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A Great Mother No Matter What

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This story is No. 28 in the series "Yu-Gi-Oh Crossovers, Prompts and Oneshots". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Even Joyce Summers and Seto Kaiba had mothers once.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anime > Yu-Gi-Oh!BuffyKaibaHuntFR712,3760143219 Mar 1119 Mar 11Yes
Hey there! :) Here’s a new Buffy/Yu-Gi-Oh oneshot I cooked up. I was reading these great stories about Buffy’s mom, Joyce Summers, and it got me to thinking of a new crossover oneshot I could try my hand at. Plus, it is my opinion that Kristine Sutherland did a great job bringing Joyce to life on the show and made her the mother we all wish we had – kind and loving, but also stern when it comes to discipline as well.

I’m sure that Kristine felt kind of sad when she saw the Season 5 episodes “The Body” and “Forever” and knew that her character, on whom she based her own experiences of being a mother herself, had died. But she also accepted that her character was going to die as she was going to spend some time in Europe, and was absent for the fourth season on Buffy because she had been traveling.

A few oneshots I read on FanFiction.Net were Separation: verb: To break, to come apart by Summers-Girl (such a great writer and reviewer), Merry Christmas, I don’t want to fight tonight by Beer Good, and My Darling Daughter by my friend Britt, aka magicaltears. They’re such great stories. Plus, those three author friends of mine really inspired me to write this. So I dedicate this to them.

This takes place during the Season 2 summer, when Buffy is in Los Angeles.

Disclaimer: Genius Joss Whedon owns Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Kazuki Takahashi (also a genius) owns Yu-Gi-Oh. I own the oneshots, songfics, poems and stories.


A Great Mother No Matter What

(Michael)
Why does Monday come before Tuesday?
Why do summers start in June?
Why do winters come too soon?
Why do people fall in love
When they’re always breaking up?
Oh, why?
Why do we love if love will die?

(Michael & Taryll)
Why does Wednesday come after Tuesday?
Why do flowers come in May?
Why does springtime go away?
Why do people fall in love
When they're always breaking up?
Oh, why?
Why do I love you? tell me why

–Michael Jackson feat. 3T, Why


It was Saturday. Overcast and a little bit cold. But Kaiba didn’t mind this a bit. He was, after all, wearing the warmest clothes he had picked out of his closet – a black turtleneck, black slacks, and black boots with a high heel in the back. Over the turtleneck was his favorite winter coat, zipped up. It was the color of his favorite Duel Monster card – namely, the Blue Eyes White Dragon.

So, wearing all those clothes, he was perfectly fine and able to stay warm.

He was heading to 1630 Revello Drive. There were houses there. But none of them caught his attention and held it for so long like one of them did.

It was the house that belonged to none other than...

Joyce Summers, mother of Buffy Summers.

Finally, Kaiba was right in front of the door he had knocked on so many times before. In front of his feet was the threshold that Joyce and Buffy had invited him to cross over so many times before, usually at Thanksgiving (as he had tried turkey once before when his own mother, alas now dead, had brought it home from the grocery store, and had since developed a liking for it) and Christmastime (as Buffy usually smiled at him, full of good cheer, and assured him that no one should be alone on Christmas).

Then before he raised his hand to knock, the door suddenly opened, and there stood Joyce. For the first time, it was just her.

Alone.

Without her daughter.

Kaiba didn’t need words to tell him exactly what it was that had transpired. Buffy was gone. She had run off to Los Angeles.

“Please, Seto, come on in.”

“Thank you, Ms. Summers.”

Joyce grinned. “Please, call me Joyce.”

Her melodic voice almost brought tears to Kaiba’s eyes as he stepped over the threshold and Joyce closed the door behind him. He then chose a cream-colored leather couch and sat down, and Joyce joined him. He then noticed the sadness, the guilt, the fear and the anger in those lovely chocolate eyes of hers.

Just like my mother, he thought.

Joyce had long since heard about Kaiba’s family history, including what his mother had been like. However, there was one question she had always wanted to ask him – namely, whether or not his parents were still married when they had died. She had been wondering about that whenever Kaiba had asked her about her own mother and what she had been like. She remembered laughing while recalling those antics of hers as a kid (such as playing dress-up with her mom’s clothes after her mom told her not to do so, and how her mother had simply laughed after finding out and told her that she was kidding) and also crying (such as when she had heard of her mother’s death, as she and her mother had been very close, almost as if they really were sisters rather than mother and daughter). Joyce even told him that she and her mother did have fights, but rarely anything major.

Finally, Kaiba then asked the one question she had been waiting for him to come up with the whole time.

“Joyce, I’ve heard from Buffy about how you and her dad... divorced. What was that like for you?”

Joyce thought for a moment, thinking over her answer. Suddenly Kaiba then said, “I’m very sorry I asked you that question, Joyce. It has nothing to do with me anyway.”

It was then that Joyce looked up at Kaiba and smiled. Giving a little shake of the shoulders, she then replied, “Why shouldn’t you ask questions, Seto? You are much too bright not to wonder about things sometimes. You are bound to ask one questions in the end anyway. After all, even I haven’t learned everything there is to know about and in life itself. All too often, sometimes a question flies out of my mouth before I have a chance to think it over and put the words in the right order. So, I know how you feel.”

Kaiba blinked in surprise. So Joyce actually knew how he felt as she sometimes had the same thing happen to her.

“And as for what happened between me and Hank,” she went on after a moment, “I’m sure Buffy has told you all about how we found out she was the Slayer.” Kaiba nodded. “Well, as a result, Hank and I admitted her to the insane asylum. We thought she was making it up, and that she just had a psychosomatic illness.”

While Joyce took a moment to think over her next words, Kaiba took the opportunity to say,
“Psychosomatic... that means that it’s all in one’s head, right?”

Joyce nodded, and then resumed her tale.

“Well, actually Hank thought she had invented that story. But that was because of the reason that the both of us never considered the idea that the supernatural might exist. And deep down, I really wanted to believe her – I really did. When she got out, Buffy never brought up her being the Slayer again.”

“She’s told me about how she was expelled from Hemery High because of her burning down the gym,” said Kaiba.

Joyce nodded again. “However, the fights between me and Hank started quite some time before we found out she was the Slayer. Usually it would be small arguments over trivial things – like money. But then they would get bigger, usually like over big things, such as Buffy’s clothes and such.
“I don’t know,” she added. “I just was under so much stress.”

Kaiba nodded in understanding. He knew what stress felt like, so he pretty much shared something they both knew about.

After pausing to gather her thoughts and think over the right way to phrase them, Joyce then said,
“I suppose it’s time I told you about how I reacted when Buffy, for the second time, told me that she was a vampire Slayer.”

When Kaiba nodded, she could tell that he wanted to know all about it, so she went on with her tale.

“Well, it was after that vampire came out of nowhere, and I suddenly saw, for the first time, that Buffy had been right about what her destiny was, and that she also had been right about the vampires all along. I just refused to open my eyes to the truth.

“Anyway, Buffy then whipped out the stake she had with her and plunged it right into the vampire’s heart. Almost instantaneously, the vampire transfigured into dust and blew away in the wind. I was... quite surprised. But I was also secretly very intrigued. However, well, what I did and said next is what I will regret for the rest of my life.”

She stopped. Kaiba, noticing the pain this had brought on, reached over with one of his hands and covered her own with it.

“It’s all right, Joyce,” he said, trying to keep the sympathy in his voice at the right level. “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. I understand if it’s too painful for you to talk about.”

Joyce gave him a grateful smile. It was then that, as she sometimes did, she wished her mother was here with her so she could pour her heart out to her and ask her for help and advice, just as she had done as a kid, and sometimes as a teenager.

But sadly, Joyce’s mother was now in Heaven, a place where those who had died – sometimes long before it was their time to leave – would come together as one big family... kind of.

Joyce took a deep breath, and then finished her tale. “Well, after the vampire had vanished into dust on the wind – neat choice of words, now that I think about it – and before Buffy turned to leave, it was then that I turned to Buffy and spoke the words I wished then that I hadn’t spoken at all, and still do even now: ‛If you leave this house right now, don’t even think about coming back’.” She shook her head, as though to wish away the memory of the sting that her words had brought on and the hurt look in her daughter’s eyes.

“I see.” Kaiba thought for a moment while Joyce waited patiently for him to get his thoughts together. “And how did Buffy take it?”

“Well, suffice it to say that Buffy took me at my word. She packed her bags, left me a note but not a hug or kiss goodbye, and left. Now, I sit here, waiting for her to come back home. Of course, it used to be that she would sneak out without me knowing and I would sit up, waiting for her to come back so I could surprise her on her return from what it was she felt she had to do. Now it’s different – she’s out there, and it seems as though I’ve been waiting, for hours maybe, so I can see her return safely.

“I instantly felt terrible about what I had said to her before she left, and I still do. I guess I forgot to use my brain in the right way when my anger overtook me and pushed every rational thought out of my head.”

She then looked down at her hands, covered by Kaiba’s, and bit down on her lower lip – hard, but not too hard enough so that it drew blood. Kaiba looked at her sadly, his azure orbs now holding hints of sadness like a person holding a candle in a dark place.

“I’m sorry, Joyce,” he said. “I wish there was something I could do to assist you in feeling better.”

Then, after what seemed like forever even though it was only just a few seconds, Joyce looked up at Kaiba, her dark chocolate eyes looking into his own dark-blue ones, and said, “It’s OK, Seto. I know the fault’s not yours. It’s just that I blame myself for driving Buffy away the way I did.”

Kaiba replied, “It’s natural for one to blame oneself over a situation they had no control over, especially when a loved one dies for no apparent reason at all. I know. I’ve talked to a lot of people who felt – and still feel – that it was their fault they lost someone they loved.”

This time when Joyce looked up at him, her eyes showed surprise. She was not alone in feeling the same way? Kaiba had met with people who felt the exact same way she was now feeling? That sure was something big. Very big indeed.

Then after an hour passed, Kaiba got up and then hugged Joyce, and told her, “Don’t worry. Buffy will come back. I’m sure of it.”

Joyce nodded. As Kaiba walked out the door after waving goodbye, she smiled, remembering her own mother and what she herself had been like at Buffy’s age – a teenager with Gidget hair, having to deal with hormones and struggling with emotions that often got mixed up. Luckily, all that time working on the yearbook must’ve helped her, because it was then that Joyce remembered something she had read in a book once: “It is very healthy to write things out”.

She smiled as that saying came back to her now, and then closed the door.

Before she climbed the stairs to her room so she could lie down and get some rest for a few hours, Joyce paused and looked back at the couch – and where Kaiba once sat. She now felt good knowing that he was right – after all, she was not alone when it came to blaming oneself for something that was out of that person’s control.

“Thanks, Seto. You always know the right thing to say. I’m sure your mother would be proud of you, just as I know my mother would be proud of me regardless of my flaws.”

As the words escaped her lips, she knew they were very true. Very true indeed.

Even Seto Kaiba and Joyce Summers had mothers once.

~Finis

Well, I hope you liked this as much as I liked writing it. It was kind of tough to write, but I’m sure I pulled it off fine.

The End

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