Title: Going on Strike for Dummies
Summary: Being boss has gone to Wes’s head. What do unhappy Employees do? (If the title hasn’t given you a clue, you don’t deserve to know ;))
Spoilers: Up till S2 where Wesley becomes the boss and Angel is forgiven for his romp into beige-ness.
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Notes: Another Challenge *sigh* This one is by Sunscorched. Cali’s right. 😛 You really are an evil woman. Mrs. Peabody is a figment of one very late night discussion of a 60 year old woman without dentures and a whole lot of getting carried away that I’d rather not disclose. If she disgusts you in any of the scenes below; *evil grin* that was the intention. Enjoy! MWAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA! (Okay sorry. But it was very late at night.) Thanks to Califi for telling me this isn’t total crap and all your support! Awwww! I lurve you!
“And thus I have come to the conclusion that we should open this sister Agency in hopes of finally coming up with enough funds to keep ‘Angel Investigations’ operational and helping the helpless.”
Wesley pushed his glasses more firmly over the bridge of his nose and looked up at his two employees standing across his desk, their arms crossed in oddly the same manner and eyes a tad too stoic for his taste.
He frowned. “You realize I take no pleasure in this.”
“No pleasure?” The snorted outburst came from the beautiful brunette as she gaped at her boss with apparent distaste. She lifted the memo he’d handed them. “Wyndham Pryce Private Investigations? There is no pleasure is self-glorification! This is name pimping!”
The vampire only nodded in agreement.
Wesley stood aghast. “I would never! How dare you suggest that!” He lifted the bills that had just arrived at his desk a few hours ago before he came to the decision and brandished them in their face.
“These are expenses! Much more than our income in case either of you looked at our company finances. If we don’t do something fast, we will be bankrupt! Penniless and poor! The only reason I suggested the name was because I am the employer and it is only fair. Frankly I could care less if it were called Chase Private investigations Cordelia, we need to be making some money!”
“Chase sounds good.” Cordelia’s mouth stretched into a smile. Angel looked down at her with a betrayed pout and the girl blushed. “Right. No. We don’t like this.” She stuck her chin up. “We’re not agreeing.”
The watcher sighed. “Look I can’t do this without you and how would you help the helpless if you couldn’t even help yourselves. We are running out of reserves and we need some collateral to keep this hotel. And the visions don’t exactly come with a schedule, so we need something else to do during the time the PTB call upon us.”
Angel took a deep breath. “I realize I’m still in the litter box for my bad behavior Wesley, but isn’t this taking it a little too far with the bossing.”
Wesley bristled. “I am NOT bossy! I am TRYING to keep us afloat! And furthermore, I do not need your advice on this. I know what I am doing. We need this. And we’re doing it.” When both his employers didn’t speak he nodded.
“Good. Now go out and put up these flyers. We need all the help we can get.”
Angel ground his teeth before snatching the stack of flyers off the table. “Do we ever.”
Wesley pointed to the door with a firm glare and both the vampire and the seer walked out, but not before Cordelia stuck out her tongue at their boss.
Angel stood outside the hotel, the sun had set a few minutes ago and watched the sign he’s just hung beside their previous ‘Angel Investigations’ one and sighed. Cordelia walked up to him her arms filled with office supplies.
“How is it, that we don’t have enough money to stay ‘afloat’,” she imitated Wesley’s accent perfectly, “but we have the dough to throw away on paper clips and an electric pencil sharpener for the bossy twit?” She grumbled.
Angel lifted his brown eyes and watched the pretty brunette glaring at the new sign of ‘WPPI’ going up by their entrance. Reaching out he took her burden with her grateful smile and shrugged.
“While we’re drowning, I’m sure he’ll want us to make a raft with the clips and use the sharpener to grind meat.”
Cordelia raised an eyebrow. “Oh my. Was that a funny?”
The vampire frowned as they started to walk up to the hotel. “No.”
“It so was!” Cordelia slapped his arm lightly, teasing. “If you’re making funnies, you must feel pretty good, should I be ready with the stake and chains routine, because wow, what a change.”
“I only went beige for a while Cordy.” Angel rolled his eyes as he held the door open for her before stepping in and placing the carton on the reception counter.
“You were way too beige-y Angel. We were kinda afraid you wouldn’t find your way back to colorsville there for a while. What with giving my clothes away.”
He turned and narrowed his eyes at the perky young woman who only grinned back without a trace of guilt. “You made up for it Broody, but doesn’t mean I’m going to let you forget it.”
Shrugging out of her coat, that Angel instinctively helped her out of before going to hang it with his own, she looked around the lobby.
“Well. We’re officially open. Wyndham Pryce Private Investigators.” She wrinkled her nose. “You know if you add an M in there it would just be plain wimpy.”
The vampire muffled his laughter, lest he get blamed for being too happy. Truth was; he was closer to it than he’d like to admit. After the absolute mess he’d made with the whole Darla incident, he felt like the luckiest manpire on the face of this earth to be finally let back into his family.
Into their lives and into their hearts. It had been slow and difficult, but he was getting there. Because he didn’t belong anywhere else. And neither did he want to.
“Angel, Cordelia, is that you?”
“What; does he leave his eyes here every time we take an extra breath?” Cordelia looked around glaring as if expecting to see some disembodied eyeballs tucked somewhere.
Angel smiled slightly as they walked to Wesley’s office. “He probably heard the door Cordy.”
The seer snorted softly before freezing in the doorway. “Oooh, we have company.”
Angel nearly collided with the girl when she suddenly stopped and blinked up at Wesley who was standing behind his desk. “Ah, there you are. Come in, come in. We have a client already.”
The watcher smirked. “Didn’t I tell you those flyers were a rather fine idea?”
Cordelia rolled her eyes before stepping into the room and Angel stood there besides her watching the graying head turn and equally bright gray eyes met his with excitement. The old woman smiled a rather wobbly smile that sent creepy chills down Cordelia’s spine.
Even Angel suppressed a shudder. There were just some people who could creep you out by just breathing. The old woman stuck her walking stick on the floor and pushed herself to her full five feet, three inches of height.
Wesley smiled happily. “Mrs. Peabody, meet my associates Angel and Cordelia. They will be assisting you with your problem. Angel, this is Samantha Peabody.”
Cordelia leaned over Angel’s shoulder, her eyes on the woman walking to them excruciatingly slowly. “What is holding her together? There isn’t enough sticky tape in the country to keep those boobs from touching her ankles.”
The vampire nearly bit off his lip in an effort to hold the bubbling laugh and instead cleared his throat before extending his hand in a greeting. “Nice to… WHOA!”
Before any of the occupants of the room could more or say a word, the old woman moved like a flash of lightening her arms wrapping around the vampire’s waist as she bounced there happily. “Hot diggity! I got myself a live one!”
Cordelia gaped with shocked amusement as the vampire lifted his brown eyes up at Wesley with deadpan clarity. “No.”
“And I’ve been so scared.” The feeble shoulder shook and Angel felt the exaggerated vibrations all the way down to his toes as the woman proceeded to stay pressed against his side. He had tried to push her away, but she clung to him like a scared little puppy.
A very old, wrinkly, little puppy, with no hair.
While Cordelia was hiding her giggles behind her hand, Wesley totally ignored the predicament the vampire seemed to be in. Mrs. Peabody looked up into Angel’s face with an indulgent smile.
“All I need is a big strong man to save me.”
Wesley cleared his throat. “Yes well, Angel will help in any way he can.” The vampire in question looked up with a sharp glare, which the watcher ignored. “In fact he will take you home Mrs. Peabody. You have nothing to worry about. This stalker will not lay a finger on you while we’re on the case.”
If it were possible Angel would have paled.
Cordelia looked at the dirty old woman hugging Angel and frowned. “Why would someone stalk her anyway?” Wesley cleared his throat pointedly and threw her a wide-eyed glower.
The woman only blinked before the wide smile was back on her face. “I mean what could he possibly want?” She widened her eyes for emphasis, her hand on her heart.
“I may be old girly, but I’m still all woman!” The old woman raised her head before sticking her nose in the air, nearly toppling on her ass. Angel held her shoulders and used the opportunity to detach her from his hip.
Managing to put a few inches between them Angel finally used the opportunity to jump away from her and offer her a shaky smile. “Well um, whoever is bothering you Mrs. Peabody. We’ll find him.”
She looked up with a suggestive tilt of her wrinkly face and grinned. “You can call me Sam, hotstuff!” Angel gasped more with surprise then the pain when she lifted her walking stick and poked him mischievously in his right butt cheek.
Cordelia looked up at Angel with an eyebrow. “You look constipated. I thought you didn’t have bowel problems. Being dead and all.”
“What she means is Angel is dying to help you. Aren’t you Angel?” Wesley cleared his throat. “Yes, well, we seem to have everything covered.” He looked pointedly at Cordelia.
“I believe you should run Mrs. Peabody home Angel. She’s been rather disturbed and will appreciate the service. Mrs. Peabody,” he smiled at the woman, “you have nothing to worry. Your life is in good hands.”
“Oooh, I LOVE a man with good hands.” The old woman gazed up at Angel breathlessly smitten with the tall dark vampire.
Angel glared at the watcher, mentally picking apart each hair follicle on his head and shoving them up his nose, but he had no choice but to offer the woman his arm when she seemed to gesture to it.
Think Angel! Think!
His eyes caught the snickering brunette. “Cordelia should come with me.”
“No.” The seer shook her head with mortification. “I have…um…filing to do!”
Wesley blinked at the murderous look on Angel’s face and fingered his collar as he realized the intent in those topaz eyes. “I think that’s a good idea Cordelia. Angel could use an extra pair of eyes.”
She caught the pleading in Angel’s face as he was practically dragged out of the office.
“What’s wrong with the ones he’s got?” She muttered before grabbing her purse and following the constipated vampire.
Angel took a deep unneeded breath as he stepped into the little living room and turned the lights on. “Here you go Mrs. Peabody. Why don’t you go to bed, while I take a look around?”
He turned to see Cordelia holding the woman’s elbow gingerly with her pointer finger and thumb as if it were a leech, a rather disgusted look on the young woman’s face. He reached out and took the woman by her other arm, if only to relieve his seer.
The things he did to get into her good books. When Cordelia flashed him with those rare, sun-in-her-eyes smile. Angel smiled back stupidly.
“Ooops. I seem to have dropped me keys.”
Blinking he looked behind him to see the woman’s keys lying a few inches away from his feet. With a sigh, he let her lean on her walking stick, turned and bent down to retrieve them. When his fingers touched the cold metal, his eyes bugged out and he nearly lost his footing when he felt a large piece of the flesh on his ass being pinched.
Hard. “AWO!” Jerking up with the keys in his hand and a blush, if he could, Angel glared down at the old woman.
She offered him a mossy smile and held out her arms. “Take me to bed big boy.”
Wesley sighed happily as he leaned back the phone to his ear. “Oh this will work. I can feel it in my bones,” he told the man on the other end.
“We really did seem to be treading water barely and this woman paid upfront. It seemed she’d heard of Angel and was only happy to let us take her case.”
Gun sighed on the other end. “I don’t know dawg. Angel’s not too good with real people.”
“Oh don’t worry Charles,” Wesley assured him in all confidence, “I’m sure the harmless little old woman is no trouble at all. What could she possibly do to upset him?”
A steady nerve twitched in Angel’s temple as he looked down at the woman plastered to his side. “Mrs. Peabody. I already checked the perimeter four times! There’s no one out there. Please try and get some sleep.”
The gray head shook spasmodically as she gaped up at him adoringly frightened. “I can’t! Suppose he climbs into my window and catches me in bed! I can’t be left alone in there. I sleep in the nude.” She wriggled her eyebrows suggestively and Angel felt the panic start to build in his stomach.
No amount of money was worth this.
“What are we waiting for?” Cordelia muttered crossly as she sank lower in the chair. “He’ll probably be too catatonic to escape.”
“I was Miss California before you were born girly!”
“They HAD beauty pageants in the Mesozoic Era?”
Angel smiled softly at Cordelia before literally yanking his arm out of the old woman’s grip. “Come on Mrs. Peabody. You should really try and get some rest.” He helped her up, trying to keep enough distance between them so she wouldn’t be able to reach his ass.
For a frail little thing she sure had a mighty strong grip.
Samantha shot the girl another acidic glower. “The pageants were more of a scholarship fund,” she told Angel, her hand catching his bicep and flexing there. “Ooh.”
“Yes Mrs. Peabody.”
“What college did you go to Mrs. P? The University of Prehistoric Dinosaurs?”
“Cordelia.” Angel looked over his shoulder and met the brunette’s eyes.
Samantha ignored the jealous young woman as she wrapped her hand around the expanse of his upper arm. “Such a nice man.”
Angel hid the smile as Cordelia pretended to be toothless. If he was lucky, the relic would fall asleep dead and he’d finally get some time alone to talk with his best friend.
It had been a while.
“I have removable dentures.” Samantha wriggled her eyebrows.
He spun around so hard to look at her, Angel tripped, his arm getting snatched from her grip and he hit the side of the dressing table with a yelp, his brown eyes brimming with horror.
“Cordelia!” He squealed as the woman took a step closer to him.
“Back off saggy boobs!” His seer jumped between him and the old hag.
“I know karate!”
“Wesley, man I hope you know what you’re doin’. It wasn’t long ago when the tiniest little thing could make the vampire unstable. Remember what he did to W&H?”
The watched rolled his eyes. “Oh I’m sure Angel is handling it just fine. He’s gotten a lot better.” He sipped his tea.
“Besides, I’m sure he’s doing everything he can to be a polite young man to Mrs. Peabody. He still feels rather guilty.”
“I am NOT picking it up.”
Cordelia frowned at the walking stick lying between them and put down the two mugs she’s warmed up for them. Blood for him, coffee for her. “What’s wrong?”
Samantha looked up with a feeble pout. “I dropped my stick.”
Cordelia blinked at the stony expression on the usually gallant vampire. “And you’re not picking it up because?”
Angel looked up with irritated embarrassment, his brown eyes dark. Leaning closer, his eyes still trained on the sneaky old woman, he whispered, “She keeps pinching me in the ass!”
The dark chocolate tinged with amber. “I’m a two hundred year old vampire for christsake; no one dares!”
Caught between hilarity and sympathy for her flustered vampire, Cordelia picked up the stick and handed it to the glaring dinosaur. “Here you go Mrs. P.”
The woman ran her eyes scornfully over the younger woman’s frame before grabbing it from her. “Thank you Ophelia.”
“Whatever.” Samantha took another step and tripped the walking stick dropping right in front of Angel’s boot toes. “Ooops…”
Angel let out a frustrated growl and squatted down on his heels, his butt tucked away safely as he reached for the dropped stick.
His eyes flew open to nearly pop out of his head, when Samantha grabbed his head with both arms, her chest pressed into his neck as she held him. “Oh dear, I seem to have slipped.”
“Help,” the vampire whispered as if he couldn’t breathe, which was odd from him, considering he didn’t need to. “Help.” He tried a little harder.
“HELP ME FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!” He screamed, and Angel rarely screamed.
Wesley munched on a cookie as he swung gently in his chair. “Besides, maybe being around Mrs. Peabody will do Angel some good. She is over 60 years old. A very smart woman from what I gathered. I should think they’d have a lot to share.”
Angel was practicing breathing, while Cordelia sat next to him on the couch, rubbing his back soothingly, murmuring softly into his ear.
“Yes. In and out. Good boy. See? Insane need to eat our paying client is all gone! Even if I’d pay to see it.” Cordelia added with a bright smile. “I told you it would work! I think of the little cottage in the mountains when I feel the need to maim or torture.”
The vampire had visibly relaxed and he finally lifted his head to smile gratefully at his seer. He could have hugged the woman, but his demon was still mentally shuddering, the sensation of shapeless globs of sagging breasts horrifically etched in his memory.
He had a desire to suddenly coddle Cordelia’s very nice and firm breasts just to keep from throwing his dinner.
Angel sighed; finally relaxing back into the couch, his head falling against the back as Cordelia still rubbed his arm gently. His eyes fell shut as the steady purr built in his chest, his nerves finally loosening from their catatonic knots and liquefying to the brunette’s attention.
His eyes snapped open in alarm and both heads whipped around to look towards the bedroom door. Angel nearly fainted while Cordelia stifled a horror-struck shriek.
“Come on big boy! Light my fire!” And the last thing Angel unfortunately remembered was the sight of drooping boobs encased in a cowhide bikini and a lasso hanging from craggy fingers as bony hips gyrated in tune to the yodeling old hag.
Angel went tripping and falling out of the house.
Cordelia called after the vampire.
“Wood cottage Angel! Think pretty mountains! Angel? ANGEL PUT THE STAKE DOWN!”
Wesley smiled happily. “Yes. They will thank me when we start making actual profit. I think I will even throw them a tea party! They will absolutely adore me. Besides, even if Angel does get growly, I’m sure Cordelia will tell him otherwise.”