TITLE: Just for the company.

AUTHOR: Erin Giles

RATING: NC-17

SUMMARY: Reply to linaluv's challenge. After the events of 'Grave' and 'Tomorrow, both Willow and Wesley, feeling lonely, find company in each other.

DISCLAIMER: I do not anything... yada yada yada... I'm not rich so all you can have is my cat which would leave a poor girl broken hearted so please don't sue me!

Response to linaluv's challenge @ wesleyfanfiction.net

Willow/Wes ~ they're married, so why not put them together in a fic? General fic. Must be set in Caritas or the offices of W&H. Short drabble, conversation about Sunnydale and England. They must hook up.

A/N: AU because I couldn't think of any other way to do this. Holtz didn't blow up Caritas and Lorne didn't go to Vegas but everything else still happened that happened in season 3... Set after Tomorrow and Grave.

This did start out as a nice tame little ficlet just involving a nice friendly game of tongue wars but um... yeah it progressed due to the influence of people who will remain nameless! (You know who you are!) Also YAY! First NC-17 fic! (

*~*~*~*~*

Wesley pulled himself up onto a stool at the corner of the bar in Caritas. Lorne was on stage with an Apache demon, in mid chorus of Destiny's Child's Independent Woman, ironic since neither demon was female. Wesley frowned before turning back to face the bar, ordering a scotch. One drink would do no harm, and it would pass the time until he could have a quick word with Lorne. He didn't plan on staying any length of time because he didn't have the energy to socialise now. The effort of talking to people about his genuine concerns with the world today had grown all but dull, and he had become a man of few words. He found after having his throat slit he could communicate without words, so why was there a reason to waste words on people who were not willing to listen to his story.

The bar tender put a scotch before Wesley as the Englishman slid a ten dollar bill across the bar wordlessly, picking the glass up in his hands as Lorne's voice resonated through the speaker system. The demon was finally done caterwauling into the packed club, giving Wesley the opening to have a few choice words with the Host on the whereabouts of Angel. He knew that if Lorne had anything to share it would be highly unlikely that he share it with Wesley, but the ex-watch had to start somewhere. Wesley threw back the scotch, feeling it burn the whole way down his throat as he pocketed his change before he turned in the stool to get up from it before he was met with a familiar face,

"Willow." His voice came out gruff, nothing like the voice Willow remembered Wesley Whyndham-Pryce having. In fact his whole demeanour was nothing like the Wesley she remembered. Where she would normally have expected a suit she found black jeans and t-shirt with leather jacket. Where she expected immaculate hair she found a ruffled mop of wild hair and a beard. Where she had once seen glasses she found sunken blue eyes, watching her expectantly,

"Hi." She said softly, not stepping out of his way as they stood watching each other. Of all the people she would have thought she would have run into in L.A. she had least of all expected Wesley Whyndham-Pryce to be standing in front of her the first place she came to. She hadn't come in for a drink; she had just heard that this was the place to go if you were looking for help but not two steps into the bar she already wished she had a drink as the shaking took over again. She folded her arms across her chest in a defensive position as she glanced round the bar,

"You here with Angel and Cordelia?" she asked hesitantly, not really sure she could deal with either of them at the moment. She turned back to Wesley when she got no reply,

"No." he replied eventually, no expansion on the subject, no explanation, no stuttering and rambling to try and justify his actions. It appeared the man had changed more than physically.

"Me neither." She burst out with, in an attempt to fill the awkward silence that followed,

"I mean, I'm not here with anyone else from Sunnydale or... anyone." She swallowed as she averted her gaze from his cold eyes before rocking back and forth on the balls of her feet. Wesley watched her for a moment before he noticed the green demon pass behind the red head,

"I need to..."

"Oh, yeah... sure." She interrupted him, stepping aside and out of his way as he moved to follow a green demon with a bright purple suit on,

"Nice to see..." she trailed off as he disappeared out of earshot, her face falling as she took up the seat he had just vacated, dropping her bag at her feet. She glanced round the bar nervously again now that she was alone, smiling at the Gurlock demon that eyed her up from the stool beside her. She shifted further into the corner, a desperate attempt to stay out of sight and in the shadows where she couldn't be spied for a tasty, after hours, snack.

She ordered herself a drink as she hid behind her curtain of red hair in an attempt to steady her nerves and her Magick cravings. She knew now she should have gone back to England with Giles but she was scared of what would have happened to her had she done so, scared of what her friends thought of her. She had flitted not twenty-four hours after Xander had brought her back to the Summer's house.

She had decided that she would find someone who could help her here, in L.A. better off away from her friends and family where she could hurt them no longer. She felt tears slipping from her eyes as she remembered her most cherished family member, Tara,

"I miss you baby." She whispered into the depth of her second glass as someone slid into the stool next to her,

"Staying long?" there was that voice again, the sound of a voice that hadn't been used in so long, that grated with every syllable it spoke. Willow looked up to find Wesley there, watching her with something in his eyes she couldn't discern,

"Don't know." She replied softly, barely audible as a vampire trio belted out Don McLean's American Pie over the karaoke machine. Her eyes fell on the ugly red scar that was now prominent on his neck as he removed his jacket from his shoulders, obviously intent on keeping her company for the indefinite amount of time she planned to stay in the bar, and she was grateful for it. Hell she would be grateful for it even if it had been the old Wesley, but this Wesley was new, whether it was an improvement or not she was yet to find out.

He ordered a drink for the both of them and then turned to look at her, caught in the act of staring, mesmerized by the scar on his neck,

"Sorry I didn't mean to stare." She said turning away, unable to blush while she continued to try and control the shaking. He shook his head but said nothing on the matter,

"Are you alright?" he questioned as he watched her shuddering, the glass she raised to her dry lips clattering against her teeth. She put the glass back down, nodding at him,

"I'll be fine. It's a long story." She replied as Wesley handed money over, picking up his own glass,

"To long stories then." He said raising it slightly before downing the scotch in one; if only his father could see him now, a failure again, wasting perfectly good scotch in an attempt to drown his sorrows. Willow followed Wesley's lead, sipping the scotch at first before deciding she couldn't handle more than one taste, downing the contents of the glass as it hardly touched the sides of her throat,

"How are things in the city of Angels then?" she asked as Wesley ordered more refills, telling them to put it on the tab from now on,

"Far from Angelic." He replied sombrely,

"Sunnydale?"

"A long way from Sunny." Willow mirrored, smiling slightly at him but he didn't smile back. She didn't really mind though, he hadn't really had a sense of humour in Sunnydale and by the look of him she doubted he had found it now. She let the glass in her hand clatter to the bar as her hands continued to shake uncontrollably while Wesley started to sip at a beer,

"How about the abridged version?" Willow frowned, looking back at the ex- watcher, about to question what he meant when she remember her comment from earlier,

"I went Magick crazy and tried to end the world." She stated,

"You?"

"I kidnapped Angel's baby, lost him and had my throat slit." He smiled then, realising the seriousness of both their statements and yet they had spoken them as if they were nothing more than a walk in the park,

"Quite a pair we are." He laughed, realising that there was more in life that was funny than talking hamburgers. Willow smiled too and started to laugh with him, something that seemed to ease everything for a moment but it was soon gone and they were both back to staring at empty glasses, the world's problems on their shoulders again.

They sat in silence for a long while, listening to the various performers that graced the stage of Caritas, drowning their sorrows in a sea of alcohol until Lorne came on to do his final number before closing time,

"How do you know him?" Willow questioned, gesturing in the direction of Lorne who was in full swing, the crowd clapping along with him. Wesley debated this question for a moment, not sure how he knew him, and what the Host was to him. He toyed with the idea of friend, but he didn't really have any of them left due to his actions,

"Old informant." That covered the reason he had come in here tonight and who Lorne was. Wesley watched as Willow delayed finishing her last drink for as long as possible as she started to fidget with her sleeve, still visibly shaking,

"Have you got anywhere to stay?" he asked eventually, welcoming the presence of someone else in his lonely apartment for one night.

Willow looked blearily at Wesley, knowing he was asking her if she wanted to stay with him tonight, and she wanted to decline his offer, not wanting to impose on the Englishman but she didn't have anywhere to stay and she didn't want to be alone tonight. She shook her head,

"Then you won't mind the couch." A glimmer of a smile passed across the redheads face, and she shook her head again, this time with more enthusiasm. Wesley downed the last of his beer, assuring Romano that he would pay his tab next time he was in and putting his jacket back on before gesturing towards the exit.

*~*~*~*~*

Wesley opened the door into his apartment, the cold rushing out into the hall to meet them as he ushered Willow inside out of the way of inquisitive eyes, but Wesley no longer cared what his neighbours thought of him. He slung his jacket over the back of a chair before he removed books, papers and weapons from the couch as Willow surveyed the mess. You could take the Watcher's Council away from the Watcher, but you can't take the Watcher away from the man, she thought as she watched him tidy while she stood by the door, hugging herself as she set off into another fit of uncontrollably shaking. She could feel the heat rising within her and by the time Wesley turned back to face her she was starting to hyperventilate,

"Willow?" Wesley questioned as he watched the young woman. He went to her as she started to breath rapidly, putting his hands on her in an attempt to calm her down, leading her to the couch where he sat her down as tears started to stream down her face. He held her hands in his as he crouched before her, waiting for the shaking to subside, eventually sitting himself beside her, and holding her in an attempt to control the shaking.

Willow clung to him tightly as she continued to shake, praying to the Goddess that she would be ok and she would not hurt Wesley, but she didn't think the Goddess was listening anymore, not after what she had done.

The shaking passed eventually and she still found herself safe in Wesley's arms, in his darkened apartment, she pulled herself into a sitting position, smiling sheepishly at Wesley as he looked at her with concern,

"Are you ok now?" Willow nodded, not trusting her voice to answer. He nodded back, pulling himself to his feet as Willow's hand shot out to catch his,

"Please." She said, desperation in her voice now,

"Please don't leave me." She pleaded as she pulled him back down onto the couch,

"I don't want to be left alone tonight." She looked into his eyes as she leaned towards him, a desperate attempt to stay close enough that she could feel him, so she would know she wasn't alone,

"Just stay with me. Please just..." she was so close to him now that their lips brushed against each other as they talked before she found herself kissing him. She pulled away abruptly as she realised what she was doing, betraying Tara,

"Oh God. I'm sorry... I..." It was just the Magick taking hold of her. That's what it was...

She soon found herself kissing Wesley again though, as his ice cold hands found her cheek as she felt something stirring within her, electricity jumping between them. Wesley exploring the taste of her as he too felt the need to be close to someone, too scared to be alone tonight. He ran his hands through her red hair, pulling her closer as he lay down on the couch, bringing Willow with him.

Something stirred in both of them as the kiss deepened, something that was neither raw passion nor lust, nor was it love. Something that screamed in both of them to be forgiven, to be loved for just one night and feel like they were needed, that they could forget everything for just a few hours.

Wesley slipped the jacket from Willow's shoulders as her hands slipped under his t-shirt, feeling his tight torso, stretched across his ribs, pulling it up over his head, giving them both time to pause for breath where no questions were asked, because they both knew the answer. Something in them knew it was nothing but comfort, but they both desperately needed it so much just now, neither was willing to decline it and see reason.

Wesley found himself comparing as Willow's top was discarded on the floor. She was different from Lilah, nothing wild about it, nor was it like it had been with Virginia, tender and loving. But he didn't want to compare, because this was not for comparing with other people, this was for both of them.

He found his hands unclipping her bra, the coldness of them making her shuddered under his touch as she ran her hands up his leg, feeling his erection there as she unzipped his jeans and unbuckled his belt. She began to shake again, squashing her chest against his as she tried to control her Magick that threatened to spill over. She felt Wesley sit up, her on his lap as he pulled her close to him, kissing her tenderly as she continued to shake in his arms, soon losing herself in the kiss again as they explored each other, tasting each other and finding everything out about each other as Willow pushed up against him, feeling him moan in her mouth as he felt his hands on her thighs, sending sparks through them.

She found herself lying on top of Wesley again, her pants and knickers lying with his on the coffee table now as she felt his hard erection pressed up against her, eager to enter her as she found herself pushing closer towards him in the cold apartment as sparks ran through her hands as they in turn ran through his hair and up his back, all guilty thoughts of almost killing Giles, of almost ending the world gone from her. She was lost in the moment, no more thoughts of anyone else but her and Wesley, here in this moment in time. No tomorrows and no yesterdays where she was now as she felt him slip inside her and she moaned loudly kissing his neck as he nibbled on her earlobe before letting out a low moan himself; because for Wesley everything had been forgotten, every stupid mistake that lead up to this moment had been forgotten and he did not worry about waking up tomorrow alone in his cold apartment.

He felt his back collide with the hard wooden floor but it was barely noticeable as the heat between him and Willow increased, kisses planted everywhere in such a disordered fashion as Willow pulled him over on top of her, both of them bashing into the coffee table, sending papers scattering to the floor. He say white stars flash in front of his eyes as he felt Willow's hands on his chest, burning into his cold flesh as Willow called out as well before the clarity of the moment came rushing back. He licked his lips as he kissed Willow one last time,

"You taste of strawberries." He mumbled softly in her ear before he found himself no longer on top of Willow but soaring through the air to collide with the door, making it shudder in it's frame. He slipped to the floor, lying there for a moment as stars danced into his vision, but not of ecstasy, as he heard Willow's heavy breathes across the room, pained and mournful,

"I'm so sorry..." a whisper of a voice as the darkness blurred the vision of his apartment, and he was alone again.

*~*~*~*~*

Wesley awoke to find himself lying on his couch, sunlight streaming in from the window in the early hours of dawn, boxers and a t-shirt now present on his undernourished frame as he remembered what has happened last night. He somehow expected to find Willow sleeping in his bed, but the sheets hadn't even been moved since he had last slept there over a month ago. His apartment was empty and he was alone, except for the smell of strawberries and a note on the fridge, which read, 'Thanks for the company.'