Title: Someone He Loves
Spoilers: mid-late season 3
Disclaimers: not mine, no profit made
Archive: list archives only
Summary: perspective piece for Wesley
Someone He Loves
He has always been hated by those he loves. Wesley has always been
aware of this, though for years he deluded himself as to the effects,
and to the extent of the far-ranging fact that yes, in indeed, he has
been hated by those he loves.
As a child, it seemed natural. He had no idea parents were supposed to
cosset their children, or speak words of affection or even touch them
except in reprimand or reasonless desecration. It was not until he went
away to school that he heard about other sorts of parents from boys who
loved their parents as he did, but whose parents seemed to love their
He struggled with this inconsistency for much of his adolescence until
finally deciding that he did not know why his parents were different,
and perhaps never would. There were more important things in his life,
he told himself, and he set aside the confusion when he was sixteen year
old and devoted himself to other pursuits.
One such pursuit had been a boy named Gerald. Gerald had been a sixth
form student, and a favorite of the Headmaster. Gerald most certainly
had not been a favorite of the other students, though no one could
summon much to say about him in front of any of the teachers, or the
Head Boys. Wesley only knew that no one seemed to care for Gerald and
that Gerald seemed to be everything Wesley's father expected Wesley to
There was one exception to this, which Wesley was fairly sure his father
never discovered. Perhaps because that sort of thing was expected at a
traditional strict English boarding school where teenage boys had only
two physical outlets. There were no sports -- the Watchers' Academy
focused its activity on training of a hundred different sorts, and even
the fencing teams were only formed to allow the boys to practise their
skills with weapons.
The second outlet was conducted in, as it was hoped by all who indulged,
utmost secrecy. Since Wesley had never been reprimanded by his father
for his dalliance with Gerald, or, later, Marcus and Steven, he assumed
that he had managed that secrecy.
Or that his father simply hadn't cared.
But Gerald had been the first time someone outside his immediate family
had hated him. They had been whatever they had been, for almost a year,
and Wesley had hoped that Gerald's favour would extend to dropping a
supportive word or two in the Headmaster's ear. Wesley had meant to be
Head Boy in his time, and *anything* that could guarantee it, and
therefore guarantee his father's favor, was considered acceptable.
Gerald had even done so before he'd found out that had been Wesley's
intention. The resulting break-up had been nasty enough that Wesley was
surprised that the entire school hadn't been told about it, simply in
order to shame him. Wesley hadn't been able to explain that it was only
part of his reason for wanting Gerald to like him. Gerald hadn't wanted
to listen, and whatever affection the young Wesley had felt for the
other boy hadn't, in the end, mattered.
His other affairs in school hadn't been involved love. He had been too
busy with schoolwork, and then in his work for the Watchers, to bother
with things like loving anyone. He had met a girl, and dated her for a
few months, but he suspected it was more because his mother had
suggested that it would be a Good Thing. Anne's family was an old
Watcher family and Wesley had been able to detect the match-making from
They'd given it a try, though, before parting amicably. No love, there,
and no hatred afterwards.
The pattern had faded from his awareness as he'd grown more focused on
his work. Forgotten about it entirely until now, standing in his flat
on a cold -- for California -- Los Angeles night, staring out the window
at nothing and remembering.
Everyone he loves, hates him.
It's easy to understand some of them. He's given them good reason to
hate him, and he does not blame them for it. He doesn't understand it
well, because he'd always thought that love meant more than that.
Anger, he would have accepted and agreed with. repented until the
anger faded, if only given a chance. Hatred...he can only explain with
the revelation that it was how his life simply was.
Perhaps he's been cursed. A child in his crib, witches leaning over him
whispering things about his future that his nurse had not over-heard.
Or perhaps she had been the witch, casting spells to ensure that the
babe would grow up to find his love always eventually spurned with
Melo-dramatic, perhaps, but too much of his life has been lived in the
dramatic, the supernatural, and the simply odd, that he cannot find
reason to doubt that he has been cursed - other than not knowing *why*
it would be. His name has never been in any of the prophecies he'd ever
read, and, given his past involvement with Angel, he'd have thought that
if it were important, he would have come across a reference to 'keep an
eye out for the ex-watcher who teams up with him and tries to help him
He hasn't, and he decides now that he isn't that important. Anyone
cursing him at birth might have simply been doing it to practise their
spells. Or, also likely, is the fact that Wesley just hasn't the skill
to make anyone keep loving him.
Except it seems confined to those whom he has loved which sounds more
like a curse than incompetency.
Virginia doesn't hate him, but he never loved her. Not really. He'd
been grateful for her company, and enjoyed dating her immensely. He'd
even thought perhaps this was a woman he could take home and introduce
to his parents, and get that approving nod from his mother that this
would be an acceptable one to carry the next generation of
Not fair to Virginia, but he'd never spoken of things like 'marriage' to
Angel's hatred is easy to understand. Angel, to whom Wesley attached
all his need for...well, for everything, had the best reason of any of
them to hate him. He'd thought, once, as he'd carried Angel's son away,
that someday Angel would understand why it had been done, and thank him
for the sacrifice he'd made. Thank him for making the decision so Angel
would not have to, and protecting the one thing Angel loved most in the
The only thing Angel loved, and Wesley wonders if that were part of the
pattern. Had any of those who hated him, whom he'd loved, whom he still
loved, ever loved him back? He doesn't know, and certainly can't ask
Cordelia's feelings are unknown. Had she loved him? Does she hate him,
now? Or is she simply avoiding him so as not to cause pain for Angel?
Is it to avoid endangering *him*, that she stays away?
Perhaps, like Anne, she simply doesn't care enough to bother with
following up with him once he'd left.
He knows enough not to ask whether Fred or Lorne hates him. They barely
knew him, barely considered themselves more than friends. He doubts
they hate him, doubts they'd ever entertained the notion that Wesley
could even be loved.
But Gunn is more difficult to answer. He dislikes thinking of Gunn. It
hurts -- burns across his chest like a knife's blade -- that Gunn might
hate him now, that whatever love he'd had would have been turned into
something horrible and destroying.
Hard enough to think that, yes, Gunn had loved him that much once.
Perhaps, he tells himself, Gunn had considered him just a good friend.
A mate, a member of his crew -- and once out of sight, it was out of
mind. Perhaps the gestures of affection had only been because they were
the only two in the group with anything to compare -- similar age, both
human, neither of them subject to a need for blood or debilitating
It is possible that Gunn had simply enjoyed his friendship because it
was better than a woman he couldn't risk knowing, and a vampire he
couldn't risk trying to understand.
He wants to think that Gunn hates him, now. Because that at least would
mean that Gunn had loved him, even if not as much as Wesley had loved
him. But something -- anything, some measure of love greater than age,
gender, and species -- is better than thinking he has faded from Gunn's
mind like a stranger.
But he thinks it is time he got used to it. At least his current
dalliance is in no risk of hatred. He cannot claim to feel anything
like love, or even much like, for Lilah. He cannot explain to himself
why he allows her inside his flat, or his life, except that she is the
only person with whom he talks, and the only person who notices he is
He isn't quite so desperate as to think this is enough, or good for
him. But he isn't willing to give her up just because it's dangerous
It's better than being hated by someone he loves, after all.