“Okay then, baby, I’ll
come straight to your place after the meetings over. Shall I bring in take-away or what?”
“I’ll ring for
pizza, as the meeting might over-run and I’ll be starving so – is that all right with you?”
“Fine – okay then,
Kitten, I’ll see you later – have fun."
about that TV programme of Glory’s." Buffy gave him a light kiss and left with Harmony for the studios to do
“I won’t, see
you later babe.” Spike went back into the office and continued work. Cordelia came in carrying a pile of paperwork and
some folders. “Oh, hey…want a hand with those?” Spike, ever the gentleman, could see Cordy
struggling to put them all on the table without dropping them everywhere, and came over and took over half of them off her,
putting them down on the desk.
are for the meeting later………Sweet has these so called ‘brilliant’ ideas…doesn’t
think who has to do all the bloody work though.” Cordelia was grinning.
tell me, if THAT won’t wipe that big grin off your face, are you going to share the good news?” Spike was smiling
“Go on then, as it’s
you. He’s got it! Officially that is – the press call is on Friday night, and he wants me with him!”
“I see. Now tell me
in words I can understand…who’s got what, why, when and..."
“Wes – he’s
OFFICIALLY the new Bond! I know it was supposed to be official before, but that was just official that he was in the running
– this time, he’s GOT IT! He’s had dinner with the producers and that, and he beat off all the competition.
It’ll be announced on Friday – so no spilling the beans before hand! The bookies favourite was that black
guy, I forget his name, but he won’t sign for a three picture deal, so – my Wes has got it!”
“It was Xander’s
flat warming on Friday."
“What –hell –
I‘m sure he’ll understand”
“Yeah…but I mean,
I just CAN’T pass up a chance like this, can I?”
“Course you can’t.
Like I say, he’ll understand.”
“So, I’ve told
you MY news…going to tell me what you did to stop Miss Loco from phoning?”
“Okay, fairs fair I
suppose…come on, I’ll help you take these upstairs for the meeting and tell you on the way” Spike said,
picking up the big armful of folders.
“Simple as that then,
eh? Well, you did need to say something, it was creepy………there. Pencils, the folders, water carafe and glasses…anything
I forgot?” Cordelia looked at the tables then at Spike.
“Over head projector?”
Spike asked with his brows raised.
Cordelia shook her head.
“No. Not this month – I think he was so embarrassed about his hand shaking so much when he was trying to point
out things last time, that’s why we’ve got the folders. Guess who spent the best part of an hour photocopying
yesterday afternoon – this is what I was on about – as if I haven’t got enough to do!"
“Well you want to delegate,
send stuff to the other secretaries. From what I can see they do little else than stand at the water-cooler gossiping, talking
about their love-lives! And that one upstairs – god alone knows how she types. Have you SEEN her fingernails
– they’re out to here!"
“Oh, I know who you mean. That’s Marcia…but the thing is, if I do the job, I know it’s done then."
“You’re like me…too
conscientious. Shall we go for a coffee? I know it’s only 9.30am but..."
“Yes, come on.”
Spike and Cordelia went up
to the café, on the way passing Glory’s office. There seemed to be an awful lot of people in there, milling about, and
Cordy said, “Looks like she’s here then, judging by all those in there. Did you want to go in and see her?”
“It’ll keep. My
body needs caffeine at the moment!”
The people seemed to part
around Glory, revealing her sitting on her desk, wearing a scarf, dark glasses, and a neck brace. Both her wrists were bandaged.
“Ever the bloody drama
queen,” Spike muttered, holding the door open for Cordelia as they made their way to the café.
Getting their security passes,
Harmony and Buffy walked from the reception area to the lifts to go to the fourth floor. Already standing there waiting
was Latino singing star, Rico Martinez.
“Oh my god! I haven’t
seen him for about two years! We did a Florida Sun-Splash show together – oh my, isn’t he HOT!”
Harmony squeaked to Buffy.
“Down girl, you’re
spoken for, remember?” Buffy said with a grin, although she had to admit, he was very good looking...IF you liked that
sort of thing!
“Oh, I know that! Can’t
blame a girl for looking – MY GOD – he’s seen me!” Harmony quickly spun round to face Buffy; she had
her eyes closed and a big grin on her face.
“He’s coming over!”
Buffy managed to whisper, hardly moving her lips. Harmony squeezed Buffy’s arm, then she heard the deep velvety
voice say, “Hola! Harmony – it is you – wow – let me look at you – you look AMAZING!”
Harmony turned around,
beaming a smile. “R-Rico! Hola! What are you doing here – oh – I’m such a klutz
– I – AAHH -AAAAAAHHHHH!”
Buffy turned and looked in
horror as the lift announced it’s arrival with a ‘DING’.
Harmony had dropped her security
pass, and both she and Rico bent to retrieve it at the same time, resulting in a clash of heads. When they both stood, or
in Rico’s case staggered, he had blood pouring down his face, and one of Harmony’s crowns stuck in his forehead.
“OH MY GOD! Quick –
um, somebody, HELP ME!” Buffy shouted, not knowing who to try and comfort first. Rico looked very rocky on his
feet, and Harmony just about managed to lean against the wall, clutching her mouth.
“Buthy – Buthy
– ‘ook, my toot oh!” Harmony began to cry, trying to cover her mouth. Meanwhile, Rico had put his
hand up to his head and felt the tooth embedded in his forehead, and had passed out in a dead faint at the sight of blood.
“My toot – ‘ook!”
Harmony raised her top lip to show Buffy the filed down pegof her own tooth that had been the anchor for the false crown.
“Oh god…you can’t go on TV looking like that – oh hell, um, HELP! WE NEED SOME MEDICAL ATTENTION HERE!"
she shouted. Two security guards and one of the receptionists came running over to them.
Ten minutes later, Buffy was
sitting in the ‘Green Room’ with a cup of vending machine coffee, awaiting news of her friend and teammate.
There was a knock on the door, and a very harassed looking woman, wearing glasses and carrying a clipboard stuck her head
around the door.
“Are you Buffy?”
Buffy stood and said,
“Yes. How’s Harmony, have you heard – I’m told I can’t switch on my cell– excuse me –
I SAID EXCUSE ME!” Rudely, the woman had left Buffy mid-sentence, so she marched over to the door and yanked it open.
Out side the harassed looking woman was talking to a guy who was wearing earphones around his neck and carrying a clipboard.
Both were talking at the same time.
“Er, excuse me –
but would SOMEBODY please tell me what’s going on?” The two people stopped talking and looked at her.
"And you are...?" the
“I’m Buffy, Buffy
Summers. I was here to do the Celebrity quiz, but my team-mate and friend had an accident downstairs ten minutes ago and nobody
will tell me what’s happening."
“Which are you then,
soap star, singer, writer, or sports person?” the man asked her.
“I’m sorry, I don’t under..."
“It’s quite simple,
Miss, what do you do? Are you a singer or actress?” the woman asked.
“Singer, I’m a
singer. What does that have to do with..." Again Buffy was interrupted.
“She can go with the
guy who was going to be Rico’s partner – problem solved, so it can all still go ahead – thank god, right,
get everyone onset – we must get the rehearsal started in the next ten minutes.” The guy left and the woman
said to Buffy, “Follow me.”
“Will somebody PLEASE
tell me what’s happened to Harmony? Oh…I give up!”
Heaving a sigh, Buffy trudged
resignedly behind the rapidly moving and harassed woman, who paused at the fire doors, and encouraged Buffy to,
“Hurry up! We only have five minutes, I’ll see what I can find out for you...now,go in there…have you been
to make-up?" She scrutinised Buffy’s face and said, “You’ll do, I’ll get Rachel to
put a bit of powder on your nose…um, and your new partner will be here directly."
Buffy was shown into a room
where there were some vaguely familiar faces from soap operas, a couple of athletes and one writer she knew. “Good
morning!” she said, to be polite. Everyone was friendly back to her, making her feel a little more at ease.
“Was your friend taken
ill or something?” One of the girl athletes asked, and Buffy, explained what happened.
when they both stood, he’d got the tooth embedded in his forehead – and poor Harmony was missing a crown.”
A few people winced. The door opened and Buffy heard the woman with the clipboard say, “There, in you go.
Now introduce yourselves, TWO MINUTES EVERYBODY PLEASE…Two minutes!"
Everybody started to throw
away paper cups, put away magazines and stand up to tidy themselves. Buffy turned around to see who her new quiz partner would
“YOU!” She was
shocked, then she thought, **Shit... Spike’s gonna LOVE this..NOT!**
fine, thanks, Angel. How are you?”
“Peachy!” he said
with his sickly grin.
“Okay people, follow me!” The woman with the clipboard propped open the door
and everybody dutifully filed out into the corridor, Buffy being the last. “Miss Summers, your friend Harmony
has been taken to her own dentist. She insisted that she wouldn’t see any other one – she has a fear of them apparently,
and her own has calming sessions for her or something. She’ll be all right though, but she won’t be back in time
to record the show."
They all walked on set in
PLEASE!…settle down!” The director clapped his hands and everybody stopped talking. “Right,
now the run through has slightly changed, due to circumstances beyond our control, so things will now be like this..."
“Oh, he’s not
there? His mobile is switched off too?” Buffy sighed.
here, on my desk, re-charging. That’s why you can’t get through to him,” Cordelia explained.
“Have you heard how
“We got a call from
her dentist, and I’ll tell Xander as soon as he comes in. Want me to give a message to Spike? You sound
very down, but don’t worry about Harmony, she’ll be okay, you know?"
“I know that Cordy.
It’s not that…I... Oh god, Spike’s gonna go ape-shit when he finds out."
who they’ve put with me. We’re teams of singers or soap actors or athletes or writers” Buffy explained.
“And...well, two minutes
before we go on-set…he’s going to be so angry, but it isn’t MY fault!”
“Are you going to tell
me who they’ve..."
in Angel Stebson? That Angel? He of the Sharks...well, ex of?” Cordelia said, alarmed.
“Yup – he was
“Oh. Oh dear..."
“Well, thanks for putting
me at ease! Oh dear indeed – honestly Cordy – everybody here is SO rushed and wants everything done
yesterday that I didn’t have time to say no – he’s going to be mad, isn’t he?”
Cordy began cautiously, knowing Spike couldn’t STAND Angel in any way, shape or form.
supposed to be making me feel better here!” Buffy whined, frowning.
“Do you want me to tell
him for you?”
“No. It’s probably
best coming from me. I can explain fully then,” Buffy said flatly. Although not her fault, she didn’t relish
“Okay... well, good
luck! – For the quiz, I mean!”
see you tomorrow."
“Okay, bye then –
don’t forget, it’s the meeting tonight, so Spike will be late. His mobile will be charged but will be switched
Cordy put the phone down, wide-eyed and brows raised. Spike wasn’t going to like this little turn up.
Not one little bit…
When Pavayne got home, he
found his starting pistol on the floor in the hall, crudely wrapped in a brown paper bag. Along side it was a note that read:
‘Show on Friday, the 28th, studio 5, West, lot 9, Burbank – Willy. PS, I gotta lie
low for a while.’
Pavayne screwed up the paper
bag and checked his pistol over. It was fine, and he re-read the note and put it in his top pocket. Well, surprise, surprise,
Willy hadn’t let him down on EVERYTHING…if he could they exclusive picture rights on this little blonde singer’s
career going down, he’d be rich!
“Okay then, Buffy, the
next question is yours.”
The compere beamed at her,
and Buffy stood up straight – she felt Angel’s hand on her shoulder, and ignored it.
All through rehearsals she’d
repeatedly asked him not to touch her, but Angel said that all the other couples were doing it, some even hugging when they
got the answers right.
“What year did Abraham
Lincoln take office as president? Was it A. 1851...B. 1855...C. 1861.... or D. 1866? The countdown starts…..NOW!"
Quick as a flash, Buffy pressed
the ‘C’ button, and the clock stopped on one second.
“And you’ve picked
‘C’, 1861 – correct!” The audience clapped and Buffy smiled.
“Okay, Angel, your question.
What is the capital of Surinam?
Is it - A. Caracas...B. La Paz....C. Paramaribo... or is it
D. Lima? The time starts………NOW!"
“Um…let me think…Caracas is…no, er...."
“Hurry up! – its
Paramaribo!” Buffy hissed.
want to get this wrong…Lima, that’s Peru…”
“Angel – the time
–its Paramaribo. Press ‘C’!”
“Okay, I’m getting
hassled here." He grinned. " I’ll press ‘C’ – if you’re wrong Missy!"
He turned and gave Buffy a wink. She, in turn, was glassy-eyed and had a fixed grin, but inside she was seething. He pressed
‘C’, and the answer flashed up correct – just a second or two before the 10 second ‘time-out’.
Buffy breathed a sigh.
“Don’t mess about – you get timed out, WE are out, and I want to raise some money for the children!”
Angel just smiled maddeningly
and put his hand on her waist.
Everybody was seated at the
meeting except Xander and Glory. Spike played with the pencil. The door opened and Xander walked in and took his seat,
saying quietly to Spike and Cordelia, “She at home. They’ve like super-glued a temporary cap on for her,
she’s going to have the proper one fitted on Friday."
your party day – and that’s another thing Xand, I can’t come – you see it’s..." Cordelia
was cut short by the door opening, and one of the researchers wheeling Glory into the room in a wheelchair. There were lots
of eye rolls and sighs from the others....boy did this girl know how to go for maximum impact.
She still had the dark glasses
on and the neck brace and bandages on her wrists, but had foregone the scarf over her head.
I’ll tell you later,” Cordy whispered to Xander, who just nodded.
“Right then, as we are
all here – can we get on? I want you all to open the folders in front of you and take out the first sheet – sheet
‘A’ - Music Sales figures…I want to know why they are down.” Sweet said.
“Okay, things are heating
up now, Ladies and Gentlemen. With just two of our couples going head-to-head for the final, we have for the Sports team two
of our top athletes from track and field... Bobby Johnson and the lady that’s smashed all records at last years Olympics
AND Bobby’s fiancé, Lacy Morris!"
The compere paused to let
the audience applaud, and then he continued.
“And on the pop stars
side, we have the lovely Buffy and her partner, Ex front man for the Sharks, now carving himself a solo career....Angel!"
Again the audience applauded. “Okay then folks – the final subjects will be chosen now
at random, and the contestants have ten seconds to answer – if they don’t, they are timed out, AND the question
can go to the opposition. Right then, folks – Oh and remember – the winners will take $25, 000 dollars for
a charity of their choice –the losers go home, with nothing. So lets get right on and play!
The first question is to the sports team...."
“...but it isn’t
OUR fault if somebody just downloads it from the Internet – what can we do? We didn’t put it there for them
to steal!” Spike insisted.
“Well, it SHOULD be
made illegal!” Sweet spluttered.
Practically everybody in the
room chorused, “IT IS!”
“Well, then, why isn’t
there somebody doing something about it?"
“I don’t know,
the people who run the sites I suppose. You get sites like Napster and SoundsExpress taken down, and a few days later,
another one pops up. It’s very frustrating. Not only that, the singers lose out on royalties, too,” Spike said.
Sweet looked serious.
“Look into this please, Miss Chase."
Cordelia wrote a note on her pad.
“Can I just say something?
I’d like a little more cooperation from my ‘colleagues’ if I may – and NOT have them book things for
MY artists without prior consultation from me first.” Spike said, looking pointedly at Glory.
She smiled and took off her
dark glasses. “This is a dig at me, I suppose…well, darling – I can’t do as you ask when
you’re not there, can I? Not you, or the secretary – or even the whelp here. What’s a girl to do?”
“Me not there?
ME? THAT’S RICH COMING FROM YOU!” Spike said angrily, and then added, “Well, she’s
not doing it!”
Glory smiled and looked at
Sweet, said one word. "Daddy?"
it Spike. It’s already in the TV schedules and it would cost too much to pull now.”
Spike looked murderously from
Glory to Sweet, pushing his chair away from the desk. “Right – I don’t know WHY I bother to come to
these fucking meetings...waste of EVERYBODY’S blasted tme!"
And with that, he got up and
left, slamming the door behind him. Xander and Cordelia kept their heads down, Glory beamed, and the others felt sympathy
for Spike, as they knew he’d be for it now.
Sweet wound up the meeting
and said quietly to Cordelia, “When you see Spike tomorrow, tell him I want to see him first thing Monday morning,
will you? My office, 9am."
“Oh, and tell him…”
matter. Tell him 9am, sharp."
“Yes Mr Sweetly.”
Cordelia was surprised Sweet was leaving things until next week to see him.
As people left, Glory took
the brakes off her wheelchair and said to Xander, “Hey, you - wheel me into the corridor.”
No please, no thank you. Xander
leaned over and said menacingly through gritted teeth, “Wheel your fuckin’ self – and if Spike’s
in ANY kind of trouble now because of YOU, I’ll..."
“Come on Xand, let’s
go. Leave her to it. ” Cordelia practically yanked Xander out of the room, switching the light off as she went,
leaving Glory fuming in the dark.
Spike got outside and felt
for his mobile – darn it! It was still on Cordelia’s desk, charging up – although it should be well done
now. There was nothing else for it, he’d have to go back for it.
Cordelia had just seen him step into the lift, and called him. He stuck his hand out and the doors opened again.
Cordelia had her coat on,
and she came running over.
“Was anything said?”
“He wants to see you
first thing Monday morning, in his office, 9am – not that HE knows 9am even exists."
“Monday? I thought it
would be tomorrow."
“Me too... but there
you are – you’ve got nearly a week to put your case across." Cordelia straightened Spike’s collar and patted
“If I bother."
come on…what way is that to talk, hmm?”
Spike shrugged. “Anyway,
times getting on. I forgot my phone, it’s still on your desk.”
“Want to go for a drink
or something?” Cordelia suggested.
“Well, ordinarily I
would, but I don’t know what time Buffy’ll be back from this quiz thing.”
don’t brood on it – Sweet couldn’t do this without you, you know, so he’s not going to sack you.”
Cordelia cupped his cheek and smiled.
Spike gave her a resigned
little smile in return.
“There, now I’ll
be off then. See you tomorrow."
and.... you know.. thanks.” He winked and the lift doors shut taking him to the fourth floor.