Title: Trial of the Century [A Hank Summers Joint] Ch 6 of 6.
Author: Lawrence Payne
Timeline: Season 7. Post Chosen [7x22]
Cast: Hank, Joyce, Buffy, & Dawn Summers, Lilah Morgan, guest appearance by Drusilla, and various new characters.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. A whole slew of other people own the core characters and the main concept. The new ones are mine.
Comments: Constructive feedback is always appreciated. :)
FYI: [[ ]] is used to indicate internal thought, words said out loud use regular " ".
Summary: Hank Summers stands trial for his life.
Author Notes: This was a long time coming, but this story is finally finished. Special thanks goes to Dee for her tremendous help, thanks also goes to Jillun for her plot point idea, and nothing but love to the woman who gave me the idea, my beautiful and intelligent friend Kelly.
Chapter 6: THE VOTE
"Thomas, Tiffani. Stand And Vote."
"Whatever," Tiffani dismissed as she studied her nails.
"STAND AND VOTE," The Tribunal demanded.
Tiffani gave one of her 'I'm bored' sighs before she quickly stood and said, "Die." Then, just as quickly, she sat back down.
"I THOUGHT YOUR RENT WAS DUE!!" Hank angrily shouted. Tiffani responded with a disgusted sneer.
"SILENCE! Windmere, Charles. Stand And Vote."
Charlie stood and proclaimed, "Die."
"Burton, Clare. Stand And Vote."
Clare stood and looked at Hank. "Live," she decreed.
"Dobbins, Michael. Stand And Vote."
Mike locked eyes with Hank. The expression on his face was one of pure hatred. He turned to the Tribunal and said, "Die" with a voice full of spite.
"Summer, Joyce. Stand And Vote."
Joyce rose. She looked at Hank and smiled. "Live," she declared, before returning to her seat. Her face beamed with compassion and love. Hank fondly remembered the love they once shared. He reminisced about the good times they shared together. Then a sudden surge of sadness hit him as he realized that those carefree days would never return.
"Summers, Dawn. Stand And Vote."
Dawn got up. She did not look at Hank. Instead she looked at the floor. In a very weak voice she said, "Live." and then sat back down. Joyce put her arm around her daughter. Dawn leaned over and put her head on her dead mother's shoulder. Joyce gave her a kiss on the forehead. As he watched his child seek comfort in her mother's arms, Hank's feelings of guilt returned. He lowered his head in shame and stared at the floor.
"The Vote Stands 3 To 3. Summers. Buffy. Stand And Vote."
Buffy began to stand.
"No Wait!" Hank shouted. "I Have To Talk To My Daughter!"
"Silence!" the Tribunal declared, "Summers! Vote!"
Hank ignored them. "Buffy! Look! I know I haven't been a good father to you and Dawn..."
"SILENCE," The Tribunal demanded again as their anger grew.
Hank continued, "and I know I've put my work before my family..."
"SILENCE!" The Tribunal shouted. This time the ground shook as they spoke.
"Most Honorable Tribunal," Lilah shouted over Hank. "This man clearly has no respect for this court. Find him unworthy and end his life!"
"Objection!" Rick shouted. He turned to Hank and pleaded with him to stop.
"I Have To Say This Rick! Please!"
"THERE WILL BE SILENCE NOW!!" the Tribunal shouted angrily. The ground rumbled like a Level 5 earthquake.
Finally, the alley was silent.
"Summer, Hank. Finish Your Statements."
"Honorable Tribunal..." Lilah began, but the Tribunal cut her off.
Hank caught his breath and continued, "But I promise you Buffy. No. I swear to you, that from now on, things will be different. I'll make it better, I swear. Buffy, Please!"
"Enough. Summers. Buffy. Vote Now."
Buffy slowly rose and faced her father. As she began to speak, something strange happened. The alley suddenly became dark. Rick, Lilah, and everyone else disappeared into the darkness. Buffy was the only one left. A large white light was forming behind her. The light grew with every passing second.
Hank felt a presence over his shoulder. He looked behind. Osiris's giant evil visage had moved from its spot beside the stage. It was now directly behind him. And it was growing. It took a second for it to register in Hank mind, but he realized that Osiris was not growing in size. The Keeper of Darkness was getting closer. The mouth of the giant head began to open. The orifice became larger as Osiris got ever closer to Hank.
"Buffy!?" Hank called out as the light behind her grew brighter. As the intensity of the light increased, Osiris continued to close in, threatening to consume Hank. The panic he felt when Drusilla was attacking him returned.
The thought of dying with so much left unsaid, with so many things that needed to be fixed, was almost too much to bear. [[Ohh God Not Now!]] he pleaded. [[It can't end this way! I have to fix this! I HAVE TO!! If only I had the chance!]]
Just before the light completely engulfed her, Hank saw Buffy say something. He tried to hear what it was but the sound of a long, high-pitched, mechanical whirl overwhelmed his ears. The noise became deafening as the light became so bright it took over everything. Hank could feel Osiris's presence. It was only inches away now. Hank knew he was out of time.
"Ohh God! Buffy!! I'm Sorry!!... I'm So Sorry!!!..."
A sharp pain. Then nothing.
"Still No Pulse!"
"Charge to 300!"
High-pitched, mechanical, whirling sound followed by a beep.
"Wait A Second! Wait A Second!... I've got something."
"I've got a rhythm. It's slow. About 60 beats a minute. But it is there."
"Jim. Cycle down his oxygen and remove the mask. Slowly."
"He's breathing on his own. He is conscious."
"Mr. Summers? Mr. Summers can you hear me?"
"Buffy," Hank said weakly.
"Mr. Summers? Hank? My name is Dr. Carter. Can you say that?"
"Buffy. I'm sorry."
"Doc.. tor.. Car.. ter.. Hank. Come on. Say it."
"So so sorry... Please... forgive... me..."
"He's Hypoxic. Give him 5cc of Dopamine and call for a surgical counsel. Jim, start prepping him for surgery."
"Surgery?" Hank asked. He was finally aware of what was going on around him.
"Hank. Can you hear me?"
"My name is Dr. Carter. Can you say my name?"
"Like the guy on E.R.?" Hank weakly inquired.
"Yes Hank," the doctor laughed. "Just like the guy on E.R. He's OK. Cancel the counsel call and the Dopamine. Give him a plasma IV, 5cc drip, and get ready to move him upstairs. You gave us quite a scare Hank. But you made it."
Hank got his first real look at his doctor. It made him laugh.
"What's so funny?" Dr. Carter asked.
"You don't look like Noah Wyle," Hank mused.
"No. I don't," the 45-year-old, black, and female Dr. Carter said with a smile. "Let's move him now."
As the ER nurses worked around him, Dr. Carter explained his medical condition. "You lost a lot of blood. We figured you were attacked with an ice pick from the look of those two stab wounds in your neck. It's a miracle you're still..."
"Alive," Hank interrupted.
"Yes Hank," the doctor said as she tapped his shoulder. "You are alive and in good hands."
"He's ready to move," a voice in the room stated.
Dr. Carter did a quick pulse count before she gave the nurse the OK. Two of the other nurses grabbed Hank's gurney and began to move him. As they moved Hank through the main hallway, he took a look around.
The hospital hallway was full of activity. Doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff walked about. People were constantly darting in and out of various rooms. Some were reading charts while other carried an assortment of items to and fro. "Make A Hole!" one of Hanks nurses loudly commanded. Everyone moved to the side as the medical team that saved Hank's life rolled him down the hall. As they walked, the E.R. nurses started talking. Hank listened in on the conversation.
"It was the weirdest thing I ever saw," a female voice said.
"How so?" said a young male voice.
"No one brought him in. He just appeared in the middle of the E.R. Right there on the floor!"
"That's crazy! You just weren't looking when someone brought him in."
"I was there when it happened. The place was empty. There are security cameras inside and outside the E.R. We would have seen someone coming, especially someone carrying a grown man."
"I saw it too!" a difference voice chimed in. Hank recognized it as the guy Dr. Carter called Jim. "One second, nothing. Then poof. Instant trauma case."
"You're headed upstairs now Hank."
"What?" Hank asked. He was still eavesdropping on the other conversation.
"I said you're going upstairs now, to your room," Dr. Carter explained as she walked along side his gurney. She wrote something on a clipboard that Hank did not see.
Hank felt someone looking at him. He searched the room as best he could. To his far left he saw her. Joyce, bathed in golden light, was standing next to the main E.R. doors still wearing the flowing white dress from the trial. She smiled at him before she began to slowly disappear. Hank smiled back at her. "I'll make it better. I promise." Hank said. His voice was still very weak. It was little more than a whisper.
"Make what better?" Dr. Carter asked.
Hank turned his attention back to the doctor. "My relationship with Buffy and Dawn... They are my..." Before he finished, he looked back at the door. Joyce was gone.
"Your what?" she inquired as she set the clipboard on his gurney.
"They are my life," Hank declared. For the first time since this crazy day started, Hank Summers smiled.
Just before they pushed him into the elevator, Hank saw something else that made him smile. Out of the corner of his eye through the open double doors, he saw a man standing outside. The guy was in obvious discomfort. His arms were crossed around his chest and he was shivering. The man fought the cold night air as he smoked a cigarette.
"What's with the grin?" one of the nurses asked.
"Man! I am glad I quit smoking!" Hank replied.