by Flaming June (_flaming_june_ at livejournal.com)
Spoilers: Spoilers through AtS S4, "The Magic Bullet"
Notes: Thanks to Kita for inspiration, kick-ass beta, and for letting me borrow the brain for this one; to Herself, for bringing me here in the first place, helpful hints, and general fabulousness; to Saussy, for good suggestions, encouragement, and taking me hard in the restaurant bathroom; and 10zlaine, for reading it, liking it, and wanting moremoremore!
This is for wiseacress. Because although it's nowhere near worthy, turn about is, after all, fair play.
We are not in the same place after all.
The only evidence of the disaster,
Mapping out across the bedroom wall,
Tiny cracks still fissuring the plaster –
A new cartography for us to master,
In whose legend we read where we are bound:
Terra infirma, a stranger land, and vaster.
Or have we always stood on shaky ground?
The moment keeps on happening: a sound.
The floor beneath us swings, a pendulum
That clocks the heart, the heart so tightly wound,
We fall mute, as when two lovers come
To the brink of the apology, and halt,
Each standing on the wrong side of the fault.
-- A.E. Stallings
* * *
"Jasmine isn't what you think she is, Wes."
Angel swiftly crosses the lobby toward him, his tone hushed but somehow urgent. Wes immediately marks the hurt behind Angel's eyes, the slight catch in his voice. Something is wrong.
"What? What about Jasmine?" Merely uttering her name fills Wesley with a bliss he has never dreamed possible.
Angel stops just inside the office doorway. "She's evil, Wes. She's got you all under some kind of mind control," Angel says, almost apologetically.
Wes suddenly feels cold all over, suspicion and dread welling up inside him. "Angel, whatever this is about--I'm sure Jasmine can clarify…"
In an instant, Angel is on him, one hand locking around his throat, shoving him back against the wall, the other quickly ripping open Wes's neat button-down. Buttons ping and skitter on the office floor. The heft and breadth of Angel's body presses against him. Angel holds his gaze as surely as he holds him pinned to the wall. Wesley gasps, his breath coming short and hard in little pants.
"I'm going to have to cut you, Wes. I have to mix her blood with yours, it's the only way. I'm sorry." Angel's voice is soft, but there is no mistaking his intent. Wesley feels his face flush, and a stab of fear and fury courses through him. He struggles against Angel, but it only results in a firmer grip on his throat, Angel's huge hand pressing, bruising his windpipe. Quickly, Angel raises a slim, sharp knife, and brings it close to Wesley's chest, his eyes never leaving Wesley's own. "I'm sorry," he says again, "This'll all be over in a second," but before he can pierce the pale stretch of exposed flesh, Wes thrashes out of his grip and somehow manages to wrestle the knife from him. He throws the knife as far as he can, out through the office door. It sails across the lobby and lands somewhere near the building's entrance.
Angel watches, horrified, as the knife clatters across the lobby floor. Senses Wes gulping air, gathering breath for a shout, a call for help. He doesn't have much time. Angel acts quickly, without thought--presses his left hand roughly against Wesley's open mouth. Feels the hot breath against his cool palm. Wesley's eyes are wide, rolling, furious, his face burning.
Angel has to give Wes the antidote. Has to fix this, has to make it right. Knows he needs Wes on his side for the battle to come. His lieutenant. His captain-at-arms. His friend.
Wesley is struggling, and he's strong. But Angel pins him easily, holds him almost without effort. So it's a surprise when Wesley's arm comes up in a flash, somehow breaking the hold, and connects with a sickening crack against Angel's cheekbone. Pain blooms, and rage, and there's a quick descending of a blood red darkness, and Angel feels the demon flash to the surface, unbidden.
Suddenly he knows what to do. What he must do and yeah, okay, what he wants to do to break Jasmine's hold over Wesley. The knife lies forgotten on the marble floor of the lobby. Maybe he meant to do this all along. He's shaking.
His mouth is on Wesley's throat.
His teeth are in Wesley's throat.
The taste of Wes floods across Angel's tongue. He knows he can't feed off him--he doesn't intend to--just needs to break the skin, to mingle the blood, to end the enchantment. But.
But the taste of Wes--rich, metallic, strong. Full of fear, and hope, and something dark and hot and old, the low unmistakable note of lust. He thinks of the last time he tasted Wes, on the boat. He can still smell the ocean.
Angel slowly moves his mouth over the ripe and already flowing wound, pulling gently, sucking softly, drawing Wes's blood inside him. And then Wes moans, and his knees buckle and he sags against Angel.
Wesley is hard against his thigh, against his own stiff cock. Everything goes quiet but for the rushing sound of the blood, and dimly Angel hears the gulping, swallowing sounds from his own throat. Wes's eyes drift closed. Angel is holding him up, a punch-drunk prizefighter. He removes his hand from across Wesley's mouth to heave him upright again, but doesn't stop drinking him. Can't, because now this is everything, this is the only thing left, the only thing. The only…
The moment draws out. As if from very far away, Angel hears Wesley, mumbling, murmuring, "Jasmine..."
He tears his mouth away from Wesley's throat, shakes his head hard. Props him against the wall, fumbles for the vial in his pocket. Hurriedly applies a thick black-red swipe of Jasmine's blood with his fingers to the fresh wound pulsing in Wesley's neck. Doesn't notice when his demon's fangs and ridges subside.
And it's over. But.
Wes looks shocky, and pale. Eyes glazed, mouth slack. There are tears in his eyes. His hands, shaking, come up to his throat, touch the wound there with gentle fingertips. His face is unreadable.
Someone's upstairs, calling. "Wesley? Hey, Wes! WES!" It sounds like Gunn.
Angel touches Wesley's face with trembling fingers, pulls away.
"We have to go. There's no time. Can you walk?"
Wes nods once. His eyes don't meet Angel's, but Wes follows him through the lobby and out into the darkness.
* * *
"What about the others?"
Angel rubs his face. He is exhausted, empty and sick. Everything's fucked up and wrong-- Jasmine, now Wes. He can't lose Wes, not now, not because of what he had to do to get him back. He reaches to close the drapes of the motel room window against the relentless, flashing neon of the vacancy sign, but inexplicably doesn't. He watches as a flurry of moths swarm senselessly around the hard, flickering light. Wes has stopped speaking, but Angel still hears the question hanging in the air. He sighs.
"I don't know, Wes. We have to figure out a way."
Wesley frowns and absently touches his fingers to his neck. He feels drowsy and numb, almost pleasantly so, but for the hot throb in his neck. And somewhere, vaguely, the knowledge of what, who, put it there.
"We can go back in later, after…"
"Not tonight. They'll be expecting us. We have to wait, to take them by surprise." Angel turns to face him, and looks at him warily. Watches Wes's fingers on his neck, lightly rubbing at the wound. "Don't do that," Angel says automatically. Wes is staring off into space, as if he hasn't heard. He looks lost, confused.
"Look, Wesley," Angel begins, crossing the room to sit on the edge of the bed opposite him. "I…I'm sorry."
Wes's eyes, still with a faraway, dazed look, distractedly come around to meet Angel's, though it appears that it requires real effort.
"No, of course," he murmurs, "It had to be done. To break the spell."
"I'm sorry I did it…that…way…" Angel finishes awkwardly. He looks down at his hands, clenched together in his lap. Knuckles white. He makes himself relax. Rests his hands loosely on his knees.
Now Wesley is really looking at him, seeing him again. The air in the room, close and stifling already, thickens with something else. "Angel," he starts, but there isn't anything he really wants to say.
Angel waits, but nothing else comes, so he stands, glancing down at Wesley for a second, then moves back to the window, arms folded, studying the grimy drapes as though they might give him an idea. "We should get some sleep."
Wesley shows no signs of moving. He just sits on the bed, watching Angel. The silence stretches. "Come here, let me look at your neck," Angel finally says, turning to face him. Wes hesitates, then slowly crosses the room to stand mutely in front of Angel. A muscle jumps in Angel's jaw. Wes turns his head and now the side of his neck is taut and naked. He's not afraid, he thinks. It's Angel and he's not afraid of him. Angel leans in, gingerly pulls Wes's torn shirt aside, careful not to touch his skin. The room is very quiet. The wound is ragged and raw looking. Wes thinks maybe Angel is smelling it, smelling him. Wes lets his eyes close. He's so tired, so bereft.
Distantly, he hears Angel's voice, low and flat and quiet. Ashamed. "I can help it heal faster, if you'll let me," he says. "I…I have to put my mouth on you again, though."
Angel can feel the blood rushing under Wes's skin. Can feel it wanting to surge, to come up and to spill. Can feel Wes's blood in his own body. Still has the taste of it in his mouth.
Wes's nod is so slight Angel isn't sure of it. "Wes?" he says, doubtful, ready to step back.
"Yes," Wesley answers, lets the word out on one long, held breath, and it feels like he's agreeing to something that hasn't been asked.
Angel takes Wes gently by the shoulders, drops his head down into the curve of Wes's neck. Breathes in, his mouth open, smelling and tasting Wes's skin, the clotting blood, the sweat, the fear. Nuzzles his face back and forth against the warm fragrant skin of neck and jaw and shoulder. He presses his open mouth against the wound, licks it softly. Wesley shudders and groans. "Angel, is it always…" but he can't finish the question.
Angel pulls his head away just long enough to say "Yeah," and then returns to licking, laving his tongue over and over the rough bitemarks in Wes's neck. He doesn't realize he's squeezing Wesley's shoulders harder now, but he's suddenly aware of his own hardness. He lifts his head and meets Wes's eyes, half-closed, pupils huge and dark. Wesley's breathing funny; little hitches in his chest like sobs, or hiccups maybe. "Wes, are you okay?" Angel says, his voice low and close. "Is this…okay?"
"Yes, yes…I just need…" Wesley starts, but again leaves the words hanging. "I just," he tries again. But Angel can smell it all over him, the hope and the despair, the exhaustion, the need. The lust. This is Wesley. His good, fucked-up, broken Wesley is standing there helpless, wrecked and beautiful and Angel is so, so hard.
"Here," Angel says, and pushes Wesley gently against the wall, not to pin him but for support. He leans back in to Wes's neck and nuzzles some more. Feels the scratch of Wesley's stubble against his face. Bumps his chin against a brittle collarbone like a wing. Drags his blunt teeth along it, knows it would be as easy to snap as a wishbone. Can't remember the last time he made a wish, but he makes one now. Wants to be good to Wes, wants to be careful with something so breakable.
Wesley's hands hang at his sides, clenching and unclenching. He lets his eyes drift closed again. Angel still holds his shoulder, but palms his free hand down Wesley's chest, over his flat belly, grabbing the sharp bone of Wes's hip where it pokes out just over the top of his jeans, rubs his thumb over it hard. And then to Wes's cock, long and thin and curving through the faded denim. All of Wes's blood rushing at him everywhere at once.
"Here," he says again, as if that might mean something, everything, "Let me," and he slips the button of Wes's jeans, slides the zipper down. There is heat, and rich dark scent, and a desperate hardness through white cotton briefs under his hand. Wes jerks his hips once, like a tremor or a seizure, and moans.
Angel strokes him through the cotton until it's soaked with precome, and he suddenly has to feel him warm and pulsing in his hand. He draws the waistband up and out and lets Wes's cock spring free. He pushes the underwear down his lean muscled thighs, stroking the dark hair there as he does. Wes's cock twitches, the head already so slick.
Angel quickly undoes his own fly, pulls his own thick cock out roughly. He pushes his hips forward, lets his cock brush against Wes's, then grinds into him hard, their hipbones bruising against each other. He wants to be gentle but he can't help wanting this, wanting to take this from Wes. Wes is so open, so ripe for this taking.
"More," Wes chokes out, and a wave passes through Angel. Desire, weariness, desperation. He can feel his soul inside him, and the thing it cages, too. At this moment he honestly doesn't know which hurts worse.
Angel reaches for Wesley's hand. He rubs Wes's palm with his thumb, and each of the knuckles of his fingers. Angel brings Wes's hand toward his own straining cock, and Wes tentatively takes hold, thumbs across the wet tip. His eyes are still closed, his breathing still coming in gasps. Angel groans as Wes begins to pull at his cock in long, slow strokes from base to head. He reaches between them and now he's pulling Wes's cock too, so different from his own. Long and slender and rosy and warm. Warm.
He can still smell the blood on Wesley's neck. The wound looks better but it hasn't closed yet. Angel leans in and cautiously tongues the marks again, tasting, testing. He knows he's walking a line. The thought makes him pump his hips faster, fucking his cock hard into Wes's fist. Wesley is shaking all over, feverishly thrusting his own cock in Angel's strong hand. Wes's scent is stronger now, the blood and the sweat and the lust and the rich salt of him, the low musk of his hair, his skin. Angel sucks at the wound he made and the blood starts to come again and Wes whimpers and bucks, tugs hard at Angel's cock and comes with a grunt and a hot splash against Angel's stomach, his thighs. The heat, the scent of it, Wes's blood in his mouth, pushes Angel over the edge, and he comes growling, slamming his whole body against Wes, shoving hard against him, shoving him against the wall. Coming is like coming apart, it's bright and hard and it's like forgetting.
They stand there for a long minute, half-embracing, slumped against each other, panting. Exhausted. Angel with his face buried in Wesley's neck, no longer sucking but softly tonguing again, gentle, penitent. The minute draws out. Angel feels Wesley's heartbeat slow, his breathing return to normal. The flutter of his pulse calms and goes back to its steady strong thump. Angel keeps licking at Wes's neck, though, probably longer than necessary, but it's warm, and it feels good, and it's helping. It's helping.
After a little while, Angel feels Wes tightening, tensing. He can smell the shame on Wes, sharp and acrid. Angel slowly lifts his head, looks surprised. "We should get some sleep," Wes mumbles, not meeting Angel's eyes. Angel steps back, runs a hand through his hair, looks blankly around the room and out the window. He lets his gaze rest on the flashing neon, the flurry of luna moths still clustered around the light.
Cleaning up is awkward, handled efficiently and in silence. After, Wesley collapses on one of the two double beds, rolls over to face the wall, and pretends he is asleep until he is.
Angel lays awake on the other bed for a long time, staring at the ceiling.