Title: Going Nowhere Fast
Fandom: Angel/Tuck Everlasting movie
Pairings: Angel/Miles, Gunn/Wesley
Spoiler Warning: for the movie "Tuck Everlasting," and for the episodes before 57 of "Angel"
Disclaimer: I don't claim any ownership of the characters or movie/series-related aspects of the world I've placed them in.
AU story. This story is set just after Angel episode 56-"Provider." Connor is still a baby and hasn't been taken by Holtz. Cordelia just got her bit of demon added to her in episode 55-"Birthday", and Gunn hasn't hooked up with Fred yet.
Jesse called me about two months ago, trying to arrange our "annual" get together. He does it about every ten years, just picks up the phone and tells me to come to wherever he is, that or he at least tries to get me to meet him somewhere in between where he's at and I am. It's gotten to the point where I don't even complain anymore, I just pack up a bag and hop a bus.
He thinks it's funny that I don't have a car or a motorcycle like him, that I just putter across the countryside using public transport. But like I've told him before, it's hard enough trying to stay off the government's radar without putting my name into the system by getting a license. Besides, I'm pretty indestructible. It's not like a ride on the bus is gonna kill me. Though sometimes I wish it would.
I promised to meet him in L.A. on the twenty-second, but I didn't have anything holding me down where I was at, so here I am a week early. I figure the extra time will give me a chance to look around, poke out some kind of fun or something.
So of course the first place I go off the bus is a seedy bar. I needed a drink.
Sitting right at the bar, I can't help but to notice that some of the patrons of this place are a little... weird. It was hard to catch even a little glimpse of the ones tucked away in the darkest corners, but the ones right out in the light just had something about them that was a bit off.
"What'll you have?"
I twitched and looked at the bartender. He was giving me the hairy eyeball and the creeps. "Whiskey sour."
He sniffed derisively and turned away.
The part of me that was always ready to pick a fight wanted to pound his head into a ball of mush, but I held myself back. There was no point in getting myself run out of town before I even got to see Jesse. He would be pissed if he showed up and I was already gone. There was no point in causing trouble--and that kid could really whine.
Thinking about my little brother, I couldn't help the slight prick of hurt I felt somewhere in the vicinity of my heart. He was off trying to meet his ladylove, his darling Winnie that he'd spent the last century talking about and pining over, imagining that young love was supposed to last forever.
I know it's kind of mean, but I don't have much hope that Winnie's gonna be there waiting for him. Call me pessimistic, but I saw the look on her face when she heard about our whole living forever thing, and I really doubt she's still there waiting for Jesse to come sweep her off her feet. I imagine the faint dew of youth is long since off her cheek and she's suffering from the withered crone effect. There's no way in hell she's bothered to wait eighty years for him to come back for her, though I almost wish she had.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm a little bitter over my own past experiences with love, none of which have ended anything even approaching well. Still, experience is burning its way through me and I'm not the same twenty year old boy I was when I first drank from the spring.
I'd really and truly loved about a handful of women, but after a couple of decades none of them had been able to handle the whole idea of me not getting any older. And sure, love is a powerful emotion, but I know for a fact that it doesn't ever really last. People just grow old and die before it all has a chance to fall apart.
Take my Ma and Tuck. They've been together damned dear forever, and sure, they've got a fondness for each other, but it's pretty obvious the sweaty-love has faded. They're close companions and sometimes friends, but even though they're open with the fact that they’re married, the love they've got left is barely enough to fill a thimble. It's just that they've been together so long that they don't know anything else and aren't brave enough to get out and find something better.
Not that I want my parents to break up or anything. It's just hard to watch as the feelings they once had for each other fade away a little more each year. I love them both so much and I want them to be happy, but they're not. They're maybe sometimes content with what they have, but that's pretty much it.
The bartender clunked my drink down in front of me, ignoring how some of it sloshed over the edge of the glass. I could practically smell the hiss and burn of the alcohol.
I reached into my pocket and passed over a ten dollar bill. "Thank you." It's always important to be polite.
Jesse may think I'm the next thing to the Grinch, but just because I don't buy a bunch of useless junk doesn't mean I don't have any money. I'm just really careful with it, except for when I'm in a bar or a restaurant. I figure a healthy tip pretty much guarantees a lack of spit in my drinks or food and it's money well spent.
I sipped my whiskey and hunched my shoulders a little to get into the good barstool slouch position. My elbows automatically propped themselves on the polished wood and my toes hooked on the rungs of my stool. I was completely comfortable sitting like this and in being in dank little holes like this one.
I'm not too proud to admit that I've spent quite a few years of my extremely long life in places sunlight had never reached. Dirty bars and no-tell motels were a pretty regular feature of my existence.
I think it's my proclivity for hanging out in dumps that finally had Jesse going off on his own. He'd been with me for a couple of years, but finally it all just got to be too much for him and he went off to have adventures of his own.
He's become a bit of a party boy over the years, bouncing from disco to pop to alternative music. He was as comfortable shuffling on a neon checkered dance floor as he was slamming into strangers in a mosh pit. And he'd done drugs I'd never even heard of, putting things up his nose and in his arm with a complete lack of fear because he knew it wasn't going to kill him.
The last time I'd seen him, Jesse had cut his hair short and worn it in black-tipped spikes. He'd been dressed in black leather pants, a black tee shirt with the sleeves torn off, and black engineers boots. His arms had rattled with the weight of enough metal that he'd never be able to get through a metal detector without a strip search. There was a studded dog collar around his neck and he'd been wearing black lipstick and eyeliner that made him look like a raccoon.
From what he'd said when he called me, he'd dropped the whole goth-punk look for a clean-cut image. He said he'd started growing his hair back out again for when he rehooked up with Winnie. He didn't want to scare her with how much he'd changed.
Personally, I think he's only fooling himself. Winnie's not waiting, and if she is, she's not going to be the same sweet girl he left behind so long ago. Eighty years will do a lot to a person, even if they never change.
If he was going to go back for her, he should have done it long ago. He gave her way too long to think, and I'm pretty sure he's going to be disappointed. Love never really lasts forever.