viciouswishes: (angel braces)
[personal profile] viciouswishes
Title: Inheritance
Author: [livejournal.com profile] viciouswishes
Beta: [livejournal.com profile] geki
Fandom: Angel
Rating: G
Words: 1,676
Setting: Set in the Where you look down, I've walked before universe, specifically after You were my only home. tl;dr summary: Angel/Wesley and they're raising Connor. They go visit Wesley's family in England and this takes place after that visit.
Summary: Wesley's mother writes him a letter about his inheritance.

I am writing to you today because of your inheritance, and I do not mean your physical inheritance. Though despite everything, you will have one of those too. No, I am writing to tell you a story I should have a long time ago.

As I am sitting here in my empty house -- your father having gone to London on business -- I realise this is what you have inherited from me. You are more like me than perhaps you will ever know.

As you know, I was born in 1942 at the height of wartime. My father served in the Royal Air Force, flying planes, and my mother was an overly-educated dreamer. What you do not know is that they were not married. Well, they were not married to each other. They met when my mother was on her honeymoon in South Africa. You see, my father's first love was exploration and his second was flying.

They had a heated affair when all was wrong with the world, and I was the result. My mother's husband died in the War; she never talked much about the circumstances surrounding his death. My parents were married two weeks after the War ended in the fall of 1945. I was 3-years-old.

Family could not keep his spirit tied down in England, and my father soon left us to head back to Africa. During the War, he'd met a Lord. Now my family had old ties and some money, but we were not as well off as Lord Wyndam. Lord Wyndam who was determined to conquer what he referred to as the Dark Continent. My father flew his plane.

Lord Wyndam had a son named Edward. One summer, my mother and I came down to their South African estate, which ran along the Orange River. I was 15-years-old, and Edward was 20. I fell in love with him that summer, before I even knew what love really was.

My father had been training Edward to fly planes, and Edward was extremely eager to show off his skills. When home, I was expected to behave a certain way, to attend my mother's garden parties and wear frilly dresses. But in Africa... In Africa, there were no rules. I wore trousers and rode in Edward's plane. Just the two of us and the sky.

I know how hard this must be for you to imagine.

We went to back to the ranch every summer until I was 17. It was then that Edward and I were engaged to be married. Our parents were thrilled at the pairing, due to our fathers' close friendship, even if my breeding did not stand up to what proper society expected of Edward.

Edward and I were married a year later in 1960, and we moved back to England as political unrest in South Africa grew. But Edward was never as happy here as he was in Africa. He hated the rituals that were associated with his family name, which grew even more when his father died suddenly about 8 months after returning. I became Lady Wyndam.

Edward's unrest and unhappiness continued. He lamented that the whole world seemed conquered these days, and that his father and grandfather, imperialists through and through, had seen all the truly good days of the Empire. We traveled a bit, but the new threat of Communism kept us from straying too far from England.

Finally, Edward decided that politics be damned; he would discover the world as he pleased. His plane was lost as he attempted to go back to the Orange River estate, and I was left a childless widow at 25-years-old. I had a title, two estates, and more money than I knew what to do with. But I'd lost the love of my life.

I was despondent. Your grandparents moved to Abbotsbury to live with me, both because of my father's failing health and my depression. I did not want to go on living without Edward.

That summer, my mother and I spent every moment out in the garden. She always loved greenery and could name every tree, bush, or flower which grew on the estate. It looked lovelier and more well-manicured than any gardener has been able to keep it since.

Of course, that winter was one of the coldest and snowiest that I can ever remember. And my mother, bless her heart, gathered up as many plants as she could dig up from the ground and brought them inside. Our living room looked like a proto-nursery. Here I was, Lady Wyndam, the young widow, with dirt all over my home as my mother saved plants and my father relearned to use his right hand after suffering a stroke.

There was something about those plants and my mother's determination to keep them alive. She couldn't stand to see them die. In the same way, she could not cope with my father's health or my depression. So the plants stayed warm by the fire with us, and I agreed to start answering the calls of my suitors.

Most men out to marry a young widow were only there for money and ambition. Young men who wanted their progeny to have titles, but were not refined enough or of good enough breeding to approach real Ladies. But I was not only a widow -- a used woman -- I was also of lower breeding. They came in droves, likes flies.

Then I met Roger Pryce. Roger, like the others was ambitious and not willing to settle for his lot in life. He was already a Watcher at that point. Though I did not know anything of the business of the supernatural until our wedding night, which was our first major fight. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Roger proposed to me on our third date, and I accepted. I wanted the one thing I never had with Edward: a child. I wanted you. I knew that Roger would be loyal, and more importantly, I knew that he would continue his work, unlike many of my other suitors whom would've hung up their hats for a leisurely early retirement of spending my money.

Like I mentioned, I knew nothing of the business of Watchers and Slayers until Roger's and my wedding night. I was livid that he had not told me during our engagement. Even more so when he disclosed that our first born child would also become a Watcher, as is tradition. Your father kept so much from me in those early years. He's always been a man of secrets, but some of his reveals during our first years of marriage were almost unforgivable.

Had it not been for you.

When you were born, I remembered what it was like to be happy again. To hold you in my arms felt like flying in Edward's plane. I knew happiness.

In those early years, I fought tooth and nail for you. I believe that your father loves and wants what's best for you; his mind just works very differently than yours or mine. And soon enough, I was losing as Roger can be more cunning and ruthless than I, and when he sent you off to boarding school, my heart broke in two again.

The first year you were away, I spent most of it in bed. We went to Southern France that year for winter holiday as your father's attempt to make us both happy with his decision. Later that year, I discovered I could not have any more children, despite my longings for you to have siblings. But looking back on it all, perhaps it was a blessing in disguise.

I will not recap anymore events from your childhood or young adulthood as I know you remember them very well, and I do not have the words or the comfort to fix everything which happened to you. Yes, I wish both our lives had taken a very different turn. I wished for along time that Edward would magically reappear to take back his title, and I still wish that I liked Roger as much as I love him. I also wish that I would've told you your family history, about the explorers and the dreamers. About the ones who were not stodgy Watchers.

As you have gathered from this letter, our family's title, estate, and money are my legacy, and they are yours and now Connor's. I know your father has threatened you numerous times with your inheritance, but they are not his to give.

I am so proud of the man you have become. For a long time, I was worried you were lost, just as I have been. I dreamed of becoming a grandmother, but I understood your commitments to fighting the good fight and how that too often does not mix with love or family. Connor will always have a grandmother who loves him.

As the four of us sat together eating dinner the night before you headed home, I recognized that spark of happiness in you burning in a way I had never seen it. The way you looked at your son and way both you and Angel took care to make sure he didn't smear mushy peas all over the dining room. Despite my initial misgivings about your involvement with Angel, largely due to his nature, he treats his family in the caring way that family should be treated and it's obvious he makes you very happy.

Anyway, I fear that I have rambled on too long, and it is almost time for me to head to my ladies' luncheon. I hope to hear from you this afternoon, to know that the three of you have safely arrived home from your visit. And I hope that you can find some sympathy for an old woman with a lot baggage you have inherited.

Love,

Your mother
Lady Kathryn Wyndam-Pryce

on 2011-01-25 02:01 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] panisdead.livejournal.com
I opened this on a whim, as I haven't read any of your previous series, but I'm glad I did. Very engaging!

Have you read West with the Night? The narrator reminds me of the woman in that book.

on 2011-01-31 04:06 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] viciouswishes.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it even without reading the previous stories.

I haven't. I'll take a look.

on 2011-01-25 10:26 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] a2zmom.livejournal.com
What a fascinating backstory you have invented for Wesley.

on 2011-01-31 04:06 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] viciouswishes.livejournal.com
Thank you!

on 2011-01-26 05:51 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] rebcake.livejournal.com
This is gorgeous and fascinating. I would posit that some Watchers (Giles, for instance) do go into the field for the same reasons that Wesley's forebears went into Africa, but so much of the adventure is wrung out of them in training and with endless bureaucracy. I love that Wes' mother wishes anything but duty for him. In fact, she seems to wish him joy.

on 2011-01-31 04:15 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] viciouswishes.livejournal.com
Thank you. Yes, I imagine there are a few who do, even if Wesley's mom doesn't think so.

In fact, she seems to wish him joy.

She does; she does indeed.

on 2011-02-02 05:09 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] sweptawaybayou.livejournal.com
This is heartbreakingly beautiful. So very, very well done.

Thank you for sharing this.

*hugshugs*

on 2011-02-06 06:09 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] viciouswishes.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback. Glad you enjoyed it.

*hugs*

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