Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters or shows. I am making no monetary gain from this story.
BtVS – Post Chosen.
Boston Legal – Early/Mid second season
This is a sequel to my fic "Collection Work." And an answer to my own Collection Work challenge.
You Thought I Was A What? – Collection Work Part Two
"Hi, I'm here to see a Denny Crane."
"Your name?" the receptionist asked.
The women blinked. "Do you have an appointment?"
"No," Buffy replied. "But it's very important that I see him today."
"May I tell him what it is about?"
"It's a private matter."
The receptionist looked Buffy over and a strange look crossed her face. "Just one moment."
She got up from the desk and disappeared into the back.
Buffy shrugged her shoulders and sat down in one of the chairs. Another day another past due account. With all the new Slayers running around Buffy did not need to spend her time battling the forces of darkness. But she did feel the need to help in some manner. So Giles had convinced her to track down and collect on a number of old debts that the Council had left behind before going boom.
Of course she didn't expect this job to take her to a law firm. Ever since Angel's entanglement with Wolfram and Hart started Buffy's opinion of lawyers had steadily declined from its previous record lows. At least Willow was positive this was just a normal law firm and not connected with Wolfram and Hart or the supernatural in any way. So it shouldn't be too bad.
"Ms. Schmidt," the receptionist walked into the senior partner's office.
"What is it Darlene?" Shirley Schmidt asked.
"There's a woman here to see Mr. Crane," Darlene said. "Um, I think maybe, um …"
"Spit it out Darlene."
"Well she came in without an appointment and said it was a private matter between her and Mr. Crane."
"Well, it's just, she said her name was 'Buffy' and with Mr. Crane's reputation …" she paused. "Perhaps if you just looked for yourself."
"Fine," Shirley got up from the desk, dreading what was about to happen, and followed Darlene to the reception area where Darlene pointed out a young woman sitting and glancing through a magazine.
"Not again," Shirley muttered. The woman was blonde, looked to be in her early twenties. She was dressed in short skirt and tight fitting top. Very fashionable. She was also scanning through a fashion magazine that Shirley knew they didn't keep in the lobby. Meaning she brought it herself. "Where's Denny?"
"He's in conference with Mr. Shore," Darlene answered.
"Good that should take a while," Shirley said. "Put … 'Buffy' in my office for now and make sure Denny doesn't see her. I have to talk to Paul."
"Yes Ms Schmidt."
Buffy looked up as the receptionist approached.
"Ms Summers if you'll come with me please," Darlene said.
"Sure," Buffy nodded as she got up from her desk and followed the receptionist into the main office.
The office was a bustle of activity with people walking around everywhere. As she looked around Buffy had to admit, the people here really seemed to walk with authority. Long purposeful strides, standing tall, they came around corners like they owned the place. She was led to a large comfortable looking office.
"Someone will be with you in just a few minutes," Darlene said.
"Thanks," Buffy replied.
Shirley entered Paul Lewiston's office with a stern look on her face. Paul looked up from his desk and sighed. "What did Denny do now?"
"There is a woman here to see Denny about a 'private matter'," Shirley said.
"You don't think?"
"The woman's name is 'Buffy' and it's Denny."
"And she came here," Paul shook his head. "Where is she now?"
"I had Darlene put her in my office," Shirley replied.
"He and Alan are still in a 'meeting'."
"Good, that will keep him out of the way for bit. I suppose we should get this over quickly," Paul said rising from his chair.
"Yes we should."
Buffy was getting a little bored when the door opened. Two people came striding in. Buffy was once again forced to acknowledge that the people in this office really knew how to walk. She wished she could walk like that. It would probably help if she was taller.
She smiled at the two people who entered. "Hi, Buffy Summers," she said holding out her hand to woman who came in first.
"Shirley Schmidt," Shirley replied shaking the offered hand.
"Paul Lewiston, managing partner," Paul shook her hand as well. Buffy noticed that he seemed to have a slight look of disgust on his face. What was his problem, she wondered.
"I'm here to see Denny Crane," Buffy said. "Do you happen to know where he is?"
"Denny is in a meeting Ms Summers," Shirley said. "If you'll just take a seat, perhaps we can help you?"
"Well, you see, this is kind of a private matter," Buffy said. "It would be better if I talked to Mr. Crane."
Shirley and Paul shared and look. "Ms. Summers we're well aware of Denny's more … odd hobbies. Quite frankly it's somewhat inappropriate for you to come here."
"I didn't mean to cause any problems," Buffy said. "It's just that things have been going on for over a year and half and he still hasn't paid."
Shirley rolled her eyes. "And you came here to collect?"
"Well duh," Buffy said. "Hello daylight, business hours. He's going to be at his office and I'm going to be busy tonight."
"I'm sure you will," Shirley muttered under her breath. Most people would have missed it. But a Slayer isn't most people.
"A friend promised to show me all the real hot spots in town before I leave tomorrow," Buffy replied in a testy voice. "So can either of you just point me to where Mr. Crane is or buzz him on your phones? I'm in a hurry."
"You said he hasn't paid you in over a year," Paul was shocked. Denny was usually much more direct about such transactions. "Just how much does Denny owe you?"
"That's between my company and Mr. Crane," Buffy answered. "But it's a lot. He purchased some very unique items."
"I'll bet," Shirley muttered again.
Buffy was starting to get a little annoyed with these two. "Like I said this would be a lot easier if I could talk to Mr. Crane."
"He's tied up," Shirley said. "And as I said, it's not appropriate for someone like you to be here."
Ok, that did it. "Maybe I should just go find him."
Buffy got up from her seat and headed towards the door.
'Now just a minute," Paul said reaching for her. Buffy dodged his outstretched hand with well practiced ease and was out the door a second later.
She had the feeling those two condescending jerks were running interference for Denny Crane and she did not have the time for that. Where the hell did they get the idea that they could treat her like that? Stupid lawyers.
Buffy scanned the area around her and reached out with her senses. She tilted her head when her enhanced hearing picked out the sound of someone repeatedly saying 'Denny Crane.' She smiled and headed in that direction with Shirley and Paul trailing behind.
Buffy took some satisfaction that, while they might look good walking, they still couldn't keep up with a Slayer.
She rounded the corner and saw two people talking in an office through a glass wall. She could hear the man sitting in front of the desk refer to the other as 'Denny'.
Alan Shore stopped mid rant when the door to the office flew open and a very attractive, if annoyed looking, young woman entered. This was shaping up to be a good day.
"I'm looking for Denny Crane," she said.
Denny quickly rose from his chair, rounded his desk and walked straight up to the woman. Taking her hand he looked her in the eyes and said, "Denny Crane. How may I be of service to you?"
"Yes," Alan said moving to Denny's side. "I think we would all like to service you."
Buffy blinked. Hanging out with Anya and Faith had pretty much eliminated any chance of being shocked by verbal innuendos (subtle or not). But this was supposed to be a law firm.
"Sorry but I really don't think you could meet my rather exacting standards," Buffy shot back.
"Well there's challenge if I ever heard one,' Alan smiled back.
"Yes I got that the first time," Buffy said. "Mr. Crane …"
"Please, call me Denny," Denny said with a smile. "And this is my associate Alan Shore."
"Alan, a true pleasure miss …" Alan trailed off.
"Again, got that the first time," Buffy said.
"You'll have to forgive Denny," Alan said. "He needs to make certain he remains the center of attention at all times."
"Ms Summers," Shirley caught up to the blonde woman. For someone so short she sure moved fast. "I told you Mr. Crane was in conference and not to be disturbed."
"And I told you," Denny began. "There is no such thing as busy when a beautiful woman asks to see me."
"Why is this so hard for you people?" Buffy asked. "All I need to do is collect some money from Denny here."
"Denny, you owe this lovely creature money?" Alan asked. "I'm disappointed. It's not like you leave a woman hanging."
"First I've heard of it," Denny said, followed by, just for good measure, "Denny Crane."
"Don't claim ignorance Denny," Shirley said. "It's not like you haven't done this before."
"Done what?" Denny said looking at Shirley and then looking around at Buffy he lowered his voice. "My memory's not what it used to be. Mad Cow disease."
Buffy started to wonder if the people around here were on drugs. Oh well, she did come here for a purpose. "It's about the purchases you made from Travers' Antiquities."
"Quentin Travers?" Denny said. "That stuck up British twit. I haven't heard from him in months."
"That's because he's dead," Buffy noted.
"A prince of man," Denny switched gears.
"I really never liked him," Buffy said.
"Pompous ass," Denny said.
"Anyway," Buffy said. "When he died things kind of got a messed up so it took a while for my friends and I to get things sorted out. The company's under new management now. So they're sending me out to clean up all these past due accounts. And that's why I'm here. You owe us quite a bit of money Denny."
"How much?" Alan asked.
Buffy pulled out a piece of paper. "Let's see … Four hundred thirty eight thousand," behind her both Shirley and Paul's eyes bugged out, "Nine hundred sixty three dollars," she lowered the note paused for second then looked at it again, "oh and ah twelve cents."
"Four hundred …" Shirley switched her attention to Denny. "My god Denny, even you couldn't spend that much money. What exactly did you get? No wait, don't tell me. I don't want to know."
"I do want to know," Alan said. "For that kind of money it had to have been extraordinary."
"Ms Summers," Paul said. "You don't honestly think you can collect do you? This is a respected law firm. I hardly think you are in a position to demand anything here."
"Denny Crane always pays his debts," Denny said. "Travers was an arrogant snob but he got what I asked for."
"Just a minute," Shirley cut.
"That's it," Buffy whirled around to face Shirley and Paul. They both took an involuntary step back when they saw her eyes. "What is your problem?" Buffy demanded. "You two jerks have been talking down to me since I got here. I don't like guns either. They never help. But Denny bought a bunch of revolving musketeers or something fair and square. Perfectly legal."
"Revolutionary era muskets," Denny corrected.
"Fine, muskets, whatever," Buffy rolled on. "So whatever the hell your problem is with me. Get over it! Cause the next time you two interrupt I will hurt you."
Shirley's head was spinning. For one thing this tiny blonde woman was coming across as being more dangerous than some serial killers she's met over the years. And second, "wait, muskets?"
"Muskets?" Paul repeated.
"Yes," Denny said. "Muskets. And a few pistols along with five swords, one belonging to Washington himself. Did you know they were owned by some French guy? There was no way I was going to allow some cowardly anti-American Frenchman to own a piece of American history. I don't care if his great great whatever was the Admiral who blockaded Yorktown and he got the sword as a personal gift from Washington. America belongs to Americans. Not foreigners and certainly not French foreigners. Denny Crane."
"This was about antique guns?" Shirley was still in shock.
"Of course," Buffy said. "What did you think it was about?"
"Well I uh …" Shirley stuttered.
"You see …" Paul tried to find the words.
"What Paul and Shirley are desperately trying not to say," Alan interjected. "Is that they though you were a prostitute."
Buffy's head whipped around and she stared open mouth at Alan. He nodded his head. Her mouth closed and her eyes narrowed. She slowly turned to back to face Paul and Shirley. If they thought they had seen death glares before, they were totally unprepared for what they faced now.
Buffy spoke in a controlled voice. "You thought I was a hooker?"
"It was an honest mistake," Shirley said slowly backing up.
"Denny has a reputation," Paul added keeping pace with Shirley.
Buffy took a step forward. "You thought I was a hooker?"
"I apologize Ms Summers," Shirley said.
Buffy stopped advancing. "I'm pretty sure we established that already."
"Ms. Summers," Denny said. "Paul's right I do have a bit of a reputation. And Shirley. Well, her mind just goes to goo whenever she thinks an attractive young woman may be taking my attentions away from her. She wants my body very badly."
"Denny," Shirley's eyes rolled.
"You know it's true," Denny walked up to Shirley. "You've wanted me since the day you got back. Just the idea that beautiful young woman like Buffy here could keep me away from you sends you into a jealous rage."
"Denny," Shirley said. "Just pay the woman what you owe her so we can put this behind us."
"Admit it Shirley," Denny said. "You still want me."
Shirley smirked, leaned in and whispered into Denny's ear,"Denny Crane."
"Ooh," Denny tensed as the words rolled over him.
Shirley and Paul took advantage of the distraction to retreat from the office. Both kept a wary eye on Buffy who continued to stare death rays at them.
"Well that was a nice bit of entertainment," Alan said.
"What a woman," Denny whispered. He turned and saw Buffy. He looked startled for a second then smiled and held out his hand. "Denny Crane."
Buffy glanced over at Alan who smirked and shrugged his shoulders.
Thirty minutes and about 100 'Denny Cranes' later Buffy had successfully arranged a wire transfer for the full balance to the Council's accounts.
She was now leaving Crane, Poole and Schmidt behind. Three distinct thoughts ran through her head.
One, she so needed this night out with Faith beating the crap out of Boston's night life.
Two, given her encounters with Crane and Schmidt Buffy never wanted to meet Poole.
And three, evil demon-infested law firms were much easier to deal with than the supposedly normal ones.