Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project
Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project

Emotion Sickness
By Raquel
For A Secret Slasha Dropout

He fumbled absently with the lock, his hands numb and cold. Had he been more than half awake, he would be inside already, nursing his injuries, sleeping off his aches, and maybe even trying to surrender to the seduction of sleep. Wesley closed his eyes and sighed, a misplaced sound in the noiseless hallway. He rested his forehead against the door, contemplating whether to stay in the comfort of his own apartment or to go back to the hotel, where he had dropped off Gunn and Lorne not one and a half hours earlier. And where had he been after that? Searching the city for Angel, that's where. Yes, fire from the sky had slowed him down a great deal, but it had begun to let up for the ten minutes it took him to drive home. So here he was, scuffling with his lock, deciding whether to sleep off his burdens or to worry and dwell on them until morning. His aches and pains, however, overshadowed the voice of logic and reason.

After what seemed like an eternity, the lock gave way and allowed its owner entrance to the room. Limping, Wesley inhaled sharply, unaware until that moment just how severe his injuries were. The bruises had swelled agonizingly, sending shocks up and down an entire side of his body. He grunted owishly at the feeling, but couldn't find it in himself to regret what he had done for the city - for the world, even.

Shaking his head in a dismissive motion, he tossed his keys onto the desk and moved subconsciously towards the phone as he did so. He had to make sure things at the hotel were okay...right?

Groaning as the pain stabbed through his body when he shifted his weight, Wesley reached out a hand for the receiver. Partially dreading having to speak to the Angel Investigations employees, he lifted his other hand and began to dial.

Mid-dial: "I wouldn't do that if were you."

Four years prior, he probably would have dropped the phone, shrieked, and run out the door without delay, with his manly dignity struggling to catch up. But now? Part of him almost expected it, and the other part was hardly influenced by the sound. At the hearing of the hoarse, gravelly voice, Wesley didn't turn around; he didn't have to. Instead, he hung up the phone and stared at the suddenly appealing bland countertop before him.

"And why not, Angel?" he pondered aloud, addressing the slumped form of a vampire behind him in the shadows. The idea that Angel had been in his apartment hadn't fazed him; however, in the instant that he had turned around, Wesley wished he had not.

Even if he had seen the condition in which the vampire had landed, he would have winced; his state had worsened incredibly. Caked blood framed Angel's face, joining his right eyebrow and lower lip. It seeped further downward, shaped like a hand choking him. His usually perfect shirt bore scars large of war; dust and ash clung desperately to his form, and Angel did nothing to object. Deep red wounds and bruises marred his usually smooth white skin, and oddly shaped burns covered his arms, obviously, from the fight against nature when he was walking to Wesley's. But his wounds and bruises had not been the worst of it. The look in his eyes...Betrayal. Sadness. Desperation. Need. Suffering.

It was the first time in Wesley's life that he had seen his ex-boss bear his unbeating heart so plainly on his sleeve. But here he stood, no emotions barred, a shell of the man he had once been- a testament that such a man once existed and would never be again. Not anytime soon, anyway.

Angel threatened to fall, even as he leaned heavily on the wall for support. He scratched out a low chuckle at the look in Wesley's eyes, as it attempted to hide the surprise beneath.

Regaining the ability to speak, Wesley reprompted his question, "Why not?" His eyes followed Angel's painful hike from the opposite side of the room to a spot not five feet from where Wesley stood. Angel balanced his weight against the couch and looked him dead in the eye, daring Wesley to tear his gaze away.

"Because I said so," he then answered, as if it was the fact of the matter.

"Are you okay?" Wesley asked suddenly, very well aware that it was a daft question. He just wanted to know how far into detail Angel would go. The treason that had brought upon the sadness in Angel's eyes was nameless. But whatever it was, it was screaming and pumping through Angel's veins. Angel stared blankly at the ex-Watcher, eyes glassy and watery, tears threatening to pour. Wesley had once wondered what it would take to break Angel's resolve, his stubbornness, to get the better of him. Something had. And he wanted to know just what the hell it was. But Angel stood silently, refusing to say a word.

Wesley decided a different approach. "I'm going to go get some bandages from the closet. Try and call the hotel, see if everyone's okay." If he wasn't going to tell, Angel might as well make himself useful. Wesley couldn't single out his problems; if he wanted to talk about them, he would. But not if he was pressured to.

Wesley, after ordering Angel, limped as lightly as he could manage towards the closet in the other room, where he kept most of his injury supplies. He wouldn't have been surprised if Angel hadn't moved an inch since he had spoken, and when he re-entered the room, he wasn't very surprised at the fact that Angel was holding the receiver in his hands limply, not making any effort to dial the Angel Investigations number. So Wesley stood in the doorway, Angel's back to him, toying with the idea of watching the vampire and finding out just how long it would be before he called.

"It hurts," Angel suddenly murmured, so quiet and unexpected that Wesley had to ask him to repeat it. "...hurts," he said again, turning so that he was facing the door, to Wesley's right. Wesley, on some level not understanding what Angel meant, stepped closer.

"I know," he replied, "I've got the things. Lie down and rest, you'll heal more easily."

Angel looked Wes dead in the eye then, as if trying to read Wesley's mind. Cautious, almost anxious to see what Angel would do next, Wesley moved to stand opposite him, and slid his rough hand over Angel's smooth one in an effort to put the phone back on its cradle. Angel let him and caught his gaze once again as Wesley looked up.

"No," Angel said, his delayed response surprising Wes again. "It hurts. But not like that." He closed his eyes and staggered to the couch, relaxing his full weight into the cushion. It wouldn't occur to Wesley until several moments later than there was now blood on his favorite sofa. But at that moment, there were other, more important things, to see to.

Wesley knelt by Angel's side, baffled by the state of the vampire - more reserved than normal, yet more emotional than he had ever been. The cleaning of wounds and the bandaging process came along slowly and silently, the only words passed being 'turn your body a little', 'how did that happen?' (to which there never really came a reply) and the occasional 'ow'. Finished, Wesley looked at the vampire, his handsome face cleaner and sharper than when he had walked in. There was a hairless slash through his right eyebrow, a mirror reflection of an unruly childe of his that Wesley had only seen once before.

Lost in thought, it suddenly occurred to the Englishman that his left hand had been trailing the sculpted cheekbone of Angel, where a patch of dried blood once found home. Angel hadn't reacted, however, and that was the reason why Wesley continued the descent of his hands, outlining the bruises and wounds that made up the vampire's face. His fingertips found the pale pink lips, thin and dry. They parted suddenly, a choked sound pouring into the silence of the room. A cold, salty tear bridged over Wesley's fingers, followed in time by another. The length of time between tears became less and less and for those next moments, the only sound was the bitter echo of sobs as they racked Angel's body.

Something inside Wesley was relieved at the sound, a part of him he had never been aware of until then. He stopped to ponder just why he was eased by the unnatural cries, and it smacked him in the face. Now you know what it feels like, his brain shouted at Angel. To be betrayed by everyone and everything you loved. The musing was frightening to him, alien almost, but it was a guilty pleasure. Revenge that he had no intention of dishing out, but was pleasurable enough as if he had.

At that moment, Wesley would have excused himself, gone to the bathroom, and screamed rather loudly at his childish thoughts had it not been for the crushed feeling of Angel's lips against his own, hungry and desperate, biting slightly at his bottom lip as it slowly swelled from the sweet friction. He pulled back a little, searching Angel's cloudy brown eyes in question. He didn't intend to feel the emptiness suddenly, just as their lips parted, but couldn't deny that he felt the guilty need to reconstruct their kiss, to feel the sweeping relief that had washed over his body. His voice came roughly, and an unsure tone filled his voice. "Do you know what you're doing?" He asked slowly, regretting it instantly; did Angel even want this? Angel didn't reply and for once, his expression showed nothing; his eyes clouded over and became emotionless. A hand resting at the nape of Wesley's neck grazed lightly at the cool skin and Wesley closed his eyes, leaning into the touch. When he opened his eyes again, Angel's face was much closer than he remembered, but a firm hand prevented him from moving back from the piercing brown gaze.

Unspoken words passed through closed lips and they parted only to rejoin with Wesley's, hands grazing his neck again before retreating to the warmth of Wesley's hair. Wesley, taken slightly aback, fell instantly into the rhythm of Angel's tongue, sliding his own against it. Cold, seeking hands crept beneath Wesley's shirt, brushing his jacket aside. He needed to feel, to feel something warm, to feel the soft skin and warmth of Wesley, a man he had trusted and loved for so long. The only thing person who could understand; the only person who could help.

Had he ever known how much and how long he had wanted Angel, he would have never broken their kiss. But Wesley, unsure of his own feelings, did just that. He wasn't sure what was racing through his mind at that moment, and searching Angel's eyes weren't helping any.

"...Wes..." Angel breathed slowly, obviously not having been helped by the effort it had taken to find the comfort in Wesley he had first sought.

The sound of his name from Angel's lips was almost enough to melt whatever resolve Wesley had left, but he managed to stick to it. Did Angel love him enough at all or was he just hurting too much? Wesley wasn't sure of either answer, but was plenty convinced that he didn't want to know. He leaned over the couch, pressing his lips affectionately against Angel's right temple. "Get some rest," he whispered, licking his swollen lips. Not waiting for an answer, Wesley stood and covered Angel with the sheets he had brought from his room. He didn't have any extras; the only common guest was Lilah and they slept in the same bed.

Wesley reached the kitchen before he was out of Angel's line of sight. Promptly, he banged his head against the wall, cursing himself for denying what he had wanted for so long; to feel Angel's soft lips against his own, breaching his conscious in getting lost in Angel.

"Wes...?" Angel's voice was soft and vulnerable, and it boiled Wesley's blood to hear him this way. Whoever had violated Angel's emotions would have to suffer. But that could wait.

Wesley, collecting his dangling thread of dignity, returned to Angel, who still lay uncomfortably on the sofa. Angel was hesitant to speak again, and it was physically painful to hear the inaudible sound of Angel's self-assured pride snapping into pieces. "...stay with me?"

Nodding slowly, Wesley sighed and sat on the floor by Angel's head, curling a free blanket over his body and using the couch cushion as a pillow.


Angel's body was stiff and rigid and it pained his neck to look at the human lying by his side. Wesley was close to sleep, as was he, but he couldn't quite break the strand of desperation that tied them together. He startled himself by speaking, "Thanks."

Groggy, Wesley turned his head to Angel, uncertainty filling his tired eyes. "For what?" he asked, voice quiet and exhausted.

"For..." Angel thought for a moment about what to say, so that Wesley could understand. He found it a second later. "For easing the hurt a little."

Wesley didn't say anything in reply, and it was hard to tell if it was that he had nothing to say, that he hadn't heard, or that he was too sleepy to register it. Whatever the case, Angel didn't seem to mind at all. Wesley had eased the hurt. Though little, it was more than enough to matter. Whether he needed a friend at that moment was up for grabs; so many had betrayed him before. Wesley was someone to trust, someone who wouldn't deceive him.

And that was all that mattered.