Chapter 31: Meeting the Watcher
Chapter 31 Meeting the Watcher.
*Disclaimer: Part of the Text was written in Season Four of Buffy the Vampires Slayer. No infringement is intended. Words only use to drive the plot along. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffy_the_Vampire_Slayer
After an intense patrol, the Slayers arrived back to the crowded house. It looked as if it had taken some maneuvering, but everyone had found space to bunk down for the night.
Buffy sighed; she knew it couldn’t go on like this and that had been before Amanda and Nick had arrived. That’s why earlier, when she had a few free minutes, she had talked to Angel, asking him to let people stay over at the mansion.
She knew some won’t like it – especially Jack, but if the others didn’t like it, so what, she mused. The mansion had more room, not to mention it would be a better base of operations to plan their next move while they figured out the reason why they hadn’t seen or heard anything about the Goa’uld.
Buffy knew that after the Goa’uld was found and destroyed, she had to leave Sunnydale. It was no longer her home and she had only come to Sunny D because of her guilt over the original Buffy and what she felt she had owed to Merrick. She frowned, her life was getting more complicated than usual, and she worried about the Scoobies. Not only had she brought the supernatural into their lives, but now she had brought both Immortals and aliens into the mix. She never wanted that, they deserved to lead normal lives, well as normal as possible, considering they were living on a Hellmouth.
But, Buffy knew that they couldn’t, because once you let the genie out of a bottle, it’s too late, even if you can get the cork to go back in the damn bottle.
The next morning dawned, bright and clear and of course bringing with it the decisions that had to be made. The immortals and SG-1 would continue their search for the Goa’uld. While the Scoobies, including Buffy, continued toward their goal of an education, and of course if during their scholastic endeavors they also found time to find out more about the Mayor, then so be it.
As Buffy entered the school, she saw someone out of the corner of her eye. From the description she had been given, she guessed that it had to be the new Watcher, Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.
Buffy shook her head, she didn’t want to deal with him, not so early in the morning, in fact she didn’t really want to deal with anyone right now; but, from what she heard about him, she knew that someone had to see what he was up too. She slowed her gait allowing him to catch up with her.
“Good morning,” she murmured as Wesley finally reached her.
“Miss. Summers,” he replied.
Buffy gave a jerky nod in response.
“I am glad you are here,” Wesley said curtly.
“You are?” Buffy asked, raising an eyebrow.
Wesley nodded. “Yes.”
Buffy eyed him thoughtfully as they walked down the hallway, he didn’t seem evil, and her eyes wandering over the tan twill pants, brown jacket and loafers that he was wearing. The wire rimmed glass and the slightly shaggy brown hair that rested overlong on his collar was a nice touch, not to mention the battered briefcase and dog eared newspaper. The overall impression screamed ‘ I am nobody. I’m harmless.’
He looked exactly what he purported to be, a young teacher or in his case a librarian. But as she knew, appearances could be deceptive and right now was probably the best time to tell him she was planning on leaving, she thought, while his guard was down so allowing her to see exactly what his genuine reaction would be.
A few minutes later, they both strolled into the Sunnydale High School library.
“I don't understand,” Wesley admitted as he tried to keep up with Buffy’s stride.
Buffy rolled her eyes. “Well, I don't think I can talk any slower, Wesley, I want to leave.”
Buffy grimaced. “No, not right now; after I graduate, you know go to college?”
“But, you're the Slayer,” Wesley stated, pointing out the obvious.
“Yeah, but Wesley, I'm also a person,” Buffy snapped. “You can't just define me by my Slayer-ness. That's ... something-ism.”
“You cannot leave Sunnydale. By the power invested in me by the Council, I forbid it,” Wesley declared, crossing his arms across his chest.
Buffy just gave Wesley a look before she turned her back on him.
“Ah yes, that should settle it,” Giles retorted sarcastically, having overheard the conversation from a desk in the corner where he had been sitting reading a book. He turned his attention to Buffy, “Are you sure?”
“Yes, I am sure, Giles,” Buffy replied, smiling tightly. “Faith can handle everything.”
“Yes, Miss. Lehane,” Wesley murmured as he settled at a table. “I haven’t met her, yet. Where is she by the way?” he asked looking around the library as if she was playing hide and seek. It was empty of course, with the exception of him, Buffy and Giles. “I am beginning to wonder if she actually does exist.”
“Yo!” Faith announced as she sauntered into the room as if on cue, with the rest of the Scoobies following on behind.
“She does indeed exist,” Giles muttered under his breath.
Buffy quickly hid a grin.
“Faith, come meet your new Watcher,” Giles called.
Faith walked across the room her hips swaying provocatively causing Wesley to blink as he watched her. Giles sighed, as he noted Wesley’s reaction; he took off his glasses and start polishing the lens.
“Whoo,” Faith announced her eyes roaming over her limited view of Wesley’s physique. “So far I like what I see.”
“Faith,” Giles said wearily.
“Sorry G-Man…,” Faith grinned. “…but even you have to agree that Junior Watcher here has a lot of potential going on. Though, if he stands up I can grade him better on the hot score, especially if he’s willing to show me some moves.”
Wesley blushed, while Giles rolled his eyes in exasperation.
“Faith!” Buffy scolded, though there was laughter just under the surface. “You’ve scarred both Giles and Wesley enough for one day.”
Faith grinned and casually moved towards one of the other tables.
“Guys,” Buffy said as she motioned the Scooby gang over. “This is the new Watcher - Wesley Wyndam-Pryce. Wesley - the gang.”
“Gang?” Wesley questioned, turning a puzzled gaze to the group of teenagers in front of him. “They don’t look like a gang, although technically they can be described as such as gang is a group of three or more…”
Buffy and the rest of them stared at him as he said the statement causing him to shake his head as he tuning back to the group in front of him.
“The red-head’s name is Willow Rosenberg,” Buffy stated as if he hadn’t interrupted.
“Hi,” Willow chirped, waving a hand shyly as she moved towards the lone computer in the corner of the room.
“The tall guy in the middle is Xander Harris.” Buffy continued.<br> <br>
“Hey.” Xander nodded before he went to join Faith.
“Next we have a Daniel Osborne, he’s Willow signif, other wise known as Oz,” Buffy added, giving the teen a smile.
Oz gave them noncommittal nod.
“Heard that you’ve already met Cordelia,” Buffy announced, with a gesture.
“Yes he has,” Cordelia admitted.
“Who are these people?” Wesley asked Giles with a bewildered look on his face.
“The gang,” Buffy said with an unrepentant grin causing Wesley to turn to look at her, before she added mockingly, “Didn’t the council tell you about them? Thought they knew everything?”
Giles sighed. “Let me explain Wesley, these are friends of Buffy and Faith. They help with research as well as… other things.”
“We are the Scooby Gang,” Willow announced proudly. “We help the Slayers.”
“Bu-but they are children,” Wesley sputtered.
“I wouldn’t say we’re just got out of kindergarten, man” Xander replied.
Cordelia arched an eyebrow, “Maybe not the rest of us Harris, but the jury is still out about you.”
“We are not…we are still young, but…” Willow babbled as Xander glowered at Cordelia.
Oz covered Willow’s mouth with his palm. “Breathe Will,” he said, “Then speak; remember you said to remind you to do that.”
Willow eyes widen as she took a deep breath.
“Children?” Buffy snapped; she was so furious she could hardly speak.
“Children?” she asked again in a low voice. “Aren’t Slayers children? Does it stop you or the council sending us out, not knowing if this is the night we bite the big one? We fight in your never ending war, one we didn’t choose to fight, but we fight anyway. This group of ‘children,’
who you’ve only just met and who you’re already deriding, chose to fight, chose to help. They could have closed their eyes about what’s happening around them, but they didn’t. Me and Faith maybe Slayers but these ‘children
’ – they’re heroes.”
Wesley eyes widened behind his wire rimmed glasses and his mouth dropped open at the tirade.
“Well said, Buffy,” Giles murmured, nodding in agreement. He couldn’t have said it better.
“Yeah B,” agreed Faith, giving Wesley a look of disdain. “I’m with G - Well said.”
She made a show of looking at the cheap Mickey Mouse watch on her wrist. “Hey y’all, I don’t know about you, but I have class in five minutes. I gotta book,” she announced as she began to move towards the library’s door.
“Uh?” said Willow, jumping quickly from her chair her eyes darting nervously around the room. “I’ve got to go too.”
“Me too,” echoed all around the room as everyone, except Giles and Wesley, scrambled toward the door.
Giles cleared his throat noisily.
Buffy took a deep breath, pasted on a smile, then turned to Giles. “See you later?”
Giles gave her a brief nod as Buffy started to follow the others through the library door.
“Miss Summers,” Wesley called, halting Buffy’s progress. She turned to see the thoughtful expression on his face. “Please make sure you and Miss Lehane are back after school for training.”
Buffy paused, before replying to him by giving him a jerky nod before she left to go to class.
All through first period Buffy couldn’t concentrate.
Her mind was in constant whirl, not that the school work was the problem; it was she had a lot of other things to deal with - First, the situation the Goa’uld, then Jack; there was the Mayor, who wanted to kill them; and on top of that, then there was Wesley. What were they going to do with him? Giles had been right - there was something hinky about the young watcher, even if it wasn’t something Buffy could put her finger on, at that point. But her instincts were telling her something was off and if she couldn’t rely on her instincts then what use was she as a Slayer, let alone survive as an immortal.
Her mind wandered from Wesley to the Goa’uld, even with everything else going on; shouldn’t they have had some idea where the Goa’uld was by now? It wasn’t as if Buffy expected to find the Goa’uld on the first day, but what with everyone looking, and the fact it was definitely in Sunnydale, they should have at least found a hint of where it was hiding. Sunnydale wasn’t a large town and the Goa’uld weren’t like vampires; they wouldn’t be caught dead in places like a sewer or in an abandon warehouse.
She made a mental note to mention it later, then she sighed as she prepared herself to be bored once again by the droning coming from her high school teachers.
Ten minutes after the school bell signally the end of the day rang, Buffy entered the library alone.
“Where’s Miss Lehane?” asked Wesley, looking behind Buffy for the other Slayer.
Buffy shrugged. “What am I?” she wondered aloud. “Chopped liver? Why is it the first thing you ask is where Faith is? Do I look like her keeper?”
“No,” Wesley said, flushing slightly. “I didn’t mean it like that,” he admitted with an abashed air. “As I told you, you are both needed here for training.”
“I am not her mother,” Buffy replied. “I don’t monitor her bathroom breaks.”
“Is that where you think she is? Using the facilities?” Wesley asked, looking at his watch. It was now twenty minutes past the hour.
Buffy shot him an exasperated look. “I…just…told you…I am not…her…keeper.”
“All right,” Wesley grumbled. “We’ll wait a few more minutes.”
“Suit yourself,” Buffy replied with a shrug.
The clock chimed and Wesley gave it a quick glance. Another fifteen minutes had passed and still no Faith.
“Miss Summers,” he began a shadow of alarm on his face. “Did you or didn’t you tell Miss. Lehane about the afternoon training?”
“Duh!” Buffy responded matter-of-factly, as she nonchalantly filed her nails, while also keeping a nervous eye on the clock.
“Buffy?” Giles called a frown on his face as he moved out of his office, where he had been working.
He too had taken note of the time and the absence of Faith. He knew the girls were loyal to him, willing to show up Wesley just to appease him, but this is going too far. Now he was worried - something must have happened to Faith.
“…do you know where Faith could possibly be, Buffy?” he asked, looking at the clock that sat comfortably over the double doors of the library entrance. “Her last class ended at two pm. Faith should been here by now?”
Buffy stilled stopping herself from replying to Giles with a smart remark, instead she nodded before opening her mouth to reply, “She must have a different agenda; because I told her that she was wanted here.”
Giles mouth dipped into a deeper frown.
“Miss Summers,” Wesley began. “If Miss Lehane was told about the training and she chose to ignore you and me, her watcher; there is only one conclusion I can draw.”
“What that?” Buffy asked as her eyebrows rose inquiringly.
“She is being willful and insubordinate,” Wesley said, his voice hardening.
Buffy rolled her eyes before she remind him. “She doesn’t work for you.”
Wesley scowled. “No, if she did, she would be fired for being late.”
“Chill, will you?” Buffy said, in causal and dismissive manner. “She’s just late. She will get here when she gets here. What can happen, she’s a Slayer.”
“Let’s spar,” she added getting up and making a move towards the back of the room, not waiting to see if Wesley had followed. Though, even as Buffy had said it, inside she was worried; it wasn’t like Faith to be late. She and Giles exchanged an uneasy look. He gave her a brief nod before heading back to his office, with a sense of urgency in his step.
One hour later, Faith still hadn’t shown up and Giles had exhausted all resources trying to reach her. He’d tried Joyce, Angel, the Scoobies, plus Buffy’s other friends – no luck.
Giles mentioned all this to Buffy, who thought about calling the police. It would be a last resort, especially as the Sunnydale police couldn’t find their way out of a wet paper bag.
Then she has another thought, maybe they found out some information about the mayor or something else and something had happened to them.
Buffy thought about all the things that might take down a Slayer. There weren’t a lot, unless the Slayer had a death wish but then again they didn’t know exactly what the mayor was planning, then her mind turned to the Goa’uld. The Goa’uld that no one can seem to find - her heart stopped as she remembered the previous night on patrol.
She turned with the intent of saying something to Giles, when there was a raucous noise at the door.
Faith strolled through the library doors, her dark head tilt back in laughter at a joke Xander was apparently telling.
“Faith! Miss. Lehane,” Wesley called, though there was a note of relief in his voice. “Where have you been?”
“Out?” Faith said breezily as she moved lazily across the room.
“What do you mean out?” Wesley questioned, taken aback by her curt answer. Hadn’t he and the others spent the afternoon worrying about the girl, and then to have her strolling in three hours later, with no explanation? It was unacceptable.
“Shopping,” Faith said matter-of-factly, dropping a shopping bag next to her feet.
“Shopping?” Giles repeated, though his tone was one of disbelief.
“Yeah, shopping,” Faith nodded.
“Weren’t you told to be here after school?” Wesley asked, teeth gritted, his hands fisted in an effort not to strangle the girl.
Faith rolled her eyes. “Chill, Junior Watcher, you don’t have to score any brownie points with us.”
She flashed a grin towards the Scoobies as if to say, that the two Watchers were making a big deal out of nothing.
The laughter died out as the others froze at the door.
“Uh Faith,” Willow began, chewing her lips nervously.
Wesley took a deep breath. “Miss Lehane you must take your responsibilities as a Slayer seriously,” Wesley said firmly. “You are a Slayer. Slayers do not get time off, they must always be diligent, must be prepared. You know what we are up against, you need to be careful and for that you require constant training.”
“I said chill,” she snapped, frowning as she began to feel guilty. She wondered how Buffy managed to balance her life as a Slayer and as an individual as here all she had done was taken a quick break, and they are getting on her case. “I wanted one lousy hour off, is that too much to freaking ask for?”
“Yes, that maybe, but you could have informed us where you were,” Wesley snarled.
“Faith,” Buffy said with a puckered brow. “We were just worried.”
Faith rolled her eyes, “Of course you were, mom.”
“Don’t you roll your eyes young lady,” Giles snapped.
He was getting fed up with Faith’s attitude. He understood that the children needed an outlet, something to remind them that they were kids and not the soldiers they had been chosen to be. That’s probably why when young Xander wanted to attend their High School Prom; he had thought it was a good idea. But to allow Faith to dismiss his worrying during this dangerous time was as foolish as it was wrong. “For the last few hours we have been worried about you. There is a lot at stake at the moment, Faith. More than usual, it isn’t just vampires and demons we had to worry about right now. We also have the damn Goa’uld…”
“Giles!” Buffy warned.
“Ghouls,” Giles said correcting himself, smoothly. “…and let’s not forget the Mayor.”
“The Mayor?” asked the Wesley, his eyes sharp and accessing. “What about the Mayor?”
They ignored him.
“All right,” Faith replied as her mouth tightened. “I’m sorry I worried you. I am sorry that I took a little time off just to be me.” Though the last sentence sounded a little bit like an accusation.
Buffy frowned as she turned to Faith, “Is that apology?”
Giles sighed, muttering something under his breath. “Leave it Buffy,” he said wearily.
Buffy had opened her mouth to blast Faith, only to close it after she took note of the weariness etched on Giles’s face. “For now,” she agreed.
Faith shot them a smirking glance as Buffy fixed her with a level stare. -~- -~- -~- -~- -~- -~- -~- -~- -~- -~- -~- -~- -~- -~- -~- -~- -~- -~- AN: Wow a brand New Year. I do apologize for the lack of updates. The last couple of months have seen me going through several things. First ennui, then my muse deserted me, then I gotten sick. In all, it had been a so-so months. But I want to thank my readers and reviewers who had stick with me during all those months of non-writing. AN2: And thanks once again to my Beta Sidura—as always you rock. Much Love.