Title: Teething 2
Summary: Baby!Connor is still slowly munching his way through Angel’s hair products, as Angel and Cordelia get a couple of unwanted visitors. First in a few series of Connor’s teething stories.
Spoilers: Post-Connor birth.
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Distribution: Just ask
Notes: Thanks for the really great response last time, folks! Personally, I think sequels suck, but that doesn’t stop me from writing them. Would’ve posted this sooner except my computer is completely buggered, and makes this ‘chuggachuggabluescreennopenowaynotachanceinHELLyo u’regettingyourcomputerback’ thing. Anyway… enjoy!
He was learning something new everyday.
Yesterday, Connor had learnt what the colour ‘red’ looked like. Well, okay, if he was being totally honest with himself, Connor already knew what the colour red looked like – it was vibrant, and looked pretty. He just didn’t used to have a name for it, and yesterday he suddenly did.
Lots of things were red – fire engines, for example. Or Mama after that time he tried to chew his way through her favourite pointy shoes.
Someday, Connor hoped to discover the word for ‘fire engine’.
Today, however, Connor had learnt something incredibly boring and unuseful. He learnt that people he didn’t know could just barge into his home whenever they felt like it, even during naptime. Irritation was another thing Connor didn’t have a word for yet, so instead of trying to vocalise his discomfort he settled for screaming his lungs out until Mama scooped him up in her strong, warm arms and made every irritating thing in the world seem small and unproblematic.
He buried his face in her soft pillows, and let the waves of comfort was over him.
The two guests in question stood waveringly in the lobby by the doors, their focus settling entirely on Connor. Mama handed him his little yellow plastic duck to chew through, knowing full well that it always cheered him up, no matter what mood he was in.
It was perhaps the only toy in Connor’s extensive collection that had so far remained immune to his chomping efforts. Connor didn’t know the word for ‘yellow duck’ yet, either. He knew that the two people standing on the steps near the doorway both had hair that was similar to the colour of the duck – light, summerish, shiny.
Connor didn’t know the word for ‘blonde’, nor did he dwell on it. He remained fixated on the duck he was chewing, choosing to ignore the new people standing on the carpeted steps. Frankly, he couldn’t see what the fuss was about.
“Wh-what the hell is this?” said the woman he didn’t know.
Connor wasn’t easily amused by people he didn’t know. Even less so by women with no pillows. Well, Aunt Fred was the exception, but generally speaking Connor liked big snuggly pillows he could fall asleep on, and the woman on the steps – petite as she was – was sadly lacking in that department.
As she approached Connor, he leaned closer into Mama and used his free hand to grasp her soft hair. It was a precaution, he didn’t really expect the new lady with the yellow-duck hair to make a grab for him, but still… there was no harm in being careful.
He bit down on the duck, hard.
“What do you want, Buffy?” Mama said, her voice lacking its usual singsong cheeriness. She looked worried, Connor felt sorry for Mama. Whenever people got depressed it really put a damper on his fun time.
The other woman leaned over Connor for a closer inspection, and her male companion in the background watched her reaction, curiously.
“Is… is that a baby?” she asked, apparently confused.
“What, this?” Mama jiggled Connor in her arms. He let out a peep of surprise, muffled slightly by the plastic duck. Sweet JESUS, Mama! Don’t do that!!
“That *is* a baby!”
“No, this is actually a car in a diaper. I drive it to work in the morning.”
“There’s not need to be sarcastic.”
“Oh, there’s call. There’s complete call. What do you want?” Oh dear, now Mama sounded annoyed.
Connor knew from experience that there was only one thing that can cheer you up when you get in a bad mood, and so tentatively he plucked the drool-coated bath toy from his mouth and offered it up to Mama to chew on. If it didn’t cheer her up, at least it’d shut her up.
She didn’t take it.
“Where’s Angel?” the new woman demanded.
After that point the skinny blonde woman had become quazi-hysterical and, just when Connor thought she couldn’t get any more high-pitched, Daddy walked through the front doors to the hotel and escorted her upstairs to calm her down, leaving Mama and Connor alone with the other man.
The other man that Daddy had made a point of ignoring. The man with the yellow-duck hair.
“Well, well…” he said, “What have we here? Looks like the King of all that is bland and stoic has gone and got himself domesticated. How’d you do it, luv? Been slipping Ritalin in his O-Positive, or something? Chained him to the bed?”
Connor stared at him with rapt attention. That man… his voice was so weird! He sounded kind of like Uncle Wesley, only his voice was deeper and very, very squiffy. His hair suddenly didn’t seem quite so yellow, it was more… white, and gelled back from his damn near skeletal face.
He seemed to be a lot less whiny than that lady with the small pillows, and plus – he was wearing hairgel!! Oh, rapture!! Connor’s heart soared. After a brief incident a couple of days ago involving Connor eating his way through the better part of Daddy’s Vidal Sassoon collection, Daddy wouldn’t let him anywhere near his hairgel.
It was a shame really, because Connor had just developed a taste for the stuff.
Connor and the white-haired man continued to stare each other out.
“You are still chip-boy, right? No harming the helpless?” Her arms tightened possessively around Connor as their guest merely smiled, and pulled out a small carton of white sticks. He popped one into his mouth and proceeded to light it, letting the acrid smell of smoke fill the room.
Connor screwed up him face at the smell. Icky.
“Do you mind?” Mama said, “Aren’t you forgetting something?”
“There’s a baby in the room, Mr ‘My-hair-is-pigmently-challenged’.”
Connor watched in fascination as the white-haired man feigned shock.
“Oh, how terribly rude of me. Sorry.” He pulled out the carton of sticks and opened then up again, waving them under Connor’s nose casually.
“Wanna bum a cigarette, Little Mate?”
Connor’s eyes lit up. Really? Daddy never let him eat anything fun!! He wasted no time in snatching the small box out of his hands and sticking as much of it as possible into his mouth. Within seconds, the cardboard was entirely soaked and misshapen, the sticks officially unlightable.
The white-haired man seemed to be frozen into position. His hand was still outstretched.
“That sodding little bastard just ate my smokes!” he howled in disbelief. Mama shrugged.
“He’s teething.” she said simply, before grabbing the box off Connor and holding it out of his reach.
*Hey! That’s mine!* Connor made an attempt to grasp the box back but Mama only lifted it higher out of his reach before tossing it in the bin. Oh no, Connor didn’t like that. He didn’t like that at all.
He tried wailing and convulsing in Mama’s arms to see if he could get her to give them back, and when it didn’t work, he stopped crying and buried his face in her pillows, determined to sulk.
The white-haired man seemed impressed enough.
“Boobs and smokes, eh? You’re a bloody hellraiser, you are. I like you.”
“Shut up, Spike. And less of the swearing around Connor, thank you.”
“Just having a laugh, luv. You could use one too by the looks of things… so, Connor? That’s his name, is it?”
“Well it certainly isn’t his social security number, you moron.”
“Sod it. I’ve used up my weekly allowance of required niceties and pleasant chit-chat, I’m going back to what I’m good at.”
“Being a jerk?”
“Just sticking with what I know, luv. Can I have a hold of the nibblet?”
“No!” Mama squawked, horrified and incredulous that he could ask such a question.
“Because you’re… you! You’re evil!”
The white-haired man didn’t looked offended. He just smirked. Ordinarily, Connor liked it when people smiled but this guy was just creepy.
“Oh, and you think what? I’ll nick off with him, sell him on ebay?”
Mama soothingly stroked Connor’s head and planted a soft kiss there, receiving a gurgle of satisfaction from Connor.
“Yes.” Mama said.
The conversation was cut short but the lady with the small pillows flying down the stairs at an ungodly speed. Connor watched with marked interest as she walked up to the white-haired man, yanked his arm and stated, simply enough, “We’re leaving.”
She wouldn’t even look at Mama. Connor chose instead to focus on chewing on Mama’s lapels as the two strangely-haired individuals sped out the front door with twice the gusto with which they entered it.
Only the white-haired man paused, and turned to Mama.
“Keep an eye on ebay, ducks. You never know when a good bargain is gonna pop up.”
With that, they spun out the door. Mama huffed in annoyance, and spying a discarded yellow duck lying in the middle of the floor, she picked it up and automatically gave it to Connor’s willing hands. Softly, she began to coo.
“Mommy really doesn’t like those people, does she? No she doesn’t…”
Daddy walked up behind them, “Neither does Daddy.”
“Mommy wants to know what Daddy and the angry lady were talking about.”
Daddy leaned over Mama’s shoulders burying his nose in her hair and letting his eyes flutter closed. Connor figured he Daddy really needed to be getting some rest, after all – he was going to need energy if wanted to be up and ready in time for his 2am feed.
Daddy sighed, “I didn’t say much of anything. Buffy pretty much figured it all out for herself and started shouting.”
‘Buf-fy’? Connor mused, gnawing on his duck. That was an odd word.
“Tell me about it. By the way, she said – well, rather, she screamed in a very spiteful, decibel-piercing voice – she’s sleeping with Spike.”
Connor yawned too. Shouldn’t they be putting him down for his nap time right about now?