Title: Connor
Author: Silvi Henna
Fandom: Ats
Spoilers: Lullaby
Genre: Angst
Rating: FRC
Pairing/Characters: Angel/Darla (sorta)
Warning: Character-Death

AN: Ever since I heard of how Darla died in Lullaby I have wanted to write this – It has always annoyed me how quickly they forgot about her – or at least how Angel did anyway. So I wanted to write something that had him feeling more about her death then what was seemingly shown in canon. Is it out of Character? Probably… Would it stop me from posting this…? Nope. I hope you guys like this any way. I would be more then happy to know what you think.

AN#2: Some of the lines you'll recognise from the actual episode.

Summary: Semi re-writing Lullaby to be more Angel/Darla. You'll just have to read the fic to find out more. :grin:

The rain poured down from the heavens saturating everything down to the core. The storm that had been coming had finally arrived and with it the horrors that had been promised.

The opening Angel had managed to make with his feet and fist from Lorne's bedroom at his place in Caritas revealed an alley. The light pouring in from the hole was the warm red-yellow glow from some Chinese lanterns, a sharp contrast to the atmosphere that hung around them all.

Pieces flew every which way as Angel tore at the hole making it larger, his face momentarily lightening up showing the determination that filled every part of his being. Smoke curled out and up to the dark heaven above as the inferno inside spread, consuming everything in its way.

Suddenly Angel disappeared from the opening but the hole wasn't empty for long as the dark head of Cordelia appeared, hurrying out quickly, followed by the lanky form of Wesley who was coughing, waving the smoke away from his face. Shortly after him came the thin frame of Fred, the dark shadow that was Gunn and Lorne who wore a mournful face as he once again witnessed the destruction of his beloved club.

They were all looking for some kind of safety that Caritas failed to have provided them with.

Anxiously they all turned to the opening waiting for their friend to emerge. The smoke wasn't harmful for him or for the woman with him but the fire sure was. Fred relaxed marginally when she saw him appear, half carrying Darla. Her face was a picture of defeat while Angel was the opposite. Determined, he dragged her out, both soaked within seconds of being outside just as the rest of them were.

Angel ignored Darla's protests as she urged them to go on while leaving her behind, she was tired. She continued to half struggle against Angel shaking her head. Fed up and out of patience for a brief moment, Angel turned around and grasped her firmly by her shoulder giving her a couple of hard shakes, "I'm not leaving you, alright?"

He lifted a hand and cradled her still shaking head stilling it. "Easy, easy, alright? I'm not going to leave you." As quickly as he had shaken her, his calmness returned. Still gazing into her blue eyes he slipped one hand – the one that was not cradling her face – into his pocket and pulled out the keys to his car and said, while tossing them over his shoulder, "Go get my car. It's out front."

Gunn caught them in mid air and turned to do just that, absently scratching at a smudge of soot beside his nose.

His back towards the rest of the waiting group, Angel gently began to lower Darla to the ground whispering to her, "I got you, I got you."

He heard someone move up behind him and he turned his head. Seeing Cordelia move towards them, he once again said but this time with a note of steel in his voice, "Go."

Jerking at the harsh tone all of them scurried away, even Lorne though he was more than willing to get out of the rain seeing as the cardboard he was holding above his head provided no shelter at all.

Hurrying beside them Fred suddenly stopped and looked behind her at the scene. Angel was crouching beside Darla who was now lying fully on the ground. She hesitated not knowing what she should do. Finally deciding to go with her heart she retuned to Angel's side peering at him from under her bangs as the rain continued to pour down.

Noticing her there Angel frowned.

"Fred, you should go with them." He said and motioned to were the other had disappeared.

Shaking her head she sank to her knees next to Darla's head, lifting it up to her lap.

"It's ok Angel, they'll be back for us."

Seeing that she wasn't going anywhere Angel removed his jacket and wrapped it around her. It wouldn't protect her from being wet as she was already that but it would shield her from the cold a lot better.

Retuning his attention to Darla he grasped her hand lifting it to his lips. "You're going to be ok, Darla. Just hold on." Inwardly he thought: you have to be ok.

As if hearing his thought she shook her head, tears trickling down from her eyes. "No. No, I don't think so Angel. How can I be ok? Once he's gone, I won't be, I won't be. Not at all."

The pain made her eyes glassy, she knew their baby was dieing and it was killing her inside in more ways then one. "I don't know what I'll be, Angel."

Looking up into his worried eyes she shook her head, a bitter smile on her face. "Our baby is gonna die right here in this alley. Sort of like you. You died in an alley, remember?"

His eyes were dark with emotion as he said, his voice breaking, "I remember."

Fred felt her eyes tear up as she gently smoothed the hair from Darla's face as she witnessed the painful confession between them.

She wanted to turn away to give this moment to them but still she couldn't help but hear what they said to each other.

"I wanna say I'm sorry. I wanna say it so much and mean it, but…I can't. I really can't, can I? Aren't you gonna tell me it's okay?" The confusion in her voice made the heart in Fred ache.


"No? It's really not, is it? So many horrors can be laid in our hands. We did so many terrible things together. So much destruction, so much, so much…pain and we can't make up for any of it, can we? You know that, don't you?"

One could have said that it was a tear that fell from Angel's eye but then again one could also say that it was just the rain but even so after awhile he said "Yeah."

It made Fred wonder. If he really thought that, that there was no forgiveness to be had,then why did he continued to fight?

Shaking her head she returned her attention to the two beings with her in that alley.

Darla squeezed Angel's hand and gave him a sad smile. He was oblivious to the action that was about to happen, the simple yet profoundly important decision she had made for all of them. The only decision she could rightfully make anyway.

"This child - Angel, it's the one good thing we ever did together. The only good thing."

Angel smiled at her too kissing her hand as he brought the other hand to her face and caressed her cheek. He cradled her hand against his cheek hiding his face from the two women in front of him yet they both could hear him as he took several sobbing breaths.

He grasped her hand tightly as he heard her say, "You make sure to tell him that."

Stunned he couldn't grasp what was happening as her hand dissolved in his and looking up towards her he just saw her face dissolving into countless particles, laying a thin coat on him and the squirming little infant laying in the suddenly cold ground as she was no more than dust.

Fred gasped, shocked, that was the last thing she thought would happen. Darla staking herself, sacrificing herself for the now born infant, a little boy who was fast becoming cold as he lay there on the ground as the rain washed away the dust turning it into mud. That seemed wrong somehow.

Blinking Angel slowly lifted the crying boy into his arms, his eyes wide as he took in his son, his son! He had a son now. A real child. Gingerly he stood up his eyes glued to the pale boy. Silently Fred slid off his jacket and handed it to Angel watching as he wrapped his son in it, tenderly shielding him from the rain.

Suddenly he remembers what had brought all this about, the danger and why they were out in the alley to begin with and he looks around. Soon enough he spots Hotlz aiming a crossbow at him. Beyond him he can see Gunn pulling up with his car. They were no longer alone in the alley.

Turning his attention back to Holtz they stare at each other. Slowly, Fred clinging to his side Angel walks up and past him leaving the vengeful man behind him, and continues up to Wes who stood next to the car, the small infant still cradled safely in his arms.

Sinking into the back seat something itches his nose, a smell and his breath hitches as he realizes it's the mess Darla left behind on the backseat as her water broke. Burrowing his face against the small boy he inhales the unique scent that makes him up and he can't help but be filled with awe at the small miracle in his arms who was looking up at him with newly opened wide blue eyes.

The people in the car were silent as the storm outside gained speed and strength. Gunn was hunched forward over the steering wheel trying to see through the rain.

Suddenly the oppressive silence broke as Cordy spoke up.

"We have to take him to the hospital. Get him checked by a doctor"

"Checked? Doctor?" Angel asked puzzled.

"That's right," Fred piped in. "All newborn have to go through it."

"Yeah," Cordy added, "I remember reading in one of the baby books that he is supposed to have a vitamin K shot and a PKU test after he's born. Why not get that over with?"

Angel looked out the window and didn't reply until Gunn asked, "So what are we gonna do? Hotel or Hospital?

Shaking his head Angel looked down at the quiet infant and finally said, "Hospital."

He had a son. It stilled filled him with awe and he could hardly believe that he was holding him in his arms but somehow he knew that things were far from over and he got some sever case of vertigo just
thinking of all the danger that was aimed at the little guy resting comfortably and trustingly in his arms. He could feel Fred leaning against his side softly rubbing the soft hair that crowned the top of the baby's head.

Strangely enough this time they didn't encounter any problem during their stay at the hospital – a complete contrast to when he had been there with Darla and they got attacked by some ninjas.

Angel couldn't for the life of him remember how they managed to avoid answering the questions that arose from the doctors at their entrance, nor how he had been able to relinquish for just a moment the hold on his son but thankfully soon enough before he could give in to his rising panic he had him back in his arms. He tuned out Cordy as she complimented him on that fact.

Fred walked up to him and after nudging him she managed to get his attention. "What are you going to name him?"


"Yes, they need to put something on the papers."

"Oh, OH." Looking long at the boy now sleeping he pondered what to name him. Shyly he looked up at Fred and said hesitantly, "Connor?"

"Connor? That's a good name." She said and at Angel's broad smile she couldn't but help to feel one spread on her face as well.

"Connor" Angel said determined.

By the time they were back in the car they had a new individual with them named Connor Angel by Cordelia's quick thinking when they had ask for his last name.

They were in a way oblivious to the storm still raging outside as they drove to the hotel except for Lorne who cast a weary eye up into the sky from time to time as he could feel the atmosphere around him.

Despite the upbeat tone of the conversation that they were all participating in, thinking of what they must get for the baby such as clothes and toys and not to mention a crib, Lorne couldn't help but not
feel the joy in his heart.

He knew things were far from being ok but he was loathe to remind them of that; Hotlz was still out there, not to mention countless of others that still wanted or would want a piece of the peacefully sleeping boy.

The atmosphere generated by the people that trooped into the lobby was similar to how they had been when they had returned from a similar eventful trip, yet very different as the trip back from Pylea had been.

The difference being that the new addition to the family was not a young bright if not semi-insane girl but a small boy. Also they were short of one person who would never set foot on those stairs again.

And like that trip things would fast turn sour as their eyes fell on the sight within the lobby's walls. This time there was no red-head waiting sitting on one of the couches. There was no-one waiting but the sight wiped away the smile on their faces as effectively as the news the red-head had given them had done. They took in the destruction that both Wolfram & Hart and Holtz had left behind.

"Ooookay." Cordy said as she stepped further into the mess. "Well, "she said in a forced cheery voice, "we have to make some little changes for safety. You know, covers for the outlets, kid-proof the locks on the weapons cabinet. Right after we gut and remodel the entire hotel. I can't believe they did this!"

Spinning around she gestured with her hands as she took in the damage, "I mean common, haven't they ever heard of other people's properties?"

"I think they care about that as much as we do when we come barging into places." Gunn said as he lifted one slashed cushion from the sofa eyeing it.

Wes and Fred began to move into the mess pushing things away with their feet. "Yeah well, we have to fix this." Wes shook sadly his head. He was tired after all the things he had gone through and yet the night still seemed to be a long way from ending.

They were still jumpy so it was rather explainable why when Lorne appeared at the stop of the outside stairs, he was met with hostile faces and weapons aimed at him. Stunned he gazed over them seeing them relax at the sight of him.

Throwing his hands out the side he asked them, "Now is that anyway to welcome a houseguest?"

"Huh?" Cordy asked, "Houseguest?"

"Well yeah, I figured since you all managed to destroy my club – twice by the way - that I wouldn't be imposing if I hit you up for a place to stay. Though seeing how things stand here perhaps I should reconsider that standing offer I have from a marginally attractive Mulix demon."

Crossing his arms over his chest Wesley arched an eyebrow, a small smile tugging at the corner of his mouth, "Well, if he/she/it has more suitable accommodations..."

"Not really" Lorne's mutters. Seeing the little boy in Angel's arms he walks towards him holding out his arms a grin spreading on his face.

"Ah, come on, hand over the little nipper. Let Uncle Lorne have a gander." He frowns as Angel back peddles away from him and he huffs indignantly, "Oh, come on, I'm sure everyone else's already had their turn!"

Following Angel he once again holds his hand batting his eyelashes at him but as he comes near him he blinks at the growls he hears.

"Wow. I'm sensing a serious 'mama bear' vibe here."

Looking around at the others Cordy smirks, "Yeah, you think he'd be holding him if he wasn't all growly? Please! I would so be the one. Actually none of us- we're all still waiting our turn." She finished sheepishly under the heavy look Angel was giving her.

Turning back to Angel, Lorne looks him over. "Ah," he exclaims, "I get it. Lookee don't touchee? Well as long as I get to hold him sometime this side of never. I'm game."

Seeing as things were calming down Fred clapped rapidly a few time making everyone present jump and in Angel's case vamp out.

"Easy there Champ, loosen up. No Grrr on the Home team." Cordy said waggling her finger at him.

Angel just shrugged apologetically.

"Well, as things…well we have to clean this place up."

Groans were heard from more then one direction.

But as Angel started to hand out jobs things began to move forward. Angel opted of course to look after Connor and supervise the activities.

As the destruction became more visible, the implication of what that meant became more and more clear.

They were far from safe here and if they were going to stay here they needed protection that, well, simply put Angel's strength, no matter of how formidable it was, wasn't going to be enough.

"What if we have the Furies do to this whatever they did to Lorne's place?" Cordy piped up after an awkward moment.

"Oh you mean the place that's no more than charcoal by now?" Gunn said dryly.

"Well…it would be better then nothing."

Looking from one face to another, then to the little boy in his arms, Angel finally asked, "Can you do that Lorne?"

"Yes." Was the simple reply he got.

Outside the storm had moved on leaving behind an eerie calm. Everyone took a seat where they could rest. Surprised, Cordy looked out into the courtyard and realized the sun was already out. No wonder they were all bone weary.

She blinked surprised as Angel began once again doling out assignments. She couldn't keep quiet, "Angel, you do realize that the sun is out, right?"

"Yes, I do. The faster we get things done the faster we can rest. I'll go and order some breakfast. You can rest a couple of hours but then we must get things moving. OK?"


As Angel left to do just that Cordy looked around at the tired faces. "Well Fred and I can go get the things for the baby once the shops open since Angel is paying; gosh I never thought the day would come when I wouldn't be cheered up by some shopping."

"Don't worry Cordy I'm sure it's just the fatigue, once you're rested you'll be all raring to go." Wesley assured her.

"I sure hope so. Anyway while Fred and I are doing that you guys can clean this mess up and Lorne, well you go talk with those Furies."

Meanwhile Angel had returned and listened as Cordy once again took over the reins. She was really good at that he thought.

No one moved as they stretched out their legs except for Gunn who brought in their breakfast. Things were, unbelievingly enough, quiet and calm except for that one time when Lorne whined about a buzz he kept hearing.

Angel was playing with the small infant making faces and cooing at him making the females present go, aaaw. And the males, well they were secretly doing the same.

Sooner then they would have liked each and every one went about their way to do their task, Fred following Cordy for her shopping trip. Lorne disappeared to talk with the Furies and the boys were left to clean the mess up.

Hours later they were still at it, Angel helping with things he could do that would not require relinquishing his son, both Gunn and Wesley holding their tongue so as not to say anything as they both could imagine where he was coming from. They just hoped they were going to get to hold him before he grew up on them.

Cordy and Fred eventually returned carrying several bags which they deposited in Wes's office. Shortly after Lorne returned.

Seeing the green demon enter Angel eyes lit up and turning towards him he asked, "Did they do it?"

Tiredly Lorne waggled a finger at him but before he could say anything the hotel was consumed momentarily by a purple light and they all could feel a shock-like wave hit them and pass through them.

"You own me big time, Angel-cakes."

Cordy was blinking to get her vision back and she could hear Wes's dry statement. " I assume that was the spell taking effect, no?"

"You'd be assuming right" Lorne said.

"Ok, that was strange." Angel said as he looked around still feeling the tingling sensation. That was one powerful spell.

Connor fussed for a little while before settling down again. During the day Angel had managed to feed him so things were ok on that front.

Cordy walked around and she nodded approvingly at the wonder the boys had managed to do. "Nice work guys."

"Hmm." They both grunted, Angel wisely keeping his mouth shut.

Suddenly Lorne straightened up, "Well I don't know what you did but the buzz is gone anyway. Thank lord; I didn't know how I would be able to stand it other wise."

Furrowing his brow Wes looked at him. They hadn't done anything. Shrugging it off he continued to stuff things into the box next to him. "Well since you are here how about giving a helping hand."

"I guess. The faster we get this over the better." Lorne said and walked over to Gunn.

Suddenly Fred piped up, "Where is Angel?" Frowning again Wes stood up and looked around. Angel was indeed gone.

It didn't take them long to find him. He had gone in to Wes's office and was currently looking through the purchases the girls had done picking out clothes to put on Connor so that he could change from the things the hospital had given him.

Leaving him there as he knew that Angel would hardly be of any help, Wes returned to what he was doing.

Outside a strange calm settled over the city for the moment, but it was almost like it was holding its breath, making a spot between Lorne's shoulder blade itch.

Before they knew it the evening had arrived and with it, it began to drizzle again. All of them were tired as the only thing that had kept them going had been the adrenaline of the last few days but that was
fast disappearing.

They had once again ordered take out and Angel was busy stuffing the trash into a big black bag. Finally things were looking up around there as most of the mess had been thrown out, scrubbed and otherwise been made clean.

Looking around Cordy heaved herself out of the sofa and walked towards Angel, she really didn't want to do this but… she was, they all had a responsibility now…so here goes...

"We need to make a list of all the Badies that will be looking for him." Cordy said motioning towards Connor. At the though of the threats that were still very much real Angel automatically curled around the boy a growl emerging from him.

Seeing Angel, Wes cleared his throat, "Don't worry Angel, Fred and I will be on it."

Curtly Angel nodded at him. He was going to protect the boy with fangs and claws if he had to.

"Ok" Cordy said as she clapped her hands once dusting her hands off. "Well, we have cleaned this place up, as best as we can at least in such short notice, and Lorne has had the Furies mojo this place up tighter then Fort Knox judging by that blast of purple light…"

"You going somewhere with that?" Gunn asked not seeing the point. Glaring at him for interrupting her she shook her head and if she still had had her long hair she would have tossed it over her shoulder in a grand sweep to push the point home.

"Well as much as I love to stay here I have to get home. Dennis must be freaking out by now." Cordy said taking her bag from the counter where she had left it. Without waiting for anyone to say anything she moved towards the door.

Looking up from where he was tugging Connor shirt down Angel stammers, "Oh- ok, well be careful."

"Yeah, you take care of the little tyke. "Cordy says with a big smile before slipping out wrapping her coat around herself as it had started to drizzled down. "Geez, is it to much to ask that it could have stopped raining all together?" they could hear her say as she walked further away.

Seeing her leave Wes decided to do the same. Turning to Angel he walked up to him, "I'll think I'll do the same. There isn't much more we can do here. Tomorrow I'll start composing that list of yours."

Patting Angel on his shoulder he then looked over it at Connor and made some faces while waggling his fingers at him before retreating to his office to get his coat.

Gunn was watching the whole thing silently, his hands holding the last box containing debris. Seeing him look after Wesley's retreating back as he slipped out the door Angel shook his head.

"Why don't you do the same? It's been awfully quiet around here so…"

"Oh yeah, you're right man. I'll just…" And with that he was out like a bullet the box forgotten on the floor.

"Well looking as they are, I can do it as well." Lorne spoke up from his position by the sofa. "I got to see if there is anything salvageable from the fire."

"About that Lorne." Angel began.

"It's ok Angel." The green host said his eyes on the little boy. "Not your fault. Beside I can take the opportunity and see some people that have been in long time coming. But don't worry," he smirked as he saw the momentarily relief in the brown eyes." I'll be back tomorrow evening." And with that he too did as the others had done and slipped out into the damp night.

Closing the door after the last one out, still having the semi foreboding statement of Lorne's return the next day ringing in his ears, Angel made sure that the doors were closed tight with all the bolts turned. He absently waved at Fred as she let him know that she was going to bed telling him that she had already closed down the kitchen.

Following her ascension up the stairs with his eyes he walked quickly to the kitchen. It wouldn't hurt to make sure. It wasn't anything against Fred but he knew he wouldn't get any peace of mind until he could personally make sure everything was as it should be.

Turning off the lights as he left he did the same procedure with the office and the door that led to the basement. Connor was silently watching the whole thing.

Turning towards the stairs he paused at the foot and looked out at the lobby. He couldn't but be in awe with the transformation they had managed to make of the disaster it had been. It was once again presentable and resembling a lobby.

As Angel walked up the stairs he could hear Fred closing the door to her room. As he turned toward his room he rubbed Connor's belly feeling the powerful magic that saturated the hotel thanks to the Furies vibrate all around him. He feels himself relax as he knows the Hotel is as safe as it will ever get. Reaching his room he carefully opened the door so as not to jar Connor and stepped in closing it behind him.

He is unaware of the fact that the magic the Furies put on the Hotel has done more then give them safety, it has also given them back their privacy, something they are still unaware of having temporarily lost.

Pausing inside the door Angel tilts his head trying to remember if they had closed everything down for the night. He breathes a sigh of relief as he remembers that they had. Everything was 'Safe as houses' as Doyle would say. He smiles at the bitter sweet thought of his old friend.

Toeing off his shoes he gently lays Conner on the bed. Not leaving his sight Angel manages to change into some pyjama pants and climbing onto the bed he curled up next to Connor. He gently placed a hand on the baby's back and smoothed his hand down both hearing and feeling the tiny heart beat under his palm and the warmth spreading throughout it.

He wonder how Doyle would react seeing him where he was now. With a son. Biting his lips he shakes his head, Doyle would never see him, his son. He thinks he would have liked him. His eyes tear up as another thought struck him. Doyle wouldn't be the only one not to ever see Connor…

Jerking awake Fred sits up and tilts her head, her wide eyes taking in her room. She had heard something. She was sure of it and it made her heart beat hard in her chest. But the Hotel was supposed to be safe now, wasn't it?

Scooting to the edge of her bed she waits and soon enough she hears it again. It's hauntingly sad and it makes shivers run down her spine.

Wrapping her arms around herself she slips out of the bed. Somehow the sound doesn't make her shiver from fear or make her feel threaten but it still makes her want to go to Angel.

Slowly she inches towards her door and opening it a fraction she peeks out. Out in the hall the sound increases both in volume and in intensity and it make her heart ache.

What jerks her into motion is when she hears another sound she recognizes to be Connor. She hadn't walked long moving quickly towards Angel's room when his cries had all but quiet down.

As she couldn't hear any commotion that would indicate Angel in any state of agitation he was sure to be in if there had been any actual threat to his son she calmed down a bit and slowed, as she hadn't yet been able to identify where the hauntingly sad sound was coming from.

It had disappeared for a short while as the little boy had cried but as his crying tapered off that sound that had woken her up started again. Low and slow at first but it increased soon making goose bumps rise on her skin. Titling her head she follows it like the children had done to the Rat Catcher that had lured them out of their home.

Her eyes widen and she momentarily freezes as she realizes that it was originating from Angels' room. Nearing his door she poked it open, now more nervous then ever. Slipping in through the opening she gingerly stepped closer.

Her hands fly to her mouth as peering into Angels' bedroom she realized that it's Angel that's making that awful sound. Closing her eyelids she unwittingly conjures up the image she has of him and she remembers the look he had on his face the moment Darla turned to dust. With a sinking feeling she realized that it has finally sunk into him what he had also lost the night he gained a son. He was mourning her.

Angel knew that he should be joyful for he has a son, and he was – Connor was something he never thought he would ever had and the part of him that can actually see that aspect is still awed and would be for a long time, but the rest, the rest of him is feeling the ever increasing hole that Darla left in him.

He could no longer feel her presence in him and the coldness that knowledge; that reality gave him was spreading in him. He knew what it was. He had felt it once before but somehow it was worse this time. Perhaps because of the circumstances.

It was the loss of her. A big part of him had been in a state of shock ever since they left that alley and now it was finally wearing off and all the implications of what had happen had fully struck him. He was curled up on his side on his bed oblivious to everything around him except the little infant beside him.

He had started to cry when the noise emanating from his chest had begun but soon the infant had stopped. The big blue eyes so like his mother were watching him as he lay there shaking, his entire being giving away an almost animal-like sound that vibrated around the room and beyond filling the hotel with his grief.

The infant's tiny hand was curled in front of his mouth but Angel didn't see that nor did he see when the small face crunched up in what looked like pain before smoothing down again a big tear rolling down from the corner of his eyes.

He didn't know why but he knew that the big man in front of him – his father – was in pain and he couldn't do anything to help him. The only thing he could do was stretch out his hand and take a weak hold on the big finger he managed to catch and squeeze.

The noise abated a little but it didn't stop. Absently the thumb began to caress the back of the tiny hand that was grasping his index finger. And together, father and son cried. The only witness to their pain was the girl outside the room, the otherwise empty hotel and the night.

One silently so as not to impose in the others grief, the other for the seemingly continuing heartbreak his life was proving to be.

Opening his sorrowful brown eyes his gaze fell on the silent but crying infant and more tears fell from his eyes. Releasing the tiny hand from his grip the boy cried out in protest.

Sniffing Angel stretched out his arms and pulled the boy to him so that he lay against his chest and he gingerly hugged the boy, Connor.

Inhaling Connor's smell he could scent both his and her unique scent on him and he knew that he would, could, never let the boy go. He would protect him with the last of his being as he was the only thing left he had of his one-time sire. But another knowledge rose in him. He would protect the boy also for the boy himself. He was precious and he was never going to forget that.

Gazing into the blue eyes - still unable to make the noise that rose from his chest stop – the boy must have noticed something in him because soon his tears stopped and his eyelids grew heavy. Not much later he was asleep his tiny chest slowly rising as his hands curled close to his face. Angel knew that he would not be able to do the same for quite some time.

Why did every blessing he was given had to go hand in hand with such heartache – There aren't such things like half-miracles, right?

Knowing that Angel would not appreciate it if she walked in on him Fred – her own eyes filled with unshed tears for the two boys lying on the big bed – stepped back and turned around. Quickly she hurried out of his suite and once in the hall she lent against the wall.

Scrubbing her eyes she stepped away from the wall and made her way to her room. Turning around she closed the door and walked back to the bed and slipped between the cooling sheets. The events that had transpired in that alley that night was something she would never forget. Taking Feigenbaum she hugged the stuffed animal to her chest and curled up on the bed.

Out side the rain continued to drizzle down.

Location: Sunnydale - The Crypt

Startled Spike sat up, his breath coming in great gulps. His bones were aching and he couldn't figure out why he hurt. Strangely it wasn't a physical hurt either. His blood was flowing through his veins more so then usual. And if he didn't know better he would think that it was crying out in pain.

Gingerly he stepped out of the bed careful not to disturb the sleeping figure beside him. Silently he walked up the stairs that took him to the main chamber of the crypt and for once he didn't see the state of it.

Wrapping his arm around his bare torso he walked up to the door of the crypt and opened it, his naked feet sinking into the dirt of the damped grass outside.

Leaning back against the doorframe he looked out. He tried to think were this was coming from because it wasn't natural, not even on the Hell-mouth. It felt like there was some kind of pressure pressing down on him making him feel like he was drowning or choking. It made him breathe faster even though he logically knew that it was impossible for him to do either of those things.

Closing his eyes he tried to ascertain himself. Suddenly his eyes sprung open, the knowledge in them making them glint in the cool air that still held the promise of rain even though it had already moved forward and left the small town a few days ago.

His eyes were looking in the direction of the city of angels for once devoid of any sneer. Instead it was curiosity and wonder.

He hadn't thought that he still held such a connection to the big pouf and a part of him wondered what could have happened in the life of the Angst Master that could have been so bad that it reverberated
throughout the bloodline. It was calling to him and he almost took a step in that direction but he managed to hold in.

He realize the feelings he was consumed by weren't his own but that of Angel and the part of him that will always be the fledge in him cried out for him.

With a smooth move that involved rolling his shoulder he stepped away from the doorway and turned back inside, his back to the city beyond. It was difficult to walk back to the stairs that led down to his bedchamber but he managed to do it. Walking down he stopped midway and looked at the sleeping figure curled on his bed.

He had other responsibilities now, people that relied on him, a girl specifically anyway. Beside it wasn't like his sire was alone.

Walking the rest of the way he crawled into his bed next to Dawn. He gave a small smile as she instinctively curled up against him but soon enough the smile slipped of as her face still held trace of the tears that she had shed all afternoon.

The was trouble in the Summer household, he knew that but if he couldn't step in and help out the best he could do was what he was currently doing which was providing the youngest of the Summer a safe haven, a sanctuary. Buffy knew where she was and when she was ready she would once again pick her sister up and Spike; well he was going to be there for the next time.

Closing his eyes he sleepily rubbed the back of the sleeping girl and as he slipped into the land of the dreams a part of him felt sympathy towards his sire, the same part that whispered: I'm sorry – for being unable to go to him.

The End.

AN: This was betaed by Pat. Actually this fic was suppose to be up about a week ago but I went on vacation and unfortunately I didn't have anyaccess to a computer. For those of you that have reviewd chapter 2 of Breathe. Thank YOU. I love every one of 'em.