Second Chances (Wes/Gillian)
Title: Second Chances
Rating: PG-13 for potty mouth
Disclaimer: I don’t own the characters. Wes and co. belong to Joss, Gillian and co belong to Alice Hoffman
Notes: For the TtH FicForAll
Gillian was in trouble. Again. Damn her and her bad taste in men, anyway. She thought it would be over with Jimmy, but no. She’d never had Sally’s luck in finding the right man for her, either way. Sally had had two loves, she’d had none. Sally had two gorgeous daughters, and she’d had… none. Gillian couldn’t stay home forever, Sally’s successes were enough to choke her, blind her in her envy. Oh, she loved her sister dearly, and her nieces and her aunts. She liked her brother-in-law and her coming nephew, but… Gillian needed her space. The very thing that had driven her out was making her itch once more, the need to run. She didn’t belong here, in this sleepy little town where everyone thought they knew everyone else. This town held bad memories, for her. This was where she had been sent when her parents had died, this was where her childhood was filled with ignorant children picking on her and Sally for their… difference. Their uniqueness. Then Jimmy’d come after her, here. Oh, of course there had been good memories as well, it was inevitable. It was also inevitable for good things to happen, like the people living here realising that they weren’t going to suck the life out of babies or whatever rot witches were supposed to do. They were good. Well, they weren’t evil, at least. They were wicked, not evil.
Gillian knew she was brooding, but she couldn’t help it. That itch was coming on strong, now. There was just… too much that could be happening, but wasn’t. She wasn’t one to sit still as the world went by, Gillian was a do-er. Sally was the thinker of the family, the one gifted with the power. Oh, she had her little bits of power, she was psychic after all, but… not like Sally. She couldn’t spellcast like her sister. Her power was in what already existed, she couldn’t make things. Oh, she could do the little things, like light a candle by blowing on it. It was the first trick a witch learnt, and the last forgotten, after all. But otherwise… she bent things to her will. Just a little. Her power was mediocre but Sally… Sally was power personified. It had always irked her how Sally had the power, but did not use it. Sally had always wanted to be normal
. Gilly knew it couldn’t happen, she’d been the one who had decided to embrace her difference. But Sally wanted to cling to humanity, normality. Gilly was ready to become the wicked witch of the west… without the warts or the nose. Or the unattractive clothes. Or the melting. Well, fine. She was just ready to become a wicked little witch, because she was already a wicked little girl. Sally was the angel.
She sighed, sitting with her knees pulled against her chest, and her chin resting on them. She had a boyfriend, a new one. A man that was no good for her, as Sally’d said. And everyone else. But she couldn’t help herself, he was delicious… and also a complete bore. All he wanted was a trophy girlfriend, but Gillian didn’t want to be a trophy girlfriend anymore. She’d had enough of that, but she couldn’t tell that to Hank. The man was a sleazy a-hole, but he was a good looking sleazy a-hole with lots of contacts and blackmail over her head. He was going to ruin her career. Gillian had started to paint, and was quite successful at it. Hank would threaten to tell the world about her thinking she was a witch. It would ruin her… and Gillian couldn’t allow for herself to be ruined. Why did she always find the bad ones? Hank Summers was no different than Jimmy, just a big bully. He just didn’t hit… yet.
Hank had come to the town on business. Something about wanting to scout the area for something to do with his company. Hell, she wasn’t paying attention to what he was saying. He might be easy to look at, but he was boring as all mother fucking hell. And if Sally heard that little curse in her head, she would berate her in that horrible “mom” tone she had. Gillian rolled her eyes. Gillian wanted to get out of here, away from Hank, away from the town, away from her perfect sister…. But she couldn’t. Hank wouldn’t let her. The asshole. Well, she’d already said mother fucking hell, why not asshole? A-hole just didn’t have the same satisfactory ring to it that asshole did. And she was woman who liked her curses. In the literal sense and the language sense. Oh, curses. She could curse him. Warts on his… man parts, maybe. That would be interesting. Plus, it’d get her out of sleeping with him. His technique was getting… sloppy, lately. She didn’t quite feel satisfied. He fucked like a teenager who just wanted to do it so that he wouldn’t be thought of as gay. Ergo, lifeless. Now, at least. He used to fuck as enthusiastically as a man who realised the wonders of his extra equipment.
Ah hell, Gillian wrinkled her nose. She’d just stop it right there. The images was not good, she kept seeing people from her high school. It wasn’t pretty, considering the guys she knew, then. And the hair. Ugh. It was a slight disturbance in the air that made her stiffen slightly, so that her body was almost utterly still and only her hair, free of any constraints, danced in the breeze like flames. Someone was getting in on her alone time. How… not nice of them. She frowned.
“This was a private party.”
“I’m sorry to be intruding, then.”
The voice was British. Yummy. Gillian couldn’t help her curiosity as she turned her head to look at the man that stood near the edge of the cliff they were on. He was tall, tanned from a holiday, maybe? He had scruffy dark hair that was tousled by the wind, and steel rimmed glasses that hid haunted blue eyes from her. He was attractive… in this rough edged way. Well, he actually looked like he used to be spotless, once, but he’d been roughed pretty badly. There was a scar that went all the way across his throat. She gasped at the sight and he turned to her, seeing her eyes fixed on that point. He smiled humourlessly.
“See anything interesting?”
“I… I didn’t mean to stare,” she stammered. It was disconcerting, it looked like someone had went to some trouble to slit his throat. Her hand involuntarily went to her own smooth throat. He smiled humourless once again at seeing the action.
“It’s alright. I’m getting used to it.”
“I’m sorry,” she was still staring. Gillian made herself shake it off. It was impolite, and despite popular belief, she did have manners. It was only whether she wanted to use them or not, and this man didn’t do anything to deserve impoliteness.
“Someone got a little knife happy,” he supplied, abruptly. She was startled, even though she’d guessed. It stretched a little too far for it to be a shaving incident. Despite wanting to believe that, she wasn’t that
naïve. “I managed to live.”
“I hope whoever did that is dead.”
He only smiled, but didn’t answer, his eyes all dark and haunted again. He turned away, looked down the cliff to the rocks below with the waves crashing into them. The silence was uncomfortable, after what he had revealed. He was only a stranger, yet he’d opened up that much. It made her wonder how people had treated him. Finally, to break the all too uncomfortable silence, she smiled up at him.
“Wesley.” He looked at her. She couldn’t look away. She wondered if this was what Sally had felt when she saw Quinn. Her heart was hammering in her chest, and she wondered if it was as loud to him as it seemed to be to her. She forgot about sibling rivalry, forgot about jealousy and she forgot about Hank and the urge to run. She forgot everything but the stranger in front of her. When she first felt the cold drop, she thought it was rain. She jumped up to her feet. But it wasn’t. It wasn’t raining. She held out a palm and looked in delight as a snowflake drifted down onto it. She looked up at Wesley, grinning in absolute unabashed delight and he couldn’t seem to help but smile back at her.
“First snowfall of winter,” she said in awe. “I’ve never seen it snow, here.”
“Miracles happen,” Wesley murmured, his eyes still on her. She felt heat infuse her face, and wondered whether his statement was towards the snow or… something. She didn’t want this attraction to be one sided, please let it not be one sided. She smiled to him, suddenly shy. She, shy. She held out that hand with the snowflake on it to him and he didn’t even hesitate to take it. It seemed natural. And that spark she felt when her skin touched his… she took that as a sign. There were no sounds of insects chirping. The curse on her family was broken. She was free to fall in love. She hoped this man really was worth it. Impulsively, she decided to take him home.
“Would you like a drink?” she asked, softly. “I live two minutes away.”
He smiled at her. “I wouldn’t want to intrude.”
“You’re not. You won’t be.” She ducked her head a little, then looked at him through lowered lashes. It was not designed, she felt nervous. She so wanted him to come. She wanted Sally to meet him. She wanted the family to meet him. She wanted them to tell her that she was as right as she felt in her heart she was. He nodded his acquiesce and with a brilliant smile at him, she tugged at his hand slightly and the two of them walked towards the Owens house, their hands still linked and her heart lighter than it had been in years. She had her second chance.