Methods of Persuasion

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by templemarker

Notes: Spoilers for all of Angel Season Three, more specifically, the latter half. This was supposed to be angst. It started out that way, really. For Amy, to kill off the doldrums. Because she and my muse have a relationship that spurs me to keep writing. For Minim, beta extraordinaire. (She can make pancakes, too!) And for the Bitches. Do I need a reason?


“I thought I told you not to return.”

Weeks have passed; there was no sign of Lilah, and the isolation that was merely arduous at first has escalated into something much closer to anguish. Not that he can’t deal with it – much of his life prior to the past few years had been spent in a similar excommunication from his peers. There are well-honed reactions to being by oneself. He employs all of them.

Turning his back on the figure in the doorway, he returns to his cheap couch and uninteresting book. He muses that he should appear busy, though he rarely is. It isn’t really a lack of things to do; there is simply no motivation behind his actions. So much of the time that had passed was spent heavily drinking, avoiding daytime at all costs, and effectively shutting himself off from the world.

It works well. Wesley never sees his former coworkers, despite the fact that most of the bills are sent to Angel Investigations, under the care of Wesley Wyndam-Price, director. A rather vengeful part of him hopes that the office will go to hell without him. Of course, the drunkard in him berates the whiny five year old, reminding him to avoid dwelling on anything having to do with demonic investigations of any sort.

The fellow in the doorway uneasily enters the apartment, openly staring at the fine layer of dust that coats everything. I should say something, thinks Gunn.

Before he gets the chance, Wesley cocks his head towards Gunn without looking directly at him and asks, “What have you come for? Must I save you people again?”

Gunn flinches. He isn’t sure if it is the tone Wesley used, or the words that hit harder. He shouldn’t have come. But Fred – he’d do anything for Fred, and when your title champion doesn’t show up for weeks, not to mention that champion’s seer doing a disappearing act of her own – well, it is in his best interests to get Wesley back into the office.

So he came, even though he didn’t want to. Even though he sides with Angel in the matter, even though he hasn’t been in contact with Wesley for a really, really long time. Now he’s here – what is he supposed to do again?

“Angel’s missing.”

There’s a small snort from Wesley’s general direction, one that makes Gunn form a frown that covers his entire face. He goes into this off-putting grimace that screams, “Fuck off.” Wesley loves that look. It means that he gets to Gunn at least a fraction of how much Gunn gets to him. Meets brown eyes, and he can feel his resolve slip away just a little. How many times has he seen that look? Whenever Gunn doesn’t understand what Wesley is saying; whenever they play darts and Wesley lets Gunn win. Sometimes Wesley thinks he knows Gunn’s face better than his own.

Gunn runs a hand over his newly-shaven head before sighing and sitting opposite Wesley, sinking into the deep chair. “Look. About a month ago, Lorne and Groo left. Then Cordy and Angel disappeared, and we haven’t heard from either of them. Connor never showed back up at the hotel, and I’ve been camping out there with Fred. We’re trying to run the detective agency, but there’s no Angel, no Vision Girl, and no Boss Guy. Plus Cordy’s filing system is impossible. We’re drowning, man. We can’t keep up the caseload and search for Angel and Cordelia on our own. We need you back. Even after all the shit that went down, we need you back. You’re the guy that kept us together, Wes. You gotta come back and-”

“Fix it all?” Wesley snaps out.

The eyes opposite him close for a moment, as if Gunn is trying to reclaim his control. Wesley almost wants to bait him, force him to lose that tightly gripped power. What would Gunn be like without it? he wonders.

Wesley turns his head to reach for something behind the couch, and Gunn’s sight catches on the reddened scar that trails jaggedly up his former boss’s throat. Of their own volition his fingers move, drawn to Wesley’s slow-healing scar and trail it up and down. Wesley stills, seems shocked by the touch. Gunn would be as well, if images of finding Wesley prone behind thick brush outside the apartment building didn’t flash into his mind. He remembers his horror, his inability to move, and Fred tugging on his arm, telling him to call an ambulance. There was blood, and another image of bleeding, hole-ridden Wesley was overlain on the unmoving form below him. When Gunn shakes himself back into reality, he lets the pad of his thumb run over the angry line and lets out the breath he didn’t realize he had been holding.

As the fingers still, intense eyes roam over the faint bruises that mar Wes’s normally pale face. Seems that extensive drinking often leads to idiotic bar fights for no reason save the overwhelming desire to take out his anger through punching another man unconscious. Often it works, but he tends to get a bruise or two for his trouble. Suddenly realizing that the frustratingly welcome fingers still haven’t moved, Wesley reaches a tentative hand upwards and brushes them away. Rather than being pulled back to their owner, the fingers move to a comfortable spot above his hip. Wesley finds it difficult to breathe. Again.

Wesley suddenly regrets the defiance of his own visionary limitations. Because a blurry, dark form takes shape in front of his half-lidded eyes, and he desperately wants to focus, to make sure this is happening. Of course, instead of reaching for his glasses, he whispers, “What are you doing?”

Gunn’s face curves into a smile, something Wesley had never realized he so dearly missed. “Thought I was gonna kiss you, English.” Wesley sucks in a breath. “Oh.”

And of course, he blathers onwards.

“What about Fred?”

God, he is a stupid fool.

“She knows. You can only have so many pancake kisses before your girlfriend realizes there’s more bothering you than just the fact that your resident vampire has gone missing.”

The first kiss is tentative, on both sides. Initiated by Gunn, but spurred on by Wesley. Oh, he needs this. He always had, but it was never expressed. Perhaps his attention was mildly diverted by Fred, but he knows that it was really more jealousy than attraction. Of course, these thoughts aren’t at all coherent as Gunn begins exploring Wesley’s mouth with his tongue.

How unreal, he thinks, to be sitting opposite of each other with only ghostly fingertips and insistent mouth for contact. Wesley wills the years to slip away – he wants to be a teenager again, to forget the pain and hurt and fear and concentrate solely on the beautiful man whose entire attention is focused on him. Oh, he’d never been this young. Hesitantly, he brings a slightly shaking hand up to cup Gunn’s face, relieved as a small hiss escapes Gunn’s mouth at the minor contact.

He lets his thumb move across the soft skin on the underside of Gunn’s jaw, soft circles that send Gunn into bliss. They fall into touch, Wesley stroking upwards on Gunn’s scalp and Gunn tracing the far too angular planes of Wesley’s face. Sight is lost, and they blindly reach for each other, wanting to be closer than simple, clumsy contact. Gunn hauls Wesley over the coffee table and into his lap, and there is suddenly warm, pressing Wesley-weight that almost makes him come right then and there. Stupid, Gunn thinks. We were so fucking stupid.

A dark hand slips through Wesley’s loosely buttoned shirt, and Gunn watches as Wesley stops breathing. “Air, English,” he whispers, and is rewarded with a swift intake of breath that makes his chest rise and fall in such an intriguing manner. Gunn’s hands find the bullet wound scar as if magnetized to it, and his thumb runs over the small circle again and again, memorizing it. That was the first time, Gunn thinks. The first time I wanted him. When I knew he’d give his life for mine.

There are too many clothes here. With his other hand, Gunn begins to unbutton Wesley’s shirt until a pale hand stills him. He looks up expectantly, only to meet a searching mouth that diverts all his attention from the task at hand. Gunn feels desperation in the kiss, pain, anger, and a profound hurt he knows he can never heal. In the meantime, he’ll just try to kiss Wesley senseless.

But then his attention is diverted again – this time by hardening cock poking at his thigh, and Gunn slowly moves Wesley to his back. Wesley is panting, hard, and Gunn thinks he has never seen anything more beautiful than this man. His shirt is pulled apart, exposing too-thin chest and an abundance of scars, his hair is mussed just so, and his mouth is almost the same color as the scar that tore them apart.

“Have you ever done this before?” Wesley wills his voice to stop shaking.

Gunn smiles into his stomach, and Wesley dearly wishes he could get lost in that gaze. “No one I ever wanted to do it for, before now, English.”

Breathing is overrated, thinks Wesley.

The hands that exist to drive him crazy thumb open the button at the top of his jeans. Wesley watches, entranced, as the zipper slowly comes down – he feels a tremor go through his body as each tooth gives way. There is a tug as Gun pulls the denim over his boxers, past his knees and beyond his bare feet to lie crumpled on the floor. He might have asked Gunn to fold them, as the wrinkles were really quite difficult to remove, but then that errant thumb seems to ruin any and all cognitive processes with its slow, smooth strokes on his groin through the fabric.

Wesley opens the eyes he hadn’t realized he’d squeezed shut to see an enraptured look on Gunn’s face; he seems content to stare, running reverent fingers over the tent in Wesley’s boxers with a smile of … happiness. Wesley had seen it often, but never directed at him. Any part of him. Let alone the aching cock that stretches his cotton boxers to their very limit, still straining to be free.

The touch is so faint, so light, that Wesley reacts mentally, imagining more than is actually there and amplifying his senses to their maximum. Each gentle contact becomes a shuddering agony, and when he smells the scent of himself on the finger Gunn lines his face with, he desperately wants to shed that last vestige of control that is holding him back.

Gunn pries Wesley’s mouth open, letting a finger slip in and become coated with saliva. “Breathe, Wes,” he says softly. Everything about Gunn is soft all of a sudden, his shallow breaths, his touch, his voice. Wesley vaguely hopes that there is at least one part of him that is not soft.

The laughter that is behind the words and the eyes is soft, too, and when Wesley can’t stand it anymore and bucks his hips up to meet steady hand, that laughter comes chuckling out. “Careful, Wes, don’t want to take all the fun out of it.”

Wesley just nods; he’d nod at anything Gunn said at this point, and yes – there went the control Wesley had been hording. He dares the reproving part of his mind to take a look at the beautiful man kneeling before him and give any attempt to remain in control.

The saliva coated finger slips inside Wesley’s boxers just as he tells his mind to bugger off, thanks, he is rather looking forward to getting laid with someone he likes for once. Wesley tries to remember to take care of that breathing thing Gunn had talked about as Gunn lets the finger run up and down the underside of Wesley’s cock. Gunn unbuttons the boxers and out the cock springs, hard and aching, pulsing in time with Wesley’s heartbeat and Gunn’s breathing.

“Beautiful,” Gunn whispers, the reverence back, if it had ever left. “You’re so damn beautiful. Almost hurts to look at you sometimes, when you’ve got that anger in your eyes, or the pain. You blind me sometimes, Wes. But I never look away.”

Gunn just keeps on tracing Wesley’s cock, as if mapping it, memorizing him and the moment and everything important about Wesley – which, at the moment, is mainly Gunn. But Wesley can’t seem to say the words.

Gunn’s been avoiding the tip, and Wesley is sure there’s a pulse point there, to match the pounding in his ears. His cock is dripping, making even darker blue spots on Wesley’s boxers. Gunn meets Wesley’s eyes for a moment, opening his mouth as if to say something, but instead he encompasses the head of Wesley’s cock in one swift motion. Wesley almost screams, but it transforms into an opened mouth with wide, unseeing eyes.

And then the moist vacuum of mouth is gone, and Wesley’s shaking, and Gunn is running fingers up and down jittery limbs. “I’m not done yet,” says Gunn, and Wesley feels himself being sucked wholly into the place he so desires to be. He struggles to thrust, but Gunn’s strong hands have found purchase on Wesley’s hips and lock him down into the couch. He can’t move, doesn’t want to move.

He comes, obliterating all thoughts and feelings and anger and pain for that terrible moment when the world slips away. Wesley can’t even form Gunn’s name, can’t think it, and oh how he wishes this were all real.

Wesley is finished. He sags into the couch, and if he were paying attention he might notice Gunn fixing his boxers and pulling himself up to Wesley’s chest. But he still feels blinded by it all, and he doesn’t find the will to protest when Gunn scoops him up and tucks him in his rumpled bed. Gunn crawls in next to him, fits their bodies together, and Wesley knows that now, of course, is the time for that blessed unconsciousness.

Before it claims him, Wesley thinks that if there were gods, he would thank them for the purgatory this so obviously is.


“This doesn’t change anything.”

The words almost fall on deaf ears. Or at least still-sleepy ones. Wary brown eyes peer up at Wesley, and he looks away. Gun rubs his eyes with the hand that wasn’t pinned beneath the talking idiot next to him and gives an exasperated sigh.

“The hell it don’t.”

Wesley reaches for his glasses on the bedside table, but Gunn stops him, pulls Wesley’s head back to face him. “It changes everything, Wes.”

“No, it really doesn’t. What am I to do now? You’ll go back to the hotel, to Fred, and try to create some sort of normal life-”

“Bullshit,” Gunn interrupts. “You see me leaving? And when I do, I’ll be dragging your bitching ass back to work with me. I’m not leaving without you, English, and you’re gonna have to deal.”

Weary eyes looks at Gunn seriously. “Charles-”

“That’s my name.”

A sigh. “If we find Angel, or if Angel returns-”

“Then we’ll deal with him when he finally gets his ass back in the office. Where you’ll be. In the office.”

A shadow of a smile flickers over Wesley’s face, something that thrills Gunn more than anything else has since he’s stepped foot in Wesley’s apartment. “Are you going to interrupt me all day?”

“Nah. Only when you’re on the road to saying something stupid.” Gunn grins up at him, and gets a very small, controlled smile in return. It is enough. For now.

“We aren’t going to do breakfast in bed, are we?” Wesley asks cautiously. “I just put new sheets on the bed, though I suppose it doesn’t really matter now,” he continues, with eyes sliding lower on Gunn’s body. Gunn feels it is time to take a deep breath, especially considering the small tent his erection-from-Wesley’s-look is making in the bed sheets.

“Did you come here for this?” Of course Wesley would ask him a question when Gunn just wants to get laid. With Wesley. Again.

He grunts in frustration. “Nope. Came here to get you to come back. Sucking you off was just a bonus. Not my fault you look damn sexy without your glasses on. Ever hear of contacts?”


“And you know what else? I think I’m going to hide your razor. The scruffy, wounded thing is a really good look for you. Except minus the wounded. That we’re going to fix.”

“You interrupted me again.”

Gunn gives him a leery grin. “I know.”

“That’s not particularly nice. Downright rude, in fact.”

“So sue me,” Gunn says with a shrug.

“I’d rather planned on doing something else,” Wesley says, pulling back the sheet and exposing Gunn’s erection to cool air.

“Oh – oh really? Like, um, what?”

“Oh, I don’t know. A bit of this-” one long lick up Gunn’s cock “-a bit of that,” air blowing on Gunn’s balls.

“Okay,” Gunn said shakily. “But English?”

Busy head pops up. “Yes?”

“Are you coming back?”

There is a long pause as Wesley thinks of the past evening, how Gunn looked at him in that way, coming in Gunn’s arms, waking up next to a warm, welcoming body in the morning. He compares it to the now-cold tea and bottle of whiskey that was previously going to be his entertainment for the evening.


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