Title: Just Drive (1/1)
Author: frans_angel@hotmail.com (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 thinking?
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 lost Alonna.

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 again.

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 everything..."

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 18-wheeler?

"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 without me.

"Well, I guess that's it. It's... 11:17 and 23, 24, 25 seconds and... Anyway."

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.

No waiting.

Just drive.



Back to Z