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Vox Populi

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Summary: McKinley High is about to get a wake up call, Scooby style. Rewrite of Shaken, Not Stirred.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > GleeJadedFR181025,4831816241,04817 Jan 1212 May 12No

A House is Not a Home

Author: Jaded
Story: Vox Populi
Summary: McKinley High is about to get a wake up call, Scooby style.
Disclaimer: Joss owns Buffy, Glee is owned by Ryan Murphy. I write for fun, not for profit.
Warnings: So far, none except for canon boy-boy and girl-girl shipping.
Timeline: Starts just before Season 2 of Glee; Post Chosen for Buffy and Not Fade Away for Angel. Not comic compliant.
Chapter Summary: Lima has some new residents.
A/N 1: So, basically, this will be a rewrite of Shaken, Not Stirred, as I got so fed up with my writers block that the only recourse was to figure out what was blocking me and fix it. Unfortunately, once I figured out what was blocking me, it meant a re-write. I'm taking out some people, adding others, so just consider this, oh, I don't know, an alternate reality of Shaken. That said, Shaken is on permanent hold as of 12/13/11. Some of the chapters will be used again but I'm going for a pretty deep re-write so....I apologize but at least this time I have an actual plan and I'm not going in blind! *big smile*
A/N 2: Just as a warning, updates on this are probably going to be slower than most of my readers are used to. I do NOT want to abandon Sunset and I'm in my last semester of school so...I will try to get one chapter out a week but any more than that will be pushing it.

A House is Not a Home

Quinn had been jogging, trying to lose as much of her former baby-fat as possible in time for Cheerio tryouts next month, when she saw them for the first time.

A large group of people were unloading two moving vans and five cars, all which were stuffed to the roof. The house they were going into was one of the largest and oddest in Lima and on the outskirts of town. The story she'd grown up with was that Old Man Crick had been raised in an old lighthouse on the coast of Maine. When he'd moved to Ohio, he'd missed the place so much that he'd finally just built one for himself, in the middle of the boonies. Since then, Lima had grown outward, so that the Lima Lighthouse, which had at one point been far from even the suburbs of the city, was now in the suburbs. Quinn, Mike, Brittany, and Rachel all lived nearby, with the tiny diva being the closest. Quinn had visited a few times with her parents when she was younger, back when the Carmichael's still lived there, and she'd liked the calming, warm presence of the large place—so much different from her relatively cold home where she had to be careful in every room but her own.

“Hey, Spike, where do you want this couch?” one of the women, a petite blonde, asked from where she and a redhead about Quinn's age were carrying a long sofa in black leather. Quinn stepped back behind a tree, watching curiously. It wasn't often they got new neighbors in this area, especially since the economy had gone to crap. The place had fourteen bedrooms; it was one of the more expensive old places in Lima.

“Great room!” came from inside one of the moving vans. She couldn't see him but she thought there was something funny about the way he spoke.

“The matching table and chairs go with it,” another man said in an obvious accent, waving at the second moving van. He was older than everyone else she could see, the lone adult, with graying hair and glasses. Another guy, this one with shaggy brown hair and probably older than her, poked his head out of the moving van. “Connor, help Buffy and Vi—I don't trust them with glass table tops.”

“I heard that!” came from inside the house and Quinn smiled despite herself.

“Whose bright idea was it to buy glass table-tops anyway?” Another girl Quinn's age came out of the house, this one with dark skin and cornrows. She was in coveralls and a tank top and looked completely comfortable as she picked up a table on her own. “Fingerprints all the time.”

“Not to mention the amount of furniture that tends to get broken around us,” an Asian the same age said, grimacing. Her accent was tilted, as if English wasn't her first language. She was dressed in a pair of jean shorts, showing off smooth long legs. Her tank top, this more form fitting than the black girls, showed off toned arms. Quinn felt a breif pang of envy—she used to be like that. “Glass is always a bitch to get out of the carpet.”

Quinn's brow furrowed as she frowned; more than one person had nodded in agreement. Who were these people?

“GILES! Came from inside. “Z stole my laptop!”

“Girls, you're supposed to be helping us unpack!” The older man called back. “Put down the infernal machines and help us!”

There was a small crash from inside and a few seconds later, half a dozen young girls, in elementary and middle school if Quinn had to guess, came tumbling out.

She watched them for a few more minutes, some getting names as she saw them take in numerous pieces of furniture and boxes into the house. Finally, she took a deep breath, began jogging in place, and left the safety of the tree to go pass the new family. She turned her iPod on high, trying to ignore the group. Her ruse didn't seem to work, however, if the grins some of them shot each other were any indication. She mentally shrugged—no use worrying about it. She'd probably meet the teens soon anyway, at school.

Absently, she wondered if any of them sang.

~~*~~

“Stealth,” Rona intoned, watching as the preppy blonde crossed the street to go back towards the main neighborhood. “That girl ain't got it.”

More than one Scooby and Scrappy snorted in amusement, including Mr. Giles. Rona grinned and turned back to the loading van, where Dawn and Setsuna were carrying an armchair the latter could have easily done on her own. Damn watching mundanes. “Who wants to bet we run into her at least once more before the start of school?”

“Sucker bet,” Kieran said, shaking his head as he and Connor came out of the house. He grinned and waggled his eyebrows. “Who wants to bet she's a cheerleader?”

“Talk about sucker bets,” Dawn smirked. “She gave me very Buffy vibes.”

“Watch it!” the woman in question snapped, her and Vi carrying the dining table out of the second van. Dawn rolled her eyes, completely unconcerned by her sister's warning as Connor and Kieran went back into the van. Rona, grabbed a box and then jumped back, the box hitting her chest, as Z and Miriam dashed past.

“Sorry Rona!” Miriam yelled as she continued chasing the other girl. “Z, give me back my shoe!”

Rona shook her head, laughing. It was nice to have kids running around her feet again—reminded her of home, back before the Bringers killed them all.

“Have you four figured out your bedrooms yet?” Spike asked, coming over. Rona, Dawn, and Setsuna all opened their mouths to answer and he frowned. “And no one gets the ones with the private baths, so don't even ask.”

“Aw, c'mon!” Dawn groaned as Vi came back out. “Seriously?!”

“I'm not having you lot fighting over it and then the other three getting butt-hurt when I inevitably choose one of you. So no,” Spike insisted firmly. “Besides, me and Xander are not sharing a bathroom with you lot.”

“I say we take the third floor,” Setsuna suggested when no one spoke. Rona nodded, thinking of the layout of the place.

“That gives Spike and Xander the two private suites on the second floor, plus six rooms for the munchkins,” she agreed.

“Third floor?” Dawn asked, dismayed. “Are you two trying to kill me?”

“It'll help keep you in shape,” Vi teased. “Besides, third floor has the widow's walk.”

“Balcony,” Rona corrected. Vi opened her mouth to argue and Rona made a face at her. “Widow's Walk sounds creepy. It's a balcony.”

More than one person snickered, not that she could blame them. She regularly slayed vampires and demons and a name for a balcony gave her the wiggins. She'd have laughed too if it weren't her.

“So you chits need to choose who's sharing bathrooms with whom,” Spike said. “And keep two of the bedrooms for the boys.”

“Kieran still hasn't decided if he's staying,” Dawn pointed out as everyone slowly wandered over. Buffy, Willow, and Giles all took seats on the couch they'd dropped in the front yard. Break time, apparently.

“I'm not making him share a bathroom with a chit—that's just mean,” Spike said from where he was sitting on the arm of the couch. He was apparently ignoring the bit about Kieran. “And I'm not having one of you take the third bathroom for yourself so don't even think about it.”

The four girls all pouted.

When the Council had started looking for houses in Lima, it had become apparent very quickly that a modern house, no matter how pretty, wasn't going to work. None of them really had enough space. They had twelve people living there, thirteen if Kieran finally made a decision, and fourteen if Connor actually followed through on his threat to Angel about choosing Spike or Xander for his WAIT apprenticeship.

Officially, Spike and Xander were running a group house for athletically and academically gifted orphans in need of a home. Unofficially, they were a Slayer House outside the hellmouth hotzone whose main purpose was to help with the flow of demons in and out of the city, to try and act sort of as a floodgate. Other homes in other cities and towns were being put in place as well this summer but for some reason, Lima was the biggest transient city they'd found. Demons, for whatever reason, came through this city on a semi-regular basis and, ever since Faith and Robin took over Cleveland, the amount of unexplained deaths in the area had doubled as more and more demons went to and from the Hellmouth. It had been a relatively easy decision to add a house here, all things considered.

None of the senior slayers who'd signed up to move to Lima wanted to remain in Cleveland or England, at the official school they'd finally got off the ground. Rona and Vi wanted to finish high school but they also didn't want to do so at the Slayer House in Cleveland. Neither particularly cared for the constant insanity that came with living on a Hellmouth and they didn't want to leave the US, which ruled out the academy or some other group home. Setsuna's parents had been killed shortly before the Mass Calling. She hated the English weather and she didn't get along with Robin and had told Giles that in no uncertain terms was she leaving Rona, Vi, or Dawn.

In addition to Rona, Vi, and Setsuna, they also had two junior slayers, Z and Miriam, girls who'd only just been Called on their thirteenth birthdays and thus, too young to actually be stationed on the active hellmouth. Normally, they'd have gone to the Academy but they had completely balked at the very idea of attending the boarding school. The Lima House was the compromise. They weren't allowed to go patrolling without at least one of the senior slayers (or Spike or Xander), they had to attend mundane school like everyone else, and they had to spend an hour a day either researching demons or sparring with Spike (they chose Spike for that part but Rona knew he'd be dragging the others in to help on occasion as well).

Finally, they had four potentials, girls who would be Called on their thirteenth birthday like all the others they'd found (the thirteenth birthday thing, they were all fairly certain, was the age Willow's subconscious had chosen when she accessed the Scythe—it was the same age as bar and bat mitzvahs in the Jewish faith). Shayla was the youngest, at seven, followed by Brooke at eight, Clare at ten, and Erin at eleven. Their job, as far as Xander was concerned, was to be little girls as long as they could. Which, Rona thought, they did all too well.

Dawn was the official apprentice to Xander in the WAIT program, which was different than the WIIT program. WAITs, or Watchers in Training, were young adults who had been approved to work in the field under the mentor-ship of a full time watcher. Dawn, given her history, was currently the youngest WAIT they had. Buffy had balked at Dawn apprentincing on the Hellmouth and Dawn didn't get along with Robin well enough anyway, so when they'd realized Xander and Spike were both going to be field watchers, it'd seemed like a good fit. Technically, field watchers were only allowed one WAIT at a time so if Connor came down, he'd be, on paper at least, Spike's.

The WIIT program was almost exactly like the WAIT program—only instead of being a watcher in training, they were Wiccans in Training. Technically they didn't have a full time wiccan, but if Kieran chose to come, he'd still be their WIIT, mentoring under Xander and Spike with Willow on retainer when needed.

The Lima Lighthouse, as the realtor had called it and which Dawn thought was morbidly ironic, had fourteen bedrooms on two floors. There wasn't really a master bedroom, per say, just two bedrooms on the second floor with private baths—which, as Spike had said, were going to him and Xander. The other twelve bedrooms, six on the second floor and six on the third floor, all shared bathrooms, with two bedrooms connected to one bathroom. When Willow and Xander had seen the specs, they'd wondered if the original builder had been a seer—it seemed too much a perfect fit.

“I'll share with Suna,” Rona said suddenly, thinking about when she'd shared a bathroom with Dawn and Vi that time in France. The two girls were messy. Setsuna, on the other hand, had never had to frantically clean up her room during their time in Bath—Kennedy had once called her the prime example of neat and orderly.

“Works for me,” Setsuna agreed, relief bright in her eyes. They shared knowing grins as Vi and Dawn shrugged and nodded. Rona looked between them all. “Who gets which room?”

“I'd rather be in the back,” Dawn said immediately. “Preferably the one in the corner, next to the balcony on the right. The one with the light blue walls?”

“If we can paint over the fuschia, I'll take the one connect to that,” Vi shrugged. Rona and Setsuna exchanged looks.

“We could take the other side,” Setsuna suggested, looking at her. “Let the boys take the ones facing the front of the house.”

“I'll take the back one,” Rona said and the other girl nodded. Setsuna liked the red and gold in the room, she knew, and Rona preferred white walls so that actually was perfect.

Spike clapped his hands, looking absurdly pleased at how easy that ended up being. “Wonderful, do me a favor, go up and put signs next to each of the doors so we know where everything is going,” he ordered as Kennedy pulled up alongside the curb in the third moving van.

“Add the color as well,” Mr. Giles suggested as they all watched the brunette slayer greet her girlfriend with a kiss. Rona rolled her eyes; you'd think they hadn't just seen each other that morning. She focused back on Mr. Giles when he added, “For the boxes.”

Willow, somehow, had found a shop that sold colored moving boxes. So, when they'd been packing up, it had all been color coded. Rona's things were all in blue, Dawn's in green, Setsuna in red, and Vi in yellow, with Spike in black and Xander in white. First floor stuff was all in pink and Rona just knew sorting those out was going to be a bitch.

“Remember, the normal brown ones all go in the barn,” Xander reminded them. “I don't want any of my carpentry stuff to end up in one of your rooms.”

The barn was the other good thing about the land—Xander had actually come in a month before moving in to fix the barn up to what he and they would need. The house itself had the rooms they could use for a library and two offices, but, unless you counted the basement, there was no place to actually work out. The basement meant more private storage space for the less than legal or mundane things so the barn was the best place to turn into a gym. Because the barn was so big, however, part of it was sectioned off for Xander's carpentry projects.

“That reminds me, think you could whip me up another weapons chest?” Buffy asked, craning to look at him. “I really liked the one you got me for my birthday back in Sunnydale.” Unspoken was the fact said weapons chest was now at the bottom of the Sunnydale lagoon, complete with the remaining weapons and supplies it had held when Spike blew up the town.

“I'll look into it,” Xander promised, looking both bemused and proud at the praise. His eye injury kept him from working construction like he'd done before in Sunnydale, but he'd found he could still do carpentry, he just had to limit himself to furniture and other odds and ends. Wanting something besides the council, he'd started an online company that sold handmade furniture made by him. He did relatively well for himself, all things considered. The President had even bought a new dining room table recently, to be used in the White House.

Xander still occasionally mentioned that when he felt the need to boast.

“He's got the library shelves to fix up,” Mr. Giles reminded them all. “That has to come first.”

Buffy pouted but didn't argue. The only shelves they had for the library were two bookcases and a trunk that held the more rare tombs. It wasn't enough and Xander had vowed to fix that the first chance he got. The last design plan she'd seen, on the ride here from Cleveland, he'd added some cabinets, drawers, and display cases for weapons, in addition to the actual shelves. Between the cherry wood he was planning on using and the dark blue lining in the glass display cases, she knew it'd be really nice once it was finished.

“Hey Spike?” Connor called, poking his head out the door. Rona suddenly realized that while they'd been talking, the boys had still been working. Oops. “Where does the tan couch go?”

“Den!” Spike answered. Connor frowned.

“And that would be which room?”

“Next to the WAIT office,” Spike answered. Xander had absolutely refused an actual office, so they'd turned the second one into a research space for Dawn and whoever they got in the WAIT/WIIT programs.

“I thought that was for the pool table,” he said, frowning. He looked back inside the house a minute as Kieran's voice was heard. He looked back out, suddenly sheepish. “We've been putting all the game stuff in there.”

“Those all go in the the sunroom,” Spike answered, frowning. “More space.” They had a pool table and a poker table, in addition to a couple shelves and cabinets that would hold games. The den was too small to hold all of that.

“Got it,” he said and looked around. “Anyone want to help us move this stuff really quick before we take the couch in?”

Rona immediately went over, Vi following, and the four of them headed inside. The front foyer held the staircase upstairs, cutting the first floor into two sections, with the sunroom directly behind the staircase and accessible on both sides. On the right, was Spike's office, the library, the den, the WAIT office, and a half bathroom. On the left was the living room (complete with fireplace), a little space for a breakfast table, the stairs down to the basement, a large kitchen (all the appliances had been replaced a few days before), and the formal dining room.

Through the kitchen you could get to the two-car garage, which would hold her motorcycle, Dawn's moped from Italy, the various bicycles, and the minivan Spike had been complaining about ever since Giles told him about it. Rona knew that if Kieran and Connor came, their bikes would go in with the rest of the two-wheel vehicles. Vi's old watcher had been saving to buy her a car for her sixteenth birthday when the bringers killed him so when Giles found his diary, he'd gone out of his way to hunt down the type of car the other man had described, a working Chevrolet convertible. Vi loved that car something fierce and it would be kept in the old tractor garage, behind the barn, along with Spike's new DeSoto. Setsuna was still only fifteen, so she didn't have a car. Just off the garage, through the doorway to the kitchen, was a room Xander and a small team from the council had added as a laundry room, since they actually had two washers and two dryers and the hook ups in the basement wouldn't have worked out.

The lighthouse portion of the house didn't have an actual light and it wasn't round. Instead, it was more like a tower sticking up in the very center of the place, with one floor completely open and bare, and the second open on all four sides with a gabled roof. All of the teens and kids had checked that place out first and the view was spectacular, which made sense considering they'd been five floors up. There weren't any definite plans on what to do with the fourth floor space but everyone had ideas.

Dawn had been needling Spike into letting the high school and college age kids turn it into a hang out place just for them. Kieran, Connor, Suna, VI, and Rona had all enthusiastically been on board with this idea, which sparked the younger six to band together to try and get them to make it just for them. Spike himself had talked about storage space, with the basement as a hang out for all the people in the house. Willow had suggested a lab, for the magical side, and Buffy had, what else, suggested it could be an private work out room. As for Xander, Rona was pretty sure he'd been mentally measuring out walls, possibly making it into more sleeping space for guests.

“Lots of stuff,” Kieran said when they got to the den. The pool and poker tables were both pushed up against one wall, the shelves and cabinets were against another, and the boxes and bags were against the third. Just through the library doors nearby, she could see two punching bags and the practice dummy against one of the windows, all of which was supposed to have been taken out to the barn. As everyone grabbed something from the den, Rona suddenly snickered.

The practice dummy had a sword stuck through its midsection. She could only imagine what the neighbors would think if they could see it.
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