AUTHOR'S NOTES: There's something about Connor/Dawn that really gets me where it's at, in spite of the fact that the characters never met each other in canon. I set this story post-Home and post-Chosen. It's R-rated, although I'd personally say it's 'very high R' but I tend to rate things higher rather than lower.

Blood Sugar Sex Magik

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Blood

The voice of your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground.

-

It always came down to blood. The shared blood that ran in his veins, between him and his birth father. The bad blood that ran between his birth father and the man who'd brought him up. The blood of a victim, supped upon by vampires.

And her blood. Staining the sheets and his cock, a more brutal pain than he wanted to inflict, but once started, unstoppable.

Blood was the start of it. And blood was the end of it.

He panicked at her first cry of pain, drew back for a moment, seeking her face. And then, like a door opened in his mind, understanding, history, memory, life poured into him, and he thrust into her, uncaring of anything but the pain that burned him soul-hollow and the need to transfer it to someone else.

Memory was a lie. Existence was a lie. Life was a lie.

Lies. Always lies. Fed to him from the day he was born. Nurtured in him over the years. Told to him day after day. Lived, because he'd never had any other choice. And perpetrated by the man who shared his blood.

Stephen Williamson was a lie.

Connor, son of Angel, remembers everything.

A muffled sob from beside him recalls him back to the girl whose pale back curves away from him, curling around her pain. She quivers with shock – with shock and fear.

Guilt quivers inside him, the pale hair reminding him of another girl – another woman – who had pleaded for her life before his hand swept down and the knife stained crimson with yet more blood.

Blood, blood, always blood. All he had ever known was the burden of blood.

His blood, his father's blood, the blood of Holtz's family crying out for vengeance. The blood of the innocent whose life he had taken because Cordelia wanted it.

Even now, at this moment of revelation, there is blood. Blood shed of a virgin, staining the sheets between him and the slim white hip of the girl he fucked.

The girl he'd intended to love and ended up brutalising.

Guilt is a blood all its own.

----

Sugar

What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice and all things nice…

-

The first time they kissed, Dawn's mouth was sweet with milkshakes and laughter.

Connor remembers it with pristine perfection, longing for what is gone. He bent his head to hers, brushed his lips over her mouth, and she leaned up, into him, to capture his lips there.

He remembers the hunger that the kiss spawned in his belly, electric desire fuelling a sudden need for a bed – or any flat surface against which to claim her body, her sweetness, all his own. It wasn't his first kiss, not even counting his time with the thing that hadn't been Cordelia, but Stephen had wondered if it might be his last.

She represented everything sweet and whole and good in Stephen's world.

Things Connor has never known.

The fragments of 'Stephen' cower away from the unalloyed acidity of Connor's true history. Nothing sweet here, only lies and more lies, sugar-coated, but bitter in the mouth and the soul, bitter in the heart.

He is tired of sugar-coated lies. This is just one more. He can sense her difference, the inner difference that attracted him to her, inevitable as steel to a magnet.

He knows the scent of humanity and she is not wholly human.

So his fingers dig harshly into her shoulder as he yanks her around, wanting answers, wanting reasons, wanting the truth of his existence, of hers.

He wants to know what she is and how she came to be near him. He wants to know whose game he is expected to play now. He wants to know why him, why can't he rest, why can't he be Stephen, whose most pressing concern is his studies; not Connor, the Destroyer, with the weight of the world on his shoulders?

He wants answers.

Instead, Connor receives the pale gaze of a girl who tastes of something more than human, but whose emotions are nothing less than human.

"You bastard," she whispers, and there is a passionate undertow there; powerful, like blood lust and vengeful anger.

Connor knows hatred and bloodlust and vengeance. He was born of it; son of Angel and Darla, true-son of Angelus, raised-son of Holtz.

Although something inside him protests, the rage-lust-hunger leaps for her, drags her down into the sheets again. And he is met, not with tears or protests, but with her own anger and desire and pain.

As he drives her into the sheets, she no longer virgin, he no longer innocent, he realises she knows. She knows what it is to be something you're not. Something you never will be. She knows what it is to feel out of alignment with the universe.

She meets him where he is, and the commonality burns between them, unnerving fire, electric and attractive.

Breath, skin, wet, hot, deep, blood, semen, fire, bones; he feels her in his soul, and not merely along his body.

Dawn's not all sugar and spice.

----

Sex

Every woman
Has a piece of aphrodite
Copulate to create
A state of sexual light.

-

They pull apart afterwards, settling away from each other in the bed. He drove her to pleasure, more by luck than by skill, but even that much is precious after what has been broken tonight.

Sex is not intimacy, but it still binds fast.

Intimacy is impossible when she doesn't know who he is. She has no knowledge of his history, his background, of what he has done and who he has hurt. She doesn't know what he is any more than he knows what she is. But he needs to know, and he owes her this truth.

"Dawn..."

She turns at the sound of his voice, and he sees the mask her face has become, beautiful and brittle, a thin crust of politeness over pain. "Stephen."

And therein lies the first of many difficulties. "I'm not Stephen."

Dawn stares at him, her eyes narrowing, "You're not Stephen?"

"No. My name is Connor."

And she begins to laugh.

There's a hysterical edge to her laughter, tears and terror in the sound of it. And Connor responds to that pain in the only way Stephen knows how.

He curls his arm around her shoulders, knowing his presence is inadequate and unwelcome after what he has done, but wanting to make things right. And the tears in Dawn's eyes spill over her lashes and trickle down her cheeks as she laughs and cries and weeps for what she knows and doesn't know.

She makes Connor want to bury his mouth in her throat and make her forget everything else but him.

Sex confuses, distracts, entices, drawing him to her in need and belonging and possession.

"You're not Stephen," she says, and there is a broken quality to her voice. One hand brushes away her tears, and she reaches out to him, touching her damp fingers to his chest, resting over his heart. "But you're alive. You're not a vampire."

His heart skips a beat, shocked at her statement. Perhaps it shows on his face, because she closes up and moves away from him, climbing off the bed and fishing for her clothing.

It is the strangest thing to find comforting, but he grabs for her hand and pulls her back. "How do you know about vampires?"

Her eyes had dropped to his chest when before he spoke, but meets his gaze with a challenge, suddenly seeing more to him than she'd ever imagined. "How do you?"

"I asked first."

She takes her time at answering. "My sister's the Slayer."

He starts, remembering a dark-haired girl who captured Angelus and brought him back. "You're Faith's sister?"

Dawn looks at him as though he's an idiot. "No, Buffy's."

And it is his turn to laugh.

There is bitterness and understanding in his mirth, and grief for what he is and who he is.

Because if ever there were two in the world who had a history not theirs and yet so influential, it is the son of Angel the souled vampire and the sister of Buffy Summers the Vampire Slayer. The irony strikes him to the soul, cold and mocking.

"Stephen?"

The name that both is and is-not his brings him back to her, but it cannot stop his laughter – or his grief. "Dawn… I'm not Stephen. Or I am, but…the name my father – my birth father gave me is Connor." He looks up from the hand he didn't let go, and meets the pale expectancy of her gaze, grown paler as he tells her, "My father is Angel."

Sex is dangerous for what it strips them down to: the raw, instinctive core of being – the affirmation of life, and the surrender to death.

And sex, life and death are the warp and weft of the ties that bind them together.

----

Magic

Temporarily blind
Dimensions to discover
In time
Each into the other

-

He has always hated magic.

Magic can hardly be controlled, and yet people use it as though it were their slave. Magic so rarely works, and yet the solutions people look for always seems to be steeped in magic and magical things. Magic is not of the instincts, but of the mind; and Connor was taught, not to think, but to react – to become the animal in order to hunt it.

He loathes magic to the core of his being.

And yet his whole existance is a matter of magic. Two vampires should not be able to produce a son, and yet they do. People should not be able to pass through dimensions, and yet they do. A vampire should not have a soul, and yet he does. Connor's life should not have been taken from him and reworked so he had a 'happy life', and yet it was.

A glowing green ball of energy should not have been given life and form and history by a group of monks, and yet she was.

That is the swirl of magic that he senses around Dawn; a residual of the spells that made her, formed her, forged her. She is human and not; possible and impossible; the intangible melding with magic to produce a girl who is, if not entirely human, certainly not less than human.

And yet even in his recoil against the magic that made her, in the flurry of questions that follows the revelation of his history and hers – of his nature and hers, Connor cannot deny the kernel of attraction between them.

He can and does deny the memories of 'Stephen' – the boy he was not and never will be. Stephen's life was not his, never his. And he is both angry and jealous of the boy who never existed except in the fragility of the lies that are Connor's life.

'Stephen' has had the life Connor wanted, but it doesn't belong to him. The magic gave it to him, but it was all a lie. He will not accept the lies they gave him.

She doesn't understand why he won't take what he's given, and he doesn't understand how she can think he would; not until she tells him the fullness of her reality.

"My history is all a lie," Dawn says at last. "Everything I 'remember' up until I was fifteen. You wanna talk about the Matrix? I'm it! You lived until you were eighteen - you've always existed. This body – my body - is five years old!" Her eyes sparkle with passion, ferocity, and a deep bitterness he can sense she's carried around from the day she realised she didn't start out 'real', however real she became.

And he understands.

Dawn isn't a lie. Not now. Her history might be, but she is not and never will be. The monks gave her form and substance – using magic - and set her free in the world, to make of herself what she would.

Stephen isn't a lie, either. Not now. His history might be, but he is not and never will be, any more than Connor was a lie. Angel gave Connor form and substance and set his son free in the world, to make of himself what he would.

Connor understands.

He doesn't like it, and never will. A part of him will always rage against what was stolen from him; but he is coming to see that what he's been given might be of greater value than anything he lost.

Even Angel.

He hates the magic and always will. But he will endure its touch in his life. He has little choice, after all.

And, as he looks at the angry curve of her shoulder rising from the bedsheets, he thinks that, while magic is not the universal solution to the problems people face, it has its place.

One hand lingers over the skin of her throat, touching the pulse-point where a vampire would drink, feeling the throb-throb-throb of her life beneath his fingers. She raises her eyes to his, her irises water-clear in the half-light of the room and the world contracts down to the two of them and the bed.

This is magic, too.

- fin -