Have a Little Faith, Chapter 21

Lindsey could only hear.  Everything in his line of vision was white.

“Shortcake,” said Faith’s voice.  She sounded so concerned.  He felt her hand on the side of his head, taping it slightly.  “Come on, Shortcake, wake up.”

“Don’t call me shortcake,” he mumbled.

“Lindsey,” she said, her voice all choked up. “For gods sake, wake up, please.”

Lindsey finally realized this was not a dream.  He opened his eyes.  He was still in the Oracle's temple.  Faith was above him looking concerned.

“Angelus,” he said suddenly.  He tried to get up, but felt dizzy from his head getting hit against the wall.

“He’s gone,” she said, offering him her hand.  “He must have left you.”

Lindsey grabbed her hand and she pulled him up.  He could see them over her shoulder.  It was the Oracles. They were laying there with their necks broken. Their eyes staring lifelessly into space.

“Oh god,” Lindsey cried out.  “This is all my fault.”

“No, no, it isn’t,” Faith said, concerned.  She grabbed him and made him face her.  “This is not your fault.  It is Angelus’.”

“Angelus thought—He thought it was the visions that were stopping him.  It should be me—“

“But it is not your destiny.”

Faith and Lindsey looked back to the bodies of the Oracle.  The ghost of the female Oracle was standing over her body. "I can't stay long.  I've been dead a while.  So far I don't like it."

“Not my destiny—“ Lindsey said.

“We are not quite sure of both of your destinies.  We thought you were both marked for darkness, but perhaps not.  Everything is done for a reason.  People who die against evil will almost always have a replacement.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You,” she said to Lindsey.  “You wanted to save us.  I couldn’t allow that.  Your work to bring Angel back to us is undone.”

“I don’t know if I can take it,” Lindsey admitted.  “I used to not be able to feel guilt, but now it just overwhelms me.”

“You have to,” she said, and began to fade away.

“Wait,” Faith said.  “Come on, we can’t keep holding Angelus at bay.  I’ll take his place.  You said everyone can be replaced.”

“Not everyone.  You are a slayer, you know that when you die, there will be another one to take your place.  But not Angel.  He is unique. You don’t have the strength,” the woman said. “Darkness is coming—“ she faded out again. “And only he can save the lower beings.  Including you.”

“Angelus is going to save me?”

“The creature won’t save you, the soul will,” she said.  She looked over Lindsey.  “The work you are doing, it is beneficial.  You both have a good hearts, but both of you must beware of the darkness within you.  It will be your downfall.” She said, then completely disappeared.

“They sure are cryptic,” Faith tried to joke.

Lindsey sighed.  Faith embraced him tightly when he looked close to crying.

“You holding up, shortcake, you want out?”

“Yes,” he said and pulled away. He wiped his eyes. He had to keep the tears under control or he was going to lose it completely and he did not want to do that in front of Faith.  It would unnerve her.
“More than anything, but I’m not going to do it.  You heard what she said.  My work is undone.”

“Angelus didn’t see you try to stop him?”

Lindsey shook his head.

“He probably knows I’m on the way here.”


“What?” she asked.

“Angelus wants to sever the connections to the powers that be.  He’s gonna go after Doyle.  He said he’s going after everyone.”

“Doyle passed out when the Oracles were killed.  He’s safe at my place.”

“You better find out.”

Faith nodded.

“Faith, I need you too—“ he paused for a moment.  He touched her shoulder.  “Beat the crap out of me.”

“What?” she said confused.

“Angelus left me here.  I need to report that you found the Oracles dead, then beat me up for retaliation.”

“I ain’t gonna do that.  I can’t,” she said.  “I can’t hurt you.”

“If you don’t, Angelus will be suspicious.  They need to think we’re bitter enemies.”

Faith sighed.

“Please, it’s okay.  I won’t think any less of you.  I love you Faith.  You are my lifeline and you have my morality.”

“I love you too, shortcake,” she said, but she knew it he meant it as a love for a sister. “You sure you want me to do this?”

He nodded.  She wiped the tears from his eyes. “Merry Christmas, Lindsey.”

“Merry Christmas Faith,” he said, closing his eyes, waiting for the blows.  She was tempted to kiss him on the lips, but instead kissed him on the cheek.

She slammed his head against the wall.  Lindsey became unconscious again.  Faith decided that Angelus would not bother looking over Lindsey’s body, so she just punched him a few times in the face.  With each punch, it sprouted a bunch of new tears.  She did not know how much longer she could do this.

“The Oracles are dead,” Faith announced when she got home.  Wesley followed her in silently.  Doyle was lying on the couch looking fatigued.

“I know,” Doyle replied.  He looked at his chest.  “I could feel it.”

Faith went over and comforted her friend.  She touched his shoulder gently.

“Lindsey tried to stop Angelus, but the Oracles didn’t want him to.  They knocked him unconscious and Angelus left him behind.  I—um—had to beat him up to keep Angelus in the dark.”
Wesley just nodded.
“He’s coming after you,” she said to Doyle.  “He thinks that all the times I stopped him came from visions you had.”

“Poor Lindsey,” Doyle said.  “He must really feel like crap, but it ain’t his fault.”

“I know,” she replied.  “But he’s still really torn up about it.”

“Angelus cannot get you here,” Wesley said and then he sighed.  “So, I guess you will be spending Christmas with us.”

“You gotta be careful,” Faith said. “In the next few weeks.  Think you can do that?  It means staying in at night.”

“Staying in?” Doyle said.


“Until when?”

“Until Angel has a soul or decides not to kill you—“ she paused for a moment.  “Or figures out that Lindsey is on the inside—“

“This is a merry fucking Christmas,” Doyle said.

Faith smiled.  “We can’t let Angelus ruin it, right Wes.”

“On this rare occasion, I would have to agree with Faith.”

When Lindsey woke up, his face throbbed. He was still in the temple, the oracles were still dead.  He touched his face.  Faith had punched him in the nose, in the eyes, and in the month.  A slight amount of blood stained his fingers.

He looked at the Oracles one last time before leaving.   He closed the eyes of the female Oracle.
He had done this; he had killed them.

He took a cab back to the Wolfram and Hart offices.   He debated going inside, putting on his show for Angelus, but decided for the first time, he did not want to do his duty.  He just did not want to have to deal with Angelus tonight. Instead he went into the parking lot to get his car.  He drove away without calling anyone.

“The Oracles are dead,” Angelus announced when he entered Holland’s office with Lee and Lilah in tow.

“Excellent and the seer?”

“The paddy’s not dead yet, but he will be soon.”

Holland looked over Lee and Lilah.  “Where’s Lindsey?”

“Around somewhere.”

Holland did not say anything, he looked at his watch.  “Keep me posted.  I have to head home.  The dear wife wants me home for Christmas Eve.” He stood up.  “I can’t let her down.”

Lindsey got on the Santa Monica freeway.  The images of the dead Oracles stayed in his mind.  He wanted so badly to stake Angel.  He didn’t care about his own life or anything.  Now Angelus was going after Doyle and he was the cause.

He flipped on the radio and put the volume up to as high as he could stand it.

Carry on my wayward son
There'll be peace when you are done
Lay your weary head to rest
Don't you cry no more

Carry on
You will always remember
Carry on
That the evil is banded
Now your life is no longer empty
Surely heaven waits for you

Lindsey thought over his life and how he got in this mess.  He had stopped Angelus from killing several people, but how long could he go on before his guilt overwhelmed him and he slipped up.  He was living on borrowed time.  He should be dead.

He was so into thought that it took him a moment to realize that there were flashing lights behind him. He had failed to hear the siren because the radio was on so loud.  He looked at his speedometer and realized he was doing over 100.  He slowed down and pulled on to the shoulder.  He did not care.  Maybe jail would be good for him.

He opened the window and heard the soft footsteps of the cop coming to his door.

“Can you step out of the car sir?”

Lindsey opened the door and came out.  He leaned against his car and tried not to start crying.  The cop looked him over.

“Are you all right, sir?” he asked.  “Did someone try to hurt you? Is some after you?”

“It’s nothing,” Lindsey said. "No one.  I didn't look at the speed."

“You do realize you were doing 105 in a 55 mile per hour zone?”

“Yes, sir.”

“You do realize that I have to test you for alcohol and even if you test negative, I still have to arrest you, impound your vehicle and take you to the station?”

Lindsey nodded.  He did not care.  Some time in jail was all he needed. He should at least pay for something.

“Working late?” Angelus said, at the door of Lee Mercer’s office.

Lee nodded.

“No family, it’s Christmas Eve?”

Lee shrugged.  “It means nothing to me.”

Angelus nodded.  “One Christmas, I fed on an entire children’s chorale.  Children’s blood is so sweet.”

Lee just shrugged.  Angelus was glad.  He sat down by Lee’s desk.

“Have you been able to find the paddy?”

“He was supposed to be in a bar with some friends, but he never showed up.”

“We’ll get him.  I must say your work tonight was impressive.  You deserve far more than what Lindsey and Lilah get.”

“That’s true,” Lee said and sat back in his chair.  “But you gotta play the game.”

* Carry On, My Wayward Son by Kansas, Lyrics by Kerry Livgren (c) 1976 From the Album "Left Overture"

Chapter 22


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