Flux

Wesley opened his eyes, and found everything white and fuzzy. The grogginess he felt, and the smell of disinfectant told him he was in hospital. It took him a moment to be grateful - but then, his stomach still hurt like a bitch. He realised someone was looming over him, and he tried to focus.

"Don't you *ever* do that again." Gunn paused. "Are you awake?"

"I think so," he managed. His throat was dry, and talking made his stomach muscles move. Someone ought to fetch a nurse to bring him something for it. Aspirin, or Percocette. Morphine. Hammer to the head?

"Don't *ever* do that again," Gunn repeated. Wesley had to peer at him, wondering if Gunn looked as angry as he sounded. He was still trying to form a reply, when Gunn continued. "Man, you are just *lucky* we had three spell-whosits in the room to grab your ass and haul you back and patch you up."

This was patched up? Wesley considered the state of his stomach. If this was what 'patched up' felt like, he wondered what it would have felt like, otherwise.

His confusion must have shown, because Gunn said with a remarkable lack of sympathy, "Yeah, hurts, don't it?" But then his voice softened a little. "They couldn't fix it all the way. They-" He stopped, and Wesley wished again that he could see clearly, see the expression on his friend's face. Then suddenly he didn't have to see. "Man, you *died*. You don't get to do that anymore, you hear me?"

"I'm sorry," he whispered. He'd never heard Gunn's voice break like that. Really didn't want to hear it again.

Gunn reached over, but Wesley didn't feel a touch. He saw Gunn's hand move away, then he repeated, "You don't do that again."

Wesley nodded, then he could suddenly see Gunn's face quite clearly. Because the man was leaning over, leaning towards him...and placing a kiss on his lips. Light, somewhat reminiscent of his mother's kisses from childhood. Absolutely nothing in it except the shock of being kissed. And the way his mouth lifted, then returned for a brief moment.

"My turn!"

Wesley turned his head and found Cordelia standing on the other side of his hospital bed. He blinked, wondering if he were simply not awake enough to be embarrassed, and listened as she began.

"You do not get to get killed, Wesley. It's in your employee handbook. No dying. No getting skewered, and no pansy-ass apologising for getting hurt and blowing up demons, anyway." She sounded angrier than Gunn had been, or perhaps her voice was just sharper. Wesley wondered if her eyes were red, or if the hitch in her voice was just from screaming at demons during the fight.

When she paused, for breath or his reply, he said, "Yes, Cordelia."

He felt a light hit on his arm. "Don't forget it."

Then he was shocked all over again, though this time he at least had the experience of her kissing him. Nothing like the first two, no will-he-won't-he, no please get this thing out of my skull. Just...a kiss. Light and friendly and a little bit lingering. When she pulled away, she stopped just inside his range of clear vision. Her eyes were red.

"You die, and I will haunt you for the rest of your unlife."

He was trying to figure out how that worked, when he heard Gunn saying, "Get up here."

Wesley looked over, and found Angel standing at the foot of the bed. Gunn walked over and grabbed his arm, dragged him up to stand where Gunn had been. Angel seemed nervous and worried. Trying to hide both, as usual.

Angel tried to say something, once, then twice, then Gunn must have whapped him in the back. Angel glanced at him, probably glaring. Wesley hid his smile by the time he looked back.

"Um, what they said," he finally managed. Wesley started to laugh, then Angel leaned over.

Wesley was beginning to think he hadn't really woken up. Angel's kiss was slightly firmer than the others. Lips closed, but pressed harder against his own. When Angel leaned away, Wesley caught sight of an expression in Angel's eyes that made Wesley want to pull him back for another.

He looked from one to another of his friends, wondering if he should ask them what exactly was going on - part of the spell to restore him, perhaps? Three kisses and some burning lavender, and all will be well? He closed his eyes to rest a moment, and felt himself slipping back to sleep. He'd ask them next time.

As he faded into sleep, he felt the light brush of lips against his own, again. And he couldn't decide who it was.