“Thanks Mom,” Buffy said quietly as her mother handed her a big bowl of popcorn.
“Of course, Buffy. I’m your mother, it’s my job to help,” Joyce answered with a worried smile. With that, Joyce left the room. She didn’t go far, though. She turned a corner and stopped, listening to what her daughters and their friends – the Scoobies – were so upset about.
“I can’t believe we were only gone for an hour!” Dawn finally announced.
“I know… we were there for nearly a month before that spell brought us back.”
“I miss them…”
“No, you miss Pony,” Buffy teased, nudging her sister in the side.
“Okay, so I miss Ponyboy. You miss Two-Bit.”
“Yeah… It’s hard to believe that they’d be old by now…” Xander chimed in.
“They would not be that old,” Giles corrected. “They would be my age at most.”
“Yeah, old,” Xander teased.
At that point, Joyce stopped spying. There could only be one group in the entire would with two members named Ponyboy and Two-Bit… and that were in Giles’ age group. Joyce laughed softly to herself. Technically, she could argue that they were in her age group as well, but she had grown up thinking of them as being in an older group. Besides that, Joyce could remember Two-Bit talking about a young blonde woman named Buffy appearing out of a strange light… Her, her sister, and their group of friends.
Joyce walked into her room – the furthest she could get from the group in her living room. She picked up the phone and dialed a familiar number. She waited impatiently as the phone rang twice. He never could find the phone before the third ring. Finally, a solemn male voice answered.
“Hello?” he greeted.
“Keith? This is Joyce.”
Suddenly, the solemn voice was lost and the man resumed his normal, chipper attitude. “Joyce! How are you?”
“I’m doing alright… Tell me, do you remember a blonde woman named Buffy…?”
“Buffy! Would you get the door please?” Joyce called out as she struggled with an abnormally heavy box in the basement.
“Dawnie! Get the door!” Buffy yelled. Joyce was about to reprimand her daughter when she felt the box being lifted out of her arms. Joyce looked down as the box stepped back, and recognized her elder daughter’s jeans under the box.
“Thank you Buffy.”
“Sure… You sounded like you needed help. Where did you want this?”
“Next to the front door would be good for now.” Buffy shrugged and led the way. As they neared the door, they heard another knock from the other side. Buffy rolled her eyes and set the box down, reaching for the door once the box was settled. Just then, Dawn ran down the stairs in a brunette blur.
“Sorry! I was in the bathroom, and I couldn’t just leave and….” Dawn trailed off as she took in the group of men on the other side of the door. All five looked vaguely familiar, but neither Dawn nor Buffy could fully place them. Joyce ended up being the one to invite them in, as both of her daughters were just staring at them, as if trying to figure out a difficult puzzle.
“Please come in,” she told them, reaching up to hug one of them as he walked in.
“Mom!” Buffy’s eyes widened to indicate her mother’s lapse in Sunnydale doorway etiquette.
“It’s alright Buffy.”
“But it’s after nine…”
“I can vouch for them.”
“Hey, we can vouch for ourselves, Joyce,” the largest man said easily, a small grin on his face. “After all, what vampire would willingly go into the slayer’s house?”
Buffy jumped into a defensive stance and pulled a stake out before anyone could so much as blink. “A really dumb one. Now, who are you and how do you know my mother?” she growled. The one who had hugged Joyce put his arms up quickly in a gesture of surrender.
“I’m her brother… These are my friends.” Buffy turned slightly so her glare could include her mother.
“No… You did.”
“Um… can you explain that?” Dawn asked.
“I want to know who these people are first.”
“Sorry, but we try not to give out names until we know where and when we are,” the youngest-looking of the men said with a smile. Buffy dropped her stake and stared at the men, wide-eyed.
“Ponyboy?” she asked cautiously.
“Hi Buffy.” The young woman stared at him in shock for a moment before rounding on ‘Keith’ and Joyce.
“You!” she shouted, pointing at the man. “You knew the whole time! And you didn’t tell us!”
“I didn’t know until you were born,” Two-Bit countered. “I thought it was kinda weird that Joyce married a man who’s last name was Summers, since you said your mom’s name was Joyce Summers, but it wasn’t until I found out that she was naming her daughter Buffy that I made the connection. Then a few years later, we got more proof when your sister’s name was Dawn.”
“And to be honest, I named you Buffy in honor of the woman that Keith couldn’t stop talking about.”
“What! I got the name Buffy because a bunch of demons got sent back in time? That sucks!” The group laughed at her mock-outrage.
“Wait,” Dawn spoke up. “Where are Dally and Johnny?” The men and Joyce all got quiet.
“They died… Not long after you guys left.”
“The Socs attacked again… Johnny fought back. He stabbed one of them because the Socs were drowning Pony,” Soda explained. “They went into hiding. Johnny for being a… murderer, and Pony ‘cause he wouldn’t testify against Johnny. A week later, Dally went to find them, and they saw a church burning, and there was still kids in there.”
Then Steve took over. “Naturally, Pony and Johnny couldn’t just let something happen to the kids, so they ran in and tried to help. Dally went in after them. Johnny was burned bad… He didn’t last more’n a few days… When he died, Dally… he lost it. He robbed a store at gun point. The cops… shot him… right in front of us.”
Buffy and Dawn both had tears in their eyes. “I’m so sorry,” Buffy whispered.
“It was a long time ago for us…”
“We haven’t seen them in years… nearly three decades…”
“Okay…” Buffy said through tears. “I think I’m going to call the Scoobies over.” Buffy walked away, headed for the phone. Not thirty minutes later, everyone who had been to Tulsa was gathered in the Summers living room. Giles complained about the late hour, but everyone was more or less used to nighttime activities.
“I told you they’d be old,” Xander quipped, trying to break the tension. The news of Johnny and Dally’s deaths had just been shared with the rest of them.
“They are not old, Xander.”
“Hey, they thought you were old, G-man. It’s only fair for them to admit that, now that they’re your age, they’re old too.”
“He’s right,” Ponyboy moaned. “I can’t believe I ever thought this was old, but I did…”
“See? You’re all old!”
“So… catch us up,” Willow ordered, smiling at the men.
“Well, are you all bachelors… Are any of you married? Where do you work?”
“Um… after a rough spot, I married Sandy… I had to chase her all the way to Florida once I had the money to do so. Darry met some girl and they have three kids now… one’s a girl! Pony and Cherry ended up married… He also went to college. First greaser to ever make it to college,” Soda added.
“And Two-Bit ended up with Marcia,” Ponyboy added his piece to the narrative.
“Yeah, no one ever saw that coming!”
Buffy sat back on the couch, hard. “Oh my…” Everyone turned to look at her. “Uncle Keith and Aunt Marcia… Mom used to tell us all about you…”
“Gah!” Dawn shrieked. “I was crushing on an honorary uncle! I… I have to go… upstairs!” Dawn turned and ran. Buffy raised an eyebrow and smirked at Ponyboy’s blush.
“Be glad we didn’t stay any longer. Imagine what would have happened if you two had gotten any closer…” She laughed as Pony turned grey, then green.
The group talked and joked, and eventually Dawn came back down. The Tulsa group stayed a week before heading back to their jobs and spouses. They promised to keep in touch. A few weeks later, Joyce began getting headaches. Buffy called Two-Bit from the hospital, and he arrived in time for the funeral. He offered to take in both girls, but they declined, needing to stay with each other. Not long after that, Buffy died.
Dawn was careful to make sure that Two-Bit never knew about her sister’s death, which was a good thing, considering she was brought back. And when, a few years later, Sunnydale became a crater, the remaining Scoobies decided to pay a visit to Tulsa.
Dawn, Buffy, Willow, Giles, Xander, and Angel entered the city and immediately went to Soda’s house. Even though Darry had been given the large mansion, the Greaser gang still gathered at the ‘Curtis House’, which had been left to Soda. Pony had moved to the other side of town when he came back from college. Since he was married to a former Soc, making good money, and living in the rich side of town, he was doing wonders to end the feud between the two sides of town.
Darry, his wife Amber, and their four children lived in Angel’s old mansion and were expecting a fifth – and possibly sixth – child soon. Since he no longer had to support both of his brothers, he had moved up at work, and was now the manager and also making good money – enough to keep his ever-growing family comfortable. Soda and Sandy were the proud parents of a one-year-old, and a newborn. They had all decided to wait on families until they could be supported.
“Knock, knock!” Buffy called as she walked into the house, bringing the others with her. Sandy looked up from the baby in her arms, and smiled in relief.
“Buffy! I’m so glad you’re all alright! When we saw on the news that Sunnydale was gone, and we were afraid…”
“Yeah… we made it out… Sort of.”
“I’ll explain later,” Buffy promised. “But for now, who’s this?” she asked, leaning over to see the tiny bundle.
“This is Andrea Christine Curtis.”
“She’s beautiful,” Buffy breathed. “Where’s Mickey?” she asked of the couple’s older child.
“With his father and uncles. They should be home in an hour or so.” The group sat with the woman, and Buffy, Dawn, and Willow each took a turn holding the baby. Just as they were beginning to run out of things to talk about, the rest of the clan came in. Two-Bit was first in, and he stopped momentarily at the door before rushing to Buffy and Dawn.
“You’re alive! I was so worried when we saw on the news!” Eventually everyone made it in and settled down, then Buffy told them what had happened since they last saw each other at Joyce’s funeral.
“So… you died… and then were brought back to life…” Two-Bit said slowly, trying to wrap his mind around that. Buffy nodded. “Okay. If you can get thrown back in time, then you can come back to life. I’m sorry about Spike, Anya, and Tara.” They talked for a few more hours, and the Scoobies stayed the night. The next day, they got back in the bus and drove to Cleveland, putting Angel on a midnight flight back to LA when they got there.