(See Chapter One for disclaimer and information. Small Author Note about timeline at end of this chapter. Thank you everyone for your reviews and feedback! ~Kay)
Chapter Two: First Date
General Jonathon ‘Jack’ O’Neill could run a large multi-service military base. He was able to face the enemy in the eye and shoot them down. He had survived for four months in an Iraqi prison camp… but as he stared at the phone number in his hand he found himself feeling a bit scared.
Daniel tried to cover up a chuckle with a cough, unsuccessfully, as he watched the drama unfold on his friends face.
“O’Neill, you are not a flesh eating robot, therefore I do not think you have anything to fear by calling this woman,” Teal’c stated with his usual bluntness causing Daniel to release his laughter.
“Think about it this way Jack, even the robot clone of yours wasn’t a flesh eater,” Daniel quickly finished off his beer, trying hard to avoid Jack’s hard glare. “Okay, another beer? Teal’c? Jack?”
“I am fine DanielJackson, thank you.”
Taking a deep breath Jack shook his head, “Naw, I’m good. Well, here goes nothing,” he announced before picking up the cordless phone and dialing. He listened as the phone rang once, then twice, and thought he might be able to get off easy. If no one answered, that would probably be the end of it. No such luck, just after the third ring a familiar youthful voice picked up the other end.
“Uh yeah hi, Dawn?” Jack started a bit unsure.
“Yeah?” Dawn replied questioningly.
“This is the,” Jack coughed slightly before saying slowly, “non-flesh eating robot you were talking to outside the store earlier today. Is your mother in?”
“Mom!” the teenage girl yelled, not bothering to move the phone away from her face, “Phone!”
Jack winced and pulled the handset away, sending it a glare that would have made Apophis cower. He then listened for a bit as the phone was passed off, “Hello?” a mature feminine voice asked.
“Hey, my name is Jack. We sorta met at the grocery store earlier when you tried to steal my chili.”
Joyce stood stunned for a moment before asking, “How did you get this number?” As soon as the question had been voiced she noticed her daughter trying to sneak away.
“Well, lookie there, it must be time to go clean my room or… something,” Dawn said quickly then bolted from the kitchen.
Before Jack could respond, Joyce chuckled, “Never mind, I think I found the culprit.”
“Yeah, teenagers, go figure, little busy bodies,” Jack held his breath, waiting for what he was sure was going to be an inevitable hang up.
“Oh, do you have one?” Joyce inquired smiling as she sat down at her kitchen table.
“Sort of,” Jack answered, “So, your daughter said your name is Joyce?”
* * *
The next night Jack turned his pickup into the driveway of a small townhouse. He sent a warning glance at the person in the passenger seat before stepping out of the truck. Joyce quickly removed her had from the door latch. “Such a gentleman,” she commented after he opened the door and offered her a hand.
“I think we’re being watched,” Jack smirked as he escorted his date up her walk. When he noticed Joyce look around, he pointed toward a gap in the curtains at the front window. Just above the sill, they could see a set of eyes and the top of a head peering out.
They laughed and finished the walk to the door in silence. “I had a wonderful time tonight, thank you.”
“Eh,” Jack waved a hand dismissively, “The pleasure was all mine.” The two stood awkwardly for a few moments before Jack bravely asked, “So, would it be considered too forward if I tried to steal a kiss? I mean since this is only our first date.” He tried to give his best look of innocence.
Smiling, Joyce pursed her lips and appeared to think about it. “Well, we are both adults, I think we could handle ourselves if you did manage that.”
Jack tipped her face upward slightly as he leaned down, their eyes meeting briefly. Joyce felt the slight warmth of his breath on her cheek just before the moment was completely broken by a teenage squeal of “EW!”. Joyce was thankful for the dimness of the porch light as the heat of embarrassment sped into her face.
Chuckling, Jack bit his lower lip and rubbed his index finger across his eyebrow, “Ok, well then…”
“Um, yeah,” Joyce agreed trying to cover her face with her own palm.
“So, still on for you and Dawn coming over to my place tomorrow for the Bar-B-Que?” He asked, trying to help them both out of the awkwardness.
“Yeah,” Joyce nodded smiling. “You sure you don’t want me to bring anything?”
“Just yourself and Dawn,” Jack said as he began to head back to his truck. “Goodnight beautiful, see ya tomorrow.”
“Night, drive safe,” Joyce called after him before proceeding into her house. Before she could even fully close the door, Joyce found herself being pounced on, as she knew would happen.
“So, nice flowers,” Dawn commented first motioning to the small bouquet in her mother’s hand. “Spill already!” The teenager demanded with a cheshire grin.
Joyce looked at her daughter reprovingly for a moment. Dawn had the good grace to look a bit sheepish under her mother’s gaze. “Let me put these in some water, and start some tea, then you can give me the third degree,” Joyce explained.
* * *
(AN: warning: contains specific spoilers for Season 5 & 6 Buffy, as well as some hinting of what might be coming in this story. My timeline for this story: In episode 94 (S5 ‘The Body’) Buffy came home and found Joyce dead, in my world, Joyce was only in a coma which the doctors said she would never come out of. Episode 100 (S5 ‘The Gift’) Buffy jumped from the tower, miraculously Joyce woke up from the coma a week later, her tumor in full regression. I figured with the time needed to bury Buffy, sell the house, and find a new job, Dawn and Joyce arrived in Colorado a little over two months later. They still mourn Buffy, but with the move and everything, their grief is lighter. Add in the fact that Joyce, knowing what Buffy did for a living, had probably subconsciously prepared herself for the fact it might happen, it can make the grieving process a bit easier. If I remember correctly Episode 101 (S6 The Bargaining Pt 1) takes place about six months after ‘The Gift’ or that is what I will be going on anyhoo. Once again, thank you for the reviews and feedback, which help me to keep this straight)