Chapter One: The Client
A/N: I disclaim any ownership, property rights, or the like to any characters associated with Leverage, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel the Series, or anything related to them. I am not making any money from this, and am doing it solely for fun.
"I'm not trying to sell you a sob story, or anything like that. Just givin' ya background, so you understand where I'm comin' from. 20 years ago, I was a drunk, I was an addict, I was on the bottom of the world. I was drinking, I was doing any drugs I could get, and I was sleeping with anyone that would let me. And one of those was Mary. she wasn't a druggie - only an alcoholic. And, one day, she got pregnant. I managed to sober up enough to do what was right, and married her, but . . . well, it didn't really fix things."
"We had a girl, and, unlike in a TV show, the baby only drove us further apart. I went back to the drugs, even harder, and my temper got worse, and, well. . . I killed a man. It was a mistake, but I did. I was caught, and sent to prison for manslaughter."
"While I was in there, I managed to clean things up. Prison actually worked for me. I joined the church, took my savior on, cleaned my system, did my time. Got an early parole. Got out after only about a decade, and got a job. Went to look up my wife; she had become a hooker, worked for a guy named Gable. And my daughter, my hope, she was in Belmont. That's a mental hospital-"
"I know what Belmont is, George."
"Right, right. And, my little girl, she was in the Foster system now. Well, there was a hearing, I was trying to get custody of her. But, and this is the part that has caused everyone else to shake me off as a bad case, before I left my apartment that morning, a couple guys broke in, and drugged me."
"They kept you from going to the hearing?"
"No, worse! They gave me something that made me high. Then, they made sure I made it to the hearing! I was so loopy, the judge dismissed my motion, and almost revoked my parole! It was only my boss testifying on my part, kept me from goin' back to the joint."
"Instead, custody was given to a Diana Dormer, an employee of the WC, or maybe IWC. Like ya might expect, my memories of that day aren't the best."
"You want us to get you custody of your daughter back?"
"Naw, it's too late for that. See, I was a mess for a bit, practically had to clean up again. But I did, and I looked into that group. They were based out of London, and a few years ago, they were victims of a terrorist attack. Someone blew up the headquarters, and attacked a lot of the members. But, it was too late. See, they corrupted her. Drove her to murder. Well, manslaughter, anyways. My girl was put in prison. I didn't even find out for three years!"
"Then, when I did find out, it took me a couple months to get the scratch to get out there and see her. Caused she'd run away to California, and got involved with some more people from IWC there. And, when I did get out there, I found out that another employee of IWC had broken her out only a couple weeks before!"
"And, then, I found out she headed to Sunnydale, just a month before it dropped into the earth. But, I didn't find out till too late. My girl, my hope, my faith for the future, she's gone." The older man broke down crying at this point. Sophie handed him a handkerchief - Nate noticed it was his - and the pair waited for him to regain his control.
"So, what would you like us to do?"
"Well, I was scannin' my usual pages on the Net, when I saw something odd. An advertisement for girls, for scholarships, in the ads on the side. I wouldn't ah paid it much attention, but right there on the bottom, it was paid for by the IWC. I clicked on it, and did what little searching I could, but, I'm not good with computers."
"That's alright. I know someone that is."
"Yeah, anyways. They're comin' back. They weren't totally destroyed, and they're setting up office here in the States. The ad I found was for a new School they're opening, just outside of Cleveland. And they're advertisin' for more girls. They're gonna destroy more families. And I don't like that. I want them stopped."
Nate smiled. "Sir, this is exactly what we can do."
"Uh, I gotta say, I can't pay you much-"
"No worries. We have an alternative revenue stream. And this is exactly what we do. See, it is our firm belief that the Rich and Powerful take what they want. We - we steal it back. We provide . . . leverage."
Next up: The Briefing.