5. Mansion On The Hill
On Halloween, six months after he left LA, he finally allows himself to relax a little. After all that running and hiding, being constantly on the look-out, he finally gets 24 hours when he can be sure that all Wolfram & Hart agents are busy. Even field agents miss the annual office party at their own risk, even tracking down rogue employees isn't a priority.
Lindsey spends the day doing things he'd almost forgotten could be luxuries. He sleeps late, without a gun under his pillow. He goes out in broad daylight, walks around town. He goes into a local bar with a jukebox playing Hank Williams. He has a beer, talks to a few of the people at the bar, flirts with the waitress, has a proper meal in the time it takes to eat a proper meal. He has another beer, and another. But he knows his reprieve is running out, and at 10 PM he pays up and leaves.
He walks back through town towards the motel – first time in weeks he's dared to stay in the same room two nights in a row. He's getting sloppy. He passes a big house, with a Lexus and a Merc parked outside. The outside looks familiar; there were houses like that where he grew up, too.
There were times in his life when he would have killed to have that, he thinks.
A voice inside him points out that there were times in his life when he did. Yeah, that was wrong, but it's not like he can undo it, right? And what does he have to show for it now? Lilah's probably got his old office, even Angel gets a hotel of his own, Darla's God knows where, and he's right back where he started.
Full of dark thoughts, Lindsey crosses the road and sees the oncoming Volvo at the last second; it brushes against him, he loses his balance and skins his palms on the sidewalk. "Son of a bitch."
"Geez, buddy, are you alright? I'm really sorry..." The driver is out of the car immediately, his young daughter still safely belted up in the passenger seat. "I swear, I didn't see you coming, I -"
"It's alright," Lindsey assures him, wiping off the blood on his t-shirt. "It's nothing."
"But you're bleeding! At least let me take you to the hospital, or call you a doctor, or..."
"I said I'm fine." Hospitals have records. Even under a false name, Files & Records would find him in hours. Change the subject. "You, uh, you guys out trick-or-treating?"
"Yeah." The driver looks relieved. "Say hi to the nice man, Katie."
"Hi," the girl chirps. "I'm a princess."
Lindsey takes in the silver tiara, the custom-made dress. "You sure are, sweetheart."
She regards his bloody shirt and hands with the curious attitude of someone who's never seen anything like that before. "What are you supposed to be?"
He looks at his stained hands and shrugs. "A lawyer, I guess."