Title: Good Friends
Series: The Funeral series
Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Stargate SG-1. They respectively belong to Joss and MGM. I definitely have no claim on them whatsoever.
Stargate Timeframe: While not exactly adhering to the guidelines, it is set in what would be an AU late 5th season. In this universe, the story is set after Angry all the time and between Posters my teacher gave me and I will remember you. Both can be found under the title Familial Mayhem (The Funeral Series.) For back story, Angry all the time can be found either under Familial Mayhem or under the last Fic-a-thon entries.
Buffy Timeline: Set in AU 5th season.
I’m sorry, Kei, but I had had time planned to work on this from the 22nd to the 24th, only to receive the assignment halfway through the 24th. So to even write this, I had to juggle time constraints, school registration, and a house gone crazy during the Coronation rush. I really hope you don’t hate this.
Also, in the universe this is set in, Jack and Giles are half brothers on their father’s side. Joyce is Jack’s half sister on his mother’s side. And Janet is Giles’s full sister who was raised away from England after their mother died. This means of course, that she is also Jack’s half sister on their father’s side.
What You Want To Read
Max Rating: R
Type: comedy (and if that isn't a category, action or adventure works fine)
One Thing you want to see: set Stargate pre Season Six
One Thing You Don't Want To See: NID agents (this includes Kinsey)
Feeling one another's joy and sorrow
Dreams today may come true tomorrow
“I cannot believe that you invited them for the holidays!”
“Jack, they’re family.” Janet rolled her eyes at Daniel and Sam. Both of them were trying not to laugh at the exchange between the half siblings. Of course, neither of them liked being reminded that they were related.
“Well…” He looked like he was at a loss. “Well, Joyce isn’t your sister. What gives you the right to invite her?”
“I invited Giles, Jack. Daniel invited Joyce and the kids.”
Daniel suddenly sobered as the colonel turned to glare at him. “You know you’re only mad because Giles is coming.”
“No, I’m not. I’m not mad at all.” Even as he said this, he ground his teeth together and plotted Janet’s death…her very painful, very long death.
Sam raised an eyebrow and, as she had at other times when they were off duty, said, “You’re full of shit, Colonel.”
“If I’m full of shit, then am I an overflowing toilet?” He sighed. “I am so glad everyone knows me better than I know myself.”
Cassie walked into her mother’s living room and paused. “I thought the family get-together kicks off next week?” Then she looked at Jack’s face and gulped.
“It does,” Jack snarled.
Her eyes widened in understanding. Oops. “No one told you until today, did they?”
“What?” he yelled. “Do I not get to make any of my own decisions?”
Cassie plopped down on the sofa next to Sam. “Uncle Jack, they did this for your own good. You know that you’ll enjoy having your other nieces and nephews here. You just need to get over this hatred of Uncle Giles.”
Jack closed his eyes and prayed for patience. “I don’t hate him; I just remember what happened last Christmas.”
Cassie chuckled. She distinctly remembered being frozen while waiting for the outdoor family photos to end. “The picture incident isn’t going to happen again; Mom’s given her word on that. Besides, Oz has said that Dingoes Ate my Baby have a series of gigs lined up over the vacation.”
Jack smiled slightly. “You mean that since he won’t be here, the tension between the two redheads won’t exist and we won’t nearly have a murder on our hands? And besides, since when is Janet’s word good for anything.”
“Exactly.” Janet’s voice was firm as she recalled the more vicious fights that had developed the year before. Then she paused. “Hey, I resent that!”
“So who’s up for Christmas shopping?” Sam’s cheerful question made even the silent Teal’c groan.
“Dear God woman,” Jack muttered, “if the family reunion doesn’t kill us, you and your shopping will.”
“I am not that bad.”
“I am positive that you are,” Teal’c stated gravely. For this remark, he earned himself a slap from Carter and uproarious laughter from everyone else.
Close together like they’re bookends
Feeling what the other one is feeling
“Please tell me that you’re kidding.” Buffy sounded slightly exasperated with her best friend.
“At least I’m not bringing a boyfriend home,” Willow replied.
“Doesn’t she have anyone she could go home to?” While she waited for Willow to respond, Buffy picked up the family portrait and turned it over in her hands. Her mother, Giles, Cassie, Xander, everyone was pictured.
“Like she’s really going to leave Harvard to go to a Hell dimension that she’s been banished from? Or better yet, why don’t we send her back a thousand years to the village that tried to kill her.”
“We could send her back a thousand years,” Buffy whined.
“Didn’t I just explain that?” Willow’s voice was filled with frustration.
Buffy sighed and stopped doodling on the notepad sitting next to her. “Sorry, Will.”
“The holidays have rattled us all,” the redhead reassured her friend. “What’s new at Northwestern?”
“Tara’s my roommate again, but that’s not new.” The blonde sighed heavily. “I think that finals are the only thing new. Remind me why I wanted to come to Northwestern again?”
“You enjoy being away from the Hellmouth. Which is, of course, protected by Annabelle so we don’t have to go back there for Christmas. Or ever.” Willow’s slightly rambling speech made Buffy laugh even as she remembered, again, that the Council had killed Faith while she was in the coma.
“Oz isn’t coming this year, you know.”
“He isn’t cumming?” Willow asked impishly.
“No double entendres allowed, remember?” Buffy snickered at the expression on her roommate’s face. Tara then backed out of the room.
“So do you think that Giles and Jack will make their peace soon?” Willow was just as concerned about that as she was about bringing the former patron saint of scorned women home for Christmas.
“Jack still hasn’t forgiven Giles for having once exchanged saliva with Mom and Giles hasn’t forgotten that Jack hates him.” She growled under her breath.
“Men are stupid, especially ones who are related to each other.” The redhead was just as vexed as the blonde.
“Men are stupid, let’s throw rocks at them.” Buffy pretty much finished Willow’s thoughts.
“How does your mother deal with being related to Jack and being friends with Giles?” Willow asked thoughtfully.
“I think she’s into pain.”
In between laughs, her best friend managed to choke out, “No…talking…about…Joyce’s…love…life.”
“Which is non-existent,” Buffy informed her friend.
“Oh, keep telling yourself that,” was the tart reply.
“I will thank you very much. I like my delusions.”
“Just keep living in your own world, why don’t you?” Then Willow waited for the expected reply.
“I like living here. In here, I’m normal.”
“And that’s the only way you ever will be.”
“I resent that.” Buffy’s voice was slightly mocking.
“No, you resemble it.” Both girls laughed before Willow sighed. “You really think everyone will hate Anya?”
“Hate her?” Buffy muttered. “No, they won’t hate her. Xander may drool all over her, but no one will hate her.”
The comment had the desired effect on Willow as she cracked up again. “Now that we’ve sufficiently run up the long distance bill, you want to get off?”
“You called, so it’ll be on your long distance bill.” Buffy smirked as she heard Willow’s groan. “And please don’t hack the phone company again.”
“Aww, but it’s so easy!”
“Do you want me to call Mom and rat you out?”
“Only if you hack the telephone company,” she pertly returned. “But Tara has to call one of her lab partners, so I’ll see you at Janet’s, okay?”
“After while, crocodile.”
They never seem to be without
Those little things to laugh about
“We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Lowe’s!” Cassie buried her head in her hands as Jack sang that line for about the sixteenth time in less than two minutes.
“Why did we have to go to Lowe’s?” she whined, looking at Sam. The blonde was driving the car while Jack was driving them mad.
Daniel sighed heavily. “We’re buying an artificial tree. Some people don’t trust my allergies.”
“You start sneezing the moment we’re through the gate!” Jack stopped singing long enough to comment.
“My allergies are better,” he protested. Then the archeologist winced as Cassie, Janet, and Jack all glared at him. Teal’c simply raised an eyebrow.
Everyone winced when Sam turned in her seat and stared at him with a look of disbelief on her face.
“Eyes on the road, Sam,” Janet reminded her.
“Oh, yeah.” The occupants of the car all sighed in unison as she turned back around.
Cassie leaned in close to Teal’c. “She scares me when she’s like this. It’s like an evil alien who only cares about shopping has taken over and Sam isn’t even there anymore.”
“You are uncannily right.” Even then, Cassie stifled a grin at the other alien’s reply.
“We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Lowe’s.”
Janet reached out and slugged her half brother and favorite pin cushion. “You’re sounding like a singing idiot. Shut up.”
“He is a singing idiot,” Daniel snickered.
“He’s an idiot in general,” Cassie muttered under her breath, only audible to Teal’c who happened to be sitting next to her.
“It is not nice to speak ill of your elders,” he remarked gravely.
“I won’t speak ill of him when he starts behaving like he’s older than me, okay?” Cassie’s eyes widened with dread as she realized they’d arrived at their destination. “Oh, Hell on Earth.”
“Lowe’s is a store, not Hell,” Teal’c said slowly.
“We’re going shopping with Sam; any store is Hell.” Janet shook her head slightly at her daughter’s declaration but really couldn’t refute the sixteen year old’s statement.
“Remember people,” Sam told them, “we are looking for bargains. If someone stands between you and a purchase, get them out of the way. Even if you do have to use force to move them.”
Cassie and Jack exchanged looks and spoke in unison. “Shopping alien.”
“Don’t call her a shopping alien,” Janet sighed, already knowing that she’d have to repeat herself several hundred more times.
“But she is or she’s been taken over by one. There’s no other explanation,” Daniel got in on it.
“Here’s an idea,” the doctor said dryly. “Maybe she’s just being female?”
Everyone else considered it before shaking their heads.
“Nah,” Jack finally said. “That can’t be it.”
Janet just groaned. Between Sam and everyone else, this was going to be a very long shopping trip…and there was still even more stores they had to go to when the rest of the family arrived.
They have the kind of love
That only deepens
It's something that you rarely find worth keeping
Oh people even new ones come
“Owww. Are we there yet?” Xander asked from the backseat of the rented van.
Buffy, who had just hit him on the arm, glared. “You just asked that a couple of minutes ago.”
“Well, if someone would answer the question, maybe I’d stop asking it.”
“If you stopped asking that question, maybe I’d stop hitting you.”
From the front seat, Joyce said firmly, “Both of you knock it off. You’re adults; act like it.”
“Yes, Mother,” both chorused.
Three minutes later, Giles glanced in his rearview mirror. “Please stop that.”
“Stop what?” Willow asked as she leaned around her seat. “I’m not touching you; I’m not touching you.”
“Dad, she’s doing it again,” Xander whined in a perfect rendition of a four year old.
“Don’t make me turn this car around because don’t think I won’t, young man.” Giles managed to say this in an odd facsimile of a Southern, American accent.
This left the rest of the van’s other occupants staring at him silently in shock for five minutes. It gave Giles the false hope that the ordeal was finally over.
But as they pulled into Janet’s driveway, he heard again, “Owww.”
“I’m not touching you; I’m not touching you.”
“Are we there yet?”
“Yes, Xander, we are,” he growled.
“You didn’t have to yell,” he stuttered in surprise.
“I have spent the last hour listening to all of you bicker, touch each—” he was interrupted
“Actually, I wasn’t touching him. That was the point.” Willow smiled innocently.
“I honestly do not care anymore.” He slammed his door as the teenagers stared at him in shock.
“Wow,” Anya commented from next to Willow. “That was one unhappy man. This is what modern human families are like?”
“It’s what typical American families are like anyway,” Buffy laughed as she pulled her suitcases out of the trunk.
“I don’t think I want one.” Anya’s frank statement made Xander snicker.
“You get to deal with the O’Neill-Frasier-Giles-Summers Clan.” He said it like it was a death sentence. “You’re Willow’s roommate that she decided to bring home. Ergo—that is the word, right?—that means you’re one of us now.”
“Does that make any sense to you?” Anya looked around at the small crowd of people outside the house. “Because it makes as much sense to me as giving precious money to charities that won’t give it back.”
Willow pressed her head into her hands. “She’s obsessive compulsive about money.”
“It’s as good as orgasms.”
Jack blinked. “We have another weird addition to the family?”
“Yep,” Buffy grinned. “She’s Willow’s roommate.”
“And an ex-vengeance demon,” the redhead felt compelled to add.
Sam just shook her head. “Let’s take this discussion inside.”
You're lucky if you find just one good friend
“Noooo,” Cassie whined. “We can stay here by ourselves. We will be just fine and we won’t burn anything down. We promise.”
“You’re coming with us,” Janet growled. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Joyce and Giles having similar conversations with the older teens.
“No, we’re not.” Cassie’s voice may have been just a tad desperate, but she figured the situation warranted it.
“You are coming shopping with us,” her mother told her firmly.
“You’re taking the evil shopping alien with us. Therefore, I’m not going.” Over where she was talking with Joyce, Buffy’s eyebrow arched in a question.
Cassie frowned in response as her mother sighed. “You’re coming and that’s final young lady.”
Fifteen minutes later, the step cousins were glaring at their respective mothers from their seats in the van.
“I cannot believe that Xander and the other guys didn’t have to come,” Willow groused from behind them.
Her seat mate, Anya, asked, “What is so wrong with going shopping?”
“We don’t mind shopping; we mind going shopping with Sam,” Buffy explained.
The driver, Joyce, rolled her eyes. “You should be grateful that Sam’s driving Janet’s car so that we have someplace to store the presents. Otherwise, she would be very offended.”
“We’re just telling the truth,” Cassie protested.
Janet was officially seeing red. It was bad enough that she got dragged on shopping expeditions with Sam and the teenagers’ derogatory remarks did not help her mood.
“Hello everyone,” Sam greeted them as they pulled into the mall parking lot.
“Hello, Sam,” the van’s occupants chorused as they piled out of the rented vehicle.
“Now, remember to take no prisoners.” Everyone but Anya watched in disbelief as she grabbed a cart and rushed into Kohl’s.
“I like her,” Anya commented as she followed the blonde’s example.
“She’s so much saner when she’s at work.” Janet looked like she wanted to burst into tears.
“I wish I could say that Anya gets saner,” Willow sighed. “But, you know, she doesn’t. Ever.”
“We feel your pain,” Buffy smiled weakly. “We really, really feel your pain.”
Joyce looked at everyone and decided that she had to be the good friend. “They have Sam’s car. We can go shopping else where.”
“Thank you,” her fellow females chorused as they climbed back into the van.
And we say goodbye
Knowing what we have will fade away
We’ll meet another time
“Can anyone believe it’s Christmas already?” Willow asked as they all gathered around the table over a week later.
“Can anyone believe that a Jewish girl is asking that question?” Xander responded.
She reached across the table and slugged him as hard as she could. “Hey, I used to watch the Christmas movies with you.”
Buffy snickered as Xander blushed. “To answer your question, Will, I can’t. We’ll open our presents later.”
“And then we’ll go to the stores tomorrow so that we can exchange our presents,” Cassie continued in the same quietly hushed voice.
“And then we all go our separate ways four days from now.” Janet passed the mashed potatoes as she looked around at her family and friends.
“Next Christmas, can everyone tell me that we’re getting together more than a week beforehand?” Jack glared at SG-1 and Janet in particular.
Buffy shook her head as she passed a green bean casserole. “Tara and I are already planning to go visit her mother’s sister in Montreal next year. She’s like the only one who treats Tara like she’s something other than dirt.”
“You aren’t coming home next year?” Janet looked scandalized. In that moment, the former Scoobies saw how much they’d all come to mean to her.
Buffy smiled sadly. “I’ll try and make it back sometime next year, but I can’t be certain I will.”
It was later, when they’d finished the meal, that Willow cornered Buffy. “Going to Montreal, my Aunt Fanny. What’s going on, Buff?”
“We are going to Montreal, Willow.” Her eyes misted for a moment before clearing.
“Then what else is going on?” The redhead knew her friend wasn’t being completely up front; she just didn’t know how to get the information out of her.
“Nothing,” she said quietly. “Nothing at all.”
Before Willow could grill her further, Xander skidded to a stop in front of them. “C’mon, my fair friends. There are presents to attack!”
Willow shot Buffy a look as they walked down the hallway that promised that the subject wouldn’t be forgotten.
Walking into the living room, however, caused the friends to burst out laughing. There was already wrapping paper adorning everything from the top of the tree to the curtain rod above the window.
Jack was worshipping some fancy fishing pole that Joyce had gotten him. He kept looking like he was paying homage to it.
“Look, the fishing pole is actually a god.” Buffy’s sarcastic tone made Willow laugh harder. “Who knew?”
“I hope I got good presents,” the redhead said gleefully.
“You’re Jewish,” Cassie commented from beside a stack of books, courtesy of Daniel.
“And your point is…?”
“Never mind,” she sighed. Cassie knew Willow well enough to know that it was a lost cause.
Their paths may never come together again
But in their hearts
They’re on a road with no end
Where life will take us who can tell
Guess it’s time to say farewell
“Why won’t you tell me what’s going on?” Willow asked. The redhead had spent the last four days of their vacation sulking.
“There’s an apocalypse that we hope can be diverted between now and then, but if not Annabelle and I will be waiting along with Tara; we fit the prophecy requirements.”
“Prophecies can be rendered null and void or fit together in different ways; you know that.”
Buffy heaved out a gusty sigh. “We’re hoping that’s the case. If it doesn’t turn out well, you have to promise me that you won’t interfere.”
“I won’t,” Willow told her.
“You have to this time. It doesn’t mean that you are any less of a friend. I just need you to stay out of it. PROMISE ME, WILLOW.”
In the face of Buffy’s temper snapping, Willow did the only thing she could do: she agreed. “Alright, Buffy. None of us will interfere. Any of us.”
“Thank you. I will personally kill anyone who interferes if worst comes to worst.” And in that moment, Willow knew that it was worse than any other apocalypse. Or maybe it was the fact that they were all grown up with lives of their own. She had the feeling it was a strange combination of both.
Anya walked out from behind the door. “I do not understand you. You always put your family first, but this time you threaten them. Surely you do not expect this to work.”
“Yes, I’m threatening them,” Buffy tried to explain, “but it’s for their protection. And I hope it will work because I am being honest about killing them. I’d hate to do it, but if it gets the job done…”
“Kitty has claws,” Willow observed.
“Kitty received those claws from a college grade-A asshole.”
“Ooo, tell me about it on the way to the airport.”
“I’ll email you all the details, Will. I refuse to discuss this within earshot of my mother, my Watcher, and Xander.”
“Makes sense,” Anya chirped. “Just as much sense as the tradition of exchanging crisp green bills for merchandise. It didn’t used to be like this you know—”
“That is supremely nice, Anya.” Willow pinched the bridge of her nose; she could feel the headache coming on.
Over an hour later, Giles had sworn that he would never be trapped in a car with the three young people and one ex-Vengeance demon ever again.
First, he’d had to deal with “I’m not touching you.” Then he found out that the Slug bug game hurt quite a lot when there seemed to be dozens of Volkswagens on the roads. Finally, the endless stream of “Are we there yet?” seemed to be designed just to drive him up the wall.
Sadly, he had the feeling he’d miss all his surrogate children. And Willow’s roommate seemed to be unique enough to fit right into the group. Admittedly, she was a former demon but he wasn’t certain he cared anymore.
He tuned back into the conversation as they each prepared to go through the different gates at the Denver International Airport.
“You take care of yourself, Willow; Anya,” Buffy chided the two girls headed back to Harvard.
“You too; you’re all skin and bones,” Willow shot back.
“Don’t let any inappropriate things happen, okay?” Xander jumped into the conversation.
“We won’t do anything inappropriate that we didn’t want to happen.” Anya just shot him a smug smile.
Ten minutes later, the goodbyes were finished and Giles and Joyce watched their ‘children’ walk away.
“I hope they all make it back,” Joyce commented quietly.
“You and I both.”
You never will forget
Your good friends
One Christmas later, Buffy Summers stared at her roommate with pride on her face. “We did it, and now I have enough time to get to Aunt Janet’s to at least say ‘Hi’ and assure them that I did live through a visit to Montreal.”
“When did they realize that you and Annabelle were stopping an apocalypse?” Tara Maclay asked quietly.
“Three hours ago when I called and told them that I was about to try and save the world again.”
“I cannot believe you did that.” The two young women were in the airport; Annabelle had already left so it was just the two of them.
“I warned them that I already knew I’d have to be in Montreal last year,” Buffy remarked. The Codex had been adamant that two Slayers and a witch had to be present for it to be stopped. She figured that at least they’d had a year to prepare for the apocalypse which had been highly unusual.
Tara just chuckled. “I’ll see you back at school.”
“Want me to pass on your regards to my ‘delicious looking sister-like friend?’”
The wicked grin told Tara she was only joking but the young woman was still slightly offended. “No. Just because I think she’s hot does not give you the right to tell her what I think of her. She hasn’t even met me for Goddess’s sake!”
“I guess it’s time for ‘Home again, home again, jiggity jig.’” Then Buffy gave a quirky smile. “Who would have thought that I’d consider my Watcher’s sister, who was raised outside the family, to be family enough that I consider her house ‘home?’”
“I have the feeling that no one would have imagined it just a few years ago. Goodbye, Buffy.”
“Goodbye, Tara. Good work on the apocalypse.”
“Same to you; same to you.” And with that, the two went their separate ways for a grand total of six days. There would be other chances for the young witch to meet the ‘retired’ Slayer’s family.
And, like Buffy’s previous family events, those that Tara attended were no less strange and harried…
A/N: I hope that made at least partial sense because I did end up tying into my last Fic-a-thon response. I hope you like it, Kei, even if it is nothing but rubbish against most stories on this site. Please, please review. Also, this will be going into my Familial Mayhem (the Funeral series) story after enough tweaking that it is no longer general. *smirks*