wesleynotponcy: (neu: r u srs right now)
[personal profile] wesleynotponcy

Wesley was halfway home when there was an earthquake, and he walked the rest of the way home imagining, in vivid detail, what Angel must have done to soothe Connor from it. It was that mental image combined with the Loa's warnings that convinced him to walk right up to room 312 upon arriving to the hotel: Angel's room:

Earthquake. Fire. Blood. One down.

He knocked on the door and Angel called him in just as Connor was being put down for a nap. The baby stirred in the crib, attracting Wesley's attention. He was doing this for Connor, he reminded himself.

"Have a nice walk?" Angel asked. "How're you doing? Really?"

Wesley exhaled quietly. That was a subject-prompter if he'd ever heard one. "I've had better days," he said.

Angel crossed to the stove, where he struck a match to light the burner to make some tea. Fire. "I know the feeling," he sympathized. "I figured it out."

Figured... it out. The prophecy? That wasn't possible; Wesley had taken his most important notes with him in his pocket, and surely Angel couldn't read the languages used in the text.

"Aubrey," Angel continued, and it took Wesley a moment to realize that that was the name of their client, the one whose son had just been turned into a vampire. "She's working for Holtz. I can tell. All that pain and rage... the only way she could deal was to join Holtz, take her revenge."

Wesley couldn't say he was shocked -- the single vampire Fred and Gunn had gone out to stake earlier had turned out to be a nest, and it seemed logical to conclude from there that it must have been a set-up. "You know how I knew that?" Angel asked.

This wasn't terribly reassuring. "Because you would have done the same."

Angel looked down at his own hands. "It scares me."

Wesley followed Angel to where he was sitting, and gingerly took a seat on the bed.

"You know?" Angel went on. "If anything like that ever happened to Connor, I don't know what I'd..." He cut himself off. "I love my son."

Yes, Wesley had rather gotten that impression. This conversation really wasn't going in the direction he'd hoped; if anything, it was making it more difficult for him to tell Angel about the prophecy. "Love can be a terrible thing," he said softly after a long pause.

"I used to think that; I thought love was something that swallowed you whole," Angel replied. There was a basket of laundry on the floor by his feet; he picked up one of Connor's onesies and began to fold it. "Ripped you up inside. What I feel for Connor... even that fear, Wes, it's... it's not terrible. It's beautiful."

Everything Wesley knew of Angel, from books and experience, told him that this was significant. His love for Darla had been as epic as it had been destructive, and that was while he'd been Angelus; his relationship with Buffy had been about as passionate and destructive, if somehow more turbulent. That Angel saw a difference in the way that he cared for Connor was... it had to be reassuring somehow. He must have mistranslated.

Despite himself, his nearly sleepless night and all the worrying he'd been doing lately, Wesley smiled. And then he began to laugh.

"What's so funny?" Angel asked, bemused.

"Life," Wesley replied, laughing still. "Life is funny. Listening to stupid people talking to hamburgers is funny. Worrying about things that will never... It's all so incredibly funny and - and beautiful."

And then the floor and walls began to shake as the second earthquake of the day hit, this one much more powerful than the previous one. Shelves toppled over -- so did the stove, and the burner that had been lit struck the floor and started a fire that rapidly spread across the room. A dresser collapsed, leaving Wesley and Angel on the side of the room closest to the door -- and the baby on the other. Without a thought, Angel leapt over the dresser and plucked Connor from his crib, then raced back across to join Wesley in the hallway, his face newly sporting a long, shallow cut that ran from forehead to chin and rapidly began dripping onto Connor's blanket.

Earthquake. Fire. Blood.

Wesley looked up at Angel in horror, but Angel didn't seem to notice the panic in Wesley's eyes. "Thought we were gonna be trapped in there," Angel said, then looked wryly down at where his blood was spreading across Connor's blanket. "At least I would've had something to snack on," he added.

In that moment, Wesley wasn't sure he could think of any time that he had been more terrified.

[[nfb, nfi, ooc-okay, last one for the day from angel 3x15 "loyalty." whee!]]
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