by Kath, aka nakedwesley (wesfan1 at adelphia.net)
Spoilers/Time Setting: A:ts Season 5
Summary: An alternate scene from 'Not Fade Away'. This is what I would have liked to have seen. Spoilers, obviously, for the show finale.
The initial stab of the knife went deep, causing Wesley to shudder and gasp. He'd seen it coming, tried to steel himself, but there really was no preparation for This. Despite the severity of the wound, he rather thought this was more like being tortured by Faith, than being shot in the gut. Feelings of helplessness, shards of sharp glass penetrating his skin, up close and personal. Or perhaps more like Justine's unexpected betrayal, which he could now remember with extreme clarity, as well as his own. These thoughts flitted through his mind in a split second, and then the knife twisted and his mind was blind to everything but the pain.
Forcing himself to fight through it, Wesley knew he wasn't completely helpless this time though. He had prepared for this eventuality. Summoning up every last ounce of strength and power he had, he conjured a fireball of magic in his left hand and fired it off, sending Vail across the room. The creature crashed into the far wall and sagged to the ground in a lifeless heap.
Unable to stand any longer, Wes staggered back, only to find himself lying on the floor, cradled in Illyria's arms. This was somewhat unexpected, but not unwelcomed. Pain washed over him like a tidal wave of ice, chilling his veins and crystallizing the edges of his vision, like frost on a window pane. He gazed up at a face that was both so familiar to him and so alien.
"It was good. That you came."
His heart ached with regret and loss, but he was comforted by her presence. He hadn't wanted to die alone. And it wouldn't be long now. He knew that, even before Illyria's rather clinical pronouncement. That she cared for him, had come for him, wasn't as surprising as perhaps it should have been, but, then again, he wasn't exactly thinking clearly.
"Do you want me to lie to you now?"
Relief flooded him. He'd wanted it so badly, but could never have asked. "Yes. Thank you, yes."
Wesley smiled up at the familiar face, warmth filling him, fighting away the cold that had settled into his bones.
A cool hand stroked his cheek. "Wesley."
The rest of the world faded away, leaving only himself in the arms of the man he'd loved for so many years. He reached up, wanting to touch him tenderly, just once. Angel obliged by leaning forward, first pressing a gentle kiss to his lips, then his forehead.
"It's okay, Wesley. It won't hurt much longer. I'm here."
There was pain in Angel's eyes. Wes wanted to make it go away. It was getting hard to breath now. His heart fluttered, trying to keep going. There were so many things he wanted to say. "I didn't betray you."
"I know. You did good, Wes."
"You never let me down. Not once. Promise."
Wesley didn't think Angel had ever looked so beautiful. "I...I love you."
"I love you too, Wes."
He could go now. Happy at last, Wesley's last thought was that he was loved.