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Different Roads

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"Quiet today, aren't you, luv?" William smiled warmly at the young man. "Always are. Suppose it's why I feel so comfortable talking to you. Don't talk to many people. Talked to Buffy sometimes... but she's gone now. Got out, got herself a clean bill of health."

He received no sign from the lovely young man with the dark hair. "You never really knew her, but she visited sometimes. Said she knew you in another life. It never made much sense, but it was still sweet of her to come." As he spoke, William stripped away the man's bedsheets and stretched clean ones across the mattress.

"Wish I could stay longer. I always hate leaving you." William's gaze lingered a bit too long on the patient's depthless, blank eyes. "You know if you ever want me to stop coming, you'll have to speak up. Hate to think I'm just a nuisance." Registering faint pressure on his arm, William looked down to see the boy's fingers curling against his white jacket. "No worries. I couldn't leave you for very long."

Reluctantly William withdrew. He gathered the dirty linen and opened the door. "I'll see you tomorrow evening. Sweet dreams, Xander."