Disclaimer: Angel belongs to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Mad Men belongs to Matthew Weiner and Lionsgate Television. Lord knows I am not profiting from this fanfic.
Author's Note: This started out with the cracky idea of bringing Pete Campbell into the Angelverse. It turned out to be slightly more serious than that - although just slightly. Angel spoilers through "The Price;" Mad Men spoilers through season 2.
The woman had been thrown from the portal, unconscious and wearing – well, not much, actually. But what little there was of it suggested she wasn’t from around here.
“Well all I can say is, I hope
she’s from a hell dimension, because otherwise there’s just no excuse for those nylons,” said Cordelia.
“Are you serious?” said Lorne. “Cordy, you know I love you, but those threads are vintage classics. They scream Audrey Hepburn.”
“They scream – yeah, about that, Lorne,” said Angel, the first time he had spoken since the portal had activated. When he had seen the flash, he thought for a moment that Connor – but it was better not to think of that. Connor was gone. Wherever this woman had come from, it wasn’t Quor’toth. “You might want to head out before she wakes up. We wouldn’t want to, you know, startle her.”
“Hey, if my suit’s too loud, you could have just said, Angel-cakes,” said Lorne. They all looked at him pointedly. Fred tried very hard to direct her eyes toward something other than his horns. “Fine,” sighed Lorne. “But if you need me, I’ll be upstairs. The Divine Miss M. is doing an HBO special I wanted to watch anyway.”
“Do you think she lost the rest of her clothes in the portal?” asked Fred, as Lorne left. “Because that didn’t happen to me.”
“I’m kind of thinking she might have taken them off before she went through the portal,” said Gunn, taking in the woman’s heavily made-up face.
“But why would she - oh!” said Fred, blushing.
“It doesn’t make sense, though,” said Cordelia. “I mean, all this talk about how the dark magics would call up some Big Bad from Quor’toth, and instead we get landed with hell’s happiest hooker?”
“It’s not so simple,” Angel started to say, but before he had begun his explanation, a groan from the woman stopped him. Fred ran to her. “Its okay,” she said, patting her arm. “You don’t have to be a cow-slave anymore.”
Somehow, Angel didn’t think the woman would find that terribly reassuring.
“She’s not from Pylea, Fred,” he said. He crouched down next to the woman. “Hi, I’m Angel, and these are my friends. We’re here to help.”
“Who are you?” said the woman, obviously still disoriented. “Where is this? I was at – did that bastard drug me? ”
“We can explain,” said Angel, “But I just need you to answer a few questions first. Where were you, the last that you can remember? And what was the date?”
“I was in Manhattan,” she said. “It was January 26th.”
“January 26th of what year?”
“1963. Oh, God. Have I been in a coma?”
“No, nothing like that,” said Cordelia. “So, just to make things clear, you aren’t coming from some kind of hell dimension?”
The woman snorted. “A hell dimension. I guess that’s one name for it.”
“Quor’toth?” said Angel, quickly. “Was its other name Quor’toth?”
“No,” said the woman. “Madison Avenue. I was with a client. Real prick. I’d been with him a couple of times before. Some of his friends, too.”
“And this man,” said Angel, “who was he? A lawyer, maybe? Or maybe he had a…skin condition of some kind?” Usually, people didn’t get sent through portals by chance. If Angel could figure out who her client was, he might have a better idea of why she was here. And who else might be following. When she looked at him blankly, he finished with “Can you tell me his name, at least?”
The woman rolled her eyes. “Hell if I know,” she said. “But he always wanted me to call him “The Destroyer.”
Fred and Gunn had taken the woman – Lisa – up to a room, hopefully one far away from wherever Lorne was having his Bette Midler marathon. Angel and Cordelia were still in the lobby, waiting to see if the portal would reactivate.
“Angel,” said Cordelia, after a few minutes of silence. “Is it possible -.” She stopped. “Forget it.”
Angel thought he knew what was coming, but he needed to hear her say it. “What is it, Cordy?”
“I mean – the spell you did was supposed to open a portal to – to wherever Connor went. And If Lisa isn’t from Quor’toth…”
“Then maybe Connor isn’t there either,” he finished. “I don’t know. I like to think so. But spells are unpredictable. It’s a lot more likely that the energy just opened a different door.”
She took his hand. “You did what you could,” she said. “You always need to remember –
But at that moment, a flash of light sent them both flinching backwards. When the portal closed, a young man was standing in front of them. He was perhaps thirty, with blue eyes and light brown hair. Cordelia had no complaints about the way he
was dressed, in a well-tailored suit that must have cost a small fortune. He straightened his tie as he took in the scene.
“I’m Peter Dyckman Campbell,” he said, with the air of someone making a very impressive announcement. “Who the hell are you?”
“Did the guys at Ogilvy put you up to this,” Pete demanded. “Because if they did, I’m telling Don.”
Angel sighed. He and Cordelia had been trying to talk some sense into Pete for the last fifteen minutes, with no success.
“If it's money you want, I can pay,” he said. “My parents are very influential people. I’m a very influential person.”
“I can see we’re not getting through to you,” said Cordelia. “You. Are. In. The Future. Little green men and jetpacks and moon-colonies. Not that we actually have any of those things. Well, except for Lorne, but he’s upstairs right now. Anyway, it’s the year 2002, you’re in L.A, and what with inflation, your money is probably worth a hell of a lot less than you think it is.”
Something finally seemed to register with Pete. “I’m in L.A?” he said. “How is that even possible? I was in New York half an hour ago.” He marched toward the door. “I’m going home.”
Cordelia made a move to go after him. Angel stopped her. “He’ll be back.”
Sure enough, under a minute later, Pete ran back into the Hyperion.
“That’s not New York,” he said, slowly. “And those cars aren’t like any of the ones I’ve seen before.”
Angel walked over to him. Maybe he was ready to listen. “Like we said, you fell through a dimensional portal. Usually, they lead to other worlds. It seems like this one led to another time. One of my people is looking for a way to send you back home as we speak.”
“Can she work a little faster?” Cordelia muttered.
“Lisa’s asleep,” announced Fred, who was walking down the stairs, hand in hand with Gunn. “We gave her a sedative. Hopefully,
we’ll have a way to get her back home before she wakes – not that it wouldn’t be OK for her to stay here, right? Because I don’t think she seems that happy in 1963, and I know it isn’t exactly Pylea or anything and the time’s they are a changing and all but she’s a little on the helpless side and we’re all about helping the helpless and – hello,” she said, noticing Pete.
“Fred, Gunn, this is Pete Campbell,” said Angel, hoping that he was doing a good job at keeping his voice level.
“Brooks Brothers over there is ‘the destroyer?’ said Gunn. “Man, no wonder that girl ain’t happy where she is.”
Pete reddened. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. “I don’t even know anyone named Lisa.”
“Busty blonde? Half-naked? Has sex for money? Ringing any bells?” asked Cordelia.
“She told me her name was Candy!” said Pete. He looked at Fred and Gunn again, and seemed to come to a conclusion.
“I think I know what this is,” he said. “This is a cult. Or some sort of commune. You people are communists, and you’ve drugged
and kidnapped me. Well, as soon as I get to a phone I’m calling my lawyer and –“
“Trust me, you really
don’t want any lawyers involved in this,” said Gunn.
“Is that a threat? Are you threatening me?” Pete blustered, but Angel could tell that he was nervous. Apparently deciding it was time to change tactics, he said to Gunn, “You know, you don’t have to do this. I sympathize deeply with your people. I even convinced Sterling-Cooper to get into the Negro market.”
“Sterling-Cooper?” said Angel, filing away any information that might be relevant.
“The advertising agency I work for. The clients didn’t want their products associated with Negroes, but I convinced them it might be profitable.”
“Right. You’re practically Bobby Kennedy,” said Cordelia. “Now can we get back to figuring out why you’re here?”
Pete ignored her. He turned to Fred, lowering his voice as if he could stop Gunn, who was still right next to her - and now glaring ominously at Pete - from hearing.
“Look, you seem like a nice girl,” he said. “Did he brainwash you? Is that it? I expect your family would be very happy for you to come home. You can trust me. Just tell me what’s going on, and I can take you away from all of this.” His tone had dropped still lower. He put his hand on Fred’s shoulder, and she stepped back, surprised. Gunn, on the other hand stepped forward.
“I am so not in the mood for this,” he said, and punched Pete in the nose.
“Charles!” shouted Fred. “Gunn!” said Cordelia, although without much conviction.
Angel didn’t say anything. For a long moment, he stood in silence, apparently transfixed by the blood streaming down Pete’s face.
“Connor?” he said.
“I don’t believe this,” said Angel.
“Neither do I,” said Pete. “My father would never
have adopted a child. He thinks it’s classless.”
“Right, because that’s the really strange part of the situation,” said Cordelia.
Angel turned to Connor. “There could be all sorts of explanations,” he said. “Maybe one of your parents worked for the Council. Or Wolfram & Hart. They’d love to get their hands on you. Or maybe someone rewrote their memories. It’s happened before,” he added, thinking of what Buffy had told him about Dawn the last time they had met. “All that really matters is that you’re my son. I’m sure of it.” He didn’t mention exactly how he was so sure of it. Connor was taking all the talk of vampires and demons surprisingly well, if only because he didn’t seem to have processed it at all, but he thought telling him that he could identify him by the smell of his blood might be a bit much.
“So you’re saying that you’re my father. And that my mother is dead.”
“She killed herself so that you could live,” said Angel, with some emotion. It was important that Connor understood that. “She’d done some terrible things in her life – both of us have – but she loved you. I know that she did.”
Pete looked uncomfortable. “Suppose that I accept that you are my father,” he said. He thought suddenly of Don Draper, and a certain meeting in Bert Cooper’s office. “What do you want from me? Is this blackmail? Are you trying to blackmail me?”
Angel looked crushed. Gunn shook his head. “Are we sure
this kid has a soul?” he said.
Angel glared at him. “He’s been through a lot; we need to cut him some slack,” he said, turning back to Connor. “Was there every anything ….really bad in your past? Maybe something at a place called ‘Quor’toth’?”
Pete frowned. “Quor’toth…no I haven’t” – suddenly, his expression cleared. “Oh, Quor’toth. You must mean Cortland-Noth. They were one of our biggest competitors, until Roger bought them out. We’re actually located in their old offices right now.”
Cordelia couldn’t contain herself. “Your big trauma was a merger
?” she said.
“It’s a very competitive business,” said Pete.
“There are two basic ways to kill a vampire,” Angel was saying, Connor jogging slightly to keep up with him. “Decapitation, and a stake through the heart.” Angel had been surprised when Connor had agreed to go out patrolling with him, but he had seemed enthusiastic. Something about real men, the thrill of the hunt, and a gun he kept by his desk at work. As far as father-son bonding went, it might not be the most conventional of activities, but it was the best Angel had.
“I thought you said you were a vampire. So why do you hunt them?”
“I have a soul” Angel was about to say, but stopped himself. Pete didn’t seem much like the metaphysical type. Instead, he said “Have you ever wished that you could take the worst part of yourself, and destroy it?”
Pete thought about it. “No,” he was about to say, because why would Peter Dyckman Campbell want to destroy any part of himself? But then he thought about walking into Bert Cooper’s office to ruin another man’s life. To ruin Don’s life. And he thought of Trudy, and Peggy, and a son he would never know. “I suppose I have,” he said.
“That’s why I fight.”
He threw a stake behind him. Connor caught it. “Get ready.”
“You know, you’re really being a bit short-sighted.”
They had been ambushed by a gang of vamps. They would have been no match for Angel, ordinarily, but he was distracted, keeping one eye on Connor, and had taken a stake – his own, to add insult to injury – in the ribs. It hadn’t come close to dusting him, but it would keep him out of commission for a few minutes. Connor was doing surprisingly well, for his first time, but he wasn’t going to be able to out-fight the six remaining vampires on his own. Angel was mentally calculating how he could draw them away from Connor – he suspected that Wolfram & Hart had told their pet demons to try not
to kill Angel, but they wouldn’t have any such compunction when it came to his son – when he realized that Connor was speaking.
“I mean, there is a whole community of you out there. A whole market just waiting to be tapped. And think of all the needs you have that aren’t being met. A ready supply of blood for when hunting is scarce. Sunlight substitutes. Maybe even some flame-resistant clothing. I haven’t been in this time period for long, but I imagine current technology could provide for you in significant ways – if the companies thought there was enough money in it to bother with the investment."
To Angel’s astonishment, the vampires actually seemed to be listening to him. They were muttering amongst themselves, and the snatches of conversation that Angel could catch didn’t sound entirely unfriendly. He thought he could even make out the words “haven’t had a good tan since I died.” Connor was smiling – but as the others deliberated, he looked at Angel, and moved his head slightly toward the group of vampires. Angel returned the nod, and started to move, painfully and quietly, toward them.
“If you allow me to work for you,” Connor continued, “I can guarantee you a discreet avenue into the highest sectors of the commercial world. Why, at least half of our old creative team must still be alive, and of course, with your –ah – special skill set, we can keep them around indefinitely. With Sterling-Cooper on your side, you’ll be dining in safety and walking in the sunlight in no time. Here, let me give you my card.”
He stuck his hand in his pocket – but it wasn’t a card he pulled out. In an instant, the two vamps nearest to him dissolved in a cloud of dust, and Angel made short work of the rest without even managing to rise completely to his feet.
“Let’s see Don top that
,” said Pete smugly as he offered his father a hand.
Pete’s good mood lasted all the way back to the hotel. A part of him still couldn’t believe what the older man was telling him, but he had just seen two men turn to dust at the point of a stake – Pete’s
stake. Sterling-Cooper suddenly seemed very far away. And, if what his father was saying was true, there had never been anyone like Pete in the history of mankind. Even the Dyckman fortune couldn’t top that. He was Pete Campbell – no, Connor Angel, the son of two of the fiercest vampires who had ever existed, a man with superhuman powers and, it seemed, a destiny to boot. It was a shame no one back home would ever believe it if he told them, but Pete would still know.
Not to mention, he now had enough information about the future to make him the most formidable force the world of advertising had ever seen.
They arrived back at the Hyperion just before dawn.
“Thank goodness,” said Fred, running toward them. “We’ve got the portal back up, but I don’t know how long we can keep it open.”
A swirl of light revolved in the lobby. Pete hadn’t realized how beautiful it was, before. His wonder - and his good mood - evaporated when he noticed the woman standing beside it.
“Candy,” he said.
“My name is Lisa, you limp-dicked jackass.”
Pete wanted to protest – this woman had the right to call him many things, but limp-dicked
wasn’t one of them – but felt a rush of shame overpower him before he could contradict her. “You never told me,” he said instead.
She glared. “I’m not going back with him
,” she said.
“You don’t have to,” said Fred, quickly. “The portal will hold at least long enough for that. And that’s only if you want to go back to 1963 at all.”
“I told you, Fred,” I’ll be fine, said Lisa. “You may not believe it, but most of the time, I like
my life,” she added, sparing another glare for Pete at “most of the time.”
She moved to step through the portal. Pete stopped her “Wait,” he said.
Everyone looked at him. “It’s just – I didn’t pay you. And I know we didn’t get a chance to…. but, well, I think it’s my fault you were taken and you shouldn’t… here,” he finished, holding out the money toward her. He hadn’t counted, but he knew he was overpaying.
“Man, guys like you just never” – Gunn started to say, disgusted, but Angel cut him off, looking at Connor appraisingly. “Gunn. Shut up.”
Lisa stepped through the barrier, leaving Pete still holding the wad of bills in his hand. He put it away, not meeting the eyes of anyone in the room.
“Connor.” He looked up. His father was holding his hand out to him. Pete shook it. “I just want to say – I’m glad I met you. And I think – I know that you have it in you to be a good man. Remember that. For me and” – he paused, his voice choked – “for your mother.”
“You’d better go,” said Fred, quietly.
Pete stepped toward the portal. His father – Andrew Campbell, that is – had told him to be many things in life, but he had never told him to be good. He thought of the gun on his desk, and of the feel of the stake in his hand. That’s only if you want to go back to 1963 at all
, Fred had said. But he had to – didn’t he? There was Trudy, for one thing. But she deserved better than the man he would be once he stepped back through that portal.
“I’m not going,” he said.
“What?” said everyone else. None of them except for Angel sounded particularly happy to hear it.
“I’m not going,” he repeated. “I was never meant to be there,” he said. “I think – I think this is where I’m supposed to be.”
“Connor,” said Angel. “Are you sure? Because once this portal closes, you can never get back.”
“I’m sure,” he said. “I did pretty well back in that alley. Besides I don’t get the impression any of you knows much about business. You people run a detective agency, right? You need clients, and, well, not to brag, but I’m quite good at getting them. So…make me a partner, and I’m yours.”
“Uh….Connor, we don’t really have partners, here,” said Angel. “But,” he added quickly, “we’d love to have you stay. I’d
love to have you stay.”
“It’s a deal.” Pete smiled. “Now, let’s see your account books.”
They walked to the desk, and didn’t notice when the portal blinked out behind them.
“Say that again,” said Angel
“I said,” said Connor patiently, “That we now have a controlling interest in Wolfram & Hart.”
“How?” asked Angel.
“Magic,” said Connor.
“Really?” It honestly didn’t seem more far-fetched than any other explanation.
“No. Just some good old-fashioned accounts work.” Connor sounded smug. Well, Angel supposed he had earned it.
“So, essentially, we own
the evil law firm.”
“More or less.”
“That’s….wow. I don’t even know what to say.”
“You don’t sound entirely happy.” The old note of petulance had crept back into Connor’s voice, but Angel didn’t deny it.
“It’s just – that place. It changes you, Connor. It might be OK for the others – Fred and Cordy and Gunn – but for us – well, I’m not sure.”
“Neither am I. Which is why you’re not coming with me. None of you are. Not for the day to day, at any rate.”
“Dad, what you are – you fight it every day, out there in the streets. But for me, what’s out there – that was never my fight. The worst I am – the worst I’ve been – is in that law firm. Which is why I need to be there too.”
Angel wanted to tell him he was wrong. That he’d have to make compromises he couldn’t even imagine. Sell his soul. But he knew, past his instinct, still as strong as ever, to protect his son, that Connor was right.
“No matter what you’ve done,” he said. “No matter what you may have to do, you can always come home to me.”
Connor’s phone rang. He acknowledged Angel with a brief nod, and picked it up. “Wolfram, Hart, Campbell & Angel,” he said, heading for the door. He always had wanted to make partner.
“That should be Angel & Campbell!” shouted Angel.
As Connor walked away, Cordelia entered the office.
“What was that all about?” she said.
Angel smiled. “As it turns out,” he said, “mergers might be more important to the fate of the world than we had thought.”