Pairing: None. Characters: Spike, Lindsey, Angel, Doyle
Summary: What does Wolfram & Hart want with Spike? Written for fall_for_spike
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: Thank you to my team of betas (velvetwhip, strangecreature, emeraldswan, KallieRose & Lisa Kelley) for going above and beyond with the speedy beta my reluctant muse demanded of you. You ladies rock!
Author's Note 2: While traditionally, it is the district attorney's office that obtains search warrants, it is not unheard of for defending lawyers to do the same.
Wolfram & Hart's limousine pulled up in front of Angel Investigations. Spike tossed back the rest of his drink and looked out at the building. It looked the same as it had last night when he'd rifled through Angel's belongings.
"Let's go over the game plan one more time," Lindsey suggested.
"Sod your game plan," Spike retorted. At Lindsey's put-upon expression, Spike sighed and said, "I'm goin' in and demandin' my ring back from the pouf, again. If he doesn't cough it up, your goons in the van behind us will follow you in and start takin' his place apart."
"Just remember to keep your fists to yourself," Lindsey warned him. "We're using the legal system to get Angel to do what you want. You don't want him to use your own tricks against you; suing you for assault or destruction of property."
"Right. Fine," Spike distractedly agreed. Before Lindsey could give him any more instructions, Spike stepped out of the limo and headed for the building, lighting up a cigarette on the way.
Spike stalked through the door to the building, silently debating over what he was about to do. It wasn't like him to hide behind humans, letting them do his dirty work. Minions, yes. That's what they were for. But to allow these piddly meals on legs to rip Angelus a new one just didn't sound like all that much fun.
Taking a final puff on his fag, he tossed it aside and physically shook off his thoughts. Too late now, anyway. The lawyer was sitting outside with his van of humans waiting to help him trick Angel into giving up his ring.
Hand on the door knob to Angel Investigations, Spike exhaled sharply and entered the office.
He stood silently in the doorway for a moment, slightly disappointed that no one was there to…welcome him. The cheerleader wasn't sitting at her desk and the Mick was nowhere to be seen. Even the lights were turned off.
This was a vampire's business, he thought, shouldn't they be sitting around waiting to help the pitiful humans? It's not like their boss could do business during the day.
A thought occurred to Spike, causing him to smile. Maybe Angel was too beat up to work tonight and he'd sent his human pets home. He liked that idea much better.
Just then, his thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the elevator. After what seemed like forever, the doors opened and Angel walked out, albeit slowly, bantering with the half-breed.
Angel stopped mid-step as he sensed Spike's presence. The joviality he'd been feeling vanished and he turned to glower at his grand-childe.
"Spike," he ground out. "What are you doing back here?"
"Same thing as before," he smirked.
"Marcus took your ring," Angel reminded him, subtly casting a glance at Doyle.
"You don't expect me to believe that you let him keep it," Spike tsked. "What with his taste for children and all."
"I don't have the ring, Spike," Angel said, carefully leaning against his desk, still incredibly sore from having had hot pokers shoved through him and then being burnt when chasing after Marcus.
"Bollocks. I know you. You and your little band of do-gooders went after the child-crazy vampire and killed him. I can see you're not wearing it, noble wanker that you are, but I'm sure you've got it locked up safely somewhere here. I'm not leaving until I get it."
"What? No foot stomping? Quit acting like a spoiled child and get out. You're never getting that ring back. Period."
Smirking, Spike said, "I was hoping you'd say that."
Lindsey took that as his cue and walked through the still-open door, followed by half a dozen men that were armed with assault rifles and stakes.
"Evenin' Angel," the lawyer smugly grinned.
"What are you doing here, Lindsey?" Angel asked, not even trying to keep the annoyance out of his voice.
"I'm here on official business." He reached inside his suit jacket and removed the warrant. "Spike, here, is now a client of Wolfram & Hart. This search warrant is for one Gem of Amara. If you do not willingly hand over the ring, these gentlemen have the authority to tear your home and business apart looking for it."
"There is no way in hell that I am turning over that ring to Spike, let alone you," Angel snarled.
"Now why didn't I think you would cooperate?" Lindsey said.
"Because he's a right pain in the arse," Spike suggested.
"Not now, Spike," Lindsey whispered, earning him a smug look of amusement from the vampire in question.
"Look, your men can search this place from top to bottom, but they're not goin' to find your ring," Doyle said, speaking for the first time. There had been enough violence against his boss, and friend, that day. He wasn't in the mood to see any more blood shed.
"So, he's given it to you to hold?" Spike's eyes narrowed as he focused on the shorter man.
"Not hardly," Doyle protested.
"Doyle," Angel warned, not wanting his friend to admit that the ring had been destroyed.
"What?" he turned to Angel. "It's not here. May as well just tell them and be done with it. I don't know about you, but I don't want to have to explain to Cordelia why the office has been torn apart, let alone your apartment – again."
"He's not going to believe me," Angel argued.
"If 'him' is me, then you're probably right," Spike interrupted, disliking being talked about like he wasn't there. "But you'll never know until you fess up and tell me where you hid my ring."
Lindsey's eyes widened as he realized what had happened. "Oh, no. Please tell me you didn't."
"Looks like lawyer-boy is smarter than he looks," Doyle said.
"Of course I did," Angel said, crossing his arms across his chest, defensively.
"You're an even bigger idiot than I gave you credit for," Lindsey said.
"Would someone please clue me in and tell me where my soddin' ring is?" Spike yelled.
"I destroyed it," Angel evenly stated.
Spike silently stared at Angel for a very long minute. "I'm sorry, I think I misheard you. Did you just say that you destroyed the Gem of Amara?"
"Yes, I did."
"Are you completely daft? Followed Drusilla into insanity? Completely lost your marbles?" Spike fumed as he began to pace, flailing his arms. "You destroyed the vampires' Holy Grail! Destroyed it!" Spike looked at his hand, as if there was an object resting on his palm. "What's this? A magical artifact that will keep me from being staked, burned by holy objects and the sun, you say? I'm such a poncy arse, so lost in self-hatred and loathing of what I am that I am going to destroy it!"
"Spike, calm down," Lindsey cautioned. "We knew this was a possibility."
Turning on his lawyer, Spike fumed. "You knew it was a possibility that that son-of-a-bitch would destroy my ring and yet you made me wait all soddin' day to come get it? What kind of game are you playin' here?"
"I'm not playing any games. While we knew it was a possibility, even we didn't believe that Angel was that much of an idiot as to actually follow through and destroy it. Hell, we half expected him to want to keep it so that he could help the helpless during the daylight hours too."
"Hey," Angel interrupted, "I did what I felt was right. My redemption isn't over and I'm not going to use something so powerful to achieve it."
"Well, what about the rest of us?" Spike whined.
"I am not about to risk a soulless vampire getting their hands on something so powerful," Angel vehemently said, pushing aside his pain to rise to his full height.
"And seein' as how you're the only souled vampire out there, that means everyone else who's lucky enough not to be you," Spike said.
"It's done," Angel firmly stated. "There is no point in debating over whether or not it was a good idea, which I still believe it was. There's nothing you can do about it now. Move on. Get out."
"Not so fast there, big guy," Lindsey protested. "We're still going to take a look around, just to see for ourselves if you're telling the truth."
Lindsey gestured to the men silently standing behind him. Without a word, they separated and some began to search through the drawers in the office while others moved toward the stairs to Angel's apartment.
"Why would he lie about somethin' like that?" Doyle asked, trying not to cringe at the mess these men were sure to make.
"Perhaps with the hope that we would leave him alone with Spike's priceless artifact to do just what I'd said: Become a daytime detective and help even more of the pathetic little people."
"That isn't what I'm about and you know it," Angel protested. "My mission here is to help the kind of people that I terrorized before the soul. The ones plagued by demons. I wouldn't be able to do that during the day anyway. I am a creature of the night and so are those who my clients need to be protected from."
Lindsey made a show of shaking himself awake. "I'm sorry; all that moralizing puts me to sleep."
"Get out," Angel demanded.
"Not just yet," Spike said. "I'm not going anywhere until those men confirm that my ring isn't here."
"Fine. Wait. But they won't find it," Angel said with a dismissive wave of his hand. He moved behind his desk and eased himself into the leather chair. Once settled, he opened Rachel's file and added to his notes.
"If that is true, then be prepared to be charged with destruction of personal property, in addition to having stolen said property," Lindsey said.
"Excuse me?" Angel said, looking up at the lawyer with incredulity.
"Had we found the Gem of Amara in your possession, we were simply going to give it back to Spike and have you charged with possession of stolen property. However, if you have, in fact, destroyed it, that opens up the door for much more serious charges," Lindsey coolly answered.
"What makes you think that you can charge me with anything? I'm not human; therefore human laws don't apply to me," Angel smirked.
"Think you're better than your average human, do ya?" Spike snarked.
"Now, you know that's not what I meant," Angel protested.
"Oh, of course not. Can't have anyone thinking you think you're better than those you help," Spike said.
"I'm not getting into this with you," Angel said.
"Why not? Because you know I'm right?" Spike needled.
"Because you'll find fault with whatever I say," Angel pointed out. "I know you, Spike. You'll do and say anything to get a rise out of me. You never were up for outright challenging me. Hell, you had to hire Marcus to torture me today! Afraid I'd get away from you if you did it yourself?"
"I hired Marcus because I knew he would take his time and do a thorough job of torturing you. Didn't want to risk getting impatient and just stakin' you without getting my ring back."
"At least you know your own shortcomings," Angel said.
Before Spike could reply, one of the men came back into the office, via the elevator.
"Sir," he said, addressing Lindsey. "I found this on the roof."
He held out his black-gloved hand, revealing bits of gold metal and green stone.
"You destroyed my ring!" Spike yelled, realizing what he was seeing.
Angel rolled his eyes. "I told you I did."
"Like I was going to believe it, just 'cause you said so," Spike fumed. He continued to rant, to no one in particular. "After all that time that I spent searching for it, digging it up, having to listen to Harmony prattling on about sodding France; I go through all of that work only to have him destroy it!"
"Uh, Spike, I think you're starting to show a family resemblance," Angel smirked.
"You shut up," Spike growled, turning to face Angel.
"Spike, that's enough," Lindsey said, resting a hand on his shoulder, which Spike shrugged off. "We may not have your ring, but we can still follow through with having Angel arrested for stealing it in the first place, as well as destruction of property."
"Why bother?" Spike petulantly asked, the fight seemingly going out of him.
Lindsey dragged Spike out of the AI offices. "I did not bring you into this to give up now," he fiercely whispered.
"Like you said, you brought me into this. My ring is gone; nothing can be done to bring it back. Those magicks are long gone," Spike pouted.
"We can still make Angel pay for depriving you of your ring," Lindsey pressed. "Let me go forward with the plan and press formal charges."
"That's your world, not ours. I'll find a way to make Angel pay, but it won't be in a bloody courtroom," Spike said as he turned and walked out.
"Spike, come back here," Lindsey called after him. "We had an agreement."
"He's not coming back," Angel said smugly from behind the lawyer.
"This isn't over," Lindsey said.
"No, it's probably not, but it no longer has anything to do with you. I can handle Spike. I always have been able to, and he knows it." Angel went back into his office, holding the door open for Lindsey's men to pass through, before firmly closing it behind them.
Outside, Spike was lighting a cigarette. He should have known better than to join forces with lawyers. He'd go back to his original plan, lay low for a while, then find a way to make Angel pay.
In the meantime, he'd head back to Sunnydale and make the Slayer pay for taking his ring away in the first place. She wouldn't know what hit her, he thought with a satisfied smirk.