Fred, Gunn and Wesley discuss their current situation in various levels of awkward.
Wesley hasn't been seen much, but it's been easy to find him. He's been holed up over his dusty tomes, researching the hell out of things that need researching. It's necessary work, to be sure - but he has hardly spoken to anyone since their sudden relocation. It really does smack of hiding himself away. He's only eaten donuts, chips and the occasional apple over the past several days. That, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.
He's still in the library now, shoulders hunched, table in front of him strewn with books. He's got his glasses off and he's pressing the heel of his hand against his eye.
Fred stands at the doorway of the library a few moments. The cooler weather of San Francisco has shown her to need more sweaters and stockings even in the summer. It's not very much like LA, this place. Nervously, she's been helping Gunn and Dean with her research, trying to find out more about Castiel and his cryptic words. She's met more people now and has been trying to see the bright side. However, she frowns as she stands in the arch, studying the former Watcher.
Trying to not startle him, she takes a step forward, saying gently as she does, "Hey Wesley?" Her Southern accent is still thick, despite the softness of her voice.
Wesley startles with all the ferocity of a cat. He twitches and sends a book flying, then nearly knocks over a cup of tea. Only his also catlike reflexes prevents old coffee from spilling across the Writings of Delgor the Damned. "Fred. Ah. Hello. Sorry. I was a million miles away." He clears his throat and tries to straighten himself up. He runs a hand up and over his hair. It sticks up at odd angles when he does.
Fred, herself, startles when Wesley startles. She's still easily frightened at times and Wesley tossing a book around catching things sets her to jumping. "Oh! I'm sorry! I didn't meanta, that is, I didn't mean to startle ya." Folding her arms in front of her, she gives a sheepish smile.
"We haven't seen you much around," she offers. Lamely, she jokes, "You keep holin' yourself up in here we're gonna have to start callin' you Fred." Her eyes look upward and then down at the floor as she tries to lift Wesley's spirits. She's not really sure what she's doing.
"That would make very little sense, but I do get your point." Wesley stands up and arches his back. It cracks loudly and he doubles over against the table. He wriggles left and right, then something pops again. Ow. "I have hit a wall. I dove as far back as I can manage and I'm still not getting much. Oddly enough, the ancient druids weren't in the habit of writing much down."
When he says that her joke makes very little sense, Fred truly believes that he doesn't get her joke. "'Cause, you know, for months after I got back here I wouldn't leave my room cept for tacos. And that's what you've been like up here, lockin' yourself away, researching, not comin' down unless prodded." Her explanation is sincere, without any jabs or sarcasm. She's guileless.
Approaching in a slow manner, she moves to sit down at the table nearby him, glancing at all the titles and thick tomes. "This about the angel we went to tacos with? Dean thought he was a crazy person or something, but now he's a bit more convinced he's somethin'. He was nice enough, though I'd suspect most angels were nice. That'd seem pretty defeating if a messenger of the Powers That Be was really just a big ole jerk, right?"
"I touched base with an old contact of mine. I believe you met him. A very tall wizard named Harry Dresden. He knows his mystical energy, and he believes this angel is legitimate." Wesley stifles a yawn and walks, stretching out his legs and shaking out his limbs as he does. He only makes a slow circle around the table though, so if Fred's afraid he's running away, she can rest easy.
"I did get the joke, yes. However, I've been working on research. And I have in fact been out. Just not for long. This is a rather important thing to research, after all."
"Yes, the tall man. He told me I wasn't a Fred," Fred replies immediately, frowning at the idea. "I've been meaning to look into mustaches. That apparently'll help, but I'm not really attached to the idea of wearing a fake mustache. Maybe for a joke when Angel gets back."
As he explains himself, she nods. "I know, of course. People've got a lot of legitimate reasons to stay up in a room." She'd never say otherwise. "And this research is certainly important. I just hope..." she frowns, not sure how to bring this up. "You're alright, aren't you? I just...I haven't seen you around much. And I didn't want you to feel like you had to shut yourself up. I know what that's like."
Wesley has avoided looking at her directly, but it isn't really obvious until time has passed what exactly he's doing. "Yes, of course. I mean, I'm rather disturbed by the forces at play here and unsure of their motivations. But other than that, I'm fine, fine." He doesn't sound very convincing.
Fred frowns, though he may not see it if he's not looking at her. She's not the most emotionally stable woman, but she knows when she's being lied to. "You don't really sound fine," she tells him matter of factly. Her hands fold in front of her and she delicately picks up one of the larger old books, trying to find something to do with her hands. "When I got all caught up in what was happenin', Angel and Cordelia kept pushin' me to go out and do stuff. I'm not gonna do that. I just... I just wanted to make sure you're okay. And ask if I could help you with any of this research. There's a lotta it, and I've done some stuff on my own, but you're our book man."
"It has been...several weeks of disruption, to be sure. But I do find it easier to get back to myself when I work with forces I can control. And those forces are footnotes and cross-referencing." Wesley forces a smile and actually does get the momentary courage to look her way. Then the look flits off.
"Yeah. I thought we might've been sucked into a portal again," Fred tells Wesley, hands gripping on the book. "But, we just got moved to San Francisco. It still makes me feel all weird and bubbly inside - like a coke that's been all shaken and not opened just yet. Even if it's just us bein' here, what's to mean it can't happen again? And takin' us somewhere we can't get back from." Thinking this directly about it has her itching for a pen to write all over the papers, the walls, whatever she can to get out the formulas in her head for such contingencies. "I just wanna know what's happenin'. I just wanna know it's not a portal thing. Not again."
"Harry is convinced that this Castiel is a genuine celestial being. However, as we've seen, that doesn't necessarily mean we're not in danger. It's been my experience that even those who say they are on the side of angels are not always altrustic. They often have their eyes on the larger picture that ignores the human cost on the ground." Wesley rubs smudges off his glasses. Or rather, he tries to. The smudging with his shirt only creates a larger smear. He puts the glasses back on his face and goes slightly cross-eyed. He sighs heavily but decides not to address it.
"He said he came from the Powers That Be. Also Heaven. But, that doesn't mean it wasn't a portal. Maybe this is Other San Francisco. We don't really know," Fred tells Wesley, worried again about the things she's been suppressing. She pushes the book on the table away from her and leans back in her chair. The library is empty other than herself and Wesley - she at the table, him standing awkwardly a short distance away.
"Do you think it could happen again?" she asks the former Watcher, their researcher. "The Hyperion and us gettin' moved. To some place else?" Some place more like Pylea.
"I don't think so, no," says Wesley. "The amount of mystical energy that was expended was...almost unfathomable. The fact that it happened and was disguised by mortal eyes...well, let's just say someone used up a lot of magic making that happen, divine being or no." Wesley tries to ignore the huge smudge on the lens of his glasses, but that doesn't last very long. He dips his thumb in a glass of water and uses the bottom of his shirt to try and scrub out the smear.
Footsteps lead the Angel Investigations Muscle around the corner and out to where everyone else is with relative ease. He's not even really paying too much attention to what's going on because he's busy playing video games. That's right, he has himself one of those Nintendo 3DSXL joints and he's currently in the process of trying to beat some random game. "Get 'em, Bulbasaur!" It's about that moment he realizes he's not alone because of the voices around him and he stops and looks up. He even visibly winces because he's pretty sure he just lost at least three Cool Points right there. "Uh. What's up?"
At the reassurance from Wesley, Fred exhales a breath. She's still nervous, but now she's at leas so. "Thanks, Wesley," she tells him with a smile. His assessment is met with trust, despite the smudge on his lens. She's distracted, though, by the noise of the portable video game and her head turns toward Charles' entrance. She looks down and grins. "Hello Charles. Are you playing a game?"
"Either that or he's discovered a new breed of demon," Wes deadpans. Yes, he knows what the Pokemons are. Sort of. He's aware of their existence but has never personally touched a game system, portable or no. No one's ever asked him to play. Sad trombone.
"Pokemon. It's harder than it sounds." Gunn realizes this is probably not helping his case and flips the lid of his game closed and it gets shoved into his pocket. "Soooo." Gunn wonders over to the other two and just plasters on his usual smile. "We killin' anything tonight?" He's been cooped up in this hotel for a long time. He's starting to miss almost dying every night.
"Pokemon are demons?" Fred looks between Gunn and Wesley. She, certainly, does not know what Pokemon are and she tilts her head just slightly as she tries to figure out what they are. The question from Charles is met with a grin. "I don't believe so. Wesley was just telling me that he's been researching about what Castiel told us. He doesn't think it's a portal." That, in and of itself, is a victory for the physicist.
"No, Fred. They're...actually, I'm not certain. Some odd creatures in a game that you fight with other creatures, or as is my understanding from the one time I babysat my nephew." From the look on Wesley's face, it's an experience he would rather not repeat. "I do regret I have nothing for you to kill just yet, Gunn. Though if we really have been brought here by some angelic force, I'd say it's only a matter of time."
"No portals. That's what's up." Gunn offers a playful 'told you so' look to Fred. He's just kind of happy that she ain't still freaking out about that whole thing. "Angelic force?" It takes Gunn a moment. "Oh! Dude with the tacos. He was weird. I've seen weirder but at least he's on our side. I think." Gunn still ain't sure what to believe with all this dislocation nonsense.
"Are you saying the angels brought us here to kill things?" Fred looks between Wesley and Gunn, confused and worried. That's not the impression she got from Castiel. "He said he was an angel and that even he didn't know what was going on. I don't know if it's really his people who did this. So, I don't think the Powers That Be are involved. Or, if they are, they haven't been able to tell us much."
She's still nervous, but less so now that she's relatively sure that portals weren't involved. "Yeah, he was nice enough, but he still hasn't responded to my inquiry about the nature of belief and whether it's more knitting or crochet based," she frowns. "Maybe we should try and figure out a way to get in contact with him again."
"From what Harry told me, the answer lies in druidic magic. Earth magic. Unfortunately, that is an area that has very little in the way of written texts. It's wild magic - uncontrolled and unpredictable. It's tapping in to the very forces of nature itself." Wesley goes over to a hefty tome and opens it to a page on earth magic. "It was also some of the very first magic to be harnessed by moral beings. Harry said that a sacred tree was cut down in the town that appeared along with us some fifty years ago. Its destruction may have angered some spirits. Now, that act did not transport us here - some other power at work has assembled us."
"I'm not even sure what anything you said means but let me know when you need me to kill somethin'. Or punch. I'm good with the punching." Gunn is not in the business of trying to figure out what's going on in this particular issue. He's not the brains and probably will never be. He's just the guy that keeps the other people alive. "I dunno if I'm too keen on random magic makin' us do stuff but it is what it is, huh?"
"That's why you're looking into druids? Tree power and stuff?" Fred knows some things and she's intuitive at that. "I know Dean and Faith are interested in helping us. And if your tall friend is in as well, then that's gotta be something to start with." She's building, trying to keep her own and other people's spirits up.
Gunn's suggestion brings up a frown. "We got moved," she says, thinking things through. "Maybe we should figure out what else got moved, make sure it's not anything that's gonna hurt the people here. We still don't know why it was us."
"If whatever beings who brought us here aren't going to issue a memo explaining what they want us to do, it behooves us to try and sort it out." Wesley pauses, then just looks over at Gunn. "Yes I said behooves. Let me save you the mockery. I'm quite English. The end." He uses his thumb to push the glasses up his nose. He sniffs once.
"It was us cuz it's always us. We alway the ones that get zapped or moved or magick'd. I blame Angel." Gunn raises an eyebrow as he turns his attention to his English friend. "Man, I don't even know what behooves means. And you gonna' stop stoppin' my disses. That ain't even fair." He's smiling though so he's not actually upset.
At the wordplay between Wesley and Gunn, Fred smiles and rests her chin in her hands. "So, it's us and we've gotta figure out what's doing this. I say we get the other guys to help us and we try and pin an angel down to answer questions."
Wesley allows a ghost of a smile to appear at Gunn's response. He doesn't always land his quips, but when he does, they do tend to stick. "Don't worry. I'll do something incredibly fussy without meaning to at some point in the near future." Then he looks over at Fred and shakes his head. "I do feel like we may have gotten all we can out of our mystical contact for the moment. What we really need is someone who understands earth magic. Perhaps Willow, or some other contacts within the magical community."
"It's no fun if you plan it, English!" Gunn shakes his head before turning his eyes over on Fred. But then Wesley's talking about magic and he frowns up. "I dunno. If magic is already screwin' us over do we really wanna' poke the bear? What if we make things worse? And by worse I mean, y'know, everybody dead."
"Willow? Who is Willow?" Fred has never met most of the people from Sunnydale. Those she has she didn't even know they were involved with the Slayer. At the thought of everyone being dead, she frowns. Almost faux-whispering, she answers, "Can it really do that? I mean, so far we haven't found anyone dead here yet."
"I'm not suggesting we work any particular ritual, Gunn. Only, we need to understand what forces may have been disturbed when the tree was cut down. And why, now, fifty years later, things have only truly begun to stir." Wesley closes the book and then turns to Fred. "Ah, Willow is a friend of Buffy's. She's an exceptionally powerful witch. In fact, that's rather an understatement. She is however, an ally, and one who may be quite useful in this instance."
"Gotcha'. So we go through Angel's cell phone, call up Willow and get her here on the pronto. Then we can figure out what's going on and make this problem go away. Maybe even get us back to L.A. -- or my truck to here." Gunn really wants his truck!
"Buffy," Fred exhales at the name, knowing her to be Angel's 'true love' or whatever. Even if she isn't hopelessly in love with Angel any more, the thought of Buffy isn't really a happy one for the thin brunette. Gunn's suggestion is met with a nod. "Then, yeah, let's call her and try and figure out what's going on fi you think she can help. See, Wesley, you've always got the good plans for us, boss. And, hopefully something to help Charles get his car back. He really misses it."