Title: To Touch Him
Author: *kee
Email: starkee@another.com
Webpage: http://dae.slashcity.tv/~starkee
Category: missing scene
Pairing: Wes/Gunn
Spoilers:  Angel up through the season finale.
Summary: Gunn thinks about the changes in Wes and how things stand between them.
Rating: PG
Archive: my page, ucsl, and gunn/wes archive.
Disclaimer: okay, so they don't belong to me except in my rich fantasy life where i ride around on a pony and live in a castle. Besides, i already owe the government enough money to have a really nice car or a small house, honestly would it really be worth it to sue me?
Notes: so, dae was visiting and just the other day and i was commenting on how hard it was for me to write for w/g, not because i don't love them, but because i have a hard time pinning gunn down as a character and getting his voice right. and then of course there are all the other various commitments i have scattered across several fandoms. and then the season finale came on and it screamed missing scene and suddenly gunn was there, wanting to play, and honestly, who am i to deny him?


I ain't ever seen him like that.

I've seen him take charge. I've seen him lead. I know he can do it, even if he sometimes doesn't think he can do it himself. Sometimes I think I might be able to lead this crew better, but Wes has the planning, just not the confidence. That's why I back him, that's why I follow his lead. When Angel's around he rolls over, lets the dead guy do what he wants, or he did until the bastard fired us. Wes grew some backbone then, but he still does it sometimes. Like today. He tried to hand over that leadership gig to Angel but this time the dead guy refused. Played the 'poor poor me game' and said no. And I ain't ever seen him like he was after Angel refused.

He was ruthless. He was cold.

I didn't like it.

He wasn't the Wes I've grown to know over the past year; the man I love. I've never seen him that way, like he was hiding that inside him this whole time. And it makes me wonder what kinds of other things he's been hiding since we've met. Since we've been together. Since I thought we was making something here. Something that made sense in a world of mess.

Can't say that I wouldn't have told him about joining forces with those people if I knew he was gonna do that. Kill em. I mean, he can say all he wants about saving everyone gets everyone killed, and I know it, probably better than he does. I know we loose people in this fight, I know damn well from very personal experience. Almost lost him this year. So even if I'd known I would have told him we could do it, because it's about winning and we couldn't do it alone.

Didn't think he'd be so heartless about it though.

They ain't my crew, not really, but I'm still responsible for them. And I let him do it. Stood by his side, and let him make the plans that would get them killed. Because we had to win and we wanted to go home. Not sure, but I think the freeing of the slaves was only a little part of if for him, an accident. Maybe.

He looked damn hot enough to jump right there when they gave him that sword and made him general. Something on that planet brought out a very different Wes. He knew what he was doing, knew what we should be doing. Focused. Been in that focus a couple times myself and know how strong it can be. But this was different. He knew damn fast what needed to be done, but he didn't hold anything back. I ain't sure exactly what that is, and what it means, but I know that I've never seen my Wes that way.

I never want to again.

Tried to talk to him about it, it wasn't worth the breath I wasted on it. He knew he was sending those people to die. He knew exactly what he was doing and he went ahead and planned it anyway. I think they must've known what was coming up for them, that they wasn't making it out alive. Sometimes it's all you can do to make things right for others. Greater good and all that. But to have him plan it out for them; it was more than harsh. It was ruthless.

I'd expect as much from Angel, he's the one who throws his people away without a thought. He's the one that makes them feel like they're less than they are to serve his own purposes. I know how he thinks now, and the way Wes was working, he was a lot more like Angel than the guy I've been hanging with this year.

And then there was Angel. He apologized, and we said everything was cool, but we both know better. We play these roles for Wes and pretend to get along cause it makes my boy happy. Cordy may be cool with him and Wes may be able to forgive him, but me and him? We ain't cool. I follow Wes and if Wes says we work with him, we work with him. But we ain't nothing more than that. He hurt us, he hurt Wes and Cordy after he made them believe that he was going to make it work for them. He betrayed them when we already work in a world and at such awful jobs where we never really know if we're coming home alive, let alone whole. This job, it tears at a person, eats them alive, if they can't find something to cling too. And Angel pulled that steadiness away from them. That's what makes things not cool between us.

Don't think that I don't think Angel went after me on purpose when he was all demoned out. He lost Wes to me, plain and simple. He wanted my Wes and couldn't have him. I wanted him and could and things never been quite right between us because of that, on his side at least. Just because he could never have him doesn't mean no one should. Oh he tries, but it ain't natural between us. I think he wanted to hurt me.

But that's not really the problem. Wes sat there, looked me in the eyes, his face hard and flickering in the firelight. It should have been the start of something much more, leaving the two of us getting hot and heavy. But he looked so distant. I didn't know, after all this time, after all the times when I didn't think we could get closer-- hearings his heart beating under my ear-- that he could hide from me. I thought I had seen all of him, that there were pieces of him that while not shared, weren't hidden. I didn't think he had anything this big, or that he might not be what I thought. I know I shared damn near everything and I thought he had too. I didn't think he could hide.

Or lie.

Asked me two days ago, hell one day, whether I thought Wes could lie to me and me not know it? I would have said no, flat out. No way in hell. I'd know. I get when most people lie to me, it's something you pick up when you don't have anyone to rely on when you make mistakes. I always thought I was good at that kind of thing. And Wes? The boy couldn't lie his way out of a gullibility convention.

Now I ain't so sure. He stood there, looking all serious and intent and caring, and lied straight-faced to Angel and I couldn't tell. And not some little lie, like oh no, I didn't break that bitch ass ugly lamp in the foyer and even if it did get broken, aren't we all better off now anyway? No, it was one of the soul deep, heart felt lies that you have to feel in your bones to fake and he did it without blinking.

My Wes.

Makes me wonder if he really is my Wes. How much mine can he be if he can do shit like that and I can't tell. Makes me think about what else he's lied about, to us, to me. What else he's been hiding from me. If anything at all between us has been true. Cause if he can lie about something like that, who knows what he can slide past on anyone?

He spent a lot of time alone before we headed out to the battle, staring into the fire that should have softened his face, made him look more inviting. Instead he looked so different. Sometimes I caught myself moving past him with my eyes without recognizing him. Like to think that he was feeling bad about the whole thing, bad about the people he was about to get killed, but it's hard to know anymore. That could've been an act too.

Then we was waiting for the fighting to start and he pulled me aside. In the quiet night, them little cricket type things chirping away in the background and us waiting to for the right time to storm the castle. Storm the freaking castle--what the hell am I doing with my life? He pulled me a little away from the others and moved his head close to mine, put a hand on my shoulder, his thumb rubbing in that slow small circle he does when we're together. I don't even think he knew he was doing it. We was close enough that I could smell him and almost taste him, even through all the other smells coating him, I could still tell it was him.

Until he opened his mouth.

The stupid, pansy ass bastard didn't even look me in the eye when he talked to me. Talked at me, really. Said he wanted to make sure he could count on me to do the right thing if something happened to him. That I would make it inside and stop the high priest guy or whatever. Like I didn't follow him wherever he led, even when I thought he wasn't doing the right thing, or there might be a better way, because it was Wes and he knows what he's doing. Like he couldn't count on me to get the job done. Like I would let anything happen to him to keep him from getting the job done. I was so stunned, I couldn't say anything. I just nodded like I thought it was the most normal question in the world and he patted my shoulder and moved back to the other, slinking through the bush quieter than I thought that man could ever move.

And that was it. We got inside, got to the guy. I can't say that Wes wasn't at the best I've ever seen him. He was damn impressive. If I hadn't been so busy trying not to get killed and so confused about who he is and what we've been doing for the past couple months, I think I might have jumped him right there. I remember when I first saw him, I was sure there was no way that his skinny pale ass would be able to hold its own in a fight, but damn me if I ain't proved wrong almost every time we fight. So we go in, save the day, Cordy kicks all kinds of ass, and I just stand around and support Wes. Like I always do, even though everything has changed. We both know it but we ain't said nothing about it yet. I think we're waiting to get home.

I helped with his research, mostly just standing around looking at the books and the scribly words and nodding in encouragement to the things he thought out loud. I don't know if it helps when I do that. Before, I used to do it just to be with him, to be a small part of his world for a little longer, where things make more sense and answers can be found. This time though, I stayed for a different reason I think, because I know I didn't really want to be part of his world just then. I felt like if I let him out of my sight, though, he might slip further away from me. I don't know.

So here we sit in the car, he's not even in the same section as me, we couldn't be sitting further apart. Physically and emotionally. The Host keeps dropped me little concerned glances, like he knows what's going on and what's happening, but I don't want to hear it. So I sit in the back seat and try to keep up appearances, try to pretend that everything is cool, just a little while longer.
I thought I'd found something, for once that wouldn't turn to shit. I thought Wes was something more than all the rest. And now I can't even touch him and we try to get home, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to again.

Read the sequel, Getting Through the Night, by Dae.

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