Going to LA
I sighed to myself as I walked down the dark LA streets. It's been 19 days since Spike, my sire, dusted. The lights were bright and I watched as some people walked by me. I could hear their hearts beating and the blood running through their veins. I could smell their scent. I shook my head lightly...not going there.
It was different than Sunnydale, even if they were both in California. I was born in New York many years ago. Hell, I still had the old New York accent. I was born in 1887. I didn't even know what I was doing in LA. I remembered how everything happened after the Hellmouth.
Sunnydale was destroyed and we were all outside it. It was now night time and I was standing outside, hands in my black coat pockets. I was staring at the sky, a couple of stars twinkling in the darkness. I was frowning a bit, feeling solemn. It was different, losing your sire. I felt grief, he and Drusilla were the only kind of family I had since all this 'Sunnydale' nonsense. Then, it was just Spike. I've known him since he turned me in 1907. I was a twenty year old girl. It was painful to think about my sire, but I ignored it. I was a vampire for almost a 100 years. My existence a little longer than that.
"Theo? There you are." I glanced up, my lips twisted into a smile toward the voice. It was Dawn.
"Hey, Kiddo." I looked over at the long haired teen. She walked over to me to stand by my side and asked. "Where are you going to go?" Her and Buffy were going to Rome. I already said I wasn't going. I shrugged. "I don't know. Maybe back to New York. Haven't been in a long time." Since Spike killed his second Slayer at least. Dawn giggled a little. I turned my body toward her, arching an eyebrow. "Hm, what's so funny?"
Dawn smiled. "Sorry, still funny how you say 'York'." I grinned. I said 'York' like 'Yawk'. Even before I had my soul, like Spike, I had a soft spot for Dawn. With the Soul, the spot got bigger.
I nodded. "Yeah..." She looked away from me, shifting into place. Please don't have her start crying.
"Agh!" I blinked at her yell. She threw her arms around me quickly, hugging me. I stiffened, awkwardly patting her on the back. Dawn moved her head from my shoulder and looked up at me. "Still? Hug me back, Theo." I did, hugging her to me tightly. I took in her familiar scent. Dawn said. "I'm going to miss you. You sure you can't come?"
I smiled again, letting her go and ruffling her hair. "Yeah, it's best if I don't." Not without Spike. I said. "Now, make sure you stay out of trouble. Enough of the supernatural, even if you are part of it."
Dawn rolled her eyes. "I know."
I chuckled, chucking her chin lightly. "And don't cause that sister of yours too much trouble." I then gave her a wide grin. "But, remember to cause some trouble for her." I grinned wider. "For me." Dawn giggled again, matching my grin.
"Thanks for that, Theo. Telling my sister to cause me 'more' trouble."
I smirked in her direction ( throwing my arm over Dawn's shoulders), looking at Buffy from under the brim of my famous hat. As famous as Spike's black duster is. It was a black fedora with a wide ribbon around it. It was old, had it since 1908 and was still in good condition. Then again, I've murdered people brutally for even the slightest damage to it, so there's that. I felt a twinge of guilt in my chest at the thought. "Theo?" I frowned down at Dawn as I realized I was squeezing her tighter as I thought about this. Damn Soul.
I let go. "Sorry, Kiddo." Dawn looked at Buffy, squeezing my waist before going inside the place we were all staying. I chuckled, facing the blonde. I teased her. "So, ya gonna stake me now?"
Buffy rolled her eyes at me, raising her arms from her body. "No stake here."
I said dryly. "The Slayer without a stake or weapon?"
Buffy huffed, giving me a frustrated look. "I'm not going to stake you!"
I sent her another grin. "I know." She rolled her eyes again, grumbling under her breath. As a vampire, I could hear every word. It made my grin widen. Buffy noticed, shoving my shoulder. It drew another laugh from me.
"Dawn's right, you know?"
I glanced at her again. "'bout what?" I then gave her a confused look. Buffy looked hesitant. The Slayer doesn't do hesitant.
"You can come to Rome with us."
I snorted. "You do know how sunny Italy is, right?"
Buffy shrugged, still looking hesitant. "So is California."
I had enough of the hesitant behavior. "Why are you so timid, Slayer?"
Buffy sent me an annoyed glare. "Don't call me that." It's what Spike usually called her was left unsaid. I just sent her a smirk, getting a punch in the shoulder.
It hurt a little. Slayer strength. "Ow."
"You big baby. It's just a offer, okay?"
I smiled lightly. "I know. But it's best if I don't. But..." This time I was the one that was hesitant, fiddling with the brim of my hat, it was a tell of mine, one I couldn't seem to help. At her impatient look, I continued. Buffy wasn't known for her patience. "If you need anythin', just contact me." It's what Spike would want. I'd never admit it, but I had a bit of fondness for the older Summers' girl I've known over the years. Well, after she stopped trying to kill me and Spike. Then again, we did the same.
Buffy blinked at me, surprised. I was happy I could not blush, but Buffy must of saw something on my face. She grinned at me. "Aw, that's so sweet."
I wrinkled my nose at the words. "Buffy."
Buffy raised an eyebrow. "How do you expect me to contact you? You don't even have a phone."
I shrugged at her. "Why would I need one of those?" I didn't know many beings that used them. Most demons and others I kept in contact with didn't use them.
Buffy looked to be thinking and then rolled her eyes. She really has to quit doing that. I said blankly. "You really should stop rollin' your eyes."
"Shut up, Theo." Surprising me because she was the Slayer and I was a vampire, she hugged me tightly, her strength on my ribs causing me to grunt. I barely was able to pat her shoulder (my reaction to hugs from most people) when she let go. I looked down at her, she was a couple of inches shorter than me. She shoved a scrap of paper in my hand. I blinked at it, surprised. "Take it, you never know. We'll be in Rome." It was a phone number and I guessed it was her's.
Not being able to help it, I sent her a kind smile. "Alright, try to be normal or as close to it as you can, Buffy."
Buffy was gone and I sighed. I slipped the paper in my pocket, ready to leave and go...somewhere.
"Dora?" I stiffened at the name. Only one person called me that. I recognize the scent and voice anywhere. I turned with an easy smile. A girl an inch or two shorter than me, aged 21. She had long dark brown, almost black hair and dark eyes, with that California tan people here had. Amelia Harris, or Little Harris as Spike called her.
I said, after taking my hat off and running a hand through my short cropped brown hair. I plopped it back on my head. Seeing her made me smile. We had a tryst together. One I remembered fondly. She was horrified when the Scoobies found out. She cared too much for their opinions. Especially, that older brother of her's. I sent her a mischievous grin, my arched eyebrows below the brim of my hat. She huffed, shoving my shoulder a little. "Oh, knock that off."
I arched my eyebrows higher. "You seemed to enjoy it back then." I was delighted to see a dark flush on her cheeks. "Ah, there it is, Ame."
Amelia's flush got deeper, but I froze as she got on her toes, lifting my brim a little and kissing me on the cheek, before tugging it back down with a cute little grin.
I asked. "And that little lady of yours?" She was normal, human, think she was still in college, it's where they met after we split completely. She sent me a soft smile. "Great. It's..." She pressed her lips together. "It's great."
I nodded. "Alright."
I got another soft smile. "Take care of yourself, Dora."
"I will. You too, Ame. Seriously."
I watched her walk back inside after she squeezed my hand, with what I won't admit was with a longing look. It wouldn't work out. She wanted normal, she said that herself. With my Soul, I had to accept what she wanted. If I loved her...I shook the thought off.
She was too good and I wasn't...
It was that simple.
I shook my head with a light smile, looking toward the sky. I was still walking down the LA streets. There was no use thinking about it now. I knew Angel(us) was here somewhere, doing his 'brooding hero thing'. I never knew him before he went all 'Angel', the vampire with a soul and all that. Seen enough of Angelus when he lost his soul in Sunnydale and heard enough from Spike to never want to be anywhere near Angelus.
I fiddled with the brim of my hat. it was from my first kill, my first 'victim'. The guy was a complete shmuck.
I finally settled into a bar, sitting on a bar stool. I nodded at the bartender when he looked at me. "Jack." He gave me a nod back, making the drink. I glanced around, seeing a couple of humans around. That reminded me of blood. I needed a way to get some here. Soul and all makes me feel guilty about drinking from humans. A complete guilt trip. Maybe they had a butcher's here. LA had to have a decent amount of vampires here. Though, anything but pig's blood. After Sunnydale, I can't stand it. Any other blood than that swine.
I sipped my drink when the bartender slid it over. My back stiffened as I heard someone say. "Theodora Miller." I turned a bit and looked over. I noticed everyone was minding their own business. I arched an eyebrow. It was a man in a suit, with blond hair and blue eyes, a bit round (with a sniff, I realized he was human). I wondered what a human man wanted with me. I said. "Who the hell are you?"
"Hello, Miss Miller. I'm from Wolfram and Heart."
I blinked. "The demon law firm?"
He shifted a little, saying nervously. "We need to talk in private."
I stared, drinking down the whiskey in one gulp. I enjoyed the bite in my throat it gave me. I shrugged at the man, sending him a grin. "Sure, and if I don't like what you say, I'll eat you."
My grin widened as his face paled. Soul or not, it was fun.
We were meeting at the side of an alley (my choice) and he was shifting his feet. My dark blue eyes locked onto his pale blue one's. I asked. "So, what do you want?"
"Wolfram and Heart is under new management and we know of your prowess, Theodora Miller. And we'd be honored to have you as a investigator for the new management."
I asked, leaning one shoulder against the wall. "And why should I agree?"
He shifted again, breaking my gaze. "I-uh, think you'll find it interest you."
I tilted my head a bit. "Ah, no thanks." Wasn't about to let this get out, but I didn't do the whole evil thing anymore. And a evil demon law firm was exactly that.
He was standing nervously, but handed me a card. "The Senior Partners are interested in you. If you change your mind." I took it from his fingers, glancing down at the fancy font.
I smirked a little. "Alright. Now leave." I watched as he scampered off. My smirk widened. Ah, I still got it.
I didn't know how, but in my boredom, I ended up in front of Wolfram and Heart. It was daylight, so I hung out in the shadows. I had a couple of close calls and even burnt the bottom of my jeans once before I could fully reach the shadows. I shook it out, cursing. But, I was finally here. I walked inside, stopping myself from gaping. This place was huge.
"Theodora?" My head jerked up. It was the British Watcher-the younger one.
I smirked. "Wesley. What brings you here?"
Wesley eyed me warily. "I could...ask you the same."
I waved an airy hand. "The 'Senior Partners' wanted me to, whoever they are."
Wesley's eyes widened. "O-oh. I see."
I tilted my head in his direction. "So, what? I heard it was a change of management?" I then scowled at the amusement on his face, the twitch of lips. I said with narrowed eyes. "Watcher."
Wesley's eyebrows were raised as were his hands. "It's best if you saw for yourself." I stared and then shrugged. There wasn't much I was frightened of.
Wesley nodded his head. "Alright then, follow me." With another shrug, I followed.
I froze as I listened to two familiar voices from behind the door. I hissed. "Angelus and Harmony?" One was annoying and the other one was a major headache. Sometimes, I didn't know which was which. When Spike was screwing her, I thought I was going to dust myself if I had to listen to her.
Wesley sent me an innocent look. "You can leave if you are frightened."
I growled lowly at that. "I'm not frightened of Angelus."
Wesley frowned slightly. "He doesn't like being called that. He goes by Angel."
I shrugged again. "Same thing." Sure, Angel won't allow himself to act anything like Angelus, but they were the same people. One demon and one more human. It was easier for Angel to separate the two, better for his own sanity. I remembered when I got my soul, I was a wreck and my tally and sins weren't half as bad as Angelus'.
Wesley asked me as neither of us opened up the doors. "So, then, what are you going to do?"
I nodded toward the door. "Got nothing better to do." I pushed open both double doors, letting them slam against the wall. Okay, I was a little dramatic. Must be a part of being a vampire. I couldn't help, but feel smug at the shock on his face.
Angel stared. He blinked and then stared harder. "Theodora?!"
I smiled easily, sensing his agitation. "Angel."
I noticed Harmony, dressed in some light pink professional outfit. It seemed like something she'd wear. I usually kept to my jeans and button downs or t-shirts. Harmony beamed toward me. "Oh, Dory!"
As confused as Angel looked, I saw a flash of amusement in his eyes. I ignored him, looking at Harmony with an exasperated look. "Harmony. What did I tell you about calling me that?"
She put her hands on her hips, facing me. "Yeah, well, we haven't seen each other in a long while."
I spoke dryly. "It's been nice."
Harmony's mouth dropped in offense.
Angel suddenly shouted. "Hello?!" We both turned to look at the older vampire. "Yeah, still here! Theodora, what the hell are you doing here?"
I smirked in his direction. "Ah, Angel. Bad manners. Such rude words."
Angel looked like he was three seconds away from going 'Game Face'. "That's it, forget Harmony-"
Angel turned and pointed at her. "Shut it, Harmony." He turned to me. "You're dead."
I chuckled, raising my hands with a grin. "Already dead."
I stepped backward and away. He broke a chair, using the leg as a makeshift stake. "Woah, now hold on."
Angel moved closer, shaking the stake in my direction. "Do I even need to say why I want to kill you?"
I stepped back some more and he followed. We were circling the office. Harmony yelped, scampering away from Angel. Angel growled. "After what you and Spike did before-"
I winced before realizing that I did. I gave him a clenched jaw. I would not show it bothered me. 19 days since he dusted. I ducked from a table at the back of my knees. "Aw, c'mon. It's all in the past. My Great Grandsire."
Angel was glaring. "Give me one good reason why I shouldn't?"
I went to move, but he grabbed my jacket, shoving me against the wall, stake under my chin. I leaned back. "Angel."
Angel's voice was a warning. "Theodora."
I sighed. "I've changed. No killing humans, I swear. But you know that, Angel. Also, those Senior Partners want me here."
Angel froze, lowering the stake. I shoved him off me. "Lay off!"
He backed up, gave me a warning look. He dropped the stake. I grabbed the sides of my jacket and shifted it in place with a rough tug, sending Angel an annoyed look.
Wesley then walked in with a knock. "Angel, our case has become problematic. Hello, Harmony, Theodora."
I eyed him, a little annoyed at everyone calling me by my full name. "I go by Theo and now you show up."
The watcher didn't look bothered. "I'm sure you were fine."
Harmony smiled at him. "Hey, Wes."
Angel stared. "You knew they-"
Harmony interrupted him. "Wesley was the one who picked me out of the Steno pool."
Angel nodded at me. "And you?"
I grinned. "One of your weak lackeys. Sought me out. But, I ran into dear Wesley here."
Angel was still in disbelief. "But why? You-" He threw up his hands, putting them on his hips.
Wesley replied. "I thought a familiar face or two would be just the thing in a place like this."
I shrugged at the look he sent me. Angel turned back to Wesley. "You turned evil a lot faster than I thought you would."
I snorted. Ensouled Angel has no concept of evil.
Wesley replied. "Nonsense."
Harmony smiled. "We're gonna get along great, boss. The whole gang. I mean, Cordy is going to loose it when she finds out I-"
I frowned at their looks. "Cordy? That's the loudmouthed human, right?"
Wesley sent me a warning look, glancing at Angel. "Theo-"
Harmony gave an annoyed gasp. "Dory-"
"Don't call me-"
"Theodora! Shut up!" I opened my mouth and closed it at his dark look. Also, the look in his eyes. I recognized the look as I did in Spike's and my own. Damn Soul.
Harmony said. "I mean, you are gonna tell her you're okay with this, right?"
I said lowly. "Harmony." I could see where this is going.
Harmony said. "What? I mean, I know she's mad at me for trying to kill them-"
I glanced at Wesley, saying bluntly. "What happened?"
Wesley sighed, his voice sad. "I thought you both knew."
Angel said quietly, his head ducked down. "Cordy's sick. She's in a coma."
I was silent as Harmony was shocked. "Oh-I-I didn't-what happened? Is she gonna be okay?"
Angel looked away. "We don't know."
Harmony's breath hitched (not that she needed to breathe). "Cordy was my best friend, like my whole life. She's my role model. How can she-so, I really think you should not fire me and Wes does too."
Wesley said. "Harmony, would you ask the men in my office to join us, please?"
Harmony said brightly. "Right-ho!" She skipped off.
Wesley said, comfortingly. "If there is a way to help Cordelia, we'll find it."
Angel nodded and then turned to me, sighing. "What are you doing here?"
I rolled my eyes at him. "I told you that already. No ulterior motives at all."
Angel's brows furrowed and then he said. "Spike-"
I sent him a glare, shaking my head sharply. "Don't go there."
Angel nodded after noticing my look. "What do you expect to do here?"
I shrugged. "I dunno. Fight crime and investigate...stuff."
Angel groaned, pointing his finger at me. "Fine. You step one toe-"
I rolled my eyes again, sitting down in the red chair in the office. I rested my arms on the arms of the chair. "Lay off, I get it." I ignored Angel's glare.
Angel walked over to his desk. "What's the case?"
Wesley answered, holding a file. "Corbin Fries. The lowest piece of pond scum. I've met in-oh-hours. He's about to get 20 years for kidnapping, pimping-"
Angel had said file. "I saw the file." He handed it back to the Watcher.
Wesley replied. "Yeah, well, personally, I think he deserves to be eaten by weasels, but he's hinting we best help. Threatening, actually."
I smirked. People didn't threaten him. Whichever if he was Angel or Angelus.
"Mr. Fries." That was Angel saying that. I turned my head to see a male human with dark hair in his 30's in a casual suit. I easily recognized the cruel gleam in his eyes. Malice.
Harmony was suddenly back. "Mr. Fries, this is Angel."
Wesley spoke up. "I've been bringing him up to speed on your case."
Fries had somewhat of a deep voice. "Terrific."
I took a whiff of the air and smelled a familiar scent. I looked over and arched an eyebrow. It was the guy who met me in the bar. He winced when he saw me.
Wesley said. "Descond Keel. One of ours."
I smiled as I recognized him. "Hello, there." Keel paled.
Fires was standing, his eyes flickering arrogantly between us. "You know each other?"
Keel swallowed. "Briefly." Angel was sending me a look to not 'start anything'. I just sent him an arched eyebrow.
Angel went to shake hands with the nervous lawyer. He said. "Nice to meet you." Figures what he was fidgety about. He was dealing with this big case before he met with me.
Keel replied. "I've heard things." I smirked. I'm sure he has.
Harmony asked, hanging by the door. "Would anybody like coffee?"
Fries scoffed. "Oh, yeah. Let's chitchat and have tea and crumpets, 'cause I got so much time. Here's the skinny. Tomorrow, the DA puts my tit in a wringer for good and all, and that does not stand with me. Butt munch here, he got his law degree in dog training school, and the prosecution has everything they ever dreamed of."
As they went in another room (even if I could hear perfectly), I followed them, getting out of my chair. I leaned against the wall. Keel and Fries were sitting on one couch. Wesley was sitting on the other one. Me, Harmony and Angel were standing.
Angel stared at Fries. "Because you're guilty." Of course he is, the human acted like a complete shmuck.
Fries stared back, annoyed. "'Course I'm guilty. What the hell are you changing the subject for? The point is when Holland Manners was runnin' things, this never would've gone to trial. Now, I bring a lot of money into this firm-more than most-and I don't do that so I can be handed over to the frickin' law. You...got to get me off."
I looked at Angel, curious to see how he would react. Angel just replied. "It's strange, my lack of incentive."
Fries narrowed his eyes. "You think I give a ferret's anus about your new regime here? Yeah, I know who you are and I care to the scum of zero. You're my lawyers. And if you don't do every last thing to keep me out of jail, you will regret it." I stared at the human, the arrogance was rolling off him in almost visible waves.
Keel stuttered out. "Uh, we can't dance around this one, we're not in a position to have anyone killed-not that we would and the jury's tamper proof. Literally, I think the DA Shamans have conjured a mystical shield around them."
Wesley spoke. "So, this one has to be won on the merits of the case."
Keel replied. "Uh, we have top men on this."
Fries snapped. "Who are doing jack! I will not be made an example of!" He stood quickly.
I had just enough of this guy. I was still leaning against the wall and I eyed him, saying calmly and lowly, but loud enough for everyone to hear. "We could kill you, problem solved."
Fries shot me a pissed off look (not bothering me even a little). "You?! Who the hell do you think you are?!"
I smiled at him, but it wasn't kind. "You know what Angel is."
If possible, he was even more furious. "You better get me off-"
I moved from the wall and stalked forward, going to pass Angel. "You really gotta stop saying-" I was stopped short by Angel grabbing me firmly by my upper arm. I scowled up at him, hating his height at the moment. I tugged at my arm, but his hold didn't loosen and I didn't want to get in a full on fight right now.
Angel said. "You both need to calm down." My hackles were raised, but I didn't say anything.
Fries spat. "To hell with calm down. Either you get me off or I'll drop the bomb." I froze and stopped trying to move away from Angel.
Wesley asked, alarmed. "Bomb?"
Fries was suddenly smug. "Let me put it this way. They bring in a conviction. Bye-bye, California. I say the word and the only people left standing, are gonna be the ones that are already dead."
I shook off Angel, giving a barely heard low growl.
Harmony sighed. "That's a relief." She took it back after the stares she got.
Fries noticed my look. "Try to kill me and see what happens."
I almost bared my teeth at him. I was barely holding in my own 'Game Face'. Who knows if Buffy and the others are in Rome or not. And what about Amelia? She was staying in California with her girlfriend. I felt rage take over deep in my chest. This scum would not kill her.
I'd torture him first. Jail would be the least of his problems.
Soul or not.
Fries left with Keel and I said tightly. "Angel."
Angel was furious. "Let's go."
Harmony followed along with Wesley. Angel barked. "Theodora. Come on."
I rolled my eyes, following them. At times like this, it was best just to agree. I growled under my breath as I thought about Fries.
I would not be bullied by some human.