By Angelfirenze

Disclaimer: Jason Richman and the rest of Remainder Men, Mandeville Television, ABC Studios, etc., own Fitch, et al. Joss and Mutant Enemy own Kate, et al. Bayside. "Shudder.". Victory, 2008.

Summary: She went out and snatched up the son of another now so dear to her after all of her deflection...but Connor wasn't Bobby and Angel wasn't Lou.

Notes: Because we don't know anything of Fitch's life in New York, I'm using Michael Imperioli's origins, instead. Also, I'm taking a couple of liberties with Fitch's apartment for the same reason. Also 'cosaint' is the Irish for protection and 'la famiglia mia' is the Italian for 'my family'. Seemed fitting.

Notes, cont'd.: I got this idea earlier today and because they never leave me alone, and because I need to write something for one of my two new favorite shows, why not do it for my birthday? Also, I was listening to Shudder by Bayside on repeat and 'Demons' kept sticking out at me every time I heard it. This started to gestate. ("Can you please not say the word 'gestatin'' anymore, and where the hell's Angel?")

Notes, three: Is this finished? I don't think so. Anyone want anymore?

Timeline: 1.17, Motor City Blues/1.18, Blackout; post-ANGEL: After the Fall.

Spoilers: The entire canon as it stands for both Detroit 1-8-7 and ANGEL, though only up to 'Immortality for Dummies' because that's all I've read up to so far. I'm working on getting 'Crown Prince Syndrome' (possibly aka 'Connorland', which hee.).

Part I: La Famiglia Mia

"My father was human and you don't know anything about that." - Detective Kate Lockley, 'The Prodigal'; ANGEL, 1.17

They'd grown up separately and that distance had been maintained into their adult lives, though both conceded their respective careers as police officers had likely come from their father. Kate pretended until she couldn't that anything involving Louis or his own mother or New York just...simply didn't apply to her.

They could blend in, after all, and she did her best to ignore her brother's heritage. It was only half, after all, and half was human enough. She pretended and she was good at it. She blocked it out like all the other humans around her until one day she couldn't anymore and every wall she'd built up (more and more after Angel had clawed his way into her psyche and him and what he was wouldn't leave again no matter how hard she tried to pretend it wasn't eating her alive) came crumbling down.

Your life's a living hell...You've got gremlins in your blood cells and monsters in your bed...They're haunting you again, oh, it must be this place, at least, that's what you say...

She didn't fake it anymore. Her brother wasn't completely human and his mother hadn't been, either, though she'd certainly looked it until she wasn't there anymore and she had held Louis' hand over her grave next to their father and decided that Slayers, no matter how long they lived, were just as much trouble as demons.

So she shut it all out.

She never shared this point of view with her older brother, of course, but it was plain that he could tell. He could just give her this look that told her she was cutting into the very core of him, knowing that he wouldn't just disown part of his blood like she apparently was going to.

So he stopped talking to her. It was easy to pretend she didn't care; she buried herself into being the best cop their father had taught them both to be (ignored the memories of times she'd caught Louis sitting next to her stepmother's weapons' trunk, praying under his breath and blessing himself as he awaited her return long after each of them were supposed to be in bed) and was generally Detective Kate Lockley.

Detective Louis Fitch of Westchester County, New York - later Detroit, Michigan (she wouldn't understand that move until a decade more had passed), didn't matter to Det. Kate Lockley of Los Angeles.

When her brother got married, she didn't accept the invitation. When Louis had a son, she didn't come to see him or call to see about her sister-in-law or new nephew.

When her brother's marriage fell apart she only thanked God that she'd never been stupid enough to think she could hold a family together in the first place.

...Stretch inches into miles because Brooklyn wasn't built in just a day...

Until she, herself, fell apart and she realized she had no one. No one but Angel, it turned out, but by then she thought the bridges were burnt. She'd ignored the Fitches and everything they meant her entire adult life, pretending that Louis wasn't half-Lockley and far more human than she was ever willing to admit until that moment.

She'd known he'd kept it under his skin their entire lives. His mother's blood stained his fingers from futile attempts to revive her when she was already becoming cold, slipping away, the burns inside her body this day she doesn't know the name of the spell that killed her stepmother, but she was certain that he'd never forget it.

First there was some random demon doing what demons have done to Slayers for century upon centuries, then there was Albert Stram, an off-shoot and a calculated wild cannon. He preferred human means of murder, but Louis had always known he'd never been anything of the sort. He'd recognized it immediately from years of diligent study under one trained by the Watcher's Council in London, England, and then sent to the Demon Research Iniative because they'd felt they could use him.

It wasn't a month before they'd discharged and expelled him, seeing for themselves that he was never going to be the automatron they so wanted. They wanted no feeling, no discernment and all her brother, Lou, could do was feel.

He'd seen Stram's personal work with his own eyes and carried it with him everywhere. Kate knew now he must have dearly wanted to slough it off, but he couldn't.

He couldn't.

Kate doesn't know if Lou has told her nephew - he's thirteen now and she's only just learned his name, Robert...or is it remembered? - of his grandmother's Calling or what it had done to their family, sending Lou into his mother's Watcher's care and Kate off to the West Coast with their father.

She had questioned it at first, why Trevor Lockley wouldn't allow Louis to come with them, would leave him with some woman they didn't even know. When she was an adult, she thought she understood.

Then she almost died and was left bereft again because it was she who had allowed Lou to float away like driftwood, ignoring him and pretending all along it was fine that way.

And when Albert Stram told her brother his three-year-old son was his next target if Lou didn't disappear (again), when Lou had called her, asking her desperately if she'd take his family in, protect them, keep them for him...she'd refused.

...Soon, you won't feel this anymore...

She's never regretted anything so much, not even her - their father's death or her treatment of Angel afterward. It was abandoning a little boy whose only memory of his father would prove to be a tricycle.

Not that she'd known that at the time. It wasn't until Los Angeles went to Hell and for the first time she'd been the one rebuffed by her older brother, his voice cold, his heart colder as he half-heartedly checked the television as she begged (letting in vulnerability she hadn't allowed herself to feel in so long it was as if she was slipping on a costume) him to look, just look at the fires and the demons and know that he wasn't alone and this time she was the one who needed his help and would he please?

He'd told her plainly that all he saw was a police chase, big news, and then without another word, hung up on her.

She'd cried that night, the first time since their father had died - it'd taken her months to even tell her brother, she'd been so closed off and obsessed, so driven and insane - but understood that it had been what she'd deserved. She'd had a hand in her brother's life falling apart, after all. Why should he help her when hers did the same?

She'd made him pick himself up, now she'd better do likewise.

That night, she'd put on her Strong!Kate face and gone out and found Angel's son and acted like everything was okay when in reality (as opposed to the fever dream she now lived in), every time she stabbed, slew, dismembered, blew up a demon she was hearing...Lou's voice in her head telling her he didn't see anything special and what was the big deal?

What he hadn't said, she heard loud and clear. Not my son, obviously.

She went out and snatched up the son of another now so dear to her after all of her deflection...but Connor wasn't Bobby and Angel wasn't Lou.

...Cast your demons aside...

She wonders as she finally boards a far-too-long awaited plane for Detroit, what Bobby looks like, if Lou was ever anything like his Mama. If he's as strong - she already knew he had strength, that much was obvious...whether he could bend rebar in half, that was another story.

She wonders if Bobby can, either.

They're half- and a quarter-Slayer and her father was no stranger to the darkness and everything else he dealt with but that she'd ignored and when she de-planes, she honestly expects there to be no one there for her. She's deserved it after all.

Albert Stram almost destroyed her family and she turned a blind eye, didn't even tell her father Lou had called. She wonders now if Trevor Lockley had ever kept in touch with his son, himself.

But there was Lou, with whom she presumed was Bobby, along with another three people she didn't know, obviously - though one was plainly his partner. His wife was holding a baby so fresh from a baptism she could still smell the chrism that coated his little body now like a film.

Bobby starts to say something to her, but then remembers who she really is and why he's never known her either and it's like shutters come down over his eyes and he's even more closed off than her father has ever been, which is a feat to behold. Lou glances down at Bobby and grips his shoulder gently, leaning down and whispering something before his son takes a deep breath and arranges his face in polite blankness.

It's better than she deserves.

A few moments later, she finds out that Bobby and the baby are godbrothers. In the flash before the darkness comes back down over his eyes, Kate can see her nephew is so proud, so happy to be a big brother to this little boy and it fills her with sadness because she knows what she's thrown away with her own brother, his father, her actual flesh and blood.

All because his mother was a Vampire Slayer and because he still got to keep his longer even though she still died young.

Her stepmother was her mother in every sense that had mattered, but she'd still thrown them all away.

She'd never known she could be so resentful. She looks in Bobby's eyes now, though, as he stares quietly at her, clad in properly warm clothing for winter in Detroit, whereas she couldn't find a coat heavy enough to save her life in L.A. no matter how hard she'd looked.

She can't help but think it's more karma come to bite her in the ass.

She thinks her neck would be a better place, easier to draw blood that way.

The ride to the 1300 precinct is almost silent, though they do stop at Lou's pretty spacious apartment - and his corner store, which she'd chuckle about if she didn't feel like she was dying again - to drop off her things. She got a look at the room Lou keeps for Bobby and how her nephew has made it his own despite only having been in town for three days, she finds out.

There's a huge picture window with the Detroit skyline open to the night and Fitch tells Bobby to shut his curtains and not to leave them open, no, he doesn't care that they're so high up. Stray bullets, Kate knows, and the idea of her nephew lying in a pool of his own blood because he tried to see past the light pollution is suddenly more than she could bear.

Lou is kind enough to take notice of her shivering and take her to Fairlane Mall and the Macys inside to buy a heavy enough coat, as well as whatever else she didn't or couldn't bring. He reminds her that the SUV is not his so it better not blow up while they're in the store.

Washington and his wife give Fitch wary, querying looks, but Kate only nods and assures him silently that she didn't bring any ammunition or explosives. Or sharp, pointy wooden objects that look like little fence posts.

After all, Angel had told her he and Connor could handle L.A. themselves for now - that Connor needed proper training for fighting alongside his father for long periods and it wouldn't help if Kate kept diving in every time Connor got into a tight spot, new ability to reincarnate notwithstanding.

Kate is still disturbed that those women claiming to be Connor's own army would cut him open and drain his blood to use it for a ritual to honor him, or so they've said, but Angel's made it clear it's not her battle to fight. Connor is his son, his family.

"You need to go back to yours, Kate. It's the last thing you might do and you know that by now."

So here she was, listening to Bobby chattering that the Macys here isn't anything like the one in New York and Lou agreeing, a laugh she hasn't heard in his voice in so long, it makes her heart squeeze. Washington's wife says something and the baby fusses, but Kate only has ears for her family.

...Keep them close enough to know that you're moving on...