By Jane St Clair
Spoilers: Just a hint of "Fool for Love" -- Spike background thing
Pairing: Wesley/Spike (Wesley/Angel)
Feedback: brings me joy and in turn drives me to spread joy! firstname.lastname@example.org
Summary: Wesley goes shopping
Disclaimer: I wish they were mine. We'd have such fun, we would. But they're not. Buffy & Angel stuff belong to Joss Whedon, Warner, and Fox. Story's mine.
Sex disclaimer: Never ever have I ever done it on the pool table while the new year was rung in in the next room.
Notes: For Te, again, because she begs me and bugs me and does it better than anyone else. And just because she's so damned cool.
But as Wesley occasionally has to remind himself, he hasn't lived with his parents for a long time. And in the intervening years, he's managed to overcome a little of their influence. He doesn't flinch automatically anymore when someone reaches toward him. He puts as much sugar in his tea as he wants. Sometimes he manages to soften the iron rod at the centre of his spine a little.
Grey afternoon light. Cloudy for southern California. Hauntingly dark for the unnervingly sunny home of the Hellmouth.
He came up partly on a whim, partly on a quest, and carefully didn't tell Angel he was going. Angel, he understands, is semi-officially banished from the Slayer's domain, as she is from his. Which is probably for the best, since they only seem to get under one another's skin. But a few times, especially this year as the dreams of Darla progressively took over Angel's psyche, he would have been grateful for the distraction she so easily provides.
He doesn't call her Buffy unless he has to. It's her name, he knows that, but it's silly and childish, and he can't imagine what her parents were thinking when they gave it to her. "Faith" at least, had the correct aura of power and violence.
It doesn't do to think about that, really. Rather makes his skin crawl.
He does have a mission, though. He needs a Callah Orb. And he's been referred from shop to shop along the San Andreas looking for one. Until the last storekeeper, middle-aged, female, and vague as she was, pointed him towards Rupert Giles' current enterprise. In one of her more lucid moments, she even called over and determined that Rupert did, indeed, have one in stock. And would be holding it for him until he came to pick it up, Mister . . .
"Pryce." Because if he was lucky, he could miss Rupert completely, deal with the shop assistant and be gone before anyone noticed him.
Long minute sitting on his bike before he walks inside. Just breathing deeply and spell-casting shallowly, looking for Giles' aura and not finding it. Safe passage, then.
The girl at the counter is entirely too cheerful, and a little off-balancing. She scrutinizes Wesley openly, trying to place him, until he offers her the money as a distraction. He remembers her, a little -- the vengeance demon from the Slayer's graduating class, candid and clever and terrifying and utterly unsocialized. He has the feeling that she might comment on anything. His clothes, for instance, and how awkward he looks in them. His removal from the Watchers, if she knows about it. His sexual preference, perhaps. Loudly and clearly, for all the world to understand. Innuendo is quite beyond her.
There's a soft footfall behind him, and the rustle of a coat, but he doesn't look over his shoulder. All he has to do is take his over-wrapped parcel and leave.
All the iron rod he'd managed to work out of his spine is right back. He waits for the girl at the counter to look afraid, but she only blinks a little and goes back to counting the money in the till. Humming a little. For a moment, he thinks he can hear her singing *money-money-money-money, money-money-money-money* before he shakes it off.
There's a cold nose pressed against his neck. "You smell like Angel. Where do I know you from?"
Small, cold hands turn him around. There's a small, cold vampire on the end of the arms attached to the hands. Blue eyes, wonderfully sharp cheekbones. Quite lovely, really. Enough that Wesley's glad he's wearing the coat, if only because it conceals his body's reaction.
"Um, hello . . ."
"Spike," the girl supplies. Her name, her name, he knows this . . . Anya. Right.
"Spike." William the Bloody. Indoors, with them, with him pinned against the counter.
His hand's halfway to the stake in his coat when Anya says, "Leave Spike alone. He can't hurt you. They had him fixed."
"*Fuck* you, luv."
She flashes him the finger and goes back to her counting.
Wesley looks at Spike, who's stood back from him and is currently just watching. There's more than a little threat in his posture, but it's only effective if you believe in his power to hurt you. Rather the opposite of Angel, who manages to look almost as ineffectual as Wesley does, but might hurt you very badly if he deems it necessary.
Spike spreads his arms in a nothing-up-my-sleeves gesture and smiles at him. It's not a pleasant smile. It might only be British teeth, but he does appear to have startling incisors even in human face.
"Who are you, ducks?"
"Mmm. Wyndham-Pryce. The Slayer's second watcher. Why do you smell like Angel?"
"That I couldn't tell you." Or won't, at any rate. Not going to announce in the slayer's country anything about the nights he's spent sprawled on Angel's couch while the demon-cold mouth rubbed all over him. Not going to say anything about last night, on his knees, with Angel's cock down his throat and those huge hands curling into his hair.
If he can step past Spike, he can go. The aura spell he cast earlier is starting to scream at him, which means Rupert's within striking distance. There's not even anything wrong with the man, but Wesley desperately doesn't want to deal with him. Too British for him to cope with at the moment.
Odd, then, that Spike isn't. Perhaps because the East-End accent is so perfect that all of Wesley's instincts scream that it's fake. Affected. Under it, there's something softer and genteel that's been almost entirely thrown away. And that, perhaps, is as attractive as the stone-cut cheekbones and bedroom eyes.
Spike leans in and nuzzles him again, briefly. If he shoved hard, Wesley could have him out in the sunshine, but there isn't any threat in Spike's gesture. He's only . . . smelling. Short, shallow breaths like an animal scenting. Almost warm, though perhaps that's the residual sunlight affecting his vampire body, and almost friendly. Behind them, Anya has stopped her counting, and her breathing is a little ragged. Watching them and. Something. He doesn't want to imagine what tack her thoughts might be taking.
Sharp, pale lips lock onto his suddenly. Cool the way the dead must be cool, more pliant than Angel's have ever been. Tentative and unthreatening, then demanding, and finally very, very deep. Spike's tongue in his mouth, questing towards his back teeth. Wrapping around Wesley's own tongue. Licking. Sweet-edged mouth softening and tensing against his, making a marvellous seal that holds them together.
Three fingers trace the line of his face while their mouths are locked. Not even moving him, only feeling for the line of his profile.
By the time Spike pulls away, Wesley is unashamedly panting, and desperately hard. Gasping desperately enough that his abdominals ache faintly. He keeps forgetting this, that vampires don't need to breathe, that they forget that humans do, or perhaps don't forget and rather inflict that difference as some kind of subtle show of power.
"Oh my. Wesley?" Rupert Giles in the doorway, groceries spilled at his feet. A single grapefruit rolls towards Spike's scuffed combat boot.
Spike doesn't turn. He flashes Wesley a grin full of incisors and whispers, "You taste like Angel. Tell me why sometime." Turns and leaves in a swirl of leather. Not outside, but down into some darker place in the shop, where he must oddly be welcome.
Leaving Wesley to try to meet Rupert's eyes and determine what he's going to say next. He wonders if it wouldn't be better to let Anya air her version of the story first, because no matter how tactless it might be, it has to be better than anything he could generate. He can't explain himself at all. Just holds the wrapped, undamaged crystal in both hands and rolls it gently back and forth. Rolls his tongue back and forth in his mouth, thinking about how different two vampires of the same line can taste.
Just thinking. Making himself wonder.