Witness to a Resurrection
Disclaimer: Spooks is manipulated, I mean owned by BBC and Kudos. Now that I think about it, I'm the one doing the manipulating.
Setting: After 5.4. Technically this is set at the same time as 5.5, but one drama at a time is enough for Ruth.
A/N: This came from an idea that has been sitting in my ideas doc for ages and for some reason it demanded to be written now, never mind that I was in the middle of another story, but I've learned to let the muse do her thing. Life's easier that way. I hope you will take the time to review and let me know what you think.
"It's a very mixed blessing to be brought back from the dead." Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
Cannon Hill, Queensland, Australia
28 July 2006
"And you're sure I don't need antibiotics?" the older woman asked.
"Yes, Mrs Bennett, you have a viral infection that will go away on its own within the week," Dr White responded. "Is there anything else I can help you with today?"
"No, but I sure will miss you. I'm afraid the next one won't be so nice as you," she said.
"Dr Harper will take wonderful care of you, Mrs Bennett. Don't be afraid to ask questions but I think you'll find that she's a very good doctor," he replied.
"What will you do once you retire, Dr White?" asked Mrs Bennett as she shuffled out of the exam room and towards the lobby.
"I'm moving back to England, actually. Hoping to reconnect with some family that I've not seen in a very long time," he said with a smile before turning back towards his office.
A few minutes later a petite woman in pink scrubs poked her head into his office. "You're officially done, Lew."
He leaned back in his chair and stretched his arms overhead. "Seems unreal that I won't come back on Monday and do this all over again, Carol."
"Yes, but you'll be getting ready for the big move so you won't have time to think of us," she replied with a smile. "Seriously, good luck on the move and let us know when you've settled down."
"Will do," he said before she walked away. He glanced around the now-bare office, confirming that he'd already taken his personal effects home. He logged into his computer one last time, noting in Mrs Bennett's chart the outcome of his examination before saving the file and closing out of the system. He slipped on his jacket as the weather over the past two days had been decidedly cooler and patted the pockets. Reaching in to his left, he pulled out his key ring and located the three office keys he still had and slipping them off the ring, set them down on the desk.
As he drove home, he thought about what he needed to accomplish over the next week before he left for Britain. His house was sold and the closing scheduled for late next week. He'd sold or given away much of his furniture and he was shipping the remainder of his possessions that he wasn't carrying with him on his flight to London in a week.
It was hard to believe he'd been living in Australia for 25 years and while his life in Cannon Hill had been good, he was looking forward to being back in England. He was hoping to reconnect with his family and wondered if he was a grandfather now; whether his daughter was married and a mother herself. As for his wife, he acknowledged that she had likely remarried. After all, she thought he died 25 years ago because he loved her enough to stay away and keep his family safe. He hoped that she was happy and if that meant she'd remarried and found love again, he could live with that.
He parked on the street in front of his home and pulled his wallet from his pocket. He slid out a small envelope from behind some cards and then pulled out the small photo he'd kept hidden away all these years. It was his wife and daughter, a picture that was burned into his memory. The hours he had spent looking at this picture over the years were evident in the worn edges of the picture. It was hard to believe that in a week he would back in England and he tried not to get his hopes up too high that before the end of August, he would have seen his beloved Betsy and Ree once again.
"Yes, who's calling?" she asked. The caller ID was blank, a usual sign that the caller was from across the river at Vauxhall Cross.
"This is Marcy Collins with E Section at Six. We are having a meeting with several of our analysts from various sections about how to improve information sharing and at the next meeting we were hoping to have you join us to talk about information sharing between the two agencies. I'm referring to the format and details of information sharing as opposed to the actual information itself. Would you be willing to join us?"
Ruth didn't know what to say to the odd request but as she regularly complained about Six and their lack of protocols for information sharing, she thought it best not question the invitation.
"When is the meeting scheduled for? I'll need to check my calendar," she responded.
"One o'clock on 9 August, so just under two weeks away," Marcy said.
"Okay, my calendar is clear for that time. I'll plan to come but obviously if something comes up," Ruth trailed off.
"I understand," said Marcy.
"Do I need to prepare anything ahead of time?" inquired Ruth.
"No. The meeting really is informal and intended to help us better understand Five's needs. The meeting will take place in Room 143 on the ground floor. I'll send you an email about the meeting that will include my contact information should a conflict arise. Thank you and have a good day," Marcy said before disconnecting the call.
Ruth looked at the phone and wondered why the meeting request seemed so odd.
"Something wrong with your phone?" asked Malcolm.
Ruth shook her head. "No, just an odd call. Some meeting at Six in a couple weeks about data sharing. I guess I'll go and see what they want. Heaven forbid I refuse their request and the situation was to get worse," she said with a grin.
"Be careful what you wish for, Ruth," he replied as he walked away.
Monday, 6 August 2008
"Dr White, please take a seat. Would you like something to drink? I can offer you tea, coffee, or water."
"Tea with milk and sugar, please. Thank you," Lewis said as he sat down at the sleek metal table.
A minute after the young receptionist left the room a man and woman entered the room from a different door.
"Dr White, my name is Gabriel Roberts and this is my associate Grace Olivier. Thank you for coming in to meet us. Did Michael offer you something to drink?"
"Yes, he's bringing tea," he replied.
"Excellent. We'll get started just as soon as he returns. Did you have a good flight over?" Gabriel asked.
"Flights were fine but I'd forgotten how long it takes," he answered as Michael entered the room with a tray filled with a pot of tea, cups, milk, sugar, and all the necessary accessories.
"Thank you, Michael," Grace said as he set the tray on the table and then quickly left the room.
Once the tea cups were filled and the three settled, Grace began speaking.
"Dr White, the purpose of this meeting is to debrief you about your time in Australia and to update that information as well as to provide you with information about the whereabouts of your wife and daughter."
The conversation focused on Dr White's life over the past 25 years and whether there were every any incidents that worried him or may have been related to his relocation in Australia before eventually turning to his family.
"I'm sorry to have to tell you this but your wife remarried a number of years ago," Gabriel said.
Lewis nodded. "I'm not surprised. I've been thinking about this a lot over the past few months since this whole process started. It would be selfish of me to hope that she was still single and mourning my death. I loved her deeply and I'll be happy to know if she's happy. And my daughter?" he asked.
"She lives here in London. Actually, we've set up an appointment for her to come in to the offices to meet you in a few days. She's not married and doesn't have any children. We can discuss how to break the news to her as obviously this will be quite the shock," Grace noted.
Lewis nodded. "Can I make one other request? Do I still need to use the name Lewis White or can I go back to my name?"
Gabriel and Grace exchanged a look. "That's your decision but you simply need to let us know which name you want to use and we'll have all your documents prepared and your files adjusted to reflect that name," Gabriel said.
Lewis smiled. "Wonderful. Now that I'm back home in England, I want to go back to my name and leave Lewis White in Australia."
Grace nodded and stuck out her hand. "Welcome home, James. On Thursday afternoon you'll be reunited with your daughter, Ruth Evershed."