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A Cup of Joe (Max 2?)

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1 year 2 months ago - 1 year 2 months ago #64800 by Littlebeast
Littlebeast created the topic: A Cup of Joe (Max 2?)
First & Previous: Max Does the Splits
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Chapter one: Baptised in Fire

Fire.

“Oh god oh god don't die on me..”

Fire on my skin.

"Who..? Oh never mind, he's burning out, call 911!”

Fire in my bones.

“Come quick, Joe's in trouble… Where the hell are we?”

Fire in my soul.

"Ambulance on the way, keep the water running!”

The fire of victory.



Beep.

Beep.

Am I swimming?

Beep.

Beep.

So cold, it must be the ocean.

Beep.

Beep.

Why does the ocean beep?

Beep.

Beep.



Beep.

The sand burns me.

Beep.

I still hear the ocean.

Beep.

So hot...

Beep.



The ocean is gone.

"Joe, honey, can you hear me?"

"...Mom?"

"Oh, Joe! I'm so glad you're okay!”

The sand burns as it covers my skin.



"Joe, how you holding up?"

"...Dad?"

"Yeah, Joe, I'm here.”

"Make them... I wanna pee normal."



I feel awake, for the first time in a while. Good way to feel. Better than not feeling awake, anyway.

Mom’s sleeping by the bedside. Don't wanna wake her yet. Don't wanna deal with her. Wanna get my bearings first.

In a hospital, I know that much. Mom's, I think. All hospitals kinda look the same though. Dunno why I'm here, either.

TV’s on. CCs only of course. “…outside the family. The man believed to be responsible is still in police custody…”

God, I'm starving. Where's the call button? There. Hope they let me eat, I’m starving.

“Oh, you're awake,” Mom says. Guess the call button chime woke her up. “How are you feeling?”

“Okay, I guess. Starving. Bit warm, can we get these blankets off?”

Mom looks confused. “Joe, honey? Look down.”

I do. Huh. I'm not under any blankets. Not even a sheet, except my feet. Only thing on me is a hospital gown. “Guess I probably shouldn't take that off.”

I don't wanna talk any more, and I think Mom can tell. So it’s quiet until the nurse arrives, she even tells him I want food.

He only brings a bowl of jello, which I'm not happy about, but by the time I'm done eating it I wanna sleep anyway.



Next time I wake up, it's not either ‘rent sitting next to me. “Auntie Grace?”

“’Ey, you're awake! Was half afraid you'd sleep through my whole time here.”

I hug her best I can, but it's too warm and I can barely sit up, so it’s not great. “You flew all the way out here for me?”

“Well, an’ to meet May. Nice girl, but I think Max is smotherin’ her.”

Smothering her? She's a part of him, what else is he supposed to do? I know better than to say that, though. “Surprised Mom actually called you,” I say instead. They're friendly enough, just Mom hates long phone calls.

“Ha! She didn't,” Grace replies. “I had to find out from the TV.”

What? “What?”

“You didn't know? You're all over the news. ‘Burnout induced in kidnapped non-mutant boy, more at 6.’”

That's not right. I remember how I got here now, and it wasn't that. “Huh.”

“Yep. Welcome to your fifteen minutes of fame, kid. Have fun, watch out for the paparazzi, and try not to say anythin’ stupid.”

“Yeah. Maybe I could stay with you again until things calm down.”

“I wish. It'd raise a lot of questions, though, you livin’ with someone not technically related, just after a kidnappin’. An’ I don't need that kind a’ scrutiny on my life just now.” She looks sympathetic, but can't nothing change Grace’s mind once she's made it. “I do miss you, kiddo.”

“Me too, Grace.”



Someone's knocking at the doorway before entering. Dunno why, I still don't have the strength to get out of bed yet, let alone change clothes.

“Hey, Joe.”

“Max? What, are y'all takin’ turns visitin’ me?” I'm drawling strong, thinking about Grace and our time with her.

“I mean, kind of. The doctor doesn't want us to tire you out by coming in all at once.”

He's walking a little funny. “Hey, you forget how to walk without my help?”

“Oh, May’s in the car. I've been… well, that doesn't matter.”

“Oh, so ya’ll learned to walk. ‘Gratulations on mastering a skill for toddlers.” I'll never let him know I'm actually impressed. He's doing way better than he was just… “Hey, how long I been out?”

He makes this face. “Nnn… ten days.”

“Shit.”

We just sit for a while. I check out the TV a bit, and it’s about me. “…report that the suspect has signed a confession. However, the victims’ family has not yet decided whether to press charges.
-He's a friend of the family. We don't want to throw him under the bus without getting the full story first.
-The full story may be a while coming…”

Fuck. I got Jacob arrested.

Max keeps opening his mouth and then shutting it without a sound.

“Your fish act is makin’ me tired. Spit it out before I fall asleep.”

He opens his mouth and it ain’t words, but at least there’s sound coming out.

“... Why’d you do it?”

“Dunno what you mean.”

“Don't play dumb with me. You weren't kidnapped.”

I play dumb anyway. I'm not digging Jacob’s hole any deeper. Or my own, for that matter.

“I'm not gonna tell anyone, if that's what you're worried about. Just. Why would you go along with something so dangerous?”

Fine. Max doesn't break promises. And… he kinda looks like he really needs it. “Actually, it was my idea.”

Your idea? How would … Meta-spread. This is what you wanted.”

“Ten day burnout ain’t exactly ideal. But yeah. It's a good sign.”

He goes in for a hug, and I'm too surprised to fight. Shouldn't he be mad? I drugged his ‘sister’ to do dangerous medical stuff.

Then he socks me – a wimpy soft punch, even for Max, but there it is. “That's for stealing my blood and kidnapping me instead of just asking like a normal person.”

Guess it’s my turn to be a fish.

“… Y’all tellin’ me you would have agreed?

“Of course I would've! I've always felt bad about you being left out of the mutant thing. And then maybe we could've done it safely instead of nearly killing you with burnout.” He glares and I admit, I do feel a bit of guilt.

“Although, I guess you kidnapping her led to me making up with Chris, so thanks I guess?”

How's that?? “You got weird friends, dude.”

“No, it's all me. I'm just lucky he puts up with me."



Wake up to a commotion outside. Don't remember falling asleep though.

Some douche-looking guy bursts through my door, shuts it, leans on it, shoves his phone as close to me as he can. “Joe Johnson, what do you think should happen to the man who kidnapped and experimented on you?”

“Huh? You’re a reporter?”

“Answer the question, please.” There’s banging on the door.

“Hey, Jacob didn't kidnap nobody. I did all that willingly.”

“Are you confessing to the-” Door bursts open, and the guy’s suddenly gone.

“Dammit,” security gal who busted the door in says. “Fourth time and we still don't even know who he is. You all right?”

“Yeah. He just asked a question. Might be easier to let him in.”

“Over my dead body.”



“I have bad news for you, Joe. You have diabeetus.”

“What? That can't be right.”

“Oh, you're right. That's the wrong patient’s chart. What's that doing here?”

“Geeze, doc, don't scare me like that.”

“You have cancer."

“NO! No...” My hair falls off in front of my face.

Fire Cancer.

“Oh god, it burns!” I start to float above the bed.

“Flying fire cancer! It's worse than I thought!”

“Nooooo!!” I fall, and wake up.

God, I hate hospitals.

Max Does the Splits: Story * Discussion
Last Edit: 1 year 2 months ago by Littlebeast. Reason: dashes to hrs
The following user(s) said Thank You: Oz1eye, Malady

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