Disclaimer: Sadly, not mine.
Summary: Traditions: a glance into The Council
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 Emily Dickinson poem “Did life’s penurious length”
6/7: Life’s penurious length
“Mr. Giles! Mr. Giles!”
He really did think that he was being discreet when he tried slipping out of the ballroom. Leave it to bloody Andrew to follow.
“What is it?”
Andrew fidgeted with his tie and shot a guilty look up at Giles.
“Ah…I know you said not to follow you around all night, but there’s this situation and I don’t want to overstep and Buffy is strolling the gardens with that nice General and Faith, well her tongue is buried in Xander and there’s no way I am interrupting that cause last time I didn’t feel so good for a while and…”
No amount of glass wiping would ever relieve Giles of the litany. Levelling a purposefully annoyed glare worthy of his Ripper days he scowled with great aplomb.
“Library…girls and boys…!”
Andrew seemed to be hopping from foot to foot and Giles desperately wanted to cuff him in the ear. But that would be just unseemly.
“What is so terrible about children not being underfoot?”
As he said that, it did occur to him that this was the sort of thing that would bring Murphy’s law into effect and he braced for his world to come crashing down round his ears.
Andrew continued his little nervous dance, adding strange clicking noises with his tongue.
“Ahm, yes. But there’s a bottle of schnapps and … and the books!”
Andrew watched Giles become paler by several shades.
Andrew shrunk away and squinted up at Giles.
Giles’ face regained some of its colour. His expression was perplexed.
“All the dangerous books are either in the vault or protected.”
Andrew’s agitation only grew.
“I told them to get their grimy hands of my first editions but they won’t listen!”
It became evident to Giles that he was missing something.
“Your first editions?”
Andrew seemed to think that salvation was in his grasp and he clutched at Giles’ arm desperately.
“They took the Spiderman and were…”he seemed to struggle for breath “…touching it with their grimy paws!”
Giles detached Andrew from his arm.
“For the love of…Andrew are you telling me they are reading your comic books?”
Andrew’s distressed head shake was his reply. Giles tried very hard not to reach for his glasses and start cleaning them. He failed.
“And you felt that this warranted your assault on my person?”
Really what would the boy screech about next? Andrew’s face fell.
“But! First editions! Library! Must rescue the books!”
Giles levelled what he hoped was a patient glare at his frazzled assistant.
“They’re children. Those are comic books. Better then having them underfoot.”
Andrew’s wail was the only reply.
“They’re touching my things!”
Really, Giles did not know what he’d done in a previous life to deserve having to deal with Andrew in this one. Sure the boy became a competent secretary, even invaluable at times, but this was too much.
“You shouldn’t leave your things in the public library.”
Andrew’s face grew red and Giles feared the boy may self combust, thankfully he only threw up his hands and stormed off in a huff.
Giles replaced his well cleaned glasses. He really wished that Andrew would grow up. The wish went unfulfilled.
He reached for a glass from a passing waiter.
“To my sanity. May it remain stalwart.”
He drained the glass and exhaled a weary breath. Here was his chance to slip away.