Disclaimer: Sadly, not mine.
Summary: Traditions: a glance into The Council
Pairing: Ensemble Cast
A/N: Takes place about 5 years after Chosen. All other cross over time-lines are out of cannon to suit this story.
The title of this is taken from an e.e. cummings poem “In time of daffodils”
RE-POST: Thanks to Ava for the critique and you're totally right the 1st post was sloppy. Hope this clarifies.
1/7: …when time from time shall set us free
forgetting me, remember me.
Every year, about two weeks before there is a flurry of activity. Plans to be made, invitations issued. People rush about decorating the ballroom and choosing floral arrangements. Then the day before comes. And it’s quiet. Like the building freezes. Like everyone is in a trance. Every year, at the end of May the Council holds a party for all its members and associates. By this time apocalypse season is usually done with and there is some victory to celebrate.
No one ever mentions that this is a wake. But that’s what it is to the few people who gather in this room the night before the party.
They didn’t plan it, not even the first year after Sunnydale. Somehow, instinctively they gathered in Giles’s library, mostly surprised to find each other there. By this point all the steps to their little dance are worked out to the minutiae. When she opens the door Andrew hands her the glass half full of scotch. Most everyone is there except Xander and Faith. But they’ll straggle in eventually. People will be coming in and out for most of the night.
The last visitors they’ll get will be about 2 am when the last patrol will stagger home. They’ll be hyped and rowdy and they’ll give a play by play of their night and stumble out still buzzing with energy. They’ll finish their drink by then and people will begin to stumble back to bed. They will smile into each other’s eyes. Willow will smile brilliantly, Dawn will kiss her cheek softly. The doors will make no sound when they close behind them
And at the end it will be only Giles and herself left. Slayer and her Watcher will sit companionably in the two chairs facing the fireplace until the fire dies down. The sun will come up and she’ll notice that he’s fallen asleep. She’ll be careful not to wake him and will lay a blanket over his knees. She’ll draw the curtains quietly and slip upstairs to bed where sleep will carry her off as soon as her head will touch the pillow. She won’t dream.
She holds her drink in the palm of her hand, stands off to the side watching the night through the windows. She turns at the sound of the door opening. Xander and Faith come in talking and are handed their drinks. Andrew is making small talk until everyone is annoyed enough to turn from their thoughts and glare at him. He shrugs non-chalantly and raises his glass. This will be the only toast of the night.
“To our fallen.”
They raise their glasses in silence and drink until every last drop is done.
The night is young and Andrew makes the rounds around the room refilling glasses.
There will be no more toasts tonight, but there is always something to remember and they will talk into the night until their voices are hoarse and the bottles are empty.