by Te
July 2001

Disclaimers: If they were mine, I'd coo over them until they started
throwing things.

Spoilers: Up through the end of A:TS, season 2.

Summary: Wesley's thinking about Gunn.

Ratings Note: PG-13

Author's Note: Sheila made me an absolutely gorgeous picture,
with the caveat that I had to write a story for it. I don't think
this one says enough about how much I love the picture, but it's
a start.

Acknowledgments: To Sheila, who provides beauty at will. To
my zoja. Soon. Soon.


Wesley thought it would be the mouth.

That is, when he allowed himself to think about it -- about Gunn --
at all, aside from the mission, and Angel's apocalyptic brooding
spells, and his exciting new scars, and his singularly non-exciting
life after Virginia.

She really had been very young. The perfect picture of captured
youth, bursting with vitality. Hair like a metaphor. There'd been
joy in her, but, in retrospect, perhaps too much sadness in regards
to his own age.

On the wrong side of thirty, gallivanting around the brighter
places of Los Angeles, mixing with this country's right sort and
never really *belonging*.

Virginia never tried to remake him into something better for
himself. He could love her for that, and miss her. The brightness
and small, quiet fire of her general happiness.

Something almost reminiscent of Oz, really. Cheerfully
unflappable... at least until things became serious.

Wesley has allowed himself no time for resentment -- it truly
was never her fight.

But with her gone, thoughts of Gunn creep further into his
consciousness. His humor, his easy acceptance of Wesley.

No, more than that. The conscious effort on Gunn's part to
*know* him, make him, especially him, a part of his life. A loneliness
in the man that makes him, really, the perfect companion for nights
alone together with a bottle.

Carefully covered with his L.A. brand of cool and style. Cheerful in
his own way, the one Wesley is familiar with -- that desperate need
to forget, just a little, what it is they're all doing with their most
probably very short lives.

Friendship with Gunn, embarrassingly heartrending concept.
Wesley often feels most weak when Gunn's presence is
strengthening him, reminding him of his *own* strength.

Helpless to that. Addicted, and evidence has revealed that Wesley
truly does break down a little without a Gunn to shore him up.
That newer, stronger glam of himself that neither bumbles nor

Angel, always there, ready to accept the mantle of command, and
it would be so easy to slip into the background again. Leave the
plans to the superhuman, to those touched by the sacred and
profane. Wesley is, after all, merely an aging sorcerer of middling
powers, a failure in the eyes of all who truly know him.

Save Gunn.

And Gunn is enough to remind him that Angel is, in many ways,
most useful when far away from the heart of things, from the
*mind* of them.

Angel's plans often leave quite a lot to be desired.

Angel's spiritual weakness the stuff of nightmares.

And Wesley had taken all of this inside, and decided it would be
Gunn's mouth that would undo him at the last. Lush and soft,
curled with a ready smile.

Tensed into a hard line of anger and still hopelessly sensual.

Wesley has dreamed on Gunn's mouth, and woken with lips
pressed to the pillow. To kiss him would be very fine.

In the end, though, Gunn's mouth is merely the product of
genetics. Doubtless his well-mourned sister's mouth was the same,
and Wesley does not regret her absence.

At least, not in terms of some sexuality-safe expression of his own

No, in the end it was Gunn's eyes. Bright with emotion and poorly,
carelessly hidden intellect. Full of humor and a love that Wesley
could not ignore.

Friendship, only friendship he would tell himself, and stare
hopelessly into those eyes, all control over his own expression lost.
Throwing *hope* at Gunn, and all the joy he's been given, and God,
God, he's in love.

"I would like to kiss you," he says, in his mind. And Gunn smiles,
that slow, sly one, and leans back against the wall. Beckoning and

"You are beautiful to me," he says, in his mind. And Gunn laughs,
slaps his shoulder, and then holds on.

"Make love to me," he begs, in his mind. And Gunn is a low
smolder of being, pressing him back, pressing him down, body to
body and aching with it.

That he never actually voices these things goes without saying.
His conscious mind refuses to finish the fantasy, and Wesley is
left with only beginnings, and this need that smacks of yearning,
twisting in his chest and belly.

Until finally it makes him silent. Detaches Wesley from himself,
allows the only true leadership to take over. Surrender Angel as
an acceptable loss for freedom.

Dream at home, in his bed, of the shock in Gunn's eyes. The
profound lack of *knowing*, and knowing he's a stranger to
Gunn, now.

"I love you," he says, in his dreams. And Gunn walks away from
him, into the shadows.

The dreams make Wesley silent in the day. Better perhaps, for all
they know of the events in Sunnydale. Angel's dull quiet.
Cordelia's restless denial. Gunn's hopeless confusion.

"I love you," he says, in his mind. And cannot open his mouth to

And there are the calls home, birthday greetings for his mother.
Silent tolerance of his father. Gunn's own restlessness. Misery
there, in him, that Wesley mirrors but can't reach out for.

The weight of silence, and that new, diffident edge to Wesley's
hunger. Promising that he'll forget this, too, someday. That he
will simply go on.



Hunger slipping further away, something of a drain of life about it.
Grey and cold.

"I want you," he says, aloud, and it's as much to himself as to Gunn
in front of him. The two of them among the weapons, and Wes
unable to feel his feet touch the floor. Unable to feel the layers of
his own clothing. Naked and drifting, the only reality his short
nails digging into his palms. The painful clench of his jaw.

And Gunn. Blinks at him.

A long moment for Wesley to just hold his pose, straining on the
edge of shaking. Too horrified to feel anything like true arousal.

"Really? I mean, seriously?" Gunn, only asking him a question.

"Yes." Hissed out between his teeth. "I... I." Can't say another
word. Can barely keep himself from running, flying apart at the
seams. Something. Gunn watching him, studying him. Eyes
half-alight with amusement, lips parting for speech, but he
shakes his head.

"Damn, English. Thought you were waitin' for my birthday or
something." Slipping into his space, holding Wesley's face
between his. "Relax."

Kisses him, slow and deep. A serious kiss, and Wesley is too busy
reeling quietly to really pay attention to more than *hot* and *wet*
and *tongue*.

Tracing his lips before slipping inside and Wesley *can't* hold on
anymore, can't be still. Wash of everything he's been keeping
down like a flood. Blood in him rushing everywhere at once,
making him hot, making him need, and he wraps his arms around
Gunn and yanks him closer.

Clack of teeth colliding and a laughing sound from Gunn and he
doesn't understand, can't possibly understand the hole Wesley
wants to drag him into. Can't stop, can't *not* suck on his tongue,
moaning and spreading his legs. Pulling Gunn close, God, touch
me --


"Anywhere --"

"*Wes* --" Kissing him harder and yes, touching and they bump
into a pile of axes and the edge of a table is digging into his spine,
and Wesley's never felt anything so warm in his *life*. Gunn
pressing against him, Gunn fucking his mouth with his tongue,
Gunn so easy with this. Falling into the hunger like it's the only
natural thing in the world.

Breaking the kiss only to breathe humid between their mouths.
Stare into Wesley's eyes.

"You want this bad, don't you?" Something like wonder in his

"Really quite desperately, actually. I didn't know. I couldn't say
it. Don't stop..."

Gathered in and held, tightly enough that breathing is a glorious
problem. A moment to wonder who, exactly, he is to Gunn.
What this is going to be. What Gunn needs from him, and how
much it will hurt to give. Needs to *know* it, suddenly, and moves
within Gunn's grasp only to be held tighter. Gunn's voice quiet
and oddly private against the skin of his throat.

Mindless, nearly wordless promises that he won't leave, he
won't, he *won't* and God, it's almost everything Wes needs to
hear, even knowing that the promises aren't, necessarily, all for

Tangled together in broad daylight, in the basement where anyone
can see, and Wesley knows he can say anything he wants now.
This great and terrible freedom all around.

"You're beautiful," he says, aloud, and Gunn holds him tighter still.