At Hands or Hours, Comes a Call

Wesley knelt in the cold room, his gaze flickering up towards the slit in the wall. A window, if one were feeling gracious. The window let in no light, even in daytime -- little as he was ever here in daytime, he'd grown quickly familiar with the decor of this room. It hadn't been difficult, there was little enough in here. A single, naked light bulb in the ceiling, casting a sickly, harsh white light over green-painted cement walls and an unpainted concrete floor. No furniture to speak of, unless the single large chest could be considered as such. Blankets spread in a corner of the room completed the fashionable decor.

He supposed, since he were staying, he should consider doing something about that. A shelf for books, perhaps. A sleeping bag. More chalked lines on the doorway.

Three days he'd been sleeping here. Three days since Gunn had stumbled upon him and dragged him here. Dragged, almost literally, for he had balked upon entering the large building which served as Gunn's home base. Home to the homeless-not-helpless. He'd no blankets to sleep under, no mattress to sleep on, he'd stammered, not wondering why he'd waited til it was too late, to begin his protest anew.

Two minutes later he had been shown an empty room, his arms laden with the loan of bedclothes and promises that he had no deadline to return them. His final protest had fallen on unsympathetic ears; Gunn merely nudged him into the room and said goodnight.

He'd said nothing about it for the next two days. Gone to the hotel as always, washed there in the basement and dressed in clothes kept neat and dust-free. Spent his time at work being perfectly bland and unassuming and calling absolutely no attention to himself or the fact that his fingernails still had ash under them from the midnight forays he attended. Payment for his rent, until they could locate books suitable for teaching street-wise teenagers how to read. Fun with Dick and Jane, they had not.

On the morning of the third day, he'd woken and told himself he had to accept his new arrangements and take the proper precautions. Gunn had said nothing when Wesley had asked him to drive him to the Hyperion, said nothing when they'd gone directly to the underground parking garage and loaded the chest into the truck bed. Hadn't said anything until Angel appeared and asked what they were doing.

"Charitable donations," he'd said casually. "Crossbow quills Wes has out-grown."

They'd both smiled, and Wesley had been surprised. Gunn had known what was in the chest -- the remains of Wesley's personal belongings after selling everything he could -- and had as much as promised to not avoid telling Angel of his circumstances. At least, he'd had no reason to think his secret was truly safe, as though once ensconced in Gunn's protective hold, Gunn would see no reason to lie to Wesley's boss.

Gunn had caught him looking, a bit bemused, a bit grateful. He'd shrugged it off and asked if he had any other heavy shit to move.

It had either been malicious revenge, or mere mischief that had made him reply. Now he was kneeling in the center of his room, waiting.

Hoping he hadn't just invited himself back onto the street. He chided himself at the repeated thought -- surely Charles Gunn wouldn't thrown a man out for something as unremarkable as this.

Or perhaps 'unremarkable' wasn't the proper term. Perhaps it was just...innocent. Certainly the only real reason for doing this was that it be done. If it made the other man stand in the doorway and be it.

Wesley heard someone approaching, a moment later a hand brushed at the curtain across his doorway.

"Wes? I got your stuff."

"Thank you." Wesley didn't move. The drawings on the floor shouldn't be disturbed, and the single candle he'd been able to appropriate from the hotel was flickering. Cheap wax, he thought idly, as it sputtered. 'Chicken fat,' and he thought a moment of the tall, hand-dipped candles at The Charbear's Emporium. Glorious, tall, thick beeswax candles that were each made for a single, specific purpose. Expensive as hell, but so gratifying to work with.

There was a pause, then Wesley heard the slight movement of cloth. Then, "Damn! Wes, you're naked!"

Facing away from the doorway, Wesley allowed himself a smile. He composed himself again quickly, before answering. "I'm casting a spell. Of course I'm naked."

"Is that what you kids are calling it these days?" Gunn joked, and he set down the box Wesley had sent him for.

Wesley turned his head. "Can you bring it over where I can actually reach it, please? I'd prefer not to break the circle I've drawn."

He watched with some amusement as Gunn looked at him -- staring safely at his back. "Um, yeah. Right." He leaned over and picked up the box again, and carried it over. He set it down within arm's reach, away from the lines Wesley had drawn. Wesley watched his face the entire time, and was smiling when Gunn finally averted his guilty glances and met his eyes. "Um, anything else?"

"I did ask if you could assist me with the spell. It's a simple one, providing protection to a place of residence. If I had your help, I could probably expand it to encompass the entire building."

"We already got guards," Gunn said quickly. "Ain't nobody breaking in here without us knowing."

Wesley allowed himself a small smile. "You needn't undress. And it's for other kinds of protection."

Gunn grinned. "Yeah, we got those, too. All sizes and a few flavoured."

He felt himself blushing, and Gunn's grin grew wider. "I *meant*, protection against magic. It will discourage supernatural investigation and penetration--" He stopped as Gunn laughed. Narrowing his eyes, he said, "You're assisting me. Kneel down over there."

"Yes, mastah," Gunn bowed, and Wesley was struck with the urge to mutter something unbecoming a civilized person. Gunn knelt, though, and once settled, asked, "Now what?"

"Now, I am going to cast a spell. Whenever you...feel anything, I want you to concentrate on it. Think good thoughts, and allow the energy surrounding you to flow freely."

"Uh-huh." There was no mistaking the doubt in his voice. "What am I gonna be feeling?"

Wesley glanced over his shoulder and smiled coyly. "Don't worry. You'll know." He merely returned Gunn's dirty look with a calm smile, then turned back around. Facing the blank wall, he began to chant quietly.

He chanted while he unpacked the box Gunn had brought. Each item was brought out, checked for visible faults, and set in order in front of him. A handful of dirt, a second small candle, a bowl and a canteen of seawater, a cigarette, and small can of blueberries. Not perfect by a long shot, but he'd had no cash to purchase the proper materials. Thankfully it was as much the thought that counted, as the actual ingredients.

He set everything where it needed to be, each item in its proper direction. The cigarette and second candle he lit with the first candle and set them carefully in their positions. He continued chanting, switching easily from scots-gaelic to Aramaic and back to English as the mood struck him. He didn't know who would be listening at any given moment.

When everything was ready, he closed his eyes.

Afterwards, he could have taken a sharpie marker and drawn the lines of protection he'd placed on the walls. Pulsing for a second before fading to wait to be triggered by the arrival of something they'd been placed to ward off. They stretched away from his room and down the hallways, down and across the outside walls and rooftop and floors. He'd been able to cast the spell throughout the entire building and even into the underground entrances and the alleyway they used as a front door.

His body felt flushed, and he could feel his heart racing as though he'd just run a mile in the sand. Every nerve ending was dancing, and he wanted to fling his arms into the air and let the energy fly out of his hands. The sheer amount of energy he'd just channeled made him remember his assistance, and he looked over his shoulder to ask--

Gunn was staring at him like he'd borne wings. "What is it?"

"You...what was that?"

"Haven't you ever performed magic, before?" Wesley teased lightly. He knew Gunn probably hadn't, despite what he'd seen and done.

"Is that what that was?" He still sounded distracted. Wesley realized he might have to give Gunn a quick lesson in dispersing excess energy -- perhaps a quick lesson on personal wards, as well. Wesley got to his knees and turned towards him to explain. Gunn leaned away from him. "You're still naked."

"Yes. How do your hands and feet feel? Are they tingling?"

Gunn raised his hand, looked at it, then stretched it out in front of him. "Wes."

"Yes, Charles?"

"Take my hand."

He did so, not asking why. He moved forward when Gunn pulled his hand, and found himself kneeling before the other man. "Wha--"



"You talk too much."

"I barely said a w--" He stopped, this time, because Gunn was returning the energy he'd borrowed from the earth. Pulled up and thrown into the spell, now spinning freely through his body and out, urging its way out through the touch and into Wesley's body, down through his legs and back into the earth.

He was surprised when he realized he was lying on his back, Gunn spread out on top of him. Not surprised to find himself hard, not at all surprised to find Gunn kissing him again.

When they broke the kiss, Gunn said, "You said I'd feel something."

Wesley looked up at him, ran one hand down the side of his face. "Is this what you felt?" he whispered.

But Gunn shook his head. "Nah. This ain't what I felt." He pushed his hips down, into Wesley, and Wesley groaned. "That's what I felt," he said softly, lips hovering close to Wesley's ear.

"Charles," he tried again. Gunn quieted him with a finger on his lips, then it slid inside his mouth and he found better things to do with his tongue than form syllables.

They moved to the spread of blankets nearby, by dint of Gunn rolling onto his back, carrying Wesley with him. Rolled again, and Wesley was laid flat on the pile of blankets, Gunn covering him again. Covering his body, his mouth, every inch of his body as Gunn moved and touched him. Hands roamed as though without aim, gripping and caressing without direction: a soft touch on a biceps, a hard grip on his side, a quick, almost tentative ghosting along his thigh.

He tried to return them, wanting to reach out for every motion, repeating everything he felt. Their hands and limbs got tangled in one another, and Gunn held him down, warned him still. Rubbed his hips against Wesley's again, gentling the command to lie there and take it.

So Wesley did. Laid there, legs pushed farther apart as Gunn continued to move. One knee placed at his crotch where he could have wrapped his legs around it and humped, had he been given the freedom to do more than arch his back and moan as Gunn continued to hold him down. A whimper, then, let him loose long enough to re-position himself slightly, bringing his hips farther up and his legs wrapped around Gunn's waist.

"Please," he found himself whispering, the first word he'd heard in the room since he'd said his lover's name. A kiss on his neck, and another on his collarbone and a hand was underneath him, holding him up. Holding him against the body thrusting against him, and he let his head fall back. Three blankets were not nearly soft enough, and a worried thought reminded him that tomorrow he would sport a bruise -- tomorrow when he showered twice to remove the smell of what a vampire had no business scenting.

The worried thought distracted him, and he got as far as putting his hands on Gunn's chest to ease him away. Gunn snaked a hand between their bodies, and fingers closed around Wesley's cock. His eyes closed and he decided that Angel could go hang himself, and be done with keeping some sorts of secrets, private. He pulled his legs in, spreading them wide and holding Gunn's arms with his hands. He heard himself whimpering again, sounds growing in volume and he clamped his mouth shut. No point in telling everyone in the building that he was flat on his back, being almost-fucked by their glorious leader.

He was writhing, then, as the thoughts swam in his brain. Almost-fucked, almost touching him, almost almost almost.... Wesley bit down on Gunn's shoulder, smothering the shout with cotton against his teeth and tongue pressed hard on the roof of his mouth. Felt the muscles in his legs spasming and he clamped his knees on Gunn's waist, felt the responding arms gathering him up, holding him close.

He came with a cry, and held as still as he could, bent double and held tightly in Gunn's embrace. Still rocking his hips, he felt the dampness spreading on his stomach, heard light panting in his ear. As he let go of Gunn, his arms and legs fell completely limp onto the tousled pallet that was his bed. He looked down at Gunn, whose head was pressed against Wesley's arm.

"Charles," he whispered after a moment of silence. His body was no longer tingling quite so much. The excess energy had dispersed itself quite nicely without further effort.


Wesley smiled. "Charles," he said again, a bit more sharply.

Gunn raised his head and blinked at him. "What?"

"You can't sleep like this."

Slowly, Gunn smiled. "Watch me." He laid his head down again, and Wesley could feel him fall asleep.

He sighed, and turned his head. A tiny bit of effort, and the candles extinguished themselves.