"Aaaaaaahhhhh!" Cordelia shrieked at the top of her longs as the hell-beast scratched at her, its razor-sharp claws swiping millimetres before the tender skin of her face, moisturized only an hour earlier. It was a vampire, but unlike any she'd seen before in her brief tenure as Honorary Scooby Gang Member. She held a slender hand up to her mouth as she backed up against the tall wooden fence behind her, her pretty mouth tugged into a form of terror.
He'd have to be swift. There wasn't much of a time window here.
Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, Watcher extraordinaire, leapt with all his strength, flying at the creature with awesome grace, his hands stretched forth like some comic book superhero, but with much more dignity. And no underpants outside his trousers.
The monster was torn down to the ground as Wesley's arms
closed down around it, and he fell with it, tumbling
roughly on the stony surface. The gruesome creature bared giant fangs, howling shrilly as its vile breath escaped from the gritty mouth. God, what an ugly brute this was! Wesley raised a wooden stake high into the air. Luckily he had been carrying this spare he had found lying around in Mr Giles' library this afternoon, otherwise Miss Chase would have been in severe trouble. The sharp end of the stake entered the creature's hairy body as easily as a knife cut through butter, and in a sudden burst, it
collapsed into a small pile of ashes on the ground. Wesley lay there on the ground for a good few moments after that, staring at the scattered remains of the creature spawned in the pits of Hell. Had he done that? By Jove, he had! He had killed his first vampire outside the controled habitat of the Watchers' Council Center back home. His heart hammered like a pneumatic drill in his chest, feeling as though any moment it might break its way free of his fragile chest and flop out onto the ground. He rather hoped it didn't, really. Eventually, his breath slowed, and his heart calmed. Wesley nodded, pursing his lips. All in all, a job well done. And then he looked up at Cordelia, the young woman whose life he had just saved. She stared down at him with
those beautiful hazel eyes that outshone a thousand suns in their brilliance, her full, pink lips parted in thanks, and his heart began to pound anew. Perhaps even worse than before.
The Watcher clumsily climbed to his feet, brushing himself off with as much dignity as he could retain. His charcoal suit was wrinkled slightly, but recoverable. Vampire dust coated his knees, and he reached down to wipe them clean.
"You saved my life again!" Cordelia sighed, her voice heaving with some emotion Wesley hoped like mad was lust. Oh, he knew he shouldn't, but Miss Chase was simply the most beautiful creature he had ever set his eyes upon, and he couldn't bare to think she didn't even remotely see him the same way. "How can I ever thank you?" I can think of a way, he wanted to reply, but instead fixed nervously at his tie and cleared his throat. Minuscule droplets of sweat began to appear on his forehead, and he mentally willed them to stop. He had to appear professional here.
"No.. need for... thanks," he stammered to the unbelievable girl who stood before him. "Merely doing my... duty as a... Watcher." He sniffed.
Did that go right? Somehow he didn't think that was what he meant to say. He chided himself. Not personal enough. Make it more personal.
"You're so brave, Wesley," she said, her eyes wide and smooth, so deep... She laid a hand on his shoulder, and his body shivered in response. Touch me again, he pleaded internally.
He swallowed hard, unable to speak for a moment. Then, spotting movement behind her, he said, "Sometimes the bravest thing to do is run," he advised, and Cordelia turned her head to see a small group of vampires stalking slowly up behind them. She shrieked again, and her hands flew up in despair. Wesley placed a hand on her back, feeling the warmth of her body, and pressed her gently forward. "Run!" he repeated, and they set off.
Cordelia was hardly dressed for a late night chase, Wesley noted, looking down at her. The tight skirt that hugged her gorgeous hips allowed for little leg movement, and the red high heels she wore on her feet were a severe impediment to swift motion. His gaze moved up further, to the fabulous crimson top, cut low enough to reveal a sizeable amount of those assets he knew assuredly he should not be looking at, but couldn't tear his eyes away from. He forced his eyes to move to the small black jacket that covered it, keeping her arms warm, but they merely slipped back to her chest.
Stop it man! he berated himself. She's a child. A student, a young, nubile, shapely, sexually mature... No! Stop!
She yelled in that high-pitched voice again as she stumbled along, and her purse bounded all around as she clutched it tightly in her left hand. The growling and scuffling continued unabated behind them, and Wesley hoped to God they could outrun the fiends that pursued them. He doubted it, though. They'd have to use their wits. Too bad his were scrambled by the glorious perfume that clogged his nostrils, elevating him to a level where he walked five feet above the pavement below him.
"In here!" he yelled suddenly, ducking into a side alley. He and the girl beside him raced along the narrow way, stepping on piles of garbage as they did so. As it squelched beneath her high heels, Wesley heard Cordy mumbling:
"Eeewww! Yuck! Euch! Nasty!" And various similar descriptors. Ah, she had such a way with words... No time for that now. They had to keep up the pace. In a few seconds, they emerged from the alleyway, scrambling along various paths and walkways, until Wesley stopped, satisfied their pursuers had ceased to follow. He settled back against the brick wall they stopped beside, trying to catch his breath. His lungs ached, feeling like they might collapse any minute. Cordelia sank there beside him, one hand to her ample chest.
"You think we lost them?" she asked, looking up at him with frightened eyes.
"We... seem to have," he gasped, still unable to regain his wind. Cordelia's presence, of course, always snatched his breath away. "I believe they're... gone."
"Thank God," she sighed, feeling back at the bunch she had caught her lustrous chestnut hair in, ensuring it was still perfectly arranged. Of course, it was. When was it ever not? "I was so scared, Wesley. Who knows what I would have done if you hadn't been there to rescue me?"
"Yes... well... hmmmm," he muttered, slapping his forehead in his mind. Get a grip, man. Talk normally!
"Wesley," she said, laying a hand on his shirt, right over his heart. She must have been able to feel it quicken at the touch. "I'm so scared. I don't think I can go home." Her eyes flitted up to his, wide and innocent.
"Do you think... you could take me back to your place?" Song and dance erupted in Wesley's mind, a celebration to end all celebrations. The 1999 New Year's events would have nothing on the joyous festivities that exploded in Wesley's head at those magical words spoken by Miss Cordelia Chase. He wasn't jumping the gun, here. He didn't expect any... thing from her. Just to be there. In his apartment!
Sputtering, he managed to get out the words, "Well... if it's all right... I imagine... it..."
"Great!" Cordelia smiled, her brilliant teeth flashing up at him. Wesley's knees buckled at that most prized of all smiles - if he hadn't still been leaning against the wall he would have ended up on the floor. "Can we go?"
"My car isn't here," Wesley realized, looking left and right. "We seem to have gotten rather away from it."
"But your place isn't far, right?" she sounded concerned.
"No, no," the Watcher assured her. "Just around the corner in fact." Screw his car. It would be fine where it was for one night, surely? This was eminently more important. Getting Miss Chase to safety, that is. First priority.
There was a bounce in his step as he herded her around the corner
to his apartment complex. They sped up the stairs, Wesley fumbling
nervously for his keys as they reached the top. Damn hands wouldn't
stop shaking! The keys rattled as he pulled them from his pocket,
and he fingered them for the right one. Procuring it finally, he
shoved it towards the lock... and missed. Feeling like a moron, he
carefully inserted it into the hole, and turned. The door swung open,
and he motioned for Cordelia
to enter first. She smiled at the gesture, walking into his apartment and looking around. He casually flipped on a light switch, illuminating his much fussed over apartment.
"Wow!" she gasped, taking in the decor he had worked so hard on since moving here. He would, after all, be here for hopefully quite some time, being Buffy and Faith's new Watcher and all. Artifacts from around the globe sat at strategic positions around the living room, and the blue color scheme was something he had been rather proud of. It seemed all his toiling was paying off, as Miss Chase seemed suitably impressed. "This place looks great!"
"Yes, well..." he stammered in response, "I do my... best." He took a deep breath and closed the door softly behind him. Now that they were both here, together, he couldn't control the irregular rhythm of his heartbeat, or the short gasps his breath insisted on coming in. Calm down, Wesley. Nothing you haven't done before.
"I need to use the bathroom," she told him, and he flushed, pointing down the short hall.
"First door," he told her, and she took a few steps towards it. "Second!" he corrected sharply. She had nearly walked into his bedroom. Stupid! Why had he given her directions to his bedroom? She grinned and entered the correct room, closing the door behind her.
Wesley leapt into the air, clicking his heels together in mid
air. he removed his suit jacket, flinging it recklessly over the
side of a chair. Usually, it would be hung up in his dresser, but
he didn't feel like the effort at this juncture. The Brit wandered
over to his hi-fi, and switched it on at a low volume. The deep tones
of Barry White began to emit from the speakers, and he
changed the disc, quickly, his face flushing a beetroot red. Didn't want to give the wrong impression here. The gentle harmonies of Chopin's Prelude in E Minor wafted now from the system, and he relaxed, turning the sound up to a suitable level. Perfect!
With one hand, he eased off his paisley tie, tossing it on the chair with his jacket. In the center of the room, he twirled once to the music, happy as could be. Cordelia was in his apartment!
A sound attracted his attention. Cordelia, closing the bathroom door. He quickly adopted a more respectful pose, smoothing the front of his shirt as he did so. He puffed up his chest, taking a breath through his nose.
"Better?" he asked her.
"Much," she smiled. "Sit with me?" she asked, eyelashes fluttering. His heart leapt as he eased himself onto the soft loveseat. Loveseat... For loving! Cordelia smoothly seated herself to his right, her body pressed against his, and lay her head down onto his shoulder. As he placed his arm lightly round her shoulders, he felt his whole body tense. 'Relax, Wesley,' he told himself, especially as his trousers began to tighten. Just relax!
"This feels nice," Cordelia sighed, and Wesley rubbed his hand softly on her shoulder. His breath came in fits, his heart jumped like a caged animal. What was his next move? How would he advance this? He was never really good at these romantic interludes. He had no idea what was the best course of action - especially under these circumstances. He caused himself to loosen up, and took another breath, calming himself. Just speak.
"Cordelia," he said softly. "I think... you know the way I feel about you. If I'm not mistaken, and remember that it is quite conceivable that I am so forgive me, I believe you feel at least in some small portion the same way. I know it's strange, the two of us. You're... very much younger than me. But, we're both adults here... legally. Morally, I don't see anything wrong with us... pursuing our relationship further. I care a great deal for you, Cordelia. I want us to have... tonight... together."
There, he'd said it! But why wasn't she answering? Suddenly terribly afraid at his outburst, he glanced down at Cordelia's face.
Her eyes were closed. Slow, even breaths came from her nose, and a serene mask of calm had settled over her face. There was a gentle smile there, as she rested her head on one hand against his chest. It was perfect. She was perfect.
He sighed in surrender, moving his right hand down to hug her side. This would do. This was fine.
He smiled as he watched her breathing, her chest moving slowly up and down. The warmth of her cheek heated him, and he took in the sight of her, drinking in every drop. Her breath filled the air, and he breathed it in, savoring every bit. And he did what he did best - he Watched. He watched her for hours, until he too fell asleep beside her. The two of them, alone. In Wesley's place.