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This story is No. 2 in the series "The Vulnerability of Faith". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Charles Gunn left L.A. in 2006 to get away from the Angel Investigations. Twenty-three years later his son shows up in L.A. to find Angel -- to let Angel and Company know what really happened to Charles Gunn. Sequel to "the vul. of faith"

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Highlander > Other BtVS/AtS Characters(Moderator)DemonaFR181227,997033,9772 Aug 032 Aug 03Yes

Chapter Ten: Death Greets Us All...Sometimes We Greet It

For Disclaimer and Notes see first chapter.

Chapter Ten: Death Greets Us All...Sometimes We Greet It

Richie, Dawn, Adam, and Mac stayed for a week here in Hawaii. I had to put on a happy face and hide the pain the whole time that they were here because under no circumstances did I want Dawn to find out what I was really going through. When they finally all left to head back to Japan where the gang was all staying this decade I was extremely relieved. I knew that the doctors were being generous when they told me another six months. I could feel my body dying already. I expected it to be a helpless feeling, like I was trapped under a sheet of ice on a lake and couldn’t break through to the surface but instead it was a calm feeling, a feeling of inner peace. I had made peace with the people I felt I needed to. The only fears that I had were of what Dawn would think of me after my death and what my father would say to me when we met up again in the afterlife. I knew that I wouldn’t have to wait another six months to find out what my father would say. Death was calling to me and he was singing an irresistible tune and I couldn’t help but to sing along.

Two months later my world wasn’t even mine anymore. I had a horrible time breathing, and the headaches were slowly destroying my sanity. I knew that it was time to end my suffering on my own since the doctors had clearly stated that they wouldn’t help out. I made sure that I got my affairs in order, left the note for Dawn on the kitchen counter, and called Melinda. She came to my house, tears in her eyes, but there nonetheless.

“Are you absolutely sure about this Wesley?” She asked me.

“You know that I’m not me anymore Mel…the headaches are driving me crazy and it hurts to breathe even when I’m asleep. I just need you to drive me up the hill,” I told her. She nodded slowly. She helped me put on my leg braces and then helped me out to the car. We drove in complete silence the radio had long since been turned off, to the cliff that I had picked months ago. She helped me out of the car and into my wheel chair.

“You know that I have to ask once more for my own mental health. Please don’t do this, come home with me,” she tried. I smiled softly.

“I can’t Mel. I just can’t do this anymore,” I quietly told her. She squatted down in front me. I wasn’t surprised at all when she leaned in and kissed me gently on my lips. She didn’t deepen the kiss, just kept her lips firmly pressed to my own. She pulled away after a few seconds.

“I love you Wesley, I think I always have,” she admitted finally.

“And here I always thought you hated me,” I joked. “You are a wonderful woman. I am truly sorry you wasted all these years with a bitter man,” I told her and tears welled up in her eyes.

“I still loved you even when you were at your angriest.”

“I wish I could have loved you like you needed to be loved. I do deeply care for you though, I just don’t love anything anymore,” I admitted and she nodded slowly as she stood up.

“I’ll call Adam after the police notify me of your death,” she told me and I nodded gratefully.

“Thank you,” I told her. “You’ll make sure Dawn gets the letter?”

“Of course,” she answered with a slight nod. “And I’ll explain if she doesn’t understand,” she added and I nodded.

“Thank you Melinda. Thank you,” I told her quietly.

“I guess I should go now. I’ll see you later then?”

“Of course,” I answered and she nodded.

She moved back to the car and got into the driver’s seat and started it up. It took her several minutes to actually drive away from me and I refused to look at her the whole time as she departed. I forced my tired body to roll the wheelchair over to the guardrail. There was a slight space here, enough that I could hopefully force my body to walk through to get to the edge. It took me about an hour to get up out of the wheelchair and force my legs through the rail and to the edge. I looked down and saw the beautiful ocean crashing lazily into the rocks below. I decided this was the perfect way to go. I had always had a fear of heights and flying ever since my mother died in the freak airplane accident years and years ago. All I had to do now was get over my fear of heights, to just jump and end it all. I could do that. I closed my eyes for a moment and pictured Dawn back in the first years of our friendship. She was so beautiful then, she still was now, but then she still had an innocence that she had somehow managed to lose over the last forty odd years. The image of Dawn faded into Kate, back before she was a Slayer, back when she too was innocent. She was absolutely beautiful. Images of Mom and Dad came into my mind as well; I knew that I would be joining all three of them shortly if all went according to plan. I opened my eyes again and looked down at the water. It was so peaceful and beautiful swirling below me. All I had to do was just let go. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I closed my eyes and just leaned forward and dove off the cliff.

**********

Dawn,

I know that by the time you receive this letter a million emotions must have already gone through your mind concerning my death. I don’t want any of those emotions to be guilt or sadness. I did this on my own free will. I couldn’t live in pain any longer with my sanity slipping away. I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to see pity in your eyes. I didn’t want you to have to sit here and watch a mortal friend slip away into death. It would have been an ugly death for me at the end and we both know that. So, I took matters into my own hands. It was time for me to face my family again. Time for me to face my father and see what he thought about the way I chose to live my life. Time to see my mother smile radiantly again, and time to face Kate again on equal terms where she was no stronger than I.

Don’t mourn me. I beg you. Just…when you think of me think of the happy times in the years we spent together before Kate’s death and my accident. They were undoubtedly the best years of my life. Seeing you smile every time we were together lit up my day, my life. Remember me as I was then not as the old bitter man I grew to be.

Take care of Melinda for me. She was probably supposed to be my soul mate and I might have let her become that if you hadn’t been in the picture. She and I both knew of unrequited love. Make sure that her final days here on this plane are great and that she wants for nothing that you can give her.

Tell Richie if he doesn’t take care of you the way you should be taken care of that I will come back in one form or another and kick his ass. He is a lucky man because you chose him and only because you chose him.

Tell the rest that I shall miss their company tremendously. They have taught me family isn’t always determined by blood. Tell Faith that I am sorry that I have held her responsible for my sister’s death for all these years and for the emotional impact it must have had on her. I didn’t want to see my sister die. I would have allowed Kate to kill me if it meant that she got to live that one second longer. And I understand that you probably won’t understand that Dawn, but if you ask Faith perhaps she could explain it better than I ever could.

I will cherish the day when we finally get to meet again, hopefully in a realm that time has no control over and we are all at peace.

Until then,

Wesley

The End

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