demonologist: (S4 - stubbled profile)
Wesley Wyndam-Pryce ([personal profile] demonologist) wrote2013-01-30 09:43 pm

Fortune Cookie Verse

The past few weeks had been more than a little frustrating. Wes had tried to bear it with as much grace as possible and yet it would seem that the universe had conspired to work against his and Fred's intentions to spend more time with each other, while still keeping their friends and colleagues in the dark about how much closer they'd become. Neither of them had wanted to make Gunn or Knox uncomfortable and so they'd kept their romantic interest in each other extremely low key at work. That said, it had seemed that every time they'd tried to steal a few moments alone they'd been interrupted by work demands or an oblivious visit from Lorne or Spike or Harmony.

To top that off, their attempts at official dates outside of work hours had proven just as disastrous, often being derailed by monster attacks or other unfortunate coincidences. He was starting to think that they'd never find a blasted window of opportunity with which to explore their growing feelings for each other.

Wes wasn't a quitter, however, and he'd arranged for them to attend a play which he'd heard was very good that evening. He'd rescheduled several appointments and decided to put off some spell-work in order to make this happen. He popped around to see Fred at her laboratory to let her know what he'd had planned for them.

It was odd when he arrived, though, because the lab seemed strangely deserted. Investigating further, and having had no luck when he'd called out for Fred, Wes saw that there was a door which was displaying a green light, leading off to one of the smaller labs. He assumed that she or someone who might know where Fred was, was in there working on a project. He headed inside, then was startled when the door slid closed behind him and the light on the wall panel turned red.

"Hello? Is anyone there? What's going on?"

Rather than a reply, he was greeted by the sound of machinery whirring into life.
fredless: (Staring up with surprise bu noelia_g)

[personal profile] fredless 2013-01-30 09:32 am (UTC)(link)
It'd all started off deceptively well -- if one took into account Wesley's dedication towards ordering company cars and tumbling into bed together for the kind of exhausted sleep that only followed after being awake for over thirty hours. But hiccups aside, there wasn't any hiding Fred's smile when she looked back over that day (and a half).

But they hadn't come close to a repeat performance yet. Not the tumbling, and certainly not the bed part. Not that she needed...

It was just that even if the developments might be labeled 'recent' as they went, being around Wesley recently didn't exactly feel that way. And as close as they'd been emotionally lately, there was the inevitable tug for some kind of physical to follow.

She was seriously considering luring him into the supply closet Harmony had locked her in. It took them hours to find her. Surely if there was anywhere they could get lost for a while, that was it.

And yet despite all that, Fred sound herself smiling as she entered the lab. It lasted several full seconds until she stopped up short. It was quiet. Too quiet. Since taking over she'd definitely started encouraging her employees to leave on time (not the usual, apparently. Also her lack of death threats) there were still usually one or two people lingering that needed to be shooed on their way.

But this time the lab was completely empty. Or...

A light flickered in the corner of her vision, as Fred realized the equipment in one of the weapon prototype rooms was running. Two steps towards the tempered glass brought a familiar profile into view.

"...Wesley! Get out of there."

Her hands were already fumbling with the controls.
fredless: (ScaredFred)

[personal profile] fredless 2013-01-30 12:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Fred's features grew more tight as she fumbled with the controls. It'd been her initial design, an 'intelligent' weapons system that would track movements once locked on using probabilities to narrow down potential choices with increased accuracy.

Quickly.

But it was still supposed to be in testing, and it definitely wasn't supposed to be operating at full strength. If Wesley took a direct hit there wouldn't be....

What was wrong with the emergency stop protocol?

Fred forced herself to drag her eyes away from Wesley long enough to intently study the buttons and screens in front of her. Code scrolled at a rapid pace until finally the machine disengaged.

There was something deceptively peaceful about the way the glass door slid open, allowing her to rush inside.
fredless: (ScaredFred)

[personal profile] fredless 2013-01-31 01:23 am (UTC)(link)
Fred pushed into the room, dropping to her knees in front of Wesley. She ignored the sting that inevitably followed the force of her impact. Gaze wide she searched Wesley over, unable to stamp out the fear that sat firmly in her chest.

If anything, it was that much stronger now that her brain was no longer engaged in stopping whatever was happening.

"What were you doing in here?"
fredless: (Loss for words by?)

[personal profile] fredless 2013-01-31 03:01 am (UTC)(link)
Fred stood as Wesley did, her brow knitting with confusion.

"No that's not all. The green light was on? You're sure? It was the green one?" That was meant to indicate the test was over, not starting, and that it was safe to enter the...

She didn't bother waiting for Wesley to answer, impulsively pulling close to kiss him. She was still tense, and worried, and the exchange definitely was more complicated than any they'd shared recently. It seemed the swiftest way to share her relief that he was alright.

The distant sound of the lab door opening pricked at Fred's ears.

fredless: (Arms crossed by noelia_g)

[personal profile] fredless 2013-01-31 03:42 am (UTC)(link)
They'd more than perfected injecting space between them whenever an interruption happened, but it was still harder than usual to pull herself away from Wesley this time. Fred couldn't shake off her concern. As a presence entered the lab she reluctantly took one step to the left.

"Recalibrated it to what," Fred pressed, a sharpness in her tone that she rarely used with employees. Especially Knox. "It was running at full strength just now. We didn't have that on the schedule for weeks."

And then there was the issue of the light. It should have been red. She'd been forced to compromise entire chunks of programming to get the targeting system to shut down just now, and that would only make it that much more difficult to investigate the previous command cycles.

"You know I'm supposed to give the final approval for all tests on this level."

"...I know, I know." Knox stepped back from Wesley slightly, making a point to give him space. But you've just seemed a bit distracted lately." Fred glanced back at the other man sharply, realizing that once again her attention was returning to Wesley. "I thought I would take this one off your plate. You trust me, right?"
Edited 2013-01-31 03:43 (UTC)
fredless: (Action : Intent gaze)

[personal profile] fredless 2013-01-31 04:08 am (UTC)(link)
"Wesley's right Knox. Go home."

Her voice was firm, and it was clear the matter really wasn't up for debate. How could he have left the room with the system engaged. Had she not been clear in her own instructions? It wasn't acceptable.

He seemed to respect the instructions, shoving his crackers deep into a pocket on his coat. Both hands stayed there, tucked away.

"And make sure to get plenty of sleep tonight, because tomorrow we're going to be stripping that room down to it's frame. I don't care how much it delays our deadline."

Knox acted as if he was about to say something else before changing his mind. "...alright. Goodnight, Fred." With that he slipped quietly from the lab.
fredless: (What did you say by noelia_g)

[personal profile] fredless 2013-01-31 04:23 am (UTC)(link)
"He's not incompetent," Fred countered, almost automatically. But there was a fundamental truth there she just couldn't shake. Knox wasn't incompetent. He was very, very good at his job. Enough that he essentially had her job before she did. But then how did that explain what just happened?

Her features paled slightly, remembering Wesley trapped in that room.

"...but there's Lorne, just like you said. We know him. He trust him. If there was something wrong, don't you think he would've sensed it?"

She'd worked side by side with Knox for months now. Fred wasn't sure she was ready to believe there was something duplicitous about it. And perhaps, even more than that, was the brief less professional side of their relationship.

If Wesley was right about this? How wrong did that make her?
fredless: (What is going on)

[personal profile] fredless 2013-01-31 05:10 am (UTC)(link)
"...for quite some time?" Again, her voice was brittle, and Fred didn't especially like the sound of it. But she couldn't seem to stop, either. "And you're just bringing it up now?"

It was difficult to imagine not telling Wesley something at this point. Her hands clenched and then released with unshed tension. Again her gaze drifted to the door that Knox had just exited.

"Fine. Let's do this right. We can start tomorrow."

Like everything else already piling on an increasingly full plate. Was it any wonder they hadn't managed to find time for each other?

"Can we just leave," she pressed? "Go home?" Which for all that sounded not right, it still felt like what she meant. "Yours, mine. I don't ever really care which. Let's just go."
fredless: (Action : Intent gaze)

[personal profile] fredless 2013-01-31 05:43 am (UTC)(link)
Somewhere in all that she couldn't help but untangle the thought that he hadn't been able to come to her, for whatever reason. And truthfully the reason bothered her less than the result. It'd never been her intention for Wesley to feel that way. Likely there'd soon be a restless hour or three spent trying to sort out the 'hows' and 'whys' where sleep should have been. Possibly even tonight.

For now, though, her gut told Fred it was the right thing to leave. To put some distance between themselves and their jobs. She immediately started shrugging off her lab coat, intent on leaving it behind.

"Your place sounds perfect. I'm ready to go when you are."
fredless: (Action : Hug You)

[personal profile] fredless 2013-02-08 04:59 pm (UTC)(link)
There wasn't a specific conversation about it, but it appeared that it was Wesley's turn to drive. There was a brief moment when Fred considered protesting, guilt firing along with the ignition to his car. After all, between the two of them his evening had been much more traumatic. But she just couldn't seem to make her head a focused enough place to deal with basic things like traffic signals and stop signs. Was Wesley right? Was Knox really capable of what he was suggesting? Could she really be that poor a judge of character?

Again?

Once inside, she welcomed the feel of increasingly-needed arms wrapping around her. He'd always had a knack for it but now a different sort of emotion inevitably followed, settling into the narrow spaces and pockets between them. Fred pressed closer, slowly becoming aware of something almost acrid burning at her nose. Like a...

She pulled back sharply. How could she not have noticed.

"...Wesley, your face."

One hand reached up, hovering just over the abused skin. She could still feel heat radiating from the wound.
fredless: (What is going on)

[personal profile] fredless 2013-02-08 06:16 pm (UTC)(link)
"...either?"

A quick, accessing gaze caught sight of now Wesley was holding his arm. And she let him drive.

Fred's brow knit itself together, features arguing even before she could find words to. "I'm not willing to agree to that statement just yet. And even if I did things will still get serious pretty darn quick if they get infected. Life if fabric gets inside them."

All business now Fred immediately moved over to the thermostat, cranking up the temperature several degrees. It was still winter outside.

"Take off your shirt and go sit on the couch."

She could've just asked him to roll up his sleeves but at this point Fred needed to see for herself, make sure Wesley was alright. Especially since he let them come all the way home from the lab -- where she had actually equipment for dealing with accidents and burns -- before mentioning anything.

Only no, he hadn't even mentioned it. She moved to sit next to him.
Edited 2013-02-08 18:16 (UTC)
fredless: (Profile : Like what I see)

[personal profile] fredless 2013-02-09 03:51 am (UTC)(link)
She didn't go rummaging through Wesley's cabinets or kitchen just yet, wanting to have a better understanding of what they were dealing with first. Inwardly, she was still a bit angry at herself for not noticing before now. Fred watched as Wesley removed his shirt, aware of the slight catch were it clung to the wound to his upper arm. It was obviously the deeper of her too.

Before she could get to lost in her own guilt (her lab, her staff and her rules) Wesley's words teased her from that place. Finally her features softened as Fred moved to join him on the couch, sitting up on her knees.

"...you make it sound like you've given that particular notion a lot of thought." There was a note in her voice that suggested he might not've been alone, but Fred didn't elaborate. "If it wasn't lasers and flesh wounds, just how was it supposed to go?"

Of course there was obviously interesting and then there was willing to wait for an answer. Which Fred wasn't. She tilted her head to better see the wound on Wesley's arm.
fredless: (Curled Hair : Looking down)

[personal profile] fredless 2013-02-09 05:10 am (UTC)(link)
"You'd gotten tickets?"

She was both immediately disappointed and -- not. Even though they both stubbornly refused to show frustration, sometimes it felt like she'd spent more time with Wesley before her confession in his office. But as lovely as that play sounded, and as much as the events that placed them in Wesley's apartment still distressed her, Fred couldn't bring herself to mind the eventual outcome. Pretty much the opposite, actually.

If the what resulted in the two of them alone together, without even Wesley's shirt keeping them company? Did the how really matter?

Realizing that she'd been quietly studying the man in front of her, from somewhere a reminder surfaced that yes -- yes it did. Wesley might have died in that room, and he was still hurt. She'd had enough minor contact burns in the lab to know that however brave a face he was putting on, it had to hurt.

She did however allow herself the briefest of explorations, fingers tracing lightly down from Wesley's collar bone down to the wound on his arm. Looking, of course, for anywhere else he might be hurt. She could feel the heat that radiated from it increasing has fingertips increased in proximity. Fred wasn't wearing her glasses so she leaned in closely, noticing a few stray bits of fabric from Wesley's shirt clinging to the raw, angry skin. She didn't bother keeping the emotion out of her voice.

"...do you have any tweezers?"

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