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Green Grass and Rainwater

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Since he saw Fight Club, Gunn's been a little freaked about soap. It's fat and some chemicals that'll burn your skin right off, and who the hell would've mixed it all together one day and tried to wash with it?

He used to buy Ivory Soap, because it's cheap and basic and it's what his mom always bought, as far as he can remember. But after that freaky damn movie, when he washed with it he didn't feel clean. All day he had to keep smelling himself, looking for that sour-fat whiff, like old lard that had been forgotten on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.

He doesn't use soap anymore. He buys a shower gel that comes in small ten-dollar bottles. Laughs at himself for wasting money, but it smells like green grass and rainwater and clean places that aren't LA.

Like England, but maybe that's just because he first saw the stuff in Wesley's bathroom, years ago. Must have been the first time he ever went to Wesley's apartment for a beer and a couple hours of Mortal Kombat, and of course he snooped around taking the lids off the fancy gels and scrubs and aftershaves, breathing in the goodness. Because half the time Wesley seemed like he'd just beamed down from somewhere, and Gunn wasn't going to waste a chance to figure him out a little.

Later he teased Wes for being such a damn girl, and Wes blushed like a girl and said he didn't think smelling of demon blood was any proof of masculinity, thanks very much.

Gunn started using extra laundry detergent after that, because it really is hard to get that blood smell out.

He wonders if Wes still buys the same gel now that he doesn't blush anymore. Now that he wears black and no glasses and hardly talks at all. No way to find out; Wesley's never going to invite Gunn to his apartment again.

Fred likes his shower gel, which must mean that it really is a girl thing. But sometimes, when Gunn catches the scent of his own skin or when he's kissing Fred's thin white shoulders, it makes him think of Wesley. And he closes his eyes and breathes in deep.