For the Ats/Rps Phobia!Ficathon
Beta by ely_jan
You can close your eyes to reality, but not to memories.
-- Stanislaw J. Lem
Angel followed him from alley to alley. Walked along the edges of rooftops, kept his eyes on the streets below. Tireless, effortless. Tracking the lawyer from bar to bar, using scent when he disappeared into a crowd or went under an awning. When Lindsey went into dirty, smoky pool halls and clean, upscale yuppie joints, when he shouldered his way past men that were bigger, that took up more space than Lindsey ever had, Angel would drop down to the pavement soundlessly and stay in the shadows. Watch as Lindsey drank shot after shot. So much beer and whiskey and vodka that it had to affect him, slur his speech, unbalance his natural grace – but it didn’t.
Lindsey would drink two or three or four, smoke cigarette after cigarette and then push away from the bar, shove back through the people around him and head off down the street to the next establishment and his next full glass.
Angel didn’t question his own motives for following the lawyer. He’d turned his brain off three hours ago and was running on simple, feral instinct. His coat moved against his pants as he walked, his hands in his pockets, his head down just far enough to keep anyone from noticing him, from looking at him. All he wanted to know was why …
Why Lindsey was on this tear. Why Lindsey couldn’t stay in his apartment, empty now with Darla moved on to places unknown. Why Lindsey had turned off his phone, left his cell on the table by his door. Why Lindsey hadn’t shown up to work for three days in a row and why he seemed to be as lost as Angel was right now.
Angel was absolutely not lost. He had purpose. He would hunt Darla down and kill her. Rid the earth of her senseless, random violence once again. Then he’d find Drusilla and right the wrong with her. Apologize to the dust that would blow around his feet after he staked his first child. After that, just for shits and giggles, Angel would hunt down Spike in Sunnydale and *fuck him* *kiss him* kill him.
He’d severed his link to the Powers, he’d fired his employees *lost his friends* … what would the lone souled vampire do then?
Angel shook his head, stopped his relentless stalking of Lindsey and stood in the shadows of the blind alley he’d walked into. He leaned against the building and slammed the back of his skull into the bricks over and over until he felt blood trickle under the collar of his shirt. Cold and alone in a city of millions and Angel couldn’t remember the last time he spoke out loud. Couldn’t remember when this constant conversation in his head hadn’t been there, ceaseless, argumentative, filled with only anger and pain. He couldn’t remember the last time he slept.
“Why are you following me, Angel?”
Angel looked up. Lindsey stood across from him, scuffed boots braced him against the wall, his hands - his strong, rough fingers curled into fists by his hips.
Angel didn’t answer, not fully trusting his own senses to know that it truly was Lindsey there. Night wind blew past them, the air thick with the smells of a city in decay. Sewage and trash and death - so much death around him, in him. Angel closed his eyes and waited for the apparition to disappear.
“Why are you here?”
Warm, whiskey breath on his face. Lindsey’s low, smoky voice was close now, almost a whisper. Angel opened his eyes and remained silent. To speak to hallucinations only gave them power, created alternate realities, false memories.
“I know why I’m here.”
Those lips curved into a smirk that Angel remembered seeing in his dreams. When he remembered what it felt like to sleep. That smile without humor, the grin that was both a threat and a promise.
“I like to feel blood pumping through my heart. I like to push the envelope. Find the fight, fuck, create it, if it doesn’t happen on its own. Fall into the biggest asshole in the room and call his mother a whore. Tell him how good it felt to fuck his sister until she cried. Tell him I did it in front of his little brother and if that doesn’t work, I’ll say I fucked his brother and let him suck my cock and that he liked it. And you know why I do it? You know why I drink until I can’t stand up? Why I work for a law firm that steals more of my fucking soul every damn time I walk through the front door and get in the elevator? Why I make deals with the devil and why I slept with your lover and why I can’t stop fucking with you at every opportunity? Why I can’t - why I can’t stay away from you?”
Angel couldn’t tear his eyes away from the fires that burnt in the blue ones in front of him. So lifelike, so real, he could almost let himself believe that if he reached out, if he touched this ghost, this poltergeist, this thing that stood in front of him, he would feel heat under the tips of his fingers. He would feel the tiny hairs that covered a human body, that he would feel life here. Angel kept his hands in his pockets and he didn’t answer a single question.
“I do it, Angel, because I am afraid of it. Of all of it. Every single fucking thing I do, every single fucking day I live, every night I go to bed, every morning I wake up in a cold sweat from nightmares I can’t remember and I can’t escape it. I crave it. I need it. This fear lets me know I’m alive. That I’m here. That I matter.”
Not real. Not real. Not real.
Angel repeated and repeated. Screamed the mantra inside of his head. Lindsey was gone. He’d left Wolfram and Hart. He’d left Los Angeles in his stupid truck with his faded boots and worn jeans and flannel shirt. With his guitar and one suitcase and a sign on the tailgate that Angel had made in a childish fit of rage over the knowledge that once Lindsey was absent from his city he would never taste that skin again. Never feel that body under his as he thrust his cock inside and past the hard ring and into the clench and burn. Feel Lindsey’s thighs spread and knees bent, heels kicking into the small of his back as Angel’s eyes rolled back and he bit Lindsey’s shoulder with blunt teeth until that rasping voice begged him for it. Blood pumped into his mouth and his vision sharpened when his teeth did and the intensity of his orgasm made him feel as though his heart was beating again.
“Why are you following me, Angel?”
Angel thought of the money he’d spent. The accounts he kept hidden from Cordelia to pay detectives across the country, over the world. Sending out Lindsey’s picture on the fax machine after midnight when the lobby of the Hyperion was dark and quiet, when his *family* friends were asleep. When his son was an infant. When Darla was dust and Connor was warm in his arms, his tiny pink lips pursed around the nipple of a bottle and Angel would sit in his office, rocking in his chair. His son in his arms as he talked on the phone with Cairo, Bangkok, China, Bristol, Moscow.
When Connor was gone and Wesley was dead to Angel. When the nights lasted for years and Angel would email Lindsey’s profile to associates that never found out they were dealing with a vampire. When he created addresses and backgrounds that stood up to the hardest scrutiny just to prove that he was Lindsey’s brother, cousin, uncle, ex-wife. That he’d found money - had news of their mother - had a tragically ill family member’s bedside request for Lindsey to call, to write, to come home.
“Why are you here?”
The months Angel had spent under the ocean with salt and brine in his lungs, in his veins. Currents moving silt around his motionless body, and his eyes were open the entire time but Angel didn’t see the fish that swam past him in the dark. He saw blue eyes that danced with light, he felt the heat of Lindsey’s mouth on his cock, wet lips tightening, teeth dragging, tongue fluttering under and up to the head. Teasing him with kitten soft licks and callused fingers would push Angel’s legs apart and stab inside. Only to curl and caress and move in small circles press down on just that spot and Angel wept with desire and lust. His voice broken as he begged Lindsey to fuck him, please, now … get inside and come come come come until it’s running down the backs of my thighs and I’m bleeding from you … for you …
“I know why I’m here.”
Angel felt the tears run on his cheeks as he stared. Felt the hurt build inside of his chest until he thought he would explode and burn to ash here in this filthy, dark alley alone. Alone. Always and forfuckingever alone. He had killed the dragon. He fought the screaming hordes of trolls and demons and watched as Gunn died. He dragged Spike to safety and pulled Illyria away from a pile of corpses that she’d mutilated beyond recognition.
They’d hid in dark tunnels and caves and lived on rat blood and nothing for months and then it was over. Not the evil, fuck no. Evil would live on forever. Take another form. Build another corporation to fund its agenda. Hospitals, this time, insurance companies the next. Governments and school systems, universities and OPEC and it never truly ended. Cycles of good and bad and Angel would be there forever, fight for the weak and the helpless, the hopeless and the stupid and this would follow him everywhere.
Not real. Not real. Not real.
Gone forever, a reluctant soldier in Angel’s war. A willing lover when no one was looking. A heart that never gave up and Angel knew that Lindsey had died saying his name. Not because Lorne had told him anything, he never saw Lorne again. Never wanted to because if he did, Angel would kill him with his bare hands. Tear The Host apart until he found just where the fuck his heart was located and then he’d eat it.
Lorne had known. All that time. Had read it in the music, smelled it in the air, saw something that no one else had, it didn’t matter how. Lorne knew and Lorne made the decision and Angel was left with nothing to hope for at all. No one to fax. No one to call. No emails to send and no where to look for the man that had never given him perfect happiness, had never threatened his soul. Lindsey had simply fit into Angel’s life and around his cock and into his body. Into his heart with acid and snark and constant fighting and whispers in the night, in the dark. Hands that clutched and fingers that pulled when they ran through Angel’s short hair and made Angel feel alive … made him feel something …
Lindsey had been Angel’s passion and now, as if to make up for all those nights when he stayed up, looking for the lawyer, everywhere Angel went, he saw Lindsey. Angel would follow him for hours, in whatever city, in whatever country, on whatever continent and he would relive this same conversation over and over and over.
The conversation that led to the first touch. The first brutal kiss. The first fuck with fists and teeth and when it was done that first time, they had both stood shaking, trembling. More than skin bared and tasted and bruised and torn between them. More than lust found in the come and sweat and cuts and bites that covered them.
Angel felt as if he was losing his mind and he was terrified. Scared more of this, than the dragon, than Holtz, than Angelus, than the demon inside his own body. He felt cold blood in his fists, dripping into the lining of the pockets of his coat. Nails that dug into his palms to keep his hands still, to not reach out and touch because there was nothing there …
nothing at all.
The faint smell of whiskey and smoke. The fade of blue into black, into shadows. The sensual smile and the rasp of a voice that once had coiled around Angel’s spine and hardened his cock and now lived only in his head. Angel turned and left the empty alley, walked back into the dark streets through colorless pools of lights and past sweeping rivers of headlights and back to the only thing he knew how to do, the only thing he could do. Fight for what was right and what was needed and what was necessary.
… part of Angel stayed in that alley, in whatever town, in whatever country. Part of him always stayed. Part of him stopped fighting for his sanity and gave in, gave up. His hands came out of his pockets and he touched Lindsey. Felt the heat of his skin, the scrape of his bloodied palms on Lindsey’s unshaven cheeks and jaw.
Lindsey would reach up and Angel felt hands slide into his hair. He felt Lindsey’s fingers find the blood clotted and matted there and Lindsey would pull Angel’s mouth down to his for long, slow kisses that were salted with tears and pain and a longing that wouldn’t, that couldn’t be denied. A shared obsession that became lust that became desire that became … more …
Counterphobia- The preference by a phobic for fearful situations.
Dementophobia- Fear of insanity.