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Do you know what? Maybe Jack was wrong about Americans.

He'd always thought they were judgmental assholes, people who enjoyed listening in on other people's problems just to distract them from their own. He believed that all they wanted was more juicy gossip to spread through the world and place a black spot on someone's reputation.

And for the most part, he still thought that was true.

But not everyone.

For example, the people in the hospital were fucking amazing.

He had liked the massive red brick building from the offset. It was tightly sandwiched between an ancient bookstore and a newly opened music store, weirdly fitting in between the two. A comfortable mixture of old and new. Although he may have had a slight bias. Jack was holding his arm tightly to his chest at the time, wincing in pain with every step he took, so that was another reason to be glad that the hospital was finally coming into sight.

Jack could remember everything that happened with alarming clarity. The way Jason enjoyed waiting a few seconds, giving Jack hope that it was over, before bringing his fist down in another punch. Always harder and more brutal than the last. It was a difficult thing to forget.

The sheer force from Jason's rage made the Irishman groan quietly at every punch, the embarrassingly quiet whimpers mixing into the sound of skin hitting muscle and his desperate gasping for air that refused to enter his lungs. Soon enough Jack was pulled off the bed by his green hair, Jason slurring insults as he dumped him on the ground like a sack of potatoes, aiming a ruthless kick at his stomach.

Jack put his hands up to protect himself but it did little good. After the first few hits to the head, he felt dizzy, the world spinning around him in a blur of color and sharp pain. The more hits he took, the worse it got. Dark spots danced across his vision. He could feel himself start to lose consciousness.

All of a sudden, it stopped.

The sound of a bottle smashing was distantly heard downstairs before the slamming of the front door and the squealing of tires. Jack couldn't help but hope Jason would drive off a fucking cliff, but there was no point indulging in pipe dreams.

He didn't know how long he lay, half curled on his bedroom floor before he finally dared to move. He could barely process what had just happened, his heart beating painfully hard against his chest. All of a sudden he could feel himself retching, his mouth filling with blood and bile. It was disgusting, thick and bitter on his tongue. He felt it run freely from his mouth and down his chin, dripping slowly onto the floorboards. He couldn't even find the energy in himself to reach up and wipe it away.

The pain was like nothing he'd ever experienced before. Every move he made sent agony through his nerves and he bit his lip hard as he struggled to drag himself onto the bed, his legs unable to carry his weight. His right arm throbbed and he felt his harsh, labored breathing pick up when he realized he couldn't move his hand without screaming in agony. After multiple failed attempts to pull himself up, he gave up, breathing ragged and hair plastered to his forehead with sweat.

Jack tried to assess the damage. His stomach ached where he was sure bruises littered his skin, turning him black and blue. His right arm had to be broken, there was no way it could be anything else. But there was little he could do only keep it still in case he made the injury worse. That's what people do in games, right? They don't just sit there and wait to die, they get up and patch themselves up. They're heroes.

But Jack wasn't in a video game. And he was no hero.

His every muscle screaming in protest as he threw in a last-ditch attempt at climbing onto his bed. This time he actually managed to heave his torso onto the blankets, eyes tightly closed the only sound was his own pained grunting. When he was finally on the bed he took a break, letting his body rest for a few seconds before he attempted his next mission. Because this is how Sean McLoughlin thinks when he's in a bad situation. If this were a video game, what would be his next mission?

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