Chapter 9 – Life and Death
Destiny didn’t know if she was waiting for Angel or if she just really needed to talk to someone like Cordelia, someone without any hidden agendas, but she ended up staying in the Hyperions lobby for over an hour simply talking to the woman. She learned a bit more about the confusing world around her, but mostly she learned that even the people that were born and raised here seemed to find the place just as confusing as she did on occasion. She didn’t know if that little nugget of knowledge should comfort her or scare her, but for the moment she was going with comfort.
She could tell that Cordelia wanted to keep her there long enough for the others to return from whatever mission they’d been sent out on, but she was just so tired after everything that happened that day all she wanted to do was find somewhere to crash and try to forget all about her life and her past for a few hours. Going back to Lawson’s was an option, but even after the olive branch of the bite house it was probably best if she gave him his space to clear his head about Angelus without his daughter hogging the blankets.
She had said her goodbyes and made her way towards the door, trying to remember how to get to that broken-down hotel she found Steven at their first day here, when the door suddenly burst open knocking her back a few feet to skid across the lobby floor. What the hell!?
Steven stood in the doorway his face filled with murderous rage and she knew, without a shadow of a doubt, he was there to kill her. She spared a thought to wonder why, but knew that in the end the why behind your own demise didn’t matter much when you were in the thick of it. Her brother had decided her life should end, and she wasn’t quite ready to admit defeat yet. That was all that mattered.
She saw Cordelia moving out of the corner of her eye, trying to place herself between them, like they were normal siblings just having a tiff over something that would blow over with a little time and space. She was so caught up in her own memories of the two of them as infants she couldn’t see the deadly force that was behind Stevens blows. If the human woman took even one hit it would break bone or worse, she couldn’t let that happen. The people of this world could preach until they’re blue in the face about how Angelus has been on the road to redemption for ages now, but anyone with eyes could see that it was Cordelia that helped him to move forward day after day. She was his guiding light and losing her would make him fall back into the darkness – something she would not allow. Not as long as she still had a say in it all.
“Cordelia stay back! Steven you couldn’t kill me before do you really think you can now?” With her dearest brother, it was always best to get him talking during their fights. Not only would he usually distract himself with his own anger, but he would normally purge whatever he was feeling as the fight went on ending it all more with his words than his fists.
“You killed our father!” She could see Cordelia reacting to those words thinking he meant Angelus, she so badly wanted to reassure the woman, but she needed to keep her wits about her now if she wanted to end this fight without either of them truly becoming injured. She could put an end to this easily, they both knew she was fast enough and strong enough, but that would mean nearly crippling her brother in a world where he had no true allies that he trusted to care for him while his body mended. That she would not do if she could avoid it.
“Whatever has befallen Holtz was not at my hand brother. I have not seen the man in days!” She knew he was too far gone to hear her, but Cordelia wasn’t and the woman deserved to understand at least a little of what was happening around her.
His limited patience already coming to an end her brother threw himself at her in earnest and their fight truly began.
Lawson didn’t understand why he went after her, why he always seemed to run after her, but he knew that he wouldn’t be able to rest that day if he didn’t make sure she was safe somewhere secure. He knew she wouldn’t stay at the Hotel that Angelus owned, she didn’t trust him at her back while she slept yet, but he also knew that for some reason that place seemed to be her center point. Whenever something went wrong, or she needed to understand something she would begin with Angelus and his people and move on from there.
With her world upside down this is where she would be, he was sure of it, and as he pushed the doors open he found her just where he knew he would, if not in the situation he hoped she’d be in.
She and her brother were fighting again and if he thought their last fight was a sight to behold this one was so much more. He couldn’t seem to land a hit, no matter what he tried she simply side stepped him and moved just a little bit faster than he could, his lack of success making his punches more and more wild. He was running on pure rage and it was plain to see, there were even tears in his eyes. On the flip side, she just seemed exasperated, like they’d done this so many times before she already knew the outcome and was only surprised that he continued to try. She would win. End of.
When he pulled out the stake her expression only changed from frustrated to annoyed. She was still fighting like a sibling, with that unfailing belief that the other would never really hurt them. At least not on purpose. He was having no such thoughts, it was clear he meant business. He wasn’t worried for her, she was clearly the better fighter, even with the handicap of familial love pulling her every punch. Then the door slammed open as Angelus and his crew rushed in to investigate the sounds of the fight, most likely worried for their friend that they left behind, the distraction was small but enough. Destiny looked over to make sure there wasn’t another threat coming in while the human girl was unprotected, but her brother simply saw his opening and took it without pause.
He watched the stake arcing down with force until it found its mark, buried deep in the chest cavity until it pierced the heart. His heart.
If he was being honest with himself he hadn’t even remembered moving, let alone making the decision to intervene, yet here he was. It always seemed so instantaneous when he watched others fall in a fight. One minute they were there and the next they were blowing in the wind. Now though it all moved so slowly, he could feel himself beginning to shake apart around the stake penetrating his heart. His eyes never left hers, the shock, pain, and fear there was both gratifying and heart breaking in and of its self. In his last days, he found someone who would truly miss him when he was gone, and now he was leaving her behind before he ever got to tell her exactly what she meant to him. What her kindness and acceptance had given him.
Hoping she knew, that she could see it in his eyes, feel it in his final gesture he allowed the darkness to take him.
Destiny watched Lawson disintegrate and felt something snap inside of her. Steven looked so smug, like they were even somehow. Not even close brother, not even close. No more holding back, if he wanted a fight she would give him one.
Pulling her fist back she finally hit him in his arrogant face with every ounce of her strength, holding nothing back in her fury. As she watched his body fly across the room, crashing into the wall with enough force to make the room seem to shake, she felt just that much better. Leaping onto his prone form she rained down blow after blow, only pausing long enough to throw the others off when they tried to stop her.
Steven killed him. He took him away, and for what. For nothing. He hadn’t done anything to deserve that. She hadn’t done anything to deserve that. It just – it wasn’t fair! Looking down at Steven’s broken and battered body she hoped he felt at least a fraction of the pain she did. Backing away she ran off into the night, leaving the others to try and piece her brother back together again. He could have them, she didn’t need them, she didn’t need anyone.