Spoilers - All of BtVS, AtS till season4 then goes AU
No Non-canon Pairings=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*= Chapter 1 =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=
Angel sat quietly in his darkened office, sipping absently on the unidentified and pleasantly burning amber liquid he had discovered stocked in his desk side mini-bar. He suspected it to be extra-dimensional in origin as he'd never seen a whiskey with an iridescent purple sheen before. Whatever else could be said about Wolfram and Hart, they knew how to make their employees comfortable, not unlike the sweet scent produced by a venus flytrap to lure in the unaware. However, his thoughts weren't on the vast and numerous amenities provided by his deal with the devil. He was thinking about his reason for 'signing away his soul' in the first place. His son. Connor had been missing for two years. Vanished into an infinite multitude of possible dimensions, many of them veritable hells. Angel had been awakened day after day to brutal nightmare visions of the possible tortures that would be suffered by an innocent child in any of the many hell dimensions he'd visited. Angelus had never balked at killing the young and Angel often had dreams bordering on full sensual memory recall where the infant dying under his not-so-tender mercies was his son. Two years he had searched for any and all leads to either his son or his kidnapper, Holtz - a man who loathed Angel and wouldn't hesitate to hurt a child in revenge. He had found nothing.
Wolfram and Hart had finally tempted him into their bureaucratic fold, where the red tape had been dyed with blood, with promises of unlimited resources and personnel he could task to a search team. Here he was, just a few months later and he had his answer. Printed on the crisp white linen paper in front of him was the fate of his son. The offices never used anything less than linen paper, the magic inks and blood oaths of the contracts kept better in cloth than paper, so everything from inter-department memos to official documents was printed on the highest quality linen paper. Angel stroked a finger down a printed black and white picture of his son as a newborn. He didn't know how the company had gotten ahold of it, but it was probably the only photographic evidence that his son had ever existed.
Of every hell and torture he could have imagined for his son, every nightmare scenario of a dangerous life, lived without his father – the truth was worse than all of it.
"Oi, one smashingly handsome bloke reporting to see the great brooding poofter as ordered." Spike never knocked, he simply threw doors open and swept melodramatically into rooms, demanding attention. Some of the newer employees assumed that it was a holdover from his time as a ghost, when knocking was impossible. Angel knew better. Spike had never been one for social niceties, that was William's thing, and Spike could always be counted on to do the opposite of whatever William's Victorian sensibilities would have directed. Not even regaining his soul had changed that. The blonde stopped in front of Angel's desk and bounced on his toes a bit. "So, what's the occasion for the invite to the high muckety-muck's personal boudoir? Got nasties? Apocalypse? Can't help but notice the gangs not here, got some kind of behind closed doors fun for me? Another bit o' killer accessory tat you wanna unload?"
Angel sighed, he would never have asked Spike here, but as much as he hated admitting it the blonde was better with people than he was. "Spike, we need to talk. The others aren't here because this is a family matter. I would appreciate if you took something seriously for once."
"Right, is Dru in trouble then? If the blonde bints gotten herself reborn again and is into a mess you can tell her to go stuff herself. Never liked her high-and-bitchiness, but if my dark plum is in trouble I'll do whatever I can. She'll always be family, even if she's not my Dru anymore."
"No, Darla's still dead - again and Dru is fine – as far as I know. It's Connor..."
Spike's attention stopped flitting around the room and focused on Angel seriously. He'd heard about the miracle nipper from the old AI crew, but no one seemed keen on delving deeply into the matter and had told him to drop it. He didn't know specifics, but the tyke wasn't around underfoot anywhere, and that told him enough. Angel and Angelus both made terrible sires/father figures, but neither would have willingly let go of something that was theirs. Something bad had happened to the kid, and it had left obvious marks on the older vampire.
Angel was at a loss of how to explain the situation to Spike. "What do you know?"
"You and her blondeness flipped off the universe and created life from death, then you managed to loose the kid to some wanker you'd pissed off at one point or another. Know that Percy's carrying around a boatload of guilt about sommat. Know that if the kid were alive you'd never let him outta yer sight, so I assume some nasty or 'nother got hold of 'im."
"There was a prophecy, and Wesley was manipulated into thinking that I was capable of doing harm to my own son," Angel's hands tightened on the edge of his desk, making the wood creak. "So, he decided to kidnap Conner in an attempt to protect him. Holtz betrayed him and took my infant son through a dimensional portal to god knows where. He's not dead, he's just not - here. I joined Wolfram and Hart because I had exhausted all my personal sources and leads without coming any closer to finding him, and they had both the manpower and resources to do it."
"Always won'ered why you joined Evil Inc. Still, not seeing what this has to do with me. I'm no better at hopping realms than you are."
"I just..." Angel paused, uncertainly searching for a way to say what he wanted. "Here, these will answer your questions better than I could." He carefully pushed the stacked files across the desk to the blonde. With a raised eyebrow the younger vampire dutifully flipped the top file open and started reading. Angel watched him for a moment before his nervous energy forced him to his feet where he paced back and forth across the dimensions of the room.
Spike didn't even notice the movement as he was absorbed in a story of child-napping bounty hunters. The W&H science department had determined that the dimension Holtz had jumped into apparently ran on something the brain-trust called 'an accelerated parallel inverted timeline', so when he had exited, back into this dimension, it was as if he'd traveled near instantaneously back in time, as it had been running backwards here. He had traveled back some 20 odd years and gotten the kid adopted. So, Angel's bouncing baby boy wasn't so little anymore.
Spike flipped the page to see where the kid had gone to and cursed. Holtz had brought the kid to the hellmouth and set him loose unprotected. Chances were that the kid was dead, undead, or if he were trying for insanely optimistic, that he'd dispersed with the rest of the survivors into the world after the collapse. The blonde looked up at Angel, who was still pacing, and took pity. He was obviously fraying around the edges already – if this turned out to be a half empty situation the older vampire was going to loose it. "Gonna be hell to track him down now. Never bothered to evacuate public records and the rabble scattered to the four winds."
"It gets better, read the other file." Angel said bitterly. He walked to the desk and quickly drained his nearly full glass, gripping the glass like a lifeline.
Spike left him to his moping and flipped open the other file. He read the top line twice through and then again with shock - that couldn't be right. But when he raised his head to meet Angel's eyes the brunette nodded tersely with a vicious self loathing smirk. Spike was stunned. Of all the people in Sunnydale, it had to be that one. This information could destroy them both. Seeing the pain in his sire's eyes Spike knew he had to say something.
"Well, at least you won't need to explain the whole night scene, evil creatures of the dark thing to him." He winced internally. Oh, that's a great plan, bring up the fact that the kid's almost been the meal of every baddie to waltz through town, himself and Angelus included.
"I think he's fairly well versed." Angel bit out the words savagely.
"Are you going to tell him? He's not going to be happy - in that ex-lovers sword through your gut sending you to hell kind o' way."
"I swore to myself that when I found him I was going to be a part of his life, Spike. I won't run from him now that I've finally found him."
"Running might be a better option, mate. He's going to stake you if you go about revealing this the wrong way. Can't play daddy as so much dust."
The older vampire rolled his now empty glass between his hands, before meeting Spike's eyes squarely, showing the blonde more respect than he had in years. "That's why I need your help. You've spent the last few years with him, getting to know him as a man, not the kid that I knew. I need you to help me with this, Spike."
"Fine. How you planning on even getting him in the same country as you. Last I heard he was off trompling through the jungle or some rot, sniffing out slayers."
"Giles doesn't trust me to run Wolfram and Hart. He thinks my team and I have been seduced by the perks of evil, so in an effort to restore civil relations between our respective groups I've authorized the appointment of a permanent council liaison and we agreed on a person who would be suitably unbiased."
Spike snorted. "Meaning, he's sending the person most likely to believe the worst o' you. Unbiased my shapely white arse."
"Well, this is probably the first, last and only time Xander's unabashed loathing of me will work in my favor." Angel sighed.=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*= TBC =*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=
Not really planning an epic fic with this one, so chapters will be a lot shorter than my usual. This has been sitting in my fanfiction folder for over a year and I figure if I post it maybe getting some feedback will inspire me.Distribution: FFN (Lightning_Skies), Twisting the Hellmouth (LightningSkies), LiveJournal (Lightning_Skies)
Author has given no other permissions. Message if you want it.
1,735 Words - 09/05/10