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Title: So Happy To Be Here
Status: Complete
Rating: PG
Summary: John and Joyce have no choice but to push their kids together for the summer to keep their lives private. But Dean and Buffy hate the idea. Inspired by 'This Is My Idea' from The Swan Princess.
Spoiler: All of 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' and 'Supernatural'.
Notes: I wrote this for [livejournal.com profile] awesomegeek's birthday. I forgot to post it here though.
AO3 Link







To Mr John Noble,

This letter is in regards to your son Dean Noble. Here at West Grove Middle School, we are very understanding of difficult circumstances and know that the death of your wife has been very hard on Dean. However, our school psychologist, Ms Valerie Cummings, is concerned with his progress socially. Dean appears to be reluctant to make any connections or friends and, as you know, this can be detrimental to his development. Allowances would be more likely to be made had records from previous schools not suggested that this is an ongoing problem.

We would like to suggest that you meet with Ms Cummings to discuss ways that you can help your child. It may also be beneficial for Dean to begin seeing her on a regular basis.

If you wish to discuss matters further, you can either contact myself directly or Ms Cummings on the number below during office hours.

Sincerely,
Mr Travis Donne














To Mr and Mrs Summers,

This letter is in regards to your daughter Buffy Summers. Here at West Grove Middle School, we try to ensure our students get the best possible education and have recently become concerned with Buffy's declining grades. It is an issue across the board and not in any single subject so we believe there may be extenuating circumstances. Our school psychologist, Ms Valerie Cummings, has also shown concern over her decline in social behaviour as she continues to remove herself from situations involving social interaction.

We would like to suggest that you meet with Ms Cummings to discuss ways that you can help your child. It may also be beneficial for Buffy to begin seeing her on a regular basis.

If you wish to discuss matters further, you can either contact myself directly or Ms Cummings on the number below during office hours.

Sincerely,
Mr Travis Donne










"I still don't understand why I have to do this!"

Dean saw his father look up quickly and stare at him in the rearview mirror. He sighed heavily and stared out the window as cars raced past theirs. The truth was, he did understand - he just didn't want to do it. The school had contacted his dad to let him know that he wasn't 'playing' with the other kids. He didn't know why it was such a big deal to them - he knew what the family business was and he knew he wouldn't be at that school for long. Why bother making friends?

But his dad had been oddly silent after getting the letter and had contacted the school the next day. By the end of the week his dad had informed him that in order to keep the school happy he was going to have to play nice with a girl about his age. There were two things wrong with that: he didn't do 'play dates' and Buffy was not his age. He didn't want to entertain some kid, nor did he care if the school was happy.

As they pulled up in a driveway, Dean looked up at the large two-storey brick home and nearly groaned out loud. It wasn't enough that he was giving up the better part of the summer to practically babysit some kid, but it was a rich kid.

As he followed his father up the front steps, he wondered just what he was expected to do with a girl two years younger than him; he spent his down time practicing shooting and his knife skills. There wasn't really a substitute for demon hunting. He had a throw away thought that things may have been better if he'd just come down with something contagious for the summer.






Buffy closed the door to Dawn's room as the argument became louder. Dawn didn't even glance up at her as she absorbed herself in the world of her Barbies and tried to ignore the all too familiar situation.

"It's not my fault that she's doing badly in school! You should be making sure she studies!"

"You should be making sure that you spend time with her!"

"I don't see how me getting fired would h-"

She closed the door to her room and closed her eyes as she leant back against it. The argument had been continuing all week after her parents had gotten the letter from the school and she mentally added it to the the list of arguments they had.

The yelling got louder and she moved away from the door and looked out her window. The McClyde kids across the street were screaming and yelling with amusement as they chased each other through the sprinkler, and Buffy found herself wishing that that kind of jovial atmosphere was contagious and would rub off on her parents.

A shiny black car pulled up in her driveway below and a man and two boys climbed out of it. She sighed. It must be the kid that her mother had been forced into inviting over. The way her mum had argued it with her dad, she'd had no choice but to invite the boy over. He'd been having similar problems at school and the principal had suggested that the two of them spend some of the summer together interacting with each other or face regular appointments with the school counsellor. Her parents had agreed that airing their dirty laundry to a 'shrink' would be worse. It had been the only thing her parents had agreed on in a long time.

The older boy looked up at her house with a look and rolled his eyes. Great, just what she needed; some conceited kid sticking to her like glue for the summer. She suddenly wished that she had caught the chicken pox that had been going around Dawn's class. A door slammed shut downstairs and Buffy heard her mother call for her. She gave one last glance at the McClydes before sighing and heading downstairs.

As John and Joyce introduced themselves, John nudged Dean.

"Thank you for inviting me."

Joyce smiled as she nodded and pushed Buffy forward.

"You're very welcome."

Both Dean and Buffy scoffed at one another before glancing back longingly at the direction they'd each come from. Joyce called out for Dawn as she led everyone to the backyard outside where lemonade and biscuits waited on the patio.










To John,

Thank you so much for your time over most of the summer. I know you had a very busy schedule and I'm glad you were able to arrange things so that our kids could spend time together.

I know you said that our children appeared to get along well, though I fear Sam and Dawn got on better than Buffy and Dean. They're just teenagers though. If nothing else, they met someone new.

I apologise for Hank's behaviour - he's been tied up a lot at work lately and is quite stressed. He didn't mean what he said and I'm grateful that you refrained from retaliating when he swung at you; he knows he was out of line.

Thankyou for a pleasant summer and I wish you the best at your new job. I hope we can catch up again one day soon.

Joyce.














To Joyce,

Thanks for your hospitality. You have two beautiful daughters and I can tell you are going to have trouble fending the boys off soon. As for Dean and Buffy - teenagers! What are you gonna do with them? Sam and Dawn did get along really well - they spent the majority of their time in that cubby house. Dean and Buffy may have killed each other if they were in that sort of enclosed space.

And yes, the school is off our backs so at least the objective was achieved. If it is alright with you, I think I'll bring the boys down your way next summer; we're having similar problems with this newest school so having friends that they keep in touch with would help a lot.

As for Hank, I think I've made myself clear. I've never really been thanked for my restraint before so I guess that shows something. Let me know your plans for next summer when you can.

John.










"Come on Buffy! They're gonna be here any minute! I want you dressed and downstairs now!"

"But Mum! I haven't even had a chance to wash my hair yet!"

"I don't care! You've been in there forty minutes already! Get out now!"

Buffy sighed and towel dried her hair. She couldn’t believe that she’d have to spend time with the Noble’s again. They’d moved away, gone to a different school, a different state, but her mother insisted that they needed a connection with her just as much as she needed one with them. She doubted it.






Dean threw his head back and groaned. They’d been driving for hours and he was tired and grumpy. The last thing he wanted to do was visit some spoilt brat that he’d met at one of the many schools he’d visited but his Dad had insisted - they needed a credible backstory in case the school hounded them again and even though he planned on leaving as soon as was humanly possible, for now he had to play the game. Fortunately his Dad hadn’t said that they had to actually do anything together, just be in the same vicinity.

He looked into the back seat and saw Sam glance at him curiously. Sam had actually had fun playing with the youngest daughter and Dean was hoping that this time he’d be able to monopolise his brother’s time and convince him to spend it with him, use him as a buffer between himself and Buffy.

Unfortunately, he would have to spend some time with her because his Dad had caught him trying to coerce Sam into keeping him company and insisted on it. The thought made him roll his eyes. She was just a kid. He was a teenager, nearly an adult - he should have been able to choose what he did with his time off. Unfortunately, that wasn’t how his Dad saw it and Tina Aimer would have to wait until he returned.

Dean looked back out the window at the passing cars and groaned again.






Dean looked over at Sam and grinned. They’d done it, they’d lost her. If he didn’t have to listen to that annoying beeping thing again, it would be too soon. He looked at the electronic pet in his hands and groaned. There was a message flashing on the screen with a picture of food and he turned it over, wondering how to turn it off.

Buffy had spent almost the entire time they were there playing with the annoying thing. When she found out it irritated him, she turned the volume up even louder so that all he could hear was a bunch of annoying beeps and squeaks. He warned her, repeatedly, but she’d only stuck her tongue out and ignored him. It wouldn't have been so bad if she'd just left him alone but every time he turned around, he could hear the annoying thing somewhere nearby - and the electronic pet, too.

He peeked his head over the top of the shed they were hiding on and quickly ducked back down. He held his fingers up to his lips and Sam nodded but his amusement ran out when he heard a voice call out from below.

"Come down! It's not fair at all - that doesn't even belong to you!"

"So?"

"At least feed it! I said I could keep mine alive longest and there's no way I want that tart Kelly Tamarind to win!"

Dean grinned. "Is it supposed to have those little x's over it's eyes? I'm not real good with these things!"

He peered over in time to see her shriek in horror before she stormed over to the shed and kicked out the plank of wood they'd used to climb up.






"Can you imagine if they actually got married?!"

They both laughed and John shook his head. "You should have seen his face when I said we were coming here! It was as though I told him the world was ending!"

"Things weren't that bad when we were teenagers were they?"

John took a sip. "I honestly don't know. They disagree about everything - clothes, friends, music- "

"Summer vacation... "

He nodded. "I'm surprised they haven't killed each other yet!"

There was a loud crash from outside and they gave each other a brief glance before racing into the backyard.










Dear Joyce,

I'm so sorry we had to leave so early. Between Sam's broken leg and Dean's broken wrist - well, maybe teenagers get the last say after all! How is Buffy's arm?

And I'm really sorry about your shed. I hope there wasn't anything too valuable in there. Perhaps we should put off next summer; I wouldn't want another accident to happen.

John.














Dear John,

Now wait a minute - I'm not letting my daughter win so easily! If nothing else, Sam and Dawn love spending time together so they shouldn't suffer because Buffy and Dean don't get along.

Hopefully by next summer things will have calmed down and it'll be different. If not, we'll have to just keep them as far away from each other as possible. Buffy's arm is healing fine; she was more worried about that stupid game than her arm.

And don't worry about the shed. I'm just glad Hank wasn't more interested in carpentry otherwise things could have turned out very differently.

See you next summer,
Joyce










"You aren't seriously wearing that, are you?"

Dean rolled his eyes and slipped on the denim jacket. Buffy simply sighed heavily and disappeared into the kitchen, presumably to try and talk her mother into letting her go to her club alone. The name 'The Bronze' sounded as lame as he was sure the club was going to be but if she insisted in going out to a club wearing that short dress and those knee-high boots, it was probably better he was going too. Even if he did have better things to do.

He watched as she stormed across the hall to collect an oversized leather jacket and nearly jumped out of his skin when Sam spoke from behind him.

"She's pretty annoying, huh?"

"Totally!"

Sam made a point of looking over his shoulder and watching Buffy slip into her jacket before fixing her hair in the mirror.

"I think you kinda like her."

Dean was about to turn around and thump his little brother when Buffy caught his eye and frustratedly gestured to the door. By the time he turned around, all he had was a glimpse of his brother rounding the corner and laughing.






He was practically snarling as he pulled the darts from the board and glanced over at Buffy talking quietly with an older, brooding guy in the corner of the club. He was her boyfriend, apparently, but Dean thought a background check was probably in order. Just in case. She kissed him goodbye before walking back over with a smile on her face.

"Aren't you chipper?"

She pulled her set of darts from his hands. "Yep! I don't have to work tonight and I got to see my boyfriend. The only way it could be better is if I was with friends instead of you."

"Yeah? Well, this isn't what I wanted to do with my summer either!"

Buffy leaned in closer as if she were going to reveal a secret but her devilish smile gave her away. "You're just upset because you haven't won a single round yet!"

She bounced away. It was true; he thought it would be a slam dunk even before she mentioned that she’d never played but he had yet to win. She somehow had a deadly accuracy that he just couldn’t explain. Dean was glad his father wasn’t around to see it and he made a mental note to try and get some target practice in before the summer was over.

As she lined up her next shot, he looked around at the club. It hadn’t been as bad as he thought it would be. For a club. It was filled with young people and the band wasn’t too bad. Buffy certainly seemed to have a pretty good setup, even if the town was a little weird. As she turned triumphantly toward him, Dean only had to look at the board to know he wasn’t going to win.

“That’s it, I’m done. I’ve got better things to do!”

She pouted at him but it was barely concealing an expression of mirth and it only served to make him more frustrated. Grabbing her arm, he turned her about and led her to the door.






As a hot wind blew through the Cleveland cemetery, Buffy spared a glance at her sister. Dawn incorporated the new spin-kick she’d taught her during the week and got the upper hand on the vamp, staking him before he had a chance to retaliate. Buffy quickly dispatched of the two she’d been toying with and grinned at her triumphant sister.

“That was awesome! Did you see how perfect that was?”

Buffy laughed at her and walked over to a grave with a protruding hand. The new vampire pulled himself from the earth and allowed his hideous visage to show before leaping toward her. It was an easy take down but she still enjoyed the rush of endorphins as he turned into scattering ash. When she turned around to Dawn, she saw two men making their way from behind the crypt. Instantly her brain went into cover-up mode but she noticed three things. They were smiling, they were carrying shovels and backpacks and she recognised them.

She could have been pushed over by a gust of wind.

Buffy tried to make sense of everything as Sam put down his shovel and stepped forward to hug Dawn. There was a quick greeting and Sam explained a family history of hunting while Dawn caught him up on what a Slayer was. Buffy, however, remained silent as Dean smiled at the absurdity of the situation. He stepped forward to shake her hand in acknowledgement and she felt her face flush as she noticed how well he looked. It had been years since they’d seen each other but she still recognised him, even if he had filled out. His hand was rough and calloused from hard work and his eyes betrayed the things he’d seen, making her feel self conscious about how she appeared to him. She glanced at Dawn and Sam chatting away about the various things they’d dealt with and when she looked back, she noticed Dean checking her out, only smiling when their eyes met.

She guessed he was probably a ladies man based on his rugged good looks and her general knowledge of Hunters. But there was a familiarity, a history, between them and although it hadn’t always been the friendliest, it was enough that she dared hope for a foundation between them, common ground on which to build. It would be nice not having to lie to someone about what you do at night.

Dawn and Sam turned away as they walked back toward the entrance, talking animatedly about their various experiences since they’d last seen each other and she turned to Dean.

“You look good.”

Buffy knew, without a doubt, that her face had flushed. He softly laughed.

“You’re not so bad yourself.”

They followed their siblings slowly and Dean glanced sidelong at her as they walked.

“You know, I’m glad my dad insisted on those ridiculous summers. This could have been very awkward otherwise.”

“Nah, I’ve got a bunch of cover stories lined up.”

“Oh, yeah?” He grinned. “Like what?”

Buffy tried to ignore the flirtatious smile. “Well, it depends on how much you saw.”

“Not as much as I’d like to.”

Buffy rolled her eyes good-naturedly and as they left the cemetery behind, she explained some of the most ridiculous cover stories people had believed.

And the summer wind followed them.



Date: 22 Mar 2013 07:14 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] awesomegeek.livejournal.com
I love it on here too.
Thanks hon.
I've downloaded it and it's safe on my kindle.
xx

Date: 22 Mar 2013 07:31 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skylar0grace.livejournal.com
You're more than welcome!!! :D

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