disclaimer: see prev chap

a/n: ha ha...look at this...1778 words, posted 3 days after the last chapter...geez...I'm spoiling you guys, anyway, enjoi


The next morning Felicity got up around noon; she hadn't really fallen asleep until about 4 in the morning because she was wrestling with the idea of going to Karatas to sing. She was trying to waste as much time as possible before she headed over to Karatas; she was dreading the visit. She had decided to show up around dusk, and then spend the next two or so hours convincing herself to get up there and sing. It wasn't as though she were a bad singer; she had a wonderful voice and landed herself many leads in local musicals because of it. She didn't want Lorne to know about what had really happened to her. In fact, she didn't want anyone to know. Having someone else know was pretty much leaving the door open for them to make her talk about it. She had never talked to anyone about what happened to her in Midnight, and she had hoped that she never would have to. She was quite content in bottling all of it...burying it deep, deep, deep down were she wouldn't have to deal with it.

The afternoon passed much too quickly for her own comfort. Before she knew it, it was duck and she was sliding into the driver's seat of her '86 Mustang convertible. She put her lostprohpets CD in and turned up the volume. There might have been some people two blocks away who didn't hear the music. Felicity liked it this way, especially at a time like this. With her music that loud, it was almost impossible for her to think...something she didn't really want to do at the moment. Of course, with her luck, for probably the first time since she moved to L.A. eight years ago, all the lights on her way to Karatas were green. So much for delaying this as long as possible with traffic jams, she thought.

She walked into the bar with a nervousness that she hadn't felt in ages. Her hands were trembling as she ordered herself a drink and sat down at her usual table. She sat there, staring at her drink, twisting the gold chain around her neck for what seemed like ages when Lorne sat down across from her.

'Angel told me that you had a run-in with an old acquaintance of yours last night,' he said conversationally.

'Yeah, unfortunately I did.'

'Not the type of guy that floats your boat, eh?'

'Hardly.'

Lorne paused for a moment. He had never seen her so quiet before...she wouldn't even look at him. 'Felicity, is everything alright?'

She looked up at him. She knew that she looked awful. She had spent most of the day practically pulling her hair out while trying to convince herself to come.

'Oh my giddy aunt,' Lorne whispered. 'Felicity, you look...terrible.'

'Thanks for rubbing it in, Lorne,' she said tiredly.

'Is there something you want to talk about?'

And this would be the time to tell him that you're going to sing, the annoying little voice in the back of her head reminded her. Taking a deep sigh, she said, 'Actually, there is.'

Lorne looked absolutely astounded; he hadn't actually expected her to say yes. In all the years they had known each other, she had always been very private, telling him all the time to keep his green nose out of her business. This was quite an unexpected change.

'I need to sing,' she added. 'It's really important.'

'By all means, go ahead. I won't stop you.'

'Just promise me one thing. Don't mention it to anyone...ever....at all.'

'Everything I read is confidential, Felicity. You know that.'

Felicity waited until the current singer was finished before walking up. Never before had she felt so nervous. Now was the time when she was going to open up for the first time in what probably was a century. Not only was she about to let someone else on the secret she'd kept locked away for ages, but she was forcing herself to come to terms with it as well. Taking a deep breath, she waited for the music to begin, and she began to sing:

'It's easier to run

Replacing this pain with something numb

It's so much easier to go

Than face all this pain here all alone

Something has been taken from deep inside of me

A secret I've kept locked away no one can ever see

Wounds so deep they never show they never go away

Like moving pictures in my head for years and years they've played

If I could change I would take back the pain I would

Retrace every wrong move that I made I would

If I could stand up and take the blame I would

If I could take all my shame to the grave I would

If I could change I would take back the pain I would

Retrace every wrong move that I made I would

If I could stand up and take the blame I would

If I could take all my shame to the grave I would

It's easier to run

replacing this pain with something numb

It's so much easier to go

Than face all this pain here all alone

Sometimes I remember the darkness of my past

Bringing back these memories I wish I didn't have

Sometimes I think of letting go and never looking back

And never moving forward so there'd never be a past

If I could change I would take back the pain I would

Retrace every wrong move that I made I would

If I could stand up and take the blame I would

If I could take all my shame to the grave I would

If I could change I would take back the pain I would

Retrace every wrong move that I made I would

If I could stand up and take the blame I would

If I could take all my shame to the grave I would

Just washing it aside

All of the helplessness inside

Pretending I don't feel misplaced

It's so much simpler than change

It's easier to run

replacing this pain with something numb

It's so much easier to go

Than face all this pain here all alone

If I could change I would take back the pain I would

Retrace every wrong move that I made I would

If I could stand up and take the blame I would

If I could take all my shame to the grave I would

If I could change I would take back the pain I would

Retrace every wrong move that I made I would

If I could stand up and take the blame I would

If I could take all my shame to the grave I would'

She stepped down and walked quickly over to her chair and immediately sat down. Lorne just stared at her in disbelief for several moments. No wonder she never wanted to sing before, he thought.

'All that really happened?' he asked...he still couldn't quite believe it.

'Yeah.'

'And when he bonded you, he actually–'

'Mhmm.'

'In front of you?'

'Yeah.'

'And, the one, you had l–'

'Yes,' she said sharply, cutting him off.

'Oh wow,' he muttered.

'You know my problem, Lorne. Now what do I do?'she said after a brief silence.

'Well, right now, you really have to choices of what to do. The first, is keep running; keep trying to hide from Gabriel. And I can tell you now that that idea won't work for more than a week, at the most. You know that he can track you easily, and that it's pointless to run from him, because he'll find you anyway. Now your other option is too seek help and find some place to hide with that help. Find someone who be bale to help you defend yourself from Gabriel...someone who cares.'

'But he could still find me.'

'Yes. Gabriel finding you is inevitable; it's bound to happen one way or another. The question what is going to happen when he finds you. If you're on your own, he'll take you back to Midnight without any hesitation. All of your time trying to hide from him will be wasted. But if you're with someone who is more than willing to defend you, the chance of him leaving are significantly greater.'

'So, what? I hire a hitman?'

'More like a bodyguard. I'll leave to decide what you want to do. I need to go check up on some other clients.'

Even as Lorne walked away, she knew what she needed to do. She wasn't going to run and hide, like she had done for the past 170 years. She was going to find someone to help her. She wasn't going back to Midnight...not if she could help it. The only question was who?

Lorne was over at the other side of the bar, talking to Angel and Wesley, about whether there had been anymore news about the empire. Of course, with what he had just read in Felicity, there had been, but he wasn't going to tell them that. Not only was it against is rule of secrecy, but Felicity would most likely slaughter him.

'Well, since you can't tell us anything, is Felicity here? Perhaps we could get some more information out of her,' Wesley commented.

All of a sudden, Lorne had a brilliant idea. 'Lightning had just struck my brain,' he said quickly. 'It's so simple...why didn't I see it before?'

'Wait, what's so simple?' Angel asked.

'Angel, how important is the information Felicity can give to you? And how important is she?'

'We need her and her information, otherwise we're going to get nowhere on this case. Wesley hasn't been able to find anything about this empire in his books,' he said.

'So, if her life were, in well, let's say, mortal peril, would you help her?'

'Of course.'

'Hold on. I'll be back in a second.'

Angel and Wesley just stared at Lorne in confusion as he raced off across the bar.

Lorne sat down across from Felicity, saying, 'I have found the solution to your problem.'

'Kill Gabriel?' she asked.

'That would work, but no.'

'Then what?'

'Angel.'

'Come again?'

'Angel,' Lorne repeated. 'He needs the information that you hold about Midnight, and he's not the type of person who'd let you face Gabriel alone, even if he didn't need the information you have. He's willing to help you and let you stay at the hotel with him.'

'Lorne,' she said, and instant look of fury on her face,' you didn't tell them about what you just found out did you?'

'I didn't breathe a word. I just told them that you might be in immediate danger, and that you need someone to help you out. So, would you be willing to accept their help?'

'Doesn't look like I have much of a choice, now does it?'

'No, you really don't. C'mon, let's go tell Angel.'

Angel was more than willing to accept the idea of having Felicity stay with them, especially since her safety was in danger. He couldn't risk losing her. He did, however want to know exactly what was going on. He needed to know what he was up against, but Felicity didn't look as though she were going to tell him anytime soon. They arranged rides so that she could get her stuff and then head over to the hotel. Wesley was going to go with her; to give directions on how to get to the hotel, and to make sure that nothing happened along the way. Before she and Wesley walked out, Lorne told her quietly, 'You're going to have to tell them sooner or later.'

'I know,' he replied. 'Just not yet.'

After Wesley and Felicity left, Angel turned to Lorne. 'I need to know what's going on, Lorne. I need to know what we're up against.'

'I'm sorry, Angel-cakes, but I can't tell you that. Just give her some time, and she'll tell you.'

'I need to know as soon as possible.'

'I know that, but what has happened to her isn't easy to talk about. Things from her past have come back to haunt her; things that she has been trying to forget for over a hundred years, Angel. Give her time. She'll tell you.'

'Alright. I guess I have to take your word on this one.'

'Oh, and just make sure, that when she does tell you, that Fred is around to hear. There are some things that they can relate to.'


a/n: so, was it as good as you expected, or was it a disappointment? The song, for those of you who don't know, is Linkin Park's Easier to Run, and wormtail, its only coincidence that you sent me the lyrics to the song before I posted this chapter, I had been planning on using it since I decided to have Felicity sing for Lorne...very fitting, isn't it? Oh, and RNASun, I promise that Jaguar will hve a part in this soon enough..I just gotta get there is the problem. And since I don't believe I did this in the last chapter, thanks to you guys for reviewing...you keep reviewing, i'll keep writing