Chapter Seven - Booker vs. Cordelia
This chapter has a lot of Booker introspection and some serious conversation, but not a lot of action. I apologize – next couple of chapters is where things really hit the fan. However, you do get to see Cordy and Booker face off. DISCLAIMER
I own nothing from either Angel
or 21 Jump Street
. Chapter Seven
Booker woke up on the couch under an afghan and tried to remember why he had decided to sleep there the night before. Then suddenly he remembered Angel showing up at his door, effectively destroying his cover as a worried brother. “Great,” he muttered. Now he would have to find another way to discover Angel’s secret.
Angel must have been hiding something huge for Kate to be so interested. Although, Booker had to admit that at this point he did not much care what the reason behind her curiosity was. What mattered was that Angel’s secret had led them to meet. Now he was not sure what the next step was supposed to be.
He liked Kate. She understood him in a way that no one had in a long time. When they were together, he felt comfortable talking about the more distressing parts of his past. She seemed to be comfortable around him as well.
That all could change, though, once she found out that his cover was blown. How Angel had found out that he had been spending time with Kate was a mystery to him. It didn’t matter really, but he knew that Kate would be disappointed when she learned that Angel had been spying on both of them. Disappointed and probably angry.
Booker knew that he should be angry too, but for some reason he wasn’t. Angel was a Private Investigator, just like him. He was doing his job and what he had said was right. Booker should not have tricked him. He had seen the look on Angel’s face before when other officers had learned that he was IAD and when high school students had found out that he was a cop. There was a certain feeling of camaraderie that Booker felt for Angel, regardless of the fact that their only meetings had been under false pretenses and then hostility.
He figured that he should probably get up off of the couch, so regretfully he threw off the blanket and wandered into the bathroom to shower. A half an hour later, he grabbed his keys and went down to get his bike.
At first he headed toward Kate’s apartment, but decided that he was not quite ready to face her and tell her how he had let her down. Then he thought maybe Ioki would have advice, but he had put his old friend through enough already. There was no sense on dumping this on him first thing on a Saturday morning.
Deep down, he knew who he had to talk to, but the idea was not particularly appealing. Nevertheless, he turned his bike east and headed for the downtown offices of Angel Investigations. He sat outside on the street for a minute, then sighed and headed inside.
Angel’s assistant Cordelia was the only person around when Booker opened the office door. She looked up at him and glared. “Oh! So nice to see you, Mr. Blackwood. Or Booker? I wasn’t too clear on that part. Too many fake names confuse me.”
He sighed. “Is Angel around?”
“He’s not in,” she replied shortly.
“Look,” Booker said. “I’m sorry that I lied to you, and I can’t believe that I’m actually apologizing for doing my job, but I really need to see your boss.”
Cordelia gave him a withering smile. “Well I’m afraid you’ll have to come back later, Dennis. Or whatever your name is.”
“Dennis,” Booker replied. “I’ll be back later, then.”
Angrily, Booker headed back outside. He got to his motorcycle and had swung one leg over the seat before shaking his head and going back to the office.
Cordelia jumped when he threw the door open. “What do you want?” she snapped.
“I’m just curious as to why Angel is nowhere to be found every time I come by during normal business hours,” Booker said. “And in order to see him, I had to come back right in the middle of prime time TV. That doesn’t seem normal.”
She was thrown for a moment, but then she leaned across her desk and said in a low voice, “What Angel does is none of your damn business.”
Booker gave her a smug grin. “Why not? I’m a client, aren’t I?”
“Aw, come on. One little lie and I get thrown out on my ass?” He shook his head. “Not good business.”
Cordelia shrugged. “Not my call. Now I suggest you leave before I show you what it’s like to really get thrown out on your ass.”
Booker put his hands up in surrender. “Okay, okay, fine. But don’t think I’m not coming back. Angel and I have some things to talk about.”
Cordelia smirked. “Like your missing imaginary brother? Tell me, did you just pick a name out of nowhere or is the amazing football player Doug Blackwood someone you know?”
“His real name is Penhall.”
“Well that’s nice to know. Real guy?”
Booker nodded. “Not really my brother, though.”
With a sarcastic smile, Cordelia replied, “Figured that one out. Thanks. Now get the hell out of my office.”
He walked out again and drove his bike toward Ioki’s apartment. The sun had crept a little higher now and he figured that his old partner would not mind a visit. Even if the visit was to bitch and moan about Angel and everything that had to do with him.
Ioki invited him in and his Los Angeles apartment was just as neat and immaculate as his old one had been years before. Booker shook his head in amusement. “Ioki, it’s nice to see that some things never change.”
Ioki frowned and looked around his apartment. “What?”
“Nothing.” Booker collapsed on the couch. “Harry, I think I screwed myself.”
Sitting across from him with a cup of coffee, Ioki said, “In what way?”
“Blew my cover.”
“Already?” Ioki asked. “You’ve never blown your cover this fast.”
Booker sighed. “I know.”
“So what went wrong?”
Shifting uncomfortably, Booker said, “I, uh, sort of got caught out of cover.”
Ioki raised an eyebrow. “Caught how?”
“Well, he found out that Kate has been spending a lot of time with me. With me as me, not as Blackwood. And so when he showed up at my door he saw that I was me and not who he thought I was.”
It took him a minute to figure out exactly what Booker was saying, but then Ioki replied, “Well then you’ll just have to go at this from a different angle.”
Nodding, Booker said, “Yeah, but what angle would that be?”
Ioki sighed. “Honestly, I’m not sure you should go after this anymore. This Angel is pretty shady. I mean, no public record of him at all anywhere?”
“Yeah, that is strange.”
“Strange?” Ioki shook his head. “No Booker, this is not just strange. This is abnormal. Suspicious. Possibly dangerous. Many many reasons that you should drop this whole thing.”
Booker got up and paced around the room. “Because I just can’t, okay?”
Slightly stung by his tone, Ioki just shrugged. “Okay, fine.”
His anger evaporated and Booker looked at Ioki. “Sorry. This is just more complicated than that.”
“Than what, Dennis?”
Booker reluctantly said, “I can’t abandon the case. I can’t let Kate down.”
Ioki eyed him for a minute, then shook his head. “You can’t be serious. Booker, haven’t you learned anything?”
Sighing, Ioki stood up and disappeared for a minute into the kitchen. When he came back, he had a beer in his hand. He handed it to Booker. “I think you need this.”
Booker looked at the clock that read 11:25 and raised an eyebrow, but took the bottle anyway. “Thanks.” He took a long swig and sank back down into a chair. “Harry, what am I doing? Falling for a client?”
Ioki shrugged. “Yeah, I don’t know. You did some crazy things back at Jump Street, but this is a whole new ballgame.” Reluctantly, Booker nodded.