Title: Pain Halved
Author: Jedi Buttercup
Disclaimer: The words are mine; the worlds are not. I claim nothing but the plot.
Summary: B:tVS, SG-1. An old friend calls Joyce in need of a shoulder to cry on. 440 words.
Spoilers: B:tVS between S1 and S2; SG-1 just before the series started
Feedback: It's the coin of the realm.
Notes: They say pain shared is pain halved. This an answer to TtH Fic-For-All #612 (Joyce, Sara O'Neill). Timing-wise, Buffy Season 1 ended June 2, 1997 in the US; the first ever episode of Stargate SG-1 aired July 27, 1997.
"Summers residence, Joyce speaking," she answered, mentally crossing her fingers.
A sniffle over the phone momentarily confirmed her worst fears, but the voice that followed was neither Buffy nor Hank. "Joyce? It's me, Sara."
"Sara? Oh, honey, what's happened?" She'd envied her old college roommate for years, starting when the troubles with Hank had gotten serious and especially after the divorce; Sara's husband had been away a lot with the military, but when he was home he'd treated her like a queen, and their little boy had been an absolute dear. A little over a year ago, though, Sara's idyllic life had been torn apart when Charlie found his father's handgun and accidentally shot himself. Charlie hadn't recovered, and neither had Sara's marriage. Joyce had spent a lot of time on the phone in the months immediately afterward being as supportive as she could from eleven hundred miles distant.
"Jack's been called up again," Sara said in a tremulous voice.
Joyce winced in sympathy. Sara hadn't blamed Jack for what had happened-- at least, not as much as he'd blamed himself. But he'd kept Sara out, refused to talk to her about any of it, even after he came back from one last classified mission with his lease on life suddenly renewed. The fact that she hadn't been the one to do that for him had hurt, and the fact that he couldn't help her, either, had been the last straw; when he'd left her, she hadn't fought it. That didn't mean she didn't still love him, however. "Oh, Sara."
"I know we're separated now," Sara continued. "And I got through-- how many years-- as a military wife before, but I worried so much every time he was gone, and I thought it was all over! He's retired twice now, and I'm worried-- if it's something so important that they'd keep pulling him back for it, that he's going to get himself killed before--" She broke off.
Joyce glanced at the calendar, mentally calculating how many days she could afford to let her assistant watch the gallery alone. With Buffy away, there was nothing else holding her here, this time. "Of course you're worried," she said aloud. "You haven't stopped caring about him just because you don't live together any more. Look-- do you still have a spare room available? I have some time free; I can be there tomorrow and stay a week, if you need a shoulder to cry on."
"Oh could you?" Sara asked. "I feel ridiculous going to pieces on you like this..."
"Of course I can," Joyce said soothingly. "What are best friends for?"