Ensouled Part I - The Disappearance
"Did you get this fucking memo?" Lilah Morgan threw a wrinkled piece of paper across Gavinís desk. "You little shit, you just made this up didn't you?"
Gavin threw a beady glare up at the intruder. "Lilah, you look a little ruffled, hope I had something to do with it." He smiled and picked up the tattered paper. Lilahís chest heaved as she began to pace Gavinís small office.
"If this has really happened, weíre dead. To waste the firmís hard stolen money and time for three years. Three years of my life I could have spent... Shit, doing anything but getting beaten, bitten and fucked for Angelus."
"And now the vampire Angelus sired has a soul." Gavin read from the memo, barely containing outright laughter.
"The vampire with a soul, it may not even be Angel, it could be this Spike. The senior partners will not be happy about this. Thank whatever that we aren't Christian."
"Why?" Gavin asked.
"Because I just had my nails done, and somehow I don't think they'd go with a bloody cross and thorns." Lilah turned and quickly left Gavin holding the memo.
Fred had been waiting for the phone to ring for nearly two months. It wasn't that the phone hadnít rang at all, the odd case, bill collectors, but the people she wanted to hear from had just disappeared. Fred and Gunn had gone over that night a thousand times. They had gone to the cliffs where Cordelia Chase had asked Angel to meet her. They had gone to Cordeliaís apartment, where all they had found was a rattled ghost and the few things Groo had left behind. They had gone to the motel where they had first seen Holtz with Connor, but neither of them had been seen by the portly manager. All of them were just gone. Cordy, Angel, Groo, Connor, Holtz. Even Lorne had left. Fred and Gunn were alone, completely alone.
"Foodís here." Fred jumped at Gunnís voice.
"Charles! Do you have to do that, can't you knock, or I don't know, shuffle?"
"Címon girl, you know I walk on air when I'm around you." He crossed the lobby and planted a soft kiss on Fredís lips. She returned his kiss and quickly grabbed the take-out from the tall black manís hands. "Anyone call yet?"
"No." She replied, knowing he already knew the answer. "Charles, I don't know what to do. I can't keep sitting here waiting, there has got to be a way to find them."
"Weíve looked everywhere but the bottom of the ocean, and something tells me Angel and Cordy wouldn't have taken a submarine trip together. I mean there's a lot of places they wanted to show Connor, but somehow I doubt that was real high on the list." Gunn put an arm around Fredís small frame and held her tight, she felt wonderful in his arms, until the phone rang and he caught an elbow in the chin when she dove for the phone.
"Angel?" Fred yelled into the receiver.
"No, I..Iím looking for Angel, I need him." The voice on the phone said. Fredís shoulders slumped as she replied.
"Angel is out of town, can I help you?"
"Is this Cordelia?" Said the voice, getting more frantic.
"No, my name is Fred, I work here at Angel Investigations, we just seem to be minus an Angel lately. Do you have a case you need investigated, Ďcause we have other investigators." She flashed a quick smile at Gunn.
"No, Angel's the only one who will understand, he's, he's just the only one. When will he be back?"
"I'm not really sure, he's been gone for a couple months. Are you sure we can't help you."
"Yes, I mean, yes I'm sure you can't. Oh bloody hell, I'm just going to come over there. Where is there?"
"Weíre in the Hyperion Hotel, on Hyperion way, do you know where that is?"
"Yeah, I'll find it. Thanks."
"Wait, I didn't get your name."
"It's Sp.. My name is William."
The phone went dead, and Fred placed it back on the counter.
"Who the heck was that?" Gunn asked.
"He said his name was William, and he's coming over."
"I don't remember Angel ever mentioning anyone named William, you?"
"No, I guess weíll just meet him when he gets here, or we could.. nah."
"What, you got some brilliant plan that we haven't thought of until now?"
"I was just thinking , we could ask Wesley, maybe he would know."
"Fred, weíve talked about this, Wesley doesn't care, for all we know Wes is the reason they're all missing."
"Donít say that, you know Wesley wouldn't do that." Fred gave him a determined look. "Charles, who else are we going to ask?"
Wesley had just settled onto the couch when there was a knock at the door. The only person who had been to his flat in months was Lilah Morgan. She would just show up. Uninvited. Unwanted. Yet, every time he let her in. Sometimes they would talk, she would scheme to get him to join Wolfram and Hart, he would try to pry information from her about prophecies and demons. Sometimes they would just skip the small talk and shag, lately there was more of that than talking. He had gotten used to her visits, even though he didn't like her in the least. So when the knock came he was tempted to just tear his clothes off and make it clear she was only of one use to him. Wesley was glad he had curbed the impulse when he opened the door and found Fred standing there.
"Fred." He had loved Winifred Burkle, not very long ago, and yet it seemed a lifetime ago. In fact it was, his past life as a trusted friend and co-worker.
"Wesley. You look so much better, I mean I know it's been a while since I saw you."
"Yes, I recall. The last time was in the hospital. I had just had my throat slit trying to protect Angel's son and you came to tell me to never come to the office again. Thank you so much for this forced death march down memory lane. Have a nice afternoon." He went to shut the door but Fred threw a hand out and stopped him.
"Dammit, Wesley." She appeared a little taken back by her own frustration, but she quickly recovered and marched into his apartment. "Angel and Cordelia are missing. Connor too. Lorne moved to Vegas and the Groosulag left."
"I really don't see what that has to do with me. I am no longer a private investigator. I am a..an." He looked around the apartment he had barely left in the past three months. "I am an avid reader. I am a professional avid reader. I really should be getting back to it now. There are new books written everyday, did you know that. It is very hard to keep up."
"Thatís all well and good, Wesley. But theyíve been gone for two months. I can't take it anymore, just the two of us in that huge hotel, a hundred rooms full of nothing. I have find them, and I need you. I need your help Wesley." Fred had gotten very close to Wesley and was now reaching out for his arm. He tried to take a step back but was blocked by an end table. "Wes, please. Help us find them."
Wesley tried to think of something to say but was distracted by Fredís tight grip on his arm. "I assume you and Gunn have been looking since they left, what makes you think I'll be able to help?"
"I don't know, I just think you can. I've tried looking in some of the books at the office to see if there's something we missed, but I can't even read half of them, and the ones I can don't make any sense to me." Fred let go of his arm and then grabbed it again when she remembered the phone call. "Oh, I almost forgot, this morning I got the strangest call from someone named William. He was looking for Angel, he said Angel could help him, that no one else would understand. Then he said he was coming to the hotel, and I thought maybe you would know who he was. He asked if I was Cordelia, so I thought maybe he was someone yíall knew from Sunnydale."
"Doesnít ring a bell, the only William I know is Spike, and he hasn't gone by that name in a hundred years."
"A hundred years? Whoís Spike?"
"Spike is a vampire that Drusilla sired about a hundred and twenty years ago in London. He was part of Angelus and Darlaís little family. He earned the nickname William the Bloody during their reign of terror through Europe."
"And now this evil vampire is back and looking for Angel. I've got to warn Charles." Fred pulled out a cell phone and began dialing. Wesley put his had out and closed her phone. "What are you doing, I know you're mad but you can't let a vampire kill Charles."
"Spike couldn't kill him if he wanted to. He's been living in Sunnydale with Buffy and her merry lot for years. He has some sort of device in his head that prevents him from hurting humans. We aren't in any danger from him, although it is curious that he would come to Los Angeles looking for Angel. I've heard the last time he was here he nearly tortured Angel to death, I doubt he would expect to be welcomed with open arms."
"Wesley, this whole summer has been strange. Everyone seems to be missing or dead, or..or I don't know, it's just all wrong."
"I can't make any promises, but I'll check with a few sources and see if I can come up with anything that will help. Can I call you if I have information?"
"Of course silly, that's why I'm here."
"Yes, of course, why else would you have come."
"I'm gonna head back to the hotel now okay." Fred gave Wesley a little hug, "I'm glad you're doing better Wesley." She let go of him and left. Wesley sat back down on the couch and picked up a book, not really reading it. Now he hoped Lilah would come visit him. Chances were she knew about Angel's disappearance. He would just have to find out how much.
Have wondered how it would all end.
Copyright 2002 - Tania
Violators will be beaten to death with a shovel
(A vague disclaimer is nobody's friend)