Chapter 36

“Okay,” Alex said.  “Wesley and Gunn will canvas half the list.  Doyle can do the other half.  And Cordelia, you can wait here in case Lina comes back.”

“What about us?” Faith asked.

Alex smiled.  “I know a snitch, bad part of town.  In a demon bar.  There’s no fighting in the bar, but it can happen outside.  We need someone who can take care of themselves.”

“I guess Lindsey and I can cover it,” Faith said.   “What’s the name of the bar?”


“I know that place,” Lindsey said and made a strange face.  “It’s a karaoke bar.”

"A demon Karaoke bar?” Faith questioned and made a face stranger than the one Lindsey just made.
Lindsey nodded.

“I wouldn’t want to be caught dead in one.”

Lindsey did not respond.  He had wanted to sing there, but with Angelus, he never got the chance.  There was apparently a demon there who could give you guidance.

Alex was right.  Caritas was in one of the worst areas of LA, probably the reason they put a demon bar there.

“I’m not too sure I’m gonna allow you in.” the bouncer a large blue demon with one purple eye said to Faith as the three of them entered.

“Hey, I ain’t gonna slay anyone.”

“Oh,” the bouncer said.  “You’re the slayer?”

“Yeah. So?  I ain’t gonna touch anyone.  I’m here for the ambiance.”

“I was actually talking you being underage.”

“I don’t exactly see your liquor license,” Lindsey said.

“Oh,” said a green demon with horns from behind the bodyguard.  “Let them in.”

The three of them walked through the metal detectors.  Only Alex beeped.  She pulled her gun out and handed it to the bouncer.

Faith made a funny face at the bouncer and walked in.

“Welcomed to Caritas,” the green demon said.  “Do any of you fun people know what that means?”

“The new car from Toyota?” Faith asked.

“Very funny,” the demon said.  “Comedy night is on Thursdays.”

“It’s Latin for Mercy,” Lindsey said.  Though he did not want to admit he knew Latin; it was a requirement for Wolfram and Hart employees.

“You win the kewpie doll, my cute friend.  That means that battles are all fought outside.  There is no violence here. And it looks like the three of you need a little break from battles.”

“You’re a Anagogic demon?” Lindsey said.  He realized this must be the demon who gave guidance if you sang.

“Trade that kewpie doll in for a big giant teddy bear,” he said. “If you sing your heart out, I can see your soul.  That’s what people come here for.  They sing and I can tell them where they need to go and I also host Karoke night here from 6pm to 6am.”

“I ain’t singing,” Faith said.  “You do it.” She said to Lindsey.  “He’s got a beautiful voice.”  She said to the Host.

“Love to hear it,” the Host said.

Lindsey looked embarrassed.

“You’re embarrassed?” Faith asked.   “You sang at your own wedding.  Come on,” she said, looking around.  Some of the demons in the bar had noticed her.  “I got a rep to maintain.  I can’t be singing in front of the enemies.”

“Guys, we are here to find Merl first.  We can do musical theater later,” Alex  interrupted.

“Remember my offer,” the host said as he started to walk away.  “It’s good always.  Toddles.”

Alex scanned the room.  She found Merl drinking by the bar.  She walked over and sat down next to him.

“Howdy Merl.”

“What’s up, Alex?” Merl said taking a gulp of his drink.

“Need a little info.  What would some demons want with a child?”

“How old?’


“That’s barely a child—“ Merl said, winking.

Lindsey handed him a twenty, though he was tempted to punch Merl in the nose.  Merl looked up at Lindsey.  “Hey, it’s you, slick.”

“Yes,” Lindsey said, “and I’m not in that business anymore.  The girl Lina.  Help us find her and there are more Andrew Jackson’s on the way.”

“She has something,” Merl said.  “That’s all I know.  The guy’s dying, he had something and they think they gave it to her.”

“So who’s after her?”

“I don’t know.”

Lindsey handed another 20 to him.  He took it and put it in his pocket.

“Like I said.  I don’t know.”

“Want me to bust his head?” Faith asked.

“I know you can’t do it here,” Merl replied.  “This is all I know.  I swear.”

“I know your promises Merl, you take the highest bid.  I’m the highest bid unless you want the Slayer here to break your head open once you leave this place.  You have any information on Lina, you call me.” He handed Merl one of his cards.

“Let’s go,” Faith said.  A blue demon had just started singing “Close to You.” and that was enough to want her to leave.

Just as the three of them started leaving, the host came over to them again.

“Sounds like you three are in a jam.  Let me do a reading and maybe it will be worth your while.”

The three of them looked at each other.

Faith smiled and pushed Lindsey forward.

The Host smiled.  “Much I don’t need the headache, I think it might work better with the three of you.”

“Three of us?” Alex asked.  “I don’t sing.”  Then she heard the whiny of “Close to You.”  “I guess it doesn’t really matter here.” She said and smiled.

            It’s gonna be a bright, bright, Sunshiny day.

Lindsey, Faith and Alex sang together.  Though individually the three of them sang all right, Alex’s timing threw all of them off.  She was off by half a second.

            Look all around, there’s nothing but Blue skies.
            Look straight ahead nothing but blue skies.

Faith made a funny face and stopped singing.  Lindsey’s pipes outdid all of them.  The audience began applauding when Faith stopped singing. Alex realized that Faith had stopped and she did too.  They allowed Lindsey to finish the song.

           I think I can ride the feels now the rain has gone
            And all of the mud puddles have disappeared
            I can ride again now the rain has gone—

Lindsey stopped singing when he realized that both Faith and Alex had stopped also.  He made a strange face, then turned red.  However everyone in the bar started cheering when he finally finished the song.

“Well,” the host said going on stage.  “Wasn’t that wonderful.  Let’s call them the slayer, the lawyer and the PI.  Now let’s give a warm welcomed to Codiva, the Kidney stealer.  He’s feeling a little bit like light jazz.”

“Lindsey,” the host said and touched his shoulder.  “What a beautiful singing voice.  You can come here and sing all you want, if you would please leave the other Supremes at home.”

“Hey,” Alex said.  “Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard were just as good as Diana Ross.”

“That may be true, but you two are not as good as Lindsey.  Please come back and sing.”

“I’m not that good,” he said and touched his neck.

“You, my dear, need to stop thinking that lost bad boy is with you when he’s across town.”

“What?” Lindsey asked.

“Nobody choking you right now,”  The Host looked over Lindsey.  “Nope, no one is choking you—Except yourself.”

“Oh,” Lindsey said and put his hands down.

“So spill it,” Faith said.  “What can you tell us about Lina?”

“Now, you are a slayer, I find that fascinating.  Especially when there is only supposed to be one.”

“I’m glad,” Faith said, a little frustrated.

“Don’t turn down the wrong path when things don’t go your way.  Your path isn’t as well planned as some others.”

“Lina,” Lindsey said.  “Right now we are not concerned about ourselves.  If you can help us find her.”

“She’ll be in the place you least expect her to be.  Remember she’s not a bad girl.  She did not do this to get you or herself in trouble.  In the end she’ll do the right thing.”

“I know,” Lindsey said.

“Well, she didn’t come back here,” Cordelia said.  “Doyle and the others haven’t come back yet.”

“The last place we expect her to be,” Alex said, more to herself than the others.

“That’s here,” Lindsey said.  “I expect that when a person runs off, they don’t go back to the place they’ve run from.”

“He said,” Faith brought up and a look of enlightenment crossed her face.  “She would eventually do the right thing.  Where would a girl in trouble not go to?”

“To the cops,” Alex said.

“She didn’t want to tell you she was here,” Kate explained.  “She didn’t want to worry you.”

“Like we weren’t already worried,” Lindsey replied.  He looked over Kate.  She looked distressed and her voice deadpan.   She was dealing with her father’s death with great difficulty.

“So what gives?” Faith asked.

“She says there are these demons after her,” Kate explained.  “They think she has something.  She says she doesn’t have anything.  I asked her if Joel Davison slipped her something.  She said no.  She didn’t want you to get hurt.  She was afraid they would come after you.”

“Where is she?  Can I see her?” Lindsey asked.  He would not mention the incident with the demon to Lina.

Kate nodded, then looked down.

“How you holding up?” Faith said.  “I’ve been through it too.”

She shook her head.  “As best as I can.” Kate started to get teary eyes.

“Hey,” Lindsey said.  “Kate, you are very important to us.  Without you, Doyle would still be in prison for picking up hookers.”

“And Alex would be dead,” Faith said.

“And I would be dead,” Lindsey said.

That got Kate to laugh.  “I never saved you.”

“You did,” Lindsey explained.  “When you first found out about me being a spy, you never doubted at all I was sincere.”

Lina got up and walked around the room when Lindsey and Faith entered.

“Oh god,” she said, standing up and grabbing her bag, but there was obviously no where she could go.  “I can’t believe she told you.”

“We guessed,” Faith said.  “No one told us anything, cause we know you’d do the right thing,”  She did not want to explain about Cartias.

 Lina sighed, sat down in the chair and pouted.

“Why did you leave Lina?” Lindsey asked.  “We would have protected you.  What you did put you in great danger.”

“I didn’t want you guys to get in trouble.  You’ve been so nice to me despite that I haven’t been able to find out anything about the curse.”

“Lina, I want to help people.  I’ve spent a lot of years hurting people.  I’m not going to turn a blind eye because you can’t do me any favors.”

Lina sighed.

“We were worried about you.  So was your grandmother.  When she heard you might have witnessed a murder and may be in trouble, she got so worried and pleaded for us to find you.”

“She was worried?” Lina said, a little concerned.  “I really don’t like worrying her, but she really thinks she makes enough money to take care of three kids.  She doesn’t.”

“My offer still stands Lina.  10 hours a week, for now, $10 an hour.”

“But what about the demons that are after me?  I don’t have what they are looking for.”

“Are you sure?  Are you sure Davison didn’t pass anything to you?” Lindsey questioned.

She shook her head.  “I would tell you.  Look.” she said.  She dumped out her bag.  All the contents spilled on the desk.  It was a few notebooks, a sketching pad, and colored pencils.

“You draw?” Lindsey asked, picking up the sketch book.  Lina grabbed it from his hands before he could open it completely.  Though he saw from the first page that she had talent.

“Yeah,” she said, “but I’m not that good.” She shoved it back into her bag.  “See just some note books.” She picked it up, but as she was about to shove it into her bag, a disk fell out.  Lindsey picked it up.

“This yours?”

Lina shook her head.

Lindsey smiled. “Now we know what he slipped you.”

“That guy who died?”

“You probably didn’t even know.”

“So what is it?” Lina asked, looking over the zip disk.

Lindsey shook his head.  It was regular zip disk with no label.

“I can find out back at the office.  You come too.  Don’t worry. Faith can look after you.”

Faith and Lindsey met with a surprise when they got back to the office.  Cordelia and Alex were waiting for them, but so was Lina’s grandmother.

“Grandma,” Lina said and ran to her.  She gave her grandmother a big hug.  Lindsey walked over to his wife and took her by her shoulder.

“Are you all right, my dear?” Elena asked, touching Lina’s black hair.

Lina nodded.  “I got scared.”

“They said you might have witnessed a murder?”

“I didn’t,” Lina lied.  She did not want to hurt her grandmother further.  “There was some guy dying.  I was trying to help him when the cops came.  I lied.  I said I was stealing the car.  I don’t know why.  I panicked.”

“She was really trying to help him,” Lindsey explained.

Elena nodded.

“I’m sorry, grandma.  I promise to stay out of trouble from now on.  Lindsey’s given me a part time job.”

Elena looked over Lindsey.  “Well, Mr. McDonald—I guess I owe you for saving Lina and helping her stay off the streets.”

“It’s the least that I can do.”

“I guess you would like my assistance in finding the curse.”

Lindsey smiled. “I would appreciate it,” he said.  “Kate’s working on getting the charges dropped against Lina.  It may take a few days.  She had a death in the family.  She’s been taking a lot of time off.”

“Wonderful,” Elena said. “About the charges, not about the death.”

“Do you think you will stay out of trouble from now on?” Lindsey asked Lina.

“I will Lindsey, I promise.  I don’t want any more trouble.”

“Good, I’ll see you at four o’clock on Monday.”

Lina nodded.  Elena smiled.

He watched Elena and Lina both leave.  Maybe now they could finish the job.

After Lina and Elena had gone, Alex pulled the disk out of her pocket.

“What’s that?” Wesley asked.

“Apparently what was passed to Lina,” she explained. She walked towards her office. “Let’s go find out what is so important.”

Chapter 37


Hosted by