Chapter 14 – Hanging Out
Chapter 14 – Hanging Out
Sunnydale General Hospital
Monday, March 8, 1999, Noon-ish
“So you’re Uncle Jack’s beau, his special friend,” Xander says to Daniel.
Daniel faces Xander with a look of shock. “What?! No. Well, I mean yes, we’re friends, good friends but, um, you know Jack’s military. He’s not gay, he’s a colonel,” Daniel finishs lamely.
“Well, I’m convinced,” Jack says facetiously as he slaps his hands together.
Xander grins “Yeah, very convincing. By the way, do you play poker ‘cause I could use some cash.”
Giving up any claims of denial, Daniel says, “You have to understand the seriousness of the situation, Xander. Your uncle is an Air Force Colonel. The military tends to frown on…non-traditional relationships. If anyone ever found out, he could be court-martialed. That can’t happen. He’s needed where he is. You can’t tell anyone about us.”
“So, that’s a ‘no’ to the tasteful announcement in the Sunnydale Press?” Xander asks eliciting a sigh from Daniel and a chuckle from Jack. “Relax. I’m smarter than I look. I’ve heard of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ I won’t do anything to hurt you guys. It’s cool,” he says with a reassuring smile.
“What’s cool?” asks Buffy as she walks in followed by Willow, Oz, Cordelia and Faith, who’s carrying an overflowing basket of fruit.
“The flowers,” Xander immediately answers.
Buffy looks over at the bouquet. “Cool. Who are they from?”
“Don’t know. Jack thinks it’s a secret admirer.” Turning to Faith, he asks “Hungry?”
“Cute. A guy was coming up with it so I snagged it.”
“You stole someone’s fruit basket?!” he asks.
“No, you moron. He was gonna deliver it to you,” she says.
“Oh. So you stole my fruit basket. Wait, someone sent me fruit?” Xander says as Faith bites into an apple.
“Apparently, someone’s under the impression you REALLY like fruit,” Oz says.
“Okay, who sends a gift without a card? How are people supposed to know who to thank and if you’ve spent enough? That’s just rude” Cordelia declares after snooping without success.
“Aren’t you all supposed to be in school?” Jack asks.
“Lunch,” Oz explained.
“Which nobody actually thought to bring,” Willow adds.
“My fruit is your fruit,” Xander generously offers.
“We let your teachers know you won’t be in for awhile. I’m getting your assignments so don’t worry,” Willow smiles.
“Uh, thanks,” Xander replies, clearly not concerned.
“The Troll said he was gonna call and verify you’re actually in the hospital,” Buffy informs with a look of disgust.
“Troll?” Daniel inquires, observing the teenagers and their interactions as if they’re a new culture he’s encountering for the very first time.
“Yeah, beady-eyed, big-headed, soul-sucking, never-had-a-date-EVER, tiny excuse for a human.”
“Some people just call him Principal Snyder,” explains Willow.
“So, not your favorite person?” Jack smirks at Buffy.
“No, I’m not into devil worship,” she answers as she eats a banana.
“You guys better jet. He’s probably waiting to catch you coming back late,” says Faith.
After the others leave, Jack asks Faith, “What about you? You don’t care if he catches you?”
“School and me parted ways way back. I’m gonna hang. You don’t have a problem with that, right?”
“Why would I?”
“No reason I know of,” she says as she grabs some more fruit and joins Xander in the bed.
“I love you but I must go for your own sake,” Faith says.
“But why?” asks Xander.
“Because these pretty boy good looks and freakishly perfect hair hide the fact that I have an itty bitty little penis,” she replies causing Jack and Daniel to look at her with raised brows and Xander to clutch his side laughing.
“Ow. Ow, ow, ow!” Xander says as he continues to laugh. “Don’t make me laugh.”
“I like your laugh. The snorting I could live without,” Faith smirks at him.
“I don’t snort!” At Faith’s look, he concedes “except on special occassions.”
“So I should be honored?”
“Definitely,” Xander smiles.
Laughing, Faith says “You’re nuts. You know that, right?”
“Definitely,” Xander grins and nods.
Faith glances at the TV. “Soap’s over. What do you want to do now?” Xander shifts on the bed trying to get more comfortable. “You’re tired. I’ma go.”
Xander grabs her hand to stop her. “Don’t. Stay. We never get to hang out just the two of us.” Faith glances over at Jack and Daniel. “…and my uncle and his friend.”
“Would you like us to-” Daniel begins.
“Anybody got a deck of cards,” Xander interrupts.
Faith pulls out a deck. “Strip poker?” she asks hopefully.
“Gin it is!” says Jack as he grabs the deck from her and begins to shuffle.
Looking slightly uncomfortable, Faith admits “I don’t know how play.”
“Don’t worry, I’ll teach you. Right after they teach me,” Xander assures her.
“You don’t know how to play it either?” she asks.
“‘Family game night’ never really caught on in the Harris house. It kind of got in the way of their drinking and passing out,” he explains.
“I can relate.”
Jack and Daniel say nothing but are clearly disturbed.
“Okay,” Jack says “the rules are simple…”
Faith lifts the metal cover off the plate and peers suspiciously at the food. “What is it?” Xander asks.
Pointing, she says “I think this is supposed to be mashed potatoes and this I think is…meat?”
“I’m not eating that.”
“I’m sure it’s fine. I’m mean, it’s a hospital they’re not allowed to poison the patients, right?” Faith says as she turns to him.
“Then you eat it.”
“You’re sure?” she asks.
“Be my guest,” Xander encourages. Faith picks up the fork and eagerly digs in as Xander watches. “Anybody else here think I got played?” Jack and Daniel raise their hands. Faith grins at him before shoveling another forkful into her mouth.
“I’ll run down to the cafeteria,” Daniel offers.
Giles enters, before Daniel can take a step, carrying a big fast food bag in one hand and a tray of drinks in the other. He nods to Jack and Daniel and greets Faith and Xander as he hands them the bag full of burgers, french fries and onion rings.
“You’re a god!” Xander declares as he unwraps his burger and takes a huge bite, then stuffs some french fries in as well.
Faith has finished Xander’s dinner and is digging in the bag for something else to eat.
Giles walks over to the window and leans against it calmly. Addressing Jack and Daniel, he suggests “If you want anything to eat, you best get it now. In a few minutes, they’re likely to take off a finger if you reach into the bag.”
Hearing this, Xander tells Faith to give them something to eat. She reluctantly tosses each a burger. “Some fries, too,” Xander tells her.
In the time it takes Jack and Daniel to eat their meals, the two teens manage to polish off the remainder of the contents in the bag, no small feat. Amused at the men’s reactions to the two human vacuum cleaners, Giles says “You’ve forgotten how much teenagers consume, haven’t you?”
“That’s normal?!” they both respond.
Chuckling, he says “Yes, thankfully the others were not here as well.”
“I can’t believe you’re doing homework in my hospital room. I should ban you for that,” Xander tells Willow.
“Well, seeing as it’s your homework, you should just be grateful,” she replies.
“Oh, right. Shutting up now.”
“You know, Will, I don’t think they actually expect his homework tomorrow,” Buffy says.
“I know that but it’s easier if I do it each night.”
Oz looks up at his girlfriend with a smile, then turns back to the chess game he’s playing with Daniel. He moves his knight saying “Check mate.”
Daniel stares at the board. “Good move. I didn’t see that coming.”
Bouncing a bit, Willow extols “Oz is a genius.”
“Really?” Daniel asks, intrigued.
Oz shrugs his shoulders nonchalantly. “I test well.”
“Looks like you met your match, Danny” Jack says happily.
“Well, it’s interesting playing with someone who can keep up.”
“Does Uncle Jack suck at chess? Personally, I’m a checkers man myself,” says Xander.
“He’s not bad. He just tends to get bored which means he tries to come up with new and exciting ways to distract and annoy me.”
“Ah, the ‘look a pink elephant’ approach to chess. I’ll have to try that.” The others in the room snigger.
A rather stern looking nurse comes into the room tersely saying “Visiting hours are over. You’ll all have to leave now.” She turns to encompass everyone in her look and spots Giles. “Oh, Mr. Giles!” she breathes. “I didn’t realize you were here. How are you?” she asks in a suddenly sweet tone.
“Good, thank you and yourself?” he responds warmly.
“Fine, just fine,” she smiles at him.
“I’m sorry if we’ve overstayed. I didn’t realize it was so late,” he apologized. “Have you done something with you hair? It looks quite charming.”
“Why, yes actually. Thank you for noticing,” she giggles and touches her hair. As Giles gets up preparing to leave, she hastily adds “An extra half hour wouldn’t hurt anyone, I suppose.”
“You are truly an angel of mercy, Francine.”
“I’ll be just down the hall at the nurses’ station if you need ANYthing,” she remarks just before leaving.
“Giles, it’s wrong to play with a woman’s affections,” Buffy teased.
“I was merely having a civil conversation.”
“Do we need to have a conversation about the birds and the bees?” Xander asks with a wide grin.
“We’ve already had it and I believe I told you then it was none of your business. I’ll reiterate that now so there’s no confusion on the matter.”
“Giles has a girlfriend,” Willow sing-songs but immediately stops when he glares at her to Jack’s great amusement.
“If you need any tips, G…which you obviously don’t,” Faith says as Giles turns his glare in her direction.
“Francine is a fine woman, who after putting up with you lot for any length of time should be a candidate for sainthood.”
“Well, it is getting late. We should head out- home. We should head home because it’s late and there’s school tomorrow and we want to be there bright and early ready to absorb knowledge,” Buffy says.
Everyone is looking at her after her awkward little speech.
“Yeah,” says Oz, “we should definitely do that.”