The guy Flicker had sent Marcus to meet was called Zeke. As both Marybeth and Flicker had been clear to note, Zeke was hard to miss.To put it mildly, he looked like a rodent. A nerdy rodent wearing thick glasses and a labcoat. He was the epitome of a stereotype, Marcus just wasn't quite sure if it was really the nerd stereotype. Something about Zeke made Marcus think of a mad scientist.
At that particular moment Zeke was bent over a microscope, muttering to himself. Marcus couldn't quite hear it, but that was probably for the best.
"Zeke?" Marcus didn't quite snap at the man but he was feeling on edge and was not quite as polite as he had intended to be.
"Yes, yes. Just a minute. I'm busy, can't you see that?" Zeke simply waved a hand, not even looking up. So Marcus waited. And waited.
Finally he cleared his throat, finding himself impatient. He had never before had issues with patience, with waiting. Now he kept thinking about Xennie upstairs. What flowers should he get her? He hoped there was something in the shop.
Mostly, he just wanted to see her. To make sure she really was ok with his own eyes. That was a bad idea, though. Not yet. He wasn't ready, as much as he wished he was. Not ready to meet her eyes and hide the fact that he had knelt over her with a knife and for just an instant he had contemplated slitting her throat just the way he was supposed to.
"Well, what do you want?" The voice jerked Marcus out of his reverie and he glared at the little rodent man.
"About time. Flicker sent me, said you could help me out with something. I need you to do some analysis on some blood." Marcus paused, waiting to see just how this little guy was going to react.
"Ah. You know Flicker. So what do you actually want? What am I supposed to look for in the blood? Yours, I assume." He said it as a statement, not a question. Marcus had to admit, Flicker had sent him to the right guy. Hopefully. So far, the guy asked the right questions, made the right assumptions. Even if he was a bit... off.
Marcus cleared his throat, looking away, then back. "Anything... unusual. Supernatural." Zeke made a sound of enlightenment.
"Ah. So you are looking for secrets the Fraternity kept. Or is this about secrets you are keeping?" As Marcus narrowed his eyes and opened his mouth to say something, not that he was sure what, Zeke again waved his hand dismissively. "It doesn't matter. I don't care. Just hold still, I'll get the blood. Do you want me to call you, or leave the results with Flicker? It will take a bit of time."
As he spoke, Zeke grabbed a sterile needle, some vials, and started the process of drawing blood from Marcus. It was smooth, easy. Practiced. Considering his options, Marcus opted for Zeke leaving the information with Flicker. Too much chance of the Fraternity checking his messages, monitoring his cell. Monitoring his mail or anything.
He left minutes later, up to the main floor. Looking through all the offerings of flowers in the gift shop, he felt out of his depth. He had never done something like this, get flowers for a woman. He had never taken anything to someone in the hospital. He couldn't remember the last time he had gotten anyone a gift. Xennie had gotten things for him, but he had never returned the offerings. He had brushed it off and tried to ignore the hurt in her eyes when he simply wished her a happy birthday, a merry Christmas. Words. That was all he'd ever offered her. He had thought safety, but it was clear that he hadn't really been able to give that to her.
His hands shook as he looked at the flowers, reaching out to grab a bundle of yellow daisies with a sunflower. Nothing special, and they seemed a bit pathetic to him, but they made him think of Xennie. The lack of pretension, the warmth. It was probably stupid, but he hoped she would understand. It wasn't like he knew her favourite flowers.
In moments he was back on the elevator, up to the fifth floor. The flowers had been put in a plastic vase, wrapped up nicely with a little card. He had simply written an "M" on the card because anything else was too complicated. His full name was too much, just in case. He did not want anyone from the Fraternity checking up and finding out he had left flowers for her. It was bad enough that they would know who she was if they found out her name.
Stepping out of the elevator, he walked toward the nurse station. His eyes travelled around, looking at the doors he saw, trying to spot Xennie despite that he was not sure she would even want to see him. Not sure he was ready to see her.
He flashed a smile at the nurse at the counter, setting the vase of flowers where they were highly conspicuous. "I heard that a friend of mine is on this floor and I was hoping I could leave these for her."
The nurse smiled back, then lifted her eyebrows. "Well if that's the case I can look up the name and tell you which room. You can leave them yourself."
"No, it's ok. I don't want to disturb her and I can't really stay long. I just wanted her to know..." he trailed off, considering. What did he want her to know? He looked at the nurse in helplessness.
She laughed softly and nodded. "It's ok. I get it, I think. What was the name?" Marcus told her and she looked through the file. It only took a moment for her to look it up, then meet his eyes again with an understanding smile. "She's right over there in that room." She pointed at a room to his left.
"Are you sure, honey? She would probably like to see you. I know I would love to see a man bringing me such pretty flowers." The nurse actually winked at him and Marcus had to clench his fists to keep from telling her to back off. He could hardly hold it together, thinking about being this close to Xennie. All he could do was offer a tight nod, turn away and start walking to the elevator.
He had only made it a few steps away from the counter when his gaze skimmed over a doctor coming out of the room the nurse had pointed out as Xennie's. The man's back was to Marcus and he thought nothing of it until something caught the light. His eyes narrowed and he realized that he was seeing multiple earrings in the doctor's ear. A flash of memory, a werewolf standing over him earrings up the side of one ear. The last view he remembered before a fist him him and knocked him out.
It couldn't be. There was no way that dotor could be the werewolf he had met the night before. A werewolf working in a hospital? Wouldn't the blood alone drive him crazy? His gaze narrowed without his realizing it and it was not until the doctor turned and caught his eyes that Marcus realized just how hard he was staring.
In that moment Marcus froze. His heart was suddenly hammering. Rage suddenly washed through him, a torrent that he wasn't sure he could stem. What was that damn werewolf doing coming out of Xennie's room?
Before he could manage to stomp over and rip out the doctor's throat, he watched the werewolf smile at a nurse and make his way nonchalantly towards him. Every muscle in Marcus' body was tight, quivering, and he felt like he should be growling. His dream came back to him, the claws, the blood, Xennie's body in front of him and he shivered.
"Take a deep breath," the comment soft in his ear. He did, sucking it in between clenched teeth, letting it out the same way. Then he saw the doctor, the werewolf, in front of him. "You need to get yourself under control. I told you we would take care of her. What did you think I meant?" There was no taunt there. The doctor's face and voice were utterly neutral, almost too neutral. Like he understood what was happening to Marcus.
"Stay. Away. From. Her," Marcus ground out. He had said it before, but apparently this beast hadn't listened. Maybe he would this time.
"Don't push me. You can't take me. I already proved that. So just get out of here if you aren't up to seeing your girl." The simple fact that the werewolf used the words "your girl" calmed Marcus, a fact that surprised him. And shamed him. He had walked out on Xennie and hadn't protected her. What right dd he have to feel a claim to her?
"Go on. Get out of here. When you're ready, when you're done your digging, come find me. I'm sure you can figure out how." With that, the werewolf turned and walked away. He offered Marcus his back and that was enough to let Marcus take another deep breath and continue to the elevator. It let him make his way outside. By that time he was even almost calm. Almost.
Definitely not ready to see Xennie.