prodigalwatcher: (Get What We Deserve)
143 - "I must go forth alone, without knowing how."

With one hand on the door handle, I could still turn around. At least, that's what a very small, very quiet voice in the back of my mind is insisting. It tells me that I have not yet gone too far, that I have not strayed into the realm where what I've already done could go unforgiven. These are my friends. No, they are more than that: this is my family.

Rubicon )

(385)
prodigalwatcher: (Watcher | Smug)
131 - "Dignity. Always, dignity." - 'Singin' in the Rain'

It is not easy to keep one's chin up and one's upper lip quite stiff when laying on a wheeled ambulance gurney with an oxygen mask strapped to one's face. However, as I recall the incident, I believe I was doing an admirable job of both. My friend and colleague Rupert Giles may very well remember the time differently, but I believe my report to be quite accurate.

After as spectacular an end to the battle with as massive and powerful a demonic creature as the one calling itself Mayor Richard Wilkins, the fact that there were only a handful of fatalities, a few dozen casualties and that the sole victim of property damage was the Sunnydale High School facility, caused the forces of good to be counting ourselves quite fortunate. I, unfortunately, was not able to consider myself as fortunate as most, though, as I was one of those injured in the melee.

I was-- in a tactical coincidence I know look back on as amusing, considering where life would eventually take me-- assigned to the group under Angel's command. Our mission was to provide support for the forces that would directly engage the Mayor-turned-monster by taking on the small legion of vampire henchman that Wilkins employed.

Naturally, as a Watcher, I was in the vanguard of this detachment, and was one of the very first to clash with a vampire. As was statistically probable, this then resulted in my being one of the first to receive an injury in the line of duty. Unfortunately, it was a grave enough hurt to take me out of the rest of the battle, a fight that the others carried on well.

Later, as I was being tended to by Sunnydale EMTs, Giles came by to debrief me on my part in the fighting. I could tell that he was surely holding back something, no doubt expressions of concern and sympathy. Like myself, he is both a Watcher and a British gentleman and as such, er, such things are not our way.

He did, however, assist me in obtaining proper pain relief for my injuries, for which I am grateful.

(358)
prodigalwatcher: (Gwen Rogues)
127 - "I didn't say I didn't love you. I said, 'Stay away from me.'"

OOC Note: Based on rp fanon. Follows the conversation in this post and precedes the one in this post.

Worth the fight )

(331)
prodigalwatcher: (Sad Slouch)
119 - "I admire his head of wisdom, but I'm not in love with him." - 'The Scarlet Pimpernel'

He often wondered how she saw him.

Wesley, of course, had a very firm and concrete impression of Fred in his mind, and it was an image that had never really been altered, no matter what had occurred since they'd first met. To him, she was peerless, but not flawless. He believed he was enough of a realist to understand that even Fred was a human being, as subject to foibles and frailties as the next person. But even then, he saw her flaws as the aspects that made her unique or as the reasons she would need someone like him to be at her side.

To say he had placed Fred on a pedestal was an understatement. Even without his warmer feelings toward the woman, Wesley would have been in awe of her intellect, especially in his efforts to understand the world of physics and science that had once been such a part of her existence. In his eyes, she was beautiful beyond compare, loyal and loving with a heart as big as her home state and more worthy of being loved than any other person he had ever met.

He wondered about her perception of him much less after the night at the ballet.

Wesley understood. He was a friend. A good man, perhaps even a good friend. To Fred, he was someone who could be counted on, the one with whom she was so often relegated with to research duty and the friend who would always be there to listen.

The downside, though, was just as clear. To her, Wesley held no excitement, no interest beyond the bounds of friendship. There was a line, and no matter how Wesley politely and respectfully maintained himself right on it, Fred would never conceive of him crossing it.

A smile, a laugh, and Wesley could see himself through her eyes when they stood close. It broke his heart just a little every time, but he comforted himself with the notion that, at the least, she was there to do so.

(340)
prodigalwatcher: (Glasses Stern)
April 2009 - 115 - "Hasn't your mother or anyone ever explained to you that some things are proper and some things are not?"

I'm from England and my family had some money, so of course she did. Over there, it's a bit difficult to sport a surname with as many letters and a hyphen as "Wyndam-Pryce" does without being just a bit on the upper-class side of things. Although we were hardly even remotely nobility, the family is old and very well-established and Father rarely let any of us forget that.

From a young age, I knew how I was expected to behave when interacting with my parents' friends and companions and in particular how I was to conduct myself in the presence of Father's fellow Watchers. I knew how to be quiet but pleasant at one of the few parties they attended, and I was well familiar with the subtle signal to leave the room so the adults could speak freely.

Both older and several thousands of miles away, I have mostly embraced the more casual, more permissive American philosophy of life. I have worn neither tie nor suit in ages, I call a person by whatever form of address they give me, and I never use thank you cards (although that last is more a function of opportunity than attitude).

However, one line I have decided is uncrossable. Even with a store-bought frozen entree on the table, I will not drink a red wine with fish or fowl.

A man has to have some standards.

(234)
prodigalwatcher: (Not Fade Away)
March 2009 - 109 - 'Three Days of the Condor'

Higgins: "It didn't have to end this way."
Joe Turner: "Of course it did."


Contains spoilers for 'Angel: After the Fall' comic series, and is written in that universe' )

(313)
prodigalwatcher: (Wes| Empty Apartment)
February 2009 - 105 - "It's human to lie. Most of the time we can't even be honest with ourselves." - 'Rashômon'

Wesley kicked the apartment door closed behind him, eyes narrowing against the first rays of the rising sun, ones that had been obscured by the ugly, heavy curtains in the hallway. He reached back to turn the lock at the same time his satchel slipped off his sagging shoulder. Not bothering to pick up the bag, Wesley walked slowly, gingerly to the living room of his apartment.

Delusion )

(466)
prodigalwatcher: (Watching Over You)
97 - "Normally, it takes years to work your way up to the twenty-seventh floor. But it only takes thirty seconds to be out on the street again. You dig?" - 'The Apartment'

While I was employed at the Los Angeles branch of Wolfram & Hart, I once estimated that between my base salary, benefits and my access to company resources such as vehicles, residences and so forth, my compensation would have rung in somewhere between one hundred twenty-five and one hundred fifty thousand dollars a year. That amount, based on my observations, was approximately equivalent for the rest of the former Angel Investigations, with the exception of Angel himself.

Descent )

(529)

OOC Note: Written within the continuity of the "After the Fall" comics only.
prodigalwatcher: (Looking Into Flames)
94 - "Suddenly it came over me that everything would go wrong." - 'Double Indemnity'

Another failure. I was, as you might expect, quite used to the feeling by that time. In fact, it seemed as though I'd grown completely inured to it, in much the way I'd grown cold and closed off to nearly every other kind of emotion. At least, that had been my intention. Intentions are worth little more than the air it takes to voice them, though, and I was wrong about my insulation.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa )
prodigalwatcher: (Weapon | Shotgun | Raised and aimed)
90 - "Well, I've always thought the law was meant to be interpreted in a lenient manner. Sometimes I lean one way and sometimes I lean the other." - 'Hud'

Under the table )

(387)
prodigalwatcher: (Wes | Deep Thoughts)
87 - "I thought I heard you saying it was a pity... pity I never had any children."
- 'Goodbye, Mr. Chips'


A few years before I left for Sunnydale, I learned that even amongst Watchers and others in the business of investigating the supernatural, my circle of acquaintances was not immune to a very common phenomenon. Nearly anyone with more than a handful of people with whom they associate and are all within a small age range of one another will, or has, experienced the sudden onset of domesticity.

All of a sudden, there are weddings to attend every few months, housewarming parties and baby announcements. Adults in their late twenties, accustomed to purchasing gift cards and novelty items for their friends' gifts will suddenly be poring over registries and making sure that they don't buy the wrong model of pram.

They were the new generation of Watchers, the men and women with whom I'd attended Academy and had graduated with, just before or just after me. I won't pretend that we were the kind of close-knit, "meet you down at the pub after work" every Friday night sort of friends, but they were the people with whom I'd become familiar. Now, they were changing into husbands and wives and parents.

There are, clearly, many Watchers quite capable of making families work within the unusual circumstances of their callings. Without that ability, there wouldn't be Watcher families like mine. But it just never appealed to me. I did very little dating or socialising at the time, both by choice and by circumstance, but I was focused and determined to make the most of my career, to be the exemplary Watcher I had always been told by my instructors that I could be.

Knowing more about the world, I won't say as I regret not having settled down then. This job can become deathly dangerous for both myself and anyone who cares for me. But one can't help but wonder, especially as those old acquaintances are now sending out graduation notices and invitations to coming-out parties.

(324)
prodigalwatcher: (Get What We Deserve)
85 - Mr. Chips: "Silence! Silence! I'll have no more of it!"
John Colley: "No more silence, sir?"
- Goodbye, Mr. Chips


What is your breaking point?

Is there a time and a place, a circumstance under which your resolve and your willpower are measured lacking against some outside force? Every person has theirs, or so psychologists are like to have us believe. Push them to it, or worse yet, beyond it and their reactions are likely to take the most extreme and unpredictable turns.

Most people, I would wager, are likely to believe that their breaking point is a long way off, and that no matter the pressure applied to them, whether it to be their body, mind or spirit, they would be capable of lasting a good long while. They'd like to believe they're strong, and they might well be right.

But I have seen too many individuals have to face things beyond their everyday imaginings to expect one to really understand their breaking point. The mayor of your town transforms into a giant serpent. You must face a twenty-five foot tall demon with a snub-nosed revolver. The undead are resurrected before your eyes. Fire and brimstone literally rain from the sky. Your throat is cut, and you are abandoned by all you know. You must watch your son live another life. The greatest evil in the city takes the form of a law firm.

All right, you might not be terribly surprised by that, yes.

In any case, one is never really ready to discover one's breaking point. If you could know with certainty what it would take to undo you, then it would not have that power.

(259)
prodigalwatcher: (Watcher | Smug)
83 - "You coward! Are you bragging to the stars?" - 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'

"Excuse me, sir?"

Wesley turned, not exactly sure what to expect to see. A microphone and small digital video camera both pointed directly at his face were not among the options he would have chosen, but there they were, nonetheless. "I'm sorry, yes?"

Limelight )

(426, not counting direct quotes)
prodigalwatcher: (Darker Sword)
81 - "And so everyone, according to his cue." - 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'

One of the greatest challenges one might take on is the role of leader, particularly when those you are intending to command are also people one might consider friends or family. The greater the stakes for which the team is playing, the more often the leader will need to find a balance between the necessities of the challenge and his or her affections for the other on the team.

It is a delicate balance, and one not to be taken on lightly. That, among other reasons, is why when it came time for me to strike out on my own, I did everything I could to avoid having to walk that line.

During those months when I operated independently, I began with the intention of recruiting additional personnel. I knew firsthand that the struggle was not one to be undertaken alone, so I was constantly on the lookout for potential additions to the roster. What I was not searching for would be friends or lovers. No, I needed to keep myself distanced and removed from these people, lest my emotions compromise the choices that would need to be made.

Oh, I knew them-- better than they knew themselves in some cases. I committed their names and histories to memory, kept myself familiar with their abilities and strengths and monitored their weaknesses. I plotted how best to utilise them in any given situation and how they would react to those situations.

But I didn't know them, and neither did I want to. I didn't seek a new family, I sought to build an army and populate it with soldiers-- soldiers who would follow orders without question, soldiers who would not overstep their places, and soldiers I could send into mortal combat without hesitation.

I knew my place, and they would have to know theirs. That was all I required.

(308)
prodigalwatcher: (All Alone in the Night)
79 - "I shall love her until the day I die. That's the tragedy." - 'The Scarlet Pimpernel'

"Would you like me to lie to you now?"

Oh, what a question.

Every step of the way in my life, I had struggled to live up to an ideal, something that had been ingrained into my thinking since childhood: do what is right. Sometimes that meant just, and sometimes it meant fair, and sometimes it meant heartless or calculating or even cruel. Almost never did it mean convenient, or easy or pleasing. Only right.

When I discovered, to my horror, Illyria's uncanny ability to mimic Fred, there was no question at all what the right thing to do was. Even if she had only been able to produce a likeness of Fred Burkle, it would have been unacceptable, but the impersonation-- no, the transformation was so complete and terrifyingly accurate that it pulled at every nerve in my body. I forbade her to ever change that way again.

Did it dishonour the memory of her? Yes. Was it a falsehood and deception? Yes.

But those were not the true reasons I told Illyria to "be blue". It was because I could not stand to have her back and know she would only vanish again. I was not a strong enough man to resist temptation. I would ask her to lie, again and again, and somehow, I knew Illyria would do so at my behest.

It was the right thing to do, forbidding the lie.

"Would you like me to lie to you now?"

I was no longer a living man, facing the remainder of my days as guide and companion to the fallen god-king. I was no longer the former Watcher, the former hunter, the former prodigal son, the former would-be Champion. I was dying, my final mission ending in failure. There was nothing of me left.

I had sinned too greatly to believe there was much left for me on the other side. So why not complete my fall? Why not choose the wrong thing?

Would it be so bad, I asked myself, here at the end?

I would be selfish. I would take what I could from the world before I left it.

I had been wrong about so many things in my life, this one last act seemed a trifle.

The wrong thing to do.

"Would you like me to lie to you now?"

"Yes... Thank you, yes..."

(361, not including direct quotes)
prodigalwatcher: (Redemption)
78 - "[Human] Nature... is what we are put in this world to rise above." - 'The African Queen'

It is typical human behaviour to run away from that which is dangerous or threatening, a mechanism for self-preservation, one of the two main drives of nearly every living thing in existence (the other being, of course, procreation). Commonly known as one-half of the "Fight or Flight Repsonse", the great majority of people will choose "flight"-- will choose to escape a troublesome or dangerous situation, rather than confront the source of that situation.

In general, this is the wiser choice.

The better part of valour )

(271)
prodigalwatcher: (Darker Sword)
76 - "I never dreamed that any mere physical experience could be so stimulating!" - 'The African Queen'

It started after I'd been shot. I'd been in more fights with vampires and demons and so forth alongside Angel than I could count by then, but I'd always been very much on the sidelines. And then, not even armed, I was injured so badly I was confined to a wheelchair for weeks. When I was well enough, the doctor prescribed a short course of physical therapy.

My PT introduced me to the proper manner in which to exercise. I decided not to stop, even after I was deemed back to normal.

We can build him better )

(339)
prodigalwatcher: (Wes | Deep Thoughts)
71 - "I'd like to have your advice on how to live comfortably without working hard." - 'Rebecca'

On the very first day we reported for work at Wolfram & Hart, each of us was met in the lobby by the employees who had been designated as our assistants. We were all flabbergasted, of course, upon seeing Harmony come to fetch Angel, but once they were on their way, our bewilderment was free to take over as Fred, Gunn, Lorne and I were escorted off to our respective departments.

Orientation day )

(429)
prodigalwatcher: (Glasses Stern)
70 - "The human animal is a beast that must die. If he's got money, he buys and buys and buys everything he can, in the crazy hope one of those things will be life-everlasting, which it can never be." - 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'

((Contains spoilers for Angel: After the Fall))

I'm not sure with how much authority I might be qualified to speak on the nature of the so-called "human animal", but I do know a thing or two about "life-everlasting".

There's the part where my best friend is an immortal vampire, yes, but that's not the half of it.

Shuffled )

(313)

Muse: Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
Fandom: "Buffy TVS"/"Angel"
Please reply here.
OOC Note: Prompt reflects the
Angel: ATF comic canon only.
prodigalwatcher: (Wes| Empty Apartment)
68 - "A family crisis brings out the best and the worst in every member of the family." - 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'

The phone call had come at 2:30 in the morning, London time. Roger Wyndam-Pryce, however, had been awake, having been poring over sheaf after sheaf of paperwork related to his "consulting" position with the still-nascent re-formed version of the Watchers' Council. While Summers' plan had been audacious for sure, and unarguably effective, and while she did have one or two relatively capable individuals in her coterie, none of them knew a damn thing about running an organisation like the Watchers other than Rupert Giles.

Indeed, Roger had been expecting to hear Giles' voice on the other end of the line, not some infuriatingly vague American policeman.

Homecoming )

(596)

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