Disclaimer: Legal stuff, don't own characters, haven't made any money, this is for entertainment purposes, no profit earned, lawyers go away. –kisses-
POV: Shifts Perspective
Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past episodes and Spanderverse: stories.
Notes: Eighth story in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Tensions”. Everything from the television series through the defeat of Adam also occurred as depicted, in the Spanderverse. ‘Old Friends’ takes place the day immediately following ‘Tensions’; Chapter 6.
People’s thoughts are depicted in italics. You’ll find emphasis depicted with an underline.
Ch 3- Appointment
A woman sat in a small office, her door open so that she could hear if anyone needed her assistance. She was confident in Sheila’s ability to handle showing patrons around, but she was still relatively new here and some customer’s could be prickly and demanding.
She sat at a desk which was old and beautiful. It was of a dark cherry wood oiled and polished to a gleaming shine in the iridescent lights from the ceiling. The desk was a genuine antique, hand made with loving care in 17th century
In the main room, Sheila Wining pointed out the pieces that would soon be removed from display. The third Thursdays were especially busy at the gallery as regular collectors knew that this was their last chance to make their decisions on some of the most expensive pieces.
Tomorrow would be equally busy as those same collectors returned to see the brand new pieces that would be placed on display. They would want to be the first to have the opportunity to purchase these singular antiques. By keeping the inventory constantly refreshed, Joyce had been able to establish a regular clientele presence in her employer’s gallery. Foot traffic had increased by thirty-five percent since she’d taken over management and Gloria Van Ryes now let Joyce basically do whatever she wanted.
When the telephone rang, she answered with, “Exotic Antiques and Fineries, Joyce Summers speaking”.
Unnoticed by the others in the gallery, she stiffened when she heard the familiar voice of Doctor Wains. Of course, this phone call was inevitable but that didn’t make it any more welcome. Unnoticed, Joyce’s voice dropped to a near whisper though no one was near enough to listen in on the call.
“Hello, doctor,” Joyce said. Her voice was far more reserved than usual, almost dour.
“I have a slot open in the MRI room, Ms. Summers. As you know, I don’t believe that we should wait. Can you be here tomorrow, around ?”
She agreed to make the appointment, one hand shaking on the desk as the other clutched the phone. His suspicions had seemed so far away before, but now she was almost sure that they would be borne out. As if, if he just hadn’t called, they could have ignored things and they’d go away on their own. She knew that was silly, she even recognized that her sudden panic was senseless, but right now her heart was overruling the logic that her head tried to use to comfort her. She was scared.
After hanging up with the doctor, he reminding her again that she should prepare her daughters in the event that the scan proved positive, she took several deep breaths. When she felt sure that she wasn’t going to scream, or possibly collapse into a puddle of hysterics she returned to her paperwork. She had just sold a Japanese Kabuki mask from the late 1800s and had been ecstatic until now. Joyce had a special love for hand-carved masks from all regions of the world and anytime she was able to inspire others to collect them, she felt a particular sense of satisfaction.
That was washed away in one phone call from a doctor trying to prepare her for something she didn’t want to be prepared for. Her hands began shaking again as she gripped her pen; this time from anger. How dare he interrupt her life this way? How dare he share his vague suspicions and mention the ‘C’ word to her? How could he understand that she had two girls who needed her?
No, Joyce raged, no. I simply refuse to accept this. I am not sick. You will not do this to me, she directed out at the universe. It’s all just a mistaken diagnosis.
When Sheila approached her mere seconds later to enquire for details on one of the divans, it was all Joyce could do not to explode at her in a torrent of insults. And minutes after that, when she’d realized how much rage she’d had in her moments ago, she was afraid once again. That simply wasn’t like her; she didn’t get angered easily… concerned and maybe plaintive, but not angry. It bothered her that now she didn’t know if it was because of the circumstances; her worry and fear, or if it was the insidiousness of the mutant cells that could be attacking her brain at this very moment.
Tara Maclay swept into her room, a large smile on her face. Her latest test in American History had gone far better than she had expected. Not that she doubted she’d pass, but she hadn’t expected to ace it and she was giddy with joy.
Dropping her books, she wondered if
She decided after several minutes that she could convince
She looked at the handset as it rang again. A feeling of foreboding swept through her. She felt like when she was a little girl and a violent thunderstorm was carrying on right above her head.
She stood frozen to the spot, the phone growing heavy in her hand. She didn’t know how to answer, so she fell back on her rote response to anything her father said.
“Y-yes, sir,” escaped her lips before she realized she had spoken. “I-I mean, n-no. I-I have classes, daddy. I can’t come home right now.”
“Well, of course not. I’m not talking immediately. I just want to remind you that times-a-wasting. I know you have a few months yet. Just promise me you’ll be especially careful over the coming weeks,
“Oh, I will sir. O-of course.”
“We don’t want you to hurt anyone. I’m sure you wouldn’t want that either. I know you sometimes can’t help just tossing a glimmer around or doing… something… to make your life there a little easier, like your mother used to do. But,
“Well, I have to go now. There’s work to be done around here and some of us don’t have time to sit around with our head in a book. You just mind me, girl. You resist that calling you’re going to feel until we can get you home where you and everyone around you will be safe. ‘Bye, now, honey.”
She looked around her room at the spell books and the herbs in their plastic sealing bags. Her eyes noted the number of candles she had in the room and the Wicca symbol for protection hanging above the head rail of her bed.
She’d been seventeen then, and had been staying with her grandmother in another town. Her mother had told her it was so that she wouldn’t be stuck with living the same sort of life that she had been stuck with. It wasn’t until after she’d succumbed to illness that her father had explained it was because of the magic. He’d loved Willa with all his heart, but he couldn’t get her demon to stop tapping the magical powers she had access to and in the end, he’d explained, the power turned on her as evil always did.
Her daddy loved her as well, she was sure. It was hard to tell sometimes, with the way he was always so severe. She reckoned it was because he had to live with the knowledge of what may happen to her someday. If he couldn’t keep control of her demon, the very power she tried to use for good could turn on her, too. She’d forgotten that, being surrounded by
She walked over to the corkboard and ran her finger over a picture of Willow Rosenberg hanging there. She wondered what
Tears fell from her eyes down her face as she considered what her life would be like once she had to return home. Even if
She wiped at her eyes and grabbed her purse. Running across the quad of the college grounds, she raced up the stairs of the library to the Myths section. Looking for the books that spoke about demons and magic (as superstition, of course) she began looking for any hints as to how to stop what her father had told her was inevitable. If she could keep the demon in her bound and hidden from view; powerless; she wouldn’t have to give up the life she built for herself.