Everything either belongs to Joss or it should, no infringement is intended and no profit is to be made. When you get right down to it I’m not really worth suing anyway unless you want a share of an underpaid civil servants wages and it just wouldn’t be worth the hassle trust me.
Mayor’s Office – Sunnydale – March 8th 1999
Richard Wilkins was sitting at his desk laughing at the newpaper funny pages as his vampire aide known as Mister Trick dropped the two swords in front of him. ‘Check these out’ the suave vampire advised as the Mayor offered them scant attention.
‘I just love the Family Circus’ Wilkins declared, still laughing. ‘That P.J., he's getting to be quite a handful’ he added before paying more notice of the finely crafted blades, putting the newspaper down on his desk next to the swords. ‘Well... I haven't seen anything like this in, uh...’ he said, looking over at his always nervous though suitably attentive Deputy Mayor Allan Finch. ‘Well, a good long while’ he continued before redirecting his attention towards the vampire once more. ‘Where's the owner of these fine implements?’ he asked.
‘The common term is “slain”. But I've been seeing this breed around’ Trick replied. ‘Are we expecting any trouble?’ he queried.
Wilkins ignored the question. ‘Do you like Family Circus?’ he asked Trick instead.
‘I like Marmaduke’ Trick told him.
‘Oh! Eww’ Wilkins responded with a shudder. ‘He's always on the furniture’ the Mayor said disparagingly. ‘Unsanitary’ he opined.
‘Nobody can tell Marmaduke what to do’ Trick noted. ‘That's my kinda dog’ he said with a smile.
‘I like to read Cathy’ Finch spoke up, the opinions of the other two on that neatly summed up by the fact they just looked at him. ‘So, uh, what about these swords?’ the Deputy Mayor asked nervously. ‘What should we do about that?’ he asked, trying to change the subject from his choice in cartoons.
‘Well, let's just keep an eye out’ Wilkins replied, checking out the swords more carefully. They were definitely the type carried by the El Eliminati cult loyal to that jerk Balthazar, he decided. ‘We've got the dedication coming up in a few days’ he continued. ‘We certainly can't have anything interfering with that’ he said seriously.
‘Sorry to disappoint’ a voice interrupted a split second before a crossbow bolt coming from the next room slammed into the chest of Mister Trick, turning him to dust immediately. As Wilkins spun in his chair and Finch yelped and dived for cover a man appeared with a now empty pistol crossbow in one hand and a still rather dangerous looking silenced automatic pistol in the other. ‘If I'm right about the timing you aren't invulnerable yet’ the stranger said in a British accent, pointing the automatic at Wilkins.
‘What do you want?’ Wilkins asked, staring at the interloper while his ever-courageous Deputy cowered and whimpered.
‘I want you to die’ Wesley replied and shot him twice in the chest with his Beretta before planting another round right between his eyes, blowing the Mayor’s brains out, the hollow-point bullets getting the job done right. ‘So much easier than last time’ he said dispassionately as Wilkins slumped over his desk, his blood soaking into his newspaper. After working towards his goal of ascension for a century the Mayor had looked as much surprised and annoyed as he did scared before the first bullet went in. ‘The best laid plans of mice and men go oft awry’ Wesley quoted. ‘If you're feeling hard-done-by you didn't go out all that much better as a gigantic snake either’ he told the corpse.
Finch looked suitably petrified as Wesley now trained the pistol on him. ‘Please don't’ he pleaded.
‘If you hadn't been knowingly working for a man in league with the forces of darkness I might have been more inclined towards mercy’ Wesley responded flatly, ‘but as it is you should at least draw some comfort from the fact this will be far quicker and hurt much less than a wooden stake being driven into your chest’ he told Finch before giving him the same treatment as Wilkins received. The Deputy Mayor slumped to the floor, a puddle of his own blood forming around him and ruining the tasteful and expensive carpeting.
Wesley looked around. ‘Better to make sure’ he said to himself before emptying the rest of the bullets in his pistol into the Mayor, the silencer ensuring it made little noise as he fired repeatedly. He had been careful to wear gloves whilst loading it so there were no fingerprints on the ejected brass and ballistics would have trouble tracing the gun because it hadn't actually been manufactured yet, if the investigation even got that far. ‘My muscle-memory and reflexes are off’ Wesley said to himself, slightly annoyed by the poor grouping of shots he had managed even at point-blank range ‘I'd better sign up to a local gun-club and get myself back up to speed before I miss the mark completely’ he decided.
‘Right, what’s next?’ he asked himself, putting away his weapons. ‘Oh right, I had a table booked at that little out-of-the-way restaurant’ he remembered, turning to leave. As he left he wondered what the Sunnydale Police Department would make of all the occult literature and bric-a-brac they would find when they searched the Mayor's office for clues. They’d probably cover it all up like normal he reasoned after a short deliberation, it was amazing what could happen in this town without causing a ruckus he knew.
If I'd arrived a few years earlier I could have dealt with that prick Seidel before he sent Fred to Pylea, Wesley thought later as he enjoyed his bouillabaisse in the French Restaurant that was almost hidden in a back alley. Once he had Faith and Buffy properly trained up he intended to retrieve the book containing the spell needed to open a portal to the hell dimension and lead the slayers through on a rescue mission. At least he knew Fred would still be fine there for now, if living the life of a runaway slave. The butterfly effects of the changes he was making to this timeline would be extremely unlikely to reach the Pylea any time soon so he didn’t have to run the risk of rushing things and making a whole new set of mistakes.
Wesley put down his spoon and reached for his glass of white wine, it was a little drier than he would have preferred but for Sunnydale this was as good a dining experience as could be found and the chef, if not the waiter who had served him, was actually French. Wesley had considered arriving in Sunnydale a little earlier and putting a few bullets into that traitor Gwendolyn Post before she caused any grief but her appearance hadn't really caused any serious log-term problems he had decided after considering the matter. Why not let her enjoy her brief moment of glory then suffer her crushing failure as had happened before?
Somewhere in the multiverse the other Wesley Wyndam-Pryce was now stranded on a desert island with very little to eat but a vast ocean full of assorted shrimp. It was unlikely he was enjoying his seafood dining experience quite as much the Wesley enjoying his fish stew in Sunnydale was but unfortunately fate was as moral as a hurricane, as a certain blue-haired demon with a penchant for extremely amoral philosophy would have put it, Wesley contemplated as he put down his wine glass again and returned his attention to the bouillabaisse.
The next day Buffy didn’t know why Giles had asked Willow to pass on the message she should come to the library and she was none the wiser when she found him there talking to a younger man wearing jeans, timberland boots and a worn-in brown leather jacket. Even when she heard the strangers accent she certainly wasn’t thinking “Watcher” which was why she looked so surprised when Giles introduced him as such. When she had left her friends they had been talking about the murder of both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor which had occurred the night before and was all over the press. The rumour was that it was a gangland hit with all the hallmarks of a professional assassination according to leaks from the less than professional Sunnydale PD. There was talk of corruption in high places and conspiracy theories regarding the ever depressed land values in the area being somehow involved, maybe the Mayor had been taking kickbacks and had crossed the wrong people?
‘Wesley Wyndam-Pryce’ the new arrival said, holding out his hand to her. ‘You must be Buffy Summers’ he added, smiling.
Buffy looked at the hand suspiciously. ‘Is he evil’ she asked Giles.
‘Appearances to the contrary it seems not’ Giles replied. He had been hoping the new watcher the council would send wouldn't be totally repressed and hidebound by tradition given the nature of their charges but he had at least expected them to be wearing a suit and having bothered to shave.
evil’ Buffy stated, checking out the new watcher more carefully, there was a vibe about him that was strangely unsettling too.
‘Looks can be deceiving so I’d caution you not to judge by appearances’ Wesley advised. ‘I believe Gwendolyn Post had you completely fooled and from what I can remember of meeting her back in London on occasion she was a neat-freak to the point of OCD’ he recalled.
Narrowing her eyes Buffy turned back to Giles. ‘He talks funny’ she said, ‘by which I mean he says things like “neat-freak” instead of something British’ she noted, increasingly suspicious of the stranger.
‘Perhaps I should have made an effort to fit in with your expectations and accused the late Mrs Post of being fastidious and tidy to the point of absurdity instead?’ Wesley suggested.
‘Now you see, that
I could have handled’ Buffy told him. ‘You've checked this guy out with the Council right?’ she asked Giles.
‘I have’ Giles confirmed, ‘his credentials are impeccable, if not his wardrobe’ he said, casting another disapproving look at the younger man's attire. ‘The only point of contention was that they told me Wesley Wyndam-Pryce wore glasses but that was cleared up when he took his contact lenses out to show me’ he said.
‘They're more convenient’ Wesley said, ‘I've only just started using them however after many years of wasting much of my day polishing spectacles’ he said, noting that Giles was doing that very thing right that moment having just taken them off. ‘So can you let me know what happened on last night’s patrol?’ he asked the slayer.
Buffy looked to Giles to get confirmation she should answer, after it was given with a nod she turned back to Wesley. ‘Vampires’ she said simply.
‘Could you give me any more details?’ Wesley requested, entirely redundantly as it happened as he had been there watching from a distance, out-of-sight of the girls. After they had staked the opposition, and Mister Trick, who had also been watching, had snatched up the swords he had tailed Trick back to the Mayor’s office and then seized the opportunity to deal with the situation before it escalated.
‘Killed 'em’ Buffy added.
Wesley sighed, he had better play along. ‘Anything else?’ he asked.
‘Swords, one of them had swords’ Buffy remembered.
‘A vampire with swords’ Wesley responded, as if thinking. ‘One long, one short?’ he queried. ‘Jewel encrusted?’
‘Yes’ Buffy confirmed, surprised he had possibly known that.
‘El Eliminati’ Wesley said confidently, ‘15th Century vampire duelling cult that became acolytes of a powerful demon named Balthalzar’ he said. ‘He led them from Europe to the New World and they set themselves up right here which is why I thought of them’ he explained. ‘You'll likely find a reference to them in your books if you want to know more’ he told Giles. ‘A century ago they were driven out of the region and it’s believed Balthalzar was killed at that time although naturally we shouldn’t be completely trusting of what’s written in unreliable dusty old tomes.’
Buffy raised her eyebrows. ‘Have they like radically changed what they teach at Watcher School since you went there?’ she asked Giles.
‘Seemingly’ Giles replied, unreliable dusty old tomes indeed he thought, resisting the urge to scowl.
‘From what I read of Balthalzar he possessed an Amulet that was purported to give him great strength’ Wesley told them. ‘Upon his death it came into the possession of a wealthy landowner named Gleaves who was buried with it’ he continued. ‘I'd theorise that the Eliminati are trying to recover it, perhaps for sentimental value’ he reasoned.
‘And you think this amulet might represent a threat?’ Giles asked.
‘Not unless the rumours of Balthalzar’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, which is possible I suppose’ Wesley replied. ‘In any case it's probably best if Buffy and Faith recover it first’ he said. ‘I also think I should get to see them in action so I'll tag along tonight when they go to fetch it from the Gleaves Tomb’ he said.
‘Are you sure you want to come along?’ Buffy asked, ‘I mean vampires with swords, could be risky’ she pointed out.
‘I think you'll find me to be a hardy combatant who can cope with a few of the undead armed with antiquated weaponry if things turn rough’ Wesley replied confidently.
Buffy sighed, he was going to get a rude awakening living on the hellmouth she thought as footsteps heralded the appearance of the other slayer.
‘Ah. This is perhaps Faith?’ Wesley asked as she approached with a quizzical expression on her face.
‘Who's this?’ Faith asked.
‘New Watcher’ Buffy explained.
Faith looked Wesley up and down. ‘Really?’ she asked doubtfully, if I met him in a bar I might considering screwing that she thought, neat threads she decided. Probably a fucking wimp under them though she expected.
‘Yes really’ Giles confirmed.
Faith shrugged. ‘Okay what's your story?’ she asked Wesley. ‘I mean I've known a few watchers and you'd stand out in a line-up’ she told him.
‘You might have more experience of being put in a police line-up than me Miss Lehane’ Wesley replied sardonically, ‘but I guess we'll have to get to know each other better later on tonight when I find out how well you've retained your training’ he said.
‘Tonight?’ Faith queried, looking to Buffy.
‘Our new watcher has already given us our orders for this evening’ Buffy explained.
‘Orders?’ Faith responded with a dismissive snort.
‘I just want you to indulge in a spot of grave robbing and slay any vampires you run into doing it, you'll love it I'm sure’ Wesley told her with a chuckle.
‘You know whenever Giles sends us on a mission he says please and if we do well he gives us both a cookie’ Buffy told the new watcher sarcastically.
Wesley frowned. ‘Okay, but if you decide you'd rather have a beer instead like I plan to do afterwards just let me know’ he replied.
‘The legal age to drink in this country is twenty-one’ Giles protested.
‘Well if either of you haven't got good quality fake ID's yet let me know and I’ll see what my contacts in LA can rustle up’ Wesley told the slayers who were both now staring at him incredulously.
‘I like him’ Faith told Buffy.
‘I think he's evil’ Buffy replied.
Note from the Author:Mayor Richard Wilkins, the future snake demon Olvikan (in the original timeline anyway) had run Sunnydale since it was founded. He was immortal but would only become invulnerable in the last hundred days before his ascension. Wesley blew his brains out just before this was about to happen (it did so in canon later on in the same episode where he was enthusing about The Family Circus). If you're wondering about the relative ease with which Wesley got into the Mayor's Office one of the vampiric El Eliminati dueling cult serving the demon Balthazar (long-time foe of Wilkins) managed it too, just with less success.
Mister Trick was an unusually sophisticated and intelligent vampire that worked for Kakistos and later Mayor Wilkins. When the El Eliminati assassin failed to kill Wilkins in episode 3.14 Bad Girls Trick quipped that he should have bought an Uzi instead of swords, Wesley did perfectly well with a silenced Beretta though).
Sunnydale Deputy Mayor (and Wilkins lackey) Allan Finch was accidentally killed by Faith during Bad Girls. Wesley might have been loathe to kill his earlier self but I doubt Finch would have been treated so mercifully.