This was a terrible day for a mission, I had three tests to study for and a (totally not late) history assignment to write. This alone does not necessarily mean today is a bad day for a mission, I am a high schooler, procrastination is my middle name. However, I also had plans with MJ and Ned tomorrow and if I didn’t finish my assignments I wasn’t going to be allowed out as Spider-Man let alone as Peter so the work needed to get done. However, Parker LuckTM waits for no high schooler so here I am, swinging through New York at top speed, Karen directing me to the fight.
The fight itself doesn’t sound like it’s against particularly evil “Bad GuysTM” from Karen’s briefing, but they did seem to have alien weaponry. This meant that available avengers and avengers in training aka Spider-Man (still not sure why there is an entire category for just me) were called into the fight, but not those that would have to travel more than an hour in. That meant I was swinging in to fight alongside Bucky, Steve, Sam, and Nat, technically Bruce qualified for the fight but no-one wanted to deal with the inevitable structural damage that accompanies the Hulk.
At least I could fight without worrying about Mr Stark babying me, he was heading back to New York anyway in his jet, but was at least two hours away. He means well, but Spider-Man is strong and capable and none of the other avengers will accept me if they think I have to hide behind Iron Man.
This close to the fight I don’t need Karen for directions, it looks like someone is having an outdoor rave with all the flashes from the alien weapons. Once I’m within 500m coms automatically kick in.
“Sam! On your left”
“Seriously Steve, one day yo-“ a loud groan interrupted Sam before he could tell Steve what exactly would happen one day.
“Hey guys, Spider-Man reporting for duty, who am I fighting?”
“You’re not fighting anyone Queens,” as always Captain Rogers was team leader “we’ve got these guys covered, but I need you evacuating civilians, the office block at the end of the street took a lot of damage so we need people out of there fast.”
“I do not want to do the paperwork for building collapse again, took me three hours for one block of flats last time!” Sam, as always, was focusing on the important details.
“Sure thing Cap, friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man to the rescue!” It was taking considerable chunk of my will power not to whine and ask to join the fight. I’d just have to evacuate the people quickly, and get back to the fight, hopefully that would earn me points on my responsibility card with the senior avengers. I tune out the shouted warnings, instructions and insults as I head to the building Cap indicated.
Although I resent civilian rescue duty it is rewarding to get thanked by quite so many people in such a short space of time and I am very good at it, though that’s because it’s the only role any of the avengers are actually happy about putting me in so I have a lot of practice.
I started at the top of the building and am now nearing the bottom floors, I always do this ever since I did the opposite once and got an earful about how the ground floor can evacuate themselves but the top floor can’t take all of the stairs. Luckily it’s an office building on a Saturday so not as busy as it could have been.
Pausing for a moment to catch my breath once I’ve cleared the building (you have no idea how many rooms there are in a building in New York until you have to run through them all) I start tuning my ears back into the coms before I go out to the fight and tell the team the building is clear.
“Good job kid, the fighting is getting more intense, back up would be nice for a change” Nat was always supportive when talking to me.
“Kid gets all the cushy jobs, no crazy people with alien lasers for him” Sam, had more of a tough love approach.
Before I can come up with a good retort my spidey senses are screaming at me to MOVE! I’m already running for the doors when I stumble as the ground starts to shake, my ears are assaulted with an enormous crashing sound and I fall, unable to handle the noise as well as the screaming from my other senses, and then everything goes black.
Light and consciousness slam back into me, I’m not sure how much time has past but everything is screaming at me still, my ears are ringing and I’m in a lot of pain. Groaning I attempt to sit up, and promptly fall back as I realise just how bad an idea that is. I can’t see my legs but they are definitely still attached, my left leg in particular which I suspect may be broken given the amount of pain in my shin. That is not what is stopping me from sitting up though, my right arm is pinned by a fallen block of concrete, not painfully, but at this angle I can’t hope to release it. The main problem however, is the piece of metal going through my abdomen. It is of course now, when I have only just realised I am impaled that my ears stop ringing enough for me to hear the coms again.
“Kid, respond, respond…” Cap actually sounded worried for once.
“Oh, thank God, kid are you ok?”
I am not ok, I feel awful and I’m in more pain than can reasonably be considered fair, but before I can get my thoughts in enough order to vocalise that Cap starts speaking again.
“Shit! There’s more of them, look kid we need you up and with us if we want this over quickly, you think you can come to us?”
For once I decide honesty is the best policy “No, I’m… uh… I’m a bit stuck. Can’t move.” Ok, so I didn’t tell them about my injuries, but I don’t want to seem like I’m whining.
“Ok, well…” There was a pause as Steve seemed to re-evaluate his plan and quantify the amount of pain in my voice. “Are you ok to wait for us to wrap this up, we’ll probably be half an hour?”
I know I’m not ok, but that isn’t what the Captain is asking, he is asking if I can hold on for half an hour and I can’t let more people get hurt just because I feel bad so I respond “I can wait, just try and hurry, please?”
“You’re the one skipping out on the fight Spider-Kid, don’t complain that we aren’t fighting fast enough for you!” Sam’s ribbing just cemented the fact that I can’t ask them to come get me, but I can’t really formulate a response. I’m not sure if my sluggishness is from a potential concussion, pain, blood loss or the cold that was starting to creep now I wasn’t moving in so I tuned out the coms again, the Avengers’ chatter becoming background noise to the increasing complaints from my leg and stomach.
I think I blacked out for a minute or two and come to with a gasp and a jolt of pain that has me whimpering.
“Kid, you say something?” Bucky’s voice filtered through, he rarely talks on coms so I take notice.
“Uh, just wondering how long you guys will be?” I know I should be telling them about my situation, but the fighting does sound quite bad from what I can hear in the background so I decide they don’t need to worry about what they can’t fix right now anyway.
“Probably another fifteen minutes Queens, we’re getting to you.”
This time at least Sam doesn’t complain, but that seems to be because the bad guys are going for one final push in the face of defeat and he’s busy actual fighting. I consider asking Karen to display a timer for me, but I know the team will hear me request it, and its not like it will get them to me any quicker. It seems Karen might be offline anyway, normally she gives me an injury list but she’s been silent since the building fell. Deciding to take stock myself I go methodically, working my way down my body.
My head hurts and my thoughts feel fuzzy but that’s pretty normal. My left arm is still free, though I think I might have sprained my wrist and my right arm is still under the concrete, pins and needles are starting from the pressure and not moving it so nothing awful. My stomach hurts, a lot, and from the spreading dampness underneath me I know I’m bleeding but the metal seems to be keeping pressure on the wound stopping any major bleeding. I get momentarily side-tracked wondering what the metal is, it looks like a support structure, one of those long ones you see piled up beside building sites. Clearing my head, I consider my legs, I still can’t see them and the left still seems broken, but the right is fine. I can’t bend my legs very far as the right seems to come up to meet some more concrete and the left is far too painful to move.
Some more time has passed since I last checked in on coms, I tune back in as it seems the fighting has ended.
“I call dibs on the last one!”
“You can’t call dibs on them Sam!”
“You boys were both too slow, are we all done here now? I’d like to get back home some time soon”
“We are not done, there is clear up and clean up still to go. SHIELD teams are coming in to help with any injured civilians and to put these weapons in a locked box. Any injuries people?” Steve always asked for an injury report once the fighting was over, apparently he got sick of catching fainting Avengers.
“I’m a bit injured.” I pipe up, mission is over, I’m not wasting anyone’s time now.
“Of course kid, you got trapped, how bad is it?”
I honestly don’t know, I mean, I should. By now, injuries are pretty much part of the job description at this point, but that doesn’t mean I’m a trauma doctor capable of differential diagnoses. “I’m not sure, pretty bad.”
“Shit, kid never admits that.” Bucky was right, but that doesn’t mean I like it pointed out.
“Ok, Peter, lets start with where you are?”
“So the building that collapsed?”
“Under…” Everyone was letting Steve take the lead, but even he was at a loss for words here.
Nat stepped in “Ok, are you at the edge, or in an air pocket then?”
“Air pocket I guess, I was on the bottom floor when it went down, but I wasn’t near the doors.”
“Ok, Steve tell SHIELD we need Fire and Rescue teams here and Peter, be honest, how much medical support are we going to need?”
“Umm…” my head to toe thing was going to come in handy here “So my head hurts a bit, but that’s fine, I think I sprained my wrist but that’s ok too, and uh…” I’m going to save the impalement for last, something tells me they won’t let me speak once I reveal that “I think I broke my leg but I’m not sure and, well, there is some metal sticking out my stomach.”
Dead silence on the coms.
“Yeah, I think it used to be a building support but now its going into me, I think it’s keeping a lot of the blood in, and I don’t think it goes all the way through, but-”
It was at this point that the predicted happened and I could no longer get a word in, though I am kind of glad I can stop talking now. I’m getting really tired and the words were getting harder and harder to get out, I’m not as cold as I was, somewhere in the back of my mind alarm bells are ringing about this, but with the team making so much noise I can’t think why. Steve was yelling for medical and rescue, Sam and Bucky appeared to be trying to excavate me themselves, and Nat was being very quiet.
I let out another one of my pathetic whimpers when the concrete above me shifts, almost glad I didn’t have to worry about the team hearing. With that noise, I managed to silence them all again, though I could still hear Sam, Bucky and Steve trying to move the building themselves. Nat seemed to hear the same alarm bells as me and tried to get me talking and thinking.
“Peter, we’re coming for you. Can you tell me how you feel please?”
“… cloudy,” the response made sense to me, it really did, but the alarm bells seemed to be getting louder, “make it stop?”
“Make what stop Peter, what is cloudy?”
“The alarms, I don- wanna, ge- up.”
“Peter those are sirens, the building collapsed on you, are you with me?” Nat was starting to sound scared and Nat never sounded scared. The noise of the guys moving rubble seemed to increase as well.
The dark looks so comforting right now, everyone knows where I am, I think it’s ok if I just press snooze on my sirens and go to sleep right now.
Waking up this time wasn’t as scary or as sudden as it had been when I was trapped, I seem to just rise to consciousness. The first thing I register is how soft everything is, I’m just in a pair of boxers and I’m on a bed with pillows and a blanket. It seems like most of my abdomen is wrapped in bandages and both my left leg and right arm are in some kind or cast or brace as well as what feels like an IV stuck in my hand.
I decide to try and move, it’s clear when I shift my legs that I’m on pain killers as they exhibit that particular kind of dull throb that should be a stabbing pain but isn’t. Satisfied that my legs are attached and functional I try and sit up.
Oh shit, that was a bad idea! Pain rips across my stomach despite whatever kind of Captain America level morphine I must be on right now and I clench my fists as I try not to scream. Turns out there was something in my left hand when I decided to squeeze.
“Ah!, Kid, mind the super strength. Kid! Kid, you awake?”
“Hey, yeah I’m here spiderling, you’ve been out for a while, remember what happened?”
“A- a buil-ing… fell on me?”
“And you neglected to tell anyone for over an hour, yeah.”
Deciding not to give that a response I just settle back into the bed and close my eyes again, apparently when on super strength painkillers, a little effort takes a lot out of you. I hear Mr Stark sigh when I close my eyes.
A sudden lack of warmth and the sound of a door opening and closing wakes me up and tells me Mr Stark has left. Through the door I hear the sounds of a whispered conversation.
“Yeah, I think he’s just fallen asleep.”
“Tony, I’m so sorry, none of us knew that-”
“I’m going to stop you there Steve, as much as I’d like to throw you through the nearest wall for leaving him there, I also now how stubborn and thick headed Peter can be, I’m sure he even had himself convinced that he was only mildly injured and no one else got hurt so…”
The conversation continued on, but I was just happy to here that everyone was safe and drifted back into the pain and painkiller induced sleep. At least I have a valid excuse to May about why my assignments wouldn’t be done, even if I couldn’t tell Mrs Hayworth the real reason her essay was late, somehow I don’t think she’ll believe it was because I was trapped under a building and impaled on the weekend.