Disclaimer: I own neither Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Supernatural, I claim no rights to either, they belong to the geniuses that created them.
Sam Winchester woke with a start. Not to find himself safe in bed with Jessica lying next to him, but inside the old, rundown, Chevy Impala that belonged to his older brother, Dean. Blinking his eyes, he worked the sleep from them and glanced at the car radio clock. He hadn't been asleep long, ten or fifteen minutes, but already his mind's eye had been swept with Jess's visage, pinned to the ceiling over their bed, he eyes wide open and pleading. Before he could form a coherent thought she had combusted into red hot flames.
Just as his mother had over his crib.
It was late evening, heading close to the midnight hour. "Where are we headed?" he asked, glancing over at Dean who had his eye on the road and his hands drumming out the beat to the dimmed Metallica song Nothing Else Matters playing just at listening level.
"Sunnydale," Dean answered. "It's Buffy's birthday in a few days and since we haven't seen her in over two years..."
"You haven't seen her," Sam corrected. "I helped them move remember."
"Okay, here we go," the older Winchester muttered, rolling his eyes.
Sam knew logically he didn't want to get into this, especially since they were on their way to see their little sister, but he couldn't help the instant hurt and the retort that fell from his lips. "Just because you enjoy the freak show, doesn't mean I have to. At least Buffy was spared his obsession."
"Buffy isn't cut out for our line of work," Dean answered.
Sam gave him a look that simply said, 'duh'. "I just don't understand why Dad nailed my butt to the wall for leaving, but Buffy gets to live the normal life without a word."
"That's because it was our mother that was killed, not Buffy's," Dean shot back. "Like it or not Sammy, this is our job."
"Your job. I'm just out to find Jess's killer."
That finalized the conversation. Sam leaned back against the leather seat, starring out at the black expansion of road before him. Buffy would be turning 18 this year, graduating high school, looking at colleges. These were all the things he'd wished for her and had left Dean and his father to gain for himself.
He'd called her a number of times, but since helping Buffy and Joyce on their move to Sunnydale, he hadn't had time between Stanford and Jess to visit his baby sister. He'd planned on it, of course. There was so much to tell her, from his LSAT scores, to his interview with Stanford to start his law degree.
Now there were too few things to talk about. He'd told her about Jess in his last phone call and she had milked all the details from him. Although Buffy had matured remarkably in the last few years, she was still a teenage girl, wanting to know all the gossip. She would ask about Jess and what would he say? That Jess had been taken the same way his mother had and now he was bent on revenge, that he suddenly understood his father's obsession about finding the whatever that had stolen the life of both his mother and his girlfriend.
As much as he was dreading that, he was looking forward to seeing his sister and the woman who had shortly become mother. He missed those fleeting years where they had been a family; Dad, Joyce, Dean, and himself. During those short years, Dad had gone on less hunts and for awhile it had seemed as though he had given up the supernatural life.
And then something had spooked him. He'd go hunting for weeks at a time, never explaining to Joyce what he was doing, never revealing the dark Winchester secret. It had broken up their relationship and had left the Winchester brothers once again on the road with dear old dad.
That taste of normality had stuck with Sam, despite the fact he'd been barely a toddler before their father had carted them off. When John had learned that Joyce was pregnant and the Winchester boys had headed back to Los Angeles to see the new baby, Sam had hoped that they could be reunited.
Joyce had hugged and kissed Dean and him, went on and on about how much they had grown, but there had been a coldness between John and Joyce. The hurt his dad had inflicted on the woman had not yet healed and there was no hope for a reconciliation. Sam had kissed baby Buffy goodbye and any chance of a childhood away from demons and darkness.
He smiled to himself as Dean started to sing, off-key, to Judas Priest. At least at Buffy's he wouldn't be subjected to the Heavy Metal age and for a moment forget the world that he'd tried so desperately to run away from but now found himself embracing.
Blood spurted everywhere, splashing on Buffy's knew jeans, as the Gar'lak demon lost his head to Buffy's axe.
"Eww, Giles, you didn't tell me these garlic demon things stain," Buffy complained, considering whether she wanted to brush away ichor colored fluid on her pants or not.
Her Watcher, Rupert Giles, dressed in his customary tweed suit despite the pleasant weather of Sunnydale, California, gazed back at her with his strange mixture of repressed humor and long-suffering patience. "Gar'lak, Buffy, and strangely there wasn't a description on the...possible effects Gar'lak demons have on material in Wimbley's Guide to Demonology."
"I'm sorry Giles, but your researching skills are of the suck. Now I'm going to have to get these dry cleaned," Buffy said, electing to not touch the goo. "Do you have any idea how difficult it is to explain stuff like this to the dry cleaner?"
"Sadly, no," Giles replied dryly.
She stuck her tongue out at him. Not getting any response she sighed. "All right, onward patrol?"
"I think not, Buffy. Tomorrow is a school night and I believe this demon was the last of the tribe," Giles answered, much to Buffy's glee.
It was a short lived glee Giles was so not the cutting-out-early type. Eyeing him, she asked, "Are you feeling okay?"
He gave her a rare smile. "Perfectly."
"All right, what's the big?" Giles so cheerful this late in the night and smiling was never a good sign. "You've been Mr. Pep Squad lately, with the over cheerfulness and stuff."
Heading back to the Citroen that was parked just outside of the cemetery, Giles scoffed. "There is no 'Big' as you so eloquently put it. Aren't I allowed to be chipper?"
"No," the Slayer replied bluntly. "I mean you're Giles. You like the rain, you were layers of clothing in bright sunshine, and you only get happy when there is something ooey and gooey coming this way."
Giles could be so British sometimes and Buffy got her first opportunity to hear what Willow had described as a cluck, cluck noise in the back of his throat when he got annoyed. "Are you quite finished with your accurate if somewhat bent description of me?"
"Then shall we go home?"
"Yes, we shall."
With much trepidation, Buffy climbed into the passenger seat of the 1963 Citroen. The door creaked ominously as Buffy worked it shut. Giles had already complained once that she was going to destroy the bodywork single-handedly. It wasn't her fault that this boxcar on wheels wasn't Slayer friendly.
Of late, Giles had taken to driving her home, this last week especially. He explained it away to the fact that she wasn't feeling in top form, but Buffy was beginning to wonder. It was only two days until her eighteenth birthday and visions of last years surprise party, oh what fun that had been, were plaguing her. She'd already explained to Xan and Will that she was going to celebrate this birthday without the horror and trauma.
They were at Revello drive and Buffy's house after two arguments about her music and Giles' lack thereof. Buffy was surprised to see a well known black Impala sitting in their driveway. She felt her heart rocket. Perhaps this was her father and Dean, finally recognizing her presence. For over two years she'd received letters and the occasional phone call from Dean, and her father had shown up out of nowhere three days after Angel reverted to Angelus with Ice Show tickets. She could count those rare occasions on two hands, each hand representing her eldest brother and her father. At least she could remember what Sammy looked like.
"What possessed your mother to purchase that vehicle?" Giles asked, looking at the Impala over the rim of his steering wheel.
"Like you have room to talk," Buffy admonished sarcastically. Then she answered more reluctantly, "That's not Mom's car."
Alarm radiating on Giles' rugged face. "Oh?"
"Nothing demony, just my father and brother. Well, Dean can be a pain in the ass, but nothing supernatural," Buffy explained, trying to sound coy.
She hadn't really mentioned her brothers or her father to the Scooby Gang. Mainly because they hadn't been a presence in her life here, but also because it hurt to think of them. Hurt to think that they no longer cared to be in her life.
Giles was all to keen on her emotions, having worked closely with her for two years now, he knew her better then anyone save her mother. "I suppose this visit was unexpected?"
"Believe me when I say, uh-huh."
"Do you want me to come in?" he asked, slightly embarrassed by the offer.
"No...ah....yes," Buffy stammered. She'd like the added support, but she didn't know how to explain her librarian driving her home at 1:30 in the morning without bringing up all the Slayer baggage. Her mother, who loved and cared for her, had kicked her out when she'd learned about the slaying, how would her father and brothers, who were in and out of her life, react when they learned the truth? "I don't know. How do you feel about being Mom's old friend picking up her daughter from a party where underage drinking was involved?"
"Oh, so we're drawing from personal experience?" Giles attempted to joke with a sly smile.
She slapped him playfully on the shoulder. "You're supposed to be supporto-Giles."
"Just as long as you refrain from referring to me as G-Man, I'd be happy to."
They got out of the car and Buffy made sure not to rush to the door in case her dad or Dean were watching. She was the Slayer, a woman in her own right, she wasn't about to run up and fling her arms around them, as much as she wanted to.
When they entered the house, she found that she'd been wrong. It wasn't her father and Dean, but Dean and Sammy were spread out on the couch with her mother sitting in the reclining chair. "Oh, there you are honey." Then she saw Giles. "And..."
Buffy cut her off before she could continue. Arms folded in front of her, she asked, "What are you two doing here?"
"Is that anyway to welcome your two favorite brothers, Sunshine?" Dean said, all feigned sugar and puppies.
"Only brothers and Sam's my favorite," Buffy replied. "So where's Dad?"
Dean and Sam exchanged glances. "Business," Sam answered simply.
"Well, you can join him on his 'business'. Don't let the door hit you in the ass." With that she turned and headed towards her bedroom