Notes and disclaimers: Mutant Enemy, Joss Whedon, David Greenwalt, not me. Not for profit at all. For the slashysummerfun. Title from REM's Electrolite. Thanks to Missy and Mosca.
WE WON'T BLINK
Wesley smiled. "Angel handed the keys *to me,* Charles."
"And what was up with that? He's into getting back into our good graces, isn't he? I really like this whole sucking up to us thing." He frowned. "As long as there's no actual sucking."
"His post-epiphany glow is quite enjoyable," Wesley said.
"I liked the part where he said he'd clean up the demon guts, too." When Wesley glanced over, again, Charles was back to grinning like it was Christmas. Wesley could scarcely remember what they had done over Christmas: that was before Angel fired them, still during the Darla days. Charles said, "What're you thinking about? No looking serious tonight."
"I was thinking about Christmas."
"I think this," Charles said, slapping the door, "this would be exactly what I want to see wrapped up under my tree come December. You shouldn't have, Wes."
"I've no intention of doing so. Do you have any idea what this car must cost?"
"A lot more than Angel paid, I bet," Charles said. "Where do you think he got it?"
"I believe he acquired it shortly after arriving in Los Angeles. And I don't think he paid any money for it."
"Must be nice." Charles looked away for a moment and then said, "Where are we going?"
Wesley smiled. "Did you ever read the Hitchhiker's Guide to Galaxy?"
Charles laughed. "So many times the librarian let me keep it. Seen the BBC miniseries, too. Some fine TV there. What made you think of it?"
"The stages of civilization. I think one of them was where are we going, but now I think I'm wrong."
"I know one of them is where are we getting lunch. Change that to dinner and I'll ask that one. Didn't think you read books written in English that weren't all demon demon demon."
"Demon Demon Demon is actually an excellent reference guide, though the newest edition is rather mediocre." Wesley almost laughed. "Douglas Adams, who doesn't enjoy those books? He's like Denzel."
"Whom you're on a first name basis with," Charles said. "Did you ever meet him, back when you were dating Curly-Sue?"
"Sadly I never did. And Virginia is a lovely woman. Just, not interested in being with someone whose life is so constantly threatened."
"It was just a nickname," Charles said. "I liked Virginia fine."
"Really? I had a different impression."
"She dumped you, man, that doesn't impress me." Charles said, "Hey, turn left here. How do you feel about In n Out?"
"I feel good about it tonight," Wesley said. "And I think that's where we're going, frankly. I just realized the store Angel wanted us to go to won't be open until tomorrow morning."
"I say we keep the car until then." Charles nudged his shoulder. "Work for you? And by work, I mean, can I drive after In N Out?"
"Drive around all night? We'd have to pay for gas."
Charles made a skeptical noise. "Okay, El Cheapo. It's like an adventure minus the things we usually get in an adventure, like blood, demon guts, horrified shrieking and Cordelia bitching us out."
"And Angel would be worried. About the car. Another plus."
They'd reached In N Out. Charles leaned over Wesley to shout out their orders, not even asking what Wesley wanted. And he couldn't bring himself to complain about Charles pressing so close.
Charles said, "Hey, pull in over there, we'll eat in splendor."
"We'll eat in the car, you mean."
"And Angel'll be able to smell it for weeks and weeks." Charles laughed and opened the bag with their burgers and fries. It smelled wonderful. They ate in companionable silence. Naturally, Charles's first words after they finished were, "Now. My turn to drive."
"Fine." Wesley gave Charles the keys and settled in the passenger side. "So, where are we going?"
"Let's just cruise. Be the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean and Ice Cube."
"Fine sons of California," Wesley said. He had no idea who Ice Cube was.
"Yeah," Charles said, laughing. "I'm gonna play you some Ice Cube and see what you think of him."
They listened to a rap station Charles found and programmed into the radio over Angel's easy listening station. They didn't hear any Ice Cube. Wesley restrained himself from wincing at the music: he didn't want Charles to see how much he disliked it.
"You hate it," Charles said. He was laughing again and he changed the station to oldies.
"Maybe I don't understand it," Wesley said.
"Maybe you just hate it."
"But I can't say I'm very fond of Jan and Dean either. Though I do like a few Beach Boys songs."
Charles said, "Jan and Dean suck. And the only Beach Boys song I like is that one about how thing would be nicer if they were older. All that surfing crap, I got no time for."
"I've never been surfing," Wesley said. They were driving somewhere in downtown L.A., some street Wesley was sure he'd seen in the movies.
"I know, you're so very surprised. Virginia tried to take me once, but I think Cordelia had a vision. A very timely vision."
"She had a vision or you said she had a vision?"
Wesley grinned. "Is your plan that we simply drive around until 10 in the morning?"
"Doesn't work for you?" Charles leaned back, one hand on the wheel, the other stretched out on the seat, brushing against Wesley's back. If Wesley leaned slightly, they could be kissing. They could be doing more, after Charles pulled over.
Wesley relaxed and looked out at the street. It was a lovely view in its own way. Summer in the city, he thought. He smiled and felt Charles's fingers almost tapping out a rhythm against his back. "No," he said, "that would be acceptable, absolutely."
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