Disclaimer: Neither the Buffyverse or the Supernatural world are mine.
Ellen tilted her head to the side curiously as the most mismatched couple she had ever seen walked through the doors of the Roadhouse. The brunette walked in first, stopped in the doorway and cased the joint. She looked like, well, there was really no nice way to put it, a street walker. Maybe she was a high end street walker, her clothes being very nice leather, but really the skin tight black pants and corset emphasized every curve, leaving nothing to the imagination. The tiny cropped bolero jacket in suede obviously wasn’t meant to hide, but to emphasize the physical assets she did have. She was definitely dressed to stand out and get noticed and get noticed, she did.
Hunters all around the bar homed in on the stunning woman. Conversations stopped, pool sticks missed cue balls and all that could be heard over the country ballad playing on the ancient jukebox was the clinking of ice in glasses that were being set down. She just ignored all the looks, tossed a glance behind her and stepped in the doorway allowing an older gentleman with glasses and wearing a tweed jacket over jeans to walk through the door.
He must have been at least thirty years older than the girl and while he looked good, distinguished with his graying hair and well fitting clothes, he was certainly the only one to walk into her bar toting a briefcase. The brunette said something to him and he rolled his eyes and put his briefcase on a table before he removed his glasses and polished them while sending a scathing glance and probably a few scathing words to the woman with him. He shook his head and said something to amuse her for she laughed, a rich, deep sound, before she settled and shared with the older man a companionable smile.
He replaced his glasses and took up the briefcase before he extended his arm to the young woman. It was an old world courtesy that should have looked out of place, but for some reason did not. Nor did it look odd when the woman took his arm and they strolled amicably across the room to the bar. The gentleman, for that was the only thing he could be, pulled out a stool and offered it to the girl before sitting down next to her.
Amused and curious, Ellen walked over to the pair, “Welcome to Harvelle’s. What can I get you?”
“A whiskey, neat, if you would please,” the man said in a cultured British accent which caused Ellen’s eyebrows to wing up.
Ellen set about pouring his drink, “And you?”
“Beer, whatever you got on tap. So, we’re looking for Joanna Beth Harvelle. She here?”
“Over by the pool tables,” Ellen said placing a mug of beer in front of the brunette, “Can I ask why you’re after my girl?”
“She contacted us last week and set up an appointment. I’m Rupert Giles, Head Watcher, International Council of Watchers and Slayers. If Jo is your girl, you must be Ellen,” Giles stood and extended his hand. Good manners prevailed and Ellen shook the man’s hand although a frown had appeared.
“I’m Faith,” the brunette said extending her hand, “A couple of our people were here about a month ago, Dawn and Spike. Tall pretty brunette girl and a blond guy in a leather coat?”
“Yes,” Ellen said with a twitch in her lip, “Jo contacted you?”
A slim blond approached the bar with an empty tray, “Momma, need another round for Jake’s table and Jimmy would like another tequila.”
“Jo,” Ellen said a little flatly as she moved to fill the orders, “These folks here said you gave them a call.”
Giles gave the slim blond girl a smile and extended his hand, “Rupert Giles, Miss Harvelle, head of the International Watcher’s Council. You contacted us about a job?”
Jo looked at the older man standing in front of her with a look of shock on her face. After a second there was a grimace, “I knew you would be here tonight, I just planned on a little later.” She dragged her hand down the short apron she wore before taking Giles’ hand, “Jo Harvelle, just Jo, please. Nice to meet you.”
“This is Faith,” Giles indicated the brunette girl who had stood and also extended a hand which was taken and shook, “Is there a quiet place we can talk?”
“Got a small room you can use,” Ellen said, “Jo, deliver the drinks and I’ll take them back.”
Ellen came around the bar and without looking to see if she was being followed, walked to a small private room where hunters sometimes gathered when they needed a place to meet to plan a coordinated hunt. It wasn’t used too often, but her husband had built the room originally for that purpose and Ellen had changed so little of the bar after his death.
When Giles and Faith had entered the room, and situated themselves at the small table, Ellen bit her lip and said, “She’s all I have. I want to keep her safe. I already lost her daddy to the dark. I don’t want to lose her.”
Giles gave the woman in the doorway a look of understanding, “It’s a hard thing we do. In the end we all pass on, sometimes before our time. We work to minimize that as much as possible. She will not only be able to contribute in a huge way to the cause that we champion, but she will have such a support structure and be part of a system that believes that every one of our lives is vital.”
“I’m not asking for guarantees,” Ellen stated.
“And I can’t provide them,” Giles replied.
“She’s not a girl, anymore, I know that.”
“She will always be your girl. I have couple of them, too.” Giles ran a gentle hand over Faith’s hair.
Faith just shook off his hand, rolled her eyes and snorted, “Sentimental old foggie.”
“Skin-flaunting tart,” Giles shot back before shaking his head and turning to Ellen, “Forgive her, some people never civilize.”
Faith just snorted again before saying, “Look, you know the business. It’s dark and it’s dangerous. She won’t be in the front lines of anything unless she wants to be and even then, she won’t work alone. The people she will work with will be some of the best people equipped to handle any situation and we don’t send people in blind if we can help it. She wants this, or she wouldn’t have called.”
“Just because you want something doesn’t mean you should have it.”
Faith gave Ellen a sad sort of smile, “Want. Take. Have.”
“Faith,” Giles said gently.
The undercurrent of tension alerted Ellen to the fact that she was missing something. Something significant that happened in the lives of these two people. Before she could say anything more, however, she heard Jo come up behind her. She moved from the doorway and as Jo passed, Ellen stopped her daughter with a hand to her shoulder. She squeezed gently before letting her girl go and returning to the bar.
“Miss Harvelle, Jo,” Giles said with a smile as he indicated that she should take a seat. “So tell us, why are you interested in working for the Watcher’s Council?”