Title: Live Like You Were Dying- Time to Heal Fandom: Angel Characters: Lindsey McDonald, Angel Word Count: 1,538 Rating: PG-13 Warnings: Major Character Death A/N: AU after Dear Boy Summary: Aftermath of the events in Live Like You Were Dying
It had been two months since Darla had passed on. Summer was now in full swing and I was out checking the front fence line when the sun started to set. I could hear all my relatives out by the lake, laughing and having fun. There hadn’t been a McDonald family reunion in over a decade, and I thought this would be the perfect setting for one. Now that I was free from the firm, I didn’t have to worry so much about their safety.
I lifted a wooden bar back into place, cursing under my breath when it started to slip. Then I heard a car coming up the road. Frowning, I looked up from what I was doing. There shouldn’t be anyone else coming, everyone on the list had arrived earlier. The bar slipped from my hands when I recognized the black car. He was here.
Clenched my jaw as he got out, looking exactly the same as the last time I’d seen him. He was holding something in his fingers and I saw it was the letter she had instructed me to mail. I whispered a phrase in a demon tongue and felt a wave of energy run through the fence. Now he could come into the yard, but I would wait on inviting him into the house.
“Sorry I couldn’t come sooner, we had things come up in LA.” I nodded. A Champion’s work is never done, or some bullshit. He came through the gate and I made my way over.
“Make sure you shut that, I have a hell of a time rounding the dogs up when they get loose.” On cue, three Springer spaniels came tearing around the house like their tails were on fire. Then I realized why. Two of my nephews were chasing after them. In a moment, dogs and kids were almost knocking me over.
“Uncle Lindsey, Brandon keeps chasing the dogs! I told him he should leave them alone, and he won’t listen to me!”
“I was not chasing them! I was... running with them.” Angel was looking very confused.
“Brandon, stop teasing the dogs. If you want to play with them, you know where their toys are.” He looked down at the dirt and kicked a little rock with his foot. “Go on, scat. I need to talk to this man here.”
They seemed to notice Angel for the first time. “Is he one of our cousins?” I heard the vampire snort and shook my head.
“We used to work together.” That wasn’t exactly a lie. “Remind your father that he was supposed to be setting up the fireworks. I’ll be there in a little bit to watch.” The kids cheered when they heard about the fireworks and took off with the dogs close behind.
“You aren’t wearing your fake hand.” I looked down at myself and blinked a couple of times. That was an odd thing for him to notice, but I guess he wasn’t too good at making small talk.
I rubbed my hand over the stump of my wrist. “I stopped wearing it when we came out here. Figured there was no reason to hide it any more. Besides, I’m used to it, and she didn’t mind. That fake one was almost as useless as having nothing at all.”
Turning back towards the broken piece of fence, I went to lift the bar again, and he actually helped me set it into place. “Thanks.” I looked along the stretch of the fence to make sure nothing else had been damaged the other day during the storm.
“Why are all these people here?” I knew he would be able to hear them a lot clearer than my ears could.
Gave him a grin and started to walk towards the house, motioning for him to follow. At first I didn’t think he would, but Angel soon caught up to me. “It’s a family reunion. First time we’ve all been together in a decade. I haven’t seen some of them in ages. Always worked too much, and it was too dangerous for them. But now it’s okay.”
Some of them waved to me as I passed by, and I waved back, leading Angel away from the crowd and towards the apple tree. “Lindsey, the fireworks will be ready in about ten minutes.”
“Thanks, Jacob.” I turned back to focus my attention on the vampire. “That’s my youngest brother. He’s an elementary school teacher. Those were his boys that ran up to us before.”
We reached the foot of the tree and Angel went very still. I moved a little closer, but left him plenty of space. “Was she happy, Lindsey?” I could hear raw pain in his voice and had to look away for a moment.
“She was so happy and brave, all the way up to the very end. I didn’t know her as long as you did, but the entire time she was really alive, I was always there. Before we arrived here, Darla was scared. It had been a long time since she’d been human and everything was frightening and new. I helped her out the best that I could. Gave her all the care and love I had inside of me and then some.”
There was a lump in my throat and I had to swallow a couple of times before I could speak again. “She loved you though. You were always in her thoughts, and in the stories that Darla would share when we were out here. I got to know who she really was.”
Angel reached out and handed me the letter. “She told me to give this to you when I arrived, so here it is. Can I have a few minutes here?”
I closed my fingers around the piece of paper and started for the house. “Take all the time you need, and if you want to stay the night, I invite you into my home. We’ve got plenty of room.”
As I got closer to the house, the fireworks started and I paused to watch for a few minutes before going inside to look at the letter. Sitting down at the kitchen table, I could hear everyone cheering as another round was shot off. Then I unfolded it and began to read, toning everything else out. I could almost hear her voice in my head as my eyes trailed down the page.
My Dear Boy,
By the time this letter reaches you, I shall have left this world for a final time. I wanted to thank you for not doing what I asked when we were last together. At the time I was furious, hurt, and upset, but now I have come to realize it was for the best.
These last few months have been the happiest that I can ever remember. Lindsey has been amazing. First this place, then he let me pick out the horses and a few other animals, and after that he told me to do whatever I wanted to the inside of the house, since it belonged to both of us.
You don’t know him like I do, Angel. He’s a very good man, just got a little lost along the way. It happens to all of us at one point or another. When you come to see him, the two of you need to make peace. I finally understand why you fought so much. Both of you cared for me in your own way, and didn’t want to share.
I finally got to live, really live. It’s not the same as when I was a vampire, that’s true. Everything is new, beautiful, and wonderful. It’s almost as if I was reborn. They gave me a second chance and I took it, milking it to the very last drop.
Give this letter to Lindsey when you come to pay your respects. He’ll still be torn up inside, and perhaps you can be there to help him heal. He can tell you about what we did, help you to see it in your mind. I wasn’t the same, scared woman you chased out of the hotel in L.A.. I was finally given the chance to be myself.
I grow tired, and should rest. Remember that you were always in my thoughts, and that I cared for you very much. One day we shall meet again.
“Can you tell me about her?” I wiped at my face before turning in the chair. Angel looked like I felt. “I can stay as long as you’d like me to. I’ve got all the time in the world.”
He sat down across from me at the table and I started to tell him about the first few days that we had spent together. The fireworks continued in the background, helping us to celebrate her life. I couldn’t help but think she would have loved to see them, and that maybe she could.