Rekindle the Lost
By Yasashii Tsubasa
Summary: Post-'The Girl in Question'. Illyria's loss of power results in Fred's short return before she is imprisoned inside herself. Now, with one last chance, Wes is working desperately—with Fred unknowingly by his side—but time is running out…
Disclaimer: Not mine. Don't own it.
Pairing: Fred/Wes, some Wes/Illyria
Feedback: Yes, please.
Distribution: Fanfiction.net, and WNW. Anyone else, please ask.
A/N: Sorry ahead for the periods (.) at random points--pretend they aren't there. ff.net is being incredibly stupid and not formatting the way it should, and if anyone has a remedy for this, please tell me.
The last thing she remembered was Wesley's face, his tears indistinguishable from her own, the warmth and comfort of his tight embrace. Then an icy numbness had spread up her from her toes to her head; and when it reached her mind, everything had gone dark and cold.
She was freezing, trembling, naked without Wes' arms around her. She felt like crying forever; the sensation of endlessly drowning overwhelmed her mind, and in the corner of consciousness was the constant realization that she had died, that she had left Wesley forever.
Then, stabbing fiercely into her grief, there was an alien presence there, tapping her face, whispering in her ear: Wake up.
So Fred opened her eyes.
She was sitting alone in her own darkened lab, in her chair. Her chest felt like it was on fire, and every nerve ending was tingling. God, she was in pain.
" Wait just a sec…how did I get here? And at—" she looked at her watch. "—one in the morning?"
Fred closed her eyes and concentrated on breathing, trying to remember what had happened. The last image of Wesley's face echoed in her head, and—
" Oh, my god," she whispered. " I died."
Fred's gaze turned to the portable phone that she always kept in close range on her desk. After a moment, she jumped for it as if there were demons trying to get it, falling off the chair and tumbling to the floor in the process. Clutching her prize and seized with the sudden feeling that she didn't have much time, Fred dialled Wes' number with shaking hands and hugged her knees to her chest with one arm as it rang once, twice, then three more times.
" What—who is it?" the sleepy voice on the other end asked. Fred felt tears in her throat at his voice.
" Wes—Wesley, it's me. It's Fred."
Silence. Then: " Illyria, stop it. stop it now, or I will kill you, do you understand? I don't know how you figured out how to use the phone, but you had better hang up and think about a place to hide for when I come down there."
The tears began to fall. " Please, Wes!" Fred sobbed. " Please. Oh god, it's me, I don't know what happened or how I got here, but I don't understand and I don't think I have much time left!" Fred curled back under her desk, trying, instinctively, to be as small as possible. She held the phone in a vice-like grip. " Wesley, I love you, I love you so much, and everything hurts me right now, and I don't know what to do."
" Illyria, stop it!"
" Wesley, it's me," Fred blubbered into the phone. The burning in her limbs was getting worse. " It's me, it's Fred, it's me, it's me…it's…me…"
" Goodbye, Illyria. I will see you in the morning, at which time we will discuss this in detail, and I can promise that—"
" –oh, god, Wesley, help me!" Fred screamed as she felt her skin begin to burn, searing her through with white-hot pain. She dropped the phone and slumped over with a shriek, shaking like a puppet.
Then, the blackness came again.
" God, Wes, what happened to you?" Angel asked as Wesley sat down at his desk. " You look like you didn't sleep at all last night."
Wes sighed and rubbed at his red eyes. " That's probably because I didn't, Angel. I got a call at one in the morning, from Illyria."
Angel blinked. " What?"
Wes toyed with a file. " Yes. She…she was impersonating…the body's former occupant. Again."
After Wes explained what had happened with Fred's parents, and her wish to explore Fred's relationship with Wes, Angel sighed and sat down.
" So what did Illyria say to you on the phone, as Fred?"
Wes closed his eyes and rubbed them again. " She was…she was crying. She said that she was scared, that she didn't have much time left, and that…and that…that she loved me. She was toying with me, Angel. When I came down last night after the phone call, I saw her there, just sitting in the lab. And after I told her specifically not to do it again, she…"
Wes trailed off, a murderous look suddenly in his eyes. Angel looked around to see Illyria standing in the doorway, head tilted slightly, staring at the two men.
Wes' jaw was set as he spoke. " Illyria." She stepped forward, into the office, acknowledging that she had heard. Wesley began to rise, his entire body set to attack, like a tiger. " Angel and I were just discussing the little bit of fun you had last night by calling me."
Illyria's head tilted a bit further in confusion, and then she turned her nose up in the air, scoffing at him, refusing. " I did nothing last night, and not what you speak of."
Wes swallowed, and remained standing. " Do you mean to say that you cannot remember what you did last night?"
Illyria paused, her blue eyes boring into his soul; they narrowed slightly with hate of submission. " No, I cannot remember. All was black; I chose to make it that way." With that, she turned and left.
Wesley hung his head. " This is bad."
Angel nodded. " She really does have a superiority complex that needs some work."
The Englishman sighed. " I don't know what to do with her, Angel. This is getting out of hand."
There was a knock at the door, and the two men looked up to see an attendant holding a file, looking slightly timid in the doorway.
" Er—Mr. Wyndham-Price, I have the Davidson case here for you. Accounting needs it back by eleven, is that all right?"
Wes nodded as the file was placed on his desk. " Yes, thank you, Barney. I'll be done with it soon."
Angel watched Wes sit down with the file. " Hey, Wes, are you going to be okay?"
Wesley looked up and smiled one of the saddest smiles that the two-hundred-year-old vampire had ever seen. " Pretend, Angel. Pretend."
The palace of Fred's soul was a big, sunny farmhouse, with yellow curtains and warm quilts on the beds and flowers everywhere. The next time Fred awoke, it was in the bedroom, a tiny loft stuck above the other two storeys of the house. She lay in bed and let the tears squeeze from her eyes onto the pillow. Her heart felt as though it would break at the memory of Wesley's voice, disbelieving, on the phone.
After a few minutes, Fred stopped crying and realized that she was in this house, seemingly alone, and that she had most definitely not been here the last time that the darkness that was Illyria had overcome her body. Fred knew precious little about the human soul, but she knew for sure that if she was here, than she most certainly had one.
Fred slipped out from beneath the blankets and walked over to the window, looking out onto endless golden fields. In the sky, grey clouds were forming.
She didn't have to go downstairs to know that she was a prisoner here. Fred wasn't stupid; she knew that Illyria's complete hold on her soul must have been lost, causing her to come back, if only for a short while. Now Fred was back in this place, in her soul's house, which meant that Illyria was weaker, unable to completely dominate Fred's soul, only to imprison it.
Maybe she could be broken again. Perhaps permanently.
That night, Wes arrived at his room above Wolfram and Hart, mentally and physically exhausted. He sat down on the couch and pressed the message button on the answering machine, closing his eyes.
" You have one new message. First message:
'What—who is it?"
' Wes—Wesley, it's me. It's Fred.'"
Wesley's eyes shot open.
" 'Illyria, stop it. stop it now, or I will kill you, do you understand? I don't know how you figured out how to use the phone, but you had better hang up and think about a place to hide for when I come down there.'
' Please, Wes! Please. Oh god, it's me, I don't know what happened or how I got here, but I don't understand and I don't think I have much time left! Wesley, I love you, I love you so much, and everything hurts me right, now, and I don't know what to do.'"
" Dear god," Wes whispered, shaking in his seat as he listened to Fred cry and listen to himself yell at her. And then:
" 'Oh, god, Wesley, help me!'" A horrifying, soul-wrenching scream, and then…nothing. The tape ended with a small click.
Wes found that he was standing, that he had grabbed a fourteenth century vase in his shaking hands, and that he had thrown it against the wall, shattering it into tiny fragments.
Oh, god, Wesley, help me!
Suddenly filled with utter and complete despair, Wesley collapsed back onto the couch, buried his face in his hands, and began to cry.
Fred descended down the stairs of the loft and onto the second floor of the house, exploring. She pushed open a door to find an impossibly large library inside, with books stretching from the floor to the high ceiling and ladders reaching up and balconies jutting out in several places. The room was a little like the library from one of Fred's favourite movies, Beauty and the Beast, which she had seen in high school in secret and had been terrified that someone would see her going into the theatre.
The second room Fred came to contained a lab almost identical to the one she had at work, only in here, the chemicals never ran out and nothing could ever hurt her. There was no Knox, no staff, no one there.
Although the third room was locked, the fourth and final door swung open easily, revealing a room shaped like the one she'd had at the Hyperion, except this one contained nothing but a few permanent markers sitting in the middle of the carpet.
Fred didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Shutting the door behind her, she picked up one of the markers and, walking to the wall opposite the door, wrote just three words, in the biggest letter she could draw:
I MISS HIM.
By the time Fred was done, her stomach was growling and there were tears on her face.
Outside, the clouds were getting darker, and thunder had begun to boom in the distance.