Oh, The Places You'll Go

No Angel

Notes: Comment fic, written for phoebesmum from the prompt 'spirituality'.


Kim doesn't do God. She's more or less shirked every form of authority from the ground up — Girl Scout troop leaders, teachers, parents. None of them, Kim thinks, worth a damn. Respect has to be earned, that's what she believes. And that's why she's here, working for Isaac Jaffee, and that's why she doesn't take off her 4 inch stilettos and stab him in the eye with a heel when he treats her like a secretary. Because she respects him. Because she loves him. Because who needs God when Isaac's in the world?

Seven years later, Isaac's gone — a heart attack this time — and Kim's adrift. She's smart, she's competent, she's hot as hell and she's fired or walks from every job she takes before she's even had a chance to warm her chair. She doesn't go home much, there's nothing there except too many mirrors and a cupboard full of rice cakes. So she sits at bars, letting men buy her drinks, letting the chosen few take her home, or to a hotel, she doesn't much care where. They tell her she's beautiful, they tell her she's funny, they tell her they love her as they're pushing between her legs and she closes her eyes and laughs.

Then there's another bar and another night and another slew of Cosmos sliding down her throat one after the other and then there's a guy. There's always a guy. This one has kind eyes. She's seen his type before — they're the worst. They pretend to care and say things like 'you don't want to do this to yourself,' and 'I can help you,' and 'let's get you home,' with soft voices and they never just want a goodnight peck at the door. She thinks she's supposed to be their absolution or something, she's not quite sure. This guy though, he doesn't say anything, just asks the bartender for a bottle of water and two glasses. He pours and pushes one glass in front of her. She gives him a sideways glance.

"Just thought you might like a little water with your dehydration package," he says. Kim says nothing but she takes a sip. The water is simple and cool on her tongue and she drains the glass. The guy tops her up. They don't speak, just share the bottle. And then another. And then another. Eventually the bartender calls time and Kim can't put it off any more. She has to go home. She slides off the stool, wobbling a little on her heels and steadies herself against the bar.

"You okay getting home?" asks the guy. Ah, here it comes, thinks Kim. The play.

"Fine, thank you," she tosses her hair in what she hopes is a determined manner and heads for the door.

Outside she realizes the guy has followed her. Screw it, she might as well invite him home. At least he's a little different to the rest. She raises her arm for a cab. One pulls up as she turns to the guy, puts on her best seductive voice and says,

"Coming?"

The guy walks over, opens the door, ushers her in then crouches down so he can see inside the cab.

"No," he says. "I'm going home. Just like you." He puts two fingers to his lips, blows a kiss. "Take care," he says and closes the door. Stunned, it takes the driver asking three times before Kim gives her address. She scrambles around on the seat to look out of the back windscreen. It's dark and maybe that's him walking down the street in the opposite direction but she can't be sure.

The next morning Kim wakes up without a hangover for the first time in a long time. It's a strange, light feeling and she likes it. She likes it a lot. She heads into the bathroom where she looks herself over in the mirror. She still wears remnants of last night's makeup; she sees what the guy must have seen. A worn face with sad eyes, hiding behind the blush and the mascara and the lip gloss. He had seen it and he had been quiet and he had cared for her without wanting anything in return. Something flashes in Kim's brain, 'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.' She has been weary, so incredibly weary, and now, with no pounding headache storming through her system like an over-testosteroned armored division, she has rest.

Kim is calm. She's always been practical. There's no blinding light. She doesn't expect one, nor a sudden revelation or choirs of angels or even that tomorrow will be better than today, she simply feels a quiet joy and the feeling that she is less alone. It's a beginning. It's all she needs.


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