Connor woke slowly, keenly aware of the pain that had slowly settled into her body. The last thing she remembered was passing out in the caves right after she gave Knight her message. She barely remembered Karr's response; how he used the name he once called her before he named her Connor. That meant Karr probably thought she was dead.
The thought entered her mind sluggishly, but faster than before. That was a good sign. She remembered previous wakings, none lasting longer than a few hours to a day. Every time she did, a nurse would come in and put her back to sleep. She wasn't really sure why at first, but now she was beginning to understand. She must have woken up screaming from the pain. It felt like everything from her shoulders to her hips had been torn from her body.
"You died on the operating table, you know."
She groaned and opened her eyes. Sure enough, Knight was standing beside her hospital bed. His boss – Miles, she thought he was called – was standing just behind him. Connor chose to stare at the ceiling. "That makes the total three now." she murmured, shocked at how weak her voice sounded. She didn't feel weak. "Where am I?"
"North County Hospital." Miles said in a gentle tone. His accent was definitely British, and Connor almost laughed as she remembered what Knight had said about him in the beginning. She was having a hard time equating this kind man before her with the monster Karr had described. She supposed she'd see his true nature soon enough. Miles smiled at her before continuing, "The doctors have been taking very good care of you. They say in another two weeks you should be good to go home."
Connor hesitated, not sure she wanted to know. "How long have I been here?"
She gasped in shock and attempted to sit up, trying to ignore the pain that tore through her. Knight grabbed her shoulders and pinned her to the bed. "Connor, calm down." he said calmly. "You're safe here. If you weren't, you'd be dead already."
"He thinks I'm dead!" She hated how her voice shook.
Knight turned to Miles. "Devon, can you give us a few minutes?" Miles nodded and left the room. Free to speak, Knight turned his attention back to Connor. "Karr knows you're alive. He's been parked outside your room for the past two months. Connor, you broke every rib in your body. The docs had to hold them together with wires. While most of the damage has healed on its own, they still anticipate you being in pain for another few months at least. That's why they've kept you out all this time." He paused a moment to let her digest that information. "Is there anyone who can take care of you while you recover?"
"Karr." she said immediately.
Knight rolled his eyes. "I kinda meant someone who walks on two legs and has a pulse." he shot back with a slight grin. "I'm sure Karr is great, but you're going to need more than just him."
Connor looked up at him, her eyes dark with a thousand emotions he could never hope to understand. "Karr is all I need." she said quietly. "He's all I'll ever need."
"I'm sure he's flattered." Knight muttered, but he sighed in defeat. "Oh, by the way – I got this from your personal affects." He handed her a small semi-round object. "The docs thought it was a hearing aid. I figured you'd be wanting this. Sometimes talking to Kitt is the only thing that keeps me from killing people in here."
Connor chuckled, wincing a little as she did so. "I'm sure." She looked up at him, something akin to respect in her eyes. "Thank you, Michael."
It was the first time she'd called him by name. "No problem."
The two weeks passed quickly, but not quickly enough in Karr's opinion. Being too close to members of FLAG was unnerving to say the least, but as long as he was able to listen in on Connor and know she was safe, he could stay here a while longer. Now he was parked in the patient drop-off section of the hospital, waiting impatiently while Connor slowly sat down in the driver's seat. Miles was fussing over her needlessly.
"Are you sure you wouldn't rather have Michael drive you?" he asked.
Connor rolled her eyes, but only Karr saw it. "I'll be fine, Mr. Miles." she said calmly. "I've suffered through worse than this and lived to tell the tale. My partner will be waiting for me at the safehouse. If I think I can't drive anymore, I'll call him." Miles nodded, looking relieved. He bade her farewell and went to join Barstow beside Kitt. Michael walked up and stood just beside the vehicle, unwilling to rest on it like he would Kitt. Karr smirked inwardly.
"Hey, Connor – if you find yourself needing some help, just call me up and use your surname." he said, passing her a sticky note with a number written on it. "I'll know it's an emergency. I'll come."
Connor couldn't help but smile. "What surname? I don't have one."
"You do now." He flashed her a smirk and walked away. Connor shut the door and looked down at her hospital ID bracelet. She almost groaned. Of course, she would need a surname for the hospital records, but couldn't Michael have been just a bit more creative?
"It has a certain ring to it." Karr said as he drove them out of the hospital. Connor made a face. Karr laughed. "All right, not a certain ring to it. Are you ever going to use it?"
"Not unless drastic measures have to be taken." Connor muttered. She looked out the window. "Where are we going?"
"To the safehouse." Karr responded. "Dom said he had a gift for you."
"Welcoming me home with a free oil change?"
"That does sound like something he would do."
They drove the rest of the way in silence, Connor stroking her hand across the dash as Karr seemed to lean into her touch. There was so much that could have been said, but wasn't. They already knew everything that was most important. It came out in the way she touched him, in the way he allowed it. It showed in the way he flinched every time she hissed in pain and in the way she revealed her weakness to him. She trusted him. He cared for her.
That was all that mattered.
Karr parked in the safehouse in the darker side of town and hesitated. "Connor."
"I see him." She reached across the car as best as she could and opened the glove box, removing her favored weapon before straightening back up. "The best gift a girl could hope for."
"It does explain why Dom and Brian aren't here." Karr commented. "I wouldn't touch anything. The place has been cleaned. Even I won't leave any tread marks."
"Looks like the gang finally started watching cop shows." Connor chuckled. She got out, noticing how there wasn't even enough dust on the ground to leave footprints. It was just the way she would have done it had this been a planned hit. She walked slowly over to Dmitri, who was chained to the water pipes against the wall. He looked up at her, bound and gagged, unable to defend himself. He glared as she raised her snub-nosed revolver and aimed at his head.
Part of her wanted to end this in a fair fight. The rest of her knew better. It was time this ended, and it would start with Dmitri.
"Never again." she whispered, tears streaming down her face. "This is for Karr."
She pulled the trigger, and blew him away.
An: Wow. That was an odd note to end this on. But never fear – this is not the end of Connor and Karr. I have two more story ideas planned out for this and another prequel idea now that I have the whole thing established. So drop me a review, keep on the lookout for Destruct Sequence, and until next time, I am yours truly,