Warnings: None, if you haven’t watched all of the episodes by now…
Disclaimer: This story is intended for entertainment purposes only and provides absolutely no financial compensation. Recognizable characters belong to their prospective owners/writers. Some lines from the show are used either as is or altered to fit the story.
In plain speak: I don’t own anything, just my imagination.
A/N: This has been sitting on my drive for ages and since I'm still struggling with new chapters on my other WIP's, I thought I'd post this one. I had to watch the opening scene so many times that I used up a box of tissues.
Wesley knew he was bleeding out. He also knew he hadn’t yet succeeded in defeating Vail. He felt more than saw Illyria’s presence and then her hands were moving over his body to check for wounds with a gentleness he wouldn’t have expected from her.
“Wesley. This wound is mortal.” Her voice was unusually hoarse but he couldn’t seem to bring up the energy to wonder why.
He reached up and touched it gingerly. “Aren't we all?” He looked up at her and smiled gently. “It was good... That you came.”
He saw a flicker of something in her blue eyes but Wesley blinked and it was gone, making him think he’d imagined it.
“I killed all mine, and I was...”
Illyria looked away and then back down at him. “I think so. But I can't help. You'll be dead within moments.”
“I know.” He heard the surprise in his voice and realized that maybe he hadn’t wanted to die after all.
“Would you like me to lie to you now?” Her voice almost sounded tender, but that could’ve been the blood loss clouding his judgment.
“Yes.” He closed his eyes against the pain. “Thank you. Yes.” He opened them again with more than a little difficulty and saw Fred’s sweet face smiling down at him. Her hand stroked his cheek.
“Hello there.” It was a struggle to talk and he reached up to touch her shoulder.
Fred’s smile wilted a little through the tears. “Oh, Wesley. My, Wesley.”
Wesley smiled and whispered, “Fred. I've missed you.”
Fred leaned down to kiss his lips and Wesley would have cried at the sensation if he’d had the strength. His felt her lips on his forehead and sighed.
“It's gonna be ok. It won't hurt much longer, and then you'll be where I am.”
He felt a tear hit his face and a spark of power sent a chill through him. She was crying real tears.
“We'll be together.”
Wesley knew he only had seconds. “I - I love you.”
Blue ringed Fred’s soft gaze and her smile shattered. “I love you. My love. Oh, my love.”
Crystalline tears flowed unchecked down Fred’s face; continuing to drip onto his face. As each drop hit Wesley’s skin, a shimmer of power lit the shadowed room. Without a moment’s thought, Illyria pushed as much of her diminished power into his fragile body as she could spare and he faded out of sight in a wash of soundless energy.
She stood and faced the approaching demon mage.
“How very touching his meaningless death was, but this fight was never for mortals.” He looked into her Fred mask and chuckled, opening his arms wide. “Oh. Take your best shot, little girl.”
Illyria swung a powerful punch at Vail's head, transforming her shape from Fred’s innocent shell to her cobalt in mid-swing; her fist shattering the Mage’s head as it connected.
Wesley regained consciousness for a brief moment, bright lights painfully blinding him. His last memory was of Fred crying for him, promising they would be together as her tears wet his face. There was something important about that, but he couldn’t concentrate long enough to understand. He had a vague understanding that medical personnel were working on him and he moaned in despair. A wash of pharmaceutical bliss went through him and he sank back into the blackness.
There was a vague sense time, but no way to mark it and he opened his eyes again, turning his head toward a soft rustling sound. Someone in black military garb stood by his IV bag and Wesley forced his bleary eyes to travel up from the syringe the man was using to inject a clear substance into his IV to the man’s face. Cold blue eyes stared back at him and Wesley panicked. His father used to look at him like that just before he’d do something particularly vile. Another wave of euphoria wash through him and Wesley fell back into the dark, only this time he wasn’t alone. Faces of both beloved and enemy haunted him and every time he answered Fred’s voice, urging him to wake up, someone sent him back under.
‘Wesley… please hurry! You have to wake up. Dammit, Wesley, git yer lazy ass UP!’
Wesley opened his eyes, Fred’s voice still echoing in his ears and he found himself in a small room. The light was minimal, but he could make out the cement blocks forming the walls and a small window in the steel door across the room. The sounds of chaos outside the room became deafening as the haze of sleep dissipated and he sat up, clutching his head and wincing at the pinch of a needle in his arm. He pulled the needle out and flung it away; cradling his woozy head in his hands. ‘Damn. My shoes are gone. I liked those shoes.’ He snuffled a giggle at the silly thought.
A clunk sounded through the small room and he heard the door scrape open. He looked up into the frightened eyes of… a dogman? Where in bloody blazes was he?
Wesley tried to stand and his knees protested as did the rest of his body. He managed to gain his feet and shuffled toward the creature’s beckoning hand.
“Please mistah, gotta blaze. Situation’s pretty whack. Fire everywhere and guards shooting.”
The huge creature tucked his shoulder under Wesley’s and practically carried him down the hall. All manner of bizarre creatures were running, obviously trying to escape the smoke and fire. Another figure caught up with them and without being asked, supported Wesley’s other side. The three managed to escape the building, but took cover under the landing of a set of stairs as shots rang out intermittently and running across the yard would offer too large a target.
The creature that helped him escape his room alternately whimpered and growled as he crouched by Wesley’s side. The other emitted a continuous low level growl that reminded him of the Rottweiler dog that Gunn had desperately wanted before their move to Wolfram & Hart. Wesley suddenly felt soft hair under his hand and looked over to see that he’d set his hand on the growling creature’s head. The growling eased and he heard a huff on his other side and looked back into wide blue eyes.
“You good for Isaac. He no trust men. I am Joshua.”
Wesley opened his mouth to speak and a quiet croak had them sharing a smile.
“You sleep long time. Lots of drugs to keep you down.” He sniffed at Wesley and drew back. “No cocktails for you. Smell like… hot metal and broken lightbulbs.”
Wesley closed his eyes against the suspicion that flashed through him. Illyria had always felt like static electricity to him and when she’d kissed him that last time, she’d tasted like hot metal as her tears rained down on him. His mouth watered in response to his sudden nausea and he coughed. Two large hands pounded on his back and he waved weakly. “Thank you.” Wesley swallowed again, his throat sore from disuse. “I am Wesley. Joshua, how do you propose we get out of this nightmare?”
“Need to cross yard. We have no weapons. The guards will shoot us. Joshua could go, draw fire while Isaac help Wesley?”
A burst of gunfire sounded again and Wesley watched in horror as children dressed in various combinations of camouflage and scrubs raced across the grass, most reaching safety by miraculously jumping the fence, but a few were shot down by stone faced guards armed with automatic weapons. Sounds dimmed as anger roared in his ears. The faint sound of Isaac whimpering brought Wesley’s attention to his hand gripping the dogman’s hair and he let go.
He stood, shrugging off Joshua’s hands and stepped out, facing the approaching guards. He could feel the power building, rising up from deep within and he glared at the men. Wesley raised his hands, palms facing outward and the guards opened fire. The bullets seemed to be enveloped into some sort of energy field before they reached him and he moved forward, holding onto the hot power that rolled down his arms and pooled in his hands. As if not recognizing the danger they were in, the guards continued to fire on him and Wesley snarled. He released a fraction of the power gathered in his hands and the men barely had time to widen their eyes before their bodies were engulfed in a consuming fire.
Wesley scanned the area and made note of the guards that had turned tail and run at the sight of their compatriots’ demise and he couldn’t seem to feel even a fraction of remorse. A small group of the strange children stopped to watch him, their identical features startling in the fact that there were five of them. A strange high pitched chirping sound irritated his ears and Wesley scowled and pulled at his ear. The five jerked in surprise and then turned as one to head into the woods.
Wesley turned back to find Joshua and Isaac and saw them still crouched in the shadows, watching him with wide eyes. He shrugged and tilted his head in an invitation before heading toward the tall fence. A sharp burst of power shattered a hole in the reinforced fence and he felt his two shadows lope along behind him as he stalked into the night.
Wesley discovered very quickly that not only was he no longer in California, he was many years forward in time. Joshua and Isaac were very little help and almost completely dependant on him. If he’d still been in possession of his resources, this wouldn’t be a problem. But so many things had changed since the night that he’d thought he had died. Here he was, on the outskirts of Seattle of all places, sixteen years in the future. Apparently some secret branch of the military or government had been experimenting with gene splicing since before he’d been transferred to the States by the Council.
Joshua kept talking about finding his father. Although unable to put it to words, Isaac gave his opinion on this in other ways. Wesley got the distinct impression that the younger of the two dogmen had no desire to find the man that had created them.
Wesley didn’t blame him. When they reached the city, he found himself at a loss for words. He’d never visited Seattle, but he’d seen pictures and last he could remember, it hadn’t been in a police state. Sector police were everywhere and since they couldn’t secure entrance through conventional means due to his hospital garb and the obvious ‘otherness’ of his companions, Wesley found a way in via his newly discovered power.
The world had gone mad and Wesley had no idea if it had been due to Angel’s failure to defeat The Circle or if this chaos had been caused by non-supernatural reasons.
Power hummed just under the surface and his new enhanced senses told him there was very little supernatural activity in the city. As they holed up in a rather dirty warehouse, Wesley gave thought to the fate of his friends.
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