Random Musing on Dimension Shopping and Gravity
Well, that had been fairly horrifying. Lorne sat in the darkest corner of the dusty and ill-kept bar and ran his finger around the edge of the whiskey glass. Whiskey. Not his usual. Then again, he didn't usually shoot people in the back, either. Lindsey's surprised stare haunted him, and not in the same way that Angel's unfortunately caterwauling of Manilow hits haunted him. No, he could practically feel Lindsey's gaze still on him.
Lorne lowered his head and pulled his hat down as three new men walked into the bar. Maybe Angel would fail to take down the rest of the Black Thorn. Maybe these were his last moments on Earth and the whole imbroglio that was Angel's quest was soon to blow up into a spectacular Armageddon.
For a second, he considered leaving. He could go to the alley and offer to help. He could go back to that room and move Lindsey's cold limbs so that he wasn't caught in such an undignified sprawl. He could.... Lorne picked up the shot glass, downed the whiskey, and nearly cried as it burned its way down his throat.
The first time he'd heard Lindsey sing, that had burned, too. Lindsey carried so many wounds. His fear—fear of hunger, of failure, of loneliness and mediocrity and pain—he'd carried all that so that his notes were like poisoned darts that carried his anguish straight into Lorne. It had taken four Seabreezes to calm the feeling of failure that washed through Lorne.
If he had only reached Lindsey... if he had only convinced the man to walk away when he had discovered his actions were hurting others. Could he have worked harder to find the right words to explain to Lindsey that his unethical actions could hurt him. After all, Angel had cut Lindsey's hand off, so that should have been an easy argument. But no. Lorne had failed to heal that wounded soul that had cried out to him. Instead, Lorne had shot him. He had ended Lindsey's life and with it, ended the possibility that Lindsey could move past the pain and rediscover the goodness that he had buried deep within his soul for fear that someone would use it against him.
Lorne rolled the empty shot glass up and down the dirty table, watching individual drops of amber liquid escape and gather on the rough grain of the wood. Why had he done it? Lorne knew the answer to that, but he couldn't silence the question that echoed. Angel needed him to. Angel was the giant sucking hole of need that all things had gotten pulled into, and Lorne had just been one more thing. Angel needed Lindsey dead, Lorne had obliged. Angel needed someone inside Wolfram and Hart with him, and Lorne followed. Angel needed for people to forget his precious son, and Lorne forgot.
Lorne wasn't kidding when he'd told Angel to never call again because his greatest fear was that it didn't matter—any of it. His pain didn't matter. Lindsey's death didn't matter, sweet Fred's sacrifice didn't matter. No, when Angel called and devoured Lorne with his raw need, Lorne was afraid that he would only lose himself again.
Picking up the glass, Lorne thunked it down on the wood and stood up. There were some nice dimensions out there—all of them guaranteed to be Angel-free. Maybe it was time for him to look into that before Angel's gravity pulled him in again.