Title: A Bottomless Pity
Disclaimer: Everyone associated with this show can go to hell. 'Cept for whoever was responsible for Wesley. They get a shiny gold star and can proudly declare ownership.
Synopsis: Wesley is depressed. I got in his head. This was the result.
Timeline: Don't know. Think it's probably set somewhere after 'Tomorrow' but before 'Deep Down'.
A/N: I've discovered that despite my growing hatred for all things Buffy or Angel, I have fallen deeply, deeply in love with Wesley. He's what Original!Angel! was… and I love that. So I wrote a fic about him.
A/N 2: Unbetaed. Short little thing that was born out of my frustration of trying to write B/A fanfiction.
A/N3: Okaaaayyyy… see I have Wes' thoughts going, intermingled from him thinking of hearing his father's voice. I put dad's voice in italics, but I don't think that's going to appear on the site. Anyway. It'll be confusing, but I don't really think it'll take anything away from the story.
The glass slammed down on the desk. It wobbled dangerously, yellow liquid spewing down the sides. The phone rang. Shrilly, like a knife cutting through the pleasant numbness in his head.
The phone rang.
He picked the glass up, brought it to his mouth. He vaguely remembered how he used to not be able to take his alcohol, how it used to make him throw up. But that was before, and he hated thinking about before. Now the stuff settled in his stomach. Warming him, so his arms tingled.
His head pounded in pain. The phone rang. He slammed the tumbler down on the desk. The phone ran a final, shrill time before the answering machine picked up.
"Hi, Wes," Fred's sweet voice picked up, soft and hesitant. He wanted to take the answering machine, throw it against the wall, and watch as her voice sputtered and died. "Wesley… hate to bother you, sure that you're busy. But… we need some help. Research actually." She chuckled nervously, "There's this demon. Ha! What a surprise, a demon! Anyway, if you could call us that would be great." She hung up with a dull click.
He groaned, took another gulp of his 1950's scotch. He closed his eyes, heard his father's voice in his head. Always a nightmare, always sharp, accusatory, and it would never go away. 'You'll never amount to anything, Boy. Spoiled, rotten, never do anything to advance yourself.'
His glass was empty.
'Look at me now,' Wesley thought despairingly, stumbling to the pantry. He tripped over his feet, grabbed the back of the couch and waited for the room to stop spinning. 'A coward, too afraid to face the rest of the world.'
He reached the panty and yanked its doors open. He hand trembled violently as he struggled to open the bottle. He poured the liquid into his glass, relaxing as he did so. He stumbled back to his desk, leaving the pantry door open.
He let his head fall tiredly onto the desk. His father again. 'Just like your older sister… can't do anything right. Can't even bloody well keep the sorry assed friends you did find.'
Drink. Mouth. Swallow. Head beating like a drum.
The phone rang.
A dastardly interruption. Ring, ring, ring, only four times until the answering machine picks up.
"Wesley, it's Lilah," her voice was harsh, sharp. It was business. And business at Wolfram & Hart was unfeeling, uncaring. "Pick up the damn phone, I know fucking well that you're sitting there." She let out a long, intolerable sigh, "Pick up the fucking phone, Wesley." The last was a yell, followed by a dull click.
Wesley took another drink. He slumped in his chair. 'Try to be something, Boy. You'll come crawling back. Always do. Spoiled rotten Whyndhem-Pryce's are.'
His laugh was hard, bitter. He had thought he could have been a better man. He imagined himself doing something good, perhaps making the world a safer place.
Screaming in his head. A baby's gurgle. The father will kill the son. A knife at his throat. The sound of sirens in the distance. A pillow, choking, choking, choking…
He drew in a sharp breath. The cut on his throat seemed to throb in tune with his head. Phantom pains. He knew it, yet he scrapped his finger along the stitches still left there.
His face was scruffy. He could use a shave.
A sip of scotch, a strive for numbness.
He remembered the day his father had taken him to get glasses. He had been the first of his line to need them. It was a sign of weakness, his father had said, to need glasses. And the disappointment had festered.
The failure had followed.
His father had told him he'd fail as a watcher. That no amount of studying (pained hours, straight into the night) could prepare him. The only moment where his father had been proud was the day he'd been assigned to Faith.
And, that, too, had eventually been his failure.
'Face it, Pryce,' his mind berated harshly. 'There's nothing. Nothing. Done as a watcher, finished as a rogue demon hunter, betrayer to your friends… hiding out in your apartment. Coward.'
"Did what I had to do," he mumbled, feeling the alcohol work itself into his limbs. Wonderful, soothing.
His mind continued to race. Knife. Throat. Hospital. Pillow. Betrayal, betrayal, betrayal… sleep tight little Connor, never going to come back again.
Bile, rising in the back of his throat, sharp and acidic. He raced to the bathroom, dropped to his knees, head bent over the toilet. It scorched his throat, and he gripped the sides of the toilet.
The storm passed and his body slipped to the ground, lay against the cold tiles of the bathroom floor. His breathing was sharp and sounded rough in the closed interior of the room. He felt old, used, wasted up.
'Finished already? Couldn't even make it to 35. Impressive feat.'
He closed his eyes. He knew what his life had become. An empty void, an endless plot of loneliness and misery.
All because of one decision.
He coughed violently, body shuddering and hands covering his face. When the last choke sputtered out, he stared at the ceiling, feeling his arms and legs ache. 'Never could hold your liquor. Miserable fuck up, and can't even hold down the liquor.'
"I did what I had to do," he yelled. His throat was so dry it was a whisper, barely a scratch. "Did what I had to do," he said again. "What I had to do."
He spied the mirror hanging over his small sink. He hauled his body up, hands resting on either side of the sink, and peered in. 'My God, Wes, how much you've changed,' he though acidly. 'Gone from the whiny, sniveling wimp, to a refugee in your own home.'
"Fight the good fight," he told his reflection. He laughed. The good ole' fight. It ruined his life, cost him his friends, and took away all that had ever meant anything to him.
He turned the tap, waited until the water turned cold and splashed it on his face. He considered his razor, staring at his dripping face, but decided against it. No point in looking clean. No one to see, no people to talk to, no outside world to be a part of.
He touched his cheek lightly, watching as mirror Wesley did the same. "How far you've come, my friend." He cocked his head to the side, starring intently at his long scar. 'Should have died, Son. Saved yourself the humiliation of being tricked.'
And he remembered how in that moment, when Justine had slid that blade down his throat, he had felt the end of his hope. That was the day the dream to make the world a better place died. Justine took the baby, left him there to bleed, and he knew. His father had been right. His dream to fight the demons, the darkness, and the forces of evil was shattered at the tip of the blade.
The world could go to hell. And he would gladly watch from front-row seats.
He squinted and the mirror wavered. He snorted and ran back to his living room. He grabbed his scotch tumbler, reared back and hurled it at the mirror. It shattered into pieces. Millions of jagged edges, broken glass, dreams ending. Seven years of bad luck, better be careful.
Ironically he remembered the day when he and Angel had saved Cordelia from giving birth to a hell spawn. It was back when it was just the three of them, when they had started making a cautious but close family. And he remembered how she had looked after, how she had told them they were the only people she trusted.
He thought about how she had come back from her trip with Groo. How she hadn't called, hadn't visited, hadn't bothered to talk to him once. He remembered the times when he saved her life, or talked with her, or covered for her because she was going to go fail another audition. And he thought about how she hadn't once called, visited, or tried to talk to him.
His mouth tasted bitter.
The phone rang. It made him jump in shock, and he stared at it, vaguely considering yanking it out of the wall. The answering machine picked up, it was Fred again. It was a really big demon, green, dripping with mucus. She said he was probably busy, but they hadn't been able to find it anywhere. If he got a chance, could he just call her at home and leave a little message.
'No,' he reflected darkly, 'wouldn't want to call you at the Hyperion. Imagine, asking the enemy for help.'
He glanced at his bookshelf, and because the good fight would never really die in him, because somewhere in his heart he still felt obligated to the warriors who put their lives on the line, he pulled out a book on green, mucusy demons.
It took him two hours, two hours of cross-referencing and searching. But he found it. Native to LA, could only be killed by decapitation of all five limbs, it was called a Hartswoth.
He put down his books, realized that his notes and scribbles were littered over his desk. He looked at it in shock for a moment. 'Weak, Son. Crawling back… they betrayed you. Next you'll be knocking on my door, begging for money, and a place to stay.' Hadn't he vaguely considered it? Moving back to England, living with his parents until he could find something else. His mother would be delighted to see him.
Yet the thought of his father's disapproval, his lectures, and his silent glare kept him on the other side of the ocean.
Desperate little tug in his heart to go back to the good fight. The good fucking fight.
He leaned back, considered. Call Fred, one more demon down. Have her thank him in her apologetic voice. Sorry, Wes, I wish you could call us at the Hyperion, but things are really tense with Angel(You're friend, tried to kill you, hates you)and Connor(your fault)coming back and all.
His notes spread out on the table, like the old days, like the desperate tug in his heart that yearned to have back just a few months, just a few months. And, jesus, that need to make amends, to beg and crawl until they took him back. The revulsion he felt curl inside him when he thought of the way that they'd left him.
He pressed play on the answering machine, listened to Fred's small plea for help, Lilah's loud command to pick up the phone. Fred's little smile, her introspective thoughts. Her inventions and designs, her innocent face. And hours of desperate sex filled his mind. Smell of sweat and heat. An animalistic passion, a constant yearning of desire.
Giving tips to the good guys. Sleeping with the enemy.
He listened to the messages again, his conflicting feelings passing in shadows over his face. He touched the wrinkled, crackled paper of the information on the demon. The ink on the book was dry and faded.
Tell the name of the demon to the people that once called themselves his best friends. Rat out their plans to the enemy.
He picked up the phone(annoying, loud, shrill device, should yank it out of the wall)and dialed the familiar number. It rang three long times, before being picked up.
Wesley cleared his throat. He drummed his fingers on the table. "It's Wesley. Interesting piece of news I have here…"