Chapter 1: part 1
It had been a week since Walter O’Brien’s near death experience. He was lucky. That is what people were saying. Which Walter thought was ridiculous there was no such thing as luck. Yes, the odds statistically had not be in his favor. But he had been in the small rate of success which he was going to simply accept and move on from.
Everyone kept insisting he needed rest. That his body needed to heal. Per Paige’s insistence Walter had caved to the order of bed rest. For the first couple of days. Now exactly seven days later enough was enough. He could not go another day of lounging in his bed or the couch and not doing anything active. His brain was going into overdrive with improvements for the rocket. He may have been sidelined from any assignments but he could work on the rocket with all the sudden free time he had.
Which is how Walter ended up standing on a ladder, leaning heavily on the left side as he worked on the rocket. He was slowly entering the zone. He was perfectly fine… okay so he had stopped several times to rest. But that was just taking care of himself. Walter was human. He needed water… and pain meds.
Walter heard the front door to the garage open and voices chattering on the other side but paid them no mind. Instead he was leaning further to attach a value inside the rocket.
The older man turned away from his rocket for a second to cast a quick smile at Ralph, “Hello Ralph.” Thankfully he didn’t have to worry about the typical and mundane conversations of what he was doing and how he was. The young boy always seemed perfectly content to just watch from the sidelines as Walter worked. Occasionally even offering input.
“I don’t think you should be up there…” Ralph finally said hesitantly.
Walter let out a soft sigh, “Not you too with this whole I need to be resting thing.”
“I’m not… It’s just. Given the slight unevenness of the ground and the way you are leaning heavily on your right side the step ladder is unbalanced. If you over reach any further then you already are the chances of you falling are pretty significant.”
The older man looked at Ralph then down at his current body position and could feel the slight sway on the step ladder. He gave Ralph a small smile, impressed by the boy’s conclusion.
“Ferret Bueller get back here right now!” Toby suddenly yelled, entering the back section of the garage trailing after the furry rodent that ran in the general direction of the torn apart rocket then disappeared.
Toby came to a stop near the others, his hands going up in the air for a moment before falling back down. “That ferret is the worst sometimes. Never does what I tell him to.” He muttered with a slight shake of his head.
“Well he is a rodent.” Ralph pointed out.
The hat wearing genius looked mock offended, “I will have you know Ferret Bueller is a highly intelligent rodent and he is my fur son!” The corners of Ralph’s mouth quirked up in amusement while Walter watched the exchange silently.
“waLTER!” Paige’s angry yell suddenly filled the garage as she caught sight of the man’s current position. He wasn’t startled. Ralph’s calculations just proven to be more accurate than originally intended. That was the only reason Walter was suddenly dumpling down towards the floor.
Chapter 2: part 2
So I realized that I never posted the second part to this mini story. Well, here it is. Nothing special. But, I figured I would put it up.
Walter quickly calculated the distance and rate that he was falling. There was not enough time to try and catch himself. He heard Paige yell his name again but this time in concern and Ralph echoed his mother.
The genius closed his eyes briefly preparing for impact. Said impact happened much too soon and he had not collided with the hard ground. "Easy there, big guy." Toby told the man now in his arms. "You're going to have to buy me dinner if you want this to go any further just so you know." The hat wearing man informed his friend as he helped Walter regain his footing on the ground.
“Hey Happy! People are falling into my arms!” Toby yelled across the garage. “Guess you could say I’m a catch.” He chuckled lightly at his own joke but stopped as he caught sight of the unamused expression on the mechanic’s face. “So serious.” He muttered and then closed his mouth as he recognized the body language Paige was displaying. It was best he quieted down and let the woman deal with Walter because she clearly had something to say.
"I was perfectly fine." Walter began.
"Yea, fine if you mean about to plummet to the ground and injure yourself even more." Paige snapped.
Walter let out a sigh and rebutted, "I would not have injured myself anymore."
"Actually, given the trajectory you would have worsened your current condition and sustained more injuries of varying degrees. Depending on the variable of which direction the ladder and all your tools fell." Sylvester chimed in as he walked up to the group and looked over his friend. "Are you okay?" he asked with worry and concern clear on his face.
Walter gave Sylvester a small smile and nodded, "Yes, I’m fine." The bigger man let out a sigh of relief and nodded.
"You won't be for long." Paige said in a tense tone. "What were you thinking? Why are you out of bed? The doctor said to take it easy and rest for at least another week." The brunette woman continued and began to guide Walter towards the stairs and his loft.
Walter easily broke free of her grasp and began to head into the kitchen area. “No offense to the doctors but my IQ is higher than all of theirs combined. So, you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t take their word into consideration.” He explained while pouring himself a cup of coffee.
“And why is that?” Paige asked with her arms crossed over her chest. The rest of the team hovered near the entry of the kitchen, silently watching the exchange.
Walter gave Paige a bit of a confused look unsure how she hadn’t been able to follow his train of thought. “They are all stupid. I don’t value what they say.” He stated plainly.
Paige rolled her eyes, “Well do you care about what I have to say?” she asked and seeing that Walter wasn’t going to interrupt continued, “I may not be a genius but I know enough to see that you are pushing yourself too much. Your brain might be out of this world but your body is just like the rest of ours. It needs time to heal and rest.” She told him in a calm voice and rested a hand on his shoulder.
Walter looked from Paige’s face to the hand on his body and back to her. He could feel his resolve beginning to break. Then he caught sight of the others behind them. The man quickly side stepped Paige breaking the physical contact. “Sylvester, you are a man of numbers and statistics. Tell Paige I am perfectly fine to return to normal activities.”
Sylvester opened his mouth to spit out some statistics but then he caught Paige’s eyes, “…you are pushing yourself too hard. Given the amount of stress you are putting on your body your recovery time will extend longer versus just resting for one more week… like Paige said.” Sylvester informed his friend and let out a light chuckle, “Just do what Paige says Walter. Really.”
Paige gave Walter a pleased smile. Walter gave Sylvester an unamused stare and then looked at the rest of the group. No one was going to step up to his aid. Finally, Walter heaved out a sigh and tossed his hands up in the air. “Fine. Fine! I’ll rest. I will lay in bed but I am NOT going to stop doing my calculations.”
He allowed himself to be ushered by Paige towards the staircase. “Of course, Walter. No rest required for your brain.”
“Exactly!” Walter agreed, the duo bantering up the stairs.