Two: Fall Apart Again
Title: Joyce Summers, White-Lighter
Disclaimer: Joss owns dear Joyce, Spelling & Co. own the White-lighters, I own Sheyle and Malachi. (Although someone else owns his old last name.)
Summary: There’s more to her death than meets the eye. All she has to do is make the choice.
A/N: Set during the season 6 finale. Also? My sneaky way of working yet another dead Buffyverse person back into the Resurrected ‘Verse. Joyce Summers, White-Lighter
Two: Fall Apart Again
Jaylin smiled as she peeked in on where her daughters were. She wasn’t supposed to, because her urge to interfere was too great. She’d already been reprimanded by the Elders more that once because of this. But technically, she was also in Sunnydale on business. How her heart ached at the thought of what that business entailed. Turning away from the sight of her two girls working together, she orbed herself back to where Malachi and Tara waited for her.
The younger blonde sat shaking, not coming quite to terms with her death. Malachi looked nervously between the two of them. It was going to be harder to shake her from her death than it had been for Jaylin.
“I’m not sure what I can do for her, Jaylin,” Malachi whispered. “You fought us when we came for you, she’s been sitting there since the others found the girl.”
Tara sat with her knees under her cheek, her eyes staring blankly at the blood on the carpet of Jaylin’s old bedroom floor - her
blood. Before Buffy and Xander had found Dawn staring at her body in shock and grief, Tara had been hovering around the girl. Unable to touch or comfort the girl who’d become the younger sister to all of the Scoobies, Tara hadn’t been able to focus on her own circumstances. She’d wanted to protect Dawn, and her focus had been on that.
“I’ve got it, Mal,” Jaylin smiled.
She waited while he orbed away. As soon as he was gone, she willed her appearance to change back into the skin she hadn’t worn in over a year. Tara’s head jerked up in surprise.
“Hello, Tara,” Joyce smiled sadly at the girl as she knelt beside her.
“Is this - is it heaven?” Tara asked.
“No, honey, it’s not,” Joyce sighed, setting her hands on Tara’s. “It’s the between.”
“Certain people, like you and I, we get a choice when our lives come to their predestined endings.”
“Predestined? I was supposed to be shot?” Tears gathered in her eyes.
“Yes,” Joyce took a breath. “They’ve been watching your life for a long time.”
“White-lighters, like me. We’re kind of like guardian angels, only slightly more hands-on. We can’t interfere in predestined dates in the time-line, but in those that would upset the balance.”
“They watched you?”
“Yeah, they did.”
And she was still pissed at Not-Brian for that some days. Other days, like the ones when she got to peek in on Henrik and the girls, she silently thanked them. There were perks to being dead, after all.
“H-how can I leave them like this? Who’ll look after Dawn? Who’ll be there to rationalize and sympathize with Anya? Give disapproving looks to Spike?” Tara blinked.
“Tara, you can only mother them for so long,” Jaylin brushed Tara’s hair back from her face. “Sometimes, you have to let go so they can find their own way. But I know so many people who need that same guiding hand that you selflessly gave the Scoobies. I can only do so much on my own. Will you help me?”