TITLE: Walking on Broken Glass
FEEDBACK: I live and breathe for it. Pretty Please?
DISTRIBUTION: Shadows & Dust, Twisting the Hellmouth, anyone else please ask.
SUMMARY: Lilah has a meeting with the board for Special Projects at Wolfram and Hart to decide Connor’s future. Companion to Sweet Dreams are Made of These.
SPOILERS: AtS: Season 4 finale, HP: none really
RATING: just Lilah being Lilah. no warning for anything other than evil machinations
DISCLAIMER: I don't own the characters. They belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Fox, WB, UPN and their associates, or J.K. Rowling for the characters and places from Harry Potter.
NOTES: Should be read after the prologue of Sweet Dreams are Made of These. Companion piece. To read it, go here:Sweet Dreams are Made of These
BETA: Esme. In case I don't have it on any of my other fics, she's always my xover beta. She's a lifesaver, and cute to boot!
DEDICATION: For Alex and Katie, for all their wonderful suggestions.
~~~Walking on Broken Glass~~~
The lights of LA sparkled brightly through the panoramic windows of the board room. Most of the seats around the massive mahogany table were filled with sharp dressed men and women. No one spoke, and most kept their eyes on the stack of papers in front of them. A few played with their pens, scribbling this or that, others counted grains in the dark wood, or droplets of water on the chilled water glasses at each place. As one, they turned to the door as it opened and a striking, dark haired woman walked briskly through.
She grinned widely showing lots of teeth, shark-like. “Did you miss me? Come on, you didn’t think a little thing like death could keep me down? Standard perpetuity contract…. You all signed one.”
Down the right side of the table, a sandy haired man snorted and tried in vain to cover up a glare. The woman arched an impeccable eyebrow. “Lukas? Do you have something to add? Or were you just hoping to move up in the pecking order.” She narrowed her eyes and leaned onto the table, palms flat. “Just because Holland Manners got demoted to elevator boy when he bit the big one doesn’t mean that you had a shot at my job.” The grin was back. “I’m dead, but at least I’m still pretty. And in charge of office furniture.”
As one, the board sat a little straighter and leaned away from their chair backs. She clapped her hands and sat. “Now, as you know, our potential new boss will be touring the facilities with his team tomorrow. I want to make sure everything is perfect, and that includes the carrot.”
The team nodded, and a woman three seats cattycorner to Lukas timidly interjected, “Carrot? What do you have in mind?”
Lilah Morgan opened up the file folder from the table and flipped three pages. She pulled a picture of a ragged haired youth with bright blue eyes from the pile and slid it down the table. “Connor. He’ll do anything for him. And luckily, we won’t have to work for a reason.”
The picture was passed down the table and each member of the Special Projects board examined it closely. Lilah leaned back and fiddled with the scarf wrapped loosely around her neck. “A few hours ago, he killed Jasmine, an entity he believed to be his own daughter. Given his already borderline personality, a complete breakdown in the near future is a certainty. When he does, it won’t be pretty, and it’ll give us exactly what we need.”
She pulled another set of spreadsheets from the folder. “Our carrot is this: we give Connor a life that he never had, a life that Angel could never have given him, and take him away from the hell that is LA.”
There were appreciative murmurs from all sides, and Lilah knew she had their complete attention. “Now we just have to find the perfect life. The senior partners have assured us that all of the magics necessary will be available, as well as any inter-dimensional resources. We just need to pick the perfect situation, and it will be done, should Angel choose to go that route. Now, what I need from you are suggestions. You’re the best of the best at thinking outside the box. That’s why you’re here. Now earn it.”
The board looked warily at each other. The phrase ‘earn it’ usually involved the sale of at least one child or at minimum some sort of messy sacrifice that necessitated a massive dry cleaning bill.
The timid woman spoke first. “Well, do we wish to go for a completely ordinary, average family in our own dimension? It would give him the life that Angel wished for him, as well as anonymity and a break from the supernatural.”
Narrowing her eyes, Lilah clicked her perfectly lacquered nails on the varnished wood. “Susan. I know you don’t mean to suggest something so… bland. I want Connor to get what he deserves.” Susan nodded nervously.
“What about someone close to Angel? Such as a sibling to one of those annoying do-gooders in Sunnydale he’s always mooning on about? Muffy’s younger brother perhaps?”
“It’s Buffy. And she already has one magically created younger sister. It’d be overkill. The redheaded witch may be a possibility. Angel would have to see him every time they worked together. It would drive him nuts.” She thought for a second. “Down side, there’s a massive apocalypse in Sunnydale in about 36 hours, and he’d know that. So… no dice.”
“What about as a sixth member of that boy band… NSync is it? That would absolutely kill the broody bastard. He’d force himself to listen to the music even though it’d drive him nuts.”
Lilah wavered her hand back and forth. “It’s got possibilities, but we’d also have to keep up with him. And do any of you volunteer to take on the role of NSync’s manager.” As one, the entire table blanched. “I thought not.”
“If we stay in our own reality, we could go with a fourth child of the Osborne family. You know… the nuts on MTV? I’m sure he’ll fit right in there…” The speaker trailed off.
“They are already under contract with us. Unfortunately, the client also has some stipulations in her contract prohibiting magical manipulations of the family fortune.”
“Ah, well. What about-“
“Connor the Radish!” All eyes turned down the table to focus on Randolf. He smiled weakly. “Sorry, that just sort of slipped out. Veggie Tales, one of my daughter’s favorites. Dancing, singing vegetables.” He picked up a pen and a small note pad and danced them across the table top. “So what do you want to do today, Bob the Tomato? I don’t know, Connor the Radish. Why don’t we sing about how much God loves us...?” Randolf began to sweat lightly and put the objects back down.
Lilah glared. “If we’re going for the realm of completely ridiculous, why not make it Looney Toones? It’d fit with the crap I’m hearing. Or better yet, Connor the Tasmanian Devil! He’s already called the Destroyer; can’t you see it? Whirling through the forests, wreaking havoc where ever he goes, following in Daddy Devil’s destructive footsteps?”
Lukas spoke out again, “What about in some of the other dimensions we do business in? There’s always Connor Jones, son of Indiana Jones. It’d fit well with his tendency for shoot first ask questions later.”
“True, but you’re about fifty years too late.”
“What about that fellow that’s having all the time travel problems with that English spy with horrible teeth? Dr. Evil? He could use a long lost son.”
“Hmm, he already has one, I think. Scott Evil. And believe me, with the way things are going, Scott will not appreciate more competition. Chances are Connor would end up bald, and I know Angel would hate that, what with his hair gel fixation.”
“Well, we could go with a non-human host family situation? There’s always that Mr. Anderson- he could use younger brother, and the situation would probably guarantee him a moderately happy life.”
“Unfortunately, it’s the system behind the Matrix that’s our client, not the humans. And I seriously doubt the Architect wants another chosen one, or the One, or whatever messing up his plans. So, no.”
“What about the Addams family? He’d fit right in there, son of monsters living with monsters? And, they are moderately near by. Think the Brady bunch of the supernatural, something that Connor’s subconscious may feel at home with.”
“That’s good thinking, but if they are near by, then Angel will want to visit and something tells me he won’t be satisfied with a change in venue. We might need something a bit further away, less accessible.” The board fell silent for a moment as Lilah poured herself another glass of water. She studied her glass contemplatively before continuing. “Who’s in charge of the Middle Earth account?”
Susan rattled her papers and pulled out a file. “I am.”
“What’s the status of our current project there?”
“Our primary client is no longer in business; even his disembodied state has been revoked. One or two smaller clients still exist, but they’re not really in any stable family forming positions. There are few options there, however. The King, Aragorn, recently wed the Elf Princess, Arwen. They’re looking to continue the line, and there would definitely be some angst in that household.”
“Half Elvin Connor? Wonder if he’d still have pointy ears? No, that’s not what I’m looking for. I want his parents in his new life to reflect the parents in his old life. Not the cringe worthy oedipal thing he had going on with Cordelia Chase, but his biological parents. Find me a Darla and Angelus.”
No one had an immediate answer. Irritated, Lilah stood and slowly walked the length of the room, trailing her hand along the glass, seventeen stories up from the streets of LA. Beneath her, people were still running in near riots and the residual chaos could be felt even this high above.
Behind her, a deep male voice suggested, “What about Connor Stewart? Martha has been a client for years, and she definitely could give Darla a run for the money in the cold and calculating department. Besides, she makes excellent pies.”
“Good suggestion, Max, but I want to put him somewhere with a two parent family. Not a mother who’s been brought up on insider trading and was linked to a business man with his hands in the genetic manipulation cookie jar.”
After a brief pause, she turned back to the room, leaning against the glass. Slowly, a smile curled at the corners of her lips. “Agatha? Do you remember the inter-dimensional cocktail party we had last year? A few representatives came on behalf of that Marvelous Riddle person. What does he go by now? Lord Voldemort? Despite his flair for the overly dramatic, he used to be an excellent client. Had a bit of a problem getting his ass handed to him by infants, but I seem to recall someone of interest in his entourage.”
A diminutive woman with dusty gray hair flipped open her palm pilot and scrolled through names. “There was an Avery, a Glorfinkle, and a couple by the name of Malfoy.”
Lilah’s smile grew wider. “What’s the one thing that Connor hates more than anything?”
Lukas growled out, “Angel.”
With a roll of her eyes, Lilah rephrased the question, “Other than Angel. What makes his skin crawl?” When no one answered, she barked out, “Magic! Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have our winner. Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy, the proud parents of one Draco Malfoy, and soon to have an older son… Connor Malfoy!”
The room breathed a sigh of relief and gathered their pencils and pens, their stacks of notes, and their thankfully still intact skulls and swiftly left the room. Lilah sat back down in her specially ordered chair and smiled. “New players, new games, new ends. Let the fun begin.”
A/N: This fic was written for two of Ten’s wonderful kids, Alex and Katie. After reading the prologue for Sweet Dreams are Made of These, they came up with a list of other possible places Connor could have ended up. I was so tickled by the list they generated, that I wrote this fic for them. I tried to incorporate as many as I could from the list, and I hope they’re happy with the result. Thanks for the inspiration!
This is the Original List:
Connor the Radish (Veggie Tales)
Connor Jones (son of Indiana Jones)
Connor Evil (son of Dr. Evil)
Connor Brady (Brady Bunch)
Connor, the 6th Member of NSync
Connor Stewart, son of Martha Stewart
Connor Banner, brother of Bruce Banner (the Hulk)
Connor, Tasmanian Devil
Connor Rosenberg, Willow's little brother (with red hair!)
Connor Anderson, brother of Neo
Connor MacLeod of the clan ....... no, no, that's too horrible!
Connor Addams (from one family of monsters to another)