Summary: Cruz’s next race is being held in Brussels, where it’s been very dangerous lately. McQueen warns her against going, even if he goes with her.
Warnings: anxiety attack, mild fluff
Word count: I’ll prolly forget to put here
A/N: I saw someone come up with the idea about what if Cruz has anxiety? Well here’s Cruz with an anxiety attack. I’m not very good at anxiety attacks because I had one like once, but it was barely an anxiety attack. It was more like a silent freak out, kinda ish. Idk. But this was my attempt.
Lightning sighs. “I’m serious, Cruz, it’s been very dangerous these past four months in Brussels. Lotta crime, lotta death, and I don’t know why they’re even hosting a race in Brussels in the first place.”
“Oh my goddd,” Cruz groans. He had been bugging her since she got the invite to the race yesterday, urging her not to accept. “Mr. McQueen, I’m going.”
“How many times have I told you to call me Lightning?”
Cruz doesn’t reply to that.
“Racing is dangerous, and you never stopped me-in fact, you pushed me into the middle of your race!” Cruz argues.
“But we were in Florida where there hasn’t been that bad of crime since last year!” Lightning argues back.
Cruz makes a short grumbly sound in her mouth. She’s about to say something when Lightning continues on, giving Cruz the urge to yell.
“Remember when they had the last race in Brussels four months ago? Someone came in, bombed it, and eight cars died. I don’t want you getting hurt, or killed, or seeing that stuff,” Lightning adds. “I even had a friend there. He lost all of his tires, and the right side of his frame was barely together.”
Cruz looked at him, now gaining a bit more seriousness for that moment. The noises on tv from her own mentor’s crash filled her head. She couldn’t help it, though, and wonder if that was her. Her bright, sunny yellow gloss shredded off and whatever was left was dull. She wondered if she’d be able to keep her tires, or if she could never drive again because her lower frame was so badly damaged. She wondered if her windshield would be okay…Oh god, if she was blind, if she was blin-
Cruz shuddered. Her mind came back from the void of images and saw Mr. McQueen’s concerned face. “Are you okay? You just…blanked out.”
Cruz blinked twice. “Yeah, I’m fine,” She ends with a small chuckle. Lightning is obviously still concerned, though. He sees in her brown eyes that she is not okay.
“Uh, see ya later!’ Cruz leaves the cone abruptly. Lightning doesn’t go after her, or anything. He could only let her go.
Cruz went back to her own cone after some laps to ease her mind at Willy’s Butte. The place had began to become relaxing since she came to Radiator Springs. It was always her by herself, or her and McQueen. It was her place, and it was pretty much his place.
It was about seven thirty when she arrived back in her cone and turned on the tv. It was on the news channel. But Cruz froze and did not pay attention to anything else when she heard and saw the tv.
“…Breaking Now, a bomb was detonated at the Brussels De Vries International Race Complex, reportedly killing twenty four cars and injuring thirty others.”
Cruz’s mind was scorched that she was hearing things that weren’t real. She did not realize that tears were slowly rising to her eyes, that her engine had sped up to unhealthy rates, and that the screams and horrific noises she imagined were not real.
Four minutes of silence on the outside, but hellish noise on the inside was torturing her. There was a shortness of breath, trembling, and an ache in her fenders she did not pay attention to.
“Hey, Cruz!” Lightning’s voice comes towards the entrance, but Cruz is entirely oblivious to anything outside of her.
“Cruz?” Lightning asks again quieter, hoping she was there, or okay. He decided to go inside and his mind went bursting in deep concern seeing Cruz’s state.
The usually happy, sweet, kinda bubbly, bright banana-colored car was trembling right in front of the tv. He could see how…how scared she was-oh no, more than scared. As if it was an anxiety attack…Was it?
“Cruz?” His voice comes out quietly. There would never be one word to describe Lightning’s own fear and worry. He’s never seen her like this. Not for a race, not about absolutely anything. Since the five months she’s met her, nothing like this has happened. He’s never seen such anxiety in anyone, even. Not a single car.
“Cruz…” He says again, driving a little closer.
And it was sudden. Cruz felt the world around her again.
The tv’s noises were at the bottom of awareness. She finally recognized she was having an anxiety attack. Her breathing she couldn’t stop, and the fluid at her eyes. “Mr. McQueen-” She starts quickly with panic.
“Lightning,” He interrupts quietly.
Cruz’s terrified brown eyes head back to the tv. Her voice was a barely audible whisper. “Why did I want to go?”
Those six words crushed Lightning’s heart. He wouldn’t hear more of her anxiety and fear-driven words, it wasn’t good for her. “Cruz-”
“I should’ve been there-I should be dead!” Her voice goes higher.
“Cruz, please…” He urges with a still soft voice.
Cruz’s anxiety-filled eyes came back to his mildly-aged blues. He was only thirty eight, he wasn’t truly that old. It’s just that he wasn’t the new thing anymore. He was the older thing. Functional, still, of course.
Cruz closed her eyes tightly. It felt like to look around her would choke her. It felt that bad to approach, to see, to let something touch her. “Why am I not dead?” Her voice pushes out lower than a whisper.
“Because I don’t want you to be dead.”
With other people she’s known in her life, she would’ve found that hard to believe at all words. All the people that hated her a long time ago that were supposed to be better for her growing up. But the people who cared eventually came. Lightning, Sally, Mater and the town. There were all the fans because she had been put into the race because Lightning cared in the first place. Everything her life was now because one car cared. One car. She had never really realized how special one car could be until he came and made things brighter.
“Thanks,” Cruz mutters lowly, but enough for Lightning to hear. Her lips had the tiniest of smiles. Nothing like when she won races. It was like if there was a joke someone made at school when she had a bad day. But not like they ever cared. She was so silent that she just overheard.
A moment went to a minute of no words. Just concern mixed with the calming of her anxiety. It was going down surely.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Lightning asks.
“No, I’m okay now…I’m okay,” Cruz replies. Lightning recognized her positivity returning. The Cruz he knew well, the Cruz he loved was slowly returning. Not that he loved her when she was down, he just loved when she smiled and when she was happy. He loved when she was racing-that was made her happy more than anything.