Disclaimer: I do not own these characters or the places we find them in. Joss and Eric do, bless their little hearts and large imaginations.
Spoilers: BTVS season 2. SPN season 2 I.E know who Ellen and Jo are.
Synopsis: Ellen’s always been a sucker for strays, even if that stray is a broken Slayer.
She had watched the teenager enter, shoulders hunched against the world and eyes scanning each dark corner of the roadhouse looking for threats or possibly a fight. A duffle, large enough to tilt over Jo, fell to the scarred floor with a thud and the blonde nodded to the hunter that had given her a ride. Inclining her head, Ellen watched as the tiny thing slid into a chair and shoved her hands deep into the pockets of her hoodie.
She caught Jo’s eye and nodded toward the only other woman and probably a poor tip. The freshly turned fifteen year old rolled her eyes but complied and approached with a disdain that all females seemed to acquire at the ripe age of puberty.
The pair conversed for a moment and Ellen took the time to survey the bar, note Daniel’s need of a refill and set to work pouring another shot. She didn’t miss the looks being cast at her daughter and doe eyes darkened in annoyance as she raised a brow at the few caught staring. Whether it be at Jo or the pretty thing placing an order—it didn’t matter—both were off limits as far as she was concerned and her glare spoke that better than any words.
Her daughter nodded and strolled back toward the bar, swinging narrow hips and setting Ellen’s teeth on edge. Jo shifted, pushing back her long blonde hair and twisting her body so that she faced the crowd as she leaned against the worn wood.
“What’ll she have?”
Jo turned, giving her mother arched brows over mirroring eyes. “A job.”
Ellen lips quirked. “Is that so?” She looked back at the blonde who was once again watching the crowd and looked like lifting one of their stools would turn her over.
Keeping a narrowed stare on her, she watched with a flicker of amusement as the teenager stiffened and turned slowly toward the bar. Mossy green eyes watched her evenly, meeting her stare head-on. Ellen’s lips lifted at the corners and she tilted her head for the blonde to come over.
“Take this to Daniel.” Passing off the shot to a sighing Jo she moved to meet the blonde at the corner of the bar.
The teenager shifted the strap of her duffle across her chest and Ellen mentally gave a point for being smart enough not to leave her belongings at the table. She reached over the bar, offering a hand and smiled at the firm shake that was returned.
The blonde gave the briefest hesitation before stating, “Anne.”
Catching the pause, she ignored it for the moment. “Can I help you?”
Buffy raised a brow at the woman’s whiskey roughed voice giving a hesitant nod as she answered, “I’m looking for a job.”
“So I’ve heard.” Ellen let hint of disdain color her tone as she casually gave the blonde, smaller than Jo a once over. “Ever worked in bar before?” She frowned, “Have you ever been in a bar before?”
Buffy winced, “No and yes.”
A brow arched, creases forming across a smooth forehead. “How old are you?”
Buffy swallowed and lied. “Eighteen.”
Ellen’s other brow rose to match the first, forcing the creases to deepen. “Really?” Off the blonde’s nod, she sighed. “Nearest housings twenty miles west, got transportation?”
Buffy shifted her bag again. “Your daughter mentioned cots in the back.”
Her face thinned, “Jo wouldn’t mention being my daughter.”
The blonde blinked at the suddenly hostile tone. “She didn’t, same eyes and you’ve got the whole mother lioness vibe going with her.”
Ellen watched her, silent a moment. “You’re observant.”
“And a hard worker.”
“And hard up.” Buffy acknowledged the sighed words with another nod and Ellen frowned at the barest shift in the girl’s eyes. The hard edge softened into something close to pleading. Mentally she berated herself even as she opened her mouth.
“Rents one-fifty a week and we’re open 7 days a week. You’d be entitled to two days off, ‘cept Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Those are our busiest and will be worked no questions asked.”
“Not a problem.”
Ellen sighed, “We serve food from twelve to eight and if you want to be fed, add another fifty to your rent each week. I’m assuming this will be under the table?” At her nod, Ellen’s lips dipped down. “Tips are yours to keep and if you screw me, your ass will hit the curb long before you realize I’ve kicked it there.”
Buffy’s lips quirked, “Understood.”
She arched a brow, “There a reason you’re still standing there?” Buffy’s eyes widened and Ellen smirked. “Drop the duffle behind the bar and get with Jo to borrow an apron.”
Buffy allowed the smallest of smiles to reach her eyes before moving to do as she was ordered. Ellen watched her pass some of the hunters and frowned at their casual interest as Buffy pushed her duffle into an open cupboard and pulled off her black hoodie to reveal a gray tank and smooth tanned arms.
She moved between her and the hunters just long enough to cast out another warning glare. They swiveled their heads back around as she caught Jo’s smirk and inclined her head back toward their newest employee.
Her daughter chuckled in a far too deep tone as she passed and whispered, “You and strays.” With a wink and another casual roll of her hips she caught Buffy as she exited from behind the bar and took her into the back to help with orders.
Ellen watched as the door swing closed and turned back around to sweep the room with her dark gaze. Eyes narrowing at the fact that Daniel’s shot glass was again empty. Instead of a refill she just grabbed the bottle and a beer. Dropping the first off with Daniel she swung around the back of the bar and kept a steady stride to a table in the far back. Spinning the free chair around, she straddled it to face the hunter that had dragged her in another stray and placed the beer in front of him.
His cap pushed up to reveal the faintest hint of gray and he nodded his thanks as he grasped the cold bottle of Miller. “Ellen.”
“Bobby.” She waited a beat, let him take his first pull before pouncing. “Why’d you bring her here?”
Ellen nodded once. “Got that much from the eyes.”
He sighed and ran a hand through his beard. “Didn’t flinch at the gris-gris hanging in the truck.”
Her brows rose, “Is that a fact?”
He nodded, taking another pull. “Figured she’d fit in here just fine.”
Ellen swiveled her around at the low bang and watched Jo reenter followed by the blonde. Both carefully balanced three plates apiece on their arms and Ellen raised a brow with the ease in which ‘Anne’ accomplished a task that had taken Jo months. The pair moved around her bar, deftly delivering and taking orders, already moving at a steadier pace with the extra hands.
Sitting back she snagged Bobby’s beer and took a sip before standing and nodding her thanks. “She just might.”