Jet Lag



He hadn’t minded the man sitting beside him, though, it being first-class, there were empty seats elsewhere. He was English, and Wesley was already feeling a pang of homesickness under the trepidation, he was amusing, if a little... unusual. He’d made the long hours in the air shorter.

But now he was staring with appraising eyes and Wesley shifted in his seat.

All he’d said was that he was going to take up a position made vacant through incompetence...

“You’re going to oust Rupert, aren’t you?” he drawled. “They finally decided the thorn in their side was ripe to be plucked. Well, well.”

Denial, dissimulation, derision; none of them were permitted. Wesley was held motionless in the dim cabin, surrounded by the sleeping, ignored by the awake, trapped by – oh God, a spell.

“I want you to give Rupert a message, boy,” the man murmured, hands busy, breath warm and faintly spiced with wine. “Want you to be sure to get it right, do you understand?”

Wesley’s head hit the window with a crack as his hips arched up, exposed cock hardening, balls tightening. Not possible. Just not -

“He’s going to love you. So eager... or is that desperation?” The dark eyes glitter. “Oh, am I the first hand to ever go here besides your own? I’m sorry we can’t make this a lengthier encounter but it doesn’t matter. You’ll be taken care of soon.”

The hand on him was cruel because it didn’t pause, even when he forced numb lips to shape a ‘please’ - or possibly clever, because although the next word was ‘don’t’, it was followed by ‘stop’.

Wesley came hard, and the tears that trickled from his eyes were soaked up by the same square of cotton that had cleaned his stomach.

“Perfect,” the man sighed, leaning back and rubbing his hand ruefully over a neglected erection. “If not mutually satisfying.”

Wesley knew that was a joke, because the man’s lips were curled by a lazy replete smile.

“Now, you know the drill. Forget this ever happened, because it didn’t, and off you go like a good new Watcher and – I think I’ll turn in now. Good luck with your new job.”

“Thank you,” Wesley said, with a yawn. “Nice of you.”

The man must have changed seats, because he wasn’t there when Wesley woke, but in the flurry of changing to the Sunnydale plane and regretting that he’d worn his wool suit when he stepped out of the air-conditioning for a moment, just to see, he forgot to look for him.

On arriving at Sunnydale he went straight to the school library after making the briefest of stops at his motel room.

“Mr Giles?” he began, holding out his hand. “Wesley Wyndam-Pryce. I’m yours.”

“My what?”

Wesley frowned. Jet lag, he decided. Not the best of starts, but anyone could fumble their words. “Your replacement,” he clarified, except in the short distance from brain to mouth it became. “Your present from Ethan.”

There was a slip of paper in his hand although he couldn’t recall reaching into his pocket, and Mr Giles snatched it from him with a quite unnecessary roughness.

“Like me? He’s nothing... oh, you bloody didn’t! You –”

Wesley felt his lips prim up. Really. This was a school and a library to boot. Language like that was... unbecoming. The tirade trickled to a halt and the man he was trying hard not the label a failure, because that wasn’t kind, took three steps to get far too close.

“He’s used your – he’s set up a spell of compulsion only I can break,” the man told him, eyes green and furious. “Don’t say anything, don’t move and if you remember this, do us both a favour, and pretend you don’t.”

Wesley wiped a trembling hand across his mouth when the kiss ended and closed his eyes. Jet lag. Dehydration. Lack of sleep.

“How do you do? My name’s Wyndam-Pryce. The Watchers Council sent me. I’m to be your replacement.”

Rupert Giles may have been a renegade, a wash-out, but Wesley was pleased to see that some training still held. His hand was shaken firmly and he was sipping tea ten minutes later.



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15/11/04