Title: Legal Persuasion
Summary: What does Wolfram & Hart want with Spike? Written for fall_for_spike.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Joss et al.
Distribution: My site, the usual lists, anyone with previous permission. Anyone else - just ask.
Feedback: Yes please! It makes me happy and keeps me writing.
Author's Note: Thank you to my team of betas (Gabrielle, KallieRose, Lisa Kelley, Megan & Emmy) for going above and beyond with the speedy beta my reluctant muse demanded of you. You ladies rock!
Author's Note 2: While traditionally, it is the district attorney's office that obtains search warrants, it is not unheard of for defending lawyers to do the same.
"Get your soddin' hands off me," Spike barked, struggling against the hands that were dragging him towards some unknown destination. He wasn't even able to shuck off the heavy material they'd thrown over him before he had been manhandled into the van that had brought him here.
"Do you have any fucking clue who you're dealing with?" he said as threateningly as possible.
"We know exactly who you are," came the unexpected answer.
Spike was unceremoniously dumped in a chair as his covering was removed. He looked around, expecting some dive or another warehouse. Instead, he found himself in a posh office; a man and a woman, both in power suits, were silently observing him. Looking behind him, Spike saw that his captors were two bodyguards, who resembled pro wrestlers.
"Spike," the man continued, "formerly known as William the Bloody. One quarter of the Scourge of Europe. Sired by Drusilla, who was sired by Angelus, who was sired by Darla…"
"Who was sired by Batface the Master. I know my bloody lineage. Bully for you for knowing it too. Doesn't tell me what I'm doin' here. Wherever the hell here is," he finished with a mumble.
"Forgive my manners," the man said, straightening his shirt-cuffs. "I'm Lindsey McDonald. This is my associate, Lilah Morgan." Spike gave each of them a careful once-over, liking what he saw. "This," Lindsey continued, gesturing to the room and building in general, "is my office at Wolfram & Hart."
"The law firm?" Spike asked, laughter in his voice. "Sorry, mate, but I don't need a lawyer."
Spike stood to leave. It was Lilah's voice that stopped him. "You sure about that?"
Her self-assured tone had Spike twisting around to look at her. He hadn't heard that much know-it-all condescension since he'd parted company with Darla.
Sauntering back to the chair, Spike made himself comfortable. "Fine, then. Why don't you enlighten me as to why you think I need you ."
"It has come to our attention that you were recently in possession of one mystical Gem of Amara," Lilah read from a file. "Said Gem was stolen from you by one Buffy Summers and delivered to the souled vampire, Angel, from whom you tried to retrieve it," she met his glaring eyes as she said, "unsuccessfully."
"So you, what, want to represent me in a civil suit against the Slayer and Angelus?" Spike couldn't have kept the amusement out of his voice even if he'd wanted to.
"Yes," Lindsey solemnly answered.
"I can do that?" Spike asked in disbelief. He had always been a 'take what you want' kind of vamp. It never would have occurred to him to use the human legal system to get back what was his. He'd just been planning on laying low and going after Angel again.
Lindsey and Lilah shared a look that Spike could tell was a gloating one.
"Doing things your way didn't work, did it?" Lilah asked, slithering closer to Spike.
"Well, no. But that was that wanker Marcus' fault. Shoulda known better than to hire someone else to torture the pouf. It was right fun watching him get skewered, but it lacked that…personal touch."
"There is something to be said for sitting back and not getting your hands dirty though," Lindsey pointed out.
Spike's eyes narrowed in suspicion. He knew it wasn't that simple. Especially since they came to him, rather than the other way around. Kidnapped him's more like it, he amended his thoughts. They had taken him out of the warehouse where he'd been torturing Angel and brought him here by force.
"What's in it for you?" he asked accusingly.
Lindsey and Lilah shared another look.
"What makes you think there's something in it for us?" Lindsey asked, not giving anything away.
"Don't people usually seek the shyster out in a case like this?" Spike pointed out. "Not the other way around. You want me to go after Angel. Why?"
"How do you know it isn't the Slayer we're after?" Lindsey countered.
Spike looked thoughtful for a moment. "No, the Slayer is an annoying bitch, but I can't see you being interested in her. She's no threat to you. Angel, on the other hand, is fighting the good fight right here in your backyard. I'm guessing you've had the displeasure of making his acquaintance, and not socially."
"Our paths have crossed," Lindsey admitted.
Smiling smugly, Spike nodded once. "Thought so. You couldn't give a rat's arse about helping me get my ring back. You just want to stick it to my grandsire. Lucky for you, I enjoy causing him pain. What I don't take kindly to is being used."
"Using you has never been our intention," Lindsey hastened to say. "What we have here is a mutually beneficial situation."
"Which brings us back to: How is this going to benefit me?" Spike asked.
"You'll have your ring," Lilah answered.
"And you're, what, going to help me out of the goodness of your hearts?" Spike smirked.
"Honey, there is nothing good about our hearts," Lilah smoothly answered.
"So what's it gonna cost me to work with you?" Spike asked. "I'm not gonna pay you."
"We'll work that out later," Lilah tried to wave him off.
"No, I think we'll work that out now," Spike coldly insisted. "I won't have you saying your payment for getting my ring back is my ring. I wasn't made yesterday."
"We're not asking for anything from you," Lindsey calmly said. "Going after Angel is something we were going to be doing anyway. The timing just happens to work out that we can get at him because of your situation. In truth, you're helping us out here. By proving that Angel has stolen property in his possession, we can not only have him arrested, but put his little P.I. firm out of business."
"You do know that that won't stop him, right?" Spike quirked an eyebrow at him.
"Probably not," Lindsey conceded, "but it would get him out of the way while we work on some of our big cases. Ones we would prefer Angel not get a whiff of."
"What's to stop me from going to the almighty pouf and telling him what you're trying to do? I may not be able to stand the bloke, but he is family."
Lilah laughed, a harsh, bitter sound. "You don't care that he's family, Spike. He's caused you more pain since you were turned than any other creature you've come across, even your precious Drusilla."
"You leave her out of this," Spike growled.
"Work with us and we'll forget we know her name," Lilah smoothly lied.
"Oh-ho," Spike drawled. "So that's how it's going ta be? Work with you or you'll drag in my insane sire. Good luck tracking her down."
Picking up another folder from the desk, Lilah reported, "Drusilla is currently in Brazil, holed up with a…" Lilah pulled a sour face, "Fungus demon." She shook her head in disappointment.
"How'd you know…?" Spike sputtered, standing to pace around the spacious office. "She's still with that…?" He stopped and turned to glare at the amused looks he knew he'd find on the lawyers' faces. "That doesn't matter. I don't want her here. She'd just protect Angel anyway. Crazy bint."
Collecting himself, Spike took his chair again. "So, what is it you want me to do?"
"You don't need to do anything," Lilah answered. She picked up a contract and handed it to Spike. "This contract states that you have hired Wolfram & Hart to represent you in the matter of Spike vs. Angel regarding the ownership of one Gem of Amara. Just sign where indicated at the bottom of the page and we'll handle the rest."
"And how do you plan to 'handle' this?" Spike asked, ignoring the pen Lindsey offered him.
"The usual way," Lindsey shrugged. "We'll have Angel served with papers demanding that he surrender the ring to one of our people before we sue him for it, and everything he owns."
"You plan on sending a vamp to retrieve my ring?" Spike suspiciously asked, his betrayal by Marcus still smarting.
"You don't think we're that careless, do you?" Lindsey countered. He received a raised eyebrow in response.
"I think I'll be delivering those papers myself," Spike said, chipping away at his nail polish.
"I don't think that's such a good idea," Lindsey hedged. "You've obviously tried that before, without success. We wouldn't be here otherwise."
"One of our men will accompany you," Lilah added. "It will hopefully convince Angel that you're on the level."
"Don't pretend you care about my safety," Spike chastised them.
"Of course we do," Lindsey objected. "As our client, your safety is of the utmost importance."
"Now if I were payin' you, I could see how that would be true. But seein' as how I'm not payin' you one red cent, I still don't see why I should trust you."
"We have nothing to gain by your demise," Lilah pointed out. "We will take down Angel, make no mistake about that. But with your help, we can do it ahead of schedule."
"I like the sound of that." He held out his hand. "Give us a pen then."
Lindsey handed Spike the pen he'd offered him earlier with a triumphant smile. Pen in hand, Spike sat forward to read over the contract. He might want his ring back, but he still didn't trust these lawyers. When he was satisfied that they didn't want anything other than his cooperation, he put his signature to paper.
Before the ink was dry, Lilah had whisked the paper away, handing it to one of the silent guards by the door. "You, take this down to Processing and have them get the search warrant ready, ASAP."
"That's it?" Spike asked.
"That's it," Lilah confirmed. "Pleasure doing business with you, Spike."
Lilah turned her back on the vampire, dismissing him, as she returned to her own office.
"What, does she think she can just send me on my way now?" Spike incredulously asked Lindsey.
"I believe that's what she just did. Now, if you don't mind, I have some things that I need to work on," Lindsey said, excusing Spike.
"And where is it that you expect me to go?" Spike asked. "Still daylight outside last time I checked, and your goons brought me here, so I'm without transportation." Spike put his feet up on Lindsey's desk, making himself comfortable. He pulled out a cigarette and lit up.
Lindsey took the cigarette from Spike's mouth and extinguished it in a glass from the bar. "This is a public building; no smoking."
"Oh come on," Spike practically whined. "You gotta give me something here. After all, you're stuck with me until the sun goes down and I can go torment Angel."
"Look, Spike, while we're grateful for your help, it's not my job to keep you entertained. We said that we'd approach Angel on your behalf. You're the one who insisted on going yourself. How you pass your time until then is up to you."
"You got a telly?" Spike asked, looking around the office.
"Fine," Lindsey sighed. He pressed a button on a remote control that had been sitting on his desk and a panel on the wall lifted, revealing a big screen TV.
"Now that's what I'm talking about," Spike grinned, moving to settle in front of the TV. He rubbed his hands together excitedly. After channel surfing at lightning speed, he finally settled on a rebroadcast of a Manchester United game.
Lindsey rolled his eyes and did his best to ignore the vampire as he worked on the case files that had piled up on his desk. After an hour of Spike yelling at the TV and Lindsey grinding his teeth, there was a knock at the door.
"Sir," the nervous clerk said. "I have the papers Miss Morgan wanted."
"Excellent. I'll take those," Lindsey said as he stood. He waited behind his desk for the minion, er clerk, to skitter across the office and hand him the paperwork, taking great pleasure in the fear his position instilled in the weak.
Spike watched the interaction from the corner of his eye, silent for the first time since he had sat down in front of the television. When the underling practically ran out the door, he asked, "Those my walkin' papers?"
"Yes, these say that we have the legal right to search the offices of Angel Investigations and the apartment beneath for the Gem of Amara," Lindsey confirmed.
"Brilliant. Let's have them then and I'll be on my way, soon as the sun goes down." Spike approached the lawyer, hand outstretched.
"That's not how this works," Lindsey said, standing firm. "When the sun sets, a car will pick us up and take us to Angel's offices. You may enter first, and try to persuade Angel to hand over the ring, again. When that doesn't work, I'll come in with some of our men and we'll begin to search the premises."
"Since when was you comin' part of the plan?"
"It's always been part of the plan, Spike. You didn't honestly think we'd send you in there with only our employees for backup? Be realistic. Angel wouldn't believe they worked for Wolfram & Hart unless he saw me or Lilah there with you."
"I don't need a bloody babysitter," Spike grumbled.
"Believe me, I wouldn't want to be the one if you did," Lindsey joked. "Look at it this way: Angel won't like us showing up there together. He'll be on edge and ready for a fight. Hopefully, he'll still be in a great deal of pain from your work on him earlier today and won't put up much of a fuss."
"Don't count on it," Spike tossed out.
"I'm not going to steal your glory or your ring. You can either believe me or not. Nothing I can say will sway you, I know that," Lindsey said, still trying to placate Spike.
"Well if you're coming, then let's get a move on. Sun's gettin' ready to set." Spike nodded towards the windows, where the sky was beginning to turn pink.
"Keep your shirt on," Lindsey cautioned. "I just need to make a call first."
Spike looked like he was going to pout, but schooled his features before Lindsey saw the childish reaction. The thought of getting his ring back had him suddenly full of more energy than he knew what to do with, and there was no one available he could kill. Well, he could kill Lindsey, but he had a feeling the lawyer was right about his presence in particular being a burr under Angel's saddle.
Lindsey picked up the receiver and dialed an extension. "We're ready. Prepare the van."
Before the handset was even settled in the base, Spike was standing by the door, ready to be out of the building.
Lindsey smiled; the vampire's antics, while annoying, were amusing nonetheless. He made a point of taking his time placing the search warrant in the inside pocket of his suit jacket.
"After you," Lindsey gestured towards the door, which Spike eagerly stepped through.
'This is going to be fun,' both men thought as they headed down to collect the rest of the team.
Wolfram & Hart's limousine pulled up in front of Angel Investigations. Spike tossed back the rest of his drink and looked out at the building. It looked the same as it had last night when he'd rifled through Angel's belongings.
"Let's go over the game plan one more time," Lindsey suggested.
"Sod your game plan," Spike retorted. At Lindsey's put-upon expression, Spike sighed and said, "I'm goin' in and demandin' my ring back from the pouf, again. If he doesn't cough it up, your goons in the van behind us will follow you in and start takin' his place apart."
"Just remember to keep your fists to yourself," Lindsey warned him. "We're using the legal system to get Angel to do what you want. You don't want him to use your own tricks against you; suing you for assault or destruction of property."
"Right. Fine," Spike distractedly agreed. Before Lindsey could give him any more instructions, Spike stepped out of the limo and headed for the building, lighting up a cigarette on the way.
Spike stalked through the door to the building, silently debating over what he was about to do. It wasn't like him to hide behind humans, letting them do his dirty work. Minions, yes. That's what they were for. But to allow these piddly meals on legs to rip Angelus a new one just didn't sound like all that much fun.
Taking a final puff on his fag, he tossed it aside and physically shook off his thoughts. Too late now, anyway. The lawyer was sitting outside with his van of humans waiting to help him trick Angel into giving up his ring.
Hand on the door knob to Angel Investigations, Spike exhaled sharply and entered the office.
He stood silently in the doorway for a moment, slightly disappointed that no one was there to…welcome him. The cheerleader wasn't sitting at her desk and the Mick was nowhere to be seen. Even the lights were turned off.
This was a vampire's business, he thought, shouldn't they be sitting around waiting to help the pitiful humans? It's not like their boss could do business during the day.
A thought occurred to Spike, causing him to smile. Maybe Angel was too beat up to work tonight and he'd sent his human pets home. He liked that idea much better.
Just then, his thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the elevator. After what seemed like forever, the doors opened and Angel walked out, albeit slowly, bantering with the half-breed.
Angel stopped mid-step as he sensed Spike's presence. The joviality he'd been feeling vanished and he turned to glower at his grand-childe.
"Spike," he ground out. "What are you doing back here?"
"Same thing as before," he smirked.
"Marcus took your ring," Angel reminded him, subtly casting a glance at Doyle.
"You don't expect me to believe that you let him keep it," Spike tsked. "What with his taste for children and all."
"I don't have the ring, Spike," Angel said, carefully leaning against his desk, still incredibly sore from having had hot pokers shoved through him and then being burnt when chasing after Marcus.
"Bollocks. I know you. You and your little band of do-gooders went after the child-crazy vampire and killed him. I can see you're not wearing it, noble wanker that you are, but I'm sure you've got it locked up safely somewhere here. I'm not leaving until I get it."
"What? No foot stomping? Quit acting like a spoiled child and get out. You're never getting that ring back. Period."
Smirking, Spike said, "I was hoping you'd say that."
Lindsey took that as his cue and walked through the still-open door, followed by half a dozen men that were armed with assault rifles and stakes.
"Evenin' Angel," the lawyer smugly grinned.
"What are you doing here, Lindsey?" Angel asked, not even trying to keep the annoyance out of his voice.
"I'm here on official business." He reached inside his suit jacket and removed the warrant. "Spike, here, is now a client of Wolfram & Hart. This search warrant is for one Gem of Amara. If you do not willingly hand over the ring, these gentlemen have the authority to tear your home and business apart looking for it."
"There is no way in hell that I am turning over that ring to Spike, let alone you," Angel snarled.
"Now why didn't I think you would cooperate?" Lindsey said.
"Because he's a right pain in the arse," Spike suggested.
"Not now, Spike," Lindsey whispered, earning him a smug look of amusement from the vampire in question.
"Look, your men can search this place from top to bottom, but they're not goin' to find your ring," Doyle said, speaking for the first time. There had been enough violence against his boss, and friend, that day. He wasn't in the mood to see any more blood shed.
"So, he's given it to you to hold?" Spike's eyes narrowed as he focused on the shorter man.
"Not hardly," Doyle protested.
"Doyle," Angel warned, not wanting his friend to admit that the ring had been destroyed.
"What?" he turned to Angel. "It's not here. May as well just tell them and be done with it. I don't know about you, but I don't want to have to explain to Cordelia why the office has been torn apart, let alone your apartment – again."
"He's not going to believe me," Angel argued.
"If 'him' is me, then you're probably right," Spike interrupted, disliking being talked about like he wasn't there. "But you'll never know until you fess up and tell me where you hid my ring."
Lindsey's eyes widened as he realized what had happened. "Oh, no. Please tell me you didn't."
"Looks like lawyer-boy is smarter than he looks," Doyle said.
"Of course I did," Angel said, crossing his arms across his chest, defensively.
"You're an even bigger idiot than I gave you credit for," Lindsey said.
"Would someone please clue me in and tell me where my soddin' ring is?" Spike yelled.
"I destroyed it," Angel evenly stated.
Spike silently stared at Angel for a very long minute. "I'm sorry, I think I misheard you. Did you just say that you destroyed the Gem of Amara?"
"Yes, I did."
"Are you completely daft? Followed Drusilla into insanity? Completely lost your marbles?" Spike fumed as he began to pace, flailing his arms. "You destroyed the vampires' Holy Grail! Destroyed it!" Spike looked at his hand, as if there was an object resting on his palm. "What's this? A magical artifact that will keep me from being staked, burned by holy objects and the sun, you say? I'm such a poncy arse, so lost in self-hatred and loathing of what I am that I am going to destroy it!"
"Spike, calm down," Lindsey cautioned. "We knew this was a possibility."
Turning on his lawyer, Spike fumed. "You knew it was a possibility that that son-of-a-bitch would destroy my ring and yet you made me wait all soddin' day to come get it? What kind of game are you playin' here?"
"I'm not playing any games. While we knew it was a possibility, even we didn't believe that Angel was that much of an idiot as to actually follow through and destroy it. Hell, we half expected him to want to keep it so that he could help the helpless during the daylight hours too."
"Hey," Angel interrupted, "I did what I felt was right. My redemption isn't over and I'm not going to use something so powerful to achieve it."
"Well, what about the rest of us?" Spike whined.
"I am not about to risk a soulless vampire getting their hands on something so powerful," Angel vehemently said, pushing aside his pain to rise to his full height.
"And seein' as how you're the only souled vampire out there, that means everyone else who's lucky enough not to be you," Spike said.
"It's done," Angel firmly stated. "There is no point in debating over whether or not it was a good idea, which I still believe it was. There's nothing you can do about it now. Move on. Get out."
"Not so fast there, big guy," Lindsey protested. "We're still going to take a look around, just to see for ourselves if you're telling the truth."
Lindsey gestured to the men silently standing behind him. Without a word, they separated and some began to search through the drawers in the office while others moved toward the stairs to Angel's apartment.
"Why would he lie about somethin' like that?" Doyle asked, trying not to cringe at the mess these men were sure to make.
"Perhaps with the hope that we would leave him alone with Spike's priceless artifact to do just what I'd said: Become a daytime detective and help even more of the pathetic little people."
"That isn't what I'm about and you know it," Angel protested. "My mission here is to help the kind of people that I terrorized before the soul. The ones plagued by demons. I wouldn't be able to do that during the day anyway. I am a creature of the night and so are those who my clients need to be protected from."
Lindsey made a show of shaking himself awake. "I'm sorry; all that moralizing puts me to sleep."
"Get out," Angel demanded.
"Not just yet," Spike said. "I'm not going anywhere until those men confirm that my ring isn't here."
"Fine. Wait. But they won't find it," Angel said with a dismissive wave of his hand. He moved behind his desk and eased himself into the leather chair. Once settled, he opened Rachel's file and added to his notes.
"If that is true, then be prepared to be charged with destruction of personal property, in addition to having stolen said property," Lindsey said.
"Excuse me?" Angel said, looking up at the lawyer with incredulity.
"Had we found the Gem of Amara in your possession, we were simply going to give it back to Spike and have you charged with possession of stolen property. However, if you have, in fact, destroyed it, that opens up the door for much more serious charges," Lindsey coolly answered.
"What makes you think that you can charge me with anything? I'm not human; therefore human laws don't apply to me," Angel smirked.
"Think you're better than your average human, do ya?" Spike snarked.
"Now, you know that's not what I meant," Angel protested.
"Oh, of course not. Can't have anyone thinking you think you're better than those you help," Spike said.
"I'm not getting into this with you," Angel said.
"Why not? Because you know I'm right?" Spike needled.
"Because you'll find fault with whatever I say," Angel pointed out. "I know you, Spike. You'll do and say anything to get a rise out of me. You never were up for outright challenging me. Hell, you had to hire Marcus to torture me today! Afraid I'd get away from you if you did it yourself?"
"I hired Marcus because I knew he would take his time and do a thorough job of torturing you. Didn't want to risk getting impatient and just stakin' you without getting my ring back."
"At least you know your own shortcomings," Angel said.
Before Spike could reply, one of the men came back into the office, via the elevator.
"Sir," he said, addressing Lindsey. "I found this on the roof."
He held out his black-gloved hand, revealing bits of gold metal and green stone.
"You destroyed my ring!" Spike yelled, realizing what he was seeing.
Angel rolled his eyes. "I told you I did."
"Like I was going to believe it, just 'cause you said so," Spike fumed. He continued to rant, to no one in particular. "After all that time that I spent searching for it, digging it up, having to listen to Harmony prattling on about sodding France; I go through all of that work only to have him destroy it!"
"Uh, Spike, I think you're starting to show a family resemblance," Angel smirked.
"You shut up," Spike growled, turning to face Angel.
"Spike, that's enough," Lindsey said, resting a hand on his shoulder, which Spike shrugged off. "We may not have your ring, but we can still follow through with having Angel arrested for stealing it in the first place, as well as destruction of property."
"Why bother?" Spike petulantly asked, the fight seemingly going out of him.
Lindsey dragged Spike out of the AI offices. "I did not bring you into this to give up now," he fiercely whispered.
"Like you said, you brought me into this. My ring is gone; nothing can be done to bring it back. Those magicks are long gone," Spike pouted.
"We can still make Angel pay for depriving you of your ring," Lindsey pressed. "Let me go forward with the plan and press formal charges."
"That's your world, not ours. I'll find a way to make Angel pay, but it won't be in a bloody courtroom," Spike said as he turned and walked out.
"Spike, come back here," Lindsey called after him. "We had an agreement."
"He's not coming back," Angel said smugly from behind the lawyer.
"This isn't over," Lindsey said.
"No, it's probably not, but it no longer has anything to do with you. I can handle Spike. I always have been able to, and he knows it." Angel went back into his office, holding the door open for Lindsey's men to pass through, before firmly closing it behind them.
Outside, Spike was lighting a cigarette. He should have known better than to join forces with lawyers. He'd go back to his original plan, lay low for a while, then find a way to make Angel pay.
In the meantime, he'd head back to Sunnydale and make the Slayer pay for taking his ring away in the first place. She wouldn't know what hit her, he thought with a satisfied smirk.
Copyright© December 2005