The Best Laid Plans
This was just supposed to be a relatively straightforward recruiting job, with the added slight inconvenience of another organization being involved. Dawn had a suspicion that things were about to get much more complicated.Disclaimer:
Joss Whedon owns "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and related characters; SyFy owns "Warehouse 13" and related characters; I own nothing.Author's Note:
Written for the 2012 August Fic-a-Day.~*~*~
Standing in a small office-type room in Leena’s boarding house, Dawn examined the woman standing calmly in front of her. Years of living with Slayers had tuned her senses to the point where it was very, very
hard for somebody to sneak up on her, but that’s just what this woman had just done while they were standing outside. She tried not to show how much that rattled her.
They were alone in the room. The bodyguard that accompanied Mrs. Frederic was outside, and Leena had closed the door behind her after leading them to this room. What had Giles thrown her into this time? This was just supposed to be a relatively straightforward recruiting job, with the added slight inconvenience of another organization being involved. She had a sneaking suspicion that things were about to get much, much more complicated very quickly.
“Correct me if I’m mistaken, but you are affiliated with the Watchers’ Council, Ms. Summers,” Mrs. Frederic began, taking a seat in the chair behind the desk. Dawn sat down across from her, feeling uncomfortably like she was being called to the principal’s office. “Given your organization’s purpose and given Ms. Donovan’s age, I can only assume you’re here for one reason.”
“If what you’re thinking is that Claudia’s a Slayer, then yes, that’s the primary reason that I’m here,” Dawn answered smoothly, clasping her hands in front of her so she wouldn’t give into the urge to play with her hair and show how nervous she was. “For the last few years, ever since we’ve restructured the Council, we’ve tried to make contact with new Slayers in order to give them the choice whether or not they would like to join us. If they refuse, we try at least give them the knowledge they might need to survive, as well as methods to contact us if a situation arises.”
The older woman didn’t respond, and Dawn internally sighed. Even though it had been over five years since the old guard had been blown to bits by the First, they still were left to deal with repairing their legacy.
“I don’t know what your dealings were with the old Council, Mrs. Frederic, but I assure you, if Claudia doesn’t want training, we’ll leave her alone. But, if she agrees, I’m willing to stay here as her personal Watcher, and help establish a working relationship between our two organizations.”
This was not how Dawn expected her assignment to go. Sure, she figured she’d have to deal with the Regents, but that was after she’d explained things to Claudia. Nowhere in the briefing Giles had given her was there any mention of a Mrs. Frederic, which left Dawn at a loss with how to deal with her. There was nothing in the woman’s face which gave Dawn any insight into what she was thinking or how she was reacting to what she was hearing.
Mrs. Frederic studied Dawn for a moment, before asking, “What do you know about the Regents and the purpose of our organization, Ms. Summers?”
“Only that you’re as old as the Watcher’s Council and have the same obsessive secret-keeping habits as we do,” Dawn answered slowly. “I’ve found mention of agents in several documents in our collection, but nothing too descriptive.”
“Claudia should have returned from town by now,” Mrs. Frederic said, standing up suddenly. “After that, come with me. There’s something I need to show you.”
“What is it?”
Mrs. Frederic gave Dawn an enigmatic smile. “A world of endless wonder,” she answered cryptically before opening the door to reveal a young woman standing outside.
“Hey, Mrs. F. Leena said that there was somebody here to see me?” she asked. Claudia Donovan looked exactly like the photo Giles had included in Dawn’s briefing packet, except that the stripe in her hair was a vivid green rather than a dark purple. She looked at Dawn for a moment before turning her attention back to Mrs. Frederic.
“Claudia, this is Dawn Summers from the International Watcher’s Council. I believe she has something she’d like to discuss with you.”
“IWC? I was wondering when you’d finally show up,” Claudia said with a shrug. “You here to tell me about being a Chosen One and fighting the forces of darkness?”
Dawn resisted the urge to close her eyes and pull a Giles by pinching the bridge of her nose. Of course she already knew. Nothing about this assignment was going the way she’d expected it to. Why should it start going to plan now?