She looks at him, expression pleading, and lays the clipboard down. Most of the folk in the room have left, leaving Stiles, a doctor (black and competent), and a nurse. The nurse picks up the clipboard and glances over it, before glancing at Stiles.

“Why don’t you stay in here with our Jane Doe?” the nurse says. “She’s a lot calmer with you here, and you can tell Dr Dunbar what you know about her. I’ll see if Mrs. McCall is available to take over.”


Stiles sees her expression and bites his bottom lip nervously. He can’t help the wave of anxiousness overwhelming him. There are many people counting on him in that moment, something he didn’t particularly need in that given moment. There was already enough pressure within the pack and, as much as he was interested in being a hero for someone, now was not the time to do so.

However, when he gets requested by multiple people, he can’t possibly ignore it. He hardly has a choice in the matter. The teen glances his eyes in the direction of the door for a moment before licking his bottom lip and nodding. “Ah yeah, that’s fine. I can totally do that.”

She holds on to his hand lightly, until the nurse brings Mrs. McCall in, who quickly takes over. She gets the story, such as it is, out of Stiles easily, and looks over the clipboard with the girl’s handwriting on it.

“Thank you, Stiles,” she says at last, and Sumer uncurls her fingers from Stiles’, letting him go. “You say he said you might be contaminated? I can run some tests, if you’re worried, but it looks like all we have here is a bad case of malnourishment. Nothing we can’t handle easily.” Mrs. McCall smiles at them both, and sends Stiles out the door to meet his father.

Then she puts the clipboard back in Summer’s hands and asks her to write out as much as she can about herself. Mrs. McCall busies herself setting up an IV line to help with nourishment.

Ace drew his shower curtains and stepped down on his mat, towel wrapped low around his waist. Just as he moved to tend to his scruff before the mirror, he tripped over something fluffy. Looking down, he saw Helios at his feet, ears flattened, eyes narrowed to slits. “How did you…?”



“I don’t … ” She trailed off, jerked back to something, hope maybe; the emotional whiplash is painful too. “Can you … ” she tried again, and lost it. Without the driving force of anger, she didn’t know how to respond to him.

Should she, could she kiss him? Ask for more? Walk away — no, that wasn’t an option.

Tense, alert to any motion of rejection, Summer lifted up on her toes, reaching to pull his head down to hers.



Helios licked his nose insolently, before bending to lick drops of water off Ace’s feet. He washed one spot assiduously, before hopping in the shower and looking up at the shower head. Then he looked at Ace, tail waving, and back at the shower head.

Ace’s gaze averted to the floor as she spoke, eyebrows quirking as she tried to ask something of him, before drifting off. Does he move away because he’s making her uncomfortable, or does she want him closer?

Nobody has before but Lily. Slowly, his grip loosened on her waist and he shifted his weight from side to side, contemplating whether he should take a single step back for her to collect herself.

But when her hand cupped the back of his neck, and guided his lips down to hers, a single corner of his lips began to quirk and he closed his eyes.

Hesitantly, she brushed her lips to his, wobbling against him. The heat of his bare skin felt searing against her chest. “You can have me,” she whispered. “If you want.”