You remember reading about forgetting. What causes people to forget. The why of it, not the how. Sometimes memories are too painful they need to be blocked just to survive. Sometimes information locked away loses its utility and storing it achieves nothing but wasting precious mental resources. Forgetting is a natural occurrence, you know. A few gaps or holes, a couple of blank places, shouldn’t worry you. But they do.
You know something’s not right. There are gaps. Holes. An illogical pattern in the sequence of causes and effects in your life. In your memory. There are things you remember clearly. Things you wish you could forget. Things you will treasure. Things as precious as oxygen. The touch of her hand on your cheek. A signed dollar bill. The awkwardness, fragmentation of the once cohesive family. Unwanted tears and the cold feel of the steel axe in your hands.
But there are gaps. Holes.
The arithmetic is wrong. The page numeration is flawed. There are pages missing. Moved. Shuffled around and slapped back together again every which way.
What caused the awkwardness?
Fred and Gunn.
What was behind the fragmentation?
There’s a scar on your throat, but you don’t know why. It’s always been there, but it hasn’t. Holtz did it. No. Justine. To punish you? To punish Angel. Why? Because you’re family. Family. Familial revenge. An eye for an eye, only not quite. An eye for an ear. Or a throat.
You forgot her question for a while, too overwhelmed to have her back, to have the puzzle pieces fit back together again, but now it’s burned into your brain. She looked to you for answers, but you had none. But looking and searching for answers is what you do best. So you do. Look. Search. Because she remembered everything even while in a coma and you have gaps. Holes.
How did you come to be at Wolfram and Hart?
We ended world peace.
Jasmine. Cordelia. The pregnancy.
Who’s the father?
Where’s the father?
You go down to Files and Records. Look. Search. Try to fill the gaps and the holes. Everything that ever occurred in Angel’s life is in these files. Everything. Enemies are meticulous that way. Keep your friends close but your enemies closer. So you search and you look and you find the prophecy (fake) and the prophecy (real).
The father will kill the son.
The father and the son.
And you find the cross-reference with Angel and the cross reference with Connor, and you find the history that was unmade, reshaped, and put back together again by Wolfram and Hart and the darkest dark magic.
But like everything else done by Wolfram and Hart it’s corrupted. Tainted. Impure.
Unnatural. Not in its natural state.
Changed. Altered. Flexible.
Patch the gaps. Fix the holes.
Steven. Baby. Darla. Prophecy.
Jasmine. Baby. Cordy. Prophecy.
You pack. Late at night. No questions asked then. Your books, your notes, and a few files from Files and Records. They have triplicates of everything. Nothing will be missed. Not even you. You’re expendable. Alterable. Unnatural.
Then you leave.
To the Hyperion.
Spike finds you a few days later, makes a comment about being AWOL and finally taking your head out from Angel’s arse, helps you on your first case, and then stays.
You find a secretary. You reopen the agency. The Wyndham-Pryce Agency.
And then he comes. With questions you don’t know how to answer. 'What’s going on? Why did you leave? I don’t understand.'
'I don’t understand either,' you say. The gaps are closed. The holes are filled, but you don’t know why they were even there in the first place.
You need answers.
So you look and you search and you say to Angel, 'Where’s Connor?'
* * *