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(fic) The Phonecall

12th December 2007 (21:41)
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I've had fragments of this story sitting on my hard drive for months, but I've finally been able to finish it and polish it up. It's my interpretation of one of the most important missing scenes from the Buffyverse... it's the day after the destruction of the Hellmouth in 'Chosen', and Angel gets a phonecall.

1100 words. Characters: Angel, Harmony, Faith. Rated 12 for occasional use of swearwords (but you already knew that, because this story has Faith in it...).


The Phonecall

*brrr*  *brrr*  *brrr*  *click*

Wolfram and Hart, Harmony speaking, how can I help you?

The fuck?

Ahem. I said, Wolfram and Hart, Harmony speaking, how can I help you?

Yeah, I heard you. Why the hell are you answering this phone?

You're through to the Chief Executive's office, I'm his assistant. Are you sure you have the right number, Miss - ?

Yeah, I've got the right number. I want to know what the hell you're doing with Angel's phone. 'Cause if this is some sort of trick...

Mr Angel is our CEO, so - oh! You must have called his old number! They had it diverted here when he accepted the job! Wait, I'll put you through...

*brrr*  *brrr*

Yes?

A woman to speak to you, boss.

Yes, Harmony? and her name is...?

Oops. I forgot to ask. Sorry. Do you want me to - ?

Sigh.  No, just put her through.

*click*

Angel speaking.

OK. You want to tell me what the hell is going on?

Who - ? Oh. Faith, it's you. What hap--

So you recognise my voice. That's a start. You under a spell, Angel? Or should I say 'Angelus' again?

What? No, it's me. Angelus is safely gone. There've just been some... changes. But listen, what's --

Changes such as you working for Wolfram and Hart now? With a secretary?

Well yes, but how do you-- ?

Remember? They're the bunch that paid me 15 thou to whack you. And now you're their boss?

Uh - Yes. I have my reasons.

Yeah? Well, they'd better be good ones, 'cause this sounds like some fucked up crazy shit. So spill.

Er, well, I can't actually tell you.

You sure you're not Angelus?

Yes. I'm not him. You were there, Faith, you saw. I'm my own man now.

Your own man. Huh. You're working for this big evil law firm now, but you think you're your own man. Dude, are you nuts? Hell, I ain't exactly got the stellar track record in making great decisions, but even I can tell you're crazy.

I'm not-- I had to do it. Not for myself, for-- for someone else. There was a deal to be made, and I'm willing to pay the price. But now we've discussed my exciting new career opportunities in such detail, will you please tell me what's been happening? I've seen the news from Sunnydale, but--

Oh, that. We won. 'S why I called you in the first place, to tell you. It was a big bloody mess and some of the girls didn't make it, but we won.

Didn't make it--?

Y'know. Died. Shuffled off the mortal. I-- oh! Don't worry, big guy. Buffy's still with us. Seems there's no demon born can take her out. Leastways, not permanently.

She's really OK? Why didn't she call me herself, if--

B's fine. She just didn't want some big emotional scene, yo. Girl's feeling kinda fragile at the moment, is all.

Oh. But she doesn't want to talk to me about it? Bet she's having no problems talking to Spike, though...

Well yeah she is, 'cause that's kinda the point. Spike's dead.

...

Angel?

He's what?

Yeah. Turned all pillar of fire saving the world.

What?

You heard me. Hey, did you know the guy? 'Cause you sound kinda upset.

I - I - well - no! Of course I'm not upset. Specially not if he died sav- if he died helping Buffy to save the world. I should talk to her. I'll drive up to Sunnydale tomorrow night.

Yeah, well, point the first, there ain't no Sunnydale any more, just a huge-ass crater. And point the second, you've not been listening, dude. B don't want to talk right now. Not to you, not to me, not to anyone.

So you're her errand girl now, are you, Faith?

Hey, just my good deed for the day, now I'm all redemption-y and stuff. Speaking of, how'd your apocalypse go? Did you find out what the deal with that Beast dude was all about?

Yes, we, uh - sorted it all out.

And...?

No 'and'. We had a problem, we dealt with it. We don't need any flashy pillars of fire to save the world here...

Uh-huh... Listen, I gotta go. I - oh damn it. Angel, you sound kinda cut up. You need anything? I could swing down to LA, maybe come see you? You know-- damn, I'm crap at this. We could talk or something?

Faith, I appreciate the offer. Really. But what I'm doing here... honestly, it's probably best if you stay away. All of you. Don't get mixed up in this.

That sounds kinda ominous. I thought you said you hadn't turned evil again?

I'm not evil. But what I'm doing here, in order to do good... I might need to get my hands dirty first. Make compromises along the way. You know how it goes. But Buffy-- I doubt she'll see it that way.

Damn straight she won't. I think you're playing with fire myself, but it's your life. Unlife. Whatever. But when B hears about this, you'll be lucky if she don't turn up at your doorstep one bright sunny morning with a stake.

You're going to tell her?

Hey, she's gonna find out sooner or later, might as well be from me. I'll try and convince her you've got your own good reasons, but I'm not sure she's gonna listen to me. She ain't in a real conversational mood right now, like I said. Fact is, it's Mope City around here right now; I'm thinking of blowing the place myself. I ain't big with the whole shared-emotions group-hug shoulder-crying thing.

I remember. But are you sure you should be going off on your own? It's not--

I ain't. Don't know quite how it happened, but I seem to have gotten myself an actual boyfriend. Or something, anyway. Not quite sure how this works or even if it's gonna, but I figure I may as well give it a shot. Guy's crazy enough to want to hang with me, we might actually have something in common. And it's not like there's anything here for me, is there? A gal can't wait around forever...

I-- I'm happy for you. Congratulations. Do you know where you'll go?

Wherever. Supposed to be a Hellmouth over in Cleveland; we might see if there's any fun going on over that way. Hey, if you don't want me coming down to LA, maybe I'll see you there sometime?

Maybe you will. Thanks for calling, Faith.

Sure. Be good, dude.

*click*

Comments

Posted by: selinde2 (selinde2)
Posted at: 12th December 2007 23:47 (UTC)
Mm hm

Yep, could well have gone like this. Liking it very much. Thanks for posting

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 12th December 2007 23:55 (UTC)
Re: Mm hm

Thanks! There was a lot I was trying to explain or foreshadow, as well as thinking how they'd actually feel and react...

Posted by: Owen (owenthurman)
Posted at: 13th December 2007 01:07 (UTC)

Yes. Something like that was how it went.

I was always a little disappointed at the introduction of Spike to Angel's team and how little we see of his and Angel's discovery about and contact with the Sunnydale crew afterward.

Faith doesn't know Harmony, does she?

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 13th December 2007 11:11 (UTC)

Thanks! It came to me as I was writing this that it would be in character for Angel to warn Buffy's team away from what he was doing in LA - and of course he can't tell anyone about Connor. Add to that that Buffy isn't going to be very happy getting news about Angel from Faith a ther best of times, let alone now, and it all adds up to things getting off to a bad start and only getting worse...

Faith might have seen Harmony hanging around with Cordelia at some stage during Season 3, but I don't think they ever really interacted, and it seems unlikely she'd remember her.

Posted by: counteragent (counteragent)
Posted at: 13th December 2007 01:59 (UTC)
Buffy counteragent

I love missing scenes. You definitely did a lot of plot heavy-lifting with just one phone call.

Nice job!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 13th December 2007 11:11 (UTC)

Thanks! There was a lot that needed explaining...

Posted by: Just Keeping Things In Perspective (quietpoet)
Posted at: 13th December 2007 05:56 (UTC)
sexy bedhead

loved this!! and so like Angel to deny Spike. Faith never saw them together? Weird....

Anyway, lovely story, as ALWAYS. you're awesome!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 13th December 2007 11:20 (UTC)

Aw. Thank you! Writing Angel being petty about Spike (as a cover for his grief, naturally) was a lot of fun. :-)

And no, Faith has never seen Angel and Spike together - she was out of town during 'Lovers Walk'. She's only met Spike briefly - in 'Who Are You' and then their longer conversation in 'Dirty Girls' (and then for most of the rest of Season 7 Spike was off with Buffy or with Andrew), and Spike never even mentioned Angel to her. Assuming Angel didn't talk about Spike either during her conversations with him, and that season 7 Buffy wasn't really in the mood to discuss her love life with Faith, there's no reason for Faith to ever connect the two of them.

Posted by: Just Keeping Things In Perspective (quietpoet)
Posted at: 13th December 2007 16:57 (UTC)
punkspike spikeshunny

huh. funny what you miss when you're not actively looking for it. I guess we just assume that every main character (or important to the plot of the show, in Faith's case) knows about every other main character, and their alliances/relationships.

You are still awesome, and I'm jealous that you picked up on something I never did =)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 13th December 2007 23:44 (UTC)

I agree, it is easy to assume that because *we* know something, all the characters would too. In some cases, you can probably assume they do, since they'll talk to each other between episodes... but Faith's an outsider. Besides, we saw in 'Who Are You' that she didn't recognise Spike at all, and from the way she said "Spike? Spike. William the Bloody..." it sounded like she'd been told about him by her Watcher as part of her training, not by Buffy.

Also, thanks. :-)

Posted by: Beer Good (beer_good_foamy)
Posted at: 13th December 2007 06:43 (UTC)

I - I - well - no! Of course I'm not upset. Specially not if he died sav- if he died helping Buffy to save the world.

Bwahaha! Fantastic voices, as always - not many people pull off writing fic made up entirely of dialogue, but you're great at it. Plus you managed to sneak both Spangel and Fuffy in there somehow... (and yes, I did catch the s8 references, you sneak, you. *g*)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 13th December 2007 11:24 (UTC)

Thanks! And yes, the hint of Fuffiness was deliberately put in there. The Spangel was more of an natural development, because I think Angel would be upset (and pretend not to be) on hearing of Spike's death whatever the truth of the relationship between them. They've known each other for 120 years, after all, and Spike is family.

Posted by: lusciousxander (lusciousxander)
Posted at: 13th December 2007 08:14 (UTC)

I really, really loved this! Especially the little hints to S8. :)

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 13th December 2007 11:24 (UTC)

Well, I do my best to stay consistent with canon, both before and after this story. :-)

Thanks!

Posted by: mrs_underhill (mrs_underhill)
Posted at: 13th December 2007 20:40 (UTC)
Very large

Beautiful! I liked it very much, voices and Angel's reactions were spot on.

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 13th December 2007 23:39 (UTC)

Thanks! I find Faith's voice much easier to get than Angel's, but I'm working on it...

Posted by: lilred26x (lilred26x)
Posted at: 18th December 2007 02:23 (UTC)

I really enjoyed this! I could hear both Faith and Angel. Very well done!

Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 19th December 2007 10:06 (UTC)

Glad you liked it! Thanks... :-)

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