DANIELLE FRANCES DUCREST
Disclaimer: Highlander: The Series
characters/concepts belong to Davis/Panzer Productions, Gaumont Télèvision, and Rysher Entertainment. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
characters/concepts belong to Joss Whedon, Marti Noxon, Mutant Enemy, Twentieth Century Fox Productions, UPN/Warner Bros. Studios, Sandollar Television, and Kuzui Enterprises. All other characters/concepts belong to me. Any copyright infringements were not intended. This story was written for entertainment and not for profit.
Timing: Takes place a few hours after "Checkpoint" on Buffy.
Spoilers: Buffy S5 episode "Checkpoint", "An Immortal Life, Trials Past: Seacouver and Sunnydale, 1999: A Day in the Life".
Author's Note: This is a semi-"What If?" and a peak at what Season Five will be like in the "An Immortal Life" universe.
Thanks go to my beta-reader/editor, Grossclout, the Editor From Hell. According to him, though, he found nothing wrong with this story and therefore didn't do any editing, which I found astonishing. You decide for yourself if Grossclout's assessment was correct.
Summary: A little glimpse into how a conversation taking place directly after the season five episode "Checkpoint" would look like in the "An Immortal Life" universe. Quentin Travers gets a lecture from his superior that he's not going to forget easily. Who's his superior? Second Tribune Patricia Elmwood, of course.
Quentin Travers, Head Watcher of the Watchers Council of London, was not a happy man. The High Council's sojourn in Sunnydale had not gone well. Buffy Summers and her little band of friends were a nuisance and continuously went against the Council's wishes whenever it suited them. To think, the Slayer had actually had the nerve to command them, as if they served her and not the other way around!
And yet…he'd gone along with it. They all had. As Quentin calmed down, he sank into the chair behind his desk. He'd been silently fuming during the plane trip back to London, and only then, in the confines of his office, did he admit the truth to himself. Like Summers said, she had power. And while the High Council was at her mercy, each member standing within easy reach of her, she could command them easily. Every effort they had made in the past to restrict her, test her, and control her had failed. Each time, she had beaten them back until they had been forced to retreat.
He could try to send more teams to Sunnydale to deal with the too bossy Slayer. He could simply ignore her request that the Council share all of its knowledge about Glorificus, along with her request that they reinstate Rupert Giles to his previous position in the Council. But there wouldn't be any point. She'd beat them down time and time again.
Best to preserve their dignity and wait for the best opportunity to strike.
His secretary's voice filtered through the intercom sitting on his desk. "Mr. Travers, there is a Patricia Elmwood here to see you."
Quentin's blood went cold. A visit for Watcher Society Tribune Patricia Elmwood never ended well for him. After the treatment he and the High Council had been given on the Hellmouth, Quentin was not in the mood for whatever Tribune Elmwood had in store for him. Unfortunately, refusing to see the woman would spell out the end of his career. Quentin told his secretary to send her in.
The door opened at the far end of his office and Elmwood slipped inside. Quentin rose to his feet as she approached. Her expression was one of deathly calm. Despite his hatred of her and everything she represented, Quentin felt goosebumps form along his arms. He could feel himself start to tremble, regardless of his extreme efforts to force himself to remain still. Not even Buffy Summers could hope to inspire such a reaction from him.
She seemed to size him up and found him lacking. "Good afternoon, Mr. Travers."
He gave her a curt nod. "Ms. Elmwood."
"I assume you know why I'm here."
Quentin took a deep breath. "If it is about the Council's recent trip to Sunnydale, then it is none of your concern, Ms. Elmwood. It was in no way related to Immortal affairs-"
"No way related to Immortal affairs my ass." Quentin started. Elmwood didn't curse. At least, she never had at any point during their lengthy acquaintance…until now.
That was when he knew that he was 'screwed', to quote a popular Sunnydale phrase.
Elmwood continued, "All trips to Sunnydale, California must be approved by the Tribunal, and in no way may the Watchers Council interfere with the lives of the Immortals living on the Hellmouth during the time they spend in Sunnydale. It seems you have forgotten both points, Quentin.
Quentin flinched but quickly recovered, hoping she hadn't seen how much her words effected him. "I assure you, Ms. Elmwood, that we had good reason for not informing you of our decision to visit Sunnydale."
"Is that so?" she prompted, glaring at him as she crossed her arms.
"Y-yes." He silently cursed himself for stuttering. "The Slayer and her Watcher had turned to us for information. We needed to see her personally in order to determine if we could trust her with that information-"
"-Then why not ask her to come here, to London?"
"Ms. Summers would not have agreed to that condition. Her insolence led her to quit the Council some years ago-"
"Ah, yes. I remember hearing about that. I believe you refused to give her the help she required concerning her lover? If I were in her shoes, I would have quit this wretched Council of yours, too. Why wouldn't she, especially when you'd tried to kill her only a few months before? Refusing to find a cure for her boyfriend's illness was the icing on the cake."
Quentin opened his mouth to protest when she raised a hand. "Forget it. How you interact with your Slayers is none of the Tribunal's concern." Even as she said this, it was obvious to Quentin that she wished it were the Tribunal's concern. He swallowed nervously. He would do everything in his power to make sure that never happened. The power that the Watcher Society's Tribunal had over the Watcher's Council was considerable enough already.
She wasn't finished-far from it. "What is the Tribunal's concern is the Council's actions on and around the Hellmouth. According to my sources, the Council not only wished to determine if the Slayer and her former Watcher were trustworthy, but they also interrogated the Slayer's friends - including one Alexander LaVelle Harris."
She rested her hands on his desk and leaned forward. "Now it was the Tribunal's understanding that the Council understood the meaning of non-interference into the lives of Immortals."
"We asked Mr. Harris questions regarding the Slayer," Quentin said in defense. "If he did not have a relationship with the Slayer, he would not have been included in our investigation."
"That is not my concern," she told him. "What is my concern is that you disobeyed our wishes. These are the Tribunal's orders: No member of the Council, other than Rupert Giles, is allowed on the Hellmouth. If any other person or thing with any ties to the Council is found on the Hellmouth acting under the Council's orders, the Tribunal will hold the Head Watcher of the Watcher's Council fully responsible. If there is a circumstance when the Watcher's Council is well and truly needed in Sunnydale, then the Council must request the Tribunal's permission to go to the Hellmouth."
"If Alexander LaVelle Harris and other Immortals associated with him are interfered with by the Council, on or off the Hellmouth, or by others acting under the Council's orders, they will have to answer to the Watcher Tribunal, and the Head Watcher will be held fully responsible."
"Now, is that clear, Mr. Travers?" Elmwood asked him.
Quentin nodded, eager to get her out of the building before she could issue out any more orders. "It is."
"Good. I hope you will not disappoint us, Mr. Travers."
She left, leaving behind a very angry, yet shaken, Quentin Travers.