Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or any of the characters from it. It is the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Fox, etc. The original characters in this fic are mine, however, and may not be used elsewhere.
Summary: Fed up with her rebellious behavior, Spike and Buffy devise what they think is the perfect punishment for their fourteen-year-old daughter, Anne. But as Anne quickly finds out, trouble seems to follow a Summers wherever she goes…
Author's Note: This story is part of my Post-Chosen series. Though it can be read as a standalone, if you are interested in reading the rest of the series, it can be found here: and Archiving : Feedback is greatly appreciated, so please, if you enjoy the story, take a moment to let me know. I usually allow archiving, but if I've never given you permission to archive my stories before, please e-mail me and ask me beforehand.
Anne Summers had known the moment her father and Mr. Giles had come to collect her and her best friend, Rebecca Giles, at the jail, she'd gone too far this time. While her father had never been what she'd call permissive, he'd shown an understanding of her need to cause a little mayhem now and then.
Anne had often wondered how far would be too far. Now, she knew.
With Rebecca at her side, Anne looked up at the four stern parental faces staring down at the fourteen year olds seated on the sofa in the Summers family living room. Last night, when her father had brought her home, he'd sent her to her room and told her they'd discuss things in the morning.
Anne had expected yelling. She'd expected to be told she was immediately confined to her room until she was eighty.
Instead, she'd gotten an eerie calm.
Rebecca was squirming beside her, and Anne noticed her friend trying to avoid her own mother's gaze. Anne looked up and immediately shrunk away.
So that must've been what Anyanka looked like…
Suddenly, Spike dropped something on the coffee table in front of the girls, and they both jumped.
"What is that?" Anne asked, staring at the large, white packet.
"Pick it up and see for yourself," Spike replied.
Her hands trembling, Anne did as her father said, carefully opening the packet up and pulling out the papers inside.
What she saw made her blood run cold.
Anne looked up at her father, using the wide, pleading eyes that usually got things to go her way. "No. Please, Daddy, I'll be good from now on. I promise! Just…just not this. I'll…I'll do all the chores! I won't even leave my room except to do them for the whole rest of the summer!"
Beside her, Rebecca whimpered.
Afraid Spike would cave in the face of a Summers pout, Buffy stepped forward. "Anne, the four of us got together and talked, and we think this will be for the best. It's really not fair to you girls to keep you cooped up all summer in this city, especially since we can't give you full supervision. Clearly, this incident was a cry for attention. I'd be a neglectful mother if I didn't listen."
"No! No cry! I get lots of attention!" Anne insisted. "It's smothering! That's my problem! I need…more time alone! To contemplate the bad, bad path I'm on."
"Now, now, princess, no arguing with your mother. We only want what's best for both of you."
Anne looked up at Spike, catching the way his lips twitched up in a smirk. And then, she knew.
She wasn't getting out of this. They knew exactly what they were doing. This was tortuous punishment wrapped up in the guise of parental concern.
"We'll be leaving first thing tomorrow," Anya said from where she stood at her husband's side. "The four of us will be escorting you personally on one of the Council's jets."
Any hope Anne had of escape was completely dashed. She might have been able to get away from one of them, but all four? She couldn't, especially if she tried to get Rebecca free, too.
And she couldn't run off without Rebecca. If her best friend was going to suffer all summer, then so was she.
Her shoulders slumped. "This is cruel and unusual punishment, you know," Anne muttered.
"Yes, and our right as parents is to dole it out. Now go pack your things," Spike replied.
Anne gave him one more pleading glance, only to be met with a raised eyebrow and crossed arms.
With a sigh, she trudged off to her room as Rebecca left the flat with her parents.
"You can't leave us in this hell. It's inhumane."
Buffy glanced over at her daughter, her eyebrow arching as she did. "It's not hell. It's Connecticut."
"Same bloody thing!"
"It's really quite a lovely place," Giles said. "Look at all the nice...foliage."
"We're in the middle of the woods, Da," Rebecca replied, panic creeping into her voice. "Anne and I, we're city girls. We're going to die out here. There's…there's….sunshine and fresh air!"
"Children have been going to summer camp for years and living to tell the tale," Buffy insisted. "Now come on, let's get you girls checked in."
"You're going to feel bad when you come back to pick up our corpses," Anne muttered.
Spike placed his hand on his daughter's shoulder. "You're in this family, princess. Odds are, you'll just come back from the dead before long anyway."
Anne gave him a dirty look. "Not funny."
"Actually, this whole situation is rather amusing when you're looking at it from my perspective." He nudged Anne forward. "Follow your mother."
With an overdramatic sigh, Anne trudged on.
As soon as she stepped foot into the cabin that would be her home for the next month, Anne's panic grew exponentially. Everywhere she turned was a bright-eyed, rosy-cheeked girl, many of them in frocks. And they had parents in sweater vests.
The horror was more than she could take.
She turned to her father, grabbing on to the material of his black T-shirt. "Daddy, please, don't leave me here. You love me too much to subject me to this, I know you do."
His scarred eyebrow went up. "Annie, I'm doing this because I love you."
Anne let go of her father's shirt. "No! You're doing this because you want to torture me," she insisted, stomping her little booted foot.
"Well, yeah, a little of that, too, but mainly it's love," Spike replied with a smirk.
"Oh, look what we have here! First-time campers!"
Anne's eyes grew wide as two of the parents approached the group, their child in tow.
"Hi, I'm Cheryl, and this is my husband, Daryl," the woman said, smiling brightly as she shook Buffy's hand. "Our little Caryl has been coming here since she was ten, and she's so excited to be starting a new year. Who's your little darling?"
"I'm Buffy, and this is my husband, William," Buffy replied before dropping Cheryl's hand. "And our daughter is Anne."
Anne tried to back away, but Buffy grabbed her shoulders and moved her back in front.
"Oh, isn't she precious?"
Anne opened her mouth to inform the woman she was anything but precious, and ask her if she'd like a demonstration complete with broken bones, but before she could say anything, Buffy squeezed her shoulder. Hard.
"She's our little pride and joy," Buffy replied with a wide smile.
"And who is this?" Cheryl asked, turning her attention to the Giles family.
"This is our daughter Rebecca," Anya replied, her hands firmly clamped on her daughter's shoulders. "My name is Anya and my husband is Rupert. We didn't attempt a clever rhyming scheme with our names since mine sounds nothing like his and nothing decent rhymes with Rupert anyway."
Cheryl laughed a little too loudly. "Oh, you caught our little bit of family fun! Well, Daryl and I just couldn't resist keeping the family rhyming with our names being what they are! Our younger daughter is Meryl—she can't wait until she's old enough to join Caryl at camp!"
Anya nodded. "Well, I'm sure our daughters will get along very well."
Rebecca turned, her eyes pleading for sympathy from her parents. When she found none, she sighed and slumped.
Anne glanced over and caught Rebecca's eyes.
Maybe if they just stuck together, they'd manage to survive…
"You're just going to leave?" Rebecca asked, panicking again.
"We have a long flight back to London, dear," Giles replied evenly.
"So stay longer! Or hey, let's just call the whole thing off so you don't have to make all these crazy transatlantic flights."
"I'll see you in a month, Rebecca."
"This is cruel! There's no way we'll enjoy ourselves here at all!" Rebecca protested.
"Of course not," Anya said. "I knew darn good and well when I came up with this that it would be the last way you girls would want to spend your summer. That's why it's punishment."
Anne and Rebecca both turned to Anya, gaping. "You did this?" Rebecca asked, betrayed.
"Well, of course. You don't spend 1120 years as a vengeance demon without getting creative." Anya grinned. "Actually, I'm rather proud of this one."
"Da! You can't do this!" Anne said, trying one more time. "Can you live with yourself knowing I'm suffering—in another country?"
Spike pretended to ponder it for a moment before he replied with, "Yeah, I think I can—after that stunt the two of you pulled."
"You girls just behave yourselves," Buffy said. "Any acting up, and you're spending another month here, got it?"
Anne whimpered. Rebecca nodded reluctantly.
Somewhere in the distance, children began to sing.
"Oh god…that's 'Kumbaya.' Don't make me be around people who sing 'Kumbaya!'" Anne begged.
"Good-bye, princess. See you in a month," Spike said as he dropped a kiss on the top of his daughter's head.
"This is evil."
Spike grinned. "Yeah, I know."
With a brief good-bye to their children, the four adults walked away.
"We can make our escape now and spend the next month living in the woods," Anne said, her expression serious.
"It's the only chance we have," Rebecca replied. "Let's go."
They started towards the woods, only to stop short at the sound of someone behind them. "Hello there, wayward campers! Lose your way back to the cabins?"
Rebecca and Anne turned to see a scarily-chipper camp counselor who had introduced himself at orientation as Dan. "We were, uh, just saying good-bye to our folks," Anne said.
Dan went behind the girls and wrapped his arms around their shoulders. "Well, all the parents are gone now, so it's time for the fun to begin! We have a special event planned for all the campers tonight. And you sweet little girls get to wear pretty dresses!"
Anne paled. "Dresses? I don't have a dress."
"You didn't bring one?" Dan asked, frowning. "I thought all little girls loved dresses."
"I don't own one," Anne clarified.
"Neither do I," Rebecca replied.
"Well, I guess that's not too much of a problem," Dan said, his smile returning. "We have something special on hand for times like these. Come on!"
Their escape plan thwarted for the time being, Rebecca and Anne let Dan lead them back to camp.
"There. Aren't you just a lovely little vision!"
Anne looked at her reflection in the mirror as another one of the counselors, Carrie, tied a bow in her hair.
Never in her life had Anne worn a pink, frilly frock dress. Never had she even thought it would happen.
She was in hell.
Beside her, Rebecca wore the same dress, only in yellow. They exchanged a look of shared misery.
"Now if we could just find you some shoes. Those boots really don't go well with your dress, sweetie," Carrie said to Anne.
Anne balked at the idea of losing her boots. Sure, black combat boots and a frilly pink dress didn't exactly match, but wearing them was all she had left that made her feel like herself.
"They're orthopedic!" she said quickly. "I have to wear them or…my arches will fall! It's tragic, really."
"Oh, you poor thing," Carrie said, patting Anne on the shoulder. "Well, then I guess we'll just have to give these to Miss Rebecca."
Rebecca glared at Anne as Carrie handed her a pair of patent leather Mary Janes. "Sorry," Anne mouthed behind the counselor's back.
Once Rebecca had put on the shoes, Carrie led them back to their own cabin, where the other girls were already waiting.
A blonde girl smirked as Anne walked in. "Nice shoes."
"Melissa, be nice," Carrie admonished the other camper. "Anne has fallen arches."
Carrie stepped away from Rebecca and Anne and clapped her hands. "All right, happy campers, it's the first night of our summer together, and some of you already know what that means. It's time for our special getting-to-know-you dinner!"
At that moment, Anne didn't think the night could get any worse.
Then, it did.
"Now, as we explained at orientation, every cabin is paired up with another cabin of the opposite gender—the brother and sister cabins. Tonight, one of the fine young gentlemen from your brother cabin will be your 'date.'"
Anne's eyebrow arched. Did Carrie actually just use air quotes? And oh god, did she just say she was going to have to go on a date with one of those wankers over in the brother cabin?
"Tonight is the night when all of you young ladies get to be Cinderella," Carrie continued. "Now, all of you take off one of your shoes and put it in a pile right over there in the middle of the room. Then, we'll let the boys from your brother cabin in to pick a shoe. Whoever picks your shoe is your 'date' for the night!"
Squealing and giggling with delight, everyone but Rebecca and Anne rushed to take off a shoe and place it in the pile. Anne stared in horror.
"Sweetheart, are you concerned because of your special shoes?" Carrie asked with an overly-concerned frown.
"No, I'm concerned because I still think boys have cooties," Anne snapped.
"Now, now, I understand how hard it is to be 'different,' but the campers here are accepting of everyone. Go on, it's okay."
Anne sighed. Carrie's air quotes alone were just about enough to break her spirit. "Come on, Becca. Let's get this over with." She unlaced her boot and tossed it in the pile. Somehow, it gave her a tiny thrill to see the marked difference between it and all the others.
The boys from the brother cabin filed into the room, making their way to the pile of shoes. Anne wasn't surprised when she saw hers overlooked, but groaned when the obvious runt of the litter was the one stuck with it.
He came over to her, boot in hand. "Is this yours? My name's Todd."
Anne took her boot. "I'm Anne. Keep your hands off me at all times, and we'll get along in that 'I don't break any of your parts' way. Got it?"
Todd swallowed, his eyes going wide. "Got it."
"Good." Anne glanced over at Rebecca to see her with some squishy-faced jock boy.
Yeah, this was hell…