Author's note: This story starts during the episode 'Deep Down'. In the episode Angel is rescued from the bottom of the ocean where Connor had put him. When he gets home Angel gives Connor a speech about how the world is harsh, but that they should try to make it better. Then he ends his speech with 'I love you Connor, now get out of my house.' My story starts with a different ending statement from Angel. Written - August 2003
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.

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How it Should Have Been Chapter 1

Angel ended his lecture with, "I love you Connor, but you're going to have to pay for what you've done. I'm tired, and I need to rest for a day, so you're going to spend the rest of the night and all of tomorrow in your room. Then, tomorrow night we'll talk about how you're going to make amends for the things you've done."

Connor didn't say anything, but started to head out of the room. Just as he got to the door, Angel said, "Oh, and Connor, if you aren't in your room when I come to talk to you, I'll find you, and bring you back home. You can't run away from your problems. You have to face them."

Connor didn't even look back; he just continued walking out of the office, and up to his room.

Gunn and Fred ran to Angel as he slipped down towards the floor. Angel said, "All that talking really wears you out. We have to find Cordy."

Fred said, "We've been trying to find both of you all summer, but we don't have any leads on Cordy. It's like she just disappeared."

Gunn said, "You know Connor is probably miles away by now don't you?"

Angel looked up at Gunn and said, "I know, but this way I'll have a couple of days to get stronger before I have to deal with him. I'm so weak right now; he probably could beat me in a fight. I need blood."

Gunn went out to buy Angel some blood, while Angel and Fred went over what had been going on for the past couple of months.

Upstairs Connor was no where to be found.

The next evening after Angel had had a good day's sleep he felt much better, but not quite up to par. He thought he should have all his strength back after one more day with lots of relaxing and lots of blood. He was worried about where Connor was and he wanted to go find him, but he was more worried about finding him and not having the strength to bring him home. Fred, Gunn and Angel spent the night trying to get in touch with various mystical contacts to ask them about Cordy. They also spent quite a bit of time talking about Connor, and what had been going on with him for the past two months. Angel was glad Connor had at least been a little helpful with fighting the bad guys, but he didn't like that Connor had spent the past two months lying his ass off to the people who were taking care of him.

The following evening Angel felt like he was back to normal, and he decided it was time to go find his son. He walked into the lobby to find Fred and Gunn. They were both at the counter looking in some books. Angel said, "Hey guys, thanks for keeping things quiet so I could get some sleep."

"No problem man." Said Gunn.

"I want to ask you both a favor."

Fred said, "Sure Angel."

"I feel back to normal today, and I need to go find Connor. I would really appreciate it if the two of you would go get a real hotel room for the night."

Fred started to say something, but was interrupted by Gunn who said, "Are you sure you don't want some help? He's pretty strong, and he hates you."

"Thanks for the offer Gunn, but I don't think so. I don't want him to try to hurt either of you so he can get away from me. Besides, I have a feeling things are going to get really ugly tonight and I would rather you both not see it."

Fred said, "Okay Angel, but if you need us just give us a call, and we'll come running."

"Thanks Fred. It means a lot to me that you both took care of Connor while I was gone, and I know he has lied to you both for the past month, so he probably isn't your favorite person right now, but I hope you'll give him a second chance."

Gunn nodded and said, "I think with you here to help control him, he could turn out to be an okay kid."

After Fred and Gunn left Angel went to the rooftops to start his search. He wasn't sure if Connor would be trying to hide, or if he would just be out in the open, so he decided to try the easy option first.

He couldn't believe how easy it was to find Connor. Connor was just walking down a street fairly close to the hotel. Angel followed him for a couple of hours, and came to the conclusion that Connor was just walking around aimlessly. He decided the time had come, so he jumped down from the roof, and landed in front of Connor. He said, "I thought I told you to stay in your room."

Connor had jumped back a bit when Angel landed in front of him, but now he was facing him with a look of hatred. He said, "No one want's me there especially after…you know, and you can't make me do anything anyway."

Angel raised an eyebrow and said, "Oh really?"

Connor centered his weight getting ready for the fight, "Come on Dad (he said with a sneer), lets see what you've got."

Angel crossed his arms and said, "We're not going to fight any more."

Connor looked at Angel like he was insane. Then he said, "Good, then leave me alone."

Angel laughed a little and said, "I can't leave you alone Connor, I love you, and I want what's best for you, even if you don't want that for yourself."

Connor got mad and took a swing at Angel's face. Angel grabbed Connor's fist and brought it up behind Connor's back as he turned Connor to face away from him. He said, "Weren't you listening to me son, I said we're not going to be fighting any more."

Connor snarled "Let me go! I hate you!"

"We need to take this discussion to the hotel." With that statement Angel lifted Connor, and tossed him over his shoulder. He held his legs with one arm, and he reached behind his back to grab both of Connor's wrists in his hand.

Connor kept on yelling at Angel the whole way back to the hotel, but Angel just ignored the tantrum. Once they were in the hotel he dumped Connor on the little round couch in the center of the lobby. Connor leapt up to run out, but Angel caught his wrist and shoved it behind his back again until Connor quit trying to get away. Once Connor was a little more still and quiet Angel said, "I know you think you hate me Connor, but I want you to get to know me, so you can make that decision based on the facts, and not on what you've been told by Holtz. So here's how it's going to work. You're going to stay here at the hotel with all of us for one full year. You're going to listen to me and do what you're told until the year is up. After that, if you want to leave I won't stop you. If however you try to leave before the year is up, I'll come find you and bring you home. Do you understand what I'm telling you Connor?"

Connor couldn't believe the audacity of the monster and said, "You can't keep me here. Next time I leave, I'll hide and make sure you can't find me."

"You can try, but I will find you. I should also warn you that there will be consequences for running off, and that brings me to what's gonna happen next. I told you to stay in your room and you didn't. You put me in a box and sent me to the bottom of the ocean, and then you spent the last two months lying to Fred and Gunn about it. I don't know if or how Holtz punished you, but this is how it is going to be while you live with me."

Angel noticed that Connor flinched and paled when he had said punished. He decided that conversation could wait for later, and he sat down on the round couch and pulled Connor across his knees. He started spanking Connor fast and hard. Connor grunted and tried to get away. Angel tightened his grip around Connor's waste and kept spanking.

Soon Connor quit struggling and kept quiet. He tried not to laugh at this 'punishment'. Holtz had never repeatedly hit his butt, but he thought it was pretty mild compared to the things Holtz did do. He decided he could wait until Angelus was done hitting him, and then he would run off again.

Angel thought the lack of response meant he wasn't really getting through to Connor, so he increased his strength a little. The first swat with more strength behind it brought out another grunt and some wiggling.

After a couple of minutes Connor thought, 'Okay, maybe mild isn't the right word for this. Who does Angelus think he is anyway? I know he thinks he's my father, but he wasn't there when I was growing up. What a monster.'

Connor was getting more and more angry, so he bit Angel on the leg. To Connor's amazement Angel didn't make any noise or react at all, he just kept on spanking him. Then Angel said, "I see that you are still having trouble with the 'no more fighting' thing, so let's see if this helps you to remember."

Before Connor knew what was happening, Angel had his pants and underwear down around his knees, and he resumed spanking him. This made Connor even angrier, and it was starting to really hurt. He started shouting, "Stop it you monster! You have no right to do this. It won't change anything. I still hate you Angelus."

Angel kept spanking and let out a small laugh before he said, "Angelus would have eaten you, or killed you the first time he met you. I'm Angel, your father, and that gives me all the right I need. I hope this will eventually change your behavior. It's okay with me if you hate me, as long as you do what I tell you to do. And even if you hate me I'll still love you."

Now all Connor could think about was the pain and how he wanted it to stop, but he wouldn't beg the monster. He tried not to, but eventually he started to cry quietly. Angel could smell the tears and gave Connor six more swats before he stopped. He noticed that Connor's butt was a very dark red, but there were no bruises. He knew if he had hit a normal human that hard, that they would have been very bruised. He kept a hold on Connor and said, "Okay son, were done. I'm gonna let you up, and we're going to talk, but I'm warning you that if you try to run out or fight with me, you'll end up over my knee again. Do you understand?"

Connor nodded his head.

Angel let him up and said, "Why don't you go to the bathroom and get yourself cleaned up while I order a pizza for you to eat."

Connor kept his head down and pulled up his clothes as he walked to the bathroom. He thought about climbing out the window, but he decided daylight would be the best time for an escape. As he washed his face he started quietly talking to himself. "You are the biggest waste of a human I have ever seen. How could you let Father down like that? Father would be so ashamed of me for being here in this house with the monster. For not killing him when I had the chance, and for crying. I'm so sorry Father. Please forgive me."

Angel had ordered pizza and drank a cup of blood while Connor was in the bathroom. He was about to go check to see if Connor was still there when the door opened. Angel said, "Glad to see you're still here. I really don't want to spank you again."

Connor looked surprised and said, "That was a spanking? Gunn said you would do that."

It was Angel's turn to look surprised and said, "Umm, well the pizza should be here in half an hour. Are you hungry?"

"I could eat."

"Good. While we're waiting, lets talk a little about how things are going to work while you're living here."


"I don't know what kind of education you've had, so I'm going to have Wesley test you."

"I thought you hated him."

"I thought I did too, but he did rescue me from the bottom of the ocean, and he is a very good teacher. After we find out where you are educationally, we'll all take turns during the day tutoring you."

"Fred said she was going to try and sign me up for school next month."

Angel laughed and said, "Well in this dimension all your paperwork says you're about 6 months old, you haven't had any of your shots, and I have the feeling you don't play well with others. So I think school is out for now. Maybe when the year is up we can see about getting some fake papers and getting you into college depending on how the tests turn out."

"I won't be here when the year is up. I won't even be here tomorrow."

"Connor, if you run I will find you and bring you home. I thought we went over this."

Connor remained silent. Angel sighed and continued with "So during the day you'll have various tutoring sessions with each of us for a couple of hours. When we get a case you'll be part of the team, and you can be a big help to us fighting various bad guys, but there will be no more running off on your own to fight. You're the youngest member of the team, and most inexperienced with this world, so you will listen to what everyone tells you. That means when Fred, Gunn, Wesley, or I tell you to do something in a fight, you do it with no arguing, and no questions asked."

Connor sneered and said; "Gunn and Fred couldn't fight their way out of a box."

Angel got a little mad and said, "I didn't ask for your opinion on the subject, and it is not valued or wanted. They are both good fighters, and I can trust them to watch my back unlike you."

Connor looked down and didn't say anything. Angel said, "Let's see, I went over being on the team, and being tutored, so the next thing to go over is that for the next two months you'll be helping Gunn for one hour a day, and helping Fred for one hour a day. You'll have to do whatever they ask you to do no matter how much you may hate it. This will hopefully start to make up for all the lying you've done to them."

Angel could tell this was going to be hard for Connor because his hands fisted at his sides, and he could tell Connor wanted to lash out at something. Angel decided it was time for some tension release. He said, "Connor, have you used the punching bag downstairs yet?"

Connor nodded. Angel said, "Let's go down and you can show me if you know how to use it while we wait for the pizza."

Connor said, "Of course I know how to use it, all you do is punch the stupid bag!"

Angel had turned to walk down stairs, and he smiled when he heard Connor following him. He knew goading him into using it was the way to do it.

Connor and Angel both felt better after Connor had punched the punching bag for about fifteen minutes. Angel had to admit that Connor was good at it. They heard the upstairs door open and Angel went to pay for the pizza while Connor wiped the sweat off himself. While Connor was eating Angel said, "Okay Connor I just want to make sure we're very clear on a couple of things. First there is no more running away, or going off on your own to fight something. Second there will be no physical fighting with anyone who lives in this hotel. Third there will be no lying to anyone who lives in this hotel. Fourth and last, you will do what you're told to do by anyone who lives in this hotel. Those are the four rules you'll be living with for the next year, and if you don't follow them, I will be spanking you. I hope you understand, and that you can eventually be happy here with us."

Connor kept eating and said with a full mouth. "I will never be happy living with you."

Angel sighed and said, "Once your done eating you can do whatever you like as long as you stay in the hotel and don't cause any damage. I'm going to make some calls. Come get me if you need something."

Angel spent the next hour talking to Wesley over the phone and repairing their friendship. Connor spent the hour playing with his game boy and watching some TV. When Angel came out of his office he was almost surprised to still see Connor there, but he took it as a good sign. He said, "I'm not sure when you usually go to bed, but it's almost 3am now, and I'm going to bed."

Connor shrugged his shoulders and continued to watch TV. Angel came over and sat down next to him and pulled him into a hug. Connor started to struggle immediately, and Angel said, "You might as well get used to it Connor, because I'm going to do it a lot."

Connor doubled his efforts to get away while Angel just held onto him. Connor was worn out after ten minutes of struggling and just sat there and let Angel hug him. Angel felt Conner relax, so he made the hug more gentle and rubbed his back. Then he got up and said, "Good night son. I'll see you tomorrow afternoon when I get up."

Connor said nothing but thought 'No you won't.'

Connor waited until the sun was shining to sneak out of the hotel. No one was home yet, so he just walked out the front door and started to think about what he knew of the city, and where he could hide.

# # #

Fred and Gunn arrived home at the hotel around 10am. They were both quite happy and relaxed. The night away together had been good for them. Fred saw that no one was there and she said, "I'm gonna go see if Connor is in his room."

Gunn nodded and started to look through the paper. Fred came back down and said, "I guess Angel hasn't found him yet."

An hour later Angel came into the lobby and smiled at Fred. He said, "How was your evening?'

Fred smiled back and said, "It was just wonderful. Thanks for suggesting it. Do you want us to go away again tonight in case you find him?"

Angel looked at her for a second and then said, "I did find him. Isn't he here?"

Fred lost the smile and said, "Um, I don't think so Angel. We got home about an hour ago, and I went to check his room. It was empty and the bed hadn't been slept in."

Angel shook his head and said, "Great. I need something to drink." With that he went to warm up some blood in the microwave.

Gunn looked up from the sword he was cleaning and said, "What happened last night?"

Angel went over it with them. He thought about leaving the spanking out of the explanation, but he decided they would figure it out soon enough. At least by telling them now they would have time to assimilate the information before they heard it happening.

Gunn thought nothing of it and just nodded. Fred looked surprised, but didn't say anything about it. Angel went over the four rules with them, so they would know what to expect. He told them about Connor working for each of them for an hour a day for the next two months. He then told them to expect Wesley to be coming by around 3pm. He was going to be testing Connor to see how much Holtz had taught him, and how much he still needed to learn to make his way in this dimension. Fred said, "I can't believe you are going to let Wesley anywhere near Connor."

Angel said, "He found me, and saved me. I guess that kind of makes us even. I talked to him for a long time last night, and we came to a truce. I hope you can both still work with him, because he does have the most experience teaching kids."

Gunn said, "Wesley's okay with me, as long as he doesn't think he's still in charge."

Fred thought about it for a couple of seconds and said, "I'll give it a try."

Angel nodded and said, "You guys are really great. Okay, I'm off to find Connor. If I'm not back by 5pm, tell Wesley to go home and we will try again tomorrow."

Gunn said, "It's light out Angel. How are you gonna find him?"

Angel smiled and said, "Well, last night he was out in the open. Now that he knows I'll be looking, I think he'll try for the sewers or some of the empty slum apartments. Lucky for me, I can be in both of those places without the sun getting on me. If he runs again after this time, I'll probably have to wait until it's dark."

Angel was about to go and said, "Hey guys, while you're waiting for me, could you get Wesley up to speed on Cordy and see if he has any suggestions?"

Fred nodded while she started to look through yet another book on disappearances of a mystical nature.

Across town, Connor was sleeping in the apartment building he had spent the night with Sunny in. He had tried the sewers first, but he had immediately smelled Angel everywhere he went. He didn't think Angel would look for him here, but eventually it didn't matter because he had to sleep, and he couldn't think of anywhere else to go. After spending an emotionally and physically draining night with Angel and getting no sleep, he practically passed out when he closed his eyes. He made sure he was in front of a window and in a patch of sun before he let himself sleep. Five hours later he was still asleep and the sun had moved so he was now in the shadows.

Angel found Connor with little effort. He could smell Connor in the sewers, but soon realized Connor would have smelled him there as well and left. He decided to try the slum apartments he could get to in the daylight next. First he tried the one he had found Connor in last time. He just stood and stared at Connor for a full half an hour before he did anything. He loved him so much, and it killed him that Connor hated him with such force. While Connor was sleeping he looked very peaceful, and almost sweet. Angel looked at his watch. It was one o'clock, and he knew he would have to get Conner up and moving. He knelt down next to Connor and shook his shoulder and said, "Time to wake up Connor."

Connor woke immediately and jumped up fast and ready to fight whatever had disturbed him. Angel was expecting it and stood back a few steps to see what Connor would do. Connor got his breathing and heart rate calmed down after he saw it was Angel and not something else.

Angel said, "Time to go home son, but first we'll have to deal with your running away again."

Connor glanced out the window looking for an escape route, but Angel was right in front of him and had grabbed his wrist before he could complete the thought of jumping out the window. Connor punched Angel in the stomach, but before he could get in a second punch Angel had turned him around with his hand behind his back. Angel said in a very calm voice, "And now we'll have to deal with the no fighting thing again."

Angel looked around and decided that the smelly couch would work. He dragged Connor over to it, sat down, and tossed him over his knees. He pulled down his pants with little effort while Connor yelled, "Nooo."

Angel was surprised to see no redness left on Connor's butt at all, and realized he must heal fast like he did. The bruise Connor had given him from biting his leg had been gone by morning. Angel started the spanking with some added strength like last night. Connor started grunting and squirming right away. As he was spanking, Angel said in a clam voice, "You will not run away, and you will not fight with me. I hope we don't have to go over this again any time soon."

Connor yelled, "I won't stay with you!"

"Then I guess this will be a daily routine."

Connor was pissed and bit Angel repeatedly all over his lower leg. Angel didn't stop the spanking or even acknowledge the pain. He just said, "I think I can keep this up longer than you can Connor. I was in hell for a long time, and I've been tortured by the best. The only thing you're accomplishing is making the spanking last longer for you."

Connor stopped biting but still struggled to get away. Eventually the pain was too much, and he started to cry. He hated himself for being weak in front of the monster. Angel paused and said, "We would be done now if you hadn't tired to fight me."

Angel gave Connor another thirty swats and then helped him to stand and put his pants back on. Connor was crying pretty hard, and Angel tried to hug him. Connor struggled, but only for a few seconds because he was worn out. Angel held him until he stopped crying. Angel stepped back but kept a hand on Connor's upper arm. He said, "Let's go home."

Angel turned and headed towards the basement and the sewer never letting Connor's arm out of his grip. Connor followed without much of a struggle at all.

They made it back to the hotel about an hour before Wesley was going to show up. To Connor's amazement Fred came up to him and hugged him when she saw him. She said, "I'm sorry I was so mad last time I saw you. I'm glad to see that you're all right."

Connor didn't know what to say. He thought she hated him now. He said, "Umm…It's okay Fred. I was mad too."

Gunn came over and held out his hand for Connor to shake. Connor was really thrown by this. He could almost see Fred forgiving him, but not Gunn too. He held out his hand and shook. Gunn pulled him into a hug too and said, "Good to have ya back you little trouble maker."

Connor looked confused and said, "No yelling?"

Gunn said, "Later kid. We can get to the yelling later."

Angel looked very pleased and said, "Good. Okay Connor, are you hungry for some breakfast?"

Fred laughed and said, "Connor is always hungry Angel. I'll make him some eggs."

Angel said, "Go ahead Connor, and after you're done eating you can spend an hour with Gunn doing whatever he asks you to do. Then Wesley will be here to give you some tests. After that we can all have lunch and go over what you know and don't know. Then you can spend your hour with Fred. After that you and I can talk a little about what the lesson plan will be for getting you up to speed on your education. Any questions?"

Connor thought food sounded really good, and he had kind of missed Fred and Gunn so he said, "No." And walked towards the kitchen.

Angel wondered if Connor knew that the schedule they all kept was odd, or if he thought having breakfast at 1pm, and lunch at 5pm was a normal thing for everyone.

After half an hour of Gunn yelling at him and telling him what bad choices he had made for the past two months Connor wanted to run again, but at the same time Connor thought it was comfortingly normal. Once Gunn had run out of things to yell about he had Connor clean all the weapons in the cabinet again even though it had just been done. Connor thought that was pretty crappy, but with Angel in the office looking at him every once in a while he kept his thoughts to himself.

Connor thought the testing with Wesley was almost worse than his time spent with Gunn. He had no idea what half the stuff was, and the other half was too simple. It was long and tedious, and he was more than ready for lunch when it was time. To his amazement Fred had gotten his favorite Chinese food for take out. He decided he had really missed Fred.

During lunch Wesley said, "Connor has quite an impressive education in some fields, and a surprising lack of knowledge in others. His reading and writing skills are quite good, and he has a very large vocabulary."

Gunn said, "That's a surprise. All I ever here Connor saying is 'When is dinner?' and 'I don't want to.'"

Gunn laughed at his own joke and Connor said, "Ha, ha." to his plate.

Wesley continued with, "He has simple math skills like adding and subtracting, but no division or multiplication, and the concept of algebra or any higher math is a foreign concept to him. He has a pretty good knowledge of world history up to about 1900, so he has quite a gap there. His knowledge of the supernatural is very extensive with an emphasis on vampires – no surprise there. His religious knowledge is limited to Christianity and it is….a bit skewed. His problem solving skills are quite good. He has no concept of Biology or Chemistry. He has some basic knowledge of money, which must be from living here for the past couple of months, but he doesn't know how much things should be worth, or how much people should get paid to do certain jobs. That's all the testing we've done."

Angel said, "Thanks Wes. Holtz did a better job than I thought he would. That's great."

Connor said, "My father was very smart. Of course he taught me well."

Everyone was silent for a few seconds. Angel said, "Holtz was a smart man, but he let his need for vengeance consume him, so I don't think that's the example you want to follow."

Connor yelled, "If he was consumed with vengeance it was your fault Angelus!"

Gunn started to say something but Angel held up his hand to stop him and said, "Yes it probably was Angelus' fault, but I'm not Angelus. Unfortunately I do remember all the things Angelus did, but I didn't do those things, he did."

"You disgust me."

Fred said in a disapproving voice, "Connor….."

Angel interrupted with, "No Fred. Connor can say what he likes as long as it's honest. I've had enough of him lying. If he's disgusted with me, that's just fine. I would rather hear it to my face than have him thinking about how much he hates me when I don't know about it."

Fred said, "But it's so disrespectful."

"I haven't earned his respect yet, we're just getting to know each other. All I'm looking for right now is obedience."

Connor said, "I'll never respect you. You're a monster."

"That's fine son. Finish eating, and you can spend an hour with Fred."

Connor looked at Fred who was not looking as happy as she was a few minutes ago. He thought about his hour with Gunn and wondered what Fred was going to make him do. He decided he should shut up until lunch was over.

After lunch Fred made Connor clean up all dishes. Then she got out some cleaning supplies and made Connor go from room to room in the hotel cleaning the bathrooms in all the empty rooms while she read a book. Connor was really glad when the hour was up, and he decided he had been wrong about missing Fred.

Soon, he was in the office with Angel. Angel saw him come in and said, "Shut the door please."

Connor shut it, and stood with his arms crossed staring at Angel who was sitting behind the desk. Angel asked, "So did you enjoy your hours with Gunn and Fred?"


"Good. It's a punishment after all. I've spent the past hour talking to Wesley, and we've come up with a tutoring plan for you. Why don't you sit down, and we'll go over it."

Connor rolled his eyes and thought 'What a waste of time. I won't even be here tomorrow.' He sat down and looked at the paper Angel handed him.

Angel said, "Each of us will tutor you for an hour a day. Fred will do math, Gunn will do current history and finances. Wes will be doing Biology and Chemistry, and I'll be doing religious studies."

Connor looked at him with disbelief, and Angel smiled and said, "The irony is not lost on me, but there is more than Christianity out there, and you should at least know about them so you can make your way in this dimension. I'm not going to tell you what to believe. I'm just going to be teaching you about what other people believe. You might be interested in some basic history of the various religions."

Connor looked at him suspiciously and said, "What do you believe?"

Angel sighed and said, "It's irrelevant to what I'll be teaching you, but when I was human I was a Catholic, and I guess to some extent I'm still a Christian. Now, getting back on track. Four hours of your day will be spent with the tutoring. You'll have a couple of hours a day spent with Gunn and Fred, and a couple of hours a day spent studying and doing the homework we give you. And I think you and I will spend an hour a day doing something together like practicing fighting, or talking about my past or your life. I think that's going to be a pretty full schedule for you. Then of course if we get a call, or a case, your other stuff will be put on hold so you can help us. Any questions?"

Connor shook his head. Angel said, "This will be a lot easier on everyone if you're here in the morning, and I don't have to go find you. Because if it takes me most of the day and night to find you, I'm still going to make you stay up and do all the things I've just gone over."

Connor said nothing and stared at the floor in front of his chair. Angel said, "Okay, enough of this. Let's go work out, and then I'll show you some Tibetan relaxation techniques."

In the middle of their work out Gunn called down, "We got a call."

Connor and Angel went to the lobby and saw Fred picking out a crossbow from the weapons cabinet. Gunn said, "Vampire nest on Third and Pine in an old warehouse. The contact said there were about fifteen of them."

Angel said, "Let's go." As he grabbed his sword and a couple of stakes.

Connor just stood there for a second while everyone headed to the door where Wesley was waiting. Angel turned and said, "Get a move on boy."

For some reason he couldn't explain, Connor had a very happy feeling of belonging when Angel said that, and even smiled a little as he grabbed a stake and headed after them towards the door.

An hour later everyone was in pretty good spirits when they got back. The vampires had all been killed, and no one was injured. Wesley said, "I'd say that was a good nights work done by all."

Angel nodded and said, "I second that opinion."

Wesley said, "Well, I have some stuff to do at home, so I'll say good night and see you all tomorrow afternoon."

Angel said, "Bye Wes. You know, if you want to move in here, you're welcome to."

Wesley looked at Angel for a minute and said, "Not now. Maybe in a few months I will. We'll see how things go."

Angel nodded and said, "Good night then."

After Wesley went home Angel and Connor went back downstairs to work on those relaxation techniques.

Later that night, after dinner Angel went out to meet a man who said he knew how to contact people in other dimensions. Fred brought a book to Connor and said, "I thought maybe you would want to read this for fun."

Connor looked at the book and said, "What do you mean for fun?"

Fred said, "It's fiction. It isn't a story about things that have really happened, it is just to read for enjoyment. I don't know why I didn't think about it before, but now that you'll be studying a lot, you might need a break with something just fun. Give it a try and see what you think. If 'Harry Potter' isn't something you like, we'll try something else next time. I'll take you to a book store, and you can pick something next time."

Connor looked skeptical but said, "Okay."

He went to bed early and took the book with him. He planned to get some sleep so he could wake up early and sneak out before everyone else was up. He started reading and found it fascinating that a person would write something just for other people to enjoy. He even liked the story, and was getting into it when there was a knock on the door. Angel came in and said, "I just wanted to say good night."

Connor was sitting on his bed reading and looked up long enough to say, "Okay. Good night."

Angel came over and sat down next to Connor and pulled him into a hug. Connor knew he shouldn't struggle because Angel was stronger than he was, but he hated it when Angel touched him, so he did try to get out of Angel's grip. After a couple of minutes he stopped and just let Angel hold him. Once Connor stopped struggling Angel said, "I was really proud of you today. You stayed here and did what you were told, and you were really good in the fight with the vampires."

Connor didn't say anything. Angel let Connor go and said, "Good night. I'll see you tomorrow – one way or another."

Connor glared at the shut door and after a minute tossed the book at it. He lay down and tried to fall asleep. He wanted to be fully rested for the next day.

Connor woke up about 9am before anyone else in the hotel, and climbed out his window and into the sunshine. He was going to see how far he could run in a day without getting tired. He had decided the more distance from the hotel the more likely it would be that Angel couldn't find him.

# # #

Connor decided to try running north. He was able to run for three hours straight without needing a break. He knew he had put quite a bit of distance between himself and the hotel, and he was very pleased with himself. He didn't recognize the area any more, and he was out of the main part of the city. After running for so long he was hungry. He found a McDonalds restaurant and dug through the trash until he found something edible. Once he was full and rested he started to walk further north.

At the hotel Angel had just gotten back from checking out the sewers and the vacant apartments he could get to in the daylight. When he walked in the door Fred shook her head and said, "No luck here, how about you?"

"Nothing. I couldn't smell him in the sewers at all. I think this time he is going to try to get farther away. Lucky for me, he doesn't have a car or know how to drive. How about Gunn?"

"He just called a few minutes ago. He's been to five of the eleven homeless shelters so far, but no luck."

Angel sighed and said, "I guess there isn't much else to do until it gets dark. We better call Wesley and tell him to skip today."

By 6pm Angel was making everyone nervous by pacing around the lobby, when Fred shouted, "Angel, come see this!"

Angel ran to see what the problem was. Fred pointed to the TV. There on the screen was a live news report. Fred had turned it up, and the reporter said, "For those of you who missed it, we're replaying the amazing rescue, which happened almost half an hour ago. Lucky for us, one of the people on the bridge had a home video camera, and was able to record this. We don't know who the boy is, or how to explain what he did."

The TV switched from the reporter to scratchy looking footage of a car half way off the side of a bridge. The car was rocking back and forth and was on the verge of going over the bridge. The camera zoomed in to reveal two children in the back seat of the car. One of the children was looking out the back waving trying to get someone to help. The camera zoomed back out to show some people from other cars getting out, and standing back from the teetering car. Then Connor was on screen walking towards the car from the south end of the bridge.

Angel, Gunn, and Fred were silent as they watched Connor go up to the car and try to open the side door so the kids could get out. The concrete of the bridge railing was blocking the door, so Conner went to the back of the car and started to pull it away from the railing. It moved about a foot, and then two other men come over to help pull. Soon the car was clear of the railing, and Connor went to try and open the door again. It wouldn't open, so he motioned for the kids to move to the other side of the car, and broke the glass with his foot. Then he pulled kids from the car window one at a time and handed them over to some of the other people who were standing around. Next he went to the driver's door and opened it. He pulled an unconscious woman out and lay her on the ground. There was no sound, but they could see him talking to one of the women standing by him. The woman got out a cell phone to make a call. Then Connor got up and continued walking north over the bridge.

The footage was over and the news reporter appeared on the screen. She was standing a few feet in front of the car with an ambulance and two police cars next to it. The reporter said, "There you have it folks. The two children are fine, and are with their father. The woman is still in critical condition, but is expected to make it. Anyone with information on who this young man is please call…."

Fred turned the volume down, and Angel said with a big grin, "That's my kid."

Gunn said, "I knew he was strong, but not that strong. Did you see him move that car by himself?"

Fred was looking at a map and said, "That bridge is about 90 miles from here."

Angel looked really amazed and said, "Strong and really fast. And it still won't be dark for about three hours."

Gunn said, "I can go try to get him."

Fred said, "We could both go, and try to convince him to come back."

Angel shook his head and said, "He won't come willingly, and you two can't force him unless you disable him somehow like a tranquilizer or the tazer gun again. It'll take a couple of hours to get to where he was and start tracking him, so let's take my car and I'll ride in the trunk until it gets dark."

Gunn nodded and said, "Sound like a good plan. Hey Fred, is there a way to get to the other side of that bridge that won't be backed up with traffic?"

Soon they had a plan of action, and they all got in the car to try and find Connor.

Once it had been dark for about an hour, Connor decided to eat something, and start looking for a place to spend the night. He was very pleased with how far he had gotten. He was sure Angel wouldn't be able to find him this time. He found a Taco Bell, and dug through the trash for dinner. As he sat eating on the sidewalk, he thought about how strange this dimension was. 'Why do people toss out edible food, and lots of it? Why won't people help each other?' He knew when he arrived at the bridge that there had been people standing around for at least five minutes, and no one had even tried to help. 'Angel is right about things being cruel and harsh in this dimension, but they were worse in Quor-toth. Maybe it just seems worse here, because everything around me like the TV and ads tell me life should be so much better than it is. Maybe it's the expectations that make it so bad here.'

Connor was interrupted in his thoughts to see Angel's car pull up to the curb in front of him. He was so surprised it took him a few seconds to react. By the time he jumped up and ran, Angel was already out of the car and running after him. He only made it half a block before Angel caught him and tossed him over his shoulder. Connor thought about pounding Angel on the back to try and get him to drop him, but as he raised a fist he heard Angel say, "No fighting Connor."

Connor held his fist up for a few seconds thinking about it. Then he remembered what happened yesterday afternoon in the vacant apartment, and let his arm drop and dangle with the other arm down Angel's back. Once they were back to the car Angel put Connor down in front of him and said in a calm but stern voice, "Now you're going to get in the car, and be good while we drive home."

Connor looked around him for a place to run, or a weapon, but he didn't see anything. He looked into the car and was truly surprised again to see Fred sitting in the back. She waved and then turned to the front and said, "Hey Charles, why don't you ride back here with me."

Gunn got out of the passenger seat, and looked at Connor. Connor didn't think Gunn looked very happy, and he could hear the lecture already. Gunn said, "Glad you're okay kid." and then he smacked the back of Connor's head as he got into the back seat with Fred.

Connor looked at Angel again, and Angel pointed to the passenger seat and said, "Get your ass in the car."

Connor saw no way out of it, so he got in the car. As he was getting in Angel gave him a full force smack on his butt. Connor said, "Ahh!" as he fell into the seat.

Angel locked and closed the door and walked around to the driver's side. Connor had tried the door the second it closed, but it wouldn't open or unlock. Angel smiled at him and said, "Child proof locks."

Connor decided not to say anything else. He looked out the window and pouted while he squirmed hoping his butt would stop stinging quickly.

They drove in silence for the next half an hour, and then Connor couldn't contain himself any more. He said in a demanding voice, "How did you find me?"

Angel smiled and said, "I saw you on TV."

"I don't understand."

Fred said, "Someone on the bridge had a camera, and gave the footage of you saving those people to the media."

Connor groaned and thought 'Well there's a reason not to help others. But I don't think I could have just walked by even if it does mean I got caught. There's always tomorrow to run again.'

Angel said, "I would have found you anyway, it just might have taken longer. By the way, you did a really good thing on that bridge, and I'm proud of you."

Gunn said, "Me too Connor. You did the right thing."

Fred added, "It was very impressive."

Connor didn't know what to say, but what came out was, "I guess."

Connor thought, 'When was the last time Gunn told me I did the RIGHT thing. Gunn's always telling me I did the wrong thing. I don't care if Angel's proud of me or not.' But as he thought that he was smiling and feeling happy.

Soon they pulled up to a hospital. Connor said, "Why are we here?"

Angel said, "There's someone here who wants to talk to you, and you're going to go with me and be nice."

Connor rolled his eyes and waited for Angel to come around and unlock his door for him. Angel took him by the upper arm as soon as he got out of the car. Connor said, "I can walk by myself." as he tried to pull out of Angel's grip.

Angel said, "If you promise me you won't try to run until we get back in the car, I'll let you walk by yourself."

Connor thought about it. He didn't take promises lightly. He said, "Okay I promise."

Angel let go and said, "If you try to run now that you've promised me you wouldn't, I'll spank you here in front of everyone for lying."

Connor looked offended and said, "I don't break my promises….EVER."

Angel looked at him and believed him. He said, "That's good to know. Neither do I."

Gunn and Fred waited in the car, and Connor followed Angel into the hospital. He asked the nurse for a room number, and he motioned for Connor to come with him. Connor went into a room with Angel and saw the woman he had pulled out of the car laying on a bed. A man sat beside her. As soon as the man saw Connor he jumped up and came towards him with his hand out. He said, "I'm so glad you came. My name is John."

Connor shook the man's hand and said, "Hi."

John turned and shook hands with Angel while he said, "You must be Angel. Thank you so much for calling and bringing your son here to meet me. I can't tell you what it means to me."

Angel said, "No problem."

John turned back to Connor and said, "I can't tell you how grateful I am. You saved them all, and they are my life. Is there anything you want? Any way I can start to repay you?"

Connor was kind of embarrassed. He thought, 'Why is this guy getting so worked up over me doing what anyone would have done? Well what anyone should have done anyway.' All Connor said was, "No. It's okay."

John nodded like that was the answer he was expecting and said, "Well, I know it's not much but I want you to have this."

John pulled some money out of his wallet and gave it to Connor. Connor just looked at it and said, "Um…" and looked at Angel.

Angel said, "It's okay."

Connor nodded and turned to John and said, "Okay. Thanks."

John handed Connor a card and said, "Here's my number. If you ever need anything, you give me a call, and I'll do what I can."

The woman on the bed moaned and John went back over to her side and held her hand. Angel said, "We have to go now John. It was nice to meet you, and I hope your wife recovers quickly."

John looked at Connor and said, "Thank you again."

Connor nodded and followed Angel out the door.

Back in the car Gunn noticed Connor was still holding the money and said, "How much did he give you?"

Connor looked down at the money in his hand and looked through it. He said, "Two hundred."

As they headed back to the hotel Fred and Gunn chattered in the back about a kind of demon Connor had never heard of, but he couldn't concentrate on the conversation because his thoughts were very sporadic. He couldn't figure out why Angel had taken him to see John, and he couldn't figure out why Angel went to so much trouble to find him each time he was gone.

By the time they got back to the hotel it was midnight. Angel pulled up and turned around to Fred and Gunn. He said, "Connor and I are going to go to his room for a few minutes, but then after that Connor will spend his hour with each of you before we go to bed if that is alright with you."

Fred nodded and Gunn said, "Sounds good."

Connor didn't like where this was going, but he was locked in the car with no where to go. Angel came around and unlocked Connor's door. He pulled Connor out and kept a grip on Connor's upper arm as he said, "Come on Connor. We need to go talk about running away again."

Connor started to struggle and dug his heels in so Angle had to literally drag him towards the door. Angel decided that wasn't the best way to do it, so he picked Connor up and tossed him over his shoulder again. Connor kept wiggling, but Angel was pleasantly surprised when Connor didn't try to bite or hit his back. Angel carried him all the way to his room and dumped him on his bed. Connor scrambled to the other side of the bed and stood up. Angel crossed his arms and said, "Let's get it over with."

Connor shook his head and said, "Let's not."

Angel actually laughed a little at that and said, "I told you if you ran off again I would spank you and then make you stay up to do all the things you were supposed to do during the day when we were all wasting our time looking for you."

Connor didn't say anything but looked towards the window.

Angel took advantage of Connor looking away and grabbed his upper arm again. Connor tried to pull away, but he couldn't. Angel walked to Connor's desk and pulled out the chair and turned it around. He sat down and undid Connor's jeans while Connor continued to try and pull away. Angel pulled him over his lap and started spanking hard and fast. Connor was really pissed at how easily Angel could manhandle him. He grunted at the first couple of swats, and to his amazement after a few more swats he started to yelp with every swat. He thought 'Why am I making that noise? Last time I didn't.'

Angel was also surprised to hear Connor reacting a little more vocally to the spanking. He wondered if Connor was a little less angry with him, and had let his other emotions surface. Angel continued spanking and said, "You will not run away Connor. It wastes everybody's time, and it doesn't do you any good. What the hell were you planning to do if I didn't come to get you? You have no paperwork to get hired for a job, and you can only live out of garbage cans for so long. It would really make me happy if you would just stay with us, and let us help you."

Connor had started to cry. Angel gave him a couple more swats and stopped. He pulled up Connor's underwear and pants and helped him to stand up. He stood and pulled Connor into a hug. Connor didn't struggle at all. He didn't hug Angel back, but Angel thought it was a big improvement.

After a couple of minutes he stepped back and held Connor at arms length. He said, "Okay you go do your hour with Fred and your hour with Gunn. Then we'll get you something to eat. After that everyone else will be going to bed, and I'll be staying up with you for four hours to begin your tutoring. Somewhere in there we can take a couple of half-hour breaks to relax and talk. Then since I don't have the energy to look for you tomorrow, I'll be staying in your room watching you sleep until Wesley gets here in the morning.

Connor was pretty tired after running all day and then getting spanked, but he somehow knew that Angel wasn't going to change his mind about this. He nodded and headed downstairs to find Fred.

Downstairs Gunn and Fred couldn't help but hear what was going on upstairs. Fred's eyes got very round and she said to Gunn in a quiet voice, "It sounds pretty bad."

Gunn listened for a second and said, "Sounds normal to me."

Fred felt kind of uncomfortable, and she felt really bad for Connor, but she understood the reason for it. She just hoped there wouldn't be much of a repeat within her hearing. She tried to keep busy putting things away. Soon the sounds stopped, and she felt a little better.

Fred was looking at a book and heard someone clear his throat. She looked up to see a red eyed Connor looking at her. He looked down and said, "I'm supposed to spend my hour with you now."

Fred put her book down, walked over and hugged Connor. He was surprised but found himself hugging her back. She broke off and cleared her throat to say, "Okay, let's go work on the third floor bathrooms."

Connor followed her upstairs.

An hour later Connor found Gunn watching some TV and waiting for him. Gunn turned off the TV and patted the couch next to him when he said, "Let's talk about running off."

Connor sighed and said, "I know Gunn. You've given me the same lecture like twenty times."

"Well maybe after twenty more it will stick in your head, and you'll stop doing it."

Connor sat carefully on the couch and listened to Gunn lecture him for about fifteen minutes. Then Gunn said, "Okay kid that's enough of that for one night."

Gunn got up and motioned for Connor to follow him. Connor was happy to stand. As they headed for the door Gunn put his arm around Connor's shoulders and said, "You know Connor, I really am proud of you for what you did on the bridge."

Connor smiled and said, "Thanks Gunn."

"And now you get to help me change the oil in my truck."

Conner lost the smile but nodded.

When they were done working on the truck, Gunn took him into the kitchen and found Angel there. Angel was making a sandwich and some soup. Gunn said, "We're all done, so I'm turning him over to you, and I'm going to bed. See you in the morning."

Angel said, "Thanks Gunn."

Angel handed the food to Connor who went to the table to eat. Once he was done, Angel took him to his office and they started the lessons. Connor usually didn't mind learning new stuff, but he was really tired and had a hard time keeping his mind on the things Angel was saying. After an hour of trying to learn about division and practicing it with various numbers he was more than ready for a break. Angel took pity on him and said, Let's go downstairs and work with swords for a few minutes to wake you up.

After the break they started on Biology. Connor found this subject very strange. He didn't see why anyone would care what a cell was made up of, or why it had any importance for what he would be doing in life. About half an hour into it he interrupted Angel with, "Why do I need to know this?"

Angel said, "I know it seems pointless, and you'll probably never use a lot of the stuff we'll be teaching you, but if you want to fit into this society then it's just stuff you should know."

"I don't care if I fit into society. I already know I never will."

"But I do care. And I think, someday you will be able to fit in. You'll have to decide whether you want to fit in or not, but at least you'll have the option."

Connor said, "Whatever."

Half an hour later Angel said, "Do you want another snack before we get started on religion?"

Connor said, "I'm really tired. Could I just go to bed?"

Angel looked at him and said with regret, "No son. I wish it hadn't taken so long to find you, but you will stay up and finish this."

Connor lost it and picked up the book in front of him and threw it at Angel's face. Angel caught it and said, "Tantrums won't help you get out of it. Lets go see if we can get you some sugar and caffeine. Then you may not want to go to sleep even when we're done."

Connor had cake and coffee before starting with the next subject. He thought 'Well that did perk me up, and listening to Dad…..Oh shit. NOT Dad! Never Dad! The monster Angel. Much better. Listening to the monster Angel talk about Buddhism isn't too bad.'

An hour later Angel said, "Okay, last but not least let's talk about money."

Connor put his head in his arms on the desk and almost cried. He said, "Please no more."

Then Connor and Angel both realized Connor had pretty much begged Angel to stop. This made Connor mad at himself for being weak. He sat up and said, "Okay lets talk money. How much do you pay Fred and Gunn for working for you?"

Angel was proud of Connor for sticking to it, even if it was probably for the wrong reasons. They talked for an hour about various jobs. Angel explained what they each paid, and why some paid more than others did. By the end of the hour, Connor was a little more impressed with his two hundred dollars.

When it was all done Angel put an arm around Connor's shoulders to lead him up to his room. Connor pretty much fell in the bed and fell asleep without thinking about much at all.

Angel sat and watched him as the sun came up, and soon Wesley came to relieve him.

# # #

Wesley let Connor sleep until noon. He had been warned that Connor woke up fairly abruptly and ready to fight, so he stood on the other side of the room and said, "Connor."

That didn't work, so Wesley put his hand on Connor's foot, and shook it while saying, "Connor, it's time to get up."

Connor sat up quickly and got his bearings. He looked at Wesley, and outside to the sun. He said, "I'm still tired."

Wesley said, "Too bad. Six hours is good enough. Get up."

Connor thought about going and trying to get out the window, but he didn't want to get in a fight and end up hurting Wesley if he tried to stop him. He nodded and said, "Okay. Can I take a shower?"

Wesley said, "Sure with the door open so I can make sure you don't climb out the window."

Connor was too tired to argue and took a long hot shower. He felt better when he was done and said, "What now?"

"Breakfast and Biology."

"Wonderful" Connor said in a sarcastic tone.

A few hours later Connor was done with Biology and Math. He thought it was nicer to have Fred and Wesley tutoring him than it was to have Angel the whole time. He and Fred were about to go find Gunn when Angel came out of his room for the first time that day. Angel smiled at Connor and said, "Good morning. I'm glad you're still here."

Connor shrugged and thought 'Not like I had much choice. I haven't been alone all day.'

Angel said, "So what have you done so far today?"

"Biology and Math. We were going to find Gunn next."

Gunn walked in as Connor was talking and said, "Hey Connor, my turn I take it."

Connor nodded. Gunn said, "Angel can I talk to you for a minute before I start with Connor?"

Fred waited with Connor while Angel motioned for Gunn to follow him and said, "Sure come on in the office."

Once the door was closed Gunn said, "I don't know how you feel about it, but I was thinking about taking him to the store today. It's my turn to do the grocery shopping, and I thought if it took a couple of hours it could count as both his lesson and his hour with me. He could learn quite a bit about how much food costs."

Angel said, "Sounds good if he doesn't take the opportunity to run off. Let's bring him in, and we'll talk to him first."

Connor came in, and Angel explained what Gunn wanted to do. Then he said, "If you can promise me you won't run while your shopping then you can go."

Connor crossed his arms and said with defiance, "No."

Gunn said, "You could pick out some junk food that you liked."

Connor shook his head.

Angel sighed and said, "Sorry Gunn. If you want, I'll do your hour of finances with him while you get the shopping done, and then since he's being unreasonable you can have him for two hours tonight instead of one."

Gunn said, "I can shop later if you have stuff you need to get done."

"I don't have anything pressing, you go ahead."

Once Gunn was out of the office Angel said, "You know Connor, you can be as unpleasant to us as you want, and it will only get you more work, and less free time."

"Free time. That's really funny Dad." Dad, as always, was said with a sneer and in a sarcastic tone of voice.

"Okay, let's get started then."

After an hour of going through the hotel's bills and finding out what each bill was for, and how much it cost, Connor noticed the time and said, "It's been an hour."

Angel said, "I'm still not too happy with you, so I think we'll do another hour of this."

"But….you….you didn't tell me that before Gunn left, and I still have to do another hour with him!"

"Too bad."

"I hate you."

"I know, and I love you anyway."

Connor glared but remained silent, so Angel started explaining more about the bills.

Half an hour later Fred knocked on the door and said, "Charles is back, and he brought pizza home for lunch."

Connor smiled and started to stand up when Angel said, "Put some in the fridge for Connor, and he'll be out to have some in half an hour or so."

Fred nodded and closed the door. Connor glared and said, "You're more like Father than I thought."

"What do you mean by that?"


"I thought we went over no lying Connor."

Connor sighed and said, "When Father was displeased with something I did, sometimes he wouldn't let me eat."

Angel knew Holtz hated him, but he didn't know if Holtz had turned that hatred towards Connor, or if he had tried to be a good father to him. He knew Connor was very loyal to Holtz, so he thought Holtz must have been a somewhat decent parent. He was curious and said, "What do you mean exactly by he wouldn't let you eat. Give me an example."

Connor looked defiant again and said, "No."

Angel said, "I won't force you to tell me things about your past, but I think it would help us to get to know each other. And to make it worth your time, each time you tell me a story from your past, I'll tell you one from my past. Eventually I want you to know everything about me as a human, as Angelus, and as Angel. Even if the stories are unpleasant and make you dislike me even more, I still want you to know about them."

Connor considered this and said, "If I tell you what you want to know, will you tell me about the first time you met Father?"

Angel sighed and said, "Yes."

Connor looked away refusing to make eye contact and got quite red while he told his story. "One time when I was about ten Father told me to wait in the cave we were living in while he went to go check our traps. I usually went with him, but he wanted me to memorize the verse he had written in the dirt by the time he got back. I was angry that he didn't take me with him, so I followed him to check the traps. I watched him from a distance, and when he was done I raced home and beat him there. I didn't think he would know but he did."

Angel waited for him to continue, and wondered why Connor was so embarrassed about it. It sounded like a normal thing for a kid to do to him. After a few seconds he said quietly, "What happened next?"

Connor looked down and crossed his arms tightly across his chest and mumbled, "Father said I was an ungrateful son. He went over all the sacrifices he had made for me, and explained that the least I owed him was respect and obedience. We spent the rest of the day and night praying for God to forgive me and for Him to help me fight the monster that is a part of me. Then Father told me that for the next two days I was only to have water so that the monster in me would be weakened and I would have a better chance of fighting it."

Angel was appalled and shouted, "That is unforgivable!"

Connor looked almost scared and said, "I'm sorry. I know I'm weak. I don't know why it's so hard for me to fight the monster. Father was very patient with me."

Angel looked kind of sick and said, "Connor, what Holtz did was unforgivable, not what you did."

Connor looked up and shook his head. "No you're wrong. Father helped me to be good."

Angel was silent for a few minutes trying to collect his thoughts and tone down his anger. He finally said, "I will never make you miss even one meal. All I said about the pizza was that you had to wait until we were done here. Holtz WAS wrong to make you go without food, especially when you were ten. I think after lunch we'll go into some of the atrocities done in the name of religion over earth's history, and maybe you'll be able to start to understand why I'm upset."

Connor shrugged and said, "Your turn."

Angel had to take a few more seconds to calm down before he said, "The first time I met Holtz, I was in a bar with Darla, your mother. We had just arrived at the village earlier that evening, and we wanted to stay there for a couple of nights. We were drinking some ale and listening to the town gossip trying to learn of the best place to find someone to eat without getting caught. We saw Holtz come in with some of his men. He looked around the bar, and said something about drinking and God, but we were ignoring him. Then he spotted a girl in the back sitting by herself. He had his men go get her and drag her out of the bar room calling her a monster and an abomination on God. Darla and I thought it would be fun to watch a beating, so we followed. As soon as we were outside Holtz pulled out some holy water and dumped it on the girl. She was a vampire of course, and changed face as soon as the water hit her. She was screaming in pain as he drove a stake through her heart and killed her. Darla and I had never seen someone pick a vampire out of a crowed room of people like that just to kill them. It made us really mad, and worried us too. We decided to get to know him better, and eventually to make him pay for what he was doing. We didn't make contact that night, but we started to follow him and learn about him right after that."

Connor smiled and said, "Father was doing good in the world. Killing the vampires just like you do now."

Angel said, "Yes back then he was doing good, and I was Angelus. And as Angelus I helped turn him into the man he became."

They were both silent with there own thoughts for a few minutes. Then Angel looked at the clock and said, "Let's finish this lesson up so we can go have lunch."

Connor had kind of hoped Angel would have forgotten about that, but tried to concentrate on the bills again anyway.

As Connor was eating pizza and Angel was drinking blood, Wesley came in and said, "We got a call. There's some kind of demon in the sewers eating anything it can find including humans. From the description the woman gave me, I think it's most likely a Shreelo demon, but we won't know until we see it. If it is a Shreelo, then we'll need to decapitate it to kill it. The woman said it ate her two friends before she could get away. If it's eating that much at once, it probably has some young it's feeding."

Angel gulped down the rest of his lunch, and Connor took his pizza with him as they headed towards the sewer. Fred and Gunn were at the sewer entrance waiting for them with weapons. Angel took the lead and half an hour later they found the demon. It appeared to be sleeping. It was two times bigger than Angel was, and it had five arms and three legs. Wesley whispered, "It's a Shreelo."

Angel whispered, "I'll try to sneak up and decapitate it. If it wakes up before I can get to it, You four try to distract it so I can get a clear shot at it's head."

Angel turned to start sneaking up on the demon, while the others got their weapons ready. When Angel was two feet from the creature it woke up and batted Angel away. Angel hit the wall of the sewer and fell to the floor. As he was getting up, so was the Shreelo demon. Fred started shooting her arrows and Wesley shot his guns. Gunn and Connor started to advance on the demon with their swords, and Angel did the same.

After fifteen minutes of fighting, the Shreelo demon was dead, and everyone was tired, sweaty, and a little beat up. Wesley said, "It will have anywhere between two and six young hiding somewhere close. They will still be in the larval form. To kill them you have to gut them and take out the heart. The heart is a blue color. They have poison in their teeth, so if they bite you, you'll go numb quickly and soon you'll be paralyzed. You'll still be conscious while you're paralyzed, but thankfully you won't feel anything. The paralysis will only last about an hour, but by that time the larvae will have eaten you if no one's around to help you."

Angel nodded and said, "Okay guys, Connor and I will go this way, and the three of you go that way. We'll meet back here in half an hour to see if any of us found them."

Connor and Angel soon found the larvae. There were five of them, and they were awake. They were each about as long as Angel's leg, but much fatter. As soon Angel and Connor saw the larvae, the larvae smelled them, and started to slither towards them. Angel said, "I'll go try to gut them all. You stay back in case I get bit. If I get bit, you drag me away to meet up with the others. Then you can all come back to finish them off."

Connor said, "Why don't we both go gut them. We'll have a better chance of getting them all that way."

"No, because if we both get bit we won't be able to get away."

The larvae were getting closer, but they couldn't move very fast. Angel went in and started to gut them. He gutted three of them and got two of the hearts out before one of them bit his leg. He went numb pretty quickly and was able to get the heart out of the third before he couldn't move any more. Connor came over and gutted one of the larvae while the second took a bite out of Angel's leg. Connor gutted the second to distract it from Angel. Angel watched in horror but couldn't move as Connor almost got bit on the arm. Angel thought, 'Get us out of here Connor, don't fight them by yourself.' Connor turned and sliced it in half to find the heart. He got the heart out, as the second larva bit his pants. He could feel the teeth touching his leg, but they didn't break the skin. He turned and cut that one in half and got the heart out. As soon as all five were dead, Connor turned to Angel. He said, "Can you move?"

Angel thought, 'No.'

Connor took Angel's hand and pulled him away from the dead larvae, and propped him up into a sitting position against the sewer wall. Connor carefully put his sword against Angel's neck. He raised it high and tried to make himself bring it down to decapitate Angel for a full five minutes, but he couldn't. Conner dropped the sword and squatted down in front of Angel to say, "Father wanted me to kill you. If I had killed you when I first met you Father wouldn't have had Justine kill him. That was Father's biggest sacrifice. He sacrificed his life to help me realize the monster in me is still partly controlling me. I came to this dimension to kill you, and I still haven't done it because the monster in me wants to get to know you. It feels a connection with you. I want to do the right thing and kill you, but I can't seem to do it. When I see the good you are doing to help other people it confuses me, and I don't understand why you do it. Even now you are helpless, and I can't bring myself to kill you like I know I should. That's why I hate you."

With that Connor got up and started running away from Angel and the others. There was so much Angel wanted to say, but all he could do was sit there in silence.

Half an hour later Gunn, Wesley, and Fred found Angel. Fred knelt down and said, "Angel can you move."

Wesley said, "He was bitten. See his leg."

Gunn yelled, "Connor! Connor where are you?"

They searched the immediate area, and after about five minutes Gunn said, "The little shit ran again. How could he just leave Angel there like that?"

Fred said, "Now Charles, we don't know what happened."

Wesley said, "Come on Gunn, help me get Angel up over my shoulder, and then when we're half way back, you can carry him."

By the time they got home Angel could start to feel his chest and abdomen, but he still couldn't move or talk. They lay him down on his bed and Wesley said, "I'll have to go make an ointment for the bites, or they will become very infected."

Fred nodded and said, "I'll stay with him."

Connor had run to the first sewer exit he could find. He knew Angel would be out of commission for a while, but he still felt better in the daylight. He thought about where he should go, and what he should do. He thought, 'Angel's right that I don't have any paperwork to get a job, but I'm sure I can find someone who won't ask for paperwork. I still have the two hundred dollars that John gave me. I wonder how far that would get me on a bus.'

As he started walking he bent down and retied his shoe and scratched his leg. By the time he was half way to the bus station, he had to scratch his leg every couple of minutes. It took him three times longer than it normally would have to get to the bus station, because his leg was itching more and more, and eventually it started to hurt. Once he was at the bus station he went into the bathroom to check out his leg. As he pulled his pant leg up he thought, 'Crap that doesn't look good at all. I don't get it. The larva didn't break the skin, why is it all red and swollen?'

He washed his leg thoroughly in the sink with soap and hot water, and went out to buy a ticket. He found out that he could get across a couple of states for one hundred dollars. He decided that would be far enough away, and that he should save the rest of his money for food until he found a job. He looked through the bus schedules, and found that there was a bus going north leaving in about half an hour. He thought, 'Well I wanted to go east this time, but maybe going north will be better. They probably won't think I'll go the same way twice.'

He bought his ticket north, and went to sit on the bench and wait for the bus. As he sat there he couldn't stop himself from scratching his leg. He knew it would probably just make it worse, but he didn't have the will power to stop himself. As he was scratching himself he felt the skin break open in a small scratch. He raced to the bathroom thinking 'Not good, not good, not good. As he made it to the bathroom and pulled up his pants leg he could feel his foot going numb. He quickly got himself into the only stall with a door, shut it, and locked it. He propped himself up on the toilet, and hoped he wouldn't fall over if he became completely paralyzed. He sat there feeling more and more numb and five minutes later he was paralyzed. He kept thinking 'I'm gonna miss my ride. I wasted all that money. I hope no one tries to get in here. I'm gonna miss my stupid ride.'

Back at the hotel Angel was finally up and moving. Wesley had put the ointment on the bites, and had bandaged them up to keep the ointment in place. The bite wounds were starting to look better already, and the swelling was down. As soon as he could talk he had explained what Connor said to him before he ran off. He also told them the story Connor had told him in the office. Fred, Gunn, and Wesley were all appalled along with Angel at what Holtz had done, and how he had twisted Connor's sense of himself.

Once Angel could walk he said, "I have to go start tracking him. It'll be dark in an hour, and I'll have to start in the sewers, so I'm gonna leave now. He has some money now, so if you guys could think about what he might do, and then check it out that would be great. If you find out anything, I have my cell phone."

Angel ran to the spot he had last seen Connor, and was disappointed to find out that Connor had left the sewer so quickly. He would have to wait another half an hour before he could go up to the streets.

Fred, Gunn, and Wesley were all brainstorming and trying to think of where Connor might have gone. They started making phone calls to public places to ask if anyone had seen a person matching Connor's description.

Just as Angel was able to go into the street, his cell phone rang. It was Fred. She said, "Someone matching Connor's description was seen at the bus station an hour ago buying a ticket."

"I'm on my way. Have Gunn meet me there with the truck."

Angel set out at a dead run, and made it to the bus station before Gunn. He went in and looked around. He went to the counter and asked each of the people working if they had seen someone matching Connor's description. No one was helpful. He went to look in the bathroom and saw Connor's shoes under the stall door. Angel knocked and said, "Connor?"

Connor had been panicking wondering how long the paralysis was going to last. He couldn't see a clock, but it seemed like it had been hours, and he knew he had missed his bus. When Angel knocked on the door and called his name a wave of adrenaline shot through Connor's body, but he still couldn't move. He thought, 'No, no, no. Why him? I think I'm cursed.'

Angel went to the next stall and stood on the toilet so he could look down on Connor. He saw him sitting fully clothed and not moving. He said, "Connor can you move?"

Getting no response, he quickly jumped over the stall wall and unlocked Connor's stall door. He looked at Connor's arms for a bite mark, and then the legs. When he saw it he said, "That looks pretty bad. Wesley will have an ointment for it when we get home that should clear it up. You should be fine in half an hour or so."

Angel looked in Connor's eyes and said, "Thanks for not killing me. I know it's what Holtz wanted you to do, but it is the human in you that stops you from killing me not the monster. I don't believe there is a monster in you at all. I think that's just something Holtz made up to keep you under control. A monster wouldn't have helped those people on the bridge. A monster wouldn't have cared if he hurt Fred, Gunn, or Wesley trying to get away from me. A monster wouldn't have saved me from the last two larvae and put himself at risk doing it."

Angel paused and said, "Okay I'm going to carry you out of here. Gunn should be here with the truck any minute. We're gonna take you home and have Wes look at your leg. Then when you're feeling better, you and I will have yet another 'talk' about running away, and doing what you're told to do in a fight. I still can't believe you fought those two larvae instead of dragging me out of there to go find the others. What if they had bitten you before you killed them. Then we would both be dead. I'm really disappointed in the choices you made today."

Then Angel picked up Connor and tossed him over his shoulder. He laughed and said, "Hey Connor look, it's your going home position."

Angel continued to laugh at his own bad joke while Connor thought, 'Oh, brother.' Angel had given him a lot to think about, and lucky for Angel, Connor didn't have anything else to do but think.

An hour later Connor was feeling better and was able to move again. The swelling in his leg had immediately gone down with the ointment. Everyone was in Connor's room making sure he was okay.

Angel let Connor stand up and walk around for a little bit to make sure his leg was working. He said, "Do you feel okay now?"

Connor nodded and said, "Yes."

Wesley asked, "Anything hurt besides your leg?"

"It doesn't even feel bad now. I feel fine. I don't understand why it got so swollen when the larva didn't even brake the skin."

Wesley said, "Their saliva slowly soaks through your skin whether the skin is broken or not."

Wesley turned to Angel and said, "I'm going home now if you don't need anything else. Would you like me to come back in the morning to relieve you from guard duty again?"

Angel nodded and said, "That would be great Wes."

Connor rolled his eyes. After Wesley left Angel turned to Fred and Gunn and said, "Connor and I need to talk alone for a few minutes, and then he can spend his two hours with Gunn before dinner, and an hour with Fred after dinner."

They both nodded and left the room. Connor started to feel very nervous. He knew what was going to happen, and he found that he really wanted to avoid it. He thought, 'I do feel a little bad about leaving Angel in the sewer while he was paralyzed, but I don't feel bad about running away or fighting the larvae after Angel told me not to. I knew I could kill them without getting hurt. Well, without getting killed anyway.'

Angel pulled Connor's desk chair into the middle of his room and sat down. He looked at Connor and said, "I guess if you feel all better, it's time to talk about running away."

Connor looked around the room to the window. He looked at Angel sitting, and thought he could make it. He jumped towards the window and made it to the windowsill before he felt Angel's hand grabbing his shirt. He struggled to get away, and succeeded in ripping his shirt. Angel grabbed his wrist and hauled him back to the chair. Very quickly Connor found himself over Angel's lap with his pants and underwear down around his knees. He yelled, "Noooo!"

Angel said, "Yes." And started spanking him.

Once Connor had started to grunt and yelp with each swat Angel said, "You will stop trying to run away Connor, or you will be in this position pretty often. This is the fourth time I've spanked you in four days. Not a very good track record little boy."

Connor just kept yelping, and Angel kept spanking. Once Connor started to cry, Angel paused and rubbed Connor's back. Then he said, "Okay Connor that one's done. Now we need to take care of not doing what you're told to do in a fight. I am very unhappy with your decision to fight the larvae by yourself. I told you the plan was to stop fighting and drag me away to meet up with the others."

Connor had stopped crying, but was very anxious to still be over Angel's lap. Angel said, "I'm sorry to have to do this Connor, but I'm going to give you twenty with my belt."

Connor started to struggle even more when he heard Angel unbuckling his belt. It brought back flashes of Holtz whipping him even though he wasn't tied down and naked.

Angel continued with, "If we are fighting and you don't follow orders, I will always spank you. But if you do something to endanger your life like you did today, it will be a harsher spanking like this." He quickly brought the belt down and saw a red line formon Connor's already pink behind.

Connor showed no sign that he'd even felt it, but whispered, "I'm sorry Father."

Angel hesitated. "Father?" he asked.

Connor whispered, "I'm sorry."

Something felt off to Angel, but he didn't want to draw this out for either of them, and started to bring the belt down, covering every inch of Connor's butt in red lines. When he'd gotten to ten, and Connor had remained silent, Angel paused. He looked at the back of Connor's head, trying to figure out if he was okay.

To Angel's amazement, Connor started to visibly shake all over. With a timid voice, Connor said, "Father?"

Becoming more concerned, Angel realized that the first 'Father' Connor had uttered hadn't been directed at him. He said quietly, "No son, it's Angel, or Dad if you like."

Connor shook his head a little and said, "A..Angel? You aren't whipping me?"

Angel hated Holtz with a passion and wished he were there so he could rip his heart out and show it to him as he died. He said, "Not in the way you think," and tossed the belt onto the floor. "Ten more to go. Let's finish."

This time when Angel brought his hand down, Connor started yelping, and soon he was crying again. When Angel was done Connor just lay across his lap crying. Angel pulled Connor's underwear and pants up. Connor didn't struggle or help as Angel turned him around so he was sitting in Angel's lap. Angel hugged him close and rocked him back and forth a little. Connor let his arm's dangle, but he didn't struggle with Angel.

Connor whispered, "I'm sorry I left you there unprotected. It was wrong."

Angel said, "I forgive you Connor. I forgive you for all of it, but I want to make sure you understand that I spanked you for running away from us, for not following my instructions, and for putting yourself in danger. I did not spank you because you left me unprotected. It wasn't very nice of you, but being nice to me isn't one of the rules I told you to follow. Can you understand that?"

Connor nodded even though he wasn't sure if he did understand. He thought, 'Why is Angel holding me after he spanked me? Father would have left me tied up for a couple of hours. Why didn't he whip me? What's the point of using a belt on someone if you don't want to make the person bleed? Why is he still holding me? Why would he forgive me so soon if I did something to make him mad?'

Angel was stuck with thoughts of hating Holtz, and soon he had to ask, "Why did Holtz whip you Connor?"

He felt Connor tense up in his lap, and let him go when Connor pushed away. Connor stood and started to pace. He said, "Because I was bad."

Angel said, "Give me some examples."

"Sometimes it was because I didn't learn my verses. If I lost in a fight and he had to help, or if I let something trail me back home to the cave he would whip me."

Angel didn't think he wanted to know, but couldn't stop himself from asking, "Will you tell me about one so that I have a clear understanding of what you mean by a whipping?"

Connor was starting to feel a little more normal now that Angel wasn't holding him, and he said, "What story are you gonna tell me in exchange?"

Angel thought about it and said, "I'll tell you about my father whipping me, but I'm betting that a whipping doesn't mean the same thing to you that it means to me."

Connor stopped pacing and stared at Angel. He had trouble thinking about Angel being a boy. He turned away and slowly said, "Okay. One time when I was about twelve Father and I were checking our traps when a Klin started to attack us. A Klin is kind of like a bear with no fur. I started to fight but I wasn't quick enough and the Klin clawed my arm before I could kill it, so Father had to help me. We went back to the cave, and after I stripped he tied me to the wall. We had made a structure with logs and animal skins for when he had to whip me, because the first time he whipped me I was too weak to keep still. He usually just whipped my back, but if I had led something back to our cave he would continue all the way down my butt and legs. This time he just whipped my back. He always used his belt, and he always kept whipping me until I started to bleed. When he was done he would wash my back with a special blend of water and herbs to make sure it wouldn't get infected. Then he would leave me tied up until he saw my back start to heal. He always told me it was a sure sign that the monster was still in me when I would heal in a couple of days…….Why did you use your belt if you didn't want to make me bleed?"

Connor turned back to Angel and saw that he had tears running down his face. Connor didn't understand this at all. He said, "Is your leg hurting again? Do you want me to get Fred?"

Angel shook his head no and said, "Connor, I…..I'm so sorry I wasn't able to get you out of Quor-toth, and away from Holtz. I did everything I could to get you back."

Connor just stood there confused while Angel walked into the bathroom to wash his face and try to calm down. When he came back he was more in control and walked to Connor and hugged him again. Connor didn't struggle or hug Angel back. Angel hugged Connor so tight that Connor kind of thought it hurt and Angel said, "I will never whip you Connor. I will never make you bleed as punishment. No one who loved you would. I used my belt on you because I wanted to make you realize that I think hurting yourself or putting yourself in danger is worse than running off, or not obeying me."

Connor wasn't sure what to say, but Angel was still hugging him too hard so he said, "Okay. Now it's your turn."

Angel let go and started to pace while Connor lay down on his stomach on the bed. Angel said, "My father was a good man, but when I became a teenager we didn't get along. He wanted me to become like him, and I wanted to go my own way. One day when I was fifteen, he told me to clean out the barn. I didn't feel like it, so I went to the lake and went fishing for the day. I knew he would whip me when I came home, and I didn't care. When I got home, I gave my mother the fish I had caught, and my father took me out to the barn. He took off his belt, pulled my britches down, and sat down on a bale of hay while he pulled me over his lap. He whipped my butt until it was bruised all over. Then he pushed me off his lap and onto the floor, where I lay and cried. While I was lying on the floor, he yelled at me to clean the barn. He told me if I wasn't done cleaning the barn by the time dinner was over, that I would have to go without. Cleaning a barn is not a fast job, and it took me most of the night. I missed dinner, but my mother put out some bread and cheese for me after my father had gone to bed. In retrospect I can see that I deserved what I got, but at the time I hated him. At fifteen I thought I was a man, and that he had no right to dictate my life to me. He also thought that at fifteen I should be a man, but to him that meant I should be taking my family responsibilities very seriously. My father would have never whipped me until I bled. In fact that was probably the worst whipping I ever got. There was one boy I knew in school who sometimes had cuts from his father's buggy whip, but everyone knew there was something wrong with that even back then."

Connor didn't think it sounded like much of a whipping for what Angel had done. He thought, 'I think Father would have whipped me repeatedly and made me fast and pray for days if I had done that. I never even thought of not doing something that Father told me to do. I was too afraid of what he would do to me…..I was afraid of him. Angel wasn't afraid of what his father would do to him, because he knew what it would be. I was afraid of him. I was afraid of Fa…I was afraid of Holtz.'

Angel put his belt back on while Connor was thinking. Then he smiled and laughed a little when he said, "I guess that story says more about what a little creep I was, then anything else. Enough of this! I don't know about you, but I'm worn out. Let's go find Gunn and see what fun things he has thought of for you to do tonight."

Connor rolled his eyes, but got up and let Angel put his arm around his shoulders as he walked downstairs.

After Gunn's half hour lecture about running away and not getting help when you're hurt, Connor had lots of time to think over the things that had happened between him and Angel while he was cleaning all the weapons they had used to kill the Shreelo demon and it's larvae. He wasn't surprised at all when Gunn made him clean them all again after he had finished the first time. When he was done the second time Gunn said, "We still have half an hour left. You want to come watch some baseball with me?"

Connor looked confused and said, "But that would be fun."

Gunn smiled and put an arm around Connor's shoulder and said, "I think we've both had a hard day, and we could use a break."

Connor smiled a really big smile and said, "Okay. Thanks Gunn."

After dinner Fred made Connor clean the bathrooms on the fourth floor. Fred wasn't sure what she was going to have Connor do when they ran out of floors.

When his hour with Fred was up, Connor and Angel spent an hour talking about the Salem witch trials, and how people had twisted religion and used it to kill innocent people. Connor asked, "What if they were really witches?" Angel laughed and said, "Those people would have run screaming from a real witch. I'll tell you a story about Willow, and then maybe you'll understand."

Once they were done, Angel said, "I don't know about you Connor, but I'm kind of tired. I think going to bed early sounds good. Are you tired?"

Connor nodded.

Angel said, "If you promise to stay in your room until Wesley gets there in the morning I'll let you stay by yourself."

Connor thought about it for a few minutes. Then he looked up and said, "Okay, I promise to stay in my room until Wesley comes to my room in the morning."

Angel gave Conner a big smile and pulled him into a hug and said, "That's very good of you son. I could really use the sleep."

They walked out of the office and started towards their respective rooms. Angel called a, "Good night." to Connor as he was walking up the stairs, and Connor yelled a, "Night Angel." back to him.

Chapter 2

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