Into: Feels Like Today
Title: Joyce Summers, White-Lighter
Disclaimer: Joss owns dear Joyce, Spelling & Co. own the White-lighters, I own Sheyle.
Summary: There’s more to her death than meets the eye. All she has to do is make the choice.
A/N: So I never really watched much after the season when Paige was introduced (the convenience of it all irked me at the time, though I did watch it in reruns later on) so I missed a lot of the ‘how white lighters are made’ bit. From what I remembered of the first few seasons were - you lived a human life, died, and then were transformed into guardian white lighters. If you weren’t pissed off about the big reveal, you became a white-lighter and if you were pissed off you became a dark-lighter. So that’s the conversion process we’re sticking with. That said, there will be little interaction with the Charmed ones. Joyce, like Hank in the previous installment, will be slightly transformed as she has interactions with her daughters. Joyce Summers, White-Lighter
Into: Feels Like Today
Joyce finished arranging the flowers Brian had sent her, sniffing delicately at the blossoms. He was so thoughtful and sweet. But he wasn’t… Joyce shook her head at such thoughts. She’d moved on from Hank. Had nearly five years ago. She’d been with other men since then, and God knew he’d moved on. She spoke weekly with his svelte Spanish secretary Sheyle for Dawn’s sake. Buffy didn’t even bother with the weekly calls anymore.
That alone should make her hate him. And part of her did. She shook her head and brushed her hands down her skirt. Joyce made her way into the living room, basking in the warmth of the sun hitting down on the house. She’d just sat down when she remembered she ought to have put a little more water in the vase. Joyce started to rise, her head aching. Why did it ache? She sat back down and as soon as she hit the couch, she was dead.
It didn’t feel like dying when it happened. No. It felt like nothing. It happened suddenly, there wasn’t any real pain - just a headache. Her spirit hadn’t left the room she’d died in. The only way she knew she was dead was the fact that her flowers from Brian had wilted a bit, and the house was deathly quiet.
“Joyce,” a voice she knew far too well spoke from behind her.
“Your name’s not really Brian, is it?” she sighed, her fingers ghosting over the picture of her and the girls.
“No, it’s not,” the man formerly known as Brian stepped out of the hall.
“And I’m dead, aren’t I?”
“You are,” Not-Brian replied. “It was an aneurism.”
“Ah, natural causes. We don’t get those often here in Sunnydale. Normally it’s a gang high on PCP,” Joyce brushed away the tears thinking of her girls being on their own now.
“Joyce, do you know why I’m here?” Not-Brian asked, resting a hand gently on her shoulder.
“Besides laying in the groundwork for our post-date death match?” Joyce shrugged away from him, anger coursing through her. “You did know
I was going to die the next day, didn’t you?”
“Yes. I initiated the date so I wouldn’t be a stranger when your time came to make a choice.”
“A choice?” Joyce stepped back from him, her arms wrapping tightly around her.
“You’re one of those very few individuals who have an innate qualitiy for compassion. You’ve become a mother and confidant to a group of champions for the side of good, when you could have very easily pushed away from all of them,” he didn’t crowd her.
“I couldn’t. Well, I did - for one moment with Buffy but - I was scared and -” Joyce took a calming breath.
“And yet you still protected her and the construct with your life.”
? You mean Dawn?” Panic flooded her, tinged slightly with anger at the mention of her youngest daughter. How could he know her Dawnie wasn’t really her baby?
“Yes, the Key, and even that reaction - to protect and nurture her
is a sign of how perfect you are for this job.”
“What job? What are you talking about?”
“Joyce Summers, you’ve been called to be a White-Lighter, a guardian angel of sorts to those in the supernatural communities. And I am here to guide you along that path.”