Disclaimer: see chapter 1

Author's note: Thanks to everyone for all the great reviews – I've come to rather like them. They're really addictive … I hope this part addresses the fact that, really, telling someone you're a vampire is a bit daft! Although Angel has been known to do some daft things on occasion. Anyway enjoy.



Connor's mouth dropped open. "What happened to the excuses?" he said. "The keeping it a secret?"

"A what?" said his mother. "A …"

"Bad things happen when I keep it a secret," Angel told Connor, his voice flat. "I kept it a secret from Buffy and her mother got bitten, and then I had to stake Darla. I kept it a secret from Kate; she nearly died and her father did die. I don't want any more deaths."

"And I'm worried about my mother!" Connor said, pushing his chair back, his voice rising. "Look at her! Ordinary people can't take this in all at once!"

"You did," retorted Angel.

"I'm not ordinary and you know it. I know it. But I guess you've been too long without ordinary people. Perhaps you've forgotten."

Angel looked away, his shoulders sagging.

Connor went to his mother. "Mum?"

She looked up at him, confusion in her eyes. "Does he mean like in those Anne Rice books? Because that's not real."

"It's not quite like that," said Connor, feeling much older than fifteen all of a sudden.

"Vampires aren't real," his mother said with conviction. "And perhaps you shouldn't have gone to Los Angeles. Are we sure he's even your father? It sounds like he needs professional help."

"I'm sure," Connor reassured her. "Yes. He's my father. I think he thinks he owes it to you to be honest, which is definitely wrong."

His mother took his hand. "Connor, honey, vampires don't exist. It's quite simple."

"Mum," Connor said, "they do."

Brigitte stood up. "I'm going to call the doctor, get him to come and see you. Are you feverish? How did this man get you to believe what he said?" She frowned. "How did he do that thing with his hand?"

Connor sighed, and looked desperately towards Angel for help. "Dad?"

"What do you want me to say?" Angel turned around. "I'm sorry, all right? I couldn't talk my way out of this one. But I did not want to be here. For fourteen years I pretended to myself you didn't exist. I tried not to think about you growing up. You came to find me, not the other way around. You wanted me to visit your parents. Here I am. Do you want me to deny what I am now? What created you?" He took a single, furious stride across the kitchen. "Because I'm sorry, Connor, I cannot do that."

Connor met his father's furious eyes, shining with anger and flecked with gold, and suddenly he had an idea.

"Mum, don't scream," he warned, and then with all his force and some of the skills he had been taught by Angel in the previous week, he took a step back and launched a high kick at his father. Angel staggered back a step before righting himself, in full 'grr' face, growling.

Brigitte screamed.

Connor grinned. "That," he told his mother, "is a vampire. Who also happens to be my father, who helps people and saves lives and kills demons. And someone I kind of love."

With a shake of his head, Angel forced control over the demon. "I kind of love you too," he said softly.

Brigitte fainted.

Angel crossed to her and picked her up easily, carrying her through to the living room and laying her down on the sofa gently. "Go and get some water," he instructed. "She'll wake up any moment and she'll want to see you and not me."

Connor hurried to fetch a glass of water; Angel hovered near the door as his son gently dabbed a little water on his mother's forehead. "Mum?"

She came around quickly. "Where am I? What happened? Connor?"

"Here. You fainted."

"Wasn't there a … were you saying something about vampires, honey?" Her eyes widened. "He … Angel …"

Connor began to explain again, and Angel slipped upstairs to his shady guest room and sat down heavily on the bed, reaching for the thermos of blood and swallowing it all down before throwing the empty container back into his bag and sighing deeply.

It took Connor half an hour to explain his situation to his mother, and he had to repeat parts of it twice, but eventually Brigitte sighed and held out her hands.

"Stop, Connor, stop. I get it. As much as I can get. It's not right; I should be calling the doctor right now and getting you some help."

"But you saw, Mum," Connor said.

"I saw. And God only knows I don't want to believe my own eyes. Will you – go and fetch him?"

"Yeah." He bent and kissed her.

Upstairs, Connor found Angel stretched out on his bed, eyes closed, and for a moment he thought his father was asleep. But then Angel sat up.

"Well?"

"She wants to talk to you. Says she believes me." Connor sat down next to Angel. "Did you mean that? When you said you'd tried to forget me?"

"I failed," his father said, softly. "I tried so hard to convince myself you'd never been, that it was a figment of my imagination. I'm glad you weren't." He forced a smile. "Right."

They went downstairs together, and joined Connor's mother in the living room where she sat sipping coffee and looking a little better. Connor joined her on the sofa; Angel perched awkwardly on the edge of a chair across the room. There was silence. Angel fiddled with the claddagh ring on his left hand.

"I'm sorry I screamed," Brigitte said, after a while.

"I'm sorry I've broken in our your lives here," Angel returned. "It seems a nice life."

"It is. But you know, at the hospital I've seen so many weird things that we've explained away … knowing there's something else out there kind of makes sense."

"Mum's a nurse," Connor added, helpfully.

"Nobody's willing to admit it to themselves," Angel said. "I know I didn't. Yet that doesn't mean you have to know. And I'll always be sorry I'm the cause of your knowing."

Brigitte smiled, wan but genuine. "As Connor pointed out to me, it was us who forced you here. And I do think we owe it to each other to be honest. We have a shared responsibility."

"What was he like, growing up?" Angel asked softly. "Do you have photos I could see?"

"Boxes full. I'll go and fetch them."

They spent the rest of the morning going through the hundreds of photographs the Abrams had taken and kept carefully of Connor; a small dark child laughing, playing, crying, walking. Brigitte cheered up visibly as she told stories of his childhood, and Connor felt at once embarrassed by the tales of his childhood pranks and happy because his father was happy. Angel examined every picture closely and hung on every word of every story, and Connor noticed that for once he seemed to be allowing himself to show his happiness, with a smile that reached his eyes.

It was lunchtime before they knew it, and Brigitte put away the photographs looking much more content and much more relaxed. Angel politely declined her offer of food, and she disappeared into the kitchen to make sandwiches.

Connor was telling his father about a particularly comic episode from a summer camp when Roger Abrams arrived back, cheerfully calling a greeting from the hallway as he dumped down his briefcase. He came into the living room stretching his arms above his head.

"Hi. Such a glorious day." Brigitte came in with a tray of sandwiches and gave her husband a kiss. "How's about we eat lunch outside?" Roger suggested, waving a hand at the window. "On the sundeck?"

There was a pause. Connor and his mother exchanged glances and turned to Angel.

"Go ahead," Angel said. "Please."

"I'd feel very rude," Brigitte said, hesitantly, bending to pick up the tray.

"I insist," Angel replied. "Believe me, I can easily while away half an hour alone. It wouldn't be the first time."

"What's going on?" Roger asked. "Don't you feel well?"

"I'm fine," Angel said, apologetically. He glanced at Connor, who shrugged.

Brigitte surprised them both by moving her husband into a seat. "Remember last night you thought Angel looked kind of young?"

"Bridge!" Roger exclaimed. "You weren't supposed to say anything!"

"Actually I overheard," Angel confessed.

"I … it wasn't …" stammered Connor's father, going a little red in the face.

Brigitte sat down on the edge of the armchair. "It's all a little complicated, hon," she said. "And a bit weird. You see, Angel's actually a vampire."

Roger's mouth dropped open. He looked from his wife to his son and back again, and then at Angel; and then he let forth a huge guffaw. "That's a good one. Did you guys spend all morning thinking it up?"

"Well, that's better than a scream," Connor said. "I guess."

"It's crazy, isn't it?" Brigitte said. "But there's this whole face thing. Not pretty."

"And a drinking blood thing?" Roger laughed. "A coffin? Where's the black cape?"

"Dracula has a lot to answer for," quoted Connor. "Right?"

Angel nodded. "He had strange tastes." He sighed. "Welcome to my world, Mr Abrams."

Roger Abrams scratched his head. "So this happened after Connor's birth?"

"No, 263 years ago," Angel said. "Long years. Yet somehow this year is one of the best of them all. Go and eat your lunch, Mr Abrams, and I'm sure your family will explain things to you." He nodded encouragingly, and quickly disappeared upstairs.

"I'm famished," said Connor.

After the meal, he did not believe that Roger was any more convinced of the strange tale he and his mother had told, as his father went back to work shaking his head in confusion. Brigitte excused herself, and went off to grocery shop. Connor dug about and discovered some old board games, and a battered chess set, and took them up to the guest room.

As the afternoon grew on, Connor noticed that Angel kept glancing towards the window, and as their game of Scrabble drew to a close – his father having beaten him by 150 points – he said, "you're going to go tonight, aren't you?"

Angel put down "thrice" and counted the score, and nodded. "It's best for us all if I go. And I'm sure there's work back in LA."

"I was hoping you'd stay another night."

"It's not fair on your parents," Angel said. "And I need more space during the day. Somewhere to move."

"Somewhere to be alone," said Connor, tipping letters back into the box.

"I'm sorry," his father said, guilt burning in his eyes. "It's been a wonderful week. I'm sorry to spoil it now."

"It's not you," Connor said, watching as Angel stood up and started to tidy away his few belongings. "Well, yeah, it is you, but you don't mean it. But I can still come and see you, right?"

"Anytime. Just come. And keep up with the fencing, or a martial art. Call me if anything strange happens; anyone you see following you, human or demon. Promise?"

"I promise."

Angel nodded. "Good." He zipped up his bag. "That's it."

Downstairs, Brigitte and a still disbelieving Roger protested at Angel's decision to leave, but he insisted politely.

"Thank you. For looking after Connor so well. I am eternally grateful."

"Emphasis on eternal," muttered Roger, shaking Angel's hand. "Drive safely."

Brigitte took Angel's offered hand and then suddenly gave him a hug. "It's been lovely to meet you," she said, warmly.

Angel disentangled himself and went to Connor. For a moment, they looked at each other, and then Connor came forward and put his arms around his father. "Bye, Dad," he said.

"Goodbye." They shared a last look, and then Angel climbed into his car parked outside and started the engine, disappearing with a brief wave of his hand as the Abrams stood on the doorstep and watched him go. Roger was the first to turn and go inside, followed quickly by his wife; but Connor stood and watched until the roaring of the Plymouth's exhaust had faded in the night.

THE END – for now …



[Da da! I am planning on returning to this now wildly AU Connorverse at some point in the future. For the moment, though, I want to finish my current historical Angelus fic, which can be found by clicking on my name and then choosing 'The Breton'. Go on. You know you want to. Ta!]