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Tales From Oracle Securities

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This story is No. 2 in the series "The Maelstrom Series". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Stand alone and interconnected short stories in the 'New City, Same Enemy' Universe. In the aftermath of Diocletian, Baron Zaragoza, and Gregory of Arles, what else do Wesley and the Oracle Securities team have to face?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > Dresden Files, TheAlkeniFR151225,0620215,42425 Sep 1213 Oct 13Yes

Because **** You, That’s Why

Disclaimer: I do not own The Dresden Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel the Series. I do own any and all original content.

Finally we’re getting around to ending the arc that started with ‘new arrivals’. Took me long enough, I know.

Tales From Oracle Securities

By Alkeni

Chapter 6: Because Fuck You, That’s Why

Wesley's Office, Oracle Securities
4:19 pm, June 26th, 2003

Wesley picked up the phone on his desk and dialed Lindsey's office number. He leaned his head against his shoulder, holding the phone in place as he typed into his computer. It rang twice, then the lawyer picked up on the other end.

“Lindsey here.”

Wesley hit 'send' on his computer, then spoke. “Lindsey, can I see you in my office? I have some intelligence regarding something Wolfram and Hart seems to be up to, and I'd like your former insider's opinion.”

The lawyer fell for it, hook, line and sinker. “I'll be right up.” Wesley drummed his fingers against the desk while he waited. Fortunately, by the time he'd arrived back in Chicago this morning, Faith was already well back onto her way to Cleveland. It was a good thing she was out of town now.

He didn't hate Faith, not after the help she'd given in bringing down the Red Court. Indeed...if he was entirely honest with himself, he wasn't sure if he'd ever really truly hated her. Even when she'd been torturing him, giving him that essential baptism in his own blood that, more than anything else, was critical to his becoming the man he was today, he hadn't hated her. Feared her, yes. He'd never admit it to anyone, but he'd been truly and utterly terrified, on a deep level that, in his life, could only be matched by those hours in the cupboard under the stairs, so many years ago. A soul-crushing, scarring terror. That, more than the pain, or the cuts or the scars, had been what shaped him. He'd been terrified...but no hate. Pity. Not pity in a good way. As he'd said to her then, as he'd believed

"I was your Watcher, Faith. - I know the real you - and even if you kill me, there is just one thing I want you to remember."

"What's that, love?"

"You - are a piece of sh-”

He'd meant it then. It wasn't pity in the way you might feel bad for someone who had lost their leg...more pity at how pathetic Faith seemed, what she had become, from what she had been, once...

Not that I helped her much at all, once I arrived in Sunnydale...

No...Wesley didn't hate Faith. Having her around though...a constant reminder of how much of a failure he was... while he was quite happy with his non-Watcher status, and had been for years now, not the least because it seemed to have been the primary thing that saved his life during the First Evil's purge of nearly all the Watchers not killed when the bomb blew up the London Headquarters...

It was true, that breaking with the Council....well...getting fired by them for being a miserable failure of a Watcher... had probably been the best thing to happen to him, in his life, when looked at objectively...

But still... there had been a time, once, when he'd been training to enter the Watcher's Academy...then entered the Academy...been a Watcher...been so proud to be given two Slayers...the honor, the responsibility. It was what every Watcher lived for, to be able to be a Watcher to a Slayer... he'd never expected to get such a responsibility, at his young age...of course, he was sure he could do it...after all, in their wisdom, the unimpeachable Inner Council had chosen him to be the one to replace Rupert Giles... obviously they knew he could do it...and who was he to argue with the Council...

For all his idiocy, his pomposity, his impending failure....then...when he'd been a Watcher, been training to be a Watcher...until soon after his arrival in Sunnydale... he had known.

He had known who he was. He had known where he was going. He had known what he was doing with his life. He had...purpose. A reason.

After being fired by the Council for his many failures...he'd latched onto the slightest hint of a purpose, helping Buffy defeat the Mayor. After that – and he'd gotten himself knocked out of the fight in a heartbeat anyway, compounding his failures even more...

After that...he had nothing. No purpose. He didn't know, really, who he was. Didn't know, really, where he was going.

No…he didn’t hate Faith. Besides, the list of people he did hate was long enough without unnecessarily adding Faith to the list.

Topping the list, even though he had been dead for months now, was, of course, his father. Growing up, Wesley hadn’t hated his father – he’d been too busy trying to win daddy’s love, by being so good at languages and demonology that his father would never, ever hurt him again, or lock him in the closet under the stairs. Or more, really, it was that Wesley hadn’t realized that he hated his father, not then, anyway.

It wasn’t until after he’d been fired by the Council, freed from its confines and all but disowned by the man that he realized that…he really, truly hated and loathed the man. But he did. The hate he felt for his father was probably the purest emotion left in him, these days, the only one not conflicted. The bitter, hateful letter that his Father had left for Wesley in the will had only solidified those feelings. Wesley had not even the slightest bit of positive feeling left for the man that he had once so desperately sought the love of, the man who had been his father.

A close second to his father, though, was a far more recent hate. Rather than one he had nursed, first unconsciously, then consciously, for most of his life, the hate he felt for Angel was still fresh, and far more complicated. Without their friendship, and not a little hero worship, looming over him, he could see all the glaring flaws of the ensouled vampire. All the selfishness he embodied, all the way down to the empty, hollow apology he’d made in the sewers, right before Wesley had left Los Angeles. That apology, reeking of hypocrisy, had been all he needed to convince him of the truth.

But this is where the internal conflict came in. Because on another, basic level…he also knew that he was being too harsh on the vampire. He had many flaws, but so did everyone…and Angel had many redeeming features as well…and by letting the flaws dominate his perception of the man…

Well, fuck it all to hell. It’s not as if I’m not entitled to hate the man, to be a bit unfair, given what has happened between us, given the circumstances…at least, within the confines of my own mind, in my own office….

Wesley was broken out of his thoughts by the door of his office opening. Lindsey walked into the office and stood in front of Wesley’s desk. The former watcher had long realized that Lindsey preferred to stand, rather than sit, when talking with him. And he was always careful to stay out of reach of Wesley’s collapsible sword, when that was practical. Not that he was wearing the weapon right now. All of his staff seemed at least a little bit worried that he’d go completely psychotic on them, or at least decide that they needed killing. It was almost amusing.

“So, what’s the issue then, Wes? What is Lilah up to?”

“Any number of nefarious plots and schemes to advance the power of Wolfram and Hart, I’m sure. But whatever she is planning really isn’t relevant to why I called you here.” His voice was cool as he leaned back in his chair and interlaced his fingers in front of him. But whatever she is planning really isn’t relevant to why I called you here.” His voice was cool as he leaned back in his chair and interlaced his fingers in front of him. “I’m much more interested in if you can tell me why Abigail is so unaccountably happy, why Spike hasn’t bothered me since I got back here – or indeed, bothered anyone for over a day – and why the vaults are missing one hellmouth destroying Amulet.”

Lindsey rolled his eyes and then looked pointedly at Wesley. “Because fuck you, that’s why.”

Wesley raised an eyebrow just as pointedly. “Perhaps you would care to elaborate on that explanation?”

“Not particularly, no.” Lindsey shook his head, answering frankly. “In fact, if it’s all the same to you, I really would rather not.” Turning around, he walked towards, then opened, the door. However, before he could step through it, the door seemingly wrenched itself out of his hand and slammed shut. A moment passed then Lindsey heard a distinctive clicking sound as the door locked. He turned around to see Wesley’s hand coming out from the underside of his desk, and realized what must have happened. “So what are you going to do to me now? Drop me through a trap door into a bit of scorpions?”

“No room for it in the budget, I’m afraid.” Wesley replied.

Lilah’s Office, Wolfram and Hart Chicago
6:23 pm, June 26th, 2003

Lilah pressed a button on the underside of her desk and watched with no small amusement as the lawyer who had been standing in front of her desk fell through it. She pressed the button before the screaming could start. She didn’t want to hear that kind of noise pollution.

“How did you find room in the budget to install a trap door in your office?” Denna asked from the doorway.

“Oh, I didn’t ‘find room’. Lilah replied. “It's been there since the construction of the offices. It just took me a while to decide what to put at the bottom of it. I believe the last CEO had Sharks. I decided that was too James Bond for my tastes.”

“So Scorpions are a no-go too, then?”

Lilah laughed. “Of course.”

“Then what do you have down there?” Denna raised an eyebrow.

“Hellwasps.” Lilah replied. Denna smiled.

“Nasty.” She added, by way of comment.

Lilah nodded. “Anyway, was there something you wanted to say?”

“Yes.” Denna replied. “Faith is back in Cleveland, and she has the Amulet. I give it a week before Willow Rosenberg managed to figure out how to restore Spike to his proper, solid form. Wolfram and Hart Cleveland has gotten it into their head that they can turn Spike and make him be the vampire of the Shanshu prophecy. The vampire with a soul that runs the apocalypse for the Senior Partners.”

Despite herself, Lilah laughed out loud, pulling herself up short before she threw her head back with the laugh. “Spike? Turn to our side? Now that he’s got a soul? Have they even read his file?” William the Bloody was about as likely to turn to evil as Buffy Summers was, the way he followed the blonde Slayer around like a puppy back in Sunnydale. “Give me a copy of that memo. Wesley is sure to get a good laugh out of it, if nothing else. Assuming he doesn’t kill people over Lindsey handing it over to Faith.”

Then a brilliant thought occurred to her. It was entirely possible that the response from Wesley could be Lindsey getting fired. Without the protection of being an ‘vassal’ of ‘Baron’ Marcone, Lindsey’s safety was no longer an issue, and she could arrange for his capture, torture and handing over to the Senior Partners at her leisure…that would be a nice feather in her cap, and not require much effort from her at all.

And now that Wesley was back in town, she could broach it with him when they got together tonight. Her apartment, this time.

She hated to admit it, but she had somewhat missed Wesley while he’d been out of town…almost. The sex was really, really good, after all. And no one in the building could match her wits like he could.

Well, there’s Graviskiyus down in Ritual Sacrifices, but he’s a Coarvisan Demon, so he doesn’t count. She smirked wryly a little at her own self-rationalization.

“Ah yes, and Gregory of Arles called. He says he’s found it. But he’s also demanding that you give him ‘what we talked about earlier’ up front, rather than on delivery.”

“Easily done.” Lilah replied with a shrug. “Did he say why he was changing the deal?”

“I believe his exact words were ‘Because fuck you, that’s why’.” Denna replied with a frown. He also added that ‘I have it, and you’re not exactly in a position to bargain, now are you?’”

“Tell him that he’ll get it up front, but if he ever tries to extort me or the firm again, I’ll have his dust decorating my desk in a jar.” Her computer pinged with the sound of a new e-mail, and Lilah turned back to look at the screen, clicking the message open.

Interesting… What, she wondered, could make the heads of four seers at four different branches of the firm explode all at once, at the exact same moment? Something powerful, clearly…and something that was probably going end up being her problem.

Sometimes, she really did wonder if the Powers really were as powerful as they sometimes acted, and were having fun at her expense on a regular basis.

Author’s Note: Yes, I know that Wesley’s internal monologue/thoughts are kind of jumbled, and that it reads badly/disorganized. It’s intentional. There is a reason for it. As time goes on, you’ll start to see what that reason is.

As I said in the first chapter, I’m still taking requests for what you’d like to see more of – who you’d like to see more of, what you’d like to know about OC backgrounds or things like that. Which canon characters you want to see more, what kinds of situations you’d like to see them in, who you’d like to see them interact with, et cetera. I can’t promise I’ll write what you ask for, but I want to get an idea as to what my readers are looking for in this collection. I have long-term plot arcs I’ll be interweaving throughout the piece and some more short stories and short story-arcs I can put in as we go forward, but like I said, I want to know what my readers want to see.
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