TITLE: Messiah 1/1
AUTHOR: Princess Twilite (Princesstwilite2@aol.com)
SUMMARY: Wasn’t a romance. It hadn’t bloomed in May. Fact was, they were more like charred bits of a puzzle trying to see if they still fit together. If they still fit… somewhere.
PAIRING: Wes/Gunn, some Gunn/Fred.
SPOILERS: Post Season Three
DISTRIBUTION: List archives. Shippers United. Anywhere really, if they’d like it. Just tell me you have it.
DISCLAIMER: The characters herein aren’t mine, they belong to Joss and co. I make no money from this story.
WARNINGS: Male slash, language, implied m/m sex
WEBSITE: http://thatvisionthing.org/whip
UPDATES: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ptupdates
A/N: I wanted inside Gunn’s head. I hope I’ve achieved that.

“I’m the ultra-modern version of the American Man. It don’t feel good, but it don’t feel bad. Cause me? See? I’m Nuthin’.” - 'I’m Nuthin' by Ethan Hawke

* * *

Wasn’t a romance. It hadn’t bloomed in May. Fact was, they were more like charred bits of a puzzle trying to see if they still fit together. If they still fit… somewhere.

They lay there on Gunn’s too-small bed, elbows and knees bumping together, flat on their backs. Each stared at the ceiling like it was something pretty. Prettier than the lost look they found in each other’s eyes at least. There was that. And maybe that was something.

Figured that he’d get what he had so badly wanted and have it just a little screwed up. A little wrong. A little bit of not what he wanted at all.

This was that. And who was he kidding? It was more than a little.

“I have to go.” Wesley said, his lips all tight and pursed like he’d been sucking on a lemon. Or something else… yeah, something else.

“Yeah.” Gunn replied and the words echoed down low, where his stomach met the raw edges of his heart. The scar tissue there strained. Take a swing, he thought, take your hardest swing man, I can take it.

Wesley had his fingers locked together tightly on his belly, right above that repressed navel of his. Gunn had pressed his tongue there, felt Wesley shiver and the groan vibrate right on through him like the aftershocks of a Californian earthquake. They WERE different ya know: the earthquakes ‘round here.

Every single one was the end of the goddamn world. Every time, people gripped their sides, their children’s fingers, and the lips of a beer bottle with their teeth… and waited for this place of temptation, sin, and loss to break away and drift off into the ocean.

“It’s really getting late,” Wesley began in that white-prep-boy voice gone just a bit sour, cause he’d got his throat slit wide-wide open. Like a bleeding sacrifice to the homeless and the homo’s and the stupid church just down the street that Angel used to duck his head around every time he passed. “I should…”

“Get goin’.” Gunn said for him. “So why ain’t ya?”

There is a reason for every crime. A heart behind the wrong, a brain ticking and planning and doing it, because… BECAUSE. Gunn knew this, lived with this as the lines between Good and Evil; Right and Wrong, got just a bit blurrier every day.

Were they wrong now? Fucking, like it could matter. Like it could take away that angry red scar that Gunn had pressed his fingers against, once - just once, then pretended like it wasn’t there. How could they be right?

And Wesley - what the hell was his excuse?

Things had been so much easier on the narrow and even, when all he’d had to do was kill things and not give a damn. Now he had to speak to them, understand them, and there was just too many things to care about. The extra things, the little things, like taking a razor to his scalp and making it smooth for a few pairs of fingers to rub against, and taking a razor to just below his chin…. And making sure he didn’t give into the temptation to knick it… just a little.

Don’t you move, he’d have to say - you got people counting on you.

“I don’t know.” Wes admitted and that said something bleak and disturbing in the dark. They never touched after sex, because that would make it mean much more than a means to an end. That would make it more, like what it once could have been, if they’d started on each other then. His words were written in the air, in little bursts of unsteady breath - hot puffs of it: Tell me. They said: TELL ME.

Yeah, cause HE had all the answers now.

Gunn wondered since what black-hole day had he become everyone’s Messiah? Fred with her cute, little, trusting eyes, turned up at him.

“Where’s Cordy and Angel, do you think?” She would ask him. And every time, she expected him to have an answer. Because he was him, and he’d told her she could trust him. At the time, he’d have sworn up and down every dent on his truck that it was THE TRUTH. He’d told her that he loved her… and it was true.

But shit, there’d always been Wes and that just wasn’t going away. He’d always loved the bastard, and poor little white boy with a bitchy father hadn’ t bothered to look his way. Oh, but he was looking now and Gunn just couldn’t seem to cut him loose.

“Maybe you got a cramp or somethin’.” Gunn suggested; the sheets were rough and dry. He wished they were something pretty like he could swear Wes had on his bed every damn morning. Freshly washed covers that smelled like lemons. Boy’d always been girly like that.

“I do get those.” Wesley said softly.

“In your left thigh.”

“There too.”

They shifted around a bit, and Gunn could feel Wesley’s eyes on him now. Like twin points of remembrance, they seared into his skull. “It’s odd that you know those things.”

“Ain’t odd. Just a fact.”

Silence. The bitter, alone when you’re not by yourself, kind of silence.

“Do you remember…” Wes began and there was a quiet quality to his voice that had Gunn’s hackles rising, so he sat up in bed, tossing the sheets away.

“Probably.” Gunn grunted, walking naked to his little kitchen where the yellow light seemed to make thing just a little… mean.

“I’m sorry.” Wesley said, suddenly in his pants and at the kitchen archway. His zipper was undone, his face unshaved. Boy looked like hell. Tasted like sour cream.

“Nuthin’ to be sorry about.” Gunn jerked open his freezer, cause he could and he didn’ like these after-fuckin’ scenes. The frozen air chilled his skin and made it rise into little bumps.

Bumps. That’s all there’d ever been. Just one more bump to get past. One more bump to get over.

Gunn shut the freezer door hard and it shook. The handle fell off. Gunn just looked at it, lying all alone on the vinyl brown floor. Wasn’t much left to say, he thought. At least he couldn’t think of anything except… some things.

Why didn’t you tell me?

Why didn’t you trust me?

Why didn’t you want me… before?

You said… that if I’d ever put the team in danger like that again, you’d fire me.

What’s that mean?

What’s it mean when you go and do it yourself?

How the hell can I save this world everyday… alone?

Why’d you do it, Wesley? Did it touch to fucking close, the fact that someone might want me and it might not be you?

“How’s Fred?” Wesley asked, one careful step onto that vinyl floor with his bare, wrinkly toes. Gunn’s back muscles jerked. His ass muscles jerked. He just jerked all over and could feel it.

Yeah, how’s Fred?

“She trusts me.” Gunn muttered like there could be nothing worse. Probably couldn’t. He didn’t know a thing about being loved. “Yeah, that’s how she is.”


“Wanna know how she fucks?” She doesn’t, she’d been raped, beaten, and torn. Fred didn’t fuck. And Gunn didn’t ask her too. Because Fred loved him. And he loved her almost as much as… pretty little white boys.

“No!” Wesley did one of his English swears, raking his fingers through that wild looking hair of his. Gunn remembered a time when his boy cared enough to comb it, trim it, gel it even.

Those days were gone.

“Didn’t think so.” Gunn turned back toward the cupboards and glared into the empty shelves. He usually had crackers, or mixes or something, just in case Fred wanted to come inside. “You ain’t gone yet?” Gunn asked when he turned around. But of course it wasn’t a question. Wesley was standing there with his hands up around his chest like he had something to hide, his mouth open… wanting to speak.

At that moment, Gunn wasn’t sure he wanted to hear what was making the muscles in Wesley’s stomach flutter. His boy was like a brick wall crashing to the ground every damn second and Gunn was just so… SICK of the noise.

“I should have…”

“Yeah. But you didn’t.”

Gunn shoved past Wesley and out onto the shit kicker of a sofa, plopping down on it with his naked ass like the king of his domain that he was. In that moment, he wanted a television so bad he could taste it. And a remote to fill his hands so they didn’t feel so empty. So they didn’t start reaching, begging, asking for promises that everything was gonna be all right and tomorrow he’d wake up and have a family again.

Lose your family once. Shame on them.

Lose your family twice… shame on you.

So instead of television, Gunn stared up at Wesley who looked like maybe he’d forgotten something and that something was himself. Sighing, Gunn grabbed Wesley’s button up, prissy shirt and tossed it to him.

Stupid. Empty. Hands.

“I wish I could make it better, Charles.” Wesley sighed, squeezing the shirt in his fingers like it might hiss or something. “I wish I could just… turn back time.”

“Even you can’t do that, brain.”

“No. I suppose not.”

Gunn felt like he should stand, but he didn’t. Let Wesley be the one uncomfortable, unsure if he should sit, go or run like a coward. “You know how I feel, right?” Wesley asked at long last, tugging the shirt over his bony shoulders and buttoning it up the front.

“Maybe. Guess there was always somethin’ right? Too bad.”

A question in Wesley’s eyes like so much hope had been once, before it all turned bad. “Too bad you didn’t start looking till it got gone.”

“I just don’t understand you.”

Gunn turned his eyes to the window where it was all taped up, from one too many times tossing a basketball around with… his buddy. His friend. The person he had thought was capable of fixing up the broken down, torn up-washed out places inside himself.

“No. Guess you don’t. This should be enough to make you understand, and this is all it is or can be: I want you, Wes.” I love you, Wes. I hate you, Wes. I want to fuck you, Wes. Always more. So much MORE that his shoulders were heavy and resentful. “You ain’t gone yet?” Gunn asked again, as hard and cold as he could. But when he turned to look, all he saw was the Wesley’s disappearing back. That head of hair tugged up toward the sky like everyone was pulling on him at once. “Guess not.”

Ain’t no Messiah, Gunn thought. He wanted out of this ride just like everybody else.


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