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

After You
By Kat
For yellowsummer

Eric Cheshire.

It's been annoying him all week. How could he ever forget his name? They had always been close. Not close emotionally, the two could scarcely stand the sight of each other as young teenagers. In boarding school they would barely mask their contempt for each other, simply for the virtue of going head to head in the same events, for the same prizes, for the same girls.

They were close competitively. Hated everything about each other but did everything together. And as much as Wesley hated to admit it, they agreed on one thing.

Eric was better.

Everything Eric did, Wesley was one step behind him. Eric won a race, Wesley was only a foot away. Eric won a giant trophy, Wesley's was only an inch shorter. Eric successfully wooed Francis Everett from the Girls Academy, Wesley courted her best friend Georgina Ferris whose nose was only slightly bigger.

Eric's knowledge was just that bit vaster, his brain just that bit quicker, his answers just that bit sharper.

They had been working on a translation. A spell in ancient Aztec symbols that predated those commonly recognised by experts. A throwaway assignment that a lazy professor had set the boys without a hope of anyone figuring out the answer. If anyone even knew what it would do.

Of course nobody knew what it would do. Or what would happen. Eric's studious determination and brilliant mind, however, had allowed him to achieve what no other student could.

And be eaten by the tyrannous uncharted Egyptian demon this achievement had summoned.

Naturally, the school being the main source of entry into the Watchers' Council, the problem was immediately and efficiently dealt with as soon as the slayer at the time could be coerced into lending a helping hand.

But with the nominations for head boy not yet concluded, it left a space that could only be filled by the second best candidate.

That's what Wesley was, and always has been since. The second best.

Wesley's life has been filled with men who better him. Not all of them dead like Eric. It's the sudden addressing of the situation with his father that' s brought this self reflection on. The first man to assure him, in no uncertain terms, that Wesley would never, could never be better than him.

Wesley's father would belittle young Wesley. Constantly face him with a barrage of trick questions about history, tradition and the occult, simply because he enjoyed seeing the expression of embarrassed failure on Wesley's face when he inevitably got it wrong.

Eric got on well with Wesley's father. Wesley used to imagine being thrown out of the house to be replaced by Eric, the son his father always wanted. The best. So Wesley would escape to his room and read up on everything he was supposed to know but didn't. The vast chronicles of supernatural history that littered the five floors of the stately Wyndham-Price home were his sanctuary, his distraction, his obsession.

One set of volumes in particular.

In any tales of the relationships between a group of people, one can find a situation that parallels one's own. Even if that group of people happens not to be a group of people, but a group of vampires.

Fact. It is impossible to spend any amount of time familiarising oneself with evil without being seduced by it.

Just look at Buffy.

But the truth is, as unique and special as she likes to think she is, Buffy' s not the only one. Slayer and watcher history is riddled with the lines between good and evil, love and hate, right and wrong being continually blurred and confused.

Evil is sexy. There's no denying it.

Wesley has strong defence mechanisms. Mainly involving projection, denial and transference. Knowing how attracted he was to the lifestyle he could only read about made him try ten times harder to assert its wrongness. Especially when the vampire at the very centre of his attentions was within easy firing range.

Not quite at the centre.

Wesley was jealous of Angel. He would never admit it of course, but he was. He still is. The way Angel can turn everyone's head the second he walks into a room, the way he can be the centre of everyone's attention without even being present, the way. the way he has lived his life. And who he's lived it with.

The way he can effortlessly make everyone around him slide into second place.

Wesley was a coward back then. Even into his early watcher days, the first time he met Angel. He hid behind procedure and a thin veil of righteous superiority, in trying to one-up the now souled vampire onto whom he had transferred all his feelings of envious inadequacy.

Of course, he couldn't beat him. Wesley still inevitably fell into second place.

It never changed, even when they became friends. Even now Wesley feels second place to Angel but he's just gotten used to it. As he has had to with everyone else. The fantasies of his youth have dissipated into the reality of today, and as much as he begrudges him, Wesley respects Angel.

Wesley has always respected his elders. Or at least submitted to them.

He turns back to face the bed. The crumpled sheets that remind him of a night of submitting to his elder, his superior.

His idol.

Because that's what the escapism really led him to. His fantasy of being free to be evil led him to over-identify with one character in particular. One monster from the stories he could distance himself from the reality of enough to absorb himself in.

It could have been him.

It was romantic really. Pathetic useless waste, never able to quite get the women he desired, never able to make anything of his pitiful little existence, always sucking up to a parent whom he could never hope to be good enough for.

One bite and he was a master. Cool, sexy, revered by his counterparts and feared by his victims. Spike was the ultimate bad ass and Wesley's hero. Everything Wesley was supposed to detest and be disgusted by was embodied by this Adonis of a fiend and it drove him wild with passion. He wanted to have him, wanted to be him.

Of course he never let it show.

A part of him still wants it. Even after having met Spike in person, a part of him is overcome with lust and awe for the simple fact of the god he has built him up to be. When they're in bed together, Spike is that god, he is the force that cannot be reckoned with and Wesley's icon.

But there's more to it than that. Wesley identifies with Spike in ways that he couldn't identify with William the poet.

Because Spike is in second place.

The thing that intrigued Wesley most about the chronicles he engrossed himself in as a young man, was Spike's endless unwilling deference to Angel. As suave and malevolently valiant as Spike was, Angel was always the boss and there was nothing he could ever do about it.

Eric and Wesley. Spike and Angel.

Wesley would picture the two of them as the infamous nemeses and comrades. Spent hours holed up in his room drawing the impregnable duo, adorned complete with sweeping leather dusters and expressions of bloodlust. With Wesley and Eric's faces.


He destroyed all the pictures when Eric died. No-one ever saw them. There was nothing standing in the way of himself and first place any more.

Of course he never achieved it. Too held back by his own inadequacies, his own surrender to those more powerful than himself. Particularly on the subject of evil. The temptation was just too great to let himself be taken over by it.

That's what he let's Spike do. Take him over. Because unlike Wesley, Spike really, genuinely wants to be in first place and what's more he's capable of holding his own there. He will challenge Angel all the way whereas Wesley has given up.

Until he is strong enough however, Spike takes solace in Wesley, and Wesley is grateful.

Because in bed with Spike is the one place he doesn't mind coming second.