A/N: Angsty little drabble I wrote after re-watching Zoom. Enjoy!

- Miss Maddie

The tiny girl in pigtails creeped him out a little bit. Cindy was just so…pink. And the hugs! When that little girl wanted a hug, Connor gave it to her, unless he wanted to be nursing broken ribs for the next few weeks.

What was worse, Cindy always acted as if the hell he had been through - thirty years of complete isolation with nothing but his own thoughts to keep him company - wasn't a big deal. She kept suggesting things he could have done, like singing to himself or counting sheep, as if he had had trouble falling asleep. Connor knew he couldn't fault her for that; after all, she was only six. But still, he had hoped the others, especially Jack, would have been able to rein her in. They, at least, were mature enough to appreciate what had happened to him. Or, at least, he thought they were.

Most of the time he avoided her. Connor never had been good with children.

The fat one, Tucker, just acted like he didn't exist. Since he usually made up an excuse to leave a room as soon as Connor entered it, they almost never spoke. Connor could tell that Tucker was scared of him, but also that the boy was a little intrigued. Kind of like he was some movie star that Tucker was too embarrassed to ask for his autograph.

Connor often caught Tucker staring at him when the younger boy thought he wasn't paying attention. Tucker would flush bright pink with embarrassment at being caught and stare at the opposite wall. Sometimes he would inflate a body part by accident.

It was quite funny when that happened. One time he accidentally enlarged his foot, kicking Dr. Grant across the cafeteria.

Tucker's power was kind of stupid, really. They sure had lowered the standards after being out of commission for thirty years.

Dylan definitely did not trust Connor. At first, he had seemed friendly, but after a few weeks of working together, his true character had shown through.

Connor had had hopes, in the beginning. Since he hadn't aged a day in thirty years, he and Dylan were almost exactly the same age, physically, at least - Connor was only a few months older – but Dylan had never treated him like a real friend. He supposed that the first few false smiles and welcoming words had only been to impress Summer. Now that Connor thought about it, Dylan had only been civil to him when Summer was nearby.

Dylan had never really struck Conner as the jealous type, but he couldn't even look at Summer without Dylan popping up out of nowhere. They didn't even have that much in common. Dylan's "James Dean angst," as Jack had called it, got quite annoying after a while.

They had never become close. Connor doubted now that they ever would.

All Marsha ever wanted to do was get him to talk about his feelings, like he was some sort of test subject, a lab rat she could analyze. She kept trying to get him alone with her so she could probe him with questions about what it had been like. Once, she even had the nerve to shove one of her precious comic books under his nose to ask his opinion. Connor glanced at the illustration, and it had taken all of his willpower not to concuss Marsha through the wall.

There, on the page, was an illustrator's depiction of the end of the original Zenith Team. In the picture, Connor's eyes were crimson with the rage fuelled by the Gamma-13 radiation, his arms thrown skyward in sick triumph. Three of the members of the original Zenith Team – Ace, Marksman and Daravia – were sprawled at his feet, their bodies broken and defeated.

Marsha and shown him the day his life had ended – in Technicolor.

Ripping the comic book from her hands, Connor threw it into the air and punched. The force of the concussion ripped the book to shreds, and the pieces floated gently to the floor.

After that, at least, she had stopped hounding him.

Of all the members of the new Zenith Team, Summer seemed to understand him the most. But then, that was her gift, wasn't it? Understanding things. She was polite and friendly when they spoke, and didn't ask any awkward questions. Sometimes they would read together, or else he would read while she did her homework.

Summer had accepted him into their circle as if he had never left. She let him do what he liked, and listened when he wanted to talk. Their conversations were mostly about life at Area 52, where Connor stayed full-time while the others went to school. They would grab an ice cream sundae – Summer's guilty pleasure – and find a secluded part of the building, where they would sometimes spend their time mocking the ridiculous outfits that the Dylan, Summer, Tucker and Cindy were made to wear. Connor had vehemently refused the white jumpsuit the lab scientists had offered him, with the simple explanation that he did not want to look like the Michelin Man, thank you very much.

Conner had just stuck with his old red outfit, after they had fixed the scorch marks. If wasn't going to fit in, he might as well do it thoroughly.

A/N: Hope you enjoyed the angsty goodness. Connor seemed really bubbly at the end of the movie, so I prefer to think of him my way. Thanks to tfobmv18 for noticing that I accidentally replaced this story with one of my others.

UPDATE: Fixed a few typos and formatting errors. I noticed I kept switching between "Connor" and "Conner," so I changed that.

Miss Maddie