It's taking me a week, but I reached a few conclusions and came up with a plan. For one thing, I can't afford to trust anyone, apart from Buffy, Xander, Faith and Willow. Unfortunately, none of them knows more than I do, so that's not a particular help. I'm too biased to judge the new management of Wolfram and Hart's LA branch, so it would be unwise in the extreme to ask for their help. It would be equally unwise to believe that they have turned to the dark.
I'm left with one, rather unorthodox option. I have to work with someone I know I can't trust. No chance of letting my guard down around someone who has a dagger up their sleeve, sort of speak.
Based on this idea, I set up a plan. I need to find a situation where it would be in the interest of Wolfram and Hart to help me. During our collaboration, I will let them think I could be allured to their side. As long as they think I'm liable to pass through the traitor's gate, I get a chance to snoop around.
With this in mind, I look through the most troublesome situations we have in the UK. I find the perfect one in a few days. A demon is trying to take control over a castle in the Highlands. I, in my role as head of the New Council, am concerned about the well being of the Watchers' school in the area. I also happen to know that Wolfram and Hart have had conflicts with this particular demon some years ago.
With this in mind, I walk in the London offices of Wolfram and Hart and demand to see Ms. Lilah Morgan.
Her assistant tries to give me the brush off, but I lean a little on her will, and she defies the ice cold tone of her boss, ushering me in. I feel a smidgeon of remorse for having used what Xander calls "a Jedi mind trick".
When I walk in she looks up, thoroughly annoyed. Her expression flickers from annoyance to surprise for just a second, and then the perfect mask of the ice queen is back.
I looked up from typing my report. Only to find the one person I specifically told my assistant not to let in here. I stopped what I had been working on and looked at him. "Rupert"
from the look on his face,it seems he hadn't quite counted on my actually knowing his name. I gave him a smile, as I folded my hands on my desk. "I take it this isn't a social call"
It's a wonder really how Wolfram and Hart is the most powerful Lawfirm in the world,and yet the security sucks. I mean really people like Angel,and Rupert here aren't supposed to be able to just waltz in here like they own the damn place.
"So what can I do for you?" I asked quickly getting down to the matter at hand.
I promised myself that if she ever calls me on my name, it's going to be in bed. And there's really not much chance of that, no matter how attractive I find her.
"For a start, you can go on calling me Mr. Giles, Lilah. I didn't give you permission to do otherwise."
I hate that I can't read her. Living with the Buffy bunch for so long dulled my perception. They all wore their emotions on their face to such an extent it was embarrassing at times.
"I'm here to hire you. I have a, pest problem, let's call it. Of the demon variety."
Well someone's awfully touchy about my calling them by their first name. I smirked back at him. "Of course Mr. Giles" A small shiver ran down my spine,as he informed me I didn't have his permission. If I didn't know any better I'd swear Wes got lessons in being cold and emotionally detatched from him. It's actually kind of a turn on.
I let out a small laugh,when he explained why he was here. "You want me to help you with a demon? I don't help the good guys. Well not unless there's something in it for me. And even then it has to be well worth my time"
I turned back to my computer,and continued typing up the reports I'd started.
I sigh, annoyed. I address her as I would a petulant child.
"I did not ask for help now, did I? I'm hiring your firm, in a special project. You were head of the special projects department at your old firm. Should I be in someone else's office?" I ask, half turning to leave.
I'm sure that the senior partners would not be impressed with her attitude if he refused to work with me.
I sighed in annoyance. "Fine have a seat. Now what can I do for you?" I asked him,while keeping my business like tone. I know the Partners are always trying to get Watchers,especially highly respected ones like Rupert Giles on our side.
I closed my reports folder and shut off my computer,and looked directly at him. I'd play nice for now.
I lay out my story.
"We have reports of a skilosh settlement in the area of the Eilean Donan castle. As you probably know, we have a training facility there. As I happen to know, you have facilities on the nearby Isle of Skye. I'd venture a guess that our interests coincide on this matter. Am I wrong?"
No one likes the skilosh. And Wolfram and Hart use the Isle of Syke to schmooze their more sensitive clients.
I watch her, wondering if she chooses to take personal charge of the situation or she just puts together a removal squad. I lean toward the first choice, since the skilosh have a strong clan loyalty, and they'll fight to the last if they're insulted. I'm counting on Ms Morgan to use her diplomatic skills to persuade the skilosh to relocate. Preferably, to another dimension.
I leaned back in my chair and listened to him,as he explained his situation. He has a point, the firm does have a vested interest in the Isle. "You're not wrong, we do have an interest in keeping the Isle free of the Skilosh demons."
I thought over how exactly to handle this situation. I'd have to make a few calls. And see what the Senior Partners wanted to do about this. I jotted down the important specifics of what he'd said.
"I can make some calls and we can hopefully have them moved to another location. Possibly another demension all together." I smiled as I put my pen back down. "Was there anything else you wanted to discuss besides the Skilsh problem?"
"Nothing else comes to mind," I answer. "I'll be waiting to hear from you. And, in the interest of our new official cooperation, I hope that the bill won't be outrageous."
I stand up, trying to catch the glimpse of a reaction. Did she get the hint? That I can be influenced through financial means. In any case, all I can do now is wait and see. I played my card. Hope I wasn't too subtle.
"If your reputation is well deserved, I'm sure that this situation will be resoved as soon and as cleanly as possible. Always a pleasure to see you, Lilah," I say. And I mean it.
I stood up,and walked around to the front of my desk. "I'll call you as soon as the problem is taken care of." I smiled and walked over to the door. "It was a pleasure doing busniess with you, Mr. Giles."
I opened my office door. "We'll be in touch" I waited until he walked out,then shut the door. After he was gone, I went back to my desk and started making calls.
"We'll be in touch."
I can only hope so, Lilah, I think leaving.
I stop be her assistant's desk. She's an atractive young woman. She reminds me of Tara. I try to keep the sudden sorrow from showing when I approach her desk.
I think she's been crying. She looks up at me and gives me the ghost of a professional smile. I put a hand on her shoulder, and give her a warm look.
"There's more to life than the job," I tell her.
I wish I could tell her that if Lilah fired her, it would actually do her a favor. I can't say that though. So I just leave her my card.
"If you ever need to talk to someone, give me a call."
It's a risky move, but one I'm compelled to make. On one hand, I feel sorry for the girl. I can deal with, maybe even enjoy, Lilah's cold attitude, but I can see why she wouldn't be able to. On the other hand, I can always use a more or less trustworthy source inside Wolfram and Hart.
I get out of the building, wondering how I can drop Wesley's name in my next conversation with Lilah. Something about the way she talked about Watchers... I have to know more.