"Benediction"

Written by Tim Minear
Directed by Tim Minear

Co-Producer Skip Schoolnik, Co-Producer Jeffrey Bell, Consulting Producer Marti Noxon, Executive Producers Sandy Gallin Gail Berman, Executive Producers Fran Rubel Kuzui Kaz Kuzui, Produced by Kelly A Manners, Co-Executive Producer Tim Minear,

Angel Episode #65

Originally Aired on May 13th, 2002


Disclaimer: "Angel"; is (c) 2000 by the Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; "Angel"; is produced by Mutant Enemy, Inc., Greenwolf Corp, Kazui Enterprises, and Sandollar Television for Twentieth Century Fox Television.

Cordelia: Previously on Angel:

Holtz: "I want you to go out and find others like you."

Holtz pulls out the awl pinning Justine's hand to the tabletop.

Angel to Justine: "I'm not your boyfriend. Find somebody else to smack you around."

Lorne: "Wesley's taking the baby away for good."

Justine slits Wes' throat and runs off with Connor.

Holtz to Connor: "Hello, son. I'm your father."

Sahjhan: "What you're looking into is the Quor-toth, the darkest of the dark worlds."

Holtz pushes Justine aside and jumps through the rift in the air with Baby Connor in his arm.

Lorne: "To punch through to Quor-toth would require dark, dark magics."

Cordy: "There's almost always some price to using primordial power."

The monster drops through the fissure above the pentagram in the lobby, followed by Connor, who beheads it and points his stake launcher at Angel.

Connor: "Hi dad."

Angel: "Connor."

Connor: "My name is Steven."

Angel slams Connor up against the wall: "Listen to me."

Gunn: "A couple of weeks ago he was wearing diapers, now he's a teenager?"

Connor slams Angel up against the wall: "No!"

Angel: "I lost you once already."

Angel to Connor: "You're not alone."

Connor: "I know."

Fred: "We're just supposed to sit here with a fissure from a hell dimension in the middle of the lobby?"

Meerna: "It's closed."

Cordy: "Can you tell if anything else came through it?"

Holtz steps out of the shadows in front of Connor.

Connor: "Hi dad."

Fred walks up to the rest of the gang waiting in the middle of the Hyperion's lobby.

Fred: "Still no answer on his cell phone."

Cordy: "That could mean something if he actually knew how to use it."

Gunn: "Maybe we should head back out, start where we last saw him, see if we can pick up the trail."

Groo: "A wise plan. I will assist with tracking."

Cordy: "No."

Fred: "But if something *did* come out of the portal, and if it *is* looking for Connor, and if Angel did find him..."

Cordy: "He did."

The lobby doors open and Angel limps in.

Groo: "Angel."

Cordy: "Oh my god."

Gunn: "Bro, you're hurt."

Angel: "I'm okay."

Cordy: "You found him."

Angel: "Yeah."

Cordy: "And?"

Angel: "And - we talked."

Angel drops down on the settee with a sigh.

Cordy: "Looks to me like he likes to talk with his hands."

Angel: "Oh, he didn't do this to me. Not most of it, any way."

Gunn: "So, is it for sure then? That kid really was Connor?"

Angel: "Steven. His name is Steven now. - He's still my son."

Fred: "So - where is he?"

Angel: "Not sure. But he knows where I am. He'll be fine."

Fred: "Actually - he might not be."

Angel: "What do you mean?"

Cordy: "Something may have escaped from Quor-toth before we had time to close the portal."

Gunn: "Lorne's dimensional magic expert was picking up some seriously bad vibes."

Angel: "So nobody actually saw anything else come out."

Fred: "Well, not exactly."

Angel: "And if my son was the last thing that came through..."

Gunn: "Right."

Fred: "But what if it was some vengeance-y else thing that's after Connor?"

Angel: "He survived Quor-toth this long. He can take care of himself."

Fred: "Okay. So he survived and unspeakable hell dimension. Who hasn't? You-you can't just leave him alone in the streets of Los Angeles!"

Angel: "He's got to come back on his own. And he will. Just as soon as he realizes what he needs."

Gunn: "And what's that?"

Cordy: "A father."

Connor: "A room."

Connor walks up to the reception window of a motel and drops a handful of money on the counter.

Connor: "I need a room for me and my father."

Connor turns his head and looks at Holtz coming up beside him.

Intro

We get an outside shot of the French Cottage Motel in the morning sun. Connor walks out of the office carrying a newspaper. He sees a man take a bag of candy out of the vending machine standing against the side of the motel, and bite into it as he walks away.

Connor walks over to the machine and starts to push the buttons. When no food comes out he rattles the machine, then picks the whole thing up and slams it down.

Connor enters motel room 204 carrying the newspaper and an armful of junk food. He closes the door and drops the stuff on the table.

Connor: "I found food in a big metal box outside. - Dad?"

Holtz comes out of the bathroom.

Holtz: "Oh, good boy. You got it."

Connor hands him the paper.

Holtz: "Now. Let's have a look at the date."

Holtz stares at the paper then drops down on the end of one of the beds.

Holtz: "Days. We've been gone only days."

Connor: "I don't like this place. So many people. It's not like home."

Holtz: "Quor-toth was never our home, son. It was our prison. I should have known that one day *you'd* find a way out."

Connor: "The cracks were there already. I just made the sluks show me. That's all."

Holtz gets up: "Frightened rats, forced to flee to daylight. (Pats Connor on the cheek) My boy's smart."

Connor: "You shouldn't have followed me here."

Holtz sits down on a chair: "How could I not?"

Connor crouches down in front of him, putting a hand on Holtz' knee.

Connor: "I would have come back to you, after I killed him. (Straightens up and turns away) I'm sorry I couldn't."

Holtz: "Of course you couldn't. It's not in you, son."

Connor: "I've killed lots!"

Holtz: "Only when you had to, only to survive. (Gets up) And that's not the real reason why you worked so hard to get here. You wanted to see him."

Connor: "No."

He walks past Holtz and sits down on the end of the bed.

Holtz: "It's alright son. There is no shame in it. I knew this day would come. That's why I never lied to you. I've always told you the truth about what you're parents were (Crouches down in front of Connor) how you and I came to be together."

Connor: "God gave me to you."

Holtz: "Yes. God delivered me to you, that I'd keep you safe and lavish upon you all the love that I could never give my first children."

Connor: "Because he took them from you."

Holtz: "That's right."

Connor: "I wish I *had* killed him."

Holtz: "If you had, then you wouldn't be the boy I raised, or the man I know you'll be one day. There's more for you to learn, Steven, much more."

Connor: "And I want to."

Holtz: "Good. (Stands up) Then you must go to him."

Connor: "What?"

Holtz: "Walk in his world, learn all you can. (Puts a hand on Connor's shoulder) Discover what of him is in you that you might fight against it. (Puts a hand under Connor's chin and makes him look up) But be on your guard. Remember what I've taught you. The devil will show you bright things, many colors."

Lorne turns a crystal shimmering with many colors in his hand as he holds it out to Fred.

Lorne: "I would have been here sooner, but I had to stop and get it enchanted. Cedrian Crystals don't actually come that way."

Gunn: "Will it work?"

Fred: "It should. Cedrian crystals are said to contain millennia of stored mystical energy and it's about the size of a "D" battery."

Cordy and Groo walk in.

Cordy: "That's gorgeous."

Fred: "And priceless."

Lorne: "Though in this instance priceless meaning 'without price' as in free. A six-horned Lach-Nie owed me a favor. Don't ask."

Cordy points at the contraption on the desk in front of Fred: "I meant that."

Fred: "Oh. Standard issue army surplus Geiger counter."

Gunn: "We picked it up at a yard sale."

Cordy: "Shiny."

Groo: "What it is purpose?"

Gunn: "We're gonna use it to see if scary monsters came through the portal."

Fred: "Anything that came out of Quor-toth should have left behind a kind of para-plasmic radioactivity. Of course, I'm working of the principal that everything in nature seeks a relaxed and stable state."

Lorne: "I know I do."

Cordy to Gunn: "Hey. So, how is he?"

Gunn looks towards the stairs: "Well, still being all mature."

Cordy: "Really. Where?"

Gunn: "Upstairs."

Cordy: "I'm gonna go talk to him."

Groo watches Cordy walk towards the stairs, letting out a sigh.

Angel is in his apartment practicing against the punching bag.

Cordy: "Hey. - I guess Fred is working on a way to determine if anything else came out of the portal."

Angel steadies the bag, but doesn't turn to face Cordy.

Angel: "That's good."

Angel goes back to practicing.

Cordy: "So, maybe if we're very, very lucky, later today we'll be able to kill something. You'd like that, wouldn't you?"

Angel: "Sure."

Cordy: "Okay. Well, I just wanted to check in and let you know that I was on the clock and tell you that you're doing the right thing."

Angel stops punching the bag, but doesn't turn around. After a beat Cordy starts to leave.

Angel: "What if he doesn't come back?"

Cordy stops and they turn to look at each other.

Groo is standing in the garden courtyard. Lorne walks up to him.

Lorne: "Hey. Something troubling you, bubby?"

Groo: "Indeed. I am confused."

Lorne: "About what?"

Groo: "Angel. His inaction puzzles me. When Connor was taken from him he moved heaven and Tarkna to try and win him back."

Lorne: "Yeah, he sure did. Hence our weekly scrubbing of the lobby floor."

Groo: "But now that his son is here, he does nothing."

Lorne: "Well, sometime nothing is the best something. If a thing is meant to be somethimes it is best to just let it happen rather than try to force it."

Groo: "But if a thing is meant to be then how can it be forced?"

Lorne: "Well, I guess it can't."

Groo: "And if a thing is not meant to be?"

Lorne: "Well, then it really can't. Just because someone hops a dimension or two is no guarantee that things will work out. - Well, aren't you just sneaky with the subtext?"

Groo walks out into the middle of the court and looks up at the sky.

Groo: "It is a beautiful day. If my princess asks, tell her I've gone for a walk. - If she asks."

Angel: "He feels further away from me now than when he was first taken. All that time I don't think I ever really believed that I'd lost him - not really. Then he shows up again and I knew I had."

Cordy: "It's only temporary."

Angel: "Yeah. Everything's temporary. There's just so much I thought we'd be able to do together before he, you know..."

Cordy: "Grew up?"

Angel: "Hated me."

Cordy: "Angel, he doesn't hate you. He doesn't even know you. - But he will. He's gonna come back, Angel."

Angel: "How do you know?"

Cordy: "Because - he has to. Because he's family."

Wes is sitting at the table in his apartment, opening the plastic on a TV dinner (almost burning his fingers) and pouring himself a glass of red wine when his computer beeps. After a beat he walks over to it and opens the message he just received: 782 W. Palm Terrace. 8:30 p.m. Come alone.'

Fred is walking around the Hyperion with her modified Geiger counter, the others following behind her.

Fred: "Getting a good, strong reading here."

Lorne: "Should we be wearing lead? 'cause I actually have something."

Fred: "Okay. This is approximately where the portal was, so it makes sense that I'd be getting a reading here. Uh, mark that."

Gunn marks the floor with a piece of chalk, as Fred moves on, eyes on the readout of the Geiger counter.

Fred: "Okay, looks like something might have come in here. (Keeps moving forward not looking where she's going) Or - here. (The clicking of the Geiger counter increases as she turns to the side) Wait a minute. Wow. Something here is pretty (looks up see Connor standing in front of her) hot. - Angel's son! Hi. I didn't mean to click at you."

She turns the instrument off, throws a glance back at the others then hurries to stand next to Gunn while Angel steps closer to Connor.

Angel: "Hey."

Connor: "Hey. - I - ah, I thought I'd come by like you said."

Angel: "I'm glad you did. (Turns) Everyone, ah, this is ah, this is Steven. Steven this is Fred, Gunn, Cordelia and that's Lorne."

Lorne: "Hello, young man."

Angel to group: "So, are we about done here?"

Fred: "Oh! Yeah. I - I think we've covered everything."

Gunn: "Maybe we could take this outside."

Fred: "Yes. We should do a perimeter search then recalibrate for some wider areas."

Angel: "That would be a good idea."

Fred: "It was very nice to meet you, Steven."

Gunn and Fred leave.

Lorne: "Uhm, yeah, I - I have a thing."

Lorne walks past Connor and upstairs.

Cordy: "Yes, so, uhm, I just be sure to hold all your calls. You just - you guys take your time."

Angel: "Thanks."

Cordy walks towards Wes' office and Angel turns back to face Connor. Both of them fold their arms in perfect unison while not even looking at each other, both shift from foot to foot.

Angel: "So... - You hungry?"

Connor: "What do you have?"

Angel: "We can go out."

Cordy: "What!? Where?!"

Angel turns to see Cordy coming towards him, one hand cupped behind her ear.

Angel: "Cordy."

Cordy yelling: "Angel! It's a bar! Vampires. A gang of them!"

Angel: "Cordy..."

Cordy: "Angel, can you hear me!?"

Suddenly we see Angel the way Cordy does, standing in the middle of a dimly lit bar, surrounded by people, music blaring loudly.

Cordy: "I can see her. A woman. Angel! (Cordy sees Angel's lips move, but can hear what he's saying) She's all alone. She doesn't see them. Angel, you have to hurry!"

Suddenly the bar is whisked away leaving only Angel standing before her in the lobby.

Angel: "Slow down."

Cordy looks around for a moment.

Cordy: "There is a woman at a bar there is a gang of vampires that are after her. You have to help her."

Angel: "So much for holding my call, huh?"

Cordy: "Sorry."

Angel to Connor: "Listen, uhm, - I - I, ah, have to go out for a while."

Connor, backing to: "It's okay."

Angel: "It's kind of my job."

Connor: "Yeah. Whatever."

Angel: "It could be kind of dangerous. There's a lot of killing and violence. You wanna come?"

Connor stops and looks back at Angel over his shoulder.

Break

The bar from Cordy's vision, the camera pans past people dancing with light sticks in their hands, up to a balcony overlooking the main floor. Wes steps up to the railing and surveys the crowd.

Lilah: "I see you got my invitation."

Wes: "Lilah. (Tuns to face her) Obviously."

Lilah: "I thought the 'come alone' was a particularly ironic touch. I mean, how else would you come?"

Wes starts to walk past her, but Lilah holds out a hand to stop him.

Lilah: "Don't rush off. Just look over there."

Wes looks and sees Justine sitting at the bar.

Lilah: "I went to a lot of trouble to arrange this little show for you."

Wes: "Good bye."

Wes starts to walk away.

Lilah: "Okay, but leave now and you'll miss her big death scene. (Wes stops and turns back) Don't tell me you wouldn't like to see the bitch that slit your throat and left you to die get a little of her own back.'

Wes: "What's going on here, Lilah?"

Lilah: "Some source - can't imagine who - tipped her off that tonight this place would be filthy with vampires. Which, as it turns out, is true."

Wes: "Right. Because that same source tipped off the vampires that *she* would be here."

Lilah: "Seems she has been pissing off a lot of undead Americans lately."

Wes: "And you thought I'd enjoy a box seat for her slaughter."

Lilah smiling brightly: "Well - yeah."

Wes: "You really don't know the first thing about me, do you?"

Lilah: "Probably not."

Wes turns to walk off and Lilah steps up close to him.

Lilah: "Like, will he go straight to his car, or will he stop to warn her first?"

Wes stops, but doesn't turn or speak.

Lilah: "He has to think about it. That's good. That's all I really needed to know. (Turns away from him) You can go."

Wes takes a step after her: "A *test* Lilah?"

Lilah: "Oh, don't look so grim. I just needed to know whether or not I was wasting my time. And to prove we're still friends, I'll have her pulled out of there before anything *really* lethal happens. That way you don't have to torture yourself as to whether or not you did the right thing."

Wes looks past her to floor below and takes step closer to the railing.

Wes: "I don't think that will be necessary."

Lilah steps up next to him and sees Angel moving through the crowd.

Angel: "Well, you wanted to kill a vampire. This might be your chance. (Unobtrusively hands a stake to Connor) Here take this. Just make sure that when you use that thing go straight for..."

Connor: "...the heart. I know. My father taught me."

Angel: "Yeah, I'm sure he did. Look, there are a lot of innocent people in here. Just don't go nailing anybody until they show their game face, okay?"

Connor: "Will it look like yours did?"

Angel: "Yeah."

Angel spots Justine drinking at the bar.

Connor: "So why do you do it?"

Angel: "Do what?"

Connor: "Why kill them if they're like you?"

Justine spots Angel and gets of her barstool.

Angel: "They're not like me, Connor."

Connor: "I'm not Connor."

Bartender to Justine: "Ready for another?"

Angel to Connor: "Just stay right there."

Justine: "No, I'm done."

The bartender and the two guys sitting on either side of her vamp out.

Bartender, grabbing a hold of her arm: "You're not wrong."

Vamp: "She thinks she's a Slayer."

Bartender: "She's about to learn different."

The bartender pulls Justine up onto the bar even as she turns and kicks one of the vamps away and straight onto Angel's stake. Connor watches as the vamp turns to dust.

The bartender throws Justine into the shelves of bottles behind the bar. A vamp catches Angel's right hand as the stake descends towards his heart, but Angel simply stakes him with the one in his left.

Three other vamps attack Angel in the small space that has cleared around Angel as Wes watches from the balcony.

Justine screams as the bartender takes a hold of her. Connor runs forward, jumping to land in the clear space next to Angel.

Angel: "Nice... Ah, take the one on the..."

Connor runs past to attack the vamp holding Justine.

Angel: "Well, yeah. That-that makes more sense."

Angel gets tackled by one of the vamps and turns his attention back to the fight.

Lilah watches Connor dust the bartender.

Lilah: "Who's the boy wonder? He moves just like..."

Wes: "...his father."

Lilah stares at Wes for a moment before turning back to watch the fight.

Connor helps Justine up and the two of them stare at each other for a beat before he leads her around the bar. Justine stops to stare again, but Angel pulls Connor away.

Angel to Justine: "Go. Get out of here. Go!"

After one last look at Connor Justine runs off, while Angel and Connor turn back to back to fight off the remaining vampires. There is short lull in the fight and they glance at each other, a small smile appearing on both of their faces, before they return their attention to the vamps.

Lilah: "Now tell me you're not interested."

Lilah turns to look at Wes, only to find him gone.

One of the vampires turns to run and Connor takes off after him. No more vampires attacking, Angel moves to follow Connor.

Connor slowly moves out of the backdoor of the bar into a dark and deserted alley, stake at the ready.

Suddenly he spins and slams the stake home - only to have his wrist caught in Angel's hand before the stake can penetrate his heart. They remain frozen in that position for a moment, Connor breathing hard. Then Angel turns the hand holding the stake and hauls back to hit Connor's arms, causing him to spin around and dust the vampire standing behind him.

Connor slowly turns back around, looking everywhere but at Angel, while we can hear a pounding like a heartbeat overlaid over the scene.

Angel: "They don't need to breathe or make any sound. You gotta be careful. - You know you were - you were good in there. (Connor looks up at Angel) I mean, normally I'd take you to a ballgame, or a museum, or - something. But it's - it's good to know that you can handle yourself in a fight."

Angel mock-attacks Connor. Connor jumps back, then smiles.

Angel: "It's good to know you can do that, too."

Connor throws a fake punch at Angel.

Angel smiling: "Woah."

Laughing and smiling the two of them start dancing around each other, throwing fake punches, jumping up on the trash containers sitting along the wall of the alley, horsing around.

The camera pulls back to show us Holtz stepping out of the shadows on one of the emergency ladders on the houses lining the alley, watching them from above.

Connor is sitting in Holtz' motel room eating an Oreo cookie. The door opens and Holtz walks in, stops in front of Connor and looks down at him.

Connor: "Father. - He was everything that you said. He tried to trick me. Thought that he could deceive me by saving people. It didn't work. I've seen his true face."

Holtz: "And I've seen yours."

Cordy is lounging on Angel's bed while Angel is sitting in a chair across the room.

Angel: "The kid was born for it. The way he anticipated, I'm telling you, it's in his blood."

Cordy: "You don't say."

Angel: "There we were and it was like we had never been apart. He felt it, too. I know he did. You should have seen us together."

Cordy: "I did."

Angel: "What do you mean, you did?"

Cordy: "Ah - after you left, I went back into my vision."

Angel: "You went back in?"

Cordy sits up: "Don't ask me how. I don't know if it is part of my new semi-demoness, or - or if they just let me go back in. But I was there. I saw the whole thing, you and your son together. It was beautiful."

Connor: "Stop saying that!"

Holtz is sitting across the table from Connor, holding his hands.

Holtz: "It is true, son."

Connor: "You're wrong!"

Holtz: "I'm not wrong. Anyone who saw you together would realize - that's where you're meant to be - at his side."

Connor: "No!"

Holtz: "It was your need for him that drove you across the dimension."

Connor: "I don't need him!"

Holtz: "Go back to him, Steven."

Connor: "Why are you doing this? Why? God gave me to you."

Holtz: "Yes. It was god's plan for us to be together. Nothing will ever persuade me otherwise. But now it's time for me to give you back."

Connor: "He's a demon."

Holtz: "And you're the bastard son of two demons."

Connor: "Then I'm a demon."

Holtz: "You're not. God help me, I don't know what you are, but I'm not the one to give you answers, and there *are* answers. Go and find them out."

Fred and Gunn pull up across from the French Cottage motel, still following the readings of Fred's modified Geiger counter.

Fred: "Okay. Except for the hotel the strongest emissions are coming from somewhere in this vicinity."

Gunn: "Now what? We go door to door and ask if anyone's seen any inter-dimensional boogies?"

Fred: "I'm not sure. I don't even know if we should be looking above ground or not."

Connor pulls his hands out from under Holtz'.

Connor: "You told me not to be deceived. But you've let yourself be deceived."

Holtz: "If I could stop this, I would, son. But we were brought here by forces beyond our control."

Connor jumps up and heads for the door.

Connor: "You're wrong."

Gunn spots Connor storming out of a door on the upper level of the motel.

Gunn: "Hey. Check it out."

They watch as Connor reaches the end of the balcony and after quick look around drops down over the railing to run off.

Fred: "Looks like we've been following Angel's son's emissions the whole time."

Gunn: "Now there is a sentence I don't ever need to hear again."

Fred: "But it's good, right? It means there was no big scary that came out of the portal."

Gunn turns back to look at the room Connor ran out of and sees Holtz appear in the open door.

Gunn: "How about a short scary?"

Holtz slowly closes the door.

Lorne, wearing a dressing gown, is pouring himself a drink. He turns and sees Connor standing in the middle of the hotel lobby.

Lorne: "Oh, hey, kiddo. I didn't see you there. You looking for your dad? Come on. He's upstairs. I'll show you the room. - This way."

Connor: "I'm not going anywhere with you, demon."

Lorne: "I'll tell you what, since you were raised in a hell dimension by a psychopath, and since that happens to be a topic that I know a little something about, we'll just let that slide. Now I'll fetch your pop for you."

Lorne turns to continue up the stairs.

Connor: "Filthy demon."

Lorne turns back: "Actually, that's *uncle* filthy demon to you. It wasn't that long ago - like a week - I was changing your diapers, you little..."

Cordy: "Hey!"

Cordy walks in and walks over to stand between them.

Cordy: "What's the problem?"

Lorne just looks at Connor.

Cordy: "Steven?"

Steven never takes his stare off Lorne.

Cordy: "Steven."

After a beat Connor lets himself be lead over to the settee and sits down with Cordy, but he keeps staring at Lorne.

Cordy: "I know you haven't been in this world very long, and I imagine that things are pretty wild west-y where you're from, but Lorne's a good guy. Honestly."

Connor: "It's a demon."

Cordy: "Right. True. *He* is. But 'demon' doesn't always mean 'evil' in this dimension. I mean, look at me. (Connor's eye track from Lorne to look at her) Well, I'm part demon. Yeah. By choice. I did it so that I could help people. (Turns to look at Lorne) And so that the back of my head wouldn't..."

Connor draws his knife and lunges to stab Cordy in the heart.

Break

Lorne: "Cordy!"

Cordy and Connor stare at each other as Cordy keeps Connor's knife hand from descending on her.

Cordy's eyes begin to glow with and intense white light. The light spreads, moves up her arm and into Connor, dissolving the blade of his knife and leaving him holding just the handle.

Cordy: "Let it go, honey. - Just let it go. You don't need that. You don't need any of that."

The light leaves Cordy, suffusing Connor instead, as Cordy sits back up across from Connor.

Cordy: "That's right. Just let it go, baby."

The light disappears all together, leaving Connor panting and staring at Cordy.

Cordy: "Shh."

Cordy reaches up to run her hand over Connor's cheek.

Cordy, whispering: "It's okay, sweetie. That's right. It's okay."

Connor's eyes close and he leans his head against Cordy and cries into her shoulder. Cordy holds on to him.

Cordy: "I know. Shh. - It's okay. - It's okay."

Connor sits back up and Cordy turns to look up at the balcony overlooking the lobby to see Angel standing at the railing.

Angel watches from the door to Wes' office as Lorne hands Connor a cup, then turns back to face Cordy, sitting at the desk.

Angel: "How do you feel?"

Cordy: "Okay. Drained. But okay."

Lorne: "Well, you got some serious mojo going on, girl. Whatever deal you struck with the Powers, it looks to me like they gave you the full package - all the extras. That kid was toxic when he came here tonight. Heavy on the 'ick'."

Angel: "What actually happened out there?"

Lorne: "In my professional opinion? Well, Miss demon-y britches here gave that child some kind of 'soul colonic'. Flushed him out but good."

Angel: "Flushed what out?"

Cordy: "It was that place, Quor-toth. It crept into every part of him. He was sick with it."

Angel: "When Fred was taking her readings..."

Lorne: "He nearly broke the needle. My guess? She wouldn't even get so much as a click off him now."

Angel crouches down in front of Cordy.

Angel: "Thank you. Thank you for doing this for him."

Cordy: "I know what it was like for him there, the darkness and the confusion. He thought it was where he belonged."

Angel slowly walks up to where Connor is still sitting on the settee.

Angel: "Hey, pal. How 're you doing?"

Connor: "I might have tried to kill your friend."

Angel: "Yeah, well - she's used to it."

Connor: "I think I should go."

Angel goes to sit down on the settee next to Connor.

Angel: "Look - why don't you just - stay here? - I know it doesn't feel like it yet - but this could be home for you."

Connor, staring straight in front of him: "I don't have a home."

Angel: "That's not true. You just don't remember, that's all. - Your home is here. This is where you're supposed to be, son."

Connor: "You speak as though you're my father."

Angel, smiling slightly: "Well..."

Connor: "He said the same thing. (Angel's smile melts away) He said, we came back for a reason."

Angel: "Did he?"

The doors open and Fred and Gunn come hurrying in. They stop as they see Angel and Connor, and Gunn clears his throat.

Holtz goes to look through the peephole in the door of his motel room, in response to a knock. He opens the door to reveal Justine standing there.

Justine: "Daniel."

Holtz just looks at her.

Angel walks into Wes' office where Gunn and Fred are waiting.

Angel: "I told him you two were going to take him out, spend some time with him."

Gunn: "And he's good with that?"

Angel: "Yeah, he seems to be."

Fred: "Where do you want us to take him?"

Angel: "Some place were this world isn't as ugly as he thinks it is."

Gunn: "How long you need?"

Angel: "A couple of hours should do it.'

Gunn: "Hey, uhm, what if he asks where you're at?"

Angel: "Don't tell him."

Gunn and Fred file out of the office and Angel grabs his coat.

Cordy: "Wait. Angel, before you go we have to do that thing."

Angel: "What thing?"

Cordy: "That thing we do. You know that thing where I say 'are you sure you know what you're doing, Angel, please think about this' and then you ignore me and rush head long into trouble?"

Angel: "Right. That thing. - Okay, are we done?"

Cordy: "Angel, please think about this. In fact, don't go there at all."

Angel: "I have to."

Cordy: "I know. But don't."

Angel: "I'm not gonna kill him even though he deserves it."

Angel turns to go.

Cordy: "Oh, I don't care if you kill him. (Angel stops and turns back to look at Cordy) He stole Connor's childhood, so kill him. But don't lie to your son. He's been here like a day. Way to build the trust."

Angel: "I'm not lying to him."

Cordy: "No, you're just sending him off to be distracted while you go confront the man he thinks of as his father."

Angel after a beat: "I'm his father."

Cordy watches him turn and walk out.

Justine: "Before you there was nothing. I was dead. They'd taken my sister. They'd taken a part of me. You gave me a reason again - even if it was all lies."

They are sitting on the two beds, facing each other.

Holtz quietly: "Not all."

Justine: "I still think I'd do anything for you. I'd have followed you into hell if you would have let me."

Holtz stretches out on his bed: "Thank god you didn't."

Justine: "I can't believe you survived it. - How did you?"

Holtz: "My hate kept us alive."

Justine: "Hate gets a bad rap. It can keep you going sometimes when nothing else will."

Holtz: "Yes. I found I had to stay alive that I might pass on my legacy of hate. But something happened in that place, Justine, something changed. Amidst the most unspeakable ugliness the hate turned into love. Love for a son. Hate is not enough. I found that love is far more powerful. Now there is just one thing I need you to do for me and then I can finally be done with vengeance."

Connor is standing on the beach watching the waves roll in.

Connor: "What is it?"

Gunn: "The ocean. Pacific."

Connor: "Ocean. My father taught me about oceans. He never said it was so..."

Fred: "Big?"

Connor: "Empty."

Fred: "It's not. It's just all under the surface. A whole 'nother world actually."

Connor: "Everything's so different here."

Fred: "I know how you feel. (Gunn looks down at her) I got lost once like you. - When I came back nothing seemed real. Like I was seeing everything from the bottom of the ocean."

Connor: "I don't remember being lost."

Connor walks away from Gunn and Fred up to the edge of the surf.

Gunn: "Ah, Steven? Yo!"

Fred: "Maybe we should just give him a minute."

Gunn wraps an arm around her shoulder and Fred leans against him.

Fred: "I wish Angel was here."

Gunn: "Yeah. His kid seeing the ocean for the first time, too bad he had to miss it."

Fred: "That's not what I meant. I just - feel sort of creepy, keeping him busy and distracted while Angel..."

Gunn: "Confronts the kidnapper?"

Fred: "Well, if you're gonna put it like that. - What do you think he'll do?"

Gunn: "I don't know. I know what I'd do. But Angel will deal with Holtz in his own way."

Connor turns from watching the surf to look back at them.

Fred: "Uh-oh."

Gunn: "No way. He couldn't have heard us."

Fred: "He did."

Connor runs off.

Break

Cordy turns out the light in the office as she picks up her coat and purse to go home. As she walks towards the doors she sees a figure wearing a black leather jacket and starts to smile.

Cordy: "Angel. Oh my god, do you know how happy this makes me? I ask you not to go and you didn't go? I'm so glad to see..."

She runs up to hug him, slowing as the man steps out of the shadows. It's Groo.

Cordy: "...you. - Hi."

Holtz is sitting at the table in the motel room. He folds a piece of paper and sticks it into an envelope.

Holtz: "I can't recall - would you require an invitation for a place like this?"

Angel is standing in the open door behind Holtz.

Angel: "Public accommodation? (Steps across the threshold) No."

Holtz: "No. You'd think I'd remember something like that. It would have seemed important once. (Stands up and turns to face Angel) Details begin to escape me."

Angel gives the door a push so it closes behind him then grabs Holtz by the throat and slams him up against the wall.

Angel: "You stole my son."

Holtz: "I kept your son alive. You murdered mine."

After a beat Angel slowly backs off and withdraws his hand from Holtz' throat.

Angel: "I was different then."

Holtz, reaching up to touch his throat: "Yes. So was I. - You feel remorse. You feel remorse yet you can't express it."

Angel: "You want me to say I'm sorry? How can I? It wouldn't mean a thing."

Holtz: "It would mean a little. Not much, but it would be something."

Angel: "Then I'm sorry. For whatever little it might mean. It's all I've got."

Angel stands still, looking straight ahead, not at Holtz.

Holtz, lowering his hand: "Not all. - You had a son. - So - there it is. (Sits down) I thought by depriving you of that son it would allow me some measure of justice. I was wrong."

Angel: "Taking Connor from me was never justice. It was vengeance."

Holtz: "Or maybe vengeance is what I do now. Give back what I took."

Angel: "What?"

Holtz stands up: "I'm an old man now. I have nothing to offer the boy. You can give him what I can't - his purpose. But every time you look upon his face - every time he calls you 'father' - you will be reminded of that which you took and can never give back. - And if that is vengeance, I find I have no taste for it."

Holtz picks up the letter and holds it out to Angel.

Holtz: "All I ask is that you give him this. It's not sealed. I expect you'll examine it. You should."

Angel: "Why are you doing this."

Holtz: "I thought I'd made that plain. I love my son. (Angel closes his eyes for a moment) And this is the only way I know to ensure that he will go on loving me."

Angel takes a hold of the letter and turns to look at Holtz. After a moment he pulls the letter out of Holtz' hand and turns to leave.

Holtz: "He won't accept this at first. He'll try to find me. (Angel stops with one hand on the door) - He never will."

Angel opens the door and slowly walks out.

Connor is running down a dark alley.

Angel stops his convertible at a deserted stretch of beach road. He takes out the letter and starts to read it.

Holtz voice over: "Dearest Steven, (We see Connor running down a street) this is a most difficult letter for me to write. You mean more to me than anything in this world or any other. But your best interests must come first, which is why by the time you receive this, I will be gone. (Holtz takes one last look back at the motel room) I hope one day you will be able to forgive an old man's weakness, (Connor runs down the middle of a street, cars dodging around him) which compels him to say these things in a letter. (Holtz looks at Justine) But to attempt a good-bye in your presence (Connor running, jumping over a car) would be impossible for me. I fear I would never let you go. And I must let you go. (Angel reading the letter) I know that if I didn't you would only end up hating me. And that I could not bear."

Justine slams Holtz up against the side wall of the motel: "Don't make me do it. I can't."

Holtz has his hand wrapped around Justine's right hand and the awl she is holding up between them.

Holtz: "We already know you can. You promised. You said you'd do anything for me. Come on, Justine. I'm not asking you to follow me into hell. Just help send me there. (Shakes her) Do it!"

Crying, Justine, her hand still covered by Holtz', stabs him in the side of the neck with the awl.

Angel is reading the letter.

Holtz voice over: "Your destiny lies with Angel. I know that now. (Holtz slides down the wall, still holding on to Justine) You will have a better life with him."

Holtz to Justine: "Again. Again!"

Crying, Justine stabs Holtz neck a second time just below the first puncture.

Holtz voice over: "I'm comforted by that certainty and the knowledge that with him (Connor running) you will discover your true purpose and come to know who it is you are meant to be."

Angel folds up the letter and returns it to the envelope.

Connor runs.

Holtz, staring up at the dark sky, whispers: "Steven."

Angel, wearing the trace of a smile, quietly: "Connor."

Connor bursts into the motel room: "Dad!"

Looks around the empty room: "Dad?"

Holtz voice over: "My only prayer is that I have prepared you well enough for whatever lies ahead."

Connor backs out of the motel room and hurries down the balcony.

Holtz v.o: "I trust that I have. Be brave. Lovingly, your father."

Connor runs through a metal gate and stops as he sees Justine, running her hand over Holtz' head resting in her lap. He runs up to them and drops down nest to Holtz, putting his hands on Holtz shoulders. Justine slowly raises her head to look at him. Connor stares at the two puncture wounds on Holtz' neck.

Connor: "Angelus."

BLACK OUT.



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