A.N.: Obviously, this is based on that new scifi movie, "Darklight." I've set the story exactly one year after the events in the movie, and it'll probably be a one-shot only. If I get enough encouragement, I'll do a section from Will's POV. Don't forget to read and review!
Usual disclaimers, yada yada yada…
"Darklight: Waiting for Forgiveness"
An old legend from the Garden of Eden: She was Adam's first wife. An immortal. She was cursed and became a demon out for revenge.
The legend is true.
She waited in the shadows, staring ahead with empty, unseeing eyes. She seemed completely unaware of the passing of the hours, seemed completely unaware of the silence and the solitude enveloping her. She seemed unaware of everything but the names engraved in the marble slab before her, and perhaps she was not even aware of those. It was impossible to tell, with Lilith, and since nobody really wanted to know what she thought about as she stared at the names of her many victims, the issue was never brought up.
An acolyte poked his head into the darkened room, perhaps intending to use it as a shortcut to another portion of the building, but immediately pulled back out as he noticed the slight young woman already there. She heard his muffled curse, though perhaps nobody else would have, and while she knew it was directed entirely at her, she still did not react. She only continued to stand as she had been, eyes fixated on the slab, body unnaturally motionless. The acolyte would swear, later, that she hadn't even been blinking, and even though he hadn't been in the room nearly long enough to tell, he would almost have been right.
The question of blinking aside, there was undoubtedly something strange about this girl, even now, when she was doing nothing too out of the ordinary. She appeared normal enough—a dark-eyed, dark-haired young woman, one who claimed to be twenty-five but who could easily have passed for someone much younger. She was slight, a little on the short side, and very beautiful by any standard. Her face was delicate and finely sculpted, her features even and her mouth made for the smiles she rarely gave. She could have been the girl next door, with her worn-in jeans and simple vinyl jacket. She could have been somebody's kid sister. She could have been anyone.
The eyes gave her away. She had lovely eyes, large and slightly almond shaped, just the color of chocolate. They were also harder than they should have been, less expressive, and not at all the eyes one would expect to find in someone as innocent as she appeared to be. These eyes were ancient and ageless at the same time, and far too full of knowledge. They were not the eyes of a young girl, but then she didn't often pretend they were.
The door slid open again, and she sighed, wondering if she was about to frighten off another acolyte. The expected cry of dismay did not come, however, and she glanced quickly over her shoulder to see who'd had the bravery to join her. An older man stood in the doorway, the light from the hall silhouetting his slender, black-clad form, glinting off his grey hair. He stood watching her, hands behind his back as he waited for her to speak. He was not smiling.
Neither was she. "What is it?" she asked, turning back to her contemplation of the marble slab, and while her words would certainly have sounded too curt coming from anyone else, the Prefect didn't seem offended.
"There's been another demon sighting, Lilith," he told her quietly, his voice just as emotionless as her expression. "Shaw is already on his way."
She nodded, though she still did not turn back around. "How tough a demon are we talking about?"
The old Prefect shrugged, not noticing the way her body had tensed. "Not very," he admitted. "It's more of a pest, really, but we thought you should know. As I said, Shaw is already on his way. If you leave now, you'll get there at about the same time. You can fight it together."
"He doesn't need me for that."
The Prefect blinked, surprised. "Of course he does. With demons, there's always the chance that something will go wrong. Shouldn't you be there in case it does?"
She sighed, finally turning around to face him. "Shaw's a strong fighter," she returned, just as quietly. "He can handle it, and anyway I doubt he'd want me tagging along when I don't absolutely have to."
The Prefect tilted his head to one side, his voice taking on a mildly chastising quality that she never would have accepted from anyone else. "Yes," he agreed. "Shaw is strong, but you should be there anyway." He paused, then softly added, "He's your partner."
She rolled her eyes. "And that's what partners do, right—watch each other's backs?" She grunted, clearly irritated even though her eyes had taken on a slightly sad look, as well. "Does that still apply when one partner doesn't trust the other?"
The Prefect's eyes hardened. "Shaw trusts you," he protested. "You saved the world, didn't you? Many times, in this past year, you've saved all of us. He'd have to trust you, after that."
She shook her head. "I also murdered his only son. It doesn't matter how hard I try or how many people I save, because in his eyes I'll always be his son's killer." She bit her lip, shrugged. "He'll never trust me," she said, "and I know better than to wish for it."
The Prefect's eyes were piercing, and far too serious. "Does his trust mean that much to you?"
She moved slowly back to the slab, reached out with one graceful hand and traced the one name that always seemed to draw her the most. She thought about his question for only a second, failed to see a reason to deny the truth. "Yes."
"Why? Why does he mean so much to you?"
She shrugged again, looking as though she had a bitter taste in her mouth and slowly pulling her hand from Connor Shaw's name. Her arm dropped back down to her side. "I don't know. Maybe it's because he saved me when Abe died. Maybe it's because he gave me back to myself when everybody else wanted to keep me from remembering the truth. Maybe it's because he stood by me when even I didn't think he should have." She grimaced. "And maybe it's because he's a good man who deserves better than to spend all his time with his son's murderer."
He moved up behind her, placed a gentle hand on her shoulder. "That was a long time ago, Lilith, and so much has happened to change you. You're not that…thing, anymore. Surely he sees that."
She gave a bitter chuckle. "That's just it," she snapped, jerking out from under his touch and spinning to face him. "I am that thing, and William knows it. He's seen what I can do, and he's seen me kill. He's seen the demon I didn't even try all that hard to hide. He can't believe I'll ever be anything else, not when even I don't believe it."
"You're not a monster, Lilith." The Prefect wasn't going to give up all that easily, and she wondered, not for the first time, why he had such faith in her. Hadn't he once dedicated his entire life to hunting her? It seemed ludicrous that he should have changed his opinion of her so quickly, that he should have accepted her so completely.
She shrugged, an old bitterness briefly tightening her features, then disappearing again. "Tell that to Connor Shaw," she snapped back. "Tell that to all those other people I killed, or helped kill." Her mouth twisted, but not in a smile. "Tell that to the partner who has every right to hate me for what I did to him and his."
Sorrow flashed through the Prefect's eyes, at this, and she knew that he, too, was remembering the friends and loved ones she had killed over the years. "He doesn't hate you, Lilith. Maybe he did, at first, but not anymore."
She glanced at him, wondering if he spoke for himself, as well as for Shaw. "He does hate me," she retorted. "I've seen it in his eyes."
The man shook his head. "He doesn't hate you," he repeated doggedly. "He's fears you."
She was still watching him, but now a small measure of surprise crossed her features. "It's the same thing."
"No, it's not. He's afraid of you because he doesn't know how to handle you, because you weren't what he expected. You were supposed to be a monster, a thing so evil that his hatred would be justified, and then he could kill you without feeling a twinge of guilt afterwards. Instead, he found you, a beautiful young woman who cared about the people around her, who was willing to sacrifice what happiness she had found in order to protect a bunch of complete strangers. He saw the strength in you, and the compassion, and he couldn't continue believing you were the monster that killed his son. He sees only the Lilith you have become, now, and that is why he fears you."
She was staring at him, fascinated by his words though she did not, of course, believe them herself. "I don't understand."
The Prefect's severe, kindly face broke out into a slight smile that she did not return. "William Shaw cares about you," he gently told her. "He cares about your safety, and your happiness. After all you've been through together, he might even consider you a friend."
"He doesn't act like it."
The Prefect nodded, knowing perfectly well what the demoness was referring to. He hadn't missed the way Shaw looked at Lilith, but then he hadn't missed the times Will had avoided her, either. "No," he agreed, "but then that's part of his fear. If he begins showing his affection for you, if he allows himself to admit that he even feels affection in the first place, it'd be as though he's forgetting his son. He'd be betraying Connor, in a way, by admitting he wants you in his life."
She snorted. "He doesn't want me in his life," she said, but while her words lacked emotion, they did not lack conviction. "He can't forget what I am, who I was before."
The Prefect was still smiling. "And he can't forget what you are now, either. Therein lays the dilemma." He sighed, the smile fading. "Have patience, Lilith. William Shaw is under a great burden of guilt, one that he is not yet ready to lift." He stepped forward again, compassion heavy in his eyes. "But one day," he told her, voice just as gentle as his eyes, "one day he will find peace, and a new life, and…and I believe there will be a place for you in it."
Lilith's eyes had gone blank again, but some of the tension had left her face. She gazed at the Prefect, somehow giving the impression that she was smiling even though her lips were still set in a firm line. She was silent for several long moments, thinking about what he'd said, thinking about the implications. Then her face softened. "Thank you," she whispered, though even she wasn't quite certain what she might be thanking him for. She turned so suddenly that even the Prefect was startled, began walking away.
"Where are you going?"
She smiled over her shoulder at him—a real smile—and for the first time, the smile was free of bitterness. "I'm going to help my partner."