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 Angel's Secrets

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A Gift from Above

By Sadira Jewelsten

Summary: Fred takes care of Connor following "Sleep Tight".
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I DO NOT own any of the characters from "Angel". They belong to Warner Bros.
Feedback: Feedback is greatly encouraged! E-mail me at: anyacordyemchaseATyahoo.com

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PREVIOUSLY ON "ANGEL": (Connor is fussing in his bassinet.)

Angel: "Connor needs a bottle, Connor needs a bath, Connor needs a pick-me-up, Connor needs a diaper change. What Connor needs to do is to grow up!"

Lorne: "Well that's kind of how kids..." (Angel gulps more blood as everyone watches him.)

Lorne: "Is something wrong?"

Angel: "Gosh, no, Lorne, everything's just great! (Connor is starting to fuss) I got a kid that cries, pees and moans, and never gives me a moment to myself." (Connor is crying now.)

Lorne to Connor: "Oh, it's all right."

Angel: "It's really not. Connor, shut up!"

Fred: "Don't yell at him. He's just a baby!"

Angel: "If he keeps it up, he's not gonna be a baby for long!" (With that Angel throws the glass at the wall, shattering it and spattering blood everywhere.)

Gunn: "You better get a grip right now!" Fred goes to pick Connor up.

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Angel sat in the lobby of the Hyperion, reading a book. He was trying to figure out what had happened and why he was acting so strangely. It wasn't normal and it wasn't safe. He felt so stressed out by what was going on with Connor, that it seemed like one more sound or problem, would cause him to go berserk.

"Did you find anything yet?" Fred asked as she came into the room with a bottle of Tylenol in her hand.

"Nope," Angel replied with a sigh. "I can't figure it out." Just then, Connor started crying again. Angel sighed and tried to put his feelings into perspective.

"I'll see what's wrong," Fred offered as she put the bottle into her pocket and headed for the stairs. As he walked up to the second floor, Fred followed a little worried about what might happen.

"What is the matter with you tonight?" Angel asked, his tone wasn't affectionate or gentle. In fact it was stern and mean. "What is your problem?" Connor just continued to cry, then he spit up.

"Aw Connor," Fred said, rushing over to the baby and picking him up protectively. "It's okay, buddy. It's okay. What's the matter, huh?" Fred cleaned him off and cradled him in her arms. Her question was asked with a tone of gentle concern, unlike Angel's. Angel glared at her and Connor. "I think Connor needs some medicine," Fred said quietly, unsure of how Angel would take the news.

"Connor needs medicine, Connor needs a bath, Connor needs a bottle. What Connor needs to do is to quit while he's ahead." Then he looked down at Connor who was still crying. "Connor, shut up!" Angel yelled through gritted teeth.

"Don't yell at him," Fred said, still cradling Connor, "he's just a baby." Fred then took her eyes off Angel, who was still glaring, and set them on Connor. "Shh. It's okay sweety-pie. It's okay. It's okay. Shh." Then she started humming a lullaby.

"What's going on in here?" Lorne asked as he walked into the room.

"Nothing," Angel lied.

"Well it looks like a whole lot of nothing," Lorne said as he got a look at Connor who was still crying and had spit up once again. This time, on Fred's crushed-velvet shirt. "Shh, it's okay big boy," Lorne soothed as he helped Fred clean Connor up, "it's okay." Then he turned to Fred. "Does he have a fever?" Fred shook her head.

"I'm not sure," Fred replied. "I was gonna take his temperature." Lorne nodded. Then he turned to Angel who was still fuming.

"What's gotten into you?" Lorne asked, realizing the glare in Angel's eyes and the way Connor was crying in Fred's protective embrace as she walked him around the room.

"What's gotten into me is I have a kid who won't leave me alone for two seconds and a group of moronic demons who won't get out of town." Lorne and Fred exchanged looks of concern then Lorne turned to Angel while Fred took Connor out of the room for protection.

"It's okay, baby," Fred soothed quietly. "It's okay. You're safe now. Aunt Fred and Uncle Charles are gonna take care of you." Meanwhile in Connor's room, Lorne was talking to Angel.

"I think you need to take a breather," Lorne suggested to his friend. "Take time to cool off." Angel nodded, but he was still glaring at the window.

Meanwhile, Fred sat in the lobby of the Hyperion, cradling Connor in her arms. He is still crying, but not as loudly.

"There ya go, sweetie," Fred said gently as she put Connor down in his bassinet, "shh. It's okay, baby. It's okay." She soothed, patting him on the shoulder gently as Gunn came into the room.

"Hey you two," he said with a grin towards Fred, "so did you get him to sleep yet?" Fred shook her head as Connor began to cry again.

"It'll be a miracle if he goes to sleep at all tonight. Come here, honey. It's okay." She assured Connor as she picked him up and gave him a kiss.

"I think he's too shaken up." Gunn nodded and sat down beside her.

"I wouldn't be surprised. He saw his Daddy go crazy and Wes tried to take him away. If I were him, I would be upset too." Fred nodded and put Connor in her lap as she supported him with one hand and reached for a bottle of milk with the other.

"Here ya go, sweetheart," she said as she prepared to feed Connor, "this should help." But to her surprise, Connor turned his head away and just continued to cry. Gunn shrugged.

"Well, it looks like he doesn't want it. So what are you going to do now, Super Aunt?" Fred rolled her eyes and glared at him playfully. She knew he was just being funny, but right now wasn't the time for jokes.

"Shh, all right now. It's okay, sweety-pie, It's okay." Fred said gently as she began to rock Connor back and forth gently and hum a lullaby.

"Nothing doing, huh?" Lorne asked, as he came into the room, carrying Connor's teddy bear. Fred shook her head and then she asked the question that Gunn wanted to ask, but was too afraid of the answer.

"How's Angel?" Lorne shook his head "Okay. I told 'em we'd take care of the baby tonight. I think he just needs some time to himself." Then he knelt down to Connor's level and handed him the bear. "You want this? Huh, buddy? Do you want your bear?" Connor stopped crying long enough to glance at the bear, then resumed. "All right, you leave me no choice," Lorne said with a grin, "time to break out the song selection." Fred giggled as she held Connor close. As Lorne began to sing, Connor's cries dimmed to fussy whimpers and he seemed to calm down. At least for a little while.

"You're a miracle worker," Fred complimented as she put Connor down in his bassinet and gave him a kiss good-night. "Sweet dreams honey," Fred whispered. Lorne shook his head and grinned.

"Well I guess I have a knack with kids."

"I'll say," Fred replied as she took a sip of tea.

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A few hours later, Wes came into the office, carrying a stack of books. He set them down on the table and began to look through one of them. As he turned the page, he heard Connor start to fuss. He got up and went towards the baby's room. As he entered, Connor began to cry. As Wesley went over to pick Connor up, he heard a noise in the hallway. Then Fred came into the room.

"What are you doing here?" She asked, coming over and taking Connor out of his crib. "Shh. It's okay, baby. Aunt Fred's here. It's okay. It's okay. Shh."

"I-I uh, was just doing some late-night research and then I heard Connor start to cry so I thought I'd check on him." Fred nodded, but her expression showed Wes that she didn't believe him.

"Well, Charles and I are taking care of him tonight," Fred told him as she pushed a strand of her light brown hair out of her face. With that, she walked out of the room with Connor in her arms. "Let's get you something to eat, huh?" Fred asked softly as she entered the kitchen.

"Is he okay?" Angel asked, getting up from the table.

"Yeah," Fred replied. "He's fine. I was gonna get him a bottle." Angel nodded and patted Connor's shoulder.

"Is Aunt Fred taking good care of my boy, huh?" Fred grinned and blushed a little as Connor gurgled in agreement.

"Can't sleep?" Fred asked as she prepared to warm a bottle on the stove for Connor. Angel shook his head and pointed at the clock that now read 9:34 PM. Fred shrugged and blushed. "Oh, sorry. I forgot." Angel grinned at her.

"It's okay. So I saw Wes. When did he come in?"

"I'm not sure," Fred replied, looking away. "I-I saw him in the hallway when I went to check on Connor just now. O-okay, that wasn't entirely true. I found him in Connor's room. Apparently he was checking on him orsomething." Angel nodded and glared towards the lobby. Then he turned back to Fred.

"I want you to keep Connor in your room tonight. Don't let him out of your sight." Fred nodded.

"Okay. Sure. That's fine with me." Then she sat down to feed Connor his bottle. As Angel sat across from her, he smiled down at his son. He really did love him. Love that he never felt for anyone else before. Not even Buffy. After Fred was done feeding Connor, she gave him to Angel so that he could kiss him good-night.

"All right, big boy," Angel said gently as he gave Connor a kiss and held him close, "you have a good-night's sleep, now. Daddy will see you in the morning." He gave Connor one more hug, then handed him back to Fred, who took him gently in her arms and headed for the second floor.

"Good-night," she called as she took Connor upstairs.

"Same here," Angel replied as he watched her disappear to the second floor of the Hyperion.

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Around 11:35 PM, the night was wearing on slowly, at least for Fred. She had fed Connor earlier and for a while it calmed him down. However, now he was awake and crying once more. Fred sighed, but couldn't help the small smile at the corner of her mouth. She enjoyed taking care of Connor and this was just part of the job. It was very hard for her to be annoyed at the child. Apparently though, not for Angel, the thought came unbidden as she recalled the morning's past events. Instantly she regretted the thought, remembering the discovery of the tainted blood, and forced the unpleasantness from her mind. Besides, Connor was still wailing in the crib.

"All right buddy. It's okay baby," she said soothingly, "I'll get you some more milk." She subconsciously chewed her lip as she looked over her shoulder. Angel asked Connor to be moved into her room and not leave her sight, but Connor's bottles as well as the stove was a couple doors down the hall. Glancing once more at Connor, she silently slipped out of the room. When she returned, she picked Connor up and sat in a chair near the window. "There you go, sweetie," she said gently. "That's what you wanted." Connor sucked at the bottle hungrily and looked up at Fred with a small smile. After Fred was done, she put Connor back into his crib and gave him a kiss good-night. "Sweet dreams, baby. Aunt Fred will see you in the morning. " With that, she got back in bed and turned on a night-light. Then she drifted off to sleep once again.

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A few hours later, Fred was woken up by Connor crying again. She got out of bed and went to his crib and picked Connor up. "It's okay, baby. Shh. It's all right. Okay, Connor. Aunt Fred's here. What's the matter, huh? Did you have a bad dream?" Fred sat in a nearby chair and began to rock Connor to sleep. About twenty-five minutes later, Connor started falling back to sleep. "There ya go, honey," Fred said softly as she put Connor back into his crib. "Sweet dreams." As Fred climbed back into bed, she couldn't help but smile at Connor who was now asleep. It was hard to be annoyed at him. He was so adorable and so innocent. He truly was a gift from above.

The End

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