Part One - Master of Infinite Space
First of the titles taken directly from Hamlet. This one is changed a little, Hamlet says he would be king, not master, of infinite space.
Lilah smirked as she accepted the paperwork from Files and Records. Wesley had come around much quicker than she had assumed he would. It didn't matter though. She was prepared.
Skimming through the pages, she made her way up the elevator back to her office. Just another day at work, just another client. And soon, he'd be a part of their team.
A dark jacket's back was turned from her, staring out the window. She doubted he was actually looking outside to the view most of the associates would kill for. She had killed the best for the view.
*facepalm* Okay, yes, that's really heavy handed there. Although I liked taking away Wesley to the point that it's not even him looking out the window, it's his jacket.
"Mr. Wyndham-Pryce," she remarked, settling down her paperwork next to her bar as she fixed herself a scotch. "Have you come to discuss Wolfram and Hart's offer?"
Wait, doesn't Wes's dad also drink scotch, or at least, he does in the prologue? God, I'm ripping myself off. You'll notice almost everyone in this fic is a big drinker, the irony, considering I hate the taste of alcohol.
Broken chuckle. He turned around; his clothes were rumpled but quite clean. He had shaved that nasty beard he was sporting before, yet it only made the nasty gash on his throat more noticeable. "We don't have to pretend with politeness, now do we, Lilah?"
Oh pretty, pretty scar. And Wes is clearly showing it off for Lilah's sake, I doubt he'd shave to look his best.
Setting down her drink, she answered, "Certainly not. So, let's talk dental plans - that is what you want to talk about, right?"
Catching the flicker of annoyance in his eyes, she carried the file over to her desk, sarcastically answering her question as she sat down, "Of course not."
We're going to be seeing 'of course' or 'of course not' as a reply a lot in this fic. I apologize.
Settling across from her, he stared at her. His eyes seemed blank. Broken.
This is when I felt, yes, this is how Lilah would definitely see it. She likes going in for the kill.
She wouldn't have to try to set up that vamp attack on Justine then.
It is here that I magically wave my hands around and start my work on altering the end of season three, so that I can have everything that happens to the other character be canon in my story and also keep Wes completely separate from events in the show. It's a bit of a magician's trick, if the magician was heavy-handed and painfully bad. It's know as "A Wizard Did It" TM the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror ep with Xena.
Which left more time for real work.
"Come now Lilah, I know you cannot wait to mock me. 'Why are you here all alone? What, none of your friends tried to stop you?'" His mock-voice was quite annoying. Especially because of the grating and broken whisper he took to when imitating her.
Frowning, she shook her head. "Frankly, I don't give a damn about that. The Senior Partners see you as an asset and think you'll make an effective part of the team. Would you like to be shown to your office?" She expected him to be surprised at that.
Instead, he did the exact opposite.
"Not at this moment, no. I wanted to make sure we have the deal firmly defined. You see, the last two groups I was involved with...tended to cast me out at the last and worst possible moment, often when I tended to be in...well, you must know the story, Lilah. After all, getting my throat slit for all my troubles certainly isn't the only reason I'm here." Changing topics and his reflective tone, he looked straight into her eyes and said, "I'd like for all of the details to be drawn out before we begin with this arrangement."
Oooh, what's Wes up to? Is it just to purposely bitch-smack the smirk off of Lilah's face? Probably not. He's clearly Got A Plan going on. And he's also really pissed and bitchy about what's happened to him.
Again smirking, she took out the specially prepared contract out of the file and handed it to him with a pen. "Would you like to look that over with a lawyer?"
Because apparently the smirk is Lilah's only form of reply. God, I suck.
Ignoring her sarcasm, he adjusted his glasses as he read it. "'Continued contact with members of Angel Investigations must be fully and completely reported on?'" Looking up at Lilah, a bitter smile formed his face. "Of course. But I certainly doubt that shall occur. 'Full expertise on demonic lore?' Certainly."
He read the rest without a sound. Without further comment, he signed the document.
A carefully plucked eyebrow rising in surprise, Lilah replied, "I'm shocked you signed it so quickly."
"Oh, it's only my immortal soul. I shan't miss it."
Okay, even I can't make fun of that part. I just felt that it really worked: dark humor, SERIOUS, mystery, and using 'shan't.' It's a good introduction to the beginnings of their relationship in the story.
They'd even gone to the trouble of arranging his office supplies precisely the way he wanted them.
Ignoring the false atmosphere of his former office, he picked up one of the several rare volumes lying on his desk. It was incredible. The collection of Wolfram and Hart rivaled the complete works of the Watchers Council.
Of course, these works tended to lean towards creating rather than *stopping* chaos and apocalypses.
Quickly reading the Guh-shundi, he was surprised by the completeness of the text. According to the records of the Council, the works of the Guh-shundi soothsayers had been mostly destroyed.
Here's how you make up demon names: you look at your keyboard. You randomly press a bunch of keys. You try to say it. If it sounds demon-y, you've got yourself a demon race, my friend.
This was not so.
When he got to a part foretelling of the "signs," he promptly shut it. He'd had enough with prophecies. Had enough with trying to understand them.
Because prophecies are BAD! Don't you see? He SHUT the book! The book motif returns like a mofo! BAM! It's a shut case. Ignore the signs, Danno.
Blearily looking at the clock resting on his desk, he realized it was nearly eight o'clock at night. Shutting the book, he retrieved his jacket from his chair and left the office. He'd be able to study another day.
"Mr. Wyndham-Pryce, are you in need of another tome? Do you need me to fetch you another?"
Turning to the worried face of a Miss Evelynn Westminster, he shook his head in disagreement.
I won't spoil the future for Wes's secretary. Instead I'll talk about 'creating' her, as much as you can create a passing character. I wanted a really damn British character with a *painfully* British name to stick out not only for the audience but for Wesley. Evelynn's a memento of the past, she's a symbol more than person, and she also displays a bit of the nervousness and idealistic bravada that we first saw in Wesley on BtVS.
And I had hoped to god that people would at least remember her a bit, as she is vaguely important to a part of the story. But that's just me saying that to make you all pay attention and I'll discuss what I mean later./foreshadowing ramblings
"Fraid it's time for me to be going home, Miss Westminster. Good night."
Still, her clipped British tone flickered in fear. Wesley was amused that he had been given a secretary, one in her early twenties at best. Her eyes and voice were often filled with fear and wonder. A poor intern that had selected this law firm for its notoriety and not for its actual purpose.
She'd be dead in less than a year, at best.
Which was probably the prediction for Wes's future when he was a Watcher.
Making it down to the lobby, he noticed Gavin Park exiting as well.
Gavin had politely said hello when he first saw Wesley in the hallway earlier - polite if that's what unhanded threats and a display equivalent of a pissing contest were. Like Wesley was there to compete against Gavin, or anyone at the firm.
After glaring at Lilah, who had accompanied him to one of the "small libraries" for a while, he sneered at the both of them, "Linwood's not going to stand for you bringing in a spy for this company."
As though Wesley had anyone left to tell his secrets to.
Gavin bores me. I had to keep him in the story though, Linwood's fate is discussed later, but I had to have Gavin around. This bit only serves for the above line, that Wes doesn't have anyone's help. That he's keeping things to himself.
Getting into his car, he debated whether or not he actually should go home. What was waiting for him? Perhaps Angel had gotten into another scrape and there were messages on his answering machine. Perhaps Connor was trying to kill him. Wesley had studied the little information of Quath Tol and learned any creature there was surely to go mad. If they managed to survive the horrors there.
And Holtz must have raised him.
Holtz. Made a deal with a man out for vengeance, tried to do the right thing and all he got was -
Shaking off his anger, Wesley started his car and left the building behind him.
It didn't matter anymore.
He only had to be concerned about himself now.
And damn them all to hell.
Hellfire is a-blazing and I think we got a bit too much speculation here, another moment of 'I wave my hands about and say "Season Three is still happening as Wesley talks to his secretary. Spoooooky things are happening!"'
Unlocking his door, he was shocked to see Buffy in his apartment. Well, shocked was a word that was lightly explaining his reaction.
Still, his voice was broken.
And what the FUCK is Buffy doing here? Why did she come in? Honestly, I've always had issues with the separation of the shows, I mean, if things are going to hell in a ham basket (not fond of hand baskets), can't they just ask for some assistance? Also, I wanted Wesley to have someone to play off with that wasn't doing a role like Lilah is with the vampy, sarcastic noir lady/badass lawyer. I wanted Wesley to be separate from events going on in AtS land, and considering I'd had a bit of experience writing Buffy, although not too well, it sort of arrived to a natural conclusion.
Looking up from the book she was studying in her lap - *the* book - Dante's Inferno, she got up, a nervous look on her face. "Hi, Wesley. Um...it's been a long time."
The book returns! PHEAR its evil powers!
Trying to get out all the questions that were flying in his mind, he walked into his apartment, shutting the door as he asked, "How did you know where I lived...and how did you get in?"
"I called Giles. He had your number and address from when you needed him to confirm something...right? He didn't tell me what it was about. Probably some stupid prophecy, right?"
waves hands about here in a wizard-like manner
Lowering his head a bit to keep his scar from being visible, he agreed. "Quite right."
"And...you leave your key above the door jamb?" she scolded. "Like it was really that hard to find." She handed back over the key to him; his face still clearly stunned that she had gotten in.
Wesley reminded himself to stop being idiotic by leaving his spare key there and to get new locks.
Didn't want any more intruders coming into his home.
Even if it wasn't really his home. Just a place he resided in.
I'm wincing here. Heavy-handed thoughts are the devil.
"I have a problem. Willow. Remember Willow?"
Wesley's mind flickered over to the last memory of her. Worried face and her standing in the lobby. Coming to bring the news...
And she had brought Buffy back.
I love messing about with the end of AtS S2. It's one of my favorite moments of the show. It's just so sudden and clear, and damn, it's fun to do this bringing Buffy back game.
He wondered if Buffy was actually happy about that. Looking at her, she seemed to be fine. Her hair was much shorter from the last time he had seen her, but then, it had been almost two years since he had last seen her. And he then recalled that she despised him.
So why was she here?
Good question, Wesley.
"Miss Summers...I'm sorry...Buffy, I don't quite understand. Why are you here? And not talking to-"
He couldn't say the name.
"I'll kill you! You bastard!!!"
A flash of something in her eyes, and she hugged herself. Wesley realized she looked much thinner and older since the last time he had seen her.
Okay, so there is a real, valid reason why Buffy's here. She and Wes are two people who are incredibly close to Angel. Wes betrayed him and Buffy wasn't able to get over him. My familiarity with the Buffy/Angel relationship is really something that propels a lot of the romantic emotion in the story, if you can call what's going to happen to them 'romantic.' But I have to think that what's starting to happen, very slowly and unintentionally, with Buffy and Wesley is really the heart of the story. Although I'd say there's not much heart to this story, it's more trying to live without using your heart that's one of the themes of the fic. However when I got to the middle of writing this fic, I looked foward to writing the Buffy and Wesley and Wesley/Lilah scenes. They were often the fastest scenes to write and I felt had the most interesting character interaction.
"I don't think he would like to see me. We decided that we can't...you know?"
Oh yes. Selfless Angel and his decisions.
Warning! WARNING! Writer is expressing anger at Angel via character thoughts. Bad form.
But then, Wesley never really knew the whole story between Buffy and Angel. Deciding to be a little more vague, he replied, "I understand. So...what is it that you require, Buffy?"
She looked at him closely this time, an odd look of fascination and surprise on her face. "Wow. You really look different. I mean...not in a bad way, just different. But still with the Watcher-ness. It's hard to explain. Tara, she is - was - a friend of mine...she..."
Pausing, she looked straight into Wesley's eyes, a glimmer of a tear in her eyes, as she finally choked out "She died. She was murdered by this. His name was Warren. He'd been giving me trouble, all these stupid idiotic schemes and he's dead now too. Willow killed him. I don't know what's happened to her. She's...the magic's taken her. I don't know what happened to her...I know, but she's going after these other two guys that worked with Warren. Maybe you remember one of them? His name is Jonathan. He was in my class in high school."
Buffy really speechifies in this story. I think she has the longest bits of dialogue, which is ironic because I had a hell of a time writing her POV parts. Although not as bad as Angel. Which I'll talk about when we get to him.
But I think Buffy's able to convey a lot of emotion in her words. I had a lot more ellipses, but I tried to cut them out when necessary. It's hard to convey speech patterns when you have a character like Buffy, who, when emotional, has a lot of breaks and repeating of sentences, made anew by her emotion in her voice.
"I'm sorry, but I don't recall the name."
"It...it doesn't matter." A brief laugh that sounded suspiciously like a half-hidden sob. "The reason why I need your help is that...there must be some way to stop Willow. She's disappeared. Giles is on a flight back, but he said we need all the help we can get. And she must be gathering power for something..." Looking down at the ground, she said softly, "I think she's going to destroy Sunnydale. The magic, she's become it. From all the work Xander and Anya found in the magic books about what she did - it'll kill her...I can't...I can let her destroy herself. But if I can't stop her...I have to stop her from destroying Sunnydale."
This magical part of waving my hands around to give a reason for why she's here I feel is a lot more natural. And note that the S6 ending with Spike is even dealt with, with as much information as Buffy has. And then I proceed to ignore it because I was really bitter about what happened with his character at the time. He gets one vague mention in one of the later chapters.
Her voice broke at that moment, and she choked back a sob.
Wesley was stunned. Moments ago, he would've kicked Buffy out, telling her she didn't need his help, nor would he give it.
Moments ago, he wouldn't have cared.
The moments had passed.
But he couldn't.
"I'm sorry Buffy. I cannot help you."
I do love this moment, a big moment where things could have gone different. Maybe Wes'll break. Maybe he's not going to do what we have no idea what's he's going to do. Alas, he rejects her.
Glassy, wet eyes locking into his face, searching for answers. "What? But...Wesley, I need all the help I can get. I wouldn't be here if-"
"I know, Buffy. I know. But I think you should go talk to Angel. Being that I am no longer an ally of his." He tilted his head up and allowed her to see.
A question he still went over in his mind.
"I don't know if you should hear it from me. But unfortunately...you must. We've had our own share of difficulties in L.A."
Settle down folks, it be time for some good ole exposition. Anyone want a soda?
Getting up, he rifled in his kitchen for a bottle of whiskey. Coming back with two shot glasses, he poured one, offering it to Buffy.
"No thanks. As for problems, I'm not surprised." Defeated sigh. "What did Angel get himself into now?"
What is it with me and alcohol? It's a damn theme in this story. Although good for Buffy, not being forced into alcoholism like everyone else.
Biting back his comment of 'Darla,' he explained after a bitter swallow of alcohol, "There was a prophecy," acknowledging her groan as she finally took a drink, he continued, "Unfortunately, we were unable to prevent the event. Or understand what it was. Darla...Angel-"
Heh, I amused myself with the first line of the above paragraph.
"Darla's alive?" The surprise in her voice was dull. Whatever had happened in Sunnydale had rendered her in shock.
"No longer. She...it's a long story. One I was only given second-hand information about. Suffice it to say, she gave birth. To Angel's son. His name is Connor."
Do the exposition dance!
She quickly finished her drink, making a face as the alcohol burned down her throat. "And when the hell was Angel going to tell me this?"
"Probably didn't even cross his mind." Getting up, he looked out the window, the L.A. smog blocking out most of the stars.
"So...is that it?"
"No. Another prophecy came to my attention. The father will kill the son."
A blank voice.
"It was false. I tried to keep Angel from killing the one person he loved the most. I failed. My throat was slit. I was left for dead. And Connor was taken. He's come back from a Hell dimension. According to Fred, he's grown up. Fred - she's a member of the group now. You should go to them. Perhaps they'll help you. If you...pay."
I wanted the "pay" line to be all shivery and creepy. I'm not quite sure it worked, he sounds a bit petulant.
"I see." She was silent for a long stretch of time, probably trying to gather all the information he had just divulged. Wesley didn't think she'd be able to understand. He barely did. "You don't want to help me. People could die, Wesley."
"Then why are you here instead of trying to save your town?"
Shrug of her shoulders as she got up. "I need help. All the help I can get. And I don't have time for this. You don't want to help me? Fine. I can't...I don't have time."
"None of us ever do, Buffy," he said as she opened the door.
Turning around, she angrily shouted, "And what the hell is that supposed to mean? You want to talk about time, Wesley? I'm running out of it! I can't stop Willow...I don't know how! She's slipping away. I can't let anyone else I love be destroyed. I won't let it happen. I came here because I thought you'd help. And because the last thing I wanted was to have to deal with Angel. There's..."
"Too much there."
Stunned look and a momentary silence. "Always." Broken, pleading voice. "Please Wesley. I need all the help I can get."
Yes, I know that always is a time old b/a cliché, but it's a fun one to play with. To completely and utterly twist. Plus, although Buffy just yelled at him, there's bonding!
Moving over to a discarded piece of paper and a pen, writing as he spoke, he firmly said, "I am sorry, Miss Summers, I cannot help you."
Folding the piece of paper in his hand as he shook hers, he concluded, "I'm not going to help anyone ever again. Goodbye."
"Goodbye." A hollow, confused tone. And like the phantom voice she used, she too disappeared.
And he was alone.
What had he done?
Why did I leave this section with a cheesy question? I hoped that reactions would be shocked that Wesley seems to be helping, yet he says that won't. We're getting a taste of Wesley playing with all sides, aka 'totally fucking with everyone.'
"So...the infamous Slayer...and not the psychotic one, showed up at your apartment?"
Lilah had such a fucking annoying voice when she really wanted it to be. All venom and confidence oozing out of her. But the veneer she hid under was cracked.
Gee, isn't that a bit harsh? Do you think that maybe he's saying all this because deep down, there's something going on between the...no, it can't be. But Wes's near-violent reaction to a simple question is pretty damn odd.
Another time and Wesley would've been repulsed by what he saw. Now...he felt nothing.
"Yes. Apparently problems in Sunnydale. But one of the few things I learned in my brief position as Watcher there, was that there are always problems in Sunnydale."
"Of the Apocalyptic nature?"
Wesley couldn't wait to wipe the nasty smirk off her.
Don't do that Wes, or she'll never have another expression!
Eye roll. "You're a part of the firm now, Wes. Have to share all your tidbits. Secrets don't last in this company. Most likely they'll get you killed."
"Oh really? Well, then I can tell you for certain that I told Miss Summers to look elsewhere. I doubt she will. She's always been a stubborn sort."
A single sound spoke more than any of the other comments Lilah had made. They had information on Buffy. They had a lot. And they knew.
Oh, that middle line is unintentional foreshadowing. I wish I could take credit for it, but alas, I cannot.
But they didn't know a damn thing. And he wasn't about to help them learn anything, either.
"Yes, now I'm off to review that prophecy you wanted to me research. Goodbye."
"Wesley, just remember: they may have wanted you to be a part of the law firm. They may have thought you'd help us will our plans. But they also know what you really are. Don't make them or me have to take you down like the weakling you know you are."
The Big Warning. Lilah's first and pretty much last time that she has control over Wesley. And it doesn't work, not one bit.
"As always Lilah, your threats are exactly like your personality. Cold and a bit too perfected. If you like being such a cold bitch, take your act on to someone else. I'm tired of listening to it. And you can tell them if they want to threaten me, they should do it to my face. I'm tired of being handed warnings from second-rate villains. A villain that wouldn't even have a cushy job if newly handed lawyer hadn't finally decided to leave the city."
The look she gave him as he departed echoed in his mind.
Desire. Or something close enough to it.
He'd keep her barbs and smirks and lock them all away.
And have something else. Even if it would've disgusted him ages ago.
Pfft, like the Sexy could ever have disgusted Wesley. I wanted the Wes/Lilah relationship to be almost painfully bordering on blown-out hatred. I needed this to play off with our other Big Couple in the story. This was written pretty much before Wes/Lilah became as fabulous as it presented itself onscreen. And since I wanted dark and *willingly* dark Wesley, I needed to keep Lilah almost transparently eeeevil noir symbol of Bad Things. But I believe I began to write better Lilah in chapter two. In fact, that's pretty much when I as a writer realized I had found myself with another OTP.
Yet, I don't think Wes's decision to involve himself with Lilah is what damns him. Lilah isn't his last temptation: his temptation is wanting to be revered, as stated in the prologue. But here, it's just the beginnings, and Wes is still projecting himself onto Lilah. Using her as the mirror he doesn't want to look in.
"Good morning Mr. Wyndham-Pryce!" came the tilted chirp of Evelynn.
Fred had chirped too. And was perky and sweet and had a cute little accent and I'm so getting ahead of myself.
"Ms. Westminster," Wesley barely acknowledged with a nod. "Everything I need in my office?"
"Oh, yes sir!"
"Splendid," he commented, sarcasm oozing.
Walking into his office, he noticed what a perfect, lovely day it was. He wished otherwise. Messages and memos scattered on his desk, requests for translations, and more reference to prophecies. He dryly noted there was a lot of interest in Connor.
A name Wesley would prefer never to hear again.
Wesley had thought of taking the boy away, staying with him, raising him. Not a father, nor an uncle, merely a guardian, protecting the child from the one person he should never fear. His father.
But it was all a lie.
I look very brilliant with all this Connor-heavy material so early in the story. Actually, one of my biggest debates was the decision to bring in Connor. He's important, but was he important enough to bring into the fic? Well, at least he's important to act as a reflection of Wesley's actions and how Wes's view of what happened is starting to shift a bit from 'justifiably upset' to 'getting a bit petty and evil.'
The prophecy was not true; he had been duped, quite badly. And he certainly paid the price, but of course, he had to pay more. Because he wronged Angel. And the people he thought were his friends left him suddenly without a second glance.
Cordelia hadn't even gone to see him.
What is this the first reference to her? Blink and you'll miss her mentions in this fic, folks.
But Wesley clamped down on that irrational surge of rage as he began piecing together his plot.
It was all so terribly simple. Angel Investigations was crumbling apart; they needed a person of expertise in demon lore and one that could speak several languages.
And as Fred had turned to him, eventually, they would show up again at his door. And ask for his help. And they would have no idea.
He'd have to stay away from Lorne, though. Singing or not, he doubted that someone like Lorne would miss the signs pointing to Wesley's...different state.
But that would be easy.
He doubted that he would ever have to see Lorne again. Nor would he want to see him. A nasty knock out tended to brew seeds of discord.
That last line is showing that Wes is clearly losing his sympathy, his goodness if you will. I can argue that the plot Wesley speaks about is just a part of his early planning methods, but really, I was trying to leave it open-ended in order to give myself room to bring in other characters. That is called "clearly not plotting ahead." It isn't until part three that I really start getting an honest to god plot and only until part four and aide from many, but most of all, the fabulous jennem as getting feedback to a giant WIP does actually help a writer shape a fic, especially as I'm not a plot-driven writer. So this is me just covering my ass as well as doing tons of Wesley characterization.
Ms. Westminster rushed into his office, eyes wide. "Mr. Wyndham-Pryce? There's a...thing outside...it...needs a translator-"
Citing that I prefer that spelling of his name, it looks the most 'right' for me.
As she spoke, in glided a sleek, dark demon dressed in heavy robes. Settling in the chair in front of Wesley's desk, the being spoke in a harsh tone.
Immediately translating the demonic language, he replied, "I spoke to Lilah about my meeting with the Slayer. There was nothing of importance to Wolfram and Hart. A slight Apocalypse, but that will be taken care of soon."
The being nodded and commented in a succession of short clicks and hard grunts.
"The report is completed and was sent to Lilah."
Here I wanted the audience to really start wondering just which side Wes is on, besides his own. He's willing to help someone when he protests he doesn't care, and then he blabs about it. And why was he so damn secrective about it, telling her no but then slipping her whatever it was? That actually was planned for a reasone.
More sliding out of its seat then getting up, the being left without another word.
His secretary, standing there as though frozen, replied, "Sir...?"
"Oh, don't fret, Ms. Westminster, they just want to make sure I'm doing my job. What better way then to have a demon known for its brutality to deliver the message? Now why don't you go get yourself a cup of coffee?"
A nervous smile and she said, "Thank you."
No, there would be no thanks for him. Nothing was left for him. Save his last idea.
This what? Screwing over Angel Investigations? It isn't really stated. I'm purposely leaving a blank, it's sorta the ass-backwards approach to plot development.
He wasn't sure if that was a good or bad thing.
And more and more...it was becoming good.
While things were growing worse.
A while ago, he would've been repulsed by what he was doing. Now, he didn't care.
This was all he had left.
As his telephone rang, he didn't think of a cell phone lying too far away from him to be answered. Of the taste of stained, dying copper in the back of his throat and the wheezing broken coughs he tried to breathe out as he silently begged for someone to help him.
For him to live.
And he didn't give a fuck anymore that he was going to hell. Because he tried his best. And now, the best was going to be his worst.
Reversal at the end is actually very Milton, making heaven out of hell and all that jazz. But I loved writing the memory of Wes, after his throat is cut. Sometimes instead of outright saying it, an image can convey so much more. It's harder to carry that in a longer work, but I do admit I overdid the dialogue at sometimes to make up for it.
But I feel this is a good rounding off of the overall chapter while also acting as a second intro to the deeper aspects of the story. The prologue's really a teaser and it's only a Wesley character study, this brings in our two female leads, Lilah, who seems to be painfully one-dimensional, but strangely attractive (to Wes most of all), and Buffy, our Good Guy, who acts as a comparative character to Wesley.
Hopefully, this was good enough to draw you in and start a few building blocks towards the overall story. I was still thinking about what I wanted to happen. I knew that Buffy entering Wesley's life would be important, I honestly wasn't thinking about just how MUCH it was going to be. In retrospect, if I had know at this point that this fic was going to be as involved and long as it was, it would have ended as an eternal WIP. My desire to write dark!Wes was my driving factor, especially at this point, not to write a novella.
Part Two with commentary will be up on Friday.
Post about RL issues, squeeing over A:TS, and other things to follow later tonight.