Title: The Wisdom of Crocodiles
Author: Syn
Rating: R for some language. (I gotta potty mouth)
Spoilers: Everything this season up to "The Price".
Disclaimer: If I owned the show, this whole thing would never have happened.
Summary: Wesley looks for someone to blame for his life and looks back on the pain of living. Then he decides to end it all.
A/N: I feel so bad for Wesley, so I decided to torture him some more. Ohhh...I'm such a bitch.

**************

It hurt to breathe sometimes and so he'd hold his breath until his eyes were bloodshot and his lungs were bursting. A loud pant, a suck of painful air and then he'd repeat the process over again. And he felt it was no less than he deserved.

Bloody hell. It fucking hurt, though.

Here now, with the side of his face on fire and the medication clouding his head, he wondered when his life had gone to pot. Right about the time he'd seen him kissing her, he supposed. It'd all started from there.

He remembered the pain in his eyes, the sparkling blue that reflected back at him through a discarded tuba. The tarnished brass didn't mar the visage of the broken man in front of him and he'd paused for a moment, wondering who the hell it was he was looking at. Realization had dawned on him and he realized he'd been looking at himself and at the face of a jilted lover. Then, with a stiff turn of his head, he'd walked away, sword clanking against the wooden floor as he hurried away from the intimate scene.

He'd felt like an intruder and it had sickened him.

And then, that damned ironic hot spot. All he could remember from that was the anger and the deep, deluded hurt he'd felt when he'd been hit with it. Waves of pain, like tendrils of air, had twisted around his heart and squeezed until he'd been unable to stand. His knees had given out, sending him plummeting into the past. Emotion was all around him and he longed to be away from it. So he'd forced himself to his feet.

Forced himself back to the woman he loved and the man he'd called a friend. Back to the pain of his life.

It hadn't stopped there. The pain kept coming and he'd tried to hide, tried to fix a barrier between him and it with research and books. The crackle of paper and the smell of dusty leather was almost enough to ward it away, but it came.

Always the pain courted him and danced around him, lips like fire and fingertips like icewater trickling down his spine. He'd never felt colder than the night he'd first translated the prophecy. His breath, always his breath, caught in his throat and his ink-stained fingers had frozen, trembled and wavered near his lips.

He forced his mind away from his memories, a sick, gut-twisting feeling descending on his body and making him waver. How the hell had he ended up in the bathroom?

He looked into the mirror over the sink, at the heavily shadowed blue eyes and the rough, unkempt beard.

He looked like shit and he knew it. He smiled. Who the fuck was around to care about what he looked like?

No one. That's who. And he didn't care.

Then why was that sick feeling coming off of him in waves? Why did he suddenly have the urge to smash the mirror and slice into his skin? Maybe pain was what he wanted, what he needed. It reminded of him of who he was. As if he could ever forget.

Damn that medication. It took it away. Why did he keep taking it?

A disgusted sigh and he looked down at the sink, the bottle open and....it was empty. Strange, it had been full this morning. Things were hazy as he picked it up, fingers trembling and his eyes focusing and unfocusing. He read the label. Take two every twelve hours. Huh.

Why couldn't he remember what had happened? He wasn't sure, maybe it was the pills. He'd taken too many.

A mad laugh, a giggle really, escaped his lips as he threw the bottle into the sink and spoke, his voice so low and rough he wasn't sure it was his.

"Bloody hell. I've O.D.ed." Another mad giggle and he sank to his knees, the bathroom tiles below his knees cold and slick with moisture he hadn't bothered to wipe up yet.

The world blurred and a tear escaped the corner of his slitted eyes, his breath catching once more, but he couldn't feel it anymore. Couldn't feel the pain and he liked it that way.

He slumped against the toilet, resting his head on the cold porcelain, his fingers twisted around each other, as if he could stop the shaking if he held on hard enough. His guts lurched, but he bit back the urge to throw up what was making his stomach roil.

He dared it to kill him. Dared it with a spine turned to jelly. This was the cowardly way out and he knew it and he didn't fucking care. The brief thought of calling 911 was thrown out.

Let someone find his body, bloated, rotted and festering after a few weeks. Wouldn't that be a sight. He spared at though for the others and wondered if they'd even know, even care. He doubted it. Childish thoughts of "serves them right" sparked across his brain and lingered in his smile. Another half-mad giggle and he smiled up at the ceiling, wondering when the hell he'd gotten a skylight up there.

It was so bright and he thought he could see the sun, but...it was night, wasn't it? It hurt to look, but he did anyway, wishing maybe that the light was coming for him.

"Don't be a ponce." He rolled his eyes and rubbed at his temples, fighting the urge to scratch along his throat where the wound was jagged and raw. Not that he would have felt it.

Instead, he again rested his head against the toilet seat and pondered the world he'd known. Brown eyes, fierce and innocent, then sharp and cold danced across his vision. He wondered, as he always wondered, who they belonged to.

A phantom pain laced through his chest, leaping from each white, upraised scar to the next and he nodded his head. Oh yeah, her. He didn't want to think about her and the mistake he'd thought he'd gotten past. He hadn't, he knew. It was quite a feat to fool yourself and others and he'd done a marvelous job of it, thank you very much. Truth be told, he was still haunted by the bitch. And he meant bitch quite fondly.

A haunted, thumping echo in his chest and he was drawn to that other pair of brown eyes that he'd gotten lost in. He spared a smile and then blamed her for everything that had happened to him. Sure, it was wrong, but what the hell did he care? He was sick of taking the fall for everything bad that happened in his life and goddamnit, he was going to blame the one person who was innocent in this whole thing.

"I am a ponce." He muttered, his speech slurred, his tongue feeling strangely swollen as it brushed against the back of his teeth and the roof of his mouth. He tasted something bitter and realized it was blood. What? His gums were bleeding from the grinding he'd been doing; he hadn't even noticed.

Well, he'd have to wash that out, woudn't he? His reasoning was broken, but that was okay. If he could get up and move then he could stop the bleeding. Right?

Wrong.

His legs weren't working anymore than his wisdom and he fell back, his head striking the edge of the bathtub.

Okay, THAT fucking hurt.

He moaned, low and rough and loud enough to make his head throb and his hands to clasp over his ears. Well, he'd done smarter things before, although for the life of him, he couldn't recall any. FUCK.

He decided, well he was forced, to stay there, the world spinning around him and the void in his mind thumping and throbbing like a heart against his own. But there was no heart for him, no soul to match his own because he was alone.

Utterly alone.

Fuck, he thought he'd been alone in the park, unable to move, unable to talk and the only thing his disjointed mind could hold was the thought of his friends and the little child he'd sworn to protect. But now...he was more alone that he'd ever been, even when he'd rolled into town on a motorcycle and a chip on his shoulder.

At least he'd had friends, people willing to listen to him, not to judge and to actually care if he downed a bottle of pain killers.

Now what did he have?

A concussion, probably. That and a bright ass light above him that kept getting brighter as the minutes wore on. Shit, it was probably just the overhead light. Definitely not Heaven reaching down for him. This wasn't "Ghost" and he wasn't Patrick Swayze.

Not that he didn't have the moves though.

Yet another giggle, almost a chuckle really.

Fuck, it was cold. Too cold for California and he shivered, his head throbbing and pain finding him once more. Damnit. It found him again.

Why wasn't he dead yet? He wondered that, pondered that and coudn't find an answer. At least not something satisfactory enough for his sense of fact. Damnit, he needed answers. He was an answer man and the fact that he didn't have any at the moment rankled his very nature.

Bloody hell. Was this what dying felt like? A total loss of self? Must be, cuz he wasn't feeling anything like himself. Or was he?

Let's see, he felt useless. Check. Alone. Check. A deep sense of hurt and resentment toward his father for ever bringing him into this world. Check.

Ahh..his father. A bitter twist of his lips and he rankled against the thought of dear old dad. Dear old dad and his cruel hands and the tongue that could reduce him to a pile of cinders within moments. A fucking asswad whose approval was the only thing he ever wanted. Yeah, it wasn't Fred's fault. It was his.

That felt much better than blaming her and he clung to it. A smug smile graced his cracked lips and he absently skimmed his fingertips over his chest. Yeah. Fuck you dad! Fuck you and that damned closet!

So there it was, he'd boiled his life down to it's Fruedian base and hadn't come up lacking. It was all that bastard's fault and not his own. Yeah! He felt justified in thinking that and not even that little, fact-loving part of himself would talk him out of that reasoning. He pointed his finger up at the over-bright lightbulb he'd mistaken for Heaven, accusation written over every line.

"Fuck you dad!" The words were thick, slurred so much he didn't understand a word of it. Not that it mattered. In fact, nothing much mattered now. Now there was only the wait until his eyelids closed, his eyelashes fluttering against stubbled cheeks as he drifted off. Nothing but the wait.

Nothing mattered but the pain. Always the pain.

And fuck, did it hurt.

***************