got deep into the demon world running right alongside the normal human one - there would be brief visits, like through Willy's bar in Sunnydale or Caritas in LA, and the occasional piece of investigation that would offer some glimpses. But nothing that really got in there to look up and around and really take it in. As a show, Angel
had more opportunities to do so, but didn't often make use of them. My guess would be budget constraints, which I can understand, since given what the glimpses provided it'd be like an episode of Farscape
designed and directed by Guillermo Del Toro.
With a setting like that, of course it has to be a small team of Lorne, Spike, and Wesley heading in there - someone who doesn't stand out and can act as the group's passport, someone who knows how a place like that works from practical experience, and someone who knows how to find what it is they're looking for. Which is a disgraced Watcher's library, her entire personal collection. Before she had the chance to be forcibly volunteered into early retirement sometime in the 1980s, she burned her bridges and ran to a big city on the West Coast of the US, Portland or Seattle or San Francisco, someplace with a lot of fog and cloud cover. She took all her reference books, all her journals, and collected as many of the Watcher texts that got into the underground booksellers' markets as she could. Mostly private journals she got at estate sales from people that didn't know what they were selling her.
It's those journals that Wesley's after. He found out about the sale ahead of time from a bookseller's catalog - of course
the underground booksellers put out trade catalogs, and of course he still subscribes to a couple of them - and knew he only had so much time to buy up the whole lot before it gets portioned up and sold at auction. If he buys the whole thing under Wolfram and Hart, that'll draw more attention than he knows would be good. What remains of the Watcher's Council is still in shambles, the Slayers are putting themselves in charge of it with no real sense of how to make any long-term plans - they need the reference texts in this old Watcher's library, to be sure, and Wesley knows someone who knows what they're good for needs those journals more than someone who simply wants to have them on a shelf. So he's got to get there before anyone else does, make sure this isn't some sort of Agnes Nutter hoax, and get everything back safely.
So he ropes Spike and Lorne into coming along to make sure things have a chance of going a bit more smoothly than if it was just him. Spike, who's in LA as liaison to the Slayers and also to blatantly spy on Angel - who's relieved Buffy's spying on him since it means she still cares, and Spike lets him read over and edit the reports he sends to Buffy on Wolfram and Hart's activities - is more than happy to take a working vacation in a city where a parasol's enough to let him walk around in daytime this time of year. He and Dru spent a few months there a while back, and it'll be nice to visit again. Lorne's also glad for the chance to stretch his legs a bit, and to travel with an entourage. After all, he's the only pure demon around, not a human or a blood magic half-breed. So he's the one who can most easily, efficiently, and safely get them in and around and out. He so rarely gets a chance to be seen as just as fabulous as he knows he is, and for people to turn their heads when he walks into the room for all the right reasons.
"Hang on, I've always wanted to say this." He takes a deep breath to pause and savor. "They're with me."
He's also the one who says, "Twenty-six different languages between the three of us, and we still can't order in a Chinese restaurant."
(Wesley got a bowl of noodles, vegetables, and broth. Lorne got a plate of dumplings. Spike, after explaining his dietary requirements, orders the off-menu vampire's special, which involves what Wesley can only describe as "some sort of mammal" getting trussed up and bled out for Spike right at the table. He drinks the blood out of a fancy ceramic bowl, using both hands to hold it. For formality's sake.)
(Lorne asks after the dumplings' ingredients, and finds out both he and Wesley unknowingly ordered hufu
. They're both at a point in their lives they shrug and keep eating.)
Once Lorne gets them in, it's up to Spike to get them around. He knows how to ask for directions, negotiate a bargain, make friends quickly, talk his way out of corners, and can survive being shot if nothing else works. A little of his reputation goes a long way, even now, after all that went down on Buffy
, and he's the only one of them who genuinely enjoys visiting places like this. A few times he has to fake deferring to his "boss" but Lorne knows how to play the part for nobody to suspect anything foul or strange.
There's at least one moment that after the concierge hears Lorne say 'a human and a vampire' and deduces which is which, she hands Wesley four suitcases and Spike a single slim briefcase. Wesley's slightly miffed, and tries the briefcase - and finds himself struggling even with both hands and all his might, "What's this made of, lead?!"
Spike picks it up one-handed, sniffs it, "Lined with it, at least."
Even with moments like that, there wouldn't be a lot of hijinks or misadventures or swashbuckling escapades. Definitely a scene where the lead-lined briefcase gets used in a fight as a shield and blunt weapon, because there are certain narrative rules, but no more than usual. This isn't that kind of story. It goes smoothly enough that Wesley gets the whole collection without paying too high a price, even though he can't afford to let them far out of his sight until they're back safe in LA, into his apartment, never letting them get inside the offices. Sitting down on the floor and spreading them out and looking through them, finding new memories of things he hadn't been able or willing to forget. The world he left behind that no longer exists, told back to him by a woman he'd never met, who he'd have loved to meet. Someone who he would have found it good to talk to, years ago.
The reference books and bulk of the journals are sent off to the new Slayer's Council. He keeps her private words.