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22 June 2007 @ 11:50 am
Walking In My Shoes (35/37)  
Title: Walking In My Shoes (35/37)
Author: Kelly and Mike (collaborative writing team)
Posted: 6/22/07
Rating: Chapters range from PG to NC-17
Chapter: Chapter Thirty-Five rated PG-13
Email: jjsoapchat AT yahoo DOT com
Content: Action, family bonding, fluff, cuteness
Scenes include: Angel, Gunn, Cordelia, Kat, Ian, Connor
Summary: Written for a challenge proposed on the Stranger Things message board. Challenge By rousedower. Canon S5 Angel gets sucked into an alternative dimension during the final battle. Here he finds everything he could ever want but can he hold onto it?
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: AO, ST, FSB, LJ, Ficwad. Whoever wants it, can have it, just credit
Notes: Cast List: Kelly writes for Cordelia, Gunn, Lorne, Lillian, Kat, Illyria/Fred, Lilah, Eve, Faith, Gwen, Harmony, Vail, random shop owners/demons. Mike writes for Angel(us), Connor, Wes, Ian, random filler chars.
Feedback: Yes, please. Tell us how we are doing!
Previous Chapters can be found here: http://xlivvielockex.livejournal.com/11039.html
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Gunn walked slowly along the space between the two sections of the industrial building. A vision from Barbie had sent him and Angel here. English and Fred were getting their honeymoon time in and Faith had taken the girls out to scope out a concert for vamps and demons. Gunn had a sneaking suspicion that Faith exaggerated the threat just so she could take the night off to go dancing with the girls. He looked back towards Angel. "Heard you and the kids went to Disneyland last week?"

Angel gave Gunn only a quick glance, not taking much of his attention from their hunt. He was getting that feeling in his gut. "Yeah," he replied. "Went to the land of the mouse and found a vamp being Goofy."

"Like acting like an idiot?" He asked. He walked alongside with Angel, his axe raised up. Barbie was pretty clear with the description of the thing: big, fat, couple of tentacles, and slimy. It would be wedged in a corner but she wasn't sure if it was a corner that was up or down so his eyes were scanning the possibilities.

"No," Angel said as he stopped. "He was Goofy. Dressed like the dog." The ex-vampire, now slayer/hunter, turned and looked at a dark corridor.

Gunn raised a brow as Angel stopped and looked down the dark corridor. How come these things never bothered to come out to a nicely bright lit corridor? Gunn just gestured with his chin, meaning if that was where they needed to head.

Angel nodded and hefted his sword. This was one time he did miss the ability to see in the dark, it was one sense he did loose. "I'm afraid it knows we're coming," he said. "Its smell changed."

"They always do, man." He shook his head as he started slowly into the corridor. He was wishing he had a pair of night vision goggles. English kept telling him no but a situation like this, they would be perfect for it. He stopped in his tracks as something squished under his boot. "Damn. Gwen got me these boots."

"You're always stepping in it, man," Angel then moved on. They might as well get this over with so they could get home for dinner. Suddenly a tentacle lashed out from the darkness, getting Angel by the ankle.

"I ain't the one that always gets grabbed up by hellbeasts!" Gunn shouted as he saw the tentacle grab hold of Angel. He managed not to slip as he ran for the thing. He brought the axe down, cutting the tentacle off so Angel would no longer be in its grasp.

The thing screamed in the darkness and the part of the tentacle still attached shrunk back into the darkness. Angel kicked off the end around his ankle. It wiggled then laid still. Angel looked down at his shoe and the slime that ran from the wounded demon had discolored his shoe badly. "Okay, that pisses me off. This was my favorite pair of shoes," he said then he charged into the darkness after whatever lay in it.

"Like you need to complain. You got more black shoes than a supermodel." He charged in after Angel, axe ready to go. He pulled a small light stick from his jacket. He snapped it, shook it, and tossed it so they could at least see this tentacle beast. There it was, just as Barbie described. It was just a writhing mass of slime and tentacles. "Damn!" That pretty much reflected exactly how Gunn was feeling about it.

Angel stopped looking at the thing. "Man, all the ugly genes flat gallop in this thing’s family," he said.

The demon made what sounded like suction cup noises as its long tentacles pulled it along. A garbling-bubbly noise came from a small beak below a single large eye on a stalk. The eye bent around and looked at the two and the beak ground together to make a grating sound.

Gunn winced when the thing made that grating sound. It was nails on a chalkboard. With Wes gone on his honeymoon, neither of them had bothered to look up how to kill this thing. It was too much of the thrill of a kill coming on. Added to that, Gunn wanted to see this new Angel in action. It was hard to dislike a vampire who wasn't a vampire anymore. "Somebody needs to shut this thing up." He went right for it, swinging his axe to cut the demon's eye stalk off.

Angel followed after, swinging his broadsword and taking off another tentacle. Then he glanced Gunn's way and leaped to knock him down. As they hit the ground, the demon spat at them. It went over them, hit the far wall, and sizzled.

He hit the ground once Angel tackled him. It almost knocked the wind out of him but not quite. He looked against the wall with a frown. "Barbie could have told us that it spits acid. I cut the eye off at least?" He hadn't had time to check since Angel had tackled him to the ground.

Angel looked back. "Yeah, I think," he replied. On the floor was the eye but then another was in place of the one that Gunn had cut off. "I'm beginning to think we should have brought the flame thrower." But he got up and pulled his throwing adz from under his coat. He quickly threw it and the adz buried into the beak of the thing. The demon let out a screech that sounded like metal grating on metal. Angel put his hands up to his ears.

Gunn did the same. He looked over at Angel, shouting over the nose. "I am thinking earplugs too!" He lowered his hands long enough to slash a tentacle that was coming for his ankle, cutting it off. That only made the demon shriek even louder. Cutting the eye off wasn't going to work. He looked over at Angel, motioning that he was going in.

Angel nodded and was ready to follow. He tried to take an assessment of the creature to find a vulnerable place. Then he was in on the thing, sword swinging. He ducked one tentacle then leapt another.

Gunn rushed in while Angel was busying doing his assessing there. He figured that if he could split it down the middle that would be good enough to kill the damn thing. He was bobbing and weaving to dodge the tentacles, trying to get in hits with his axe where ever he could. He wasn't looking forward to becoming the star in some tentacle rape scene tonight, or any other night for that matter.

As Gunn hacked away Angel leapt up and as he came down, he had his sword pointed down to the area just above the eyestalk. He focused on that place and then saw the eye swing up to look at him, but that was the last thing it saw. His sword sank into the spongy flesh with the force of Angel's weight behind it.

As Angel cut the thing from above, Gunn was cutting it from across. He brought his axe around in a half circle to cut the thing from side to side. It was low enough of a cut so it didn't run into Angel's sword. But it was enough to separate the demon into two halves.

The things cries grew faint and it fell with the sound like jelly pouring from a jar. Angel was on his feet by Gunn looking at the gross sight as it seemed to deflate.

Gunn looked at the thing in disgust. They had killed some nasty things before but this thing was making him never want to eat jelly again. He checked his clothes and he was covered in slime from the thing. "Damn. I just got this shirt." He shook his head as he checked his new boots too. At least it could all be washed. It wasn't acid slime.

Looking at Gunn, Angel chuckled. "It looks good on you," he said. "That whole green slime thing. Brings out your eyes." Still chuckling, he pulled his sword from the thing, strings of slime trailing off from it.

Gunn still had his axe in his hand. He frowned when Angel said that. He thought it was funny, he would show him funny. He grabbed a blob of the smile from the concrete and flung it at Angel. He grinned when it hit Angel with a satisfying wet smack. "Looks good on you too, man."

Angel stopped and stood there looking at the wall a moment. "You know," he finally said after a moment of silence, "I can't let that slide. You shouldn't have done that." In a quick move Angel had his goo soak adz and acted like he was going to throw it but he didn't let go. Instead the demon goo that covered it flung off and hit Gunn.

Gunn got hit in the chest and stumbled back. It was more from the surprise of being hit with goo than it was the goo itself. "Oh, it’s on now." Gunn nodded his head. He picked up a tentacle and took a swing at Angel. It hit the other man with a wet slap. This was nothing more than a grownup version of a food fight.

Before Angel could duck he was smacked with that tentacle. Oh, this was so going to be war. Grabbing the eyeball on the stalk he swung it and got Gunn on his bald head with it. "You are so going down," Angel told his friend.

"Got to get you back now since I don't get to stake you." Goo from the burst demon eye slid down the side of his face. He wiped it off and then he took another swing with the tentacle at Angel. He caught his arm, the suckers sticking against Angel's coat.

Trying to pull his arm from the suckers, Angel lost his balance on the slime covered concrete. When he went down, he landed in a huge pool of the goo the demon had just turned totally into. When he went down he reached out grabbing Gunn's ankle to take him down.

Gunn faltered and then he fell down as well. He was a tall man so he went crashing to the concrete. He grabbed another handful of goo and lobbed it at Angel, hitting him in the face.

Wiping his face Angel got to his knees then tackled Gunn. Both men rolled and went into what had been the mass of the thing’s body, covering them both in the sticky, slimy remains.

It was like they were kids again, rough housing and wrestling. Gunn got the back of Angel's head and forced his face into a pile of the demon remains. He laughed loudly as he ground Angel's face into it. "Been wanting to do that for years!"

Breathing was a hindrance here now. Going down into the goo, he came back up shoving back on Gunn to send him back. He spit out some goo. "Oh, man, I forgot to tell you," Angel said, "This goo is turning you whiter then me."

Gunn slid back on his butt but the laughing was over. He checked his hands and even in the dim light, he could still see he was dark. Angel had only managed to buy himself some time while Gunn examined himself. One thing he didn't want to be was as pale as Angel.

When Gunn looked, he took his chance. Scooping up a double handful, he threw it into Gunn's face. Angel was laughing, yes laughing. He hadn't in his life, ever, gave a true laugh that was full of happy emotion outside of time with Cordelia since they came back.

Gunn went tumbling back when he got hit in the face with the goo. He was still on his back as he wiped the stuff off his face. "You best be buying me a beer for that." He reached blindly to grab another tentacle. As he came up, he slapped Angel across the mouth with it.

Before the tentacle reached him, Angel grabbed the end of it. "Me buy YOU a beer," he said. "You're the one that started this." He was sitting there, dripping from the goo. He let go of the tentacle then looked around. "You know this is really kind of gross."

Ginger, one of the Slayers from the school rounded the corner. Her flashlight could be seen before the petite brunette poked her head around. She shined the flashlight on the two men. "Um...Mr. Gunn? Mr. Angel?"

The flashlight hit them just as Angel flung a final handful of goo at Gunn for his beer comment. He looked to the light and winced.

Ginger stepped in close towards the two men but she could see that the concrete floor was slick with something, the way it reflected in the light. "Ms. Cordelia sent me. She said Lillian is having her baby."

Angel's eyes got big and he scrambled to his feet only to slip again in the goo, landing on Gunn. "Damn," he exclaimed as he hit.

Gunn pushed Angel out of the way. "Damn. Get me off, man. You are going to give the girls the wrong idea." He managed to get to his feet, scrambling just as much as Angel.

"I doubt that," he said. "Who's the one with all the kids and going to be a new Granddad?" Getting up again, he carefully walked away from the goo mass. Looking at Ginger, he said, "Were they just leaving for the hospital or were they there?" Goo was dripping from his hair and nose.

Ginger stepped back, slightly horrified at how Angel looked. She had yet to deal with any real demons. It was all vamps. She swallowed. "Ms. Cordelia just told me to get here and to tell you. She called me." She held up her cellphone.

Turning to Gunn, he nodded. "Hospital," he said. "We have to get to the hospital." Angel then turned to start on out not even giving thought to his appearance.

Cordelia was sitting outside of the hospital room with the twins. Ian was playing a handheld video game, his tongue sticking out of the side of his mouth. Kat had her face pressed up against the room window, watching Lillian, Connor, and now Annabelle. Angel had been too late but really, everyone had been too late. Annabelle was delivered before Connor could even get to the hospital. This family had a thing about women going into labor in cars.

Angel came through those doors. He'd changed on the way, always keeping spare clothes in the trunk of the car. He'd then stopped in the hospital men's room and washed out his hair as best he could. "Cordy," he said as he entered. "Where is she..."

She heard his voice and she stood up with a smile. "She is recovering right now. We were giving Connor, Lillian, and the baby some time to themselves." She paused for a moment as she got closer to him. "Is that...goo?"

Ian jumped up when he saw his father. He went running for him. "DA! Look! I got the high score." He was showing his father his handheld. "And Lillian peed her pants! I saw it! We were watching cartoons and she peed all over."

Looking at Cordy, he nodded. "Thought I got it all," he said before he got the rush that was Ian. "Hey, kiddo, that's great...about the score." When Ian started going on about Lillian peeing Angel looked back at Cordy. "Haven't tried to explain it yet?"

Cordelia put her hands up. "Oh no, that is all you. I am not even going there.” She started to back away from the father and son, shaking her head. Angel wanted to be a father so bad, she was going to let him do the birds and the bees talk with Ian.

"Cordy, I don't think...I mean...I never even got that talk from my own father...I'm not sure...," he said his voice trailing off.

Ian looked between his parents. "What talk," he asked. Now they had his curiosity piqued.

Ian grinned up at his Dad as his mother walked off. He tugged at his father's pants. "Explain what? What talk? Am I not 'appose to tell people that Lillian went peepee?"

"Uh," Angel started and looked at Cordy again for help. When he saw he wasn't going to get it he got Ian by the hand and walked him over to sit. "Ian, that wasn't pee that you saw," he said. "It was water...when a baby is in its mommy it is like in a big balloon filled with water. When it’s ready to be born that balloon breaks and the water comes out."

The young boy tilted his head, looking at his father. That idea sounded really cool him to him. He grinned. "I want to be in a water balloon again! Mom!" He turned to look at his mother now. "Can I be a balloon in your stomach again? Please! I want to splash around and I swim real good."

Angel didn't say anything to that. He just looked up at Cordy waiting for her reaction to what Ian was begging for now. He stood and started whistling Mandy.

Cordelia shot Angel a death glare that would no doubt make him stop whistling that instant. She looked down at Ian and ruffled his hair. "Kid, you had your time in there. You are way too big. But hey, your dad is going to get to work on your new room soon and we will get you a water bed. How does that sound? It’s like sleeping on a giant water balloon."

Ian jumped up, more at the prospect of his own room than a waterbed. He looked at Angel. "Can we put dinosaurs on the wall? And space aliens? And some demons? Will you paint my walls for me, Da? Will you?"

"You know I will, kid...," Angel didn't finish because just then he saw the door open and Connor stepped out holding something in his arms. His oldest looked like what he was carrying would break or blow up. Connor's steps were careful.

Kat was the first to turn and she gave her parents and brother a look that she would kill them if they tried to stop her. She had learned the expression from Cordelia, mimicking her mother perfectly. She stood up on her chair and leaned over to look at the baby. "Can I hold her, Connor? Please. I will be careful." She was using her best polite voice to get what she wanted.

Connor looked at his little sister a moment then spoke. "Kat, I think maybe she needs to meet somebody else right now," he was speaking really soft. "You've talked to her all this time and it’s really important," he said as he looked at his father, "to let Dad see her first." He walked to Angel. "I guess I now understand how you felt." He handed the bundle over to his father.

Angel took his granddaughter and smiled at that face. "She's beautiful," he said. "But all my kids are." He looked over to Katy. "Sit down and we'll hold her together."

Kat was about to throw a very rare temper tantrum but her father probably sensed that when he suggested the compromise. She sat down, waiting with her breath held. She was finally going to see Annabelle, face to face. She was so excited that she couldn't keep still.

Ian had no desire to see the baby. It was a baby, what was the big deal? He sat right down in the middle of the floor to start playing his handheld again. He was thinking about his new room, with the bed made out of water and all the dinosaurs on the walls.

Cordelia looked over at Connor with a smile. This was the sort of thing she thought she might never see because face it, the kid was screwed up. "Congrats, Connor."

Connor looked over at Cordelia. "Thanks," he said. "You know this is something I never thought I'd have." He looked back at his sister, father, and daughter. Angel was making those goofy faces at Anna. Looking back at Cordy, he shook his head. "Was he that bad when I was a baby?"

"Worse. He was so much worse." She smiled as she watched Angel with the new baby. "He wouldn't let anyone hold you. Not even get near you. I had to yank him out into the sunlight before he would admit that he needed help. He just loved you so much, Connor. He still does." She looked over to the young man that she thought of as her son now. Even though he probably knew it deep down, she wanted to tell him again.

"Yeah," Connor nodded. "I finally got that." He looked at her then stepped over to her to give Cordy a hug.

She hugged Connor back. She was happy that he had finally comes to terms with everything. That he had learned and accepted Angel. She let him go. "How is Lillian doing?"

"Sleeping," Connor replied then turned to again to see the side show the baby had created. Wouldn't some of those demons that cringed at the name of Angel love to see the Champion now and how he was acting?

"Oh, I know she just smiled," Angel said and looked at Kat. "You see that? I don't care what doctors say, that was a smile. Yes it was…it was a smile." The last part of his statement was baby talk to Anna.

Cordelia looked at Angel with a grin. "You should have seen him with Kat. She would fart and he would think it was a newsworthy event." She shook her head and looked back to Connor. "And you, he bought you this tiny little hockey uniform and sticks. We still have them. He just...well, he didn't want to give them to you since things between you two were always so...strained."

Connor shook his head. "Didn't make it easy on him when I came back," he said admittedly. "Anyway, I think an eighteen inch hockey stick and a jersey shirt for a toddler were a bit small for me when I came home."

"Well, duh." She gently nudged Connor. "It would mean a lot to him though, if maybe you asked him to go to a game with you? I know things are better now. Not perfect but better. You have no idea how happy it would make him...and me."

Connor nodded as he watched the three. Kat was now holding Annabelle and Angel was still making those faces. That little girl was going to have more love then she'd know what to do with.

Cordelia gave Connor's hand a squeeze. It was an apology, unspoken between them. She wished that he could have known that love as a child. It was one of the few regrets she had. She wasn't one for regrets, they did her no good. Connor had his innocence stolen and that was something that was worth regretting, to keep her strong, and make sure it never happened to any of her kids.

---------------------------------

It had been one year since Angel had become a vampire slayer and several things had changed within the walls of the Hyperion. Firstly, with the addition of baby Annabelle, Connor and Lillian had renovated the floor above Cordelia and Angel's to match. Busily working on baby number two, Connor was taking time away from the Slayer Academy to spend time with his wife and daughter.

Gunn, Gwen, and Faith were more than happy to take over in Connor's absence and Faith had even gone to Cleveland to help Giles set up an Academy near the new Hellmouth. Now with two schools on either side of the country and the new Watcher's Council tackling Europe, all the Slayers of the world were getting the training they needed.

Wesley and Fred were, as always, busy with research and science respectively. After their small and intimate ceremony, the contract between Wesley and Bernie was null and void. Word was that Lindsey MacDonald was filling Wesley's shoes nicely, much to Lilah's chagrin. Fred was about five months along on a little Fred Jr., it worked for either sex of the baby.

Cordelia and Angel had gone through the biggest change of all. Cordelia had fought long and hard to put the twins into a demon school so that she could actually get away from the home schooling and being a full time mom to go back to her Seer duties. Ian had been doing well, despite a few mistakes in the beginning. He was settling in and even had a few friends over to play video games. Kat was doing well too, learning to control her powers and block feelings from others so she didn't feel so drained. She had fallen in with a group of quiet girls who spent their social time in Kat's room, reading.

Angel could now work both daytime cases and nighttime cases, which was good as far as income was concerned. Between the schools and all the cases, they were making a comfortable living. Enough for Cordelia to sneak off during the day, take a few college classes. One of them was cooking, which everyone was thankful for. It helped as she prepared the anniversary dinner for Angel. Not their wedding or the engagement, but rather of the night that she helped him to Shanshu.

She was puttering around the kitchen now, letting the kids watch TV in the living room. She didn't need Ian underfoot, putting his fingers into everything. She called out to the kids, "Is dad home yet?"

Ian had long stopped watching TV. He was busy putting his Hot Wheels track together. The living room was criss-crossed with the orange track. "Not yet," he called to his mother. "Kat, you’re in the way!"

Kat just looked at her brother like he was a piece of lint on her sweater. She had picked that look up from her mother. She might have been quiet but her social group at school was slowly starting to take it over. She picked her book up and moved to the couch. "You are just going to have to clean it up when Dad gets home. It’s their TV night."

"I bet he'll want to play," he told her as he went back to work. "I got some new cars."

Angel then came through the door. He'd already pulled off his coat off and hung it downstairs in the office. Ian jumped up and ran to his father with one of his cars. "Da! Look what I have," he said. "It’s a Batmobile!"

Kat leveled another look on her brother and then called out to their mom. "Mom...are you and daddy watching your stories tonight?"

"Yeah. It’s TV night for us." Cordy answered her daughter and then added. "Ian, that means the cars need to be cleaned up before dinner." It was only because with the way Ian ate, he would be in a food coma after dinner.

Angel picked up Ian and looked at the car. "Wow, that is cool," he said as he stepped on to the living room. Putting the boy down, he indicated the tracks. "Do what your mother told you."

Ian started to protest but saw his father's look and turned to start taking the track apart.

Kat grinned behind her book when Angel told Ian to clean up the cars. She got a little thrill at her brother's momentary assurances about their father being shot down. She turned that grin into a beautiful smile as she looked up at her father. "Hi, Daddy."

"Hey, sweetheart," he'd moved over and gave his daughter a kiss on her forehead. He loved his kids equally. They were his new immortality. Angel walked on into the kitchen. "What smells so damn good," he asked as he started to investigate the pots.

Cordelia reached over and she smacked Angel's hand with a wooden spoon. "Hey...out of those. I don't think I said ‘hey Angel, come home and get into my kitchen’. And where is my hello? Swear, you make a guy mortal and he forgets you so easily." She turned so that she could give him a grin though. Unfortunately, she was going to have something to hold over him for the rest of their lives.

"Hey, I haven't forgotten," he said as he pulled his hand back. "Why do you think I keep coming home? Do I need to give you a cheesy line like, ‘oh, you must be tired because you've been running around in my dreams all night’?"

"Oh my god, I think you need some wine for that cheese." She chuckled. She put the spoon down and slid easily into his arms. "Presents would be nice. Kisses, even nicer."

Ian looked up from his tracks. "EWWWWwww," he exclaimed. "They're gonna kiss!"

"Damn right we're going to kiss," Angel said looking down at Cordy, smiling back. He leaned down to her and kissed his wife and best friend.

She was laughing as she felt Angel's lips press against hers. It was Ian and his little comment that had done it. But her laughter was quickly cut off as she settled into the kiss. Each time she kissed him, it felt like the first time. Her heart still raced and her palms still got a bit clammy.

As he kissed her he reached around her to the plate and got a french fry so when he broke the kiss and stepped back, he quickly popped it in his mouth. "God, you're beautiful," he said as he chewed.

"You are just saying that because you don't want me to yell at you for stealing a fry." She moved enough so that she could bring her foot up and kick him square in the ass. "Go spend some time with the kids while I finish dinner." She kicked him once more but this time, it was less sudden, giving him time to grab her ankle and leg.

Holding her ankle up, he grinned. Keeping his eye on her with his free hand he started to pull her shoe off to get to her bare foot.

"Angel!" She tried to pull her foot away from him. She was smiling but she grabbed up that wooden spoon again. She threatened him. "Don't make me use this, Ace. Its wood! It'll sting."

"You know," he said to her, "once upon a time that threat would work and it would really hurt. But somebody took care of that. Oh, yeah." And with that he tickled the bottom of her foot. Ian abandoned his tracks to come cheer what was going on.

"A spoon in the heart will still hurt!" She barely got that out because she was laughing. She was hopping around, trying to get her foot free.

"Can I help," Ian called. He wasn't asking one in particular. "Can I?"

Cordy grabbed up the wooden spoon and bent her body so that she could hit Angel with it. "If you don't let me go...dinner won't get made!" She knew that would be enough for Angel to let go of her.

Angel stopped and sighed. He dropped her foot. "You always play dirty," he said. "That is a cheap shot."

Ian tried to reach down for his mother's foot. "I can still do it! See," he said pulling.

"Woah now, little man, do you want dinner? Dinner is dependant on mom NOT getting her feet tickled." She took a fry off the plate and held it out for Ian. She was bribing him.

Putting food in front of the kid worked every time. His appetite was almost equal to his father's. "I'm the frenchy fry monster," he said growling then pounced on the fry and ran off with his prize.

She looked up at Angel, giving him a smile. "Go spend time with the kids while I finish here." She wasn't giving Angel a choice, she was telling him.

"Why is it cute when he does it," he said in a mock pout. He turned and headed into the living room before leaping over the back the couch to land on it on his ass.

When Angel landed on the couch, it caused Kat to go into the air just a little bit. She looked over at her dad, giving him a patented Cordelia look. "Daddy, I was reading here! You disturbed my school reading."

"And just what were you reading," Angel asked and he peeked over to her book. If it were Ian he'd grabbed the boy and wrestled him down but this was Kat and she fancied herself a bit more adult.

"Oh, it is a book I already read. But I can't go into the bigger kids special reading program until next year." She showed her dad the cover of the book. "Where The Red Fern Grows. It’s sad." She moved so that she could sit in her father's lap.

Angel nodded. "A lot of books are. The Yearling, The Red Pony, Grapes of Wrath....But they were all written very sad times." He put his arm around her.

She looked up at him and she lowered her voice so that Ian wouldn't hear them. "Da, it is very important that you have TV time tonight." She nodded her head, her face looking quite serious for such a young child.

He looked down at her. "Okay, it was planned anyway....but what is so important," he asked in a whisper back to her.

Kat just smiled at him, that same beautiful smile that she had given him when he first came in. She was about to say something else when she was cut off from a voice in the kitchen. "Dinner's on."

"DINNER," Ian yelled and ran for the table. Getting to his chair, he climbed up.

"Okay, now you guys can't make fun of this. I just learned how to make it. It’s hamburgers but it has stuff in with the meat." She put a plate down at each of the four places at the table and then put the fries in the middle. She set a bowl of corn on the cob down as well. She knew the kids needed some veggies.

Angel remembered once when Cordy tried experimenting with his meal. Cinnamon in his blood, didn't really work. But he appreciated the effort. He smiled at her as he stood behind her chair and waited for her after he pulled it out. "I'm sure we'll love it, babe," he said and he looked to each of the kids in turn, that little warning look in his eyes to them.

Kat sat at her place and put her napkin in her nap. She caught the warning look from her father but she probably wasn't the one that he needed to worry about. Ian would no doubt blurt something out. She was a lot more patient than her brother, waiting to be served. She smiled as she saw her father pull the chair out for her mother.

With all the plates set down, Cordy could finally sit down herself. "Well, I've been trying really hard in my cooking class. I tell you, it’s harder than my business classes. Those are a total breeze." She put some fries on Ian's plate and passed him the ketchup.

After she had sat, Angel took his seat. Taking the napkin he unfolded it and placed it over his lap. He chuckled. "Try cooking and not be able to taste what you are cooking," he said. "But I'm sure its great and knowing you, you are the star pupil and will be the next Martha Stewart."

Ian looked at the table and eyed the corn on the cob. He started to reach for it but Angel spoke up, "Now wait for the rest of us, Sport."

The boy sat back in his seat but his eyes stayed on the plate of corn on the cob. Cordy could see this and she started to put the corn on the plates, starting with Ian.

Ian was again looking around the table. "Butter," he called out. "Where's the butter? Can't have corns on cobs without butter!”

"Well, why don't you go get it out of the fridge then, Ian?" She chuckled at the boy and his enthusiasm. She looked across the table at Angel, giving him one of those 'he gets that from you' looks.

Ian got down and ran across to the fridge and opened it. He lifted the butter bin cover in the door and got out his prize and came back. "GOT IT," he called and got back into his seat.

Cordy picked her burger up. It looked okay, it smelled good. Maybe she was breaking her bad brownie curse. "Well, here goes nothing.”

"I bet you're head of your class," Angel said as he reached over and buttered Ian's corn. "Tell your teacher you had a clean slate of a husband to work with and teach proper eating habits?" He grinned at her.

"Yeah right, Angel. You are just about as picky of an eater as a girl. Unless I cover it in chocolate. I could probably get you to eat bark if it was slathered in dark chocolate." She took a bite of her burger. She had to admit, it tasted really good to her. She was skeptical because burgers should be just meat, right?

Angel buttered his own corn then picked up his burger. "Well, you know, when I was able to eat before....meat and potatoes were the major staple. Bread..." He looked at his kids. "loved the smell of fresh baked bread in a wood burning oven. Ask your mom about stew fixed in a fire place..." He took a bite of the burger and paused in his chewing. He raised a brow.

She saw that raised brow of his. "What?" She set her own down. She just looked across the table at him. The kids were oddly silent because Ian, as always, was stuffing his face. Kat was quietly taking her time, pretending she was at some royal court with the King and Queen. She had to have her best manners.

"This is really," he said as he swallowed, "really good. It’s...great." He went for another bite.

"Well, duh. Of course it’s great." She shook her head, just looking at Angel like the giant dork that he was. "I made extras so you can have another and take one with you tomorrow when you and Wes stake out that Campbell case."

"Am I going to have to share with him," he asked after he took a drink of his tea. "Can we make him pack his own lunch?"

"I will pack him up a lunch too. Just don't tell him I made it. Let him eat it first. Because all Wes can remember are those brownies. Obviously, that was a fluke." She pointed her fork at him before she used it to spear a fry. She dipped the fry into some ketchup before putting it in her mouth.

"Hey, they did help us find that demon," Angel added.

Ian looked up from his meal and his gaze went from Da to Mom. "What brownies?" he asked. "You make some brownies, Mom?"

She glanced over at Ian with a smile. "Not tonight, kiddo. Lillian said you two could upstairs to have desert with her, Connor, and Annabelle. But I made brownies one time and it was not my finest hour."

She leaned over to lower her voice just for Ian to hear. "Hey, I will let you in on a little secret. Next week, I am learning how to do all desserts. And I need a taste tester. What do you say?"

Ian grinned up at his mother. "I'm the bestest taste tester around." He grabbed his corn again, took a bite, and frowned. Pulling back, he looked and one of his front teeth was in it.

Cordelia saw the tooth and she looked over at Angel. A panicked look came across her face. Sure, she remembered loosing teeth as a kid. But she would resist the urge to wiggle them. Only a certain number of children looked good with a gapped tooth smile. She grabbed a napkin and tilted Ian's head back. "Let me just put this on the spot where you lost the tooth until it clots."

"What about the tooth fairy," Ian implored. "I don't want it back in my mouth!"

"It is just a napkin, Ian. See." She picked the tooth up and showed it to the young man. "You can still put it under your pillow tonight for the tooth fairy."

Angel had finished his first burger and was after another. "The tooth fairy is a strange creature anyway. A bit eccentric."

She waited for a few moments and then pulled the napkin away. The bleeding had stopped. She sighed. "With as much as I patch up you and your dad, I should have been a nurse."

Angel leaned back and patted his stomach. "Now that was good," he said. Glancing over at Ian he spoke, "Now, keep your tongue out of that place. If you do, you'll grow a gold tooth."

Ian's eyes widened. He looked from his Da to his Mother. "Gosh," he said, "that would be neat!"

She chuckled and looked over at Angel, shaking her head. She looked at the two kids. "Okay you guys, finish up dinner and then you can go upstairs to Connor and Lillian's for desert." She wasn't going to rush the kids but she got up from the table to clean up her and Angel's plates.

Angel stood and helped his wife start to clean the table. Soon Ian was done and was bringing his plate to the sink. "Do I have to wait on Kat," he asked.

"No, you can go ahead on up there." She looked over at Kat who had been in quiet thought for the entire meal. "Kat, how you doing?"

Kat looked up from her plate to give her parents a smile. "Good. I am almost done. Promise." The truth was that she wanted to hang around. She wanted to watch her parents in these seemingly mundane moments. A year ago had given the small girl quite the perspective.

Ian was gone in a flash. Angel chuckled as he started to load the dishwasher. "That boy has more energy then all of us put together I think."

"I know. It’s so crazy. We could probably put him on a bike hooked up to a generator and he would pedal us enough electric for a year." She was at the sink now, rinsing the plates before Angel loaded them into the dishwasher. She then moved to start putting the extra food away.

He looked over at his daughter. He knew she was stalling. Walking to the table, he leaned down to her. "Whatever the big secret is," he said, "I doubt Mom will tell me until you're up at your big brother's."

She just looked at her father as he came over to talk to her. She pushed her chair out but not before she gave her father a hug. She got up and put her plate on the counter to be cleaned before she headed up to see Connor, Lillian, and Annabelle.
 
 
 
mystalkershrine on June 23rd, 2007 02:07 am (UTC)
Oh, Thank God! It's still TBC! I was really worried for a second there =D

Cordelia's gonna get pregnant again, isn't she?! :D Awesomeness! :D

This is one of my favourite fics *by* far! :D I'm hoping that when you post Part 37, you'll paste all the other chapters on the same post? :D Assuming that you don't go over the character limit and all? :$

You are 394723980283 different shades of awesome for continuing this! :D
Kelly: C/A Familyxlivvielockex on June 23rd, 2007 09:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, it is way too huge for me to post as one entry. It is about 5000-8000 words a chapter so you can imagine with 37 chapters, no way, no how would it fit into one entry.

And I am not giving away any part of the ending. But Mike and I are going to start work on our next multi-chaptered C/A story and I might solicit some ideas from my flist. :)
mystalkershrine on June 23rd, 2007 11:18 pm (UTC)
Q&A

1) Is Mike your husband?

2) Do you write on paper first, and then commit to the computer, or on the computer only?
Kelly: C/A Familyxlivvielockex on June 24th, 2007 03:04 am (UTC)
1. Oh heck no. I couldn't stand him. LOL He has just been my best friend for years and years now. But no. Not attracted to him. Lots of reasons why. Most of which, he is married.

2. We discuss it over an IM service or on email so we can get an outline together. Then we just write it together over the IM service or the email.

As far as my personal writing, I write it on paper sometimes. Sometimes I use a tape recorder, sometimes I just sit at the computer. :)
mystalkershrine on August 4th, 2007 12:01 am (UTC)
...So like..where's the next parts?! [[sobs]] I'm going through withdrawl here!! :(
Kelly: C/A Familyxlivvielockex on August 7th, 2007 05:56 pm (UTC)
I am hoping to have another chapter up by this weekend. I was busy writing Peripheral because I had a deadline so I didn't have time to finish the rewrite of the last rewrite. :)
Adelheidi: ATS - C/A Made for Each Otherithinkitisayit on November 11th, 2007 01:38 am (UTC)
And again, I ask where the rest of the fic is :P (new account, mystalkershrine here ;)). If you need a beta reader, I'm more than happy to help! :D
Kelly: C/A Familyxlivvielockex on November 14th, 2007 01:27 am (UTC)
Thank you for the offer. I've been fairly sick, in and out of the hospital, and I signed up for the Stranger Things Halloween ficathon. Wrote two stories for it, if you are interested. Invitation and But It Wasn't You. I've been writing C/A. I just needed a little break from Walking so I could come back to it fresh.