Things Are A-Changing!
1010am, Pre- 4th Block Break
Connor groaned as he flopped down besides Vin in front of B. He tossed his bag down on the ground as he leaned back against the school building’s side.
“Oooh, what’s with you Con-man?”
Connor shrugged out of his black blazer, tossing it on top of his backpack.
“Life sucks,” he groaned.
Brendon rolled his eyes.
“Connor, we’re sixteen, trust me, we know!”
Connor rolled his eyes. He looked down at his wrist, which held the new bracelet. He fingered it, ignoring the consistent beeping that it wet through the device to signify his every move.
“Trust me, this beats whatever you’re talking about.”
“Who?” B challenged.
“Heard about me and Dave going out with Vin?”
“Yeah,” B replied, punching Vin on his leg. “Like you couldn’t wait ‘til I was off of work, you bastard.”
Vincent rolled his eyes, tossing a cookie at B’s head.
“Like you’d have wanted to come?”
“Uh, yeah! Seriously, L. D.”
“After work? Dude, you lie!”
B, taking the cookie that now lied on the floor, tossed it back at Vin’s head, hitting him on the nose instead when Vin looked back over to Connor.
Connor shook his head, ignoring his friends. The damn bracelet was taking up his whole mind. He wanted the stupid thing off, now.
David finally arrived, flopping down on the grass besides B using Connor’s bag as a pillow.
“Someone, please, shot me.”
“God, you two!” B said, sounding like he was appalled that the two young members of their group were complaining. “Seriously, you don’t know trouble until you’ve got
“Oh, spare us the pity party, dude. Maefield, what’s up?”
David groaned, turning over to look at Vin. Then, he took a good look at Connor and Brendon in turn. Finally, he flipped back down on the grass. He said one word, but they each knew, even Connor with his limited experience, what he meant.
Collective groans as Dave covered his face with his hands.
“Ah, man. Sucks!” B said, mentally agreeing that that was something to complain about.
“How long?” Vin asked, dreading the answer.
“Full week, starting today, and all breaks starting next.”
“Damn, full week of detention. She’s such a little bitch.”
“You have my utmost sympathy,” B said, sincerely.
“So, Con-man, what’s with you? Lyons’ hassling you?” Vin asked, referring to Connor’s art teacher, who he’d just been to in 3rd block.
Connor sighed, wishing for once it’d be that simply.
“No, Mrs. Lyons is great. She likes my drawings. My Uncle Gunn says I take after my dad,” replied Connor in monotone.
“Dude, you can draw? Easy A! Lyons will love you!”
“Yeah, well you can’t even draw a straight stick figure,” teased Vincent.
B growled at him, wishing he’d saved the cookie toss for that comment, but not denying the truth behind the statement.
Connor and Dave laughed at him.
“Aw, dude. That’s just so fucking sad!”
“A stick figure, B?” Connor snickered, shaking his head.
“Ignoring both of you,” B said, pointedly turning around and away from them. Not that anyone minded.
“Cool bracelet, Con,” Dave said, noticing the black bracelet with its silver charm.
“This is the very source of my cruel life.”
“Wow, that’s drama for you,” muttered B, not turning around.
“Yeah, no kidding. It’s not like an engagement bracelet or something, right Con?” Vin asked, eyeing the younger boy with a fearful look.
“What? What the hell are you on now? No!”
“Looks fancy,” Vin stated, leaning over Connor’s shoulder to grab a better look.
“Who cares what it looks like,” grumbled Connor.
“My guess is that you don’t like it,” Dave noted.
Connor scoffed. Understatement to the max.
“This fancy little shit is a fucking tracker,” Connor informed them, not all that caring that he’d said that bad word again since he was more than a little pissed at his situation.
“Yep,” replied Connor, glaring at the detested device.
Brendon, who by now noticed that no one cared that he “wasn’t paying attention”, twisted around to look at the said device. Vin had been right, the little device looked pretty damn fancy. He would never had thought that it would have been a tracker.
“You sure it’s a tracker, Con? I mean, how’d you get one?”
“Or rather yet, why would you want to track yourself?”
“I didn’t!” Connor told them, rolling his eyes. “Think that if I’d gotten it myself I’d be pissed of about it?”
“Good point,” Dave was quick to say.
“So?” pressed B.
Connor sighed heavily, slumping further down onto the ground.
“Remember Friday night? Well, let’s just say that my dad wasn’t too happy about it, okay?”
The boys cringed, except for B who had no idea what they were talking about. As far as he knew, they just went to the club, no problems. So, after filling him in, B too agreed with Connor that really sucked.
Regardless, their break was soon over and the friends all headed over to the gymnasium where all four of them had their fourth block.
Spike soon learned that, while he hated being invisible and near his grand sire, “life” still had a few perks.
For instance, the ladies locker room in the company gym on the fifth floor could no longer tell him he was not able to enter.
For another thing, it really allowed him to enter any room and if he remained quiet and hidden, he could eavesdrop on anyone.
Which taught him his once girlfriend Harmony had a strange obsession with David Cassidy and forever scarred him.
However, it also gave him insight on his own situation.
“I’ve tried contacting them, but no one will bother talking to me.”
“Giles told us enough to set us on some track. I’ve been checking up on things that either contain or control a lost soul. Maybe he came into contact with one of these without his knowledge.”
“It’d be just like Spike to touch something he shouldn’t,” scoffed Angel.
Hey, thought Spike, wanting to defend himself. But, Nancy boy had a point. He did tend to act before thinking.
“Regardless, I haven’t found a thing that looks like that amulet did.”
“Has the artifacts team finished reconstructing it?”
“I’m afraid not. It seems whatever magic was contained within it made it so that it could not be reassembled.”
Angel sighed, leaning back against the conference table. He was looking over the papers of information they did have, which was just a steady repetition of how no one knew anything.
“I guess the magic squad has been looking into it?”
Wes nodded, ignoring that Angel refused to call any department by their given names.
“And Fred’s demanding that they speed up the process. She really wants to look at it once it’s reconstructed.”
Spike smiled at himself from his perch near the sofas in Angel’s office. Wesley’s back was to him and Angel’s constant pacing in front of the papers kept him form being overseen.
He was really glad that the nice Southern girl had really seemed dedicated to her promise to help him. Sure, she seemed interested in his state of being - physical state of being that was - but instead of treating him like some lab rat used to poke needles at, she was really giving his case all her attention.
Granted, she really couldn’t poke needles into him.
“Well, seems like that’s not going to be happening just quite yet, is it?” sighed Angel.
At times, Spike thought that his sire just wanted to get rid of him. But, having known the guy for -oh a few decades really- he could hear the concern in his voice. Angel really was worried about whatever the hell had happened to him.
And Spike, though he would never admit it, was really glad.
“Guess that’s it, really,” Wes sighed, also hating that the blond vamp was stuck in this predicament. Especially since that meant the man couldn’t leave the building at all and tended to harass personnel and annoy the heck out of the AI team.
Angel nodded and they both made to leave. Spike tried to quickly think himself out of the office, into the hallway or something, but Angel was quick to spot him shaking his head.
“Damnit Spike,” he muttered, instantly annoyed with him.
“Wha?” asked Spike in return, feigning innocence since he didn’t manage to escape the scene.
Angel glared at him, but then decided not to give into him.
“Forget it. I’ll see you later, Wesley.”
“Right. Meeting at four, bout the Kantor demon.”
Angel groaned but nodded. He headed to his elevator, intent on going up to the pent house for a while, maybe wait the hour before Connor got back, as Wes headed out the door. Spike followed him.
Connor was pleased to entertain the young vampire. He was a lot more laid back than the rest of the team, even Gunn.
Sitting in the family room, big screen TV filled with the graphic scene of his latest video game, Connor couldn’t be happier.
As for Spike, well he wished he could actually play the game, but he was happy enough at the moment to just watch and comment.
It’d been a week since he’d been there and Angel had finally given up on trying to keep the two apart. Because apparently the two greatest terrors in his life got along really well.
The rest of the team was trying to work on a way to get Spike solid again, which left their plates filled with various obligations. The latest of which was after Gunn had announced he’d been thinking about making himself a more intricate part of the firm.
Wesley and Fred had both advised against it, but it was Lorne who had really given it any thought. Together, Lorne and Gunn made certain that what was going to be done to Gunn was going to be legit.
So, that very day, as Spike and Connor sat obliviously playing in the penthouse, the rest of the team sat anxiously at the office below them worrying about the condition of their missing member.
Gunn was going to be ‘brainwashed’ in a sense. He was going to obtain all the legal, ethical, and practical rules and regulations to all the known societies and cultures known to Wolfram and Hart. Which, of course consisted manly of other galaxies and demons.
The process was a long one. Gunn had said his ‘goodbyes’ last night - at one when they all normally turned in for the night - and had headed straight there. Wherever there was, since Gunn wouldn’t tell them and Angel apparently wasn’t given clearance. He was expected to be with ‘the’ all day long and would return to them the following morning.
Wesley had looked over the contract and had found that to his knowledge there weren’t any loop holes. Which was weird even in a normal legal situation.
Nevertheless, all of them were worried, except of course for Connor - who hadn’t been told a thing - and Spike - who for being with Connor lately hadn’t heard a thing.
Fred was the worst off of them all, seeing as how Gunn was not only her friend but also her boy friend. She kept herself busy in her lab, doing three projects herself without an assistance just to make sure she wouldn’t have a second of thoughts left to worry.
But, of course she did.
Yet, come four the next morning, while Connor was long tucked away and Spike was finally hanging around the team, the ever attractive Charles Gunn walked into Angel’s office (where the others were camping out) and looked none for worst.
“Charles!” Fred had shrieked, at the sight of him entering the door.
She ran over to him, giving him a great hug.
“Are you alright?” she muttered against his chest.
Smiling at the rest of his friends, Gunn hugged his girl tightly.
“Like a million bucks,” he replied. “But, damn am I hungry!”