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The Many lives of Joyce Summers

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Summary: A series of short stories and vignettes that reveal glimpses of lives in which Joyce Summers was not a gallery owner. Inspired by Challenge 7316

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Joyce-Centered
Television > Colombo
(Current Donor)vidiconFR131240,934716119,65729 Jan 1321 Aug 13No

NOTE: This chapter is rated FR7

The House of Joyce

Author’s note:

The following ways of notation may be found in this story. This is excluding whatever I need to represent chatting, texting and stuff like that.

Speech: “Who’s on first.”

Thought: *What’s on second.*

Vision: #I-don’t-know’s on third.#

Many thanks to DaveTurner for recommending this series of ficlets.

The House of Joyce

17 Sunnydale Road, Sunnydale

“Yes, Aunt Bea. Yes, Aunt Bea. Yes, Aunt Bea! Yes, I’ll tell her!” Joyce hung up the phone. “That was Aunt Bea,” she told Buffy.

“Really? I thought it was David Bowie,” Buffy replied with a tilt of her eyebrow.

Joyce snapped her fingers. “Good that you reminded me, he wants to make an appointment for a set of costumes for his new video. I need to make a few sketches for that,” she reached for a pad and a pencil, one of the many that lay scattered around the large living room.

Buffy sighed and rolled her eyes. “Aunt Bea?” she prompted.

“Oh, yes, Aunt Bea,” Joyce smiled ruefully. “Sorry. Aunt Bea, yes, well, she and Grandma, don’t flinch,” Joyce mock scolded at her daughter.

Buffy sighed. She loved her Great-grandmother and Great Grand-Aunt, but they were, as her mother once said, ‘terribly interfering old biddies’ sometimes.

“They told me to tell you that they’re proud of you and know you’ll do well, and if you set fire to another Gym, they’ll come over and make you eat Kippers for breakfast and Stargazy Pie for lunch. You really don’t want to know what they’ve got planned for dinner.”

Buffy paled. “They wouldn’t!”

“Of course they would,” Joyce smiled. “And if that isn’t warning enough, if you don’t behave, the only clothes you’ll be wearing are gonna come form the Sears Senior Ladies line.”

Buffy whimpered and clutched her designer jacket to her chest protectively. “Mom!”

“I trust that’s sufficient incentive not to hang out with the bad crowd this time?” Joyce asked mildly.

“You. Are. Evil!” Buffy huffed.

“Yes, well, you had to inherit it from someone,” Joyce smirked, then hugged her daughter. “You’ll do great, dear. You’re smart and pretty and inventive.”

Buffy sighed. “Did I have to leave Buckley?”

“You were expelled, Buffy,” Joyce pointed out. “Along with half your class.”

“I still think it’s unfair. None of us invited those guys!” Buffy whined. *I just staked them*

“None of you called the police either,” Joyce held up a hand, “And neither did the chaperoning teachers and they got fired.”

“Puh,” Buffy sighed. “But why a public school?”

“It will do you good to be a little less privileged. And yes, the allowance cut stands and no more freebies from the Company,” Joyce gave her daughter a push towards the BMW. “Let’s go.”

Buffy pouted but picked up her bag and headed for the car.

Sunnydale High

Buffy was standing on the steps that led up to the school, watching her mother’s car disappear. Her mother was strange in some ways. Like this morning she could be completely distracted and almost forget that Buffy was there, and seconds later she could be the most loving and understanding parent in the world.

Apparently it had driven her father to distraction and it was one of the reasons Hank had ‘strayed of the range’. That hadn’t been the smartest thing he’d ever done. Company lawyers had cut him to ribbons and he’d been lucky to be allowed to continue to see Buffy.

Buffy turned around and walked up the steps. “Well, here we go.”

She deftly avoided a boy who fell with his skateboard. She sniffed. He was probably one of those pervs who made pratfalls so they could look up girl’s skirts.

Principal Flutie had been forgiving and understanding. She wasn’t the only one to have been expelled over the burning gym (Even if she had been the one to stake the vamps, but she was keeping silent about that). Her permanent record was a clean slate, with a notation on it to go see Willow Rosenberg for help in catching up.

History had been fine, and she thought she’d met a nice girl, Cordelia.

“That is an awesome bag, a vintage Eliott right?” Cordelia asked as they walked along the corridor.

“Yeah, Beatrice Eliott,” Buffy was about to remark that her mother was Joyce Eliott, but something held her back.

“I got a real Joyce Eliott at home, a white, off the shoulder thing with pink trim. Classy and gorgeous. Even her off the rack stuff is great,” Cordelia gushed. “I heard that she’s gonna open a shop in Sunndydale. Wouldn’t that be awesome?”

Buffy, who never visited one of the Company stores if she could help it, smiled. “Lovely.”

They talked about fashion, Cordelia quickly staking Eliott as her favourite for dresses, with Louboutin as her  go-to shoe guy.

“I prefer Caroline Eliott for shoes myself,” Buffy opined. *As Gran would flay me if I wore Louboutins,* she smiled to herself. *No arch support, dah-ling. And for anything but parties, just wear Mary-Janes.*    

It was quite fun. Until they ran into the girl by the drinking fountain.

“Willow! Nice dress. Good to see you’ve seen the softer side of Sears,” Cordelia tore into the slight redhead.

“My mother picked it for it for me,” Willow answered meekly.

“Really? No wonder you’re such a guy magnet!” Cordelia smiled. “Are you done?”

Buffy saw the look of hurt on Willow’s face. “My mom picks a lot of my clothes,” she offered.

“Does she?” Cordelia frowned. “Well if she picked today’s she has taste. A Joyce Eliott blouse to go with a Bea Eliott bag.”

Buffy smirked. “No, I picked these.”

She could see Willow’s hopeful face sag. And then she went in for the kill.

“Mom just designed the blouse, and the shoes are by gran. And the bag?  Aunt Bea gave it to Mom when she went to High school. I think she rather hoped Mom’d go to JAGS, but Grandad’s American and he wanted his little girl closer than that.”

She smiled at the gaping Cordelia. “Willow? I’m Buffy Eliott. I heard you’re really smart and could give me a lot of help studying. Would you be willing to?”

Willow smiled. “I-I‘d love to.”

“Oh good. I’m supposed to drop by the library for books, could you take me there?”

Willow nodded, smiling ecstatically that she hadn’t been further humiliated.

“Let’s go then,” Buffy nodded coolly at Cordelia and gestured at Willow to lead on.

End Note:

The House of Eliott was a series on BBC 1 that depicted the troubles arising around two strong-minded sisters trying to start an Haute Couture and ready to wear business in 1920’s London.

I own neither it, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.





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