A/N: This is a new version of a previous Lindsey story I wrote, but obviously there will be many differences. I haven't written fanfiction in a while but this idea wouldn't get out of my head lately.
A/N2: Everything in between /these/ are Lindsey's thoughts.
Timeline; AU after Dead End. Lindsey got his hand back and stayed. Angel's away mourning Buffy. Also, since season 2 was actually a while ago, some pop culture references might be out of place for back then. Sorry. I'm not as young as I used to be ;-) Angel and co. will appear soon enough in later chapters.
It was a slow day for Wolfram and Hart, specifically for Lindsey. Sure he had spent the morning in court getting off a group of men who sold organs on the black market to desperate people, but that was nothing new. It was also the only thing he had to do that day. It was almost one o'clock and he was experiencing something he rarely felt since his days in the mailroom.
It was summer, and apparently even Evil took summers off, to an extent. Angel, who had consumed the majority of his past year, was even off somewhere mourning yet another "love" of his. He wondered if he was the only one without anything else to do but spend his days working. Hell, even Lilah was leaving early that day to do something with her mother.
The lawyer leaned back in his chair and glanced up at the big screen TV in his office. Oakland was facing the Yankees, so it was also a rare occasion in which he got to watch a Yankee game at work on a local California station instead of relying on the MLB package he had at home. He didn't understand why so many people hated on the Yankees; because they had a reputation for winning? Winning was the name of the game, every game, in Lindsey's mind. Not to mention when money is spent, it better damn well be earned. He hated when money wasn't earned. "Nice twelve-grand strikeout A-Rod!" He yelled at the television, before turning back to his computer.
"What, you were expecting him to come through in the clutch?" a very familiar female voice said in the doorway. He wasn't expecting her at all today, but he certainly wasn't disappointed by her appearance.
Lindsey looked over and saw his secretary, Samantha "Sam" DeSantis. He personally hired Sam when Holland gave him his first big promotion after the Vanessa incident and as he moved up in the company, he had taken her with him. She had been applying for a secretarial position for the interns, as she was straight out of a secretarial school and still had "teen" in her age at that time. Lindsey always had a good sense for reading people and she caught his attention, so he gave her an interview. During the interview, he had asked her "A lot of girls might be jealous that they've been here a long time and you will be automatically getting a top position, do you think you can handle that?" She answered with "What do I care what a bunch of girls that will die of skin cancer within the next decade say about me?" She won him over instantly.
Sam was not alone in the doorway, which did kind of surprise Lindsey. A little girl popped her head over the stack of cookies she was holding to look at the lawyer. "Mommy calls him A-Hole," the girl said informatively.
"I know," Lindsey smiled. "What brings you two here? I though you took off today?"
"I think I left my cell phone here. Well, I hope I left it here," Sam answered, then she pointed to the cookies "plus the Thin Mints you ordered from my niece arrived and I know how you've been looking forward to them." She wasn't wrong. They were his favorite cookies, and he had been awaiting them.
The girl when over to his desk and put them down. "Here, Mr. McDonald."
"Thank you, Teresa. So is your cousin giving you anything for your delivery service?"
Sam rolled her eyes. "No… but she got a bike for selling them," 4-year old Teresa answered.
Lindsey gasped in mock-horror, "Well, don't you know you're entitled to at least a certain amount of rides?"
"Well, you carried six boxes, that should get you six rides. Tell her you consulted your lawyer about this. But I don't work for free. Want to do me a favor?" he asked, picking up two boxes of the cookies.
"Sure," the girl answered.
"Go to Lilah Morgans office and put them on her desk, right on top of her salad. I know she just stepped out." Teresa did as she was asked.
"Isn't Lilah trying really hard to lose ten pounds?" Sam wondered.
"Yup," he replied with a smirk. He had to get his laughs somewhere.
"In the future, don't use my daughter for your evil plots," she warned.
Lindsey shrugged. "That's what happens when you step into the building."
"I know. I wish I could have come alone, but my mom was asked to sub a summer school class and my dad's working as usual. Good thing I have her convinced the demons are guys in costumes."
Lindsey hit a button on his phone. "To sacrifice a child or pet, press one," the recording said through the speaker. "Thanks," she muttered, even though they both knew it was only the lawyers and other higher-ups that made such sacrifices. The cleaning crews and secretaries were rarely menaced by the Senior Partners. Sam went over to her desk and began to look for her phone. Lindsey tried to focus back on his computer screen, but he was finding it difficult. They both knew what people thought about them. He didn't deny she was attractive. Dark long hair, dark eyes, naturally tanned skin, her height and body shape was her only similarity to Darla; he figured she'd have no problem getting a role in a mafia movie, if she wanted. Having spent just over half her life in Brooklyn, with the accent and attitude always on display, just enhanced that. To top it off, he had ran into her once picking up Chinese food, and he said "Hey James Gandolfini's here," when he looked at someone else waiting by the counter, and she corrected him, laughing, by saying "No, that's my dad." But they had never, ever done anything remotely inappropriate. He had nearly ten years on her, to start with. Then there was the fact that she had seemed to have more self respect than everyone else in the building. Yes, she had a baby in high school, and that meant she defied Lindsey's stereotypical view of teen mothers. He never heard of her going out after work with other girls to party. No talk of dates. She had never entered the building wearing anything remotely revealing. Of course, her daughter was the total opposite of most of the bratty kids that would sometimes come around with their parents. All of her stories involved being at home, with her family. Sure she worked at Wolfram and Hart but her only intention was to provide a good life for her daughter without relying on her parents too much. If that meant scheduling a ritual sacrifice now and then, then so be it. It paid the bills and then some. He understood her and also assumed she'd never do something that could jeopardize her job. Of course, perhaps the biggest factor of all was the little girl in the equation. He knew that girl was her life, far more important than her job, and there was absolutely no chance she would be in a relationship with someone that wasn't right for her daughter. Being Co-Vice President of Special Projects, did not make his life child friendly beyond occasional interaction.
"I knew it!" he heard her exclaim in the hallway. Her daughter was back, sitting on her desk chair as Sam re-entered his office with her cell phone, and also some files. "I forgot to give you these cases to look at." Lindsey had asked her to find her a relatively "normal" case, because every now and then he needed a break from defending LA scum.
"What are they?" he asked.
"One is a tanning company, they're being sued by some girls that claim the guidelines only advised the limits of fake tanning for safety reasons, and didn't warn against natural tanning and fake tanning in one day, and they should have, so therefore they're responsible for their skin cancer…"
"Your favorite disease," he reminded her. "And really? That's a case? Ridiculous. What else?"
"Well, Britney Spears-"
"NO!" he exclaimed. "In fact tell me when she will be in the building so I know not to be here."
Sam sighed and put the files on his desk. "Well, there's a bunch here, take your pick. I'm gonna go, we're gonna see a movie. Nothing is going on here, why don't you go home?"
Lindsey shrugged. /What's there?/ he said to himself. "Maybe I'll leave early. Have fun," he said to her, trying not to sound pathetic regarding the fact that he barely had a life outside of work these days. Recently he had been in contact for the first time in five years with his youngest sibling that he had only seen once since she was put into foster care and adopted when she was very young. But they still haven't seen each other. "Bye Teresa," he yelled at the door.
"Bye!" she waved back.
Once again he was alone in his office. Leaning back in his chair he continued to watch the game on the television that costs far more than the monthly mortgage his father couldn't afford to pay. His goal in life was to never be in that position. There was a time, back in college, where he thought as he approached thirty he would have a family as well. A family that would be able to depend on him; that wouldn't get torn apart. The older he got, the more he realized he would just have the luxurious, yet dangerous, lifestyle. Usually it didn't bother him, after all sacrifices had been a part of Lindsey's life long before it was a feature on his desk phone.
/What the hell, I might as well go home./
It didn't take longer than twenty minutes to get to his apartment building. He parked his BMW-the work car- in his other designated space, next to his truck, when he walked in the building he held the door open for a woman, not much older than himself, the doorman seemed to be elsewhere, he went straight into the elevator. So did the woman. He got off on the eighth floor and went to the apartment at the end of the hallway. So did the woman. Before putting his key in the door, he turned around. "Can I help you?"
The woman, professionally dressed on a hot California day, looked down at the file she was holding. "Are you Lindsey McDonald?" He nodded. "Good timing. My name's Brenda Kramer," she extended her hand, "with social services." Lindsey shook it hesitantly. The last part took him back to his childhood. He suspected it still had to do with his family, which was not good.
/Why couldn't she be with some cult?/
Lindsey opened the door and let her in. "So what is the visit about?" /My mother's got to be too old to have a kid… hopefully…/ "Did one of my siblings…"
"This is about you," Brenda cut him off. "Can we sit down?" He lead her over to his living room, sitting down on the sofa and letting her have the big club chair that he always preferred.
"I can't imagine why you're here. Is this about a case I have, because I'm sorry…"
"No," she cut him off again. "Do you remember a woman named Kristina Young?"
Upon hearing the name Lindsey pressed himself into the back of the sofa and nodded, trying not to cringe. How could he forget Kristina? They had dated several years ago, when he was just starting his career. She was from Beverly Hills, her dad was a big shot at (another) law firm, her mom did something in hospital administration, and she spent their money. She also happened to be the most annoying person he had ever come into contact with, and that was saying a lot. He stuck it out with her for a while incase Wolfram and Hart didn't work out, figuring her dad would be a good connection, but after a few months he couldn't take her anymore. Or her equally annoying Maltese, Candy. Every now and then he had seen her in the paper, especially recently, in the socialite/gossip section; trying to be like her friend Paris Hilton. "Yeah, I can't forget her," he eventually said. "How do Kristina and I have anything to do with your line of work? I haven't seen her in years."
Brenda fiddled with the file she was holding. "She came to into the social services office and left something-someone," Brenda paused to give Lindsey a moment to take it in. He stared at her wide-eyed and she continued. "She says you're the father of her daughter, and she just can't care for her anymore. I tried to talk her out of her decision, but-"
"No," Lindsey finally spoke. "I don't have a kid." /I can't have a kid/ "Like I said, we haven't seen each other in years!"
"Yes, well the girl is four-years-old."
/Shit!/ "That doesn't automatically mean this girl is mine. I mean Kristina…"
"Well we will do a DNA test of course, if you're willing."
"Yeah, I want to get this straightened out. Can I ask what this girl's name is?" Lindsey didn't think the situation could get any more shocking. He was wrong.
"Angelica," Brenda said. She glanced down at the paper, "Angelica Lilah Young, to be exact."
/Thank God this a joke!/ Lindsey slammed his formerly non-existent, formerly evil, hand on the coffee table. "Okay who put you up to this? Lilah, it's gotta be Lilah, right? Whatever she's paying you I'll double it to—"
"Mr. McDonald," she said seriously, "I assure you this is real." The look on face just couldn't be disputed. "Would you like to take the DNA test now? We can have the results in a few days."
"We can have the results today, and I want to get this out of my way right away."
"No, labs usually take-"
Lindsey pulled out a wad of cash from his six-hundred-dollar pants "Cash is taken everywhere."
"Let's get started then."
At 4pm Lindsey was sitting in Brenda's office waiting for the results to be faxed back. /This kid can't be mine. God awful name aside, no way. Damn me for pressing that ritual sacrifice button in front of Sam./
Brenda entered her office with a piece of paper. "Results are back, and they're positive. You're her father." Lindsey was speechless. "You know, you do have options here…"
/Well, my sister got lucky in the sys-NO, that am I saying? I've gotten away with a lot at Evil's Headquarters so far, maybe, just maybe I can make this work. Besides, that would make me no better than Kristina. Far worse than my mom… This girl is probably so scared…/
"No, no," he finally said. "I'll take her."
"I can see if there is a judge available to sign off on this today, but its Friday… or would you prefer doing this on Monday? It might give you time to get prepared."
"What do you think? Would-would I be making it harder on her waiting?"
"I suggest you give yourself time to take this in, make the any necessary accommodations. Being completely unprepared could be even worse. I assure you, she is being taken care of very well right now."
Lindsey nodded, still in a state of shock. "Okay then. Yeah, I should… prepare."
Thank you for reading. Reviews are really appreciated so I knew whether or not to continue.