Title: Losing Buffy
Author: Rude's Mom
Disclaimer: Mutant Enemy, MGM, et al own the universes and characters. As usual, I'm just playing with them.
Second in the Hidden Slayer series, following Ethan's Revenge.
Los Angeles 1986
Joyce used her key to unlock the front door of the Summers family's small ranch bungalow. As the door opened, a little girl with blonde hair bounced off the couch to greet her mother.
"Mommy, you're home," she said stating the obvious as only a five year old could before throwing her arms around her mother's legs.
"Aren't you supposed to be in bed, sweetheart?" Joyce asked as she closed the door.
"I wanted to wait up for you and daddy."
"Well I'm not sure when your dad is going to be home from work so brush your teeth, put on your nightgown and get into bed. I'll be up to tuck you in in a couple of minutes."
Buffy started to object but before she could get out more than a plaintive "Mom" her mother gently spun her towards the hall and gave her a quick swat on the butt.
"March young lady."
"Thanks for feeding Buffy," Joyce turned towards the sitter.
"As long as she doesn't mind peanut butter and fluff sandwiches I've got it covered," Emily said as she gathered up her books and stuffed them into her book bag, "but that's the limit of my meal making skills."
"I'm so sorry Emily. Mr. Summers was supposed to be home two hours ago." Joyce opened her pocketbook and pulled out her wallet. She took out three twenties and handed them to the girl. "Did he call and say what kept him late?"
"No ma'am and my mom's pretty mad right now. When she called looking for me I couldn't even guess when I'd get home. This is the third time this month and the second that it has happened on a school night. I don't think I'm going to be allowed to watch Buffy anymore."
"Tell you mom I'll call her tomorrow," Joyce sighed.
Emily grabbed her book bag and headed out the door.
Joyce watched as the door slammed shut. She tossed her purse onto the couch swearing under her breath. She drew a deep breath to calm herself before heading to Buffy's bedroom.
- - -
Buffy was just climbing into bed when her mother entered her bedroom.
"So, how was your day, sweetheart?" Joyce asked.
"It was okay. Jimmy got caught eating paste again."
"Uh huh," Buffy nodded her head vigorously. "Mrs. Clark was sooo mad."
"I'll bet she was. He threw up last time time."
"He didn't this time," she said disappointedly. "Maybe next time."
Joyce couldn't help herself and started to chuckle. "You're a vindictive little terror."
Buffy looked puzzled. "What's vin, vin..."
"Vindictive? Well, let's see. Jimmy used to be your friend, then he was Melissa's friend and wouldn't play with you anymore. Now, when something bad happens to him, it makes you happy."
"I guess that's not very nice."
"No, it's not."
"But you laughed."
"I guess that makes me a vindictive terror too."
"So, do you want me to read you a story?"
- - -
It was three hours later when the front door opened again as a slightly inebriated Hank Summers returned home to one very irate, and more than slightly inebriated, wife.
"Do not hi honey me Hank Summers," Joyce put down a nearly empty tumbler of scotch.
"I can explain..."
"I don't want to hear it Hank," Joyce spoke in harsh whisper. "You were supposed to be home by six and you didn't even call."
"A meeting ran late."
"Oh, please, spare me the lies. There wasn't any meeting." Joyce's rather sensitive nose picked the smell of Windsong under the stale cigarette smoke that clung to her husband. "You went bar hopping again and now I'll probably have to find a new sitter for Buffy."
"Well you wouldn't need a sitter if you'd stay home."
"I'm just six credits away from my degree Hank. We had a deal, you'd finish your degree, then I'd have a chance to finish mine."
"Degree? You're Fine Arts major Joyce. What do you think you're going to do with it?"
At the sound of parents' voices, Buffy slipped out of bed and moved to the door. She stopped when she realized they were having another fight. She turned and took her favorite blanket off of her rocking chair. She crawled back onto her bed, grabbing Mr. Lamby before scooting under the covers. She pulled her blanket over her head and tried hard not to cry. That would only make them madder if they heard. She wished that she was anywhere else.
Elsewhere, but not too far from the Summer's residence, Ethan Rayne began to chant.
Kasuf, the new headman of the people of Abydos, guided the caravan of men and beasts to Ra's temple. The caravan contained their yearly tribute to the god. Why the god would want the ore that they mined, and, was now carried by the mastadges, was one of life's great mysteries. As they neared the temple, there was no sign of Ra's ship.
"Father, why isn't Ra here," Skaara, the only surviving son of Kasuf said. This was the child's first trip to the great temple and he was disappointed that he would not see Ra's chariot.
"He is a god. He comes and goes as he pleases. It is not your place to question that."
At the base of the temple, Kasuf halted the caravan. The men unloaded the great hairy beasts. In short order, they began to carry the ore into the temple. As they placed their tribute in the great hall, near, but not too close the chaapa'ai, as custom demanded, a small figure came out from the shadows.
"Father," Skaara tugged at father's robes. "Look."
Kasuf turned to see a small child, with hair the color of the sun. She wore a white gown of the finest material that he had ever seen. Around her shoulders was a cloak the color of the sky. She carried something in her arms. He stepped towards the child.
Los Angeles 1991
"Tonight, we are featuring the disappearance of little Buffy Anne Summers from Los Angeles. She was five years old when she disappeared from her home in March of 1986..."
Joyce Summers sat with one of the production assistants in the America's Most Wanted studio. Unlike her ex-husband, she still hadn't given up hope of finding her little girl.