Date: 19/11/00
Fandom: Angel
Rating: NC-17
Sequel: to "Wired"
Pairing: Wesley/Gunn
Summary: Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.
Disclaimer: Joss' boys. Warner's stuff. Fox's thang. Jane's story. Still. It never changes, no matter how much I might wish.
Sex disclaimer: Never ever have I ever done it to pass the time in a traffic jam. But only because it's really hard to do anything in a car the size of a sardine can.
Notes: This is still for Te, because her nagging is the best.
Summary by J.R.R. Tolkien. Thanks to everybody who helped me track down the passage.

Raspberry Swirl
by Jane St Clair

It occurs to Gunn that Wesley looks like someone who's spent a lot of his life bruised. He hunches his shoulders whenever he sits down, and most of the time he spends standing he curls in on himself. Other things, too. Something about the angle he holds his head at, and the small lines around his mouth. Probably most people just take it for something British, but Gunn's met a few other Brits, admittedly mostly recently, and they don't look like that.

Wes does unobtrusive pretty well, though. Practically radiates "nobody here" when he walks into a room. Odds are the only person watching him now is Gunn. Kind of sad that nobody else is getting to appreciate the thin body leaned back against the thinning velvet of his chair.

Whenever he's in Angel's place, Gunn expects a bell-boy in one of those truly pussy-ass uniforms to slip up beside his elbow and suggest that he leave before there's a scene. And then he just wants to make a scene. Because in spite of the dust, there's something truly *upscale* about the place, and it gets under his skin.

This hotel lobby -- part of a building owned by someone who is, as far as Cordelia's records-searches can tell, human and not even a little bit interested in the underground magical ugliness of LA -- gives him pretty much the same feeling, but with the added feature that the bellboy confrontation actually has pretty good odds of taking place at some point. While it's not one of the city's more outrageous steel-and-glass monsters, there's more than a sniff of old money in the place.

Wesley looks up from his magazine, casually looks around and focusses on Gunn only after a minute or so. Doesn't let his expression change, but Gunn feels like something's crawling on his skin, and it's all he can do to stay still and scary-looking by the door. Gunn wolf-grins at the approaching bellboy and watches him beat a retreat back into the shadows.

Then Angel sweeps past, doing the dramatic-vampire-in-a-coat thing, and Gunn moves after him, feels Wesley behind him, all of them into the stairwell. Staring up the well into what are definitely vampire eyes. Entirely too many vamps, on too many levels between them and the room upstairs where unspeakable evil is taking place.

The way everyone's standing, it's not hard to let Angel lead. There's only really room for a one-on-one fight, and Angel has the advantage of coming up from underneath. Shouldn't be an advantage, and wouldn't be if his head were softer than solid rock, but it is, and the angle of the stake he's holding is perfect if you're aiming to go in under the ribcage and reach the heart that way.

Smooth, that. Almost classy.

And things are fine until one of the vamps jumps, and lands *behind* Angel and Gunn both. Hits Wesley hard and knocks him down to the first landing, where he crumples way too fast onto the floor. Not dead, but hurt, and Gunn comes down on the vamp like a ton of bricks.

That's the theory, anyway.

In fact, it's like hitting a wall. He catches his shoulder on something he can't even see and goes ass over vampire onto the landing beside Wes, and while Wes didn't hit his head, Gunn definitely has. Gets that oh-fuck-I'm-gonna-be-sick concussion-feeling almost instantly. And sometime after that gets a face full of dust as Angel stakes the vamp, and the next one, and they're all alone in the cinder-block well.

Wesley's already standing again, and standing over him, way too tall. "What happened?"

"Fuck if I know," Gunn says, and it's almost a whisper.

"Are you alright?"

"I feel like I've been fucked through the top of my head."

Wesley crouches over him and runs strange, cool, electric fingers over Gunn's forehead. Behind him, somewhere, Angel says, "What is it?"

"It's a hex. Just a little one."

"Can you break it?"

It occurs to Gunn that they're talking about him, and at least a couple of the words they've used -- *hex*, and *break* -- he doesn't like at all. "Excuse me, it's a *what*?"

"Hex, Gunn. Sit tight a moment. Yes, Angel, I think so." Crackle from his fingers into Gunn's already-shocked brain. "Check that. Yes. I can. Can you deal with the thing upstairs?"

"Yeah. You go on and take him with you."

Gunn finds himself wrapped around Wesley's shoulders and half-dragged through the lobby. At least one of the bellboys is smirking at him, and it takes more than a second to realize how much it looks like Wesley's just kicked his ass. He considers coming back later just to prove otherwise. Instead, though, he looks over his shoulder, and grins, and gropes Wesley. Who turns red, but it's a small price for the look on the bellboy's face.

Naked on his back on Wesley's bed while Wesley marks out the room. He's been here for a while, though exact hour counts elude him. For the first long while, he wasn't allowed to sleep, and Wes made a point of shaking him every few minutes to make sure. Then apparently that rule didn't apply anymore, and Gunn was more grateful than he would have expected. Just rolled himself into a ball and slept like the dead, which he supposes is exactly what Wesley must have been worried about. And sometime in the long sleep, he woke up, and he remembers throwing up, with Wesley holding his head and whispering soft English-isms. Wet cloth against his face, his scalp, the back of his neck.

He woke up again and Wesley was kneeling on the floor, deep in something magical that Gunn determined almost instantly not to mess with. Instead he got up and showered. Found all the sore places while he was under the hot water and checked that it was all bruises. He doesn't think that Wesley would let him lounge around with broken bones, but it isn't a guarantee.

He came back out and the first thing that he got was an eyeful of Wesley's naked torso. Skinny, yeah, with those little fighter muscles that don't show through his clothes, and pale, but there's a huge bruise on his side, running from hip to shoulder and as wide as Gunn's two hands together. Almost *blue*. Like all the blood in Wesley's body is sitting there just under his skin.

Ugly. Good enough to touch. Gunn reached a hand out and Wesley unfolded himself, stood and poured himself against Gunn's still-wet and pretty much totally naked body. Kissed him long and deep and let Gunn's fingers probe the bruise.

Pulled back, eventually. "Good morning. How do you feel?"

Gunn shrugged. "Better. Not so much like I'm gonna be sick. What *was* that?"

"A hex. I told you. You can't remember?" He remembered something. The scared-feeling the word sent through his damaged head. "I'm dealing with it." Wesley went back to kneeling and whispering, sometimes checking things in the open book laid across his knees.

Gunn's had the last hour to watch him like that. Wesley got up, eventually, stripped and put his clothes away, and marked out the room. Salt on the floor, hairs spit-stuck across the doors and the window-sash, runes marked on the wall in something very red and more than a little sticky. Pentagram on the floor in chalk. Candles at the points.

Gunn's starting to think that this is a little too ritual-sacrifice, especially since he's lying here naked.

Keeps thinking it when Wesley comes to the bed with his bowl of sticky-red and climbs up on his knees. Bends and presses a very still kiss to Gunn's mouth.

Then sits back up and dips a thumb into that mess, brings it out dripping and starts marking some interesting patterns on Gunn's skin. Lines on his chest, on his belly, on his thighs. Both nipples, and he's pretty sure Wes is teasing now, because he's grinning like an -- oh, fuck -- *slut*, and those skinny little English-boy hips are rocking in Gunn's lap like he expects a fifty-dollar tip.

The effect's only stranger in that Wesley still has his glasses on. Like a really, really depraved librarian or something.

Fingers brush his lips, and he automatically slides his tongue out and around them and, "Raspberry."

Wesley nods, a little crookedly. "It works. The colour is more important than the substance, actually."

Bizarre. But he sucks the fingers into his mouth.

And *oh* this is strange, because Wesley's fingers don't hold still. They start exploring almost as soon as they're in: rub his gums and run along his molars to the little patch of tender skin behind and rub there too, then swing back and around, still feeling his teeth, rubbing up against his tongue, and who's fucking who here, exactly?

Slick, sticky raspberry on Gunn's fingers, on Wesley, *in* Wesley: two fingers at once, and Wesley arches back suddenly, fingers still hooked inside Gunn's mouth but suddenly a lot less busy. Wesley's ass is already loosened; sometime earlier, he must have gone through the whole messy, awkward process of stretching and lubing himself, which means that he *knew* they were going to do this, and Gunn's a little pissed that Wes didn't bother to tell him.

Because what is he at this moment, other than Wesley's very aroused sex toy? Possibly, he's a man with a bony, sexy Englishman impaled on his cock, and as such, he hasn't really got a lot of room to complain.

In spite of their half-dozen times together, Wesley's still almost too tight for them to be fucking this hard. Every so often Gunn thrust deeper than he should and he can see the pain spasm across Wesley's face. He'd kiss it away if he could -- kissing Wesley is the ultimate recreational activity; somebody should make it an Olympic sport, form a national association, organize midnight Wesley-kissing matches for underprivileged youth -- but Wes is out of reach. Sitting straight up, working his hips, watching Gunn and something beyond Gunn, and it's sexy but also *spooky*, and Gunn finds he's scared as well as turned on.

Wesley says, "Hey," softly, and reaches out and clasps Gunn's hands. Like a rowing machine or something, because with the new leverage, the skinny body over him can rock *way* back, then arch up again, bracing off their grip. Words that could be *love you* but probably aren't slide out of Wesley's mouth. Gunn hasn't mentioned that yet, and neither has Wesley, and this really isn't the time. Or maybe it really is, but neither of them's going to.

Wesley mutters other things, too, but Gunn's not in a position to judge. The part of his brain that isn't totally focussed on his cock knows he's been babbling for the past minute or two, stuff about how fucked up this is and how gorgeous Wesley is and a half-dozen places around LA they should really try fucking. Mutterings don't matter.

Until Ethan Rayne appears in the middle of the pentagram that Wesley marked out earlier, and suddenly Gunn's howling and angry and cold, and Wesley's dismounted and walking too casually across the room.

Scary, because the whole human-sacrifice thing is getting steadily more believable. Wesley's acquired an ugly, ceremonial-looking knife from somewhere, and he's standing shameless and naked in front of Rayne, looking like some kind of demented priest. Raises the knife and drags it through the air outside the pentagram, and leaves a trail of blood just under Rayne's left nipple, that curves up to his breastbone, then jerks down hard and scrapes across the man's abdomen. Rayne doesn't scream, maybe because it's not all that deep, but he's stiff and scared-looking and his eyes are flying all over the room looking for a way out. They lock on Gunn, eat up his nakedness and the red sigils on him, and Gunn just stares straight back.

Wesley says, "Break the spell, Ethan."

"You'll have to do better than that." Grotesque little English sneer while Rayne deftly ignores the blood dripping down his naked -- naked? interesting spell, that one -- abdomen.

"Break it or I'll send you back to Nevada."

Gunn remembers sitting by the door while they -- Wesley and Rupert Giles -- summoned Ethan Rayne the first time. How when he appeared he was shocky and bruised and curled in on himself like he was trying to protect all the soft places of his body. Giles took him away and cleaned him up and did whatever English wizards do to put their degenerate friends back together, and then brought him back. Ever since, Rayne's been like a cross between the puppy who won't go away after he's been fed and a demon who, once summoned, won't stop haunting you until you learn the magic words. But it's pretty clear he doesn't want to go back to wherever he came from, and he's already looking into Wesley's face to see if Wes means it.


"Maybe later."

Sigh. "Fine." Hand gesture and a few quick words, and Gunn feels something unknot in his chest. Like he can breathe for the first time all day. Strange that he didn't notice before how much it felt like he was dying.

Gunn gets up and comes around to lean on the foot of the bed. Rayne's got a better view of his body, maybe a little too good, but he feels more dangerous this way. Glares and grins and pretends there isn't red goop slowly dripping down towards his cock.

Wesley's still holding the knife. He mutters over it for a bit, then passes it between his body and Rayne's.

Because he has to know, "What was that?"

"I severed the last rune-ties. I think Mr Rayne's learned quite enough about our sex life."

Gunn pads over and stares at Rayne from a distance of six inches. Even with the pentagram lines between them, he's deep in the man's personal space, or would be if Ethan had any. Ethan only tilts his head back and continues to meet Gunn's eyes. Smirks a little. Makes an ethereal hand-brush that Gunn can almost feel. Smiles in a way that says *You have your very own wizard now. Aren't you happy?* Which, oddly, he is. But it isn't any of Rayne's business, and he's not giving anything away.

Both of them have their hands against the invisible wall of the pentagram, almost but not quite touching. Ethan's slinky almost-touch runs up and down his skin.

From behind him, Wesley says, "Ethan."


"Thank you." Beat. "Go."

And gone. Empty pentagram, candles eerily blown out. Wesley turns and comes to press himself against Gunn's naked front. "Bed."

"Fuck yeah."

So. Naked on naked skin, and now at least he's getting to kiss Wesley properly. The signs on his skin can't be legible anymore, but it must not matter. He's happy for now just to soak in the long, wet kisses he's getting. Stubble rubs against his face, and he's going to be raw, and he's really grateful that his skin won't show it. Wesley lays kisses on his lips, his chin, his cheekbones, under his eyes. Wesley's knees are locked on either side of his hips so that their cocks rub together every time one of them twitches.

"Thank God." Just a whisper against Gunn's scalp. Wesley pushes up a little, and looks down on him. Gunn realizes that Wesley's looking at him as if he were very, very young. Like this skinny, half-competent Englishman is somehow responsible for protecting him.

Wesley says, "Hold still." One long hand reaches behind him, finds Gunn's cock and steadies it. He raises himself up on his knees and slides down carefully, taking the erection into himself a fraction of an inch at a time. Makes kitten-noises while it slides deeper. And once he's down, impaled and sitting in the cradle of Gunn's hips, he just pants for a minute or so. Then bends that long body down and resumes kissing and lets them fall into a slow, rhythmic fuck.

Gunn lays a half-dozen really good kisses on the fine lines of Wesley's skull before the man moves out of reach again. The current's back. Electricity or magic, he's not sure. He'd thought it might fade after the first couple of days, and it did, but Wesley's channelling something strong enough that Gunn's picking up the overflow, and he can only hope it isn't dangerous. One of these days he's gonna start glowing in the dark.

Hot drip onto his belly that he thinks is pre-come for the first few seconds. Then more, and the texture's wrong: too thin, too hot. Gunn looks up and nearly swallows his tongue. Wesley, sitting over him, has the knife again, but it's not aimed down at Gunn. It's carving into Wesley's wrist, not really deep, but there's a lot of blood. Wesley dips his fingers in it, then reaches down and draws new signs on Gunn's body, almost invisible on the darkness of his skin. Seven finger-strokes on his right shoulder. Curve of digits on his belly just above his navel. Smear of thumbs just above his eyebrows.

Blood. Hot and salty and spicy. He can understand, just at the moment, the attraction for vamps. Fucked up as that is. Hot, though, and under his skin, and Wesley's still bleeding when he folds back down and they twine, rocking and twisting until both of them come.

Afterwards in the bathroom, he has to bandage Wesley's arm. People are going to notice. Wesley's bandage, his paleness and the bruises the vamps left make him look like a psych patient out on a day-pass, one of the stone-cold loonies who spends most of his life hurling himself against immovable objects, trying to pass for normal. And he's close to shock, from blood loss and the summoning, and from the power of the spell that Gunn's beginning to realize is entirely for his protection.

Wesley stays sitting on the closed toilet while Gunn showers. They'll have to sponge-bath him later, because the running water will ruin the bandage job, and without the bandages, Wes might be a serious candidate for bleeding to death. *Fuck* him, he needs to be careful.

Gunn's tried twice to rinse everything off -- sweat, salt, raspberry paste, semen, blood -- and he can still feel those last bloody marks that Wesley made. Angel's going to be able to smell that blood all over them.



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