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Almost Home

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Summary: When Joyce dies at the beginning of season 3, seventeen-year-old Buffy and twelve-year-old Dawn are sent to live with Joyce's sister, Ellen.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Buffy-Centered > Theme: Real FamilyForeverAndEverFR13912,6172017544,83512 Nov 062 Sep 08No

Revelations, Part 2

Disclaimer: Still own nothing.

Author's Note: Look at me with the quick updates! :)

Buffy felt like the ground had given way beneath her. Or like a vamp with cement blocks for fists had landed a punch straight to her rib cage. Or like she'd just walked in on Giles wearing nothing but boxer shorts.

Ugh. Bad visual. Must scour mind with boiling water now.

She shook her head, trying to concentrate on the words that had taken her breath away, and not disturbing mental similes of the twisted variety.

"What did you say?" she asked Ellen, still gaping at her aunt.

"I said that it would explain all of it- your night walking, the super strength, the fact that you seem dead set on believing you're alone- if you were the Slayer."

Buffy felt like her aunt was speaking Swedish. This. Did. Not. Compute.

"Well, I'm right, aren't I?" Ellen said, her tone matter-of-fact. "One girl in all the world. That's the way it goes, or so I've heard tell. Never thought the slayer was much more than a myth myself- but this wouldn't be the first time a myth walked into my bar and set me straight about its existence."

"You know about... stuff?" Buffy asked.

"The supernatural? Demons, vampires, ghosts, spirits, wendigos..." Ellen smiled. "Sure do." Wasn't that just like a teenager- to be surprised the second an adult knew anything real about the world? "Don't look so surprised, sweetie. I've been around a long time, and might be that the Roadhouse has seen more than its fair share of things that go bump in the night."

"And that's where you heard about the Slayer," Buffy said, still not really believing her ears.

"Here and there," Ellen said, noncommittal. "I keep an open ear and an open mind."

"The Slayer?" Sam repeated, wracking his mind for anything he'd heard about the term. "Isn't that some kind of bogeymen for demons? The kind of thing mommy and daddy demon scare the little hell-mongers with at bedtime."

"Dude, please never say the phrase 'mommy and daddy demon' again," Dean said. "What's next? Once upon a time and fairy princesses?" Dean snorted. "You're such a girl."

"Hello, girl standing right here, fully capable of kicking your ass," Buffy huffed.

"Sure, sweetheart," Dean said with a roll of his eyes. "I'll believe it when I see it."

Buffy cast a glance at Ellen, who shrugged. "Long as you don't break anything, I got no objections."

Dean was processing these words when suddenly, he found himself on the ground, Buffy's foot at his throat. He reached for a weapon, but somehow, she used her free leg to sweep it away, and a second later, she crouched over him, each of his limbs pinned by one of hers.

"Going to go out on a limb and guess that the Slayer isn't a myth," Sam said. Then he smiled. "Guess we were mythtaken."

"I was just going to say that." Buffy found herself doing the impossible- smiling.

"Great. You and Sammy are two halves of the same nerdy whole. Now, princess, mind getting the hell off of me?"

Dean wasn't an idiot. Not a complete idiot anyway. He'd baited the girl on purpose, pressing her buttons in the hopes of gaining a chance to measure his strength and speed against hers. He didn't know what the hell a Slayer was, or who Buffy was- outside of Ellen's niece- but he knew that she'd come dangerously close to hurting Sammy, and he needed to know what he was up against in case she decided to do it again.

Now he knew.

"Buffy, let 'em up."

Buffy acquiesced to her aunt's order, and Dean got back to his feet, dusting off his jeans and giving Buffy a perturbed look that only partially hid the smirk that would have told her that maybe, just maybe she'd played right into his hands.

"So," Dean said. "Slayer. How 'bout that. Anyone care to elaborate?"

"Corporeal demons," Ellen said, and Dean's hand went immediately to his hidden knife- the one he hadn't pulled on Buffy yet.

"You're a demon?" Sam asked Buffy, backing up- the look he was giving the Slayer identical to one that he sometimes cast at his own reflection.

"I'm not a demon," Buffy replied defensively. "I hunt demons. Into each generation a Chosen One is born. One girl in all the world to hunt the vampires, the demons, the blah-de-blah-de-whatever. Buffy see evil. Buffy stab evil. It's this whole thing."

"Vampires," Dean snorted. "Didn't you get the memo, princess? They're more or less extinct."

Buffy stared at him and then turned to Sam. "Is your brother... you know... special?"

Ellen snorted. "Buffy, can it. Dean, I don't want to hear it. Sam, it'd probably be in your best interest not to say a word." Having put each of the major players in their places, Ellen leaned back against the wall and considered her words. "Far as I know, there are two basic kinds of evil in this world. Incorporeal and corporeal. Spirit-based and fleshed-based. On the one hand, you've got your ghosts, vengeful spirits, demons that have to possess human bodies to access this plane, and the like, and on the other, you've got creatures that have bodies of their own. The incorporeal ones take incorporeal killin'-"

"Burning and salting bones, exorcism, voodoo," Sam said, catching on.

Ellen nodded. "The flesh ones, well, they take a different sort of kill."

"Stab-stab-slice-slice," Buffy said helpfully.

"So," Sam said, his mind racing. "Dead man's blood?"

Buffy wasn't entirely sure what he was asking her. "Ummm...ewww?"

"It kills vampires, blondie." Dean watched her reaction to his words, and smiled as they got under her skin. Kid was too easy.

"Stake to the heart," Buffy said. "Sunlight. Decapitation."

Sam reached the logical conclusion. "Two kinds of vampires."

"And this... Slayer," Dean said. "She's a hunter?"

Ellen pursed her lips. What she knew about the Slayer mythology could fit in a thimble, but just looking at Buffy and the girl's reactions and expressions was telling her more and more all the time. Buffy didn't consider this a vocation. Or even a calling. It was an identity.

Right now, with Joyce dead, it was all she had.

And Ellen, having seen too many men fall prey to that kind of obsession with their own hunting, wasn't about to let that happen. Not to this girl. Not to her niece. "The slayer's a girl. A teenager, most often, who's given powers to fight the corporeal demons. Strength. Speed."

"Advanced healing," Buffy said, and Ellen could have cried at the irony of it all, that Buffy would heal so quickly physically and be so wounded on a level that her slayer powers couldn't touch.

"So," Dean said again. "The slayer's a hunter." He shrugged. "Cool."

"She's not a hunter," Ellen snapped. "She's a girl, and she has a name. And-" she added, looking over at Buffy, "-a curfew."

Buffy's mouth dropped open slightly. Of all the way she'd seen the big reveal going, this wasn't one of them.

"Slayer or not, Buffy Anne, you're a kid. My kid." The words came naturally to Ellen. "And I've no plans of letting you forget it. You're a Slayer, and I suspect we'll find a way to deal with that, but you're living in my house, and we'll find a way to do this on my terms."

My house, my rules.

Buffy stiffened, thinking of the summer she'd lost- the one she'd spent away from her mother. If she'd known Joyce was going to die...

"You kicking me out?" Buffy asked. "If I don't play by your rules, are you kicking me out?"

"You even think of leaving and I'll drag your behind back here so fast you'll get road burn on the soles of your reckless little feet." Ellen shook her head. "I said we'd figure something out, and we will. You can't stop being a slayer, and I can't let you get your fool self killed. There's middle road, and we'll find it. Meanwhile, you want to hunt, you tell me. You tell me where and when, and you don't go by yourself." Ellen looked at Sam and Dean. "I imagine the boys might be able to help a bit with that one."

The Winchesters didn't reply, and Ellen gave them another hard look.

"Yes, ma'am."

"Yes, ma'am."

"Good," Ellen said, putting her hand on Buffy's shoulder again and giving it a squeeze. "Sam, Dean, I expect you'll be staying for dinner. You three wash up."

Buffy looked back and forth between her aunt and the two boys- clearly in their twenties. A slayer and two experienced demon hunters (albeit, apparently, not her kind), and there they were, being bossed around by her mother's sister. And taking it.

"And one more thing," Ellen said. "Any of you breathe a word of this to Jo, and I'll skin you alive. You hear?"

"Yes, ma'am." This time, Buffy found herself replying along with the boys. It was the single strangest experience of her life- and somehow, unlike everything else, every second of every day since her mother had died- it didn't hurt.

TBC...

The End?

You have reached the end of "Almost Home" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 2 Sep 08.

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