Title: "Walk a Thorny Path"
Author: Mala
E-mail: malisita@yahoo.com
Spoilers: "Darla"
Rating/Classification: R, L/D/A, angst, sexual situations.
Disclaimer: Grrr. Aargh.
Summary: Lindsey is plagued as he wonders where Angel and Darla have fled to.

"And the righteous shall walk a thorny path."
--Lindsey, "Blind Date."

"But, it's not me you wanna screw....it's him."

Her words kept reverberating through his head as he stared out at the city below. Over and over, he heard her gasp it as he licked his lips and thought he tasted her essence there. Where was she? Was she dead? Was she with him? Were they making celebratory love right this very second? Were they safe? God only knew he wasn't. He was precariously unsafe. In so many ways. Darla. Angel. Angelus. What a lovely set-up the partners had created. With him as their pawn, their tool. And he certainly felt like a tool, didn't he? In so many ways.


He was mechanized. He was part plastic. He was part coward.

There were still angry red lines wrapping around his throat. And they choked almost as much as the thin black cord. They choked because they were yet another reminder of his failures. He wished Angel had finished it, finished it with his big, bare, hands. Had snapped his neck and left him dead on the parking garage floor. Because he was walking in death's shadow now anyway, wasn't he?

Dark against blond...male against female...were they together? Or had she run from her darling boy? Maybe her darling boy had run from her? His mind was full of images and heat and memory as his nails grazed the reinforced glass panes and his guts knotted.

"Got a girlfriend? Boyfriend? Someone special?"

"There's no one," he'd said.

"No, no, there really isn't, is there?"

He was alone.

He had no one.

He had fucked women.

He had fucked men.

He had fucked over both women AND men.

But Darla...Darla was the first he'd almost made love to.

And Angel was the first he'd wanted to make love to.

He didn't even stop to analyze the absurdity. He knew it all ready. The precarious edge. Man...woman...vampire...human. The lines were so easy to blur. It was easy to close his eyes and picture their skin under his fingers. Five weren't enough to absorb the feel of them...he needed ten again. He needed the ecstasy of ten to cover all that lush, hot, territory.

Territory that would always be out of his reach.

Like the fox with the sour grapes...they were only his enemies if he couldn't have them, weren't they? Because he wanted them so much. He wanted them more than Wolfram & Hart. More than money and power and security. He wanted them so much he was afraid to move one inch to the left or the right. Afraid to step outside this window and feel the air rushing past his body, the freefall.

"But, it's not me you wanna screw....it's him."

"Not true, Darla," he whispered, touching the bite on the side of his neck. A lovely companion to the strangulation marks. "I want you both." And he wanted to do more than 'screw'. He wanted to possess...to drown...to emerge from their depths cleansed and purified of his sins. Pride. Envy. Lust. Greed. He wanted to wash them away and rise anew. Rise and walk without the shadows. He wanted to walk in the light again.

With two creatures of the darkness.

The irony was not lost on him.

Neither was the realization of his condition.

Only one thing made men both cowards and brave fools...both sane and insane. Only one thing was really this precarious, this unsafe And it was something Wolfram & Hart had no use for. Just like they would soon have no use for him. Oh, he was all ready slipping up...all ready showing his weakness. And it was just a matter of time. Just a matter of time before anyone and everyone could guess it.

Lindsey was in love.

With two creatures of the darkness.

With her eyes and his smile. With his honor and her obsession. With both of their bodies and both of their souls.

And he just prayed they were all right.

Far beyond his reach and anyone else's.

He closed his eyes and the glass under his hand turned to flesh once more. It was smooth. It was warm and forgiving. It was the illusion of safety. One step and he would pitch forward into oblivion.

Maybe tomorrow he would try it.

Maybe tomorrow he would be ready to take the fall.

--the end--

November 2000.

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