CHAPTER SIX

Lindsey wasn't surprised Lilah was in her office when he got to work. He tried very hard not to look at her, wondering if she even had a life. She worked too hard and half that work was to undermine him. He actually did some work before the Trickster, the holy man and the lycanthrope showed up. "Get out of here! I've already told you, you're not getting that shield." He figured he might as well ham it up for any surveillance the Senior Partners most likely had on his office.

"Awww, he thinks he can stop us," Sophie cooed and he figured she was play-acting right back. Why not be the big screen action baddie? That had to be the fun role anyhow.

"Do your thing, Spider-Man." James patted Iktomi's shoulder.

Iktomi's dark eyes narrowed to glowing slits. "What have I told you about calling me that?"

"Good point. You're not as sexy as Tobey Maguire," Sophie said.

Iktomi looked crushed. "Please, Tobey is ugly. I'm far better looking than that." Iktomi spun, turning his disconcerting gaze on Lindsey. "Ah-ah-ah, don't be getting up, woope wicasa."

Lindsey paused as he got up from his desk. "Whoopie what?"

"Woope, it means law. Not that Iktomi is all that familiar with the concept," James translated.

"Whatever." Lindsey smirked. "Get the hell out of my office before I call security."

"Couldn't have that," the Trickster replied.

Iktomi's extra arms reappeared and they made a throwing motion. Lindsey found himself lifted off his feet and he was pinned to the wall upside down, his mouth covered in sticky webs. He struggled but couldn't budge. He panicked just for a second wondering if he had made a devil's deal that was going to kill him. They had never discussed this part of the plan.

Sophie tapped Lindsey's cheek. "Be thankful those webs don't shoot out his butt like a real spider."

Lindsey grimaced under the webbing.

She grinned as she turned away. "Okay, let's toss the place. The safe has to be in here somewhere. We won't have a lot of time."

They made a half-assed attempt at pulling stuff off shelves and taking down pictures. Lindsey had already told them where the safe was hidden. They 'found' it and Iktomi's strong arms punched right through the wall and into the side of the safe. He pulled out the shield and slipped it on his forearm. The beaded web glowed and began to move, waving as if in a breeze.

"This is it," the Spider-God said with satisfaction.

"Good, let's get out of here," Sophie said, heading for the door.

James clamped Lindsey's encased shoulder. "Man, I sure hope you didn't drink too much coffee this morning. If you have to pee before someone cuts you down, it's gonna run right in your face."

Lindsey groaned and watched James saunter off like he hadn't a care in the world. If he ever met with the trio again, he would have to make it memorable and stacked in his favor. He had no idea how long he hung upside down before Lilah couldn't resist coming in to bother him. She paused in the doorway, surveying the damage.

She looked too stunned to be truly amused. He knew that would come later. "Wow, did your kinky lifestyle spill over into the work place or what?"

He had enough of his remaining hand free to give her the finger. She called security and eventually he was freed from the webbing. He sat in his desk chair, coughing up bits of spider web. Lilah was kind enough to bring him some of the cappuccino from her in-office machine.

"Who beat you up?" she asked, almost looking concerned. "Your groups of friends from the bar?"

"Trickster God," he replied.

"Well, then I don't feel so bad about being out-maneuvered. We're good but we aren't gods...yet." She smirked.

Lindsey rolled his eyes. "What brought you into my office this time, Lilah, not that I'm not grateful."

She handed him a yellow sticky. "I found these sites on my coffee break. This one will save you from having to bother funeral homes for all your casket needs at home." She tapped the one that read "That way if you want a coffin bed or a coffin couch you can just order it here. You can even get a coffin pencil case for the office."

"Drop dead, Lilah," he grated out.

"Well, I'd have the place to do it, if I ever come back to your condo. Oh, and for all your other kinky needs, try this one." She pointed to She tickled under his chin. "I bet you can find all the paddles you want."

"Where do you think I got the paddle in the first place?" He just raised an eyebrow and Lilah was taken aback for a moment then she grinned.

"What will we do with a boy like you?"

"For starters you can get out of my office before they think we're doing something that requires sanctioning." He gave her a warning look.

"Good point." Lilah swaggered off and was nearly immediately replaced by Linwood.

"You got robbed," Linwood said accusingly. His expression didn't soften when he asked, "Did you get hurt?"

Lindsey shook his head. "The trickster god just wanted his shield back. I got webbed to the wall but I'm not hurt. It would have been nice to know I was holding a sacred item that an Old God might want back."

"The Senior Partners told you what you needed to know. Perhaps they should have told us all a little more so we could have guarded the item more appropriately. Why don't you take the day off? You weren't supposed to be in anyhow." Linwood shot him a suspicious look.

"I know. My plans for my vacation were shot and after the sanction...well, working made sense." Lindsey hoped it made sense to Linwood too. "That incident with Lilah was the Trickster's doing, you know."

"Take it up with the Senior Partners," Linwood said and walked off.

Lindsey sighed and headed for home. There were cops in front of his building. He stopped and looked at Louis questioningly. "Tell me they're here for my neighbors."

"Yes, sir." Louis looked pleased. "Turns out they broke into condos other than yours, and were dealing drugs and had under-aged girls in their condo. This will be the last we'll be seeing of them. Did you find out who tricked their way into your condo?"

Lindsey nodded, stepping aside as the cops lead Skin-Head and Smelly out of the condominium. He beamed at them mockingly as they were hauled off. "It's been handled, Louis."

Going upstairs, Lindsey started cleaning up the residual mess left behind from the illicit party in his home. Afterwards, he went to Venice Beach and kicked around the boardwalk then headed into Caritas to top off the night. Lorne looked at him anxiously as Lindsey took a seat. "I think the ugliness has passed," he assured the demon. "But I want you to make sure."

Lorne seemed highly uncomfortable with having Lindsey there at the moment. "Blue Eyes, I'll have you bumped to the head of the line because if it's not...well, let's just say I like my bar too much to risk having it follow you here."

"Understood."

Lindsey still wanted his guitar when he took the stage after one of his fellow Wolfram and Hart co-workers left the stage. He knew the little weasel, a pissant of a wanna-be who'd love to take him and Lilah down. Lindsey knew by the way the man wouldn't meet his eyes that he wasn't a threat. He took the microphone and launched in a Johnny Cash song.

"Love is a burnin' thing,
And it makes a fiery ring
Bound by wild desire --
I fell into a ring of fire.

I fell into a burnin' ring of fire --
I went down, down, down
And the flames went higher,
And it burns, burn, burns,
The ring of fire, the ring of fire
."

Lorne was at his table even before he got back to it. From the way the demon was smiling, Lindsey knew things were going his way again. Lorne clapped Lindsey on the shoulder. "This is the stuff I like to tell people, Pilgrim, the black cloud is lifted and you'll be getting some unexpected good news. Let me get you one of the house specials to celebrate. Red Death or mango daiquiri?"

"Red Death," Lindsey said sitting down. He wasn't sure what Red Death was but if Lorne was buying, he didn't really want a girlie drink. What did that say about him? He paged through the drink menu as he waited. Vodka, Southern Comfort, amaretto, sloe gin, triple sec, orange juice with a touch of lime, he was very glad he had taken a cab. He was on his second one, the five liquors going straight to his weary head when his phone rang. "Hello? Saeth! Of course, it's good to hear from you...you'll be here in twelve hours? No, I don't have more time off but I'll call in sick. A Trickster God beat me up today. No one will doubt I was a little more hurt than I first thought. I'll be at the airport with bells on...no, I'll be wearing more than bells in public but later... yes, I thought you'd like that. See you in twelve hours, love."

Lindsey shut his phone up with a huge grin. Lorne eyed him as he all but danced his way out of the club.

"Got that good news already?" the demon asked.

"Oh, yeah."

As he headed for home to prepare for Saeth's arrival, Lindsey felt great. He might have lost out to Iktomi and looked bad in the Senior Partners eyes but at least this time he had lost to a god and not a mere vampire. He didn't even care. Iktomi was out of his life. Saeth was flying back into it and all was right with his little world. He dropped off to catch a few hours sleep, perfectly content and anticipating a few vernal days playing with an exciting woman with the ugliness of his world held at bay. Who could ask for anything more?

Story requirements:

Must Have -- Character: Lindsey

Genre: Humour

"Lily (My One And Only) by the Smashing Pumpkins

Restrictions -- No slash pairing for Lindsey if there's a pairing at all

Rating Restriction (no higher than): PG-13

Spoiler Restriction (must be set no later than): Unrestricted

Spoilers - None set between Epiphany and Dead End