2007-07-08: Minutes to 8:15: Te Amo Mi Hijo

Starring:

Ramon_icon.gif Desiree_icon.gif Manuel_icon.gif

Guest Starring: John Carter

Summary: After a long day, the Gomez men and Desiree come back to the apartment, only to find a surprise waiting for them.

Date It Happened: July 8, 2007

Minutes to 8:15: Te Amo Mi Hijo


Outside of the Gomez Apartment, Queens, New York

July 8th, a few minutes shy of 8:15.

The apartment is quiet, it ought to be time where people are starting to come home for dinner. At present, there is no one in the Gomez Apartment. Elena had called in sick again to work, so she had been home….but now she's gone, her messenger bag missing as well as her favorite sneakers, indicating that she had gone out. With Parker and Portia having vanished to do what teenagers in the summer did in New York, all is quiet.

It was the same on the outside of the brick building in Queens. The parking spaces designated to the apartment are empty. That's bound to change soon, however…

He hadn't meant to hit the little kitty. It just happened, and now it whump whump whumps beneath his tire as he pulls into the space. Ramon grimaces, and bends down with a screwdriver to scrape bits of it off. He kicks it all under the car, hoping none of the ladies looks there and gets distressed. He really, really had not meant to hit the kitty.

Desiree has started working as a paramedic again - part-time, as part-time as a job like that warrants, but what can you do - and so now, as evening falls, she's headed home after spending most of the day in an ambulance. She hasn't been back at the job for long, and it's… been a long time since she did this sort of thing regularly. When she's dropped off outside the Gomez's building by a new co-worker who happens to also live in Queens, she's looking pretty tired. Nevertheless— "Hiya Ramon!" Nothing can tarnish her optimism, except for perhaps a dead cat, but she just missed witnessing that horror. Still dressed in largely blue paramedic's garb, she heads on over to Ramon's van, an oversized black-and-gold purse slung over her shoulder. "What're ya doin'?" Oh, blissful ignorance.

Surprisingly, when Manny pulls up, he actually ISN'T speeding. In fact, he just sorta coasts through the complex, pulling into one of the parking spots. Taking a minute to make sure he's got everything, Manny slings his bag over his neck, rolling his head side to side starting to head toward the apartment.
CLUNK.

That should pause Manny in his tracks. The unmistakeable sound of metal clangs as…a PIECE OF HIS CAR falls onto the concrete from underneath the frame of the Shelby that what his pride and joy.

Manuel blinks and immediately turns around, very much not happy about the sound. Dropping his bag by the side of the car, Manny drops to a knee to look around to see what the hell just fell off…and why. He makes sure the car's running right practically every time he turns the key, let alone allow anything to be loose at all.

If Ramon is fixing his tire, he's fixing his tire. and he is, in a manner of speaking. "Hey Manny!" Desiree calls out to the Gomez teenager after giving Ramon a peck, smiling brightly. "Well, sheesh. Ain't we all jus' timely. You'd think we all planned comin' home at the same did a hunk of Manny's car jus' fall off?" Blink. Stare. Shaking her head, she keeps on smilin' all the way to the door. "'Lena's always goin' off somewhere. Maybe she lef'a note."

When Manny checks on his car, he'll see….something odd, strapped underneath the area directly below the gas tank. Upon close inspection, he'll see that whatever it was, it's got wires. Wires wound around something waxy and blocky with an electronic device sticking outside of it. There is a dial, it is analog, not digital, ticking away.

Ten seconds to 8:15.

9….
8….
7….

Down on your back is a bad place to be when something's ticking down seconds. Manny stares at it for a second or two, mouth agape…and then, Manny pushes himself up, "Fuck…fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck…" Trying to get away from his car as fast as he can, Manny nearly trips over his own feet, screaming, "MOVE!"

Ramon hears the panic in his son's tone and his eyes widen. He just /listens/, charging off in a direction and continuing to charge until he figures out what the issue is. He doesn't ask, he doesn't try to hear any thoughts. He just seizes Dezi's wrist and tries to drag her with him to safety, whatever safety might be.

Desiree, one hand automatically going to cling to Ramon's arm, spins halfway around to stare, gaping, at Manny unsurely. "Whoa, whoa, darlin'. Where you think you're— " Her wrist is easily grappled by Ramon, which just further instils her suspicion of something being not quite right. She stumbles a moment before running; Ramon moves faster, undoubtedly, and so he really does drag her along. "O-okay! Movin'! That's us!"

3…
2…
1…

Manuel's prized Shelby explodes in a ball of fire, metal ripping off from the explosion and flying off. A door spirals into the side, SMASHING into Ramon's van and cleaving a sizeable gash right into the side of the body. The hood flies upwards, the trunk flips up and bends. Rubber, leather, and shrapnel fly even as Ramon, Dezi, and Manny try to get out of the way, the shockwave ripping through the entire parking lot which may or may not knock people down.

Manny, however…had been the closest to the blast. Almost too close.

An ugly piece of metal jets out of the fiery pyre, cleaving at his back as he's shoved forwards by the shockwave. Shrapnel also flies everywhere, cutting pieces of flesh and whatever's exposed and in range.

Shock? That's one way of phrasing what happens to Manny. The metal of his car slams into anything surrounding it, including— in a number of different places along his body— Manny. A clip to the leg, a few to the back, even one piece stabbing into the back of his right calf? Yeah, Manny's pretty well messed up. And that's when the back of his mind decides that just isn't enough.

Pain, shock, anger…whatever emotion triggers it, if anyone's close enough to actually see Manny, they'd notice the already deep cuts opening up even further, the piercing wound deepening even further. Manny collapses to the ground, not even screaming; the kid's just out amidst the wreckage that WAS his car.

Hot, burning shrapnel slams into Ramon's shoulder, spinning him around. That's when he sees his son. "Manuel!" he cries. He lets go of Dezi's hand, snarling, and goes charging back into the burning wreckage to try to haul up his son and get him safely to the side of the woman who might be able to fix him, namely Dezi.

Conveniently wearing sneakers for tonight's explosion, Desiree's escape from the blast alongside Ramon is as successful as an escape from a blast like that can be. The shockwave that follows throws her to the pavement; she catches herself with her forearms (ow!), trying to shove herself up on her palms almost as soon as she's down. "Are you okay?! WHAT in the howevermany levels of Hell jus' happened?!" she clambers to her feet, squinting against the heat towards the wreckage. "Oh no," she murmurs quietly. Manny. She rushes after Ramon to meet him halfway, immediately trying to figure out how badly hurt Manny is; already, she's pulling blue protective gloves from her back pocket. First impression: "That's a lotta blood." Amidst the aftermath of the bomb, she too clutches onto the teenager. "Get 'im on his side okay, uhm," she starts to kneel, eyeing the wreckage. It still seems… too close. Deft hands check the slew of shrapnel-induced injuries. Dezi winces. "I need— we need … dressing. Bandages! We should get 'im inside— but— what if it ain't safe in there!" Manically, she stares up at Ramon for guidance.

Ramon quickly rips off his jacket and his shirt, thrusting them at Dezi. Bandages he can do. "One step at a time," he growls. And then he freaks out. "Elena!" What if she was still in the apartment? He never got in there. And in spite of Dezi's announcement that it is not safe, he does what any father would do. He goes charging for his apartment to find her.

While Manny's wounds look…a lot worse than they should, the consolation prize, if there is one to this story, is that his power at least isn't forcing him to bleed more than he already is. To be sure, the pavement and a distinct majority of the back of Manny's body is soaked red, but the boy's twitching…he's not awake, but the faintest of movements means he's at least alive.

When Ramon manages to get to the apartment, barging through the door and looking around, the apartment is….well, empty. It's dark, indicating that no one's been there for a while. And true to form, to what Desiree says - there's a note, tacked neatly on the fridge.

Went to Jack's! Dinner is in the fridge. Just reheat.

Ramon charges back out of there. Good. Elena's safe. He doesn't even grab a shirt. He does however grab everything he can find out of the bathroom — bandages, Robitussin, and hydrogen peroxide — to bring back to Dezi. He decides against bothering to call 911. Surely someone did after the giant /car bomb/. He dumps all the stuff beside her. He's not being funny when two bottles of Tussin hit the pavement. He just grabbed it all.

If Desiree weren't kneeling here trying to help Manny and his current … issues, she would be running after Ramon - not to stop him, but to look for Elena, just in case. The thought had crossed her mind in the chaotic jumble this evening suddenly turned into the moment Manny shouted "MOVE!". Now, she just shouts: "Ramon… be careful!" Like she needs to tell the telepathic father to be careful. She worries on her lower lip, assessing — hesitating, for just a few seconds. "Alright, Manny, are you awake in there?" she says in a low, soothing, but nevertheless urgent voice. When he just… twitches silently, she takes that as a now and presses Ramon's jacket around the edges of the largest slice of metal in his back gently; the metal should keep most of the blood from flowing, and now, it is. Priority: the gash on his leg. Especially the one with the shrapnel? No, she's not touchin' that one. It's the others she tries to staunch the bleeding on, frequently glancing up at the building for signs of life and at the car for signs of fiery danger. The former, she gets. "… Robitussin?" Of all the objects, it's the bandages she swipes and starts applying straight away. "Hold onto that shirt I got on his leg, stop the bleedin' 'til I get to it."

Ramon nods grimly, holding the shirt with a tight, hard grip. The man is actually in tears. They run wet rivers down the crags in his face, which remains grimly expressionless even though his fear for his son is spilling out of his eyes. "Manuel," he murmurs in Spanish. Then he switches to telepathy. It worked for Eric.

In Spanish: *Manuel. Please man. Hang on. Hang on man. We're here. Shit, son. I love you. Don't die.*

"I can't dress mosta these wounds," Desiree says; with most of the obviously bleeding wounds bandaged shortly, the rest… "Can't get to 'em. He's got burns. An' with a blast like that he might have a concussion, we won't know 'til he comes 'to, but what we see here? Well. He's gonna be okay, Ramon, he's a strong kid. But— what was inside? We gotta get 'im to a hospital, we can't jus' stay here."

"Where the fuck are the paramedics?" Ramon snarls. And then he raises his voice and starts shouting his fool head off. "Someone call 911! Call the ambulance! Madre de Dios, call the god damn ambulance please!" His voice breaks on the final word, and he repeats it in Spanish.

"RAMON! QUE PASA?" yells a neighbor from one of the higher floors, hearing the call. Queens may be teeming with minorities, but the latino community in where he lives is rather tight knit. Mrs. Morales from the fourth floor is looking out her window…and she stares at the fire underneath her window. "Madre de dios!" And in Spanish. "I'll call the emergency number!" And with that, the fourth floor busybody scrambles to get to the phone.

After a few moments, they would start to hear sirens. Hopefully it's for them, but given the traffic it will take a few minutes to get there.

"They're in the damn ambulance either comin' here or goin' in the other direction 'cause no one called 911!" Or maybe someone did, but apparently it wasn't Ramon, and Desiree has been too busy. Now, she watches Manny and keeps a check on his pulse, hoping he doesn't go into shock. She looks away long enough to peek up at the fourth floor. "Thank you Mrs. Morales!"

"I thought someone would call 911, there was a fucking car bomb, why the hell didn't the whole fucking building fucking call 9-fucking-11?" Ramon says…with a blend of English and Spanish, so that may not be at all intelligible.

Desiree lets Ramon get it all out, at least for a minute, while she keeps Manny as safe as she can. She does not keep him updated on his son's condition, however, because Manny's breathing, by this point, is slowing down. She holds her hand over a bandage on his leg to cover the blood that starts to seep through. "Well, now they're called. They're on their way. Ken Herrera might be on this shift, he's a real nice paramedic man I met, been doin' it for thirty years. Hear the sirens? Is' New York, they'll be here's fast as they can 'round the traffic. How 'bout… you send Manny some happy thoughts?"

"I did. He didn't answer," Ramon says, sounding tense. "I'm listening, though, just in case he does. What if he bleeds to death? There's all this blood. Is this normal, all this blood?" There's a frantic edge on the man's tone.

"Is' normal for someone who got sliced up from flyin' bits of car," Desiree tells the frantic father honestly. "He's more'n I wish he was, but we're gettin' it stopped." The woman presses her lips together in a thin line and looks up at Ramon with glistening, hopeful eyes. "Maybe… he can still hear you, even if he don't answer," she encourags.

At this point, even Manny's thoughts are slow, but at least it's coming through. He obviously isn't doing it himself, as his thoughts are a little more candid than he might normally think around his father. And, indeed, whereas the conscious Manny would probably act about like his father normally, put more concern to the state of his car than anything else, his subconscious shows Manny's actual concern. What…ooh…how bad…? Unfortunately, though, the only movement from the young man is the occasional twitch, a finger or an eye twitching just a little bit.

*You're fine, Manny, you're fine.* Hope floods into Ramon. His boy's still thinking in there. *I'll get you a new car. A better car.* And how is he going to live up to THAT one? He has no idea. No bloody idea at all. But he'll do it anyway.

The sirens get closer, and closer, and finally the white and red vehicle squeals to a stop. One can hear fire sirens approaching as well since there IS a fire threatening to blow up the other vehicles in the parking lot raging there. Two paramedics hop out, wheeling a gurney, and another one hops out from the back, toting a kit.

"Oh my god! What the hell happened?" cries one of the EMTs, racing towards Desiree et al. The other one pauses, and squints at the curly haired Southerner. "Hey. Ain't you the new girl? You sure got here quick!"

The one carrying the kit kneels next to Manuel, checking his pupils. "…we need to get him out of here, right now," he says, looking up at the others.

I'm…wha—what…happened…? Manny's eyes close a little more, his head slumping a bit. He's still breathing, he's still alive…but he's definitely out at this point.

Here in the outside world, where Manny is still laying there, barely moving, and Ramon is staring down at him, nothing changes for Desiree. They're silent. She has no idea what Manny can hear, if he's in there, conscious at all, or that he can communicate. Though she doesn't move from Manny's side when the paramedics arrive, she's quick to address them. "There was a explosion. I guess a car bomb!" To the man who kneels, she frowns. "I know."

*Car bomb,* Ramon tells Manny. *The medics are here.* He lets them take over, and steps back. Then? He lets his raw /rage/ out. He goes prowling back towards the wreckage of the car and starts to take a look around. The police have already proven themselves useless. He won't /touch/ anything, but he'll look, and look hard.

When they check Manny over, the fact that he's conscious is a good sign…..until he slumps. "Shit. We gotta get him out of here." And so they'll load Manny to the stretcher just as the firetruck pulls in to take care of the fire. The first EMT looks over at Desiree and Ramon as they start to wheel the boy into the back of the ambulance. "Are you two the parents? If you are you can ride with us," he tells them, eyes peering at Dezi in the paramedics uniform, and then at Ramon.

"A -what-?!" one of the paramedics exclaims, hearing the 'car bomb' part. Yes. In the hospital, police will be called. It's required.

At the side of the gurney, Desiree turns halfway to watch Ramon at the wreckage. Now, for the record: "Who the hell would strap a bomb to Manny's car?!" she hisses to herself, out of hearing range of Ramon, at least, a tone of disgust harsh in her voice. The gurney whisks past her into the waiting doors of the ambulance; she looks from Manny to his father. 'Are you two the parents?' "We both are tonight," she answers the medic. Waving Ramon over hurriedly, she goes for the back of the ambulance.

Ramon comes jogging back over, and he enters the ambulance. He rests his elbows on his knees and lets his head hang forward for a moment, the adrenaline and rage fading. He looks a lot older in that moment as he suddenly just…leans on Dezi. It's not a planned motion. It's just there as he closes his eyes, praying.

The doors are closed once an EMT joins the 'parents' in the back, and two EMTs join them at the front of the ambulance. With the sirens still going, the ambulance heads for the nearest hospital - which would be, around these parts, Beth Israel. It's a safer option anyway and Ramon's been there so often in the last couple of months that the nurses can probably recognize him at this point. Still, that's where they head.

It takes a few moments, but the ambulance arrives into the emergency room entrance, finally. The double doors of the ambulance are swung open, and a bloody Manny is wheeled out in the stretcher. The EMTs hop out, assisting it inside and rushing him inside. The 'parents' for the night can follow. But Manny will probably be placed in an OR to make sure that shrapnel hasn't pierced anything vital in his body.

And so once again Ramon is forced to wait.

Ramon's cellphone rings.

Ramon snatches up the phone and stares at the number. Unidentified? That's either a bill collector or the planter of the car bomb. Either way, they get treated to a low, rumbled, "You son of a bitch. You motherfucker. I am going to tear out your liver and I'm going to feed it to you sideways through the hole in your shrunken dick."

The sounds of traffic can be heard whizzing by from the other end. And when the voice speaks, it's familiar. VERY familiar. "You invaded my house, Ramon Gomez. You took my papers. You took my pets. It just prompted me to make a second visit. And a third. I've done this for years….do you honestly think one little break-in is going to make you catch up?"

John Carter looks to the seat next to him, where Elena stares blankly at the whizzing traffic, and ignorant of the deadly-looking accident behind them.

"It pains me to do what I did to your son. He is valuable…but he's also unstable. A wildcard. In our line of work, we can't afford any of those. Your daughter, however, can be reasoned with."

Ramon clutches the phone. His inclination is to start hissing threats. But he doesn't. "Well you called me," he snarls. "And you didn't just do it to gloat. You're too careful for that. What do I have to do to get my daughter back?" If John Carter can't hear the barely controlled malice in Ramon's tone though, he's not paying attention.

"You've dogged me for years, and now you want to make a deal?" John muses. "……I misjudged you. I thought hearing you all this time, you would never even stoop to having a civil conversation with someone like me. But it seems you misjudged me too. I -did- just call you to gloat. Why should I make a deal when I've got you right where I want you?"

He can practically hear the smirk on his lips.

"Goodnight, Ramon Gomez. I'm sure this…won't be the last time we'll be speaking. Maybe the next time, it'll be face to face, and maybe then I'll let you kill me."

The phonecall ends from the other end, and all Ramon hears is a dial tone.

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