Note: Charles Gunn is now working in Angel Investigations. Enjoy this fic! It's my first time doing this, so...please R and R!!
"Honey, did you see the coffee anywhere?" Angel asked, glancing around at the empty coffeemaker. "Or did you forget to get it again?"
Eighteen year-old Jessica Summers shrugged, giving her father a bright smile. "It's not me this time. Ask Aunt Cordy. She knows."
"Hey hey hey, what do you mean 'She knows'?" Cordelia demanded from her newly renovated desk. "Wesley was the last one seen around the coffee maker." she paused for a while. "And don't call me 'Aunt'. Cordy will do. the word 'aunt' seems so...old." she wrinkled her nose and picked out a donut from the box.
Angel sighed and put down his coffee cup, being careful to avoid the sunlight shining through the uncomfortably large windows. Even though it had been covered by curtains, being a vampire, he still felt uneasy with the potentially fatal sunshine.
He looked over at his daughter, who looked back at him innocently with chocolate brown eyes that were mirrors of his own.
Jessica Summers had been bestowed onto him by the Powers that Be. And since he was a vampire with no means to procreate, They had taken some of Buffy's and Angel's essence to create Angelline Summers, a normal human being, but gifted with her mother's prowess, extraordinary strength and startling speed that had been discovered not long ago when Angel had been sparring with her.
It was difficult to imagine that four years ago, she was still an infant. Jessica had grown rapidly, and now, thankfully, she had stopped at the age of eighteen to nineteen. It was as if something in her had awakened during that period of time, and she had blossomed into an exceedingly beautiful young woman.
Being his own flesh-and-blood, Angel loved her above all things, but drew the line between loving and totally spoiling. He had trained her intensively in martial arts, and she had learnt very fast, and was capable of mastering new skills on her own. Well, with the help of the TV and a few videotapes anyway.
Although Jessica looked nothing like her mother, Buffy Summers, his lover and soul-mate who had died a little over a year ago in a bloody battle, they were both exactly alike in more aspects than one.
Angel still missed Buffy, but he knew that she never was really gone; she was always with him, in his heart, in his soul. And Angel lived secure in the fact that he would be reunited with her someday.
Dark brown hair fell in loose ringlets, framing Jessica's slightly pale face and barely touching her shoulders, as the dark eyes, the same pair she had inherited from her father, shone with warmth and innocence, free from the guilt and agony that had burdened Angel for more than a hundred years.
Her lips were a natural dark champagne red, and all of it contributed to her overall exotic features. Cordy and Wesley had taken to her immediately, and Angel had to stop them, sometimes, from spoiling her through and through. And well, another very useful addition to the Angel Investigations team was truly welcome, and Angel had always looked forward to the day when he would finally be human.
Wolfram and Hart, the rogue lawyer's firm that had always been responsible for most of the bad things that come along in L.A., had been totally destroyed-together with the vampire sire Darla again-for good.
"Speaking of, where's Wesley and Gunn?" Angel asked, looking around for the ex-Watcher, now turned "Rogue demon hunter", and for his other pal, a kickass vampire hunter named Gunn, who lived the rough streets and killed vampires with practiced ease.
"Wes went to the library earlier in the morning to borrow a few more dusty books to add to our collection of dusty and smelly books. Gunn followed him." Cordelia looked over at Angel and wrinkled her nose. "Seriously, don't you ever read Christopher Pike or Danielle Steele books?"
Angel stared at her, feeling a familiar headache coming on whenever Cordy got into one of her moods, which more often than not consisted of constructive criticism on Angel's life, or unlife, to be exact. "Who?"
Cordelia sighed. "Look, they're world famous authors. Do you live in a coffin or something? You really should go to more normal bookshops."
"What's wrong with my books?"
"I'm at a very impressionable age, you know." Jessica commented off-handedly, cutting into the conversation. She flashed them a cheeky grin when they turned back to look at her. "And I kinda like Dad's books. Okay, so not all, but hey, I deal. Even with the gruesome corpses."
Cordelia was about to say something when a grimace of pain flashed across her features and she held a hand to her head.
"Vision," Angel muttered as both he and Jessica rushed over to help her to the sofa. And judging from Cordelia's cries of pain, it seemed very bad.
Worriedly, Jessica went to take some painkillers and a glass of water for Cordelia as the vision faded away.
"It seems like a particularly nasty one," Angel observed, concerned. "Are you all right?"
"I'll live, I think." Cordelia groaned as Jessica gave her the painkillers. "There's this girl. Alot on the ditzy bimbo side but great fashion sense," she said after drinking down the painkillers and the water, rubbing her head. "And people. But this one is the target, or something."
"Cordy..." Angel started.
"Okay, okay, I'm getting to it." she said irritably, which was no surprise, since the visions had always left Cordelia in a very bad mood. "Very nasty demon with slimy tentacles and goldfish eyes. It's a Morkoth demon. And vampires, many vampires..." she shuddered. "They were attacking her. Downtown L.A."
She scribbled down the address and the woman's name quickly and passed it to them.
"It's day out," he muttered. eyes narrowed with frustration at his vampiric weakness. "And there's no shelter to your car."
"I'll go," Jessica said, as it was daytime, and Angel couldn't get anywhere without spontaneous combustion on his part. She hastily stuffed a battleax and a morningstar into her bag, then headed into the room to change quickly, emerging in a crop top and drawstring cargo pants.
"I'll come along," Cordelia said quickly, standing up. "Two are better than one, after all."
Angel nodded, a frown on his features as he tossed her the keys of the Plymouth. "Things are not as easy as it looks. Keep in touch. Don't wreck my car. And be careful."
Jessica and Cordelia nodded, then headed out of the door.
Tasha had barely fired off an entire round when the monster, the most horrifying thing she'd ever seen, snarled in a guttural way and launched itself at her, it's tentacles waving about menacingly.
'Ohgod, ohgod.' she thought as she aimed a roundhouse kick at it. 'Is this some kind of trick?'
Around her, her fellow teammates were fighting hideous men with fangs. If she didn't know better, she'd have thought they were vampires.
Somewhere in the chaos, she heard Kay scream.
"Get away!" Val shouted, horrified. "Who are you people? You guys are in serious need of a facial!"
One of the hideous beings were heading towards her, and, with all her teammates' being busy, they failed to notice her. The ugly man leered at her.
"You talking to me, blood bag?" he hissed, mouth open wide.
Val screamed, then saw something pointy and wooden stab out from his chest. The ugly man froze for a moment, and instead of bleeding, it turned to dust, bringing Val face-to-face with her rescuer.
It was a woman, and she was very pretty, with dark brown eyes and long brown hair that reached well past her shoulders. Her mouth was set into a firm line as she handed Val something sharp and pointy.
"Use this." the woman said to her. "Stab those ugly men in the heart. They'll go 'poof' and become harmless."
"What are they?" Val asked, shocked.
"We'll talk about that later. I've gotta help Jess." The stranger told her, then waded into the fight with another one she didn't know, a petite, strikingly beautiful brunette with commendable fashion sense, and unnaturally fast reflexes.
Aiming a roundhouse kick at the nearest vampire who had set its sights on a honey of an Asian guy, Jessica tossed him a stake and a quick smile. "Stab it in the heart. Works like a charm."
"Hey, thanks." he replied, then his eyes widened. "Look out!"
The sudden change in the air warned her that a vampire was coming down on her, and Jessica turned just in time to raise the business end of the stake upwards, impaling it in the heart and covering Jessica with dust.
She coughed and narrowly missed an offhand swipe of a vampire who had rainbow coloured hair, bearing a close resemblance to Bubbles the Clown.
Bubbles snarled, obviously the ringleader. "Kill all of them!" he hissed over the din. "Gunnar! Take out the dumb blonde and get the girl!"
"The boss?" Jessica tripped up the vampire and tackled him to the ground. She levelled the stake against Bubbles' chest. Which meant one small move and it would be sayonara for him.
"All right, pal. This is where I grill you and you answer me honestly," she snapped. "One move and you'll disappear from the face of this earth, got it?"
Bubbles the Clown glared at her and spat out, "Bitch."
Jessica didn't react, but the tip of the stake pushed a little deeper, almost puncturing the skin. Knowing that she meant business, Bubbles quickly said, "Okay, okay, I'll tell you! I'll tell you!" he glanced around frantically for his followers, but they hadn't paid any attention to him at the moment. This time, he was on his own.
"The Big Boss called me up, I swear. I haven't seen his face before, but he's dangerous stuff. We never meet. There's always this guy from the blood delivery service thing down outside Crointh Studios. Guys says the Big Boss is gunning for the VIP agency, 'cause of something or other. We're just carrying out orders."
"What's the name of this guy?" she demanded.
Bubbles hesitated for a while. "Ricky the Shark."
"Well, pal," Jessica said with a sudden grin. "You've just made the biggest mistake by coming here since you decided to pop out of the ground like a weed."
Before Bubbles could protest, she sank her trusty stake all the way in, going right through his heart. "Bye."
The scar-faced vampire reached over to grab Val, but ended up as a pile of dust when the Asian guy flipped over with martial arts precision and staked him.
"Who're you calling dumb?" Val snapped. If it was something she hated, it was being called a dumb blonde.
Jessica moved like lightning, covering Cordelia's back and making her way towards the main attraction: The Morkoth demon, who was busy trying to maul somebody at the moment.
Slipping her stakes back into her pocket, she withdrew her battleax and the morningstar from the duffel bag at her feet.
'Good,' she thought approvingly, and hefting the two deadly weapons experimentally to test their weight, she was behind the demon in strides.
The Morkoth demon was about to attack the tall, brunette woman when she tapped it smartly on the back. "Me first, Demon Boy."
As it swung around, she sank the steel-tipped morningstar deep into its huge, bloodshot, eye. It let out an inhuman scream as the morningstar stuck there like a growth.
It thrashed around wildly as Jessica yanked the stunned woman into the safety area. Nimble on her feet, Jessica backflipped gracefully past the tentacles, careful not to come in contact with any of them. A few whipped at her, breaking skin and drawing blood.
'Crap, got to watch for that right tentacle there.' Jessica winced in pain, but concentrated on locating the neck. The battle ax was immensely useful in separating necks from bodies, which was essential now.
Finally catching sight of it under the gigantic layer of blob and slime, she let fly the battleax.
There was the sound of bone snapping as the Morkoth demon fell to the floor with a wet and heavy 'thump'. In a flash, the body turned to red dust as the battleax and the morningstar clattered noisily to the floor. A few yards away from her, Cordelia was busy sticking the last stake into a vampire. There were several bruises on her, but otherwise, she was relatively okay.
Chest heaving, she bent and picked up the morningstar and the battleax.
"Who are you?" the spike-haired woman demanded. "And what were those?"
"Those," Jessica gestured to the dust on the floor. "Were vampires. And that one there was a demon. A Morkoth. Very useful with it's tentacles."
"Vampires? Demons?" the blonde in glasses asked, unbelieving. "But they're like, pretend?"
"Right. If they're not vampires, what's with the fangs and the dust? They're not David Copperfields, you know." Cordelia huffed, coming up to Jessica and trying to catch her breath. "I'm gonna be feeling sore for the rest of today."
"We're from Angel Investigations," Jessica said with a small smile and extended a hand.
"Oh," Recognition dawned in Vallery's eyes, together with an excited, wide smile. "So you were the guys who brought down the Wolfram and Hart company, that despicable, slimy law firm?"
"Yeah." Cordelia nodded. "It wasn't a mass suicide or murder as they claimed. They were demons. So we put the kibosh on all of them.' she grimaced. "Took me a month to recover from that one."
"So...you're demon hunters?" the cute Negro asked doubtfully, with a frown.
"Basically, yeah. But we don't say that on our resume. It tends to freak people out." Jessica shrugged, then handed each one of them a card. "I'm Jessica Summers, and this is my associate, Cordelia Chase."
"Hi, I'm Vallery Irons, and I'm in charge of the V.I.P. Agency," Val said eagerly, shaking Jessica's hand enthusiastically. "And these are all my associates."
One by one, they were all introduced to them. The tallest one with a kickass, cool, sassy, attitude Jessica had saved earlier was Tasha, the spike-haired cutie was Nikki, with a daredevil attitude that appealed to Jessica personally.
The pretty blonde with glasses was Kay, and strangely, she reminded Cordelia a little of the resident Sunnydale nerdette and boyfriend snatcher, Willow Rosenberg. It still surprised her mildly that she still nursed a grudge against Willow. Because of Xander Harris, a loser she had made the mistake of dating while she was in high school.
The handsome through-and-through Asian guy was called Johnny-who had already caught Jessica's attention, and it seemed to be mutual-and the other guy was Quick.
The last one, cowering in a corner, with wide, frightened eyes, was helped up by Tasha and Nikki. She was pretty, in a mousy way, with bright red hair and blue eyes. She was a client of theirs, it seemed.
"Boy, you and Gunn would make a perfect pair. Short and fast names." Cordelia commented to Quick.
"Gun?" Kay asked curiously. "Like Guns and Roses "Gun"?"
"Nope." Cordelia said patiently, shooting her a look. "Gunn. With a double "n". He's a demon hunter like us. Been in the business for very long, but he's a pretty much new member."
"Okay, let's get back on track." Jessica looked over at them. "You've gotta be careful now, a big shot guy is seriously gunning for you guys, and he's got a LOT of demons under him, from the sounds of it."
"So, vampire tips: They are very allergic to sunlight. Fire, beheading, and wooden stakes through the heart can kill them. Garlic and holy water have their uses, too. Oh, and don't ever invite them in. They can't come in unless invited." Cordelia ticked the points off her fingers. "That's enough to protect you guys if you stay inside this place."
"Wait, wait." Nikki said, shaking her head. "You mean, demons are after us? Demons?"
Jessica nodded. "Yeah. It sounds unbelievable at first, but it's true. The demons part."
Quick looked over at the card. "'We help the helpless?' We're helpless?"
"In the terms of demon hunting and vampire-ass kicking, yeah." Cordelia told him bluntly. "We're here to help."
"How'd you know we need help? You both seem to know that we're in trouble." Tasha looked at them curiously.
"We have a radar here." Jessica grinned and pointed to Cordelia. "She is a Seer. Which means she had visions and everything of people in trouble. So we kinda know where to look. Saves a lot of time." she paused. "Do you know why they came?"
Val nodded, and gestured to the mousy girl. "They wanted her. Her name's Cassandra LaVelle."
Cassandra, who looked barely sixteen, was now seated on an undamaged table, looked up at the two new arrivals and nodded slightly. She seemed to be recovering from the shock quite well, Jessica observed.
"She, uh, can't talk." Kay told them, adjusting her glasses and cleaning up the mess as best as she could. "She's been like that since the first day she came."
"Oh." Cordelia realized, then thought for a while. "Why do they want her?"
"There's this woman, Cassandra's guardian, I think. She came to us and hired us as bodyguards to protect her." Quick said. "From what, she didn't say. She just wanted a bodyguard."
Jessica looked at her closely. She wasn't popular or anything, at least she didn't recognaize Cassandra LaVelle's name anywhere. There were two reasons for hiring bodyguards. One was to protect form the crowds and the paparazzi, and another was to protect one from a dangerous person. She was pretty sure Cassandra came up with the second option.
But she looked so helpless and afraid, and Jessica's heart went out to her. The Big Boss or whatever was definitely dangerous, and she wondered what made the Big Boss come after that girl.
Jessica handed Cassandra her namecard. "Here. This is my namecard. My dad's name is Angel, and he would definitely be able to help you."
Cassandra accepted it meekly and nodded, ducking her head, refusing to look into Jessica's eyes.
"Look, she's our client, and you can't-" Nikki started, but was cut off by Cordelia.
"No, *you* look here, your client is in BIG trouble with demons that can break your neck without even bothering to say "Hi", and you're talking about business?" she snapped, annoyed now. "I've got a blasted visionby the Powers That Be, for christsakes, and it's not for nothing. Angel Investigations is DEFINITELY roped into this case, like it or not."
"I don't like you." Nikki glared at Cordelia.
"Good, because I don't either." Cordelia, who already had loads of attitude and experience on how to handle people the hard way to boot, glared back, crossing her arms over her chest and pursing her lips. God, she was SO annoying!
"Uh, Cordy?" It was Jessica, who had decided to step in, while flashing Nikki an apologetic smile that said clearly, "sorry about that". "Be nice."
"I *am* nice." she replied through gritted teeth. Val, on the other hand, had decided to step in too and put a hand on Nikki's arm.
"All right then. We'll work together on this case." she looked at Cassandra, who was simply sitting there. "The lives of our clients matter more than anything. And you two, stop arguing."
"Uhh, I guess I came too late?" came a new, familiar voice. Jessica and Cordelia spun around and saw Gunn standing there, surveying the damage, a small smile on his face. "Nice job, chicas."
"That's our other associate, Gunn. Charles Gunn." Jessica introduced, pleased to see him.
"Hey, all." Gunn grinned and gave them a small wave. "What's up?"
He then turned to Cordelia. "Angel says that we've got another mission on our hands. What gives?"
"Tell you about it later," Cordelia told him. "For now, meet our new "clients" and the client of our clients."
After a quick round of introduction, it was back to business.
"All right, chances are that they won't strike again, so we've gotta go," Jessica told them. "We'll come back at around sunset, would that be okay with you?"
Val nodded, approving. "All right then. See you later."
When they were out finally, Jessica turned to the both of them seriously. "Word says that there's a blood delivery job going on down somwhere near Corinth Studios, and one of 'em, Ricky the Shark, probably has links to whoever is after Cassandra. To be able to send demons like that, he must be pretty big." she paused for a while and looked back at the building. "Gunn, I need you to keep watch on Cassandra from now till sunset. I'm not taking any chances."
Gunn looked at her for a moment, then nodded. "Okay, sure." he started to head back to the building. "I'll call if anything crops up. So keep the line free."
With that, she got into the car with Cordelia and they drove off.
"I can't believe that woman!" Cordelia hissed as soon as they were away from that place. "Bitchy much? Egoistic much?"
"Uh, maybe you should calm down," Jessica told her as she reached a traffic light. "Improves the client-associate relationship. Besides, she isn't so bad."
"We save her butt and she isn't even grateful! What kind of person is that?" Cordelia demanded, a frown on her pretty features. "We're taking away business? Hello!! We've got much more business than they ever did!"
Knowing that it probably wasn't true, Jessica shook her head. "Cord, this isn't about business. Not in the strictest sense, anyway. It's about my dad getting redemption." a dreamy look crossed her eyes. "And becoming human. I've always wanted to do some real father-daughter bonding with him, and I'd like to be around when he turns human."
Cordelia was quiet.
"Yeah, me too." she said finally, a small smile on her face. "I'd really love to see him getting a tan and everything. I bet he could reel in all the girls."
Jessica looked disturbed. "Reel in all the girls?" she frowned. "Dads aren't supposed to do that, right?" she glanced at Cordelia. "My dad's my dad."
"Your dad's hot." Cordelia told her patiently. "And on the outside, he's young, and many women would want a piece of him. What do you think?"
"But...what about Mom?" she asked, confused. "Don't you think Dad will be faithful to Mom?"
"Jess," Cordelia sighed. "There's a lot of things you're gonna have to learn about men. Some of them are faithful, but some aren't. Your dad may be either one, but don't you think he's going to do a little dating when he turns human? And the Gypsy curse leaves him sexually frustrated. Imeagine not having sex for that many years? It's enough to kill him."
Jessica looked horrified. "I just can't imagine my dad doing that." she grimaced. "Eww...I really can't imagine him doing...*thing*." a slight flush of pink tinged her pale cheeks, then she frowned, thinking of Kate Lockley, the bitchy policewoman in the LAPD who had found out that her father was a vampire and hadn't given him the time of the day since. "If my dad dates Police Woman, I'll disinherit him."
"I don't see why we have to work with *them*." Nikki muttered, pacing the floor to dispel her annoyance. "That Cordelia is...never mind."
"Come on Nikki," Kay looked at her friend as they tried to straighten the mess out. "We definitely need help. She's right, you know." Kay shuddered. "Those...vampires were disgusting."
Nikki wasn't listening, as she turned to Gunn, who was looking around the room, hands casually stuffed into his cardigan pockets. "Is that Cordelia always like that?"
Gunn shrugged. "Well, she may be a little on the forward and blunt side, but she's good at heart. Just gotta get used to her."
"How about the other one?" Johnny asked suddenly, a smile on his face. "She's hot."
"Uh-uh," Gunn wagged a finger in his face. "No touching, pal. She's my boss's daughter and off-limits."
Quick grinned. "Not really." he threw a glance in Johnny's direction. "I like her too. She's sizzling."
"Hey," Johnny stiffened, glaring at him. "Why do you always like the girls *I* do?"
"Never. She likes me."
"They're always like this." Tasha told Gunn with a sigh. "Two boys fighting to be Alpha dog. We get it all the time."
Amused, Gunn turned to Cassandra, who was seated catatonically in a chair, eyes unfocued and unblinking. "Is she always like this?"
Tasha nodded sympathetically. "Yeah. Sometimes, she sits like this for long moments, or else she cowers in the corner. I wonder who would be so cold-blooded as to want to kill her."
Then, Gunn had an idea. Why hadn't Jessica asked for the guardian's name? "What's her guardian's name?"
"Fontaine. Marie Fontaine. The CEO of Fontaine Enterprises."
"Whoa. That's pretty big." he remarked, then removed a cell phone from his pocket. "Excuse me for a moment while I make a call."
"We've got to check the blood deliery ring and bust it for good," Angel said, as soon as Cordelia and Jessica were finished relating their story.
"Nuh-uh, not now, Angel." Cordelia said, gesturing the the hints of sunlight through the windows. "Sun. Not good. We've got to wait till tonight, where you won't be at a disadvantage."
"I know," Angel nodded with a frown. "But that blood supply ring was supposed to be extinct. How come it's revived again?"
"My guess is that whomever wants to get to Cassandra has revived the business." Wesley spoke up. "This is L.A., after all. The dead always comes to life again. In one way or another."
"He must be as powerful as Wolfram and Hart, or something like that." Jessica commented. "Gunn's at their place looking protecting Cassandra." she looked at the clock. Five hours till sundown. And since Angel couldn't do anything right now, the vampires in the blood delivery couldn't, either.
"Is anyone hungry?" Cordelia said suddenly, rubbing her stomach. "I haven't had anything to eat since the donut I had just now. Killing vampires make me hungry."
"I've bought lunch." Wesley stood up and headed into the kitchen, then appeared again with two still warm styrofoam food boxes in his hands. "Curry." he said, putting it down on the table in front of them. "You'll like it."
"I did," Angel commented off-handedly. "Save some for me, Jess. I haven't tried it in so long."
"I'll remember to get you a packet when I go out." Wesley said. Although Angel was a vampire, he still had the sense of taste. Even though food didn't exactly keep him going, he liked ton eat every once in a while, just to savour the taste of the food.
"Thanks, Wes." Jessica grinned at him. "I like curry."
"You're welcome, Jessie." Wesley smiled at her, in a way a parent does. "Eat up. You've got a lot of work to do later."
True enough, the phone rang, startling everyone. Cordelia stood up and headed over to the desk.
"Angel Investigations, we help the hopeless." she said perkily as she picked the phone up. She listened for a while, punctuated with "uh-huhs" and "yeahs" and finally, a "stay with her,".
Cordelia put down the phone, looking excited. "Guess what? Cassandra is the niece of Marie Fontaine, CEO of Fontaine Enterprises!"
"Fontaine Enterprises?" Wesley frowned, adjusting his glasses. "I think I've heard of it before..."
"It's a major movie-making company, no DUH!!" Cordelia exclaimed, ecstatic. "They produce most of the biggest hits in Hollywood!! Think about my career, guys! If we finish this mission, the CEO will be grateful to me and may offer me a leading part next to Brad Pitt!!"
Angel and Wesley both exchanged glances. "Uhh, that's good. Cordy." Angel started. "But unless she has some kind of enemy or rival after Cassandra, why did she go to the bodyguard agency? Her ward is not known or popular. It'd make more sense if Fontaine applied for a bodyguard herself."
"Dad's got a point." Jessica nodded in agreement. "There's something majorly wrong with this picture. What's Marie Fontaine's connection to Cassandra Lavelle? Way weird." she frowned, deep in thought.
"I'll go and look it up," Cordelia promised cheerily. The idea of Marie Fontaine asking her to star in a new blockbuster movie was definitely sweet. Well, a girl could keep hoping, couldn't she? She'd seen Fontaine Studios before, and they were MAGNIFICENT.
Fleetingly, she wondered if she would ever have the chance to enter. And work there as an actress, making it big and get known all over the world.
It would be just like Sunnydale High all over again, with the admirers, followers, hanging on to every word she said. Except that Hollywood was much more glitzier and she could meet up with all the hottest stars...
'That's gonna be a pretty long way, Chase,' she thought to herself dreamily. ''But it would be worth a try after all.'
Next part coming soon. :)