Fandom/'verse: Urban fantasy? Werewolves anyway.
Notes: There was discussion several months back about how much of werewolf fiction plays off bad knowledge of wolf pack behavior (much stemming from an article on wolf behavior that was not merely contradicted by others but pretty much disowned by its own author). This started things percolating in my head and here's the opening with about half of what I've written.
Summary: Jacob's off balance when his secret is out and he's being called a hero
Warnings: Non-graphically described injuries and a few expletives
The first thing Jacob noticed was the sound of the car engine. Then the blanket that was wrapped around him making him feel like a mummy. Then Travis excitedly calling out, "I think he's waking up!"
"Easy son, you're in rough shape but we'll be at the doctor's soon."
"No doctors. Can't let 'em see, wouldn't understand..."
An older boy he guessed must be Davey, the cousin Travis had been talking about, twisted around from the front passenger seat taking over for the voice that seemed to be the driver. It would be so much easier to figure out what was happening and how to get away if everything would stop moving.
"You're not going to scare the Wilkenses. They're like us." After a brief pause Jacob heard a phone chirp as Davey asked, "What's your folk's number? I'll let them know where to find you."
Jacob started to shake his head only to stop at the stabbing pain on the right side of his head.
"No, can't call them. Can't pay either."
"If you're worried about you dad, yeah, Trav mentioned what you've told him, there will be enough of us there to keep you safe if he's drunk."
"Don't have to worry, just let me out here and I'll make it home--"
"Not happening. If your folks want to yell at us, fine. My training may be decades out of date but I can still tell you need stitches." Came the mystery voice.
"Come on, what's the number." Davey waved a cell phone towards him, "Dial it yourself if you don't want to say it."
"No phone." Before any of them could object he sighed and looked up at Travis who was leaning over the seat from behind. "Sorry, Trav. I've kind of been lying."
"What do you mean?
"Bastard wrapped his car around a tree back at New Years. The county folks who showed up said mom didn't suffer. Didn't say anything about how dad went. Kind of hope that means he did."
Travis paled and the driver gave a grunt that could almost be a growl. Davey put his phone away. "So who have you been staying with?"
"No one. There was a place they took me, but I couldn't stay. I've got a tent, and I can find whatever else I need. Places throw out good food and other stuff."
"Well we're at the doctor's now."
"But I can't–"
"You can let them look. They won't toss you out just because you're on your own. And they won't tell you out because of what you are."
"What would you know about–" A flash made him look up again in time to see Davey holding his phone out to him. He'd grabbed hold of the phone before he noticed the coat of fur that covered his arms. After that he wasn't surprised when the screen of the phone showed he still had wolf ears on a half-transformed face. Or at least one, there was a mass of bloody bandage where the other should be.
He hadn't failed to keep the wolf under control since he was nine. The burning sensation when he started to panic-shift made it clear he wasn't going to hide it.
Davey and Travis came over as soon as they'd parked to help him out of the minivan. Standing he was faced with an annoyingly cheerful yellow office building. Possibly explained by the sign reading, Sunny Day Family Medicine. They were met by a man and woman in matching yellow scrubs who took over keeping Jacob upright while guiding him back into an exam room.
"I have to say, when I heard you got in a fight with a cat I thought cousin Davin was exaggerating."Davin? No wonder he goes by Davey even if he's older than me.
"Wasn't looking for a fight, ma'am."
The woman patted his good shoulder. "No need for that. You can call me Melinda, or Doctor Melinda if you want to be formal. The short guy is my husband, Doctor Nathan."
Jacob looked at his arms, fur still covering them and claw tipped fingers and back at Melinda and Nathan who did not look scared or even shocked. Doctor Nathan simply gave him a smile and a nod.
"We're not seeing anything we haven't seen before. You're safe here, all our staff and many of our patients know werewolves exist. So hop up on this table and we'll see about getting you feeling better."
"He saved me, got between that giant cat and me and was all, 'I'll keep you safe,' almost like a movie."
"It wasn't like that. Not a hero. Just couldn't let it hurt him. I just wanted it to go away and leave us alone."
Doctor Nathan peeled off the bandages he assumed Davey and the mystery man had put on him. "You put yourself between one of my favorite relatives and the teeth and claws that did this. Maybe you don't feel like a hero but you still have my thanks." Doctor Melinda gave his good shoulder another pat.
"I can't think of a better way to thank you than to help you with the injuries you received saving him." She glanced over to her husband, "I think we'd better start with his ear."
Jacob held tightly onto the sides of the exam table as Nathan carefully cleaned his left ear, just barely managing to keep from growling at the sting of the antiseptics.
"I'm afraid son you'll need quite a few stitches."
"Won't those tear, when, you know?"
"That's why they brought you here. I haven't seen one this bad in years but this isn't the first torn ear I've mended. There's an art to stitching a shifter. Thankfully I don't need to put it to use very often."
"O-okay, do it."
"We can either give you a shot to numb you around your ear or put you under while we take care of your ear and the rest. You'll still feel what we do with the first, you just won't feel any pain. The second you'll take a nap and wake up a little– "
"The first. Not that I don't trust you. Don't trust me. Bad blood."
"I see. Melinda, can you take care of the shot while I prepare for the stitches?"
It was much as Nathan had described. A few brief needle-pricks of pain the soon faded away. Then, it was almost like the left side of his face was someone else's. He could feel a little pressure when they touched, an odd sensation as the stitches were drawn, but no pain or even discomfort beyond the oddness. Nothing like the cleaning that came before or afterwards as they cleaned the bite on his shoulder and countless scratches.
Partway through a woman came in and pulled Travis into a hug. She was followed two guys who talked to Davey and the driver, then came over when the doctors declared they were done. A tall black haired man held out a hand to Jacob.
"From what they're all saying you may just have saved my son's life. I'd offer to take you in but– "
"He can stay in my room!"
"Your room is already too small for four boys."
"We can't just kick him out to live in a tent like that!"
"And we won't," said the other man, "with Trent off at college there's a bed free in Davin's room. Considering what you did I'm sure his older brother won't mind sharing."
"It's okay. Really. I've got a good tent and it won't be cold for months and – ow!"
Davey walked up and poked his bandaged shoulder. "Are you really saying you'd rather be out in a tent under some overpass than in a bed. With bacon and eggs for breakfast and a hot bath and clean clothes?"
"I... But..." Jacob took a deep breath and held up his fur covered hand and pointed a claw tipped finger at a pointy ear. "Like I said to the doctor. Isn't I don't trust you or I don't want any of that. I don't trust me. What if I – ow! Stop that!"
"You don't remember, do you?"
"Remember wha– you, you're..." In the space of a few words Davey had sprouted a muzzle, a face full of fur, and pointed ears of his own. Wincing the other boy reached back and freed a tail.
"Like I said before you passed out you aren't the only werewolf around here."
"Yeah. Me, my parents, and my sisters. I don't think we're in any danger from an injured pup. So do I need to keep poking or are you going to say yes?"
"A real bed would be nice... Okay, fine."(This is a crossposting | replies at the original post on dreamwidth | Comment at dreamwidth | You can comment on DW posts even if you don't have an account there Using OpenID!)