|Redemption All That Matters
Author: NewBie1261 PM
Third part in my Redemption Trilogy. Probably should read Road to Redemption and Redemption -the Story Continues for this one to make any sense.Rated: Fiction T - English - Lindsey M. & Angel - Chapters: 8 - Words: 30,277 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 4 - Follows: 11 - Updated: 05-05-13 - Published: 09-23-12 - id: 8551796
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Final chapters of Redemption trilogy.
It was quiet...too quiet. Almost suffocating...but Angel thought if he listened hard enough, he could almost make out whispering. He wasn't sure the voices were real. He had doubts about his sanity after all the time spent in the darkness. Had it been weeks...months...maybe years?
He was alone - no, that was wrong. Sometimes Lindsey was here too...somewhere. Angel put a hand out, searching around in the darkness until he found what he was looking for. He gripped Lindsey's shoulder tight but there was no response. No, Lindsey was gone again. Angel leaned back against the wall. He could hear screaming when he closed his eyes but was it memory or real? Again he reached out. No, he assured himself, Lindsey wasn't there at the moment. The screaming must have stopped some time ago. Lindsey was cold to the touch. Angel was never sure. Time had lost all meaning. The one thing he was certain of - Lindsey would return and the agonized screams with him.
Angel wished Lindsey would beg for the demons and then maybe they'd leave him alone; let him rest in peace, but the vampire knew how stubborn Lindsey could be. He wouldn't give them the satisfaction so the demons would keep torturing him...knowing eventually the ex-lawyer would break. Humans always broke in the end. Angel just wasn't sure he, himself, would survive. He would yell, curse...hell, even beg them to stop torturing the man but they ignored him. When they were thru with Lindsey, they would turn their attention to Angel. They didn't ask him anything. They simply needed something to occupy their time as Lindsey slowly and painfully died...again and again.
Angel leaned forward and fumbled in the darkness until he had Lindsey's lifeless body held close. It would start soon he thought and as if in response to that very thought, slight spasms quivered thru Lindsey's corpse. It wouldn't be long now...first, a low moan, then a gasp. Now flailing and screaming. Angel held tight to Lindsey as bones and tissue began to repair. Angel had learned quickly that the re-animation process was just as painful, if not more so, than the actual torture.
The first hundred or so times after re-animation was complete and Lindsey's consciousness had returned, he would pull away from Angel. Roll himself up into the corner of their cell. In those times, Angel would always let him go. Give Lindsey that one freedom because it wouldn't be long before they would come for him again and the whole process would start over. But before that awareness, Lindsey would cling to Angel as if a lifeline. Now, even after awareness would return, Lindsey didn't pull away. He simply remained in Angel's embrace, never saying a word. Angel would talk to him and wait for a reply but none ever came.
Angel tried to protect Lindsey when the demons came for him, but this was their world. There were too many and they were too strong. They always succeeded in wrenching Lindsey away from him. Sometimes the demons would perform their tortures right there in the cell. Holding Angel back as he fought to help Lindsey. Other times, they would drag Lindsey from the cell and Angel was left with only the agonized screams to listen to.
Angel turned his attention back to Lindsey. He could tell the man was once again aware. "Lindsey? Still with me?" Angel didn't expect a reply, nor did he receive one. At least not verbally. There was, however, a slight tightening of the grip on his arm. Angel smiled, brushing the damp bangs from Lindsey's eyes. "Wish you'd talk to me," whispered Angel, sure he wouldn't receive a reply. He didn't.
They remained as they were a long time. Angel was just starting to fall asleep when he felt Lindsey tense. Angel's senses kicked up and he could hear the demons returning. "I'll do what I can." Angel knew the promise meant little. He couldn't stop them.
"Yoo Hoo. Anyone home?" Lorne peeked his head in thru the garden door. He never used the front entrance just in case Spike was discussing a possible job with clients who weren't aware of the more demonic forms of life that inhabited LA. It wouldn't do to have them scared off by a green, horned empath demon.
"Coast is clear. Come on in."
The hotel looked and felt familiar and Lorne called it home...for the present anyway. He and Spike were the only permanent residents. Spike had taken up Angel's calling but insisted to Lorne it was only 'until the pouf got back.' Lorne would simply nod his agreement even though he could tell Spike had come to enjoy helping people. It was a big place for just the two of them but they did have an occasional client that stayed if protection was needed from some outside element. As much as it comforted Lorne to be some place familiar, it also brought with it painful memories of happier times. It didn't affect Spike that way but then he had never been to the hotel prior to this. When he hit LA, they were already in the spider's web that was Wolfram&Hart.
Three months had passed since their return from hell. Every tremor or storm brought with it the hope that maybe this time Angel and Lindsey would appear...but nothing. The day after they had come thru the portal in Toledo, they had begun a search to find a way to free their trapped friends. While Giles and Willow researched tirelessly, the others found themselves restless; eager to help but unsure of how. There were an endless number of people that were more qualified for research so in the end, Spike announced he was heading back to LA. 'Get the place ready for their return.' Lorne and Connor agreed; making the trip back with Spike. They could tell Faith was torn but she decided to stay in Toledo. 'Someone's gotta teach these girls how to street fight.' Lorne figured it was more to keep herself busy and free from thinking too hard on what was lost - whether it was Angel or Lindsey, Lorne wasn't sure. Perhaps it was both
Lorne was pulled from his thoughts by Spike's voice. "So how's the nightclub plans coming along?"
The green demon gave a dismissive wave. "Oh, you know, the usual. Contractors tied up on another job. Furniture on back-order. Wrong glassware delivered." He had decided, after encouragement from Spike and Connor, to re-open Caritas.
Spike smirked. "Sounds like fun."
"You just missed Giles' call."
Spike hated to dash the hope he could hear in Lorne's voice. "Nothing."
Lorne deflated. "Kind of makes wrong glassware seem trivial, doesn't it?"
Spike agreed but said, "Life goes on, green jeans. The pouf wouldn't want you worrying about him."
"G-man have any idea why the spell didn't work?"
Giles and Willow had come to LA seven weeks ago and performed a spell that was supposed to raise LA back from hell. Unfortunately, nothing had happened. Not an earthquake - not a storm - not even a flash of lightening or gust of wind. Angel and Lindsey remained trapped.
"Didn't mention it. Just checking up on Connor, I think. Wanted to know if he had adjusted back to college life. Also, said Eve and the doc had a baby girl."
"So beanpole's a mom, huh. Guess things worked out for some of us anyway." Lorne knew it wasn't right to be bitter about Eve's good fortune but he couldn't help himself. He felt responsible for the others still being trapped in hell.
"Guess so," replied Spike. "Giles said they moved back east somewhere. Guess the doc's got himself some family there."
Lorne nodded. "Probably for the best. I doubt LA would hold too many fond memories for either of them."
Spike decided to change the subject. "I was just about to sit down and watch some telly. Care to join me?"
Spike flipped the tv on and settled on the couch. One of the changes Spike had made to the hotel was a brand new, very large, wide screen, hi-def television situated in the lobby. He had insisted, along with the structural improvements and repairs, they needed an entertainment area and had set aside a portion of the lobby to accomodate the television and seating comprised of a very comfortable sectional couch - leather, of course - and a couple of recliners.
"I should really get back to the club. Just stopped in for a short break."
"Suit yourself." Spike's attention went back to the tv. "This is bloody awful," he complained. "How could they cancel Passions for this drivel?"
Lorne started to leave but the tv drew his attention. "I'll go right after I see who gets voted off." Lorne sat down next to Spike. "Pass the popcorn."
Spike snorted a laugh, passing the bowl of popcorn to his friend.
A light clicked on, blinding Angel. He squinted until his eyes finally adjusted. Standing before the cell was Holland Manners accompanied by three very large, grotesque demons. There were always at least three demons when he came to their cell. They were always of different races and as far as Angel could tell, no demon had been there twice. Hell, of course, was full of demons to pick from and evidently Holland Manners commanded them all.
Angel settled Lindsey in the corner of their cell and stood defiantly in front of him. Holland Manners chuckled, walking closer, shaking his head. "Angel, really, why do you still try so hard? You know you can't save him, don't you?"
Angel's reply was a growl.
"You had your chance...once upon a time. He was reaching out for help and what did you do, Angel? Did you turn him away? Is that why he came back to me?"
Angel flinched at the truth of that statement. The three blind kids. Lindsey had been drowning at Wolfram&Hart and Angel's only interest had been in helping the children and their teacher. He had given Lindsey some self-righteous speech about change and sent him back into the deep end. The events that followed were, in part, his fault too. Angel knew that now.
Holland studied Angel a moment. "I'll tell you what, Angel. If you kill Lindsey, I'll let him stay dead. No more re-animation. And as a bonus, no more torture."
Angel heard the quick intake of breath behind him and the instant increase in Lindsey's heart rate. He glanced back at Lindsey, who was giving a slight shake of his head. Angel smiled reassuringly, happy to finally have some kind of response from the man besides a slight squeeze on his arm. Lindsey's eyes closed and his head fell back against the stone wall. Relief would be the word Angel would use. Lindsey wasn't ready to quit yet. Angel respected the man's fighting spirit. Turning his attention back to Holland Manners, Angel snarled, "Not happening."
The smug smile never left the former CEO's face. "Well, I thought I'd ask."
"Like you'd keep your word." Angel glared at the man. "It'd ruin your fun. You're getting off on the torture and you won't mess that up."
Holland smiled. "You know me so well." The smile dropped. "Step back from the door."
Angel remained where he was. Holland sighed, motioning the demons forward. Angel tensed, ready to fight. Just as one of the demons was unlocking the door, Holland put a hand out to stop him. The demon looked up.
"Let's switch this up a bit." A sickly smile crossed Holland's face. "Bring the vampire instead," he ordered. The demons nodded and Holland turned to Angel. "Let's see if Lindsey cares as much as you do, Angel. Then maybe you'll realize the futility of your fight." Holland looked past the vampire and met Lindsey's eyes. "A slight reprieve for you. I hope you'll appreciate Angel's sacrifice."
"Willow?" Giles was surprised to find the witch still in the library. "It's almost midnight."
"I can't figure out what went wrong. It should have worked."
Giles didn't have to ask. Ever since they'd gotten back from LA, she had been obsessing over what had gone wrong with the spell to spring LA out of hell. "Willow, subjecting yourself to endless hours in the library is not going to help anyone. If anything, you're liable to miss something because you're too tired," reprimanded the watcher.
"No. We'll discuss it further tomorrow. Now march yourself up to bed, young lady."
Willow smiled at Giles' parental voice. "Yes, Dad."
"You'll think dad. Now, go." Giles motioned towards the door.
Willow linked arms with the watcher as they walked from the room. "You would've made a great parent, Giles."
Giles huffed. "Most certainly not. I have enough trouble with the lot of you and you aren't children."
Angel swung slightly; the motion causing his stomach to do flips. He was grateful the torture had stopped for the moment. They had cuffed his arms and pulled the chains until his feet were just off the ground. He was hanging by his arms in the middle of the room to allow the demons plenty of room to work from every side. His shoulders ached from supporting his weight and the punishment the demons had been inflicting.
Angel had noted when they'd brought him in, the floor was covered in blood and even the walls contained numerous spatters - too many to count. He had known without being told that most of it, if not all, belonged to Lindsey - he could recognize the scent having been around so much of the man's blood since their arrival to Level 5. The knowledge of what Lindsey must have been going thru, gave him strength to endure his own torture. The longer he held out, the longer Lindsey's reprieve.
Angel could hear the demons conversing behind him but had little desire to listen in. He could only assume they were making their next plan of attack. Angel rolled his head, trying to relieve some of the stress in his muscles. The movement didn't really help...in fact, it caused shoulder pain to flare up. One of the demons evidently didn't like the movement and lashed out with the whip, causing another mark to score across Angel's back. The vampire hissed in pain but was able to keep from crying out. The demon barked out something but Angel didn't know the language. The demon again said something and Angel could feel him coming closer.
Angel looked to where the voice had come from. Holland Manners stood in the doorway, looking as smug as ever. Angel wished he could reach the man so he could wipe that smugness from his face but Manners stayed in the doorway, well out of range of Angel's feet. The man motioned the demons away. As the last one passed by, he gave Angel a slight shove and the vampire couldn't help the small cry that escaped as he swung side to side.
When Angel had gathered himself enough, he opened his eyes. Holland Manners still stood in the doorway but the demons appeared to be gone. He no longer sensed them in the room. With his smile firmly in place, Holland motioned behind him. Angel's eyes widened when he saw the demon enter the room. It was a Traelok. 'Son of a bitch.'
"I see you recognize my friend here. It's interesting the effect their poison has on various species, don't you think?" Holland edged into the room to allow the demon to pass, making sure to stay well away from the quills covering the demon's wrists. "I find this species to be most impressive. They're somewhat like porcupines in how they can project their quills. Of course with their size, they can project them for a farther distance. Now for we humans, the quills are simply deadly poisonous. For vampires, however, there's a different result which judging by your reaction, I think you already know." Holland's smile widened as he walked further into the room. "What I'm not entirely certain of, is what the effect would be on a souled vampire. Interesting thought, don't you agree?"
Angel swung a little as he tried to keep the demon within sight. He knew what the poison did to vampires and he had no desire to experience it for himself...unfortunately, it didn't appear he was going to get a choice in the matter.
"I propose a little experiment. What do you say, Angel? Care to be our guinea pig?"
Lindsey tensed as he heard the footsteps getting closer. He wasn't sure how long Angel had been gone from the cell. Without meaning to, he had fallen asleep and only awoken when he heard the sounds of someone returning. Along with the footsteps, he could hear something dragging. From his own experience, he expected that to be Angel. The door burst open and even with expecting the company, Lindsey startled. The light didn't come on like normal, so he could only listen. There were gutteral sounds - probably the demons talking amongst themselves- then the sound of the lock turning. Pulling back further into the corner of the cell, Lindsey waited. The door sqeaked as it swung open. There was the dragging sound and then a large thud. The door squeaked again, closing with a clang. A demon barked out something but Lindsey didn't recognize the language. He remained still. The outer door shut and only then did the light snap on. Lindsey had to close his eyes from the blinding brightness. Shading his eyes, he looked around the cell. There, just inside the door, lay an unmoving form.
"Angel?" Lindsey barely recognized his own hoarse whisper. It had been so long since he'd spoken. Receiving no reaction, Lindsey slowly moved closer. He was within an arm's length so he tentatively touched Angel's shoulder. The reaction was instantaneous. Angel turned on him, grabbing him by the throat and smashing him against the wall. Angel growled menacingly as Lindsey tried to push the vampire away. That only caused more fury. Angel threw him across the cell, slamming him into the other wall. Unsteadily, he got to his feet. Angel advanced on him, his rage still evident. Lindsey backed away. "What the hell's wrong with you?" he yelled, trying to get thru to the vampire.
The raspy voice caused the vampire to pause. There was something familiar there. Shaking the thought away, Angel turned his attention back to his prey. He watched as the man circled away from him. Angel smiled.
The smile sent shivers down Lindsey's spine. Angel didn't recognize him. The demons had done something to the vampire. Lindsey could see an almost glazed look in Angel's eyes. So drugged or poisoned, not that there was much difference. Whatever had been done to Angel, Lindsey was in trouble. There didn't seem to be anything holding back the demon side of Angel's personality. He took a quick glance around the cell, looking for anything that he could use as a weapon. There really wasn't anything and looking had only given Angel an opening to attack. Lindsey dove away as Angel came flying at him, just getting past the vampire's grasp. "Damnit, Angel. Wake the hell up. I'm not the bad guy here."
Angel's grin was feral. "I am." He walked slowly closer, moving as his prey moved, keeping the human corraled in a slowly tightening space. He was impressed with the human's courage. Maybe he would turn this one. Start a family...but he already had a strong-willed member in Willam...He paused with that thought. It almost cost him as the human took his distraction as a chance to get away from the ever tightening circle. Luckily, vampire speed could never be matched by a mere human. Angel grabbed the human's arm as he tried to rush past, throwing him up against the wall and pinning him there. He sniffed along the man's neck. Finally, the scent of fear. It had taken long enough. He pulled back slightly from the human, curious to his reaction. He hadn't been afraid until now. Why?
Angel grabbed the human's throat to cut off any further conversation. The man's hands came up and pulled at the grip. Angel laughed. "You think you can get away, human? Guess again." Angel loosened his grip on the man's throat, grabbing his wrists instead. With one hand firmly holding both wrists above the human's head, Angel's other hand came back to the man's throat. Almost gently, he turned the human's head, to expose his throat. Bringing his mouth to within inches of the pulsing vein, Angel asked, "Ever wondered what being immortal felt like?"
Angel looked back at the human. "How do you know me?" he growled, pushing harder against the human. "Answer me," he growled, grabbing the man's hair and pulling hard.
"You're Angel. Vampire with a soul," Lindsey replied as confidently as he could given his position.
Angel stilled. Something seemed familiar about that statement and again the voice. "How do I know you?" Angel increased the pressure on the human's throat and pressed harder against him.
Lindsey thought he would push him thru the wall and could feel himself blacking out and made one last ditch effort. "Angel, stop...please." Darkness took him.
Angel recoiled as he heard the whispered plea. He dropped his hold and the form crumpled to the ground. Looking wildly around the cell, memories began to come back to Angel. The Traelock demon. It had injected its venom into his system; obstructed all clear thought. He had only an animalistic instinct controlling his actions. The venom was still confusing his thoughts but Lindsey's plea had somehow broken thru the fog. He glanced down at the figure at his feet. "Lindsey?" he slurred. Shaking himself, he slid down the cell wall, positioning himself next to Lindsey's prone body. Gently, he turned the man over and pulled him up to a sitting position. He carefully leaned Lindsey into the corner and then scrambled a few feet away. He didn't want to startle the young man when he regained consciousness. After settling, Angel listened closely. He could hear a normal heartbeat but the breathing had a slight wheezing to it. He had choked Lindsey out so that was to be expected.
"Gunn, can you talk to me?" begged Harmony. They had been holed up in some abandoned building ever since the last Fall. Her mate had taken a severe hit to the head and had yet to make any sense. Harmony tried to pretend all would be fine but Gunn was no longer...Gunn. He was almost childlike in his actions, barely able to take care of himself. It made Harmony angry at Angel and his friends. It had been Gunn's obsession with the vampire that had led to this mess but she put the full blame on Angel instead. It strengthened her resolve to make it thru this and to make Angel pay. She would take up Gunn's fight until he could manage it himself. She turned her attentions back to Gunn as her mate laughed loudly at nothing. "Shhh, baby. We have to be quiet or they'll find us," she warned in a soft voice. The scared face Gunn showed made her want to cry. Angel would pay.
Lorne woke with a start. It took him a moment to realize he was still on the couch, a bowl of popcorn wrapped protectively in his arms. Releasing his hold on the bowl, Lorne sat up, stretching as he looked around the room. Light was starting to filter into the garden. Shaking his head, Lorne got to his feet and started heading up the stairs to his room.
"Rise and shine- oh, there you are." Spike had appeared from one of the back rooms, a coffee mug clutched in his hand.
Lorne let out a slight squeal.
Spike smirked. "Sorry. Little jumpy, are you?"
Lorne patted his chest, just over his heart. "Apparently, I am."
"You looked pretty peaceful so I didn't wake you. Hope you slept okay."
"Better than I have in awhile," admitted Lorne. "Guess popcorn and old movies are a great comfort."
"Yeah, but they really butcher the whole Count Dracula thing. What a travesty."
"You know, a farce, a spoof, a-"
Lorne motioned with his hands for Spike to stop. "I know what it means," replied Lorne, "I just didn't expect-"
"What? You don't think I read? Well, I do," defended Spike.
"Easy there, pumpkin," said Lorne. "No offense intended."
"Yeah, well, truth of it is, it was the word of the day on the local news last night," Spike sheepishly admitted.
Lorne laughed out loud. Spike thought it was the first time since their return from hell.
"Spike, what would I do without you?" Lorne continued up the stairs, still chuckling as he went. He needed to change and get back to his club. He had work to do.
Lindsey moaned and Angel sat up, attentive. It had to have been a few hours since he'd caused his cellmate to blackout and he was anxious to know if the man was alright. He watched as Lindsey's head moved slightly side-to-side and slowly eyelids started to flutter open. It took a couple tries but finally Angel was able to look into bleary, blue eyes. Fear flashed across first but that was quickly replaced by what Angel could only call indignation.
"Lindsey, you okay?" Angel watched closely to measure Lindsey's reply. The man was good at hiding things and Angel wanted to be sure he missed nothing.
Lindsey's eyebrows rose. "Are you kidding?" he rasped out. "What the hell was that?"
Angel smiled. "You're talking."
"Yea, me. Now, what the hell?"
Angel's smile fled. "Sorry, got stuck by a Traelok quill. Has a bad effect on vampires. Makes us lose-"
"I'm must say I'm really disappointed."
Angel and Lindsey turned quickly at the interuption. There standing in the doorway was Holland Manners.
"I had thought there would be...I don't know...more blood?" Holland walked closer. "It started off so promising too. What brought you back to your senses so quickly, Angel? Something Lindsey said or just the sound of his voice?" He silently observed his prisoners for a few more minutes. "Well, we'll just have to put another go round on our to-do list. Maybe a stronger dosage for Angel or perhaps mute Lindsey somehow." Holland stared at Lindsey. "Which brings me to another question. You haven't said a word for..." Holland thought back, "well, let's just say it's been a long time. Why talk now?" Lindsey's only answer was to glare at his former mentor. Holland smiled as he stood. "A question for another time, I guess. Gentlemen, I'm going to leave you alone for now. Savor it. It won't last long."
The light flicked off as soon as Holland Manners cleared the doorway. There was a loud clang as the door shut and locked, dropping them into complete darkness once more. Angel could hear Lindsey's hearbeat and raspy breathing which gave him an odd comfort. He wasn't about to admit it though. Thinking back on recent events, Angel kept getting stuck on Holland's last question. 'Why had Lindsey been so silent and why was he talking now?' He wasn't sure how to broach the subject but figured head-on was probably best. Lindsey didn't have a lot of patience when it came to game playing...unless it was his game. Angel shook that thought away. That was his old personality. There had been a change and Angel couldn't deny it.
Lindsey sighed. He could almost hear Angel's mind working. "Just ask."
Angel was pulled from his thoughts. "You obviously already know the question. Just tell me."
For several minutes, they both sat in silence. A small light above their heads turned on, bathing the cell in an eerie glow. Angel glanced at Lindsey; the man's eyes were closed and his head rested against the wall. After taking a few more minutes of quiet observation, Angel broke the stillness. "Why the silent treatment and why are you talking now?"
Lindsey smirked but didn't open his eyes. "Something else I picked up in Nepal."
Angel snorted. "Last thing didn't work out so well for you."
Lindsey shrugged. "It had its moments."
"Care to be more specific?" Angel hated to admit he was curious and also a little peeved that the man hadn't talked in so long when obviously he wasn't as traumatized as Angel had thought.
"Demon monks, the ones that did my tatts? They taught me to protect myself not just with fighting skills but with mental ones too."
"Go on," Angel said in an almost demanding tone.
Lindsey smiled, tempted to torment Angel a little but then decided he didn't have the energy. "They showed me how to separate myself from a given situation-"
"Like torture," interupted Angel.
Lindsey nodded. "Like torture. The body can take a lot of pain if the mind gets out of the way."
"I've heard you screaming. I've seen you screaming," countered Angel. "Right here in this cell."
"Yeah, I haven't mastered taking my whole mind with me. Just enough to keep me sane."
"And the whole silent treatment?"
Lindsey smirked. "Takes a lot of concentration to keep separate from what's happening. I needed to focus inward."
"To hell with me then, right?"
Lindsey frowned. "You seemed to be handling it okay."
"And how would you know? You were off in your own little world."
"I still knew what was going on. It's not like I could've helped in any way."
"Maybe I needed someone to talk to. Maybe I needed to know you were okay. Did you think about that?" growled Angel.
"Oh well, forgive me for trying to keep my sanity. I guess I should have asked permission first," Lindsey said, the sarcasm dripping from his words. "Heaven forbid the champ be ignored."
Angel felt the truth in those words as they cut into him but continued anyway. "I might have been able to help."
Lindsey's head thumped back against the wall. "Whatever."
They sat there in stony silence for what must have been hours. Angel could see Lindsey starting to nod off. Swallowing his pride, he finally admitted, "You're right. I was being selfish."
Lindsey's eyebrows rose. Opening his eyes, he looked warily at Angel. "What?"
"You're going to make me repeat it?" Lindsey remained silent, just watching. "Fine," relinquished Angel. "You were right and I was wrong. Satisfied?"
Lindsey shook his head. "It's not some game. I know I don't stand a chance down here. At some point, I'm going to break and there won't be any going back. My only hope is with your friends finding a way to get us out of here. Hell, I just would've let go a long time ago if you hadn't stayed. Now, because of you, I have hope and frankly, it sucks."
"They would've tried to get you back even if I hadn't stayed," assured Angel.
"You're dismissing your friends...just like that?"
"No," replied Lindsey, "I'm dismissing your friends."
"They're your friends too, Lindsey." Angel watched as Lindsey closed his eyes and turned away, officially ending their conversation.
"Giles." Willow rushed into the library, ignoring the annoyed looks she received for disturbing the quiet. She spotted the watcher and rushed to his table. "Something's happening," she breathlessly declared.
Giles looked at the excitement flooding Willow's face. "In LA?" He wanted to be clear before he got his hopes up.
Willow nodded enthusiastically.
"My word." Giles was at a loss. They had been hoping for this moment for so long that he froze. He didn't know what to do.
"We should go...like, now." Willow tugged on his arm and he followed, leaving his books behind.
It was dark again and Angel listened for any sounds just as a distraction from his boredom. He could hear Lindsey's quiet, rhythmic breathing. The man was sleeping. Stretching his senses out, Angel could hear cries but they seemed way off in the distance and truthfully, Angel wasn't sure they were even real. His skin tingled. There was something in the air. Something was coming. The light snapped on, temporarily blinding him. He squinted and found Lindsey doing the same. The sound must have awakened him. Angel heard whispered voices and slight footfalls coming closer. He stood, stretching stiff muscles. He positioned himself in front of Lindsey, hoping he wouldn't notice but a moment later Lindsey was standing next to him.
The door squeaked open and Holland Manners entered the room. "Well, how delightful. You are both awake. Good. Good." He motioned to someone or something outside the door. Angel watched as two dark-skinned women entered. They appeared to be twins. He could see in his peripheral vision, Lindsey taking one subconscious step back. Lindsey's heart rate had increased dramatically as had his breathing. Angel knew this couldn't be good if this was Lindsey's reaction to the women.
A few steps behind the women came five demons - all huge. Holland talked quietly with the demons, motioning into the cell. Angel turned to Lindsey. "Who are the women?"
Lindsey swallowed. "Mind readers."