Joss Whedon owns "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and related characters; SyFy owns "Warehouse 13" and related characters; I own nothing.~*~*~
Rupert Giles knew that his youngest surrogate daughter was less than pleased with her new assignment. She might not have voiced her dissatisfaction, but from the loud sighing and the false enthusiasm she showed when leaving for South Dakota, he could infer her true feelings. He knew that both she and Buffy--along with the rest of the Scoobies, to a certain extent--believed the task of being a Watcher to Claudia Donovan a relatively easy one. Only Rupert knew the real reason why Dawn had been sent there when she had been.
James MacPherson, his old friend and former agent to the warehouse where Dawn was moving, had resurfaced these past few weeks. And despite the fond memories he had of both James and his former partner, Artie, back when he was working at the British Museum, Rupert was under no illusion of how dangerous James was now. Rupert needed somebody reliable there who would be willing to act if the situation with James because out of hand, as well as somebody who wouldn’t immediately draw James’ suspicions to the true nature of the Council. Dawn had been his first--and truly only--choice to go.
“Giles, phone for you!” Xander yelled down the hallway of their main office a day after Dawn had left. Sighing--he had a good idea who was calling--he waited for the call to be transferred to his line.
“Rupert Giles speaking,” he answered as soon as the red light began to blink.
“Rupert, old friend, how are you?” James MacPherson asked. His voice was pleasant on the surface, but Rupert could hear a dangerous undercurrent. His surveillance of the warehouse was better than Rupert had expected if he was calling this soon after Dawn’s arrival.
“I’ve been better, James,” he answered honestly, leaning back in his chair. “Although I’m surprised to hear from you. I was under the impression that you were on the run.”
“Well, you should know that sometimes things change, Rupert,” James answered with a short laugh. “Speaking of surprises, though: I wasn’t aware that your organization had an official relationship with the Regents. I was under the impression that the Council left them alone.” James only had a vague understanding of what the Council did, unless he had managed to uncover more about its purpose since leaving the Warehouse. Ruppert rubbed his temples and reminded himself to go over security both mundane and magical with Xander, Buffy, and Willow once this call was over. One could never be too cautious when it came to James MacPherson.
“We’re under new management as you can imagine after that bombing in 2002,” Rupert answered cautiously. He would have to play this carefully, so as not to put Dawn in too much danger, while still getting his message to James.
“You didn’t tell the Regents, you sly dog!” James chortled under his breath. “What if they send her back, though? You and I both know how stuck in the mud they can be. And I’ve heard that it’s dangerous to be associated with the warehouse these days. Strange and dangerous artifacts surfacing more and more frequently,” James continued, a hint of threat in his voice. It was time to bring out the big guns, to quote his charges.
“What I’m sure the Regents will understand is that if our representative stays, if something were to happen to either the warehouse or its staff, they would have the full support of the Council in pursuing those responsible,” Rupert answered, his voice dropping and becoming a little colder. “We take the safety of our members and our associates very seriously, as I’m sure you can imagine. We’re also very efficient at tracking and neutralizing threats, especially if they target somebody as central to the organization as Dawn Summers is.” There was a pause on the other end.
“Are you threatening me, Rupert?” James asked in an icy voice.
“I’m merely informing you of how the situation stands,” Rupert answered in an equally cold voice. “Now, unless there is anything else you would like to discuss, I have work to return to.”
“Very well,” James said. “Have a good day.” He hung up, leaving Rupert listening to the dial tone. With a sigh, he got to his feet and opened the door.
“Xander?” he called out. “Can get a trace on where my call originated came from and write it down? I have some business to attend to.”
“No sweat, G-man,” Xander replied. “Consider that call tracked.” Giles smiled slightly and closed the door. He would most likely be getting another call soon, this time either from the Regents themselves, or from their employee, Mrs. Frederic. Until then, he had his day job to turn his attention to.