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. Xander chuckled.

“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 screamed.

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 deserted streets.

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 straighter.

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

Oni's place:


back HOME next