Disclaimer: I don't own "Buffy" or "Without A Trace"
Maria rushed into the hospital. When someone had called her and told her that Jack was in the hospital…she had panicked. While it was true she had kicked him out, she had done it to protect the kids. He had claimed to be a werewolf. Either he had finally snapped or he was telling the truth. Either way…she had to protect the girls. But then this had happened. She bit her lip. Even before he had told her about being a werewolf, she had been planning on divorcing him. That didn’t mean she wanted him dead. A one-eyed, shaggy-haired man met her in the waiting room.
“You must be Mrs. Malone,” he said. Maria nodded.
“Where’s Jack,” she asked. The man sighed.
“The doctors are with him now. He was in shock when the brought him in,” he said. Maria felt like the wind was knocked out of her.
“Shock…he was shot?” Maria asked. The man shook his head.
“Mrs. Malone…your husband was mentally tortured. He was told his team was dead…he saw images to that effect even though they were just heavily sedated…he thought they were dead. He was also in pain because they dislocated his shoulders…When he found out his team was alive, he went into shock,” the man said. Maria had to sit down.
“The others…?” Maria finally asked. The man smiled.
“Are going to be fine. Martin has some broken ribs and bruising to his lung that the doctors are keeping an eye on. Vivian and Sam are kinda out of it from the sedative, and Danny got shot rescuing Jack, but they’ll be fine,” the man reassured her. Maria rubbed her eyes and made up her mind. When she was able to see Jack, and when he was up to having the discussion, she was going to tell him about the divorce.
Martin’s eyes fluttered open. There was an aggravating beeping noise that was starting to grate on his nerves. He groaned when he saw he was in the hospital.
“Heya, sugar,” came a familiar sultry voice. Oh heavens, not her.
“Don’t tell me they left you to guard me?” Martin asked Faith. She grinned.
“Yeah. Didn’t trust the Missus not to hurt you guys when she came by to visit,” Faith said. There was a disgruntled snort.
“Well, after that display you gave in the interrogation room, forgive us if we don’t trust you,” Danny whispered hoarsely. Martin looked around for the first time. Okay, so he wasn’t in a private room. He shared it with Jack and Danny. Okay…that was…wait a minute. When did Jack and Danny get hurt? The last time he looked, he was the only one injured.
“Uh…what happened?” Martin asked. Faith grinned.
“Well, where to start. At…” Martin caught the look in Faith’s eye and cut her short.
“Danny…what happened?” Martin asked. Faith pouted.
“After Vivian and Sam were brought in, they somehow got a hold of Jack. We heard him howl. Then Xander and Willow showed up and got us free of those…those poles,” Danny stopped and took a breath. “They gassed us…some kind of sedative, I guess. Xander blacked out on top of you. Jenny came in and woke us up. Xander and Willow were getting everyone else up while Jenny and I went after Jack…we were almost too late,” Danny rasped.
“So…what happened to you?” Martin asked. Danny rolled his eyes.
“I got shot, that’s what,” Danny snapped. Martin winced.
“Ouch. So…how’s Jack?” Martin asked. Faith pointed to his left.
“Out like a light. He was so worked up they had to sedate him. They’re keeping you two for observation,” Faith said. “He’d worked himself into a state of shock.”
“So…when do you get out, Danny?” Martin asked.
“Few days,” Danny said. Faith stiffened and turned toward the door. Maria Malone was standing there.
“Can I help you?” Faith asked. Maria gave a stiff smile.
“I was hoping to talk to my husband…” she said. Faith nodded.
“Well, the docs had to give him a sedative because he was in such a state,” Faith said. Maria sighed.
“Drat,” she whispered.
The first thing Jack did when he got back to his apartment was collapse on the couch. He was glad that Xander had driven him home. He wouldn’t have made it with the remnants of the sedative still in his system. He groaned when someone knocked on his door. He didn’t want to get back up, but the knocking was persistant. He staggered to the door and opened. His wife was looking at him with sad eyes from the other side.
“Jack,” Maria said.
“Maria…wha…” Jack said, startled.
“I had to come by and talk to you, Jack,” Maria said. Jack nodded.
“Uh…yeah,” Jack got out. Xander came running up, box in hand.
“Oh, Jack. I almost forgot. Martin wanted me to give this to you,” Xander said, panting. Maria was staring at the poor kid.
“Ah, Maria, this is Xander Harris. Xander, this is my wife, Maria,” Jack said. Xander nodded, then pushed the box at Jack.
“We met, but were never formally introduced. Nice seeing you, ma’am. See you around, Jack,” Xander said, taking off. Jack frowned at the box while Maria watched him in amusement. He opened it and scowled.
“A dog collar? Martin got me a dog collar? That kid is on desk duty for a year when I get a hold of him,” Jack said when he saw the blue dog collar sitting inside the box. Maria just looked at him.
“Jack…we need to talk,” she said.
“So…uh,” Jack said. Maria was sitting on the small couch that definitely looked as though it had seen better days. The whole apartment did.
“Jack…I’ve accepted a job in Chicago,” Maria said. Jack stared at her. “I…I want a divorce, Jack. And…given the circumstances, I think the kids should come with me.”
That's it for this story. Please R & R while I try to work on story 4.