A Tour of the Place
Summary: Bruce Wayne takes a tour of the Slayers and Watchers Council International, (SWCI).
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy or Batman.
Summary: After getting a place to train and house the new slayers, the scoobies need people to help. Interviews are given to any and everyone who responds to the accepting all applications notice that was widely distributed.The one time you ask me to do something Alfred and you send me here.
The tall somber man stood next to a dented mailbox giving the worn out three story house a visual examination. His contemplation was interrupted when a skinny curly blond haired girl sprinted from the front door to the mailbox. Pulling a stack of envelopes and a magazine or two, she shifted to a casual defense.
"You here to gawk or to see someone?"
"See someone, a Mr. Rupert Giles." The handsome, expensively dressed, man kept his face devoid of expression as he answered.
Bending down she picked a rock up from the decorative stones around the mailbox, then quickly hurled it to land on the house next to a second floor window. The window quickly opened to allow a loud male voice to bellow, "What?"
"Dude in a suit to see you Giles." She yelled back as she picked through the envelopes.
"Take him to the living room."
As the girl walked back to the immense house the visitor followed close behind. Taking a left after the front door the girl sat down on a couch in a well lived in living room. A middle aged man walked in scooped up the mail and addressed the visitor, "You wanted to see me Mr.?"
"Wayne. Yes, Alfred Pennyworth asked that I speak with you and tour your center of operations."
"How is the old chap?"
"Same as he always has been. Older than history, so eerie you would think that he was clairvoyant."
Pleased that some things never change, Giles grinned. "He was the same way when I was a young man."
Still an impartial observer Mr. Wayne inquired, "Where did you know Alfred from?"
Absent mindedly sorting the mail Giles said, "He was positioned where I was educated, very few knew of him. I presume that you are the young man he keeps busy with?"
"It could be said that way. What do you do here Mr. Giles?"
"Oh to be called Mr. Giles, it has been a long time since I've heard that. Excuse me, some days it seems I get little respect from some people around here. We are an academy for young women who have an innate desire for the knowledge and skills we teach here."
"How did you get involved?"
"At first it was the family's work, then I couldn't let the children fight on their own."
"Fight Mr. Giles?"
"Uh, personal and universal demons, a figure of speech if you will Mr. Wayne." Giles successfully kept from cleaning his glasses as he smoothed over his flub.
"If they are as bad as I was growing up then you have your hands full."
"From what Alfred tells me, you were just about even with any one of mine."
"Really now?" Finally cracking the stiff exterior Mr. Wayne wondered exactly who Mr. Giles looked after.
"They are a trial."
A young dark haired man walked into the room intent on his question, "Hey Giles, is now a bad time to fix the sofa leg? I could work on the bathroom door instead."
"What happened to the door?"
"Someone was taking too long and one of the girls got impatient." Now seeing the eye patch Mr. Wayne watched the young man set a tool box on top of the coffee table.
"Mr. Wayne meet Xander Harris the man in charge of moral and carpentry around here. Xander meet Mr. Wayne a padiwan, as Andrew would say, to someone I've known and trusted for some time. I can't believe that I just quoted Andrew."
Reaching out to shake Mr. Wayne's hand Xander spoke to Giles, "So the sofa or the bathroom?"
"Sofa since you're here and talk to Mr. Wayne as you do. Then would you give him a tour of the house? If that is alright with you Mr. Wayne. I need to finalize the schedule for next week."
"Please, go on. I don't mean to interrupt your business." Mr. Wayne sat in a floral printed recliner that clashed with his expensive suit as Giles left and Xander chased the girl off the sofa so he could carefully turn it over.
"Why are you scratching a line into the sofa leg?"
"This is the fourteenth time I've had to fix this leg. Once it reaches an even twenty I'm not going to fix it any more. The girls are murder on the furniture. I'm hoping that when the furniture is about to collapse they'll stop breaking it and maybe by then we will have saved up enough to buy some decent stuff. Money goes very quickly in this place and most everyone is still in school."
Mr. Wayne studied as much of the house he could see from his chair. "How is the Academy funded?"
"We work. Buffy at the local high school, Giles and Willow have a small shop and greenhouse. Dawn has a job in Colorado and sends what money she can. I do my carpentry work." The explanation ended as Xander set the sofa upright.
"What about tuition or private funding?"
"The girls pay what they can, but that alone isn't enough. Did you come here for anything in particular?" Xander asked as he sat down and squirmed on the sofa.
"I was asked to come here, speak to Mr. Giles, and take a look at your center of operations."
"The couch is fixed and the girls can hang a curtain for a bathroom door till we get a chance to fix it. How would you like a tour Mr. Wayne." Standing at a door that lead to the rest of the house Xander gestured with a free hand as he picked up his tool box.
"That would be nice and call me Bruce."
"Sure thing. This is the living room, with TV and comfortable furniture. Now we enter the kitchen. Hey, Andrew, what's for dinner?"
"Chicken noodle soup. I can keep it warm for the double patrols out tonight. I used the last of the peanut butter at lunch." Andrew didn't look up from his cutting board covered with vegetables as he answered.
"Ok sounds good. Maybe we could grow a garden next year? Think about it and tell me what you think."
As the two men walked out the back door to a completely unlandscaped yard Bruce asked, "A garden?"
"Something for the girls to do during the day when they don't have school in the Summer, and maybe grow some of our own food."
A large crowd of girls jogged into the back yard in mass to push past Xander and Bruce to the cool interior of the house. "Bruce meet the girls. Hey, the sofa is fixed and please don't even think of breaking anything else until next weekend."
"What is going on next week? It has been mentioned a couple of times." Bruce leaned against the porch railing.
"We're interviewing people to work here next week."
"What positions will you be hiring for and how will the new employees be paid?"
Settling into a perch on his own bit of riling Xander elaborated. "We'll hire any one who wants to work with us. The salaries will come out of an account from the old Watchers council. We would like to hire people with an education like Giles's, but it takes a certain kind of insanity to put up with us or a mind so open it has never heard of walls."
"The old Watchers council? You mean the research institution that blew up in London a few years ago?" Suddenly moving to stand in front of Xander.
"Yeah them. I take it you've heard of them."
"I was researching something years ago and couldn't get past the front door." If Xander had his eye open he would have seen an angry Bruce Wayne trying to stare him down.
"They were arrogant manipulative brainless idiots only interested in more power for them selves. If you weren't born into The Council then you could never get in."
"What is your connection to them?" Still wanting answers but no longer angry.
"We are doing our best to do what they claimed to do but never actually did. Come on if we get some one to distract Andrew we can get something for a snack and I can give willow break in the shop. You're welcome to join me." Hopping off the railing Xander Held the door open for the now pensive looking Bruce as they walked back into the house.