Hmm, that didn't come out right...
Flash-fic-a-thon story for jennyo. Wes/Lilah, set during Players (if you squint and pretend anyone at ME ever remembers that humans require sleep to function.)
The middle of the night, and he's splashing water on his face, roused from dreamless, restless sleep by... nothing Wesley can name. No sound from the street below his bedroom window. No screams, no flames pouring down from the sky. The darkness outside is empty, quiet, and utterly natural.
It's just night, and he's hot, and his face and hair and back are damp with sweat, and Wesley is cupping his hands under the cold, cold water from the bathroom sink, then dousing himself with it. Droplets run down his forehead and cheeks, soak the collar of his t-shirt. It cools him, but doesn't really make him feel better. The artificial light of the white room is unreal, unsettling, as though he's not truly awake, for all that he's here in the first place because he couldn't fall back asleep.
He shouldn't be here in the first place; he should be back at the Hyperion, up to his nose in portents and demon pregnancies. But one too many times when his head had fallen too close to the book for even a nearsighted man to be reading, and Angel had sent him packing. Go home, get some rest, Wes. You're no good to anybody if you're so tired you can't think straight. The other words, unspoken, buried in the tone of Angel's voice: we know the kind of things that happen then, don't we, you and me?
But he's slept, and he still can't think anything like straight. It's a twilight state of mind, thick and uncertain and silent, and Wesley suspects that's what woke him, what's keeping him half-here, blinking into the mirror at himself. The silence in the streets, in his home. In his head, where the low, mocking sound of a woman's laughter hasn't returned, no matter how carefully he pretends he's not listening for it. There's only the dull, wet thunk of the axe, if he listens too hard.
Heavy, dirty silence, like a stopped eardrum, skewing everything out of balance. He pokes tentatively at it, sickly fascinated. If he were to imagine her here on purpose, would it hurt again? Could he sleep then? Something shifts unpleasantly in his gut.
She'd laugh at him, surely, if she could. What, you're not happy now? You're welcomed back, right? Arms about as open as they're ever gonna get. You even got an apology. Sure, it was just a sorry for your loss, but hey, I've met your brain. We're on intimate terms, you might say. You can stretch that sorry thin enough to cover every time he's never said it to you, and still have a little left over for the next time that no one says thanks. All that for the little price of getting me out of your life forever. You just never know a good thing when you've got it, do you, Wes?
And there she is, the sharpness of her voice echoing off the walls of his skull as if aloud and bouncing off the tile. Or maybe you do know, huh? Maybe you called me back because now you've got me right where you want me, for once in your life. Goes when you tell her to go, comes when you call. She laughs. Not that we didn't play that game before, right, lover? Touch-ghost of the phone against his cheek, echo of her breathing harder in his ear, five miles away and pleasuring herself at his command.
"But you never did leave when I told you to," he says. His own voice jars, grating on his nerves, and his throat aches inside, far beneath the faded scar. "Especially when it counted. Why should I imagine you would now?"
Good point. Mmm, god, I love smart guys. The tease and the truth are so real, so loud, that he can finally see her, leaning against the door to his Faith-ravaged shower stall. Bare, smooth curve of legs, belly, breasts. Shadowed fall of hair. Unrevealing quirk of her tight red smile.
It makes him hard, makes him ache, makes the thing in Wesley's gut coil and strike at him. He pushes past her, eyes squinched shut, into the shower. Reaches blindly for the faucets as he steps on sharp chunks of plaster -- tiny, welcome stabs of reality between his toes.
Hot water pouring down on him, soaking his t-shirt, shorts, and Wesley doesn't care, as long as it beats the truth, her absence, into his skin. Finally he strips off, the need for sensation too much, and his clothes fall heavy and wet to the floor. He could drown in the heat and the wet, Wesley thinks as water slides into his ears, sudden roaring rush, and not regret it. He's finally awake, finally...
Alive? Laughter in her voice again, but strangely, it doesn't sound cold. Not even bitter.
"You shouldn't be here," he sputters, spitting water. The sharpness of her fingernail burns a memory-line down his back.
Then let me go, she taunts him. Wash me away.
There's soap in his hand, and he must have reached for it, though he can't remember. He's half asleep, still, he must be. Hand sliding clean and smooth down his stomach to his cock.
Still hard, and it must be wet-dream hardness, his own hand grabbing, none too gentle. His own nails, in lieu of hers. Memory only, of her lips hot on the back of his neck as he aches and pulls and shakes his head and just for one second, lets it be her. And finally, panting, comes.
He blinks away the water, leans against an unbroken wall, and laughs. Short barks as he gasps for air, the silence ripped apart and washed away. There's water, there's breathing, there's the thud of his own heartbeat and the distant sounds of cars and cats and undoubtedly crime, out on the street below. "Goodbye, Lilah," he says, just one more noise.
You wish, she whispers. Wesley closes his eyes, then nods, and laughs again.__