Five things that never happened to Jenny Calendar
1. prophecy notwithstanding
The phone rang six times before it picked up. Her uncle's voice was scratchy on the line. "Janna?"
"I thought you might want to know about Angelus."
"What has happened? He still suffers, yes?"
"He walked into the sun yesterday morning and burned into a tiny pile of ash. I'd call that suffering."
"What? He is dead? How could you let this happen? It was your duty to watch him! What of our vengance now?"
"How was I going to stop him, exactly? Should it really surprise you that a vampire cursed with tormenting guilt should feel the need to commit suicide at some point? And I say good for him, he's been around for what, two hundred years? It's past time for him to move on. It's time for us to move on, too, Uncle. The world won't end because one impotent vampire finally got what's coming to him."
2. more than one way to skin a cheerleader
"Jenny!" Giles sounded pleased. "Please, come in."
She slinked past him, one hand brushing along his chest possessively. She turned and perched on the edge of the couch, looking back."So now that you have Buffy's permission, you like me again?"
The question, the bluntness flustered him, sent him stammering and polishing his glasses as he walked alongside the counter, and she laughed. He took refuge in politeness.
"Would you like a drink?"
"I think the question is, what would you like, Rupert?" She sauntered up against him, rested a thumb against a shirt button, raked nails along his scalp. Her kiss was all hunger and war and possession, and his hands around her ribcage loosened with surprise.
"Jenny, you're so cold."
She dug her nails into his skin, slid her hand into an iron grip on his shoulder, snarled predatory. "You know, I think I will have that drink."
3. technopagan in romania
Janna pulled out an atlas. The dimensional rift seemed to have closed almost as quickly as it opened, but if the force of it had echoed across both the Atlantic Ocean and the entire North American continent, it was powerful magic, and merited investigation.
She took a closer look at the scrying glass and compared it to the Southern California section of the map. There, that little town two centimeteres from LA - Sunnydale. Hm. Wasn't cousin Andrei out there? Keeping track of that Angelus vampire the uncles were all so obsessed with?
How convenient. She made a note to call him tomorrow and ask him to look into it, before yawning and crawling back into bed.
4. home is where the heart lies
He was sitting on the swing, pretending to read the newspaper, when she came back out onto the porch.
"It was Willow," she said, standing behind him and resting gentle fingers on his collarbone. "She wanted pronunciation tips on that Romanian disguise spell we've been e-mailing about."
"I wish you wouldn't encourage her," he said gruffly, wrapping one hand around hers and leaning back into her stomach. "That spell has practically nothing but illicit applications."
"Well it was written by gypsies," Jenny joked lightly. "Honestly, Rupert, she's thirty-five, I think she can take care of herself. Anyway, you have your own daughter in college and two sons at an after-game rugby party right now, I think you have enough fathering to worry about."
"Alex and Oswald are good boys," he said distractedly, "and don't dabble in dangerous arcane powers. What else did Willow have to say?"
Jenny was silent for a moment, staring out over the water. This was a touchy subject. "The Anniversary's next month. Fifteen years. They'd like you to come."
"Plane tickets to the States are bloody expensive."
She stared at him, incredulous, and smacked the back of his head. "I don't believe you. That's your most pathetic excuse yet. Look, it's been six years since you've seen any of the kids face-to-face. Xander is still hurt that you haven't met little Rory yet, and Willow and Tara want to show off their new place. Go for them, if you can't bring yourself to go for her."
"It's so hard," he said roughly, finally. "I can't do it, Jenny. I just can't."
"Anne wants to go this year," Jenny said quietly.
"What? Why?" He sat up, stunned, turned to look her in the face. "Absolutely not!"
"I'm taking her with me. I think she has the right to see her namesake's grave."
5. no thelma and louise
Joyce was dressed casual, a loose striped blouse and a bandanna holding her hair back - the same way she looked every of a hundred nights, when they got smashed on burbon and watched Casablanca in French and hoped their loved ones would come home whole. She was smiling, but not widely; it was the half-smile that was as cheery as she'd get until Buffy stood healthy in the doorway.
"Get out, you bitch," Jenny snarled at her.
"Now, Jenny, is that any way to talk to your dearest friend? And considering where we're standing, I don't think you have much call to tell me to go anywhere."
"And you didn't waste any time, did you? Moved right into my house. Had sex in my bed. Mothered my daughters. Trying to erase me, is that how you honor my memory? Some best friend you turned out to be."
"You're not her. She wanted them to be taken care of. She knew I loved them too."
"Don't lie to yourself, Jenny. This life you're living was never yours. And it never will be."