It's a Charming Kind of Life
Thanks to Band Candy, we know that Joyce likes bad boys. Is it really so surprising when she falls in with a motorcycle gang after moving to Charming, California when Buffy is 12 years old? BTVS/Sons of AnarchyCrossover:
: Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Sons of AnarchyNote:
Buffy starts out at the age of 12 in this fic. Jax and Opie (SOA) are thirteen.Disclaimer:
I do not own SOA or BTVS. This is just for fun.
Joyce glanced warily at her daughter before returning her gaze to the road. Buffy had not taken Joyce and Hank’s divorce well. The move away from L.A. up to northern California had not improved matters.
Pressing her lips together into a firm line, Joyce reminded herself that she had no choice in the matter. There was no way that she wanted to live in the same city as Hank and that whore secretary that he was playing house with, careless about what others thought. No, she did not want to watch the pity leak into her friends’ eyes every time they looked at her. Nor did she want Buffy to deal with all the whispers and rumors at school. Hank’s executive marketing position reaped a great deal of wealth and had provided a nice home, neighborhood, school, and upper-class friends; unfortunately wealthy people were bitches about this sort of thing.
She still was unsure whether it was for better or worse that Buffy didn’t quite grasp the betrayal her father had committed. At twelve years of age she was still caught between youth and adulthood. The rumors had yet to affect her and Buffy still thought the world of her father. Hence, she hated Joyce for taking her away.
Tightening her jaw, Joyce reminded herself that she was doing the best thing for Buffy. And her. This job in Charming wasn’t as nice as the art gallery she ran in L.A. – hell, it didn’t even involve art. But small towns didn’t have high standards and Joyce had been glad when her cousin had told her about the librarian position that had opened. Initially, the head librarian had given Joyce’s application a lackluster response, but she had come around.
Joyce took in another deep breath and turned onto her new road. The small, two-bedroom house had been a bargain – that was the nice thing about small towns – and Hank’s initial payment in the settlement had allowed her to take care of down payment. It was quaint, Joyce decided as she parked in the driveway. Nothing like their old home…but it would do. Blue siding, a front porch, and two stories high; well, it could be worse.
“We’re here,” Joyce murmured. Buffy shook herself awake and glanced around with bleary eyes, hardening as she saw the house.
“It’s small,” Buffy sniffed.
“Its home,” Joyce reminded her gently.
Joyce took another deep breath. She stepped out of the green SUV and placed her hands on her hips. They had fit most of their belongings in a trailer and back of the SUV, taking whatever mattered most from the house. Joyce had left the furniture and anything that didn’t have personal meaning. She hadn’t wanted any reminders of L.A. Especially anything that reminded her of Hank.
Buffy sighed heavily as she got out of the passenger seat and stared disdainfully at the trailer with crossed arms. “I hope your cousin and her family get here soon, because I am not unpacking all of this crap.”
“Language, Buffy.” But the reprimand was duller than she intended. To be honest, Joyce was just tired of fighting by this point. Her voice came out wearily and for a moment Buffy’s features softened.
Her daughter was a good girl. Joyce knew that they would get over this bump in the road eventually.
Then Buffy’s expression locked down. “Whatever.”
A dull roaring entered Joyce’s ears and she looked down the road, surprised to see about six motorcycles approaching, followed by a black sedan. The riders, all men, wore black leather jackets and jeans…and were pulling in front of her house. The sedan pulled up alongside them.
“You hired bikers as moving men, mom?” Buffy asked, surprised.
“I…” Joyce was flummoxed, but then she saw her cousin step out of the sedan. A relieved smile broke out of her face. “Gemma.” Now it made sense; Gemma had said she would bring help. She just hadn’t specified what type of help.
Gemma’s lips pulled into a slow smile as she looked over Joyce and Buffy. “Well, well, College Girl. It’s been a while,” she greeted as she walked towards them.
Joyce laughed softly. They were the same age but Gemma had run off when she was sixteen and gotten married shortly after while Joyce ended up attending UCLA where she met Hank back when he was an up-and-comer in marketing. “Good to see you.”
“You too, darlin’.” Gemma pulled Joyce into a tight hug. Then she stepped back and smiled at Buffy. “I’m guessing this is your baby girl?”
Buffy frowned at Gemma. Knowing her daughter, Joyce bet that Buffy was silently critiquing Gemma’s look. To be fair, Gemma did have a rather…unique way of dressing. Tight jeans, low-cut top, dark clothes, two-dyed hair; ‘biker chick chic’, to be sure. Gemma had been dressing that way for a long time, so Joyce wasn’t surprised by it. Hell, once upon a time Joyce used to dress similarly.
“Buffy, this is my cousin Gemma.”
“You can call me Aunt Gemma, baby. How are you?” Hard as nails she may be, but Gemma had always cared about family. Her voice was soft when she spoke to Buffy.
“I’m fine.” Buffy crossed her arms.
Gemma quirked an eyebrow and glanced at Joyce, who just shrugged. “Well, I brought in help.” She gestured to the bikers, who were still congregated around the bikes. They began walking over and Joyce felt something stir within her. She would be lying if there wasn’t a part of her that had been envious of Gemma’s life. They had kept in touch all these years and sometimes Joyce was jealous that Gemma had managed to defy her mom and live her life exactly as she had wanted.
She stole a glance at Buffy. No, Joyce was happy with the way things had happened. Her marriage to Hank may have crumbled, but she would always have her daughter.
“Joyce, this is my husband, Clay.” Clay shook her hand. He was tall with whitening hair and a wide smile. His handshake was strong.
“Been hearing a lot ‘bout ya over the years. Heard you and Gemma used to get into a lot of shit,” Clay grinned.
Gemma smacked his arm, making a soft thud against the leather jacket and tilted her head in Buffy’s direction. “Hush. We don’t want baby girl to get the wrong idea.”
His smile broadened. “Hey there. How ya doin’, Buffy?” Clay asked.
Buffy shrugged. Her shoulders were hunched defensively. “Fine.”
Gemma pointed out the rest of the guys. “This here is Tig.” Tig was the tallest of them, with thick curly black hair and a powerful build. The way he smiled at Joyce made her remember how much she used to like his type back in high school.
“Chibs.” Chibs, it turned out, was Scottish with a thick brogue. Harsh scars cut up from the corner of his lips across his cheeks.
“Bobby.” Bobby was…well, certainly not malnourished. The only thing bigger than his stomach was possibly the grizzled hair that hung down to his shoulders.
“Otto.” About as big as Tig, Otto wore a bandanna around his forehead to push back his shoulder-length hair from his eyes.
“Piney.” The oldest of them, and just slightly older than Clay, Piney gave Joyce a nice smile, making him look friendly in spite of his gruff look.
“And these youngins,” Gemma pointed to the two teenage boys who had gotten out of the sedan’s backseat, “are Jax and Opie.”
“Jax. Your boy?” Joyce asked. She smiled. So strange to finally see her cousin’s kid. He had blond hair that fell almost to his chin and an impish smile.
Gemma’s pride was evident. “Yup, that’s my boy. Opie here, he’s Piney’s boy.”
Opie had long dark hair, cut in the same style as Jax, but his smile was shy – and shyer when he spotted Buffy.
“Nice to meet you, ma’am,” Jax and Opie both greeted Joyce. She had to bite back a grin – who would have thought that Gemma Madock would ever have raised such a polite kid? Back in the day she was a hellraiser.
“Buffy’s your cousin, Jax. She’ll be starting at middle school with you, a year under you. You look out for her, you hear?”
Buffy sparked to life. “I don’t need anyone to take care of me,” she stated defiantly.
“Baby girl, we’re family. That’s what we do.” Gemma smiled, speaking in a tone that harbored no questions.. “Alright, the boys will move everything and unpack for you all. I figured I’d take you out, show you the town, get some food.” Gemma glanced at Buffy, noticing her trendy outfit of a jean skirt and hot pink shirt. “Maybe we can hit some stores, get our nails done.”
Buffy perked up. “Really?”
Joyce smiled in relief. Maybe this move wouldn’t be so bad after all. After all, she had Gemma. Buffy had a cousin. There was a support network.
Yes, this would be much safer than L.A.
I began watching SOA a couple months ago and became quickly obsessed. Even though I’m overworked with grad school stuff and still have a lot of unfinished fics, this story wouldn’t get out of my head. I’ve never done a “so-and-so grew up in a different town-how does that change their story” fic, but the Muse wouldn’t let go of this one.
Also, since I don’t see any other SOA stories on the site, I’m going to assume the fandom is not known to everyone. That’s okay. I’ll make it so that kind of knowledge isn’t required. Also, here’s a pic of some of the members of Sons of Anarchy (along with names) so you have a better idea.
Hope you enjoy. Thanks for reading!