aimeelicious: (bluespike_byessene)
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I wrote for [livejournal.com profile] pepperlandgirl4. Her request was Spike and Wesley. Prompts included: Post-NFA, minor angst, The Hyperion, Wilco's Passenger Side (song). Please do NOT include: Buffy, pining over Buffy. I have to admit, I did not manage to include the Wilco lyrics. My sincere apologies, I do hope you're okay with how it worked out.

Title: Paranormal Physics
Pairing: Spike, Wesley as friends
Rating: NTP (no toddlers please)
Warnings: post-NFA
Summary: What Spike does after the big battle in the alley. More dialog & character stuff than plot. 1,966 words.

Spike lay on the narrow bed, staring up at the ceiling. It looked a lot like the one he'd stared at last week, and the week before that. Pretty much every room in this godforsaken hotel seemed to have the same flaking plaster and water stains, but he tried to think of moving every few days as entertainment. Of course, if he was honest with himself, he was really just waiting for Wesley to show up again.

It wasn't like he *wanted* to see Wesley, he thought. Wasn't like Wes was the only...well, friend he had in the whole world. No, the anticipation was purely business. Spike snorted. He couldn't lie. Business was lonely, and Wesly *was* his only...well, friend. The only thing that kept him going, truth be told. And didn't that put the tin lid on it. Angel's adored lackey, now a ghost much like he'd once been, was his only grounding influence.

As if he'd been summoned, Wesley's shape suddenly materialized next to the bed and that familiar face peered down at him.

"Why is it that I always find you lazing about?" Wes said with a frown.

"'Cause I don't have anything to do 'til you show up," Spike replied, not moving.

"There is always evil to fight, Spike," Wesley intoned, in that annoyingly formal voice he sometimes used. It reminded him of Giles.

"Yes, O Powerful Speaker for the Wanke...sorry, Powers That Be." Spike sat up reluctantly, swinging his feet around and planting them on the floor, right where Wesley's were. It was fun to wind him up, since despite being incorporeal the bloke still had a sense of personal space.

"Do watch what you're doing," Wesley said, taking a few steps back to avoid the boots. "And yes, I know you're trying to irritate me. I've been here less than ten seconds, could you not wait at least a few minutes before starting the usual routine?" Spike cocked his head slightly, observing Wesley as he spoke. There was an undertone of hurt there that he hadn't heard before, and it made him feel slightly guilty. Damn soul.

"Sorry," he said, actually meaning it. "What've you got for me?"

Wes looked surprised, but Spike wasn't sure if it was because of the apology or the abrupt change of subject. Fortunately, he seemed inclined to get on with things regardless.

"According to my information, a group of vampires, led by one Martin Olhaafer, plans to sacrifice a virgin at midnight to raise a Spnzr."

That was a stupid name for a demon.

"What do Spnzrs do, hate vowels?" Spike inquired, pleased with his cleverness and disappointed when he got no reaction.

Instead, Wesley referred to a piece of paper he'd pulled from his pocket and continued talking, while Spike idly wondered how it all worked. Wesley couldn't make contact with anything and yet he wore clothes and held objects. Must be that if something came from wherever he went when he wasn't here, he could touch it. But what about the floor? How come neither of them had never just sunk down through it?

"Spike, are you listening?" Oops.

"Um, might have missed some of that," Spike admitted, trying to focus. It was just that his assignments kind of ran together after a while. Find bad guys, save victim(s), stop apocalypse/rising evil/etc. It was all rather redundant.

"You must pay attention, Spike. If the vampires are successful in raising this demon, the consequences would be dire, for you and many others. I would not want your inability to follow along as I talk to be the reason you die."

Spike wasn't sure how to respond to Wesley's unexpected concern, so he finally settled on arrogance. "Die? I've killed hundreds of demons in my time, Wes, one more won't likely do me in," he said with a confident smile.

"Spnzrs are particularly dangerous to you because their mode of defense is breathing fire, Spike, plumes of flame that can stretch hundreds of meters," Wesley explained, his voice rising slightly.

Spike stopped smiling. That sounded like a pretty rotten way to go. "Right then. Heard of this Olhaafer fellow once before, back in the 1920's I think, so he's been around a while. Got involved in smuggling alcohol during prohibition, but I don't remember him having any interest in the occult," he continued, and then something else occurred to him. "If these Spnzrs use fire, how come Olhaafer's gang isn't worried about raisin' one?"

"Because if they raise one, they control it," answered Wesley.

"So what do they want to do once they've got it?" Spike asked, still confused about why a vampire connected to the Mob would develop an interest in flame-throwing demons.

Wesley nodded. "We're not entirely certain, but it appears Olhaafer has gotten in trouble with the ruling vampire family here in L.A., and decided to wipe them out rather than make a run for it. The vampires helping him all have some sort of grudge themselves, Olhaafer didn't have any trouble recruiting."

"Huh," said Spike. Stupid vampire politics. He was glad he'd never seen right to participate in that rot, even with the Master of his own line. Well, wasn't his problem, and Olhaafer's plan was never going to work anyway if he did his job right.

Wesley gave him a vague location plus a few more details, and Spike was as ready as he was going to get. Then came the part he hated about this set-up. Neither he or Wesley were very good at good-byes, and in their current situation, they could never be certain it wasn't the last.

Wesley started. "Well then, you'd best get moving. It's already after 9:00," he pointed out. Spike could hear the worry in his voice, and before he could stop himself, he broke with tradition.

"You okay with all this, Wes?" he asked, waving his hand to encompass the both of them. "Stopping by to give me assignments and then just disappearing again? Where do you go when you aren't here anyway?"

Spike was not following their usual script, and Wesley was clearly at a loss. "Well, I go somewhere very quiet and timeless, until the Powers give me a message to pass on to you," he finally said, avoiding the first question entirely.

"Is it boring?"

"Not at all," Wes answered quickly. "It's hard to explain, but without feeling time pass, there is no sense of missing something to do. I just...am."

"Sounds like you feel pretty good there," Spike said.

"It's rather lovely," said Wesley, getting a distant look in his eyes.

Spike kept going. "So I don't see how gettin' chucked out of there to come back here all the time works for you."

"I don't have a choice, really. I mean, it's not like one says 'No' to the Powers," Wes replied, shaking his head.

"Angel did," Spike stated. "Bet you'd rather be working with him than me."

Suddenly the air in the room was tight even though its occupants did not need to breathe. The subject of Angel had never been broached, not even the first time Spike received a visit from his new seer.

Wesley appeared to be choosing his words very carefully. "While I do miss Angel, I also enjoy working with you. Angel was a good man, and a great Champion against evil. I was very...fond of him," he said, glaring at Spike who had let out a small chuckle. "It's true, I harbored feelings for Angel," Wes continued, "but I find you to be more forthright, and willing to take what advice I have to offer." He paused again, then went on in something of a rush. "You are the only person I speak to now and I can't imagine...not having that. Not still having a connection to the world I once inhabited. I worry, every time we part, that...we might not meet again," Wes finished quietly, his eyes cast down.

Spike was stunned. It was perhaps the longest personal statement he'd ever heard from Wesley, alive or dead. Plus, he'd said some almost-nice things about him, things Spike would never have expected. Honest things, and he figured he should probably return the favor.

"Like seein' you too, Wes. Might still be here instead of wherever I'll end up when I dust for the last time, but aside from you I'm pretty much alone. We might not be friends, but at least I know you'll show up again," Spike acknowledged. "Even look forward to it most times."

Wes smiled at the grudging admission. "I'd actually like to think of us as friends, Spike. Can we do that?"

"Yeah, s'pose we could. Nice to know I've got someone on my side, at least," Spike agreed, trying not to look as pleased as he felt.

"Then as your friend, I would like to say that I hope you are particularly cautious tonight. These vampires are quite determined."

"Promise," said Spike. He felt newly determined himself. Wasn't going to lose a fight just as things were looking a bit up.

************************

Four hours later, Spike returned to his interchangeable room, exhausted and covered in ash. He was surprised when Wesley appeared only moments after the door closed--there usually wasn't another visit from him until it was time to move on.

"Back so soon?" he asked, shedding the duster and slumping into the nearest chair.

"I wished to see how you were," said Wes.

"Been better, but the blood delivery should be here shortly and I'll get myself patched up," Spike stated. "Got all the vamps, you can tell the Powers. Guessin' they already know though, since they've never asked for a report." Spike made a face. He might like working with Wes, but the PTB were downright annoying. Always expecting everyone to just do their bidding. Of course, most everyone did.

Wesley came closer and gave Spike a small smile. "I'm glad you weren't seriously injured, and that the Spnzr was not successfully called."

"Me too, Wes. Thanks for uh...coming to check on me," Spike said, uncertain about this new protocol of after-assignment talk.

"I will plan on doing so from now on, if that's alright with you. As your friend, I mean, not as your seer," Wes clarified.

Spike nodded. "That'd be great." And it would. He wished he had a better way to express his appreciation.

"I'll leave you to your rest then, shall I?" Wesley started to fade.

"Wait!" said Spike. "Maybe you'd fancy a round of poker or somethin', keep me company 'til the blood comes?"

"How will I see what I have?" asked Wesley. Always practical, that one.

"I can hold the bottom card up facing you, yeah? Show you as I deal?" Spike was already up and rummaging around in his coat pockets for the cards.

"I suppose that would work," mused Wesley, coming forward to stand on one side of the little table in the corner. It listed slightly, but Spike had bet on worse.

"Sit," he said to Wes, who looked puzzled.

"Can I do that?" he asked, answering his own question as he settled gingerly into one of the available plastic chairs. Spike sat down on the other one.

"If I could, you can," he said, satisfied Wes was going to stay. "PTB ever explain the whole incorporeal thing to you, mate?" Spike asked. "Some of it makes no sense, like the business of being able to touch some inanimate stuff but not animate. Seems like cheatin' to me."

Wes launched happily into a complicated explanation of paranormal physics, and as Spike shuffled he realized that for the first time in months he was actually looking forward to something. Yeah, he wouldn't miss meeting a new ceiling tonight. There were better friends to be had.

Date: 2005-05-02 02:49 am (UTC)
ext_1720: two kittens with a heart between them (Default)
From: [identity profile] ladycat777.livejournal.com
Mmmm. Love them together *snuggles you*

Date: 2005-05-02 04:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pepperlandgirl4.livejournal.com
Hey!

Great fic. Thanks a lot. :) It's ok you couldn't get "Passenger Side" lyrics invovled...that was just my underhanded attempt to make other people listen to Wilco ;)

I really liked the idea at the core of this fic--Wes is incorporeal and leading Spike. I thought that was a great way to make a post-NFA (sorry that wasn't the easiest request in the world...) I really enjoyed it. Great job.

Date: 2005-05-02 02:02 pm (UTC)
ext_1124: (spike_goodnight by wisteria_)
From: [identity profile] rainkatt.livejournal.com
They're cute... poor Spike, so lonely, but Wes caring enough to worry. Yeah... lovely.

Date: 2005-05-02 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] moosesal.livejournal.com
That was really sweet and kinda sad. I like the idea of them playing poker at the end and Spike finding a way around Wes's inability to hold the cards.

Date: 2005-05-02 05:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] timeofchange.livejournal.com
Wonderful character voices. I enjoyed this very much.

Date: 2005-05-02 05:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] married-n-mich.livejournal.com
I'm slowly making my way through the fics and I must say, *Gulp*. Wonderful job. I feel all weepy now. They're both so lonely, but eager for someone to connect to on a friendship level...

Kudos!

Date: 2005-05-02 08:57 pm (UTC)

Date: 2005-05-03 01:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] semby.livejournal.com
This was really sweet. Very nice interactions between these two characters. Nice work!

Date: 2005-05-03 07:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crazydiamondsue.livejournal.com
Suddenly the air in the room was tight even though its occupants did not need to breathe. - Loved that. You could almost feel it.

I liked the idea behind this, as well as the execution. Wes's speech about Angel was very in character, and still allowed him to open up a bit, since he had nothing to lose. Nice job!

Date: 2005-05-08 09:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trepkos.livejournal.com
Yes, nice.
They should be pals.

Date: 2005-06-02 11:30 pm (UTC)
ext_30116: (Default)
From: [identity profile] libco.livejournal.com
Nicely done.
Ps-I finally finished your story. It's unbeta-ed but posted if you wanna look. http://www.livejournal.com/users/libco/146994.html

Date: 2005-06-26 06:01 am (UTC)

Paranormal Physics

Date: 2005-07-01 11:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blushingeyes.livejournal.com
Very enjoyable story, and I think you've got both Wes and Spike very much in character. I can quite imagine Spike being quasi-numb for a time after surviving NFA, but as always, he'd eventually need to start reconnecting. Love the poker, and most especially loved the fact that Spike was as curious about all that "paranormal physics" of what a non-corporeal could and couldn't do as we were! :) Thanks for writing this!
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