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Forward Without Seeing

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Time Stamp: Mid Episode

The woman sat in front of them, fidgeting with her papers but doing her best to try to seem professional. She was frazzled, Riley knew. But she didn’t really have any reason to be he thought. She was the one about to prod into their brains after all. Not the other way round. However Riley was sure that this interview was going to be… interesting to say the least. If she was frazzled now he worried that she would be even worse later on. He and Cordelia had briefly talked about what they might say, but no amount of prep could really prepare them, “Your names?” She asked.

“Riley Finn.” He answered.

“Cordelia Chase.” Cordelia said next to him.

“And your relationship with the Slayer?”

“Friends.” Cordelia answered nodding, “Really good friends. Sometimes I ask myself how I ended up with a friend like her really. She’s sacrificed a lot. She’s the reason Riley and I started dating.”

“And you?” She asked looking at Riley.

“A work in progress.” He said.

“My notes here suggest you used to date the Slayer? Considering your last answer, what happened with that?” Their interviewer blinked up at him.

And okay, how in the hell did she know that? In fact he was going to ask her, “How the hell do you know that?”

“We read though some of Giles’s diary notes.” She said, “He complained a bit but it was necessary to assess where the Slayer had been and where she is now. They were a very provocative read if I do say so myself.”

That made a lot of sense actually and Riley couldn’t argue with it frustratingly enough. Next to him Cordelia bit her lip and then said, “Do you know how many women become Watchers?”

“Excuse me?”

It sometimes amazed Riley how quickly Cordelia could turn a conversation on its head. In less than a few words she had turned the conversation away from how he and Cordelia had started dating to a topic that would work to distract, “Do you know how many women become Watchers? It’s not a hard question.” Cordelia inquired again.

“A few. Not many though.” Their interviewer answered.

“Interesting.” Cordelia said and then Riley watched her grab a notepad off the table next to them, “What’s your favorite volume from the Mystics and Magic collection?”

“Can, can we get back on track?” The woman asked.

“Maybe that would be for the best.” Riley said and watched as Cordelia’s face fell.

He knew that she saw this as a big opportunity to understand Watcher culture away from Giles, and to nerd out - but he also knew that they needed to put on their best face for Buffy, “How do you help Buffy in her duties?” The woman prodded, her previous question about dating seemingly forgotten.

“I fight by her side sometimes. We make a good team I think. I can’t match her strength but I can kill a vampire or two. Government training has taught me how to fight, at least and you can’t lose that.” Riley told her.

He was rather proud of the fact that he was still somewhat helpful in a fight even without the super strength serum, “So Buffy needs help Slaying? Is that what you’re telling me? She’s not strong enough to fight vampires on her own?”

As she spoke Riley felt like he had walked into a trap, which was ridiculous because his answer had been a good one, “No.” He said, but the way his voice spiked made it sound like a question.

“Then you don’t help the Slayer.” She used his words against him.

“Of course we help Buffy!” Cordelia chipped in, “I do a lot of research. If Buffy needs to know what she’s up against you can bet I can find it for her.”

“So she needs help with research and slaying demons.” The woman wrote down more notes in her book, “It also calls into question how necessary Giles is as her Watcher.”

Next to him Riley could see Cordelia’s hands turn into fists as she became very frustrated with the woman across from them. He reached out to touch her arm but she yanked it away from him and stood up to glare at their interviewer, notebook still clutched in one hand, “Listen here. The Demonomicon is a hard book to understand. It has twelve appendixes, and almost over forty chapters. Which is not to even mention the fact that sometimes you need a secondary text to even read some of it considering that at least fifteen of those chapters are in other demonic languages. And that’s just that book. The Mystics and Magic collection that I just asked you about? Sixteen volumes. Sixteen. Sure they aren’t the page monolith that The Demonomicon is but god - it’s like you expect Buffy to be able to do everything. Can you do everything? How many vampires have you killed with your dainty hands?” When she was done Cordelia sat back down, a scowl on her face.

The way the woman’s face went sheet white told him that she had not expected Cordelia’s outburst and honestly, even though he had tried to stop it - Riley was very proud of his girlfriend. No one could put someone in their place for good or ill, as Cordelia could. The woman they were talking to deserved it for how she had been talking about Buffy, “Very nice.” He told her.

“Thank you.” She replied back face flushed but slowly coming down from her previous outrage. His compliment having done a lot to steady her anger.

Their interviewer blinked at them and then angrily started writing in her notebook. She did not look up at them and stopped acknowledging them all together, effectively ending the interview with her actions. They would have to deal with the consequences of their actions later he supposed.