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Underneath It All- Chapter 1 "Girl Talk"

Title: Underneath It All
Chapter: One "Girl Talk"
Characters: ATS S5 Ensemble and Willow
Pairing: Fred/Willow in later chapters
Overall Rating: R
Chapter Rating: PG
Warnings This Chapter: None
Words: ~1,200


With an unassuming *ping* the elevator announced its arrival and opened the doors to allow Angel and Wesley Wyndham-Pryce out into the bustling lobby. Wrapped up in a heated discussion as to the proper way to deal with a clan of Worslaks demons (Angel, of course, was gunning for the standard slice and dice scenario, whereas Wesley believed that these demons that fed on electricity should simply be supplied with batteries to snack on, thus stopping them from eating powerlines and causing blackouts), the pair failed to notice Eve leaning over Harmony’s desk, apparently engaged in girl talk.

“The Worslakses are widely known to be a human-friendly species of demons. I can’t see what good it would do to destroy them,” Wesley explained.

Angel just threw up his hands in anger, “Have you seen how many people their leftovers have killed. There’re exposed wires all over the city.”

“Over the years negotiations with the clan have-”

Wesley was cut off by a very short voiced Angel. “If you say brought in a lot of money or have been beneficial or-”

Angel was cut off by a very whiny voiced Harmony. “Boss! What are you doing here?”

He turned to look at his secretary. “We’ve been over this. I work here. That door over there, that’s my office. Why it’s my office, I’m still not sure. Cause I’m supposed to be fighting the good fight, but here I am fighting over power-line eating demons instead!” He huffed.

“I meant, what are you doing here? You’re supposed to be picking up our new executive at the airport.” Harmony said with an unvoiced Duh.

Angel’s eyes narrowed. “New executive, what new executive? I didn’t hire any new executive.” His gaze turned accusatorily to Eve, who simply smiled, holding the folder she carried against her chest.

“Sorry, Angel.” She started. “But this move was made by the Senior Partners.”

 “This branch of the firm belongs to us.” He said, jabbing his finger accusatorily at Eve.

“This has nothing to do with your work here, you’re doing an excellent job by the way.” She said, smirking and giving Angel an overly energetic thumbs-up. “And while you are the CEO, this is a Wolfram and Hart office, they do have some say as to the workings of this place. Your new executive is going to be the Vice President in charge of the Magical Development department, and she has quite the credentials. Also.” Eve checked her watch, “She should be at the airport now.” She looked at Angel with saddened eyes, “Really, is this the kind of impression you want to make on a new co-worker?”

“If she’s so powerful, why doesn’t she just zap herself over here?” Angel asked, folding his arms over his chest.

Eve simply shook her head and sighed, “I just thought you’d want to give her a warm, fuzzy, Wolfram and Hart welcome. Isn’t that your thing? Anyways, I have a meeting to get to.” She wiggled her fingers in a cheery goodbye, “Toodles.”

Watching the bitch from hell walk away, Angel snatched one of the porcelain unicorns from Harmony’s desk and hurtled it down against the ground where it shattered into about five billion flecks of powder.

“HEY!” Harmony cried. “That was my favorite one!”

“Man, I hate her.” Angel hissed

Harmony knelt down, trying to scoop up the ex-unicorn dust. “I don’t know why you hate my statue. One of my minions gave her to me.” She sighed nostalgically, “Good times.”

“Not the statue.” Angel said. He gestured vaguely in the direction Eve had left in. Harmony’s mouth formed a silent “oh.”

“A new executive.” Wesley mused. “Well I can’t really imagine it’s anyone good.”

“Oh no,” Harmony said. “I heard in the lunch room that she’s big time bad news. Tried to end the world once. Controls some powerful magics. A lot of people are trying to get transferred into her department.”

“Well we’ll have to keep a close eye on her, obviously.” Wesley said. “And I suppose the best way to start would be to pick her up at the airport.”

“Pick who up at the airport?” Fred said, as she rounded the corner, her lab coat folded over her arm and crusted with what appeared to be some kind of hardening orange goo.

“New executive.” Harmony said, sitting back down behind her desk. “Major evil.”

“Oh.” Fred said, her voice flat and unsurprised. Evil. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

“No.” Angel said, a final nail in the coffin. “We’ll get one of the drivers to pick her up. I don’t want any one of my people stuck in a car with someone that dangerous.”

“But,” Wesley pried out a metaphorical crowbar, “Showing up in person may be the best course of action. We can find out more about her from the start, before she actually gets to the offices.”

“I say we all go,” Gunn said, approaching the group. He ground his knuckles against his palm, a bizarrely threatening contradiction to the pressed suit he wore. “Give what’s-her-face a big ol’ step-outta-line-and-look-who-you’re-messin’-with greeting.”

Wesley shook his head, “Too confrontational. If we present her with such mistrust right at the start, it will have her defensive and suspicious, making it nearly impossible to learn more about why she’s here. Only one of us should-”

“I’ll go,” Fred volunteered. “I was about to go out for a little bit anyways. I don’t mind playing chauffer for a while.”

“No way, Fred.” Angel said. “I do not want you in a car alone with a powerful witch.”

Fred pleadingly looked to Wesley to back her up, but he merely frowned. “I’m inclined to agree with Angel. I think it would be best if one of us were to go.”

With one last desperate look she turned to Gunn, “No way. No how.”

Fred sighed, shaking her head at the foolish boys, and fished her car keys out of her pocket. “I appreciate ya’ll’s concern. But I’m going. Besides, what better way to get information out of a girl than girltalk?” She smirked.

Finding absolutely no comeback, the guys merely frowned as Fred gave a wave and disappeared into the elevator.

“I don’t like this at all,” Gunn said as he watched the numbers indicating the floor the elevator was on dip lower and lower. “She could be walking right into a trap.”

“I should have someone follow her,” Angel declared. “Harmony, get someone from the Undercover Tracking department following her.”

Harmony bobbed her head, “Righty-o boss.” She picked up the phone and punched a number. “Hey, Kelly. Can you connect me to the Stalking Department? Thanks.”

“Who knows who this new person is?” Wesley mused with a worried tone of voice, “For all we know it could be the darkest sorceress who ever lived. It could be-”

---

“Willow!!” Fred called out, waving her arm high above her head to attract the witch’s attention. Spotting her, the redhead beamed brightly and picked up her bag, running towards the bubbly brunette.

Meeting somewhere in the middle, Fred threw her arms around her in a nearly bone-crushing hug, surprising for someone of her build. “You’re the new VP in charge of Magical Development?”

Willow nodded. “Yeah. I heard there was an opening and I figured I could be of some use to Angel and his quest for making goodness out of badness. Gotta say I’m a fan of that.”

Fred could barely contain her excitement, bouncing up on her tiptoes. “This is going to be great!”

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
beer_good_foamy
Aug. 14th, 2007 09:08 am (UTC)
Even if I'm a bit puzzled about Willow taking that job at this point, this is still a great start - I love your character interaction; it's tricky to write that sort of "everybody speaks at once" discussion and still keep it both in character and on topic, but this definitely works. And also, how you have the Angel gang very much insecure of how to handle things at W&H.

One typo, though; shouldn't "They worslakses" be "The worslakses"?
rayruz
Aug. 14th, 2007 09:29 am (UTC)
I've confused you ;) Good, that was the intention. Mwahaha.

Ah yes. I'll fix that.
shinodabear
Aug. 15th, 2007 07:18 pm (UTC)
*G* I love the interactions. Angel & Wes in the beginning were hilarious, and I feel bad for Harmony and her shattered unicorn. I'm sure she's got plenty to replace it, though.

Really glad you were able to work out this bunny. Great start.
rayruz
Aug. 15th, 2007 07:23 pm (UTC)
Thanks! :) I'm enjoying it alot... glad you are too
not_purrrfect
Sep. 11th, 2007 02:55 am (UTC)
Great character play. You do so good with them, like Die hard fans like you are what we fans love.

Rock on gurrrrrrrrrrllllll
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )