. Close.
His sudden stillness must alert her that something is seriously wrong because her eyes drop from the wound near his temple to his eyes. He watches her face pale as his eyes continue to widen.
"Auggie?" she asks again, but this time it's a whisper. "Are you okay?"
He closes his eyes one more time, prepared to lose her. His vision remains. He blinks again and again, but the results are the same. Auggie can feel tears flooding the bottom rims of his eyes, but he wills them back before they can distort the world around him. He's just regained the ability to see, and he's not going to let tears take it away from him now, especially since he doesn't know how long it will last.
"The hospital might be a good idea," he says slowly.
"Ambulance is on its way."
He'd almost forgotten Stu was in the room.
"What's going on?" Annie asks, but from the way she's looking directly at him, he thinks that she already knows. She's probably wondering the same thing he is: how is this possible?
"Annie, I can see you."
A/N: Well? What do you think so far? Want to know how this happened and what Augs is going to do now? Stay tuned.
As always, I adore reviews and comments. What would you do if you were in Auggie's shoes?
And yes, the title comes from "Lost." Hehe. XD