Alpha and Beta

by Katsuko

Disclaimers: All copyrights belong to their respective copyright holders. Please do not steal!

It had been a couple hours since her pack had filed out, mostly because visiting hours were over, but Erica was nowhere near ready to go back to sleep. She'd been in a coma for over a year, and the very last thing she wanted to do was close her eyes again.

A part of her had been hoping that her parents would stay with her, especially when Daddy had shown up while the other were still hanging around, but they'd left about twenty minutes ago to eat dinner with a promise to see her bright and early the next morning. Mom had been wearing her odd little I have a secret smile, but Erica didn't know if that meant her parents would be back tonight or if they had something planned for when she was finally allowed to go home.

The she-wolf sighed and flopped back on her pillow, staring at the ceiling and absently wishing she'd asked Peter what he had done to pass the time while he'd been stuck in the hospital. Granted, it was probably a lot of plotting vengeance on the Argent clan (and considering her feelings regarding Allison, Erica could get behind the idea of blood-letting when it came to that little bitch), but anything would be better than counting the tiles above her head.

The sound of the door opening and closing again almost silently drew her attention, and she turned her head to see who had come in. When she realized who was there, she pushed herself up and stared for a moment before whispering, "What are you doing here? Visiting hours are over!"

Stiles grinned unrepentantly and held up the backpack he was carrying with one hand. "Which is why your mom and Peter snuck me back in," he replied just as quietly, knowing that she could her him clearly. "I didn't like the idea of you being alone, and everyone else pretty much agreed with me. Lydia sent me something for you, bee tee dub."

The alpha moved to sit next to Erica on the bed, and she shuffled just enough so he wouldn't be right on the edge. She waited impatiently for Stiles to open the bag and dig through before pulling out a silk scarf that was most likely from the redhead's dresser.

"Lyds thought you might want to braid your hair before going to sleep, and said that wrapping it would keep it from getting tangled," Stiles said, shrugging slightly. "I wouldn't know, personally."

Erica grinned and reached up to ruffle her alpha's hair, giggling when he mock-scowled and smacked at her hands lightly. "I don't know, Batman. You're getting a bit fuzzy up top."

"And that reminds me," the boy said, reaching back into the bag and pulling out a couple of comic books. "You, my dear Catwoman, have missed so many things in the DC-verse. Which I plan to remedy, and then hope that you will lament this whole New 52 bullshit with me."

The she-wolf smiled brightly and made grabby hands for the comics, which Stiles handed over with a flourish before pulling a few more volumes out. Erica shuffled over a bit more to make room for her alpha to settle in more comfortably next to her, and the pair of them settled in to read.

It didn't take too long for her to make her way through the issues she had missed, absently shifting to lean against Stiles as she got more involved in the books; in turn, her human alpha had reached up and was just as absently combing his fingers through his beta's blonde curls. Neither of them felt that anything was strange about their closeness, and Erica's wolf all but luxuriated in the presence of her new alpha.

When she finally finished the most recent edition of Detective Comics, the blonde dropped the issue onto the abandoned stack and turned to Stiles. "What the actual fuck have they done to my 'verse?" she asked, all but pouting over the treatment most of her female icons had received in the reboot.

Stiles heaved a sigh and tossed his own unfinished Nightwing into the pile. "I wish I knew," he replied. "But on the plus side, The Dark Knight Rises is out on BluRay now, so we are definitely watching that as soon as we have you back out in the world again."

Erica perked up a little at that. "How was it?" she asked eagerly. "Come on, tell me tell me!"

"Nope, you gotta watch it," her alpha replied, a teasing note in his voice. The wolf shoved at him lightly, snickering when he retaliated by grabbing her arm and biting her fingers lightly. The two of them wrestled for another minute or two before Erica shocked herself by yawning.

Stiles smiled at the girl, reaching up to brush her hair back from her face. "Maybe it's time to get some rest, Erica."

"I don't want to sleep," she whined in response, not even caring that she sounded like some bratty kid. "I've been sleeping, I want to be awake."

"You've been healing," Stiles corrected, taking the beta's shoulders and turning her so her back was to him before beginning to braid her hair. Erica took a moment to wonder if Lydia had made him learn how so he could do her hair, too. "And while you're definitely out of the woods now, so to speak, you still have a little more healing to do. So I want you to get some sleep, okay?"

Erica rumbled low in her throat, not liking the idea but not wanting to disappoint her brother/alpha. "Will you stay until I go to sleep?" she asked softly, a faint smile touching her lips as the boy took a moment to finish the braid then wrap the scarf around her head carefully.

"I'll stay until you wake up," Stiles promised, wrapping his arms around the beta in a protective embrace.

She wasn't sure just when she'd gone to sleep, but when Erica woke up it was to her mother carefully slipping into the room to wake the pair of them up before the doctor arrived for one last checkup.