Forgiveness was a strange word… One he had studied countless times, he had read about it, wrote about it in his journals, meditated and here he was having to bestow it upon someone.
Someone he had learned to trust, to admire, to appreciate, dare he say it? To love.
He would have sacrificed himself for him, until his son…
What Wesley did was so insane, unfathomable, he couldn't conceive it, comprehend it; even revisit it.
He’d been ready to kill the man, he wanted him as far as possible away. Yet he couldn't forget what he had done, he couldn't stop imagining the worse, he couldn't stop the wheels in his mind from hoping, despairing, wondering, stressing. Not knowing was the worse. He couldn't mourn his son because it would be admitting defeat, but he also didn't know where to look for him, what he needed, how to save the day.
Angel had never felt so powerless. And so to his astonishment… here he is considering it… Forgiving. Wesley. The man that took the one marvel in his life, the one untainted thing he had ever created, the one family member who changed his perspective on everything and to really pardon him.
This is not about giving, making or accepting excuses. It sadly is not about exonerating his old friend of all faults and take the blame as he had become so expert at. Forgiveness was about finding himself again, the man he had wanted to be for this missing and yet so loved child. Forgiving Wes is about giving his past friend a chance at finding a righteous purpose again and bringing happiness to other families that do not have to experience their shared heartbreaks. Absolution is about finding this path among the thorns that will bring you to the next step, the next experience, the next chance, the next life.
Angel wanted to fight it, he wanted to lose himself in his grief and resentment but somehow Buffy, the Scoobies and his team here in Los Angeles had changed him irremediably. He was not the ruthless vampire he longed to rediscover, he was neither alone nor soulless, and therefore he was finally ready to accept the concept and really forgive.