Sing for Me
Sing for Me
Phade never did like being put on the spot, she didn't like being ordered around either something the other members of AI were beginning to learn. So far things had gone from worse to much worse as far as she was concerned so what else could go wrong?
My routine was very simple the first week. Get up, get dressed, get out, get breakfast, get him to school and look for a place to live or get to an interview. Get, get, get… I could see no end to it and today, of all the days I could've forgotten my portfolio, I had a very important interview. Granted, if I did get the job I would still have to live in a hotel for a couple of weeks but at least there would be money coming in.
And why was I still there? I don't know. As far as I knew, Angel was the 'boss' and he hadn't told me to leave. Of course I was still paying for our room and there was no sign of the green… I was ready to believe it had all been in my head.
I pulled over and hurried into the Hyperion. Wesley and Cordelia were arguing as I went up the stairs. I couldn't imagine anyone not arguing with her and felt sorry for the boyfriend if she even had one.
"I should talk." I hadn't been able to get by without arguing with Sebastián's Father at all. Sebastián was lucky to have been born at all.
"It's not working!"
"Well, it bloody wont if you keep pressing all the buttons!"
I couldn't believe they were still at it. I could hear them arguing even before I reached the stairs. Should I sneak out or would they even notice? They hadn't paid any attention when I walked in.
"You're the genius, fix it."
"I don't exactly deal with computers, Cordelia."
"I thought all Watchers dealt with complicated things?"
The sarcasm in her voice just grated on my nerves and I wondered if it were the same for Wes.
With my portfolio in hand I went down the steps as quickly as I could without tripping over my heels, curious.
"Ex-Watcher. We deal with the demonic and supernatural not the technical."
"Then go back to your dusty books! I don't know why all Watchers are against computers. Where's Fred when I need her. She could fix it."
I stopped on the bottom step hesitating between the door and the lobby. What the hell was a 'Watcher' and whom did they watch?
So what if I was ignoring the other comments. I just couldn't deal with those- no.
"You've only socialized with Giles and myself."
"And he got fired too."
I cleared my throat and both jumped in surprise. Cordelia quickly recovered turning to Wesley.
"You britts can't keep anything under wraps! It's a wonder the Watchers Council kept you as long as they did."
Wesley was uncomfortably looking from me to her but at her comment he turned to glare at her.
"Cordelia, you are not helping diffuse the situation by divulging more information."
For the first time I saw someone actually shut her up. It was good to see but that meant I wasn't getting anymore 'free' information. Wesley turned to me fidgeting.
"Hello. Err, how long-."
"Have I been standing here listening to you bicker because neither knows how to fix the PC?" I finished for him and at his nod I replied: "Long enough to hear you're an ex-Watcher and assume you were 'relieved' of your position for reasons I didn't get to hear?"
I left it open for a possible answer and seeing that I wasn't going to get one I asked a direct question instead.
"Watcher's Council. What is that?" Again I waited but they only glanced at each other.
"Fine." I walked towards Cordelia. "And you can't fix the PC. What's wrong with it?"
Cordelia huffed as I went past them. She pointed to the screen obviously annoyed. "Like you can fix this?"
I didn't say anything just clicked the mouse then moved it. Nothing, the PC was frozen. At first I thought she had too many windows open and the PC didn't have enough memory to deal with all of them. The screen was cross-hatched and some of the windows were blank. I sighed, took off my light brown suit jacket and laid it across the desk as I pulled the chair out of the way.
I was a little embarrassed as I got to my knees. The blouse I wore with the suit was made of a light gauzy material and left my back almost bare, especially since I had put my hair up in a fancy twist. The thin straps cris-crossed over my back and the front was cut in a geometric pattern. So what if it wasn't exactly the kind of thing you're supposed to wear to an office? As long as the jacket stayed on I looked very presentable.
"What are you doing?" I flinched hearing Wesley's voice so close. I glanced over my shoulder at him as I pulled the tower out to check the plugs.
"Checking to see that the mouse and keyboard are still plugged in." I looked at the back of the tower and wiggled the plugs. Everything was in place, not a plug loose.
Damn, it has to be restarted. I got up turning to Cordelia. This was going to be a pain. I could already tell she didn't like my butting in. Well, too bad. I wasn't the one who froze the PC. And I hadn't been the one giving away secrets.
"How do you usually turn off the computer when you're done with all the work?" I sat in the chair and rolled to the screen not bothering to look at her though I noticed Wes turn to her with a smirk.
"I did read the manual." In a huff Cordelia went around me and pointed to the glowing button on the tower. "I push the on/off button."
"Great." I sighed. Was the blond die getting in her brain? I re-started the PC and waited for it to boot up.
"You're crashing your PC when you do that." I told her. "From now on go to the Start menu and ShutDown."
"But you just did it. You pushed the glowy button."
Patience. I had to have patience with this one or I could just walk out and let Fred deal with her. That was the better choice.
I'm better than this so my ass is going to stay right where it is until this computer works-.
The screen blinked on.
"I thought you read the manual, Cordelia." Wesley's snide remark did its job and they began to argue again. I sighed and rolled my eyes. They were worse than children and I was more than happy I only had one to deal with.
I went through all the icons on her desktop then used the 'Ultra WinCleaner' to get rid of anything she didn't use and opened the window that listed the last files she had in use and opened them.
Is she a comic geek?
There were pictures of weird looking monsters and some ugly looking things. She'd had about six windows open with all these things in it and then a big bold caption caught my attention. I pointed the mouse and it opened up.
"Demons and Hell hounds…" I read. There was an illustration of a demon horde dismembering humans. "What the hell is this?" the next screen was worse as the illustration depicted a winged creature carrying away a woman and on the ground the artist had drawn a baby missing an arm and another child with its stomach ripped open and its gut spilling out-! What the hell had I walked into! "What the hell are you people!" I turned to look at them horrified. Then suddenly Wesley grabbed my shoulders and pulled me out of the chair. I squealed in surprise. Okay so maybe I yelped I don't know! The point being he pulled me out of the chair like I weighed nothing more than a feather and he didn't look to be that strong in the first place.
For a moment I did wonder if he would… well, never mind.
"We're extremely grateful for your help…" Wesley put himself between me and the desk while Cordelia hurriedly took my place.
"What?" He was pushing me out of the area behind the counter and I stumbled. He still held me by my shoulders so I didn't fall but he pissed me off. It all made me angry because I wasn't the little girl they used to tell was crazy.
"What kind of work do y'all do?" I let him take most of my weight and stomped on his foot. He yelled and squeezed my upper arms, which made it a little harder to shove him off.
He clung to the reception desk while I stomped over to Cordelia. I noticed the computer screen was blank.
I glared at them both and stood with my hands on my hips.
"Demons? Are y'all like Lorne? Do you worship the devil? Is this like some cult thing?" I saw Cordelia's smile and it just royally pissed me off. She wasn't helping me keep from slapping that smile off her very made up face.
I hate girls who wear lots of make-up. I hadn't noticed before how much foundation she wore.
"WHAT!" Really, I just couldn't not yell at her. And thinking about what happened before-.
"We kill demons." I turned around so fast I think I got whiplash.
Angel stood at the top of the stairs looking down at us impassively. I wondered if he had another facial expression.
"You don't seriously expect me to believe that." I crossed my arms over my chest defensively. Angel came down the stairs to stand in front of me.
"You've seen Lorne."
I opened my mouth to argue the point but I had no logic with which to fight him. I had seen Lorne and I couldn't pretend he didn't exist. How could I when he wandered all over the hotel singing and humming, always with a different colored drink in hand?
Yes, I had seen him twice already and for some reason Sebastián wasn't afraid of being alone with- with- It!
He took advantage of my silence and explained about Wolfram and Hart. I listened patiently trying to understand what he said but how could I? An evil law firm controlling L.A.
"You want me to believe evil lawyers have people signing their souls away. That they work for the devil and nobody else knows this but you guys. And you're all…" I looked at them each in turn. Angel still wore the same expression. Wesley had limped over to another chair and Cordelia sat at her desk plainly enjoying my disbelief and discomfort.
"You're the good guys." I scoffed. "Modern type warriors fighting the fight against evil." I closed my eyes and sighed. I so wanted to be crazy just then. I wanted what my sisters and brothers had said to be true so badly. "So, what? You're champions for the Powers That Be. Some kind of God like race who say this is what your job on earth is? Your purpose for being?"
Wesley sort of looked into his lap and wiped his glasses. I noticed he did that a lot. Angel shifted uncomfortably when I looked at him. He-they, they obviously believed this. They really did.
But did I?
"The girl obviously hates me!" Lorne exclaimed. He got up and walked towards the door but Angel quickly blocked his way.
"She doesn't hate you, Lorne. She…" Angel glanced at the door where Wesley waited with Phade in the other office. "…doesn't know you."
Lorne rolled his eyes clearly not believing that. "Angel cakes! Calling me a 'devil' doesn't mean she loves me either."
Angel impatiently led the green demon to a chair.
"Look. I need to know if she's working for Wolfram and Hart. ... Or some one else." He began to pace the length of the office with a frown.
Lorne gave a long-suffering sigh and threw his hands up. "Fine."
I walked in followed by Wesley. I felt as if I were going before a firing squad and didn't like the feeling. Lorne was at the other end of the office staring at me. I was trying not to think about the past but it kept pushing memories I'd done my best to shove into the darkest corner there was. Things I had been forced to say never happened...
Everyone was staring at me and I didn't like that either.
What the hell was going on?
"Do you work for Wolfram and Hart?"
"Huh?" I turned to Lorne then looked at Angel. My face felt hot and my chest tight. How could they accuse me of being a spy for some law firm I had never heard of?
"Are you kidding me? I don't even have a job, how am I supposed to work for them?" I turned to Angel stepping forward. "I didn't know they even existed until you brought them up!"
Que cojones-. How did I ever think of Angel as a nice guy? Just because he let us stay- ha!
"There's your answer." Lorne began to walk out of the office waving at Angel. "Have a nice day." He smiled at me and I frowned. What was so amusing? This demon was-. My God I'm in a hotel with a demon! That should be enough to leave!
But I hadn't. It was easy to pretend he hadn't scared the shit out of me if he wasn't around to remind of it.
At the door Wesley blocked his way out. He stood tall with his arms crossed over his chest. He looked very impressive, throwing off this strong, quiet vibe. I liked.
"Read her, Lorne." Angel's voice was firm and I turned to him.
"Read me?" I asked. What the hell did that mean? Read me. Like a fucking book, read?
"I can tell if you're lying when you sing. I pretty much get a peek at your future so go ahead. Pick a tune." Lorne sat on the edge of the desk and waited for me to sing.
What the hel-.
"So, I'm a liar?" I turned to glare at them all. I was getting angrier every moment I was in there. When I stomped to the door Wesley stepped in, still quietly blocking my way out and I couldn't go around him either. I hated having to look up at him; even with my heels I only reached his shoulder.
"I'm not some fucking parrot you offer a cracker to do a trick!" I yelled turning to Angel. I crossed the room and sat down in the chair with my arms crossed over my chest to wait them out. I was fuming and I wasn't going to give in. There was no way I was going to sing.
"Tanto tiempo disfrutamos de este amor, nuestras almas se acercaron tanto así, que yo guardo tu sabor, pero tu llevas también, sabor a mi."
It was only the first verse and I still felt angry. I knew I wasn't a singer, I couldn't even hold a melody on my own but I could follow it if someone else sang it. I'd done some choir classes in high school. Aunt Luc had loved to sing and Uncle RJ… but it wasn't like that anymore. They weren't here and Uncle RJ had been biased. I don't sing like an angel…
"Si negaras mi presencia en tu vivir, bastaría con abrazarte y conversar, tanta vida yo te di, que por fuerza tienes ya, sabor a mi."
I really hated giving in because it just seemed like I was saying they were right to think me a liar. Then I thought Angel might just send me packing before my week was up if I didn't prove them wrong and I knew I wasn't a liar. The singing though… that was the embarrassing part. I've never pretended to be a singer and right now I just wanted to do good enough that I didn't embarrass myself. I was so glad I took that voice class with Yoly in college. The breathing exercise and the way he made us stand in class just came back, as if I'd just been in class.
"No pretendo ser tu dueño, no soy nada, yo no tengo vanidad, de mi vida doy lo bueno, soy tan pobre, que otra cosa puedo mas de mil años, muchos mas, yo no se si tenga amor la eternidad, pero allá, tal como aquí, en la boca llevaras, sabor a mi."
I let the last note die out and glanced at them. Angel had the same expression he always did and Wesley looked a bit dreamy. Lorne was the only one with a huge smile on his face. He got up and clapped as he walked to me.
That was disturbing and I couldn't help but take a step back from ... him. It was difficult to put the past in the past, harder still to let it stay there when I looked at Lorne. It just wasn't easy.
"What?" I frowned. Why was he smiling? Suddenly he enveloped me in a huge hug. I was so surprised I didn't know what to do. Just as suddenly he let me go and turned me to face the others.
"Welcome to the family!"