Title: Daisy, Daisy…
Disclaimer: Andrew belongs to Joss Whedon et al. Anita Blake and her agency belong to Laurell K. Hamilton. And whatever Andrew quotes, he swears that he didn’t mean to violate any copyright infringements by quoting, and neither Andrew nor I will be making a profit from this fic.
Summary: Andrew seeks professional help, just not the right kind.
Anita was seated at her desk in Animators, Inc., admiring the shiny surface. “Oh clean desk top, how I have missed you!” she thought to herself, taking a sip from her coffee cup. For the first time in months she had gone a week with no preternatural crisis and no strange clients. It was nice to know that she could actually manage her workload when there were no natural disasters. Only two more appointments and she’d be out of there! Hello, weekend!
There was a light tap on her office door. “Come in!” She called out. For once her voice didn’t not sound like she was about to rip someone’s head off. In fact, she sounded quite pleasant, if she did say so herself; Bert would be so pleased.
A kid popped his head around the door. “Hi?”
“Can I help you with something?”
“Are you Anita Blake?”
Anita eyed the guy’s face carefully. He had that eager look like a young reporter on his first story, desperate to uncover a scandal. Oh god, was this that offbeat college paper reporter that had been harassing Louis Fane recently? “I am, but I’m afraid I have an appointment at three, so I can’t give any interviews.”
“Oh that’s okay.” The man took a sigh of relief and stepped in. “I’m the three o’clock appointment.”
“Oh!” Anita Blake immediately stood up, trying to pull together some sort of professionalism. “Pleased to meet you, Mr…?” She offered her hand.
“Andrew.” He shook her hand with the kind of energy that reminded her of a puppy wagging it’s tail.
“Alright, Mr. Andrew, what can I help you with?”
“Just Andrew.” The boy, man, whatever was wandering close to Anita’s knick knack shelf, eyeing some of the penguins the guys at RPIT had gotten her.
“Okay, Andrew. What brings you to Animators, Inc.? Please put down the penguin.”
“Oh, sorry.” The boy muttered, putting the penguin down on the wrong part of the shelf. Now the grey penguin couldn’t see over the head of the emperor penguin, not that Anita would ever admit to paying attention to details like that. “Okay, where to begin?” Andrew sighed heavily and sank into the client’s chair, only to stand right back up again. “Okay, so you know that scene when Luke Skywalker is battling with Darth Vader, but he loses his light saber, and he’s about to be creamed, but then Obi Wan Kenobe shows up, and he’s all like ‘hoowah! I have a light saber too, evil Darth Vader?”
“Uh huh.” Anita stared at him, wondering if this was god’s way of getting back for her blasphemously thinking TGIF all afternoon.
“Oh wait, that’s not right. Okay, start over.” Andrew began pacing. “So in the Wrath of Khan, you know how there’s that scene with Spock and …”
“No, sorry, I haven’t seen that.” Anita couldn’t help but interrupt.
“Oh.” Andrew looked crestfallen, but quickly perked up when something on her penguin shelf inspired him. He picked up the stuffed penguin on the corner and turned to face Anita. “I’ve got it! 2001 A Space Odyssey!”
“Oh?” How could something everyone had to sit through in freshman film class have anything to do with this? Oh god, he wasn’t an alien was he?
“You’ve seen it? Good. Okay, you know the scene where the computer’s been a very bad computer and the astronaut finally realizes it’s either him or me? And then the computer is all plotting to kill him and he’s trying to kill the computer and it gets weird and creepy and then ‘Daisy, daisy, give me your answer dear. I’m half crazy all for the love of you.’”
“Alright?” Anita watched as Andrew waved the penguin in tune with the off beat lyrics.
“It’s just like that with me and Jonathan. I was the astronaut and he was the computer.”
“And the computer had to die?” Anita asked, seeing if she had this right. Andrew nodded eagerly. “Have you tried calling tech support?”
Andrew froze in utter confusion and looked at her like she had lost her marbles. “Why would I do that?”
“Because your computer died?”
“Oh! No, Jonathan wasn’t the computer, he was just like the computer. I mean, we worked together really closely, and then it became sort of a matter of life and death, him or me, and well…” The color in Andrew’s cheeks faded away as he sunk back into the chair. “Do you think the astronaut would want to apologize if he saw the computer again?” He was staring at the penguin as though it had the answers.
“Um, Mr… Andrew, did you kill the computer?” The look on his face answered her questions. “Was it an accident?”
“You could say that.” He shifted uncomfortable in his chair.
“Oh.” Anita frowned. He seemed like a nice innocent kid up until that point.
“Could you resurrect him? I want to say I’m sorry.” Damn, he was a nice innocent kid.
“How long ago was this?”
“Just a few months.” Andrew answered. “So, he’s not really that dead, is he?”
“No.” Anita agreed. “Andrew, I can understand your plight, but maybe you should talk to one of the other animators. You look like you’re pretty young, and my prices are pretty steep, and if he’s newly in the grave, you could save your money…” Anita tried to break it to him gently.
“No.” Andrew answered, surprising Anita by his conviction. “I talked to your boss, and he said you were the only one who could do it.”
“Okay… What aren’t you telling me?”
“Jonathan. He’s in Sunnydale. He was in Sunnydale. Sunnydale really isn’t anymore.”
“The town that collapsed on itself last month?”
“I’m sorry, I can’t.”
“Are you sure?”
“Andrew, in cases like that, there’s hundreds of corpses. There’s no way to find just one out of all the graves from the history of the entire town. The cost to do it is more than you can pay.” Anita thought about what sort of sacrifice would be needed, and shuddered. Nobody else would be able to do it, and she was not willing to do it. Ghost towns were no mans land for good reasons.
“Are you sure?”
“I’m positive.” Anita said as gently as possible.
“How will I tell him I’m sorry?”
“There are other ways.” Anita looked up meaningfully. “Sometimes prayers get through when nothing else can.”
“Hrmm.” Andrew thought about it for a minute. Anita tried not to watch as he tried not to cry. Finally he took a deep breath and stood up. “Okay, I guess you’re right. I’m sorry for taking up your time.”
“That’s alright. I hope you find peace.”
“Thanks.” He showed himself out. Anita watched in thoughtful silence before suddenly jumping up from her desk.
“Andrew! Andrew wait up!” She called, running after the boy.
“Yes?” He said hopefully, standing in the office lobby.
“Can I have my penguin back?”