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Two Formely Dead, Ex-Watchers Walk Into a Bar....

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Two Formely Dead, Ex-Watchers Walk Into a Bar....

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Wes Glare

Joy to the world, peace on earth and god bless us all. If one more Christmas caroler would bleat in my general direction I wasn’t going to be responsible for my action. God, I hated the town, I hated the city and most of all I hated the people in them. It. In it. I had never been a fan of crowds, but that seems to have doubled since I’d come back. Avoiding people had become somewhat of a day job for me now. I didn’t trust anyone. The only one who came even remotely close to something similar to trust was Faith.

Faith, whom I’d not seen in maybe a week, possibly longer. She’d been running around doing god only knows what. I know she’d been busy trying to contact Buffy about something. I doubt it was because of me, since I still had this strong feeling that in the grand scheme of thing I wasn’t important. It didn’t make sense.

God only…well, the devil in this case… The devil only knows why I was brought back. Failed man, failed watcher and failed just about anything. Not only did I fail myself and everything I had tried to do, I’d failed numerous others during the journey. And then I even died failing to accomplish the task I’d been given. Why would they bring me back of all people? Why not the champions, why not Fred, why not… It made no sense.

Bloody lovely.

I needed a drink because those thoughts kept spooking through my head. Why, why and why. For some reason I cannot fathom they had locked all the liquor away in the safe house after I’d gotten my hands on it that one time. Could’ve been Faith’s order, could’ve something to do with my finding my way into the weapons arsenal. I didn’t care, I’d find somewhere else to get my fill. The pub was the most logical place. I had found one, remote, dark, obscure, where you could sink into the shadows and not be bothered all night. Just my kind of place.

I had no idea what was going on around me, no idea if there was any news of…something big going on. I found I didn’t care. My fight had been over a long time ago, I was tired of it. Tired of fighting the good fight. Personally, I didn’t think it was getting us anywhere, only buying us time. Though time for what was anyone’s guess.

Sitting around in the rain however, wasn’t as I found out, very fruitful. I’d been mauled, tortured, blown up, shot, had my throat slit, died and gone to hell. If they think a mere cold would get to me, they had another thing coming. Still it was annoying, but it did give me a good excuse to drink.

I mean, it’s the best cure’s for colds, or so rumor has it.

So instead of walking around in the rain being depressed, I sat in that pub and sipped my whiskey while being depressed. At least I was dry, and warm and…staying out of trouble for as much as I could. If anything important would or had happened, I was sure someone would inform me. And if not… I *really* didn’t care.

[Open for Dian]
  • It was...very, very odd to have Slayers coming at me every time I turned around. One girl in all the world...then two...now God only knew how many. It would take a lot of getting used to. But at least I had a small room to myself. Couches were fine, but with so many teenagers - Slayers - around, there was a large risk of seriously disturbing at least one of them with my nightmares.

    I did have better fitting clothes, at least, though the made my lack of weight rather obvious. Couldn't have everything. I hadn't taken EB up on her offer, in the end. I'd simply used the Council's money and had absolutely no qualms about it. But it was hard to see EB around, and even harder to see Faith.

    I had to get out. Just for the night. It didn't matter that it was raining...there were umbrellas for that. I called a cab and found a pub, intent on drinking myself to near unconsciousness, then go back to the bloody estate and finish the job.

    Walking into the pub, I glanced around before ordering whiskey. I'd just got by drink when someone caught my eye. Vaguely familiar...but very different from the person I remembered. Slowly I made my way over to him, sipping my drink. "...Wyndam-Pryce? That you?" If it was...he'd certainly changed.
    • Pubs. They were the same pretty much everywhere on earth. There wasn’t much difference between the Americans or the British ones. Except for the beer, they had real beer here. Not that it mattered to me, I stuck to my whiskey. They were the same dingy smoke filled far to small dark places where people came to bemoan their sorrows.

      Odd how those were the same everywhere as well. The significant other, the weather and some sports game. I envied those people in their simplicity. I wished my biggest concern was about whether or not I would be able to pay the next bill. I actually vaguely remember that kind of life. Of course I also hunted demons on the side, so staying alive had been my main worry then.

      Staying alive. I wonder if I’d known then what I know now… I might’ve let some demon kill me long before.

      The small pub was filled with smoke, making me wonder about taking up smoking. What’s the worse it could do to me? Kill me? I actually had to snort at that thought, sipping my whiskey. My second, or third, could be my fourth. I stopped counting years back. Long before… before hell. Hell on earth.

      I was sitting, minding my own business, hiding in the shadows. Didn’t mean I was going unnoticed at it appeared. Narrowing my eyes, I gave the woman before me a once over and took another slow drink. Obviously she has a disadvantage over me, and I didn’t like it one bit. “Depends on who wants to know,” I murmured with a gravely voice.
      • "Depends on who wants to know." Which made sense, actually. Especially when I was looking at a man far removed from the Wyndam-Pryce I'd seen so long ago. I took the seat in front of him and knocked the rest of my drink back.

        "First," I said. "Let's just say it's good that you are already sitting down..." I poured myself another glass from the bottle I'd gotten and took a sip. Good stuff. I licked my lips and took a deep breath.

        "As to who wants to know...that would be Dian Ramsey." There. Bomb dropped. Ball in his court and all that. In the meantime, I took another drink. Or two.
        • It's good thing I'm sitting down? Why? And where does she come of pouring herself a drink from *my* bottle? Do I look like the salvation army? The way she stood there and the way she said 'it's a good thing you're sitting down' was almost as though she was expecting me to be what...? Falling down?

          I've already fallen. I've fallen so many times you'd think I'd know better by now and stay on the floor. The last time I fell right out of hell. I doubt there was anything she could tell me that would shock me.

          Sipping my drink I watched her as she actually braced herself, taking a deep breath and everything before getting the news out. Dramatic pause and everything. I was actually expecting a drum roll or a flash of lighting before she told me who she was and was disappointed when there was nothing of the kind.

          You can say what you want, but her timing is good.

          I stared at her after the Big News, my eyebrow raised dryly. Apparently I was supposed to be impressed, but other then another vague familiar ring the name didn't mean much to me at all. I lifted my glass and shrugged at her.

          "Good for you? Hooray?" What?
          • Well, that wasn't the response I'd expected, but the difference was refreshing. Then I realized that I'd poured myself a drink from his bottle instead of mine. "Ah. Sorry about stealing your drink. Feel free to help yourself to my bottle when you need a refill."

            I glanced around at the rest of the pub for a moment. So many people. Like the estate, only not so full of teenage girls. A relief, that. I took another drink and glanced back at him.

            "Your apathy is actually refreshing," I said. I'd been a completely different sort than he had been back then. Not surprising I didn't ring a bloody gong.

            "Used to be a Watcher. Not that means much at the moment." I shrugged, looking out at the rest of the patrons again.
            • Glancing at the bottle, mine, I shrugged again. My ribs reminded me that wasn't gesture I should be attempting to much yet. Faith, I reminded myself as I flexed my still swollen jaw, certainly could pack a punch. Then again, she is a Slayer, wasn't the first time she'd done that to me. Wasn't nearly as bad as the last time.

              Sitting back in my chair I watched her sit down at my table, wondering what it was she wanted from me. Who was this woman anyway? Wasn't it clear from my 'aphetic' attitude that I'd like to be left alone? Apathy. I'm guessing that's an apt word to describe what I feel now, am now. Not that I cared much, or at all. Oh wait, that's what the whole apathy is about isn't.

              "Was?" I said, even though it sounded like a question, it really wasn't. Pouring myself another drink I spend a very, very brief thought on how I *was* a watcher before dismissing that idea. Past, one shouldn't dwell on it. And yet...I can't seem to be able to let go.

              "Got fired? I take it you're thinking of going back to the Council of wankers, since you mentioned 'at the moment'," I observed. Why on gods green earth would anyone want to go back there is beyond me. For one, Rupert Giles was leading it and...alright, that was my biggest obstacle. That and the fact that being a Watcher held little to no meaning to me these days.
              • "Not terribly soon, if I do. I'm not really in any condition to do much of anything for them except take up space and drink any liquor they have lying about." I took another drink and continued. "I am living at that estate of theirs at the moment, though. Needed to get out — place is crawling with teenage girls. One at a time, I could deal with. Swarms...calls for extra alcohol until I get used to it."

                I tapped a finger on the rim of my glass and thought about the other question. "Probably could have got myself fired, if I'd had long enough. Travers was a royal fuck-up and I'd have called him on it eventually." I took another drink.

                "Instead, I had a rather nasty run in with a vampire. Nasty here meaning very unpleasant way of dying..."
                • She's actually thinking of returning to that? Well, she can't have been that bad. In fact if she had been that bad, I'd have heard of her. It's not as though I've not seen look on the faces of the older watchers still around. I'm not a fool. I'm aware they're not thinking 'my goodness, Wyndam-Pryce is alive? Roger must be so thrilled'. No, it would be more along the lines of 'Bugger, I thought he was dead'.

                  I'm guessing she's still trying to deal with the whole a hundred, maybe thousand girls chosen in every generation. "I stayed at the estate to, for a little while," I observe, sipping my drinks. "Didn't see anyone but people in white coats though. But I must say the cells have certainly improved since the last time I was here. You actually get a blanket now."

                  Sarcasm, such a lovely defense mechanism.

                  I wince at her choice of words, however true it may be. You'd think someone like myself would be used to such language, but that's one word I have never seen the use of. No matter how true in this case, Travers is dead, I'm not wasting any time on him. I have enough to deal with.

                  "Hmm," I nod when she tells me she died. Why am I not surprised. What does surprise me is the spark I feel inside me. If she's back and I'm back, then others may as well. Angel, or Spike or... What about Fred? "Dying is usually a very unpleasant experience on an average. So, did you go to hell as well?" I ask, trying not to think of the possibilities her being alive as well may provide. I knock down my drink and don't waste any time pouring another.
                  • Oh. He'd been dead too, then. Must have thought he was a demon, perhaps, to put him in a cell. "Damn, I've got a lot of catching up to do as far as events go...nearly panicked when I met a new Slayer..." I poured myself another drink, but was content enough for the moment just to look at it.

                    "And as much as I might have expected to end up in hell...I didn't. Place I ended up was a paradise to everyone there but me." I took a swig of whiskey tapped my finger against the glass. "The agreement I came back on gave me my own private hell in my dreams, though. Relive my death every time I fall asleep. So I don't sleep when I can help it, and enough whiskey keeps off the dreams a little. Not much, but a little." I raised my glass at the bottles. "Bloody Kakistos..." I murmured under my breath.

                    I glanced at him. "I take it your experience was far, far worse."
                    • Kakistos? Now that rings a bell, though I have yet to find where the sound is coming from. Something about Faith? Maybe I should drink less. On the other hand, maybe I should drink more. Things make so much more sense when I’m utterly pissed up to the gills with whiskey or some such. Not that Faith was amused by this, but that wasn’t my problem.

                      “Paradise huh? I‘m sorry to hear that it didn‘t work out for you. ” Fred would’ve been in paradise, I’m sure of it. If it weren’t for the fact that her soul had been shattered. Alright, not thinking about Fred and paradise. Let’s get another drink or two, three, the whole bottle as per usual.

                      “I’m with you on the sleeping thing, it’s overrated anyway,” I agree with her, raising my glass in a silent salute. Everytime I close my eyes, there’s either Fred dying or my friends accusing me of…whatever they can. Sleep is so very overrated.

                      “Worse?” I pause at that, pondering it for a moment. “Depends on your point of view,” I shrug, a wince flitting over my face. “I find that watching the woman I love die over and over again while standing around helpless far, far worse then getting flayed, mauled, burned or any other imaginable painful death inflicted upon you ever hour on the hour personally.”

                      Sipping my drink, I look at her thoughtfully, taking in her appearance. It’s nice to have someone who doesn’t walk on eggshells around me for a change. “Or not knowing what is real and what isn’t,” I confess in a whisper, “wondering if you’re still in hell and they’ll reveal the clue of today’s torture at any given moment. You don't find yourself having that experience?”
                      • I took another drink and frowned. "Left someone behind...abandoned, really, if you ask me, and I couldn't live in a place with people who were happy all the time when I felt horrible. Only the bastards running the place didn't bother to tell me that time was slower there. Thought I'd been gone two weeks at most. Huh. Closer to nine or ten years than weeks."

                        He had to watch...I felt myself paling. "Oh God...I...don't imagine the pain that would cause...bad enough getting carved open having your heart ripped out...that's a whole different kind of heart ripping."

                        I nodded slowly and said softly, "In a way. The first moments I wake up from the dream I have to make sure I've still got a heart..." I sighed. "Hangovers are my most prominent reminders of being alive. That and...seeing certain people when I venture out of my room."
                        • "Having done both, I prefer getting carved open and having my heart ripped out," I agreed. If anyone were to hear us talk right we'd be into the mental institution so fast we'd barely have time to blink our ours. Although, considering the place we're in, they'd probably cast it off as drunk ramblings. Actually, I'm not sure if this wasn't just that.

                          "Anyway, I don't wish that on my worse enemy if I had any. It's...." Not something you'll ever get past, you'll ever get over, you'll ever forget. I can still feel her in my arms, pleading me Why can't I stay? and there was nothing, *nothing* I could do. Giving myself a mental shake, I tore out of my ponderings and focused on this...Dian Ramsey once more. The first person, I have to say, I didn't feel the need to strangle. Aside from Faith that is.

                          "Hmmm," I nodded at her assessment when she woke up. Seems the way I feel. That is if I wake up normally and how often did that happen? I'm guessing it's the same for... wait a moment. Heart ripped out, nine to ten years ago? Dian Ramsey. Narrowing my eyes, I looked at her, pointing my glass in her general direction.

                          "Say, Miss Ramsey, who's watcher were you? If you don't mind me asking."
                          • "I must say I would not want to deal with the other," I said. If Faith died...I was not going to think about that right now.

                            I grinned faintly as finished off my drink again. The bells were beginning to ring, it seemed. I refilled my glass - making sure to use my own bottle - and looked at him.

                            "Faith Lehane. Who I still find it hard to think of as an adult, thus far. Part of me will always see her as sixteen, I think..." I sighed and stared at my glass.
                            • Faith. Well. What a small world we do live in? Then again, if I'd have wanted anyone to show up back alive again... She wouldn't have been my first choice. Come to think of it, and this may sound harsh, she wouldn't have even crossed my mind. Of course I didn't really know her, although she seems to know me.

                              "Really?" I said with a slight slur. The whiskey is starting to go to my head. Nice. Only took me a bottle and a half so it's about bloody time. I don't sit here drinking because it's such fun.

                              "Well," I continued, holding up my glass to her. "Let me salute you from one Faith watcher to another. Though, I have to admit I rather like her the way she is now, even if she does seem to take great pleasure in knocking me unconscious still."

                              "Tell me," I added bitterly, alcohol starting to influence my way of thinking. "Did she do the whole tying one to a chair and going through the five basic torture groups for fun routine with you as well?" A black page I the history of one Faith Lehane and one Wesley Wyndam-Pryce. One neither of us will ever forget, but I hope we learned form it. I think I have, if I could think that is.

                              Definately liking Faith so much better now.
                              • I choked on my drink and sputtered a bit. "They replaced me with you? I beg you pardon, as you've obviously come a long way now, but what I knew of you from before I went to America...you were vampire fodder without a controlled situation." I poured myself another drink and gulped it down. "Council was more insane than I thought..."

                                It took a moment for what he said about torture to register, and at first I just stared at him. My God. What had Faith been through to lead her to that. And what, if anything, had he done to provoke her.

                                "...no, she didn't. I obviously missed out on some rather...life altering events of hers...damn it, I knew I should have come back sooner..." I could have stopped it, whatever had happened. Faith was my girl, my Slayer. I sighed. Heavy emphasis on "was". Past tense. No more.

                                "Not that it's worth much...but I'm sorry you had to go through that."
                                • If it had been years ago, I'd have bristled at those words. It helped to realize that since she was Council raised, she had been the same at one point. I *know* Giles had been when he first started at Buffy's watcher. I've heard the stories.

                                  "The Council of Wankers has been insane since some old coots got up with their walkers and declared themselves gods," I shrugged, wincing when my ribs once again protested. Yes, Faith still packed quite a punch. Didn't help that she'd been thinking I was a demon.

                                  "Obviously," I agreed dryly, sipping my drink and noticing my glass was empty. Well. Damn. We can't have that, now can we? Absolutely not.

                                  Topping up -- alright, filling up my glass..ess? Hmm, there seem to be two glasses. I sighed at her words though, them coming from a stranger not meaning very much. "Thank you, you're the first one who is, so obviously everyone else was of the opinion I deserved it. Anyway, it's in the past, where I wish I would've stayed." Dead. Though, dead and not in hell would've been nice. Dead and nothing else, *that* would've been nice. I don't think I could've been happy in para--

                                  "Pardon, what did you say? *Come back* sooner? You had a choice?"
                                  • I nodded. "Once I annoyed them enough with my demands to see whoever was running the bloody place, yes. I don't think they get that very often, and I don't think they liked the idea very much."

                                    I held up my left hand to show him my palm...and blinked at it, as the edges seemed rather...fuzzy. "Signed in blood. Got back the memory of my death - with a vengeance, I might add - scars from what...Kakistos did t'me, and half the rest of my life knocked off for good measure." I took another drink, very tempted to just swig from the bottle already.

                                    "Some people seem to think that's a rather...bad deal, but it got me back, and she's alive, and that was all that mattered. But I made things awkward and now I don't know what to do with myself. Besides drink. Whiskey," I said. "Is my friend."
                                    • Hmhm." She? Who she? She whom? Oh, Faith. There would've been a time when Faith being dead... come to think of it, that was when - and it seemed like eternity then - I'd been actually tied to that chair. I wished she was dead then. It was the only time, people will probably think I'm crazy.

                                      Oh. Wait. I remember now. I *had* been crazy for a time now. Not much different then now was it? Lovely. Just bloody lovely.

                                      "It's your deal," I sighed, wondering what I'd have done given the same choice. Being in Hell doesn't give you any choice however. "As for the scars, who the bloody hell cares? Not like anyone is going to see them. None's going to see m-mine." Strange, I remember being able to talk normally at one point. Huh.

                                      "Could've very much done without-without the memories. A fresh brand new start, that'd be nice," I murmur, smiling serenely for a moment at the idea. Not knowing anything, staring anew, it would probably get me killed within seconds.

                                      "Jack and Johnny are old friends of mine," I nodded, making a grab for the bottle, three times. Why is it moving? Bottle ought not to be moving. "What-what do you mean, you made things awkward? Huh? Have to say, beats making things uncomfortable for everyone." And why am I listening to a virtual stranger pouring her heart out to me in a way? Gets any attention away from me though, since she doesn't seem inclined to bugger off.

                                      Strangely, I didn't mind. Go figure.
                                      • I grunted softly, grabbing my own bottle and pulling it closer so I wouldn't have to reach as much. I took a swig and rubbed my eyes for a moment.

                                        "Told her I'd...been in lover with 'er. Wasn't planning on saying anything...least not so soon. Kind of got pushed into either saying it or have Faith wondering what in the bloody hell kind of secret I was keeping from her." I sighed. "And I couldn't take that."
  • Finally, I managed it. I'm drunk. I'm utterly drunk. I'm so sodding pissed I'm hearing things. I could've sworn she just told me she'd been in love with Faith. A sixteen year old girl? Admit it Wes, you always got the hots for me. Well, yes, of course the girl has sexual chemistry with a broomstick.

    Sod the glass, the bottle was already halfway to my mouth when she douched me with that tidbit of news. I was staring, I know I was. Tilting my head to the side, I looked at her, really *looked* at her. Huh. I guess I wasn't hearing things, and maybe that would explain why I'd not seen Faith in quite a while now. Though, admittedly, Faith was never one to be easily spooked.

    "I...see," I muttered, thinking of how long I'd been in love with Fred. Far to long before we finally got together. Only so we could die before...we actually got together. Just a few weeks was all we got. I had told her sooner, but Angel wiped away those memories and those words.

    "She never..." I wove my hand around, looking for words, "...Got a hint? Suspected anything? I take it she didn't and didn't take the...ah...news well? Huh."
    • "No, she didn't. I hid it remarkably well...apparently she'd already seen you and someone else who was back from the dead...then me, and I hadn't wanted to give her anymore stress. But I did. I was surprised she didn't bolt after I said it." I sighed and stared at my bottle. Lovely, lovely bottle.

      "We both finally agreed that she'd been to young back then to know how to react if I'd have told her then. And then I died on her...and didn't get back in time for it to have done any good..." The tears started to well up in my eyes but I was drunk enough not to care. "I wanted her to have a better life than she apparently ended up with...damn it all..."
      • "Oh." It's hard for me to imagine Faith being unable to react to anything really. I'm guessing Miss Ramsey here knows a whole different Faith. Must've been a bit of a shock to see her now. Hmmm. I guess.

        Sipping from the bottle, I ran her words over in my mind and frowned. "Someone else is back?" I asked, blinking a few times to clear my vision. Oh. Right. Glasses. Never mind then. But...who else was back? For one tiny moment, just a small one, I thought of Fred. But she couldn't be back, since her soul had been...evaporated.

        That made me take a healthy swallow from the bottle. Thank god for my good friend Johnny. Or was this Jack? Daniel? Whomever, they were great lads. When I put the bottle down, I was surprised to see Miss Ramsey here had started crying. When did that happen? Why did it happen? Bugger.

        Patting my pockets, I fumbled around to look for a handkerchief before finally settling on a paper napkin from the table. "Err...there, there, Miss Ramsey. Things probably look very bleak right now and everything but... " I paused, thinking how things didn't look bleak but downright black, "...Uhm, I'm sure things'll be better soon?" Yes. That sounded convincing.
        • I gave him a slight smile for his efforts. "It's all right. I just...I let myself care too much is all. I really shouldn't have. Should have known better than that. But yes, someone else is back. Faith didn't drop a name for that one, though."

          Taking another swig, I said, "You know? I really wish I could really sleep. I think I could sleep for almost a week if it weren't for the nightmares. To sleep and not to dream, God I'd love that..." I laughed, even if it was a bit hollow.

          "How 'bout you, Wyndam-Pryce? Think a week's worth of sleep would feel good?" A change in topics was a good idea. And a weeping drunk was bad company.
          • "Hmm, yes. I know about that," I muttered, mostly to myself. Care to much and get yourself in trouble. It's a very good set up highroad to a disaster. Not a mistake I was going to be making again any time soon, not if I could help it. My not caring much about anything any longer was a big help.

            I still couldn't help but wonder who else was back from the dead? Anyone I'd known? But if that were the case, wouldn't Faith have told me? Unless she didn't know how, or was asked not to. She might have mentioned it to Miss Ramsey here in shock. Or maybe she just didn't have time. So...who else was back? Angel? Spike? Gunn? Cordy maybe? Illyria...

            Christ, I need a drink. I think I'm due for my third bottle for the evening soon.

            "Sleep," I slurred, "Ish oper-orrer-overrated," I nodded, quite possibly far to many times. "Because the moment you close your eyes?" I whispered, "They'll be there, clutching and clawing and trying to pull you in." Sometimes I wonder if I actually had left Hell at all when I woke up.

            "The name's Weshely, by the-the way. Wyndam-Pryce is my bastard of a father. We jusht happen to be scar-sharing the same last name. Un-f-fortunatly. I could knock you uncinc-unkwinc- out, but if our good friends Johnny and Jack aren't helping...well..."
            • "Oh, they help enough to get a few hours total in. Only thing that works, really." Except...no. That had to have been a fluke. "An' I'd rather stay mostly conse-consc-awake while I'm in the pub. And sorry 'bout the name thing, Wesley. You can drop the 'miss', too, you know. 'M fine with just Ramsey, or Dian if you'd rather." I took a long swig and found when I finished that I'd emptied it. "Damn..."

              I sighed. "Should have brought a bottle with me...got a lot stashed under my bed in a duffle bag. But the one good thing about not doing it is I get to spend the Council's money for another one." I bought another bottle and returned to the table. "Want me t' get you one, too, Wesley? Make the wankers pay for it, eh?"
              • "Hmm, I know. They say meditication works to, but I'm not going to f-find that out." It'll influence the thinking too, medicine does. Alcohol only makes you a bit more cheerful, and the world a bit blurry. Of course the lack of glasses already did that, but that's okay. The world's a blurred place anyway.

                "Ramsey?" I wrinkled my nose at that with a bit of distaste. "Ramsey's a lad's name," I pointed out, watching my finger for a moment before pulling it back quickly. "Dian's nicer, Dian." Nodding far to long at that, I glared at my bottle. Which was empty. Buggeration. How was that possible?

                "Huh?" Running that over in my head, a slow smile spread over my face. Let the Council of Wankes pay for the dead? That's was funny, it was so funny it actually made me laugh for a moment. Which...hurt. Cradling my head but still smiling, I shook my head at her. "I like you, Dian. Let's get us an-another bottle and toast on the Wankers for their guneri-genror- generosity."
                • "Yes, you've got a point about the names. I think Dian's nicer, too." I grinned and chuckled a little. "Glad you like me. It's kind of...nice, not drinking alone for once. Can comizer-comis- understand things, too, even if it's different, and it's nice, having someone know how awful trying to sleep is."

                  I bought him another bottle, and an extra for each of us in case we ran out again before we decided to leave. I handed him the bottle and raised my in toast. "To the Council. May they never run out of money, so we can keep spending it things they'd rather we didn't."

                  Gloominess aside, this was rather nice. And he wasn't so bad, really. Lot more interesting to talk than I'd have thought.
                  • "Hear, hear," I cheered on toast. This was actually, nice. Even the patrons weren't looking at me as though they'd rather have me gone. They seemed surprised that there was someone who'd voluntarily sat down with me even. To be honest, so was I, even if it did turn out to be a somewhat kindred...spirit.

                    Spirit. How double. We were spirits in a way, who were in high spirits, drinking spirits.

                    Snorting at my own lame joke, I took a swig from the bottle and sighed contently when the amber liquid burned down my throat. "That's the good stuff," I murmured. "You w-wouldn't believe the sk-shit they had the nerve to call Alecohol in the States." A shudder ran through me when I recalled Gunn's beer, though a sad smile soon followed it.

                    "Sometimes I miss it," I admitted, slumping down in my seat. "My...friends." Alright, I'm getting to comfortable around her, time to head back to the safe-house very soon.
                    • "Indeed. Very good stuff. I knew there was a good reason to stay away from most products made there, as far as the alcohol." I grinned a little when he snorted, but didn't ask. It didn't matter, after all. But at least he'd thought of something funny.

                      "Mmm. Must be hard. Never really had that many friends, myself. Mostly just associates. No one I'd miss terribly who didn't die long before I did, and they were in England anyway." I sighed and rubbed my eyes. I should probably get a cab while I could still walk to it relatively well. I took a long swig and thumped the bottle down on the table.

                      Go back and crawl off to my room and drink till I passed out. Good idea as always. "'S nice," I said again, "Havin' someone t' drink with."
                      • "You're better off without them," I slur, leaning my arms on the table and resting my chin on them. I watch the light play in the amber liquid inside the bottle, turning it to gold and brown with little sparkles. The way life used to be. All gold with sparkles, a little bit of brown sometimes. Now, now it's all black and depressing.

                        "Once you get friends, you'll end up loosing them and then... poof! You're turning into a morose drunk who bemun-rewon- bemoans being alive constanterly." Oh. Wait. That's me. Now that's just funny. Another snort gets out at those words and it quickly turns into a giggle. Great. I'm so drunk I'm giggling, it's been a long time since that's happened.

                        "Yes," I agree, "S nice. Even if you make me giggle. You-you're a bad girl, Dian," I mutter, spinning the empty bottle on the table and grinning when it points at her. "Oh, looks l-like you'se it. How does zhis game go again?"
                        • I managed to contain a snort when he giggled. But he did have a point about friends, in a way. Ones I'd had before had hurt me. Attachments. Pain. I really should buy a statue of the Buddha sometime when I was sober. Nice sized one so I can set a bottle in his lap or something. I giggled a little at that.

                          Then I did snort. "Should have known me when I was younger. Bit wild for a while, y'know, def'nitely a bad girl." I blinked and looked down at the bottle. "Mm. Looks like I am."

                          I scratched my head for a moment, thinking. "If I remember this...think it means we hafta kiss or somethin'."
                          • "Sort of like Ruperts then?" I ask, remembering the stories I'd been told 'in confidence' about one Rupert Giles. How he wasn't the right choice to be anyone's watcher because of his dark, dark past. Why is it that every bloody watcher I've met has at one point rebelled but me?

                            Obviously I've done something very wrong. Then again, father would've eviscerated me if the word rebellious would've even past my lips. He would have. Literally. I know that now, that cyborg I shot was the spitting image of him. In every way.

                            Bleary eyed I look at the bottle before my eyes flick up at Dian. "Really?" I ask, wrinkling my nose. "I thought you were zupozed to tell the truth or some-something. Huh. No offense, but I'm not the-the kissing type no more."

                            Sighing, I shook my head and reached for the bottle. "Stupid game anyway. Jush like truth or dare, I've nothing to hide in either case and it zounds like you sp-spilled the beans too." A healthy swig gets taken from the new bottle, making me groan as the bitter taste goes down my throat.
                            • "Eh, I was no Ripper. Just some mindless sex in my twenties, really." I took a swig and blinked. Good and strong, that stuff.

                              I squinted at the empty bottle. "Dunno. Too many things involving bottles to remember what's bloody what. And I can't blame on the kishin'. Ends in bloody heartbreak one way or another. Even the non-romantic stuff seems t' do that."

                              I nodded. "Is stupid, yes. Things kids and teenagers do. Ohhhh, teenagers. Headaches, most of 'em."
                              • "Mindless sex huh? Hmmm, that's where I mustht've gone wrong." Nodding at that, I gingerly touch my cheek, thinking I'll probably not going to get any mindless sex looking like this. Then again, the time for mindless sex is so very over for me.

                                I'll just be mindless.

                                "Sick of games," I mutter, remembering the game Angel played just before we took out the Senior Partners. If indeed we even took them out. Oh I’m getting more morose then usual, and that in company. That cannot be good, before I know it what I’m thinking will be out of my mouth. Really time to go home now.

                                "Gamesh are stupid. And-and so are teenagers and kids. Nothing but t-trouble. Connor was a kid, gave me nothing but trouble and all I did!" I start, raising my voice as well as my finger, "wash trying to save him and-and Angel. The Council of Wankers is welcome to those Shlayers." Holding up my bottle, I clink it against her, "more power to t-them. Bloody serves them right eh?"
                                • "Mmm. Can't say I like most games. Liked sparring, if that could be called a game. Darts, too. But that's about it. But drinking games can be all right." I took another swig and ran a hand through my hair. Been years since I'd done any of those.

                                  He clinked his bottle against mine and I nodded. "They can barely handle one Slayer, rather apparently can't handle two...and now they've got them popping up willy-nilly all over the bloody globe. 'S not gonna go well, I'm thinkin'."

                                  Faith would be fine, though. She was Faith, after all. My girl. I rubbed my face; I really, really needed to stop thinking of her as mine. She wasn't mine, she was her own, and she wasn't even my Slayer anymore. Suck it up, Dian.
                                  • "Sparring ishent a game," I tell her with a shrug. Ow. "'S what my father always told me. Pay attention boy!" I say with an eerily good imitation of my father. "It's not a bloody game!" Waggling my finger, I blink at the blurred digit flying past and quickly lower my hand.

                                    It's amusing to find another ex-watcher who torougly agrees with me where the Council is concerned. "I'm thinking the same," I agree, "in way over their heads. Poor Rupers... well, no. I take that back. He killed my girlfriend, he doesn't get to be poor Rupes."

                                    Yes, definitely time to go home. My eye tick over toward the rest of the pub and notice it's as good as empty. Woops. "I think we sho-should head to our respective abodes," I slur, taking several tries to get up. "Cause the chap behind the bar is giving us the glare-o-doom."

                                    Finally getting up, I sway dangerously before taking hold of one of the wooden beams over my head. "Woops," I giggle, "When did we leave the harbor? Anyway, Miss Dian. Thank you so much for this l-lovely evening of sharing doom and-and gloom and general depression."

                                    Giving her a salute, I nearly topple over but manage to hold onto the nice, sturdy wooden beam. "Itsh been my pleasure. Can I drop you off somewhere?"
                                    • "Mm. Probably would depend on how one's sparring partner viewed it. Must say I do not envy his position at all." I blinked when he said that Rupert had killed his girlfriend. Given what little I knew of things in the world at the moment, I took it to mean that he'd somehow gotten her killed.

                                      I glanced at the bartender when he said that. The man was, indeed, glaring. "Bloody scary eyebrows he's got, too," I said. I watched him sway and for a moment wondered if I should brace myself to catch him. He righted himself and I decided I'd only fall down with him.

                                      "My pleasure as well. I was goin' t' get a cab t' take me back t' the Menagerie of Teenage Girls, actually. Don't suppose you'd want to go that far. Probably a bit out of the way of...wherever you're stashed at the moment."
                                      • "Oh *god* no," I gasp, blinking at the blurred figure in front of me. "I've had my f-fill of gaggles of teenaged girls back in Hunnysale-Sunnydale. Good lord, how can-can you stand it?"

                                        I'm baffled. I think if I were to stay between that menagerie I'd go mad. Well, even more then I already seem to be at any case. I may end up hurting one of them in a... actually, they'll probably end up hurting. No thank you, I've had my fill of Slayers for the rest of my bloody life.

                                        However long that'll be this time.

                                        "I'm staying at a...oh..." Opening the door for her, we stagger into the crips, cold night making me pull my coat around me a bit tighter. Hmmm, maybe it'll snow after all. "Shhh, I'm shtaying at a sek-suk-secret location." Nodding seriously, I glance up and down the street in search of a taxi for her.

                                        "I t-think I'll walk back. Ish not that far, Miss Dian. Getting some f-fresh air is good I've been told." And then sneak back in, hope Faith hasn't come back to glare at me for being drunk. Again. "Don't seem to be ma-many taxi's around huh?"
                                        • "Mostly I stay in my room," I answered truthfully. I really was more suited to small groups; had been all my life, except when large groups were utterly anonymous things like pubs or clubs. And my clubbing days were long past.

                                          A secret place, hm? "I see. I shan't tell anyone I ran into you, then. Not that I've really talked to more than two people there anyway."

                                          I glanced around for a bloody cab and, as he pointed out, there didn't seem to be a single one in sight. "Stupid drivers," I muttered. "Looks like I might be walkin' back as well. Though this time I don't think I'll climb the bloody gate. Too cold and I think the guards know I'm around now, anyway."
                                          • "So would I," I muttered. I'd probably lock myself up in that room and never come out again. Good lord. Realizing that there weren't going to be any taxi's at this time of night, I sighed. You'd think that there would be a lot of them, especially at this hour.

                                            "Good," I nodded, blinking when the world started to tilt and I had to hold onto a lamppost to make it stop. "'Cause issa a secret. Faith would-would have my hide if she knew I w-wash out now." With a shake of my head, I giggled at the idea alone. I'm a grown formerly dead man! Okay, maybe it was the dead part that made her so weary. Huh.

                                            "Climbing gates huh? Shee? I said you were a naught girl," I grinned at her, waggling my fingers. "D-do you think you can make it back home safely, Miss Dian? I c-could walk you home if you want?" It's not as though I had anything better to do. "Not that you can't take care of yourself, what being-being a former Watcher and all that."
                                            • I nodded when he said it was a secret. "'M good with secrets, no worries. And I like your hide better on you than off, anyway."

                                              Grinning back at him, I nodded. "Couldn't exactly walk up to the guards and say, 'hello chaps, I've been dead about ten years or so, but I'm back now so could you let me in?'" I shake my head. "So over the gate it was."

                                              "I think I can make it. Did...did bring a dagger with me, just in case. But..." I clapped a hand against his shoulder less gently than I meant to. "...you can walk me back a piece if ya want."
                                              • "Whoa! Woops!" I stumbled backward when she clapped me on my shoulder, making me crash into the lamppost behind me.

                                                "I'm so sorry," I told it seriously, giving it a small pat. "Didn't see you back there. W-wont happen again, I promish." Sad lamppost, doing nothing but stand here day in day out. What a life, I wish I could trade.

                                                "Sure I can," I nodded, waving her forward before squinting at my hand. Does it move slower then usual? Or did I forget my glasses? It's a bit of a blurry hand. Oh well. "Ish a little on-on my way anyyay...err..way."

                                                Sliding up next to her, we walked toward the end of the street where our ways would probably part. That was a very small piece, but it wasn't as if she couldn't defend herself.

                                                "Oh," I said surprised, my hand coming up to wave frantically. "Look, Miss Dian! A taxi. How foruurtanate huh?" I grinned at her and opened the door of the taxi when it stopped at the curb. "Here you go. Your cabbage-carriage awaits, Madame."
                                                • I hid a snicker when he apologized to the lamp post. We continued walking for a while, not much of interest to see. Just...street, mostly.

                                                  He began waving and it took me a moment before seeing anything. "Ah, a taxi! Most fortunate...this is indeed." He opened the door for me and I grinned. "Thank you, kind sir," I said as I climbed in. "Perhaps we shall run into each other again."

                                                  When the door closed, I gave the driver the address of the...mansion place. Thankfully, I'd manage to remember it.
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