Maybe I got a little side-tracked. Here's some bickering and foreshadowing and Connor/Illyria.


"You have no right to give me bloody advice about this!" Spike yelled from downstairs.

Connor could feel Illyria's muscles coiled up in her body even though he was only holding her hand. It was like her muscles tensed up the air around him. Wow, if he ever did get her alone in a bed he couldn't imagine what actually touching her would be like. Actually, he could. He imagined it would be really really great. Now she sprung out of the room like she was on fire with Spike's yelling.

Connor shut Faith's door behind them and followed her down the open staircase into the huge open room that almost contained the whole house. It was very modern for a god-king and/or a Boston girl of the 90s. Illyria said she didn't like walls. Connor was pretty sure she just wanted to watch Faith better. She was so dominantly adorable.

"You don't know what you're talking about, you stupid Git!"

This was it. The Great War Connor was preparing for between Spike and his father.

"Spike, calm down," Connor heard his dad say, "And I do. You can't just run at these things like a battering ram. You need strategy. If you just—"

Of course, like most wars these days it was endless with many many battles and you just got sick of watching it. Spike was holding his Play Station controller and scowling on the edge of the couch.

"This from the CEO that led us all to a literal Hell and got The Last Chosen Slayer killed. I bet you stole everyone's pensions as an encore t-"

"Fine. Get killed again. I don't care," Angel said.

But, tonight's battle promised to be epic. Tonight was The Battle of Buffy. Connor was sure there had been other Battles of Buffy. Connor had the great luck of missing those. But, he was positive he had never missed a battle about Buffy Summers like this: her being a vampire cursed with a soul that was now out of her catatonic state. Connor was good and ready for this throw down.

"You get killed again," Spike said, "Oh that's right you never did, you just let her die, and Gunn and—"

Connor almost wished he could go into a catatonic state during these grumpy old man tiffs with Spike and Angel. He'd never been in one of those. He had just been full of rage and miserable. Maybe it would have been better if he went into a catatonic state. No, he shouldn't joke about that, not even to himself. He'd seen Faith like that twice and it was terrible. She'd go out of it and be insane and screaming. Spike and Illyria were the only people that could calm her.

"Spike, you've been playing that video game for the last few years. I just want you to beat it already because I can't stand watching it anymore. If you stop just running through the—"

"You are fighting about Crash Bandicoot," Illyria said.

She wasn't wrong to be confused.

"No, not really," Connor said, "They're really fighting about the same thing they always fight about: The Slayers."

He crashed down on the couch to watch Spike's bandicoot die again. This game was really old. It wasn't like Spike to hang on to something so old. He'd hold onto Faith forever, but she wasn't old. She was young, too young, way way too young. Not that Connor got the sense Spike was waiting. That would make what happened with Connor and Cordelia look like a Disney movie.

"Yeah," Spike said, "Get one man's wife killed and he doesn't let it go."

"For the last time," Angel said, "I am not going to apologize for something I did in another time-line. It never happened! You told me to wait, and here I am, waiting, like an idiot while The Black Thorne grow stronger every—"

"The only reason you listened to me was because I got the kid on my side. You don't even care that you got her killed."

That was Connor. He was The Kid. Faith called him that too once. Now she was the kid, really. Sometimes he missed her. The grown her, but he loved the kid her, but it was really all the same her, and not. Just like Connor was the same Connor-and-not, with all his memories real and fake. They didn't put any fake memories into Faith. They had taken some real ones out.

"Because it didn't happen!" Angel snapped, "You were the one that messed up, not me."

"Right, I messed up tryin' to fix what you did and now I have to lie to her every day," Spike said.

"She's alive. You got what you wanted. You never seem to get that these things have a price," Angel said.

Connor didn't know exactly what they did to Faith's brain. He could have researched that part but it just made him to miserable. He knew she only remembered up to 1989 because that was before anything too bad had happened to her.

Buffy the vampire put her in The Infinity Room and injected her with Eternal Deprivation. Connor had researched that part. The Infinity Room made you think that you were frozen in time while it rushed by you simultaneously, like a really bad acid trip.

Eternal Deprivation froze up your body. It made it so you couldn't move except for your autonomic nervous system. It stopped your aging .You could stay like that forever. You didn't need to eat or pee or do anything. But, that wasn't all it did. It also stripped down you amygdala and over-activated your hippocampus.

It made it so you felt like you lived every bad thing that ever happened to you over and over, or maybe at once. It also left you thinking there was no way you could defend yourself. Connor didn't know how Faith had survived as well as she had.

"Angel is right," Illyria said, "We have Faith Lehane whole and intact. We have a chance to give her a pleasant life and train her properly. With this she will be the finest warrior this world has ever known."

"Easy for you to say," Spike said, "You love playing Mother Hen, some earth-shattering hell-beast you turned out to be, blue bell. God, I need a fag!"

But, he said it softly without any heat as he searched his pockets for a cigarette. Even Spike could see what Illyria was doing for Faith. No one was more devoted to being Faith's mom, or hotter. Connor wasn't forgetting he finally kissed her! He wished he could get his dad and Spike out of here to be with her, but maybe that was rushing things.

"Your weaknesses for human addictions perplexes me," Illyria said, "You will see a creature far beyond an earth shattering Hell-Beast if you dare to light that foul cancer-stick up in here where my—where Faith is sleeping."

Man! Illyria slipped into being Marishka, Faith's mom, for a second. Spike even smiled. Connor knew Illyria had no idea how good she looked mixed with that South Boston olive-skinned tuff girl thing. If she knew, she wouldn't do it because she was so hot it was was torturing Connor. Unless she would be into torturing him. Connor had to stop these thoughts, or maybe he didn't. He could move things along with Angel and Spike here and see what being alone with Illyria would bring.

"You're going to tell them, right Angel?" Connor said, "The reason you came here. The big news. I don't know why it's so-"

"What are you talking about?" Angel demanded.

"Seriously?" Connor sighed, "Oh, I get it. You were gonna feel them out, and if you didn't like what you felt then you weren't gonna say anything."

"Whatever it is," Spike said, "I don't bloody care. How many times do we have to go over this? We aren't going to fight any of your battles. The Blue Bird and my's only mission is to take care of Faith and-"

"Right," Angel said, "You're right. It's nothing important that I can't take care of."

Spike had his cigarette in his mouth unlit like an addict stuck in an airplane bathroom. Illyria was right. Why did he need to smoke? The cigarette suddenly drooped in his mouth like a lowered gun as Spike looked at Angel's face. It dangled as he spoke.

"Balls!" he said, "It's her, isn't it? She's awake."

"Spike—" Angel began.

Buffy Summers was a She with a capital S. Yet another name for her. Connor knew form all his up-bringings the more names you had the more powerful you were. Connor had his share of names but, this girl, once Slayer, now en-souled vampire had to be pretty damned powerful.

"She was never truly slumbering," Illyria said, "But now she is more awake. I could sense it. The power."

Cool. Connor had to ask Illyria how that sensing thing worked, even though she didn't look very happy about it now. He didn't really get why this Buffy thing was all so bad. It's not that Connor wouldn't love to rip apart the vampire that hurt Faith, but Buffy Summers had a soul now. Let her be all gloomy like Dad and roam the earth making up for what she did. As far as Connor could understand as long as Buffy and his father didn't get all coital everything would be fine.

"It's not about her power. I know her enough to know she'll want to come 'round here. Convincing herself showing up to apologize is some noble righteous act. And I know she'll tear this house apart with her blasted good intentions. Faith can't see her. No telling what it'll trigger." Spike said.

Spike wasn't yelling and gnashing like usual. Connor saw he was sad.

"Spike is right. If that bitch comes here it'll mess with my baby's head, and then I will rip out her spine and feed it to her," Illyria said.

Now she was full-on Faith's mom, Marishka-looking and sounding.

"Careful there, Blue. Sometimes I can't tell if it's you, or my girl's mum," Spike said.

"I'm always the god-king," she said, "At times I just find speaking and looking this way expresses my sentiments to do violence, or other human-like actions, more accurately."

She stayed in Marishka form.

"I think it's sexy," Connor said.

Illyria said nothing but sat next to him on the couch.

"There's no need for violence," Angel said, "or any other human-like—There's no need for anything. She's not catatonic anymore, that's all. She wanted to leave the Wolfram and Hart suite, but I convinced her to stay."

"I'm sure. The only way you could do that is if you—Sod! Please tell me the two of you cursed idiots know better than to shag each other. If you—"

"Spike! Nothing is going to happen," dad snapped at Spike, "You do remember that we took away both of their memories that the other one existed. You should remember, you sure did bitch about it, but it worked."

Right, Buffy had no memory of Faith and Faith had no memory of Buffy. Those memories were taken.

"For now," Spike said, "At some point Fanged Goldie Locks will remember every single thing she did to Faith. She has to suffer. She has to truly be cursed."

Connor realized that his memories must have never truly been taken since he could remember Angel so easily once he saw him. Connor hoped the Wolfram and Hart neuroscience mystics worked harder on Faith and Buffy than that.

"You fall in and out of love so easily. You owe Buffy everything," Angel spat.

"I know I wasn't there, but I think when a girl turns into a soulless demon that tortures my wife and locks her in Hell, in two time-lines, it's a good time to fall out of love with a her. Not to mention the fact that she has a thing for my father…and that I have a wife," Connor said lightly.

He learned fast it was better to say these things lightly before Spike could say them darkly and have a whole fight brewing. He'd consider the night a success if he only had to pull them apart once, and if he had time then to make out with Illyria some more maybe.

"You're right you have no experience!" Angel snapped at Connor now.

Dad didn't seem to be picking up on the light mood Connor was trying to create here. Angel sighed and added quietly.

"The point is we fixed everything and Buffy and Faith won't have contact. And…once I love someone it doesn't stop. If you really love someone you don't turn it on and off like a switch especially if they get lost."

Okay, this saying things lightly was backfiring on Connor, which happened sometimes.

"I know tha—" he began to say to his father, but Spike cut him off.

"Never said I had no love for the girl," Spike said to Angel, "It's just I can't have her comin' 'round here ruining Faith's life. Not again. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't hate what we had to do to Faith's head, but she's happy. 'Cept when you mess it up and make her cry."

"You made her cry?" Connor said to Angel.

He knew that made dad feel guilty and guilt might distract him from this Let's-have-a-pointless-fight-with-Spike-about-Buff y-thing. Then, Connor might get a few minutes alone with Illyria.

"Crying is part of being a child," Illyria said.

She put her hand on Connor's knee.

"But, I gotta say I'm not about to tell my kid to suck it up and deal if that vampire shows her face. I don't give a crap what kinda Holy Mary she was before. I don't owe her nothin', that's for damned sure," Illyria said this.

She went from blue and stiff to light brown, pissed, emoting and vulnerable. For a moment she was a combination of all of those features. An ice blue-eyed tiny "ethnically ambiguous" (Albanian) woman in red leather and a retro-90s top.

"I get it, Illyria. No one wants both of them safe more than me. And, can you just pick a personality? It's creepy," Angel said to her.

"It's not creepy to me," Connor said.

She was stern yet maternal. The perfect woman. The perfect woman that had touched his knee.

"I don't care what you think," she said to Angel, "I will fully become myself and kill the Slayer Vampire if I sense her coming near my—near Faith, the only living Chosen Slayer."

"I don't—" Angel began.

"Great, it's a party then. If my ex comes 'round we kill her," Spike said, "We'll have an exit plan for Faith so she'll never see her. You take Faith to a safe house on a remote island with a magical power source nearby, while I, and mother jugs here, slay a vampire Slayer vampire. Settled. "

Connor knew mother jugs was Illyria. The you was Connor. He didn't argue about taking Faith to safety. Spike sighed and got up with the cigarette in his mouth. He rose slowly, not like him, but some sad old man. Angel rose quickly and got in his face. Crap. This wasn't going to be over so fast.

"What? Do you really think I'd let that happen? The only thing that's settled is no one is killing anyone!" How-"

"I love how you think your still in charge," Spike said calmly.

"I'm glad," Angel said, "because I am."

Connor got up and walked slowly over to the millionth Angel/Spike face off with his own sigh.

"I don't think anybody is really in charge," Connor said, "Everyone is just going to do what they have to for Faith."

"You are correct, Connor," Illyria said, "Wicked smart for your age."

She was doing the combination perfectly of her and Faith's mom, like she knew what it did to him.

"You three should get a room," Spike grinned.

"No, they should stop it and I am still in charge. The only one looking out for everyone," Angel said, "I could give a rat's ass as to what happened in your little time-line, Spike. I took your information and I did things differently. What are you doing? Threatening to kill Buffy? Raising Faith with my money?"

"Shit, here we go," Connor grumbled.

He took off his jacket.

"All I'm doing is something you never could- anything and everything for someone I love who had their mind played with because I failed them. I failed them!" Spike yelled, "But, I'm the one making it right not just throwing money and false memories at them, like you."

Connor really liked this jacket. It was soft brown faux leather that looked real. He folded it. It wasn't going to get ripped in some dumb fight.

"And it's on," Connor said, "Ill, I'm going to need your help."

Illyria tilted her head to the side and her eyes glowed blue for a second with a blend of her and Faith's mom's features. Was she surprised?

"You have no idea what anything and everything even means!" Angel yelled as he grabbed Spike's jacket.

Illyria wasn't surprised for long. She pulled Angel away from Spike. Angel didn't put up much of a fight. He just glared at Spike. Spike gave a smile that could only be brought out by successfully pissing of Angel. Connor knew that smile from his own mouth, but he also knew that you rarely got to have it long.

"You're the same old selfish little shit. You only care about one thing, Spike. That's always been your problem. Who is paying for this house so Faith can have the life she needs? Who's paying for the clothes your even wearing? I saved them both, Faith and Buffy," Angel said to Spike, "You didn't even think of trying to do that. For all your passion you're short-sighted and fickle. That's why Buffy could never love you, and if Faith lived long enough she'd see you were just another mistake."

"Oh great," Connor rolled his eyes, "I needed an upper arm workout."

He was prepared to hold back Spike. Angel smiled.

"Do I come off as that easy?" Spike asked.

"Well yeah, when it comes to Faith and Dad and, well yeah," Connor answered.

"Fickle," Spike said calmly, "I was called that before, by Her, while I was getting the bloody shit beat outta me and trying to get my wife's paralyzed body to safety. If she loved me or hated me I was the one who really dealt with Buffy's darkness."

Buffy was a Her with a capital H. Faith was the wife with a small w. It didn't seem fair. Connor's dad wasn't smiling anymore.

"Am I supposed to be shedding tears here?" Angel said, "I used to watch you feed children to the first women you said 'forever' to while you gave her head—a head's up that a Slayer was coming."

"Nice save, dad. I'm not chasing away disturbing images at all," Connor joked.

"And Faith was never your wife here," Angel ignored Connor and spoke to Spike.

"You think that matters to me?" Spike said, "I know Faith'll grow up this time and get to go to school and realize they have fuck-all to teach her and finally realize how smart she always was. You think it matters to me that she can never love me because it mattered to you with Her. I traveled through time just to see Faith alive. I left behind power in an L.A. Hell Dimension and a harem of demon babes most men would have sold their souls for."

"A demon harem?" Connor mouthed to Illyria.

She nodded back solemnly with a face that let Connor know she didn't particularly like the demon harem. What had her life been like in Hell L.A., Connor wondered? She had lived in a world Connor hadn't know, two of them. Just like Connor lived in worlds people around him didn't know.

"My wife can never remember what we had. She can never love me the way that she did, and I don't care. I can't waste time brooding and whining about my lost world where I know she loved me because there's too much to do." Spike said.

The worlds made Connor ache. He could see, feel, that they made Illyria ache too. Angel didn't look so happy either. Everyone was aching for different things they had lost. But, Connor could sense that Illyria wanted him despite that ache or along with it. Whatever it was he'd take it.

"I can't take off and start a bloody detective agency to leave her to figure it out for herself either. No! Instead, I consider myself lucky because I get to be in the life of the person I love the most every single day and I give her what she needs. I'm not the one who's fickle, mate," Spike said.

...And from aching to fighting in 3 seconds. Connor sighed. He looked at Illyria and she looked at him. He wondered how long this was going to take before he could be alone with her.

"I'm sorry, Ill," Connor said, "This is going to be another long night. As fun as all this tragic romance, blame gaming, and reminiscing about sex and child-eating is I think we're getting off the subject. What is the—Oh yeah, Buffy."

"Maybe your not fickle. Only this is a new low, even for you," Angel said.

"I don't wanna kill Her, Liam," Spike said somberly, "I'm just sayin' I will if she won't leave well enough alone with her lack of memory and I know her and ch—"

"I'm not talking about that," Angel said, "I'll kill you myself before it comes to that. I'm talking about what you're really doing here. You and all self-sacrifice and grand speeches are full of it. You know I'm really taking care of things, and you know all your doing is raising Faith so you can have her all to yourself again the second you decide she's old enough."

"Crap. A long long night," Connor said.

Spike roared and Connor had to hold him back. There were the vampire fangs and the face and the growling and everything.

"Grooming her up real good," Angel said, "So, you even want her to go to school to be a pseudo-intellectual like you, but you don't want her to lose her working class sensibility you glorify because you never had it, you posh little poet. You could never stand that I'm always the real daddy that does the work."

"Really, Dad? Really?" Connor grumbled, "Can't you just help me out a little?"

Angel had his fangs and face out too. He just stood with Illyria who was guarding him, but he didn't charge. He smiled. Spike was too strong for Connor. But, Illyria pushed him to the ground. He slid across the hard wood floor.

"Connor is right. Angel is doing this on purpose," she said, "He takes pleasure in taunting Spike that he is a better provider to Faith because he has failed to fully protect anyone for whom he provides for."

Thank sure shut Dad's smile up as Connor tried not to get one of his own.

"He—" Connor began.

"Well, well," Spike said from the floor, "The Betty Crocker of Death is on team Spike 'cause she sees I'm the one here every day."

"Your ego is no more worthy than his," she said, "He provides what is necessary for the structure, but cannot provide intimacy. You provide intimacy but you lack structure. You are both flawed. Only I provide Faith with both structure and intimacy."

"I wouldn't put yourself on any Saint cards, little Shiva. You're the most selfish one here," Spike said to her.

Again Spike's words had no heat towards her. Connor knew it was hard to be mad at Illyria, but he was surprised Spike knew it too. Connor should still stick up for her.

"Ill's sacrificed the most," Connor said, "In fact, she's literally sacrificed having her own self. That's the opposite of selfish, selfless."

"This is neither about selflessness nor selfishness. I provided what The Chosen Slayer needs as she once provided for me," she said.

She was all Illyria looking again, all blue.

"Bullocks," Spike said, "This isn't settling a debt. You love playin' Southside Carole Brady for one kick-ass raven-haired Cindy."

"This reference is lost on me," Illyria said, "Are you speaking of The Brady Bunch? The mother of Faith did not often watch The Brady Bunch she preferred Scooby Doo. Winifred Burkle watched a great deal of PBS."

Connor wondered how she could be so awkwardly adorable.

"When Faith was your friend she never gave you lies," Spike said, "She told you the truth about humanity. Got you to stop banging your head against the wall over it, over Wes, because you weren't Fred. That's why you clung to Faith so, like a suction cup. Now, you're enjoying this a bit too much, aren't you? Now she looks to you, relies on you like no one else. You get to be everything to her. Being a mother is the closest thing you get to being a god-king again."

"Hey, man!" Connor began, "You have no right to insult—"

"Not insulting her, kid," Spike said, "I'm just telling her the truth, like Faith used to. I think having Faith love her gives he more than the worship of seven dimensions ever did. It's just that they can't ever be friends now. And as real as blue's motherly love is, it's based on lies."

He was sunken on the couch again.

"You dare to think your feelings and intentions are the only real and pure things in this world," she said to him.

She didn't seem that mad at him either. They were like the opposite of a bickering sexual-tension couple that wanted to get nasty with each other. Connor was glad of that.

"He tends to think that about his feelings for women until he forgets all about them," Angel said.

Illyria that knocked pushed Spike back on the couch when he went to rise. Connor wished she was pushing him down on furniture.

"I am not done speaking to you!" she snapped, "You think you are the only one who has suffered and lost. I have researched and scoured and communed with everything living and dead to become the woman that Faith thinks I am, to become The mother, because I did not know what else to do."

There was heartbreaking pain in her voice. Connor could feel the air move. She was shifting and merging into looking like Faith's mom, Marishka, and a bit of herself.

"I know I ain't perfect, but I've tried so freakin' hard. What do you want from me, Spike? Let's pretend you're the freakin' genius you think you are, and not a wicked retard. What would she want from me? Tell me! Would she want me to take her mind and shatter it again? Would my Faithy want me to tell her child-self the hard truth? That her mother is dead and gone and she was dead and gone too except—except she was brought back into a treacherous life where she was tortured! And I am the thing that made that happen- me. I'm not her mother, I'm not her friend, I am a monster that made it-"

She was crying. Standing before Spike crying. Spike was just looking at her completely shocked. Angel was too. Seriously? 350 years of experience with women between them and this was all they had. Stunned silence. Maybe Illyria had never been a woman to them. Maybe they were both morons. No, not maybe.

"Illyria," Connor said and pulled her to him.

She didn't pull away and went easily with his arms around his neck.

"Call me Ill, like you were," she said while crying, "It's what Faith would call me. She was the only one who let me be my true self in this world, and look what I did to her. I let that Half-Breed former Slayer, that thing, get her."

"S'not your fault, Ill," Spike said, "It's mine. I'm the one who knew Buffy's darkness and Faith's lightness. I knew them better than anyone and I had them both in front of me and I couldn't stop one from destroying the other."

"Yeah, that's right," he said turning to Angel, "I know it's my fault. I'm the one who knows them both, not y—"

"I don't care whose fault it is. I just need to know what Faith would want!" Illyria cried.

"I don't know what grown Faith would want from you now," Connor said, "Maybe she wouldn't want you to use the word 'retard' because it's kinda considered offensive now. I know it's a Boston thing but—But, I know nine year-old Faith loves you. She loves what you've become for her. Trust me. I know you think I'm young, but I've lived a lot of lives and I know about lies. All different kinds of lies, and I know when love is true and real and I've never seen love truer or realer than what you-"

She kissed him then. Full on the mouth while standing on her little toes. It was grabby and tongue-y and awesome. He didn't care if it came from her knowledge of being a seven dimension goddess or from researching Faith's mom. He just wanted more of it, but she stopped.

"We must settle this," she said, "How do we protect Faith from Buffy?"

"Simple, if Buffy shows she's a threat to Faith we kill her," Spike said, " See, I'm not like you, Angel. I know I own no one. It doesn't matter how I feel 'bout Buffy or Faith. Faith is going to grow up, and despite looking a bit old for her age she's going to have the perfect life. That's what's right. That's what owed to her, and even if Buffy is owed more we can't have her hurtin' a child."

He smiled a sad smile and walked away from the group.

He had lit his cigarette and opened the sliding glass door and was blowing smoke into the cold Portland night air not looking at anyone or anything until he spoke again and looked at Angel.

"I'll be damned if I won't kill anything and anyone, yes even other things I love less, to stop Faith from going through any kind of Hell again," he said.

There was a beat of silence.

"Well, that's devotion," Connor said, "crazy mad admirable devotion, but it looks like we aren't solving this tonight, so—"

"Buffy won't come here," Angel said, "She won't find her and if you try to hurt Her with some warped pre-emptive strike I will kill you and tell Faith you had to go to The Vampire Academy in a dimension upstate. Faith will have a good life and so will Buffy. They don't need to suffer or know what happened."

"You be sure of that now," Spike said miserably.

"I will," Angel said.

"Okay, great," Connor said, "Everyone is happy, or at least equally miserable. Good family meeting. Bye."

There were a million things Connor could say, but none of it mattered, or would at least no one would listen. So, he and Illyria might as well be alone.

"Connor," Illyria said, "I can sense there is something on your mind. Spill it."

She grinned as she became the Illyria/Faith's mom blend. She did know what it did to him!

"Well, just to speak from experience here," Connor said, "No kid can have the perfect life. You could write out all the memories you want them to have and magically ensure they live it, but that only protects them for so long and they don't really forget the bad stuff."

"Connor, I know you're speaking of your own life, but we cannot-can't fail," Illyria said, "We can learn a lot from how you were wronged, so it will not happen again to my Faith."

"I don't thin—" Angel began and Illyria cut him off sharply.

"I'm done speaking with you Half-Breeds," she said, "Angel, you have told us of The Slayer Vampire's awakening. You can leave my domain. I would be hospitable and offer you a room, but I know you do not wish to stay especially now. Spike, you have done what I needed you to do, and I'm done with you. Go to your room."

"You sending me to my room, mum superior? Don't you really want to send the kid to yours," Spike said all-amused.

"This is true," she said flatly but then had a grin, "But I think it only works if I go with him."

"Still with the older complicated women. I thought they fixed this," Angel said stonily as he looked at Connor.

"The memories of my family made me feel loved. They didn't cut my balls off. Bye, dad," Connor said.

Spike snickered.

"Angel," Illyria said as she walked up to him.

Connor noticed when she spoke to his father she was always very still and formal, full on Illyria. He wondered why.

"I promise I will take the utmost care of your son. I will not harm or damage him in any way. I respect his intelligence as well as his superior physical ability. Like you Half-Breeds Champions he has lived different lives, but unlike you he is still truly young which makes him more vital and less stagnant for-—"

"I don't want to know any of this!" Angel said.

"Oh, won't you let her go on, father?" Connor joked, "I do feel like the prettiest girl at the ball."

Spike full on laughed.

"Does my speaking to your father emasculate you?" Illyria asked Connor.

Her eyes were bright blue as she turned to him.

"That isn't my intention," she said, "I just don't want any interference from him. Protectors can be mettlesome. So much offends the male ego I often lose track."

She walked closer to him and he took her hand and kissed it as she spoke stiffly. She wasn't the only one who could sense things. With all her formalness he smelled the same smell as when they kissed. She wanted him. Her eyes turned brown.

"My ego and all my vital non-stagnant parts are cool," he said and pulled her in to kiss her.

It was just a little kiss. He wasn't a freak. He wasn't going to tongue her in front of his father. There was enough inappropriate things like that in the past. But even with his closed mouth cupping drawing in hers. He could feel her become more human, warmer. He could feel her body shift.

"Connor!" and there was his father yelling at him.

"I love you, Connor. Be careful. Don't do anything that can't be undone," Angel muttered.

He left with his batman speed after that.

"What does that mean?" Illyria said.

Now she stood in his arms with her hands against his chest. She had the figure and eyes of Faith's mother but the rest was the old her. She still had the leather outfit on but it went from a tall size 0 to a short size 4. Completely beautiful either way. Connor knew she seemed to have gained some of the South Boston street smarts but there was so much she didn't understand. He wanted to know what she knew and didn't know. Connor wanted to know everything about Illyria and what she had become, or was becoming.

"Don't do anything that can't be undone?" she continued to ask, "None of this can be undone. None of us have the ability to travel back in time."

"It means," Spike said, "He's an asshole. Well, goodnight, kids. Don't wake-up Faith. She has horse back riding in the morning, yeah."

"You know her door is sound-proof, otherwise you'd wake her up with your chowder head bitchin'," Illyria said to him as Spike walked away.

Connor noticed she was very stiff with Angel, but very gruff and South Boston with Spike. He didn't know how he felt about that.

"Yeah, yeah," Spike muttered and left.

"What's wrong? Something in you has shifted," she asked him with South Boston brown eyes.

"I don't know if that's a good idea," Connor said, "A sound-proof door in Faith's room. What if something gets in?"

"I have the ability to hear everything in her room that may disturb her slumber. Part of my consciousness is always with her. Right now there are two other living creatures in her room. Spiders. They are harmless and eat the other bugs."

"So you are always watching over her, no matter what?" he asked.

"Always," she said, "I don't think I could stop now if I wanted. You must know I will not let Faith be threatened at all. I will kill that Half Breed Slayer with the odd name if she comes here searching for memories. I won't kill your father if he tries to get in my way, but I will maim him so he stays out of it. I know Spike says he will do these things too but I do not know if I believe him. He—"

"You know what? I'm done talking about Spike and my dad and the Buffy vampire with a million names for tonight. Faith is okay. That's all that matters," Connor said.

He brushed her brown and blue hair back and she melted inside. He could feel it, smell it, almost taste it.

"Yes, it is," she said, "You must know Faith will always come before anything, but this will not affect the quality of my attention to you as a ma-"

He kissed her deeply now and she moaned. He put his hands on her ass that seemed to shift in fullness.

"Oh, more! More!" she said her voice lost all formalness.

Connor always had many questions about Illyria, but none of the answers he wanted required talking, and he was going to try to get answers tonight. All of this stuff with the Buffy of many names wasn't his concern. Nothing was after Faith now, and nothing was after Faith's mother-but-not, dead Fred-but-not, The God-king, The Embodiment of immaculate Rule, The Shaper of Things… Nothing was going to get Connor's Illyria. She had so many names she could kick anyone's ass he was sure, and he had her in his arms all wanting and warm. Now he just had to get her to bed before Faith woke up.

"I've seen this done to expedite the arrival to the chamber," she said, "Take me to there."

She jumped into his arms. So, much for taking things slow. He was so into Her.


Things will begin to unfold (Unravel) soon, but before that maybe a sexy interlude with a vampire's son and a god-king...