Disclaimer: If I owned them, this would be what you see on the show. Since Joss, Mutant Enemy, and Fox own them, all we get is subtext. *sigh *

Rising Sun, Waning Moon
by Serafina (serafina20 at hotmail.com)

Rated: [Unrated -- contains non-graphic sex]

Summary: Wesley muses about how his feelings for a certain friend have changed.

Spoilers: Season 2 up through "Ephiphany"

I wonder if his skin is as silky as it looks. I wonder if his arms can comfort as well as protect. I wonder if his lips are as sensuous as they appear to be. I wonder what he is thinking when he looks at me through unreadable eyes. I wonder if he is a good kisser and a good lover.

And I wonder when this all began.

Not when we first me, certainly. I didn't see him then as I do now. One day he was a boy from the streets, then he was a rival for Angel's attention, then a comrade in arms, and then, quite suddenly, he was all to me.

Charles Gunn.

When he looks at me my breath catches, every time. I didn't know why at first, I didn't understand how my feelings had changed. I couldn't admit anything because ever since Angel uttered those fateful words, "You're all fired," I have been waiting for everyone else to leave as well. Waiting for Charles Gunn to leave for something new and more exciting than me.

They always leave or make me go, it is just a matter of time. My father, the Council, Faith, Virginia, Angel. Something about me makes them want to flee. And then I thought that Gunn had slipped through my tenuous and perhaps unworthy grasp as well.

I didn't even realize how much it hurt until he came back.

"I would never abandon you," he told me, his eyes on me, and only me. He said the words for Angels benefit, yes, but he said them to me. And I wondered why he had felt the need to say it. I wondered why it meant so very much for me to hear it. Except I knew. It meant that finally, *finally * there was someone who wanted - someone who needed? - me around.

He came back.

Charles Gunn came back to me.

We have a handshake. A silly thing, really. He taught it to me one night after slaying a demon and before playing an intense board game. It's just a few slaps of the hand, and overly elaborate ritual reminiscent of a handshake between warriors. Knights. Brothers-in- arms. Someone you are willing to trust, to fight beside, and die with.

And he does it with me. Not Angel. Me.

Tonight his attention was focused intently on me. He completely ignored the vampire at my back, his eyes warm as he gazed at me, telling me that he would never leave.

I bask in his attention like a cat in the sun, always afraid he will disappear and all I will be left with this darkness to which I am forever attached to.

And that is the rub. No matter where I go or what I do, a part of me will always belong to Angel. In a ritual-like manner that Angel never realized, I made a solemn vow to fight by his side, to be his companion, to serve him as faithfully as I could. And he rejected me. That, however, does not make my vow any less of a binding contract. So, no matter what happens, I will always be bound to Angel. And that part of me that belongs to Angel will always be scared and unsure because Angel's light is that of the moon: it shines fully for only a brief and glorious moment, then begins to slowly slip back towards the darkness.

I like the way I feel with Gunn. Glowing from his light, yearning for nothing but, perhaps more of him, I feel complete. I never understood the feeling. I never thought about it, just felt. And it is only now, in that clarifying moment when he came back, that I realized that I do not want to be just his brother or just his friend and that the brief contact of our handshake is no longer satisfying.

I wonder how his body would feel on mine. I wonder how his muscles would feel beneath my hands were I to stroke him. I wonder if I could make him cry out in pleasure. I wonder if he would be receptive or if he would reject me. I wonder if I offered myself, if he would leave and not come back, taking my sunlight away and leaving me only with the moon.

"I'm coming up with you."

I glance over at Gunn. "You don't have to, really. I'll be fine."

"I know, but I'm still gonna."

I say nothing, pleased with his concern. He does this every night he drives me home, even before I was shot. It's another ritual, I suppose, one in which he makes sure that his fellow warrior is safe before heading out into the unknown wilds of the night. When he does this, verifies that there are no demons lurking under my bed or in my closet, I do feel secure. I feel safe. Cared for.


Unlike with Angel who never bothered to drop by. Who never even asked where I suddenly got enough money not only to afford the place, but keep it.

Gunn was there all those months ago when I received the call from the Watcher's Council, informing me of my parents death. He was there when I got the news that my father had never written me out of the will and I inherited all. That I was now master of a large house and larger fortune. Gunn was there, not Angel.

"You ok?" he asks, looking at me.

"Yes. Why?"

Gunn sits on my couch, looking at me seriously. "I was thinking that maybe we forced the decision about Angel on you. That maybe you want to go back to him . . .to work for him, I mean."

Is that pain in his voice?

"No." I shake my head for emphasis. "No, not now, not yet. Things are too confusing right now and it's too soon."

"How do you mean?"

"Well, Virginia left me and I've been shot and there are . . .feelings that I have that I've only just realized that I need to deal with." I hold my breath, half hoping, half dreading he will realize what I mean.

Gunn's face is unreadable. "If it's any consolation, I think he's got some of the same feelings. I think part of his so-called epiphany was realizing what he could have had in you. Now, he wants you back."

A strange sensation is in my stomach. It's part nervousness, part fear, part confusion. It writhes slowly, unpleasantly. "No."

"Yes. This is all about you, Wesley. Everything now boils down to you and your acceptance or rejection of him. He doesn't really care about Cordy and me, not the way he does about you. So, I'm thinking, you need to make the decision. Do you want him?"

"No, I want. . ." I break off abruptly, realizing what I almost said.

He leans closer. "What do you want?"

Heat rises to my face and I can no longer meet his eyes. He is too beautiful and I am too embarrassed by my feelings. "I like how things are going with us. All of us. We are more like a team or a, or a family. I don't want to ruin that by going back to work for him."

"Neither do I."

"I just want things to stay how that are." I manage to look up at him.

His eyes are fathomless. I cannot read them. He sits back, then says, "Yeah. Me too."

* * *

They all looked to me for the final decision. I didn't know what to do, so I let him stay. He will now work for us. Let Cordelia have her revenge by making him file and answer phones; let Gunn have his satisfaction by knowing that he is the leader of the fighting clan.

Let me sit in misery as Angel continues to look at me with half pleading, half beseeching eyes. They ask so many things of me: forgiveness, understanding, friendship. Love? I don't know. Gunn seems to think so and Gunns eyes are, as always, unreadable.

"I can drive you home, Wes," Angel offers.

I open my mouth to reply / dear God, no / when Gunn answers for me. "No. I'm taking him home." His tone brooks no argument.

I shrug at Angel, once again feeling embarrassed by my internal reaction to Gunn's attention. I feel as if I could fly. In the two days that Angel has been back, Gunn has been very possessive, hovering around me, glaring at the vampire, touching my shoulder, my hair, letting Angel know that he is not welcome to me.

I feel like I belong to Gunn, but I know that is absurd. He is only acting this way because I said I do not want Angel, but lack the courage to tell the vampire so.

Gunn walks me to my flat and comes inside.

"I lied," he says suddenly.

"Oh? About what?"

"I don't want things to stay like they are."

He is going to leave. Oh God.

"Why not?" My voice, even to my ears, sounds distressed. I clear my throat. "Why not?" I repeat, my voice now neutral. Must stay emotionless, mustn't feel anything inappropriate.

"Because it's not enough the way things are. I mean, yeah, he left you. He hurt you, everyone knows that. But he's Angel, you know? Angel; I don't even need to say anything else because being Angel is enough. And because he's Angel that means he's got a better chance of getting you than I will ever have. I hate that. So, I've gotta change it now, even if you're not ready, because otherwise, I may never get my chance and I'll lose you."

Leaning heavily on my cane, I was trying to make sense of his words when he did something completely unexpected.

Charles Gunn kissed me.

He kissed me until I was quite breathless. He kissed me until my knees were weak and I was holding onto him tightly so I wouldn't fall. He kissed me until I was kissing him fiercely back, trying to bury myself inside him, to merge into his skin so that he couldn't leave because he would be part of me.

Ever so slightly, he pulled back. "I want you, Wes, I want you to be mine. I don't want him to touch you."

I run my fingers over his head, down his cheek, to his lips.

His skin is so silky, his arms are so strong, his lips so sensuous. I kiss him before I answer, "I want you." I kiss him again, then add, "Just, be gentle; I don't want to pop any stitches."

Gunn laughs. "Yeah, I'll be gentle." For a moment he doesn't move, just looks at me. I can read the uncertaity in his eyes and wonder when he became so much like me.

Or maybe he always was.

"You sure?"

"I am sure."

His lips brush mine as he begins tugging me to the bedroom.

And I can't help thinking that this is a dream, a fantastic dream. When I wake, it will be gone and I will be alone.

His body on mine, his lips on mine, his hand on me, his cock at my entrance and I am in heaven.

How can you dream in the sun? The beams are too intense to be imagined, unlike the moon whose brush is so cold and transient. You can never be certain until it's too late that it has brushed by you and then you are left in the darkness to wonder. The sun cannot do that. It demands, it shines, and it warms, making itself known.

This is real, this pleasure is real and this feeling is too bright to disappear. His eyes bore into mine, saying once again, "I will never abandon you." I feel him so strongly and it breaks through my haze, my voice crying out suddenly in the brightly lit room.

Love was not meant for the dark.

And then we are one. Gunn fills me, completes me, and banishes the darkness. He is warm, he pulses, and he is alive. He burns me, but gently, lovingly, marking me as his.

I feel the shadows flee as we move in the pulsating dance as his light - our light - eclipses the waning moon.

the end

Back to Previous Years' Story Index