Part four, much of it takes place in an elevator. More coming in its time.
Previous entries in the memories.
Convenient. Just as Buffy threw open the doors of the Rome office of Wolfram e Hart, Signore Bernucci-Facci walked in from the parking garage. Late lunch or early dinner, maybe. He didn't appear to have returned with any clients.
Buffy walked up next to him on his way to the elevators like they were old friends. Smiled. Wiggled a little in the tiny black dress she was wearing for her date with the Immortal. Slid her arm into his.
He had looked a little stiff, like he was missing out on feminine attention lately. And just like that he showed no judgment at all with a strange, but attractive--if Buffy did say so herself--woman.
They walked together right past security to the elevator. The elevator where Buffy slammed him up against the wall even before the doors were completely closed.
Little round glasses, nicely cut suit, and stronger than he looked. Very watcherish, in an Italian kind of way. She introduced herself, with her forearm pressing across his windpipe.
"Vicenzio. I am Miss Summers of the Council Of Watchers."
"Eeeeaaahh," he wheezes. She loosens her forearm and he coughs "Very, ahem, nice to meet you Miss Summers. Vicenzio Bernucci-Facci, Ancient Prophecies, Wolfram e Hart. Formerly of the Council myself. And just why is the Council sending assassins to visit old business partners?"
"Old business partners? You left the Council to join the law firm for every evil thing with money and now you want to be--I don't know--some kind of watchering buddies?" Just enough force back into her forearm to tap his head against the wall. The back of his head hits and lights up the button for the twenty second floor.
"Come now, we have a long standing relationship with the Council of Watchers." He says it with such matter-of-fact nonchalance that she pulls back a little in surprise. The elevator jerks to slowly start rising and Vicenzio takes advantage to kick Buffy hard in the knee and try to slip out of her grasp.
It doesn't work.
"Okay." She punches him in the nose and again his head rebounds to knock against the buttons behind him. Floor twenty-three this time. "Tell me what Wolfram and Hart is doing for the Council."
He looks at her suspiciously.
"Now!" As she holds him with her right forearm Buffy firmly grips his right ear and starts to twist.
"Aaargh! Okay!" She loosens her grip on his ear. "I was hired here after handling the contract to turn criminally insane vampires."
"Criminally insane vampires? For the Council Of Watchers?" She asked with clear disbelief.
"For when a--you know--independent minded," and he said 'independent minded' in his sleaziest voice, "slayer takes the Cruciamentum. And you need a special," that voice again, "sort of test."
Buffy opens her mouth to speak but nothing comes out. Twice. The she throws the former watcher across the elevator so that he hits the door on the far side with the length of his body. Hard.
She turns to him with her mouth still open about to speak. Buffy pauses and then turns back to the buttons and pulls the emergency stop knob.
She tilts her head down and peaks at Vicenzio through narrowed eyes. "I don't have time for this now. Tell me about the capo head and where it needs to be delivered."
"The capo di famiglia of the Goran demon clan?"
"Yes. Where does it go?"
"That's not even our office. We're just helping get it to the Los Angeles office."
"Where Wolfram and Hart is run by Angel?"
"Indeed. In fact, Angelus is sending his top man to come pick up the head tonight."
"Angelus? You mean Angel, right?"
"Oh yes, the soul. He goes by Angel. I don't know who he thinks he's fooling; soul or no, he's working for us now."
"The Los Angeles office jet is coming--no, has already landed--at Aeroporto dell'Urbe and goes back to Los Angeles tonight with the head."
"Yes, it's much closer to the city and easier to bribe the customs officials, you know. When you have a private jet, of course."
She hauls him up against the wall one last time and hits him in the gut. Not too hard, she doesn't want to injure him--just cause pain. "That was for my mother." Then grabs his hair and slams his head one more time against the wall, hard enough to knock him unconscious. She notes that often works well with watchers.
"Now have yourself a nice little nap, Italian watcher." She sits his limp body in the corner of the elevator, turns off the emergency stop and presses the button for the next floor.
The door opens on a giant two story wood paneled atrium with a staircase rising out of the center to a balcony. "Woah." Buffy imagines that if the Los Angeles office looks anything like this it's no wonder Angel was taken in. But it probably doesn't; this is probably a triumph of Italian design. Demons in fine cut suits stroll, casually smoking, across the open space and Buffy decides to let the door close again without exiting.
She quickly presses the button for the opposite door of this two door elevator and when it opens Buffy scrambles around the hallway behind the atrium to the other elevator, jamming her finger into the button to ride it down.
They'll find the former Italian watcher soon enough and he'll sleep it off in his office. Meanwhile back in the Trastevere, Buffy has a date.
Zipping around the corners on her cool Vespa, Buffy hurries back to the club where she should have met the Immortal five minutes ago.
Angel. Working for Wolfram and Hart. The evil law firm that tried to kill her and her family, along with Quentin Travers. Willow's resoulment spell was supposed to keep him on the straight and narrow. But sometimes she wishes she could just lock Angel away in a box where no one could ever touch him.
Her soul mate. And the star crossed love she could never have. But after all these years it didn't really hurt anymore.
Not like the love she never wanted. Spike had been nothing like her soul mate; maybe he was her soul mortal enemy. But that just made it even more extraordinary, didn't it? The one who was there in all the hardest times of her life. Even when he was evil he was the only one she could rely on in her worst night when she sent Angel to Hell. Tried to kill her countless times but when she faced the ultimate Evil, he was the only one she could trust to watch her back. Beat him and taunted him and used him and hurt him and still he saw who she was deep inside--not very lovable in her opinion--and loved her for it. She fought for years to keep him out of her heart but in the end she loved him. And in the end it was too late.
He died believing that she never loved him. She has to go on knowing nothing can ever change that.
It was a little hard to breathe while she thought about it. She told herself it was just all the wind from her vespa zipping around.
And she was going to exorcise that ghost tonight anyway.