A Summers Day Disclaimer: I own nothing from Joss Whedon’s creations, I certainly do not own anything For djhardim, who asked for Hank’s reaction. I was planning to ignore Hank except for the few times he made an appearance, but Djhardim made the suggestion and it niggled at my mind. I’m…unfond of Hank Summers. The way he is depicted is as a man who shirks his responsibilities to his family and who has trouble connecting with his daughter(s) due to the fact that he will not make the effort. Not the sort of man I admire. For an actor it’s an ungrateful part to play. Dean Butler managed to do so with great skill and I salute him for it. The following presentation of him is an extrapolation of this character and why he made the choices he made. Like several others in my AU, these changes are probably not for the better of the characters involved. Below will be found two short stories…two versions, if you will, of Hank Summers. I’ll leave it to the readers to let me know which they prefer me to continue with. Please note that will be the Hank you get for the rest of the series. A will allow the option somewhere in between however. So in this case reviews not just welcome, but necessary. Reasoned opinions will carry more weight than ‘first’ or ‘second’ Hank. A Summers Day
Hank Summers yawned as he got out if his car. His weekend had been memorable to say the least. Airiana had been…very demanding and quite…compliant. And far more satisfying than Joyce had ever been for him. The woman and her blasted reserve, she didn’t understand a man’s needs.
He grinned. A dinner and a bracelet and a show…Joyce had never understood the quid pro quo of such things. And of course Airiana at twenty-two was perfectly matched to him in a way that Joyce had never had been. She’d always held him back from achieving what he could. Her and the children.
He loved them of course…but they were…well. The way Dawn had called him at his work, that was just not…professional. She’d just have to understand that it wasn’t done for children to call their father at any time of the day it suited them. He felt a twinge of guilt at blowing her off. Promising to take her to the ballet had been a spur of the moment thing. She’d have to understand that other things were more important.
And he’d needed this weekend for himself and Airiana. He could hardly be expected to put his life on hold for a fifteen and a ten year old now could he? And to go to the Ballet? A bunch of guys in tight leotards jumping around a stage? No, taking Airiana to see Phantom of the Opera, even if that was not his thing either, had been far more…satisfying. He smirked. And she’d not been displeased either, he was certain of his skills even if Joyce had never been as appreciative of them as they deserved.
He whistled as he entered the building. Sawyer, Harcourt, Hewton, Massey and Partners were an excellent firm. And since two weeks he was among the ‘and Partners’. Airiana had been properly appreciative of that too.
He walked to the elevator and he could feel the stares. As he entered the slight conversation inside fell silent. When he got out at the level of his new office the same happened. Hank looked around. Most of the staff ducked away from his glance but some met it, boldly. Mostly the younger women. He grinned. He strode to his office, put down his case and sauntered into the boardroom for the morning partner briefing.
Fred Linton, the senior partner was looking at the LA Times with a grin on his face. “Mornin’ Hank! Looks like your old Missus bagged herself a big fish!”
“Sorry? How do you mean?” Hank kept his face carefully blank. There was no way in Hell that Joyce had managed to pick up anyone of consequence in the backwater she’d moved to. She should have let him institutionalize Buffy…Joyce might have been frigid and reserved but she was ornamental for her age and could converse intelligently with clients and at parties…something that was lacking in Airiana, he admitted.
Fred pointed at the article on the second page of the entertainment section. “Ms. Joyce Summers…certainly looks like her…and that’s Simon Meier. The so-called most eligible bachelor of New York.”
Mitch Foreman grinned widely. “And talking with Buff Chandler…She’s moving in exalted circles.”
Hank looked at the picture in disbelief. There was Joyce…in a dress to kill for, wearing a necklace with dozens of stones…Looking happy…and there was Dawn…Looking up at the man with…adoration.
“Well, he does like charities.”
There was a snort. John Massey III, the oldest partner, almost retired sat at the right hand of Fred Linton. “Don’t be ridiculous Summers. Meier would never date woman without substance and without the full intent to seriously pursue the relationship.”
The table fell silent as everyone looked at the old man or Hank. Hank snorted. “And how do you know that this is serious? Meier’s a philanthropist. For all we know he just felt sorry for her and my daughter. She loves the ballet.”
“Why weren’t you taking her to the ballet then Summers? And I know because I was there. And I may be old…but I haven’t forgotten what it looks or feels like to be in love.” He hooked the paper with his walking stick and turned to the picture of Dawn dancing. Hank gulped.
*My god…Dawn…dancing with Baryshnikov…*
Massey pointed at the couple standing in the shadows behind the dancers, the woman leaning into the man and nothing visible of their except the sparkle of the blue gems around her throat. “That’s not the pose of a man out on a mission of philanthropy, that’s a man out to get as close as he can get. And you also weren’t there when he carried that little girl to his car.”
Hank grit his teeth. Hansen furrowed his brow. “What does he drive anyway?”
“A Duesenburg J. And his driver was at the wheel.” Massey said in a dryly satisfied tone of voice.
Massey tapped his cane on the table. “But all this is neither here nor there. The fact that Summers was too…busy this weekend to either read the papers of take his daughter to the ballet is of no importance. We have business to attend to ladies and gentlemen…no matter how juicy the gossip.”
Linton hastily opened the meeting.
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Hank approached Massey at the end of the meeting. The old man had been silent for most of it, only making a few remarks on the likelihood of certain judges making certain rulings.
“I get the feeling you don’t like me very much, John.”
“You’re right, I don’t.” The old man rose slowly. Hank blinked at him. Massey looked up and sighed. “Wasn’t that all?”
“Why not? I work hard and I’m good at my job…”
Massy snorted. He leaned heavily on his cane. “Oh you’re a fine lawyer, on of the best I’ve met in many years.” Hank preened. Massy continued. “You’re also a lousy excuse for a human being. ”
Those still in the room fell utterly silent.
“When your eldest got in trouble…a blind, deaf and dumb man would’ve known there was something fishy there as soon as Wolfram and Hart got involved…and a real father with your connections would’ve fought tooth and nail for her, taken on those bastards. Hell if you’d done that I’d’ve paid you myself…but You.
” He poked Hank in the chest with a gnarled finger. “ducked out…locked your little girl up rather than pursue the truth…and made the deal…and lost the best damn woman I’ve met since the death of my Dinah. You did what a good lawyer does these days…You cut your deal. And the worst thing is…you still
don’t see that what you did was wrong.”
Massey left the boardroom slowly in complete silence. Hank Summers shrugged. The old man had lost it long ago in his opinion and here was only more proof. He left to his office, whistling and wondering if the judge would go along with cutting his alimony if Joyce married the idiot shmuck who’d put up with the frigid demanding bitch.