Angel wishes that she could stand in the rain.
She never did as a little girl-she recalls an early memory of her father warning her that doing so could give her a cold. And as she floats within her shielded cage, she wishes that she could have taken a handful of grass before he put her here.
Anything to remind her that the world outside was not a cleverly constructed illusion by her father, or even by herself, but something tangible, something real.
He visits her every day, if he can. Her skin crawls when she hears him utter those dreadful words he had chosen for his password. They were full of lies, the password: "I Love You". Her mother said those to her very often, when she was around...her father did so as well, but it was not with the same...manipulative nuance as it did now.
Thinking on all this..made her dizzy...she needed to lie down. Not too long, because then the systems would be left unattended and then Jack would scream at her over the ECHO..
He was handsome. When she was young, foolish...she always thought she was lucky to have such a beautiful mommy and handsome daddy. Their smiles always made her frowns disappear, always dried her tears. They had been so warm.
But now his smiles were as cold and as fake as his face. Except on the rare chance that everything seemed to be going according to plan, nothing kinking up the works, no one trying to mess up his public image or question is ideas.
On those rare, rare, oh-so-rare days he would be frighteningly gentle...fatherly. Could such a word even apply to him anymore?
He would pass through her shield, specifically designed to register only his DNA signature after typing in another code ("LILACS IN BLOOM"), and open up his arms to take her into a hug. She would softly step into his embrace, despising the man he had become but at the same time pressing herself against him as hard as possible. To feel another person's touch.
He would notice her behavior and comment on it with the same words: "I'm sorry I can't be here more."
And like a script she would reply with: "It's okay. I know you have a job to do."
He would smile into her hair and mutter "That's my girl" before kissing the top of her head then moving to her brow, her cheek, and a quick peck on the lips.
She wished that the Eridium had fried the part of her brain that stored a conscience. She wished that she could just exist in this technologically advanced hell like a good power source, without thought or questions about her father's plans for the outside world.
She wished she could kill him. She wished he'd die. She wished he'd stay here forever, with her, so she could protect him from the scores of people he had angered over the years.
"I love you."
"I...love you too."
His grin would flash. Despite the injuries to his face, his teeth were still intact, picture perfect.
So conceited...so...full of himself. She hated people like him and yet...
She loved him. Did she love the man he was now, the man before...all this? Were they one and the same?
The idea made her lose her breath. All this time she had loved a narcissistic psychopathic manchild whose one weakness and strength was her...?
"What's wrong?" Shi-darnit (she couldn't even swear in her head, his influence was that great over her). She must have been making a concerned face.
She schooled her features, now realizing that her brow had begun to ache from the intensity in which she had furrowed it as she contemplated the monster before her. He in turn stared down at her, his eyes narrowing just slightly. Blue and green. Brown hair with streaks of gray. Running a planet into the ground with an iron fist takes a toll on the body.
"Nothing..." Angel cast her eyes to his jacket and absentmindedly straightened it. "Dad?"
She turned her head to the left. She wouldn't look at him. Not for this. Too embarrassing. "Could you..could..."
"Spit it out Angel." She tried to hold in a wince. He was so cold sometimes. No, not sometimes, nearly all the time.
She turned her head back. His head cocked a little, analyzing her every move. As if she weren't his
daughter but a crony that was hiding something. He had never reacted well to betrayal, or possible betrayal, or even white lies.
"Next time..you're out...do you think you could..."
"Could you...maybe..get me some flowers? Or just one, for me to look at? It's not...the same looking at them through the monitors." She dipped her head forward, hair hiding her face. If he said no..if he said no...
"Hmmm, I'll think about it." Her lips tightened. Such a cruel way to say "no". She hated him. No, she hated herself for asking.
"Huh, wait a second..." Her chin was lifted up by his finger to meet his grin. Hair was pushed behind her ear, back to its original place. Gentle.
"Ta-da!" His hand drew back quickly and pinched between his thumb and forefinger was a...
"Surprise!" His teeth flashed again, his smile wide. "You should see the look on your face, babe. Stunned to hell."
A blue rose. Beautiful, full, heavenly-scented.
She watched as he brought the flower to his nose and sniffed deeply, eyes closed, a satisfied smile on his face. Teasing her? Don't.
He opened his eyes and stepped closer to her, gripping her chin firmly. "I had the boys down in R&D whip this up. Took a few threats of completely atomizing their lungs before they finally managed to splice the genes necessary to make this beaut." She nodded once, acknowledging him.
Handsome Jack's other hand traveled to her ear, the one where he had swept her hair back, and with a little rustle and fidgeting, managed to set the rose. He gave her one last kiss on her forehead before stepping back, shoving his hands in his pockets, and proceeding to stroll out. Not even a goodbye.At the sound of the elevator calibrating upwards (he didn't even turn around to acknowledge her one last time. His work had been done for the day. Bastard.) Angel turned to her "throne" and touched the rose lightly with her finger tips, then to her mouth to cover a sob.