Title:  Touch

Author:  WesFan1234

Summary:  The idea came from an episode, I can't remember which, had the gang looking at each other, almost hugging, but then pulling away.  I wish I could remember which one so I could watch it again. (Maybe second season?  Please tell me if you remember.)  That's when I got this idea about how different the Fang Gang was from the Scoobies (I know, not original).  They didn't relate to each other in the same ways.  They didn't touch each other like the Scoobies always seemed to do.  What an interesting and dysfunctional family they make on "Angel".  Please comment and/or review.

Rating:  PG-13 for a little sexual innuendo

Disclaimer:  Not mine.  Just playing in their sandbox for the moment (OK, I don't know who first said that, but I like it.  Thanks for writing it whoever did.)

Touch

Touch is one of the senses of the body.  Everyone knows that.  Touch is something that we don't usually lose, even if we don't have hands.  Humans crave to be touched.  To feel someone's hand in yours.  To touch a baby's soft cheek against your own.  To tickle someone's feet that are too sensitive.  And if you are deprived of touch when you are young, do you crave it all that much more or abhor anyone who tries to touch?

Wesley feels that it is the former.  He craves to be touched.  He doesn't really remember being touched as a child, unless his father was beating the bloody hell out of him for missing a translation.  Oh, there had been a housekeeper here, a teacher there who had took pity on him and hugged him when no one was looking.  He treated these occurrences as special.  Hugs were supposed to be special. 

When he went off to boarding school, he'd see his schoolmates hugging their parents goodbye when they'd visit.  He'd see some of the older ones hugging each other, obviously exploring their first taste of the opposite sex, when they were in town with no chaperones. 

The first person to really touch him was the school nurse.  She'd seen him so many times, she had started to think of him as one of her own.  She'd fix him up, and then send him on his way with a hug.  She did this to all her charges, but Wesley didn't mind.  She had a kind heart.  And she knew his father beat him on holidays.  They never discussed it.  But she knew.  She'd slip him a treat while he was recuperating from a fall down the stairs or a broken rib.  His classmates thought him to be clumsy and in time he had become just that.

But she retired and he was left to his own devises.  Then he discovered girls.  Or girls discovered him.  They usually thought that he was sweet and safe.  Which he was.  They'd hug and kiss him, knowing that a) he'd never tell, and b) well, he was Wesley.  No one would ever believe that Wesley would actually have a date.  He became their practice guy.  He usually didn't know what to say, but just let the girls do whatever. 

When he was sixteen though, one girl in particular had taken a shine to him.  She'd even cornered him in the library and slipped him a note.  All the guys had thought him way too serious, but the girls knew differently.  She was a couple of years older and wiser.  She wouldn't let him touch her, but she did all the touching.  No kissing, she told him.  He just lie there and let her do all the work.

By the time he went off to university, this kind of touching wasn't his cup of tea.  The one-way thing just wasn't right.  That girl from before had just used him, he knew.  Just like his father had beaten him senseless the last time he had visited.  Now that he had come of age, he really didn't have to visit, but had out of habit.  One wrong thing said had gotten him cuffed on the side of the head.  Although he had not filled out, his frame was tall and lanky, and still clumsy.  Wesley went tumbling, ramming into an end table, knocking it over.  That enraged his father further.  He could barely get up after that beating.  So he stayed away from his family after that.  Just left whatever things he had left in his room and never visited again.

He finally managed to get a real girlfriend by the time he was nineteen.  She was kind and friendly.  Not too bright, but she let him touch her everywhere, which suited him just fine.  Until she told him that he was way too needy and left.  He had several more short flings, but nothing interesting.  The same thing always happened.  Too needy, too clingy.  He needed to learn how to moderate his touching of other human beings.

So he studied.  He studied his classmates, his peers, his teachers, everyone.  People in the park, in the stores, in the pubs.  His epiphany came one day as he saw a mother gently touch her child.  If he would just hold back, people would accept him.  He couldn't make up for the past of no touching for the first ten years of his life, but he had learned not to be too needy.

By the time he had graduated the Watchers' Academy, he felt he had overcome the need to touch all the time.  He'd worked hard to achieve success, so that his father would be proud of him.  They had even told him that eventually he'd become a real watcher, get a slayer of his own.  He'd passed all the tests, beaten everyone else in his class.  The job was all his, when one came open.  So Wesley bided his time, working hard at translating and making friends at his job. 

A couple of years later, his wish came true.  He was now in his late twenties.  In his prime.  Not like the man who he was to replace.  Rupert Giles.  All the trainees looked up to him like he was a god.  They were probably right about the man, but it didn't matter to him.  He would be in charge in Sunnydale.

Didn't happen though.  Both slayers mocked or ignored him.  But what he noticed about them all, excluding Faith (who by the way, seemed to be too much like himself), was that they were always touching each other.  Even that ponce Giles.  Always with the fatherly hugs and pats on the back.  And the slayer.  She hugged her friends more in one week than he'd probably gotten in his lifetime.  He often wished that she would bestow one hug on him, but alas it never happened. 

Then he screwed up the only job he'd ever had and was fired.  No more interacting with these interesting people.  He was out on his own, not even enough money to go back to England.  Through too many circumstances to explain, Wesley found himself in Los Angeles, hunting a demon.  That's when he met up with Angel, the vampire with a soul, again.  Talk about look but don't touch.  The only time the man seemed to touch anyone was to put his fist through a demon's face.

But then Wesley discovered that Angel was working for Cordelia.  The only person in Sunnydale that seemed to give him the time of day.  She touched him, almost daily now.  It was just her nature.  When she had kissed him, to get rid of the visions of course, he thought he'd died and went to heaven.  She didn't like him like that, but she still kept touching him.  Just like that nurse in boarding school.  Only he was her only charge.  No other boys around to patch up, if he didn't include Angel.  He'd share Cordy with Angel.

Even when Charles Gunn had joined the group, Wes hadn't minded sharing Cordy's attention.  Until Winifred Burkle had come into their lives.  Then he didn't want to share, at all.  Fred was everything that was good in the world.  And he wanted her to touch him, a lot.  But she didn't.  Seems she had five years of not being touched, so his neediness seemed to shine through to her, he was that transparent.  She went for Gunn instead.  He wasn't too needy.  Then Wesley's whole world fell apart.

His life had come full circle.  As he lay in the hospital bed, a nurse attended to his injury.  His only human contact.  His friends, the ones that sometimes touched him, hugged him, and had abandoned him.  Because he had taken Angel's son away from him.  He would have been a good substitute father to Connor.  Would have hugged him when he needed it.  Connor would have grown up happy.  Wesley knew the mistakes that a father could make.  A father could hurt, or even kill his own son.  Just by touching him.