Saving Ben (Connor/Ben (DA))
Title: Saving Ben
Summary: Connor recognizes a lot of himself in Ben.
Disclaimer: Since these are miscellaneous FFAs, the disclaimer will likely change with each one. Hopefully, I will get them right, but please let me know if I get mixed up. For this one: Dark Angel belongs to James Cameron and, of course, BtVS & AtS belong to Joss Whedon.
Notes: Set during Pollo Loco for Dark Angel
Connor cursed his luck for the twentieth time that day. He and his father had been tracking Manticore operatives for the better part of the week and, of course, the situation became critical during daylight hours when Angel was stuck underground. The operatives had two Transgenics cornered in the woods and they would have been able to flee if one of them wasn't hurt, and possibly a little crazy. Even though Connor was now thirty-two years old and certainly no longer the fragile teenager he had once been, Angel usually preferred that Connor leave the killing to him. However, Angel was not exactly in a position to be of use at the moment, so Connor would just have to do what was necessary to save these two kids. At least none of these soldiers were Transgenics. Connor figured that made sense in a weird way. Even though Transgenics were best suited to bringing in other Transgenics, it probably wouldn't be good to send them out after their brethren and take the chance that they would join up with the runaways instead.
Four soldiers went down before they realized he was there. Only two of them were dead, but the other two wouldn’t be going anywhere anytime soon. His superior hearing told him that there were eight more to take care of before he could approach the young Transgenics.
One of them managed to get him in the arm with a knife, but they weren't expecting Connor to just pull out the knife, shake off the wound and gut the soldier with his own weapon. That same knife then found a home in another one's throat. After all was said and done, he was grateful for the hours Angel had demanded that he spend training when he only had one additional wound besides the flesh wound on his arm.
Connor tore a strip off of his shirt and wrapped it around his leg. The bullet was still inside, but he could ignore it for now. He ripped off another strip and did his best to tie it around his arm, although with a little less success since he couldn't use both hands to tie it.
After making sure that none of the Manticore soldiers could follow him, Connor ran—okay, kind of limped, he groaned as he felt the bullet shift in his thigh—toward where the Transgenics were holed up.
He arrived just in time. It was clear that the boy's legs were broken and he was not going to be going anywhere very quickly. The girl seemed to be okay and was trying to calm the boy down. Connor sniffed the air–it was the two they had been tracking. The boy had been responsible for many deaths, but Connor didn't think he was beyond salvage. If Connor could be saved, so could this kid.
Connor could smell their fear as he approached. The boy was begging the girl not to let them take him back. When the girl's smell changed to include sadness and a steely determination, he knew what she was going to do. The boy would die by her hand before she would allow Manticore to have him. She had just begun telling him some story, meant for children, when her hand crept up to his neck. Acting quickly, Connor raced toward them and grabbed her arm before either Transgenic them could react. It only took a moment for them to recover, though, and the boy let out a desperate keening sound that spoke to the once-broken boy Connor used to be. The girl, on the other hand, was poised to attack, ready to fight for her life if need be. Knowing their animal side could feel his preternatural nature, he tried to be as non-threatening as possible, moving slowly and keeping his hands in plain sight as he approached them.
"I'm not part of Manticore," he told them softly, "and I'm not here to hurt you."
"Yeah, right," the girl responded. She was still set to blow and any wrong move could prove fatal.
The boy was watching him. Pain lanced across his face as he tried to shift position to get a better view.
"Really, the guys from Manticore are either dead or down," he informed them. In the distance, he heard another incoming helicopter and decided he needed to step up his pace. "But reinforcements are on the way, so we need to move quickly if we’re going to get out of here alive."
"Sorry, I learned a long time ago not to trust strangers," the girl retorted, putting herself in between him and the boy.
Connor sighed. He wasn't strong enough to carry both of them if he knocked her out, so he would just have to reason with her. Or...
Before the thought was fully formed, he had circled around the girl and had the boy hoisted up over his shoulders in a fireman's carry. The boy offered up a muffled cry of pain, but didn't struggle. He started making his way out of the woods, calling over his shoulder, "Go ahead and trust Manticore, then. I'm sure they just want to give you a puppy."
Banking on her following him, he picked up the pace and made it to the car before the helicopter landed. Fortunately, he had parked where there were plenty of trees to hide his position from the air so he didn't think they had a clear view of his car. He maneuvered the boy into the backseat and was about to climb into the driver's seat when he thought he had better introduce himself. The boy's eyes were starting to glaze over from the pain, but he still seemed somewhat lucid. The girl glared at him, but grabbed for the passenger door just the same.
"I'm not leaving him alone with you," she informed him hotly.
"That's fine. My name is Connor," he said, trying to keep maintain patience in the face of her hostility. "I'm taking you to my dad and then we're going to get him to safety. We can help him there."
He walked around and got into the driver's seat without waiting for a reply. He started the car and began driving without waiting for her introduction. A quick look in the rearview mirror told him that his injured passenger was really starting to feel the pain as his adrenaline depleted, but he didn't want to alert Manticore to their location, so he drove as fast as he could without drawing any additional attention.
"I'm Max. That's Ben," she grudgingly told him. "And, you have no idea what you are getting yourself into. There's something wrong with him." Suddenly, the anger seemed to dissipate and a tear slipped down her cheek. "I...I don't know how to help him."
Connor glanced at her sideways and saw that without her defenses up, she was just a kid herself. Although she was normally far from helpless, right now she, too, needed something to give her hope.
"I recognize a lot of myself in Ben, especially when I was his age," Connor admitted. "Believe me when I say, there are people who can help. We'll heal him, I promise."
Just at that moment, he heard the boy—Ben—start mumbling about a blue lady. It sounded like he was praying to her.Great—as if Illyria needs encouragement,