DOWN

By D.M. Evans

Disclaimer - Not mine. Mr. Whedon owns all

Rating - PG -13

Pairing - Wes/Lilah

Time Line - S4 just after I Deep Down /I

Summary - Is there a way to redemption?

Feedback- Feed me Seymour Note – Written for 50thousandtearz for the holidays

Wes collapsed on his bed, his arm thrumming in pain. The bed felt like it was spinning in that drunken way he hadn't felt since he left college; only come morning this would be a hangover he didn't deserve. He wondered if maybe he should go to the hospital and get a transfusion.

Wes tried to hide from the memory of Justine's voice mocking him, even as Angel drank madly from him. Her voice screeched, telling him it wouldn't matter, that they'd never take him back, words so much like the ones Lilah like to prick him with. Then Justine's voice changed, panic creeping in when he wouldn't pull away from Angel, screaming at him not to leave her alone with the monster.

Wes wasn't even sure how he managed to get Angel off of him. He couldn't call the action to mind. His own sympathetic nervous system must have dumped enough adrenaline into his system, letting him over power the weakened, ravenous vampire. Luckily Angel hadn't pursued him, just let him go. The vampire fell back to shivering and hallucinating but seemingly less than before. The blood might have revived him. Wes had been well-armed in case Angel's brain was mush from too long with no food. Wes had marveled at the resilience of a vampire body because Angel still had heft for someone on a forced hunger strike for months. Wes had expected Angel to more closely resemble his son.

Wesley didn't get out of bed, hearing the door opening and closing. He knew who it had to be. He didn't look up until Lilah came in and reclined against the door. She looked amazing in her Kay Unger suit. He would never tell her that. Why did she come here when he treated her like she was something he'd scrape off the bottom of his shoe? What did she get out of it? And where did his cruelty come from? Could it be it was hardwired into his genes? Maybe he was just as vile as his father and it had simply taken this long for it to awaken in him.

He looked away from her, almost wishing Lilah would just go away. It would be healthier for the both of them but he really didn't want her to go. His most desperate wish was for her to hold him and tell him that it would be all right. Lilah just might do it, but she would make him earn it hard.

"So, you found him." That was a statement not a question.

"Having me followed, Lilah?" he asked wearily.

"Bandage on the arm looks suspicious." She sauntered over to him and sat at the edge of the bed and pointed to Justine's cell, which was standing ajar. "Where's the psycho bitch?"

"I set her free," he replied, knowing it would be met with derision.

Lilah didn't disappoint him. She gave him a look of disgust but did he see a gleam of something more positive in her eyes? "You still think you can do enough good deeds to get back into Eden, Wes?" She hit the name of paradise like it was something revolting.

He shrugged, still pretending he wasn't looking at her. "She served her purpose. There was no point in keeping Justine."

Lilah tossed her perfectly coifed hair. "She did cut your throat."

He laughed harshly, fingering the scar. "You don't have to remind me."

Lilah's eyes gentled. "My point is no one would blame you if you had dropped her overboard."

"Too easy," Wes said. "Let Justine stay out there, looking over her shoulder, wondering when either Angel or I will come for her."

Lilah smiled at that, leaning over him, brushing her lips to his. " Not bad, Wesley. There's hope for you yet."

She sat back and gave him that cat with a canary look. "But am I right in thinking that if you're here all mushroom-pale and shaking instead of at the hotel celebrating Captain Nemo's triumphant return from the depths that your so-called friends were less than impressed with your good work?"

Wes knew that barb was coming but it hurt just the same. His eyes sheened over. "Truth be told, Lilah, I walked out on them before they could do more than accuse me of letting them keep a deranged killer around, as if Connor posed some kind of threat to them."

Wes saw the smile on her face, the delight in watching his friends destroy him further but there was no doubting the addition of pity in her eyes. She was being as torn as he was by this relationship, wanting to keep it just dark animal sex but hearts were creeping into the mix, unwanted, unbidden.

Lilah ran a finger up his arm, hesitating at the bandage. "When did you know the brat was involved?"

He knew she was fishing for information but this wasn't something she could exploit. "Not until tonight, but they were content to think I've know all along and purposely put them in harm's way."

"As if they were already thinking the worse about you," she put in, looking vindicated.

"To hell with them. Let them think whatever they want." Wes couldn't tell her just how much it hurt to have them think he'd purposely put them at risk. He had never meant any harm to come to Angel's son and if no one believed that then let them hate him. What was he even fighting for? He should just give in to Lilah totally. Only he knew even she didn't want that, not any more, not that she'd admit it.

"So, what did they do to the kid?" Lilah's face had a predatory look. "I hope they left enough of him to dissect."

Wes gave her a dim eye. "I don't know but Fred had a taser in hand. If they did anything to Connor, I don't think they'll survive Angel, especially in the raw condition he's in."

"Think he'll suck them dry?" Lilah sounded a bit too gleeful at that idea.

"Could be," Wes admitted even though he took no joy in it. As hurt as he was, he didn't want anything bad to happen to his former friends, and it hurt to think of Angel as being one step from madness.

"I told you, you couldn't buy your way back into their good graces," Lilah said, brushing some of Wes' hair back out of his eyes. Her touch was far gentler than her tone.

"That's not why I did it."

Lilah got up and headed for the kitchen. She came back with a big glass of orange juice. Wes struggled into a sitting position against the headboard. "This will make you feel better, bring back a little of your strength," Lilah said but from her eyes Wes read 'I'm sorry it didn't work.'

"Thanks." Wes drank greedily as Lilah started taking off his shoes. She loosened his belt next. "Uh, Lilah, I barely have enough blood left in me to sit up let alone..."

"I know," she broke in, wresting his pants off.

Wes set aside the juice and took his own sweated-through, fishy-smelling shirt off. Lilah took away the soiled clothes, shooed him off the bed and changed the bedding with fresh smelling sheets before letting him collapse back down. She stripped and climbed into bed with him. She reached over him and took the remove off the night stand. She flipped channels until she found Mystery! "Guilty pleasure," she said. "You want something else on?"

Wes smiled. "This will do."

Lilah pulled him to her, letting him pillow his head on her chest. She held him tight and Wes absorbed every bit of comfort from her as he could. For now, it was right where he wanted to be. He could almost forget his pain and feel loved. Lilah kept him from falling all the way down.