TITLE: Comfortable
AUTHOR: Shrift
E-MAIL: darth_shrift@yahoo.com
RATING: NC-17 for Wes/Gunn slash
SPOILERS: Season 3 spoilers through "Birthday" and "Provider"
SUMMARY: How unobservant can two people be?
NOTES: I've learned I can't write serious Angel stories to save my life, so this is nothing but zombies, slime, wrestling, and sodomy. I'm such a raging dork.
THANKS: To Resonant and Nestra, for patience and encouragement when I flung story bits at them. Beta help by the DRV girls.
DISCLAIMER: I do not have the stompy foot of Jossian authority.
DISTRIBUTION: Yes to BFA, USCL, GunnWesley, and Eterniata if Lar wants it. Please ask, otherwise.
WEBSITE: http://bifictionalbedlam.slashcity.net

Gunn ripped off the paper and let it fall to the lobby floor. "Hey, cool," Gunn said, flipping the boxes over to look at the back panels.

"Do you like them?" Wesley asked. He had a bow stuck to the top of his head; it listed to the left and tugged at his hair. Gunn had put it there about twenty seconds ago.

"Yeah, been meaning to watch these," Gunn said. "But, uh..."


"I don't own a DVD player, Wes."

Wesley rolled his eyes. "Yes, well, I do." He reached into his pocket and flipped a silver key at Gunn.

Gunn caught it in mid-air, nearly dropping his Christmas presents. "This what I think it is?"

Wesley shrugged as nonchalantly as he could manage. "You're welcome to come over and watch them when I'm not there, you know," he said. Then he smiled. "Of course, I'd like to see them, too."

"Thanks," Gunn said. He tucked the key into the front pocket of his trousers. It made a slight bulge against Gunn's hipbone.

Cordelia already had a key to Wesley's apartment in her possession; she had been rubbing her wrists where the restraints had marked her when she demanded a key and given one in return over a year ago, after they had both recovered sufficiently to be released from the hospital.

"Next time," she had said, "bring me clothes. I am not going to be seen in public wearing a hospital gown *ever* again."

Virginia had left him before he'd broached the subject of exchanging keys.

Gunn hadn't asked for the one Wesley had just given him. Perhaps that was why he'd wanted to give it, in the first place.

"I have beer," Wesley said. He brushed at the paper bow in his hair and it slid some more, landing on his shoulder.

Gunn grinned and started to say something, but his eyes widened and he reached out to grab Wesley by the front of his shirt, pulling him close. Gunn's breath was warm on his ear and Wesley's back tensed when he felt something cut through the air centimeters from where he had been standing.

"Cordy," Wesley said, neck craned, eyeing the blade Angel had given her. "That was a bit close, wasn't it?"

Cordelia twirled it and sighed. "Relax, guys, I know what I'm doing."

"Uh huh," Gunn said, stepping backwards and pulling Wesley with him. "We'll just stand back here."

There was a yelp, and Wesley realized Gunn had backed into Fred. She grabbed onto Gunn's shoulder and they kept retreating until they were almost into the hotel kitchen.

Gunn's grip relaxed on Wesley's shirt and he looked over his shoulder. "You all right?"

Fred blinked up at them both. "Oh, me? I'm just dandy," she said. "Cordelia's getting pretty good at that, Angel says."

"Oh, I don't disagree," Wesley said from Gunn's other side, not moving away. "However, I do think I'll stay over here until she comes to terms with the lack of a Christmas bonus this year."

"Good plan," Gunn nodded.

"Oh, please," Cordelia said. "If I wanted to kill you, I'd poison your tea with toe jam from a Mukluk demon, Wesley. Or I'd tape Angel singing to Connor and lock you in a room with it on permanent replay."

"Hey," Angel said. He looked up, holding his son in the crook of his arm.

Cordelia arched her eyebrow. "Last night you sang, 'I Write the Songs.' You owe us all."

Angel grumbled under his breath about Christmas spirit and returned his attention to bottle-feeding his son.

Gunn snorted and said to Wesley, "Mukluk?"

"Apparently," Wesley said, "Phantom Dennis has developed somewhat of an obsession with National Geographic specials featuring the Inuit."

"Maybe that's an explanation for people who have no *lives*," Gunn said.

Wesley crossed his arms. "Perhaps I should call a locksmith when I return home tonight."

"No man comes between me and your Playstation, English."

"Is that so?" Wesley said.

Gunn tilted his head and intruded upon Wesley's personal space. "It's *so* so."

"Okay," Cordelia said, raising her left hand. "Who else thinks the baby is the most mature boy in the room?"

"I'm still your superior," Wesley pointed out.

"And I'm still the one who does payroll," she said, cutting at the air with her new sword.

"Just get it over with and say 'uncle' so I can go drink your beer and use your DVD player, Wes."

"I think you all should know that I would give every last one of you the pink slip if it didn't entail paying for your unemployment. All of you except Fred, of course."

Gunn laughed and slung his arm around Wesley's shoulders. "C'mon. Let's get out of here before Cordy comes at you with her sword again."


"What about that one?"

"Do you really think of Cordelia as Little Bo Peep?"

Wesley nearly lost his balance when Gunn playfully shoved at his shoulder. Suddenly, Gunn's index finger appeared in front of his eyes, pointing at the decorated cake next to the fluffy sheep.

"Ah, the ice cream cone. That makes much more sense when Cordelia's Rocky Road dependency is taken into consideration."

"Golf, football, freak-ass clown... a Care Bear? Don't they make any of these for, like, people over ten?"

"Oh, as if *I* actually know what I'm doing in a bakery ordering confectionaries."

Gunn nodded. "Should've made Angel do it. He digs this shit."

"There is the sunlight factor."

"And he can't leave the kid for more than 8.9 seconds."

Wesley grinned. "You timed him?"

"Had Fred do it. Didn't you see her with the stopwatch yesterday? She came up with this whole graph."

Gunn moved to the left to peruse more of the decorated cakes on display. Wesley followed closely.

"Flowers, perhaps?"

"Might be too girly."

Wesley glanced at Gunn. "Cordelia is a girl."

"A girl we're *afraid* of, Wes."

"You needn't mention that in public."

Gunn took another step to the left and paused, staring at the last cake in the display case. "Huh."

Wesley instantly recognized the figure drawn in colored frosting and had to concede that it was perfect. "Indeed."

Years ago, he wouldn't have. The knowledge was recent, since his move to LA and subsequent move into his first apartment. An efficiency with a rusted porcelain sink and a pile of moldering graphic novels in the back of the closet, abandoned there by some previous occupant.

Wesley was the type to never leave anything unread. He sat in front of the closet on carpet worn down to the consistency of burlap. The thought of his father's face should the man ever catch his son reading anything so trivial as a comic book prompted him to flip open the wrinkled cover of the slim book on the top of the pile.

Four hours later, his joints were stiff and he was more than a little hooked.

A vulgar habit for an ex-watcher, perhaps, but an eminently satisfying one.

"Hey," Gunn said, turning to grin at Wesley, "why don't we swing by the book store after this. Haven't read a comic book in years."

Wesley nodded. "You might be surprised at what Peter David's done with her storyline."

Gunn blinked. "No way."

"What?" he said, concealing his grin by ducking down to peer at another cake.

"No. Never seen a comic book at your place. Ever."

"Bedroom closet. They're in a box marked 'Athlitic Texts'."

Gunn swore softly. "I'm gonna be at your place so much your landlord's gonna try to charge you for a roommate." Gunn stood up and lifted his chin at the clerk. "We'll take Supergirl."


Wesley peeled another strip from the back of his shirt. "What is this strange obsession you have with Scotch tape?"

Gunn smoothed another line of tape across the seam on the wrapped present. "Makes opening 'em more fun."

"More fun for whom?" Wesley asked, bending down to peel another strip of tape from his sock.

"Me," Gunn said.

Wesley realized Gunn had taken advantage of his position when he felt Gunn's hand smack another strip of tape in place across his rear end. He straightened and said, "Do you mind?"


While Gunn concentrated on sealing shut another present, Wesley did his best to look innocuous as he walked behind Gunn, reached out, and stuck a strip of tape onto Gunn's bald scalp.

"Hey," Gunn said, "watch the head."

"I shall do no such thing."

Gunn rose from the floor where he'd been wrapping Cordelia's last present, brandishing a half-empty roll of Scotch tape. "Oh, you're in for it now."

Wesley raised his empty hands. "I am unarmed."

Gunn grinned. "And I care because...?"

Wesley dodged around his desk and went for the door, but Gunn's arm snaked around his middle and pinned him to the desk. Gunn pressed one end of the roll against Wesley's chest and began zipping the tape around him.

"Are you trying to make me into a mummy?" Wesley asked, no longer struggling.

Gunn laughed. "Wouldn't I have to pull your big-ass brain through your nose first?"

"With a hook. Only if you do, I won't be able to pick up Cordy's cake this afternoon."

The door opened and Fred's head appeared. "Hide the presents!" she said in a loud whisper. "Cordelia's almost done putting Connor down for his nap." She shut the door without saying anything about Wesley's imminent mummification.

They scrambled to conceal the presents in his office, smaller boxes going under his desk and the larger at the back of the office closet. Gunn pulled on the back of his shirt when Wesley made to exit, and said, "Hold up."

Gunn pulled off Wesley's tape wrappings and rolled them into a ball, launching it at the rubbish bin.

"Nothin' but net," Gunn crowed.


"And I was missing an arm," Wesley said. He held a demonology text flat on the floor with one knee while he examined her.

Cordelia nodded, her hands holding fast to the chair lest she float away again. "I was totally famous and had *great* hair. But yeah, it was all, like, *The Fugitive*, but with demons."

"Or *The X-Files*," Angel offered. When Cordelia and Wesley turned to look, Angel shifted and glanced over his shoulder. "What? I can't possess knowledge of popular American culture?"

Wesley blinked. Dryly, he said, "Clearly we've been underestimating your telly time, Angel."

"Oh, you have no idea. You know why he never wants to help me practice during lunch anymore? He's addicted to *The Price is Right*," said Cordelia.

"I am not."

"Sweetie," Lorne said, passing through the lobby on his way to the kitchen, still wearing his silk pajamas, "don't try to pull the cotton-wool blend over an anagogic demon's eyes."

Angel trailed after Lorne. "Hey! I've got a human son now, you know. I have to know things. About groceries. And diapers. And... trips to Bermuda."

"Yeah, sure. Pull my other horn. The one that's *not* missing."

The door swung shut behind them. Wesley flipped a few pages in his book, then looked up and said, "I was missing an *arm*."

"Your arm's off!" Gunn mocked from where he was sprawled on the couch.

"Your accent is atrocious," Wesley said, not looking up.

"It's just a flesh wound!"

"Gunn wasn't missing any appendages, was he?" Wesley asked hopefully.

Cordelia shook her head. "Nope. But you two were this macho demon-fighting duo, and," she said, kicking Wesley lightly on the knee, "you were kind of *mean*."

"Guy's missing an arm, Cordy. Don't have to kneecap him, too," Gunn said.

"Oh, now you're concerned about my well-being," Wesley said, consulting the index at the back of his book.

"Just looking out for my fellow man."

"You can say that," Wesley said, "because I'm the only other human man here."

Gunn grinned.

"Oh my god," Cordelia said. Her eyes were wide, pupils dilating rapidly. "I'm not human anymore." She wobbled on the chair and Wesley lunged forward to catch her. Suddenly, Gunn was on the floor beside him, sliding on his knees to help support Cordelia. She tried to wave them off.

A spectacular bit of overkill, perhaps, but they had been very worried about her.

"Wow." She blinked woozily and said, "I'm sorry I said you drooled on me, Wesley."

"Drool?" Gunn gave him a look.

"There have been no incidents involving drool for at least three years," Wesley protested.

Cordelia managed to remain sitting up under her own power, and said, "Boys, I'm okay. I'm fine. Freakout over."

Gunn rocked back to sit on his heels. "You realize I'm gonna need the whole story on this, right?"

Wesley blinked innocently. "What story?"

Gunn raised his fist. "Don't make me break out the noogie."

"That's not fair!" Wesley scrambled backwards at Gunn's advance.

"Pfft," Cordelia said, moving her legs out of the way so Gunn could pull Wesley into a headlock. "Like life is *fair*."

He attempted escape, but Gunn tripped him. Wesley made a strangled sound as Gunn hauled him back and locked Wesley between his thighs to free up an arm.

"Truth or noogie, Wes."

"A lifetime of blackmail material versus momentary pain?" Wesley said. "You can't be serious."

Cordelia turned to look at Fred, who was perched on the reception desk next to a pile of Cordelia's MRIs and CAT scans. "Can I have birthday cake now?"

Fred smiled brightly, but then her face clouded. "I think Lorne may have eaten it all."


Wesley was having a terribly difficult time opening his eyes. He blinked slowly and the shadows in his bedroom began to variegate, resolving into blurred shapes lurking in the darkness.

A man stood next to his bed.

Wesley fumbled for his glasses, knuckles connecting painfully with the hard plastic of his alarm clock. The man moved closer and began to bend down; adrenaline spiked down his spine and Wesley shoved himself into a sitting position, muscles sluggish from sleep.

"Hey, yo, chill. Just me."

"Gunn?" Wesley said, slumping back against his pillow. "Good heavens. Is something wrong?"

Gunn shrugged. "Nah, not really. Got home tonight and the fuzz were crawling all over my building. Thought I could wait 'em out so I could get to my place, but there must've been something heavy going down."

"Oh. Not zombie police, I take it?"

Gunn snorted. "Nah. Just, you know, black guy, crime scene - not a good combo."

"Ah," Wesley said, struggling against the desire to return to sleep in order to discern what it was Gunn wanted. "Did you -- would you like to stay here?"

"Was hoping you'd let me crash."

"Of course you may. For future reference, there's no need to ask." Wesley yawned on the last word.

"Cool." Gunn walked to the other side of the bed and shrugged off his coat, tossing it over a chair. His boots hit the carpet with two muffled thumps, and then Gunn skinned out of his shirt and climbed onto the bed. Wesley's eyes were already closing when Gunn appropriated a pillow and half the covers.

It wasn't until he woke the next morning that he stopped to consider how odd it was that Gunn didn't take the couch.

But then, Gunn was rather tall, taller than he was, and Wesley had always felt cramped when he fell asleep on the couch. He hadn't invested in a sofa-bed, either, and that left the floor.

And Gunn sleeping on the floor when Wesley had a double bed, and no current occupant other than him, did seem more ridiculous than sharing.

Only, now the sheets and the pillowcase smelled faintly of Gunn. And Lord help him, but waking up to that scent had made Wesley feel safe.

Wesley scrubbed the sleep from his eyes and got up, wandering out of his bedroom to see Gunn eating cereal at the dining room table. He had yesterday's newspaper spread over the table top, spooning Cocoa Puffs into his mouth.

"Good morning," he said. Gunn made an incomprehensible sound through a mouthful of cereal. Inordinately pleased to see him there, Wesley smiled at him and went into the kitchen to put on the kettle for tea.


"If you'll exact payment from that group of NathNa'rans, Fred and I will interview --"

Gunn snatched the crossbow Wesley was holding and said, "Why don't *you* go get the money from the big forehead guys and *I'll* take Fred to talk to the --"

Wesley snatched the crossbow back. "Don't be ridiculous. Fred wanted to learn how to understand the Koshoni sign language system --"

Gunn reached out and grabbed for the weapon again, but Wesley held on and they both struggled for it.

How odd, Wesley thought, I've suddenly regressed to the mental age of five.

"Let go," he said.

Gunn tugged harder. "*You* let go."

"What are we doing?"

Gunn shrugged and let go off the crossbow. "Good question."

They both turned their heads at the sound of Cordelia tapping her nails on the reception desk, holding Connor in the crook of one arm. She raised her eyebrows and said, "Did somebody miss nap-time?"

"Very funny," Wesley said.

"Lorne's on his way to do his brain-wave thing with the Koshoni-whatsits. Fred went with him. Angel's off tracking some slime thing in the sewers. And me?" She stepped around the reception desk and thrust Connor into Gunn's arms. Gunn automatically took him, moving to support the baby's head. Cordelia turned and took the crossbow from Wesley's relaxed fingers. "Me? I'm gonna let the big forehead guys know their check is past due."

She turned on her heel and stalked across the lobby. At the door, she paused and pointed at Wesley with the crossbow. "Gunn, you're on Connor duty. If the phone rings, Wesley, answer it. Think you two can handle that, or do I need to go get you both a pacifier and a blankie?" Without waiting for an answer, she left the hotel.

Wesley and Gunn dropped their eyes to look at the baby, then looked back up at each other.

He supposed he ought to be dissatisfied that his plans had just been thwarted, but instead he felt oddly content. He sat down at the reception desk and picked up the telephone. "Shall I order dinner?"

"Pizza," Gunn said. He jiggled Connor a bit.

"Ham and pineapple?"

"You know it."


Gunn was sitting on his couch watching television when he came home, a pile of comic books on the coffee table. "Hey."

"Gunn," Wesley said. He was a little surprised to see him here, after the way they had both been acting the last few days. Wesley entered the kitchen and put away the sack of items he'd picked up at the grocer's.

He was always glad to see Gunn, just not quite as glad lately when the topic of conversation turned to a certain someone.

"Now, Fred," Gunn said when Wesley walked into the living room, "would actually look fine in that dress."

A case in point.

For once, Wesley was pleased that Fred was at the Hyperion, still discussing decapitation with Lorne. It had been painful to watch her hands constantly flutter up to check her neck. And also painful, he grumped, to watch Gunn's overly-solicitous behavior

Wesley glanced at the television and chose to ignore Gunn's proprietary attitude towards their coworker. An awards program was on, and the camera switched from some plush actress Wesley didn't recognize to Cameron Diaz. "*What* is she wearing?"

Gunn snorted. "Fashion police should've got her on her front stoop."

Wesley sat down on the couch. "Oh, dear," he said. "Sarah Jessica Parker has absolutely no taste whatsoever, does she?"

Gunn leaned forward and squinted. "She's got sequined pants on. What the fuck?"

"I'm afraid I'm still looking at the black crepe Chinese lantern she's wearing."


Wesley tilted his head as another group of actors strolled across the screen. "I don't remember any of the premiere parties I went to with Virginia being quite this garish."

There was a pregnant pause. Wesley looked at Gunn and they both cleared their throats. Gunn picked up the remote control and began changing the channels, searching for something a bit more manly to watch.


Fred stretched and yawned, her pink tongue curling in her mouth. "Oh, I'm pooped," she announced, climbing up from the floor, open books and paper jotted with her notes strewn across the lobby floor. "I'm going to bed. See y'all tomorrow." She waved a little with her fingers and climbed the stairs, heading towards her room.

Wesley sighed and heard it in stereo as Gunn sighed beside him. He turned to glare at Gunn, only to find Gunn already glaring at him.

This unexpected rivalry was already becoming more than a little tedious.

"Oh, come *on*, you guys," Cordelia groaned behind them. She lay on a couch, curled into a ball. Angel had already taken Connor to bed hours ago.

"What?" Wesley said.

"You two. Mooning over Fred. What is *up* with that, anyway?"

Gunn frowned. "Hey."

"Fred's very intelligent and quite attractive," Wesley said.

Cordelia propped her head up on her hand, elbow digging into the couch cushion. "Well, duh, Fred's really smart and cute. But why are you two acting like she's the last girl on earth who doesn't have horns or wants to rip your head off so she can lay her eggs in it?"

"Well..." Wesley said. He paused to think.

And immediately tried to stop thinking when he wondered if he was destined to become infatuated with every single one of his coworkers.

Gunn merely looked perplexed.

"Do you guys even *know* why?" She waited. "You don't, do you? What do you even *know* about Fred? Do you talk to her, hang out with her? I mean, yeah, she's still kind of hung up on Angel, but she's about as interested in dating either of you as she is in taking a Cosmo quiz."

"How do you know that?" Gunn said.

Cordelia snorted. "Because I spend time with her, dufus. You two spend all your free time with each other."

"We do?" Wesley said.

And upon reflection, apparently they did.

"Uh, *yeah*," Cordelia said. "If she was going to fall for anyone -- which I'm not saying she will, because the whole inter-dimensional slavery thing? Might be kinda hard for her to overcome -- it'd be Angel. He's the hero, he's got a cute kid, he's a snappy dresser, and she's already got the googly love feelings for him."

"I now feel the consistency of chopped liver," Wesley said.

Their behavior, he admitted to himself, had been on the wrong side of ridiculous.

Ridiculous and immature, since it would have taken him months to get up the courage to even think about dating Fred if Gunn hadn't indicated his interest.

Gunn blinked. "Ouch, girl."

Cordelia stood up and patted them both on the shoulder. "You're big boys. You can handle it." She retrieved her purse and coat from behind the reception desk and waved on her way out.

"Well," Wesley said. "That was..."

Gunn gave him a strange, evaluating look, then abruptly glanced around empty lobby and headed for the door. "Yeah. See you tomorrow."

Wesley shrugged and checked his wallet for taxi fare.

One awkward conversation was more than enough for the night. And the worry that his ulterior motive for keeping Gunn away from Fred didn't exactly have much to do with Fred cheeped faintly in the back of his mind.


Wesley leaned against a dark doorway just off the sidewalk. He watched Gunn's truck nearly pass him by before Gunn braked hard and parked his truck illegally.

Not that Wesley expected there to be an officer of the law who would be patrolling this area of town for parking violations.

"Nothing like a slime demon to interrupt a quiet evening at home," Wesley said when Gunn climbed out of his truck.

Gunn shrugged. "Wasn't doing anything."

Wesley smiled. "Neither was I." He nodded at an alley about a block down the street. "That's the one, I should think, from Cordy's description."

They bumped shoulders when they turned into the alley, elbows brushing. They both stopped when something squished beneath their shoes.

"Ugh," Gunn said. He lifted his boot. Slime trailed from the rubber and plopped back down onto the pavement. "That is so disgusting."

"Hm," Wesley said, and crouched down. "Fascinating. I don't think I've ever seen this shade before - what do you think, lavender?"

Wesley touched the pale purple slime and brought his hand back up to his nose to sniff it. Watching, Gunn made a face like Cordelia had left the grinds in the coffee again. "It's a pity Angel wasn't available; his olfactory senses are far superior to mine." Wesley looked around the alley, eyes narrowed, looking for clues.

Gunn toed at the slime with his boot. "You saying you wish Angel was here instead of me?"

Wesley looked up from the slime with what must have been a baffled expression, and Gunn tucked his hands in his pockets.

"What are you talking about, Gunn?"

"You used to look at him sometimes," Gunn said.

Wesley narrowed his eyes and stood. His stomach, however, felt as if it had remained at knee-level. "How did I look at him, exactly?"

"Like you wanted him."

So. Gunn had noticed that.

A flush of embarrassment rose up his neck, doing battle with a flush of indignation that Gunn would break their tacit agreement not to mention each others' more stunning moments of idiocy.

He'd always been as honest with Gunn as he could. His embarrassment shouldn't alter that.

No matter how much he'd like to chuckle and inform Gunn that the industrial-strength cleaning supplies had obviously done severe damage to Gunn's brain cells.

"I can't deny that, in the past, I've had certain feelings for Angel," Wesley said. "One might call it an... infatuation."


Wesley raised his eyebrow. "He is an attractive man."

"Vampire," Gunn said. "Attractive vampire."

He rolled his eyes. "Yes, I have noticed that Angel is a vampire, Gunn."

"You want to be with him?"

"No," Wesley said calmly. "I don't."

"You don't."

Wesley felt his jaw twitch. What a fine time to be developing a facial tic. "No. Not in the slightest."

"What about Fred?"

Wesley looked away. That one stung, and he hoped Gunn hadn't intended it to. "You know why I can't be with Fred."

"Would you be with her if --"

He had to cut Gunn off. "Wishful thinking won't change what I did to her, Gunn. I've been fooling myself by believing it would."

Fred might be able to forgive him for attacking her while under Billy's influence, but Wesley doubted he would ever be able to forgive himself.

Hardly the basis for a healthy relationship.

Hardly, Wesley was slowly realizing, what he really wanted at all.

"Yeah. I know that."

Wesley's eyes narrowed. "What about you and Fred?"

"Me and Fred?"

Annoyed, he said, "Oh, so when you're the person under inquiry, it's permissible to feign ignorance?"

Gunn rolled his eyes. "Fred's cool."


Gunn shrugged. "That's it. She's cool. She's hot. And she must be blind, 'cause she totally doesn't dig me."


"Yeah, really." Gunn paused. "It's just, uh... you know what we were talking about at that flighty chick's place? The one with the zombie boyfriend? Well, uh, you make me comfortable, Wes." Gunn grimaced. "Jesus. 'You make me comfortable.' How lame is that? It's like, 'you complete me.' 'Show me the money!'"

Unexpectedly relieved, Wesley ignored the references he didn't understand, a faint, buzzing lightheadedness closing his ears. "Yes, I find you... you make me comfortable, as well."

And it was true. He and Gunn had a level of rapport that Wesley had with no one else.

All right, it wasn't Fred he had been trying to keep to himself, after all.




"So what do you want?"


Gunn stepped closer. "What do you *want*, English?"

Wesley tilted his head and looked at Gunn. Really looked at him.

And knew that he was hopelessly attracted to the man.

Well, really, that was something he'd known since the moment they'd met.

"I think," Wesley said slowly, "that I didn't buy a Playstation in the hopes that Angel or Fred would drop by to use it, Gunn."

"You on crack, Wesley?"

He glared. What he was trying to say was already complicated enough without Gunn's provocation. "Apparently, I'm not allowed to have a personal revelation without accompanying wisecracks."

Gunn held up his hands. "Ooh, touchy."

"Comfort aside, I - I think I want you," Wesley snapped, "and I can't imagine it's mutual. But if you have a problem with it, I'd appreciate it if you told me now."

Gunn stepped even closer. "Oh, I'll tell you about it, all right." Gunn forced Wesley backwards, shoved him up against the stucco wall.

"Gunn," Wesley said. He knew Gunn wouldn't hurt him.

He hoped.

"Shut up, Wes," Gunn said. Gunn dove in, lips pressing against Wesley's, tongue searching for a way in, biting a little with his teeth. Gunn pushed his thigh between Wesley's legs, one hand stroking Wesley's nape, the other at the small of his back.

It was warm, open-mouthed, and slick. Gunn kissed him and he moaned, mouth vibrating against Gunn's lips until they itched.

Gunn pulled back a little.

"Oh, my," Wesley said. His glasses were a little crooked. And apparently, he was gripping Gunn's ass.

And now he didn't see much of a reason to let go of it.


"Well, that's a surprise."

"Because the day you don't ignore what's under your nose is the day Angel starts wearing paisley." Gunn leaned forward farther into Wesley's space and shook his head.

"We've been very stupid."

"Stupider than a box of hair."

Wesley shifted a little to the left and hissed when he discovered Gunn was becoming just as aroused as he was. And there was, yes, very nice friction. "We could have been doing this for quite some time."

"Fuck," Gunn said, his consonants hard. "You -- fuck. Alley. Fuck you in an alley."

Wesley breathed hard, rubbing against Gunn, feeling the roughness of his jeans, the bite of his zipper, the press of the seam on the skin of the inside of his thigh, his thigh now around Gunn's hip. "I think we're in trouble."

"No shit."

A thought occurred to him. "You realize we've essentially been dating for a year."

Gunn grinned, and leaned in again to lick Wesley's neck. "You put out?" he said, voice low, breath tickling Wesley's ear.

Wesley tilted his head back and smiled, his confidence returning. "What, no dinner? No movie?"

Gunn bit at Wesley's exposed neck. "Go back to your place. Order pizza, watch porn."

Wesley was about to agree to that *brilliant* plan when he heard the squelching noise.


Slime plastered their clothes to their bodies.

"I suppose now is a bad time to say I wish Angel was here right now instead of me," Gunn said. He crouched down to fish one of his throwing knives out of the muck.

Wesley turned his head. A glob of slime dripped from his earlobe. "And I suppose now is a bad time to mention I've seen Angel naked."


"I didn't see much. He was on top of me at the time."


Wesley grinned. "The Host did tell me I'd never know the love of a woman."

Gunn pointed at him with his slime-encrusted knife. "You always fight this dirty? 'Cause I'm thinking I might have to get some shit on you from Cordy."

"When I first met Cordelia, I had a tendency to faint at any hint of danger, and I was far too uptight to kiss her properly."

"You just took all the fun out of it."

"Oh, I know," Wesley said. "Do you want to return home with me so we might shower and fuck?"

Gunn blinked. "Um."

"Or did you forget about your offer of pizza and porn? I was on the verge of accepting before the slime creature interrupted us. Pity, that. I've never had sex in an alley."


A large glob of lavender slime slid from Wesley's clothes and plopped onto the pavement. He looked at it with disgust. "I hope you won't take this as discouragement, Gunn, but we won't be touching one another until we've showered separately."

Gunn walked to his truck. "Do you hear me complaining, English?"


Wesley locked his ankles behind Gunn's neck, hands sliding up Gunn's arms, Gunn's skin damp with sweat. He lifted his hips into Gunn's rhythmic push, causing Gunn to groan and thrust harder. Wesley slid his hand down his own damp chest, wrapping it around his erection and pulling.

The headboard of Wesley's bed began hitting the wall.

After a moment, Wesley's neighbor banged on the wall and yelled something that was muffled through the plaster and drywall.

They both started laughing.

"Perhaps," he gasped, "we should move to the floor."

"Fuck *that*," Gunn said, twisting his hips. "They gonna call the cops 'cause we're fucking too loud?"

"Is sodomy," Wesley said breathlessly, "illegal in California?"

"Shut *up*."

"It would be embarrassing to explain to the others," Wesley paused to groan, "why we need bail money."

Gunn planted his hands on either side of Wesley's head. "Fuck you *unconscious*."

"I'd say you were no fun, but I'd be lying through my teeth."

"Good," Gunn said, leaning down to kiss him, pushing Wesley's knees into his chest. Gunn thrust harder. Wesley panted and flung his arm out for better purchase, hand twisting in the sheets. His other hand worked on his erection, calluses sliding over his slick, firm flesh.

Wesley whimpered in an undignified manner and came, fluid spreading over his hand and belly. Gunn grunted a few moments later and collapsed on top of him. Wesley stroked his hand down Gunn's sweaty back and disengaged his legs, stretching them out.

He murmured, "You still owe me dinner." He fell asleep with Gunn laughing into his neck.


"We do not own *Black Mask*," Gunn insisted.

Wesley filed the case folder he'd pulled earlier that morning. "Yes, we do. It's that one with the bad dubbing, where Jet Li's character and his cop friend are obviously having sex."

Gunn wrinkled his brow. "Okay. So we do own *Black Mask*."

Wesley sat back down at his desk. "I'd have sex with Jet Li."

Gunn laughed. "Long as I get to watch."

"Really. I was hoping you'd participate."

"You always this delusional, or are you just trying to pay me back for eating all the Cocoa Puffs this morning?"

"I don't eat Cocoa Puffs," Wesley said.

"Then why do I always smell chocolate breath on you?"

All conversation halted when Fred walked into the office, one arm hooked around the other and her fingers entwined. "Hi."

"Hello, Fred," Wesley said. Gunn smiled at her.

Fred rolled her eyes, then ducked her head. "Angel wants me to update the website. Again."

"Do you need to use the desk?" Wesley asked.

Fred nodded and Wesley stood up, offering her his chair. She sat down and was quickly engrossed in the screen of the laptop. Wesley looked over at Gunn and smiled.

Gunn slung his arm over Wesley's shoulders, his thumb gently rubbing against Wesley's neck. "C'mon, Wes. Let's go kill something."

the end

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