13. In Which Delvin attends a Scooby Meeting
Oz was sitting in on the Scooby meeting this time. Willow was adjusting to him well, and Tara…Tara seemed to be goodness in human form. She absolutely held nothing against him. And that was incredible. Buffy was slowly warming to him again, the longer he was in Willow’s presence without making a move on her or making her cry. The purpose of this meeting was apparently to meet Xander’s teacher. It would be interesting. When the door finally opened, Xander came in first, followed by…Oz blinked. Man-Diane was the first thing to cross his mind. If the female Immortal he had met briefly the night before had somehow turned into a man while changing nothing else, this would be her/him. They even smelled almost exactly the same with the barest difference of male and female. Wow.
Xander looked around to make sure everyone was there, smiling when he saw Oz. It was good to have XY genes around. “Everyone, Delvin Phoenix, my Teacher. Delvin, you met Tara and Willow already at the diner, and Buffy you met briefly as well. The guy with blue hair is Oz, and this is Rupert Giles, and most call him Giles.”
Delvin responded to the introduction with a slight bow. “Ladies, gentlemen. I understand my presence was requested in regards to the upcoming threat.”
“Yes, I’m afraid Buffy doesn’t feel comfortable sitting an apocalyptic situation out,” Giles said, before Buffy could jump in and completely alienate the older Immortal. Xander had point-black refused to give the man’s age, and that alone to Giles that he was well over a thousand. And that was far older than the threats that Buffy had face before.
Delvin pressed his lips together as he tried to decide how best to say, too bad, butt out. “I’m afraid that the prophecy is quite clear that my sister and I will be able to handle this with the help of our students. I fear that if others were to get involved, it would severely hamper our chances of surviving, and more importantly beating back the evil that is coming for us.” He sat beside Alexander when the watcher gestured him to sit. From what his student had told him, this Giles was a reasonable man. “I truly believe that Ms. Summers would be better protecting this area by leaving this to us.”
“Ms. Summers is sitting right here,” Buffy finally snapped, tired of them talking like she wasn’t there.
Xander sighed. And it was going so well. He didn’t miss the sympathetic glance Oz shot him.
“Very well, Ms. Summers.” Delvin smiled at the Slayer. “Need I repeat it all? You’re duty is to face the demons that are a threat to humanity. Thus far we have no assurance that the evil we are to face is a demon. It may very well be an Immortal. It would not be the first time one of our kind lost himself so completely as to be a threat to all. It which case, this is an Immortal matter. And the Slayer or the Council have no say over it. Our watchers even have a strict policy of noninterference. You have no right to insert yourself into our dealings.”
“But you don’t know for sure it is an Immortal. It could be a demon. Then it’s mine job to handle it.”
Xander opened his mouth, but Delvin held up a hand and he, to everyone’s surprise, sat back without a word. What? This was his teacher. Maybe it was an Immortal thing.
Oz watched the by-play between Student and Teacher with interest. It was almost like watching an Alpha and a cub. He wondered if Immortals were pack creatures.
“I can see that you are not going to be reasonable about this, Madam Slayer. So I will say this once.” Delvin let a small amount of his age show through. “My allegiance is not to good. It’s not to evil, balance or chaos. My allegiance is to my student, my teacher, my sister and by extension, her student. Lastly, it is to my own Immortal hide. If your interference based on some arrogant assumption that you are the only one capable of fighting threatens those that I have just named, I will not hesitate to take you down. My student’s survival is worth more to me than his feelings on this matter. Out of deference to him, I’ll try to make stopping you non-fatal.”
Buffy stared at him with her mouth opened in shock. Finally, she whined, “Giles, did you heard that? He threatened me! I’m the Slayer!”
“Well, Buffy, as far as it sounds to me, it would be self defense,” Giles replied, his patience with his slayer waning. “You are threatening him by not allowing him to take care of a threat which a prophecy states only he and his can take care of. You will not interfere.”
“But,” she started only to be cut off.
“No, Buffy. He came here, he made his case plain. So far you’re only argument is that you are the Slayer. The Slayer is not meant to deal with every threat.” Giles looked hard at the young woman. “If you wish me to go on acting as your Watcher then you must act the part as well. This threat is off limits.”
Buffy scowled. Was Giles threatening to abandon her over this? How dare he? She didn’t have to deal with this. She got up and stormed out, slamming the door behind her.
Giles winced at the childish display of temper that the girl was showing, but sadly he had come to expect no less. He turned back to the Immortal. “My apologies, Mr. Phoenix. Buffy has never been one to follow the ways of the council, and it has been her greatest strength and weakness. Any other slayer would follow orders, but no other slayer would have lived this long.”
“Not at all, Mr. Giles,” Delvin replied with an easy smile now that the girl was gone. “I know all about hot-tempered students. However, I did mean every word I said. I won’t allow her to threaten my family.” He ignored Alexander’s look. If the boy didn’t realize he was family by now, he would eventually. Student and Teacher was the strongest relationship of any an Immortal could experience.
“I understand, and I won’t let it come to that. When she calms down, I’ll talk to her again. If push comes to shove, when this evil comes to town, we’ll either not tell her or lock her in a reinforced cage,” Giles smiled weakly. “And do call me Rupert, so few people do.”
AN: Wow, I did two chapters in one day. That could be good or bad. Let me know.