Title: Family Affairs 1/1
Author: Silvi
Fandom: Ats
Genre: Ficlett, one-shot, drama
Rating: FRT
Pairing/Characters: Angelus/Darla, Spike, Penn
Spoilers: None – Takes place in the past.
Warning: This is slightly (?) AU.

AN: This is something I had running in my head for awhile getting in the way so that I couldn't write on the other WIP I have. Some characters may seam a bit OOC but that is intentional also Pat gave me the title for this fic as I couldn't come up with anything.

Beta-ed by Pat

Summary: There are undercurrents in our lives that are so subtle they shouldn't have such a profound influence in our lives as they still have.

Tugging the coat closer around his body the older of the two males fought the urge to smack the youngling upside his head as he continued to prattle on endlessly.

It was hard to re-conciliate this energetic blabbermouth to the almost painfully shy writer and a would-be-poet, that had he actually not been there he wouldn't have thought they were the one and the same.

Frowning he looked ahead and spotted the crossroad. Making sure that the other would follow him he grabbed him by the neck and steered him in the right direction. The words seized to a halt as the youngling scowled at him smacking his hand away. To stop his grumbling he flicked his ear, making the other yelp.

The amused smirk that wanted to appear was forcibly repressed – it wouldn't do to let the yapping mouth know his amusement, it wouldn't be fitting his status.

They both were on they way home after having been forced out of the house and they had spent the time hunting and just walking around to make the time pass. Thinking of that made the frown appear again and deepen.

Things had been unusually tense around the house lately which wouldn't have been all that strange since fights where a common thing between them – it was what made their family, made them stay together as they, unlike others were prone to air their differences which also made their life interesting - but something about the atmosphere had him unsettled which is why when his sire ordered him out he didn't argue. He was more than happy to grab the youngling, who had, of course been instantly put out by it. Was he really that oblivious to the currents running between the elders?

He'd had to clamp his hand over the straining boy and hiss into his ear a harsh warning before he attracted either of their elder's attention and drag him out of the house.

Of course he had to endure a big portion of the night listening to him rant. He could have subdued him forcibly but it wasn't really worth the trouble or the energy to do it. Instead he, in a way, made himself deaf to his voice.

If this is what you had to deal with when you had a childe then he was never ever going to make one, let his sire have the trouble thank you very much.

Shoving his hand deep into the pockets of the coat he glanced at the suddenly quiet figure beside him.

Looking him over, he could see what it was that had drawn his sire to him, the sable hair falling in soft curls around his face as once again he had gotten rid of the ribbon as soon as he could, the high cheekbones and the piercing sky-blue eyes that almost made him yearn to see the real thing. Of course, he couldn't see those eyes now as they were sturdily fixed on the ground as they continued to walk.

Nudging him with his elbow he asked, "Why the sudden silence?"

Shaking his head the youngling mumbled something so quiet not even his enhanced hearing could catch it.

Scowling at him he asked, "What?" As the other continued to not make sense irritation began to run through him. He asked again but this time it was accompanied with a snarl.

"What!" he growled, the sound vibrating in his chest. At the harsh demand the younglings' head jerked up and looking at the annoyed face of the other, a scowl settled on his fair face.

"I said; what's the point, you're not listening."

And with that he stomped forwards refusing to look at his companion. Instead, hunching his shoulders, he marched onward.

Blinking the other watched the retreating back of the youngling before narrowing his eyes. He hurried after him grabbing his elbow, halting him and making him spin around.

"What?" the youngling barked.

Smirking – he so enjoyed keeping the boy unbalanced – and gripping firmly on the boy's elbow he nodded forward. "You're going the wrong way. You know, for someone that has lived in the same city all your life it's embarrassing how easily you get lost."

Before he could say anything that judging by the lightning in his eyes would have been – impressive, perhaps? Nyaaahhh – hesaid, "This way, Spike."

Without waiting for him to follow him he walked in the right direction. Soon he could hear the other hurrying up to him and fall in step with him. A sound made him look into the alley to the right. Seeing another creature standing at the mouth of the alley his eyes flashed warningly and growling low he made the stranger jerk and slip into the shadows. He made a mental note to let his sire know that they are beginning to trespass again.

Turning his attention to Spike he noticed the arched eyebrow and the hard glint in the blue eyes. Shaking his head he murmured quietly, "Later."

Shrugging Spike let it go and relaxed. As the line appeared on his brow the older male tilted his head curiously, "What's on your mind, now?"

"Nothing." Spike murmured.

"Now don't be like that. Tell me."

As the silence continued to grow and the line on Spike's brow deepened, something obviously on his mind, he began to lose his patience. Finally he growled, "Spike!"

The harsh command made Spike's head jerk up and the troubling expression turned into a scowl as he speared the other with his eyes.

There was only a beat before he suddenly was hit by a torrent of words making his mind stand still before it caught up with what the other was saying.

"See, I don't understand why he can't do it!"

"Who? Can't do what?" the other asked, but Spike continued seemingly not having heard him. "I mean, you don't have a problem calling me Spike so why can't he?"

"Grrr, Who….oh?" suddenly understanding dawned on him who the youngling was referring to and he felt the annoyance that had begun to grown in him slip away.

Blinking he obviously had missed the rest of Spike's rant, judging by the annoyed expression on his face.

Smirking he shook his head and asked, "What?"

Sighing Spike decided to skip on repeating everything and simply asked, "Why can't he do it. Like you?"

Chuckling, he said, "Can't what? Call you Spike? It's not that he can't do it. He chooses not to. Don't interrupt me, you know all this, he even told you."

"But whyyyyy?" he blinked briefly at the blatant whining in his tone before shrugging it off. "Why can't I have a moniker? Is not like Angelus is his real name."

Nodding in sentiment, showing that he could give him that point the other said, "True, but there's a big difference between the two of you. He didn't give himself his name, none of them; it was given to him, and beside yours does sound like a dog's."

"Hey, does not! Anyway, if I had to wait for that to happen I'd wait for bloody forever. It's not like I can't live up to it."

"Which is why he hasn't done anything, he just won't call you that. And really there's nothing you can do to change that."

"But, a-and" Spike stuttered, "Let's not forget that Darla's not her real name." At Penn's look he just simply shrugged. "Overheard the Master one night."

"Be that as it may, I think we're gone a bit astray…"

Waving his hand Spike interrupted him, "It's not as if you haven't done it!"

"Actually, Penn is my name…Can't we just leave it be? I've grown weary of this conversation which we seem to have every time we go out. Anyway we're back."

Stopping, they both looked up at the façade of the house and silence descended over them. Leaning over to Penn Spike whispered, "Think Grandsire has cooled down a bit?"

Half turning his head to his younger sibling his eyes still glued to the house he whispered back, "I don't know…and why are we whispering?"

"Err, don't know."

Finally turning his eyes to the youngling and watching him stand there with his fingers absently tracing the edges of his coat he snorted and pushed him only hard enough to startle. Spike yelped indignantly and pushed back.

Had it been any other time that would have been the beginning of a scuffle but…

"Quit it! Anyway, be that as it may with the" jerking his head to the house Penn indicated what he meant, "situation, the sun's coming up and I don't fancy being out here when it breaks the horizon."

Nervously looking at the brightening line between heaven and earth a visible shudder went through Spike. Turning his attention back to Penn he grimaced and stuck his tongue out before laughing and running to the door, knowing fully well that he had missed by just a fraction of a moment having his tongue caught by Penn which was usually what happened when he did it.

Grumbling Penn followed in a more sedated pace which would have made almost everyone think he was a fool for risking it considering the sun was imminent. Sure he was itchy but he knew that he had the time.

Walking in he stopped beside Spike and puzzled, watched what had the youngling's attention as he absently closed the door behind him with his foot.

What in Hell!

The place was in a disarray. Two minions were slowly picking up the ruined furniture, there were dark splatters against the walls and the banister was broken in places. The minions were littered with bruises and cuts and he could see piles of dust in the hallway.

Pushing Spike further into the house Penn peered into the other rooms and saw that they weren't in much better shape.

Neither minions looked up as Penn approached them. Narrowing his eyes he could see that they were trembling.

Not liking this at all he growled out, "Where's sire."

He didn't miss the quick look that passed between the two minions but before he could say anything Spike tore up the stairs calling for Angelus and he heard the older of the two whisper that they were upstairs.

Following Spike he saw him standing frozen in the doorway to the masters bedroom and walking up to him he peered inside.

On the bed Darla lay leaning against a big pile of pillows, Angelus sitting by her wrapping her arm, a bowl of water resting between them. They, like the minions, had bruises and deep scratches that were already beginning to heal.

Though Angelus, unlike the minions was clean; he had obviously taken a bath not so long ago. It was obvious what they had been doing as they both sported bandages. Taking care of the wounded was something they always did.

Hearing a sound Angelus looked up and standing up he walked up to them. Startled, Spike took a step back but was halted by a firm hand holding his chin. Penn blinked as suddenly he too felt the strong fingers wrap around his. Angelus inspected their faces, narrowing his eyes. Obviously satisfied with whatever he had been looking for he stepped back and began tugging his shirt out of his pants.

"What happened?" Spike managed to finally splutter. Penn who had been looking at Darla was the only one to notice her flinch. She had been fingering her bandages not once looking at them. That didn't worry Penn as she tended sometimes to ignore them but he had never seen her so…damaged.

Grunting, drawing Penn's attention he looked into the eyes of his sire who had been watching him. Squashing the need to shudder as he suddenly felt like a bug pinned under those needles he tilted his head. Angelus´ eyes were, strange for a lack of a better word. They were hard with a dark knowledge in them that really sent shivers down Penn's spine.

At Spike continued questions, now that he thought that Angelus wasn't going to do anything to him, Angelus grunted again scratching at one of his healing scabs.

"We was attacked. Those feckin´…urgh I canna tell you how tha´ destroyed me evn´."

What Penn could put together from Angelus' ranting was a rather strange and eventful night, which reminded him to tell him of the vampire he saw from the rival clan.

This elicited a rather strange reaction from his sire.

Angelus stilled, pierced him with his eyes and a smirk settled over his face, "Ye na say? Hmmm. They willna last long. I'll make sure of tha."

Spike was furious that they had been attacked; he wasn't even there to help! But especially the gall of those people, had it not been for the fact that one; the sun was up, and two; Angelus and the others had already killed the intruders with some extensive lost in the minions department – which made it quite simple – there were no one left to go kill.

Slapping Spike on the head Angelus roughly kissed his forehead and said, "Don't worry lad. You go to sleep now. All will be well."

Dismissing them Angelus turned his attention back to Darla who during this whole time hadn't move nor looked up, apparently too wrapped up in settling the covers more comfortably around her.

Walking back Angelus stood to the side of the bed as she laid unusually quiet in it. She was now looking down at the covers tracing the patterns on it as Angelus silently sat beside her and took her other arm, the one he had been tending to as the others walked in. No words were spoken as he efficiently and carefully finished wrapping the wounds. Even though with the enhanced healing they would be gone in a few days.

Quietly Spike and Penn left the room. As Penn closed the door, just before he did he cast a final look and saw how Darla turned her head looking out the window. Soon they would be forced to close the curtains as the sun travelled to this side of the building. Penn couldn't quite read her expression.

Gently Angelus placed her arm in her lap and then he silently cupped her cheek turning her face to him and the last Penn saw as he closed the door was his sire softly kissing her before standing up.

The whole ting was very unsettling and as Penn walked to his room to sleep the day away he pondered the different signs he had read on both of them tonight. The very mixed signs. If he was so inclined to he could even go as far as say that someone had lied this evening but he crushed those thoughts before they even had managed to take a hold. That path would lead to a place he didn't care to go.

The end.

AN: Hope you like. If you do please give FB. Also - no I haven´t forgotten about the other WIP I have. Thanks to those of you that have FB my other Stories. I really appriciate them.