Also Comes in Strange
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 Title: Moving Expenses
Author: Tania
Summary: So this is for the lynnevitational run by germaine_pet. I was asked to write dark and snarky Angel/Lindsey for ely_jan, so here it is...
Rating: NC-17
Pairing: Angel/Lindsey
Words: 1,431

The apartment is empty, not that he was expecting anything else. Darla's scent is still lingering in the air. Deadly perfume as familiar to him as the odor of his own body. Lindsey's scent is fainter. The rooms all carry a hint of alcohol and paranoia, but the sense of caged determination and lust for power that Angel associates with Lindsey is long gone. The walls show evidence of an enraged fist and a bottle smashed against the cool plaster, but all signs of life have vanished.

Angel thinks there may be something to that. The apartment is a shell. Furniture remains, a few dry-cleaner hangers in the closet, small toiletries that could be remnants from motel visits, or tangible evidence that Lindsey never planned to stay here long.

It takes three long nights of phone calls and dead ends to find Lindsey's new apartment. Angel needs only to step inside the dull lobby to know this is the place. There's a hint of misery attached to every person who enters after him. Sullen faces sink further under Angel's stare. Angel looks at the neatly ordered mailboxes lining the wall nearest the elevator. Spotting Lindsey's name in the lazy scrawl he has come to know so well in the past year, he reaches for the elevator pad. The up arrow lights up when pressed and he waits while a few more hapless bodies enter the lobby and leave when he neither greets nor acknowledges them.

The ride to the top floor is slow. The creaking of heavy wires pulls the cage higher and higher until the final click and lurching stop ends his ascent. The doors do not open, and for a moment Angel panics. Finally, a tiny red dot flickers beside the keypad.

"I can't believe it took you this long." The voice is slightly annoyed, and more than a little mocking.

The doors open to a wide hallway with worn carpet extending to either side of the cage. The only door sits slightly to the left of the elevator, battered copper numbers looking out of place against the peeling paint of the walls.

There is no time to knock, the door swings open, but an invitation does not come. Lindsey's eyes are wet with drink and anger, staring Angel down at first, and up as the vampire gets closer.

Angel feels the heat of the invisible barrier between them. He wonders if only he can see the shimmering edges of the wall in front of Lindsey. Futuristic as a sci-fi effect, yet as old as the vampire itself, the push of the silent magic keeps Angel a few steps away.

"She won't be back," Angel says through barely moving lips as though reading the question in Lindsey's eyes.

"She always comes back." Lindsey's voice is that mixture of sadness and rage that Angel has come to associate with these tête-à-têtes.

"Not this time." Angel doesn't know if it's true, but he hangs onto the same dumb hope as Lindsey. "I'm all you've got now." Angel smiles a well-practiced look meant to unsettle, never to comfort.

"You think you know me so well." Lindsey sneers at the knowledge that he does. This vampire who has cost him so much, yet been the currency with which he has bought his own future on many an occasion.

Angel braces one hand on the doorframe, "I know enough." The movement opens the stiff leather of his jacket, exposing his half-buttoned shirt and the myriad scars beneath. Barely healed stab wounds and a confetti of cuts from glass shards and fire a reminder that epiphanies do not come with the power to heal all wounds.

Lindsey's eyes look away, denying Angel any acknowledgment. The barrier holds.

Angel sees inside the sparse rooms beyond the door. They look the same as the barren apartment he wandered through so freely only days before. No art hangs on the walls, the same rent-and-release furniture at the same angles, the cocktail bar with only one glass, spit shined loafers kicked off to land where they may. He fights the urge to offer decorating advice.

The two men stare for long minutes, willing the other to make a move. The heat of the door intensifies, as though Lindsey's determination to keep the vampire at bay makes the magic burn stronger.

Movement comes in a sudden flurry. Coats and shirts are cast to the ground, joined by the clanking metal of belt buckles and buttons released through cloth holes.

The heat rises and the barrier holds.

Lindsey's face turns away, body following as he backs towards the door without so much as a guiding glance, only a tilt of the head gives any inkling of the struggle raging within him. To any other eyes the act would seem fearless, but Angel knows the movement is pure contempt. There is nothing left to say, and even as Lindsey's ass passes through the shimmer of the doorway, he makes no attempt to look Angel in the eye.

It seems an odd moment, to enter a body willing in every way, yet completely uninvited. There is no forcing in, and suddenly the tinny sound of the elevator voicebox comes ringing into Angel's ears. Lindsey must have known Angel would find him tonight, the frustration in his voice had been the product of days of waiting. The bravado and pretense now slipping away as their bodies join.

Could they ever understand why this act was as comfortable as attacking with sword in hand, determined to battle to the death or to their knees, whichever seemed most logical when they touched.

Angel braces both forearms against the heated barrier, crossing his wrists as he moves slowly within Lindsey. Each burning thrust sends shivers through the body beneath him. Wordless groans rise up, mixing in Angel's ears until he's unsure if they come from Lindsey's lips or his own. The harmony of their sex blends with the cacophony of emotion that sears between them.

Angel pushes away from the invisible wall above Lindsey's trembling body, clenching his hands around Lindsey's waist. Fingernails sliding against his lean frame, Angel cradles his hands against the contours of hip bones, rubbing the hardened flesh of ass and cock, never lingering long enough to pleasure. Lost in the search for his own release, Angel thrusts harder, each movement forward finding the depths of Lindsey's resistance and possibly the barrier of light that cuts through his body, the percussion against the tip of his cock is enough to draw rumbles of sound from his throat. The sound ripples throughout his body, soon joined by Lindsey's low murmuring, and without warning, the barrier releases.

Together they tumble to the carpeted floor, slamming against each other in a tangle of crunching bones and hands struggling to find purchase. They both pause long enough to free themselves from the confines of their trousers, kicking free of everything but each other. As Angel turns Lindsey over, holding his face steady as he tries to read the eyes that have avoided his all night, there is nothing impassioned in them. Angel sees only cold lust reflecting back at him. He hopes Lindsey sees the same emotion burning in his eyes, but as they thrust together Angel knows the cold need blurs together with a fiery struggle to keep the moment from ending.

As the final shudder of their coming jolts between them, Angel bites softly into Lindsey's shoulder. He draws no blood, but sighs as his lips curve around the soft skin of Lindsey's body. The chills that rise at his touch satisfy Angel nearly as much as the explosion of a moment before.

"I guess it's time to move again," Angel says, raising his spent body from the floor and gathering his clothing.

"Small price to pay," Lindsey whispers, making no move to rise.

Angel grins down at Lindsey's naked body, smiling at the gooseflesh that rises further as he speaks the words. There's no point in waiting for further comment. Angel turns, walking through the cool emptiness of the doorway, pausing only to grab his coat from the ground before entering the still waiting elevator shaft.

Leaning forward to press the small red button, he speaks into the copper plate as the doors close, "Send me a bill for the moving expenses."

"It's all work related," the scratchy voicebox answers, "The firm will cover it all."

Removing his finger from the call button, Angel lets the com go dead. "All part of the job," he says to himself alone. "Just part of the job."