Word Count: 873
NB: Based in the same AU as my 12days fic, which means it’s not worth trying to work out how this fits together time-wise because it doesn’t.
[Spoiler (click to open)]“I do think you’re being a touch over-dramatic Walter”, Marie sighed. Walter Straton, The Head of the Watcher’s Council, continued his ranting as he paced the length of his office.
“He is out of control - useless, arrogant, headstrong…”, Marie tried her best to ignore his voice as she scanned the room and wondered what a Watcher did in his spare time that would allow him to indulge in such an extravagant office. She certainly couldn’t afford such extravagances…
“He is young, and young people tend to be like that, Lord knows I have a school full of them due to return come September and they’re even younger than he”, Marie sighed, “Perhaps he is just like all other twenty year olds”
“He has dabbled in black magic, he got someone killed”, Walter pointed at her as he spoke, “Thefts, joy-riding, that group of hoodlums he put together”. Marie chuckled to herself,
“That was his band Walter, they played music together”, Marie got to her feet and brushed the wrinkles out of her suit, “and he wasn’t the only one responsible for that young man’s death. Nor was it his intention to harm anyone.” All of a sudden, Walter got a peculiar look across his face, and Marie stopped, dreading what was going through his head.
“I am glad you seem so willing to overlook his many faults, Marie”, a sickly tone had come over Walter’s voice, “since you seem so keen on seeing the good in him, perhaps you are the best person to mentor him”.
“I will be returning to Malory Towers come September, you aren’t suggesting I take him with me?”, Marie demanded, “Where would I put him? Under my bed? In my cupboard perhaps?”
“Are there no positions he could work in whilst you mentor him? A groundsman maybe? Handyman?”, and Marie groaned inwardly as she realised that logistics were not going to be the route to getting out of this. She thought of more protests, about the questioning she might receive for recommending a twenty year old with no references or history of work for a job at a girl’s boarding school but the protests died on her lips. After all, if she didn’t take him on then another Watcher would under protest, and she doubted that a quality education would be received under such a situation.
“Fine, I will take him with me”, she said eventually and, from the odd look that passed across Walter’s face, the older man had clearly been expecting more protesting.
“Very well, the Council will be pleased, your actions will no doubt be commended”, and Marie thought privately exactly what the Council could do with their commendation as she followed Walter out of the office and down a few corridors.
“Here he is”, Walter held out one hand with a flourish at the young man slumped in the chair with his legs stretched out in front of him, crossed at the ankles, “Rupert Giles, meet Marie Potts. I’m sure you two will get along just fine.” The Head of the Council practically skipped from the room and Marie barely refrained from rolling her eyes. When she looked back at Rupert, he was looking her up and down in quite an obvious manner as he took the cigarette from behind his ear and twirled it between his fingers. Assessing her no doubt.
“Wasn’t expecting a senior Watcher to look like you”, Rupert said eventually as he shoved the cigarette between his lips and lit it. Marie raised an eyebrow and began to walk down the corridor, leaving the young man to follow after her with his holdall. His long strides meant he caught up with her halfway down the corridor.
“What did you suppose I would look like?”, Marie asked.
“Old, boring, with a face like you’d been sucking a lemon”, Rupert replied without a beat, “What are you? Thirty-five, forty?”
“That’s rather forward of you”, Marie responded as they took the stairs down to the main entrance, “I’m not going to tell you, if that’s what you’re waiting for”.
“Didn’t suppose you would”, Rupert grinned, and she could hear the smirk in his voice, “Reckon you’ve had plenty younger men chasing you though, the way you look.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment shall I?”, Marie swept through the doors of the main entrance and out into the cool night air.
“Best to, since it was meant to be. So where we off to then?”, Rupert asked as he finally flung his holdall round onto his back, then slowly exhaled cigarette smoke into the crisp darkness of the night, “Your place I guess since I don’t have one.”
“In a manner of speaking…do you have a preference of name?”, Marie stopped and hailed a taxi, “Rupert, Mr Giles, Giles…”
“Don’t suppose you’d call me Ripper…”, and Marie shot him a bemused looked, “Rupert’ll be fine. So where is your place and what exactly are you meant to be teaching me?”
Marie left his question unanswered as she gave the taxi driver instructions to take them to the train station, then climbed in after Rupert. Finally she turned to him,
“Cornwall, and I’ll explain it to you on the way”