Title: Not Fading Fast

Author: S J Smith

Rating: Teen

Disclaimer: Joss Whedon owns all. I just write fanfic.

Summary: Why didn't Angel pass on a warning?

A.N.: Post AtS's "Not Fade Away"

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He couldn't believe what was coming out of Los Angeles. The world almost looked like it was coming to an end. What had happened with Angel and the others? Connor ran his hands over his hair, not even feeling his bangs falling back against his face. His mother (not really) held onto his father (not really), seeming to whisper words at the television screen. His sister (not really) cried. He couldn't hear them over the sound of his heart thudding in his chest.

Didn't Angel have any clue this was going to happen? Why didn't he pass along a warning? Connor wanted to throw back his head and howl. The feral child of his dreams gnashed his teeth, preparing for the fight.

"Mom, Dad, you've got to go." He propelled his not-family out of the house, into the car, slammed the door shut. "Go east, go fast, don't look back." Their dazed expressions at his insistence told Connor the truth – they knew, somehow, he wasn't really theirs.

But his not-mother tried, rolling down the window, grasping at his arm. "You have to come with us!"

He forced a smile, touched her cheek. "You know I can take care of myself." His not-sister didn't even look up, curled in a ball in the back seat. He shook his not-father's hand through the window – a brief hint of warmth – then they were gone, speeding down road.

Connor took a deep breath, and another. Steven snarled his approval, wanting to be set free. In just a little while, Connor would loosen those chains.

But for a few seconds more, he lived as a boy with no clue of demons –

It was enough. Time to go and fight, once more at his father's side.

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