Disclaimer: I do not own Angel.
Warnings: Language. Though, by now you should expect that.
A/N: This is an Angel – Connor centric chapter, so I hope you guys enjoy!
"How are you feeling today, Connor?" Dr. Jasik asked, his notepad propped up against his knee.
"Okay," Connor murmured quietly as he pressed himself closer to the arm of the couch and further away from Angel.
Dr. Jasik nodded. "And you, Angel?"
Angel's eyes widened and Connor had to refrain from smirking at his father's uncomfortable posture. At least he wasn't the only one who felt awkward. "I am fine," Angel answered tensely.
The therapist sighed. "All right, Connor, why don't you tell me why you're both here?"
"Because…" Connor shrugged. "Because me and Angel don't really talk anymore, I guess."
"And why don't you two talk?"
Glancing over at Angel, Connor saw the sad look in his father's eyes. "Because we're always fighting…"
Dr. Jasik hummed. "And why do you think that is?"
"Okay. How about you tell me what started your last fight?"
Connor shifted a little on the plush couch. "Well, he went through my things…"
"Why did he go through your things?"
"To see if I had blades, I suppose," Connor said bitterly.
"And did you?"
Nodding, Connor slumped in his seat, feeling ashamed. Logically he knew this would come up, but he was still hoping to avoid it. He hadn't really planned on using his blades, but he doubted that his therapist or Angel would believe him.
Dr. Jasik paused, scribbling something down on his notepad. "And Angel, how did it make you feel when you found Connor's razors?"
"Terrible." Angel frowned, brown eyes softening as they landed on his son. "Guilty."
"Why did you feel guilty?"
And Connor wanted to know that as well. Why would him having razorblades make his dad feel guilty? Shouldn't Connor be the one feeling guilty for even having them in the first place?
"Because I couldn't help him when he was a baby, and now he's been through so much pain, so much pain that he would resort to something like that. And I can't help him." Angel gripped his arms that were crossed against his chest I little harder. "I don't know how."
Connor exhaled, shock filling him as his heart began to beat faster. "I didn't know you felt that way…"
Turning to look at his son, Angel sighed. "Of course I feel that way. It's like you said, Connor, I wasn't there for you, I didn't save you. And now this is all my fault."
"No it's not." Furrowing his brow, Connor tried to fight off the shame that was coursing its way through his veins, through his very soul. He had said those things, sure. At the time he'd maybe even meant them. But here and now, with his father looking so sad and helpless, Connor found that everything he'd said was untrue. "I was upset with you for invading my privacy… for yelling at me, for giving up on me… Fuck, dad, I'm not even sure anymore. But it's not your fault."
"I never gave up on you," Angel said adamantly. "And it is. I've known it was my fault since the moment I lost you, since the moment I got you back."
Connor shook his head. "No it's not." His eyes bore into Angel's, willing him to see the truth. "It's his fault. It's Daniel's. He started this whole thing. He broke me, dad, he ruined me. Not you… it was never you…"
"You're not broken." Angel sat up straighter, moving closer to his son. "Is that what you think? Because it's not true."
"It feels true," Connor said quietly, trying to keep the tears quickly filling his eyes, at bay.
"It isn't, son."
Connor merely shrugged, not willing to believe Angel's reassurances.
"I see what I've done wrong now." Gripping Connor's chin gently, Angel forced his son to look at him. "I haven't been there for you recently, and when I was, I was too harsh. I'm sorry, Connor. I'm sorry for everything that was my fault, and for the things that weren't. But I'm going to change. I'm going to help you in any way that I possibly can. I promise."
Connor swallowed back his tears, desperately not wanting to cry. "I'm sorry too, dad."
"I know, Connor, I know." Angel smiled slightly, trying to lighten the mood. Connor smiled back.
"Wonderful!" Connor jumped at the sound, forgetting for a moment where they were, and who they were with.
"I never expected a breakthrough so quickly," Dr. Jasik said, writing on his yellow notepad with a small smile on his green face. "Although, I still recommend seeing both of you together every few months, I believe it will help your relationship."
"Of course," Angel said. And Connor could see it. He could see determination written clear on his father's face, he could see it in the stern set of his shoulders. And in an odd way, Connor felt relieved.
He wanted Angel's help. He didn't care if Angel was still overprotective, if he never left him alone again. He wanted his dad to love him. He wanted Angel's attention, he realized. He wanted a relationship with him; a good one. He didn't want to keep going on like they had been. He wanted that change Angel had spoken of, he wanted it bad. And he was willing to work as hard as he needed to in order to make that change finally happen.
Connor was shaken from his thoughts as he saw Angel and Dr. Jasik stand. Assuming the session was over, he stood as well.
"I'll see you next week, Connor," His therapist said.
"Okay," Connor muttered, as he and Angel made their way to the office door. "I'll see you then."
At first therapy had seemed like a terrible idea. But now, after all the progress he had made personally, and the progress he had made with Angel, he was really glad he went through with it.
This wasn't exactly how Connor pictured their 'bonding time'.
Angel had attempted to take him to a hockey game, much to Connor's chagrin. He tried to pretend that he liked the sport, but honestly, Connor didn't like any type of sports – Unless you counted slaying demons as a sport. In which case, he fucking loved the rush it gave him.
But hockey was different. It was boring to watch a bunch of men skate around the ice, smashing into each other and, trying to hit the puck into the goal. It was pointless, Connor thought. The way they tried to prove their manhood with violence.
Though, not too long ago he tried to prove himself a man the same way.
But Connor knew better now. He knew that violence didn't make you a man; your character and how you handled things did. –Connor still wasn't a man.
"You don't like this do you?" Angel had asked him, brows furrowed in that brooding expression only Angel could manage.
Connor had frowned; disappointed that he couldn't act more enthusiastic for his father. "I mean… I like it okay."
Angel sighed, shoulders seeming to sag slightly. "You don't have to lie, Connor. I want us to do something that you'll enjoy – not suffer through."
Connor bit his lip contemplatively before he spoke. "Well, can we leave then? We could just go walk around the shopping district maybe?"
Angel had agreed, and so that's how they wound up here, in the small comic book store. Angel looked incredibly uncomfortable, but then again, when didn't he?
Running his fingers across the spines of different Manga, Connor read the title of every one until he found one that piqued his interest. The cover read 'Death Note' and after reading the premise of the story Connor decided that it was something he would like to read.
Flipping to the first page Connor quickly discovered how amazing the artwork was. He'd never really seen anything like it before, and briefly he wondered if he could ever draw something like this. "Wow…" He muttered quietly to himself.
"Do you want to get it?" Angel asked him, startling him out of his thoughts.
"Do you want to get it?" Angel repeated, nodded towards the book in Connor's hands. "I'll buy it for you if you want it."
Connor flipped the book shut, suddenly holding it a little tighter than was necessary. He couldn't help it, though, he was nervous. He wasn't sure why other than the fact that, his dad buying him a book, or anything really, was just such a normal thing to do. Normality felt weird, which didn't make any sense to Connor, but still, it felt odd.
"You sure?" He asked tentatively.
"Of course." Angel looked a little offended, and for the life of him Connor couldn't figure out why. "I'll get you whatever you want, you just have to tell me what it is."
Nodding, Connor swallowed and handed the book over to Angel when he held his hand out expectantly.
"You ready to go, or do you want to look around some more?"
"We can go," Connor said, and followed Angel as the vampire made his way to the register at the front of the store.
As Angel placed the book on the counter and waited for the teen behind it to ring him up, Connor gazed at all the posters that were hung on the walls. It was the first time he really noticed them, and he couldn't help but to find them intriguing. Most were brightly colored, but all seemed to have a common theme; super heroes. People who fought for a world they truly believed in, a world they believed they could make better.
Connor used to think that the world could change, but he'd long since abandoned that theory.
"You look really familiar," The teen behind the register said, his brows knitted together as he swiped Angel's credit card, and studied Angel closely.
Connor's eyes locked onto Angel, wondering where he would have met this guy before.
"That's odd," Angel said, accepting his card back, and stuffing it into his wallet. "I don't think I've seen you around."
The kid continued to stare at his father, until suddenly realization seemed to hit him and he smiled. "I know!" He turned around and pulled out a comic from a box on the floor. "You're cosplaying Angel aren't you?"
"What?" Connor asked, eyes narrowing at the kid in front of him.
"Here," The boy said, handing the comic over to Connor.
And sure enough, there on the cover was a pretty realistic drawing of his father and above that the title; 'Angel; The Dark Avenger'.
Connor smirked as he scanned through the pages. Tossing the comic onto the counter Connor glanced at Angel, he wasn't surprised to see embarrassment on his features. "We'll take this too."
And Angel didn't argue with him.
"I can't believe there's a comic about you!" Connor exclaimed, not for the first time that night. Leaning back in his chair, Connor marked his place with a slip of paper and set the book down on the kitchen table.
"I figured everyone would have forgotten about it by now," Angel mumbled, adding the macaroni to the boiling water in front of him. "I found out about it a few years ago."
"But, like," Connor began, eyes trained on his father. "How do people even know about you? Aren't you supposed to be somewhat secretive?"
Angel sighed, turning around to face Connor. "I don't know. I assume someone I've helped wrote it?" Angel crossed his arms, appearing to grow tired of this conversation. "Besides, it doesn't matter. It's not like anyone will believe that comic is real."
Connor merely shrugged.
"So," Angel said after a moment of silence. "Do you want to do something again tomorrow?"
Biting his lip, Connor looked at his dad, then down to the comic before him. This wasn't how he'd envision them spending time together, but honestly, maybe this was better.
He thought maybe they'd go hunt demons together; something they were both comfortable with. But here they were instead – doing normal things like a normal family. It was so fucking bizarre, but tonight was probably one of the best nights Connor's ever had. He barely even thought about self-harm. He barely even thought about his scars. And on top of all that, he was learning things about his dad that he never knew before.
Smiling slightly, Connor nodded his head and said, "Yeah, dad. I'd like that."
A/N: Thanks for the reviews you guys keep giving this story! They really mean a lot to me!
And have any of you read the Angel: After The Fall comics? If not I suggest you do. And after you finish those you should read Angel: Immortality For Dummies. It takes place after 'After The Fall' and it's very Connor Centric!
Thanks for reading :)