Well. 'Peace' probably wasn't the word -- he certainly didn't feel peaceful; on the contrary, he was and continued to be angrier than he'd ever been, albeit a cold kind of anger. But it certainly was quiet.
Then came a day when there was another knock on his door, and he was quicker to answer it than he'd been the last time. Call it loneliness, call it desperation for someone to talk to. Wesley honestly didn't care.
( In which a book changes hands and lying abounds. )
[[from angel 3x20 "a new world." this is one of my favorite scenes in the whole show, omg. possibly number one. nfb, but open for phone calls, sure.]]
Then tonight - not that he could name what day of the week it was, or even confidently identify the time of day - there was a knock on his door.
( There were plenty of people who it could theoretically be, only some of whom wanted to kill him, but Wesley didn't get his hopes up for anyone good. )
[[taken from angel 3x19 "the price." nfb/nfi.]]
[[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."]]
Over the course of the day, he delegated what he could to Gunn to avoid botching up the job with his own exhaustion and buy himself some more time to research. Fred naturally decided she wanted to go along with her boyfriend, which didn't surprise Wesley after the way the last few days had gone, but he didn't love it either. Staking vampires was not a two-person job these days.
With Cordelia away on some sort of yoga retreat with her high school friends and Lorne still bitter that he'd been left on babysitting duty the night everyone had gone to the ballet, that left Wesley and Angel in the hotel. After a great deal of deliberation, Wesley decided not to tell Angel about his translation right away. He'd mistranslated before and caused panic, almost to the point of it becoming an awful joke around the office. Better to find out information from a reliable source first to be certain of what was going on. Toward evening, after a few phone calls to an area wizard who was said to have reputable intel on the local prophetic deities, he managed to make an excuse -- something about a headache -- and set off to find a statue that was said to be able to give him the answers he needed.
( Well. It was certainly large and inanimate, but 'statue' was pushing it. )
[[nfb, nfi, ooc good, and i swear to god this really happened. angel 3x15 again, "loyalty," and there's one more for the night and that's it.]]
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!]]
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!]]
So it was an important text, and if Wesley was somewhat enthusiastic about having the opportunity to break and enter, and to take advantage of the outrageously expensive gloves he'd purchased several months ago for just such a purpose, well, that was his business.
"Step one," he hissed to Gunn as he stepped around a bush and crouched in search of a window latch. "The Dobermans are happily gnawing on the steak. Alarm and vid lines are disabled--" he paused to check the scanner he had with him and wait for it to update-- "no infrared. Caught a break there. Step two: we cut a hole in the glass, snake in the mini-cam and scan the interior."
( So he'd bought a few other things from the store that had sold him the gloves. Hush. )
[[from angel 3x07 "offspring." nfb/nfi.]]
And he was promptly nearly tackled by a wall of energy in the form of Fred. Despite everything, he had to smile -- it was endearing, even as tired as he was.
"Wesley!" Fred squealed, hugging him with surprising force before bouncing backward to look up at him. "You'll never guess what happened this weekend. Go on, guess, I'll wait."
She actually did seem to be waiting. Wesley paused. "Er," he said. "Killer... lobster demons?"
He wasn't really sure why that of all things had popped into his head.
"No, silly!" Of course. How could he have been so foolish. "My mom and dad showed up!"
Well. That was certainly significant. "Really?"
"Yuh-huh!" Fred agreed. "And at first I was scared 'cause I didn't want 'em to see me an' know all about what happened to me, so I tried to run away and there was this icky bug demon tryin' to attack everyone so we got sidetracked, and my mom killed it, or at least we thought she killed it. And then we went back home, I mean here to the hotel, and everythin' was good for a while until I kept thinkin' about how it didn't make sense for me to be here, not when there's already you and Gunn and Cordy, so I started to leave with my parents until I realized there had to be more of the bug things, and that goes all the way back to when Angel took me for ice cream the other night, but anyway I came back and I catapulted it with a thing I made and I decided to stay after that and here I am."
Wesley blinked. "Here you are," he echoed, fixing her with a sincere smile. "I'm glad you decided to stay."
"I'm glad too," Fred said, looking up at him with that oddly intense gaze of hers.
There was a moment's pause. Wesley wondered -- would now perhaps be a good time to--
"Well," he said. "Since I seem to have missed all the action, how would you like to go out for some pizza, Fred?"
Her eyes lit up. "Sure!"
"Excellent," Wesley said, and it actually really was.
"Let me just go get Cordy and Gunn," Fred said, before sticking two fingers in her mouth and whistling sharply. Then she set off toward the stairs to the basement, where they were probably fighting over setting the rat traps again. "Cordy! Gunn! There's gonna be pizza!"
Wesley exhaled slowly, suddenly re-feeling that exhaustion that had gone away once Fred had started talking. Then he set down his bags and started rummaging for his wallet.
[[NFB/NFI/OOC-okay! i totally made this up because i didn't want to do a catchup for this episode and brat_inslayage agreed it was unnecessary, but holy crap fred is hard to write from scratch. events taken from angel 3x05 "fredless," la la la.]]