Pairings: D/C, mentions S/B
Summary: Dawn and Conner going to the Homecoming Dance. Spike and Angel being
snarky and worried (respectively). The usual.
Disclaimer: Joss owns all. I wonder if he’ll let me have Spike…
A/N: I got bit by a plot bunny during a really boring day in my summer vacation. Had to
suss it out. Apologies for pockets of inevitable lameness. Oh, and this is a companion
piece of sorts to “Teenagers,” since I couldn't leave well enough alone. You know me.
Feedback: (appreciated) firstname.lastname@example.org
“You do know what these bloody dances mean to teenage boys, don’t you, Nibs?” Spike
tried to come across as calm rather than irritated, though the two tended to
unintentionally blend into one giant glob of mixed emotions when he spoke. Surprisingly,
it didn’t sound all too dissimilarly from what had been long classified by the Summers
girls as his “pissy-whiny” tone of voice.
Dawn rolled her eyes melodramatically as they crawled past the “Now Entering City of
Los Angeles” sign in the late afternoon California traffic. “Conner’s not like other boys.”
Spike snorted. “All boys are like that, Sweeting, and that’s a bloody fact. Boys are
disgusting, filthy pigs, and should all be eaten by giant Japanese monsters that look like
Mothra. Or at least stepped on,” he stated matter-of-factly. He paused after a moment.
“You’re abso-bloody-lutely sure you have to attend this stupid dance thing? Couldn’t we
just play some music in the hotel lobby an’ watch you two waltz around in there?
“Duh Spike, there’s going to be chaperones there. And it’s not like we’d do anything
wrong in the first place,” the brunette assured him with an arch look. He watched her
bouncing in her seat for a moment, her tasteful navy evening dress ephemeral against the
rays of setting sun that filtered loosely into the DeSoto via cracks in the black paint on
the windows. Her hair was piled royally atop her head, blue beads and flowers woven
through the velvet brown locks where Red and Buffy had gotten creative. She looked
absolutely lovely. Spike glowered even more at the thought. He’d have to talk to Buffy
about making his Nibblet look so pretty, those nasty little boys would be extra tempted to
sniff around the poor thing and he’d have to kill them all one by one in slow, painful
ways… he stopped himself mid-thought when a live growl threatened to erupt in his
throat. **Stupid bloody boys.**
She looked over at him suspiciously, his silence more than a little conspicuous when he
didn’t snort derisively or comment on the fact that only strikingly inane chaperones
would undoubtedly be present at the event. “Seriously, are you okay?” she inquired,
brow furrowing a little at his tense expression. He’d been working himself up into a snit
for the “bloody damn night” (as he liked to call it) for weeks. “It’s not that big a deal, I
swear. There’s just a dance. With dancing, and little funny shaped sugar cookies and
punch. I mean, I didn’t even go to the football game.”
Spike ground his teeth a little bit at the small pang of guilt he could hear in her concerned
tone of voice (regarding HIM no less) and forced a level tone. “I just worry, Nibblet,” he
managed. “Boys are really nasty, filthy creatures, you know.”
She laughed. “Oh god. And what about you? It’s not like what anything doing with Buffy
on a NIGHTLY basis is so G rated yourself.”
He sniffed indelicately. “Yeah, well, ‘s not like I poke around sixteen year olds,” he
“Because you and Buffy being more than a century apart isn’t grounds for diagnosis
He scowled back at her sarcasm. “That’s different. I’m not…”
She put a hand on his shoulder. “Oh just relax, will you? Conner’s nice. You know he’s
nice. He’s even nice to YOU, when you’re always mean to him. It’s just your stupid “I
made a promise” overprotective bulldog reflexes going into action. I mean, tonight’s
totally about fun, nothing else, kay?”
She pulled the luminescent eye trick on him, all big and brown and liquid, like some
crying anime school girl in a white-and-navy sailor uniform, and he turned his face back
to the road to avoid being reeled in. **Tricky little chit, idn’t she?** “Well, he’s such
a…a… prat,” he managed to say, though it sounded lame, defeated, even to him.
“And…and…he’s got a poncy name,” he added weakly. “I mean, Conner Stephen
Angel? Sounds like a list of things you’re thinkin’ on calling your brand new puppy.”
She laughed at his obtuseness. “Oh and your REAL name isn’t ‘poncy’? Wwiil-i-ammm
Ed-waaard Looongbour-nnnne?” she stretched out each syllable of his Christian name to
three times its normal length and even managed to crow it using a snooty (terribly
inaccurate) British accent.
He scowled deeper in his face, if possible. “Bloody truth or dare. You wouldn’t even
know that if I hadn’t been a bit pissed at the time,” he mumbled.
“You know, when you think about it? Conner’s like, your uncle.”
He eyed her. “And that’s supposed to sound comforting, how?”
Dawn made a face. “Well, he’s family. Your family, anyway. Shouldn’t you trust or
something? Blood and water and whichever one’s thicker and all that?”
Spike laughed indelicately. “Something ANGELUS spawned and you expect me to trust
She crossed her arms. “I knew it! This is totally about your patriarch issues.”
He managed to seem wounded. “I don’t have any bloody patriarch issues! The issue I’ve
got a problem with is boys and you, boys thinking about touching you! Boys
She turned prim and sat facing forward, smoothing some imaginary wrinkles from the
front of her skirt with her hands. “Well, I think if Buffy approves, it’s your boyfriendly
duty to bear it with a smile. Buffy LIKES Conner,” she sniffed, nose all up in the air.
Spike grimaced at her words, remembering Buffy’s almost glow-like state when she’d
found out her and Angel’s respective offspring were dating. “Weird, but cute, don’t you
think sweetie?” she’d asked, wrapping her arms around his waist in a far too chipper
manner, as they’d watched Dawn and Conner sitting on the couch talking, all smiles and
laughter and young puppy eyes during the first months of their relationship. Spike had
only been able to snort noncommittally in response and remind himself that the chip
would give him a massive cerebral hemorrhage if he tried to strangle the boy.
Dawn took his sulky silence as a victory, and mentally racked up a point for herself in her
head. **Dawn: one, Spike: big fat zero!!**
Thirty-five minutes later they were exiting the freeway ramp and heading for the
Hyperion. Spike slowed the car to a mild 45 mph to accommodate the speed limit on the
service road (Buffy got on his case about speeding with Dawn in the car) and looked back
over at his keep. She was still flouncing about in her seat, peering through a conspicuous
chip in the windshield paint at the evening sky and the spatter of high rise buildings they
rolled past. The grin on her glossy pink lips looked like it might just split the silly chit’s
face. He felt a tug on the corner of his own lip as well, and half his mouth curled into an
ironic smile, full of fondness and worry. “You’re really excited about this, aren’t you,
Bit?” he managed after he’d collected himself.
She took time away from her busy sightseeing to grace him with an incredulous look.
“Duh, it’s the only thing I’ve been able to talk about for like, a month. You’re just
figuring this out now?”
He shook his head ruefully. “Yeah, guess so.” Ten minutes later and he parked the car in
front of the Hyperion, looking up at the dark old building with what she might have
classified as fortitude. Like he was doing it for her, if no one else.
“You’re a silly vampire,” she stated after they’d sat in a second of silence in the front of
the DeSoto, before getting out and heading toward the front door of the old hotel.
He shook his head and chuckled, getting out after her. “That I am, Petal. That I am.”
“You played very well today. It was great! I was proud. Two touchdowns is very good.”
Angel enthused, while at the same time, trying to keep it to a minimum so as not to cause
his son any unnecessary discomfiture.
“Thanks, dad,” Conner responded perfunctorily, preoccupied with getting the final
touches of his tux just perfect in the mirror. “Do I look okay?” he asked after a second,
for the umpteenth time in the last twenty minutes.
“Yeah! Yeah, you look fine.” Angel watched as Conner fiddled with, and then struggled
with tying his bow tie. **Should have gone with the snap-on one, like Gunn suggested,**
the vampire thought to himself even as he rose from his seat on the corner of his son’s
bed and made to help with the irritating article of formal wear.
Conner let his hands drop when he felt (rather than saw) his father’s hands begin to work
with the tie. “Are you sure this is a necessary custom?” he asked, half jokingly as the
black material was knotted and secured against his throat, only a little imperfectly.
“I’ve only been to one of these things before, and I had to wear a tie,” Angel answered,
surveying his handiwork in the mirror. “Well. There you are. All finished.” He paused for
a moment. “You have the flower, right? I can’t remember if you’re supposed to give
flowers for all dances or just the one big one.”
Conner’s brow furrowed. “Did we do something wrong?”
“No, no. We’re good. Flowers are good. Um, like I said, you just kind of slip it on her
arm, like you practiced with Fred before the game.”
“Right. Yes.” Conner wiped sweat from the palms of his hands onto his pants. “I see her
every weekend. Why do I feel so nervous now?” he questioned, scratching the back of his
“I think it’s a teenage thing. Um… it’s your first time in front of your friends, your whole
school together, I guess. More pressure.” Angel stopped. “I mean, you shouldn’t feel
pressure! You should have fun. Have lots of fun and don’t worry about what anyone else
thinks.” He laughed reassuringly. “Yes.”
“So then it’s not natural to feel nervous.”
“No! No…it’s perfectly natural to feel that way, son.”
“But you said I didn’t have to worry.”
“Um. Well, even if you’re not supposed to be sometimes you can’t help it, right? But hey.
Just think of this like football. There are tons of people watching you, but the important
thing is to keep your eye on the ball.”
“Um, I guess that would be Dawn, in this case.”
“That’s an unflattering comparison.”
“It’s just a metaphor. Don’t worry about it,” Angel reassured the boy. “Just think of it
like this. You’ve got to take her and run with her. And you have to keep from being
tackled by other people on the field, right? And, you have to take care of her, and watch
out, ‘til you get to the end zone. You can’t pay attention to the crowds while you’re doing
Angel, having lost himself in his own explanation, offered a token pat on his son’s back.
“Just like that. Yeah.”
Conner could tell his father probably wasn’t an expert on the subject, seeing as to the fact
that the last time HE’D been in school, kids in America were in a revolutionary war, not
worrying about football.
“Um, forget everything I said.”
“Oh my God, Dawn!!!! You’re so cute!!!” Cordelia squealed when she’d opened the
door, yanking the teen inside and hugging her fiercely.
“Uhm, thanks Cordy,” Dawn gasped when she could find some air.
“Okay I have to get pictures when Conner gets down here. Gunn!! Go tell Conner to get
down here!” the brunette seer ordered, snapping a look back at Fred and Gunn, who were
sitting on the couch chattering to themselves about what an amazing football player
Conner had been earlier.
“What? Yeah…okay.” Gunn sprang up and headed for the stairs. Oh, you look great,
Dee!!” he called down before forgetting himself.
“Thanks Gunn!!” she beamed, watching him take the steps two at a time to go fetch her
Spike watched all of this from the doorway with a bemused air about him, leaning
casually against the frame and tempted beyond words to go onto the porch to smoke and
curse. But if he did, Cordelia would have his head. She hated the stink of his fags
lingering anywhere near the hotel, and had threatened to kill him via anal stake if he
smelled up the place. She was a tidy bird that way.
“Hello? Spike? Are you just going to stand in the doorway all night? Don’t you have
pictures to take?” Cordelia asked before grabbing him handily and dragging him inside in
much the same manner she’d done Dawn. She shut the door behind him and waved a
digital camera in his face. “This is sooo a Kodak moment!”
Spike scoffed. “Don’t think so, Cord. But you’re playin’ the role of dutiful mum rather
well, if I do say so myself,” he winked. She blushed slightly at that.
“I’m not being his mom,” she stated with an abashed frown. “I’m just…I’m…preserving
the special moments, fang face. Yeah! And you know, with all your growliness and
“she’s my little girl, you can’t touch her” attitude, one would think you’d be a little more
sentimental about these things too.” She gestured towards Dawn, who stood at the base of
the steps in the entryway, regarding the both of them with no small degree of amusement.
“She looks absolutely gorgeous tonight! You can’t tell me you don’t want a picture to
keep forever and ever!” Cordelia continued.
“Relax Cordy, he and Buffy took like, three roles of film before we left.” Dawn laughed,
enjoying Spike’s discomfiture at the revelation. “He was all, “Oi! Smoile pretty, Platelet,
that’s moi girl, absolutely a picture, you are”!” she imitated, using a passable (if not
slightly insulting) impression of his accent to illustrate.
Cordelia, laughed. “Well Spike, I can see you’re playing the role of dutiful dad pretty
well yourself,” she snarked before turning to snap a picture of Dawn for emphasis.
Smiling at Spike triumphantly, she pranced down the steps and towards the staircase,
poised to take the first shot of her “little man” the moment he made an appearance.
Spike shot a glare over at Dawn. “Yeah, that’ll do for the reputation, Kitten. Get the
whole bloody demon underworld knowin’ I made snappies of you before your first dance.
That was supposed to be a secret!”
Dawn shrugged innocently. “Xander was totally there. I mean, he’ll probably tell
everyone he knows before the night’s up anyway, so your secret was moot point from the
moment you clicked the shutter.”
Spike scowled again. “Soddin’ prancin’ poof you lot are makin’ me.” The sound of the
Fang Gang’s digital camera flashing away caused his ears to perk up. “Speakin’ of
prancin’ poofs…nothin’ like the original,” he drawled, looking up as Conner, followed
by Angel, descended the stairs.
“Oh my God!” Cordelia squealed again, voice raising several octaves. Spike couldn’t
help but wonder if she was like one of those pull-string toys that could only say a select
few phrases over and over again. “Conner! Look at you!!” she paused long enough in her
photographic onslaught to pull the rather nervous looking boy into a big hug and plant an
embarrassingly wet kiss on his cheek.
“Cordelia,” he muttered, looking mortified.
Spike smirked. Well, at least he’d get some entertainment out of this night. Cordelia
Chase not only looked like she’d been taking lessons on how to be an embarrassing mom
but that she’d graduated at the top of the class as well.
“You are going to have so much fun tonight! You’re both so pretty!” she continued to
gush, straightening the slightly lopsided bowtie only his git of a father could have tied.
Finally filling his quota for parental torment for the evening, Conner gingerly pulled out
of the maternal embrace to finish the descent down the stairs…and saw Dawn. And
stopped. Cordelia began alternately cooing to Angel about how handsome Conner was
and taking pictures to preserve the moment ‘forever and ever’.
Spike fidgeted a little in agitation, the kind of slack jawed wonder Angel’s brat was
regarding his Bite Size with was a little to sloppy romantic for his tastes, a little too
serious for sixteen-year-olds. His eyes narrowed. **What a wanker! He’s just starin’ at
her! Oi!! Eyes stay above the neck you little pillock or I swear to god I’ll rip ‘em out of
your melon shaped head an’ squeeze the jelly right out of ‘em an’ into your nose…”
Angel looked over at Spike. “Will, you’re growling,” he mumbled quietly, just loud
enough for those with supernatural hearing to decipher.
Conner had heard it too, apparently, and snapped out of his pubescent drooling stare,
embarrassed. He looked in Spike’s direction first. “Evening, sir.”
Spike only glared and gave the slightest nod of his head in response.
Conner turned back to the object of his affections. “Hey, Dawn,” he said quietly, hastily.
“You ah…you look real nice.”
Spike snorted and rolled his eyes. **A bloody poet, this kid is.**
Dawn however, failed to comment on the completely inane compliment and instead,
blushed a becoming shade of pink and muttered something about how handsome he was
Angel cleared his throat, causing Conner to look up at his dad. Some form of silent
communication was passed between the two and Angel made a slight jerking movement
with his head at the boy which was apparently supposed to be meaningful. Conner
seemed to snap to attention at the gesture and quickly brought his hand up, where he held
a small plastic container with a white orchid inside. “This is uh…this is for you,” he said.
“You’re supposed to wear it.”
Dawn smiled again. “Thanks.” And held out her hand.
“I didn’t know what color would be best, so dad and I chose white,” he stated to Dawn
privately, though both vampires in attendance were privy to his statements. The whole
room seemed to watch as he slid the corsage from the box and slipped it onto her arm.
Spike studied Angel, who in turn watched his son with practiced tension. Seemed Poofter
and Poofter Jr. had been rehearsing this prior to his and Dawn’s arrival. **What a bloody
ridiculous pair of flouncing pillocks.**
Cordelia kept taking pictures. She let the two teenagers stare all bright- eyed at each other
a while longer before impatiently snapping her fingers. “All right you two! I want a shot
of you at the door. Spike, get out of the way!”
“Yes mum,” Spike responded snidely, hop-skipping off the steps and out of the way as
Dawn and Conner were forced in front of the double doors to strike a pose. Cordelia
diligently snapped away.
Both children looked embarrassed beyond words as the flashes flickered, blinding and
prolific, before their eyes.
Angel looked no less tense than his son, like Conner’s first dance was his as well. He
stood at the base of the stairs next to Spike, countenance full of joyous parental pride and
nervous paternal anxiety all at the same time. Such a big step this was in his child’s life!
So close to young adulthood already! Where did all the time go?
“Poofter, you don’t wipe that look off your face, some wanker passin’ by will mistake
you for a watery-eyed maiden in need o’ rescuin’ and come to win yer romantic heart.”
The sound of his grandchilde’s voice shook him from his reverie. “Shut up, Spike.”
Another snort. “Can see that cleverness runs in the family, it does. You an’ the boy, got a
way with words, the both of you.”
“Don’t ruin the moment,” Angel chided. “I mean, look at them.”
Dawn and Conner were completely ignoring Cordelia at this point, chattering quietly
amongst themselves until the seer exhausted all the memory on her camera and was
forced to call it a day.
Spike unwittingly, just watched the brightness in Dawn’s expression, the way her lips
curved into an unfalteringly sweet smile every time the nonce said something to her.
Angel in turn, watched the unease at which his son had been suffering for the better part
of the day slowly peel away into the familiarity, the comfort, offered from the person he
cared for until he was relaxed, unworried as to what was to come. As he should be.
“Okay you two! Have fun!!!” Cordelia sniffled. “Bye!!”
The couple turned to leave, apparently anxious to be gone from the stifling environment
Spike snapped to attention at that, and remembered to call out just as they opened the
door. “Midnight, Nibblet! You hear me? You’re a pumpkin at midnight! And do you
have a stake? Your cell phone? Pepper spray if the boy gets any ideas?”
She rolled her eyes dramatically. “Yes, yes, and as if!!”
“Call me, you need anything! You will, right? And buckle up in the ragtop! Don’t let the
whelp go above the speed limit! No parking!”
She ignored him and pulled Conner out the door, shutting it with a resounding thud
Spike sighed and began patting his duster pockets, in search of a smoke.
“He’s not a whelp,” Angel defended after they’d heard the engine of his Plymouth pull
“Yeah. Better save that name for Xander’s spawn in the future, I s’pose,” Spike
responded, taking a cigarette out and biting on it. “Best to just stick with Mini-Poofter.”
Angel growled low in his throat.
Any further posturing was cancelled however, as Cordelia came up, eyes bright and smile
huge. “They were so beautiful!!” she gushed, waving her camera.
“Um yeah…Buffy wanted me to tell you to send some of those our way…when you’ve
got ‘em scanned,” Spike responded.
“Of course!!” Cordy responded. “I’m going to go get them into the computer right now!
Spike, get that cancer stick out of your mouth right now. And oh my God, how cute
Angel and Spike both watched her head towards the IMac, all the while throwing her
hands up in the air and talking aloud to herself. Spike sighed in resignation and tucked
the cigarette behind his ear.
“Buffy is going to flip when she sees these pictures! What was her E-mail address again?
Never mind, I have it in my address book. Gosh, I can’t WAIT until those two get
married! Can’t either of you? It’s going to be even BETTER than tonight was!!!”
Angel and Spike both looked at each other at her comment, eyes wide with horror.