Angel and all associated characters were created by Joss Whedon and are owned by Mutant Enemy. Fables and all associated characters were created by Bill Willingham and are owned by Vertigo Comics.
Bigby lit a cigarette walked into the lobby, his eyes fixed on the bank of elevators just past the reception desk, but his other senses were all primed, taking everything in. The air was awash with different scents, almost overpowering him: most were human, but others were most defiantly not.
He mentally shook himself; he had a job to do, as crappie as it was at times. Get this over with and he was on the first flight back to New York and, more importantly, Snow. That's all he had to keep reminding himself.
The elevator was waiting for him when he reached it, and was surprisingly empty. He felt his gut wrench: maybe the charms and glimmers weren't working as promised; maybe they'd spotted him approaching the building. As big and scary as he was, walking through the front door of a major branch of Wolfram and Hart was more than taking his life in his hands.
Nothing happened on the way up, and he was starting to suspect that maybe he'd be able to get in and out with the minimum of fuss. Then, like post plans, it fell apart: The elevator opened on the executive level and Bigby found himself face-to-face with one of the two men he was looking for.
"Oh bugger..." The man gasped, dropped his unlit cigarette and looking very much like a deer trapped in headlights.
Bigby reacted instantly: his hand shot out and grabbed the other man by the shirt collar and pulled him close.
"Hello William." He snarled, "Long time no see. Not since Vienna, if memory serves."
"Oh no..." Spike swallowed, hard, "Please tell me you're not here about what happened in Vienna..."
"Relax; this is business, not pleasure. Is the other one here?"
"In his office."
"Then lead the way. And don't get any funny ideas: I may be here for business, but I've not forgotten Vienna."
Bigby all but frog marched Spike through the reception area, past Harmony's desk; ignoring the confused vampire, and into Angel's office. Gunn and Wes looked round when they heard the door open, but neither of them recognized the stranger who pushed Spike forcibly towards the desk.
"You two: out, now." There was something in Bigby's tone of voice that bypassed the conscious mind and reach deep down to the old, reptilian part of the brain and pressed the big red button marked 'Primal Fear'. The two startled young men almost fell over themselves to get out of the way, unsure as to why they were in such a hurry.
"Mr. Wolf." Angel sat up straight, trying to bluff his way past Biegby's anger, "Long time; no see."
"Not since Vienna." In three short words, Bigby smashed through Angel's defences and left him in a cold sweat, "But that's not why I'm hear: Jack decided to try his hand at the movies, and had a little trouble over in Hollywood. We need someone with local knowledge to sort things out, smooth other a few rifled feathers."
"I thought you had your own people for that?" Spike sat in one of the vacant chairs.
"I don't remember asking you a god-damn thing." Bigby hissed, silencing the young of the two vampires, "Snow wants this own kept off the radar: the less people who know about it, the better."
"What exactly did Jack do?" Angel asked, "This time?"
"Tried to get another movie made about his adventures: borrowed a lot of money from some less than forgiving people and then lost it all in a night at Vegas." Bigby sat in the remaining chair, "Don't worry: we'll see that he's punished. We just don't have anyone out this way who can deal with this sort of problem. You two, on the other hand, control the L.A. office of Wolfram and Hart: I think you can handle a little pro bono publico."
"You want us to sort out Jack's mistake, and you're not even going to pay us?" Spike looked a little shocked, "Talk about taking a bleeding liberty."
"Vienna." Bigby turned to Spike and watched the blond vampire wither under his gaze.
"I think we can handle this." Angel nodded stiffly, wanting to get Bigby out of his office as quickly as he could, "Do you have the names?"
"Here." Bigby pulled a peace of paper out of his pocket and slid it across the table, "Do this, and Vienna's forgiven."
"That's a lot for something so trivial."
"Snow wants it taken care of quickly and quietly, and she's go a lot on her plate right now."
"Yes, I heard congratulations are in order..."
"What do you say?" Bigby snapped; his entire body rippling as his two conflicting forms struggled for supremacy.
"Nothing." Angel retreated into his chair, suddenly feeling the need to change his pants, "Just some gossip I picked up on the grapevine."
"Best you forget it then." Bigby stood and head to the door, "See you around, boys."
Spike and Angel sat in silence for a few minutes, unable to meet each others eye. They almost jumped when Gunn and Wes returned, followed closely by Harmony.
"Who was that?" Gunn asked.
"Bigby bloody Wolf." Spike struggled to light a cigarette with shaking hands.
"The Bigby Wolf?" Wes asked, slipping back into Watcher mode, "The Bigby Wolf who's sheriff of Fabletown?"
"You know of another?" Spike smiled sarcastically, "Don't supposes there's any chance of having some of the security boys load up with silver bullets and catch him on the way out?" He asked Angle hopefully.
"No, that would only piss him off even more." The older vampire shook his head, "And if we did manage to kill him, can you imagine what Snow would do to us?"
"Shit!" Spike shivered, "I hate those guys."
"Someone want to explain this to those of us who don't have a university education in the wired and wonderful?" Gunn asked.
"You know that there's more than one reality, right?" Angle waited for the other man to nod before he continued, "Well, I one of them, all the characters from fairy tales and folklore are real. The story is somewhat sketchy, as they are naturally a very secretive group, but there was some kind of war in their homelands, and the survives fled through to this reality. They all banded together to form Fabletwon, a sort of secret community in New York."
"Yes, the Watchers Council has been interested in them since they first arrived, but ultimately decided that they were harmless." Wes nodded.
"But if they're harmless, why are Spike and Angel so terrified of the?" Harmony asked, playing catch up.
"Vienna." Spike looked even paler than normal, "Not something you want to know about, trust me."
"Hold on." Gunn looked a little confused, "My mom used to read my sister and me Fairytales when we were little, and I don't remember anyone named Bigby Wolf."
"Maybe because that's his adopted name." Wes explained, "He is more commonly known as The Big Bad Wolf."
"As in the Three Little Pigs!" Harmony bounced up and down; pleased with herself for contributing something.
"That's the one." Angel nodded, turning to look out the window, "And if we don't do what he asked, he'll huff, and he'll puff, and he'll blow our house down." He pushed the list of names to Gunn, "These people have all recently lost money on a movie. Find out how much, and have them paid back out of the discretionary funds."
"You're the boss, boss." The young lawyer nodded, "Anything else?"
"Yeah." Angle rubbed his forehead, "Find me a clean pair of pants."