Sub Rosa II : Resolve

by Wolfling

(Rated G)


Once again Wesley found himself awake in the depths of the night, contemplating the ceiling in hopes that he could get his mind to quiet enough to let him sleep.

Since Angel's visit sleep had been coming more regularly, if still not easily. The task the vampire had given him was never far from Wesley's thoughts; his mind always seemed to be worrying at it, trying to anticipate the enemy's moves and how best to use them to his advantage. Taking on Wolfram and Hart from the inside was a daunting prospect to say the least and he had to be prepared if he was to stand a chance of making it through with his soul intact.

But even with all the fear and worry the task brought with it, Wesley was still able to sleep with minimal problems. The hope it represented was so much more important than any danger it brought with it. That hope was usually enough to quieten any misgivings that would have kept him awake.

But not tonight.

Tonight Gunn had shown up at his door asking for his help.

Opening the door and seeing Gunn standing there had been a complete surprise, so unlike Angel's visit days before.

He should've expected it to happen sooner or later, should've expected someone from Angel Investigations would come to him eventually, but somehow he hadn't.

It had shaken Wesley more than he thought it would. It had been so hard to not just go with his first instincts and give in -- to accompany Gunn back to the hotel and help save the day. It would have been the first step in being accepted back, in regaining his place.

But it wouldn't have been the same as before. There was still Angel to deal with. Oh, Angel wouldn't have killed him, he was certain of that. Angel would just never forgive him. Wesley would see that same look of disillusion and betrayal every time Angel looked at him. It would never go away, would always hand between them, a cloud of poisoned emotions that would colour everything else.

And Wesley found that was a sacrifice he wasn't willing to live with.

Even if it meant pushing away all of his other friends.

It had been surprisingly easy to do so. The desire to never see Gunn again was a lie, but the hurt and the bitterness he'd used to express it had been all too real.

He was angry, he discovered. Angry that their friendship and all that they had been through together seemed to mean so little. Angry that he would push Gunn away and that Gunn...would let him.

That was what was keeping him awake -- the knowledge of how easy it had been to break that bond.

It scared Wesley, fed into insecurities he didn't even want to admit to himself, not even in the safety of the darkest part of the night. There were traitorous whispers in the back of his mind insisting that Gunn and Cordelia and the rest saw him for what he really was: unlovable and useless. A perpetual screwup who would always fail when he needed to succeed the most. That they were secretly glad to be finally be rid of him.

"I'm not useless," he said outloud, his rough voice tearing through the silky mental whispers. "I'm not," he repeated in a softer tone that turned the growl of his voice more into a broken purr.

He wasn't useless because Angel had a use for him. Angel needed him, trusted him enough to ask him for his help.

Angel sought him out and demanded his assistance; Gunn and the others...Wesley told them to go away and...they did.

They had dismissed him while Angel pulled him in; Angel refused to let him go.

It wasn't friendship or love, but it was something. Something visceral, something primal, a reason for his heart to keep beating, a reason for his lungs to keep drawing breath.

It was a purpose.

Angel's purpose, granted, but a purpose it was.

Wesley was amazed at how little effort it had taken to make it his own.




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