Title: Intertwining Destinies
Disclaimer: I do not own BtVS, The Sentinel, or Joan of Arcadia. Other people—among them Petfly and Joss—do.
Author’s note: I started this well over a year ago. It started out being utterly flippant, but I’ve decided to try and flesh it out. More chapters preface the original first chapter, and original chapters have had everything from little things changed to large things. It’ll be beneficial for everyone to reread the story again. And maybe you could review? I like reviews. Also—please make note of the fact that this is AU. VERY AU!!
Helen Girardi and her twin sister, Joyce Summers, were close even into adulthood. They’d gotten married on the same day and had their children reasonably close together (except for Dawn; she was a total surprise). Until Joyce’s eldest, Buffy, was in the fourth grade, however, the Summers family had lived in Sacramento. Then they moved to L.A., where the Girardi family made their home.
Regardless of how much distance separated them, they got together for every holiday, birthday, and for most special events. The adults enjoyed talking to each other and would later get together as often as they could. The children, however, separated by whether or not they were siblings. Even when the two families were in the same city, with the kids attending the same schools, the children never really communicated. It was tradition.
Buffy was six when the tradition started. Before that, it had just been her and Kevin against Joan and Luke. Luke was a loner even as a toddler so it was really just her and Kev against little Joan. Later, Joan wouldn’t remember those days very well but they were memories that would set the stage for more than one caper involving the oldest two cousins.
Then, when baby Dawn was a year old, Faith came. She was Joan’s age and Buffy’s new sister. At first, she’d clung to Buffy and tried to avoid Joan and Kevin at all costs. Looking back, Buffy figured that that was what originally created the rift.
As Dawn got older, the rift grew. The youngest Summers child was born a prankster and this trait started manifesting itself as early as her second birthday. She had launched a projectile missile (or rather, a rather large chunk of chocolate cake) straight at Luke who had had his back turned at the time. The four year old budding genius was not thrilled.
By the time that Buffy was a sophomore in high school, the rift between the Girardi siblings and their cousins, the Summers girls, had widened into a gaping chasm the size of the Grand Canyon.
Faith and Joan hadn’t said more than ten words to each other in a decade. That included their fifth grade year when their teacher thought it would be nice to pair everyone in the class off with ‘like-minded students.’ Three days of stony silence later, she’d been forced to ask the two brunettes why they weren’t talking to each other. Joan’s explanation was simple. “We don’t talk to each other, Ms. Cheverly. We never have and never will.”
Faith’s response was a great deal pithier due to trailing after her ‘perfect’ sister for most of her life. This was the same older sister that hung out with the tough crowd when no one was watching.
Faith got an out of school suspension, and Ms. Cheverly never paired the two cousins up again.
The only time Luke really noticed that he even had cousins was when Dawn was playing tricks on him. Eventually, he played jokes on her as well. That didn’t start happening until he was about ten or eleven and she was eight or nine.
Out of the three girls, Kevin really only talked to or tormented Buffy. They’d been close as kids, and though they grew apart, there was a bit of them that would always be friends. And even more than that, cousins.
But time changes everything and everyone. Chasms can be bridged and blood never really weakens. It strengthens over time, but never weakens.
More so than anything, death changes things. One drunken driving accident changed everything.
It resulted in ten deaths.
It tore two Slayers away from their destiny, away from the Hellmouth. It took them away from their ‘gift.’
It took a young girl away from an early death and a life of watching people she cared for die.
It changed a young genius into a young genius who happened to be a Sentinel.
It forced a young athlete to choose to do something else with his life. It took his ability to walk and he was just a bit too stubborn to return to sports in a wheelchair.
It set God’s chosen messenger on a very different path.
And it changed a Sentinel and Guide pair into parent figures.