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Innocent Eyes

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Wesley's mind was wandering, he was currently sitting in a department heads meeting at Wolfram & Hart and he was bored stiff. He looked round the room until his gaze rested on her, the woman he had spent over a year moping over.

Fred.

Wesley often thought how ironic it was that such a masculine name belonged to such a radiant specimen of femininity. Her long dark brown hair flowed down her back and her thin waif-like figure sat in the chair all business, while her hazel eyes radiated intelligence and quiet confidence. She was reporting on her department's current initiative to create a tracking device to hunt down the new Slayers all over the world. The expression on her face was one of intense puzzlement as she could not work out why the molecular variance that Slayers generated could not seem to be detected by the equipment she and Knox had built. Angel tried to reassure her that it was fine and that Buffy would just have to rely on the coven in Devon as she had done all of last year. But Fred persisted that anything magic could do, science could do better, and with fewer negative consequences.

As he looked at her, tendrils of her long brown hair fell across her face, obscuring it and making him want to see it even more, especially those eyes. The eyes that once had looked at him with such hurt and betrayal, cutting him deep where it hurt, telling him he was no longer welcome. That was the moment he knew that he would never be able to have her, the corruption of experience could never stand with the purity of innocence.

Was it not William Blake who had seen experience and innocence as two contrasting states of the human condition? Wesley knew that Fred and he were opposite sides of the same coin, and while that may make for a good match in some people's estimation, he knew that if it were to ever happen he would end up corrupting her, and that was something he could not do.

He had been tempted, when she had come to him with a thirst for vengeance and that innocence had been replaced with a bloodlust so fierce it had made her seem like the goddess Shiva incarnate. But afterwards, when he had seen her devastated by what she and Gunn had done, he had realised that no matter what happened to Fred she would never sink to his level. No matter how much sin and corruption Fred was a part of she would resist, she would try to do the right thing morally and the innocence would always return to those eyes.

So he just sat there watching her, looking into those innocent eyes and knowing that he was damned, while she would receive absolution.

And that was the way it was going to stay.