This is yet another discipline story. I just can't seem to leave poor Connor alone. If parental spanking of a teenager bothers you, please don't even think about reading this.
This story is unrelated to my other Connor/Angel ones. It is out of character and AU, set after Holtz. Connor lives with Angel at the hotel. They aren't always nice to each other.
There's also some foul language.
"Leave me alone and do it yourself!" Connor said defiantly as he promptly shut his bedroom door in Angel's face.
Angel sighed. Being a father was hard. Being this kid's father seemed almost impossible. Angel wondered how Connor had gotten so good at being so bad so quickly. He was pretty sure there hadn't been all that many doors to slam in Quor-toth.
He resisted—barely—the urge to break the door down and barge in. The odds were likely that Connor had already opened the curtains as far as they would go to let in as much sunlight as possible, anyway. He wouldn't step into that trap again.
"We'll talk about this later," he promised through Connor's closed door. "I mean it."
Receiving no reply, just as he'd expected, Angel turned and made his way down the stairs. Every member of his team stood behind the counter looking at him expectantly. Even Wesley. Didn't they ever go anywhere else or do any work?
"What?" he said irritably, retreating to the refrigerator in the corner to retrieve some blood. He poured it hastily into a glass, slopping some of it on the counter. He didn't even bother to clean up the mess before gulping the glass down quickly.
"Looks like Junior's driving Daddy to drink," Lorne commented lightly, holding his own sea breeze up for a long-distance toast.
"What did he do this time?" Gunn asked. "Did he throw the lamp against the wall again? I liked that one."
"None of your business," Angel said shortly, mopping roughly at the counter with a paper towel.
"Gee, I wonder why Connor's so hateful all the time," Cordelia said pointedly.
"Sorry," Angel relented. "It's just … he's killing me."
"Too late for that, big guy," Lorne said cheerfully, clearly amused by his own joke.
"You know what I mean," Angel said hotly, glaring at all of them for good measure.
"He's just being a teenage boy, Angel," Fred said reassuringly. "It's nothing to worry about. They all act that way."
"Hey!" Wes and Gunn exclaimed together.
Lorne just shrugged.
"Might be whuppin' time again," Gunn suggested enthusiastically.
"Charles!" Fred chided gently.
"What?" he said defensively. "You know it did that boy a world of good the last time. He didn't even give me a dirty look for two weeks!"
"He did," Cordelia corrected, smiling. "He just did it behind your back."
"Little punk," Gunn muttered affably.
"It is not whuppin' time," Angel said testily. "I shouldn't have even done that the last time."
"Yes, you should," commented everyone but Wesley.
"I never saw a kid in need of it so bad," Gunn said heartily.
"What about you, Wes?" Angel asked. "Don't you want to tell me how much my kid sucks, too?"
"I'm going to go home now," Wesley said noncommittally, gathering his books. "I'll see you all tomorrow."
"I'll be in my room," Angel announced, turning on his heel and stomping up the stairs.
Honestly. Everyone had to have an opinion on how to raise his kid. His kid. Surely he wasn't the worst father in the world. Was he? He tried so hard, but Connor clearly hated him. He knew some of that was due to Holtz and all the things he'd been told growing up, but an increasing portion of it seemed to belong to him alone.
Angel stood in the shower until he couldn't justify it anymore. He toweled off and threw on some clothes before running some gel roughly through his hair. He would deny that later if asked.
Angel grabbed a book and settled back onto his bed. He tried to pretend that he didn't hear Connor crawling out his own bedroom window across the hall. He knew the kid would come back. He'd come back, and deny having left, and they would have a confrontation about it, and one of them would end up in tears. Angel just hoped it wasn't him this time.
Two hours later, Angel had grown tired of staring blankly at the pages of the novel. No one had come up to get him. He didn't know if that meant that there was no case today, or if they were too afraid to disturb him. Either way worked just fine for him. He closed his book and went to Connor's room, which was still empty. He settled down onto Connor's bed in the same position he'd used in his own room—knees bent, book propped open in his lap—and waited.
Connor finally came dragging in after sunset. Angel watched as his son deftly slid through the window and hit the floor without a sound.
"What do you want?" Connor spat, not even having the decency to look ashamed at being caught.
"To talk," Angel said calmly, laying the book on Connor's nightstand.
"Too bad," Connor said quietly, folding his arms across his chest.
"Where did you go?" Angel asked, working hard to keep his voice even.
"Out," Connor answered.
"Yes, out the window, I know," Angel said. "You know I told you not to do that anymore."
"You can use the front door," Angel said. "If you need to cool off, you can leave through the lobby. You don't have to sneak out the window just to piss me off."
Connor shifted slightly, and Angel heard his heartbeat pick up a little.
"Yeah, I'm pissed off," he continued, seizing the opportunity to make his son squirm a little.
"I don't care," Connor said coldly. Almost as an afterthought, he added, "And get off my bed."
"You don't get to give the orders around here," Angel said sternly. "I don't know where you picked up that smart mouth, but it'd be in your best interest to stop running it all the damn time."
Connor smirked again, clearly pleased that he'd gotten a rise out of his father. Angel sighed heavily and pinched the bridge of his nose. He'd seen Giles do that often with Buffy, and now he thought he fully understood why.
"You're still here," Connor said after a moment.
"Sit down," Angel said, pointing at the desk chair close to the window. "And shut up a minute."
Connor frowned but did as he was asked for once. Angel kept his position on the bed just to irritate his son a little more. It was immature, he knew, but he didn't care.
"We're going to talk about earlier," Angel said.
"Whatever," Connor replied.
"When I ask you to do something that you don't want to do," Angel continued, ignoring the comment, "you don't have to shout at me about it. You can talk to me like a reasonable human being."
"You're not human!" Connor spat, and Angel rolled his eyes. He could tell his son had been waiting his entire sentence to use that.
"Yeah, Connor, I know," he said tiredly. "Believe me, I know. And if I didn't, you certainly tell me enough."
A slightly confused look crossed Connor's face when Angel didn't take the bait.
"Anyway," Angel continued, "we can't keep doing this. I'm not your enemy, no matter what you think. I'm your father."
Connor snorted. Angel bristled slightly but tried not to get upset.
"So I'm gonna ask you again," Angel said, "to please not climb in and out of the window anymore. And I'm gonna ask you again to please clean up the lamp that you so graciously broke last week."
Angel motioned toward the far wall where a blue lamp lay in pieces, the shade cock-eyed and ripped down one side.
Connor looked as if he were seriously considering the request, but his teenage defiance won out in the end.
"No," he said smugly, his eyes daring Angel to do anything about it.
"You broke it, Connor. It is your responsibility to clean it up," Angel said, feeling his calm slipping away.
"I like it there," Connor said brazenly. "It gives the room character."
Angel quickly leapt to his feet and watched as Connor warily did the same.
"You know you're treading on thin ice," Angel said quietly, walking toward the open window. He closed it forcefully in one swift motion, just in case his son decided to try something stupid. "We talked about this the last time, and you know I don't want to do it again, but if you keep pushing me, I will punish you for it."
Connor's heart pounded hard in his chest, and he blurted out, "I'm too old to be smacked!"
Angel was taken aback a moment by the British term. He wondered if Connor had picked that up from Wesley, but quickly realized it had probably come from Holtz. That rotten English bastard had smacked—spanked—his kid! His kid! Of course, looking now at the openly defiant brat in front of him, he found he couldn't harbor much ill will toward him for it.
"You're too old to be throwing things like a toddler," Angel shot back. "And you're too old to be running away from home every time you get mad at your dad."
"You're not my dad!" Connor shouted angrily, unable to stop the tears from streaming down his face. "You're just a stupid fucking demon, and I hate you!"
Angel's patience was all gone. Before Connor could even react, he had gripped him tightly by the lobe of one ear.
"You don't get to call me that, not anymore," Angel said through clenched teeth.
"Let go of me!" Connor shrieked, anger seething out of him so thick Angel could almost taste it.
"In fact, the list of things you're allowed to call me just got real short, son," Angel said, walking toward Connor's bed and pulling the errant teen behind him. Connor's ear was in too much pain to offer much resistance.
"Don't smack me!" Connor yelled. The tone held no pleading; it was clearly a command.
"What did I tell you about who gives the orders around here, huh?" Angel asked, pushing Connor face down over the edge of the bed and holding him there with a hand to the small of his back.
"Don't!" Connor repeated.
"This fucking demon has had it with you, Connor!" Angel said angrily. He brought his hand down hard across his son's bottom.
Connor struggled and tried to jerk out of Angel's grasp, but Angel sat down on the bed beside him and easily maneuvered him over his lap.
"Don't!" Connor said again, though the commanding tone faltered slightly. "Please don't."
Angel gave a short laugh and pinned Connor's writhing body between his knees.
"It is way past the time for 'please,' pal," he informed his son as he rained several hard whacks down on the seat of his pants.
"Stop!" Connor yelled, letting out an anguished cry of frustration.
"Why should I do as you ask?" Angel said, swatting hard and low on Connor's bottom. "You never do as I ask. You've done nothing but give me grief for days."
Connor stopped struggling and lay perfectly still, oozing anger.
"And yeah, you are too old for this," Angel admitted. "But you've been asking for it."
"No," Connor said through clenched teeth.
"Oh yes, you have," Angel informed him. "You asked for this the moment you slammed that door in my face this afternoon. If this is how we have to have a conversation around here, fine."
"Get off of me!" Connor shouted, renewing his struggling.
"Unless you want your pants helped right off your butt and down to your ankles, you'll cut that out right now," Angel warned.
"No!" Connor huffed, but the struggling stopped.
"Good," Angel said, pausing the punishment. "It sounds like you're ready to listen."
Connor didn't reply, so Angel continued.
"When I let you up, you're going to march right over there and clean up that lamp like I asked you to do last week," he said.
Connor made as if to get off of Angel's lap, but Angel held him down.
"No, not yet," he said, and saw Connor visibly cringe.
"'Fucking demon?'" he quoted at his son. "Really? I would ask you where you learned that word, but that would just make me the uncool, naïve dad. You're not going to call me that. Not ever again. Do you hear me?"
"Yes," Connor said quietly.
Angel started spanking again, hard.
"Ow!" Connor cried out in surprise. "I said yes!"
"You can call me Angel. You can call me Dad. Or you can call me sir," Angel said. "You cannot, under any circumstances, call me a fucking demon."
"I got it! I got it!" Connor said frantically, and Angel could tell he was on the verge of tears.
"You even think it, and I will bust your ass," Angel promised. "Do you understand me, Connor?"
"Yes! Yes, sir!" Connor said emphatically. Angel knew Connor would say anything at this point to get out of this position, but it gave him some satisfaction anyway.
"And another thing," Angel started, but Connor cut him off.
"I won't go out the window anymore!" he said shrilly, clearly distressed at the thought of more punishment.
"You're lucky I'm not taking a belt to you for that," Angel chided.
"Please don't. I'm sorry," Connor conceded, breaking down into tears at Angel's harsh tone. "I only did it to piss you off, like you said. I'm sorry."
Angel looked down at the heaving shoulders of his crying, subdued son. He kind of hated himself in that moment, but it would just have to be added to the list of things he felt guilty for. He patted Connor affectionately on the shoulder and shifted to allow his son to get up.
Connor got unsteadily to his feet and made his way to the broken lamp without a word. He knelt down and started picking up the pieces and tossing them into his waste basket.
"Connor," Angel said gently. "Don't do that. You're going to cut your hands. I'll get you a broom."
Connor shrugged and sniffed, refusing to meet Angel's gaze. He sat back on his heels, waiting.
Angel gave his son a sympathetic look and disappeared downstairs to retrieve a broom and dust pan. Luckily, no one was in the lobby this time. He strongly suspected that they had heard what was going on upstairs and scattered. He was grateful.
He returned to his son's room half expecting him to be gone, but Connor was still kneeling beside the broken lamp. He pulled his hands quickly away from his bottom, and Angel could tell from the guilty and embarrassed look on his face that he had been rubbing it.
"Here," he said, handing over the cleaning supplies without comment.
Connor gripped the broom toward the bristle end and swept up the broken glass without bothering to get to his feet. He dumped the dust pan into the waste basket and frowned at the lampshade, which was too big to go whole into the trash. Angel watched silently, wondering what his son would do.
Connor picked up the shade and balanced it precariously on top of the small waste basket. He straightened it out and centered it as if it belonged there, and then looked to Angel.
"It won't fit," he sniffed, obviously worried about being rebuked further for it.
"It's fine," Angel said, smiling slightly. "Thank you for cleaning it up."
"I'm sorry I broke it," Connor said quietly. "It was a good lamp."
"We'll get you a new one," Angel said.
Connor shook his head slightly. "Don't deserve one."
"Don't be ridiculous, Connor," Angel said, feeling incredibly guilty for spanking the sass out of him. "Of course you deserve to have a lamp."
Connor shrugged helplessly and got to his feet. He hung back by the wall and stared at the floor looking chastised.
"Connor," Angel said gently. "I love you very much. You know that, right?"
"Sorry for what I called you," Connor said in reply.
"It's okay," Angel said, taking a tentative step toward his son. When Connor didn't immediately assume a defensive stance, Angel took the opportunity to wrap his arms around his boy's shoulders. Connor didn't return the embrace, but he didn't fight it, either.
"It's okay," Angel repeated. "But I meant what I said."
"I know," Connor murmured into his shirt. "Angel. Dad. Sir. I got it."
"You're a smart kid," Angel said, stepping back and tousling Connor's hair. "You must get that from your dad."
The faintest hint of a smile—it might have been a smirk, but Angel preferred to think it was a smile—crossed Connor's face.
"I'm a smart-ass kid," he replied good-naturedly. "And I know I get that from my dad."