Title: Machiavellian Machinations
Author: babies stole my dingo (agilebrit)
Fandom: Angel
Rating: PG-13 for language
Length: Flashfic (under 500 words)
Disclaimer: Joss Whedon is the genius behind these characters; I am but a lowly follower. I make no money from any of this, so please don't sue me.
Written for: . Quote was "I'll be back and you'll be sorry!"--Warren in Empire Records.
Notes: Pesky enforceable-in-perpetuity contracts...
"Lindsey, Lindsey, Lindsey. You've been a very naughty boy."

"Oh, this day's just getting better and better." Lindsey had actually had the temerity to believe his day couldn't get any worse after getting killed by a damned flunky, but waking up in a wood-paneled office with Holland Manners and his condescending smile staring him in the face had just proved him wrong. Lindsey sat in a chair, while the insufferable bastard grinned at him from across his enormous mahogany desk.

"You should have known you couldn't escape the Senior Partners," Manners continued. "Enforceable in perpetuity, remember? I must say, we're all very disappointed in you."

"Oh, like I give a rat's ass. You think I didn't know what I was getting into when I burned that bridge?" Lindsey was in no mood for this crap. "Just toss me into whatever hell dimension you've got ready for me and be done with it. Anything's better than listening to you blabber on." He leaned back and crossed his arms.

"Well, here's the thing. Angel managed to hurt us rather badly by taking out the Black Thorn." Manners picked up a letter opener and played with it. "We don't have many options left, and unfortunately...you're one of them. It's time to come back to work, Lindsey."

"So the sonofabitch actually succeeded, huh? Isn't that something?" Lindsey snorted. "Is he still alive?"

Manners made a face. "Yes, he survived. He's lost a couple of soldiers, but he's still alive. Inasmuch as he's still a vampire. The Shanshu hasn't happened yet, so this apparently either wasn't the apocalypse in the prophecy, or having him sign it away really worked."

"He signed--" Well, Angel was just full of surprises, wasn't he? "Boy, he must really hate you guys."

"He had you killed because he didn't trust you not to come back to us in the end. So, what about that? Are you ready to come home, Linds?"

Lindsey gave him a considering look. "What happened to Eve?"

"You two will be kept as far apart as possible, of course," Manners said with a wave of his hand. "Even having you in the same dimension is out of the question."

"Of course. Well." Anything was better than suburban hell and getting his heart cut out once a day, he supposed. Making Angel's unlife miserable again would be all kinds of enjoyable--and if they let him out, he at least had a better chance of escaping the clutches of the Senior Partners permanently and rescuing Eve in the bargain. They might think they had him, but he'd always be his own man, obligations to ultimate evil be damned. After all, what could they do to him that hadn't already been done?

"When and where do I start?"