[I saw three ships]
To: Kajikia
From: Kate
Fandom: Angel the Series
Threesome: Cordelia Chase/Charles Gunn/Wesley Wyndam-Pryce
Title: Untitled
Requested Element: "We're the only ones to turn to when your castles turn to sand."
Betas: The lovely Croupier Rick
Notes: For some reason, Lorne popped up and insisted on telling this one. Hope you enjoy it!

Yeah, I know why it started, and why it ended, and I guess I owe you the story if nothing else. It was all down to Angel, at the end of the day. But, of course, there's more to the story than that. Isn't there always?

It began with Wesley and Gunn, and I can't imagine how anyone would ever be surprised by that. Unless, of course, they hadn't had the pleasure of watching them dancing around each other for months on end, before things finally started moving forward.

They did their best to get by, all three of them, after they left Angel Investigations — well, okay, after Angel fired them. Same diff, right? The important part is where they were trying to get by, and it really, really wasn't always easy. Especially at the beginning, before they started to get used to it — it's not nice, that feeling of being at loose ends, not that I figure you'd know. When everything you believed in goes to dust, there's nothing to hang onto except what you've got left — each other, for those three.

Anyway, back to the start of things. It was Wesley and Gunn, and of course alcohol was involved. You don't really think those two would ever have got past the dancing stage without a little perfectly natural disinhibitor, do you? In fact, it was the first time they came to see me, after the… parting of the ways. Turned into an argument, with certain accusations I happened to overhear about Wesley's ass — and you can guess who they came from — and then into drunken Queen songs. Which is where I got the rest of the story.

I may or may not have had a quiet word with those boys that night when Cordelia wasn't listening, just to break them out of the maudlin phase of the drinking. I still say the mental scarring wasn't my responsibility when Cordelia caught them in the bathroom of Wes's apartment two weeks later. And it definitely wasn't my fault that she came to me to ask what she should do about it.

I only asked them to sing, like I always do. I don't control what I read from my singers and, sweetcheeks, I couldn't have made that up if I'd tried… well, maybe if I'd been trying hard, in a certain mood… but that doesn't matter. I asked them if they were sure they wanted to hear it, and they said yes. So I told them, the best way to avoid either weird or bitter was just to… let all three of them join in.

So what if I made sure they were good and plied with drinks before I got unbusy enough to talk to them? Wouldn't you, if you were going to tell Cordelia and Gunn something like that? No violence in Caritas there may be, but that wouldn't stop them ambushing me if I ever left, and I do have to leave sometimes. Bruises just don't look good on green skin. And more importantly, they listened.

It did them good, for a while. Until a certain vampire of all our acquaintance had to decide he'd oh so graciously take them back — and good for them for what they put him through — and ruined it all… okay, maybe I'm being a little unfair. I guess it's not like he knew what was going on, at first, and he might not even have minded if he had. But all that effort I put into persuading them it was right, and then it all goes for nothing? It makes a demon bitter.

I don't suppose you could tell me… no. Of course not. It'd just be nice to know they got to be happy now, wherever they are.

It didn't end right away after they joined back up with Angel. But it got more difficult — have you ever tried having sex and not having your vampire co-worker know all about it the next day, for one thing? And no, that's not from personal experience. I'm not sure why they were trying to hide it, but I guess sometimes it's nice to have a thing be just yours.

What? Of course he knew — you knew, so how do you think he could not have? He just didn't tell them he knew. I'm pretty sure it was still going on for a good while before the whole ascension thing — Cordy turning half-demon put kind of a damper on things, but they got through that eventually, even if the 3D visions made it difficult sometimes.

I think they'd have made it. I like to think they'd have made it. At least until they didn't need to hold on to each other that much any more. But things all just spun out of control, and that's the story of our lives, kid. And now they're all dead, and even I never saw it coming. But then, I didn't want to see it. I mean, would you?

At least they died the way they would have wanted, not that anyone wants to die before they turn… I don't even know how old Wesley was. Under forty, I'm pretty sure, and the other two were still on the right side of thirty. Funny, the way 'only the good die young' pans out sometimes… only not. But whether it was stopping the Black Thorn, fighting the demon hordes, or helping Angel out one last time… they all got to do one last thing before the lights went out.

Why do I think it was down to Angel? Not hard to get, honey — they'd never have met without him, or re-met, but then it couldn't have ended how it did if they hadn't been with him. That's all.

Look, okay, you don't have to tell me where they are or any kind of detail like that. But please, just… did they all wind up together, and somewhere good? I know you know that much, or you can get it from someone who does.

…yeah. I guess I will, in the end. Even if an old sinner like me isn't likely to go the same place as the heroes. Thanks for nothing.

No, wait. Thanks for coming by. And… good luck, Lilah.