Birthday Bliss

Disclaimer: I own the rights to my imagination only.


"Connor!"

Angel called out the name brightly as he swung his son's bedroom door wide open, a huge smile on his face.

"Oh god..." Connor moaned out from under his bed sheets, "What the..."

"Time to wake up!"

His words rang out while he walked across the floor and over to the big bay window in the right-hand corner of the spacious room.

Angel pulled back on the darkly colored curtains hanging down and allowed radiating beams of sun light to stream in and flood the entire room.

Connor had uncovered his face just a little bit so he could glare menacingly at the man determined to disturb his beauty rest, and received a direct hit to sleepy eyes of blinding light. "Dad!"

He quickly pulled the lowered covers back over himself and buried his head underneath his pillow. "Sun...lights...waking...all bad, very bad..sleep's good..."

Connor mumbled the string of inconsequential words and shut his eyes again, happily.

Angel glanced back to see that the lad had turtled down yet again and smirked. "Connor come on, it's morning, now, shake a leg, the early bird gets the worm!"

Hearing his father's heavy footsteps walking past his bed, Connor then slowly registered what Angel had just said. "Great, I go to sleep and wake up in nineteen forty three…five more minutes."

He flipped over onto his stomach with a moaning grumble and held snugly onto his pillow with both arms.

Angel sighed, standing near the foot of the bed.

"No five minutes, you never do five minutes anyway, and besides we are on a tight schedule."

His left hand grabbed the half snoozing child's right foot and shook it, hard and fast. "Now get up, get up. Get. Up!"

An annoyed groan erupted out of the disturbed body. "Schedules suck! And so do you..." The last part was whispered with careful caution.

Angel smiled and shook his head, in too good a mood to be bothered by the halfhearted attempt at an insult. Taking up a good handful of wrinkled bed sheets and gripping the material firmly, he then yanked them down in one fail swoop.

"Hey!" Connor yelled out in protest as his warm protection was, cruelly, stripped away.

"I want you up and in the shower by the time I get to the kitchen." Angel thought it over and, after a couple of seconds, landed a sharp swat on Connor's upturned, and vulnerable, hindquarters.

"Ow!" The boy immediately reached back and hurriedly rubbed in hopes of alleviating the sting now invading his backside. With a pout deftly in place, he flipped over to look up at Angel with a wounded puppy dog expression he'd perfected some time ago.

"If I have to, I'll bathe you myself."

The warning seemed playful with serious undertones attached as well.

"You wouldn't..." Connor spoke with a hint of uncertainty in his voice, a gulp coming after.

"Try me."

Angel let his final statement linger in the air and walked out, whistling.

Connor rolled his eyes and huffed, but he couldn't be all that sure his father wouldn't make good on his threat if challenged. He got up from his warm bed reluctantly, still rubbing his cheeks which tingled; stupid vampire strength.

Connor was able to match Angel fairly well when it came down to fighting ability, especially since the man had spent a good amount of time teaching him everything he knew, but his pain tolerance wasn't nearly as high.

A fact the boy hated and his father took full advantage far too often for Connor's liking.

"'I have a great idea Connor'..." He started talking to himself in a hushed tone trudging down the hallway; he was mocking his father afterall and wasn't crazy or stupid enough to do it loud enough to be heard.

"'How about we go away for your birthday Connor'..." Connor continued bitterly, making his way to the bathroom.

"'Won't that be fun Connor?'" He hissed out the last sentence louder than the others, but only once he'd turned on the shower knowing that it would, safely, drown out his words.


Angel moved around the kitchen to the soft sounds of Barry Manilow coming from a small radio on top of one of the side counters.

'At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana (Copacabana)

The hottest spot north of Havana (here)

At the Copa (CO!), Copacabana

Music and passion were always the fashion

At the Copa...they fell in love'

Angel sang along with the lyrics, not terribly off key but he was no Barry.

Connor came walking out of his room, hair still slightly damp from the shower, dressed in faded and torn jeans, a simple, character tee, and his favorite pair of flip-flops completed the look.

Standing in the doorway to the kitchen area he watched, with nearly equal amounts of slight object horror and curious fascination, his father shimmying across the kitchen floor.

It was similar to what generally happens when some sort of accident is occurring right in front of you; you know you shouldn't watch it and yet you can't help yourself and must.

Angel did one more turn and saw his son behind him, blinking.

He kept swaying his body, mainly hips and shoulders, to the rhythmic beat of the music, grinning all the while.

With a spatula and spoon in each hand, Angel shook them like they were maracas side to side.

Connor fought to keep a straight face at his father's antics; he still wanted to stay mad at him for his rude awakening earlier.

'His name was Rico, he wore a diamond

He was escorted to his chair, he saw Lola dancin' there

And when she finished, he called her over

But Rico went a bit too far, Tony sailed across the bar

And then the punches flew and chairs were smashed in two

There was blood and a single gun shot

But just who shot who?'

Connor, stomach reminding him of the reason why he'd come to the kitchen in the first place, inched around Angel who was continuing his disturbing attempts at dancing.

The man came to a stop suddenly, placed the utensils in his hands down on the kitchen island beside him, and then made his move.

Angel was quick, with lighting fast speed, and before Connor could react with barely a squeak of surprise he was in his father's arms.

He got the thin body dancing right along with the tune filling the room, guiding his movements.

'(Copa. . Copacabana)

(Copa Copacabana)

(Copacabana, ahh ahh ahh ahh)

(Ahh ahh ahh ahh Copa Copacabana)

(Talking Havana have a banana)

(Music and passion...always the fash—shun)'

Connor couldn't hold back any longer and burst out laughing, loud and free, as he was twirled around and around the floor in Angel's embrace.

The man's highly amused, and still singing voice, sounded in the child's ears.

Connor had to hold onto Angel's arms as he kept moving faster to keep his balance and to try to keep from getting dizzy, though he was losing the battle on both fronts.

When the music finally started to come to an end, Connor could hardly talk for his giggling.

"…Dad…you are such a dork…" he finally choked out, steadying himself on the counter next to him, waiting for the room to stop spinning, and his ears to quit ringing.

"Ha!"

Angel let loose another move all his own creation, shaking his money maker.

"I keep a pretty groovy beat kiddo, you've got to admit that."

"I'll admit that if I'm ever exposed to that spectacle again, I'm claiming child abuse, and endangerment for forcing me to dance with you."

Connor took a seat on one of the two stools placed behind the kitchen island, resting his elbows on top of the slab of wood.

"It's funny, not only did the great legend Barry make that a song, but it's also where we're going on our trip; it's even the name of the hotel we'll be staying in, one of the most famous in the world actually."

"Yippers…the sheer excitement is just overwhelming me…can't you tell…?"

Connor 's words were lacked with thick sarcasm, his deadpan delivery matched only by his manufactured yawn.

"Well I happen to think that it's pretty cool." Angel gave his son a winning smile.

"Yeah, and you also think it's still cool to say things like 'groovy' and 'out of sight' like you'll be going to the roller disco later." Connor made a face.

Angel waved one hand through the air.

"Just because I'm three hundred and seventy seven years old I'm considered ancient."

"You're three hundred and seventy eight Dad, remember? And you are ancient."

"Do you want something to eat?" Angel asked with a chuckle as he changed the subject, opening up a cupboard door.

"I want coffee," Connor answered.

"Like you need it..." Angel muttered during his search. "And you are going to want something solid to go with it right?"

"Does there have to be?"

The boy was not the biggest eater in the world; he'd learned to live off of very little, at least edible, food for most of his childhood, so his relationship with it and eating in general was fickle at best.

"Coffee is not food, it can't take the place of food, and you need food so...are we making the connection now?"

"Fine," Connor shrugged his shoulders. "Eggs; I'll have some eggs, happy?"

"It just thrills my little ole heart," Angel headed towards the fridge.

"Um Dad..." Connor traced his right index finger around the engrained patterns in the wood of the table in front of him. "About the whole Copa thing—you aren't going to like, make a big deal about it when we get down there right?"

Angel turned around to face his son, holding a carton of eggs in his left hand. "Why? Afraid your old man will embarrass you?" He shut the refrigerator door with his foot.

Connor looked back up at him, "Yes, yes I am, and I would appreciate it if you wouldn't make light of my fear, it's a big one when it comes to you."

"Oh, okay, as if I've done so much to embarrass you." Angel set the eggs down beside the range top and reached up to grab a hanging skillet above from a rack overhead.

"I couldn't possibly count the number of times just this week. So…you won't will you? I'm sure they're had enough tourists that make a point to mention it, they won't need your input too."

He set the skillet down on a burner and turned up the heat underneath it. "If it means that much to you, I'll keep my mouth shut about the whole thing."

Connor smiled in sheer relief, "Great."

"Now as I recall, however..." He picked up one egg and cracked it against the side of the skillet, "You don't need to use your mouth to play music. And since I just so happen to own the CD..."

Connor frowned, "Dad, that's not even—"

"You said not to say anything and I won't have to, Barry can do it for me."

The boy leaned over, rested his forehead against the table, and groaned long and low. "Why God why…"

"At the Copa, Copacabana . The hottest spot north of Havana..."

Angel sang softly as he did a little two step, stopping only to scramble up the eggs in a flourish with the spatula he once again wielded as a conductor would.

Connor started to bang his head in response.

A whole week in paradise, but he was going with the singing and dancing machine in front of him.


"Connor, will you get a move on!"

Angel yelled out as he stood in front of the private elevator which was the only way in or out of their condo. "Time's a wasting!"

"I'm coming! Jesus…"

Connor came out of his room with a bag swung over his shoulder and a square shaped, electronic device in his right hand. "I had to find my psp."

"Do you have to bring that thing along?" Angel asked as they, finally, got into the elevator together.

"Dad it's a long flight, I need something to do."

"You know, in my day, we didn't need stuff like that, not that we had anything like that to begin with but it didn't matter, books were our game systems and we also liked to use our imaginations to have a good time."

"And you discovered fire and painted pictures of Mammoths on your cave walls Dad, how's that my issue?"

Angel sighed as the doors slid shut.

"There was a lesson in there somewhere…"

When they opened up again, Connor and Angel stepped out into Angel's office. Gunn, Wesley and Spike were all waiting for them.

"Good morning," Wesley greeted the pair with a nod.

"Hey Wes," Connor managed to get out as he walked forward, mainly focused on clicking buttons as he played a game.

"Can't I get any love?", Gunn asked when Connor passed right by him without speaking a single word.

"Uh—hey, yeah, hey..." The child mumbled and frowned intently down at the lit up screen.

"Your son has no manners," Gunn pointed a finger at Angel.

"Oh that isn't my fault; he'd be reading something right now if I had my way. You're the one who just had to get him that for Christmas to be the 'cool' uncle, so you can thank yourself for the creature you see before you."

"You're both all set?" Wes broke in to ask.

"As far as I can tell," Angel sat down on the edge of his desk. "At least I have all the finer details planned out, don't know what will stop us from trying to kill each other most of the time though."

Spike smirked at that and got up from his chair, going to stand beside Connor. "So sonny boy? Aren't we just a bundle of happy that Daddy is taking us away for a whole week."

"You want to go with him? I'd gladly give up my spot," Connor replied in a dull voice, his eyes trained down at his game.

Spike chuckled, "Going out with Peaches? Aka sucker outer of funness, I think not dear boy."

"I heard that," Angel turned his head to eye the unnatural blond to his right.

"Well now, I didn't exactly whisper it sunshine." Spike grinned.

"Spike, you know, these windows can only protect you from the sun when you're on this side of them."

The man's comeback got a chortle from Connor.

If there was someone other than him who had his father's number it was Spike.

"And now here come the threats," Spike patted Connor's left shoulder. "It's too bad you're a youngin`, I think booze would be your friend on this trip."

"Spike, would you please stop trying to corrupt my son." Angel got up off his desk, noticing the time beeping on his watch.

"With all that you and Grandmumsy stuck in this kid, I'm not sure I could do so much worse."

Angel got near enough to take a pass at Spike's head to cuff it.

"Watch it Peaches." Spike moved aside and out of the way with ease, as if he and Angel were in the midst of a dance they'd done a thousand times before, which really they had.

"We all can't just slather on an entire jar of pomade and have the same, indestructible poof as some people."

Gunn tried to hid a laugh, unsuccessfully, behind a horse cough, and a smile tugged at the corners of Connor's mouth as he tried to pretend he was still only invested in playing his game.

"Cute Spike," Angel gazed down at the smaller male. "And it's not a poof."

"It most certainly is a poof," Spike contradicted as he slumped down on one of the couches in the room, lounging with a wide grin.

"It's like...the grand honcho of poofs everywhere."

Wesley could see that Angel's annoyance with his eldest grandchilde was growing as usual.

"Alright, you two will have all the time in the world to insult and ridicule one another later. Angel, you said you wanted me to take care of a few things for you while you're gone?"

Angel shot Spike a lingering glare before turning his attention to Wes. "Right, the Baclar demons decided they couldn't wait till next week so, you'll have to conduct the meeting in my stead. Gunn, you can help him out with that?"

Gunn nodded, "I'll do what I can."

"Okay, and you already have your cases dated and..." Angel went over everything in his head, ticking off a to-do list only he could see.

"And one of you will have to keep an eye Harmony, "He brought up then. "Make sure she doesn't...sell the firm or something."

"Gotcha," Wes and Gunn looked at their friend and boss as if they were waiting for something else. "That all?"

"I think so..." The man suddenly paused. "But I feel like I'm forgetting something..."

He frowned, thoughtful, "Something important..."

Angel looked over to the couch where Spike sat now with an unlit cigarette in his mouth and was bringing a flaming lighter up to its tip.

He moved across the floor as if he was gliding and in the blink of an eye he was beside the couch; Angel reached down without delay and yanked the cig out from between Spike's teeth unceremoniously.

"What's the big idea, eh!" Spike complained.

"You know I don't allow smoking in here Spike." Angel replied as he crushed the small object to bits in the palm of his hand and then tossed it into a wastebasket.

Spike was not above pouting petulantly, pressing himself against the back of the couch with arms folded.

"And now I remember," Angel smiled as he looked down at his one hundred and twenty-nine year old childe, seeing only the actions of a bratty five year old, which he saw more often than not actually.

"You, no taking my cars out while I'm gone."

Spike looked up and gaped with his mouth open. "What? Bollocks, Angel, that isn't fair! How in the bloody Mary am I supposed to—"

"There are many ways other ways for you to get around Spike; you are a danger to yourself and others when driving those fast cars, and since I won't be here to supervise you, you'll have to wait till I get back."

Spike exhaled harshly and looked away, his face darkened vulgarly.

"Do you understand me William?"

Spike couldn't believe the bastard had pulled out a William in front of everyone; he was only ever William when in trouble.

"Understood." Spike finally answered, "You great big bloody poof," he added.

Normally, Angel would have taken action over Spike's little comment, but he and Connor were already running late. "Good."

He glanced over at his son, "Lets go."

"I know it's asking a lot, but can you guys try and make sure he doesn't do something stupid?"

Angel opened the office door and leaned against it, waiting for Connor to walk by him, nodding his head at Spike who he could have sworn had just stuck out his tongue at him.

"Have you met your grandson? You expect us to do what, exactly?"

Angel looked from Spike's tilted stare of wonderment that he'd ask such a stupid question, to Gunn's incredulous look directed at him, and lastly Wesley's knowing smirk rounding out the group.

"Good point. Forget I even asked. I guess we'll see you guys later. I'll call once we're checked in."

"Have a good trip Angel; try not to worry so much." Wes told him.

Angel smiled, "Thanks Wes."

"Dad, come on! I am holding this elevator for ten more seconds, and then you're on your own."

"Oh how I just love him…" The words came through clenched teeth.

Walking away to join an impatient Connor, Wes and Gunn watched the man start up a familiar argument about patience, and lack thereof, with the boy as they both walked into the elevator.

"Think they'll both come back in one piece, or is only one coming back at all?"

"My money's on little poof junior," Spike commented as he came to stand behind them.

"He may be Angel's son, but he's more like Darla where it counts, Angel doesn't stand a chance."

Spike lifted up a new cigarette, pulled from the pack in his back pocket, to his mouth, smiling around it as he flicked on his lighter, "Just wish I could be there to see it."


tbc...