Title: Hyperion Chains
Disclaimer: The characters you recognize belong to Whedon and Comp.
Characters: Wesley, Angel and Cordelia
Set: Early season II
AN #1: I had this idea for a while and finally I decided to write it down. To those very hard-core fans that like to read fics where the characters are just like in the show I would say this is not for you then since for most of you Angel would seem OOC and perhaps he is but try to enjoy this piece anyway if you decide to go ahead and read it anyway.
AN #2: This is sort of a stamp off for a series with the same name that´s on it´s way. I guess you could say a prequel.
Acknowledgement: To Pat for betaing this. Also I want to thank all of you that have reviewed my other stories, each and every one of those will always be treasured.
Summary: Wesley is confronted with something about Angel that would force him to revaluate his perception of him.
Walking into the lobby of the Hyperion Hotel back from his errand of purchasing doughnuts, a big box under his arm, he looked around for the other two people that should be there.
Putting the box down on the counter he surveyed the lobby and the vast improvement Cordelia had managed to make in such a short time since moving the office here. There was hardly any dust visible left, though he wasn't about to investigate less he would have a sneezing attack.
The sheets where all gone revealing rather retro looking furniture. He liked the floor though and the colonial style of the place and he imagines that with time he will get rid of the uneasiness he had first felt when they battled against that paranoia demon.
Looking down at the box he smirked a little and decided to try something out, something that he had hypothesized about for some time now. Craning his neck about to see if he could catch a glimpse of the others, he slowly opened the box revealing the treasure within.
Quietly and slowly he counted in his head. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
"Is that you Wesley, are you back?" Came Cordelia´s voice as she walked out from the kitchen.
Inwardly laughing he made an affirmative sound. He was awed by her sense to not only be able to sniff out money if there ever happened to be some around or whenever Angel wanted to amused himself and hide some around the office, but also by her uncanny way to always manage to appear when doughnuts were around.
Seeing the box on the counter her eyes practically lit up and a grin crossed her face.
"Thought I smelled them." She said before marching up to him and grabbing one of the delicious creamed filled pastries.
Seeing him looking over her shoulder she forestalled him before he could ask, "he's not here, he did that whole disappearing act again, god that annoys me so much." She waved around with her hand making Wes duck, as it was the same one holding the doughnut and some of the filling came flying out.
"Oops," she said grabbing some napkins and wiped the desk clean, "sorry about that."
"Do you have any idea where he could be?" He said ignoring her sheepish expression.
"Err, that would be a no. You know the whole disappear thingy would indicate the not knowing part, but I think he went to the basement, don't know if he took to the sewers or if he's still there. Haven't bother going there. Who knows what one would encounter? I get enough excitement with the rooms up here."
Nodding his head at her torrent of words he turned around and said over his shoulder, "I´ll go check."
"You do that, "she threw after him, "and tell him that he´s the one dealing with the traps in the kitchen, I refuse to touch them."
Nearing the door Wesley saw that it was slightly ajar. Pushing it open he peered down into the basement. Obviously Angel had been down here since the lights where still on, but the question was, is he still here?
Gingerly stepping down the dubious looking steps he bent down and peered into the room. It looked like any other basement, if not larger then most, but it had boxes and crates against the walls and broken furniture together with whole ones littered across the floor. Walking down and stopping on the last step, he turned his head around to see if he could see his employer.
Suddenly a sound made him turned slightly to the left and walking the rest of the way down and further into the room, he peered between some table legs and chairs and saw a door half open. It was one of them that looked to belong to a meat locker, made of metal. He saw shadows moving around in the room and taking a few steps back he could see clearer into the room.
It made the colour drain from his face. From what he could see is was a relatively big room, perhaps more than half as big as the office above them. Pushed up against a wall was a simple table – it too of metal, its clear surface reflecting. But what made him stumble were the things he saw on it and hanging from the wall. Blades, chains, whips and other things he had rather wished he never knew to identify.
There was no question of what kind of room it was. So there's where he has been disappearing.
Seeing the dark clad figure appear in the doorway he took a few steps back barrelling into something that made it crash to the floor, the sound loud in the vast basement. It made the figure jerk his head up his expression quickly expressionless as he took a step forward and closed the door.
"Wesley, what are you doing here?" Came Angel's kind voice.
The tone of voice made Wesley's skin crawl. Ignoring his question he stuttered his own, astonished, too shocked to be, oh I don't know, terrified. Yes that's the word.
"Why- err- is that what I think it is?"
Calmly looking at him Angel finished pushing the metal door closed. Returning his attention to the door he treads the chain that he had in his hand around the door handle and the round hook in the wall and while he held the links together he fished up a lock from his pocket saying, "it depends on what you think?"
Shuffling his feet around Wesley tries many a time to say it but the big lump in his throat kinda prevents him. Coughing once he takes a step back. "Well from the little I saw it seam to be a torture chamber. Why would you build a torture chamber?"
Turning around Angel smirked slightly fully aware of the red alert mode the human had gone into.
"Oh I don't know. Could it be ´cause I want one? Or no, wait, more the fact with – Hello I'm a vampire and the place wouldn't feel like home without one. Hmmm" Seeing Wesley taking several steps back Angel said, "Oh I'm just pulling your chain Wes. You have nothing to fear from me."
"No? I just can't rationalize what good it would do? And your attitude isn't really very comforting."
Leaning back so as not to threaten the jumpy man Angel said, "Most of the things in here, "motioning with his head to the room behind him," are things I've had for a long time and I don't fancy seeing Cordelia stumble over them."
"Well yes that seems rather a good idea, but wouldn't- "
"I know what you´re going to say, Wes. ´Why don't I get rid of them altogether?´"
Taking of his glasses in a fashion too similar to Giles for Angel´s taste, Wes said, "Well yes, that was what I was going to ask."
Crossing his arms over his chest Angel gazed at the Watcher with hooded eyes, "well yeah, but for the same reason that I don't want Cordelia stumble over them I don't want anyone else to either. Beside some of the things...well it's complicated."
Putting the glasses on again without really meeting his eyes Wes said, "I imagine it is."
Taking a seat on a box beside him well aware that Angel was following his every move he continued, "And that would be very satisfying if it weren't for oooone tiny thing." Demonstrating with holding up his hand his finger barely half an inch apart.
At Angel´s expectant look he mentally shook his head wondering if it wasn't better to just leave things be. Nyyyaaaah.
"They weren't locked up in boxes; rather I do venture to say they seem to be out on display."
"Err" Angel said now looking everywhere but on the seating man obviously rather uncomfortable.
Taking pity on the uncomfortable vampire Wes said, "I just- I won't be bothering you with it much but I just need to, well a satisfying example of why would be enough, I wouldn't be lying if I told you that this whole thing is rather frightening."
Shacking his head Angel grumbled.
"You don't want to hear it; or rather you won't believe me."
"Why don't you let me be the judge of that?"
Sighing Angel indicated a box against the wall if it was ok for him to sit down and at Wes´ nod he did.
Taking a deep breath Angel began, "it's rather complicated, I'm a vampire-"
"I think we're fully aware of that Angel."
"Are you going to let me do this?" Angel scowled at him.
"Sorry. Go a head." He said indicating with a sweeping motion of his hand to go ahead.
"Well as I was saying, I'm a vampire and as such I have, well I'm bound to react in certain ways no matter how much I don't want to. Cordy is always bugging me to accept myself and whatnot and to tell you the truth that's not the issue here. I know it´s just a saying from your side considering every time I do something remotely vampiric in nature I can see you recoil, which I must admit hurts. I can't help be what I am and I know you must think I'm straying from the topic but I swear I'm not."
"This," he said motioning with his hand to the door, "I would never use on you, that's not why it's there, beside I like you two." Smirking a little Angel chuckled at a recent memory. Seeing the annoyed expression on the human he shook his head, "sorry kinda drifted a little there. Anyway, we deal with demons most of the time and as you well know there's really only one language we know. And that's power. I'm going to have people and I do mean every species, human included that are going to push, well the wrong buttons I'd say. I have honour Wesley, getting a soul hasn't change that. Moving to the city has made me re-evaluate my position in life and how I stand on things."
"The games are played by different rules here and if I want to survive, if I want to be able to protect you I must play by them. The fact that you are working for me puts you in a very dangerous position, more so than you can imagine. The demon community must learn that while I don't prey on humans anymore and I'm trying to redeem myself, crossing me would be unwise, that I'm ready and willing to protect those under me. You'll probable recognize it from the Diaries and that's a part of me I haven't lost."
"I can image Cordy saying that you don't need protection and all that, but both you and I know that's a bunch of bull. You´re living in my world, and even though I would very much for you to not too it´s a choice you have made. Cordy – come to think of she doesn't really have much choice in it now."
"The chamber is for when I have to deal with those who come against me, whether to extract vital information, or to punish, or to set an example. I would rather you turn a blind eye to it but if you can't handle it I'm sorry and I would truly miss you but I can't – won't – pull any punches, it's a veritable jungle out there and I intend to have Cordelia survive it."
"This is who I am – someone who is willing to do anything to protect family whether they are blood or not, that includes you."
Silence reins after that little speech and Angel refused to lower his eyes. This was something he believed in and if Wesley couldn't handle it, well he wasn't lying when he said that he would miss him, but he would let him go.
"This is a lot to take in, "Wes finally choked out, "and it's really a turn around for you, I mean this whole, gosh"
"Not really Wes. I just haven't let any of you see it. Granted I didn't have the chamber before but since moving in here, we're are meaning business and once it gets out to the underworld, the stakes will get higher."
Drying his damp hands on his trousers Wesley swallowed convulsively a few times. "This sort off drives home the notion that we're working for the Scourge, doesn't it."
"Oh I don't mean it like that."
"Good, because I haven't been very scourgy for over a hundred years."
"No? What about that time in Sunnydale, when you lost"
"Sunnydale? Constraining myself to one measly little town is rather a far cry to the old days, wouldn't you say?"
"Soo, "Angel said, "We seem to have gone off topic."
"Oh I was rather trying to forget that. But seeing as it's better to grab the bull by the horns, so to speak – I never could understand that saying, is rather unpractical not to mention impossible and foolish – yes, yes I see you, I'm babbling. I would be lying if I say that I condone this or more to the fact that I'm down right uneasy by it but I do understand where you´re coming from. Perhaps my time as a Watcher has giving me an insight to the demon aspect but I think it would be highly advisable to not even breathe about this to Cordelia. Perhaps I'm underestimating her, but I rather not chance it."
Straightening himself up on the box Angel blinked at him surprised, "does this mean you're staying?"
Seeing that Wesley was distracted by standing up and moving the box to its original place he was taken by surprise by Angel's question, which showed obviously on his face as he turned around facing him, "staying, I didn't know there was a question of me leaving, where would I go"
Angel quickly interrupted him as he saw that Wes obviously thought he had said too much. "I love to have you here Wesley. Come on; let's get going before Cordy thinks we've been abducted or something.
Nodding and letting himself be diverted Wes stood to the side as Angel walked up to him and together they walked to the stairs. As Wesley climbed before him Angel turned around turning the light off his sight on the door and a glint in his eyes that should Wesley have seen it he might have thought differently about his decision. Catching up with the human he nodded his appreciation for him holding the door up and walked out into the lobby chatting with the brunette waiting behind the counter.
Slowly closing the door Wes gaze lingered in the darkness picturing the metal door and for a fraction of a second the dread filled him again before he resolutely pushed it away and joined the duo around the lobby desk, smiling as Cordelia greeted him playfully jabbing him for taking so long.
And the day of the agency began.
AN: To those of you that´s reading "Novo Noctem", I haven´t abandoned it - I´m going through the next couple of chapters but I had this laying around and thought of posting it. Hope ya´ll liked it and please R&R and say what you thought of it.