TITLE: One More Drink.

AUTHOR: Erin Giles

RATING: PG-13 (hell of a lotta angst)

DISCLAIMER: Wesley does not belong to me I'm just using him for general
reflective spouting! ( Don't sue I'm not rich enough!

SUMMARY: Wesley's spiralling down into ultimate self destruction, but no
one's there to stop him.

*~*~*~*~*

I should be dead. I should have died that day I made that eternally stupid mistake. Fred was right. I should have trusted them, should have gone to them and told them what I had found, but can't they see that I was trying to protect them. Can't they see that?

One more drink.

One more drink and they won't have to see. They won't have to see me anymore, not that they do anyway; not for a long time now. I don't even see myself anymore in the mirror. When I look in the morning - that sometimes is no longer morning by the time I've awoken from my alcoholic stupor that seems to be ever present - I find myself staring at a stranger in my own mirror.

Stubble that is weeks, god knows, could be months old.

A gaunt face that haunts the mirror, like the ghost of Christmas past, tormenting me, the Scrooge who hoards his problems.

Untamed hair that has not seen a comb in a lifetime.

Raw marks on my neck where I've clawed desperately at the scar that should have been my downfall but is now nothing more than a reminder of my undoing.

Blue eyes sunken in hollows worn out of time that dare not look upon the light of day because they know hope is no longer found there. There is no hope in the dark fields of time that can be erased from my face now, carved out of mistrust, lies and death.

And I would laugh if my father could see me now. His son, with immaculate suits, not a hair out of place but more than a foot out of line in this case, is fading in the growing light of dawn. Not that he will miss him, he never liked him. Never liked me. Never taught me how to ride a bike or played football with me. Never came to my rugby games because he was always too busy. Always too busy to love his son; to see that his son wanted nothing more than his love instead of the empty hours of loneliness under the stairs.

One more drink.

One more drink and I won't need to be loved anymore, won't need to be alone in the empty darkness of my flat. When I think about it I really just traded cupboards across hundreds of miles of ocean. But at first this cupboard had a light.

The light danced from photo to photo, lined on the windows to show the path of my life. But there's an empty space in all those photos now. No goofy smile, no tousled hair, no glasses, no distinction of me or reminder that I was ever here to begin with. Stuck on the end of every photo and easily chopped off, cast out into the world outside the picture because I'm no longer a part of it.

The light faded for a while, bulbs were replaced until one day the light went all together, and here I am back in my cupboard again, millions of miles across the sea, locked in here for my own good, out of the way of inquisitive stares, wondering what I've done this time; what disappointing foolish act of selfishness I could have committed this time. I'm not worthy to be shown to the world outside, not worthy to be loved, not even worthy of living alone. Not after...

One more drink.

One more drink and I'll be dragged under by the tide of alcohol and loss of blood. I don't deserve the release of death, yet still I welcome it, because it's the coward's way, and I've never been anything more than that. But I don't want to go alone. I want to be forgiven, I want someone to hold my hand and tell me that, yes I really did mess everything in the world up, but it'll be ok. And even though I don't believe it myself, I'll believe it for them.

Someone. God, anyone. Angel, Gunn, Fred or Cordelia. Jesus Christ, even the Host's inappropriate humour and garish suits would be welcome in the darkness now. God, I just wish anyone would walk through that door and tell me everything's going to be ok, and that I don't have to go on living in the dark.

They'll take the glass from my hand and pour what's left of the three bottles down the sink. A stranger in my box of despair that seems to wrap its hands so firmly round my throat now, but they are welcome.

Sssh... It'll be ok.

Hands will brush away the tears in my eyes that I won't let fall because I'm a grown man now, and even an empty room should not have to see me cry. I don't think I could bear the walls judging me like that, having a sly whisper with next doors' walls. Even the drink will talk. It will talk of the bloody knife on the table beside me. Whisper convictions about my motives for such a self-destructive selfish act. A few more scars aren't going to matter to me, but I'll still be judged.

Sssh... you can cry. I won't judge you.

I turn my eyes to the ceiling, as somehow God will now be the one to judge me. It's as if I plead with him to smite me down with a bolt of lightning, but I'm in my apartment for Christ sake and it's not even raining.

The skies blood red but in here it flows all over wooden floors, does not part like the red sea any longer like it did so freely on that night, almost a week ago. It seems more reluctant to leave me and the shredded existence I now live in my pitiful surroundings. But every drink that I take I find myself digging that much deeper into my pale skin and the deeper I dig the less it hurts, like I'm pulling further from God's reach.

I don't even believe in God though. I went to church every Sunday. I was christened a good Christian boy with Christian values from a good Christian background. I had my first communion... but my father didn't even love me enough to turn up to that. I did it all for him and he didn't even care enough to show. I remember my teachings well. The kiss of betrayal I placed open Conner's brow as I held Angel's baby close as if he was my own.

The soft lull of Nirvana plays somewhere in the distant recess of my mind, why I ever liked them even now is not clear to me. Jesus doesn't want me for a sunbeam. Kurt Cobain was such an inspirational man and now it seems I'm about to follow in his footsteps. But there will be no angels where I'm going. No Angel to haunt my existence anymore...

One more drink.

One more drink is now just one drink too many because the room has long since faded from my vision and I'm floating in a sea of black. Half of me hoping that I'm dead the other half clawing it's way out of the suicidal part of me, but it can't get away because I'm still me. The burning sensation in my throat has long since gone as well but that voice in my head still grates away, building a hole of insufferable guilt that has been lying dormant for the past week. It itches and burns like the healing scar that I claw away at with bleeding fingers in the darkest hours of the night because I can't bear to be me anymore.

I can't bear just waking up one more day in the darkness here, shying away from the truth of the light that I can feel bathing me in the early hours of dawn now. The warmth it brings is fading fast in the vast expanse of my mind. It draws light and warmth from every corner, sucking me dry as even that starts to fade with time, and I'm alone.

I don't want to be alone, and my stranger's gone now because in the end they don't even care about me. How can they when I don't even care about myself anymore. Yet some part of me thought I could make up for that by caring about others... I guess I was wrong.

One more drink.

One more drink clatters to the floor in the silence of the apartment and I can't hear it anymore. I won't care if it leaves a stain. I won't care that it's drink wasted. I won't care that it's another shattered glass that creates bleeding feet. I won't care because I don't have the strength to care anymore. Why should I care when no one else does?

Justine didn't even care enough to finish the job, nor did Angel. A wasted drop of blood infringing on their valuable time. A black rose in the Garden of Eden that was tossed out with Adam and Eve, yet never survived beyond the day of judgement.

Sometimes I watched them pass by the window in the early days of loneliness. So oblivious to others out with their complicated life structure, never able to reach far enough beyond their own arms to see the bigger picture. And now I can't even see the small one.

The marred landscape of the Yorkshire Dales where we once went on holiday races through my mind one last time, the black and white image the only thing clear now. The picture in my mind is the only thing I can remember as the train scuttled along the fringes of the moors that were so often bathed in an eerie morning fog. It's now the same picture that hangs in my bathroom.

I know I can remember it in colour though, but there are no paints left on my pallet and my once blank canvas is full of nothing but black. And Lilah's right. I'm never going to get that white colour back. I'm never going to get anything back...

One more drink.

One more drink and I'm gone.