"What did you do?"
They always assumed it was his fault. It's not like he didn't get it—he'd always been a jerk. It's how he navigated life, making smart remarks and doling out sarcasm with abandon.
It was different with Oliver, though, which is why he was a little ticked when he showed up at Michaela's with an overstuffed bag and morose expression and immediately she asked what he had done to make Oliver break up with him. Connor never liked being the victim—maybe that's why he was such an ass, his therapist theorized (though she didn't know the real Connor, just what bits of himself he was able to share without getting arrested, so it was hard to tell how accurate her prognosis was). But it would have been nice to get a little sympathy.
When he was sucker-punched to the floor and got his face broken no one wondered why he just lay there goading Asher on. One look at his face and the first thing out of Meggy's mouth was "What did you say?" He wasn't about to tell her how he'd just outrageously dissed her ex-boyfriend. The only thing that mattered was he'd said something stupid and got what was coming to him. When someone finally had the nerve to fight back against his assholery, Connor did not retaliate. He was not a victim. He deserved what he got. He moved on.
But he did wonder why they were so surprised that he hadn't immediately told them about Wes.
Laurel lied on the stand to protect him. He didn't kid himself that she was doing it out of forgiveness. No one did. The words she stabbed him with after his confession were not unwarranted, and as everyone in the room shut up and stared, his second thought was I almost beat you to it, bitch.
He would not wallow in self-pity. He blamed himself and that was that. He'd known they would blame him too and because it was done and over with he'd figured it was better they throw untrue accusations at him than give them the real reason to secure his guilt.
It was with all this in mind that he waited in the courthouse after Laurel's statement. He watched until everyone else was gone before going to the directory to look up DA Denver's office.
When they couldn't find him right way, the unspoken thought darted at the back of everyone's minds. Laurel received a few side glances and as she took a seat on the couch the severity of her previous words began to weigh at her.
Telling Connor's story from her perspective, defending the actions even though they weren't hers, chipped at her anger. She didn't want it to. She clung to her fury and her blame because it was better than breaking into tears every time Wes's name was spoken. She hated the fact that pretending to harbor Connor's guilt was making her understand him a little bit more.
When Oliver muttered into his phone, don't do this, no one asked what "this" was and no one felt it harder than Laurel.
Asher had been the first to blame Connor and yet the first to forgive (aside from Oliver). If Connor was willing to take things this far at his own expense, so was Asher.
He watched Michaela take control as she always did, raising her stern voice with unchallenged authority. But Asher was tired of waiting. Listening to what everyone else said. If it was already to the point where Connor was risking his own arrest to save their asses, he deserved, for once, a way out.
Despite Asher's sudden protectiveness of his friend, when Connor's voice was the one that answered his call to the mystery number, dread formed in his gut at the first thought that shot through his mind.
It was thankfully tossed out when Connor's voice sounded through both Asher's and Oliver's phones. But the relief was cut short when he stated who the mystery phone belonged to.
So Connor was taking the fall for once, and his stupidity in acting on his guilt landed him in the office of who they now concluded had been the villain all along and to whom he was about to tell everything just put icing on the whole fucking cake. Michaela had never felt more like Annalise. She wanted everyone else to shut up and shut down, listen to her, and get their asses back in line. Mother will fix it. She always does.
Michaela had been holding them all together and keeping them sane for the past she hadn't even counted how many days. She'd placed herself firmly in the center of Annalise's absence and no one challenged her, either because they didn't have the energy or were too wrapped up in their own little worlds to even notice the effort she was putting into keeping their sorry butts out of the fire. And just when she thought that maybe, maybe, maybe they could get away on just one more lie, Connor had to throw his monkey wrench in. Why couldn't he sit on his hands like he always did and take each blow as it came?
Her anger gave her power. That's how she had been coping all this time. But as furious as she was that Connor's misstep was going to throw them all under the bus, her fear for his safety trumped even that. She used the mounting panic in the room to try and regain control of the situation. Even Laurel seemed scared, desperately blurting into the phone her forgiveness for the man she'd not too long ago blamed for her dead lover's demise. Maybe he wasn't taking Laurel's words literally, but he may as well have been by placing himself in that stupid office.
Oliver did not like the phone being snatched from his hands, but he didn't fight to get it back. His tendency to shut down from panic (or make stupid decisions based on it) kept him from tackling Michaela. He knew she would handle it better than he could.
It felt like she was talking Connor off a ledge. Convincing him his logic was misguided, that his actions would not have the affect he wanted. Connor sounded remarkably calm, almost as if he didn't realize the danger he was in. Or maybe he did, and he was just accepting it as what he deserved after what he had done. He hadn't fought back against Asher's fist or Laurel's fury. He wasn't fighting back against this either.
Oliver said nothing as the others around him fought to change Connor's mind. He didn't understand these people. Not long ago they were sitting in silence as Laurel berated Connor and blamed him for Wes's murder, and now all of a sudden they were begging him to come home. They killed people and yet continued to profess their morality. They did and said horrible things to each other and then clung to each other in moments of adversary and panicked over each other's safety.
Not long ago Oliver had considered the world in a pretty black-and-white fashion. You were good or you were bad. You loved or you didn't. You told the truth or you lied. You broke the law or you refused even when faced with challenges, threats, and the offer of sex.
Yet here he was, numerous illegal hacks later, accessory to who knew how many murders, questioning the legitimacy of his own morality since the day he met the person he'd been falling in and out of love with for the past year and a half.
It seemed impossible that one of them had finally come to their senses, so he was a bit wary of ex-Professor Keating's former student sitting across from him in the office. But he wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth when it showed up on his doorstep. The quicker he acted, the less likely the kid was to back down.
So when Denver returned to the office, immunity papers in hand, to find Walsh with the phone to his ear, he cursed the look of realization sinking into the younger man's face.
Things just got a lot more complicated.