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Fan Fiction: Lesser Men
Chapter Nine: Group Confrontation
Jonathan grinned as he put the helmet on and settled into the seat of the motorcycle. Now this was transportation. If he had a choice between that grubby cab from the night before and Wesley's motorcycle, or even between Angel's convertible and the motorcycle, he'd definitely choose the bike every time.
The drive back to Angel's place was just long enough to feel like a decent ride. The sun hadn't been down very long-- in fact, it must have set while he and Wesley were in the bar with Ethan-- so the air was a decent temperature, and there weren't many suspiciously pale people on the streets yet.
They passed the abandoned taxicab on the way. It already had gang grafitti sprayed on it, and one of the windows was broken. Whenever that "delivery guy" finally tracked it down, he was going to be one unhappy camper.
Not that Jonathan cared. He had poked around in the trunk and glove compartment before he left it, and found a whole lot of disturbing things in there. The guy deserved to be inconvenienced, or even better, put entirely out of business. Maybe he could tell Angel about it later? He could probably put a stop to it.
They finally parked at an old hotel, the Hyperion. Jonathan carefully put the kickstand down on the bike and stowed the helmet, then went back to the convertible to get the luggage again. Duffelbag over the shoulder, one suitcase for each hand. He would probably have objected to playing porter in other circumstances, since he was the smallest one in the group. Just now, though, Angel obviously had his hands full with Wesley, and Wesley was in no condition to carry anything.
Wesley did manage to get out of the car on his own two feet, but he wasn't moving very fast, even with Angel there for support. Jonathan didn't blame him. He'd had a really crappy day, and from what he'd picked up out of Angel's monologue earlier, it hadn't been the first.
Not that Angel was much better off, at least emotionally. When Wesley had crumpled against the wall and turned back into himself, Angel had stared at him in shock, then took two steps backward, bracing himself against the nearest vehicle.
"But... Wes?" he'd said, sounding utterly stunned. "I thought... where did Holtz go? I didn't mean to, I didn't really want Wes dead."
He hadn't been much use over the next few minutes, hovering behind Jonathan and stammering out pieces of the recent trouble between him and Wesley, alternating between grief and anger, then relief when it looked like Wesley was gonna make it.
Angel hadn't even paid any attention to interested passers by other than to growl at them whenever they got too close. Jonathan had worried there for awhile that someone was going to call the police, but there still hadn't been any sirens by the time they left. That could have been awkward.
These people were so messed up. Even so, it was obvious they cared about each other more than the members of the Trio ever had. It made Jonathan feel sorry for them and jealous of them all at the same time.
The lobby looked nice, when they finally got inside, like something you might see in the movies or on TV, though a little dated. Jonathan didn't get much of a chance to look around, though. As soon as the doors shut behind them, there was a gasp from somewhere up above and a petite brunette came running down the stairs towards the three men. She was cute, with flowing long hair and a girl-next-door sense of style, and she was putting out all kinds of protect-me vibes. Wesley's girlfriend, maybe?
"In the courtyard, quick!" she hissed at them when she got close. "I'm so glad you're here, both of you... all three of you, I guess, except I don't know who you are..." She paused to glance at Jonathan. "But really this isn't a very good time." She stopped only a foot or so away, casting nervous glances in the direction of the office door.
"Fred? What's going on?" Wesley asked quietly.
"Shhh!!" Fred hissed again, and made shooing motions off to the side. "Not out here!"
Jonathan looked at the luggage in his hands, then shrugged, and followed the others into a small outdoor area filled with green growing things. And something else green. Or was it someone?
"Wes? It's about time you got back," the green guy said. He had actual horns, and red eyes, and everything. It was creepy. Jonathan hadn't seen many friendly demons on the Hellmouth-- no surprise there-- but this guy was rather obviously non-human, and no one seemed to mind. Jonathan decided to just stand quietly near the door, hoping to attract as little attention as possible.
"Could have done without the bump on the skull, though," the green guy continued, narrowing his eyes at Wesley. "Seriously, kid, when are you going to learn how to share your troubles?"
Wesley looked away. "Lorne..."
Lorne shook his head dismissively, waving a hand in Wesley's direction. "Anyway. Let's just put that issue on hold, because there are bigger ones right now. In your office. Threatening Cordelia. Present company included, some times I think these Watcher's Council types couldn't find their own..."
"Lorne." Angel cut off the flow of words. "This isn't the time."
"There's three of them, Wes," Fred said, speaking up. "They didn't give us any names. They just yelled at us and asked us where you were. They've been here at least an hour. Cordy gave up after awhile and sent me out to keep watch so I could warn you before you walked in on them. So, I'm warning you."
"What did you tell them?" he asked, finally meeting her eyes.
She shrugged and started wringing her hands together nervously. "That you were in the hospital. They checked, of course, and then they got all upset about you being missing."
"But what do they want with me?" Wesley sounded utterly mystified.
"I've been eavesdropping, but they still ain't saying." Another person came crowding into the courtyard, a tall black guy. Coworker? He immediately walked up to Fred and tugged one of her hands free, clasping it in his own. Oh. Not Wesley's girlfriend.
The guy frowned and continued. "The leader of these Watchers, though, he's got a little box in his hands that he won't put down, he says it's for your eyes only. Plus, he's started mentioning Connor's name like he knows it means something."
Wesley flinched. "Connor? I didn't tell them anything about Connor." He trailed off, automatically removing his glasses to polish them, deep in thought. "The only one I even talked to recently was Rupert, and he swore to secrecy. I don't see how the Council could know Connor's name, even if they had the original prophecy."
"Could they have been tapping Mr. Giles' phone?" Fred suggested, hesitantly.
"I suppose that's possible," Wesley said, sliding his glasses back onto his face. "He isn't exactly in favor with the Council. Or..." Suddenly, he looked over at Angel, wearing a pained expression. "If one of them has had a visit from Sahjhan..."
The anger was back, simmering in Angel's eyes. "What's Sahjhan got to do with the Watcher's Council?" he growled.
"Possibly nothing," Wesley said, quietly. "Possibly everything. Just... please don't kill anyone today, Angel. Especially Quentin Travers. You'll have to trust me on this."
"Wes..." Several people started talking all talking at once, some questioning, some objecting.
Wesley paid them no attention. "I really should go in and talk to them, find out what they know," he said, refusing to look at any of his friends. "I'll send Cordelia out here."
None of them tried very hard to hold him back. Not even Jonathan, who thought they were all being very foolish, and that Wesley would be far better off getting some sleep. They just stood and watched him shuffle wearily out of the room.
"So, young Jedi..."
Jonathan blinked in startlement, and found Lorne staring at him.
"Tell us your story." It wasn't just the green guy; they were all looking at him now, even if Lorne was the only one speaking.
Jonathan swallowed nervously. "Um... I think I'll just go and make sure Wesley doesn't fall down." He almost ran out of the courtyard, leaving the luggage behind.
© 2004 Jedi Buttercup.