Robin the Crossover Junkie
Wesley’s head is bent over his desk, cradled in his
open palms. He’s not crying, at least not yet. He’s just gotten off the phone
with Father. Who wasn’t happy to talk to him, because he had, in fact, heard
through the grapevine of Wesley’s most recent employment. They hadn’t talked
long, and Wesley found himself, for one dark moment, wishing the…thing he’d
shot, hadn’t been a robot. Then the guilt had settled in, and he’d told Father
he’d had to run, and he’d call again soon. His father had reminded him to call
his mother more often. He never asked Wesley to call him more
Angel had walked by the office and heard Wes let out a ragged
sigh. He’d stepped into the office.
“You okay, Wes?”
Angel, thank you,” Wesley lies, straightening up. Angel looks at him
speculatively for a moment while Wesley busies his hands shuffling pages on his
desk. After another moment, Angel steps to the side of the office and pulls out
a crystal bottle of warm scotch, pours two glasses.
He hands one to Wes
wordlessly, and Wes gives him a grateful look in return before tossing it back.
Angel refills his glass, and moves over to the sofa in Wesley’s office. Wes
paces the room for a moment, sipping more slowly now, and eventually sits on the
“Did Spike ever tell you the incredibly disturbing story of
killing his own mother?”
“I had nightmares for weeks.”
tend to inspire a distinct air of discomfort.”
“He’s not my spawn. You’ve no one to blame but
“He wasn’t all bad, the first few weeks.”
goes my theory.”
“That all children in rebellion
decide they want to kill their parents.”
Angel is silent for a moment.
“Well, you know, he did go through a wanting-to-kill me phase for a century or
Now Wesley’s silent for a moment, too. He takes another swallow of
the warm scotch and starts to tell Angel a story of when he was a
When Wesley was eight years old, he began to fantasize that he was
He concocted an entire story in his head. His beloved Mum and
Dad had been killed in a horrible accident, leaving their cherished baby son
alone in the world. Mum had been pretty, with curly dark hair, and Dad had been
tall, thin, with kind eyes and a bright smile. Mum was soft, and smelled like
apricots, and Dad smelled like fresh bread and warm tobacco. Dad was a novelist,
Mum candied the fruits in their orchard for the neighboring villages. They lived
in a cozy cottage with low ceilings and had a beloved basset hound called Harry.
Mum always had tea made on time, and she and Dad would take turns feeding him
apple sauce in his high chair in the yellow kitchen, chuckling to one another as
he grinned through the pale mush. Mum and Dad would lean across him for a kiss,
staring into one another’s eyes, grinning like fools in love, even after several
years of marriage.
He didn’t dare tell his father of his fantasy. Nor his
mother; she’d just tell Father in a long-suffering sigh that their son was
dreaming, impractical, needed discipline of the mind.
He’d never lived in
a cottage with a fruit orchard, his parents were very much alive. His mother had
short, straight hair the shade of dirty hay, and his father was of average
height with a spare tire around his middle. His eyes were cold, and Wesley
rarely saw him smile with anything but smugness. His mother smelled like sherry
some days, and other days had the bitter scent of wilted roses. Father smelled
of dust. He was a watcher, while Mother didn’t work. She was allergic to dander,
so they’d never had a pet, and Rosa, the Italian housekeeper, served tea at
exactly four in the afternoon. His governess was an old woman with frown-lines
around her mouth, and her pink lipstick would bleed into the crags around her
lips as she fed him oatmeal. His parents rarely touched, and he had to assume
the only time they’d touched in the fifteen years of marriage had been to
“My dad sucked pretty bad, too,” Angel says after Wesley’s
run out of words.
“So you killed him.”
“Yeah, well, I also had
that whole soulless killer thing going for me.”
“Neither of my parents
were particularly affectionate. I grew up always wondering if I was ever loved
Silence stretches on, and after a while Angel looks at Wesley
until the younger man meets his eyes.
“You’re loved, Wesley.”
then he leans in for a kiss.