Title: Coming to Terms
Author: Dusk (dusk@goldserve.net)
Fandom: Angel
Pairing: Host/m (Not Angel)
Rating: PG
Archive: Songs of Mercy, AngelSlash, RareSlash, Slashrealms, LoveLorne
Disclaimer: Not mine. No profit made from borrowing them.
Summary: Missing scene from 'There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb'. The Host says one goodbye before returning with the others.
Comments: Cleo and I talked about this at length, and decided it needed looking at. Brainsharing again [g] Enjoy, m'dear.
Second comment: I was convinced I'd already posted this, but people say I haven't, so I'll have to assume I hallucinated that... if you *have* already seen this, my apologies. :)
Posted: Sept '01

***

The Host touched his neck gingerly.

"That was... weird," Angel said with an edge of disbelief, from his seat on a bench at the edge of the room. Nobody should have to watch a friend reattach their own head. It was disturbing.

"Well, it didn't feel too pleasant, either, let me tell you." Lorne felt all the way around his neck, trying to assure himself it was all back to normal. "I'm just pleased I'm all back in one piece, you know?"

He turned to pick up his shirt and stopped short. Angel looked up, following his silent gaze and saw a demon standing in the doorway. He didn't look like a member of the Host's family. But he did look a little familiar.

Lorne pulled his shirt over his head and adjusted the belt to his satisfaction before reacting. "Blix," he said evenly, "what are you...?"

Blix shrugged awkwardly, crossing his arms. "Numfar told me you still lived."

Lorne sighed. "That moron. What part of 'tell nobody I'm here' didn't he understand, I wonder?"

"Perhaps he thought I might want to know."

"So you came to yell some more," Lorne said cautiously. "Great. Loving that."

"I had to see for myself the truth of it."

"Fine. You've seen. Now go home."

Blix uncrossed his arms. "Krevlorneswath... Lorne...." he started to say, then stopped, biting his lip.

The Host shook his head, looking tired. "No, Blix, I don't want to do this. You've made your feelings pretty clear. Just go."

"What did you expect?" the demon asked plaintively. "You reappear after five years out of nowhere...."

"You know what I *didn't* expect?" Lorne snapped. "For you to come at me with an axe, telling the whole village that I was there and what you thought of me. I never expected that. Not from you," he added quietly.

"You startled me."

He pulled a face. "Oh, well, that makes it all just fine, then."

"Really?" Blix asked hopefully.

"*No!*"

"I could not have helped you! Had anyone found you in my home it would have meant my death."

"And your reaction nearly assured mine, so excuse me if I hold a grudge. And you know what? That hurt. Deserter... okay, that one's fair enough, but traitor? Betrayer?"

Blix watched him, a hint of sadness in his eyes. "When you left you were declared thus."

"So? Okay, I'm *sorry* I left like that. It's not what I planned. But it happened, I saw a chance and I took it. I don't regret that, because it took me someplace *better*. There really wasn't time to let you know and even if there had been, it would have been just too risky."

Lorne turned to face Blix, who stepped forward tentatively. They looked at each other for a long few seconds. Angel, doing his best to stay unobtrusive, looked from one to the other, trying to read what was happening.

"Blix, we talked about this since we were old enough to *speak*. You knew how much I hated it here and you also knew that one day, I just wasn't going to come home."

Blix nodded. "I didn't think it would really happen," he admitted.

"Well, it did happen, and I couldn't be happier about that," Lorne said quietly.

"Where did you go?" Blix said after a moment of silence.

"Someplace wonderful. There's so many kinds of people, and I have a purpose there, and almost nobody wants me dead. And there's music, there, all kinds of music. Lots of it."

"Music?"

Lorne quietly hummed a few bars, and Blix's eyes widened.

"Remember now?" Lorne asked with a smile.

"Yes... I remember. You found it."

He nodded. "I found it. I'm not sick. It's real. Just not... here."

Blix reached out to touch Lorne's arm, and he shrugged it off with irritation.

"Don't touch me! I'm still pissed about the axe."

Blix took his arm in a firmer grasp and Angel stepped forward, ready to intervene. The Host glanced at him, remembering his presence for the first time.

"No, Angel, it's okay," he said slowly. He reached up and covered Blix's hand with his own, his attention once more completely focused on the other demon.

"Blix, we're leaving. Right now. And I'm not going to be coming back."

"Are you sure?"

Lorne nodded again. "As sure as I can be."

He paused for a moment, his hand still on Blix's. "And the *only* thing I regret about that is you. Come with me."

Blix raised his eyebrows. "To this other world?" he said sceptically.

"It's a *great* place. Very, very different, and not perfect... but *so* much better. Believe me."

Blix carefully pulled his hand away from Lorne's arm.

"Better for you, perhaps. Lorne... I never hated it here like you did. I live here, I have family here. What do I have to run from?"

The Host sighed. "Not as much as I have, I guess. So I can't talk you into it?"

"No. I'm sorry," Blix said, shaking his head slowly.

"So am I," Lorne said.

Blix didn't move. "I should leave," he said. "I'm only meant to be conveying a message of support from my mother to yours. If I delay, there will be questions."

"Everybody knowing everybody else's business. I won't miss *that*."

Blix nodded and looked to the door. "Then... enjoy your new world."

"Hey," Lorne said softly. Blix turned back and Lorne clasped his shoulder, stepping closer. He leaned in and brushed his left horn gently against Blix's.

Their eyes met and Blix nodded, turning slightly to kiss him. Lorne lifted a hand to his face.

Angel turned and left the room as quietly as possible. Numfar looked up as he exited.

"He'll... be out in a minute," Angel said, taking a seat outside the room.

Numfar nodded sympathetically and returned to his task.

Angel tapped his fingers on the bench, smiling at the Host's mother when he saw her regarding him with an unreadable expression. Maybe he should go outside, take advantage of the sunlight while he still could....

The Host stepped out of the room, stretching his neck.

"Good as new," he announced to them all, "although I seem to have put on about a hundred and fifty eight pounds."

Angel took his cue, guessing Blix had made an alternate exit. Don't say anything about it.

"You look great," he said honestly. "Love the trousers."

Lorne smiled and turned to his mother. "It's been a thrill, Mom, see ya' in a millennium or three." He grimaced slightly as she announced her opinion of him.

It was definitely time to go.

No regrets.

[end]





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