⚔︎Cry For Help, I am Not Joking⚔︎
Conner wasn't really okay, once he had locked himself in his room. He took time to reflect and to allow himself to break. To be heartbroken, lost, and confused. Feeling like he couldn't really hold it in any longer. So he let himself fall, before having to pick himself back up again. A lot had happened in that last couple of weeks alone, and he was, of course, still hurting from all of it.
The love of his life walked out on him, which lead him to blind rage, following with having the entire CIA base rest on his shoulders alone. It was more than enough to take in and topping everything off, Conner was still so young.
He stayed alone with his thoughts and allowed himself to be vulnerable in hiding. He cried, yelled, threw, and broke things. Didn't get much sleep at all, and avoided everyone that tried to get near him. All of it piled up until finally, Conner came crashing down.
He knew Directors weren't allowed to really show much feeling, to always be stern and serious, to not be seen as 'weak'. Conner hated that of course but did his best to try and do just that. But, he was still a kid, so his only solution to that was to hide.
Sitting still in the middle of his bed, legs crisscrossed, room a total disaster, and the blinds covering the windows blocking the sunlight. Pretty much becoming a complete hermit, he let himself hide away as he actually became human. He knew he could never let the CIA see him break nor shed a tear. They would go mental and try their best to make him get angry and blow.
That was something he really didn't want to do, for once he didn't have the energy or spark in him to let his temper loose. It was very uncharacteristic of him, but right then that was the last thing he wanted to do. Despite them always annoying him and getting at his nerves.
It just wasn't in him.
Heaving out a long-winded sigh, Conner wiped off his face and rolled out of bed. Slowly going over to his door and going for the knob. He didn't hear anyone outside the door so he figured he was alone.
Opening the door he looked around and couldn't find a single soul. That made him breathe easier, so he quickly went across the hall and down to his bathroom. Once again locking the door behind him and turning on the water in the shower. While the water was heating up he brushed his teeth.
Getting himself out of his old dirty clothes and hopping in the shower. Adjusting the head and letting the hot water pour down on himself.
He didn't want to get lost in his head too much right then, so he washed up quickly and shut off the water. Stepping out he dried himself off and went back to his room.
Once inside, he looked over to his things and got himself dressed. Getting out a red Polo shirt, and navy blue pants. Drying off his curls to the best of his ability, and putting on his glasses. Sliding on his shoes he latched on his watch and headed back out of his room.
Heading up to the top floor again and over to his office. Taking a deep breath he unlocked the door and went inside. Natural sunlight brightened up the room, and Conner looked over to the desk. The folder still where he left it, glancing around the office, he went over to his desk and sat down.
He opened up the folder and spread out the profiles. Grabbing a pen he looked through them all again. Running a finger down each page and re-reading their skills and strengths. Picking them out one by one, Conner made a mark on the ones he had wanted to recruit.
Seeing which ones would be fit for the job and which wouldn't.
Narrowing them all down to which kids were to become the new agents. Checking and 'X'ing the papers left and right. Going in depth and choosing each kid to be a part of the CIA or not. Flipping through all of the papers, after about a good hour, Conner set the pen down. Re-stacking the files and separating them into two piles. One of 'yes' and the other for 'no'. There were still two solid weeks Conner had before his deadline, but he had finished it all in one hour.
Trying not to take it all so personally and being able to sit and actually pick and choose. Deep down he still didn't like it or the idea of it, but he knew it was something he had to get done. So once again he set all of his feelings aside and got his work done.
Taking the piles and grabbing another vanilla from his filing cabinet, he placed one of the piles in there and marked each folder. One marked for new recruits and the other marked for not. After that, he stacked the both of them together and set them aside on his desk.
Sitting back in his chair, it didn't take long for everything to sink in. Eyeing the folders his thoughts came rushing back. He had done it, just like they wanted. Conner never settled and did what they wanted him to do. He always put up a fight and ended up doing things his way instead. Being a rambunctious kid and following his own rules. Sure it might've gotten him in a lot of trouble, and it did.
All until he figured out the Executives were going easy on him. Then he, of course, would only get angrier at that, but no matter what he did. They would always let him off the hook. Rolling his eyes he looked at the folders and then turned his chair around to look out the window. Taking in the view for a few minutes. Everything was bearing down on him, and he looked out to see everyone so free.
Not having to be locked away and treated like practically nothing. Shaking his head a little he felt that spark in his chest again. He hadn't felt that in days, but there it was all over again. His temper was flaring back up and now he wanted to do something about it.
Swiveling back over to his desk he eyed the files and heaved out a sigh shaking his head again. He just couldn't bring himself to turn in those files. Not wanting to take on that responsibility, it wasn't in him.
Pushing out his chair he moved back onto his feet. Crossing the office, unlocking the door and heading out. Not even shutting the door behind himself he walked right over to the elevator. Pressing the button and riding down until he heard the ding.
Doors sliding open to the ground floor lobby. With no hesitation, Conner rushed right out of the elevator and to the front door. Unlocking it with his badge and grasping onto the handle.
Heaving out a sigh, he pulled the handle and walked out the front door.
Walking out of the building, Conner just kept going. Straightforward and no looking back for a moment. Maneuvering through the busy streets and sidewalks of New York, Conner kept going. Not thinking about the base for a second.
Speeding down one of the streets he looked around and stumbled upon a cafe of sorts. It looked to be an independently owned area, shrugging that off, Conner walked up to the front and went on inside. Reaching into one of the coolers and picking out a water bottle, purchasing it. He looked around and found a place to sit.
Breathing slowly he took advantage of the peace around him. It was the middle of a weekday, yet still pretty busy. There were only a few people around him, all doing their own thing. Whether it was working on laptops, scrolling on phones, talking to each other, or simply enjoying the quiet. It was a strike of culture shock, but it felt nice and it felt right.
The weight didn't feel as unbearable, he could let himself breathe, and think things over. He had just walked out of the CIA, all on his own for the first time ever. Just like Damian did a couple of weeks back, after all of the things he said and thought of Damian.
Conner ended up doing the same thing. Pushing those thoughts aside, he didn't want to think about him. Grabbing his water bottle he popped up the top and took a much needed long drink. Feeling to cool water down his throat, it felt relieving and refreshing.
Clearing his throat he snapped the top shut again and set the bottle aside, sitting back in the chair and just taking a moment. The silence didn't last any longer than a couple of moments before Conner heard footsteps to him. Shooting a gaze up, he couldn't believe his eyes right then. Already large eyes grew bigger as he stumbled upon what he had seen.
Conner belted out in surprise. He figured to never see him again, yet there he was in the flesh standing before him. He looked so different from what he was used to seeing on the daily. His face wasn't so stern and angry like it always used to be.
He was wearing normal-looking clothes, and his hands in his pockets, rather than arms crossed over his broad chest. Not seeming so intimidating without his utility belt and gun holsters across his shoulders and chest in an 'X' formation.
Conner looked at him up and down, taking in how different he looked, the last time he had really seen him was after he took down Jones from nearly shooting him in the head.
After that, he took over for a little while before things went out of hand and he went rogue. But there he was, standing before Conner and him not sure what to even think.
He was alive and by the looks of it, still able to kick serious ass to anyone who tried to get to him.
"You're alive! Holy shit!"
Baker snorted out a chuckle, taking his hands out of his pockets to then place them on his hips.
"Well look at you, all polished and done up. Y'really outdid yourself huh?"
Conner blinked and moved to stand, then lean his lower back on the edge of the table. Regarding Baker and still a little baffled from how he looked, it dawned on him that he must've known about the promotion. Hardly anything went past that man, and soon he became something he learned from being trained by him.
"Why the hell are ya out of the base?"
Richard was still speaking as if he was still Conner's teacher. Brown eyes going stern as he looked to the young man and crossed his arms, going back to the usual stance Conner knew so well for five years. Conner looked away a moment and shook his head, right before looking back up and over to Baker.
"Don't think I'll be headin' back there. I ain't cut out t'do any of that shit."
"So ya ran? Goddamnit, Conner McAlister actually ran from a fight. Ain't that a story for the books. You were the little maniac that'd constantly go against my word just so ya can run off and get into trouble."
Conner heaved out a sigh, remembering back to the first time he had done that. It resulted in him getting angry and going against his own team. It landed him in trouble, but it never once stopped him from doing it again and again. Jones wanted to hold him back so she could 'unleash the beast' later on. That never fell through, he would always get away to fight on missions. Shaking his head he snapped back out of it.
"This is way different! It ain't some mission, it's me runnin' that hellhole! Why the hell would I do that? After the way they treated me."
Crossing his own arms. Conner never cared what others thought of him, even when he made a scene and had an outburst in a public place. Some people were looking but, he paid no attention to that at all. Richard huffed out a sigh and dropped his arms a moment, holding out his hands as he spoke.
"Look, I get it, trust me. Why the hell do ya think I hated her so much? I was always against it, but I had no say. All until I caught her... well y'know."
He looked around not wanting to speak out about the CIA and what psychotic things Jones had done in public.
"But, you can change that."
"No I can't, I'm still just some kid. I can't hold the responsibility of agents' lives in my hands."
"You sure as hell ain't the little asshole I had to deal with five years ago. Conner, you matured a hell of a lot, into a strong man who I know can take on whatever comes his way. That means a lot 'cuz I couldn't stand your ass."
Lightly furrowing his brows, Conner managed to slightly chuckle and shake his head fondly. He and Baker always buttheads. Conner was stubborn and hard to handle and Richard didn't tolerate that. So often the two of them hardly got along. Hearing him say all of that right then really hit home. He was actually proud of how Conner became, and he could tell just by his words and voice tone right then.
He even mentioned it himself that it meant a lot and that he couldn't stand him either. Heaving out a sigh he tightened the grip of his crossed arms and glanced to the floor a moment.
"They want me to probably be like her.. some dictator that crushes souls and treats people like nothing but a bunch of Legos."
"That's what I mean when I say you can change that. An asshole sometimes, but I know ya ain't some heartless dictator, you can show those kids what to do by bein' a leader. To guide them in becomin' good agents and maybe better people as well."
Looking back up, Conner took in his words and thought about all of that. Letting everything settle in and replaying it over and over in his head. He was actually starting to picture himself being that way.
Doing the Director job, but doing it the right way. All of that was meaning he had to train the agents, take care of them, and to always have eyes everywhere. Watching closely and making sure the base was safe and well secure. But another thought did cross his mind for just a split second.
"I ain't sure if I could be there for a lost kid."
Richard furrowed his brows a second and thought that over. Instantly knowing what Conner was getting at. He was a lost kid but gained a friend quickly in the process. It was evident that Conner was referring to him wanting to be that friend. One that wouldn't leave him.
"Conner, you're an older brother. Ya can handle that easily."
"I haven't really been the best big brother in the past few years. Haven't spoken to the twins in so long."
"That ain't your fault and it don't change the fact at all. Listen here big man, I ain't gonna tell ya what to do. That's all on yourself. All I am gonna say is you're capable of a lot, and you can handle it."
"Thanks, Rich, an' glad t'see you're still out there kickin' ass."
Richard smiled and nodded. The two shook hands as he wasn't a hugger in the slightest, and before Conner knew it he was gone again.
Conner stayed standing and let that conversation settle in.
Thinking about what Baker was getting at and the point he was trying to make. Hoping that he was right and that he could really handle it all. It was going to be anything but easy. It would be a turmoil on himself and the agents around him, but it was something he wouldn't want to give up on. Regaining that determination again, Conner was thinking he could maybe be able to do it.
He was willing to take on the harsh challenge, to train and teach the kids, to look out for them at all times, to make sure they were safe and secure. If he'd meet another lost and confused kid like who he used to be. He'd be there for them, and treat them better than how he was treated. Most importantly he wasn't going to allow any of them to be objectified like he was and called some killing machine.
It was a weight he would continue to bear on his own, but Conner would rather it be on him than any other agent. That was something he learned to handle and take care of it on his own.
Finishing up his water bottle he tossed it in the cafe's bin and headed back out. Crossing the streets and walking through the busy sidewalks until he made it to the NYC CIA base once again. Marching right back up to it, he got out his badge and gained access to unlock the front doors. Letting himself in he went up and over to the elevator and hit the button for the top floor.
After the lift dinged, he got out and went over to his office. Going right for his desk and grabbing both folders. With that, he went back down to the main floor and over to the mailroom. Clipping the folders together so the papers wouldn't fall out, and sliding them through the chute. Breathing out once he looked around. There wasn't much turning back now, he really was the newest Director, and was determined to give it his best shot.