A Million Miles Away, Part 5:
Bedtime Storyby Wolfling
"I could get used to this," Wesley said drowsily, laying half draped over Angel's body.
Angel's fingers danced lightly over Wesley's spine. "Hmm?"
Wesley made a sound of pleasure deep in his throat. "I could get used to this," he repeated. "Having you in my bed."
"Oh that," Angel said. His voice was thick and sleepy. "Yeah. That's nice. Part that comes before is nice too."
"That is very nice," Wesley all but purred. If he moved he could still feel the tingles in his body from the part that came before.
"I think we're getting better at this," Angel said. He shifted, his leg sliding comfortably between Wesley's. "I like that thing we did this time."
"I rather got that impression from the 'Oh God, oh God, oh God' that you kept repeating," Wesley teased, sliding a hand languidly over Angel's chest.
Angel chuckled, moving to place light kisses along Wesley's forehead. "You're good with your teeth. I like that in a man."
Wesley's eyes fluttered shut under the tiny kisses. "One does one's best..."
Angel rolled over, pinning Wesley beneath him. "I like the part where we made it to the bed this time too. Not that your rug isn't comfortable."
"I like that you get so hot you can't wait sometimes," Wesley admitted shyly.
Angel grinned down at him. "You remember what I just said about you and the teeth?"
Wesley smiled back. "I love you."
Angel brushed a teasing kiss over Wesley's mouth, then once again settled down beside him. When he spoke, the air tickled over Wesley's neck and chest. "'s true. Sometimes... can't keep my hands off you. Actually - all the time, now."
"I never thought we'd ever end up...here," Wesley said, running a finger over what he could see of Angel's features.
"Well me neither, but then you tripped and the mattress was there so - " Angel yawned " - not gonna complain."
Wesley chuckled. "That wasn't quite what I meant."
Angel looked up at him, his expression rather adorably befuddled. "It wasn't?"
It was so adorable that Wesley had to kiss him, still reveling in the freedom to do so. "I was speaking more generally. I never thought I'd end up with you -- in the biblical sense."
"I dunno," Angel said, his eyes now betraying that he wasn't quite as out of it as he looked, "a flood and a plague of locusts right now actually wouldn't surprise me too much."
"Don't tempt fate," Wesley warned, giving him his best stern look for a second. "And I would've thought either of those things more likely than you actually wanting me."
Angel moved closer, finding Wesley's mouth with his own again. "This is why you shouldn't gamble."
"I thought I was playing it safe. Taking what I could get and being satisfied with it."
Angel looked up at him. "I'm glad you didn't."
Wesley just looked back, losing himself in Angel's gaze and the emotions he saw there.
A smile snaked its way across Angel's mouth. "You know, if you wanted to we could - "
A gasping cry interrupted them.
"Right on time," Angel said, shaking his head in bemusement. "I'm telling you, he knows."
Wesley sighed good naturedly. "I'm starting to wonder if he's ever going to sleep through the night."
Angel got up, fishing for his pants under the bed. "Hey - consider us lucky. He'd be eating more often if one of us was breast feeding."
"All right, now that is just a disturbing image on so many levels," Wesley complained as he copied Angel's movements.
"You say that, but I still say you're just not trying hard enough," Angel made a few abortive attempts to put his pants on, stared at them, then wordlessly handed them over to Wesley as he resumed the search for his own.
Wesley chuckled softly as he put them on. Another cry came from the other room. "I'll go get him while you look for your pants," he offered.
"I'll get the formula too," Angel said, getting down on the floor to reach further under the bed. "Maybe not even in that order. You know vampire senses just aren't what they used to be."
On his way to the door, Wesley caught sight of Angel's pants out of the corner of his eye. "Is that the article of clothing in question over there?" he asked pointing. "Hanging off the ceiling fan?"
Angel sat up, following the direction Wesley was pointing in. He then stood up and snatched his pants off of the fan. "Right. So. I'll get the formula."
Wesley wisely didn't say anything, just smiled and crossed the room to give Angel a kiss before going to get Connor.
He walked into Angel's room, Connor crying louder when he saw someone coming.
"Shh," Wesley said, crossing to the bassinet and lifting Connor into his arms. "You're okay," he murmured softly, automatically rocking his body to help soothe the baby. "You're okay."
Gradually Connor's cries quieted down to hiccupping whimpers, though he didn't stop entirely. He was obviously hungry. "Daddy's coming with the formula," Wesley told him, moving to sit in the rocking chair, knowing its motion had a calming effect on the child.
Sure enough, Angel appeared a few moments later. "Sorry it took so long," he said, handing the bottle over. "Started heating up my blood by accident."
Wesley gave him a look while he gave Connor the bottle. "Hungry were we?"
Angel cleared his throat sheepishly. "No. Just didn't read the label. Or notice the color. Or turn the lights on and when did this start becoming all about me anyway?"
"Aren't you supposed to be able to see in the dark?"
"Yeah, well aren't you supposed to..." Angel trailed off, then sat on the bed, rubbing his eyes tiredly. "I can't think when I'm this sleepy. Can I give you a snappy comeback tomorrow?"
Wesley gave him a sympathetic look. "Night feedings wearing you out? Or is it your other nighttime activities?"
That elicited a smile. "I like my nighttime activities. Also the activities we've been sneaking into morning and afternoon. But the feeding thing is killing me. Not that I mind being up at night but - " Angel yawned " - it's hard not getting enough sleep in a row. Too much of that and I start forgetting, well, what formula looks like at 2am, for example."
"Maybe it's time to start easing him onto solids," Wesley suggested, glancing down at the child in his arms. "Some cereal or other baby food. That might keep him full enough to let you get some sleep."
"He's almost old enough," Angel agreed. "Guess we could try getting him that stuff that comes in a box next time we're at the store."
"I could make something up for him tomorrow."
"We have something?" Angel asked. "'cause we can't just give him the leftover pizza, Wes. Even if we stick it in the blender."
Wesley smiled. "It'll be a bit of time yet before we can even think of feeding him pizza. No, I bought some rice cereal last time we went shopping."
Angel blinked. "You did? Where was I?"
"You were right there. Making faces at Connor." He smiled at the memory of Angel doing everything he could to make Connor smile in the middle of the grocery store. The man was utterly adorable when he was acting like a dork.
"He's learning how to imitate stuff," Angel defended himself. "The book says that helps with communication."
"Did I say anything?"
"You had a tone."
"A tone," Wesley repeated.
"Angel," Wesley began patiently, "that was my remembering how adorable the two of you looked tone."
"Oh," Angel blinked. "It was?"
Wesley nodded seriously. "It was."
"Oh," Angel said again. He thought about it for a moment. "You know you'd think a vampire would be better at this late night stuff. I feel like my head's filled with cotton. And that's not an invitation to comment about the hair gel."
"Most vampires actually sleep during the day," Wesley pointed out. "Whichever way you look at it, you're burning the candle at both ends "
"Dru tried that once," Angel said. "Didn't work out well, but kept her out of trouble for a half hour."
Wesley blinked. "You are aware I was speaking metaphorically, I hope?"
"Does that mean you weren't aware or that you don't know what metaphorically means?"
"It means I'm way too fascinated by the fact that what you just said had a lot of 'm's in it," Angel replied. He rubbed his eyes again. "This is like being drunk but without that weird taste in my mouth. Well - " Angel amended, and gave Wesley a heated grin.
Connor was finished eating and Wesley put the empty bottle on the nightstand, shifting Connor and rubbing his back to get rid of any gas. "I don't think I've ever seen you drunk."
Angel thought about it. "You know - I think you're right. I don't think you have."
"We'll have to rectify that at some point."
Angel grinned. "You know you've already got me, Wes. You don't have to get me liquored up first. Although that was a lot of fun back in the old days."
Wesley smiled, savoring the "already got me" part. "If I had thought that would have worked, I would have..."
Angel lay back on the bed, propping himself up on his elbows. "Why, Mr. Wyndam-Pryce, you trying to seduce me? Or ask me out on a date? I could go for both, frankly."
"Both. Either. I like pretty much everything we do together." Connor let out a loud burp all out of proportion to his size and Wesley chuckled.
"Me too," Angel said. He got up from the bed, coming over to brush a kiss over Wesley's mouth. "And yes. And can I hold him?"
Wesley handed Connor over, smiling as he watched Angel with his son.
Angel held Connor close, pressing soft kisses on the top of the baby's head. "There's my guy. Feeling better? Did Uncle Wes take good care of you?"
Connor was already half asleep again, snuggling close in his father's arms.
Angel smiled at Wes. "He likes you."
"I like him too," Wesley replied, smiling back. "As much as I like his father."
"Wanna give him a good night kiss?" Angel asked, the twinkle in his eye indicating he was well aware of how ambiguous the question was.
Wesley answered simply, "Yes," and moved closer.
Angel closed the distance between them, teasing Wesley's mouth with a lingering kiss.
"Love you," Wesley breathed when Angel finally pulled back.
"Wanna put him to bed?" Angel asked, holding up Connor for Wesley to take if he wished it.
"I'll tuck you both in," Wesley said, the words coming out more seriously than he had meant. He took Connor from Angel and laid him back down in the bassinet, dropping a kiss on his forehead as he did so.
"Gonna read me a bedtime story too?" Angel asked. Wesley could hear the faint creaks of Angel's mattress as the vampire lay down.
"Do you want me to?" Wesley asked, looking over his shoulder at Angel settling into the bed.
"Why not?" Angel said. He settled against the pillow on the far side of the bed, propping his head up on his hand. "You've got a nice speaking voice."
Wesley hesitated then sat down on the edge of the bed beside Angel. They were still so new and he was taking nothing for granted. "What do you want to hear."
"Well, something appropriate for Connor's ears since he's not fully asleep yet," Angel suggested.
"A fairy tale?"
"Disney or Grimm?"
"Wyndam-Pryce?" Wesley replied.
Angel gave a thoughtful look. "Don't think I've read that series before. Okay, let's try it."
"Once upon a time, there was a young fool. He had much training, but also much arrogance. And everything he touched ended in failure. But still, he kept on, kept trying to fight the good fight. He didn't know anything else he could do."
Angel frowned. "I don't know if I agree with this editor. And would you get in here, already? You must be freezing."
"I didn't want to presume," Wesley said softly as he climbed in beside Angel, sighing in contentment as he snuggled up against his lover.
"Yeah, well you're an idiot," Angel told him. He wrapped the sheets and comforter around Wesley, then wrapped his arm around Wesley's waist, spooning up against him. "So, you were saying - once upon a time there was this young guy who knew a lot from books but still needed a little life experience and there's nothing wrong with that."
Wesley smiled. "Love you."
Angel yawned, then kissed Wesley's shoulder. "So was that it? Kinda short."
"That was just the introduction. The young fool was doing his best. He tracked what he thought was a evil demon to a great city, unaware that he had gotten the wrong end of the stick. Again."
"Thought he was riding a motorcycle."
Wesley chuckled. "Who's telling this story?"
"Just asking for clarification," Angel said. He kissed Wesley's neck, then settled down. "So - he's riding into town on his big stick."
"Idiot," Wesley said fondly. "He tracked the demon to the great city. And that's where his luck took a turn for the better. Because he met a dark knight."
"Was he good looking?"
"The hair was perhaps a bit overdone. But we'll forgive that because he was a dark knight. And he looked at the fool and saw something more than a fool."
Angel sleepily nuzzled Wesley's back. "What's that?"
"He saw someone who could make a difference. Who could, when he needed to, save the day." Wesley's voice had turned soft as he continued, memories and feelings imbuing his words with more power. "It was the first time anyone had ever had any faith in the Fool. It meant... everything."
Wesley felt Angel pause. "Really? The first ever?"
He turned to meet Angel's eyes. "Really."
Angel moved forward to press a kiss on Wesley's lips. "He's not a fool. Everyone who ever knew him was."
Wesley returned the kiss with everything that he couldn't put into words.
Just as the kiss threatened to ignite what felt like a very real fire between them, Angel broke off. "We can't," he whispered, his voice rough and his eyes filled with apology. "Not with - not with Connor - "
"I know." Wesley kissed Angel again, this time more gentle. "It's all right."
"Says you," Angel teased. He returned the kiss, then settled down again. "Maybe if I wasn't so tired we could go back to your room but - " Angel's yawn punctuated the sentence.
"It's all right," Wesley repeated, snuggling closer. "You need to sleep."
"Finish your story," Angel said, his voice only slightly slurred with exhaustion. "Wanna know how it ends."
"Where was I?"
"Hmm," Angel thought, then answered, "surrounded by fools."
For a moment Wesley was struck speechless. With a few words, Angel had a way of making him feel... "How do you do that?"
"Do what?" Angel asked.
"Change the past with one sentence."
"Secret vampire power."
Wesley chuckled. "Love you," he said again, because he could.
And because it was at that moment his greatest truth.
Angel kissed his shoulder. "So it ends with you - sorry, this mysterious guy named The Fool - surrounded by idiots? The mysterious guys with the names that sound like Donner and Maingel may take offense to that."
"Donner and Maingel?" Wesley chortled.
"Okay, not saying the second one's my best work," Angel admitted, "but this is what you get from me when I'm this tired."
"Donner's a reindeer," Wesley pointed out.
"It's also a party but I'm thinking that kinda fairy tale's more my scene than yours," Angel replied.
"Trust your mind to go to that incident first." He brought Angel's hand up to his mouth to press a kiss in the palm. "But back to my story..."
Angel settled closer to him. "All ears."
"The Dark Knight gave the young Fool a place, a purpose. And with the Knight's confidence in him, the Fool began to find his own power. He began to believe that he was more than a just a Fool doomed to fail at everything he touched."
Angel rubbed his hand gently against Wes's chest. "Definitely not failing at touching."
"Not now," Wesley agreed softly.
"Not then either," Angel said. "Go on."
"Just when the Fool began to gain confidence in himself and what he could do, the Knight stumbled. He began to lose sight of what he was doing and why."
Angel sat up a little to look at him. "He did?"
"He did," Wesley said, reaching up to touch Angel's face. "The Fool tried to help, tried to give the Knight the same support he'd been given, but it didn't work. The Knight sent him away."
Angel shook his head. "The Knight wasn't himself. And the Fool... was a little too good at his job."
Wesley smiled and leaned up and kissed him.
Angel kissed back, gently nibbling on Wesley's lips. "You didn't fail."
"I know," Wesley breathed, but the words still had the power to touch him.
Angel pulled Wesley over, so they were lying face to face. "What happened next?"
Wesley sighed, running a hand over Angel's chest as he continued speaking. "At first the Fool was... lost. But then he picked himself up and vowed to go on. If the Knight was lost in the darkness then the Fool would continue his mission himself."
"See?" Angel said. "He's not so dumb."
"I never said he was dumb. He was smart. Sometimes too smart. Just...foolish."
They were close enough now that their noses bumped together. "Smart and brave. And cute."
Wesley smiled. "Cute?"
"Definitely cute," Angel told him.
"That too," Angel said. "So go on."
"The Knight finally got his head out of his arse and came back."
That elicited a snort out of Angel that was loud enough to make Connor stir. Angel clamped a hand over his own mouth, watched Connor carefully, then gave Wesley a look of death. "No fair," he whispered.
Wesley gave him his most innocent look.
Angel grinned, kissing him.
"It's an accurate description," Wesley asserted.
"Never said it wasn't."
"Try to avoid that state in the future," Wesley mock warned. "Not your best look."
Angel was deadpan for half a moment before his eyebrow quirked slightly. With a voice soft enough that only Wesley could hear, he said, "You know, there's ways of making sure that can't happen. Something else being there first, for starters."
As always a small thrill went through Wesley at Angel flirting with him. "That might be able to be arranged."
"Good to know," Angel said, his expression innocent once more. "Go on."
"The Fool was wary at first; he wanted to have the Knight back, but he was scared of being hurt again. It didn't help that the Knight took the Fool's acceptance for granted; while he tried hard to make it up to others in both their lives, the Knight just assumed the Fool had accepted him back with no hard feelings."
"I think the Fool's assuming a lot here," Angel said.
"The Fool can only go by what he sees and experiences," Wesley said softly.
"Maybe the Knight had screwed up so much he didn't even know where to begin," Angel replied. "Because the Fool wasn't like anybody else who could take him back with a gift. Or, in Cordy's case, twenty. The Knight just hoped it could be won back over time."
"It was," Wesley assured him, but added wistfully, "some kind of gesture would've been...nice. Even if it was only an 'I'm sorry you got shot in the gut' bouquet."
Angel looked at him for a long moment, then cupped Wes's face in both hands and gave him a long, slow, lingering kiss. After more time had passed than Wesley could even remember, Angel said softly "You have no idea how sorry I am you were hurt, Wesley."
Wesley closed his eyes, letting those words sink in. "Thank you." The words would have meant more if he'd been given them back then when he was so unsure of himself, and Angel, and everything else, but they still meant something even now.
Angel brushed his thumb over Wesley's lips, then settled down again. "I'll try to make it up to you."
"This is a good start," Wesley murmured, with a smile.
"I'll keep trying," Angel promised. He pulled Wesley closer, resting him against his chest. "Then what?"
Wesley sighed, wrapping his arm around Angel's waist and snuggling closer. "In time the trust built back up. The Fool had found a strength inside of him that he never knew he had. Things were...good. Better than the Fool had once imagined they could be."
"Please tell me that things weren't better because the Knight was in Tibet for a few months," Angel asked wryly.
Wesley chuckled. "No, that had nothing to do with it."
"Okay then," Angel said. "Keep going."
"Things were going along, and everything was all right. Then the Knight received a Great Gift."
"Your next sentence better not have the words 'hair gel' in it."
"Behave," Wesley said, pinching a sensitive spot.
Angel lightly swatted his hand. "I'm just saying."
"The Great Gift, you idiot, was a child."
"I figured," Angel said. His expression melted into a smile as he looked over Wesley's shoulder in the direction of the crib. "And that he is."
"Yes," Wesley agreed, loving that expression on his lover's face. More relieved than he could ever express that he hadn't taken that away.
"Best gift I've ever had," Angel said. "Special. You know he's special, right?"
"I know, Angel."
"You know when you look at him you can just tell he's thinking," Angel said. "He's figuring stuff out. He's... I'm interrupting. Sorry."
"It's all right." Wesley smiled and leaned up to kiss him. "I'm used to it."
Angel kissed back. "Think when he grows up he's gonna keep your main character here good company."
"I think when he grows up, he'll have his own story to live."
"That too," Angel said. He yawned again. "So... great gift."
"A very great gift and a mysterious one. The Fool, ever curious and unable to leave a mystery alone, delved into the Prophecies and the Fates." Wesley stopped, unsure if this was something he should put into the story, considering how much pain it had caused both of them in real life.
"Which the Knight appreciated," Angel said.
"The Knight didn't know what the Fool was going to find -- nor did the Fool. If he had, he would have never looked in the first place."
"He found the right thing," Angel told him. "We - they had to know that."
"Even if it isn't true?"
Angel was quiet for a moment. "You don't know that."
Wesley tightened his grip. "I do."
"You believe that," Angel said, not unkindly. "Not the same thing."
He lifted his head, raising his body enough to look down into Angel's eyes. "I know you. I know that you would never hurt Connor."
"Not willingly," Angel agreed. "But prophecies always have some kicker to 'em, Wes. Can't hurt to be careful."
Wesley searched Angel's eyes, troubled. "I don't want you to be doubting yourself with him."
"I don't," Angel said. "But sometimes I'm not always myself."
Wesley didn't have anything he could say to deny that, knowing exactly how much truth were in those words. He gave what he could though, kissing Angel fiercely. "That's what you have me for. To keep you from losing yourself."
Angel smiled at him. "How do you do that?" he asked softly.
"Change my world with one sentence," Angel replied.
"Do I do that?" Wesley asked, feeling himself smiling at the thought.
Angel brushed his mouth over Wesley's. "Just did."
Wesley closed his eyes at the gentle touch. "Love you," he murmured.
"Finish the story," Angel encouraged.
"T-the Fool found out something terrible -- something that he had thought was impossible. But.. try as he might, and he did try, he couldn't disprove it."
Angel rubbed Wesley's back comfortingly. "Go on."
Wesley's voice got quieter. "The Fool was faced with an impossible choice that he had to make; he was going to have to betray the Knight and take the child, in order to save them both."
"Sad story," Angel observed.
Wesley nodded, momentarily too overcome by the memories to continue.
Angel moved his lips up to brush against Wesley's forehead. "Does it get happier?"
Wesley nodded again. "The Fool went to carry out his plan, but the Knight was there. And the Fool looked into the Knight's eyes and couldn't go through with it."
"See?" Angel said. "He's not so dumb."
"It was the hardest thing the Fool ever did, looking the Knight in the eye and telling him What Was Fated and what he had intended to do to avoid that."
"Imagine it was," Angel agreed.
"The Fool and the Knight then had to decide what to do. They decided that the only thing they could do was leave."
"Together," Angel murmured, his voice thick as he grew sleepy.
"Yes," Wesley said softly. "Together."
Angel freed one hand to adjust the pillows, then settled back. His eyes were closed and his body began to look more and more relaxed. "Then what?"
"Then they bought a farm and settled down. The Fool gained enough courage to tell the Knight that he loved him. And, wonder of wonders, the Knight...didn't laugh in his face."
"It wasn't funny," Angel murmured.
"No," Wesley agreed. "It wasn't. But the Fool had been scared the Knight would find it so. Or worse, pity m- him."
"He didn't," Angel told him. "I'd never pity you, Wes."
"I believe that," he said. "Now."
"Good," Angel said. "Don't forget it."
"You may need to remind me occasionally," Wesley said in a bout of insecurity.
Angel moved up to kiss him again. "I don't pity you, Wes."
Wesley almost asked him for how he felt, for the 'I love you' that he had yet to get, but in the end held his tongue.
He didn't know what he would do if he asked, and Angel didn't say it.
Angel pulled him closer, kissing the top of his head. "Finish your story. Wanna know how it ends."
Shaking off the wistfulness, Wesley smiled and said, "It ends as all good fairy tales end: And they lived happily ever after."
"Most good fairy tales have a little violence in 'em," Angel said, his voice so soft Wesley could tell he was halfway to sleep by now. "But yours was nice too."
"This was the Disneyfied version," Wesley deadpanned.
Angel's eyebrows quirked. "Disney's doing gay porn now? Don't think Connor's ready to watch Tarzan then."
"Hadn't you heard? Scar in the Lion King was obviously gay. Or so the protesters insisted."
Now Angel cracked an eye open. "I saw that one. I think I'd remember the NC-17 parts."
"You've watched the Lion King?"
"It's the one with lions, right?"
Wesley gave him a Look.
"You asked me," Angel pointed out.
"This would be going back to the fact that you haven't had any sleep?"
"Uh-huh," Angel said, a yawn punctuating his words.
Wesley smiled and kissed him. "You're cute when you're sleepy."
"You're cute when you're..." Angel yawned, trying to say something as he did, then snuggled further into the pillows.
"Angel?" Wesley asked, suddenly finding his courage.
"Yeah?" Angel asked.
"I need to ask... feel free to say no -- I'd rather have your honesty... But Angel..." Wesley took a deep breath, "do you love me?"
There was a long moment of silence. Wesley's heart sunk, convinced he'd gone too far - pressed too soon.
Then Angel shifted, burying his head into Wesley's shoulder, and he realized that the vampire had simply fallen asleep.
Wesley sighed, unsure if he was disappointed or relieved. But it could wait. Neither of them were going anywhere.
They had time.