Title: Gunn's Blues (1/1)
Author: zahra (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rating: PG-13 (m/m, language)
Feedback: Yes. (What, you thought I was going to say 'no?')
Spoiler: Angel S3. `That Old Gang of Mine'
Disclaimer: Joss needs to be more open-minded and learn to share his
toys. Until then, he owns all.
Dedication: If he was mine, I'd cover him in chocolate sauce and
share him with Kassie, alas this is the best I can offer... and as
always to P.Diddy and Ms. Ice for more support than a Wonderbra.
Summary: Angst. Gunn.
Note#1: This is like my fifth effort to work off the trauma that this
Note#2: Why is there no Gunn Slash list? Someone must fix this!
Improv #26: Homophones.
The Hotel Café. Hollywood and Cahuenga.
The only place open for six blocks and obviously that way for a
reason. He just wishes he knew what it was. How it was that he got
there. Here. He has no fucking idea.
Maybe it's fate. Maybe he's trippin'. Maybe his stomach is hungry
and the message got fucked up en route to his brain because this
place doesn't serve food - it serves sadness. Espresso and a dirge
on an altar for the blues. Music for the depressed.
Whatever the case, however he got here, now he's stuck in some kind
of limbo. Can't go forward, can't go back. Boots cemented to
concrete by the sounds of Dizzy Gillespie and Ella Fitzgerald.
Maybe someone somewhere does understand that there's nothing flowing
through his veins but indecision and hurt. Bringing new meaning to
But it could all be so easy.
All he has to do is turn the brass knob of the black door with
peeling paint. Just has to walk down the darkened hallway that has
a vague scent of wax and coffee beans. A hallway that will lead him
to a place where he can lay down whatever his problems are. Forget
about whatever is bugging him. Stop being wrapped up in all this
drama. All this trauma.
There's solace in the blues. A chance to take stock. To try to come
up with a way to rectify the situation if he so chooses. If he wants
to walk that walk.
Gunn's gone down a lot of dark paths in his time. His entire life
revolves around going where nobody in their right mind would, so why
he suddenly doesn't want to go down this one is beyond him.
Intuition. Gut instinct.
The doorway is dark, but at the end of the entrance hall there's
faint candlelight illuminating the red walls. It seems to flicker in
time with the feedback from the wailing guitar.
The effect is eerie. Creepy.
He's got this whole should-I-stay-or-should-I-go situation happening
and it's depressing as shit. It's not on his to-do list tonight.
But then again, what is?
He spends his time walking the streets so he can forget, not so he
can dwell on the bigger issues. The demons that haunt him.
It's not supposed to go down like this. He's not supposed to open
He is not trying to deal. Avoidance ain't a bad thing. The demons
inside his head are bigger, stronger, and scarier than anything he's
ever encountered in real life. Of course it would figure seeing as
they're something he created. Never one to half-ass it, Charles Gunn.
They're there all the time. Looming over him. Haunting every
action. Creeping up behind him just when he thinks he might find a
He's not sleeping. The nightmares have battled their way into full-
Can't sleep. Can't eat. Can't even close his eyes and not see the
look of hurt on his face. The sense of betrayal. Wesley.
Gunn's sleepwalking through the day and wired all night. It's never-
ending. A vicious cycle he's doomed to repeat, and doesn't `that'
sound like something `he' would say?
The nights are empty. Endless.
He trawls the streets of West Hollywood and the parks: La Brea,
Morningside, Leimert, Jefferson. Endless cruising. Endless
He's not sure who, or what, he's looking for anymore.
His crew? Demons? A certain Englishman? Perhaps. But he certainly
wasn't looking for this. Music. The blues. He's honestly not sure
how he got here anyway. But then again he can say that about a lot
of shit these days.
Gunn has never gone out much at night - at least not to socialize.
Normally, it's all about work but tonight is different. Tonight he's
driven all over the city and found himself making a decidedly
conscious effort not to drive by a certain apartment out in Santa
Monica. Not tonight, for once. It has to stop. He's gonna have to
Trying to strictly stay on this side of La Cienega.
He's turned off his pager and buried it in the folds of his hoodie.
Not that he thinks it'd be going off anyway. Doubts that anyone
wants him around just about now. Doubts that he'd be looking for
him. Not now. Maybe not ever again.
Talk about depressing shit. At least someone seems to understand.
He's beginning to understand that this music has actually earned its
Gunn's not really into music much. He doesn't get anything other
than talk radio in his truck with the occasional burst of salsa.
Hip-hop. Rap. The whole dancing thing. It's hard to appreciate
someone hollering about 'flossing' and houses in the Hamptons when
you can barely pay your rent and the only flossing going on is after
In all honesty, he can take it or leave it; he's not bothered. It's
all background noise. He was beginning to dig the classical stuff
but he'd never ever admit it. It was his place to do the obligatory
But it's three in the morning on a Tuesday. He doesn't have to keep
up any pretences. Doesn't have to be anything other than what he
is. It's only at times and places like this that the whole truth
comes out. And the truth of the matter is this.
There are very few things that Gunn is still afraid of but this is
most definitely one of them. The voice that's asking if he really
can fix this one. If he really hasn't gone and fucked it all up
He can hear his fears calling to him in the music. The reverb from
the saxophone. The skittishness in the trumpet. Just when he thinks
he's got it all figured out, this happens.
Most of the fears that he had as a child have already happened.
Abandonment. Death. More death.
It's made him cynical. Pessimistic. He expects the worst - always.
It makes life much easier to cope with when you already know you're
going to get fucked over.
As for the things that he fears now, up until a few weeks ago he
could count them all on one hand and most of them started and ended
with the same person. Wesley.
Wesley leaving him for Angel. Wesley thinking badly of him. Wesley
not loving him. The whole getting fired thing never even crossed his
mind - now he's got a whole new set of worries. Just because he
tried to do the right thing. Just because he hesitated.
He never thought that he would have to choose between Wesley and
anything else. He never thought he could have it all, but he never
thought that what little he had could be jeopardized in this way.
He made his choice.
Chose between his past and his present when he got in that
convertible to Pylea. When he watched George's body smolder on the
funeral pyre. When he found himself tied to Wesley and had to force
himself to come up with an escape plan instead of thinking dirty
thoughts about the Englishman in handcuffs.
It's amazing how fast things can change.
He's not sure how fast the blink of an eye is, but he's starting to
think it's pretty damn slow. Remembers that when he saw that broken
tip from his rig on the coffee table he never even blinked.
Remembers not blinking when that stake slipped into Alonna's heart,
even through all the dust.
Never even blinked when Wesley read him the riot act that seemed to
go on forever.
Never blinked back the tears. No point. Blinking doesn't stop the
tears and doesn't stop the pain. You don't necessarily cry when your
heart is being ripped out. After all, Gunn hasn't. At least not
But all it takes is the smallest trigger - like a sad song. A song
about loss and heartbreak. A song about being done wrong and
misunderstanding. About trying so hard and having it all fall flat.
A blues song.
All it takes is walking down a darkened alley and walking through the
doorway of this tiny café. All it takes is seeing a café, empty,
except for a wailing Muddy Watters CD, a beleaguered waitress and a
lone customer slumped over cold coffee.
A lone customer who's equally tired and frustrated. Someone else
suffering from a lack of sleep and looking for someone to empathize.
It could all be so simple. So perfect. He could be forgiven.
All Gunn has to do is walk into the café... but he doesn't want to take
that path tonight.
And Gunn has never thought of Wesley as a blues fan, so he ignores
the voice telling him to go in, and he walks on.