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Of course, what he really, really wanted:

Barnaby: *strides into the Council Chamber in midform* My sincerest apologies for my lateness, fellows!

Orville Hyde: (under his breath) And for a very important date-

Barnaby: I heard that, Mister Hyde! Very old, and not a goodie. Shall we begin?

Nuala: Yes, before another fight starts.

James Finn: (quietly) Nuala!

Barnaby: *holds up hand* That was just the once. Shan’t happen again. *takes seat, picks up copy of agenda* Anything interesting?

Orville Hyde: *brief louring scowl*

Nuala: Alright, all elders are present, no apologies. Could anyone who hasn’t, please read the minutes of the previous meeting so we can agree them?

Elsewhere… (Alec’s place, to be exact)

Alec Hyde: Yeah, they called him “bar-bet Barnaby” back in the day. He says he’s too old for that sort of thing now, and people stopped taking him on ‘cos he was just too fast.

Ike: Really? I bet you, or your dad-

Alec Hyde: *leans in, holds up hand, enveloping them both in darkness* No. *ominous pause* This goes no further, but… dad found out the hard way what a Grand Master of Rabbit Boxing can do. He was too fast, and heard dad coming every time. *drops shield of darkness, relaxes* That Jon Lyon had a go at him, once. They didn’t revoke his medallion that time, he’d learned his lesson. Then there were those demons and that hellmouth out in the West Country – he made short work o’ them, an’ he’s only gotten better since. He’s only been in a few real fights in his life… the rest o’ the fighting crowd got the message.

Back at Council…

Barnaby: …as you know, I’ve only a few years of work left – and practice, and few grand exhibition bouts – and then I retire. If I do retire to the Avalon, I suppose I can stay on in the Council, if you need me, but it’ll only be a few further years before I set off through the quiet earth to the Great Happy Hollow. *sigh* I wish I could take some of you with me- and I do mean that in the nicest possible way of course! ^ω^

Orville Hyde: *suppresses look of fear*


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