Love Lies Bleeding
(Wesley/Fred, Season 5 AtS, during a Hole in the World)
In the dim light of a darkened room, Wesley's life crumbled to dust.
His love rested in her deathbed, sickly and pale, barely a shade of the bright, kooky woman that had captured his heart, which now lay shattered, a ruinous wreck on the shore of love. She had come so far from the nervous, but gutsy woman Angel had rescued; but the end was approaching; she was nearly spent. No more convulsions now, just a calm slide to oblivion as the last of her spirit was devoured by a power he could not fight.
He couldn't lose her smile or her enthusiasm for life - even shell-shocked and withdrawn from the world, she'd worked through her trauma with physics and complicated equations he would never understand. She was a bright flower that had bloomed as her confidence grew. When she faded, a part of him would die too.
Damn it. They'd save her somehow.
When she could manage to turn her head his way, Fred looked at him levelly. Her haunted eyes sparkled with the last fleeting light from a dying star and they urged him to pretend he could stop the ravages of her decline, but he was already that small step ahead.
She smiled weakly and reached for his hand, taking it for the last time, her fingers trembling as they covered his. They felt so frail, so feeble and delicate, as if she was already halfway across the threshold to what lay beyond, about to disappear forever beyond his reach. He didn't want to believe he could lose her so soon, yet when he looked into her brave and steady gaze, she told him everything; that none of his desperate assurances would fool her one little bit. Any hope was a lie.
She couldn't be saved.