Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project
Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project

Deep End
By Lisa Martin
For Kassie

He really didn't want to do this, really, really didn't. Why him? Why was he always the one who got the dirty jobs? Stalking the streets of LA, of course it had to rain, muttering under his breath, Charles Gunn was not a happy camper.

It all started so well. A week ago Angel had been called to the Powers That Be. Not that unusual, but everyone had instinctively known this was going to be a special occasion. Everyone had been right. Angel returned within the hour, a small smile playing around his lips. Cordelia had immediately ambushed him, demanding an explanation for his 'extremely perky behaviour' as she called it. While pretending to be offended, stating he wasn't doing perky, they all knew Angel was the bearer of good news.

In true Angel style he had waited for them to sit down, even Cordelia. When the news was finally delivered, no one had been able to stay in their seats. The prophecy was finally fulfilled, Angel was human. Fred had giggled while pressing her hand to his chest, feeling the heart beat, Cordelia had been a little more exuberant, hugging Angel fiercely. Gunn had merely given him a hearty slap on his back. Lorne had tried to hug Angel, but the former vampire had stared at him and taken a step back, eyes nearly bulging out of their sockets. It had made them all laugh, even Lorne.

The happy mood wasn't broken for days, even a particularly nasty fight with a pack of demons hadn't ruined it. To make things even better, Christmas was only a week away. It was Fred who suggested they'd have a big Christmas party now because they really had something to celebrate. After some token protests, Angel had given in.

And then Cordelia had gotten this 'great' idea. A reunion. Everyone who ever worked with Angel Investigations would be invited to this party. At first it had sounded nice, but the more he thought about it, the more Gunn was resenting it. Oh, inviting that lady cop, what was her name, Kate?, wasn't a big deal, he'd supported that. Even having the Slayer over wasn't his biggest worry, although she could present a problem. There were two names on Cordelia's list that really had him worried. He knew why she wanted them there and if he was honest with himself, so did he. He just wasn't so sure about Angel's reaction.

The shit hit the fan when he was asked to find them. He flat out refused. Not because it was a difficult task, quite the contrary. He knew where to find them. The reason he went ballistic was Cordelia's attitude. She had told him to do it, wouldn't hear his objections, and threw a tantrum when he kept refusing. The argument that followed was one for the record books. Lorne had broken them up before it came to blows, but they hadn't exchanged a word for days.

Then what made him do it? The icy atmosphere that hung around the hotel for the last few days? Fred's pleas? Angel's confusion? He didn't know. All he knew that he had walked out to get some fresh air (if you could call the air fresh in LA) and had found himself in one of the seedy alleyways down town, his feet leading him to a place he didn't want to be. In the last few minutes he had cursed Cordelia, Fred, Lorne and even Angel for making him do this. He even considered walking away from it all, turn his back on his friends and skip town. He immediately berated himself when that thought surfaced. Charles Gunn was no quitter. He had faced bigger problems than this. So here he was, standing in front of a paint chipped door. It used to be green, but it had given up being that colour years ago. No indication whatsoever as to who lived here. People who lived in this area of town didn't want to be found.

He knocked, forcing himself to stay put and wait for someone to open the door. When it finally opened, it took all the self restraint that he had not to run.

"Gunn." The voice was flat and emotionless.

"Wesley." Gunn regarded him. It had been months since he'd last seen him, but Wesley seemed to have aged years. Pale face, a messy beard, and feverish eyes. To say that he didn't look well was the understatement of the year.

"Came to bring some Christmas spirit?" The biting sarcasm hit Gunn like a brick wall. He steeled himself and nodded.

"Actually I do. Can I come in?"

The blue eyes became almost black, making him shiver. Despite his haggard appearance, Wesley Wyndham Price was still a force to be reckoned with. He breathed a sigh of relief when the other man stepped aside to let him in. He made his way through the dark hallway, hurrying to get into the light again. He was a man who always watched his back and having someone walk behind him in such a cramped space always made him nervous. Even if the man had been a friend once. He breathed in deeply when he entered the living room and let it out slowly. Every time he came here he expected to find the place trashed, stinking of cheap booze and dirty. Every time he was surprised that wasn't the case. It was messy, books and papers lying around everywhere, but it was clean.

"Christmas spirit?"

Gunn faced Wesley, trying to hide his surprise at the mildly amused tone. "Yeah. Cordelia had this insane idea that we had to have a big Christmas party this year. Actually, it was Fred's idea, but Cordy decided to make it a reunion." He rushed the words out, not wanting to be interrupted.

Wesley's smile was small and bemused. "Sounds like Cordelia. What I find very hard to believe is that she actually thought of inviting me."

"And me," Gunn muttered. "I mean," he added hastily, catching the hard stare. "We have an additional reason to celebrate. The prophecy."

Wesley sat down, stretching his legs in front of him and resting his hands in his lap. "Ah yes. I was wondering when that would happen. I'd say it's about time." He leaned forward, his gaze becoming cold and hard. "But do you seriously think I can forget everything that happened because a vampire turned human? Those visions must have scrambled Cordelia's mind."

Gunn shrugged. "Can't blame you for saying that. I'm.."

"Just the messenger boy?"

The voice came from the doorway. Gunn turned his head slowly, immediately on guard. "Connor."



Connor walked in, gave Wesley a smile and halted in front of Gunn. He had grown, the older man noted, he was nearly as tall as him. "So, a Christmas reunion to celebrate the bastard's redemption? What did Cordelia pay you to deliver this message?"

Gunn's self control snapped. "Don't you talk like that about Cordelia!!" he hissed.

Connor smiled again, a maddening self assured smile. "Notice he didn't get angry about me calling the vampire a bastard?" he asked Wesley.

"Gunn has his reasons, I'm sure," Wesley stated calmly. "But I do resent you offending Cordelia."

"Pfah. What good did she ever do to you??" Connor turned his full attention to Wesley. Gunn stepped back, wishing he could creep out there unnoticed.

"She was kind to me when everyone else wasn't." The words held a clear threat. Go on and regret it. Connor glared, but backed off.

"Guess she wasn't the worst," he shrugged. "And you stay here," he threw over his shoulder at Gunn, who was inching towards the door.

"Let him go," Wesley sighed. "He has his answer. Mind you, I don't envy you, Charles."

The use of his first name came as a surprise. Wesley hadn't called him Charles in years. Against all odds, he tried again. "Then tell me you'll come over." The next thing he knew he was backed against the wall, a knife at his throat.

"He said no. What part of that didn't you understand??" Connor's face was only inches away from his, his lips pulled back in a snarl.

"I understood." Gunn was amazed he could remain so calm. Being jaded because of his career choice was the most plausible answer, but having a knife at your throat always made him nervous. It was the man who held it. The man who swore once he would never hurt him. Things had changed, but Gunn was still convinced Connor would not break that promise. "Connor," he pleaded softly.

"My name is not Connor!"

"Fine, Stephen then. Don't." He kept his voice soft and even. "Remember your promise."

"Screw that promise!" The tip of the knife was digging in his throat and he could feel a small trickle of blood running down his neck.

"I always thought you were a man of your word."

The knife dropped away. Furious eyes were staring at him. "Fuck you!"

Gunn knew he had the upper hand. He also knew it wouldn't last long. "You already did that." He heard Wesley gasp in surprise and couldn't resist the temptation. "Oh, you didn't know? Never told him, Connor?"

"Connor?" Wesley had risen from his chair and was staring at the both of them. "Something you care to tell me?"

"No! He's lying!"

"Gunn is no liar. A traitor, yes, a liar, no."

Anger roared inside Gunn. "Who are you calling a traitor??"

Wesley smiled cruelly. "I take it Angel doesn't know about your little 'affair' with his son?"

"It wasn't an affair!"

Both men looked at Connor, who seemed to realise his mistake and dropped his gaze. "Then what was it?" Wesley demanded.

"None of your business," Connor muttered.

Wesley took a step towards the younger man. "It is my business. Anything that goes on in that place is my business."

"I am sick and tired of your obsession with that vampire!!" The young man's embarrassment was gone. "He's all you can talk about! Angel this, Angel that," he mimicked. "You fucking love the bastard! Admit it!!"

"I do not!! I hate him!!"

The argument became more and more heated, for which Gunn was silently thankful. He moved towards the door, slowly, carefully, his eyes never leaving the arguing men. When he reached the door, he paused for a moment. He knew he wasn't coming back ever again. He had to ban these two out of his life. For too long he had held up the hope that everything would turn out all right, that Wesley would return to their group and that Connor would be reunited with his father. Now he realised this was never going to be. He gave them one last look and briefly met Connor's eyes. There was a trace of regret in them, a silent plea for forgiveness. Gunn closed his eyes, not wanting to see it. He turned and walked through the hallway and out into the dark, rainy night.