A Triangle In Nature
by Shrift

Wesley went drinking afterward, the cut on his arm hastily bandaged and his closet newly vacated by its unwilling tenant. He didn't want to go home yet, not that he was worried about Justine showing up there to demand her bucket with a knife and a sharp smile.

No, actually, Wesley was hiding from Lilah. Rescuing Angel had left him feeling raw and off-balance, and Lilah no doubt would have a few things to say to him when she found out what he'd been doing lately. Considering Wolfram and Hart's resources, Wesley knew it wouldn't take long for the news to reach her.

He sat at the bar and ordered scotch. Rather a lot of it, because mornings when he couldn't remember the night before, even if only for a few precious minutes, were few and far between. When he felt the itch between his shoulder blades, he'd been drinking steadily for an hour, sitting alone at the bar and people-watching via the mirror anchored on the wall behind the bartender.

Someone was watching him. And standing directly behind him, judging from the proximity of the wolf-whistle.

"Wesley Wyndam-Pryce. Look at you."

The voice was familiar. He was still placing it when a man sat down on the stool next to him. Well-built, not overly tall, light brown hair falling in his eyes. Jeans. Flannel. Leather. And wearing a sneer like it was second nature.

"Lindsey McDonald," Wesley said. "What an unpleasant surprise."

"Well, well. Times do change," Lindsey said admiringly. He flagged down the bartender and ordered a beer just in time for last call.

"Congratulations," Wesley said. "You've stumbled over a basic premise of physics. What are your thoughts on the theoretical fourth dimension of space-time?"

Lindsey smiled and sipped at his beer. "Only thing I know about a tesseract is how to spell it. So tell me, Wes -- how've you been?"

If that wasn't a rhetorical question, Wesley would change his name to Nancy Pansybottom. He turned his attention back to his drink.

"Wait, why am I asking? I know exactly how you've been," Lindsey said. "I've been visiting some old contacts, and boy, the juicy gossip they've been sharing..."

Wesley took a drink. "I honestly fail to understand why you're still talking."

"And I hear you're banging Lilah these days," Lindsey continued without pause. "Congratulations. From the water cooler gossip back in the day, I gather she's quite the wildcat in bed."

Not rising to the bait was almost pathetically easy when one kept company with the woman in question. "I have no complaints."

"Really," Lindsey said. He sounded smooth, but he fidgeted nervously. His hands were peeling the label from the brown bottle of the American swill he was drinking, and Wesley couldn't help wondering what he was after.

"Not that I particularly care, but... why are you here?"

Lindsey shrugged and smiled at nothing. "Heard a rumor Angel was dead. Decided to come see for myself."

"And?" Wesley prompted, his curiosity mild. It had occurred to him already that life would be a little less preoccupying without nautical maps to study and a sullen woman in the closet to hide from Lilah. Lindsey wasn't a player anymore, and he'd left Los Angeles under the flag of truce, but none of that made him any less dangerous.

Lindsey watched him just as closely. "Surveillance was inconclusive. But everyone seems to agree that you're the one to talk to," Lindsey said, clapping him on the shoulder heartily. "So talk to me, Wes."

"What, no bribery? How disappointing," Wesley said as he lifted his glass. He finished his drink and stood.

Lindsey grabbed him by the shirtsleeve. "Hey --"

Wesley looked down at him and raised an eyebrow. "Surely you don't think we're doing this in here."

Letting go of his sleeve, Lindsey smiled lazily and stood up. "Gettin' paranoid in your old age, Wesley?"

"I'm sleeping with Lilah," Wesley said dryly, leading Lindsey away from the bar. "Wouldn't you be paranoid?"

Lindsey's laugh sounded genuine, if rusty. "Damn, boy. You should've had the stick surgically removed from your ass years ago."

"Elective surgery is expensive, and being unemployed, I have no insurance," Wesley said.

"Lilah would pay," Lindsey answered, stepping on Wesley's heel.

Wesley looked over his shoulder briefly. "Contrary to what you may have been told, I am not, in fact, Lilah's gigolo."

"Don't know why not," Lindsey said. "Sounds like a cushy gig to me."

"And that is precisely why you and I have almost nothing in common," he said, but it only made Lindsey smile.

Lindsey followed him across the bar, down the hallway leading to the toilets, and out the back door. It was a warm night, the air moving sluggishly over the skin of his face. The lamppost lighting the tiny parking lot flickered once and died.

Lindsey laughed again. "Bad omen."

"Quite correct," Wesley said, and shoved Lindsey against the back wall of the bar. "Why are you here?"

"I told you," Lindsey protested, struggling under his hands.

Wesley laughed, and even he acknowledged that it was a cruel sound these days. "Still defining your life by Angel, I see."

Lindsey sneered. "Like you have room to talk."

"Oh, touchÈ," Wesley said dryly. "But really, your sources no doubt informed you that I haven't exactly been very involved in Angel's life since he tried to smother me in my hospital bed."

"Oh, yeah," Lindsey said, tilting his head back and smiling meanly. "I heard about that, too. Sometimes I amuse myself at night by picturing the look Angel must've had on his face when Darla showed up nine months pregnant. As for him trying to kill you... man, that's harsh. But hey, you're the one who betrayed him."

Wesley gripped Lindsey's jacket a little more tightly. The leather squeaked under his hands. "Yes, he never let you get that close to him, did he?"

Lindsey's nostrils flared as he broke eye contact and looked over Wesley's shoulder. "Is he alive?"

"Why do you want to know?" Wesley asked.

"Don't give me some song and dance routine, Wesley. I used to do it for a living, and believe me when I say I can tap-dance circles around you."

Wesley shoved him again. "Why?"

"You know why," Lindsey growled, still unable to look him in the eye.

He did know. He knew it intimately, and he wondered if everyone to whom Angel had given a second chance felt the same way. Inexplicably drawn, desiring more, wanting to be necessary, but always -- always -- held at a distance.

Wesley leaned in close and whispered into Lindsey's ear. "He's alive."

Lindsey exhaled noisily. "God --"

"I rescued him from the bottom of the ocean a mere three hours ago," Wesley continued, fascinated by Lindsey's reaction. "He'd been starving down there, so I fed him. He drank from me tonight, Lindsey. The wound's still bleeding."

Lindsey shuddered and kissed him. It was a hard and messy thing, full of teeth and tongue and spit.

"Fuck you," Lindsey muttered and then kissed him again.

Wesley pushed him against the wall again and Lindsey grunted, his head knocking on the stucco. Lindsey spread his legs, tangled his hands in Wesley's clothes, and pulled him even closer, his mouth slipping over Wesley's hungrily.

"You want him," Wesley said when Lindsey sucked at his jaw. Lindsey bit the tender skin there and then moved to Wesley's throat, his tongue tracing the scar like Lilah had earlier that night. He wondered aloud if Lindsey could taste her there.

Lindsey ground against his erection with a husky chuckle. "You should call her and make this a threesome."

"It already is," Wesley told him, and dropped to his knees.

"Fuck," Lindsey said as Wesley unfastened his ornate belt buckle. "You do this sort of thing every day?" Wesley undid the top button and yanked, the rest of the buttons slipping out of their worn holes. Tugging his jeans out of the way, Wesley leaned in and mouthed Lindsey's cock through his gray boxer-briefs. Lindsey gasped and cupped Wesley's head. He smelled like clean cotton and aroused male, and Wesley wondered how many nights Lindsey had spent touching himself and thinking of Angel.

Wesley thought about the knife strapped to his lower back and the gun in his ankle holster as he bared Lindsey's cock and stroked it. He was firm and ruddy, skin soft to the touch.

"Please," Lindsey said, thrusting his hips forward. He breathed heavily and his hands tightened in Wesley's hair; Wesley sucked his cock into his mouth and didn't take care with his teeth.

It only made Lindsey moan louder.

Wesley gave his balls a gentle squeeze and kept stroking Lindsey's cock, his mouth and fist meeting over and over again. Lindsey felt big and blunt in his mouth, but apparently cocksucking was like riding a bicycle. Lindsey squirmed and moaned under his hands, his voice gone raspy from begging. Wesley's jaw ached and small rocks were digging into his knees and shins. He pulled off until just the head of Lindsey's cock was in his mouth, and then sucked hard, rubbing his tongue over the spot Lilah used on him.

Lindsey cried out, arched his back, and came in Wesley's mouth.

Wesley sat back on his heels and spit it out on the asphalt, wiping his face with the back of his hand. His mouth felt used and his lips swollen, and he smiled when he thought about going home, kissing Lilah, and letting her think he'd been with Angel.

"Damn," Lindsey said as Wesley stood up and brushed the dirt from his pants. His eyes were sleepy and sated, and he pulled Wesley forward by his belt loops. "People do change."

"Not really," Wesley said as Lindsey unzipped him. "I've been giving head to other boys for over fifteen years."

Lindsey's laugh cut off when he slid his hand inside Wesley's jeans and only encountered bare skin. "Commando, Wesley? I'm shocked. Shocked!"

"I've found it saves time," Wesley said, and bit the inside of his cheek when Lindsey squeezed him and sucked on his neck. He let Lindsey swing them around so that Wesley's back was against the wall with Lindsey's thigh between his legs. He breathed faster and felt himself flushing as he fucked Lindsey's fist. Lindsey kissed him again, and groaned when Wesley pulled away to bite at Lindsey's neck, sucking hard.

"God, Lilah must love having you around," Lindsey said, his hand moving hard and fast on Wesley's cock. "She always did like to show off her trophy case. But me? Nah. Too gauche."

Lindsey had musician's hands, Wesley belatedly remembered. They were remarkably clever, his thumb rubbing right where Wesley wanted it.

"Did you pretend I was Angel when you were blowing me?" Lindsey asked. He smiled when Wesley didn't answer. "I didn't think so. I mean," Lindsey laughed, "it's not like you need to right now."

"You don't know what I need," Wesley hissed.

"I know you need to come," Lindsey said, and kept smiling as he scratched his fingernails over the scar on Wesley's throat. The cut on his arm throbbed in time with his pulse, the hot flush of fresh blood tickling his skin underneath the bandage.

Wesley closed his eyes and came on Lindsey's hand, cracking his skull against the stucco and not caring very much about the pain at all. He shivered, then pulled a handkerchief from his back pocket and held it out, eyes still closed. Lindsey took it from him and muttered something that sounded like, "Still a boy scout."

"I hope you don't mind if I don't call you in the morning," Wesley said, tucking himself back inside his jeans and zipping up.

Lindsey snorted. "You don't care if I mind."

"No," Wesley said, and opened his eyes. Lindsey's hair was messy and he had a red mark on his neck in the shape of Wesley's mouth.

"I gotta get going, anyway," Lindsey said, glancing over his shoulder at the parking lot.

"You're leaving L.A. tonight?" he asked. He didn't really care where Lindsey went, but his departure time was good information to have.

Lindsey kicked at a small stone, and the smile no longer reached his eyes. "I figure I got what I came for."

"No, you didn't," Wesley said.

"Yeah, well..." Lindsey said. He shrugged and laughed once. "You'd better get going. Lilah doesn't like to be kept waiting."

Lindsey turned on his heel and walked away, then stopped in his tracks, turned around, and kissed Wesley hard, fucking his mouth with his tongue. When Lindsey left for the second time, he didn't look back, his boots crunching on the gravel. Wesley listened to the slam of a car door and pulled his cell phone from his shirt pocket to call for a taxi.


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