Eliot was not looking forward to this. The job was a pretty simple one. Some women were being scared out of their homes by a real estate developer. They were going to figure out why this guy wanted their homes, then make him stop. Only one problem, this man lived and worked in L.A., the one place Eliot had promised never to return. But then again, he had only just gotten there and Sophie all ready had the plan in place. They should only be in town a day. He could handle this. It was an easy job, maybe they’d never know. Parker and he had just finished settling in to the hotel suite when Sophie walked in looking shocked.
“It’s Camilla…” Sophie’s voice was strangled. “One of our clients…she’s dead. I…I found her. The police are ruling it as an accident. She fell and landed on something that left…”
“Two pricks on her neck and she bled out, but there wasn’t much blood was there?” Eliot had said. This sounded way too familiar.
“How is that even possible?” Nate’s voice came in over the earwigs.
“It’s not,” Eliot said, surety in his voice. “I’ve…seen this before. A long time ago, but if this guy has the people working for him that I think he does, we may need more help.”
“Who do you think it is?”
“Can’t say. I’ll be back. I’ve gotta talk to somebody who might be able to help.” With Wolfram and Hart as well as the Hellmouth gone, Eliot had hoped that more vamp activity would move. Apparently, most of them didn’t learn well enough.
Eliot was good at hiding the truth. No one knew ten years ago he had been Lindsey McDonald, up and coming attorney at law with Wolfram and Hart. And a few years later, he’d helped avoid an apocalypse. Afterwards, he had built Eliot Spencer and left LA permanently. He wasn’t that guy anymore, but the people he made the promise to wouldn’t know that. They would probably be looking for him soon. There was always another seer to be had. Eliot walked until he saw the Hyperion come into view.
“You knew this’d happen eventually. Maybe he’ll let you talk before he tries to kill you.” Eliot said, removing his earwig and walking into Angel Investigations. The lights were off and the place looked deserted…sort of. Maybe he’d lucked out and they were all ready out on this case. He could wait and…
“Hello, Lindsey.” Angel’s voice came from the blackness.
“Angel.” He inclined his head in the direction he thought he heard the voice coming from.
“Thought you were dead. I told Lorne to kill you.”
“The guy let me sing again. For once, I was telling the truth. I liked being part of a team and didn’t want to betray you. He let me go and I promised not to come back, to stay away from temptation.”
“You seem to have some trouble keeping that promise.”
“ Yeah, well,” Eliot laughed a little. “Wasn’t my choice. Boss said he needed me. I’m only here for a few days, hopefully. I only came to you ‘cause my team’s in over their head.”
“That seems to be a habit for you, Lindsay.” Wesley’s accented voice was followed by the man himself, holding a crossbow to the former lawyer.
“Well, not for me, but my team...” Eliot paused. Wesley didn’t look very convinced. “You may not believe me, but I really have changed. I worked for the government and I’ve been sort of an assassin, but now, I’m working with a team again. On the mortal realm only, I stay away from the mystical. I don’t really want the Senior Partners on my ass. I joined up with this crew to do an honest job and well, I liked helping people and sticking it to the man. My team…we help people and there were people in trouble, so we came. Thought it was simple, just a real estate asshole. But now apparently there are some vamps involved. The people I’m with…they don’t know anything about vamps or demons. Not really. I told them I was going to look for some people to back us up.”
“Did you tell them not to expect you back?” Angel said, finally emerging from the shadows himself.
“No, but I can if I need to.” Eliot said. “I deserved to be killed back then, but I really have changed, man.” He looked the vampire in the eye. “Even if you don’t believe me, call my boss Nate. Tell him Eliot said you needed to be filled in. That’s my new identity…well one of them.” Eliot handed him a card. “I wouldn’t mention that you killed me till after the job. I wouldn’t want them to get hurt trying to avenge me or somethin’.” Angel stared back at him for a second.
“Spike!” Angel yelled and the lights came back on. “Get Willow to check out his story and ask Buffy to come down.”
“When did I become you’re bloody servant boy, poof.”
“Now, William!” A female voice ordered.
“Only cause you asked so sweetly, pet.” The blonde responded to a blue woman.
“Ah, Illyria, never a pleasure.” Eliot said, recognizing the former god.
“Let me kill the mortal.” She said to the brunette next to her.
“Not a good idea. Even if he does need a haircut like nobody’s business.” Her voice was familiar. It threw him for a minute.
“I know you…” Eliot said, trying to place the girl.
“Name’s Faith. You and your friends tried to get me to kill the Angel beast, once upon a time.”
“Oh, yeah. The rogue Slayer, thought you were in prison. “
“I’m rehabilitated.” The brunette replied nonchalantly.
“Good for you.” Eliot said, giving her a sarcastic thumbs up. A red head and a blonde came down the stairs.
“Nate wants to talk to Eliot.” The red head said, holding a cell phone. Eliot looked at Angel.
“Go ahead.” Eliot took the phone from her.
“Eliot, what the hell is going on?”
“I had a falling out with these nice folks last time I was here. I just wanted them to know we’re on the up and up.”
“Do we need to come get you?” Parker’s voice came over the line.
“I’m fine. These people are all about helping.”
“All the same, I’d like your location.”
“Let me make sure that’s okay, Boss.” Eliot pulled the phone down. “Can I tell them the name of the place…and your business?”
“4. There’s only five on our team.”
“How can we trust him, Angel?”
“I don’t Buffy, but Xander hasn’t said anything…and him I do trust.”
“Gee, thanks dead boy.” Another man exited the office. “His story does check out, the vamps and the real estate developer one that is. Care to guess the developer’s name?”
“Tucker Wells.” Eliot said, then turned back to the phone. “Nate, I’m at a place called the Hyperion Hotel. It houses Angel Investigations. I think they’re gonna help with the murderer part. Call ya later.” He hung up the phone and gave his most charming smile to the redhead.
“Save it, Romeo. Gay.” The woman said.
“Well, fine. Can I at least have your name?”
“Willow.” Angel said pointing at the redhead “and-”
“Buffy, of course.” Eliot gave a little bow. “ Sorry I didn’t recognize magical world royalty right off. It’s been several years since I’ve looked at your files for Wolfram and Hart.”
“Wolfram and Hart?!” The two women said with a glare.
“I worked there...worked…as in past tense.”
“My name’s Eliot now. You gotta remember that. The others will pretend not to notice a slip up, but I’d rather they think I’m just a hitter and not a former lawyer. Things might not go over so well with them if they knew my entire past.”
“You mean that you use to be evil?” Buffy said.
“Yeah, partially. Not to mention I may have lied about a few things in order to keep the mystical in my past and out of the present.” Eliot turned to Wesley. “They’ll probably be here soon. We might want to avoid a scene and put away the crossbows.”
“So how are we gonna play this, B?” Faith asked.
“I don’t know. I guess it’s up to Angel.”
“Fill him in.” Angel said, kissing Buffy on top of the head before going back to his office.
“We know Tucker Wells.” The eye patched man said. “This is not his first foray into the mystical. He tried to set Hell Hounds on our senior prom.”
“Sounds like a real nice guy.” Eliot commented.
“Yeah, he’s a charmer. Almost as annoying as his brother.” Buffy responded.
“Hey, I heard that!” A short red-headed guy came out from behind the desk.
“Finally decide to stop hiding, Andrew.” Willow asked. Andrew hung his head a little sheepishly.
“This is Tucker’s little brother.” Xander said, motioning to the kid. “Anyway, I suppose we should wait until the rest of your team gets here to do the fill in.”
“Unless it involves the supernatural. I’d kinda like to keep these guys away from that stuff.”
“Basically we all ready knew he was using vamps and his Hell Hounds to make himself feel important and now we know why. So what is it that you and your team want from this guy?”
“His money. We plan to give it back to his clients, along with their homes if possible.”
“Sounds like a part of a plan.” Buffy said.
“Let me see how far away they are. In the meantime you might want to come up with something better than a barbecue fork as a murder weapon.” Eliot stuck his earpiece back in. “What’s the ETA, ya’ll?”
“We’ll be at the front door in about five minutes. Everything is alright, isn’t it Eliot?” Sophie’s voice came over the line.
“Yeah, great.” Eliot sat down. “So,” He turned to Wesley. “Thought you died.”
“I thought I was going to, but luckily, Buffy and Willow decided Angel needed their help. Willow healed me.”
“Lucky break, man.”
“I think so.” Wesley said walking away from Eliot. Faith came to sit by him a few seconds later.
“You don’t have to watch me. I’m not going anywhere.” Eliot said.
“I know.” Faith leaned back. “If you’re for real, Angel will come around. He’s a sucker for redemption cases like us.”
“I know.” Eliot leaned his head back. “I used it against him before, but this time, all I want is to help these people.”
“Then, Angel will help. So do you have a plan?”
“My team has a part of one, but I want to make sure they aren’t walking into a nest of vamps before they rob this Wells guy blind.”
“So do you guys take any of the money?”
“No, our first job together covers us for life. But we all knew that we wouldn’t be able to just quit, so we break the law for the right reasons now.” As Eliot was speaking, the Hyperion Hotel doors opened to Nate, Sophie, and Parker.
“Hardison stayed at our hotel.” Nate said, nodding his head toward Eliot.
“That’s fine. Just go over your plan with’em, Nate. They’re going to help me make sure the area is clear before you all go in. If that’s okay with Angel.” At the mention of his name, Angel, Buffy, and Willow exited the office.
“That’s sounds good, as long as your plan will work.” Angel said.
“Wait, are you Angel?” Parker asked.
“Yes.” The man said, obviously confused.
“I didn’t know Angel was a boy’s name.” The blonde snorted. “And who are you?” She pointed at the red head “Butch.”
“I’m Willow and this is Buffy.”
“Eliot, you’re friends have weird names.” Parker said under her breath.
“No weirder than Parker.” Eliot said, walking over to the group. The crazy blonde stuck her tongue out at him.
“So, I guess we should get down to business before more of your clients get killed.” Angel said, leading the thieves and their leader into the next room.
“Hey, Li—Eliot, hold up a sec.” Spike called. “I’m glad for you, man. Never really held with what my sire did.”
“He had his reasons, Spike. And trust me, that part is completely over for me. I did want to apologize to you though.”
"Trying to convince you to kill Cordelia and that you were the one the prophecy was about. I shouldn’t have been Doyle. I partially did it, cause I knew Angel would eventually find out and get pissed off."
“I actually owe you. You made me get out of that prat’s shadow.” Spike said, nodding toward Angel in the other room.
“So we good?” Eliot asked.
“Yeah, mate. Ready to learn to tackle vamps again?”
“I don’t know that I ever could tackle vamps all that well.” Eliot said. “I could take them to court, but I never really had to fight against any of them, but Angel and he…”
“Angel almost always wins. Unfortunately for evil. The guy can never seem to stay down.”
“I know. So I guess I should get back in touch with the sword, huh?”
“Probably, want someone to practice on?”
“Sure.” Eliot grinned and caught the sword the teenager girl behind the counter tossed to him.
“Just don’t break anything. Angel and Buffy wouldn’t appreciate it.”
“About that, how is it they’re together again? I though Angel’s curse…”
“Willow bound his soul.” The girl said. “By the way, I’m Dawn, Buffy’s sister.”
“Cool. Call me Eliot.” Dawn grinned.
“Are we going to fight or are you going to chat all day, nancy boy?” Eliot laughed at Spike’s impatience and the two began to spar.
It took all Eliot’s concentration to keep up with Spike and all of Spike’s attention to stay ahead of Eliot, so neither of them noticed when the group exited the office.
“Wow, who knew Eliot could use a sword?” Parker said in astonishment.
“That man continually surprises me, Nate.”
“Me too, Soph.” They watched as the two men continued to battle, neither gaining an edge.
“I hate to break this up.” Buffy finally said and the fighters sprang apart. “But we need to go over a strike plan with Eliot if we’re going to get this done tonight.”
“I’m thinking me, Angel, Faith, Willow, and Spike. Willow can break any wards that Tucker has and the other four can take out the vamps.” Buffy started.
“Other five, sweet cheeks. I’m comin’ too.”
“I don’t think so, Lindsey.” Angel said, quietly.
“My name’s Eliot, Angel.” Angel shrugged.
“Actually, I’ll need your help, Eliot.” Parker said.
“Yeah, while, we’re taking out the vam—vandals. You all will be dealing with the money.”
“Fine. But you need back-up.” Eliot said quietly.
“Oh trust me, that’s no problem.”
“Okay, you are the only four super good guys in the world and if something happened.”
“Wow, I forgot you were out of the magical touch. There are millions of Slayers in the world.” Buffy said.
“Yeah, Wills here activated them all.” Eliot’s jaw dropped open.
“Okay, Parker it is.” Buffy and Eliot made their way back to where Nate and Angel seemed to be saying goodbye.
“So, you guys can handle your end no problem. Once we have the money, we'll pay back the familes and head back to Boston, should be by tomorrow. If something goes wrong, we'll call” Nate said. “Hardison’s waiting for us.” The Leverage crew headed toward the door.
“Thanks for the help, Angel.” Eliot said as he walked past him.
“Just cause I’m doing this, doesn’t mean I trust you.”
“I wouldn’t expect ya to. Good luck, Angel. See ya around.”
“Good bye, Lindsey.” Angel shook his hand and then, Eliot headed back out to the land of mortals.
“Good luck, Eliot.” The vampire watched the new man head toward his waiting team.