Two Steps on the Water
Content/Warnings: Wesley/Angel slash
Disclaimer: These characters are the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy Productions. I am merely borrowing them, with no hopes of personal gain. I'm just an unemployed housewife with no money, and I don't expect to profit from writing this or any other fan fiction.
Spoilers: Through and including "Fredless."
Distribution: Only with my explicit permission, but if you ask, I will almost certainly give it.
Notes: Constructive criticism greatly desired.
We don't talk about the old days. It's hard enough to get through today without bringing up the ones we've lost, the places gone forever. For months afterward, Wesley spent every hour analyzing what might have happened, going through the few books he'd managed to salvage and trying to come up with an explanation. But there was no one left to ask, nothing to verify, and eventually I convinced him to stop wasting his energy. It's hard enough to get through today without trying to discover why yesterday exploded.
In the early morning hours, after the sun has risen and we've gone to ground, I think about it, of course. Only a completely insane person would be able to let it go. My best guess is that the Hellmouth opened, freeing everything that had been straining at the bit for so long. I'm not entirely sure that that explains the earthquakes, the flood, and everything that came after. Well, maybe the earthquakes - that little trigger point that lies deep within the earth beneath California could have been affected by the first wave that rippled the very air when the world turned upside down on that sunny March afternoon.
I begged them to get out - the hotel was shuddering and the section of it that had already collapsed was teasing the parts still standing. They wouldn't leave without me, and their loyalty tore at me like a living thing. And then once night fell, it was another hour or two before we could convince Gunn to leave her. When I freed her from the wreckage, Gunn sat on the stairs holding her lifeless body in his arms, stroking her face and somehow ignoring the unnatural crooked splay of her limbs. He didn't speak for three days after.
We didn't know where to go at first. There were demons everywhere. Flying demons, crawling demons, demons that walk on two and three and four and more legs. Even ones living underwater, which has made for some interesting surprises, believe me. We've even seen some things that Wesley doesn't think are demons. We stopped keeping count of the numbers we'd killed after Wesley reached two hundred. There didn't seem to be much point, after that.
We keep moving, hoping to find a place that's been untouched, constantly disappointed. The hardest thing has been finding a haven from the sun that's not indefensible. One entire day I spent face down in the sand under the pickup truck, shifting my body an inch here and a millimeter there, baking in the heat from the earth and trying to avoid being incinerated. Gunn and Wesley spent that day on either side of the truck, weapons in hand, trying to stay awake.
And of course, the other challenge is finding blood to keep me going. Most everything is dead now - human and animal alike. There certainly isn't a chance at finding living humans willing to donate a pint to a vampire, not when the ones still alive have seen friends and family ripped apart in front of their eyes by demons. The way Cordelia was... but even I try not to think about that. It's nice to imagine that she didn't suffer, at least... it was probably quick. We only found the one arm in her apartment, and... okay, not thinking about it. That's how people end up crazy. It's love that destroys you, every time.
The night we lose Gunn it's because of me - because we are looking for blood. The farmhouse certainly looks abandoned, and we hope that maybe there might be a goat, a dog... even a chicken, still alive. We aren't expecting to find people. But there they are, all right, holed up in the barn and well-armed and scared half out of their minds. Gunn goes around the corner and they just... blow him away. The shotgun blast takes out half his chest - I don't think he ever even knows what hit him. There is a glazed look in his eyes and not even an attempt to breathe, just lying there as his blood soaks into the earth. And Wesley and I, kneeling on the ground beside him and weeping helplessly and not even caring what those bastards might do to us. And it turns out they aren't bastards, because they come out and stand around us, and a couple of them are crying, too. They didn't known Gunn was just another human. They don't know that I'm not.
They help us to bury Gunn in the field next to the barn, and then leave us alone to grieve. I want to say something over his makeshift grave, but I don't have any words, and for once Wesley doesn't, either. We are both wiping tears from our cheeks and staring at the ground and unable to look at each other. Because it's too damned unfair, that Gunn survived all this time to be killed now by his own kind. And that I'm still standing, when I would so gladly take his place.
And so that is the night that Wesley and I first come together, in the loft of the barn surrounded by hay, like animals in more respects than one. He hasn't spoken and I'm not sure if this is what he wants, until suddenly he gasps and throws himself into my arms. Our mouths fit together and then our bodies fit together and it is something, a comfort, a reassurance and a benediction. Because it feels like we're the only two people left from the old world.
We keep moving, always moving. We don't stay more than two nights anywhere - the demons are there, and I'm beginning to wonder if we are leaving some sort of trail that they are following. Probably not - there are just so many of them, and so few targets left for them. One night we almost stumble into the middle of a fight between two different groups of demons. They are killing each other now, for food. That is the definition of desperation, I think.
When we find an empty house toward morning - somewhere in the middle of Utah, Wesley thinks - we climb into the bed and try to sleep. But the bitter exhaustion doesn't always bring sleep, and when I turn my head to look at him he is gazing back at me, his eyes gray in the early morning light that bathes the room despite our makeshift blackout curtains. I roll over to him and take him into my arms, kissing his perfect living mouth and grateful for the opportunity. His lips are warm and his cock is hot and hard with wanting.
Wesley reaches his hand down and grasps me, moving slowly and firmly and then gently circling the tip. I would gasp if I could, but I settle for burying my face in the curve of his neck and licking it softly. He tastes of salt and bitterness and sorrow, and I want to sink my teeth in and draw his life into me.
He shifts lower, away from me, and then his tongue is on my cock and I am muttering his name like a prayer. The warmth of his mouth is always a surprise, even after all these weeks, and my hand is pumping him like a piston until he cries out against me and his seed splashes my fist. I draw him up to plunder his mouth again with my tongue, at the same time using his warm semen to lubricate my cock.
I turn Wesley over, on his side facing away from me, and slide down. I kiss and suckle at his lower back, kneading his slim buttocks with both hands, one slick finger teasing his opening. He moans and twitches in my arms, shoving back against me, encouraging me without words. My finger slides in slowly, his body protesting my entry at first but then relaxing and drawing me in with its warmth. I move gently, in and out, and he moans again and jerks back against my hand. When I crook my finger to please him, he cries out in delight, and my other hand finds him hardening again in anticipation.
I move up and wrap my upper arm around his middle, easing my cock into his willing body by inches, feeling the slide of his come and my saliva and the utter, sheer bliss of his heat. He groans and my hand is gripping him tightly and then we are both moving, pumping and it is so good. This is the only goodness that is left.
My control breaks and I am no longer capable of gentleness. I am slamming into him with brutal force, chasing my release and his own and as he shudders and comes again his body clenches around me and I follow him, both of us groaning and him panting and the places where our bodies meet slicked with his sweat.
We stay like that, with me holding onto him and his head thrown back against mine. His breathing gradually slows to normal and we are silent but not asleep.
"Do you ever think about going home?" I ask him again, as I have so many times before. I'm thinking about England, the green rolling hills and rocky shores.
He turns and rubs his cheek against my chest, and his arms tighten around me. His answer is always the same. "Home is where you are."
When night falls we leave the little house. We've been reduced to travelling on foot - it got too hard to find fuel for the truck, since most of the power is out. On one occasion we found a car with keys and gas in it, and we drove it until the fuel tank was empty, but we haven't been that lucky again.
I hear a growl from our right and before I can even turn my head to look Wesley's body is thrown against mine and we are both on the ground. I jump to my feet and see some kind of demon I don't even recognize crouched before me, waiting. There is a sword on my back but as I raise my hand to grasp the hilt the creature leaps, and it is on top of me. I punch it in the face, as hard as I can, and its head rocks back. Its breath is foul and its saliva is dripping onto me and oh god, it's so strong. I kick my legs up into its torso, and it grunts and I roll and I am at least standing again. I reach for the sword again, and then a bolt finds its way into the demon's eye and the demon screams. I am on it then, slashing with the sword until the thing lies in a gorey steaming heap.
And I look back at Wesley to thank him for the fine shot, and he is lying on the ground covered with blood. Covered.
I'm at his side in an instant.
"Wesley? Wes? Can you hear me?" It's his leg that's bleeding. I rip his jeans off of him in one movement and oh no, his thigh is ripped nearly in half and the blood is pouring from his body like water.
"Wes? Wes?" And he's not answering, although I can still feel his heartbeat under my hands. I press my mouth feverishly to his wound, loving the taste of his blood and hating myself and hoping beyond hope that my saliva will slow the bleeding enough.
But it's not slowing at all, and Wesley can't talk to me and I don't know what to do. I need him to tell me what to do, to tell me it's okay if I do it. I'm afraid.
"Wes? Wesley? C'mon, wake up. Please wake up." I'm weeping now, even harder than I did when Gunn died and my eyes are burning and I can barely see. My tears are falling onto his face, baptizing him with the most unholy of waters, and I'm trying to wipe them off of him. His heart rate is slowing and his breathing is slowing. He's not going to wake up.
"Wesley? Please don't leave me here alone. I can't do this alone." I am sobbing. I don't know which path to choose, whether I am capable of being strong enough to let him go.
In the end I am weak.
I bring Wesley home.
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