Love ya, Miss ya, Wish you were here
By Duchess Stephanie

Title: "Love ya, Miss ya, Wish you were here"
Author: Duchess Stephanie (
ofiles19@aol.com)
Rating: PG. This is mild, folks.
Category: B/G, of course, although that's in the loosest sense. I think this is more of a regular story, with BG connotations.
Disclaimer: Lord Joss, the Almighty owns the characters. I'm just bent on corrupting them.
Archive: To everyone I sent it to, for now. I'll send it out more, later.
Feedback: I'm serious! FEED ME! (
ofiles19@aol.com)
Summary: Buffy goes to San Diego on a class trip. A series of letters, phone calls, and e-mail between her and everyone in Sunnydale reveals a lot when read all together.

Note: All the stuff about USC is made up.


Letter from Buffy Summers to Rupert Giles, dated 9/25... (12:06 AM)

"Hey, Watcher Guy-
    So- are you enjoying the parties? And don't frown that grumpy Giles look. You know you're thrilled to be Slayer-less for a month. Kick back and have a good time!  The dorm here at USC is great. Personally, I can't believe Mom let me come. I can't believe you let me go! Haha, Buffy is free! Tell the vamps that I just may never come back. My first day was cool, I met the teachers (which sucked), and saw the campus, which is OK if you're in to architectural stuff. No vampire action in sight, though- and it's midnight! I could definetely get used to this. But I can just hear you saying: "Sacred duty!" So don't worry, I'll return, just as soon as my extended field trip is over.
    And don't bother looking at the punctuation and stuff like that, you know I can't deal with that to save my life. No pun intended- I mean, I can just see some demon lord at my throat with a sword, asking me: 'What's the difference between a parenthese and a semi-colon?' I did run it through the spell-checker thingie, though.
    Well, I digress. Dorm is fun, weather is nice, behave yourself. Not that I have to worry about my Watcher.... I know you'd enjoy a whole letter about how I wrote it.

                                                Enjoy,
                                                        Buffy"

*******

Letter from Rupert Giles to Buffy Summers, dated 9/28   (3:00 PM)

"Dear Buffy,

    I'm glad to hear that your first day went well. I have acquaintances in the staff at the University, and I've heard that it's a lovely place to visit. You have a good time, you deserve a break.
    Xander, Willow, Oz and I have been alternating shifts for patrol. Luckily, there hasn't been anything especially notable since you've been gone. I really don't feel like mail is the safest place to talk about this, though. Yes, I'm aware I'm paranoid. It's my job.
    Your letter was fine. Keep them coming. And do enjoy yourself.

                                                Yours,
                                                       Giles

PS- Do write a letter to your mother. She mentioned to Willow the other day that you    hadn't written to her yet."

*******

Partial transcript from "Private Chat: Buff066," 9/30, 10:12-11:46 PM

******

BUFF066: hey girl!
SPLLCSTR: Buffy!!
BUFF066: what's up?
SPLLCSTR: Not a whole lot- how's USC?
BUFF066: pleasingly dull. not bad I guess, for something educational
BUFF066: this new laptop is sort of cool
SPLLCSTR: Told ya so
BUFF066: how's the gang?
SPLLCSTR: Oz is same. We just came back from the Bronze
BUFF066: so early?
SPLLCSTR: Sucky band
BUFF066: ahhh
BUFF066: and as to those besides your bf?
SPLLCSTER: :p Well, umm... Xander's good. Staked 2 vamps last night/holy watered 1.
BUFF066: how's giles?
SPLLCSTR: Did you get his letter?
BUFF066: yeah
SPLLCSTR: So?
BUFF066: can I ask you a question?
SPLLCSTR: You just did
BUFF066: shut up. giles called me dear
SPLLCSTR: As in Dear Buffy?
BUFF066: yeah
SPLLCSTR: That's a normal salutation
BUFF066: <confused>
SPLLCSTR: What did you say to him?
BUFF066: don't remember. wasn't dear
SPLLCSTR: Calm down. Not a big deal
BUFF066: :) its not. just wanted to ask, thats all
(rest of transcript truncated)

******

Letter from Buffy Summers to Joyce Summers, dated 9/30 (11:48 PM):

    "Dear Mom-
    School is really great! I'm so excited to be learning more about ancient Greek ritual gardening. I miss you! The weather's nice here. Sorry I haven't written yet- I've been so busy, I've barely been able to keep in touch with anyone! Well, I'm ready to hit the hay. I'll call this weekend, OK?
                                           
                                            Love,      
                                                Buffy"

******

Transcript of phone call from Xander Harris to Buffy Summers, 10/1, 10:52pm*
(* Italics indicate editor's notes)

XH: (cheerfully) How's my favorite Slayer gal?
BS: (sound like a gasp) Xand! How didja get my number here?
XH: (wounded) Fine. Be that way. I don't need a warm 'hello' anyway.
BS: No! No, I'm ecstatic. Just wondering.
XH: Well, ponder no more. Your mom gave it to me.
BS: (anxiously) I sent her a letter! Honest, I did!
XH: Good. Now I can prevent her from heading up to San Diego with a pickax.
BS: (sarcastically) You are just soooo funny. Witness me laughing.
XH: How are the orgies?
BS: Whaaaa?
XH: (hurt) The second biggest chapter of Phi Theta in California is within walking distance, and you, woman, have the nerve to tell me that orgies *weren't* involved?
BS: You're a sick, demented child, Xander.
XH: (lasciviously) Talk dirty to me, baby.
BS: (faux threatening) I'll give *you* dirty... So, what's this I hear about you and Anya in the graveyard?
XH: (in the same, conversational tone) So, what's this I hear about you and Giles?
BS: What are you talking about?
XH: I talked to Willow..
BS: (aghast) You talked to Willow??
XH: I did. And my inside source.. oops, already gave that one away... tells me that Giles' salutation sent you into nervous tizzies.
BS: I told you not to give her caffeine.
XH: Funny thing, my fair Buffinia, is that I believe her.
BS: That's just stupid.
XH: (teasingly) You haven't officially denied it yet.
BS: It's not that way! Not the way you make it sound, Xand- I might have mentioned it, but it wasn't a big deal.
XH: Should I tell Giles?
BS: (extremely agitated) No! No! I mean, don't you dare! It wasn't important!
XH: You mentioned that already.
BS: No kidding, Sherlock.
XH: I just love to bug you. Wait until I share with Willow.
BS: You're not going to tell him?
XH: Of course not! You said yourself it wasn't a big deal.
BS: (audibly relieved) It isn't. So, you called long-distance just to aggrevate me?
XH: Did you ever doubt it?
BS: I'm hanging up, Xander.
XH: Ow! Watch those claws!
BS: Give my love to everyone. 'Night.
XH: Goooooodnight, Buffy.

******

Letter from Rupert Giles to Buffy Summers, dated 10/3, enclosed with a small
FedEx package, stamped OVERNIGHT DELIVERY.  (8:05 AM)
 
"Dear Buffy,

    What were you thinking, running off without a ward? Extremely unwise. But I'll spare you the lecture- I imagine your incident in the quad last night was lesson enough. Just thank God you're fine. Here's the cross I promised, as well as your extra pendant. They should arrive within 24 hours. Contact me when you receive them. And use them, for heaven's sake, they cost enough to ship. But no bother.
    See? Your mother was thrilled to get your letter. Hers should be in your mailbox any day, now. On behalf of her (and myself as well, of course), do get to bed earlier. If you have the opportunity to rest while you're on vacation, take it. You don't have to patrol every night while you're away from home. It's simply not safe.

                                                    Yours,
                                                           Giles"

******

 E-mail message from BUFF066 to SPLLCSTR*, with the subject line: 'To Giles,
Will'
Dated 10/4, 11:39 PM

(* Punctuation has been corrected in many instances)

<<Dear Giles,
    See those numbers up there? It's half an hour before midnight. I'll go to sleep as soon as I'm done, like a good girl. ;)
    You *really* need to get in touch with technology, Giles. Postage is 33 cents these days, and long distance is worse. Starting to get the point of the Internet? Anyway, hopefully Will should get this to you by tommorow.
    Thank you for the helpful stuff. Not that I couldn't handle myself without them, of course. But the concern is nice.
    Not a lot to say. Classes are good, isn't it amazing to realize what  you can learn when you really concentrate? Well, I've been gone almost two weeks now. Do you miss me yet?
                                            byers,
                                                Buffy>>

*******

Message from Joyce Summers on Buffy Summers's answering machine, recorded
10/5,
5:41 PM

    "Hey, Sweetie! I was so happy to get your letter! Are classes really good? I'm so proud of you! The house feels empty. I was hoping to get you after your last session of the day, but I guess I missed you. Just wanted to say hi and wonder if my letter had gotten in yet. Mr. Giles told me it probably would be. Well, honey, we can talk later. Call me if you get the chance. I did give you my phone card, right? Love ya, Buffy. Bye."

******

E-mail message from SPLLCSTR to BUFF066, with the subject line: "Giles via me"
Dated 10/7, 4:02 PM

<<Hey, Buffy, it's Willow. Yes, I finally got Giles to come over (right after classes, before the parents come home- you know how that is!) and e-mail you back. He really needs to get a computer. I've instructed him on how to click the 'Send Now' icon when he's done, hopefully I'll still have a hard drive later!! Well, he's shooing me away, now... think he wants to write alone>>>

Message immediatelt following...

<<Dear Buffy-
    Perhaps I'm not so behind on the times, after all. I see why you like the blasted box. It's quite efficient. Willow was quite nice to let me use hers.
    I'm pleased the package came on schedule. And don't let me hear you talk about not using them. Don't be foolish.
    What day are you coming home? I thought I had marked it on my calendar, but scatterbrained me, I forgot. Let me know, please?

                                            Yours,
                                                Giles

PS- Yes, of course I miss you. All this slaying is quite tiresome.

*******

Partial transcript of telephone conversation between Willow Rosenburg and
Buffy Summers, dated 10/9, between 5:38- 6:12 pm.

WR: I don't want to keep you on long. This must be costing a fortune.
BS: From county to county? Nah. Besides, that's the magic of mom's phone card.
WR: Bad.
BS: I know, I know. But I wanted you to give messages to evryone for me.
WR: Ahh, I'm the post office girl. I can to that.
BS: K. Tell Xander to stop with the heavy breathing late at night on the machine. It's freaking Carmilla out.
WR: I've been trying to stop him for a week. But I'll try again. He never.. said anything, you know.
BS: Why should he? Tell mom that, yes, I can do laundry, and I have enough clean underwear.
WR: I'm not gonna ask.
BS: Don't. Trust me.
WR: Alrighty, then. OK, who else?
BS: Standard, platonic kissy-faces to Anya, Oz, and Cordy..
WR: Figured that.
BS: And tell Giles that I'll be back the twenty-second. And- that the vampires here are more polite. That I miss him too. And..
WR: I might have to write this down.
BS: Huh?
WR: Never mind. I take it you got the mail?
BS: I did.
WR: How's the dear thing?
BS: I'm using it. He doesn't seem to notice.
WR: Well, he seemed really glad to hear that you scored high on your mid-course essay.
BS: How did he find out about that?
WR: He called the school.
BS: You've got to be kidding me!
WR: Nope.
BS: Aw.. well..
WR: What?
BS: Nothing. Just an 'Aw.' And one more thing, Wil...
WR: Yeah?
BS: When did he talk to my mom?
(truncated)

******

Shoebox found on Buffy Summer's shelf in dorm room at USC, on 10/10, filled
with various souvenirs for her friends, labled wih Post-it notes.

"Xander"- One size medium USC sweatshirt in royal blue, with matching baseball cap
"Willow"-  Textbook with USC Bookstore receipt taped to front, entitled: "Modern Wiccan Practices in America Today- A New Perspective"
"Anya/Oz/Cordy" Various USC souvenir coffee mugs, two reading "San Diego was a Cute Guy," one reading "My Friend Went to USC and all I got was this @#*^&% cup!"
"Mom"- 18 Polaroid snapshots of various locations around USC campus, one "Thomas the Teddy" large stuffed mascot with pennant.
"Giles"- Six Polaroid snapshots of Buffy in miniature Athenian gardens, one glass snowglobe with miniature Ferdinand Building at USC inside, generic engraved base reading "Love ya, Miss ya, Like, Totally Wish you Were Here"

******

Identical letters from Buffy Summers to Joyce Summers, Xander Harris, Willow
Rosenberg, and Rupert Giles, all dated 10/15 (6:56 PM)

"Hey, people I love!
    Sorry for the form-ish letter, but I'm in such a hurry these days, trying to get my final project together, and I needed to write to tell you all how much I miss you. I can't wait to get home! Only a week, now. Well, hope the sun and the demons and the big, bad vamps all behave until I get back. See you then.

                                    Bye for now,
                                            Buffy

*****

Various replies to Buffy Summers, received on 10/17 and 10/18, from the above..

Willow Rosenberg
    "..I feel unloved!"

Xander Harris
    "..That is, like, soooo  not right!"

Joyce Summers
    "..Oh, honey!"

Rupert Giles
    "..I understand you were busy..."

******

Let it be noted that Buffy Summers ignored all replies, except one

******

Letter from Buffy Summers to Rupert Giles, dated 10/20 (2:58 AM)

"Dear Giles,

    Let it be known to all that this is my ABSOLUTELY LAST correspondence! You'll get this the day I come home, but who cares? It's about three in the morning, and I think I've finally got my project done. It's a miniature scaled model of the Apollo and Daphne Gardens. Do you know how hard it is to work with marzipan? I mean, do you? I think I may be permanently afflicted with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Well..
    Sorry for the form letter, *again.* Once again, I was extremely busy. So, you'll be meeting my bus at the depot? That's nice. I'll be there, rattling with my souvenirs. I got everyone a little something, not much. But they're all very meaningful to the specific person I selected them for, I can tell you that much.

                                                Well, I'll see you then.
                                                            Buffy"

END


That's it!
Tell me how you liked it- I'm down on my knees, begging!
(
Ofiles19@aol.com)