Chapter 11: Cameron
Since Cameron’s accident he’d been able to piece together some details. They weren’t pretty and they were pretty far-fetched. Cameron had had a hard time believing them when everything was first presented. And they were most definitely facts. There was no conceivable way that he could deny them.
A few of his friends had swung by to see if they could help. Of course, he didn’t recognize them at first and anything they told him meant nothing to him. They’d been shifty in some details, like they were trying to protect themselves from something, but the two women had tried. Lindsay and Jenna had tried to help him. And Cameron’s memories were coming back. He wanted to call them, to thank them, but after that it was like they’d fallen off the map. He could remember how foggy he’d been back then, still high off the morphine the IV relentlessly pumped into his veins.
“Where do you know this guy from?”
The muttered question was what woke him from his heavy sleep.
“He’s a hunter, that’s all you need to know.”
There were two women sitting next to him. Cameron tried turning his head to face them but his neck was so stiff from the hospital's pillow that he cringed in pain.
The dark-haired girl raised an eyebrow. She hadn't noticed him stirring. “Since when are you all ‘need to know’?” she asked the other.
“Since now,” the red-head replied.
It looked as though she'd narrowed her eyes, but Cameron couldn't be sure. He wanted to ask who they were. His throat was dry. Nothing would come out. And his lips were cracked from the lack of movement. They wouldn't open if he asked them too.
“Huh. Okay, then.”
There was silence between the friends for a few seconds. Only the flipping of a page was heard. A car honked in the distance.
“What’s his name?” the dark-haired girl asked.
“Wow. Same name as me.”
“No,” the red-head said. “I mean, Lindsay, seriously, stop asking. Because I’m not telling.”
So that was the name of the girl with the long hair. He liked that name. It sounded familiar somehow. Maybe he'd known her from somewhere? But it sounded like she hadn't recognized him. How could he know someone without them recognizing him?
“Well... He looks like Mark Ruffalo,” Lindsay commented.
“He does not." The red-head rolled her eyes.
It was a good sign that Cameron could see that much. His medication must be wearing off. That, however, wasn't probably for the best. If he was this out of it on morphine, maybe he should ask for a nurse. Morphine meant damage; damage meant pain. Cameron didn't like pain. The fogginess was probably meant to protect him.
After they visited him in the hospital, the two women had disappeared entirely.
Then, there was Kate. Cameron had been feeling low for months by then. He’d been out of the hospital for over a year but he hadn’t realized just how bad everything was until now: He wasn’t just feeling low. He was using again.
Kate saved him.
That was a little dramatic. Cameron met Kate under a bridge, where most of the drug addicts of the city lived. Although, Kate wasn’t a drug addict. She was beautiful, and smart, and resourceful. That was how she saved him. She used Cameron’s addiction to her advantage.
And not the addiction he was aware of.
Kate had walked up to Cameron in broad daylight---the time he was usually asleep in his pile of rags---and shook him. She smelled wonderful. He thought about it and realized she smelled of wild flowers. It only took a few minutes for him to wobble into a standing position and look her full in the face. Or, at least, as fully as he could with his limited, squinty vision.
She took him by the elbow and towed him away from the other piles of rags. Some of the dopers asleep, some dead. He wanted to ask her where they were going. He wanted to tell her to leave him alone because he wanted to sleep. He also wanted to root around in her pockets to see if she had anything he wanted.
But Cameron wasn’t one of those guys. He did sleep under the bridge and use occasionally, but he’d never do anything to hurt anyone. Not Kate, especially. And as he was coming around, he really couldn’t think of anyone on this planet that he’d hurt.
“I don’t blame you for doing what you do,” Kate said suddenly.
Her voice was so clear that it vibrated in Cameron’s head. He cleared his throat but his voice wouldn’t come out. He blinked slowly at her instead. Her outline wavered like a patch of steam above the road.
“I’ve been on my own for two years,” she said, “and I can’t believe they haven’t found you yet.”
“Who?” Cameron’s voice came out like a whisper.
“Who?” he asked again. He put a hand to his head as his voice bounced around the inside of his skull. Coming down was harder when there wasn’t anything waiting in the wings for him.
Kate’s eyes hardened. When she realized that Cameron wasn’t so much under the influence anymore, that the wheels in his head were turning, albeit rusty and slow, they softened.
“Don’t you know what you are?” she asked.
“What I am?” he replied. “I know what I am. I don’t have to be reminded, lady. I know I’m messed up and I sleep under the bridge near dead and dying people every day.”
Kate shook her head. “No, I know you know that.” She waited to see if he’d come to the conclusion on his own.
Since he didn’t know who she was, where they were, who the Winchesters were, and what she meant, Cameron just shrugged.
“You’re a werewolf,” Kate told him.
That was number two. Cameron had been using to fend off the addiction he had no awareness of. Once Kate explained the reasons for how he felt, once she had assured him that he wasn’t going crazy and that she was a werewolf too, Cameron felt something. It was a relief to be able to feel anything. After months of feeling the rush of the high, coming down to the realization that he now could understand why he’d turned to drugs and that maybe he wouldn’t need them anymore, was paralyzing.
Cameron didn’t cry. He didn’t yell. He wasn’t sad or disappointed in himself. He wasn’t angry, either. Cameron watched as Kate’s claws came out and he smiled. He was just...relieved.
“I’ve thought about turning to drugs before,” Kate said.
They were sitting on the shore of the lake, Cameron with his legs crossed underneath him.
“But you didn’t,” Cameron said.
“I knew what I was basically from the beginning,” she replied. “I knew how to keep the cravings away. And I have a threat of hunters on my back to keep me straight.”
Cameron’s eyebrows pulled down. He was beginning to feel the effects of withdrawal. It made his legs shake. But he clenched his hands and said, “What do you mean?”
Kate reached under her shirt and unsheathed a small knife. She held it out for Cameron to take. “I keep this so I don’t kill anyone. If I do, I’ll kill myself.”
“For me, it’s that simple. I won’t kill anyone. That was the promise I made. If I go back, I have to end it myself.” She took the knife back and sheathed it, pulling her shirt down to conceal it. “I’d rather have that than the Winchesters.”
She kept mentioning the Winchesters. Who were they? What were hunters? How was he going to stop his need? That was impossible. He needed a fix almost every hour. But if he could figure out what he needed as a werewolf...
Maybe they’d go away.
“Where did you get turned?” Kate asked. She was staring out over the water.
“I don’t remember,” Cameron told her. “I’ve been trying to, but it’s just not in there.” He tapped his head.
Kate slid her hand into her pocket and produced a small picture. She handed it to him without taking her eyes off the water.
“I’ve been following you for a while,” she said. “When I found out that someone else had been turned by the same guy that turned the one who bit me, I had to...”
She felt responsible, Cameron thought. But why would she, if she hadn’t turned him? If someone had turned her, and turned him, why would she feel that way?
“That’s where you were two years ago,” Kate told him, pointing to the picture.
He followed her finger. It was a house. A stone house. And the memories came rushing back. Cameron blacked out.