Title: Betrayed (1/1)
Author: Zahra (frans_angel@hotmail.com)
Rating: PG
Pairing: Wes/Gunn
Feedback: Work with me here people.
Spoiler: Angel S3. 'That Old Gang of Mine'
Disclaimer: If only. If only. Joss is the man, but men never listen.
Dedication: To Paul for swearing that this eppy would be the death of me. Summary: Trust is hard to earn and easy to break.
Improv #26: It's all darkness...After all, there's no darker place that inside your own twisted head.
Notes: I'm going away for a bit, so I had to get something out before I had a stroke (not to sound snooty or anything)


///It's never easy. The pull of divided loyalties. Whatever choice we do end up making, we feel as though we've betrayed someone///


It's not his habit to read the same page twice. Once is quite sufficient. Twice is only if he's cross-referencing. But beginning the same passage for the third time really is a sign. Of hopelessness. Of avoidance.

But he's not waiting for it to ring. Really.

It seldom does at the best of times. To wait for it to happen, now, would be foolish. Foolhardy.

It would make him seem weak.

Wesley has gotten over it. Gotten over what he's done. Honestly.

He doesn't expect anything anymore. Never expected much anyway. He's not waiting for him to come and make it all okay.

And really it's not the quiet that bothers him the most.

It's not the size twelve Timberland boots missing from underneath the coffee table or even the empty hook on the coat rack. These spaces have always been vacant at one time or another. But never for such a prolonged period of time. Never for days, weeks.

Three weeks and two days to be exact.

After all, these are only material things. They are only tangible evidence that someone besides him once called this place home. They could easily be placed in the closet or under the bed as he often requested. They're not what really bothers him.

Perhaps it's the empty space. The cold sheets on the left side of the bed. The unopened carton of Minute Maid Lemonade in the refrigerator. This sense of loneliness that won't go away. This feeling that someone belongs here with him and due to circumstances beyond his control, they're gone. He's been subverted.

The helplessness is overpowering. The sense of being wronged.

He doesn't flinch when the phone rings. The shrill cry reverberating in the apartment acoustics. The only noise in hours. The only recognition that he does exist. Verification. He hesitates in answering it.

Reluctantly, he pushes back from his desk and walks over the coffee table. He knows what he'll find. What he'll see. He knows who's calling and yet his hand never leaves his side. Never even reaches for the receiver. There's a reason Caller ID was invented. This is it.

Screening calls. Pick and choose. Who's worthy to speak to him and who gets dismissed. There's power in ignoring a ringing phone. Even if each ring is a tiny tug at his heart. A faint voice pleading with him to be the bigger man.

Wesley knows the number that lights up the screen by rote. Knows that if he forgot every phone number he's ever learned, he would still remember this one somewhere. Always.



The urge to take his call is lessening. Not nearly as strong now as it was five minute ago before he rang. Not as strong as when he wanted to call him. When he sat staring at the phone and willing it to ring. When it was all he could do to stop himself from tracking Gunn down and demanding that he explain himself. That he apologize. That he promise Wesley he would never lie to him again.

Deception. Prevarication. Deliberately withholding the truth. All the things that Wesley never thought Gunn could be guilty of. Who exactly what he attempting to protect with his actions?


The phone is an irritant now. A reminder of his folly. His weakness. Charles Gunn with his languid brown eyes and snappy retorts. Baggy jeans and slow, sexy smile.

Everything that Wesley treasures has been sullied. The trust that they have built is damaged.

The nights fighting side by side. The injuries that have been painstakingly tended to. The bonding over beers and darts. A thousand and one wordless glances and touches have all come down to this. This perversion of the truth.


And perhaps Wesley should have seen it coming. Maybe it was there in the circles under Gunn's eyes from the nightmares that he refused to admit to. The ones that eventually drove him back to his own bed-sit.

Perhaps it was in his confused loyalties. Choosing whether his future lay with his past or his present.

Maybe if he had paid more attention to Gunn's late responses to his pages and his missing crime scene exhibits, he would have had an inkling. Or maybe he simply didn't want to know. Didn't want to suspect.

It's not really something he cares to think about. There's a niggling voice in the back of his mind that warns that if he starts looking for problems he will certainly find more than he ever wanted.


It would be much easier to simply answer the phone and say that all is forgiven. Forgotten. But it would be a lie. And Wesley can't have any more of those. Not if this relationship is ever going to survive.

If he wants this to work he has to face facts. Cold, hard and in the light of day. Gunn has betrayed him. That much is understood. Cut and dried. Perhaps the only black and white thing in their existence.

He has perjured himself by willfully deceiving Wesley. By withholding the truth. How can Wesley ever trust him after this? How can he be certain that all his words aren't falsehoods? How can he hear that voice that has soothed countless hurts and not recoil in anger? Deliberately misleading.

It's too much to contemplate right now. He reaches out and unplugs the phone mid-ring. This is going to take time. A lot of it. And in time he will forgive him, for the benefit of all concerned, but he will never forget.

Perhaps that is what bothers him the most.


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