Title: A Single Phone Call
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Angel the Series belongs to Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt. Stargate belongs to Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner.
A/N: Reviews are Good. This has been a subtle hint from the author - Please return to your regularly scheduled reading.
"What girl – you don't have any crazy relatives?" he had teased her once as they lay in bed together after talking for a while, trying (yet again) to get straight the convoluted relationship between Angel, Connor, Darla, Dru, and Spike. He still didn't think he completely got it really (it kept changing for one thing), but vamps were just vamps sometimes he figured – they weren't meant to make much sense to humans.
"You mean you don't think I'm enough crazy for my family?" Fred had giggled and he couldn't help but smile too.
"Well, there is my Granddaddy", she had conceded finally. "Really he's my Great Uncle, but I always called him Granddaddy. He's a General in the Air Force," his eyes had widened impressed. "And he's not really crazy but he deals with some really weird stuff, ya know," Fred had continued. "Not our sort of weird," she assured. "But stuff even weirder in a way," he almost interrupted her, he didn't know how shit could be even weirder than their lives were.
"I know, I know," she said with and understanding grin. "But it really is, trust me. I mean, it's secret and all for a reason. I wouldn't know about it, except some people wanted me to work there because of the whole physics thing," she waved one of her hands casually around in the air, encompassing all of her enormous super-genius knowledge of how the universe worked (that he would never in a million years be able to understand) with a flap of her delicate hand. He snatched that hand out of the air gently and kissed her palm. She smiled wide, giggled, "Char-les," and cuddled more against him before continuing.
"See they did it all without knowing we were related, or at least I think they did anyway. Granddaddy was awful upset at the recruiters when he found out. We talked a bit and asked me not to join his program – I still had some schoolin' to do anyway. I guess even though I was still in college, one of those papers that I had written on string theory that actually got published in a journal – I think it was the one about parallel universes. They asked me about that one during the interview," she bit her lip trying to remember. "Anyways, I think I musta' sent up a few red flags for them."
"I agreed though, with my Granddaddy that is. It would have been hard for him, ya know? Bein' in charge and maybe having to be the one to put his own little grandniece in danger," Fred paused for a moment and looked up at him.
Because Gunn knew. Remembered the worry of fighting vampires alongside Alonna, knowing she could take care of herself, but still always aware of it. Then that worry coming to fruition - a nightmare come to life. His baby sister turned and him having to stake her. Kill her. So, yeah. He could totally get her family being like that, too.
"But they had already briefed me and all, see?" Fred continued, "I had already signed confidentiality agreements and stuff. And believe me," she giggled shaking her head "what they told me wasn't the sort of things you could just forget about or unlearn. This was all before I got sucked into that portal to Pylea, of course," Fred sighed in exasperation. "Probably would have been safer over in Colorado, at least the one there is controlled and contained in a ring."
It was a conversation he had never forgotten because really - weird stuff, weirder than their stuff?
And he knew it was grasping at straws, but at this point Gunn was absolutely desperate. Beyond desperate. They might not be together anymore, but Fred was still his girl. Still held a piece of his heart he didn't think anyone else would ever touch. And if what Knox (damn he hadn't wanted to ever ever stopped hitting that man. He had "chosen" Fred as the host for this-this thing, to live inside because she was the only one he deemed "worthy". Knox worshiped "It". Illyria. Just the thought of Fred being controlled by some demon - her body walking and talking, but not really her anymore. Not their Fred anymore. Not their bright strong scarily smart girl. Fuck, it was like Alonna all over again.) had said was true, if what he did was somehow responsible for this….
He wasn't going to have another of his girls die by his hand. Signature or stake – God damn, what was the difference.
He rummaged around her office fervently all he could think of was her looking so small in that hospital bed, counting on her boys to pull though for her. Because this time it was bad, and she fighting all she could just within her own body.
Heroes she had called them. Oh, God.
Gunn's breath came quick as he looked desperately across her desk, going through drawers. He certainly wasn't feeling very heroic at the moment. In a fit of frantic worry, he just finally pulled the drawer completely out and dumped all of the contents on the floor.
If she got better, he would help her clean it all up how she liked it again. No. NO! Not if, when. When she got better. Because Fred was not going to die. (She wasn't. She wasn't. She wasn't She wasn't…). And- and there it was, he found what he was looking for.
Gunn reached down and picked up the leather bound address book, falling back into her desk chair heavily. It was nice, embossed with her name on the front – a gift from her Mama one year (they might all have state of the art computers, but he knew Fred never stopped wanting to write things down – especially important things).
Holding his breath Gunn flipped through the pages with shaking hands until he got to H. And there it was, not a real name, simply "Granddaddy" in her neat scrawl beside an address and phone number. He simply stared at it for a moment, not believing it. Not trusting the miniscule flicker of hope inside of him. He touched the words, his finger traveling slowly over the indentations the pen had made in the page.
Then he took a deep breath as if coming up for air (it felt like it) and let it out slowly. With steadier hands he picked up the phone and dialed the number for General George Hammond.