The group exited the car and headed into the building. Connor had struggled with Angel the entire way and finally felt he had enough. He was going to end this one way or another. In a daring move he bit down on Angel's arm as hard as he could. The reaction was not what he expected.
Angel tightened the arm that was holding him and with the other arm smacked his bottom, hard as he said, "That's enough of that, Connor."
Connor was shocked, to say the least. He expected that he would be able to get away or that the demon would snap his neck. Scratch that, drain him dry then snap his neck! He never thought that the monster would smack him. This put Connor a little on edge. With Father, a smack always meant that something worse was coming, usually a whipping just as soon as Father could tie him up. It seemed to be smarter to go with the flow and just listen to the vampire. He would get his chance. He always did. Kill or be killed and he was still alive to prove it!
Angel was kinda shocked by his reaction to Connor biting him. It wasn't that it was his first time being bitten. After a hundred years in hell being bitten was the least of Angel's concerns. It was just that he was thinking this time he was going to do right by Connor. He didn't know how long this age reversal thing was going to last or what the consequences were from it but whatever was going on with his boy he was getting a second chance to be a father. And he planned to use that chance!
Walking into the hotel, Angel went directly to the couch and placed Connor down. He gently lifted the injured leg and began to examine it.
Fred watched Angel and then announced, "I'll get the first aid kit." Coming back with said item she sat next to Connor, really getting a good look at the teeth marks from the metal jaw that tore open the boy's leg. "Oh, sweetie," she said softly, "I'll bet that hurts, but don't you worry. Your dad will fix you up in no time."
Connor cringed at the honorific placed on Angel but said nothing.
Angel continued to examine then carefully clean the wound saying, "I don't think anything is broken." He painstakingly wrapped the limb. "But you need to stay off it," he said directly to the boy.
Connor looked at him. "No," he stated plainly.
"No?" Angel repeated in question.
The boy began to scoot forward as he said, "I gotta get outta here." Though he did falter a bit at Angel's glare.
"You aren't going anywhere, little man. I told you already, I am your father and you are staying here with me," Angel said in no uncertain terms.
"No—I'm not," Connor reiterated.
Angel ignored the interruption as he said, "The only thing you gotta do is get something to eat."
"No," Connor said again. He didn't need to do what this vampire said!
Dragging in an unneeded breath Angel internally rolled his eyes. Why was he surprised that the boy was so obstinate? He looked over at Fred and asked, "Would you make him something to eat, please?"
Fred smiled down at Connor and then went to the kitchen.
Connor crossed his little arms and said, "I'm not going to eat. You can't make me!" He looked almost like he was going to stick his tongue out at the end of the statement but probably hadn't been introduced to the gesture.
Angel was about to argue with the boy when Connor's stomach growled loudly. He decided the best way to win would be to not fight the kid on it. "Fine, eat or sit there and stare at the food, I don't care," Angel lied, "so long as you don't move from the couch."
"Fine," Connor said, all but pouting his displeasure.
Fred brought back a sandwich and some milk, setting them in front of him. Connor glanced at Angel, who had wisely decided to ignore the rest of the interaction, before he picked up the sandwich.
Fred smiled at Connor saying, "You'll like it, I promise." And she gave him an encouraging nod before she said, "No tomatoes."
Connor sniffed the sandwich as Fred spoke. He didn't know what a tomato was, but figured it was probably a poison, so he made a mental note to steer clear of any of those in the future. He took a tentative bite. He was surprised at how hungry he actually was and ate the rest of it with gusto.
Satisfied that Connor was eating, Angel turned to Gunn and said, "I need you to get ahold of Wes. We need to find out everything we can about those demons and that dimension they come from."
He glanced at Spike next as he said, "I need you to tell Wes everything you know about them."
"Yeah, there's a problem. I've got, er, stuff, yeah, stuff to do and I need to head out and…" Spike stumbled the words out before Angel interrupted him.
"You've got nothing that is more important than this, Spike," Angel said, then softly added, "This is about family."
The two vampires made eye contact for a moment. Neither spoke but came to a mutual understanding. Spike was family and he would stay and do whatever he could to help.
Angel walked into his office and grabbed the books that they had used when trying to open the portal to Quor'toth, hauling them out for everyone to start to go through. Before he grabbed his own volume, he chanced a look over to Connor. The boy had fallen asleep. It was no wonder that he was tired with the state they had found him in.
Walking over to the couch, Angel picked the sleeping child up and cradled him in his arms. It was a testament to how exhausted the boy was that he didn't awaken from the movement. Angel carried him up the stairs, taking Connor to the bedroom he had over the summer. After the child was settled in and covered up, Angel stood in the doorway and watched him for a few moments. Crossing the room again, he brushed the bangs away and quickly kissed his forehead.
Angel couldn't believe he was staring at a young Connor. He thought he had lost his chance. With those thoughts he turned and left the room. They needed to find answers about what had happened. There could be more serious side effects than just becoming younger. The human body was not meant to age in reverse.
Hours later, the only sound in the hotel was the turning of pages. Wesley was the one to break the silence. "Well, so far all we know for sure is that the human looking, Vocar Demon, was only hired help. We don't know if those red scaled demons are from that other dimension or even where exactly that dimension is."
"Thank you so much for the recap on what we don't know," Angel said as he threw his book.
Gunn interrupted, "Angel, man, we're all just a little stressed here. No need to go throwing things."
Angel had crossed the room and had his back to his friends.
"I'm sure we'll find something soon," Fred placated.
Angel raised his hand to his forehead, as if in thought, before he turned and said, "I'm sorry. It's just…" He let the sentence hang as he looked up the stairs toward Connor's room. "He's been through so much and I don't know what this is going to do to him." He paused again, and then said imploringly, "He's my son."
Fred walked over and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder, quietly saying, "We'll figure this out. He's going to be fine."
Angel wanted to rant and say, "You don't know that!" But instead he just nodded and went to pick up the book he had thrown across the room.
.Angel The Series.
Connor awoke to a strange feeling above and below him. He was snuggled into something that was far too warm and comfortable for him to be home, in their cave in Quor'toth. Keeping his eyes closed, he stretched out his other senses trying to figure out where he was. Father had tricked him once, allowing him to be captured by a bird like creature, and he had woken up in its nest. The lesson he learned was not only from the creature nearly pecking his skin off, but also from the whipping he took from Father for being caught. He wasn't going to go through that again if he could help it.
Not hearing anything to give him a clue as to where he was, Connor slowly opened one eye to gather more information. He was lying on some kind of white cloth with a different blue cloth covering him. He almost wished he could just close his eyes and relish the warmth but his survival instinct was far too strong. Past the cloths he was laying on he saw a door. Sitting up quickly, Connor assessed the room better. A door, window, chair, and this must be a bed he was laying on. It all came back to him; he was with the demon, Angelus. This must be his lair, Connor thought, and I'm being held here while I sleep comfortably? Well that didn't make any sense. There must be a reason for it though. Father always said that vampires were cunning. Perhaps this was the trap he had feared.
Father would be so angry with him for getting captured!
Shoving the covers to the side, Connor quietly leapt off the bed and padded to the partially opened door. He didn't hear anything. The demon must be asleep. This could be his chance. He could kill Angelus and exact the revenge for Father's family. That was the reason for his existence! Finally being able to destroy that which had brought Father so much heartache!
Connor looked around the room for a weapon. Spying a desk he walked over and rummaged through the drawers. The very first drawer he opened contained a variety of different weapons including the stake he needed. He took the desired object, held it tightly in his right hand before walking back to the door and inhaling deeply to track his intended victim. He could smell that there were others in this lair, but he followed the one he was after. Laughing to himself at the folly of the vampire, he slipped through the open door. What a stupid creature this Angelus was! Didn't he know how dangerous it was to leave himself defenseless? How did the monster ever live this long?
He snuck up to the bed and stared down at the sleeping vampire. So foolish the monster was to think that it would be safe enough to sleep in an open room. Stupid vampire!
Connor raised his stake high above the chest of the demon and brought it down as swiftly as he could.
Between one blink and the next he found himself lying flat on his back with his staking hand held above his head and a very angry looking Angelus hovering over top of him.
"Connor?" Angel asked, still groggy from being woken up by his tingling senses.
"Let me go, you demon!" Connor shouted in reply. He struggled to break free but was unable to overpower the vampire.
"What do you think you are doing?" Angel asked, still not believing what was before his eyes.
Connor stopped struggling and answered, "You deserve to die! Father said it was the reason I was born and brought to him so that he could get his revenge for what you did to his family, Angelus."
Angel sighed, more of Holtz's rhetoric, just what he didn't want to hear. "Holtz was not your father, I am…"
Before he could go any further, Connor's struggles picked up. "No you're not! You're a filthy demon! LET ME GO!" He had wiggled himself enough that he could, and did, bite Angel's forearm.
The bite hurt, but Angel was more concerned with this type of behavior. If Angel continued to allow Connor to fight and bite this way when he was angry it was setting up a dangerous precedent. Angel knew that what he did now would set the tone for their relationship. With those thoughts he lifted the boy up and while placing him over his knee said, "That is enough! We are done fighting like this."
Angel decided the rest of his argument could wait until after he did what needed to be done. He lifted the too big shirt up and exposed Connor's bare butt. Apparently the pants and underwear were too big to keep wearing. Making a mental note to get the kid some new clothes, Angel raised his hand and swatted Connor.
Connor didn't know why he just bit the vampire, again. Last time it ended with him getting a smack. That was never a good sign. He wasn't thinking, just reacting. He was surprised when Angelus's only response was words and then roughly placing him over his knee. Connor wanted to laugh. Is this what the demon thinks a good punishment is? A spanking? Father had told him about spankings. It was something naughty little boys got. Connor was no naughty little boy! He could handle anything this vampire dished out.
Three swats into the spanking, Connor was quickly changing his mind. This was not the light and fluffy punishment that Father had made it out to be. This actually hurt and made him feel vulnerable in a way that being tied down and whipped never made him feel. He felt himself involuntarily squirming to miss the well-aimed smacks. His eyes filled with liquid but he refused to let it fall out. He could outlast this. "Owww," he cried out at a particularly smarting blow. He wanted to bite his tongue. How could he give in to the monster's punishment? Instead the squirming turned to wiggling and he kicked his legs trying to avoid the hand raining down on his upturned bottom. "Stop…don't," he cried. He wouldn't beg though! He wasn't going to beg this demon for anything.
Angel noticed the difference in his son immediately. He could see the fight taking place within the youngster to not cry out. He paused and looked down at the dusty pink butt in front of him. He thought now would be the right time to start the talking again. "Connor, we need to get some things straight here. I am your dad, and I am the one that makes the rules."
Connor only sniffed instead of replying. He was more than glad that he had outlasted the vampire's punishment.
Angel continued, "There are rules here and number one is that you are not going to fight me anymore. You are going to live here and be respectful to everyone that enters this building. And you. Will. Not. Bite. Me. Again!" He gave the kid a hard smack after each word.
The tears began to run down Connor's face, but he wasn't going to give in yet.
Angel could smell the tears and asked, "Do you understand?" He waited for the reply but instead got more struggling to break free.
Connor finally said, "Let me go! I don't want to live here! You are not my dad."
Angel sighed lightly. He had hoped the boy would acquiesce, but it seemed that more convincing was in order. "Your choice," Angel said and began to swat the boy again.
This elicited a dramatic response, "Nooooo!" Connor cried as he felt the large hand smack him. This spanking thing really sucked! With the whip, Connor could leave the pain and enter a small protected part of his brain. The biting sting of the lashes allowed him to float in a white haze of comfort. This was completely different. The pain, embarrassment and, even though he would never admit it, desire to do what this man said was all fighting to break him.
Pausing again, Angel looked at the red bottom. He decided to go with a different line of questioning, "Who am I, Connor?"
Everything in him wanted to scream, "my dad" but he just couldn't let himself go there. Instead he sniffled, "A demon."
Again Angel sighed. This boy was so stubborn. Angel raised his hand and began to target the previously unblemished legs and sit spot.
As expected the writhing increased. Connor shouted, "Noooo!" and against everything he brought up to believe he began to beg and plead for the punishment to stop. "Oww, please stop. I'll do what you say, just no more, please."
Angel stopped but placed his hand on the boy's bottom and felt the heat radiating off it. He asked, "Who am I?"
Connor wasn't ready yet to answer that with what he knew Angel was looking for. "No more, okay? I'll be good, Angelus."
That was not the name Angel was looking for. He needed to start this off the right way. The child in front of him was raised with a warped sense of values and lies. He needed to make sure that at least some of it was set straight. He swatted the boy three times, right on his sit spot before he asked again, "Who am I, Connor?"
Connor tried to throw his hand back to protect his bottom but wasn't able to reach due to Angel's arm wrapped around his middle. He sniffed again but didn't answer.
Angel wasn't going to give in. The boy had inherited his stubborn streak but Angel was not about to be out stubborned by his offspring. "One last chance or we start again. Who am I?"
Connor had did NOT want to 'start again'. He forced the words that his heart had been repeating, "My dad," and then he began to sob.
Relief swept through Angel. He had no desire to continue spanking the boy. He quickly turned him over and cradled him, mindful of the sore bottom his son was now sporting. Angel rocked the child while saying all the "I love you's" and "I'm never going to let anyone take you away again's" that had been festering in him.
Connor's hand clawed into Angel's shirt and he held it in a death grip. The feelings he felt were overwhelming. He couldn't understand how he felt suddenly so safe inside of the arms of the man that just spanked him. And the words of comfort and love were even more confusing. He felt his eyes closing as the gentle rocking and soft words wrapped around him.
Angel felt and heard Connor's breathing even out and knew the boy had fallen asleep. He rocked him a little longer. He knew this wasn't going to be the end of Connor's behavior—but this was a beginning, a new beginning for both of them. He was getting a second chance. He didn't know how long this would last or if any of Connor's earlier memories would return but he was going to do his best to do right by his only child. Everything else they would just have to figure out later.
A/N: I planned to do a series of short stories in this universe showing how they deal with Connor during various ages. Hope you come along for the ride :)