Author: Angel Ren PM
Host Fanfiction! What exactly happens as Melanie wakes up without her counterpart? What transpires in that time period before Petals was found for Wanderer? One-shot. Fluffy, happiness.Rated: Fiction K - English - Romance - Melanie S./Mel - Words: 3,492 - Reviews: 69 - Favs: 87 - Follows: 19 - Published: 06-21-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4339754
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I know a lot of you have me on author alert. When I first posted this story, I didn't post the summary because it would spoil the ending for the book for anyone who hasn't read it yet. Now that the alert email has been sent out, I added the summary back. I think one of the most terrible things done is to ruin a good book. And the Host is fabulous.
Summary: What exactly happened while Wanderer was hibernating after being removed from Melanie's mind? What did Melanie go through as her body awakened from its drugged state and her mind had to rewire itself to control her muscles again?
Disclaimer: Characters and storyline are copyright to Stephenie Meyer. I don't own them. I'm just playing in her sandbox, because she's nice like that. Don't sue; I've got nothing, anyway. Unless you want some Physics textbooks…?
I don't really remember at what point I actually came to. There was a haze; a foggy blanket over my mind. I recall acutely when I first became aware that I was drifting, but I was also vaguely aware that I had been drifting for awhile before that.
I felt strangely light; as if I had no body. The thick white fog in my mind gradually started to dissipate. Why couldn't I remember anything? Had I died? Where was my body?
The name registered in my mind as if it had always been there; forever branded into my memory, into my heart, perhaps even now, in death. I felt the warmth of my love for him run across me, strangely non-existent body and all. It filled me up, and for a moment, I believed that I was on fire.
Jamie's name came to me enveloped in a sense of adoration and fierce loyalty. The love I felt for him was very different than that which I felt for Jared, but no less pure and no less powerful.
If they are safe, then everything is alright, I thought to no one in particular.
I felt an odd sensation inside me; as if I should be thinking to someone, or someone should be answering me. The silence that responded to my thoughts was unnerving, as if it hadn't always been so.
With her name, memories burst past the haze before my memory. Everything flooded back to me; I felt my panic again as they chased me. I felt my despair that I wouldn't get to see Jamie again when they took me. That emotion alone was enough to jolt my mind completely out of the haze.
The trigger caused more memories to crash over each other; Wanderer looking through my eyes. The seeker, the desert, Jamie and Jared, Jeb.
In a way, it was too much to have so many memories come back to me at once. Wave after wave of recollection struck against me with the force of a tsunami, but the brutality of it was welcome in place of the destructive force of complete Nothingness.
Ian, Kyle. Ian… Ian.
The memory of Ian through Wanderer's consciousness was strong. In a way, I felt guilty for thinking of him like that – I loved Jared. I could feel Wanderer's love for Ian almost as if it were my own in a phantasmal, detached sort of way: It was very real, it was very much a part of me, but it was not mine.
I continued to wait as more memories flooded back. The movie reel in my mind was much more disorganized than any film I'd ever seen: in some places memories rushed back one on top of the other, other times they were even played backwards, leaving me to organize the senseless collage. It took a bit of work to decipher them, and then reorder them in their proper, chronological place.
Doc. I remembered Doc, and Wanderer had wanted him to…
Wanda! I thought frantically. I waited, not-so-patiently, for some kind of 'Who else?' or 'I'm sleeping' from her. I searched around in the recess of my mind where I had been for so long – one small fraction of myself – and found that I could move about. I was no longer bound to that corner of my mind, and while exploring the rest of it, I discovered with increasing dread that there was no indication of Wanda's presence.
Lingering traces of where she had been remained in her absence; my ghost-like adoration of Ian for example, but there was no trace of her. It wasn't as if she had never been; it simply was as if she weren't. Though I had wished many times to have my body back, I now regretted it.
As if summoned, my body came back into existence. At least, I could feel it again. It was heavy, my muscles weak and lax against something hard. My growing hair was fanned around me – I suddenly realized I could feel every strand of hair on my head and I was acutely aware of its position. My hands rested at my sides, and I lay on my back. My legs were together, and something soft was supporting my head.
I was frightened to realize that I didn't know how to make my fingers move. I had been confined for so long, allowing Wanda to be the chief operator of my body - but not for lack of trying - that now that the glorious motor skills were mine again, I found it difficult to utilize them.
I was pleased when I figured out how to make my index finger twitch. That was a good start. In the background of my mind – for there was a distinct difference between mind and body now, no longer just Haze – I could hear a buzzing noise. It was low and quiet, but as I moved my finger – and then another, and another – the buzzing grew a bit louder and more excited. What it was, precisely, I couldn't quite place, but it was familiar.
With some effort, I was able to ball my hand into a fist and then release it. Just to see if I had control over my entire body, I wiggled my toes. The buzz grew louder, and then, quite suddenly, it silenced.
I waited, listening for it. Several seconds rocked by – or several heartbeats, perhaps. That was the only way for me to tell time without the sound of a clock.
"…Mel?" Angel's song! A glorious angel's song. Jared's voice pierced through my mind and spoke right to my heart. Instantly, my heart rate increased and my skin warmed.
I wanted to yell to him, run to him, hold him, kiss him, tell him I was here and everything would be alright, but I could do no more than wiggle my toes and fingers. I hadn't quite been able to remember how to move my lips.
"She's there. Somewhere. I'd imagine she's relearning how to move her body," Doc's voice murmured softly in the background. "I'm sure she can hear us. Talk to her, Jared – Ian, be careful with her."
"Mel? Mel I'm here. Everyone's here, Jamie's here; everyone's okay. He's a little upset, but he's here, too. Wake up, Mel."
I tried to speak again, but my lips were frozen closed. Instead, I tried to extend the limits of my movement to my arms. All of my fingers flexed this time, as I bade them to. My wrists flexed, and I was able to lift my fingertips from the table. My hands felt heavy, but at least I could move them.
"Take it easy," Doc's voice said. "Just give it a moment."
"Mel? She's going to be alright, right? Doc?"
"Yes, yes, she'll be fine, now put me down! No need to lift me off the ground!"
A strange sound cracked past my lips; a coarse cry that stung my throat. The room around me went silent and even I could feel the tension.
"Doc?" Jared's voice was uncharacteristically worried.
"I… I think she was laughing."
Laughing? Is that why the muscles in my face were sore? Because my lips were trying to curl into a smile? The idea made me want to laugh again.
Slowly, I became conscious of my heavy eyelids. It was a strange feeling and difficult to describe. Moving my limbs was difficult, but that was because I wasn't completely aware of their presence. As soon as I could feel the weight of a limb or part – the strong reassurance that I was still whole – it was much easier to try and move that particular limb.
It took me a moment to fight the sleep that wanted to plunge my body back into darkness, but with effort my eyelids slowly opened.
Instantly, I regretted the motion. Light blinded my eyes and I quickly shut them again. The room around me was quiet and I squeezed them closed even tighter.
"Kyle, dim the lights, would you?"
I heard a grumbling assent and waited for a moment and then tried my eyes again. This time, only a faint glow met my eyes.
Blurry figures moved in and out of focus in front of me, but once my eye muscles decided to function properly, the first thing I saw was Jared.
What a glorious sight: the one thing I wanted to open my eyes to and see every day.
Without hesitation, I bolted upright from the table and threw my arms around him, pulling him into a hug. The mere presence of him gave me the strength to force my limbs to move normally.
He was startled at first, perhaps not expecting my sudden movement. It took him a second before his strong arms encircled me, pulling me tighter to his chest. I tucked my head under his chin, pressing my ear against his chest.
The strong and powerful beating of his heart thudded against my ear, and I was comforted by the sound. His scent was calming. Protective. Comforting. I could never forget his scent, even after wandering through the desert for so long.
My strength returned to me and I rose up higher so I could kiss him. His lips were rough and dry, but they were familiar. Fire ripped through my body as urgency gripped his kiss. His hands were strong around me, shielding my body from anything else.
His lips lifted off of mine, a warm sensation tingling in his wake. I rested my head on his shoulder, sighing in contentment. Everything felt… right.
Offhandedly, I glanced over his shoulder. Behind him, Kyle was standing quietly, his arms wrapped around Sunny. Her head was tilted in my direction; just enough so that the dim light caught her curious, silver eyes. As soon as I glanced to her, though, she looked back to Kyle and curled up tighter against him. He was brooding about something, I could see it in his expression. Ian was sitting in the corner, hunched over an object. Part of me wanted to inquire, but the haze of Jared's kiss left my mind discombobulated.
Then… my eyes landed on the mirror. I saw the muscles of Jared's back stiffen, as if he knew I'd seen the mirror. With a strange sense of detachment, I pushed away from Jared and slipped off the cot. In a dream-like state, I glided over to the mirror and stared at my reflection. My body shifted from feeling completely weightless to heavier than steel in a fraction of a second. Nausea rolled in as I realized one very crucial fact.
My eyes were my own.
I wheeled to face Doc – Jared frowned and Doc's eyes widened; I was sure the fear on my face gave me away.
"Where is she!?" I demanded. No one answered right away. The dreadful sensation inside me – inside my heart I realized – felt heavier as it sunk deeper into my body. "Doc," I croaked out, my hammering heart leaving me breathless in the wake of panic. "You couldn't wait for me to wake up? Where. Is. Wanda." It was no longer a question. I gritted my teeth and practically snarled the words at the kind man before me.
"Right here," Ian called softly from the corner. The heavy weight around my heart lightened again, and my body made the eerie transition from heavy back to weightless. Again, I felt as though I weighed nothing, my bones were hollow, my skin tingling with anticipation.
I glided away from Jared, past the haunted look on Kyle's face, to where Ian sat crouched in the corner. His arms were wrapped tightly and protectively around a blue container in his lap. His eyes – they were defiant and daring me to do something.
I was startled by the look, but then his eyes flickered to Kyle hovering apprehensively in the corner. Ian's look wasn't for me: it was for his brother. Slowly, still, I knelt down in front of Ian.
"Ian?" I asked softly, drawing his attention back to me. "May I see her?" When he hesitated, I added, "Please?"
Slowly – not because he didn't want me to see, but because he didn't wish to let go, I supposed – he released his hold on the blue container.
As I stared at the soft light coming from the inside, I couldn't stop the tears that sprang to my eyes. There, that small creature was the soul I had shared my mind with for so long. My enemy had become my friend, and so much more.
Jeb was my friend, but Jeb would never be as close to me as Wanderer. I only hovered my hand over the tank but did not touch – the look in Ian's eyes indicated he wouldn't let me try. The air around the tank was cold.
I blinked, forcing two tears to roll down my cheeks.
"She's sleeping, isn't she?" I glanced up at Ian as my voice cracked on the last word. He only nodded softly. "Do you think she dreams now? Or is her sleep too deep?"
Ian was quiet for a moment before answering. "I think her sleep is too deep. She never dreamed before she was in a human body… but that was because her other hosts couldn't, you know. So that tells me she was unable to dream in this state, as well. Otherwise… she would have, in between bodies. I think." Ian had a quiet calm about him. Suddenly, it dawned on me.
"You're not going to bury her, are you?" Elation soared in my heart when he glanced to me again and shook his head.
We sat in silence for a moment. I could sense Jared in the background, giving Wanderer and me our time. I glanced at him and was relieved to find that he seemed to understand Ian was only interested in Wanderer. Our closeness had nothing to do with each other, but with the precious shining halo of light he clutched to his heart so dearly.
"Well. We can't keep her locked up," I said, an idea hitting me. I jumped to me feet and glanced to Jared. "Let's find her another body!"
"What?" Doc's voice was startled.
"Well, it's obvious, isn't it? No one here really wants to bury her. And it's sort of silly to keep her like that. Let's find a body for her," I explained. Jared seemed to catch on, a quiet expression overtaking his features as he considered the idea.
"We'll have to make sure that there is no mind left in the human... I won't replace another human mind," Jared said.
"Of course not," Doc said quickly.
"A girl," I offered. "Wanderer would want to be in a female body. And a child would allow her to live longer with us."
I could feel the joy rising in my heart –Wanderer, the sister in my mind, the part of my body, would be able to stand in the flesh beside me. The plan was so simple, so obvious; I had no idea why it hadn't occurred to either of us before she tried to condemn herself.
"When could we go?" I said suddenly. The excitement was too much for me to contain; I wanted to go find Wanda's new body. Now.
"Not right now if you plan on going," Doc cautioned.
I glared at him. Sure my bones ached, my head swam and my heart fluttered, threatening to plunge me back into an unconscious state at any moment. But I could handle it.
"Doc's right, Mel," Jared said firmly. His eyes smoldered as he watched me and I could read the emotions behind them; absolute joy that I was in my body again, relief that Wanderer wouldn't be buried like she had planned, worry for my physical strength that was slipping away like grains of sand in an hourglass and a hard and firm determination that I would be restored to health before we even considered sneaking into a city.
"Alright," I conceded. Truth me told, it would do me no good to go traipsing into a city with only half my strength and get snatched all over again. "Can we go tomorrow?" I glanced to Doc.
He sized me up for a moment, as if he were evaluating me before answering carefully. "That will depend on how you're doing. My guess – yes. For sure the next day. How do you feel?"
"Honestly? Weird. Like something is missing inside of me," I said. Jared's face remained impassive, but Doc chuckled good-naturedly. "What about Wanderer until then? Will she be okay?"
"She'll be fine," Ian piped up from the corner, not taking his eyes from the precious, glowing light cradled in his lap. "I'll take care of her until then. I'll take care of her forever," he lowered his voice and murmured the last part.
"Will you go with me?" I asked Jared. He raised his eyes from where he'd been watching Ian carefully and glanced to me. I saw the muscles twitch lightly at the corner of his mouth, but his lips did not smile.
"Of course," he said.
"I want to go, too," Jamie insisted. Since I had stood up, he had wandered over to Ian and was looking at Wanderer.
Hesitation struck me; would it be safe for Jamie to go? I glanced to Jared, checking his expression. He seemed to have the same pause that I did.
"Jamie, I don't think that's a good idea," I said. Jamie? Near the souls in a city? Absolutely not.
"Mel, that's not fair! I want to help pick out Wanda's new body!"
"Jamie, it's not safe enough."
"It's never going to be safe enough, and I can help! Jared, please?"
When Jared didn't answer right away, I glanced to him, worried that he would allow it.
"Jared, you can't let him go," I said desperately.
"He's got to grow up sooner or later. But," he added, his voice dropping into its authoritative tone as he looked right at Jamie, "Listen closely; this is important. If I say 'run,' you run. If I say 'stay,' you stay. If I say 'hide,' you hide. If things get dangerous, the best thing you can do to help is do exactly what Mel or I say, so we won't have to worry about your safety, and we can better protect ourselves. No heroics, got it?"
Jamie only nodded, glancing to me. I sighed in resignation.
"He'll be fine," Jared whispered in my ear after moving to my side. "We'll play it safe." I nodded in response.
"You know, I never imagined that we'd be bodysnatching," Jamie said with a laugh. Everyone in the room – even Sunny and Kyle – laughed at least a little at his quip. I glanced over to the chuckling Ian.
"Want to go?"
Ian's dream-like face slowly looked up from the glow in his lap. I'd never seen such a pure look of bliss on his face before.
"No. I don't care what she looks like," he said after a moment. With a soft smile, he glanced back down to the cryotank.
"She'll be beautiful. She's Wanderer," I said reassuringly.
Ian looked up at me once more, a burning love reflected in his eyes. He whispered softly, but the fierceness in his tone cut through the room.
"She's Wanderer. She is beautiful."