Until They Make

I know I'm not paranoid. I have been telling myself that all day, making sure to say it silently. I don't need Gunn or Cordelia or Angel giving me any more of those Looks.

I'm *not* paranoid. I might, perhaps, have a few things on my mind which I am dwelling upon rather excessively. That does not mean I'm paranoid.

I'd like to know why he said that.

I've been trying to distract myself from the demon -- which is difficult, now that we're taking up residence in his old domicile. Why Angel doesn't consult us before making rash business decisions.... But I persevere, cleaning up as best I can with Gunn wandering in and out making all sort of banal and irritating comments.

I try not to snap at him, because Angel is sitting behind the front desk, and last time Gunn and I started in on each other Angel commented.

I wasn't supposed to hear it, I'm sure. But I think I hid my mortification nicely, and am concentrating on my own work, now, thank you very much. I am not worse than a child, and I do not need a time out.

I'm not going to say anything, because Gunn is still giving me those smirks which mean he believes he will come out on top of any battle of wits we have. I don't know why he thinks such a thing -- he only does so half the time. It doesn't change his attitude. I wish something would, but right now it won't be me. Angel is still sitting not fifteen feet away, and I really don't need to lower myself in front of him.

Any more. And I do not mean that literally, so kindly take those images and....

I know why I antagonize Gunn so much. It doesn't take a genius to figure it out. I resent his intrusion into what was becoming a small circle of friends. Cordelia and Angel were beginning to accept me, treat me like a friend. I even had hopes...well, faint, vague hopes, but hopes none the less. Then Gunn appears and any hope I have of being something Angel would want--

It isn't that I think he fancies the man. But Gunn is still a competitor for Angel's attention, and he's exactly the sort Angel would rather hang out with over someone like me. Gunn has the street smarts, the courage, the strength, that Angel values. Especially in our line of work.

All I have is a fancy education. If I gave Gunn all of my books, in two years they'd have no need for me whatsoever.

I don't hide my books on purpose. I just don't like them lying around.

I re-focus my attention on the wainscoting I'm trying to repair or remove, to be determined by how badly it crumbles. Try not to think about the fact that only the things I do with my education have any real worth. Otherwise, I might as well be an uneducated dolt picking at wood paneling. Or nothing at all. It doesn't matter what I do. None of it besides being the spouter of obscure facts is worth anything. I could do whatever I pleased, and it wouldn't....

Whatever I pleased. I could do...and it wouldn't make a bit of difference.

Which means I could do it.