|J & T
Author: Kaoz PM
Clone Jack gets a do-over. The Duke kids are on a time out. Hunters and Aliens...what could possibly go wrong? 2nd in the Duke/Winchester series.Rated: Fiction T - English - Family/Hurt/Comfort - J. O'Neill & Luke D. - Chapters: 5 - Words: 25,624 - Reviews: 6 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 01-29-13 - Published: 12-06-11 - id: 7613445
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: J & T
Rated for: T
Fandom/Universe: Dukes of Hazzard / Stargate:SG1
Characters: Jon O'Neill, Daniel Jackson, Teal'c, Sam Carter, Luke Duke,
Pairings: Jon O'Neill/Tëmpeztrà Duke, Bhaze Duke/Camilla Dusan,
Spoilers/Warning: Not sure
Disclaimer: Supernatural and all related characters are copyright Eric Kripke, Kripke Enterprises & The CW Network. No infringement intended.
Summary: The Duke's are learning that life as Hunters is harder than they thought. Jon has to adjust to being a teenager, again. Tëmpeztrà chafes under the restraints Luke imposes. Asher walks a fine line between the 'normal' and the supernatural. ... Hunters and Aliens...what could possibly go wrong?
Author's Note: I know, I said I'd write up the xmas fic first but I already had this written so here you go. Enjoy their antics. This is the 2nd in the Campbell, Duke, Winchester xover. But this one takes place more in the Stargate verse so there will be lots of Clone Jack and maybe some SG1 … ok, SG1 definitely but which SG1 I haven't decided yet.
And Yes, I am aware this is a bit fast paced. That's the plan.
Ok, I've gone and revised this one so there's a little more for you to read. Next chapter is looming in the future somewhere probably next month or so...
He followed Sloane to a Hunt. He wasn't supposed to be there. They shouldn't have been there…
9 times out of 10 that's how you die.
Its why Bo died.
There's no crossroads deal for him. Sloane died too.
It was slow and painful and she did it for them; Bhaze and Tëmpeztrà.
There wasn't anyone left, no other Campbell's to take the Duke's … There's only Luke Duke, his wife Aspen and their son Asher.
Luke has rules.
By law Tëmpeztrà belongs to Luke and Aspen until she turns 18.
She's only 16.
The main rule, the one Tëmpe hates, the one Luke insists they obey; No Hunting. None.
Bhaze agrees with just a little hesitation but it's the only option they have and really? This is what Bo and Sloane would want for their little girl. Time to live the normal civilian life, to get a taste of what it is to live without the constant fear of death. A Hunter's life is bloody…
She's angry because Bhaze leaves her. He's hunting while she has to suffer suburbia, a new school and an overbearing, grumpy uncle who seems to be PMS-ing 24/7.
Its bad enough Bhaze barely makes time to visit but the problem is Luke. He's to blame for the sporadic visits because there is always something Luke finds to bitch about.
They're family. They shouldn't be forced to email or phone calls but as long as Bhaze continues to hunt, Luke isn't open to discussing any changes to the rules.
It's the hunting that took his cousin and it was Sloane's fault because she brought it on them and Luke is not going to loose any more of them.
~ J & T ~
She hates it already.
"Don't." Bhaze warns. He knows that look; that frown on her face and the dusky pout along with narrowed smoky eyes…
"It's not fair."
It really isn't but there's nothing for it.
"I'm on fucking lock-down the next 2years in suburbia hell with Luke." Tëmpe glares at her brother, the aviator shades shoved up on her head so there's no way he can miss it or pretend to. "Luke Duke… B, please-."
"Take the time to be a kid, Tëms." Bhaze pulls up to the school, right up to the main gate and turns to his sister. "You might even like being a civilian."
She snorts. "I'm a Hunter. It's in my blood same as you." She throws her back pack out to the sidewalk. "Making me stay with Luke is krap. You know it. I know it. The whole fucking world knows it!" she smacks him, smoky eyes dark. "And that," she smacks him again just because. "Is just a little of what I'm gonna do if you listen to that jerk and stay away."
"Tëm…" he sighs. They're all they have left and Luke is not going to come between them.
"You can't leave me, Bhaze." She hates the teary sound of her voice but it's not fair and he's all she has left.
~ J & T ~
He doesn't look forward to high school. There are a lot of things he isn't looking forward to going through again but there's nothing to do about it. Not when he's supposed to be 'fitting in'.
'Cus that worked out well the first time around.'
He snorts, the sound loud enough the teacher glances over the horn rimmed glasses and gives him the evil eye. Two seconds and then old Gregory is reading out of his book yet again while the rest of the class fiddles with cell phones and their MP-thinga-gigs –
He can't help thinking of his team and then has to correct himself because Daniel, Sam and Teal'c are not his… … … They belong to Jack. They are part of a life that is not his and hard as Jon finds it there's nothing that will change. All he is… … is just a copy of Jack O'Neill. He's got all the memories, all the feelings and experiences… … … and Jon's still only a teenager.
The door opens, drawing all eyes to the girl standing just inside the classroom.
Gregory rolls his eyes to the cork paneled ceiling and closes his book with a snap and short huff of breath. He's annoyed and makes no effort to hide the fact. He turns to the door and the girl; she's got a mane of dark hair, a dusky pout and why is it the kids can't ever leave their shades for outside instead of in?
"In or out, miss?" he snaps and it takes her a moment before she takes a step into the classroom uncaring that the door slams shut behind her. Jon doesn't hide the partial smirk seeing that she doesn't even flinch though craggy old Gregory gets a permanent scowl. He takes the admittance slip and points her to the third row down the center.
She drags her feet, boots clomping on the generic tiles as she reaches the empty seat in front of Jon. Her leather satchel drops unceremoniously in the aisle and Jon gets a quick glimpse at her eyes; smoky silver and there's something 'old' about them he sorta finds oddly comforting. Like maybe he isn't alone…
~ J & T ~
Tëmpe hasn't found anything to smile about. It's a new school in a new town with family she really hasn't seen much of the last couple of years. The problem was all Duke-Campbell, as in Luke, Bo and Sloane but somehow managed to reach Bhaze and Tëmpe.
Time heals all wounds
It's a krap saying and Tëmpe wishes she had the fool who came up with that platitude in front and she'd show him what time can heal-
'Violent, homicidal, maniac.'
Labels she's heard on more than once occasion, most times in reference to her Mother from some asshole or another.
She plops down behind a tree near the annex where only the smokers go to hide. One more tear rolls down her cheek and this time she doesn't bother to wipe it away. Who's going to notice a girl crying when there are kids smoking up to bust?
~ J & T ~
"I'm not having any of it around my family."
He doesn't need anyone else dying and he certainly isn't going to allow his wife or son to follow Bo to his grave.
She understands his pain, why he lays the blame on Sloane when it wasn't that simple to starts with but the kids shouldn't have to suffer.
"This isn't a debate!"
Because he's not having any Hunters or hunting in his house. He won't let that come into his family and take them away. Not the way Bo was taken…
"There's no other place for Tëmpe. I'm not-."
Bhaze can't run with his sister, she's too young for that, for what he's choosing to do and maybe Luke was right, maybe they'd needed to have a choice instead of being raised like Hunters since they were kids.
"Let's go, B."
She's not about to listen to Luke go off about their Mom. She's heard it before, the name calling and the blame…
"You're staying with Uncle Luke. I'm not taking you with me-."
Bhaze stops her from heading out the door.
"I'm not staying here!"
She's still angry, and why isn't Bhaze? Why is he so damn calm when Luke keeps talking krap?
"Not if you're going to hunt. I told Bo it wasn't going to end well. I told him she'd get you all killed-."
Luke is red faced, angry and loud. All things that Tëmpe won't take, from anyone- a trait her Mother encouraged and Bo found amusing at least part of the time.
"Luke! That's enough, stop yelling, stop blaming each other! Haven't you had enough?"
Because she has. She's dealt with the fall out, dealt with Luke and his anger at Bo, the dislike for Sloane. What she isn't going to allow is Luke to take it out on the kids, Bhaze or Tëmpeztrà.
"My Mom… did NOT kill Dad! You weren't there! You don't know-!"
Tëmpe has enough. She's backed off enough when it comes to Luke and his opinion of Sloane. She's ready to hurt him just to make that point glaringly clear but…
Bhaze has to pull her back and Luke is just lucky she didn't have anything sharp on her because they'd both be hurt. He doesn't know how to make this any easier because Tëmpe doesn't want to stay and yet he can't take care of her. They have no other family, no place to go if Luke won't take them- take Tëmpe because Bhaze turned 18 weeks ago…
"Your Mother was trouble. She brought death to my family…"
~ J & T ~
"I know the truth." Tëmpe wiped her face; the lunch her aunt packed got tossed. She ate at their table to keep the peace. She didn't sneak out of her room because Bhaze made her promise to toe the line and she didn't need him worrying about her while he was on a hunt. All she had to do was wait out the year, just until summer came around because Tëmpe didn't plan on sticking around Willow Fells for three months while Bhaze hit the road.
"We'll get those fangers."
Bhaze promised her they would and she was sitting pretty because of it.
~ J & T ~
"Yo, family!" Asher drops his duffel in the living room and heads towards the kitchen. Its early enough Aspen should be baking something delicious for dinner. But… "Upstairs." Because the kitchen is empty though he can smell that something delicious already in the oven and damn but he's been missing the home cooked meals.
"Mom!" he calls loudly, grinning from ear to ear like an idiot as he yells out again. "Mom! Moooom! Momma! Mommy! Maaaaa!" he wants to laugh because its fun and he knows this constant shout for her gets to her.
"What!" sure enough, Aspen steps out of the guest room wearing her most annoyed expression and for the unexpected visit of her son who is supposed to be in school.
"Hey Mom! I'm home!" Asher scoops her into a hug, twirling her the rest of the way into the hall where he sets her down and says not a word of the little squeak of surprise she let slip.
Aspen smacks him. She loves him, her playful boy who's only grown more audacious but if she laughs it will be worse and though it doesn't hurt him in the least he feigns pain because laughing it off will only get him smacked harder and he's not a stupid kid. "What are you doing home? The semester only just began, Asher."
"I missed my Mom." Asher pouts, he's such an idiot her lips want to turn up in a smile at his antics but she refrains and seeing she isn't going to give in, he shrugs. "Long weekend. And I wanted to see my cousin's cus knowing Dad one of 'em will be hanging from the tree in the back yard soon." He smiles again and with his arm draped over her shoulders heads to the main floor of the house. "And I haven't seen them since we were kids so…"
"You are a kid." Aspen sighs. And so is Bhaze but at least he's behaving while Luke… Aspen doesn't want to think about the past week!
"So, where are they?" Asher looks around expectantly, as though they'd be waiting on him and she sighs, hand pushing open the kitchen door.
"Asher, its Tuesday." She moves towards the counter and pulls out the coffee maker. "Tëmpeztrà is still at school and Bhaze…" she really doesn't know where the boy goes while his sister is at school but she knows his number and dials it for her son handing him the phone.
"Ookay, yup it's ringing."
She ignores the smart ass she gave birth to and checks the oven. Asher smirks; truth is there's a long weekend with nothing he'd rather do than be at home and with all the frequent flyer miles accumulated by Luke … The line finally picks up.
"Coz, where are you man? I need a body guard." He lowers his voice just enough and fakes a loud whisper his Mother can hear. "My Mom's trying to beat me." He chuckles at the dirty look she lands on him.
"Can you hear that? She's threatening now. So lets meet up." He quickly exits the kitchen with a shouted "Love you Ma!" and escapes.
Aspen exhales but really, she misses her son and there's a soft smile on her face as she tends to the rest of dinner.
~ J & T ~
The end of the day can't come soon enough though Jon keeps the easy pace while the rest of the hormonal teens run like headless chickens into the parking lot. There's not much difference now from when he was a kid the first time around. Boys still show off their cars, they still have a need for speed and the girls still make a beeline for the quarterback, for the guy with the hot car-
A shiny orange charger roars up to the curb and Jon has a smile as he admires the beauty-
Jon turns but she's already past- the 'New Girl' in school. She tosses her bag into the back seat and climbs in the window settling into the passenger seat with a grumble as the car moves off.
Jon watches her go, a slight frown on his face because he's wondering if that was her boyfriend when it shouldn't be any of his business. He doesn't know her…
~ J & T ~
Luke is home earlier than usual and finds the 'kids' on the back porch talking. They've become inseparable and while it's a good sign he can't help feeling anxious. He knows Bhaze is tied to the Hunter life same as his Mother and her family had been. He doesn't want Asher involved; he doesn't want his only child drawn into that life. He won't allow it, damn!
"You're too young to date."
Luke tunes into what they're talking about and scowls.
"Why Joey?" Asher frowns. "He's an idiot and he's got a rep."
"I don't want him around you, Tëmps" Bhaze levels hard blue eyes on his sister. She smirks at them.
"I'm a big girl. I do know how to take care of myself and Mom told me all about the birds and the bees so no worries. I know what goes where and what happens if it does…" she covers her laughter at their grossed out expressions and Asher is by far the funnier having covered his ears and scrunched his eyes closed pretending not to hear.
Luke knows all about that kid.
The back door squeaks as he steps out onto the porch and the trio turn towards him. Luke's only focus right now is his niece and there's no 'Hi, how's it going kids' as he lays down the law.
"There will be no dating."
Tëmpeztrà's narrowed gaze is warning enough. This time, Bhaze agrees with Luke especially if what Asher has told him about the idiot jock is true.
"Another rule?" because she's about had enough of those and the smoky eyes turn on Bhaze who opens his mouth. He stops and the look in her eyes says it all.
~ J & T ~
With Asher at school the house feels kinda lonely and Tëmpe wonders at how quickly she got attached to the dummy. It's been quieter without Bhaze around and Luke finally has what he wanted from the start.
Tëmpeztrà retaliates by breaking the rule, that last one and makes sure to arrive home just after Luke. After a week of near misses, Tëmpe finally gets 'caught' in Joey's car as he drops her off at the curb.
Luke's waiting in the living room, a fact Tëmpeztrà ignores on her way past and heads upstairs with Luke calling her name. She can hear him on the stairs, heavy boots stomping and she wants a fight. She really does and her small hands clench into fists but Luke never makes it to the second floor.
Aspen intervenes; she talks him down and makes him see that being angry for the blatant disregard of his rules is their niece's way of lashing out. She's a 16 year old girl grieving for her parents while Luke is a grown man who's lost his cousin, a man he hadn't spoken to in years and she gets it, she understands they were more brothers and the distance didn't matter, not when it counted…
~ J & T ~
Its loud. The sounds of teens in the halls magnified and it's giving him a head ache. Jon misses that other life and it wouldn't be hard to picture these same halls emptied of teenagers, painted gray and uniformed airmen nodding a salute or coming to attention as he walked past…
That was Jack.
High school is Jon's life and having just lived through a lonely birthday he was counting the days until he turned 18 next year. But then, October was Jack's birth date and Jon was still shy of 17 by a few months…
Jon sighs and heads in to class and finds 'the new girl' already in her seat. He looks her over again; the weather is getting colder, she sports dark jeans tucked into a pair of black boots. A flannel shirt in stripes of varying blues and black and a gray vest. He's assuming the leather jacket she wore in the morning is somewhere in her locker and she's not paying attention to anyone. The book in her hand draws his eyes, hard cover in some shade of brown, clearly old but he can't make out the title the way she's hiding it from view. He frowns. But yeah, that's exactly what she's doing and Jon takes his seat behind her still trying to peek at the book but craggy Gregory starts class and the book is out of sight in her book bag.
~ J & T ~
Asher has to bail. Its coming close to the holidays and his parents won't be happy if they don't get their second year college boy at home.
"Not a word, Ash." Bhaze reminds with a critical eye on his cousin. They're only months apart in age but their upbringings have made them into different men its obvious.
"You're talking to the master of deception here, coz." Asher retorts and flashes a quick grin before stuffing the rest of his dirty laundry into the duffel he's taking home.
Bhaze snorts. He gets the duffel tossed at him for that but they walk out of the dorm room and head to the General Lee. It's been three months since Asher caught him surfing the net in search of a hunt and started asking a million questions. The 'how do you know its supernatural and not some wacko?' The 'how do you find this stuff?' The 'how do you know what kind of kryptonite you need?' Just a little ridiculous at times but the questions were smart and Bhaze got tired of explaining so put his cousin to work. It shut him up and now Bhaze wonders how he could've been such an idiot. Luke has made it clear what he thinks of Hunting and he's said Asher isn't to take any part but Asher… slowly but surely, his cousin is getting involved and Bhaze feels a little guilty for his part. He tells himself that as long as he keeps Asher to the salt & burns that will satisfy the need for adventure, but … …
Asher wonders what it'd be like; doing the college thing with Bhaze instead of hunting though that has become 'a hobby' Bhaze wishes he'd drop. Its only ever about finding the ghost and digging it up, burning it and then burying the evidence again. 'Boring!'
"So… still not seeing the upside to college?" Asher chances a glance out of the corner of his eye because he knows his cousin has to be thinking about it. He's not an idiot and understands at least half the stuff in Asher's text books-
"Not gonna happen." Bhaze automatically replies. He won't even think about the possibility because its not easy to live in two worlds and if he's a Hunter then that's where he needs to focus. The lack of it or any distraction can only get him killed sooner. Bhaze knows exactly how his life will end … it's the same as Sloane's and her family had died. Hunting is all he will ever do, all he can do though maybe after he kills those leeches … maybe …
"Cus your thing is hunting. Like your Mom and her side of the family, blah, blah, blah." Asher rolls his eyes at the often repeated excuse. "Dude, you're not stupid-well, yeah cus you're not seeing the benefits of maybe being regular joe-college instead of this bad ass Hunter."
"Cus I am bad-ass." Bhaze cuts in. Thoughts of revenge and his parents aren't going to do anything other than put him in a bad mood. He'd rather change the subject but his cousin is like a damn pit-bull at times. "Look, I get it. Mom had this talk with both of us; Tëmpe and me."
Asher's surprised to hear that because he'd assumed that would likely come from Uncle Bo… "Aunt Sloane?"
Bhaze gives him a stare as they head to opposite sides of the charger. "Mom wasn't always about the hunting, Ash." He tosses the duffel into the back seat and hops in through the window. "She never told us this absolutely had to be our life."
"Then why?" Asher stares at his cousin and finds a stronger resemblance to the young Bo in family pictures hidden away by Luke. The only difference being the dark blond hair because Luke can see a lot more of Bo in Bhaze though he tries hard not to let it show.
"Are we getting in touch with our feelings tonight?" Bhaze snaps. "Cus I'll let you walk your ass to the airport…" he trails off waiting but Asher just turns his attention to the road and Bhaze finally pulls out of the parking lot.
He really doesn't want to think of 'what if'. He's made his choice and he's been doing just fine on his own-so maybe there's been the occasional help from other Hunters- Asher didn't need to know.
"Don't mention anything to Tëmps." Bhaze warns. "She'll catch you in a lie quicker than-."
"Dude." Asher scoffs. He points to himself. "Master of Deception."
"Right." Bhaze sighs. His cousin can be delusional sometimes but it's funny all the same. "Do Not, tell her anything. Asher."
Asher just rolls his eyes and keeps his mouth shut. How hard could it be to lie to his 16yr old cousin anyway?
~ J & T ~
It's the end of November and the holidays just seem to have snuck up on him. It's worse this time around, because Jon feels more alone. He misses Carter, Teal'c and Daniel…
School is barely a distraction even with all the screaming, shouting kids and that's why he prefers to eat alone. Rain or shine, he can find a quiet spot to have some peace and eat before the next round of torture begins.
"I'm not telling you again."
Jon rounds the corner of the hall and stops.
He laughs and pushes her into the corner again. Jon wonders yet again what the hell she's doing with the dumb ass.
They both look up and Jon has an 'oh krap' moment when they spot him but he's already walking towards the problem. He's noticed the pair- honestly? Jon's been watching her and its nothing obvious but she certainly is out of place. Like Jon feels.
Jon wonders what the hell is wrong with some kids; don't parents teach them how to behave?
"Fuck off, before I plant my foot in your ass."
Jon knows better than to laugh off the threat yet he can't contain the smirk playing about his mouth. He has the advantage; years of military training and life experience but these kids….
"Look," she grabs Joey the Jock by his sleeve and shoves him off, those smoky silver eyes on Jon. "I'm fine. No damsel in distress." She assures and Joey the Jock wraps a meaty arm around her shoulders forcibly pulling her to his side.
"You're some kind of freak, aren't you?"
Jon ignores the question, doesn't miss the clenched jaw or gritted teeth as she draws in an annoyed breath but she doesn't throw off his arm so Jon figures it really isn't any of his business. Still … he hesitates to leave.
"You deaf, fuck wad? You get off on watching us making out?" Joey flashes a grin while Tëmpe closes her eyes and begs for patience. Asher warned her Joey was a meat head but pissing off Uncle Luke had been too good an opportunity to pass up. Now she was dealing with the asshole on school grounds-
Jon glances over his shoulder and finds the jocks flanking him. That 'oh krap' moment is gonna get him in trouble and how many times has he been told not to stick out or draw attention to himself?
"Joey," Tëmpe shoves his arm off and glares up at him. "I'm not interested." She could've waited a few minutes, until Joey sent his buddies away so he could save face but she knew the fight was inevitable and was only sorry the kid from her 5th period class was going to be involved.
'I told him I was fine. He should've walked away when the going was still easy.'
Joey's face turns red, big jaw clenched and he shoves her; one finger poking her shoulder hard.
"What." Tëmpe glares, her shoulder smarting from the harsh poke but its ok because it only feeds the anger churning in her gut. "You deaf? Do you comprehend the meaning of 'Not Interested'? Should I start drawing you a diagram, you fucking moron." Tëmpe shoves him back, both hands flat on his broad chest and she actually moves him.
It seems to be the straw that broke the camel and Jon figures now is the time to get her out of the way.
"Time for a break." Jon steps in front of her, both hands up in the universal sign for 'peace, bro' though Joey doesn't seem to care.
~ J & T ~
Aspen already knows Luke is not going to be happy and no doubt will start to blame Sloane for Tëmpeztrà's outburst. She sighs and heads into the office where she finds her niece slouched in the plastic chair with another boy sporting a bright red mark on his cheek but otherwise unharmed.
"Are you alright?" Aspen grasps Tëmpe's chin in her hand lightly and turns her face up. She winces at the cut on Tëmpe's lip and bruise on her cheek. The knuckles of the hand she lifts are scraped and bloody…
Tëmpe pulls out of her hold, silver eyes darkening to smoke and glares. "Peachy." She bites out. "Should see the other guys." Her head tilts towards the office door opening and the three jocks shuffling out, each with a parent.
Aspen's eyes widen slightly; bloody noses all around and one with a definite limp. She looks back at her niece and finds a mean smirk flitting about her mouth. The boys move past, each with a glare for the boy and Tëmpe that Aspen is going to point out to the principal.
"Mrs. Duke." Principal Haskin draws in a breath and asks her into his office. "You're next, O'Neill." He gives the teen a hard stare but Jon just raises his hand and offers a short, two finger wave in response, like a half-assed salute...
Aspen glances at Tëmpe as they sit, head tilting to the thick file on the principal's desk because she could just make out Tëmpe's name. She gets a careless shrug in response and Aspen wonders how the hell Sloane dealt with the kids' principal at their school…
"I understand Tëmpeztrà is your niece?" Principal Haskin began as he sat. His brown eyes went from Aspen to Tëmpe and back. "And both her parents have passed. I'm sorry for that." He adds in a somber tone Tëmpe doesn't believe but she grits her teeth and shuts up, just like Sloane had told her to do.
"Yes, my husband's cousin and his wife." Aspen cleared up but didn't get any further.
"I see. In certain situations I wouldn't hesitate to meet out a severe punishment and while your niece's school record is…interesting?" his eyes skipped over to Tëmpe and when she didn't reply returned once more to Aspen. "I will let this go with a warning, Mrs. Duke. This one time…because I'm willing to believe Tëmpeztrà is dealing with her grief but," once again his attention turned to her. "This is not the proper way, young lady. I will not hesitate to expel you if there is another incident-."
"Wait," Aspen jumped in. "You're telling me those three boys I saw come out of this office are blaming my niece for their injuries?" she scoffed, her tone clearly implying she didn't believe that even if Aspen knew better. "Those boys- football players, am I correct?" because she had seen their jackets and the principal couldn't deny they weren't. "They are twice her size, at least 90lbs heavier and you're willing to expel her? What about the boy outside-?"
"Jon didn't do anything." Tëmpe spoke up. She regretted that almost immediately when the principal turned his narrowed eyes on her. "He was only there because…because Joey was getting grabby." She huffed in her seat crossing her arms and staring at the floor.
'Rule one when you get in trouble at school. Shut Up.'
"Grabby?" Aspen looked up to find a disapproving frown on the principal's face. "Grabby, one of those boys- Tëmpe what exactly happened?"
Tëmpe remained mulishly silent while the 'adults' argued about everything. Aspen didn't give an inch and her verbal sparring reminded Tëmpe of Sloane; the same protective behavior but this time there wasn't any inward glee at the principal being given a hard time. Nope, this time Tëmpeztrà stood up and walked out of the office before they could see her tears.
Jon looked up from his slouched seat to find Tëmpe hurrying out into the hall. The door slammed behind her and Principal Haskins wasn't happy but neither was Mrs. Duke. Jon wisely kept his head down as the adults walked out but hoping he'd be forgotten was just wishful thinking.
Jon rolled his eyes and slowly stood up, feet shuffling as he walked into the office. He didn't take a seat and Principal Haskins didn't offer him one.
"You get a warning." Haskins barked. "One more incident…"
"Yes, sir." Jon nodded and the threat was clear, not that Jon cared but he at least had to pretend.
'Like any good soldier…' and hadn't he been one of the best?
~ J & T ~
The door was closed but even then it didn't stop Asher from giving a perfunctory knock before just walking in.
"Oh good," he smiled and headed straight for the bed. "You are decent. I'd of had to gouge out my eyes with flaming pokers otherwise." He dropped down on the bouncy mattress and lay back nudging Tëmpe's leg with his elbow.
"Ha, ha." Tëmpeztrà retorted in a monotone. She didn't even move or bother to snap at him for coming into her room without invitation.
"Look, you can pout up here all you want, Tëmps." Asher sighed dropping the fun tone he'd hoped would get her up.
"Thanks." Her sarcasm was ignored but he was at least glad she'd made the attempt.
"Thanksgiving wouldn't be the same without some yelling. You wanna come down and help out with that again?" Asher waggled his eyebrows and still Tëmpeztrà ignored him, silver eyes glued to the ceiling. "You're seriously leaving me alone with them? Tëmpe?" he poked her side but all she did was brush his hand aside and roll over. "I'm begging here…" he sat up, hand grasping her calf and peeked over her shoulder.
"Go away Asher. I'm not in the mood." Tëmpe muttered trying to brush away the tears without him noticing.
"I know I didn't poke you hard enough to make you cry so what gives, coz?" Asher scooted to the foot of the bed and got comfortable against the metal frame. He waited, ticking each second that passed with a flick at her leg.
"I know its stupid, Ash…" Tëmpe whispered, her eyes focused on the bare wall. "I just…I miss them. I miss Mom and Dad and I wish Bhaze was here…" her hands clenched in the pillow. "And I'm just so…angry… all the time."
Asher didn't know what to say to her, what could he say? His parents were both downstairs setting the table for Thanksgiving dinner, alive and well. He didn't know what it was to loose a parent, not to have them there… They didn't say anything else, both just quiet…
~ J & T ~
Jon does exactly as he's been told and come Monday he keeps his head down and stays out of trouble. Its not that he doesn't notice Tëmpeztrà because he does. She's got a chip on her shoulder the size of a glacier-not that she mouths off or does anything the adults can find fault with. Jon can't believe how close she comes to that though and purposely which has him wondering 'why' and then scowling because it isn't any of his business.
A week leads into two and by the third there's a Christmas cheer Jon could do without. All the happy smiling people-
"Almost like Pleasantville aren't they?"
Jon's surprised not to have heard her come up beside him and then his glance drops at least a foot-probably a bit more than that- because she's shorter.
"Bunch of sappy Christmas addicts." Tëmpe looks up at him, straight faced and asks; "Did you know Roman Pagans started a week long celebration of law breaking, from the 17th to the 25th? They called it Saturnalia."
Jon had no clue what the hell she was talking about but there was another bit of weird trivia coming out of her mouth… She does that a lot but especially with grumpy Gregory and that always has Jon wanting to laugh.
"The Greek historian, Lucian described it; human sacrifice, drunks running about singing naked- just picture the Carolers trying that now… Oh, can't forget all the 'fornicating' they did. Consensual and not-mostly not, then in the 4th century Christianity took over, picked the 25th as Jesus' birthday and lied to the pagans saying they could keep celebrating like they had." Tëmpe smirked, her glance shifting back to the halls decked in green and red tinsel, Santa hats and antlers. "If they knew Nick had been a Bishop of Myra the church sainted in the 19th century, you think they'd care?"
"Would it stop Christmas shopping?" Jon wonders still watching her. He could do without the hassle and over crowded malls. Her lips twitch in amusement though she tries not to show it.
"Not unless the God of the Wood woke up and ate them…Wishful thinking, huh?" Tëmpe shrugs and once again she's gone off at the mouth but really, who's going to know those are all Hunter facts if she doesn't come right out and say so? "See ya."
People are just so blind….
Jon watches her weave through the teens and he's thinking of SG1 while he does. Actually it's Daniel that sticks out the most because he's the one always going off on some long winded explanation and then he's wondering how they're all getting on? Do any of them spare him a thought…
Jon heads home- once again alone and isn't that a kick in the junk? How many years did he spend alone as Jack and not care? He'd go up to his cabin and hide out…but that's not his cabin anymore-it never was because he isn't the real Jack O'Neill and the sooner Jon starts to forget that part of his life the easier getting into this new one will be. But how does he forget? Forget Charlie… And Sarah… forget all the work he's done at the SGC… forget the friends who never made it home…
~ J & T ~
Bhaze pulls up to the house and shoves his anxiety away. He's only dropping in for a visit, that's all so Luke can't bitch about him…
"Right. Cus that's gonna happen…"
The curtain is drawn aside but it's not like his sister needs to see who's at the door when she can hear the General Lee and that's when the front door opens. Bhaze grins and starts to climb out, ignoring the scowling face on their uncle watching them from the inside.
"Bhaze!" Tëmpe jumps on him, arms squeezing around his neck and he's just as happy to see her.
"I missed you." He hugs her tight and finally lets out a heavy breath he hadn't realized was chocking him. After Asher returned to school Bhaze had almost made the trip to Willow Fells but Asher had been right; what was he going to do? And he couldn't mention their conversation either, not if he was going to keep Asher's hunting a secret and if Tëmpe found out….?
'God help me then.'
"Yo!" Asher yells from the front stoop. "Get inside where it's not freezing cold!" he adds "Lunatics." In an undertone he's sure they can hear.
"Come on," Bhaze urges. "You're not even wearing a sweater, short-stuff." He hurries her up the path and inside the house ignoring her soft grumblings over being called short. It's got Bhaze smiling- at least until he sees Luke waiting in the living room.
"Where's your bag?" Aspen frowns. "You're not leaving, Bhaze. Get your things and bunk with Asher. Go on." She orders when they just stand around staring at her. "Help me in the kitchen, Luke." She forcibly pulls him out of the living room before he opens his mouth and there's another fight. "I do no want a repeat of Thanksgiving." She warns him in a low whisper as the kitchen door swings shut.
"I don't want him in my house!" Luke exclaims.
"Your house?" Aspen echoes quietly. Luke sighs in exasperation because he knows he's just put his foot in his mouth and if he's not careful…
"You stop." Aspen snaps at him. She's had enough of the yelling and she isn't going to put up with it. "Let them spend the holidays together, Luke. He's stayed away just like you ordered and I'm not going to let you kick him out again. NO. Not one word, Lucas K. Duke." She's serious and he knows it. "They all stay and not a single word about hunting."
They're silent a long moment before Aspen takes the stack of dishes and heads into the dining room leaving Luke to worry all by his lonesome. He's trying to protect them and yeah he's still angry about Bo and he still blames Sloane but… Bo made his choice.
~ J & T ~
"Dude," Asher chuckles careful not to be loud. "Mom put Dad on check. Hey, remind me not get whipped."
"Please." Tëmpe rolls her eyes. She drops into the cot they pulled out now that she's finished putting on the sheets and listens to their ribbing. Its way too comfortable for them and she's thinking maybe they've been spending more time together than anyone knows… like maybe Uncle Luke doesn't know and if the boys have been hanging out…
"So how many girls did you date this term, Ash?" Tëmpe curls up on the cot, her smile innocent though there's more to what she isn't asking.
"Is she old enough, B?" Asher laughs tossing a pillow to his cousin.
'B? When did that start?' she's looking between the boys, each one busy putting things away to notice the sharp silver eyes on them.
"Not nearly." Bhaze retorts. Tëmpe lets that slide because she's hunting for information and getting pissy over her age isn't going to get it for her.
"Bhaze, any hunts?" Tëmpe catches Asher's flinch and her eyes bounce from one boy to the other and Oh is there ever something they aren't saying.
"Plenty and you know this isn't the place, Tëmps." Bhaze arches a meaningful eyebrow towards the door and the fact that Luke is just downstairs.
"It's not like I'm being let out of the house without an escort." She snaps and that anger Asher mentioned Tëmpe admitted to is evident.
"Not if you keep beating up civilians." Bhaze reproaches. He moves around the bed to sit facing her. "What the hell, Tëmpeztrà. I thought you were going to keep it lo-pro. Mom and Dad wouldn't appreciate being called in for that stunt either-."
"I told you Joey was an idiot." Asher cut in.
"And I ignored you then like I am right now." Tëmpe snapped. "Save the lecture and the 'I told you' so." She said to both. "I'm sick of this, Bhaze. I want out."
Bhaze dropped his head into his hands and tugged on his hair. It was longer than she remembered and he certainly looked tired…
"You're 16." Bhaze reiterated. "You've got high school, Tëmpe. I'm not putting you anywhere you shouldn't be. This is what Mom and Dad would do. You know they would."
Tëmpeztrà shoves his hands off her and sits up. "They'd take me on hunts. Dad wouldn't keep me locked in and he wouldn't bitch about Mom hunting. Dad wouldn't-!"
"Dad's dead." Bhaze cuts in with a hard stare at his sister. He knows she's on the edge of tears-her eyes way too bright and the fact he's not siding with her is only pissing her off more. "Get it through your head, Tëmpeztrà. There's no Hunting for you. None."
"You can't stop me." Tëmpe says softly and quite clearly. Asher's never seen her look so determined and maybe it's just because he hasn't seen her since she was 11 and then it was only during summer vacations. Those stopped after that last fight with the Duke boys. Asher knows his Dad probably started it by saying something regarding Sloane…
"Hey, it's Christmas." Asher reminds them. "Caroling, Fruit Cake, Egg Nog and hey, my favorite; Presents!" he raises his hands in the universal 'High-Five' sign but his cousins aren't into it. "Fine, Scrooge and Grinch. See if Santa puts anything other than coal in your stockings."
"It's better than the alternative." Bhaze retorts. He turns to his sister about to ask if there's anything he needs to worry about safety wise.
"Done and done." Tëmpe assures like she'd forget to make sure the house was safe. "No meadowsweet anywhere in the house or yard. Nill on the vervain or mint and certainly nothing pagan God related. I'm not an idiot, Bhaze. I'm not some dumb-ass just getting lessons on Hunting101. I do know what I'm doing and what to look for." She turns her gaze on Asher. It makes him uncomfortable because he feels like she knows…
"Your house is evil proof, you're welcome."
Bhaze recovers quickly, his mind still turning over the Hunting101 comment while no doubt Asher is stuck on the dumb-ass remark.
"Great. You're still not going on any hunts." He takes her hand in his and stands pulling her up as well. "Don't we have some family bonding to do?" he looks at Asher, blue eyes slightly narrowed in warning because he knows his sister and she's digging around for info and if Asher doesn't get his shit together Tëmpe's gonna have exactly what she wants; dirt on both of them.
"Yeah, yes, uh-huh." Asher nods quickly. They head out into the hall. "Let's get this bonding started. The sooner the better cus I've sorta got a date."
"Date?" Aspens voice drifts up from the living room and she doesn't sound like that's gonna be ok. Asher throws his head back, fists raised to the ceiling in silent frustration.
"Bionic hearing." Tëmpe smirks.
"How the hell'd you get a date in town?" Bhaze wonders in a lower voice as Tëmpe shoves her cousin towards the stairs.
"Uh, have you seen me?" Asher questions with one of his 'duh' expressions. Its classic and Bhaze chuckles because in the last couple of months Asher's been Tëmpe's stand in. Doesn't matter their age difference, doesn't even matter she's a girl because they get each other. Sloane called it a sibling thing but she'd had none… Now Bhaze can add Asher to the ranks- the brother he'd wanted Tëmpe to be when his parents had first told him he was going to be a big brother.
~ J & T ~
Jon's watching the countdown on TV-it's a really nice flat screen- best one in the store… He takes another swig of beer and damn it, he's only had two and already has a pleasant buzz going.
"Lightweight." He mutters to the empty living room.
Someone's going to bitch about the TV but what the heck, it was a final sale so ha!
Jon laughs and that's when he knows the beer is definitely had an affect.
"17…krap." He puts the brown bottle down on the side table and stares at the flashing screen with the music blaring from the speakers (the volume is set at 20).
"10! 9! 8! 7! 6! 5! 4! 3! 2! … 1! Happy New Year!"
Jon grimaces, leans forward and thinks back on the New Years party Daniel dragged him to a few years back-
"Jack. He dragged Jack to that party." He stands and surprisingly doesn't sway or lean as he makes his way slowly to his bedroom. Its dark but he knows where everything is and drops into the bed, (hasn't bothered getting dressed all day) grabs the pillow and scrunches it up into a ball he rests his head on. Closing his eyes doesn't stop the trip down memory lane and he grumbles they aren't his anymore.
It's been two years- Jon snorts into his pillow because really, he is a 2year old. But…well, it could have been worse. He's a copy of Jack- a clone and if he'd died, well then not a problem right. … But Jack intervened, made it so Jon didn't have to die and now the AirForce took on the mini-Jack.
Jon couldn't complain, I mean what 17year old had his own house? Got a government allowance to pay for the expenses and a little on the side…
"I got it made." Jon mutters in the dark while outside his window the music and singing gets louder as the parties down the block get into full swing.
~ J & T ~
Asher makes a shushing motion with his hand and Tëmpe sort of quiets down. The moment he turns his back she's giggling. Again.
"You're gonna get us in trouble." He hisses over his shoulder. "Shut. Up." But she flips him the bird and laughs louder. "Fuck-Bhaze, shut her up, man."
"I told you it wasn't a good idea." Bhaze covers her mouth with his hand and hauls her up the back stairs. "This," he nods towards his grumbling sister insistently smacking at his arm where it's got hers pinned to her sides. "Yeah, I'm gonna put the blame on you."
"Aint gonna stick." Asher assures reaching to the back door. "I'm the good kid here." He smirks and opens the door. "I can do no wrong." He chuckles as Bhaze manages to get Tëmpe inside the house without too much noise.
"You're dealing with the hung over 16year old tomorrow." Bhaze whispers.
"Man, she was gonna get drunk eventually." Asher shrugs. "Better she did with us around instead of some idiots."
Bhaze concedes he could have a point but he knows his sister and Tëmpe wouldn't let herself get that out of control and especially not around strangers. She's a 16 year old girl only Tëmpeztrà isn't like regular girls…
"I don't know about that, Asher."
Both stop in the hallway half between the living room and the staircase. Bhaze drops his hand from Tëmpe's mouth and reaches to his back where he always has a knife or his gun; tonight he's got both.
"Mom!" Asher's gripping his own knife when the lamp flicks on and Aspen is sitting in the loveseat with a fuzzy throw over her legs. He's quick to hide the knife and nicks himself for the trouble.
"You're both behaving like idiots." She stands, eyes on Tëmpe who's got an arm draped around Bhaze's neck and her face tucked into his chest. "Do you realize how easily it could be Luke waiting up?" she eyes them both because they certainly should know better being that they're older. "He's already got issues, please don't give him anything else."
"Don't worry." Bhaze keeps his tone even and his words civil because what he really wants to say will get him kicked out by his aunt instead of his uncle. "I won't be giving Luke another excuse to hate us." He swings Tëmpe up in his arms and turns to the stairs. "Ill get her to bed. Goodnight."
Asher drops his head and that pleasant buzz is so gone now it aint even funny. "Ma… they had fun. You know?" because there hasn't been much of that this vacation and not to blame Luke but the permanent scowl anytime Bhaze is in the same room…
"You've been drinking." Aspen states in her pissed off voice. "You're not even 21, Asher. And you're cousin is 16. She's 16!" she shakes her head and there's that look of disappointment and Asher leans his head back on a tired sigh. Ok, so he broke the drinking law, twice because of Tëmpe but they didn't hurt anyone, they're all fine.
"Bhaze didn't drink. He was designated driver and we didn't let her out of our sight. Mom," Asher rests both hands on her shoulders, eyes looking into hers. "We really aren't idiots. Bhaze would never let anything happen to Tëmpe. You think I would?"
Aspen knows it isn't as easy as her son thinks; keeping loved ones safe and out of harm… Awful things happened all the time and the life Sloane had lead certainly hurt everyone. She thinks maybe it hurt Luke worse….
Upstairs, Bhaze gets Tëmpe into her bed but the brats already asleep. He sits next to her and is struck by how much like their Mother she looks. It's the same dark hair, longer than Sloane's had been and the shape of their mouth… Tëmpe's got that same no-nonsense attitude – a ball buster – and he laughs because his sister can't hold her liquor and Bo had always teased Sloane that she couldn't either though it was far from the truth.
"Keep it up, Tëms… you'll build up a tolerance and out drink the drinkers." He whispers and then chuckles. "Don't forget, we come from a family of moonshiners and Hunters."
"Aint that the truth." Asher agrees from the door. "Well, moonshiners on my side at least." He stumbles on the throw rug and knocks into Bhaze. "Where'd that come from?" Asher frowns and gets shoved.
"How'd you even get up the stairs?" Bhaze wonders as his cousin plops onto the foot of the bed and they all bounce.
"Very carefully." Asher laughs and lies back with a sigh. "I'm fucking sleepy."
"Whoa, hey, get your ass up." Bhaze orders with a backhand to his thigh that's ignored- well, aside from the slight scowl anyway.
"I like it here." Asher grumbles snagging one of the extra pillows and – "How come girls always have a shit load of pillows?"
Bhaze shakes his head because his cousin is too damn heavy to carry and knowing Asher…nope, it's just easier to leave him alone. He scoots in next to Tëmpe and purposely drops his leg on top of Asher's. He smiles at the grumbled curse but that's all the response he gets. Bhaze stares at the ceiling, the white paint… its not home but that place isn't theirs anymore. Going back to the burned remains… he'd had no other choice, no way to explain all the Hunter paraphernalia and equipment. So it had to burn… He'd never sell it, not the land or any of it. That was for Tëmpe…he'll give her that even if its half his, when she turns 18. He's going to push her, make her go to college instead of Hunting. At least one of them has to have a regular life…
~ J & T ~