When We Collide by freedomwriter
1. Collision by freedomwriter
Author's Notes:
If you know me, you know where this is going ^^
Enjoy anyway
It took a long while to fully wake up. It went in stages, actually. One sense at a time.

First off, there was smell. Gasoline and smoke and a million other different things. It all blended all into one horrifying stench and made him wish he couldn’t smell for the moment. It was so intense and all around him, but it didn’t occur in his mind that the smell of smoke and gasoline meant you had to get the hell away.

Next was sound, or lack thereof. Sound was his job, his income, his dependency. His life. It was eerily silent this time. But if he strained real hard, he could hear a few crows in the distance. It probably meant he hadn’t gone deaf. That was good. There was no real business in the music industry if you were deaf. The wind was rustling through trees, he could hear that too. It probably meant he was outside somewhere. Good to know.

Along came sight. He finally decided to give it a shot and opened his eyes to splits. It didn’t help much, cause it was just as dark around him as it had been with his eyes closed. He squinted, agonizingly slowly turning his head to the other side and squeezed his eyes back closed at the bright light shining directly into his line of vision. So he hadn’t gone blind either. Good to know.

The final sense was pain. It slowly crept into his brain and set his head on fire. It felt a little like his skull had been cracked open and someone had found it a great idea to pick up a spoon to scramble his brain. After a lifetime of hangovers, he could definitely specify each headache with a clear description. This was on the top three of worst headaches he’d had experienced. That said a lot. It also meant he was alive, if he could feel pain.

Good to know.

With a great sigh, he tried to move, bringing his hand up to his head. He tried not to panic when he felt an unmistakable wetness there. Suddenly, his entire body started to hurt and he lay his hand back down with a stiffled moan. Moving was not a thing he wanted to try again.

“Alex?” An anxious voice drifted through the haze. No one ever called him Alex, unless it was really serious. With every little bit of strength he’d left, he lifted his head, seeing nothing but the silhouette of what could only be Howard Dorough’s face. “Alex, you okay?”

Howie shook him softly, but it still hurt and he made a whining noise from the back of his throat. “I d’nno,” he mumbled eventually.

“Can you move?” Howie questioned urgently, shaking him once again. AJ frowned, slightly annoyed by his friend’s tendency to speak really fast and really high pitched when he was panicking.

“Wh- happen’d?” he slurred again, trying to reconnect the two versions of Howie’s head that were drifting through his vision.

“We need to get away from here, another part might explode,” Howie mused as he pulled on AJ’s arm, indicating for him to get up. At the mention of explosions, the younger man’s eyes got wide and he struggled to his feet with a range of loud curses and grunts. Standing on wobbly legs, he shot a helpless look to the shorter singer, “What happened?” He questioned again.

“Come on!” Howie urged and pulled at his arm once more, dragging him along as he splashed through the rain into the dark. Funny, he hadn’t even noticed the rain before.

It streamed down his face as every part of AJ’s body screamed at him to stop moving. His head was spinning dangerously by the time they made it to the edge of the forest. He doubled over, panting in exertion, and tried with all that he had to stay on his feet. The rain irritatingly dripped into his eyes and he cursed the world around him for the sudden predicament he’d found himself in. The water had washed most of the blood away though, so there was a plus. Some of it had clotted, however, and stuck to his head, just above his brow. He winced, straightening up cautiously. Howie was next to him, watching the ravage they’d just run from, pressing a firm, bloodied hand to his side.

“You okay, D?” AJ asked tentatively.

“I’ll live,” Howie grunted moodily, slowly pulling his hand away from his wounded side and stared at it in dismay, “Damn.”

AJ shook his head in astonishment, always fascinated by his friend’s instinctive survival mode. “What happened?”
He asked for one last time.

“What do you remember?”

AJ shrugged helplessly, “I don’t know. Weren’t we supposed to be on the bus?”

His friend sighed deeply. “Yes, it’s over there,” he said, waving vaguely at the direction of the thick clouds of smoke that had accumulated near the spot they’d been not three minutes ago.

“The fuck?” AJ stared at the smoke, almost mesmerized. He could swear he saw distant flames accompanying the cloud, “Did we crash or something.”

“Yeah, I suppose you could call it that,” Howie nodded, trying not to cry out as he gently lowered himself to the ground and sat down. “We must have hit something. We must have hit it hard too. I think the bus actually took a swan dive down the hill over there.” He pointed to the edge of the hill were the empty country-road stretched out, way in the distance. “I’m just laying in bed, next thing I know, I’m on the ground, glass everywhere, including my side, and fire creeping up on me. How’s that for a day off?”

The sarcasm flew right past AJ as he calculated the distance the bus must have tumbled all the way down here. He frowned in confusion, “Where does the fire come from?”

“I think something in the front has exploded,” Howie muttered into his hands. He rubbed his forehead wearily and sighed. “God, that awful smell.”

“Do you ask the million dollar question or shall I?” AJ countered cautiously. Howie didn’t look up and sighed again.

“We need to find the others.”

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