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Joyce Summers, Den Mother

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Summary: PTB meddle, Ancients conspire, and Joyce wakes up married. Life could be weirder but she's not certain how.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Stargate > Joyce-Centered > Pairing: Jack O'NeilltootsFR151822,2502423259,18526 Dec 111 Nov 12No

Chapter Four

Joyce had to use Mom voice to get everybody to go to class, even Jenny. When Giles was finally the only one left, she looked at him with tired, weary eyes and he handed her a cup of tea.

She took a sip, then laughed. “You never change, you know. This world or the last, if there’s turmoil, you drink tea.”

“Hmm,” he said, nodding as he swallowed his own drink. “And yet, I’ve no doubt you still treated me very much like a ninny that doesn’t see what’s right beneath his nose.” She choked and he patted her arm as he said kindly, “Some things are just safer for everyone if they’re kept a secret, even if it’s the most open secret in the room. And they are your children.”

She studied him as he took a sip of tea and said quietly, “You fail, you know. You make it all the way through the Cruciamentum, then you fail. Buffy passes, but you fail.”

“Because of course it’s a test of both of us,” he whispered, closing his eyes.

“It did manage to break her trust in you and get you fired,” she said blithely.

“Well, I can always be the high school librarian on my own merit,” he said, taking a sip.

“Until you blow up the school,” she agreed just to watch him choke and splutter.

What?” he said, mopping at his shirt with his tie.

“At graduation,” she said, shrugging. “I’m not sure why. We taught her to keep her secrets well.”

Her smile was not a good one and he flinched, probably remembering that Merrick had tried very hard to convince Buffy not to tell anyone she was a Slayer.

She pulled a small notebook out of her purse and slid it across the table. “These are things I remember. I’m not sure why or how they happened but at least you’ll have some vague idea about what’s happening.”

“And I can try to…unvaguify things,” he said, rolling his eye. “But we likely won’t understand until we’re in the thick of it.”

She nodded, then whispered, “What am I supposed to tell Jack?”

Giles pursed his lips, then shrugged and said, “I am going to suggest, likely for the first and last time, telling him the truth.” She looked at him, shocked, and he said urgently, “You have to tell him something. And in less than a year’s time, I’ll be fired and we’ll need someone with a bit of authority to keep the Council at bay.” She felt a clench in her chest at the havoc they could cause. He distracted her with a smirk. “And the only thing I can think of more terrifying than a Colonel of the U.S. military would be a mother’s wrath and we already have that on our side.”

She grinned, though she still felt a little squeamish. “So we tell him the truth. The whole truth.”

“No half truth will make sense,” Giles shrugged. “Besides. Even I think we owe it to the man.”

“Buffy’s not going to like it,” Joyce said, though she wasn’t certain if she was warning him or herself.

Giles raised his eyebrow at something she’d written in the notebook and stated, “I do believe there are a lot of things that are going to be happening that Buffy won’t enjoy.”

Ah. He’d reached Angel’s page which was full of bullet points, question marks, and JENNY KNOWS SOMETHING-gets her killed (?). It was amongst the fullest pages until they got to Glory which was both more fresh and more closely related to her.

“I think we should just have a truth palooza,” she heard herself saying and blinked.

It was definitely her idea, no magic prodding her along. But…there were so many secrets and her family was so happy. This was going to be devastating.

“I need to go,” she said with a little sigh. “I need to at least pop my head in at the Gallery and there’s groceries to buy and Jack probably won’t be home tonight, anyway, so there’s no use worrying now.”

“Of course,” he said, placating her.

She pursed her lips then said resolutely, “There are always consequences. Just because all o mine are good so far doesn’t mean here won’t be bad ones. We need to get our ducks in a row, Giles, because something is coming. Something big and bad and terrible.”

“So you’ve figured it out,” Giles said grimly.

“No demon I can think of runs a long game. The Powers do,” she said, a shiver running down her spine.

Thunder rattled the building and rain suddenly started to pour.

Author’s Note: Buffy told her mother about the Powers after the whole ‘They made it snow’ thing in this ‘verse. Also, I suddenly remembered why I had so much trouble starting this story. So much exposition.
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