5: "The Ball"

I slowly filled my lungs with air and willed myself to trudged myself away from Ashley's warm hand. My skin still burned without her electric touch as I followed Kyla into the next room, ever grand with the old fashioned flair of the 19th century.

"Miss Ashley's usually isn't one to bring unexpected guests, especially on a day like today. But I guess your special. Everything you need should be in this room, Miss Spencer."

"Special? Oh, and just call me Spencer."

"Oh that wouldn't be right, Miss Spencer. Here, I've drawn a bath already, I'll be back to check in after I help Miss Ashley." Kyla headed for the door. I stopped her before she left.

"Why would you think I was special, Kyla?"

She smiled, "Why, she hasn't been this happy for weeks since she found out Mister Davies was leaving for war."

Happy? I don't think that brooding brunette's shown much emotion much less happiness ever since the odd hours I've met her. Do chuckles count?

"Miss Ashley has never been one to wear her heart on her sleeve," Kyla looks down with a small knowing smile on her face. "But enough about that, I expect you to be clean when I get back!"

I looked at the drawn bath. Warm and inviting, with steam rising off the tub and bouncing against the walls. No harm I guess. I stripped down and entered the warm bath. So today, I've revived a patient, ran into a girl from the past, saved a newborn baby (but lost the mother), and then said girl from the past literally vaulted the both of us back to Massachusetts at the start of the Civil War via plummeting from the stairs. Now I have to attend some ball of hers to hopefully get some answers from "Miss Ashley." Oh man, I was fine before with all of the things happening, but now in the silence with only the water as my audience... I'm starting to think this is a little beyond me. Med school had prepared me for fatal diseases and impossible surgeries, but there was never a standard protocol for this.

I hug my knees to my chest. How will I ever be able to go back to the present? There were just so many things I could do. I had to do. Willing myself not to cry, a new wave of hope and determination possessed my body and I began to wash my body hurriedly in earnest. After I was done, Kyla came up to check on me, looking excited and pleased with herself.

"Good, you're out! Ashley and I had just picked the most perfect ball gown for you!"

"Ashley did?"

"See? I knew you were special." Kyla showily twirled the dress back and forth to show me, "let's get you dressed."

I had to admit, they both had great taste. In the reflection of the mirror, the blue silk ball gown was just the right shade of blue to match my eyes. Kyla decorated me with simple yet elegant accessories - long white gloves and pearl earrings. "My finest masterpiece yet! Miss Spencer you look incredible," Kyla marveled from behind me, "I'm going to check on Miss Ashley." And then she was gone before I can even ask her. I've been getting this dull thudding headache for a while now. I sat down on the plush duvet and relaxed myself, covering my eyes with my hands I let out a huge sigh and didn't notice the click of the door.

"...Stunning." I sat up startled, Ashley was leaning against the door. I almost forgot that she sneaked in because she looked so absolutely gorgeous. Her rouge ball gown framed her body in the most delicious way. Tendrils of loose hair from her bun kissed her smooth neck and shoulders. "Erhm, I mean... Spencer, you look great."

"Thank you... you too. Beautiful." I could feel my cheeks flush, and I embarrassingly stood up from the duvet with my back to her. "Should we get going?"

"Yes."

We both headed down the corridor and found ourselves at the top of the stairs again, in the center of attention. Ashley whispered in my ear, "Just follow my lead," and began her descent down the stairs. We headed for a couple who was not far off in the center of ball room.

"Daddy, Mom, I'm sorry I'm late." Mister Davies looked like a strong, seasoned man. He had an air of a loving father the way he smiled at Ashley but his posture held an air of commanding regale.

"It's alright dear but don't be late tomorrow. I want to see my kids and your mother for a proper goodbye before I'm off."

"Of course," she went to hug him tightly and kiss his cheeks before facing the woman on his arms. "Mother," Ashley hesitated before doing the same. Ashley's mother exchanged formalities with her before turning to me, "Who is your new friend Ashley?"

"This is Doctor Spencer Carlin."

The small headache before was annoying, but I grimaced and held it in. I flashed them a smile and shook their hands, "Nice to meet you, Mr. and Mrs. Davies."

"Raife Davies, Admiral of the Massachusetts 15th Regiment of the Union."

"Christine Davies. Have you girls met the Waldor boys yet? With the way you two are dressed, I'm sure all the eligible bachelors will have their eyes on you," she said teasingly with a small smirk.

Ashley smiled nervously, obviously unamused by her mother, "Oh I'm sure but I would like to show Spencer around first."

"...Fine. But I expect you two to have a dance partner for the last dance at least."

"Yes Mother." She grabbed my hand away from the couple who started to sway to the music, "Come on I want to show you something." We headed for the deserted balcony, the moonlight growing stronger as the yellow lights behind us faded. We stopped at the the Victorian railing and I looked out at the view - it was breathtaking. Not in the metropolis lights at night kind of way but the Davies Mansion had extended the party to their front yard. Soft glowing lanterns and wonderful music flowed from downstairs also. "Wow it's beautiful."

"Yeah." I dared not look at her although I felt her eyes on my face. I just ignored Ashley and kept looking at the scenery before me. Then I heard a sigh from her before she grasped my chin and tilted my head towards her.

"You're beautiful." Her eyes were golden with the reflection of the moonlight melding with the lantern lights, filled with so much emotion that I could not figure out. My blush came back with a vengeance tenfold and I had to look away from her intense stare.

"Thank you."

I dared to look back at her again after the heat subsided and she smiled shyly. She looked back at the entrance to the party then playfully at me, "Would you honor me with this last dance?"

I couldn't help but laugh and take her outstretched hand in mine. She rested her other hand on waist while I put my other on her shoulder as began to sway to the music. I had never waltzed before but as she dipped me and we locked eyes it all came so naturally, like my body remembered old moves. We locked eyes and began to drift closer and closer, cheek to cheek, mouths to ear. I could smell the ever present strawberries that never escaped her in the air. It made the dull ache in my head sharpen and I winced a bit. What was wrong with me.

"So do you always bring people back to the past?"

She tensed under my hands before she relaxed, "Not really, its not exactly something I like to do."

"Then why did you bring me back?

"You're special."

"How so?"

"I-"

Suddenly a loud crash brought us back from our trance. I jumped apart from her arms, feeling cold and startled as a scream pierced the sky. The guests were in a panic as we rushed back into the ballroom searching for the scream. Ashley grabbed my hand as we shoved against the current of the fleeing crowd. Finally reaching the source the was a young man who looked scared out of his wits. In his leg was a dagger and blood was smearing the floor as he thrashed in agony and terror. The headache before throbbed its worse. I felt like someone was taking a hammer against the back of my head.

"Ah! Help!" Ashley's parents came moments later amidst the pandemonium and Raise covered Christine's eyes.

"Oh god, Aiden, stay with me soldier," Raife looked around desperately, "Someone call the doctor!" Ashley gasped and looked to me with a pleading look in her eyes, her trembling hands grasped my hands. "Please Spencer, save my brother." And then my body went calm. The thudding in my head... silent.


A/U: Hi all! Thank you for the amazing reviews, it really raises my spirits up. I would never pressure anyone to review, but they are always nice. The chapters should be going on a little longer now! I've recently broken up with the boy I was dating to pursued my crush(I'm bi)! These notes are like my little diaries hah, let me know whatcha think :)