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That's Miss Shansu to You

By Monica V. Martinez

Page 1 of 3
Summary: One of Gunn's cases brings in a woman who is said to be the key to granting Angel his redemption. Problem is keeping her from going to death row for her husband's murder.
This is the first part of The Miss Shansu Series.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, the characters aren't mine, blah, blah, blah. Please don't sue.
Feedback: please write to me and tell me what you think. SparklinGlitr822ATaol.com

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There was a knock on the door. Angel welcomed the intrusion. He'd been looking over various contracts all day. Gunn walked in. "Man, I need your help with a case," Gunn said without a hello. Gunn went on and presented the case. "Ok... so she's guilty," Angel stated, "what does this have to do with me?" As if on cue a woman entered. "It's simple Angel... If I die you can never reach Shansu."

Angel stood shocked for a while, "Gunn leave us." Gunn left quietly without another word. "Who are you?" Angel asked the beautiful woman. To Angel she was stunning. She was Hispanic. He thought that gave her an exotic look. He stared in amazement as he fell in love at first sight.

"I'm your salvation and I'm your new client. I'm innocent and I'm many other things," she answered. Angel looked at the woman who was not going to give him any more information, "Ok what's your name?" "Maria Alejandra Texada. You can call me Alex or Matty." "Matty?" Angel asked. "My initials spell Mat, so my family used to call me Matty. Friends stick to Alex and strangers tend to call me Maria. So you pick," she explained.

"Ok... Alex. Explain your side of the case to me" Angel inquired. "Ok it's simple I didn't kill my husband. Although even to your baby genius lawyer boy I look guilty I'm not. I loved my husband. Here's what happened. I was away on a weekend trip. However, because of the nature of the trip I'm not allowed to discuss it with the general public. I came home and found my husband dead. I called the cops and then called Wolfram and Hart and requested Charles Gunn. I'm sure he told you the story from there."

"Ok so then tell me where you were," Angel said. After a look from her he realized she wasn't going to open up so easy, "I'm not the general public." "I'm a member of the CIA," Alex said. He stared at her in disbelief. "I was having an affair. It's that simple but the man that I was having the affair with is missing. He can't testify to my whereabouts."

Angel concluded, "Ok our first step is to find this man. What did you say his name was?" "Angel even if we find him he can't testify. He's well a little less than human. He's um... Well he's... " Spike walked in on cue, "Hey mate." Alex stared in amazement at her lover, "... here," she said.

"Spike? You slept with Spike?" Angel asked. "This is William Harrison the third!" she exclaimed and then went at Spike, "You've got some explaining to do. You told me that you were William Harrison the third, vice president of Wolfram and Hart. You lied to me. No f*king wonder when I called and asked for you they told me there was no William Harrison the third working here. You bastard!"

Spike turned to try to escape his lover's wrath but Angel who seemed to appear out of nowhere blocked the door. Angel said softly and threateningly, "Like the lady said you have a lot of explaining to do."

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"Well now that we've confirmed the alibi we need to work on finding the real killer and clearing Mrs. Texada's name," Gunn stated after Spike and Alex had gone over all the details of the weekend. Alex stepped in as she realized something, "Wait a minute so before you got the blood sucking, lying, cheating, imbecile to confirm my story you weren't going to work on clearing my name? What were you going to do?" Gunn explained, "we were going to use all our resources to get you off without involving ourselves in an investigation." "You were going to buy the jury," Alex summed up.

"Alex," Angel tried to step in. "No," Alex went on, "Look Charles I told you right off the bat that I was innocent. We agreed you could take my case under two conditions. One that I had enough money to pay you with and Two that you believed in my innocence. And now you're telling me you needed this jackass to tell you that I was telling the truth? If you don't trust me to tell you the truth I don't think I trust you being my lawyer."

"Mrs. Texada I can assure you I believe in your innocence but proving it in a court of law with only a vampire as your witness will prove difficult at best especially since his hand will burst into flames touching a bible," Gunn explained. "Well you better over come your difficulties quickly because it's not only my life at stake here but your bosses. No pun intended with the whole 'stake' remark," Alex noted. "It's fine," Angel said.

"Angel I'd like you to find someone else to represent me. I don't have faith in Mr. Gunn, seeing as he has none in me," Alex said calmly now. "Alex give it a chance," Angel suggested. She glared at him. "Guys would you leave us please," Angel said to Spike and Gunn. They left and it was just Angel and the beautiful woman.

"He's the best," Angel explained. "Do you believe in me?" Alex asked, "Do you believe I'm innocent?" "Yes," Angel answered. "Do you believe in him? Do you really trust Charles Gunn with your life?" Alex asked. "Yes," he repeated. "Ok as long as you trust him and as long as I know you trust me then he can represent me. But," Alex concluded. Angel's look told her to proceed, "He can't just think with that law filled brain. He's gotta follow his heart in this too."

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"So if she didn't do it who did?" Gunn asked. "She slept with Spike?" Fred mumbled. "Fred, did you go over the evidence again?" Angel asked. "She slept with Spike?" Fred said mumbled again. "Hey, tall dark and lawyer, do you want me to read her?" Lorne volunteered. "She slept with Spike?" Fred mumbled. "Fred," Angel screamed back, snapping her out of her thoughts. "Huh?" she said innocently. "Snap out of it. Yes she slept with Spike. Now she hates him. Life goes on," Angel added.

"Not for her and not for you if we can't clear her," added Wesley. "Ok here's the game plan," Angel began to give orders. "Fred, go over every shred of evidence again. Twice, three times if you have to. Wesley start running some research, find out who wanted Mr. Texada dead or out of the picture. Lorne I want you to read her but don't let her know what you're doing. I'm not sure is she knows there are demons in this world.

"Gunn find anyone who can say they saw her at the hotel and can verify her location the weekend she was with Spike. Check with the security systems of the hotel maybe they have a log of the times the door was opened. Most of those door that open with cards are always monitored." "What are you going to do boss?" Gunn asked. "I'm going to talk to Alex. Something is not right about the whole thing," Angel determined.

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Alex was in Angel's room looking out the window. She looked down at her hand and spun her wedding band. She'd met her husband when she was a student at UCLA. He had been her professor. She dropped out of school so she and him could have a relationship without him getting fired. It wasn't just a fling they were in love. For the past four years, since her dropping out of school they'd lived a wonderful life here in LA.

Yet some how she knew there was something greater out there for her. A greater purpose, perhaps a greater love. That's why she'd been cheating on him. Her mind loved this middle aged, well to do, professor and renowned novelist but her heart ached for more.

When she met Spike, or William as he told her, she knew that though he may not be 'the one', he was on the path to finding her love. That path had lead her here to Angel. She'd fallen in love at first sight with the man she new that she was meant for. She was meant for him so that she could save him.

"Ahem," someone cleared their throat from behind her. "You shouldn't sneak up on me. I might kill you like I killed my husband," Alex told the visitor. "Alex you didn't kill him," Angel explained as if that thought had never crossed her mind. "Didn't I? I may not have pulled the trigger or stabbed him or however he died, but had I been home instead of getting it on with my darling, dear, dead William I could have stopped it," Alex explained.

"Or you could have been killed too," Angel brought to her attention. She smiled a half smile, the kind you smile when you've been proven wrong. "I never thought of it that way. But Angel, I look guilty. I'm not going to get off unless we can find who really did this and why," Alex said and then walked over and sat on Angel's bed.

"I was thinking about how I ended up here," Alex said after a moment of silence. "How?" Angel asked. "I kept having these dreams. About a vampire. He'd kill and kill without mercy or remorse. Every night I'd have a different dream, with a different victim every time. Then all of a sudden the dreams changed, he was saving lives. Every night it was a different person that he'd save. During that time I did some research and learned all I could about vampires. I learned that I was dreaming about a vampire named Angelus and then about Angel, the vampire with a soul."

Angel looked at her. He couldn't believe she'd been sent to grant him his humanity. She went on speaking, "I went to a mystic and he told me that I had the power to give life to a lifeless champion. I'm sent to be your redemption but how can I be your redemption if I die? I've done some rotten things in my life, Angel. Everyone has something to atone for. So I figure if I die I deserve it but you... you deserve to live and if that means that I have to live too then I need to stay alive. I need to find away to save my life," she said, "at this point Angel, you're all I have. You're what's keeping me alive." She put her elbows on her knees and cried into her hands. Angel sat next to her on the bed. He ran his hand over her back to calm her down.

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Angel spent two hours holding and comforting Alex. Then he watched her sleep for two more hours before he finally went down stairs. She'd cried a lot. She'd cried out of fear, but to Angel's surprise it wasn't fear for her own life. She feared the loss of his life, the loss of his chance at becoming human.

"Ok," Angel said once he was downstairs again, "we need some guidance. She knows about vampires. Even if she doesn't know about demons I think it's time we bring in Lorne to read her." "Angel," Wesley began, "do you really think that in this emotional state she can handle being introduced to Lorne?" "Angel, man he's right. Since she's walked in that door she's been an emotional mess. Maybe we should finesses her into it more than throw her in without a life jacket," Gunn observed.

"She's stronger than you all think. She'd heard of Wolfram and Hart before she came hear, before this ordeal. She has to have known about the other type of people we represent. Bring in Lorne," Angel stated. "Lorne? Who's Lorne," Alex asked appearing out of nowhere it seemed. Everyone looked at her. She knew she wasn't going to like what was about to happen. "Do you know any show tunes?" Gunn asked.

Angel flipped on the radio and the first pop tune that came on Alex sang it. Lorne had been introduced with no problem. Turns out at one of the University dinners that Mr. Texada had taken Alex to, there had been a demon just like Lorne who read people while they sang.

Lorne spoke in a low whispered voice to Angel as Alex sang, "she's right. Her gift in life is to give a human life to you Angel Cakes. However, this husband being dead thing isn't on the up and up." "What do you mean," Alex, who had stopped singing to listen to the whispers, asked. "Pumpkin, your husband isn't dead. But he sure wants you to take the fall for it," Lorne said.

"How do you know that Lorne," Gunn asked. "One because I read it in her and two because he's standing behind her," Lorne stated and everyone turned and looked at him. Alex walked up to her husband. Tears were streaming down her eyes.

"Alex," she asked meekly. "Alex and Alex Texada?" Fred asked. "Well technically it's Alex and Maria Texada but yeah," Gunn explained. "Yes it's me Matty," Mr. Texada said calling Alex by the nickname she said only family called her.

At that moment she was filled with rage. Alex smacked Mr. Texada across the face. "Don't you ever call me that again. How could you? How could you let me think you were dead," Alex screamed and then began to hit Mr. Texada. Angel grabbed her from around the waist and pulled her away from her husband as she tried to get in a few more hits.

"It was all research," Mr. Texada said. At that comment everyone looked at him. Even Maria Alejandra Texada stared at her husband. "Research," Wesley asked when no one else seemed to find the words. "I'm writing a novel about a woman who finds her husband dead and then is arrested for the murder. I wanted to observe you in that situation for inspiration," the professor and novelist explained.

"So the death, the police, ambulance, being taken to jail... it was all fake?" Mrs. Texada asked her husband. He nodded. "Well did you get enough research?" she asked. "No, I wanted this to be as real as fiction gets but when you sang to that thing," Alex, the husband said indicating Lorne, "I had to end the research."

"The only reason you called this off is because I sang to a demon. What is wrong with 'him'? At least he doesn't go around faking his death to further his career and hurt the people he claims to love," Maria Alejandra yelled. "Thanks for defending my honor, honey bun," Lorne added.

"Are you and 'him' together?" Professor Alex asked. "My world was turned upside down when I thought you were dead. I had nowhere to go, no one to help me. I was lost and you stopped the torture because I sang to a demon?" Alex yelled.

"Who would ever buy into a novel that begins as a law based thriller and ends like that awful movie with Luke Perry and that blonde vampire killer girl? What was the movie called?" "Can't remember," Angel said, "how could you put your wife through this?" "I didn't mean to cause so much distress. Matty, honey let's go home and talk about it," Mr. Texada suggested.

"Did you ever stop and think about what this would do to me? How thinking you were dead was going to affect me? How far were you going to go with this? Were you going to let me go to jail? Were you going to let me be put on trail?" Alex asked.

"No, well not at first. Then when you started talking about using your affair to clear your name. This being the first time I'd ever heard about you having an affair, I wanted to let you suffer a bit. Then you sang to... 'him' and I knew that this wasn't going to work. You weren't even making a good research project," Professor Texada explained.

At that Alex freed herself from Angel's grip and started punching her husband again. "Um, Angel do you want me to stop her?" Gunn asked. "Give her a minute," Angel said. Finally Wesley stepped in, "Angel." "Fine," Angel said and made Alex stop hitting Mr. Texada.

"You want to air it all out," Alex yelled at her husband, "Fine. I love you but you're not what my destiny is. Having an affair has led me here. This is where my destiny lies, where I belong. Sorry if that doesn't suit your book or your plans for us but when you said for us to go home you forgot one thing. I am home. Gunn, I hope when W&H filled your head with the law they put in a section on divorce because the money I paid you to get me off of the murder charges is now going to fund my divorce case."

Alex took the elevator to Angel's room. The rest of the gang started that Professor Alex Texada. "I liked when we just delt with demon bad guys. I still can't get the hang of why men are such jerks," Fred said. All the men in the room looked at her.

Just then Spike walked in. "Spike just in time. Take Mr. Texada to the police station and turn him in for faking his death and trying to pin it on Alex. If he gives you trouble just bite him or something." "Wasn't he's supposed to be dead?" Spike asked, "I can make him that way for messing with your girl." Spike showed his vamp face.

Angel walked over to the professor. He got real close and then morphed into his vamp face as well, "bet this would make for a great chapter in your book. Gunn go with them make sure that Mr. Texada makes a full confession" "Hey Nancy boy," Spike said as he and Gunn walked Mr. Texada to the elevators, "since you're not dead and all is it ok if I still shag your wife." "No!" Both Angel and Mr. Texada yelled at the same time.

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Fred went up the elevator to check on Alex while Gunn and Spike took Mr. Texada downtown and Angel and Wesley worked on finding a place for Alex in the building. "Hey," Fred said, "how are you?" "How would you be if the man you gave up everything for had just screwed you royally?" She asked. "Been there, done that and moved on," Fred said.

Alex smiled, "with Wesley or Spike?" "What?" Fred asked pretending she had now clue. "Well I can tell you're attracted to Spike. Who isn't? But I can see how Wesley loves you. I can see how you want him. Just go for it," Alex said. "I could say the same for you and Angel. You've been here less than twenty four hours and already you had the affect on him it's taken other women a life time to make," Fred said.

"You know what Fred I think you're right. Before that can happen I need your help," Alex stated.

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Angel returned to his room about two hours later. He found Maria Alejandra Texada sitting on his bed with a file folder on her lap. "We got a room set up for you," he informed her. "Thanks. I got this for you," she handed him the folder.

Angel opened up the folder where he found a legal document. "My legal name is now Eva Camilla Shansu." "Why?" Angel asked. "Well... .I needed something new. I can't have my past with Alex hang over me. I need to start a new life. A life that includes you and the rest of your friends, who have stood up for me on this horrible and weird day" "Why Eva," Angel asked. "It means giver of life. I'm meant to give you life."

"Eva huh?" Angel asked.

"Do you like it?"

"Why not Angelica?"

"The last time I had the same name as the man I loved I almost went to jail for his murder. I'm playing it safe this time."

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