Buffy: Breakfast at the Summers house is definitely not what it used to be.

I mean, with eight people living under the same roof and only one of them being completely human (Slayer, Slayer-in-training, witch, witch/something else, ex-Watcher, vampire, vampire/human and Olivia) you've got to expect some major weirdness. But this is way beyond what I imagined…

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"Willow, pass the milk," Buffy asked tiredly, shaking out her hair with one hand. Willow, stifling a yawn, casually gestured at the milk carton and it hovered from her end of the table to Buffy's, spilling only slightly in the process.

"Okay, who ate all the Cheerios?" Dawn held out the empty packet, miffed that someone would snatch away her favorite breakfast item.

Connor grinned slyly and poked at the full bowl of Cheerios and milk in front of him. "Whoops," he said smugly, "I guess I got the last of it." Then he smiled sweetly at Dawn and made loud munching noises with his cereal.

Dawn looked just about ready to attack him, but Buffy managed to console her with Grape Nuts to take the place of the lost Cheerios. Still, Dawn made sure to give Connor a "Boy, you'd better sleep with one eye open tonight" look before sitting down at the table.

Angel watched them over the rim of his coffee cup, hiding an amused smile. Since they had arrived in Sunnydale, Connor had become increasingly comfortable with his surroundings – and although he and Dawn fought like cat and dog 24/7, Angel had an idea that his son was finally starting to fit in with the rest of the world.

Buffy was watching Dawn and Connor as well, and she couldn't help thinking about the strangeness of it all – Angel and Connor had only been there for two and a half weeks, but it felt as if they'd always been around. Or at least, it felt like that around Connor. Around Angel, things were mainly just…

What? Strange? Embarrassing?  

She didn't exactly know what to say around them – "I'm really sorry Cordy disappeared, but I'm glad it enabled you to come stay with us"? Or maybe "Hey, it's great that you decided to come live on the Hellmouth and all, but could you please just stay away from me"? It was like she wanted them there one moment, and then the next she wished they had never left LA.

Aliyah and Olivia had been the last to arrive at the breakfast table, and they were having the same animated discussion about mythological heritage that they had been having all morning: Olivia insisted that descending from a magickal family didn't necessarily affect your abilities in witchcraft, while Aliyah maintained that if you descended from a family of magickal or mythological creatures, it was bound to affect your capabilities within the Craft.

Giles was watching all this with a great deal of interest, and managed to slide a word in edgewise here and there: he tended to agree with both of them, but saying so might earn him a glare from his fiancé, so he wisely stuck to safe and steady facts.

Once, to demonstrate a point, Aliyah jabbed her finger at an ornamental glass vase sitting on the counter and it exploded, blasting shards of glass everywhere. With another jab of her finger, the shards froze in mid-air before they could hurt anyone and suddenly flew back into place, smoothly re-forming the vase.

"You could've done that even if you were a human witch," Olivia stated, after a moment of mildly shocked silence. "Take Willow, for example – her powers are incredible, and there's no sign of magickal heritage in her."

"Willow's special," Aliyah countered, "because she was born with a calling for witchcraft. Very few others have her skill." She turned to Willow and the two witches smiled at each other – then she nodded at Olivia in a definite "case closed" gesture. Olivia just let it rest from there.

Angel suddenly frowned and looked down at his coffee. "Buffy?"

Buffy glanced up. "Mm?"

"What's in this? Besides the obvious, I mean."

"Sheep's blood," Buffy answered, in a perfectly level tone. "To keep your energy up."

"Oh." Angel didn't really have anything to say to that.

Connor looked startled. "You keep sheep's blood?"

Dawn shrugged. "Yeah, from time to time." Her eyes were glittering. "We get it free from the butcher's place on Marjorie Street. You know, for rituals and demon-killings and stuff… And hey, it works as a beverage too. We even put it in milk sometimes – it adds vitamins," she finished, in a very Martha Stewart-like voice. 

Connor pushed his soggy milk and cereal away from him, totally grossed out.

Oh yeah, Buffy couldn't help thinking, things are never gonna be the same around here.

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