I. You're What?!
None of these characters belong to me. I only lay claim on the conception of the plot idea. Author's Note:
This is a response to TimeShifter
's Challenge 3096: A New Stepfather.
It reminded me of that Lucille Ball-Henry Fonda movie Yours, Mine, Ours
(which was later on remade starring Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo). But instead having a family of 12 altogether for this fic, I'm sticking with uniting a family of five (I'm still debating on whether to include Dawn or not). Chapter Timeline:
AU version of BtVS's Season 4 (well not entirely; Riley will still make an appearance in later chapters, but for the sake of the fic, that will probably be the only 'canon' event here) & obviously this is pre
-S1 of SPN. Summary:
Joyce and John eloped without letting their teenage offspring know. John uprooted his sons from Kansas to California and Buffy had to get used to sharing their Sunnydale home with not just one guy but three
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Yours, Mine, Ours:
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * I. You're What?!
JOYCE SUMMERS-WINCHESTER KNEW what she was about to do was something no mother should ever do to her child, regardless of whether or not they shared a tight bond with one another. But it happened and now she must face reality and tell her daughter exactly what she did during that out of town trip she took with some of her friends at the end of August and also to prepare her for some new changes around the house.
"Buffy, honey," Joyce began, pacing back and forth in the Summers' 1630 Revello Drive living room, twisting and untwisting her hands while she picked up the courage to spit out what she'd been keeping from her daughter for the past couple of weeks. She told herself that she didn't want to ruin Buffy's first year in college by blurting out what she did this past summer, but she could no longer delay the inevitable and she only had a couple of days to prepare her before they get here.
"Yes, Mom?" Buffy sat on the sofa looking up at her mother, her long blonde hair pulled up in a haphazard ponytail; wisps of her baby-soft hair framing the side of her small face. She looked relaxed. Peaceful. And most of all, very much in adulation of her mother whom she had no idea committed probably one of the most heinous crime a mother could commit without consulting with her daughter first.
"How's school?" Joyce asked, using some delaying tactics to prolong the inevitable. Coward
, a voice in her head scolded.
Buffy frowned sensing that something was amiss and her mother wasn't really asking her about school. Actually as of late Buffy sensed that her mother was keeping something from her, but since Joyce wasn't making a big deal about it, Buffy never bothered to ask. But now she sensed that it was
a big deal and it was high time she started asking Joyce Summers some questions.
"Is everything okay, Mom?" Buffy decided to ignore her mother's question and asked Joyce a question of her own.
"Of course I am," Joyce scoffed, but she didn't stop her pacing nor did she stop wringing her hands together.
Buffy cocked an eyebrow and kept on watching her mother. Something was definitely
"IgotmarriedtoacompletestrangeroverthesummerandI'mtooscaredtotellyou!" Joyce blurted out in one breath.
She didn't think Buffy understood her, but knowing how her daughter spoke the same way, the dumbstruck look on her daughter's face indicated Buffy understood every single word that came out even though it was sewn together.
JOHN WINCHESTER PACED BACK AND FORTH inside their rented motel room. He just spoke to Joyce a few minutes ago and she told him that the deed was done; Buffy was informed. Now that left the ball in his own damn court!
He didn't think it would be harder telling his two sons what he did during one of his hunts. He thought explaining to Dean and Sam about the demons and other evil that lurked in the background of everyone's lives was tough, whoa-boy, nobody sure warned him that confessing to his children that he went and eloped with the woman he saved from the Incubus that preyed on single women staying at a near run-down motel in Missouri.
He and Joyce agreed to keep their marriage as low-key as possible from their children. Joyce told him that Buffy just started college and after a somewhat traumatic high school graduation, she didn't want her daughter to worry or wonder of have anything distracting her from attending her first year in college.
John understood. He too was glad that Dean decided to take up some part-time distance learning courses for college and Sam was to start his freshman year in high school this school year. His hunting escapades hadn't taken them out of state for quite some time and even though they were staying at a motel at the moment, his sons were setting up some sort of root for themselves as far as their studies were concerned. Well, at least Sam was. Dean he was a bit iffy about him, but he has every faith in his eldest to do well in whatever course he decided to take. He figured Dean must've taken some mechanic's course since he loved tinkering with the Impala so much; if their lives had been different he figured Dean would be a grease monkey and happily content with his life messing around with car and truck parts.
" Dean exclaimed when he walked in to their room and found him pacing back and forth, creating a hole on the floor.
Sam appeared behind his brother and with a curt nod Sam said, "Hey Dad."
John acknowledged his sons with a brief, distracted nod. He waited until they were settled and he has formed enough coherent thought to explain to them what was to happen in the next few days. They'll probably hate him -- more than they already do since their mother's death and the hell they've put them through -- and never speak to him again, but he was still their father and they were under his protection and guardianship until he said so otherwise.
"Everything okay?" Dean crossed the room to where the small fridge was and grabbed a can of pop. He threw one at Sam before grabbing another one for himself.
"Yeah," John nodded, still distracted. "Yeah, I'm okay."
Sam's forehead creased to a frown. "Are you sure? 'Coz you don't look like you are," he pointed out.
John looked from his eldest son to his youngest. He did this back and forth thing for at least four times before he stopped and settled his gaze on the carpeted flooring instead. Sam and Dean exchanged a look over their father's bent head and shrugged.
"Are you and Bobby going on another trip
and you don't want to drag Sam and I along?" Dean asked and propped himself on the stool he pulled from the plastic table.
"What?" John stopped his pacing and snapped his head up to meet his eldest son's gaze.
Dean cocked an eyebrow but didn't repeat what he just said. He knew his father heard him.
"You know Dean and I are you used to you and Bobby going off to places unknown and leaving us to fend for ourselves for a day or two," Sam said and sat down on the edge of his bed.
John couldn't believe he was hearing this from his sons. They sound as if they were used to being abandoned
by him, which was never his intent. Ever since Mary's death he dedicated the rest of his entire existence to finding justice for his wife's murder, but never once did he think of abandoning his sons; he always came back from them regardless of how beaten he was from a recent clash with a demon.
"No," he answered. He didn't sound convincing at all to his ears and repeated the word more firmly this time. "No. Bobby and I aren't going to run off hunting again. At least, not for a while anyway," he shrugged.
That was a surprise. Both brothers shared a look then cocked their brows. They turned their intrigued gaze back to their father and waited for him to continue. It sounded like there was more to this weird behavior of their father than what he already said.
"You remember that Incubus Bobby and I tracked down a few weeks back?" John decided if he was going to tell his boys about Joyce and their marriage, he might as well start from the very beginning and hope that they both understood why he did what he did.
"Yeah," Sam and Dean nodded in unison.
"Well, the woman the Incubus was after, Joyce, was a tourist staying at the motel with some friends. Their rented vehicle was tampered with, stranding them in the middle of nowhere, but placed them conveniently enough near the motel the Incubus was doing its haunt," he explained.
"You and Bobby tracked down the bugger and ended its sorry existence, right?" Dean cut in, antsy to hear the end result.
"Yeah, we did, but not before it attacked one of Joyce's friends the first night they stayed at the motel. Joyce was the second target and we managed to save her and the other two women with her before the Incubus got to her."
The brothers noticed their father mentioning 'Joyce' a lot, and that got them curious.
"So what's with this Joyce lady?" it was Sam who voiced out that question.
John paused and once again looked from one son to the next, all the while taking a deep breath. He slowly expelled the said breath he took and fixed his gaze on the curtained window. The sun was nearly setting.
"Joyce and I weren't expecting it. We thought it was just the shock of finding out a friend of theirs was victimized by an Incubus, but later on she told me she was used to dealing with bump-in-the-night creatures and thought that when she took the trip with her friends she'd have a respite from those," he paused and chuckled, remembering that night he held Joyce Summers in his arms after the Incubus nearly attacked her. "Of course she didn't get the respite she wanted. Regardless, Bobby and I hung around the tourists for a few days making sure that they were safely delivered to where they were supposed to be. It was a two-day drive and Bobby's van provided enough room so we weren't cramped," he explained.
"OK, so what was it that you and this Joyce lady weren't expecting?" Dean asked, but something in him was afraid to hear the answer.
John was silent for a while. He didn't know how to break it to his sons any other way. And he explained to them as much of what they needed to know to understand
how he and Joyce Summers were thrown into each other's paths.
"Joyce and I eloped and now we're moving to California because she has a house there and a daughter who's attending her first year in college."
Dean and Sam's drinks slipped from their suddenly numb hands and it landed with a thunk
on the carpeted floor, tilting sideways and spilling its contents. Their jaws soon followed their pop cans and the look on their eyes were something.