Title: "Cast a Shadow" 1/1 (for now)
Author: monimala
Fandom: Angel/BTVS/Highlander
Rating/Classification: PG, gen, AU, ficlet, humor.
Disclaimer: Mutant Enemy, Rysher, etc. Still not me!
Summary: Set after the Angel finale, "Not Fade Away." May or may not lead to a longer story!

He sputters awake after the world ends and re-starts, coughing up bile and feeling his aching body for wounds that are no longer there. A hand presses lightly to his brow, checking temperature like Nanny used to and urging him back down onto cool sheets that assure him that Hell didn't vomit itself forth on to Los Angeles. Hell doesn't launder. Hell doesn't starch.

He gets the faint impression of blue ink on narrow wrist, hears someone say "Watcher," and the familiar word guides him back into blissful oblivion.

When he comes to again, he finds himself subject to an altogether too merry gaze belonging to an altogether too-amused man who doesn't seem to realize that there is…or was…an Apocalypse to avert.

"Hullo," he greets amiably, prodding Wesley's shoulder with two unconscionably long fingers. Almost as long as the man's nose. "You're not dead if you're wondering…"

"I'd ascertained…that…part," he chokes out past cracked lips, trying to pull away from the annoying fingers but feeling decidedly too weak, like a newborn calf, to do so.

"Stop poking him. Play nice."

"I'm always nice. When am I not nice?"

"Do you want me to cite examples? 'Cause I can. I can even be footnote-y."

At this point, Wesley's not entirely sure about the "not dead" part after all because the second voice, coming from somewhere across the room -- a small, dark, musty enclave -- is one he knows and it shouldn't be, should it? It's one of those white light-tunnel scenarios; the kind that he'd long ceased believing in.

The man stops touching him, holding a glass of water to his lips. He chokes on it, of course, spilling half of it down a shirt he was definitely not wearing when Vail gutted him and sent him to what he thought was his permanent reward…only without the 'reward' part.

Wesley gets a better look at the tattoo after his eyes stop tearing.

Blue ink. A circle with an intricate design inside it. He knows it. He knows it well. Too well, perhaps. Damn his occult education. So he has a general idea of what he's going to hear next. An idea laced with nausea and dizziness and more than mild annoyance.

"Wesley-Wyndham Pryce," intones the man with completely insincere gravity. "Congratulations, you are Immortal and you cannot die."

"Jesus, Methos. Melodramatic much?" The room's other resident slaps the man on the back of the head, sending him half-sprawling across the narrow bed and Wesley himself.

"Well. That was completely unnecessary." The man called Methos uprights himself rather ungracefully from the general area of Wesley's crotch, brushes himself off, and turns to Buffy Summers with a cheeky smile. "You didn't even let me tell him about the free set of Ginsu knives."

Hell doesn't launder. Hell doesn't starch.

Hell quips.



April 8, 2006

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