The group of seven entered the cafeteria and headed to the buffet area. A six seater bench table had been pulled over and added to the Scoobies normal ten seater bench table to accommodate the guests. The rest of the Scoobies were already seated at the table waiting for Xander, Dean and Faith to arrive with the Hunters.
The Scoobies were pretty excited to meet Pastor Jim and Bobby because of all the stories Dean had told of the two men. Bobby had come off sounding like a red-necked version of Giles and Pastor Jim sounded like a valuable ally. There just were that many priests in the know about the night life and even one six states away could take a short trip to come bless water and supplies for them. Dean hadn’t known Ellen but because Bobby had vouched for her he’d accepted her involvement.
Buffy took one look at the group and said, “That girl’s a slayer.”
“Good or bad?” asked Oz.
“In between, I don’t think it hurts but it probably doesn’t help,” answered Buffy as the group headed towards them.
The Scoobies had arranged themselves with Buffy, Oz, Willow and Kennedy on the right side of the table with open spaces next to Buffy. The other side of the table held Giles, Robin, Athena and Andrew with the empty spaces next to Giles. Dawn was seated in a chair at the end of the table between Kennedy and Andrew.
Dean did the introductions between everyone as he sat between Faith and Xander with Xander next to Buffy. Bobby sat next to Giles with Jim and Ellen next to him. Jo, seated at the end between Faith and her mother, sighed. Sure Dean was eye candy and Xander was there but they’d probably ignore her the entire time to talk with the adults and Faith kinda intimidated her.
Dawn caught Jo downcast expression and called, “Hey Jo, come sit over here with me and Kennedy. We’re more entertaining than the old folks,”
Buffy and Dean let out indignant “Hey’s” at being called old but everyone on the right side of the table shifted over to make room for Jo at the ‘kiddy’ end of the table.
Jo and Dawn started talking animatedly as soon as she sat. Ellen relaxed seeing Jo talk to a girl around her own age.
“So are all of you girls slayers?” asked Ellen.
“No, Dawn and I aren’t slayers. I’m a Wicca and Dawnie’s Buffy’s little sister. She does a lot of the research and translating for us so she’s still an important member of the Scoobies,” answered Willow cheerfully.
“Translating?” asked Bobby. He’d give her the benefit of the doubt but Dawn was just a baby from his perspective.
“Yep, our little Dawnie is a big-o language nerd,” offered Xander with a proud grin.
“Says the Klingon speaking pirate,” countered Dawn with a smirk.
Xander said “Vaj nuq? Klingon is cool,” then stuck his tongue out at her.
“Real mature and it totally means you’re a bigger geek then I am,” responded Dawn.
“Again, so what? It’s totally the age of the geek,” answered Xander.
Dawn rolled her eyes at him and returned to her conversation with Jo.
As they ate the Hunters were regaled with stories about the misadventures the Scoobies had had. The topics were kept light and nothing of any importance was discussed but it went a long way at putting Ellen at ease. These people weren’t going to try and take Jo from her.
Bobby and Jim watched Dean interact with the Scoobies and were surprised at the ease in which he had become a part of this group of dynamic people. Dean rarely if ever willingly associated with people other than his father, brother, themselves and a few other Hunters that he’d known most of his life. Dean was an excellent judge of character and an even better actor but they knew him well enough to tell when he was faking it. They also knew him well enough to tell that he genuinely liked these people. They’d come here because Dean had asked. Neither man could recall a single instance in the sixteen years that they’d known the oldest son of John Winchester that Dean had ever asked for anything for himself.
As they finished their meal Giles asked, “Would you prefer to rest today maybe take a tour and start our meeting tomorrow or go straight to the business portion now?”
Bobby glanced at Ellen and Jim before saying, “We should probably get down to business.”
“Mom, Kennedy's going to introduce me to the other slayers while you talk business,” said Jo dragging a startled looking Kennedy away before her mother could drag her to what she was sure was going to be a very boring meeting even if it was about Slayers and Hunters.
“You're not going with them?” asked Ellen to Dawn.
Dawn shook her head and said, “I have a few translations to finish.”
“Who's all going the meeting now?” asked Bobby.
“You three get to do the introductory talks with Giles, Robin, Athena and Buffy,” replied Dawn.
“Buffy lost the rock paper scissors contest we had this morning at breakfast,” added Faith.
Buffy shrugged and said, “I gotta earn my shopping money somehow.”
The Scoobies laughed or grinned depending on their personalities.
Giles, Athena, Robin and Buffy led the three Hunters off to start the meeting. Xander went back to work on the construction. Willow went to help Andrew and the rest of the clean-up crew with the kitchen and cafeteria clean up because that was where she'd volunteered to work after Xander had labeled her hopeless with a hammer. Oz and Dean went to the garage and Faith headed off to train with the minis not on clean up or construction duty.
In the conference room the group seated themselves before getting down to business. The three Hunters were told about the Slayers and Watchers, their current allies and the fact that they included various witches, two vampires, various neutral demon clans and a couple of were-wolves at this point, surprising the hell out of the three of them.
Plans were outlined and reformed. Terms were negotiated and Hunters were discussed. By the time three hours had passed they had a good solid foundation to work with and ended the meeting for the day. Giles offered to take them on the tour they had held off on earlier.
Giles showed them the construction areas where Xander could be seen supervising and helping where needed. He was also sketching out protection runes and devil's traps on the interior sides of the drywall sections before the minis nailed them in place.
The library had Bobby excited even if it was less than half full. He could see how grand it was going to be eventually. They toured the stacks while exchanging lists of books they needed or wanted. Bobby had three of the ten Giles wanted and knew where to get four others as long as he could get access to their library.
They peaked into the garage and saw Dean working on an actual school bus with Oz. Bobby and Jim noted that just like during lunch Oz didn't speak much but he played straight man to Dean's funny man rather well. They were informed by Giles that Oz and Faith rotated shifts in the garage with training the younger slayers.
They stayed in the gym long enough to watch Faith test Jo on her abilities. Faith had been grinning by the end of the match. Jo fought hard and dirty. Faith had even complimented her after pulling her back up to her feet.
Giles led them back up to their temporary rooms before announcing, “I highly doubt Dean or Faith left any food in their rooms but dinner is served from five pm until seven pm.”
“Dean left a six pack in his fridge,” said Bobby.
Giles snorted and said, “My point exactly. We generally eat dinner together at about six. You are more than welcome to join us but you don't have to. Xander has menus to every place that delivers in the area so if you want to order something just ask him or you’re more than welcome to eat out.”
“That seems a bit early for dinner,” commented Ellen.
“Patrols start at sunset, so it's best to eat early. They usually make their own snacks afterwards. Andrew keeps the third floor kitchen well stocked with the basics so they don't raid his kitchen,” responded Giles.
“Makes sense. See you at dinner,” said Ellen as she walked into her room. She needed some time to process everything that had happened today and everything that she had learned in the last few hours. A nice hot shower seemed like a wonderful idea.
After Ellen was out of earshot Bobby bluntly asked, “Dean’s got something going on with Faith and Xander doesn’t he?”
Giles gave both men a searching look before saying, “The children’s personal lives aren’t mine to discuss. If you wish to know I suggest you ask them not me. Anything else you gentlemen need?”
Bobby shared a look with Jim. That was all the conformation either of them needed. “Nope, we’re good. See you at dinner.”
Giles headed back down the stairs while Bobby and Jim headed to their temporary room. They had a lot to talk about.
As soon as the door was shut Bobby said, “He’s happy here.”
Jim shook his head and said, “He’s happy with them. The only thing he’s ever truly wanted was his family all together but Sammy and John are just too much alike. They’ll never understand just what their fighting puts him through.”
“Idjits don’t even know what they’ve lost,” said Bobby.
“You really think they’ve lost him?” asked Jim.
“Maybe not yet but it’s only a matter of time. In less than a month that group has accepted Dean entirely, made him a part of their family and he’s happy. I’ve never see Dean stay in one place longer than two weeks before he gets wandering foot syndrome. Even when he’s injured and can’t go anywhere he’s restless and antsy. Worse than John and Sam combined and neither of them are the picture of patience,” replied Bobby.
“I don’t know whether to be proud of him for finally putting himself first or upset that we’re probably going to lose him as well,” announced Jim with a heartfelt sigh.
“Go with proud we won’t lose him as long as we make the effort. He’s the one that contacted me and he was going to contact you but I offered to do that. He might not feel like talking to his idjit of a father but we were first on his contact list. I think he’s a little scared we won’t have anything to do with him after he tells us about Faith and Xander though,” answered Bobby.
Jim snorted and Bobby raised an eyebrow at him, “What? If a three way relationship makes him happy who am I to judge.”
“Very liberal approach Pastor,” teased Bobby.
“Eh, we fight demons and monsters. A three some isn’t a big deal. It’s not like he hides his sexuality very hard. I don’t know how Sam and John haven’t figured that out yet,” returned Jim.
“Self-centeredness and tunnel vision is my guess. John just doesn’t pay much attention to Dean and Sam’s too much a teenager to look beneath the surface,” offered Bobby.
“Should we just tell him it doesn’t matter or let him come clean on his own?” asked Jim.
Bobby smirked and said, “Let him come clean on his own. It’s entertaining seeing him squirm.”
Jim grinned back. It definitely was amusing watching Dean, try to squirm his way around things.
“You think he’ll actually tell us tonight?” asked Jim.
“Yeah, it’s not like he can keep a secret,” answered Bobby.
“I don’t know about that, he never really says anything he doesn’t want to,” returned Jim.
“True, but he does want to. I’m pretty sure if Ellen and Jo weren’t with us, the first thing out of his mouth would have been ‘Uncle Bobby, Pastor Jim meet my boyfriend Xander and girlfriend Faith’,” countered Bobby.
Jim laughed he could see Dean doing just that. “Makes me wonder how he does plan to explain it.”
“I don’t know but it won’t be worse than when he tells the idjits. I hope I’m there when that happens,” remarked Bobby.
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