I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN

Wesley's desperate and Spike's convenient . . .

DISCLAIMERS - I neither own these two fine men nor participate in what they do here.

Set S7, earlier the better

Pairings - none, strictly . . . Spike's POV

Rating, don't think it's really an R, just want to be sure.

--

Bloody hell.

Should have spotted that one, right off.

Eyes sparkling with interest and indigo-dark with craving. Lips as deep red as a bruised rose.

We call him Wesley, for short.

And he's come searching for me.

Since they banned smoking at Wolfram and Hart - brilliant idea, keep the evil lawyers and their eviller - more evil - clients, and ban the one bloody thing that keeps those of us with souls from ripping their bloody throats out - I've sneaked out here several times a day for a smoke. They all think I've given up. They all think - I can see it - that the addition of a soul and a purpose has negated any craving I may have felt for the demon weed.

Hah.

'Here' being behind the largest of the rubbish scows. Don't know what's in them. Don't want to know. Rumour has it that a number of unsuccessful applicants for the job Wesley now holds rested in pieces here at one time or other. Rumour has a lot of things.

Given that this place gives me the creeps and makes the Biggest of Big Bads look like little kids at a picnic, myself included, rumour is presumably spot on.

I've ranted at Angel and struck matches on his 'No Smoking' signs and everything, but the sod just stands there and shrugs, so benevolent-father-like.

Well, sod him. Backwards. Ignito ergo sum. I smoke, therefore I am. Might make that the new motto, I think, resting back against the wall, when I see the movement in the shadows and Wyndam-Pryce arrives looking like a hungry tiger. Desperation in his eyes, and a dozen other things I never thought I'd see again on another man's face. He greets me curtly, trying to hide his relief that I'm here.

"Spike." he says, voice flat, neither tilted up nor down. I stand my ground. No point trying to hide the cigarette. Catch me trying to throw it away and panic like a guilty third-former.

"Wesley." I say, thinking, him? Angel told me about Lilah, that he'd picked up a few private habits from her that he found hard to break, but this? Him?

He advances. I wonder. Were his eyes always that dark? And his mouth always that crimson? Man's got a need. I know what it is. Got the same one m'self - just sure as hell wasn't gonna tell him, or the Righteous Gunn, or my poof of a sire, not for their delicate sakes but because Fred wouldn't like it and I owe the girl a barrow-load. Faith in me, and all that. He swallows awkwardly. I smile. I can feel the desire coming off him in waves. He doesn't even need to ask. He wants what he wants, and I'm in the right place at the right time.

I accept his presence.

"Don't tell Fred." he says, and reaches out at about my waist level. The pair of us are secluded, behind the bins, in our own little personal alleyway.

"Be our little secret." I say, handing the ex-Watcher what he wants.

"But she'll know. People always know."

He laughs, quietly.

"Not after a few tacos."

He takes my pack in his left hand, opens it with his right, and extracts the object of desire. He places it almost reverently in his mouth.

I hand him the Zippo.

FIN.