Story Notes: Spoilers for the episode mentioned. Some dialogue is taken directly from said episode. I didn't write it, and I don't lay claim to it. My words are my own.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of this. Joss and FOX do.

Here he was all alone once again. Of course, this time it had been of his own volition...

They had made it as far as this office before the zombies had caught up to them and broke through the door. Fred had managed to manufacture an escape by smashing the lock with the handle of her sword, but Wesley hadn't taken it. "Got it! Come on!," she'd yelled. Eventually Gunn had been accosted by several of the living dead at once. Zombies weren't part of the curriculum at the Academy and Wesley was unclear on their physiology, how one would become infected. Of course, he hadn't told Gunn that after he'd been bitten by one. He'd find out for himself...

Gunn could've fought them off but then he'd be leaving Fred behind. Wes couldn't risk that. If Gunn didn't make it Wes couldn't bare to see her in pain due to losing someone she loved, specifically someone who wasn't him.

It would be much easier for him to stay behind...on all of them, not to mention he didn't fully trust himself to be able to keep Fred safe by himself. He backtracked into the room previous room where Gunn had become overrun, shooting the lock with one of his high-powered pistols he retrieved from an ankle holster. Raising the sword he'd armed himself with and swinging wildly he did away with a few of them and Gunn took care of the remaining flesh-eating fiends with his axe. Gunn raised an eyebrow.

"You'd have done the same for me," Wes offered, nodding.

"Heh," Gunn responded, offering a half-smile.

"I'll fight them off. You can either help, stand there and get eaten or get the hell out of here," Wes said bluntly.

Gunn shrugged. "Hey man, it's your brains, not mine."

"Get her out of here," Wesley's expression changed from steadfast to pleading.

Gunn and Fred made their way out. "Wesley?," Fred intoned in a whisper, staring at him in confusion. "Wesley! Get off your hero high horse and come on," she called out with an impatient amount of frustration as the door closed.

Gunn had just stared, blankly, before frowning wrapping his arms around Fred's petite frame as if warning his rival to back off.

"Go!," Wes cried out frantically.

So they had, and then they were gone. Wes was left to fend off the zombies as they stormed into the small space moments after Fred and Gunn had exited. He was staring straight at one of them as it came up to his side, breathing its warm, rotten breath on his neck and holding its arms out grasping for him. Delivering a stiff side kick Wes sent it on its ass. Another one came up behind him and Wes flipped his assailant over his shoulder, dropping it to the floor at his feet and beheading it with the sword. 2 more came at him and he offed them both with a round from his sidearm. As he rose up after drawing the weapon he was knocked down by a larger one who clubbed him over the back with its forearm. He looked up in terror as the hulking figure hovered over him, ready to dive in and devour him alive. Only some quick thinking and the calf raises he'd been doing at the gym saved him as he flipped the sword which had dropped at his feet into his hand and dispatched his enemy

Several of them came up on him at once. He fired a round with no clean head shots. He tried to ward them off with his blade, but it was useless. They were too swift and too strong. The zombies advanced and grabbed him, pulling him down and swarming over his flailing and struggling body like vultures prepared to dine on a carcass, which was what he assumed he was at this point. They grasped his arms and prepared to bite down. Things got dark as they gathered around him, more swarming upon him every minute like as if the dinner bell had been rung. Everything was blurry, and not just because of the absence of his glasses, which he'd lost some time ago. Able to appreciate the irony even in times like this, he thought it appropriate, considering the course of his life, that he was eaten alive.

He kicked and flailed and sent knees and elbow strikes every which way in their direction. At that point he remembered the explosive charge he'd used to distract the Beast from attacking Lilah and that he'd kept one more with him. He managed to maneuver his hand into one of his coat pockets and retrieve it, tossing it into the air so it exploded as it hit the ceiling. Debris came crashing down and the zombies were distracted and disoriented enough to allow him some distance and he weaved his way past them, exiting the vicinity and eventually joining the others to head for the White Room.

When Wes awoke, he found himself on top of the covers of his bed back at his flat, his legs hanging over the side and a bottle of scotch half empty still in his hand. His head felt much like that of one of the smelly bastards he'd decapitated. As he opened his eyes the dim light from the room blinded him and his ears rang. Concussive blasts didn't do much for sleep intake. His ears were further provoked by a knock at the door. He buried his face in his covers and grumbled incoherently.

"It's Fred," came an unmistakeable voice from the hall, the one voice of many he heard in his head constantly that didn't drive him near mad

Wes lifted himself off of his comforter and hobbled for the door, fumbling with the locks. He blinked. Had he died back at Wolfram & Hart after all? Here was an angel standing before him. No, if this was heaven he wouldn't feel so bloody sore, he decided.

"You forgot your jacket... " She handed him the blood-smeared brown coat. "You know, sometimes I don't know whether you're bein' noble or just bein' an ass," she chided him less out of anger than out of worry.

Her verbal poke didn't register. "Shouldn't you be tending to the wounded?" he questioned, making sure to sound offhand about it. They may have hated him, and justifiably so, and he may have resented them but Angel Investigations was the only true home he'd ever known.

"Charles wasn't affected by the bite, and I think Angel would be better off left alone. He's havin' one of his moods..."

"You mean the perpetually bad one he's always in?" Wes questioned with a slight smirk.

Fred laughed. "I think it's somewhat intensified tonight..."

"Everything is," said Wesley. "He's probably just feeling the pressure like the rest of us..." Indeed, things were tense in the A.I. camp. It was like a powder keg ready to explode with just one little nudge. Wes could tell that Angel was struggling to keep it together, and he wasn't getting much help...

"I think he's mad at Cordy for some reason." She looked away for a moment. "I wonder if something happened..."

"What do you mean?" Wesley looked at her attentively. He didn't really give a toss about Angel and Cordelia's relationship issues, though if it was really troubling her, he would force himself to care halfway. She was there and the fact she would regard him at all was enough to keep his attention.

"Well," she said. "I just... I've just been sensin' something, you know, between them. I think maybe there might be...feelings." Stepping inside and shutting the door she looked at Wesley as if searching for answers in his worn out face.

Wesley couldn't help but ask whether there was a hidden meaning to what she was asking. He was quick to confirm her suspicion. "There are definitely feelings." He cleared his throat and deposited his jacket on the floor, putting his left hand in his pants pocket.

Fred nodded. "I thought so. I had a...feeling." She smiled somewhat but then became more serious. "So what happened back there? You look like you got hit by a bus."

"Only some plaster and insulation," he joked. "Long story. Zombies, explosion, ceiling..." It was all still a little muddled to him, but Wes was beginning to recall the details of his misadventure.

"That was really brave, what you did for me and Gunn."

"Don't mention it," he said dismissively. What he didn't interject was he only did it for one of them.

Smiling, Fred leaned a little closer and pressed her hand to his arm. "Are you alright?"

He shuddered and goosebumps rose up on said arm, and the other one. "Ah, fine..." he assured her. "I did what had to be done."

Fred suppressed a chuckle. "There you go doin' what needs to be done again."

"Right" Wes smiled. It seemed like forever that they just stared at each other, each thinking about what the other meant to them. Slowly the distance between them decreased as they inched closer to each other. The room was spinning, which could've been from the alcohol, but then again she made him dizzy whenever he was around her. "I-...," was all he could register.

Now the distance was becoming smaller and smaller. Their eyes never left each other as they went in for a kiss. Her sweet lips were almost touching his when, abruptly, he drew away. "We almost..."

"I know." Fred stared at the floor. She wanted to feel terrible for having those kinds of feelings about Wesley, but she didn't. She wasn't ashamed of that. Some things were grey areas, but that fact was not.

"You should get back to the hotel" he told her, backing away. "It's late, and I'm sure they do need you." How he wanted to tell her how much he needed her.

"Alright" she agreed. "Good night Wesley."

As she turned to leave his eyes followed her across the room. Still clutching the scotch, Wesley took a swig and nodded. "Good night Fred. I hope I see you soon."

And with that she had gone. As the door shut he sighed at the thought of another sleepless night in this cold room with only himself and his thoughts. Even the trysts with Lilah had left him feel something to fill the vacuum and to distract him from the not-so-pleasant thoughts that plagued his mind when his thoughts were his only company. Even though he'd missed his chance finally having what he'd wanted more than anything, Wesley knew he'd done the right thing. He'd let her go. He concluded as long as she was happy it didn't matter whether he was. All his life he'd learned that the greater good is what counts. He'd taken an oath to safeguard the world and to him she was the world. She represented the light that shone even in the darkest hours, the faint glimmer of hope and redemption that flashed whenever he looked into her eyes. She was the light of his world, his guiding star. Yes, he would kill for her and die for her, but it was something more, much different and deeper to live for her. That's what he'd do because that's what needed to be done.