Author's note: This chapter has specific spoilers for the episode 'The House Always Wins' and 'Slouching Toward Bethlehem'. Written - September & October, 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.
How it Should Have Been Chapter 3
Things had gotten back to normal over the next couple of days. Angel was quite pleased that Connor hadn't tried to run again after the emotionally charged story from Angel's past. The more Angel thought about what was happening in his life with Connor back and Cordy gone, the more he wanted Lorne to read him and tell him where his path led. It used to be very easy to get Lorne to read him, because he lived there. But now Lorne lived in Las Vegas, and when they called him, Lorne always cut the phone call short, and sounded like he had no time for them. After this last confrontation with Connor, Angel wanted Lorne to listen to him sing even more. He wanted to hear about what Lorne saw in his future, so he could feel he had a goal to shoot for. He decided to break the news to everyone on that Friday afternoon.
Connor had finished his tutoring sessions with everyone, and he was doing some homework in the lobby while Fred, Gunn, and Wesley did research on a demon a woman had clamed to see in her house. Angel came out of his office and said, "I'm glad you're all here. We need to have a group meeting."
They all looked at him expectantly. "Lorne will not return my calls. Have any of you talked to him for more than five seconds on the phone?"
Fred and Gunn shook their heads no, and Connor hearing that they were talking about 'the filthy green demon' turned back to his homework. Wesley said, "I haven't had any contact with Lorne since he left for Las Vegas."
Angel said, "Well I really want him to read me. I need a little direction, so I want to go and make him see me for at least a few minutes. I mean he's been our friend for a couple of years now, and he's done battle with us and for us. That has to count for something, right? Not to mention I've saved his life before. He should at least have the decency to see me for a five minute reading."
Connor snorted and said, "Decency? Yeah right."
Angel was well aware that Connor had a problem with Lorne because he was a demon, but since Lorne had left for Las Vegas, they hadn't really talked about it. He said, "Connor, Lorne was like your nanny when you were a baby. He loved you and sang to you. He changed your diapers and fed you. You don't know him at all, and you've condemned him just because he's not human. Not all demons are bad. In fact many of them fight for good like we do."
Connor said nothing but rolled his eyes and looked back at his book. Angel did not think this was encouraging, and he decided that when they were alone sharing stories, he would tell him some stories about Lorne and Doyle. Angel said, "So, who wants to take a little trip to Vegas for some fun and gambling, and maybe a show or two?"
Fred raised her hand and jumped up and down a little saying, "Me! Me!"
All the men looked at her like she had lost her mind, and she slowly put her hand down and said in a small voice, "I've never been there before."
Gunn put an arm on her shoulder and said, "Well then, I'll have lots to show you."
Fred smiled up at Gunn, and Angle said, "Great, so Wesley can you stay here for the weekend and watch Connor?"
Wesley said, "Yes."
But Connor's irate shout overpowered Wesley. He yelled, "What the hell do you mean watch me? Why can't we all go?"
Angel said, "Because most of the things we're going to do in Vegas require a person to be 21 years old. And even if your paperwork said you were 21, I don't think people would believe it. If we did take you, you would end up staying in the hotel room while we were off working, and you would be board. Besides that, I need someone to stay here and work on cases while I'm gone."
Connor slammed his book closed and walked off towards his room. Once he was gone Angel said, "Well isn't he all warm and fuzzy today."
Wesley said, "I'll go home and gather the things I'll need to stay here for the weekend."
Angel said, "Thanks Wes, I really appreciate it. We'll leave as soon as it gets dark tonight. I'm gonna go talk to Connor, and I hope you don't have any trouble with him, but if you do just call my cell phone and I'll come back."
Wesley nodded and walked towards the door. Angel turned to Fred and Gunn and said, "Better go pack."
As they walked off, Fred started talking to Gunn a mile a minute asking him when he had been there, and what he had done, and what he wanted to show her.
Angel sighed and headed up to Connor's room. He knocked on the door and walked in after a couple of seconds of no response. Connor was lying on his bed listening to music with his headphones on. It was one of the things Angel disliked Connor doing, because he didn't think it was safe to have an open window and not be able to hear what danger might be going on. But Gunn had given them to Connor, so he didn't want to take it away. Connor looked up and took the headphones off. He said in an unpleasant tone, "What Dad?"
Angel sat on the bed next to Connor and said, "I know you hate to be left out son, but this isn't really even a case. I'm just going to see an old friend, and it's one you don't even like very much."
Connor said, "I don't trust him. He could turn on you. I should be there to help you fight."
Angel said in a tired voice, "That's one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. I let Lorne take care of you when you were a baby. I trusted him with you, which means that I trust him with my life too. He's a good man, and your blind hate is going to get you into trouble in more ways then one. Maybe I should tell you a slavery story and see if you can get the connection."
"I know about slavery. Gunn spent a day telling me about slavery in America and how it still has lingering effects on the way black people are treated today. He said it would help me understand the current culture. I thought it was pretty sick the way human's treated each other, but I don't get how that relates to hating a demon that's out to get you."
Angel said, "Well back when slavery started in America the white people had to have a way to justify their treatment of their slaves, so they made themselves hate and sometimes fear all black people. They made it seem like they were a whole different species, and taught their children to hate them, and treat them like objects. You were taught by Holtz to blindly hate all demons no matter what. Can't you see the correlation?"
Connor said, "That's not the same at all! Demons ARE a different species from humans, and a lot of them like to kill us!"
Angel said, "I'm telling you that it is the same Connor. You don't know Lorne, but I do. I've told you he's a good person, but you don't believe me. You still hate him because he's green with horns"
Connor started to say something else, and Angel interrupted with, "Just think about it over the weekend. Speaking of which, I want you to try and be good for Wesley. I know he can be an ass sometimes, but he really is trying to be a good guy. And I guess I want to warn you that if Wesley has a problem with you, and he has to call me, you are going to be an unhappy boy when I get back. And if I have to cut my trip short because I have to come find you
let's just say sitting will be hard for you for a while."
Connor said in a nasty voice, "You bet Dad. I'll just stay here like a good kid while you all go talk to the demon. What a great plan."
Angel counted to ten in his head and said, "I don't care if you like it, as long as you go along with it, we'll be fine. Oh, and by the way because of your little tantrum down in the lobby, I'm going to make sure Wesley understands that you have to keep up with ALL your tutoring sessions, and your two hours of extra work each day this weekend."
Connor wanted to say something else, but he knew from past experience that it wouldn't be a good idea. When he got too mean, Angel would just start saying things like, 'okay we'll make that three hours a day' or, 'maybe an extra hour of tutoring will improve your mood', so Connor kept his mouth shut with some difficulty and crossed his arms. He glared at Angel.
Angel thought Connor showed great restraint by not saying something, and pulled him into a hug. Connor tried to pull away at first, but soon gave up. Angel said, "I'll miss you while I'm gone, and if your good, I'll bring you something back."
Angel felt Connor's arms going around him too, and they sat that way for a couple of minutes. Angel was quite pleased, and surprised that ever since Connor had hugged him back that first time Connor had kept returning his hugs. Connor might not always be nice, and he said some pretty mean and hurtful things every day, but Angel found great hope in the fact that they were able to be physically close without Connor fighting him or pretending to be a zombie. Angel let go and said, "I have to go pack. I'll say goodbye before we go."
Wesley and Connor got along okay while the team was gone. There were a couple of times that Connor got angry, and Wesley had said, "Should I call Angel?" And if that wasn't enough to make Connor shut up, it was at least enough to make him do what he was told.
In Vegas, Fred, Gunn, and Angel found out that Lorne was being kept hostage, and was being made to use his powers for evil. It was late Sunday night when they finally got Lorne free and took down the person who had been keeping Lorne hostage. After they had saved him, Lorne decided to go home with them. Angel thought this was great, because Lorne was a good friend and a good asset to the team. He was worried how Connor would deal with it at first, but he thought with enough time and effort they could get along. Angel asked everyone if they wanted to get a room for the night because it was late, but Lorne wanted to get out of Vegas and back home. They made good time, and arrived back home at the hotel about 5am right before daybreak. Gunn woke up Fred and they headed for their room to sleep. Lorne looked at Angel and said, "It's great to be home."
Angel said, "It's great to have you home. You can have your old room if you want, or if not, pick whichever one you like. I'll see you in the morning, and we can do that reading."
Lorne said, "Good night" and headed up to his old room. It felt good to be there, and it was such a relief not to be under constant surveillance. It was so good to just be free. He got to his old room, and saw that nothing had been changed. He was so busy thinking about how happy he was; that he didn't hear Connor behind him until it was too late. Connor raised the sword and decapitated Lorne. Lorne's head rolled under the bed, and as Connor was going to put the sword away he heard a high-pitched scream coming from under the bed. He couldn't figure out what was down there with the head, but he really hoped it wasn't Fred. Then he thought 'I would have smelled Fred or anyone else for that matter. The demon was alone.' Connor was standing still thinking for a few seconds while the scream continued. Soon Fred and Gunn were there, followed by Wesley and last Angel. Connor just stood there and watched while Angel yelled above the sustained scream, "Lorne is that you?"
The scream stopped and Lorne said, "My head's under the bed. I think your kid still has a major problem with me."
Connor was cursing his luck. How was he supposed to know that that kind of demon didn't die from decapitation? Most of them did. He didn't have time to think long, because Angel was in front of him. Angel grabbed the sword from his hand and tossed it to Wesley. Angel then grabbed Connor's arm and swung him around to swat his butt six times as hard as he could. Connor yelled and had tears in his eyes by the time the sixth swat had landed. Angel yelled at him, "Get your butt into your room NOW!"
Connor ran to his room and slammed the door. Fred had climbed under the bed and was pulling Lorne's head out with her. She put it back on his body and Lorne said, "Thanks doll, I can't tell you how much better that feels."
Angel came up to Lorne and said, "Lorne, I'm so, so, sorry. I never thought Connor would do something like that. Please accept my apology, and he will be giving you one as well. I hope this doesn't change your mind about staying."
Lorne thought about it and said, "I do want to stay here, but I don't like having my head cut off, and if the little monster was trying to kill me, then I don't want him to find out how to really do it."
Angel put a hand on Lorne's shoulder and said, "I'm gonna make sure he doesn't try it again, and if he does, I'll lock him up at night and make sure you two are never alone together. Please stay Lorne."
Lorne thought about it and said, "Okay. I guess for now I will, but if things get worse with him, I'll have to leave."
Angel paused and then said, "Fred and Gunn already know, but before you hear it, I should let both you and Wes know that those swats I gave Connor were just the start. I'm gonna spank him. I don't know if you agree with my parenting techniques or not, but it seems to be working for him."
Wesley nodded and said, "I thought you were using some kind of physical punishment. From what I have heard about Holtz, it's something Connor understands. I don't have a problem with it. He's much better behaved than when he first got here."
Lorne said, "He just cut off my head. You aren't going to get any arguments from me!"
Angel nodded and headed towards his room while everyone else went back to bed. Connor was lying on the bed thinking. He thought, 'Tonight didn't turn out like I wanted it to at all! I'm trying to protect them from the demon, and Angel punishes me for it! He sucks. They can't even tell how evil it is. They trust him! It's sick. I would have been able to bury the body before anyone woke up too. Filthy demon living right next to me!'
His thoughts were interrupted with a knock on the door. He didn't have time to say come in before a very angry Angel appeared holding the hairbrush that Connor now hated. Connor couldn't believe Angel was so angry about a demon. Connor didn't think he had ever seen Angel so angry. Angel pulled out Connor's desk chair and pointed to it while he yelled, "SIT!"
Connor was starting to get pretty nervous and gulped. He got up off his bed and walked quickly to the chair and sat down. Angel paced back and forth in front of Connor while he said in a fairly calm voice, "I am more disappointed in you now, than I have ever been. Frankly I am past caring whether you like Lorne or not. You will under no circumstances try to kill him or anyone else living here!"
Connor yelled, "I would never try to kill Fred, Gunn, or Wesley!"
Angel said, "Well now you need to add another name to that list!"
Connor crossed his arms and glared at Angel. Angel said, "Connor this is my house, and I invited Lorne to stay here, with Fred and Gunn's approval. You show disrespect to all of us when you try to hurt Lorne, and I won't put up with it."
Connor thought quick and said, "I didn't know it was Lorne. I just saw a demon sneaking around and I was trying to protect everyone in the hotel. I didn't even know you were back."
Angel stood still for a few minutes staring at Connor, and Connor started to fidget and soon had a very red face. Angel said, "You haven't lied to me in a long time Connor. Tell me what the rules are that I set up for you."
Connor got even more red and mumbled, "No running, no physical fighting with anyone who lives here, doing what I'm told to do by the people who live here, and
and no lying."
Angel said, "This hasn't been your best night little boy. I'm tired. Get up."
Connor stood up and Angel grabbed his arm. Angel sat down and undid Connor's pants and pulled them down with his underwear faster than Connor could move. Angel tugged Connor over his knees and started spanking hard with the hairbrush right away. Connor started yelling and squirming right away. He even said, "Please
Angel was surprised at the 'Dad' but kept going. He said, "You WILL NOT try to kill Lorne again. If you do, I will not be able to trust you, and I will have to lock you up every night. Then I will make sure you are never alone during the day again. You will not be a happy boy."
Connor wasn't too far gone yet, and he had heard and understood what Angel had said. He yelled, "I'm sorryyyyy! OWW! I won't
do it again! Ahhh!"
Angel said, "You better not." And continued to spank him.
Soon Connor was in so much pain, that he couldn't do much besides cry and lay limp over Angel's lap.
Angel stopped and tossed the brush on Connor's bed. He rubbed Connor's back in soothing circles, and said, "Okay we're done for now."
When Connor's crying got a little more under control, Angel pulled up his underwear. Since Connor hadn't been wearing shoes, his pants had fallen to the floor while he was kicking his legs. Angel turned him over and held Connor in his lap. He rocked back and forth a little and said, "It's okay now Connor. I don't think I can forgive you right now for trying to kill Lorne, but I'm not mad at you any more, and if the next few days go better, I'll be able to forgive you."
Connor put his arms around Angel and said, "I'm sorry, I just want to protect you all form it."
Angel said calmly, "His name is Lorne and that is how you will refer to him."
Connor said, "But I don't trust him. He'll turn on you."
Angel said, "No Connor. He won't. And even if he did, don't you think I could handle it?"
Connor couldn't think of another way to convince Angel that Lorne was dangerous, so he didn't say anything.
Angel sat there with Connor for a few more minutes and then he said, "Okay, let's get you into bed son."
Connor stood and walked to his bed. He lay on his stomach and pulled the cover's up over himself. Angel sat on the side of the bed and said, "I'm gonna have Wes come in and watch you for the rest of the night, because I can't risk you hurting Lorne again."
Connor wasn't sure why, but he started to cry again at the lack of trust. Angel said, "And in the morning when we both wake up, you and I are going to have a talk about lying."
Connor sniffed and said, "No Dad, please don't. I
. I'm sorry I lied to you."
Angel kissed the side of Connor's forehead, and said, "I'll see you in the morning. Try to get some sleep."
Angel got up and walked to the room Wesley was using for the weekend. He knocked and Wesley came to the door pretty quickly. Angel said, "I'm sorry to ask Wes, but it's already daylight out, and I have been awake for two day's straight. Could you please stay in Connor's room while he sleeps? I can't trust him not to try and kill Lorne again right now."
"Of course Angel. I don't think I'll be able to sleep any more today anyway. Let me get dressed and get a book and a snack and I'll meet you there."
Angel went back and found that Connor was already asleep. He noticed the brush on the end of the bed and picked it up to take back to his room. Soon Wes came in the room and put the desk chair by the door to sit in. He had a sandwich and a book. He nodded to Angel who nodded back and whispered "Wake me when he gets up." and headed to his room.
The next morning about eleven, Connor woke up. He rolled over and was surprised that his butt was still a little tender. There wasn't much pain, but he could tell it wasn't back to normal yet. He was usually completely healed after a few hours, and thought he would feel normal again soon after breakfast. He tended to need to eat more when he was healing. He sat up and saw Wesley reading a book in his room. He remembered all of last night and groaned. Wesley said, "Ah, I see your up. Good. Go take a shower if you want, while I wake Angel."
Connor said, "Maybe you should let him sleep. He was up pretty late."
Wesley smiled and said, "Sorry Connor, but he asked me to wake him."
Connor groaned again and put his head in his hands for a second before getting up to go take a long shower.
When Connor got out Angel was waiting for him. He noticed the room was darker now, because the shade had been drawn to protect Angel from the sun. Angel was sitting in the desk chair in the middle of the room again. Connor had a towel around his waste, and decided clothes would be a very good idea about now. He said, "Morning Angel, did you sleep well?"
As he talked he headed for his dresser and heard Angel say, "Don't bother."
Connor froze in place and waited for what Angel would say next. He turned to look at Angel. Angel said, "Come here son."
Connor didn't want to, but didn't see many other options, so he headed to Angel's side. Angel immediately pulled Connor over his lap, and yanked the towel up so he could get to Connor's bare butt. He started spanking right away, but not as hard as last night. Connor tried to be quiet, and was very glad that Angel was just using his hand this time. While Angel was still spanking Connor he asked, "Why am I spanking you son?"
Connor thought it was odd that Angel would ask him that. Angel usually told him why. He said, "Don't you know?"
Angel almost laughed at that, but kept it in. He increased the strength a bit and said, "Yes, I know why, but I want to see if you remember why."
Connor started to kick and squirm a little and he said, "Because I
I lied to you."
Angel put more strength into the spanks and kept going. Soon Connor started to yell out an occasional 'Oww'.
Angel finally gave him eight more full force spanks, which made Connor yell loudly, and he started to cry. Angel pulled the towel back down and stood Connor up. He stood up too and hugged Connor while he said, "Don't lie to me Connor. I can tell when you lie, and it makes me not trust you. You should never lie to get out of trouble, because it will just get you into more trouble."
Connor nodded into his chest.
Angel said, "Get dressed and come down for breakfast. While we're all eating you will apologize to everyone for keeping them up last night, and you will apologize to Lorne for trying to kill him."
Connor sniffed and said, "But that will be a lie."
Angel smiled and thought Connor was pretty smart. He said, "You said you were sorry last night."
Connor said, "I was sorry you were mad, and that you were spanking me."
"You said you wouldn't do it again."
Angel thought for a minute and said, "Okay, for today you can start the apology with 'My dad is making me say'. But I hope that eventually you will feel bad about it, and want to apologize to Lorne yourself."
Connor thought about it and said, "Okay."
Wesley had gone home to put his stuff away and relax for a while by himself, but everyone else was there at the table when Connor came in. He sat in his chair and squirmed a bit. While they ate, Angel told Lorne what they had found out about Cordy, and about the recent cases they had been working on. When there was a pause Angel said expectantly, "Conner
Connor looked at his mostly empty plate and said, "I'm sorry I kept everyone awake last night, and Angel is making me tell the demon I'm sorry for trying to kill him, even though I'm not."
Angel said through clenched teeth, "Try again, or we can go back upstairs and talk some more."
Connor shifted in his chair and said, "My dad is making me tell you that I'm sorry for trying to kill you Lorne."
Lorne said, "I can just feel the love. How about you kids, can you feel the love?"
Gunn said, "I don't know about love, but I can feel irritation and impatience for certain children who don't know what's good for them."
Connor got a little red at that and said, "I know living with a demon can't be good for me!"
Angel stood up and yelled "That's it!.."
Fred interrupted him with, "Connor, could you come to my room please. There's something I want to show you."
Connor glared at Angel and Angel glared right back. Fred said, "Please Connor."
Connor looked over at Fred and said, "Okay Fred."
As soon as they were in Fred's room, she turned on the TV and started to look through her tapes. Soon she found what she was looking for, and put it in the VCR and hit play. She sat on the bed next to Connor and put her arm around his shoulder as they watched together. They sat for the next two hours watching home video's of Connor when he was a baby. He saw all of them; Angel, Fred, Gunn, Wesley, Cordy, and Lorne playing with him, dressing him, bathing him, and feeding him. They all sounded so proud when he could do things like lift his head and roll over. He almost didn't recognize Angel he looked so happy. But one thing was for sure; Lorne was in almost every shot. When the other's were playing with him Lorne was there watching, and Lorne was the one who was doing most of the diaper changes and bathing and even feeding. There were a couple of times when they were video taping and there was a call, or Cordy had a vision, and they all had to run out. When that happened, whoever was holding Connor would pass him to Lorne to watch while they were gone. He saw Lorne singing to him, kissing him, and looking at him with love, and he could see his baby self smiling and cooing at Lorne.
When the tape was over Fred went and pulled it out of the VCR. She handed it to Connor and said, "Keep it, so you can watch it whenever you want. This tape is only about five months old. Five months ago Lorne was caring for you like this. Lorne loves you, and you're hurting him with your hate. I want you to stop."
Fred walked out the door not waiting for Connor to respond. Connor put the tape back in the VCR and watched it again. He was surprised no one came in to bug him. He wasn't sure how to feel about it. He thought about Holtz, and how many of the things Holtz had taught him were wrong. He thought about the things Holtz had told him about Angel, and how much of that was wrong. He remembered Angel telling him about slavery, and how blind hate had kept people from seeing the truth. He watched the tape and was especially engrossed by one scene of Lorne rocking and singing to him. He spit up all over what looked like a pretty expensive suit, but all Lorne said was, "Poor baby, lets get you changed and see if you feel better." Connor thought, 'Fa
Holtz would have probably put me on the ground and cursed me while cleaning himself off.'
Once the tape was over for the second time, he realized he was wrong about Lorne. He was pretty embarrassed and more than a little ashamed that he had tried to kill him before he even knew him. He thought Angel had shown quite a bit of restraint in just spanking him. He new Holtz would have been much more violent in a similar situation. He took the tape to his room, and went to find Lorne.
Lorne was in the office with Angel. Lorne had just read Angel, and was reassuring Angel that he was following the right path, and that he should just keep doing what he was doing. The door was open, so Connor walked in and stood by the door. Angel turned to him and said, "You better have something nice to say, or you can just go find Gunn to do some tutoring"
Connor looked at the floor and said, "I'm sorry Lorne for trying to kill you, and I won't do it again. I hope that we can get to know each other better."
Lorne said, "Why the sudden change of heart?"
"I saw a tape of you and me when I was a baby, and I realized I was wrong."
Lorne thought about it and said, "Okay we'll try to get to know each other and see how it goes."
Connor nodded and looked over at Angel who was smiling and said, "I'm sorry I was so awful
Angel got up and walked to Connor. He pulled him into a hug and said, "I'm glad you understand now. And I can even forgive you for trying to kill Lorne. But it better not happen again to anyone, and I mean anyone, that I invite to stay here with us. Do you understand?"
"You're behind in your day. You better go find Fred or Gunn and start your tutoring."
"Oh, but before you go, I want to give you this."
"You brought me home a pen with a woman on it?"
Angel said, "Turn it upside down."
Connor saw the woman's clothes fall to the bottom. He looked embarrassed and said, "Oh brother." As he walked away.
Once Connor was gone, Lorne said, "He's changed for the better since the last time I saw him. I think you're doing a great job, and it's really important that you keep it up, because he could be dangerous without lots of love and attention. Teaching him and helping him grow will be a big part of your future. If you don't do a good job of it, things will get ugly for both of you."
Angel nodded and said, "I agree, so what do you want to teach him for an hour a day?"
"I'm sorry, what was that?"
"Well, part of my teaching him to be a good person will definitely include teaching him not to hate all demons. Who better to start that then you?"
"Now let's not be hasty here. I don't know if I have the time or patience for that. What could I possibly teach the little nipper anyway? If he has your genes, I'm sure he can't sing."
"Hey! I'm not that bad."
"Yes you are Angelcakes. I just had to listen to you remember?"
"Well, Darla could sing, but that's not the point. The point is, that I want you to spend time with him, and you know it's the right thing to do."
Lorne sighed and said, "Why did I leave Las Vegas? I think helping to destroy lives is better than trying to teach a teenager who hates me how to sing."
Angel laughed and clapped Lorne on the shoulder when he said, "You'll love it, and you know it."
# # #
The second day Lorne had been home, he decided to give Connor his first singing lesson. It was late in the afternoon, and Connor had finished working with everyone else. They went down to the basement, and Lorne explained some of the basics of singing. Soon he said, "Okay Connor, do you know any songs?"
Connor said, "Yeah I know some that Fa.. Holtz used to sing. Angel calls them Church songs."
"Wonderful, nothing like a little gospel to get the singing started. Why don't you sing one for me, and we'll see what kind of work we need to do."
Connor nodded and started singing. Two minutes later Lorne was holding his head and said in a strained voice, "Okay kid, lesson's over. Go have Fred fetch me a few aspirin. No
make that a bottle of aspirin. Have her bring it to my room."
Connor still didn't trust Lorne all that much, but he could tell Lorne was in some pain so he said, "Do you need some help getting up the stairs?"
"No. Just get Fred please."
Connor went to find Fred, and Lorne made his way into the kitchen where he pulled out a bottle of brandy and a glass to take to his room. He slowly made his way upstairs and into his room where a concerned Fred and Connor stood waiting with the aspirin. Lorne took the aspirin from Fred and said, "Thanks hon. Now I'm gonna lie down for a while."
Fred said, "What happened? Are you okay? Do we need to get some kind of doctor?"
"No. I'm fine. It's just a really bad headache, and I need to lie down for a while. Don't you kids worry, I'll be fine."
With that Lorne ushered them out of his room and shut his door. Fred and Connor just looked at each other. A few seconds later he opened it and put out a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on the doorknob. He said to Fred, "I'll probably sleep until tomorrow. If I'm not awake by tomorrow night, then knock on the door."
Fred frowned, but said, "Okay."
Fred and Connor turned to go, and Fred said, "What happened?"
"I don't know. I was just singing like he told me to, and then when the song was over he was holding his head in pain."
"Well that's not good. We should tell Angel."
They found Angel in the office, and Fred told him what had happened. He thought it sounded bad as well. Connor said, "I don't get it. How could my singing give him a headache that quick?"
Angel said, "Lorne was reading you at the same time. I mean, I don't think he can help but read someone when they sing. It's just a part of it. I don't know what he saw in your future, but for some reason it made his head hurt."
Connor sounded a little panicked and said, "Does that mean I'm going to do something really bad? Like maybe I'll turn into a vampire and kill lots of people. How does Lorne know for sure what will happen in my future? I think he could be wrong."
Angel got up and put an arm around Connor's shoulder and said, "Now don't get upset Connor. We don't even know what this is all about. It could just be that you're a really bad singer like me, and that gave him a headache."
"He didn't get a headache from hearing you sing. I just know it's something terrible I'm going to do!"
Angel said, "You don't know that, and neither does anyone else. We need to let Lorne recover for the night, and then we can all find out together what the problem was tomorrow. Try not to worry about it until we know there is something to worry about Connor."
Connor didn't like it, but he nodded. Angel said, "We don't have any cases right now, so why don't you do your homework, and then we can watch some TV together, or maybe when it gets dark, we can go to the movies."
Connor nodded again, and walked off to start some homework. Once he had everything in front of him his mind wandered. He couldn't stop thinking about a variety of horrible futures for himself. He could picture himself killing Angel in front of everyone. He realized that that thought used to bring him pleasure when he lived with Holtz, but now it brought him a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach. He could see himself as a vampire, and he could see Angel trying to kill him while he killed all the other people in the hotel. After a while, he couldn't take it anymore. He needed to go kill something to get his mind off himself. He got up and headed for the front door. As soon as he put his hand on the front doorknob he suddenly had an image of an angry Angel standing in front of him, and then an image of himself over Angel's lap. He let go of the doorknob and thought, 'But I really need to get out.'
He turned around and stood thinking. Soon the weapon cabinet came into view, and he thought about Gunn. He smiled as he remembered what Gunn had told him the last time he ran off. Connor found Gunn in the kitchen with Fred. Connor said, "Gunn. I need to go out."
Gunn said, "Why?"
Connor frowned. He looked down and said, "Well
Last time you said
. And now I need to
Gunn said, "Oh, you need to go OUT. Okay. Fred, tell Angel we went out, and that we'll be back when we get back. I have my cell phone if he really needs us."
Fred had told Gunn about Lorne, and she could understand Connor being upset. She had some misgivings, but said, "Okay. You guys be careful, and you call us if you get into any kind of trouble."
Gunn nodded and put an arm around Connor's shoulders as they headed for the door.
Connor smiled and said, "Thanks Gunn."
Connor went straight to the sewers since it was still light outside, and he immediately started tracking. Half an hour later, he still hadn't come across any vampires or demons to kill. Gunn kept his distance, and was just being silent company. Connor said, "This is really strange."
Gunn came over to where Connor was crouching on the ground. He looked at the ground, but he didn't see anything out of the ordinary. He said, "What?"
"I've been tracking a male vampire for a while, and his scent ends here. I can smell the death, but I can't smell what killed him. If it had been a human or another vampire, I would be able to detect their scent. It's a fresh kill, less than fifteen minutes old."
Gunn said, "Well that is strange, but I would say good too. Maybe the vamp dusted itself."
Connor looked at Gunn like he was insane, and Gunn said, "Okay maybe not. Well, it must have been some kind of demon that you can't smell. But if he's killing vampires, then he's okay in my book."
Connor put his finger to his lips gesturing to Gunn to be quiet. He turned and looked down the tunnel they had just come from.
After doing his tutoring session with Connor, Wesley had gone home early telling Angel that he had some research to do at home. He'd been home for a while when he heard a knock on the door. He got his gun and walked to the door looking through the peephole to see who it was. Lilah was looking right at him and soon winked. Wesley smiled and put his gun on the side table as he opened the door. As soon as Wesley had locked the door behind her, Lilah attached herself to him. They almost didn't make it to the couch before she knocked him over and ripped his shirt off.
Half an hour later they were lying together naked on the couch, and Wesley said, "You're really very beautiful."
Lilah smiled and said, "You don't have to say that to get me to keep coming back. In fact, you know I like you better when you're not nice."
Wesley looked kind of sad and said; "Does it always have to be like that."
Lilah looked into Wesley's eyes and said sincerely, "No."
Wesley kissed her tenderly and said, "How long can you stay?"
Lilah looked at the clock on the wall and said, "About fifteen more minutes."
Wesley sighed and said, "It would be a lot nicer if you could just spend the nights here."
"You know I can't."
"So what if Wolfram and Heart finds out? It has nothing to do with your work. Why should they care."
"You're working with the enemy. They will try to stop us from seeing each other. Besides, if I started spending the night, Angel would find out, and I don't think you want to talk to him about us."
"He already knows about our relationship."
Lilah laughed and said, "You called it a relationship first! You owe me a dollar!"
Wesley got a little red and looked for his wallet while he said, "Damn."
He tried to hand the dollar to her, but she shook her head and said, "Sign it first."
"As proof. Proof of this, of us."
Wesley signed the dollar and handed it to her. She took it and started kissing him.
Lilah's phone rang. She broke the kiss and looked for her phone on the floor. Once she found it, she answered it with, "I told you I'm off for the night. This better be good."
Wesley watched her while she listened to the problem. She started to get her clothes on while she listened. She said, "I'll be there in fifteen minutes."
She turned to Wesley and said, "Sorry lover. I've got to cut this short."
Wesley said, "Nothing's wrong I hope."
She stood there staring at him for a few seconds, and then seemed to make up her mind when she said, "It's Connor."
Back in the sewer, Gunn woke up on the cement floor and looked around for Connor. He groaned and held his head. He felt the lump and some dried blood on the back of his head. He yelled, "Connor! Connor can you hear me?!! Connor!"
He got no response, and looked for his cell phone.
At the hotel, Angel was walking out of his office when Wesley came in the front door. Wesley said, "Where's Connor?"
Angel said, "He's out with Gunn blowing off some steam. Why?"
"I think he's in danger."
Angel headed to the weapons cabinet, and Fred came in holding her cell phone to her ear. Fred said, "We'll be there as soon as we can. Bye."
Fred looked at Angel and said, "That was Gunn. He was with Connor tracking a vampire, and then something attacked them. He got knocked out, and he just woke up. He can't find Connor anywhere."
Wesley said, "What attacked them?"
"He never got a look at it."
Angel had a sword and said, "Let's go."
Connor was waking up, and found himself tied to a post. Before he opened his eyes, he tested the rope to see if he could get his hands or his feet loose. It was strong, but he could feel it start to give. He opened his eyes and looked around while he kept trying to get loose. In front of him he saw a little girl looking at him. He thought she looked to be about six or seven years old. He said, "Are you hurt?"
The girl shook her head, and said, "What are you?"
Connor said, "If you're not hurt, you should run. Try to find some stairs that go up, and get out of the sewer to the daylight before whatever that thing was comes back."
The girl said, "It's night now. You aren't a vampire, but you aren't human either. What are you?"
Connor almost had the ropes loose enough to free his hands, and he stopped. He sniffed the air. He looked at her suspiciously and said, "What are YOU?"
The girl giggled and said, "I'm a girl silly."
"No, you're not. You don't smell like a girl. In fact, you don't smell at all."
The girl looked mad and said, "You better tell me what you are, or I'm gonna hurt you."
"You're that monster that attacked us. Where is Gunn?"
The girl started to change shape, and grow. Soon it was a little taller than Connor was. It had silver skin and very long arms with claws at the end. Its eyes were swirling with different colors. It said, "Now you have seen my true form. Let me see yours."
Connor was looking all over for Gunn. He said, "Where is my friend? If you hurt him, I'll kill you."
"I left the human. I have no interest in him. Now let me see your true form!"
"This is my true form."
"Then what are you!!!"
Connor had his hands free, but kept them behind him as he started to work on wiggling his feet free. He said, "I don't know what I am!"
The monster said, "Liar!"
Connor said, "What do you want from me?"
"That depends on what you are. I came for vampire dust, but you might have something of value too."
Connor almost had his feet free when he heard foot steps in the distance. He said, "I have nothing of value. Why don't you untie me? I hunt vampires too. It sounds like we're working on the same side, and I could help you."
The monster laughed and said, "You're dumb enough to be a human. Let's cut you open, and see what's inside you."
The monster headed towards Connor with its claws aiming for Connor's stomach. Once it got in range, Connor pulled his hand around as fast as he could, and punched the monster on the side of his head. The monster wasn't expecting it and fell backwards. Connor reached down and got his feet loose. Connor heard something coming at him and ducked down even further, so the claws slashed through his shoulder instead of his head. Connor put all his weight into standing up and pushing his body into the monster's stomach at the same time. The monster went flying across the room. Connor started to go after the monster, and heard Angel yell, "Connor we're coming!"
They sounded close to Connor. He was about to kick the monster in the head, when it scrambled out of the way and onto its feet. They circled each other looking for a way to take the other down. Angel arrived before either one of them could get in another blow. He yelled, "Connor, get back. I don't know what that is, or what it could do to you."
The monster said in a sinister tone, "A vampire friend. That's why you smell wrong. I'll get him when I'm done with you."
Connor got really angry with that and said in a sinister tone of his own, "He's my dad, and I'm done with you."
Connor did a turning kick, and got the monster on the side of the head again. The monster fell and Angel headed towards them with his sword ready, but before he could get there, Connor followed the monster down. Connor grabbed the monster's head, and snapped his neck. The monster yelled but didn't die. It clawed Connor in the side, and tossed Connor off.
Angel yelled, "Stay down Connor! The other's are coming."
Angel brought his sword down on the monster. The monster caught the sword with its claws before it could cut him. He kicked Angel's feet out from under him, and let go of the sword at the same time, so that Angel fell. The monster tried to get on top of Angel, but Connor had gotten up, and kicked the monster in the side, which sent him flying against the wall of the tunnel. Angel jumped up and went towards the monster at the same time as Connor. Angel yelled, "I told you to stay down! Get back right now!"
Connor stopped in front of the monster that was getting up. Connor said, "It's my kill! You stay back! This thing just killed a vampire less than an hour ago."
The monster lunged for Connor as he was talking, and knocked him down. As the monster raised his arm to bring the claws down on Connor's face, Angel brought down his sword and decapitated the monster, just as Connor put his fist though the monster's stomach. The monster slumped dead on top of Connor. Angel kicked the monster off Connor, and at the same time Wesley, Fred, and Gunn ran into the room. Angel reached down, and hauled Connor up by the front of his shirt. Angel hugged him tight for a second, and then he held him at arm's length to look at him. He gave him a little shake and said, "I told you to stay back!"
Connor tried to shove Angel's hands off to no avail as he said, "And I told you it was mine to kill!"
Connor and Angel glared at each other. Fred came up to them and said, "Are you okay Connor? You're bleeding."
Angel grabbed Connor's shoulder to inspect it while Fred lifted Connor's shirt to look at his side. Connor tried to push Angel away as he said, "I'm fine."
Wesley and Gunn were looking at the monster's body. Wesley said, "I don't know what this is. I haven't seen one before."
Gunn said, "Me either. How about you Fred?"
Fred looked over at the monster and said, "I don't recognize it." Then she turned to Angel and said, "His side has stopped oozing, how about his shoulder?"
Angel had ripped Connor's shirt a little more so he could see the shoulder, and said, "It's still oozing, but it doesn't look too deep."
Connor yelled, "I'm right here you know!"
Angel ignored Connor's statement and said, "Take your shirt off, and hold it to your shoulder to stop the bleeding."
Connor thought about refusing just because he was pissed, but he could tell that Angel was mad too, so he did take off the shirt and hold it to his shoulder. Wesley said, "Do you think we should burn it to make sure it's dead?"
Angel went to look at the monster and said, "That's a good idea. The rest of us will head back to the hotel, and we'll meet you back there when you're done."
Fred, Gunn, and Angel headed towards the hotel, and Connor stayed where he was, and glared at Angel's back. Angel stopped a few feet away, but didn't turn around as he said, "Do I have to carry you?"
Connor continued to glare, but also started slowly walking towards home.
Once they got home Fred said, "Come on in the bathroom Connor, and we'll get you cleaned up."
Angel went to the lobby to put his sword away, and Gunn followed. In the lobby they saw that all the paperwork that had been on the counter, was now strewn all over the floor. They looked around to see if something was missing, and saw a foot sticking out from behind the counter. Angel cautiously approached the foot, and found an unconscious Lorne lying on the floor amongst the papers. Angel bent down and touched Lorne's shoulder. He said, "Lorne? Can you hear me? Are you okay?"
Lorne moaned and opened his eyes. He put his hand to his head and said, "Oww."
Angel helped him sit up and said, "Are you okay? What happened?"
"And I thought my head hurt before!"
Angel looked at Lorne expectantly. Lorne said, "It was Wolfram and Heart. They sucked out my reading of Connor."
Gunn looked confused. He said, "I don't understand."
"Well I don't exactly understand either. I know I was in my room trying to forget what I had learned from Connor, and then Lilah was here with some men. They had this big metal tube, and they stuck it in my head. I passed out once they turned it on."
Angel said, "So how do you know they sucked out Connor's reading?"
"Because I can't remember it. I know I was really scared, and I was wondering what to do before, but now I don't remember anything. I mean, I remember Connor singing
oh, and by the way he has your voice, poor kid
.., but I can't remember what I learned about his future."
Angel helped Lorne get up and sit in a chair, while Gunn went and got Lorne an ice pack for his head and a glass of water. Fred and Connor came into the lobby, and saw Lorne. Fred said, "What happened?"
Lorne looked up and saw that Connor had a large bandage on his shoulder and on his side. He said, "Looks like your night was as good as mine. What happened to you?"
"Fought a monster. What happened to you?"
"Got my memories of reading you sucked out by Lilah and her cohorts."
At that moment, Wesley walked in and said, "Lilah?"
Lorne looked at Angel imploringly, and said, "I need to lie down for a few days. Can you explain please?"
"Sure Lorne. Gunn, will you help Lorne get to his room, and make sure he has whatever he needs?"
Once they were out of the room Angel told Connor, Fred, and Wesley the story Lorne had told them. Connor groaned and said, "So it's my fault."
Angel said, "I don't see how you came up with that."
Connor looked at Angel like he was dense and said, "My reading scared the crap out of Lorne, and Wolfram and Heart wanted it so bad that they sucked it out of Lorne's head. How can you not see it as my fault?"
"Connor, none of us knew what your singing for Lorne would do, and it was my idea for you to sing for him in the first place. You certainly don't have any control over Lilah, or any of the people at Wolfram and Heart, so you are not to blame for their actions."
Connor looked at the floor and said, "But my reading started it all. What could have been so bad?"
"I don't know son. We'll try and find out together starting tomorrow. Right now, I want you to go to your room and lie down. You need to give yourself some time to heal. We'll bring you some dinner in a little bit."
Connor looked upset and said; "I don't need to lie down. We should go after Lilah and those men."
Angel walked over to Connor so that he was standing right in his personal space. He said, "You are already in trouble for not listening to me when you were fighting that monster, little boy. Now, I know you're upset about Lorne's reading, but going after Lilah and Wolfram and Heart is not going to help in any way. You will go to your room, and you will lie down and rest. I'll let YOU decide if you're going to be resting on your stomach, or on your back for tonight."
Connor felt like he was ready to explode with anger and confusion. He wanted to punch Angel, but at the same time wanted to be hugged and reassured that things were really going to be all right. He yelled the first thing that came to his mind. "It was my kill!"
Angel said, "Okay Connor, stomach it is."
Angel grabbed Connor's upper arm and started walking them towards the stairs and Connor's room. He called behind him, "Fred, please make Connor some dinner. Wesley, don't leave. I want to talk to you in a few minutes."
Connor tried repeatedly to pull out of Angel's grip while Angel was talking, but he couldn't get away. Angel stopped at the foot of the stairs and said quietly to Connor, "If you don't stop that, I'll put you over my knee right here."
Connor looked into Angel's face and knew he was serious. He stopped struggling, and let Angel take him to his room.
Once they got to Connor's room Angel shut the door, and pulled Connor to the bed. Angel sat down on the end of the bed and put Connor across his lap. He made sure Connor's upper body was resting on the bed, and brought his hand down in the middle of Connor's jeans covered butt. It made a somewhat dulled 'Smack' sound. Connor got very still and tried to take it without crying. Angel kept spanking and said, "When I tell you to do something in a fight, you do it."
Connor didn't say anything, but he was starting to wiggle around in an attempt to avoid Angel's hand. Angel kept spanking and said, "I don't care if you think it was 'your kill' or not. We all fight as a team, and I'm the leader of that team, which means you follow my orders in a fight."
Connor said, "But I
. started it
Angel increased the force behind the spanks and said, "Yes, but once I got there, then we were fighting it as a team. Just because you start a fight, doesn't mean that you get to finish it by yourself once I show up."
would have let me."
"Don't you mean he would have made you? You are part of MY family now, and we protect each other."
Connor's butt was really hurting, and his legs were kicking. He was close to tears when he said, "I was
Angel stopped for a second and said, "I know son, and I do appreciate the fact that your heart was in the right place when you went after that monster, but I can hold my own in a fight. In fact I'm better than you are in a fight, but the point is that you didn't follow the rule. The rule is: You 'Smack' Will 'Smack' Do 'Smack' What 'Smack' I 'Smack' Tell 'Smack' You 'Smack' To 'Smack' Do 'Smack' In 'Smack' A 'Smack' Fight 'Smack'."
Connor was crying when Angel stopped. Angel rubbed Connor's back and said, "I love you Connor. You wouldn't believe how scared I was when I saw that monster on top of you, ready to claw your face. You will learn to follow my orders when we're fighting."
Connor stood up once he realized the spanking was over. Angel stood up with him, and pulled him into a hug. Connor held on to Angel and cried some more. Angel said, "It's over. You're forgiven. I know it's been a bad day for you son. Let's get you into bed, and Fred will bring you something to eat in a little bit so you can heal up."
Connor nodded and let go of Angel. He climbed on his bed and lay down on his stomach. Angel took off Connor's shoes for him and said, "Aren't you cold without a shirt? Do you want to climb under the covers? Or put a new shirt on?"
Connor shook his head no. Angel sat on the edge of the bed and rubbed Connor's back some more. He said, "I'm going to go talk to Wes for a while. You rest, and I'll come see you after you have some dinner."
When Angel got down stairs, he found Wesley standing in the same spot he had left him. Angel said, "Let's go talk in my office."
Wesley nodded and followed Angel. Once they were in the office with the door closed Angel said, "How did you find out about Connor being in trouble Wes?"
Wesley looked off into space and said in a confused voice, "Lilah told me. She was at my house, and she got a call about him. She told me he would need help, so I came to you."
Angel was not happy with this information. He said, "How the hell would Wolfram and Heart know he was in trouble?! It doesn't make sense at all."
Wesley looked at Angel and said with conviction, "Yes it does. They knew about the trouble, because they caused the trouble some how. They were using it as a distraction to get Lorne alone. I can't believe I fell for it."
Angel said, "I guess we all fell for it."
"I'm sorry Angel."
"It's not your fault Wes. I know you didn't mean for any of this to happen."
"I should never have trusted Lilah, it's just that I thought we were
"Go home and get some rest. In the morning, we'll all talk about what we are going to do about this."
Wesley nodded absentmindedly and headed for the door.
Angel went back up to Connor's room. Fred was there with a tray of food. She said, "He's asleep. Should we wake him?"
Angel nodded and said, "I heal better when I feed, so he probably will too."
Angel went over to the foot of Connor's bed and shook his foot while he said, "Connor wake up."
Connor groaned and said, "It hurts."
Angel said, "Wake up and eat. You'll feel better."
Connor started to sit up in bed, and then hissed and stood up instead. Angel said, "How does your shoulder feel?"
"It burns, and aches. So does my side, and my head, and my butt thanks to you."
Then Connor noticed Fred in the room and got a little red. Connor realized that everyone knew he got spanked, but he didn't want anyone besides Angel to know that it really hurt. He looked at the floor and said, "It's not really that bad."
Fred cleared her throat and said, "I brought you some leftover pizza and a bologna sandwich."
Connor said, "Thanks Fred."
Fred put the tray on the desk and said, "Okay. Well, I'll see you in the morning."
Connor nodded. Once she was gone Connor glared at Angel and whispered, "You could have warned me she was here."
Angel gave Connor a tolerant smile and said, "I didn't think it would matter to you."
Connor went over to his desk and started eating standing up. Angel said, "Do you want some medicine for the pain? I mean the pain in your shoulder and side of course."
Connor rolled his eyes and said, "No Dad. Pain is part of life. If you can't feel the pain, then you don't know you're alive. It will be gone by tomorrow anyway."
Angel was surprised by that statement and said, "That sounds like Holtz. Not like you."
Connor thought about it, and realized Holtz had told him this many times. He wondered if he really believed it or not. He said, "You're right about that. Holtz did tell me that, but I do kind of believe it. If you think it's wrong, I'll take the medicine."
Angel said, "As long as you are not keeping the pain to punish yourself, I don't think it's wrong. But I also don't think it's wrong to take medicine if you're in pain. It's up to you."
Connor thought some more and said, "I'll be fine."
Angel said, "After you eat, you go to bed. Tomorrow we'll all sit down together and decide what to do with this new information."
Connor nodded and said, "Okay."
Angel pulled Connor into another hug and kissed his head. He said, "Good night." on his way out.
When Wesley got home, he found the dollar bill that he had given Lilah on the floor by the couch. He took it and decided to pay her a visit. He knocked on her apartment door. She answered and said, "To what do I owe this pleasure?"
Wesley said, "You tricked me. I can't believe I was so gullible."
Lilah sighed and said, "If I thought you could have ever really loved me, I never would have played you."
Wesley held out the dollar for her to take. She took it, and he turned and left.
(Feedback makes me happy.)