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The Dance

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Joyce O'Neill". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Remember when Joyce told Buffy how she met Hank? Well this is it! But what's her big brother, Jack O'Neill's, take on it?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Joyce-CenteredMercyJonesFR1812,231192,73811 Feb 0911 Feb 09Yes
Disclaimer: I own no stargateverse or buffyverse related things. All I own is an over active imagination and a hungry tummy....



Year - 1976

It was 7 o'clock in the evening and the O'Neills were sitting around the table for dinner. The parents, Kathy and Stan, sat on one side of the table while the two children, Jack and Joyce, sat on the other side. It was very rare that they all managed to sit down and have a meal together, especially since Jack joined the Air Force. He was always gone on assignments and very rarely had the chance to just come home and relax. Joyce too was always busy, what with going to college and studying art. It made it very difficult for the O'Neill family to have a chance to just sit and spend quality time together anymore.

Unfortunately, not everyone was in such a good mood.

Joyce played with her food silently, her appetite completely gone. The broccoli was mixed into the mashed potatoes and the fried chicken now had little pellets of peas embedded into it. Her glass was still filled to the rim with soda. She bit her lip and stared unseeingly at her plate of food.

Joyce ignored her parent's and her brother's questioning glances.

After a few minutes, Jack finally spoke up.

“You gonna eat that?”

“What?” Joyce looked up, somewhat shocked, and at the same time a little hurt, by the uncaring question.

“I said,” her older brother spoke as if talking to a two year old and jammed his fork in the direction of her chicken, “you gonna eat that?”

“Oh...” Joyce glanced back down at her plate. “Uh, no, I'm not really hungry.” She slid the plate across the table towards her brother and quickly excused herself from the dining room.

She had only been upstairs in her room for five minutes, sulking on her bed, when the door opened and Jack stuck his head in.

“So, what's got your panties in a twist?” he quipped easily.

Joyce shrugged her shoulders, obviously a little ashamed at herself. “It's stupid.”

“Well, I figured that,” Jack shot out, ignoring his sister's glare. Instead, he continued to push her buttons, after all, what were big brothers for? “After all, you're an eighteen year old girl still living at home to save up money while you're in college. What's it this time? Mommy and Daddy won't let you out past curfew?”

“You really wanna know?” she asked, ignoring the jab at her maturity. It wasn't a bad thing to want to save up money. When he nodded, Joyce jumped into her explanation, “There's this Homecoming dance tonight...” The frown marred her face and she fell back on the bed with a cushioned thud.

“Lemme guess...” Jack slowly walked towards her bed and cautiously sat down. “No one asked you?” Before Joyce could respond, Jack nodded solemnly. “Good. That means I have successfully instilled the fear of God into every guy at that college.”

A pillow thwacked him upside the head.

Joyce sat up and glared at him. “I was asked!” she defied, but shifted uncomfortably. “Just... by the wrong guy.” She fell back again.

“Ah-ha!” Jack pointed a finger of triumph into the air. “I got it!” Joyce only shot him a confused look. “You're one of those girls!”

Curious, she pushed herself onto her elbows and stared at her brother. “Those girls?”

“You know, the ones who have to have a date in order to go places.”

“I-I,” she stuttered. “I don't have to have a date, I just...”

“Just what?” Jack rose an eyebrow and stared at his sister. “Decided it would be out of style for you to go stag? That you'd be the laughing stock of the entire freshman class?” Before his sister could answer, he quickly added, “You know how many guys go stag to those things?”

Joyce stared at him for a full second before she was suddenly pushing him out the door. “Gotta get ready, thanks! Bye!”

She slammed the door in his face.

Jack just smiled and started away before he stumbled to a stop.

“Did I just tell my little sister where to find guys?!”

*~*~*~*~*

Joyce slowly walked into the gym. It was a little cliché, the college throwing a Homecoming dance in the gym just a few hours after the game. Joyce had always been pretty sure that these type of things were only done in High School, but whatever. It was nice to get dressed up once in a while.

And dressed up she was.

It wasn't anything fancy really, mainly because the dance itself wasn't formal, but it was definitely a nice outfit. A black and red floral wrap dress that ended just above her knees along with a pair of red heels made her stand out. Joyce had even applied a fine gloss of bright red lipstick.

Tonight was going to go well. It had to.

That thought was soon followed by the once popular High School girl hiding out in the bathroom after some guy spit out bubble gum that coincidentally landed in her hair. Joyce scowled as she tried to claw it out of her blonde curls with very little luck. Half an hour later and she was on the verge of tears when a sympathetic soul happened in.

Her name was Tanya. She too had light blonde curls, but hers were held back in a ponytail. She also wore a floral wrap dress, but her color scheme was of the pink and green variety and ended about mid shin. Her shoes were a standard black.

Tanya was quick to help Joyce with her hair. The two struggled over it for fifteen minutes and had quite a laugh when it finally came out. They tag teamed Joyce's hair and helped it look no worse for the wear.

The night may not have gone how Joyce had hoped, but at least it seemed she had made a new friend.

The two Freshman girls were giggling as they came out of the bathroom.

“Oh, you should totally hang with me and mine tonight! Especially if you're going stag!” Tanya grinned brightly, her cherry lips spread to reveal impossibly white teeth. “There's a whole group of us here,” she continued in a singsong voice, “you might just meet somebody!”

“Tanya!”

The two girls both turned. A young man, a good head taller than Joyce, came jogging up towards them. He had broad shoulders and a thin waist. He was clad in a pair of black slacks and a button up blue collared shirt. His blue eyes landed on Joyce and he gave her a small half smile.

Joyce melted at once.

“Hank!” Tanya brightened and wrapped an arm around Joyce's shoulders. “This is Joyce. We just met in the bathroom. She had a little hair mishap.” Tanya motioned to Hank. “Joyce, this is my boyfriend, Hank.”

“Nice to meet you,” Hank reached out a hand with a bright smile.

Joyce gently placed hers hand in his and gave him a small, yet coy, smile. “Nice to meet you too.”

“Great!” Tanya practically jumped. “Now that we're acquainted, let's go find the rest of the gang, huh?”

It didn't even take five minutes for the three to find the group. Tanya hadn't been kidding about the probability of Joyce finding a man. The group was filled with all guys who were going stag. Hank's friends apparently.

As the evening went on, Joyce found herself the center of attention in the group of single men, however, her eye kept wandering over to Hank. Especially when he was with Tanya. It didn't take long for Joyce to realize that he kept glancing her way as well. Every time they caught the other staring, Hank would flash his half smile and it was everything Joyce could do to not let her knees turn to jelly.

At one point, Hank disappeared with one of his friends, Stephen. They were gone maybe five minutes before coming back.

Hank reached into his pocket and pulled out a pack of cigarettes. “I'm gonna go outside for a smoke.”

At Tanya's disgusted scoff, Joyce jumped up. “I'll go with you.”

The two smiled brightly at each before heading outside.

Outside, Hank offered Joyce a cigarette which she happily accepted. Their conversation started off easily enough. They first began talking about the weather, which than changed to college and their majors, than to life plans and goals, to their current family. Then conversation turned to nothing at all. They joked about everything and nothing. Before they knew it they had both been outside for a good hour, just laughing.

It was Joyce's shiver that moved things further than originally intended.

Joyce hadn't gone out there with the intention of stealing her new friend's boyfriend. Yes, the attraction was evident and undeniable, but the intention had been pure. She had only wanted to get to know the one person in the group she had little chance to talk to.

Once again, it was her shiver that moved things along.

Hank grew concerned at her coldness, but his lack of a jacket kept him from actually being able to offer her some sort of material protectiveness. Instead, he wrapped his arm around her shoulders and held her in a warm embrace.

The kiss just happened.

Joyce would look back on this night several times in her life and yet never come to a clear realization about how it had actually happened.

Especially since everything else after this became somewhat of a blur.

A sharp pain shot through Joyce's head as her hair was ripped back and she was yanked to the floor. Looking up, slightly disoriented, at an angry Tanya was when the realization that she had been kissing Hank sank in.

The kick from the blonde's black high heels brought her back to her current moment of distress.

To say Joyce had been in her fair share of catfights was an understatement. She had practically made a sport of it in High School, going so far as to get expelled once.

The hair pulling, nail scratching, and bitch biting that occurred over the next few seconds drew quite a crowd. There were a few punches thrown in, but for the most part it was a true catfight by pop culture definition. It turned into one of the catfights that would be talked about for the rest of the year and the next two years on campus.

By the end, Joyce stood tall while Tanya shrunk back, her wrap dress torn and tears streaking down her bruised and scratched face. A couple of people helped Tanya to limp off, while Hank helped Joyce limp towards his car.

The conversation during the drive was once again a blur as Joyce was still too disoriented.

It was what happened afterward that Joyce would always remember, no matter how much time had passed.

She may have only met Hank a few hours ago, but there was no doubt in her mind that they wouldn't turn into something more.

That night, Hank parked the car at Lover's Lane.

*~*~*~*~*

It was 3 A.M. when Joyce got home.

She snuck back in through the front door, both her shoes in hand, and gently closed it. Seeing no lights on, Joyce knew she was home free. She could wait to think up excuses about her bruised body until that morning.

She had just been about to sneak upstairs when the living room light flicked on.

Wincing, Joyce turned, half expecting to see her father sitting in his chair.

Jack sat there, looking to all the world like a cliché. He even had a pipe in his hands (though he didn't smoke). It may have been a scene to make his little sister giggle, but the serious glare in his eyes quickly erased that possibility.

“Do you know what time it is?” Jack demanded.

Joyce cocked her hip to the side in defiance. “Why? You lose your watch or something?”

“It's 3 AM!” he half shouted.

“Guess not,” Joyce muttered with a roll of her eyes.

“What the hell were you doing that you had to be out until 3 AM?!”

It was really a mean thing to do, but Joyce couldn't help it. She grinned evilly at her brother and responded with a truthful answer. “Getting laid.”

Oh, it was a sight to see. Jack's face turned bright red all the way to his ears. He managed to sputter a few incoherent words out before he managed out a mangled, “Please tell me that was a joke!”

Deciding it was best for her brother's sanity if she didn't respond to that, Joyce just rolled her eyes and started up stairs. “I'm a big girl, Jack, I know what I'm doing.”

“Oh, yeah, coming home with a black eye and scratches all up and down your arms is a sure tell sign that you know what the hell you're doing!”

“I'm going to bed,” she responded curtly before disappearing upstairs. If it hadn't been so early in the morning and their parents had been asleep, Jack was sure she would have slammed the door.

Jack frowned and grabbed the pad of paper that he had left sitting on the table next to the chair he had been in. The license plate number from the car that had dropped her off was scribbled down.

Time to find out who the hell was taking advantage of his little sister.

The End

You have reached the end of "The Dance". This story is complete.

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