mpoetess flashes doyle_sb4...
Pairing: Connor/Wes, post Home (A:ts S4 finale)
Rating: R-ish (non-explicit smut)
Disclaimer: Joss, not I.
Thanks to: thamiris, for the title and reacting with complete wonderfulness -- and citations! -- to the insane girl who e-mailed her out of the blue with "You're the lusty word-goddess; is there a term for this?" zortified and wolfling for moral support and warm, tasty cookie-wolflings.
Summary: Wesley thinks too much.
Something's... not quite right. He detests such verbal imprecision, but it sits on the tip of Wesley's tongue, a teasingly forgotten word. Irritating trick of the mind.
It's not this place, though like some demonic ice cream parlour, there's a thousand flavours of not quite right at Wolfram and Hart. Nor is it Angel's hand on his shoulder, heavy with a respect that Wesley remembers aching for, but never having earned. It's not even the dark blade of Lilah Morgan's gaze, though when he returns it, Wesley feels himself glance off whatever it is he can't reach, clattering painfully to the ground.
Lorne says Wesley needs to get out more. Find a life, beyond his distant, guiltily happy friends, magically-stocked office, blank vellum pages just waiting for him to ask any question he can imagine except the one he can't define. Chance would be a fine thing, but it's enough to drive him out looking. For a life, a word... something.
Barnes and Noble was Wesley's idea of a pick-up joint, Gunn used to joke. Now, bookstores, cafes, sunlit places -- they're as empty of what he needs as those volumes of tabula rasa on his desk. Dark, cool bars, instead, not too grotty, not too clean. They pull at him with that same familiarity that tugs Lilah's smile down at one corner, but the people he meets there have far fewer strings attached.
This bar isn't new, tonight, nor the guitarist lounging by the door. Sans instrument, but Wesley heard him play House of the Rising Sun one night, naked in the darkness of a kitchen-sink apartment. Only once; never again. That would be too much like...something. A life, perhaps, which isn't the answer, anyway.
At the end of the bar, though. Someone Wesley's never seen, and he knows that with a clarity as difficult to explain as the reason he can't stop staring. Sandy-haired, thin. So young that the nervous drop of the boy's eyes, the sudden brave grin, make Wesley raise an eyebrow.
But there's only cola in the glass he carries over, and the bartender gives the shrug of the bored and legally careless, as the stranger slips onto the stool next to Wesley. The boy's not here for the beer, and he's old enough for whatever else he's seeking -- if only just.
"You're... far from home," Wesley offers. Jeans, sweatshirt, reasonably faded, but he is, still. The longish hair smells of sweet conditioner; the shirt's been pressed.
"Me?" A laugh of surprise, as he points his glass at Wesley.
Wesley inclines his head, smiles. "You have me there. But I've lived here for...well, it certainly seems like a long time."
The returning grin is less nervous. "Know what you mean. Feels like I've been here forever; can't wait to leave for college in the fall." Grey-blue eyes shift, shutter. "I'm...David." Wesley can hear the lie, but it's not a malicious one, and he lets it rest.
"Wesley." Anyone who'd care where he might be, would know, and that's not paranoia. He looks again at the boy, and sees, feels, the nervous energy, thrumming through him. Racing for something: college, the future, a life. "And yet you're here? Surely a university town would be..."
"What, safer?" There's the chafing of an overprotected child in his voice. "Maybe. I'm just..." He shakes his head, and hair falls in his eyes. "I've got a girlfriend. I love her."
Wesley laughs, then nods. "Of course you do." Suspicious glance, but Wesley is sincere, if older than he's ever felt before.
"Notre Dame. She's going too. So... I don't know. Something's just. Missing, you know?"
The laugh he wants to laugh would scare the boy away, which might be best, but Wesley holds it down. "I think I might."
Another beer, and Wesley knows the favourite band. The dog's name, how many sisters. Another, and he stops caring what sort of picture they paint, as they slip out the door.
Motel, for he's not stupid. Nice one, for he's neither skint, nor rude. Long fingers play gingerly over his face, scrape against his stubble. Lips, hot and hungry at his throat, and suddenly Wesley's the young one, foolish and eager as this nameless boy.
His own fingers lose themselves in hanging hair, pull their bodies closer, faster against each other. It seems for a moment that they won't even reach the bed, won't get their clothes off, but Wesley's not that young. Fumbling with buttons, fumbling in pockets, and then there's just them on the sheets.
Skin against skin, L.A. in summer, air conditioning on high, still slick with sweat. Sliding over each other, reaching, almost catching.
It's different, this. These hands on him, unsure around his aching length. For once, it's not just Wesley desperate to find, to catch.... something. They roll and tumble, lost against each other, the friction of leg and hip and stomach. Wesley breathing harder, sucking lungfuls of something he's almost, almost got the word for.
Almost. Something. What? He knows, he should know, the word, the thing, right... right there. He reaches, as his body stiffens, jerks, orgasm unwinding within him.
Faster and faster, and there, behind his eyes, shut tight. The body in his arms. Thin. Small. Wiry. Soft. Musk. Powder. Lullaby notes in his mouth. Hot blade slick, easy at his throat, pillow in Angel's heavy hands. Bitter whiskey, another body above him, her eyes black with need. Cradle song again, an infant in his arms.
Wesley drops his head, chin on the boy's shoulder. Eyes wide, and a choke that would be a sob, if he had the breath for it. Of course. A trick of the mind. Tip of his tongue.
"Connor," he says softly, when he can.
"Mhmm..." is the sleepy reply. "Who?"
Wesley closes his eyes and blesses small mercies. He rests his hand on Connor's head. "Nothing. Someone I used to know."
An hour later, a mile away, Angel is speed-dial one.