Co-written with Vesica.
Title: That Kavanagh Thing
Author: Jinni (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Vesica (email@example.com)
Disclaimer: All things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon, et al. All things SGA belong to MGM, Gekko, et al.
Characters: Giles, Kavanagh
Notes: So, this started after my Watcher!Grodin fic, when we were discussing on LJ who the second watcher in Atlantis was. Suddenly Ves and I were tagging each other back and forth in comment fic fashion. This is the cleaned up, edited by both of us, version. This is an AU of my Watchers in Atlantis 'verse, because I decided NOT to go with Kavanagh as the second Watcher.
Summary: One minute he was trying to be helpful… the next he was on his back.
One minute he was just trying to be helpful. “Well, if you ask me
The next, there was a snort from the dark haired woman in front of him, a fist flying at his face, and everything went black in a flash of pain.
Kavanagh fought his way back to consciousness, mind reeling. She had hit him
. That vile, insolent creature had actually had the nerve to hit him
And, of course, no one had stuck around to make sure he was all right, he realized as he pulled himself up off of the floor. He shook his head, trying to clear out some of the cobwebs that had taken up residence. It wouldn’t surprise him to find out that her pack of hooligans had stood around laughing after she’d knocked him out. That was the exactly the sort of thing their juvenile little minds would have enjoyed.
Grabbing for a wad of tissues as he wandered out of the living room, Kavanagh staggered only slightly as he made his way to the office at the back of the house. The halls were blessedly clear. No one to witness his abject humiliation.
What she had done was reprehensible and he was not about to just lie down and take it.
“Mr. Giles,” he began the second the door opened, “I insist that something be done about –“
The words died on his lips as he caught sight of the beast perched on the edge of Giles’ desk.
Faith smirked. “Hey, Kavvie. How’s the nose?”
Kavvie? How dare she -?
He could feel the hot blood rise into his cheeks. This was utterly unacceptable and Mr. Giles…
Was he? Yes, of course. He was fighting a smile.
Faith grinned, looking like some twisted combination between a shark and a petulant three year old. She leaned over, resting her hand on Giles’ shoulder and whispered something into his ear.
smile then, and she laughed softly, gently tugging at his tie and giving it a flip as she pulled back. Kavanagh pressed his lips together, cheek twitching with irritation.
Faith hopped off the desk, boots hitting the floor and body parts he was not
looking at jiggling madly.
She smirked as she passed him, calling back over her shoulder, “You boys have a fun little talk.”
And with a wink, she was gone.
If anything, her little display had only further served to push home the knowledge that the brazen little girl was a golden child around here. Still, he had to stand up for himself. To make it clear that this kind of physical violence against his person was not going to be tolerated.
“Was there something I could help you with, Doctor?” Mr. Giles asked, and Kavanagh didn’t bother to even try
to hold back his snort of disbelief. As if he didn’t already know exactly what he was here about.
“She assaulted me.”
“You were telling her that the way in which she patrolled was incorrect, yes?” Giles asked calmly, wiping his glasses with his handkerchief and looking not at all perturbed by what had happened.
Well, of course he wouldn’t. He wasn’t the one that had been slugged in the face
Kavanagh huffed indignantly. “It is
. Logically, she should be –“
There was nothing supernatural about Mr. Giles, and Kavanagh knew it. He wasn’t a vampire or gifted with any sort of preternatural abilities outside of being able to use the mystical forces when he so chose. Still, he was damn fast when he wanted to be. Before he could even think about what was happening, Giles was up and out of his chair, stopping just in front of him with an icy look on his face.
Not to be intimidated by any man, Kavanagh drew himself up to his full height and glared right back, not caring at the moment that Giles was, for all intents and purposes, his superior
. It really was only a title, anyway. Had nothing to do with intelligence. There was hardly anything superior about a man that had degrees in English
, for God’s sake.
“She has been a slayer for quite some time now,” Mr. Giles said, his face still a mask of freezing calm, words tinged with distaste that Kavanagh could practically feel
. “I assure you that there is little that you
can teach her
when you’ve hardly with us for six months, a good portion of which you’ve spent continuing your employment with that lab of yours.”
Kavanagh bristled at the tone and the implication. “No one said I had to give up my work.”
If that was the case, he honestly wasn’t sure what he would do. His work at the labs was his life’s dream, but this – here with the Council – was important, too.
Thankfully, Giles didn’t seem to be forcing his hand on the matter. “And no one is saying it now, either. However, you need to understand that you are new to this, and Faith is not. She is headstrong, but she what she’s doing.”
“She hit me!” Kavanagh protested. “That goes beyond simply being headstrong
. If there is a formal complaint system, I would like to take advantage of it. A letter of complaint for her file, if you keep something so organized in this place.”
The look on Mr. Giles face was one that Kavanagh was sure could melt lesser men. It washed over Kavanagh like nothing, though. He’d worked with some of the most arrogant, irritable men and women around the world, none of whom really liked him and made it clear on a regular basis. A former librarian
with an attitude problem couldn’t hold a candle to them
and their disdain.
“I didn’t come here for this
,” he continued, gesturing with the bloody tissue to his face. Nose throbbing, and a headache looming behind his eyes, and this was one of the good
days since he’d come to the Council for training?
Mr. Giles regarded him intently for a moment before answering. “What exactly did you come here for, then? What made you seek us out?”
A million variations of the truth tumbled over Kavanagh’s tongue, stopped before they ever passed his lips.To find where I’m supposed to be.
To do something important.
To contribute to something that means something.
To answer this screaming pull in my blood.
He’d read everything he could find in the Council library – the encyclopedias, the centuries of diaries – and nothing talked about this physical compulsion happening for Watchers.
It had scared him at first – the way his gut clenched when he was near a Slayer or the hairs on the back of his neck stood up as a vampire, looking for all the world like a normal person, wandered by. From the first moment he got here, he had wanted to ask – Giles, Xander, Andrew, somebody, anybody – but he’d gotten off on the wrong foot from minute one and he was already a near outcast. What if what he was feeling was something wrong, or worse, demonic? He had the sinking feeling this group would slay him without batting an eye.
He realized Mr. Giles was watching him intently and he wondered how much of his thoughts were apparent. Deliberately pushing the feelings down, he looked the other man in the eye.
The lie came more easily each time he repeated it.
“I came because it’s my duty, my responsibility, and obviously I am sorely needed around here. Faith isn’t the only one. Even the younger slayers display a shocking lack of respect and reverence.”
There was a muffled snicker from the hall and Kavanagh realized that Faith and the rest of them must be out there, ears pressed against the door. Eavesdropping like the immature children that they were.
There was a flicker of amusement in Mr. Giles’ eyes that said the elder Watcher knew they were out there and didn’t plan on doing a damned thing about this latest humiliation, either.
All Kavanagh could do was stand there, fists clenching, forcing himself to take slow breaths in out, in, out, and trying not to break something.
Looking at the man in front of him, knowing what he did about his attitude and arrogance, Giles could scarcely believe that there was anything special
about him. That there was a deeper purpose to him being here, with them, rather than out there in the world making his mark in some other way. A way that would have nothing to do with the Council, or slayers, or even the supernatural in general. He’d certainly showed no indication that he was anything more than what he claimed to be – a scientist of high intellect that knew about what was in the darkness and had chosen to take a part in the fight against it.
However Willow had been quite adamant when she’d insisted that there was something different about him, something that could be great if nurtured.
How did one nurture a stubborn mule, was the question that Giles had been forced to ask himself every day since the doctor had joined them and begun his training. A Watcher he would be, come hell or high water.
Sighing, Giles pinched the bridge of his nose and tried for a different tactic, “Michael –“
The other man stiffened at the use of his given name, pale face flushing. Giles seriously doubted that few people, if any, were on good enough terms with Kavanagh to care what his first name was, let alone use it.
“Michael,” he began again, gentler despite the urge to throttle some sense into him. There were bigger things in play than one man and his petty need to feel important. “We want you to be successful with us. We want –“Want you to be happy with us
, Giles thought, but didn’t say, because he knew the doctor’s type. Knew that men like him were more likely to take kind words as some form of mockery or teasing, rather than the honesty that they were.
However, it was
The Council’s numbers were still too few for any of their members not to truly enjoy
what they did. Life was too short, too fleeting, for any one of them to start or end the day with any frustrations or regrets about how they fit in with everyone else. No other inductee into the New Watchers had posed such a problem.
Just Doctor Michael Kavanagh.
“You are brilliant
in your field. I know this. Everyone here knows this,” he offered, voice light but firm, seeking the words that could make this man understand. “Even Faith, for all her youth and bluster, knows that you are intelligent.”
“Of course,” Kavanagh sneered, but it lacked the fierceness of his earlier tirade. Blood had dried under the corner of one of his nostrils, dark against his pale skin. Thankfully, it didn’t appear as if Faith had broken anything when she slugged him.
And Giles would
have a talk with her about that. Later. When Kavanagh wasn’t around and couldn’t hear words that were meant for Faith’s ears alone. The man needed no excuse to believe in his own righteousness.
Kavanagh continued, “Which is why she chooses to ignore every suggestion, every piece of advice that I have offered her.” He huffed, chest puffing out with ill-deserved pride in skills he believed he had already mastered. “I could teach her better ways –“
“Could you?” Giles cut him off, irritated but not angry. Not really. “Do you really think you’ve learned that much in the short time you’ve been with us? While you cling feebly to the other part of your life?”
“I’ve studied everything that you have provided me with,” Kavanagh argued. “I’ve read the books, the diaries, the spells, and rituals. All of it.”
Giles snorted softly. He didn’t doubt that. How much had he retained, however? And of that, what could he actually use
if needed? “You’ve yet to live any of it though. Practical application of working theory. I’m sure a scientist such as yourself can understand the inestimable value of that?”
Kavanagh’s mouth snapped shut with a click and he looked away.
Giles didn’t hold out hope that he was making the kind of progress that he needed
to, but it was a start.
“Dr. Kavanagh,” he continued, deliberately choosing the address that would best smooth ruffled feathers, “despite what you may believe, we do want you to succeed. I think we’ve all gotten off on the wrong foot with each other.”
”Staring tomorrow, you and I will work together every morning,” he told the younger man kindly. “And we will see just what you have learned, what you still need to understand, and –“ he paused, choosing his next words carefully, “—we will discuss why you feel such a strong compulsion to assist in our endeavors.”
Kavanagh’s eyes went wide, his surprise completely unmasked. “You know?”
Giles half-smiled and inclined his head slightly in agreement. “We’ve always known. We were simply waiting for you to broach the subject.”