Termination was an ugly business.

Ugly for the one getting the sack and the Watchers Council had little use for drawn out or contested terminations.

Wesley had gotten a letter and a phone call.

The letter had been from the Council and the phone call had come from his father. Both had been brief and each had left him with an empty pit in his stomach and no uncertainty of his own worthlessness.

His disgrace with the Council was so great that they hadn't even sent him a ticket home and he had been stuck between the rent on his leased place and affording a plane ticket.

He hadn't even asked his father for help. Hadn't gotten in more than a few mumbled words on the phone. There had been a lot about his failures and the disappointments and shame he had wrought. That had been the bulk of it.

With the Mayor defeated and the children graduated time seemed to have come to a stand still.

Cordelia had left Sunnydale almost immediately and with the school gone the others were no longer forced to include him in their meetings.

Wesley had eventually decided to leave town too.

He'd thought of stopping and speaking to Giles but in the end he hadn't seen much use in it. Giles hadn't particularly liked him and he supposed now that some of that had been his own fault. He had been pompous and rude but then they hadn't exactly made things easy for him either and Giles had been there the whole time making sure no one took him seriously.

The battle with the Mayor had been hell on earth but it had prevented a more real kind of hell from spreading and shamefully he couldn't say that he remembered more than the beginning. He'd been knocked unconscious almost immediately.

And now he was on the road, no money to rent a car and crammed onto a buss with fifteen or so other people.

The truth was he did have some cash but with no employment in the foreseeable future he was choosing to be careful with it. A bus was cheaper than a car and easier for him too at this point.

He slept most of the way and woke up outside of Los Angeles to the sound of people clamoring off of the bus.

It was dark out as he checked his watch and squinted through the grimy window at the world outside. The city was in the distance so why had they stopped?

He looked around and saw that it was just him and an old woman on the bus. Everyone else was outside.

"Have we broken down?" He asked her.

She looked at him, wrapped in a coat that didn't agree with the weather outside and didn't answer.

Curious, he rose and exited the bus, looking for the driver in the small throng of people. There was no smoke coming from the bus and he saw now they were parked outside of a small rest stop.

People were lighting cigarettes around him and stretching their legs but he couldn't tell which was the driver and it made him uneasy stopping like this. There were too many things in the night the others weren't thinking of.

The bus driver is smoking and so he heads to the rest stop and it's bathroom, ancient linoleum cracked under foot and sink hazardous to touch.

He feels humbled in a way. Like someone in the movies catching a bus into L.A..

It's not where he's ever seen himself ending up but here he is.

On the outskirts of a glowing monolith, L.A. with her Boulevards and Rows. Her Hills and Valleys.

He's too ashamed to go home.

He washes his hands despite the hazardous sink and stares at himself in the dirty mirror.

He's fucked up. He's fucked up so bad and the worst part is he'll think it again in the future and it will be much worse but right now this is the most he's ever fucked up and he feel's sick with it. Stepped on.

All of his school down the drain. . . years of studying and researching. . . of trying to prove himself and be good enough. . . he'd never felt good enough and now he knew he wasn't.

He didn't even know what he was going to do in L.A..

He doesn't dry his hands on the towel that's got what looks like a few years on it already and shakes them out as he leaves the bathroom.

Outside he doesn't see the others and looks around, feeling a tingling sensation creep up his spine.

It's dead silent out and there's no wind.

He pulls his jacket around him, finding it more suitable for the climate now and returns to the bus, seeing no one on it.

The he looks down spots a cigarette butt still glowing in the dirt. . . there's a few of them. . . all glittering like little stars.

He looks up and feels his skin break out in goosebumps as he steps onto the bus.

The old woman is still there, sitting in her coat with her hands in her lap, clutching a handbag that's nearly as old as she is. "

"What's happened to everyone?" He asks.

She looks up and shifts slightly, pointing out the window. "They all went out there." She say's in a croaked voice.

He looks where she's pointing.

Where the cigarette butts are laying.

"I afraid I just came form out there, are you alright?"

She shifts again and lowers her arm, looking at him with ancient eyes. "You're the last." She breaths.

He blinks and then realizes he very much does not want to be on the bus at this moment.

He stumbles backwards but she's rising out of her seat, coat rustling as she stands impossibly tall in the cramped, little, bus.

The doors open and he falls into the dirt and the cigarette butts, scampering away and to his feet and noticing a strange kind of blackness on his hands as he runs.

It's a demon. It's some kind of demon and it killed everyone else on the bus.

He runs for the rest stop and flings himself into the bathroom, chest heaving and heart hammering.

He doesn't know if the old woman has followed him yet but he'll need to know in a second.

Think, he tells himself. . . willing the gears in his mind to work. He knows what this is. Yes it's a demon obviously but he knows. . . he's read about this.

It's a Resamun. . . it eats travelers. . . it's a shap shifting demon. . .

He can almost picture the text book, the pages. . .

It's usually noncorporeal except when it eats. . . it hides in groups of travelers. . . it's vulnerable to Iron and. . .

Or did it haunt rest stops and places like this?

Maybe it could do both. . . he'll look it up after he remembers what it's vulnerable to.

This is a basic level demon.

He was just unprepared.

Like he'd been the entire time in Sunnydale.

He shuts his eyes and thinks hard.

The demon is weak against water. People can't travel in the rain and so neither could it even if the times had changed that some but this is Southern California. . . it never rains here.

He stares around him and his eyes land on the sink. The thing will dissolve if he get's it wet, maybe even die.

He has to get the water to the demon and his mind works furiously to devise a way. He has to act soon. The thing will be after him.

He's the last one.

He thinks of the cigarette butts in the grass and wonders if he should have known sooner. If he should have guessed at all. If those smoldering butts are all his fault.

He finds a bottle of cleaning solution under the end sink and dumps it down the drain, refilling it with water and stepping back outside.

The old woman is in the bus door, impossibly tall in her coat.

He straightens his shirt and walks towards her. "You're a Resamun demon." He says, lifting his chin slightly.

He has the upper hand now.

"You absorbed all of them, didn't you?"

The old woman steps off the bus and seems to grow a little as she shuffles towards him but she's slow and so he opens the jug.

He could warn her, tell her what he's going to do but he doesn't.

He's tired and he's fucked up again.

He throws the water on her and she stops, look of shock on her ancient face before she shivers and turns into a cloud of steam.

He's alone again and this time the wind lifts his hair.

The city is in the distance and the sun is coming up too, far away.

The butts aren't glowing in the grass any more.

His last stop before L.A. and he supposes that at least he did get the demon in the end.

He wishes he could feel good about it as he get's his bag and leaves the bus and rest stop and everything else behind.

Later, when the sun is fully up he'll find a car dealership and buy a bike and no longer footing it he'll pass into L.A., heading towards more than he can imagine.

Thanks for reading! I wanted to write something for Wesley set between Sunnydale and LA and came up with this. I made up the demon and the title comes from a song of the same name by Albert Hammond. It kind of fit his situation if not exactly. Anyway, thanks so much for reading!