Chapter Seven: Cry for Help
X X X
A few tests and a number of questions later Cecilia was allowed to put her gown back on. Too quickly she pulled it on and almost fell. The painkillers that the doctor had given her a few minutes ago were starting to kick in. After Doctor Palmer had gotten her securely back in bed she went outside to go let Stephen back in. He brought back some pastry and a disposable cup of coffee.
"How is she?" Stephen sat on the edge of Cecilia's bed. She was curled up in a ball as she drifted in and out of consciousness. He handed Christine her coffee and dug into his meal.
"Physically? Very poor." Doctor Palmer took a sip of her coffee. She sat on one of the chairs. "She has three cracked ribs on her left side. Her left shoulder has been dislocated but that seems to be an older injury. Her left kidney has been injured, but we got a urine sample and there was no blood so I'm not concerned with internal bleeding."
She sighed. "Honestly? I can't be sure about the extent of her injuries without an MRI and X-rays. Which I do want. They'll get her in an x-ray lab in a few minutes. Hopefully it won't overwhelm her too much."
They both looked at Cecilia, who had her eyes shut. Stephen moved around her IVs so they weren't straining her arms. Christine looked over at him. When he looked up her took her look of curiosity for suspicion.
"Am I not supposed to help her?" He nearly snapped.
Christine held up her hands in mock surrender. "I just didn't take you as the adopting type."
Stephen grunted. Cecilia opened her eyes and watched them both with tired suspicion. Then she gave Stephen a kick under the sheets. "Get me some ice chips." Christine snickered as Stephen looked down at Cecilia, clear amusement on his face. The girl challenged, "Do you want me to get up and get them myself?"
A knock at the door was followed by a young woman pushing a wheelchair in front of her. Cecilia looked from the wheelchair back to Stephen and then back to the wheelchair. She shook her head and Stephen groaned. "Please don't fight this right now."
She glared up at him. Then sighed and allowed herself to be put into the wheelchair. The technologist looked just as pleased as Stephen did for the lack of arguement. "We'll be back in a second, doll." She winked up at Stephen. Cecilia covered her face with her hands as she was wheeled out the door.
There was a moment of silence before Christine burst into a fit of laughter. Nearly spilling the coffee she was holding onto the tiled floor. Stephen groaned and sat back on the bed. "I'm never going to live that down," he said.
Once she was finished laughing she moved to sit next to Stephen. Placing her coffee on the floor. She turned her head to face him. "How are you? Considering the last time I heard from you was over a month ago and I'm pretty sure you were drunk when you left that message."
He gestured to the door where his charge had left. "As you can see I've been a busy."
"You don't have to defend yourself to me," she said. "I just want to know how you're taking all of this. Being the guardian of a teenage girl is hard. Especially when you're in the process of becoming her legal father."
He ran a hand through his messy hair. "I'm keeping her long term. She won't end up in the system. I just have to find time to finish all the documentation and a million other necessities." He started thinking of all the work he had pawned off on Wong. If only the physical world wasn't as complicated as the mystical one.
"You'll want to get her in for a physical," she recommended. "Bringing her here was the smartest move. I just need to know if you are ready for parenthood, Stephen. She lost her mother and now she's been attacked in front of her new home. Can you be everything she needs?"
X X X
Cecilia laid back in her bed. Even though she was stuck in her room for another few days she was glad to be back from the hospital. Doctor Palmer wanted her back in the next few weeks for a check-up. Curling on her side without too much pain she thought that if she had her way she wouldn't be going back to any doctor's office in the next year.
As nice as her doctor had been, she had asked too many questions. It was harder to dodge her questions because she seemed to like the challenge of trying to get her to talk. It wasn't like she could avoid her considering she had been confined to her bed for three days. It was times like these when she was most reminded of her mother. Remembering her mother made her heart ache. On top of everything else.
It had been easier to hide her feelings while she had been staying at the Sanctum. Forcing herself to study as much as she could and dealing with the fact that she could summon flames with the slightest change in emotion had kept her far from her thoughts. Laying in bed in a painkiller induced haze left her with her thoughts for company. Not taking the pills wasn't an option. She already tried that and Wong had nearly talked her ear off.
Stephen had been gone since she her first day in the hospital. She tried not to take it personally. Dealing with Wong was bad enough so she didn't want to think about having a actual doctor around her all the time.
Drifting back into a thoughtless haze was appealing. But she didn't want to sleep anymore. If she didn't do something soon she was going to crawl out of her room. Then she remembered what had happened a few days ago. When she had left her body. Lifting herself into a sitting position she tried to remember what had caused it.
She couldn't remember a specific moment. Taking a deep breath she tried to clear her thoughts. Easier said than done. Whenever she pushed one thought out of her mind another took its place.
After a few minutes of silent compilation she opened her eyes. Frustrated she punched her pillow into a more comfortable position. Laying back she sighed. Why did her powers only come out when it was inconvenient? Pulling her comforter over her chin she wondered if Stephen had the same problem when he was learning.
X X X
Sleep was pointless. She was tired enough to lay in bed but not enough to sleep. Sitting up in bed she decided to go take another bath when she saw the aura around her hand. Getting to her feet she saw herself lying back under the covers. Nearly shouting in joy she jumped off of the bed. Her body felt lighter than normal and she fell softly onto the hardwood.
She hadn't felt this happy in years.
Delicately hopping from foot to foot she stared around her room. Endless possibilities were filling her brain. She wondered if she could fly. Maybe she could climb the walls like a spider. Finally she could go downstairs and figure out where Wong had gone.
Crossing her room in a rapid walk she reached for the door. She watched her hand slide through the door and she followed through the wood and ended up in the dark hall. It seemed that it was almost evening now. Her white nightgown floated in the air as she imagined herself taking flight. Looking down she saw her toes trailing on the carpet.
Keeping the idea of flying in her mind she drifted down the hallway. Everything seemed much more exciting when she was flying. Well, more like floating. Hearing Wong downstairs in the kitchen she decided to go visit. She passed down the long hall, down the stairs and giggling to herself as she snuck to the entrance of the kitchen. Something smelled odd.
It smelled like gasoline and fish. Poking her head into the kitchen all thoughts of flying left her head. Wong was cooking what seemed to be the cross of an octopus and something that had been left on the side of the road for a week. It smelled even worse in the kitchen.
Cecilia, you don't want to see what I eat.
Stephen was sitting at the kitchen counter. Tucking into some purple and green noodles that moved as he attempted to catch them in his chopsticks. As her face slowly turned green she saw that the creature in the frying pan was trying to escape.
You don't want to see what I eat.
This was why Stephen didn't eat dinner with her. Then the eyes of the creature turned and looked at her. As if it knew she wasn't supposed to see this. That was when she let out a blood-curdling scream. Stephen dropped the bowl of noodles he had been holding and the creature hopped out of the frying pan and headed straight for her.
You don't want to see what I eat.
Falling over she started running away. The creature continued to pursue her at a speed she would never have suspected of it. Still screaming at the top of her lungs she jumped as hard as she could. All her thoughts focused on floating as high as she could. Stephen entered the front hall to see her floating face first while the creature tried to reach her with its tentacles.
Cecilia met his eyes. "Get that thing away from me!"
He stared from his dinner to Cecilia and then back down at his dinner. Then he broke into hysterical laughter. He fell to his knees as Cecilia tried to push herself higher into the air.
"This isn't funny," she screeched. "Get this thing away from me! Its scary!"
Wong entered the room, all business, and scooped the creature back into the pan. Then he turned and left the two alone. Muttering about accursed invertebrates and how he was going to stick to noodles. As he left Cecilia face-planted onto the floor. Falling back to earth she glared at her teacher. He collected himself and sat back on the floor in front of her.
"I see you've learned how to astral project. Was this by accident or on purpose?"
She pulled herself into a sitting position. Feeling her forehead and grimacing. "First time was an accident. This time was on purpose. I can't lay in that bed anymore. Where have you been, anyway?"
He bent back a little to stretch his back. "I've been searching for Baron Mordo."
The mood of the room shifted. Cecilia pulled her knees to her chest. "Any luck?"
There was silence. She sighed and put her face in her knees. The fact that Mordo was still running around made her nervous. It also really pissed her off. If only she hadn't been so weak she could've helped Wong finish him off. She clenched her nails into her legs.
"I will find him, Cecilia." Stephen declared. "Nothing will stop me from putting an end to his reign of terror and destruction."
"Who is he?" she asked. His words rang in her head; half breed. "Why did he attack me?"
"Baron Mordo is one of the worst of our kind. He seems intent on destroying anything that defies what he feels is the natural law of this universe." He helped her to her feet. "Now, I need you back in bed. Staying in your astral form keeps your body from healing as quickly as it should."
"You didn't answer my question." How much does he know? "What did he mean when he said I was a half-breed?"
"All you need to know is Baron Mordo is wrong." He smiled down at her before walking with her up the stairs. She stopped behind him. He turned to look at her.
Am I not human? She questioned as she stared at Stephen. What are you hiding from me?
X X X
The plot thickens.