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The Spider of Brockton Bay

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The idea that Taylor might eventually trigger never really, well, triggered in her mind. When she wondered what fresh hell the Trio would put her through today, she would think of her father. She would imagine how happy he used to be, to have her father drench her in hugs if she were ever sad. 

Then the locker. 

She has to be honest. Sitting here, in the hospital with her father by her side and Panacea healing her wounds on the other, she felt great. It was less the ghost feeling of spiders, ants, roaches, and other creepy crawlies on her skin and eating at her flesh that made her feel at ease. It was the utter, sheer, anger that underlied her father's tone. Sure, she hated it when he got angry, as she knew as well as he that he wouldn't be able to do anything about it. Buts it's also been such a long time since Taylor has seen her father react to anything with such emotion before. This was why, during Panacea's healing, that she tried to stifle her giggles as her father ranted. 

"-and they just left you there, Taylor. Alone! It was for, for... how long was it you said?" 

"Eight hours." Panacea replied. She seemed to grimace under her costume as her power worked to repair Taylor's damaged body. Though, Taylor suspected, her mind didn't seem to healthy itself. Seriously, how strange was it to laugh at the inevitable reveal of her ex-best friend's betrayal? Not too strange, Taylor decided. She cut her ties a long time ago. 

"EIght hours." Her father deadpanned. Then he stood up, shaking his head in disbelief. Sensing immediate danger for those in her father's wake, she gestured to Panacea with her head. Which was rewarded with a sharp pain. She winced as Panacea sighed. "Keep still. Your body needs to repair, and I can't do help with that with you moving about." Taylor spoke for the first time in what felt like hours. "My dad. He's just, you know. Angry."

"Angry?" her father's head spun like a swivel towards her voice. "Taylor, honey, owl. I'm fucking furious." Oh. Taylor couldn't remember the last time she heard her father curse. Panacea, likely sensing immediate danger, turned her head towards the older Hebert and pulled her hand from Taylor's skin. "Um, mister Hebert. If you would like me to, I could help you calm down."

"Calm down?" Her father had an almost manic look in his eye. "I'm perfectly calm miss Panacea. Please just help heal my-" Taylor cut him off by setting her hand on his. His expression turned solemn, and almost like a child he held his hand out to the parahuman healer. "You have my permission and all that." Taylor smirked.




It was around an hour later, with Taylor receiving the final touches from the actual doctors. Panacea had done her job well, and was by now seeing to other patients. Taylor noticed she moved with an odd speed, like she was trying to win a race against death or something. Taylor supposed that was technically true. This was a hospital. 

Her father by now was waiting outside her room, and a nurse with the tag "Joyce" helped to settle her in a wheelchair. He was surprisingly nice about it, though Taylor in her young cininism wondered if it were really about politeness or the fact that if he tried to do anything a cape was sitting likely a few doors away. 

Either way, Taylor found herself being wheeled out into the hallway with proper clothes before she found herself stopped by... Panacea?

Taylor tilted her head in confusion. "Um, something wrong?" Panacea didn't say anything, her eyes flitting back and forth as if she were afraid of getting caught. Taylor looked behind her to find that nurse Joyce didn't know either. "May I wheel her to the front door please?" Panacea asked. Taylor shifted in her seat, and Joyce shrugged. "Sure, just be careful. We're running out of wheelchairs." His lame joke went without laughter, and he left in a hurry. Panacea quickly took Taylor's chair and wheeled her closer to the door while whispering. 

"Taylor." There was something in her voice that gave Taylor pause. Maybe it was the hushed tone, like they were being followed by some cliche detective in a trench coat. Maybe it was the fact that Panacea herself was whispering in Taylor's ear, making her feel kinda shifty. 

Or, more likely, it was the sudden flush of pain on her neck that died away when Panacea made contact with her shoulder. Then came two words she didn't think could come out of the soft-spoken healer; "Be better."

And just like that, Taylor's vision swam until all she could remember was a white hood and a small tingle in the back of her head.