Part 3: People You Think You Know
Xander caught up with them first. He wrapped his arms around Joyce
from behind and lifted her right off her feet. Cordelia spared one
frightened glance out of the corner of her eye and kept running.
Joyce struggled and kicked as he pressed his cold lips to her ear.
“Mmmm. You’re a real spitfire aren’t you?”
He hugged her tighter and she felt her ribs start to give.
Willow grabbed hold of Cordelia’s arm and swung her into
the building, she hit hard and fell. Joyce winced as her head hit
the pavement with a hard crack. Cordelia lay unconscious and helpless
as Willow squatted down beside her.
“No fun. She didn't even hardly fight,” she pouted.
“Oh well.” Her face morphed and she grabbed hold of
Cordelia’s long hair to yank her up toward her fangs. Joyce
Suddenly there was blinding light and the screech of tires as a
white van came around the corner and stopped a few feet away. Xander’s
hold slackened enough so that Joyce could take a breath.
“Oh swell. It's the white hats,” he muttered.
Willow let Cordelia drop back to the pavement. “Party poopers.”
Giles, along with a large young man and a girl she’d never
seen before, jumped out of the van and rushed forward. They had
crosses and Joyce had never seen Giles look so coldly dangerous
as he approached.
“Let her go,” he said grimly. She felt Xander’s
chest rise and fall against her back. Then his arms loosened and
she was free.
“Get in the van,” Giles ordered, his gaze fixed on
Xander. Joyce didn’t hesitate. She saw that Willow had let
her victim go as well. She stood watching as the rescuers helped
the half-conscious girl to the van. A moment after they were inside
the door slammed and Giles’ voice ordered the driver to go.
The van lurched forward and they were away, rushing through the
The girl was fussing over Cordelia, helping her sit upright. The
boy looked at Joyce, and smiled. “Hi, I’m Larry,”
he said putting out his hand. “If you tell us where you live,
we can take you home.”
“Thank you,” Joyce said.
“Only don’t invite anyone inside, ever ‘cause
we really hate wasting a rescue,” the girl said.
“I know,” Joyce said.
The girl’s eyes narrowed angrily. “You know? Then what
the hell were you doing out at night? You have a death wish?”
“Nancy,” Larry chided. “Don’t be so harsh.”
Joyce sighed. “I didn’t have much choice. I needed
to meet her -- Cordelia. I was late.”
Hearing her name seemed to rouse her. Cordelia sat up a little
Larry gave her an ironic look “Yeah, we know Cordelia. But
who are you?”
“She’s Joyce Summers. Buffy’s mom.” Cordelia
pulled away from Nancy. “Buffy Summers. You know, the Slayer.
Gosh, don’t you people know anything?”
“I’m sorry, what did you say?” Giles twisted
round to stare at all of them.
Posted July 1, 2003