Waifs and Strays is a million-word plus Mega Crossover fanfiction series written by vidicon. It is primarily an Alternate Universe of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, that starts off with an OC named Simon Meier knocking on Joyce Summers' door shortly after she and her family move to Sunnydale.
Simon, while having little power himself, is the descendant of a long line of rich and troubled magic users. After seeing some warning signs, he gets Buffy some psychological help from someone in-the-know, which helps her and Joyce clear the air of old trauma. Joyce, as it turns out, has the Charmed Ones as her first cousins, once removed, so her fresh relationship with her daughters and her new love with Simon allow her to awaken her latent magic and attain the title of Mother. Simon also runs a nationwide ring of foster homes, which helps give him and Joyce leverage when they decide to adopt Willow and Xander.
It's a good thing they have money and history backing them as, not only do they have all the fun of life atop a Hellmouth, a soul-stealing agency called Marigold has its eye on powerful bloodlines and is prepared to do anything to add to its collection. Marigold's been traumatizing and brainwashing people for years across the world, sunk its tendrils deep in the NID and kept up a brisk trade with Voldemort during his reign of terror...
- Simon's story thread forms the core of the series, starting with the short Stranger at the Gate and its massive sequel Lonely Souls.
- Severus' thread, starting with Ora pro nobis peccatoribus, Luna Lovegood and the Dark Portrait and Luna Lovegood and the Shaggy Dog, has him deal with some interesting Immortals and Luna's early years at Hogwarts.
- Jack's thread, starting with Grandfather's visit, Travels with my grandfather and Children of a Greater God, has his grandfather, Jonathan Carnahan, break him out of his funk following his first trip through the Stargate, leaving him better prepared for when the missions start in earnest.
- Faith's thread starts with Forever is too long, even for us and Dum spiro spero. When her warm and stable homelife following her adoption by Immortals is destroyed by the Watchers' Council, Faith is thrown into a long series of painful events. Father John Mulcahy and Benton Fraser help her along the way while her would-be father, who is convinced that she is dead, cuts a bloody swath through the Council.
There are also side-stories reflecting on events in and around Sunnydale, as well as a prequel, Portrait of the Philanthropist as a young man, which helps flesh out Simon's character.
The series as a whole provides examples of:
- Always Identical Twins: Averted. While something has apparently drastically increased the number of multiple births in families, compared to their canon counterparts, there are notable fraternal siblings, such as Joyce and her sister, offsetting the identical ones.
- The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Has proven the end of several relationships, such as Willow's grandmother and Faith's Watcher hiding their involvement with magic from each other. This is one reason the Chelia have proven to be popular with the female members of the Scoobies.
- The Power of Love: Joyce has the Mother talent, a power that supports those she holds dear. It has also been used to devastating effect by some, most notably Our Mother of Darkness, Pulchritudia Amoria Black.
- Separated at Birth: Marigold's meddling has resulted in a lot of missing children, many who have been harvested for their souls.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: Simon can easily pass for many of his ancestors and his half-brother Severus. Same for Willow and one of her more willful ancestors. Prue is also nearly identical to Brenda who turns out to be her younger clone.
The short Stranger at the Gate and the core story, Lonely Souls, provide examples of:
- Cloning Blues: Demon/Rogue AI Moloch uploads Willow's mind to Cyberspace. This clone survives Moloch's death and is convinced that her family is shunning her because no one has staged an Orphean Rescue. She's shocked to find that her original is walking around normally. Eventually the confusion is cleared up and she basically becomes a new member of the family, developing traits separate from Willow. Turns out she's inherited the soul of Rowan, one of Willow's harvested sisters.
- For Want of a Nail: Buffy starts dreaming of a world where Simon committed suicide at a young age. His death becomes a popular song and Sunnydale is decimated, not to mention all the orphans left without homes and Marigold running unchecked...
- Mundane Luxury: Simon and Joyce give their adopted children the experience of a loving home, something that they treasure. Willow also falls in love with really good cheese.
- Simple, yet Opulent: This principle of Simon shows in his gifts to Joyce, from the jewelry and the dresses, to the remolded houses.
Severus and Luna's story threads provide examples of:
- Invisible to Normals: A lot of magic is this, but Xenophilus' Spectrespecs lets Muggles see what's in front of them, allowing parents of Muggleborns to freely attend Hogwarts' new Parent-Teacher Day.
- Place of Protection: The Dark Portrait has warded his balcony against many things, including ghosts. This backfires horribly when his favorite student Myrtle dies, becomes a ghost, and isn't able to make herself known to him for decades.
- Trickster Mentor: The Dark Portrait becomes an adviser to Luna.
Jack's adventures with the Stargate and his grandfather provide examples of:
- Ascended Extra: After being abducted by Jaffa, Senior Airman Carol Weterings dies in the first episode of Stargate SG-1. Thanks to the existence of Immortals in this universe, she revives and goes on to be a major character.
- Waking Up at the Morgue: Averted. The Immortals who have been keeping an eye on Weterings since her first death are prepared to snatch and grab her 'corpse' when she's shot during the Hathor incident. Fortunately the SGC has a sarcophagus on hand...
Faith's journey provides examples of:
- Gambit Pileup: Ancient Native American vampire John Smith and relatively recent convert Al Capone are some of the schemers whose conflicting plots decimate Chicago's netherworld.
- Holy Burns Evil: The vampire who drinks Father John Mulcahy's blood during his final prayer disintegrates into ash.
- One Steve Limit: Averted. Joyce Davenport, a witch actively protecting Chicago, shares her name with Joyce Summers.
The prequel Portrait of the Philanthropist as a young man provides examples of:
- Hereditary Curse: Richard Wilkins convinces Charles Chase to tie his life and that of 'his' son to the demon Machida, bringing immense financial success as long as their sacrifices continue, at the price of their morality. Andrew Chase is actually the son of Simon's father, Simon XIV, so this ritual, carefully timed for Simon XIV's attack on Grindewald's strike group, is enough to create a permanent link, eventually turning Simon XIV into a very dark and cruel man.
- The curse's effects on Simon (Simon XV) when he comes to Sunnydale appear to be minor, other than a irrational hatred for Cordelia Chase, something enforced to keep him from recognizing her as his niece...
- Police are Useless: When young Simon seeks shelter in a church after his father orders his arm broken, the priest pretends to provide shelter while calling Simon's home and complaining about the 'lies' the boy is telling about a man who has donated so much to their church.