"What were you thinking?"
Erica was pliant in Steve's hands, hardly even fighting, and it wasn't until Dustin grabbed at Steve's arm, yelling, "Stop it, you're scaring her!" that he realized he'd been shaking her.
He let go and she pulled away, staring at him, while Steve felt his legs go loose, and sat hard on the soggy leaves of the forest floor.
"You could have been killed," he said. "What's wrong with you kids?"
"I knew what I was doing," Erica said, but faintly. She rubbed at her upper arm.
"You just ran right in there. I've told you and told you --" He was on the verge of yelling again, and he rubbed at his face, realizing somewhat distantly that he was shaking.
"You're really upset," Erica said.
"Of course I'm upset! You just threw a bottle bomb at a monster. And you --" He turned on Dustin. "You were supposed to keep an eye on her!"
"I tried, Steve," Dustin retorted, giving Steve's shoulder a shove. "But it's ... well ... it's Erica! Stop yelling at us!"
"I think I'm entirely justified in yelling at you when you almost got yourselves killed," Steve muttered. Then it dawned on him, very slowly, that Erica looked like she was on the edge of tears, and he froze in an instant's horror. The only thing worse than being somehow responsible for kids with absolutely zero sense of self-preservation was having the most emotionally guarded and prickly ones start bursting into tears.
Well, it had been a hell of a night; they'd been running around these woods for hours, and he was pretty sure the bottle bomb had run off whatever it was that had been stalking them, but (given the way his luck tended to go) probably not for long.
"C'mere," he said, holding out an arm, and Erica hesitated as if she was considering how her grade-schooler pride would deal with the situation before she gave up and let herself be hugged. A moment later, Steve found himself being hugged by Dustin too, and put an arm around him.
"Yeah yeah, you're okay, I'm okay, we're all okay," he said into the top of Erica's head. "Now let's see if we can get out of the dark scary woods and figure out where everybody else is."
Whumptober Master List
Oct. 1 - Shaky Hands (Stranger Things) - On DW | On Tumblr
Oct. 2 - Explosion (Iron Fist) - On DW | On Tumblr
Oct. 3 - Delirium #1 (Agent Carter) - On DW | On Tumblr
----- Delirium #2 (Punisher) - On DW | On Tumblr
Oct. 4 - Human Shield (Alliance-Union) - Coming Around (AO3)
Oct. 5 - Gunpoint (Iron Fist) - On DW | On Tumblr
Oct. 6 - Dragged Away (Iron Fist) - On DW | On Tumblr
Oct. 7 - Isolation (Alliance-Union) - Reference Points on AO3
Oct. 8 - Stab Wound (Iron Fist) - Deeper Cuts on AO3
Oct. 9 - Shackled (Iron Fist) - Shackles and Bows on AO3
Oct. 10 - Unconscious (Doctor Strange) - Pride Before a Fall on AO3
Oct. 11 - Stitches (Agent Carter) - On DW | On Tumblr
Oct. 12 - "Don't Move" (Punisher) - On DW | On Tumblr
Oct. 13 - Adrenaline (Stranger Things) - On DW | On Tumblr
Complete list of prompts.
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