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yasminke ([personal profile] yasminke) wrote2009-05-17 04:49 pm

Fic: Little Debbie (Ats, pts. 7-9)

Title: Little Debbie (parts 7-9)
From: Angel, early season 3
Warnings: None, couple of words here and there. No spoilers, unless you haven't seen the show.
Rating: PG-13, or whatever the "local" equivalents are.

***7***

"What did he say?" Jake asked, keeping an ever-watchful eye on the neighborhood.

Natalie stepped away from the phone. "He said some words I have never heard my father use, then gave me a hotel address. He's booking us a suite under my mother's name and he and Bernard are coming over to meet us."

"What the fuck is going on, Nat?!"

"Jake!" she whispered sternly. "He said he couldn't go into on the phone, but that he would explain when he saw us, and that he was sorry."

"Sorry?! Sorry?! My children are missing, maybe dead, and your father's sorry?!"

"Jacob!"

"Oh, God. I didn't mean it, Nat." He pulled her into an embrace. "Give me the hotel address. I've a few bucks left in my wallet. We don't smell that rank, we can get a taxi."

***

"What did you say?" Angel asked, putting a wiggling Debbie onto the floor.

Jason sat up in the bed and swung his legs over the side. "I asked if you were a vampire."

"What makes you think that?" 

Wesley opened the door, "Good afternoon. Sleep well, Jason? She's heading for the electrical outlet, Cordelia."

Cordelia ran across the floor and scooped Debbie up, handing her to Wesley. "What did Gunn say?"

"He'll keep an eye out. One of the kids thinks she saw a couple hiding in a sewer about two miles from here but that was earlier this morning." Wesley tried to hand Debbie back to Angel. "You still have an hour, and then it's Cordelia's turn. That, I have to see."

Jason climbed off the bed and took Debbie. "You're all ignoring my question. It’s rude, even if I'm just a kid." He sat Debbie on the ground and plopped down next to her. "I asked if Angel was a vampire. But, if you're embarrassed, I guess it's okay. Mom says you don't have to answer questions that embarrass you."

"We'll let you handle this one, Watcher man," Cordelia teased.

Wesley glared at her. "Do you believe in vampires, Jason?"

"Sure. Grandpa Reggie says there are a lot of things in the world that people refuse to believe in. Doesn't make them less real. Besides, I heard my Mom and Dad talking about vampire hunters."

Angel and Wesley exchanged surprised looks. "When?"

"Three weeks ago. I had a test that day, but I aced it. Mom and Dad were upset and arguing about some men who visited Dad in his office. He's on the twenty-seventh floor. Glass all around. Really cool, but so high makes Mom sick."

"What else did you hear, Jason?" Angel asked.

"Answer my question and I'll answer yours."

Angel looked at Cordelia for help, then turned back to Jason. "Yes. Satisfied?"

Jason shrugged. "Sort-of."

Cordelia sat on the bed. "How'd you figure it out?"

"Aw, I read a lot. I have a book called Vampires Don't Drink Lemonade and I saw the blood in the refrigerator. And what you and he said."

Angel raised an eyebrow. "Which was?" 

"You said you smelled their blood. Only vampires and werewolves do that. Then Cordelia said you had to stay here until dusk, and you don’t breathe. Werewolves breathe. So, that leaves vampire."

"Impressive," Wesley mumbled. 

"Do your eyes go red?"

"Yellow."

"Cool. Red is lame. So, do you bite them? And do they eat bugs like that crazy guy?"

"We'll let you handle that one too, Watcher man," Angel said.



***8***

Jake stood at the window and looked outside. They had arrived at the hotel and found a suite reserved for Imogene Sinclair. Natalie, in her best panicked tourist imitation, explained to the clerk that they had run into rental car trouble and shortly after that her purse had been stolen, so she had no identification. The receptionist was very understanding and offered to assist in anyway she could. In the meantime, the other party, she informed them, had requested two adjoining suites, and would arrive the following morning from London.

Jake had been first in the shower, allowing Natalie a chance to confirm their arrival at the hotel with one of her brothers. Once Jake gave Natalie the impression he had things under control, she went into the bathroom for a long, hot soak.

But he didn't have things under control. None of this was supposed to happen to him. Or to his family. That had been his father's promise. They had left England and the obligatory family business so that Graham and Judith Baxter's children could grow up normal and raise normal children. And so it had been, until three weeks ago.

Or maybe even earlier. Maybe things had gone wrong when an old friend of his uncle's called his father and asked about sending his daughter to America for college. Of course, it was reasonable. Of course, it was safe. Delaware would be a good hiding place. And so, intrigued, Jake transferred to the University of Delaware and met Natalie.

But Natalie seemed to have no clue about her father's previous occupation. All she knew was that her father was an accountant. Jake knew more about Natalie's father than she did. And so, thinking that was safest for her, he kept it that way. And forgot all the family stories.

Or so he believed, until three weeks ago. Three men, one of them pompously British, came into his office asking about Jason and Debbie. Family obligations, they said. A chance to make the world safer for everyone. Only a few were chosen. To have two children from one family was unheard of. Jason would leave as soon as possible and be educated in the best public school England could offer, and later in Oxford. Debbie would join him when she was old enough. It was their calling, their birthright.

But he did not want that for his children. And neither did Natalie. They discussed the matter — rather, they argued about the insanity of it all — and decided: no. The men, however, had had other ideas. And so, on Monday night, while the family was eating dinner, the men had decided to force the issue.

"Jake?"

He turned from the window and saw the firm resolution in her hazel eyes, "Yes?"

"I want my children."

"Me too, Nat."

***

Jason stood next to the stove scrutinizing the stockpot of boiling water and pasta. "You're supposed to throw it on the wall."

"No way!"

"Yeah," Jason nodded vigorously. "If it sticks, it's done. So, like, how old is he?"

Cordelia tried to pull a strand of spaghetti out of the pot with a fork. "Older than America."

"Wow."

"Yeah." A strand of spaghetti landed on the wall above the stove, and clung. "Hey! It stuck."

"Told ya. Don't you cook? Wesley says you have a ghost for a roommate 'cuz no one else'll live with you."

"Oh, did he?" Cordelia took the pot and poured the contents into the colander. "Careful of the steam," she warned.

"Yeah, okay. So, what's his name? Can I have lots of cheese?"

"Sure. Dennis."

"Cool." He watched as she ladled sauce onto the pasta. "Is he like Casper or Stinky and Fatso?"

"Casper," she laughed, putting the bowl of spaghetti on the table. "Extra cheese. Should I give some to Debbie if she wakes up?"

"You're kidding, right? She'll puke up spaghetti sauce."

Cordelia turned to make a portion for herself. "So? It's Wesley's turn to watch her tonight."

Jason climbed onto a stool and started to eat. "Nah, she mostly sleeps through the night. This isn't too bad. You know if you want her to barf, give her prunes. She hurls every time!"

"Lovely image," Cordelia said as she joined him. Suddenly, she giggled. "Let's do that next time Angel watches you guys. I'll get some at the store."

"That'll be really funny."

"What'll be funny?" Wesley asked as he strolled into the kitchen.

"Ah," Cordelia started with a wink to Jason. "Watching Dead and Loving it with Angel."

"And that is?"

"Mel Brooks' take on Dracula . There's spaghetti. Jason and I made it."

"Thanks. And I should give that video a miss if I were you."

Cordelia leaned over. "Maybe he's right, Jason," she whispered. "Angel doesn't have a sense of humor about those things."

Angel entered the kitchen and inspected Jason's dinner. "What things?"

Jason glanced between the adults and realized they had been caught in a conspiracy. He looked up at Angel. "Do you sleep in a coffin?"

"No," Angel answered with a snort. "Do you?"

"Nah, 'cuz it would smell. Like spaghetti cheese."

"Angel," Wesley piped in, "Gunn called. He wants you to meet him."

"Right."

"Who's Gunn?"

"Has Kate called?"

"No."

"Who's Kate?"

Angel grabbed Jason by the shoulders and leaned next to his ear. "You let Cordelia cook for you?"

"Hey!"

"Trust me on this one," Angel whispered loud enough so everyone could hear, "You have to watch her. She puts weird things in your food."

"Like the witches in Macbeth ? They make a nasty soup."

"Harry Potter and Macbeth ? Interesting," Wesley laughed but moved out of harm's way. "Can't you just imagine Cordelia as one of the witches around the cauldron?"

"Well, the pot we made the spaghetti in is like a cauldron. And she had a big wooden spoon!"

"Hey!"

Angel laughed. "I'm going to go talk to Gunn and see what's going on."

"Chicken," Cordelia teased.

"No, had enough. This joviality will be my undoing."

"What's 'joviality'?"

"Fun," answered Wesley.

"Angel doesn't understand 'fun'," Cordelia whispered.

"I heard that!"

****

"When did she see them?"

"Yesterday morning, down there," Gunn pointed as he leaned against the warehouse wall. "But they weren't there when we came back."

Angel lifted the cover and peered into the manhole. "Did anyone get a good look? Good enough to recognize them again?"

"Just her. How old did you say the kids were?"

"Ten and one," Angel said, replacing the cover and rising from the blacktop. "We're still not sure how they got away, or how he ran three miles from his house and into our kitchen."

"Oh, the kitchen part is easy," Gunn looked at Angel and chuckled. "Anyway, I've got someone watching the house. Still two men there. Did you ever figure out who they were?"

"The family?" Angel shook his head. "The people chasing them? Watcher's Council."

"The ones who run the Slayer business? They want the boy or the girl?"

"We think they're after the baby. Tomorrow make a delivery and see what happens." Angel handed Gunn the family portrait. "Their name is Baxter. The father's name is Jacob."

"Right. And we'll keep an eye out for the parents. They won't go too far."

"Thanks."

Gunn returned the photo and chuckled again, "It's weird."

"What?"

"You three with little kids."



***9***

Jake looked outside the window again. The small teenager was there. He'd bumped into him when he went out to buy new clothes first thing in the morning. Jake panicked, thinking his wallet had been taken, but it was still in his back pocket.

And now the boy with the bright orange t-shirt and jeans two sizes too big was at the bus stop below his window.

Someone knocked resolutely on the door, startling Jake out of his study.

"Natalie?" called a voice from the hallway. "Come on nitwit, open the door. It's me and Dad."

Jake nodded and Natalie opened the door, rushing into the arms of her eldest brother. Reginald Masterton entered the room and hugged Jake firmly. Natalie turned to be comforted by her father.

"Have you heard anything?" Bernard asked, closing the door behind him.

"No," Jake answered. "Not even on the news. Nothing at all."

"Good," Reginald responded, rubbing Natalie's back.

"Good?!" Natalie pushed away from her father, wiped her eyes and sat on the bed.

"Yes, that means the police aren’t involved."

"Father," she stood and started to pace, "I want to know exactly what is going on. Jake knows something, but he won’t say because he thinks I can't cope."

"Nat —"

"Shut up, Jacob. I spent two days in filthy sewers, wondering when I was going to hear about my children lying dead in the gutter. Well, they didn’t make the news, so someone has them. I'm no longer scared. I'm bloody well hacked off. Father, what's this about Watchers and Slayers?"

"It's an ancient organization, Natalie. I belonged, but resigned shortly after Bernard was born. Jake's father and mother were also in it, but quit before I did. His Uncle is still involved."

"Is it like the CIA or MI-5?"

"Worse, Nat," Bernard added. "It’s one of those jobs you stay in forever. You, your kids, your grandkids."

"But you quit, Father! That's what you said!" She spun around to face her brother. "And how the hell do you know so much?"

"Not important right now, but they've been keeping tabs. On you and Jake, on all of us. Nat, these people are —"

"But they only want my kids? Or did you forget to tell me you've had visits too, Bernard?"

"No, not just us," Jake added. "Angela worked for them, but Dad didn't approve. She was a field researcher. Checking out vampiric activity in Budapest, when the accident occurred."

Natalie backed up to the chair in the corner and collapsed. "What the fuck?! Vampires?! You're all sodding potty! Vampires don’t exist! Jake, I can’t believe you’re feeding me this bullshit."

"They do exist," Bernard explained. "There's a lot of vampires here in California. Jake's uncle told us when we saw him."

Jake nodded knowingly. "The Hellmouth is north of here, I hear."

"What the fucking hell is that?"

"Natalie Marie."

"Don't you dare 'Natalie Marie' me, Father. You've kept something from me that has endangered my children. I swear to God, if anything has happened to them, none of you will ever be forgiven and you will never, ever, see them or me again. That includes you, Jacob." Jake opened the curtain again and sighed.

"Natalie, nothing's has happened to them. We'd know."

"You better pray that's so, Bernard. What the bloody hell are you gawking at, Jacob?"

"That boy. He's been there for more than two hours. Now there's some blonde woman sitting next to him."




TBC

(Why did I ever think to do this transfer thing???)