Rating: R for swearing
Summary: Warren finally dumps Amy to find his true love once more.
“Fucking bitch, just give me my skin back, you useless piece of shit,” Warren said, shoving Amy to the ground.
She laughed. “Worthless?” she asked. “The only thing keeping you alive and I’m worthless?”
He growled at her. “You think I’m gonna be your little skinless bitch boy forever?”
“That’s pretty much the plan,” she said, grabbing his ass. He cringed. For the first time in his life, he actually hated it when a girl touched him. It just reminded him of his condition. He didn’t know how she could stand it. Well, she was just a freak.
“Look,” Warren said. “If you don’t give me my skin back- and starting showing me a little respect- I’ll get out of here and find someone who fucking will.”
Amy laughed. “It’s so cute when you think you have any choices,” she said. “You won’t last two seconds without my magic.”
Warren smiled slowly.
“Oh, yeah, you like that, don’t you?” Amy asked, completely misreading the smile.
She reached a hand up to touch him again and he slapped it out of the way. “It’s so cute how you forget that I’m a fucking genius,” he said. “I’m out of here.” He grabbed his backpack and walk away.
Amy stared at him incredulously as he walked away. “But…but you’ll die!” she called out.
The pain was excruciating. Not as bad as it had been before Amy had restored him, but breaking into the hotel room had taken a lot out of him. Now he sat on the bed, carefully rubbing himself with the lotion he’d made. He sighed. The stuff kept him alive, but it didn’t make the pain go away the way Amy did. Maybe I should just go back to her, he thought. No, no. If I ever want to have skin again, I’ll have to do this on my own. Well, not exactly on my own…
He finished applying the lotion and picked up the phone, hoping desperately that this number was still good for something. People move all the time, he thought. If this doesn’t work…well, he wouldn’t think about that.
“Hello?” a female voice asked.
Warren sighed with relief, recognizing the voice. “Hi, Mrs. Wells,” he said. “It’s Warren.”
She screamed. “Oh my God! God, darling, I thought you were dead! I mean, everyone did. I mean…wait, is this some sort of scam?”
“It’s me, Mrs. Wells,” Warren said softly. The truth was, he’d never liked the woman. The way she dominated her sons was just scary. But, it was nice to know he’d been missed all the same. “The same guy who bought that Bobba Fett figurine for Andrew for Christmas and signed it from Santa so that he’d think it was from you. And the one who took care of your cat that one time…Nation was her name, right?”
“Yes, oh God, it is you!” she started crying. “Does your mother know about this? I was just over there yesterday and she was still…oh, the grief’s just been terrible.”
Warren cringed. “I’ll call her soon,” he mumbled. “Hopefully, I’ll visit her soon.”
“Hopefully? Oh God, you’re still in trouble, aren’t you?”
“A bit. I can’t explain. But, I think Andrew might be able to help me. I just don’t have a number for him.”
“Oh,” the woman said. “Oh….I see.”
“So if you’d just tell me where I could reach him…”
“I can’t,” she said.
“Excuse me?” he asked.
“You heard me,” she said. Her elation was gone and replaced with an emotion Warren couldn’t understand. It sounded almost like anger.
“You don’t know the number for your own son?”
“No, I know it. I just can’t tell you.”
Warren couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “What?” he asked, his voice almost breaking. “Why?”
“You think I don’t know what you did to him?” she asked.
“I…” Warren had no idea what to say. He hadn’t been prepared for this.
“Look, I’m glad you’re alive and all that, but I’m not going to give you the number for my son, so that you can call him and- and make him bend over for you. I won’t have that for Andrew, not my baby.”
Warren couldn’t say anything in response. He just hung up the phone.
He sat silently, collecting his breath. He wanted to cry or scream or punch something.
Finally, after he’d taken a moment, he dialed another number.
“Yes, Mrs. Levinson?”
“This is she.”
“This is Warren Meers, I used to be friends with your son.”
“But…you’re dead, sweetie.”
Warren smiled slightly at the statement. He would have laughed out loud if it weren’t for her voice. She sounded exhausted and like she had been exhausted for some time. He knew the feeling.
“I’m not dead,” he said. “I’ve been missing. Something horrible’s happened to me. And I’ll probably be dead soon if I can’t get help. But…I think Jonathan can help me. I just need to know how to reach him.”
“Oh, dear…oh, dear…” Warren heard crying on the line.
“Mrs. Levinson?” he asked softly.
“Warren, darling-“ she started sobbing- “Jonathan is dead.”
Warren felt like someone was ripping his heart out. Sure, he hadn’t been too nice to Jonathan last time they’d interacted, but, God, he didn’t want the little fucker to be dead. Did everything just go to Hell after that stupid witch went crazy?”
“Oh my God, Mrs. Levinson, I’m so sorry.”
“Thank you, dear. At least you’re alright. Your mother must be so happy.”
Warren cringed. He wanted to let her know that he was alright, but he didn’t have any time to waste. He needed to find someone who could help him. “Why don’t you call her, Mrs. Levinson?”
“I’m sure she wants to hear your voice…”
“I want you to get to do it,” he said. “After everything you’ve been through…it’d be nice to get to deliver some good news, wouldn’t it?”
“Thank you,” a voice said softly on the other end.
“Mrs. Levinson, you wouldn’t happen to know how to contact Andrew Wells, would you?” he asked hopefully.
“No, dear, I’m sorry,” she said. “I haven’t spoken to him in a long time. Not since he came to tell me that Jonathan was dead.”
“Well, thank you,” Warren said. He hung up. He started dialing again. This time it had to work. It just had to.
“Hello?” a female voice asked.
“Um, hi…I’m trying to reach Tucker Wells.”
“Oh, he doesn’t live here.”
Warren felt sick. He was going to vomit. He was going to die.
“I have his number here somewhere…”
“Well, go get it!”
“Hey, don’t yell at me. It’s around here somewhere…”
Oh, God. It was so hard not to sob as the girl searched. He had a strong urge to rub himself with the lotion again, to be sure, but he knew that he couldn’t waste it. Having to make more would set him back at least two days.
“Oh, okay, I got it,” the girl said cheerily. Warren suddenly hated her more than anyone in the world. She didn’t deserve to sound that happy. She read off the number and Warren wrote it down. He then hung up without thanking her.
Sighing, the dialed the number for Tucker. “Yo.”
“Tucker. It’s Warren.”
“Not quite. I’m going to be, though, if I don’t get the help of someone with magic.”
“Oh, well, you’ve come to the right place,” the voice replied cockily.
Warren knew he hadn’t. Tucker’s powers were pathetic. The person he really needed was Jonathan. He’d only called Andrew first because, well…he’d really wanted to hear Andrew’s voice. But, Jonathan was dead, so he’d have to settle for the less pleasant of the Wells brothers, apparently. “Great. Okay, fuck…” He wasn’t sure exactly what to ask. How are you with skin repair?
“Where are you?” Tucker asked.
“Berkeley,” he said.
“Um…I’m at a hotel.”
“What’s the address?”
“What? Tucker, I don’t have time for you to come over here.”
“Just give me the address!”
Warren was startled. He wasn’t used to Tucker being so bossy. Warren rattled off the address. Suddenly, he heard a dial tone on the other end.
He heard a scream behind him. He turned around and saw Tucker, looking horrified.
“Oh God! Oh God! What are you?”
“I’m still me, Tucker,” Warren said. “Just minus one very important thing.” He stared at Tucker and said. “Now, what the hell are you?”
Tucker grinned proudly. “I’m a demon, Warren! I’m one of them! Isn’t that awesome?”
Warren smiled appreciatively. “Hell yeah, it is! How’d you do that?”
“I summoned this demon to be, like, my maid, y’know? But, dude, I end up falling for her! She is the cutest little thing. You’d love her. But, anyway, I bone her, right? And then shabam! Immortality and super powers, baby.”
Warren grinned. “Wow.” At least things were going well for someone. “So can you help me?”
Tucker looked at him. “It’s a tough one,” he said. “I mean, your skin, you know…it doesn’t exist anymore. There’s the whole matter-can’t-be-created thing…”
“But it can be changed,” Warren said desperately. “It can be changed!”
“True dat, true dat…I’m thinking a temporal fold. We go back to when you had skin and-”
“Kill that bitch before she has a chance to take my skin off?”
Tucker laughed. “I’d love to, but killing someone in the past could have sick consequences.”
“I don’t care,” Warren said immediately.
“I think you should, dude. Andrew told me that witch saved the world.”
“Fuck,” Warren said. “Okay, I guess I don’t want the world to end. What were you thinking?”
“Like, you said, matter can be changed…when she flayed the skin off you it had to go somewhere, right? So this time we make it go off of past-Warren and onto present-Warren.”
“And you can do that?” Warren asked.
Tucker grinned. “Yeah, I got wicked powers, man.”
Tucker started conjuring up candles and setting them around the room. Warren watched him.
“So, question…” Tucker said.
“You wanna know how I’m staying alive,” Warren said.
Tucker laughed. “That stuff doesn’t really impress me anymore, man. I just wanted to know about, uh, you and my brother.”
Warren pursed what would have been his lips. “What about us?”
“He told me you were, like, in love,” Tucker said.
Warren had to smile a little in spite of himself. “He told you that?”
Warren sighed. “So if I say we were, will it result in me not getting my skin back?”
Tucker laughed. “I wouldn’t do that, man…it’s just a little weird, y’know? I mean…it’s my baby brother. Remember how we’d always kick him out of the room when we wanted to watch porn? And now…”
Warren looked at Tucker. He didn’t have a little brother, but he could imagine what it’d be like finding out that some guy was putting it in his ass. “I love him,” he promised, since it seemed like the only valid excuse there was.
Tucker lit the final candle and then turned around. “Why didn’t you get him out of jail, Warren?”
“I was going to…”
“After you finished shooting someone?”
Warren cringed. “Hey, don’t you think I’ve been punished enough?”
“For what you did to Tara. As far as I’m concerned, you’ve still got a lot of making up to do when it comes to my baby brother.” Warren shuffled from side to side, nervously. “Okay, everything’s set up.”
Tucker stood up and Warren sat down. It occurred to him suddenly that this could be a trap. After all, Tucker seemed pretty mad and demons weren’t generally the definition of not evil. He stood up and started backing away.
Tucker laughed. “You’re smarter than I thought.”
“Your whole family is insane,” Warren said. He added, “Except for that one I’m in love with.”
“Stop lying!” Tucker said. “You don’t love him. You think love is about machines and love slaves.”
“Yeah, it’s actually about demon maids,” Warren scoffed.
“Fuck you!” Tucker said.
“No, fuck you,” Warren said. “We’ve both been dreaming of a girl whose only desire is to please us our whole lives. We talked about how we want someone small and weak and who we can push around and you agreed with me the whole time, so I’m sorry that when I found that person, you happened to be related to them, but get over it. Andrew’s a bottom boy bitch and if he wasn’t for me, he would be for whatever other guy came along.”
Tucker watched him and then sighed. “I’m going to teleport you to Andrew,” he said. “If he’s actually as into pleasing you as you say, then he’ll help you. But I just can’t.”
“Oh, you’ll teleport me to Andrew?” Warren repeated. “Uh-huh, I’m sure. Like I trust you.”
“Well, it really doesn’t matter if you trust me,” Tucker said. “I don’t need your permission.”
“Oh, fuck off!” Warren said. Four young girls and a wiry blonde boy all turned to see why someone was telling them to fuck off. One of the girls screamed when she saw Warren.
“Demon!” another, much tougher looking girl, called out. She headed towards Warren, wielding a sword.
“No!” the man yelled, pulling Warren out of the way of the sword. “That could be a human. Just one…without skin…” he searched Warren’s face hopefully. Was this the skinless man he’d been wishing for?
Warren looked into his eyes. “Hi, Andrew,” he said.
“It’s a lot to explain. I’ve been staying alive with-“ he stopped. Tucker hadn’t teleported his lotion. “Oh, no,” he said, standing up. “Oh, no, I don’t have much time. Is there a store here where I can get chemistry stuff?” He started pacing.
“Um, no, we have magic stuff.”
“No, that won’t work, I don’t know how to use it,” he said. “Unless you do. Andrew. You do, don’t you?” he asked desperately. “You know magic stuff.”
“Not really,” Andrew said.
“But, you have magic stuff. So someone knows how to use it, right?”
“Yeah, someone does…”
“Okay, great, just tell them I need help.”
“I don’t really think she’ll want to help you,” Andrew said, looking away.
“What do you mean? Why not?”
“The only magic person here right now is Willow.”
Warren fell to his knees and started sobbing loudly. Andrew stared down at him. He realized with a jolt that seeing Warren crying like this was more jarring than seeing him without skin had been.
“Andrew,” Warren said miserably, looking up at him. “Andrew, it’s not fair. I know I killed someone, I know, that was wrong, I know, but, Andrew, it’s not fair. I don’t have skin and Amy won’t give me any ‘cause she wants me to be her love slave and your family’s all mad that I fucked you and Jonathan’s dead. Jonathan’s dead and I’m going to die…”
“Mr. Wells, you let a skinless guy fuck you?” one of the girls asked.
“I’m not fielding questions at the moment, Babette,” Andrew said.
Warren looked up at Andrew. “You have to help me,” he said quietly.
“I’ll get Willow,” he said. “She’s good now. Really good. She’ll help you.”
“Andrew. I know you’re naïve, but come on.”
“No, really, she’s like-“
“You thought Annakin wasn’t going to turn evil when you saw Episode III!”
“Well, it seemed like he wasn’t going to,” Andrew said, pouting.
Warren sat miserably. “The pain’s getting worse,” he said softly.
“Warren,” Andrew said quietly. “I know Willow’s super, super scary, but…do you have any other options?”
“Tell her I’m here,” Warren said. “But don’t tell her where until you see how she reacts.”
“Okay,” Andrew said. He turned to go and then looked back at Warren. “I love you,” he said.
Warren nodded. “I know.”
Andrew hurried away.
Willow sat on her laptop when Andrew walked in.
“Eep!” she said. “Uh, hey there, Andrew. I was just…y’know…working. Definitely not Googling Alyssa Milano.”
Andrew tried to laugh.
“What’s wrong?” Willow asked, her eyes widening with concern.
She’s concerned, Andrew thought. She wants to help.
“Um…someone needs your help. Like magic help. If you don’t help him he’ll die.”
“I’m on it,” she said, standing up. “What do you need?”
“Um…well, he just needs a little, uh…skin.”
“He doesn’t have any skin?” Willow asked.
“How is he staying alive?”
“I didn’t ask,” Andrew said. “The situation seemed a little too dire for a lot of exposition.”
“Right,” she said, nodding. “Well, I can do that no problem. Just a flick of the wrist.”
“Great,” he said. “Um…so, yeah, you should just do that.”
“Well, I will have to be in the same room with him,” she said. “I mean, I can just blindly re-skin someone…or would it be de-skinning them? Re-skinning would probably mean taking their skin off again, which isn’t possible…unless you de-skin and then re-skin…”
“Willow, I don’t think you’re going to want to be in the same room with him,” Andrew said.
“Why? Why wouldn’t I-“ her eyes widened. “Andrew, it couldn’t be…”
“It is,” Andrew said. “I don’t know how, but it is.”
Willow shook her head. “I can’t help him. Why would I help him?”
Andrew stared at her. “Willow, listen to yourself. A human man is dying. It’s our job to help people. You don’t get to pick and choose who you save.”
“That man’s not human,” Willow said quietly. Andrew stared at her. She held his gaze. “He’s not, Andrew. Nothing with a soul could-“
Andrew pulled out his cell phone and dialed a number.
“What are you doing?” Willow asked.
Andrew didn’t answer, he just put the phone on speaker and listened to it ring.
“Hi, Mrs. Meers. It’s Andrew.”
“Andrew!” the woman said. “You must be calling about the news. Sarah called me this morning, I couldn’t believe he’s alive. Have you heard from him? He was trying to get in touch with you. Oh, God, I’m still so worried, but…but at least he’s alive.”
Willow’s eyes widened as she listened.
“That’s right,” Andrew said. “Warren is alive. You’ll be able to see him soon.”
“Oh, thank God,” she said. “Thank God.” She started crying.
Willow stood up. “Take me to him.”
“I have to go, m’am,” Andrew said to the speaker. “Warren’ll call you soon, though.”
“Listen, this is how it’s going to work,” Willow told the disgusting thing in front of her. “I’m going to do the magic and then you’re going to leave. I don’t ever want to see you again.”
“Agreed,” Warren said. “Thank you. Thank you for doing this. I’m glad you’re a good guy again.”
It was incredible how quick she did it and how easily. After everything he’d been through, after all the struggling, it came to the flick of someone’s wrist.
When Warren was standing there, in front of her, looking whole and unharmed, Willow wanted more than anything to kill him again. Her eyes flashed with blackness as Warren hurried away as fast as his legs could take him.