Author:  Meltha

Rating:  PG for some language

Feedback:  Yes, thank you. Melpomenethalia@aol.com

Spoilers:  "To Shanshu in L.A." from Angel

Distribution: Fanfiction.net, the Bunny Warren, and the 500 Club.  If you're interested, please let me know.

Summary:  Lindsey faces yet another obstacle to getting what he wants.

Author's Note:  The twelfth in the Jewel Box series, a collection of 500 word fics (in response to The 500 Club) and an idea taken from Challenge in a Can www.dymphna.challenge.com.  In this case, it's Lindsey, jewelry, and determined. 

Disclaimer: All characters are owned by Mutant Enemy (Joss Whedon), a wonderfully creative company whose characters I have borrowed for a completely profit-free flight of fancy.  Kindly do not sue me, please, as I am terrified of you.  Thank you.

Dedication:  Well, now, I'd say this one would have to go to Imzadi.

Occupational Therapy

His watch lay on the nightstand, mocking him silently.  He was sick of it, sick of waking up with pain in a hand that wasn't even there, sick of his writing looking like a demented three-year-old's crayon scrawlings, sick of the quiet, curious whispers that followed him through the halls at work.

"That's the one.  Lost it in a fight with the souled vampire."

He was becoming the Wolfram & Hart version of a morality tale, which was a little frightening when he thought of it.  The only one who didn't make his skin crawl was Lilah.  From her, there'd been no long faces or awkward pauses, no kind words of comfort that he'd heard at least fifty times already even then or admonitions that he should be grateful to be alive.  She'd sauntered into his office, swinging her hips softly as though in tune to a far off snake charmer's flute, and slapped five bulging case files on his desk.

"Mr. Manners wants these to disappear ASAP.  Oh, and, Lindsey," she'd added with a cold smile, "see if you can manage to keep your other arm out of the paper shredder.  You only get one mistake before it just becomes, well, even more pathetic."

As he'd watched her retreating backside swaying triumphantly, his mouth had curled in a sneer.  She was an evil, cruel, vindictive bitch with a heart of ice and a temperament that would make a jungle cat lurch away from her in fear.  Damn, he wanted her.

The watch continued to glare up at him defiantly, its glass face glinting harshly.  This was the first thing of any real value he'd bought when the firm had hired him.  After a youth spent wondering if he and his brother would have to go to different services on Sunday so they could each wear the one pair of shoes they shared, he had bought a watch worth over $8000.  It's polished black leather band was immaculate, sparkling inlaid diamonds marked each hour, the face was encompassed by pure gold, and the mechanism had been handmade by a Swiss master craftsman.  It was superb. 

Chance had kept him from wearing it that night, but it had been saved for nothing, it seemed.  How was he supposed to fasten it around his remaining wrist?  Asking for help was obviously not an option.

This morning, though, he'd decided he would succeed.  After countless failed attempts of trying to make his fingers reach the band, he felt almost certain the watch would wind up in the back of the closet beside his guitar.  Fury seized him, and it was more instinct than thought when he found himself biting into the leather band and forcing it through the buckle with his teeth.

In a minute he was grimly satisfied to see the watch now firmly encircled his wrist.  A set of tooth marks marred the smooth finish of the leather, but it didn't matter.  Nothing, he thought, comes through life unscathed.