Chapter 5: Psychic's Nightmare
Joyce stood in Sanctuary as it buzzed with activity. "This is amazing Buffy."
She smiled softly, "Anne remember?"
"Oh, right." Joyce blushed. "Of course. I'll try not to forget."
"And thank you." Bouncing Vinnny on her hip, she glanced around. "Lilly and I put everything we have into this place."
Carrying a new sofa with Dan, Gunn yelled at Raquel and Bernie to pick up the trash in the living room.
"Does he work here too?"
"I'm not Gunn's boss, but he certainly works here. He helped Lil run the place while I was gone."
Lilly came in with glasses of ice tea. "Here you go Mrs Ste-ummers."
Joyce smiled sympathetically. "How about you just call me Joyce."
Lilly sighed with relief. "Has she given you the tour yet?''
"I don't know." She looked to Buffy. "I've certainly seen a lot of it."
"Mom is still floored I actually have a job."
"I never said that."
Buffy used dancing fingers to make Vinny smile. "Mommy's no slacker."
Lilly smiled. "Your daughter is the smartest person I know." She waved her hand at the room "None of this could have happened without her."
Gunn stood next to Lilly. "Glad you made it back unscathed."
"How do you feel about running things another night?"
"Angel asked me along on a research trip, so Lilly's on Vincent duty. Sunny will be here to help you though."
As Gunn nodded, Joyce whispered. "You're not slaying with him are you?"
Gunn scowled. "She better not." Lilly put a hand on his back.
"Like I said, I'm just his secretary." Buffy nodded at her mom . "I've been taking it real easy since Vincent was born."
Gunn let out the breath he was holding. "This place is plenty work."
Lilly rubbed circles on his back as he put his arm around her. "Sanctuary isn't about saving the world. We're just doing a little good where we can."
Sunny stepped in from the porch. "Anne, I need your take on something."
"Do not tell me we got tagged again." She handed Vince to her mom. "Oh for the days of violent solutions."
Lilly called after her, "Gemma's got the cleaning supplies." She turned to Joyce and gestured. "Let's sit. Ask me anything."
Buffy walked down the stoop with Sunny. "What do ya got?"
"Remember the car tailing us last night?"
"Hard to miss."
He nodded at the homeless demon across the street. "Willard said he saw a driver parked here about an hour ago. Sounds like the same."
"What'd he look like?"
"Windows were all painted black."
"So a vampire followed me back from Sunnydale."
Sunny gave her a moment to come up with a plan.
"Tell the group to do extra patrols here for the next couple days."
"What about the hotel?"
"Lil put every protection and anti-violence spell she knows on it. Vince and my mom will be fine as long as they don't go inviting any strangers in."
"Lilly knows better."
"She does." She worried her bottom lip. "I'm betting all this vamp has is a hunch. As long as we behave normally and stay alert, we should be able to get him before he signals anyone."
"Unless he already has."
She nodded. "Don't tell the others. I want to hunt this one myself."
"This is too important to trust to someone else." She touched his arm. "Can you trust me?"
He pursed his lips. "Your mom will be pissed if you die."
She took that at his way of saying he trusted her to the handle this alone. "Thank you."
"You should sing too." Angel held the door open for Buffy. "It'd be a good way to find out if you're cursed."
Cordy frowned. "I thought we were here for work stuff."
Wesley frowned too. "Why would Anne be cursed?"
"I never said I was." She glared at Angel. "We're here for your questions not mine."
Cordy made big eyes at him. "You'll pick something short right?"
Leading the way into Caritas, Buffy glanced back. "Why haven't I heard you sing before?"
Wesley grimaced. "Count yourself fortunate."
"Just for that I'm going with Stairway to Heaven."
"Don't even jo-"
Cordelia's jaw dropped a little. "Whoa."
Onstage sat Anne's ex husband with his guitar.
She's pretty as a picture
She is like a golden ring
Circles me with love and laughter
And I can't feel a thing
Lorne came over. "Isn't he fabulous?"
Angel clarified, "He comes here."
"He comes all the time - one of our favorite regulars."
Cordelia stood entranced. "Wow, I totally get it now. I'd make babies with him too."
Angel coughed, "Cordelia."
"What? I'm approving. That's what friends do."
Buffy bumped his arm. "I'm used to her approval by now."
The sky's gonna open
People gonna pray and crawl
It's gonna rain down fire
It's gonna burn us all
Enjoying the music, Wesley added, "I don't disapprove."
She looked over. "Now I'm uncomfortable."
Watching others in the bar sway to the tune, Angel nodded his agreement.
The sky's gonna open
People gonna pray and sing
I can't feel
Lorne smiled, "You going to grace us with your voice sugar lumps?"
She watched Lindsey approach the group. "Sorry Lorne, not tonight."
Lorne's disappointment faded when Lindsey shook his hand. "New song?"
"And a new face." Lindsey smiled at Buffy.
Angel stepped in. "Shouldn't you be asking Lorne your question?"
Ignoring him, Lindsey asked her, "You sing?"
Cordelia interrupted, "No one should go up after that performance."
Wesley nodded. "You are quite talented."
Lorne patted Lindsey on the back. "Sorry kid, I didn't see anything different."
He didn't seem surprised. Shrugging, he turned back to Buffy. "I usually play more than one. How 'bout you sing a cover with me? It'll be easy."
Shaking her head, she felt Lorne push her forward. "She'd love to. I've been trying to get her up there for ages."
Seeing the men around her stiffen, Linds added, "Don't worry boys. I'm just helping out a newcomer. Unless one of you'd like to back her up?"
Before Wesley and Angel could argue, Lorne herded Lindsey and Buffy onstage.
Angel looked over, "How will his firm react to this?"
"As per the contract, it's their blunder - not hers." Wesley shrugged helplessly, "Wolfram and Hart took full responsibility over separation. "
Cordelia continued to moon over Lindsey in casual wear. "More important question, what are they going to sing?"
Lindsey's smile was friendly and reassuring as he set up a mike and stool for her. "Got a name?"
He smiled into his microphone, "Folks, this is my new friend Annie. She's going to be helpin' out on this next one."
With nerves in her belly, she nodded she was okay to start.
He plucked those unforgettable notes and she sang.
You got a fast car
I want a ticket to anywhere.
Maybe we make a deal
Maybe together we can get somewhere.
Any place is better
Starting from zero got nothing to lose.
Maybe we'll make something
But me myself I got nothing to prove.
While Lindsey sang the next verse, Cordelia shrugged. "She doesn't suck."
Neither Wesley nor Angel made comment -both too focused on the interplay between performers. With smiles and glances, they sang to each other as much as they did for their audience.
You got a fast car
But is it fast enough so we can fly away?
We gotta make a decision.
We leave tonight or live and die this way.
Apparently, Linds meant what he said about backing her up. Even when they sang together, he kept his voice reigned in. The mood between them shifted from serious to playful with the lyrics:
I remember we were driving, driving in your car
The speed so fast I felt like I was drunk.
City lights lay out before us
And your arm felt nice wrapped 'round my shoulder.
And I had a feeling that I belonged
And I had a feeling I could be someone, be someone, be someone.
Wesley observed, "They look . . ."
"Coupley," Cordy finished for him.
Wesley corrected, "Like they've done this before."
Coming over, Lorne whispered furiously, "Why didn't you tell me they were a psychic's nightmare?"
Angel glanced at him. "Not enjoying the show?"
"My head hurts; my heart hurts. The only things that aren't sore are my ears."
Wesley adjusted his glasses. "Serves you right for meddling."
"That's why our cowboy's future is blank." He shook his head with disgust. "His bosses literally erased his destiny."
Cordelia squealed, "You can't tell him that."
"Sweetie, I won't have to."
Following his gaze, Angel watched the two onstage.
Buffy sang the last verse right to Lindsey.
You got a fast car
Is it fast enough so you can fly away?
You gotta make a decision
Leave tonight or live and die this way.
When the song ended, the bar's patrons applauded full heartedly.
He stuck out his hand before setting down his guitar. "I'm Lindsey by the way."
She shook it with a smile. "You have good taste in music."
"You ever do that before?" He followed her off the stage.
"Never in front of people."
Lorne approached them. "I can see someone's been keeping secrets"
Linds grinned. "Wasn't she great?"
He looked at her pointedly. "Unbelievable."
Lindsey glanced between them. "I'll let you guys talk in peace." He shook her hand again. "Don't be a stranger 'round here."
Coming over with the others, Wesley stood close to Buffy. "You were wonderful honey."
She leaned into him affectionately. "Thanks." Wesley kissed her forehead. Seeing her eyes close contentedly, Lindsey frowned a little.
Before Cordelia could comment, Angel pinched her.
"I better go." Linds waved to Lorne. "See ya next week."
"Alright." Lorne sighed, "Let's sit." He chose an out of the way booth.
Noticing Lindsey's lingering eyes, Wesley held Buffy's hand and sat close beside her.
Cordelia opened her mouth to question, and Angel stomped her foot.
"Why are you being so mean to me?"
"Later." He grumbled, "I'll tell you later."
Lorne focused on Buffy. "Sugarlumps, you've got trouble ahead."
Angel frowned. "What did you see?"
Buffy met Lorne's eyes and read pain there, pain for her."You don't just mean Lindsey."
"You haven't seen the last of him, but he's not the worst of it."
Cordelia huffed, "Just tell us already."
He kept watching her with sad eyes.
His despair communicated with her gut. It churned with dread. "Can I stop it?"
He didn't answer.
Impatient, Angel growled, "Lorne."
Breathing deeply, Lorne closed his eyes, and slowly, he shook his head.
Her gaze turned distant. "Then maybe I shouldn't know."
Lorne blinked his understanding.
Cordelia rolled her eyes. "Can you guys be more dramatic?"
Angel turned to Buffy. "We can't fight blind. We need to know what we're up against."
Feeling Wesley's hand in hers, she squeezed it. "I'd like to go now. I want to get back to my family."
He grabbed her jacket off the seat. "Of course."
They scooted out of the booth and walked outside.
Lorne reached for Angel's hand. "It's for the best."
Watching Angel leave too, Cordelia flung up her hands. "What did I miss?"
The first song Lindsey sang is called LA song by Christian Kane. It's the song Lindsey sang for Lorne in the series
The song Lindsey and Buffy sang together is called Fast Car by Tracy Chapman. Christian Kane actually did a cover of that song for an album.