Wesley Wyndam-Pryce

the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone

reading: important research
Wesley Wyndam-Pryce wesleynotponcy
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A Hospital And Then Cordelia's Apartment | Los Angeles, CA | Thursday Evening Fandom Time

The last time Wesley had woken up in the hospital, it had been Karla who had been waiting by his bedside. The time before that, Giles. It was fair to say that neither of them had been as intimidating a sight to wake up to as Angel.

"You all right?" Angel asked, right off the bat once he noticed Wesley stirring.

Wesley nodded, managing with some effort to pull himself into a seated position – though more so due to the blankets pulled taut around him than the surprisingly minimal damage he could immediately discern. "Cordelia?" he asked.

"Got slammed with visions of all the pain and suffering in the world at once. Now she's been sedated and unresponsive," Angel answered, not mincing words. He held up the scroll. "This'll fix her?"

"It should," Wesley said, reaching out to accept it from him. "Would you, ah." He winced. "Get me a wheelchair, please?"

One translation and unbinding ritual later, Cordelia was awake, and the three of them in their newly officeless state set up shop in her apartment. There, Angel recounted what had happened while the two of them had been in the hospital: he'd gone to the Oracles, a pair of servants of The Powers That Be who had assisted them in the past, and they'd told him that the demon responsible was working through Wolfram and Hart, apparently for some sort of raising. Angel had managed to arrive in time to stop the ritual and kill the demon, apparently retrieving the scroll in the process. Which left Wesley to research what exactly they'd been trying to raise in the first place.

"Here's something," he mused, poring over the scroll and various complementary texts at Cordelia's kitchen table. "The Beast of Amalfi, a razor-toothed six-eyed harbinger of death." He squinted down at the caption, then frowned. "No, wait, that's due to rise in 2003 in Reseda."

"I would've guessed Tarzana," Angel quipped, as Cordelia came around to set a sandwich and a glass of milk on the table beside Wesley.

That was so unusual that he didn't even think to object to food being near the books.

"You've been looking for hours," Cordelia told him firmly. "You need to relax and charge the brain cells. Eat."

Wesley stared. Then looked over at Angel, just in time to see Cordelia hand him a glass of blood, instructing him, "You too." Noting both men's looks of bewilderment, Cordelia chided Angel, "Don't be embarrassed. We're family."

Yeah, they were still staring.

"What?" she finally asked.

"It's just…" Wesley tried. "I'm not used to, er."

"He's not used to the new you," Angel interjected diplomatically.

Cordelia took a breath, looking from one of them to the other. "I know what's out there now," she said. "We have a lot of evil to fight. A lot of people to help." Turning to Angel, she joked, "I just hope Skin-and-Bones here figures out what those lawyers raised sometime before the prophecy kicks in and – you croak."

A beat.

"That was the old me, wasn't it?"

"I like them both," Angel assured her.

Wesley just smiled faintly at the two of them, looking down at his book. Then boggled at what he saw. Wait, that couldn't be right.

Except, well.

"Ah," he said. "Oops."

Both other sets of eyes in the room fixed squarely on him.

"I may have made a tiny mistake." He looked down again, intently, to confirm this, and when it seemed certain, he glanced back up at Angel. "Er. The word 'shanshu' that I said meant you were going to die? Actually I think it means you're going to live."

Wesley was the best at accurate translating.

"Okay," Cordelia said after a moment of incredulity. "As tiny mistakes go, that's not one."

Wesley hastened to justify the error, explaining, "'Shanshu' as roots in so many different languages. The most ancient source is the Proto-Bantu, and they consider life and death the same thing, a part of a cycle. Only a thing that's not alive never dies. It's – it's saying that you get to live until you die; it's saying that you become human."

Which really was an improvement from the last thing anyway, so.

"That's the prophecy?" Cordelia asked, stunned.

Wesley leaned down to read the relevant passage aloud. "Ah… 'the vampire with a soul, once he fulfills his destiny, will Shanshu, become human.' It's his reward."

"Wow," Cordy said. "Angel. A human."

Angel looked thoughtful. "That'd be nice."

"Wait," Cordelia said. "What's that thing about having to fulfill his destiny first?"

"Well, it's saying that it won't happen tomorrow or the next day," Wesley explained, though it seemed rather obvious to him. "He has to survive the coming darkness, the apocalyptic battles, a few plagues, and some – er, several, not that many – fiends that will first be unleashed."

Angel still hadn't stopped smiling. "So don't break out the champagne just yet," he summed up.

"Uh, chyeah, break out the champagne, Pinocchio," Cordelia corrected him. "This is a big deal!"

"It is," Wesley chimed in, standing up. Angel and Cordelia both turned to look at him, and he blushed faintly, wondering if the dramatic pronouncement had really been a good idea. Well. Too late now, he supposed. "I – that is to say, it's a matter of some significance, Angel. It states that – that you'll be making a difference, and aiding the helpless. And…" He thought of his Oxford application and didn't hesitate. "And it's something I'd rather like to be here for. Once I graduate."

There as a bit of a theatrical pause. Then:

"Well," Cordy said, "duh."

Wesley blinked. "I'm sorry?"

"Of course you're going to be here," she told him, rolling her eyes. "Who else would be Book Guy?"

Wesley smiled and flushed a bit, glancing back down at his books. "Of course," he said. "Just, ah. Just so we're, er, all understanding each other, then." He caught Angel's eye as he sat back down and thought he saw something approving, or at least satisfied there. While he wouldn't take credit for the satisfaction – after all, Angel had just learned that he was going to become human – he thought a bit of that approval might be for him.

[[nfb, nfi, stuff under the second cut up until wes' theatrics taken from angel 1x22 "to shanshu in la," and up early 'cause i may not be at a computer for the rest of the day. aaand done now, yes.]]


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