I. At the Market
None of these characters are mine. Except for some original characters I'll have popping up here on and off. I'm merely borrowing them for my very own amusement. No monetary rewards' been gained from writing this fic using these characters. Summary:
It was love at first sight for the both of them, but her family's legacy soon loomed over her like a dark cloud before a nasty, angry storm, scaring her for the first time in her life and made her regret her wish to fall in love... Timeline:
Pre-Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel
and some time during the teenage years of Gillian and Sally Owens in Practical Magic.
I have to fudge the timeline here a bit for BtVS/AtS so that Wesley and Gillian are of the same age, so you can say that this is somewhat AU. PhoenixRae's Notes:
I love Practical Magic
and Gillian's character. Since in the movie they focused more on Sally and just touched on Gilly's whirlwind romances, I decided to write a series focusing on Gillian and her finally believing their family curse that befell every Owens women when they fall madly and passionately in love. This is the first story in the Practical Journey
series featuring Wesley and Gillian. I hope you enjoy & constructive feedback's always welcome. = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
(artwork manip by PhoenixRae for the Pictures of Practical Journey collection)
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = I. At the Market
IT WAS A USUAL SATURDAY FOR THE Owens women. They did their usual business in town bright and early, making sure to stop by their usual haunts and dodge around as many townsfolk as they could. The people of this small New England town was under the impression that they were spawned by the Devil himself when truth be told, it was them who acted more like spawns of Lucifer than the four women walking down the busy street minding their own business.
Aunt Jett kept on scolding Aunt Frannie for trying to be friendly with everyone who were going out of their way to avoid meeting the older woman's warm, sweet smile. These narrow-minded people were under the impression that if they looked at them straight in the eyes they'd be brainwashed and forever become a servant to the bewitching Owens coven.
Sally and Gillian walked behind their aunts, arms linked together and their heads pressed close together while they speak in hushed tones. Unlike their Aunt Frannie, the sisters chose not to acknowledge anyone they crossed paths with. After the warm welcome they received a few years back, when a group of local kids were playing on the other side of their aunts' old Victorian manor fence and started pelting them with stones because they were witches, the sisters kept to themselves and never bothered to befriend any one of those kids.
The foursome continued to walk down the street as if nothing was out of the ordinary. From time to time Gillian would catch the eye of one of the many teenage boys loitering about. It was a common occurrence whenever the younger set of Owens sisters ventured outside their home; Gillian was taller and quite shapelier than her older, Plain Jane sister Sally who sports large geeky eyeglasses to correct her vision. Gillian didn't need to cast a spell on the boys to be bewitched; all she had to do was bat her lashes and give them a sultry smile. Those two combo added to her already attractive physique (long, wavy strawberry blond hair, cat-like blue eyes, long, shapely legs and luscious, pouty red lips) was a sure fire arsenal that sent boys and men alike to trip on their own foot when they happen to collide with Hurricane Gillian.
This weekend was the streets were abuzz with preparation for tonight's festivities. It was the annual Summer Solstice Feast. There will be a fair set up at the edge of town, using up the large empty lot for rides, game booths and bazaars. Everybody in town would be in attendance since the fair was a big deal.
Gillian wanted to check out the fair every year, but after her first time going she opted out of ever attending the said festivity. It was a shame, really, but the vile taste her first and last sojourn to the annual solstice fair taught her a lesson she wouldn't forget. It only made her already low impression of the people of this town disintegrate to nothing; she likened the people of this town to animals and puppets -- especially the boys who were often caught in the web of lust and passion she often wove.
"Girls, you can go on straight home," Aunt Jett said over her shoulder to her nieces. "Frannie and I will be along in a while."
"Can we stick around and browse for a while?" Gillian asked, surprising her sister who knew how much she hated walking around the main town square after her last fiasco encounter, which wasn't started by her but no one believed them so the blame was left to rest on Gillian's shoulders.
Aunt Jett and Aunt Frannie were surprised as well.
"Are you sure, dear?" Aunt Frannie asked, eyeing her youngest niece carefully.
Gillian squared her shoulders and mustered all the bravado she could and pinned a brave smile on her pretty face.
"Yup," she nodded.
"A-alright," Aunt Frannie relented albeit not wholeheartedly. She glanced quickly at Sally and without opening her mouth she sent a message to her to carefully watch out for her sister.
Sally nodded her acquiescence.
"Okay, then I guess we'll see you girls at home later," Aunt Jett announced and with final warnings before leaving the sisters alone, she and Aunt Frannie were gone.
Sally waited until their aunts were out of earshot before she disentangled her arm from her sister's and stepped in front of her. "Are you really
sure you want to hang out here?"
A flash of uncertainty crossed Gillian's eyes briefly, but it was quickly dashed away. "Look Sal, I can't forever hide
from these people. And no matter what, you and I know I
didn't start that catfight with Mary Ellen."
Mary Ellen was one of the snotty cheerleaders at their local high school who was dating the captain of the football team who happened to have a liking to Gillian. Gillian was partly to blame for encouraging
Gerry to flirt with her, but as far as Sally was concerned, Gillian wouldn't out and out date Gerry just to spite Mary Ellen.
Sally let out a frustrated sigh. In as much as she wanted her and her sister to live a normal life here in this small town they were currently ensconced with their two eccentric aunts, she knew that the four of them were far from normal from the rest of the townsfolk.
WESLEY COULDN'T KEEP HIS EYES off the two women that just walked in to the diner popular to the younger crowd as opposed to the older patrons who frequented the diner next door. He was seated in the back booth with his cousins and his rowdy friends and was beginning to get tired of their non-stop jesting and childish behavior when the brunette and redhead walked in.
"Wipe that drool off, Wes," Gerry Windsor teased his cousin and pretended to dab away at the drool stains dripping from Wesley's open mouth. "And if you value your life, quit staring at those two girls," he added.
Wesley frowned and slapped his cousin's hand away. He grabbed the paper napkin Gerry was using and crumpled it before throwing it on the pile of their dirty dishes in the middle of the table.
"I wasn't drooling. And why
would my life be in danger?"
"In case Gerry hasn't explained to you yet, those two are the Owens sisters. The brunette's Sally and the redhead's Gillian. What a hottie that one, but also off-limits," Archie Menses explained.
Wesley frowned. "Why? Is she already promised to someone else?" His innocent question garnered him a guffaw from the group of senior high schoolers seated around the booth with him.
"Oh Wes," Gerry patted his cousin's shoulder while doing his best to calm down from laughing.
"What?" Wesley was confused. He looked from Gerry to Archie then to the others, each of them thinking his question was the most hilarious question he's ever asked. "What's so bloody funny?" he demanded.
"Promised to someone else?
" echoed a still laughing Wilson Gartner, he was clutching the side of his stomach because it was starting to hurt. "Oh that one's priceless," he wheezed and started gasping for breath.
"Wesley, let's just say that all
the Owens women earned the reputation of being called the Black Widows," Gerry explained to his cousin when he finally managed to calm himself.
"Anybody fool enough to take them on seriously ends up six feet under," Archie added to further elaborate Gerry's explanation.
"That's hogwash," Wesley denied.
Wilson snorted and the African-American boy beside him chortled. Both shook their heads but said nothing.
"Why don't you ask what happened to their father then, huh?" cajoled Gerry. "We heard he croaked a few years after Gillian was born, and their mother died shortly after because she couldn't believe she just killed her husband."
"And the same thing happened to one of their aunts'," added Archie.
Wesley was having a hard time believing what his cousin and his friends were telling him. They all sure looked like they believe this ludicrous tall tale, but for them to not treat it seriously was a whole other matter.
Disgusted with the sort of company he found himself with, Wesley lifted his gaze and looked across the not-so-crowded diner to where the sisters were standing waiting in line. His eyes barely stayed on the brunette wearing large unattractive eyeglasses, but he could tell she was a real beauty underneath that enormous pair of specs, before continuing on to study the tall redhead.
Gillian felt that funny, tingly feeling at the back of her neck. It was the same sensation she felt whenever someone was watching her. Sally was telling her something about what she plans after high school, and while half listening to her sister, Gillian scanned the diner looking for the person who had the audacity to openly stare at her. She didn't have to look further. The noise coming from the back corner of the diner where Gerry and his cronies were hanging out drew her attention and pointed her to the person watching her.
Right off the bat Gillian knew he wasn't from around here. He gave off a different aura; an aura of a foreigner just visiting this part of the world for the summer. She supposed she could forgive him for staring at her, studying her carefully as if he was trying to figure her out. Flattered at the attention she was receiving from the cute stranger across the room, Gillian was irritated as well since the last thing she wanted was to catch the attention of a jealous girlfriend or wannabe-girlfriend and get tangled up in another catfight over some worthless boy.
Gillian glared at the boy, giving him a sharp once-over before tossing her chin to the air and turning her back to him. She thought that would do the trick, only it didn't work and she could still feel his eyes on her.
"Damn," she muttered under her breath and stole another quick glance at his direction.
Sally noticed her sister's agitation and followed the direction of her gaze. Recognizing who was the ringleader of the rambunctious group at the far end corner booth, she deduced the situation and dragged her sister out of the diner without bothering to place their order.
"C'mon," Sally grabbed Gillian's arm and walked out, casting a nasty glare at Gerry and his friend's way before the diner's glass door swung close.
Gillian knew Sally misinterpreted who was annoying her in there, but at the moment she didn't bother correcting her sister. She let Sally drag her as far away from the diner as she could until she could no longer feel the stranger's eyes following her.
Who was he? What was he doing with Gerry and those other losers? Why did she get the oddest feeling that he was unlike those guys he was with?