Jan 18, 2020 10:50 AM
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Emma doesn't have to face Phil that night. She gets home well after he's asleep, and she's far too exhausted to wake him up. And since she doesn't have to be up early- she doesn't have another shift for two more days- she sleeps well past when he leaves for work the next morning.

This leaves her plenty of time that afternoon to get herself worked up. Should she tell him? That resolves fairly quickly to 'yes'. He's her husband, he's dealt with all her parents' Watcher nonsense so far. But how to tell him, she can't not tell him, but she doesn't want him to think she's going back to being a Watcher. Slayers consult with plenty of people when they're active, right? Witches and priests and any of the other Watchers with expertise their own Watcher is lacking. She's not going to leave the girl hanging if she can help, but she's a nurse now. She has to be clear about that.

Should she tell her parents? That causes a lot more debate. Her parents don't know where the Slayer is, and it's upsetting them. And Emma does know where the Slayer is, and she has no desire to be a Watcher herself, so she really should tell them where the Slayer is, so they can arrange for someone to come and step in. But... Emma's kind of upset with her parents, right now. Watcher training is not more important than your daughter, than your daughter's expressly stated plans she made with her husband. And what if her parents insist that she has to be the Watcher, when she has no intention of doing so? She goes back and forth on that one for a while, and decides to get Phil's opinion. (He's her husband, they share, they come up with plans that work for both of them. Wouldn't it be nice if her parents could do the same?)

She briefly comes up with "should she tell the Watcher's Council separately from her parents", but dismisses that one even faster. Same problems as her parents, but her parents would also be upset she went over their heads. If she tells someone, it should be her parents, not the fussy old British men she's only met a handful of times.

And what happens if something happens to the Slayer in the meantime, that having a Watcher could have fixed? Is she responsible?

Emma is very stressed by the time Phil's home from work.
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Phil is familiar with his wife's faces. The one she's wearing when he gets home is the one he has dubbed Kernel Panic Face. He scoops her up in a hug. "You," he informs her, setting her down and poking her nose, "look like you've been working yourself up all day. Spill, babe."

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"Ugh," Emma says with a weary smile. "You know me too well, you know that? ...three guesses who showed up in my ER last night."

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"Kobe Bryant?"

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"What? No!"

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"Well, if it's not basketball, it can't be that big of a deal."

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"You have a problem, you know that? There should be basketball addiction treatment." She sighs and her smile dims. "But actually? The Slayer."

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"What, like the Slayer? Are you serious?"

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"How is this not my serious face."

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"...okay. Point taken. Um. What. But then who's her Watcher? I thought you said there weren't Watchers here, that's why we picked this place-"

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"I know! It is, we did." And the fact they both got jobs here, but Emma decides that point is unproductive at the moment and moves past it. "She doesn't have one. And I don't know what to do. I can't offer to be her Watcher, I'm not a Watcher any more,, but I'm afraid that if I tell my parents, or the Council, they'll insist that I do it, they won't send anyone, and what would I do then? I couldn't just let her die! And what if she dies now, because I should have gotten someone here and I didn't just because I was afraid of my parents, how horrible would that be, I can't-"

Emma's throat blocks up and she clings to Phil miserably. She doesn't know what to do, help, he's good at helping her decide things.
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Well, first step: hair petting. Emma is always calmer when her head is being scratched, so Phil can do that. Conversations with calm!Emma are much simpler.

"Breathe, breathe," he soothes. "It'll be okay. This is not on you, this is the Slayer's job, okay? She'll get a Watcher and she'll save the world sixteen times before breakfast and you'll forget you were ever worried about it." When she's started breathing more like a normal person, he tilts her face up and out of his collarbone. "What'd she say when you asked her?"
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"...asked her?"

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"Emma. Have you been sitting here stressing about the Slayer's Watcher all day and you didn't even ask her opinion?"

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This elicits a sheepish smile. "I was patching her up! She took out two Anet'lov demons, she was scratched all to hell and missing a bite from her arm! I was distracted, okay?"

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"The health care system is doomed," Phil informs her. "Overlooking serious things in the ER, shame on you. But seriously, babe? Go talk to her. She kills demons for a living, she can handle a conversation about the Watcher's Council."

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Emma cuddles up to him, feeling much better. "You're right, you're right," she says contentedly. "I'll talk to her, okay?" She looks up at him innocently. "But more importantly..."

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"Yeeeees?"

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"The head scratches stopped!"

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Phil laughs and resumes scratches, as requested. "Love you, babe," he says fondly. "Even when you're missing the obvious."

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"Love you too."

But Emma gets distracted, unfortunately. She's got shifts the following day, and the day after, and then her coworker goes into labor early and Emma has to pick up her shifts, and then it's suddenly five days later and she's just slept through really the entire day on her first day off because she's so tired. Well, now she's bright and awake, at least, she just slept for- what, fifteen hours? Wow. She was tired, wasn't she.

She knows she has things to do- errands, call her father back, there's laundry to do and dinner to make and Slayers to talk to. But she has just worked twelve hour shifts for five straight days, and she is officially doing that all later.

She curls up in the living room with a book and watches the sunset. It's a nice way to spend a lazy evening.
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The phone rings.

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Emma rolls her eyes. Her father is the least patient man in the universe. She unfurls herself from the chair and grabs the phone. "Hello?"

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"Are, um, are you that nurse, that my sister - Bella - she had that big bite on her arm -?"

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"That's me?"

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"She's - there's something - I think she's poisoned. She won't wake up."

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