|Taking One For The Team
Author: Cari7 PM
Takes place during Souless Season 4 Lornecentric.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Supernatural - Lorne - Words: 1,225 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 2 - Published: 09-12-05 - id: 2577725
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Taking One For The Team
Lorne sat in an inelegant heap on the bathroom floor, grateful that he'd made it that far. It was several minutes before he could stand up again.
Easy, easy. He told himself as he turned on the water in the sink. Glancing up he caught his reflection's eye in the mirror.
I look like hell. He thought critically.
No, he corrected himself; I look like I've seen hell.
The Beast. He seemed un-stoppable. He seemed determined to destroy everything.
And he seemed to know Angel. Only…. Angel didn't know him.
Lorne listened to Angel sing again and again but the only thing he got was that Angel really didn't know The Beast… and a splitting headache.
In the end it came down needing to know what the vampire knew about The Beast.
So they'd all agreed to consign Angel's soul to the ether and bring out Angelus.
They'd question him. They'd try to find out what he knew. It was a long shot but they didn't have any other ideas to be honest.
"Seemed like a good idea at the time." Lorne mumbled to himself.
So they had locked Angel's soul in the safe. Lorne watched the bottle disappear into the darkness and was uncomfortably reminded of the legends of geniis in bottles.
"Don't drop it." Fred had said and Lorne wondered if Angel would have felt anything if the bottle smashed.
Silly maybe, but then the whole thing had been tragically absurd. Angel's soul was in a bottle after all… What was more absurd than that?
And as locked away as his soul was, the creature that wore their friend's face waited in his cage did the only thing he was capable of:
He talked and he talked.
Move over Springer, it's This Is Your Life With Angelus. All that wonderfully dark stuff only your close friend knows, out there for everyone to see. Sticks and stones… Lorne had thought at first.
But Angelus knew better and the more he talked the more Lorne realized just how dangerous words could be.
Secrets were revealed. Pain was uncovered.
He couldn't attack them but he could make them attack each other.
Lorne shook his head slightly, remembering Wesley and Charles in the lobby.
Shouldn't have happened.
And then… there was hope.
Cordy managed to get Angelus to talk. Lorne didn't know how she'd done it…but he could guess.
He pushed the thought into the back of his mind when he felt his stomach lurch again.
Angelus told Wes about the priestesses and off Wes, Cordy and Connor went to save the day. Or, to bring it back anyway.
As for the rest of them, their only job was to hold down the fort as the saying goes.
Getting Angelus to sing wasn't something they thought they could do. They had thought about it, sure. But what were the chances he'd oblige them? He knew what Angel knew so…
As it turned out, it wasn't hard at all.
They'd been discussing what they had done in tones hushed and guarded against the super vampire hearing of their captive, when suddenly he started singing.
Lorne realized then what was more absurd than Angel's soul in a bottle:
Angelus was singing "Teddy Bear's Picnic".
He almost laughed.
To say that he hadn't been prepared for what he'd seen was the biggest understatement of the century.
Sure, he knew that anything crawling around in Angelus' mind was going to be dark and slimy but he could handle it. He'd read all kinds of demons and monstrous whatevers in his time in LA. He'd even glimpsed a bit of what Angelus was like listening to Angel sing.
If only he'd known.
This was the real thing. The un-rated version of what Angelus was. He stared at the vampire through the monitor and felt as if he were staring right back at him. It was insane, sure. Angelus couldn't see him. Couldn't know how what Lorne was hearing was affecting him.
Then Angelus gave a soft chuckle. So soft and so quick that the song was barely interrupted.
But Lorne heard it and he knew.
He knows I'm here, listening. He's doing it on purpose. He knows and he wants me to see what he is.
A shudder of revulsion hit Lorne and he remembered thinking that he was glad he was already green and wondering if he had paled at all.
Black. Torture. A thousand screaming souls crying out for mercy.
That was the worst of it. Laughter. Angelus' laughter as he killed and maimed and raped.
So many innocent souls, snuffed out by a demon with an angel's face.
Lorne closed his eyes and swallowed.
Angel-cakes, how… how do you exist with this? He thought. How do you walk around with this in your head?
Lorne opened his eyes as Angelus smiled at his unseen audience
No wonder you brood so damn much.
"He's so relaxed." He heard Fred say.
"It's like he's not even in a cage." Charles said.
Lorne knew the truth: In his own twisted mind, Angelus was as free in the cage as he was out.
He wanted only to hurt them, destroy them with their own feelings.
He could do that perfectly well inside the cage.
Sure, he couldn't do all the physical damage he enjoyed so much, but when it came right down to it, this was actually better for him.
He wanted them to be in pain, in anguish.
He wanted to damage them deep down.
He wanted their souls.
"Did you get anything off him?" Charles asked as Lorne switched off the monitor.
Oh yeh. But nothing I can even begin to tell you without having to call in a lobby floor clean up.
The kicker was in all the swirling blackness, Lorne had seen nothing about The Beast other than what little Angelus had told them.
He'd endured it for nothing.
Lorne stared at his reflection in the mirror. "No, the kicker came later." He told it solemnly.
Because Angel's soul was gone.
No rhyme. No reason. No possible way it could be.
But it was.
And that was when it became too much.
Sure, he'd managed to put on a brave front through all the rest.
But that… that was too much.
With great dignity and grace, Lorne had turned, strolled to the bathroom…
And promptly threw up.
Fred was at the door now, tapping gently, hesitantly. "Lorne? You ok?
Peach-pie was worried about him and he was touched.
Somehow it put things in perspective: Here he was, a green skinned, horned, red-eyed demon, and little Fred was worried about him.
Lorne straightened up. "I'm fine Pumpkin. I'll be out in a jiff."
Checking his shirt for anything of the bile-like nature and finding none, Lorne gave his reflection one last menacing glare.
"If Fred can deal, then so can I." he told it as he opened the door and headed back toward the lobby and the team.