by Princess Twilite

1. Edges

Lindsey spent most of his time down by the water, where the ocean beat the shit out of the shore and called it love. He liked to sit there, at the edge of the earth and dip his toes into that dark place of salt and fish. It didn't matter if the sun was shining on his shoulders and heating the back of his neck like a woman's hand or if it was cold as witch's tits and the rain was falling down around his ears.

He just liked to sit there. And think about things that never happened.

Sometimes it was Darla, with wistful fog hanging onto her face and clouding up anything that could have ever been between them. He could see her hair, falling across her cheek as she tipped back on his couch and laughed like only something evil or something innocent could. Yeah, sometimes it was Darla. But mostly it wasn't, because she was gone.

Darla wasn't there anymore, and it was all about what had kept them apart. A rat-sucking bastard with such a pretty face.

Angel - no known last name.

Hate, maybe more, maybe not, inside his gut, and it twisted.

Spent a lot of time there, thinking about things that he probably shouldn't.


2. Burning

"Hey, Wesley," Faith could say. "You ever been burned?"

He'd turn to look at her with those disturbing eyes. All sharp edges now, with a scruffy chin and a rough-edged heart. She spent some time wondering if she had anything to do with it, or maybe it was just a fluke.

"Of course." Bitten off something else, like there's always more inside him to say, but he just never DOES. "Hasn't everybody?"

She guessed he was probably right. Faith knew she'd been burned more times than she could count on both her hands and her feet, and it was getting pretty old. But she had to admit to doing her share of burning others, and if she looked closely enough, she could see the traces of smoke in Wesley's eyes.

He got this look about him, like his soul was as hard as granite and nothing mattered but the thing that DID which wasn't anybody at all, just an unnameable something. A quest or two, struck between gravestones and through the easily broken glass that separated them.

Took one jump, one leap, and she wasn't prepared to make it again, just sucked it up and let him stick the weapon into her palm.

Get the job done, she thought. Get it in and let's get the fuck out of here.

Legs moved quickly and she was on her way, with him trailing behind, ever-constant shadow that somehow kept up while staying away.

Thought about things she probably shouldn't.


3. Exposure

He pulled the covers over her body, white and silver from the light peering through the crack in the curtains. Lindsey kissed her shoulder, almost gentle, almost tender. He didn't know her name, and didn't care to ask as he bent to grab his suit pants from the floor. Slid them on over his naked ass and wondered about the way her red hair fell in thick curls across the pillows, if it was her real hair color, not that it mattered.

Sated, for now, a cold wind knocking on the window and crackling against his bare skin. No name, no strings, no worries. Whispers that never said anything but: more, please, harder, get out by morning, okay? Lindsey was getting sick and tired of living his life within the between place.

Shrugged his dress shirt over his broad shoulders, licking his lips and tasting her there.

Buttoned up his shirt, slipped on his socks and shoes, and grabbed his jacket on the way out the door. Didn't bother looking back, just to see the same thing he saw every time.

Someone not bothering to make him stay.

Walking down the long, expensive hotel hallway, he thought of Angel's bruised and bleeding face, staring sadly at his headlights, and just TAKING it.

Exposed to the soul, showing Lindsey that's all it took to change a life or two.


4. Bare

His hands patched up her wounds, like a doctor might do and she kept her chin down, staring intently at his cotton covered toes and wondered if he wiggled them when he was excited. Hurt all over, one big punching bag, because OUCH.

Inside, it was worse, and she hated that he knew it.

Faith's body leaked blood like it was never gonna stop, and hey, she'd taken her chance. Maybe she wouldn't stop bleeding, but that might not be a bad thing.

Wesley touched the side of her face, and she tried to smile, a little cocky, maybe a warning or two, but he had such strange eyes. Like someone had knocked him upside the head a time or two and he was always expecting a swing his way.

She could relate. Big fat fucking sign on her forehead that said: give me something. Just give me SOMETHING.

Exposed, the way she was, like she could change a life or two just by laying herself bare.


5. Wait

Eating alone in the restaurant across from his hotel room, drinking stale coffee and chewing on bad lasagna. Stained silverware was fine with him, placed on the gray napkins by a waitress with a pretty smile and drained eyes. Sipped from his coffee cup and stared out the window, looking hard at the sky, looking indifferent at the people passing by.

Easy to watch for something. Hoping for anything to give.

Just to live again, to stop waiting.

He considered that he shouldn't have left, should have stayed and figured out why he hated Angel so much and why Angel just never stopped to think about it. Punched, bitch slapped, hand broken away, blood, pulled taut on his neck...

Didn't give in, but now...

Fingers tore the napkin to shreds, while fat drops of rain began to fall.

Maybe he'd go to the beach today, watch the waves rise up and swallow the earth's back.


6. Suppose

She drank orange juice from the container, swabbing her mouth with the back of her wrist. He appeared in the doorway of the kitchen, dark eyes watching her.

"I'm not gonna steal nothing, watcher," she hissed. "Hackles down, all right?"

Maybe they weren't up, because he just stood there, with that vacant stare.

"Man, you got fucked up didn't you?"

"I'm fine." Chewed between his mouth until he could mean it. "But I suppose if I am, it's partly your doing isn't it?"

"Suppose all you want," she spat, throwing the juice container down, slamming it against the floor. It burst open on impact, orange liquid splashing across the linoleum. Struck their toes, bare from the night.

"I suppose I'll suppose whether you like it or not," he said, turned, went away.

The scent of orange was strong, savaging her nostrils, making her stomach turn.


7. One Point

Picked up the telephone, but didn't have anyone to call. He set it back into the cradle, hanging his head down and whispering to the floor that this was all one fucked up life and he wanted something else. Realized what he'd said and wished he hadn't.

Tore his tie off and tossed it across the room, swearing about something that made no sense and kicking the mattress hard enough to push it halfway off the frame. Growled - so sick, so tired, so irritated with what his life had become.

Between one point and another there was this damn thing called nowhere.

Unfortunately, Lindsey was never good at waiting and it had been nearly two years of moving from hotel to hotel and back here.

Water sloshed around in his shoes; rain a heavy anecdote he'd like to tell to someone who gave a shit. But no one did, so he kicked his shoes off and landed flat on his back across the crooked mattress, staring at the perfectly white ceiling.

Who was he supposed to be today? Two years told him nothing but time went by faster than anyone could actually predict or hold inside a calendar. Leaving one point behind had brought him nothing but a search for somewhere else.

Somewhere not HERE.


8. Another Point

Shopping mall torn to bits, with Faith standing inside wearing a scowl hard enough to shatter diamonds. Wesley was in the car, music turned down, face a hard muscle that pushed her to do more, do better, to get this job over with already.

Didn't want her around, she guessed, and couldn't really blame him because she didn't want herself around half the time. Too much to atone for, too much memory, and too much blood that she really liked to see getting out of the skin.

Dark and twisted, her body was a vessel for all this shit and she wanted OUT. Sick of sitting, sick of waiting, sick of bars of any kind surrounding her in a place that never went away. Just got grayer and just got longer.

Shadows spun, glass shattered, and someone was crying very softly.

Angelus, there, smiling with a razor blade mouth, asking her things that she had no answer for, unless she was REALLY honest. Hard enough to be kinda honest, fuck anything harder than slight.

Held the stake tightly in her palms and laughed when Angelus asked her if she thought she could kill him.

Swiped at him, missed, and thought shit, just another point for him.


9. Nowhere I

He told himself he had nothing to atone for, but his heart was an abbreviated chunk of his childhood - nothing more there of that, but big boots and a hard looking truck. Lindsey shuddered when the shower washed over him, scrubbing his skin with a washcloth and wondering what was on television that night.

Not who he was. Not who he is. Not who he could one day be.

Stuck with a remote control in his hand, washing body parts that made things slicker and harder, and fuck - needed something hard, like cold white skin - but that didn't matter.

Not in the scheme of things. Not when Lindsey was a major fuck up who could have had it all, but had to chose the richest, the most prominent lawyer firm in all of the United States, just to get further away from his roots.

Oh, he was away now, he thought bitterly. So far away, he was nowhere.


10. Nowhere II

Shove that needle deep enough, Wesley?

Thought, but not said, because he was wearing a creepy face again, and she'd like to toss him down on the ground to get a kiss or two. She was gonna die, so why not? Did it, held him there, pinned him down until he stilled and just looked at her.


Didn't say it.

Her arm throbbed and she kissed him harder than before, until blood swirled in his mouth. Shoved her hand down to his crotch and squeezed.

Making love was overrated, and she wanted to fuck before she died.

Wesley looked at her, with those eyes, and Faith threw herself into him, mouth, body, and all.

"Bring me nowhere, Wes. Bring us nowhere."


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