Prompt: Wesley/Illyria; soft things/hard things

AN: First time writing either of these characters. Go easy on me? Takes place around Underneath.

When he looks at her (him? It?), all he can think is, that she is so very, very hard. Hard skin, hard armor, hard eyes. Even her words are delivered in a way that makes him think of sharp angles and harsh lines.

All he wants to do is pin her to the ground and run his hands all over her body, until he finds a spot that's not so tough. A chink in the armor, her Achilles heel. He has this crazy, half formed idea, that if he can just find the one soft spot on her, it will be like pushing a reset button, or a release mechanism. If he could just find the right spot, Illyria would be gone and Fred could get back into her body.

But then he has to stop and remind himself of the truth. Fred is gone. He watched her die. There's no such thing as a reset button on a god. And, most importantly, any attempt to pin her down would result in almost certain maiming.

So he settles for watching instead (funny thing about destiny, is it has a way of coming true, no matter how far you run. He was always meant to watch). Watching her, talking to her, helping her. All the while, looking for a weak spot. For any part of her that isn't impenetrable.

He finds it, eventually, standing on the roof, while she struggles for breath. He see's her then, see's Illyria, not just the murderer who took Fred. She's trapped. Alone and confused in a world that she doesn't understand. There is her soft spot, there is her weakness, and it's something that he understands.

He understands it enough to use it as a weapon. He could hurt her now. Or maybe not hurt. But he could affect her. He could get one step closer to destroying her. One step closer to vengeance.

Until he looks at her again. Something in her face, in the way she stares down at a planet so far from her expectations, makes her look almost human. And Wesley feels something. Something like caring slides through his soft flesh and his soft spirit, right into his hard, hard, hardhardhard heart.

It's nothing like what he felt for Fred. Nothing like what he felt for Lilah (there's a dollar bill burning a hole in his wallet, and he kept meaning to throw it away before Fred saw it, but now she never will, and he's the one who can't breathe).

It's something hard, but it's something.