Taken Care Of

Taken Care Of - Part 1

Title: Taken Care Of Series

Chapter: 1/16

Author: Bek Allen

Rating: PG13 to NC17+

Summary: Completely AU. After Joyce died, and Buffy died, Dawn moved to L.A. to live with her Dad. Giles still lives in the U.K. What if Joyce had set things up for Buffy and Dawn so that, once Buffy turns 21, she will be financially stable enough to work only part time and still have time for college and slaying? What if, while Joyce was under the knife, she saw what the future held for Buffy and the rest of the Scooby Gang?

Spoilers: Season Six, Older and Far Away…Except that birthday party didn't happen, THE Kiss at the end of Once More, With Feeling never happened, nor did the whole Bronze scene as Giles left at the end of Tabula Rasa. Let's just say, Spike's infatuation with Buffy died when she did.

Pairings: Buffy/Giles, Xander/Anya, Tara/Willow, Spike/?

Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing. Honestly. The entire "Buffy" phenomenon belongs to that God, Joss and all those demi Gods that work under him. You can sue me, but that would result in you getting a psychotic cat named Mulder, and two seriously schizophrenic gold fish. And a clapped out old Holden with no left taillight.

Feedback: Yes please. It's soul food for me. As for flames, they will be given to my cat to play with and destroy as she sees fit.

Notes: Just go with me on this okay? It's really AU. So, a lot of things in season six are going to be rewritten. Thoughts are in 'single quotation marks' and Letters are written in Italics. This just came to me as I was on the train going to university. So, bear with me. It'll get better…Promise.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"This so better be important." She grumbled as she came down the stairs bleary eyed. "Yes?" She squinted as the harsh sunlight rushed the dim entryway as she opened the front door.

"Ellesbeth Summers?" A young woman in a warm caramel suit enquired.

Buffy inwardly cringed at the sound of her real name. The only person ever to call her that was her father, and she hadn't been in touch with him on a father/daughter level in almost five years. "That's me. Can I help you with something?" She opened the door to reveal her yummi-sushi pyjamas, allowing the woman to step inside.

"I'm Mackenzie Turner. I'm a Lawyer with Andrews, Jackson and Turner. We handled your mother's state of affairs before and after she passed away." She replied, stepping into the hall.

"Oh." Buffy moved to take the woman's coat. "I'm sorry, it's just that I worked a double shift last night and…"

"That's okay Miss Summers. I'll only take up a few minutes of your time." She smiled warmly at the young woman, shrugging off her jacket and shifting her briefcase to her other hand. "My father put me in charge of your late mother's state of affairs. I'm here mainly to discuss with you her last will and testament. Is there someplace where we could sit and talk?"

"Sure. Would you like a cup of tea or coffee?"

"Tea would be fine thank you." The tall girl followed Buffy into the kitchen.

"How…"

"Black, one sugar." She smiled warmly again, her heart filling with compassion for the eldest Summers daughter.

"Please, won't you sit down? I'll have the tea ready in a moment." Buffy motioned to the dinning room table before moving to fill the kettle.

Buffy busied herself with making the tea and organising coffee for herself. Her mother's last will and testament. She had never thought there had been a will; it had all been so quick, the tumour, the operation, the aneurism, the funeral. The rest of the Scoobies and herself just took it for granted, that due to the quickness of her death, Joyce hadn't had time to make those sorts of arrangements. The whistling of the kettle pulled her from her reverie. She smiled at the young woman before arranging everything on a tray and taking it across to the table.

"I wasn't really aware my mother had a will." Buffy spoke as she sat down.

"Yes. She organised it with the firm before she went into surgery to remove the tumour. She specifically asked that we wait until the week before your twenty-first birthday."

"Oh."

"I realise that this must come as somewhat of a shock to you Miss Summers. Your mother's instructions to us, were, somewhat of an unusual nature."

"Miss Turner." Buffy began.

"Mackenzie, please. I'm only a year or two older then yourself."

"Fine." She placed her coffee mug on the table calmly. "Mackenzie. As you are aware, my mother has been dead well on eleven months. In that time, things have changed. My sister no longer lives with me. She has moved to Los Angeles to live with our father." She looked at the Lawyer, reigning in her tears of anger.

"That is why I am here Miss Summers. If I could just explain…" She could sense the girl's pain and anguish. She hesitated briefly before Buffy motioned for her to continue. "As you are more then aware, your mother nearly owned this house. She only had a year or two left on the mortgage before this house was entirely hers. As you may know, Sunnydale housing prices are incredibly cheap, and do not take very long to pay off."

'Yeah, because the death rate is so high, the bank can just give away homes.' Buffy nodded slowly. "I know I've been a bit behind on a few payments…"

Mackenzie shook her head to silence Buffy. "I'm not here to foreclose Miss Summers. Your mother also ran a private art gallery, which, as I believe, is currently being run by a woman named Belinda Adams."

Buffy nodded again, her hand gripping the handle of her coffee cup. "She was my mother's assistant." She grimaced at the thought of Belinda running the gallery. The woman, in her late thirties disliked both Buffy and her mother. Always questioning their motives for doing something, or being somewhere at a time of crisis.

"Well, your mother's will states that, until the official reading of the will, Belinda will run the gallery and all profit will go to you and your younger sister, Dawn."

"When does this go into effect?" Buffy asked quietly. Silently sending prayers of thanks to her mother and trying to calculate bills and mortgage payments in her head.

"Your mother set up a pair of trust funds in alliance with the Bank of Sunnydale and Andrews, Jackson and Turner. As of your twenty-first birthday, you will be able to access your fund, which according to my records has a little over two hundred thousand dollars and is continually increasing." She raised her teacup to her lips, inwardly smiling at the younger girl's shocked expression.

"And…" Buffy began. Her mind filling, with endless possibilities on how to utilize the money in her trust fund after she had payed all the bills and the last of the mortgage off.

"Dawn will be able to access hers on her twenty-first birthday as well."

"Okay, and…"

"Seeing as the money was split evenly, She will be receiving whatever has been added to the two hundred thousand dollars she already has in there as of today. Both your trust funds will increase over time. The profit of the gallery's weekly earnings being divided evenly between the two of you."

Buffy nodded. "And the official reading of the will?"

"Your mother has stipulated that certain people are present at the reading of the will. I have the list right here." She opened her briefcase and removed a slim file. "Do you know any of the following people?" She looked to Buffy before continuing on. "Hank Summers, Dawn Summers, Belinda Adams, Rupert Giles, Willow Rosenberg, Tara Maclay, Alexander Harris, Anya Jenkins and William Barret?"

Buffy nodded again. "I may not be able to get in contact with my father, but I'll try. Rupert Giles is in England, but I can get him here. The only name I don't recognise, is William Barret."

"It says here, uh, 'Spike'?" She gave Buffy an odd look.

"Oh yes, I know him."

"Well, that about covers it I think." She smiled and rose. "The reading of the will is one week after your birthday. I look forward to seeing you then." She held out her hand as Buffy stood and walked her to the door.

"Thank you Miss Turner. You have no idea how much this means to me and my sister."

"It was a pleasure, even under the circumstances." She smiled warmly as they shook hands. "Oh, and one more thing," Mackenzie turned as she stepped out onto the portico, her hand reaching into her jacket.

"Yes?" Buffy held the door open, looking quizzically at the young lawyer.

"Your mother asked that we hand deliver this to you." She produced a cream envelope from an inner pocket of her jacket and handed it to Buffy. "It hasn't been opened." She continued as Buffy turned the envelope over in her hands.

"Thank you." She whispered as she clutched the letter to her chest, blinking back her tears.

"My pleasure Miss Summers. Have a nice day and I shall see you, back here in two weeks."

Buffy nodded and watched as Mackenzie walked down the front path and into the waiting green sports car.

After the car had pulled into the street, Buffy stepped back inside and closed the door. She glanced at the envelope, staring at her mother's familiar cursive handwriting. The lone tear that had escaped past her eyelashes made its way down her cheek, sliding over her chin to drop on the smooth envelope, disfiguring the 'y' at the end of her name.

She moved back to the kitchen, gingerly placing the envelope on the table, her moves had become somewhat mechanical. She collected the empty coffee and teacups from the table and moved to the kitchen sink, rinsing them before placing them in the dish rack to dry.

She sighed before picking up the telephone and dialling her father's number.

"Hi, you've reached the house of Mary-Anne and Hank Summers. We are currently unable to answer the phone right now, but if you leave your name, number, a brief message and the date and time that you called, we will get back to you as soon as possible." The recording filled Buffy with seething hatred as she remembered being introduced to her father's new wife two days after burying her mother.

The young brunette was just a year or two older then Buffy and was more interested in spending Hank's money then spending time to get to know his family. It was only at Dawn's insistence after Willow had pulled Buffy from Heaven, and the events that followed Halloween, that she accepted the idea of her moving to L.A to allow Buffy some form of a stable life without having to worry about playing Mom to a hormonal sixteen year old.

The tone sounded for Buffy to begin recording her message. "Hey Dawnie. It's your one and only big sister. I need you to call me as soon as you get home from school. It's really important. I'll need to speak to you and dad. Call me when you get in. Love you Dawnie."

She hung up the phone and steeled herself. Without her younger sister around, Buffy felt that the house was too empty and too big, even with Willow living there. She sighed as she spied the list of names that Mackenzie had left on the table for her to get in contact with. She swallowed the sobs that threatened to choke her. It was too early to call Spike, too late to call Giles, Xander and Anya were at work and Willow and Tara were at school. She sat down at the table; she'd speak to everyone tonight, before she went on patrol.

She reached across and pulled the cream envelope towards her, her fingers tracing over the delicate handwriting of her mother. The only thing left to do, would be to read it. That, however, would be the hard part. Swallowing her tears, she clutched the letter to her chest and ascended the stairs. Walking into her bedroom, she took the silver letter opener from her desk and sat cross-legged on her bed. She slid the opener under the flap that sealed the envelope closed.

Carefully, she removed the neatly folded sheets of ivory paper and began to read.

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