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.


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July 2010

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