Author's Note: This story takes place in an alternate universe of Angel. In my story, Angel doesn't have Connor's memories removed at the end of season 4, he just has them slightly altered to remove the really bad stuff. Angel and the team do take over Wolfram and Heart, but Angel sends Connor to live with Buffy in Europe because he doesn't want him influenced by the evil company. This story takes place after 'Harm's Way' but before 'Soul Purpose'. So Spike is corporeal, but hasn't met Lindsey yet. (Oh, and I know he was gonna take a boat, and that in a later episode he and Angel said they hadn't flown before, but it's an AU.)
Spike was pissed. Pissed at Angel and his friends, pissed at Buffy and her friends, but mostly pissed at himself. He had tried to go see Buffy. He had gotten all the way to her apartment door in France, and then he had chickened out. He stood at her door for fifteen minutes before he walked away and caught the next Wolfram and Heart privet jet ride home. He had tried talking himself into seeing her the whole way there, and then berated himself for not seeing her the whole way back. But the thought that kept going through his mind was that she really didn't love him. She had said it, but she didn't mean it, and Spike knew it. She might go back to sleeping with him, and that would be great, but it would just make it that much harder for Spike when he lost her again. And there was no doubt in his mind that he would in fact loose her eventually.
By the time he got home, he was angry that Buffy didn't love him. Angry that her friends had been against their union since the very beginning, and angry that they still were, even after he got a soul. He was angry at Angel because….well he could barely remember a time when he wasn't angry with Angel. Angry about the fact that the women Spike thought of as his always seemed to love Angel more. Angry that Angel always seemed to win. Angry that Angel had so many loyal friends, and Spike had no one. Angry that the prophecy was probably for Angel and not for him. Angry that Angel was able to have a super human son when it was supposed to be impossible for vampires to have children. Angry that Angelus had been more evil than him, and that Angel had been a good man for much longer than him.
The only thing that was keeping Spike from going into a deep depression now was thinking about pissing off Angel. He knew it was wrong, but irritating Angel always made him feel better. The more he was able to frustrate his one time mentor, the better he felt.
Once the jet landed, Spike went to Angel's office, to let him know he was back, and back to stay. Angel was sitting at his desk shuffling papers. He looked up and said, "Spike?"
Spike slouched in the doorway and said, "Yeah."
"I thought you went to see….her."
"I did. She says hi, and that she never really loved you."
Angel rolled his eyes and sighed in frustration, "So if you didn't go see her, where did you go?"
Spike walked in and sat on Angel's couch. He said, "She says I'm a better lover too, although you only got the one shot at it, so I can understand….Ummmff"
Angel was suddenly in front of him and holding him up in the air by the throat. Spike smiled triumphantly as he looked down at Angel. Angel glared at Spike and said, "Go away."
Angel dropped Spike and walked back towards his desk. Spike got up off the floor and dusted himself off. He was feeling much better now. He said, "Well that's not going to happen, because I've decided to stay."
Angel stopped but didn't turn around. He said, "Why?"
Spike gave his best Billy Idol sneer and said with glee, "Just to piss you off. Can't let you get all the glory for fighting the good fight can I?"
Angel shook his head and turned to face Spike when he said, "So you want to be part of the team now?"
"No….I don't think so….Maybe. Can have one of the cars? But I'm not taking any orders from you. Maybe I'll start my own team."
Angel looked at Spike standing there. Angel knew that Spike didn't really have anywhere else to go. He always had mixed feelings about Spike. Sometimes, especially back in the day when Spike went by William and was a fledgling vampire Angelus had felt like a big brother to Spike. They had had plenty of fights, but most of the time they got along, until Angelus slept with Drusilla. Angelus knew it would hurt Spike, but he thought it would be fun to hurt Spike, and he was right. Now that he had a soul again Angel felt bad about that…along with a million other things. He knew it had been a turning point in Spike's life. Before that, Spike had been more of a lover than a fighter. Angelus had thought William was a pansy with his poetry, his love for his mother, and his love for Drusilla. Angelus was proud that he helped Spike to be more like himself, but Angel was not. Angel now felt guilt and responsibility for Spike. He had sired Drusilla, who in turn had sired Spike, but even if he put that aside, Angelus had a lot of influence on who Spike had become.
Angel quietly said, "Do you have a place to stay?"
Spike's eyebrows raised at that. He said, "Haven't had time to find a place yet, I've just got back."
Angel walked back to his desk and kept going through his papers when he said, "You can stay at my place for a couple of nights until you get your own place."
Spike got defensive. "I don't need your help."
Angel raised his voice for the first time that night and said, "Fine! I don't care, just leave me in peace."
Spike wasn't having as much fun now. He hadn't expected Angel to be nice. He said, "Well, I have been awake a while, and I'm tired."
"Take that elevator to the 12th floor. Make yourself at home….as long as it's only for a few days."
Spike nodded and went to the elevator. Once Angel heard the door close he looked at the elevator doors and thought about Spike. He had misgivings about them working together, but he was willing to try.
Connor and Dawn were walking home from the movies at night having a good-natured argument about it. Connor said, "No way could that guy jump that far and make it. It was totally unrealistic."
"It didn't matter if it was realistic. It was romantic the way he saved her."
Connor rolled his eyes and said, "It was garbage."
"It was good."
"Stupid chick flick."
"Better than some action crap."
"Hey! Don't start in about that again."
Dawn laughed and said, "Yeah, cause all action movies are believable."
They were almost home and Connor stopped walking and put a hand on her shoulder. She turned to look at him and Connor held his finger to his lips in a gesture for her to be quiet. Then he motioned for her to stay put. Dawn was used to this from both him and Buffy, so she rolled her eyes and stood still while Connor went ahead a few feet and smelled the air. He turned back to her and said, "Vampire. I'll take you home and tell Buffy before I track it."
Dawn said, "Take me too this time."
Dawn pouted as they started walking and said, "You suck. You're as bad as Buffy. Neither one of you let me do anything. Buffy's better than she was, but you never take me hunting, or help me learn how to fight."
"You're a girl, and not a Slayer."
Dawn punched Connor's arm as hard as she could. Connor turned and smiled tolerantly at her. He said, "Sorry. I know I'm a….what was it….Oh yeah, a sexist pig."
"I can take care of myself!"
"No you can't, and Buffy would be angry if I took you with me. She just started letting me go by myself, and I don't plan to screw that up."
"I'm not talking to you any more tonight."
Connor stopped her and leaned down and kissed her. When he pulled away she had her eyes closed and was smiling. He said, "I don't want you to get hurt Dawn."
Dawn opened her eyes and said, "I wouldn't get hurt, because you would protect me."
Connor started walking again and said, "No."
Connor smiled but said, "Still no."
They were in the apartment's parking lot now, and Connor said, "The scent is stronger here."
He took Dawn's hand and walked a little faster to the apartment door. Dawn was now worried too because of the look on Connor's face. He said, "The vampire was right here. The scent is so strong he must have been here for a while."
They walked into the apartment to see Buffy sitting next to Xander on the couch, and Willow and Kennedy together in the loveseat. They were all watching a movie on TV and eating popcorn. Buffy looked up and said, "Hi guys. How was the movie?"
Xander muted their movie, and all four of the adults looked at Connor and Dawn. Connor said, "There's a strong male vampire scent all over this area. Like he was just standing here by the door for a long time."
Everyone looked at Buffy who said, "No one knocked, and we've all been here for at least four hours."
Connor let go of Dawn's hand and said, "I'm gonna track it."
Buffy said, "Hold on I'll come."
Connor shook his head and said, "It's just one. I can do it alone."
Buffy stood up and said, "No. If he was hanging out around our door, he probably knows who we are, and it could be some kind of trap."
Dawn looked at Buffy and said, "Can I go too?"
Buffy and Connor both said, "No."
Dawn crossed her arms and stalked off to her room muttering, "Next year when I'm eighteen I'll do whatever I want."
Buffy was getting her shoes on and digging into her trunk for a few stakes. Connor said, "You should stay and have fun, Buffy. I can take care of it."
Buffy said, "I'll just follow. I'll let you do all the fighting, and I'll only butt in if you need help."
Connor looked disappointed but said, "Okay."
Connor took the lead and started to follow the scent. Buffy said, "So, how was the movie?"
"How was the company?"
Connor looked behind him for a second and turned back around as he said, "We kissed a couple of times, but that's it."
They were silent for a few minutes while Connor tracked. Connor broke the silence. "I really like Dawn, and I'm not going to rush her. I know you don't think it's a good idea, but she likes me too."
Buffy sighed. "It's not that I don't like you or trust you Connor…. It's just that with your Dad and me….and then you're a couple of years older than her and you're in college….and then the last person you were with…"
"I know. But I like her, and she likes me."
Buffy nodded. They were silent for a few more minutes. Then Buffy said, "Did you finish your paper for Monday?"
Connor laughed and teased her, "Yes, mom."
Buffy said, "Ha, ha. I have to make sure you're keeping up with stuff or Angel will be angry, which eventually leads to broody, and he doesn't need any help there."
Connor laughed even harder, and then talked for the rest of the walk about his paper and the research he had done for it.
After they had walked about three miles they ended up in front of a building. Connor said, "The scent ends here. He must be inside."
Buffy looked up and said, "Uh-oh."
Connor looked up too and saw that it was the French branch of Wolfram and Heart. He said, "Should we go in?"
Buffy shook her head no and said, "Let's go home and call Angel. He might know what's going on."
Connor nodded. As they were walking away they got a view of the back of the building, and Buffy stopped in her tracks. She stood staring for a few seconds. Connor looked where she was looking, and saw the back of a bleached blond guy with a long black coat. He was a long ways off, and appeared to be smoking. Buffy suddenly broke out of her trance and pulled Connor's arm as she started to walk again.
Connor kept an eye on the guy's back until they turned the corner. When they were a few blocks away Connor said, "What was that about?"
Buffy said, "Nothing."
"Come on Buffy, you can tell me."
Buffy shook her head and said, "That was the vampire you were tracking. I know him, and he isn't a threat. I doubt he'll be back."
"How can you be sure?"
"I just am."
"Can't you at least tell me who it is?"
Buffy looked up at Connor and said, "No. I don't want to talk about it, and I definitely don't want you telling Dawn about it. He'll be gone by tomorrow, and you will leave it alone."
Connor shook his head no and said, "What if he isn't gone. What if he comes after us in a few days."
Buffy glared at Connor and said, "Maybe we need to have a few hand to hand training sessions."
Connor held his hands up in surrender and said, "Okay, okay I believe you. Jeez, no need to get violent."
Buffy said, "I mean it Connor, if I find out you talked to Dawn or any of the others about this, I'll make you train with me every day for a week, and I'm not talking about the nice kind of training like we're doing now. I mean the kind we did when you first got here."
Connor got red in the face as he pictured himself being effortlessly tossed to the ground again and again by the small woman who barely came to his shoulders. He said sincerely, "I know. I'm sorry. Honest."
They were silent the rest of the way home. By the time Buffy and Connor got home, Xander had gone to his apartment next door. Kennedy had fallen asleep on the couch with her head in Willow's lap. Willow smiled at Buffy and shook Kennedy's shoulder. She said, "Wake up sleepyhead. Let's go home."
Willow and Kennedy went to their apartment, which was on the other side of Buffy's. Connor said, "I'm gonna go to bed. See you in the morning."
Buffy went over and gave Connor a hug and said, "Sleep good."
Connor went to his room and thought about the vampire. He thought the only person that could get Buffy flustered like that was his father. Connor thought about Spike, because he knew that Buffy had had a relationship with him too, but Dawn had told him that Spike was dead. Connor thought about it some more and decided he wanted to know what Buffy was so upset about. He didn't want to drag Dawn into it, because she might know the vampire and worry about it too.
He smiled to himself as he climbed out his window. He hadn't done that in a while, and he had only tried it twice since living with Buffy, and the second time he had been caught in the act. That had been bad. That had been the one and only time Buffy had swatted Connor, but she did it six times as hard as she could. It hurt so much Connor's eyes were watering by the time she was done. That had been the turning point in their relationship.
Connor was pretty sure Buffy wouldn't expect him to do it again. He had been living with them for six months now, and they all got along well. Connor was happy most days, except when he thought about his dad and how much he missed him and his friends. He planned to be back in his room before morning, and Buffy wouldn't have to know.
Connor ran to Wolfram and Heart hoping the guy would still be there. Connor walked into the front office, which was open twenty-four hours a day. The receptionist said, "May I help you sir?"
Connor gave his best boyish smile and said, "I'm supposed to meet someone here. My dad works in your LA branch, and he said our friend was going to be here today. Medium sized guy, bleached blond hair, vampire who smokes….is he around?"
The woman said, "Sorry kid, you just missed him. He's on his way to the airport."
Connor looked away and said, "Damn. Okay thanks."
Connor went outside and thought, 'Maybe I can still catch him if I run.'
Connor ran to the airport. He thought about going in the terminal, but he remembered when he flew to France with Angel, they wouldn't let Fred or Gunn go past the main gate without a ticket. Connor ran around the main building, and started running along the fence that surrounded the entire airfield. He ignored all the huge airplanes, because he knew this guy was a vampire, and that Wolfram and Heart had small jets with special glass that protected vampires when the sun hit them. He remembered the jet he and Angel had flown in, and he was looking for the same thing. Soon he could see a bunch of smaller airplanes. He stood at the fence and looked around him. The fence was twelve feet high with raiser wire at the top. He didn't see anyone looking, so he jumped over the fence. He ran over to the small planes, and looked at each of them, until he found one that said, "W & H" on the tail. There were some workers a few feet away, but they hadn't noticed Connor yet. He kept looking, and found three small jets that had the Wolfram and Heart symbol on them, but only one of them was open and getting fueled.
He crouched by a little tug car and thought about what he was doing. He thought, 'I really want to find out who this vampire is, and how he knows Buffy. What if he's going to go get some of his friends to come back and hurt her? But I can't confront him out here in front of everyone, I don't have my passport or a ticket. And I can't exactly get on the plane without a ticket either. Maybe I could sneak on and hide. No he'll smell me. Maybe I could get in with the luggage.'
Connor peeked over the tug, and could see that the luggage hatch was currently open. Connor thought, 'He's probably not going that far…but if he knows Buffy, then maybe he's going to the States. Damn what should I do? I guess I should go home. Buffy and Dad will be pissed if I end up in another country. But what if he's planning something to hurt her. She told me not to worry, and that he wouldn't hurt her.'
Connor looked over and saw the vampire getting into the plane. The vampire took one more drag off his cigarette and said to himself, "Bloody Slayer and her bloody Scoobies all happy. Sickening."
The vampire crushed his cigarette out and climbed in the plane. Connor knew it was probably the wrong decision, but especially after that comment, he wanted to know who this vampire was, how he knew Buffy, and why he was interested in her. He made sure no one was looking and went to the underside of the jet. He climbed in with the luggage.
By the time three hours had passed, Connor knew he had made a mistake. He was pretty sure they were going back to the United States, and that meant there was no way to get back to Buffy without everyone finding out. That meant he would be in trouble with Angel and Buffy, and then probably Dawn would be angry with him on top of it.
It was a long and unpleasant ride. Connor was freezing cold before the trip was half over, and by the time he felt the plane start to descend he was light headed from not enough oxygen for the past couple of hours. He wondered how bad off he would be if he were normal.
A few minutes after the plane landed, Connor could hear someone coming to the hatch door, and he scrambled back behind the luggage. The door opened and someone reached in and pulled out the first suitcase. The man reached in and started to pull the second suitcase out, but Connor surprised him with a punch to the head that knocked him out. The guy fell to the ground. Connor took a quick peek out of the hatch, and saw that no one else was around. He climbed out and tried to make sure no one saw him. He made his way to the airport fence and again jumped to the other side in one leap. Once he was off the airfield, he looked around and realized he was at LAX. He sighed at his luck and shook his head. He knew the vampire was connected to Wolfram and Heart, so he thought it was a good bet that he would go there first. Connor headed towards the building his father worked and lived in. He kept telling himself he would be able to find and confront the blond vampire before running into his dad.
Once Connor got to Wolfram and Heart, he walked around the building trying to catch the blond vampire's scent. Connor first caught the scents of his father and his father's friends. It made him nervous and homesick at the same time. It was late afternoon in LA, so he went to the parking garage realizing the vampire wouldn't be able to walk through the front. In the parking garage, Connor got the blond vampires scent, and could tell which door he had gone in.
He thought, 'Now what should I do? If I go in, Dad will find out, and that'll be the end of that. Buffy will be getting up in a couple of hours, and if I'm gone she'll call Dad, and if he knows that other vampire it won't take long for them to figure out where I am. But that vampire might be back out here in an hour or so, so maybe I should wait for him.'
Connor hung out in the parking garage waiting for the next couple of hours. He kept looking at his watch and worrying. When his watch said it was 7am in France he knew Buffy and Dawn were getting up. He didn't want them to call Angel to say he was missing, and he didn't want them to worry either. He begrudgingly left the parking garage and ran a couple of blocks to a convenience store. He used his 'emergency' credit card that Buffy made him keep and bought a phone card. Then he went another three blocks to a pay phone. He dialed Buffy's number and hoped that Dawn would answer.
Buffy answered with, "This better be Connor."
Connor was silent for a few seconds caught off guard. He recovered quickly and said, "Um….hi."
"Where are you?"
"Umm……at a pay phone."
Connor got a little angry and said, "I'm out, I can take care of myself, and I'll be back when I'm ready."
Buffy said, "Oh, you are in so much trouble right now. You…"
Connor interrupted her, "Buffy…Buffy! I know that you worry about me, but I am an adult, and I can take care of myself. I understand that sneaking out in the middle of the night is not the responsible thing to do, and I'm sorry about that. I was just mad about you not trusting me, and I had to go blow off some steam."
"It's not that I didn't trust you Connor, it's just that I'm too emotional about it right now."
Connor wasn't sure what to say to that. He said, "Okay."
"So, where are you? Do you need one of us to come get you?"
"No, I still need a little more time. I'll call again if I'm not home by dinner."
Buffy sighed and said, "Okay Connor. But if you aren't home by dinner, I'm gonna call your dad, and then I'm gonna come find you."
"That's fair I guess. Thanks Buffy."
"Don't thank me yet. We're gonna have words about sneaking out."
Connor smiled and said, "Words like, irresponsible, and childish?"
"Something like that yeah."
"Tell Dawn I'm sorry, and I'll see her soon."
"I'll try, but she's more angry that I am."
"Be careful out there Connor."
"I will. Bye."
Connor hung up and ran back to the Wolfram and Heart parking lot. The blond vampires scent was slightly weaker than before, so Connor was sure he hadn't come back out the way he had gone in. As he went to find a place to wait the vampire out, his stomach growled, and he wished he had thought to get himself some breakfast along with the phone card.
Spike went to Angel's loft and looked around. He saw Angel's desk and looked through the drawers and saw pictures of Buffy, Dawn and their friends. Spike put them down without really looking after he saw what they were. Then after a few seconds, he picked them up again, sat in Angel's chair and looked through what appeared to be a whole role of film. He smiled at first looking at the people he knew so well. The people he had fought with. The people he loved. Then he lost the smile, but kept looking. Soon he saw a couple pictures of a boy he didn't know with Buffy and Dawn. He looked closely at the boy, and remembered Fred saying that Angel's son was staying with Buffy. Spike thought to himself, 'Must be Connor. Looks like his Da poor bugger.'
Spike shook his head, and put the pictures away because they were depressing him even more. He went to the kitchen and riffled for blood or alcohol. He would be okay with either one. He found both, and had some of each. He walked into the bedroom and saw that Angel had a huge bed right next to a large window. Spike muttered, "Best hope it doesn't break one morning."
Spike continued through the rest of the apartment, but only found the one bed, and guessed that Angel meant for him to sleep on the couch. It was only 4pm, but he had been awake for over 24 hours, and hadn't been able to sleep on the jet, so he was worn out. Spike smiled to himself and spread himself out length wise on Angel's bed so that there would be no where for Angel to sleep when he got there. Spike fell asleep feeling smug.
After a long day of working in the office that Angel was beginning to hate with a passion, he went home to relax. He found his desk drawers open, and obviously riffled through. He found all his blood and most of his good scotch gone, and he found Spike sprawled across his bed. Angel was tempted to toss him out, but when Spike was sleeping, and his mouth wasn't going, Angel thought he looked kind of sweet, and Drusilla's voice came to him saying, "He's like a little lost puppy Daddy. I want to keep him." Angel shook his head and went into the living room to crash on the couch.
Spike woke from a nightmare about Buffy with a start. He looked around him and remembered where he was. He looked at the clock. It read 12:08am. He shook his head and was surprised that Angel wasn't home yet. He got up to use the bathroom. When he was done, he decided to have another drink and went to the kitchen. On his way there he saw Angel asleep on the couch. Spike stood and stared at Angel for a few minutes. He thought, 'Why didn't he wake me up and kick me out of bed?'
Then it hit him, and Spike got angry. He muttered, "Bloody martyr."
Spike grabbed his jacket and stalked out of the apartment thinking, 'Always has to be the hero. Has to be the one in charge. The one to make the sacrifice. Can't even take a joke without ruining it. Wanker!'
Spike made his way down to the parking garage and outside to have a cigarette. He stood and smoked and muttered to himself about Angel being an ass. He finally decided that he needed to get a drink, and get away from Angel. He started walking to the closest bar he knew of.
Connor had fallen asleep for a couple of hours while sitting between two cars in the parking garage. He would have slept longer, but it was uncomfortable to lean on a concrete wall. When he woke up, he thought about getting something to eat, but he didn't want to miss his chance to see the vampire come out of the building so he stayed. Six hours after he had called Buffy the blond vampire burst out of the door, and stood in the parking garage. Connor could tell the vampire was agitated, and to his surprise he was talking to himself about Angel. Connor didn't like the fact that the vampire seemed to hate both Buffy and Angel. He was about to go kill him, when the vampire started walking. Connor decided to follow him for a while and see where he went.
He tracked the vampire for five blocks to a bar. Connor wished he had agreed with Dawn when she tried to get him to find someone to make them fake ID's, but he hadn't. He sighed and shook his head thinking that was wrong. He was still glad he hadn't agreed to that, because then he would always be more worried about Dawn then he already was. He went to see if the bar had any windows. It had two windows, but both had the curtains closed. He put his ear to the glass to see if he could hear the vampire. He heard him order a drink, but then nothing else. Connor was really hungry now, but he ignored it and sat in the ally beside the bar where he could still see the front door to wait.
Two hours later when the bar closed at 2am, the vampire came out. He was obviously inebriated, and Connor smiled. The vampire lit another cigarette, and Connor waited until the two humans, who had also come out of the bar, were a block away. Then Connor got the stake out from where he kept it strapped to his leg and attacked.
Spike had had a lot to drink, hoping it would make him feel better, but it hadn't. He stood outside smoking and thinking about where he was going to go next. He was thinking about going back to Angel's and puking on his rug when he heard someone rushing at him. He barely moved fast enough to avoid being staked in the back. The kid who had attacked him recovered from the miss quickly, and was attacking again. Spike got staked in the shoulder and yelled. He punched the kid in the stomach, and was amazed when he didn't fall back the way Spike expected him to. The kid had wrenched the stake out of Spike's shoulder, and was about to attack again. Spike grabbed the kid's wrist so he couldn't stake him again and yelled, "What the hell?"
Connor punched the vampire in the stomach and said, "I'll kill you for trying to hurt Buffy."
Spike kept a hold of the kid's wrist and after taking a punch to the gut, gave the kid a full force punch to the face, and gut before it registered that the kid had said Buffy's name. Spike kicked the kid's feet out from under him. Once he was on the ground, Spike sat on the kid's stomach, and held a wrist in each hand. Spike looked down at the struggling kid closely for a few seconds and said, "You're Connor."
Connor struggled even harder, but Spike was stronger. Spike said, "I thought you were with Buffy."
Spike sniffed and said, "You smell like Dawn and Buffy. What the hell are you doing here?"
Connor said, "Why the hell are you trying to hurt them?"
Spike knocked Connor's hand hard on the cement, and the stake fell to the ground. Spike shook his head and said, "Who said I was going to hurt them?"
Connor stopped struggling and said, "I did, and I'll kill you before you can get to them."
Spike laughed and said, "And how do you plan to kill me from down there mate?"
Connor glared and put all his strength into bucking Spike off of him. It worked and Spike fell off. Connor was up the next second and had kicked Spike in the head. Then Connor was on top of Spike and holding him down the same way he had been held down before. Connor said, "What's your plan? What are you trying to do to them?"
Spike shook his head a little and said, "I don't want to hurt the Slayer or Little Bit. I just wanted to say hi….Stupid I know."
Connor looked at Spike closely for a few seconds and said, "Little bit? You can't be Spike, he's dead."
Spike rolled his eyes and said, "Surprise, I'm back….much to everyone's dismay."
Connor said, "Dawn says you had a soul, and that you died to save everyone."
"I did. And now I'm back from the dead….again….kind of…I guess…and with the soul intact."
Connor said, "So what are you doing with my dad?"
Spike sighed and said, "Look kid, it's a long story, and I need more to drink. What say we go to a little place I know that's still open, and I'll tell you all about it."
Connor glared at Spike thinking about it. Spike then tossed Connor off, and stood up. Connor was up in an instant and had the stake back in his hand. Spike said, "You try and stake me again, and I'll knock you out."
"You could try."
Spike shook his head and said, "Cocky like your Da too."
Spike turned his back on Connor and started walking to a bar that catered to creatures like himself. It was only a couple of miles away, and he wanted some blood now that he had a wound in his shoulder.
Connor thought about attacking, but instead put the stake back onto his leg strap, and started following Spike. He was kind of interested in talking to him, because Dawn seemed to remember him fondly.
When they got to the bar Spike held the door open and said, "Keep quiet until we get a seat."
Connor glared at Spike but didn't say anything. Spike went up to the bartender and said, "Hey Billy, how's business?"
The bartender smiled at Spike and said, "Business is good Spike, and you know you can't bring your food in here."
Spike put an arm across Connor's shoulders and said, "The kid's not food, he's a friend. We'll have one A positive and one Bud Light."
Billy looked at Connor and said, "We don't serve his kind."
Spike smiled and said, "Money all spends the same….and if you're nice to us I'll put in a good word with Lorne for you."
Billy's eyebrow went up and he gave them two glasses without another word. Spike took both glasses and went to a booth to sit. Connor sat across from him and Spike handed him the beer while he sipped the blood. Connor looked at the beer and said, "Alcohol is the Devil's tool."
Spike nearly spewed his blood. He swallowed, coughed, and laughed. Once he was calm he said, "Must be why I like it. It's good. Try it."
Connor thought about it. He knew the man who had raised him, Holtz, was wrong about many things, and he knew Dawn thought drinking was okay, so he took a sip. Connor was very hungry, and while the beer didn't taste great, it was cold, and felt good on his throat. He took a few more drinks and said, "It's not awful."
Spike said, "Okay, down to business. Why are you following me?"
"I tracked you from Buffy's, because I was worried you were going to hurt them."
"How did you get to the States?"
Spike looked closely at Connor and said, "So you aren't quite human then are you."
Connor shrugged. Spike said, "Does Buffy know?"
"She knows I'm gone, but not where I am."
Spike shook his head and said, "No, I mean does she know that I'm alive."
Connor nodded and said, "We saw you at Wolfram and Heart. She wouldn't tell me who you were, just that you weren't a threat."
Spike looked into his blood and didn't say anything. After they both had a few more sips Connor said, "How are you alive again?"
Spike told him the whole story of how he had been a ghost, and then recently had become his old self again. By the time Spike was done, they had both finished their drinks. Spike said, "Stay. I'll get some more."
Spike got them both some beer and went back to the table. Spike said, "So tell me about yourself."
Connor spent the next half an hour telling Spike about Holtz and Quor-toth where he was raised. He also told him about Angel and how their relationship had evolved since coming back to this dimension. When he was done Spike got them another round. By the time Connor started his third beer after having nothing to eat since movie popcorn about 18 hours ago he was feeling happy and warm and friendly. Connor said, "Tell me about my Dad. I mean, he's told me lots of stories about his past, but I want to hear some from another point of view."
Spike noticed the way Connor was slurring his words and said, "When was the last time you ate?"
Connor shrugged and said, "Not sure."
Connor looked at his watch and said, "It's like four o'clock my time……Crap."
"I have to call Buffy in a couple of hours, or she's gonna call Dad. She'll probably call Dad anyway. They're always ganging up on me."
Spike raised his eyebrows and smiled to himself. He hadn't really thought about it before, but now he was thinking about another way to annoy the crap out of Angel. He said, "You ever been with a chippy?"
"A chippy, a hooker, a whore?"
Connor gave Spike a blank look and Spike said, "You ever been with a woman?"
Connor looked down at his beer and whispered, "Yes."
"Have you ever been with a woman you paid for?"
Connor looked up understanding what Spike was saying now and said, "No."
Spike smiled and said, "You wanna?"
Connor vaguely thought Dawn wouldn't approve, but she was mad at him, and he was feeling happy, and it sounded like fun. He smiled and nodded as he finished off his third beer. Spike said, "Okay, let's get one for the road."
Spike got up and ordered them both a shot of whisky and paid the tab. Spike took the shot to Connor and said, "This won't taste good, but it will feel good once it's down."
Connor asked, "Like medicine?"
Spike smiled and said, "That's right."
Connor downed his shot, and coughed. Spike downed his and pulled Connor's arm. They were both walking down the street, and Spike could tell that Connor was weaving as he walked. They only had to go about two blocks to find some hookers. Spike did all the talking and soon had arrangements for the both of them in a nearby hotel. Half an hour later they met each other in front of the hotel room. Connor slurred, "That was good."
Spike smiled and said, "It was cheap sex, but better than none."
Connor frowned and said, "Do you think Dawn will be mad?"
Spike laughed, "Why would you tell Dawn?"
Connor smiled and said, "Why wouldn't I?"
Spike looked angry to Connor when he said, "You shouldn't go around telling kids about what you do in bed."
Connor frowned and said, "But I tell her everything."
Then Connor smiled and said, "I have to tell her she's a better kisser, and way more attractive."
Spike grabbed a handful of Connor's shirt and said, "What do you mean Little Bit is a better kisser? What the hell are you doing kissing her?"
Connor slurred, "She's my girlfurd…no, my furgirl….no my girlfriend."
Spike shook Connor and said, "She's fifteen!"
Connor looked confused and said, "No…seventeen. Two years younger than me."
Spike thought about it and said, "Christ."
Connor looked around and said, "Wha?"
Spike felt bad now. He took Connor's arm and started walking. Spike said, "You can't sleep with other women when you're with someone!"
Connor tried to pull his arm away to no avail and said, "Why?"
Spike was about to yell at Connor, but could tell that Connor was seriously asking. He said, "How would you feel if Dawn went and had sex with someone else?"
Connor said, "I would hate it."
Connor glared at Spike and said, "It was your idea. You paid for it."
Spike growled in a way that reminded Connor of Angel. Connor walked along and said, "I'll tell her it was your idea."
Spike looked at Connor and realized he never got an answer from Connor about food. He said, "When did you eat last?"
"Movie popcorn with Dawn….I don't know how long ago…..time is screwed up…"
Spike turned the corner and headed to an all night dinner. He said, "Keep your mouth shut until we get a seat."
Connor mumbled, "Sound like Dad or Buffy….don't do this…don't say that…don't, don't, don't."
Once they were seated, Spike ordered Connor some scrambled eggs and toast, and coffee for both of them. Soon the coffee came, and Spike could tell that Connor was still thinking about Dawn and worrying. Spike said, "How about I tell you a story about me and your Da to pass the time?"
Connor nodded, and Spike told him a colorful story about Angelus teaching Spike, then William, the five quickest ways to kill a human and all the practice they did. When Connor's eggs came he pushed them away thinking they would make him sick. Spike said, "Put a bite in your mouth, and I'll tell you a story about Buffy."
Connor reluctantly put a bite in his mouth, and Spike told him about Glory while Connor ate. By the time Spike was done, Connor had eaten everything. Spike looked off into the distance, and Connor said, "You love her."
Spike nodded and said, "But she doesn't feel the same."
Connor looked at Spike and said, "I'm sorry."
The more Spike was around Connor the more he liked him. He smiled and said, "Not your fault."
Connor looked at his watch. He said, "It's five-thirty at home. Dinner is in half an hour. I have to call and find a way back."
Connor laid his head on the table and said, "But I'm too tired."
Spike waved at the waitress and got them both more coffee. He tapped Connor's head and said, "Drink up, it will help wake you up. Then we'll go see Angel and he'll…."
Connor's head snapped up and he said, "We don't need to see Dad. We could just call Buffy to let her know I'm okay, and you could help me get another flight back."
Spike asked, "Don't you want to see him?"
Connor shook his head no. He said, "It's not that I don't want to see him, it's just that he's gonna be mad."
Spike smiled and said, "That's when he's the most fun. I love the way his jaw clenches when he's truly irritated."
Connor looked at Spike like he had lost his mind. He said, "Fun? Fun for you maybe, but a whole lot of not fun for me."
Spike teased, "Come on. He's not gonna kill you. If he were Angelus maybe, but not Angel. Now Angelus is no fun to piss off. He just gets violent."
Connor mumbled, "So will Angel."
Spike laughed and said, "Even when Angel does get violent, it's no where near what Angelus was like. You'll be fine."
Spike started to stand up and Connor said, "How about one more coffee?"
Spike said, "With all the beer and coffee, I'm surprised you're not floating away. Stop avoiding it, and let's go."
Connor stood and walked out with Spike. Connor thought of another way to avoid things and said, "Let's go kill something before the sun comes up, and then we can go see Dad."
Spike gave Connor a sideways glance. He said, "Like what?"
"Don't care. Vampires are my favorite, but I'll kill any demon we can find. It will help calm me down."
Spike smiled and said, "A boy after me own heart. Let's see if the sewers turn up anything on the way home."
Connor smiled and followed Spike to the manhole. About two blocks away they ran into five vampires headed the opposite direction. Connor had his stake in his hand and Spike grabbed his from his jacket pocket. Before either group could say or do much Connor had attacked and killed the first one. Spike usually talked to the creatures he was going to kill, and was surprised by Connor's direct attack. He belatedly headed into the fight as he said, "Right then."
Because Spike hadn't fought right away, three of the vampires had Connor down, and one of them was about to bite Connor when Spike staked it. Connor said, "It's about time!"
Spike said, "If you can't handle it then we shouldn't be doing this."
Connor gave a frustrated yell and killed both the vampires that had been holding him down. The one remaining vampire was running away, and Spike shrugged and let her go. Connor gave chase, and Spike groaned and ran after them. Connor tackled the vampire with a jump kick to the back. Once she was down, Connor staked her in the back. When he was done he stood up, put the stake back on his leg, and said, "Now I'm ready to see him."
Before Spike could say anything else Connor put his hand on the wall and held his stomach with the other. He said, "But I think I'm gonna puke first."
Spike grimaced as he watched Connor loose his eggs and toast. When Connor was done he said, "Don't know what brought that on."
Spike said, "Sorry mate. The alcohol did it….well that and jumping around right after you ate for the first time in a day."
"I'm done. Let's go."
They walked the rest of the way in silence. When they were close to Wolfram and Heart, they came up out of the sewers, and walked through the same parking garage door. They walked through the lobby, and Spike nodded at the security guard as they passed. They took the elevator to Angel's floor. As they got to the door, they could hear Angel talking, "….I'm sure he'll turn up soon. Don't worry, he can take care of himself……No I'm not mad at you…..Yeah you should have, but it's okay, you called now…"
Spike looked at Connor who looked decidedly nervous. Spike put his arm around Connor's shoulders and opened Angel's door. He smiled at Angel and said, "Look who found me."
Angel had obviously just woken up, because his hair was tousled, and he only had his boxers on. He stood staring at the two people in his doorway for a good five seconds, until even Spike and Connor could hear the voice on the phone calling Angel. Angel turned away from them and said to the phone, "Sorry, I'm here…and guess who else just showed up on my door step?"
Angel winced and pulled the phone away from his ear as Buffy yelled. Angel walked up to Connor, handed him the phone and said, "It's for you."
Angel went to put clothes on while Spike sat on the couch. Connor said, "Buffy?"
Buffy had stopped yelling and was silent while she took some deep breaths. She said, "How are you in LA?"
"I'd rather not say."
Connor took the phone away from his ear wincing as Buffy yelled, "I don't care if you don't want to talk about it, you tell me what you did right now!"
Connor put the phone back to his ear and said, "I kind of followed that vampire to the airport…and then onto a plane."
"Umm…I followed Spike to the airport, got on his plane, and tracked him here in LA….he's a pretty nice guy….you know for a vampire."
"How? How did you get in the airport, or on the plane? Why would you do that when I told you he wasn't a threat?"
Angel was now leaning in the doorway of his bedroom fully dressed with his arms crossed and giving Connor his full attention. Connor said, "Can we talk about that later?"
Buffy said, "No."
Connor looked away from Angel and looked out the window. He said, "I jumped the fence at the airport, and…I…I hid in the luggage compartment."
Buffy and Angel both said, "WHAT?" at the same time.
Connor's eyes darted back to Angel and then away. He said, "I know! I know it was stupid, but I didn't have my passport, and I overheard Spike saying your happiness was sickening and I thought he was going to come back and hurt you."
On the couch Spike said, "Hey! Leave me out of it."
Buffy got quiet for a few seconds and then said, "Give the phone back to Angel."
Connor said, "I'm really sorry Buffy."
Buffy didn't respond. Connor held the phone out for Angel who took it without a word. Connor went and sat next to Spike on the couch. Angel said, "Buffy?"
"I'm sorry Angel. I've been worried about him all day and blaming myself for making him run off, and he's been in LA this whole time. I just can't talk to him right now."
Angel said, "That's okay. I'll get the whole story, and then call you back in a few hours."
"Thanks. I'm sorry I didn't keep better track of him, and again I'm sorry I didn't call you sooner…but I thought he was….it doesn't matter."
"Don't blame yourself Buffy, Connor's a big boy, and he knows exactly what he's doing. You can't watch him all the time, and you shouldn't have to. You should try and relax. Have some dinner."
"Okay. I'll talk to you soon."
Angel hung up and turned to glare at Connor. Connor examined his hands in his lap. Spike smiled big and said, "See Connor, look at his jaw. Isn't that the funniest thing? Makes my day every time I see it."
Angel turned his glare to Spike and said, "Be quiet. I'll get to you when I'm done with him."
Angel looked back at Connor and said, "Okay Connor spill it, you know the routine."
Connor glanced up at Angel and then back down. He mumbled, "Buffy and I tracked Spike to Wolfram and Heart. She told me to leave it alone, but I didn't know who Spike was, so I wanted to make sure he wasn't out to hurt Buffy or Dawn. I snuck out my window instead of going to bed, and tracked Spike to the airport. I jumped the fence to get onto the airfield, found the Wolfram and Heart planes, and saw Spike get on one. I didn't have a passport or ticket, so I hid in the luggage hatch under the plane…."
Angel interrupted and said, "Do you know how dangerous that was? You could have died from exposure or lack of oxygen, not to mention that if someone had found you on the airfield, especially here in the States you could have been held as a terrorist."
Connor mumbled, "I know. I'm sorry."
Spike had a big grin watching Angel. He decided he should help get Connor into trouble every time he came to visit, just so he could see Angel so unhappy.
Angel said, "Go on."
"We got LA, and I tracked Spike until he got here. I waited for him in the parking garage, and followed him to a bar….."
Spike turned to Connor with disbelief. "That was over 8 hours."
Angel said, "When Connor gets an idea in his head, he can be very focused."
Connor said, "Then when the bar closed and he came out, I attacked. He recognized me, and introduced himself. He took me to another bar where we drank and talked for a while. Then we…"
Angel said, "What bar was still open?"
Connor shrugged and looked to Spike. Spike said, "Billy's place."
Angel turned to Spike and yelled, "You took my son to Billy's bar!?"
Spike said, "He had a good time. Didn't you Connor?"
Connor nodded and said, "The beer was good at first. It made me feel warm and happy, but I didn't like the puking later."
Spike looked at Angel and doubled over laughing. When he was calm enough he said to Connor, "I owe you one. That's the most frustrated I've ever seen Angel!"
Connor looked at Angel and hissed to Spike, "You're making it worse. Shut up."
Angel said through clenched teeth, "What next?"
Connor said, "Spike arranged for us both to have sex with girls for money."
Spike stopped smiling and hissed to Connor, "You don't have to tell him everything you know!"
At the same time Angel said, "What about Dawn?"
Connor slouched even farther down on the couch and said, "I wasn't thinking about Dawn, or how she would feel about it. I was thinking that I felt good, and the girl was….there and willing."
Angel turned his glare to Spike and said, "Don't you care about Dawn at all?"
Spike got angry and got up to pace when he said, "I didn't know he was going out with her. How was I supposed to know your kid has no morals."
"You got him drunk for the first time in his life and put a naked girl in front of him! What would you have done?"
"Well that's different now isn't it!"
"I'm not dating Dawn!"
Angel growled at Spike and said to Connor, "Anything else?"
"Spike took me to eat and have coffee, and then on the way home we went to the sewers and killed some vamps."
Angel shook his head and said, "Now I need a drink."
Angel headed for the kitchen and Spike said, "Bring me one too."
Angel said, "Not that kind of drink."
In the kitchen Angel looked for the blood and remembered he was out. He then stood at the counter thinking for a few minutes. When he had calmed down some he went back to the living room. He went over and sat next to Connor on the couch. Connor kept his face down. Angel pulled Connor into a hug and said, "I missed you."
Connor hugged him back and said, "I missed you too Dad."
Angel let go and made Connor look at him when he said, "And it makes me sad that after missing you for the past six months the first thing I have to do is spank you."
Connor quietly said, "I'm sorry."
But Connor's comments were drowned out by Spike who laughed said, "You can't be serious!"
Angel looked at Spike calmly and said, "I am."
Angel turned to Connor and said, "Let's go in my bedroom."
Connor kept his head down so he didn't have to see Spike and went into Angel's room. Angel stayed on the couch for a second looking at Spike, who for once seemed to be speechless. Angel said, "Don't interfere."
Spike said, "I don't get it. Connor's not a small child, he's an adult. Why would you do that, especially after all the stories you told me about your father?"
Angel stood and shrugged. "The longer I know Connor, the more I think my father was right….well at least more often then I thought he was."
Spike shook his head. "I don't believe it."
Angel walked to his room and shut the door, leaving Spike to stand in the living room thinking.
Connor was sitting on the bed thinking about what was going to happen, and wishing he had talked himself out of getting on the airplane. Angel came in and closed the door. He stood in front of Connor and crossed his arms. He said, "I'm gonna let Buffy talk to you about sneaking out, and going after someone when she told you not to, and about lying to her on the phone, because I think that's between you and her."
Connor said, "I didn't lie on the phone."
Angel gave him an impatient and annoyed look. "Right, because there's nothing dishonest about leading someone to believe you're still in France when you're half way around the world!"
Connor ducked his head and said, "Well, I didn't directly lie."
Angel smiled in an unpleasant way and said, "Yeah, you try using that one on Buffy, and she what she says."
Connor thought that maybe he would skip that argument when he saw Buffy again. Angel continued, "And I'm sure if you decide to tell Dawn about the hooker, and knowing you, I think you will, she'll give you an earful about cheating when you're in a relationship, and very well might stop dating you."
Connor nodded in misery at that one. After a few seconds Angel said, "But I'll be dealing with the rest."
Connor glanced up at Angel and saw he was walking to his dresser. Angel picked up the hairbrush that was on the top and walked back to the bed. He sat on the edge beside Connor and said, "Stand up."
Connor stood and Angel said, "Pants down."
Connor hadn't been in this situation for a long time, and his hands shook as they undid the button and fly on his jeans. As soon as they were undone they pooled at Connor's ankles. Angel took Connor's wrist and tugged him into place over his lap. Once he was there Angel pulled down the underwear and said, "First off, you never sneak into an airport. In today's world that can be deadly in some countries, and at the very least, it can cause you legal problems."
Angel started the spanking, and Connor jumped and yelped at the first couple of swats, not quite remembering how painful it was. Then Connor bit the inside of his cheek to try and stay quiet. After ten swats he was loosing the battle.
Angel paused and said, "The next one is the worst Connor. You never, Smack, never, Smack, sneak onto an airplane period, Smack Smack, and you especially never hide in the luggage compartment. Smack Smack. Do you hear me Connor? Smack Smack."
Angel was extremely upset about that one and gave Connor twenty more spanks. By the time they were done, Connor was yelling, and his body was moving involuntarily to avoid the swats. Angel paused again and said, "We'll be talking about that one some more tomorrow. Next issue is when you got here to LA, you hid in the parking garage and waited to ambush a vampire you didn't know, but who obviously knew me. Why do you think that makes me mad? What you should have done?"
Angel stopped spanking to give Connor a chance to answer. Connor couldn't believe Angel wanted him to try and think at this point. He yelled the first thing that came to his mind, "I didn't know it was Spike!"
Angel said, "Exactly. You didn't know who he was at all. He could have been helping me with one of my cases. He might have had vital information that I needed to help someone. Once you were in LA what should you have done?"
Connor knew what Angel wanted to hear, but lots of different answers went though his mind. Answers he knew Angel wouldn't like, such as: 'Called you so you could come beat me and send me away again.' 'Gotten onto another plane going back to France.' 'Told Buffy I wouldn't be back for a week and found another way home.'
Angel didn't think Connor was answering quickly enough, so he gave him a swat to hurry him up. Connor capitulated and said, "Called you. I should have called you and told you what was going on."
"You would have saved yourself a lot of grief if you had."
Angel started spanking again, and before the ten swats were given Connor was crying. Angel stopped and said, "Last one. If you've been drinking, you don't go hunting anything. And just for future information, if you've been drinking, you don't drive, or do anything else that's potentially dangerous."
Connor was still crying and didn't answer. Angel gave him the last few swats, mostly on his thighs and sit spots. When he was done Angel tossed the brush on the bed beside him, and rubbed Connor's back while he calmed down. After a few seconds Connor pushed himself up and pulled up his clothes. Angel pulled him down to sit on his lap. Connor struggled and said, "Don't."
Angel let go of Connor who stood and took a few steps back. Angel said, "Why?"
Connor stood with tears on his face, and his hands clenched at his sides and said, "Just don't."
Angel shook his head and said, "You're gonna need to explain if you want me to leave you alone."
Connor glared at Angel and found that his anger helped him to stop crying. He yelled, "Fuck you! You haven't been around at all for the past six months, and now you expect it to be just like it was when you dumped me at Buffy's? I know that what I did was wrong, and I don't blame you for spanking me, but I don't want or need any comfort from you. I'll be just fine without anything from you."
Angel was shocked. He walked the couple of steps to Connor and pulled him into a fierce hug. He said, "Connor, I didn't dump you, I'm trying to protect you. I've called you every week. I love you, you have to know that."
Connor struggled again, but by the time Angel was done talking Connor had stopped fighting it. Angel said, "If I didn't love you, I wouldn't care if you were sneaking onto airplanes, or killing vampires while you were drunk."
Connor started crying again, and hugged Angel back holding on with a death grip. Angel said, "I guess I never told you how much it hurt me to leave you there. I wanted to keep you with me Connor. It seemed like I was just getting to know you and then I had to give you up. But it would have been selfish of me to keep you with me, because it wouldn't have been what was best for you. Right now what's best for you is to be with Buffy and Dawn and away from the bowels of hell we like to call Wolfram and Heart. I'm trying to keep you safe, and still keep you with people who love you, and who you can love."
Angel picked up a crying Connor and carried him back to the bed. Angel sat down on the bed, and sat Connor on his lap. He held Connor and let him cry. When Connor was calmer Angel said, "Do you believe me Connor?"
Connor nodded his head and said, "Yeah. I just…I miss you….and Holtz left me because he hated you and me….and everyone else is still here with you except me….and it just felt like you…..didn't want me around."
Angel put his hands on Connor's face and made him look up. Angle kissed Connor's forehead and said, "I love you Connor. I will always love you no matter what. Nothing can change that."
After a few more minutes Connor yawned. Angel said, "Why don't you lay down here and sleep for a little while."
Connor nodded and lay down on Angel's bed. Angel went out to the living room and shut the door behind him.
Spike watched as Angel went into the bedroom. He still couldn't believe what Angel was planning to do. He thought, 'Doesn't make sense at all. Even when he was Angelus and I had just been turned he wouldn't have done that to me, and I pissed him off plenty. He did beat me up that time I almost got Dru caught in the sun, and that time I let the demon track me home, and that time…..I guess he beat me up a lot the first few years, but he never spanked me. It just seems ludicrous.'
Spike could clearly hear what Angel was saying in the other room, and he still didn't believe Angel would do it, so he sat on the couch to listen.
Spike felt sorry for Connor when Angel brought up Buffy and how she was going to react to what he had done. He knew Buffy wouldn't be happy, and he was sure she could find ways to make Connor miserable about it. Then Angel brought up Dawn and Spike felt guilty again about taking Connor to see the prostitutes. Spike muttered to himself, "Shouldn't have done that. Just did it to make Angel mad, not to show Connor a good time. Should have found out if he was involved first. Stupid."
Spike was distracted until he heard the first smack and accompanying yelp. Spike's eyes got round with surprise. He wasn't surprised by the sounds, he had heard much worse, he was surprised by the fact that Angel was actually doing it, and that he was doing it to his legally adult son. He shook his head and waited for it to be over. After what seemed like a short amount of swats, the sounds stopped. Spike smiled and thought, 'Pansy. I knew he wouldn't really…'
Then he heard more talking and swatting. Spike heard that it was about getting on the plane, and Spike thought, 'If I hadn't gone to see Buffy, none of this would have happened. Or if I hadn't chickened out, and I had actually knocked on the door, this wouldn't be happening either.'
Then Spike heard Angel and Connor talking about him, and the fact that Connor had gone after him without knowing who he was. Spike felt even more guilty and muttered, "Leave me out of it damn it."
At the end of those swats Spike could hear Connor crying and was relieved that Angel was done. Until he heard Angel talking about drinking and fighting afterwards. When he heard more swats Spike got up and started pacing again and muttered, "Hypocrite. Like he never fights when he's had a couple."
Finally Angel seemed to be done and Spike took an unnecessary deep breath to calm himself. Then he heard Connor yelling at Angel and wondered if Angel was going to spank him again.
But Spike was impressed with the way Angel handled it. Soon there wasn't much to hear besides sniffling. Spike paced around the living room thinking. 'Maybe I'm the pansy, because that was awful, and I used to do so much worse. Must be because of the soul. No, I've done worse even with the soul. Maybe it just sounded bad because a lot of it was my fault.'
Spike walked around thinking about all the things he should have done differently in the past twenty four hours, and waited for Angel to come out so he could get rid of some of his frustrations by picking a fight with him.
He saw Angel come out and shut the bedroom door behind him. Spike was about to tell Angel he was a hypocrite, but when he took a good look at Angel he thought Angel looked old and tired. That was until Angel glared at him, and said, "Sit."
Spike thought Angel looked pretty close to normal now, so he ignored Angel's order and said, "You're a hypocrite Angel. I can't even count the number of times we've been out drinking and then hunting. In fact I think you even told me once it helped you to focus."
Angel crossed his arms and said, "I said and did a lot of things as Angelus that I wish I could take back."
"And you've never gone drinking and then hunting since being Angel?"
"I never took a kid with me."
Spike said, "He's not a kid! And it was his idea anyway."
Angel sighed, "You're giving me a headache Spike, sit down and listen to me for a minute."
Spike yelled, "I don't want to sit down you bloody control freak!"
Angel glared and said, "If you know what's good for you, you'll sit and listen to me for a few minutes, William."
Spike glared back and said, "Bite me, Liam."
Angel walked towards Spike purposefully. Spike was ready for a fight, and was even looking forward to it. Angel almost always won, but it took a while, and Spike knew punching and kicking Angel would be satisfying. He also thought getting beat up would help him forget about Buffy, and help him feel better about what he had done with Connor.
When Angel got close enough, Spike threw the first punch aiming for Angel's face. Angel was ready for it and moved to the side at the last second so the punch missed, and Spike had to take a step forward to keep his balance. While he was still off balance Angel picked him up from behind and tossed him across the room towards the couch.
Spike landed on the couch face first, and scrambled quickly to stand up. When he was half way up on his hands and knees, he could see that Angel was now standing behind him next to the couch. Instead of standing up the rest of the way Spike kicked one of his feet back to kick Angel in the stomach. Angel was ready for that one too, and stepped to the side. While Spike was still in mid kick, Angel wrapped his arm around Spike's waist and picked him up. Angel sat down quickly and put Spike face down over his left leg, and trapped Spike's flailing legs with his right leg.
Spike and Angel had fought physically more times than either of them could remember, and they knew most of each other's tricks when fighting so they were pretty evenly matched. So it was truly shocking to Spike when he found himself over Angel's knee. Angel himself was surprised at how easy it had been, but he supposed getting Spike into position to spank him wasn't one of his usual fighting tactics. Two seconds after getting into position the shock wore off, and Spike started to struggle in earnest. Angel held him tight with his legs and kept his arm around Spike's waist. Angel said calmly, "Well you're not exactly sitting, but it'll have to do for now. Let's talk."
Spike yelled indignantly, "Oh no you bastard, if you think I'm gonna just lie here and….Hey!"
Angel had let go of Spike's waist, and reached down to grab Spike's right arm. Now Angel was holding Spike's wrist so that Spike's arm was behind his back. Next Angel loosened his legs just a fraction of a second, so that he could pull Spike's long leather jacket out, and push it to the side. Angel said conversationally, "So, what was going through your mind when you took Connor to the bar?"
Spike said nothing but continued to try and get away. Angel just held him in place for the next five minutes until Spike gave up. Angel said, "Done now?"
"Fuck you Angel."
"We can just sit here like this for a few hours until you're ready to talk. I'm comfy, how about you?"
As he said it Angle pushed Spike's arm up behind his back enough to be pretty painful, but not to cause damage. Spike grunted but didn't say anything. They sat that way for the next half an hour with Spike struggling every few minutes. Every time Spike struggled Angel pushed Spike's arm further up his back, and when he stopped struggling he let it back down.
Angel had been watching the clock and knew how much time had passed. Spike couldn't see much besides the carpet, and the coffee table legs, so he was sure a couple of hours had passed. Angel said, "Do you really still want to be in this position when Connor wakes up in a couple of hours?"
Spike growled in frustration and then said, "Fine. You win. I'm ready to talk."
Angel smiled. "Good. Why did you take Connor to Billy's?"
"Because he staked my shoulder and I wanted some blood."
Angle frowned and said, "Which shoulder?"
Spike tried to turn and look at Angel's face, but couldn't see much. He said, "Which do you think? He was aiming for my heart. Why?"
Angel was relieved it hadn't been the arm he had been using to cause Spike pain when he struggled. He ignored the question and said, "Why didn't you come back here and get some blood from the cafeteria?"
"Why would I?"
"Because you know Connor is human and still a kid!"
"He's not quite human Angel. I punched him full force, and he didn't pass out or die, in fact it barely slowed him down. He also isn't a kid. He told me he's nineteen, and that's close enough to legal for me. You've told me that you were off drinking yourself sick at seventeen, so don't try and pull that he's not old enough crap on me."
"He is human Spike. He may be stronger and less breakable than most, but he still needs to eat and breath to stay alive. I guess I'll agree that he isn't that much of a kid. But I also know that Connor thinks alcohol is evil, so how did you get him to drink it?"
"I just put it in front of him and told him it was good. I didn't force it down his throat."
"I just said it was didn't I?!"
"How many did he have?"
"One beer. Your kid can't handle his liquor."
Angel shook his head. "He puked from one beer?"
Spike was quiet for a second and then said, "Probably because he hadn't eaten anything all day until then."
"And if I ask Connor about it when he wakes up, will he say the same thing?"
Spike yelled, "How the hell should I know what your demon spawn will say?!"
"Okay Spike, since this is new for us let me tell you how it works. If you lie to me or have a bad attitude while we talk, then the spanking will be worse. So how many drinks did he have?"
At the word 'spanking', Spike renewed his struggles full force. Angel waited him out. Angel did feel a sense of satisfaction seeing Spike at his mercy after all the times they had fought. He wondered why he had never thought to do it as Angelus, and then he thought about his talk with Connor and it hit him. It was because Angel cared about Spike. Angelus had felt as brotherly towards Spike as a vampire without a soul could feel, but he wouldn't hesitate to beat him bloody if he was out of line. Angel couldn't do that. But he thought spanking would work just as well, if not better, because of the humiliation factor, and because Spike would know he cared.
Angel decided to try a different tactic. He said, "You know that we've known each other longer than most people get to live."
Spike stopped his struggles and said, "Yeah, so."
"We've loved the same women. We've been brothers in destruction and brothers in heroic acts. I know you better than I know my own son, and I know you feel guilty about tonight."
Spike yelled, "NO I don't!"
"It's okay Spike. You don't have to admit it, I know you do, because I would if it had been me, and you always were more sensitive then me even if you do a good job of hiding it now."
"Fuck you Angel. Just do it if you're gonna, and let me be on my way. I'll leave town, and find someone else to annoy."
Angel shook his head again. "So stubborn. You're as bad as I am. Let's see, you're thinking that Connor wouldn't be here, or in trouble at all, if you hadn't gone to see Buffy. You're feeling guilty that you took him drinking and whoring just to annoy me, and then that guilt doubles when you think about the fact that he's with Dawn. And last, you feel bad that you didn't try to stop him from hunting, but that's mostly because I spanked him for it, and not because you think it was dangerous. Am I right."
Spike refused to answer. Angel said, "You ever pick a fight with Buffy just so she could beat you up?"
"Because I have. Helps with the guilt for a few days. I'm betting that's what you were doing tonight with me."
Spike was feeling exposed and shaken that Angel was so right on with what he had been thinking. He used the first defense mechanism that came to him and said, "You're off your rocker Angel. Is that what I have to look forward to when I get to be your age?"
Angel laughed and said, "The spanking will help you feel better too."
Spike shook his head and said, "Doubt it."
Angel used his free hand to unbuckle his belt. Spike heard it and started struggling again. Angel said, "You remember that time you ate the Duke after he invited us to his house for a party?"
Spike nodded and said, "You were furious. My eye's were so swollen when you were done, that I couldn't see well enough to hunt for two days."
Angel nodded. "I'm sorry about that. I'm sorry I…..hell, I guess I'm just sorry that I was who I was. I wasn't the best mentor for you Will, and I wish things had been different."
Spike turned his head around again and saw Angel's face. Spike said, "It's in the past, and you were right, we had to leave the country soon after that because I blew our cover. But if you still feel bad about it, we can trade places, or just call the whole thing off."
Angel now had the belt doubled over in his hand. He said, "Not gonna happen, because you shouldn't have taken Connor out drinking. You shouldn't have taken him to the hookers. And neither one of you should have gone hunting after you had been drinking."
With the last word Angel brought the belt down with a loud SMACK. Spike's body jumped and he grunted. Spike had been over Angel's lap for a long time now, and was uncomfortable before the spanking started. After the initial swat he kept quiet, and tried to keep still, hoping that Angel would be done with it quickly. For a while the only sounds in the apartment were the smacking noises of the belt hitting the jeans clad butt.
Angel was methodical about it. He started at the top of Spike's butt and worked his way down to mid thigh, and then started back up again. When Angel got to the top, he started back down. At that point Spike was having a much harder time being quiet, and his body was moving of it's own accord. He muttered, "Aren't you done yet?"
By the time Angel got to the bottom of Spike's thighs for the second time, Spike was grunting with each swat. Before he started back up Angel paused and said, "How many drinks did Connor have?"
Spike had been putting most of his effort into being quiet and said, "What?"
"You said Connor had one beer, how many drinks did he really have?"
Spike wasn't sure what to say. He thought about it for a few seconds, and tried to decide which answer would get him up quicker. He said, "Three beers and one shot."
"Thank you for being honest. Why did you take him to see the hookers?"
Spike was quiet for another few seconds and then said, "Just to annoy you, but I didn't know he was with Dawn until after."
Angel nodded. "I know you wouldn't hurt Dawn intentionally, and that's why you feel bad about what happened."
Spike didn't say anything, but knew Angel was right. Angel started the spanking again, and this time Spike cried out with each swat. When Angel had gotten back to the top of Spike's butt he stopped and said, "Listen up Spike. I'm almost done, and when I'm done, you are forgiven. Do you hear me?"
Spike thought that was a strange thing to say. He was in a lot of pain, and wanted it to end as soon as possible. He said, "Okay."
Angel said, "You know you and Dru are my family along with Connor, even if we hate each other, we're still related. You are the only other vampire with a soul, so we share a bond that no one else can really understand. I'm telling you that when we are done here, I forgive you for what you have done for the past 24 hours, and I expect you to forgive yourself."
Spike felt himself tear up and said, "Bloody Hell Angel. Just be done with it."
Angel finished up with ten swats all in the sit spot. Spike was crying, but trying hard not to, when it was done. Angel tossed the belt on the couch beside him and let go of Spike's wrist. He patted Spike's back and helped him stand up. Spike stood on wobbly legs after being over Angle's knee for about 45 minutes. Spike rubbed his right shoulder that was fairly painful after being held and pushed to the limit more than once. Angel stood next to him and said, "You gonna try and kill me now?"
Spike wiped at his face and shook his head no. Angel pulled an unsuspecting Spike into a big hug and said, "I forgive you, do you forgive yourself?"
Spike thought about it and nodded. Angel said, "I'm glad."
Angel let go of Spike and said, "Do you feel better?"
Spike looked in Angel's face and smiled just a little before punching him as hard as he could in the nose. Angel fell backwards over the coffee table stunned. Angel put his hand to his nose and could tell it was broken and bleeding. Spike walked over to Angel and put his hand down to help Angel stand up. Angel took his hand and as Spike hauled Angel off the floor he said, "Now I do."
Angel shook his head and said, "If there's any blood on the carpet, you get to clean it up."
Spike looked around but didn't see any. Angel said, "I'm gonna go clean up. You wanna crash on the couch for a while?"
Spike looked at the couch and said, "I guess."
Angel nodded and went to the bathroom to stop the bleeding, and tape up his nose so it would heal correctly.
After Angel went to the bathroom, Spike took off his jacket, and lay down on his stomach on the couch. He pulled a pillow under his chin, and thought about what had happened. In some ways he did feel better, and he realized he had let go of the guilt he'd been holding onto. But he wasn't sure how he felt about Angel. He was sure that he didn't want to try and annoy him just for fun anymore….at least not in any big ways.
Angel came out of the bathroom and said, "I'm gonna go down and get us some blood, and Connor some food. I'll be back in a few minutes."
Spike spent his time thinking about his relationship with Angel and how it had changed throughout time. When Angel came back he handed Spike a glass of blood and had one himself. Angel sat in the chair next to the couch, while they both drank. After a few minutes Spike said, "How often do you crave human blood?"
Angel said, "I don't know, maybe once an hour or so. I think it's actually worse when I'm full. How about you?"
"At least every fifteen minutes."
"That should get better with time. It's only been a few years for you."
Spike and Angel spent the next two hours talking, and enjoying each other's company for the first time in a long time. They were both laughing about the time Drusilla had wanted to keep a stray kitten, when Connor came out of the bedroom. Angel looked over and said, "How are you feeling?"
"I got you some pizza, it's in the fridge."
Connor nodded and went to the kitchen to eat.
Angel sighed and said, "I should call Buffy. Do you want to talk to her?"
Spike thought about it and shook his head no. Angel said, "She might like to hear from you, you know, to see how you're doing."
Spike sighed and said, "Maybe later. Not here, and not now."
Angel nodded and went to his bedroom to call Buffy. Spike didn't want to lie there and listen, so he took his empty glass and went to the kitchen to get some more blood and to talk to Connor. Connor was leaning against the counter eating his pizza. Spike refilled his glass and put it in the microwave. When it was done he also leaned against the counter to drink it. Spike said, "I'm sorry…you know, for getting you in even more trouble."
"It's okay. I shouldn't have come out here in the first place. I'm sorry I got you in trouble too."
Spike tried not to show his surprise and said, "What do you mean?"
Connor smiled and said, "Sorry, I may have been tired, but I'm a light sleeper."
Spike got bright red and looked away. Connor continued, "And I know Dad wouldn't have ever even had the idea to spank you if it weren't for me, so I'm sorry about that. He's kind of a control freak. Seems to think he is in charge of everything and everyone. It gets annoying."
Spike chuckled and said, "Try living with it for a hundred years or so."
They stood and talked for the next fifteen minutes about Angel and his faults. Then Angel came in and put his arm around Connor's shoulders. He said, "I just talked to Buffy."
Connor looked down and said, "Is she still really mad?"
"Not as mad, but I still wouldn't want to be you when you go home."
Connor nodded and said, "When is my flight back?"
Angel smiled and said, "Even though you've been rotten, Buffy and I agree that you could use a little time here, so you get to stay with me for a week before you go home."
Connor looked up at Angel and said, "Really?"
Angel nodded, and Connor hugged him while he said, "Thanks Dad."
"Buffy will be talking to your professors, and will be e-mailing your assignments so you don't fall behind."
Connor let go of Angel and said, "That's really great of both of you."
Angel said, "And anyway, I'd never hear the end of it if I took you back without letting you spend some time with Fred and Gunn."
Connor smiled and said, "I've missed them too."
Angel said, "I'm gonna go get ready for work, and arrange for some clothes to be sent up for you. You should go e-mail Dawn and do some serious groveling…and whatever you do, don't tell her about the hooker until you see her in person."
Connor nodded. Angel left the room and Spike said, "Hey Connor, now that you'll be here for a few days, I can take you out and show you a good time, you know to make up for tonight."
Connor smiled, but before he could say yes, Angel was back in the kitchen doorway glaring at Spike. He said in a warning tone, "Spike…"
Spike turned and said, "What? I wasn't gonna take him anywhere that you wouldn't approve of….well at least nowhere that Angelus wouldn't approve of."
Angel said with frustration, "Spike!"
Spike tried to look innocent when he said, "What?"
Then he turned to Connor and said, "I swear your Da puts a damper on the least little bit of fun with his need to control everything."
Angel looked hurt and said, "No I don't."
Connor nodded and laughed and Angel walked out muttering about not being controlling.