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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)DemonaFR181227,997034,0382 Aug 032 Aug 03Yes

Chapter Six: Sometimes The Past Is Hard To Swallow

For Disclaimer and Notes see first chapter.

Chapter Six: Sometimes The Past Is Hard To Swallow

Present
LA 2029

I open my eyes and blink a few times to get accustomed to the different view from which I am looking. I am once again seeing from my own eyes and not through Faith’s. She had leaned back into her own seat and was watching me carefully.

“Wow. That was definitely the weirdest thing that I have ever experienced,” I told her and she nodded with a slight smile. “So how long did that take?” I ask as I try to figure out how long it was that I was in her mind for.

“I just touched you,” she told me. “A second at the most, probably less,” she answered. I looked at her like she had grown another head.

“There is no way. That was days worth of time,” I argued.

“But it took me a second to relay it to you. Think of it like a compressed file on the computer. You can send lots of information in a tiny package. That is what I did with you just then. Ask them, they won’t lie. I have no reason to lie about that.”

“So you all succeeded with the plan? You fooled my Dad into believing Cordelia was dead. When did he leave?”

“About a week after the funeral. He said he had nothing left here for him, nothing holding him down. He didn’t say if he would ever come back, he said he would see us again, but we all knew he would never step foot in LA ever again.”

“And Cordelia?”

“We buried her and dug her up that night. Giles took her back to Sunnydale with him. Needless to say everyone had a different reaction to our plan but they all vowed not to tell anyone that Cordelia was still alive. The Watchers even believed, for a few months that Cordelia was actually dead as well.”

“So…perhaps that is what my father wanted me to come here for. To tell Angel that he was dead and going to be with Cordelia finally,” I said sadly. “Only wait, Cordelia is still alive and he is waiting there alone,” I angrily spat at them.

“I didn’t show you the events of past so that you could judge us now on them. We did then as we thought was best for the future. Hindsight is twenty-twenty. Cordelia was, whether you believe it or not, thinking with her head rather than her heart. She didn’t want to lose Gunn, but she knew the longer he stuck around her the harder it would be on both of them when he died,” Faith angrily hissed at me. “We did what we thought best for Gunn’s future, for his life,” she quietly finished.

“So he had to endure further hardship when my mortal mother died and then his own death,” I argued back.

“He got to love another. He got to have two beautiful children that he couldn’t have had with Cordelia. Had she not done what she did you wouldn’t be alive today. Fate has a plan for all of us, Wesley no one can escape it.”

“He left me this mission. To find Angel, to let him know that my father was dead. Why?” I asked angrily.

“What did he leave for Angel?” Faith quietly asked me.

“A box that I haven’t opened. It was addressed to Angel and I didn’t want to open something that wasn’t mine,” I honestly answered, slightly defeated.

“You know about Cordelia and your father now. I suggest that you take the information that you have been given and take a little time to yourself to process it before you talk to us again. We aren’t the bad guys here Wesley. We didn’t do this to hurt your father. We did what we thought was the only option at the time.”

“And now…would you do it again?”

“If Cordelia came to me again with something like that…or I could go back in time with the knowledge that I had now then yes, in a heartbeat. I would do it again. I know that Gunn lived a normal life. He found a wife, had children, and died fighting. If you had told me that your father was a drunk who abused you and your mother and died from alcohol or something of the sorts then I would be hesitate to do it again. But he lived Wesley, you might not think that he lived, but he did. He wanted to go down fighting and that is what he got to do,” she told me honestly. I was disgusted with her.

“I need to get out of here.”

“You coming back?” She quietly asked.

“Yeah,” I answered as I stood up and grabbed my bag before heading out the front door.

******************

Days turned into a weeks and before I knew it Cordelia and Angel would be coming back to LA. My sister was coming to LA tomorrow and Cordelia and Angel were coming back today. I was behind the counter operating the register today. At about two fifteen p.m. Faith jumped up squealing from her seat and ran toward the door. I watched as a young woman entered the store. She got the door shut and she was picked up and whirled around in a circle by Faith. Faith put the woman down and then shoved her against the wall and crushed her lips to hers in a passionate embrace. It was a raw, passionate kiss. Faith finally pulled away but she kept her forehead up against the woman’s.

“You gonna let me go Faith?” The woman asked Faith, clearly amused.

“Not yet Cordy,” Faith answered. So that was Cordelia. Faith placed another gentle kiss on Cordelia’s lips mumbling something I couldn’t hear or make out. Faith stepped back eventually. She went to move away from Cordelia, but Cordelia quickly grabbed her hand, lacing their fingers together. Faith beamed at this simple action. They headed toward all of us. The conversation settled around Cordelia while she remained holding Faith’s hand.

I kept quietly to myself behind the counter of the shop while everyone milled around Cordelia, excited to see her again. I felt Angel before I even saw him. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I turned slightly to my left and saw Angel standing in the doorway from the back entrance of the shop. He was quietly watching the group’s reaction to Cordelia’s homecoming. Faith must have sensed him as well because she looked up and met his stare head on. A small smile graced her lips before she returned to the conversation that was going on around her with Cordelia. I looked at Angel and his face remained the same as it had moments before Faith looked at him, completely emotionless. Dawn’s shriek brought me back to the present and out of my own staring realm.

“Angel!” Dawn yelled and sprinted quickly for him in the doorway. He took a few steps forward, not necessarily towards her, but more so that when she jumped on him they wouldn’t crash into the doorframe behind him. She did jump on him, legs around his waist, arms around his neck, head buried in his neck. I could hear him purring slightly, which was fascinating to me. Dawn finally unhooked her legs from around his waist and slid down his body, her arms following down his body.

“Hey princess,” he quietly said and she smiled.

“I’ve missed you so much!” She told him, giggling slightly.

“I missed you too,” he answered honestly and then placed a brief but firm kiss on her forehead.

“So if you missed me as much as I missed you then you must have picked me out some wicked cool gifts huh?” She asked bluntly and he laughed loudly causing several of the others to look up at them.

“Of course I did. I don’t have them with me now. They are back at the hotel…so you and Richie will have to stop by tonight before you head back to your place,” he told her and I raised an eyebrow in confusion. I knew that Angel still owned the hotel and lived there, as did several others from the team, but to this day where Dawn lived was still a mystery to me.

“Are you asking Angel for presents already?” Cordelia’s voice broke the silence and everyone laughed and Dawn had the decency to blush.

“Well…yeah,” she tried to protest at first but ultimately decided the truth was going to come out either way. “He didn’t even bring them with though, he left them at the hotel. He is blackmailing me into coming to see him again to get my presents when all I want is my damn presents,” she teased and he picked her up from behind, spun her around, and threw her over his shoulder. He was just about to smack her ass when he caught sight of me. His hand stopped in mid-air and he looked at me like a deer in headlights. Dawn stopped her kicking and giggling and he dropped her unceremoniously to the floor. She almost landed on her ass but caught herself just in time.

“Who are you?” He asked me, not menacingly, but in a tone that clearly stated he wasn’t one to be fucked with.

“I’m Wesley Gunn,” I told him confidently. He didn’t blink in shock or even look like it surprised him.

“Why are you here?” Was his next question.

“Gunn is dead Angel,” I heard Faith try to explain to him.

“If his son is here then that is to be expected no?” He asked, sarcasm evident in his voice. “Cause we all know damn well that there is no way in hell that Gunn or his children would have ever stepped foot in LA again if he was alive,” Angel finished, a little anger evident in his voice.

“Angel…” Cordelia tried this time. He sighed heavily and then looked over at me.

“I’m sorry Wesley – you are not deserving of my anger or sarcasm,” he told me gently.

“I’m cool,” I replied, suddenly thinking that was a dumb statement.

“So what brings you to LA, Wes?” Angel asked.

“It’s Wesley — I go by Wesley,” I corrected him quietly and he nodded. “When my father died he left me with this picture with the name ‘Angel’ on the back and a box. I haven’t opened the box; I have only been searching for your name. I assumed the name belonged to the woman in the picture but I know now that you aren’t the woman in the picture. That woman is Cordelia.”

“Wow,” Angel gently stated. “So you came here from where?”

“Chicago,” I answered automatically.

“He got the hell out of dodge didn’t he? He wasn’t kidding when he said he was getting as far away as possible,” Angel quietly said to me.

“I’ve heard that one before,” I told him just as quietly.

“So, where’s my box?” Angel asked after a few moments of silence. I bent down and grabbed my bag and pulled out the box that was for Angel. It was locked and I didn’t know the combination, nor did I want to know what was inside.

“Here,” I said and handed it to him. He looked it over and then looked back at me.

“You got the combination?”

“No…there was no combination number left with the box. Only the box,” I answered, and he furrowed his brow in confusion.

“I’ll give it a try tonight,” he said and set the box down on the counter next to me.

“What?” I asked. “I have had that box for over a year and you are going to wait to see what is in it now that you have it?” I was itching to know the contents of the box.

“Perhaps the contents were specifically meant for my eyes. I will take into consideration what is in the box before I relinquish any information concerning its contents. I am assuming that Gunn gave me the box to use with my discretion,” Angel said and I slowly nodded.

“Fine,” I answered gently.

“Good, then I’m headed back to the hotel. I’ll see you later munchkin?” Angel announced and then asked Dawn.

“Yeah, Richie and I will swing by later ok?” She replied and he nodded.

“Good. I can’t wait to see you then. I’m sure you will love the presents I got for you,” he teased and then he looked at the group of people on the floor of the shop. “Guys,” he stated and they all said their goodbyes. Again, I noticed there was no interaction between Faith and Angel, only a moment’s glance and a smile from Faith. I didn’t understand the whole Faith/Angel, Faith/Cordelia situation still after Dawn had attempted to explain it to me several times since I had originally learned the whole story.
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