Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to their respective owners.
Note: contains spoilers for the official series.
Once upon a time...
Xander and Bo were driving Aoife to Bo’s home. “Hope that it won’t be too messy,” Xander muttered to Bo. “We left Dawn alone, and even without Kenzi to partner-up, she can be very troublesome, when she’s bored.
“Don’t worry, our home isn’t that pristine to start with,” Bo replied with a smile. “I’m sure that nothing can go wrong with it.”
“Perhaps,” Aoife added slyly from her position in the back seat, “but you’re underestimating curiosity of a teen, I suspect.”
Xander shot the elder succubus an evil glare. Honestly, for all of his run-ins (friendly run-ins) with Bo, he would be glad when he would drop her and Aoife at the younger succubus’ home, pick Dawn up and be gone for the day. There was only so much Fay company – and Grey Wastes of Hades – that a man could take.
And so their car stopped at Bo’s place. Normally, there was Kenzi as well, but Kenzi was currently touring Canada alongside her new-old boyfriend, so Dawn was all alone – in theory. Sadly, in reality this was Tuesday, which meant that all theories could just as well go bonkers.
“Okay, I seriously doubt that this is Dawn,” Xander said thoughtfully as he took in the rather tasty smells that came from Bo’s place. “And I seriously hope that it isn’t her that I smell either. You don’t have any cannibal friends, do you, Bo? Because if you do, and they cooked Dawn, it’ll be very bad.”
“No, I don’t have any cannibal friends – or cannibal anybody,” Bo confessed. “Mother?”
“We-ell,” Aoife said in a vague kind of way that did not convince anyone. “We-ell...” And she slid out of the car.
“Mother!” Bo and Xander hurried to catch-up to the older succubus just as the door at Bo’s place opened wide and the supposed cannibal stepped through.
Xander blinked and really wished for a second eye now. The cannibal was big – more than head and shoulders taller than either Xander or any of his companions – tattooed – and somehow combined definitely feminine curves with arms as thick as Xander’s legs, for example.
“Hi! You must be Bo’s mom!” Dawn peeked from behind the cannibal, roughly around the latter’s armpit area. “I’m Dawn and this is Kuro!”
The possibility of Dawn being the source of delicious smells has passed, but the possibility of a good old-fashioned kidnapping remained.
“Mother!” Bo twitched. “I honestly asked you about your friends-“
“Oh, Kuro’s with me,” another woman – this one definitely normal looking and actually wearing a cooking apron – came around the giantess from the other side. “Hello, you must be Bo. I’m Helena.”
“I’m their mother,” Aoife explained to Xander in a bright tone of voice. “They’re half-sisters, see?”
Xander twitched.* * *
It was several minutes later. Somehow – though not very mysteriously – Bo found herself at one end of the table with her family, and Xander and Dawn were entertaining the ogre (or not, Bo was still unsure about the various Fay types) Kuro.
The fact that it was not only Dawn, but not any human at all that they were smelling had aided in breaking the ice: was Xander and co. had smelled was a huge carp, cooked with vegetables and served with red wine. (Dawn did not get any – Xander insisted.)
“So, Helena,” Bo said, after casting a glance in the other direction – no help was coming from that quarter. “You’re my sister?”
“Half-sister,” the older woman corrected her mildly. “My father was a human.”
“Ah. So like Ciara you have no powers?”
“I don’t know who that Ciara is, but I do have powers – I got them myself. When there is a will, there is a way, you know? I just... don’t have succubus powers – that’s beyond my reach,” Helena replied, still mildly. “But enough about me. Tell me about yourself. What’s your life’s like?”
“Nothing fancy,” Bo said quickly: she never liked talking about herself. “Started as a barman, now is an errand girl for the new Ash...”
“Excuse me?” Aoife spoke up for the first time since the carp was served: being stuck in the Grey Wastes was a hungry situation. “You’re a what? Bo, I hate to sound like – this, but you’re my daughter: succubae of our line do not serve anyone!”
“And what is our line?” Bo could not help but to ask despite Helena’s frantic gestures about not asking it.
“Our ancestor was Xinivrae herself! A contender to the Rose throne!” Aoife said proudly. “Bo, your grandmother was THE Whore of Babylon, I myself was the Queen of Damascus, and your sister-“
“Mother. Stop.” Helena said in a completely dead voice. “Bo, you okay?”
“Actually, I am a little dazed,” Bo confessed. “My grandmother’s THE Whore? Um. I don’t know what to say.”
“Well, I do,” Helena said mildly. “Bo, if Xinivrae had won the initial Succubus war, you’d be royalty instead of an errand girl. I’m saying ‘you’ because I, a half-human, would probably not be born, so forgive me, mother, for not feeling terribly excited about our bloodline.”
“Sorry dear,” Aoife actually looked chastened for once. Bo’s half-sister may have been half-human, but she also had some leverege or control over their mother that Bo lacked, it seemed. “I get carried away sometimes, you know?”
“She cannot help herself,” Helena explained to Bo. “She means well – for us. But – she tends to overreach her grasp just a bit, and it all comes down on top of her.”
“You’re telling me,” Bo muttered, remembering the time when she last saw her – their – mother.
“I am! She raised me, you know, and that... wasn’t fun,” Helena shook her head. “Not fun at all.”
“And speaking of not fun, Dawn and I must really be going!” Xander spoke up from their end of the table, hearing only bit and pieces of their conversation, but it was enough. Everything in him – the hyena, the soldier, the monster from the Black Lagoon – told him that the friendly and grinning Kuro was something along those lines, only bigger and stronger, and that made him antsy. “So, I hate for me and Dawn to break and run, but-“
“You really must be going,” Helena nodded, with a strange look briefly appearing on her weatherworn face. “Well enough. Kuro, please, take them home – Mr. Harris cannot drive and I would rather not have Miss Summers drive: she sneaked enough wine into her system not to be a safe driver at all, you know?”
“Okay!” Kuro agreed brightly. “Be back in a flash. Do you two like flying?”
“Yes!” Dawn (who really was slightly tipsy) spoke before Xander could.
“Then hold on!” Kuro grabbed the pair into her grasp and carried them outside.
“I’m off to wash the dishes,” Helena spoke up before Bo could protest and was gone (to the kitchen) as well.
Bo and Aoife were left on their own for the first time since their last fight and just looked at each other, neither one willing to break the silence first. Finally, before the silence could become really oppressive Bo broke it:
“So, mother, what are you up to?”