[[nfb/nfi! based on angel 4x01 "deep down," but pretty loosely, because of reasons. reasons of grossness. warning for kind of self-harm-ish behavior. ]]
[[WHEEEE. nfb, actually open for phone messages and texts because it's his damn birthday but he's not going to be answering just yet on account of what just happened. adapted from angel 3x16 "sleep tight" and heavily anticipated by yours truly for an unhealthily long time. BEST BIRTHDAY EVER, amirite?]]
( With permission for an outing granted, there was just one thing left to do. )
[[nfb/nfi, ooc good, wheeeeeeee. from angel 3x16 "sleep tight."]]
First there had been certain difficulties with Fred and Gunn since the start of their relationship. Wesley had been raised as a Watcher and had been taught all his life to respect women; he knew better than to suppose that Fred had ever owed him any attention or affection, and he knew that it would be unfair to hold her choice of partner against her, particularly when he had never made his feelings known to her. But it hurt all the same when she inserted herself into dangerous cases that Wesley had rather hoped Gunn could manage alone, then consequently (as he'd predicted they might) botched the job due to the understandable distractions of working with one's significant other. The implication that she valued Gunn more than their work, and would go against instructions in order to be with him regardless of the increased danger -- Wesley didn't like that at all.
But that was a minor grievance compared to what he unearthed very late Monday night, an unsettling, disturbing revelation tucked away in a line of the Nyazian scrolls that had already foretold so much about baby Connor and his birth: The father will kill the son.
( Three hours after first beginning the frantic search for a possible word somewhere that he might have mistranslated, Wesley fell asleep at his desk. )
[[nfb, nfi, ooc is delightful as always, eeeeeeee, the usual. taken from angel 3x15 "loyalty." FINALLY BEING UP TO THIS ARC MAKES ME SO HAPPY.]]
( Fortunately, the wallowing didn't last too long, because naturally that was when everyone else showed up. )
[[from here, here, here, here and here. I AM SO SORRY, TRACY AND REST-OF-FLIST. still adapted from angel 3x13, "waiting in the wings," with help from not_a_parakeet and glacial_witch. nfb, nfi, and ooc-good, and only one more part left, i swear. warning in this one for some violence against some bad guys, but nothing super-gory.]]
On top of that, the tension that had been present ever since retrieving Warren and Karla from their hotel room was becoming increasingly irritating, and still more upsettingly, despite Cordelia's encouragement that "the iron is hot," Wesley still wasn't sure if it would be a good idea to try to put his arm around Fred's shoulder during Act Two.
( So really, it was going the kind of 'nice' that... wasn't. )
[[follows this and this. premise & some NPC dialogue lifted from angel 3x13, "waiting in the wings," a.k.a. one of my least favorite episodes of the season but WE ARE FIXING THAT. preplayed with not_a_parakeet and glacial_witch. the spam will be ongoing, and nfb/nfi/ooc-good.]]
It seemed to be the case fairly often lately, and today was no exception, that Wesley found himself with the unenviable task of changing the baby while the others socialized in a different room. It wasn't that he resented this position -- after all, he supposed he had to admit that of the entire Angel Investigations team, he was the one most equipped to change Connor efficiently and with a minimum of singing (Lorne), whining (Cordelia) or attempting to complicate the matter by using pins (Angel). Still, he didn't exactly love it when he found himself stuck in one room, overhearing the others elsewhere in the hotel but unable to fully join into the conversation.
"Morning, friends and neighbors!" Gunn greeted Angel, Cordelia and -- theoretically -- Wesley as he stepped into the lobby with Fred at his side. "Ooh, are those the tickets? You got 'em?"
[[taken and adapted from angel 3x13, "waiting in the wings." 'stablishy, but open for phone calls!]]
( The Act )
( The Aftermath )
[[once again from angel 3x10 "dad," nfb, aaaand that's it for plot (probably) until "waiting in the wings" in february, hooray!]]
Over the course of those two days, Lorne had moved in (something about his club being firebombed as a result of the eighteenth-century vampire hunter who wanted to kill them all), quite a few groups had continued to seek after the baby in order to kill him or eat him or whatever it was that such groups did, and Angel had proved persistently unwilling to let anyone else so much as hold him.
( Lorne called it a Mama Bear vibe. The rest of them called it irritating. )
That night, Angel was still anxious and refusing to let anyone else watch or touch the baby. Fred pulled an all-nighter in the office with Gunn for company as he came in with batches of weapons every few hours before leaving again, while Wesley and Cordelia did their work upstairs, each of them uncomfortable with the noise of the baby crying but aware that Angel didn't want any help.
Then in the morning, Lorne slipped Angel a piece of paper offhandedly, and their whole approach changed.
( Oooh, a private strategy session. )
[[nfb/nfi. top bit is from angel 3x10 "dad," second part by me. idek.]]
"Five minutes," Angel said as Cordy shifted from the passenger to the driver seat. "If I'm not back by then, leave without me."
( Twelve minutes later... )
( Their 'safe place' to hide out at was, of course, Caritas. Not like they were getting predictable or anything. )
[[adapted from angel 3x09 "lullaby," and that's it for today! nfb/nfi, and warning for npc death and the birth of a truly annoying npc baby, omfg.]]
( He could probably rattle off the list of events if someone was really curious, but at this point he found it best to just sigh and go with it. )
( Wesley was ridiculously out of his league when Gunn and Fred wheeled an ultrasound machine into the room and Angel barked at him to make it work, but no one seemed terribly bothered by that, so he was doing his best. )
[[taken and adapted for length from angel 3x08, "quickening." nfb/nfi.]]
Taking Darla to Caritas was a process that involved multiple escape attempts, a minor attack on Gunn, and, worst of all, the creeping suspicion that Angel would have to sing when they got there. Fortunately, that was not the case, and all that happened once they arrived was that Darla was laid down in Lorne's room to rest while Cordelia stood guard.
This ended in Cordelia getting herself bitten while Darla escaped, leaving only the convenient vision Cordelia got at the moment of the bite as a clue to where she went.
And so it was that two hours later, Angel returned to the hotel, bruised and with a distraught-looking Darla in tow.
( Beat up by a pregnant lady. Good job, Angel. )
[[tweaked from 3x07 "offspring." nfb/open for phone calls! last post of the day yaaaay.]]
A day after Wesley and Gunn had -- successfully, thank you very much -- retrieved the Nyazian scroll from that man's home, the two of them were working on translating the text at the hotel's front desk when loud voices could be heard from downstairs. As far as Wesley knew, Cordelia and Angel were just sparring as usual, though he thought Fred might have gone down to watch this time, but it certainly shouldn't be an activity that required shouting.
He glanced at Gunn. "Nah, this is on you, man," Gunn said at once.
( Wesley sighed, and went downstairs to investigate. )
[[also from 3x07 "offspring." nfb, nfi!]]
What he ended up stumbling upon was Billy getting arrested -- by two police officers, a man and a woman -- for supposedly phoning in an unexplained tip for another crime, this one a woman's drowning.
Back at the hotel, the team was piecing that together.
"My contact at the city morgue confirms it," Wesley said, hanging up the phone. "Her body was discovered earlier tonight. A young woman was reported missing three days ago. Someone phoned in a tip."
( What's that saying about three times making a pattern? Yeah... )
[[nfi/nfb, 3x06 "billy" again, and another mild mention of violence under the cut.]]
Upon arriving, Angel and Gunn had promptly settled on the couch to play a video game, Fred squeezed between them and watching earnestly. Meanwhile, Wesley found himself helping Cordelia prepare some tea in the kitchen.
( This wasn't what he had had in mind at all, but he was coping. )
The Powers that Be might have had some unconventional ways of doing things, but Cordelia's visions -- with the small exception of that time Wolfram and Hart had had someone hack into them to broadcast torturous images for her on a constant loop -- had always been reliable in the past. So bright and early the next day, Wesley found himself paying bribes to numerous contacts of his, and eventually enough of them came through for him to put together a little portfolio, which he brought back to the hotel.
( ''What's this?'' )
[[nfb/nfi, taken and adapted from angel 3x06 "billy." oh god this episode is so gross, you guys. warning for very mild mentions of sexist violence under the cut.]]