Chapter 1- Welcome Home
Pointless but necessary Disclaimer ahem – None of the recognizable canon characters are mine they belong to Joss Whedon, and I don’t get paid to do this at all this is for fun alone, you should see what I do for money. LOL.
Angel was not brooding, no matter what Cordelia said, but a certain amount of silent contemplation was in order when your children were stolen from you by your enemy and taken to a hell dimension.
Connor, his son, would grow up in a world of death, destruction, and pain. Never really knowing his father, never being taught all the things he had planned to teach him as he grew older.
Destiny, his little girl, he would never see her first steps never know if her hair stayed blonde like her mothers or if it would eventually darken to be like his.
Even now while fighting some inter-dimensional slugs all he could think about were his children. Which he knew was dangerous, especially with the Destroyer on the way, but he couldn’t seem to stop. As the creature fell from the portal he braced himself for the attack, then a second blinding light filled the room and the beast was being killed by… a boy?
When the thing finally lay dead at his feet the boy turned to him and spoke two words he never thought he’d hear.
After that everything happened both too fast and in slow motion. Connor, his son, shot him and his friends attacked. He yelled for them to wait, trying to will the train wreck before him to stop, without success. Connor was too fast and the more he fought the more his friends tried to defend themselves. Through all of this his main thought, he was ashamed to say, wasn’t for the safety of his friends, his family, it was if Connor was here, where was Destiny?
Anna watched Steven fight unnoticed from the balcony and tried to piece together what she’d been told of her father and his world with what she was seeing. Their father was meant to be a killer with no feelings or remorse, but he continually saved Steven, forgoing several easy kills to keep him from any great harm.
Although she supposed that could be just a tactic to prolong the kill, a way to make Steven suffer greater in the long run, but she doubted that even as the thought occurred to her.
When he spoke to Steven who he called Connor, she wondered what her other name was, he sounded sad, hopeful, and even concerned which just didn’t fit with the stories she’d grown up with. When Steven was finally pinned by Angelus she tensed ready to jump in, to defend her brother, but she didn’t have to, he let him go uninjured. When Steven retreated Angelus even moved to follow him into the deadly light of day. None of this was right, deciding she needed answers she sank further into the shadows and listened.
“Are you sure that was Connor?”
“Yes, I’m sure, and now he’s out there in an unfamiliar place all alone. Scared, probably confused, I have to find him.”
“Are you sure?”
“What? Damn it Fred of course I have to find him!”
“No, of course you have to help him, I meant are you sure he’s alone. When he was taken his sister was with him. If Connor’s back… where is Destiny?” Destiny hmmm, she liked it, a lot better than Anna any way. Maybe she’d keep it, new world new name.
“I… I don’t know. What I do know is that Connor is here. When we find him we’ll ask him where his sister is and try to bring her home to. This is the plan Fred you and…”
She didn’t need to hear any more now she was more confused than ever. Angelus was genuinely concerned for her and Steven like a parent for a lost child. Those with him were more hostile towards them than the famed monster. She needed to find her brother, they needed to regroup and try to figure out what was true and what were just Holtz enraged ramblings.
After hours of wandering, following the very obvious trail left by her dear brother, she came to a very startling conclusion. This new world was bright, loud, unfriendly, and just all around nothing that she was used to. People yelled over every little thing, and she witnessed more than a few fights breaking out over petty squabbles. All in all, she decided she might just like it here. In this place where she didn’t stick out, she was just one among many and she liked it just that way. Maybe things could be different here.
She found her brother just after night fall in an abandoned building on the other side of town with a dead girl. Not exactly how she thought she’d find him but bright side at least she’d found him.
“What the hell happened Steven?”
“Medicine killed her, she was nice to me.” Short to the point sentences were never a good sign when it came to Steven. It meant he’d already decided on what to do, usually something stupid or reckless, and he was too focused on doing that than answering questions.
She watched her brother grab an object from the other room and start to sniff it. He was trying to track someone, but who? Everything was so confusing here, she didn’t know anything, she hated all the new unfamiliar things almost as much as she loved them. Before she could even try to figure things out the door behind her flew open and into the room strode a man with one ear with two men behind him all holding weapons.
Wonderful, like her day hadn’t been bad enough.
Well at least he wasn’t just going to fight; he apparently wanted to talk first, which would make it easier to kill him. She half listened to his rambling about his ear, which her brother had cut off after their first fight as a trophy of his victory, as she moved herself into a position to strike.
The man behind him and to his left was the largest she’d have to incapacitate him first. Just as the man’s rant began to come to a close and she tensed to deliver her first blow, all three men stiffened before falling over. Looking up from their prone bodies she found their father, and she couldn’t help the slight tug of respect she felt for his fighting skills, but he was just standing there in the center of the room staring at them both with an expression of… joy.
He could not believe it Destiny was here. She and Connor were together… with a dead girl. One thing at a time.
“Destiny, Connor I -”
He wasn’t able to finish because when he moved forward they both stepped back. Conscious of it now he looked into their faces and saw what he’d missed before in his rush of joy. They were afraid of him. At first the thought of his children being afraid of him both confused and hurt him, then he remembered exactly who took them away from him and he understood.
Who knew what Holtz had been telling them all this time? They probably saw him as a monster. Nothing he could do about that at the moment though, trust and understanding would take time. Now he would ask after what he could do something about.
“Who’s the dead girl?”
“Steven’s friend he said the medicine killed her.”
Steven? Of course Holtz would change their names, he wouldn’t want any tie to him and Darla to exist for them. He wondered what Destiny’s new name was.
“Did she give you any of her … medicine?”
What if she had? The last thing they needed was a drug problem on top of everything else. Would they even let him help them? He was so confused he didn’t know what to do. His babies weren’t babies anymore but they were still unworldly and easily lead astray. How do you help someone you love who was raised to hate you? “No. We will go now, we need to find somewhere safe to sleep. Do not follow us.”
Well now he knew where his son stood on the issue he supposed. But he saw that Destiny was torn.
“Steven wait, we can talk to him, for a moment before we go.” Her voice was soft barely above a whisper almost like even she couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of her mouth.
“Why would you want to do that?” Harsh but understandable he supposed.
“Well, I don’t know about you but I don’t know much about this world other than it’s bright, loud, full of angry people, and seems to revolve around something called money. This is his world he could help us understand.”
Yes, yes he could definitely do that.
“You would trust him to do this? To be truthful with us and not manipulate us for his own ends? He is a monster Anna you know this.”
Or maybe he couldn’t do that. While Destiny … Anna…. While his daughter seemed to be willing to give him a chance to prove himself it would seem his son was having none of that. Now to see whose will would win out.
“I don’t know what he will do, that is why I suggest we give him a chance and find out.”
“You are wrong we both know exactly what he will do.”
“No, you know what he will do because Holtz told you it was so and if Holtz said it, it must be true. God, will you please just think for yourself for once in your life.” It would seem there was no love lost between his daughter and Holtz. While it pleased him, on another level he dreaded to find the reason why. It was clear from Connor’s behavior that Holtz had been more than able to engender loyalty especially given the years he obviously had to do it in. So why didn’t he do the same with Destiny? More importantly what did he do instead?
“You can stay with him if you like, I should have known you would, I am going. He’s more your father than mine anyway isn’t he.”
What the hell did that mean? He watched as Destiny’s face fell at that statement all the emotion draining from her face and a mask of indifference he recognized as the armor it was fell into place. This was obviously an old argument.
“I will see you soon brother.”
Something in her tone made the simple statement seem almost like a threat. Connor obviously having read it the same way slowly backed out of the window behind him never taking his eyes off of his sister.
“So where do you want to have this conversation and where ever you pick can there be food there. I am starving, dimension hopping really takes it out of you.”
Alright then, where to start?
Cordelia had just gotten off the phone with Angel and she still didn’t know what to think about this entire situation. He had found Connor, then lost him, then found him again with Destiny only now the only one coming back with him was Destiny and … she needed to order take out.
What would someone from another dimension want to eat? Something weird? Or maybe something along the lines of comfort food. But would their comfort food actually bring any comfort to someone not used to their food? One way to know for sure ask an expert.
“Fred! I have a question!”
They were going to have a guest and they needed to prepare. Only question left where to start?