Secret Slasha — The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project
Secret Slasha — The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project

Joyce Summers' Calendar: July 1998
By Kate Bolin
For Ari

Monday: Yoga

"Breathe in slowly, eyes closed, letting the oxygen permeate every bit of your body..."

Joyce inhaled, trying to focus on her breathing.

"And breathe out, from the toes...and your legs...and your stomach...taking all the negative energy out with the breath."

She exhaled, attempting to follow the directions, and failed. Her shoulders slumped down and she sighed again.

"C'mon, Joyce," Pat whispered. "This'll really help you relax..."

"I know..." Joyce whispered back. "But it's just difficult right now..."

"That's okay," Pat whispered. She reached over and patted Joyce's knee. "Just close your eyes, remember that I'm here for you, and breathe..."

Joyce smiled at Pat, then closed her eyes.


Tuesday: Knitting

"I used to make really complicated intertarsia sweaters, y'know, with the reindeer and snowflakes and all that, but then I thought 'Pat, who are you making these for? No one wears them!'"

"Mm-hmm," Joyce said, frowning over her first scarf. "Um..." She held it up for Pat to see. "What have I done here?"

Pat slipped on her reading glasses and frowned at the scarf. "Ah, see here..." She leaned in closely to Joyce. "You've slipped the needle through the stitch below as well as this one -- you've created another stitch where you didn't need to."

"Oh, yeah..." Joyce frowned. "How do I undo it?"

"Here, let me show you..." Pat slipped her hands around Joyce, reaching for the needles. "Slip the left one into the stitch you just did, pull the yarn, and just...undo the stitch." She paused for Joyce to see. "And then you do it again, and again, until you reach that double stitch." She repeated the move, her hands over Joyce's, her breath on Joyce's neck.

"Oh..." Joyce said. "I see now..."

Pat grinned and moved back to her seat. "So now I knit only for me. Bamboo and silks, mostly. Just nice things..."


Wednesday: Book Club

"What did you think of the book, Joyce?"

Joyce looked up, blushing slightly. "I..." She swallowed. "I think that Anney had more influence over how Bone's life turned out than Allison gives her credit for."

The other women looked at her. "Really?" one said.

Joyce sipped her tea and nodded. "Yes." She paused for a second. "A mother is supposed to protect her child and provide a good example of what femininity and motherhood can be. And Bone turned out the way she did because Anney did not protect her or provide a good example."

"'Turned out the way she did'?" another woman said, frowning.

Joyce frowned, then blushed even further. "Oh! No, no, not about the lesbianism. I don't mean that." She paused again, looking down at her cup. "It's just, as a mother, there are things that you regret doing or not doing, because it becomes clear down the line that you shaped your daughter. That things are happening because of things you didn't do...and that's terrifying." She looked around and smiled sheepishly. "Um...I wanted to see more of that explored with Anney."

Pat reached over, patting Joyce's hand. "I saw that as well," she said, smiling at Joyce.


Thursday: Mexican Cooking Class

"Once your masa is prepared, drain your corn husks and pat them dry on a towel."

Joyce poked at her mixture of corn flour and fat, frowning. "This isn't looking right..."

Pat looked over at it. "Hmmm. That does look thin. Maybe add more masa flour?"

Joyce nodded, spooning in more flour. "I think I know why I never made tamales before -- so much work!"

Pat grinned. "My...friend, she used to do it every Christmas Eve. Family tradition, she said."

Joyce nodded. "The only traditions Hank and I had for Christmas Eve was getting drunk and making out on the couch while wrapping Buf--" She stopped, looking down. "That looks about right, doesn't it?"

Pat looked at Joyce, then down at the pan. "Oh, yeah, yeah. That looks great." She turned to her corn husks, drying them on a towel before laying them flat. "You know, Joyce, even though you never had it as a tradition, and even though my...friend isn't with us, there's nothing stopping us from having our own traditions."

Joyce looked at Pat and grinned. "Christmas Eve, you and I will get drunk and make tamales, okay?"

Pat smiled. "Okay."


Friday: Sunnydale Dining Society

"What I don't understand is this..." Joyce said, holding her wine glass. "Sunnydale's a pretty small town, right?"

Pat nodded, sipping at her own wine.

"So how does this pretty small town manage to support not just one, but five intimate French bistros? All with impeccable wine lists, all with excellent courses, and all crowded on Friday nights?"

Pat smiled. "There seems to be a lot of visitors. Take that couple over there," Pat gestured lightly with her wine glass. "I've never seen them before, and I usually see everyone at least once."

Joyce glanced at them. "That does look like an awfully good cabernet sauvignon they're drinking, though."

"Mmm, yes. Fantastic dark red colour."

Joyce looked back down at her glass. "Pat, I have to wonder, though." She looked up at Pat. "Don't get me wrong, I love spending time with you and I love the Sunnydale Dining Society -- I can't believe I didn't know about it before you told me -- but wouldn't you rather... I don't know... Spend your Fridays doing something...more romantic?"

Pat looked at Joyce for a few minutes, then shook her head. "No, there's nothing I'd rather do better than be here with you."


Saturday: Film Night

"So what are we seeing again?"

Pat put the tape in and walked back to the couch "'Boys on the Side'. I think you'll like it -- it's about three women on a road trip together."

"Oh, so it's like Thelma & Louise?"

"Without the suicide at the end, yes."

Joyce smiled and pressed "Play" on the remote. "I hope it's good," she said as the FBI warning came up. "I could use a good movie."

After a minute of black space on the screen, suddenly, there were naked women.

"This doesn't look like 'Boys on the Side'," Joyce said, frowning.

"Oh!" Pat exclaimed, rushing to the VCR just as the naked women began having sex. "It must've gotten mixed up at the video shop!" She frantically pushed a button, hitting fast forward, blushing furiously as the women began having sex at impossible speeds.

Joyce tilted her head, riveted to the television screen. "Goodness," she said softly. "Do people actually do that?" She blinked as the screen went off. "Oh! My!" she said, loudly. "You'll definitely have to complain about that."

Pat nodded, still blushing.


Sunday: Time to relax

Joyce, wrapped in a thin cotton robe, answered her front door sleepily. "Yes?" she said, containing a yawn.

Pat stood there, sheepishly holding a small box. "Hi, Joyce."

"Pat? It's..." Joyce glanced at the clock on the wall and frowned. "Eleven thirty? Already?"

"Oh, I'm sorry," Pat said. "Were you sleeping in?"

Joyce shook her head. "No, no, it's fine. I must have slept through the alarm." She held open the door. "Come on in."

Pat walked in. "I...uh..." She blushed slightly. "I just wanted to apologise for last night."

"Oh no! It's fine -- it was nothing, really."

Pat shook her head. "No, it was something. It was..." She looked around. "Can we go to the living room? I think I need to sit down for this."

Joyce frowned and wrapped her robe around her tightly. "Of course." She followed Pat into the living room and sat on the sofa next to Pat. "What is it?"

Pat smiled weakly. "Well... You know how, Friday night, you asked why I spent time with you and didn't go out on dates or anything like that?"

Joyce nodded.

"I..." She paused again. "I don't go out on dates me...this time with you...these are dates."

"Dates? But..." Joyce blinked a few times as realization dawned. "Oh!"

Pat blushed. "Yeah."

Joyce blushed as well. "Oh, I..." She frowned for a second, then smiled. "I suppose that..." She paused a second, searching for words. "I..." She sighed. "Oh to hell with it." Joyce leaned forward and kisses Pat, delicately at first, then deeper as Pat responded.

Pat broke the kiss, and Joyce smiled widely.


Monday: Stay in bed!