by Te
December 2000

Disclaimer: If they belonged to me, I'd stay on the *right* side of
the shelter.

Spoilers: Assorted Angel episodes, up through Reunion.

Summary: Lindsey puts it in order.

Ratings Note: R.

Author's Note: I wanted to know the deal with that little *smile*.

Acknowledgments: For Dawn Sharon, who poked me just right.


"What do you know? What do you *know*, you little shit?!"

Lilah's last words... I have to admit, I want to laugh my ass off at
them. She might have said more, but the screams are drowning out
quite a lot.

Angel is fast, and powerful -- I've got the bruises to prove it -- but
Drusilla is... something else entirely. Less ethereal than simply
dark. Everything a dark beauty is supposed to be, and so very powerful.
She practically flies about the room, until everything around is
splashed and writhing.

Darla, *my* Darla, is different. Slow, thorough, and vicious. Brightly
cheerful throughout. It's not as though Drusilla is solemn -- on the
contrary, her smile is brilliant through all the blood -- it's just
that it's abundantly clear that Drusilla hasn't known sunshine for a
long, long time, whereas I fancy I can still sense it all over Darla.

The smell and ghost of it all over her dead flesh.

Lilah wanted to know why I was smiling, what I knew. Perhaps she thought
I thought myself safe from this massacre. I don't. I know nothing
about the beautiful women killing a good quarter of Wolfram and Hart's
brain trust. I don't know whether I'll live or die -- though I think
I'll most probably die, slow, under Darla's loving care.

But I just can't keep from smiling. I've been jerked around by these
people for the better part of my adulthood. I've lost what was left
of my innocence, and the pathetic dregs of my family. I lost my

Doubtless, any number of the rituals I've performed have consigned
my soul to the service of some demon for eternity, even if the more
banal work in the courtroom has not.

Don't get me wrong -- regret doesn't really come into this. I wouldn't
have changed a thing, though perhaps I might have decided to be
more than just *fashionably* late to this particular party. It's
too funny. Not ten feet away from the door and there's no hope in hell.

I heard him lock it.

Such a *bastard*, like every Powers-driven hero ought to be, I suppose...
though I doubt this will get him any closer to his desired humanity.

Did they think we hadn't at least *copied* the scroll?

No, the only ones getting out of this room are Drusilla and Darla.

Their lovely new outfits are being ruined.

Darla looks up from Sally's body and smiles at me.

It's all. Maybe this is just the madness of the final moments. It's not
as though I've never seen that before. People always change right before
the final moment. Maybe it's a sudden burst of rage. Maybe it's gibbering,
maybe it's just... calm.

Like this.

I think this is the first time in years that I've *really* had some
idea of the path my life is really taking. It's... new.


There's even a certain power to it. The others are still fighting,
screaming, everything. Every last one of them will die with one of those
ridiculously surprised looks on their faces.

While I...

Well, it's entirely possible that I'll die with a smile.