Wesley finished sorting the books and weapons by the time the pizzas arrived, and he watched in amusement as the army of formerly potential Slayers descended upon the food like locusts. Whoever would be in charge of feeding the girls for the next months would clearly need to dedicate a significant budget to the purpose.
The older group, Buffy and the 'Scoobies', held back until the girls were done and then dispersed them to find suitable housing and to visit Faith, Robin, and the injured Slayers at the hospital. There was still enough pizza left for several people, and Wesley was invited to help finish it off as they regaled him with the tale of the closing of the Hellmouth. As he listened, seated in a circle with Buffy, Giles, Willow, Xander and young Dawn, he felt a very strong sense of déjà vu; for the first time in years, he found himself wondering what his life would have been like had he not left Sunnydale.
The tale wound to a close soon enough, and conversation inevitably drifted to other matters. Wesley had been expecting some sort of commentary from Willow, and was not entirely surprised when she accosted him bluntly: "So, Wes, you're looking, um, kinda more sane than the last time I saw you."
"Yes, well," he replied briefly, "I had been having a difficult year." Between his alienation from Angel Investigations, the appearance of the Beast, their difficulties dealing with Angelus, and the death of Lilah, there had not been much to smile about. He had not loved Lilah, not in the sense of the word that implied gifts of flowers and shopping for wedding rings, but there had been passion between them, and recognition, and the sense that they would each be the stronger for having known one another. His inability to save her still pained him.
"And...?" Buffy prompted, picking idly at the toppings of her fifth slice of pizza. "Come on, Wes. We were all with the 'splainy, now it's your turn to spill."
Her smile was faint, and a little sad, and Wesley remembered abruptly that she'd just lost her own partially redeemed ex-lover, and that none of the others gathered with them were without their own losses. They might actually understand, and he knew that he would likely feel better for having told the tale.
He had not got very far, however, when Willow wrinkled her brow and interrupted. "Uh, Wes, you know, I did tell Buffy about Connor. You don't need to keep leaving him out of the story for her sake, or anything."
"Connor?" he blinked at her, puzzled. "Who is Connor?"
Willow blinked back, clearly surprised, then unexpectedly reached to lay her palms against his temples. Color leached from her hair and irises as she narrowed her eyes, staring into his. Then she swore. "Memory wipe," she said shortly. "But I think I can..."
He didn't have time to object as the floor abruptly fell out from under him.