The waiting room is crowded, more than it's ever been on the numerous occasions I've been here before. In addition to the usual gang of Major Crimes which includes Simon, Joel, Brown, Rafe and Megan there are the Scoobies... or most of them. Giles is sitting with Dawn curled up beside him while Tara and Willow have claimed a corner for themselves and keep throwing anxious glances toward the door. Xander and Andrew are a collection of nervous twitches and have been doing snack runs and coffee runs about every half hour. Methos appears to be oddly calm and I can't help but wonder how many friends he has lost in countless hospitals over the centuries and Buffy is clinging to me. I can hardly believe that it wasn't even three years ago that she was holding Blair up against a wall. She has really grown to rely on him since that first encounter and I can tell she's terrified of losing him... it's not like I can blame her, I'm right there with her. The only one of our little group who is still missing is Spike, who was forced to stay behind due to the fact that the sun is shining and the waiting room too exposed. He will be here in a few hours, but even though he is not physically with us I can still feel him through the link and I can tell he is as anxious as the rest of us.
It was such a stupid way for my guide to get hurt, trying to stop a mugger. That peace loving side of him got him as I always feared it would. He was reluctant to pull his gun on a man armed with nothing more than a knife, he tried to talk his way out of the situation and ended up getting stabbed for his trouble. It is bad. The pericardium was damaged and it seems like the heart itself may have been nicked, though luckily it wasn't punctured, still the doctors give him only a fifty-fifty chance of pulling through. I know the little spiel, I've been here before. We have to wait until he gets out of surgery, if he makes it through that we will then be told that he is not out of the woods yet, that the next forty eight hours are going to be critical... and then those forty eight hours are going to be stretched indefinitely, turning into seventy two or ninety six... however long it takes. Good news never comes quickly when waiting here, only bad news comes suddenly.
The doctor's look was almost comical when he first saw our little group. He was expecting the usual Major Crimes contingent to descend on his hospital but he wasn't expecting a full blown Scoobie invasion. I was grateful when Giles chose to remain silent when the doctor addressed me as Blair's next of kin. Had Naomi been here I would have had a fight in my hands... a fight over life support, a fight over modern medicine, a fight over my right to speak for my guide.
My mind keeps replaying today's events, trying to make sense of it all, but I can't. I don't understand, I don't want to understand. All I know is that my guide may be dying once more and there's nothing I can do to help him. I'm powerless while strangers hold his life in their hands and I hate it.
The moments following the actual stabbing are a blur. I remember shooting the perp as soon as I realized what he intended to do but I wasn't fast enough, pulling my cell to call for help and then feeling the link flare up almost on its own. I knew it had remained dormant but I never thought it would be possible for me or Blair to activate it. The moment I sensed my guide's essence fading away was one of the most awful in my life. I was certain I had lost him and there was so much blood everywhere, then the ambulance came and they took him away from me. When we reached the hospital the Scoobies were already here waiting for us and I don't even want to think of how many traffic laws they must have broken in order to beat us. It was Giles who had the presence of mind to call Simon and less than fifteen minutes later the guys arrived. I don't know how long we've been here. Time doesn't matter.
Eventually I see Blair's doctor approach and I am puzzled by the look on his face. I can still feel my guide's presence, I know he is still alive, he made it out of the operating room, in fact I can feel him getting stronger with every passing minute and yet the doctor looks completely lost. It is not the studied compassion I have seen countless times when they have to deliver bad news nor is it the relief that comes with good news. This is something different, the man seems to be baffled by something and I can barely contain myself as I wait for him to speak.