Disclaimer: I don't own the canon.
Author's Note: I haven't actually seen the second season of Supernatural, but I've loved all the Road House fics everyone has posted (especially Ava's 'Strays') and I thought it would be interesting to try to write a fic where Ellen has legal custody of Buffy and Dawn. Any tips you can give me on characterization for Ellen and Jo would be greatly appreciated- I'm reading up on the episodes and transcripts and whatnot, but every comment helps!
Timeline: Season three BtVS (if Dawn had actually been there), right after Faith, Hope, and Trick. Faith is in town, but hasn't gone bad, there's no sign of a Big Bad for the season yet, Angel has just returned from hell, but nobody knows it. Mid season two supernatural- Sam and Dean have been to the Roadhouse before, and are getting ready to return.
It seemed wrong to Buffy that while she was off fighting Kakistos, her mother was in their living room, dying. It seemed wrong that Dawnie was the one to find her, wrong that Buffy's twelve-year-old sister was in the house alone with their mother's body for hours before the slayer came home. It seemed wrong that the day she'd said goodbye to Angel- really goodbye this time- was the day that she'd say goodbye to everything else she'd known and loved.
It seemed wrong that things had worked out so neatly- that the day Buffy and her sister were shipped off to live with an aunt they'd never met came so soon after the second slayer came to the Hellmouth. It was like the Powers That Be had somehow known, and they'd swapped one slayer for another.
It seemed wrong to be saying goodbye to Giles, who'd been forced to stay on the hellmouth until a new watcher arrived for Faith. It seemed wrong to say goodbye to the Scoobies, and to wonder- unfairly perhaps- if they'd miss her at all.
But mostly, it seemed wrong that her mother was dead.
"A sister?" Jo Harvelle said, her eyes narrowed in suspicion. "You never said anything about having a sister."
"I don't suppose I did," Ellen replied, keeping one eye on the customers as she answered her daughter.
"I have cousins?" Jo demanded. "I have cousins, and they're coming to live here." She gestured broadly around.
"I think Billy could use another," Ellen said, nodding to a hunter who'd just finished off his beer. She'd been as surprised as Jo was now when she'd gotten the call about Joyce. Over the years, it had been easy for Ellen to forget that she'd ever had a family besides Will and Jo. After her husband died, it had been so easy to redirect all of her love towards their daughter and forget about the rest of the world.
It wasn't like her family exactly wanted her to remember them. They'd done their best to forget her, too. Except, apparently, for Joyce, who'd left her custody of her two daughters.
Lord Almighty. Two more girls- one a teenager and one almost there. Ellen had her hands full enough with Jo, who thought she was grown up, and the bar's regulars, half of whom never would. She didn't need two California girls who'd never even imagined the rough side of life popping up in the middle of all of that.
But still, family was family, and these girls were hers. Ellen had seen what losing her daddy had done to Jo. She couldn't imagine that these girls were faring much better after having lost Joyce.
"When do they get here?" Jo asked, unwilling to let her mother dance around the issue any longer.
"Tomorrow," Ellen replied. "And Billy still needs another."
Jo rolled her eyes and went to work, but the moment she handed Billy his fourth beer, she paused. There, standing in the doorway, were two girls far too young to be in a place like this. The older one was blonde, and though it might have been her imagination, Jo thought she could see a family resemblance between this teenager and herself. The younger one had eyes too big for her face, legs too long for her body, and long, thick brown hair.
For a moment, the two girls stood there in silence, and then the older one dropped the three duffels she'd somehow managed to carry on the ground, and cocked one eyebrow in a way that clearly spoke of the kind of detachment that came from emotional overload.
"Honey," she said, her valley girl voice tinged with hard, brittle sarcasm, "we're home."
To Be Continued...
Let me know what you think- please review!