Can I Get You Anything?

Wesley shuffled to the front door. He moved slowly out of deference to his head, which he rather enjoyed having balanced on his neck where it belonged. While it wasn't unusual for him to be worrying about losing his head, it was unusual for it to be due to germs. Microscopic demons.

It wasn't fair that along with every thing else he suffered in the course of battling evil, he had to succumb to colds, as well.

His sinuses throbbed as he reached the door. He hadn't been this long out of bed all day, and he fervently wished he could have put this off. Say, til summer. Instead he opened the door. "Angel. Ah. Good." He backed up a step and searched about the entryway.

"Wesley. You look terrible."

"Yes, Angel. Your detective skills are highly polished as usual." That anyone could feel as badly as he did and *not* look sick, was inconceivable.

"Um, I just mean...I didn't realize you were this sick."

"God, I've got to sit down," Wesley muttered, and did so in the chair closest to the front door. He blinked slowly, and tried breathing. A trick, that. "Yes, that's why I asked you here," he explained.

Still standing in the doorway, despite having the invitation to enter, Angel looked uncomfortable. Wesley had no sympathy -- vampires who couldn't get sick could be as nervous as they liked and get no help from him. He turned his attention back to the bookcase, and wondered if he oughtn't have brought his glasses with him to the door.

"Uh." Angel sounded like he was afraid of catching whatever Wesley had. Wesley gave him a sleepy glare, not certain it had its intended effect. Angel shrugged. "It's just that I don't have a lot of...experience with this sort of thing. But if you tell me what you need...?"

It occurred to Wesley that Angel was being quite earnest, trying to appear helpful when in fact he would be perfectly happy to bolt. He turned his slightly-blurred gaze back to Angel, and asked, "How much experience do you *need*?"

Another shrug. "I guess I can make soup--"

Wesley laughed Once, then he was coughing and his entire chest ached. He didn't try to control it, letting himself cough until he was able to sit quietly and wait for the pounding in his temples to cease. A glance over showed him that Angel was looking adoringly confused. "What I asked you here for, was to return this." He'd spotted it, finally. He reached over and picked the cloth-wrapped item and held it out. Angel finally stepped inside and accepted it. "I promised to have it back by today, and I can't--" Cut off by another coughing fit, it seemed superfluous to continue.

"Oh. Uh, yeah. I can do that." Angel sounded relieved. "Where does it go?"

"Wilson's Demonolatry Supply. The one on 39th." Wesley felt himself leaning slightly, and decided it was time to muster forces. The bed was far, far away.

"Do you need me to bring back anything?"

"No, thank you. I'm going to return to bed. Hopefully I won't wake up until I feel better."

"You're sure?"

Wesley nodded, and pushed himself upright again. He made as if to see Angel out, then simply nodded again as Angel wished him better soon, then he turned and made his way slowly to his bed. As he sank back down into the blankets, leaning up against the pillows he'd piled up so he could sleep upright, he thought again how nice it would be to be perfectly healthy, covered in acidic Mkgurtwe goo, or ducking axes or Diuro claws, or even running for his life from a gang of vampires.

Anything but this.


He slept fitfully for a while, then suddenly woke fully, pushing himself upright to cough. His body shook, and when the coughing died away, it left his entire torso aching. He sighed, and started to reached over for another menthol lozenge when he was s tartled by Angel's voice, then his presence, right on his bed.

"Here, drink this."

Wesley pried his eyes open and peered over at Angel, who was holding out a mug of something. He looked closer. Something steaming. He accepted the mug gratefully, and discovered it was tea. The hot liquid soothed his throat, and the steam flowed into his sinuses between swallows. He didn't bother asking Angel what he was doing there, not while there was still tea to savor.

When it was gone, he held the mug out. Angel took it and set it aside, looking less awkward than he had at the door earlier, but still somewhat out of his depth. Wesley looked him over, then simply asked, "What are you doing here?"

"I thought you might need someone to bring your tea. You didn't look all that steady on your feet when I was here before."

Wesley nodded. "And it is appreciated. But I thought you didn't have any experience with this sort of thing?" When he was less tired, he'd be confused. Right now he just wanted enough of an answer that he could go back to sleep without wondering if Angel had been possessed by a new demon. The old demon wouldn't have made tea, he was sure.

"I don't," Angel said easily. "I called Cordelia. She gave me a list."

That made him smile. "Of course. Should I ask what she said, or simply wait and be surprised?"

Angel half-smiled back. "Wait and be surprised."

Wesley was beginning to feel sleepy again, so he closed his eyes. He opened them again, curious, when he felt Angel's hands on his shoulders. They closed immediately, of their own accord, when those hands very gently began to massage.

"Oh god...." he groaned, and let his head fall back onto the propped up pillows.

Angel stopped instantly. "Are you--"

"It's wonderful. Please don't stop."

He could *hear* Angel smiling again, then he stopped caring what else Angel was doing. His hands were kneading gently across Wesley's shoulders and along the back of his neck. Wesley heard himself groaning and didn't bother trying to keep hold of his dignity. "That's good, then?" Angel asked, sounding rather amused.

With as little effort as he could, Wesley said, "If you stop again, I shall have to kill you."

"I guess I'd better not stop."

He fell asleep with the touch of Angel's hands on his shoulders. The massage grew softer as he drifted, until all he could feel was the whisper of his fingers, and the whisper of the kiss laid upon his lips.