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Family Ties (or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned

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Summary: It turns out the people who the Scoobies thought were their parents – mostly aren't. And as Mr. T says, "I pity the fools," when the Gang finally do locate their real parents.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > General > Theme: Real FamilyGreywizardFR13813,914215136,0222 Dec 1116 Dec 11Yes

Chapter One – I've Got A Secret. Well, Several Of

Disclaimer: They all belong to Joss and ME, or their respective owners (i.e., Marvel Comics, Mario Puzo, Robert A. Heinlein, Chris Carter and Charles/Burrows/Charles Productions and (maybe) Paramount Network Television). Deal with it. I have.

Time Frame: Post-'Chosen' for the Scoobies, and I've revised the timelines and possibly some of the back story, too, for some of the crossover characters to make them a better fit for my purposes. Also, not everything will necessarily be according to each show's established canon. This is fiction, after all, and since it's *MY* universe, I'm having various events work out the way I thought they should have gone.

Spoilers: None intended, but if you don’t know what’s happened up to this point, why are you reading this story? Still, having said all of the above, please note that the events of the season 8 comics do NOT exist in this universe. Say it with me – GILES IS NOT DEAD! And even if he *had* died, I refuse to believe that he would have left his family fortune to Faith and given Buffy nothing apart from that ‘Vampyre’ book, after everything they had been through together for eight years. If you ask me, that was all just Joss’s inner demons come out to play, determined to butcher his original brilliant creation and fuck with people's minds – all for no other reason than that they could do so.

Character Bashing: None. Although some characters might not be shown in the best possible light, everything is canon through Season Sux Part Deux for the Scoobies.

Feedback: Of course! Tell me what you think, people!

Archiving: Talk to me first, please.

Author’s Note 1: Many thanks to Bill Haden and Theo (Starway_Man) for beta-ing this story.

Author's Note 2: I’m writing this more to hopefully unleash a possible horde of plot bunnies on the unsuspecting fanfic world, and so that I can (with any luck) get back to finishing up some of my current Works-In-Progress. Each Scooby parental revelation will be a separate chapter of its own. If anyone wants to pick up any of the suggested parental plot bunnies and run with them, feel free to do so. In fact, GO FOR IT!! Just let me you're doing so, please, so that I can follow your story.

Author's Note 3: As usual, “word” indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.

Author's Note 4: Fic #2 in my personal Christmas Challenge Fic-A-Thon

Author's Note 5: This story is completely written, so you'll be seeing all of it over the course of the next several days. The chapters will be interspersed with some of my other work.

~~~

"Chance makes our parents, but choice makes our friends." – Jacques Delille

"Your children need your presence more than your presents." – Jesse Jackson

"Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy." – Robert Heinlein

"Never raise your hand to your children. It leaves your groin unprotected." – Red Buttons

***

Chapter One – I've Got A Secret. Well, Several Of Them, Actually


The Sineya Institute for Optimizing Human Potential
Cleveland, OH

Rupert Giles' office

June 19, 2006


"Okay, Andrew, just what is it that's so freakin' important that you wouldn't even discuss it with me over the phone? And why exactly did you insist that Dawn and I leave Rome and fly back here to Cleveland before you'll even talk to us about it?"

Buffy Summers' tone was a rather interesting mixture of irritation, annoyance, curiosity and muted worry, all seasoned with the tiniest hint of Valley-Girl whining, the other people in the room – Rupert Giles, Dawn Summers, Xander Harris, Cordelia Chase, Willow Rosenberg and Faith Lehane – all noted with amusement. They watched the petite blonde Slayer, stunningly dressed in what was clearly a hideously expensive designer original, frown menacingly at the obviously nervous and uncomfortable blond computer geek as Andrew fidgeted in his seat in front of the computer positioned on Giles' desk.

"Oh god, it's not another apocalypse – is it?" the Eldest Slayer asked, her forehead abruptly furrowing with concern as she spoke. "'Cause we just got done with that one in Antwerp, last month, y'know. That is *so* not fair, having *two* apocalypses, back to back like this!"

"So, then, complain to the Union of Evil Overlords about it. I’m sure they’ll respect your feelings on the matter. After all, Evil always *loves* to play fair," Cordelia said with obvious sarcasm.

Buffy just scowled at the former seer and Ascended Being and, not for the first time, the eldest Chosen One wondered exactly why Cordelia was actually here. Here, as in the Cleveland Institute, that is – not to mention this plane of existence. (Though she wouldn’t have put it past the other light bulbs throwing Cordelia out on general principle.) It was a long-standing mystery by this point in time, to be sure, and one for which they still had no real answers.

The ex-Vision Girl of Angel Investigations and former higher being had returned to the mortal realm roughly two years earlier, on precisely the same day that Angel and his crew – Wesley, Spike, Gunn, Lorne and even kinda-sorta the Old One named Illyria – had all been slaughtered by the demon hordes of Wolfram & Hart. The slaughter had been in retaliation for the Fang Gang destroying the Circle of the Black Thorn, the direct instruments of the Senior Partners on Earth – which had all been due, Buffy now recalled, to Cordelia giving Angel a farewell vision two months prior to that suicidal debacle.

"Bite me," Buffy then said rudely to her old high school rival, who had to be forcibly restrained by Xander from charging forward and clawing the Chosen One’s eyes out. Not that she'd actually had any real chance of doing so, it must be admitted.

And even if she could ever mange to do something along those lines, it was quite possible that, given sufficient time, the Slayer's now greatly enhanced superhuman healing ability would enable her to regenerate her eyes – just as Xander Harris' gouged out eye had done in the two years following his disfigurement by that insane former preacher, Caleb, just prior to Sunnydale's demise.

Exactly how and why that had occurred to the founder of the Scooby Gang was a mystery that was still unexplained, although both Willow and Andrew were spending a significant portion of their free time with the obviously pleased and gratified regenerator investigating possible explanations beyond ‘It’s the Hellmouth’s fault.’

"Uh, no, Buffy; there isn’t a, um, another apocalypse looming," Giles said to reassure the blonde Slayer, all the while ignoring Cordelia’s childish antics. "What we need to discuss has nothing to do with the demonic aspect of our business.

"You see, I instructed Andrew to summon all of you here, once he presented me with the information he'd discovered – which was, initially, a-a result of trying to learn why it was that Cordelia materialized in Xander’s quarters two years ago," Giles informed his one-time charges, giving the others a searching glance and noting the way they all exchanged worried looks with each other upon hearing his words. "I, I felt that it would be best if all of you were present when you first learned what we have to tell you, s-since the news does concern all of you, in one manner or another."

"Exactly what kind of news are you talking about, big guy?" Xander asked, leaning forward and frowning with concern, while still protectively maintaining a hold on his former flame's hand – an action that did not go unnoticed by any of the women present in the room. "You just said it doesn’t have anything to do with demons or the things that go chomp in the night, and then you tell us that it concerns *all* of us?

"I mean, that's pretty much the only thing we all have in common, well – aside from having lived in Sunnydale at one time or another," Harris then pointed out, his observation gaining automatic nods of agreement from the other members of the one-time Scooby Gang.

"Actually, there is one other thing that all of you have in common, although you were all clearly unaware of the fact," Giles replied uncomfortably, shifting his gaze away from his putative charges as he spoke to glance around the room.

"Well, what is that thing you just mentioned, Giles?" Willow asked, her brow furrowed in confusion at their mentor's ambiguous body language.

"Yeah, Giles! Spill!" Dawn said urgently, sharing an anxious look with Buffy as they all considered the Englishman's behavior.

"Gotta admit, you got *me* curious, G,” Faith drawled in her deliciously sexy Boston accent. "Well?"

"Andrew?" Giles gestured to his minion.

"Uh, yeah. See, the thing is – with two exceptions, none of you are, um, genetically related to either of the people you believed were your parents," Andrew stammered, looking ready to dive under the table at a moment’s notice.

Which was rather wise of him, really, as the looks suddenly aimed his way were, for the most part, not exactly ones filled with warmth, joy and love for one’s fellow man.

They were full of surprise, disbelief and even, in two instances, simmering anger, instead.
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