Feb. 3rd, 2007

abetterlie: (Default)
Ever since the thing with the van, it feels like he's waiting for something.

His parents for sure are. They can't stop freaking out on Connor. Okay, granted, being run over by a van and getting up without a scratch is something to freak out about, but he feels they should give it a break already. Chill. It's good, isn't it? This stuff happens. Some people fall from a third floor balcony and survive, too. Perhaps he's just waiting for them to calm down. Or maybe not. It was weird, though: that moment when the van hit him, that was one of those "you're about to die and your life flashes before you" moments, right? Except it wasn't. He didn't see anything. No memories of Mom and Dad in the supermarket or Mere getting sick and puking all over him in Disneyland or making out with Tracy or breaking up with Tracy. Nothing of that.

He's nineteen, and sure, most people would describe his life as pretty boring. But it's a life, and he likes it. And yet, at that moment, when he thought he was about to die? Not only were there no memories, but there wasn't any sense of loss or regret, either. And that freaks him out somewhat, just as the surviving does his parents, so he tries not to think about it.

Maybe that's what he's waiting for, though. To finally feel the fear, the whole "oh god oh god I don't wanna die" thing, or even the "I'm alive, woo hoo!" thing. Delayed shock reaction and all that. Though he figures shock should feel different.

He's somewhat stunned when his parents go to a law firm, ostensibly to set up a trust fund for him, because that's such an obvious excuse to see through. What is he, twelve? If these Wolfram and Hart people are expected to figure out why he survived being run over by a van, though, Connor thinks he should be present, instead of waiting somewhere like a toddler, so he follows them to the executive suit and runs straight into the CEO. Who takes one look at him and kicks the lot of them out. Wow. Okay, that was definitely not Connor has been waiting for.

Next thing you know is that they get mugged by some LotR extras and the Wolfram and Hart boss jumps in and beats them into a pulp. At which point Connor guesses things finally start to make sense, because he's read superhero comics and watched Star Wars. He half expects the man to tell him that he's strong in the force and is supposed to be a Jedi. Okay, not really, because the guy is so damm serious and humor really doesn't seem to be his strong suit. There is something about him, though. Well, other than than the whole superpowers thing which apparently is more of a vampire thing, and hey, how cool is that?

No, the something is more the way he looks at Connor. Which, weirdly enough, is exactly the same way he looked just before he kicked Connor and his parents out, only now he keeps it up and it doesn't lead to kicking out but getting shown around in the building and being presented to everyone, including a truly awesome butt-kicking woman in blue and some white-haired weasel. The look doesn't disappear when he explains about an evil sorceror and having to kill some sort of genie for him, either. Connor tries to figure out what it is, because nobody in his life has ever looked at him this way before. It's not friendly, it's not hostile, it's not like the guy wants dinner, which is the first explanation Connor reaches for when he hears about the vampire bit. It's not until they're in the sorceror's lair - and really, not much of a lair, that, there weren't even evil minions or heads on a stake or stuff like that around - and Angel reaches out to straighten Connor's collar, his hand lingering, cool, inhumanely cool skin touching his cheek and neck, that Connor has pinned it down. He couldn't before because the look is a mixture. Angel looks at him as if Connor is simultanously the worst and best thing that ever happened to him. There is a hunger there which has nothing to do with blood or wanting a protegé for superheroing, or anything, and there is a sense that Angel is waiting, too, waiting, and what does it mean?

"Dude, you're freaking me out," Connor says and pushes it away. He has to go save his family. The rest can wait. Angel lets him go and very soon, he finds himself talking to a demon named Sahjahn who keeps bringing up names with no meaning, like "Quortoth", and proceeds to make mincemeat out of Connor. Sahjahn has him pinned down on the table, his death looks him right in the eyes, and again, there is no panic and no sense of loss, surely there should be something, right? He wants to live, after all. So what is he waiting for?

Then the world falls to pieces and resurrects itself in his head, and Sahjahn is dead before Connor can even begin to process what just happened. Figures that the first thing to come alive about Connor-that-was should be his killing instinct. When Angel approaches him, he drops the axe and desperately goes for the tones of Connor Riley. It's not a lie, not really. He just needs to get out of there, or he won't be able to be either Connor ever again.

Something other than Sahjahn died in that room, though. Which isn't something he understands until much later, and then it fits. Perhaps that was what Connor Riley had been waiting for ever since the van hit him; for death to really, truly show up, instead of faking him out.

Connor turns around and looks at Angel, who is death and life at the same time in a way nobody else is or ever will be. You, he thinks. I was waiting for you.

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abetterlie

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