Xander pressed his face into his warm pillow and growled as his cell phone rumbled on the surface of the bedside table; he sighed and was slightly relieved that he’d set it on vibrate; he doubted that he would have tolerated the ringing.
He stretched his arm out as he lay spread-eagled atop the bedcovers, he grabbed the cell and flicked it open without even looking at it; answering a cell was second nature for him, “Yeah! It’s-
He looked at the digital clock, -3:00am; my, aren’t you an early-riser,” he finished sarcastically. Thanks for disturbing my sleep! Such a good dream too…
Xander frowned, “Will? Why are you calling at three in morning?” really?
Silence was all he heard for a few moments, “Willow?” he heard a deep breath being taken in before she answered.
“Jesse’s hurt,” she said, she sounded scared. “He’s in hospital.”
The dark-haired teen sat up quickly, “What happened? Is he okay?” What?! Of course he’s not okay, you idiot. If he was he wouldn’t be in hospital would he?
He listened for a reply.
“Jesse and I were fighting vampires,” she answered guiltily. “There were too many of them and he lost a lot of blood.”
The exact words that he had NOT wanted to hear, he swallowed nervously, “How’s he doing?” oh god, he had to be okay. Please be okay, Jess.
“I-I don’t know,” her voice sounded strained. “The doctors took him about ten minutes ago.”
He had to get down there, “I’ll be down there, I’ll go wake my mom.” With the goodbyes said he switched his cell off and jumped out of bed. He ran to the door and pulled it open. “Mom!”
“Mom!” he then flew over to his mom’s bedroom door and opened it. He saw his mom sit up in bed in confusion. “Jesse’s in hospital, I need to get down there. Willow’s with him.” With that said he raced back into his room, yanked off his night-attire and pulled on a dark-blue shirt, jeans and sneakers before dashing out of his room again.
“Mom, hurry up!”
A long while later
Willow raised her face from her hands as the door to the waiting room opened, she stood up anxiously wringing her hands now; an Asian man in his mid forties shut the door behind him.
“I’m Doctor Lyman. Are you family?” he asked her.
She was about to answer when the door burst open and a woman in her early forties rushed in looking harried; her sandy-brown hair was slightly disheveled.
“Where’s my Jesse!?” she asked, grey eyes wide with panic.
“The doctor turned to her, “Are you family?”
She shot him an angry look, “I’m his mother, Holly McNally, where is he?”
The doctor nodded, then he looked at Willow “And you are?”
“I brought Jesse in,” she replied shakily. She didn’t miss the curious glance Mrs McNally sent her. “H-how is he?”
“Well, he’s lost a lot of blood.”
Yah, she knew that!
“He’s responded well to the treatment and he should pull through fairly quickly,” he informed them. “He’s lucky that he got here so quickly.” He said this in her direction.
The redhead blushed slightly and looked away, Jesse wouldn’t have needed her to save him if she’d looked after him better, “I-It was nothing.” Anything else she was about to say was cut off when Holly threw herself at her and hugged her fiercely.
“Thank you, uh…” she trailed off.
Willow patted her should awkwardly, “Willow.” She’d wished that the woman would quit hugging her; it just made her feel worse.
Holly pulled away from the hug and smiled at her, “Thank you, Willow. Hey, I know you- Xander’s talked about you quite a lot to me.”
The redhead smiled back weakly; Xander would probably hate her after this was over.
“Can we see him?” asked Jesse’s mom hopefully.
“Of course,” Lyman replied kindly. “Follow me.”
Both of them followed the doctor immediately out of the room and down the hall, they passed some cubicles before several voices made them stop.
“Willow?!” they all turned and saw a messy, sleep-deprived Xander, an equally-tired Jenny and a worried-looking Giles running towards them. Xander looked at Willow before turning to Holly.
“Hey, Mrs. McNally,” he greeted wryly, then he shook himself. “How’s Jesse?” he looked from Holly, to Willow and then at the doctor.
Lyman looked at Holly, “You know these people?” Holly nodded. “Jesse’s doing well, we get these incidences happening all the time so we’re quite able to deal with it. He’ll pull through.”
Relief shown on all faces, especially Xander’s and Giles’s who both had similar but different reason for it.
Giles looked at his daughter and felt relieved that she wasn’t going to have to deal with her friend dying; he knew she would have blamed herself for it. Still, Giles should have been there to help both of them on the patrol; he wasn’t going to make that mistake again- not that Willow didn’t have any responcibility with what happened to the boy; she should’ve been vigilant enough to see that an attack would have befallen Jesse.
Maybe he would stiffen up her training classes, one couldn’t afford to be careless and negligent when fighting the forces of darkness; he was going to make sure that Willow was as well-trained as any hunter- he owed that to his late wife and to his daughter.
Willow looked at Jesse’s pale face sadly, then up at Xander warily, “Xan-” she, Xander and Jesse were the only people in the room for the moment. It had been hours since Jesse had been admitted to the hospital, it was eight-thirty now.
“I should have been there,” muttered Xander stonily. His mom had forbade him from going out of the house, he’d been grounded a week earlier for being caught out past curfew- that wasn’t his fault; it was the demon’s, yeesh. “Sorry, Will.”
The redhead shook her head, “I almost got him killed; you should be able to trust me to keep him alive.” She looked at Jesse. “I’m such a bloody nit.”
Xander snorted wryly, “No idea what that means, oh British-girl.” He shifted in his seat uncomfortably.
The redhead sighed, “It means ‘idiot,’ ‘plonker,’ ‘moron,’ ‘twat,’ ‘idiot-
“You just said that,” remarked the teenager dryly. “Jesse’s gonna be fine; thanks to you.” He watched his friend deflate.
“He wouldn’t have needed saving in the first place,” she commented. “He’s hurt because I let him get hurt; and you should be angrier at me.” She looked at Xander strangely.
Xander blinked and nodded, “I am angry at you.”
Willow looked at him in sad-acceptance at this announcement, “You should be.”
“But, I’m more pissed at the vampires,” he continued in thoughtful anger. “They attacked him, not you; besides Jesse chose to go with you- you didn’t make him; you’re not making either of us fight.” He smiled.
He looked at Jesse, “The night after Jesse and I found out about this crazy stuff we made a pact.” He paused.
“That we were going to fight demons,” he looked at her. “We really want to do this, Will- when we both thought that you and your dad weren’t going to let us fight we decided to go fight anyway. You didn’t make us do this, we would have fought with or without you.”
Okay, surprise was an understatement.
He continued, “The point I’m trying to give is that we would had fought without you- then we would have died within a few days of trying, maybe sooner. But you training us means that we can fight and be safer at the same time; the pact was that if we ever got hurt neither of us would blame it on you or Giles; we’re fighting because we want to be and we take responsibility for that…you shouldn’t.”
Willow blinked, taken aback, “Uh?”
Xander smirked at her speechlessness, “Heh,-” just as he was about to crack a joke he was interrupted.
Their head both snapped to Jesse, his eyes were open and focused on them, Xander grinned, “Jesse! My man, it’s about time you woke up.” He looked at Willow wryly. “He can be so lazy.”
A soft laugh erupted from the teen’s mouth, “You’re…not much better.”
Willow and Xander grinned happily now that their friend was awake; Willow looked at the door and said, “I’ll tell everyone.”
Xander nodded, still grinning and then turned back to Jesse and found him looking at him intently, “Whhhaaat?”
“’Everyone’? how many people are there?”
Xander sighed imperiously, “Weeellll, there’s Willow, me, my mom, your mom, Giles; and that’s us.”
Just then the door opened and in came a small crowd of concerned people.
A while later it was just Xander and Jesse in the room together.
The bedridden boy was now sat up and fully awake, “So, she was really upset?” he asked Xander.
Xander nodded, “Yeah, pretty much.” He noticed Jesse’s grin. “And that makes you happy?”
Jesse still grinning, shrugged, “Not ‘happy’ per se. More like-
Suddenly the other boy grinned, “Aww, Jesse’s got a crush!” he knew that he’d hit the nail on the head when his friend’s eyes widened.
“Have not!” he protested.
Xander nodded, “Yeah, ya have!”
Jesse sagged, “Yeah, maybe a little.”
“…shut up, Xander.”