The Cosmic Network - Changes in Attitude

FFA Pairing: Rupert Giles/Joe Dawson

The Cosmic Network: Changes in Attitude

By Tracey Claybon

A/N: I don't own any of the characters from Highlander and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Joe, Amanda, Methos, Mac and Giles belong to Panzer and Joss. Wish I did, but all I can do is put them back neatly when I'm done.

"Seacouver" is absolutely fictional and even "fanon" for HL. I'm setting it in the Seattle Metro area, and bits and pieces of the description of Seacouver could fit anywhere in this area from Bellevue to Seattle to Edmonds. Consider yourself warned.

There are real locations mentioned and used here as well and no infringement on these places or the people who live there is intended. "U-Dub" by the way is the local nickname of the University of Washington. All the city, town, and county names used are real except for Seacouver.

This takes place in my Cosmic Network world.


Rupert walked to the address he'd gotten from the list that Quentin Travers left in his personal files. Earlier in the week, he had spoken to a Joe Dawson who was one of the high ranking members of a completely separate group of Watchers from the one he had known all his life - apparently this group watched a type of Immortal instead of Slayers, and unlike his group they had an identifying mark received when they became initiated into the group. He agreed to meet Joe Dawson in the Seattle area to answer any additional questions he might have and hopefully forged ties with other groups fighting on the side of Good.

He'd flown halfway across the country to Seattle, and found that it reminded him more than a little of home back in England. After acquiring a hotel room in Bellevue and renting a car for the week, he drove to the suburb of Seattle known as Seacouver that straddled the King and Snohomish County lines; it looked like a slightly sleepier version of a college town, and the address Rupert arrived at was a mixed collar bar in the downtown King County area of town.

The crowd inside "Joe's Bar" was a mixture of white collar 30-somethings intent on winding down after a day in the business and tech centers of Bellevue, Redmond and Seattle combined with some blue collar locals and some of the more mature 20-something graduate students from U-Dub and U-Dub-Bothell here to listen to the great blues and jazz music on stage. Joe's was a popular spot for the blues in particular, the car rental attendant had told him when he'd asked for directions to the address. She was a regular and lived just north of the area in a sea port town known as Edmonds.

Giles looked at the wide selection of ales, lagers, wines, and hard drinks behind the bar as he approached it and noted a hard-to-get in the States chocolate mint stout he'd loved in London, so when he sat down, he ordered it from the waitress, along with a request to speak to Joe Dawson at his convenience.

A few minutes later, after he'd gotten his stout - pleased to note it was at the proper room temperature - Giles noted a man walking almost gingerly toward him. He noted that the man, about his age or maybe a bit older, was walking as if his legs were paralyzed or... he noted, amputated, about at knee level. The man had salt and pepper hair, but an honest and open face, Giles gladly noted - it seemed that maybe this time there wouldn't be any double dealing or triple crosses in the works this time if his instincts were correct.

"Hello, I'm Joe Dawson," the man said as he reached earshot. "Mindy said you wanted to speak to me? I believe we spoke a few days ago on the phone?"

"My name is Rupert Giles, and as I'd mentioned in an earlier conversation with you - I found your name and this address in a file my predecessor kept with his private records. I'm with the *other* Watcher's Council - the ones who watch Vampire Slayers. I'm the new head of the Council, and I came to both meet with you in person and let you know how things have changed for our group lately," Giles said, watching Joe's facial expressions change from friendly to alarmed, and then finally to a speculative and more open look as he spoke.

Joe looked quietly at Giles before he said, "I hope you haven't come to tell me that your "territories" still supercede ours and that we are not to interfere in your council's business when it involves our own duties like the last — representative of your Council did - if you *are*, then... "

Rupert smiled at Joe, going on, " The previous leadership of our Council is now gone due to their own short-sightedness and hubris, and we that remain are changing things, for the better. One of the first things that our new council decided to do was to search out others working on the side of Good - so to speak - and at least make ourselves known to one another so that where possible we can at the least stay out of the way of operations of other "white hats" as one of my employees calls the other groups out keeping the darkness at bay - or, even, if you need it, help each other. I know that if my Council does not change the way we do things - we will die alone with no support from those who might have helped - and that we might have helped in return. After all - change, death and taxes are the only constants in life, and that unity and dependable friends make us all stronger. The old Council ignored these facts of living and was destroyed as a result. I will not allow that to happen to my Slayers, the new Council - who stands with me on this issue - or any of those under my care if I can prevent it."

Joe was silent a moment after Rupert finished outlining the changes in his Council, studying Rupert carefully and obviously considering the implications of this new Council.

He seemed to come to a decision, and excused himself, walking over to another table where two men and a woman were drinking and talking quietly. He spoke to them for a few moments, and then brought them back to the table with him.

"Duncan MacLeod, Amanda Darrieux, and Adam Pierson, meet Rupert Giles. I think we all need to talk about what happens next," Joe said. "I gave them a quick update on your new Council - what can we do to help make this idea you mentioned earlier work?"