Eppur Si Muove
by Ros Food

It takes Connor three days to write everything down. He separates his notes into two columns on pages marked with the "Mariott" logo, scribbles words and guesses with a souvenir pen from LA.

All the differences in all the boys he used to be. Which one couldn't swim, which one collected stickers that smelled like bubblegum. His hair is a shade lighter now, and there's a birthmark missing from his left hip. He thinks his feet might be bigger.

He checks for lines of scars, seams where his body's been pulled back together from the broken one. The skin at his throat is smooth as the marbles that a part of him used to play with. He stands in front of the mirror and spider-walks his fingers over the curve of his skull. His mother drops the plate she's drying when he walks into the kitchen, his hair razored down and his scalp shining through.

"It was getting too long," Connor says as he opens up a cupboard. He fills a glass with water from the tap while his father hurries in from the livingroom, a newspaper still folded open in both hands.

Evening stretches the shadows of trees across the north side of the yard. When Connor closes the front door behind him, he cuts off the sound of Lawrence speaking too quietly into the phone. He slips out of his shoes and just stands there, ruining the immaculate lawn. He can feel Colleen gazing at him through the window. Everyone's always said he has his mother's eyes.

Connor's feet find the driveway, and then the sidewalk, and then the street. When he crests the last hill, the city shatters open before him, impossibly wide and endless. Here, the sky is the color of earth. And all the stars lay on the ground.

He breaks into a run somewhere in Arcadia and doesn't stop until he can see Wolfram & Hart. The glass of the building reflects the lightening horizon, the cold white of dawn crawling up from the depths of the ocean.

Angel opens the door before Connor has a chance to knock. His eyes flicker over the top of Connor's head, down to the blood drying between his toes. Worry lines his face in a pattern that Connor only thinks he remembers. And it's fitting -- that it's here he's come for answers, to this greenhouse where nothing will grow.

"I wanted something different for you," Angel says as Connor steps over the threshold. His hand covers the whole of Connor's shoulder, lays there in a warning and a plea.

"I know you tried," Connor says, walking forward. The line of Angel's jaw is familiar in his palm. Even as Angel pulls away, there are still some things that are constant. Connor tips his head back, finds north. When their mouths meet, all the worlds in his head stop spinning.


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