“Yes alright. Absolutely. Thank you very much. I will. Yes, goodbye.” Wesley put the phone down smiling. “Cheque’s in the mail.”
Gunn gave him a thumbs up from his seat on the couch and Fred smiled. Lorne just grunted. Wesley turned to the stairs. “When do you think they’re going to come down?”
Gunn smirked. “Uh, that’s a tough one Wes. Let me think…never?”
Fred giggled. “Come on Wes, they’ve been through hell for the past few days. It’s only natural that they want to catch up on lost time.”
“What I saw down there didn’t look like lost time.” Wesley grumbled, colouring slightly.
Gunn grinned and put down his gameboy. “You know you enjoyed it.”
Wesley’s head shot up and he narrowed his eyes at Gunn, the blush now glaringly evident on his face. “I most certainly did not!” he sputtered.
Gunn’s grin widened. “Really? I dunno English…you’ve always had a thing for Cordy…”
Lorne snorted. “Oh and you haven’t?”
Gunn glanced over at him. “W…what?”
Lorne rolled his eyes and gave Fred a knowing look. She smiled. Wesley looked relieved to be out of the spotlight and Gunn just looked in shock at the implication. “I don’t have a thing for Cordy!”
“Uh huh, you keep telling yourself that sugarplum.”
“I believe you.”
“I do not have a thing for her! If anyone has a thing for her it’s you!” Lorne’s eyes widened and he looked at Gunn who was pointing an accusing finger. Wesley looked slightly disgusted.
“What are you talking about?”
“Yeah, yeah, skip the innocent look, aura boy. What’s with all the name callin’ huh? Cordelicious and brown eyes and kitten and sugarplum and all those other things you call her!”
“They’re just nicknames!”
“Uh huh. Sure, you keep tellin’ yourself that Lorne.”
“Hey! That’s my line!”
“Guys…” Fred tried to cut in.
“I believe he has a point Gunn.” Wesley interrupted. “Those are just nicknames. Lorne calls me sugarplum.”
Gunn made a face. “Yeah, I don’t even wanna know what’s goin’ on there.”
“Christ Gunn, must you make everything sound dirty?”
“At least I don’t make everything sound British!”
“What the bloody hell is wrong with sounding British?”
“Nothing. If you’ve got a giant stick up your ass.”
“Guys, stop!” Fred tried once again to intercede but failed miserably.
“Don’t you listen to him sugarplum, I adore your accent.” Lorne smiled at Wes.
“Oh, I’m sure you do.” Gunn muttered. Lorne cut him a sharp glance.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“You’re just jealous.” Wes mumbled. But Gunn heard.
“Of what exactly?”
“Cos he kissed Cordelicious in high school and you didn’t.”
Gunn looked at Lorne incredulously. “You call that a kiss? From what Cordy says, he kissed like a fish and drooled on her chin.”
“I don’t…” Wes started.
“And there you go callin’ her Cordelicious again!” Gunn shouted. “What’s up with that, huh?”
“I’ll call her what I like, pimple.”
“Guys, please…” Fred was beginning to feel invisible.
“I’m getting a headache.” Wesley massaged his temples. Gunn turned to face him.
“There you go using that I am superior tone again!”
“I wasn’t…Gunn, stop being an arse.”
“I ain’t the one being an ass, English. Go look in the mirror.”
“You piss off.”
“Oh, that was mature.” Lorne smirked.
“You know Lorne, your little names do tend to get slightly tedious once in a while.” Wesley said. Lorne’s jaw dropped in outrage.
“I was on your side, fish lips!”
Wesley’s mouth opened and closed in shock several times. Gunn snorted. “See? He even looks like a fish.”
Lorne grinned. “And somehow he’s the only one who got to kiss her.”
Gunn glanced over. “Didn’t you once refer to Cordelia as hot-o-rama?” Lorne’s eyebrows shot up and he gulped. Gunn smirked.
Wesley glared at him. “Gunn, just yesterday you were saying that if she threatened you with sexual assault, you wouldn’t refuse!”
“And you’re always flirting.” Lorne added.
“I am not!” Gunn shouted loudly. Fred tried to interrupt again.
“Come on guys…”
“Yes you are.”
“I do not flirt with Cordelia!”
“Oh Gunn, please! What with the tickling and the teasing and the laughing…”
“Oh right, cos laughing with your friends is a sure sign of flirting.” Gunn said sarcastically. “At least I don’t stick my axe into walls.”
Wesley glowered. “Probably because it isn’t big enough to make any impact!”
Gunn’s jaw dropped. “Ah, hello? Gunn’s axe? This is Wesley. You’re black!” Sarcasm dripped from his tone.
“That’s surprisingly logical.” Lorne added.
“Shut up!” Wes and Gunn yelled at the same time.
“Wanker.” Wes said.
“Stop bloody calling me that!”
“No. Ass pansy.”
“GUYS!” Fred screamed. Her voice echoed around the Hyperion, walls literally shaking with the assault. The three men winced. Women didn’t need muscle. They had a much better weapon. One hell of a powerful set of lungs.
“Stop it! You know what I think? I think you’re all a little bit in love with her!”
Three pairs of eyes looked at her, wide and shocked. Fred sucked in a breath and gave them a sympathetic look as their faces fell and the truth hit them full force. “Hell, even I’m a little bit in love with her.” She shrugged.
Wesley lowered his gaze and fiddled with his glasses, taking them off and cleaning them. Gunn slumped down on the sofa, defeated and disbelieving. Lorne picked up his seabreeze and downed it. Fred looked at the three of them, as realisation and acceptance dawned on their faces. Gunn let out a breath.
“You can say that again.” Wesley said.
“I don’t…I don’t know what to say.” Lorne chimed in.
Fred’s mouth pulled into a frown. “Guys, come on. You’re not ‘in love’ in love with her. Just a little bit. And that’s okay. Because from the time I’ve spent with Cordelia…she’s easy to fall in love with. She’s beautiful, she’s caring, she’s strong, she’ has the ability to light up a room…she’s got one of the most wonderful hearts of anyone I know.” Fred sighed. “She’s Cordy.”
Gunn rested his head against the back of the couch, breathing hard. Then he looked over at Wesley.
“I’m sorry for calling you British.”
Wesley gave him a look.
“I mean…I mean, I’m sorry for sayin’ what I said. I didn’t mean it.”
Lorne held up his hand. “And I’m sorry for the fish lips comment.”
Despite himself, Wesley smiled. “Yes well, I’m sorry for suddenly turning on you.” Then he turned to Gunn. “And I’m sorry for implying that you had…a small…axe.”
Gunn shrugged. “No problem. I know I don’t. And uh…sorry about the gay thing.” Wesley and Lorne jerked their heads towards him. “I mean, I don’t think you’re gay. It’s just…sugarplum is a bit…”
“Disconcerting?” Wesley supplied.
“Hey!” Lorne cried.
“I was gonna say freaky, but that’ll do.” Gunn smiled affectionately at his friend. “I’ve outdone you again, haven’t I?”
“Yes.” Wesley grinned.
“Who’s Gunn done?” Cordelia’s voice drifted down the stairs. Four heads swivelled in her direction. Lorne panicked.
“Uh, Brown eyes, how long have you been standing there?”
Cordelia shrugged. “I just came down. So, who’s Gunn doing? Done, whatever.”
Wesley cleared his throat. “No one. He said ‘outdone’, not done.”
“Oh. And here I was thinking you actually had a sex life.” Cordelia winked at Gunn, her face lighting up in a smile. Gunn felt something inside him pull a little but he ignored it. Instead, he gave her the finger. Fred gasped.
“Sorry, sorry.” Gunn muttered, ducking his head at the disapproving look she sent his way.
Wesley sighed, taking a seat. “Where’s Angel?”
“Taking a shower.” Cordelia answered, without looking up from the files she was putting away. “Why?”
“No reason. Just wondering.” Long pause. “You didn’t happen to have a vision, did you?”
This time Cordelia did look up. “No. Why?”
“No reason. Just…”
“Christ! What?” He jumped when she yelled.
Cordelia raised an eyebrow. “What’s up?”
“He’s bored.” Gunn answered for his friend. “We all are. No cases, no visions, no demons who need an ass kicking. Nuthin’.”
Cordelia rolled her eyes. “Be grateful.”
“I ain’t. I wanna use my new axe.”
Everyone groaned at that. Gunn simply smiled sweetly and went back to playing his gameboy. A few moments later, Angel came down the stairs. He slapped Cordelia’s butt as he went past her and she squeaked, throwing a pen at him. Lorne rolled his eyes.
“What’s up Wes? What’s the plan? What’s the…”
“Nothing Angel. There’s nothing to do other than sit around and mope about the fact that there’s nothing to do. The demons and evil beings of LA seem to have gone into hibernation for today.”
Angel frowned. “Oh.”
“Oh, come on!” Cordelia threw her hands up and walked over, grabbing Angel’s arm. “A day to relax and you people are complaining? Why don’t we go do something fun? Like the movies? Or a walk…” She looked at the sunlight streaming in through the doors of the Hyperion, “…in the sewers.”
Wesley grimaced and Angel looked down guiltily. Cordelia squeezed his hand and smiled reassuringly. She turned to Fred.
Fred looked up. “Um, well…I’m kinda working on this thing…” Cordelia followed Fred’s finger down to a strange device that looked like something between a toaster and a slingshot. She frowned.
“So, that would be a no?”
“No, I have a date with Lara.”
Gunn held up his gameboy. “Croft.”
“No thank you. I should probably get researching on that new tome that I want to buy. Not particularly keen on the sewers anyway.”
“I’m drinking myself into depression, sweetie. Can’t be interrupted.”
Cordelia grimaced at the four of them and then rolled her eyes again. She pulled Angel towards the basement door. “Well, we’ll be back in a bit. You losers enjoy your sad, pathetic little lives, kay?”
Cordelia glared and then dragged Angel through the basement door, slamming it after her.
Wesley sat in his office, table hidden underneath dozens of large books that had permanently taken residence there. His temples throbbed and papers were scattered messily around the room, giving him a further headache at the idea of having to clear them up.
He removed his glasses and cleaned them, throwing them onto the table and rubbing his forehead with his hand. He heard footsteps outside his door but paid no attention to them. The footsteps seemed to get closer though, and soon they were right outside his door. Then they stopped. Wesley looked up.
The door opened and Wesley was able to see a blur of exquisite redness. He grabbed his glasses from the table and put them on in order to see more clearly. A woman stood in his doorway. A woman with short brown hair that had been pulled into an elegant clip at the back of her head. Diamond earrings dangled from her ears, a matching choker around the sleek column of her throat.
Her dress was a deep red and sleeveless, the neckline plunging to entice him with a glimpse of breast, leaving the rest to his imagination. The slit at the bottom of the gown came up to her thigh, revealing more delectable skin, creamy and smooth in appearance. She smiled discreetly, the corners of her mouth quirking up slightly.
“Cordelia?” Wesley asked, shock preventing him from speaking earlier.
The woman sauntered up to him, hips swaying slowly, captivatingly. Wesley found his eyes drawn to them, then down her long, long legs to the very heel of her foot, contained in strappy red sandals. He glanced up at her and she bent down, neckline plummeting dangerously low as she spoke to him, warm breath on his face.
“What are you doing here? I thought you went with Angel…”
“Are you busy?” she interrupted him.
“Because, I was hoping you and I could spend some quality time together.” She winked at him, hand running slowly down his chest. Wesley shivered. She gently took hold of the lapels of his shirt and jerked him up till he was inches from her face.
“Kiss me.” She repeated.
“I want you to kiss me, Wesley. You were always a great kisser.”
Wesley blinked at that, unsure as to whether he had just imagined it or whether she was being sarcastic. But there was no sarcasm in her voice, or in her eyes. Just lust. He gulped.
“Do you not want to kiss me?” She raised a threatening eyebrow.
“Well…I…of course, but…”
She silenced him, quickly placing her lips on his and ravaging his mouth, not giving him a chance to protest. And Wesley found he didn’t want to. His arms went around her and he kissed her back, moaning at the taste of her, at the delicious smell of her and the sensations of having her so close, so intimately.
She turned them so that she was pressed between him and the side of the desk. His hands ran up and down her arms, clumsily, but she didn’t seem to mind. Instead, she grabbed a hand and placed it on her left breast. Wesley jerked away but she kept him close, lips greedily devouring him. The she pulled away and he moaned at the loss.
“Are these books important?” She asked, pointing to the litter on his desk. Wesley swallowed. Those were tomes, centuries old and worth millions of dollars, beautifully preserved and stocked full with valuable information on demons and prophecies and the forces of good and evil.
“No.” He answered.
“Good.” She placed both hands on one edge and then abruptly moved them along the surface of the desk, pushing books forcefully off the table as her hands ran under them. Wesley winced at every thud that sounded as a book met with the hard ground but when Cordelia turned around and planted herself on the desk, pulling him over her and kissing him again, all thoughts of books and their apparent importance flew out of his head. She jerked up his shirt, pulling it over his head, hands roaming his chest. His own hand slid down the strap on one side of her dress, exposing soft, bronze skin.
She unbuckled his trousers, pulling the belt out of the loop and yanking the zipper down. Wesley squeaked into her mouth as he felt her grab the top of his boxers and jerk those down too. He was hard as a rock, and visibly so.
Suddenly, Cordelia pulled away, breathing heavily, chest pushing up slightly against his so that he gave her room to lean up on her elbows. Wesley stared at her, curious as to why she had stopped her delightful assault. She opened her mouth to speak, smirking.
“I know what you’re thinking.”
Wesley jerked his head up, snapping out of his daydream, coffee spilling onto his table. He looked down at the tome he had fallen asleep on and then up at his door. It was wide open. Through it, he could see Fred practicing with her newest weaponry device, crouching on the floor and peeking at it from over her glasses.
He glanced around. No sign of the lady in red.
Wesley gulped, leaning back in his chair, sipping his coffee. He felt slightly guilty after looking at Fred. His feelings for her were still fresh and painful and unclear. And of course, Cordelia belonged to and with somebody else.
Somebody else who just happened to be one of his best friends. He let out a heavy breath, shuddering at the memory of her touch.
He’d always considered Cordelia his best friend, a sister almost, but he’d be lying to himself if he said he wasn’t attracted to her. She was the most beautiful woman he knew. And not just because she was gorgeous.
But to be having this kind of dream about her…He gulped again, breathing heavily and raising a hand to his sweaty forehead.
“Well, that was surreal.”