Melissa remembers when Peter was nothing more than a handsome man who showed interest in her. He was a little creepy, but kind and a perfect gentleman, and then he was the homicidal maniac that tried to use her to control her son.
Looking at him now, bleeding out on her driveway, she doesn’t know what to feel. Frustrated, definitely, because she just got home from a double shift and her bed is calling her name. Anger, because Peter dragged his bleeding ass here for her to clean up. Mostly though, she feels pity for a man whose best chance at help is a nurse he went on half a date with five years ago.
With a resigned sigh, she drops her bag, drags Peter to her couch, and gets her massive first aid kit to staunch the bleeding long enough for him to heal. At least Scott isn’t here to let him die.
She hates that she thinks that about her own son almost as much as she hates that it’s true.
She watches over Peter, changing his bandages and cooling his fever, until the sun has begun to rise and Peter groans into consciousness.
Tension Melissa didn’t know was there eases as she finally starts to see the cuts along his chest and arms start to heal now that his stomach has knitted back together.
Peter attempts to sit up only to be pushed back down.
“Stay,” Melissa orders. She doesn’t move from where she’s pinned him until h nods. She leaves, returning moments later with a poptart and something a little more substantial for him to eat.
Peter eats everything he gives her. She half expects him to ask if she poisoned anything, but she supposes it would be a silly way for her to kill him, considering.
“Why are you helping me?” Peter asks in an uncharacteristically vulnerable tone. It catches her off guard for a moment.
“I’m still a nurse. I couldn’t just leave you out there after you obviously used the last of your strength to get here.” She bites into her poptart with a huff. “Besides,” she mutters through her bite, “You can’t just leave a mess like that and then leave me to clean it up.”
It’s a flimsy excuse and they both know it. Melissa would have been perfectly willing to leave any number of men to bleed to death in Peter’s place. Deucalion comes to mind, as does Gerard, that man on the bus, and Mr. wife has come into the emergency room far too often to be clumsy. She doesn’t give Peter a real answer because she doesn’t know why she helped him either.
Peter laughs anyway, and promises to take care of the mess. Whatever moment they were almost having broke, and Melissa makes sure he knows that he owes her a night’s rest too. She’s about to get up and leave when gentle fingers curl around her wrist and keep her still. She looks back, and Peter’s eyes are vulnerable again when he says, “I never lied. I know you think I did, but I never thought you were anything less than magnificent.”
Her hand breaks his hold as easily as if it wasn’t even there.
Her boss calls her the next morning and tells her she has the next two weeks off on paid leave. He doesn’t tell her why.