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Pre-Qualification

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Watcher Jo". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Two people walk into the Roadhouse, and one of them changes Jo's life forever.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Andrew-Centered(Site Founder)JinniFR1511,539063,1021 Dec 061 Dec 06Yes
Title: Pre-Qualification
Author: Jinni (jinni.tth@gmail.com)
Rated: Pg13
Disclaimer: All things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon, et al. All things SPN belong to Eric Kripke, et al.
Notes: For my “50 Missing Scenes” spree – someone wanted to know about Jo and Andrew’s first meeting, in the same line of fics as “How It Is, How It Should Be”.
Summary: The first time she heard about the Council was the same night she met a Council representative for the first time.

~*~*~

The first time she heard about the Council was the same night that Jo met her first Council representative. The bar was quiet. Dead for a Friday night. Was enough to make Jo wonder if everyone was out hunting something fun while she stood around here, safe and sound, doing nothing.

Jo hated doing nothing. She flexed her hands around the broom handle, leaning against it with a sigh. The floor didn’t really need sweeping; she just didn’t have anything better to do. There wasn’t a single hunter in the bar. Just a couple guys that lived way out here in the middle of nowhere that didn’t have anywhere better to go to drink themselves stupid.

Well, stupid-er. She did her best not to turn her nose up at the ill-mannered rednecks that had congregated in one corner. In fact, she did her best not to look at them at all. Wouldn’t want them to think that she was interested in any of them.

That was enough to make Jo shudder, an all over feeling of disgust washing over her skin.

Gross. She really must be bored. Well, she supposed she might as well do that cleaning behind the bar that her momma had wanted her to get taken care of by the end of the weekend, seeing as how there was no one in here to keep her entertained. Not even Ash. No, he was all holed up with his computer doing God only knew what.

Jo was pretty sure she didn’t want to know what that was, though.

She was behind the bar, about to kneel down to get a good look at what she had to contend with on the shelves that were built into the back of the sturdy wood façade, when the door to the Roadhouse opened. Jo looked over, watching the two newcomers with open curiosity. They didn’t look like the type that would come to a place like this to begin with, much less at almost ten o’clock at night.

The first of the pair, and the one that seemed to be in charge, was a red-haired woman. She was dressed warm and Jo couldn’t blame her for that. It was cold as hell outside. She had on a tan colored jacket and a multicolored rainbow of a scarf around her neck. It didn’t go with the rest of what she was wearing – jeans and a t-shirt – but the woman wore it like she was okay with that. Like she knew she was being unique in her own way and didn’t care.

The other person was a guy. Shaggy light brown hair was slightly curled, brushing the tops of his ears. He was wearing khaki pants and a light blue polo shirt and would have looked completely presentable if it weren’t for the ratty, scuffed sneakers on his feet. He was all smiles and energy as he followed his companion to the bar, taking a seat next to her.

Jo made a move to go help them, but it was her momma that got there first, elbowing Jo out of the way gently but firmly. A clear stay away move if ever Jo had seen one. She huffed under her breath and moved off a bit to one side, still close enough to hear.

“I didn’t think you’d come after I said ‘no’,” her momma was saying in her I warned you voice.

“We had to give it a try,” the woman offered.

“Miss Rosenberg –“

“Willow. And this is Andrew.”

So now Jo had names to go with the faces. What she didn’t understand was who these people were or how her momma knew them. Why her momma didn’t seem happy to see them, for that matter.

“Willow – I’ve already got a job,” her momma explained with the kind of patient tone Jo had heard her use on small children. “I don’t need another one.”

It was the job part that pricked Jo’s attention. She turned, not even bothering to hide her curiosity, and leaned one elbow on the bar so that she could see around her momma. Andrew was busy popping peanuts into his mouth while Willow and her momma chatter about why this new job was better than the work she did at the Roadhouse. When he saw her looking, his face lit up in a smile.

It was the kind of dorky smile that you couldn’t help returning, so despite that part of her nature that screamed unfriendly and stand-offish, Jo smiled right back. Smaller, though, and not nearly as dorky.

He slid off the barstool and made his way slowly around the bar. Her mother spared him barely a glance, too caught up in the conversation that was going on with Willow. Whatever they were talking about now, it was obviously more private because her momma had leaned into the bar. The two women were whispering back and forth, and Jo felt excluded.

Until Andrew sat down in front of her.

“Hey,” he offered with a little wave. “You’re Ellen’s daughter, right?”

Jo nodded. “Jo.”

“Andrew. I’m with the Council,” he said, as if that explained everything when really it didn’t explain a damned thing. The way he was looking at her, so expectant – with just an edge of self-importance, Jo had to try really hard not to laugh.

Instead, she settled for, “And that is what exactly?”

He frowned, looked over at her momma and then back at her. “You’ve never heard of us? Your mom –“

“Doesn’t talk to me about everything,” Jo cut in. “Doesn’t mean you can’t tell me all about it right now.” A look over her shoulder confirmed that Willow and her momma seemed to be settling in for a long conversation anyway. An open bottle was near Willow’s hand, and they were both looking over a file. One of the files her momma kept for hunters.

That piqued Jo’s interest more.

“Yeah, sure,” Andrew nodded, but he gave another quick look towards her momma. Jo hid a snicker behind her hand. She’d yet to find a man that wasn’t terrified of her momma. Andrew appeared to be no exception to that. “Sit back and let me tell you a tale, pretty lady.”

She couldn’t really sit, but she did lean. For at least ten minutes, she just listened to this guy ramble on and on, and it was so hard not to laugh in his face. Not because she didn’t believe him but because of the way he was telling her about everything. The fact that he liked to tell a good story was readily apparent – complete with raising and lowering his voice for dramatic effect.

It was hilarious.

If it weren’t for the fact that what he was saying was pretty serious, she might’ve laughed anyway. As it was, she was just trying to cope with what he had said.

“We’re trying to get your mom to come work for us, but so far it’s a no go,” he said with a wry smile. Then he looked at Jo – really looked at her – and something else flickered over his face. “How about you? You want to be in the business, right? Fighting the good fight, slaying the baddies?”

Considering she hadn’t known about the Council prior to this, it was no wonder the offer came out of left field. A complete and utter shock.

“Doing what?”

“Research, helping train slayers, getting out there and getting your hands dirty?” Andrew asked. “Whatever you want.”

Whatever. You. Want.

Never in her life had someone told her she could do whatever she wanted. Not when it came to this line of work. Her mother didn’t mind her researching, but hunting was out of the question.

And it was hunting that Jo really wanted to do.

”Look, no pressure or anything. No rush,” Andrew gave her another big smile and slid a card across the bar top to her. “Just, you know – call us if you decide you want to give it a try. Anyway it’s not like the mafia or anything. You can get out if you don’t like it. It’s not a for the rest of your life kind of thing unless you want it to be.”

Jo reached hesitantly for the card, glancing at her momma out of the corner of her eye. She was still talking to Willow.

Good. Jo didn’t know if she could accept this offer, but she was damned sure she didn’t want her momma knowing about it just yet. If there was one thing she was sure about, it was that her momma wouldn’t like this. Wouldn’t like knowing that Jo had found a way to do that one thing that her momma had never wanted her to do.

Hunt.

She gave Andrew a small smile, tucking the card away in the back pocket of her jeans.

“I’ll call you… if I decide to say yes.”

END

The End

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