Summary: He closes his eyes because it's too late to count the cost. Besides, if his purity had been worth saving, surely the Powers That Be would have sent down a vision? Saved him from himself? Perhaps not. Set during AtS S4 episode "Salvage".
A/N: Written for LittlestYo, who was my highest Sweet Charity bidder. Zhe requested "Wesley/Angel(us?) (in whatever timeframe of the show feels right). One-sided, Wesley with his unrequited feelings/hero-worship/etc.. What I'd especially love is Angelus, and seeing him torment Wesley with the fact that Angel KNOWS and only feigns obliviousness out of kindness." I hope I've fulfilled your request and I truly hope you enjoy this.
Life is full of unthinkables. The loaded gun left out, the set of keys not commandeered, the one time you turn your back: depth charges that sound as life implodes. His world is built on the bones of those unthinkables and as he sits in the basement, arguing with the shade of his evil lover, he begins to wonder how much more he can stand.
Sometimes it's so easy to see how he got here. He can see, in the manner of the children's game, all the way back to the beginning of the gingerbread lane he's been skipping so merrily down. Other times he can't remember how he wound up fighting side by side with a vampire, bearing the creature's scars on his body and his mind. He was a Watcher, born to fight at the right hand of a Slayer. Teach her. Mold her. Bury her, he admits to himself, his fingers leaving the handle of the axe to caress Lilah's cold, waxen skin.
He remembers himself, so sure and righteous. Pure in ways he'll never be now. His fingers withdraw slowly, rewrap themselves around the wooden handle. He thinks his innocence, his inner peace, was the price of his admission to this hell's circus.
He closes his eyes because it's too late to count the cost. Besides, if his purity had been worth saving, surely the Powers That Be would have sent down a vision? Saved him from himself? Perhaps not. He knows he's delayed long enough.
He raises the axe above his head. He draws in a deep breath, wishing for a better fare-thee-well to offer her. He only has his silent sorrow to give as penance for their many combined sins.
"Harsh way to say good-bye, Wes. Never pictured you as the kill'em and leave'em type." The silken voice, cold and cruel, hits Wesley deep in the gut. It pushes him backwards and he drops the axe.
"Angelus." No need to say it, really but he does because being in the presence of perfect evil is more than a bit disconcerting.
"Not that there's anything wrong with it," Angelus continues. "The killing, I mean. Best way to get rid of a pesky ex, in my opinion."
"You have several of those, " Wes observes dryly. "None of which you've ever managed to kill."
He lifts his head to look at the cold brown eyes of his death. He wasn't raised to die a gibbering wreck of a man and even if he can't bear not to see Angel, he has to meet his end with a semblance of bravery. As the large hand reaches out, he steels himself against the pain.
Angelus' hand closes over his throat, the fingers dropping casually around the tight tendons of his neck. Wesley forces himself to stand still as Angelus wends his way around, the hand becoming an arm. He flinches as the first ghost of a breath teases the hair on his neck.
"No need to be shy," Angelus croons in his ear. "I know all your dirty little secrets now, Wes. And since we're so close…"
Wes trembles as Angelus' free hand slides down his body. It settles on his hip, pulls him closer. He can feel the almost radiant power of the body behind him, no longer leashed by the soul.
"I'm gonna share one of my secrets with you," Angelus continues, an almost purr creeping into his voice. "He knew."
Wes jerks his head away, an instinctive denial.
"Oh yeah," Angelus chuckles, warm and rich like flowing honey. "Soul Boy could smell it on you. The lemon sugar smell of her cunt, the thick hot musk of your sex, your…desire. He knew. Gracious of him, don't you think? To pretend not to know how much you wanted to fuck him, to be fucked by him."
He keeps his eyes closed. His shame, his pain, is his own. He won't offer it up as fodder for this beast.
"Bet you thought about him," Angelus continues, hand sliding smoothly from his hip to the front of his trousers. "All those nights alone in your bed, after you'd betrayed him and stolen his child? Yeah, I bet you were real anxious to make it up to him. Would you have, Wes? Bent over and offered yourself to him? To me?"
"No," Wes croaks out, shaking his head in a violent denial. But he remembers. Traitorous flashes in his mind of that time when he'd been…exiled. He'd clung to his hate and his pain because, without them, he feared he'd crawl back to beg forgiveness. He knows that it wouldn't have mattered to him how he earned that forgiveness.
But he hadn't because he'd known, deep down, that Angel wouldn't. Couldn't. Either way, he'd never receive forgiveness. He'd swallowed the bitter "we're okay again" Angel had choked out, but he'd never believe it.
They weren't okay. He wasn't okay. Nothing was okay.
Because he could remember how it felt to be with Angel. To be Angel's, in some twisted way that the word friendship could barely encompass. And Wes knew, with a bone-deep certainty, that he'd never be Angel's again. Loved. Trusted. Wanted.
"Yeah, " Angelus whispers. "That's what I like. Whimper for me again, Wes. "
The heel of his broad hand presses oh so sweetly against the rising bulge in Wesley's trousers. Wes wishes he could deny the whimper, the arch of his hips because it isn't Angelus he's longing for but his body doesn't care. Doesn't care about the danger, the rage, or the corpse of his former lover because this? This is his forgiveness.
A low whuff of air escapes his lips. He can hear that low Irish whiskey voice urging him up and on, dirty notes of a perverted chorus and they push him further into oblivion. His zipper slides down, the sound lost in his own desperate whines for more.
"Want to hear how much he wanted you?" Angelus asks. "How he'd dream of fucking you? Well, not just you. He had special fantasies about all of his pretty pets. But you, Wes? He spilled buckets dreaming of breaking you open."
It's too much or maybe just enough. He grunts, biting his lip to keep from calling out. The convulsions of his orgasm wrack his body, leave him shuddering in Angelus' arms.
"He's never coming back," Angelus tells him, and the almost tenderness of that promise punches another hole in his heart. "But I will. We're not done, Wes."
Wes steps away. No scramble for dignity, no embarrassment here. He just stands there, trousers undone and stares into those cold eyes. No, they aren't done.
"I'll put you back in your cage," he says simply. "Because the world needs Angel."
"Because you need him," Angelus observes slyly. "Don't worry, though. I'll always be here to give you what he can't."
Wes watches him move away, fading into the long shadows of the basement.