Synopsis, chapter 1: As Will recovers from the events of Warriors, Henry checks up on him
Spoilers: Oh yes, quite a few for everything up to and including Warriors, so don't read past this point if you haven't seen that far and don't want to know what happens.
Chapter 1 – Recovery
Being trapped in bed was never an enjoyable experience, but at least if it had been his own bed there would be things around for him to be doing. But Dr. Magnus had insisted he stayed in the infirmary rather than go back to his own room because she wanted to keep an eye on him. You could never be too careful with heard injuries, she said. But apart from a bit of a headache, Henry was fine, bored, and desperate to escape. It didn't feel safe to be trapped here, not when he might change at any minute. Will was there, he didn't want to hurt him.
At that thought, he half smiled. Right now, the chances of him being able to hurt Will even if he wanted to were pretty slim. True, Will hadn't gone up against the wolf, but the power with which he had thrown him to the ground made Henry think that given the opportunity, he would have made short work of him in whatever form. Well, if he hadn't been able to remind him of who he really was, that is.
Henry sat on the edge of his bed, legs dangling over the edge. He stared at the curtain surrounding the other bed. Behind it, Will was hidden from view. Magnus was treating him, somehow, but beyond that he didn't know. Was it working? Did they expect him to recover fully? Concern mixed with curiosity overrode his desire to respect Will's privacy, and he slid himself off of the bed, landing barefoot on the cool floor. He silently padded a few steps over to the curtain, then took a deep breath and released it slowly before saying, “Will? Are you awake in there?”
Without waiting for a response, he pulled the curtain open a few inches and stuck his head inside. Will was propped up in bed, his back leaning against several pillows, staring into nothing. He looked exactly as he had when Henry had last seen him. At the sound of the curtain opening, Will turned towards him for half a second, before jerking his head in the opposite direction.
“Hey,” Henry said, noting with some relief that he wasn't restrained any more. That had to be a good sign. “How're you doing?”
The creature that used to be Will shrugged, still looking away from him. “Well, I can think again. Just about.” His voice still sounded wrong, but it was a relief that the words at least sounded like the man he had come to know.
Henry took a few steps closer, bringing himself inside the confines of the curtained area, “That's good,”
Will ran his fingers down the side of his face, feeling the unfamiliar shape of his changed appearance, “Is it, though?”
Henry frowned, “Well, call me weird if you like, but I'm going to say yeah. The ability to form coherent words is probably pretty important in your line of work. Also, not trying to kill people might be a good thing too.”
Will turned towards him for a moment and winced, “Sorry about that,”
“Don't worry about it,” Henry shrugged, “Like I told you at the time, it wasn't you. You weren't in control of your actions.” He noticed that Will still wasn't looking at him. His gaze flicked from the floor to the bed sheets, to the curtain, to anything that wasn't Henry. “Hey,” he added, “you're going to be okay, right? Change back into yourself?”
Will nodded slowly, “Dr Magnus thinks so, but she can't be sure yet. But it looks promising, she says,”
“That's great. She wouldn't say that it there wasn't a really good chance. She's not into false hope, much as I've sometimes wished she was.”
If it was possible, Will's face turned even further away than before.
Henry hesitated, “Will, you don't have to avoid looking at me. I've seen much worse, believe me. I only have to look in the mirror some days and I see much worse. And you're going to be fine. I know it.”
Will turned to face, him, looking him directly in the eye. Without warning, a change seemed to come over him, his eyes narrowed in anger, “And you're disappointed about that, aren't you?”
“What? Of course not! How petty do you think I am. I'm pleased. I mean, I'm jealous as all hell, but happy. For you.”
Will shook his head, his whole demeanor seemed to have changed, even his scent became different. “Liar! You don't want me to get better. You want me to stay like this, so you won't be the only one!”
Henry took a step backwards, “That's not true!” His hands balled into fists as he fought down a surge of anger at the fact that Will, that anyone, could think that of him. “Anyway, what do you mean the only one? Have you looked around this place recently? Normals are in the minority, I'm far from alone.” But he knew he was. In that he hadn't and couldn't bring himself to accept what was happening to him. The Sanctuary was full of people who were very happy with who and what they were. And then there was Henry, desperately trying, but failing, to be comfortable inside his own skin. And in a way, Will was right. He didn't want Will to remain a monster, but he didn't want to be alone.
“I'm sorry,” Will was still facing him, the expression on his misshapen face a mixture of horror and embarrassment, “Of course you don't think that! I don't know why I... My mind must not be as back to normal as I thought. Henry, I'm so sorry,”
He went back to looking away, and fell silent.
Henry stared at him, trying to come up with a response, “Don't worry about it. Look, you probably need your rest, so I'm going to leave you to it.”
Will nodded and Henry stepped back behind the curtain. He raised his hand to draw it closed again, but hesitated, “Will, look, you're scared. I get it, believe me I do. But I don't want you to think I wanted this to happen to you. What's going on with me, I wouldn't wish it in anyone, least of all you. I'm sorry you even had to have a taste of it.”
Will didn't reply, he waited until he heard the curtain close before turned his head. He reached out to a small table next to the bed and picked up a mirror that he had insisted be left there. As he brought it up to his face, he closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He tried to open his eyes, but found that they wouldn't do what he wanted. Defeated by his own subconscious, unable to bring himself to look, he put down the mirror and opened his eyes.
As he did, Henry leaped back quickly from the tiny gap he had left in the curtains before he was seen and hopped back up onto his own bed. His head was pounding now much worse than before. He closed his eyes against the pain and wished, harder than he had ever wished for anything before, that Will would be okay.