"I want details. I need to know everything. All of it. What did he do to you?" he whispers, tasting the acid, the anger, the adoration, in the words.
On some level, he knows no one can hear him. That he is alone. That the apartment is empty.
That she's gone for good this time.
He can hear the plastic hangers in the closet knocking together from the force of him slamming the door against their bareness. He can almost hear the tiny scrapes and sighs of all her things being swiped off shelves and yanked out of drawers.
He wonders if she laughed as she packed. He'd fallen for her laugh early on. An easy laugh considering what she was, what she'd been through. Clear, always a little bit mocking...and a little like the wind chimes Mama had hung from the trailer's doorway one Christmas. Except that Pa had ripped them down and hollered that the bitch should've spent the money on a case of beer instead. Pa had ripped them down, ripped them up, and ripped into *him*.
He wonders if Darla stopped to sit where he is now sitting. If she took a break from her escape from his wretched humanity and his distasteful devotion and dropped onto these very cushions. If her delicate hands stole downwards. If she touched herself and thought of her "dear boy"...her "darling boy." Her "Angelus." Thought of how good he was. How strong. How hard.
He wonders if she cried when she realized he was lost to her yet again.
He wonders if he'll cry when he realizes she's lost to him yet again.
That they're both lost.
That he'll never get the things he wants so badly.
That he'll never get the answers he wants so badly.
He'd expected to when he'd pulled his boots on. When he'd dragged out the clothes Wolfram & Hart would sneer at--not because of their dress code but because of their insistence on never getting their hands dirty. Jeans and his old sheepskin & flannel jacket were his armor for a good old fashioned ass-kicking, a back alley brawl. He'd wanted to get his hands dirty all right. Both of them. Bathed in blood and sweat and dirt.
Bathed in the little things. The details.
How many times did they do it?
Where? In a bed? On the floor? A hotel? *The* hotel?
Did they call each other's names?
Did one whisper "yes" while the other whispered "no"?
Did they laugh?
Did they scream?
Was it good?
Was it bad?
Did they even think of him at all? Even for an instant?
"You're gonna tell me," he whispers, tasting the acid, the anger, the adoration, in the words. "You're gonna tell me everything. All of it. Everything you did with her."
He cradles his stump to his chest, impassively noting how the reddened skin, where his prosthetic used to be attached, is all ready fading, all ready reveling in the free air circulating around the dead cells and the jagged scars.
He feels, again, the fist against his face and his ribs...sees, again, the shattered grounds of plastic spread across the road. He'd had to unhook what was left, what Angel hadn't managed to destroy, and he'd left it there, with the rest of the debris. The rest of his dignity. The rest of his failed attempt at...at what? Revenge? Retribution? Fact-finding? Foreplay?
The last thought makes a muffled groan rise from his throat and he drags his left hand through his hair, spiking it up in uneven golden brown tufts reminiscent of the three inch-high, hairsprayed mullet he'd had in 10th grade.
Every time he'd revved up Bessie's engine...every time he'd accelerated and felt the resounding *thump* of Angel hitting the fender and bouncing off...it had been like having sex for the first time. A little frightening...sensations coming too fast and too strong...and an eventual feeling of white hot pleasure, of blinding completion.
And oh, how that had multiplied when he'd taken out the sledgehammer. Watching it swing downwards...feeling the muscles in his forearms grow taut...listening to the crunch of bones breaking.
Ecstasy. Sheer ecstasy.
Then, the tide had turned. Angel got up. Like he always did. Turning up like a bad penny. A few well-placed punches had left Lindsey gasping. Had left him...wanting *more*.
He tries to convince himself that it wasn't for the pain.
*"I'm sorry, Lindsey."*
That he didn't relish Angel's fists slapping against his skin in the ritual bruising and shattering.
*"I really am."*
That he doesn't anticipate *every* time a vampire hurts him.
*"I'm sorry she'll never love you."*
That it's not some psychological "victim" backlash from Pa whooping him with the baseball bat all those times.
*"I'm sorry you're gonna to have to live with that."*
He thinks that all he wanted was some consideration. Some *sign* that he mattered. That he mattered to one of them.
*"I'm sorry I didn't try hard enough when you came to me."*
Even as the truck had pulled away and he'd felt the blackness begin to drag him under...*come back*, he'd thought, *come back, damn you, and kick me in the face again. Kick me like you mean it.*
*"I'm sorry you made the wrong choice."*
All he *is* is a wrong choice. A loser. A pawn. Inconsequential. Completely unimportant to all those living, dead, and undead.
And all he has is mocking echoes. An empty sleeve. An empty home. And unanswered questions that hang in the air like stale cigarette smoke.
He wants to know.
He *needs* to know.
Everything they did.
All of it.
Because, this time, he's going to make the right choice.
And he's going to make it memorable. Consequential. Important.
Even if it kills him.
February 28, 2001.
|"BTVS" Fanfic||"LFN" Fanfic||"Roswell" Fanfic||Banners & Links|