Author's Note: Okay, this is my first-ever fanfiction, so I'm totally new at this. This first chapter is more of an introduction, so sorry if it seems slow going. Sorry for any spelling or grammar mistakes, and I hope everyone enjoys it!
Chapter 1: Health
Claire Danvers grinned, even if her mother couldn't see her through the phone.
"Of course I'm going to be there, Mom! I've been looking forward to it. I'm leaving on Tuesday, I wouldn't miss it for the world."
She could almost see Mom smiling at the phone herself, and her tone when she answered only enforced the image.
"I know, sweetie, but still...are you sure they are okay with it?"
'They' being the vampires, specifically Amelie.
"They were okay with it last time, weren't they?" Claire replied.
Well, actually, that had taken a bit of persuasion, and she was pretty sure her dad's health at the time had had something to do with it; but then again maybe she was just being too cynical. Maybe Amelie just thought it was important for Claire to spend Thanksgiving with her parents while she could. Or maybe she had been listening in on the likely wire-tapped phone call Claire had had with her mother that week before, when Mom had sounded so upset and tearful that her only daughter wasn't going to spend some quality time with her family at the time of year when it seemed to mean the most. Surely that had to have moved Amelie. It had certainly worked to make Claire feel guilty.
"I'll be there, Mom, honest. Everyone's okay with it, I've checked with them and everything. I'm heading over to see my boss now, and fix things up with him before I leave tomorrow. Nothing pending death will prevent me from being there."
Well, really she was going to make sure Myrnin remembered that she was leaving, and reminding him that he wouldn't be seeing her again until Monday, as well making sure he'd given up on his 'advanced thermal ray' - a gadget you pointed at a vampire (or person, or table, or whatever suited Myrnin's fancy at the time) to cook them from the inside out. From what Claire had seen so far, Myrnin had managed to create a device that's only purpose was to spontaneously blow random things (that he wasn't pointing at) up. She was trying to convince him to give it up while she was out of town, lest he set himself - or the city - on fire, but he was being stubborn.
Maybe if she reminded him she was the only one who remembered where the fire extinguisher was, he'd be willing to see things her way. Probably not, but maybe.
She wasn't telling her mother all of that, though.
"Alright, honey, then I have to go, Aunt Sophie is on the other line. She's still determined to bring a pumpkin pie, and she's badgering me about my recipe." Mom said, pleased with Claire's excitement and already planning for her arrival.
"But Mom, I thought you always made the pie?"
"I do, but now we're having a friendly competition over who makes a better one. She says the recipe makes the dish, your dad said it's the cook...and now we have a challenge." Claire laughed, and after a few more moments with her mother she said good-bye and headed off to go make sure her boss had knowledge of where every fire-extinguisher in his lab was, as well as the Morganville Fire Department on speed-dial.
As it turned out, Myrnin had been distracted with a new experiment; and it was one that didn't require her presence, apparently, because she wasn't there five minutes before her told her she was distracting him and that she should just leave and he would see her later. She was a little worried as to why he wouldn't let her more than ten or so feet into the lab, but eventually she decided she really didn't want to know and besides, she had packing to do, so she left a very relieved looking Myrnin behind and headed home.
"I'm back!" Claire called as she walked in. "Anybody home?"
She was greeted with shouts from all three other members of the Glass house, all in different directions. She headed for the kitchen, where she thought she had heard Michael. She found him washing dishes.
"Hey. What was for dinner?" she asked. He pointed at the pot on the stove.
"Chili. Again. It was Shane's turn to cook. I think he knows that if we get sick of it, we'll stop giving him dinner duty." He grinned at her. "Though maybe we should offer to give him dish duty instead, that might change his mind."
"He'll just start buying paper plates, or breaking dishes on purpose." said Eve as she walked through the kitchen door. "What's up, CB? Did you check with the crazy-boss and make sure he doesn't try to cook us like a Thanksgiving turkey while you're gone?"
"No, I think he's bored with it for now. That or he blew it up. And I thought Shane cooked yesterday?" Claire asked, fixing herself a bowl.
"Shane did, but as it was his girlfriend's turn today, and she wasn't here, he decided to gallantly take her turn for her today." Shane replied as he, too, walked into the kitchen and grinned at Claire, then flipped off Eve for rolling her eyes at him.
"Oops...sorry. I completely forgot. I was busy trying to get everything done today."
Claire looked up at him, but he just winked and said "You can make it up to me."
"By bringing back some of your Mom's cooking." When she raised her eyebrows at him, he shrugged. "Hey, I'm looking at a Stouffer's frozen meal on Turkey Day otherwise. I've eaten your mom's food...that woman can cook. A Thanksgiving dinner plate from her table? Worth it's weight in gold, I bet."
Claire rolled her eyes but smiled anyway and sat down at the table.
"Are you implying the frozen-dinner made for you lovingly by my hand last year sucked?" Eve asked, glaring at Shane from across the table.
"No, I'm not implying. I'm telling you: those things sucked. You didn't even heat them up right. The turkey was an overcooked choking hazard, and the potatoes where like cold ice-cream." he retorted.
"If you think you could do better, than you're more than welcome to take up the mantle this year." Eve sniffed primly.
"Fine, we'll be having chili."
"Chili isn't Thanksgiving food."
"It is if I use ground turkey instead of beef."
Michael sat down across from Claire, ignoring Eve and Shane's bickering. "You looking forward to seeing your parents?" he asked, sipping his sports bottle.
"Yes," Claire answered. "And everyone else, too. A couple of my other relatives are going to be there, and most of them I haven't gotten to see since I moved here." Michael nodded. "I miss seeing my family, that's what's important." Claire added. "Though Mom's home cooking is something to look forward to."
"See, even Claire thinks your cooking sucks!" Shane said loudly from up the table.
"She's eating your chili as she says that!" Eve snapped back.
At that, Claire wisely decided to finish her chili upstairs, before anyone started demanding blind taste-tests.
Claire scrambled along the street the next morning, flustered as she hurried along to Myrnin's lab.
Claire hadn't noticed until this morning, but in Myrnin's haste to get her to leave the day before she had left her laptop on one of the lab tables, and no way was she leaving without it. She was leaving in two hours, and Myrnin had locked the lab portal and wasn't answering his phone; which wasn't out of character for him, but didn't bid well for the fate of her laptop. Claire hoped Myrnin hadn't blown it up.
She fumed as she rushed and tried calling him again, surprised and still a little ticked when he finally picked up.
"There you are! Finally! Myrnin, is my laptop there?" she half-gasped into the phone while she picked up her pace.
"Your what? And why are you calling me, I thought you were leaving?"
She bit back a growl of frustration. He better not have destroyed it.
"My computer, Myrnin. Look, if you could just find it and maybe wait for me by the lab entrance? I'm almost there, I just want to pick it up and-"
Suddenly Claire heard a car's horn honk, then a squealing of tires, followed by the oddest sensation of the world being turned upside down, and something pushing along her side.
Claire blinked up at the sky. Wait, why was she staring at the sky? Almost distantly, Claire registered people shouting, and could hear Myrnin yelling at her from her phone, which she realized she was still holding. This all seemed very confusing, however, so Claire closed her eyes, thinking she was a little tired, all of a sudden.
Claire blinked. She felt a little strange. She was lying in a bed, staring at a white ceiling. This seemed odd to her. Hadn't she been staring at the sky earlier?
She started to sit up, but felt a sharp pain in her head, shoulder, and ribs, all at once. Her gasp caught the attention of three other people in the room, who all started trying to talk to her and force her to lay back all at once. She managed to quiet them some by laying back anyway and holding up her hand for silence.
"What happened?" she croaked, surprised by how her voice sounded and how thirsty she was.
Someone - Eve, Claire realized - handed her a glass of water.
"Thanks." Claire murmured, though Eve had to help her hold it. She felt a little stiff.
"You were in a bit of an accident, dear." Myrnin, one of her other visitors, said quietly. "How are you feeling?"
An accident? "What accid-" Then she remembered. She'd been crossing the street, that car had turned the corner, and then...
"I got hit by a car?"
"Yes, do you remember? You were trying to cross the street, and some jackass in a pick-up side-swiped you. Seriously, though, how are you feeling?" Shane asked, concern on his face. He had sat down at the edge of her bed, and appeared to be searching her face for any sign of injury.
"Stiff." she answered vaguely. "Sore." She winced. Her leg was propped up. "Wait...how bad is it?"
"You have a slight stress-fracture in your leg, a light concussion from when you hit your head on the pavement, and some bumps, cuts, and bruises." Myrnin replied. He looked a little relieved. "The doctors are keeping you overnight for observation, but they say you should be okay within a few weeks. You're very lucky. They also said you are to-"
"Take it easy." finished Dr. Mills, walking into the room with Michael, who immediately walked over to give her a hug.
"Hey, how are you feeling?" he asked softly, like he was afraid talking too loudly would somehow hurt her. Claire was already tired of that question, and she's be awake for less than five minutes.
"Bed rest, don't lift anything, and try not to walk on your leg." Dr. Mills continued, ignoring everybody's attempts to start asking questions. "If all goes well, which I expect it to, you can go home tomorrow. No work," he gave Myrnin a look, who simply bowed his head in acknowledgement. "No school, just try not to leave the house until we give you the all-clear. Stay home."
Claire blinked. Home? Wait, home. She was supposed to go see her family! "What time is it?" she asked quickly, cutting everyone else off as they started to ask questions again.
They stared at her in surprise, but Michael answered her. "About 7:00 pm, why?"
Claire groaned. "I was supposed to leave for my parents house six hours ago! They're probably wondering what happened..."
"We'll give them a call," said Michael. "But, uh, Claire, I don't think-"
"No traveling." said Dr. Mills, fiddling with a chart at the bottom of Claire's bed. "Strait home, then bed, rest. Maybe in a week or two, but not right now."
"But Thanksgiving is in two days! I promised my mom!"
"And she'll understand." said Dr. Mills firmly. He stared at Claire a minute, then smiled sympathetically. "I'm sorry, but it's really not a good idea. I'd rather keep you close for observation anyway, just in case. And I'm sure your mother would rather you be safe and well. You're not going, doctor's orders."
Claire slumped back in her bed and closed her eyes. When she opened them, the doctor had left, and four sets of concerned eyes stared back at her. She found Shane's and said "Does the Thanksgiving chili come with pie?"
AN: Soooo...there it is. The first chapter in my first-ever fanfiction. What did you think? Please read and review, I have no idea what I'm doing here! Thanks!
Edit (November 2014): Thank you to everyone who read this story originally...I can't tell you how much I appreciated all the positive feedback I got for this story, despite the many mistakes that were present. When I originally posted this fic I had no beta for the first few chapters, which was...apparent, lol. So this year I decided to do some overhauling and editing, fixing all the grammar, spelling, and formatting mistakes as well as some of the horrible sentence structure (two years too late, probably, but better late than never!). Rest assured, the story itself will remain unchanged, I've just tried to make it a little easier to read. (That being said, I know there's going to be stuff I missed, so if you happen to notice anything, feel free to let me know.)