Imaginary

Imaginary

By Willa

Rating: NC17
Pairing: Wesley/Angel
Summary: Wesley daydreams in an effort to escape waking up to another day at Wolfram & Hart. Dreams of the one thing he wants most in all the world... then faces reality, turn and turn alike.

***

From Sonnet #27...

Excerpt from the diary of Wesley Wyndham-Pryce:

I am no longer a Watcher, nor a useful detective, and need no reminding of that fact. And what I have become...

I wake with the knowledge of ruination soured in my heart and fall asleep, tossing, with the memory bitter as rue on my tongue.

But I remain a man, with all one's attendant dreams and desires. I find that I need... I want... I crave the impossible, as I toss on my bed... and to comfort my weary soul, I find myself drawn deeper still into waking dreams of what cannot be...

* **

The Dream:

There is no alarm clock; they have no need of them here. Time is a fluid thing, shaped to their desires. The windows and curtains have been opened for him, spilling a breeze heavy with salt and the sounds of the ocean into their bedroom. This is what they've always dreamed of, all the peace and privacy of it. It was made just for them.

Night and sleep fade away in the wake of yellow-rose sunlight from the eastern exposure that creeps over Wesley's pillow and warms his face. His eyelashes flutter as he slips out of sleep, drifting naturally into wakefulness.

For a long moment he's content to lie, curled on his side, one hand extended to caress the dips and hollows in the soft mattress beside him, left by his lover. His share of the bed has grown cool, now; he must have been awake and gone for some time. Wesley knows, from a lingering tingle on his lips, that he was kissed gently before their parting. He just knows this. It's always so.

The Reality:

Wesley's alarm shrills into the darkness - strident and harsh, jerking him out of a stormy sleep. His eyes snap open and he hears himself gasping roughly. Such nightmares - filled with knives that slice, and guns that fire, the eternal grayness of meetings and committees with gimlet eyes that pierce him and find him wanting.

It is a narrow bed, all that's needed for one long, lean man. Even his own body warmth is not enough to keep it from being cold and uninviting. He slaps at the clock to shut it up, and leaves the mattress gladly behind him. Not yet five o'clock, and time to start another day.

Pinch, the ferret Fred gifted him with - a strange gesture of goodwill on her part, meant to comfort and thank him after the debacle with his pseudo-father - skitters around his feet, chittering ~good morning~ and ~feed me now, please~. It allows a brief stroke his hand down its lean body and bounds away, not interested when there are better things to play with.

Body rested but mind yet weary, Wesley shuts his eyes and sways on his feet. For a moment, he lets himself drift away...

The Dream:

He stretches, delighting in the pull of every muscle and the soft popping of joints. He feels boneless as a cat, as if he could roll in this sunbeam for hours and be content.

A smile drifts across his lips as he remembers the night before. Strong, cool fingers massaging their way down from his hips, then gripping him tightly enough to leave red marks in their wake... the sound of unneeded breath coming heavy and quick... white-hot burnings left in the wake of lips brushing his cheeks, his throat, his chest... the unbearable gentleness of his lover lifting his legs to drape them across broad shoulders... stroking down his calves, the undersides of his thighs, tickling, teasing...

Flexing a little, he discovers that he is still a little sore, deliciously so. If he closes his eyes the sensory memory of that slick glide in and out is still so vivid. He can still smell the need in his lover to burst loose, not to be gentle. Remember how he urged him on with grasping hands, pulling him closer still. Tasted the relief and the savage need when their mouths met.

He looks up at a small sound of movement from the warm kitchen adjoining their bedroom; clinks and clanks of metal on iron. A burst of fragrance wafts in to entice him - the smell of rich coffee, freshly brewed and ready to drink. He can almost taste it, heady on his tongue, just from the scent...

The Reality:

Careful not to trip on Pinch, chittering at him from here and there as the ferret scurries about, Wesley stumbles into his tiny kitchenette. Out of habit, he snaps on the power to his computer as he passes it. The blue glow is eerie in the darkened room, and he shivers in distaste. Such a cold light.

The timer has failed again on his automatic coffeepot. What point in putting beans and water in to grow stale through the night if they won't have the decency to brew before one wakes? Dispirited, he flips the switch. A pinpoint of red light joins the blue.

His favorite mug is in the sink, dirty. He's forgotten to wash it again.

To pacify the ferret, he reaches under the sink and fetches out a bag of scientifically formulated kibble, pouring it into the small green dish on a mat at his feet. No wonder Pinch is so eager - he'd eaten all that was left out the night before. Wesley wonders that the creature doesn't grow fat on such gluttony, but he knows very little about the breed, after all...

Unable to resist, he bends and touches the silky fur once more, soft beneath his fingertips. A small bit of comfort. A living creature that needs him. It's a good thing to have.

His muscles creak as he stands and rubs both hands over his thin cheeks. There's time to shower, to shave, to select his clothing. And almost no desire to do any of it.

Instead, he steals the first strong cup of sour coffee from the pot and sits in front of his monitor. A click of the mouse and his itinerary scrolls up onto the screen. Meeting after meeting, with no end in sight until it's night and dark again.

His head nods tiredly. If only...

The Dream:

He slips from beneath the rumpled sheets and stands, savoring the feel of the cool wooden floor under his bare feet. Polished to a high gloss, honey-rich in its sheen, it is bliss to stand on, more welcoming than the softest rug.

A pair of soft pants lies cast over the ladder-back of a near chair - not his own, but loose and comfortable, as soft a blue as the salt sea outside their door. He slips them on, quivering in pleasure at the touch of fleece on flesh, at the scent of their owner that rises as they warm to his skin.

Quieter noises emerge from the kitchen - the light rustling of newspaper, the contented whine of their mongrel dog as it makes itself comfortable before the gas range. The clink of metal on ceramic as coffee pot meets cup, pouring out the fragrant brew.

Wesley sighs in deep content with all of it, this quiet domesticity. He wants more, to be part of the peaceful scene, to join his lover once again. A few minutes parted are a few too many. His languid steps bring him quickly to the doorless passage through to their kitchen.

There, he leans on the wall, drinking in the sight before him... and smiles.

The Reality:

The light over the sink is the only one that works, and it is both harsh and fluorescent, crackling and spitting at him when he turns it on. To the note on the refrigerator, Wesley adds a note to buy more bulbs when he goes shopping next. After a thought, he adds: ferret kibble.

The paper's battered, and gone crackly round the corners. There is never a chance to visit the stores. Easy enough to pass it off, but he hates entrusting a list like this to a gofer or secretary. It's not their business what sort of lettuce he prefers, or if he favors minty toothpaste over the whitening blend. There'll be time someday, surely. Until then... he'll just add items to the list of what he wants.

But these are just things. What he really wants...

The Dream:

"Good morning, sweetheart," he murmurs, leaning his head against the smooth entryway. All the better to gaze at his heart's love.

He is so beautiful in the morning - chair pulled carefully away from the direct light, but close enough to feel the warmth and bask his bare toes by the stove. One foot is gently rubbing at the shaggy belly of the dog. She whines in pleasure, wiggling at the feel of it, and then rolls about eagerly at the sound of her other master's voice.

"Hello to you too, Molly," Wesley says, amused. But he can't pull his eyes away from his lover for long. Adorably rumpled from sleep, hair sticking in every direction and a loose pair of pajama bottoms clinging to him. They belong to Wesley, and he knows his own scent clings to them.

He smiles back, eyes crinkling, and pushes the steaming cup of coffee across their pine table toward Wesley, inviting: "Join me?"

As if he could - would - stay away. But though it smells like ambrosia, he's not so interested in the dark brew. He ignores the second chair waiting for him, and comes to his lover's side instead, bending his head down for a kiss. Nibbling gently on the fullness of the lower lip, he feels it quirk into a smile and sucks it briefly into his mouth.

"You're in a good mood," his lover says softly, reaching up to ruffle the hair on the back of Wesley's neck. He returns the kiss, slipping his tongue inside. He tastes of coffee and the morning air, of love and pleasure, and the faintest remaining traces of his own flavour...

Drawing back, their eyes meet. "Beautiful morning," he says softly. "Better now."

Wesley grins and runs his fingers lightly over bare shoulders. "I should say so, my own Angel..."

The Reality:

A discreet envelope pops up in the corner of Wesley's computer screen. E-mail. Company internal memo. Already. He grimaces, but clicks on the thing to open it.

It's terse to the point of painfulness:

Wesley,
Breakfast conference in one hour with the Merlick delegation. No human food; eat there first. Company dress. Shave.
Angel

No greetings. Not a personal word, nor a wish for the day to be pleasant. Pinch jumps up on his shoulder, peering at the screen. It hisses, displeased. He thinks the animal is smarter than he suspected before. "Good lad," he mutters, sighing at a cold nose pokes into the graying hair above his temple. "You've some sense."

Unlike himself. Faced with cold reality and reminders to be what he is not, he cannot help but drift away yet again...

The Dream:

Languid as a swimmer, Wesley uses his leverage on those shoulders to lower himself onto Angel's lap. One leg to either side, he hugs the man's thighs close and leans into his solid chest, snuggling his head into the curve of one shoulder. Angel's hand comes up to stroke his back as he sighs deeply in pleasure. "You feel so good to me," he murmurs. "The weight of you... I'll never get tired of it."

"Nor I of you," Wesley whispers into the softly curling hairs that tickle his chin. "The way you collapse on me, murmuring bits of Gaelic in my ear, every bit of you gone loose as rubber coming down from that peak..." He lifts his head to bite softly at Angel's chin. "The way you nuzzle then complain of beard burn, but come back for more..."

Angel's eyes are darkening. "You're an insatiable thing," he hisses, arms settling and tightening around Wesley's waist. "What you do to me just by talking..."

His hands curl down around the curves of Wesley's arse and shift him closer still, pushing their groins into contact. He can feel the hardness growing there, stirring inside the sleep pants.

With a mischievous grin, he wiggles, pushing their cloth-covered cocks against each other. "...is the same as you do for me," he finishes Angel's sentence, "just by sitting here in the warm and waiting for me to wake."

Angel chuckles, leaning in to bite at Wesley's earlobe. "Mo anam," he says softly. "You'll drive me mad."

Wesley undulates again, rubbing tantalizingly against the growing bulge. "You feel so good to me," he whispers.

"And you... oh, god, you too." Biting kisses nip their way down his jaw and neck, leaving little raised marks that he'll wear proudly as the day goes on. But for now...

He moves one more time, then pulls back and slides off, gliding his hands along Angel's thighs as he goes. "Coffee is all very well," he teases, "but there is something I would rather taste."

Angel's fingers curl into a loose ball, letting go of him so very reluctantly, then eagerly as Wesley's hands pluck at his drawstring, dipping within. "Far be it from me to deny you," he breathes out. His hands stroke through Wesley's hair. "What I would do without you..."

"Not to be thought of," Wesley murmurs as his hand closes around Angel's cock, jutting proudly out, and rests it in his palm before squeezing. "Life would not be the same thing at all if you were not in it."

The Reality:

What Angel has requested, Angel must have, and so Wesley stands with reluctance from this meager moment of rest and stalks to the bathroom. The lights in there, stark and unforgiving, reflect back a face with hollowed cheeks and dark circles beneath the eyes.

No matter. No one will look that closely.

Preparing himself is old habit - shaving first, the razor gliding down his cheeks with the ease of long practice, scraping away bristles that have indeed grown too long for professionalism. He rinses his hands, feels of the smoothness. It will do.

Off come the glasses and in go the contacts. So odd to deliberately slip something in your eye. Do you blind yourself a little, each time you do this?

He sheds his T-shirt and sweatpants and reaches into the shower to start the water. Not hot. Lukewarm. Almost a little cool...

The Dream:

Angel's legs are splayed wide, his head thrown back. He breathes in and out, quick unnecessary gasps of air, as Wesley's tongue plays with his cock, swirls around the swollen head, licking away dribbling pre-come and stabbing deep as he can into the slit. One hand has wormed beneath Angel and strokes hard at the smooth strip of skin behind his sac, thrusting up a little, not quite enough to satisfy. And Angel loves it.

His other hand slides down to work on his own urgent erection, but from somewhere Angel finds the will to bump his questing fingers away with one knee. "No," he rasps. "Mine!"

"Soon," Wesley says, lapping down the length of Angel's shaft. "Soon..."

The Reality:

He's vaguely surprised, as he steps beneath the spray of water, to discover that he is hard. He could ignore it, and is more than half-inclined to do so. But perhaps there might be a moment of pleasure... a small spark of joy...

He grips himself loosely in one fist, and begins to pump. His hand is cold and feels like a foreign thing.

The Dream:

The coffee is forgotten, the sunlight ignored, the pounding ocean outside only an echo of Wesley's pulse. Angel surges from his chair in a wave and seizes Wesley tight, kissing him as if he's life to be drunk in vast, parched gulps. He pushes at him, smoothing the way down, laying him flat on the floor. His wide hand wraps tight around Wesley's cock and milks it, stripping hard and fast. "Need you," he's mumbling into one ear, near gone in his fit of want. "Need you now. Let me have you, Wes, please..."

In between kisses, Wesley manages to respond: "Never ask, Angel. All that I am is yours. Belongs to you. Is yours."

He spreads himself wide, swallowed by the love. "Come here and finish what you've started."

And Angel falls upon him, devouring him whole.

The Reality:

It's a sharp, joyless climax after all, a small amount of semen spattering down to land at his feet and wash down the drain. Wesley feels nothing, neither pleasure nor relief, simply a sense of well, that's taken care of now.

He ignores the small part of him that wishes it had been more. That wants to reach about and touch himself deeper, bring his body back to life...

The Dream:

Angel's fingers spread him wide, pressing ruthlessly on the sweet spot that makes him roll his pelvis like a wanton, rasping out his lover's name. Shamelessly begging for more. Their erections drool, leaking on each other's skin in translucent trails that speak of their need to be joined.

"Say that you're ready for me," he feels rumbled against his throat. "Can't wait much longer--"

"Ready." Wesley thrusts his hips up, shameless. "Always ready."

The Reality:

Naked and uncaring, Wesley leaves the bathroom without a glance behind him. The towels can fester on the floor until Housekeeping stops by. What matter?

He glances at Angel's e-mail, still open, as he passes his computer.

But only once...

The Dream:

They are joined intimately as can possibly be, Angel's body sunk so deeply in Wesley's that it can go no further. Hands grab, clutch, stroke, bite in everywhere that can be reached; mouths are ravaged and chests rub against each other in hungry strokes. The fire is building, blazing, soon it will be out of control -

The Reality:

Every day is the same, with no one to care for more than the proprieties, and so Wesley's clothes all look alike. He misses the years of battered shirts and jeans, soft as cotton, that clung to his skin. Now he's faced with a row of suits, each one another dull day on a hanger. The ties differ only in their muted jewel tones, meant to add a bright note.

He always picks a gray one. It seems symbolic, somehow. He pulls the red one off the rack and tosses it for Pinch to play with. The ferret chirps in excitement and runs away with his prize.

The Dream:

They collapse upon and into each other, aftershocks rippling through them. It is a thing of such beauty, forever to be prized, this moment. His taciturn lover murmurs Irish endearments over his skin, and he responds with rough Anglo-Saxon words of appreciation for what they've done.

Angel's head is pillowed on him, hands still moving sleepily. His own soft ache sharpened into a delicious burn. All around them, the smells of sex and coffee fill the air with a heady perfume.

No matter how many times it happens, it's never enough. He'll always want more. Angel will always want more. They crave it like the sweetest of drugs, and let the addiction grow ever greater. It has already consumed them both.

But Wesley knows that like always, he will never forget this particular moment.

The Reality:

He moves toward the computer to shut it off. Pinch is sitting upright in his chair, nosing at the keys. There's a smile in him, he discovers, at the little thing's antics. Would that he had time to sit down and see if it would curl up in his lap, allow it to warm him with its simple animal affections.

A red message pops up on the screen as his finger moves toward "off":

Wesley, you're going to be late. Get up here now. - Angel

Ah. He's taken too long getting ready, then. He always does.

The remains of his coffee are poured out in the sink, another dirty mug joining the first. A quick check ensures him that Pinch has provisions for the day. And there's nothing else to do, not really. Just straighten his tie, pick up the briefcase waiting by the door, and walk out into bright Wolfram & Hart day.

And he'll be ready. To face Angel in his cold office, in his chilly new role, distanced as he never has been before.

He'll be ready any minute.

Any minute now.

The Dream:

Worn out beyond the gentlest of sleepy caresses, Wesley and Angel curl up together on the kitchen floor with limbs entangled. The ocean waves rush in their ears, lulling them into a doze.

Wesley has time for only one thought before he is lost to the warm comfort of sleep: it is better here. So much better by far...

* **

Excerpt from the diary of Wesley Wyndham-Pryce:

I have little to report. Life goes on as ever here in my new capacity. And if I cannot be happy, I can at least be fulfilled by knowledge that I still help to fight the good fight.

There's nothing missing in my waking existence.

Not when I can find it all in my all-consuming dreams...

The End

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