demonologist: (nowgold)
Wesley Wyndam-Pryce ([personal profile] demonologist) wrote2012-07-16 05:13 pm

Fortune Cookie Verse

He still couldn't believe it. It had been hours since he'd gotten the news but it still hadn't quite sunken in that Cordelia was gone for good. Had died after months of being in her coma. He just...couldn't face that reality.

They'd only just been heading out for drinks. He'd hugged and talked to her. She had been as vibrant and alive as ever he'd seen her.

But Angel had confirmed it. She'd passed away. Never even regained consciousness. How had that been possible?

They'd all gone back the Hyperion. To reminisce. To tell stories about her. To celebrate her life. And he'd participated. Raised a few glasses in her honour. But he was on the downward spin. The thought of having lost her forever was sinking in.

Fred had offered to get him home and he'd accepted, but he'd fallen into a silence which he wasn't sure he'd ever rouse out of.

Cordelia. She was one of the best of them, and now she was gone.
fredless: (What is going on)

[personal profile] fredless 2012-07-16 05:36 am (UTC)(link)
Fred's fingers curled over her steering wheel, tight enough that her nails cut half moons into the palms of her hand on the other side. Her head tilted, studying the world outside the window. Something wasn't right.

No, everything wasn't right. Cordy was gone. And not in the way she'd been lost to them for months now. With the sort of finality that left Fred struggling to picture tomorrow. What would the world be like without Cordy in it?

But it was more than that. After Angel's call they'd somehow ended up in the lobby of the Hyperion. That'd been difficult enough, especially after the direction of her own thoughts recently. Something about that building --- it still felt like home, somehow. Dustier than ever and still wearing all the scars of their old lives there it was the perfect place to remember Cordy properly. It was Wesley turn, it seemed, to have two drinks to every one of Fred's. And she couldn't help but notice how much longer each successive touch of the bottle to his lips became.

Maybe that was the cause of his silence on the drive back. But maybe? Not. She looked up again, picking out his window from the many that dotted Wesley's building. It was late enough that most of them were dark, and maybe what he needed was sleep but....

No. Screw it. Fred was going with her gut on this one. Five minutes later she was quickly knocking on his door careful to keep her voice low.

fredless: (What is going on)

[personal profile] fredless 2012-07-16 05:53 am (UTC)(link)
She remained framed by the door, studying Wesley in the dull light. She could see behind them that most of his apartment had been righted, the broken bookshelf repaired. By there was still a dull pattern of scarring visible on the walls. Why did that all feel so impossibly far away now? So very small?

Her gaze fell on his glass. How long since she initially dropped him off. Ten minutes? Fifteen? And already the glass was half gone. Gone with a sense that Wesley was just settling in. Just starting. And maybe he was. After all, the even to this point had been about memories. No one had seemed prepared to let it sink any deeper than that. Anyone besides Angel. Which was why Fred suspected he never joined them.

"I just..." Fred searched for the right words to say. "I just wanted..."

To what? Make sure he was alright? Of course he wasn't alright. No matter how much Fred was hurting, there was no escaping the special bond Wesley had with Cordy. A particular kind of friendship that always seemed bigger than the both of them. No, he couldn't possibly be alright.

"I just wanted to let you know I'm here."
fredless: (Truths by mangofandango)

[personal profile] fredless 2012-07-16 06:11 am (UTC)(link)
"We both know you're not fine."

She looked up, then down the hall and decided in that moment she wasn't having this conversation from the hallway. Before Wesley could arrange otherwise Fred stepped past him, standing just on the other side of the door.

"And what kind of rest am I possibly going to keep tonight?" She pressed on, worried about what might happen if she stopped. One hand made a vague swipe at the air. "It won't be much different than this." Only possibly with less whiskey. And suddenly, in that moment, Fred worried it might seem she was trying to compare her pain to his. The same hand reached out, this time landing gently on Wesley's arm. The one attached to that glass.

"'re not fine. And that's ok. Nobody expects you to be."
fredless: (What is going on)

[personal profile] fredless 2012-07-16 04:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Her fingers curled slightly, still acknowledging the space that's only just been occupied by Wesley's arm. Not that Fred hadn't been expecting him to pull away. Honestly he stood there a good three seconds longer than she'd initially accounted for.

Which meant that she was, of course. Accounting for him.

She move to shut the door, both to return them to privacy and to give a new task to her hands. As it closed there was the sense it didn't completely fit in its frame anymore, possibly warped and altered by by fire.

Fred felt a bit like that now. Warped, and altered. That whatever happened tomorrow, whatever new crisis came at them at work or even with everything else? She didn't think it would all fit the same, anymore. That she would.

"I'm not thirsty," Fred finally addressed Wesley's offer, head tilting towards his glass. "But don't stop on my account."

She wasn't here to disrupt him. Was she? For a small, guilt-ridden moment Fred examined her own motivations for leaving her car parked outside. Was it because of her realization -- no, not realization, recognition of what'd likely been there for some time -- earlier in the evening? Could she really be that selfish?

But no. Fred was absolutely certain that wasn't it. This was about Cordy. And Wesley. And reminding him that however alone he might feel in that moment, it just wasn't true.
Edited 2012-07-16 16:58 (UTC)
fredless: (In the dark by ???)

[personal profile] fredless 2012-07-16 05:27 pm (UTC)(link)
She'd meant what she said, that she wasn't here to stop him. Fred moved to sit down, the fabric of the sofa soft and cool against the back of her legs. But there was a sense of newness about it that was unsettling, not nearly worn in enough yet to be called comfortable. Truthfully, she liked the old one better.

Fred expelled a tense breath of air as she watched Wesley pace. Not stopping meant letting him go, and the frantic energy that he paced through his apartment with was caused a hurt to coil in the center of her chest. This wasn't a thing you made better.

"If we can salvage a bunch of books we can ..." What? Replace it? They both knew that wasn't true. You couldn't get a new one. It wouldn't come close. Why did it feel like that lately? That they couldn't even manage 'close' anymore.

"That picture wasn't Cordy, Wesley."
fredless: (Action : Intent gaze)

[personal profile] fredless 2012-07-16 05:55 pm (UTC)(link)
That wasn't something she could sit for. Fred fulled to her feet, once again closing the distance between her and Wesley. Her gaze couldn't but settle briefly over the space on the side table.

"That isn't true. I know it feels that way but..."

Her natural instinct remained to draw closer to Wesley, even though she didn't have the first idea about what was the right thing to do once she finally got there.

"But it just isn't true. If Cordy was here right now she'd probably do something very Cordelia like to you for even thinking that way." Briefly, Fred's expression softened. "And it'd probably leave a mark."

Fred forced herself to breath. More and more, it felt as if she kept forgetting to lately. As if it was now something that required conscious thought.

"...if you want to yell Wesley, yell. Scream. Get upset. Get ridiculously drunk. Break things, even. But I'm not about to let you do it by yourself."
fredless: (Wesley : In the Dark by spikes_girl)

[personal profile] fredless 2012-07-16 10:53 pm (UTC)(link)
"Wesley --"

Her tone was sharp at his speech, the dark truths and practicalities that were involved in somehow restoring Cordelia to them. There wasn't a single doubt in Fred's mind that he was capable of it. But there was actually a small moment where it felt like the scales might tip from could to would.

He continued on, though, and Fred released yet another breath as she realized Wesley's grief hadn't carried him that far away from her. Another breath. Then another. It was tedious work, but it felt like all she could manage. She didn't know how to help him. She didn't even know if he wanted her too. Maybe it was a mistake to even come upstairs.

"It will," she finally offered quietly. "It has to..."

The words felt ridiculously small, all too easily swallowed up by the hard truths in his own. There's been too many hurts lately, all of them deep. Her most natural inclination still remained to reach out, to touch him. But Fred was afraid to. Not of Wesley but of....

What if he broke? What if he shattered right in front of her? It'd been one thing after another, with no sign of easing. How could she possibly even touch a hole left by Cordy? How was she supposed to put that back together? But this was Wesley And she had to try. Fred took another step forward, her hand once again resting on his arm.

fredless: (In the dark by ???)

[personal profile] fredless 2012-07-17 12:45 am (UTC)(link)
Fred watched with horror as Wesley slowly started to crumble in front of her. This wasn't someone she recognized, somebody that she even remotely knew. There'd been fractured pieces. The sound of distress from the other side of a closed door, or the look on his face as she left Wesley in the hospital and turned to walk out of yet another one. But it...

It wasn't like this. He wasn't like this.

She'd done the wrong thing, somehow. Made the wrong choice. When she'd only just...

"I'm sorry, Wesley." Her words were soft. Horribly tentative and hardly audible over the sounds of of his sobs. A sharp pain settling into her knuckles and firing outward finally made Fred realize just how hard she was clutching his arm, trying desperately to keep him here. "I didn't mean to...I'm sorry. I'm sorry I didn't see."

Fred tugged at his arm and pulled Wesley in close, wrapping herself around him.
fredless: (Loss for words by?)

[personal profile] fredless 2012-07-17 01:23 am (UTC)(link)
Fred could feel the hot, damp patch of skin at the base of her neck where Wesley's tears were pooling. It didn't take long before they reached the edges of her shirt. Somehow, some dark and more analytical part of her brain fired -- calculating the volume of tears a human was capable of producing before they dried out. Before there simply wasn't anything left to cry.

Why did it seem as Wesley was outright defying every rule and estimation? Just how much had he keeping inside? And why hadn't she really taken the time to notice?

It was the hardest thing, then, to keep quiet. To fight the urge to speak some useless ramble's worth of words, use them to mark over the sound of Wesley's sobs. To at least try and make them bearable.

Biting hard on the insides of her mouth to keep it from even being an option Fred's arms wound their way properly around Wesley's back, keeping him close.
fredless: (Wesley : Taking it in by noelia_g)

[personal profile] fredless 2012-07-24 05:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Fred held on as tight as she could, while still allowing Wesley room for his grief. To breathe, if that was even possible. She tasted a whisper of copper, realizing her teeth were still clamped tight to keep her from saying something ridiculously inadequate. What could she even?

One of her hands wound its way up, hesitating briefly before closing over the crown of Wesley's hair. There was the fleeting though, again, that she was doing it for the wrong reasons. That once she got back home to the relative silence of her apartment Fred would start to question her own motives.

But that wasn't it. This was Wesley And he was hurting. And she'd do just about anything to ease it, even if it meant postponing her own hurt until she got home. That wasn't something new. Her fingers stroked his hair, something old and universal that had its roots in skinned knees and battered elbows.

At some point Wesley's breath started to dry itself on her shoulder. Fred just shook her head as he tried to wipe away the dampness that still clung to her shirt and skin. She didn't bother to look down.

"It'll dry." Instead her attention remained Wesley's, and Wesley's alone. "Do you want to sit down?"
fredless: (What is going on)

[personal profile] fredless 2012-07-25 01:14 am (UTC)(link)
Rolling her shoulders back slightly, Fred watched Wesley has he moved to pour himself a drink. It was only then she realized just how tight she'd held herself as he broke down. Partially from her own sadness, but just as much from a near-paralyzing fear she might make it worse somehow. That she likely already had.

"That sounds good, actually."

Truthfully, Fred wasn't especially inclined to drink at the moment. She'd had a fair bit back at the hotel, and wasn't entirely sure she trusted herself with much more at the moment. But she also suspected Wesley might see some sort of judgement on her part -- real or imagined -- if she declined.
fredless: (Wesley : Taking it in by noelia_g)

[personal profile] fredless 2012-07-25 02:53 am (UTC)(link)
A friend. Of course.

His friend.

Just the same as they'd always been. So why did it suddenly feel so -- why did she feel so different. It wasn't just Cordy, it couldn't be. Whatever that push was, whatever Fred had felt watching Wesley perform that spell? At that point their friend had been alive. Healthy and alive after too much silence.

But didn't that mean things weren't the same? That something - at some point that Fred couldn't even settle on - had changed? Somewhere in all the time they'd been spending together, there'd been a shift. Had Wesley even had an inkling of it? Fred watched him for a moment, eyes dark she studied him over her own glass before taking a drink.

She didn't know in that particular moment what was worse. That he didn't feel it? Or that it'd been there all along, and she was only just now sorting it out. But tonight, Fred repeated to herself, was not the night to find out. Either way.

"Back," she finally echoed, voice slightly horse. Because Wesley's chosen alcoholic companion was on the strong side. Of course. "...back. Front. Both sides." Ferd released a breath. Offered the briefest of smiles. "Don't worry, I've got you covered."
fredless: (With Beer for Noelia_g)

[personal profile] fredless 2012-07-25 10:23 am (UTC)(link)
Fred claimed the arm of the sofa, watching over Wesley as his glass continued its journey towards more empty than not. From her perch she could still see the damp patches that streaked across his face, and she battled a renewed punch of guilt. Wesley hadn't asked her to come back up stairs, and Fred couldn't help but feel that in some ways? She'd made things worse.

"...maybe a shrine?"

They're his words, not hers. Fred still doesn't completely trust her own yet. Or maybe it was the sense that Wesley had already said everything important. Cordy was incredible. Strong. In at least a dozen different ways Fred wished she was more like her.

"Wesley," she pressed softly, twisting the cool underside of her glass against her leg. It made a circle, and at least she could claim to understand those. "If you want to take a day? It you want to take a week even, people will understand. And if they don't? Well, they can see me." Yes, Cordy would want them to keep going. And they would. But --

"Who is going to tell you no? Angel..."

You kept going, right up until you stopped. And Fred stopped then, thoughts drifting to Angel. She knew what Cordy meant to him, she'd always known. It couldn't have been more obvious. How many 'could be's and should've been's and maybe if's was he having to stare down? And Cordy had loved him too, she was certain of it. Why didn't it work? It should've worked.

Fred's gaze dropped back down to her legs. Her glass. Circles.