Feline and CanineMature

Greg did rouse himself from his reverie finally, looking over at Persephone and giving her a look that suggested he had something else in mind.

"I have a favour to ask of you. You mentioned the girl. Well, I promised we would look after her. She doesn't know what happened, not for sure, although she's suspicious. She doesn't quite buy that she was attacked by dogs, but she is not quite ready to believe in the otherkin. Not yet. I don't blame her. Memories from an attack, things that happened when she was terrified and in pain, that is hard to trust. Hard to believe in. I wish I could give her more time, but I can't. She's healing too fast, we need to get her out of here. Plus the full moon is in 5 days. Her first change is coming and she has to be ready. It is going to be hard on her." Greg took a breath, then ran his hand through his hair before letting his fingers trail down to the rings along the edge of his ear. Toying with them calmed him somewhat.

What was coming for Xenia was going to be hard. The first change was the worst. It was a struggle within. It was the body breaking apart and reshaping itself. It was rage and violence bursting forth. It was not voluntary. From what he knew of Xenia it was going to be hard for her. Hard to believe that she could be that, hard to accept that it was still her, that she could bring it under control but only if she embraced it all.

"I need you to teach her, and stick with her. Help her. Show her. Be there for the change. I... I can't." Something in his face, in his voice, kept Persephone from commenting about Greg actually admitting limitations. It was not something that happened often.

"Fine. I'll do it. I owe him for what he did for me today. Wasn't looking forward to having to hobble up here to get patched up. So I'll do it." The girl looked less than enthused, however, at the prospect of having a tag-a-long.

Greg smiled at her then, reaching out to lightly touch her hand. He knew she wasn't much for touching. Too many memories of the night the Fraternity came for her mother. But she was still a shifter and sometimes contact just made more sense than words. Or maybe it was for him. "I think you'll like her. She needs you."

Persephone allowed the touch then hopped off the desk, offering a quick smile to the werewolf. He was a good guy. For a canine. Okay, he was a good guy for anyone. He liked Xenia too, that much was pretty clear. It left Persephone a little torn, but her loyalties were to Greg first. If what he had said was true, Marcus might just blow up in all their faces. Plus Greg had been looking out for her a long time.

"Let's go then. She can leave today?" Persephone was anxious to be outside. To get away. Greg could see it, but that was ok. He pushed himself to his feet and nodded.

"She's still sore, but I'll get her out. She should be fine, especially when I don't have to add something to her IV to keep the healing slowed down. I hate doing it, but..." He shrugged helplessly, then ushered Persephone out of his office, closing the door behind him.

It was quick to get to Xenia's room and he smiled as he saw her sitting up and looking bored.

"Xenia, I have someone I'd like you to meet. This is Persephone." He pushed the girl forward from where she'd been standing behind him. "Persephone, this is Xenia."

Xenia looked between the girl and Greg, that little frown forming between her brows. It was happening more often than she liked, this confusion. Why exactly Greg was introducing her to this girl she had no idea. The girl looked like she could use a few more meals, but at the moment she didn't quite understand.

Greg turned away and closed the door, something that had Xenia's brows shooting up in surprise. Persephone looked rather uncomfortable also, wrapping one arm across her chest to grab at her other arm, shoulders hunched. That action bothered Xenia. It was too protective. Somethng had clearly happened to this girl at some point. It made Xenia want to look after her. But this girl was not her problem.

"You asked me some questions earlier, Xenia. I didn't really give you an answer. For that I'm sorry. Persephone is going to take you out of here, give you a place to stay for a while." Greg looked at Persephone, a rather pointed look. "Hotel? I'm not sure Xenia's up to your usual place."

A glare was quite evident in Persephone's eyes and she and Greg proceeded to have a stare-down. The girl was, however, the first to look away. Something about the way she acted made Xenia think of a cat and she chuckled just a little. An affronted cat, pretending aloofness.

"Please, I don't want anyone going to any trouble. I'll be ok. If I can get out of here I just want to go home." Home. It didn't have the appeal it had before. Not with Marcus gone. It was, however, familiar. And she didn't know this girl. Yes, she wanted answers, or thought she did. What if she didn't like them though?

Greg stepped closer, bringing Persephone with him, and began unhooking things from Xenia. "No. You can't. I think part of you has guessed that, from what you said earlier. You can't go home, and there are things you need to know. So Persephone is going to look after you. I promise you can trust her. She is much more capable than you might think. You're going to need her help, Xenia, so I hope you will take it. Otherwise things are going to be very... difficult. They are anyway. For that, I'm sorry."

Greg stepped back, an odd look on his face. If Xenia didn't know better, she would have thought he felt responsible for what had happened to her. It so obviously wasn't his fault, though. But difficult? "Wait, Greg..." she glanced at Persephone, feeling unsure of speaking in front of the girl, unsure of her familiarity with the doctor. "Are you trying to tell me that... that what I thought... that it's true? That... it's going to happen to me? You must be joking. Seriously." Xenia looked between Greg and Persephone, and the two of them looked at eachother.

Persephone was the one to respond, however, which was unexpected. "They weren't dogs. You know that. We know that. They were werewolves. And now you're going to be one too." Greg nodded. He had checked the bloodwork. It wasn't 100% positive, never could be before the first change, but it was pretty likely. He hadn't told Marcus that part, but they had both known.

"So I'm gonna help you out. Get you through it. Tell you about what's out there. You should know. You're gonna be one of us. Already are, but it's gonna be obvious when the moon hits full." It was all said like it was fact, so odd coming from this girl. Xenia looked at Greg, then back at the girl again, swinging her legs out of the bed and sitting on the edge.

"So you're... a werewolf too?" Somehow that seemed doubtful. The girl was so... fragile. Plus there was definitely something about her that made Xenia think of a cat.

Greg shook his head, looking at the girl, then at Xenia. "No. She's a shifter. She'll explain. I'm a werewolf." So blunt. It made Xenia stare at him in shock and want to burst into hysterical laughter.

At that moment Persephone looked at Greg, raising a brow. Some silent communication passed between them and Xenia  narrowed her eyes. "What?"

Greg shook his head at Persephone, breathed a soft "no, not yet," then looked back at Xenia. "I promise, it is quite true. I would show you, but the hospital is not a good place for that. Too many chances something bad could happen. Just go with Persephone. Trust her. She'll explain, get you through this. You have my card if you need me. I'll take care of the paperwork, if you are willing to trust me to forge your signature so you can just get out of here. It would be wise." That sounded ominous and Xenia bit back what she had been considering saying.

"Oh. Umm... ok. I guess. I just.. need some clothes?" She was off-balance. This was happening so fast, and they were acting like it was obvious. It wasn't. Not to her.

Persephone smiled at Xenia for the first time. "It'll be ok. It takes a bit to adjust, I guess. I dunno. I was born like this. But I've seen some people go through it. It's not so bad, though. You'll see. Greg, go grab her some clothes, 'kay?" She made a shooing gesture.

There was something comical about the suspicion on Greg's face as he let out a sigh and stepped out of the room.

Persephone looked back at Xenia, then offered another half smile. "He's worried about you. Makes him funny. Ok. We'll get you dressed, then we're getting out of here. I think I know a place we can get a room for a few days that isn't too expensive. But when the moon hits we're gonna have to go into the subway. There's some places down there. It's where I live. My choice. It's safe." So matter-of-fact, like living in the subways was what any 17 year old would do.

Xenia did her best to accept it, not ask questions or be prejudiced. She'd work on finding out this girl's story though. See if she could help. In the meantime, she held out a hand, and offered that shy smile to the girl. "Thank you."

In a moment, Persephone took the hand and gave it a solid shake. "I think Greg was right. This is a good idea. I think he'd appreciate it too." The last was said quietly, almost as though it wasn't meant to be said aloud. Xenia frowned, but when she was about to ask - it sounded like Persephone had meant someone other than Greg - Greg appeared with clothes, dropping them on the bed. Nothing wonderful, just some sweats that would be loose. But they were better than a hospital gown.

"Thanks, Greg." It seemed inadequate. Then again, she was also trying to decide if she really felt grateful. It would feel rather good to hold this all against him, blame him for it. Not his fault though.

If she was going to blame anyone, let anyone take her anger, it should be Marcus.

Not that it was really his fault either. But it felt good being mad at him.

Greg waved off her thanks, gave her one last look, then left wordlessly. His hands were clenched in his pockets. He wished he had the control to do this himself. He wished that he didn't have questions to get answers about from Zeke. Wished he didn't have to worry about Marcus too.

Once Greg left Xenia quickly pulled on the clothes. She was going to need to buy some stuff though. From what they'd said she had the feeling she wasn't going home at all. Thankfully she had some cash in her wallet, she'd checked, and this would get her through. "Okay. Let's go."

With that, Persephone opened the door and walked out, Xenia following her.

The End

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