Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, but I really, really want to.

by Spikey Princess

Summary: None given.

Spoilers: Through 'Forgiving'

Rated: G

He waited until the entire Angel Investigations team had left to go rid the world of evil before he dared set foot back inside the hotel.

Full of determination, he headed up the stairs that led to the roof, not bothering to look around.

He gently pushed the door open, waiting a moment to let his eyes adjust to the darkness. Almost immediately he noticed a box labeled `JUNK'. He approached it cautiously since he wasn't sure exactly what the AI team actually considered junk. He quickly recognized the "junk" as the items he'd carefully collected over the years: gold-plated ashtray, mystical statues, and many other small items. "Oh well." He sighed aloud. "Won't be needing these anymore anyway."

Leaving the box where it was, he walked toward the ledge and looked over. Certainly is a long way down. He thought. It'll just get the job done more efficiently. He hopped up onto the ledge; after all, there was no need in prolonging the inevitable. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes and leaned forward, fully expecting gravity to follow its law and take him to his salvation.

Just as he reached the point of no return, large hands wrapped themselves around his waist, pulling him back onto the roof. He landed hard on his back, and found himself staring up at an outline of a figure.

"What do you think you were doing up there?" Lorne asked angrily.

"What'd it look like?" Wesley asked rhetorically. "I was trying to put some peace back into my life."

Lorne pulled Wesley up and into a tight hug. "Don't do it this way, Wes. Talk to me. Confide in me."

Sighing, Wesley pulled away from Lorne's embrace. "Fine, but don't think for a minute this is going to change my mind." He moved to sit on the ledge, but Lorne grabbed his wrist hard, making it perfectly clear that it would be an unwise decision. So, instead, he sat on the soot-covered roof. Lorne quickly sat next to him, then waited patiently for Wesley to gather his thoughts.

"It's all my fault!" Wesley suddenly blurted out, his voice echoing across the roof. "If I had paid more attention to the prophecies this wouldn't have happened." He looked out across the roof in an attempt to hide the tears threatening to fall. He knew crying in front of Lorne was nothing to be ashamed of, but he was still too proud an individual to allow his emotions to control him completely.

The imaginary dirt under his nails became very interesting when he began to speak again. "It wouldn't be so bad if we knew Connor was still alive. I can't believe I game him to Holtz."

Sensing his discomfort, Lorne decided to speak, giving his friend a chance to compose himself. "You didn't give Connor to anybody. The scar on you neck is proof enough of that. You were tricked, just like Justine was. You were used so Holtz could get what he wanted. How were you supposed to know? None of us knew."

Wesley looked at Lorne out of the corner of his eye, not trusting himself to keep his composure if he looked into those comforting orbs of his, seemingly, only friend. "I should've paid more attention to the prophecies I read before it. They read much like a novel. The Holtz prophecy didn't actually fit. It didn't make any sense, but I was too blinded to notice."

"You were blinded by concern, honey." Lorne put his arm around Wesley's shoulders and pulled Wesley against him. "You loved Connor, and it's rumored that love makes people do crazy things. You perceived Angel as a threat, and you wanted to remove Connor from that threat. No matter what the outcome was, your intentions were good." He raised a hand, letting Wesley know he wasn't finished. "I know that doesn't take away the pain, but it should help ease it." Lorne placed a gentle kiss on Wesley's forehead, then rested his head on top of Wesley's.

They both sat in silence; Wesley digesting the wise words, and Lorne giving Wesley all the time he needed.

After several minutes, Wesley finally spoke. "I was hoping my death would bring some sort of peace to Angel." He confessed, not moving his head from the comfort of Lorne's shoulder.

"Did you think about the flipside of that? Of how many more people would be divested if you took your own life?"

Wesley thought long and hard, wondering if there were still people in the world who did care what happened to him. He couldn't come up with a single person, except Lorne that is. Instead of answering, he snuggled further into Lorne's embrace.

Lorne looked around the roof, quickly spotting the box that lie near the door. "You promise not to move while I go get something?"

"Okay, okay." He sat there, not wanting to pull himself away from the other's warmth. "But I have to move, or else you won't be able to get up."

Not wanting to leave Wesley alone for too long, Lorne hurried over and grabbed the box, carrying it back and placing it on his right, pulling Wesley back into their previous embrace. "Fred and Gunn packed up all your stuff." He explained. "Angel wanted to throw it out, so when he went out on a mission I brought it up here." He reached out and picked up the old, seemingly discarded ashtray. He brushed some of the dirt off with his thumb, revealing a beautiful design underneath. "You remind me of this ashtray." Lorne said, holding it in Wesley's field of vision.

Wesley blinked owlishly, looking at the filthy object. "Is that a good thing?"

Smiling gently, Lorne kissed Wesley on the head again. "Naturally. It started off beautiful and vibrant, but after years and years of use it lost some of that shine. Well, not really lost it, more like it got covered up. You're in that middle stage, but instead of cleaning yourself off, you're going to throw it away." He handed the ashtray to Wesley.

Wesley allowed his fingers to rub gently over Lorne's before pulling them back. He rubbed off more of the dirt, silently remembering why he'd bought it in the first place. "I want to get out of here." He said, snuggling closer and wrapping his arm around Lorne's waist. "I only came back to take one last look around before I, you know, jumped. Obviously you threw a little kink into my plans."

"So your plans got kinky. That's a good thing in this case." They sat in silence for a while before Lorne asked, "So what are you going to do now, since suicide has definitely been ruled out as an option?"

"Suppose I'll leave California. Just take all my files and research materials, pack my stuff and get out." Wesley stood and looked out over the ledge to the street below. Lorne quickly joined him, just to be on the safe side. He moved in close behind Wesley, resting his head on the human's shoulder.

"Trying to escape your demons?" Lorne whispered in Wesley's ear. "Because I'm not going to let you go without a fight."

"Then come with me." Wesley turned, ending up face to face with the comforting, green demon. He attempted to pull back, but felt the ledge pressing into the small of his back and knew it was impossible. "Please."

"Why would you want me to go with you?"

Wesley leaned a little closer. "Because you're the only one I can trust." He pulled Lorne into a deep, meaningful hug; a hug that attempted to convey everything his words couldn't. "I need you."

"Then I'll go with you." He took Wesley's hand in his and, together, they headed down the stairs and toward their new life.

Back to Previous Years' Story Index