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Lonely Souls

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Waifs and strays". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: The second (much longer) installment in the Waifs and Strays AU. Covers season 1. Please READ THE SERIES INTRODUCTION!

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Joyce-Centered(Current Donor)vidiconFR1595738,6431501333354,68128 May 119 Mar 14No

NOTE: This chapter is rated FR13

Repercussions and Revenge

Author’s note:

Edited: Many thanks to djhardim for the grammatical and spelling corrections.

Glendon has created a forum for Waifs and Strays!

Waifs and strays forum

DO NOT READ THIS CHAPTER UNTIL YOU’VE READ THE DEVIL OF SUNNYDALE ELEMENTARY!

Reviews and recommendations are most welcome.

Chapter 39: Repercussions and revenge

DO NOT READ THIS CHAPTER UNTIL YOU’VE READ THE DEVIL OF SUNNYDALE ELEMENTARY!

Gwen Ditchik was carefully studying her make up in the restroom the cool girls had claimed. The restroom that the losers only used at the risk of being verbally flayed by Cordelia and her friends. It was a free period for Gwen and she had taken the opportunity to reapply her armour. She smiled. Percy was a good as hers, he stood no chance.

She put her arms behind her back and pushed her breasts forward, trying poses to see which might be best suited to snare the boy. Suddenly she fell forward, pushed hard against the mirror, the glass breaking under the shock. Blood ran down her from a cut on her forehead face and covered some of the falling shards and the stunned girl felt her wrists being seized and cruelly bound together by tie wraps. A cruel, tinkling chuckle rang in her ears and she was turned round. She started to scream when the spray paint hit her clothes.  

 Arlene Ellis sat on the hard wooden chair in the school theatre and made a mental note to scrounge a pillow from her sister’s garage as her butt was getting rather stiff.

POM POMP PEP POP PPPOOOO!!! The enthusiastic noise of a Tuba rang through the auditorium and Arlene winced. Used though she was to the sounds of brass bands practicing, this was not the quality of play she was used to. She made a note on her clip board and wondered if Dawnie had a particular hatred for her to suggest she help with this particular event.

That was when she heard the screaming, and she ran towards the noise.

She arrived in the bathroom to find a sobbing, pink painted blonde girl who obviously had been face down in a toilet bowl sitting on the floor. Three other girls were rather ineffectually trying to help the blonde. As Arlene knelt by the girl to check her for injuries a well set up dark haired girl entered carrying a pair of scissors.   

“Okay Gwen, turn round and we’ll get your arms free. Did ya see who did it?”

“No one…there was no one there…” Gwen gulped.

“Did any of the paint get in your eyes Gwen?” Arlene asked as she tried to stem the bleeding with toilet paper.

“No, I had them closed. I got paint in my mouth…my clothes are ruined…” Gwen wailed. “My shoes!”

Arlene handed Gwen over to the nurse and asked the wood shop teacher to supply white spirits to clean the girl. She found a seat in the back of the empty theatre. And cried.

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Jenny Calendar smiled as she received the mail from Willow. And then frowned. This was the second time the girl had sent her a message while she should be in class…She needed to have words with that young lady.

These are Marcie’s records. She’s missing. Tell Dr. Meier, please. I’m a good girl, see? Please?

Jenny sighed and rubbed her face. “Who the hell is Marcie?” She muttered. She got up, glanced around the room and wrote the homework on the board, then ambled around helping students. She waited until a few minutes after the bell rang for break before walking to the library.

“Rupert?”

“Jenny, I’m in the office.”

Jenny leaned against the doorjamb and saw the librarian lean back in his chair. “Hello.”

“Hello. Did you manage to reach your friends? The ones you did not manage in the weekend?”

“Yes indeed, all but one, but he was the one I did not expect to find.”

“Good, good. Ummm…Rupert? Willow sent me a mail, about a girl called Marcie, who’s apparently missing?”

“Willow? Why would she do that? I understand that Simon was looking into that…” He pulled his lip.

“Simon? Since when is it Simon and not Dr. Meier?”

“Since we had a night of drinking with Sid and I confessed about Eyghon.”

“Oh…I didn’t realise things had gotten so, well, relaxed between the two of you.”

“He…I’ll try and explain later. It’s complicated.” He took off his glasses and started to clean them.

“You’re not in some deep homo erotic male boarding school spanking fetish bonding or something together are you, English?”

Giles spluttered and dropped the glasses. “What? No! Where do you get these ideas?”

“Wishful thinking? Two well set up men with canes…” Jenny put on an exaggeratedly wistful expression.

Jenny! Really!” Giles was blushing furiously and Jenny grinned.

“Anyway, someone needs to talk to Willow. She can’t just go off and hack into every place she feels like.”

“True. I’ll call her mother; she seems to have the most influence over the girl.”

“Yeah, I can imagine, so, errr…”

“Yes?”

“Why did Willow send me the stuff about this Marcie?”

Giles perked up. “Ah that. Let me explain.”

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Okay, I really, really mean it: DO NOT READ THE REST OF THIS CHAPTER UNTIL YOU’VE READ THE DEVIL OF SUNNYDALE ELEMENTARY!

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Arlene sat at the kitchen island looking on as Joyce and Simon worried.

“She should have called…”

“Why would she run away? Lewis was right outside…”

“She’s not with Janice I checked…”

And wondered if her little Evy ever had parents who worried about her so.

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Giles walked into the library on Tuesday morning to see the Slayerettes gathered at the table, looking tired and shaken.

“Buffy? Willow? Xander? What’s wrong?”

Xander took a deep breath. “We’re getting a new sister.”

“Good lord? Ms. Summers is pregnant?”

Buffy grimaced. Xander looked thoughtful, a fact Giles noted. Willow giggled.

“No, though that would be really cool, I mean it would be awesome to have a real little baby sister like that, I mean wouldn’t it be great, Buffy? Or a brother? I mean I think Mom and Dad would love to!”

“Breathe, Wills.” Buffy smiled. “No, Her name’s Kit Holburn, she goes to school with Dawn, had to stake her Mom and has been living rough since May.

Giles sat down. “Good lord. The poor child.”

“Yeah, and then Dawn’s vigilante army beat her up. She’s in hospital, it’ll be a couple of weeks before she can go to school again but she’ll be coming home at the end of the week; just in time for Halloween.”

“Dawn’s vigilante army?”

“Yup, she set up a group to fight Kit because she was a bully.”

“Good lord.”

“Yeah, you can say that again.”

“Well, have we made any progress towards finding Miss Ross?”

“No, we’re not even sure it’s her yet.”

The bell rang and the teens went off to class, still subdued. Rupert Giles sat back in his chair deep in thought. Then he shook himself and dialled the number for the Sunnydale Gallery.

“Ms. Summers? Rupert Giles. Miss Calendar and I are worried about Willow’s computer use…”

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Dawn Leibovitch sat alone in the student lounge, blowing gum bubbles and allegedly studying French. She did not hear the stealthy footsteps approach as the music blared from her headphones. The bucket full of scummy water that was upended over her and then the bucket put over her head being hit very hard with a bat came as a surprise. The soft chuckle made shivers run down her spine even as she started to scream.

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Arlene Ellis swore softly as the sound of the flute dwindled away. She’d tried to follow it but even though the music was pervasive, its origin was hard to pinpoint. It also didn’t help she was distracted. The whole thing with Kit had her on edge. She really wanted to find her daughter before Evy ended up killing someone or getting killed. She did know that a certain young lady would be getting a firm talking too. She sighed and walked along the hall, wondering what Simon had managed to find out.

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“Hello Kit, how are you?” 

“Fine, thank you Ms. Summers.” Kit looked up from the book she had been reading and Joyce blinked in surprise. Profiling the criminally insane was hardly the sort of title a nine year old could be expected to read.

“Isn’t that a bit adult, Kit?” She shook her head remembering who she was talking to. “Actually, probably not.” She walked over to the bed and kissed a surprised Kit on the forehead.

“It-It was Mom’s last birthday gift. It was very expensive…” Kit hugged the book, as if she was afraid it would be taken away. Joyce sat by the bed and smiled.

“Kit, a few things. I’m not your real mother, your real mother did her utmost to make sure you had the very best life she could give you, she even saved up for you in a college fund. She was, and always will be your Mom. I will never try to replace her, but I hope that in time you may consider me, well, a proxy. I will never take any of the things she bought you away or belittle them.”

She looked at the table where Kit’s old clothes were lying. “Well, with some exceptions, I fear that a lot of your clothing is beyond salvation.”

Kit nodded. “Okay.”

“But we are going to buy you things and we don’t want you to feel guilty about it because your mother couldn’t. I’m sure she would have loved to give you the things we will give you if she’d been able to afford to.”

“Okay.”

“Which leads to some bad news…Sunnydale Elementary doesn’t want you back until you’ve shown you can behave properly among your peer group.”

“You mean not beat up my school mates? Yeah, I was afraid of that…” Kit looked down at her hands that were clenched around the hardback.

“So we’ll send you to St. Ursula’s for the rest of the school year and after that you can go back to Elementary, if you want to.”

“But-But that’s real expensive!”

“Ah…well then we get to some facts. I’m not poor. Not rich, but well, not poor. Simon, my errr…”

“Boyfriend?” Kit grinned.

“I suppose the term will have to do, well Simon is rich. Very, very rich. He can easily afford to send you to St. Ursula’s. The big problem is that you can’t really let people know how rich Simon is, because, well then you might get kidnapped.”

Kit looked thoughtful. “Yeah, that would be pretty awful.” She tried to put the book on the side table but her injuries got in the way and Joyce took it and put it there. She smiled at the little girl.

“A fan of Darlin’ Starlin’ I see.”

“Don’t call her that! She hates to be called that!” Kit scowled.

Joyce laughed. “I know, so you are a fan?’

“I want to be a profiler just like her. Help people and save them.” Kit said firmly.

“Do you now? Well, it’s different from Dawn; she wanted to become a Ballet dancer.” Joyce smiled down at Kit.

Kit giggled. “Oh yeah, I saw what she did to the Ballet Brawlers, none of them dared look her in the eye until she set up the Rangers.”

“Y-you seem quite, well…”

“Laid back?” Kit shrugged. “Ms. Summers, I never expected it to last, I thought I’d be back with the Rosses within a week of Mom… of Mom…”

Joyce hugged the self composed girl as a few tears ran down her face. “Sorry…”

“Don’t apologize dear. Don’t ever apologize for mourning.”

“Okay…well, it was weird, but before Dawn came, nobody stood up to me, I felt sorta, well dead. Alone.”

“You were alone dear. You aren’t anymore.” Joyce comforted the little girl.

“I-is Dawn gonna be punished?” Kit asked uncertainly.

“Yes. She is.” Joyce’s face was firm.

“Oh. Does she have to be?”

“What?”

“Well if she hadn’t done what she did you would not have known about me right? If she’d just told you she was being bullied, you’d just have called the school and then the school would have tried to call Mom and then Social Services and then I’d have been sent back to the Rosses and that would have been awful and I would have run way and probably been killed or worse…”

Joyce put a finger on the babbling girl’s lips. “Yes, you’ll fit right in. Kit, I know Simon, and I’d like to think that as soon as I heard that your mother was missing I would have inquired after you, spoken to you, and I’m pretty sure you would have ended up in a better place than with the Rosses even if not with us.”

“Oh…B-But I like you?”

“Kit, Dawn tried to solve a problem she didn’t have to solve and she really should have known better, but she wanted to act the way she did and for that, she will pay the penalty.”

“I-Is she gonna get whacked? ‘Cause that’s what Mom did when I was real naughty.”

“Whacked?” Joyce looked amused.

“Err, spanked.”

“Ah. Yes.”

Kit mumbled something.

“What was that, Kit?” Joyce asked.

“Errr…I said I bet Buffy doesn’t get spanked. Sorry.”

“Oh, she does, quite recently as a matter of fact.”

“B-but she’s like sixteen!” Kit gasped, shocked.

“Your point? I’m responsible for you lot until you’re eighteen, until that time I reserve the right to turn all of you over my knee. I must admit it sometimes seems the only thing to keep Buffy even somewhat in line is the threat of being spanked.” Joyce pointed out calmly.

Kit blanched. “But I’ve been very bad!”

“Yes, you have. And you’ve paid enough I think. That doesn’t mean you won’t ever be punished, just that I think what led up to your behaviour and what happened because of it are punishment enough.”

“Oh…okay…err. Mom had these rules?”

“So do we dear. I’ll explain them to you. And some other things, like that you may find yourself healing faster than you should, that’s because of me, and errr…I’ve got a pretty interesting family, who’ll probably be by pretty soon to meet you among other things.”

“Interesting? Like famous?”

Joyce sighed. “Well, not most of them, well not as you would see it; we’re an old family of witches.”

“Witches? Wicked.” Kit grinned.

“Very funny. If you tell that to my mother or aunt, you won’t have to wait long for an introduction to the ultimate punishment.” Joyce said with a twinkle in her eye but a serious expression.

Kit winced. “I’ll remember that.”

“Probably wise.” Joyce said dryly.

“You said not most of them. There is someone famous in your family?”

“Well, somewhat.” Joyce looked at the book askance. “You can see if you agree when you meet all of them.”

“Okay.” Kit yawned. “Sorry.”

“You had a big operation dear…it’s to be expected. We shall be able to get you home in a few days, until then, is there anything you want?”

“Ummm. Chocolate?”

“Certainly. Hershey?”

“Yeah.” Kit’s face lit up.

“Shall I bring some books too? And Xander has an extensive collection of comics he no doubt won’t mind putting at your disposal. And I’ll have someone come round to talk about what you need for St. Ursula’s.” She smiled as the girl yawned again, sinking into sleep rapidly.

“Okay.”

“Sleep well my pretty Kit.”

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Joyce leaned into Simon’s chest, her tear stained face quiet. “She kept a notebook with what she took from whom.”

“I saw it, I also saw she managed to pick the lock of the junction house and slept in there most nights, It had enough of a Threshold to function as a home. She had water bottles she filled at school. I shudder to think what she and Dawn will get up to together.”

Joyce smiled. “Yes, that occurred to me as well. Simon, the house is growing a tad small for all of us…”

“Yes, we do seem to be expanding rather rapidly.” Simon grinned.

“And I noticed the Iverson’s house was not put up for sale despite them moving to LA…”

Simon looked a bit sheepish. “Actually I’ve offered Terri Kalish the Iverson’s house, hers would be easier to integrate into ours.”

Joyce gave him a look. “Oh? Just like that? No discussion?”

“Are you upset?”

Joyce huffed. “Well, a little, I mean, it’s a big step buying a house…” She fell silent. “Well, maybe not so big a step for you…”

Simon shrugged. “Not really, no. Except in this case. I should have talked to you. I only made an offer to the Iversons’ yesterday and talked to Mrs. Kalish this morning, but…”

“It’s alright Simon, the only thing I wanted to discuss is moving into the Manor, but I don’t think I’m ready for that yet…” She smirked. “You do realize that all the children have staked a claim to a room there?”

“I’m not surprised, but I would prefer not to live there for a while yet as well.”

“Well that’s agreed then. I assume you’ve got some drawings to show me of how 1630 and 1628 can be joined to become one house?”

Simon grinned. “Yes, Norman was quite amused to get the assignment.”

Joyce thumped his shoulder. “You did not get Norman Foster to design…” She fell silent as she looked at his amused expression. “You really did…”

“I did tell you I would.”

“Simon…” She rolled her eyes. “Just show me the drawings, Simon.”

“Yes dear.”

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Simon and Joyce sat at the island when first Buffy, then Xander, then Amy and finally Willow came in, flanked by Dave.

“Heya Mom, Simon.”

“Arvo, Mom, Dad.”

“Ms. Summers, Dr. Meier.”

“Hello Mom, hello Dad.”

“Ms. Summers, Dr. Meier.”

The two adults greeted the teens and then focussed on Willow. Joyce spoke. “Willow, could you come with us to the dining room please?”

Willow nodded. “Sure Mom.” She faltered slightly. “I-Is anything wrong?”

“Dining room, Willow.”

Willow put her bag down and rather fearfully followed her foster parents.

“Mom? Sheila and Ira aren’t taking my case to court are they? I-I don’t have to go back?”

“No, Willow. Please sit down.” Joyce’s voice was reassuring but very stern.

Simon’s laptop was on the table plugged in to the internet and on the company mail program. An e-mail was open and another visible

“Can you tell me what those mails are about, Willow?”

Willow blinked and then read. She blinked again. “Hey! Some poo-poo head has hacked my account! HEY! I hack people’s accounts, not others mine! That’s not fair! That’s not how it’s supposed to be!”

She suddenly flushed as she felt her parents’ decidedly un-amused gazes upon her. “Err… well except I haven’t hacked anything much since Moloch, and I didn’t hack into peoples’ accounts a lot, except for that senator, Kinsey, I really don’t like him very much, he’s a creep, and well, err, I do read the Coroner’s reports and the police and EMT reports…and the Council record office… and I’ve got a  I may sorta have hacked into NASA and the FBI, but that was just to have a look see and well…I really shouldn’t have told you that should I?” Willow shut up.

“You hacked the FBI? And NASA?!” Joyce was aghast.

“I just looked! I didn’t touch anything! I swear!” Willow was very pale.

“Yes, well, I think we’ll have a talk about that later.” Joyce gave her daughter a penetrating look and Willow gulped. 

“Y-yes Mom.”

“But you didn’t do this?”

“N-no Mom, I mean Dad’s got all these contacts, and he’d like be able to get anything we need about Marcie without me hacking and well, ummm…there was the whole thing with Kit and I was distracted.” She swallowed as she realized what she’d said and paled even further at her mother’s expression. “Oh patootie.”

“Yes, I shall be busy between you and Dawn.” Joyce said severely.

Willow eeped. “Y-Yes Mom.”

“But you didn’t do this?”

“N-no, honest Injun!” She held up two trembling fingers in the Girl Scout salute fingers and Simon snorted. Willow blushed. “I mean, really.”

Joyce’s gaze was pensive. “Well, now you now what it feels like being hacked. And maybe that will restrain you a bit when next you go on a hacking spree.”

“Yes Mom. Mom, can I track down who’s sending this stuff? Please?”

Joyce looked pensive. “I suppose so. But no tricks! I want to know who’s doing it, and you don’t take any action until we’ve spoken. Understood?”

“Yes Mom.”

“Very well. I’ll see you upstairs tomorrow afternoon.”

Willow swallowed. “Yes, Mom.” She hurriedly left the room. 

Joyce sank her face into her trembling hands. “Oh good grief…”

Simon grinned. “It could be worse dear.”

“How?”

“The Pentagon and the CIA.”

Joyce poked him in the ribs. Quite hard.

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“Harmony.”  Eliza Kendall stood in the door to her eldest daughter’s bedroom; her tall blonde form elegantly draped against the jamb.

Harmony looked up, still a bit woozy. “Yes, Mom?”

“I got a call from the Twins’ school, seems that there was a bully, and then a vigilante group. Would you know anything about that?”

Harmony blinked. “Errr…”

Eliza rolled her eyes. “They made you promise again, didn’t they?”

Harmony looked down at her hands. “Yes, Mom.”

“Oh Harmony…is that why you were so late for school so often?”

“Mom…” Harmony’s tone was plaintive and Eliza nodded. She knew enough. She closed Harmony’s door behind her and then knocked on the two doors beyond it. They very slowly opened. Eliza looked at the twins with anger in her eyes.

“You let your sister take the rap for you… You made her promise!” Eliza’s voice was breathless with anger. “You know Harmony doesn’t understand things like that very well and you know how much she loves you! You, you used her!”

Melody and Felicity quailed under her anger.

Eliza ran a hand down her face. “I’m too angry right now to punish you. But that doesn’t mean that I won’t. Understand that very well, young ladies.”

She strode off, anger radiating of her like a cloud. The Twins shared a glance and went into Felicity’s room where they sat on the bed and hugged until they were called down for an angry, silent dinner.

 
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