If You Were Here
Summary: Wesley's thoughts on Fred after her passing as he watches the demon that now wears her like a suit. The song is If You Were Here by Poe.
If you were here,
I know you would truly be amazed
Of what's become of what you made
Wesley looked around the lab that once belonged to Winifred Burkle. A casket like prison laid in the center of the room collecting dust. Atop the casket a corpse sat, her feet dangling over the side as she oversaw the pretensious workers continuing the work Winifred once made. The corpse cocked its head to the side and then turned its attention up towards Wesley in curiosity much like a large cat. Wesley turned away.
If you were here,
You would know how I treasured every day
How every word you ever spoke
Echos through me like a ray of hope.
He walks over to a box of assorted knick knacks and books that Fred had collected. He reached into the box and pulled out a small ratty stuffed rabbit.
"Fieganbaum, I must find Fieganbaum"
Wesley looked up to see the corpse, Illyria, using Fred's gentle voice again. It felt like a thousand needles ripping through his heart. He stared at her coldly and put the rabbit away.
"This is a house of death..."
He looked out the window and heard in his head her slight southern accent as she proudly told him that she walked with heros.
"You are one..." He said holding back tears.
"And this is my power, to not let them take me. To not let them win."
Wesley turned around expecting to reprimand Illyria for using Fred's voice again, only to find himself alone once more.
When you were here
You could not feel the value that I placed
On every look that crossed your face
Illyria had been curious about many things. She would always come up to Wesley holding some common item, inquiring as to how it worked and what was its purpose. He tried not chuckle when explaining to her what television was. She thought that tiny humans had been trapped inside a box. He would try not to think about it. That curiousity made her almost seem more like a small child trying to learn how things were in the universe. He wanted to see her as the demon who killed his love, so as not to grow attached.
But it grew harder and harder everyday... her expressions became less mechanical and more human. Sometimes he would swear he saw glimmers of Fred. Her smile... but it was merely a pretensious hope.
Or was it?
"You make me happy..."
When you were here
I did not know just how I had embraced
All that you hid behind your face
Could not hide from me...
Because it hid in me too
It was raining outside. Smiling sadly, Wesley took out a photo of Fred at the ballet from several years back. That was the night she choose Gunn. Normally he could not bring himself to look at the picture, but since she died he looked at it everyday. The dress she wore, the way her hair was, her smile, all seemed to be perfect. She was always perfect, even when her hair was a mess and she looked tired... even in death... but that night, she looked like a princess.
Quietly, his smile faded. He saw her smiling still, a knowing smile. The kind of smile that one wears when they know they are dying but don't want you to see it.
Book Man she had called him. It was his 'super-hero' power, to be Book Man. It was a job he would gladly take up for her at any time.
"Read to me." Illyria said from the doorway as she held a glass of water. This time, it was her own voice, not Fred's.
"And what type of stories do demon's like to hear?" Wesley said coldly, yet at the same time, he was curious as to what her answer would be.
"Finish that story, the one you read to the shell, Winifred, as she died." She said stepping in. She brought the water to him and placed it on the desk. A look crossed her face that almost showed signs of humanity in her.
"Alright." Wesley resigned taking several sips from the glass.
Now that I'm here
I hear you
Wonder, if maybe,
You can hear yourself
Ringing in me
Now that you're somewhere else
As Wesley read the story to Illyria, he could hear Fred's soft breathing in his ear. He felt himself lying down beside her, holding her close. She looked peaceful in her slumber. Her face had a flush of life, something that only photos could render to him anymore. If this was a dream, he wished it never to end.
Because I hear your strange music,
Gentle and true
Singing inside me with the best parts of you...
Wesley began to close his eyes, the book slipping from his hands, a smile crossing his face.
"Wesley, would you have loved me?" Fred's words echoed in his mind.
Wesley whimpered softly just as a soft light illuminated his darkness.
Now that I'm here...
I hope somewhere
You hear them too
Now that I'm here.
"It's ok, you can go now." Illyria said softly. "My learning process is no longer contingent on you staying her. It is selfish to keep you from the shell longer. Go to her Wesley."
She placed his arms on his chest and laid him down on the couch. "If anything you have taught me, it is how much you cared for her. Go to her, so that you are not lost as well." She took the poisoned glass and left his lifeless body on the couch.
"It's ok, you can go now."
I'm curious as to what you think of this song fic. I really really do love Fred. I also love Illyria and how she seems like a sponge ready to absorb the knowledge of life Wesley offers. Yet at the same time her misunderstandings on how life works may cause her to result in such a strange action. This is why I also wrote this.
On a side note, I highly recommend that everyone check out Poe's album Haunted from which this song comes from. Also check out her first album Hello.