Looking For Doors
by Scy

Sometimes, late at night, Lindsey would wake up, look toward the door cracked far enough for light to fall in, and wonder why there wasn't a shadow just past the doorway. Before they lost the house, back when he'd thought his father owned what he worked for, Lindsey had waited up for him. Stayed awake but still, so that his father could stand in the doorway, looking in but not saying anything. They'd been able to handle those sort of moments better, nobody actually talked, and so there was no chance for it to be ruined with words.

Lindsey thought that if his dad could have dealt with people better, they might not have been thoroughly wiped out. Someone charming and manipulative could have saved some small part of what the McDonalds had built in several generations.

Now, Lindsey imagined himself squaring off with the self-assured, strutting, bank attorneys and knew that he was better than them. It wasn't any kind of comfort that he could hold onto; there were two siblings lost in that winter, and he kept his distance from the rest of them. His expertise was worth sharing, the firm's policy on excess baggage as blackmail was nothing he wanted to deal with.

Holland had complimented him on the complete break he'd made with his roots; how it took character to do something like that, and how promising such self-sufficiency was. Lindsey took it all in and knew that t he money he sent to his mother was flagged as soon as he wrote out the checks. It meant a lot to have Holland's attention, he just wished that he was able to control it.

Angel didn't think much of his history; he'd listened to all of what Lindsey had to say, but had a slightly bored look on his face. He didn't have to say that he'd heard or lived through it all, Lindsey was smart enough to pick up on that. Usually he let indifference brush past him, he knew his own worth and had a position that proved it, he wasn't looking for approval. But somehow Angel was different. Not just another player in town who learned better and faded away, he kept stepping up and making Special Projects' more of a challenging division than it needed to be.

At least, that's what was only implied in meetings; nobody wanted to seem as though they were shirking, and so they kept their more boisterous complaints to themselves. Whatever Lindsey thought of his colleagues' misgivings, he kept them to himself; the front of being talented but young and potentially naive had served as an effective tool for years, and he saw no need to share his enjoyment of a challenge.

He had no doubt that Angel was part of the Senior Partners long-term plans, it had been stressed often enough in meetings that everyone knew their own worth was limited when compared to the vampire's. The difference between Lindsey and the rest of the junior members was his determination to make himself matter. He would not be ignored or passed over as insignificant, and whoever was able to recognize his worth would benefit.

After Holland confided that Lindsey would go far at Wolfram and Hart; Lindsey looked at the dossier being compiled on Angel and wondered which direction he was being pointed in. There weren't any maps or guides who he could trust to answer honestly, or let him know what it meant when he'd attracted the wrong sort of attention. Without admitting to any unhealthy attachments, Lindsey couldn't very well go to his mentor for help, but he did mention that the assignment was more challenging than he'd expected.

Although he was used to working for what he wanted, it was never quite so hard or without much success. It didn't matter what he did, Angel didn't seem to care. All the lines that had struck chords in teachers, coaches, recruiters, none of them resonated with Angel. It took someone extremely detached or cynical to listen to a history of unfortunate circumstance and not care. Privately, Lindsey thought that it was a skill he wasn't averse to picking up, he just had to figure out whether it was worthwhile to approach Angel in order to gain that insight.

For the time being, he lay in bed and glanced toward his door, knowing that nobody was going to stand silently by, and at the same time be ready to step in and help.


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