Chapter 13 - Not Always the Same
After their brief moment of talking about their Watchers, they went back to sparring, both of them enjoying the challenge that the other Slayer was bringing.
Buffy noticed that Eilian's style was much more refined and fluid then her own, her technique practically flawless, but she wasn't as good at improvising. Buffy, once she realized this, used an Aikido move to take the brunette Slayer off guard and soon had her on her back on the ground.
Eilian groaned and slowly sat up, moving the loosened hair from her braid out of her eyes with a toss of her head.
"Goddess, what kind of move was that?" she asked, breathless.
Buffy flashed her an unrepentant grin.
"Oh, just a little something that I learned from my Watcher," she said as she reached down and helped the other girl up off of the floor.
Eilian let out another groan as Buffy helped her up and then stumbled slightly on unsteady legs. Buffy moved her other hand to the girl's shoulder, steadying her, and the brunette looked up at her and gave her a grateful smile.
"Thank you…that took me a bit off guard, I must admit."
The blonde haired Slayer gave her a worried look, keeping her hand on her shoulder, making sure that she was alright.
"You gonna be okay?"
"Yes, I'll be fine. I'll just need a minute…"
She paused, obviously catching her breath, so Buffy slowly stepped back and started to turn away, but was then taken off guard by a leg sweeping behind both of her knees, dropping her to her back on the cold, hard floor and she felt all of her breath leave her at once, and then was suddenly being pinned by two strong legs on top of hers and she looked down and saw a stake being gently pressed to her chest.
"I win," Eilian said, a smug grin on her face.
Buffy finally caught her breath and let out a low laugh.
"Yeah…this time, maybe. But that's what's called cheating."
The other Slayer gave her a serious look as she stood up.
"Considering there are no real rules when you're fighting, there is no such thing as cheating…only living or dying."
Buffy slowly sat up and watched Eilian walk back over to the bench, and in her mind Buffy admitted that the girl was right. There really was no such thing as cheating. Only winning. Because if a Slayer lost…they were dead. The mood had drastically changed from playful to serious too quickly for her own comfort, so she brushed it off as she stood up and went over to join the other Slayer.
"Yeah, you're right," was all she said, and then Eilian suddenly began to apologize.
"I'm sorry for saying that. It's just, ever since…Bowen…I…I just…"
Buffy stopped her with a hand on the other girl's hands.
"Hey, I get it. It's okay. It's not easy being a Slayer and watching people you care about get hurt and not having the ability to save them. It's hard…I know. I've been there. Now," she said, trying to change the subject, "What's vamp activity like around here?"
Eilian shrugged, pulling her shirt over her head, revealing a second shirt underneath that was practically sheer from the sweat that soaked through it.
"Honestly, I'm not sure. I haven't yet had the chance to do any hunting around here, yet. Besides, I'm not planning on going out until Uther says I can and clears it with the Council."
Buffy looked at her in shock, not quite believing what she was hearing.
"Wait…are you telling me you don't go out on your own? That you have to have permission to go patrolling?"
The brunette looked baffled by Buffy's confusion and simply nodded.
"Of course I do. A Slayer must always listen to her Watcher's council and abide by, as well as observe, all of the rules and regulations as pertaining to the Council's orders. A Watcher is there for a Slayer to listen to and be guided by."
Buffy couldn't hold in the snort of laughter at hearing the young woman's words that sounded like they were quoted directly from the Slayer handbook, and slowly stood up, vacating her seat.
"Wow," she said, still trying to keep her laughter under control. "And here I was thinking that we were a lot alike. Apparently, not so much…"
Eilian was now the one that was confused, and so she asked, "Are you telling me you don't listen to your Watcher?"
Buffy quickly clarified.
"Oh, no…I listen, but that doesn't mean that I have to blindly agree with everything he says. I'm a smart girl and, being the Slayer and all, well…it gives me a unique perspective on things. Watchers…well, at least the Watchers where I'm from, don't exactly do much field work, so I make the calls more often than not. One of the perks of being the Slayer, you know?"
Eilian still looked confused, and began to voice it.
"I…I must admit, some of your words don't make any sense to me, but Watchers here are required to go hunting with their Slayer. They usually have more experience than the Slayer, as they have to train not only her, but Potentials as well."
Buffy gave her an odd look, tilting her head to the side and then said, "You say it like you've seen it…"
Eilian simply stared at her.
"That would be because I have." Buffy looked surprised, so she quickly explained. "I've known three Slayers and their Watchers. An average Slayer only lasts three years, at most…I've already been a Slayer for two and a half years…"
Her voice faded, and Buffy suddenly saw the difference and the similarity between the two of them in the same instant.
Buffy had family and friends to also help support her in her calling as a Slayer…but Eilian only had her Watcher. And she'd gotten her first one killed, so she was probably terrified that she would get Uther killed as well.
They were both terrified of losing their Watchers, but they dealt with it in entirely different ways.
Buffy dropped down to her knees in front of Eilian, who had dropped her head into her hands, and she gently pulled them away from her face and held her gaze.
"Hey…I'm sorry. I didn't mean to…well, to be so cold. I…I knew another Slayer once, and she was a great fighter, but she never let anyone in because she knew that if she did that they would get hurt. But because of that, she never had anyone to talk to when things got hard, and…it went really bad for her. Really bad. It's better if you let someone in. So…you can trust me. I promise."
Eilian stared at her for a moment, and then nodded.
"I believe you."
She stood back up and then said, "Now…where's the bathroom?"