Things take awhile to get back to normal. Physically, Juliette heals on par to what everyone expects.
She feeds a lot more regular than before, but still doesn’t look entirely healthy for weeks. Her skin is much paler than usual, and she is slower in movements, full of an exhausted fatigue.
Calliope watches her with a careful observation. She sticks closer to her girlfriends side, staying over at the Fairmont mansion for days at a time.
Not that anyone complains about her increased presence, if anything they actually seem relieved. Elinor in particular is happy to see that someone is as intently focused on her sister’s recover as she is.
Their relationship had drastically improved in the recent weeks. Instead of the scathing looks, Calliope receives somewhat genuine smiles and greetings as she enters the front door.
Five weeks after the Guild had been defeated, Juliette finally returns to the school. Cal was sceptical about the whole thing. She hadn’t recovered properly yet, the silver still running throughout her body.
”Maybe give it another week?” It was supposed to be a suggestion, but it comes out more like a plea.
Realistically there’s little that could go wrong with going back to school, the change of scenery would most likely do the world of good.
Though she can’t help but worry about everything that could possibly happen.
Thoughts wandered through her mind about remaining Guild members banding together and attacking again, taking her from school. It happened once, who could say it wouldn’t happen again?
Juliette shook her head from where she sat at the desk, brushing her hair. “I’m feeling a lot better Cal, don’t worry. We defeated them”
She was telling the truth, speaking logically. It didn’t ease Calliope’s worries though, and she frowned at the thought of the Guild coming back.
”What if they come back for you? There must be some more members, ready to attack somewhere. Planning something. You’re not 100% yet”
Her voice raised at the end, shaking slightly. She almost felt embarrassed at the white hot fear, how terrified the prospect of Juliette going to school was. And her girlfriend noticed this, setting the hairbrush down onto the table with a soft sigh and moving to join her on the bed.
”Cal” she started, taking her hands with a soft smile. Despite herself, Calliope returned the smile. “I won’t be alone. You’ll be with me, won’t you?”
Cal nodded resolutely, squeezing her hands tightly. “Yes. Absolutely. I’m not leaving you alone for a second. I mean it. And if we aren’t in any lessons together, call me the second you feel worried. Even if it’s nothing, if you just want company. I mean it”
She didn’t want Juliette to feel alone. To feel scared. School was a big step. More people, more potential threats. She was even more anxious about the whole thing than the vampire, considering what might happen.
”See? No need to worry. If anyone comes near me, I’ve got my big bad bodyguard” she fluttered her eyes dramatically, hanging onto Cal’s arm with a wide, teasing grin.
Calliope rolled her eyes good natured at the antics, slipping her arm around Juliette’s waist to embrace her into a side hug.
“You’re ridiculous” she murmured, face tucked into her shoulder. She shut her eyes and breathed in the smell of Juliette, finding comfort in its familiarity. It would be nice to stay in that moment, warm and comfortable.
They eventually broke away, reluctantly on Cal’s part. She didn’t want to let Jules go, but knew it would have to happen.
Ben was on his way, insistent to drive the pair to school. Like Calliope, he was unsure about Juliette returning to school without fully healing. They had to accept that it was her decision, and instead of stopping it - instead would do everything possible to protect her.
”What time will Ben be here?” She asked, fiddling with the straps of her backpack. Juliette checked her phone, “ten minutes?” She guessed. “He isn’t always the most organised”
Cal barked out a laugh, agreeing. It was only a matter of time before they would hear the loud screech of his car wheels across the gravel, making a grand entrance as per usual.
In the meanwhile, she enjoyed the last few moments of peace they had before being thrown back into the fray.
She had been into school periodically herself, over the last few weeks. Returning full time was something her father originally suggested but Calliope was too worried and distracted to actually focus.
Instead, she attended a few days. Splitting her time between school, her own home and the Fairmont house. It wasn’t a longtime solution but was the only way to actually get any work done.
“All packed?” Calliope jumped at the unexpected sound, Elinor laughed high and shrill as she stuck her head around the door.
“Don’t fret, only me. And I won’t bite. Not this time” she winked conspiratorially and Juliette threw a pillow at her sister. “Behave” she warned, with a laugh.
The atmosphere was light though, a playfulness that Calliope was relieved at. It’s exactly what they needed after the days of terror and tension at the hands of the Guild.
“Always, Sweet Little” Elinor assured, catching the pillow with her typical grace. She placed it back on the bed smoothing it over neatly, hands landing on Juliette’s shoulders.
“When is your pet coming?” Her mouth upturned into a wolffish grin, and Juliette slapped her shoulder with mock outrage. Calliope fixed her hair in the mirror, shaking her head with a laugh. Elinor’s harmless distain towards Ben was entertaining to say the least.
”Leave him alone! And play nice, he’ll be here in the next few minutes” Juliette squirmed against her sister’s touch, breaking away to slip on her shoes.
Elinor rose from the bed with a far too dramatic sigh, “I’ll make myself scarce then. Best luck at school, darling” she pressed a kiss to Jules’ cheek leaving behind a deep red stain, then extended her hand to Calliope waving it regally.
As quick as she appeared - she was gone, leaving the couple alone again. Before Cal could enjoy the moment, a loud honk filled the silence, scaring the life out of her.
“Does he always have to do that” she groaned, clutching a hand to her chest. Juliette chuckled, used to her best friend’s enthusiastic entrances.
They stood and gathered together their belongings, the Fairmonts had already gone to work which left the house empty after Elinor’s departure so Juliette locked up the front door, careful to ensure it was actually bolted.
Ben was leaning out of the window of his car, almost falling to the ground as he honked again - waving wildly. Juliette grinned at him, waving back with as much force, and Calliope jumped again at the sound.
Why did it have to be so loud? Why did he think honking the car horn was necessary?
Juliette skipped over to the car, as Ben climbed out - pulling her in for a hug. Calliope opened the trunk, putting their bags in and accepting the small hug that the boy offered her.
“Good morning ladies!” He greeted, slipping back into the driver’s seat as Juliette joined him at the front. Calliope reluctantly sat at the backseat alone and tried not to pout at the distance.
She had been unusually clingy, more touchy than usual in the past weeks. Even the few metres between them felt like too much, she had to constantly feel Juliette nearby, as reassurance that she was alive, okay.
As though reading her mind, her girlfriend leaned back in the seat and linked their hands flashing a bright smile. “Okay?”
Cal met her eyes, sensing their kindness and warmth. “Okay” she affirmed. Before they could continue the conversation, the radio begun to buzz and Ben tinkered with it cursing under his breath.
It was an old thing, and barely worked half of the time. Static screeched and they all jumped back at it. Eventually Taylor Swift started to sing and the best friends loudly cheered.
Calliope wasn’t as much of a fan, but appreciated good music. She liked to see them so happy too, so sank back into the seat and enjoyed the music and quiet chatter as Ben pulled the car away from the driveway.
The drive was short and it wasn’t long before they drove into the car park. Juliette was nervous, her leg bouncing up and down against the floor, hands coming to tap against it simultaneously.
“Ready to be back?” Ben asked, screeching the car to a halt as they stepped out. Calliope retrieved their backpacks from the trunk, noticing the conflicted expression cross her girlfriend’s face.
She considered the question before replying, “I’m excited to get back to normality. Not for double maths”
Ben laughed, jostling her and Calliope felt herself relax. Outside of the expected nerves, she didn’t seem too terrified. Things would be okay, she just needed to calm down and stop stressing.
Juliette grabbed her hand, the intimacy surprising Cal. They weren’t heavy on PDA, especially at school. Outside of the occasional kiss or affectionate touch, they both agreed to keep the attention away from them as much as possible by trying to blend into the background.
Now though, the physical touch was important: grounding the pair. Nothing else mattered except for keeping safe and Calliope wasn’t going to complain about being in close proximity.
Ben gasped as he saw their joined hands and bent forward to whisper “I thought no PDA?” very loudly in Juliette’s ear, who shrugged - awkward now, the tips of her ears turning pink.
Taking pity on her, Cal slapped his shoulder perhaps a little harder than he was used to judging by the dramatic squeal. “Mind your own business Wheeler” she growled with little malice.
He rolled his eyes, linking his arm through Juliette’s. “Back at you, Burns. She was mine first”
They had always got along. Calliope respected how much he cared and wanted to protect his best friend, and Ben vice versa.
Beyond their initial bond of loving Juliette, they also developed a friendly rapport, a teasing back and forth that always managed to make Jules laugh at their quick witted one liners.
She found him funny, sometimes annoyingly so. He was fiercely protective of the vampire, and together they made a strange trio.
But Ben also welcomed her in, by extension - to his friends at school too. Somewhat of an outcast, Calliope liked to keep to herself.
Now, she didn’t just have Juliette and Ben she had his friends who now said hi to her in greeting. It was definitely strange, being someone on the sidelines and now most teenagers recognising her as Juliette’s girlfriend.
The teachers didn’t know the extent of her absence, Margot and Sebastian had just explained it as a brief sickness she was still overcoming. They weren’t entirely wrong and the school seemed to accept it, welcoming Juliette back simply enough.
”I have to pick up my new timetable”
“Want me to come with?” Cal offered, shoving her remaining belonging into her locker with a bit more force than necessary.
Ben was on the other side, more focused on tapping away obliviously at his phone.
Juliette had guessed a new conquest, which would explain why he rushed out of movie night gleefully with no proper excuse last night Calliope looked at his sly smirk, and agreed.
”No, it should all be good. Plus you have a lesson, can’t be late! Not a good start” she waved at her notebook, there sat a copy of Cal's timetable.
Typical Juliette, she thought with a fond smile. It was totally in character for her girlfriend to carry around a copy of her timetable, to know exactly where she was at all times.
Stalkerish, perhaps. But definitely cute. Cal wasn’t complaining.
She double checked the timetable, Juliette was correct. Her next lesson was English, precisely in twelve minutes.
She enjoyed the subject, a firm favourite. There used to also be more benefits to English class, back in the day. She shot a look at her girlfriend, transported to the time where she would feel a pair of eyes watching her.
Not to be deterred, she pressed on. “Are you sure?”
Juliette nodded with an air of confidence that she had grown into after beginning to accept herself more. Although not changing who she was fundamentally, she had become more confident and assured.
”Yes. I’m sure. Now go, please. I’ll catch up with you later” as if to punctuate the statement, she was grabbed by the shoulders and yanked in for a bruising kiss.
But Cal gave as good as she got, especially when she came to Juliette - and it wasn’t long before she got lost in the feelings, hands draping dangerously low from a slim waist.
She begun to deepen the kiss completely forgetting their surroundings, until a hand pulled Juliette off her. “Down girl” Ben steadied his best friend on the ground where she teetered, distracted with glazed eyes.
He huffed and switched his attention back to Calliope, “Please, if you’re going to maul my best friend - then do it at your house. Or hers. Or even the bathroom. Anywhere but here!”
She opened her mouth to protest but Ben held his hand up. “No excuses” he demanded.
“You’re ridiculous, if it was your mystery man here then I’m sure you’d be chomping away!”
The response was fired away before she even processed the words and his reaction was immediate: wide eyes and slack jawed.
“Oh no” Juliette whispered to no one, burying her face in her hands with a loud sigh. Ben shuffled his shoulders and stood up straighter.
“What man?” His voice took a high inflection, squeaking almost. Juliette snorted and he glared at her.
Calliope shook her head, slamming her locker shut whilst trying to hide her own smile. “Pretend I never said anything” she pressed a kiss to Juliette’s cheek.
”Thanks for leaving me with this!” Her girlfriend groaned. “He’s going to spend the next God knows how long trying to deny it, then will wonder how we found out”
Ben wasn’t usually one for hiding things but was trying to keep the new man in his life a secret. Juliette was skeptical about the whole thing and Cal wasn’t faring any better.
There had to be something about him that meant Ben didn't want to tell his best friend. She just hoped it wasn’t another closet case, his situationship with Noah had ended drastically. She shuddered at the thought.
He was most certainly seeing someone too. His reaction now all but confirmed it. Recently his behaviour was more sketchy, leaving their meet-ups early and being secretive over his phone.
Juliette had expressed how she hoped it was a good guy, someone he actually had a future with - time would tell.
”Have fun with that, and good luck. I’ll see you later” She left as Ben begun turning an unusual shade of red, blushing deeply much to Juliette’s surprise and amusement.
English class sped by, and Calliope couldn’t help but be disappointed at no Juliette. It seemed unrealistic to expect them both in the same class again - but she hoped it would happen. It did not, and instead she threw herself into the work, desperate for a distraction.
Lunch crept by fast, and it had only felt like minutes since they went their separate ways in the morning. Now, Cal sat waiting at a table.
She opened a book, some random classic picked from Juliette’s bookshelf. It was an entertaining way to pass time, reading was a fun hobby. She split the time between reading and eating a sandiwch packed for lunch, then soon enough - heard the tell tale voices of the two best friends.
”Im not telling you!” Ben raised his voice, taking a seat opposite Calliope. She raised her eyebrow at his insistent one and squeezed Juliette’s waist in greeting. “Hey”
She was wearing an uncharacteristically large grin, and the trademark ‘heart eyes’ that both her brothers and Ben were starting to tease her about. She pretended to deny it, but knew they were right. Not that it could be helped, Juliette’s happy energy was infectious.
“Hi there” she took the seat next to Cal, precariously balancing a tray with a glass of water and packet of chips, opening them immediately and tilting the packet towards Ben as though it was second nature.
“You’ll tell me at some point” she crossed her arms, full of confidence much to Ben’s refusal. He pierced a straw through an juice carton, rather aggressively and shook his head again.
“You two are ridiculous” Cal admonished, taking another bite of her sandwich. Juliette pouted, “me?”
Her smile softened until Ben coughed “simp” under his breath. She dug her elbows into his ribs, laughing as he groaned.
”Now who are the ridiculous ones?” Juliette countered, and delved into a recount of her morning so far. Much to Cal’s relief, everything had gone well. No suspicious characters lurking around, and no worsening injures either.
The bell ring as she finished off the story, signalling the end of lunch. They had no shared lessons, so went their separate ways.
Calliope didn’t like math at the best of times, and now - wanted to be back at home instead of struggling through page after page of equations.
It was not fun at all and the lesson dragged on, feeling much longer than an hour. Soon, the clock ticked and ticked until the bell rang loudly and she nearly sighed with relief.
Outside leaning against the car, stood Juliette and Ben. She joined them, happy to have the evening spare to just hang out and enjoy each other’s company.
Unless Ben would be running off to see his mystery man. Which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. They had spent a lot of alone time together but Calliope would never turn down more time with Juliette Fairmont.
Actually, that sounded like a wonderful idea, she thought - climbing back into the solitary backseat with a dreamy smile.