Man! challenge in a can Man!





In The Waiting

Sheer curtains at the windows blow in the warm, dry breeze. Lindsey lays in his bed, arms behind his head and stares out at the setting sun. It's painting the sky, orange, red and pink streaks bleeding into each other, tops of the trees a strange black silhouette from this angle. He's drowsy, hanging halfway between sleep and consciousness, the time when his thoughts drift back to LA. To Wolfram and Hart, to Angel. To Darla.

Easy enough to let them go where they like, random stops here at Darla in his office, stroking the prosthetic hand

"It's very. smooth. You don't feel anything?"

"Not in my hand."

and Angel, there on the street, arm raised to deliver another blow,

"I'm sorry, Lindsey -- "

and another,

"I really am --"

words as painful as

"I'm sorry she'll never love you --"

the blows themselves.

"I'm sorry that you're gonna have to live with that --"

Time has done little to dull the pain of those words, although the bruises are gone and there is only a tiny crescent shaped scar on his right side under his ribs to remind him of the physical damage. Allows himself to remember his admission of love for Darla, the smirk on Angel's face a small price to pay for a chance to save her. Pride not even considered until much later when it was far too late.

Light outside changed to a dull lavender deepening to navy and black as night comes down for real now. The house makes its noises all around him, ticking clock in the kitchen, beams and floorboards settling in for the evening with their little creaking sighs. Cooler breeze now, and he lifts his face to it, eyes closed. When he opens them, the room is in pitch blackness. There's no light out here on his road, closest neighbors a good half mile away. When the moon is up the house fills with silver light, but tonight there's no moon at all.

Lindsey is comfortable in the dark again.

For a while he'd left lights on all over the little house, turned it into a beacon, unable to sleep with darkness in the corners. Wolfram & Hart always on his mind, every single day an experiment in tension and paranoia until he was so exhausted and depressed that he thought he might die of the waiting. But now he knows that if they really want him, there's not much he can do about it. There's a gun within hand's reach at all times, loaded and safety off. And even so, that won't work for some of the things they can send for him. So he takes one day at a time. Works his job. Plays his music. Fixes his tiny house a little at a time without allowing himself to become too attached. He's aware that there will never be a feeling of permanence for him anywhere, that he will always be waiting to move on.

He thinks they might send Darla, knowing full well his weakness for her. Part of him welcomes that. Part of him wants her to be the one that finally arrives, so he can invite her in, hear her call him sweetpea in that sugar coated baby-breathless voice of hers. Lindsey toys with the idea of looking for her, tracking her down and ...

And that's where he loses himself every time. Because then what? While it's one thing to lie her at night and wait for the tap of her fingernails on his window frame, it's another altogether to go looking for his death at the hands of obsession and lust prettied up into something he can name 'love.' It should have died that night she left, the night he asked her for the details of her time in Angel's bed, and got them. After 5 minutes he wanted to ask her to stop. After 20 he wanted to snap her neck to shut her up. But she kept going, on and on, child's voice painting a graphic picture of everything he'd ever dreamt of doing to her, with her, every fantasy he'd kept to himself laid out as if she'd read his mind. Now when he closes his eyes, there is Angel's body driving into her instead of his, Angel's hands on her body, Angel's name on her lips.

It only makes him want her more.

The night is beautiful here. The stars are the only things he can see from his window. No cars pass by this stretch of road where Lindsey lays and waits for morning. He waits to drop off into sleep, wonders if tonight is the night he'll wake to those red nails tapping, that voice calling his name. If this will be the night he offers his throat to her and smiles when she rips it out.

Lindsey. Depressed. Painting.

Man! challenge in a can Man!