Disclaimer: Not mine. Really.
There is something very odd in a night like this. The sounds are too quiet, the smells too muted, the sights too dull. The oddest thing about a night like this is that it shouldn’t be like this. Around him, people are spinning and laughing and living like he never could, despite months of effort.
His attempts at socializing were failures. The last time he tried connecting to someone with his full inhibitions, he had ended up enslaved by a goddess who ruled through an ancient magic that inspired fanatic happiness and devotion. Though he had memories of a mundane existence, his new conciseness hunted him. He knew, logically, that nothing had to change. He had decided that nothing would change when he walked out of Wolfram and Hart.
Now, however, he found that he couldn’t help the change in the way he saw everything.. His childhood in hell hunted him, and so did his months spent on Earth in a mad daze. His actions, his thoughts, feelings and sensations, of that epoch in his life now seemed like a crazy delusion, the work of some B-grade horror writer. It was his reality, nowadays, and he had to learn to live with that.
Some days, he almost felt like his old self. Like Connor Riley, the boy who played football and hated alternative rock. He learned, however, that those days never lasted. He found out that he had to accept the fact that he was not normal anymore.
That didn’t mean he couldn’t try to be. He had turned his back on his past, and no matter how guilty he felt whenever he heard about something unexplainable happening in Los Angels, he knew it was the right decision. Now, though, he had the task of moving on and integrating his new self, a combination of the new and old Connor, into humanity.
Humanity, evidently, was not to be found in a college frat party. Five minutes into the party he found himself standing next to the keg, contemplating the cleverness in drinking himself into oblivion. He stood for about an hour, sipping cheap bear and gazing ideally at the drunken antics of his peers.
He tried to talk to a few girls. It proved to be painfully awkward, and he wondered what had happened to his old ease with girls- he was quite a flirt, as his former girlfriend used to say. Whenever he attempted to talk to girls now, though, the memories of a former life in which his encounters with women were seldom and violent overwhelmed him, and he found himself awkwardly backing away.
By the end of the night, he had given up all effort to stay sober, deciding that a college party was exactly the right place to do something stupid, and it wasn’t like he didn’t have the biggest reason on the face of the planet to get a bit tipsy. The alcohol, warm and bitter, had dulled all of his senses, and before long, he found himself in some fratboy’s empty bedroom, ideally inspecting the poster’s of scantily-clad women as he asked the 411 operator for the number at Wolfram and Hart, and yes, please, he didn’t mind holding.
When he got through, he was directed through a complicated maze of secretaries and automated answering services that removed any doubt of the firm’s insidiousness. By the time a perky secretary finally informed him that he had reached Mr. Angel’s office, his buzz was all but gone, and he was starting to regret ever attempting the call. He had just made up his mind to hang up when a deep voice finally muttered a terse “yes?”
“Uh…” he stuttered, unsure of what now that he got through.
“Hello? Who is this? How did you get through?” his father’s voice now fired off rapidly, suspicion coloring every syllable.
Connor hung up.
With that confirmation of his father’s continued existence; he proceeded to get deeply, overwhelmingly drunk. His roommate, spotting him from across the room, tried to pull him away, but he ignored him, sitting sullenly by the window with a fifth of whiskey he swapped from Random Fratboy’s room. Finally, his own patheticness hitting him suddenly, he got up and headed towards the door.
The room spun around him, and he stumbled, trying to gain steady footing. Inevitably, though, despite his carefulness, he bumped into someone just as he had reached the door. He fell to the floor, and was just contemplating the sagacity of actually getting up when a hand reached down to help him. He looked up, and though his vision was slightly blurred around the edges, he still managed to focus on the hand-owner’s face.
There was something vaguely familiar about him, though he couldn’t recognize what is was specifically. Then the boy smiled, a bit self-consciously, and Connor found that he didn’t care.