Title: Rogue demon hunter
Characters: Lindsey McDonald, Wesley Wyndam-Price
Word count: 2,423
A/N: This is AU before Parting Gifts and Lindsey is a vampire.
Summary: Lindsey runs into a rogue demon hunter.
I gave Lorne a wave as I made my way up the stairs and out into the parking lot of Caritas. Switching my guitar case to my left hand, I headed toward my truck. I'd just unlocked the door when I thought I heard someone cry out in the alley behind a nearby building. I set my case in the truck and closed the door. The noise came again, louder this time, and I decided to see what it was.
My eyebrows shot up when I reached the mouth of the alley. Some guy dressed in a leather coat was fighting a demon twice his size. The demon let out a roar as it lunged forward, trying to tear the guy's guts out with claws longer than my hand. Leather coat guy jumped sideways, narrowly avoiding being sliced to ribbons. I winced as he hit the ground hard. The demon laughed as it closed in for the kill. I frowned as I got a better look at the demon.
"Damn it, Andre!" The demon froze. "What did I say about killing people inside of the city?" My face changed as I stalked my way down the alley. "Wolfram and Hart has specifically stated you are only to kill or eat people outside of city limits for the next two months because of the mess you left at the restaurant."
"Oh, nice to see you, Lindsey." Andre straightened up when I reached him. My head barely came to his chest. "It was self-defense! This guy came out of nowhere and stuck a knife in my back. The knife is still there. See for yourself."
When he turned around, I could see the knife he was talking about. "Hold still and I'll pull it out." I wrapped my fingers around the handle before yanking as hard as I could. The blade pulled free with a sickening pop, sending me staggering backward.
Leather coat guy groaned behind me, making the spines on Andre's shoulders raise up. "I'd like you to just walk away, Andre. You really don't want to kill this guy. If he dies, the Junior Partners will be royally pissed off."
"Fine!" He threw his hands in the air. "This isn't fair."
"Life isn't fair." I waited until he'd wandered off before I went to check on the man. "Hey, are you okay?"
He swung his arm and almost caught me in the chest with the stake he was holding. "Get away from me, you monster."
When he tried again, I grabbed him by the wrist. "Look, asshole, I just saved your life. Trying to shove a stake in my heart is really rude." I tightened my grip on his wrist until the stake tumbled out of his fingers. Lashing out with my foot, I kicked it to the other end of the alley. "Wait a second, I know you from somewhere."
"I've never met you before in my life. Now unhand me!" He landed on his ass when I let go.
I snapped my fingers. "You're a Watcher in Sunnydale. They brought you in to be in charge of Faith. Wesley something long and fancy-sounding." Some of the color drained from his face. "Why is a Watcher wandering around alleys in Los Angeles randomly attacking demons?" He looked in every direction other than at me. "I think there was a memo about what happened over there. Didn't she go psycho or something?"
"I was a Watcher." He removed his glasses, wiped them on his shirt, and then put them back on again. "How do you even know this information? You're just a vampire."
"I'm a vampire who works for Wolfram and Hart." His eyes widened. "Lindsey McDonald." I held my hand out. When he didn't take it, I scowled at him. "Don't be a dick. We are having a civil conversation here."
"Wesley Wyndam-Price." He gave me a confused look. "If you're a vampire and you work for evil itself, why in the world would you save my life?"
"Andre is a client of mine. If he'd killed you, it would have been a large mess for me to deal with. You have no idea how much paperwork is involved in crap like that." I glanced at his leg. "You do know he tore your leg open, right? Well, maybe you don't. His claws contain a numbing agent. You'll start feeling it in about twenty minutes."
Wesley pressed his hand against the torn fabric. His fingers came away covered in crimson. "I need to get to a hospital."
"Screw that. I can patch you up at my place."
"That's completely unnecessary, Mr. McDonald." He tried to stand up, but his leg wasn't co-operating. I reached out to help steady him. "I can just take a cab."
"Call me Lindsey. Mr. McDonald was my old man." I sighed, letting my face change back to normal. "I am trying to do something nice here."
"Do you have a soul?" He studied me curiously. "A vampire in Sunnydale, his name is Angel, has one."
"Figures you'd know that gel-haired jerk. We've met. He kicked my client out a window and nearly got me fried in the process." I muttered something under my breath. "To answer the question, I don't have a soul. You don't need one to do nice things."
"If I take you up on your offer, what exactly are you going to do?" Wesley eyed me warily.
"What is that supposed to mean?" I crossed my arms over my chest. "I am going to take care of the wound on your leg. If you're worried about me feeding on you, that's not going to happen. I have blood in the fridge. Do you need to tell anyone where you'll be? You can use my phone when we get there."
"I... I don't have anyone to contact. I've been wandering from place to place."
He looked like someone had just kicked him in the puppy and now I felt bad for bringing it up. I cleared my throat. "Look, just come with me and we'll figure out where to go from there after you're patched up. Okay?" I walked with him to the end of the alley. "That's my truck over there."
"I was expecting something fancier." He gave me a small smile. "You must not be very good at your job."
"Hey! I happen to be one of the best lawyers they have." I smacked his shoulder. "Just get in the truck, Wesley."
"Wow, evil clearly pays quite well." He limped in a circle as he looked at my apartment. "This place is rather large."
"The bathroom is this way." I lead him down the hall. "Get your pants off and sit down on the tub so I can clean your leg out." He didn't move, just stared at me with his mouth open. I rolled my eyes. "You can wander around killing things, but taking off your already ruined jeans is where you draw the line? I'm only going to touch your leg, okay? No bad touching will happen unless you say 'Oh, Lindsey, your hands are amazing, why don't you use them in other places?'."
That earned me a small smile. I sat down on the lid of the toilet while Wesley worked on removing his pants. He sucked in a breath when we finally got a look at the wound. Three of the demon's claws had left their mark in his flesh. The wounds looked nasty and I could see blood trickling down his skin.
"Sit down and stick your legs in the tub. I'll clean those gashes out and then I'll have a better idea if you need stitches or not." When he did what I asked, I grabbed the handheld sprayer and turned the water on. I made sure to keep it on the cooler side as I aimed it at his leg. He swore loudly as the water made contact.
"Do you actually have any medical knowledge or are you making this up as you go along, Lindsey?" Wesley stared at the pink swirling down the drain for a moment before closing his eyes. "I still think I should have gone to the hospital."
"What exactly would you have told them? You look like you were attacked by a bear. We don't have too many of the four-legged variety running around Los Angeles, Wesley." I turned the water off and knelt down to see how bad the damage was.
"Well?" He pushed his glasses up his nose as he leaned down. "I'm sure I could have come up with some sort of a convincing story."
"Yeah, right." I motioned for him to put his leg up on the edge of the tub. "These two I can bandage. This top one, that should probably be stitched. I do know how to sew. We didn't exactly have a ton of money when I was a kid. We did our own doctoring."
"You'll numb it first?" He bit his lip. "It isn't as bad as I thought it would be."
"Yeah, I've got something in the cupboard." I gave his knee a gentle pat. "You're really lucky, Wesley. If you hadn't moved when you did, he would have taken your leg off at the knee."
"I could have gone my entire life without knowing that, Lindsey."
Wesley was sprawled on half of my couch, watching a zombie movie and slowly working his way through a pizza. He'd been surprised when I'd eaten a couple of breadsticks until I pointed out that while I liked the taste, real food didn't actually help slack my hunger for blood. I glanced at the three empty beer bottles in front of him.
"I think you should switch to cola or something, Wesley. Otherwise you're going to end up with one hell of a headache in the morning." I finished draining the bag of blood I was holding. My tongue flicked out, catching the few drops on my lip.
"I did everything wrong. It was all my fault, you know. I should have done a better job and then I'd still be with the Council instead of having to be a rogue demon hunter." He opened another beer, downed half, and let out a huge belch.
"Wesley? Look at me." He turned his head, blinking a few times. "There are some people you will never be able to fix. It's like they're an expensive glass sculpture. They get knocked off the shelf and they break into large chunks. You come along and you try to glue it back together, but the harder you push, the more the pieces break until your hands are a mess and you've got bits of glass everywhere. Other people come by, they end up with glass in their feet, and they blame you for the mess when all you were trying to do was make things better. It isn't your fault."
"Wow." He set the beer down. "Either I'm very drunk or that was the nicest thing someone's said to me in a while."
"I've got one more for you. You think you can handle that?" Wesley nodded slowly. "No matter how hard you try, no matter how much you accomplish, you will always disappoint someone. Family, friends, strangers, people you know... you can please some of them, but not all. There will always be a few who you can't make happy. Screw them. Do things that make you happy. Do things because they feel right or just because they make you feel good. You'll be a much happier person."
He didn't say anything. Leaning forward, I saw he had fallen asleep and was snoring softly. Getting to my feet, I cleaned up the mess on the coffee table and put all of the empty bottles in the sink. I grabbed a blanket from the cupboard in the hallway and draped it over him. Then I went to bed.
The smell of burning food woke me. I ran a hand over my face before checking the clock. Yawning, I slipped out of bed. I headed to the kitchen to see what he had managed to overcook.
"Did I wake you? I'm sorry. I must have turned the eggs up too high. I don't think they're edible now." Wesley showed me something black and crunchy in a pan.
I wrinkled my nose at it. "That used to be eggs? How's your leg?"
"Sore, but the stitches still look fine." He dumped the eggs in the trash. "I went to the market on the corner to get some actual food in here. I swear I remember you saying I could stay here until I figured out what I was doing at some point last night. Did that actually happen?"
"Yeah." I ran my fingers through my hair a couple of times. "You have a few options. You can continue this whole 'rogue demon hunter' thing and probably get yourself killed because lone people don't make it very long doing that sort of thing. You could apply to Wolfram and Hart. They could use people with your knowledge, especially since you used to be on the Watcher's Council. It isn't all about evil, but most of it is. Or, and this is probably your best choice, you can go meet up with Angel and see if he's looking for any more members of his Merry Band of Morons, no offense."
"You really don't like him, do you?"
"I think he's full of crap." I snagged a piece of toast and took a bite. "He acts like he's all noble and good, but no matter what he does, that isn't going to wash away all the people he killed over the years."
"He's a Champion of the Powers That Be." Wesley flipped over the new batch of eggs he was making. "He's saved people."
I finished my toast. "Yeah, well, so have I."
"True." He set the eggs on a plate and turned the pan off.
The corners of my mouth twitched. "Look, I think you're a decent guy. You've just had a bunch of bad shit happen. You'll come back from it. If you join up with him, I'm sure you'll do great things together. We're not on the same side of the fight, but if you want to stay here for a while or drop by from time to time, I'm cool with it."
The smile he gave me made him look years younger. "Thank you, Lindsey."
"You're welcome, Wesley."