UNFAMILIAR TERRITORY

 

By

 

Nikki Harrington

 

Giles has a few things to say about Buffy's new watcher.

A Giles-centric gen story.

Written: August 2013. Word count: 2,180.

 

 

 

ENTRY #14 FROM THE PRIVATE WATCHER'S DIARY OF RUPERT GILES.

 

Wesley Wyndam-Pryce: Buffy's new watcher.

 

Wesley Wyndam-Pryce: An idiot; a British idiot; and what's even worse, a dangerous, frightened, far too conforming idiot.

 

I never thought the day would come when I would be almost ashamed to be British; almost ashamed to be a watcher. However, the day I met Wesley Wyndam-Pryce for the first time was that day. Was it possible that I was even half as prissy, half as pathetic as he? Did Buffy and the others see me in the way they would see him? Was I fooling myself when I believed that they respected me? Liked me even? As I stared at the man who had come to replace me, I did indeed wonder.

 

Controlled circumstances; he had faced two vampires under controlled circumstances. What good was that? Honestly, if he was the best the Council had to offer, then quite frankly I was rather relived that they had fired me as Buffy's watcher - as it meant I was no longer part of an organisation that apparently valued a man like he.

 

If facing a vampire under controlled circumstances were meant to form part of updated training procedures and a greater emphasis on field work, then the Council truly were living in the dark ages. They were a group of fuddy-duddies who wouldn't known what updated training procedures were if they bit them.

 

And this was the idiot who was going to watch Buffy; train Buffy; help her remain safe - help her remain alive. What could this fool teach Buffy? Well, apart from how to face vampires under controlled circumstances - as I told him there was no danger in finding controlled circumstances in Sunnydale.

 

Has the Council really any idea of what life in Sunnydale, life on the Hellmouth, is like? Or did they think it was all 'controlled circumstances'? Did Quentin not realise the truth when he came to test Buffy and myself? Did he not understand how different it is in the real world and not in the world where one is surrounded by books and shrouded from reality? Has he any idea of what it is like to face the vampires, demons and all the other hells Buffy has to face? Or has he become so entrenched in the world that is behind the very closed Council doors, that he truly does believe it is all easy? Does he think it is as easy as it is when facing a vampire under controlled circumstances?

 

Wesley was such an idiot, such a total and utter fool that I had no doubt at all believing he was indeed what he claimed to be. Nonetheless, I took it upon myself to check out his credentials very thoroughly, very thoroughly indeed, as well as placing a call to the Council just to confirm that he really was the idiot he appeared to be. And he was. He really was.

 

As I watched him interact with Buffy, well try to, I knew one thing for certain: he might in his mind be Buffy's new watcher, but in Buffy's eyes he wasn't. And I knew it was up to me to ensure she at least paid him a modicum of attention - respect was out of the question; that I knew. She has to answer to a watcher and that watcher for the moment was the 'controlled circumstances' fool.

 

Thus, I indicated that she should cooperate with him. After all, I was as keen to learn the details of her slaying as Wesley was, and given Quentin had told me quite clearly I was not to interfere with Buffy's new watcher or countermand any instruction he gave, under threat of being 'dealt with' (whatever that might entail) letting Wesley believe Buffy was telling him rather than me was the better way - at least for now.

 

His reaction to Buffy's news, his automatic confidence that Balthazar was dead, that the Eliminati were looking for the amulet for 'sentimental reasons' and that the amulet posed no threat, once more proved quite how out of his depth he was. He didn't know who had killed Balthazar - thus how could he be quite certain that he was actually dead? As for the Eliminati wanting the amulet for 'sentimental reasons', was he really that foolish? That na´ve? In my experience, which was far greater than his and did consist of 'controlled circumstances', those who were involved with demons did not tend to evoke any kind of sentimentality.

 

I must confess that even though I am not fond of Faith, even though I think she is quite possibly capable of causing more harm than good, I had to force myself not to smile at her reaction to Wesley - even though I did send Buffy to try and bring her back. If anyone needed a watcher, it was Faith - but I could not think of anyone less suitable than Mr. Controlled Circumstances. However, the Council had deemed his suitable, so maybe I should give him at least a chance.

 

As we waited for Buffy to return with Faith - or not to do so - I actually found myself giving serious consideration to contacting Angel and asking him to assist me with inducting the new watcher into quite what it was like to face a vampire under circumstances that were not controlled - or at least not entirely controlled. As far as Wesley would be concerned, Angel would be any other vampire, someone for him to face. And I would tell Angel not to hurt him - well at least not too much.

 

However, even as I gave consideration to the prospect of being present to witness Wesley facing Angel, I knew I could not do thus. Wesley may well be an idiot, and I very much suspected an inept idiot, and certainly a scared idiot, but they are often the worse kind. Buffy would not exactly thank me if I ended up being the person responsible for Angel being staked by her new watcher. However, as I dismissed the rather splendid idea of letting Angel teach Wesley a lesson in facing vampires, I knew that it wasn't for just Buffy's sake I would not carry through my idea; I really did not wish to see Angel staked myself. It seems I have finally managed to accept what I had known even as he was doing it: that it was Angelus not Angel who had tortured me for hours. The fight needed Angel; we needed Angel - quite possibly more than ever before now that the idiot was here.

 

I doubted Wesley would be happy to learn that not only did some of Buffy's classmates know about her being the slayer and not only know, but also assist, but our little group also contained a vampire - a vampire with a soul, but nonetheless a vampire. To my slight chagrin and modicum of embarrassment at how childish I was being, I found that I was rather looking forward to Wesley leaning about Angel. Well, I was looking forward to his reaction and to Buffy's response, when he told her she must have nothing further to do with Angel.

 

And my impression of him and his controlled circumstances were soon verified as we were taken by the Eliminati to Balthazar. Things were not going well for Wesley and it was only his first week - had I not been facing imminent death, unless Buffy managed to arrive in time to prevent it - I would have somewhat childishly pleased to see quite how 'well' he was doing

 

Firstly, he had been incorrect about the Elminati; believing them to be a 'nearly extinct' cult, when they were far from it. And he had been incorrect about Balthazar too; believing him to be dead - when he was very clearly alive and not at all happy. And if that wasn't bad enough, then the circumstances were about as far from being controlled as it was possible for them to be.

 

My only hope was that Wesley no longer had the amulet - or at least did not have it on him, but why would he not? After all he had taken it from Buffy, as was right and proper given he was her watcher, but . . . If he had the amulet and Balthazar got his hands on it then to say we were in danger would be to say -

 

My already low impression of Wesley crashed even further as he began to panic. No doubt Mr. Controlled Circumstances had finally woken up to the fact that books and researching the history of Sunnydale and training and even facing vampires under controlled circumstances were not going to help him now. I confess even I, who had every faith in Buffy, had begun to wonder quite whether this would be my last battle or the last time I would be tortured.

 

And then, sadly not to my surprise, Wesley proved that his so-called research had been as inadequate as his experience when he asked what Balthazar was. I could not prevent the sarcasm from creeping into my voice when I pointed out that it was his demon; the dead one.

 

Moments later, after he had tried to bargain with Balthazar, I had a glimmer of hope: Buffy had taken the amulet from the idiot and given it to Angel. However, Wesley had no idea who Angel was, apparently Buffy hadn't even told him Angel's name.

 

As if on cue Angel (already in vampire mode) and Buffy arrived and we did what we always did: we saved the world. And Wesley got a lesson in exactly what facing vampires and evil meant, and quite what Buffy was capable of and indeed what I could do - which involved keeping him alive. It wasn't quite how I would have liked him to find out about Angel, but at least he got to see him in action, and thus saw what a good thing it was to have a vampire of his strength and ability on the side of good.

 

I only wish I knew quite what Balthazar had meant when just before he died (at least Wesley can now be certain he is dead) he said, ' You think you've won. When he rises . . . you'll wish I'd killed you all'. But no doubt whatever or whosoever the 'he' was, we would face it, deal with it, slay it and the world would once more be saved.

 

Wesley showed quite how shaken he was by the whole event when he let Buffy walk away with Angel without demanding a report, or even insisting upon knowing whom, Angel was, and what a vampire was doing helping a slayer and finally without demanding Angel return the amulet to him. Not that I believe Angel would have been able to have done that even if Wesley had ordered him to do so. I had ever confidence that the amulet was not on Angel's person; he would not have brought it to the place where Balthazar was, just in case the combined forces of the slayer and the vampire failed and thus Balthazar managed to get his hands on the thing that would restore his full power.

 

I took it upon myself, I felt it was my duty, to ensure Wesley got back safely to his hotel - it would have been extremely churlish to have abandoned him. And whilst I did not rate him as a watcher or indeed a man, he was a human being; he wasn't evil; he was British; he was a watcher. To have abandoned him in the middle of Sunnydale, confused, shaken, afraid would have been as bad as abandoning a dog at the side of the road.

 

Thus, I escorted him back to his hotel and then continued my good Samaritan act when he seemed incapable of remembering the way to his room. I decided to remain with him for a few minutes just to ensure he wasn't going to be a danger to himself  - or to others.

 

"Somewhat different from your controlled circumstances, I imagine." I could not help myself from saying the words.

 

"A vampire."

 

"Yes, there were quite a few of them. There usually are."

 

"Not them. That man. Buffy's friend."

 

"Angel."

 

"He's a vampire."

 

"Yes."

 

"You knew?"

 

"Yes."

 

"And you let her - This is intolerable. You must do something about it. You must tell her -"

 

"I am not in a position to tell Buffy anything. Quinton, on behalf of the Council, made that quite clear. You are her watcher; you are the person who tells her what to do. I am merely a librarian."

 

"But . . . He's a vampire. And she's . . ."

 

"A slayer. Your slayer."

 

"But he's a vampire."

 

"Yes. A vampire who was at least partly responsible for saving your life. Goodnight, Wesley." With those words I left him staring after me repeating 'a vampire'.

 

 

Entries From The Private Watcher Diaries of Rupert Giles
Entry #01 - Not An Auspicious Start
Entry #02 - She Has Friends

Entry #03 - Buffy

Entry #04 - Willow

Entry #05 - Xander

Entry #06 - Angel/Angelus

Entry #07 - Rupert Giles AKA Ripper

Entry #08 - Judgement Calls

Entry #09 - Yuletide Musings

Entry #10 - Ethan's Return

Entry #11 - Vows To Be Kept

Entry #12 - Zenith Reached

Entry #13 - Might It Have Made A Difference?

Entry #14 - Unfamiliar Territory

 

 

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