In which Giles admonishes Buffy for not reading...
...her email, and other subjects are discussed.
5/3 12:00 PM
There was a knock at the door just before Buffy poked her head in. "Ah, Buffy. Come in!"
Buffy quickly slipped in, without even telling Anya she had left. "If I wasn't so sure she'd do something terrible to me for it, I'd toss those notecards out the window. Was it really so bad when she didn't have them?"
"With you lot, no. But if Downing Street or the White House calls..." He trailed off. "Let's just say that we need to keep the quid-pro-quo as it is, and Anya's choice of phrasing often-times angers others."
She gave him a wry grin. "Anyone ever told you that you can really understate the obvious?"
"It is a talent that has been held by all of the Gileses --" he cringed "-- Since the beginning of time."
It was nice to joke for a while, but Buffy had more serious matters to talk about. "How's Willow doing? She told me she's not doing well, and I can't get through to her. I just don't get her magic stuff on the level like you do. Giles, I'm worried."
"She isn't doing as well as I had hoped, but she is doing much better than I feared. She's seeing the Coven again, and she's also frightened of backsliding -- which means that she's going to make every effort not to -- so I'm not terribly worried. Though, just in case..."
He held up a hand and a ball of green fire came into being and then just as quickly disappeared.
Buffy blinked in surprise. She'd never seen her watcher display such a strong show of magic. "Wow, Giles. Impressive."
She crossed her arms and sat down in the chair in front of his desk. Despite his raised eyebrow, she rested her feet on the solid wood, mindful of papers. "She won't talk to me. She's distancing herself because she said it's harder to keep control when she's around us. I just hate feeling so helpless!"
"Buffy..." He paused, then smiled the smile he wore when she was being petulant and he was annoyed. "Have you spoken to her about this?"
"Yes," she snapped. "She's saying that she's losing part of her essence or something, and that the more she's around slayers, the more she becomes them."
Buffy let out a frustrated sigh. This wasn't coming out well at all. "I need something to do, Giles. I'm getting restless. I need a big bad I can go after and pummel."
Giles sighed. "We can send you out on field duty, if you like. I'm sure Faith wouldn't mind a less hectic existence for a few months after her recent hospitalization."
All she could do was blink. "Faith was hospitalized? She got to fight to a point where she was hurt? That is so not fair!"
She realized she made absolutely no sense, but the itching under her skin and the need to release energy was making her antsy for something.
Giles took off his glasses. "Buffy," he said, "There was a memorandum. You would have gotten it -- as did everyone else -- via the electronic mail system."
He was of the opinion that it was really too bad that it hadn't worked out between her and Malfoy; at least she could be bothering him at this juncture.
Buffy sent him an exasperated look. "You know I don't check that thing. When Dawn emails, she has the sense to call me to tell me she emailed, but then tells me what she said in the email anyway so I don't bother. No one tells me anything--like how you have a girlfriend. Where was that memo?"
"In your email," he said wryly. "And she's not my girlfriend. Not yet, anyway."
"And I guess the scary dude with the peg leg and half a nose was mentioned in an email too? We're just in the age of the geek, aren't we?"
"Yes, Mr. Moody was, and yes, we are. And before you ask, it's because it's terribly convenient."
Buffy wanted to point out that it wasn't convenient if no one read the emails, but apparently that was just her. "Yeah, well, he freaks me out and I still need to shovel-talk your woman. When will they be by next?"
"When will who be by? I am unsure when Andromeda will be by, but since she's Draco Malfoy's Aunt and a member of the coven, I would assume that she will be back at some point relatively soon. As for Mr. Moody, he's bringing his slayer in to speak to us this weekend."
"His... slayer?" Her jaw dropped. "Oh my God, Giles, tell me you didn't make him a watcher."
"Buffy, He was already acting in that capacity... And we need more people with experience. You don't get much more experienced than him."
Buffy ultimately had little say in the watchers hired on, because her job was to hit things, not read about them, but now she thought Giles had gone over the edge a little bit. "Okay, this started off as an intervention for Willow, but now it's aiming towards you. Are we really that desperate?"
"Have you sparred with any of the girls that we currently let patrol?"
"I have to hold back, Giles. I can go full out with the older ones like Mac and Kasie, or with the ones who were Potentials before we released the essence, but I can't all out rail on them."
"Exactly. Moody was a training officer for several years, and was one of the first men to be in the SAS. He's got training in spades, and if his great-granddaughter is anything to go by, he knows what he's doing. I had Vi run her through her paces when she was here, and she reports that she hardly had to hold back at all, and Verity was only just called in February."
Buffy blinked, trying to understand what Giles was telling her. "You want me to beat the crap out of scary knock off pirate's great-granddaughter?"
"No, I want you to be able to spar with all of the girls as if they've been doing this for as long as you have. I know you know that slayers are supposed to have the strength and skill to --"
Buffy cut him off. "-- hunt the vampires and stop the spread of their blah blah blah..."
"Yes, exactly. How many would you send out against a vampire now? Aside from Mac, Kasie, and the girls who were with us in Sunnydale?"
She was very quiet.
"To be perfectly honest," he said, "A number of the slayers we have out patrolling now aren't ready for it. And we need to get them up to scratch and quickly."
"You want me to stop holding back." She hadn't considered that. When she'd trained the potentials, it was out of necessity and a time crunch. "Am I too easy on them?"
"Perhaps not the very youngest. But you and the older girls are the only things we have that are comparable to what they'll be fighting. I'd much rather they were prepared than send what's left of them home to their families, provided they have any."
She saw the logic in that. "But how do we prepare them? I learned by going out there and fighting the evil things, Giles, and so did the potentials at the finale battle, but I can't justify sending these girls out there. Maybe we could pair all the slayers, say the ones over 16 with older slayers and have them work one on one?"
"That is not a bad idea, but they should be sparring with more than just one of the older girls. Every one of you has her own style, and the younger girls need to be able to hold their own against any of you, and by extension, anything else they may come across."
He smiled. "And I'd not try to give Andy the shovel speech... She may decide that you look better without hair and with a hump."
Buffy threw her hands up. "Why does no one have faith in my ability to give the shovel speech?"
Giles, also exasperated, responded, "I take it back. Please do. Seeing as how I have already received it from Teddy, it would only be fair. Do be sure to be close to something large to duck behind when you do, however."
"And it's going to be a damn good speech, too," she said with a pout. "And you never gave me an answer of what to do with Willow. Is there anything I can do to help?"
He sighed. "I'm uncertain, but at this point there's not much we can do for her that isn't already being done. Perhaps approaching the coven -- or indeed, Andromeda, after you deliver your very specific disclaimer -- about anything you and the girls can be doing to help her might be your best option. I will ask as well, the next time I see her."
Buffy nodded. "All right then." She turned to leave, but quickly spun around. "The girls have been getting antsy about some sort of stalker? Do I need to skip the speech and hit this guy over the head with a shovel?"
"You may molest him in any way you see fit that does not endanger his life, or require him to seek medical attention. He is one of the old council's wetworks people, and wants a job, and doesn't understand certain things. Once he does, he could be a very valuable employee, but until then..."
She looked at her watcher strangely. "Wetworks? As in people who work with water and other wet things?"
Giles sighed. There was no way she couldn't know that particular euphemism. "Wet as in blood, Buffy. You do recall the team that was sent for Faith after she woke up, correct?"
Her eyebrows went up. "Oh. I just referred to them as "those guys who were sent after me that one time" in my head. On that note, are you sure I can't do something that would endanger his life or make him seek medical attention. Squid pro quote or whatever?"
"Has he done something to warrant a 'quid pro quo' response?"
"At this moment? No. But if he comments on my hair or shoes at our meeting, all bets are off. Thanks Giles!"
Buffy slipped out of the office and quietly shut the door behind her.