AN: So, I thought I write an Angel fic, just for the fun of it. Angel actually was the show that started it off for me – I started watching it in my first year of college, and then I watched Smallville, reruns of Buffy, read the Harry Potter books and watched the movies, got into all the superhero genre, and started Supernatural, all over the next five years. But Angel will always have a special place in my heart because it was the first sci-fi, fantasy, horror, supernatural show I watched.
That sentimental trip aside, I decided to pick up where the finale left off. I watched it a few months ago, and I've tried to get my facts right, but there may be things I have left off. I always feel a little shaky on my first chapters and it's usually takes to the third or fourth chapter for me to find my groove. So, see if it works for you.
For those of you waiting for my Supernatural story, I am working on it. I wanted to have it be four chapters, but I feel so sad about ending it that I'm taking my time. I've never written anything so short so I may have to do a sequel for it.
But as far as this story goes, it may be long or short – I haven't really decided one way or the other. I'm re-watching Buffy (just for kicks) and I had forgotten how much I love these characters. Just to warn you, I may bring back characters I really liked (that means you, Wesley), but I'll try to keep it as canon as I can.
Spanking in later chapters – sometimes I can't work it into the first chapter, sorry.
Disclaimer: I don't own Angel or any of its characters. I think Joss still does, but I absolutely don't make any money off this.
Very long intro – on with the story.
The smell of burning ash and cement dust woke Angel up. He kept his eyes shut, praying desperately, "Please don't let me be in hell. Please not hell. Not there. Anywhere but there."
He remembered the pain, the never-ending pain that had driven him crazy. People talked about things going on forever – they had no idea what hell was really like.
But that had smelled like fire and sulfur and burning flesh; this just smelled like decay.
So he opened his eyes and sat up.
He was in the middle of an alley. Well, at one time it had been an alley with two tall buildings on either side. Now, the buildings had crumbed or rather their sides had been smashed. Dust floated down from above. Overhead, maybe forty feet up on the third floor, a bed was hanging out of the ruined building, its covers drooping limply over one side like the discarded cape of a superhero. On the other building, pipes had broken, and water sprayed out and dripped down the rumble.
It all reminded Angel of that ride at Universal Studios, FL. He had had seen picture of Earthquake on the Internet, the way the subway broken up on the ride. He had always wanted to go to Universal Studios. And Disney World. He was sure there was something demons about the Small World ride and all those smiling puppets. Too bad the amusement parks weren't open at night. Connor might have liked to go, too. But the happiest place on earth? That didn't seem like a good thing for a vampire, cursed by gypsies to turn evil if he ever experienced true happiness.
Angel shook his head slowly. How hard had he been knocked out to start thinking about Disney World? He stood up, warily. No real injuries that he could see – a few scraps that would heal in the hours, a couple of bruises, nothing broken.
What had happened? Wait, he had been fighting with . . . with . . . a dragon?
Angel stopped and looked up at the smashed buildings. Had the dragon done that? It looked like an enormous dragon could have flown into the buildings. But had he killed it? Had he killed anything else?
He made his way out of the alley. No one could be seen. The streets were deserted.
Just take one thing at a time. What time was it? It was still kind of dark, but getting lighter. Dawn was maybe an hour off. An hour off – wait! He had to get somewhere before the sun came up.
All right, they had been fighting last night, he decided as he began to walk very fast. Had anyone survived. Who had he seen right before the dragon came? Gunn – that was good, Gunn was a survivor. Illyria – she had said the Wesley didn't make it. Damn, Wesley should have made it. Lorne was long gone – Angel doubted he would ever see him again. Lindsey – Lorne had taken care of Lindsey. It was too bad, but Lindsey was past saving. Wolfram and Hart might bring him back, but Angel would deal with that when it happened. Connor had been there. Please let Connor still be alive.
So that was Gunn, Illyria, maybe Connor. Anyone else? Wait, maybe . . . ugh, Spike. Please let Spike had gotten himself killed. Just a stray piece of wood flying through the air, oh look, Spike didn't duck. It got him right in the heart. Surprised look on that sneering face, then fade into ashes.
Angel indulged himself in the fantasy of Spike's death as he moved along.
Or maybe Spike was beheaded. Evil guy swinging an axe through the air, Spike isn't watching where he's going. Spike doesn't duck – oh no, Spike's head goes rolling. Good bye, Spike, no one will miss you.
Or maybe Spike is running, and a demon throws down a lasso rope. Spike doesn't duck, the rope hauls him up into the air and leaves him hanging. Then the sun comes up, and Spike starts burning, screaming until his lungs are turned to dust. Farewell, Spike, I wish I never knew you.
It was much easier to imagine Spike's demise than to speculate on whether or not Connor survived. Angel tried to think of Spike being torture rather than if Connor remembered how to fight after his memories had been tampered with. Did the new Connor remember how to kill different types of demons? Did Connor know how to handle a sword or a gun or a crossbow? Could he fight with his fists, kicking out powerfully enough to maim his opponent? Did Connor know enough to keep himself alive?
No, think of Spike getting beaten, Spike being staked, Spike in pain . . .
"Angel!" a male voice called from a side street.
Angel stopped and whirled around. He had no weapon with him, but he had enough power still in his body to fight if he had to.
Footsteps, and then Gunn rounded the corner. He was holding a bloody knife, and a gun was tucked in his waistband. "Hey," he jogged up. "How'd you make out?"
"I don't know," Angel admitted. "I got knocked out. The last thing I remember was all of us together, about to charge that army."
Gunn whistled. "You don't remember killing all those demons? Man, you were on fire. You just ran in there and started hacking. I'm glad you don't remember, because you made me look like some scared chick in a horror movie. You probably killed twenty or thirty before that dragon snatched you up by its claws. I saw you flying up in the air with it, still hacking at its belly."
Angel searched him memory, the shrugged. "Sorry, don't remember. Do you know what happened to Connor?"
"I saw him later on. He was fighting too, like a maniac. Man, if there was any doubt he was your son, last night proved it once and for all. Ruthless, mean fighter moving really fast. I could have used him back in my old slaying days."
"Illyria?" Angel asked.
"Somewhere around here. She might look like Fred, but that woman can torture like you wouldn't believe. I finally moved over a street so I didn't have to hear the screams."
"Did someone call me?" Illyria stepped from the shadows. Her expression was calm and stoic, unsettling considering that her bluish body was sprayed in red and black blood.
"You kill many?" Angel asked, trying not to sound sarcastic.
She smiled cruelly. "Hell will have to add another dungeon for all the monsters I sent there tonight."
"Cold as ice," Gunn observed about her.
"All right, so that's three of us," Angel noted. "We just need to find Connor, and then I'll hide before the sun comes up. If we move quickly –"
"Ey!" a voice called out. "Not leaving without me, are you, blokes?"
Angel suppressed a groan as Spike came trotting up the street. He was also covered in blood, but that stupid blond hair was still slicked back and perfect.
"Glad to see me?" Spike grinned.
"So you didn't manage to get yourself staked or beheaded or otherwise killed?" Angel asked dryly.
"No, mate, almost did though. This huge bloke came at me with a silver blade, nearly got me across the neck. But I ducked. Then he tried to get my in the heart, so I ducked again. Then I killed him."
"Lucky us," Angel observed. "Well, you're all right, and we're all right, so good bye."
"Nothing doing," Spike shook his head. "I'm one of you, now, and I say we find the little spawn of your loins and get the hell out of here before the sun comes up."
"Or you could stay and see if you like the sunlight," Angel muttered, but they had all began walking down the street.
"Connor?" he called out.
"Connor?" Gunn yelled. "Hey, kid, where are you?"
"Connor, you come now!" Illyria demanded.
"Demon child!" Spike called out obnoxiously. "Hell spawn, Daddy's looking for you. All freaky offspring, return to the father demon immediately!"
"Shut up," Angel ordered, glaring at him.
"Just in case he got himself turned into something big and nasty while he was fighting and doesn't recognize his own name," Spike shrugged. "He's your kid after all, so I expect him to become a puppet, you know."
"Spike," Angel growled, but Gunn interrupted him.
"Hey, blond chick coming this way."
Angel glanced down the street, and a small smile showed on his face. "Nina."
Nina ran up, panting and brushing back her hair with shaky hand. "Hello."
Angel wanted to feel happy, but he was also annoyed and he decided to give in to that feeling. "I thought I told you to get out of town."
"And when have I started listening to you?" she challenged. "I sent them on ahead. Full moon last night, you know. I awoke in a pile of bodies, all bearing wolf bites, all dead. I knew I would find you here, fresh from the fight. Isn't it getting a little light for you boys to be out?"
"I'll stay out long as I like," Spike smarted off, swaggering as he walked. "No one tells me to go in, not while I'm wearing this here coat and got me bloody fangs intact."
"You killed that many, but missed him?" Angel said aside to Nina. "If you cared about me at all, you would have killed him."
"Sorry, next time. Where are we going?" Nina asked as they stepped over more rubble on the street.
Angel glanced at her, ready to tell her that she didn't belong with them. But as he looked around, he realized that they weren't the most normal of groups. Two vampires with souls (though one with a very dumb hairstyle), an ancient goddess in the body of their dead friend, and a demon hunter brainwashed with the mind of a lawyer, all looking for the son of two vampires. A woman-turned-werewolf should fit in just fine.
"We got to find a place to stay, anywhere out of the light," Angel told her. "Tonight, once the sun goes down, we can look for somewhere permanent. Wolfram and Hart collapsed, but they're sure to rebuild. I'm still the CEO, even if I did organize a hit on some of its most powerful clients."
"Ooo, boss man wants to be all in charge," Spike noted scathingly. "I say we get out of LA and go somewhere a little more vamp friendly, like Rome or Florence. Eh? Take in a few paintings, meet a few Italian dolls, you do the big, bad brooding, I drink the fresh wine? Maybe look up Buffy again, and kick the Immortal in the ass for old times' sake. Yeah?"
"I'm staying in LA," Angel told him. "But feel free to jump across the pond, and roam all over Europe."
"Not if you're staying here," Spike retorted. "I leave, and then suddenly you'll be made the king or something, and then I'll come back as a nobody while they're worshiping you. Nothing doing."
Gunn and Illyria had fallen back a step, and she was talking to her in her usual cold, strong voice.
"I do not understand," she admitted to him. "I am feeling sorry for those innocent who died, Wesley the most. I am feeling pain and hurt for him, something I have never felt, not this strongly. But Wesley was your friend, and theirs, but they are arguing about who gets to be king. I thought this was a war to stop evil, not to decide who will be king. If we are putting in bids for king, I want to be the empress, in power again, and I will squash them like little bugs."
"No," Gunn told her, smiling a little at her serious expression. "They're just fighting because they're glad no one else got killed. Back when I fought on the streets with the gangs, we'd slap each other on the back and do the old homeboy handshake, and that'd be all. But these vampires, they don't know how to do anything right."
"I'm just saying," Angel said loudly "if you want to go to Europe, no one's stopping you!"
"Oh, you'd like that, wouldn't you?" Spike challenged. "Me just taking off and letting you have your little power trip here? Bugger that, I'm staying here."
"Then stay here!" Angel nearly yelled.
"Not like that, I won't," Spike decided.
"Connor!" Angel bellowed, his voice resounding off the broken buildings.
"Angel?" a voice called from down a side street.
"Connor" Angel took off at a run. He rounded the corner, and there was Connor, standing there, holding a broken battleaxe. Angel didn't even stop to think; he ran right up to his son and wrapped in a hug, glad to feel the boy's whole body, and not see him lying in pieces in a gutter.
"Angel, you mind?" Connor said awkwardly, trying to squirm away and look cool.
"Are you sure you're all right?" Angel pulled back, but held onto Connor's shoulders, glancing him over. "Nothing broken, nothing bleeding?"
"I got a few scratches," Connor admitted with a shrug. "Nothing serious."
"How not serious?" Angel demanded. "Where are you cut? Is it your stomach?" He noticed small bloodstains on the side of Connor's shirt, and immediately, he tried to lift the shirt to see the damage, sure he would see half of Connor's guts hanging out.
"No," Connor twisted away, trying to pull his shirt away from Angel. "I'm fine. Leave me alone."
"Did you call your family?" Angel demanded yet, almost satisfied that Connor was basically all right though he would have rather seen for himself.
"Yeah, about that –"
"Connor, you have to call your family, and let them know you're all right," Angel insisted, feeling frustrated all ready. It was crazy how he could feel so exasperated with Connor so quickly. "Half of LA was destroyed – they will be worried sick, freaking out about where you are.
"I – uh, kind of changed that," Connor admitted.
"Changed what?" Angel said slowly, eyeing the boy suspiciously.
"I went to – um, Wolfram and Hart while you were fighting," Connor admitted. "To the higher Powers, thinking I could talk them for a while so you could get stuff done."
"So you just wanted to distract them for a while?" Angel said. He knew the others had come up behind him, but they were keeping their distance, knowing Angel would want a few private words with his son.
"Yeah, that too," Connor confessed. "But I also needed something, so I went there and – and . . ."
"Connor, what did you do?" Angel interrupted the boy's stammering.
"I had them change it," Connor admitted. "I had them change me back."
"What?" Angel's eyes were wide and hard.
"My other family, the fake one, they don't exist anymore. Well, they do, but they don't know me. I'm not a part of their family anymore. I still remember a little, but the powers erased that life so now . . ." Connor shrugged.
His casual attitude annoyed Angel almost as much what he had done. "You got them to erase it? After I went through so much trouble to give you a real family, a second chance, tampered with everyone's memories – you erased it?"
"Yeah, kind of," Connor gave him an awkward smile.
Angel grabbed him by the arm, making him drop the battleaxe. "Well, we are going right back there to change it back."
"No," Connor objected.
"I am not having you erase anything," Angel decided. "I made the right choice for you – you need that family."
"Fake family!" Connor protested.
"Doesn't matter," Angel was adamant. "They can do more for you than I ever could. We'll go back, and I'll get them to change it."
Connor put on his usual stubborn look, his mouth set in a determined scowl. But then he relaxed and gave another shrug. "You can try, but they won't do it. Towards the end of the whole process, they got wind of what you were doing, and they weren't happy. You're still CEO, but they're through giving out favors."
Angel took angry steps away, then whirled around to glare at his son. "Why? Why would you do this?"
"Here is comes," Spike confided in a loud whisper to Nina. "The crying and the hugging and the father/son drama that just about makes you want to throw up."
Nina gave him a disapproving look, pursing her lips together, and Spike glanced her over again.
"You're not bad, doll. Fancy a real man instead of that brooding Nancy boy?"
Angel heard, but he didn't care as he watched Connor.
"I want to be real," Connor decided, almost shamefaced. "I want everyone to know the truth – no more lies. I understand what happened and why you did it, but I'm different now. I don't want to kill you, and I can see what happened with my other father much more clearly than when I was in the middle of everything. I'm not the same person that tied those people up with that bomb or slept with Cordy or dumped you to the bottom of the ocean. This is just me – Connor. And I want to be real."
"Ah, Angel," Spike mocked, "here that? He wants to be a real boy."
"But the Powers," Angel ignored Spike, "they made a deal with me. I sign a contract as CEO, you get a better life. How could they go back on their deal?"
"I sort of told them that I would make a new deal," Connor looked down at the pavement, starting to shift nervously.
"Connor," Angel's voice was deadly quietly, "what did you do?"
"I made a deal about me, no one else," Connor began, but Angel looked absolutely furious.
"Connor, right this minute!" he barked at his son.
"If they changed everything back, erased my family, I get to be Wolfram and Hart's junior executive," Connor blurted out.
"Huh?" Spike raised an eyebrow.
"What does that mean?" Illyria demanded from Gunn.
"You signed a contrast with Wolfram and Hart to work for them?" Angel said ominously.
"Yeah, that means –" Connor gave a high-pitched, nervous little laugh – "you're my new boss."
Silence fell over the group. Spike, never one to keep quiet too long, finally broke it. "Does that mean you get to drive the nice cars, too? Because I still want the '65 Mustang. What you say? I'll drink you for it."