See Your Smile
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon owns "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and related characters; Aaron Sorkin owns "The West Wing" and related characters; I own nothing.Summary:
Buffy silently thanked Lord John Marbury for probably the first and last time for trying to corner her. She didn’t think she might have met Will otherwise.~*~*~
“They put a goat? In your office?” Buffy asked, her hand frozen as she reached for the cream for her coffee.
“Oh, but that’s not the best part,” Will answered with a self-deprecating smile. “C.J. managed to slip some olives in my pocket at one point.”
“And I thought Xander was bad with the tricky welcoming,” Buffy said with a shake of her head as she finished prepping her coffee. She and Will were trading stories about their respective workplaces, although Buffy’s were carefully edited to remove mentions of the supernatural. “Those first few days must have been a blast.”
“You have no idea.”
The restaurant that Will had taken her to was half-full, even at this late hour. Most appeared to be civil servants of some sort, which meant that she and Will stood out in their evening wear from the reception. But the hostess had recognized Will, and had sat them in a semi-private alcove, much to Buffy’s relief. Attention focused on her was the last thing she wanted right now. The food was cheap, but good, and the conversation better. Buffy silently thanked Lord John Marbury for probably the first and last time for trying to corner her. She didn’t think she might have met Will otherwise.
“How long have you been working with the IWC?” Will asked, changing the subject. Ah. Now began the awkward half-truth, half-lies portion of the conversation. She hoped she could get through it without it being too obvious she was leaving things out and making the rest of the evening the fun that wasn’t.
“I did some volunteer work with them in high school and through college,” Buffy replied, starting the story that she almost had memorized at this point. It was technically true in the sense that she hadn’t been paid for her early Slaying days. Not that she was at all bitter about that. “I started working as a guidance counselor at my local high school when that bombing took out most of the old guard. My mentor ended up being one of the highest ranking surviving members, and when he was reforming it, he suggested that I join the board and help steer it in a new direction.”
“So, some nepotism then.”
“Not as much as in politics,” Buffy answered with a snort. “Kennedys, much?”
“True,” Will conceded, sipping his own cup of coffee.
They continued talking until Buffy started to notice that the restaurant was slowly starting to empty. Will noticed this around the same time as well.
“It looks like we’re about to be kicked out,” he observed as he signaled their waitress for the bill.
“Dawn will never let me hear the end of it,” Buffy said, fishing around in her purse for her wallet so that she could pay for her share.
“The joy of little sisters,” Will agreed.
On a whim, Buffy pulled out one of her business cards and flipped it over to write her cell number on the back. “I’m going to be in D.C. for a few more days,” she told Will, holding it out to him. “We should finish our conversation before I have to leave.”
He took it and gave her a warm smile that sent tingles down her spine.
“I’d like that a lot,” he answered quietly, tucking the card into his wallet.
They didn’t say much more to each other as they finished settling the bill and walked outside into the chill fall night. Hailing a cab, she waved good-bye to him as she slipped inside with a smile of her own on her face.