Author's Note: This story is for my friend Aciel's birthday, and was inspired by her idea. This story is an Alternate Universe for Angel season 4 in which Cordelia never comes back, the Beast never shows up, and Angel decides to keep Connor instead of sending him away after the episode 'Deep Down'. Written December 2006
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, and I am not making any money from these stories.
Warning: Non consensual disciplinary spanking of an adult by a parent - more harsh than most of my other stories.

. . .
Public Punishment

The car ride home was filled with an uncomfortable silence. Connor was slouched down low in the passenger seat, dreading the upcoming confrontation. Angel's hands were whiter then usual as he gripped the steering wheel with almost enough force to break it. He could hear Connor's heartbeat, and knew he was nervous.

Angel thought, 'Good. He should be nervous. This will be the third time this month that I've spanked him for not listening to me while we're working. That vampire was a millisecond away from sinking his fangs into Connor's neck, all because he couldn't wait the three minutes for me to get there before he attacked them.'

Angel sighed in annoyance, but since he didn't usually breath at all, Connor noticed it and tried to slouch down even lower. He was trying to come up with a convincing argument for Angel not spanking him once they got back to the hotel, but he couldn't seem to come up with one. Angel had clearly told him to wait for him, but Connor hadn't waited, and he didn't think his argument of 'I knew I could take them' was going to fly since in the end he hadn't been able to take them. Connor berated himself for once again not stopping to think before he acted.

Angel thought, 'I can't spank him harder then I did last time…. Well I could, but I won't. But if this is the third time for the same thing, then something isn't working. Maybe it's time to try something new.'

Angel pulled up to the hotel and got out of the car. Connor sincerely hoped that everyone else was still out, or already asleep. It's not like they didn't all know he got spanked sometimes, but it was still embarrassing for him. His hopes were dashed as soon as he followed Angel through the lobby doors and saw Lorne, Fred, and Gunn all standing at the front counter talking about their night. Connor tried to find some solace in the fact that Wesley had apparently already gone home for the night.

Everyone looked over at Angel and Connor, and they could tell that things had not gone well. They could tell from both of their demeanors that Connor was in trouble again. Fred said, "Hi Angel. Connor."

Connor kept his eyes on the floor and said, "Hey."

Angel said, "Good, I'm glad you're all here, I have something to say."

Connor hadn't been expecting this at all, and looked at Angel nervously. Usually when he was in trouble Angel told him to go directly to his room and wait for him.

Angel continued, "Connor is grounded from all tracking, fighting, research, and basically all things work related for the next week."

The hotel was quiet for a few seconds while everyone absorbed this information. Once Connor got over his shock he said, "But that's not fair!"

Angel turned toward him and said, "Oh really? Why don't you tell everyone what you did tonight?"

Connor's glare faltered as he looked over at Fred, Gunn, and Lorne. He looked down at the floor and said, "I didn't follow orders."

Angel added, "I think you left off the 'again' son."

Connor didn't respond. Angel said, "We were tracking a vampire nest, and when we got close we found a woman who was injured. I told Connor we had to take care of her before going to find the nest, but he said he was hot on the trail and didn't want to stop tracking. We argued, and I ended up telling him he could stay where he was, while I took the woman a few blocks away to get her help. Once I got back Connor was gone. Lucky for him I can track too, and found him just in time to keep one of the vampires from biting him. So not only did he not stay where he was supposed to, but he also went into a fight without backup."

Connor looked over at the group, and could tell none of them were happy with him. He muttered, "I thought I could take them."

Angel growled, "But you were wrong, which is why I want you to start listening to me when we're out working. After a week of spending all your time at the hotel, we'll see if you're more inclined to listen to me."

Connor crossed his arms and glared at the floor in front of him. Angel looked at everyone and said, "That's all. I'm tired, so I'm gonna turn in."

Connor looked up in surprise. He was still expecting a spanking as well, and he didn't understand why Angel was changing things. He said, "But what….." He realized too late that he didn't want to remind Angel about it, and said, "…never mind."

Angel put a hand on Connor shoulder and said, "Being grounded is your punishment. You should get some sleep too."

Angel gave Connor a quick hug before heading off to bed. There was a slight uncomfortable silence after Angel left, and then Fred said, "I'm pretty tired too. Charles?"

Gunn nodded, "Sure. Let's go to bed."

Once they were out of the room Connor went and sat down on the round couch wondering why Angel had changed his parenting techniques. Lorne walked around the lobby, closing things up, and turning off lights. When everything was off except the dim light that they always kept on over the main counter, Lorne went and sat down next to Connor. He said, "Don't look so glum cupcake. Why don't you let Uncle Lorne make you some hot chocolate?"

Connor rolled his eyes at the 'uncle', but he never passed up the offer for food, so he nodded and got up to follow Lorne to the kitchen. Soon they were sitting together at the kitchen table quietly drinking their drinks. Lorne waited patiently, and when Connor's drink was half gone he said, "Why do you think he decided to ground me instead of… you know?'

"Because he hates the 'you know' and he's given you a 'you know' a few times for this same thing, but it doesn't seem to be working. Did you think about it before you went into that vampire nest tonight?"

Connor didn't think Lorne was funny, but decided to over look the joking and concentrate on the question. "Yeah, I did."

"So you knew what was going to happen when you went into that nest, it just didn't stop you from doing it."

"I guess."

"That's why you're grounded."

Connor nodded, understanding better, but resenting the punishment even more now. He put his cup in the sink and said, "Thanks Lorne."

"Anytime kiddo, and for what it's worth, we all want you to stay safe, because we've grown fond of you. Though I'm not sure exactly what the appeal is…"

Connor smiled in spite of himself and said, "Very funny. I'm going to bed."

Lorne stood as well and said, "See you in the morning."

Connor found it difficult to sleep that night. He kept tossing and turning, and the look of disappointment and anger on his father's face once they had gotten back to the hotel kept popping up in his mind. He couldn't help but think that he never had any problems sleeping after a spanking, and then that annoyed him even more. He could hear Holtz's voice in his head talking about guilt eating at you from the inside. Finally around three in the morning, he got up out of bed and went down to the kitchen. He was about to get out some leftover pizza when he heard the lobby doors open. He went out and saw Wesley there. Connor said, "Wes?"

Wesley looked somewhat startled and said, "Connor? What are you doing up?"

"Couldn't sleep. Why are you here at this time of night?"

"I got a call from one of my informants an hour ago. A group of Watgar demons are planning to do a ritual at dawn this morning. They are going to try and revive their leader who was killed two days ago. They already have the four female virgins that they need to sacrifice in order to perform the ritual. If they succeed in completing the ritual, the revived leader will be four times more powerful then he was before being killed. I need Angel's help to track them, and save those girls before dawn."

Connor had fought Watgar demons before, and he knew they were easy to kill. He still felt the weight of guilt from what he had done earlier that night, and was getting more and more pissed that Angel had decided to ground him. He thought, 'Angel grounded me because spanking doesn't work, so I'll just have to show him grounding me doesn't work either. Then maybe he'll give up all together.'

Connor said, "Sorry Wes, but when we were fighting some vampires tonight, one of them sliced Dad's leg with a sword. I had to help him get to the car. I doubt he's up for any walking for a day or two, and he really needs some time to recover."

Wesley frowned, "I see."

"I could help you."

Wesley looked over at Connor. He and Connor had worked together a few times, and Wesley had never had any issues with him, but he knew Angel had. He said, "I'm not sure Connor….."

"You know I can do the job. I'm a better tracker then Dad, Watgars are much easier to kill then vampires, and everyone else is asleep."

Wesley thought about it for a second and then looked at his watch. He said, "Yes, I suppose you're right."

Connor said, "Just give me a second to change, and I'll be right back."

Wesley nodded and went to the counter to leave Angel a note in case they didn't get back before people woke up. He was finishing up the note when Connor came back down. Connor saw the note, and decided that would have to go. He hoped to be back before anyone was awake. He knew it was possible that Angel would find out what he had done, but no need to help him out with written information. He said, "You ready?"

Wesley nodded and headed out the door. Connor followed, but at the door he said, "Oh, I forgot my ax. I'll be right back."

"Alright, I'll meet you at the car."

Connor got the ax, crumpled the note up, and tossed it in the garbage on his way out.

Four hours later Connor was wondering why he was so unlucky. Tracking the Watgar demons had proved much more difficult then expected. Wesley's informant had been wrong about the Watgar's home location, so when Wesley and Connor got there, there was no scent to track. Then they had spent most of the night trying to get information on their whereabouts. When they finally did find out where they were, they had to drive for an hour to get there, and as the time slipped by, Connor got more and more fidgety.

They arrived ten minutes before dawn, and quickly killed the demons, and saved the girls. Connor was pleased, thinking if it took them an hour to get back, he could be home before anyone woke up. But Wesley insisted on staying there and helping each of the four girls get home. By the time they were headed back to the hotel it was late enough that he knew Fred would already be awake. Connor's stomach was in knots thinking about what Angel was going to do when he found out.

Wesley could see Connor was nervous about something. He said, "Is everything alright?"

Connor wondered if he should tell Wesley the truth. He was sure that by the time they got home, everyone would be up and looking for him. But he wasn't sure if it would be better to let them all be surprised when he walked in the door, or if it would be better to let them know where he was now. He thought if he let them know now, it would just give Angel time to contemplate his punishment. But if he waited, he hoped Angel would still be worried about his whereabouts, and maybe that worry would make Angel go easier on him.

After no response Wesley said, "Connor?"

"Oh, sorry. I'm just a little tired I think."

"You can climb into the back and lie down for the ride back if you like."

Connor didn't want to make small talk because his mind was too caught up in worrying about what was gonna happen when they got back, so he said, "Thanks." and climbed in the back.

Wesley went into the hotel first, with Connor right behind him. Angel, Fred, and Gunn were all standing by the front desk, and just stared at Wesley and Connor for a second. Connor stopped where he was in the entryway, but Wesley went down the three stairs into the lobby and looked at Angel with a smile. "How's your leg this morning?"

Angel asked with confusion, "What are you talking about?"

Wesley turned back to Connor with suspicion. "Connor told me you had injured your leg."

Angel glared over at Connor and said, "Oh he did, did he? Tell me, little boy, did you also tell Wes that you're grounded?"

Connor looked around at all the angry adult faces looking at him. He mumbled, "It didn't come up."

Wesley said, "I'm so sorry, Angel, I never would have taken him if I'd known."

Angel turned his anger on Wesley and yelled, "You don't take him anywhere without letting me know first! I thought I made that pretty clear in the hospital after you kidnapped him!"

Wesley swallowed hard and took a step back away from Angel at that. Taking baby Connor was an action he would regret for the rest of his life, and he had thought that Angel had gotten past it over the last few months. He stuttered out, "I… I'm sorry… I thought leaving you the note would suffice…. Obviously I was mistaken. My deepest apologies for having overstepped my bounds where Connor is concerned."

Angel's glare lessened. "What note?"

Wesley looked at the counter where he had left the note. "I left you a detailed note right there on the counter before we left. I didn't want you to worry if we didn't make it back before dawn, even though I wasn't expecting it to take more then a couple of hours."

Angel turned to Connor whose heart rate had gone up even higher then before. Angel said, "Connor?!"

Connor startled slightly at his name. He looked at Angel, and then at Wesley. He said, "I thought we'd be back before anyone woke up."

"You hid the note?" There was no anger in Wesley's voice, just surprise.

Connor couldn't look at anyone anymore, and looked at the steps that led to the lobby as he said, "It's in the trash."

Gunn looked in the garbage and quickly found the note. He smoothed it out and handed it to Angel. Angel turned to Wesley and said sincerely, "I'm sorry Wes…. I've spent the past hour worried sick wondering where Connor had run off to, and I just took my anger out on you. This note would have been enough. You didn't do anything wrong."

Wesley took a deep breath of relief. "Apology accepted. I'm sorry I didn't question Connor more closely."

Angel turned to Connor and said, "That's okay Wes. You should be able to trust Connor to tell you the truth. In fact I've made it abundantly clear to him that he's supposed to be honest with all of us. It's not your fault he won't follow the rules."

The room was quiet for a second and then Angel said, "Just so we're all on the same page, Connor is now grounded from all work related activities for two weeks."

Connor crossed his arms and frowned at the floor. Angel walked up the stairs to where Connor was standing. Angel said, "You went out on a job when you knew you were grounded. You hid the note so no one would know where you went. And to top it off, you lied repeatedly to Wesley."

Connor wasn't sure what to do or say when Angel paused. It seemed like Angel was waiting for some kind of response, so he said quietly, "I'm sorry." even though he really wasn't.

Angel grabbed Connor's left arm with his left hand, and swatted Connor hard with the flat of his right hand. Connor was surprised and tried to get his arm out of Angel's grasp, but found he couldn't. He looked at Angel with wide eyes, and Angel swatted him six more times. Connor tried to get his butt out of Angel's reach, but it didn't work. He looked over at Gunn, Fred, and Wesley, but found they were all purposely looking away from what was happening, and Fred was even walking towards the kitchen so she didn't have to witness what was going on.

Connor covered as much of his butt as he could with his right hand and whispered desperately to Angel, "Not in front of everyone."

Angel swatted Connor on the right thigh, and then the left, "Why not? Is it embarrassing for you? Because I think turn about is fair play. It's definitely embarrassing for me when you prove in front of everyone that you have no respect for my authority."

Angel swatted Connor's thighs six more times and said, "It's embarrassing for me when you lie to the other members of our team, proving that you have no respect for them either."

Connor was getting desperate to end this public punishment and said urgently, "Please Dad. I swear I'm sorry."

Angel swatted him again and said, "Move your hand."

Connor frantically tried to pull away from Angel, and when he couldn't get away, he took the hand off his butt, made a fist, and punched Angel in the face.

Angel was too startled to react at first. Connor looked just as surprised as Angel, and looked over at Gunn and Wesley. Gunn was looking angry while Wesley was looking disappointed. Connor turned back to Angel and noticed the grim look on his face. Connor whispered, "I'm sorry."

Angel snorted at that, not believing him in the least. Angel grabbed both of Connor's arms, and twisted them behind Connor's back. He grabbed both of Connor's wrists in his left hand, and started swatting Connor's butt even harder. Connor struggled and gave a grunt of pain. Angel kept swatting and put pressure on Connor's back to get him moving forward. He walked Connor down the lobby steps, past the round couch, and towards the flight of stairs that headed up to the second floor spanking him the whole way.

Connor was now yelping with each swat, and kept saying he was sorry when he had the breath to do it with. When they got to the foot of the stairs Angel paused and said, "If you punch me again, I'm gonna take off my belt, sit down on the round couch, put you over my knee in front of everyone, and spank you until you're crying too hard to talk. Do you understand me?"

Connor was already so humiliated he didn't think he would ever be able to face anyone in the team again. No way could he deal with even more. He nodded that he understood, and Angel let go of his wrists. Angel quickly grabbed Connor's left arm again, and used his right hand to yank Connor's jeans and underpants down in the back, exposing his already red butt. The button broke off Connor's jeans at the force of being pulled down, and Connor used his right hand to grab the front of his jeans so they wouldn't fall all the way to the floor and tangle around his ankles.

Angel started smacking Connor's now bare bottom, and Connor yelled out a loud "Ow!"

Angel started them moving up the stairs and spanked him once for each step while Connor made noises of pain. Connor was crying by the time they reached the landing. Angel knew Connor had taken a lot more pain in past spankings before crying, and thought Connor's crying at this point had more to do with embarrassment then pain.

Angel headed them down the hall towards Connor's bedroom spanking him all the way. Right before they got to Connor's room, a sleepy looking Lorne opened his door saying, "What's with the ruckus……Oh."

Connor kept his head down, not able to face Lorne. Angel paused in the spanking and said, "Sorry if we woke you Lorne. Connor went out on a job with Wes last night, so now he's grounded for two weeks instead of one."

Connor wiped at the tears on his face with his shoulder. Lorne nodded in understanding, sighed in disappointment, and said with sympathy, "Pushing the limits is gonna end badly for you every time cupcake."

Connor didn't respond, and Angel maneuvered him over slightly so he could open Connor's door. Lorne went back into his room and shut his door while shaking his head. Once Connor's door was open, Angel gave Connor a smack to get him moving again. Connor jumped slightly, yelped, and walked into his room. Angel kicked Connor's door closed with his foot and led them to the bed. Angel sat down on the corner of Connor's bed, and yanked Connor down over his knees. Connor let go of his jeans, and put both hands on the floor to catch his upper half.

Angel paused in the spanking long enough to pull the jeans and underpants down to Connor's knees. Angel raised his right knee slightly so Connor's butt was higher then the rest of his body, and started spanking much faster then before. Connor's crying turned into sobbing quickly, and he writhed around in pain over Angel's lap.

Angel made sure every inch of Connor's behind and upper thighs were deep red before he stopped. He stopped abruptly and Connor lay still over his lap crying. Angel rubbed his hand in circles on Connor's back waiting him out. Once he was crying quietly instead of sobbing, Angel pulled him up to standing. Connor pulled up his clothes and groaned as they went over his butt. Once his jeans were up and zipped they hung low on his hips, but stayed up even without the button. Once they were up, Connor put both hands back and held onto his butt, thinking it was too sore to rub.

Angel stood, scooped Connor up, and sat back down with Connor on his lap. Connor struggled and tried to get up. He hated Angel in that moment, and didn't want to be touched. Angel didn't let him go, and said, "Settle down and listen to me."

Connor stopped struggling, but sat stiffly on Angel's lap oozing anger. Angel rubbed a soothing hand over Connor's upper back and shoulders as he talked, "I know you're angry with me for spanking you in front of everyone. I know how embarrassing it was for you, and believe me when I say it was an unpleasant experience for everyone else as well."

Connor shook his head, "W… Why?"

"Fred, Gunn, Wes, and Lorne all like you… no I'll go so far as to say they love you, so when you're embarrassed about something, they feel bad for you. They may or may not agree with me that you deserved some embarrassment today, but that doesn't stop them from feeling bad about it either way."

Connor relaxed just slightly. Angel pushed Connor's head down onto his shoulder and continued to rub his back. After a few minutes, most of Connor's tears were gone, and he had relaxed even more into Angel's embrace.

Once Angel only heard a sniffle now and then he said, "Tell me why I spanked you."

Connor wiped at his face with his hands and said, "Because I went out after you grounded me, and because I lied to Wes."

"If you leave the hotel without my express permission during these next two weeks, I will spank you again, and I'll ground you for an entire month. Then I'll make sure someone from the team is watching you every second of the day that whole month so you won't be able to sneak out. Do you understand me?"

Connor kept his head on Angel's shoulder so he wouldn't have to face him and whispered, "Yes."

Angel wrapped both arms around Connor and held him even closer. He whispered, "I love you Connor. I wish you would stop testing me, because I hate proving to you again and again that I'm serious about being your father in every sense of the word."

Connor felt the rest of his anger going away, and gave Angel a sincere, "I am sorry."

"I forgive you, but I expect you to think long and hard about what happened today, because I don't want it to happen again."

"Me neither."

They sat quietly for a while, both thinking about what had happened, and how to ensure it didn't happen again. After ten minutes, Angel heard slow and regular breathing from Connor, and knew he was asleep. He held him for a few more minutes, and then lay him down on his bed stomach side down. Angel kissed the back of Connor's head before heading downstairs to apologize to his team for his public display of fatherly devotion earlier, but he suspected they would all understand.

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