Revisiting the Past
((Warnings and Disclaimers in chapter one.
Thank you to everyone reading and reviewing this story, you help keep me going with this, even when I get so frustrated I want to throw my hands up. Thanks to Jason for his plot shredding as usual. Author note at end of chapter.))
Chapter 16: Revisiting the Past
Buffy stumbled into the apartment, her mind reeling with everything that happened. Spike and her… The house in rubble around them, and the words that passed between them…
In the heat of the moment last night, she wanted to prove him wrong. Prove to herself that she could feel some gratification in life. When he hit her, he told her how she came back ‘wrong,’ from there things just got out of control. When she woke in his arms, in the piles of debris, she almost felt alive again. For a brief moment she wondered if things would finally be all right. Then the bleach blond vampire had to open his mouth. The conversation replayed in her memory…
Buffy leaned against one of the few support beams left standing as she finished dressing. Spike came up next to her, his hands running along her waist as he kissed her neck. She pushed him back, “No, no, I…I have to…”
“Stay,” He whispered to her looking upward. “I’m stuck here. Sun’s up.”
Looking at him, she couldn’t resist the pull of life and chance he was offering her. She kissed him deeply and soon they were on the floor again passionately touching. Spike dropped heavy kisses across her throat before lifting himself up to look at her.
“I knew… I knew the only thing better than killing a slayer would be f…”
“WHAT?!” Buffy couldn’t believe what she just heard. Shoving him off of her, the slayer moved away quickly. “Is that what this is about? Doing a slayer?”
Spike grinned teasingly, “Well, I wouldn’t throw stones, pet. You seem to be quite the groupie yourself.”
As suddenly as it had come on, the small fire that had been lit within her heart for a chance at happiness was extinguished. With just a few words he had made her feel so filthy, just like Parker had her freshman year of college. She felt used and shot back words born from that pain. As she saw Spikes face filled with his own hurting, Buffy almost regretted her comments, for a slight second she wondered if he had been joking, so she did the only thing she could do… she left.
Almost tripping over a box brought Buffy’s scattered mind back to the present. It looked like some of Tara’s things, but before the slayer could call out to see if anyone was home, the phone rang. “Hello?” She asked, her eyes scanning the apartment for anything else out of place.
“Hey, how’s my eldest daughter doing?” Joyce asked, the smile in her voice coming through the phone line.
Sighing, she sunk down on one of the kitchen bar stools, “Hi, mom.”
Motherly instinct added a slight tone of worry into Joyce’s voice, “Is everything alright, honey?”
“Um…I don’t know,” quickly she amended herself, “I mean, it’s nothing big bad, or apocalyptic, but, just having a bad day I guess.”
“Well, as long as it’s as safe as Sunnydale could be, Dawn and I are going to be out there this next weekend to visit, if that’s all right?” Joyce hoped the news might cheer her daughter up a bit.
“Mom that would be wonderful! I think I need a bit of annoying and motherly interference in my life right now,” She felt a small touch of relief, after all there were some things, only a mother could do. She wrote down the flight information and hung up the phone.
Hearing movement on the stairs, Buffy looked up to see Tara coming down carrying another box. It was amazing how, even just briefly, hearing her mom’s voice, gave Buffy the feeling that she could always handle one more thing. “Can’t afford the rent? Or something else you need to talk about?” Buffy walked over and took the box from her friend as they moved to the couch.
The weekend came and Buffy stood outside the small Sunnydale Airport watching the plane land.
“It’ll be really good to see Joyce again, she was always great with color coordination, and I think I need some help in that department for my wedding,” Anya spouted out, a big smile on her face. She didn’t know how to admit that she, like the others, had desperately missed the Summers Matriarch, who had become a mother figure to them all over the years.
Buffy scrunched up her face, “Yeah, because I just don’t see the burlap and ivory chiffon matching all too well.”
“Ooh, actually I finally talked her out of the burlap,” Xander offered bouncing on the balls of his feet.
“Yeah we decided to go with slime green for the bridesmaid dresses.”
Plastering a wide smile on her face, Buffy’s eyes quickly darted between the young couple, Anya - glowing with excitement and Xander looking nervously away.
“Lookie, big plane landed. Maybe I’ll go see if the baggage guys need some help unloading.” The former demon rolled her eyes and Buffy giggled as she turned back to the plane, waving and rushing forward to greet her mother and sister.
Sarah readjusted her rear view mirror as she pulled into her driveway. No, she thought, I wasn’t wrong in thinking I was followed. A large dark ford pickup parked along side the curb in front of the house. She cocked a half-smile when she saw the driver get out. Last time she had seen the man was almost eight years ago… and that had been a mess. Since then, they had talked on the phone about once a year, just to keep up on each others lives or try to maintain some connection to what they once shared, neither over analyzed it.
Stepping out of her sedan she closed the door and leaned against the car snorting softly. “Well, well, well, never thought I’d see you around here.”
“Hey Sarah, how ya doing?” The man asked lightly tossing his keys between his hands.
“Not too bad,” she admitted. “So, what brings you to this neck of the woods?” Sarah lived in the house she had once shared with her ex-husband, almost a five-hour drive from where Jack O’Neill currently lived and was stationed. “You get re-stationed back at Andrews or just decided to take a drive?”
Jack grinned and chuckled, “You’re kidding? Like I want to be up here in Wyoming on purpose?” He took a deep breath before continuing, “Actually, thought I would come up, see how you and pops were getting along.”
“Uh-huh,” she accepted skeptically. “Well, come on in, I’ll start some coffee.”
Jack sat down at the once familiar table and looked around the house remembering some of the times he and Sarah had shared under its roof.
“So, Jack, what really brings you here?” Sarah ventured as the small talk began to wind down.
“I wanted to let you know…” He sat down the coffee cup and ran calloused hands through his gray hair, “I’m getting remarried. I just wanted you to hear it from me, ya know?”
Sarah sat back in her chair, stunned. “Wow,” she whispered after a while, “congratulations. So, what’s she like?” She felt a small pang touch her heart and pushed back the questions she wanted to fling at the man she had given so many years to previously.
Jack chuckled softly thinking of the woman currently holding his heart. “Well, she works part-time for an art gallery. Has two teenage daughters, one is grown and living in California, the other is fifteen and a handful, that girl definitely gives me a run for my money in the smart ass and mood swings department.”
They talked for a while longer until Sarah’s dad arrived home that evening. Jack was ready to head back south, but instead was convinced to stay for dinner by his ex-wife. It didn’t take too much arguing, since Joyce and Dawn were in California for the weekend and Cassie was at a weekend Science Fair field trip for school. Jack wasn’t too keen on going home to an empty house after so much activity.
When he finally left after dinner, he felt a bit saddened, but also had a calmness surrounding him. Talking with Sarah allowed the door that still connected him to his old life to finally close after so much heartache.
Sarah watched him go from the window, the first pangs of jealousy when he mentioned Joyce had faded into a sort of pity for what she could only imagine he would face in the next few months. As a friend, not an ex-wife, she prayed that he would pull through.
(((AN: Okay, got past that bit of writers block, sorry for the delay. I’m pretty sure my muses had gone with some friends of mine out to Unalaska to help out with the cargo ship incident out there. It’s interesting how wrapped up in something like that you can get when you personally know many of the Coast Guard personnel out there on the seas doing the rescuing. The last of the local guys should be flying in today, including a one from the second helicopter crew that allowed me to join he and his family for the best thanksgiving turkey I’d ever had this year.
Dialogue from the Buffy Episode #109 “Smashed” written by Drew Z. Greenberg. Transcribed courtesy of Joan the English Chick at http://www.buffyworld.com/buffy/season6/transcripts/109_tran.shtml
I just want to apologize for not updating like I said I would.
Any future author/update notes will be posted to my lj http://www.livejournal.com/users/skmistress/
Thanks for your patience!