The Immortal Angel Investigations
Summary: In one way or another, Angel Investigations will always live on…
Disclaimer: Perhaps I'll just put one of these on my profile page… But I own slimy lawyer; I am oddly fond of him and refuse to surrender custody.
Inspired by Wesley, Cordelia, and Gunn's stint as the forerunners of Angel Investigations in Season Two, I really couldn't help a little post-finale immortalization of the entity that was swept aside by Wolfram and Hart in Season Five. This was originally a story-story, but… Connor always made me cringe a bit too much. So it's a moment-story. It might still make it to plot-status, if I decide to continue it, but I make no promises. It depends on how I feel later on. What do you think?
Two fics in one day. I really, really missed Jossverse.
It had been over ten years since a half-demon named Allen Francis Doyle had first approached the ensouled vampire Angel; over ten years since a famous trio of reformed killer, alcoholic seer, and high-school beauty queen had first opened the doors of a small agency specializing in bizarre cases; over ten years since Wesley Wyndam-Pryce and Charles Gunn had joined the team; over ten years since the demonic world had been introduced to the most intimidating Private Investigators known to California (to the world, if one felt like boasting the true impact). The history was a whirlwind too grand for textbooks, which would live on only in the recordings of individuals and the rough underbelly of human civilization. The magical world was still echoing the names and deeds of all involved, and the employees of Angel Investigations ranked beside Slayers in renown.
It was just shy of six years since the Circle of the Black Thorn had been exploded. The battle had been a most costly but most successful endeavor, and the war was still going strong, spurred on by the foundation Angel Investigations had laid down. The Hyperion Hotel had been leased out just a few weeks ago, and the lobby was still cluttered with boxes, full to the brim with books and prophecies and spell ingredients. The weapons cabinet had already been stocked, and the only other things unpacked were a coffee maker, a laptop computer, and one can of black paint.
The hotel looked almost the same as it had years ago, and one could almost feel the memories rolling off the walls. The jasmine in the courtyard had been uprooted, but other than that everything was the same down to the pomegranate mist paint color in one of the rooms and the circular sofa in the foyer. The name of the agency had been printed onto the glass in the front doors sporting the 'We Help the Helpless' slogan underneath it, giving the area an official edge it had previously lacked. The place was big and empty, excluding the young man standing behind the green countertop in the lobby. He was bent over a large sheet of white paper, tongue stuck between his teeth as he concentrated on guiding the paintbrush in smooth dark lines over the sheet. Beside him was a stack of business cards, featuring the agency's name and a bizarre little scribble that resembled everything except an angel. Occasionally he tossed his head to shake brown hair out of his eyes and he paused to take in the location with a nostalgic smile.
He wondered where the next few months would take this place. Considering how far it had gone before, he couldn't imagine. But still, he was eager enough to find out. His parents had thought he was insane to seek out such an unprofitable job, but it had been his decision to continue the good fight and he would stand by it. He already liked it here, so very much more than he had when he had been younger. It felt like home.
The name on the lease said Connor Reilly, but he had been so tempted to sign another name, the name of someone who technically had never existed. He was carrying on a legacy; he had inherited a legacy. As long as there was Wolfram and Hart, there would be Angel Investigations, two forces opposed to each other and struggling desperately over Los Angeles. Neither would ever have a victory over the other so long as they continued to fight. That was what kept Los Angeles in the proverbial gray area. Evil and good would always contend.
Connor was looking forward to the fight. He knew he was good at it, having regained his memories of Quortoth- memories that he often shoved aside, a bit repulsed by his psychotic mentality in that version of reality. For someone who had always been told he was remarkably balanced, the idea that he could have been that insane was not one he liked to entertain. But the knowledge helped in a fight; that was undeniable. However, he would eventually have to find someone who could translate the books. From talks with his father (his real father, the one with the sunlight allergy and an aversion to crosses), he knew that it was not enough to simply go out to fight. One had to conduct research as well, and this was what took the most time.
The coffee machine burbled as it went about its job, filling the hotel with the rich sent of the drink. Connor had always liked the smell of coffee, and he made a mental note to find someone who knew how (he had also heard of Cordelia's abysmal habit of producing a congealed mess instead of anything palatable). He would also have to file cases, relocate the web address of that demon database, and maybe establish a connection to the new Watcher's Council and the Slayers. He was hesitant about the last, considering the way the Slayers had turned from the Angel Investigations gang while they had controlled Wolfram and Hart, which had since been appointed to CEO more receptive to the ways of the Senior Partners.
Speaking of Wolfram and Hart, the slimy little suit that walked through the front door could only be a one of them. He oozed suave in the oiliest way. He had black hair slicked back with an excess of gel and dull eyes the color of steel. His mouth was a lazy line under a slightly hooked nose, though the high cheekbones and intelligent confidence he exuded made him relatively handsome. He was taller than Connor, but roughly the same age, shoulders broader and face a blank, emotionless slate. His cool eyes barely flickered around the hotel before settling on Connor, bored and unimpressed. He walked down the steps and extended his hand. "Mr. Reilly," he said. His tone was like his gaze, flat and languid.
Connor set down the paintbrush, accepted his hand and shook, smugly pleased when the lawyer pulled away and scowled at the black paint smeared on his palm. The man continued:
"Judging by the sign on the door, I assume you and I will be meeting quite often from now on. Our companies will no doubt be doing business often, using the term business loosely, of course."
Connor nodded. "Of course." He wondered vaguely if they knew who he was, really was, the child of two vampires. After all, it was this man's firm that had set up the illusion of his normal life. There was no way to figure out what this particular lawyer knew, however, but he suspected there were plenty of people at Wolfram and Hart who knew perfectly well. He was somewhat curious why they hadn't swept him up and started trying to figure out the rare specimen he was, but he wasn't going to complain. "Well," he said, "I made some coffee. Do you want some?"
The anonymous lawyer shook his head. "I'm afraid I'm not here for pleasantries, Mr. Reilly. I'm simply here to observe."
This received another noncommittal nod from Connor, who reclaimed the brush and dipped it into the tray. "Okay. But I'm just getting started. It would probably be better to come back when things are in full swing, y'know? There would probably be more to find out then."
"My firm would also like me to inform you that making enemies is not in either of our best interests. They are curious to know your intentions."
"It's on the door," Connor said, pointing the brush at the front door. "Help the helpless. You know. Fight demons and stuff. So Wolfram and Hart just sent you to deliver a message? You're like… a puppet, then?"
Connor chuckled to himself. "My father once got turned into a puppet." The smooth, blank look on the lawyer's face became even smoother and blanker. "Some deal with a kid's show putting people in some sort of coma. Kinda wish I had been there to see it. I guess our job has all sorts of weird side effects. Makes it interesting, though, right?"
The lawyer's lips twisted into a frigid smile that had no feeling whatsoever, the muscles clearly forced into movement with extraordinary difficulty just to manipulate into that expression. "Welcome to Los Angeles, Mr. Reilly." He turned on his heel and exited. Connor was not looking forward to their next encounter, and he made a mental note to make sure he got some fairly strong locks for those doors within the next few months.
He ducked his head back over the sign and added the finishing touches, carefully tracing along the carefully measured lines. Then he picked it up, paint still glistening wet, and carried it triumphantly through the courtyard to the black fence. He stretched up and hung it from the gate, then stood back to regard his work with a happy sigh. It was the finishing touch to reviving a legend, and he felt that he had lived up to everything his vampire father had stood for. The evil-fighting detective agency would truly last forever, and now he had the sign as testament to its rebirth:
'Angel Investigations: Now Hiring'.