Connor ­ What should have Happened #5

Wesley got to the hotel about 10:00am, and was surprised to find
Connor asleep in his room alone. He wondered if Angel had waited for
Connor to fall asleep before he left. Once Wesley got Connor up they
started their day.
When Wesley was done tutoring Connor for the day, he left Connor
with Gunn, and went to find Angel. He found him in the office, and
said, “Angel, I thought you might be interested in something I found out
yesterday.”
“Sure Wes, come in and sit down.”
“I found out about something called the Axis of Pythia. It is an
object that can let you see into other dimensions, and planes of
existence. I thought you might be able to use it to find Cordelia.”
Angel thought about it and said, “Where did you find out about it?”


Wesley said, “One of my Wolfram and Heart contacts. He has been
helping me look for ways to get into other dimensions since I first
found out Cordelia was missing.”
Angel said, “So, how can I get this Axis?”
“You’ll have to steal it. It’s in a vault, in a very secure
building called Chandler’s Auction house. I’ve brought the blue prints
with me.”
Angel Wesley and Fred spent the next hour making plans to steal the
Axis.


Angel thought Connor was remarkable well behaved for the whole
day. He did all four tutoring sessions without complaints or
arguments. And after lunch he helped Fred redo all of Cordelia’s files
which had been frustrating Fred for months. Then after that he hadn’t
complained when Gunn made him wash and wax his truck. Angel was very
pleased with all of this, and thought that maybe Connor was going to
make it though the day without trying to run.
Angel decided Connor could use some exercise, so he took him to the
basement, which also doubled as a workout room, and they practiced
fighting with swords for an hour. After they were done, Angel had
Connor do some homework in his office while Angel went though the blue
prints again. Both Fred and Wesley had decided to start giving Connor
some work to do alone to see how that would go. Angel was amazed at
Connor’s concentration. He was really studying, and getting it done
pretty well from what Angel could see. He realized Holtz had probably
beat good studying habits into Connor early on, and tried not to think
about it any more.
Around 8pm when it was starting to get dark, they all sat down and
had dinner together. After people were almost done eating Angel said,
“Okay, lets go over the plan for the night. Gunn and Wesley you’ll be
with me, and Fred and Connor you’ll stay here.”
Connor asked, “What are you guys going to go do?”
Angel said, “We’re going to steal something called the Axis of
Pythia. It will let me see into other dimensions, and I hope it will
let me see Cordelia, where ever she is.”
“Stealing it from where?”
“It’s in a building in a vault. We have the blue prints if you
want to look them over to see if you have any suggestions we might have
missed.”
“Okay, but why aren’t Fred and I going?”
Angel looked at Connor and wondered if he was going to have a
problem over this. He said, “Because it’s illegal. Most of the stuff
we do is dangerous, but since the law doesn’t recognize demons, it isn’t
illegal to kill them. Breaking into a public building and stealing
something is illegal in this society. I don’t think we’re going to get
caught, but in case we do, I don’t want you to be there.”
“That’s stupid. I thought you said I was part of the team.”
“You are part of the team, but you also don’t have any paperwork
here in this dimension. Wesley and I are working on getting some
paperwork in place for you, but it will probably be another couple of
weeks before they’re ready. But even if you had paperwork I wouldn’t
let you go, because starting a police record at your age would make it
even harder for you to fit into society later on.”
Connor was mad and his voice was getting louder as he said, “I
wouldn’t get caught! You should worry more about Wesley and Gunn
getting caught! They can’t move as fast as we can! It’s a stupid
plan!”
Fred, Wesley, and Gunn were getting a little uncomfortable with the
conversation, and they were looking at Angel to see what he would do.
Angel said, “Let’s go talk in my office Connor.”
Connor picked up his empty plate and tossed it to the wall where it
shattered, and yelled, “NO!”
Angel almost laughed. He had to be silent for a couple of minutes
to make sure he wouldn’t break down, because he knew laughing would not
give Connor the right message. He said very quietly, “Go clean that
up.”
Connor sat there for a few seconds trying to decide what to do. He
had kind of surprised himself by tossing the plate, and he wasn’t sure
why he had, but he really didn’t want to humiliate himself in front of
everyone by going and cleaning it up. He crossed his arms and glared at
the spot where his plate had been.
Angel didn’t think it was funny now. He stood up and barked out
“NOW!” while pointing at the plate.
Connor glared at Angel, but seeing him looming over him brought
back flashes of the fights they had had, and Angel spanking him. He
slowly got up and started picking up the pieces of broken plate, not
looking at anyone.
While Connor was picking up the pieces Angel said, “Okay since
Connor seems to have a problem with the plan, I think Wesley should stay
here and watch him, and Fred you can come with me and Gunn if that’s
okay with you.”
Fred nodded and said, “Sure Angel. I want to find Cordy too.”
Connor heard this and got even angrier. He thought, ‘Angel lied to
me. He said I was part of the team, but I’m not. He would rather take
Fred then me, and I know Fred can’t do what I could do. I hate it
here. I did what he asked me to do all day, and now he won’t let me do
what I do best. I need to get out of here.’
Connor had picked up the plate, and wiped up the bits of food from
the wall and floor. He planned to go to his room, and headed out the
door when he heard Angel’s voice say, “Thank you for cleaning up the
plate. Come in my office, and we’ll talk about tonight.”
Connor thought about running, but he knew he wouldn’t make it very
far, so he sighed and headed towards the office. Once the door was
closed Angel grabbed Connor’s arm and gave him three hard smacks on the
butt. Connor let out a surprised ‘Oww’ at the first swat, but then was
quiet. Angel said, “You don’t throw tantrums when you are angry
Connor. You talk about what’s bugging you like an adult.”
Connor pulled his arm out of Angel’s grasp and walked a couple of
steps away while he rubbed his butt. He crossed his arms and said,
“Whatever.”
“Connor, I know you want to come with us, but it’s just not going
to happen. The five of us ARE a team, but we don’t always go do the
same things. Sometimes Fred and Gunn go to check out one thing while I
go do a different job. I’m sorry you’re angry about not going with us
on this one, but I can’t risk you getting caught.”
“But you can risk Gunn and Fred getting caught!?”
“Fred and Gunn understand the risks and have decided to join me.
You can’t understand the risks yet, because you haven’t been here long
enough.”
Connor didn’t say anything to this so Angel continued with “I
wanted to tell you that I was really proud of the way you behaved this
morning. You did everything we asked you to do, and didn’t complain or
try to run. It was great.”
Connor mumbled, “Not like it did me any good.”
Angel sighed and said, “That’s not true and you know it. Did you
learn new things today? Was any of it interesting? That should have a
value to you just by itself whether it changes the way I treat you or
not.”
Connor knew what Angel said was right, and he gave a little nod.
“We have to start getting ready to go. I really hope you can be
good for Wesley tonight, and that you’ll still be here when we get
back. If you aren’t here, I think you know I’ll find you and bring you
home.”
Connor glared at him and said nothing.
Angel said, “Okay, it’s your choice. Let’s go see what you and
Wesley will be doing tonight.”


An hour later Angel, Gunn and Fred were gone, and Wesley and Connor
were looking through some books Wesley had found with references to the
Axis. Connor got up and started to walk away. Wesley said, “Where are
you going?”
“To the bathroom. Unless that’s illegal too.”
“There’s no need to be sarcastic.”
As Connor had almost reached the door he heard Wesley call to him,
“Leave the door open.”
Connor got really pissed and slammed the door shut and locked it.
He hadn’t really been thinking about running off, because he was
interested to see what the Axis did, but that last comment made him so
mad he looked up at the bathroom window and decided he could fit. He
didn’t hear Wesley calling him or banging on the door, so he opened the
window and climbed out. He started to run but heard a small noise
towards the front of the hotel. He turned around to see what it was,
and he saw Wesley come around the corner at a full run. He started
running the other way as fast as he could. He heard Wesley calling his
name, but he just kept on running. Connor was kind of surprised how
long Wesley could keep up with him, but he wasn’t worried about Wesley
catching him.
Soon Wesley realized there was no way he could catch Connor, so he
stood with his hands on his knees trying to get his breathing back to
normal. He headed back to the hotel muttering about Angel trying to
kill him again.
Once Connor was sure he had lost Wesley, he stopped and thought
about what he wanted to do. He started to walk aimlessly around the
city thinking. He thought, ‘I don’t want to go back, but if I don’t
Angel will find me soon, because it’s nighttime. I wonder how long it
will take him to steal the Axis.’ He heard screaming in the distance,
and went to see what it was. He realized it was the waterfront carnival
before he even got there, but he decided he didn’t have anything better
to do, so he went to go check it out.


An hour later Connor was sitting on a bench, watching people walk
by. He never got tired of just watching people. He had spent his whole
life with Holtz as the only other human he could see, until he came to
this dimension. Tonight he noticed all the parents there with their
kids. He noticed them touching, and smiling and laughing together. He
noticed the way they all seemed happy and comfortable with each other.
He thought, ‘That isn’t the way it was with Father. We were never just
happy. Sometimes he was happy with something I did, but he was never
just happy to be with me. Angel seems to be kind of happy when we’re
doing things together. Like today when we were working out with swords
he was smiling, and even laughed a couple of times.’
Right in front of him he saw a man pick up his young son. He gave
him a kiss and hug, and then put him down again. Connor thought, ‘Angel
hugs me sometimes. I can’t remember Fath…Holtz hugging me ever. He
would hold my hand sometimes. It doesn’t feel the same.’
Connor sat and watched people and thought for a long time. He
wasn’t really paying attention to the time, or what he was doing. He
just sat there. Soon he heard someone crying. He looked around and saw
a little boy about four years old walking alone and crying. He also
noticed a woman looking around and following the boy. Connor looked
carefully at the girl, and sniffed the air. He got up to get a little
closer and soon realized she was a vampire. He walked up to the girl
and said, “Leave or I’ll have a good time killing you.”
She sputtered a little and said, “Who the hell do you think you are
boy?”
“I’m the destroyer, and I’ll stake you before you even get the
chance to change face.”
She looked once at the little boy who was still alone and crying
and Connor said, “Don’t even try it. As soon as I find out where he
belongs, I ‘m gonna try to find you. I’m in a bad mood, and I think
killing something would help. You should run now.”
The girl looked like she believed him, and turned to start running
away.
Connor went to the boy, and squatted down in front of him. He said
in a quiet voice, “Hey my name’s Connor what’s yours?”
“Jason.”
“Who are you here with Jason?”
“My dad, but I can’t find him.”
“Well, the best way to help your dad find you, is to stay in one
place. Why don’t you come sit on that bench with me until he finds
you.”
Jason nodded and said, “I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.”
Connor and Jason walked to the bench to sit down, and Connor said,
“Well when you’re lost and need help you kind of have to.”
They sat quietly for a few minutes and then Connor said, “What does
your dad look like?”
Jason thought for a minute and said, “He’s big. Big like you, but
bigger. And he has shorter hair.”
Connor didn’t think that was very helpful. He stood up on top of
the bench and looked around for a man who might be looking for someone,
but didn’t see anyone. He concentrated on listening to the people
around him. After a couple of minutes he heard someone calling the name
Jason, but it came from a couple of blocks away. He jumped down and
said, “I can here your dad calling you. You want to ride on my back,
and we can get to him quicker?”
“Okay”
Connor let Jason climb on his back, and the boy put his arms around
Connor’s neck. Conner put his hands under the boy’s legs, and started
to run towards the voice. As the voice got a bit closer Jason said, “I
hear him! That’s my dad.”
Connor kept going, and soon could see the man frantically looking
around and calling Jason’s name. Jason started squirming to get down as
soon as he could see his dad. He yelled “Daddy!”
The man spun around in time to see Connor put the boy down and he
ran towards them. He picked Jason up and hugged him tight. He kissed
his head and said, “Are you okay?”
Connor turned to walk back to his bench, but he heard the man say,
“Hey kid!”
He looked back at the man who was holding out his hand. The man
said, “Thanks for helping him find me.”
Connor shook his hand and said, “Okay.”
He turned to walk away, but walked slowly and listened to them as
he left. Jason’s dad put him down and knelt down next to him and said,
“What happened? You were right next to me when I was buying the
popcorn. Then as soon as I paid the man, I looked down and you weren’t
there. Where did you go?”
Jason said, “I went to see the horses.”
His dad asked in a very stern voice, “You went to find the
merry-go-round?”
Connor heard the tone of voice and thought it sounded like Angel
when he was unhappy with something Connor did. He was far enough away
that no one noticed he was listening, probably because no normal human
could have heard the conversation from that far away. Connor could see
glimpses of them as the people walked back and forth in front of him.
Jason said in a quiet voice, “Yes.”
His dad said, “What did I tell you when we were in line for the
popcorn?”
“To wait beside you and…”
His father prompted, “And…”
“And not to wander off…. But I really wanted to see them, Daddy.”
Connor could see them as Jason’s father stood up and swatted
Jason’s butt once. Jason yelped and started to cry. His father said,
“We are going back to the car to talk about wandering off, and then we
are going home.”
Jason kept crying, and his father picked him up and started towards
the parking lot hugging him tight.
Connor knew it was probably not a nice thing to do, but he couldn’t
help but follow them to see what would happen. He thought Jason’s
father was going to punish him, and he wanted to see what he would do.
As he was following a safe distance away he kept thinking about Holtz
and Angel and the differences between them.
The parking lot was empty, so Connor had to crouch down so that
Jason’s father wouldn’t notice him spying. As soon as Jason’s father
got to the car he opened the door and put his foot up on the rim of the
car. Put Jason over his leg and started spanking. As soon as Jason was
over his father’s knee he said, “NO Daddy! I’m sorry. Oww Daddy!”
His father gave him ten swats, and by the time it was over Jason
was crying hard. Then his father turned him around and hugged him
again. He held him close and said, “Okay it’s over now. I love you
Jason.”
After a few minutes of crying Jason started to calm down, and his
father said, “You have to remember not to wander off son. You have to
stay with me when we’re out in public. Bad things could happen to you
if I’m not there to protect you. Do you understand me?”
Jason nodded and said into his father’s shirt, “I’m sorry Daddy.”
“I know you are, and I forgive you, but if it happens again, I’ll
spank you again.”
Jason nodded.
“Let’s go home and get you to bed kiddo.”
Connor sat in the parking lot for a while thinking about what he
had seen. Jason’s father reminded him a lot of Angel. He finally
decided he would go back to the hotel.


Back at the hotel Wesley was waiting for Angel, Fred, and Gunn, to
come back. When they came through the door Fred looked like she had
been crying and Gunn was leaning on Angel. Wesley could see that none
of them had the Axis. He said, “What happened?”
Angel said, “We met someone. She called herself a freak. She took
the Axis, killed Gunn, and then started his heart again with her hand
somehow. We just got back from the hospital.”
Wesley went to help Angel with getting Gunn upstairs to the room he
shared with Fred. As soon as Gunn and Fred were settled Angel and
Wesley went downstairs. Angel said, “Where’s Connor?”
“I was hoping you would be in a better mood when you got back.”
“Wes?”
“He took off. He climbed out the bathroom window. I tried to stop
him, but he runs much faster than me, and he doesn’t seem to get tired
while running.”
“Great. Okay Wes, can you please call Lilah for me?”
“What do you mean? Why would I have her number?”
“I can smell her all over you Wes. I’m not judging you. You can
do whatever you want with your life. I just want her to help me out. I
want to find out who wanted the Axis besides me. Once the freak girl
gives it to the buyer, I’ll take it from him.”
Wesley wasn’t sure what to think of that. He eventually said,
“I’ll give her a call, but I can’t promise she’ll help. And if she does
give us information, I can’t guarantee that it will be accurate. I
sleep with her, but I don’t trust her, and you shouldn’t either.”
Angel nodded and said, “I’m gonna go see if I can find Connor and
bring him home before the end of the night.”


Connor was walking slowly in the direction of the hotel. He
thought he wanted to go back, but he was pretty sure Angel would be back
by now, and he didn’t really want to have a ‘talk’. He thought, ‘Maybe
he’ll be out looking for me, and I can sneak into my room and tell him I
was there the whole time.’
Connor laughed at himself after this thought, and said out loud to
himself, “Who thought I would ever want to sneak back in?”
Angel was on the rooftops looking around, when he heard Connor’s
voice. It was too far away to hear what he had said, but he knew it was
his voice. He started towards it and soon saw him. He found it hard to
believe Connor was so close to the hotel and he stood there staring for
a minute. Then he realized Connor was walking towards the hotel instead
of away. He decided to see what Connor was going to do, so he followed
him, but kept a distance. Soon Connor was in front of the hotel. He
stopped and just stood there for about ten minutes before Angel jumped
down in front of him. Connor jumped a little at the sudden appearance
of Angel. They looked at each other, and Angel said, “You came back.”
Connor crossed his arms and said, “Yeah.”
“Why?”
“I…. I guess because I… I don’t know.”
Angel walked up to him and pulled him into a hug and said, “I’m
glad you did.”
Connor let Angel hug him without a fight. Soon Angel put an arm
around Connor’s shoulders and they started walking towards the hotel’s
front door together. Angel said, “I’m glad you came back, but you still
ran away again.”
Connor nodded.
“Let’s go to your room and talk.”
Angel was even more surprised at Connor’s cooperation. He docilely
went up stairs and into his room, and let Angel keep his arm around him
the whole time. Once they were in his room Angel pulled out the desk
chair and sat down. Connor stood nervously just out of arms reach. He
said, “Wesley made me mad.”
“How did he do that?”
“He told me to leave the bathroom door open when I went to pee, and
you guy’s had left me here.”
“Ah, so you were really still mad at me.”
Connor stood and fidgeted but remained silent. Angel said, “I’m
sorry you couldn’t come, but if the police came and I couldn’t protect
you it would kill me.”
Connor thought that sounded similar to what Jason’s father had
said, and he nodded his head. Angel said, “As it turned out it was
really good you didn’t come, because we ran into some trouble. There
was a woman there that somehow could control electricity with her
hands. She killed Gunn just by touching him.”
Connor felt nauseous at this news, but before he could say anything
Angel continued with, “Lucky for us she was kind of a nice person, and
shocked his heart back into beating so he didn’t stay dead long.”
“Is he okay?”
“We took him to the hospital, and they released him after about an
hour. He should be fine after a day or two. He’s in bed resting, and
I’m sure Fred is hovering.”
Connor was surprised that he seemed to care so much. He didn’t
think he cared about Gunn, but hearing that he was okay made him very
happy. Connor said, “Did you get the Axis?”
“Not yet, but let’s get back to why we’re here. So you were mad at
me, and Wes made a comment that made you even angrier so you ran. Is
that right?”
Connor looked down and nodded. When Angel said it like that it
sounded pretty childish. Angel said, “Okay come here.”
Connor looked up and didn’t even think about running as he walked
slowly towards Angel. Angel took Connor’s wrist and tugged him over his
lap. Connor didn’t struggle at all. Angel was very pleased with the
whole attitude change. He brought his hand down hard about 20 times,
and then said, “Don’t run away even when you’re angry.”
Connor waited for more swats, or for his pants to come down, but
neither of these things happened. Instead Angel picked him up and
turned him around so he was sitting on Angel’s lap. He didn’t struggle
as Angel hugged him, and he even rested his head on Angel’s shoulder.
After a couple of seconds he asked, “That’s it?”
Angel smiled and said, “Yes we’re done. I’m really proud of you
for coming home, and you were really good all day before you ran. And
well, Wes makes me mad sometimes too.”
Connor smiled and said, “Thanks….Dad.”
Angel felt a swell of love for his child and almost broke down in
tears. He waited for a couple of seconds so he could trust his voice
and said, “For what son?”
“For… just for not being like Fath…like Holtz.”
Angel could feel a couple of tears fall down his face, and he
hugged Connor tighter. Connor waited a few seconds, and then said, “Too
tight.”
Angel let go and wiped his face while he said, “Sorry about that.”
Connor stood up and said, “It’s okay.”
Angel got up and put the chair away. He said, “What did you do
while you were gone?”
“I wandered around and ended up at the carnival by the waterfront.
I just sat there and watched people, and thought about you, and Father,
and me.”
“What made you decide to come back?”
“There was a man there that reminded me of you, and that made me
think about the things Holtz had said about you, and how they aren’t
true.”
Angel said, “I’m glad you don’t think I’m a monster any more.”
Connor shrugged and said, “I’m tired. I think I’m gonna go to
bed.”
Angel didn’t even think about making Connor promise to stay there
for the night. He went over and hugged him again and said, “Good night
son. I’ll see you in the morning.”
“Night Angel.”


The next day, Connor woke up alone in his room. It was a good
feeling. He got ready and went downstairs. He saw Angel in the kitchen
sipping a mug of blood and said, “Morning.”
“Did you sleep good?”
“Yeah. You?”
“Like the dead.”
Connor rolled his eyes while Angel laughed so hard he had to set
his mug down. After breakfast Connor said, “Who gets me first, Fred or
Wesley?”
Angel said, “Neither one. It’s Saturday, and I think Fred and Gunn
could use a day to themselves. So it looks like it’s just you and me
until tonight. I thought that maybe we could go see a movie. There is
a sewer entrence really close to the theater on Third Street, and it’s
shaded buy the other buildings most of the day.
Connor said, “Okay. That sounds really great.”


Six hours, two movies, and three popcorns later they arrived home
in good spirits. Wesley was there waiting for them. He said, “Ah,
there you are Angel, I wanted to tell you I got the name of the buyer.”
Angel wrote down the information and noticed Connor and Wesley were
carefully avoiding eye contact. He said, “Connor apologize to Wes for
running off when he was watching you.”
Connor looked surprised and a little hurt until he heard Angel
continue with “Wes apologize to Connor for not trusting him to pee
alone.”
They both looked a little sheepish and eventually Wesley said,
“Sorry if I upset you Connor. I hadn’t realized you had already decided
to stay here.”
“Sorry I made you chase me until you couldn’t breath.”
Angel said in a warning tone, “Connor….”
“Sorry I ran off while you were watching me.”
Angel smiled and said, “Great. I’m glad that’s all settled. Wes,
could you stay here and keep Connor company while I go check out this
buyer.”
Connor looked mad and said, “Why can’t I come?”
Angel said, “Okay let’s see a show of hands. Who here doesn’t need
a beating heart to survive through the night? Anyone? Oh right that’s
just me.”
Connor rolled his eyes and crossed his arms and said, “I thought
you were going to check out the buyer, not the woman who hurt Gunn.”
“Sorry son, but she might be there, so none of you human’s get to
come with me.”
Angel started to walk out the door and called behind him, “You guys
play nice while I’m gone.”


Connor and Wesley actually had a pretty good time together talking
about Quor-Toth. Connor happily described in detail every life form he
could think of that he had seen on Quor-Toth, and Wesley happily wrote
it all down for his records.
Angel did meet the freak girl at the buyer’s house, and found out
her name was Gwen. He helped her get away when the buyer turned evil,
and he got to go home with the Axis. That night he used it while
everyone else waited outside his room to hear what Angel would found
out. Half an hour later, he came out and walked past everyone. Fred
said, “Did you find her?”
He said, “Yes.”
Gunn said, “And?”
Angel turned around and said, “She is in a higher plane. There is
light and warmth all around her.”
Connor said, “Like heaven?”
Angel said, “Yeah. I guess. I think she must be happy there. The
whole time I was under water, I kept thinking about getting home to her,
and she’s been home the whole time.”
With that Angel walked away to be alone.