Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters or the setting of the story. All things I borrowed from the Buffyverse are a creation of and belong to Joss Whedon.
Timeline: more than 9years after NFA ("Angel"), 10 after "
Beta: Rachael – thank you for the constant support!
Feedback – yes, please! Lots and lots!
It was raining heavily when Wesley emerged from the trial grounds. The sky was so leaden he couldn't even guess the time of the day. By the time he reached the village, he was drenched to the skin.
The hot tea was all the more welcome for that. He looked at the black box of Fortnum and Mason's Royal Blend asking the necessary questions. He was unpleasantly surprised to hear that almost six months had passed since his trial started. He listened in awe that about a month after he left, presumably a month since Spike received the letter, Faith came to the village looking for him. Wesley savoured his favourite tea that was a heart-warming proof of Faith's presence. He smiled, thanking her mentally for the kindness. She turned out a wonderful person. Who could have guessed it all those years ago? Not him, certainly.
He still loved her. He could remember the physical attraction all the way back since she was sixteen and the bane of his existence, the ruin of his career. He could remember what making love to her felt. So the lust was still in place. No shock there. He'd been diffident about the rest. He'd walked in the trials afraid that he would walk out with his soul, but without the strange new love. He still loved her though. More passionately than before. This time, with his old soul back, he felt the full wonder of her, Faith, the vampire Slayer, loving someone like him. If she still loved him. The possibility that her feelings changed in the months he'd been out of her life again made his gut twist.
Faith's consideration had extended beyond the tea box. She left a mobile phone and a credit card for him.
Wesley picked up the phone without hesitation. He may have been out of this world for half a year, and that after being dead for a decade, but he not going to just sneak in on Faith. The woman had crossed the ocean as soon as she read his letter... His letter. His letters! He asked his host about the bundle of letters he left with the shaman before entering the trial. The man confirmed his suspicion. When Faith visited, she took the letters. His passionate, and uncensored love letters. He sighed. She read everything else he ever wrote, no surprise she ended up reading the love letters she inspired.
The voice at the other end of the line was feminine, familiar, but not Faith's. It sounded like Miranda, but Wesley didn't feel right about letting her know who he was. He affected an English accent very similar to Spike's when he spoke.
"'lo, there. Can you fetch Spike for me, luv? Tell 'im 'is old mate Percy's callin;."
Wesley shuddered at this cruel and unnecessary chopping of consonants from his beloved language. He waited for the vampire to come on, wondering why he hadn't asked for Faith.
"Percy me old mucker, what's goin' on?"
"Hello, Spike. It's Wesley," he said in his normal voice. "I know it's late, but I wanted to let you know I'm back. Do whatever you need to do to make sure it's really me. Tell Faith... tell Faith I'm coming home."
"Right mate. You all right?"
The vampire sounded like he expected Wesley's call, which shouldn't surprise him, since he warned them in the letter that he would come back. Him or a semblance of himself. Spike also sounded earnestly concerned. A vampire with a soul. A champion. Not the sort of thing he ever expected to encounter when he read the old vampires' chronicles in the Academy.
"Yes. That credit card Faith left for me is still valid?"
"Then I'll call from the airport to tell you what flight I'm taking."
The journey back took no more than two days, but it seemed to Wesley longer than all the months he spent looking for his soul. He rented a car and drove home.
Home. Home was Faith and Alex. With a little effort, the concept of home included even Spike. He readied himself for an apprehensive reception from his strange family, and whatever young Slayers were around. What he did not expect was to find the house empty. Almost empty. He followed the noises and found her in the training room.
She cocked her head to the side looking at him in silence.
"Is this wise? Receiving me alone? Might not be safe," he said to fill the silence.
He was glad to be alone with her, but at the same time he worried that she appeared to be careless. He could be a badass demon under the guise of good old Wes.
"If it's not you, I'd rather be alone," she said. "Didn't want any witnesses to killing a Wesley shaped beastie."
Wesley swallowed a knot. It would be too much, too cruel a destiny to go through the damn trials only to die at Faith's hand.
"Would it help if I said it's really me?" he asked.
He was keeping his voice level, treating this situation as a lesson for his Slayer. He saw so much more in her than his Slayer though. He held back a smile at the thought that there were many things he wanted to teach Faith.
Faith was still looking at him with an expression he couldn't read. She came closer, but he knew better than making any movements. He watched her, entranced, as if he saw her for the first time. She was so beautiful. Her features barely softened with the years. Enough to be able to call her beautiful, not just hot. There still was something fierce, untamed, undaunted, burning under all the world-weariness.
Wesley felt her breath on his neck, on his cheek, on his lips. He closed his eyes, waiting. Her arms closed around his shoulders at the same time he felt her lips on his. He dared to put his hands on her hips lightly, still unsure if he should move.
"Do you still love me, Wes?"
Her lips brushed against his mouth as she spoke. His heart was pounding furiously. He could not predict her reaction. He could not think what was the right thing to say, the Wes-answer she expected. He let out the truth in a whisper.
He wanted to ask her the same question when he felt metal on his skin. So, she had not been incautious. He did not struggle when he felt the thorn protruding from her ring piercing his skin. She had just opened his jugular. He wondered dazedly if Spike taught her or it was her experience with Angelus. Unlike Justine's inexpert slash, this wound could kill him very fast. He was the kind of man who would always look for answers. His heartbeat was slowing down while he wondered what kind of a magic device Faith used to determine he's evil, and why didn't she just shoot an arrow through his heart. He was so sure he had won. Maybe he hadn't and this was the only way the monster, whatever kind of monster he was, could be killed.
The seconds seemed to stretch into forever. He felt her arms around him, and thought it wasn't a bad way to die. It was even better than the last time because now it wasn't a lie, she was real. His Faith. He looked into her eyes until the silent darkness took over him.
When he opened his eyes she was still there, still holding him in her arms, but they were on the floor. She was looking at him with barely contained amusement. He didn't get a chance to wonder if she resurrected him again because unlike that time he was still hurting. He winced and put his hand over his neck. There was a bandage there.
"You're full of surprises, arentcha? I thought you had no sense of drama whatsoever," Faith said.
"What happened?" he asked, but he could guess the answer.
"I had to make sure it was you. The Wiccas gave me this ring, I had to draw blood from you. If the stone turned red, I should've killed you. The stone remained blue, and then, I don't know how to tell ya, but... you fainted. In a very manly fashion, of course," she added with a grin.
He couldn't help smiling back.
"Men do not faint. I passed out, from blood loss and hunger, most likely."
"Didn’t like the airplane food huh? Well, I can fix you one of those Chutney sandwiches you like so much," she said moving to stand up.
"Don't go," he said hurriedly, holding on to her. "Food can wait."
Faith looked at him, all amusement drained from her features. He could see now the depth of her emotional turmoil. She had been ready to kill him if she needed to, but he could see now how much it cost her to prepare for that eventuality.
"You'll need your strength," she said.
She spoke softly, trying to sound light-hearted. She didn’t resist when Wesley pulled her closer.
"I love you, Faith. It's not the same mad, wild passion from before. That was your nature, and Spike's. But now I can say that I love you with all my soul."
The sight of her eyes sparkling with tears unsettled Wesley. He brushed his fingers lightly over her cheek, then threaded them in her hair.
"I'd understand if you don't feel the same. Not the end of the world," he said, trying to sound convincingly calm while his heart was breaking.
"It's all so different. I never felt like this before. The way I loved you, with half of my soul... was just a reflection of what I felt for... you know... him. And then there was the bond with Spike adding its own twist..."
"There was? What happened?"
"Time is so strange. We got our souls back months ago. We thought you were dead. Again," she added with a smile. "We realized we had to grow up. We talked about it and decided that the ones we love shouldn't put up with our bond."
"The ones you love..." he echoed her words.
"Yeah. Spike made his amends. They're working things out. It's complicated..."
"And you?" he asked, keeping his voice steady.
"You said, in your letter..."
"Oh, yes... I'll leave if you want me to, but I'd like to spend some times with Alex."
"Leave?!" she exclaimed.
"I thought you found someone. You believed I was dead, and I did say in my letter that you should..."
"Oh, no, you don't!" she interrupted him. "It's not enough that you keep dying on me, now you're going to leave me because of some stupid soap operatic misunderstanding? I love you, you stupid idiot, and I'm demanding every damn thing you wrote in the other letters."
He pulled her to his chest.
"I'm an old man, Faith. I might not measure up to your expectations."
"Don’t you dare bring age into this!" she said, her words coming out muffled in against his chest. "I'm almost caught up with you, with you being dead now and then. You've been out of my life for too freaking long, Wes," she said, hugging him painfully tight.
"You look just the same as the first time I set eyes on you. I can't imagine ever shaking the feeling that I'm robbing the cradle when I'm with you."
"Flattery will get you everywhere," she said, and he felt her smiling.
"Good to know. I mean it though. You look like Alex's sister, not his mother."
"I keep hearing guys referring to me as MILF."
"Well, I'd certainly LF you. But you're disqualified for looking too damn young."
"You're deficient," she said, playfully accusing.
"I'm happy," he answered, pulling her into a kiss.
Faith settled on top of him, and the kiss turned into a tussle on the floor of the training room.
"I can tell," she said with a smirk straddling him.
Wesley groaned at the sweet pressure on his groin. He bucked under her, rubbing himself against her. His hands roamed over her back, pressing her into him and learning her every curve.
"You know I can deal with you being the hero in our relationship?"
"Mmm," she purred agreement kissing his neck.
He wrapped his arms around her, holding her flush to him, and rolled on top of her.
"When it comes to sex, I get to be on top."
Faith gasped but didn't challenge him. He was wondering about this easy victory when she answered his unspoken question.
"Plenty of time to argue this, lover. I missed you too much, for too long. Let's make the most of having the place to ourselves."
"Yes," Wesley agreed. "We should make the most of our time together."
(unless I feel like adding another chapter, smut only)
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