A/N: All right, here's the deal. These types of stories normally don't appeal to me, but I read several on here with pint-sized and/or teenage versions of Spike, and I kinda loved them. So I decided that I'd just steal that idea... er, I mean, use that idea and write one of my own.
Now. This will be, I assure you, shameless fluff and nothing more. It will also contain corporal punishment, so if that turns you off, just leave now. Seriously. Go. Still here? Okay then.
This is a sequel to my "Guilty Feelings" story and is set five years after the end of that one, but it will be written in third person omniscient instead of being limited to Connor's point of view. That's not a style that I have used a lot; I very well may suck at it.
Don't worry, I am still working on the other one. It is nearing completion in my head. On paper, I got nothin'.
Something was clearly wrong. No one ever knocked at the Hyperion, not ever. They just barged right in, either old friends taking up residence for awhile or clients pleading for help. Connor stood rooted to his spot in Angel's—and his, too, now, he supposed—office, peering at the door. The loud, frantic knock came again, and he finally got himself moving to answer it.
"Hello," he said politely, stifling his surprise at seeing a nun and a little boy at the door. "Can I help you?"
"I believe this belongs to you," the dour nun said curtly, nodding at the boy but not quite looking at him.
"Um," Connor said uncertainly. "No, no I don't think it does. You must have the wrong address."
"Hi, Uncle Connor," a chipper little British voice piped up.
Connor gaped down at the child in pure shock. That voice could only belong to a very, very pre-pubescent Spike.
"What the hell?" Connor asked before he'd remembered his present company. "What—what did he do? How did this happen?"
The questions fell on deaf ears, however. No sooner had Connor acknowledged that he might know this child than the nun had returned to her modest yellow Chevy Nova and sped off down the street, squealing the tires along the way.
"Guess you're stuck with me, then," Spike commented nonchalantly. "When's dinner?"
"I repeat—what the hell?" Connor asked, only moving to let the boy in when he found himself suddenly laden with a tiny, surprisingly heavy suitcase.
"Got myself shrunk," the boy answered easily, shrugging.
"You 'got yourself shrunk?'" Connor repeated. "What do you mean, you 'got yourself shrunk?'"
"Oh," Spike replied, sticking his hands in his little jacket pockets. "I've got a letter somewhere. Tells what happened."
"Dad!" Connor suddenly bellowed in the direction of the staircase. "Dad! I think you should get down here!"
"No!" Spike whispered, his tiny voice suddenly full of alarm. "What are you doing? What are you calling him for?"
"What am I... Spike..." Connor sputtered. "Didn't you think he might wonder what a little kid was doing running around the hotel in the middle of the night? Or tomorrow, or the next day? I assume you do plan to stay?"
"I thought we just wouldn't tell him," Spike replied earnestly. "I'm real little. I could just hide."
Connor stared at him silently for several seconds before yelling upstairs again.
"Oh, found the letter!" Spike said proudly, producing a crumpled wad from somewhere on his person. "You can still read most of it."
"Most of it?" Connor asked, taking the offered paper.
"Well," Spike answered rather shyly. "I sort of spilled juice on it."
"What is it, Connor?" Angel asked as he finally appeared. "What's the matter? What—oh. Hello."
Angel peered down at the little boy, who was chewing on his bottom lip, and then back to Connor questioningly.
"I think we should sit down," Connor suggested, walking toward the nearest couch. "All of us. This is going to be hard to believe, Dad, but—"
"Oh. My. God," Angel suddenly interrupted, dropping down to one knee and gathering Spike's face in both his hands. "Spike! What the hell did you do?"
"Okay, not so hard to believe, then," Connor muttered. "I think I'm still gonna sit."
Angel gently turned Spike's face one way and then the other before looking him straight in the eye and demanding sternly,
"I-I can't, Angel," Spike said, trying to pull his face away. "I didn't do it on purpose."
"There's a letter," Connor said. "From someone named Harmony. Know her?"
"Oh, lord," Angel sighed, standing but unable to take his eyes off the miniature Spike in front of him. "You're telling me Harmony managed to do this to you?"
"Not her," Spike answered. "She hired a witch to do it."
"Why?" Angel prompted.
"Don't you shrug at me," Angel scolded. "Why did Harmony do … this … to you?"
"Why d'you think?" Spike asked hotly. "She got tired of me."
"Harmony has no soul," Angel chided. "What were you doing hanging around her, anyway? You should have known better!"
"Don't yell at me," Spike said, backing away, his little face flushing.
"It says he'll get better," Connor summarized. "It's a curse, but it'll wear off after awhile. She seems really proud of herself, this Harmony..."
"How long?" Angel asked.
"Not sure," Connor answered.
"How long have you been like this already?" Angel asked Spike.
"I dunno," Spike answered, suddenly plopping down into the floor and crossing his legs.
"What are you doing?" Angel demanded.
"Well..." Angel said awkwardly, frowning. "Come on, let's sit on the couch."
He reached down to pick him up, but Spike flinched and rolled away before he could.
Angel sighed and shook his head. It would be just like Spike to go and get himself into something like this and then come crawling back to him for help. Typical.
"I need to make a phone call," he said. "Connor, would you … just … watch him, or something."
"I'm hungry," Spike nearly whined as soon as Angel had disappeared from sight. "Do you got any blood?"
"You mean you're still a vampire?" Connor asked in surprise.
"Well, yeah," Spike replied as if he were stupid.
"Angel probably has some," he answered uncertainly, walking toward the fridge in the corner. "Hold on."
After a lot of rummaging through the cabinet, Connor finally found Spike's old Sex Pistols mug. Angel had kept it on the counter for almost a year before he had stored it away, deciding that Spike had meant it that time and really wasn't coming back. He filled the mug half full—Spike was just little, after all—and warmed it before bringing it back to the couch.
"Here you go," he said.
"Cool! My mug!" Spike exclaimed happily. "Figured it was gone."
"No, we kept it," Connor said, for lack of anything better to say.
Spike gripped the mug in both hands and downed the liquid, spilling a fair amount of it on his shirt. Connor grimaced but didn't comment.
"We had these little plastic cups at the orphanage," Spike said nonchalantly when he'd finished his drink. "They had lids and a little spout thing to drink from. Sippy cups. Those were easier."
"You're like, six years old, at least," Connor said disapprovingly. "You shouldn't need a sippy—wait. You've been at an orphanage?"
"Yeah. You saw the nun," Spike answered. "She didn't like me much."
"Spike, just... This is too weird."
"It's real," Spike said, pinching him hard on the forearm.
"Ow!" Connor shrieked, pulling back.
"You little brat!" Connor replied, rubbing at his arm.
"I was just showing you it wasn't a dream," Spike said defensively. "Don't be cross."
"I'm not cross," Connor answered crossly.
"You're cross," Spike accused, and all of a sudden his lower lip began to quiver. "You are!"
"Oh, don't," Connor said helplessly, patting him awkwardly on the shoulder. "It's okay. I'm not mad. Not at all. Don't cry."
"Not cryin'," Spike answered, turning to his side and hiding his face in the crook of his arm.
"C'mere," Connor said, gathering him around the waist and pulling him straight into his lap as if it were the most natural thing in the world. "I'm not mad at you."
"Do you promise?" Spike asked hopefully.
"Promise," Connor answered, stroking his hair, which appeared to be a light brown without all the dye.
Angel eventually returned. To his credit, he only did a slight double take at seeing Spike cuddled up in Connor's lap.
"Called Willow," he reported. "She'd heard of this curse. Says it'll wear off."
"Yeah, I already told you that from the letter," Connor reminded him. "What else?"
Angel peered at Spike, who peered right back.
"Let's get him to bed; then we'll talk," he said.
"I wanna hear!" Spike protested.
"No," Angel answered firmly. "You're going straight to bed. It is way past time for little boys to be asleep."
"I'm a vampire!" Spike reminded him. "I'm s'posed to stay up all night!"
"Bed," Angel repeated.
"I'll take him up," Connor said, getting to his feet and swinging Spike to his side.
Spike wrapped his legs around Connor's waist and laid his head on his shoulder. Connor carried him to his old room and set him down in the middle of the floor.
"All my stuff's still here," Spike commented, looking around the room in wonder. "But it's all really high up."
"Yeah," Connor said, laughing at the absurdity of the situation. "I guess it is, if you're a little shrimp."
He glanced at the bed. The covers were all dusty. That wouldn't do.
"I'm gonna find you some different blankets," he told him. "You just stay right here, okay?"
"Okay," Spike readily agreed.
The bed, it was just too tempting. Spike grabbed hold of the blanket and pulled himself up. Once there, he tried one tentative bounce before deciding the bed would probably hold up at least long enough for him to have some fun. When Connor returned with fresh blankets, he was bouncing as hard and as high as he could go.
"Hey, whoa!" Connor said, dropping his armload of sheets and quilts into the floor. "Quit that! Get down from there right now."
"How come?" he asked innocently. "I was just bouncin'."
"You might bounce right into the floor and hurt yourself," Connor scolded.
"I'm immortal," Spike scoffed.
"That doesn't mean it won't hurt if you break your arm," Connor said, picking him up and dropping him gently to the floor. "Now help me make this bed."
"Oh, all right," he murmured.
Spike wasn't much help, but he seemed to be trying his best, so Connor didn't comment on it.
"Let me go get your suitcase," Connor said, smoothing out the clean comforter. "Do you have any pajamas in there?"
"I dunno," Spike answered, stretching out on the bed.
"You'd better not be bouncing when I get back..."
Spike rolled his eyes and grinned mischievously, making Connor wonder if he'd just unknowingly and unintentionally issued a challenge. When he got to the lobby, he found Angel going through Spike's things and, he could have sworn, "ooh"ing and "aww"ing over little shoes and little socks.
"Dad?" he said, and Angel jumped guiltily. "Does he have pajamas?"
"Uh, yeah," Angel said, rifling through the clothes. "I mean, I might have seen some."
"Good," Connor said, coming to collect the suitcase. "I wonder who gave him this stuff?"
"Beats me," Angel said, snapping the case shut and handing it to him.
"This is too weird," Connor commented. "I'll be right back."
Connor couldn't have been gone for more than a couple minutes, but when he returned, Spike had fallen asleep. Not having the heart to wake him, Connor gently pulled off his shoes—little red high top sneakers—and set them beside the bed. He could just sleep in his clothes tonight. Connor maneuvered the blanket up and over him and turned out the light. He left the door open, though, just in case his friend woke up and needed anything.
"Okay, Dad," Connor said when he reached the lobby. "What the fuck?"
"Language, Connor, geez," Angel corrected. "We have a child in the house now."
The two momentarily looked at each other before they both burst into laughter. Connor didn't think he'd ever seen Angel laugh so hard. It was all just too absurd.
"I know what this is," Angel laughed, catching his breath. "This is his payback for making fun of me when I was a puppet!"
"What now?" Connor asked, all laughed out. "You were a puppet?"
"Oh, yeah," Angel said, waving it off. "I'll tell you about it sometime. But not now."
"Yeah, now I think we have bigger problems. Or one little problem. I'm not sure. What the fu... What's going on, Dad?"
"Okay, okay," Angel said, trying hard to get his laughter under control. "Willow said that it'll wear off, but it might take weeks or even a few months, depending on the power of the witch who did the spell. He should have all his memories intact, but he won't be able to process information like an adult."
"So, you mean, like, he looks like a six year old, so he thinks like one?" Connor asked. "It's like he really is a little kid? Not just a … a mini Spike?"
"Yeah, I guess so," Angel said.
"But he seems to have such a good vocabulary for such a little guy," Connor said. "He didn't really talk like a little kid."
"Spike is very smart," Angel said almost proudly. "I guess he probably always was. You're just used to him trying to hide it."
"So... He knows us... And he knows he's a vampire..."
"Right," Angel said, nodding.
"So, what?" Connor asked. "We're just gonna wait it out? Can't Willow or someone just undo it for us?"
"I didn't ask," Angel said, smirking.
"You're enjoying this way too much," Connor pointed out, though he couldn't help smiling himself.
"It'll be good for him," Angel said dismissively.
"You do realize that if he thinks like a little kid, he's going to act like one, too, right?" Connor asked. "I mean, I went to get him some clean blankets and when I came back, I caught him jumping on the bed."
That set Angel off again, and he laughed so hard that he thought he might cry. The only thing that quelled the glee was Connor's urgent insistence that he quieten down and not wake the little boy.
Angel stayed up under the premise of "doing paperwork" until well after Connor went to bed, and then a little bit past that to make sure that his son was asleep, and then he crept upstairs and stood in the doorway to gaze upon the little Spike. Ha. Spike. That was a silly name for a little boy—or for anyone, for that matter. Maybe he would call him William for the duration of this curse. Or Will. Will was kind of cute. There weren't many boys named Will anymore.
As Angel stood lost in his thoughts, Spike unexpectedly flopped over and dumped himself straight into the floor with a dull thud. Angel winced, but the sleeping Spike didn't even stir except to reach up and pull his blanket down from the bed to cover himself up. An audible "Aww" escaped Angel's mouth at that, but Spike continued to sleep unaware. After much deliberation, Angel decided that yes, he should probably put the kid back in the bed, so he made his way silently across the room and scooped the little boy, blanket and all, into his arms and deposited him back onto the bed. He fixed the blanket around him, and for good measure, tucked him in tight.