Chapter 36: A New Team of Watchers
Chapter 36: A New Team of Watchers
A/N: It's a lot shorter than usual, but I had to write it quickly for my celebration today.
Warning: I don’t know; maybe language and innuendo somewhere along the way.
Challenge: #4472 ‘Bunny is my what?’
Thanks to my betas: Chrislover, CindyB, and now AshDawnSoulmates. Posted in a big hurry, so some of the betas might have to get back to me later.
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. NCIS characters belong to Donald Bellisario, Don McGill and CBS Paramount Television. Jack Ryan and his friends belongs to Tom Clancy. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.Posted In Honor of the 1,000,000th hit for all my stories on TtH! *high-pitched squeal of excitement*
DC Council Headquarters (aka Summers/Osbourne/Harris home)
The next week…
Abby looked around the private office Buffy kept in her home; it was and wasn’t something she would picture for Buffy. It was almost like she and Ducky got together and created the room, since parts of it had that ‘Old World library-ish’ feel to it. “So what are we here for? It isn’t an NCIS thing, right? Not with just me and Ducky here.”
Shaking her head, Buffy replied, “No, this is a Slayer thing. Oz has already officially joined the Council, but hasn’t received a specific assignment – other than being my back-up. I’ve been allowed to offer the two of you positions with us – assuming you pass the interview process.”
“Do all Council members have to be vetted?” Ducky inquired, studying the young blonde for any signs that her injury still bothered her. Remarkably, she seemed as if she had never been shot. Not even the tiniest grimace of discomfort when she moved that shoulder.
Buffy smirked at the good doctor, knowing what he was doing. She supposed that anyone with a scientific mind couldn’t help themselves. As long as he didn’t try to turn her into a lab rat, she was cool with his curiosity. “All except the original gang. Even the Slayers have to pass the interview,” she said to their surprise. How does a Slayer not pass?
Ducky asked the question first, “What happens if a Slayer doesn’t pass?”
“We bind her abilities, and if necessary, petition the Powers to remove her from the Slayer line,” Buffy explained. The first time they had to do it, it came as quite a surprise that the Powers would help them. It had to be for a good enough reason – in the Powers’ opinion – that they wanted to remove a girl though, and not just because of personality conflicts.
Still shocked that a Slayer – somebody the Council was created to help – might not make it past the interview process, Abby wondered, “Has that ever happened?”
“Twice,” Buffy confirmed sadly. “One girl was too mentally broken, and the other girl was too power hungry.”
“Will they ever get their abilities back?” Ducky asked gently. He could see this was a sore topic for the head Slayer. Most likely, she felt somehow responsible for not being able to help ‘her girls’ without taking away their abilities.
He would have been stunned to hear his thoughts echoed almost verbatim in Buffy’s mind. She absently played with the obligatory globe near her desk. The only thing that marked it as a Slayer’s was what was inside it. Instead of the mini-bar found in similar globes, she had protection charms, holy water and a few smaller weapons, like daggers and stakes.
“Doubtful in Dana’s case; she’s that
unstable. But we are hopeful in the other case. Rona was one of the Sunnydale Potentials, so it kinda feels worse for all of us that we had to do it. After some time has passed, we’ll give her another chance – as per the Powers’ condition for helping us – and if she doesn’t pass again, she’s out for good.” Part of Buffy was still surprised that it hadn’t been Kennedy who went all ‘I’m the best’ on them; she was the one who was so sure she was next in the original line to be Chosen after Faith’s death.
“Wow! So Slayers aren’t infallible? When it comes to slaying, I mean,” Abby clarified. She knew that Buffy was human, and therefore subject to making bad personal decisions. The fact that she had ex-boyfriends would seem to confirm that assumption.
“Sadly, no. But at least now the Council just binds their abilities. In the past, they would have just sent a team to ‘handle’ the situation,” the blonde Slayer spat out venomously. “They actually tried with Faith…twice,” she told them, but held back that the second time, the Council almost got her instead. “It all worked out for the best. She’s a great role model now that she’s calmed down a bit.” The pride in her voice for her sister-Chosen One Slayer was clear to the other two.
Sensing a need for a change of subject, Ducky brought the discussion back to what she previously mentioned, “So what is it you would like us to do for the Council?”
Buffy smiled at him gratefully for pulling her away from some dark memories. She hopped up onto the front of the desk instead of sitting in the chair behind it like a stuffy, tweed-clad Council member, and began to share her vision for the group, “Well, Ducky, you two – as well as Oz – will be Watchers, and your
specific duties would be research and medical training: first aid…that sort of thing,” she added, pointing to the older gentleman. He was in good shape, but more valuable behind the scenes than out in the field.
Excited to become part of the group, Abby just about bounced in place. Actually, after a couple seconds of trying to hold back, that’s exactly what she did. “And mine?” she demanded.
Unable to stop the chuckles bubbling up at the sight, Buffy said, “For right now, we need you and Oz to build a database of demons and other necessary info. We also would like a website that can only be accessed by Council members.”
Abby bit her lip, thinking of all the times she broke into systems that were supposed to be impenetrable. “Well, pretty much any site is hackable by somebody; how secure are you wanting it to be?”
“Oh, it’s not just regular security on it,” Buffy hastened to assure her, “…but we’d like good software, too. We’ll have an added magical component to access. You’ll have to talk to the coven for the exact details, but the part I understood was some kind of aura scanner. Like the magical equivalent of a fingerprint, but with the safety measure so that somebody can’t be coerced or drugged into accessing the site for somebody else.”
At that, Abby almost started drooling at the possibilities. Then she started babbling at light speed while Ducky and Buffy exchanged bemused glances.
“I’m not sure we need to be here for this,” Ducky said with a grin. He gestured to the animated woman and added, “She’s talking to herself at the moment. Why don’t we go to the kitchen for some tea, and you can tell me what’s involved in your interview process?”
Buffy started even as they began to walk out of the room, “It’s mostly just a normal interview, but with human lie detectors and aura readers to make sure that you’re on the up and up.”
“If that’s the case,” Ducky replied. “Have you heard about The Lightman Group here in DC? Several top government agencies use them.”
Surprised that the Council didn’t already know about them, Buffy shook her head. Having a Stateside group, as well as the European one, would be a tremendous asset. The irony would be that this local group would have to be vetted by the other one. That made Buffy giggle, which she then explained to Ducky, who shared in her amusement.
A/N: Ha! Bet you all thought I’d say it was Kennedy who was power-hungry, didn’t you? Rona was my second least-favorite Potential, so when I want a Potential/mini-Slayer besides KenKen to slam, Rona will likely be the one. And the Lie to Me thing was literally as I typed it up. I was going to use mind readers, but then Musie decided that the Council – or at least several top members – wouldn’t have felt comfortable with such an intrusive measure…even for the sake of their security.
Additional Disclaimer: Lie to Me belongs to Samuel Baum, Imagine Entertainment and Fox Television.
A/N2: Next… Hmm, not sure. Hadn’t really planned to work on this story while finishing college. When the milestone thing came up, I thought this would be the best way to celebrate it.