parts 1 and 2
main characters: Wesley Wyndham-Price and Emma Frost
disclaimer: Wesley was created by Joss & Co for BtVS and AtS, Emma Frost was created by Stan Lee and Marvel Comics.
distribution: Twisting, mental wanderings, or by request.
notes: pairing #1103 for Twisting's FicForAll. AU post s3 BtVS (he never joined Angel Investigations). An expansion of a 200-word drabble into a longer story.
Wesley dropped the letter to the table. He shouldn’t have been surprised by it, not after the sordid mess about the death of Allen Finch, Faith’s defection to the side of the Mayor, and his utter lack of control over the Slayer. Part of him had been expecting something like this ever since the man had first died, even before they’d learned all of it.
A Slayer was supposed to be a tool, a blade in the hands of the Council, directed to defend humanity against the forces of Darkness, against evil and vampires. A tool… Not independent teenage girls who had their own ideas about life, who wanted to have fun instead of training or patrolling. A Watcher was supposed to teach, guide and control – he’d been taught that since he could walk.
With that in mind, he’d failed utterly. Neither Slayer would listen to him. They didn’t give reports of their patrols, or listen when he tried to train them. They gave him no respect, not even as a representative of the Council.
Which he no longer was. Not according to the letter now on the table. His eyes drifted back to it, burned by the hand-written words – the decisions of the council merited nothing less than being written by hand.
….shameful disgrace to the Council and it’s traditions of dignity, obedience and respect. You have let one Slayer fall into Darkness, and the other into Folly. These behaviors are beneath the expectations of the Council, beneath the most noble and ancient purpose that we have all devoted ourselves to serve. You have failed.
Failure will not be rewarded - you shall no longer receive a Council Stipend. You are hereby removed from the Rolls of the Councils, the List of Field Watchers. No longer will your name blacken the lists, no longer will your incompetence harm Our Purpose. Entry to the Council buildings and Libraries is denied to you, Contact with the Watchers is Forbidden. You are dead to us.
By My Hand and Seal,
Roger Wyndham-Price, Senior Watcher
What made it hurt the most was that signature. His own father’s signature on the letter that proclaimed him a disgrace, that removed him from the rolls of the Watchers. He was fired. More than that… disgraced, fired and disowned. There was nothing left for him… what else could he do with his life but serve the Council?
He’d have to figure out something. Something that would take him out of Sunnydale, and not just because of the Council’s demands. He couldn’t stay here with the mess of the feuding Slayers, the disappointment of Rupert, and the bitterness of his own failure. There was also the painful fact that he’d been living on the Council Stipend in a Council-paid apartment.
He had to find a job, and he wanted it to be somewhere far away from here. Maybe that was giving in to his pain, maybe it would be running away, but it was what he intended to do. Slowly, he started to list his skills on a sheet of paper. There had to be something he was qualified to do, some job.
End part 1.
Wesley crumpled yet another rejection letter in his hand. He’d forgotten the long reach of the Council. He’d known that they hadn’t wanted him any longer, but he hadn’t expected this. He hadn’t expected them to whisper poison into the ears of potential employers. While he didn’t know exactly what they’d said, or into what ears they’d whispered, he knew the signs of a reputation in ruins. His references hadn’t checked out. Had they slandered him by suggesting him of acts of immorality? Sloth? Over-indulgence in pleasures and distractions? The blackest of academic sins, plagiarism and perjury?
It didn’t matter. Not really. Not when there was nothing that he could do against their insidious whispers. He would have to keep trying, keep looking for a job. If not in museums or universities, then there were still the applications to libraries and high schools. Perhaps he could go somewhere and find work as a fencing instructor.
There was one true piece of mail left for him in the stack of advertisements for sales and car repairs and phone services. He’d sent an application to the Frost Academy in Massachusetts, listing his studies in literature, history and several languages. He’d mentioned French, German, Latin and Greek, but left out the languages that were mainly used for demonic or prophetic texts.
His hand shook as he lifted it, hope and fear warring inside of him. Would it be another rejection? The possibility of a job? He gathered his tattered courage and opened the envelope, pulling out the crisp letter and unfolding it so that he would no longer need to guess, he’d know.
The Headmistress, Emma Frost, wanted him to go there for an interview. She had written that his qualifications were ‘impressive’, but there had been what she termed ‘peculiarities uncovered in the course of checking his references’, and she felt a face-to-face talk would be the best way to uncover the truth.
It was the best hope he’d received so far, and being unemployed and soon-to-be homeless in New England wouldn’t be that substantially different from the same situation in California. He would go and he would talk with Ms. Frost. Perhaps she was free of the Council’s influence. Perhaps she knew them and held a poor opinion of them.
He picked up the phone, calling the airport to arrange a flight. The future was looking much more hopeful, and the sooner he could be there to embrace it, the better. Sunnydale wasn’t good for his health anyhow.
End part 2.