Connor and Angel's New Relationship
Angel paced from one side of the Hyperion lobby to the other. Glancing up at the closed hotel door he only paused for a moment before repeating his stride in the opposite direction. He came into immediate and almost disastrous contact with Cordelia who had been standing in the center of the floor watching him pace. She fixed him with what could only be called a 'Cordelia' stare and crossed her arms.
He knew just from looking at her face what was coming next. "Angel, you're going to wear a rut into the floor with all that back and forth."
He shook his head as if to shake off what she had just said to him. And once again the agitated vampire asked his seer what time it was. "It's exactly five minutes since the last time you asked."
He knew that his being upset was not helping the situation but he could not seem to help it. This whole problem with Connor was quickly becoming a crisis and it was his job as the boy's father to straighten things out. When his son had come back from Quor- Toth he had felt as if he was being given his world back. He vowed to be a good and loving father and to always be there for his son. It just had not worked out that way.
Connor had sent him to the bottom of the ocean for three months and he probably would still be there if Wesley hadn't rescued him. He had thrown the boy out for several weeks but had ultimately brought him back to the hotel and to his family. The boy had not wanted to come back and simply didn't realize the danger that he had been in out there in the real world.
So Angel had not set down any rules other than making sure the errant teen knew that he could not leave. He also tried to emphasize to the boy that he must not go out fighting alone. He knew that Connor regularly broke both of these rules. Angel had thought that as time went on his son would adjust to being with him and things would improve. So far they were just getting worse.
Two days ago Connor had snuck out of the hotel for four hours and worried everyone sick. Angel had decided that he had had enough and he had grounded the teen. He had gotten the impression that Connor had accepted his punishment. At least until this evening when the boy had disappeared completely. Angel had the entire crew searching for the boy with no luck. They did find his trail and knew that he was hunting.
Finally he had sent everyone home and only he and Cordelia remained up and waiting for the teen. Cordelia had been taken by the powers on the same night that he had been sent to sea. But she had convinced them that her place was here and her mission was to fight by his side. And finally as they sorted through all the issues of their individual and combined lives they admitted their love for one and other.
It would not be untrue for Angel to admit that these past few months had been both the hardest and the most wonderful of his whole un-life. He loved Cordy like he had never loved anyone before, including Buffy. His relationship with Buffy was an attraction that was all the better because it was forbidden. His love for and relationship with Cordelia was that of a man for a woman. They were partners in every sense of the word. And she knew and accepted every aspect of who and what he was.
In fact if it hadn't been for Connor and all the problems he was having Angel might just have achieved his "true happiness". But with the current state of affairs regarding his disobedient son he didn't think happiness was on the horizon. The situation with Connor needed to be straightened out and straightened out now. He knew that the boy had no respect for him or anyone living in the hotel.
Before he had gone home this evening Wesley had taken Angel aside and pointed out the obvious. "You need to take this boy in hand Angel, before something terrible happens to him or someone else."
Angel had made no comment on the ex- watchers remark, but he knew it was true. "He needs a father, and might I add a firm hand. So stop watching from the sidelines and step up, Man."
Angel might have taken offense if anyone else had suggested this to him, but he knew that Wes was right and he fully intended to follow that advice.
He stopped his pacing long enough to walk over to where Cordelia was standing with a very worried look on her face.
"Where is he?" she asked and stamped her foot in frustration.
Angel pulled the beautiful brunette into his arms and said "We will find him or he will eventually come home. And when he does I promise I will deal with him and all of his issues. When I am finished punishing him I don't think he will be repeating this stunt for a long time."
Cordelia was unsure as to what Angel meant by that but she could not fail to recognize the determined look on his face. And she knew firsthand that when Angel made up his mind about something that was usually that. And while she did not want to see Connor punished she could not bear what this was doing to Angel. She knew that Connor was a frightened and misguided youth. But she also realized that he was just plain angry.
He was angry at Angel and the world. She had hoped that what he had done to his father this past summer would have helped him to understand that he had been used by Holtz for revenge. But it didn't seem to change anything. Like his father Connor was a stubborn and hard-headed young man. And what exactly did Angel mean about punishing Connor. He was grounded right now, and he wasn't even here.
Angel resumed pacing and began thinking about punishing Connor. He had tried the whole grounded thing and Connor just blew him off. No, this had to be harder than that, and Connor needed to understand that when his father set a rule that it was to be followed. What his son needed was a lesson in consequences. Angel thought back to his childhood and remembered the consequence that he hated the most. It seemed a little harsh, but he knew it to be very effective.
Angel was startled out of his thoughts by the sound of the front door being flung open.
As he looked up he saw Connor coming down the stairs and Cordelia throwing her arms around him. "Oh my God Connor, we were worried sick about you."
Angel saw his son look rather sheepish and return Cordelia's hug. He put his head down and mumbled "sorry", as if that would solve everything.
With three angry strides Angel reached his son. "Well, Connor as long as your sorry then I guess everything will be just fine."
Connor turned an angry look in his father's direction. "I'm sorry that Cordelia was worried, dad".
Angel dropped his head for a moment to get a grip on his own anger. He slowly counted to ten in his head. When Angel brought his head up he found himself staring into intense blue eyes.
"Gee dad this whole being grounded didn't turn out to be so bad."
Angel thought carefully about his words before he spoke. "Well let's see if you find the next punishment to be so fun then."
Angel noticed that the sneer left Connors face, and he got into a fighters stance. Cordelia stepped in between the two hoping to be able to stop whatever was happening.
"Let's see son, you snuck out and went hunting all by yourself and didn't bother to come home until almost three a.m. You undoubtedly put your life in danger many times over and worried the hell out of all of us, and all of this while you were still grounded. Definitely not your best day, but then you have made some really poor choices lately and that is something that we are certainly going to fix."
Connor made a run at his father, sidestepping Cordelia. He was surprised when his father grabbed his arm and pinned it behind his back. Dropping his head down so that he was speaking directly into Connor's ear, Angel told him that they would be no more fighting. The teen struggled against his father's hold and continued to resist all attempts to calm him down. Once more Angel told his son that there would be no more fighting, and that everything would be different from now on. He continued to tell Connor that from now on they were going to act like father and son.
He released his grip on Connor's arm and his son pulled away and stood next to Cordelia. "Now son, let's talk about Holtz shall we?"
Connor lowered his voice as if to warn Angel that he was on dangerous ground. "You don't ever get to talk about him. Not ever, do you hear me?"
Connor almost spat the words out. Angel looked at his furious son and said "I hear you, but we will still be talking about Holtz and you. A little now and a lot later."
Connor looked puzzled but once again he snarled at his father "no we will not."
Ignoring the teen's remark Angel continued to push the issue by discussing Connor's abductor. "I am sure that in all the years that he had you, that there were times when you managed to get your self into trouble. And knowing the time in history that he originated from, I'm pretty sure that he never grounded you. Or gave you a time out, or even sent you to the corner."
Angel could see that Connor was beginning to fidget and suddenly didn't look so sure of himself. "If I had to guess about it I would say that he probably handled discipline just like your grandfather did with me. So tell me son did you ever get put over his knee and spanked? Or is tonight gonna be your first experience with that?"
Cordelia was not sure that she had heard that right. She turned a nervous gaze in the vampire's direction and saw that he was heart-attack serious.
The troubled teen looked at his father with undisguised hatred. But even as he saw the look, Angel knew he could smell fear on the boy for the first time tonight. And while he was pretty sure that he had guessed correctly about Holtz, he also knew that getting Connor to submit to this punishment would not be easy if even possible. And he also knew that if it was going to happen it would have to be now.
He looked toward Cordelia and gave her a re-assuring nod. While he knew she would be surprised at his tactics he also knew that she would support him. She genuinely loved Connor and wanted whatever was best for him, and unfortunately Angel knew that this particular punishment was just that. He moved a step closer to his son.
"It can go easy or it can go hard Connor, it's your choice." Just as Angel had figured he would the boy turned and started to run for the door. His father reached out and grabbed the back of his shirt using it to turn Connor so that they were face to face. Angel then put his shoulder to Connor's midsection and easily lifted the boy off of his feet and hoisted him onto his own broad shoulder.
Connor immediately reacted by pounding his father on the back with his hands and kicking with his legs. "Connor that will be enough."
The teen continued to abuse his father and once again Angel said his name in a voice thick with warning. But still the teen continued and Angel drew back his hand and brought it down hard on his sons behind. "Enough I said."
Connor yelped at the hard and unexpected swat he had just received. Angel was feeling in control of the situation, but yet he was feeling bad. He looked up to find Cordy smiling at him. And he knew without any doubt that this was the right thing. No matter how painful it would be for father and son.
The swat seemed to have had its desired effect and Angel felt Connor go limp across his shoulder. "Put me down, I won't try to run."
While Angel wanted to believe Connor he just didn't. "If I put you down and you try to run son I will spank you right here in front of Cordelia. Do you want that Connor?"
It was as if all the fight had gone out of the boy and he answered with a heartfelt "No- please."
Angel sat the youth back on his feet, but maintained a steely grip on his upper arm. "C'mon son lets just get this over with."
He steered the boy towards the stairs and then to his room. Much to his surprise Connor did not try to fight him or to run away. But Angel knew that this was far from over. He could hear the teen's heart hammering in his chest.
He opened the door to his suite with his free hand and pulled Connor inside. Angel then walked them both over to his desk, and then pulled out the chair putting it in the center of the room. As he went to sit down he felt Connor pull out of his grasp and head for the balcony doors, knocking over the standing lamp as he did so. Fully expecting something like this Angel managed to leap across the bed and actually jump down in front of Connor. He grasped both of his son's arms and gave him a little shake.
"I guess that answers the question about if you want this to be easy or hard, little boy." Connor struggled wildly in his grasp but could not free himself.
"Connor, just accept it this is going to happen, and the harder you fight it the harder it will be." Even though he knew his son richly deserved this punishment Angel still felt bad about having to do it. Connor continued to struggle and the vampire knew he just needed to just get this over with, for both of their sakes.
Angel let go of one of Connor's arms and walked back to the chair pulling the teen along with him. He sat down in the chair and immediately yanked Connor across his knees. The boy continued to try and escape knowing full well what was coming. The vampire grabbed Connor's hand and held it behind his back knowing that his son wasn't likely to take his punishment easily or well. He could tell that Connor was already in a blind panic and he hadn't even started yet.
Getting an even tighter grip on Connor's waist Angel delivered the first swat directly to the center of his son's slight behind. His hand was rather large and almost covered the teen's bottom. He began punishing Connor with swats that were both hard and fast. He spanked both the teen's bottom as well as legs. Connor was crying out with each swat but he continued to struggle on his father's lap.
Angel hoped that Connor would be more receptive to discussing his mistakes after the punishment was all done, so he said nothing but simply continued to spank. As much as he was showing the teen that he was in control he was also letting him know that his future behavior needed to change. Unfortunately his son was still resisting both idea's and still had not even begun to cry. Angel knew that he needed to break through Connor's resistance before he would be able to make his point.
With this in mind he stopped the spanking and reached underneath Connor to unbutton his jeans. Understanding just what his father had in mind the teen started to fight like someone possessed. Unfortunately for him his father outweighed him, overpowered him and did indeed manage in short order to skin both the jeans and underwear off of the boy.
Knowing that Connor had some superhuman abilities and because of that his pain tolerance was probably pretty high, Angel resumed spanking the now bare bottom before him.
Within the first few swats Angel could tell the difference. Connor stopped putting so much effort into struggling and his father thought that this was probably due to the teen's concentration on not crying. As soon as Angel could tell that this was the case he began to put a little more force behind the swats and soon he could actually smell the tears that his son was trying so desperately to hold back.
Feeling much like he was the one who was being punished the vampire started applying the punishing swats even harder. And finally he felt the boy's resistance give way and he put down his head and sobbed. Angel knew that he needed to continue a little bit longer although he would have loved nothing better than stopping right then. But he also knew that he didn't want to do this again soon (if ever) so he wanted to be sure he did it right. And finally he wanted his son to understand that he was in control.
Now Connor was sobbing and begging him to stop. This was almost impossible for Angel to hear and he now had tears running down his own face. He knew that now would be a good time to re-enforce some of the rules that his son loved to break. He gave the boy three particularly hard swats. "Are you going to come and go as you please anymore?"
Connor shook his head from side to side to indicate that he would not. Again Angel delivered three more very hard swats to the reddened bottom before him. "Are you going to go out hunting and put your life in danger again?"
Once again the sobbing boy shook his head no. The vampire took a deep breath because he knew that this one was going to be the hardest of all. He then administered three brutal swats to his sons well punished behind. Connor howled in response and then went limp across his lap sobbing uncontrollably. "Are you going to lie to me again Connor?'
As before the boy shook his head no. "I need to hear you say this son, unless you need a little more spanking first."
Connor quickly raised his head and chest off of Angel's lap. "No, no please dad no more- I won't lie anymore, I'll try to do better, just please no more."
Angel shook his head to indicate that this was sufficient. "All right son, that just leaves to deal with the fact that once again you tried to physically fight your way out of a bad situation."
Connor began to cry again because he realized that his father was not yet done. Angel took a deep un-needed breath and gave the teen five more very hard swats with his stinging hand. He felt his son give in completely and his whole body shook with the force of his sobs. Angel rubbed Connor's back and told him that it was all over, and that he had taken his punishment like a good boy. He also told Connor all the things that he had never had the chance to say. All the "I love you's" and "I've missed you's" and "I'm here now and I will never let anyone take you from me again" that Angel had been carrying around in his heart since the boy was stolen from him.
After letting the boy cry for a little while longer Angel very gently pulled Connor's clothing back up. Hearing the teen cry out again when his father pulled his jeans back up felt like a knife to Angel's heart. While he knew just how necessary this had been, he hated that he had had to hurt Connor. And now that it was done he would try to give him as much love and comfort as he could
He helped his son to stand up and then turned him and pulled him onto his lap. Connor resisted but Angel once again was too strong for him The boy cried out again when his very sore behind came into contact with his father's muscular legs. Angel adjusted his position as much as he could so that Connor was resting in the open space between Angel's legs. Again he felt the teen struggle to get up. For the first time since the spanking began Angel found himself bristle with anger.
"Was that spanking not enough for you little boy, do you need to go back over my knee again for a little more?"
Angel could feel the panic rising in Connor's chest and once again he began to cry. "No please dad, no more please."
The vampire could hear the sincerity in his son's pleas and settled him on his lap again. This time he tilted Connor's position so that he was leaning with his head on Angel's broad chest. Angel began stroking Connor's back and rubbing his neck. He was surprised to feel his son relax against his chest. The vampire rested his chin on the top of the boys head and breathed in the scent that was pure Connor. After a moment or two Angel knew he needed to proceed. "The things we talked about during your spanking need to change right now."
Angel was not surprised that Connor's heartbeat sped up at his words. "And if they don't change I can assure you that you will find yourself in the face down, butt up position again often. And I can promise you that you will find neither position nor what happens there to be very pleasant."
Angel held his breath waiting for Connor's reply, expecting anything from physical violence to more expressions of hatred. But once again his son surprised him. "What if I make just a small mistake?"
Angel was so overcome with this response that he took a moment to compose himself. "I told you just what the rules were, and if you break them you know what will happen."
He felt Connor lean back against him again, and in a very small voice say "I'll try."
Angel wasn't sure if it was the punishment or the emotional response to it that caused this change of heart in the teen but he was ever so grateful.
He hugged his son closer to his chest. "I know just how hard it has been for you since you have been here. I know that you and I still need to get to know each other better and there is still much that we need to talk about. But you need to know that no matter what you were raised to believe, I love you. I always have and I always will. I know that you don't yet understand but Angelus and I are not the same. But I do carry on my conscious every evil thing that he ever did."
Angel could see that the teen was looking at him closely now. "And I have spent many years trying to atone for his sins. I didn't think that I deserved any happiness because of him. And then somehow you came into my life, and for the first time in so many decades I felt as if there was hope in my life. And then just as suddenly you were gone, and I promised myself that if I ever got you back I would spend every moment of every day telling you how much I love you, and keeping you safe."
Angel looked into his sons face and was unsure of what he saw there. But he knew that he had come this far and things would not improve until he saw it through, and so he continued. "I won't talk about Holtz because I don't want to hurt you. But I will say this- everything he told you wasn't true."
He felt Connor stiffen on his lap. "I have always loved and wanted you son."
As he said this Angel felt Connor press his face into his chest. And he felt the sobs shaking the boy and he just held on. Soon Connor was rocking with great spasms of grief. And he began to cry so hard that Angel was almost afraid. But he knew that Connor needed to let go of all the pain and anguish. There would be or could be no new beginning without letting go of the past, for either of them. And while he tenderly held his son, tears also streaked down his handsome face. Like Connor's tears he knew that they would start to cleanse him.
After a long while Connor's sobbing began to taper off. Angel was so pleased that the boy had not yet tried to get off of his lap. He continued to rub his neck and shoulders and he realized that Connor was becoming tired. With his busy evening of hunting vampires, his physical tussle with his father, and then finally his spanking and all the emotions of the evening Angel was not surprised.
"Son, we need to go over one more time the things that need to change, alright?"
He felt Connor nod his head and he proceeded cautiously. "Tell me what got you the spanking tonight."
Much to his amazement the teen answered right away. "Going out hunting by myself, late at night, avoiding everyone when they were looking for me, lying to you, trying to fight with you again, being disrespectful, putting my life in danger and all of this while I was grounded."
Angel felt a huge smile come upon his face. Connor had actually named a few things that weren't on Angel's list. Maybe tonight was just what Connor needed. He rubbed his son's back again. "That's good Connor; it sounds like you got the message. Now what was the other thing I told you tonight about your behavior?"
Angel could hear his son's heartbeat pick up the pace again at that question. "That anymore of the things I just told you will get me more of
Connor's voice trailed off and Angel knew he needed to get the teen to actually say it. "More of what son?" he prodded.
Connor dropped his head and mumbled "spanking" into his chest.
Angel did not resist the urge and dropped a kiss on the top of Connor's head. "That's right son."
He felt Connor lay his head back down onto his shoulder and he resumed rubbing the teens back. Within a few minutes Angel knew that his son was asleep. He held onto him for a very long while and then shifted so that he could pick him up. As he stood up with the sleeping teen in his arms, Connor groaned. Angel frowned knowing that it must be his sore behind that was hurting, even in his sleep. He whispered into Connor's soft hair "It's all right baby, daddy's got you."
He gently carried Connor to his room and laid him carefully on his bed, on his side.
As he lay him down again the teen cried out in his sleep. Angel felt bad that he had been so hard on the boy, but he knew that he really had had no other choice. And he also knew that like himself his son healed very quickly, so hopefully sitting would possible for him again soon. He bent down unlaced, and pulled off Connor's boots.
He had gazed at the form of his sleeping son for only a moment when he heard a noise. He looked up to see his beautiful Cordelia standing in the open doorway. "You didn't kill him did you?" she asked with a worried frown.
Angel pulled the blanket over Connor and walked over to his love. Taking her arm he led her to his room much as he had done with Connor earlier. He pushed open the door and Cordelia noticed the chair in the center of the room and the broken lamp which had been knocked to the floor. "Oh I see that while I was waiting in agony downstairs for you, you were up here re-decorating."
Angel smiled a weary smile and sat down in the same chair where he had spanked his son and pulled her on to his lap. Immediately her arms went around him and she dropped her head to look into his eyes. "Tell me true Grrr Face are you all right?"
He knew that he never had to lie to her, and he didn't think he could if he tried. "I guess I am, it was just so much harder than I thought it would be."
She tried to comfort him by laying her head on his shoulder. He reached up and rubbed her back, again reminding him of Connor. "I could hear a lot from the lobby, and it sounded like you were pretty tough on him. But you and I both know that he deserved all that and more. And we also know that he would not have submitted to you without a mega-battle unless he knew that he deserved it too. So even the kid with the sore butt is in agreement."
Angel stopped to take a moment and just look at the beautiful woman in his arms. "I promised him more of the same if things don't change around here.And I meant it Cordy, if this has to become a daily routine- I don't ever plan on allowing this bad behavior. He needs to understand that we love him but we will not let him self-destruct. Either he's going to start following the rules around here or sitting is going to become optional."
"Did I ever tell you that you're so sexy and adorable when you go all parental?" Angel could not help the smile that briefly crossed his face.
"It may not be easy, Cordy. This may turn into a battle before all is said and done. It may just be the two of us, involved in curfews, grounding and making sure he's doing what he's told to do."
"You say that like this is the first battle that we have ever fought, Fang Boy. Compared to all the baddies we've taken out, one angsty teenager should be a piece of cake."
"And besides I really doubt that it will be just us. During your little session of parental guidance Gunn, Fred and Loren woke up and came down stairs."
Angel simply shrugged his shoulders and said "It can't be helped Cor."
Cordelia hugged him a little tighter. "I got the impression that they all thought that you were doing the right thing, Angel."
"What makes you think that?"
Cordelia smiled the one smile that always took Angel's breath away. "It might have been because Gunn said something like "It's about damn time he whupped that boy's tail." And then Fred agreed."
Angel could not resist the laugh that worked it way up from his chest. And after all the pain and heartache that he suffered over the Connor issue Cordelia was so thankful to hear her beloved laugh.
"And right after Fred and Gunn went back to bed Loren wandered in. He made himself a sea breeze to celebrate for "filthy demons" everywhere that "Angelcakes Jr." was getting his behind blistered. And he also said that because of the way Connor was yelling it was close enough to singing that he could actually read him." Angel held his breath for a moment unsure if he really wanted to know what his son had been thinking during his spanking.
He finally found his voice and asked Cordelia to tell him what Loren had said. "Well he said that Connor was thinking that 'this really, really, really hurts'"
Angel looked at Cordelia with a puzzled expression and they both began to laugh. Finally Cordelia kissed Angel on the cheek and said "I don't have any perceptive powers but that would have been my guess too- on what he was thinking."
Angel stood up with Cordy in his arms. "Don't ever think that you have no powers Cor, because I think that you have special powers of enchantment. And that's how you have been able to enchant me."
He gently put her down on his bed thinking that that is exactly where she has always belonged. And then he stretched out beside her. As he wrapped his arms around his beautiful seer he whispered in her ear "I am going to kiss you, and touch you and make you forget that anything besides the two of us and this room exist."
She snuggled into his embrace and tried to hide a yawn behind her hand. "Could I take a rain-check on the whole kissing, touching, forgetting thing just until I have had a little sleep?"
She punctuated her sentence with yet another yawn. Angel nodded his reply into her hair. "That sounds like a plan Cor, this whole thing with Connor has worn me out too."
"Don't worry good looking I won't forget that you owe me. For certain; I plan on collecting- big time." Angel closed his eyes and realized that he was smiling again. Before Cordelia and Connor smiling was not something that he did often, if ever.
As he lay next to her listening to the steady beat of her heart and the rhythmic sound of her breathing as she slept, he thought about his life. He never would have dreamed that he would find love and acceptance. He never would have believed that he would have a family again. And this family that was made up of people who trusted him, and who knew all of his darkest secrets and yet somehow loved him anyway.
And then there was the woman in his life. The beautiful and charismatic woman in his life. She had changed so much during the years that he had known her and grown into a person that he would trust with his own un-life and the life of his only son. And God did he love her. Every time she looked at him he felt as if he couldn't even speak.
And just by walking into the room she left him weak with desire for her. It was unlike any relationship he had ever had. And he was so grateful for her love for him that he almost couldn't believe it.
And then there was his son. He was in fact the miracle child that should never have been born. But for some reason he had been brought into Angel's un-life. And despite a rocky beginning he planned to be the best father Connor could have. Even if it meant more nights like this one, he would continue to do whatever it took until he straightened out Connor's issues. The love that he had for his son was frightening in its intensity.
The vampire had been around for a long time and he was a good judge of character. Within his son he saw the foundation for a true champion. A boy who would one day become someone who could possibly change the world. Angel smiled to himself thinking that every parent probably feels that way about their child. But for his son he knew it to be true. And no matter what Connor threw at him, he would continue to be there and to give his son all the love and support and yes discipline that he needed.
Angel pulled his amazing Cordelia even closer and smiled yet again as she snuggled up against him and whispered his name in her sleep. He finally closed his eyes and his un-beating heart was filled with hope for the first time in a long time that every thing might just turn out all right. And on a night filled with many surprises Angel felt himself drift off into a peaceful sleep.
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