Title: Things Left Unsaid
Author: Kay ‘Moon Fox’ firstname.lastname@example.org
Rating: PG 13
Pairings: Joyce/Hank mentioned, Joyce/Other
Disclaimers/Spoilers: Buffy (Whedon, Mutant Enemy) Post “Blood Ties”, Pre “The Body” - Stargate (Gekko, Double Secret) No spoilers.
Summery: In an attempt to get back at Hank, Joyce’s decisions come back around in an unexpected way.
Distribution: tthfanfic.org anywhere else, please ask.
Feedback: Send it, I’ll read it. :-)
AN: This story is in no way shape or form related to my story New Beginnings. It is something totally separate and will only be this one shot used to get my muses moving again.
Joyce sifted through the dust and boxes in her attic, looking at memories long past. As she pushed aside some old pictures a book of matches fell into her lap. Inside the cover a name and phone number she had all but forgotten. She recalled a time long ago, just after the first affair she caught her husband in. Buffy was so young at the time, no more than three of four, luckily too young to remember her parents’ indiscretions.
So hurt by Hanks action, Joyce left Buffy with her mother for a week and went on a vacation of sorts to clear her head. In a bold maneuver she decided to seek out an affair of her own. Even after all these years, Joyce still felt guilt for her actions. Now as she looked at the scribbles inside the cover of the old matchbook, she was reminded of the event.
The warm Hawaiian trade winds blew lightly through the open windows of the bar. A half empty tropical drink sat in front of her. Music played loudly, people talked and danced, while she sat there contemplating her life. She felt eyes on her and turned, looking through the crowd for the source. A tall man, obviously from one of the nearby military bases, raised his glass of beer to her with a nod and a smile.
Feeling the effects of her third glass of the fruity drink, she smiled shyly and raised her own glass as an invitation for the man to come and join her. First thing she noticed as the man joined her was a white mark on his tanned hands where a wedding band should have been, the thought almost scared her off, until she remembered her own hand held the same mark. They talked and shared another drink, and then they adjourned to a nearby motel, spending a wonderful evening together.
Joyce woke to the bed shifting slightly; she had known he would leave like this; silently, in the early morning without any goodbye. Feigning sleep, she watched through hooded lids as he laid the matchbook on the pillow next to her head then he slipped out the door, and the tall military man with light brown hair and laughing chocolate eyes was gone from her life.
She fingered the matchbook and thought about the weeks after her affair. She and Buffy were living with Joyce’s parents when almost a month after the incident, Joyce was faced with the hardest decision of her life. If it was only Joyce, she would have chosen differently, but she had a young daughter to think about, as well as a husband whom she was going to counseling with. Her family to put back together, and the shame from others if it was ever known, outweighed the guilt. With the help of a few others, Joyce slipped quietly into the clinic and left with a secret she thought she would take to her grave.
It was only recently that she realized how closely that time might be, hence her sorting through dusty boxes in a moldy attic space. For a moment she pondered the child she might have had almost fifteen years ago, then she thought of her two girls… She gasped suddenly as a realization hit her. In either a strong coincidence, or an amazing twist of fate, the monks had given Joyce, and the unborn child, a second chance with Dawn.
The timing was right and now, as she thought about the man who left the matchbook on her pillow, she could see the traces of the tall handsome guy in her youngest. Tears came to her eyes. At fourteen Dawn was almost as tall as Joyce, the man must have been almost six foot four, unlike Hank Summer’s five foot eleven height. The arch of Dawn’s eyebrows, the shape of her nose, and the way the young girl carried herself, it was all too strong to be coincidence.
Now, Joyce was faced with something almost more difficult than the decision she had made all those years ago – should she tell her girls the truth?
In the end, Joyce told only Giles, who agreed with her, that sometimes things are just better left unsaid…