Disclaimer – I own nothing of Reba except my original characters and plot. The rest belongs to their respected owners. 'Nuff said.
A/N: I got this idea while on my walk today. In this story, Reba and Brock are together. Cheyenne is 20, Kyra is 16 and Jake is 12. Reba and Brock also have a daughter named Anna who is 10.
Summary: AU: Cheyenne and Van run a rescue operation for abused, neglected or abandoned animals. Van coaches underprivileged kids and forms a bond with an eleven-year-old African-American boy named Jack. Will be either a three or four chapter story. Rated T for safety and because I'm paranoid. Also, Elizabeth is five in this story.
Cheyenne Montgomery sighed as she unpacked the last box of stuff. She, along with Van and Elizabeth, moved to a ranch in the middle of nowhere so that Cheyenne could fulfill her lifelong dream – rescuing animals. As a girl, she would rescue animals off the street and bring them home to her clinic on the porch.
"You okay, babe?" Van asked, rubbing Cheyenne's shoulders.
"We get the rescues tomorrow and I'm so nervous." Cheyenne told Van, breaking away from him. She went to the kitchen to pour herself some water and to look over the rescues that would be coming in the following day.
She, Van and Elizabeth had met four of the rescues – the three horses that lived in the stables. Elizabeth had named them M & Ms, Oreo and Butterfinger, after her three favorite candy bars. There was also Lucky, the four-year-old 3-legged, one-eared, deaf calico cat. She was the friendliest cat that Cheyenne had ever met.
Cheyenne was open to rescuing all sorts of animals. Tomorrow, there were three mules, four dogs, an opossum, two skunks, a ferret, two deer, a wild turkey, two rabbits, a llama and a great-horned owl coming in tomorrow. Cheyenne was a big Harry Potter fan and had already named all the animals based on different characters from the series.
The mules were – Vernon, Petunia and Dudley; the dogs were Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Gryffindor and Slytherin; the opossum was Wormtail; the skunks were Tonks and Remus; the ferret was Draco; the deer were Lily and Severus; the turkey was Voldemort; the rabbits were Cho and Cedric; the llama was Lucius and the great-horned owl was Dumbledore.
Van had an interest in animals, but not as big an interest as Cheyenne did. He had goldfish and an iguana growing up, but that was it.
Elizabeth was homeschooled by Van, since Cheyenne was busy with the rescues. Cheyenne intended to interview at least four people to help with the feeding and cleaning of the animals.
"Come on, Lily, it's okay pretty girl." Cheyenne told the doe as she was guided off the trailer. Her mate, Severus, followed close behind, led by Van. Cheyenne put Lily in the stall next to Butterfinger in the horse barn. Van put Severus in the same stall with Lily. Cheyenne then went to the smaller barn that was off the side for the smaller animals. Cho and Cedric were in their hutch, hopping around, getting used to their new surroundings.
Tonks and Remus were in a smaller hutch next to Cho and Cedric. She put Draco in the hutch opposite Cho and Cedric, since he was the only ferret Cheyenne had rescued.
Dumbledore hooted from his large cage opposite Draco. Cheyenne quickly moved Draco to the empty hutch next to Tonks and Remus. She put Wormtail in Draco's old hutch.
Cheyenne spent the day with each animal, looking him or her over so that she could tell the vet how they were when he came the following day.
"Easy, Ravenclaw. It's okay, girl." Cheyenne soothed the snarling black dog. She put Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff in one stall and Gryffindor and Slytherin in the other stall. Next to the boys were the deer – Severus and Lily. Cheyenne smiled as she stroked Lily's face, knowing that these animals would be all right. They knew that she wasn't going to hurt them.
That night, Cheyenne and Elizabeth checked on all the animals before going to bed. Van was in his office, going over the possible delegates that he and Cheyenne would hire to help clean and feed the animals.
"Mommy, when can I ride one of the horses?" Elizabeth asked as Cheyenne tucked her into bed that night.
"When they've been trained, sweetie. Right now, they're scared of you, daddy and me. We need to give them love, patience and time." Cheyenne told her daughter, kissing her forehead.
"Can I help feed the animals tomorrow?" Elizabeth asked, looking at Cheyenne with big green eyes.
"Only if you promise to be careful." Cheyenne told Elizabeth.
The following morning, Cheyenne and Elizabeth went to check on the animals while Van fed the bigger animals.
Lucky followed Cheyenne and Elizabeth as they fed the animals, her meows silent like a whisper.
Later that day, Cheyenne and Van interviewed possible volunteers while Elizabeth played with her dolls nearby. By the end of the day, they hired Sophia, Robert, Ron and Skylar to help with the evening feedings and cleaning of cages. Skylar was an animal trainer and told Cheyenne that she could work with some of the animals to get them to trust people.
The following day, Van started looking for things to do while Cheyenne took Elizabeth into town to get her a new toy. Elizabeth had been awesome that week, so Cheyenne told her that she could get a toy.
"Don't forget that grandma, grandpa, aunts Kyra and Anna, along with uncle Jake are coming over for dinner later." Cheyenne reminded her daughter as she picked out a toy horse.
"Okay, momma." Elizabeth replied, watching her mom pay for her new toy. The two of them exited the toy store and headed for home.
That night, Reba, Brock, Kyra, Anna and Jake came over for dinner and to see the animals.
"Who's your favorite, Elizabeth?" Reba asked her granddaughter.
"Lily the deer. She's sweet and nice." Elizabeth answered, kissing everyone goodnight. Van took his daughter to bed while Cheyenne caught up with her family.
Anna looked out the window, knowing how these animals felt. Reba and Brock had saved her – she was living on the streets after her parents had died. She was eight-years-old at the time and was learning how to interact with others. She had been untrusting and wary when Reba had brought her home. Reba and Brock that bringing Anna to see where Cheyenne lived and worked would help her. Within a year, Anna was smiling and acting like a typical nine-year-old. She had turned ten earlier in the week.
"Anna, what do you think of this place?" Brock asked.
"I like it, dad." Anna replied, stroking Petunia's soft muzzle. The family was in the stables, checking on the animals.
"Be careful with the rabbits – Tonks is expecting and Remus is very protective of her." Cheyenne told her family as they entered the small barn. Anna's dark eyes went to the corner of the room where a great-horned owl sat upon a perch, head tucked under its wing.
"Cheyenne, who's the owl?" Anna asked.
"That's Dumbledore." Cheyenne answered. "I'm getting a red-tailed hawk tomorrow. I've named her McGonagall."
"I like the Harry Potter books, too." Anna told Cheyenne, smiling up at her sister. Cheyenne smiled back and placed a kiss on her forehead.
A short while later, the Hart family left for home. Cheyenne bid farewell to them as she headed back to the house.
Cheyenne climbed in next to Van, not bothering to change into her pajamas. Van drew Cheyenne close to him and kissed her forehead, knowing how exhausted she was.
"I am so proud of you, babe." Van told Cheyenne.
"Thanks. I'm sorry I haven't been spending time with you – I've been busy. Now that I've hired four people, maybe the three of us could catch a movie or something this weekend." Cheyenne said, climbing under the covers. Within seconds, she was asleep, her soft breathing filling the air.