Summary: After the events of "Not Fade Away," Lorne wonders about his life now at Christmas time and his favorite movie of all time, "It's a Wonderful Life." Please feel free to post reviews whether they are complimentary or critical.
Christmas just isn't the same for Lorne. In fact, he despises it now. He watches children get all excited at the sight of Santa, the joyful frenzy of shoppers, but all he can do is grind his teeth. He can only remember the days of yore where he'd go through the minutes, his visage holding a bright, big smile. That smile's long dissolved.
Even his favorite movie of all time cannot cheer him up. He sits daily in a run-down bar heavily consuming more drinks than he could possibly count. Hiding under his poor disguise, his ruby eyes find their way toward the small television set behind the bartender. He sighs. It's a Wonderful Life is playing. The famous story of the heroic George Bailey who sacrificed part of his hearing, his education, his dreams – all of this for others. After discovering he's in serious debt, he wishes he was never born, despite the love of his wife and children.
Lorne wonders how things would have turned out if he had never entered this dimension. Sure, it wouldn't have been much fun for him in Pylea – he was an outcast, after all. But how would things be for others? Has he actually helped people by joining Team Angel? Was it a beneficial thing when Angel first walked into Caritas searching for assistance? Lorne still shudders at Angel's singing voice. Maybe he should have stayed away from the gang after the fiasco in Vegas. Would Lindsey still be alive if he had? Would that have been a good or bad thing? All he knows is that he wouldn't have been a murderer. He wouldn't envisage crimson blood on his olive hands. He'd be singing Christmas carols in all parts of the world; not lugging down drinks on Christmas Eve. Lorne considers getting involved with the team. It sure would have been easier for him if he hadn't. He wouldn't have had to watch his Fred-a-kins die, or lose his precious Cordy. He'd still be innocent – well, as innocent as a friendly-demon could be.
"Clarence, I wanna live again," he hears George plead as the sounds of the television echo. Don't we all, Georgie, Lorne thinks. Everybody wants to live again. No one wants to die. And yet he's ended a life. He's watched those near and dear to him leave this world in the most painful of ways. And he wants to live, too. He can't lie anymore. He doesn't even feign happiness. He doesn't even try. He's as dead as all those he left in the alley that fateful night. Yes, he wants to live – but he hardly believes there's a guardian angel up there for him.
"Look, Daddy! Teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings," little Zuzu explains to her father. Lorne ponders, once more, Have you gotten your wings, Angel-cakes? Hope you have. Hope you didn't save the entire world and not gotten a darn-tuttin' thing in return.
Oh, no … he should be crying now. He's gotten to the end of It's a Wonderful Life and this is the part that always gets him. George decides to face his problems and races home to his family, kissing and hugging them all until he nearly suffocates them. The town loves him – they were collecting money from everyone. They helped him out like true friends. This scene always puts him in the genuine holiday spirit.
But it just isn't working this year. "Sorry, Jimmy," Lorne whispers, addressing James Stewart in the TV, not noticing a few people are staring at him, "You know I've always thought your acting ability was the hottest thing since sliced bread, but your lovable film just ain't gonna cut it for me this time. Nothing personal, of course. Just, well, you know how things are. Sometimes life really ain't all that wonderful, Sugar," he bows his head, solemnly.
"Well, that's it for me, honey," Lorne removes some money from his jacket's pocket and sets it on the bar.
He turns and begins walking out the door. Leaving, he hears Auld Lang Syne from the movie. He sings one quick bar, "Should auld acquaintance be forgot..." If only. If only Lorne could forget all the deceit, and death, and all the pain. Then, maybe, just maybe, he'd be able to watch It's a Wonderful Life in quiet peace like he used to…