Энджел groaned as Gunn handed him yet another handful of paperwork. He glanced over it with tired, sore eyes and his jaw dropped. "You can't be serious!" He threw the paper down violently.

Gunn sighed. "The Goblin King specifically ordered us to. He may be Fae, but he has a prominent sway in the demonic community. Jareth is nothing to be messed with and especially not when it comes to things like this. His family has been threatened, Angel."

"But playing babysitter to a spoiled princess isn't our job." Энджел protested. "Our job is to fight the evil in this world."

"And to protect the innocent." Gunn reminded him."And this is exactly what we would be doing. This girl's life is in danger and we have to help her."

Энджел shook his head, but complied. "Fine. How much trouble could she be, anyway? What is she...five?"

"Actually she's eighteen." Энджел pinned him with a disbelieving glare. Gunn held up his hands in a defensive gesture. "And before Ты go on a rant about how difficult a teenager can be, may I remind Ты that Buffy was still in high school when you-"

"ENOUGH!" Энджел shouted, holding his head where he could feel the uncomfortable throbbing of a terrible headache coming on. "Just..make sure that she stays out of the way and doesn't mess with anything." As he walked out of his office he muttered. "At Wolfram & Hart, there's no telling what kind of trouble a half-human teen could get into."
At exactly three p.m. that afternoon, a young girl walked through the doors of Wolfram & Hart. She was flanked on either side by her parents. Her mother had long dark hair and изумруд green eyes. Her father was tall and blond with locks that stood up everywhere in tufts that resembled feathers. His eyes were mismatched, one blue and the other green. The girl was tiny, only about five feet tall, with short brown hair that curled up and stood out from her head in a way similar to her father's. She had wide green eyes (like her mother) that darted around the firm eagerly, trying to take it all in.

Gunn pointed at them from the office. "See them, Wes? That's just one of the Fae royal families. The man is King Jareth of the Underground and his wife is Queen Sarah Mistress of the Labyrinth. Their daughter Marie is the one we'll be looking after until the threat presented to them is deminished или extinguished all together. Would Ты please make sure that Marie is taken care of?"

"Gunn, I'm too busy for this." Wes said, glancing up from the pile of papers on his desk, which was also littered with reference books. "Couldn't Фред do it?"

Фред came in at just that moment with a frown. She looked from one to the other, her hands on her hips. "I know that look. Whatever it is that Ты want to pass off onto me, I refuse to take it. I'm in the middle of trying to discern the Сверхъестественное components of the astral trail that our most Последнее demon murderer left us." She was handed a cup of coffee by a passing employee. "And not only that, I've still got to figure out a way to make Spike become a corporeal being again now that the еще obvious way is out of the question."

She went to take a sip, but Gun grabbed her hand. "Do Ты really think that's a wise decision? Half the employees want to kill us. That might be chock-full of cyanide."

She grimaced and opened up the window and tossed the contents of the cup out of it, then threw the cup into the trash. "Good point." She thought for a moment. "Why don't we see if Lorne is free?"

Gunn broke into a smile. "Good idea!" He ran out the door to go and find the Pylean demon. He didn't have to Поиск far because Lorne was just down the hall. He was leaning against the Стена flirting with a pretty female demon carrying a clipboard. "Lorne!" Lorne turned around and grinned widely at his friend.

"Hey! How's life, amigo?"

Gunn shook his head. "Hectic, as ever. Hey, listen, Lorne-"

"I'm all ears." Lorne chuckled, the pretty demon walked away and he winked at her. "See ya later, babe." He walked along the corridor with Gunn at a leisurely pace. "So, what did Ты want to talk to me about?"

"I need Ты to help a guest get accustomed to the firm. She needs to be shown around." He explained. "Everyone else is too busy to deal with her right now. All you've got to do is make sure that she stays out of trouble for the Далее few weeks."

Lorne crossed his arms. "I'll do it, but would Ты kindly elaborate on exactly why we have a long-term guest in the first place?"

"Well, during the past месяц there have been numerous threats to the Fae royal families, specifically those who have had children with human lovers. Supposedly, these children have 'sullied' the blood of the Fae and that merits their destruction along with their human parent. Recently, a half-human Fae child disappeared from the Underground and there is strong evidence that suggests he is dead. One of the most prominent royal families, that of the Goblin King Jareth, has decided that this is the safest place for the future heir to hide until it is safe. The heiress's name is Marie, you'll meet her in just a moment." Lorne took a moment to process this as he followed Gun into the lobby of Wolfram & Hart. He immediatly recognized the royal family from all the others, he could sense the dignity and pride practically pouring off of the Fae King. He opened his senses even wider and, though he had to focus as hard as he could because they were not singing, he recognized the intense bond that the king had with the human woman, and that it was reciprocated. Just as strong was the bond formed by the parents with their offspring. That must be Marie. He thought. The way they've been talking about her, Ты would've thought she was only a little kid. He observed her as she gazed around her with awe. She radiated energy.

Gun bowed low to the Goblin King. "It's a great honor to have Ты here, your majesty."

Jareth rolled his eyes. "Cut the crap. It's sickening to have everyone bowing and cowering before Ты all the time." He conjured a crystal and held it out. "When it is a good time for me to retrieve my daughter, I will call Ты from this. The phone lines are being watched, therefore making them unsafe. Only I can use this type of communication." He turned on the heel of his boot. "Take care of her, she is my only child." He and his wife disappeared through the doors of the building.

"That's strange, they didn't even say goodbye to her." Gunn mused.

"I'm afraid dad isn't good at long goodbyes. He gets emotional and that embarrasses him." сказал(-а) Marie, popping up beside him. "It doesn't bother me." She smiled up at Lorne, who was at least a foot taller than she was. She stuck out her hand."Hi, I'm Marie!"

Gunn and Lorne each shook her hand. "I'm Gunn and this is Lorne. He'll be helping Ты to find your way around and such things as that."

"Anything Ты need, come to me for it, baby girl." Lorne invited with a grin. "I'll be happy to help!"

"Do Ты have a sound-proof room?" She asked hesitantly. "I constantly have my Музыка on and I don't want to bother anyone."

Lorne waved her along. "All of the rooms are sound-proof for reasons that I'm not quite sure Ты want to know, so that won't be a problem. By the way," He added casually, as a way of starting a conversation. "What kind of Музыка do Ты like?"

"Oh, all kinds really. Though Ты might say that I'm particularly partial to all the Rock genres." They rounded a corner and came to a hall lined with doors. "How about you?"

"Same." He answered airily, opening a Болталка door. "Check this one out and see if Ты like it. There are loads of others if Ты don't." She stepped inside. The room was painted a beautiful shade of creme. In the main room, a wide-screen hung on the Стена and an enormous sound system occupied the Космос below it. The wooden floor was вишня and was absolutely wonderful. A leather диван, мягкий уголок occupied the rest of the room, giving it an empty feel. She decided at once that would change and went on to explore the rest. The bedroom was absolutely divine with a huge постель, кровати settled in between two dressers.

She smiled and tapped her chin with one finger. It was a little too normal for her tastes, but she could arrange it the way she wanted while she was here. After all, she would be here for a while. If she could add a few rugs, hang a couple of paintings, set up a книжный шкаф for the plethora of Книги she'd brought with her, change the bedding to something a bit еще her style....it had potential. She came back out to see him still standing in the same spot. He was Пение a disco tune to himself. "I like this one." She announced. "I'll take it."

"Well, you're in luck, baby girl." He laughed. "That means that I'll be right Далее door!"

"Great!" She exclaimed happily. "Hey, Ты wouldn't mind helping me Переместить in, would you?" She took out a bunch of crystals from a small bag that she'd been carrying around. "My dad crammed all of my stuff into these instead of bothering with regular suitcases. He сказал(-а) that the typical luggage would slow us down and make us еще obvious." She sighed and watched the baubles float in the air. "Of course, he's right, but sometimes I wish I could pretend my family was completely human." She touched one of the bobbing crystals lightly with her forefinger, making it light up and then pop, dropping a huge amount of Болталка items onto the floor. "Not that being half-Fae is all that bad. After all, magic is really cool and handy in a scrape." She chuckled. "Sorry, I'm rambling. I tend to do that. It's a side-effect of being a bit insane."

"Honey," Lorne сказал(-а) around the armful of blankets and pillows he had picked up. "Compared to the rest of this place, you're a breath of fresh air. The rest of these people are completely insane." He deposited the bedding in the bedroom and came back in. "Some of the things I've seen would make a grown demon quiver in his boots."

She glanced up worriedly from the mass of clothing that she was sorting out. "Are the sort of things that Ты deal with here that deadly?"

He shrugged. "Well, not me personally. Mostly it's Angelcakes and the others who take care of things like that. I've got my own things to do, but I do help sometimes when they're absolutely out of options."

She giggled. "Angelcakes?"

"Yep. Angel's the head honcho around these parts."

She popped another crystal and scrambled to catch a bunch of statues. He caught the ones that she missed, admiring one in particular. " A miniature version of Michealangelo's David." He сказал(-а) approvingly, handing it gently to her. "You have great taste."

"Thanks." She sat the statue on the end of the книжный шкаф that had come of the Назад crystal. "In my old room, my ceiling is painted like the Cistine Chapel. It was a gift from my father for my eleventh birthday." A distant expression came over her. "He's fond of grand, romantic gestures. That's one of the reasons my mom fell in Любовь with him."

He put his hand on her shoulder. "It'll be okay, baby girl. The homesickness will pass after you've gotten used to it here, trust me."

She nodded, but sighed. "I haven't ever been away from my parents for very long before. I glorified getting away and becoming independent, but now that I get that freedom I don't think I want it all that much anymore." She reached for the last of the crystals, but it had floated up too high. Lorne easily plucked it out of the air and held it out to her. "Thanks." She blew frustratedly out of the side of her mouth, but then her eyes began to twinkle mischieviously. "You do know that half the time I call Ты in here, it'll be related in some way to my inability to reach something even with a stepstool, right? After all, I'm only five feet and a quarter of an inch tall."

"Oh, come on." He replied teasingly. "That can't be all you'll need me for!"

She pretended to think about it. "Hmm, well. Ты could help me with the decor." She admitted. "I mean, this place has a lot of potential, but right now the room says 'meh', to me."

"You're right, but you've gotta be hungry after all of this. What would Ты say to a fine meal of peanutbutter and желе sandwiches with виноград soda?" He offered.

She got up and looked around at the mess that she still had left to tidy up. "I could use a snack." She confessed. "Are Ты sure it wouldn't be imposing?"

He waved the Комментарий away. "I'm sure, now let's get Ты something to eat before Ты wither away." They left, Lorne locking the door behind them. "We'll have to eat in my room instead of the dining hall. Apparently, one of our clients went berserk earlier..something to do with the meat not being rare enough..and completely desimated the place." He took a key out of his pocket and opened the door of the room beside hers. It was like something from a wonderland...if wonderland was filled with posters of celebrities. On one side was what looked to be a dressing room mirror, but the glass was badly cracked. He frowned when he caught her staring at it. "I'll have to get that thing fixed." He muttered. She followed him into the kitched and took a сиденье, место, сиденья on a stool. He hunted through the refridgerator for the things he needed to make the sandwiches. "Would Ты prefer яблоко или персик jelly, sweetcheeks?" He held up a jar of each.

"Peach, please."She glanced at him with wide eyes, then looked away. This was definitly not what she'd expected when her parents told her that she had to leave. She had to say something for the accommodations, though. That part was a lot better that she'd originally imagined it would be. Truly though, was there anything that Ты could assess beforehand when it came to something like this place? Anyhow, she'd better be on her toes because there was not telling what she'd run into. In fact, it was probably better if she just stayed in her room most of the time. She was used to danger, having grown up in the Underground where life was no picnic, but that danger was controlled and she'd had only a limited exposure to it. She felt nervous here, despite her father's reassurance. She peeked at her new (and only) friend. He was humming to himself and smiling. She took this time to really study him.

Lorne had two crimson horns that stuck out of the sides of his forehead and bright red irises that stood out against his dappled green skin. His lips were blood red and full and he had dirty-blond hair. His suit was odd, but still charming. He fixed the modest meal with a flare. She began to feel even еще comfortable with him as she listened to his humming. Her father loved to sing and dance all the time, and she was no different. They could both make non-existant intruments play while they sang. She felt the urge to do so, and in order to relieve some stress, she concentrated on conjuring up a beat.

Lorne jumped when he suddenly heard the thrum of an electric guitar. "What was that?!" He asked, surprised. "Did my radio turn itself on?" That was when he noticed that Marie had a broad smile on her face. "Was that you?" He inquired curiously. "How did Ты do that?"

She shrugged. "It's magic. My father taught me how to do it. We sing and dance together all the time."

Lorne's face lit up and he grinned widely, Показ off brilliantly white teeth. "You and me, sister, " He came around to her and draped an arm across her shoulder. "We're gonna make some real sweet Музыка together." He went back to his sandwich-making, but talked to her as he finished them up. "But first, you've gotta sing for me. It doesn't matter what, trust me. I just wanna hear Ты sing."

She bit her lip for a moment until an idea came to her. She couldn't help laughing a little bit at first. "I've got a guy and his name is dooley. He's my guy and I Любовь him truly. He's not good-lookin', but heaven knows I'm wild 'bout his crazy clothes. He wears tan shoes with розовый shoe laces, a polka-dot vest and man, oh man. He wears tan shoes with розовый shoe laces and a big Panama with a purple hat band...."

Lorne was bombarded with a strange array of things. His empathic side told him that she had huge potential in the Arts. Her personality was a gentle one, but a little on the eccentric side. She surely had a bright future ahead of her, but there was a shadow over that part of her life that marked that she would soon be in a very large amount of danger. It caused a sense of deep unrest and concern within him. But there was one thing that made him smile, it was the fact that his presence was a comfort to her. As soon as she was finished, he applauded and she blushed. "You have a lovely voice." He handed her a сэндвич, бутерброд and a cup of soda.

"Thanks, but there's no need to exaggerate. I'm barely average. Ты should hear my mom или dad sing, they blow me out of the water." She took a sip of her soda and munched the sandwich.

He rolled his eyes. "Sweetpea, I used to run a karioke bar. I know an amazing singer when I hear one." He put the everything back in the fridge. "Besides, it's not healthy to demean yourself like that. Confidence is key." He advised.

"You used to run a bar?" She leaned in. This demon guy is becoming еще interesting by the second! She thought excitedly. "What was that like?"

He sat on the стул Далее to her and started to eat his own food. "Busy and really strange, and sometimes it was kinda dangerous. I catered to anyone who came through the door. It was non-discrimatory service as long as no one caused trouble. I had a really nice set-up with spells that prevented violence within the bar so that I wouldn't have to worry about demons ripping the heads off the waiters или anything like that." His eyes suddenly turned sad. "But that wasn't enough. The spells had a loophole, there wasn't anything about human violence. So a band of humans destroyed the bar, but I had it re-built. The секунда time around, I opted to include human violence, but then another technicality lead to the descruction of Caritas once again." He rubbed his templed in a tired fashion. "So I got fed up and moved in with Angelcakes, Kiwi and all the others into the Hyperion. After a while, things got really weird and it had to do with this dame called жасмин who wanted to turn everyone on earth into love-junkies. We took 'er down and Wolfram & Hart was so tickled with us that they gave us the L.A. branch to do with as we wished. And that, honeybunch, is it all in a nutshell."

"Wow." She сказал(-а) in an awed voice. "You all really deal with a lot of pressure, don't you?"

He barked a laugh. "You have no idea, sugar. This past Halloween, I had my sleep removed so I could deal with everything, but that just created еще trouble in the form of my subconcious peeling itself away and making a murderous appearence in this world, not to mention completely wrecking a party I'd been planning for nearly a month!" He growled, obviously still upset about that prior incident. She heard a clock toll somewhere to her right. It was officially ten at night. She stifled a yawn, she was used to being in постель, кровати early. Lorne caught it, and jumped down off the stool. She did the same. "Seems like we'd better get Ты to bed, baby girl." She blinked blearily up at him and yawned again, nearly asleep on her feet. He tried walking her to the door, but she kept tripping over her feet, like a sleep-deprived little kid. What am I thinking? He asked himself. She probably is sleep deprived. "Hmm..how about if I just carry you?" He swung her up into his arms and manuvered his way out the door, then managed to get the key back out of his pocket and unlock her door, all without dropping her. Lorne picked his way through the small mountain of belongings that had yet to be set in order and went into the bedroom. He placed her gently ontop of the covers on one side, then turned down the covers and put her to bed. He tucked the comforter around her curled little body and stood back from the bed.

She was cute in her sleep. Her cheeks were rounded out еще and she took tiny breaths. Her long, dark eyelashes stood out against her pale skin and her curly hair flopped over one eye in a couple of ringlettes. He sat on the edge of the постель, кровати and just watched her for a few minutes. There was something about her that made him want to stay, but he decided against it and left, with only one last look over his shoulder. "Goodnight, sweetheart." He whispered as he went out the door. He made sure that there was no one around, then locked the door and headed back to his own room.

He lay on his own bed, drinking a джин and tonic, relishing the warmth that spread through him. He couldn't get drunk, but he used alcohol to relax when he was tense. His thoughts whirled inside his head, all of them concerning the young half-human Далее door. He was deeply worried about the danger he'd seen in her future and it set him on edge to think that maybe she wasn't completely out of harm's way even at Wolfram & Hart. He sighed and determindedly decided that in order to make this aggrivating subconcious prodding go away, he'd have to reassure himself by staying within earshot of the girl constantly. He got up and took the cup into the kitchen, then went into the bathroom to get undressed and take a shower. Hot water would calm him down...as would a rousing chorus of 'Jim Dandy'.