Title: Guardian AngelAuthor: Gaeriel Mallory
Disclaimer: All characters are the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy, Inc. or DC Comics and Warner Brothers.
Note: Written in response to TTH's Fic-for-all #50: Wesley / Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle)
Wesley stood over the red-haired woman in the hospital bed. He sighed and placed a hand over hers laying on top of the blanket.
"She's hurting pretty badly," Cordelia whispered beside him. "Are you sure you can handle this?"
He graced her with a faint smile. "I'll do my best."
The former seer laid a hand on his back and looked at the woman in the bed. "Be careful, Wes. She's one of the Powers' and she's pretty close to just giving it all up forever."
"She's needed then?" he asked her.
"Desperately. Her life is tied with too many other Champions for her to turn her back on the good fight." Cordelia stepped back. "You'll do fine." She vanished with a brief pulse of light, leaving the hospital room empty save for Wesley and Barbara Gordon. The machines beeped and pulsed as they measured her vital signs.
Wesley sighed and sat down in one of the chairs provided. "I guess I'll just have to wait then," he murmured.
Barbara blinked away the drug-induced fog that had taken over her brain. "Ugh," she groaned. She froze as she memory swept back to her and she realized she could not feel anything below her waist.
"Take it easy there," a British-accented voice told her softly.
She looked up and frowned. "Who are you?"
"I'm Wesley." His lips twitched upwards slightly. "I suppose you can call me your guardian angel."
She squeezed her eyes tight and attempted to fight past all the chemicals in her system. "Why are you here?" she finally managed. He had kind eyes behind those glasses, she observed absently.
"I'm here to help you."
"Oracle out." Barbara slid off the headset and turned to the man standing behind her. "Well?" she asked.
"You were brilliant," Wesley told her. "I told you that you could do it." He studied her. "Do you feel any better now that you're helping again?"
She toyed with the headset. "A little," she admitted. "It's nowhere near as satisfying as punching a thug in the face, though."
"But think how many more people you're aiding now." Wesley knelt in front of her and placed his hands over hers. "Barbara, look at me," he commanded softly. Green eyes slowly met his brown ones. "I'm so proud of you. You had a terrible loss but you didn't let it stop you from fighting." He gestured around the room, at the mass of computers and computer hardware that covered the wall. "Look at what you've done."
"I couldn't have done it without you." She put down the headset and reached down, embracing him. "Thank you, Wes. I don't know what would have happened if you weren't there to encourage me."
He hugged her back. "I do recall there was some berating involved as well."
She chuckled wetly. "I appreciate the berating too." She sat back and wiped her eyes. "How will Batman react when he finds out?"
He stood up. "I'm afraid that's something you're going to have to figure out on your own, Barbara." He placed his hands on her shoulders and smiled down fondly at her. "You're back on track now and you don't need me anymore."
She blinked in confusion. "Wait—you're leaving?"
"I have to," he told her gently. Sitting down in the chair next to her, he looked down at his hands. "I never told you this but when I died, I was given a choice to become what I am now. I help those who were destined to fight on the side of good but are going through a time of confusion find their way again. Barbara, my job is done. You're exactly right where you need to be."
She was silent for a long time. Finally, she spoke. "Wesley, can I ask you a question?"
"Why did you choose this?" She shook her head. "Why did you choose this life?"
He shook his head. "God, anything but that." He sighed and removed his glasses, rubbing his eyes. "I'm afraid I'm not quite ready to talk about it yet," he admitted. "The wound's still a bit too fresh."
She clasped his hand. "I understand." She smiled softly. "Thank you for everything."
He leaned down and kissed her on her cheek. "Give them hell, Oracle." He glowed brightly before disappearing.
The Justice League holiday party was in full swing. Barbara laughed at something that Dinah Lance, the Black Canary said regarding Superman's choice of headgear. The Man of Steel, dressed in civilian clothes, flashed a grin over in their corner and shook his head, causing the reindeer antlers on his head to bob.
"God, Bruce outdid himself this year," Barbara observed. The ballroom of Wayne Manor was decorated tastefully in Christmas decorations, complete with a giant tree in the corner, Alfred Pennyworth's handiwork.
"He certainly has." Dinah took a sip of her punch and nodded at the host. "He's even glowering less than usual."
A man stepped in the doorway of the room, causing those closest to him to look suspiciously his way. In his hand, he carried a large bouquet of white lilies. Alfred walked up to him and the two conversed in low tones. Finally, Alfred escorted him across the room to where the two women were. "Miss Barbara," the butler said, "this man claims to be an acquaintance of yours?" He sniffed slightly and frowned at the unexpected guest.
Barbara blinked and had to take another look before she believed what she was seeing. "Wesley? What are you doing here? It's been years."
He nodded and smiled. "Happy Christmas," he told her as he handed her the flowers. "We had some unfinished business that I rather cowardly ran away from."
She accepted the lilies, frowning. "What on earth are you talking about?"
The two ignored the crowd that was collecting around the two, Bruce Wayne and Dinah at the front, listening with curiosity.
"Before we parted, you asked me why I choose the particular career that I did. I never gave you an answer." Wesley closed his eyes and took a breath. "I lost someone who was extremely dear to me and I went through a period in which I could have used some spiritual guidance. I still had not quite resolved everything with myself before I died." He smiled slightly. "An old friend of mine met me on the other side and gave me the choice to become what I became so that I could help those who needed help. I suppose you could say I was seeking redemption in my own way for some rather unchoice acts and words of mine after Fred's death, especially towards the one who replaced her. You see, I blamed myself and I wasn't quite ready to let go of that guilt yet. So I chose."
Barbara smiled and took his hand. "Thank you for telling me."
"Thank you for listening." He looked around and noticed their audience for the first time. He cleared his throat and grinned sheepishly. "I don't suppose you'd like to dance?" he inquired.
"Dance?" Barbara laughed a little hysterically. "But there's no music."
"On it, Wes!" a brash female voice called out. Barbara looked towards it and saw a woman with short curly brown hair standing by a sound system in the corner. The woman waved at her and made a shooing motion with her hands.
Wesley's chuckling drew her attention again. "That is Cordelia," he told her. "It seems death has not done away with any of her louder personality traits." He extended his hands towards her. "A dance?"
"But—" Her reply was cut off as he plucked the bouquet out of her hands and passed them off to a bemused Dinah. He then pulled her out of her wheelchair and into his arms. Her legs dangled a few inches off the ground.
"It's okay," he whispered into her ear. "I won't drop you. I'm much stronger than I used to be."
Slow dance music began playing and Wesley twirled her around in a circle. She giggled and wrapped her arms around his neck, enjoying the feel of not being restricted to the chair for a little bit.
"Hey, tall, dark and broody! Let's dance!"
The two laughed at Cordelia pulling Bruce reluctantly onto the middle of the floor. "You certainly have a way of making a party interesting," Barbara observed.
He grinned. "You should see some of the holiday parties my old associates threw. No rampaging demons is always a plus in my book." Ignoring the puzzled look on her face, he spun her around the dance floor again.