Title: Days of New Gotham
Fandoms: Angel/Birds of Prey (Connor/Dinah)
Sequel to: Streets of New Gotham and Nights of New Gotham
Written for The Next Level Quickie Challenge (though not in response to any specific challenge/pairing) http://tnl.moonlitpaths.com
Disclaimer: Connor (and everything Angel) belongs to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Birds of Prey doesn't belong to me either -- it belongs to Tollin/Robbins productions and WB Television.
Author's Note: Timeline for this story: in the near future, after Dinah's 18th birthday and graduation from high school. Future Angel as well, and assumes that the Angel Investigations crew joined forces with the Scooby Gang and the Potentials do defeat The Beast, and its boss, the First Evil -- at which time the Hellmouth was destroyed.
"Who are you, and what are you doing on my couch?"
The voice woke Connor from a sound sleep. He tried in vain to identify the speaker. Definitely not Cordy or Fred -- not that he'd heard from them in a while. He'd been traveling for so long that he'd begun to have a hard time keeping track of where he was.
New Gotham. Vampires. Dinah. He smiled. Dinah had taken him back to her place -- strangely enough, a secret lair behind the New Gotham Clocktower.
Opening one eye, he saw an auburn-haired woman in a wheelchair staring down at him.
"Who are you, and what are you doing on my couch?" she repeated.
"I'm Connor." He rolled over and sat up, slowly stretching out his tight muscles. The couch, while certainly not the worst place he'd ever slept, wasn't exactly made for a full-grown adult to sleep on. "I'm a friend of Dinah's." He thought back to what she'd told him the night before... this must be... Barbara? "You're Barbara, right?"
"Yes. Barbara Gordon. I'd say its nice to meet you, but I'm still not sure exactly who you are, or why you're *here.*"
"He just got into New Gotham last night." Looking wide awake despite their late night, Dinah walked into the room carrying two cups of coffee. Handing one to Connor, she sat beside him on the couch.
"So, you thought you'd bring your new friend -- a near stranger -- back to our top-secret lair to spend the night?"
Dinah nodded. "He's not just any friend, Barbara. He's a super-human crime-fighter. He saved my life last night. Those vampires would have killed me if Connor hadn't been there."
"You would have been okay," Barbara insisted. "Helena was on her way."
"But not armed for vampires." Come to think of it, Dinah realized, she hadn't seen Helena at all last night. "Speaking of... have you heard from her? We didn't see her last night."
The woman in question came strolling into the room and plopped down into a nearby chair. "So, this is the guy you got arrested with last night?"
"Arrested?" Barbara queried. "You were arrested?" Suddenly, the strange man on the couch took on a whole new perspective. Despite all their midnight crime-fighting escapades, none of them had ever been arrested before. Now, this Connor shows up an Dinah's spending time in jail?
"Totally bogus," Dinah assured her. "They couldn't come up with anything to charge us with, so they let us go."
"By the time I got their last night, the cops were already at the scene," Helena explained. "So I called Reese, figuring he was more equipped to deal with cop trouble than I was."
"He came in, furious. Totally chewed out the guy that arrested us, 'cause he didn't have any proof that we'd done anything."
Helena nodded. "Yeah, he told me the only witness was this crazy old drunk who said you stabbed someone with a stick and they turned to dust."
Connor and Dinah suddenly got quiet.
"It was a crazy story, right?" Helena stared at the teenagers. It couldn't be true... could it?
People didn't just turn to dust.
"It's not true." His voice got harder and colder as he spoke. "They weren't people -- they were vampires. Demons wearing human faces. No soul, no conscience, just pure evil." Pushing aside his blanket, Connor got to his feet. "I'm gonna go take a shower."
"Bathroom's upstairs." Dinah pointed the way.
The three women were silent until they'd heard the door to the bathroom click shut.
"Dinah," Barbara began. She knew the young woman was growing up, learning to live her own life, but Barbara was concerned about this Connor -- who he really was and if he was good for Dinah.
"Barbara," she interrupted. "I know what you're going to say. He's a stranger, I don't know him, I need to be careful... I know all that, and it's true. But...he's different. It's like I've known him forever. We understand each other without having to say a word. He's a vampire-fighting guy who grew up in a parallel dimension -- the only guy I've met whose life is stranger than mine. Plus, he saved my life...and...I like him, Barbara. I really like him."
"I know you do." Wheeling over to where the blonde sat, Barbara slung her arm around Dinah's shoulder. "I just want you to be careful."
"I will be."
Helena jumped as her cell phone rang. "Reese," she said, looking down at her Caller ID. She started talking as she exited the room.
"Come on," Barbara said. "I'll make breakfast."
Connor had joined Barbara and Dinah in the kitchen, and the three were enjoying breakfast by the time Helena returned.
"We've got problems," Helena said abruptly. "Apparently the vampires you two killed last night aren't the only ones in town. Reese said the cops found two bodies down near the docks last night. Both were nearly drained of blood, and the only markings on them were two little holes in their necks."
"Vampires," Connor snarled.
"There have never been vamps in New Gotham before. Now we've got them coming out of our ears. Coincidence?" Dinah munched on a piece of toast as she waited for a response.
"I don't believe in coincidence," stated Helena.
"Neither do I." Barbara paused, looking around the table. "They're here for a reason. We just have to figure out what it is." Her gaze stopped on Connor. She didn't trust the young man, but Dinah believed in him. Plus, he had more experience with vampires than the rest of them put together. "So, how about it, Connor? Dinah told me that you haven't stayed in one place for very long, lately, but we could really use your help. Will you stick around New Gotham for a while?"
He caught Dinah's eyes, recognized the hopeful look that she couldn't conceal. He'd been running from attachments for a long time, and staying would put his independence in jeopardy. Still, Dinah was like no other woman he'd ever met, and he liked her friends. This wasn't a half-bad place to stay, if he intended to stay anywhere.
Vampires. They were everywhere these days. He could be of real use here, if he stayed. But the final straw was this -- with or without him, this trio of crime-fighters was going to find and stop the vampires. And he didn't think he could stand it if something happened to Dinah and he hadn't been there to stop it.
"I'm in." He nodded.
Dinah smiled. She was glad he was staying. It wasn't like she was in love with him or anything, not yet, but she wasn't ready to let him go.
"Come on," Barbara urged. "Finish breakfast. We've got work to do."
This concludes the "Streets of New Gotham" series. But don't worry -- the adventures of Connor, Dinah and friends in New Gotham is far from over. What happens when Angel comes looking for his son as the vampire murderers terrorize New Gotham? Find out in "To Serve and Protect," coming April 2003.