Author's Note: This chapter contains specific spoilers for the episode 'Supersymmetry'. Written - November 17, 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 4

Connor woke up, and felt pain in his shoulder. He remembered last night, and dragged himself out of bed to examine the damage in the bathroom mirror. He saw that his side was mostly healed up. He still had some bruises, but the skin had healed. When he took the bandage off his shoulder he could see that the cuts had not healed all the way yet, but they looked much better than the day before. He was happy to note that his butt didn't hurt anymore at all, and his headache was gone. He took a hot shower, and got dressed for the day. When he was done, he realized it was pretty late even for the hours that the people at Angel Inc. seemed to keep. He went downstairs to see where everyone was. Fred, Gunn, Angel, and Wesley were all eating in the lobby and talking. Angel was saying, "I guess we should wake them up soon."

As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he turned and saw Connor on the stairs. He said, "Glad you're up. I was just about to wake you. Come and have some late breakfast."

Connor nodded and went to get himself a plate. While Connor was eating, Fred went to wake Lorne. While she was gone Angel said, "How are your wounds this morning Connor?"

Connor said with a full mouth, "Fine."

Angel went over and said, "Let's see."

Connor rolled his eyes, but pulled his tee shirt up so Angel could see his side. Angel gave a nod of approval, and Connor pushed his sleeve up so Angel could see the shoulder. Angel said, "Looks good."

Lorne came down the stairs in his pajamas and robe. He was holding his head still, and didn't look so great. Angel said, "How are you this morning Lorne?"

"I feel like someone split my head in two with a sword."

Connor choked on his food noisily.

Lorne smiled a little and said, "Not like some one cut it off little man. That doesn't hurt nearly as much."

Lorne sat on the couch and Fred brought him a plate with some food. Angel said, "Good. Now that we're all here, we have a few things to talk about. First is Lorne, do you remember anything at all about what you read from Connor?"

Lorne shook his head and said, "I'm sorry Angel, but I don't."

Angel said, "Could you read him again?"

Lorne gave Angel a very disapproving look, and Angel felt a little embarrassed and looked away when he said, "I guess that might not be the best idea."

Lorne said, "I guess not."

Angel looked at Wesley, and said, "So do you know why Wolfram and Heart wants this information?"

"I'm sorry Angel, but I have no idea. I mean, I'm sure they want all the information they can about Connor's future, and yours as well, but they have never tried to take anything from Lorne's head before. I don't know what was in that reading that they're so anxious to get."

Gunn said, "So let's get it back."

Wesley said, "How do you propose to do that?"

"Let's break into Wolfram and Heart, and steal the information back. It's not like Angel hasn't broken in there before."

Connor said, "Yes. Let's do that."

Angel said, "I don't think that's the best idea. If Lilah was willing to come here and hurt Lorne for the information, it's going to be very well guarded. They'll be expecting us."

Fred said, "But if we don't get the information, what will they do with it? I'm sure they won't be using it for any kind of good."

Everyone thought for a minute and soon Angel said, "I think we should wait for a couple of days and see what happens. I'm not willing to risk any of us getting hurt going there. Wes, if you can find anything out from Lilah, it would be helpful."

Wesley said, "I think that will be difficult, as I don't intend to see her again."

Angel nodded and said, "Okay, then let's just see what happens in the next few days. I mean, Lorne's readings are just possible futures. Not exactly what will happen."

Connor looked angry and said, "So that's your big plan? Let's all sit on our asses and wait for something to happen. That's great Dad."

Angel said, "I know what you want to do Connor, and it's not going to happen. We have gone over seeking vengeance before. Going to Wolfram and Heart and terrorizing the lawyers might be fun for you, but it wouldn't do us any good, and it would probably end up with you getting hurt or killed. Plus, even with all of us working together, we probably couldn't get the information we were looking for just because of the sheer number of them."

Connor said, "Whatever."

Three days later things were back to normal. Nothing had happened with Wolfram and Heart, and Lorne and Connor had both fully recovered. Lorne had decided to teach Connor music appreciation instead of how to sing, and they spent their time going over many forms of music and how they originated. Connor thought about going over to see Lilah, and the people at Wolfram and Heart every day, but he knew he couldn't get away with it without Angel finding out, and he didn't want to be in trouble again. On the third day after the meeting, Connor and Lorne were listening to some Mozart when they heard Fred yelling. They rushed in to see her hugging and kissing Gunn. She said, "Can you believe it Charles?"

"Of course I can believe it. You deserve it."

Connor said, "What's going on?"

Angel who was standing in the doorway of his office said, "Fred got an article published, and she has been asked to present her physics theory at a convention tomorrow."

Lorne said, "Fred sweetie that's terrif."

"Thanks Lorne. I have to go work on my speech. You'll all be there to see me right?"

Gunn smiled and said, "Of course we will."

"Great. This is going to be so… just great!"

With that last comment, Fred ran off to the room she shared with Gunn to start working on her speech.

Connor mumbled "I don't understand half of the stuff she says when we're researching, and now I have to listen to her give a speech on physics. That sounds like fun."

Angel heard him and said, "She would do it for you if the tables were turned."

Connor gave Angel a look that seemed to say 'don't be stupid' and said, "I know Dad. I didn't say I wouldn't go. I said it wouldn't be fun. Big difference."

Angel nodded and everyone got back to work.

The next day Wesley was in his apartment reading the article that Fred had written, when someone knocked on the door. He opened it to find Lilah with a large wrapped box. Wesley stepped aside and let her in. She handed him the box and he said, "Is this a bribe? Or is it the beginning of another scheme?"

Lilah took this in stride and said, "Can't it just be a gift?"

Wesley looked skeptical. Lilah said, "Open it."

Wesley opened it to find a very old knight's helmet. He said, "This must have cost you a fortune."

Lilah said, "It did. Lucky for you, I have the afternoon off so you can repay me."

She walked up to Wesley and started to kiss him. He started to kiss her back, but soon pulled away. He said, "Actually I have to go. But thank you for… the gift."

Wesley walked out and left Lilah there. Lilah sighed and sat on the couch looking defeated. She glanced at the magazine Wesley had been looking at, and saw the article by Fred.

At the convention Fred was very nervous to be going up in front off all the people there. Gunn was trying to calm her down, while Angel and Connor were looking board sitting in a middle row. As people were coming in Connor saw a very pretty girl with red hair who looked to be about his age arriving. He thought about going up to her and trying to make some kind of small talk, and then realized he would have nothing to say. He thought, 'Here I am at a physics convention at the local university, and I can't even pass my High School GED yet.'

The more he thought about it, the more grateful he was to Angel for making him do the tutoring with everyone, even if it wasn't his favorite thing to do on a daily basis. As he was watching the girl he saw her smile and wave at a nerdy looking boy who waved back and went to sit by her. They were soon deep in conversation, and Connor thought, 'Oh well. We would have nothing in common anyway. I can't just go up to a girl and say, 'Hey I killed three vampires last night.' and expect her to be friendly.'

Soon Wesley arrived and sat next to Angel. Wesley said, "Sorry I'm late. I got a little side tracked."

Angel said, "I thought it was over between you two."

Wesley looked a little perturbed and said, "I think smelling people should classify as invasion of privacy."

Angel didn't respond. Wesley said, "Where's Lorne?"

Angel said, "His nasty headache came back. But I think that had more to do with the fact that Fred practiced her speech on him three times than anything else."

Gunn was following Fred around the room and meeting people. Soon Fred saw one of her old professors. She called out, "Professor Seidel?"

The professor turned and said, "Winifred? Winifred Burkle?"

Fred nodded, and the professor said, "How many years has it been? Two or three at least. It's so good to see you."

Fred smiled and said, "It's been more like six years, and it's great to see you too. This is my boyfriend Charles."

Gunn shook hands with the Professor, and Fred said, "Are you presenting?"

Professor Seidel said, "No. Actually I heard you were presenting, and I asked if I could introduce you. It isn't often one of my best students comes back with an amazing theory."

Fred looked pleased, and said, "It's not that amazing. It will probably be proven wrong in a few weeks."

"It's a brilliant theory Winifred. Now we should be getting to the stage. The first speaker is supposed to start soon."

Gunn went to sit by Connor, and Fred went with the Professor to the chairs on the stage.

After the first speaker Connor had a hard time staying awake. He wished he had brought his game boy, but he was pretty sure Angel wouldn't have let him play it anyway. Next Fred was up. She looked a little nervous, but soon got into the speech. As Fred was speaking, both Angel and Connor turned around to the back of the room at the same time. They had heard and smelled Lilah. She stood and listened to Fred for about three minutes. Then she got on her cell phone and walked out. A couple more minutes into the speech, and a cloud started to form over Fred. Fred was starting to falter in her speech because of the noises around her. She looked up to see a portal opening up above her. Out of the portal came several long tentacles with teeth reaching for Fred. Fred screamed as Angel, Connor, Gunn, and Wesley all ran to the front. Fred was being pulled into the portal by one of the tentacles, so Gunn grabbed Fred's legs, and Angel and Connor tried to pry the tentacles off her. Wesley grabbed a knife off a strap on the side of his leg under his jeans. He stabbed one of the tentacles.

Connor noticed a flash of light coming from behind him, and noticed the nerdy boy was taking pictures of the tentacles and Fred. The girl next to him just looked fascinated. He was brought back to the fight as one of the tentacles whacked him in the side of his body and sent him flying towards the boy with the camera. Connor knocked both the girl and boy down as he landed. He got up as quickly as possible and went back into the fight. Soon Angel had a knife, and together with Wesley they gave the tentacles enough wounds that they let go of Fred. Soon the portal closed, and the tentacles were gone. They all stood around in a protective stance while Gunn held a crying Fred close saying, "It's okay baby. We've got you."

Connor turned to check and see if the kids he had knocked down were okay, but they were gone.

Angel barked out, "Connor and Wes you're with me. Gunn get Fred home and take care of her."

Gunn and Fred made their way out of the room. Angel said, "Lilah was here seconds before the portal opened Wes."

Wesley looked surprised and said, "I don't think she would intentionally hurt Fred. She would have nothing to gain from that."

Angel said, "She would gain all of your attention."

Wesley looked away and said, "I don't think she would do it."

Angel said, "Well, I'm just going to go make sure. I want you two to see if you can get a list of all the names of the people invited to this convention."

Connor thought for a second. He said, "Did either of you see those two kids here? I knocked them both over when one of the tentacles hit me. The boy was taking pictures of the tentacles, and the girl didn't look scared at all. In fact she looked like she found it interesting. When we were done fighting they were gone."

Angel said, "Okay, you track them with Wesley, and find out if they know anything. I'll go chat with Lilah."

Connor nodded and Wesley said, "Angel…. all right. See you back at the hotel."

Angel found Lilah in her car. She was still in the parking garage. Angel ripped the top off her convertible and said, "Lilah, we need to talk."

Lilah looked up at him from the driver's seat and said, "If this is about Lorne I could have had him killed you know. You should be thanking me for letting him live."

Angel said, "I do want to talk about that, but first lets talk about Fred."

"What about twig girl?"

"What about a portal opening up right after you leave the room?"

Lilah gave Angel an excited look and said happily, "Really? Is she hurt?"

Angel said, "We took care of it before she could get hurt."

Lilah sighed and said, "Oh well. Look if I wanted to kill the girl, she would have been dead long ago. Besides that's the kind of thing Wesley couldn't forgive."

Angel glared and said, "But sucking Lorne's reading out is?!"

Lilah looked exasperated and said, "I thought I told you, that you should be happy I didn't have him killed. Try to keep up Angel. I didn't do anything to hurt Fred, and I wouldn't. But I would be happy if someone else did."

Angel looked at her and believed her. He said, "We'll talk again about Lorne."

Lilah rolled her eyes and said, "Another threat from you. How boring." She drove off, and Angel let her go.

Back at the campus Connor was tracking the two kids, and Wesley was following. Connor stopped in front of a comic book shop. He said, "The boy is in here, but the girl went that way." He pointed down the street. Wesley said, "I'll talk to the boy and see what I can find out. Then I'll go back and try to get that list. You track the girl and talk to her. Ask her why she was there, and what she knows about the portal. Try to find out her name and where she lives in case we want to talk to her again. Oh, and try not to scare her. And for goodness sakes don't hurt her."

Connor rolled his eyes and tried to ignore that last comment. He remembered Angel saying, 'Wes is sometimes an ass, and you just have to try not to let it bother you. Just tell me about it later, and I'll try to talk to him.' Connor nodded and said, "I'll meet you back at the hotel."

Wesley went in to find the boy, and found out from a quick conversation that the boy thought he was an expert on the paranormal. He had a website filled with strange occurrences including a section on missing women from the campus he belonged to. He convinced Wesley that he just went to see the girl who had gone missing six years ago, and seeing the portal open up right there was just a coincidence. Wesley wrote down the web address, and went to go get the list of names from the convention.

Connor tracked the girl to a dorm room. He knocked on the door. The red haired girl answered the door. She smiled at him and said, "Oh, it's you."

She opened the door wide to let him come in. Connor stepped in and looked around. He didn't see anything out of the ordinary. He held out his hand and said, "Hi, my name's Connor."

She shook his hand and said, "Hi Conner. I'm Julie."

Connor said, "I saw you at the conference. I knocked you over, when I was fighting, and I wanted to make sure you were okay."

"How sweet of you. I'm just fine. It was great the way you were all fighting that thing."

Connor stood there for a minute and said, "Do you like physics? Is that your major?"

Julie laughed and said, "No way. That stuff is way above my head. I'm a philosophy major, but I really am interested in astrology, and mystical things."
"Then why were you at the convention?"

Julie grabbed Connor's hand and led him to her bed. They both sat down, and Julie said in a hushed voice, "I went with Freddie to see the girl."

Connor was confused with what she said, but he was also distracted that he was sitting on her bed next to her, and she was still holding his hand. He said, "What girl?"

"The girl you and your friends saved. I read all about her on Freddie's web site. She went missing about six years ago, and no one had heard from her since. Now she just pops up out of no where with this article. Wasn't that monster thing fascinating? How could it just come out of thin air like that?"

Connor stated matter-of-factly, "It was a portal from another dimension."

Julie stared at him wide eyed, and said, "Really?"

"Well, yeah."

"That's amazing. How do you know?"

"I was raised in another dimension."

Julie gasped and said, "This is the best day ever! First I get to see a portal to another dimension, and now I get to meet someone who has been to another dimension. That is just so cool."

Connor thought something was wrong with how she was accepting all this, but he hadn't had much contact with other people yet, so he wasn't sure if it was normal or not. Then he thought maybe it wasn't such a great idea to tell her all about himself like that. He knew Angel often lied to clients to keep them from knowing the whole truth because he thought it would disturb them. He said, "Okay, well, I just wanted to check on you. I can see you're okay, so I'll just go."

Julie pouted and said, "But it was just getting interesting. Please don't go. Tell me about the other dimension you were in."

Connor said, "I've got to go. My friends will be waiting."

"Well, at least come back and see me. How about tomorrow? I could take you out for a Mocha, and you could tell me all about the other dimension."

Connor hesitated. He liked the way Julie smelled, and he liked sitting close to her, but he thought she was a bit off too. He said, "I'm not sure Julie."

"Tomorrow's Saturday. You can't be busy ALL day. Please come see me."

Connor thought about it and said, "I'll come see you if I can."

They both stood up, and Julie said, "Goody."

She opened her door and kissed Connor's cheek as she said, "I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

She shut the door on a stunned Connor. He just stood there for a few seconds trying to figure out what had happened. He shook himself out of it, and headed back to the hotel.

Once Connor got home, he got together with Angel and Wesley to find out what they had learned. Connor started with, "How's Fred?"

Angel said, "She's upstairs with Gunn. She'll be fine. She's still a little freaked out. Having that portal open up above her has brought back all her memories from Pylea, and they are not very nice memories. She got a call from her old professor. I think that helped. She's going to see him tomorrow to talk about rescheduling her presentation."

Connor nodded and Angel said, "I don't think Lilah did it."

Wesley let out a sigh of relief. He said, "Then why do you think she was there?"

"Checking up on you and the competition."

Wesley cleared his throat and said, "I don't think the boy, Freddie, did it. I have a website address that he runs, and we can research it when we're done here. He is interested in the paranormal, but I don't think he really knows that much about it."

Connor said, "I don't think the girl, Julie, did it. She was just interested in Freddie's website too."

Soon the three of them were looking at the website, and reading all about the disappearances of eight different women. They had all gone to the same college, but that seemed to be all they had in common. Later that night, they all went to bed wondering who else would want to hurt Fred.

The next morning Fred seemed to be a little more like herself again, and Gunn was ready to find the person who had hurt his girl. Wesley, Angel, and Connor brought Gunn, Lorne, and Fred up to speed on what they had discovered. Fred had been shocked to learn that there may have been other women who ended up getting sent into a portal too. Lorne said, "There are at least three guys that I know who used to come to my club who would know how to open portals. Do you guys want to go check them out?"

Angel said, "That sounds like a great idea. We can split into teams and get it done faster. Fred and Gunn why don't you take the first one, and Wes…."

Fred interrupted with; "I have an appointment to go see Professor Seidel this morning."

"Okay, then while you and Gunn go see the Professor, the rest of us can go interview these guys."

Fred smiled and said, "I don't need a babysitter, you guys go find out what you can from Lorne's contacts."

Gunn said, "I don't really feel comfortable letting you go alone when we don't know who did this, or why."

"I'll go."

Angel looked at Connor and said, "You're passing up possible fighting with demons to go to the college campus and listen to Fred talk to her Professor?"

Connor looked at the ground and said, "Well, I want to make sure Fred's okay too, and maybe we can go to the bookstore after."

Angel smiled and said, "Okay son. Sounds good to me, how about you Gunn."


While the rest of the gang was visiting various people and demons that worked with portals, Fred and Connor went to the campus. As they got close to the Professor's office Connor said, "Hey Fred, would it be okay with you if I just met you at the bookstore when you're done? You don't really need a babysitter like you said."

Fred laughed and said, "If anyone is the babysitter here, it's me babysitting you."

Connor blushed and said; "You know what I mean."

Fred said, "Sure Connor that's fine. You want to meet at the campus bookstore? That's the one right over there with the coffee shop attached."

"That would be great Fred. Thanks."

Connor went to Julie's room and knocked on the door. After a minute or two, a sleepy looking Julie answered the door in her nightie. Connor stared at her, and Julie said, "Oh Connor! How great that you came. Come in, come in."

Connor walked in, still staring and looking her over. He said, "Sorry I woke you up."

"That's okay. I'm so glad you came. Let me go freshen up in the bathroom, and then we can talk."

Connor nodded and watched while she gathered her clothes, and a bathroom bag. He was especially pleased when she pulled out some jeans from the bottom drawer of her dresser, and he could see her panties. She said, "I'll be back in a sec."

While she was gone Connor looked around her room. He looked at her bookshelf, and noticed that it was full of books on Astrology and the paranormal. He picked up one on the current theory on vampires and had a good laugh.

Once Julie got back Connor said, "Let's go to the campus bookstore, and have a coffee there."

Julie smiled and said, "Great. I could use a mocha to help get me going."

As they started walking towards the bookstore Julie took Connor's hand. He wasn't sure what that meant, but she didn't seem to think there was anything odd about it. She said, "So do you live on campus too?"

"No. I don't go to school here. I live with my Dad, and his friends in a hotel."

"You live with your dad? How awful. I couldn't live with my dad."

"Why not?"

"He would just be on me all the time. He would have something to say about anything and everything I did. I would hate that. I mean, I'm eighteen, you know. I don't want him interfering with my life now."

Connor thought about it for a minute and said, "Yeah. I do hate it sometimes, but it's not bad all the time."

"So, why do you guys live in a hotel?"

"I'm not really sure. I guess it isn't really a hotel anymore. My dad owns it, and runs his business out of the hotel, but no one besides us stays there."

"What kind of business?"

"Private investigations."

"Wow, that sound exciting."

"Sometimes. I guess."

They had reached the bookstore, and they both ordered a drink. Julie insisted on paying. They found a table in the back and sat down. Julie said, "So tell me about the other dimension, and how you got there."

Connor wasn't sure what to tell her, and what to leave out. He was pretty sure no one wanted all the gruesome details of Quor-toth. He decided on a fairly abbreviated version. He said, "I was stolen from my Dad when I was an infant. The man who took me hated my father, and wanted him to suffer. His name was Holtz. My dad was trying to get me back, but then there was this…. other person who wanted him, and me dead. This other person opened a portal while my dad and Holtz were fighting. Holtz grabbed me and jumped into the portal. It had closed by the time my dad tried to jump through."

Julie said, "That's terrible. So how did you get back here? And when did your dad get you back?"

Connor said, "Well time went faster in this other dimension. So I grew up there with Holtz being my Father. I found a way back to this dimension by following some slug like creatures into a cave. I just got back to this dimension about four months ago, but my Dad had only been missing the baby me for about a month, so he didn't have much time to get over the loss of the baby that I was."

Julie just stared at him for a while. Finally she put her hand over his on the table and said, "I guess I can understand why you would still be living with your dad then. So tell me what the other dimension was like. What did it feel like to go though the portal?"

Connor gave her an abbreviated description of Quor-toth, and as he talked she started to rub her hand up and down his thigh under the table.

Fred spent some time just roaming the halls, and looking at her old school. Soon she went to meet with the Professor. She had a very nice time discussing her theory with him, and she even told him about Pylea. He seemed skeptical, but since he had seen a portal open up above Fred yesterday, he didn't protest too much. After half an hour of talking, the Professor said, "I would really like to talk some more, but I must be going."

Fred stood to go and said, "I would like that. It has been really nice catching up with you."

The Professor said, "Oh, if you could wait her for just a minute, I have a book I would like to loan you. It's something another one of my former students wrote, and I think you will find it interesting."

Fred nodded and the Professor went into the lab that was next to his office to find the book. While Fred was waiting she looked at the Professor's books, and saw one that she thought was out of place. She picked it up, and saw it was a book on portals. She opened it and saw the same portal with the tentacles that had tried to take her, and as she flipped though the book, she also saw pictures of Pylea. She heard the Professor coming back, and quickly put the book away. She gave the Professor a fake smile and said, "Thanks for the book. I'm sure it will be interesting."

Connor was having a very good time in the coffee shop. It seemed like Julie really liked him, and she hadn't told him that she didn't believe what he was saying. He thought maybe she could be like Fred or Cordy, and could be part of their group. His thoughts were interrupted when a very anxious looking Fred came into the room. She franticly searched for him, and he waved at her. She came over and said, "We need to leave now."

Connor could tell something was very wrong so he said, "Okay."

Fred turned to walk out the door. Connor stood, turned to Julie, and said, "Maybe I'll see you tomorrow."

Julie smiled and said, "That would be nice."

Once they were outside headed towards the parking lot, Connor said, "What's wrong Fred?"

"The professor that I went to see was the one who sent me to Pylea six years ago."

Connor stopped walking and said, "What do you want me to do to him?"

Fred turned and looked at Connor for a minute. She said, "Nothing. I need a little time to think. I need to decide."

Connor nodded and followed Fred. The rest of the ride home was silent.

Once they got to the hotel Fred went strait to the weapons cabinet. She started looking through them until she found a small ax. She had started muttering to herself. Connor stood by the front door watching her, but he wasn't sure what to do. Angel and Gunn walked in, talking about the demon they had gone to see. They saw that Fred was obviously in a state, and Gunn went to her and said, "What's wrong?"

"It was him. It was Professor Seidel. He was the one who opened the portal, and he was the one who sent me to Pylea. How could he do that Charles? I trusted him, and he sent me to hell. I don't even know why!"

Angel said, "How do you know Fred?"

"There was a book in his office. It explained how to open portals, and even had some pictures of Pylea, and the thing with tentacles. He just sat there and listened to me talk about portals and how I had been sent to Pylea. He pretended to be skeptical, and I kept thinking about how much I wanted him to believe me. How much I wanted him not to think I was crazy."

Gunn turned to Angel and said, "So what are we gonna do?"

Fred gave Gunn a glare and said, "Not we, me. I'm going to go kill him. He's a mass murderer, but in a way that the police will never believe. I'll make sure he never sends another girl away from her family."

Both Gunn and Angel said "What!"

Fred looked at Gunn and said, "I'm gonna kill him, Charles. I'm gonna make it slow and painful. Make him suffer the way I suffered, and the way all those other girls suffered too."

Gunn said, "Let's just think about this Fred. You don't want to kill anyone. It isn't what we're about here."

Angel stepped over to them and said, "Gunn is right Fred. You don't want to do this. Taking vengeance isn't right. There are always other ways. Taking vengeance will not bring those five years of your life back."

Fred looked at both of them and said, "I can't believe the two of you! Did you hear anything that I said! He was the one. He put me in Pylea. How can you expect me to sit around and do nothing!!!"

Gunn said, "We didn't say do nothing. We just want you to wait for a little bit, and let us think of a way to get him without you killing him."

Fred gripped the ax a little more firmly and said in a deadly calm voice, "Don't try to stop me."

Connor had been watching this whole thing play out, and he was confused. First he was confused that Gunn and Angel weren't getting weapons themselves to go help Fred get the guy, but the more he heard Gunn and Angel talk with Fred the more he got it. He kept thinking about when he had taken revenge on Angel for his supposed crimes, and how mad Fred was about it when he did. He went up to her and said, "You were so mad at me for taking vengeance on Angel that you tazered me and tied me to a chair, and now you want to go take vengeance yourself. I don't get it."

Fred yelled, "It's not the same at all! Angel hadn't done anything wrong!"

"So if he had really killed Holtz, it would have been okay with you that I sent him to the bottom of the ocean in a box?"


"Then why is it okay for you?"

Fred yelled "Stay out of it Connor! You don't understand."

"Yes I do."

Fred slapped Connor as hard as she could. Connor felt it, but it didn't really hurt him very much physically. Everyone in the room was silent for a few seconds. Then Connor said quietly, "Okay Fred. I… I'm sorry."

He turned and slowly walked up the stairs to his room. Fred couldn't believe what she had done. She almost never lost her temper especially with Connor. Gunn was looking at her with disappointment in his eyes, and Angel was glaring at her. Gunn said, "Give me the ax Fred."

She handed him the ax and looked at the floor. Gunn rubbed her shoulder and said quietly, "I promise we'll find a way to get this guy. No one hurts my girl and gets away with it."

Fred said, "I…. I think I need to go lay down and think about this for a little while. I need to be alone."

Gunn gave her a quick hug and said, "Okay. I'll come check on you in a few hours."

Fred nodded and walked upstairs.

Connor had walked upstairs and lay down on his bed. The more he thought about Fred hitting him, the more upset he got. He thought, 'Fred hit me. I shouldn't even care. It didn't really hurt, but she hit me. Maybe I was way out of line. Maybe if she hadn't hit me, Dad would have. Maybe she hates me, and thinks that I just get in the way all the time. If that's true, then I should try and stay out of her way. But I thought she… loved me.'

Connor was surprised to find himself crying. He thought, 'What a complete loser I am. I didn't cry when she used the tazer on me, and that hurt a lot. Now I'm crying from a slap that I can't even feel anymore. But I didn't trust her then. I didn't think of her as part of my family.'

Fred was walking to her room, when she passed Connor's room. She could hear him crying. She felt even more guilt then before. She knocked on his door.

Connor was startled out of his thoughts by the knock on the door. He could tell by the knock that it wasn't Angel, and suspected it was Fred. He wiped his face off, and tried to stop sniffling. He said, "Come in."

Fred came in, and looked at Connor. She thought he looked as miserable as she felt. He looked kind of lost. She went over to the bed and sat down. She looked at him for a second, and then pulled him into a hug. Connor found himself crying again, even though he didn't want to. Fred said, "I'm sorry Connor. I lost my temper, and took it out on you. I really didn't mean it."

Connor held onto her tightly and tried to stop crying. Fred started rubbing his back while she held him, and he said, "I… I thought…. You….. (Sniff)… Hated me."

Fred hugged him tighter and said, "Don't ever think that Connor. I love you."

Connor said, "I love you too."

They sat there quietly for a few minutes comforting each other.

When Connor was no longer sniffling, Fred let go of him and sat back. She looked at him and said, "Your face isn't even red."

Connor laughed a little and said, "It didn't really hurt."

Fred laughed a little too and then said, "Good. I'm gonna go be alone for a little while."

"Aren't you gonna go get that professor?"

"Gunn and Angel talked me out of it… for now."

Connor thought about it for a second and said, "If you still want to get him, I'll go with you."

Fred ruffled his hair and said, "Thanks Connor, but I don't think Angel would think that was so great an idea."

Connor nodded and said, "I would still do it for you."

Fred said, "We'll see."

She ruffled his hair again, and went out the door. As she shut the door to Connor's room she saw Angel standing a few feet away. He said, "I'm glad you two made up, but I want you to know it's not okay with me that you hit him just because you were pissed."

Fred looked down and said, "I know. I'm sorry, and it won't happen again."

"It better not."

When Fred looked up, Angel was halfway back down the hall. She went to her room and thought about everything.

Connor had heard what Angel had said. He thought, 'Why would Dad care? He has to know that she didn't really hurt me. If she didn't hurt me, then why was I crying? Maybe she did hurt me, just not physically. How could Angel know that? I guess he knows me better than I thought.'

Gunn was anxiously awaiting Angel's return. When Angel got back downstairs, Gunn said, "We have to do something about this guy before Fred does."

Angel said, "I agree. Let's go take anther look at that website to see if we can find a reason the Professor would have sent all those girls into other dimensions. Then we can go pay him a visit and get a confession."

Fred went to her room for a few minutes, but soon she couldn't stand it anymore. She decided that if Gunn and Angel weren't ready to help her, she would to go see the professor herself. As she was headed for the front door Wesley walked in. She was very happy to see him, and knew that he would understand. She said quietly, "Wesley, I need your help."

Wesley was always more than happy to see Fred, and would do anything she asked, because he loved her even if she didn't love him back. He said, "Of course."

Fred talked him into going to his apartment to talk alone, and they left without anyone else noticing.

Connor decided to go see what was going on downstairs. He found Gunn and Angel looking at Freddie's website in the office. Angel had just found that all the missing girls were very smart, and pursuing a carrier in the field of physics. Gunn thought the Professor was jealous of his students. Angel said, "Well, let's go get him, and see what he has to say."

Connor nodded and said, "Let's go get him for Fred."

Angel said, "I would really appreciate it if you could stay here and make sure Fred is okay. Just kind of hang out and make sure she doesn't leave. I don't want her to do something that she's gonna regret."

Connor said, "I would rather go with you. Gunn should stay here with Fred. I can't make Fred stay if she doesn't want to. Well, I could, but that wouldn't be right."

Gunn said, "I know this will be hard for you to understand Connor, but I need to go get this guy for Fred. She is my better half, and I love her. I need to be a part of bringing this guy down. And before you say it, I know that you love Fred too, but it's just different."

Connor said, "Why don't we ask Fred who she wants to stay with her."

Angel looked annoyed, and said, "No Connor. You stay like I asked you to, and watch Fred. Gunn and I will go get this guy. If you can't stop her from going, then go with her, and make sure she doesn't get hurt."

Connor didn't like it at all when Angel started giving orders, but he also knew there wasn't much he could do about it. He glared and said, "Fine."

Angel and Gunn had to take the sewers since it was still daylight out. Connor went to the kitchen and got a snack while he thought about how unfair it all was. Soon he decided he didn't care what Angel said. Fred was fine by herself, and he wanted to help get the guy. He thought he could beat Gunn and Angel there, because he could take the surface streets, and he could run without Gunn slowing him down. He knew it would be satisfying to beat up the man who had hurt Fred. He hadn't ever beaten up a human, but he knew he would have to be careful not to really damage him. He left the hotel at a run.

Wesley and Fred had reached his apartment quickly. He had asked her why she wasn't going to Gunn, and he was surprised to hear that she wanted to take vengeance on the man who had hurt her. He knew Angel wouldn't go for that sort of thing, and he suspected that Gunn would rather do it himself than let Fred do it. He told her that he would help her, and they talked over some options for Fred. They quickly found the way they wanted to hurt the professor, and headed over to the campus. When they got to the campus Fred said, "Wesley, I really need to do this alone. You understand don't you?"

Wesley nodded and said, "Alright Fred."

Fred got out of the car, and watched while Wesley drove off. She was a little surprised that no one stopped her from walking into the building while she was holding a crossbow, but no one did.

Connor arrived ahead of everyone else. He found the professor working at his desk. As he walked towards the man, Professor Seidel said, "Can I help you son?"

No one had called Connor 'son' except Angel, and he found it made his skin crawl. He walked up to the man with a pleasant boyish smile on his face, and when he got close enough, he punched the professor in the face. The professor fell over out of his chair and passed out. Connor yelled, "Get up."

When the man didn't move Connor nudged him with his foot to see if he were really passed out, or just faking it. He was not happy that the professor had just passed out. He had wanted to really beat him up. He decided he would have to practice punches with Gunn or Angel to help him gage how hard he could punch to hurt a human but not knock them out. He nudged the professor again with his foot and got no response. He found some water on the desk, and poured it on the professor's head. That worked enough to get the professor to groan, and start to roll over. Connor smiled and waited for a few seconds for the guy to completely wake up. While he was waiting Fred walked in. Fred said, "Connor?"

Connor looked like a deer caught in the headlights when he said, "Umm…"

"What are you doing here?"

"Well…. I…"

"Where's Professor Seidel?"

Connor pointed to the floor behind the desk where Fred couldn't see. Fred walked over and saw the professor moving slightly and holding his head. Fred glared at Connor and said in an angry tone, "Go home."

"But I want to…"

"I can see very well what you wanted to do, and I'm telling you to go home right now. It's personal, it's between the professor and me, and it has nothing to do with you. You had no right to come here and do this."

Connor looked very hurt, and walked out the door. He shut the door behind him and sat down in the hallway. He didn't want to leave Fred, in case the professor really was dangerous, but he also didn't want make her any more angry. He could hear her talking gently to the professor, and asking him if he were okay. Then he heard her helping him into his chair. He was so busy concentrating on listening to Fred, that he didn't hear Angel until he was standing in front of him. He looked up startled, and said, "Dad?"

Angel said, "How did you and Fred get here so fast?"

Connor had no idea how Fred had gotten there. He shrugged and didn't answer. Angel said, "I asked you a question son."

Connor said, "We drove."

Angel bent down and yanked Connor into a standing position next to him, and gave him two hard swats. Connor yelled "What was that for?!!"

"That was for lying. Go home, Connor. We'll talk when I get home."

Angel gave Connor a slight shove towards the exit. Connor was pissed and as he was walking down the hall he yelled "Fine!"

As Connor was walking down the stairs, a very winded Gunn was coming up them. Gunn said, "Connor? Where's Fred?"

Connor was still pissed, and said, "Guess!"

Connor continued walking away while Gunn yelled after him, "This is serious Connor. I need to know where she is! Don't you walk away when I'm talking to you!"

Connor didn't even turn around as he walked out the front door.

Angel walked into the professor's office just in time to see the professor with a smug smile on his face, and Fred holding an empty crossbow, and a very large demon walking towards her with an arrow sticking out of it's chest. Angel distracted the demon by saying, "Hey! Yeah you, the ugly one. Come fight with someone who'll be more of a challenge for you."

The demon lunged towards Angel, and they started fighting out in the hall. Fred had reloaded her crossbow, and was aiming it at the professor. She said, "Do you have any more surprises, or was that the only one you know?"

"Now Fred, can't we talk about this?"

"Talk about what Professor? Did you want to talk about the way you sent me to a hell dimension for five years, or about the way you sent all those other girls away too? I would love to hear why you did it. What did I ever do to you?"

"Well Fred, I felt you were too close to finding out about the reality of other dimensions, and then you would do something dumb like write a paper about it, and let the world know. You would end up making me and my department look like fools for putting trust in you and your theories, but even worse, some people would believe you, and then start to use the dimensions for their own personal gain. I couldn't have anyone encroaching on my side business. I'm sure if you think about it, you can understand."

Fred couldn't believe what she was hearing. She just stood there in shock until she felt Gunn put his hand on her shoulder. Gunn said, "You okay?"

Fred brought up the crossbow, and aimed for the professor's heart. Gunn bumped her arm so that her aim would be off, and the arrow went into the wall. She glared at Gunn and said, "Stay out of it!"

"No. Don't you see Fred? This is wrong."

Fred opened a book she had in her jacket and started to read the words on a page. As she was talking a portal started to open up in the middle of the floor. The professor who had started to walk away was caught close to the edge of the portal, and had to hold onto the desk to keep from falling in. Fred put the book away and said, "Okay Gunn. I won't kill him. I'll send him to a hell dimension, just like he did to me."

Gunn was walking over to help the professor and said, "That's the same thing Fred. He can't survive there."

"Too bad for him."

The professor looked to Gunn and said, "Help me. Please!"

Gunn grabbed the professor's hand and pulled him away from the portal. Fred looked at Gunn and said, "I'll find a way to kill him Charles."

Gunn looked sad and said, "If you do then we can't be together, and I love you."

Before Fred could respond, Gunn put both his hands on the professor's head, and gave it a quick twist. Fred could hear the snap. Once Gunn had broken the professor's neck, he tossed the body into the portal, which closed after him.

Gunn and Fred stood looking at each other, but not saying anything. A few seconds later Angel came in holding part of the demon that he had finally killed. He said, "Where's the professor?"

Fred said quietly, "We sent him to a hell dimension."

Angel smiled and said, "Giving him a taste of his own medicine? Good plan."

Everyone stood there quietly until Angel felt a little uncomfortable and said, "So… are we done here now?"

Fred nodded and headed towards the exit. Gunn followed her, and they all walked home in silence.

Lorne was pacing in the lobby wondering where everyone else was, when a very angry looking Connor walked in. Lorne said, "Hey kiddo, what's up?"

Connor ignored him, and kept walking down to the work out room, and started to punch the punching bag.

Soon after, a weary looking Fred, Gunn, and Angel arrived. Lorne said, "So how did everyone do talking to my contacts? I didn't have much luck with…"
Gunn and Fred started walking up the stairs without acknowledging Lorne, and Angel went to his office and shut his door.

Lorne said to the empty room, "Great to see all of you too. We should all be proud of the way we communicate here at Angel Investigations. Just peachy."

About an hour later, Connor was tired, and went to take a shower. When he was done he went to find Angel. Angel was still in his office, and Connor went in and shut the door. Connor said, "Okay Angel, if you're gonna hit me, lets get it over with."

Angel was startled out of his research. He said, "What?"

Connor used a condescending tone, and talked slowly as though Angel were a bit retarded as he said, "If you are going to hit me, then do it now."

Angel thought about it for a minute and said, "I don't hit you Connor, I spank you."

Connor rolled his eyes and said, "Oh brother. Just do it. I'm tired of waiting."

"Fine. Sit down and let's talk about why you think you deserve to be spanked."

"Can't you just do it?! It doesn't matter what I say, you've already decided to spank me, so DO IT!!!"

Angel stood up and pointed to a chair. He said, "You better sit down and calm down before you make things much worse for yourself."

Connor was having a hard time controlling his emotions after two confrontations with Fred, and feeling like everyone was against him. He went to the chair, but instead of sitting down, he picked it up and threw it at Angel's head. Angel ducked, and the chair broke against the wall behind him. Before Connor could pick up the other chair that he was eyeing, Angel had one foot on the chair, and Connor over his leg. He started spanking Connor and after ten swats he said, "I know it has been a rough day,…'Smack' but you need to control your temper… 'Smack, Smack'"

Connor bit his lip, and decided he wasn't going to give Angel the satisfaction of hearing him yell. Angel kept spanking until Connor started to squirm around and kick his legs a little. Then Angel put Connor down, and pointed to the chair again. He said, "Sit down, and let's talk."

Connor didn't want to talk. He didn't want to be around anyone at all, but his butt was already starting to sting, and he didn't want Angel to turn that into an unbearable burning sensation. He looked at the chair, and looked back up at Angel. Angel said, "I can always spank you some more first, and then see if you're ready to chat."

Connor gave Angel a look of hate and sat down with a little groan. Angel brought his desk chair out from behind the desk and sat down in front of Connor. He said, "Okay son, you want to tell me what the tantrum was about?"

Connor shook his head no while looking at the floor. Angel said, "Okay then, why don't you tell me how you and Fred got to the Professor's office before me and Gunn."

Connor said in a snotty voice, "I already told you."

Angel shook his head and stood up. He picked up Connor, put his foot back on the chair, and put a struggling Connor back over his leg. Angel said, "Wrong answer little boy." and started spanking him again.

When Angel was done spanking Connor a second time, Connor was breathing hard, and had bitten through his lip with the effort not to cry out. Angel put his foot down, and sat Connor back in the chair. Connor yelped once when his butt hit the chair, but then he shut up, and glared at the floor while crossing his arms. Angel sat down too and said in a coaxing tone, "Connor, I can tell when you lie. Your heart beat goes up, and your voice sounds different. You know I've told you not to lie to me, and every time you do, you will find yourself in the same position. Now I'm gonna ask you again. How did you and Fred get to the professor's office?"

Connor was trying not to squirm around in the chair with some difficulty, and finally said, "I don't know how Fred got there."

"How did you get there?"

"I ran."

"Did you know Fred was gone when you took off?"

Connor sat and thought about it for a minute before he said, "No."

"I see. Let me guess. You went to go beat up the guy before we got there, basically just to let out your own frustrations for the day, and Fred found you there."

Connor nodded. Angel continued with, "And then Fred wasn't happy to see you there."

Connor just looked at the floor and tried not to give in to his sudden urge to cry.

Angel said, "Fred slapped you earlier."

Connor nodded and kept his head down as a tear slid down his cheek. Angel said, "She said she was sorry, but you still felt like she didn't love you."

Connor said, "I don't care if she loves me."

Angel said, "Yes you do. You might be trying to convince yourself that you don't, but you do."

"I don't need love. Love is stupid. Love makes us weak."

Angel said, "No Connor. Love makes us strong. Love makes our work worth while. I love you, Fred loves you, Gunn loves you, and even Lorne is starting to love you again. Don't get me wrong here, they don't always like you, but they would protect you from any pain and suffering that they could."

Connor had nothing to say. Angel continued with, "I heard you and Gunn in the hall. You weren't very nice to him."

Connor nodded and said, "I was mad."

"But you did come home, and you were getting out your frustrations on the punching bag when I came home. I think that was a really big step for you. You did the right thing even though you were mad, and angry, and hurt."

Connor looked up for the first time during the conversation and said, "I didn't even think about going somewhere else."

Angel smiled and said, "I'm glad. So now, why the burst of temper here in the office?"

Connor shrugged and looked back down. Angel said, "You're gonna have to do better than that. At least try to tell me."

"I… I was just mad still. I knew you were going to be mad at me for lying about how we got there, and that you would find out that I didn't stay with Fred, and I kept thinking about what you were gonna do. I didn't want you to do it, but at the same time I think…"

Angel said, "What?"

Connor shook his head. Angel said, "You felt bad about the fight with Fred, and you felt guilty about what you had done, so even though you didn't want me to spank you, you knew it would make the guilt go away."

Connor shook his head more violently. Angel said, "I can understand that, Connor. I even think it's pretty normal. Guilt is hard to live with, and it can crush you if you let it. It can drive a person insane if there's enough of it. I was insane for a while after I got my soul back. Pain and suffering help to lesson the guilt."

Connor looked up at his dad and said, "I hate myself sometimes."

Angel pulled Connor over to sit in his lap and hugged him tight when he said, "I hate myself sometimes too."

"Do you think Fred will forgive me?"

Angel thought about the way Fred and Gunn were acting when they had left the professor's office, and he said, "I think she probably already has, but she may seem kind of off for a while, and I don't want you to think that it's your fault. I think something bad happened between Fred and Gunn today."

Connor pushed to get off Angel's lap, and Angel let him stand up. Connor said, "Are they okay?"

"I don't know. We'll have to wait and see, but I want to get back to you. You disobeyed me today when you left the hotel, and you lied to me. You also lost your temper and tossed a chair instead of telling me how you were feeling."

Connor backed up a little out of Angel's reach and said, "I'm sorry."

"I'm glad your sorry, but I'm still going to punish you."

"You already spanked me."

"We can say that we took care of the chair throwing, but we still need to go over lying, and following orders."

Connor shook his head and said, "I don't think you need to. I already know it was wrong, and I won't do it again."

Angel gave Connor a stern look and said, "This is not up for debate son. Come here now."

Connor closed his eyes, and tried to get himself together as he started walking towards Angel. As soon as he was in reach, Angel undid Connor's pants and pulled them down as he pulled Connor over his lap. He started spanking the slightly pink bottom in front of him hard and fast. This time Connor didn't even try to be quiet, because he was done being mad about everything. He started yelling, "Dad please! Owww… Please stop! Aahhh…"

Angel kept spanking until Connor was crying, and his butt was a deep red. Angel pulled Connor's pants back up and sat him in his lap again. He said, "We're done now Connor. I forgive you, and I know Fred forgives you too. I hope you can forgive yourself."

Connor nodded into his dad's shirt and tried to stop crying. Angel rubbed Connor's back and kept hugging him until he was done crying. Connor eventually pushed away, and Angel let him stand up. Angel said, "I think you should leave Fred and Gunn alone for the rest of the day. I'll think up some chores you can do for the two of them tonight. Why don't you go rest for a little while, and I'll come get you when dinner's ready."

Connor went to his room, and lay down on the bed. Soon Lorne came in with some cookies and milk. Connor looked surprised and mumbled, "Sorry I blew you off earlier."

Lorne smiled and said, "We all have our bad days. Some days are worse than others, and it sounded like yours was pretty bad. I thought you could use a little pick me up, so here you go."

Lorne set the snack down on the side table and said, "See ya kid."

Connor smiled and said, "Thanks." as Lorne left his room.

Chapter 5

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