Title: Six Feet Under Rating: R-there's a word Summary: Angel runs into Kate. Takes place in Ats S1 after The Prodigal. Written for Ragna in the female ficathon. Requests at the end. Feedback: I'd love some. kristiallengames.com

The night air is cool and Melrose Avenue is alive with its own heartbeat. You can almost hear it pulsing in your ears. Teenagers and young people swarm over the sidewalks, each trying to declare their own individuality. I chuckle inwardly. They don't realize in their frantic race to so they end up looking just like the next guy with too much metal in their face and their hair dyed an unnatural color.

"Cool Car!" one of the teenagers yells at me.

I grin and nod and turn the GTX onto Fairfax. The police scanner provides a low key hum. I keep it on because occasionally I hear something that makes me perk up, that makes me think supernatural. Tonight it seems to be filled with strictly human crimes. Not that human crime doesn't warrant attention but they don't need my attention. That's what the police are for.

I pull onto a quieter stretch of street, thankful to be away from the buzz of a Friday night in Los Angeles. The scanner screeches to life.

"Hey McKellan, you're gonna want to get this one. We've got a 390 down at Irish's pub on Twelfth Street and the description sounds a whole lot like our dear Detective Lockely."

I twist the volume knob on the scanner, silencing it and turn the GTX around with a squeal of tires. A 390 is a drunk and disorderly. Kate has been having a hard time with her father's death, with the nature of her father's death and maybe I'm not the best one to intervene but she deserves better then to be laughed at by half the police force.

I park the GTX in the nearly deserted parking lot of Irish's Pub. Doyle took me here a time or two during his "missions" to make sure I stayed in contact with the humanity I'm trying to save. Irish's is never busy but always open.

I push open the doors to the bar and glance around the room, immediately catching sight of Kate. It's hard not to see her, she's standing on the bar dancing to some horrid seventies tune that I'm ashamed to admit I know the words too.

"Oh look it's my knight in shining armor. Have you come to save me, Angel? Am I one of your hopeless now?" Kate slurs.

I walk over and extend my hand to her. "Come on, Kate. Let me take you home" I say softly.

Kate laughs and I know this isn't going to be easy. It's that drunken sort of too loud, obnoxious laughter and I wince as it rings in my sensitive ears.

"No way in Hell I'm inviting a blood sucking vampire into my apartment" she declares loudly.

I wince again and try to think fast. "Kate, I'm an umpire. It's my job to make those close calls. I'm sorry your softball league lost because of one of them. Come on now, let me just make sure you get home safe. I won't come in" I say in a normal tone of voice, hoping enough of the people believe my cover up for her slip.

Kate dubiously allows me to help her down. She's wearing high heels and in her intoxicated state she's not very steady on them. I put my hands on her waist and lift her off the bar. Her hands go to my shoulders for balance. I set her on her feet and drop my hands to my side, expecting to her do the same as quickly as she can. I'm not one of Kate's favorite people right now.

Her hands stay on my shoulders. She looks up at me and the pain in her eyes is tangible. She reminds me of a much more guarded, jaded, version of another blond who hurts with such intensity it has texture and weight. Kate has lost everything and it shows in her eyes. That kind of hopelessness is hard to look at, hard to stand, hard to bear.

"Daddy liked you. He thought maybe we were going out. Hell, I think he hoped we were going out" Kate says.

I'm not sure how to respond to that and before I can Kate is pressed up against me, her lips covering mine in a sloppy, drunk kiss. I'm stunned for a moment. When I recover I grab her wrists and gently push her away.

"Kate, I can't-I-you're a very attractive woman and under different circumstances but I- there's-"I stammer. I don't know how I'm supposed to handle this. Angelus would sweep her off her feet, take her back to the hotel, fuck her and kill her. I'm not Angelus, not anymore.

"Let me guess, there's a girl and for some reason you want her and not me but of course it's you, not me and you'd rather just be friends because we're so great as friends. Guess what Angel, we're not friends, we'll never be friends" Kate spats. She slaps me hard across the face and the crack resounds through out the suddenly silent bar. One man in the corner lets out a low whistle. Kate whirls unsteadily on her heel and stalks out of the building.

"Ouch, Buddy, that's gonna leave a mark" the bartender says.

It's going to leave a mark but not the kind the bartender thinks. I drop some bills on the bar and mutter something about getting rid of the cops when they show up. I leave the bar and it's patrons to wonder what they will about the scene they witnessed.

I walk behind Kate at a safe distance. If she knows I'm there she never makes any indication of it. I watch silently from an alley as she vomits and dissolves into tears in an alcove. She pushes herself on, strong to the very end. I hear her say "Big girls don't cry, Katie" and then bitter laughter chokes her. I stand across the street as she walks into her apartment building and I wait until her light flickers on. I turn and begin the trek back to my car.

Did I somehow lead Kate on? Did I make her think I wanted a relationship outside of friendship? It's entirely possible I'm still new to this relationship/friendship/mixing with humanity thing. I don't think I did anything but the other blonde said I didn't get dating and girls. My mind turns Kate's words over and over. We're not friends, we'll never be friends. I blanche. She's not the first blond to tell me that. She's not the first one to mean it.

Kate will never know how close to the truth she struck with her speech. I swallow hard. Why is it I always manage to hurt the women in my life, particularly the blondes. A special gift, I guess. One I could do without.

I drive back to the hotel. It is blissfully silent and dark. I don't bother turning on any lights. I heat up a mug of blood and take it to my room. I sit in the dark with a book I'm not reading and let my thoughts drift.

Some days I think I was better off in an alley eating rats. Some days I want to curse Whistler for showing me Her. Some days I think humanity was better off before I saw my salvation. I know I wouldn't be here today, for better or worse, without Her. I wouldn't have saved any of the people I've helped here in LA. I wouldn't have saved myself. I also wouldn't have hurt anyone. I wouldn't have done anything because I didn't have a reason to change, a reason to exist. She gave that to me and I'm doing her a dishonor if I sit here cursing Whistler, wishing I was back in alley, wishing I was strong enough, brave enough or maybe coward enough to walk into the sunrise.

A bitter grin creeps over my lips. If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't change it. I couldn't change it. I'd still go to Sunnydale. I'd still fall head over heels for Her because I don't know any other way.

A couple of days later:

There is a soft knock on the office door.

"Come in" I say without looking up from the book (the black and white picture) I'm studying.

I glance up when the office door closes and am surprised to see Kate. I was so absorbed in my research (brooding) that I didn't notice Kate walk in the hotel. I close the book and lay it on the edge of the desk.

"Kate, hi" I say.

Kate thrusts a plant toward me and then turns her back to me. "I'm not sure exactly what the protocol for this is. I know Irish called the cops on me for a 390 and I know you kept me from being made a fool, or more of a fool of, by the force. I'm sorry I slapped you. I'm sorry I said those things to you. I had no right. I don't know anything about your life" she says to the wall.

I sigh and search for the words to tell her. "You don't have to apologize, Kate. I know this has been hard you. It will continue to be hard on you but you've got to go on, you've got to continue your life. Your father would want that."

Kate smirks and it comes out a small exhalation of air. "Maybe you should take your own advice, Angel. I don't know what happened to you before you moved here. I don't want to know but you make existing instead of living an art form."

I glance down at the book that I wasn't reading that holds the picture I was brooding over. Kate leaves the office without another word, shutting the door behind her. She's right I don't have a life. I'm not living. I haven't been living in a very long time. There was brief time in Sunnydale but that's all gone now. I wonder if I should try to catch Kate, to say something. I smirk and shake my head. There isn't much to say when you have no life, because you aren't living. And if you aren't living you might as well be six feet under instead of walking around, pretending to be a real, living person.

1. Your female: Kate

2. One other person you'd like to see: Lindsey or Angel.

3. This fic should preferably take place after what event on what show?: Kate's father's death.

4. Two things you don't want: Graphic sex, a chipper and happy Kate (even if she's only faking it)

5. Two things you really want: Whichever guy you choose to get slapped hard enough to leave a mark, a hook-up between Kate and the guy you choose

6. Do you want a certain quote used? If so, list it here: "There isn't much to say when you have no life, because you aren't living. And if you aren't living, you might as well be six feet under instead of walking around, pretending to be a real, living person." - Ragna Cook