Author: Kat Lee
Character/Pairing: Lorne, Gunn/Fred, Wesley/Fred, past Angel/Buffy
Challenge/Prompt: nekid_spike A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words: Day 22:
Warning(s): Cannon Character Death
Word Count: 542
Date Written: 22 August 2017
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to Whedon, not the author, and are used without permission.
Lorne pauses as he walks into the room, his heart instantly being gripped by the heartache of his friends. He looks at Charles first, and his own heart almost breaks as he witnesses his sorrow. He shakes his head sadly, his red horns drawing downward. He doesn’t know what to tell the kid, and he doesn’t know what’s worse: losing the woman you love to death or seeing something . . . else in her body and knowing it has to stay there in order for her to live at all.
He shakes his head and sashays over. “Here, kiddo,” he speaks softly to him, sliding his champagne glass beneath him. Gunn just looks at it. Lorne knows he’s accustomed to harder drinks, but still it can only help. “You need it worse than I do, big boy.” He pats his shoulder, then moves on to his best friend and, he fears at times, his greatest trial.
Most nights, he’s moping because of Cordy, but tonight watching Gunn watch Illyria in Fred’s body has Angel on another kick. “Yes,” Lorne acknowledges, coming up to him, “probably a lot of what’s going through Charles’ mind went through Buffy’s, but unlike Illyria, your Angelus is . . . “
“Pure evil,” Angel snarls, turning his back to both the scene below them and his friend.
Lorne slides beside him and pats his muscular shoulder with a perfectly manicured hand. “I was going to say another part of you, just the evil part, but if the fangs fit -- “
Angel sighs and persists in looking away. “You’re right,” he says, “but what choice did we have?”
Lorne shrugs. “None really, Angelcakes. You kill that Demon, not only are you killing somebody who’s trying to learn to be good, but you’re killing Fred again.”
“Precisely,” Angel whispers, closing his eyes against the painful reality.
Lorne pats his shoulder again. “Some questions just aren’t worth asking, sweetcakes. Better some form of Fred than none, huh?”
“Is it?” Angel asks, opening his eyes and finally looking at Lorne.
Lorne flicks his bright, red nails toward the lobby below them and, in particular, their British friend peering around one corner at Illyria in Fred’s body. “Some folks would think so,” Lorne says gently, indicating the gaping Wesley. He rubs the space between his horns as he walks pass Angel. “But I think I’m going to retire for tonight, Angelcakes. I swear living with you people is like living in a soap opera.”
And like a soap opera, he thinks as the elevator shuts behind him, sometimes, there are no happy endings. By the time he reaches his bedroom, Lorne is crying again and he knows tonight will be another sleepless night spent with others’ thoughts and emotions filling his mind to the point of breaking him. Perhaps it’s time he took a page from the leading ladies and left as well, but at least here he has friendship. He shudders as he thinks about the humans in the outside world and their reactions to him. Yes, it’s better to stay here where he’s loved as a friend by people who are in desperate need of a friend themselves than to face a world where there is no love left to have or give.