Title: Fields of joy
(3rd Story in Sandcastles and stars series)
Disclaimer: I own nothing! BtVS belongs to Joss Whedon. Book series Broken Sky belong to Chris Wooding. Harry Potter setting characters etc belong to J. K. Rowling.
Paul Langford and Catherine Langford belong to Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner.
Summary: While Buffy is away, in LA for summer break, Joyce's life takes some interesting twists and turns. Answer to Challenge-3245, and a bit of "wake up married" cliché thrown in the mix.
About the Sandcastles and stars series: Fields of joy, is a story from (mostly) Joyce's POV, but most characters from White leaf fall Drusilla centric fic, and Buffy-Champion of Ankhseram are present. Which means elements from the crossed fandoms from those stories are present here as well, disclaimers' for those will pop up in the chapters down the line.
WARNINGS: Time-lines are foggy IGNORE the timelines. I promise I'll post (eventually) full timelines in how time/year wise all of it fits/and how canon time-lines were changed AFTER most of the Sandcastles and stars series are running smoothly. OK! Thanks for your patience!
Paring: Joyce Summers/Xenophilius "Xeno" Lovegood (main paring), hints of Joyce/Hank, Joyce/Other
Chapter 1: Forgotten past
January 1979 San Francisco
A rough sigh escaped Joyce Doe's throat as she plopped herself down on the bench at the underground train station, the place entirely devoid of life and seeming almost creepily abandoned.
But that didn't bother her at all; she felt abandoned … nobody came forward who'd known her, for two years – to this day- despite the police efforts, and because the doctors estimated her age to be around the late teens or early twenties.
Joyce was pretty sure that they were wrong and she was older. But she had nothing to base that feeling, so she let them make that assumption. After all she had no recollection before waking up in that hospital bed.
The doctors told her that she was in a coma for two months and that she was stable now, then the policemen and detectives came to see her and asked her questions; she had no idea where or even when she was. Or what a president even IS. The rehabilitation was difficult, mostly because most people treated her like she was retarded, or didn't understand what they were saying. It took a doctor, a surgeon really, to blow up at them that she was not to be treated that way. That she had total control of her physical and mental capabilities, she just lost all her memories.
She could read, she could talk, she could write; she shown that she understood and remembered what she read, faster than any man or woman her age. The doctor speculated that this was so, because she already knew it all, and now she was just remembering.
She was taken in by the family that found her, the family that consisted of the doctor that shouted at everyone; she was glad about that, she had become fond of Arlene and Lolly, her two new sisters.
They said she can call them mother and father.
Joyce really didn't have any objections to that. She made a life for herself here; in fact when she recovered from her injuries, the police said that her injuries consisted of someone who was in a train wreck the thing is, she was found in an alley, but that was what they said.
It was a mystery... that was unlikely to be solved any time soon.
But things were looking up; she went to evening high school courses, was on the yearbook staff, wore her Gidget haircut with pride, and breezed through college courses for Art and History. She meet a young man that studied Architecture; they were going out today, Hank Summers and her.
She was looking forward to spending time with the green eyed, blond man. Even if she dreamed of a dark eyed, brown haired bear of a men with a gentle voice, of a teenage boy with black hair in ponytail, of a younger blond boy and a red haired girl, twins …of a happy family she was part of.
As a mother and wife.
January 19, 1981 Los Angeles
Joyce was married for a year and a half and already cursing her husband as she was giving birth. But still the doctors and nurses made comments that for a young mother with her firstborn, she apparently knew what to do immediately.
Never mind that she had flashbacks of giving birth before, twice. But that couldn't be right, could it?
But when the nurse put a small pink wrapped bundle in her hands, she forgot all about the strange thoughts and pictures that had risen during birth. She looked at her little baby girl in her arms. She had a small button like nose and large baby blue eyes that would change color later in the baby's life. She wondered what color they would end up being in the end.
She briefly saw one pair of black eyes, and then green and electric blue … but just as she tried to grasp the thought, it slipped away, like grains of sand at the beach.
Sighing, she smiled a tired smile to Hank, and showed him the small bundle. "Here she is," she murmured, gently depositing their daughter in Hank's hold.
"Our little Buffy Anne."
A grey haired head popped into the room, followed by the rest of the family from both sides of said families, Hank's and hers.
"You two made a cute kid," said Barbara, Joyce's foster mother. Lolly, who had given birth a month before Joyce, to a little girl she and her husband called Celia, nodded. Arlene, who came all the way from Illinois, reached her hand so that little Buffy wrapped her little pinky finger around her offered finger.
"She is healthy?" asked Arlene, the newly made parental unit.
Hank smiled and nodded at his sister in law. "Yes, Arlene, she is perfectly healthy."
"Will she be blonde?"
"Well, Joyce is a darker blonde than Hank, so barring prominent number of black haired family members in the past, she might as well have some shade of blonde hair," Catherine spoke up, some distant relation of Hank's. Joyce remembered her well; she had many interesting discussions with Miss. Langford, since she was the daughter Professor Paul Langford, who was an archaeologist that led a team to dig for artifacts near the Great Pyramids in Giza, Egypt in 1928, when Catherine herself was a ten year old girl accompanying her father.
January 1996 Los Angeles
Joyce was at home, washing dishes, thinking about her day at the National Museum in LA, where she oversaw the exhibition of art, pictures mostly.
Hank was out; his company was working on a project, but her marriage was cooling down, and most of Hank's family, with the exception of Catherine Langford, was pulling away from her.
Catharine said that they 'smelled a casualty' of marriage and they didn't want to interfere, so they'll wait until things calmed down. Then she warned her that they'll probably ignore her, not their daughter, just Joyce, if she got divorced from Hank.
She was just glad that if she divorced Hank, she'll get custody of their child.
Buffy had been acting strange ever since her fifteenth birthday. She was being skittish, and her grades dropped.
Joyce was beginning to worry for her youngest daughter … wait a moment, Joyce's hands stilled while she was washing a frying pan.
Where did that came from?
Buffy was her only daughter!
The unbidden image of a fourteen year old, green eyed girl with fiery red hair braided in a long braid, laying in Joyce's lap, while she ran her hand over the drowsy teen, raised in her mind's eye.
February 1996 Sunnydale
Joyce Summers, recently divorced, stood with the real estate agent, Mr. Smith, a lively man of Mexican descent, on a wide concrete sidewalk before a house at Revello Drive in the suburban town. The sidewalk led from the curb, through the middle of the front yard, past the palms and other trees that were native to California, and through the gap in a low hedge that decorated the house porch. There was a short flight of stairs that led up to the front door, and on either side of the front door were picture windows flanked by tall, narrower windows.
The porch, spanning the width of the house, was overhung by part of the residence's roof, which was supported by four pillars, the two beside the steps having brick pedestals.
Joyce liked the sight of that porch; she could put settee and a club table there, or perhaps also a rocking chair where she and Buffy could relax when night would fall. She could furbish the setae with plush pillows and …
"As you can see, Mrs. Summers, the house is a two story American Craftsman style home, with a full basement. The house itself is facing the driveway to the right, which goes alongside the house, with a detachment to the car garage."
Joyce nodded; that was perfect for her car, and perhaps if Buffy will get her driver's license, well the garage looked big enough to fit two cars anyway. But Mr. Smith was already fishing for (the) keys, while talking about the house.
"The backyard stretches back to the fence; at the moment it's bare, so you'll be able to plant your own plants if you chose. The house contains a ground floor, upper floor, attic, and full basement. Shall we look them over, Mrs. Summers?"
"Yes please, lead the way, Mr. Smith," Joyce said; then she thought, basement huh, that is unusual, for Southern California homes rarely had basements of any type, much less spacious basements.
Mr. Smith unlocked the front door, and they stepped into the foyer that Joyce could see led into a hallway, where she could see a …
"There is fully furbished dining room that is facing away from the street, and beyond the dining room the kitchen with all the appliances already in place, now see," Mr. Smith was saying, after he demonstrated that the kitchen appliances were indeed in working order.
"The kitchen has access to both the sitting room to its right and to the rear porch. A short flight of steps leads from the back porch into the back yard. A sitting room itself is located at the end of the hallway."
"Hmm, the living room is not furnished?"
"No, the previous owners emptied all but the kitchen and the two bathrooms upstairs and washing facilities in the basement. Shall we see the upper floor?"
"Yes, please," Joyce said, while she mentally made a list of the furniture that she'll move from her previous residence she shared with Hank in the past.
They returned back to the foyer, where a staircase led from the foyer to the upper floor.
"The upper floor contains a master bedroom that is facing the rear of the house, two smaller rooms, one of those has a small bathroom attached, with one window facing the front yard through the oak three," Mr. Smith was saying. Joyce smiled that smaller bathroom and a room was perfect for her daughter. "And there is the master bathroom, with a bath and shower."
The spare room could be my work room or storage room in a pinch, Joyce thought.