Summary: Wesley relates his life with ice cream. Just a strange Wesley musing. Post-"Origin"

Death is your art. You make it with your hands, day after day. –Spike, to Buffy

Have you realized how ice cream is similar to life? Oh, listen to me, these sound like the bloody ravings of a mad lunatic. Pl-please ... allow me to explain.

With ice cream on a cone, there is no way to keep the ice cream from inevitably slipping. It just continues to fall down, down the cone. And all a person can do is lick it away before it gets on your hand. But the vanilla – my personal favorite – leaks from so many different positions that it is almost impossible to keep everything under control.

These are the infinite struggles in one's life. In mine, getting Angel's approval at work was the most important thing to me, at first. I needed to know I was doing things correctly. About a year later, when Angel was fixated on Darla's resurrection, I struggled to let him know Cordelia, Gunn, and I didn't need his help. We were doing better than ever... at least that's what we told him. And I accomplished both these tasks – I averted disaster by licking away dripping vanilla.

And yet another year later, I didn't manage to deal with the melting ice cream. I took Connor, for his own good, so I thought at the time. And white vanilla kept dripping and dripping from all sides after that unfortunate incident. I lost all my friends' trust, their companionship, and, bloody hell, I nearly lost my life. Sometimes I wish it had ended then. And the drip, drip, drip persists.

Now my entire hand is covered in moist, snowy, vanilla... it's completely enveloped in a shroud of delight. Lilah. She was the ice cream that reaches your hand and – no pun intended – makes you dirty. It gets you filthy and sticky. And that's just what Lilah was – a sticky situation. She was something that wouldn't be able to touch me if I hadn't failed with the dripping ice cream.

But then something remarkably strange occurred. Angel came to me – to all of us – with napkins. A chance to start anew at Wolfram and Hart. He gave me a towel to wipe my hands clean of Lilah, the sting of her death, and my deception, as he basically 'revoked' his own son's memories. And this placed me exactly where I left off. My hands were wiped clean and the vanilla – only half-finished – continues dripping. And I continue struggling. Licking away, just trying to keep up. When I thought I killed my father, you don't know just how close the vanilla was to my flesh. But in the nick of time, I managed to avoid crisis.

And the cycle spins. And time and again I succeeded to keep the vanilla on top of the cone. Nonetheless, eventually, luck runs out. Fred died. Dammit, at this point everything is falling. The molecules of vanilla descend down the cylinder cone accompanied by my own tears. Once again, my hand becomes drenched in savory vanilla. No one comes with towels.

But as Winston Churchill once said, "If you are going through Hell, keep going." I tried... still attempted to lick the ice cream away, but the more I tried, the more my hands became soaked. Stabbing Gunn was one of my most recent failures.

I was being insolent when I destroy the box that contained the memories Angel kept from us. The deceitful deeds I committed returned to me because I was so caught up in bringing back Fred I refused to believe Angel.

And this final ... what I just did... I don't even know if I regret it. I notice she's glaring down at me with those azure eyes of ice, penetrating deep into the cracked pieces of my soul. Pupils made of frost, sometimes, I feel, intentionally meant to cause me pain. Fred's eyes were always so much more... warmer, sensitive. Her eyes would follow you where ever you went as well, such as Illyria's, but with Fred one never minded.

She inquires of me, "'Are these the memories you needed back? Does this now make you Wesley?'" And I do not have the slightest idea of what to answer. My only response is to endure. To endure the ache, the nonsense, the feeling of helplessness... to endure it all.

The time comes when one must face things. My time came like all others' – the heat was rising causing the vanilla to spill all over. And I remained licking like a fool. I'm not sure why... after all, I had lost it all. But Mother had always taught me to clean up after the messes I've made. And this – continuing on, searching for answers, fighting on – it's what is necessary for me to do. Perhaps, one of these days, the vanilla will be all done – cone and all – and I'll be able to seek the long-awaited peace...