August 13, 2012 – Sun Screen Day
Summary: **Part of the 2012 LiveJournal's Twisted Shorts August Fic-A-Day** series, also known as the 'Wacky Holiday Series'. Instead of heaven, Buffy finds herself in paradise.
Challenge: for the livejournal 2012 August Fic-a-Day Challenge.
Warning: schmoopiness again.
Timeline: post-season 5 for BtVS; between seasons 4 and 5 for FT.
A/N: The Keatons went to Hawaii to celebrate Mallory graduating high school. Plus they won the trip in a supermarket sweepstakes. Instead of going on the trip, Andy was away with the grandparents, growing from an infant to a 4 year old.
Disclaimer: BtVS/AtS characters belong to Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy. Family Ties characters belong to Gary David Goldberg, Ubu Productions, Paramount Television and CBS Television Distribution. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
Buffy should have been more disappointed that when she jumped she didn't end up in heaven, but it could have been worse; she could have ended up wherever Glory was trying to get back to. And honestly…getting to live in Hawaii? That's pretty darn close to paradise in her book.
The only strange thing was that this world was about 20 years behind hers.
On the plus side, she had an easier time getting a fake ID and stuff. And assuming the things she knew about the future in her world stayed the same, she could make a fair amount of money. She wouldn't be greedy; just enough to make sure she didn't have to worry about money in an expensive place like Hawaii.
It was strange…given what a material girl – and hey, that song was popular at the moment! – she used to be, it would have shocked her dad (and mom if she hadn't died) to see how simplistically she was living now. Maybe it was the laid back attitudes of the people who lived here. She didn't know, and quite honestly, didn't care. It was so relaxing to just chill and not worry about the future or making sure there was one.
Considering the fact she hadn't run into a vamp or demon since she landed there a year ago, Buffy was starting to think this place didn't need a Slayer; one more point in the 'paradise' column.
After learning the basics from an older gentleman about to retire, Buffy started taking people for snorkeling and scuba dives in shallow waters to explain how she could pay for things. A lot of the tourists passed her by because they wanted the full 'island experience' – complete with a native showing them the scenery. But others – like the family that just arranged to spend the morning with her – didn't care, as long as she was properly certified and her equipment was safe.
The dad took care of the introductions for the family, "I'm Steven Keaton; this is my wife, Elyse, and our daughters, Jennifer, Mallory; the gloomy Gus over there is our son, Alex."
Buffy nodded to them and said, "Glad to meet you all." She turned into business!Buffy and continued, "Okay, so for this dive, we don't need diving suits because we'll only be going down about 8-10 feet. Technically what we're doing is snorkeling, but it's safer when you aren't an experienced diver. And there are plenty of beautiful sights to see at ten feet, so why risk your life for deeper waters?" The depth really didn't matter to Buffy, but she had learned that sometimes the younger people didn't understand why they couldn't do the cooler scuba diving, so she tried to make snorkeling sound just as good to them.
She gave them her best smile and held out several tubes of sunscreen. "As luck would have it, May 27th is Sun Screen Day, but in my business, every day is Sun Screen Day unless I want somebody to get a horrible sunburn. So apply liberally unless you want to be miserable the rest of your vacation."
"A couple of rules to keep in mind when we go down…first, you need a buddy in case one of you has cramps or trouble breathing," she explained, then showed them the hand signals to use if they had to surface for some reason. "Next, although it looks like colorful rocks, don't touch the coral because it can be very fragile, okay? Finally, if you need to get something to drink, I have canteens of water hanging over the side of the boat for you to drink from. Don't worry, I sterilize them after every trip out, regardless if they are used or not. Any questions?"
Jennifer raised her hand and asked, "Who are the buddies going to be?"
"Well, I think it would be best if I swam with you, since I have the most experience," Buffy suggested, getting nods from the parents that they liked the idea. "The other four…well, it's up to you, but I've found in the past that father/son and mother/daughter pairings work the best since they usually find the same things interesting and/or have similar physical strengths. If your family is different, then I'd suggest that you pair up accordingly."
The trip went better than expected, except for the depressed son, Alex. Jennifer confided to Buffy that he had just broken up with his girlfriend, Ellen. She left for Paris right after the school year ended to study dance.
Jennifer was a fount of information on the Keaton family; from her parents' work to her sister dating some guy named Nick. By the time they finished snorkeling, Buffy felt she knew them better than she knew her own family back in her old life.
Maybe that's why she suggested a place for them to eat a late lunch. It was one of her favorite non-touristy places to go. After they finished eating, Mallory and Jennifer went shopping while Steven and Elyse had tickets for a romantic tour of some place or another. That left just Alex.
Remembering how devastated she felt when Angel left her, Buffy decided to do her best to distract the young Republican. Given the info she got from his little sister, Buffy knew the best way to do it, too. There was a museum exhibit on the island that showed the history of commerce for the region that she thought he would enjoy.
The museum trip turned into a walk along the beach, commiserating over lost loves, which led to a luau and a hula show. The night ended with another walk along the beach under an almost full moon.
The whole experience confused the heck out of Buffy. Alex was nowhere near her 'type', and even if he were, the timing sucked to get involved with him.
On the other hand, he looked so cute with his 'I heart Reagan' t-shirt. That's why she found herself agreeing to meet up with him the next day after he spent the morning with his family.
The rest of the week went much the same way.
Now it was their last full day in Hawaii and Buffy had to say goodbye to her new friends…and Alex. This was why the natives warned her never to get too attached to the visitors. It sucked when they left.
Apparently Alex agreed that it sucked because he didn't even look at his Wall Street Journal over breakfast. He kept giving her sad little smiles all day long as she showed the family some of the more native things to do. That evening the two of them got away for some dancing again – this time big band music at Alex's request.
Buffy was amused that he would have brought along such a nice suit to go to Hawaii, but his family said he usually dressed that way back home. Alex went completely non-verbal when he saw the vintage dress she was wearing. She even had her hair and make-up done like Betty Grable.
When he finally regained the use of his vocal cords, Alex stammered, "You…you look incredible, Buffy! I'm gonna need bodyguards to keep the guys away from you tonight!"
Pleased at his reaction, Buffy looped her arm through his and replied, "I'll just glare at any man that tries to interfere with our time together. For that matter, I'll glare at any woman who tries to steal your attention from me."
"That wouldn't be possible," Alex assured her earnestly. His obviously sincere compliment earned him a kiss on the cheek before they made their escape from his tittering family.
The night was absolutely perfect.
The songs the band played were all super-romantic; there was finally a full moon when they walked on the beach…Buffy had a feeling that if she had been back in her own time, she probably would have slept with Alex – even if it made her feel slightly slutty. As it was, she settled for some passionate kisses that took her breath away.
Then they had to say goodbye.
The Keatons' flight was leaving at seven in the morning and Buffy had a group that wanted to go out snorkeling. If they didn't have reservations, Buffy would have re-scheduled or something.
It wasn't until several hours later that she realized that people in Hawaii took vacations, too. There'd be nothing wrong with visiting Columbus, Ohio, right? And if what they felt was more than a vacation fling or rebound on his part, there really wasn't anything forcing her to stay in Hawaii. She could probably learn to love the cold…or at least find interesting ways of staying warm there.
A/N: I have absolutely no clue about diving or snorkeling; I got a couple hints off the internet, but they could be wrong. And I know that Ellen didn't 'leave' until the 2nd episode of the 5th season, but she wasn't seen after the last episode of season 4, so I'm choosing to say she left shortly after Mallory graduated.