Disclaimer: The following work of fan fiction is not intended to infringe on any copyright or to make a profit. Angel:TS belongs to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and other Powers That Be, and I'm not stating, implying, or even hinting that I might conceivably own them; if I did own them, I might have enough money to make it worthwhile to sue me for writing about them, but then the point would be moot. In regard to this story, please don't copy, post, distribute, or sue without the express permission of the author.

Ratings/Warnings/etc.: G, slash, Wesley/Gunn

Author's notes: Written for the Wesley Ficathon; requirements included Wes/Gunn and formalwear/James Bond-y type situations.

BLACK TIE OPTIONAL
by Katie


Gunn was having a relaxing moment cleaning his axe when Cordelia came into the office, bearing two plastic garment bags that she hung over the door before turning to Gunn and Wes and crossing her arms over her chest.    

"You will not, and I emphasize the 'I know where you live' definition of not, do anything to tear, destroy, or slimefy these suits, do you understand me?"

Cordelia's voice was as steely as her glare, and Gunn found himself nodding automatically.  He felt slightly less like a tool when he saw out of the corner of his eye that Wes was nodding too, just as whipped as Gunn.  

"I had to put down a security deposit for these," Cordelia continued grimly.  "Money I intend to use at the Saks sale next week, so I *will* be getting it back."

"We'll keep them safe," Wes promised.  "We'll even try to keep from getting ourselves killed."

Gunn caught the amusement in his voice, but Cordelia didn't seem to notice.

"You'd better not.  Blood hardly ever comes out.  Now go try those on so I can see if they fit."  She took down the first bag and looked at the tag.  "Wesley, this is yours.  Classic four-button, notch lapel, and I got you a paisley vest because, you know, British."

"I hadn't realized we'd cornered the market," Wes murmured.  Gunn snorted.  

Cordelia ignored them.  "And Gunn, I went a little more hip for you.  Neru collar, but I went with a herringbone vest to up the snootiness quotient so you'd fit in with the blue bloods.  Well, what are you waiting for?"

Gunn wasn't sure he wanted to know what neru was, although he'd already decided that if it involved flowers or beads, he wasn't wearing it.  Not that most eveningwear did go the hippie route, but highbrow fashion was pretty damn strange, and so was Cordelia's taste in clothes.  With a resigned sigh, Gunn took the tux and went into the back room, Wes behind him.  

"Um," Gunn said, searching frantically for a way to say it without giving anything away.  "You want to go first?  'Cause I can wait out there."

Wes gave him an odd look.  "We're a bit short on time, Charles.  Is there a problem?"

Other than the fact that Wes in boxers did nothing for Gunn's equilibrium and a whole lot for his libido?  But he couldn't exactly explain that to Wes, so he just sighed and shook his head.  

"Knock yourself out, man."  Resolutely, Gunn turned his back and started to undress, *not* listening to the sound of Wes's zipper going down.  Not thinking about Wes mostly naked, his body lithe and strong, muscles shifting as he pulled up the black pants and fastened them around his waist.  Not imagining the silken feel of that pale skin, the ridge of the scar that still burned a dark, fierce red.

Gunn forced himself to breathe.  If he intended to hide his attraction from Wes, passing out while he was throwing a boner probably wasn't the way to go.  Gunn forced himself to picture Wes's reaction.  He'd seen Wes's disapproval when they ran into members of Gunn's old gang.  It wouldn't be much different, he imagined, if he told Wes he was attracted.  He could see it in his mind's eye: the stiffly polite withdrawal as Wes tried to stammer his way through a gentle letdown, because proper British gentlemen, even if they *were* gay, wouldn't stoop to consort with L.A. street trash.  All in all, Gunn would rather dig his own eye out with a hot poker.

"You really think we're going to find this Kurdish ruby thing at L.A.'s richest men's club?" he asked, more to distract himself than because he thought he'd get a different answer from the last twelve times they'd been over it.  "I've heard the stories, man.  The only jewels they're interested are the family kind, if you know what I mean."

"Khooardiss Rhubisa," Wes said, his voice muffled.  "As I said before, it gains power from human energy of the, um, sexual variety."

"And once it powers up, it can--"

"Be used to destroy the world, yes," Wes finished for him.  "Or at least control a significant portion of it.  I thought we had agreed on this?  Attending tonight's soiree to see if we could locate the amulet?"

"Well, yeah, but . . ."  Gunn turned and immediately lost his train of thought.

Wes's tux was, as Cordelia had said, a classic.  The black fabric accentuated the strong line of his shoulders, and his vest and tie were a light blue that complemented his eyes.  He scowled slightly as Gunn ground to a halt, as if he was expecting a snide comment.

"Looking good, English," Gunn managed finally, clearing his suddenly raspy throat.  He tugged at his own collar, wondering vaguely how he was going to survive the night without throwing Wes to the floor and ripping every stitch of clothing off him.  It was going to be hell.

Wes gave him a sharp look before smiling, apparently reassured that Gunn wasn't making fun of him.  "And you as well, Charles.  Formal wear suits you."

Gunn glanced down at himself.  His tux was black, as well, but cut so that it had a rounded collar and no lapels.  His vest and tie were a darker blue than Wes's and had a woven pattern that he never would have picked out for himself, but did look suitably highbrow.

"Don't have much cause to wear a penguin suit on the streets," he said, but the compliment made him smile.

"No, I don't suppose you would," Wes agreed.  "What a pity."

Something in his voice made Gunn give him a sharp look, but he was already gone back to the office, and Gunn had no choice but to let it drop.


As plans went, theirs had worked fairly well, Wesley thought.  Up to a point.  He and Gunn had arrived at the club with carefully forged invitations in hand and had been let in without any questions.  Following Cordelia's suggestion, they had posed as a couple, as that would give them a reasonable excuse for not immediately joining in with any orgies that might present themselves.  Given the current state of his love life, he might be better going by himself, but they were there on business, after all.

Or, at least, they had tried to be.  Things had gone well at first.  He and Gunn had mingled, trying to blend in whilst scouting out the best route to the upstairs den where the Khooardiss Rhubisa was supposedly being kept.  Gunn had received many admiring glances from various club patrons, and Wesley found himself having to bite back snide comments that, he feared, were entirely based on jealousy.  He might be too much the geek for a man like Gunn to ever see as anything other than a friend, but that didn't mean he had to enjoy other people ogling the man he was attracted to.

They were less than successful in their quest to reach the second floor.  Unobtrusive but determined guards blocked every route they tried, and there were only so many times they could pretend to be lost before the guards started to get suspicious.

In the end, they had resorted to sneaking outside and climbing the trellis that lined the building.  Wesley found himself in the enviable position of watching Gunn's arse flex just above him all the way up to the second floor.  Unfortunately, the sight didn't do much for his coordination; he nearly fell twice when he was too preoccupied to watch where he was placing his feet.

The Khooardiss Rhubisa was almost insultingly easy to find, locked as it was in an ordinary wall safe.  Wesley had sometimes thought it ironic that the sanctimonious Watchers' Council insisted that its field operatives learn burgling skills, but they served him in good stead.  He'd known that the men intending to use the amulet were merely amateurs dabbling in the Black Arts, but he'd expected a little more of a challenge.

"You just had to say that, didn't you?" Gunn muttered sourly as they arrived at the bottom of the trellis again only to find themselves surrounded by guards.  "You jinxed us."

"There's no such thing," Wesley replied, eyeing the guards' billy clubs.  "Do you have any suggestions?"

"Kick their asses?"

With that, Gunn lunged, and Wesley had no choice but to follow.  The fight was fast, furious, and somewhat painful as one of the guards hit Wesley in the cheek with a hard right hook.  Abruptly it was over as Gunn grabbed Wesley's wrist and dragged him to his feet and through the ring of guards.  They raced for the street and dove into Gunn's truck, pulling out seconds before the guards caught up with them.  Gunn drove around for a while to make sure there wasn't a tail, but eventually they made it back to the office.

Cordelia, once she was sure they were okay, demanded that they get out of the tuxedos immediately, before they dealt with the Khooardiss Rhubisa or even paused for a drink of water.  

"No way am I going to have those suits survive a run-in with Thugs'r'us just to have you ruin them when the Cordless Thingy explodes all over you," she said, and Wesley went meekly to the back room to change.

Gunn followed him, stopping him from taking his suit coat off by placing both hands on his shoulders.

"You sure you're okay?" Gunn asked.  "That one guy clocked you pretty good."

His cheek had finally started to complain, burning all along his cheekbone.  

"I'm fine," Wesley replied.  "I've had worse."

Gunn frowned.  "I know."

Wesley looked at him sharply, catching the tightness in his voice.  Gunn was staring down at him, hands still on his shoulders, and it occurred to Wesley that he hadn't been this close to Gunn in a long time.

"We should . . . "  He had to swallow.  "We should, um, the tuxedos.  Take them off."

"Yeah."  Gunn didn't move.

"Cordelia will be angry if we soil them."

Gunn nodded.  "Sure will."

"So, um, we should . . . "

Gunn leaned down, brushing his lips against Wesley's.  "Shut up, English."

Wesley was happy to comply, but some insane part of his mind wasn't paying attention.  "If we damage the suits . . ."

"We'll get them dry-cleaned."

Gunn's mouth was warm, his tongue gently insistent as it probed between Wesley's lips.  Wesley leaned closer, his hand going around to press against Gunn's back.

"Well," he said, "that's all right, then."

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