_destroyer_ (cordys_bitch) wrote in hellmouth_of_la,

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You need to find a way...

I watched Faith leave and fought the urge to follow her. It was weird, the connection we had while we were having sex seemed to disappear the moment we put our clothes on. Except, maybe it didn't, because I swear she looked at me before walking out and I know I watched her until she was out of my line of vision. She had to be a slayer, and maybe I should have asked. It's just, that is a pretty big question and we were barely on a first names basis. I had her number and I'd be calling it again. Yeah, chances were good she'd laugh at me and then hang up when I did, but you can't blame a guy for trying.

Once I finished getting dressed, I found my car and headed back home. I needed to take a shower and call Carly. She wouldn't believe what had happened to me and I'd have to figure out how to tell her while sparing some of the details because it really was a too much information type of situation. No one was home when I walked through the door. Mom and Dad were probably at work and the sisters were in school. Good. No one needed to know that I blew off my morning classes to have a one morning stand in an abandoned building.

I took the stairs up to my room and was stripping out of my clothes when I noticed the letter laying on top of my pillow. I sat down on the bed and opened it carefully. It was from Carly. I'd know her handwriting anywhere. My chest tightened slightly as I read about her plans to leave and where I could go if I really needed assistance in figuring out who, or what I was. I folded the letter carefully and stuffed it in my wallet. Carly said that I should use Wolfram and Hart as a last resort, but after what happened with the van, the nightmares, and this afternoon with Faith, I was pretty sure it was time to go for the last resort. I needed answers and if my best friend wasn't going to be here to help me, then I'd take her resources and help myself. Man, I hoped she had a blast on her trip, but I was really going to miss her.

After a quick shower and changing into fresh clothes, I grabbed my keys and wallet and left a note for my parents that I'd call later. My phone was in the car charging when I pulled out of the driveway and made the drive to Wolfram and Hart. I wasn't sure who to speak to when I got there, but I figured there was no harm in asking to speak to the guy in charge, right? The worst that could happen is I get sent to some assistant or something. It's just, my situation was pretty weird, and I'd rather just deal with the man in charge.

I parked my car in the visitor's section of the parking lot and made my way into the lobby. I stopped cold when I read the names of some of the key staff. Angel. CEO. I had dreams, nightmares, and one name that was always on the tip of my tongue when I woke up was Angel. Maybe that was my clue to come here to find my answers. I waited patiently at the desk for one of the girls to ask if she could help me.

"I need to see the ceo, Angel. Tell him Connor Riley is here to see him and that it's an emergency."

(open to Angel)
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After Harmony had sashayed out of the room, I spent the next few minutes fiddling around on the computer until I was able to remember how to pull up employee records. Harmony was definitely getting underpaid for the kind of stuff she had to put up with. I wondered how hard it'd be to take care of that. Taking a long sip of the very, very good mug of blood she'd brought in, I took a moment just to relax.

I should have known it wouldn't last long.

"Sir? There's a young man here to see you? He doesn't have an appointment, but he says his name is Riley..."

Buffy's ex-boyfriend, the whitest-bread person I'd ever had the pleasure of pummeling? What the--

"... Connor Riley?"

My heart doesn't beat, and right then, it was a mercy, because it definitely would have stopped right then and there. A hundred thousand horrible things flew through my mind in the two seconds it took me to hit the intercom button. Why in the hell would Connor be here? He shouldn't have had even remotely any reason to come to Wolfram & Hart, and find me. Still, there was only one thing to do. I punched the button hard.

"Send him in."

Did the spell fail? No, I decided, because Gunn, Cordy, Fred, Lorne and definitely Wes would have come charging down to this office the second it had gone 'poof'. Something else was happening, something a lot worse, and it was dragging my son back into the world I had all but sold my soul to keep him away from.

If I found out one of our ambitious little liaisons was behind this, I'd be wringing someone's expensively-tailored neck very soon.

I glanced down at the desk. Damn, the blood! I opened one of the drawers in my desk that wasn't being used and stashed it inside, hoping it wouldn't start to smell. I cleared off anything that looked remotely mystical or supernatural off the blotter and stuffed it into the desk, too. There wasn't anything I could do about the collection of weapons on the wall, but hopefully that would just come off as 'quirky'.

Straightening out my suit jacket and shirt, I was in the middle of wishing for a reflection so I could check my hair, too, when the door opened.

Connor stepped in.

I held my breath, since I could still do that.

He looked... Well, he looked a lot the same, although his clothes were cleaner, and looked a lot less second- or third- hand. His hair was trimmed a lot shorter, and he carried himself so very differently than I remembered. It took me a few seconds to realize what it was I noticed.

Connor wasn't a predator anymore, not a hunter anymore. He didn't walk with the barely-contained anger and resentment that had weighed down on him before. Now there was a lightness to the way he walked closer to the desk, a casualness that only teenagers had that came from the sureness that they owned the world. I wanted to hold him, wanted to laugh out loud, wanted to congratulate him on looking... happy.

But I couldn't. I wasn't his father, I had to remind myself. I was just a guy who ran a law firm, and what the hell was he doing here, anyway?

"Connor Riley, is it? What can I do for you, Connor?"
I was more than a little relieved when I heard the CEO's voice chime across the phone to send me in. I always had wicked keen senses, especially hearing, sight and smell, so it wasn't like I was trying to eavesdrop or anything. I walked into the office to find one very nervous guy staring at me like I was some puzzle he was trying to figure out. Weird. Of course, I'd been warned this place was weird so it was cool.

I approached his desk, and took a seat in the chair across from him without waiting to be asked to take a seat. He was kind of freaking me out with the way he was looking at me, but I shook off the feelings and forced myself to relax.

"Connor Riley, is it? What can I do for you, Connor?"

"Yes, sir. I was hoping maybe you could help me figure out what is wrong with me." I winced, as I replayed the words in my head. Man, now who sounded like the freak? "A friend of mine suggested that maybe the answers I'm looking for could be found here. That you guys sort of specialize in the abnormal?"

I slouched down in my chair and forced myself to meet his gaze. I hated talking about this. Hated that I knew I wasn't normal. Suddenly my train of thought was lost as the smell of blood hit me. Sniffing the air, I looked around the office in confusion. "Do you have a wounded animal in here? I swear I smell blood."

Oh yeah, see sir, this was proof of why I'm here. I'm a freak of nature who could smell blood even when there was no trace of it in the room. "Sorry. I have this weird thing where my senses are kind of amplified. Oh, I was hit by a van doing like 50 and I survived. Not more than a scratch on me. The doctors couldn't explain it and I'm thinking that maybe I'm not just an average college kid, you know?" I was rambling, but I couldn't seem to stop myself. "Can you help me figure out why I'm a freak?"
Connor walked right up and dropped himself into a chair with that strange blend of awkward and graceful that only someone young and lanky like he could pull off. There was a quick flash of sadness, though, when I realized that all of Connor's coordination and physical ability had been developed and honed through hardship and hunting demons, not from playing Little League or climbing trees.

Did kids still climb trees?

I tried to relax as best as I could, but it was still Connor, still my son sitting in front of me, something I never thought I'd see again. Especially not with the last time we'd been this close having involved a very large knife and Connor's throat.

"Yes, sir. I was hoping maybe you could help me figure out what is wrong with me. A friend of mine suggested that maybe the answers I'm looking for could be found here. That you guys sort of specialize in the abnormal?"

Frowning, I tried to think through the path that must have brought Connor from his happy, normal family life over in some suburb miles from L.A., all the way back here to Wolfram & Hart. Nothing was going even halfway well in the last few days, and the possible dragging of Connor back into this world was the worst, as far as I was concerned.

"Well, uh," I stammered, "we do deal with all sorts of different, um, unusual cases. I'm not sure, though, what a firm like ours can do for--"

"Do you have a wounded animal in here? I swear I smell blood."

My eyes widened. How did Connor pick up that scent? He shouldn't have even gotten the slightest hint of it, not now. Unless... Unless there had been something I'd missed when I'd made my deal with the Senior Partners.

"Sorry. I have this weird thing where my senses are kind of amplified. Oh, I was hit by a van doing like 50 and I survived. Not more than a scratch on me. The doctors couldn't explain it and I'm thinking that maybe I'm not just an average college kid, you know? Can you help me figure out why I'm a freak?"

I sank back into my chair and sighed. So there it was. I'd secured a normal house, a normal, loving family and a history that was full of affection and support and all the things any teenager grows up with. Apparently, though, I hadn't changed Connor, at least beyond his memories. And his personality, too, if I was any judge of the casual, bright way he spoke and held himself, even having to deliver news like that.

"Well, I don't think it's time to go tossing around a word like 'freak', Connor. You, uh, don't look like any kind of freak to me, y'know? And I'm sure you've heard stories about adrenaline and the weird strength and things it can give to people during crisis times. Maybe that's what happened with you and the van."

Okay, it was a hell of a reach, but I had to try something.

"Maybe if we had a clearer picture of things physically-- um, healthwise, you know... we could figure out what's going on, huh? Just give me a second here."

I picked up the phone and dialed-- well, okay, I used the automated voice menu thing-- to get the Infirmary on the line. Once I'd let them know I was bringing a new client down for a full physical and workup, I turned back to Connor.

"Okay, we've got some great doctors on staff here, so if it's all right with you, we'll see if they can tell us anything specific."

Connor let me lead him down to the Infirmary, both of us quiet the entire trip. The doctor there told me that the exam would probably take some time, and that they'd call me when Connor was finished. One more reassuring pat on Connor's shoulder, and I was shooed out of the exam room.