Interlude - 3

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TEASER: Grace's p-o-v on the entire series so far.


"I won't be long. Promise." He whispered, leaning near my ear as he knelt down by the couch. "I'm just going to help Gunn with something and I'll be back."

"Don't worry about it." I said. "I'm tired anyway. I might be asleep by the time you get up the stairs."

Angel laughed. "Right. I bet the minute I get out of here you and Cordelia are gonna have this raging party."

I glanced at him. "Do I look like I'm in the mood to party?"

"I wish you were." He gently stroked the side of my face. "Feel better, okay?" He kissed my forehead, then stood up and shot me a happy smile.

Angel's got a great smile.

That's one of the things Doyle told me about him. It was strange when I heard it the first time, but I know now what he meant. When Angel smiles, it's contagious.

Other than that, the one thing Doyle always told me, was that if I ever needed help, Angel and his friends would be there for me. If I absolutely had to come to Los Angeles, then I was supposed to find Angel and Cordelia. Doyle promise they'd be able to take care of me. And when the demons that Doyle owed decided to stalk me day and night until they got their money, I came to LA and found out that my brother had been right.

There are more of us now than there were when Doyle was here. Earlier, before my brother died, it was only Angel and Cordelia that fought side by side against the evil that plagued the city. But it's different now. Angel's been able to open up and let people into his life.

After all, I'm still here.

Along with me, Wesley and Gunn both joined the group and their help has been amazing. They know when they're needed and they know when to pull back and let Angel handle things on his own. They're good friends to him and they're always there when he needs them. We're like a close knit family, all of us. Each of us knows what the others need.

Angel's apartment was always dark. It was dark as I lay on the couch and stare at the ceiling. It was never an evil dark though. There was a difference. I always felt safe in his apartment. Everything, no matter how dark, always has a bit of Angel in it. The shadows cast under the couches and in the corners didn't want to hurt me.

Wolfram and Hart was a different story. You could feel the evil when you walked past the building and you could sense that they would kill you at the slightest movement. The shadows that lurked in their corners were pure evil.

I always thought Lindsey McDonald was the same. But after last week's fight with the vampires, I've realized that maybe I've been wrong all along. He saved my life, after all. When Spike had me in his grip of death, Lindsey came forward and pulled me back. I'm alive now because of the lawyer from Wolfram and Hart.

I think maybe he was just misunderstood. I know that sounds typical and stupid, but it's true. Lindsey's had a hard life and while he used to be confused about where his loyalties should lie, I think he knows now what he needs. And he doesn't need the six figure salary he's receiving. He doesn't need the anonymity he gets at Wolfram and Hart. He doesn't need Holland Manners breathing down his neck.

He needs to feel free.

And maybe he doesn't realize it yet, but we can give Lindsey the freedom he needs. We can keep Wolfram and Hart away from him while he rebuilds the life that he lost so many years ago.

I never imagined I would spend so much time trying to figure out what went on in Lindsey McDonald's brain. I just wish he would accept that we can help him and let us do our job. Instead he's sitting now behind a big desk in his office and rubbing his temples. He probably has a throbbing headache from avoiding Holland all day long and dealing with Spike and Darla.

Angel knows they're still in Los Angeles. He says he can feel them when they move. I don't like how that sounds and I wish they would go away, but apparently Wolfram and Hart isn't done with them. They still need the vampires to finish the job.

I still get headaches every day from the blow I received while fighting Spike and Darla. She hit me with a piece of firewood and I lost a lot of blood. While I'm feeling stonger and my bruises are fading, I still get dizzy spells and headaches from my injuries. The doctor I'm seeing told me I have nothing to worry about. The headaches should go away in another week or so and I'm lucky that someone had chanced upon me when they did.

That was the story we gave him. I got hit on the head in an alley when I was walking home and Angel found me before it was too late.

Gee, lucky me.

I wonder what the doctor would say if he found out I was half demon. I wonder if he'd scream and run if I showed him my true face. Maybe he'd do the same if Angel showed him his true face. And if we told him that we'd been fighting vampires and evil lawyers, not the unfortunate victims of a mugging, what would he say then?

It's funny to think how many people in the world are completely oblivious to what really goes on around them. I wonder if any of them have the slightest idea that there is someone out there, trying their hardest to help them. Someone working all the time to be everywhere at once and still never be seen. Someone that cares too much about everyone else and not enough about himself.

Sometimes succeeding, often failing.

It hurts him when he hears about people he couldn't save. I know he doesn't let us see it because he knows it's unrealistic to be everywhere at once. But he still wants to save everyone. It's not just about redemption anymore. It's about saving lives and making people happy.

I just wish he'd let himself be happy. Not the kind of happy that would get us all killed, that's not what I mean. I wish he would understand that sometimes, it's okay to laugh. And it's okay to cry. Just because he's a vampire doesn't mean he can't show emotion.

If he could just accept that, sometimes, he's not going to make it there on time, maybe he'd smile more.

Angel's got a great smile.

I fall asleep thinking about his smile. It's the same thing that's in my mind every night when I go to sleep and when I'm lucky, it's the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning. The great smile.

The End