Title: Guardian Angel
Rating: PG13 for now. I'm not sure later on in the story. Angst abounds now too.
Summary: Wesley gets the toughest job after dying. Did he make the right choice?
Pairings: Hey, I haven't decided what this fic is like. Don't even know if there will be any romance at all.
Disclaimer: The boss owns all. And boy does it hurt still. But they're his toys to play with.
Note: This takes place after season five of Angel. Was Wes's scene dying one of the best ever? I must have cried through the whole episode. But we know that good old Joss wouldn't keep him down for long. The boss wanted to hurt us, and it worked. So I wanted to continue the story a bit, see where it takes me. And if there are ever any other movies, miniseries, etc., watcherman better be in them. I don't care about the rest (well, maybe I do, but not right at this moment).
Chapter One – Visions
Faith's limbs shook from exertion. Wanting to keep her mind occupied, she chose to beat up on a training dummy. By the time she was done with it, it'd need some serious work to fix it. She hadn't turned on the lights in the small gym.
The building had once been a factory of some sort, then a ballet studio. The new Council had bought the thing for a steal, fixing it up for the new wave of slayers inhabiting the newest Hellmouth, Cleveland. At least this city had four seasons. Faith liked the fact that it actually became cold. Not as cold as Boston could be, but it was enough. Today though, it had been hot and muggy. Summers looked to be a drag, she thought. Might drive in the bad guys to the air conditioning for a little while, she hoped.
She often trained solo, at night with no one to watch. Hell, she didn't need a watcher any more, or so she thought. Sometimes, she wished she had one, if just to be close to some other human. No one here actually belonged to her, not even Robin. She'd never have it like Buffy did with Giles. Just wasn't in the cards for her. Sort of hoping for a miracle didn't make her old watcher appear any faster. No, he was happy fighting evil in Los Angeles, while she sweated it out in Middle America. They'd never connect. Not that it wasn't partially her fault. She hadn't gone back to see Wes after Sunnydale was no more, even though she had promised.
Training sometimes cleared her mind, which right then was a big bonus. Over the past couple of days, her brain had been crazed. Like maybe there was some apocalypse on the way and no one had told her. The dreams she'd been having didn't let her sleep more than a couple of hours each night at the most. It had to stop. She didn't want to get sloppy out in the field.
It was late, very late in the evening, no one around to bother her. Just her, pounding away. She thought about going out to patrol just to hit something for real. But there were other slayers now. She didn't always have to be on alert. Lots of slayers to take care of the bad guys.
Everyone was either asleep or on patrol. So when the pain hit her, no one was there to watch her crumble. The pain was so intense, searing her all the way down to her toes, that it was all she could do to stay conscious.
It was too much like the time Buffy had used Faith's own knife to gut her, right before the Mayor had tried to take over Sunnydale and the world. Not like she hadn't deserved it. She was surprised that Buffy hadn't aimed for the heart instead.
Trying to crawl toward the office put her in more pain. She looked for blood, but found none. Was there something wrong that she had never known about?
Finally making it into the office, she tried reaching for the phone on the desk to call someone. Robin had his cell phone on, going on patrol with a couple of the newer girls. But before she could reach up to pull it down, her breath was completely knocked out of her. Her head hit the ground hard.
Struggling to get a breath into her lungs, her vision began to blur. She kept thinking, "I am not fucking dying right now. Fight this. Fight this."
It was when her mind was on the edge of consciousness that the vision hit her. It didn't hurt like Cordy's visions had, not a migraine to end all migraines. No, she was in enough pain throughout the rest of her body to not even notice if that was the case.
Knife, blood, fire, pain. Vision, wish, tears, relief, slowed breathing, death. A single tear escaped Faith's eye before she went blessedly under.
Angel's body screamed at him to stop. Demons upon demons were piled in the alley. The battle still raged, but if it didn't end soon, a stake was certain to find its way into his undead heart, or even a sharp sword to his neck. Maybe that was for the best though.
He'd caused all of this destruction. Afterwards, there would be no after battle banter, eggs and toast, coffee and tea. There would only be his dead friends staring at him, telling him what a big mistake he'd made.
Sunrise would be coming in a couple of hours anyway, so maybe he'd just stand there and burn. Probably like he should have done so many years ago on that hill in Sunnydale. Buffy had stopped him then. She couldn't now.
Spike went flying by, yelling like a banshee at some scaly, red thing that was on him quickly. Spike, he'd been the first to volunteer for this suicide mission. Dying not once, but twice had given him some sort of bravado Angel didn't understand until now. He'd beaten death back so many times, his luck still held out. Just like Angel's had so many times before. And well, it just didn't suck to die again. He'd welcome it, just like Angel.
Wes had been the second to raise his hand. The man had a death wish and hadn't even known it. This had definitely been a suicide mission for the ex-watcher. He'd known it, Wes had known it. The nod they had given each other right before going off on each of their separate missions had said it all. So much said in one small look. Wes could say so much with just his eyes, it was a wonder the man ever survived as long as he did.
So long, be seeing you in hell. Angel knew that was the last time he would ever see his best friend alive. Wes and Cordy had meant the world to him. And he had destroyed them, taken them both down with him. His unbeating heart ached more than any time in his 250 odd years. He hoped they both were in a better place, away from the pain, away from him. That's all he could ask. They'd both sacrificed so much in their short lives. Never again would he ask someone to do that. The price was too great.
"Hey, are you OK?" a far off voice asked.
People usually didn't ask you if you're OK if you're dead. Faith opened her eyes to find one of the baby slayers staring at her. Lauren was just fifteen, tiny even by Faith's standards, but packed a wallop of a punch. The girl would make a good slayer someday.
"What happened? What time is it?" Faith groaned as she sat up gingerly. Her gut was sore, her head pounded, but everything seemed intact.
"I found you on the floor, passed out. It's about six in the morning."
Faith saw the lightening sky outside the window. She'd been out for almost five hours. Climbing to her feet, she wobbled a bit, but Lauren helped her up the rest of the way. Man, whatever happened to me, hit me like a ton of bricks, she thought.
Then she remembered the vision and picked up the phone. The first number she dialed was out of service. She tried another number, hearing the distinct accent on the other end, but no one to really answer. She still left a message, just in case.
"It's me. Whatever you do, fucking call me on my cell phone. There's trouble." She hung up the phone in a hurry.
"Faith, you need to sit down."
Can't sit down. Faith ran to her room, slightly weaving along the way. Throwing a few clothes in a duffel bag, she reached for her weapons, and then threw them down, remembering that she had to get on an airplane. No weapons. She grabbed a couple of toiletries, and slung the bag over her shoulder.
"Tell Robin I had an emergency. I have to go."
"He's asleep. Let me find him."
"I can't wait. I have to go now," Faith yelled as she ran for the office again. She grabbed the credit card that they used for emergencies and scrambled to the door.
"Where are you going, Faith?"
Wesley sat up looking around at his surroundings. No longer was he in a big hall with a demon sticking a very big knife in his stomach. A peaceful field of flowers danced around in the light breeze. The sun shone bright overhead. The sky was so blue, it hurt his eyes for a moment. The quilt he sat on was old, soft and well used.
He was dead, that he knew. It hadn't taken long for him to die after Vail had gutted him. He had thought that it would have been more painful, somewhat like the gunshot wound from two years earlier. All he could feel was the blood slowly draining the life from his body.
And Illyria's tears hitting his body. Oh, he knew it was she that grieved him. That she had taken on Fred's persona just to please him in those last few moments of life. For that, he was grateful. Illyria had finally felt some strong human emotion. His guidance had not been for naught.
So he just sat, breathing in the clean, fresh scent. His mind was somewhat at peace. Fred was not here, he concluded. He at least would not have to live in the world where she had been obliterated out of existence.
"Damn you, Wes. Damn you," a voice softly spoke behind him. Only one person would ever talk to him that way.
He turned to see a woman in a flowing sundress. The sun overhead blocked her face in shadow, but he'd know her even if he were blind. Standing to face her, he was happy that she was with him, wherever here was.
She launched herself into his arms, sobbing.
"You stupid jerk. Why?" came blubbering out between sobs.
He just held her tight until her crying jag seemed to slow somewhat, which took quite a while. Cordy seemed real. Her body was soft and warm. She was crying real tears. And he could tell by her body language she was mad at him for something. Things never change.
Finally she backed away slightly to look into his eyes. Hers were swollen, red around the rims. He hated to make her cry. Hating the way she looked at him now, like he'd failed somehow. Also because she was building a full head of steam, ready to take it out on him for whatever transgression he had committed.
"That was so not supposed to happen, you dumbass." Same old Cordelia. Then she hit him on the shoulder, hard.
"Oww. That hurt. Why did you hit me?"
"You, you." She took another swing at him, this time connecting with his jaw.
"Oww," she was the one to cry this time, holding her hand. "Out of practice."
Wesley rubbed his jaw, thinking that if this was heaven, then why did his jaw hurt so much. "Why did you hit me, I ask again?"
"Because you big, stupid macho moron guy, thinking you could take on that demon with your little fireball. That was just so stupid and you know it. You have much better mojo than that."
"Of course. I had a front row seat. Which by the way is not over with, but I had to come here instead. At this point, he could get staked for all I care." Another set of tears fell from her lovely eyes.
"Angel still at it?"
"Yeah. He is. And you could have been there to help."
"Not like I was hoping to die."
"Yes, you were. You stupid, stupid man." Cordelia started crying, again.
"Shoulda known she'd do this to ya," another voice said behind him, Irish lilt melodious in the breeze.
"Oh, you're just as bad. Go away."
"Wanna make sure you don't hurt the lad is all. Greeted me the same way when she arrived here. Got me in the stomach."
Cordelia left Wes's embrace, but not before placing a quick kiss on his cheek. Turning around, he saw a shorter man, black hair, dancing light blue eyes, and a lop-sided grin showing on his pale face. He had on a Hawaiian shirt and khaki shorts.
"You look familiar," Wesley said.
"Oh, Doyle. My name's Doyle. You must be the infamous Wesley. You're all she could talk about."
Cordelia snorted. "In your dreams, Wes."
"You obviously know about the woman's temper too." Wes could see Cordy shoot the Irishman a dagger-edged look.
Doyle just laughed. "That I do."
"So what is this place?" Wesley couldn't believe they were actually in heaven. He'd done too many unsavory things in his life for that to happen.
"Well, it's not heaven, if that's what you're thinking," Cordelia told him.
Good. That was a good thing, wasn't it?
"I wouldn't have been able to hit you otherwise."
"We're not in hell either," Doyle pointed out. "You kind of have to earn you're way in one way or another. But you my friend were brought here for a reason."
Wesley looked at Cordelia and Doyle like he wanted to crawl under a rock and die. Oh, he was already dead, so that would not due. "What reason?"
"Well, you remember that watching thing you did?" Cordelia asked.
"Which did not turn out all that well, Cordy."
"Yeah, we'll just forget about that. This is sort of similar."
"In what way?" He was just not in the mood for any of this.
"We could show you," Cordelia commented. Wesley sighed, tiredly. "But not right away. You need to rest. I have to go and finish something. Then we'll talk."
Both Cordelia and Doyle waved and blinked out of the picture. Off in the distance, Wesley could see a structure. Might as well explore, he thought. The two could probably find him wherever he ended up. They had told him to rest and that's what he intended to do.
OK, I even cried writing part of this. So sad. It's not always going to be sad, thank goodness. I just had to get that out of my system.
Next: Faith tries to pick up the pieces, and Wesley finds a moment of peace. Please review!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!