Title: Coming To Terms
Characters: Joyce, mentions Buffy
Spoilers: Season 2?
Summary: Joyce tries to come to terms with Buffy’s job as the Slayer
Word Count: 543
Written For: mirrored_illusion’s prompt ‘BtVS, Joyce, coming to terms with her daughter's destiny’ at fic_promptly
Disclaimer: I don’t own BTVS, or the characters. They belong to Joss Whedon.
"Have you tried not being the slayer?" Joyce winces inside even as she hears the words come out of her mouth. She doesn’t understand any of this. Everything she thought she knew about the world she lives in has been turned on its head. Vampires and demons aren’t myths and folklore, they’re real and they’re here in peaceful Sunnydale.
If that wasn’t bad enough, her daughter, her little girl, is the person responsible for killing them, and goes out every night doing just that. It explains the blood she sometimes finds on Buffy’s clothes, the rips and the tears. It explains her daughter’s cuts and bruises; it even explains why she heals from everything so fast. But it scares Joyce to the depths of her soul.
How can it be right that one young girl should carry the safety of the world on her shoulders? She wants to find whoever’s responsible and give them a piece of her mind. Killing demons is no job for a teenager. Buffy has her schoolwork to do, boys to date and parties to attend. How is she ever supposed to get her grades up enough to apply to a good college if she’s out slaying every night?
Joyce has so many questions. Is it her fault Buffy’s the slayer? Was it something she did or didn't do while she was pregnant? Could she have prevented this terrible burden being handed to her child? Buffy says no, it’s her destiny and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. But what would happen if Buffy quit? Who would slay the vampires then? Some other girl whose parents have no idea of what’s out there stalking the night?
She wants to tell Buffy it’s too dangerous, that she doesn’t want her only child going out every night, risking her life for strangers, but deep down she knows she can’t. Because it’s not just strangers whose lives would be in danger, it’s Buffy’s school friends, their parents and teachers, the people who come into Joyce’s gallery, their neighbours and even Joyce herself. How many people might die if she tries to keep Buffy from doing whatever it is that she does when she ‘slays’?
There’s no way she’ll ever get used to this, never knowing when Buffy goes out whether she’ll come home injured, or worse, not come home at all. But she wants to be a good mother, to be supportive, so she makes sure Buffy has suitable clothes for slaying, sees that she wraps up warmly when the nights are chilly, provides snacks so her daughter, the slayer, can keep her strength up while out on patrol. She asks the questions she can bear to hear the answers to, tries to learn as much as she can about what Buffy does, makes sure she has a good dinner before she leaves the house. When Buffy’’s getting ready to go out on patrol, Joyce tells her daughter to be careful and not to stay out too late, checks she has her keys, and leaves the porch light on.
And every night, after Buffy has left and the house is quiet, Joyce does the only other thing she can think of; she prays that her little girl will come home safely.