Alright I've never posted on LJ before so I'm not entirely sure how posting on here works, but I've decided to transfer my fic to here instead of ff.net, so here we go. I'm doing this one first because it's possibly one of my favorite things that I've ever written.
Takes place in AtS S4 and Dollhouse S2, 2400 words. Wesley helps Perrin recover from finding out he is a doll, and Perrin helps Wesley recover from his dark days. Warning: twincest. (I know this is a weird pairing, but just stick with me here. it started out as a crackship but then I got really into it; I promise it's not that weird.)
Open: fade in on two men in bed, one awake and one asleep. They both have dark hair, blue eyes, and similar long faces. The sleeping man makes a low noise, something between a snore and a breath; the other man smiles. The waking man, sitting up in bed, is the more ragged of the two, with hair that was once neat but has grown slightly out of control and stubble covering his face. He has a long scar running across his neck, a scar that has just started to fade but is still visible enough to look fairly fresh. The fingers of one hand are tangled in the sleeping man's hair, absentmindedly moving, stroking. The sleeping man makes another contented noise. He is clean-cut; the only stubble on his chin is that that would have developed during the night, and his hair has the slightly ruffled look of one who went to bed with neatly trimmed and combed hair and has found it somewhat mussed in the night. He shifts in his sleep to lean against the upright man, who looks slightly startled, then pleased, then startled once again by being pleased. Panic flits across his face, but after a moment it is gone, replaced by a slow, warm smile. The light, filtering in through the thin, fluttering curtain, dances across the pale white skin of their naked bodies.
Wesley stares up at the ceiling, the smile on his face carefully controlled but hinting at warmth trying to force its way into his features. He toys cautiously with the hair of the man next to him, giving the impression of absentmindedness, but calculating his movements closely, afraid to wake his sleeping partner and savoring every moment of his fingertips on the man's hair. He feels the warm body beside him shift against his and glances down, startled but pleased. After a moment he realizes how pleased he is by this small movement and is shocked, but cannot quite manage to suppress the warm smile that grows on his face. It feels odd on his lips; he's not sure how long it's been since he's smiled so plainly. Memories began to flit through his mind, memories of the past few weeks, the whirlwind of his life changing; he recalls Connor bundled in his arms; he recalls a cold knife sliding across his throat like half-melted ice; he recalls the smothering force, surprisingly soft, pressed against his face. And then…and then.
Wesley sat in the dimly lit bar, his face lit by the soft red glow of the candle on the counter top and the light filtering in through the dark red curtains. Red seemed to be a theme. How fitting. Indeed, the small amount of light in the room was a deep red from the combination of the two, and the effect it had on Wesley's face was to give it an even more gaunt, haunted appearance than it already possessed. He swirled his drink in its glass and gazed down at it for a moment before tipping the drink back and downing the remaining amber liquid in one gulp.
The door creaked open and snapped shut, cutting through the dull silence of the bar. Stumbling footsteps followed, each a gunshot in the still air. They finally stopped beside Wesley, who looked up to see a haggard man standing above him, fumbling with the stool beside him. His brain slightly hazy, he gazed up at the man, transfixed by the familiarity his face held, and perhaps by something else as well.
"None of it's real," the man said, his voice desolate and desperate, seeking – something.
"Better not real than this," Wesley replied, unsure of what led him to say it. The man laughed openly and loudly, an alarming sound in the semi-dark, pressing silence. His laugh was horrifyingly ragged, the sharp sound of glass shards tumbling together, scraping against each other. Wesley was appalled by the grating sound in his ears, but the man didn't stop. As the man's slightly hysterical laugh continued, Wesley found himself less revolted, drawn in instead. When, at length, the man stopped laughing, he himself looked shaken. Finally managing to pull the stool out from under the bar, the man sat, looking slightly lost. When he began talking, his voice was ragged and hysterical like his laugh.
At the end of the night, Wesley left the man with a card, leftover from his days working with Angel Investigations, and received in return the name of the man who, after hours of talking, was familiar in more than his facial features – Daniel Perrin.
Wesley sat on the couch, his legs curled under him, a glass of half-drunk liquid in his hand, staring straight ahead at the off-white wall. Every few moments, his eyes flicked to the door, then immediately back again, as if upset with himself for the glance. Muffled sounds from the street below permeated the silence of the room from the window, which was open just a crack, sending a cool breeze through the air.
A knock sounded at the door, ringing in the heavy near-silence. Before the knock had ceased, Wesley was on his feet, having jumped up at the slightest hint of the knock's beginning. He paused, frozen in his first step toward the door, and hesitated for a beat before continuing slowly toward the door, which he opened apathetically.
"Hello Daniel," he said by way of greeting, upholding a formal manner in the presence of his new friend.
As time progressed, the night found them seated on opposite corners of Wesley's couch, Daniel speaking rapidly and jerkily, though growing rapidly more comfortable. He explained his confusion, his life up to this point and the shocking discovery of the truth behind his past cautiously and confusedly, and Wesley smiled, laughed, nodded, occasionally contributed a few words.
"I'm not…real. How could it all just disappear?" Daniel beseeched, his eyes wide and shining, and Wesley considered his pleading question.
"The world isn't designed to please us. It tends to destroy our dreams instead," He responded slowly, his voice rough, and Daniel leaned forward as he spoke, drinking in his every word.
They talked late into the night, Daniel feeling his way through his words, working out the world by speaking it aloud, and Wesley listened as he spoke, considering the destroyed innocence behind his ideas, the innocence that reminded him so of himself, or the person he had lost. Perhaps, he thought, the world isn't such a bad place.
His half-finished drink lay forgotten on the table.
Wesley watched his lips, moving jerkily, captured by the words flowing from them, smooth and rapid, each holding its own world of meaning and, as was common for the man before him, confusion. He carefully took in the lyrical tone of Daniel's voice, to the endless well of ideas and emotions and thoughts that seemed to exist inside his head. He listened blissfully to Daniel's slightly jagged laugh, the laugh that seemed to tumble over itself in an endless desire to reach a further point. The laugh that had been jarring when they had first met, but was now nothing short of awe-inspiring in Wesley's ear.
"I'm not sure about anything much anymore," Daniel was saying on the other end of the couch. "Who I am, what the world is – everything I thought I knew, gone. Or fake." Wesley nodded and responded with one of his usual quips about the world, trying once again to sum it up in a sentence for his friend, though he knew he couldn't. Still, he would do the impossible if it would help Daniel.
And indeed, Daniel seemed to appreciate his clumsy attempts to explain the world, to explain away all problems. He was gazing at Wesley in appreciative awe, taking in every word that escaped his lips in much the same way Wesley had been moments earlier.
Wesley finished, and, examining Daniel's expression across from him, saw an odd look pass over Daniel's face. Before he could think – or perhaps in a moment when he wasn't – Daniel leaned forward slowly, absentmindedly, still watching Wesley's face closely. He slipped a gentle kiss onto Wesley's lips, their mouths touching softly and tenderly. After only a moment, he pulled back, his startled expression mirrored and amplified on Wesley's face. Wesley's shock intensified as Daniel leaned in and kissed him again, hard. And yet he found himself kissing back, mouth filled with the taste of desperation and longing even as it was pressed hard against Daniel's. The desperation grew taut between them as they struggled to get closer. They tumbled into bed together, warm under thin white sheets.
Daniel entered the room cautiously, each step hesitant, and took his usual spot on the couch. Images flashed through Wesley's memory, clips of Daniel's short hair fanned out on the pillow, Daniel smiling up at him carelessly, the slide of Daniel's skin against his own, Daniel's silhouette framed in the early morning light before Wesley was truly awake, the empty apartment the next day. When he felt the weight settle on the other side of the couch, however, they immediately slid back into their comfortable roles.
As time progressed, the night found them curled comfortably on the couch after hours of talking, Daniel half asleep against Wesley's chest, Wesley's arm wrapped tenderly around him. Wesley gazed affectionately down at the sleeping man, carefully keeping the movement of his chest to a minimum so as not to wake the man with his breathing. Very gently, he lowered his head and pressed a small kiss on his hairline. When he pulled back, he found Daniel staring up at him with wide eyes, pressed close into his chest.
They tumbled over one another, tangled in Wesley's sheets. They moved carefully this time, the desperation of before gone, as though under water. Wesley gazed down at Daniel and saw shining eyes, gleaming with hope and adoration. Wesley drank in the sight before him, his heart heavy with emotion, almost unpleasantly so. It welled up inside of him and he planted another kiss on Daniel's mouth, slightly clumsy and wet, but it did not matter when Daniel deepened the kiss, pulling him in and holding him close, mouth working slowly but emphatically, deliberately. Taking his time.
Daniel stayed late into the morning this time. 'There are so many possibilities," Wesley remembered him saying. He had seemed scared at the time, but for Wesley, the world was opening up, a door cracking open to cast light into a dark room, enticing him to step out into the brightness. Perhaps he finally was.
Now, Wesley brushes his hand gently through Daniel's soft hair. Weeks have passed, and they have settled into a comfortable routine of talking and tangling and tumbling together. Wesley gazes down at Daniel's relaxed face, certain that this particular routine will never grow worn, that nothing could shatter this perfect bliss, the careless happiness he thought he had forgotten how to feel.
Now, a soft breeze blows in through the open window, drifting over Wesley's skin. His heart still feels heavy with the immense emotion that arose inside it weeks ago, but he doesn't mind it so much now. He longs to press another kiss to Daniel's forehead, but knows better than to do anything that might wake the man.
Now, everything feels alive, the world real and tangible, dangling on a string as though Wesley could reach out and touch it, feel it slide between his fingers and dance around him and inside him, the same way he feels Daniel's hair on his fingertips. Every color informs something in him; makes something inside him stand up and make itself known. The fall of the light on his pillow and Daniel's bare chest seems to make the whole world glow.
Wesley sits on his couch, days later, staring once more at the blank wall across from him, a beer in his hand. Without thinking, he has sat in the seat it has become a habit to take, leaving the other place on the couch reserved for Daniel. Daniel who wouldn't be coming. Wesley sips his beer, thoughts racing through his head, longing for Daniel's presence beside him…No, he tells himself. Daniel can no longer be a part of his life. Not since they've discovered the truth.
How such a thing could happen, Wesley doesn't know. How they could be twins, how he could have not realized, in all this time. He had no idea that he has a brother, let alone a twin. And that it was Daniel…that it had to be Daniel…He stares glumly ahead, struggling to understand. It's all gone; everything, destroyed. He's lost Daniel as quickly as he had become swept up in the blissful impossibility that the relationship was to begin with. Daniel would never, he knows. Never stay with him, never continue. Not Daniel. He turns his beer in his hand before taking another sip.
Wesley's head jerks up as the door, which he never locks, flies open. He is greeted with the sight of Daniel standing over him, face flushed and eyes bright.
"Wesley, please," he begins the moment he's in the door, his voice pleading. "You haven't answered my calls; I just want to talk to you."
"I thought you wouldn't want to –" Wesley answers, hesitant and hurt. "Not now that…"
"You think I care?" Daniel laughs raggedly, desperately, just like the first time they met. A jagged laugh, full of stones and glass and steel tumbling over each other. "You think it makes a difference to me if we're related? I'm not even real!" He shakes his head jerkily, as if to rid it of a persistent bug or a particularly vicious thought. "You think I'd give you up for anything? I adore you!"
"I couldn't – I didn't –" Wesley's voice shakes as he struggles for words, but for once words fail him and he gives up. He pulls Daniel in to kiss him, again full of that desperation, one hand immediately tangled in Daniel's hair and the other clutching the back of his neck, never wanting to let go. Wesley's heart flips in his chest as Daniel kisses him back hungrily, and he knows that he will never have to let go.