The First was in Washington that day.
A West Wing/ Buffy the Vampire Slayer crossover by Rose Williams.
The West Wing was created by Aaron Sorkin and is owned by John Wells and Warner Brothers. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was created by Joss Whedon and is owned by Mutant Enemy and Fox. Both are used here without knowledge or consent, without profit and with no intended breach of copyright.
Marcus Rowland posed a challenge on the TtH forums; what if Mrs Landingham’s appearance in Two Cathedrals had been the First? Why did she want Bartlet as President. I’ve always thought of the First as female. I think because she’s been primarily Jenny or Buffy.
I’ve stretched the Buffy timeline in this. It takes place before Lies my Parents Told Me, but after Evidence of Things Not Seen.
Spoilers: Buffy Season Seven to Chosen, West Wing Season Four to Inauguration: Over There.
* * *
Sandy repeated the question. “Mr President, can you tell us right now, if you’ll be seeking a second term.”
The President took his wet hands off the rostrum and put them in his pockets. He turned away, and a slight smile broke out across his face.
At the back of the room, beyond the rows of reporters, and seen by no one, the First gave a pleased smile of her own. “Atta boy,” she said.
* * *
“Andrew Jackson had, in the foyer of his White House, a big block of cheese,” Leo began. “The block was huge…”
Josh sighed. “Why do we have to have the crackpot speech, again?” he demanded.
“Will hasn’t heard it before,” Leo said with dismissive wave.
Will looked up startled. He’d been reading the Laurens’ and Cassie’s notes and trying to piece them together into speakable text. It was getting easier. But now he had to deal with Leo, who still made him nervous.
“He’s not listening, neither are any of the rest of us,” Toby said. “So can we just get through this day without actually killing any of these crazy people.”
“Both you and Josh are on probation,” Leo said, staring at them. He realised that Will had in fact not been listening with a sigh. Someone had been corrupting their newest staff member, despite the fact that it seemed no one liked him much.
“You will meet with the minority and special interest groups you have been assigned. You will be polite and interested. You will not give them anything. C.J’s giving them out this year, as a reward for behaving herself about it last time.
“That’s just because she was too confused to complain,” Josh said.
“And you’re talking to the turtle people, Josh,” CJ responded with a super sweet smile.
Josh accepted his with good grace. Mostly because he knew C.J was in charge.
“Donna, you’ve got the group from Sunnydale, I’ve got no idea what they want,” C.J continued, handing over both hers and Josh’s files.
“Give it to Will,” Donna said, and Will looked up, startled by his name again.
C.J shrugged and threw the Sunnydale files down the table to Will. She dumped the turtle file in front of Donna and flipped through the stack in front of her for the chicken farmer delegation she had been going to give Will and chucked it to Toby instead. Her glare matched his and dared him to complain.
Will read far enough through his file to see that his meeting wasn’t until after eight o’clock then he went back to reading Lauren Shelby’s notes.
When eight thirty came Will was startled by a knock at his door. He was still a little paranoid about people doing things like putting goats in his office and olives in his pocket. But those people didn’t tend to knock.
He opened the door to his office and came face to face with a determined, slightly built, blonde woman. With force of her stare it took him a moment to realise that other people were with her. Four other people were with her, in fact.
“Ah, you’re from Sunnydale?”
“Yes,” the older man said. He had something of a refined English in his accent, which Will responded to.
“We can take the meeting in the Roosevelt Room,” he said, gesturing down the hallway.
He led the three women and two men down the hallways. He was aware of their occasional awed stares and for the first time he felt somewhat at home in the West Wing. The group stood collectively at one end of the long table. But they weren’t one group. As far as he could tell they were each in several pairings. The blonde couple weren’t getting on. The older man didn’t like the younger one, and was protective of both the blonde and red haired women, who were friends. The dark haired woman was there with the redhead. She was wary of the blonde man. Will stopped trying to follow the interplay as they tried to decide where to sit.
They didn’t introduce themselves, and seemed to be waiting for him to answer them.
“My name is Will Bailey,” he began, “I’m the Deputy Communications Director. This meeting was set up for me by C.J Cregg and Leo McGarry. But I have no idea why you’re here.”
“My name is Rupert Giles,” the Englishman said. “Ah, Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg, Kennedy Russel and Spike. We need your help.”
The simple statement took Will by surprise. He knew the difficulties behind asking for help. He was beginning to understand when Toby needed it. But there was more behind this, without the man, Rupert, suffering any embarrassment from showing that weakness.
“My help, or the President’s, or the government’s?” he asked, still with no idea of what they needed.
“The executive,” Willow said definitely. She looked maybe twenty. “Or the army. But there was this opening, so we took it.”
Will looked at them, politely questioning, saying nothing. So far, many elements of this meeting had tallied with how Sam had described Cheese Day meetings. Except for the fact that these people knew what they wanted, who they needed to talk to, and there was an authority in their manner. He was still curious as to why they were here together, given the divisions between them. No one trusted ‘Spike’, and he was yet to contribute anything at all.
It was now the blonde woman’s turn to speak. Their relative positions spoke a professional relationship, which would explain their mission. Of perhaps a larger organization, which would explain the fact they were together on their mission, given their misgivings.
“We need one hundred thousand dollars, and three hundred top troops trained in hand to hand combat.”
“I don’t have the kind of authority,” Will said, slowly, ignoring the ‘loony’ siren in his mind.
“But you can take our case to the President,” Willow said. “And he can order the army to assist us.”
“Why do you need assistance?”
Kennedy sighed, and Spike gave a look say quite clearly that she had been naïve. Neither said anything, it was Rupert’s turn to speak again.
“Strange things happen in the world, Mr Bailey. Occasionally things happen that cause reverberations as far up as Washington. Many of them occur in Sunnydale, where we’re from. About three years ago there was a secret military organization in our area which was investigating the occurrences.”
Both Spike and Buffy reacted to the word ‘investigating.’ Buffy gave a short laugh. Spike scowled. But they shared a look.
The late hour was beginning to wear on Will. He didn’t care what kind of group of vigilantes they were; he just wanted to know. It seemed that Rupert read that look in him.
“Vampires, Mr Bailey. Demon, vampires, werewolves, and witches are all real. There is one girl in all the world who is given extra strength and quick reflexes to fight the powers of darkness. She’s the Slayer. Due to some complications, there are currently two of them, Buffy is one. I am her watcher, kind of like a mentor. Kennedy is a Potential. When Buffy or Faith dies, it’s possible that Kennedy will become the Slayer. Willow is a witch, one of the most powerful in the world.”
“Mr Giles,” Will began, trying to think through the rising bubble of ‘oh, my god, they’re mad’ and ‘I will kill Donna, I don’t care what Josh does to me.’
“Spike is a vampire,” Giles said.
Will looked up at Rupert, then at Spike. The strange young man seemed suddenly threatening. There was a cockiness coming through in his manner.
“I don’t believe you,” Will said, in much the same tone, he realised, as Rupert had asked for help.
“Xander said we shouldn’t have come,” Kennedy said. “He said that convincing the top guys vampires exist would just bring them down to Sunnydale and that even he could do better than anyone trained by the army. Sorry for wasting your time, Will. We’re just crazy people, we’ll leave you alone now.”
She was going to stand up until Willow took her hand. Will was suddenly interested. Part of it was because Kennedy had used his first name. That not all of them wanted to be there added weight to their claims. And the look on Willow’s face said they could show him that both Xander and Kennedy were wrong.
“My turn,” Spike said.
Whatever the problem he had with the other people here – whatever part of being a vampire that they didn’t have problems with – this was something he was able to do.
Will watched as Spike’s face changed. His forehead grew bigger, and lower. His eyes were yellow now. And, when he grinned, Will could see that his canine teeth were long and sharp.
Will’s foremost thought was at least they were actually right. At least they were talking about real things, unlike Bob and his alien encounters.
“What help do you need? And why haven’t we provided it before now?”
* * *
Will rubbed his hand over his face and looked over the notes the President had scribbled in the margins of the speech they were preparing. In an hour Bartlet and former Governor and the Republic Nominee for President, Robert Ritchie, were going to give a joint press conference. Will really had no idea why they were doing it or what they were going to do. But between the President and Toby he knew what to write, and apparently, what to cross out.
As Roderick Hebert was introducing the governor and the President in language everybody agreed upon, but no one liked, Will stepped up the man who would have been a Republican President instead of Bartlet’s second term.
“Sir?” he said, tentatively.
Ritchie sneered at him.
“Sir,” Will said again, and took a breath. “Would you have sent one hundred thousand dollars and three hundred special ops to help a young woman in California fight the ultimate evil and several hundred super vampires?”
“Depends,” Ritchie said.
“On what, sir?” Will insisted.
“If the threat was more than the Slayer and whoever could help her could do. If if she was beaten, the world was going to be overrun. And then only if the Watcher’s Council couldn’t help her.”
Ritchie watched Hebert answering the few questions the reporters had for him. Will translated what Ritchie had said into parallel clauses and oratorical language. He sighed at what the big stupid man had said.
“You would have given them what they wanted?”
“Needed. They uncovered the army’s secret demon lab and killed the Frankenstein without too many people dying. And without telling anyone. When was the world going to end?”
Will was surprised at how little he needed to translate; more so at the leap in logic Ritchie had managed to perform. Will was struck by the uncomfortable thought that politics was not beyond Ritchie; he was merely disinterested and bored. He took a thin sheet of letterhead paper out of his jacket pocket and handed it over.Dear Mr Bailey,
Thank you for the support you gave us and our cause. Thank you for taking the time to listen to us and risking your reputation to take our case to the President.
We never thought to rely on, or particularly petition the government, even in an event so serious as this. We won. We suffered many losses, but not as many as may have been expected. Spike, whom you met, died to save the world, as did many of the potential Slayers. The rest of us survived, intact, although, except Xander, who lost an eye. In order to fight, Willow enacted a spell which called all the potentials across the world to be Slayers. This may cause may repercussions as far up as Washington, and Giles thought you might like to know.
We’re staying in Los Angeles with an old friend and enemy. This paper is from their company, so if you want to get in touch you can.
Good luck making the world a better place. We’ll make sure it stays around a bit longer.