Like The End Of Chasing Amy
by Jennifer-Oksana

Anne found out much the way Cordelia and Lilah had; by being home two hours earlier than expected. It had been one of those screwed-up frozen moments, her eyes wide as she stared at the ginger-haired man with his lips wrapped around Gunn's cock, Gunn's hands twisted in his hair, his own head thrown back and eyes closed in anticipation of coming hard.

"The meeting was cancelled because the President is coming through the disaster area," said Anne dazedly, her eyes now firmly focused on the living room table. "The traffic would have been awful."

She didn't cry, didn't scream, and didn't smirk. Anne simply turned and walked into the bedroom, closing the door behind her with a resolute bang. Gunn, trying to zip his pants up, looked at Oz, the bedroom door, and back again.

"You're on the d.l., then?" Oz asked, going into the kitchen to wash his hands and get a glass of water. He was nearly as calm as Anne, and Gunn wanted to sink into the motherfucking floor, for lo, he was a piece of shit.

"Yeah," Gunn said, not knowing what else to say. "Have been for a long time."

"Kind of a shitty thing to do to a girl," said Oz, finishing the glass of water, swishing, and spitting into the sink. "Been busted before?"

"Twice," Gunn admitted. "With the same guy, no less."

"And he was okay with that?"

Gunn smiled ruefully. "Wes was kind of on the d.l., too. I don't think he dug the word bisexual any more than I do. You know? Girls can be bi, and that's kind of hot. But who the fuck wants to do a bisexual guy?"

Oz just looked at him, and not for the first time, Gunn wondered why he was so into the dude. Oz was skinny and white and what the so-called liberal media called "alternative" and while skinny did it for him, the rest? Not his thing. But Oz was honest, chill, and didn't make Gunn's crazy-meter go off.

"Just a thought," he finally answered. "You might want to ask a non-bi guy that question next time."

Shit. Gunn groaned, and sat down on the couch. "I'm an asshole," he said.

"Yeah, pretty much," Oz said, sitting down in the armchair Anne had found at a yard sale for three fifty. Gunn liked the armchair; it was brown, comfy, and fit in with the house. "The question is, why do you keep on being the same kind of asshole?"

Good question. Gunn looked away. "I don't know," he said. "I'm not very good at being on the d.l."

"No, you're not," Anne said, standing framed in the hallway. "I mean, even I knew about Wesley. I just thought with him being dead, you wouldn't get back on the horse so fast. But Charles, you're not the kind of guy who's good at being shady. You give yourself away."

Oz was now staring at Anne, like he was trying to place her from somewhere. She threw him a half-curious glance, shrugged, and kept her gaze fixed on Gunn. Gunn who now wished that he had died in the alley with the orcs and other Wolfram and Hart baddies, cuz this sucked and wasn't no way of getting around how much he deserved it.

And they weren't handling this like he'd gotten used to it being handled. Cordelia hadn't given a shit; she just told them to clean up and maybe watch out for Fred getting an eyeful. Lilah had been her usual bitch queen self; she'd breezily asked if she could watch, then turned on her heels, sauntered out, and said she'd be back later but now she expected dinner first. Wesley, both times, had been embarrassed as Hell, and it had been cold between them for a while after that. There hadn't been the accusation sitting in the air, the obvious hurt on everyone's faces, and the sinking feeling in Gunn's gut that he had deliberately sabotaged two good things trying to have his cake and eat it too.

"It was different with Wes," Gunn said. "We didn't mean to do it, but it would happen anyway. And I thought I could decide what I wanted later."

"Later?" and Anne's voice was shrill now. "What kind of later? When I woke up with a disease and you had to explain? When I was inviting people to dinner and you said, sorry, I like my boyfriend better? Charles, if you knew how many times I've had to warn my kids...warn the bangers in the neighborhood about tricking..."

She started to cry. Oz stood up and put a hand on her shoulder. "Hey," he said. "It's not your fault."

"I know," Anne said. "I just don't know what to do now. Do you?"

Oz gave Anne a toothy grin. "Not sure yet," he said. "Not big on liars. On the other hand, good guys are hard to find."

Gunn found himself keeping his fat mouth shut. Largely because all he had was sorry, and he didn't think sorry was going to help anyone. Neither was I'll never do it again, because he just didn't know. He'd thought it was part of the Wesley affair, being a straight guy who just happened to fuck another straight guy and it was wrong and it was right and it was something that was part of Gunn and Wes.

Anne snapped to get Gunn's attention. "Charles," she said. "What are you thinking?"

"That for everyone involved, it's better I just keep my mouth shut and accept the consequences?" Gunn replied, sounding a little flip even to himself. "Sorry. Didn't mean it to come out that way, but I don't know what to do, either."

"Doesn't seem like you're into coming out, period," Oz said mildly. Gunn grimaced; little dude was good at not wasting words. "Which again has us back to...why are you, a genuinely good dude with good taste, fucking yourself over for no reason?"

"You think it's that simple?" Gunn asked. "I announce to the world that hey, I'm AC/DC, bisexual, queer, whatever, and it'll work out?"

"Didn't say that," Oz said. "But it would have prevented the unfortunate situation here, where Anne and I are going to go get a coffee and some doughnuts, and you're going to try to figure out how to make it right."

Anne, after a surprised blink, nodded along with Oz. Gunn took a deep breath, because they weren't wrong. He knew Oz was a werewolf. He knew Anne was not her original name. But it didn't make him any less scared to think of telling a woman some night that he was into guys. Or admitting that he liked guys to a guy. The idea of telling Angel, for example, wasn't one he was crazy about.

"That's fair. More than fair," Gunn agreed, wondering just when his hands had become so interesting to look at. He forced himself to look up, and it was the pity in Anne's face that made his gut twist. He could deal with hate and anger; he deserved it. He could even deal with amused disinterest, more than deal, because it made it easier to write off. "I don't know where to start."

"Did you love him?" Anne asked, her arms wrapped around herself. "Do you love either of us?"

Silence. Of course he did. Of course he does.

The words wouldn't come out. He looked at Anne, at Oz, at his hands.

Why couldn't he just say it?


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