This story was betaed by Goddess of Mercy. I don't like having so many unfinished stories at one time but I'm really struggling with finding a beta that stays since school takes so many away. Rest assured all stories that are started are finished (I don't post unfinished stories because I want to make sure stories are finished and that I don't get stuck and leave it unfinished) but it's a matter of finding a beta who isn't too busy. Anyone interested please let me know! But for now, enjoy :)
Chapter 1: An Important Conference Call
Buffy growled slightly into the phone, a personality trait she had picked up from Spike. Just remembering Spike made her sigh, but Giles was too busy rambling into the phone to notice: "I really don't think this is a job for slayers. We don't fight lawyers or law firms. We fight demons and vampires. I know you love Angel and all but I really think this isn't the place for slayers to be testing out their skills." Buffy was on a conference call with the other Scoobies as well as Giles discussing the latest adventure that they were asked to help on. Although the Scoobies were all separated and in different parts of the world, the gang got together in the form of a conference call to decide which fights the slayers were asked to participate in to ensure that it was in their best interest. This one, unlike many of the others, involved a serious debate.
Buffy sort of agreed with Giles's opinion and was about to comment about her love for Angel but heard Willow speak up, "Well there is evil being done there. Angel insisted that this would put the evil forces on hold for a while because they would have to repair the damage before continuing their work. It's not a bad idea."
Xander ranted cutting everyone else off: "Why are we helping the evil dead anyway? I thought us helping Spike was enough? Correct me if I'm wrong but Angel signed that contract. How do we know he's just not trying to get out of his contract? Fred is already sort of dead and that was the law firm's fault, do we really want to get messed up in the head of the evil department? Isn't that a tad bit over our capabilities? It is really something slayers are supposed to do? Wouldn't it be suicide to…." Buffy spoke up cutting Xander off before he could continue his rant, "Well we are supposed to rid the world of evil, but they are still just girls. Girls with huge power they don't understand. Most of these girls were never even trained as potentials and…." Dawn cut Buffy clicking her pen happily on the table and Buffy cast her a glare across the room, "Well I personally think Buffy should go and check it out before we make a decision. I think Buffy should see for herself what exactly is going on there."
Giles sighed and Buffy could just imagine him cleaning his glasses, "I don't think Buffy going to L.A. and possibly alerting the law firm of the plans is a good idea…I think--" Willow cut him off, "I think…oh hold on Kennedy I'm on a conference call." There was silence followed by some loud yelling as everyone waited to hear what Willow had to say, "Sorry guys about that…we have been fighting a lot lately but anyway I think Buffy can go visit her ex as a way to get into the law firm without raising suspicion. I think it would be a great idea and probably the only way you guys would feel comfortable sending in the troops." Faith chirped up for the first time in a while, "I can head there if you want with Robin. We are closer than you Buffy. Although it might be a tad bit awkward…."
Buffy definitely didn't want to agree to visit Angel even if Willow's excuse was valid. Buffy just really needed to try to change Willow's mind about anyone visiting Angel. Although Faith had a point since she was living in Ohio while Buffy was in Scotland, she didn't feel right about the whole situation. Sending Faith to L.A. just seemed wrong since this was a big fight, "Well Andrew said it's bad there. He said it's walking into an office full of demons and vampires. It's a safe haven for the evil guys. It's probably better than on the street, eating victims. Faith, no offense but I'd be worried about what excuse we would give for you visiting him at this point of the game." Faith's chipper voice echoed, "Well Robin was glaring at me at that suggestion anyway. I guess he doesn't like the idea of a 3-month pregnant slayer going into an evil law firm. Sorry."
Giles cleared his throat, "Back to the suggestions at hand about the law firm, I personally would want the law firm destroyed not giving out jobs to local vampires and demons. I read in the watcher diaries that that law firm decides a lot of the evil activities that take place in this world, including the First's activities. I mean not the Los Angeles office per se, since they have a few offices around the world, but that law firm is responsible hellmouth's, vampire clans and gangs. They have a lot of power, even over deciding the next apocalypse…but is it our girls' responsibility to prevent that, and do we want to anger the people responsible for such things. They are liable to open up a hellmouth in L.A. and suck us into Hell if we choose to fight such a battle…. Buffy as much as I hate to agree with Willow, I think you need to go to L.A."
Dawn piped up, "Can I go?" A chorus of "no's" echoed through the phone and Buffy watched as Dawn sighed defeated sitting back into her seat, "I never get to have any fun." Buffy sighed, "Are you sure I have to go there? Can't I just place a phone call?" She heard Xander mutter something and then speak louder, "I thought you didn't want Angel to know where you are? A phone call can be traced and it would be easily traced to England. Right now he thinks you are in Rome." Buffy smiled a little remembering when Andrew called her up from Rome letting her know that Angel had showed up on his doorstep demanding that Buffy show herself. That couldn't occur since there was only a decoy in Rome and Angel would recognize the deception if he saw her up close and personal. Buffy glanced towards Dawn and sighed loudly into the phone, "Fine I'll go but I want to do so alone. I don't want a team following me and I don't want bodyguards or anything like that. I just want to take a normal plane to L.A. and have a rental car so I don't have to depend on Angel. I'll stay as long as I have to, but I want my own place to stay in -- a hotel or something so that I don't have to ask Angel for accommodations. I want that made clear when you make the arrangements Willow. I don't want to stay with Angel and I'd rather not he even know I'm coming because I don't want trouble." Willow agreed, "Ok I'll make the travel arrangements and give a call to a rental place for a car as well as arranging a place to stay. And Buffy? Call me when you get there and I'll let the gang know?" Buffy agreed as everyone hung up.
Buffy's eyes darted from the phone to look out the window in her office wishing she felt better. She hadn't felt the same since she left Sunnydale that fateful day. A part of her left when Spike died. The part that remained felt broken and painful. She would survive because Spike had given her the strength to do so, but she didn't want to. She wanted to be with Spike wherever he was. Life was so unfair. It had taken her over two years to admit she loved Spike only to have it be too late and for him to die. The fact he died a hero was little consolation to the fact he was still dead. She heard Dawn move to sit in the chair across from her. As she glanced up, she heard Dawn whisper with concern, "You ok with this? I know you made it quite clear you didn't want to deal with Angel while you were still grieving for Spike."
Buffy shrugged feeling mostly numb about the whole idea. Part of her was dreading seeing Angel again and going to the United States where undoubtedly she would be spending her time remembering Spike and longing for him. Another part of her was curious to see what Angel had gotten himself into. The one time she had thought about visiting was with Andrew and Angel had insisted that Buffy not go. Buffy figured he just didn't want her to deal with an evil law firm but part of her was nervous about why he wouldn't want to see her. She noticed Dawn was staring at her and she remembered Dawn's question and decided to answer, "I kind of have to be. I can't send the girls in there without knowing what is going on exactly and I can't have the gang agree on a no until I have a solid reason why not. If you weren't in school Dawnie I'd take you but you are in school for another month. I can't go pulling you out of school when you are doing so well and will be finished in less than a month." She got up to sit next to Dawn and ran her fingers through Dawn's long hair, "Besides, I don't think this visit will be anything worth writing home about. I plan to go, see, come back and report." Dawn nodded, "I'm sure it will be quick and you will be back even before the weekend." Buffy nodded in agreement but didn't feel so confident. A part of her knew something was wrong with this scenario but couldn't figure out what it was.