A Doctor's Pining

Description: Oneshot from Jeb's prov pre-The Angel Experiment. Possibly OCC. This was originally a long story called Kingda Ka, but it refused to be written right and now has been reduced to this oneshot. Enjoy!

"Welcome back, Dr. Batchelder"

"Hello, sir, how was your trip?"

"Happy to have you back, sir."

"Good day, Dr. Batchelder."

For the love of all that is holy, will they ever shut up?

The images were still flashing through my head. The flock, my children. All alone on that cursed rock. Max, strong and sensible. She's got a good head on her shoulders. She'll pull them all through this. Fang will help, he's sharper then he looks. I've trained them for this. They'll be fine. Get a grip.

But still… What I wouldn't give to be with them…

No. Do not go their Jebediah Lawrence Batchelder

"Jeb? Jeb? Jeb, are you listening to me?"

I looked up at the dark hair beauty by my desk. It was Anne, my partner. Ugh, I don't want to deal with this right now!

She had that look in her eyes, the one I'd come to know as a sign of trouble. A longing far to like my own to be right. To be safe.

She didn't like leaving them out there anymore then I did.

But that didn't matter. Our part in this was done, for now. All that was left was to wait.

I hate waiting. Waiting should be outlawed. Banned, scorned and forgotten.


"No, Anne." I shook my head. "You know we can't." I set my jaw, I had to believe that.

Anne, of course, wasn't fully defeated.

"But isn't there a way? We can't just leave them out there Jeb! All on their own? You need to be here, but I could go. There are a million other agents yearning for my job, you could replace me in a fortnight."

Okay, now she'd gone too far.

"None of those million other agents are you Anne. You're needed here, you know that. Don't go selling yourself short. Besides, you know we can't interfere. Now I realize that you're motherly instincts are rather overpowering in this matter, but you need to get a grip on reality and take it for a ride. Your better than this Anne, be rational."

Okay, that was a bit harsh, but she needs to hear this.

Anne just stared at me for a moment, the water in her eyes threatening to spill over. I knew it wouldn't though. Anne never cried in front of people. Only when she thought she was alone, when she thought no one could hear, would the sobs spill out.

I laid a hand on her arm and squeezed, then reached to press the button.

Anne's hand stopped me, effectively holding me still.

"Let me do it Jeb, please."

I probably should have known better then to let her near that Flocks security system. Knowing her she'd just lock me out and keep it active. But we needed to cut all connections with the flock if this was going to work. That included security cameras and mikes. All of them.

Silently, I moved, however foolishly, to the side to let her by.

She reached for the counsel, but didn't type in the code, didn't press the button. She just stared for a moment, waiting.

Suddenly she looked up.

The blonde child, staring directly up at the camera, she looked straight at Anne, smiling.

Anne gasped, and reached out her hand to touch the girl's face on the screen wordlessly, a tear spill out her left eye.

Angel, bless her, nodded once encouragingly and waved at the camera.

Anne pressed the button.

The girl's smiling face disappeared, replaced by a flurry of snow. I took and deep breathe.

We were cut off from them now, possibly forever.

I reached out to squeeze Anne's shoulder.

"You okay?" I asked quietly.

Anne shook her head, more tears trailing down her cheek. "No, but I'm going to be." It's a testament to her strength that her voice remained steady as she turned her back on the screen and walked out of my office.

And you know what? I really think we're both going to be just fine.