Title:  Taste

Author:  WesFan1234

Summary:  Fred's thoughts on what I would call her "spidey-sense", i.e., her taste buds.  Her thoughts start when she's thinking about Pylea (season two), her first impressions and kiss with Gunn (season three), her first impressions of Wesley (season three), her first kiss with Wesley (season four), and lastly, her impressions of the changed Wesley in season five.  She should have listened to her taste buds.  Danger always seemed to throw them off.

Second in a series about the senses.  Hey I might as well do them all! The first is about touch with Wes.

Rating:  G to PG (clean with a little kiss near the end)

Pairings:  Fred/Gunn and Fred/Wes

Note:  This was my challenge to myself, write something Fred-centric.  I have the toughest time with her, without making her sound whiny.  I like Fred, I like Amy Acker so much, and I really liked what they were doing with her character finally in Season Five until she died (great death scene).  They finally made her into a strong young woman, not a scared girl.  I also love Illyria too.  I wonder if they could share!

Disclaimer:  Not mine.  Joss's (and other assorted writers, producers, etc.)

Taste

Fred liked the taste of everything.  Tacos, with their spicy flavorings were her favorite.  She liked them with lots of Tabasco and hot salsa.  Thai food, she could eat for days.  Anything to wake up her taste buds.  Anything to clear out her head, to fit more knowledge in (something her mother had told her once).  Pancakes, with lots and lots of syrup.  That always did the trick in the morning, or any time she was hungry.  So filling and warm in her tummy.

Why'd she like tasting things so much?  Being in a hell dimension (well, she thought it was a hell dimension since they didn't have tacos and oh, that slave cow thing too), just didn't go over very well with her taste buds.  There were only so many times she could eat tree bark and berries.  That was probably why she always ate so much after she returned to Los Angeles.  Fred never knew when she'd be tossed back to Pylea or some other awful place.  Then she'd have to have lots of calories to work from before she starved to death.  Which she had almost done when she first arrived in Pylea.

Not that she obsessed about being thrown through to another dimension, but you never knew working for Angel Investigations what would be next.  There were demons, vampires, evil beings everywhere.  Sometimes she wondered if there were any decent people in this world.  They only saw the evil.  At least her job didn't involve the slime and guts (unless she went with Gunn and Wes, which always meant blood and guts and really smelly things). 

She didn't like the way they each looked at her sometimes, like she was something to be tasted, savored, devoured.  She knew that men sometimes looked at women that way, but it had been so long since one had looked at her, they both made her nervous at first.

But when Gunn had approached her, gently and slowly, Fred had finally decided to respond.  He was nice, she thought, as she ate her multitudes of pancakes.  It had started with breakfast every morning at a diner down the street.  They'd talked for hours after working long nights.  She felt he knew her well.  And he actually listened to her go on and on about her work.  She could trust him.  He had opened his heart and soul to her, something that Wesley could never do.

Wes took to looking at her when he thought she wasn't paying attention.  She could feel the hairs on the back of her neck sticking up.  By the time she'd turn around to see what was causing the hairs to raise, he would look away.  He was always doing nice things for her.  Especially bringing her the best tacos around.  You know, the ones that taste like heaven at first.  Which of course never set very well in her stomach.  She finally had to tell him to not bring her any more of them. 

He didn't know her.  Didn't ask her many questions about herself.  Yeah, he'd talk about work, or other people.  But he never would open up to her.  Or fix her breakfast, which is how Charles had finally won her over.

They say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.  That was the way to hers as well.  Charles just knew her.  When she first kissed him, he had tasted like heaven.  They had just had breakfast for the umpteenth time.  He tasted just like the sausage and eggs they had just chowed down on.  Perfect for him.  Rich, yet satisfying.  He was comfort food to her.  She knew that she could rely on Charles for anything.  That's how she knew it was right.

That's why when the first time Wesley kissed her, she could feel the danger.  How could you feel danger from someone kissing you?  By tasting.  Fred could taste the whiskey mixed with something like stale donuts and way too much coffee.  He didn't taste fresh and filling.  He tasted desperate, for her.  It scared her to the bone.  That's when she knew that relying on her taste buds would save her from harm.  Wesley had proven her experiment.  If a man tasted dangerous, well he was.  Danger would bring her more heartache than it was worth.  She'd file that away so she'd never forget. 

As Fred stood in Wesley's office, she wondered when he would make a move.  The man was the biggest dunce in the world, she thought to herself.  She'd given him so many hints, but he had no clue.  When she had finally taken the initiative and pulled him to her for the kiss, she melted into him.  He tasted like tea and scones (which of course were sitting on his desk).  He tasted all refined and intelligent.  First impressions were everything. 

But just below the surface, her memory stirred a little.  Whiskey, coffee, and donuts swirled around for a minute.  She shook her head for a moment, thinking that it was just the head rush from finally having Wesley in her arms.  She'd think about it later.  The danger was still there, but she shelved it.  She knew that he was a passionate man.  He sometimes wore his heart on his sleeve.  But she wanted to get to know him.  Her taste buds hadn't failed her yet.

Note:  Please review.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  I'll quit groveling now.