Wesley meets his cousin who is attending Stanford.Disclaimer:
I own neither Angel the Series nor Supernatural. Word Count:
OK, first of all, I’ve mucked with the timeline. Most of the time when I write a story I stress over everything being exactly perfect, that the timelines of the two shows match up. Which is actually one of the reasons I don’t write crossovers often. This time, though, I’m doing it a little differently. For AtS, Wes has just gotten out of the hospital after kidnapping Connor. For Supernatural, its Sam’s first year of college.
This is the 2006 fic-a-thon entry for Kayla Shay. She requested Xander, Dawn, or Wesley crossed with Highlander, Stargate SG1, or Supernatural. She wanted a family connection, a relationship between two characters from different shows, and a happy ending. She didn’t want character bashing, Super-Xander, or character death.
It was a throwaway line, one his dad had probably never expected to have any impact on his boys. A quick stop in LA to stock up on supplies and find a few rich business men to graft. Dean was good at picking out the suckers in any bar, and LA had more than its fair share of those willing to be hustled.
“I have a cousin living around here somewhere.”
Dean ignored the statement, more interested in counting the cash that he had won playing pool.
Sam, however found it odd enough to look up from where he was hunched over his school books. He was struggling with his calculus that night and knew better than to ask either for help. His dad would just state that he didn’t understand why Sam bothered with that stuff. Dean had only gotten a diploma in order to keep Child Protective Services off their backs. Neither really understood his desire to learn about more than exorcisms and ballistics and the eldest Winchester had happily handed him all responsibility for his own schooling when he had asked to be in control.
He didn’t really think that’s how home schooling was supposed to work, but it was how they did it.
“A cousin?” he asked, curious. John Winchester rarely talked about life before hunting, and never about any family except for his boys.
“Second cousin or something. He managed to find my number a few years ago and introduced himself. I’ve never met him in person.”
“What’s his name?”
Dean snorted as he folded the money and handed it over to John. “Sounds like a pansy.”
Their dad managed a small smile at that. “I don’t think you’re wrong, there. The few times I talked to him, he was very proper and British.”
“Not the type of guy who could ever handle hunting,” Dean agreed.
The subject was dropped, pushed to the back of his mind as he once again focused on calculus and worried about the application he had submitted to Stanford. Or, more importantly, his family’s reaction to that application.
Though, now, a few weeks before his first Christmas at Stanford, he couldn’t help but think of it once again. He missed his family, plain and simple, and knowing that they were just a phone call away was at times excruciatingly hard. But every time he picked up the phone to call, he remembered the last fight, the shouting match over the fact that he wanted to do something with his life, anything other than hunt.
Finding his number hadn’t been hard, not with quick access to online white pages. He had tacked the number on his corkboard and stared at it for a month, internally debating calling. On one hand, it would be nice to reconnect with family, any family. On the other, he was still unsure about how to interact with normal people and the very proper and British cousin was a further unknown.
His roommate thought the unlabeled number was either for a shrink or a hooker service. Sam ignored his barbs.
Screwing up his courage, he swiftly dialed the number and waited for his cousin to pick up.
The voice that answered was rough and low, and Sam was sure he had managed to dial the wrong number. No one attached to that voice could be a pansy.
“Hello,” the voice on the other end said again, this time with a good deal of anger.
“I-I’m sorry,” he managed to stammer out. “I’m trying to reach Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.”
“This is he.”
Sam silently thought this new piece of information over, his mental picture of Wesley morphing from a bookish geek to someone more like Dean.
“Well, what the bloody hell do you want? I’m tired and I don’t have time for games.”
“I’m sorry, sir,” he replied, ingrained politeness taking over. “My name is Sam Winchester. John Winchester is my father. I understand that you got in touch with him a couple of years ago because he’s your cousin…”
“Has something happened to him?” the voice snapped.
“No, sir. I, uh, I’m attending Stanford and I thought that we could possibly meet.”
He heard what sounded like a growl on the other end before Wesley snapped out a reply.
“I see,” his cousin said, his voice cold. “You can’t get a hold of daddy and are looking for a substitute. Well, I’m sorry, but you’ve come to the wrong person.”
Sam could only blink at the phone after the line disconnected.
He was out of it for two weeks, a combination of pain killers and alcohol making his mind fuzzy. He only sobered up because he ran out of both booze and drugs.
Wesley felt like death, both physically and emotionally. He had almost died, had lost his only friends, and the job he loved. He could still remember Fred telling him to stay away, the straw that sent him into a downward spiral of depression.
He had literally only been home for minutes when the phone rang. His long lost cousin, seeking family and reassurance. He couldn’t remember what exactly he had said to the young man, but he knew it couldn’t have been good.
Which was why he was now at Stanford, waiting outside the political science class that a pretty blonde had assured him Sam was in. He also got a quick description, a lucky thing since the class is one of those large introductory ones.
Even without the description, he was not hard to spot, lagging behind his class mates, head down and shoulders slumped. Wesley recognized the signs of homesickness. He felt them often enough during his own university days, not to mention the permanent move to the US. Sunnydale wasn’t as bad, not at first, at least, because he had thought he was doing a good thing, making his father and the Council proud. It was only when he discovered what a failure he was in everyone’s eyes that the morose feelings had started.
His mother had given him John Winchester’s number, stating that his mother had been her sister. Aunt Amelia had rejected the Council and married an American soldier, a Marine, but his mother had kept an ear out for her and kept an eye on her only son once she had passed.
John had been his touchstone after the Council sacked him. A friendly voice that didn’t see him as the wimpy Watcher that screwed up. He thought Wesley was an independent researcher, specializing in ancient languages. Which he guessed he was once again. Or maybe he’d take up the label of rogue demon hunter again, continuing the work he did with Angel.
The thought brought a pang to his chest, and he quickly pushed it out of his mind. Now was not the time for that. Now was for apologizing to one of the few members of his family that might still talk to him.
“Sam,” he called and was slightly taken aback by the way the young man tensed, ready to fight. He put it down to his own paranoia and approached him.
“Sam Winchester?” he asked, sure that he’s right, but not wanting to embarrass himself by apologizing to the wrong person.
“Yes.” The confirmation was hesitant.
“Wesley Wyndam-Pryce.” He felt the pompousness of the tone and cursed himself for using his full name. The tone was so ingrained into him that it was impossible to separate from his name.
“I felt the need to apologize for my behavior when you called. I had just gotten out of hospital and was not feeling my best.”
He unconsciously put a hand to the thick red scar poorly hidden by his scruffy beard. At one point he would not have fathomed stepping out without being clean shaven. Now, the beard served as poor armor for his emotions.
Sam tracked his hand’s path and winced at the angry line. “Are you alright now?”
“I will be,” Wesley replied with a bitter smile. “Do you have another class now? I would like to get to know you.”
“No, no class. There’s a diner a block south. We can get some lunch, if that’s alright with you?”
Wesley silently lifted the kickstand on his bike and pushed it to Sam. “Lead the way.”
Wesley was definitely not what he had expected, Sam decided at they sat silently across from each other at the diner. He was like Dean a little, with the leather jacket and some of the attitude, but mostly he reminded Sam of his own father. Not in body type, but in voice. Though, since Wesley’s throat had been obviously cut, he was sure that it was not a natural occurrence.
His eyes couldn’t help but stray to the scar once again. What was his cousin? Who had hated him enough to attack him in such a way?
He must have noticed the direction of Sam’s gaze because his hand came up self-consciously to cover the scar. “I used to work for a detective agency,” he revealed, his fingers dancing over the line. “A few weeks ago I made the mistake of trusting someone I shouldn’t have. This is the result.”
“I’m sorry,” he apologized, embarrassed to have been caught staring.
“It’s fine. A lesson learned to say the least. What are you studying?”
“Political Science. I plan on going to law school once I graduate.”
Wesley was impressed. “Ambitious plans. John must be proud.” Sam shifted uncomfortably in his seat, and Wesley knew he had hit a sore spot. “When was the last time you talked to him?”
“Before the semester started. He doesn’t approve of my decision, thinks I should have stayed with the family business.”
He thought back to the few conversations he had had with his cousin, stilted at least on his part because he found it difficult to talk to people who were not in the know. He didn’t recall John ever mentioning what he did, other than the fact that he took his sons everywhere with him as he traveled the country.
“What does your family do,” he asked. “John never said.”
Wesley was sure that the niggling sense that Sam lied was just his own distrust of people talking.
Sam agreed to go to LA for Christmas. Wes warned him that it would probably be a depressing experience involving take out pizza and a tree right of Charlie Brown. He had replied that Chinese was the food of choice for that particular holiday. Pizza was Thanksgiving.
Wes’s apartment was small, Sam had to sleep on the couch, not that he minded. He could tell that at one point it had been well taken care of, but Wes seemed to have let it go since the incident that landed him in the hospital. He could see evidence of where his cousin had tried to clean up, bags of trash piled by the trash can and dirty dishes in the sink, but he couldn’t hide the old water stains on the furniture and the prevalent smell of booze and old food. While Sam himself wasn’t the cleanliest person in the world, his ex-Marine father had insisted on some standard of hygiene.
Sam took the trash to the apartment complex’s dumpster and hand washed the dishes while Wes growled at him that it wasn’t necessary.
The next two weeks passed quietly, with only one exception. Wesley had one visitor, a brash woman in a power suit. She seemed the absolute opposite of his cousin, and when Sam watched her flirt shamelessly with him he got the feeling that the woman was a wolf stalking her prey.
Lilah, the woman, acted pleasant enough, despite the multiple times that Wesley insulted her. When she wasn’t flirting with him, she was making idle conversation with Sam and was particularly interested in the fact that he was going to become a lawyer.
“My firm’s always on the lookout for new blood,” she said, her smile shark-like. “Which is why I keep going after Wesley, here. The Senior Partners would love to have him come work for them.”
“I bet,” Wesley muttered, glaring at her.
She handed Sam a card, tastefully printed with her name and the name of the firm. “Once you start looking for an internship, give me a call.”
Sam dutifully took the card, not wanting to insult Wes’s pseudo-friend.
“Give me the card,” his cousin demanded as soon as Lilah was out the door. When Sam handed it over, he lit it aflame and dropped it in the sink, watching it burn.
“That’s one law firm you never want to work at. It ranks of there with selling your soul.” It was said with a dry laugh, as if he had said something particularly witty.
Summer classes kept him busy, distracted from the “norm” of heat-filled days of tracking the latest case. There were times that he could have sworn he smelt salt and sulfur drifting on the breeze.
He called Wesley once a week, often times leaving a message on his machine since his cousin rarely answered the phone. While Sam adjusted to the life of a normal college student, he worried that Wes descended into a black pit.
He caught a bus one weekend, determined to pull him out. The apartment was in shambles and Lilah came over every night. The sounds that came from the bedroom were enough to make him blush. Enough to keep him from visiting again. He still called, though, every Tuesday night on schedule. He joked that it was because nothing decent came on Tuesday nights.
The week the sky turned dark over LA, he called at least once every day. Sam skipped more classes than he went to and spent his days frantically searching the ‘net for any supernatural explanation for the events. He had even called Dean, only to be told to stay out of it.
Wes called two days after the strange phenomena lifted. Much to Sam’s relief, he sounded fine, happier than he had ever heard him, actually. Wesley apologized for not getting into contact sooner, explaining that he had been helping his old agency, which he was again a member of, to reassure the few people who had not fled LA.
Sam once again became immersed in his classes, this time ignoring the outside world in order to catch up with the work he missed and raise his grade back up to an acceptable level. He unplugged the TV in his room and threatened his latest roommate with death if it were turned back on. He heard mention of someone in LA named Jasmine, but figured her to be a pop star or other fad celebrity. His weekly messages and occasional talks became fewer and farther between.
Sam felt bad about losing touch with the only member of his family that would talk to him, but became caught up in his new relationship with Jess. He figured that Wesley was better off without him anyway. He had sounded happy the last time they had managed to talk; happy with both his new job and new relationship with a friend he had long admired.
In class, Sam heard rumors of more riots in LA and promised himself that he’d call once he was done.
So… Yeah, the plot bunny that bit me? It didn’t quite work with the parameters of Kayla Shay’s request. That whole canon character death thing. So, I cut it off before it could come to its natural angsty end. We can all imagine that Wesley survived somehow, right?
I wanted to write this story because it was a low point in each character’s life. Both Wes and Sam needed that family connection to stay grounded, so I gave it to them.