Title: Connor - Part Two
Series: 3rd in Chlonnor series
Disclaimer: Don't own Smallville nor Angel.
Summary:When Connor returns, now grown up, things become even more chaotic in Chloe's life. She's tried fighting her attraction to him but realizes they're in love. Why should she fight it? And what's the big bad that's threatening their happiness NOW?
Lois and Wesley were spending the night in the Hyperion for safety sake, and it was only because Angel had gruffly admitted to seeing Chloe and Connor and that they were fine that Lois didn't barge in on the duo. She, along with the others, were still below, unable to sleep.
Angel too was unable to sleep, yet for an utterly different reason.
Emotions dark and vicious coiled within him as he remembered gazing in through the window from the building across from the one that Chloe and his son were staying in. He'd wanted to make sure that they were fine without them knowing he was doing so, hadn't wanted to make them feel pressured or to inconvenience them so late at night.
At yet it'd all backfired as, on the roof of the abandoned building besides Connor's, he'd had a perfect view through the large window in the attic they called their room, as Connor lowered Chloe to the bed and took her.
Sensations Angel hadn't felt since Angelus had been locked away filled him as he watched, clenching his fists.
He was sick to his stomach.
He was furious.
And fuck it all.
He was jealous as hell.
Chloe had always been his.
His partner in crime.
His best friend.
There'd once been a time when he and she could always sense the other, their sire-link stronger than any he'd ever seen, but he'd failed to notice how it'd weakened after Connor's return.
Now, she was only a building away, but as she rolled them over so that she rode his son, the sheets pooling around their joined bodies, Chloe had absolutely not idea Angel was around.
What had happened?
He'd noticed the difference in the relationship between Chloe and Connor when he'd returned from his stay at the bottom of the ocean, but he'd understood. He knew that despite what he'd done to Angel, that Connor had taken care of Chloe, and Angel had felt grateful. Sure, he hadn't liked the thought of Chloe feeding from his son, but it was what she'd needed to do to survive, and he could get that. He could accept that.
But then things had progressively gotten worse.
Something had changed between him and his childe.
She'd started shying away from feeding from him, and while Angel could understand that he'd been weak and she hadn't wanted to weaken him, he remembered coming back from Vegas and breaking into that attic to save Chloe and Connor from the Wolfram and Hart operatives. Angel had seen the fresh wounds on Connor's neck.
Those weren't wounds of a bloodthirsty vampire.
They'd been wounds created by someone desperate not to hurt the one being fed from.
They'd almost been the wounds...of a lover.
But he'd shrugged it off.
Even when Chloe had run from him and gone to Connor when her memory was gone.
Even when she preferred to stay with Connor after her memory had returned.
...now all the evidence he'd been trying to ignore had been shoved in his face and he'd had to force himself to admit to what he'd been desperately denying since his return.
Chloe and Connor had...feelings...for each other.
Angelus snarled within his cage, furious.
And Angel wasn't taking this so well either.
Chloe stretched, yawning as her eyes opened, dawn's first lights glistening through the window and playing on her face.
A small blush darkened her cheeks as she realized that Connor was awake, watching her with a heart-wrenchingly tender smile on his face.
"Morning." She whispered, lowering her head because, hello, morning breath!
"Morning." He smiled, arm around her waist, calloused hand rubbing the small of her back. "The world didn't end."
"That's a good thing." She replied, at a loss of what exactly to say.
She wasn't versed in Morning Afters.
Green eyes glanced up at him and she couldn't help but smile at Connor's beaming face. "You're really chirper for so early."
"What is chirper?" He asked curiously.
It was his innocence in so many things that madly attracted her.
Or, it was one of the things that madly attracted her.
"Hmmm. Cheerful?" She chanced an alternative.
"Ah." He nodded, grinning smugly as he reached up and ran his fingers through her hair. "I think I have reason to be. You accepted me as your mate. We are one now."
Chloe blinked, looking up at him.
What was he talking about?
Though the whole 'we are one' thing sounded really nice.
Not that the 'mate' didn't.
It had a sense of permanency that she liked.
Connor leaned over and kissed her, any bit of the hesitancy he'd once had gone as he claimed her mouth deeply, every movement of his lips marking his possession as he slowly lowered her to her back.
Chloe gave a moan before pushing him off. "Not-not right now."
Connor frowned, confused. "Was it not pleasurable for you last night? Did you not enjoy our coupling?"
Face burning redder, Chloe bit on her bottom lip. "Connor, last night was amazing, and because of that I can't let you touch me or I'm not going to want to get out of bed all day."
The doubt left his face, replaced by smugness. "I agree with this plan."
He reached for her.
She rolled out of bed and stood up, pulling the top sheet with her as she did, still slightly self-conscious despite everything last night. "Connor, last night the sky rained fired and the beast appeared. We have to tell the others." She sighed, feeling the weight of the world on her shoulders. "And I need to tell your father about us."
Connor blinked, eyeing her in what seemed like shock. "You are going to tell Angel that you are my mate?"
The whole mate thing had her a little confused, but she knew that Connor's mind worked differently than hers so she accepted it with a smile and a nod. "Yeah, something like that." She ran her fingers through her messy hair. "Angel's my sire and your father and he deserves to be the first to know."
"I do not know about him deserving-." Seeing Chloe's glare, Connor smartly shut up.
"It might be more embarrassing talking to Angel about this with you there-but do you want to come?" Chloe asked, pulling a blonde strand behind her ear.
Connor shook his head, standing, letting the sheets pool around his feet, unashamed of his nakedness. "I have things I need to do."
Chloe gulped, eyeing what mother nature gave him, before forcing her gaze up to meet his knowing and smug one. "You better not be thinking about tracking that demon thing while I'm not around."
Connor hesitated before shaking his head. "I want to, but it is not smart to do so. Before beginning a hunt the hunter must know his prey, and its weakness, and from last night we know none of his weaknesses."
"I don't like the obvious fact that you're planning on hunting this thing in the near future," she admitted. "But I'm glad you're not rushing into things."
Connor smiled crookedly, walking around the bed to reached her side, pulling her to him by the sheets she had cover her nakedness. "Your mate is a seasoned warrior, not a nursing pup." He leaned down and claimed her lips once more, drawing her tighter against him, proof of his manhood pressing against her stomach.
Chloe was actually kinda starting to like these mate references.
It was somewhat hot.
When Connor subtly tried to maneuver her back down onto the mattress she sprung free with a giggle. "Behave." Pressing a soft kiss to the tip of his nose, she left the sheets in his hands and went to the bathroom to bathe. Thankfully he hadn't learnt about shower sex yet, so he left her undisturbed as she bathed, and only gave her another lingering kiss when she'd emerged. Connor had then gone to bathe and Chloe had put on clean clothes.
There'd been more kissing before she left, which was getting kinda ridiculous by now, but Chloe was enjoying it.
She'd never been...carefree...like this.
So despite the fact that the world was probably going to end any second, when she entered the lobby of the Hyperion Chloe was smiling. "Hey!"
"Chloe!" Lois looked up from where she was having a coffee and going over research. "Was last night freaky or what?"
Chloe blinked, pausing, as she realized that Lois was in her pajamas. "I thought you were staying with Wesley?"
Lois shrugged. "After the sky went KABOOM we decided to stay here." She frowned. "You and Connor should come here too. I mean, I know you have that whole honeymooning love nest thing going on, but there's a ton of rooms here. It's a renovated hotel for crying out loud. You can get a room far enough so that you can be as loud as you want and no one will hear you."
Thank god no one else was around.
Chloe cleared her throat. "Technically, no matter which room we stayed in Angel would hear, even if it was only lightly. Vampire hearing."
Lois blinked. "Bummer, especially if he's not getting any." She then grinned evilly. "Be as loud as you possibly can."
Rolling her eyes at Lois' behavior, Chloe shook her head. "Talking about Angel, is he here?"
"Try his room. He hasn't come out since we got here last night. I think he's brooding." Lois announced, before frowning. "You do know that the big bad is out and about, right?"
Chloe felt herself chilling. "How did you guys know?"
"We met up with him." Lois winced at the memory. "We're all fine, but a little bruised and shaken up." She sighed. "He's strong. And ugly." She blinked. "And basically naked."
"I need to talk to Angel now." Chloe hurried past her cousin and up the stairs. "But you and I are going to have a long talk when I finish!"
The blonde reached the top of the stairs and hurried down the hall, heading towards Angel's room.
She'd never had to knock on his door before and it didn't even occur to her as she just opened the door and came in, frowning at the lights turned off. With a flick of her wrists she'd turned them on, finding Angel sitting on a seat, looking up at her.
"We need to talk." The blonde sighed, taking in a deep breath and closing the door behind her. "It's about Connor."
Angel stood. "I already know."
Chloe blinked. "You know?"
His gaze met hers, dark and accusing.
Chloe eyes widened. "You do know."
He scoffed, looking away from her. "How long has it been going on?"
Hugging herself, the blonde leaned back against the door. "Last night was the first time, actually."
His gaze jerked towards her, eyes wide. "So what are you saying? It was a-a one time-spur of the moment-?"
"Angel." Chloe glared at him. "You know me better than anyone else. You know that I'm not that type of girl." She sighed, hugging herself. "I really care for Connor and he cares for me and the world might be ending so what's wrong with it? He needs someone, I need someone, we-we fit."
"Did you forget that just a couple of months ago he was in diapers?" Angel snapped, glaring at her, taking a couple of menacing steps in her direction.
She stood her ground, chin raised high. "Of course not."
"He's my son Chloe!" Angel snarled, almost in her face, banging his fists against the door on either side of her head, trapping her between the wood and his body. "My son!"
Chloe wouldn't look away, gulping. "And I'm your childe."
"Exactly!" He snapped his fangs at her in a way that was so Angelus it made her eyes widen. "My son and my childe have no business sleeping together! You two are like brother and sister! It's sick!"
"Oh, like the fact that you and I could be considered father and daughter?" Chloe snapped back. "That didn't stop us now did it?"
He snapped closer to her face, his shifted completely to his demon. "It's different and you know it!"
"I know you're full of shit!" Chloe pushed him away her, fangs descending in her anger. "The whole family thing doesn't work in vampire culture! If anything it ties them closer together!" She pushed him again, driving him further back as she stalked him. "Now stop being such a gigantic ass because the fact that I'm now with Connor isn't the only thing important that I came here to tell you."
He swatted her hands away when she went to poke him. "What? Are you with Spike too?"
"What is wrong with you?" Chloe felt like pulling her hair out. "You're acting so ridiculous that if I didn't know better I'd think you were jealous!"
Angel snarled at her.
Closing her eyes and taking in a deep breath, Chloe tried again. "Angel. We can fight about everything later, okay? But you need to know that Connor and I were there when the beast dug its way into our world."
Angel went still, face shifting human, horrified. "Are you two okay?"
She nodded, feeling calmer now that this was the Angel she knew. "I got a little burnt and Connor had a couple of broken ribs, but we're both fine now. Vampire healing." She looked up at her sire. "Angel, the beast crawled up out of the ground in the exact same spot where Connor was born."
"What?" Angel whispered.
"Connor's worried, thinking he's connected to this thing."
"He's not." Angel answered quickly, fatherly protectiveness in his words.
"I know that. You know that. But he's not too sure." Chloe sighed, leaning back against the door. "I mean, I tried to explain to him that most probably this is all my fault."
"I doubt that too." Angel snorted.
"Angel, it was my future that Lorne saw this thing in, remember? And I was there when Darla gave birth. And it was my blood she was drinking throughout her pregnancy. And then I lose my memory for no good reason and when I regain it this thing is haunting my mind and my dreams. I've had visions of it Angel, visions!" Chloe ran her hand over her hair, shaking slightly. "Cor is Vision-Girl, not me." She looked up at Angel, eyes beginning to fill with water as her voice cracked. "Angel, I'm scared."
He sighed and then he was there, holding her in his arms. "Everything's going to be fine. We've been through Apocalyptic events before. We got through them and we'll get through this." He sighed. "Then, when its all over and peace has returned to the world, you and I are going to have a very long argument."
"Promise?" She whispered into his shirt, clutching him tightly.
Angel nodded, lips pressed to the crown of her head. "Promise."
Fred and Gunn (or the 'annoyingly loving duo' as Lois secretly referred to them) had returned while Chloe was upstairs, the Texan researching on her laptop while her boyfriend read from a book, tapping his pencil on it nervously.
Fred sighed, looking up from her computer at her boyfriend.
He was oblivious to her.
Cordelia sat on the sofa with Lorne, who'd fallen asleep, and she too went over a book, trying to find any references to that thing they'd come against so pathetically the night before.
Lois sighed and wondered where Wesley had buggered off to.
"Can you not do that?" Fred finally asked Gunn, annoyance obvious in her voice. He stopped tapping. "Oh, sorry. It-helps me think."
She sighed. "I didn't mean to snap."
They looked at each other awkwardly.
Lois snapped her book shut, having had enough of the many prophecies of doom and gloom in one form or the other. "I'm ready to crackle-pop myself." She admitted, leaning back, still rocking her PJs. "The last 24 hours haven't exactly been normal have they?" She then blinked, remembering that the others were way more used to this weirdness than she was. "Have they?"
Cordelia chuckled. "No, the haven't." She looked up from her book. "But I get your need to ask."
Lois still wasn't sure about this one.
Sure, Cordelia seemed like an okay person, but Lois couldn't help but feel somewhat resentful of her for her obviously close relationship with Chloe.
Seeing Cordelia and Chloe together was like seeing Chloe and Lois together some years back.
Before Angel when and messed everything up.
They looked up as they heard footsteps, seeing Chloe and Angel descending the stairs.
Fred's face lit up when she saw them together.
Lois raised an eyebrow.
The Texan did know that Chloe was with Connor, right?
"How's everyone holding up?" Angel asked, walking passed the sleeping Lorne, accidentally brushing the demon's leg as he went by.
Lorne started awake. "Huh? Oh. Mmm. Just, uh, mediating on the problem. Yeah. Asking the inner Lorne for a little backup. Heh."
Lois bit down on her bottom lip to keep from chuckling.
For a horned, green demon, Lorne was kinda adorable.
A grim-faced Wesley walked through the front door, heading towards them.
Angel's eyes narrowed as they landed on him. "You know where it is. The beast."
Wesley nodded. "Inside Wolfram and Hart. And so is-."
"Well, that answers a lot of questions." Gunn interrupted with a sneer. "They're probably having a big sit-down, breaking bread."
"It's killing everything that moves." Wesley corrected.
Gunn blinked before leaning back in the chair, hands behind his head. "I've heard worse news."
Wesley ignored him and turned to Angel. "Your son is trapped inside."
"What?" Chloe whispered in horror, paling. "What was Connor doing in Wolfram and Hart? Did they capture him? Did they-?"
Wesley turned to her with a sigh and a shake of his head. "According to my inside source, Connor went there to confront Lilah and try get answers about what he was, then the beast invaded the facility and started its killing spree."
Angel's eyes were wide in horror.
"That was what he had to do this morning?" Chloe shook her head, furious. "The idiot! I'm going to kill him!"
"We're going in after him." Angel announced, going towards the weapons cabinet and pulling out his sword.
"Won't be easy." Wesley warned. "The building's locked tight. There's no way out."
"But I bet there's a way in." Cordelia stood as well. "And if there's anyone who can find it, it'd be Angel."
Gunn nodded in agreement, heading towards the weapons cabinet.
Wesley went behind the receptionist desk and pulled out a bag, beginning to pack it.
Lois curiously went to his side, eyeing the different things he was placing in it. "So, what's Wolfram and Hart?"
He didn't look up from what he was doing. "Law firm from hell."
"Hell hell?" She asked, not sure why she wasn't more shocked.
Lois snorted, amused. "I alway knew lawyers had no souls. I kinda feel...vindicated...right now.
Wesley finally stopped what he was doing and looked up at her, the side of her lip quirked in reluctant amusement. "Miss Lane, your mind works in mysterious and sometimes incomprehensible ways." He zippered the bag shut. "I keep expecting you to balk at what is going on, and yet you seem to take everything in stride."
"I stayed in Smallville for a summer." She figured that was answer enough.
Wesley raised an eyebrow at her curiously.
"Somebody should stay here and mind the store." Angel suddenly announced.
"Me!" Lorne couldn't have yelled quicker. "Me me me. Sergeant Stay-At-Home, volunteering for duty, sir!"
Angel nodded, turning to Gunn. "Let's go."
"Uh, Angel?" Gunn hesitated, eyebrow raised. "Assuming we can even get inside the evil empire, same big beasties in there who spanked our assess six way to Sunday. What's gonna be different this time?"
"What's different is we're not going for the monster," the vampire replied. "We're going for Connor."
Gunn still looked hesitant. "So, you phoned ahead so that the big bad understands this?"
"Look." Angel frowned. "I don't know the answers. Don't even know most of the questions. But what I do know is that I have to go into Wolfram and Hart to find my son."
Lois looked at Angel, for the first time feeling something that wasn't open hostility.
His voice was filled with true, human emotion.
No evil bastard would worry this much.
"Now, as far as us versus the big bad's concerned, there's only one smart way to play it." Angel continued. "You see it, you run like hell." He turned to leave.
Cordelia grabbed a knife, following Angel. "Works for me."
Lois grabbed a knife as well only to have it taken from her by Wesley, who put it back where she'd gotten it from.
"Excuse me?" She glared at him.
"Stay here with Lorne." Wesley ordered.
"Uh-uh." Lois shook her head. "I'm not the girl who sits down and lets the big boys have all the fun."
She went for the knife again but Wesley stopped her.
"Miss Lane." Wesley's eyes were narrowed. "It's too dangerous. You do not have adequate training. The best way to help us right now is to stay with Lorne."
Lois glared at him.
Chloe cleared her throat. "Lo, you're in your PJs, and we're in a rush."
Lois looked down at her pajamas and then frowned. "Okay." She turned to her cousin, eyeing her worriedly. "Be careful."
Chloe smiled at her, nodding, and with a twirl of her sais she was gone, following the others out.
"Happy hunting!" Lorne waved at their retreating backs before turning to Lois. "We'll stay here and keep the home fires burning. Bake some nice healing muffins. How are you at cooking from scratch?"
Lois looked up at him, terrified.
Wesley led the others through the sewer, stopping finally and shining his light up a chute. "This is it. I believe there's a door about 30 meters up."
"You believe or you know?" Gunn raised an eyebrow. "'Cause every time you show up believing something seems somebody gets their head drilled or falls into a portal."
"Charles..." Fred frowned.
"I'm just saying." He glared.
Wesley glared right back at him. "Yes, well I'm doing-."
"Will you guys shut up?" Angel snapped at them. "I don't give a rats ass about what's going on between you two. Put it away. We're here for Connor."
Chloe couldn't have put it better.
Gunn sighed. "I still don't see how you plan on getting us up there."
Angel jumped up the chute.
Gunn raised an eyebrow. "Show off."
Angel dropped a line down the chute and Wes grabbed onto it, motioning for Chloe to go next.
One by one they climbed their way up the chute and found their way into the lobby of Wolfram and Hart, looking around at the death and destruction that was once such an evil, yes, but attractive office building. They shone their flashlights down as they slowly walked over the bodies crowding the floor.
"Oh my god." Fred whispered. "I know they all worked for an evil company, but this is-." she noticed Gunn get startled. "What?"
"Heard something." Her boyfriend whispered, looking around them, wary.
"Power's down." Angel frowned. "We'll have to take the stairs."
"Just so that I'm clear on the plan." Cordelia announced from Chloe's side. "Wanna run it passed me again?"
"Third floor." Angel replied. "Get Connor, get out."
Cordelia nodded. "Great plan."
Angel didn't answer, leading the gang up the staircase, still walking over the dead bodies littered everywhere. "Be quick, be quiet. As far as we know, that thing's still around.
They finally made it out of the stairwell and entered a darkened hallway.
"I don't get it." Gunn whispered, shaking his head. "Wolfram and Hart is evil, the big bad is evil...why go all Terminator on your own team?"
"Maybe all it wants...is to eliminate the competition." Angel answered.
Chloe gulped, remembering the creature that'd lifted her so easily. "Doesn't give us much to look forwards to, does it?"
As they rounded the corner, they came close to a supply closet.
Wesley shone his light in it, then on the floor where he found a pool of blood near a roll of toilet paper. He frowned to himself. "Wasn't Gavin...?"
Angel gestured to a nearby room. "Over here!"
In the Conference Room at Wolfram and Heart, the team dug through the debris where Wesley's contact had reported Connor last being seen.
It was completely destroyed.
"He's not here." Chloe stood up, feeling agitated and frustrated.
"Let's be certain." Wesley placed his hand on her shoulder.
"No, she's right. He's not." Angel announced, standing. "That's good, means he's still alive."
Gunn glared at Wesley. "Or that Sherlock got his facts wrong again."
Wesley glared at Gunn.
But it was Chloe who grabbed a surprised Gunn by his shirt, yanking him to her, eyes narrowed furiously. "I have had it up to here with your bitching and snipping, you hear me Charles Gunn? Connor is trapped in here, alone and unarmed, with a creature that everyone knows is so far invulnerable. So act like a fucking adult because if something happens to Connor because you couldn't keep your insecure, hurt feelings out of this I will-!" She stopped herself from finishing that sentence, letting go of him and storming away towards the stairwell once more.
"You guys, take that stairwell," she could hear Angel ordering before hurrying after her, reaching her and following her. "Why is it that when I tell them off they behave before starting it up two seconds later, but when you do it they act like kids whose mother has told them she's disappointed in them?"
Chloe didn't answer, only trekking up higher in the stairwell, trying to feel that tug between her and Connor that had always existed. She'd pause before the exit of each floor door, before shaking her head when she felt nothing, and continue on. It was only when they reached the seventh floor that she felt the tug, and with that she threw the door open and raced out despite Angel's hiss for her to slow down, to remember that that thing could still be in there with them.
Chloe ignored him, following the pull of that tug as fast as she could.
As she turned the corner she collided with warm flesh, and with a loud tumble she had the one she'd run into collapsed to the ground ungracefully.
Disoriented and a little dizzy, Chloe sat up, hand to her head, and then she let out a little whimper when she saw who was beneath her.
"I'm going to kill you!" She promised Connor shakily, hugging him tightly as Angel hurried around the corner, coming upon them and coming to a complete stop at the scene he'd walked into.
"I felt you and I-." Connor was holding her tightly, confused. "What are you doing here?
"Jesus Connor." Angel sighed, relief obvious in his voice. "Thank god you're alive."
Connor nodded in acknowledgement to his father, slowly standing and pulling Chloe up with him. "How'd you know where to find me?"
"It's a long story." Angel grabbed both Connor and Chloe's arms, starting to walk away. "We need to get out of here."
Connor stood firm. "Wait, first I have to kill that this. This is my fault."
"Don't be an idiot!" Chloe snapped at him.
"We can't kill it, and no it's not." Angel replied at the same time as Chloe's outburst. "We've thrown everything we can at it-it's not enough. We need to go."
"I can kill it." Connor narrowed his eyes.
"And if you can't?" Angel snapped. "What about Chloe? You'll be dead, and she'll be trapped in here with the beast."
Connor's eyes widened slightly as he looked at Chloe.
Sensing his son's change of heart, Angel turned to walk away only to find himself face to face with Gavin, one of Lilah's minions.
Gavin grabbed Angel, but Angel punched him and threw him across the hall into the wall. Gavin landed on the floor and stayed put.
"Gavin-how did-?" Angel blinked, completely shocked.
"He looks dead." Connor tilted his head to the side.
"He is dead." Chloe responded, taking in a deep breath. "Technically undead." She turned to father and son. "It's a zombie."
Gavin stood back up.
"What's a zombie?" Connor frowned, obviously not having come upon any in the hell dimension he'd grown up in.
Angel grabbed Gavin and threw him across the hall again. "It's an undead thing."
"Like you?" Connor looked up at his father.
"No." Angel scoffed. "Zombies are slow-moving, dimwitted things that crave human flesh."
Connor raised an eyebrow. "Like you."
Angel pointed at Connor. "No! It's different. Trust me."
Gavin awoke once more, but Angel kicked him in the face.
"Come on." The vampire turned to the others, leading then down the hall.
"Why are they doing this?" Connor frowned as he followed. "Why are they zombies?"
"It's probably some fail-safe in Wolfram and Hart in case something like this ever happened." Chloe responded. "There must be hundreds or thousands of those things here."
"We need to find the others." Angel growled.
They made their way to the stairwell, fighting the zombies they encountered, using Angel's sense of smell to find the right door to get out of to find the others. There were much more zombies on this floor, probably having smelt fresh human flesh, and the three non-humans snuck passed a large crowd of zombies trying to get into one of the offices at Wolfram and Hart.
Angel, who knew the place well enough thanks to his many break ins, knew of another entrance to that office, and he led them towards it, knocking down the door and startling the rest of their team, who'd holed up in the office.
"Connor." Cordelia smiled in relief.
"We got what we came for." Angel announced. "Let's go." He turned to Wes. "Wes?"
Wesley frowned. "Only two exits I know of are the third floor and the lobby."
"That's too far." Fred's eyes were wide.
Connor shook his head. "We can make it."
"Not all of us." Chloe disagreed. "There's too many dead men walking."
Angel looked up. "All right, look, there is one other way."
"Mind telling us what it is?" Cordelia pressed.
"The white room." Angel nodded. "It's an inter-dimensional space here in Wolfram and Hart."
"Sounds kinda portaly." Gunn frowned.
"Not exactly." Angel shook his head. "More like a gateway. And there's a little girl there. Or something old and evil that likes to pretend she's a little girl."
"You've seen her?" Connor frowned.
He nodded, looking down at his son. "I met her once when I was trying to find you. She might be able to help us."
"So," Gun made a face. "Fight floors of evil lawyer zombies or sweet talk a nasty little girl?" He shouldered his weapon. "You know where my heart's at."
"Yeah," Fred frowned. "But I gotta disagree. I vote for the white room. How do we get there?"
Angel looked at her. "Gonna need your help."
She nodded. "You got it."
The gang followed Angel out through the back into the hallway, where there were still zombies everywhere.
Angel pried open the elevator doors, and Fred entered.
"Do what you can." Angel whispered to her before rushing back out to the hallways to help the others fend off the zombies while Fred worked.
Fred looked at the control panel for the elevator.
"Fred!" Cordelia yelled.
"Working on it!" Fred yelled back before whispering to herself nervously. "Come on, Fred, think. Bypass switch for a shutdown command."
"Come on, Fred!" Gunn snapped.
Fred didn't answer, disconnecting and reconnecting wires, smiling when she could hear he sound of circuitry powering up. "Angel!"
Suddenly the others began to pile into the elevator, Angel the last to enter.
"You remember the code?" Wesley asked the vampire.
"Hello, photographic memory." Angel scoffed, pressing the elevator buttons for different floors.
Angel glared at the elevator. "What?"
"Maybe you forgot." Connor offered.
"I didn't forget." Angel mumbled defensively. "Lemme try again."
Gunn looked out at the approaching crowd of zombies. "That's Gavin. I know that guy. Hold up." He stepped out of the elevator and swung his ax, cutting off Gavin's head, before returning to the elevator. "I hate seeing someone I know like that, even someone I know I hate."
Wesley turned to Angel as the zombies grew closer. "No time like the present."
Suddenly the elevator doors closed and another button magically appeared above the regular elevator buttons.
"Here's hoping she's in a good mood." Angel announced as he pressed the new button.
Suddenly, everything faded to white.
And then, in the blinking of an eye, the gang found themselves in a huge, empty white space. Looking around, trying to orient themselves, Chloe's eyes widened when they fell upon the beast kneeling over a girl who was lying on the floor on her back.
The little girl was wearing a knee-legnth red dress with white lace collar, white stockings, and black patent leather shoes.
"Oh no." Chloe whispered, fear entering her as she remembered how easily the beast had thrashed her and Connor, and remembering the accounts of how the Fang Gang hadn't faired any better against it.
Connor moved in front of Chloe protectively, eyes narrowed on the beast.
"It was waitin' for us all along." Gunn raised his axe.
"No, I don't think so." Angel shook his head. "He wanted this. The girl-whatever she is-it came for her."
"Is there a way out of here?" Wesley asked.
The little girl turned her head weakly, pointing at them. "The answer is among you."
The beast held his right hand out over the little girl's body, and some black some rose from her body into his hand.
Only when there was no more black smoke coming from her did the beast stand, starting towards the others menacingly, but before it could reach them the little girl reached her hand towards them and mumbled something.
The others raised her weapons, preparing to fight the beast, when suddenly everything faded to white, and when color returned they found themselves in the middle of the Hyperion's lobby.
Lorne and Lois were drinking Seabreezes and arguing whether cooking from scratch or ordering out was better.
When the two looked up at saw the others their eyes went wide and they gave suspicious glances towards their drinks.
Angel looked around. "Home. She-she sent us home."
"Well, hail the conquering heroes." Lorne raised his glass once he realized that they were really there and weren't just a drunken hallucination.
"How the hell did you guys just do that?" Lois wanted to know.
Fred turned to Gunn and hugged him tightly. "That was awful what it did to that little girl."
Lois' face fell. "It killed a little girl?"
Wesley leaned against a column, shaking his head. "Not really a little girl. Something ancient and evil dressed like a girl."
Gunn held his girlfriend to him tightly."So what's it say about the Big Bag Wolf is he can just stride right in and suck the energy out of Evil Red Riding Hood?"
"Other than the fact that it's gonna take a force far smarter and stronger than us to defeat it?" Cordelia wanted to know, hugging herself.
In the midst of this tension, Chloe and Connor's hands found each other, and held tightly.
In his corner, Angel watched them, face dark and conflicted.