Title: Just Drive (1/1)
Author: firstname.lastname@example.org (zahra)
Feedback: Please, give a poor, unemployed woman hope
Spoilers: Ats: Over the Rainbow
Rating: PG 13 (language m/m implied)
Pairing: G/A/W (vastly implied)
Summary: Gunn. Thinking. Memories. Family. Friends.
Disclaimer: Joss, Joss, Joss.
Distribution: Wherever, whenever, whatever
Dedication: Mel - you can save my life anytime, and Briar - I'm hoping if I
can get one muse to talk to me, maybe I can channel for Angel 'through him,'
hey, stranger shit has happened!
Improv #15: air-chime-orange-dark
Note#1: All we see is him sitting in the car. What the hell is he
Note#2: Three hours at the computer. No beta. It's the *idea* people,
that's why we call it improv - right?
There was nothing I could've done.
That's what he tells me.
That's what Wes tells me when he calls to ask where I am. When he calls
from somewhere out there in the vast LA wasteland. He's out there and I'm
here. Just sitting here, not moving, not doing. Just being. He's out
there while I sit here in a dark room, waiting. Waiting to stop hurting.
Waiting to stop caring. Just waiting.
I'm just waiting when he calls to find out why I'm not there, with him.
With them. Tells me if I had been there, with the crew, I could've gotten
hurt as well. Doesn't say anything after that, but the silence says it all.
Never says he's afraid I'll get hurt, because I'd never say that to him.
Cos it's not like that between us. We don't say we worry; we leave that to
Cordy. Worrying is just too much information, too many words said. Some
things are better left unsaid. Some things should just remain hidden. But
we wait. If you wait long enough, these things might come out. They might
hang in the air for that brief second before they disappear. Before you're
back to acting like they were never said in the first place.
He tells me it's not my fault that George died, that they should've waited.
Waited for me. But they did wait for me. They waited for me ///We been
waiting for you for months, bra/// They waited for me the way I've been
waiting for them, for hours, for days. For long agonizing months. Months
of silence and pain and hurt, months of waiting for something to happen.
Anything. I've been waiting for them, both of them. But maybe I've been
waiting for the wrong thing, for the wrong people. Maybe I've been waiting
when I'm already too late. Maybe I'm waiting on a bus that left long
before I ever got my ass to the bus stop.
George. Gone. Alonna. Gone. Cordelia. Gone. And here's Charles always
arriving a date late and a fucking dollar short. What's up with that? When
did everyone start leaving before me? When did I become the late man, the
one operating on CPT? Black People Time. I never used to be like this. I
was always early, always on time, always waiting for everyone else.
Shit, I was born early. I was epitome of early. I was on time, on top of
time, on top of everything. And then something changed and I wasn't on
time. I don't know the day. I don't know the time. All I know is that
suddenly I was showing up later and later. Coming in closer and closer to
the bell, one day I was gonna be late. And then I was late and I didn't
even know it. Didn't even know I was late, until I was too late. Until I
I was late, I was too late; I failed her. When it comes down to it, I dunno
what hurts more that she's gone or that I failed her. That I was too late.
But she got me good for my tardiness. She ripped out my heart and left me
there with a gaping hole. You could see right through me. She always
could, it amazed me that right after she died no one else could see the big
section missing. You can't miss that much of your body and keep on living.
So I just waited. She was gone and there I was waiting, waiting to die.
///I'm sorry...I just can't. I know that makes me... I don't know what it
makes me. I just figured I owed it to you to tell you face to face///
I can hear the bells chiming from the church down the street. Ain't that
some shit?! A church down the street from a hotel owned by a vampire.
Bells chiming - me waiting - and time passing me by. Again. Time just
keeps passing me by, but I'm waiting nonetheless. But how the hell can I be
waiting when I'm already too late? Too late for Alonna, too late for
George. Hell, knowing my influence, Angel and English are probably too late
to save Cordy. But I had to at least give'em props. Pounds. Tell them I
hope they come back. All those other things left unsaid.
I had to come and wish'em luck. Say good-bye. Good luck. I felt the need
to at least tell them that I couldn't come that I couldn't be there with
them. Just wanted to let them know that I kinda care what happens to them.
But I didn't say it. Couldn't say it. All those words left unsaid. All
those things I feel, all those emotions denied and here I am, just sitting
in the damn truck.
Waiting for the pain to stop, waiting for my life to begin again. I'm just
waiting for the pain of not being there for George to wash over me.
Waiting for the disappointment at abandoning Wes and Angel to subside. Just
like it did with Alonna. Just like it did when Angel fired everyone and
Wesley turned away. I'm just waiting to feel. It'll wash over me. Maybe
this time when it washes over it won't stick to my skin like tar. Like
honey, like a second skin that I can't peel off.
It's always been all right in the past cos I had the gang. If you don't
have a family you make one. I had them, I made them - nuff said. We were
together and it was just us against them. Us versus the world. And at some
point I wasn't late anymore. At some point I was on time again. I was on
point. 'Gunn' was back and I wasn't hurting quite as much. But maybe I was
just imagining things. Maybe I wasn't on time and no one was gonna tell me
I was late. Who the hell is gonna step to Gunn and demand to know why he's
slacking, why he's late? So no one did. And it was all good, for a little
while. And I wasn't waiting anymore, at least I didn't think I was. But
then Angel and Wesley came along and I knew I had been waiting. Knew I had
been holding my breath.
I've been waiting. For Angel. For Wesley. Maybe one more so than the
other, or maybe equally. You can't have one without the other. It's like
peanut butter without the jelly. It just doesn't work, I doesn't taste
right. It's incomplete. Kinda like me before they came along. And now
there's the three of us. The Three Musketeers. The Marx Brothers. Larry,
Curly and Moe.
The thing about them was that I didn't even know they were missing until
they came along in the first place. I didn't know I was waiting until I
stopped waiting. Only I haven't, not really. I'm waiting for a family to
come along and find me. I'm waiting to stop feeling like I'm late, like I'm
failing. Why do I keep failing? Why do I keep waiting to be too late?
///We been waiting for you for months, bra///
I have the crew. They're enough, only they're not. Not by themselves.
They were the gauze over the hole, but they never made it heal. Angel and
Wesley haven't healed the hole either, but they seem to fill it regardless.
But that doesn't mean they come first. It doesn't mean that I chose them
over the crew, cos I don't. I have responsibilities. I owe them. My boys
were there when I didn't have anybody, when I was just waiting to die. If
I'm waiting to heal, I should know that either one alone isn't enough, that
I can't choose. I have to make them work together. I can't have one
without the other.
Family is something you're born into, but it's also something you make. You
have to be there for them. /// Last night... I lost one of my crew--I
shoulda been there/// That's how I lost Alonna. I wasn't there. I wasn't
on point. Wasn't on time. Maybe there was nothing I could've done but I
should've been there. It won't happen again.
No waiting. Just drive.
I'm sitting in my room in the dark. Yet again. Always waiting. Always
wondering. Always playing that damn 'what if' game. What if I had gone to
the park with the crew? What if I was at the Hyperion now? What if Alonna
was alive? What if I lose everybody and I'm alone again.
It'll start all over again. The waiting. The hurting. The emptiness.
Wait. Orange flashing light on the cell. Voicemail.
"Gunn, it's Angel...."
Angel. Angel is family. Even if he's a blood sucking vampire who's more
emotional than Cordy at that time of the month.
"So as soon as Wes solves our scattering problem, we'll be leaving. Don't
know if we're coming back."
Don't know. Don't know? Shit.
"11:16. Cordy's been gone almost 24 hours now. I think I've covered
Twenty-four hours of me waiting. Waiting to do something to feel something.
Waiting for George to come back. Waiting for Cordy come back. Waiting.
Just waiting. When did I become a spectator in my own life? When did I
decide that all I'm supposed to do is wait and let life run me over in its
"Oh. The mortgage for the hotel is under the company name. Lease is up in
six months -- at least, that's what they tell me, so..."
Mortgage? What?! He's leaving me the hotel. What?! He really doesn't
think they're gonna come back. They're not coming back. They're gonna
leave me, I'll be left behind and I'll be waiting again. No more covering
the gaping hole, just fuck it. If I lose them they'll be no point in trying
anymore. Not after last night, not after tonight. Not if they leave
"Well, I guess that's it. It's... 11:17 and 23, 24, 25 seconds and...
Anyway?! Anyway what?! Anyway, get your ass down here? Anyway, you'll be
the only one to miss us if we leave? Anyway, what are you waiting for?
"Take care of yourself."
I wasn't there for Alonna. I wasn't there for George. They were my family.
You have to look out for your family. Angel and Wesley and Cordelia they
are my family. That doesn't make the crew any less of my family. It just
makes the circle a little bigger. You have to look out for your family.
You have to be there by their side. If something goes down you've gotta be
there. No matter what. No more waiting. No more hesitating. Where your
family goes, you go. No matter what.