Riley Finn (finn_rileyfinn) wrote in not_fadeaway,
Riley Finn

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We happen, a big green demon.

Graham and I, of course, with him pushing me...oh, how I couldn't wait to get out of this wheelchair, had checked every floor from the security offices on the fifteenth floor, to the lobby and had looked everywhere, interrupting meetings, ruffling feathers, looking in board rooms, and maintenance closets, looking for Lindsey, who was getting a mudhole stomped in him when we found him; but alas, we hadn't had any success in finding him.

So, all things being equal and with nothing happening for us other then finding Lindsey, we decided that we would go to the top floor and start on our way down again, just to try to find the idiot who had freed Angelus and as a result, had nearly gotten both of us killed, as Angelus was apparently thirsty.

Angel was okay now, so it seemed, although Graham was having a hard time dealing with all of this information. He wasn't prepared to work for a vampire, but like me, he was a survivor of a Wolfram and Hart plan that had resulted in the deaths of our entire unit, leaving us with voids and new needs for employment.

"Graham," I said in the elevator, as we moved from floor nineteen to eighteen, still not having found Lindsey, eleven floors from the top, "we will stick by Faith, by Buffy, by Giles in this. Stop worrying about working for a vampire. This place doesn't have to be so cut and dry. We have our allegiances."

He had been talking a lot about what we had been doing on the previous floors, taking about Angel, and how he had drained me, but I had explained to him that Angelus and Angel were different people, as I had learned in the past and that we could make a difference here.

Then, virtually, directly after I had told him about Angel and not all demons being bad and about this place not having to be so cut and dry, we happened upon a towering and skinny green demon, making his way down the hall.

"Case and point," I said, as in the wheelchair, next to this demon, who had to be six foot six, I felt like a midget, even though I was 6'4 in my own right.

Graham seemed ready to try something, but the green, red-eyed and horned demon seemed to be almost hiding, or aversive to confrontation, so I put my hand on his arm.

"Hello, starnger," I said. "You wouldn't have happened to have seen this really pretty-boy asshole named Lindsey walking around, would you have?"

I asked this of the big green demon, not even knowing if he was good or bad, but in lessons of the past from Buffy, I came to accept that not all demons were evil and not all humans were good.

{Lorne and Graham}
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Like I needed coffee at this point. Unless it came from a bottle marked with a big XXX on the front, of course. But I was dead to the world. Not so much tired, just.. weary. I had cancelled my last meeting on account of some lame excuse I made up about a boardroom phobia, and wandered out into the hallways to clear the cobwebs out of the noggin.

I wanted coffee, don't get me wrong, I just wanted something else to maybe go in it, if you catch my drift. I don't think Angel would really approve of me drinking on the job, but I hadn't talked to him in what seemed like forever, so honestly, what did I care?

The hallways were fairly empty at this point, which was a relief in itself because the last thing I wanted to do was force myself to smile and carry on some ridiculous charade of being the one who's always got it together, the one who's there to make the unsmilers smile.

With my head lowered, heaving a sigh, I wandered through the halls, avoiding all possible eye contact. I had almost made it to the other end of the building and down a few floors when I felt someone grab my arm. I turned around to see two young men around my age, one in a wheelchair.

I looked at them rather startled at first, and then gave them both a flat look. "Pretty accurate descrip," I muttered to them, in response their query about Lindsey. "Never cared much for the bad apples. No, I haven't seen him."

I wasn't in the mood for conversation at this point, hoping I could leave it at that and continue my trek for a cup o' joe.
My mentaliy when seeing a demon was to raise the gun and fire, and this was one of the more strange demons that you could come across.

I had heard Ri talking about some demons being good, and while this guy made conversation, and looked, like a man in stature, you could never tell, and I was a little wary, but again, Ri sort of seemed calm, so I calmed down.

Also, I didn't have a gun.

But, I did have questions, and while I had hunted demons of different and unique varities all over the jungles, I had never seen a demon like him before.

"Not to sound like a bigot, or a policeman, but what kind of demon are you and what is your business here at evil incorporated?"
I think that once in my life, I had seen Graham so assertive.

Okay, I had never seen him so assertive, but then again, maybe he had to be because I was in a wheelchair.

Both were valid questions and while I wasn't exactly intimidating while in a wheelchair, I still gave this green demon a steely gaze.

"I can see that you might be in a hurry, friend, but his questions are valid and your name would also be a good thing.."

It felt so wrong trying to ask a tall demon questions while you were ass-fixed to a wheel chair, but that seemed to be the situation here.

Plus, he seemed to know Lindsey and any information about Lindsey could be helpful. "Not to ask another question, but you seem to know Lindsey and he has done some stupid things today. Any pearls that you might have on him would be of the good."
You've got to be joking me.

Since when did I need a hallpass to leave my office to get some freaking coffee?

I narrowed my eyes at the both of them, folding my arms infront of my chest. "I really don't feel as though I need to explain myself," I told them both with a level gaze. I found the question of my lineage rather insulting, and I really didn't care to discuss it with a bunch of fellows I have never seen before. "I work here, I run the Entertainment Division, and I don't have time to play Interrogation with you. Now if you'll excuse me, I am a busy man and I have things I need to attend to." Mainly my coffee.

I tried to get past them, but they wouldn't let me by. I rolled my eyes and sighed. "Right. Lindsey," I said with mock forgetfulness. "He's a lawyer. Has a hate-on for Angel. Bad haircut. Can I go now?"
I wasn't exactly happy seeing demons right now. They had been responsible for killing all of my friends, with the exception of Ri, in that jungle, and with this one now giving us attitude, it was pissing me off.

Yeah, he had given us information and all, but Riley already knew what he looked like, so that was pretty useless, and the guy was tall, but seemed to be a little..well, wimpy, if that was the right word.

Plus, he worked for the vampire, and while I had heard that Angel was generally good, despite what he had done today, I began to wonder if all of the demons here were arrogant assholes and it really made me want to start throwing some fists.

"That's still haven't given us your name, though and whatever you have going can't be as important as what's happened in here today. I don't know if your demon abilities give you the sight to know what has happened, but if you work here and giv a shit, you might want to listen..."

I folded my arms, letting my biceps rip out, ready to make him listen.
Part of me wanted to tell Graham to calm down, but I knew what he was going through.

When I had come here, fresh from the jungle, I was waving a gun at humans and those that weren't quite so human, like Illyria, fueled by grief, which eventually led me to shooting a human woman at the New York woman in the head and after that, being tossed eighteen stories, which led me to my current state of Wheelchairedness.

"Take it easy, Graham. We don't know his name, but we don't know him, either," I said, looking from Graham with a look of consternation, to the big green demon, with a smile.

"Aside from Lindsey being on the loose, Angelus was briefly loose as well, today."
I sighed in resignation and unfolded my arms. I could tell these two were getting a bit aggrivated with me, and as reluctant I was to talk to them, I was even more reluctant to end up with one of their fists rearranging my face.

"Look," I said to them, heaving another sigh. "My name is Lorne, I work for Angel, and I have been his friend and confidante for years. I am an anagogic empathic demon - a pacifist I might add, and I am a little leery of telling people I don't know things around here, because this place gives me the heebies and you don't know who you can trust around here. Now if you think I'm being difficult on purpose, you're wrong. I've seen people, especially my friends, get hurt or killed because we chose to trust the wrong people."

I looked at the one who was standing up. "I'm sure lots has gone on around here today," I told him, flatly. Frankly, I no longer cared to involve myself in it. "Stuff always does. But I wouldn't know as I've been caught up in meetings all day."

I tried to excuse myself once more when the wheelchaired wonder made some mention of Angelus.

I groaned loudly. "Angelus?" I asked. "What now?"
I could have guessed that the demon was a pacifist, and at least he had told us his species and that his name was Lorne, which was kind of a strange name.

Part of my traning made me want to pull ou a pen and then go and study exactly what an anagogic empath demon was, but I didn't.

I didn't really know the details of how Angel had become Angelus, so I did't comment on it, as I looked from Riley to our pacifist demon who had been stuck in meetings all day and didn't have any idea what was going on.

I guess that he was aright. He did say that this was place was really fucked up, and he wasn't at all wrong there, and I knew that much as true, and I had just gotten here.
I pulled back the gauze on my neck to reveal the bitemarks.

"Nice to meet you, Lorne, on my neck here, are the vampiric teethmarks of Angelus, who just happened to become Angelus because my ex-girlfriend, Buffy, recklessly had sex with him and then chained him to the bed, after he lost his soul..."

Or maybe it was before or even during. I didn't want to know or even think about it, so I wiped the thought out of my head.

"Anyway, our famous Lindsey decided to free him," I shrugged, "long story how he got there, and both Lindsey and I were drained in the process, almost to death, but both of us are out and about now, only Lindsey's out and about and up to no good."

I realized that Lorne was about to start talking and I had forgotten to mention that Angel was back to himself.

"Before you say anything, Angel is fine. I guess that Buffy and Faith stopped him and Willow reinsouled him."
My eyes sort of lit up like great big red honing beacons when this kid first showed me his gaping neck wound and then splayed out before me his gripping tale of Angelus reigning terror.. all while I was in my office sorting files or sleeping through meetings.

"Well, alright, you got me," I said to them both with resignation. "I've been out of the loop, although I say that without any reluctance. There's too much that has gone on in this Firm for me to stomache. I try to stay away from as much of it as possible. To be perfectly honest, I've been major avoidy since Fred..." My voice suddnely trailed off and I looked away.

Sighing, I cleared my throat, and looked back at them. "Anyway, I'm sorry to hear about Angelus and the biting you thing," I said to the one on the wheelchair. "He's a real bastard, but I'm glad he's back to himself. As for Lindsey, I hope you find him. When you do, slap him around a bit for me. Never liked that guy. Not a bad singer though, but like I said - bad apple. Many non-kudos to him for freeing Angelus."

I sighed again and loosened my tie. "I'm sorry I haven't been much help to you fellows," I apologized wistfully. "I'm just in my own corner of the world now. If my soul wasn't tied to this place now, you know, signing it over and all, i'd be halfway to Mexico by now."
It really was true.

I had picked up on how liars were liars and could easily distinguish between fact and fiction, virtually all of the time, and this guy was good, he wasn't lying, he was telling the truth, and I let my guard down.

There was no need to have it up and besides, it was the first time that I had seen the bitemarks and it was something that I never wanted to happen to me, even if my business was about killing demons at this point.

I smiled for Lorne.

"I am sorry that I was abrasive, Lorne. My name is Graham. I'm a soldier...was a soldier, until Wolfram and Hart had some demons wipe out our entire unit except for me and Riley here."

I kept the smile on my face, but it sort of drifted away with something that Lorne had said.

"Was this Fred guy somebody that you lost because of this place?"
I remembered Gunn talking about this before we had gone to New York.

"Graham, Fred was a woman, and by what I have heard, she was about the sweetest girl that you would ever want to meet."

I looked at Lorne, appreciating the need to want to get out of this place. Every piece of me was feeling dirty about being here, except for the wonderful parts that now involved Faith.

"Illyria is what remains of Fred, isn't it, our new friend?"

I didn't realy hav a problem with Illyria. She had taken Fred somhow and maybe I should hate her, but as far as I could tell, she battled evil.

"Illyria isn't exactly evil, either, she helped us in New York and helped Spike an Angel bring Buffy and Faith back from that hell dimension, but there isn't much love here for her, is there?"
Oh god, why did I have to bring Fred up? I would have been a lot better off if I hadn't. It was still a sore subject, and as much as it pained me to know she was gone, it was tenfold worse to know that Blue Thunder was walking around in her skin. It made me sick to my stomache.

"No," I said quietly. "She's a walking reminder of a girl I used to love - my best friend. It's an outrage that she feels worthy enough to walk in her skin. It makes me sick."

I gritted my teeth and looked away. "She may have helped you, and she may have helped your friends," I told them, "But the best thing that Illyria could have done, was not to come here in the first place."

I allowed myself to breathe, because I feel the muscles in my jaw tighten. This was a difficult thing for me to talk about, and my mood became suddenly more sullen. I looked at both of them, who were eyeing me with curious expressions. "Sorry," I apologized quietly. "Touchy subject."
I heard Riley talking about this woman with a name that started with a vowel taking over for this apparent GIRL, named Fred, and I just pondered it for a minute.

Lorne mentioned that it would just have been better if she had not come here in the first place.

"By coming here, do you mean that she came here, and is a demon of some kind that can possess the body of another?"

I was really curious about all of this. If that were the case, then I couldn't believe that Angel, if he was a friend of this Fred, would let that happen.

"Angel let this demon stroll in here and take away one of your friends, and she still walks free?"

It didn't seem like the Angel that I knew of.
I could tell that Lorne really didn't want to talk about Illyria anymore, and since I had remembered all of the things that Gunn had told me, I knew that I could explain it to him.

"Angel didn't let Illyria walk in here and just body-snatch Fred, Graham. It had something to do with her being some body in a casket and a former god who was released to wolfram and hart, by Gunn, by accident, and Fred just happened to be the one to do the wrong thing around the casket..whatever it was, Graham. Illyria could have happened to anyone.."

I dropped the subject right there, realizing that we were probably making Lorne feel more like going to Mexico by the minute.

Lindsey had to be found. He was up to know good. You could tell just by the look on his face, and he pissed me off.

"Well, Lorne, we'll continue the search for the pain in the ass. We'll be sure to keep you apprised of things if we should see you again and you don't know."

I extended my hand to him as I lingered below in the wheelchair.


12 years ago


12 years ago