It was after nine when Cordelia dropped Buffy off in front of the STAPLES Center. The Kragmoor demons were locked up back at the hotel, and Buffy had put in a call to Anya. She promised to be there first thing in the morning to handle the negotiations. Cordelia had been a little put out to learn that Buffy had called in an "outsider." She considered the finances of Angel Investigations to be her territory. Buffy had finally agreed to let her partner with Anya in the negotiations. She almost felt sorry for the demons. Of course Anya had insisted on getting a commission for her services, and Buffy had agreed to pay Anya 10% of her cut. She didn't bother telling Anya that she planned to hand most of the money over to Anne to take care of the kids who'd been kidnapped, so Anya would be getting less than she anticipated.
Jamie Salé and David Pelletier were doing their routine when Buffy entered the arena. She waited on the steps for them to finish so she wouldn't block anyone's view. She made her way to her seat while the crowd applauded.
Buffy dropped into the empty seat beside her father. "I made it! So, did I miss Scott?"
"He was amazing!" said Dawn. "I'm beginning to understand why you like skating so much!"
Hank could see Buffy's disappointment. "Don't worry Honey." He handed her the program he'd bought for her. "He's scheduled to come back for the final performance. How'd it go with you?"
"Great!" said Buffy. "Monsters slain, damsels rescued, bad guys on the run, and no casualties among the good guys. Even looks like I'm going to make some money. Anya will be so pleased. She keeps telling me I should charge for my services." Buffy could see the confused look on her father's face, and a person in the row ahead looked around curiously. "I'll explain later." She reached across and grabbed a handful of popcorn out of the jumbo tub in Dawn's lap, and sat back to watch as Katarina Witt skated out onto the ice.
It was noon when they returned to the Hyperion Hotel the next day. They were just in time to see their two prisoners being handed over to their clansdemons in exchange for a case full of money. Buffy was a little surprised to see that Xander was there too, but she figured he'd been roped into driving Anya down from Sunnydale. Buffy waited until after the demons had gone before she introduced her father to Anya and Xander. "So how much did we get?"
"A hundred thousand dollars." Anya beamed. "Turns out you caught their chieftain's favourite nephew. That gave us a very strong negotiating position."
"You know, I don't think I've ever seen a hundred thousand in cash," said Xander. "What does it look like?"
Anya put the case on the counter and opened it up. It was full of bundles of twenty dollar bills. Two deep, and five across. She took out one of the bundles and thumbed through it. "A thousand to a bundle…each layer has ten bundles…" She dug down through the layers. "…and ten layers." She pulled another bundle out of the center, and thumbed through it as well. "Looks like it's all here."
"Wow!" said Dawn. "That's a lot of money!"
"It is," said Buffy. She counted out ten of the bundles and slid them across the counter toward Angel. "Here's your share…" She counted out another ten bundles. "…and mine." She handed one of her bundles to Anya. "Your commission." She closed the case again. "The rest goes to Anne."
"Wait a minute!" said Anya. "Who's this Anne person, and what did she do to earn eighty thousand dollars!"
"Anne is a friend, and she's going to see that this money goes to help the kids that those demons kidnapped," said Buffy. "Don't argue with me on this. You got a thousand dollars for half a day's work. That's doing pretty well."
"Sounds like a bloody socialist to me." muttered Anya. "She's probably French too."
"Ahn, don't make a fuss," said Xander.
"Now that business has been taken care of, why don't I treat you all to lunch?" asked Mr. Summers. "I feel I owe you—" He was interrupted by his cell phone ringing. "Just a moment." He took it out and frowned at the display. "They weren't supposed to call for anything short of a major crisis…" He opened up his phone. "Hank Summers."
Hank listened for a moment, and then his gaze moved to Buffy. "Uh huh? Was anyone hurt? … That's good. Do they have any idea what caused it? … Really? I thought we had security on the site to prevent that sort of thing. … You don't say. We should have legal look into getting our money back from them, maybe collect damages for the delay this is going to cause. … Yeah, put the crews back on standby until the fire marshals are done with their investigation. Thanks for the heads up. I'll be in the office first thing tomorrow. I'll talk to you then. … Bye."
Hank closed his phone. "Buffy, you didn't mention anything about any fire last night."
Buffy put on her most innocent smile. "Fire?"