Raise Your Glass
Joss Whedon owns "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and related characters; Aaron Sorkin owns "The West Wing" and related characters; I own nothingSummary:
What starts out as a way to avoid talking to Lord John Marbury has the possibility turn into something more.~*~*~
Carefully sipping her one allotted glass of wine, Buffy scanned the room looking for any possible escape route. She was in Washington, D.C. on Council business and had found herself roped into some sort of event being held at the White House. She was sure Xander had put Giles up to this somehow. Her money would have been on Dawn, but her little sister was here as well, talking with some advisor to the president, leaving Buffy to fend for herself. Which was why she was only allowing herself one glass of wine tonight. Any more and she’d be drunk in no time from sheer boredom.
“Shit,” she muttered, seeing the British ambassador make his way towards her. He had been trying to corner her all evening and so far she had managed to avoid him. If she didn’t find something, though, that record would soon end.
Looking around, she spied a man in glasses, standing off to the side by himself. Hastily making her way towards him, she got there with about a minute to spare. “Look like we’re having a conversation, I’m begging you,” she told him, glancing at the ambassador.
He followed her gaze and she could swear that a look of amusement and understanding appeared on his face. “You’re avoiding Lord John Marbury?” Buffy nodded. “OK, let’s have a conversation.”
“Wonderful,” Buffy agreed, plastering a smile to her face and nodding. “Thank you so much.”
“Oh, don’t mention it,” the man told her. “I’ve met Lord John. I think I understand where you’re coming from.”
“You have no idea,” Buffy muttered as the aforementioned ambassador decided to go to another target: the First Lady, Helen Santos.
“Excuse me?” Buffy asked, turning back to her conversation partner.
“My name is Will Bailey,” he repeated, a smile coming to his face. “I figured you might want to know my name since we’re pretending to have a conversation.”
“Buffy Summers,” she introduced herself, holding out her hand for him to shake. He took it, and she was pleasantly surprised by the firm shake he gave her. “So, any reason why you’re here, other than the obvious schmoozing?”
“I used to work with the President’s senior staff in the previous administration. Maybe this is their way of thanking me,” Will answered with a self-deprecating laugh. “Really, though, it’s because they invited Congress members they actually like.”
“You’re a politician?”
“Don’t sound so offended, Buffy. Not all of us are money grubbing slimebags,” Will replied, the smile fading slightly. “Only some of us.”
“Sorry,” Buffy apologized, glancing around the room again. “It’s just I’ve had bad experiences with politicians, and now with my job being what it is, I have to spend way too much time with politicians of the self-serving variety. It’s a bit of a gut reaction at this point.”
“Where do you work?”
“The International Watcher’s Council,” Buffy answered, suddenly very, very interested in her wine glass. From experience, as soon as she answered that question she got one of two reactions: politicians were either too eager to get away from her, or would smother her in fawning for the supposed power that the IWC had.
“IWC? You work with Violet?” Will asked, causing Buffy to look up. Vi was their point person in the capital, and the only reason she wasn’t here now was because she had caught “the death” as the redhead put it and could barely move from her bed.
“Yeah, I’m kinda her boss,” Buffy replied.
“She’s a smart woman. Anybody would be glad to have her on their staff,” Will commented, looking at Buffy before glancing around the room. “I don’t know about you, but I’ve taken all the political schmoozing I can take, and you look as about as interested as I feel right now. I know a restaurant not too far from here. You interested?”
Buffy considered the option. She wasn’t getting evil vibes from him, and he was cute, which was definitely a plus. In her head, she could hear sixteen year-old her yelling, “Carpe diem” as loud as possible.
“I’d love to, Will,” she said, putting her wine glass down on a nearby table. “Lead the way.”