Sequel: takes place sometime after "Oceanus"
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Summary: On the subject of Wesley's swimwear.
Disclaimer: Joss' boys. Warner's stuff. Fox's thang. Jane's story. Still. And I've concluded that even if they did come up for sale on e-Bay, I couldn't afford them. Dang.
Sex disclaimer: Never ever have I ever done it on a Greyhound bus in the shadows of the night, while the other passengers slept or watched us surreptiously through half-closed eyes.
(a Restaurant Dogs Interlude)
by Jane St Clair
He's wondering where Wesley found that bathing suit. Because even Olympic swimmers wear more than that. Well, as of this year, Olympic swimmers dress like they're going cold-ocean diving, but he's thinking of the '84 Olympics, which he can kind of remember, even though his Mom couldn't float tickets for them, not by a long shot. But he remembers pictures in the paper, on TV, in the McDonald's and plastered on walls and well, pretty much everywhere, really. You'd have thought there was actually competition, the way people howled about it. And he remembers the nearly-naked men's swim team, shaved-slick bodies just barely covered by their suits, the fantasy of every boy who ever swung both ways, or just backwards.
Wesley's bathing suit lives somewhere in the country between Speedo and thong. It's black and slick and it comes up at the sides in a way that's good at reminding Gunn, and anyone else who looks, that men do indeed have hips.
It's a small enough surprise in the mess of this week. On Monday, Cordelia announced over coffee that they were day-tripping. At the time, Gunn had been thinking more about bed -- he'd been out all night with Angel, and his shoulder hurt, and he was exhausted. He'd been sleeping days to keep up. The coffee was just to keep him conscious long enough to get home.
Cordelia's announcement was accompanied by a date, a departure time, and a map of the coastline that included a circle in red permanent marker. One beach, privately owned and not in use, unguarded and secured with a fence and lock sequence that they knew how to bypass. The whole thing was a tribute to Cordelia's research skills, really. He'd glanced at the couch while she was talking and watched Wesley make a mental note not to let her shuffle recon work over to her when it wasn't his job.
He remembers the rest of that morning to the extent that he went home and found Wesley waiting by the door, just like he'd been sitting there all along and hadn't had to travel at all. Gunn gave him a dirty look and then gave up, let Wesley take him in and strip him down and put him to bed. Cool wizard's hands rubbed his back until he fell asleep.
This morning's surprise was Cordelia's music. She "borrowed" Angel's convertible and swung around to collect him with the top down and that fucking scarf around her head like some kind of old-time movie star. She had the radio on, playing something breakable-sounding and top 40, and Wesley was sprawled in the back seat, obviously still not really awake. Gunn reached to fix the station but Cordelia slapped his hand without looking over at him, and wouldn't let him touch the dial until they were more or less out of the city.
About the time they struck palm trees, she stopped paying attention. The FM broadcast signal was already breaking up, though, and he wasn't sure how much he was going to be able to pick up the farther out they got. Flipped the glove compartment open and was rewarded with a rain of tapes onto his feet. Mostly out of their cases, smudged black plastic with the labels mostly worn away by years of handling. Even the bootleg tapes weren't decently marked -- the original neat labels had been scribbled out, and generally written over with just "car tape" or "good music."
Cordelia didn't look over. "Give me the top one."
"They're on the floor, Cordelia."
"That was clever of you. Next time don't mess with my system. And find the black one with the bronze smudge on the left corner."
Which wasn't helpful, but after handing her six wrong tapes he found it. And got to spend the next hour and some listening to Jimi Hendrix, which if a little surreal was at least a lot less painful than he'd expected. Not his usual, but good. And very not how he thought of Cordelia. But she'd picked the tape, and she knew it by touch, apparently, and who was he to say anything?
Sometime after that, he got loose from his seatbelt and crawled over the back of the seat and dumped himself half on top of Wesley. Who blinked at him owlishly, then scooted over without sitting up. Gunn didn't take him up on that. Cordelia was watching him very hard in the rear-view, though he wasn't sure how he could tell while she was wearing glasses as dark as those. Instead stuck himself against a door and accepted Wesley's feet in his lap and left Cordelia unquestioned lordship (ladyship?) over the front seat and the tape deck therein.
He's sprawled now on his stomach on the warm sand watching Wesley lift himself out of the water. He knew when Cordelia planned this trip that skinny-dipping wasn't on the list of things to do, but he still thought about it. And then tried to picture Wesley in swimwear. Briefly, the image he got was of those full-body striped things you see in old cartoons, but he supposes that's just Wes' Englishness working on him. Actually, he assumed that Wes would probably come up with something in the nature of black, slightly baggy shorts, the same kind of concealing clothes he wears all the time, pared down.
He wasn't expecting this. The long, pale expanse of Wesley's body was enough to crank his own body awake in the half-minute he got to look at it before Wes was in the ocean and swimming. The sea was calm enough that neither Gunn nor Cordelia stopped him from heading out, though Gunn suspects that Cordy was surprised that Wes could even swim. Even he was surprised at the easy breaststroke the man moved into, pushing his head into the water so that he vanished and reappeared every couple of seconds.
Since then, Gunn's been dozing. He hasn't been able to get himself off the nocturnal swing he's been on, not completely, and the sun's warm. And he's seriously getting to like beaches, especially quiet ones. His respect for Cordelia's recon skills is growing -- he'll have to tell her that sometime.
Cordelia's off to his right, lying on her back with her hair pinned up and her very naked belly exposed to the sun. He wants to tell her that tanning'll give her cancer, but doesn't bother. Turns instead towards the water and watches Wes pull himself onto the rocks.
The long, wet line of Wes' body reminds him of . . . he wants to think of something really poetic, but all he comes up with is sex. Naked skin and salt. The arch of him pulling from his shoulders to lift himself out of the water. Just upper body strength holding him there until he's half out of the water, when he finds a toehold. And then just pauses there, balanced with his belly pressed against the rock and his head up, listening to something Gunn doesn't hear.
Not looking at him. Which is good, because it gives Gunn the freedom he needs to get up and go over there. He has to dodge between boulders to get to the one he wants, and by the time he's there, he's wet to the knees, but he's stretched on the warm stone by the time Wesley rises to meet him.
"Hello." Wes is doing the quiet-amused-Englishman thing, just watching him and almost-not-quite smiling.
Long pause. Warm sun on both of them. The beach behind them is huge and it only gradually gives way to the hills where they left the car. Just low brush and six miles of dirt road to the highway.
Wesley says, "Was there something you wanted?"
"Yeah, but I'm not sure we should with Cordelia watching."
Wesley pushes up farther, so that he's bending over the edge of the rock and resting on his forearms. "You think she might be offended?"
Gunn snorts. "I think she might want to join in." He can picture her doing that, actually. He's not entirely sure what she thinks of him, but he knows that at some point in the past she had it for Wes, and it just feels like the kind of day when things might get out of hand. He offers his arm. Wesley grasps him just below the elbow and pulls himself up, then stretched out on his side.
He's still not used to the way Wesley's body turns him on. He wonders if it got wired into him at some point while Wes' powers were manifesting. The itching power-charge is gone, but he still gets odd sparks off the man sometimes. Still looks at him and gets turned on for no reason. He wakes up sometimes thinking about knives.
"Is she watching us?" he asks.
"Good." Fiercely. "You're sure?"
"Ye-es." Wesley just watches him.
He reached out and brushes the arch of Wesley's body from his ribs down to his pelvis. Long, pale line of flesh getting sunburned in the blazing light of this day. He knows there are places where the sun doesn't so constantly shine like this, but he can't imagine them. Raised in California. He's too used to it.
Wesley hisses a little and twists towards him.
"Shh. Hold still." He resist the urge to look over his shoulder and see if Cordelia's watching. Instead bends himself over Wesley, pushing him onto his back. His mouth lands just below Wes' navel and sucks hard there for a second. Lets go. This isn't where he wants to leave a mark. Pushes his mouth and nose down, pausing for just a second when he hits spandex. Then pushes it down with a hand and keeps moving.
There's a place he's looking for, just where hip and thigh meet, that he knows is covered by the suit when it's in place. Comes to it finally and licks there, enjoys Wesley's hiss. And bites.
Just under the skin, there's a big vein. He's starting to understand some of the appeal of being a vampire. Warm, welcoming places all over the human body that open to you. But at the moment he's not looking to break the skin. He bites gently, then a little harder, then gently again. Working the skin while the ribs against his shoulder heave and Wesley gets harder and harder against his cheek.
When he lets go, there's a massive hickey, and the imprint of his teeth is obvious. Gunn smooths the suit back into place, ignoring the erection it's holding in. Presses a swift kiss to Wesley's navel and gets down. Standing upright, he can catch just a bit of a breeze, which feels *really* good, and he finds it's not all that hard to walk, really. His shorts are loose enough not to give him instantly away, and it's worth the frustration just to hear the hissed, "Bloody hell," that comes from behind him.
He's most of the way back to his towel when he hears Wesley's voice in his ear. Wes isn't there, and Gunn knows he isn't there, but he's getting used to the tricks Wes can play on him, and he manages not to jump.
"You bloody *tease*."
"If you say so." Not bothering to hide his smirk. He *definitely* won this one. And sometime later today, he'll get to take care of the rest. He's got this idea of him and Wes in the shower, getting the salt off and rubbing up against each other . . .
More sweetly, but still alien-British, "I'm going to *get* you."
He ignores that. Doesn't think, somehow, he's going to get in the last word with a guy he can't walk away from. So he goes back to his towel and thinks about nice, warm sleep, and doesn't think about how Cordelia's twisted to look at him, and how her hand keeps rubbing unconsciously at her hip. He thinks that maybe the drive home with her this afternoon's going to be interesting.