Cordelia Chase walked brusquely down the upstairs hall of the hotel that was home to Angel Investigations. In her left hand was a warm bottle of milk, and in her right a warm glass of pig's blood. She had been assigned (by herself) to help-Angel-with-Connor duty, and wanted to do it right. That meant Dad had to eat as well as the little tyke. Coming up on Angel's room, she knocked gently on the door frame to announce her presence and then poked her head around with a warm smile.
Angel was sitting propped against some pillows on his bed, Connor cradled in his arm, only content because Angel was wearing his vampire visage, the only thing that seemed to calm the infant at times. Looking up, Angel saw Cordy at the door and smiled like any goofy father, except that his lips curled oddly around his fangs, making the smile almost malicious looking.
Cordelia didn't mind. She was used to it, and frankly, it just made Angel that much more of a softy.
Whether he'd like to admit it or not.
"Ok boys. Food's ready." She said cheerily, coming into the room and setting Angel's glass on the nightstand and then motioning imperiously for him to hand Connor over.
Reluctantly, Angel transformed back to human and lay Connor in Cordelia's waiting arms.
"Thank you." She said, as if he'd had any choice in the matter. "Now eat." She commanded, not to Conner, but to his over-protective father.
"Yes mother." Angel retorted, picking up his glass but never moving his watchful eyes from his son. "Watch his head." He warned suddenly, hand jerking reflexively to steady the infant's head just as Cordelia adjusted him.
"He's fine big guy." Cordy reassured, sitting on the edge of Angel's bed. "Now that Conner's learned to eat, are we going to have to use him as the example to get you to? Don't make me pull out the airplane trick. You are WAY too old for that."
Angel smiled again, shaking his head and downing the blood. Truth was, he had been very thirsty.
Once finished, Angel waited impatiently for Cordelia to give his son back, and his tension was not well concealed. He repeatedly found himself reaching out to stroke Connor's head, his hand, lean a little closer so he could breath in his scent.
Cordelia would have been slightly annoyed, but she knew there was no stopping Angel, and there was no need, not unless he decided to make her give up bottle duty once a day. Then he'd have trouble.
Knowing he was bugging Cordy, Angel tried to content himself with laying back, breathing deeply the warm scent of his son. Closing his eyes, he concentrated his hearing until there was nothing but the fluttering sound of Connor's heartbeat. The rhythm lulled him, and a content smile lit on his lips.
Once the bottle was gone, Cordelia lay Conner gently in the crook of Angel's arm, her hand brushing against the firm side of the vampire's chest as she slid it out from under the baby. A strange quiver was vibrating through Angel in waves, a kind of tense, electric -well, pulse that was beginning to die down. Cordelia frowned, about to ask Angel if he felt alright when Connor started to cry.
Without opening his eyes, Angel gently slid Connor from against his side to lay right on top of his chest, the baby curled over his unbeating heart. Conner calmed immediately, his sleepy thumb finding his mouth where he proceeded to suck quietly until he was fast asleep.
Angel opened his eyes half way, first looking at Connor sleeping peacefully, then at Cordy, who looked slightly puzzled.
"He likes it better on my chest." Angel said obviously, whispering almost too quietly to hear. "Though I can't figure out why." he added, looking back down at his son.
Cordelia nodded. "I was wondering myself. I don't think I'd want to sleep on something cold and hard."
Angel shot her a slightly wounded glance.
"Sorry. It's just that I've read things about babies sleeping better against a parent, but that's always because of the warmth and heartbeat. With you, I just don't get it."
Angel shook his head, then shrugged. "Maybe he doesn't mind."
"Or maybe……." Cordelia said, thinking. Without warning, like many of the things she did, Cordelia pressed a hand against Angel's chest, close to where Connor was sleeping.
"Cordy, what?" Angel started to protest, startled.
"Shhh. Hold still." She commanded.
Angel obeyed, stilling all but his habitual breathing.
Cordelia's hand was still warmer than Angel's chest, but the vampire's flesh was uncharacteristically comforting.
'The warm feeding.' Cordelia realized. She had heated the pig's blood and it had already spread through his system.
Concentrating, she thought at first she'd imagined the pulse of energy that had passed through him earlier, but then an entirely different one thrummed through his body, originating from the deepest part of his chest; right near his heart. This vibration was barely perceptible, and much more constant than the other had been.
It wasn't a heartbeat. It was a purr.
Cordelia had to cover her mouth. Angel was purring. And the energy that had gone through him earlier had been anxiety, his inner power and demon stirring because he'd been uncomfortable.
"What's so funny?" He asked, sounding indignant, his voice rising maybe a little too much for the circumstances.
"Huh?" Cordy asked, feigning dumb. "Oh, nothing. I need to go help Fred and Wes with that new case. Sleep tight." She said flightily before practically running out of the room. As soon as she was in the lobby she burst out laughing, trying to keep it semi-quiet so as not to be detected by Angel's acute hearing. .
"What's so funny?" Wesley asked, leaning back in his chair and looking annoyed that Cordelia had disrupted his research.
"Angel-" She choked, laughing some more. "Angel's just a big kitty cat!"
Wesley gave her a quizzical look before she motioned him over and whispered in his ear.
He drew back in amused shock. "Angel was what?"