Hurt & Comfort

Book 1: Typically Hurt

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In the two weeks since the battle with the Slayers, Andrew had settled into a contented routine in his new home. He had already started taking some introductory college classes in the mornings and worked as a teacher's assistant for Scott and Hank in the afternoons.

Each day, just after lunch, he and Scott would meet with the professor for a counseling session. He had been afraid that he would be uncomfortable attending the sessions but found that it was the most comfortable part of his day.

In the early mornings and late afternoons, he would have his 'work-out', sharpening his fighting and teamwork skills as part of his X-Men training.

He still had moments of disbelief about how his life had changed so completely but couldn't help thinking that he wouldn't change a thing.

He walked into his room and focused his power on the dresser mirror. It was a variation of his portal ability that he enjoyed.

"Mirror, mirror on the wall, I'd like to place a long-distance call." He heard through the vortex of his mirror.

"Good one Dawn, the best yet. How are things at Slayer Central?" Andrew asked politely.

"About the same. Willow still isn't quite right but Xander and Buffy are working with her and they swear that they'll get her back to normal. Everyone else is pretty much back to themselves." Dawn said with a smile.

"That's good to hear. Nothing new on this side of the looking glass either except that I started my college classes." Andrew said happily.

"That's great. We did hear from Angel the other day... Buffy wouldn't talk about it, but I guess there are big things going on in L.A." Dawn said conversationally.

"Aren't there always?" Andrew responded with a chuckle.

//Portal, we need you in MedLab as soon as possible.// Andrew heard from the professor.

"I've gotta go, the professor is calling. I'll talk to you next week." Andrew said and grabbed his jacket.

"Same time, same channel." Dawn said with a smirk as Andrew withdrew his power from the mirror.

Andrew fixed his jacket and took one step and he was in the MedLab in front of a worried Hank.

"I just got a call from my niece in California, she sounded scared and needs my help. Can you get me there quick?" Hank asked nervously.

"Do you have a map of the area where we need to go? It's hard to target a place I've never been." Andrew replied professionally.

"Right here on this computer." Hank said quickly.

Andrew nodded his head and took a moment to study the map on the computer. "UCLA?" Andrew asked in confirmation.

Hank nodded and watched as Andrew closed his eyes and focused his power. He had developed the multiple portal technique to increase his distance and within two minutes had located his target.

"Three steps and we'll be there." Andrew said and the portal opened.

"Thank you Andrew." Hank said with genuine gratitude before walking through the vortex.

* * * * *

"We are in the building you had highlighted; do you know the room?" Andrew asked.

"Yes, it's just upstairs, number fourteen." Hank said as he led the way.

A moment later they were standing before a door and Hank was knocking.

The door opened and a timid voice said, "Uncle Hank? I just... How did you...? Oh, come in."

Hank entered the room followed by Andrew.

"This is Andrew. Andrew I'd like you to meet my niece..." Hank was interrupted.

"Tara?" Andrew asked in wonder.

The End

To Be Continued in 'Circumstantially Hurt'