Date Night One -- Gunn

"Look, I called it!" How on earth anybody could possibly argue with that, Gunn had no idea, but Angel was still standing there with his arms crossed, face turned not towards Gunn, but towards Wes.

"Wes?" Angel asked, as cutely as a guy his size should *not* be able to do, and even if Gunn hadn't called it, that would've been cheating, as far as he was concerned.

Wes sat on the edge of one of the chairs in the office, and looked at both of them like they were the biggest dorks this side of the Mississippi. "You two can't decide between yourselves, like intelligent adults?"

"Look you who're talking to," Gunn reminded him -- meaning *Angel*, but Wesley smirked at them both. Gunn rolled his eyes, and told himself he was not going to stoop to fighting on the playground level.

Unless he had to.

Because, damn it, *he* had called it first.

Gunn gave Angel a dirty look, which Angel sorta returned, and Gunn was tempted to stick his tongue out and challenge him to a duel on the basketball court they'd put up in the parking garage. Neither Angel nor Wesley ever really shot hoops with him, of course -- usually he played against Xander -- which was why it would be a shoe in. Knowing Angel, though, he'd counter with some equally unfair arena, and they'd be right back where they started -- Angel trying to cheat and Wesley not helping by calling him on it.

"It's not that we can't decide," Gunn began. "*I* can decide. I called it, so I get to take you out first. Pretty simple. And *he* can decide. Problem is, *he* seems to have decided something else." Gunn wondered if he hit those 'he's' hard enough, and with enough sarcasm. Maybe he should start over and try again. "*He's* decided that him having bought tickets which it's not like he can't trade in for another day so don't be *giving* me that look Angel, tops me having called it."

Wes, who'd come in halfway through the argument, glanced at Angel with interest. "You bought tickets? For what?"

Angel jumped, a little, towards Wesley, hand going to his pocket to pull the tickets out. "La Cosi Fan Tuti. Box seats," he added with that little pleased-with-himself grin Gunn *normally* liked.

Wes took the tickets and glanced at them. Gunn gave Angel another dirty look. "I asked first," he said again, though he sounded more sullen than he figured he had to. "Aren't you one of the good guys? Don't you have a code of conduct or something that says 'thou shalt not cheat'?"

Angel looked slightly bewildered. "You had all day to get tickets or reservations or something. Not *my* fault I got mine first."

"All day?" Gunn repeated. "You mean, the reason you jumped outta bed where Wes and me were left snuggling for another hour or so, was so you could get tickets?" So there, anyway. Who'd got himself extra Wes-loving? Gunn shook his head. Damn, if he didn't sound like Spike. Someone needed to throw those two out and tell them to buy their own hotel.

Angel gave him the smuggest look he'd ever seen on a man not receiving a blowjob. "Ever hear of delayed gratification?"

Gunn privately kicked himself in the head for not remembering that this was a guy who'd waited a couple hundred years, some of 'em in Hell, between sexual encounters. Of course he could give up an hour or so of cuddle-time to sneak out and arrange for something that would get him more than an hour of quality Wes-ness tonight, if he won. Which he wasn't going to do. Because dammit, Gunn had *called* it. Did no one respect this?

"Wes, are you gonna take Cosi Fan Tuti-Frutti over what I've got planned? Really?"

"What have you got planned?" Wesley asked, and Gunn *should* have known he would, and should have thought of an answer before he'd opened his mouth.

"Something where folks don't talk in Italian, for one thing," he rattled off while he tried frantically to think. Dinner? Movie? Hot tub? Everything seemed rather usual. He needed something...*fun*.

Wesley was raising one eyebrow at him, which made him look like he should have been wearing a British military uniform complete with pith helmet, facing the uncouth natives' crude attempts at doing something civilised. "How do you know La Cosi Fan Tuti is sung in Italian?" he asked.

Gunn heard Angel laugh, and sing-song under his breath, "Ha, ha."

Gunn glared at him. "It was a *guess*, all right? Most operas are Italian or German or English, and that title wasn't...what?"

"How many operas have you been to, Gunn?" Angel asked.

"So shoot me for being a gay man," Gunn retorted. "It's in the handbook."

"I thought you were, technically speaking, bisexual," Wesley remarked, calmly.

"So I only have to see two operas a year to maintain my membership." Gunn shrugged.

Angel started to laugh, then looked at him suspiciously. "You never said you were interested in opera."

Gunn was about to say, "You never asked," but realized he'd get called for lying. Angel had offered to take them all to the opera any number of times, but after that weird-ass experience with the haunted ballet, Gunn had shied away from going anywhere fancy in a big group, just in case they all got forced to reenact "Oklahoma" or something. "Maybe I like to have some things that are just for me," he said. Then almost kicked himself *physically* in the head, when he heard how girly it sounded.

Good thing Angel didn't believe him. "He's not interested in opera, Wes! He just studied up on it because he knows you like it!"

Wesley looked at Angel quizzically. "And this is supposed to be a bad thing?"

Gunn folded his arms, to stop them from spontaneously making the *cha-ching* sign.

"Besides," Wes pointed pointed out. "He knows you like opera as well. He might've been trying to impress us both."

Gunn gave Angel a 'nyah nyah' look, which Angel met with an unconvincing expression of unconcern.

"So if it hasn't to do with Italian," Wesley asked, "what have you planned?"

"Dinner and a movie," slipped out, before Gunn could remind himself that sounded absolutely lame. Until -- "Figured we could go to the Frog and Firkin."

Wesley smiled, but it was a half-sad one. "Actually, I find I'm not as homesick for English cooking as I often am."

Gunn felt like kicking himself *again* -- and noticed the totally unnecessary dirty look Angel sent his way. "We could go to Aunty Fanny's, instead," he offered quickly, naming a place *he* liked, and could never convince Wesley was a real restaurant. It looked like the front of somebody's home had been cleared out and filled with tables, and Aunty Fanny herself cooked in the kitchen for whoever showed up. But she had menus, even if they were dry erase slates that changed whenever Fanny went shopping, so Gunn figured that meant it was a real restaurant.

Wesley looked bemused. Gunn tried to decide if it was because Wes had never once managed to say the woman's name without stuttering, or because he really liked Angel's option better, but didn't know how to turn Gunn down politely.

"I have reservations at Maison Jacques," Angel said, as if he was just mentioning it in passing, to no one in particular.

"I thought they closed that place last week? Health code violations?" Gunn replied smoothly.

They had, too. After Gunn had phoned in an anonymous tip about the frogs legs not really being *frog* legs. Dwartalf legs, was what he'd heard from the Host, who'd looked greener than usual when he mentioned it. Gunn had felt it was only his civic duty to let the authorities know. It had nothing to do with the fact that he knew it was Angel's favorite "Impress 'em with my culture and refinement" restaurant.

But Angel was looking smug. "They re-opened yesterday."

"Yeah? Clean bill of health in one week? Sure they didn't bribe nobody?"

"Gunn, I'm shocked." Angel even looked shocked. But mostly he still looked smug.

Gunn wondered if he had anything to lose by hitting Angel over the head so Wes *couldn't* go out with him. At least until Angel woke up, which, being a vampire would probably be two seconds before Gunn high-tailed it out of the room. Not that he was too worried about what Angel would do -- but if Wesley thought *he* wasn't playing fair, then Gunn would be twice out of luck.

Although how it was fair that Gunn had *called* it, and was still having to fight for it, was beyond him. Gunn decided the best course was to ignore Angel entirely, and concentrate on appealing to Wes. Which was, after all, the point.

"I was thinking we could have dinner first, then go up to the Hollywood Hills, after the flick," he said, speaking as if Wes had already agreed to go out with *him* tonight. "You know that little park, up near the sign? Thought we'd grab us a bottle of wine and maybe some dessert, and sit up there a while." Gunn knew he was going to hell for his next line, but figured it was only fair, since Angel was cheating just as bad, "It's a great place to watch the sunrise."

Wesley suddenly stifled a smile. Gunn had to stifle another cha-ching. Angel, however, didn't seem to be successfully stifling anything. He was frowning, like the big pouty baby that he was. "That's not fair."

Gunn looked surprised. "What's not fair? Nobody's stopping you from taking Wesley someplace that only an old, broody vampire can take a guy. Um. Like Raceda?"

Angel folded his arms and gave Gunn a very stern look, and Gunn knew *someone* wasn't going to get invited to share the hot tub for at least a week. Which, god help him, they were acting like Spike and Xander again.

"I could bite him," Angel snapped. Gunn glanced over and saw Wesley's eyes lose focus. Damn, damn, damn.

"That's a date? You could fuck him over the desk right now, too, and just skip the foreplay altogether." Gunn watched as Wesley went from unfocused to glazed, and considered slamming his own head in the desk drawer several times. "I thought the deal was, you wanted each of us to spend *time* with you. Without distracting you with sex," Gunn pointed out. "Except, you know, if sex happens to happen," he hastened to add.

"You're insinuating that I'm an easy lay, Charles?" Wes asked, a bit of clarity returning to his expression, along with a dangerously innocent look.

"I was assuming we'd work up to it nice and slow," Gunn said quickly, as smoothly as he could. He congratulated himself for sounding like he wasn't bullshitting anyone. "And *eventually* there would be sex on the desk in your office," he continued, because -- yeah. He could get into that. Into Wes, in the office. Throw him on the desk....

He saw Angel giving him a smirk, and thought about flipping him off. So what if the vampire could tell he was aroused? Maybe it would get *him* aroused, then Gunn could refuse to have sex with him, and Angel could practice some of that 'delayed gratification'.

"As opposed to sex on the desk with Angel, now," Wes clarified, managing to sound kind of academic, like he was just weighing the options now that he'd got over the initial mindless drooling factor.

"No -- Wait a minute. Yeah. As opposed to sex on the desk with Angel, right now. Because that, you can get anytime you look at him. How often can you get movie theatre butter, and a guarantee not to get interrupted by Newt Twins barging in because I'm gonna take you to a movie neither of them would get caught undead at?"

Angel was looking offended at the accusation that he was cheap and easy -- or at least easy -- without actually denying that he was happy to fuck Wes on the desk, any time. Wesley was looking thoughtful, though, and that was bad. When Wes got thoughtful, he tended to out-think both of them until they ended up doing exactly what they'd sworn they wouldn't. Gunn was pretty sure that wasn't part of the new arrangement they were trying to make -- but he wasn't sure he wouldn't just nod and say yes, now is good, to whatever Wesley did suggest. Not that there was anything wrong with that, but Gunn really, really wanted Wesley to talk them into letting Gunn be the first to take him out on a date.

"Actually, if they thought you really didn't want them at the theatre, Xander and Spike would go no matter what the movie was," Angel said in a considerate tone.

Gunn wanted to haul him off downstairs and make him do laundry. "Maybe," he said through gritted teeth. "But they're on fish-hatching watch. They might leave their room -- to barge in here -- but they're not leaving the building."

"So they won't bother us at the opera, then," Angel said smoothly. "Cool."

"Or go to the movies," Gunn added, trying not to grit his teeth as he shot a glare at Angel. The glare seemed to bounce right off his thick vampiric skull.

It occurred to Gunn that he *should* have had sex with Angel this morning, and worn him down so he'd have stayed in bed until the middle of the afternoon. Tomorrow, he'd do that. Right *now* he had to somehow distract Angel, or just be so utterly cute and charming that Wes couldn't possibly pick Angel over him.

That shouldn't be too hard. Unless Wes *wanted* the crude, lewd, no culture except for operas, vampire. Well, operas and ballet. And literature. And classic films. Bastard. How fair was it, that he'd had two hundred years to bone up on all the kind of stuff Wes liked, before Gunn was even born?

He turned to Wes, and gave him the cutest look he could dredge up. It wasn't much -- even Cordy had told him he really shouldn't bother trying that sort of thing, what with Wes' own pleading look and Angel's cute 'dork me' look. But it was pretty much all he had left, other than hitting Angel over the head with a frying pan and stuffing him under the desk. Which, actually, might be a good plan, if this didn't work out.

He'd give the cute me look a chance, though, because if he left the room to go get a frying pan, he'd come back to find Angel and Wesley already gone.

Wesley looked him over for a second, then turned to Angel. "Do they sell popcorn at the opera house? It's been a while since I've been."

Angel blinked. "Um, popcorn? I don't think so. They sell wine. And little annoying chocolate candies with foil wrappers that people like to rattle just when Paggliacci's going off into his big number."

"But no popcorn?" Wes said it as if a) he didn't know damn well that they didn't sell popcorn at the LA Metropolitan Opera House and b) it was a crime as bad as having no peanut shells and sawdust on the floor at the Texas Roadhouse Barbecue. Gunn managed not to cheer out loud.

"I could microwave some popcorn, and we could sneak it in..." Angel said quickly.

"*Microwave* popcorn?" Man, if Queen Victoria -- the original, or the sexy vampire one that Spike and Xander brought home pictures of from their honeymoon -- ever got a load of that tone, she'd hand the "We Are Not Amused" championship belt over to Wes in a second.

Angel stopped. "We could stop by the movie theatre and buy some real popcorn."

Gunn was about to point out that they might as well *go* to the movies, if that was the kind of popcorn he wanted. Then he noticed that Angel was doing *his* cute me face. He needed to go get a frying pan.

Except that would leave Wes alone with Angel. "If you're going to the movie theatre *anyway*," he said fast, in that tone that said Angel was being a butt-head, "You might as well be seeing a movie. They're not gonna let you walk in and buy popcorn, and walk out."

Angel turned to him. "They might."

"Won't either."

"They *will*," Angel said in an example of the threatening tone he'd use on the usher who tried to stop him.

Gunn shook his head, and said in a calm tone that completely hid his panic, "Wes, man, you wanna start off your evening watching Angel get into it with some pimply face teenager who's just doing his job?"

"I want popcorn," Wesley replied, like that was supposed to answer the question.

"So--" Angel started.

"I'd also like Sno-Caps and a large soda," Wesley said, turning to Gunn. "I assume you're paying?"

Gunn started. He blinked, then he ran through his head everything Wesley had just said. Yes, that was in fact what he had said. Gunn threw a fist into the air. "Yes! I win! Er, yes, of course I'm paying! I invited you out on this date, didn't I?"

Wesley was sort of half-grinning at him, but Gunn didn't care how amused he was. He'd won! And Angel was pouting.

It was hard for people who didn't know Angel to tell when he was pouting. It looked, to the man on the street, like a guy deep in thought. Lips pressed together. Eyes looking at something just on the other side of some invisible mime-wall that you mere mortals aren't privileged to see. In other words, it looked like he was brooding. But Angel didn't brood. Not in front of Gunn and Wes. Not if he wanted to go the opera -- or anywhere -- with his nails the same color that God made them, and not shell pink or aquamarine. So, he was pouting. Plus his bottom lip was sticking out, just a little.

Gunn just cackled triumphantly.

Angel pouted a little harder, then actually whined, "I don't get it. You like opera. We could have gotten the popcorn."

Wesley gave Angel a look which -- if Wes hadn't already said he was going with Gunn, would have made Gunn worry about who got to go anywhere with him -- and said, "Angel, I adore opera, and you may take me next weekend."

Angel brightened a little, then returned to his pout. "You really would rather see a movie?" His expression lightened fast. "Because I can take you to the movies, too. We could get popcorn and not get into any fights with ushers."

"No, I want you to take me to the opera." He laid a hand on Angel's arm. "Next time. Tonight Gunn is taking me to the movies."

"But--" Angel stopped, pouted some more, then said, "But I'm cuter than he is, and I pout better."

Wesley laughed, and for a second Gunn hated Angel again. He was being charming to *Guunn's* date, darn it. Even though, granted, Wes and Angel were lovers, too, and as together as he and Wes were. But all was fair in love and fighting over Wesley.

"I'm not going to confirm or deny that. It wouldn't be fair to my date."

Gunn was far too mature a guy to stick his tongue out at Angel. Really, he was. Besides, he was trying to look cute, and nobody looks cute with his tongue sticking out. Except maybe Cordelia, who'd get insulted if you told her that because it implied that she didn't look cute all the time.

"Okay, fine," Angel grumped, now that he didn't have to try to look cuter than Gunn. "But just tell me this, so I can do better next time. Why'd you pick him?"

Wesley blinked innocently at them both. "Because he called it!"

To heck with it. Gunn stuck his tongue out.


"Are you sure they're open?" Wesley asked, peering at the front windows of Aunty Fanny's Homecooked Kitchen. From his vantage point in the passenger seat of Gunn's new truck, he could almost peer down the *chimney*, given the height of the tires.

He and Angel had both looked askance at Gunn when he'd driven the monster pickup into the hotel garage and stood proudly before it, waiting for... what, applause? It looked like something people in backwoods midwestern places would use to go slapdashing through the mud, leaning out the windows with a beer in one hand and a hunting rifle in the other. Not the sort of oddly subtle beat-up vampire-slaying rig the previous truck had been, and this one was so tall that even Wesley and Angel practically had to use a stepladder to climb in. Gunn had grinned, and pointed out that the taller it was, the less likely Spike was to be able to reach the door -- or the pedals -- and suddenly Wesley had developed a new respect for the machine.

"Aunty Fanny's *always* open," Gunn replied with a frown. He was peering as well, though, because the usually well-lit windows were dark, a faint glow from somewhere in the back of the building the only hint that anyone might be around.

"Even at four o'clock in the morning?" Wesley asked lightly, thinking of all the times they'd hunted for a decent place to eat after a full night of battling evil. The problem lay in 'decent' - there were plenty of places to hand over your money and receive something that looked rather a lot like the sort of things they hunted down.

Gunn just gave him a vaguely amused look, and opened his door. Wesley watched as he leapt down, landing so that practically only his head and shoulders were visible. He thought again about docking Gunn's paycheck so that he couldn't afford to go out and buy things like this truck. He supposed he should be grateful that Gunn wasn't as bad as Spike, who'd brought home a fully vampirically-customized Winnebago which he'd left parked out front of the hotel for three months.

Wesley waited in his seat as Gunn walked around the back of the truck. Gunn was heading towards the front door of Aunty Fanny's with a doubtful expression on his face. When he caught sight of Wesley still sitting in the truck, he shook his head.

"Come on, English. This isn't a honk n' holler."

"A what?"

"They're not gonna bring the food out to us if we honk at 'em. Come on."

Wesley tried hard not to laugh. Instead he forced a very proper expression onto his face - more difficult nowadays, where once it had been automatic. "I'm waiting for you to open my door and help me out."

The dumbfounded look on Gunn's face was brief -- not nearly as long as it would have lasted on Angel, and not nearly as long as Wesley would have liked to sit there enjoying it -- but extremely satisfying. It was soon replaced by a stubborn grin, of course.

"Look, just because I'm taking you on a date, doesn't mean you suddenly turned into a girl."

"I should hope not. If I were a girl, I'd never had managed to scramble into this juggernaut in the first place. And I'd be much less likely to put out on the first date." Wesley waited patiently for Gunn to come to the not necessarily correct conclusion that said putting out was contingent on him opening the door and handing Wesley down from the truck.

"*First* date?" Gunn said instead of doing so, resolutely clueless.

Wesley's mouth half-opened, words of explanation already forming, when he realized that what he'd been assuming might not be exactly what Gunn was thinking. Reasonable, of course, given that they'd been living together long enough for marriage proposals to be offered. Not that Gunn had-- Wesley set that thought aside.

Now Gunn was looking at him thoughtfully, and Wesley could feel his cheeks turning red. He started to brush his comment aside as a joke, but Gunn spoke first. "I guess it is. Now. Starting over, and all."

"I didn't mean it quite like that," Wesley said quickly, even though it was exactly what he had meant. Start anew and forget everything that had come before - everything that wasn't friendship and love. Not exactly a first date, but the first of something.

Gunn was looking at him, no more cluelessness or amusement in his expression. It made Wesley feel as though he'd written his thoughts on his forehead and Gunn was heading them off. And it gave him a sudden, warm feeling that he'd not felt in years. Since before Gunn and Angel had become friends, close friends, and Wesley had first begun feeling alone. Wesley said nothing, quite deliberately, for a moment, and watched Gunn's face.

Watched him understand what Wesley was saying.

Gunn walked back to the truck, and reached up to pull Wesley's door open from the outside. Then he held out his hand.

"You don't really have to--"

"Nuh-uh. You asked for the Cinderella service, you're gonna get it. And everybody can feel sorry for me 'cause I've got such a high-maintenance boyfriend." When Wesley blinked at him to make sure he really was just joking and wasn't feeling put-upon, Gunn winked, but still held his hand out.

Wesley shrugged, and allowed himself to be handed out of the truck, rather as if it were a pumpkin carriage. "You mean everyone will feel jealous of you, because you've got such a brilliant, stunning, debonair boyfriend, of course."

"That would come off a little more James Bond if you weren't wearing that Angel Investigations sweatshirt, you know."

"I'm not wearing formal clothes in the truck. The last time I did, I couldn't unkink my neck for a week, after what you and Angel did to me. And I *still* can't find my onyx cufflinks. Besides, you said casual dress. If I'd known there was to be Bondage, I would have insisted we take the GTX."

Gunn's eyes slowly grew wide. Wesley watched, amused and not a little flattered. He very carefully did not move to acknowledge the way Gunn's brain was busy thinking about bondage, or possibly about what he and Angel had done to Wesley when he'd been wearing a tuxedo. They did it *every* time he wore a tux, and sometimes he thought that Xander issued them invitations to formal events just because it would make them spend the entire day getting dressed -- and re-dressed. Much as he loved it, it was rather wearing on his attire.

"You...still want dinner?" Gunn asked, sounding slightly distracted.

Wesley gave him a look of surprise. "We're not eating?" He craned his neck, trying to see into the front window of the establishment. There was only the faint glowing, and no sign of movement. He conceded that the place might well be closed - but how could Gunn tell, with his back to the building?

"You made me think of you wearing formal gear, then you said 'bondage'. Now I'm thinking of tying you up and ripping open your dress shirt, leaving the silk cummerbund against your stomach...." Gunn was staring at where the non-existent cummerbund would be.

"I did say I was not putting out on the first date," Wesley reminded Gunn - though at the moment he'd be happy to go home and do just exactly what Gunn was describing.

That got him a sharp look. "No, you said you'd be less likely to, if you were a girl. Which implies you're *more* likely too, especially if I talk about just what I'm gonna do with you once I've got that dress shirt outta my way."

Weslet fingered his sweatshirt and gave Gunn his best, 'And you think the Newt Twins are insane?' look. "I'm not wearing a dress shirt, Charles."

"Yeah, 'cause I'm ripping it off you," Gunn agreed.

Wesley had every intention of pointing out that that wasn't what he'd meant. Then it occurred to him that he could very well go home and put on a dress shirt. Perhaps an older one, that he wouldn't mind allowing to be torn. Then he shook his head. "We're not supposed to be having sex. We're supposed to be going on a date." He tried saying it sternly.

Gunn kept giving him that 'ripping your shirt off you' look. Wesley felt himself shiver.

"I mean it," he said again, though even he could tell his stern tone needed bolstering.

Gunn looked him up and down. "You wanna wear tuxedo pants, or those shorts you had on at the wedding?"

Unfortunately, that ruined Wesley's mood. He tried hard not to let it, despite his protests that he wanted dinner instead. He didn't especially want food more than sex; he just felt obligated to protest enough that when Angel teased them, he could say he'd put forth every effort to abstain long enough to dine.

But wedding shorts led to thoughts of the morning after the wedding. Of Angel's sudden proposal, and the reasons, confusing as they had been, that Wesley had been so eager to hide away in England nursing a father who didn't need his help, in order to avoid having to answer. The thought of his own cowardice in running away from his lovers was hardly a turn-on, no matter how good the make-up sex had been, no matter how enjoyable it was now to watch Gunn and Angel fight over who got to take him on their first non-trio date.

Gunn looked at him questioningly, the lustful glint fading from his gaze, replaced by confusion. The edge, not quite there, of hurt. "What'd I say?"

"Nothing, Gunn. really." Wesley adjusted his glasses, and pretended to peer into the depths of the darkened restaurant again. "But do you really want...er... Aunty Fanny, seeing you ripping my nonexistent dress shirt off in front of her establishment? She'll think I'm a complete slut. That I can't even hold out for a decent dinner and preferably a chocolate-based dessert, first."

Gunn tilted his head, looking at him like he was trying to figure out if Wesley was speaking English, or an equivalent thereof. He held his hand out, and Wesley took it, then Gunn pull him forwards until Wesley was almost standing on top of him. "Wes--"

"It was nothing you said," he repeated. "Just...something I did. Can we forget about it, and go have dinner?"

"Followed by chocolate-based dessert, then I can take you home and tear clothes off you?"

Wesley smiled. "I should hope so." He didn't quite think that he was looking as forward to it as he ought, but he knew that in a couple of hours, after they'd had food and a chance to talk -- be together -- he would have changed his mind. It was a rare time he did *not* change his mind and decide he wanted to have sex with his lovers.

"You're not gonna brood?" Gunn asked, raising his eyebrows at him.

"I think you've confused me with Angel. I'm the handsome, smart one."

"I thought I was the handsome, smart one."

"And now you're confusing me with *you*? Charles, I really am worried about you. First that delusion that I'm high-maintenance, and now this... Perhaps we should take you to the emergency room after dinner, instead of the movies. We do have that free CAT scan deal, after all, because of all the business we bring in."

Wesley managed to keep a straight face through most of that. It helped that the CAT-scan thing was true. After the fifth concussion in a month among Angel Investigations staff, the head of emergency medicine at Wingate Hospital, an expatriate sidhe passing as human, had offered them a two for one arrangement. Possibly the removal of an enraged werewolf from his emergency room had contributed to the good doctor's generosity.

"Movie?" Gunn looked for all the world as if he really was experiencing some sort of head trauma. "But you said we could go home..."

"Well, I meant after the rest of our date, of course. I'm not *that* much of a slut."

Gunn frowned. "I was hoping you would be. I bought you a couple extra dress shirts, and everything." Then he laughed, and tugged on Wesley's hand. Wesley let himself be yanked forward into Gunn. Nose to nose and knee to knee, Wesley smiled, and accepted the kiss Gunn gave him.

"Dinner?" he finally asked.

"Dinner. And don't think I'm not tearing that shirt off you sooner or later," Gunn warned him. As though he *had* to.

"I should hope so," Wesley said in his best, proper British tone. The one that would have made his Headmaster proud -- if he hadn't been telling his male lover to have wild sex with him.

Letting his hand slip down into Gunn's, Wesley stepped away so they could walk the few feet to the door. As he turned towards the restaurant, he looked again at the dimmed windows, and apparent lack of activity. "Are you *sure*--"

There was a loud, low wail, and it was coming from the rear of the restaurant.

Gunn looked at him. "You don't think Aunty Fanny finally gave in and bought that expresso machine?"

"Not unless she's purchased one that sounds like a bull Khackdor Beast in full feeding frenzy mode."

They turned back to the truck and retrieved axe, crossbow, and Wesley's emergency spell casting bag, packed with random staple ingredients, then moved through the restaurant door in tandem, each scouting out one side of the darkened interior.

"I think I saw one of those advertised in the back of Xander's magazine," Gunn muttered nervously. "Makes your coffee and acts as a burglar alarm." He looked over at Wesley. "Seriously -- Khackdor Beast -- bad news?"

Wesley gave him a grave look. Then shook his head. "They're rarely found outside of Burbank."

"So we're facing what? A Khackdor Beast wannabe?"

Wesley glanced at him, and, though he needn't have, said, "We don't know what's back there. Be on your guard."

"No, really? Because I was gonna just walk in there and yell 'what's up!'"

Wesley gave him a dirty look. "Just because Spike and Xander aren't here, don't feel you have to provide the comic relief in their absence."

"My jokes are better."

"Of course they're better. But we -- what was that?" Wesley halted, aiming his crossbow towards the shift in the shadow he'd seen.

"Wanna-be Krackhead Beast?" Gunn asked, edging towards it.

"Khackdor Beast," Wesley corrected. There was a sudden loud, rumbly growl.

"That wasn't you, I'm guessing?" Gunn asked, looking pointedly at Wesley's stomach.

"I'm not *that* hungry. In fact, I'm suddenly not all that hungry at--"

Something large, greenish, and swarming with bright red sparks rushed out at them from the shadows.

"And here I thought this was going to be an *exciting* date," Wesley said, as he released his first crossbow bolt.

"I was hoping we could at least do something *different*," Gunn said, as he swung his ax towards the whatever it was, trying to force it back before it could touch either of them.

The creature stood still, reacting to the shot and the swing, sparks buzzing around it so thickly that all but its general size was obscured. Wesley paused long enough to raise an eyebrow at Gunn. "You wanted to take me home and have sex. How is *that* different?"

There was silence for a moment. They edged closer to the reddish haze of light, and Gunn finally said, "It'd be different because Angel wouldn't be there?"

"How were you planning on stopping him?" Wesley asked lightly, though he found he wanted to smile broadly. He'd known exactly what this was all about. Angel and Gunn had wasted no time in acting on their -- all three of their -- decision to spend time alone with Wesley. But something about that half-asked statement made him happier than the rest of the evening, so far.

Red sparkled and an arm-shaped bar of light reached forward for Gunn. Wesley loosed another bolt at it, and in the fizzing, popping static that resulted when it roared, the sparks cleared enough for Wesley to finally place the odd combination of colours, smells, and number of eyes he caught sight of as they dodged and circled it.

"It's not a Krackhead -- er -- Khackdor Beast." He darted over to the nearest table and grabbed the saltshaker from it, as Gunn fended the creature off with his axe.

Wesley unscrewed the top of the saltshaker, whispered something in High Urdish that he hoped was a cleansing spell for monsters, not a cleansing spell for laundry, and threw the entire container of salt at the beast.

"Yeah? Then what is it?" Gunn asked, scuttling backwards, axe still raised.

Wesley watched the red sparkling lights that orbited the thing grow brighter and brighter. "It's a -- " He loosed another bolt at it, just as the intensity reached neon sign level. "Duck!"


"It was a *duck* ?"

"No, I *said* duck." Exasperated, Wesley gave Angel a look. "Honestly, Angel, if you're not going to let us go upstairs and shower until we've explained, you could at least let us explain."

Angel looked momentarily abashed. Then he pointed at Cordelia. "She's the one who won't let you go upstairs until you've explained. I'm happy to go into the shower with you and listen."

"Because they came home three hours early from their date, covered in red slime!" Cordelia protested, as though the fact would have escaped any of their attentions. Gunn and Wesley were still, in fact, standing in the lobby covered in goo, enduring a haphazard interrogation.

They'd barely made it halfway across the lobby when Angel had descended, his frantic cries drawing Cordelia out from the office. Somehow they'd managed to convince everyone that the thick, red goo was not blood -- you'd think Angel would have known that right off, if he weren't being an undead fussbudget -- but they'd only got part of the story out, otherwise. Angel, for one, kept interrupting both with questions, and with hands-on verification that neither was injured.

"So, it would've been okay if we'd come home later, but still covered in red slime?" Gunn asked her.

She rolled her eyes. "I would've just figured Spike finally convinced you to go to that jello wrestling place." She pointed at Angel. "I might've figured that anyway, if somebody hadn't started yelling like you'd showed up carrying your heads under your arms."

"What?" Angel rounded on her, looking shocked that anyone could accuse him of doing anything wrong. "They were covered in *goo*! Demon goo! They were supposed to be going to Aunty Fanny's for dinner, then the Riverton Cinema to see History of the World Part 2, then possibly to Ralph's Pub or Caritas then right back home!" He paused, then looked at Gunn and Wesley. "Um. Or so I'm guessing."

Wesley was torn between giving him a glower, and grinning. He settled for a deep sigh. "We found a Rusalor Slug Demon living in--"

"A what?" Cordelia interrupted.

"A Rusalor Slug Demon," Wesley repeated, knowing it would give her no more information that it had the first time, but if she was going to interrupt with silly questions, then she deserved it. "We fought it off, it exploded, we're covered in goo. And we would like to *not* be covered in goo." He looked towards the stairs, meaningfully.

"Is everybody at the restaurant okay?" Cordelia asked. As if he wouldn't have said something, if they weren't.

"They're fine. It had locked them all in the larder, thinking to use it as, well, a larder. Apparently Aunty Fanny managed to beat it away from them with a broom, every time it tried to pop its head in to pluck someone out for a snack."

"Aunty Fanny offered us a two for one deal on our dinners for the rest of the year," Gunn told them.

"So, the thing is dead now?" Angel asked.

Wesley sighed again. "Yes, it's dead. I sprinkled salt on it and it--"

"You what?"

"Salt," Gunn repeated. "Geez, didn't you ever go outside with a thing of salt and make the slugs...." He looked around at everyone who was staring at him. "What? So I started slaying icky things early."

"Yes," Wesley took up the explanation again, before they could go on for another twenty minutes. "The thing is dead, no one is hurt, especially and including us, though if I don't get a shower soon *someone* is going to be sleeping with his sons."

It actually took Angel a moment to work that out. "They're not my sons! They're my... um..." He looked helplessly around for a moment. "Somethings."

"Regardless of what you choose to call them, you're going to be sleeping on their sofa in about five minutes."

Gunn cracked a wide grin. "Unless they make him sleep with the grandkids!"

"I'm not sleeping with the fish," Angel said, then gave them all dirty looks as they broke up, laughing.

"Gonna put you in cement overshoes," Gunn said in a horrendous Italian accent.

"How about I scrub your backs?" Angel offered.

"I dunno," Gunn said, turning to Wesley. "We're still on our solo date." He looked Wesley up and down, the same way he had at the beginning of the evening.

Angel pouted. "But you're home. And I thought you'd been hurt and I need to make sure you're OK."

Both Angel and Gunn looked at Wesley.

Before he could answer, Cordelia put both hands on her hips. "If you leave me down here with a whiny, mopey, sexually frustrated Angel, I'll make sure you're *all* sleeping with the fishes. I don't need the post-traumatic flashbacks, thanks."

"I wasn't whiny," Angel protested. "Or mopey."

They all looked at Angel.

He glared back. For at least seven seconds. Then, sullenly, he amended, "Much."

"I think it was more fun when he was under that truth spell," Cordelia said. She gave Wesley a hopeful look.

"He did make an adorable newt," Welsey agreed.

"Why is everyone picking on me? Is this part of my redemption?"

Gunn laughed. "No, it's because you're being a dork. A cute dork, but a dork. Come on. You can hold the towels and get the soap all lathered up."

Then Gunn looked at Wesley. "If that's OK?"

Wesley pretended to consider it deeply. "Hmm. Most people buy their dates flowers. Possibly wine. But I suppose a towel boy would be an acceptable substitute." Angel grinned far too quickly, too cockily, for Wesley's liking. "Presuming he's docile and well-trained," he added. "Otherwise we might have to send him back and order a new one."

Angel frowned, as if he were about to argue, then apparently remembered that 'argue' and 'docile' didn't really go hand in hand. He looked thoughtful, then offered, "I think you'll be pleased with my services. There's this thing I can do with my tongue, for instance..."

Cordelia put her hands over her ears. "Shut uh-up... Go awa-ay..." she sang loudly. "Don't want to *hear* it... la la la..."

They looked at her, with varying degrees of amusement. Wesley knew that in other circumstances, staying down here and continuing to talk about Angel's oral skills would be quite entertaining until she decided it was time to retaliate. However, those circumstances included not being covered in goo, and not being about to go upstairs and indulge in certain oral skills.

Spike and Xander could forego sex in order to tease Cordelia, if they liked, but Wesley had better priorities. Besides which, Cordelia kicked.

"We'll take you on approval. but I'm still reserving the option of returning you for a newer model." Wesley pointed in the direction of the staircase.

Angel stood there, as if he was waiting for Wesley and Gunn to join him. Wesley raised an eyebrow.

"I think part of the duties of a towel boy would include starting up the shower and getting the water hot, wouldn't you?" he asked Gunn. "He doesn't seem to be very well taught at all."

But Angel was heading for the stairs, after only a second's hesitation. Gunn gave Wesley a smirk. "Looks like he learns fast."

"He is trainable," Wesley agreed, and started after Angel. Gunn paced him, and they walked carefully to avoid dropping chunks of dried goo on the carpeting. As they reached the foot of the stairs he glanced up to see Angel disappearing on the landing, and grinned. "Very trainable. I suspect we may be in for a decadent shower."

"I can still hear you!" Cordelia shouted from behind them.

Wesley started to say something under his breath about Cordelia seriously needing to spend less time in the office -- or more time with Lorne -- but kept his mouth shut. She'd probably overhear that as well, and do something to interrupt his shower. Instead, he simply turned back to smile politely at her, indicated his closed mouth, and proceeded up the stairs.


Angel laid out towels and soap and scented body wash things that they, as manly men, weren't actually supposed to admit to possessing, but as long as Cordelia kept buying them for Christmas and birthdays and obscure anniversaries that thank god she reminded him of, it wouldn't be polite not to use them. Even if they did smell foofy. Officially.

He found himself whistling, which most of his extended family would probably find extremely frightening. The only thing that stopped him from using it to scare Spike and Xander when they were annoying him was the threat of Wes or Gunn hearing him do it, and exile to the dreaded Couch as punishment for trying to make music in any form. Xander and Spike's Couch.

Whenever he tried doing things like that when Wesley or Gunn weren't around, it always turned out that they had just walked in the room as he began. That was how Wesley had got that photo of him dancing with a broom. No amount of explanations could convince anyone that it *hadn't* been what it looked like. He chalked it up to learning patience and humility, and the price he paid for having people who shared his life and his bed and occasionally his underwear.

Angel heard Wesley and Gunn approaching the door to their suites, and immediately stopped whistling. He turned and waited, hoping that his position and attire were deemed appropriate for a towel boy. He had considered putting on the thong Wes had bought him, but finally opted for simple nudity. It would be faster that way, once the shower turned into having sex.

When Wes and Gunn walked in the door to the suite, he was standing in front of the bathroom, towel over his arm. Wesley blinked, then did his trying-not-to-smile smile. "Very nice. I presume you're going to tip him well for this, Gunn?"

"Oh, I'll tip him all right. Maybe let him give me a blow job, later, if he's *really* good."

Angel liked that idea immensely, but he tried to retain his act and not respond. Except, of course, for his cock, which had a mind of its own.

Wesley was giving Gunn an amused look, then stepped past him towards the shower. "Seems as though the water is nice and hot."

That was an understatement -- the large bathroom was rapidly filling with steam. Then Wes was stripping, dropping goo covered clothes on the floor. He was facing the shower, giving them both an excellent view of his backside as he removed his trousers and underwear.

Gunn followed suit, his jeans and t-shirt joining Wesley's on the floor. He looked down at the pile of clothes and curled his lip. "Can I just say, ew? I mean, I know we do this all the time, but this is a really ew-y ew."

"Aren't you glad I didn't wear my James Bond clothes, then?" Wesley asked as he tentatively put one foot into the hot shower. Angel stood as still as he could, considering the towel that was hanging over his arm was no longer hanging straight down at the sight of Wesley's ass flexing as he extended his leg.

"Yeah. You can change into 'em after the shower, and I can rip them off then."

Angel looked at them in surprise. "Tearing dress clothes off Wesley? I get to be here for that, right? Because I live here, and it would be mean to kick me out." He gave his lovers a cute look, not sure he needed to, but it couldn't hurt. Of course, neither of them was looking at him. Wesley was looking into the shower, and Gunn was looking at Wesley's ass.

For a moment he and Gunn communed silently -- taking time to appreciate the truly fine things in life. Then Gunn was walking forward and reaching a hand in to test the water. "Feels just right. Come on, English, let's get hot and soapy."

Angel was pretty sure his whimper was subvocalised. He moved to follow the two of them into the shower -- and stopped short when the curtain was pulled shut in his face.

This time the whimper wasn't subvocalised. Insofar as you could call "Hey!" a whimper at all.

Wesley's face peered around the edge of the curtain. "Was there something you forgot to provide for us in here?"

Angel blinked. "Ah, no, but..."

"Thank you. You're welcome to wait there; we'll call you if we need anything." Wesley disappeared behind the curtain again, leaving Angel to stand there, towel still hanging over his arm, open mouthed.

He didn't move at all as he watched the two silhouettes moving on the other side of the curtain. Gunn moved aside for Wesley to stand in front of him under the spray, and was running his hands down Wesley's chest. There was a moan, which Angel echoed.

How was this fair? He'd done as they'd asked - done the towel boy thing and been docile and well-trained. Now he had to wait out *here*? "Uh...guys? Wes?" he asked, feeling very confused.

"Yes, Angel?" Wesley called back, even as Angel saw him leaning back against Gunn and letting the hot water cascade over them.

Angel had to pick his jaw up from the sight, and the image in his mind that removed the curtain from what he was seeing. "Can't I--" he began, and he knew he was whining. That would probably *not* get him entrance into the shower. He cleared his throat. "Are you sure you don't need any help in there?" he asked, trying to sound simply concerned. Solicitous.

He saw the shadow of Gunn's hand move, down Wesley's side.. Saw Gunn's body follow, and the voice that replied rose up at him from the shower floor. "I think I got everything under control."

Wesley was moving in a way that made Angel want to defy their refusal to invite him in. It wasn't as though he needed the invitation -- he might be a vampire, but the rule didn't apply to bathrooms. Especially *his* bathroom. He owned the entire hotel -- he ought to be able to step into one single shower stall. But he hadn't been invited, and Wesley and Gunn would probably just send him right back out, refusing to do anything at all with him in there. He settled for sighing despondently, and watching.

Gunn was doing something, now - maybe he'd picked up the soap while Angel was blinking? He was running his hands up and down Wesley's body -- and Wesley's body was making a much more intriguing silhouette, now. Angel really, really wanted to pull the curtain back and watch them make love in the shower.

Or help. He was the towel boy, after all. Soap suds should be his responsibility. So should licking body parts off after they'd been soaped and rinsed just to be extra certain everything was cleaned. But as he raised a hand to try twitching the curtain back, Wesley turned around and began running his hands over Gunn.

The two silhouettes -- one tall and thin, the other shorter, compactly muscled, made a portrait in contrasts that tickled the artistic part of his brain. The part that managed to work on its own even when he would normally assume his cerebrum had gone into shutdown mode, and the bit that was rubbing at the towel he was holding, was doing his thinking for him. Some part of him wanted to draw them like this, in broad charcoal strokes, on white canvas. Shadows behind a screen, touching each other. A curtain, thin as paper, immovable as steel, forever separating the lovers and the viewer.

Another part of him, halfway between his two functioning brains, clenched in a brief ache. Even though it was only a game, though he *knew* it was only a game, he felt that separation. Wondered if this was the way Wesley had been feeling. Welcomed, and yet always to one side. Apart. He found himself taking a step forward and stopped himself from making any more motion towards the shower. They had invited him only to watch, to stand here on the other side and wait to be allowed more.

It was erotic, hearing them, seeing their movements this way. He made a note to do this again sometime with one of the others in the role of the voyeur. But it didn't stop him from wanting to be inside. With them. He'd been away from them all evening, and had anticipated them not returning until much later. He'd done his best not to pace, or brood, but it had proved difficult. For all that he'd preferred his solitude for decades, he craved their companionship now.

He *got* that this was supposed to be Gunn's date. He also knew it was more about Wesley feeling like he had some separate connection with each of them, than it was about him and Gunn competing for the privilege of Wesley's company. Not that it wasn't worth competing over, but there wasn't any need, for the two of them. They were perfectly happy to share.

But the competition game was fun, and it tickled Wes, and there really wasn't any bad. Except this, of course. The aftermath. Angel listened to the two of them breathing. Listened to that breathing speed up, grow deeper and raspier. He raised one hand, wanting to at least hold them while they made love. Again he stopped himself, and reminded himself that he should be glad they let him be this close. They might have left him downstairs to play alone, and leave him wondering what he was missing.

The curtain yanked back and Angel jumped half a foot. "Are you just going to stand there?" Wesley inquired.

"What do you want?" Angel asked, quickly, in as helpful a tone as he could. He hoped Wesley wouldn't notice that he was a couple of feet closer then he had been when they'd closed the curtain.

"I need someone to stand here." Wesley pointed.

To a spot inside the shower stall. It took Angel half a second, using every ounce of eager vampiric speed he possessed, to be in that spot.

Wesley and Gunn looked at him. "Excellent," Wesley said, then he turned back to face the spray of water. Gunn stood behind him, bath sponge in his hand, gently rubbing it over Wesley's back. Across his shoulders, down his spine, wringing it out so that a rivulet of water ran down the small of his back, barely discernable amid the spray from the shower head, but Angel saw Wesley shudder with the movement, all the same.

Gunn paused with the sponge in his hand, then tossed it casually at Angel, who caught it without effort. Was Gunn passing off the washing duties, he wondered? Angel began to take a step towards them, but stopped himself as he saw Gunn shoot him a tiny glare. Then Gunn's attention was back on Wesley, his arms wrapping around the slim frame, to trace patterns across Wesley's stomach, while Gunn pressed his mouth to the skin of Wesley's back.

Apparently Angel's role was still towel boy -- stand back and hold the towels, washcloths, sponges. Not so bad, though, from this side of the curtain. He could see every drop of water on Wesley's back that was being licked off by Gunn. He could hear clearly each gasp and every little groan Wesley made. He could see how Wesley swayed, and was held firm by Gunn's arms. He wondered if it was within the towel boy's domain to jerk off, while watching.

Angel suspected not, somehow; or more to the point, he suspected they'd be subtly disappointed with him for not being able to hold out, and they'd make unfavorable comparisons between himself and Spike. Who actually *could* hold out for quite a long time, if properly motivated, but Angel had never seen the need to point that out to his lovers, with the everpresent threat of his children-in-law's couch hanging over his head.

He stood still, holding the sponge, determined not to be compared to *anyone* and found wanting, no matter how much he did want. Especially when Gunn began sliding his mouth down Wesley's flesh, a line of wet kisses down his spine, pausing each time to swirl his tongue against the skin, press his lips close, and move on.

Angel's own mouth was open, and his tongue moved in tiny swirls, echoing Gunn's movements. He had to catch himself to avoid making any sound; holding out probably meant not whimpering, as well as not touching. It didn't mean not getting so hard he was going to hurt, though, and he had a feeling that was good -- because Gunn was still working his way down Wesley's back, and he wasn't stopping.

Gunn pressed a kiss and a lick at the top of Wesley's buttocks, causing Wesley to gasp and drop his head forward. Angel locked his knees to avoid moving forward, himself. He stared, transfixed, as Gunn's tongue flicked out and ran down the line between Wesley's buttocks. He had to lock his jaw closed, as well, when Gunn pulled those buttocks apart.

Vampiric vision had its advantages -- or disadvantages, as the case might be. Even through the steam, Angel could see Gunn's tongue dart out as he pressed his mouth to Wesley's skin again. He could see the shudder that went through Wesley's entire body, as Gunn kiss-licked up one side of his cleft and down the other. Leisurely, never quite flicking his tongue close enough to the center. A torment Angel had both given and received, in his time, but standing here watching Wesley endure it, without getting to participate, was its own sort of agony.

Would it be cheating, if he closed his eyes? Wesley's eyes were closed; how could it not be fair for Angel to close his? But it was a stupid question -- even if it fell within the rules of the game, Angel wouldn't miss a minute of this for the world. He started to lean backwards against the tiled wall, just so he could stop sparing a braincell or two to keeping himself upright. But Wesley gave a sharp gasp, like his voice was strangled in his chest, and Angel shivered as though *he* were the one with his body spread wide.

For Gunn had pressed the tip of his tongue into Wesley's body, just for a second, before pulling away and placing deceptively gentle kisses along the underswell of his buttocks. Wesley panted, and Angel could hear the beginnings of a voiced request, or maybe just a moan in the back of Wesley's throat. Gunn seemed to hear it too, or maybe he was moving anyhow, back towards the edge of the opening. Angel had to scoot sideways quickly, so he could still see as Gunn turned his head a bit, to lick around and around, never quite penetrating again.

"Charles, please!" Wesley groaned, startling Angel. He'd have thought Wes couldn't speak -- but it was his own voice that was caught, and once Wesley had spoken he didn't seem able or willing to stop. "Please, please, do that again."

'Yes,' Angel echoed silently. 'Do that again, and again, and let me see every moment of it. Don't stop til he screams....' Angel once again had to force himself to stop clenching his fists.

"What, this?" Gunn rumbled, low, breathing across Wesley's ass, but not touching it. The voice was enough to make Angel's skin tingle where he stood; he could only imagine -- and watch -- what it was doing to Wesley. Warm breath. Warm water, rolling down in droplets from his hair, from his back, and raining down from above, slick on his skin.

Like statues in a fountain, Angel thought, looking at them both. Ivory and some warm, polished wood, too sunlit brown to be ebony. Except statues didn't move like that, didn't quiver and moan. He was the one who was frozen, breathless and unmoving.

Luckily for him, breathless was a natural state. Otherwise, he'd be fainted on the shower floor and he'd be missing this. He wasn't even sure Gunn and Wesley would notice if he fainted, what with the way Wesley was closed up into his body, eyes closed and moaning deep, soft in his throat and apparently unaware of everything except the tongue on his skin.

Gunn, too, seemed absorbed in his task -- the careful way he touched Wesley, as though he might ignite if he touched too hard, or too fast, or moved too far away. Gunn pressed his tongue in a spot that made Wesley gasp, and Angel tensed -- wanting to jerk forward and see which spot it was, touch it for himself. But he was frozen, and Wesley gasped again as though he were being killed infinitely slowly.

Angel wanted to beg Gunn to fuck him, but he couldn't speak. He also wasn't sure whether he meant fuck Wesley, or fuck Angel. Wasn't sure if one didn't mean the other, anyway. Wesley was doing enough speaking for the both of them, a constant low stream of please and Gunn and now, interspersed with nonsense sounds that were just as meaningful to someone who'd known and loved him for as long as Angel had. That one meant, 'Harder,' and that one, 'Faster,' and the little sigh that was almost sung, that meant 'Yes, just right.'

He seemed to be communicating well with Gunn; after a few moans, Wesley settled into one, long, panting expression of 'yes, just right'. Angel didn't blame him -- Gunn had Wesley spread wide -- pressed against the wall as though gravity was pulling him sideways -- and was pushing his tongue inside Wesley's body.

Angel wondered if he, himself, might die from the arousal. He'd turn to ash and be washed away, and the worst part was he'd die frustrated, because he couldn't move -- might not have even if Gunn turned around and told him to. Instead, he was only able to watch, wide eyed and grateful he needn't breathe, as Gunn's tongue entered Wesley again, and again, all in time to the delighted and urgent sounds coming from Wesley's throat.

Then Gunn pushed his way in and stayed there, and Wesley made a high-pitched gasp that nearly made Angel come. Later, he couldn't explain why he hadn't, unless he really *was* well-trained and knew he hadn't been told he was allowed. But what were the chances of that?

For whatever reason, Angel managed to stay still, holding sponge and soap and not moving a muscle while Gunn pushed Wes to extremes that, if Angel had been the one doing it, would have got him accused of being a bad, evil vampire. Then, without moving anything but his arm, without withdrawing from Wesley or making any sort of noise whatsoever, Gunn held out his hand.

This was an old game, really, though he'd never been specifically assigned to play towel boy before, and Angel knew without having to think about it, what Gunn was requesting. Certainly not a shower sponge. But he couldn't move, because he'd been told not to. Even though he *was*, now, being told to move, move exactly to where he'd been begging silently to go -- he couldn't move.

But Gunn moved his fingers, and Angel jolted in place; the sudden motion tearing him free from his inability to do anything but stare. He scrambled for the lube, water-proof lubricant they kept in the shower with the shampoo and soap and shaving cream. A pump-action bottle, one then two squirts and he was holding his hand out to Gunn, tiny mountain of lube ready, willing, and able. Angel wanted to ask if Gunn needed any help applying it, but dared not break his silence.

Gunn reached his hand back, but before Angel could transfer the contents of his palm, he found his wrist being grabbed.

If he couldn't move before, if he'd been the statue, then this sudden hot touch, warm human skin made warmer by the water, was enough to break whatever stone had encased Angel. He moved forward, pliant to the pulling of Gunn's arm, unsure what was happening, but not about to protest. Probably not able, if for some reason he'd been insane enough to want to.

Gunn took Angel's hand -- and wiped it onto Angel's erection. Mouth open with a silent gasp, Angel stared at him. Gunn smiled, a cocky smile that made Angel wonder if both of his lovers had been spending too much time with Spike. But he didn't want to think about Spike right now -- he wanted to think about Gunn, kneeling in the shower, guiding Angel towards their lover.

Galvanized, Angel quickly spread the lube over his erection, then moved his hand towards Wesley. He looked again at Gunn, who nodded his head, leaning back on his heels to watch. Slowly, not completely sure why he'd been allowed in, Angel placed his hand on Wesley's ass and heard his lover moan, and press back into his hand. He slipped one finger inside, and the groans sounded again.

Wesley had to know, didn't he? Difference in tempertaure, and, god knew, difference in size. Big hands, big fingers. He'd expressed his appreciation of them often enough when Angel was massaging his neck, or -- though only in those coded sounds of pleasure -- fisting his cock. But maybe not. The way he threw back his head when Angel moved his finger, then let it fall forward again -- maybe Wesley was too far gone to know *anything*. Or maybe he knew, and he didn't mind as long as someone was fucking him.

Or maybe he knew and he *wanted* it to be Angel. Or, Angel told himself, he was thinking about it too much and should listen to the way Wesley was moaning and whimpering, begging him to get on with it.

He moved up behind Wesley, positioning his cock right at the edge of Wesley's asshole, and glanced back at Gunn one more time. The impatient look he got in return was enough. All he needed, before he was sliding in and the tight, hot flesh was encasing him and he had to act fast to bite back a moan as loud as loud as Wesley's.

He damn well has to know *now*, Angel didn't really think. More of a brief senseless blip through his head before thought was useless and it became all *about* his senses. Soft moans. Sweet, clean scent of soap. Hot water pouring down over him, now, and hot flesh against him, surrounding him. *His* hands on Wesley now, feeling slick hot skin of stomach. Old scars, scars he remembered all too well, beneath his fingers.

He stood still, for a moment, just being there, where he'd been wanting to be since he steeped into the shower. Touching, touched. It took the soft tracing of a warm hand down his own back, to startle him from his stillness. He didn't have to look back, to know it was Gunn standing there. Closer than anyone except his lovers could have gotten without his being consciously aware, yet Gunn wasn't touching him anywhere except the one hand moving down his back.

He thought briefly of Gunn torturing him the way he'd tortured Wesley with slow, languid touches and kisses and-- and he shoved himself into Wesley, hard, at the thought. Wesley gasped, and Gunn traced his hand lower, and Angel had to fight to remain silent even though he didn't know why. The hand pushed at his hips, very slightly, barely a suggestion, but Angel took it. He thrust again, slower this time, feeling himself slide into Wesley's welcoming body.

The feeling of fingers on his own skin, the feeling of skin beneath his fingers... Wesley breathing, harsh and uneven. The scent, impossible to wash away fast enough even beneath the showerspray, of arousal. His own. Wesley. Gunn. It wasn't fair, he thought -- vampires weren't made to deal with this much input at once, to heightened senses, designed only for focusing on the chase, the capture. It made him lose what little control he still possessed, fingers sliding down Wesley's stomach, cock sliding in and out of his lover, and barely a brain cell left to figure out what Gunn was doing to *him*, besides something nice.

His own hand closed around hot, smooth flesh, painfully hard, the evidence of Wesley's torment having gone on just as long as his own, and Angel moved his hand in sympathy, or perhaps just in rhythm.

It was impossible to tell which of them came first, which sharp spasm triggered the next, but within seconds they were both wrapped in the spreading orgasm, pulling them apart and slamming them together with each wave of force. Angel shouted now, throat tight and lungs burning with long unneeded air, and beneath his own voice he heard Wesley's, rolling with long, undulating tones of need, and release.

He had to wrap his free arm around Wesley's chest, holding on to him to keep himself upright -- or perhaps to keep Wesley upright, or keep Wesley close. Some instinct he shoved away the need to analyze as soon as it tried to steal thought away from noticing the body pressed against him. Mortal hot, slick and wet from the shower, scent that Angel had connected deep in his brain to love and need and want -- he pulled his face closer to that body and took as much as he could take.

How long he stood like that, he wasn't sure. Later, when he was able to think again, he knew it couldn't have been very long, but while it was happening, it seemed to last forever. Until, finally, forever was brought to a halt by a warm hand on his shoulder, pulling at him, patient, but firm. "Hey towel boy..."

"Uh?" Angel looked over his shoulder to find Gunn standing there, smiling at him.

It was a very intriguing smile, and Angel reached for him, hand behind Gunn's neck to pull him close for a kiss without necessitating a break of contact with Wesley. Gunn took him in, kissing him deeply, passionately, and with an urgency that made Angel's brain kick in long enough to recall that only *two* of them had come. But Angel still didn't let go of his grip on Wesley's waist, nor move back enough to let his softening cock slip free. He wanted all of it, both of them, pulled inside him and part of his own skin.

Then Gunn bit gently at his lower lip. Then less gently. Angel opened his eyes, to see *that* look -- the one that said, 'I'm going to kick your ass from here to Pylea if you leave me hanging like this, you selfish bastard.' It was a very expressive look -- Gunn had been developing it for a long time. Angel supposed that, talent and graceful vampire as he was, he might manage to hand onto Wesley with only *one* hand. His right arm still encircling Wesley's waist, holding him close, Angel found Gunn's cock with the other. Not that it was difficult to find, since it made its presence known against his thigh as Gunn pressed closer.

Angel heard a chuckle from Wesley, though it sounded as if he were perfectly willing to lie down on the shower floor and watch from there. Angel held him more tightly, then held Gunn more tightly. He kissed Gunn, then turned his head and reached for Wesley.

"Someone needs another appendage," Wesley said, sounding greatly amused.

"I don't," Angel growled. "I just need you over here."

"How much closer can I get? You're still *inside* me."

"I want to kiss you." Angel reached for him again, and Wesley craned his head around. Still too far to reach.

"You stopped," Gunn was suddenly growling in Angel's ear, and Angel realized his hand was still.

He remedied that as best he could, but something just wasn't right, in the whole arrangement. Angel growled, louder than Gunn had. Unhappy vampire growl, which by itself had scared the life out of ...well, all right, not Wes or Gunn or Cordy or his idiot grandspawn or his idiot grandspawn's idiot husband, but at least *several* people, in his long career.

"Was that supposed to be a suggestion?" Wesley asked, amused.

"No. This is. You," he tugged on Gunn by the nearest available handle, "need to be over *there*." Angel pulled Wesley back, leaving a space for Gunn directly beneath the fountaining shower head. Gunn raised an eyebrow.

"Just whose date is this?"

"Consider this part of the service." Angel couldn't quite stop himself from continuing to growl, but by know they knew the difference between possessive, 'I'm in charge here' growl, and 'Vampire barely under control' growl. Gunn grinned and moved where he indicated, then looked at him again. Angel shook his head. "Now *you* kiss him, since I can't reach." He could still reach Gunn, and he could lower his mouth to the back of Wesley's neck, and press his teeth there. Lightly, not breaking the skin, just enough to make Wes squirm back against him.

This was *much* better. No losing Wesley, no Gunn interrupting him with remarks about being left hanging, and no Wesley and Gunn not being kissed. He went back to stroking Gunn's length, making sure he kept his grip not-too-tight, and the speed not too fast. Gunn had demonstrated a preference for slow torture, this evening, and Angel was happy to give it to him.

Angel concentrated on tasting Wesley's skin and feeling the rushing of the blood against his tongue when he pressed his mouth above Wesley's veins. He could hear Gunn moaning, muffled by Wesley's mouth. Angel continued what he was doing, careful not to rush -- and felt himself slowly growing hard again. He smiled.

Wes pushed back against him. Gunn followed, his mouth pressed to Wesley's, his hands reaching around Wes, holding him as close as Angel was. Resting lightly on Angel's arm, driving his cock not nearly so lightly into the tunnel of Angel's fist. The three of them in a circle of desire, of warm and wet and just absolutely right.

Angel wondered how any of them could have doubted this.


He could tell it was still night, when he woke up. No light anywhere in the room, no sound except Wesley breathing softly in his arms, and Angel...not breathing, behind him. Gunn blinked a bit, wondering what had awakened him, then shrugged, stretched a little, and settled his head against Wesley's shoulder again, closing his eyes.

Poke.

So that was it. Gunn frowned, but didn't move.

Poke. In the ribs. Light, but firm. When he still did nothing, it was followed by skittering fingers, tickling up his side.

Gunn freed one hand carefully, and grabbed those fingers. "What do you want, Angel," he whispered.

"Wanna cuddle Wes," came the sleepy grumble.

Angel might be able to see him grin in the dark, with vampire sight, but he couldn't see it with Gunn's back to him. "What, I'm not good enough?" He thought he managed a pretty good imitation of Wesley pretending to be insulted -- just the right amount of acting like he didn't really care, with the little sniff at the end that said otherwise.

"Want both," Angel growled, lower, almost awake. His hand slipped out from under Gunn's, and around his waist. Across him, so Angel's fingertips just brushed the inside of Wesley's arm, the one that wasn't resting on Gunn's hip.

Gunn could have moved from his spot in the middle, where, more often than not, Wes usually slept. Could have let Angel slip into the center and draw them both in to him. God knew they'd slept that way hundreds of times, and it was worth the occasional stiff neck from using Angel's arm as a pillow, instead of a real one. But doing so would mean waking Wesley up, shifting around. Waking everybody up, and yeah, that might mean they spent a little time enjoying each other's company before they fell back asleep, but...

But Wesley's head lay heavily on the pillow, his hair tumbled into his face, and Wesley's body was there, pressed against him, one leg entwined with Gunn's, and Wesley's breath was warm on his face. And Angel was right there behind him, for Gunn to lean back into, arm wrapped tightly around his waist, and it was all good. Too good to move.

"Tough," he whispered back without opening his eyes. "I called it."