Rating: PG-13, may go up later
Pairing/Characters: Willow/Lindsey, AtS team
Word Count: 1,195 this chapter; 4,240 total
Summary: Willow goes in search of Lindsey when he suddenly disappears.
Timeline: BtVS: Post-Chosen, AtS: During Underneath (some dialog may be borrowed from the episode).
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Joss et al
Distribution: My site, the usual lists, anyone with previous permission. Anyone else - just ask.
Feedback: Yes please! It makes me happy and keeps me writing.
Author’s Note 1: Written for the Which Witch Ficathon. I didn't entirely follow my prompt - What if Willow joins Wolfram & Hart with Angel's team after leaving Sunnydale? - but I hope you enjoy it anyway.
Author’s Note 2: This is a non-direct sequel to my story Searching for Stability. I have a story in mind that takes place in Sunnydale between that one and this one, but it is currently incomplete. The main thing you need to know (if you don’t want to go read SfS) is that Willow and Lindsey met while she was in England for her magic rehab and Lindsey was there hiding from the Senior Partners after he left LA.)
Author's Note 3: For the purpose of this story, Lindsey and Eve were never lovers, just partners.
Willow felt the blood drain out of her face and wasn't all that surprised to discover that she was suddenly sitting amongst the books covering the floor of Wesley's office.
"I thought he'd let all that go," she murmured to herself.
Wesley crouched in front of her. "You knew about his rivalry with Angel, then?"
Dumbly nodding, Willow said, "He didn't like to talk about it, but I knew that they had tried to kill each other when he worked here. Angel had cut off his hand and Wolfram & Hart gave him a new one."
"That would be the short version, yes."
"He's not... Angel didn't..." Willow couldn't even bring herself to ask.
"No, Angel did not kill him."
"Then where is he?" Willow meekly asked. As the realization hit her that he really was alive, she asked more determinedly, "Where is he?"
"I'm afraid I don't have that answer for you. You'll have to ask Angel."
Immediately on her feet, Willow headed towards the door. "Yes, let's go do that."
"Where is he?" Willow demanded, storming into Angel's office, fire burning in her eyes. "What have you done with him?"
"Willow, we're kinda in the middle of something here," Angel said, gesturing to Eve, Spike, Lorne and Harmony.
"I'm not leaving until you've told me what you've done with him."
Angel glanced past Willow to Wesley. "Care to fill a guy in?"
"Lindsey McDonald. She's looking for Lindsey."
"How the hell do you know Lindsey? Were you another one of his accomplices?" Angel asked Willow.
"I don't even know what he was doing here. All he told me was that he had some unfinished business he needed to take care of before he left. Then he dropped off the face of the planet."
"You're not too far off," Eve said.
"What are you talking about? Who are you?" Willow asked, suddenly curious about this woman's presence in Angel's office.
"Eve. The Senior Partners took him," she succinctly told her.
"No, that's not possible... the tattoos..."
"Came off," Angel stated. "Wes was able to mystically remove them."
"Why would you do that? They were the only things keeping him hidden from the Senior Partners. Do you have any idea what they would do to him?"
"Need I remind you that he was trying to kill Angel at the time? We did what was necessary to protect one of our own," Wesley said.
"But Lindsey is mine," Willow said.
"Yours? How, exactly?" Angel sneered.
"So, you're the little girlfriend," Eve commented, smirking. "I can see why he wouldn't tell me more about you. You're delicious."
"Yes, I am. His girlfriend, I mean," Willow informed them.
"Willow, he's evil," Angel protested.
"No, he was evil. He's changed. I've seen the change in him. Do you really think that I would fall for someone evil?"
"I'm starting to think that I don't really know you at all," Angel stated.
"Yeah? Well the feeling's mutual, Mr. CEO." Willow closed her eyes to calm herself. "I don't want to fight about this right now. I just want to find Lindsey. Now, do you know where he is or not?"
"Hell, most like," Spike said, having been enjoying the show. "Or one of the hells. We were trying to suss that out when you came storming in here."
"I know where he is," Gunn said, entering the room. "And I can get us in."
"Great! Let's go," Willow said, hoping she wasn't going to have to defend herself to yet another person.
"What's the witch doing here?" Gunn asked, his voice surprisingly lacking venom, in Willow's opinion.
Before she could say anything, Wesley said, "She's looking for Lindsey, and she truly did not know why we'd called for her before yesterday."
"Has she met--?" Gunn started to ask, but before he could finish, Wesley interrupted. "Not yet."
"Now that we're all caught up," Willow said impatiently, "we need to go rescue Lindsey from Hell."
"Not hell. It's a Wolfram & Hart holding dimension," Gunn informed the group.
"Close enough," Spike guessed.
As Willow headed towards the door, determined to start their rescue, Angel's words stopped her dead in her tracks.
"You're not coming."
"Excuse me?" she asked, whirling around.
"You heard me. You. Are. Not. Coming." Each word brought Angel one step closer to Willow.
"I can take care of myself," Willow said defiantly.
"Oh, I believe that you could," Angel agreed.
Angel cut her off. "You're a distraction, plain and simple. I will not have you getting in the way of our mission because emotion is clouding your judgment."
"I can separate my emotions from the task at hand," Willow protested. "I'm not some lovesick child."
"Your actions so far have done little to make me believe that. You've as much as admitted that your main purpose in coming here is more to find Lindsey than to make amends with us."
"I didn't know before I got here that amends needed to be made, aside from a missed phone call. Spike, you know I could be helpful, right?"
"Probably, yeah, but seeing as how if it were up to me we'd leave the trickster where he is, I'm not all that big on reuniting him with his girl."
"Well, good thing it's not up to you. What'd he ever do to you anyway? I thought you got along in Sunnydale."
"That's just it, isn't it?" Spike came towards her. "When we were in Sunnyhell I thought we were getting to be all friendly like. Then he shows up in L.A. and he goes and uses me like that! Pretended to be a seer named Doyle who got visions of people in trouble that I needed to save. He played me."
"You never said you'd met him before," Angel said. "I know you're not the sharpest stake in the drawer, but even you should be able to recognize your friends when they show up."
"He was wearing a sodding glamour," Spike bit out. Turning on Eve, he added, "That your doing?"
"Guilty," she said, completely unapologetic. "If it makes you feel any better, he did feel bad about lying to you. But it was necessary for you to become the heroic vampire with a soul. Pretending to be Doyle was the best way to do it. Right, Angel?"
"Don't think that I've forgiven you for using his memory like that," Angel said.
"Wouldn't dream of it." Eve grinned. "Besides, I agree that Willow should remain here." All eyes focused on her. "What? After Spike and Angel, Willow clearly has the most power of you lot. Who better to protect me from the assassin the Senior Partners sent after me?"
"You know, you have a point," Angel agreed.
"Angel, no! You can't expect me to stay here and play babysitter. I should be helping you get Lindsey."
"It's settled. Spike, Gunn, you're with me. The rest of you are to remain here and do what you can to protect Eve. Now," he said, turning to Gunn, "how do we get to this holding dimension?"
"You ever taken the Camaro?" Gunn asked, eyes gleaming.