Disclaimer: The following work of fan fiction is not intended to infringe on any copyright or to make a profit. Angel:TS belongs to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and other Powers That Be, and I'm not stating, implying, or even hinting that I might conceivably own them; if I did own them, I might have enough money to make it worthwhile to sue me for writing about them, but then the point would be moot. Also, I would have treated them more kindly. In regard to this story, please don't copy, post, distribute, or sue without the express permission of the author.

Ratings/Warnings/etc.: PG, slash, Wesley/Angel

Author's notes: Written for the Wesley Ficathon; requirements included Wes/Angel and a silly argument.

A MATTER OF DEBATE
by Katie


"It was a Moric'q demon."

"It was a Mordek demon."

Angel held open the door to the Hyperion, allowing Wesley to proceed him into the lobby.  "It was a Moric'q.  Didn't you see the size of its claws?  And the purple scales?"

Holding a dripping battle-axe gingerly in front of him, Wesley limped toward the kitchen.  "Did you see the green slime?  Moric'q demons don't bleed green slime.  And what about the horns?  They don't usually come with horns."

Angel stared morosely at the large globs decorating his carpet.  "I'd say it was more blue than green.  And what about when they're going through puberty?  Then they're the horniest--um."

Wesley raised an eyebrow as he disappeared through the doors.  Angel was sure he started smirking as soon as he was out of sight.

"Point taken," Wesley called, and now Angel knew he was smirking.  "That would at least explain the persistent odor of cheese.  Not to mention the way it threw us both half the length of the tunnel with no more than a swat."

Nudging at a blob with his toe, Angel shuddered.  "Yeah, about that . . ."

"I recall reading that Moric'q demons do experience a surge of strength as they go through puberty, making them roughly equal in power to their cousins, the Mordeks.  In fact, one authority postulated that the Moric'q become Mordeks briefly as their hormones change.  It's an interesting theory, wouldn't you say?"

Wesley came back into the lobby with the battle-axe, now slime-free and gleaming.  Wincing, he settled it back into the weapons case, then rubbed at his back.  

"It would certainly account for the other Mordekian qualities of our foe tonight," he continued with a cheerfulness that Angel didn't really find appropriate.  "In particular, I was fascinated by the spell it used to disarm us and send the axe hurtling toward my head.  That type of magic is more commonly found among the Moric'q, but the pronunciation, particularly of the 'th' and 'sh' digraphs, was almost classic Mordek.  Don't you have a book on demon linguistics in your library?"

Before Angel could answer, Wesley limped away in the direction of Angel's office.   Sighing, Angel followed him.  As he entered the room, he discovered that Wesley had already located the volume he wanted and was standing at Angel's desk, leaning over the open book with his glasses threatening to fall off his nose.  The bruise on Wesley's cheekbone where the demon had hit him was already swelling, and he hunched a little to one side as if his ribs were hurting him.  Angel would have smelled blood if there had been any, so he could rest assured on that count, but broken ribs and concussions didn't bleed.  

Wesley looked up as Angel drew near to the desk, absently pushing his glasses up his nose with one finger.

"This text states that Mordeks are unable to pronounce the 'th' sound and replace it with a sibilant 'sh'.  Something to do with the fangs, I believe.  Moric'q demons, having lesser fangs and more prehensile tongues, can manage both sounds quite easily.  Our demon tonight was definitely speaking with a Mordekian tongue."

"I don't," Angel said with a calmness he was rather proud of, "give a rat's ass about whether it was Mordek or Moric'q or Moroccan, for that matter.  What I want to know is, why did you jump out and attack it when I told you to get behind me?  That thing, whatever it was, could have killed you with one swipe."

Wesley stared at him, befuddlement obvious on his face.  "I was attacking while you had him distracted.  What did you want me to do?"

"Get out of the way?"  Angel ran his hand through his hair, then absently smoothed it back into place.  "I wasn't distracting him, I was trying to kill him."

"Oh."  Wesley's shoulders sagged slightly.  "It wasn't my intention to get in the way."

Angel sighed, feeling like he'd reached down to pet a puppy and accidentally kicked it instead.  The night had started out with such promise; how had he managed to screw it up so badly?  There were more reasons that the curse that he usually chose celibacy.  

"That's not what I meant."

Ducking his head, Wesley shut the book with a snap and turned to place it in its spot on the shelf.  "Since the species of the demon isn't an issue, I'll just be going home.  A hot shower and some lineament would do wonders."

"Wes."  Angel took a step forward, reaching out but not quite touching him.  "That demon was eight feet tall and had a mean right hook.  I bounce a lot better than you do.  That's all I meant.  I didn't want you to get killed on our first date."

Wesley blinked.  "Date?"  Shaking his head, he crossed his arms over his chest.  "We weren't on a date.  You said you wanted to talk about the Darazhin problem.  How is that a date?"

Looking down at his clothes--nice black slacks, now with a gooey blob on the left knee, a black silk shirt, and a tailored black jacket, with not a hint of leather in sight--Angel said helplessly, "I dressed up."

"Angel."  

He couldn't meet Wesley's eyes.  He didn't want to see the pity in them; avoiding that had been the whole reason behind the Darazhin problem excuse.  Not that there wasn't a Darazhin problem, and not that he didn't need Wesley's input, but they could have done that in the office.  The one that he was currently trapped in, because it was his and if he left, it would be obvious that he was running away.

"Angel."  Wesley took a step closer, and Angel could hear his heart beating faster.  "I believe it's customary to inform the other party when inviting them out for a romantic evening."

"I was going to tell you at the restaurant," Angel muttered.  "But then we heard that woman scream, and there was the Moric'q demon . . . "

"Mordek.  Thankfully, Charles hadn't removed the battle axe from the trunk since last week, or we might not be having this conversation."

"We could stop," Angel said hopefully.  "We still need a solution for the Darazhin problem."

"I believe," Wesley said gently, taking another step forward, "that it's also customary to offer one's date a kiss at the end of the evening to leave them with a good memory of the date."

Angel finally looked up, and what he saw in Wesley's eyes wasn't pity.  Closing the distance between them, Angel leaned in and cupped Wesley's face, brushing his lips gently against Wesley's.  With a sigh, Wesley opened his mouth.  He tasted of tea and excitement and a hint of fear, and Angel wanted more.  

Wesley pressed closer, sliding his hands under Angel's jacket and across his back.  Heat radiated through the silk of Angel's shirt and curled downward.  He moaned, sliding his tongue against Wesley's, brushing one hand back into Wesley's soft hair.  

"How was that?" he asked finally, pulling back to let Wesley breathe.

"Not bad," Wesley gasped.  "But it was a trying evening.  I think it will require more than one kiss to make this memory a positive one."

Angel grinned.  "I can manage that."

Before he could suit actions to words, he heard the outer door slam.

"Angel?  Angel!"  Cordelia's voice carried clearly through the hotel.  "His car is here.  He's got to be around somewhere."

"I'll check his room, you check the office," Gunn suggested.

Wesley sighed and stepped back.  "Their timing leaves a lot to be desired," he said regretfully.

Cordelia opened the door and leaned in.  "Angel?  Oh, Wesley, good.  Now I don't have to hunt you down, too.  You know that convent on McMannis?  The one we visited last week?  I had a vision that the Darazhin were going to attack there, and I'm pretty sure it's tonight.  Or possibly tomorrow, but there was definitely a full moon in my vision, which, by the way, came right in the middle of Saks, which I would definitely have a word with the Powers about if they ever bothered to, I don't know, talk to the receptacle of their prophecies about whether or not it's convenient to make her brain bleed out of her nose.  And anyway, tonight's the last night of the full moon.  So it's probably tonight, and we need to hurry.  What are you to waiting for?  And Wesley, why do you look like you've already run into the Darazhin and didn't come out on top?"

"We ran into a Mordek demon on the way to dinner," Wesley replied.

Angel shook his head.  "Moric'q."

Cordelia sighed impatiently.  "Would you two come on?"

Wesley started after her, pausing to look at Angel.  "We'll finish this discussion later."

And Angel, as he followed his team out the door, thought that Wesley's smile had been particularly promising.


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