“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” trademark (® and TM) and copyright (©) 20th Century Fox Television, Mutant Enemy, Kuzui Enterprises, Sandollar Television, and Dark Horse Comics, Inc. All rights reserved.
“Swans Crossing” trademark (® and TM) Newlifier Limited and copyright (©) Heliosphere Productions, and Sachs Film Distribution, Inc. All rights reserved.
The author is not affiliated in any way with any of the trademark or copyright holders.
The story is provided solely as an entertainment resource. No copyright infringement is intended nor implied.Chapter 1: A New Beginning
Joyce Rutledge had just graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a major in Art/History when she found out she was pregnant. When she told her boyfriend, Hank Summers, that he was going to be a father, he proposed on the spot. She accepted.
When she told her parents, they were overjoyed at the thought of being grandparents, but voiced their disapproval of her pending marriage to Hank. They reminded her how very easy it had been for her to steal him away from his previous girlfriend at their very first meeting and warned her that another girl could very easily do the same to her.
Joyce dismissed their fears and stayed with Hank. As soon as they found out that she was having a girl, the baby names discussion inevitably followed. Joyce wanted to call her baby Sydney, but felt it didn’t sit right with Summers as a last name, and Hank refused to have his child bearing the Rutledge name only.
In the end, they chose the name Buffy Anne Summers. They were perfectly happy up until a point in the pregnancy where Joyce either couldn’t or wouldn’t have sex anymore. Hank turned to another girl to relieve his frustration. And Joyce found out. When Joyce threatened to leave, Hank begged for a second chance.
In the Buffy series, Joyce gave him that chance. She married Hank and her parents wrote her out of their will in disgust. Buffy grew up in Los Angeles, never knowing her grandparents, who died when she was very young and before Joyce had the chance to reconcile with them. Because the demon population in Los Angeles is so large, Buffy became desensitised to the evil vibrations from demonic creatures, including vampires. Of course, spending three weeks in an insane asylum — being pumped full of drugs — further dulled her senses.
This is the story of what happened when Joyce chose to heed her parents’ warning and didn’t forgive Hank for cheating on her. She gave him back his ring and moved back with her parents on the other side of the country. Not wanting to acknowledge Hank as the father of her child, Joyce decided to change her unborn daughter’s name back to her first choice: Sydney Orion Rutledge. Sydney was the darling of her grandparents until a tragically fatal car crash on a particularly nasty corner.
Joyce joined the town council to ensure that the dangerous corner would be changed in some way to remove the danger. Not only was she successful in her endeavour, but Joyce found such satisfaction in making the town a better place for her neighbours that she stayed, and in a few short years she was elected Mayor. Swans Crossing, as opposed to Los Angeles, had a non-existent demon community, leaving Sydney hypersensitive to any evil vibrations she would encounter later in life.Friday, 25 August 1995, Swans Crossing, New York
“I’m not worried,” Sydney Rutledge told Garrett Booth with a shake of her head as soon as he came up to her, obviously intent on ruining her pool party the same way he’d ruined everything else in her life for the last few months.
“You could have fooled me,” Garrett retorted with a smirk, not even bothering to face her.
“As soon as you show that birth certificate to your father, he’s going to know it’s a pathetic lie,” she said matter-of-factly. The birth certificate in question was a clever blend of Sydney’s original certificate with that of Sandy Swan, a girl who had been born on the same day and within minutes of Sydney. Sandy and Sydney were as different as two girls could be.
Sydney was an only child who lived with her single mother, was the sole heir to the family fortune, and used her position as the Mayor’s daughter to hold sway over her fellow peers. On the other hand, Sandy was the eldest of six — at last count — children who lived with her two parents who both worked long hours for low paying jobs, leaving Sandy in charge of her siblings most of the time.
“That’s just it,” he said, turning to give her one of his special self-congratulatory smiles. “I’m not going to show it to my father. I’m going to wait for the concert.”
“You wouldn’t,” Sydney responded automatically even though she’d long since given up on drawing any limits where Garrett was concerned. It still seemed to shock her every time he did it — to her anyway.
Sydney was the chair person of the concert committee, in charge of making sure that the concert ran smoothly and impressing the town so much with her abilities that they would re-elect her mother for Mayor. If Garrett made that speech, then not only would she be at fault for not having stopped him from doing so and ruining the concert altogether, but the townsfolk would vote for Grant Booth in the election instead.
“Then I’m going to announce the fact that you are Sandy and Sandy is you,” Garrett said as he folded his arms across his chest and drew himself up tall, allowing the full weight of his total arrogance to come crashing down upon her head. “The press will circle like sharks and your mother’s campaign will be like bait.”
“You...” Sydney felt the last shred of her regard for her ex-boyfriend dissolve in the face of his blatant disregard for her person and clear love of being the manipulator. In fact, she couldn’t even remember what it was about him that had attracted her in the first place. “You’re sick!” she said in disgust.
Garrett simply continued to laugh at her expense. “Besides, your mother accused my father of losing all the town records,” he said. “Here’s one that hasn’t been lost.”
“How can you do this to me?” Sydney asked in despair. Yes, she had agreed to tell her mother about dating Garrett and yes, she had wimped out. But that had been two months ago. Wouldn’t he ever forgive her? It hadn’t been fair anyway.
Facing her mother was one thing, but facing her mother at the end of a football game when the entire town would be watching and having the press filming her every move just because she was the Mayor’s daughter was a whole other ball game.
“Of course, that’s if, uh...” Garrett paused, knowing that Sydney would have to rise to the bait.
“If what?” Sydney asked, swallowing the hook.
“If my plan to make myself indispensable to Mila’s career fails to impress my father,” he answered with an arrogant smile.
Sydney knew what that meant. That meant that he wanted her to talk to Billy Gunn — a British rock star who had come to town a few weeks ago — also known as Mr Sleaze — and make sure he had really spoken to Bobby Clark. Well, she sure as hell wasn’t talking to that pervert ever again if she could help it.
It wasn’t as though having the record producer hear Mila Rosnovsky try to sing was going to help matters. Mila couldn’t sing to save her life. She wasn’t even in tune when she tried to talk her way through a song.
Sydney stepped up nice and close to Garrett and looked him square in the eye. “You’re a dreamer,” she stated. She stood there long enough for his thick brain to process the message before she turned away.
Unfortunately, Garrett decided that he wasn’t taking any of her lip. He grabbed her sharply by her left, and therefore weaker, arm and pulled her back around to face him again. “I’m your worst nightmare,” he hissed, trying to look scary. If it hadn’t been for the fact that she had recently been having nightmares about men with severely disturbing facial features and fangs that always seemed to find her jugular no matter how badly she tried to fight them off, he might have succeeded. As it was...
Mayor Rutledge, who had chosen that most opportune time to arrive at the party, saw that her daughter was in trouble and immediately went to help her. Except her daughter appeared to be much better equipped to help herself than even she knew.
Sydney’s green eyes flashed dangerously as she viciously yanked her arm out of the boy’s grip. “Keep your hands off me,” she hissed and shoved him towards the pool. Her eyes widened in shock as Garrett flew, as if in slow motion, straight over the pool, passed the tables on the other side, and through a gap in the Chinese lanterns into the bushes that made up the opposite wall.