Richard's face flushed as he looked at the slightly older man - his boss, Rupert Giles, Head Watcher. He really didn't want to repeat himself. Hell, he didn't want to ask the question at all, but he had to. It was the only thing he knew to do; no one else would still be awake at this hour, but, as predicted, the ever-studious man still was.
The elder watcher carefully sat down the tome he'd been reading, and took off his glasses warily. Richard was one of his best Watchers, and rarely required his assistance. It must be something quite bad for the man to be here at this hour, and look so utterly embarrassed.
"What's the matter, Richard?" he asked politely, hoping the nervous man would answer him this time.
Richard cast his eyes away from the man he respected so much, thinking heavily about what he was about to say. He had to do this; he wasn't the one that was in trouble, but it was his fault. He took a deep breath, and calmly asked the question he'd come here to have answered, before he lost his nerve.
"Do you happen to have a spare handcuff key?"
Rupert Giles furrowed his brow, looking at the man quizzically. In all his years, he'd never had that question asked of him.
"A handcuff key," he said, dully, not quite believing what he'd heard.
"A handcuff key," Richard confirmed, nodding slightly.
Giles rose from his seat, putting on his glasses as he did so, and walked across the impressive library of the Watcher's Council. Since he'd become the so-called man in charge, he'd made lots of changes - including expanding the library to a vast size, making the offices large enough to actually conduct work, and adding living quarters for those dedicated souls who spent most of their time in the buildings, anyway. He darted into his office and returned a few moments later, holding a small key.
He sighed dramatically as he sat back in his chair, crossing one leg over the other.
"Please tell me you've taken a demon hostage, and it ate your key," he said. Had his tone not been so bleak, it would have been a wishful statement.
Richard blushed a deeper shade of crimson.
Giles held up his hand, smiling as he handed the key to Richard. "I won't ask your reason, then," he said, not wanting to know precisely what had happened, but happy to see that Richard had finally gotten himself a female companion, for the first time since he lost his wife.
"And I won't ask why you have one in the first place," Richard returned, taking the key.