Title: Connor - Part One
Series: 3rd in Chlonnor series
Pairing: chlonnor, mentioned chlangelus, some fred/gunn, implied chlark
Disclaimer: Don't own Smallville nor Angel.
Summary:When Connor returns, now grown up, things become even more chaotic in Chloe's life. As if Wolfram and Hart weren't bad enough. NOW she has to deal with an attraction for her sire's son?
Fred was conflicted.
It’d been three months since Angel’s disappearance, and while everyone was beginning to wonder if they’d ever find him---if he hadn’t been killed the night he’d vanished---she didn’t want to give in. She didn’t want to move on with her life, she didn’t!
But she could understand why they could only search for Angel during their free moments now. Wolfram and Hart had been taking advantage of Angel’s disappearance and had to be fought with more vigor than usual.
A squeal and laughter brought Fred out of her thoughts and she watched the other thing that bothered her.
Connor and Chloe were training together, something that’d become normal for them, each teaching the other their own way of fighting and learning how to blend both techniques to come up with one that was purely theirs. When Chloe had charged Connor he’d grabbed and picked her up, throwing her over his shoulder, and now held her there, laughing as she tried to get off of him in vain.
Fred bit her bottom lip to keep from telling them to get away from each other.
Her dark gaze went on the other two occupants of the lobby of the Hyperion. Neither Gunn nor Cordelia looked bothered with this, both laughing and either taunting or cheering Chloe on. They didn’t seem to see how wrong this was. Training together was Angel and Chloe’s thing, not CONNOR and Chloe’s thing!
It was just wrong!
Fred felt like crying as she remembered watching Angel and Chloe train together. It was always the highlight of said day---other than watching the other subtle but meaningful things that happened between the vampire and his childe that others would just overlook, but she knew that there was still feelings between those two that only really came out while they were sparring.
They had Kyrumption.
Kyrupmtion was probably the only good word she’d learnt while trapped in the Pylean Hell Dimension. It was when two great heroes met on the field of battle and recognized their mutual fate…it was also a kind of grog made out of ox dung—but that was archaic.
“Put me down this instance Connor!” Chloe’s voice was a mixture of annoyance and laughter as she squirmed and kicked with her body but couldn’t get loose.
“Come on Chloe!” Cordelia laughed from where she was seated next to Gunn. “Kick him harder! Come on! You can get free on your own!”
“You cannot demand your enemy release you while in the heat of battle.” Connor’s voice was a mixture of seriousness and amusement.
“You tell her!” Gunn cheered, obviously on Connor’s side.
Fred tried not to feel betrayed by Gunn’s inability to see the magnitude of the wrongness of what was happening.
From the beginning Connor had always been closer to Chloe, but at the time Fred hadn’t thought anything of it. Then, when Angel disappeared Connor had slowly taken the place Angel had in their group, especially the place that had to do with Chloe. The young man had become protective and overly possessive with the blonde who seemed oblivious of the way his blue gaze followed her.
And now, after he’d begun feeding her his blood, things had gotten worse. The two had become closer and closer with each passing day, doing everything together, like a team, like a unit, like--like a couple.
Connor had always been protective and possessive of Chloe, and yet he’d grown territorial of her as well. Fred noticed it every time any other male came too close to her, looked at her too long, smiled at her in a way that wasn’t strictly platonic.
And Chloe was letting him.
Why was she letting him?
Whenever Angel would sometimes act like this she’d be on his case immediately, but now that Connor was doing it she didn’t complain---didn’t even really seem to notice.
Chloe couldn’t---couldn’t be developing any feelings for Connor---right?
What about Angel?
Fred looked down at her shoes. Ever since Pylea she’d been invested in Angel and Chloe’s relationship. She’d watched, half-crazy from the horrors she’d had to live through, as Angel turned into a monster that attacked all of his friends to kill them---and yet Chloe, a seemingly fragile female, stopped him.
The monster wouldn’t attack the blonde, and followed her faithfully like a protective dog. It was only Chloe who could calm the beast and returned it to Angel.
Fred had watched their interaction, had seen the love in Chloe’s eyes as she soothed the beast, seen those same feelings returned in the vampire’s eyes---and she’d known that true love existed.
After being rescued Fred had been horrified to realize that Angel and Chloe weren’t together, and she’d been adamant in trying to get them to realize their mutual love and get back together.
And yet all of this happened, and Chloe was smiling at Connor so openly, so happily---like she used to smile at Angel.
Fred closed her eyes tightly as to not see it.
Angel! Where ARE you?!?!
Gunn frowned slightly as he watched Chloe.
They’d just closed Angel Investigations for the day, and she was sitting in Angel’s office, running her hands over the desk and looking at the drawing of her holding baby Connor that Angel had drawn before the kidnapping.
She does her best to make us all believe she’s okay…but she still misses him so much.
The young man leaned against the wall and continued to watch her.
It was only moments like these, when everyone was busy and doing their own thing, that Chloe allowed herself to go to that room (or Angel’s) and just let her feelings show on her face. She missed her sire terribly, she was still depressed and worried about him, and that was why Gunn tried to push her more on Connor than necessary. The younger man was the only thing that was keeping a smile on Chloe’s face---a real smile on Chloe’s face, and Gunn didn’t want to see that smile die---ever.
He knew that Fred didn’t much like how close the two were, but Gunn really didn’t see what was so wrong with their friendship. Connor was the link to Angel that Chloe obviously needed desperately, and she was the only one that the younger man really trusted or felt comfortable with. They did each other good, and as long as that continued to be so, Gunn was going to cheer their friendship on.
We need to keep doing things to keep her busy so she doesn’t have time to worry about Angel or what could have happened to him.
He sighed, knowing that Angel would want him to do just that. There was no one more important to Angel than Chloe and Connor, and Gunn knew that Angel would want them happy and unworried during his disappearance.
He’d be so happy if he could see the way Connor’s been smiling and laughing so much lately. The boy looks genuinely happy for the first time in his life.
A small smile curled Gunn’s lips.
He suddenly blinked, an idea coming to mind. His smile grew larger as he stalked to Angel’s office and threw the door open, watching as Chloe looked up, eyes wide, that façade of happiness forced on her face once more.
“Get yourself pretty, Chloe, we’re going out dancing.”
The blonde blinked in surprise. “Dancing?”
Gunn nodded. “There’s this new place over on Fifth and I’ve wanted to check it out for a while now.” He turned to leave. “I’m going to tell the others to get ready. No Ifs Ands or Buts.”
He could have sworn she giggled.
Iku’s reminded Cordelia somewhat of the Bronze, although this was much nicer than the Sunnydale hangout had ever been. The brunette swayed slightly to the music as they all sat by a table, drinking (Connor a bit miffed that he was the only one who wasn’t allowed to drink alcohol) and conversing.
Chloe had tried dragging Connor out on the dance floor half an hour ago, but the young man had gone pale and refused to set a foot near said place. Chloe’d looked disappointed but hadn’t pushed the issue, instead talking animatedly with Fred about the last case Angel Investigations had had.
Cordelia frowned as she looked at Connor, who was leaning against his seat and with his arms folded over his chest, listening to Gunn talk but gaze venturing towards Chloe every couple of words as if making sure that she was still seated next to him and safe.
Honestly. He would go and fight any horrifying monster without a second’s hesitation, but Chloe asks him to dance and he goes pale from fear?
If he really wanted to upgrade his relationship with Chloe he was going to have to do better than he was! He was sending the blonde so many mixed signals that Cordelia was getting dizzy---imagine poor Chloe!
Something needs to happen, and fast!
Sensing movement, Cordelia looked behind Connor and smiled when she saw a tall, handsome redhead coming towards Chloe from behind. He was all man, built like Clark, and with a devilish grin.
Ooh, am I psychic or WHAT?
Her grin grew as the young man reached Chloe’s chair and cleared his throat, causing everyone to turn and look at him at the same time. “I’ve been watching you all night.”
Cordelia blinked. Okay, could anyone say stalkerish?
Chloe just blushed, smiling slightly. “Really?”
Connor was stiffened, eyes narrowed.
“Yeah.” The redhead nodded, smile more confident. “And I notice you look at the dance floor time and time again, so you obviously want to dance.” He reached out his hand. “So I’m asking you.”
Chloe’s blush deepened and to Cordelia’s surprise, the blonde sent a sideway glance at Connor, as if waiting for him to say or do something.
Connor lowered his steely gaze, his jaw tense.
Chloe sighed softly before forcing a smile on her face and looking up at the man, sliding her hand into his. “I’d love to.”
The man grinned and pulled her from her chair, and hands locked, both headed towards the dance floor.
As if sensing that he wouldn’t have Connor’s attention now, Gunn turned to Fred and they started talking.
Cordelia turned her attention to Connor, whose dark glare had zeroed in on Chloe and her nameless dancing partner.Ven Mami Pegate Aqui by Daddy Yankee was playing, the reggaeton beat lively and contagious as Chloe genuinely laughed at something the stranger said as he reached for her hips and pulled her towards him, both grinding together.
Cordelia blinked in surprise at those two. Wow. That guy worked fast.
Hearing the sound of glass beginning to crack, Cordelia tore her gaze from the dancers and returned it to Connor, who didn’t seem to notice that the glass in his fist was beginning to break under the strength of his hold. Nope, he didn’t seem to notice it at all, his eyes on the dance floor, dark and murderous.
“Why does she allow him to touch her so inappropriately?” Connor growled to himself, voice deeper than usual.
“Well, they’re dancing.” Cordelia announced, keeping her voice deliberately innocent. “That happens when you dance.”
Connor tore his gaze from Chloe and the stranger, focusing on Cordelia instead, looking, hesitant. “This…dancing…what exactly does it do? What is its purpose?”
Cordelia paused, suddenly realizing that the reason Connor had looked so afraid of dancing was because he didn’t even know what it was! I have much to teach you, little grasshopper. “Well, it’s something that we like to do. You listen to music and move your body to its rhythm.”
“Why?” Connor asked.
“Well, it makes us feel good, gets rid of a lot of stress.” Cordelia pointed out, glad that Fred and Gunn were too deep in their own conversation to pay any attention to them or theirs. “And, also, its something that couples like to do.” She knew she had his complete attention right away without having to even look at him. “It can be an intimate experience, kinda like the ‘mating dance’ that animals go through.”
Connor froze, looking horrified. “M—mating dance?”
Cordelia wondered why he looked that way. “Uh, yes. When people are interested in another they’ll ask them to dance. It’s a way of checking each other’s chemistry together, I know a lot of girls who turned down boys because they just didn’t have the right chemistry on the dance floor.” Okay, so maybe only Harmony had ever done that, but Connor didn’t need to know! “Also, you get to know easily if someone you like is interested in you or not that way. If the person you ask to dance with you says yes, you know they’re interested, if they say no you know they aren’t.”
By now Connor was sickly pale. “I—when she—I said no—I didn’t know!”
“Connor?” Cordelia asked, a little worried now by his reaction. “Are you okay?”
“I don’t understand all of your complex mating rituals!” He whispered, looking lost and so very young. “Has she accepted his offer of matehood by accepting his dance invitation?”
Cordelia blinked once more. Wow. This boy really needed her help! “Um, no. She accepted the invitation because she thinks he’s cute and she really wanted to dance. One thing you’ll learn about Chloe is that she loves dancing.” She pulled a dark strand of hair out of her face. “And just by saying yes to a dance offer doesn’t mean anything serious except that you admit you have an attraction for this person or that you’re willing to see how far this goes.”
“How---.” Connor sent her a cautious, sideways glance. “How does one dance?”
“Well, there are some dances where you must know certain steps, but the kind of dancing done here is really easy.” Cordelia offered. “As I said, you basically just move your body to the rhythm of the music. Come on, if Angel can dance, anyone can dance!”
Cordelia nodded, grinning, gaze returning to Chloe. “Whenever we would go out he and Chloe would dance together all night lo---.” She froze, suddenly realizing what she was saying and then returned her attention to Connor, a forced smile on her face. “But friends dance together as well! There’s just a difference between friends dancing and couples dancing.”
Connor was tenser than he’d been moments ago. “What is this difference?”
“Body language.” Cordelia quickly pointed out. “When you’re dancing with someone you like, you touch them more, look at those two over there. He’s touching her hands, her hips, and they’re grinding more. Now look at that couple, they’re just swaying to the music with inches of air between them.”
She would have said more, but Connor was suddenly off of his chair and stalking towards the dance floor with sheer determination in his every step.
Leaning back against her chair, taking a sip of her Margarita, Cordelia grinned as she watched him cut into the dance, Chloe quickly smiling at him and nodding, leaving the redhead on his own as Connor led her a little further into the crowd of dancing people.
A contented sigh escaped her lips as Cordelia grinned smugly.
Cordelia Chase, you’re so good it’s scary!
Connor didn’t know how Chloe could ask such a thing of him. They’d drifted somehow towards the middle of the dance floor as a slow song he didn’t recognize began playing. He felt like such an idiot. He looked around at the other couples and tried to copy what they were doing, but somehow he knew that he was doing it wrong and making a fool of himself.
“You’re too tense.” Chloe admonished, fingering the hands he had around her waist (still copying those around him) and with an unexpected tug pulled him closer to her body so that her chest was pressed against him.
Connor gulped, tensing up even more at the sudden contact.
“Relax Con.” Chloe whispered, securing his arms around her waist before trailing her hands up his arms slowly, causing him to shiver, and linking her arms around his neck. The blonde smiled up into his face. “Just look at me and don’t think about anything else but the music.”
He felt nervous, worried he’d step on her foot like he had a couple of minutes ago, but the young man nodded anyway, doing as she said. His blue eyes scanned her face, and when she began to move slowly to the beat of the music he just followed her movements on instinct, not even thinking as he gazed down into her green eyes.
Her lips, sparkly with something she’d put on them, curved in a smile. “You’re doing great.”
He smiled down nervously at her. “I’m worried I’ll break one of your toes.” He admitted, feeling foolish right away for doing so.
And yet she giggled, eyes shinning. “It’d be worth it. Anyways, no one is great their first time dancing. It’s like fighting, you have to be constantly practicing.”
The music changed into another slow one, which was good because Connor was only now getting used to this slow dancing business.
“Oh, I love this song.” Chloe whispered, closing her eyes with a soft smile and resting her cheek against his chest, above his heart with a contented sigh. “Listen to the words, it’s so romantic.”
Connor gulped slightly at the sudden intimacy to their proximity, but did as asked, not noticing that they were still moving in synch without anymore mishaps on his part.
You’re in my arms
And all the world is calm
The music playing on for only two
So close together
And when I’m with you
So close to feeling alive
He blinked at how fitting the words the male voice crooned were. They were exactly how he felt as he tightened his hold on Chloe’s waist just a little, bringing her closer, resting his cheek on the crown of her head like he’d found himself doing lately, just enjoying the feel of her heartbeat as she stayed in his arms.
He---he’d never been as happy as he was now with her. It was as his life had a meaning now other than getting rid of Angel---as if his life was his only because she was with him.
A life goes by
Romantic dreams will stop
So I bid mine goodbye and never knew
So close was waiting, waiting here with you
And now forever I know
All that I wanted to hold you
A little feeling of desperation tugged at Connor’s heart at those words. What would have happened if he hadn’t followed the Sluks to this world through the rips in reality to kill Angel and avenge the death of his father’s family?
He’d have lived out his whole life in the hell that was Quor’toth, still poisoned by its anger and hatred because Chloe would have healed him.
He would have continued to fight just out of anger and desperation, because he wouldn’t have joined Angel Investigations to be close to Chloe and he wouldn’t have had the reason he had to fight now—to keep her safe.
He would never have known what it was like to grow to admire and then fall in love with someone because Chloe wouldn’t have been there for him to love.
He would have lived a whole existence not even knowing she was somewhere out there.
The thought frightened him more than he cared to admit.
So close to reaching that famous happy end
Almost believing this was not pretend
And now you’re beside me and look how far we’ve come
So far we are so close
And once again those words seemed to frighten him.
He was so close, so close to making this work, and yet the risk of their finding Angel, or finding out his part in what’d happened threatened everything he’d built with Chloe these last three months.
What would she do if she ever found out that he was the one who’d gotten rid of her sire? Of the vampire she was so close to? Whom she might have loved?
It doesn’t matter because she’ll never know! Connor closed his eyes tightly. I’ll continue to make sure she never knows even if I have to kill every single lead they have! Chloe can never know—she’ll—she’ll hate me!
And if she hated him---he’d die.
How could I face the faceless days
If I should lose you now?
We’re so close
To reaching that famous happy end
And almost believing this was not pretend
Let’s go on dreaming for we know we are
And still so far
Connor took in a whiff of the scent of Chloe’s hair and felt himself calming, as he always did whenever he was near her. He wouldn’t waste this moment worrying about things that would never happen, Angel was a thing of the past, Chloe was the future.
Everything was going to be alright.
She was in his arms---how could anything be wrong?
Chloe awoke with a scream, one hand on her stomach and the other at her throat. Sweat poured down her shaking body and while she was hot she didn’t kick off the sheets. Tonight had been so nice, so magical, and then this nightmare had had to ruin it.
Wiping at the tears streaming down her cheeks, Chloe hugged her knees to her chest and closed her eyes tightly, trying to drown the sound of Angel’s voice, trying to forget the utter hunger, the solitude, the desperation in that cry for her.
Breaking down in the middle of the night, as she did every single night, Chloe felt so frustrated, so useless, so helpless.
Angel---where ARE you?