maryperk73703: (The Void)
[personal profile] maryperk73703
At the hospital.



Chapter 5

The rest of the trip to the hospital was silent. Both Spike and Buffy were deep in thought about the shared dream and the circumstances that had brought them to this point in their lives.

Buffy rushed into the hospital as Spike trailed behind her. At the desk in the oncology department, she found Dr. Kriegel, her mother's doctor and surgeon. "Mom came in with a headache."

Dr. Kriegel nodded. "Yes, she's on her way to have an MRI. You and your friend can wait in the family room."

"Thanks." Buffy turned in the direction of the family waiting room. After a couple of steps, she turned back to the doctor. "Is Ben the intern working tonight?"

"No, he's not. In fact, he hasn't shown up for work in several days," Dr. Kriegel replied. "It's very strange since he's always been reliable in the past."

"That's weird, but this is Sunnydale," Buffy said. "People disappear all the time."

"That is true. I had several nurses disappear before, and several die from freak accidents with BBQ forks. One of them even tried to come back to work once." Dr. Kriegel nodded. "We sent one of the security guards to Ben's apartment. He wasn't home and nobody had seen him in days. The last time was when he left work here."

Buffy thought that Spike was being extremely quiet, something that could rarely be said about the vampire. She turned to him with a questioning lift of an eyebrow. Spike threw his hands up in a show of innocence, but Buffy wasn't fooled. She turned back to Dr. Kriegel. "Sorry to hear about Ben."

"As am I. I'll let you know when your mother is ready to be seen." Dr. Kriegel walked off towards the elevators.

Buffy and Spike continued on to the waiting room. She was glad to see that the room was empty. She whirled around and poked Spike in the chest. "What did you do?"

"Got rid of an enemy." Spike rubbed where Buffy had poked him. "Nobody is going to hurt the Nibblet while I still have life left in me."

"How did you know?"

Spike smirked. "Luv, I bloody well eavesdropped. It's not like you and the Watcher have been all that quiet about it."

"Oh." Buffy plopped down in a chair. "I don't know what to say. Ben seemed so nice. How could he be hiding her?"

Spike sat down beside Buffy. "I think you and your Scooby friends need to quit thinking in black and white." He leaned back, and he entwined his fingers over his stomach. "Not all demons are evil. Not all humans are good. The soul isn't everything."

"You learn that since ..." Buffy waved her hand at Spike.

"Slayer, I've always knew right from wrong. William knew right from wrong. Without the soul, I just didn't care."

"What do you think we should do about the whole dream thing we have going on?" Buffy asked.

"I think we should go out on a few dates, Slayer. See if we can actually hang out without trying to off each other," Spike said.

Buffy snorted. "We're not doing so bad right now."

"True, but your mum is sick, and I like your mum." Spike raised an eyebrow. "So, my dear Miss Summers, may I have the pleasure of your company for a night on the town?"

Buffy looked at Spike. She studied his face for sincerity. Finally, she nodded in acceptance. "That would be nice."

The Slayer and the vampire sat in silence while they waited for the doctor to come talk to them. Buffy wasn't up to making small talk, not when her mother could be having problems with her head.

After what seemed like hours, Dr. Kriegel and Brian stepped into the waiting room. "Miss Summers, we're taking your mother to the OR immediately. She has a blood vessel that could burst at any moment."

Buffy was on her feet at the words. "But she'll be okay after that?"

"I hope so. I need to go scrub up, but I wanted to let you know before I went." Dr Kriegel hurried away leaving Brian to face Buffy.

Spike eyed the man up and down. "This is the bloke that is dating your mum," he asked Buffy.

"Yeah, this is Brian Miller. They met at Mom's book club." Buffy gestured towards Spike. "Brian, this is Spike."

"Uh, hi." Brian handed Joyce's purse and jacket to Buffy. "Glad to meet you, uh, Spike."

"M'name is William. Spike's just a nickname."

Brian looked at the bleached blond hair, the dark clothes, and came to one conclusion. "Punk rocker like Billy Idol, huh?"

"I'll have you know, he stole this look from me," Spike protested.

"Whatever," Buffy said while she patted Spike's arm.

Spike let out a sulky grunt. He was the Big Bad. So, why did everyone he know make fun of him?"

"Do you want me to go back to your house to tell everyone what's going on?" Brian asked.

"No need for that. We came to you." Dawn stood just outside the waiting room door. She held two bags in her hands, one with food and one with gifts. "Where's mom?"

"Emergency surgery for an aneurism, Nibblet." Spike stood to help Dawn with her burden.

"Mommy?"

Buffy went to Dawn. She led her sister over to the couch where they sat and consoled each other.

Then, the rest of the guests from the Summers' home entered the waiting room with bags of food and gifts. The food was placed on one table in the room and the gifts were placed on another.

"How did you know to come here?" Buffy asked Dawn.

"A guy called to let us know that mom was about to have surgery and you were going to be stuck here," Dawn replied.

"Who?"

Dawn shrugged. "Some guy named Claude or something similar. I think his cousin is named Clem. Janice had to go home though. When she called to ask to come here, her mother said no."

"That was nice of him. I wonder why he did it?" Buffy wondered. "And I'm sorry your friend didn't get to come with you."

"Apparently Clem is friends with that Lord Chesterfield dude that is giving us stuff," Dawn said. "Oh, that reminds me. There is one present for you that has a special note on it. I'm dying to find out what he got you." She bounced over to the presents and picked out a rectangular gift wrapped in bright blue paper with little pigs on it.

Willow took one look at the paper and giggled. "Clearly he knows about Mr. Gordo love."

Dawn took the gift over to Buffy. She sat down beside Buffy while keeping a covert eye on Spike. Dawn wasn't sure what the vampire's sudden reappearance in their lives meant.

Buffy read the note on the outside of the package. "My dear Miss Summers ... " She looked up at Spike. He'd used the same words when he asked her out on their date. "May these serve you well in your crusade to protect the world."

"He knows you pretty well," Giles replied. "I've been considering who this mysterious benefactor could be, and I'm afraid I've come up with no answers. The last Lord Chesterfield disappeared in 1880 along with his only living relative, his mother. His name was William Jamison, and hers was Anne Pratt Jamison."

Buffy kept watching Spike. She wasn't happy when a quick wave of sadness crossed his face. There was a story there, probably not a very happy one. She wondered what had happened to make him so unhappy.

"Open it," Dawn said, interrupting Buffy's thoughts.

Buffy ducked her head before she tore open the wrapping. Inside was a beautiful ornate wooden box. Buffy handed the paper to Dawn before she opened the box. She gasped when she saw the contents.

"What?" Dawn asked. She peered into the box too. "Wow, those are some pretty nifty knives."

Buffy stared at the knives she'd seen at the pawn shop just days before. "But how ... ?" She laid the box down on her lap, and with great care, she lifted one of the knives from their spot.

"That is beautiful," Willow said. She leaned in to get a closer look. "Is that a railroad spike as a handle?"

Buffy turned the knife over in her hands. "It sure is." She looked at the end of the pummel where the initials W.J. were seared into the metal. Buffy nodded her head. Things were coming together in her mind. "Thank you, Spike. They're beautiful."

"What?" Giles looked back and forth between Buffy and Spike. "What are you talking about, Buffy?"

"Spike is William Jamison, Lord Chesterfield." Buffy put the knife back into its spot. "He's also the artist who made the knives. I mean, they're made out of railroad spikes."

Everyone except Dawn looked confused by Buffy's revelations. Instead the young girl giggled with happiness.

Dawn laughed. "Really? Buffy is the only one that figured it out?"

"Hey, I'll have you know I tested well on the SATs. I'm not as stupid as some of you think I am," Buffy protested.

"I don't think any of us think you're stupid," Giles commented. "I certainly don't."

Xander narrowed his eyes. "You're the one behind all the stuff that Buffy's been getting. Are you trying to get into her pants?"

Buffy arched an eyebrow, and her tone was cool when she spoke. "How is that any of your business, Xander? It may have taken me a while to warm up to Anya, but never -- not once -- have I told you who you can or cannot date. Not even the ones I've had to slay."

"It wasn't just Buffy that got stuff from him," Dawn said. She got up to pick out a gift from the pile of presents. "Is this an attempt to get into my pants too?"

"But ..." Xander spluttered.

Anya patted his arm. "Shut up, Xander. Your job is to look pretty."

Everyone looked at Anya in astonishment. Spike let out a chortle. "You tell him, demon girl."

Anya turned towards Spike. "So, William, where did you get it?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Article from the Sunnydale News:

The construction of the new Sunnydale High School was delayed today with the discovery of a body inside the old building that was destroyed when the late Mayor Richard Wilkins III allegedly blew up the former high school during the 1999 graduation. Identification on the body told police that the body was Benjamin Charles, an intern at Sunnydale Memorial who had been previously missing since last December. Mr. Charles' neck was broken. Police officials have no clues as to why Mr. Charles would be in the old high school building. There are no witnesses. The case remains open.
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