, he thinks.
Connor's cocoon was a silent tomb. There was no rushing of blood, no noises or gurgles, no heartbeat to rock him in the wee hours.
He doesn't remember it, of course, the dead stillness of his mother's body around him.
But he searches for those missing sounds anyway, from Holtz in the early years (only to be rebuffed with a growl) and, maybe, later, from the man who says he's his father. Maybe for a minute, before he remembers his history lessons, before he returns the man's open palms with closed fists.
Brutality is what he knows, as familiar to him as the lullaby Holtz hummed in the night, for his dead children.
It's not until Cordelia enfolds him against her glow-bright body, and strokes a warm hand down his back, that he hears it.thump-thump, thump-thump, thump-thump
The sound washes over him, strong and sure, her breastbone warm and solid against his ear.
The primitive part of his brain rushes back over the years, to the time before he was.
His arms snake around her waist, his roughened palms rasping softly over the chiffon material of her top, and he sighs and leans into the song of her heartbeat, letting it wash over him until he can't hear anything else. Cordelia
, he thinks.