I looked around, judging them carefully, trying to weigh up what I'd heard about them and what I'd observed so far. I wished Geoffrey were here. He was good at this kind of thing. Besides, he always knew loads of Council gossip. That was how I knew anything at all about Buffy and Faith and the rest. Many of the Watchers didn't discuss such things with their Potentials, but Geoffrey, despite being a bit of an old stick in the mud, did like to tell me slightly shocking things, his eyes twinkling behind his glasses as he handed me a digestive biscuit.
Suddenly, the realisation that I was never going to see him again made me gasp. It wasn't getting any easier. I kept getting this feeling, this sudden shock, knowing that the closest thing I had to a father was dead. It had only been a couple of weeks, what did I expect? That I'd get over it? That wasn't going to happen. Not for a long while, if ever.
I blinked back tears and looked down at my hands, hoping no one had noticed. They all seemed busy trying to be friendly to each other. Xander and Dawn seemed genuinely pleased to see Willow, but were a little awkward around her. That was understandable, since from what I understood she was a witch and she'd done something terrible. Really, really terrible, and she'd been sent away somewhere to... recover? Was that the right word? And Dawn was only barely being civil to Faith, which again made sense. I'd heard of Faith years ago, her murderousness. A cautionary tale for Potentials, she was. But she seemed ok to me.
After a while it became clear Buffy wasn't going to appear any time soon. Dawn had said something about her dealing with something. She's the Slayer - well, one of the two - and so I guess she has a lot to do. I stood up awkwardly.
"Um, I think I'll be going," I said. "Thanks for the, um, snacks," I said, looking guiltily down at the nearly empty bowl of trail mix. Considering I'd only eaten a muffin all day, it wasn't surprising I'd demolished the food, but still, it was kinda rude. "I'll, I'll come back later, maybe. When Buffy's home. I don't want to intrude, you know, on your hospitality." I smiled awkwardly.
I stepped outside on to the front porch, tipping the contents of my wallet into my hand. I had enough money for another two nights at the motel. After that... Well, maybe somewhere like Doublemeat Palace was hiring.
((Open if anyone wants to head outside with Becca))