Chapter Twenty Two: Filling in Time

Time seemed to drag…

No, it did drag.

It crawled by.

No. It didn't move at all as a matter of fact.

Claire hated the clock on the waiting room wall.

She wished it would burn in hell…

Along with Bender's dad.

She wished they would both simultaneously combust into flames.

Unfortunately that would mean the smoke alarm would go off and the water sprays on the roof would be activated.

Then she would get soaked…

So she would be wet, even more pissed off, but also worried and scared for Bender all at the same time.

I hate that fucking clock!!

Claire had been watching it for two hours and she had not seen Bender since he had disappeared behind the double doors with that male intern named 'James'.

She did not know why they were taking so long but glaring at the clock on the wall was holding back her ever-growing fear and concern for Bender.

"Are you Claire?"

A familiar deep male's voice suddenly snapped Claire out of death staring at the defenseless clock, instantly causing her to turn to see whom it was.

It was James.

He opened his mouth to speak but Claire was out of her chair like a rocket, standing in front of him and firing question after question at him before he could even say a word.

"Yes I am Claire. Where's John? How is he? How badly hurt is he? Are they worse than what we thought? Is it his ribs? I'm sorry if the bandaging I did was shit. I have never had to do one properly before and…But how is he? I've been so worried and…" her voice trailed off as it cracked and she started to break down.

All of the repressed fear, worry and concern were beginning to overwhelm Claire as tears rose in her eyes.

James watched the girl in front of him beginning to fall apart and he knew without a doubt that she really cared for Bender.

Stepping forward he placed a comforting hand on her shoulder, which caused Claire to stare up at him intently.

"He's alive Claire and he has no internal bleeding but…" his voice trailer off.

Her eyes widened at the news and she waited for him to continue, but James looked away from Claire with a slight look of discomfort.

"Doctor?" she asked pleadingly.

He looked back at her wand said bleakly, "All of his lower ribs have been cracked and three have been broken. His entire upper body is severely bruised and he has suffered a minor head wound and concussion. Indicating he has been hit with a blunt object. It's a miracle he has no brain damage or any other serious injuries."

Every word he said hit Claire with shock but it was James' last sentence that caused her to suddenly lean forward and hug him as relief burst through her like pure adrenaline.

James instantly froze and waited a few seconds before awkwardly patting her on the back as she began crying in relief and thanks.

God if Bender saw her hugging me I'd be a dead man…

After a minute Claire got a hold on herself and she stepped back from him, wiping her tears away and regaining her composure.

"Thank you so much Dr…" she said, smiling at him but she suddenly found that she could not remember his name or have the thought to look at his ID card on his surgery scrubs.

"James." He replied with a surprised smile.

She smiled but quickly she looked at the door the double door then at him, biting her lip slightly and looking very worried again.

"Can I see him?"

James ran a hand tiredly through his wild hair and looked briefly at the double door he had just passed through.

He wasn't sure if Bender would want, but there was something about this girl that was completely different to all of Bender's girls…

She was on the rich side of the tracks and she seemed to really care about him.

Well she was his support to get him here, literally…

Looking at her, James sighed when he saw her hopeful expression and the image of Bender a few minutes ago.

"Yes you can see him."

Claire felt happiness burst inside her and, unable to help herself, she leaned forward and gave James another bone-crushing hug.

Winding poor James, she quickly took a step back and beamed at him.

James wheezed, "Ok, you cannot do that to Bender under any circumstances."

Nodding in serious agreement, Claire began following him through the double doors and out of the waiting room Claire now thought, not so affectionately, as a torture chamber.

They walked through several corridors and past many doctors, patients and other interns.

As Claire followed him, she couldn't help but wonder exactly who this James was and how he knew Bender and for how long. He looked as if he was in his late twenties at least!

"So how long have you known John?"

James looked at her out of the corner of his eye as they turned a corner into another corridor, but he couldn't help but smile at the suspicious tone in her voice.

Leading her towards an elevator, he pressed a button and watched the numbers light up and individually decreased to the level they were currently on.

Claire waited for an answer but seconds passed in silence and James didn't even seem to hear her.

She sighed and glared at his back for a second when suddenly the elevator doors opened and they both stepped inside. Then he spoke.

"Seven years."

Claire looked at him in pure shock, "Seven years??"

He nods and looks at her with an amused smile, "Don't look at me like that. Now I just feel old."

Claire looked back at her reflection on the closed doors and she manages a small smile in her shocked state.

Looking back at him, she gave him a small apologetic smile. "I'm sorry for being so shocked but that means you must have known him since he was…"

"Young." James replied with a smile. "Yeah I've known him for a long time."

He sighed and watches the elevator numbers rise, the memories of knowing Bender raced through his head and his smile fell slightly as he remembered all of the times he looked after Bender after his dad had kicked him around. Now today was another memory to add into the collection.

"Yeah I've known him for a long time..." He repeated quietly to himself.

Claire looked at him with a somber expression and she could guess what James was thinking about, but she didn't say anymore as the elevator came to a halt and its doors opened.

Immediately James was walking out and Claire followed him quickly. The rest of the way they walked was in complete silence as they were both deep in thought and memories.

It was a few minutes later that they stopped outside a single door.

"Here we are." James said with a slight smile and pointed to the door.

Claire stared at it and she felt an odd sense of…fear and uncertainty?

"What if he doesn't want to see me?" she asked suddenly, looking at James with worry.

He smiled gently at her and placed a hand on her shoulder, "Claire in knowing you only a few minutes, I think I can easily say that you are the only person who deserves to see him."

She nodded and looked at the closed door for a second before looking at James again with uncertainty.

"How long does he have to stay in here for?"

James sighed and looked at the closed door too. "I told him a few days, too keep a close eye on him, allow him a chance to recover because he can't go home but…"

He suddenly stopped and looked at Claire with a slightly knowing look, "He was adamant about being discharged today because he assured me he already had a place to stay that he knew was safe."

Blinking a few times, Claire found herself absolutely speechless and unable to answer.

How could he know??

James did not add anything further but he took a step back from her and tilted his head at the door.

"He's awake and I have given him some morphine, so he may seem a bit out of the loop for a few hours."

She thanked him and could not help but think about what interesting conversations she was going to have Bender.

"I'll talk to you later Claire when I make my rounds." James said with a smile, "Then I can inform you on how to look after Bender until he is better and all healed up."

Claire's eyes widened, "I look after him until he is better?"

Looking at her in confusion, he asked, "Well Bender did mean you didn't he? That you were going to be the one looking after him?"

A million thoughts entered Claire's mind as she stared at the closed door containing an injured, morphine-dosed Bender. She bit her bottom lip as a million reasons why she shouldn't do it ran through her brain. Her parents would kill her, she'd be kicked out of the house, she's probably miss days of school at a time, and she'd have to tell her parents the biggest lie in the universe if she was going to stay at home when they separated.

She could do it though.

It would mean one hell of a fight with her parents to let her stay when they returned…but it was not impossible.

She could look after Bender.

The Breakfast Club would be there to help as well.

A smile crept onto her face as she made her decision and she turned back to look at James, her eyes dancing at knowing she would be looking after Bender until her parents returned in a few days.

"Yeah he meant me." She said with a proud smile, causing James to nod slightly back at her.

Claire was about to reach for the handle when James suddenly spoke, causing her hand to falter mid-air.

"He is going to have to report his old man Claire, or I will."

Turning around to face James, Claire saw a fierce anger burn in his eyes and she saw that it mirrored the anger that burned within her.

Pure hatred.

"I know." She replied sadly. "But he may not be able to."

"Then tell him, or I will do it."

Claire blinked a few times before shaking her head, "No James, that's something you have to do yourself. Not me because I need to be here for him, then I will tell him what I think. Which really is something I don't want to discuss with you, no offence."

Her tone was soft but there was a determination in it that caused James to nod understandingly at her.

"Ok Claire. I'll discuss it later with him. We just need to get him better first."

Nodding in silence, she finally opened the door and walked inside. James didn't try and stop the door from being quietly shut in his face. Suddenly his pager went off and as he checked it, he couldn't help but smile as he started walking off down the corridor to his next medical case.

She's definitely a keeper this one…

He knew the fate of his good friend was going to be alright as long as he had Claire in his life.

He hoped anyway…

A/N: Four months…my goodness. I will never leave an update this late again. First of all I must apologise for the lack of updates. I have been writing for a few months because I have been extremely engaged at school working extremely hard to hopefully do well enough that I will be getting into university next year.

Thank you so much to everyone who reviewed over the months and keeping me inspired that people were still reading my story. It meant more than anything.

I only just hope people can forgive me for taking so long to update, but regardless, I just hope people will continue to read it.

And I can promise that next chapter will be updated much quicker, and it will involve a morphine-dosed Bender, fluff, and an appearance from an old friend whom we will discover more about.

But once again thank you to everyone who continued to read and review when I wasn't here. I have now been working on this story for over a year. Gee whiz! I wonder if it will stretch into two? Lol.

AngeandBender4Ever: I hate leaving any story unfinished, especially if I am reading a great story and it does just stop, and I promise that it won't happen to this story. I just have been unable to update due to school, but thanks for helping me get back on the hobbyhorse of writing. This story is my favourite story I have written and I can't leave it unfinished. I just might be a bit slow sometimes with updating chapters due to real life, but I won't leave an update this late again.

Linette: Well you just did thank me, and I can't thank you enough for saying that. When writing a fanfic for one of my favourite movies, I have tried my best to remain faithful to characters' voices because I have read so many fics when the characters just aren't the same because of the author/ess not being able to capture that vital aspect. I have lost count of how many times I have deleted whole chapters since writing this story because I couldn't get the dialogue quite right. But that is the biggest aim to achieve with this story, so thank you very much. :D And as for it seeming to be 'a natural continuation', that was my ultimate goal when writing this story. This is just a vision I had and wanted to happen, well one of them any way XD, so thank you very much! :D Sorry for the long reply but I wanted to take your review into great consideration because it addressed exactly what I have been wanting to get across since starting it last year. So thank you for one of the best reviews I have ever received. It makes all of the hard work put into a story be worth it :)

AngeandBender4Ever: Hey thanks for the review. :) I'm glad you love it and I hope you like the latest update. Hopefully the next update will not be so slow…it won't be. Lol.

Kia: Top three?? Wow! Thanks great! :D Thank you very much! There are many great fics out there but for mine to be in your top three is making me grin madly. - I will definitely be updating soon and I always try to write stories that are grabbing, particularly this one because it is very special to me. I hope you continue to keep an eye out for this because I will be aiming to be posting much sooner and quicker than I have been. Thanks for the review! :D

itsi3: Wow! Thank you very much Crystal! I have tried my hardest to try and keep Bender how he is in the movie, I would hate to not write him correctly (because he is the best character out of the whole movie for me :p). I love Claire and Bender as a couple too! I am happy you like how I have written it too! That means a lot because it is sometimes hard to write it but knowing that is great because I am doing something right lol. But I am definitely continuing whenever I can :) Thanks for the great review!

Running-Wild22: ''Salutes'' Aye aye Kia! Update initiated and completed. And as for that way to make them stay together…well I am still working on it :p But I am getting there. :D Thanks for the review -

general01lee: Hey thanks coop :D Bender is my favourite from the movie too. I'm happy you love my story - I have fun writing it when I can. I hope you will like what happens next.

EmberJewel: You read it all in one day? That's cool! :D I feel very honoured you took the time to do that and that you like it so much. I haven't been continuing it due to lack of time and ideas for what could happen next, but I think my troubles for that have subsided for the moment which is very hopeful. Thanks for the review and it makes me feel great that people are still reading it and inspires me to continue. :)

GraceTempest: Thanks very much! :D I love the Breakfast Club too. It is one of my favourite movies!!

JustBecauseHeLives: I always repeat words don't worry - I'm sorry for leaving you hanging like that. Hopefully this new update will not leave you so…hanging. Lol. :D Thanks for the review. :D

Tanni-chan: Hey there, :) thanks for the review and for liking it. I have been unable to update for ages, but now hopefully I will be updating more often and much quicker too.

PennyLaneismysong: I have started to write more after an incredibly bad drought of no ideas and having no time. But the plot bunnies are slowly coming back to me. I'm sorry for the lack of updates. But thanks for the review :)

KitaTsuki: Bender is very yummy! :D I am guilty of watching that film a million times or more too. Lol. I am glad you like it so far, I have read so many fics of what could possibly happen and this is just my spin on it. :D I am trying to pace it out a bit so it seems to have a plausible timeline. Thanks for the review too! :D hope you like the update.

ThePhantomoftheOpera101: I hate cliffhangers too XD I love playing with Claire's jealousy that is oh so obvious to Bender. Lol. And as an answer to your question, yes Claire will be meeting some of them. The idea had been playing around in my head as I have slowly progressed with this story and the opportunity is just too good not to pass up. :D Now as for Bender and Sarah…well that is still be said, but Sarah will appear again. Mwahaha! Lol. Thanks for the review! :D

astrakane: More characters does equal more mysteries! :D Glad you liked the chapter and thanks for another great review. :D

Kemowitch92: Hey thanks for the review :D Yeah my chapters are seemingly starting to lag, which is kind of beginning to annoy me so I will try and not make them so slow - As for Claire telling Bender about her parents…well that will be soon because I don't think I can hold it off for much longer. :)

roguegambit: Now why do I get the impression that you don't like my little cliff-hangers? XD Now as for public transport…to be honest the idea actually never ever occurred to me. Silly as that sounds that is true. Claire is naïve sometimes…lol. But yeah I feel really stupid for not thinking about public transport at all…hmmmm….anyway, thanks for another great review and I hope that you will still continue to read it :D