La La La
((AN: I think I may be throwing some of the season 6 buffy eps out of their order with this, but my muses refuse to write anymore unless I do. SO… bear with me as I strangle them… erm… anyhoo still trying to keep the bigger cannon events as much as possible but it has to go AU for the story.) Warning and Disclaimers in chapter one. Once again thank you so much for the reviews and feedback as they help to feed my growing army of plot bunnies!)
A few days later, and emotions seemed to be a bit more under control on the home front. Dawn was finally reassured that her life would remain in Colorado Springs when Jack offered for them to move into his house, claiming it was solely to help monitor Joyce’s health.
With the girls at school and Jack stuck on base for the next few days, Joyce began packing up some things in her house. As she reached for some pictures on the sofa table she paused at one of them. Running a gentle hand across the faces. Moving into the kitchen Joyce picked up the phone and began dialing the number to the Magic Box. Not knowing what to expect, her stomach seemed to be tied up in butterflies and lead weights. After a couple of rings, a familiar voice she thought never to hear again came on the line.
“Magic Box, this is Buffy, how can I help you?” The young blond said with a total lack of enthusiasm.
“Buffy?” Joyce barely managed to get out. Even after Dawn’s outburst of emotion at the base, Joyce still had not quite let herself believe that her oldest daughter might be alive.
The voice on the other end sounded equally surprised, “Mom?”
“Oh, my goodness, you are alive! Dawn said Anya told her you were, but I didn’t believe it,” Joyce felt tears of joy and concern threatening to spill from her eyes.
Buffy’s kept her voice low as she looked around the store, “Mom, uh, let me get your number and call you right back from the phone in the back room, where its more private, ok?”
“Honey, are you all right?”
The bell on the shop door rang causing the slayer to flinch slightly, “It’s just been a really, REALLY, bad day, and if you ever decide you need a live mummy hand, it’s going to be shipped from the source. The Magic Box is SO not going to carry them direct anymore. I’ll call you back in a minute?”
“Um… sure, honey…” was all Joyce could reply.
* * *
Jack decided it was time to do a bit of digging. His fingers drummed on the desktop as he waited for the current leader of SG-1.
“You wanted to see me, sir?” Carter asked as she entered the General’s office.
“Yeah, close the door and sit down, will ya?” Jack responded as Carter did as she was told, wondering what this was about.
Jack leaned back in his chair, linking his hands behind his head. “I found out something recently that I want you to check into for me. And it needs to be kept VERY low-key.”
Carter nodded her understanding, “Of course, sir.”
“Well, I guess a while back there was some psuedo- military operation in Sunnydale, California doing some… not so good ‘research’,” he held up his hands and used his fingers to put the word in quotations. “It was supposedly called the Initiative, and I got a feeling you might find something on it that stinks of Kinsey.”
Carter grinned, “I’ll get right on it.” She, as much as anyone, wanted the remnants of the NID and this new group the Trust taken down. Standing up, she moved to the door.
“Oh and Carter?”
True to her word Buffy called her mother back shortly there after. Conversation was slow to start, as neither woman was quite prepared on what to say to one another after all that happened. Benign small talk of ‘how’s the weather?’ ‘How’s Dawn doing in school?’ and other such questions slowly began to break the ice.
“Oh, Buffy, you’ll never guess what happened, I met someone.”
“Really?” Buffy blinked in disbelief. “Wow, go mom. So how serious is it?”
Joyce couldn’t help but smile as she looked down at the new ring adorning her hand. “He asked me to marry him, is that serious enough?” A small chuckle escaped as she heard her daughter nearly drop the phone, “Plus, with everything going on, Dawn and I decided to move in with him and his foster daughter.”
Buffy sobered a bit remembering the information about Dawn’s call a couple weeks previous, “Yeah, I heard Dawn called, asking for your doctors phone number. Is everything alright, mom?”
Sighing heavily Joyce tried to find the words to respond, “Now, Buffy, I don’t want to worry you…”
“Um, a little late for that mom.”
“I know, it’s just that…well, the tumor came back. But the doctors here are really good, and we’re looking into some alternative therapies for it,” Joyce continued.
Buffy was caught between stunned silence and the continuing numbness that plagued her since she was brought back. This only seemed to be another confirmation that this was truly a hell dimension she had come back to. “I… I don’t know what to say…”
“Oh Buffy, it’s ok, I understand,” At that moment Joyce wanted nothing more than to reach through the phone and give her oldest daughter a reassuring hug. “On the plus side, this means I don’t have to go to work,” she offered, trying to lighten the conversation.
“Eh, lucky you,” the slayer offered with a hint of sarcasm. “I see how it is. Here I am trying to just hold down a job for more than a day without having a demon attack my boss, or a former demon for a boss. What lets you get away with the whole unemployment gig?”
“Well, my doctor doesn’t want me working, and Jack, my fiancé, acts like a five year old who I’ve told can’t have any more ice cream when I even mention going to work part-time.”
Buffy chuckled at the analogy, “So, he kinda does the fingers in the ears and sings ‘lalala I’m not listening’ type thing? Figuratively speaking that is.”
Joyce bit her bottom lip and sighed, “No… not figuratively. He actually has done that to me… twice… this week already.”
Despite the stress of Sunnydale, and now her mother’s health, Buffy found her self laughing trying to imagine a grown man pulling such a childish stunt on her mother. “So, what’s this guy like?” she inquired, “He’s not gonna turn out to be like Ted or anything like that?”
“No he’s not, he’s actually an Air Force General, and …” Joyce was cut off in midsentence.
“MOM!! He’s military?” Buffy exclaimed remembering all too well the Initiative fiasco.
Joyce groaned softly, she should have known, after Riley, that her eldest would be soured on anything dealing with the government. “Well, at least he’s not a Marine,” Joyce offered jokingly.
“Or a robot…” Buffy supplied
“Or two-hundred and twenty some years older than me…” After a few moments of silence Joyce became a bit worried, “Buffy?”
“Give me a minute, I’m trying to think up a come back for that one!” After a couple seconds of pondering the door to the back room opened and the person who walked through gave Buffy the perfect opportunity, "Giles with a candy bar..."