A/N: written for the prompt, 'Supernatural/Angel the Series; Sam Winchester + Lorne; Lorne thought listening to Angel crooning Manilow would be the saddest tale he ever heard...he's never heard pain like this sung before.' It takes place post-season 3 for Supernatural and post-finale for Angel. I'm taking liberties with the specifics of Lorne's abilities.
He walks into the bar under a cloud of bad mojo. Even with the wards around Lorne's new karaoke bar, it follows him like a bad-tempered, growling pit bull. Anyone with a touch of empathy in the bar gets stiff shoulders (or, as the case would have it, fins) from the malice. Add that to the way he hesitates in the doorway, scanning the room for something specific, it's obvious what he's here for. Luckily, nobody's taken the stage yet, because the faster this boy can sing, the faster Lorne can get him out of the bar. Auras like that are bad for business.
Lorne quickly ushers him onto the stage, thrusting him towards the karaoke machine. He's a typical newcomer, shuffling his feet nervously and paging uncertainly through the songs. Second thoughts are written all over his face, until his finger pauses over a song. Then he goes completely still, and his face gets this far-away look Lorne's seen before. Like Angel when he's brooding, Lorne would think, except he's very concentratedly not thinking about anything related to LA ever again.
Tall dark and brooding chooses the song, and the opening guitar chords play through the bar. He smiles soft and sad. The other customers quiet down, listening with a tilted ear and trying to guess the song.
Up on the stage, the man clears his throat. "It's all the same," he rasps, and coughs. "-ly the names will cha-ange," he tries again. It's not the best karaoke ever, but it certainly isn't the worst. "Bon Jovi?" Lorne hears someone mutter. "Seriously?" It's soft enough for Lorne to let the comment slide, He's too busy sending out psychic feelers into his client's storm cloud of an aura, trying to figure out how to crack this one open. For all of its initial oomph, it's surprisingly opaque. He gets – a face, blurry, indistinct. A rumbling noise with soothing emotions. Not much else, yet.
The man keeps singing: "I drive all ni-ight just to get back home." Lorne's pretty sure that the lines which make him hoarse hit a little close to home. Lorne prods at his aura during one of those hoarse moments and finally wrests a name out; Sam. (Sammy, something whispers. Lorne digs a finger into his ear to clear it.)
Halfway through the song, Sam falters entirely, staring at the karaoke machine. Then he shakes his head and takes up the lines again, singing louder to compensate for it. "A loaded six string on my back!" he grits out. "I play for keeps, 'cause- 'cause I might not make it back."
Lorne can recognize the right time to push; he throws all his power into the spike he aims at Sam's aura, just as the shielding falters. And then he hears someone else singing – a rough voice hollering the words alongside Sam, that soothing rumble Lorne had sensed before in the background. "On a steel horse I ride!" He bellows underneath Sam's singing.
With that image, Lorne is able to leverage his way into the rest of Sam's aura. Then he wishes he hadn't.
Sam's aura is stuffed full of grief, filled to bursting with impression after impression of the same man. (Dean, Sam's mind supplies. Dean Dean Dean Dean Dean Dean…) The man himself is Sam's love and loyalty and friendship all bundled into a human-sized package. But around it ranges Sam's nastier emotions: the rage and the hate and fear. And permeating everything with a noxious ooze is desperation. He's tried a hundred times to get Dean back (From where? Lorne asks Sam's mind. It doesn't respond) but each attempt has been less successful than the previous ones.
Lorne is the most credible option left that Sam hasn't yet tried. After Lorne is a list of a half-dozen obscure and possibly fatal stunts that he thinks of trying anyways. But it doesn't matter how stupid or crazy, because he has to get Dean out. (out from where, Lorne insists. Tell me. Out from – Sam's mind hesitates. Out- from Hell.)
It's enough to send Lorne reeling for his sea breeze, taking a big stabilizing gulp as he cuts off the connection and reorients himself to the real world. He's seen people go down this road before, try the impossible. And you know what? They call it impossible for a reason. He gulps down the rest of his drink and signals to the bartender for another one, extra kick. He doesn't dive back into Sam's aura to find out the kid's future. He already knows what to say. Leave it alone. Don't try, there's nothing you can do. Give it up and go home and make a life for yourself away from idiotic self-sacrificing heroes, or they'll drag you down with them.
Up on the stage, Sam is still singing. "I'm wa-anted," he half-croons, "dead or alive."