Chapter 26: A New Therapy
Chapter 26: A New Therapy
Warning: I don’t know; maybe language and innuendo somewhere along the way.
Challenge: #4472 ‘Bunny is my what?’
Thanks to my betas: zigpal, Chrislover and CindyB.
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. NCIS characters belong to Donald Bellisario, Don McGill and CBS Paramount Television. Jack Ryan and his friends belongs to Tom Clancy. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.Posted In Honor of the 58th recommendation, 717th review and over 150,000 hits on TtH!
The following month passed quickly and quietly for the mourning household. At least for the most part. Some noise began to weave its way in once the people inside started to come out of their grief.Jordy
Jordy had attached himself even tighter to Buffy’s side – to the point where she had to make up the bedroom next to hers for him. After a couple nights though, she had him try to sleep in his own bed and only come to hers or Oz’s rooms if he woke up. As long as his wolf could sense his Alpha and/or packmate nearby, it kept him calm. And after a couple weeks, he managed to sleep through the night uninterrupted.
One thing that really helped the young boy to settle in was something Gibbs came up with – another person Jordy had attached himself to. The man felt like another Alpha to him, but not in the way that he was worried Buffy and Gibbs would fight for dominance…much. They seemed willing to share leadership around him.
After Gibbs offered his suggestion, Jordy’s eyes lit up. “Really? We can build a treehouse?”
Relieved that his cousin looked happy again, Oz quickly agreed, “Buffy and I don’t mind. It’d be cool – especially when JR gets old enough to use it too.”
“Yeah. Go nuts, guys,” Buffy encouraged, proud of her dad for coming up with the idea. Other than comforting Jordy, she was at a loss for how to help him.
“Thanks. Do either of you want to join us?” Gibbs offered, hoping they would take him up on it. He wanted to get to know Oz better, and he was always happy to spend time with his daughter.
Buffy thought about it, then shook her head. “I think I’ll let this be a guy-bonding thing.”
Guessing that Buffy wanted the three of them to bond, Oz shrugged in his Oz-way. “I’m a guy, so sure.”
Jordy was beside himself with excitement now. He and his dad had talked about building a fort every now and then, but never got around to it. “Cool! So what can we put in this treehouse?”
Ruffling the young man’s hair, Gibbs responded, “That’s up to you. We’ll make up some plans, then get started building it.” He hoped Jordy didn’t have overly elaborate plans since it was really starting to get cold outside. Usually he would wait until spring to do this, but Jordy needed it now.
Thinking for a moment, Jordy asked, “Can it even have a slide?”
Startled by the odd question, Oz asked in reply, “Sure. Why?”
“That way if JR comes up, he has an easier way to get down,” Jordy answered. He knew JR was too young to go up now, but it wouldn’t be that
much longer, right? Or was he being stupid about the idea?
Gibbs looked proud at the suggestion, though. “Sounds like a great idea. That’s very considerate of you to think of him,” he praised.
Jordy blushed, pleased that he made his male Alpha proud. “He’s family, and we’ve both lost a dad; we have to look out for each other. Right, Oz?” he inquired of his older cousin.
“Number one rule,” Oz agreed. He knew that Jordy saw Gibbs as another Alpha and actually was okay with it. If the situation were different, he knew that his cousin would have placed him in that role, but Oz’s laid-back attitude wasn’t that of an Alpha – not like Buffy and Gibbs’ personalities. They were born to be Alphas.
Buffy and Gibbs smirked, each knowing they had their own number one rule and that wasn’t it. But it was a good rule anyway; they both agreed silently it was just as important as theirs.
Gibbs started to wonder if maybe he should try again with his own father – if only to let the man know Buffy was alive. Huh, he realized it wasn’t hard to think of her as Buffy anymore; the first month or so, he had to work to keep from calling her Kelly, but now it wasn’t an issue for him anymore.
The young lady in question was thinking about different family members…sort of. She was worried about Anya. The grieving widow barely left her room, except for meals and walks with JR. The nights Buffy wasn’t comforting Jordy, she spent holding a crying Anya. There had to be something to help Anya so she wasn’t risking her children’s physical or mental health. But it was doubtful Anya would want to build a treehouse too. What things made Anya happy?
While the guys planned their little hideaway, Buffy went to her room to ponder the other situation.
The mourning period for Anya and JR went much the same way. They shared a room on the other side of Buffy’s because it had a small alcove that worked well as a nursery area. When JR graduated from his crib, he would need his own room, though.
Buffy tried to think of what could bring Anya out of her shell of grief. Well, for things that made Anya the happiest – aside from JR, that is – orgasms were out; sex always complicated life, even if it was supposedly ‘strings-free’. Umm, making money? Maybe, but Anya wanted to be a stay-at-home mom until the kids started school. Okay, there were ways to make money at home, so that was a possibility. That left talking about her demon days.
Sheesh, Buffy had one of those ‘Here’s your sign’ moments. They had never really asked Anya about her time as a vengeance demon ‘cause she would always go into the gruesome ways she made men pay for scorning various women. But there were other things she knew from those 1100+ years…other demons. When she’d let something slip during their research sessions and they asked why she didn’t say something earlier, she would reply that they didn’t ask.
Deciding now was the best time to tackle this, Buffy let herself into Anya’s room after getting the okay. She went over to the window seat where Anya was staring out at the woods. “Hey, Ahn? You need to get out of your bedroom for more than eating or short walks. I know it’s hard, but Xander would want more for you and JR.”
Anya looked up at her friend with pain-filled eyes. “I don’t know who I am, Buffy. My whole existence has been tied to a guy: Aud and Olaf, Anyanka and D’Hoffryn, Anya and Xander. Who am I without them?” she pleaded.
Buffy sat down and slung her arm around her friend, giving her a gentle squeeze. “You still have a guy to define part
of your life: JR. But that’s not the point. The point is you are Anya
; we just have to find out more about her.”
“How do I do that, though?” Anya persisted.
Deciding it was necessary to share one of the most painful times in her life, Buffy began to speak, “When I came back and found out Dawn ‘ceased to be’, I had the same sort of identity crisis. My blood family was gone and I didn’t want
to be the Slayer anymore. Without those two things to define me, I didn’t know who Buffy was.”
Anya remembered those early days post-resurrection for Buffy. It was only after Giles showed up and took control of the situation that the blonde Slayer stopped looking quite so trapped by life. “What changed that? When you came back from your sabbatical with Giles, you seemed to know who you were.”
“It was a suggestion of Giles’. I wrote my memoirs…from my earliest memories to my thoughts and feelings after coming back. The first draft was pretty rough; my mind kept skipping around.” Buffy laughed softly as she recalled the time. “There were a few parts I repeated, sometimes more than once. But I just wrote everything out as it came to me. When I couldn’t think of anything new, I organized my writing, and that helped me fill in a few more things.”
“How did that help?” Anya wondered aloud.
Buffy sighed. “To be honest, I’m not sure I can explain. Maybe it was just the reminder that I didn’t have to choose between Buffy and the Slayer; I could be both of them. Now, you obviously have more past to cover, but it still might help you. If nothing else, you have to know enough about demons to fill several of the Council’s resource books. It’d be a shame to let that knowledge be wasted. But the important thing is for you to work out your problem; the other part can just be a good side effect, ‘k?”
The idea of sharing her vast experience in the demonic world appealed to the ex-vengeance demon…a lot. “Actually, writing a demon manual might be just what I need. That would give me a sense of purpose again. Not to mention, it would help make up for all the pain and suffering I caused over the years.”
Grateful that Anya was showing signs of coming out of her grief-induced funk, Buffy gladly encouraged her, “Hey, the Council would appreciate the inside scoop from someone we can trust. So, ready to face the rest of the house?” she asked, standing and offering a hand to her friend.
“I think so.” Anya took the help standing, she had been sitting far too long to get up on her own. Buffy was right; Xander wouldn’t like her moping about like this. Speaking of her dearly departed husband… “Oh, I just remembered that I need to threaten your father for Xander; he made me promise that I would,” she explained.
Rather than feel put out by the comment, Buffy just smiled. If anything, she was happy Anya thought of it. The ‘shovel talk’ was an essential part of being a Scooby. “Will it be a Xander threat or an Anya one?” she questioned, worried that her dad might be in for a vivid threat if it was the latter.
“Hmm, a little of both, I think,” Anya responded after considering it. She loved Xander, but his threats were not very creative.
“Can’t wait to see what you come up with. Let’s get moving. He’s helping Oz and Jordy design a treehouse for the kids,” Buffy told the other blonde. She went on to explain, “Part of Jordy’s grieving therapy.”
At that information, Anya frowned. “You’re not supposed to tell me about nice things he’s doing! That will make it harder to properly threaten him!” she remarked with a hint of pouting in her voice.
And so the next few weeks passed. Anya worked studiously on her demon journal, and the guys quickly built the treehouse, choosing to wait until spring for some of the additions, like the swinging tire. Still, they had a good – if somewhat cold – sleepout the first Friday after it was finished. Buffy had been kept busy bringing hot chocolate and coffee out to keep them warm, and had a warm fire roaring before they shuffled in come daybreak, teeth chattering from the cold.
Buffy and Anya laughed themselves silly at the sight of Jordy, Oz and Gibbs half-frozen in front of the fireplace. Then they took pity and brought breakfast as well as extra blankets to them so they wouldn’t have to move. It was promptly decided that any further sleepouts would wait until warmer weather, too.
A/N: Next…Christmas in DC.