Title: Deadly Connor-tations 1/?
Rating: Nothing worse that the show(s)
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters depicted in this story, nor will I make any money from writing it. Please don't sue; I'm really not worth it.
Summary: X-Over with Angel, set the summer before Buffy Season 7/beginning of Angel Season 4. After Angel throws him out of the hotel, Connor needs to get revenge and his 'father' Holtz taught him that you take away the things they love the most. Meanwhile in Sunnydale, Buffy, Xander and Dawn are still playing Happy Families but Xander wants them to stop playing and Buffy may finally be on the same page. When Connor captures Buffy, Xander and Angel must work together to find her before it's too late.
Warning: Character Death(s)!!
20th August 2002, 22:30.
Connor rammed the stake into the fleeing vampire's heart, stopping it from jumping from the warehouse roof to safety. He watched as the dust blew away, swirling through the air majestically, a far cry from its former incarnation.
He had been lucky once again, as neither Fred nor Gunn had been near when he'd interrogated the vampire, finding out that she had indeed witnessed his confrontation with his 'father' and the aftermath of it. Had either one been with him, they would have found out his part to play in his disappearance, which would only have put them in danger.
He had no quarrel with either one, and in fact had started to appreciate their company, although he'd never voice such a thing aloud unless under extreme duress. However, no matter what his feeling were for the pair, if they discovered the fate he'd befallen their friend, he would have no choice but to kill them. He knew that killing a human would feel different to killing a demon, and would also be something he'd have to live with for the rest of his life, but it was a burden he was willing to pay to ensure his freedom. Self-preservation came above and beyond his conscience.
"Connor! Where you at man?"
Gunn's voice echoed through the night, indicating that he and his girlfriend Fred had finally caught up with him. Once again Connor found himself slightly surprised by their speed; he was far superior to them physically, the only plus to such an ungodly parentage, but they were never that far behind him. That boded well when they patrolled the city, but not so much on occasions like tonight.
Having spotted them walking on the pavement below him, he jumped from the roof and landed almost silently beside them, only the slightest thump from his impacting the ground giving away his position. He would have to practise that more, knowing that any sound he made put him at risk.
"I'm here," he stated simply.
Startled, the pair spun round quickly, Gunn readying his homemade axe while Fred took up a defensive stance with a sword. He could easily see several flaws in the way they stood, and would try to help them correct their stances at a later date. Despite his earlier thoughts, he didn't want either one to die unless absolutely necessary.
"Damn man," Gunn commented, "how many time I gotta tell you not to do that? You nearly gave me a heart attack!"
A slight smirk appeared on Connor's otherwise stoic features. "Sorry."
"Sure you are," he replied doubtfully.
"Can we go back now?" Fred asked, as she shivered slightly. When they had left the hotel just before sunset it had still been relatively warm, so she had neglected to put on a jacket. Now that the sun had been down for a few hours the chill of the night air was nipping at her. Connor saw her shiver and, without thinking about it, took his jacket off and handed it to her. "Thank you Connor, at least there's one gentleman between the two of you."
Connor spun round to prevent Fred from seeing him blush slightly at her comment. He didn't know why he made such a gesture, although his dad had always taught him to treat women with respect. At the time he didn't understand what his dad meant, being as there were no human females in Quortoth, but now that he lived on Earth he did and was once more grateful for his dad's wisdom.
"Hey now," Gunn said feigning indignation, "I'd've offered you my jacket if I'd been wearing one."
"I know Charles." She went on tiptoes and kissed him softly. "Lets go home."
He nodded once and, after wrapping his arm around Fred's shoulders, turned in the direction of the hotel, Connor following behind.
Gunn was sat behind the reception desk in the lobby, watching the small colour TV Cordelia had installed to keep her occupied when she manned the phone, winding down from their patrol/wild goose chase. He was frustrated that yet another lead on Angel's whereabouts had dried up, as each time that happened it just made it that much harder to maintain the belief that he'd return or that they'd find him.
What made it worse was that they had no idea where Cordelia was either; her car had been found abandoned on the freeway, with witnesses reporting that someone fitting her description had been driving it when all of a sudden she simply disappeared. How there hadn't been a major incident that night was beyond him. The few leads they'd found on the ex-cheerleader's whereabouts had all lead back to that point, so they had decided to concentrate on finding Angel first, hoping that his eventual input could help find their other missing friend.
What with Lorne having moved to Vegas to make it big, and Wes's continued distance due to their treatment of him during the whole baby-snatching affair, it had just been the three of them, only two really if you took into account Connor's lone wolf act. In his weaker moments, Gunn was glad for it as it meant he had plenty of quality time with Fred. He felt bad whenever he thought that way almost immediately afterwards, but couldn't deny that their relationship wouldn't be anywhere near as strong as it was had everyone been around the last few months.
He loved her; it was as simple and as amazing as that. What made it all the more special was that she felt the same. They both knew as much about each other as they did themselves, and for that reason alone the last few months would always be looked upon by him as some of the best of his life, despite everything else that was going on.
His concentration had lapsed from the TV during his internal monologue, but was quickly brought out of it as he heard the sound of the large double doors opening. Turning, he saw a sight he hadn't expected to see in a long time; Wesley helping a very pale and weak looking Angel through the entrance. Quick as a flash, he was up and walking over to the pair, and helped Wesley seat Angel on the circular couch situated in the middle of the lobby.
"What the hell happened to him?" he asked his former friend and colleague.
"Have you ever wondered what a vampire would look like if they didn't feed for months? You need wonder no more."
On closer inspection, Gunn could see that Angel's body was thinner than the last time he'd seen him, as though his body had been eating itself, which it probably had. His skin was almost translucent and, in his mind at least, looked like the dead body it really was. He often found it hard to remember that Angel was a vampire, given the way he acted, so it was a shock to see the evidence so clearly.
"Where did you find him?" Gunn asked.
"I found him on the ocean floor three miles out from the pier, trapped in an iron coffin."
"Any idea who put him down there?"
"I wouldn't have found him otherwise Charles," Wesley answered, his tone condescending and sarcastic, a far cry from the slightly bumbling person Gunn had been when they first met. "It was one of Holtz followers, Justine, and…"
The two men turned to see Connor standing around ten feet away from them, a dead look on his face and a sword in his hand.
"You?" Gunn said, shocked at the turn of events. "We spent months following lead after lead, trying to find where he was and all the time it was you? How the hell could you do that to your own father!"
Gunn's voice had steadily grown in volume, as the reality of the situation sunk in. things started to make more sense to him now; how Connor always looked slightly apprehensive every time they discovered a possible lead on Angel's whereabouts, how he had always managed to get there before them and either state that the person wasn't there or if it were a demon killed it 'in self defence'. He'd deceived them all and would have done so forever had Wesley not found Angel on his own, something Gunn didn't think he'd do given how they'd all treated him.
"He isn't my father!" Connor roared, his whole persona changing from the somewhat shy boy they'd grown accustomed, to the dangerous man he truly was. "My father is dead, murdered by that thing!"
Connor's anger for the souled vampire reached critical mass, his mere presence acting like rocket fuel for his rage, and he launched himself forward, flipping over Wesley and Gunn with the intention of taking Angel's head off his shoulders, only to find him nowhere in sight.
Spinning round, Connor was suddenly caught by a vicious uppercut, which sent him flying through the air into a marble pillar. His head impacted violently against it and was rendered unconscious instantly, and his body crumpled bonelessly to the ground.
Angel stood unsteadily, both Wesley and Gunn looking at him in shock, wondering how he'd been able to do what he did in such a frail condition, and looked at his son for several moments.
"You're grounded," he said before his eyes rolled up into his head and he followed his son into unconsciousness.
21st August 2002, 10:00.
Angel stood in his son's room, thankful for the room's position away from the morning sun, as there were no curtains at the window. Connor had taken them down the first night he'd stayed, stating he needed to have a view of the outside.
He felt much better now than he did when Wesley found him, not that he could have felt much worse. Donations from Wesley, Gunn and Fred boosted his vampiric healing abilities, human blood being the most effective in that department and especially when it was straight from the source. Several bags of medical blood Gunn managed to requisition from the hospital had also helped, and now he felt much more like himself.
As he looked down at the sleeping form of his son, he wondered why he didn't feel anger for what he'd done to him. He'd basically condemned him to a fate worse than death, as no one knew whether a vampire ever truly died from hunger, and yet he couldn't bring himself to hate him for it. No matter what he'd done, Connor was his son, and for that reason alone he would never see him as anything else.
That in itself held problems, as no matter what he felt for Connor, he was and is a danger to himself and the other occupants of the hotel. He'd also have it in for Wesley, as he had been the one to rescue him. He couldn't in good conscience purposefully put them at risk of harm or worse just because he couldn't bring himself to punish the boy.
They'd injected Connor with enough sedatives to keep him out for the time being, which meant he didn't have to come to a decision straight away, but he knew he couldn't put it off forever and he couldn't see he had many choices.
Keeping him at the hotel was obviously out, as the other would leave if he did and that wouldn't be fair to them. They couldn't keep him sedated or chained up, even if it did seem fitting, as they wouldn't be able to keep him like it forever.
Killing him wasn't an option, not only because he was his son but also because he was human and that was a line Angel didn't want to cross. He was willing to kill humans in a life and death situation, but to kill Connor would mean committing an act of murder, and he already had too many of those on his conscience.
Handing him over to the police like they'd done Faith wouldn't work, as he'd done nothing that a human court could convict him of and, unlike the raven-haired Slayer, he didn't feel any remorse for what he'd done. Even if they did, there wasn't a prison in the world that could keep him contained if he didn't want to be there.
That left kicking him out, which had its own risks involved, especially to Wesley who didn't live in the hotel.
After taking one final look at his son, Angel turned and left the room, locking it behind him.
The moment he'd heard the door close, Connor opened his eyes. Living in a Hell dimension for most of his life had benefits, and a highly developed metabolism was one of them. He wasn't fully over the effects of the sedatives they'd given him, but he was aware enough to know that this was his best chance to escape.
He'd almost found it impossible to keep his breathing even and his heart rate down with that abomination in the same room as him, his desire to rip the demon limb from limb an intoxicating proposition, but knew that to kill him would be showing mercy, and he was feeling anything but merciful to the creature who murdered his dad. That was why he'd decided to entomb him forever at the bottom of the ocean, where he would be alone with nothing but memories to sustain him.
That wouldn't work a second time, as he knew they'd be prepared for it, so he once again went to his dad's teachings for the best course of action. Holtz had taught him many things, but the most pertinent thing right now was that to truly gain vengeance you must take away the thing they cherish most.
As he packed his few possessions and opened the window to the outside world, he smiled ferally at the prospect of taking away the thing his 'father' cherished most. He had spent the last few months learning as much as he could about Angel, his dad instilling in him that information was one of the most powerful weapons he could possess, and he had a good idea of how to truly hurt him, especially given that Cordelia was no longer around.
After taking one final look at the room he had begun to think of as home he climbed out of the window to freedom.
1630 Revello Drive,
22nd August 2002, 18:15.
Xander got out of his car and walked towards Buffy's house with an added spring in his step, a sure sign that it was a Friday. While Saturday mornings had long held the position as his favourite time of the week, Friday evenings had slowly but sure crept up the poll and was now the front-runner, all thanks to the residents of 1630 Revello Drive.
Being the only one to own a car, and the local DMV revoking Buffy's own driver's licence after she'd managed to total the rental she'd had without leaving her driveway, meant that Xander had become the designated driver of the Scooby Gang. In thanks for chauffeuring Buffy and Dawn to work and school respectively, they would treat him to a pizza and a movie of his choice every Friday night.
With Willow in England with Giles, only himself, Buffy and Dawn remained of the Scooby Gang. There are times when he was glad of that fact, as it meant that he got to have them to himself for a change. It was selfish to the extreme, but without any other distractions, his relationship with the two sisters improved greatly.
With Dawn, he had gone from her crush to her big brother/mentor, talking to her with a frankness and maturity that was sometimes lacking from her sibling. He wouldn't dumb down or sugarcoat things for her, and he expected the same from her.
This meant that Dawn felt more comfortable talking with him about her problems than she did Buffy, because with him she could actually discuss the problem at hand instead of listening to Buffy lecture her on what she should do.
With Buffy, they had finally been able to clear the air on all the issues between them they had been bottling up over the years. No subject was taboo and, instead of rehashing the same old arguments, they had both agreed to sit down and act like the adults they were.
Clearer heads, along with the advantages of time and hindsight, had allowed them to finally agree on most things, and what they couldn't agree on they had agreed to accept. Because of that, they now had a far more solid foundation to their friendship, and were closer than they'd ever been.
For Xander that was a double-edged sword, for while he revelled in the closeness they now shared, he was also finding that old feeling and emotions were returning. He had stopped thinking of her as more than a friend during the whole Angelus saga, and it came as a surprise to him when those thoughts returned.
To begin with he thought it was due to having no one else in his life, but when he turned down the advances of an attractive and interesting woman who worked in the admin department of his company, he realised that there was more to his feelings than that.
He wasn't worrying about it though, as he knew that if things were to develop between them they will of their own due course. He knew that he could and would accept it if she didn't reciprocate his feelings; he wouldn't like it of course, but he could accept it.
He shook his head to clear his thoughts as he stepped up to the front door, knowing that this was not the time to think about that, as he needed to keep his thoughts on a purely platonic level, at least for the moment. When he noticed that the door was slightly ajar, something neither woman would do given the town they lived in, he went from calm to concerned in half a heartbeat. The chances of it being a demonic problem were slight due to it still being daylight out, but there were still human evils in the world and he had seen and done too much not to take things seriously.
Knowing that something was wrong, and not wanting to be caught unprepared, Xander rushed back to his car, popped the trunk, and reached in for his favourite patrolling weapon. It was a modified sledgehammer, with crosses engraved into the head, the lords prayer carved into the handle, and the butt of the handle sharpened to a fine point. He called it MC Hammer because no demon could touch it, to the bemusement and frustration of Dawn and Buffy. Once he felt properly equipped, he went back to the front door and slowly opened it, trying to make as little noise as possible.
As he walked inside, he found that he couldn't hear any of the noises he would expect, in fact the house was deathly quiet and that worried Xander further. Turning into the living room, he noticed a foot sticking out from the side of the couch and rushed over to find Dawn lying unconscious on the floor, a large bruise marring her otherwise beautiful face and a gash in her side that was slowly bleeding out.
The thought that he should call an ambulance left his mind as soon as it arrived; too many questions would be asked that he had no answers for, and with it still being daylight outside they wouldn't believe the usual 'gang members on PCP' story so often used. Instead, he rushed into the kitchen and retrieved the extensive first aid kit they had for after patrol injuries and began tending to her wound.
As he was applying the finishing touches to the bandage, Dawn's eyes fluttered open and she emitted a pain filled groan.
"Dawn?" he asked loudly, wanting her to focus on his voice. "Dawn, can you hear me?"
He breathed a sigh of relief on hearing her speak, even if it was mumbled and barely above a whisper, knowing that she was not as badly injured as he'd originally feared.
"It's me Dawnie," he said soothingly, "you're safe now."
"… Buffy… where…?"
Not knowing what to tell her, Xander decided to ignore her semi-coherent question completely for the moment.
"Hush now Dawn, let me check you for a concussion then I'll help you onto the couch alright?"
Not giving her a chance to reply, he checked her eyes and asked her the general questions, what day was it etc. Once he was as sure as he could be that she wasn't suffering from a concussion, he gently picked her up and positioned her on the couch.
He stepped back and saw that she was out again, but decided not to wake her, as she no doubt needed to rest. Instead, he covered her with the throw from the recliner and went to check the rest of the house, mindful to close the front door and lock it as he passed by, just to be on the safe side. Vampires may need an invite, but other demons and the less desirable elements of humanity did not.
A thorough search proved fruitless, as there was no sign of Buffy or anyone else, although there were signs of a struggle upstairs, the worst being Buffy's bedroom where the window was completely smashed in. There were several dents in the walls in her room and on the landing, meaning that Buffy put up one hell of a fight. That thought comforted him somewhat, that whoever had come in and done this didn't have it easy, but the fact remained that she must have lost, as there was no way she would have left her sister the way she was otherwise.
Going back into the living room, he spotted that Dawn was awake once more and had changed her position on the couch so that she was in a more vertical position.
"How you feeling Dawn?" he asked, realising how stupid that question was and yet unable to think of anything else to say.
"Like I got hit by a truck, then a minivan."
Xander suppressed the smile her comment evoked. Now was not the time for mirth. "What happened?"
"I'm not sure, it was pretty much a blur," she held her head for a moment, which was enough of a reminder for Xander that she was in pain for him to go into the first aid kit and pass her a couple of painkillers.
"Do you need any water?"
She shook her head slightly and winced as she did so, and then popped the pills into her mouth and began to chew them, just as he sister did when she could be persuaded to actually take them. She grimaced at the taste, but knew it would help get the medication through her system quicker and that was far more important to her at the moment.
"I was sitting here finishing my homework when I heard a crash upstairs. Then there were sounds of a struggle, so I went upstairs to see what was going on and found Buffy duking it out with a boy around my age, pretty lanky looking with longish brown hair. The sun was up and shone in through the window on the two of them, so I knew he wasn't a vampire, but the fact Buffy was having trouble meant he sure wasn't your everyday human."
She paused as another throb of pain went through her head before continuing. "Suddenly he got in a hard blow to her head, which knocked Buffy out, and he then turned his attention to me, so I made a run for it downstairs. I managed to get to the bottom before he caught up with me and after he easily blocked my attempts to hit him, he backhanded me into the living room. I must have knocked my head on something because the next thing I know you're here."
She looked down at her hands for a moment before she met his gaze. "He took her didn't he?"
"Yeah," he replied sadly, as he knew it was pointless to lie, "but I promise you we'll find her and make the son of a bitch pay for ever setting foot in your house."
"How are we going to do that?" she asked, knowing that anything able to beat a Slayer would be extremely difficult for them to combat alone.
As he was about to answer, something caught Xander's eye and he turned to the coffee table. There, on top of Dawn's homework, was a small white envelope. Using it as an excuse not to answer Dawn's question, knowing she wouldn't have liked his answer anyway, he picked it up.
He didn't recognise the handwriting, but he did recognise whom, or rather what, it was addressed to.
Ripping the envelope open, not caring that it wasn't addressed to him, he found a note, written in the same hand. Absently he thought it looked a little like calligraphy.
You took the most important thing in my life, so I've decided to return the favour.
However unlike you, I shall give you a sporting chance to rescue her.
You have until sunrise.
Xander crumpled the note into a ball and threw it across the room, once again cursing the souled vampire's existence.
Whether this kid Stephen was Angel's son or not Xander didn't know or care, although he always thought that a vamp's 'little soldiers' didn't work. What he did care about is that Buffy's life had been put in danger once again because of him, albeit indirectly.
"If I have to do it with my bare hands, Deadboy's turning eunuch after this is over," he growled, a determined look in his eyes.