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Immortal Secrets

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Summary: Joyce tries to drag Buffy on a nice, relaxing vacation, but all does not go as planned.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Highlander > GeneralTrinityDayFR1314,296052,71526 May 0326 May 03Yes
Immortal Secrets by Trinity Day 

Part 1/3



Summary:  Joyce tries to drag Buffy on a nice, relaxing
vacation, but all does not go as planned.



Written: July 1999


 


Joyce Summers sat down on a stool in her gallery. She was
supposed to be unpacking her latest shipment, but too many other things were on
her mind.


Less than a year ago she had thought her daughter simply
was going through a stage of rebellion. Buffy was a good kid, and everything
would be made better if Joyce could only be there for her daughter.


Then in a few short hours, she learned that her daughter
masqueraded as a superhero by night. Her eighteen-year old daughter was the
Slayer, the only person with the power to stop vampires, the no longer mythical
undead creatures of the night. And if that weren’t enough, a few short hours
later, Buffy ran away and Joyce was left alone, no knowing if she was safe.


When Buffy got back things hadn’t miraculously gotten
better, like they were supposed to. First, one of her best friends died, became
a zombie, and then was destroyed by Buffy. Then there was that whole band candy
thing. The less said about that, the better.


And if all that wasn’t enough, Joyce had to start a
witch-hunt in Sunnydale that almost ended with her burning her daughter at the
stake.


No, Joyce had been through a very stressful time, and she
needed a break. Reaching a decision, she went over and picked up the phone,
dialing a long distance number.


It rang three times before the person on the other end
picked it up. “Hello,” a deep, masculine voice greeted.


“Hi Duncan. This is Joyce. I’ve been thinking about
what you said, and I’d like to take you up on your offer.”


~*~


“You’re what?” Willow exclaimed.


“I’m going to Seacouver with my mom for spring
break,” Buffy repeated.


“But you can’t go.”


“Try telling my mom that,” Buffy said dryly.


“But who will stop all the vampires and demons when
you’re gone?” asked Willow.


“You guys will just have to survive without me. You’ve
done it before.”


“I suppose,” Willow said reluctantly. “Why Seacouver?”



“An old friend of my mom’s lives there and has invited
us to stay for the week,” Buffy explained.


“Have you told Giles yet?”


“Yes. He’s a bit worried, but mom sort of insisted.”


“Your mom does seem to be stubborn about some things,
doesn’t she.”


“Yeah, she does.” Buffy looked at her watch. “Oh. I
promised Giles I’d stop by the library. Gotta run. See ya later!” With that,
Buffy ran off towards the library.


Willow gathered her books and headed for class, praying
that the local vampires didn’t decide the time to play was while the
Slayer’s away.


~*~


“So who’s this friend of yours that’s coming?” Joe
Dawson asked his friend.


“Joyce Summers. She and Tessa used to be good friends.
She’s bringing her daughter, Buffy, with her.”


Joe inwardly winced at the name. Poor girl. Who in their
right mind would call their daughter Buffy? He kept a straight face, however, as
he asked the girl’s age.


“Sixteen or seventeen, I think,” Duncan answered. “I
haven’t seen either of them in years.”


Duncan broke off and turned towards the door. He had the
“look” that meant another immortal was nearby.


Sure enough, the door opened to reveal Methos, the
world’s oldest immortal. The five-thousand year old man came up to the bar
counter. He greeted Joe and Duncan and asked for a beer.


“Where’ve you been?” Duncan asked. He hadn’t seen
the old man in months.


“Around,” Methos told him. “What have you been up
to?”


“Not much. Life’s been pretty boring for the last few
months.”


Methos gave him a look that spoke volumes. He did no
believe the Highlander. Duncan MacLeod’s life was never boring. It often
seemed like Seacouver was an Immortal hotspot. Rarely did a week pass in which
some immortal did not show up.


“I’m sure,” Methos said sarcastically.


Duncan ignored him. Instead he said, “Actually, an old
friend of mine is coming tomorrow for the week. You should meet her.”


“An old friend?” Methos repeated skeptically, “I
think I’ll pass.”


“She’s not that kind of old friend. She’s mortal.”


“I suppose I’ll see her tomorrow, then.”


The conversation turned away from talk of the Summers. The
two Immortals and the Watcher spent the rest of the night drinking and catching
up on old times.


~*~


Buffy was upset. She had pleaded with her mom all week, but
her mother wouldn’t give in. She insisted Buffy had to come with her. They had
just gotten off the plan and retrieved their luggage. Her mother was looking
through the crowds, trying to find Duncan.


“Joyce!” Duncan cried.


He was off to their left. He was waving his hand to catch
their attention. He was also a lot more handsome than Buffy remembered. Of
course, she hadn’t seen him since before she had really hit puberty.


“Duncan!” Joyce exclaimed. She ran over to greet her
friend leaving Buffy to carry the luggage. She dragged it over and waited for
them to stop hugging each other.


“You haven’t changed a bit,” Joyce was saying.
“I’d swear you don’t look a day older than you did when I met you.”


Duncan laughed a bit uncomfortably. “Neither do you,”
he lied. “And Buffy! You’ve grown up. How old are you now?”


“Eighteen,” she told him, a bit coldly. She was still
resenting the trip and fully planned on sulking for the first couple of days.


“Eighteen!’ Duncan repeated, surprised, “Already?
Last time I saw you, you were only eleven.”


“That was seven years ago.”


“Buffy,” Joyce warned. She knew how annoyed Buffy was,
but she didn’t know why. She assumed Buffy would want a break from her slaying
duties once in awhile.


“Here, let me help you with your bags. The car’s this
way.” Duncan led them over to the airport parking lot where he had parked the
car. Buffy sat in the back, looking forlornly out the window while Joyce and
Duncan talked about old times. She wished for the hundredth time she could be
back in Sunnydale with her friends.


Presently they got to Duncan’s apartment. Buffy unpacked
her suitcase, carefully hiding the stakes and holy water she couldn’t bring
herself to leave behind. After everything was put away, she wandered back out to
the kitchen.


“Buffy,” her mother said, “Duncan and I were about to
go to this gallery that just opened. Do you want to join us?”


“Not really.” Actually there were a billion things
Buffy would rather be doing.


“Are you sure? It’ll be boring staying here by
yourself.”


Buffy rolled her eyes. ‘Not as boring as the gallery
would be,’ she thought. Aloud she said, “I’m sure, mom. I’ll find
something to do.”


“Okay then. We won’t be long.”


“Help yourself to anything,” Duncan told her.


“Bye honey.” They left and Buffy was finally alone.


She grabbed a snack and waited ten minutes to be safe. Then
Buffy went out exploring.


She found a payphone and called Willow using the phone card
she’d bought back in Sunnydale.


“Hello?” the hacker said when she answered the phone.


“Hi Will. It’s Buffy.”


“Buffy!” Willow exclaimed cheerfully, “How was your
flight?”


“It was fine. We got here about an hour ago.”


“How is it?”


“Not very nice. Mom and Duncan have already abandoned me,
and they’ll probably do that a lot more before the end of the week.”


“Do you actually want to hang out with them?”


“Not really, it’s just . . . ” Buffy sighed. I
don’t know what it is. I wish I was back in Sunnydale.”


“Why?” Willow asked. “I would’ve thought you’d
want a vacation. Especially from slaying.”


“Not really. I mean, I always wanted to be rid of being
the Slayer, but all this talk about Faith taking over for me when I go to
college has changed my mind.”


Willow laughed at that.


“No really,” Buffy insisted. “And then that whole
thing on my birthday. I like being the Slayer, and killing vampires and saving
the world,” she confided to her best friend.


“Buffy, we aren’t about to replace you. You’re just
on vacation. Enjoy yourself.”


“Maybe you’re right,” the Slayer admitted. “I have
to go now. Talk to ya later.”


“Bye,” Willow said.


Buffy hung up and went back to Duncan’s place. Her mother
and Duncan weren’t back yet, luckily. Buffy grabbed a book and read until they
returned.


They were laughing, of course. Neither of them could see
Buffy’s face, which was a good thing. She thought she could feel some kind of
weird sensation, similar to the one she sometimes got from vampires. Similar,
but different. Of course, Buffy wasn’t very good at sensing, so she just
ignored it. The sun was still out; it couldn’t be a vampire.


When they did turn to Buffy, the slayer had gotten control
of her emotions. She soon forgot about, because Joyce told her to go get
changed. They were going out to dinner.


Duncan took them to a fancy restaurant. Buffy felt more
than a little out of place. Everyone was dressed up and everything looked really
expensive. It also didn’t help that her two companions were still playing
‘Do you remember?’ You’d think that they’d had enough already. They had
been talking about the past all day.


“Do you still ice skate?” Duncan asked, in an attempt
to include his friend’s daughter.


It failed miserably. Buffy simply said no, while that
reminded Joyce of the time she, Tessa, Hank and Duncan had gone to the ice
capades.


After dinner, which Duncan insisted on paying for, he
suggested they head over to Joe’s. Joyce was reluctant, Buffy was underage
after all, but he convinced her.


The presence informed him that Methos was already there. He
was sitting at the bar, talking to Joe. Duncan waved at them and headed over.


“Joyce, Buffy,” he said, “Allow me to introduce Joe
Dawson and Adam Pierson. Adam, Joe, this is Joyce Summers and her daughter
Buffy.”


Buffy looked wearily at them. She felt that sensation
again, like Duncan’s, only stronger, and it came from one of his friends.


“Pleasure to meet you,” Adam said.


“Nice to meet you, too,” Joyce replied.


Buffy gave them a brief smile.


“Can I get you guys a drink?” Joe asked.


“A beer for me. Buffy?” Joyce asked her daughter.
Turning back to Joe, she asked, “Do you have any pop?”


“Yes, we do. What would you like, Buffy?”


“Coke, please,” Buffy responded politely. “Where are
the washrooms?”


Joe pointed her to them. When she came out again, Joyce,
Joe and Duncan were sitting at a table, laughing and chatting like old friends.


Not wishing to listen to that any more, Buffy went over to
the counter and sat on one of the stools out of the way.


She jumped when Adam spoke. “Would you like your Coke?”



Buffy hadn’t heard him come up. Now that they were alone,
there was no doubt the feeling was coming from him.


“Yeah, thanks,” she said.


He gave her the drink and sat down beside her. He pointed
towards the others. “Aren’t you going to join them?”


“No.”


“Why not?”


“I had enough of being left out over supper. I don’t
really want to sit there and listen to their stories.” She paused and took a
drink before asking, “Why aren’t you there?”


“Same reason.”


Joyce chose that moment to come over. “Buffy, Adam, why
don’t you join us?”


Buffy made a face. “I’d rather not.”


“Buffy,” Joyce said, exasperated and annoyed, “Why
are you being so difficult?”


“I’m not, mom. I’m just sick of feeling left out.”


Joyce was about to respond when Adam cut in, surprising
both women. They had forgotten he was there. “I was just about to leave,” he
said, “I can give Buffy a ride back, if you’d like.”


“Sure,” Buffy said, before her mom could decline.
“Let’s go.”


Joyce looked uncertain, but didn’t say anything about it.
She knew how stubborn Buffy could get, and she didn’t want to cause a scene if
they started arguing. “Go say goodbye to Duncan and Joe before you leave.”


“Yes, mother,” Buffy said patronizingly. She went over
to their table.


“Thank you, Adam,” Joyce said. “I’m sorry about
Buffy’s behaviour. She’s just -“


Adam cut her of with a wave of his hand. “Don’t worry
about it. It’s no problem.”


Duncan was suspicious when he heard the news. Methos rarely
left so early, nor did he often do favours for people. Especially those he just
met. He shot a look at Methos, telling him he was going to ask for an
explanation later.


Adam had parked a couple of blocks away. It was dark, with
almost no streetlights. Buffy nervously put her hand close to the stake she had
concealed in her clothing. It wasn’t Sunnydale, but she’d rather be safe
than sorry.


In a nearby alley, someone screamed. Buffy ran off towards
it without thinking.


A young woman, probably in her early twenties, was there,
surrounded by a bunch of vampires.


‘Just my luck,’ Buffy thought. ‘I leave the Hellmouth
just to find more vampires.’


“Hey!” she said aloud. “Get away from her!”


A couple of them actually listened, and turned to her
instead. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Adam enter the alley. “Damn,”
she muttered. Why couldn’t he have just stayed away. It looked like yet
another civilian was going to learn about her so called secret identity.


Buffy didn’t have anymore time to think about it. Two
vamps rushed her. She surprised them and took one of them out before they
realized what had happened. The second one was a bit more cautious the second
time he attacked her, but still underestimated the Slayer. He, too, was killed
less than a minute later.


The next batch of vampires was much more careful. They knew
she wasn’t their average human. They still underestimated her, though. Buffy
was able to kill them without too much difficulty. It took her some time to
finish them off, because there were many attacking at once.


Buffy went to check on the woman. She was in bad shape.
Buffy wasn’t sure if she’d survive. “I’ll just find Adam and - “ she
broke off and swore. She’d forgotten about Adam. She turned around just in
time to see him behead a vampire with a sword. She was so surprised that she did
not notice the other vampires arrive. Her first sign of them happened when one
of them hit her on the back of her head. She crumpled down as the blackness
claimed her.


~*~


Methos was annoyed. Of all the people MacLeod’s friends
could be, it had to be her. He quickly slipped into his Adam Pierson persona and
greeted MacLeod's friends. He started a conversation with Buffy, ultimately
offering her a ride home to find out why she and her mother were in town and
whether or not he should leave.


When Buffy ran off to investigate the scream, Methos swore.
He had no choice but to follow her.


He could just see himself trying to explain to MacLeod.
“Oh, I just let her run off by herself. She’s a vampire slayer, how was I
supposed to know she couldn’t take care of herself.”


Yeah, Duncan would accept that. He’d have Methos’s head
before he could finish.


The Slayer caught the vampires’ attention. Two of them
headed towards her, while three others headed towards him.


He dodged the first’s attack. With a single fluid motion,
he pulled out his sword and beheaded it. He managed to behead the second one
easily too; it was too shocked to move out of the way of the blade. The third
proved more of a challenge. It took nearly five minutes for Methos to deal with
it.


He may have killed it quickly, but more vampires came to
take the place of their dusted comrades. They, unfortunately, did not believe in
the one on one rule that immortals adhere by.


He finally dusted the last one and looked to see how Buffy
was doing. She had killed the rest of the group, and was looking at him and his
sword in shock. She’d obviously seen something. Too late he saw a new vampire
sneak up behind her. He shouted a warning, but the demon had already knocked her
out.


Dozens of vampires appeared. The new troops easily disarmed
him and, surprisingly, knocked him out too.


He awoke with a minor headache, which was already fading
away. Thank the gods for immortal healing. The Slayer was beside him, and was
also waking up.


“Where are we?” she asked.


“I have no idea,” Methos told her. “They knocked me
out, too.”


“Why’d they do that?” Buffy asked.


“How should I know?” Methos snapped. He didn’t like
vampires or any other type of demons. He’s spent a great deal of his life
avoiding them. Now, not only had they captured him, but he was also imprisoned
with the Slayer.


“I don’t know!” Buffy snapped back. She didn’t like
their situation any more than he did. They glared at each other for a couple of
minutes, until Methos relaxed.


“I guess I don’t need to ask you why you’re here
anymore,” Methos said, more to himself than to her.


“Huh?”


“Obviously you’ve been sent here to deal with these
vampires.”


“What!” exclaimed Buffy.


“Please don’t tell me there’re others. I hate
demons.”


“How should I know?” demanded Buffy, referring to his
first statement.


“Well, you are the Slayer, aren’t you?”


To say Buffy was stunned was an understatement. “How’d
you know?” she asked before thinking it would probably be a better idea to
play dumb.


“It’s rather obvious. Few humans would be so blasé
about seeing a bunch of vampires. Fewer still would attack them. Only the Slayer
would managed to fight so many and survive.” Methos didn’t add that he
already knew who she was. The Slayer’s presence was very strong and unique.
That would just lead to questions he didn’t want to answer.


Buffy accepted the explanation. It did make sense if he had
already known about the existence of Slayers. That brought up an interesting
point, how did he know? She asked him.


Methos took a moment to think of an answer. “They killed
my family.” It was partially true. Vampires had killed one of his families,
long ago. Of course, he had known about them before then, everyone had. But that
was not true of this day and age, and his lie would suffice.


“I’m sorry,” Buffy said. She couldn’t help but
think of a similar conversation she’d once had with Angel. “You’re not a
vampire with a soul, are you?” she blurted out before she could stop herself.


“What?” exclaimed Methos.


Buffy blushed. “Nothing,” she said quickly. “Never
mind.”


Methos looked at her suspiciously, but thankfully didn’t
say anything. Neither did Buffy.


~*~


“Buffy! We’re back,” Joyce called out into the dark
apartment. There was no answer. Joyce was about to call out again, but Duncan
stopped her.


“Shh. She’s probably sleeping. It’s after
midnight.”


Joyce giggled in agreement. She was a little drunk. Both
she and Duncan went to bed quietly without checking in on Buffy and slept
soundly all night.


Duncan was up early the next morning to workout. He was
almost finished when Joyce walked in.


“Oww,” she moaned. “My head hurts. I really
shouldn’t have had that much to drink. Why don’t you have a hangover?”


“I didn’t have as much to drink,” he answered. “Is
Buffy up yet?”


“No. I’ll go wake her.” Joyce went back upstairs.


Duncan started to clean up when Joyce came bursting back
into the dojo. “Buffy’s gone!” she shouted.


“What?”


“She’s not there. Her bed hasn’t been slept in. She
never came back last night.” Joyce was frantic.


Duncan was no less worried. His mind raced through several
unpleasant possibilities about what may have happened. Had there been an
accident? Methos wouldn’t have been hurt, but Buffy could have. Did they run
into another Immortal?


“You’re sure she didn’t leave early,” he asked.


“Of course I’m sure,” Joyce snapped. “Nothing in
her room has been touched. She wasn’t there.”


Her mind had also been thinking of things that may
occurred. Seacouver should be safe from vampires, but who knew? Did something
attack her?


“I’ll call Adam,” Duncan said.


He went over to the phone and dialed the old man’s
number. He let it ring for a couple of minutes before giving up.


“He’s not answering,” he told Joyce. “He may not be
awake. Why don’t we go over to see if he’s there.


There wasn’t anything else to do so Joyce nodded. They
grabbed their coats and left.


Methos’s apartment was empty. The next place Duncan
thought he might be was Joe’s.


When they were a couple of blocks away from the bar, Duncan
suddenly pulled over.


“What is it,” asked Joyce, concerned.


“That’s Adam’s cars,” Duncan said, referring to the
car parked in front of them.


“Maybe he’s at Joe’s,” Joyce suggested.


“Maybe,” Duncan said.


Duncan drove to the bar and parked out in front. They got
out of the car and knocked on the door.


“We’re close,” Joe called out.


“Joe, it’s Duncan. Let me in.”


“One minute,” Joe called back.


He went over to the door and opened it. “Duncan, Joyce,
what are you doing here?”


“Have you seen Adam?” Duncan asked.


“No, not since last night,” Joe replied, puzzled,
“Why?”


“Buffy didn’t come home last night,” Joyce told him,
her voice strained.


“Adam’s car is still parked where it was last night,”
Duncan added.


Joe’s face grew serious. “Do you think it - “ he cut
himself off before saying anything else. Joyce didn’t know about immortals.
“What do you think happened?”


“I don’t know.”


“Should we call the police?” Joyce asked.


“That’s probably a good idea,” Duncan said.


“The phone’s over there.” Joe pointed towards it.


Joyce went off to make her call. Making sure she couldn’t
overhear the conversation, Joe asked, “Do you think it was an immortal?”


“I don’t know. Are there any in town?”


Joe shook his head. “Not that I know of. I’ll find out.



“Where!” Joyce suddenly cried out. The two men looked
over at her. She was very pale. “Okay, I’ll be there in a few minutes.”


Joyce turned to face them. “The police found a body this
morning, two blocks away from here. They think it may be Buffy.” As she was
saying this, Joyce was heading towards the door. Duncan followed her.


There were many police cars at the scene. They tried at
first to keep Joyce and Duncan back, but let them through when Joyce said she
thought she could identify the body.


She gave a small sob when she saw the bloody blond body.
“Oh my god,” she said as she rushed over.


A police officer turned the body over and Joyce got a good
look at its face. She almost cried with relief. “It isn’t her!” she
exclaimed. “It isn’t Buffy!”


“What happened, officer,” Duncan asked.


“The girl was attacked. She died from blood loss. Now,
you’ll have to leave. This is a crime scene.”


Duncan and Joyce were scooted away. The body was placed in
a bag and zipped up. But not before both of them saw the two puncture wounds in
the neck.


Joyce paled considerably. She knew what that meant. She had
left Sunnydale to get away from vampires. Why did they have to show up here?


Duncan was also concerned. He did not believe in vampires,
but he knew of some people who had disguised murders as such. It never failed to
bring a general panic to the people.


Just before they were about to head back, Duncan spotted a
sword at the edge of the alley. An Ivanhoe, Methos’s sword. Apparently he
wasn’t the only one to see it, for an officer came by and picked it up before
Duncan could sneak it away.


When they went back to Joe’s bar, the owner was waiting
anxiously. “Was it - “ he asked, leaving the question hanging.


“No,” Joyce said wearily, but relieved. “It was
someone else. If you’ll excuse me, I have to go make a phone call.”


She left, planning on calling Giles. Surely he would know
what to do. It gave Joe and Duncan a chance to talk freely.


“There wasn’t any signs of a quickening, but I found
Methos’s sword there,” Duncan said.


“What!” exclaimed Joe.


“He dropped it in the alley. The cops found it.”


“Methos would never do something as reckless as losing
his sword.”


“I know. Something serious must have happened.”


“So what do we know so far? Methos and Buffy have
disappeared. Methos’s sword is found at a murder scene, but no signs of a
quickening. A girl has been murdered, at the last place we can place them.”


“And the girl’s murder has been disguised to look like
a vampires,” Duncan added.


“What?”


“She died of blood loss with two puncture wounds at the
neck.”


“So where does that leave us?” Joe asked.


“I don’t know,” Duncan admitted.


Joyce chose that moment to come back into the bar, so they
couldn’t talk anymore. “Duncan, could you give me a ride to the police
station? I should tell them about Buffy.”


“Of course.”


They spent the rest of the day at the station, getting
nothing done. By the time the police were finished taking statements and filling
out their reports, the sun had already set. Joyce hadn’t found out anything
from Giles. He promised to do some research, but there wasn’t enough
information to really find anything useful.


End Part One

The End

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