Fandom: Angel (tv)
Characters: Illyria, Lorne
Summary/Teaser: Illyria meditates on power and bodies, using Lorne as a sounding board.
Warnings: implied girlsex
Spoilers: "Shells" (Angel 5.16)
Notes: Written for WritingGoddess for the Buffy/Angel-verse lyric wheel #8. The song is "Ask DNA" from the movie Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' On Heaven's Door. Lyrics are noted in the fic by purple font.
Word Count: 757

Standard Disclaimer: Joss Whedon and co. own the characters, I’m just playing with them. I do, however, own this story, so don’t steal it. Archive it anywhere; just ask first.

Feedback is always appreciated. Make me blush with praise or rip apart the story with criticism, or both.

Seeking Answers
by Elizabeth Scripturient

What's up, sweet cakes?” Lorne asked as Illyria walked into his office. He still hadn’t entirely forgiven the Old One for burning up Fred’s soul, but he thought it in his best interest to be polite, and she was trying, after all. They had far worse hanging around.

She had never been in his office before, and she traced the faces in the photographs that adorned his wall with her fingertips. She stopped before one of Marilyn Monroe and stared at it for a while.

Earthgirls are easy.” Her voice had a faraway quality, as if she were really somewhere else, talking to someone else. “A few looks, a few touches–” she looked down at her form, as if she could somehow discern the secret of its power “and they will do anything for you.” She turned to Lorne. “I knew power. Knew what it was to bend the will of others. But this, this is something different.”

“It’s called desire.”

“Desire I understand. The desire for power. For material possessions even. But I have not promised them anything. Cannot give them anything. Do they not know this? They have stated no desire for these things.”

“It’s a desire for your body, for your approval. You may not have the power you once had, but you still hold power. There are other forms of worship, just as ancient -- some might say more ancient, in fact -- than the worship of the kind the Old Ones knew.” Lorne wished she could go talk to someone else (just thinking about all this made him ache for a Seabreeze) but who would he send her to but Wesley? He knew it had been killing the man to do as much as he had, as much as he continued to do, with Illyria, and of all things he certainly shouldn’t be having this conversation with her. He wondered if Illyria knew this somehow, if that was why she had come to him rather than to Wesley.

“Physical bodies,” he continued, “have physical desires. Sometimes desire so strong that it resembles worship. They want anything you will give them, will do anything for it. They put themselves out there, make themselves physically and emotionally vulnerable, because they want what you have. They want to touch it, want a piece of it for themselves to carry around inside them.”

Illyria looked puzzled. Lorne waited for another questioned before continuing.

She was touching the bamboo plant now, gently testing its strength and flexibility with her fingers. “And then, they break so easily.”

Lorne stiffened and moved his chair back ever so slightly from his desk. “Wait, have you been hurting people again? I thought--”

She fixed him with a stare. “I made an agreement. Do you think I am not honorable? I do not kill.”

“Oh no no no. I didn’t mean to imply that you lack honor in any way. It just sounded like… well, like you had started breaking people.”

“I have not ‘broken’ anyone.” She paused. “But have you not felt their bones in your hand?” She shook her head. “Ah, you would not understand. You are not one of the Strong Ones.”

Lorne checked his anger and Illyria, who wasn’t really watching him anyway, continued speaking.

“It is a wondrous thing, to hold a limb between your fingers, and to know that you can break it. I had almost forgotten what it felt like, to have that much power. And it was different, this time. These creatures are so much weaker than the ones of old, and they are sacrificing themselves, not knowing the extent of my power.”

“Why are you asking me all of this anyway?” Lorne inquired.

She cocked her head in that way she had. “When the truth seems so faraway, You need answers for your dismay. Human bodies are… troubling. And they seem to be at the center of what it is to be human. And this, desire you say, seems to drive their entire being in the world. And I want to understand.”

“Why do humans work that way?” He shrugged. “Ask DNA. Humans are hardwired to want to make more of themselves. They want to reshape the world in their image.”

“But, the body I am in, cannot produce children, with other female bodies. Correct?”

“No, not yet. The miracle of modern science is working on it, but you’re right, DNA doesn’t explain everything humans do.”

“Then what does?”

Lorne laughed loudly. “Figure that out and the world will beat a path to your door.”

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