Interlude 18 – On The Mend
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content warning: brief mention of injury; amnesia / brain fog

=::= Melanie's PoV =::=

"How are you feeling now?" I asked as I watched my girlfriend sit up.

She sort of twisted and turned, slowly at first like she was checking for pain or stiffness. I saw her wince a bit, her side was definitely tender if not still sore. I pretty much expected that though, even with the bite marks bandaged I knew there'd be bruising and swelling.

After a few seconds she nodded, "It's not bad. I'm probably not going to be doing any physical activities this week though."

"On the other hand," she added with a hopeful smile, "My headache's gone and I don't feel dizzy anymore. You don't suppose it's already healing that other stuff, do you?"

I gave her an apologetic look and shook my head, "Sorry Cerys. I'm pretty sure you don't get any supernatural benefits until after the first change. You're probably feeling better after the pain-killers and spending most of the afternoon asleep."

"I guess you're right," she pouted. "And three weeks isn't that long to wait, before those other benefits kick in."

"Yeah," I agreed as I tried not to sigh.

It was about quarter after four and she'd only been awake for ten or twelve minutes. I was positive the sleep did her good though. My nap was a lot shorter, but I wasn't going to tell her about it. Or anyone else either, except maybe my wolf tutor.

I'd completely broken down from the guilt after I bit her. Knowing what was going to happen to her, what she was in for in a couple weeks, and knowing it was my fault whether she asked for it or not, it was almost too much.

I kept it together long enough to clean and bandage the wound, and I made sure Cerys was comfortable and everything. But then I collapsed in my bed and cried like a little kid for five or ten minutes, before finally passing out myself. I basically cried myself to sleep, something I hadn't done since I was like six or seven maybe.

Luckily I'd been quiet enough not to disturb Cerys, and I was only asleep for a little while too. Then I got myself sorted out, put on some clean clothes and just sort of had a quiet afternoon as I watched over my girlfriend and waited for her to wake up too.

"So are you hungry?" I asked after a bit. "I could go with some food, considering neither of us had breakfast and we both skipped lunch."

Cerys looked thoughtful, then asked "Am I going to start craving meat? Or I'll have a bigger appetite once I start changing?"

"Not really," I replied with a grimace. "Not yet anyways. Maybe around full moons you'll start wanting rare meat? But seriously Cerys, you're not a werewolf yet ok? You're a girl who's recovering from a serious head injury, and now you're also recovering from an animal bite. Just try and take it easy ok? Try not to focus too much on the wolf stuff for now? Believe me, when it happens you'll know about it."

"Speaking of recovering from injuries, we probably can't show that to a doctor or nurse?" I added as I gestured towards her side. "I heard they usually freak out at animal bites? Like there's rabies protocols and they send animal control people to investigate? And they'll want to actually see the animal who bit you or whatever."

She nodded, "Yeah I get it. And I really can't tell them it's just a little love-bite from my girlfriend."

I grimaced again, "No, you definitely shouldn't tell anyone that. Anyways, what do you think about dinner? I could make us something, if you're hungry?"

"Thanks Melanie," she replied as she pulled her phone out of her purse. It looked like she had it turned off for the hospital, which reminded me I'd turned mine off earlier too. As she booted it up she added, "What were you thinking about doing for dinner? More BBQ burgers?"

I nodded, "We've got some more of those burgs your uncle gave us? Or there's sausages too. And we could heat up some frozen fries in the oven if you like?"

Before she could respond her phone pinged and buzzed with a bunch of missed notifications, and Cerys frowned as she checked the messages. From the way her expression shifted back and forth through frowns, worried looks, and surprise, I realized maybe those group texts I ignored earlier were important.

"What's wrong?" I asked as I grabbed my phone to turn it back on.

Cerys sighed, "It's Cass. Socha made a move on her, and her family had to get involved."

"Oh crud," I winced. "Is she ok?"

"Kaylee says they hope so? They won't know until she wakes up I guess," my girlfriend replied. "Melanie we should go over there and see her. Nina texted that we could visit after class, and we'd be out of school by now."

I frowned, "I'm not sure you should be walking that far right now Cerys? Not after the day you've had."

As my phone finished booting up I added, "Why don't I text Brooke and see if she can swing by and pick us up? I'm assuming she'll be on her way after she gets out of her classes. Or if not her, maybe Melody can give us a lift."

Cerys nodded, "Ok. Thanks Melanie."

"Any time," I replied as I started tapping out a text on the group chat. I apologized for missing the earlier messages, and briefly explained I had to take Cerys to hospital today because of the headaches and dizziness and stuff. And I used that as an excuse to ask if either Brooke or Melody could swing by and pick us up, so Cerys wouldn't have to walk up to Cass's place.

Then after I sent it I looked at my girlfriend and suggested, "Let's not tell the others about turning you, ok? Especially with this Cass thing, I think there's more than enough going on. It'd just freak them out more, and nobody needs that right now."

"Yeah," she agreed. "I get it. I wasn't going to say anything anyways. It's our secret, for now."

I suppressed a sigh as I said, "For now. I doubt it'll stay secret past the next full moon..."


=::= Cassandra's PoV =::=

The first thing I noticed was the ache in my chest, followed by the ache in my head. I wasn't sure where I was or what had happened, but it felt like I was probably still in hospital. Except I realized my wrists and ankles didn't hurt anymore, and I couldn't feel the IV in my left hand either.

Then I realized I had my big plush bunnies next to me, and the bed and pillow both felt like my own, so I had to be back home. I struggled to remember how I got there though, like did we leave the hospital last night after all? Or did we leave in the morning like the nurse said, only for some reason I couldn't remember it.

I also couldn't remember how I hurt my head, since that was the one thing that didn't hurt after I accidentally absorbed all that magic at the emergency club meeting. Unfortunately the more I tried to think about that stuff the more my head throbbed. My chest was still throbbing too which was just as unpleasant.

There were a few random images and memories that came and went through the fog, but it all felt really jumbled up. Like when you woke up after a really vivid dream and for a few seconds you weren't sure what stuff was the dream and what stuff was real.

I hadn't opened my eyes yet, and I tried to stay still as I quietly listened to what was going on around me.

There were faint voices downstairs, it sounded like my friends were down there talking quietly to each other. I couldn't quite make out what they were saying to each other, but I recognized Kaylee's and Melanie's voices for sure.

After waiting another half minute I finally opened my eyes. I started to sit up but that hurt even worse and I slumped back again with a soft groan.

"Cass honey," mum said from somewhere near my bed, and I felt her hand gently touch my arm. "Just relax ok? How are you feeling?"

I tried to respond, but discovered my mouth was very dry. So I kind of croaked out, "Sore. Thirsty. What happened?"

Another voice nearby offered quietly, "Want some water?"

I turned my head and felt a shock of surprise go through me as I found myself looking at a smaller younger me. She was standing next to the head of my bed, and mum was standing beside her. Both of them looked weary, as well as worried about me. The younger me was holding a glass of water with a bendy-straw in it.

"Sister?" I asked as I stared at her. I still wasn't sure what stuff was dreams and what was real, but a moment later more of those memories surfaced out of the fog. "Nina?"

She looked relieved, and gave me a nervous smile as she offered me the water. Mum looked relieved as well, and they both gently helped me to sit up so I could drink. Mum stuffed a few more pillows behind me while my little sister held the glass for me.

After a few gulps my mouth and throat felt better, and I was starting to feel more awake. My head and chest still throbbed though, and I was still confused about a lot of things.

"What happened?" I asked again as I looked down at myself. I was in one of my nightgowns, and from what I could see there weren't any bandages underneath it.

Mum looked and sounded stressed as she replied, "I'm sorry Cass. Socha found a way to influence or manipulate you. Your mom and Nina and I had to restore the second circle of binding and containment runes, to seal her away again."

I frowned, "Socha..."

"Cass?" mum sounded more anxious as she seemed to be studying my face, "What do you remember hon? Do you know who Socha is? Do you remember how Nina joined us?"

Enough strength had returned that I didn't need someone feeding me water anymore, so I carefully took the glass from Nina then had another gulp of it. Finally I sighed and shook my head, "I have a really bad headache and it kind of hurts to think too hard about stuff? And everything's all foggy and jumbled up right now. Like um, it feels like I can't tell what's real and what was just dreams?"

"And my chest aches too," I added with a pout, then reached up and pulled at my nightgown. I tugged it outwards enough to take a quick peek down inside it, and sure enough there weren't any bandages. I didn't see any marks or injuries, my chest looked normal and healthy which was a relief.

I let myself settle back against the pillows and asked, "Are my friends downstairs? I heard some talking."

Mum nodded, "Yes hon, they all came as soon as they could. Your mom's downstairs with them."

"I know they're eager to see you," she added with some hesitation in her voice, "But if you're not feeling up to it we can ask them to come back tomorrow. I'm sure they'll understand, and either way I know they'll be happy that you're awake and on the mend."

I thought it over for a bit then decided, "I'd like to see them. Just to say hi I guess? Then I think maybe I'll rest some more. And um, can I get something for the pain maybe?"

"Of course hon," mum replied.

She leaned over and gave me a careful hug, then went and got me a couple headache pills from the bathroom. I swallowed them with the rest of the water then relaxed again and hugged one of my big plushie buns while mum went downstairs to tell the others.

Nina stayed by my side, she kept quiet but she looked worried and sad and guilty all at once.

"I'll be ok sis," I said as I gave her a weak smile. "How are you holding up?"

She responded with a nervous smile of her own, "Kinda tired, but I'm ok. We were all super worried about you though."

That's as far as we got before mom rushed into my room and delivered a hug, followed by a kiss on my forehead. She didn't ask any difficult questions, like about Socha or what I remembered or anything like that. Mostly she just wanted to make sure I was comfortable and stuff like that, which was nice. I figured mum probably warned everyone that I had a headache and stuff.

I noticed that mom looked tired and worried too, same as mum and Nina. She was happy I was awake though, and happy I was sitting up and talking. After a few minutes she asked, "Are you feeling up to seeing your friends? I'm sure they're very eager to see you, but if you want more rest first..."

"I'd like to see them first," I replied. "Then I'll rest more afterwards."

"All right Cass," mom agreed.

After she left I turned to Nina who was still next to my bed and asked, "Did our folks put you on nurse duty or something? I appreciate the help sis, but you don't have to stay with me if you'd rather be doing something else."

She looked awkward as she shrugged, "I don't mind Cass. We all just want to be sure you're ok."

Before I could respond to that three of my friends were at my bedroom door. Kaylee entered first, and she looked equal parts worried and relieved. Melanie came in behind my girlfriend, and standing very close to the wolfgirl was a blonde girl wearing faded jeans and a baseball cap.

There was just a moment of uneasy confusion as I stared at the mystery blonde, before I realized it was Cerys. My stomach flip-flopped as those memories returned, and for a few seconds I was at a loss for what to say.

"How are you doing Cass?" my girlfriend asked. "We were all really worried about you."

I grimaced, "Tired, headachy, chest hurts, but I think I'll be ok? I probably need more sleep and stuff. Sorry I gave you all a scare."

"I'm glad you're ok," Cerys commented. "We were worried about you."

Melanie nodded, "Yeah. Glad to see you're all right Cass."

We all made a bit more smalltalk, and I thanked them all for coming. They all avoided any serious topics and nobody asked me difficult questions, then after a couple minutes they said their goodbyes and quietly left to go back downstairs.

Then they were replaced by three more, as Paige and Brooke and another unfamiliar blonde girl came in to say hi and stuff. This time it took me a little longer to place the mystery girl, but the name Melody came to me before anybody had a chance to figure out I'd forgotten who she was. Those three didn't stay as long, it was mostly just hellos and some smalltalk before they all turned and headed out again.

I didn't mind though, I was pretty tired again by that point. I settled back into the pillows and cuddled my big plushie bunnies, then closed my eyes and tried to get some more sleep. With any luck the aches and pains would be gone by the next time I woke up.

spoiler for readers worried about Cass's amnesia:


this is not a reset, nothing is lost forever, the situation is temporary, Cass will get better (in time).


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