stock: typewriter

fic:love at first sight/BtVS/Het

Title: Love at First Sight
Rating: FR13
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters are copyright of Joss Whedon and ME. No infringement intended.

Note: Prequel of sorts to the ficlet ‘Little Death.’ AU for BtVS

Synposis: Hank Summers has a lot of regrets. His family isn’t, and has never been, one of them.




+

Hank Summers had always been a sucker for a pair of green eyes.

Sure he was a reasonable man, but he knew, from experience, that the heart was an unreasonable thing. He’d learned this tried and true fact his freshman year of college when he’d seen Joyce Nolen from across the dance floor and found himself mentally stumbling to remember his date’s name.

She had been less than pleased and Joyce had been amused.

Then he’d had the unfortunate experience of leaving his date for another woman. He still remembered the retaliatory slap with a tingle in his cheek.

To this day he doesn’t regret his decision.

+

The summer after senior year Hank asked Joyce to move in with him and the art major, with a parakeet named Marley, agreed. They’d packed up Joyce’s apartment and managed to fit all her belongs into his loft—mostly because Joyce had deemed half his furniture only fit for a scrap yard.

In the following months Hank found his apartment cluttered, loud and entirely too neat.

Joyce was a tidy packrat.

Marley was a squawker.

Hank was content.

+

Candlelight, a glass of box-wine and a naked Joyce greeted Hank with the letter from Stanford Law. Joyce held his future in her hands and instead of tearing open the correspondence Hank had taken Joyce in his arms and to their bed.

This was another decision he didn’t regret in the slightest.

The morning after was filled with congratulatory pancakes, more wine and more naked Joyce.

+

He failed the bar.

His first two attempts.

Joyce’s faith never wavered, even if his parents’ faith did, and the night before his third attempt Joyce asked him to make an honest woman out of her.

Shocked, and a little humbled, Hank stuttered out an agreement.

Third time and Joyce were a charm.

+

They were married in July with warm sand under their feet and a hot sun at their backs.

+

The night Joyce asked him to give her a baby he’d laughed and readily agreed. His career at Wolfram and Hart wasn’t moving anywhere but up and Joyce’s work with the gallery was steady. They were financially stable, annoyingly, to most of their friends, happy and ready for that next perfect life step.

With much laughter, to be honest they giggled like school kids, they tossed Joyce’s pills and what was left of their condom stash.

+

Six months of emotional ups and downs later Joyce was pregnant and happy beyond reason.

+

One month later Joyce was devastated and Hank was lost as to how to help her or himself.

He did what he thought was best and called Joyce’s mother.

Anne was on the next flight out.

+

Three years and four miscarriages later Joyce and Hank had the truth confirmed by a doctor with cold hands and a monotone voice that Joyce would never carry to term.

It was as if they’d lost another child.

+

Anne spent a month with them after that.

She held them both up.

She helped them find one another again.

She was their lighthouse. 

+

It was Anne that first suggested adoption and Hank had been too lost within himself to care then, but the idea remained well after Anne had returned home.

It was nearly a year after the devastating news that Hank contacted his mother-in-law and together they researched the prospect.

Together they built a small bit of hope, but it was Hank alone that broached the subject with Joyce.

And it was Hank alone that saw the small, content smile lift the corners of his wife’s mouth before she nodded her consent and signed the proper documents.

+

Another four years and three months after that decision and the endless parade of interviews later Hank found himself in the garage of their home and checking the spare tire. Napa Valley was only a few short days away and he’d wanted everything to be perfect for their anniversary trip.

The door to the house opened and he’d found Joyce beside him, staring up at him with tears in her eyes and shocked look on her face before she’d managed to state, “It’s a girl.”

“It’s a…” he trailed off as his confusion cleared and he dragged Joyce into his arms as he finished with a shout, “GIRL! It’s a girl!”

They sank to the ground, shared laughter and tears before Joyce rose insisting on calling their families.

They called Anne first.

+

Watching Joyce cradle the small bundle of pink blankets and baby in her arms almost undid him. He’d always thought she’d make a beautiful mother and her mother was happily snapping picture after picture of the pair.

 Several long, joyous moments later Joyce settled that bundle into Hank’s arms and his stomach dropped as he watched little Buffy Anne Summers open her small mouth into an incredibly big yawn before her eyes opened.

She blinked up at him and he was reminded, for the second time in his life, of the concept of love at first sight.

Hank Summers had always been a sucker for a pair of green eyes. 

+

The end. 



So what I love most about your writing is how you can take a character I don't particularly care for from canon, and give him a background that makes me wanna cuddle him for the sweetness. Loved, loved, loved this!
This is really sweet. I like getting to see this side of Hank in fic, since it doesn't happen that often. :)
It happened whenever the character had actual screentime. Damn Joss and his need to make Joyce the hero. ;)
Awww. This is the father we saw the two (actual) times he appeared onscreen. Needless to say, I really like this... except it makes me want more fics with Hank and Buffy. ;p So, kudos!
I liked Hank and it's a shame Joss felt the need in latter seasons to vilify him to make Joyce appear better and brighter. There should be more Hank'centric stories. :)