Full Fathom Five



He spends the car ride staring at Wesley because it’s too much effort to turn and look out of the window. The blanket around him is scratchy, if warm, and he welcomes each prickling itch because it’s new, it’s different, and he’s as starved for that as he has been for blood.

Wesley is talking to him; a slow stream of words, dripping into his brain. Sounds. Sights.

Taste.

Wesley’s blood is heavy on his tongue, thick in his throat, though he knows he swallowed every spurting, scarlet surge with a distant gratitude that needs time to come into focus.

A memory, that’s all, lingering and – no! Not false. He’s fed, been fed, taken in, absorbed. He’s starting to heal, dizzy with a body reawakening from dreams. Real.

He’s staring at Wesley’s throat, and when the man turns to him, after parking the car, he sees the scar that bled out friendship and trust and he wants to break Wesley open along that dotted line and feed again.

There’s something in Wesley’s face that says he knows that and doesn’t care.

Angel reaches out, hand groping, and touches Wesley’s face, running an old man’s fingers, crooked and palsied, over living skin.

“Where are your glasses?” he asks, and there’s nothing in his voice but curiosity and he does his best to make Wes see -

And Wesley smiles and moves his chin down so his neck’s no longer offered, open and bare.


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15/11/04