The Watcher, The Witch, And The Warlock


Ava_icon.gif Wesley_icon.gif

Summary: Ava pays a visit to the Hyperion to discuss her potential warlock problem.

Date It Happened: December 22, 2001

The Watcher, The Witch, And The Warlock

Hyperion Hotel

The lobby of the Hyperion is as empty as it usually is. Save for one figure sitting behind the front desk. Normally this is Cordelia's station, but for the moment, Wesley is there. The phones are silent, a pindrop could be heard. Even over the scraping noise of Wes sharpening one of the swords from the arsenal. If this excitement keeps up, he just might start holding two-sided conversations with himself. Or borrowing the video camera and showing off in front of it. When no one's watching.

The door pushes open, and with the addition of a swirl of Santa Ana wind comes Ava. The little witch steps inside, her patchwork bag's strapped draped across her torso, but otherwise dressed without any particular ethnic of bohemian flair. She could be just another college kid, and she likes it that way. "Hello?" she calls out.

Wesley drops the sword and stone to the counter top and grabs up a phone (upside down) when he hears the door open. "Why yes Madam Eeroids, we can certainly take your case. It would be our honor." He smiles overly bright and raises a hand, beckoning Ava on into the lobby as he pretends to be busy.

Ava cross the expanse of the hall, unable to keep grinning as she approaches. Resting her elbows on top of the front desk,
she politely waits for Wesley to finish his faux phone call, blinking ever so girlishly.

Wesley seems to realize he's been holding the phone wrong. So he clears his throat, looking mildly embarrassed as he sets the phone back down on the cradle. There was also the tell-tale noises from the phone stating it was off the hook. His expression is classic hand caught in the cookie jar, "Ah.. Miss Ava, wasn't it? Are you looking for Gunn?"

"Yeah," she admits, "Though it doesn't hurt if he's not here. This kind of isn't his problem, it's mine." Ava pauses. Despite Wesley's buffoonery, she's about to confess a certain amount of helplessness - well, maybe not helplessness, but concern. "There's this warlock." she begins.

"Ah, I see." But Wesley doesn't exactly see. Not yet at any rate. He plucks up a pencil and pulls his notepad over so he can take notes. "What sort of trouble is this warlock causing? If he needs stopping, we can help. I'm no warlock by any means, but I do have some experience in using magic."

"Well yes," Ava can't help smiling, "So do I. He's made vaguish threats. And there's a cat." She pauses, peering at Wesley. "None of this is helpful, is it?"

Wesley's eyes narrow somewhat in concern. "I didn't mean to impugn upon your knowledge or aptitude. I was merely offering to assist.. but ah yes.. perhaps I should stop prattling on like a git and allow you to explain the situation." He gives an apologetic smile as he takes note about the threats and the involvement of a cat. "It's a good start. Has this warlock given you a name, and what has the cat got to do with it? Unless it's a tiff over the cat."

"Well, a lot of people seem to have a claim on this cat." Ava says thoughtfully. "I guess that's neither here nor there. He tried to get a feel for my uh," oh, this could come out wrong, "Power. I didn't get his name, but I wish I had." Another thoughtful pause. "I know where he lives. Oh! He walks with a cane. Good looking, older kind of a guy. Originally from the East Coast, and lost his wife or girlfriend, I think. I did a reading for him once and got a decent bit of information from it."

"People can get a bit funny about animals," Wesley muses about the claims on the cat. "Perhaps a neutral party should take the cat while that is sorted out, but that is a minor point in compari.. oh bollocks. Rude bugger on top of it all?" Groaning a little, Wes slumps on his stool behind the counter. "I think I know who you might be speaking of. What sort of threats has he made on you? He's incredibly antagonistic, and thus far his malice has been of the mischievious nature."

"Exceedingly rude." Ava affirms, nodding adamantly. She blinks a bit at Wesley's reaction, her brows lifting to her hairline. She twirls her hand in a vague gesture. "You know, the whole watch your tongue, you shouldn't mouthe off to your betters sort of crap. Which as you may have figured out, I respond terribly well to." She grins a touch a that, but then solemns when she remembers something else. "He seemed really interested when someone mentioned that giant wyrm thing that Gunn and Nicolae took out. I don't know if he had something to do with it, though."

"Seth Ward. He's a sharp and intelligent mind to speak with, if you can get past his personality deficiencies." Wesley smiles wryly as Ava brings up the Wyrm. "Mr. Ward hindered some of my investigations into the matter. Alerted the police to my presence. Fortunately, it was a matter that was smoothed over." Without jailtime. Thanks Seth. "I don't believe he had anything to do with that situation. He delights in tormenting people. He seems to get his jollies off doing so… and no, you don't appear to respond well to such demands. You appear to me a lady who gives respect where it is earned."

Ava flashes Wesley a smile. "Exactly. You know, you're not half-bad for a gajo." Well, hey, it's Ava's idea of a compliment. "I guess if I just steer clear, there'll be nothing to worry about?"

Wesley laughs, clearly taking no offense at Ava's choice of words. He's amused by the phrasing. "I do try, that much can be said about me." Briefly, he adopts that head boy stance that used to irritate Buffy and her friends. "I would give it a go, yes. It also would not hurt if you took some precautions. Just basic preparations in case he decides to try to get under your skin in other ways. I don't think it's a call for paranoia."

"Oh don't worry, I'm not asking you to protect me or anything. Well, I just wanted to see if any of your people knew about him." She hunhs. "Seth Ward. Having his name will help me stay under his radar."

"Indeed. Just let us know if you do require assistance. It's what we do. We help the… not so helpless in your case." Wesley folds his arms across his chest as he regards Ava. "Having his name and a head's up will go a long way in your vigilance. Then again, he does have a habit of turning up like a bad penny. We always seem to be bickering and competing with book purchases."

"I hadn't realized you were of a scholarly bent." Ava says politely. "So you're a ritualist then? Is that what you do for the agency?"

"Hadn't realized? I thought I had 'scholar' written all across my face in flashing letters." Wesley straightens up on his stool and raises a hand to push his glasses back up his nose. "I won't insult the others by saying that I'm the brains of the agency.. but with my training and library I do produce the majority of the necessary research in our operations."

"Scholar yes, ritualist, not quite." Ava replies affably. "Though what do the rest of the people here do? I mean, I get what Gunn does. He makes with the hack and slash. But there's the skinny girl and the one with the awesome shoes."

Wesley chuckles a little as he gets off his stool and starts straightening up behind the desk. Ava may be a friend of Gunn's, but he's hesitant to just volunteer up information. "I know Cordelia from Sunnydale. She's an invaluable member of this team. While on the surface she seems very superficial," and sometimes not even just on the surface, "but she's incredibly loyal and a fighter." And considering how many cults would want her for her visions, he keeps mum on that topic. "As for Fred.. it's a complicated situation. We saved her from another dimension. She's had a very traumatic experience."

Ava lifts her brows. "From Sunnydale? I had a cousin who lived there for a while." Her expression tightens. "It's a dangerous place to live, as she found out. Cordelia's a fighter? She must go through tons Manolo Blahniks. And the Fred girl…yeah, she does seem kind of fragile."

"Incredibly dangerous there, even more so these days." Wesley's voice takes on a more somber tone as he takes pause to remember Buffy. The smile that forms about Cordelia is a little distant. "We never hear the end of ruined clothing. Fred probably requires more professional assistance, but she would wind up institutionalized. Who would believe her but us? She's rather attached to Angel however, and we do what we can to reintroduce her to this world."

There's a nanosecond of pause. "Angel?" Ava promptly delicately. Maybe it's not who she thinks it is, and Ava keeps her expression pleasant. Because Gunn never mentioned Angel by name.

Wesley looks faintly surprised as he picks up the sword he had placed on the counter. "Gunn never mentioned him?" The sword is taken over to the arsenal cabinet and placed back inside. "He's our leader." Wes is just a little hesitant to say more than that, in case Ava has some sort of grudge against the vampire with a soul. (What? She's clearly gypsy. It could happen.)

"He mentioned something." Ava says vaguely. "Hunh. I hadn't realized it was Angel." But she should have. Her expression turns thoughtful. She's already mentioned Jenny, so it's pretty obvious that she can calculate that Wesley will figure out her reaction. "Don't worry." she says placidly. "Just because he snapped my cousin's neck and killed her doesn't mean I hold any grudges. As long as he's still cursed."

Ah. Well. There went that thought process. What Wesley was thinking too is plain on his face. "He is still cursed, which is good for everyone involved." And because he's fiercely loyal to the vampire and sometimes doesn't know when to stop talking, "I'm glad that you hold no grudges. Angel is my friend, and I won't hesitate to come to his defense." The words themselves aren't exactly weighty, but the emotion behind them is.

"I didn't say I don't hold grudges." Ava replies. "It's practically genetically encoded for me to hold grudges. But the curse is in place, and that is the punishment of my people, so there's no reason for me to try and disrupt his current path. Destiny's funny about that sort of thing." She considers a moment. "Would you like a reading?" she asks, out of the blue. "I won't charge you." Her tone implies this is quite a privelege. Ahh, the joys of youthful ego.

"I can imagine and appreciate the deep seated feelings of your people against what Angelus has done. That said, he is no longer that monster and is atoning every waking moment for his sins." That said, Wesley will come to Angel's defense with his very life. The offer of a reading has his brows lifting quizzically behind his glasses. "That's a most generous offer. I would be honored." That, and it wouldn't do to offend the woman.

"Got a chair?" Ava inquires. "Pull me up to a table, and we'll find out what I can see for you. The fair warning; the future's always a little more vague then the past, but I'm sure we can discover something useful. You've been kind. I appreciate that."

Wesley gestures for Ava to follow him into his office. "Pardon the clutter. I used to be mroe organized." He's still fairly organized, but there's a lot of clutter where he starts research, the train of thought derails and other things are looked into. "I respect the power and sight of your people. You've also given me no reason to be unkind towards you."

"Most people don't think that way." Sitting down, Ava pulls a deck out of her bag, wrapped in purple silk. Carefully she unwraps it, then digs out a wooden box from which four stones are set in respective corners of the silk. Then she starts shuffling the cards before setting them in a neat pile in front of Wesley. "Cut them." she instructs. "As many times as you like."

"There is a certain amount of respect that should be given this way. True seers are often frowned upon because of the charlatans that give the field a bad name." Wesley watches with some fascination as the cards are pulled out and the work area set up. At the instruction to cut the cards, he does so. Three times.

"Very precise." she compliments him on the card cutting. "Don't get me wrong. Every shaman's also a showman. I make money this way, so do you think I really waist my talent on every idiot willing to fork over a twenty to be assured that going back to school is okay, or to get up the gumption to leave their cheating husband?" She lays out the cars, considering them thoughtfully. Her spread is not traditional - a pyramid of six cards: three on the bottom, two in the middle, one on top.

"One has to be flashy or a showman at times it seems. Otherwise the attention just might not come your way." Wesley simply cants his head in a nod to show he understands about how Ava earns her money. "Understandable. It could be an insult to your abilities." While he's no professional where tarot is concerned, he can at least tell that Ava's using an untraditional method of card reading.

Ava considers the cards. "There are some who regard you as a failure for your efforts in the past. In some ways, this holds you down - holds you back." She looks up at him. "You shouldn't let it. It's behind you. It's time for re-inventing yourself. A new beginning. Let go of who you were, and become who you are. You understand this?"

Well. Now that's interesting. Of course everyone who really knows Wesley already knows this about him. However, Ava knows very little about him, so he does what he can to hide the stab her reading causes as well as her accuracy. "I understand. Perfectly."

"Good." Ava seems pleased, because she really does believe Wesley takes her seriously. She consults the cards once more, tapping the Magician. "You're coming into an opportunity where you can accomplish great things, but…" and then she taps the reversed Six of Wands, "It's easy for arrogance to take hold. If you take pride in the wrong parts of your life, things could go wrong. You may not be able to avoid this, but there is going to be a forthcoming event that will cause you a heartache. But you see this? It's the Star. It's a very good card, one of the best. It means that even if you slip, even if things get really dark, there's means for everything to turn out for the best."

Wesley does indeed take Ava seriously, even if he takes some things with a grain of salt. (Take tarot for example.) The future is never written, even if he has little doubt that Ava is talented in this aspect. "Indeed. While things may be slow here, I can safely say we accomplish our work rather well." Going above and beyond the call of duty. How many people can say they've done a third of the things Wesley has done in their lives? The heartache bit, he more or less dismisses. There are no women in his life beyond Fred and Cordelia, and their relationships aren't /that way/. When Ava explains the Star, he can't hide being impressed.

"That may change." Ava says, further considering the cards. "There's an indicator here of unexpected and rapid growth. So you may get quite busy, which for you generally means there's a case, or some kind of trouble." That's not projection, that's just common sense. "You have something dark ahead of you. Everything will hinge on you making the right choice. Don't be hasty, and don't apply force in the wrong way. It'll ruin things. So consider the consequences on others when it comes time to make that choice." She leans back. "I'm sorry it's so vague. I could try to see a bit more for you if you like."

"Of course, future events are not set in stone and the slightest change in course can alter your path. The most minute alteration can produce drastically different results. I've written a few papers on alternate timelines." Why that is relevant, only Wesley knows in his head. It sounded like it mattered to him anyway. At any rate, he understands what Ava's saying. "It's quite alright that your reading is vague, which is probably for the best. Further details might border on tampering with events."

Ava begins to gather the cards, giving them a shuffle to clear the energies of the reading off them. "I'm glad I could be of help." she says. "Gunn spends a lot of time here, so I do have a little vested interest in making sure everything's okay."

Wesley leans back in his seat behind the desk. "Your reading was rather insightful and provides a solid warning for future events." As Gunn's name is brought back up, he smiles a little, "How did you meet Gunn, if you don't mind my asking?"

"Randomly." Ava smiles. "My boyfriend and I were having some trouble with a trio of demonic priestesses and it eventually ended up in a bit of a streetfight in that neighborhood of town. Nicolae is amazing with weaponry, and I'm not poor at spell slinging myself, but they nearly had us, until Gunn and his people showed up."

"Same old story then," Wesley says with a wide smile that meets his eyes. "For having no formal training, Gunn's people are quite adept with their situation and the weaponry they have to work with." His expression darkens briefly then it's gone, "For all of their street smarts, there are some that have much to learn about demonkind. Which could be said for anyone I'm sure."

"Nicolae's been trained to fight the demonic since he was old enough to manage a weapon." Ava says. "But when I was sixteen, he was sent to America to protect me. They didn't want…well. They didn't want something like what happened with Angelus to happen again."

Wesley inclines his head in a nod. "That's understandable and a reasonable precaution to be taken. Rest assured, we are quite vigilant in making sure that Angelus does not resurface." After all, Wesley, Cordelia and Gunn are around the vampire daily and are in the best position to keep an eye on that.

Ava rises. "I'm sure adequate preparations are being taken. But just in case? I'll keep my Orb of Thesulah handy." She gives Wesley an easy smile. "Thank you for your time, Wesley."

"You have one of those handy? Remarkable. Last I saw when looking out of curiousity, I could only find replicas on eBay. Most impressive." Wesley gets up from his seat as Ava rises, meaning to accompany her to the door. "You're quite welcome Ava and it was a pleasure."

Ava admits ruefully, "I usually use it as a paper weight. Have a good day!" And with that, she sweeps out of the Hyperion, her course set for him in a significantly less nice part of town.

Wesley winces and looks horrified as Ava's parting words are.. she uses the orb as a paperweight. That's going to give him nightmares for sure!

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