Connor is back. And with him comes a truck load of guilt. I’ve never lost that guilt, I never will. It was my mistake that send him to grow up in hell. I nearly paid with my life for that. Twice. There were moments where I wished Angel had succeeded. Because I couldn’t live with what I’d done. Of course that would’ve been to easy. I don’t usually take the easy route, eventually.
Now I realize of course how we’ve all been played. By Sajin, by Jasmine, by Skip. Angel was to caught up in his rage to notice anything. Fred and Gunn to caught up in themselves to notice anything. And I was no longer around to realize that there was something wrong with Cordelia.
The fact that she never came to see me should’ve been a clue, I know that now. But I let my bitterness, my anger take over. Sitting in my place feeling sorry for myself. It’s actually Lilah’s fault that this ended. She really does know how to kick one in the butt.
Fred and I got our memories back despite Angel’s warnings. Though, it was an accident. The Orlon Window got smashed during the fight. Though if it hadn’t, Connor would not be alive today. Because he’d have no memory of how to fight this demon. The moment he did, he knew how to take Sajin out.
But getting those memories back. That was painful. For all of us.
There are a lot of things I’m not proud of. I’ve killed people for vengeance, I've killed my father, I've hurt people. That doesn’t mean I regret them. Would I have the same information today, I will probably do the same again. Because it was the right thing to do. All I wanted was to safe Connor, to safe Angel from grief. He is my best friend, was trying so hard to find redemption. The way he’d been acting lately, calling Connor food, he wouldn’t have survived if he so much as hurt Connor. It wasn't so much Angel I feard, as Angelus. Angel was so close to perfect happiness, that's what frightened me.
It was never my intention to take Connor away for ever. Only until I would find a way to dispel the prophecy. I had every confidence that would happen. I was wrong.
I nearly gave up on life several times, the only thing to keep me going was Angel and his fight. Our fight. I nearly did die several times for the fight, for Angel, for my friends. I would die for him and the good fight if it were for the greater good.
That’s why I feel so sad that we hardly talk to each other anymore today. Oh I try, but I think it’s time to come to terms with the fact that he hates me. The paranoid part of me likes to think he'd gladly send me to my death, but I refuse to believe that. I’d like to think that he was hoping everytime that I would make it out alright.
And now Connor’s back. With it the guilt I feel toward the boy. I never really got to talk to him about what happened. I’m not sure if he’d want that either. Part of me is afraid of talking to him, because he’d be right to be angry. Even though he once told me he understood why I’d done what I had done back then.
I think they both resent the fact that I have two girls under my care right now, even though they’ll never say that. And that I get to be a father and they get to be children when that was taken away from Connor and Angel.
There’s a scar on my throat that reminds me daily of what I really am. Fred was wrong when she called me a good man all those years ago. And Faith was probably right when she tied me to that chair.
But that doesn’t matter anymore. I am who I am. And if it weren’t for my girls, Cordelia and Lindsey I’d probably be buried in books at Wolfram and Hart hiding away from living.
I’m happy now. Despite everything and the many hurdles we have yet to overcome, I’m happy. Oddly enough. I realized that what others think of me isn’t important. Of course that’ll always crop up. I’ll always want my fathers respect. I’ll always want Angel’s approval. I’ll always want Connor’s forgiveness, want Gunn's friendship, want Fred to be happy, want Faith to….
But I don’t *need* that to be happy.
I have what I need to be happy right here. Two lovely girls who mean the world to me. Whom I can give everything I never got. Love, affection, a childhood, a listening ear and teaching them, preparing them for the world outside.
Two people who love me and take me the way I am. Who know everything about me, know the things I’ve done and still love *me*. Sure, there are a number of things that we’ll need to work out, but I have every confidence that we can. Because we already have the biggest ingredients for a relationship. Care, love and trust. Alright, Lindsey is still working on the latter, but Rome wasn’t build in a day either.
So I can sit here, mope about and lament about what I used to have and no longer have. Friendships, love, security. Or I can move on and embrace what I still have left and have found.
The latter sounds very appealing. I’m thinking Lindsey and Cordelia are having a bad influence on me. A very good bad influence. I’m moving on with my life and I’m happy. I’m still doing good, I’m still fighting the good fight, but I’m also enjoying life. I've come to realize that it's not 'Angel's fight'. It's *our* fight, for those who have their eyes open and see what's really going on.
And that’s how it should be. It’s rather a shame that I nearly had to die first in order to see that.
That doesn’t mean that this guilt will ever go away though. It’ll always be there, I just learned to live with it.
Or will try to, rather. And I will, with the help of my new family.