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Second Chances

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This story is No. 2 in the series "A City Is Not A Home". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Short stories set before, during, and post A City Is Not A Home.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Criminal MindsJadedFR151215,1561219569,96628 Jun 1015 Jul 10No

Weddings

Author: Jaded
Story: Second Chances
Disclaimer: I own the idea only. Joss owns Buffy, Criminal Minds is owned by, um...someone not me? CBS! No suing please!
Summary: Short stories set before, during, and post A City is Not a Home.
Warning: Tara survived Warren and Molly survived Caleb. Everything with CM is fairly cannon—only a few incredibly MINOR things will be changed. This one actually WILL have slash at some point. Also, it helps if you've read ACINAH but all you really need to know at this point is that Buffy and Molly live in DC and Aaron Hotchner was Joyce's cousin but is an uncle-type to Buffy and Dawn.
A/N 1: I WON JUDGES FAVORITE IN A POETRY CONTEST!!!! *coughs* Ahem. So, yes, I'm excited so you all get to another chapter today. :D
A/N 2: I haven't quite figured out who the new girlfriend is. That is all.

Weddings

“Are you ready for this?”

“No!”

“And why not?”

“Because every single serious ex boyfriend I have ever had is waiting and I just know one of them is going to speak up when Althanea says the speak up part!”

Aaron couldn't help it, he laughed. Luckily, Rupert joined him so the angry bride didn't hit him.

“It isn't funny!” Buffy said, stomping her foot and Aaron took a brief moment to thank whoever was listening that Buffy wasn't in her heels yet. “Pike is there, Angel is there and Spike is there and thank you Dawnie for hunting them all down!”

“Buffy, if you can't handle having your exes in the audience when you're getting married, you really shouldn't be getting married in the first place,” Dawn insisted stubbornly from where she was finishing her make-up.

“It's not that they're in there, it's that she's afraid they're going to speak up and ruin it,” Tara said quietly and Buffy's breathing increased. Molly slipped inside the dressing room.

“They won't. They respect you too much to do that on your wedding day,” Willow said. “So stop hyperventilating.”

“Gray is officially freaking out,” Molly announced, effectively taking the focus off of Buffy's own panic as she smirked. “And Clem got the message. He just showed up.”

Buffy beamed at that bit of news. Clem had disappeared a couple months before to do...something...and no one had heard from him. Buffy had been adamant about the guest list. She liked Clem. She wanted Clem at her wedding. So every slayer on the planet had gone hunting for him. Aaron wasn't surprised he'd gotten the message.

“The security--” Buffy began but Molly cut her off.

“Even if Hayes hadn't decided he couldn't let his favorite slayer get married without him, there would be no way in hell the demons would get even close,” she insisted. “There is an army of slayers outside, more special service agents than I know what to do with, and every surviving Initiative soldier. Any demon attempting to crash deserves to be killed.”

Molly looked absurdly pleased about this. She'd been ferocious in her job as the head of security for the oldest Slayers big day. She'd done well despite panicking at him and Rupert about it twice.

“Aunt Buffy?”

Buffy and Aaron both looked down at Jack as he popped inside. “I don't...what do I do again?” he asked timidly.

Buffy melted and Aaron smiled. They hadn't quite explained Buffy and Dawn were his cousins rather than aunts but none of the family really thought it mattered. Jack called them aunt because that's how he saw them just like he called JJ and Emily Aunt. And after Haley's death, Jack had latched onto Buffy as a mother figure. She smoothed his hair.

“All you have do, sweetheart, is walk down the aisle before Hope and Rora,” she said, motioning to Riley and Sam's daughter and the young slayer. “Then stand by Uncle Graham, alright? When they ask for rings, just hold up the pillow. At the end, you leave with the girls.”

“What if I drop the pillow?”

“You won't drop the pillow,” Buffy smiled. “I trust you.”

Jack nodded solemnly and went to sit with the fidgeting girls having their hair finished by Tara and Willow. The walkie talkie on Molly's hip crackled and she disappeared out the door. Aaron, seeing Jack had effectively managed to calm Buffy down, followed to check on the groom and then to call Gwen and see if she needed anything at the reception hall. Instead, he was distracted by raising voices at the entrance to the dressing rooms. He frowned. What the hell is he doing here? He wasn't invited!

“That is my daughter getting married!” Hank Summers insisted as Aaron came into view. “I want to see her!”

“Not on your life,” four different voices chorused along with Aaron's: Dave, Derek, Spencer, and Gideon. Spike, unsurprisingly, was standing behind Gideon and glowering at the Summers Patriarch. If there was one person who hated Hank as much as Aaron did, it was the now former vampire.

“You're not getting anywhere near Buffy,” Derek said flatly and Aaron smiled at how far they'd come.

“She is my daughter--”

“And she's already decided who's giving her away,” Aaron said quietly, breaking in. “It isn't you, Hank.”

Hank stared at him, surprised. “Aaron?”

“It's Agent Hotchner,” Aaron said coolly. “I stopped being Aaron to you the moment you cheated on Joyce.”

“Sir,” Molly said quietly but firmly. “Please remove yourself from the premises.”

“Remove myself--” he sputtered and Aaron was slightly gratified when O'Neill, the head of Hayes secret service approached. Off to the side, Aaron saw an older athletic man he recognized as the husband of Congresswoman Pitt. Next to him was his daughter, Summer, who'd become fast friends with Buffy when they'd met at a White House dinner two years before. Father and daughter both looked ready to step in if needed.

“Is there a problem here?” O'Neill asked, seemingly casual but with an undercurrent of awareness.

“Hank Summers was just leaving,” Gideon said and O'Neill's face hardened at the knowledge of who they were dealing with.

“So you're the one who broke Buffy and Dawn's hearts,” he said. He smiled but there was nothing nice about it. “Well, I think if Buffy doesn't want you here, you shouldn't be here. Right Mark?”

“I agree,” his companion agreed. “If you'll come with me?”

“Now wait just a minute--”

“Sir, you are not welcome here,” Mark said. “And since you're presence will undoubtedly make the bride and maid of honor upset, I suspect President Hayes would not be very happy about it himself. He has a soft spot for the sisters, you see, and doesn't like seeing them upset. He usually buys them lots of shoes when he does.”

“President...”

“Hayes, yes,” Mark of the secret service said, smugly. Buffy had taken a bullet for Hayes during a very little known assassination attempt and ever since then almost the entire secret service had a soft spot for the tiny blonde.

“You thought they were wearing the suits and earwigs just because of the wedding?” O'Neill snarked.

And before Hank Summers could fully get his mind around just how successful and loved Buffy and Dawn were, he'd been effectively kicked to the curb of the venue. The prowling slayers, secret service, and initiative soldiers were warned not to let him back in and Aaron composed himself before heading to check on the bride.

~~*~~

After dealing with Hank Summers trying to crash, the wedding went without a hitch. Angel scowled through the entire thing, as did Spike, but neither spoke up. Mostly, Aaron suspected, because both had also moved on. The scowls were merely for show and because they were still protective of the blonde. The most amusing part of the ceremony was Faith trying not to fidget up in between Tara and Molly. The dark haired slayer had agreed to be a bridesmaid only after Buffy got her drunk on magical whiskey. She'd been demanding for days to know why she had to wear a dress as a bridesmaid when she hadn't even worn one for her own wedding.

It was at the reception that things got really interesting though, and not just because Buffy finally realized who, exactly, he was dating or that a balance demon she didn't like named Whistler stopped by to congratulate her. Spike and Angel have both given speeches, saying that while they were happy Buffy was happy, they still didn't think Graham deserved her. Graham, for his part, just rolled his eyes and went with it. Riley had given a humorous speech on their courtship and how he'd never been quite as oblivious as everyone assumed he was on Graham's feelings. Dawn told stories about some of Buffy's antics while dating Graham, including the story about how Graham had finally officially asked her out while playing Hangman during a meeting with the president and the Joint Chiefs a week after Haley died.

This, of course, led to the most interesting speech of the night, from Hayes himself. Those who didn't know the score assumed he would have left after the admittedly odd ceremony, having more important things to do. But Hayes had remained at the reception with his wife, sitting at the FBI and Senior Council table.

DC Gazette : Hayes Attends International Liaison's Wedding

Saturday was a quiet day for President Hayes as the only thing on his agenda was the wedding and reception of Buffy Summers and Graham Miller. The newly minted Mrs. Miller has been a liaison ambassador to the president for the past five years and was instrumental in his reelection campaign, naming him as one of the rare politicians she actually liked and respected. Mr. Miller has been a military adviser to the President for just as long, despite only being a major with the Army Rangers. When questioned on his placement in the past, Hayes only response had been that sometimes, general's are too high to really understand the situation as a combat officer would.

The wedding was also attended by high ranking and well known members of both the FBI and NCIS, the Prime Ministers of England and France, two Russian Generals (names and ranks unknown), and ambassadors from over thirty other countries. Attendance was invite only and, surprisingly, only two members of the Senate and Congress received one; Congresswomen Loren Smith-Pitt of Colorado and her father in law, Senator George Pitt of California.

The bridal party was specific and only those with exceptionally close ties were asked. The best man was the newly promoted Colonel Riley Finn, best friend of Major Miller. Maid of Honor was Dawn Summers, younger sister of the bride, and a recent graduate of Oxford University in England. The rest of the bridal party was composed of Major Evan Lorne of the Air Force, Special Agent Derek Morgan of the FBI, and Xander Harris, Daniel Osbourne, Willow Rosenberg, Tara McClay, Molly Hawthorne, and Faith Wood, all Senior Members of the International Research Foundation. Mrs. Miller was given away both by her uncle, Special Agent Aaron Hotchner of the FBI, and her close friend and confidant, Dr. Rupert Giles, head of the IRF.

During the reception, traditional (and not so traditional) toasts and speeches were given, including a video message from the royal family of England. Hayes himself took the spotlight for a moment to toast the Millers.

“Buffy is one of the most astonishing people I know. She has gone through hell and back time and time again and she has always come back stronger for it. She is compassionate and she is brave. She is the type of person you are honored to know and even blessed to be friends with.

“Graham, like his new wife, has seen some of the worst you can see but he has never broken. His resolve to do right, to protect, ranks right up with the greatest of this countries heroes. He is a man I am proud and honored to have serving our nation. Congratulations to both and here's to many happy years to come.”

The End?

You have reached the end of "Second Chances" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 15 Jul 10.

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