Post-NFA, post-Chosen, no comics canon at all.
Gunn saves the world,
The ground beneath their feet shakes, and the chasm emits hot sulphur-yellow smoke causing their eyes and noses to burn. Gunn paces back and forth at the chasm's edge, frustration and sweat pouring off him in equal amounts. He crouches to grab a rock and, standing again, hurls it with as much force as he can muster. He yells, trying to reach his voice across the abyss but the sound in tinny and small against the groaning and cracking of the earth.
"Why?" He shakes his head, "Why is it always chasms and 'earth plunged into darkness' and nice cities getting swallowed up?"
"Charles-" As always, Wesley’s use of his first name brings him up short, reminds him that he has a job to do, and that he can’t afford to get hung up on the small stuff. "The window of time for the ritual to be completed is relatively short, can we please move on with this?"
Connor snorts and tightens his grip on the Kurzer demon, still stubbornly refusing to give up it's assumed shape of a little girl despite the amulet they had tied around its neck to leash it's full power.
Gunn nods once. "Yeah, you’re right, let’s get this over with."
Connor man-handles the demon close to the knife-edge of the chasm while Wesley steps forward to sprinkle herbs on the Kurzer’s blond pigtails and begins chanting. Gunn watches silently as Wes completes the first stage of the ritual before he resumes pacing. "Doesn’t this worry you at all? Throw the remarkably easy to catch demon into the hole with some seasonings and the world is saved?"
Wesley pulls a second package of odd smelling leaves from his supply bag and stands. He moves towards the little girl struggling against Connor’s iron grip. "Actually Charles, the destruction of the Herald of Death has always been known to be a remarkably simple process." He smears more powder across the small forehead, the finger-painted line on the little demon’s forehead glows a faint orange, shifting and sliding outwards to cover all of the Kurzur’s skin before coalescing into softly illuminated symbols.
Wesley takes a moment to examine the configurations, "It’s done."
"In you go then," Connor mutters as he thrusts the little girl at the pit.
and possibly a kitten.
"WAIT!" Gunn’s arm lashes out, catching the Kurzer before it can fall. The little demon struggles in his grasp as he tries to remove the pink backpack, hissing and red teeth gnashing. Finally he succeeds against teeth and canvass straps both, "It is really freaky," Gunn says to the Kurzer, breathing heavily, "That you’re taking that shape. You eat people. You don’t see me dressing up like a steak, do you?"
The Kurzer just smiles, and with a sigh, Gunn pulls back his leg and kicks the demon into the chasm.
Wesley throws a package of bones in after the not-little girl, and then the three men stand silent, waiting. The ground gives one last mighty heave, and the world is saved.
They pick themselves up after being thrown about by the last convulsion of the earth, and slowly make their way back towards Gunn’s truck. "I didn’t know you were such a fan," Connor laughs, pointing at the face of Dora the Explorer smiling up at them from the backpack.
"A fan? What? Oh-" Gunn pulls on the pink zipper and a small fluffy head emerges. "I wasn’t going to let this cutie die at the bottom of a demon-pit. Besides," he tugs up his hood against the miserable drizzle that always seems to fall when (and no apocalypse) apocalypses are averted.
There could even be a baby,
"Don’t you think Winny would like a kitten?"
Wes looks up sharply from packing his spell ingredients away in the flatbed, "Now, I’m not sure Charles. She’s still just a baby."
Connor spat. "It is still just a demon."
love Connor as a good guy...
"And her claws are getting sharper," Connor adds, "She might hurt it by accident."
"No," Gunn shakes his head, "It won’t be like that. My Winifred Pryce is the gentlest abandoned-by-evil-parents-adopted-by-heroes-bundle-of-cute-demon-baby ever."
He addresses himself directly to the kitten then, "She wouldn’t do anything to hurt you, don’t you worry."
Gunn pulls the door of the truck closed with a clang, settles the kitten onto his lap with one hand while thumbing on the ignition with the other and grins at the other two men. "Good day, yeah?"
Bonus points for living Wes
That evening after a long, hot shower, setting up a pillow and food for the kitten, and putting a sleepy Winny to bed, Gunn joins Wesley in his sitting room. Wes is sitting in one of his over-stuffed arm chairs, reading a book and drinking something amber. Straight, no ice; Wesley Wyndham Price, The Third, does not condone that particular American perversion.
Gunn flops into the other chair and smiles. "Have I told you today how glad I am that you’re alive, English?"
I like Wes/Gunn
The old nickname startles them both as it slips smoothly out of Gunn’s mouth, but Wesley smiles back and sets aside his book, "Not yet."
When they are both finally asleep, Charles’ dreams jump around like water drops on a hot griddle...but that is a dream too...a memory of his mother, smiling down at him as he holds Alonna’s chubby little hands away from the stove.
His dreams are shallow, they feel like he can break through the surface of them. He pushes against them, but he only breaks into the next memory and the next.
An older Alonna eating a jelly donut he’d fished out of a bakery dumpster for her. She exploded into that same powdered sugar when he drove the stake through her heart.
Making love to Fred, not either of their first times but a first together. The first since he could let someone in again and the first since she was whole again. "Is this okay?" He’d kept asking again and again, wanting everything to be as near to perfect as he could make it, until she had opened her too blue eyes and with a strength she had never had in life, thrust him off her.
Heat and flame and slime and blood (his own) and one more baddie off the streets/out of the sewers/down from the rooftops, but there are still monsters (real ones and the ones who were human through and through) for innocent people to be afraid of. All his work is just a drop in the ocean but he keeps on fighting and bleeding and one day maybe there will be no more evil to fight.
The cat, prowling back and forth in the cage he had built for it in his mind, the law book that it bats back and forth between its paws. It opens its mouth to growl at him but then it is only the kitten meowing up at him.
And saves the world with his awesomness.
He jerks awake, disoriented and cold. His head spins, and he rolls to the floor on hands and knees, trying not to retch.
"We have watched you on this day, Charles Gunn."
He cannot speak. He cannot move.
The kitten’s eyes are still staring at him out of the face of neither man nor woman, but something decidedly other.
"Indeed, we have watched many of your days. Know Charles Gunn that we are well pleased with you, and through you, your world. It will go on."
Between the blink of one eye and the next, the being is gone. He can hear Wesley’s even breathing and the faint electric hum of the baby monitor, the implications of the unspoken 'for now' lingering.
But that will be another day, another battle, another test of conviction and tonight Charles Gunn climbs back into his warm bed and sleeps deeply.