Hurt & Comfort

Book 2: Circumstantially Hurt

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Chapter 18: Sedentary Hope

Andrew opened the portal to show the familiar living room of Slayer Central. Buffy, Willow, and Faith had obviously been waiting for the portal to open.

Dawn and Tara waved to the guys and stepped through the portal.

"Andy, do I have time to talk to Buffy for a minute?" Xander asked seriously.

"Sure Xan, I'm feeling fine. Do what you need to do." Andrew said with a smile for Xander's concern.

Xander looked at Andrew and decided that he was telling the truth, he didn't look too drawn.

Xander took Remy's hand and led him through the portal.

"Hey Buff, Wills, Faith. How are you all doing?" Xander said once he cleared the portal.

"Good", "fine", and "five by five" were their answers.

"I've decided to stay in the other dimension. The eye thing did it for me. I'm going to try for a simpler life for a while. I just wanted to let you know in person." Xander said with a sheepish look.

"Way to go Xan." Faith said with honest admiration.

"I hope it works out for you, but if you get bored with it, you'll always have a place with us." Buffy said, looking like she might cry.

"We'll still see each other all the time. Besides, the new Slayers are a lot better fighters than I could ever be." Xander said honestly.

"It was never about the fighting. It was about the team. But you do what you need to do for you. I hope you make a good life for yourself." Buffy said with sincerity.

"Who's your new friend?" Faith asked, noticing Remy.

Xander led Remy to the women and said, "Remy LeBeau, I would like to introduce you to Buffy, Faith, and Willow."

Remy put out a hand in greeting and received Buffy's.

Remy accepted her hand and noticed the calluses. He took the hand to his lips, but before he could kiss her hand, she pulled away.

"No offense, but I've been bitten like that before." She said and took a step back.

"Non, no offense. Remy not be considered a threat for a while. It be a good feelin." Remy said with a smile directed in Buffy's general direction.

"I'll talk to you again soon; I don't want for Andrew to keep the portal open too long." Xander said and placed Remy's hand on his elbow.

"Okay, and Remy, maybe you can stop in and visit for a while next time?" Buffy asked with a slightly seductive tone in her voice.

"Same time tomorrow?" Xander said as he led Remy through the portal.

"Yeah, tomorrow." Buffy said absently as she watched Remy.

* * * * *

"How did you do that Remy? You had her totally unhinged before you even said two words." Xander said in wonder.

"La femme jus be lonely, you tink she be interested in Remy?" he asked cautiously.

"Andy, help me out here. Wasn't that Buffy's aloof, come hither look?" Xander asked, hoping for confirmation.

"Xan's right, and she was totally checking out your ass."

"De women Remy knows, dey see de eyes an leave. Buffy don do dat." Remy said in wonder.

"Buffy's been dating the undead. You have a pulse, so you're one step up over two of her ex-boyfriends already." Xander said and threw himself back on his bed.

"Lemme guess, la femme don like a normal man, non?" Remy asked cautiously.

"No, Buffy doesn't do normal very well." Xander said seriously.

Remy hung his head and said, "When women go to see the sideshow, there's some that want sex wit de freaks... it's what makes em hot."

"Buffy's not like that..." Xander started when Remy interrupted.

"She ever have a normal boyfriend?" Remy asked cautiously.

"Yeah." Andrew said when Remy asked, "How long ago?"

"Eight years." Xander said with a weak voice.

"Don worry none Xander. Remy not hurt by it. It not be Remy's problem; It be Buffy's. And Remy jus find he have self-respect for seein it." Remy said with a triumphant smile.

"Way to go Cajun." Xander said with his own smile.

* * * * *

The group of men traveled downstairs and joined the students for lunch. All of them stayed in the dining room after the meal, dreading the trip back upstairs.

"When is the doctor supposed to be here?" Andrew asked the group.

"Hank just said 'this afternoon'. Anytime I suppose." Xander said, concerned by the tiredness of the men.

"Then I suppose we should go down to wait in the MedLab." Andrew said, resigned to his fate.

"I don't think that's such a good idea." Xander said, knowing that the men all wanted to be there.

Before they could protest, Xander continued, "Hank won't allow you into the examination room. This guy's a specialist, so there's no telling how long the exam will take. I think the best thing the three of you can do is go in the common room and watch a movie to pass the time for a little while. I promise that as soon as Remy and I are finished, we will come and tell you everything." Xander said with a reassuring smile.

"Yeah, I guess... and I need to call Alex. If I call right now, I should be able to wake him up." Scott said with a mischevious smile.

"We all need to get in on this call, it's not every day you get to tell him he has a new brother, sister and boyfriend-in-law." Andrew said with equal mischief.

"Let's do it then." Scott said and forced himself out of his chair and toward the common room.

* * * * *

"Wat dey be talkin about?" Remy asked Xander as they left the dining room.

"Scott has a brother, Alex, who lives in Hawaii. They are going to call him to let him know that he has a new brother and sister... Alan and Dawn." Xander said as they entered the elevator.

"So dey be serious. Alan and Dawn becomin part of Scott's family?" Remy asked, not sure why he was having such difficulty with the concept.

"Yeah, and if you're around them for a while, you'll think they were always brothers by the way they act. They're really great guys." Xander finished as they reached the MedLab.

"Gentlemen, I'm glad to see you, I was just about to summon you. This is Doctor Samuelson, Doctor Samuelson, this is Alexander Harris and Remy LeBeau." Hank said cheerfully.

"Good to meet you gentlemen. Who wants to be first?" The doctor asked as he made his way to the examination table.

Xander could see the look of nervousness on Remy's face and said, "I will Doctor."

* * * * *

The talk with Alex had gone as expected, with one surprise. Alex announced that he was going to visit so he could meet his new brother and sister. While they were talking on the phone, Alex went online and booked reservations for a flight in one week. By then Dawn should be back and they could have their first family reunion.

All the men were sitting with worry and not paying attention to the movie as they each thought about Xander and Remy down in the MedLab.

"I'm going to go visit with Jean for a little while." Scott finally announced.

"Do you mind if I come with you?" Alan asked, wanting to be near when Remy got out of his examination.

"You two aren't leaving me alone up here." Andrew said indignantly.

"Well come on then." Scott said as he made his way toward the elevator.

* * * * *

Xander finally stepped out of the examination room with Remy on his arm. He was surprised to find Alan and Andrew sitting and waiting for them in chairs in the hallway.

"I thought you were going to wait for us upstairs." Xander said in accusation.

"If it were us in there, would you?" Andrew asked bluntly.

Xander thought about his words for just a moment before admitting, "No, I'd be out here in the hallway. Thanks guys... where's Scott?"

"With Jean. So, are you going to tell us, or do we have to beat it out of you... how did it go?" Andrew asked anxiously.

"They were using some massive medical lingo in there that was waaaaaaaay beyond my understanding but I think it all meant that we're good to go. The doctor said that since Remy is a mutant and the MedLab has all the equipment that he needs, he'll do the surgery here. He feels that Remy might not get the best care if he were treated in a regular hospital. There is a lot of anti-mutant sentiment going on out there." Xander said irritably.

"So, when are you going to do it?" Alan asked excitedly.

"That's the problem. The procedure calls for 'live' organs. Which means that they have to be harvested and immediately transplanted. We have to wait for eyes to become available, and when they are, we have to be ready for surgery." Xander said with a bit of disappointment.

"Any idea how long that will take?" Alan asked, not quite as excited as before.

"It may be ten minutes or ten months from now before we have compatible eyes available for surgery." Xander said resigned.

"Nothing like a relaxing wait... how you feeling about all this Remy?" Andrew asked.

"Remy don know wat ta tink. It be a good ting ta get some eyes but Remy be feelin funny bout da people who gotta die ta provide em." Remy said seriously.

"If it helps, imagine that they are Friends-of-Humanity. That should make it easier to accept them." Alan said seriously.

"Remy don play games like dat Alan. If Remy get new eyes, he need to know who had em before." Remy said seriously, and each man there knew that his mind wouldn't be changed.

"I can't say I understand why you need to know Remy, but I don't have to. I respect you and if that's what you need, I'll do whatever I can to help you find out." Alan said honestly.

"Tanks Alan. Remy knew dat." Remy said and gave a smile.

"So is that everything that they had to say?" Andrew asked Xander.

"No, they were going out of their way to make sure we knew that this might not work. There is a chance that it won't work at all. There is a chance that it won't work completely and we'll have partial blindness, and there is this small, like itty bitty, chance that everything will work the way it's supposed to and we'll be able to see just fine." Xander said in a half-hearted smirk.

"But for Remy, any chance be better than no chance." Remy said honestly.

"I understand that, but the news is essentially good, I mean you both passed the exam and now are just waiting for new eyes, right?" Andrew asked in confirmation.

"Yeah, I guess we did pass. If the doc found something wrong, that would be it... dead end. But everything is okay for the transplant so I guess we're in good shape for now." Xander said with a shrug.

"Then let's go get Scott and celebrate." Andrew said happily.

* * * * *

"Scott. Xander and Remy passed their eye exam. We're going to go celebrate. Wanna join us?" Alan asked as he walked into Jean's room.

"You guys don't mind if Jean comes along, do you? She's good to go as long as she takes her medicine regularly." Scott said to the group.

"Of course Jean can join us. Do you need a wheelchair, or can you walk?" Andrew asked from the doorway.

"I think I need the wheelchair, I can walk, but this medication makes me drowsy and I might fall asleep without warning." Jean said with an undertone of disgust in her voice.

"I'll get the wheelchair; Scott can be your driver." Andrew said and retreated back into the hallway.

"What kind of celebration are we going to have?" Jean asked the group.

As one the group of men answered, "Cookies."

"Why do I get the feeling that this isn't the first celebration you have had?" Jean asked in fun.

"We celebrate the wonder of each day and the good company we keep." Alan said as Andrew returned with the wheelchair.

"Don worry chére, Remy new to dis group too. If dey be celebrating too much, you stay by Remy, he protect you." Remy said in a gallant voice.

"Thanks Remy, I think I can handle them, but if the celebration gets out of hand, I'll remember your offer." Jean said, trying to sound serious.

Remy nodded his head in acknowledgement and a faint smile could be seen.

Between Xander and Scott, they were able to get Jean into the wheelchair and ready to go.

"Where to?" Andrew asked as he was ready to leave the room.

"The common room, I can think of a few dozen kids that would love to visit with Jean when classes let out." Scott said to the group.

"I don't know Scott. It might traumatize the children, letting them see me in a wheelchair." Jean said with worry.

Scott, Alan, and Andrew laughed a little as Xander explained, "Scott and Andrew have been conducting class from their sickbed."

"And the kids threw Alan and Andrew a party yesterday when they were still in wheelchairs." Scott said gently.

Jean thought about it, then smiled. "Let's go."

The End of Book 2 ~ To Be Continued in Book 3: Deepest Hurt