This is my first story. I hope you enjoy.
In terms of a timeline, I had envisioned Mr. Chandler and Brooke's wedding taking place around the date of the midseason finale (Dec. 13) and Catherine being in the hospital for a while.
I do not own CW's Beauty and the Beast or any of the characters.
Chapter 1 – Fallen
Playlist: Kyla La Grange – To Be Torn (of course!)
The Beast leaned his face into Catherine's. He could still feel her faint, warm breath on his cheek. His ears picked up the quiet throb of her heart. He adjusted her in his arms, holding her gently but tightly against his chest. He looked around, up the road and down, looking for a possible solution, a way to make things right. He heard a car engine and saw headlights in the distance. Indecision gripped him. Run with her? Run without her, leaving her there and hoping that the car would stop at the scene of the accident? Stay and give her to whoever was in the car, making sure she was safe but risking exposure? None of these options sounded appealing. He was running out of time. His heart was racing and he was running on spikes of adrenaline and pure instinct.
As the car neared, he could make out the voices inside. They were familiar to him. He cocked his ears again and struggled to identify the speakers. One was higher-pitched, definitely feminine. It sounded like…Heather! Catherine's sister. The other voice was lower, accented and male. Evan, the Medical Examiner from Catherine's precinct. The one he had seen kissing Catherine in the photo booth. He growled and gripped Catherine even closer, his breath ragged. He didn't want to hand her over, to leave her, but this was the best option, her best chance at survival. At least he knew them, knew they would take care of Catherine, watch over her, and make sure she made it to the hospital in time.
The Beast looked around again, searching the darkness for anything else he could do before the car stopped. His sensitive ears picked up Heather's sharp gasp and exclamation as she recognized the wreckage of her car and worked out the implications for her sister.
Evan pulled his car to a stop.
"Stay in the car!" he ordered Heather, before getting out of the driver's seat.
"Wh-…Evan!" Heather exclaimed. Fear caused her voice to tremble. Evan shut the door, ending any further conversation.
Evan quickly assessed the situation: the two empty cars, the body crumpled on the ground and the shattered glass scattered everywhere. He strained his eyes and could make out a hunched figure up ahead. It was difficult to see in the dark and the tangle of headlights further obscured his vision. It was a man and he was holding something in his arms. He swayed gently, shifting his burden and clutching it closer. The man was breathing heavily, curls of steam issuing from his mouth with each sharp exhalation.
Evan saw that the bundle was a body. It appeared to be a woman and her dark hair shrouded her face. She was wearing a long dress. A bridesmaid's dress. It was Cat!
The unknown man ducked his head towards Cat's, almost as though he was trying to soothe her. Evan walked forward slowly, his eyes never leaving the pair in front of him.
The Beast lifted his head and looked at Evan. His rasping breath and galloping heartbeat echoed furiously in his ears. He straightened up and waited for Evan to approach.
The dark and shadows prevented Evan from identifying the man holding Cat. He was wearing a rumpled tuxedo, which almost certainly identified him as a guest at Mr. Chandler's wedding. Evan didn't recognize him from the reception, but it seemed clear that he knew Cat. The man held her firmly, yet tenderly against his chest. His eyes strayed down to her unconscious figure often, almost as though checking and rechecking for himself that she was still alive. He rocked her back and forth slightly as he held her.
Evan ran toward Cat's unconscious body. "Cat! What happened? Is she alive?"
The Beast steeled himself, trying to gather his thoughts and to speak in coherent sentences. There was no time for explanations. Catherine needed a hospital quickly, before it was too late. He could tell from her weakening pulse that she didn't have a lot of time. Her life was seeping out of the bullet hole in her chest.
"Take her," the Beast demanded urgently, trying desperately to suppress the animal inside of him. He needed to do this, for Catherine. He extended his arms out from his body, presenting Catherine to Evan. Evan hesitated. He was overwhelmed, bewildered and shocked to see Cat unconscious, bleeding and in the arms of a stranger.
"Take her! New York General," the man snarled, his deep voice guttural and strange. "Now!"
Evan extended his arms and took Cat into them. He shifted her against his body and held her close to his chest. He looked up at the stranger and the stranger looked right back at him.
"GO!" the man pleaded, his voice pained.
Evan turned towards his car, glancing once more at the man in front of him. The white shirt of his tuxedo was stained with Cat's blood. The man let out a jagged breath before turning and running towards the woods at the side of the road. As he turned to go, Evan looked at his face. It was still hidden in shadows, but as the man moved his head, his eyes flashed an unearthly yellow.
Without stopping to ponder what he had just seen, Evan carried Cat quickly to his car. When he opened the rear passenger door he could hear that Heather was already on her phone to 911. He gently laid Cat on the back seat, removed the jacket of his tuxedo and covered her with it. He smoothed her hair from her face.
"Where are we?" Heather asked, her voice unsteady. Evan climbed into his seat and slammed the door. "It's for the 911 dispatcher."
"There's no time. We can't wait for an ambulance. Tell them we are bringing her to New York General. Gunshot wound to the chest. Her breathing is shallow and she is unconscious. No telling what else might be wrong. They need to be ready for her."
"Gunshot?" Heather's eyes widened, but she repeated Evan's words to the woman on the other end of the phone in a shaky voice.
"Tell them that there is a body and two cars that need to be dealt with as well." Evan checked their position on his GPS and relayed it to Heather. She gave as many details as she could to the woman on the other end of the phone before ending the call. The phone slipped from her hand and fell unheeded to the floor. "Get in the back and put pressure on the wound. Do what you can to stop the bleeding."
Heather hastily changed seats. She had barely shut the door behind her before Evan and put the car into reverse, swivelled it around and sped off as fast as he could in the direction of the hospital.
The Beast ran alongside the car, hidden just out of sight by the tree cover at the side of the road. He matched the speed of the car while still managing to negotiate the trees, the underbrush and the uneven ground.
He tipped his head back and roared. He poured his pain and anguish into the unnatural sound. He cried out again and again, while his feet pounded the damp, cold earth and his heart hammered in his chest.