⚔︎That's When We Need Each Other⚔︎
Regardless of it all he still hated the fact of Jones kicking Damian out onto the streets. More truth had come out and Damian explained he hadn't spoken to his mother in years and she left him with very little, by the time it all ran out he was left homeless. Trying to find some type of work and a place to sleep at night, that was when Christina roped him in with the promises of having shelter and safety.
He admitted it wasn't in his best judgment but he decided on staying afterword. Now the both of them knew they couldn't really leave. Which was the CIA's intentions to begin with. They knew that but to them, each other's safety was more important than having the CIA string them along like puppets.
Conner wanted to try his best to prove that he was much more than his temper. In training, he tried to learn to channel his anger and only let it out when necessary. It wasn't an easy task at all. No, matter how hard he tried.
Conner was a target to the other agents thanks to his height and the way he spoke. Being shorter than the average and his thick New York accent the others were quick to get under his skin. Finding it funny to poke at him and try to get a rise out of him.
Luckily, and by some great miracle, he managed to let the words roll right off of him. The words were harsh and sometimes even downright cruel, but soon enough he blocked out the voices and focused on becoming a better fighter. He still admired how great of a fighter Damian was and wanted to be just like that. He fought with his head first and kept his calm while doing so to stay focused. The complete opposite of how Conner used to fight.
Still, Conner tried to channel his anger and pushed down his temper. Making it so he controlled it and not the other way around. It wasn't at all what Christina wanted to see from him, she wanted to see him fly off the handle and lose it. But, that wasn't what he wanted or liked to do, so he did the opposite.
It annoyed her and he could tell, but it wasn't like he cared. He wanted her to lose interest in him so that she would get over wanting to turn him into some killer.
The most overwhelming thing in training happened to be shooting and target practice. The first time Conner held a gun he nearly broke the thing and when he shot it, his ears rang for hours. Damian, on the other hand, loaded the gun in second, pushed off the safety and cocked it all in one swift motion.
Conner became once again impressed and slightly envious, but Damian showed Conner how to do it. It took many, many, many tries but before they both knew it, Conner learned how to use the gun.
After that came staff training, and Conner was a natural at that. Then learning to use crossbows, the larger range in guns, how to unhook and throw a bomb, blade throwing and whipping, and so many other techniques in weaponry.
Some trials went smoothly and other times it went to hell. There were days where Conner left with different injuries he had inflicted on himself while trying to get the hang of a weapon. He went to bed with different cuts, bruises, dings, and scrapes. He even managed to give himself a black eye from whipping the staff back so hard the damn thing cracked him right in the face. Baker called quits early that day.
When it came to gym time and working out, it wasn't much of a challenge.
The workouts were much more intense than what he was used to but it was something that made his mind wander so he didn't mind it too much.
In no time Conner was becoming and looking more like an actual agent like Damian was when they first met. His physique had changed, his coordination got quicker, and his mindset became sterner and focused.
When he first joined, Conner was nervous, a little shaky, dorky, and outspoken. After being there for six months he became more sturdy and focused, more to himself and only slightly dorky. Nevertheless, even though he was sure he was keeping it under control, his temper was growing worse.
He found himself becoming angered even quicker than before. If someone remarked or snapped at him, he was quick to hit back with his words. He was even nearly gotten into fights, pushing and shoving whenever someone tried to get at him. That was something they wanted to see from him, he wasn't proud of it and tried pushing it down farther.
Damian stayed close by and tried to keep Conner calm. The two still needed one another when it came to that so Damian being the older would step in and break up any little argument that escalated into a big fight. It made both of them not the most liked but they knew what was best for the two of them.
Before he knew it, Conner's first year as a fledgling went by and he was ready for his first mission. Damian had already been on a couple to where Baker made Conner sit out, but now the next time there was a mission, Conner was going to join in. He was a little excited to feel included but also very nervous. A feeling he was surprised that he didn't feel in a while.
It made him feel like he did when he first got there. He knew sometimes if the mission was cruel enough an agent wouldn't make it back alive. Damian told him that but informed Conner to stay close to him and he should be just fine. He was still really glad to have a friend like that, the two of them hit it off right away when they first met and only grew closer since then.
It made him breathe a lot easier and if the mission was to come about, he would feel a little more ready. Or at least that was what he told himself to sleep a little better at night.
Another long hard day had past and Conner walked back to his room, leaving the door open he crashed right onto the bed. Exhaling a long breath into his pillow. Everything was aching and all he wanted to do was stay there forever.
The feeling made him want to resent Baker, and so he sort of did. Keeping distance and letting out snarky remarks to him whenever he could.
Richard Baker was one big man who always had a stern look on his face and seemed angry all of the time. So it was very stupid to try and get under his skin, but he only brushed off Conner's little spiteful remarks and worked the kid even harder. That was how he got his payback on the boy.
Damian called out as he let himself into Conner's room. He only groaned into his pillow a bit not even wanting to lift his head up. Damian went ahead and went over to the desk and pulled out the chair.
Letting out a grunt himself as he sat down and reclined the chair back a little. Conner pressed his palms before him and pushed himself up, squinting his eyes shut as he did. Maneuvering to roll around and sit up.
"Baker's gonna kill me I know it."
"Y'know since we've started hanging out, Baker's gone harder on me too. So I resent ya for that."
"Well, he knows doesn't he?"
Damian nodded in response. Moving to rest his elbow on the armrest of the chair and place his pinky finger in his teeth.
"Well hey! Home visit's finally comin' up. We suckered Jones to have it early, 'least you'll get to see the family for a little while."
"I haven't been able to talk to them since I got here. My mom's gonna kill me for that, but seein' the boys and dad'll be cool."
"See? Hope you have fun."
Conner shook his head as he slowly stood up. Which was indeed painful. Wincing a little as he walked over and grabbed a water, downing some of it before closing it back up.
"Look stupid, you're comin' too. I told ya that like nine times. I ain't leaving you here with Jones out of my sight."
"But nothin' Damian. It's what friends do, I know ya didn't really have that but you do now. Think of me as the little brother you've always wanted."
Damian lightly chuckled and shrugged. He didn't mind the feeling of having a family, why would be growing up with so little. It had been almost five years since he's seen or even heard from his mother, and he hated it when the others got to go home when he stayed back. This was Conner's first home visit since he was a fledgling and had to stay the last time.
Now, he had worked hard enough to have a home visit himself and did agree to take Damian along with him.
It worried him to leave him alone with Jones, just in case she were to catch on and find out that Damian told Conner everything. To their luck, Jones was a little behind on figuring things out. Baker pointed that out many times, it made her not a very good Director or agent as he put it. And yet somehow she surpassed him and became a Director while Baker stayed an agent.
Regardless, Conner was a little glad she was so clueless about that. It had been a year she still had no idea that Conner knew her true intentions with him.
Setting all of that aside, he wanted to get ready to head back home to Manhattan. He helped Damian back up onto his feet and told him to get himself ready so they could head out that following morning. Once Damian was out to his own room, Conner closed his door and gathered everything. Keeping clean clothes in his drawers and stuffing the dirty ones in his bag. He'd take the advantage and do some laundry while at home.
Stuffing everything in his backpack again he zipped it up and set it aside. Finishing off his water and heading down the hall over to Damian's room. Letting himself in he helped him gather his things for he had much more crap than Conner did. He did the same with Damian's clothes as he did with his own.
Explaining he'd do laundry while at home. Once everything was all sorted and situated, the two went over to grab something to eat before going to bed. They were still sore and exhausted from the training earlier that day so they ate quickly and went back to their rooms to sleep for the night.
The second Conner's head hit the pillow he was out like a light. Actually sleeping well as he was happy to catch a break and head home for a little while.
The next morning Damian woke up to excessive knocking on his door. He slowly got himself out of bed and opened the door. There stood Conner, bright-eyed with an excited smile on his face. He had reverted back to his old self and grew excited and hyper.
Damian only yawned as Conner let himself in and grabbed Damian's bag, chucking it over to him. He caught it with an 'oof' as the kid had an arm on him.
That woke him up instantly.
Setting it aside a moment and grabbed his boots. Slipping them on and lacing them up, he grabbed his bag and draped it over his shoulders. Letting out a long yawn as he and Conner headed out the door.
Both of them made it out of the back halls and over to the elevator back down the main floor. Then they walked over and signed out at the front desk, scanned their badges and were out the front door and out of the CIA base altogether.
Once they were out of there. Conner took the lead as Damian followed. Heading over to and down to the subway stations. Waiting and going into the correct train that leads to Conner's home neighborhood. The train soon stopped and the boys went out with the crowd and made it back up to Conner's neighborhood.
Damian looked all around in awe, he himself was from Connecticut so he never really witnessed the city all that much. There was so much to see and Damian kept falling behind in Conner's tow as he stopped and took everything in. Slowing the pace now, both boys walked side by side and talked as they walked down to Conner's family townhouse.
Conner told Damian more about his family and what it was like growing up in his neighborhood. Most of which Damian had already known since the two were inseparable for a little over a year now. But Conner was excited so he just let him retell the tales of growing up there.
Damian was a little nervous but knew it was a good thing. All of it was just really new to him. He never met his family or knew if he really had any. Most of his life Damian was alone and even preferred it that way at times.
Regardless he had trouble with friends and was glad he and Conner hit it off as fast as they did. Conner was a person who was friendly to everyone and made friends easily. Which again was the opposite of Damian.
Opposites attracted them the two of them entered each other's lives. Soon they realized they both needed that opposite to balance them out. Conner was short-fused, as Damian was calm. Damian fought with his head, while Conner punched first and asked questions later.
Banding together the two saw that they improved rapidly and it made them better agents and better people. Both were glad to have that friendship and balance. The two of them would take the CIA head on side by side and learn the obstacles together.
Finally, the two made to up to Conner's home and still having a key, Conner unlocked the front door and let the both of them in. Calling out that he was home as he closed the door behind both of them.
Right away Conner's mother Penelope came down the steps and greeted the both of the boys, also scolding Conner for not calling all of that time. But she was very warm and welcoming to Damian.
Making sure he was comfortable and made sure he had everything that he needed.
During the evening, Damian met the rest of the McAlister family. Conner's father Matteo, and his younger twin brothers Eric and Felix. Everyone really liked and enjoyed meeting Damian and made him not feel weird, awkward or left out in any way.
Everything started to feel unreal again to both of the boys. They have gotten so used to the harshness of the CIA that they have forgotten what it was like to have a warm comfortable feeling. The home visit felt almost too good to be true that they both exchanged looks about heading back to 'work'.
They both were thinking the same thing and started contemplating whether they wanted to go back or not for a little bit. Conner knew his time there wasn't up yet, but he wasn't sure if Damian was on the same page.
For him, although his options were to stay there or end up on the streets again. He didn't want the domestic feeling to all to go to his head because to Conner it wasn't over just yet. He missed home sure but he was also still just getting started.
That night Conner wandered over to the guest room and checked on Damian. He was still awake, reading on of his books. Conner knocked on the open door to indicate he was coming in. Damian pulled his gaze off of his book and up to Conner.
"What's the problem?"
He said, setting his bookmark in his book and shutting it. Laying it on the nightstand. For an odd reason Conner never understood, Damian always knew when something was up. Maybe it was that they were so close, or that he was just that good sometimes.
Probably both. Damian was still full of surprises.
"You ever think about quitting?"
"Quitting the CIA I mean. You ever think about that?"
Damian took a pause and thought about that question a moment. Right before answering out honestly.
"Yeah... I mean I used to. That was before you came along, now I'm stuck there."
"I'm serious dude."
"So am I. Kinda, I mean yes I used to all the time despite what Jones would say. But, now not so much. I know I can't leave you there, I can't risk what they'll do to you."
"Not while I'm there for I'll make sure of it. Look kid, it's fine I ain't going anywhere. Like you explained it's what friends do, plus it's not... /all/ bad."
"For an agent, you're a horrible liar. I don't want you to feel obligated to stay only 'cuz of me. I mean hell Damian you're a really good agent. You still could easily kick my ass."
"Thanks, and that is true I could... I'm staying end of story. Okay? Now go sleep you look tired."
Conner nodded and absentmindedly agreed. Turning back around and exiting the guest room. Stopping in his tracks and blinking a moment, realizing what just happened.
'How does he do that?!' He mumbled to himself shaking his head and continuing down the hall to his old bedroom. Closing the door behind him and leaning his back to it. Thinking everything through a moment.
He didn't want Damian to stay due to an obligation, and he felt a little selfish wanting him to stay regardless. He meant what he said about Damian being so talented and he figured he was perfect for the CIA. They could use someone like him, but he also wanted what Damian really wanted. He wanted him safe, he really considered him as his best friend.
Like the older brother he never knew he needed, so he wanted him to be okay and to stay because he wanted to.
Conner went ahead and took Damian's words that he was okay and was to stay in the CIA. Allowing his head to clear a bit to go to his bed and try to fall asleep for the night. Only a few more days and the two would be heading back to the base, playing agent all over again.