Outro: What Hurts the Most
Title: Hank Summers, Dark-Hunter?
Disclaimer: Joss owns the dubious Mr. Summers, Kenyon owns all things Dark-Hunter, I own Sheyle.
Summary: Hank Summers isn’t the world’s greatest parent, but just maybe he had a really good reason for running off to Spain…
A/N: This is the last chapter of HS,D-H…it was always only meant to be seven parts…but never fear, a flip-side and tie-off are in the works (read: almost done on the tie-off, need to iron out the flip-side.) Hank Summers, Dark-Hunter?
Outro: What Hurts the Most
After hours of prodding, and a few more of quality make-up sex (once he learned she wasn’t evil and really was
his Joyce), Henrik found himself holed up in her apartment, catching up.
“That was you, in the cemetery, wasn’t it?” Henrik murmured, playing with a strand of her hair.
“Someone had to look after you, Hank,” Joyce smiled, leaning up on one elbow. “You know that’s one of your few vulnerabilities. Whatever possessed you to go into a graveyard?”
“I’d just lost my wife,” Henrik replied, pressing a kiss to her shoulder.
“Ex. We’d been divorced for nearly six years.”
“Not by my choice,” Before she could say anything to that, he pressed a finger to her lips. “I was half-way to coming back to you and Buffy when the demons killed me. We‘d been making progress before…”
“And have I told you how mad I am at you for dying on me and then pretending to get a Spanish mistress?” Her eyes shone with fresh tears as she burrowed herself deeper into his side.
“Sheyle’s like a daughter to me. She just got married, you know,” Henrik smiled against her curls. “No one ever really took your place.”
“It’s also the truth. Between hunting down Daimons and trying to ease the way for the girls…there hasn’t been
anyone to -” Henrik broke off, glancing away from her. “What are
“What do you mean?” She looked down, not even bothering to pretend she was uncomfortable.
. You’re not a Dark-Hunter, because you died of natural causes. And I wouldn’t be able to be in the same room with you for long. I know there’s other beings out there, so what
“It’s kind of like a guardian angel gig,” Joyce said several minutes later. “I watch over witches or supernaturally enhanced beings, or just normal humans that are going to be big players in future events.”
“So, you’re basically a mother hen?” Henrik smiled at this. He could see Joyce being tapped for that kind of gig.
“Yeah, when you put it that way, being a White-Lighter’s kind of like that,” she smiled. “My main charges are two boys around Buffy’s age. One’s a soldier who was friends with one of Buffy’s ex-boyfriends, and the other is a demon hunter.”
“And they’re gonna be key players?”
“Yep, in someone’s story,” a knowing smile crossed her lips as she rested her head against his shoulder.
“Then they’re damn lucky they have you watching out for them,” Henrik kissed her again, snuggling them deeper into the mattress. He’d missed this intimacy. “I wish we’d had someone watching out for us.”
“We did. How do you think we got these jobs?”
“Look what we had to lose to get here.”
“You know the girls are in town,” Joyce said quietly.
“That’s why I’m here, so I can see them,” Joyce bit her lip. “Well, part
of the reason I’m here. Graham’s in the Quarter and Dean’s in Baton Rouge, so technically
I’m on the job.”
“Where are they?” Henrik jumped from the bed, racing to gather his clothes. Joyce giggled at him and hurried to rush into her own clothing.
“Where are you going, Hank?” Joyce cocked her head at him once they were both fully dressed and Henrik was half-way out the door.
“To go find our daughters…and a cab first.”
“I have a much
faster means of transportation these days,” Joyce shook her head and grabbed his hand.
She’d orbed them down an alleyway and pulled him into the bustling night. Henrik felt his breath catch in his chest when he spotted Buffy laughing at something a blonde man said to her, while Dawn was smiling at her sister’s happy expression.
“He’s in love with her, you know,” Joyce murmured happily, winding her arm through his.
“Kid deserves to be happy. She died,
you know,” Henrik replied, his voice shaking a little.
“I know. Someone pulled her into a ‘warriors for the light’ holding place,” Joyce shot him a look. “Willow was always meant to bring her back.”
While both of her parents were preoccupied with discussing Buffy, Dawn had noticed the attractive couple from across the square. Recognition hit her, and she was up on her feet before she could stop herself.
“Cousin Henrik?” Dawn called, startling both of them.
“Crap, I forgot you played doting cousin for two weeks with her,” Joyce squeaked, part of her dreading this meeting, and part of her thrilled at it.
“So we play cousin and cousin’s girlfriend. Deal with it,” Henrik muttered under his breath. “Cousin Dawn! What are you doing here in New Orleans?”
“Summer break, me and Buffy are just kicking foot loose and fancy free for a week, before Buffy has to go back to work,” Dawn smiled, remembering her time with Henrik fondly, even if she’d meant to be spending it with Hank.
“Dawn! What did I tell you about - who are you?” Buffy skidded to a halt beside her taller sister, the man coming in just behind her.
“Your father’s cousin, Henrik Somners, and this is my …friend, Jaylin White,” Henrik smiled at Buffy. “Dawn came to stay with me shortly after your mother passed. She was a wonderful woman.”
“I thought you stayed with Dad those two weeks in Spain?” Buffy shook her head and stared at her sister.
“He couldn’t be bothered and threw me off on poor Henrik,” Dawn said bitterly. “But hanging with Henrik and his goddaughter Sheyle was pretty good. How is Sheyle?”
“She just got married,” Henrik smiled, thinking of the two Squires now living in his home.
“We’ve got to be going now, Henrik,” Jaylin said quietly, her eyes never leaving her two daughters. “It was nice meeting you girls. Henrik’s told me nothing but good things about you.”
“Nice meeting you too, Jaylin,” Dawn smiled brightly. “Try and keep him in line, okay?”
“I think I can manage that,” Jaylin replied.
Henrik quickly gave his girls tight hugs, and shook hands with the man who turned out to be Joyce’s charge, Graham. After a few more promises to keep in touch, and an exchange of phone number, Jaylin guided them back to the alleyway and orbed them to her apartment before the sun rose.
“I didn’t think it would be so hard to see them again,” Jaylin took a shuddering breath. “Was it hard to let Dawn go?”
“It hurt like hell, but she had to be back there for when Buffy returned, and I couldn’t explain away my absence forever,” Henrik shrugged, not meeting her eyes.
“We do what we have to, I guess. Keep a peripheral eye out for them,” Jaylin swallowed down the sadness. “And we make most of what we’ve got in front of us.”
“Sounds like a plan, Mrs. Summers.”
“I thought so myself, Mr. Summers.”