TITLE: Mr. and Mrs. Bickerson
RATING: NC-17 for Wes/Gunn slash
SPOILERS: Angel through season 3 "Heartthrob" and a
gimme for "Fredless"
SUMMARY: Bickering. Sex. More bickering. More sex.
Stupid jokes. Visions. Did I mention the bickering?
AUTHOR'S NOTES: For Sheila, 'cause she asked for
fluffy romance. Beta thanks to the DRV girls. All
remaining errors and stupidity belong to my impatient
DISTRIBUTION: Yes to list archives. Others, please
DISCLAIMERS: I'm convinced that Tim is secretly
slashing Wes and Gunn, and this only makes me heart
* * *
Gunn saw Cordy wince out of the corner of his eye as
he flew back and hit the wall, a hot flash of pain
spreading along the back of his head and making him
feel like he was going to see his supper again. He
hauled himself back up when the urge to puke passed,
the handle of his axe slippery and dripping with green
Cordy took aim with her crossbow and let one fly. It
went wide, barely missing Wes as he ducked to avoid a
set of huge demon fangs.
"Next time I insist that you two aren't fighting the
big nasty without me?" she said, wincing again.
"What, you want me to write you a reality check?" Gunn
asked. He flung himself forward to break Wesley's
fall. Over his shoulder, he told Cordy, "That check
would bounce so hard and so fast it'd look like the
Flash with a crack pipe and a two liter of Mountain
"Okay, okay," she said. "I get the point. I think
your point just splattered demon guts all over my new
Gunn let go so Wesley could bend over and put his
hands on his knees, and whoop in a big breath of air.
"Doesn't matter. They're on their way out this
"No!" Cordy said. "Since when?"
Wes opened his mouth to answer, then his eyes went
Cordelia hit the ground and Wes jumped over her. Gunn
took the demon from the other side, and they hacked at
it with their axes until Cordy managed to plug the
Chirago demon between the eyes with a crossbow bolt.
Gunn looked down at the thing when it finally
collapsed, hitting the ground so hard the dirt shook.
He didn't think there was a piano box big enough for
Chirago demon put Fat Albert to shame.
"Looks kinda like a mutant rooster," he said.
"Do chickens have teeth?" Wes asked. He rubbed at his
bloody shoulder absently.
Gunn raised an eyebrow. "I look like a farm boy to
Cordy stalked up and kicked the demon, her foot
hitting the thing's ribcage with a hollow thunk. "I
just bought these shoes two weeks ago. They can't be
out of style yet."
"Cordy..." Wes rubbed at his cheek. Smeared demon
blood over his cheekbone.
Gunn wanted to wipe it off. But he didn't.
"Suggestions on what we should do with the body?" Wes
"Burn it?" Gunn said.
"Dumpster, perhaps?" Wes frowned.
"Or we could just leave the thing to rot," Cordy said.
"It's not like this warehouse is a high-traffic
tourist attraction with a Ferris wheel and the dollar
"You the woman with a beard?" Gunn asked.
Cordy smirked and reloaded her crossbow.
Wes put his hand on Gunn's arm, and it felt good
there. "I'd advise you never to taunt an armed woman,
"Yeah, taunt Wesley instead," Cordelia said. "In a
battle of wits, he's always unarmed."
"If I wasn't in an extreme amount of pain, Cordy..."
"Yeah, yeah," she said. "I'll see you at the
* * *
"This isn't the way to the hospital," Wes said.
"And you realized that, what, five miles back when I
didn't take the turn off to Wilshire while we were
still on 110?"
Wes smiled a little, resting his head against the
passenger side window. "Well, I had my suspicions."
"Keep it up," Gunn said. "You might be a *real*
detective some day."
Wesley snorted. "Yes, and wouldn't that be nice?"
"Bite ain't that bad, right?"
"It hurts, but I'll live," Wes said. "As far as I
know, Chirago demons carry no special toxins in their
Gunn turned his eyes back to the road. "Good. I got
plans for you."
Wes reached inside his torn coat and pulled out his
cell phone. Flipped it open. Dialed. Waited. He
mouthed 'voicemail' at Gunn. "Cordelia, this is
Wesley. I know you're expecting us at the hospital,
but I'm fairly sure neither Gunn nor I require
professional medical attention. We're tired and going
home. I'll contact you tomorrow."
"Smooth," Gunn said when Wesley hung up.
"And the complete truth."
"Never said it wasn't."
* * *
Gunn took their axes into the kitchen and dropped them
into the sink, pulling out the sprayer in a really
pathetic attempt to wash off the crusting demon blood.
He shrugged, and filled up the sink with hot water
and fluffy soap bubbles of Joy. He walked to the
bedroom and nearly tripped over Wesley's jacket.
Looked up to see a line of bloody, stained clothes
leading to the bathroom door.
He let his jacket fall to the floor and sat on the bed
to untie his steel-toe boots. Gunn got to his zipper
when the shower came on, and stripped off the rest of
Wes was a dark shape behind the shower curtain. Gunn
climbed in behind him, swinging the curtain shut with
clicks off metal on plastic. Wes had his head down in
the spray, one hand flat against the tile. Gunn
leaned into Wesley and they just stood there for a
while, hot water running between their bodies. He
moved back a step when he felt Wes shifting around to
face him. Wes shook the water out of his eyes and
smiled, turning Gunn under the spray.
Gunn wiped his eyes clear with the back of his hand
and peered at the mess of torn skin on Wes' shoulder.
It really wasn't that bad. Wes'd had worse. Not too
deep, nothing gross in the wound.
"Couple of butterfly bandages, some gauze, and you'll
be all set."
Wes craned his neck to look at his shoulder. "Yes, I
think you're right."
Gunn laughed. "Man, this is so weird."
A washcloth plopped against Gunn's chest and Wes
arched his eyebrow. "What is so weird?"
Gunn turned Wes around again and fumbled for the
shampoo bottle, popping the cap with his thumb and
squirting some onto Wes' head. He started scrubbing
at the demon guts in Wesley's hair and said, "You
know, how we don't leave the house without an axe and
a first-aid kit. And how we go out and kill these
nasty, fat-ass demons every night, and--"
Wes had moved the washcloth down from Gunn's chest,
down over this stomach, and wrapped the washcloth
around Gunn's dick. Wes grinned a little and
tightened his hand, pulled. "And?"
"And don't you even think about stopping what you're
doing," Gunn said, pushing Wesley under the spray to
rinse out his hair.
Wes stepped closer when the shampoo was swirling into
the drain, squeezing and tugging, twisting his hand,
the nubby fabric feeling really *fucking* good on
Gunn's dick. Wes moved his face forward until their
lips were almost touching, and he said, "Then you'd
better wash us both."
And Gunn did, taking the cake of white soap and
running it over Wes' body, broad swipes down his back,
chest, under his arms. Washed himself as quick as he
could, Wes still smiling and squeezing. Gunn backed
them under the shower head and rinsed the soap off,
then he pulled Wes back away and reached for the taps.
His hand never made it.
Washcloth plopped onto the ground, and Wes followed
it, using it to cushion his knees a little.
"Unh," Gunn grunted. Wes had his balls in one hand,
dick in the other, and the man was using his tongue
like he really fucking loved what he was doing. Loved
it and knew just what made Gunn go all wordless and
crazy. Gunn was wet and warm everywhere, Wes sucking
him off, one hand clenched on the bar over the soap
dish, other hand buried in Wes' wet hair.
His hips jerked forward and Wes kept swallowing and
stroking, hands slick and a little rough. And Gunn
was still worked up from the fight, turned on as all
hell. And when his legs started shaking, fingers
twisting in Wes' hair, he just let his head snap back
Wes got up from his knees kind of slow, and Gunn just
sort of draped himself over him. Wes turned off the
water and they both stumbled out of the tub, barely
drying off. Gunn smiled when he saw Wes bringing a
towel with him, and he collapsed onto the bed
face-first, drawing one leg up a little so Wes would
get a nice view of his ass.
The view made Wes swear softly. Gunn felt the bed dip
as Wes climbed on, towel landing beside him on the
bed. Heard the snap-top of the slick, felt Wes'
fingers, still warm from the shower. Gunn shifted
around Wes' fingers and groaned when he hit the right
"Now, damnit," Gunn said.
"On your side," Wes told him.
Gunn turned, and then Wes was against him, Wes' front
to his back, and Gunn could feel him from his
shoulders down to his calves. Sound of a condom
wrapper, stretching latex. Wes slid a leg between
Gunn's thighs and opened him up, then pushed in a
little. Gunn pushed himself backwards, reached back
and grabbed Wes' hand, brought it over his body to
wrap Wes' hand on his dick.
He wanted it and Wes knew it, so he pushed in all the
way, harder. Pushed in again and again, Wes' right
hand stropping his dick. Gunn grunted something like,
"Yeah, like that."
Wes licked and sucked at his neck, then shifted, and
Gunn's eyes rolled in the back of his head. He
reached back, hands slipping on Wes' sweaty, smooth
skin, and grabbed Wes by the back of his head. Pulled
him forward and went for Wes' mouth, tongue pushing in
and tasting everywhere.
And they were sucking and biting and fucking, fucking
hard like they always did after a fight. His body
hurt everywhere, but adrenaline and pleasure were
making him forget it. Wes slammed in a few more
times, pulled his mouth away and inhaled, nose pressed
behind Gunn's ear. Wes' body tightened and he came,
hand squeezing Gunn's dick, still thrusting in, Mr.
Fucking Considerate. Gunn came too, not as hard as
before, and it pissed him off a little that he'd have
to move in a minute to clean himself off, and so Wes
could find a garbage can.
But not moving meant no more fucking, too, and that
was just fucking wrong.
* * *
The first thing that registered was skin. Warm skin.
Warm thigh wedged between his own. His face buried
against more skin, a neck. Gunn inhaled. His back
The next thing that registered was a ring. Phone.
Cell. Off to the side. Floor, maybe.
Gunn tried to flip over and groaned, settling back
face-down on the pillow. His body told him he'd been
demon-wrangling the night before, had hit the wall and
the edge of a ceiling support. And then he'd been
pounded through the mattress by the warm body still
half-sprawled over him.
That was a good ache. Mm. The one that would remind
Gunn that he got fucked last night every time he
moved. The rest of him was one sharp pain. Nasty
taste in his mouth. Fuzz on his teeth. Definitely
needed to piss. Felt a throb ripple through his
Water. Pretty much needed to drown himself in water.
Wes wasn't waking up.
And that phone was getting annoying as fuck all.
Gunn slapped at the floor with one hand, finally
locating a hard lump of plastic in somebody's coat
pocket. He flipped the cell open with his thumb and
brought it up to where his face was mashed back into
the pillow. Said something like, "Hwo?"
"Hold up," Gunn said. He rolled his body half onto
Wesley's and shoved the phone at Wesley's face.
The man blinked sleep-swollen eyes. Scrubbed at spiky
hair. Took the phone away and said, "Hello?" in his
sexy-scratchy morning voice. Gunn relaxed into his
body pillow, head bumping a little against Wesley's.
So close that he could hear Cordy saying, "Wesley?
Why is Gunn answering your phone? Is everything okay?
Did we miss the talk about calling and actually
talking to Cordelia when big bad demons bite Wesley
and stupid Wesley doesn't go to the hospital so they
can fix him?"
"Cordelia," Wesley yawned. "What time is it?"
Gunn buried his face in Wesley's neck and shut out the
rest of the conversation, nudging his morning wood
into that nice dip on Wesley's body where his pelvis
met his upper thigh. Felt Wes' voice rumbling up
through his ribcage, and was half-asleep when Wesley
flipped his phone shut.
"She wants to meet us later," Wesley said. His other
hand rested on Gunnís bald head.
"Why?" Gunn muttered.
"I've no bloody idea. Something about Fred," Wesley
said, stroking his hand down the back of Gunn's neck,
down the length of his spine, and back up again.
"Gunn," he said. Then, "Charles."
"Call me Chuck and I'm gonna have to kill you, you
know," Gunn said.
"Don't you ache everywhere? I have a --"
Gunn flopped his arm up and covered Wesley's mouth
with his hand. "Shut up, English." Gunn let his eyes
slide shut again, only to open them back up a minute
later when Wes kept talking. Brushing his lips across
"Next time, we should go to Caritas after we've
battled the insanely huge demon hell-bent on
destroying the planet Earth."
"Because then we'd be in serious pain *and* hung over.
Great plan. I can see why you're in charge."
"You might have a point. And as much as I'd like
never to move again," Wesley said, "Cordelia is
expecting us for brunch in an hour."
"Brunch?" Gunn demanded, raising his head to glare at
Wes. "I don't *do* brunch."
"Fine." Wesley held up his phone. "You can call
Cordelia and tell her we're not coming."
"Sure thing," Gunn said, snatching at the phone.
"I'll just tell her I'm too tired from banging your
ass all night--"
Wesley propped himself up on his elbows and smirked.
"I believe *I* was doing the banging, Gunn, while you
would be the bang-ee."
"I believe that's what you upper-crust, English people
call se-man-tics," he mocked, doing his version of
Semantics. A big, old five dollar word. Proved he
could read, yessir.
Wesley grabbed at the phone and Gunn grabbed back, and
then they wrestled for it. Gunn could have told
Wesley he didn't have a chance, but he kind of enjoyed
proving it to him again. He ended up sitting on
Wesley's chest, pinning Wesley's arms above his head.
Gunn stopped gloating when he realized Wes was staring
at him. "What?"
Wesley squirmed a little underneath him. "Nothing. I
simply can't breathe."
"What?" Gunn repeated. Wesley looked like he was
about to say something, opened and closed that long
mouth. Blinked a couple times.
His eyes were all soft, like he'd been looking at
puppies. Or that fancy Chinese hook knife with the
mother-of-pearl inlay in the display case at the Army
Navy surplus store.
"Nothing," Wesley finally said. Then, "Are you
enjoying yourself? Comfortable up there? Will you
let go of me?"
Gunn decided to be honest, just for shits and giggles.
He squeezed Wesley's wrists a little tighter. They
felt thin in Gunn's hands, even though he knew Wes
could sling an axe. "What did I just say?"
"Ah. Just checking," Wesley said. He grinned a
little and wiggled under Gunn's body, waiting a whole
minute to say, "Shall we shower? Again?"
Gunn sniffed. Sweat. Spunk. "Man, we're rank."
"That's one way to phrase it," Wesley said, and let
Gunn haul him to his feet.
Gunn got in some good gropes in the shower, Wesley
half-blind with shampoo. All slicked up. Pink and
And bruised. They were both bruised, though Gunn's
skin didnít show it as much.
Wesley yelped when Gunn sat him down on the toilet to
bandage the mauled shoulder. "That's bloody cold!"
"Want me to warm you up?" Gunn said, leering down at
Wesley's naked body.
Wes just glared at him, eyes unfocused without his
glasses but so damned *blue* like that, and moved
forward a little so his balls wouldn't freeze to the
toilet seat. Gunn taped him up. Wesley's hands
wandered, rubbing a rough knuckle up and down Gunn's
Gunn dug around in Wesley's dresser and came up with a
black T-shirt. Only thing of Wesley's he was willing
to be seen wearing in public. All his other gear was
in the laundry hamper, and there were come stains on
his shirt from yesterday.
Come stains and demon brains, maybe some blood, too.
Wesley was already dressed. Button-down oxford,
pressed pants. Gunn jumped him as Wesley was digging
for his keys in the pile of stuff they'd left on the
floor last night. Got Wesley's shirt half-open and
closed his mouth over that pale skin, sucked hard.
Left a big hickey on an undamaged bit between the
shoulder and the neck. His shirt would cover it.
Gunn just wanted to know it was there.
Wanted Wes to know it was there, too. Wanted him to
feel his shirt rubbing against it, to be a little bit
turned on by it all day.
Wanted to get Wes to look comfortable and messy
instead of British and constipated. 'Cause it was a
good look for him.
Wesley started out sitting on the passenger side of
Gunn's truck on the way to Cordy's. Ended up with his
hand stroking down the thigh of Gunn's jeans when Gunn
pulled into the building parking lot.
Gunn made sure Wesley was paying attention when he
adjusted himself in the elevator on the way up to
Cordy's. Wes made this whimpery noise in the back of
his throat, and Gunn started eyeballing the emergency
Damn door opened right as he was reaching. He
followed Wes out.
Cordy opened her door after one knock, doing that
manic grin thing. Girl had big fucking teeth.
"You're okay? Tell me you're okay."
"I'm okay," Wesley said.
Cordelia smacked him upside the head. "Why didn't you
tell me you were okay?"
Gunn's stomach growled. He pushed past Wes, who
looked like he was trying to decide between stunned
and pained for the expression of the day. "Got any
She glared at Wes again before leading him to the
cheese log and Ritz crackers on the dining room table.
Cordy got that don't-fuck-with-me-boy look on her
face when Wesley laughed at the spread, and said, "You
try and find a gourmet food shop open 24 hours between
here and the hospital, buster."
Gunn backed away with his hands held up and went to
the kitchen. Cordy must've heard the refrigerator
door open, because she yelled, "Touch the diet soda
and you die, homeboy!" He came back out of the
kitchen and handed Wes a bottle of water. Then Gunn
tipped his head back and chugged his own.
Wesley cleared his throat. "Cordelia? Why are we
"Yeah. Some of us were out late last night getting
chewed-on by Chirago demons, vision girl," Gunn said.
"Oh, right. You *were* there. Way the hell out of
"I'm worried about Fred," she said. "Angel's been
gone for over a month. I don't think I've seen her
since last week, and even then, I just saw her eyes
doing that shiny raccoon thing at the end of the
"So?" Gunn said, digging in to the cheese log. "She's
"Shy?" Cordelia demanded. "She's an abused,
agoraphobic ex-slave whose only touchstones with
reality are beef tacos and Magic Marker fumes!"
Wesley did that blinking thing and ran his fingers
through his hair. He'd stopped slicking it when Gunn
had stolen all his hair gel and blamed it on a rogue
"So," Wesley said. "You're saying you'd like us to
speak to Fred?"
Cordy raised her eyebrows and popped a cracker into
her mouth. "Hey, I've put in my time, Wesley. I went
shopping for her when we first got back, remember?"
She started checking things off on her fingers.
"Clothes, shoes, underwear, toiletries, accessories,
and did I mention that the sales woman who sold me
jeans for Fred told me that I was too fat to wear
"And here I thought you were gonna be the one chick I
knew in L.A. who didn't bitch about her weight," Gunn
Cordy's hair swung when she whipped her head around to
glare. "Mock me again, and I'll stick that cheese log
where the sun doesn't shine, mister."
* * *
Gunn was trying to climb down Wesley's throat. Wesley
whimpered into Gunn's mouth. Wesley's hips lurched
up, rubbed. Gunn rubbed back and tried to touch every
inch on Wesley's body while not falling off the couch
in the lobby. They broke for air and Wesley started
chewing on the side of Gunn's neck.
"Time?" Gunn asked.
"Depends," Wesley said into Gunn's neck. "She left
two hours ago. We have no idea when she'll return.
We ought to stop."
"Stop?" Gunn said. "No, no, no. You're gonna suck me
off. Payback time."
Wesley pulled away from his neck and grinned. A
shit-eating, I-got-mine-already grin.
He *had* got his, when Gunn had swallowed Wesley's
dick about thirty minutes after Cordy had climbed into
that cab to meet some agent out in Santa Monica. Then
the phone had rang and Wes morphed into research boy
until Gunn got sneaky and made Wes say, "Must you
*insist* on licking me?"
Because yeah, he did insist.
Wesley's hands were working at Gunn's zipper when they
both heard it. Squeak of a door hinge. Fred's feet
on the stairs, barely making any noise at all.
Girl had to choose the most inconvenient time to eat.
"Back to the game?" Wesley asked, zipping him back up
and giving Gunn's dick a little there-there pat. His
very heavy and hurting and *wanting* dick.
Gunn heaved himself off the lobby's couch. "Back to
the fucking game."
"She's bound to let us off the hook, soon," Wesley
said, picking up the dice. "Cordelia will probably
have more success at coaxing Fred out of her room,
after all, and..." Wesley stopped when Gunn looked at
him, and Wesley's mouth went soft and slack for a
minute. "Good Lord, I hope she lets us leave the
The only option for real privacy was to fuck on
Angel's bed, and that had been vetoed back when he and
Wes first started having sex.
Wesley bent down to look at the board. Looked like he
was concentrating real hard, so Gunn leaned in and
said, "When I'm done with you, you'll be sitting funny
for a week."
"You think you can beat me?"
Mm. He loved it when Wes played along. "I *know* I
can beat you."
"Confident, aren't you?"
Gunn was seriously resisting the urge to crawl over
the table. "Roll, English."
Oh yeah, any minute now, Fred would walk out of the
back kitchen and get traumatized even more. Or even
worse, Cordy would come back from lunch and catch them
with their pants down, Wes face down on the table,
legs spread wide, arms braced, and Gunn just shoving
himself on in.
Yeah, he was thinking about moving in to Wes' ass.
Maybe do some interior decorating.
Wes flicked his wrist and the dice flew out of his
hand. Gunn's dice clattered to the table.
Gunn crowed when the numbers came up and did a victory
dance. "You lose *again*."
Wes managed to look disappointed. He looked cute like
that. "I kept Andorra this time."
"You with this fancy-ass education and years of
training, and you haven't won *yet*," he gloated some
"Shut up," Wesley said. He sat down on the table.
So damn cute. Of all the games Wes could be bad at,
Gunn just *loved* that Wes sucked ass at Risk. If he
couldn't fuck Wes right now, he could damn well taunt
"Who's your ruler, baby?"
Wes looked up, peering over the tops of his glasses.
"Don't make me hurt you."
"Kinky. I can go with kinky."
"I know you can go with kinky," Wes said. "You were
the one who lost the handcuff key, remember?"
Cordelia slammed through the front doors of the
Hyperion, the fringe on her blouse ruffling in the
breeze. "I," she said, brandishing the brown bag like
a politician holding a newspaper with a winning
election headline, "have food."
"Whatcha got?" Gunn asked. He backed up from Wes.
Man was dangerous when he was too close and talking
"How did the meeting go?" Wesley said, standing.
Cordy rolled her eyes and slammed the bag of food onto
the counter. "Jerk stood me up. No possible 15% of
Cordelia Chase's earnings for you, Mr. No-Show Agent
Gunn leaned over and sniffed at the bag of food. Hot
sauce. Meat. Lukewarm. "Tacos?"
Cordy sighed. "Yeah, I stopped by Baja Bud's on Third
on the way back." She looked at the stairs. "I
thought it might, you know, bring her out. A little."
She cocked her head and took a few steps toward the
Gunn cleared his throat and pointed at the kitchen.
Wes tossed Cordy a paper-wrapped taco.
"I take it neither of you had a chat with Fred while I
was out squandering my precious time on the sleazy
Hollywood creep who promised me a spot as an extra on
"Um," Gunn said.
"We were, uh --"
"Being big, cowardly idiots?" Cordy volunteered.
"Well, yes," Wes said.
Gunn finished swallowing a bite of taco and said,
"Hey! Who you calling an idiot?"
"Come on, guys," she said, hands on her hips,
dangerously close to getting hot sauce on what looked
like a really expensive miniskirt. "You need to do
"Forgive me for asking, Cordelia," Wes said, "but why
do you need *us*?"
Cordy rolled her eyes. "Because you're all freaky
smart like Fred is so you can do the nerd
communication mojo, and Gunn's a big, strong manly guy
and Fred's still kind of the damsel in distress."
Gunn caught Wes' eyes, then turned back to Cordy and
said, "So, what you're saying is that Wes is a pansy
and I'm stupid?"
"No! I am so not saying that," she said. "It's just
that together you make one almost perfect guy and I
think that's what Fred needs right now."
Gunn caught Wes' eyes again. He smirked. Wes smirked
Wesley cleared his throat. "So, what you're saying is
that you want me to find a mystical spell to merge us
into one perfect being in order to be Fred's
"You are not sleeping with Fred!"
Wes blinked. "Of course not, Cordelia."
"Because that would be wronger than a wrong thing that
is wrong," she continued.
"And that's a bad thing, right?" Gunn asked.
Whoa, and that got him a classic Cordy the Avenger
"Forget it! I'll talk to her." Cordy stalked back to
the counter and snatched the bag of tacos. She
straight-armed the kitchen door.
Wes licked grease from his fingers. "I think that
Gunn just shrugged and downed half his taco in one
* * *
He looked left. He looked right. Shuffled forward
and peered around the corner. Wes had been gone for a
while and it was starting to make Gunn nervous.
British boy said that whatever he was looking for
would only take a minute.
Note to self, Gunn thought, Wes lies like a hell dog.
The slobbery ones with glowing red eyes.
"Have you been helped today?"
Gunn turned on his heel and caught himself reaching
for his axe. "Huh?"
The salesgirl smiled and tilted her head. "Is there
anything in particular that you're looking for?" she
said. Her name tag on her purple sweater said 'Debi',
and Gunn was pretty sure she wasn't a natural blonde.
"Nah, not really," he said. Gunn put his hands in his
pockets and looked around for Wes to reappear.
"Are you shopping for your girlfriend?"
Gunn smiled down at the girl. Fucking great. At the
mall with his boyfriend and he's getting cruised by a
Valley girl who'd probably call the cops if she saw
him in a dark alley on the way home.
"Nah, I don't have a girlfriend. I'm just here
Wes popped up at Gunn's elbow with a plastic bag
draped over his arm. "Ah, there you are, Charles."
"Where'd you go?"
Wes lifted his arm to show off the bag. "Cordelia."
Gunn smiled. "We picking up her dry-cleaning next,
Wes raised his eyebrow. "Funny that you should
Gunn turned back to the salesgirl who was squinting at
him and Wes like she'd magically got transported to
boys town and was trying to figure out how she got
moved off the menu.
"Hey, Debi," he said. "Where's the men's department?"
"All the way to the back of the store, on the right,"
she said. "You can't miss it."
"Thanks." Gunn grinned at her and then towed Wes to
the guy section.
"You aren't trying to coerce me into have sex in the
changing rooms, are you?" Wes asked. "While I
wouldn't mind a video tape of our exploits, Gunn, I'd
rather it weren't submitted as evidence when we're
arrested for public indecency."
Gunn stopped in the middle of the aisle and thought
about letting his head explode. "I can *not* believe
you just said that."
Wes looked smug. "Was it the video tape portion, or
the idea of sex in a public place?"
Gunn bumped shoulders with Wes and said, "Remember
when I said you were uptight?"
"Vividly." Wes nudged him with his elbow. "Even if
we were intoxicated at the time."
"If I knew then what I know now," Gunn said, stopping
in front of a rack of shirts. Shirts without buttons.
"We would've been bumping uglies about five minutes
after we met."
Wes frowned. "You would have taken advantage of me in
a hospital bed?"
"Nah, that time doesn't count 'cause you were
unconscious." Gunn looked over and saw Wes going
through a rack of green paisley shirts. "That," he
said, "has got to be the ugliest shirt I have *ever*
Wes nodded. "I think I'll get one."
"You planning on wearing that around me in public?"
Wes slipped the shirt off the hanger and held it up
against his chest. "As often as possible."
"I think I hate you now," Gunn said.
"Yes, we all know you're just using me for my body,"
Wesley said, walking off to see the shirt in a mirror.
"My boyfriend is evil," he said.
Wes looked startled for a minute, eyes wide, mouth
open. They'd never had 'the talk' and maybe he was
assuming too much. But then Wesley smiled, this slow
beam that made Gunn's toes curl in his work boots.
"Your boyfriend is not evil," Wes said. "He's
normally a very dapper Brit with a talent for darts,
"Don't forget 'getting slimed'."
"--and getting slimed all in the name of duty. And
your boyfriend is about to purchase a truly hideous
shirt just so you can steal it and throw it in the
incinerator along with your boyfriend's beloved Cat
"I ain't apologizing for that last one."
"Considering that you weren't alive during most of the
1970s, I suppose it's not entirely your fault."
"Shut up, chicken hawk."
Wes draped the plastic bag over a rack of clothes and
put on the ugly shirt. "Were you alive during the
first run of *any* of the Star Wars films?"
Gunn tugged at the shirt, but Wes slipped out of his
reach and laughed. "Ewoks," he finally said. "Okay?
I only remember the ewoks. Would you take that damn
"I think not."
"Buy you ice cream if you do."
"Jamoca Almond Fudge."
Wes crossed his arms. "Do I get a waffle cone?"
"Does Jesus love me?"
Wes stripped off the shirt; it left his hair a little
messed-up and spiky, his glasses askew. Then his eyes
narrowed. "It's free scoop night at Baskin Robbins,
"Hey, nothing but the best for my boy."
"What am I, a cheap date?"
"You really want me to answer that question?"
* * *
He came out of the bathroom to see Wes sitting on the
couch, nose stuck in a book. Gunn climbed over the
arm of the couch and put his head on Wes' lap, digging
the remote control out from under Wesley's thigh.
"Got sick of Crocodile Hunter?"
Wes flipped a page in his book. "Since I run the risk
of losing body parts to demons with big, pointy teeth
on a daily basis, I have no desire to watch that
lackwit face down the gaping maw of a crocodile."
"You're just jealous of his sexy shorts."
"Oh, yes," Wes snorted, "and I want a pith helmet for
He mimed taking down a letter. "Dear Santa Claus,
Wesley's been a really fucking good boy this year."
"Good boy, or good fucking?"
"Sex and Santa do not belong in the same sentence,
Wes flipped another page. "And I'm the neurotic one.
"You know it."
Gunn rubbed his cheek against Wesley's thigh and
turned on the TV. He channel-surfed for a while and
then let his thumb slip off the buttons.
"You stopped on Lifetime," Wes said.
"You hate Lifetime."
"So do you."
The screen flickered for a few minutes, and then Wes
said, "Is this the one where she saves the ranch after
being spurned by her rich lover, whose mother is out
to ruin her reputation because the queen bitch has
another daughter-in-law in mind for her son?"
Wes put his book down on the coffee table, his shirt
falling against Gunn's face when he leaned forward.
He sat back and started rubbing his thumb up and down
the back of Gunn's head. "We are so terribly gay."
"Pardon me," Wes said. "We're so terribly sure of our
brusque, macho exteriors that we have no need to prove
our manliness by watching monster truck rallies with
lots of loud noise and explosions and bikini-clad
"You need to scratch your balls when you say that.
Then I'll believe you."
Wes laughed. "Your head is in the way."
"Damn shame," Gunn said. "And I like loud noise and
"Of course you do," Wes answered. "You're an
Gunn sat up and lunged, pinning Wes underneath him on
the couch. "Don't you fucking make me call
Immigration and Naturalization down on your ass,
"Good Lord," Wes said. The light from the end table
lamp was shining off his glasses. "If you have an
ounce of compassion, please don't. I'd have to marry
Cordelia to get my green card."
"Oh, Jesus," Gunn smiled. "That's cruel and unusual."
"A fate worse than death."
Gunn settled down on Wesley's chest and went back to
watching the movie. "At least you're better looking
than what's-his-name, that fat dude in the movie."
A long pause, then, "Gerard Depardieu?"
"Yeah, him. Hey, Wes, you ever been to France?"
"Yes. Took holiday in Paris for a few weeks, once.
Beautiful city. And surprisingly, the Seine doesn't
smell like Angel's refrigerator when his blood goes
"Wanted to know if you ever had sex with Gerard
Wes punched Gunn in the arm. "That is a disgusting
mental image, I'll have you know."
"Oh, I know," he said. "You know, I've never really
Wes quieted down, his arms going around Gunn's
shoulders. "Really? Nowhere?"
"Went to Tijuana with Rondell once."
"Yeah, I guess." Gunn didn't have the heart to tell
him it wasn't, that it was just another place like
L.A., only smaller and dirtier, with more cheap
tequila. Wasn't far away at all, like how far Wes was
A home Wes never talked about, and Gunn didn't want to
push. Didn't really want to know unless Wes wanted
Yeah, his home life hadn't been Leave It to Beaver for
black folks, either.
* * *
He must've fallen asleep listening to Wesley's heart
beat, because the next thing he knew, his body pillow
was heaving up, then there was a beep and a fuzzy,
Gunn pushed himself up with his arms. Wes held the
phone to one ear, his glasses reflecting cheap,
glittery stuff for sale on the QVC channel. He
fumbled for the remote and must have stabbed a finger
at the right button, because the TV set shut off and
the apartment suddenly got quiet.
He never got tired of listening to the sound of Wesley
Wes hung up the phone and yawned. Gunn could see the
hangy-ball at the back of his throat.
Gunn frowned. "Already?"
"My sentiments exactly."
Because it might be the last time he could do it for a
while, Gunn leaned forward and kissed him, tonguing
into Wes' mouth. And Wes just moaned a little, opened
up, licked back. Chased Gunn's mouth when he tried to
They broke apart to breathe and Gunn flopped back down
onto Wesley's chest. "Donít wanna move."
"As your superior," Wes started to say.
"Oh, you *don't*." Gunn started tickling where Wes'
love handles would be if the man carried any extra
Wes twisted underneath him and laughed helplessly.
"As-as your superior, Charles--"
"What, I'm Pinky and you're Brain?"
"What?" Wesley said breathlessly, hips canting up in
an effort to push Gunn off.
Gunn snorted at Wes' scrunched-up expression of
confusion, and then started laughing hard enough that
Wes could push him off onto the floor between the
couch and the coffee table. "Ow."
"Demon," Wes said.
"Yeah, yeah." Gunn hauled himself up and stuck out
his hand. Wes took it and he pulled Wes to his feet.
"Now where did I leave my axe," Wes said as he
"Kitchen counter," Gunn said. He walked into the
bathroom and picked up his hubcap axe where he'd left
it propped against the toilet. Probably wasn't good
to leave it in a humid place, but he didn't like being
unarmed and naked at the same time in case he ended up
on 'When Skilosh Attack' or something.
"Ready?" Wes asked. He was wearing his leather
"Mine or yours?"
Wes jangled his motorcycle keys. "Mine. I fixed the
"I am not wearing the pink helmet."
"I wouldn't dream of asking you to."
Gunn snorted. "Yeah, you would."
Wes nodded. "Well, yes, I would, and I have, but I
suggest we argue about it after we've dispatched the
Gunn followed him out the door and watched Wes lock
it. "You're just worried that Cordy'll yell at us if
we take too long. Boss."
Wes headed for the front door. "I don't see *you*
Wes put his pink helmet on and slung his leg over his
bike, stowing his axe and holding his hand out for
Gunn's. Gunn handed it over and climbed on behind
him, sliding forward so his crotch was snug up against
Wesley's ass. And wasn't that just a
fan-fucking-tastic place to be. Wes started his bike
when Gunn slipped his helmet on, the foam rubber
lining cool against his head. Gunn wrapped his arms
around Wesley's middle and they pulled out onto the
Road slipping by under his ass, motor vibrating up
through his legs, and Wes' hard body wedged up close.
Not exactly where he expected to end up, where anybody
probably ever thought he'd end up, but Gunn wasn't
* * *