Hurt & Comfort

Book 5: Heroes Can Be Hurt

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Chapter 7: Endless Possibilities

Bobby awoke from an exhausted sleep and looked around his room. It seemed foreign to him, like it belonged to someone else.

He searched through his dresser until he found some jeans and a T-shirt, then after pulling them on, went down to the kitchen for some food.

"Bobby, what's wrong?" Peter asked with concern.

"Nothing Pete. Why do you think something is wrong?" Bobby asked curiously.

Peter gestured to indicate Bobby's appearance then stood silently.

"I just felt like jeans today. What have you got going on? Feel like doing something?" Bobby asked as he poured a bowl of cereal.

"I... Bobby, you do not like me. I have lived here three years and you have never spoken to me outside of duty." Peter said suspiciously.

Bobby stopped in mid bite, his spoon halfway to his mouth and thought. Finally he said, "I guess Marie was right, I was being a prick... I'm sorry Peter, I never disliked you, I guess I was so caught up in myself that I didn't notice that I was being rude to you. Can you forgive me? I promise to do better."

Piotr saw the sincerity on Bobby's face and nodded silently.

"So do you want to do something today?" Bobby asked again and continued eating his cereal.

"I was going to run the track, you could join me if you would like." Piotr said carefully, knowing that Bobby didn't like to run.

"Yeah, sure. But I'm not good at it, I've got skinny little chicken legs. Will you slow down so I can keep up with you?" Bobby asked pleasantly.

"As long as you let me know when I am going too fast." Piotr said and smiled.

"Great, what time should I meet you there Pete? Or should I call you Peter?" Bobby thought to ask.

"I will meet you at the track to stretch in one hour, and you may call me Pete if you wish." Piotr said with a smile.

* * * * *

Orroro knocked on the door and said, "Hank, it is Orroro. I have brought you lunch."

She heard the door unlock and saw it open a crack before Hank's voice said, "Leave it on the dresser inside the door."

"Please Hank. Let me talk with you. There is no reason for you to do this. You do not have to go through it alone." Orroro said in a pleading voice.

"Orroro, you are so beautiful, I've always thought so, and now I'm... this beast. I couldn't stand to see your reaction to me. It hurts too much... What might have been... Just leave me alone." Hank finished quickly.

Orroro sat the food on the dresser and said, "You have given me a grave insult by assuming that I would like or dislike you based solely on your appearance. It hurts to know that you think me so superficial."

* * * * *

"Mr. Giles, Ms. Ololafhey, I'd like to introduce you to Dr. Jean Grey, Tara McCoy and Dawn Summers, I believe they are the ones you came to speak with." Charles said and motioned the three women into the room.

"A pleasure, I think. Am I to understand that you three intend to open a hellmouth?" Giles asked as he looked at the three beautiful women.

"Not exactly. I misled you when I said that on the phone. I know that the spell would flood the earth with demons. But we needed your help and... here you are." Dawn said with a helpless shrug.

"Continue." Giles said with suspicion.

"Nearly three dozen of our children are trapped in an alternate dimension. You have access to the resources that we need to retrieve them. We *will* retrieve them with or without your help, but this way you have the option of overseeing the opening of the interdimensional gate." Charles said professionally.

"How did your children come to be trapped in an alternate dimension?" Giles asked carefully.

"There was a young man here who could open dimensional vortices without the need for spells or supplies. The children were in danger and he relocated them, as a favor to us, so they would be safe. However, when the danger came and went, he ended up in another dimension... and we haven't heard from him since." Jean said calmly.

"I am not saying that I will help, but I am curious to know which spell you plan to use." Giles asked the three women.

Tara handed several sheets of paper to Giles and he read them slowly.

"This is the most elaborate... it's brilliant. The balance of forces is inspired." Giles said in awe of the spell.

"Thank you. If we can get all the components to make it work, it should be able to lock in on the proper dimension and open a vortex. Do you have access to the supplies we will need?" Jean asked carefully, gently probing his mind for the truth.

Giles looked over the ingredient listing carefully and finally said, "The only things I cannot provide are the designate and the key."

"The designate is named Xander, he is native to that dimension. And I am the key." Dawn said with pride.

"You... a key made into human form? How?" Giles asked in wonder.

"It's a really long story that involves my sister Buffy, who is a vampire slayer..." Dawn said looking at Kendra, then she turned back to Giles and said, "... A group of monks, and the hell-god Glorificus."

"A story that I would very much like to hear sometime. How do you three intend to generate the necessary power to breach dimensions?" Giles asked, just beginning to believe.

"Look at me and see." Dawn said quietly.

Giles looked in confusion and Dawn rolled her eyes and said, "Really look at me."

After a moment Giles caught her meaning and willed himself to see with magical sight, and what he saw made him gasp in astonishment. Before him Dawn stood surrounded by a green aura that was a perfect sphere, beside her was Tara enveloped in a light blue sphere and behind them was Jean, radiating the purest, whitest light he had ever seen.

"What you be seein watcher man?" Kendra asked impatiently.

"They are an elemental triumvirate. Water, Air and Spirit. With their powers combined, they could very well open a dimensional vortex anywhere they wanted." Giles said in awe.

"Watcher man, you need to be usin de little words for de slayer." Kendra said in frustration.

"If I help them, they can open a doorway. Now I just need to know that they are who they say they are and mean to open a doorway for the reason they say." Giles said in challenge.

Charles moved his chair in front of Giles and said, "Mr. Giles, I am a telepath. If you will give your permission for me to do so, I will share the experiences that led up to the relocation of the children. That way you will understand because you can feel and see the events that brought you here." Charles said carefully.

"You will not alter my free will or my memory in the process?" Giles asked carefully.

"It will appear like an image in your mind that you can turn away from at any time. You will not be forced to witness anything you do not wish to. Your slayer can watch for any signs of struggle on your part and I will discontinue the link at her slightest bidding." The Professor promised.

"Very well, what do I have to do?" Giles asked after giving a slight nod to Kendra.

"Just relax, this will only take a minute." Charles said and merged his mind with Giles.

All the women watched silently as the two men sat staring into each other's eyes.

Finally Giles took a deep breath and looked away.

"What it be watcher man?" Kendra asked with concern.

"I'm fine Kendra. Charles just showed me how the children were sent to the alternate dimension... a dimension filled with demons, vampires, and nearly a dozen active slayers. We need to get them out of there." Giles said as he looked around the room.

"Thank you Mr. Giles. I knew we could count on you to help." Dawn said with a tender smile.

"You're very welcome Miss Summers. Where is a phone? I need to call to get some of these supplies sent from overseas." Giles said impatiently.

* * * * *

Marie came down the stairs and to the front door where Clarissa said someone was waiting for her.

She walked cautiously to the door and saw the uniformed man.

"Can I help you?" She asked with caution.

"Delivery ma'am, are you Marie Rogue?" the delivery man asked.

Marie smiled at the name and nodded.

After signing for the delivery she took the box and ran into the common room to open it.

Dawn, Tara, Jean, the Professor, and two strangers were in there but she didn't care. She opened the box and revealed a spray of flowers, which contained no less than twenty different varieties of flowers, all perfectly arranged.

"Who's it from?" Dawn asked and gaped at the beauty of the huge collection of flowers.

Marie opened the card and read the message inside.

You were right.
I was a prick.
I'm sorry,

"Bobby." She said and looked around the smiling faces in wonder.

"If you ever find a straight man who'll do that for you, keep him." Dawn said frankly, and everyone in the room turned their attention to her.

"He's sorry." Marie said in wonder and felt a tear fall down her cheek.

"I'll take care of those for you Marie, I think Bobby is out at the jogging track." Jean said with a tender smile.

"Thank you Jean." Marie said happily and ran out the room.

"Where were we?" Charles asked and looked around the group as Jean left with the flowers.

* * * * *

"Will you stay for lunch? I have plenty and you should have a good meal before your drive back." Aunt Vada said tenderly.

"I'd like that, but I'll have to call my friends and let them know not to wait on us for lunch." Xander said and held out his hand to Remy for the phone.

"Nonsense. Remy, you call them and tell them that they are invited to lunch at Aunt Vada's house and I won't take no for an answer." Vada said with fire.

"Yes ma'am." Remy said with a fond smile and called the number.

"How many will we be?" Vada asked Xander as Remy made the call.

"Five." Xander said quietly.

"Good, good. I know just what to fix." Vada said and walked into the kitchen.

"Please let me help you in the kitchen." Xander offered and followed.

A moment later Remy called out, "Remy be helpin in da kitchen too."

To Be Continued...