abetterlie: (Quirky by Ithica)
After decades of fights about the subject, Los Angeles now has a subway. What's more, one that has a station at the Universal Studios. Considering Kara's aversion to cars, Connor decides to use it, though he is aware this could also get him accused of being tight.

He bought the two tickets on advance, so maybe that would help, and a programm with the attractions. The studio ride, he thinks, maybe, and the Back To the Future rid, and the Jurassic Park one. There is a big question mark behind the Animals show, due to Kara's dislike for animals. But she has her frogs and the turtle now, so maybe she'd want to watch.

He'll get it right, this time. One day where she has actual fun and doesn't hate him. Well. Not during this day anyway.

Coming back to Los Angeles is odd, each time, because there is nearly no corner without memories, but the Universal Studios theme park is an exception. Mom and Dad and Mere never went, for some reason, or maybe they did and Cyvus Vail forgot to add that; he definitely didn't go in the other life. So. No memories. Time to create some new ones.
abetterlie: (Son of a beastie new version by bohemian)
Getting a dose of something the cops called "fear gas" later when they explain about some lunatic from the local asylum who apparantly decided to crash Harry's birthday party, would have produced a least favourite memory even if nothing had actually happened. If he had just been stuck with hallucinations and a bad headache afterwards. But something did happen. Something real. Not dreamt, not hallucinated, real.

Connor can still remember the sudden smell of blood, and the realisation. That she was alive, that everything previous might have been a trick, fear made flesh, but not this. Not the stak going into her arm because she blocked it from going straight to her heart.

The other thing had been real, too, the secret Kara told him, and he has no idea how to handle either. He talks with Harry about the seeing Kara sired by Angelus and staking her part, which help but also leaves him with some unsettling realisations. So he decides to go to Los Angeles. There are other reasons, too - all those recent attempts by someone to kill Darla, for one - but mainly he thinks he owes Kara a longer explanation than "I'm so sorry" and "Cordy saw it, too".

She wanted him to be "genuinenly nice" to his parents, so he gets into Connor Riley mode once he arrives at the Hyperion and makes sure he's not alone with either. He can do nice. He can. So he does what Connor Riley would have done for Mom and brings a present for Darla, whom he figures must be stir-crazy by now, a collection of poetry by Pablo Neruda because her friend the annoying Immortal had said it reminded him of her, and a list of new security systems available with Osborn money for Angel. High tech isn't heroic, but onsidering the assassination attempts so far have been non-supernatural, it just might be more useful than magic.

He keeps up being just Connor Riley - who would never have staked his sister even if he had thought she was a vampire, because Connor Riley wasn't a psychotic raised in a hell dimension - until he manages to slip away to the roof, hoping Kara caught the signal (and remembered the bit about the roof being a good place to be, with and without turtles). Hoping she'll show up, full stop.

On the way up, he studiously avoids the suite that used to be Jasmine's, the room which used to be Cordy's (who has a new one now), and the one where there are still a lot of clothes from people who died to nourish the Devourer. He remembers bringing them there a little too well.
abetterlie: (Default)
Between Harry in California to see Kara and Evan in New York with his mother, Connor had a lot of unexpected free time at his hand during the weekend. Talking with Cordelia about the Lex issue helped a bit, but he still found himself somewhere between anger, disappointment and renewed attacks of self loathing.

It wasn't that he was in a position to judge. Between sending Angel under the ocean to avenge Daniel Holtz and bringing an innocent girl to be sacrificed so his daughter could be born, he understood the motivation all too well. But that was just it. He understood because he was tainted the same way.

Connor found himself wandering through the house Harry had bought after discovering he had a child, and coming across various toys left from Evan's last visit. A little truck, a bear, a plush penguin. The texture of plastic and artificial vibres on his skin when he picks them up and holds them is alien, utterly alien, all of a sudden. Perhaps because Vail didn't include artifiicial tactile memory of toys, or because it somehow sums up what's at stake.

After putting the toys on shelves, Connor decides to go to Bullock's office. The man won't be there, but a staple of bills and letters will, and he can do some unpaid overtime work, which means he will stop thinking what he's thinking right now.

Last year, Harry lost a friend and nearly died himself because of a vampire playing games with Connor. This year, he nearly lost another friend because Connor's mother wanted payback. It was all very well to rant about responsibility to Darla on the phone, or to Cordelia on livejournal, but what would be the truly responsible thing to do? Now that the stakes were so infinitely higher because there was a child involved?

Remove the taint, of course.

Perhaps that was what those dreams of killing Kara had been about, too. To show Connor something. No, it's not that he's the only one responsible for Kara's state, though he guesses in the end, he bears more responsibility than Lex Luthor, but maybe he's the one who can end it, only not in a lethal way. Kara told him more than once she wished she could cut him out of her life, but she couldn't, because of Darla and Angel.

Consider this: can anyone reasonably say Harry and his son would not be better off without Aurelians in their lives? And: if Connor was out of the picture, how long before Harry would get back together with Kara? And he would not dump her again. He loves her. She's not sixteen anymore. He'd know what's at stake. Kara would finally have what she wanted, a devoted boyfriend/husband, a family of her own.

And don't have any kids yourself. That Larkin poem. They fuck you up, your mum and dad...

How long before Natalie figures out that Harry's boyfriend is a lightning rod for all kind of trouble in addition to being someone with a psycho family and a bona dide sociopath, endangering her son? And if she figures it out, won't she do the responsible and sensible thing and deny Harry any more access rights, and won't that be the worst thing, worse than the death of Harry's father, because no pain is worse than losing a child, and won't Connor be the one responsible if he stays?

He's relieved when he arrives at Bullock's shabby little office. But the stench of cigars is fresh. The man himself is there. Drunk, as it turns out.

"What the hell are you doing here, Riley?"

Spare time and some more work, Connor says, and Bullock looks at him with bleary eyes.

"Shouldn't you be with your girlfriend, kid? What kind of retard spends Saturday at the office?"

"It's boyfriend," Connor says, "and I'm just following your example, boss."

"Watch your mouth," Bullock grumbles, but when he lights up a new cigar, he offers one to Connor as well.

"I don't smoke."

"God, your generation is so wasting being young," Bullock says, and then remains silent while Connor starts typing. After the third page, the former cop says:

"Did I ever tell you about saving Jim Gordon's life?"

It turns into an afternoon of tales about the Gotham police department and getting fired not for something that deserved firing, of which Bullock apparantly has done plenty, but for something he doesn't regret. By the end, Bullock is so drunk he can't talk anymore, and can't go back to his place, either. Connor can't bring himself to leave the man in his office, not in this state, so he takes him home, puts him under a shower which the drunken Bullock nonetheless manages to sleep through, and lets him sleep in the guest room.

Sunday morning arrives, and he has an overweight 40something with a hangover to deal with.

"How come you could carry me anyway?" Bullock asks suspiciously. "You look like you couldn't carry anything that's heavier than those pansy pamphlets you read when you think I'm not looking."

"Vitamins," says Connor, and makes breakfeast. If he's honest, the whole caring for the boss thing is very much due to this helping him not to ponder that possibility which is ever more clearly on his mind, but not exclusively. It feels comfortable, caring for grumpy elder men; familiar.

"Listen, Riley, whatever I said yesterday, I was drunk, okay? I make up stories when I'm drunk."

Connor can't resist. "You mean that whole part where I'm making you consider switching teams wasn't true?"

Bullock looks so horrified that he can't keep it up and apologizes for the crack.

"You're lucky I don't fire you," Bullock says, but he eats all his breakfeast, and after putting on his coat, he turns to Connor and remarks: "Just one thing, Riley. You won't get a raise for this. And for God's sake, get a life next weekend!"

After he left, Connor realizes that the house is full of cold cigar smoke now, and out of bagels. He spends the next hours with all windows open and a vaccum cleaner, and in between comes to the conclusion that vacuum cleaners double nicely as weights to lift for training. Something still lingers afterwards, so he takes out the dogs for a run. By the time it's early evening, he comes back, feeds the dogs, orders a pizza and starts a book. The temptation he doesn't want to think about is still there, but he's waiting for Harry to come home, which he supposes is a kind of answer.


Mar. 8th, 2007 10:26 pm
abetterlie: (Default)
ooc: after Darla arranged for revenge on Lex Luthor because of Kara's suicide attempt, Lex became increasingly apathetic and lost bit for bit of his self under the spell, until
Harry noticed and colled Connor for help

All the way to Metropolis, Connor spent half of the time hoping he was wrong and half of the time hoping he wasn't. If he was wrong, it meant he wouldn't have to think further about just what his suspicion implied, but it also would mean that he had no idea what to do about the Lex Luthor situation, and would have to start from scratch. He thought about Kara taking pills and ending up in a hospital, and who was responsible for that; and then he thought about who was really responsible, and who had spent a good deal of the last months dreaming about killing her, instead of getting his soul sucked out by a doll.

What you did to me was unspeakable. Now the question is, what do you deserve?

By the time he arrived at the Luthor penthouse, he was back to hoping he was wrong. The penthouse itself struck him as an emotional freezer, not as off-putting as the Osborn penthouse had been the first time he had visited New York, just very cold with all the shades of blue. Lex' younger half-brother was arguing with a doctor about something and Harry was this side of frantic when he took Connor to see Lex. Who was indeed wearing fuzzy slippers and doodling flowers on paper. And humming "Mary had a little lamb". Lex ignored both of them, being happily lost into the song.

Well, well, well, said the inner voice which always sounded like Angelus, because anything else would have been unbearable. You've got to admit it's elegant. And funny. You've got to admit it's funny. Come on, son. Lex Luthor as a little girl because he was the jackass that broke our little girl.

He tried to focus on Lex helping to track down the dealers in Gotham. On the fact Lex wasn't, ultimately, the one to blame for Kara's miseries. On the knowledge of what it felt to be locked up, and that nobody, nobody deserved being locked away in their own body, a lesson Connor had learned too late.

Still, it could be something else, something else entirely. Could.

During the flight, he had gone through everything he remembered about the doll maker and her dead daughter. Which wasn't much that could prove anything, but he had to try. The girl had drowned, he remembered that much, broken into the ice.

"Sarah," Connor said sharply to Lex, "Sarah, the ice is right ahead of you!"

At that, Lex stopped humming, and looked up, blind panic in his eyes. "No," he screamed, and his voice didn't sound anything like the self-assured young man Connor had met before. "No, not the ice!"

So much for reasonable doubt. Harry's entire face was a question. "It's a spell," Connor said, without going into details. "I have to find something. If I'm right, he'll snap out of it suddenly, so stay with him and keep an eye on him all the time."

As opposed to Kara, Lex Luthor didn't have a doll collection; any doll located anywhere in the open would stand out as alien and would have been discovered by the servants a long time ago. On the other hand, it had to be at a place someone who had only a short time available would have access to. Connor went from room to room, trying to figure out where he would hide it, and getting a lot of irritated and suspicious looks from Lucas, the doctor and the remaining staff while he turned over books and investigated artificial plants and their pots, until he finally came to a stand still and listened. Something was off, ever so slightly off, and you heard it only if you paid attention and drowned out all the other noises, including questions like "what the hell do you think you're doing?"

The air conditioning. As with virtually every house in America, the Luthor penthouse had air conditioning in every room. But it did not sound the same everywhere. In one of the rooms, the master bathroom, in fact, it sounded as if there was an obstacle blocking part of the air.

Half an hour later, he held it in his hand; not nearly as well-crafted as the last one, but unmistakable. This one had to be an early attempt, or an unfinished work, but it was definitely crafted by the late Paula Shea, and the look in the barely painted eyes wasn't a doll's look. Connor left the penthouse as fast as he could, before anyone could ask any more questions, and spent the next hour looking for weights and water. Metropolis wasn't a harbour town the way Boston had been, but it did have several decorative lakes in the town parks. Drowning a doll the second time felt no less bizarre than the first.

Afterwards, he didn't go back to the Luthor penthouse to check whether or not it had been of any use. Instead, he used his cell phone to call Darla on hers. Not the Hyperion; he didn't want to risk talking to Kara. But he had to be sure.

"Did you ask your friend Nofret to use a soul-sucking doll on Lex Luthor?" he asked when he heard his mother's voice, without greeting.

"Yes, I can use my arm again, Connor," Darla said wryly. "Thank you for asking. Your father is well, too. And Cordelia has that special secret-affair-with-great-sex-glow."

He refused to be distracted. He wasn't 18 any more. Besides, Harry already had left those tabloids featuring Cordelia and Lindsey MacDonald rather pointedly on the bed.

"Did you?"

She sighed. "I'd ask you to be sensible and leave it where it was," she replied, "but I'm sure you already returned our Mr. Luthor to his senses before calling me. Tell me at least you're not anywhere near where he can hear you."

Despite half a day of increasingly firm suspicions, hearing them confirmed in such a flippant and unrepentant manner felt like a punch in the gut. Before he could stop himself, he said:

"How could you?"

Immediately, he felt stupid for asking, so he did what he always did when either of his parents made him feel this way. He lashed out. "He was an absolute jerk towards Kara, I know that. But this -"

"Nobody fucks with my children," Darla said icily. "Unless, of course, my children fuck them back. You didn't see her in the hospital."

"No, because you made it very clear you didn't want me there. And leave Harry out of it. This has nothing - "

"Oh, but it has," she said in her deceptively soft voice. "And you know it has. But he is family now. Lex Luthor, on the other hand, is nothing but a menace. Again, thanks to your efforts. Tell me, Connor, is there any good reason why he shouldn't have spent the rest of his life making a lot of nurses and doctors rich and happy?"

Arguing abouut the individual's right to life without being lobotomized with her seemed incredibly pointless. Telling her Lex Luthor in that condition would have broken Harry's heart might have been something she understood, but she would have used it against him in that way she had, and besides, it would have negated that Lex had a right to his own mind whether Harry cared for him or not. Connor took a deep breath. Then he asked:

"Did Angel know?"

For the first time, his mother sounded hesitant.


"Did he?"

"Yes," she said. "But I very much doubt he gave it another thought after I told him. He's focused on being there for Kara and making things better for her, not on..."

"Helping the helpless?" Connor finished. It had taken him until now to identify the bitter taste in his mouth. Darla, well, finding out what Darla had done had been a shock, but she had never claimed to be anything but a former mass murderer, or to care for anyone but a very limited circle of people. But Angel had been the one to tell him about being a champion.

Daddy has not finished talking.

He had hated Angel then, hated and resented him, but he had believed him. Had believed what Angel had said about responsibilities, about the harshness of the world meaning that anyone with the power to affect and change needed to protect those who couldn't. It hadn't been that different from what his other father had taught, in this regard at last.

"Angel let you put a spell on someone, a spell that was meant take a man's soul away and lock him up inside a doll for the rest of his life. And because that someone had dumped his daughter, he didn't care," Connor said tonelessly.

Unspeakable. What you did was -

He had always known Angelus was his idea of the worst of beings. He hadn't known how much he had come to see Angel as a hero until just now.

"Connor," his mother said, and for the first time since Justine, she sounded pleading, "it was my decision. Your father -"

"Didn't stop you. Or did anything about it. All those weeks. While Lex Luthor rotted from inside out."

"Neither did Cordelia," Darla said, irritation supplanting the pleading. "And I gave her at least a strong hint about my intention. She seemed to approve wholeheartedly. Connor, Lex really hurt Kara. If he were a demon or a vampire, you'd have killed him yourself. I don't believe in humanity as some kind of immunity from punishment."

And he had thought the feeling of shock and disappointment couldn't grow stronger. Cordelia? Angel and Cordelia both?

"No. You don't believe in humanity at all," Connor said, and hung up.

Afterwards, he slowly walked towards the Luthor residence. Other than wanting to know that the guy was, indeed, recovered and himself, he didn't want to see Lex Luthor again. Ever, if possible, which it probably wasn't because of Harry. And for one of the few times in his life, he didn't want to see Harry, either. They didn't lie to each other, but now he probably would have to. If he told Harry the truth about the doll, Harry would either insist on going to California to confront Darla, or at the very least would tell Lex. Which meant Lex Luthor with a cause for vengeance set on his parents. No. Just no. He was furious with both of them right now, and he didn't want to see them, either, but there was no way he'd let them be threatened by someone who had the power and the money to do serious harm in retaliation of what they had done to him.

Then there was Cordelia. Cordy, who knew, none better, what it felt like to be possessed, to have one's soul draining away. How could she stand by and...

That's why there is us. Champions. You're not a part of that yet. Some day, I hope you will be. I love you, Connor. Now get out of my sight.

"Young man," said a voice, and Connor, looking up, noticed that there was a cop coming his way, "that hydrant is public property."

Somewhat bent public property right now. He hadn't even noticed striking and kicking at it. There were some scrapes on his knuckles, but they were already healing. Better to get away. He had a bad record with cops in this state.

Connor ran, and wished, right now, there was a way never to arrive anywhere at all.
abetterlie: (Default)
"I finally figured it out," Connor tells her in his dream. It is the night after Harry told him about Kara, and he's sitting at her bedside. Not in Boston, though. Even sleeping, he knows he can't go to Boston. In California, where everything started. He can feel the sun, the long-missed sun with its warmth and utter lack of New England restraint, shining through the glass. They're not in a hospital room, though. They're in a hotel room in Monterey, and he can smell Harry there, though he's gone.

"Took you long enough," says Kara.

"You could have asked me."

"I did."

This makes perfect sense to him, and he nods. He's still happy he figured it out. Positively light-hearted. This is his role, this is what he does, this is what he's good at. He's so happy he could dance. "I shouldn't have left it to you," he says. "It's a mess, trying to do it alone. I know that. That's what family is for. My father taught me that."

"You have Kara envy," Kara says. "I don't want you to touch my dolls. You break them, every time."

She's blonde again, and there should be something wrong about that, though he can't quite figure out what. She's also dressed as in her pyjamas and wearing a shawl. He frowns. The shawl is wrong, too. Slowly he pulls it off, and Kara rolls her eyes because he isn't faster.

"Get on with it, know-it-all."

"I really do love you, you know," he says.

"So what are you gonna do about?" she asks, as she has to.

"Prove it," Connor says, and brings down the knife.

When he wakes up, he automatically checks the watch. It's 4.02. Third time for this particular dream tonight.

He won't go to Boston any time soon.
abetterlie: (Son of a beastie new version by bohemian)
Wow. Can't decide whether this means she trusts me now or she still really, really, really hates me.

Or both.
abetterlie: (Default)
*locked from Kara*

Before I got mindwiped, upgraded, personality-changed, however you want to put it, I pretty much sucked at it. In the "didn't make any, though some made me" sense. There was this girl, Sunny, and she was the first person who was nice to me in this dimension. I guess she was grateful because I had helped her against the guy who was bullying her, but she didn't just say thank you, she took me to the place she was staying and gave me something to eat, and we talked. Mostly about fathers and how they deserved to die when they were evil. Also, she kissed me. So you could say she had made me her friend, except that she died an hour later, and friendship takes longer than that, so I don't know what to call her. I later went back there, but the cops must have taken her body away, and I didn't even know about morgues and stuff then, so I never found out where she's buried.

My first real friend was Cordelia. Fred and Gunn had taken care of me in the summer, but that was because I was Angel's son, plus they didn't know what I had done. I told Cordy pretty much right after we met, and she wanted to stick around anyway. That was how she was, and I don't care whether you all think it was Jasmine in her, she didn't remember anything then, including Jasmine; it was Cordelia. She had lost everything and knew I was this guy who had pulled a knife on her once and had dumped his father in the sea, and she still gave me a chance. But again, that was her doing. She made me her friend. I probably would have blown it otherwise. Or maybe I did blow it anyway by falling in love with her. But the thing is, when she came back, she still wanted to be my friend. So that was real.

After I got mindwiped, I suddenly had a lot of friends. Okay, not a lot, but some. Complete with memories of hanging out and meeting and what movies they liked and what concerts we went to and what girls we had talked about. Sometimes I still miss those guys, but honestly, we didn't even see a lot of each other before my memories came back - the college thing, I guess. Or reality. Or something. I had two friends at college plus a couple of people I hung out with, but when my memories did come back, I kept having to lie to them all the time. What kind of friend does that? So, end of friendship, more or less, though it took a couple of months.

Then I met Justine again, and we were comrades before we became lovers, but I don't know about "making friends" - it was more like some cross between battle veterans and family meeting each other after some long time apart. I hardly knew her, and yet I knew her, and she knew Stephen because she knew Father. I didn't think of her in terms of making a friend - it was always a different thing. When Harry and I started to write to each other and hang out, I did think "we're becoming friends". No big friends-making skills on my part, though, I probably wouldn't done what he did after that first meeting, write an email to apologize. That impressed me, and he was so serious in that mail that I thought he had to lighten up, so I wrote a sort of joking reply, and that's how it started.

Except with Harry, too, it ended up by falling in love. Which makes three out of three people I met with complete knowledge of my past and became close to and then fell for. (Kara is a category of her own, because I screwed her over before we could become friends - we hardly knew each other then - but then she became family. And family is always different.) So that probably means I still can't make friends, because if you can't befriend someone and be selfless and unattracted or at least just mates with, you're sort of deficient, aren't you?
abetterlie: (Default)
Playing happy family was exhausting as hell. It also led to weirdness, because Connor kept forgetting he was just pretending, was having fun for half an hour or so, and then was hit by a memory. Not, surprisingly, that often by a memory of Angel, or anything that actually had happened. The memories of what hadn't were the ones who flickered into his consciousness, and sometimes he nearly used the wrong names. Which wasn't the weirdest hing. That was when he actually did try to remember and at one point saw Kara, not Mere, at age 9 in the circus, talking about the elephants. But Kara didn't like the circus, and he had not known her at age 9, and he wondered whether he might lose his grip on reality altogether.

After magic shows and roller coaster rides were over and done with, he found out he was supposed to stay in one room with Angel while Darla shared one with Kara, and fled to the hotel business center to catch up with his email. There was one from Chilton, and Connor decided to call Harry, lateness of the hour or not, just to make sure he was okay. He didn't want to do so from the business center; it would be just his luck to have either of his parents show up there just when he started to talk. So he left the hotel again, reasonably sure he wasn't followed. He had just taken his cell phone out when a limousine stopped next to him. Slowly, he put down his cell phone. He hadn't come unarmed; there was a stake in his other pocket, and another bound around his ankle, hidden by the baggy trousers he wore.

Except that nobody left the limousine. Instead, the window went down. Tony Chilton sat in the back, as Connor had more or less expected when the car had stopped; what he hadn't expected was the young woman next to Chilton, eyes clazed over, obviously drugged, and smelling utterly, completely human. Chilton's hand kept circling her neck.

"Get in," the vampire said. "Passenger's seat."

He could do the human thing and cry for help. He could try to dive through the backside window that had just opened so Chilton could talk to him. But there was no way he could reach the young woman before Chilton broke her neck. Such a fragile thing, human bones. So very, very fragile.

You have a choice, his mother said in his memory, and her bloodstained face looked at him from the body of a terrified young girl.

Connor got in the car, passenger's seat. The Fyarl was driving.

"So," Chilton said, a low, baritone voice from the back while one could hear the sleep-addled breathing of the girl, "you suddenly had a change of heart and decided to trade in the Osborn kid before he trades you in? I'm wounded. I thought I had left the impression of being an intelligent man, and that ploy is really transparent. Though as covers go, playing family with that old has-been and his squeezes is at least somewhat imaginative."

"You're not a man," Connor said while the car sped up, trying to figure out how to provoke Chilton into leaning forward and taking his hands of the girl's neck. "You're just something that should have died a long time ago. And apparantly sucks as a demon as well, if you can't find minions in a less complicated way."

"Well," Chilton said, sounding amused, "there is complicated and there's interesting. You know, originally I thought you were just from one of the demon species who can pass as humans, but that's not what your blood smells like. Tell me, just how many vampires already had you?"

The Fyarl just kept driving. He didn't look at Connor at all. If he jumped him, he could get behind the wheel, but that still would give Chilton enough to time to kill the girl. No, he couldn't risk it. Better to go for the provocation attempt.

"Doesn't matter. That's another thing you'll leave behind when you stop playing human. All those pretensions to guilt."

"I thought you didn't want to turn me," Connor said.

"I don't," Chilton replied, matter-of-factly. "As you are right now, you have no problems with daylight, which is useful. Besides, you're one of us already, aren't you... and then there is something which every businessman knows, even such lousy specimen as your poor little rich boy in Manhattan."

"And what is that?" asked Connor, making himself turn around. Chilton still had his hand on the back of the girl's neck.

"Never try to change the act of a first class whore," Chilton replied with a thin smile. Connor said nothing at all. Tony Chilton's smile deepenend.

"You know that this is what you are to him, don't you? You're responsible for the instant gratification. That's all he wants, nothing else. The high-minded conversations take place in Gotham these days. Now, I'm the last person not to be thankful for trained personell. Tell you what - I'll tell you to kill the industrious Mr. Wayne as a first order, and I'll even reward you with a saved damsel in return. That's what you want most, isn't it? The permission to kill and to tell yourself you have no other choice. Not free choice. The freedom from choice."

Connor stared at him. Then his lips moved.

"I didn't quite catch that, Mr. Riley. My hearing must be in decline."

"Yes," Connor whispered. "That is what I want."

Lazily, Chilton extended his right arm to let his hand touch Connor's cheek.

"Now that can be..."

It wasn't a cunning move. It wasn't a long-practiced throw with axe or stake, it wasn't anything Connor had learned from either of his fathers. No Watcher ever would have considered teaching this tactic. It was, however, a move he had observed quite recently, patented and practiced by one Kara Marie Keating.

Connor slightly turned his head and bit.

Chilton was easily as startled and completely surprised as Angel had been and reacted by an outraged yell, as well as an instinctive drawing back of both arms. This momentarily freed the girl from his touch and gave Connor the opportunity to get in the backseat between them. The Fyarl snarled but apparantly didn't quite know whether to stop the car without getting orders. Connor grabbed the girl, kicked the door open and jumped out with her, trying to make sure his body shielded her from the road.

Landing on tar ejected from a car that was driving at 70 mph was a bitch, superpowers or not. So was trying to make sure one didn't get run over by the next cars. Las Vegas showed no signs of being less populated at 1 am than it had been at 10. But once Connor had made it to the roadside, that came in handy. So many people were shouting and yelling at him, including the driver of the next car, that there was no way Chilton would have escaped public attention if he had come after him and the girl now. Out of the corner of his eyes Connor could see the limo slowing, then speeding up again.

The shock of hitting the road had at least woken up the drugged girl, who had started to cry. He held her and realized he didn't even know her name.
abetterlie: (Default)

I hate him.

I really, really do. Not because he's a vampire, or because he can be an asshole, because yeah, pott, meet kettle - because he's such a hypocrite. "Your sister" bla blah blah. This isn't about Kara. It's him wanting his pound of flesh for what I asked of him. Fine. Nothing is free. I knew it would put us both through hell when I asked. And that I'd owe him. But that's not how he plays it, no, it's all moral high ground and "you owe your sister to make a family trip to Vegas and have a go at playing smiling family harmony and what do I care that there is a psycho on the loose who could munch your boyfriend and his family in the meantime, you have to be here". He's hiding behind her and it makes me sick and I just -

Okay. I'm going.

Because I don't want to owe him anything. I'm even more sick of that. Plus he did make me think of something. Thanks, Daddy. I really should have thought of that before. The oldest thing in the book. You don't wait till the abomination hunts you, you hunt it yourself, and if that means you have to use bait, fine. Father and I did that, in Quortoth, when there were Shi'ar hunting us. I cut my hand, so they'd smell the blood, and lured them away from him. So I sent Chilton a mail, and I hope he does show up in Las Vegas. But not when Angel is anywhere near me.

Because if Angel takes him out and combines that with one more you suck, I rock lesson, I'm just about ready to stake myself.

Okay, reality check. Getting rid of Chilton is the most important thing. No matter who takes him out.

If it's not me, though, can't it be Kara? I'd be fine with Kara doing it.

Except then she'd be mad about me ruining her vacation. Okay, forget that, something is bound to happen that makes her mad anyway. But it won't be me. You want your exemplary son, Dad, fine, you'll get the complete brainwashed model. No arguments for the entire weekend. All smiles. Because I remember how to do that, and I could before your mindwipe, too, because even if you want to forget Jasmine, I don't. And that's something else where he's such a hypocrite. Family spirit, sure, except when it comes to his granddaughter. Free will, except if it comes to what makes him feel better, but he can't admit it's all about him, no, it's all "you ditched your sister".

Fine. They'll all get the hugs and smiles model, and the only violent thing is going to be staking Chilton when Chilton shows up, and then when he had his Norman Rockwell weekend playing Daddy with his two adoring kids I'll never talk to him again.

Rubbish. Of course I will.

God, I hate him.


I'm in Las Vegas for the weekend. Anyone want any souvenirs, let me know.
abetterlie: (Son of a beastie new version by bohemian)
Dear Kara -

happy birthday. At first I wanted to make you a new crossbow as a present, but then I thought about what you said - that weapons only isn't what our lives should be - and realized that would have sucked. Then I thought about books and films and figured you'll get them elsewhere anyway, and from other people.

But I know you get a new car and I know how you feel about driving, so here is something that could go with it. I thought it looked pretty, plus the lady who sold it to me says the crystal collects good thoughts and keeps the craziness away, or something. I hope you like it.

It's a car jewel. )


P.S. I'll try to be a better brother this year.
abetterlie: (Default)
*very, very locked from everyone save Harry*

There was a sense of a ticking clock back in those days, but I was pretty good in not thinking about what I had asked Angel and Darla to do. I owed them something in return, though, and tracking down Kara in California looked like a good way to repay my debt, plus maybe Angel was right and Kara was in trouble. So I felt a bit drained - it had been a five hour drive - but generally speaking pretty good about myself. I had found her, we'd talk a bit, I'd bring her to the airport and on her way home. (Did I mention I didn't actually know Kara that well then, despite the whole part where she was living with my parents? Which I was sort of jealous about though I had just asked them to stay away from me. It was a weird time. Anyway, if I had known Kara better, I wouldn't have started out with the delusion she'd just go home simply because I told her to to begin with, even if nothing else had happened.)

So I knocked at the door of her hotel room, and had that whole big brother wanna be speech prepared, and then someone opened the door. Not Kara. Though I could see her in the background, wearing very little, and right in front of me was this guy, wearing little more. I wouldn't say "hate on sight", but I was definitely pissed off, thought "what a sleaze", and things deterioted from there. By the time we had somehow ended up on his airplane, all three of us, I thought I did hate him and was busy getting drunk and trading insults with him and Kara. Maybe the fact I wasn't concentrating on Kara should have given me a clue. But it didn't.

When I was sober again the next day I was deeply embarrassed and deeply humiliated because Angel, Darla and Cordy had been at the airport picking us up, plus I had no idea of how to explain the whole thing to my girlfriend who had not known I was still in contact with Angel. I certainly didn't think I'd ever see or hear from Harry Osborn again. Just a chance encounter, one where neither of us had exactly come off well, - okay, we were both jackasses, as Harry later said - and I hadn't even won the damm game. I had a vague memory of having quoted Philip Larkin before passing out. Just a weird interlude. Mortifying and sort of funny at the same time, in retrospect.

Justine wasn't at home when I came back to California. After preparing dinner as part of my planned apology campaign, I got online again, just to check on my mail, and there was an email from him. Apologizing. Which I really hadn't expected, even less than hearing from him again. I had screwed up as much, if not more. At this point, the situation started to look more funny than mortifying to me, so I wrote back telling him to chill, and somehow the most exhilarating exchange I ever had with anyone took off from there. I had a lot of my assumptions knocked out from under me in the next weeks and months, and those I had made about him were just the first. There were those about me, and the whole thing where I thought I could only be in love with one person at a time and wasn't the type to cheat on anyone, let alone my girlfriend and my sister. Though given that every single person I ever fell for had some connection to someone in my family first, I'm starting to wonder why I ever thought that. Oh, and I also found out I could be in love with a guy which had been news to me. So yes, my life was changed by that one chance encounter. I hurt people because of it, Kara most of all, and I think I'm still alive because of it, and maybe so is he.

That's what life changes are, I guess. They're always good and bad at the same time. But they make you what you are. Or they show it to you.

Like a stranger opening a door.
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Okay, this last week was interesting in the not-Chinese-saying sense. First I got my powers back, and let's just not mention the part where Angel... anyway. (Fate bitchslapping me with irony is nothing new.) So I guess Cordy was right, it was just a matter of time. Plus major effort. (Being in Peter's debt is one thing, but now I owe Norman. Not good. Also humiliating. But it's such a relief, being back to normal. The other thing just - well, wasn't. Though I think I got better at the adjusting and didn't feel completley like an astronaut on another planet anymore. Still, it's way better not to walk around half blind and half deaf and so on, plus let's face it, it's great being able to fight again. And when Harry and I visit Ireland, I'll totally kick every leprauchan's ass if they try anything.

Secondly, Illyria announced her presence. When I had met her at Wolfram and Hart two years ago, I didn't have my memories back yet, so I just thought she was awesome, like a comic book figure come to life. (Also, I was so embarassed later when I did remember. And a bit mad at Angel, because hey, what did he mean, "they were supposed to fix that"? Fix what? Darla is how many centuries older than he is, and Buffy how many centuries younger?) Now she reminded me of Jasmine at first. Not so much once we got to talk, because they're quite different, except for the part where they come from another world and are sort of trapped in ours. And I just want to - I don't know. Do something right for a change, I guess. Harry asked me whether this was about me killing my daughter when I told him about Illyria, and maybe it is a little, but I know Illyria isn't Jasmine. I just think - well, I remember what it was like as well. Coming here, in this world, not knowing the rules or anyone except for really few people, and feeling trapped by it all. So maybe I can help, a little. And learn more about how gods think.

Thirdly, Kara had a spasm about Buffy and then she said she'd come to New York on "important business" and wanted to meet. So now I'm set to pick her up at La Guardia and wonder what the important business could be.

1) Darla and Angel told her I was fine and back to normal, and she finally wants that rematch where she beats me. Which, okay, is absolutely in the cards. She's got lots more practice since the last time, and she has way more motivation.

2) Those scratches from the dragon she defeated really were dangerous and infected and are not dealt with by Slayer healing, and she needs medical help. Except I think if that were the case Angel and Darla would have made her go into a hospital already. I hope.

3) Something I can't guess because each time I think I can figure out Kara, she brings up something like tea cups or cheescake (?!?) or burning buildings and I have no idea where that came from.

No time like the present to find out.
abetterlie: (Default)
Going online on Saturday evening in a Chicago hotel, Connor first finds a couple of strange emails from a girl and two guys who share classes at college with him, then finds the likely reason in the form of this post. Which starts the following thought process:

1) I guess that means Kara is on an upward swing again?

2) Where the hell did she get the photo Tracy made when we were touring Yellowstone Park after graduation?

3) And what's wrong with plaid anyway?

4) Wait. Kara posted a photo of me on some kind of internet dating service or whatever. This is so embarassing.

5) If she actually wanted to know, I could have told her about 99% of the population would say she's hot and I'm not. I mean, she's a blond cheerleader type and I'm not ugly, but I look like some collection from fragments of other people.

6) Okay, that's a pretty funny photo of Angel. And what kind of drug was Wesley on?

7) I'll be totally mature and cool and make an amused reaction comment. Or no comment at all, which is also mature.

8) But ignoring would go against the holy code of sibling behaviour. Which demands a retaliation of sorts.

9) Except I can't post anything that makes Kara feel seriously bad about herself and encourages her complexes, because that also goes against the big brother code.

10) I know! Okay, Karakins, it's picture uploading time.

Someone told me Kara is looking for pictures for some kind of album, so I checked my archive and found a few.

Siblings )
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Last week when Harry believed he was going insane and killing people as the Green Goblin was the worst, but this week was only partly better. Well, the one really good part was that Griffin is dead and can no longer poison Harry and he's back with me. On the downside, Tucker Wells got himself nearly killed and mauled by some beast and is in the hospital in a coma or something. Now I'd be a total hypocrite if I said that made me feel terrible for Tucker - he and I just tolerate each other at best, which doesn't mean I want him dead, but it doesn't mean I'm heartbroken over this, either - but Kara loves him, and I know how it feels like to have someone you love dying right in front of you, with nothing you can do.

Because as of now, Harry is. That stuff Griffin slipped him already killed Griffin, and if Peter doesn't find an antidote, it will kill Harry, sooner or later. And there isn't a thing I can do about it. I could find the real Goblin, too late, but I could find him, I could defeat him. When Kara got her soul sucked by that doll, I could find out the reason and destroy the thing, too. I can't stand magic, but it's part of my world, I get it, and for every spell, there is something to break it. It makes sense to me. But this is science, and I have absolutely zero idea of what to do.

Well. I had one idea. And I know I'll go to hell for even considering it. But ultimately Harry doesn't want that, and that cancels it out.

So Kara is going to pieces somewhere in Maine over Tucker Wells, and there is zilch I can do to help her. She sort of let me in in Boston when we thought she was pregnant, but not now. When she was here in New York eight days ago, it was clear it had all come back. And yeah, I know it's my fault. It always will be. Anyway, even in some bizarro AU where I and Harry never met, I probably still couldn't help her because what the hell do I know about surgery and science? See above.

And Harry is just barely not going to pieces here. I mean, considering some doctor he trusted stabbed him in the back and slipped him poison and he just spent several days trapped in his worst nightmare, and the clock is ticking all the time, it's a miracle he didn't lose it already. And I'm not - I should be strong and calm and all the good stuff, but wouldn't you know it, first time he really vents about everything that happened, I lose it, too. Now he has a bandaid on his neck, and - like he said. So much for no more scars.

It's just that I'm so freaking scared because I can't do anything. And I can't afford to be scared. I've got to be the one who holds it together. When I got back from walking Bailey today Norman The Bastard had finally deigned to show up and offer help in saving his son's life, and Harry had a cut in his arm.

Speaking of Osborn Senior. He also showed up again later, when I was in the training room, and informed me that if I truly wanted to help both Kara and Harry in a meaningful way, there was a perfect way to do it. I should walk out on Harry, he said. "We both know my son would go back to dear Miss Keating, no matter his protestations earlier, and that she would accept him. It would soothe her feelings. It would finally ease the guilt he bears for his treatment of her." And so on, and so forth.

I won't do it, but the awful thing is, I can't say he's entirely wrong. Kara would probably take Harry back, and it would cheer her up. And Harry feels more guilty than ever for breaking up with her now, because of the Tucker thing. It's just - well, maybe I'm the most selfish guy in the universe and just kidding myself, but I think he needs me. More than he needs to stop feeling guilty.

Then there is also the problem that with Peter researching on the antidote and me taking care of Harry, no one is around to guard the city, really. Peter pointed that out when we had a kind of clear-the-air-conversation after everything that went down with Griffin. First I thought I'd ask Faith or Buffy, and I knew I had to ask Kara, even if she couldn't because of school (that was before Warren posted about Tucker being in the hospital, of course), because she'd be mortally offended otherwise. But Faith has stuff going on in Chicago and Buffy is at college and I know how hard it is to catch up if you've missed out for a while. So I guess I just have to, well. Ask Angel.

It's not that I don't think he'd do it; of course he would. But he'd notice things. And - oh, to hell with it. So what. I can't stand the idea of people getting beaten up and dying because I'm freaked out over the idea of him noticing stuff.

In between, there was the thing with Cordy's husband the film star emailing everyone saying she was possessed. That completely freaked me out and I asked whether she was pregnant, and then he lost it and said Harry and I had made her and Kara lesbians. (Seriously. What does she see in that idiot?) Anyway, I visited, and it turned out there was actually another person in her body. Who wasn't Jasmine. But kissed me. I went and looked for the axis of Pythia which Angel had used once before to locate Cordy's soul. Gwen had sold it on ebay, but I finally tracked it down, but by the time Harry bought for me, Cordy was back in her body. Thank God. Or rather, thank Kara, who organized it before finding out about Tucker Wells. Hearing from the real Cordy again was definitely one of the better times this last week.

There were others, of course. When I'm not freaked out and worrying I'm just so damm happy Harry is back and alive and himself again. Sometimes when I watch him feeding Bailey too much (he never learns) or the other night when we were out and he danced in that great way he has, I thought of nothing but that, not about any of the other things. And it was a better rush than any fighting or anything else. Just that.
abetterlie: (Default)
It was the first time Connor actually exploited the possibility of having a jet at his private disposal. Phillipp was as non-committal as ever, but seemed to look amused in a friendly way, so maybe he was warming up to Connor, unlike Harry's butler, Bernard, who still radiated dissapproval. The jet wouldn't stay in Boston; Harry, it seemed, had planned flight lessons. It would return whenever Connor wanted to get back to New York.

He was nervous, excited and hopeful at the same time. After some days of pondering the prospect of pregnant Kara, Connor was determined to make this the occasion where he wouldn't fail her. He'd be a good brother and uncle. And given that she had told him her choice of names for a boy, the chance of persuading Kara to let him pick the names for a girl was certainly better than non existant. He knew about girl babies, after all, and anyway, whoever the jerk who got Kara pregnant was, the irresponsible git didn't seem to be around to compete for the honor.

Calling Kara on the cell phone as soon as he arrived so Angel and Darla wouldn't know he was there, Connor arranged to meet her at the coffee shop where they had managed their first peaceful conversation back in autumm. Being there first, he put the teddy bear he had bought next to him and hoped Kara didn't object to stuffed animals as well as living ones.
abetterlie: (Default)
Ooc: this is connected to a longer storyline

Your New York Day And Night )
abetterlie: (Default)
After his hunt with Faith, Connor can't sleep, so he spends the remaining hours of the night reading and watching the DVD Cordelia has given him for Christmas. He has seen videos of himself as a baby before; Mom and Dad used to show them at the most embarrassing times possible. Suddenly, he wonders whether these videos ever existed at all, and if so, if Vail conjured them up as well. Connor watches Gunn, Fred, Cordelia, Wesley - with glasses, always with glasses - and Angel play with a baby, watches Lorne croone for it, and maybe it's the lack of sleep or the dead children and the prolonged exposure to his parents, but he starts to wonder whether this DVD exists as well. Maybe the life he's currently living is the result of yet another alteration Angel has somehow made through a bargain with some powerful entity. Maybe he was that child everyone is currently making a fuss about on the screen of his laptop, and maybe he wasn't. It's just as likely that everyone was freaked out by the baby of two vampires and as awkward as they were when he came back as a teenager.

He watches Angel's expression when he's holding the baby, which Connor has seen only very, very rarely - once when telling Angel he was awesome in the blissful state of mindwiped ignorance, and once or twice when teasing Angel about his werewolf girlfriend and his handwriting - and decides it doesn't matter. What is true in all incarnations is that his father loves him, and wants reality to have been one where Connor has been a baby beloved by everyone else as well. It probably is the best of the possible worlds to believe in.

Watching the flickering pictures of six people he has never seen at peace with each other be happy and endearingly dorky around an infant, he feels something salty in his throat. Angel is handing him over to Wesley and the tiny hands grasp at Wesley's glasses, and Connor suddenly remembers something like this was on the Riley home videos as well. But hadn't it been Mere, baby Mere, who had grasped at Lawrence Riley's glasses? Or had it been baby Connor? The knowledge refuses to come, and suddenly he is afraid that the more he engulfes himself in the memories of one life, the more he's going to lose the memories of another, and hastily stops the DVD.

Then he checks on the internet, and finds the accounts Angel and Cordelia have written about his birth. They are so different from what Angelus had claimed. His father - Holtz - had not gone into details at all, had just said Darla had died during the birth. No other soulless vampire Connor has heard off had given up her or his life so a child could live, and again, he has that sense of simultanous joy and horror that often strikes him in the presence of his parents.

When he comes to the house, this time after breakfeast because of how it went on Christmas Day, Kara is in her room for some reason, and Angel has gone to sleep again - keeping daylight hours all the time does not come naturally to him, after all - so Connor and Darla are alone in the living room for a while.

"Did you ever regret it?" he asks, without preliminaries, because one of the things that are eerie about Darla is this sensation she evokes of being without skin when with her. As if she could see every little artery and every mess in his head. "Staking yourself? When you saw how I turned out?"

He means when he dragged that girl to her death, that girl that in the end wore Darla's face, but when she replies, her answer refers to another thing altogether.

"Don't go all self-pitying on me," Darla says sharply. "And don't expect a pat on the back. I'm freshly out of patience. You know damm well I wouldn't regret it even if you had screwed Tucker Wells and Warren Mears in addition to Harry Osborn. I love you. That doesn't mean I don't blame you for thoroughly ruining Kara's life in the last three months."

Stung, Connor says:

"I know it's my fault."

"I don't think so," Darla says, and lights herself a cigarette, which he hasn't seen her do so far. The cigarette case is something she fishes out of Angel's leather coat, which is another surprise. "You're doing this general blame thing which men are so good at. Accept guilt for everything under the sun, but oh no, not specifics. The specifics were somehow unavoidable."

Now he's getting defensive and pushes back, because all good resolutions to the contrary, that mechanism is too seductive when being with his biological parents not to sue it.

"So tell me," Connor says, glaring at her. "What would you have done differently, specifically, at which point? I always wanted to hear that from someone who took what she wanted for centuries."

There is a tiny flicker of amusement in her cool, assessing glance, which doesn't make it easier. She inhales, then replies:

"Mmmm. After realizing that what you wanted from Harry and what he wanted from you wasn't just fun trips through the forest of Arden? I'd have gone for two options, depending on my feelings for Kara. If I, in your place, hadn't cared for her, I'd have used those strange things called discretion and common sense. People have been managing to have well-managed affairs for centuries, you know. Without spreading melodramatic declarations around. And frankly, we both know dear Harry is used to that kind of thing and does what he's told if one orders him strictly enough. So I'd have told him to keep it quiet and be a prince to Kara otherwise."

Connor looks at her, appalled.

"Now if I in your place had cared for Kara? I'd have stopped the manly bonding altogether before it grew into something more. Don't tell me you needed him as a friend. You had other people. That girl you made me promise not to harm even if she tried to kill me, for starters. And you had us. You could have had her, too - Kara is a great friend. So. Cut of Harry Osborn at the first sign that this relationship, even as a friendship, upsets Kara. Which it did long before you two did more than hold hands."

"Oh, you would have done that," he says angrily. "Sure. Guess what, Mom, I doubt that. I don't see you stopping to be friends with your immortal boytoy because Angel can't stand him."

She leans forward. Something of the ash of her cigarette falls on the skin of his right hand, which is clasped with his left between his knees so he doesn't lash out at her, and he's pretty sure it is deliberate. He feels the burn, but he doesn't move.

"Angel," Darla says, "isn't a sixteen years old girl. But if you want an example that works - when I first met Kara, I wasn't sure quite what I wanted from her. But it was soon clear what she wanted from me. She didn't need someone to mess with her head or seduce her. She needed a mother. So that is what I tried to become. It's called self discipline and having your priorities straight, Connor. Or, to use an overly sentimentalized term, it's called love."

She rises, and puts out her cigarette in one quick move between the palm of her hands. It has to burn her as well. He makes no move to stop her.

"It was good to have you over for the holidays," Darla concludes. "Time to wake up your father."

And she leaves the room.
abetterlie: (Default)
Realisations of the past seven days:

1) Puppies like Italian shoes. Just as well, because if they liked normal sports shoes, it would only encourage Harry to buy me new ones. Also, New York millionaires really like puppies. Which is good because I'm so going to train that dog to act as a second body guard when I'm not around, and St. Bernards get pretty big. No more Todd Campbell idiocies.

2) Cordy's husband is a moron. Without a sense of humour. Or maybe he just had a bad day. We all have those. Plus she must see something in him, right? Still. No idea what his problem is. Maybe I should ask Angel whether that's his general mode towards anyone Cordelia ever was involved with, or just with me. But that would mean talking about Cordy with Angel, which just isn't - well, we haven't done it so far. Since.

Still wish Cordy had married someone else instead, but to fair, it could be worse. She could have married Todd. (Though Todd at least has a sense of humor...)

Speaking of humor - Harry was kidding when he said he and Cordy have the same type, right? Right. Absolutely. 100 %.

3) Kara conversations involving me work best when I'm not part of the conversation. I mean, it totally floored me when she defended me when talking to Orlando. But no sooner do I start talking to her about bracelets and tattos that we end up with the me having hurt her by falling for Harry again. With something bizarre about Angel shoved in between. Note to self: do not speculate about what she meant by "the point is NOT that he wouldn't. The point is that I wouldn't!" There lies badness. I mean, sure, there was a time when I believed Angel was capable of anything, but the mindwipe cured me of that, I know it has. I do not believe he'd go for a sixteen years old blonde slayer who needs a father figure. NO WAY.

4) And while we're on the subject: Christmas presents are a nightmare. So far, I have:

a) Darla: Italian locket bought at antiquity store with two photos in it, one of Kara and one of self. Will not think of Father having a portrait like this of Caroline and Sarah. No.

b) Angel: oil and pastel and water colors and some Japanese brushes. Because he gave me the sketch of Emily. Which I can't look at now without recalling the damm nightmare, but that's not Angel's - well actually - anyway. I hope he'll like the present.

c) Kara: concert tickets for the Rolling Stones (she told Alan Shore in my lj she liked them), January 13, 2006, Friday, 7:30 pm, TD Banknorth Garden. Then it suddenly occured to me that it was a Friday the 13th, and she could think - hell, this is Kara, she so will - that I wish something bad on her. And maybe she wasn't serious about the Stones. So I bought her tickets for Lifehouse on February 1st in Avalon as well. That's a Wednesday. And she probably likes Lifehouse. Three tickets each time, so she can go either with Tucker and Warren or with Angel and Darla, as she likes.

I guess she'll just tear them up and throw them at me.

d) Cordelia. Now, the obvious person to ask is Harry. Because I have zero idea about fashion, and he'd definitely pick something fabulous and fitting. But he's a bit paranoid about her. Or he'd pick something so expensive I can't afford it and buy it for me to give to her, and then I'd feel guilty, because I want to pay for it with my own money. I'm still debating this with me. Until then, I've been getting her a cross bow. She used to be great with them. With my luck, Orlando will probably think this is another complicated insult because he used to play an elf who shoots arrows and will ruin Christmas for her, so maybe I should skip that and ask Harry for fashion advice anyway.

e) Justine. Would probably punch me for wondering. And call it cheap sentimentality or something like that. Plus I don't even know where she is. But I think of her and Utah and driving, and the car - her old one, not Angel's which is what she has now - and... well. I bought some Donna Reed CDs, because she said she liked Donna Reed, and carved some stakes so they'd fit perfectly for her - you can adjust them to the handsize of a person, you know.

f) Harry. Well, the meme kind of settled that, but I've never done this kind of thing before! I mean, it will probably sound either corny or like a description of gymnastics instead of erotic. But a wish is a wish. So: move those brain cells, somehow write an erotic love letter. Instead of a corny description of gymnastics.

I was also thinking of surprising him by replacing the Italian shoes Bailey is so fond of, but that would mean asking Cordy for advice, and that's an even worse idea than asking Harry for advice about Cordy, because Cordy is Kara's friend.

Conclusion: life was so much easier when I just had to wonder about whether or not to kill my biological father...
abetterlie: (Default)
More media nonsense, though this time at least nobody knows they’re writing about me. That J.J. Jameson apparantly has a hate-on for superheroes. Or maybe just for people connected with Spider-man. So, newest headline of the Daily Bugle: Spider-man’s Slimy Sidekick: New Masked Menace: Kid Vicious. Or something. Kill me now. I should have let Harry pick a pseudonym. On the other hand, no. Not given what he comes up with anyway.

On the bright side, the meeting with MJ went well. Okay, so she totally kicked our asses at monopoly, but it was fun. And we so ganged up on Harry before dinner. Serves him right; he did make Cordelia go shopping with me, which was such an alliance of the titans behind my back. It was weird at times, looking at MJ, because she really resembles Kara a lot. Kara a few years older, with red hair, and a whole lot happier, and each time I thought that, hello Mr. Guilt and his good friend Mr. Betrayal. Personality-wise, though, she’s not much like Kara at all. More like Harry, actually, in some ways. They both can put on the charm deliberately and make you feel at ease despite the fact you know they do it intentionally.

Personal highlight of the evening? When he told me I was a brat and kissed me in front of her. Rolling on X aside, he never did that in front of other people, and it wasn’t a big deal at all for him, just something he did on the spur of the moment like pouring in more wine for her or passing the whatever-that-great-appetizer-was to me later, and that’s what made it so great.

I thought of that this morning at college, when I ran into some guys from one of the NYU organization for gays who handed out leaflefts calling for students to demonstrate. Something because of the Pope’s new edict on homosexual priests. So I was about to say that I’m not interested because a) not a Catholic, and b) not gay, and suddenly I felt like a complete hypocritical asshole. Like Roy Cohn in “Angels in America” which we watched in my class at Stanford last term, the Mike Nichols version, yelling at his doctor who has to tell him he has AIDS that he’s not a homosexual, he’s a complete heterosexual who fucks men. And I thought of Kara writing to me that I only pick the obligations that make me feel good about myself – like the superhero gig, or college – and not those who don’t. So I took the leaflet and tried to figure something out, again. Not whether I’m gay or not. I guess if you’re in love with a guy, and if you have sex with a guy, semantics don’t really matter – considering that I still think certain women are hot, the term probably is bisexual, but who cares?

Then there is what Harry told me, way before we got together, about the entire expectations-of-the-rich-and-famous thing. Normality as the watchword, and the dating of pretty girls plus the eventual marriage of same as an obligation, as if we’re still in the 19th century. So much for big changes in society. I guess those guys have a point, wanting to demonstrate. Plus though Mom and Dad weren’t Catholic, Father was, and Angel too, so that might make me Catholic by default. Anyway. So I decided to try and fulfill uncomfortable obligations, too. If you’re dating another guy, that means you’re obliged. I’ll go to that campus demonstration tomorrow afternoon. I mean, obviously Harry can’t, with his OsCorp gig, and I get why this is so important to him. If he can succeed where his father failed, he might actually get rid of Norman the Undead Bastard on a permanent basis. But I can.

In other news, Harry took my joke about the St. Bernard seriously and wants to buy a puppy. Which, you know, sounds like fun – I like animals – and I bet he’d be good with them, too. Except then I suddenly remembered Father telling me about Angelus.

”…that is how he often starts his torment. Nailing them to the doors of their owners.”

“Were they his prey? Did he take trophies?”

“No, Stephen. He simply killed them to cause pain. He would drive a nail through their eyes, and…”

Which killed any fuzziness I felt right then and there. It’ll come back, undoubtedly, because I do like the idea of a dog, but so will that old lessons.

Fathers. Don’t they… yeah.


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July 2010

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