Title: Aftermath
Author: babies stole my dingo (agilebrit)
Fandom: Angel
Rating: PG-13
Length: Short short
Disclaimer: Joss is the genius behind these characters; I am but a lowly follower. I make no money from any of this, so please don't sue me.
Written for: Illmantrim requested a post-NFA, Gunn was the sole survivor, fic.
The sun rose on a scene of carnage. Unearthly corpses lay stacked three and four deep in the alley. A headless dragon sprawled where it had been felled, a trickle of black, steaming blood still leaking from its neck. Far in the back of the passage, a figure stirred, rose to its hands and knees, and swore a little.

Charles Gunn lifted his aching head. The first thing that met his blurred gaze was a blue-haired woman in red leather, eyes wide open, clutching a sword...and half-cleaved in two. "'llyria?" he whispered. She was dead. It looked as if she'd died protecting him. He didn't remember much past the dragon. Surely he wasn't the only one still here? "Angel?" No answer. "Spike?" The wind blew a piece of paper around in a circle above his head. "Aw, hell no, man. You tellin' me I'm the sole survivor?"

He rested his forehead on the pavement. Damn, but he hurt. A sound made him look up again; he wouldn't have lasted this long in the business if he didn't pay attention to what went on around him. He frowned at what he saw, then let out a choking laugh. "You guys are too late," he croaked.

A young brunette woman picked her way through the bodies and knelt down next to him. "What happened here?" Her eyes widened in recognition. "Gunn?"

He rolled to a sitting position, leaning against the wall. "H'lo, Faith. Fancy meetin' you among a bunch of demon carcasses."

"Just got word that something big was going down. Where's everyone else? Shit, you're hurt. Melanie! Need some medical help here."

A redhead with a first-aid kit ran towards them, pausing to kick the sword from Illyria's hand. "No!" Gunn protested, before her foot connected. "Don't be dissin' Blue Thunder. She was on our side."

While Melanie worked on his injuries, he haltingly told Faith what he remembered, and what he knew. "So, if you guys haven't found Angel and Spike, then I'm assuming they're dust," he concluded, his voice hoarse with emotion.

Her jaw had clenched at the news of Wesley's death, and her face closed up completely as he finished the story. "You wanna excuse me just a minute?" Without waiting for an answer, she stood up and walked through the alley door into the Hyperion. She leaned her forehead against one of the pillars in the lobby and began swearing softly, punching the column. Right, left, right, left...harder, and harder, until chips flew from it, her knuckles bled, and she was screaming in fury and frustration.

Angel had been the one person to believe in her, to not give up on her when everyone else had, and she had failed him. And Wes--they'd come to a truce, an understanding, finally, and now this had to happen. Spike? He'd been back, and no one had known, and now he was dust again. Shit.

"Know how you feel," Gunn said behind her.

"Yeah, well," she said to the pillar. "You gonna be okay?"

"The Melanie girl said I'll live." He walked up and put his hand on her shoulder. "I loved them too, you know?"

"I know." Her voice was husky. "What's next for you?"

"Got room for one more in your crew?"

She spun around and faced him, staring incredulously. "You still wanna do this? After all that?"

"I don't know how to do anything else. Except be a lawyer, and I don't think I'm legal anymore." He shrugged. "If you don't want me, guess I'll build another ragtag gang and freelance. I like organization better, though."

She nodded. "You'll do, Charlie-boy. Welcome to the team."