This is a discipline story. If you don't know what that is, then you probably don't want to read this. It contains corporal punishment of a teen in the form of spanking. Don't feel too bad for the guy; he totally deserved it.
This is AU, OOC, and has no plot. If you still want to read it for some reason, it's set somewhere in the late third season, after Holtz but before that whole nasty ocean bit. Cordelia isn't in this one; perhaps it was her night off.
"Shut your mouth right now, Connor, or I swear I will shut it for you!" Angel snapped angrily.
Fred and Gunn exchanged a glance.
Connor, slightly taken aback for a moment, faltered in his latest tirade against his father and his inane plans. After a few seconds, Angel looked unsure of himself, and Connor thought about starting anew, but self-preservation instincts told him to wait. He could have it out with his father later.
"I didn't mean to yell at you," Angel said apologetically, taking a step toward his son.
Connor reflexively stepped back and a fleeting look of anguish crossed Angel's face.
Connor thought that he should take pleasure in causing Angel discomfort, but he found that he couldn't quite manage it.
"It's okay," he conceded after an awkward moment of silence. "I yell at you all the time."
"Yeah," Angel said, smiling slightly. "I guess you do. Listen, why don't you go up to your room for a little while? I'll come up and talk to you later."
Connor frowned. "Is it a punishment?"
"No," Angel reassured him. "I'm not punishing you. I just need some time to discuss things with the guys is all."
"But why can't I stay? I want to help, too," Connor insisted, knowing full well that he was bordering on whining.
"No," Angel said firmly. "Go up to your room."
"I'm not a kid," Connor said. "I can handle it."
"You are a kid. My kid," Angel asserted. "And unless you want this to turn into a punishment, you'll do as you're told right now."
Connor shot an embarrassed glance toward Fred and Gunn. Gunn was staring blindly at an open book on the counter, clearly trying not to make it worse for Connor. Fred gave him an encouraging smile that suggested he do as his father asked.
"Fine," he spat, turning on his heels and disappearing up the stairs.
"Boy's gonna push you until you do something about it," Gunn said once Connor was out of sight.
"I know," Angel sighed. "I just … I can't seem to bring myself to be too hard on him, you know? I mean, I already sent him to hell."
"That wasn't your fault," Fred said gently.
"Yeah," Angel said without conviction.
"Look, all I'm saying is, that boy wants to know you're in charge," Gunn said. "He wants you to lay down the law. The next time he talks to you like that, you need to whip his butt. That's all I'm saying."
"I'm not gonna … I can't do that!" Angel whispered. "He'll hate me."
"He already does," Gunn stated simply. "All teenage boys hate their fathers. May as well give him a reason."
"I don't want to talk about this anymore," Angel said, flustered. "Can we please just concentrate on work now?"
Gunn held his hands up in defeat and slid the book across the counter toward Angel.
Connor quietly closed the door to his room, not wanting the team to know that he'd heard everything they'd said about him as he ascended the stairs. He hadn't been eavesdropping, he told himself. He just had really good hearing. And if he had to pause on the landing to tie his shoe, well, he couldn't help that they kept blathering on about him.
He dropped down onto his bed and stared at the ceiling. He hated it when they talked about him when he wasn't there. They did it a lot, he knew. Connor needs to learn this, Connor needs to do that, Connor can't go there.
The latest assessment by the great Gunn was, of course, dead wrong—like most of Gunn's assessments. Connor in no way wanted Angel to lay down the law. And he certainly in no way wanted Angel to "whip his butt." His butt was just fine, thank you.
Besides, it wasn't like Angel would ever do such a thing. He wanted Connor to like him. Well, he wanted Connor to love him, but he'd settle for like in the meantime. He'd sent Connor to his room a few times as punishment now, but he would never… Well, Gunn just needed to keep his mouth shut was all.
Connor waited for an hour and a half, but Angel still hadn't come up to talk to him. Since he wasn't sent to his room for punishment, he determined that he was free to at least have a look downstairs, even if his father just sent him immediately back to his room.
Connor crept downstairs and was disheartened to see that the place was empty. They had gone without him! They knew he could help fight, but they'd just left him. He sat down angrily on the round couch and crossed his arms over his chest. He'd really give them all a piece of his mind when they got back.
He'd fully intended to sit there scowling until his father and company got home, but the next thing he knew, his body jerked awake at the sound of people coming through the front door. He leapt to his feet.
"Did you see that green one?" Gunn said happily. "He was all ker-blow!" Gunn waved his hands around in dramatic recreation of the battle.
"I know. I think you've still got some of his ker-blow on you," Fred teased, pointing to a spot on Gunn's shirt.
"Yeah, well, my guy was ten times scarier," Angel declared. "I'm just sayin'."
"Hi, guys. Have a nice time?" Connor asked when it appeared they were going to take their time noticing him. He crossed his arms over his chest.
"Oh. Hi, sweetie," Fred said, collecting Gunn's and Angel's weapons to put them back in the display case.
"Hi," Connor said tersely, then looked to his dad. "You said we'd talk about it."
"No, I said we'd talk later. I didn't say we'd talk about you coming with us tonight," Angel said, meeting his son's gaze as he walked toward his office.
"What?" Connor exclaimed furiously. "I can't believe you! You knew what I thought you meant!"
"Connor, calm down," Angel called as he emerged from his office. "There will be other things you can help us do. This job was too dangerous."
"Oh, right," Connor scoffed. "Too much fun, looks more like it."
"Well, it turned out to be a little easier than we expected," Angel conceded. "But we didn't know that going into it, so calm down."
"No, I don't want to calm down," Connor said through clenched teeth. "I want you to stop treating me like I'm fragile. I can take care of myself!"
"Ooookay, Fred and I are gonna go to bed now so you two can have some quality time together," Gunn said, giving Angel a pointed look. He steered Fred by the shoulders toward the stairs.
"You need to mind your own business!" Connor yelled after him.
"Hey!" Angel scolded angrily. "You watch your mouth, Connor. You're going to apologize to Gunn tomorrow."
"No, I'm not," Connor said simply.
A look of determination that Connor couldn't quite place crossed Angel's countenance before he grabbed Connor's arm, spun him around, and landed three solid whacks to his behind.
"Ow! Ow!" Connor protested, staring at his father in wide-eyed surprise.
"You will lose the attitude right now, Connor, or we'll go upstairs to your room and do this properly," Angel threatened, still holding tightly to Connor's arm.
"Let go of me!" Connor said in response, trying unsuccessfully to jerk his arm away from his father. "I hate you!"
Angel actually laughed. "I thought you might say that. I guess we'll just have to go upstairs and finish this discussion."
Realizing just what Angel intended to say upstairs, Connor pulled away from his father with all his might, but Angel easily yanked him to his side and started him moving toward the stairs.
"Stop struggling," he ordered, punctuating the demand with a hard swat. "I have no qualms about taking you out to the middle of the sidewalk to do this if that's what you want."
"You can't!" Connor protested. "This is … This is child abuse or something! They will put you in a jail cell and … and it'll be facing the sun and…"
Not being one to back down from a challenge, Angel abruptly jerked Connor around so that they were heading in the direction of the front doors.
"No!" Connor wailed. "Upstairs! Take me upstairs!"
"That's what I thought," Angel said quietly, letting go of Connor's arm and pushing him toward the stairs.
Connor immediately bolted toward the kitchen, shoving the door open with such force that it swung back and nearly clocked Angel in the face as he darted in after him.
Connor deftly slid underneath an industrial sized stainless steel counter and emerged with it between himself and his father. He was breathing hard, and somewhere in the back of his mind he felt ridiculous for running from him like this, but instinct was telling him it was the right move. He and Angel slowly circled each other with the counter between them.
Angel suddenly stopped and looked down toward the counter, apparently interested by something he saw there. He opened a drawer and slowly pulled out a large wooden spoon with a long handle.
"What … What are you gonna do with that?" Connor asked in spite of himself as they both started moving again.
"Give you one hell of a spanking, I think," Angel said without pretense, swishing the spoon experimentally through the air beside him.
At this pronouncement, Connor ran hard through the double doors of the kitchen with Angel hot on his heels. He dashed through the lobby and was almost to the front entrance when he felt his foot being jerked out from under him, and he fell hard against the steps of the landing.
"Leave—me—alone," he breathed, winded from the fall. He crawled gingerly backwards to sit at the top of the carpeted steps.
"Are you hurt?" Angel asked from his position on the floor. He had apparently gone down as he'd dived to grab Connor's ankle.
"No," he answered glumly, knowing he was defeated and not bothering to move as Angel got to his feet. "Not yet."
"Good," Angel said, reaching down and pulling him up by his arm.
To Connor's dismay, he saw that Angel had managed to hold onto his kitchen weapon despite the chase. He turned Connor to the side and, still holding tight to his arm, brought the spoon down hard in several resounding whacks that brought him up on his toes.
Connor sucked in a wincing breath and declared loudly, "I'm hurt! I'm hurt!"
Angel stopped for a moment and regarded his son seriously. At the realization that Connor meant his bottom and not his ribs, a smile played at the corners of his mouth, but he managed to suppress it.
"Now," he said, maintaining his grip on Connor's arm but turning him in the direction of the stairs. "Now, we'll go upstairs and do this properly."
Connor shot his father an incredulous look and tried to make a good argument that he'd been punished enough, but his protest just came out as a petulant, "Uhf!"
"We can do it here if you want," Angel offered benevolently.
Connor groaned but reluctantly allowed himself to be practically dragged up to his bedroom. He wondered how much Gunn and Fred were hearing of his predicament, but quickly decided it didn't matter as Angel locked the door behind them.
"I've had enough of your attitude," Angel scolded, pulling Connor over to his bed and dumping him in a heap across his knees.
Connor shifted uncomfortably, not at all liking this proper way of doing things. He sought a way to better maintain his balance, but realized that he could either brace himself against the floor or grab onto Angel's pants leg. He settled for the floor.
He fully expected to be paddled hard with the wooden spoon and was surprised when it was just Angel's hand that connected with his bottom. The relief was only temporary, however, as the heat started to build and his backside was soon in genuine pain.
"You're hurting me," he tried to say in a reasonable tone of voice.
"It's a spanking, Connor. It's supposed to hurt. It'll be good for you," Angel answered, not breaking stride.
"I … I hate you for this," Connor said half-heartedly to Angel's thigh. "I mean it."
"That's okay," Angel replied. "I hated my father sometimes, too."
Connor remained silent except for the occasional grunt of pain and injustice as Angel continued to blister his backside.
"You have to start behaving," Angel chided. "I love you, Connor. I want to keep you safe. If I tell you to do something, I have a good reason. You may not like it, but you can't always have your own way in this life."
Angel increased the force of his swats until Connor was involuntarily struggling to avoid the blows. He felt an intense need to cry, but he thought that would be neither appropriate nor appreciated, so he held the tears back with all the willpower he could muster.
Angel suddenly got to his feet, pulling Connor up with him, who took that as a sign that the spanking was over. Connor surprised himself by immediately wrapping his arms around Angel's middle and sobbing out an apology into his shirt. Angel didn't react at first, startled a bit by his son's sudden need for comfort and affection. He quickly gathered his bearings and returned the embrace, cradling Connor to his chest.
"Sorry," Connor mumbled again.
"It's okay," he said soothingly, running a hand over his son's hair. "It's okay now."
Connor sniffled and pulled away from Angel, well aware that the blush in his face was only partly due to being held upside down across his dad's lap.
Angel reached out and swiped a thumb over the tears running down Connor's left cheek. Connor let him do it, but refused to meet his gaze, thoroughly abashed.
"Hey," Angel said, patting Connor on the shoulder. "Don't be so embarrassed."
"Okay," Connor said dully.
"Behavior has to change," Angel said gently. "Got it?"
"Got it," Connor said quietly.
"Tomorrow, you can apologize to Fred and Gunn for being rude to them," Angel instructed.
"Can do it now," Connor said glumly. "They're standing outside my room."
Angel turned and opened the door to find a guilty looking Fred and Gunn in the hallway.
"I wasn't going to kill him!" Angel said defensively.
"We got worried's all, Angel," Fred said tentatively, giving him a nervous smile. "We didn't mean anything by it."
"You're the one who told him to," Connor directed accusingly at Gunn. "But I didn't think he really would."
The three adults stared silently at Connor for a moment as the realization sank in that he'd heard that conversation.
"You were eavesdropping?" Angel asked.
"No!" Connor denied, shaking his head. He took an unconscious step away from his father and shoved his hands into his back pockets. "I just … I have good hearing. I didn't mean … I have good hearing, that's all."
Angel looked at him with raised eyebrows, but seemed willing to let the issue drop.
"I'm sorry I was rude to you earlier," Connor blurted out, looking from Gunn to Fred. "I'll try to…"
"To cut that out?" Gunn finished for him.
"Yeah," Connor agreed.
"Okay," Angel said, reaching out and ruffling Connor's hair affectionately. "You're released. Can go downstairs if you want. Have something to eat. But you're going to bed soon."
"Okay," Connor said, quickly making his exit. He also mumbled something that sounded a lot like, "And it didn't hurt that bad."
"Damn, Angel. Did you use that thing on him?" Gunn asked, nodding toward the bed where the wooden spoon had been discarded.
"Oh," Angel said, retrieving the implement in question. "No, not really. I was going to. I was about to take down his pants and wear him out with it."
"What changed your mind?"
"He hugged me," Angel said with a smile. "After that, well. There was just no way."
Angel looked curiously at the spoon and smacked it down quickly into the palm of his left hand. He gasped and tried to shake the sting out, noticing Fred and Gunn smiling at his surprise.
"It didn't hurt that bad," he grumbled as he ushered them out of Connor's room.