Title: Snow

Summary: Wesley's world changes after he is in a motorcycle accident.

Rating: PG13, for language and adult situations

Pairing(s): Wesley/Cordelia, and maybe one or two more

Disclaimer: All the characters in my fic belong to someone else (Joss, Mutant Enemy, Fox, etc., etc.). Maybe one day I'll write characters like this and someone will want to do fanfics (I wish).

Note: This story takes place in Season Two after "Dear Boy" but before "Guise Will Be Guise". In my episode guide, these two episodes aired late October and early November, before all the Darla stuff went into overdrive and Angel fired everyone. This is sort of my answer to a holiday fic.

Chapter One—The Accident

Wesley's head lulled back and forth, tipping to the side occasionally while he sat at his desk. He hoped soon that someone would save him from the torment, that someone would ride in and tell him to get off his feet, just to actually get some sleep. He'd been up almost twenty-four hours, mostly reading, definitely researching. If something didn't happen soon, he would be doomed.

"Here, before you fall over and break something."

"Bless you," Wesley groaned as he took a sip of coffee.

Cordelia had saved him from that uncertain doom. He had almost fallen asleep on an ancient tome. Sacrilege it would have been. He might have mussed the pages beyond repair.

Then he proceeded to gag as he tasted the foul concoction that she had brewed. Where was Gunn when you needed him? Off helping out his old neighborhood, that was where. So he was stuck with Cordelia, researching a demon that Angel had chanced to encounter. Said vampire was up in his room, healing from tangling with the beast Wesley was now researching. And he wasn't having much luck.

"God, it's not that bad," Cordelia shot back.

"Don't worry. I need it strong."

"Pfft," she answered, turning to face her computer.

Cordelia sighed as she got down to work, Wesley noticed. Ordinarily she would have chided him more about his comments. She wasn't her usual, sarcastic self. Maybe it was Angel being injured? No, he thought, Angel seemed to gather his share of cuts and bruises. So did Wesley, for that matter. The only one that seemed immune for the most part was Gunn. Or maybe they just hadn't encountered that many demons since the street fighter joined their merry little band.

Flipping the pages of the tome, Wesley went over again and again the facts of the case. The demon that had attacked Angel, unprovoked, must have been at least eight feet tall, according to Gunn. It had a wicked tail that had caught Angel on the head more than one time, and it had the strength of ten men. Gunn had also mentioned that his hubcap axe hadn't managed to penetrate its thick hide. Angel had also been on the receiving end of very sharp claws. It had taken Cordelia quite some time to clean those out once he and Gunn had returned to the hotel.

So, there was a demon that was eight feet tall, very sharp claws, wicked tail, thick hide, and had the strength to take Angel and Gunn down. Only Gunn had been taken down in the first few seconds, leaving Angel to defend the both of them, inevitably causing the most damage to the vampire. The only injuries that Gunn had sustained were a bruised tailbone and ego.

Another glance at Cordelia still had Wesley worrying. She rubbed her temples like a headache, or God forbid, a vision was coming on. Since he was the only one available to answer the call, he hoped that it was just a headache.

The visions were killing her, slowly, was his only conclusion. He didn't know when or where or how, he only could surmise that eventually the pain would become too much for her to handle. She didn't let on that he knew, only in the throws of a vision did she let her guard down. He didn't know how much longer her body could take on such extreme pain and not shut down completely.

"Cordelia, you should rest for a while," he quietly told her as they sat in silence.

"Huh? Oh, yeah. In a minute," she said to him as she scrolled down a screen.

"I mean it. You've been working much too long."

"So says the guy who hasn't slept in like forever."

"I'm not the one who receives the visions. They must take a lot out of you."

"Yeah, well. That's the deal, now isn't it."

Wesley sipped more coffee as he tried to figure out a way to get Cordelia to rest and solve the demon problem at the same time.

"Let me take you home," he finally announced, shutting his last book with a resounding thud.

"Nah. We need to be in research mode."

Now he knew something wasn't right. She never wanted to research. She complained about research, even more than Gunn and Angel did. As she always said to him, "I'm Vision Girl. You're Book Guy". The division of labor had always been that cut and dry. He wished just once that it were the other way around.

"Maybe we both should get some rest. I need some of my books from home. Why don't I drop you off?"

Cordelia's glazed eyes turned towards his. "I'm pooped. You just have to promise me that you'll rest."

"I will," he lied, crossing his fingers under the table. But he could use a quick shower and change of clothes.

"Let's go, Wes," she told him as she grabbed her purse.

Wesley wrote Angel a note, telling him that he would be back shortly and that he was taking Cordelia home also. No use worrying the vampire or Gunn when he arrived back from his errand.

Wesley handed Cordelia his extra helmet, starting the motorcycle while she crossed her purse over the front of her so it wouldn't fall off. Climbing on, she securely wrapped her arms around his torso. He would never forget how wonderful it felt every time she did that. She had ridden with him on many occasions, and each time he still got a small thrill of how close she would get to him.

Driving through the early morning light, the brisk breeze woke him up, sending his mind into overdrive again. Thinking about what book he would consult next, he didn't see the car coming the opposite direction. Before he could react, the car skidded, narrowly avoiding a collision with him. Losing control of the motorcycle, he managed not to flip the two of them, only send the thing sideways. Just before they both hit the pavement, Cordelia's arms tightened around him, holding on for dear life. Thoughts for her safety were the last thing he remembered before the world turned black.

TBC

Next: Wesley regains consciousness and nothing is the same.