Wesley Wyndham Pryce rose from is desk, taking one of his ancient acharian tomes to return it to its shelf. As he walked to the shelf he paused catching a look at his reflection in the darkened glass of the window. He hadn't realised how late it had gotten whilst he had been engrossed in his work. The now night time skyline let him see his reflection more clearly, allowing for him for the first time to see a detail he hadn't noticed before.

His neck was bare, the scar of his near death encounter between his neck and the knife of Holtz's lacky Justien was missing. It's absence was most likely explained by the alteration to the universe performed by Wolfram and Hart at the behest of Wesley's boss and comrade in the fight against evil, Angel. All feelings of betrayal aside Wesley found the lack of physical proof for his now restored memories more than a little disturbing. Without that grounding and with a set of contradictory memories to further his confusion, he felt he was losing his grip on what was real, on reality.

Not that he was lacking for reminders of own mortality, he had gathered more than a few battle scars in his fight against the forces of darkness. Many cuts and slashes had left their mark upon his body and he still bore the mark of a gun wound to his side, not to mention the cobalt blue corpse of his former love that served as a constant reminder of his loss. Of his failure.

He replaced the book on the shelf when he heard a knock on the door. He answered it to be greeted by a dark haired muscular woman dressed, of course, in black.

"Faith"

"Hey Wes"

Wesley eyed her suspiciously surprised to be seeing her again so soon after their last meeting.

"I didn't think Buffy wanted her people interacting with us"

"Like I answer to B"

She retorted sarcastically but Wes could tell there was more than what she was letting on. She seemed uncharacteristically distracted, nervous even, far from her usual self assured self. She sat down behind Wesley's desk crossing her legs and putting her feet up on it. Wesley brushed past her feigned nonshalontness, eager to get to the point.

"What brings you back to LA?"

Faith's face fell very slightly, dropping her gaze to the ground, Wesley clearly having hit on the source of her anxiety.

"You heard of Darkfrost contingency?"

Now it was Wesley's turn to have his face fall

"you're sure"

"I'm sure"

The Darkfrost contingency was developed by the watchers council in the latter days of the nineteenth century. Following a string of highly successful attacks by the vampire warlock Claudius the vengeful it was decided that measures needed to be put in place in the event of the total destruction of the Council. As such a powerful cures was created that would raise the fallen brethren from the grave to continue the good fight.

Wesley contacted Angel to explain the situation to him, if the Contingency really was active then everyone would be in severe danger. They chose to rendevu in Angels office, Wes bringing him up to speed on the ever growing army of the undead.

"So after the First blew everyone up…"

Angel said still trying to process the news as he paced around his office. Wesley interrupted him

"The bodies of the Watchers are reanimating themselves and regrouping into an army"

Angel's concern was clearly deepening, he was having difficulty with the strain of running Wolfram and Hart as it was but with this on top of everything else it was getting to be too much

"But their still Watchers, right? Good guys?" he asked trying to reassure himself.

"yes but with the first defeated, Faith believes Darkfrost revenants will default to targeting the most powerful source of evil they can find" Angel looked slightly anxious as if he was anticipating the answer

"Wolfram and Hart" he said Angel amusing the answer but Wesley's response was simple.

"No, Illyria"

"Two powerhouses like that going head to head doesn't exactly bode well for LA"

"My thoughts exactly" replied Wesley nodding in agreement

"Take her and Faith find somewhere remote far from any people"

"I'll get right on it" Wesley said getting up to leave

"Oh and Wes…"

He turned back to look at Angel

"Just look after yourself, I can't afford to lose anyone else on my team"

Wesley pondered form a moment if the statement was some attempt to reaffirm their friendship after it had been shaken by the events with Connor. But he decided he didn't have time to dwell on such things, simply nodding and exiting the room.

Illyria herself seemed somewhat less concerned by the news

"So these corpses wish to attempt to slay me, I'd like to see them try"

The ancient blue demon god said arrogantly whilst reaching for a wickedly dangerous looking axe from one of the weapons racks in the training room.

"This isn't just any ordinary zombie horde Illirya. They're armed with thousands of years worth of knowledge in warfare and magics. Enough to have raised themselves back from the dead"

"I have done the same myself, not so difficult a task"

Wesley felt pained as memories of the event resurfaced in his mind, it having served not only as Illyria's way back into the world but also Fred's way out of it. This made somehow worse by her not seeming to have noticed that the remark hurt him. At this point Faith entered the training room mercifully interrupting the conversation

"Come on Blue's Clues, let's get going. They've laid on the first class treatment, private jet and everything."

"I require neither your protection nor your mockery mortal."

Illyria snapped back bitterly.

"Look little Miss hellfire, we're only doing this for your sake. So if you wanna get munched on by zombies have fun, but do it on your own time."

The two stared at each other for a moment sizing each other up. Eventually Illyria backed down still holding her head high proudly in order to not seem defeated.

"Very well"

Later on the jet Illyria stood in the cabin whilst Wesley and faith sat next to each other as it soared through the clouds.

"I don't see why you're going to all this effort Wes. Way I see it, you could just drop her off in the Arctic somewhere and let the two of 'em duke it out. Whoever wins you got one less big bad to deal with"

Wesley looked pained

"I can't Faith. When I look at her, looking like Fred, all I feel is shame. All I can think about is how I failed her, how I failed Connor, how I failed…"

Faith stopped him

"Me. Yeah look Wes, I'm not gonna pretend you were some perfect Watcher you screwed up, kinda royaley in fact. But I ain't gonna pretend I was some perfect Slayer either. Point is, if you spend your whole life trying to make up for stuff in the past you're never gonna move forward. I forgave you a while back, question is when are you gonna forgive…"

Suddenly the whole plane shock violently throwing them from their seats and Illyria around the cabin.

"You alright"

Wesley asked as he regained his footing as the plane levelled off

"Five by five. But what hit us?"

She asked also rising to her feet

"We're under attack"

Illyria answered pointing out the cabin window to a giant blue green fire ball tearing through the sky towards them.