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Becoming A Man In Five Easy Steps

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Heritage

Step One: Uphold family traditions, and make a name for yourself.

He was supposed to be a fresh start.
The new broom, who would work by the book, and demonstrate how effective Slayers could be when under proper supervision.

The Council gave him instructions:
"Mr Giles has trained them poorly. You must remedy-"
His father gave him a lecture:
"Wyndham-Pryces have a reputation for leading Slayers with authority and intelligence. I trust you won't be tarnishing that heritage."
His mother gave him a kiss goodbye:
"-and eat plenty of vegetables."
And they all watched expectantly.

Then came betrayal and explosions.

Imitation

Step Two: Study the greats, and follow in their footsteps.

"Are you comfortable, Mr Angel?"
"Yes, yes I'm fine. Apart from being kidnapped, obviously."
"Can I get you anything? Blood?"
"No. Thank you. I'm not… thirsty."

As the limousine continued across LA, Mark studied Angel curiously. He hadn't met many vampires, but those he had seen tended to be pretty violent and crude.
This one, though?
He was just like everyone had described him:
Taciturn, long coat, good looks, quietly threatening.
Not your average vampire, but certainly up to his reputation.

Strange that they hadn't mentioned he was english, though.

Treachery

Step Three: Do the right thing when no-one else can.

Had the hamburger wished to, he could have provided much more useful information.
About forged manuscripts, spiked drinks, and slit throats.
He could have pointed out that people who fight evil on a daily basis are generally more trustworthy than people seeking vengeance, and that discussion is rarely a bad idea.

But the young fool was fixated on the wrong question.
And this promised to be very entertaining.
So he innocently told the truth - the exact truth - and left out the details.

Then he sat back, and watched the show.

Pragmatist

Step Four: Find solutions for every situation.

Somewhere along the line, he'd lost the stick up his ass, and gotten sexy.

Not that she mentioned it. Cracking onto people you've tortured isn't a great idea.
But she watched him.

He drove an awesome car, broke murderers out of prison, and beat up vamps for information. He'd landed himself some colourful scars. He hadn't shaved for days. He'd ripped Angel's soul out without a second thought. He handled a shotgun like… well, like he really knew his way around shotguns. And he still had the accent.

Damn, that man was hot.

Instruction

Step Five: Help the hopeless, and guide those without direction.

It asked through Fred's lips, and he couldn't say no.

So he explained why murdering people at random wasn't advisable, and that everyday conversations shouldn't necessarily conclude with someone being beaten to a pulp.
Not that it mattered.
What good were social niceties when life had lost all meaning?

But he kept at it, anyway.
Created a fresh start for them both.
He taught her to become human, and taught himself, once again, to become a detached and unfeeling supervisor.

And if he squinted, he could almost ignore the blue.