Giles glared at the clock. Where the hell was Tucker? The last class had been finished for a good ten minutes. Giles was scheduled to meet Buffy at five which, honestly, was far too early. What had Rupert been thinking, allowing Buffy to finagle the time that way? Well, there was nothing to be done about it now but if Tucker didn't get his ass in gear, Giles wouldn't even have time to introduce him to Willy's much less any of the other demon bars in town.

"What's up?" Ah, finally, the lad in question. At least he wasn't dragging younger brother along with him this time.

"You're late."

"Andrew didn't mention a time. Just said after school."

The twerp had the audacity to look amused. Well, this next assignment should knock that right out of him. "Think you're ready to do more than spar?"


"I have an assignment for you, but it's dangerous. I'm not sure you're up for it yet."

"I'm ready."

Giles hid a smirk. The idiot child didn't even know what the job was. For all he knew, it could get him killed and yet he was certain he could handle it.

Mine. You will not kill him.

Oh, do settle down. It's dangerous, but not deadly. I was merely thinking that the young idiot neither knows the difference nor bothers to ask.

"I'm looking for information on a couple of, um, people. It will be, as I mentioned, dangerous. You'll have to be discrete. The first is a vampire called the Master. I don't know much about the second, but he goes by Angel."

"A vampire? Titanic!"

Giles didn't bother asking about the teenage slang. "Are you sure you have it?"

"The Master. Angel. Sure."

"I'll be taking you to a demon bar, Willy's. You will speak to the clientele and see what you can learn."

Giles didn't know if it was the few demons scattered about the bar or the fact that Tucker had never been in a bar before, but the lad was impressed by Willy's. Well, there was no accounting for taste or lack thereof. Willy stepped over from the far side of the bar. "Look. I don't need no trouble." Ah, good, it was always nice to be remembered.

"No trouble," Giles replied. Willy didn't look reassured. "I'm merely introducing my friend here to the seedier side of town." Willy winced at the insult but didn't argue the point. "Tucker, this is Willy. Willy, Tucker. He'll be coming here from time to time, running little errands for me." Giles pointed to a booth. "For example, Tucker, those are R'nyarak demons. Go talk to them."

The lad's eyes were as wide as saucers. "Aren't you coming with me?"

"Of course not. I have other business to attend to. You do remember what you're to ask about?"

"The Master. Angel." The lad's voice was low but not too low to hear.

"Good. Go on then."

The lad approached the demons, but slowly. The two R'nyarak didn't seem pleased but they were rather tame for demons. It was unlikely that they'd hurt Tucker. "Willy."


"I would be terribly displeased if anything of a permanent nature were to happen to my assistant. That displeasure would, of course, be taken out on you."

"I, I don't have any control over these guys. I just hand out drinks, you know?"

"You had better do more than merely hand out drinks. Tucker is looking for information, information I require. He'd better find it, and he'd better come back to me alive. It's on your head if he doesn't. Do I make myself clear?"

"Y-y-yes sir."