Okay, this is actually a rewrite of what I originally intended to write. I was tired of writing sad stories and switched back to a more humorous genre. Well, I've been thinking about this for a long time, and I really want this to go far. I've put his up here purely for your enjoyment, and mine, so I can't wait to get started!
Title: Half Jack
Summary: Here I was- half deaf, tied up & bleeding out all over the damn carpet- If someone had told me six months ago that Adrian Veidt would be the one to personally end my life, I'd have called 'em a liar. Too bad I'm usually wrong.
Dedication: To my late brother Nick.
Cause I'm only as tall
As my heart will let me be
And I'm only as small
As the world will make me seem
When the going gets rough
And I feel like I may fall
I'll look on the brightside
I'm roughly six feet tall
~On The Brightside by Never Shout Never
My earliest memory was of a car ride home from the zoo. My grandmother let me sit in the front seat with the window down so I could stick my head out like a dog. I would close my eyes and pretend I was flying, feeling the sun warm my face and the wind unravel my braid. We turned onto my street and Grammy slowed, avoiding a young boy near my age of four who was playing in the street. As we drove by him, I leaned out the window and yelled "Bobby- get your ass out of the road before it gets run over!"
For some reason, that was the first thing I thought of when I felt my head whiplash to the right and the car door crunch like tin-foil into my side and arm. I don't know what possessed me to stick my nose where it didn't belong as a child, and I definitely don't know why I ignored my inner sense of peril and wait just a nanosecond more to drive though the green light.
It was brief- the crash that is. But it only takes one moment for a two-ton luxury car driving at a speed of forty miles per hour to decimate another puny second-hand car moving at a mere six. Sure it was quick, but the damage was done all the same. Even the sound of it was bad from my point of view. Tires screeched; you could practically hear the rubber leaving skid mark on the asphalt. And the metal-to-metal contact? Like thunder in loudspeaker at top volume.
Only eight in the morning and already the headaches had begun.
"Too bad that didn't kill me." I said wryly.
Wincing, I sat up straight to assess the damage. Driver's door had caved in, so my escape route was probably out the passenger's side. I was sure nothing was broken, but damn, did my left arm hurt like a mother. Avoiding pressure on my injury, I managed to wriggle out of my seat and into the passenger side to pop open the door.
I felt strange. Besides the obvious shock of the crash, I noticed the world seemed… muted. I raised a hand to my left ear and snapped my fingers. I barely heard it. Shit on a stick, I'd gone deaf!
"Oh, fuck me!" I groaned, laying my head down into my heads.
"Miss?" I jumped when I heard it. Looking up, I was very nearly blinded from the light radiating from behind the golden figure before me. In my awe, all I could do was stare stupidly at this god-form as he knelt to eye level.
"Are you well, Miss? Can you hear me?"
"I'm good. I can't hear outta one ear, but I'm still good." I smiled grimly. I got a good look at him and was almost as impressed as I was when he first appeared. There was no longer a halo of soft light encircling his head, though one would say his hair was still of a golden hue. "Is that your car that tried to kill me?"
"I'm afraid so." The god-man gently took my face in his hands and stared for a moment. I still couldn't see him very clearly but I could feel the red blossom on my cheeks. "Pupils are normal." He affirmed. "I don't believe you have a concussion, but you should get yourself checked into the hospital immediately."
"Bossy. Who died and made you king?" I pouted. I realized that what I said was bizarre and inappropriate, but I was too out of it to fix my mistake. My balance, probably thrown off because of my ear, started to pitch, and the stranger seemed to pick up on it.
The blonde steadied me and assured me that an ambulance was on the way. I groaned. "This was NOT my fault this time, Mom. I swear!" I paused, reflecting upon my choice of words. Laughing weakly, I grinned at the god-man. "Did I just refer to you as my mother?" Another half-hearted laugh that trailed off in to bitter reality. "Maybe I do need to go to the hospital."
I waved an arm at him to dismiss my earlier outbursts. "I'm just gonna sit here so I don't say anything stupid. Again."
But I ignored my own advice and as he started to return to his car, I yelled out "I hope you're insured, Strange Gold-Man, cuz I had the right of way!"
"Could be worse. Could be raining." So much for not saying something stupid.
I swear I saw him smile.
There was no concussion, the doctor agreed, but he warned me of headaches and falling asleep in odd places. I did actually sustain temporary hearing loss, which would eventually heal itself, and my left arm would be painted a lovely black and blue for a week or so. The good doctor loaded me up with pain meds and an official note to give to work when I went back the next day.
Eventually I gave my statement to the police, in which I learned that the collision was in fact not my fault. An insurmountable wave of relief nearly blew me away. Normally I was never this lucky- if you consider a car accident lucky.
I was eventually released around noon and had to take a cab home. I was actually lucky enough to snag a driver that spoke English as his native language, despite the stereotype.
I came home to find that my apartment had been invaded by little people. Well, they were my neighbor's children, not dwarves. Virgil and Claudia had rearranged my furniture and constructed a fort out of blankets and pillows in the middle of my living room/ foyer. You couldn't even make it to the kitchen without being forced to crawl through.
"Who keeps letting you pests in here?"
A chorus of giggles sounded from somewhere under the blanket ceilings. "Gotta make it out of the maze first!" said Virgil, the youngest. Curse him.
I dropped my purse and ducked inside. "Oh no! how will I ever navigate such labyrinthine tunnels! Only a master could possibly escape this- gotcha!" I cried and snatched Claudia by the ankle.
The pair squealed and came out of hiding. "Amateurs." I shook my head. "When I was your age I could build blanket forts like a boss. The only thing that could've made them better was if I had a minotaur running loose. Or a nice moat."
"Wussa mine-tar?" Claudia asked.
"It's a monster with the body of a man and the head of a bull. It's very old and scary; looks a lot like the landlady."
"Wuh happen to your arm?" Virgil queried. "It's purple."
I shifted a little and cradled my injury. "I got in a car crash this morning." The five-year-old's mouth formed a comical little "O" shape. "But don't worry about it. I'm not hurt too badly."
I pouted my lips, milking the two for sympathy, and I was immediately ensnared by little arms. Mission success.
"Oh, that reminds me."
I made the call to my insurance company which took two hours longer than I hoped. Only twenty minutes out of those two hours was spent talking to a real person; the rest was just staying on hold.
In the duration of the call, the kids had gone back next door for snack time, but only because my fridge was next to empty save for a carton of orange juice and a jar of jalapeños. Feeling shitty, I just bummed around until the six o'clock news came on. I settled on m beaten couch and popped a couple pain pills, listening to the head anchor report the latest developments in Knot-Top activity.
"…And earlier this morning Adrian Veidt was in a car accident around eight A.M. Mr. Veidt and his chauffeur were unharmed by the incident but the second driver involved whose identity has yet to be released, was hospitalized with minor injuries.
In my stupor, I was completely frozen, mouth agape with a glass of orange juice hovering in front of my lips. Was the glowing stranger who tried to annihilate me with a two-ton vehicle one of the most powerful men on the planet?
"Oh my God, I sounded like such a jackass!"
At that moment the outside world decided to intervene via phone call.
"Hello?" I said wearily.
"Is this Miss Jack LaBelle?" said the other end.
I sighed inwardly. "This is she. To whom am I speaking?"
My front door opened and Virgil emerged, juice box in hand. He gave me a nod of acknowledgement and proceeded to make himself at home.
"This is Adrian Veidt. I was curious to see how your injuries managing since this morning."
Before I could respond Virgil shouted from across the room, "IS THAT THE GUY WHO HIT YOU THIS MORNING? TELL HIM HE'D BETTER 'POLOGIZE 'R ELSE THE MINOTAUR'LL EAT HIM!"
Silence on his end as well as mine. "…I, uh- that was my neighbor's kid, I'm so sorry." I glared daggers at the intruding kindergartener and hissed: "Virgil, I swear to Godzilla, you had, better shut up!"
"I'm not offended. How old is he?"
"Four. No, five. Virgil, you're five right? Yeah he's five. Smart kid. Steals all my juice boxes though…" Good grief, I was vomiting up nonsense.
"I see." He said pleasantly. "I wish to offer my apologies for the accident this morning, and assure you that I fully intend to pay for the damages and your hospital bill."
"…You're shittin' me." I said, totally stunned that anyone, even a freaking billionaire would actually just flat out pony up the cash without a fight. Was I being punked?
"Consider everything already paid for."
"Convenient." I murmured. "But- uh- my God, thank you! I mean wait- no, no, you said new car? No way." I said shaking my head defiantly even though he couldn't see me. "Don't do that, please."
"Is there a problem, Miss LaBelle?" Veidt asked, sounding a tad surprised.
"It's Jack, thank you, and yeah there's a problem. You can't just throw a new car in my face and act like shit never happened! I can't accept that."
"How interesting. Why not?"
That was a damn good question. Why the hell not? Well firstly, I'm a wee bit insane, and I don't function well when people give me big gifts. It's embarrassing and I can't really handle that well. Secondly I have a very paradoxical opinion of myself that is both humble to the point of being saint-like, and high enough that I have been referred to as an "obnoxious perfectionist," which prevents me from accepting said gifts without feeling like I don't deserve it. It all ties together with the insanity part. It doesn't have to make sense.
"It's hard to explain without sounding like a complete idiot." I sighed. "It happens."
"In that case, I ask you come visit my office tomorrow afternoon to discuss the matter further. Is three o'clock suitable?"
I reluctantly told him it was and we exchanged goodbyes. As soon as I hung up, I turned to find Virgil had been standing behind me listening in.
"Wud he say?" Virgil asked, slurping apple juice.
"He wants me to meet him tomorrow so we can talk."
"Are you gonna date him?"
"No. Shut up and drink your juice box."
A/N I hope you enjoyed the first chapter! Please let me know by reviewing!