Bell-tower of Cleveland
Bell-tower of Cleveland Disclaimer: Faith, Giles and Andrew belong to Joss Whedon and co. The baatezu belong to WotC (I think). I don’t own either.
Note: This story takes place after my previous story, “Dawn makes new friends” that may be read to better understand this one.
One fine afternoon, when Buffy was picking Dawn up from school, and Xander with Melusine were double-dating with Willow and Kennedy, Giles finally had some private time for himself. Naturally, he decided to use that time for a good cup of tea and some relaxation, without, say, listening to Andrew complain about them neglecting his magical skills, and-
There was the sound of the opening door. “Who is it?” Giles called out – and blinked. Standing in the doorway was a tall, rather feminine figure, dressed in professional clothes... that didn’t quite fit her thin frame.
“Hello,” the newcomer smiled with her lips alone and not very well at that. “My name is Andraste Furiae, and I would like to make a deal with you.”
For several minutes Giles just stared at Andraste, until he finally spoke. “I’m sorry, but if you’re looking for Melusine, or if you know her-“
“Melusine works in other areas. I specialize in property laws,” Andraste stared back, impassionate. “Recently, you have acquired a new piece of property – an abandoned bell tower. We would like to purchase it from you.”
“Um,” Giles said wisely, feeling himself get a bit too far out of his depth, but fortunately, he was saved in the nick of time.
“G-man!” Faith emerged from the depths of the HQ, waving around a short sword in a rather threatening manner. “I know that nowadays I am a good person and all, but if some bastard will ever permit Andrew to use any sort of ranged weapon, especially a crossbow, ever again, I-“ she stopped, finally noticing Giles’s interlocutrix. “And who’s this?”
“That’s Andraste, from Wolfram & Hart, I presume,” Giles said carefully, eyeing the short sword that by now got stuck in their coffee table once again. “She wants to purchase the broken-down tower, you know, the one got thanks to Dawn.”
“Right,” Faith said sagely, turning to face the lawyer. “How much do you initially offer?”
Andraste shrugged delicately, and wrote the number down on a piece of paper.
Faith’s eyebrows shot up, and not in a good way. “That tower,” she said calmly, “is located closely to the school, where some of our people still have to go. Try again.”
Andraste gave Faith a now-thoughtful look and wrote another number, albeit not that higher than the first.
Faith’s expression didn’t waver. “We’re not asking what for you are going to use this tower. You ought to try again.”
Once again, Andraste smiled with her mouth open, this time revealing her teeth, which weren’t particularly human. “Don’t get too greedy, Slayer,” she said coolly. “This tower isn’t all that expensive after all, or in a good condition.”
“I recognize these teeth,” Faith shot back. “Parthenoe, whom Kakistos had turned, had such teeth. You’re a siren, aren’t you?”
“I,” Andraste spoke, and the temperature in the room dropped noticeably, “am an erinyes of the baatezu, not some pagan daemon-“
“In which case, we do have a problem,” Giles abruptly interrupted, startling the two women. “The Watchers’ Council has certain procedures, when it comes to dealing with your kind, which includes, amongst other things, placing you under a geas.”
Andraste whirled around, giving Giles a look of death (though not literally), but Giles held firm. “Don’t give me that look,” he said firmly, used to receive it from all sorts of people, “this was the procedure in the Watchers’ council for a long time now – that’s why the First Evil tried to get rid of us, by the way. Either you accept it, or no deal.”
“I’ll think about it,” Andraste rasped, picked up her belongings and left.
“Why do I have the feeling,” Faith muttered, turning to Giles, “that our lives just turned even more complicated than before?”To be continued...