For those of you who care, I have the Mary/Dean duet up on another website. You can find it at
I have added a few things to this chapter that may help later stories make more sense. But then again, maybe they won’t. Either way, I have added things.
And please remember that no matter what I would like to believe, I do not own anything you recognize!
-- § -- -- § --
But I'll take my time anywhere
Free to speak my mind anywhere
And I'll redefine anywhere
Anywhere I roam
Where I lay my head is home
(And the earth becomes my throne)
-- “Wherever I May Roam” by Metallica
-- § -- -- § --
“So why is it so awful for you to drive?” Sam asked, his lanky body stretched and twisted so that he could look at Buffy over the back of the seat. He grinned when her nose scrunched up in annoyance.
“Nothing too awful. I mean, I blow up a gym, a high school, and an entire town and no one even bats an eye. Run over a few mailboxes and a pedestrian or two and no one lets you live it down,” she grumbled.
“You blew up a high school?” Dean asked. He looked in the rearview mirror and saw her nod. “That’s sweet.”
“Why would you blow up a high school?” Sam queried.
“Eh… Remember when I told you that there were some things I couldn’t tell you until we reach Ohio?”
“Yeah; it was only ten minutes ago.”
“My destructive tendencies happen to fall into that list.”
“So you blew it up for a reason?” Sam clarified.
“No, I just woke up on the day of my graduation and thought, ‘Hmm, today seems like a good day to blow up the school’,” she answered sarcastically. “There was a really good reason, I promise.”
“So tell us about you,” Dean requested.
“I thought I had been.”
“Naw, you’ve been telling us about us when we were really little. Dad never talks about you, and I don’t remember a lot.”
“Huh… Okay. Do you want Mary stories or Buffy stories?”
“How about you switch them off? Tell us one of your life as our mom, then one of your current life, and just go back and forth.”
“Can do. Okay, so right after your dad and I got married, we were going to this party. He was hopeless at day-to-day car stuff at that time. Which is really weird when you remember that he became a mechanic after getting out of the service… Anyway, so we’re driving to this fancy party; I’m wearing a pale blue evening gown and high heels. We’re about halfway there when there’s this loud pop. Turns out one of the tires blew. Your dad is fumbling all over himself trying to fix it. I get out of the car, hitch up my gown, and replace the tire with our spare. Your dad was so embarrassed that he started learning everything there was to know about cars the very next day.”
“Oh yeah. We got to that party, and I was pissed. My dress had these muddy smudges on the hem and I was just near tears. So John reaches toward me and wipes him thumb across my cheek. I think he’s trying to apologize until he starts rubbing harder.”
“What? What was he doing?”
“Apparently I had somehow gotten some… something on my cheek. He didn’t want me to feel embarrassed – and angry – later that he hadn’t taken care of it. I smacked him in the chest with my clutch and stalked into the party, head high. I didn’t find out until later that I also had a few twigs in my hair.”
Dean and Sam were nearly crying they were laughing so hard. Trying to picture their father getting beat up on by this petite little woman was hilarious. Buffy spent the next two hours regaling them with tales of both her lives. She was trying to think of another funny story when the minivan ahead of them pulled onto the off ramp. Dean quickly followed after it, cursing his ‘relatives’ for not using a signal and running the risk of hurting his baby. Both vehicles pulled to a stop at a gas station. Dawn jumped out of the minivan and ran to the impala, sticking her head in the window to speak to Buffy.
“We’ve got a bit of a problem,” Dan announced.
“How big a bit?”
“Well, Giles just called again. He said that the ritual is actually scheduled for thirty minutes from now. Even if we speed, we won’t make it in time to stop it. Willow’s willing to get you and her there right away if you’ll leave the boys with me and Xander.”
“That’s fine. Are we going to be able to take care of this thing with most of our people missing?” Buffy asked as she climbed out of the car. Dean and Sam exchanged a look and followed her to the minivan.
“Andrew was getting ready to head to Australia when Giles called. Hopefully you, Faith, Giles, Willow, Wood, and Andrew will be enough.”
“Alright. This isn’t the way I wanted things to go, but oh well.” Buffy turned and pulled Sam and Dean’s heads down to give them each a peck on the cheek, then hugged them both. “I love you both so much. I need to get going, and I want you to remember no matter what that the past few hours have been my best in this lifetime. If I don’t call any of you within two hours I want Xander to explain everything, but no tattling until then.” She turned to Willow. “Let’s go.”
Sam and Dean both stared in shock as the two women embraced and disappeared. They turned to demand answers from Dawn and Xander, but the duo simply shook their heads.
“We’re going to keep moving,” announced Xander. “I think we should split up, though. We’re getting ready to head into the heavy traffic area and I want you two to be able to find the place.”
“Oh, I’m driving!” Dawn shouted, running to the driver’s side door of the minivan. Sam shrugged and headed after her. Xander followed Dean back to the impala and settled into the passenger seat.
- § -- § -
“It’s been an hour and a half. We’re allowed to start worrying and getting testy now, right?”
“Feel free. But Buffy did say two hours. She’s still got half an hour before the deadline.”
Sam sighed and shifted in his seat. A bright light behind him made him turn his head. Willow was sprawled across the backseat, her face pale and bloody. She had an exhausted smile on her face. She frowned though when she saw Sam in the passenger seat.
“You’re supposed to be in the impala,” she told him accusingly.
“Xander didn’t want anyone to get lost,” Dawn explained.
“But I sent Buffy to the impala. We need to pull over and let Xander and Sam switch!” Dawn sighed at Willow’s insistence and pulled onto the side of the road. Sam got out and headed to the impala, passing Xander on the way. The older man seemed to know exactly what was going on, even though no one had told him. Sam filed that away for later thought.
~~Same time; in the impala ~~
Xander pouted as he leaned against the window. Next time Dawn could spend ninety minutes stuck in the car with a worried Dean. She at least liked this music. He winced when Dean turned “Whiskey in the Jar” up another notch. A flash of light in the backseat made him grin. His girls were okay.
“Turn it down!” Buffy whined, causing Dean to swerve wildly while he had a minor heart attack.
“Worn a guy before you randomly appear in the back seat!” he snapped. He pulled onto the side of the road behind the minivan and turned to look at Buffy. She was covered in cuts and bruises, but had a satisfied smile on her face.
“Everyone okay?” Xander asked.
“Giles got another concussion, and Andrew dislocated his right arm, but we’re all good.”
“Good. I’m gonna switch now,” Xander announced, stepping out of the car.
Sam slid into the back seat next to Buffy a few minutes later. He quickly assessed what he could of her injuries with just a visual check. She smiled and placed a hand on his cheek, then tapped Dean’s cheek twice.
“Thanks for worrying boy, but I’m okay. I’ll be all better by the time we get home.” Neither boy believed her, but Dean pulled back onto the road anyway.
Twenty minutes later, he drove through enormous wrought-iron gates and pulled onto what looked line a residential street, but Buffy claimed was the driveway. Five minutes after that they reached a round a bout. In the center on the round a bout was a large stone fountain with markings over every visible inch.
“What’s it say?” Sam asked.
“The stuff at the top is an ancient Celtic protection spell. On every other surface are names of people who lost their lives in Sunnydale.”
“I spent seven years there. Xander, Willow, and Andrew were all born and raised in that town. It holds a lot of memories. You’ll want to go straight through,” she told Dean, indicating the road directly across from their current position.
“Where do the other two go?” he asked.
“To the right is our heavy-duty training facility. The left leads to our on-site campus and teachers’ quarters.” Dean whistled as he pictured how large the grounds must be. After another five minute drive, the impala slowed to a stop at the largest house Dean had ever seen. White, five stories tall, and a lake right beside it, the house screamed money.
“You live here?”
“Live, teach, and work. This is home now that Sunnyhell is gone. Come on in.”
The boys followed her slowly, both unable to tear their gazes from the marble and stone that formed the monstrous building in front of them. The large, stained-glass double doors were opened as Buffy bounded up the steps.
“Honey! We’re home!” Buffy yelled at the top of her lungs.
“Like we care,” a woman shouted from another room. “We just saw you like, half an hour ago, B.” The woman sauntered into the room, and Dean’s jaw dropped. Dark brown hair was pulled back in a messy ponytail, and her chocolate eyes were rimmed in black. She was wearing skin-tight leather pants and boots, and a barely-there, bikini-style top. She looked both boys up and down and whistled appreciatively. “You got good taste, B. I like.”
“Ew! Faith, these are my sons!”
“Then you still got good taste. Their dad must be smokin’ fine.” Faith turned her attention back on the Winchesters. “It coulda been fun. Oh well. I’m takin’ Kelly and some of the older girls out on the town.”
“Have fun. Bring weapons.”
“Always, B. Later.”
“So that was our… Aunt Faith?” Sam asked.
“Yep. She’ll be there to teach you everything you don’t already know about hard partying. I’ll introduce you to everyone once they all get here.”
- § -- § -
It took nearly two weeks, but eventually the entire ‘family’ had arrived in Cleveland. Sam and Dean had been given brief introductions to each person as they arrived, but nothing in depth. Sam was annoyed at Dean’s apparent relief at that. One afternoon Buffy called them both into the SCR, which she had explained earlier.
“Okay boys, it’s time for real introductions.”
“With all the bad history included?” Willow asked, shrinking into her seat.
“With the good, the bad, and the deadly. I’ll start with myself, just so no one,” she glared accusingly at Robin Wood, “can accuse me of trying to pass myself off as better than I am.” Sam nodded slowly, understanding the reasoning. Dean glared murderously at the man who had obviously accused his mother of just that in the past. Robin managed to not fidget or gulp under the elder Winchester’s harsh glare, but it was a close thing.
“I was Called at the age of fifteen,” Buffy began. “I lost my first watcher to a vampire named Lothos- ”
“But vampires don’t exist,” Sam interrupted.
“So we been fightin’ figments of our imaginations all these years?” Faith demanded harshly. Buffy sent her a look and a command to chill.
“Why do you think they don’t exist?” Buffy asked.
“Dad said they were extinct,” Dean explained. Robin and Xander both snorted. Giles began polishing his glasses.
“Maybe the breed he’s used to did,” Dawn conceded finally. All attention turned to her. “Well, there’s like, three or four different species of vampires. There’s the human strain, the demon strain, and the Rice strain.”
“Huh?” Xander laughed. “There’s a food strain of vampires?”
“No… It’s like this. The human strain are the ones like Angel, Spike, Harmony, and the ones like that. The demon strain would be like the Turok-Han. There’s one more type of vampire, but those are far rarer and most mythology and demon lore experts consider them to be the… well, the bastard child of vampirism. They seem to retain their humanity for the most part, but they have a nearly unquenchable bloodlust. They can only be killed by decapitation, and they don’t have fangs, but an extra set of teeth… Like sharks. They’re called ‘Rice Vampires’ because most people who have heard of them think that’s where Anne Rice got her ideas about vampires.” Everyone in the room – save Giles, who had already known this – released a collective ‘oh’, and motioned for Buffy to continue her story.
She quickly went over each of her years on the Hellmouth, telling the boys of her accomplishments and failings equally, and touching on each of the major villains. There was a brief interruption when Dean asked if he could shoot Riley for bringing his wife to Sunnydale after the way he had left. Buffy gave him a stern ‘no’. Sam was more worried about how being ripped from Heaven had effected Buffy in the long-term. She smiled and told him she would always be looking forward to the day when she could go back, but she no longer had a death wish. When she finally got to the present time, she smiled at her boys, who were both staring in open-mouthed astonishment. They had seen and done some amazing things in their time, but Buffy, in far fewer years, had definitely surpassed their level of weird.
“Okay, this is your Aunt Willow. She’s a Wiccan. She re-ensouled Angel and brought me back after Glory was killed. She is probably the most powerful witch on the planet. Oh, and she’s afraid of frogs.” There was a far shorter introduction, as most of Willow, Xander, Giles, Dawn, Andrew, and Oz’s exploits had been covered during Buffy’s overview.
“Uncle Xander lost his eye to Caleb, and has still managed to help save the day each time we needed him in the past decade. He’s our heart.
“Giles has been either here or in England since I met him. He’s like a father to me, so you can consider him your grandfather if you want.
“Your Aunt Dawn is the only blood relative you have on any side of the family aside from me and your father, and I’m really not sure how that works. As you both know, we did a blood test when you got here just to see what would happen if either of you were injured, and according to that, I am still 100% your mother. So yay, blood relative.
“Uncle Andrew is a fairly recent addition to the crowd. He didn’t join us until a few months before we blew up Sunnydale. Do not
under any circumstances, try to argue or get in a discussion with him about Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, or anything else even slightly approaching sci-fi. He’ll never end the conversation. Ever. But he’s also the best cook you will ever meet. He manages to make a gourmet meal for over fifty people three times a day, six days a week. We thought it would be wrong to make him work every day of the week, so everyone’s on their own from dinner Friday night through lunch on Saturday.
“Robin is the only son of a Slayer. All the other children have been girls. We’re thinking it’s because the three of you were not born to Slayers
, but to Potential Slayers. I could have been a Slayer when I was Mary, but the timing was never right. Robin was born just before Nikki was Called.
“Aunt Faith is my sister slayer. She’s the only one that I consider that close. We used to be really competitive, but we’ve finally found a groove.
“So that’s my side of the family. Any questions?”
“Just one,” Dean spoke up, a mischievous grin on his face. “Can I invite a friend to live with us?”
“Which friend?” Sam asked.
“That’ll be fun.”
“How so?” Buffy asked, delighted at finally learning a little about her sons’ lives and friends. They had told her about hunts and things, but both had been raised to not reveal anything, and it was a hard to break habit.
“Caleb Reaves is this guy that Dad met when me and Sammy were still really little. He was already in his teens at the time and was staying with Pastor Jim. He’s one of those guys who seem to live in this calm, orderly bubble.”
“Until you get to know him,” Sam added. “When you get him away from Pastor Jim he likes to party. He’s the one that got Dean drunk for the first time.”
“Sounds like fun. Next time we see him, we’ll invite him.”
- § -- § -
Buffy yawned as she started down the stairs. She, Dawn, and the boys went patrolling last night and didn’t get in until nearly five. It was now nine, and Buffy was done sleeping for the day. When she reached the main kitchen she smiled at Giles and accepted the cup of coffee he held out to her. He smiled back and began polishing his glasses.
“What’s wrong Giles?” Buffy asked.
“N-nothing,” he answered. “Why do you ask?”
“You made me coffee, that dreadful American sludge, and now you’re cleaning your glasses. What’s the what?”
“Ah, well, I was hoping to wait until later today to tell you this, but I suppose now is as good a time as any.”
“Tell me what?”
“I believe we have found John Winchester.”
“A, ah, town in Iowa. It’s, uh, it’s name is Salvation.”
“What’s he doing there?”
“My guess would be tracking the demon that killed you.” Buffy nodded and started to leave the room. “Where are you going,” Giles asked.
“Well, first I’m going to pack a bag. Then I’m going to wake my children and have them each pack. After that, I was planning on a little family reunion. Sound good?”
“Buffy, you can’t just attack this demon like you have all the others. From the little I’ve managed to glean from your boys, this demon is either incorporeal or possessing human beings. How will you kill it?”
“Simple. I’ll beat the ever-living crap out of the human and force that demonic bastard out. Then Sam and Dean can say one of their rituals to make that thing physical. Then I’ll use my scythe and the troll hammer.”
“Ah… well… Have a safe trip. When should I expect you back?”
“Gimme about three weeks. Just to be safe.”
“Alright. Take care of yourself.”
Buffy nodded again, already on her way to her room. She quickly packed her clothes and weapons in a small duffel bag. She headed to the room next door and poked her head in. She smiled as she looked in on her boys.
They had been offered separate rooms, but Dean had looked so lost after the first night that Sam told everyone he had gotten used to sharing and asked for a room with two beds. They were given the large room next to Buffy’s that contained two doubles. Sam told Buffy later that day why he really wanted to share with Dean again. He had woken up some time in the middle of the night when his door was opened. While feigning sleep, he saw Dean walk in. He quickly shut his eyes. Dean walked up to the bed and placed a hand near Sam’s face, sighing when he felt Sam’s breath on his hand. Buffy theorized that Dean had had a nightmare or something and needed to reassure himself that Sam was still alive. Sam had shrugged and told her that no matter the reason, it was comforting to share a room for him, too.
Right now, both boys were stretched on their separate beds, dead to the world. Normally they would be reaching for weapons the moment the doorknob was turned; now, Buffy was standing fully inside the room and neither boy had so much as twitched. She wandered around the room gathering the things she thought they would need for the trip. She took all the bags out to the car and loaded the back with weapons of all shapes and sizes. Then she headed back upstairs. She wrapped Sam in his quilt and carried him to the car. Once she had him buckled in, she repeated the process with Dean. She smirked when both boys were in the car; sometimes slayer strength really came in handy. She was just reaching for the front door when it burst open and Willow rushed out, a bag slung over her shoulder.
“Don’t think you’re leaving without me, missy. You need someone good with the mojo just in case something goes wrong with the spell you want Sam and Dean to perform. Besides, with them sleeping, who’s going to drive?”
Two hours later Buffy heard a stirring from the back seat. She turned and saw Sam trying to blink the sleep away. One arm hit Dean when Sam was mid-stretch, but the older boy merely curled toward the warmth his brother provided. “Where are we?” Sam asked thickly.
“We’re currently passing Mishawaka, Indiana. You hungry?” Willow answered.
“Not really. Why’re we in Indiana?”
“Giles found your father,” Buffy told him.
“Dad’s in Indiana?”
“No. He’s in Iowa. That’s where we’re headed.”
“How’d we get in the car?” Dean asked, his voice scratchy with sleep.
“I carried you. Don’t worry. I packed everything up, too.”
“Why didn’t you just wake us up?” Sam asked.
“Look at your brother. This is after six hours of sleep. Can you picture him being able to so much as tie his shoe if I had woken him up two hours ago?”
“Okay, you’ve got a point.”
- § -- § -
“Look out it's rough and mean
It's a long way to the top
If you wanna rock 'n' roll”
“Mom! Make it stop!”
“Ah c’mon Sammy. These are the classics.”
“Mom, please! He’s been singing every ACDC song he knows for the past hour
“She’s been mouthing the words along with him,” Willow laughed. “She can’t say a word to Dean about singing them.”
make him stop,” Sam pleaded, coming dangerously close to whining.
Willow looked at Dean via the rear view mirror. “As your Aunt, I am hereby ordering you to stop singing ACDC songs for the remainder of this trip.” After a few seconds of contemplation – and catching the smirk Willow was aiming at him – Dean nodded in agreement.
“Her letters gave me purpose,
Her letters gave me pride
Armies far across the ocean
Guns and letters by our side…”
Sam groaned and slumped down in his seat. Buffy and Willow exchanged a triumphant smile. It had taken an hour of Dean singing, but the brothers were finally acting like brothers trapped in a backseat together during a road trip. Willow’s smile grew as she mentally conversed with Sam about different retaliation techniques. After all, it wouldn’t be right to chose side, now would it?
Another nearly two hours passed before they pulled into Salvation. The war the brothers had engaged in finally culminated when they got out of hand and Buffy threatened to tie one to the roof of the car, and stuff the other in the trunk for the remainder of the journey. She may have wanted them to act like normal brothers, but even a desperate mother could only take so many ‘he’s touching me’s before she lost it.
Dean was able to point out John’s truck within ten minutes of entering the city limits. Buffy stood at the door of the motel room, hand poised to knock. Sam, and Willow were loitering next to the car and Dean was peering into his dad’s truck. Buffy felt a determined look settle on her face, squared her shoulders, and raised her hand to knock. A minute passed and nothing happened. She knocked again.
“What?” John nearly shouted as he ripped the door open. His eyes widened and his face paled when he saw the scene outside his door.
-- § -- -- § --
Caleb may or may not make any further appearances (I’m thinking he will rejoin them later, but I never know how a story will end up until I finish writing it), but he is strongly based n the Caleb Reaves from Ridley C. James’ fanfics which can be found, under that penname, on fanfiction.net.
The two songs sung by Dean belong to ACDC and Kansas, respectively. Unless they belong to someone else and those two groups just sang them but do not own. I’m not sure how that works.
To be continued in another story! BTW, I’m making these stories so short so that I don’t lose interest or focus halfway through and just stop writing. On the plus, though, I’ve written four chapters in less than a month, so this seems to be working better than my long-chaptered stories. Okay, enough rambling. I hope you liked it.