Title: Beyond the Sea
Summary: A long time ago, Joyce was taken from the sea and given a new life. She remembers her childhood as she raises her own daughters.
Disclaimer: Bioshock belongs to 2K games and BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon. None of it belongs to me, except the idea. I make no money from this.
Notes: God knows I have no right to start a new story with so many WIPs going, but hopefully I can finish this in one shot. It's a bunny that won't leave me alone.
This story is set after the “good” ending of the first Bioshock game, where Jack rescues the little sisters and takes them topside. One of the girls grows up, gets married, and has a daughter named Buffy.
This is a series of scenes that happen during Joyce's adult life, involving Joyce's memories of life as a Little Sister.
The song Joyce sings is to the tune of "Frere Jaques" and is an actual song sung in the game.
“Mr. Bubbles! It's an angel, Mr. Bubbles!” She drove the needle into the corpse, drawing out the red liquid, and drinking it from the nipple at the end of the extraction tool. She reached out for her Daddy and he scooped her up in his massive arms and put her on his shoulder. She felt so tall and safe up there, on top of big, brown diving suit. She sang a nonsense song as he carried her through their underwater city.
Joyce sat up with a gasp. She hadn't had that dream in so long. She had tried so hard to forget her childhood.
“Joyce?” Hank said, sleepily. “Are you okay?”
“Just a bad dream,” Joyce said. “I'm going to check on Buffy. Go back to sleep.”
Joyce stood up, placed her feet into slippers and walked out into the hall. She opened the door to Buffy's room and stepped inside. She smiled as she saw her three-year-old daughter holding onto her favorite doll, that had been Joyce's when she was small. Hank didn't understand why Joyce had given Buffy the hideous old doll that resembled an old diving suit with a drill on one hand, and a sort of cage over the face.
“Mr. Bubbles was my favorite toy when I was small,” Joyce had insisted. Hank had looked at her like she was crazy, but gave in eventually. Joyce needed Buffy to keep him close.
Joyce looked down and stroked the side of her daughter's face. She kissed Buffy's cheek and pulled the blanket over her. She smiled again as she saw Buffy pull Mr. Bubbles to her chest. Mr. Bubbles would keep Buffy safe, just as he had kept her safe all those years ago.
“Please Mommy?” Buffy begged again. “Everyone else gets to go to the beach.”
Joyce looked at her daughter's pleading eyes. She remembered when she was a teenager, living with Daddy Jack and the other girls in a big house in New Jersey that Mama Tenenbaum had helped him get. She remembered that girls had started disappearing from the coastal towns. After a while, Mama Tenenbaum figured out that somebody was making more Little Sisters, somebody was trying to put Rapture together again. Daddy Jack had forbid them from going near the ocean again, and Mama Tenenbaum had left them, going back down into Rapture again, to try and save the little ones. She hadn't seen Mama Tenenbaum again. Joyce had left New Jersey when she'd graduated high school, and gone out west, trying to get as far from Rapture as possible.
It was the eighties now, but there was still no way Joyce would let her daughters anywhere near the coast, at least until they hit puberty and they could no longer be used as hosts. Joyce looked into her daughter's green eyes, and smiled a sad smile.
“The ocean isn't safe for little girls,” Joyce insisted again. “But if you want to go swimming we'll go down to the Y after lunch, and you can swim in the pool.”
“Okay,” Buffy said, pouting a little. At least she'd get to swim.
“Hah!” Hank laughed at the TV. He was drunk, Joyce could tell that. “Genetic manipulation? They'll never make it work.”
“They already have,” Joyce said quietly, as she organized the bookshelf. She remembered Daddy Jack's plasmids, and how he could make fire come from his fingertips.
“What're'you talking 'bout?” Hank asked his wife.
“Nothing,” Joyce said. “It's nothing, don't worry about it.”
“I hate when you do that!” Hank said. “Always shutting me out and refusing to tell me things. Keeping some awful secrets from me? When are you going to let me in, Joyce?!” Hank was yelling. Joyce did what she always did when a man shouted, what she'd been conditioned to do since she was three, she ran and she cowered.
Joyce liked Sunnydale. Buffy had friends, Dawn was doing well in school, and she was close enough to the ocean to sometimes smell the salt air on a nice night. Tonight was one of those nights. Joyce was walking through Sunnydale, smelling the air and taking in the cool autumn breeze. Joyce loved looking up at the stars. When Daddy Jack had rescued Joyce and her sisters all those years ago, they had been so scared when they were outside. They had never seen stars before, and the only plants they had ever seen were the ones Professor Langford had grown in the gardens. Joyce had been born underwater.
Joyce walked through Sunnydale, thinking about how wonderful it was, when she heard a woman scream. Instinctively, she ran towards the scream, and saw a man with a deformed face trying to bite the girl, to drink her blood. Joyce felt her heart pound into her throat. Had the splicers escaped Rapture? Had they made it to California? Was this world going to be overrun too?
Joyce jumped on the man's back, momentarily reminded of the time she tackled Frank Fontaine just like this. She reached for her needle, but found nothing. She pulled off her shoe and started hitting him with it, driving the stiletto into his neck, his arm, his chest.
“Mr. Bubbles!” Joyce called out. She wished he was here, to protect her.
“Mom?” Buffy's voice was full of shock. Joyce turned to see Buffy, her two best friends and the librarian Mr. Giles there. Buffy was there in an instant, driving a wooden stake into the man's chest. The girl the monster had been attacking had fled when Joyce jumped him.
“Who's Mr. Bubbles?” Xander whispered to Willow.
“I dunno., but isn't it the name of that creepy rag doll Buffy has by her bed?” Willow whispered back.
“Mom,” Buffy said. “We should go back home. We have some things to talk about.”
Joyce was making breakfast for her girls, singing to herself quietly as she made up omlettes and pancakes.
“Mom?” Dawn said, coming into the kitchen. “What's that song you're singing?”
“Oh,” Joyce said. “It's nothing. Just a song the girls and I sang when we were little.”
“At the foundling home in New Jersey?” Dawn asked.
“Yeah,” Joyce said. She sang the song out clearly so Dawn could hear it.
Are you there?
Are you there?
Come and give me lollies,
Come and bring me toffees,
Joyce had always wanted to keep Rapture a secret. She never intended to tell her girls about her childhood under the sea. But now that she knew that Buffy was the Slayer, and there were real demons out there, she wondered if she could really shield them forever. What if her nightmares came true, and the splicers came up to the surface?
“You know, I was born under the ocean,” Joyce said. She and Giles had eaten a lot of chocolate and smoked some pot and drank some scotch. Now they were sitting in Giles' living room listening to an old Cream record.
“How was that?” Giles asked.
“There's a city, underwater, in the Atlantic ocean. It's called Rapture. It was built in the forties or fifties by a man called Andrew Ryan. I lived there until I was six or seven, I think. We stopped keeping count at the end.”
“Did you live there with your parents?” Rupert asked. He'd told Joyce his own story, and he'd been trying to impress her with hoe tough he was. He hadn't expected this revelation.
“Probably originally,” Joyce said. “But I don't remember them. I was put into the home for Little Sisters and made to work for the good of Rapture.” Joyce felt the story tumble out of her. She'd never told anyone these things, but the combination of pot, chocolate and alcohol was causing the words to slip out of her mouth. She told Rupert everything. Splicers, ADAM, Mama Tenenbaum, Daddy Jack, Frank Fontaine, and freedom. After it, Rupert looked at her in a different way, in a way no man had ever looked at her before. He looked at her like she was a marvel. And when they made love, it was more passionate than any of the times with Hank.
“Joyce, you need to come Home,” Masha said over the phone.
“Masha, I have a life here. I have daughters. I don't want to come back to New Jersey. It's too close to Rapture.”
“Papa Jack is dying, Joycie. He wants to see us all again. Come home, Joycie, and bring your girls with you. Let Papa Jack see them.”
“For Daddy Jack,” Joyce said. “Only for Daddy Jack.” She hung up and made the arrangements. If Daddy Jack wanted to meet her girls before he died, he'd meet her girls.
Joyce's death had been sudden. Nobody had expected it. In making the arrangements, Buffy called her Aunt Masha, who called the rest of the sisters, and they all came out to California. Buffy and Dawn had learned part of their mother's history when they had gone to New Jersey to meet their grandfather. But in going through Joyce's will, her personal effects, and meeting all her family, they learned so much more about their mother. They learned why she wouldn't let them go near the ocean when they were small. They learned about Rapture, and Joyce's childhood. And as they scattered Joyce's ashes into the sea, they knew she was at peace, and she was home.
So, I'm not expecting anyone to read this, because it's not a huge fandom, but if you get this far, will you please review?