Anna S. (eliade) wrote,
Anna S.

movable type

"You one of his strays?" Lindsey asks the first night he hits the Hyperion. He's trying to show off his edge--trying to keep it, actually--afraid that he lost it two years ago along with the sharp creases in his Ermenegildo Zegna tailored trousers. Couture doesn't travel well in the bed of a pick-up, and those trousers have now made a round trip back to L.A. even though he's in denim for the occasion.

He doesn't even know the guy's name then, but the look he gets is one he remembers for weeks afterwards, an assessing, jaded look from under a scruff of hair. The kid can't be more than twenty, twenty-one, but he's tired and unimpressed, a minimum-wage night watchman pulling his shift in Hell.

"Me?" the kid says, slouched back on the lobby couch. "I'm just your friendly neighborhood court jester, bellhop, and all-around Guy Friday. I like to be on hand for those sudden late-night arrivals, just in case anyone interesting shows up." He offers the kind of joshing smile that probably gets him punched in bars. "They asked me to make an exception for you."


And that's their first conversation because Angel comes striding in, face like a stone lion's and eyes fixed on Lindsey. From that point on it's all business, until Lindsey delivers the goods he's promised, until he proves himself. Then somehow he's staying, he's one of the strays, doing more pro bono work than he's ever done in his life, and bitching only a little. He's still got both kinds of hard-on for Angel it turns out, the angry kind and the late-night, sweaty, hate-yourself-afterwards kind, and he curses that, but outwardly shows nothing. He can do stone-face too. He's a lawyer, after all. And he knows by now that Angel is a lost cause in search of other lost causes. Lindsey's been found. Case closed.

Turns out Angel Investigations has been working up a backlog of deep need for legal aid, and shitstorm after shitstorm hits the fan. Xander is low enough on the totem pole that Angel lets Lindsey dump work on him. Weeks go by when Lindsey barely has time enough to notice the kid--he's just a head of floppy hair bent over a book, a glimpse of wrinkled shirt in the corner of Lindsey's eye. Occasional bad jokes, the exchange of terse, work-related chat, and Chinese take-out are the extent of their bonding until the day when a plague of tiny furry demons infests the hotel.

Lindsey starts keeping a baseball bat on his desk in case one of the squeaky pests pops up. One night when everyone else is out on a case there's an incident involving three scampering balls of teeth and a lot of adrenaline. It's a visceral terror, having something that looks like a cross between an earmuff, a bowling ball, and a spider scuttle your way at approximately mach five. He and Xander leap around the office like fools, yelling and waving their weapons, trying to corner and trap and smash the beasts. They peer cautiously under tables, slam doors shut just in time to hear dull thumps on the other side. Eventually they're left staring at three splattered and unmoving lumps that they've kicked to one side of the conference room.

"Dear god," Xander says, enunciating each word with deep and heartfelt emphasis.

They kill a bottle of Johnnie Walker, mostly from a seated position on the floor, then somehow get the bright idea to carry their mission of deadly force out into the rest of the hotel. Armed and drunk they wander from floor to floor, poking into the unused rooms, cracking rude jokes about Angel. Now that's bonding, as it turns out. In fact Lindsey is pretty sure that giggling took place, or maybe sniggering. That Xander, he's not a bad guy. In the spirit of things Lindsey sings a song, or maybe seven or eight. The next day he can't remember exactly what ditties he reeled off, but he's pretty sure the one about the donkey and the preacher's daughter was among them. Xander seems to have a new admiration for him.

Cases come and go. Xander gets a crush on Fred then gets over it. Lindsey sleeps with a nice woman who turns out to be not so nice, though even afterwards Wes seems to admire her for her knife collection.

Two months later, after an investigation of pheromone-laden hermaphrodites that leaves them all shaken, Xander says, "I think I might be you think I can get workman's comp for that?"

"You shouldn't worry," Lindsey says when he figures out the kid's more serious than joking. "Girls'll stomp on your heart, guys on your ribs. But it's all the same when it comes down. Same shit, same look in their eyes."

"Same song playing on the juke."

"Tears and beer and Hank."

"As long as there's sex before the heartbreak, I guess I can work out the rest of the details."

Two months after that, Xander says, "You're so not my type." He's an inch from a kiss as he says it, all hot breath and breathlessness. Lindsey swallows and his head angles by instinct into a little human contact. Angles *up* just a bit actually, and that works for him though he doesn't feel the need to say so.

"Yeah. You neither."

But they start cutting work in the middle of the day to meet upstairs, tumble each other across the wall and slide their hips together frantically. When Spike starts favoring them with open mockery, they know they're a couple. They don't share a room but they often sit up in Lindsey's bed eating Chinese take-out with the country music station playing. A lot of licking goes on in bed too, and guitar strumming, and one day Lindsey looks across the conference table at Angel while the vampire is deep in some boring monologue and he realizes he can't remember the last time he jacked off to the bastard.

Thank Christ, he thinks, and glances at Xander and catches his eye and smiles a little smile.

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