Saturday, February 13, 2010

Deep Impact

This is an extremely special Nick and Damien, not just because it has two endings.  This was the first Nick and Damien story ever co written, and beautifully written by Rolf.  
It began a few days ago as a light, fluffy story, inspired by Fem and Second’s pleading for new stories, and a story I very much enjoyed by Larrkin, with the aim being to produce something quick and fun to cover the recent story dry spell. Then Rolf, who reads and inputs on everything I write, sent a section back to me with a ‘hmmm I’m not sure about this part’. We had a point of differing. I saw one incident falling one way, Rolf could see it falling the other, and how it would go from there. His idea was so good I asked him if he’d write it with me. He turned this into a much deeper and more powerful story with a theme and question that really interested me.  
So now you have two options and two endings- whether Nick is good and Damien nice, or whether Nick is less good and Damien is- well, less nice. ;) We’ve already placed bets on which you’ll all read first!
 Rolf – this is wonderful, and it was great fun. {}
I thought I was just posing a question for minor discussion but it turned into a lot more than that. Thank you Ranger, for allowing me into the world of Nick and Damien that I treasure so much. I hope that the real Nick and Damien have shown through, for both you and all your fans. It was scary work, but I enjoyed it a lot. You're the best. :{) ~Rolf
Title: Deep Impact    
Authors: Rolf and Ranger

You couldn't really blame it on the boogie, but you most certainly COULD blame it on Freddie Mercury.
He was getting to the really inspiring bit of 'Who Wants to Live Forever' as I was negotiating the most difficult stretch of the A508, which was horrendously busy for five pm on a Friday evening. I did need my brains testing for going shopping on a Friday afternoon anyway, the shopping centre had been crazy. But it wasn't one of my work days, it was a bright and sunny afternoon and Damien and I were starting to fight over socks in the mornings. The washing machine seemed to have been eating more than its fair ration recently. So here I was, with a back seat full of shopping bags- brand new socks in numerous colours, a sweatshirt I'd liked the look of, a rugby shirt I knew Damien would like the look of and would look pretty damned gorgeous in, and several books I hadn't been able to resist in Waterstones- with Freddie hammering out that if I touched his soul with my fingertips we could probably have forever.
And that was how I missed the damn exit off the road.
I was singing along. At that bit of that song, it's difficult not to. Someone in a large truck was in front of me and crawling along,; someone else behind me in a Vauxhall Nova was getting terminally impatient and was virtually driving up my exhaust pipe he was so close; the road was PACKED. And I didn't notice that I was alongside the slip road that leads onto the road home, until I was nearly past it.
To say I swore would be to put it mildly. Mr Vauxhall Nova was right on top of me, there was no way I could just swerve over, although I hit my left indicator and tried to think - in the space of three seconds - what was the best thing to do. Another car whizzed past me on the inside, zooming up the slip road as though he'd been waiting with gritted teeth on the road for the opportunity of escape. I knew how he felt. If I didn't go up THIS slip road then it would be a five mile drive to the next exit, to turn around and drive five miles back to get home, and I'd then be late and Damien hated me coming home late. Mr Vauxhall Nova pulled out to overtake me and the let up from him sitting on my tail decided me. There was a low verge of grass along side the slip road, I was past the exit but not past the grass. I yanked the wheel over to the left, and drove over the verge in a wide circling U turn towards the slip road.
Almost instantly I found myself pulling onto the slip road FROM the verge while about seven cars shot up it at ninety miles an hour, all of their drivers leaning on their horns in indignation at me appearing in front of them. Several of them screeched to a halt. I straightened my car up, heart pounding, hating the blare of the horns, and noticed in an absent kind of way that one of the cars behind me - about two cars back - was a dark blue Laguna.
I didn't need to check the number plate. I knew it was Damien. Naturally, if I was going to make a manoeuvre like this anywhere in the county, it would be Damien I cut up while I was doing it.
"Who wants to live forever?" Freddie inquired via the CD.
That wasn't a problem I was likely to deal with. Living until teatime tonight presented more of a difficulty. I meekly pulled up to the traffic lights at a sedate ten miles an hour. Behind me the other cars began slowly to move again, straightening out from the strange angles they'd all braked at. And then a green fiat erupted up the slip road at high speed, I heard the screech of brakes as it reached the stationary cars, and it ran off the road sideways, hitting the crash barrier with a horrible smashing sound. Another car behind THAT screeched as it braked, there was a dull THUNK as it hit one of the stationary cars which slid forward to hit another of the stationary cars- like dominos, they all nudged forward one after another and there was a little run of percussive sounds. Thunk thunk thunk thunk thunk. Silence.
There is this AWFUL silence that always follows car accidents where no one moves or does anything. Then someone sensible pulled their car off the road onto the verge, put the hazard warning lights on and got out. Damien. Naturally it was Damien. Trying to stop shaking, I pulled my car onto the verge too, got out and headed over the rough grass to the green fiat. Damien had his cell phone to his ear and was walking rapidly through the crowd of shunted cars - five of them, five irate people getting out of cars, and traffic starting to queue behind them down onto the A508 which was slowing to a standstill. In the driver's seat of the green fiat was a young woman who was crying her heart out. Panic stricken, I opened her door, hoping to God I wasn't going to see any blood. She didn't even look around. Instead, bounding across from the back seat, came a large and over excited golden retriever who leaped past me and galloped off down the slip road in between the cars.
"Harry!" the woman shrieked after him. Harry didn't even look around. The woman put her head down on the steering wheel and howled.
"Are you all right?" I asked stupidly. "Hurt I mean? Are you hurt?"
"Someone get this bloody dog out of the way!" someone bellowed from further down the slip road.
"Are YOU the prat who pulled across the verge and caused all this?" a man's voice demanded belligerently. I looked around in growing panic. He was big, balding and not amused. Since his car was shunted both front and back I couldn't blame him.
"I -" I began assertively, and trailed off. Of the five shunted cars, most of the drivers were now standing around shouting at each other. Other drivers were shouting at the dog who was now bouncing around on the A508 with several people in hot pursuit. The woman was still bawling over her steering wheel. Damien put a hand on my shoulder and stepped between me and the glaring, balding man.
"Nicky. Go and put your hazard warning lights on in your car, get a jacket and go up to the verge by the traffic lights. Make sure you stand behind the crash barrier."
I was extremely willing to do exactly as he said. I put the hazard warning lights on and they ticked loudly, blinking orange on and off in a steady rhythm. I pulled on the jacket Damien makes me keep in the car for emergencies like this, zipped it up and walked numbly up the hill. The verge by the traffic lights was well away from the chaos. I stepped over the crash barrier, found a dry patch of grass and sat down. My hands, when I linked them around my knees, were shaking like maracas. From far away, behind the long queues of traffic forming on the now stationary A508, I heard the wail of police sirens.


I was going to get the tanning of my life.
I didn't think I'd ever deserved it quite so much.
Damien pulled up onto the drive behind me, locked his car and stood waiting for me on the door step. It took me forever to get together my jacket, the shopping bags, to find the keys and lock my car. I felt all fingers and thumbs, appallingly clumsy. Appallingly stupid.
I hesitated before pocketing my car keys, very well aware I was unlikely to be driving again any time soon. Damien would be bound to confiscate my keys, having seen my appalling driving stunt first hand- it was also likely I'd be very grounded into the bargain. But Damien didn't ask for the keys. Just unlocked the door and held it back for me, taking one of the shopping bags.
"What are these? Did you have a good afternoon?"
Did I have a good afternoon? I looked at him blankly. Yes, until I caused a six car pile up and the police got involved.
"Socks!" Damien said cheerfully, heading into the kitchen and unpacking the bag. "What a brilliant idea. This is rather nice."
He was unfolding the rugby shirt.
"I thought you'd like that." I said absently. Anastasia pushed against my knee, mewing urgently. I found the box of her cat biscuits, filled her bowl and she buried her nose in it, purring.
"Come here." Damien said gently. He'd draped the rugby shirt over the table, his collar was open and his tie yanked loose, and he was leaning with his hips propped against it, both hands held out. I went to him and he drew me against him, wrapping both arms unhurriedly and warmly around me. I leaned my head on his shoulder and hugged him back, breathing the last traces of aftershave still lingering on his skin, the clean cotton of his shirt. He rubbed my back in slow, heavy circles and I could feel his lips against my forehead, the warmth of his breath stirring my hair. He might be about to wring my neck but I seriously needed a hug and he did it better than anyone else I knew.
Anastasia had finished her biscuits and was stretching luxuriously when Damien let me go with a gentle pat to my backside. That was a reminder I really didn't need.
Go find a corner Nick. I'll come kill you in a minute.
"Go and run yourself a bath. I'll bring you a drink up."
That wasn't in the script.
I must have looked staggered. He put a hand on my waist and steered me towards the stairs, taking my jacket from me.
"Go on, get straight in. A good, deep one, you're still shivering."
Yes. Mostly in anticipation of what he was planning to do to me. I headed slowly upstairs, trailed by the cat. I'd been SO stupid. I might have been involved in the first crash- might have actually hurt someone instead of just frightened and infuriated half a dozen people. I could still hear that poor woman crying hysterically. It made me about ready to throw up.
I ran a bath, undressed mechanically and tried not to catch sight of myself in the bathroom mirror. I didn't want to look at myself. SO STUPID. All that chaos, all that trouble, all that potential danger because I was day dreaming and chose to do something dangerous to compensate for it. Anastasia meowed at me as I climbed into the water, got up on her hind legs and peered over the side of the bath. I rubbed her ears, somewhat grateful for her attention. She didn't care that I was an appalling driver who ought to be -
- well. It would probably be of some consolation to the other drivers if they knew what my friend and partner was about to do to me in the name of justice for seriously bad drivers.
I hugged my knees. Downstairs Damien had put the CD player on, I could hear Adiemus floating up the stairs. Thank God for small mercies that it was Friday. At least I wouldn't have to face working tomorrow with a phenomenally sore backside- nor have to face immediately the horrible complexities of not being allowed to drive.
"Are you the prat who caused all this?" the balding man had demanded.
Yes, I was definitely that prat.
"Here." Damien came in with two glasses, one of which he handed to me. It was white wine, and one of my favourites: medium sweet, ice cold and misting the glass. I sipped it, avoiding his eye as he sat on the edge of the bath. His fingers pushed gently through my hair, combing it back from my forehead.
"What books did you get? I saw the Waterstones bag."
"Just books." I said vaguely. "I'm so sorry. It was a stupid thing to do, I wasn't even thinking, that poor woman could have been seriously hurt-"
"Nicky." Damien interrupted firmly. I looked up at him. Soft, hazel eyes. Unaccusing, but matter of fact.
"No one's hurt, there's no real damage done, just a few bent fenders. There is nothing more to worry about. We'll talk about it after dinner and we'll sort it all out, it's going to be fine. Have a drink, lie back and soak. It's all right."
Yes, it was fine. Six people had crunched cars and the police had logged a report, and Damien was about to kill me. I gulped wine and choked on it.
"What books were you looking for?" Damien said in the same calm tone. "I knew you were after the new Terry Pratchett."
I dragged my mind away from cars and towards books with a huge effort.
"Yes- something by… um…."
Thunk. Green car, woman crying, dog bouncing around the A508 having the time of its life. It had taken both police and several bystanders to corner it, calm it down and return it to the car. It had taken still longer to calm the woman down enough for Damien to reverse her car back onto the road and for her to be able to drive herself home.
"Pass me that sponge." Damien said, taking a sip of wine and putting his glass down.
I did as I was told, watched him soap it up and took it from him, washing mechanically. He scrubbed my back when I was done, taking his time and pushing hard at my shoulders and neck until I realised how tense I was holding myself and relaxed somewhat. He took a towel off the radiator and stepped back, waiting while I climbed out of the bath, then wrapped the towel around my shoulders. It was warm, comfortingly soft and enveloping. I could happily have pulled it over my head and stayed under there. What I really needed was a rock to crawl under.
"Your grey sweatshirt is in the airing cupboard," Damien told me, collecting his wine, "And your green cords. Go and put those on. Socks too. Draw the curtains up here, and come straight downstairs when you're done. You've got ten minutes, no more. I'll get dinner started."
I dried myself slowly, listening to him whistling in the kitchen, along with the music. When I was dressed I made it half way downstairs before I sat down, hugging my knees and looking at our cars through the window at the top of the front door. There was not a scratch on my car. And thankfully not on Damien's either, neither of us had been involved in the shunts. That seemed even less fair.
"Nick!" Damien called from the kitchen.
For a moment I seriously considered sitting where I was. If I sat here, he'd come out to me. If I refused to move I would push him eventually into a confrontation. And once we got started we'd end up dealing with everything: my refusing to get off the stairs, and my causing a six car accident this evening. A few years ago I might have tried it out of a forlorn hope that pushing him into a confrontation here and now over not moving would swallow up the bigger issue and make the whole thing quicker and easier, or at least over with. Looking back I was sometimes staggered by just what a naïve and cockeyed optimist I'd been. These days I understood things in a lot more depth and I knew that throwing a paddy here on the stairs was not going to achieve anything or make this any easier.
"Yes." I said wearily. I got up and went into the kitchen. Damien gave me a cheerful nod towards the chopping board where a pile of carrots and celery waited.
"Cube those for me darling. We'll have the rest of that casserole in the freezer."
I cubed silently. Dropped the vegetables into the water boiling on the stove top. Washed up the few dishes in the sink. Set the table.
We ate with Damien talking mildly and persistently about his day, and asking me simple questions about mine that prodded me into answering in something more than monosyllables. I tried to eat, knowing he wasn't going to let me get away with what I wanted, which was to escape from even the sight of food. It was a relief when he finally picked the plates up and took them to the sink, saying to me gently,
"Go on upstairs, pick a corner and wait for me."
Finally. We got to the death and destruction.
I left him washing up and slowly walked the four million miles upstairs. The curtains were drawn in our room against the twilight and what were still quite chilly nights. I put the bedside lamps on, we both preferred their soft light to the harsh central light; took a few deep breaths, and then made myself open the wardrobe.
The cane lay in its usual place on the shelf at the top, long, slender, flexible. I fumbled for it in amongst the folded sweaters, pulled it down and shut the wardrobe, hating the feel of it in my hand. I put it on the bed, dropped my car keys beside it, and went out to my usual corner on the landing. And waited.
I heard him come out of the kitchen, snapping the light off as he passed it - which meant he wasn't planning to go downstairs again tonight. Which confirmed, as if I didn't already know, that this was going to take a while and it was going to be bad. The front door rattled as he snapped the dead bolts home and latched the chain, and then his footsteps came upstairs, a slow, steady stride. You could sell him to a Greek theatre company: Damien Mitchell, the personification of Nemesis.
He went past me into the bedroom, which I wasn't ready for- usually we talked on the landing before a major assassination. That only confirmed to me again that there was nothing to talk about. I knew exactly how much of a prat I'd been tonight, how much I deserved the thrashing I was about to get, and how totally obvious it was to anyone with half an IQ that doing a U turn on a duel carriage way over a verge to a missed exit was a truly stupid thing to do.
If I only had a brain….
Bring on the yellow brick bloody road.
Damien. I took a deep breath, tried to keep my stomach from churning and walked into the bedroom. He was holding the cane, I loathed the matter of fact way he was handling it. My knees were already trembling. I was wearing cords too: the cords he'd told me to put on. They were NOT the most protective of clothing to be caned in, the sting penetrated the fabric all too easily.
"What do we need this for?" Damien said quizzically, nodding at the cane.
I gave him a somewhat blank look, wondering if this was some kind of trick question.
"I could have killed someone. It was cars- crashing-"
He was still looking inquiring. I shrugged, not in the mood to make sense nor to be particularly articulate.
"People could have got hurt."
That was usually enough to warrant a caning- anything that put me and anyone else in any real physical danger. Damien walked past me, opened the wardrobe and put the cane back on the top shelf, shutting the door on it quietly. I still had my mouth open when he sat down on the end of the bed, leaning his elbows on his knees to look at me.
"The only thing that you did wrong was turning across the verge to get to the slip road. What should you have done?"
THAT was the obvious part.
"Gone to the next exit," I said, nearly gabbling to get that out of the way. "But I made everyone else do emergency stops, they stopped all over the place and that was what made the girl crash - and that man hit the car at the back which caused all the shunts, I did ALL of that-"
"You made a few cars veer off and a few drivers jump." Damien interrupted clearly. "They all did the safe thing and stopped. The girl was not paying attention, she was not reading the road and she was going too fast, she didn't see in time that the road wasn't clear and that was why she had to swerve off the road and why she crashed. Likewise the man behind us, who was also going too fast and not paying attention, which was why he didn't stop in time. Two drivers not paying attention to what was happening on the road. That was the verdict of the police and that'll be the verdict of the insurance companies too."
"If I hadn't MADE people stop they wouldn't have crashed!" I said somewhat incoherently. "I put them in that position to start with!"
"You made a few cars swerve and a few drivers jump." Damien repeated. "It was a badly thought out impulse, and it wasn't safe driving, but that was all. The drivers around you reacted, they moved out of the way and stopped. What happened after that was due to two people not involved in that situation who were driving without due care and attention. They're responsible for reading the road and responding to what's happening ahead of them. They had plenty of time to see and slow down, and all the other drivers managed it. They weren't paying attention and that's why they crashed. You're not responsible for their driving or their actions."
"If I hadn't stopped the traffic it wouldn't have mattered." I said bitterly. "It was still my fault."
"No, it isn't." Damien said patiently. "When you drive you have to react to what's happening around you. It might have been an animal running across the road or someone with a tyre blown that caused the traffic to stop, the cause doesn't matter. It's up to each driver to be aware of what's going on ahead of them and react accordingly-"
"But it wasn't an animal or a tyre, it was me!" I pointed out. "If I hadn't been so thick it wouldn't have happened!"
Damien shook his head, unrattled. "Darling, the insurance companies are absolutely clear on this: impacts from behind are always the responsibility of the colliding driver. They should have been controlling their speed and distance well enough to react to what is going on ahead of them."
"But I COULD have avoided all of it happening," I said stubbornly. "If I'd made the right decision I wouldn't have put anyone else in danger. That woman might have been killed, her car might have rolled over, the DOG might have got run over-"
"The dog virtually needed bringing down with a tranquiliser gun." Damien said dryly. "You are only responsible for your own actions Nicky. Just like everyone else in that situation was responsible for theirs. And bottom line, no one was hurt, no real damage was done, the insurance companies will sort it out from here. What we need to talk about is whether or not when you miss an exit you do a U turn across the grass to get back to it."
"That isn't the issue!" I said hotly. "I can't NOT look at the consequences of what happened, you're the one who goes on and on to me about thinking through the consequences of my actions-"
"Hey." Damien interrupted sternly.
There is always a choice at this point, and I never make the right one. Cannon to the right of them, cannon to the left of them, cannon to the front of them volleyed and thundered…. And I opened my mouth and rode yet again into the valley of already hacked off boyfriend.
"Well either you mean it or you don't! If you only mean it when you don't want me to get totally freaked out about nearly killing someone then it doesn't really mean-"
Somewhere through that Damien got up and took my arm, steering me across the room. I found myself addressing the wallpaper in the corner and trailed off, aware of Damien's hand propped on the wall above my head, his arm close behind me.
"I COULD have killed someone," I said to the wallpaper, and my eyes finally stung, my breath rushed up in my chest in one hard lump. "If I hadn't caused a crash and you'd seen me come over the grass, you'd be telling me now how dangerous it was instead of that it doesn't matter-"
I shut up, closing my eyes tightly and taking a deep breath. It was a long time before I could let it out again. Damien's hand moved to the back of my neck and stroked, ruffling the back of my hair. He stood there with me for a long time, until I was breathing quietly, then he moved away and I heard the bed creak as he sat down.

It's very difficult to stay intense about anything in a corner. It all gets absorbed into the wallpaper and paintwork. I don't know how long I stood there, only that I went over and over and over my argument until it lost pace and started to get confused in my head, and I gradually shifted from heated words to simply being aware of how miserable and panicked I felt.
"Nicky." Damien said behind me. His voice was very kind. I turned around and he held out a hand to me. He was still sitting on the end of the bed. I took his hand and his fingers wrapped around mine, warm and comforting.
I knew what he meant. I nodded slowly, trying not to gulp. "Yes."
His hand squeezed mine gently and let go.
"Take those cords down."
It wasn't exactly a surprise but my stomach still lurched. It took forever to get my fly button undone, I fumbled with it with fingers that felt numbed and Damien sat quietly where he was on the bed, his hands linked between his knees, without any hint of impatience. I still found myself flushing as I got the fly loose and slid the cords southwards. They refused to do the dignified thing and hover, they just flopped down to my knees.
"And those." Damien said quietly, nodding at my shorts. They were actually his, the first pair that came to hand in the airing cupboard, and I never do look right in boxers. There's also nothing worse than actually having to do this yourself, and it's not something Damien often makes me do. I was aware of my face getting steadily hotter, and aware too that there was absolutely no sense in making this any more complicated. I slid them down after my cords and stood there, feeling about as vulnerable as hell and all of eight inches tall. Damien took my hand and drew me over to his right side, and I went where he guided me, finding myself face down on the duvet, my head on my arms, fitting into place over his lap with the simplicity of long practice. Bare backside up over his knee, one of his hands warm and solid around my hip, his arm across my back. His other hand rested across my thighs, which made me feel still more vulnerable. I swallowed hard, turned my cheek on my arms and waited anxiously for him to get on with it.
"Do you want to tell me what it was you did wrong on that exit road?" Damien said quietly.
'No Damien' was not going to be a politic answer, especially when I was already over his knee. I gritted my teeth, but there was only so much tact I could manage.
"Pretty much everything. I was daydreaming and I missed the exit, so I did a U turn across the grass and made everyone on the slip road jump and panic so they stopped, and everyone behind them-"
Damien's hand moved from my thighs and swatted, firmly.
I was fairly used to him swatting me when I said something I knew perfectly well he wasn't going to approve of, but somehow in this position and bare, it was seriously more acute. I swallowed and stopped, close to yelping. Damien's hand returned to resting across my thighs, warm and heavy.
"Try that again."
"Oh God Damien…." I said wearily, and got another swat which this time did make me yelp, fairly miserably. "Damiennnnnnnn………"
"What did you do wrong on that exit road?" Damien said in exactly the same quiet, easy-going tone. He's like a tank when he gets an idea in his head; no matter what is said and done he just goes on and on and on relentlessly until you give up and co operate. I slumped back down face first into the duvet.
"Tried to turn back after I'd missed it. And pulled over the grass to get to it."
"Yes." Damien said calmly. His hand moved fractionally on my thigh, rubbing comfortingly. I didn't appreciate it. Right now I just wished passionately he'd get on with it and get it over with. Being laid out in position like this, ready and waiting, was nerve wracking to say the least.
"Why isn't that a good idea?"
"Because it's dangerous." I said through gritted teeth. "And causes six car pile ups-"
He swatted me again. Not particularly hard, but being upturned and bare he already had my full attention and I couldn't help yelping.
"Why isn't that a good idea Nick?"
If I sank my teeth into his knee at this point he'd probably claim that I was being unreasonable.
"Because it causes accidents." I said impatiently. "It DID cause an accident."
"Do you want to go back to the corner?" Damien inquired politely. I glared at the duvet, acutely aware of my backside pointed up over his knee.
"No sir."
"Then try again."
Mitchell get ON WITH IT. I took a deep breath, trying to unclench my rump which was I swear starting to prickle with pure apprehension.
"Because it isn't safe. It meant I wasn't paying sufficient attention, and it startles other drivers, they might not react well."
"Very true." Damien approved quietly above me. I could feel the rumble of his chest when he spoke, and the soft cotton of his shirt was against my side where I was bare, the rougher fabric of his trousers against my thighs. The warm weight of his arm across my back and the hand that was cupped around my hip, holding me firmly in position. I could feel the individual pressure of his fingers. In fact I was far too aware of this entire wretched situation.
"What should you have done?"
Arg arg arg. WHY did he have to keep on talking? There was nothing I could do but surrender and try to get this over as quickly as possible. I turned my cheek against my forearm and shut my eyes.
"Carried on to the next exit."
"It was stupid." I said bitterly. I knew what I was asking for, and I was expecting the swat, but it still made me yelp. Damien sounded firm.
"It was not stupid. It was dangerous and it was a poor choice, but that's all. If I see you doing impulsive, risky things like that when you're driving then I will spank you, and that's no surprise to you Nick. You knew you shouldn't have done it."
Ok ok ok, just do it for pity's sake!
"I know. I'm sorry."
"That doesn't however make you responsible for anyone else's actions."
And he STILL wasn't done….. The alarm clock was on the bedside table. Maybe I could reach that and batter myself unconscious with it. I dragged my mind back into gear with an effort, aware that Damien was waiting for an answer, and that trying to respond appropriately was the only way I was ever going to get out of this ghastly situation.
I didn't agree with that statement, I wanted to argue it. The sensible thing to do would be to agree completely, to anything he said, promptly and fervently - on the other hand I was not in the habit of being untruthful with Damien and he invariably knew when I wasn't a hundred percent sincere. He had me right between a rock and a hard place. We WERE going to have to keep on arguing this out.
"I DID cause it." I said eventually, helplessly. "If I hadn't startled everyone there wouldn't have been the situation that caused the crash!"
"You are not responsible for other people's actions." Damien repeated.
I buried my face in my arms, groaning aloud.

~ * ~

And now you can choose your ending……..
 Ending One                 Ending Two

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