"We came, we sang, we ... fought the urge to regurgitate."
It wasn't like Gunn was embarrassed. He hadn't gone all freaky like Cordy or all scary-calm like Wes after Angel had given them the boot.
Nah. He'd been cool.
Went off alone.
Had himself a damn tasty burrito.
And he'd been the last one to show up at the bar. Ranked dead last on the pathetic scale. Didn't know what Wesley had planned on singing, and didn't ask because he did not need that mental image.
Gunn preferred the mental image of Wes on his knees sucking him off.
Yeah, that was one of the better images Gunn kept getting of Wes. Hey, everybody needed a hobby. Gunn's was mocking Wesley so he could keep his hands off the man. Wesley's hobby was walking around everywhere silently asking everyone to fuck him stupid.
That was why Gunn was currently getting drunk off his ass with the Material Girl and the poster child for Uptight British Chaps. Cordy's head wobbled on her shoulders and her voice was getting all shushy. Which was a good thing, 'cause then she might not notice how the fight for leg room under the table had eventually turned into a really good game of footsie.
Damn. Gunn was playing footsie with Wesley.
And Wes was good at it. Nothing showed on his face while his toes were buried in Gunn's crotch, and Gunn found himself thinking that he could get Wesley's sock off and if he slumped down and kept his mouth shut...
Always the quiet ones. Damn.
"But see? That's what I'm saying. If Wesley hadn't been all, shaking his finger--"
Wesley rolled his eyes at Cordelia. "No, no, no, no."
"-- and, 'No, no, no,' this whole Darla thing would've just," Cordy waved her arm dramatically and nearly knocked over the tall glass of...whatever it was Wes was drinking, "you know, blown over."
"What?" Gunn said. His voice was a little higher than normal. Wes had taken the opportunity to get in a squeeze with his toes. Long toes. Nice toes.
"Blown over? Angel is obsessed with Darla. Obsessions just don't 'blow over'," Wesley said.
"Right." Gunn's affirmation earned him another little squeeze. Mm.
Cordy leaned precariously towards Wesley. "Well. You certainly didn't help by making him feel guilty about it. You shamed him into firing us."
Gunn looked up from his lap when Wesley's foot suddenly stopped moving. Wesley was looking all pinched and pissy, with that line between his eyebrows. Gunn wondered why that look always made him want to drag Wes into the nearest bathroom so he could do Things to him. Messy Things. The kind of Messy Things where Gunn would need to take off Wesley's glasses and stuffy clothes, and to find out if the guy starched his boxers.
And if he did, friction could be a guy's best friend.
"Are you blaming this on me?" Wesley demanded. With that edge of an incredulous whine that would have hurt Gunn's ears if he hadn't, in fact, been leaving buzzed and tingly behind for sloppy drunk.
"I'm not blaming --" Cordy said instantly. Then, jabbing with air with her painted fingernails, "Yes. I'm blaming you. You get the blame."
"I don't know. If I had to listen to you two, day in, day out. Snipe, snipe, snipe -- bitch, bitch, bitch. I think y'all got off easy, 'cause I would've killed you."
His comment earned him two gape-jawed white people, and no more footsie. Shit. No rewards for being honest at this table.
"That's rich," Cordy said. "Coming from Mr. 'I don't take orders, now where do I stick my ax?'"
Gunn tipped his bottle back and noticed that, if Cordy kept talking, he was going to need another beer soon. As in pronto. "What is that supposed to mean?"
"Well, Gunn," Wesley said. "You've never been very supportive of Angel's leadership role. I remember a certain shroud..."
Snide Wesley. Gunn hated Snide Wesley. Almost as much as Wesley Attempting To Be Hip.
"Hold up, hold up. Are you trying to tell me this is my fault?"
"Well, how is a man supposed to run a business if his employees won't follow directives?"
Gunn leaned forward. "Was one of his directives, 'Hire pansy-ass British guy'?"
Wesley's foot crept back up Gunn's leg. Pinched Gunn's thigh with his toes. "My ass is not pansy."
Cordy's giggle barely registered. Man, she had no clue. None. Pissy Wesley was prime. Grade A jerk material. He took a quick swallow of beer to keep from making a sound that would give the game away. And he just stared. Wes stared back, too.
Damn fine game.
Wesley broke the stare when the green guy wandered over. "Can I have someone bring you kids another round?"
Finally, something they could all agree on.
Gunn nudged his hips forward to rub his crotch against Wesley's warm foot, and propped his elbows on the table. It was definitely Cordy's turn to take some shit.
"What about her, huh? Maybe if she'd had a couple more visions, Angel would've been too distracted to think about this Darla chick, hm?"
Gunn and Wesley clinked glasses. Wasn't like Cordy needed any backup. And Gunn liked Wesley's foot right where it was.
"Earth to retards. You have an obsession, you pretty much squeeze it into your schedule, no matter what!" Cordy said.
"Ah ha," Wesley said. "So you admit it's an obsession."
"No. I mean, yes, but -- no!"
Wesley did that raised eyebrow thing, and said under his breath, "Hypocrite."
"Ass pansy!" Cordy snapped.
"Don't call me that!"
And since Gunn didn't want anybody but him to be talking about Wesley's ass, he started talking over Cordy and Wes. Gunn started out insulting them both about their utter lack of demon-hunting prowess. Cordy sniped at Wesley some more, and Wesley pulled out some polite British shit about being a whipping boy that gave Gunn even more ideas. And they all started to get louder and louder, and definitely more annoying, 'cause the green guy came over to their table with a waitress and more drinks.
Lots of drinks.
Can't talk and swallow at the same time, even though Cordy tried and spilled some fruity-smelling cocktail on Wesley's coat sleeve.
And it wasn't like Gunn could refuse a free drink. Not when Angel wasn't gonna be paying him anymore.
So they shut up and drank. A lot. Wesley even took off his damp coat when the bar started to get hot.
Now if he would only lose the sweater-vest, Gunn wouldn't be embarrassed to jump him in public.
And the reason why they ended up there on the stage, him and Wes these tall, black and white bookends to Cordy, doing a really, really damned awful rendition of Queen's, "We Are the Champions," was because it was the only song they all knew the words to, and getting their souls or auras or whatthefuckever read was the reason they'd all shown up at the same place.
Gunn had never been so glad to be drunk in his life.
It was just too fucking funny. He gave Cordy a squeeze when they finished the damn song by pulling on Wesley's neck, where his fingers had been resting the whole time. She felt good as the Cordy filling in a tall guy sandwich. All soft and curvy and female. But when Gunn rested his head on Wesley's chest, Wes felt better. All smooth and warm and harder than he looked. Smelled good, too. With gin-scented breath. And his arm fit around Wes' waist without Gunn having to stoop down.
Make that fan-fucking-tastic.
Gunn held onto Wesley to get down off the stage while Cordy kept perfect balance on her high heels.
Had to be practice. 'Cause if the floor was wobbling for him, Cordelia had to be feeling something.
Or else Gunn was gonna have to do some seriously crazy shit to resurrect his brusque, macho exterior after being put under the table by a chick. He blinked. Cordy was getting kind of fuzzy across the table. And the green guy was back. And Gunn didn't really wake up until Cordy's head reared back and she screamed.
He was spending way too much of his life in alleys.
Something he wouldn't mind so much if his ax was handy. Not the kind of thing they don't make you check at the entrance of a bar, though, so he was shit out of luck.
"I don't get it. Are we late? We didn't feel late in my head," Cordy said.
"Over here," Gunn said. Realized a couple seconds later that jogging while intoxicated was a Bad Idea. Should be a warning on the beer label.
And oh, look. Nice puddle of blood. With no friendly vamp to sniff it out.
"It's hers. It's gotta be hers. But where is she?"
"If we had Angel, he could track her," Gunn said.
"He'd also kill the big, spiny demon that took her," Cordy said. Grinning kind of like a maniac. "Did I mention its teeth are about three inches long?"
Uh, no. Gunn was pretty sure he would've remembered that, because his ass would not have left his very comfortable chair at the bar, and there would be cops with guns and flashlights who were getting paid here instead.
"And us with no weapons? Man, I wish Angel was here."
'Well, he's not," Wesley snapped.
Gunn looked at him. Mm-hmm. Pissy Wesley was back.
"Angel's walked away from his duty. We're not going to."
Something about Wesley taking charge made Gunn feel like he wanted to laugh. And leer. And lick him. Yeah, and some other 'l' words.
"So how do we find her?" Cordy asked softly. Damn. Wesley needed to take charge more often if it shut Cordy up like that.
Nah. Novelty factor'd wear off pretty quick.
Wesley walked towards the blood puddle. "We start with basics. First, we examine the area for any tell-tale signs of a particular kind of..." Wesley drew his bloody hand back from the wall. "Euww."
Gunn couldn't help himself. "There's different kinds of euwch?"
Gunn looked. Trail of blood up the side of the building like some stupid modern art exhibit he'd gone to once because it was free and he was bored.
Even then, he'd definitely had more important things to do than contemplate the emotional ramifications of the placement of the orange square in 'Portrait A'.
"He took her up there," Gunn said.
"But the building is abandoned. The front door was all chained up. How are we supposed to..." Cordy trailed off.
"Y'all up for a little breaking and entering?" Gunn said.
"Maybe we can find a window," Wesley nodded.
Cordy's hand was small and warm in his as Gunn helped her climb through the tiny window that had been unlatched. After they'd climbed up the damn drainpipe. "It's always the same," she was saying. "Smelly, old abandoned building. Are there no demon hideouts in Beverly Hills?"
"Several, as a matter of --" Wesley whispered back.
Gunn nudged Wesley's bicep. Body. Straight ahead.
"There," Wesley said. "In the corner."
"There's the girl," Cordy said. "But where's the--"
Demon. Ugly one.
Wesley went down first, which didn't surprise Gunn. But Wesley came back with a two by four and whacked the shit out of the green, spiny thing, which shouldn't have surprised Gunn, but it always did when Wesley had his back.
Skinny white boy knew how to fight. Knew what loyalty meant.
Knew it better than Angel, maybe.
But the demon was a mean one, bigger even than Gunn, and Wesley went flying again. And then Gunn found himself in the air, fucking upside down, sliding down a wall. Trying to breathe. Then Gunn heard something in Wesley's body crack when the demon got on top of him, and Gunn went...out of himself. Some fucking alternate universe where he was allowed to be extremely pissed that somebody was hurting Wesley.
Gunn got up from the ground with everything aching, and just jacked that motherfucker right in the skull.
Wanted to split his head open wide as a fucking smashed pumpkin when he saw the blood on Wesley's shirt. And that was maybe the only reason he wanted Angel there, because Angel could take anything but a stake and get back up. Gunn didn't have to worry about Angel.
Wesley was barely off his hands and knees when he said, "We need to get her to a hospital."
Cordy looked plenty fucking scared. Must've been, because she only said, "Yeah."
"What about you?" Gunn said.
No way in hell was he letting Wesley fool him into thinking that chunk out of his shoulder was nothing.
"I'm fine, it's just--" Wesley went a shade whiter than white when he looked down. "We should go before I pass out." Softer, "Or possibly during."
Gunn looked down at the demon with a stool leg poking out of its head. "This thing just about ripped us to shreds."
"Yeah, but out of everybody here, which one of us is the dead one?" Cordy said. Sounding a lot more like herself.
"As much as it pains me to admit it," Wesley started to say.
"She may have a point," Gunn finished. Then, "That hurt so much to admit?"
Wesley paused. "Actually, yes." He smiled a little, which looked weird on his face, until Gunn realized he hadn't seen Wesley smile all that often.
They didn't call an ambulance. Should've called a cab, but it was after closing and a cab would take too long. So Gunn drove them all to the hospital. Watched Wesley stagger out to make sure Cordy and the girl made it into emergency all right. Watched Wesley flop back down into the seat without seeking medical attention.
"Your place or mine?" Gunn asked.
Wesley shifted in the passenger seat, light from the ambulances parked outside the emergency room flashing over his face. Wes stared at him for a moment, long enough that Gunn thought maybe he should make a joke like he usually did, but then Wes opened his mouth and said, "My place. I have a very well-stocked first aid kit."
"I'll just bet you do," Gunn murmured. Then he peeled out of the parking lot just to make Pissy Wesley materialize again. And now he didn't even have to pretend to pay attention to Cordelia.
They didn't talk on the way there. Didn't talk on the stairs. Gunn said, "Sit down," when they got inside, and Wesley did. On the bed. Closest room to the bathroom, and wasn't that coincidence just a fine, fine thing.
It was time for that sweater-vest to go, anyway.
Wesley moved all awkwardly, shrugging off his coat, and Gunn could tell it hurt.
"Here," he said. Stepped forward and stripped Wesley down and wondered how to go about sabotaging all of Wesley's shirts because, damn, now that he'd seen what was under there, it was impossible not to want to see it again. And again. And.
Wesley hadn't been kidding about the first aid kit. Good thing, 'cause the bite was nasty. Teeth had gone through three layers of clothes, and still, that patch of shoulder looked a little like hamburger that didn't pass the sniff test. Gunn cleaned it and bandaged it, and stood there between Wesley's knees. With no idea of what to say, and a whole lot of want.
Then, "You're pissed at Angel."
Wesley glared at him for that one, chin up. "Why? Don't I have reason to be?"
"Hey, we're both among the unemployed, my man."
"I expected too much," Wesley said. Rubbed his eyes under his glasses, until his glasses went on the nightstand. He looked too damn bleak. "I think I need to talk with him."
"C'mere," Gunn said, and hauled him to his feet. Wesley was a couple inches shorter than Gunn, not much, just enough for him to tuck under Gunn's chin. Like Gunn's body had been special-made to fit against a certain skinny, white pansy-ass.
Who wasn't so skinny and, when Wesley's arms tightened until Gunn's ribs creaked, might not be so pansy.
Sure, Angel was pretty, but Wesley was warm and sexy and Gunn had harbored this secret thing for geeks for years. Wesley's hair was soft where it brushed across Gunn's cheek.
He had no intentions of letting Wesley go talk to Angel without leaving his scent all over him. Marking Wesley. Primitive and all, but Gunn didn't care. Just because he liked fighting with Angel didn't mean he liked Angel right about now.
If Angel was giving his friends and employees the boot, Gunn figured the vampire couldn't mind him claiming one for himself.
"Why are we doing this?" Wesley asked, mouth pressed against Gunn's neck. Gunn tried not to shiver and give away how much he liked the hot breath on his skin, Wes still smelling like gin from the bar. Gin and blood and smoke.
Gunn just pulled back an inch and looked at him. Looked at Wesley's lips. Wondered if Wesley kissed, or not.
Gunn wanted him to kiss. Wanted to pour himself in that mouth, to find out what it was like inside that white and uptight and goddamn sexy skin.
So he dove in. Worst Wesley could do was...bite him. Mm. Maybe that was the best thing he could do. Gunn slicked his tongue through Wesley's mouth and it registered in a far corner of his mind that he'd never get a crick in his neck kissing Wes, and now there didn't seem like there were any reasons not to permanently attach his mouth to Wesley's and just...suck.
Wesley just let him in for a moment, but Gunn kept pushing and Wesley pushed back with his tongue. Teeth. And his hard, wet mouth. Gunn's hands were dragging down the long length of Wesley's back, down over the hot skin. Smooth where it wasn't ridged with a scar. Smooth and hard and not skinny, after all.
Wes pulled back and moved his lips to Gunn's ear, breathing heavy, and Gunn knew hew was fucking gone on the white boy because his dick was twitchy just from that.
"You called me a pansy-ass," Wesley said. Made it sound so...British. Proper. Some day he'd ask Wesley to wear one of those Catholic girl's skirts. Might have to lie and call it a kilt.
"I am not a pansy-ass," Wesley said. Low. Deep. The kind of voice that, if Wes used it all the time, would get him regularly stripped and fucked on the nearest horizontal or vertical surface. Preferably by Gunn.
"Prove it," Gunn said, and then his back was bouncing on Wesley's mattress. Wesley loomed over him, undressing Gunn with a single-minded efficiency that Gunn appreciated, considering that he'd been half-hard most of the night.
Gunn wasn't exactly known for his vast store of patience, either.
And finally Gunn was naked, and Wesley got naked. Gunn got flipped over onto his stomach, and he spread himself while Wesley swore and opened drawers. Wesley's hand was slick and he pushed himself back. That's when Wesley started talking, his prissy, clipped voice muttering when his lips weren't sucking. Muttering dirty shit, hot shit, and Gunn groaned in appreciation. Fucked himself in a way that would show Wesley that he was very earnestly ready to get fucked by something bigger than fingers. Snap, crackle, fuck.
There Gunn was, on all fours, getting reamed by a Wesley with a dirty mouth. Wesley's hand was on Gunn's dick, and it wasn't soft. Ax calluses. The friction felt good. Better than good. Skin sliding and wet, and making that slap. That slap and the squeaking bed, sounds that always pissed off people that heard it 'cause they weren't getting lucky.
Oh, Gunn was definitely getting lucky.
Wesley was gasping in his ear. "Fucking beautiful."
Gunn looked down. Wesley hadn't turned the lights off and he could see that pale hand wrapped around his dick, Wesley's hand pulling. Wesley's voice in his ear, Wesley's sweat getting rubbed into his back. Gunn came harder than he'd been demon-propelled into that cement wall, with Wesley's teeth in his shoulder. Wesley stroked deep a few more times, made this grunt low in his throat, and they both sagged down onto the bed. Shifted around. Got comfortable. Used the handy waste-paper basket next to the bed for something other than paper.
"That meek, mild-mannered Watcher gig is all an act, isn't it?" Gunn said into the pillow after a while.
Wesley nuzzled his shoulderblade. "You've found me out."
Gunn waited until he could feel Wesley's body relax into deep, regular breaths where he was draped along Gunn's back, and then went to sleep.