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International Council of Watchers
Impromptu Meeting of the High Council
January 13, 2009
New York, New York
The six members of the council each sat on one of the beds in Willow and Faith’s hotel room in DC.
“So… how’d your mission go?” asked Buffy, not wanting to talk about her own.
“Everyone thinks I’m the black sheep of the family,” replied Xander. “I’m supposed to be my father reincarnate. Apparently, Mom came out of her drunken stupor enough at some point in my high school years to notice how often I was staying out late and getting into fights. She then complained to her brother about how I was dad reincarnated. Mom’s family hates dad and thusly, they hate me. It’s like the transitive property. Or reflexive? Symmetric? It doesn’t really matter, either way.”
“The same thing happened to me,” said Buffy, glad she wasn’t the only one.
“Ditto,” added Willow. Turning to Buffy, she added, “You wanna go first, or should I?”
“I’ll go,” said Buffy, deciding to get it over with quickly. “Giles forgot to tell me that my aunt would be working with the same police squad we were working with.”
“Just like how you forgot to tell me that Josh was working for Santos?” accused Willow with her accusing face.
“Maybe a little,” replied Buffy as she shrugged her shoulders. “Anyway, mom’s sister never really got over me burning down the gym at Hemery. Or how I got sent to a mental hospital. Or how I ran away. Or-”
“That’s quite enough, Buffy,” said Giles as he pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Anyway, it took me a while to convince her I wasn’t a crime lord or sex slave or some type of psychotic…“
“…And it took me even longer to convince her that I wasn’t a pervert,” inserted Giles.
“Yeah, those Special Victims Unit guys see sex crimes everywhere. I half expected them to arrest Giles when he put his arm around my shoulders. But that’s neither here nor there. We eventually managed to get to some Aunt-Niece bonding action in towards the end of our visit.”
“When you say bonding,” Giles started, “surely you mean that she began to trust you enough to let you out of those handcuffs and managed to look you in the eyes once before we left.”
“It was better than what we had before, so it was bonding. And my name’s not Shirley.”
“Do try to contain yourself,” Giles grumbled. Turning to Xander, he added, “At least you weren’t accused of sleeping with Buffy,”
“Watch it, mister,” Buffy warned, finger wagging. “I’ll have you know that I’m extremely desirable.”
“I meant accused of sleeping with you when you were a teenager,” Giles added hastily. “Detective Stabler was nearly foaming at the mouth when they found out we shared a hotel room.”
“Which was whose fault?” asked Buffy.
“Well I was accused of sleeping with Dawn, if you can believe it,” admitted Xander. At Dawn’s angry look, Xander hastily added, “not that you aren’t an attractive and fully grown up woman, because you are and saying that would just be idiotic and not true and completely-”
“Shut up, Xander,” Dawn said finally, deciding pity him some. “I know what you mean. Besides, he was accusing me of sleeping with you as well.”
“No one accused us of sleeping together,” Willow said brightly, interrupting Xander’s incredulous stare.
“True, but I’m sure that Sam guy was thinkin’ it,” said Faith with a smirk, adding, “and your cousin was funny as hell.”
“Oh? Do tell,” commanded Dawn.
“Josh wasn’t invited into the briefing with us and he got all huffy,” stated Willow, not wanting to really delve into it the way Buffy and Xander had.
“Yeah, he was like, ‘What could my college-dropout cousin who has by all accounts done nothing with her life possibly have to contribute to a meeting on national security that I myself am not allowed to attend?’ and Willow as all, ‘Step off, Dick-Head, or I’ll bleepidy-bleep your bleep!’”
“Faith,” Willow sighed, “I didn’t say that. Why are you always making things up? And what’s with the bleepidy-bleep?”
“It’s better than saying, ‘Josh, you haven’t spoken to me since I was thirteen. Is it the slightest bit possible that I’ve changed since middle school? As for college dropout, did you perhaps notice my town falling into a sinkhole? And as for insignificant, did you perhaps notice that I am on the board of an international corporation? Try getting your information from people who have spoken to me in the last ten years.’”
“I think the second one was better,” said Buffy.
“Ditto,” added Dawn. “And you still didn’t explain the bleeping.”
“Either way,” continued Faith, ignoring Dawn’s comment, “it shut the man up long enough for us to go to the briefing, which in itself was a barrel of laughs.”
“What was it that you said?” Willow asked. “Oh yeah, ‘We’ve got you by the figurative balls and in all honesty, either one of us could have you by the literal balls before anyone in this room had a chance to draw a gun.’”
“Behind me, Red was doing the slow fade into Darth Willow, conjuring a wind to blow papers around the room, flicking the lights on and off, and lowering the temperature by like, ten degrees.” Taking a moment to consider, she added, “it was scary as shit.”
“Not as scary as Tony’s boss,” said Xander. “That man radiated menace.”
“Please,” Dawn countered. “He’s just an overgrown teddy bear. Ziva’s the one who scared me. I’d swear she was a slayer if I didn’t already know she couldn’t be.”
“She even did a spell to check,” inserted Xander. “I wanted to check using the traditional method, but Dawn talked me out of it.”
“More like I confiscated all your knives and wouldn’t let you touch one for the rest of the trip.” Turning to Xander, Dawn added, “I can’t believe you managed to eat that steak with just a fork.”
“Like that’s any different from normal,” complained Buffy.
The room fell silent for a few moments as they each tried to shake the image of Xander’s eating habits from their minds.
“So,” Willow said, breaking the silence, “each of us met one of our long-lost relatives.” After a second, she added, “That’s ironic.”
“Yeah, what are the chances?” asked Xander, with a small glare towards Buffy and Giles.
“I dunno,” Buffy responded innocently.
“Technically only three of us met a long lost relative,” said Dawn. “I wouldn’t have minded meeting some relatives for real.”
“Speak for yourself,” objected Giles. “I am perfectly happy living a life without contact with those who share my genetic material.”
“Seconded,” added Faith. “So what now? Vegas?”
“Nah, Atlantic City,” Xander declared.
“Me and Xander decided that Vegas is too cliché,” added Dawn.
“I don’t know,” Faith said, “there’s something to be said for tradition.”
“What? Does waking up to a stranger in your bed in Atlantic City just not have the same feel as it does in Vegas?” grumbled Giles.
“You’re one to talk, Mister,” complained an incredulous Buffy. “You get remarkably flirty when drunk. I have to watch you all night when we go out drinking because you’re liable to pick up the first floozy you meet.”
“Floozy?” asked Giles with self-righteous anger. The other others edged out of the room in an effort to avoid another skirmish in the ongoing war between Slayer and Watcher.
“Anyone who’d sleep with you would have to be,” Buffy stated with a slight cackle. Pausing in her attack on Giles for a moment, she added, “Excluding my mother, of course. She was under the influence at the time.”
“I’ll ignore that and take the moral highroad here,” Giles replied in a voice that was far from modest.
“There’s no moral highroad for floozies, whether female or male,” Buffy declared. “You sir are a floozy.”
“I’ll admit,” Giles started, “that I tend to be a little amorous when I imbibe alcohol, but that doesn’t make me a floozy. You, on the other hand, tend to go cave girl and participate in kitten poker.”
“There were mitigating circumstances in both those cases. You couldn’t possibly blame me for…”
“Yes?” he asked, waiting for her to finish.
“Screw it. We have gambling to do.”
“Yes. And floozies to sleep with.”