Bedeviled

Author –D M Evans

Disclaimer – all rights belong to Mr. Whedon. I'm just borrowing them for non-profit play

Rating – FRT

Timeline – AR series, diverges from Angel during S5 and none of the comic books happened. It's set in the same universe as Hyperion's Son (but that's not needed for you to understand this. All you need for this story is to know Angel & Buffy's teams are working together and after regaining only parts of his memory, thinking he was going mad, Connor hit the streets and turned to drugs to relieve the symptoms.

Pairings – gen fic

Summary – Dawn should never be allowed to cook

Word Count -1000

Author's Note – this was written for picfor1000 and my prompt this year was deviled eggs….yeah, it lead to something close to crack. Thanks to SJ Smith for the beta

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"Do you have any idea why they call them deviled eggs?" Connor peered at the sunny, creamy centers of the glistening white appetizers.

"Not a clue." Dawn shrugged. Connor reached for one. "I made them, though." He snatched his hand back and she favored him with a look of death. "Weren't you raised in a hell dimension? How can you be scared of an appetizer?"

"I'm not. I'm afraid of your cooking," Connor assured her.

"Not as smooth with the ladies as your old man are you, boy?" Spike leaned back in his seat at the dining room table, a smirk riding his lips.

Connor gave a disinterested shrug. "I don't care if I'm not like him."

"There are some things you might want to try and emulate," Buffy said, putting a platter of cheese sticks and puff pastries filled with caramelized onions and mushrooms on the table. "Your dad does have his good points and on another note, these came from Costco's, not my sister's fevered and fiendish culinary skills."

"I have gotten better you know," Dawn said as Angel and Giles came out of the kitchen with beers on a tray. "And I had a little help from one of Willow's books."

"Too bad Red had something other to do than stick around here for poker night," Spike said.

"Whatever, more cheese sticks for me." Connor said in a tone akin to worship. He reached across Buffy to get to them.

"You still have the worst eating habits, son." Angel sat down at the table.

"I don't have to take that crap from a vampire," Connor replied airily, pouring himself a beer. Angel raised an eyebrow. His son rolled his eyes. "I'm allowed beer. I'm not all that fond of the taste, not my poison."

Angel glowered but said nothing.

"Are we going to play poker or just yammer?" Spike patted the deck of cards.

"You're the dealer," Giles pointed out.

Spike snorted at him but dealt out a hand. Connor enjoyed the Texas Hold 'em nights. They had fun, relaxed, pretended they weren't demon hunters for a night. Connor was getting into the swing of being a demon hunter again after so long. He appreciated the down time.

Connor wasn't even putting that much thought into the cards, not yet. That would come. He knew eventually he would have to compete with his father but he was still putting himself back together. Years of living on the street, taking heroin, had taken their toll. The demoness that had turned everyone's life around still hung like a specter, reminding them of what she had ripped from them. That's why he felt the card nights were so vital to them all. They desperately needed something other than their daily dose of misery.

He just let the cards pass through his fingers, making a half hearted attempt to pay attention to the flop and what the others had face up in front of them. Connor wolfed down a few of the cheese sticks and the delicious onion bear-claws, lost in thought. Finally, he noticed Dawn's sad gaze as her deviled eggs sat untouched at the other end of the table. Connor felt bad about it. Yes, Dawn wasn't a very good cook but he'd eaten out of dumpsters. Hell, he'd eaten rats and worse on Quor-Toth. He owed her. Dawn was one of the very first to make him feel like he was a person and not just another junkie. He wouldn't be alive if not for her friendship. Now he felt like an ass for not trying one of her appetizers.

Connor reached for the deviled eggs, rewarded by a very pretty smile crossing Dawn's face. A quick sniff assured him that it at least smelled tasty. Connor went to take a bite when something snapped at his lips. He dropped the egg with a yelp.

"Even smoother, kid. That's the way to impress the lady. Act like it's going to kill you." Spike laughed.

"It tried! It bit me!" Connor stabbed a finger at the egg, which wobbled. Its mustard yellow center heaved and gnashed. Several others on the plate started to do the same.

"Let me guess, Dawn, it was a magical cook book," Buffy sighed.

"Yeah but I didn't think it would make real deviled eggs," her sister protested.

"Maybe someone ought to do something about them," Connor suggested.

Dawn leveled a death stare at him. "You're the Destroyer. Surely you're up to the task."

"But…it's just so silly," Connor whined. "I'd feel like an idiot."

"I'm with the kid." Spike jerked a thumb at Connor.

Buffy shoved her chair back from the table. "Men."

"Dawn, please bring me that book so I can see what went wrong," Giles said as the eggs marched across the table ever so slowly. His lips twitched up. "Before we get egged."

Dawn fetched the book and she and Giles looked the spell over. Spike kept flipping chips at the deviled eggs, making them growl wet and thick through their centers. Angel watched the other man with an expression that said Spike was an idiot and that Angel wanted to be one, too. Connor counted down until his father grabbed some chips.

"Ah, that's where you went wrong," Giles said, coming over to the poker table. "No worries. I can fix it but Willow really should stop handing out her spell-books."

While Giles did his incantation to neutralize the 'rampaging' deviled eggs, Connor swiveled in his seat to look at Dawn. "You know, there is a thing called the Food-network for the next time you get inspired to cook."

She hurled the book at him, narrowly missing his head. His eyes widened.

Angel patted Connor's shoulder. "The Summers women are violent, son. You have to watch them."

Buffy slapped Angel on the back of the head. "At least these eggs weren't as bad as the last time we had to deal with demon eggs."

Connor wasn't sure he wanted to know.