Title: Breathe
Author: Silvi (Henna)
Fandom: Ats
Rating:Well this part is still FRC - though I promise it will go up.
Genre: Angst, Smut
Warning: Slash.
Pairing: Angel/Penn

AN: This takes place where the previous part left off. I have a confession to make - this fic was meant to be just a simple ficlett and a way for me to try writing male/male sex but it has grown way out of that. We'll see where the road takes us...

This is dedicated to Vicky. Her wonderful Fics 'Gabriel' and 'For the Love of a Childe' made me want to write again and pick this puppy up. Writer's block and many mishaps can be a real pain in the butt sometimes, wouldn't you agree?

Summary: Some answers are given.


Part 2

A part from a small comment on Angel's choice of car the journey from the warehouse to the real location of Penn's apartment was made in silence. For Penn's part he was too nervous to really say anything as there were widely conflicting feelings waging war inside of him.

His mind was befuddled as the confusion about the whole situation grew in him. The need to know what had happened, but most importantly what he had done, made him almost blind to anything else. The part of him that had almost been destroyed tonight was beginning to heal and stretch with the lingering hope that was growing with each moment that passed.

It was obviously that neither him nor his sire wanted things to end. Perhaps he would be willing to share the information as to why they had been in that horrid situation to begin with.

When he had heard the rumours that his sire had been in this city he had practically dropped everything and made a beeline to this country, this time, because the rumours actually seemed to have some substance behind them this time. They had been more then mere whispers in the wind.

But once he found himself in the vast terrain that the city occupied he was at a loss as to how to find him. He couldn't smell his sire out as the odour the city gave out would have killed any attempt unless he had actually been within the same block as him but then again he wouldn't have had to use his nose then.

And searching street after street was out of the question as that would have taken forever – not literarylly, yes but too much time anyway. He didn't know the city well enough to make an educated guess in spite of him spending time here once in the fifties. The city had changed too much, grown and developed unfamiliar areas and smells.

The one thing that would have been of use had, to his dismay, shrivelled and all but disappeared decades ago. The Bond. It punched him in the stomach, the realization that even though he was now sitting next to him, that bond barely fluttered, really showing him how far apart they were. He wondered if it was even possible to fix that. He, by all unholy deities hoped that they could.

He watched his apartment block appear as Angel followed his earlier directions and he was damned but he could swear that he actually felt butterflies flying in his stomach. He hadn't been this nervous in a very long time. Not since he had that awful temper tantrum when Angelus came home one day with a another newly sired Childe.

He had been convinced that he was done for as he had seen the look on his sire's face. Angelus hated being yelled at. He had swiftly made every one leave and grabbing him by the shoulder he had dragged him to the back of the house. Penn had realized he had gone too far too late but he refused to apologize, not that Angelus ever gave him a chance.

Being locked up with his sire in a dark room was usually good thing, but this time – he had rarely been so scared and nervous.

He had shut his eyes tight as he had seen him raise his hand. Waiting for the blow to come, one of the first of many he was sure. But instead of feeling pain bloom out from the blow he felt the incredible strong arms of his sire wrap around him. He could hardly believe the words that Angelus was whispering into his ears. He was ashamed as he realized that Angelus had seen right through him and known if not at first then soon after what the real reason behind his outburst was.

Stupefied he had looked into the amber eyes of his sire and seen the truth there. Hesitantly at first he wrapped his arms around Angelus, burrowing his face into the wide chest before him. He knew that had he still held the ability his face would have been bright red. He had begun to calm down when he felt the soothing strokes on his hair. After a moment Angelus had stepped back and held his shoulders, it was then that the nervousness had come back and with full force as he interpreted the intense look in those demonic eyes….

That had been one of his most intense nights of his life, even though he later was punished for his outburst though not more severely then a regular beating.

Shaking his head to shake off his memories he looked over to Angel and watched as he pulled up in front of the building. Angel met his eyes and gave a small smile. Stepping out of the car he waited for Penn to do the same.

Angel in turn during the ride had been quiet due to the fact that his mind had been filled with different scenarios that this could take and also trying to figure out what he was going to say to the boy.

Because he had held no delusions, talk they would have. He owed it to the boy to explain what happened that night one hundred years ago that had prevented him from meeting him in Italy as he had promised.

He had never liked breaking promises and more so the ones he had made to Penn. He was also curious of what was going on in his childe's head, catching the far away look he had in those grey eyes.

Following Penn's lead they entered the building forgoing the elevator and taking the stairs instead. Subtly Angel let Penn's smell fill his senses. He had missed it. As they reached the second floor and movied to head up the third one his cell-phone chirped. Taking it out he saw Penn eye him as he looked at the display. It was Cordelia. Without answering he returned it to his pocket and motioned for Penn to continue, idly wondering which floor they would finally stop at.

Sure he didn't get tired from climbing stairs but the continuing repetitive turns up each floor was tedious. At the fifth floor they finally stopped, it was the second floor from the top one and Angel wondered if it wouldn't had gone faster if they just taken the elevator. Though from the look on Penn's face he surmised that it had been intentional. Subtly sniffing he figured out why, the boy was damn nervous.

Taking out a key Penn opened the door and with a grand gesture he stepped into the apartment and said for the first time since leaving the warehouse, "Welcome to my humble abode."

Smirking Angel walked in. Humble indeed. There wasn't really much furniture in the living room in which he suddenly found himself but the room didn't have a bare feeling to it, it was more so that the few things that were in it had been picked out with great care.

There was a big bookshelf against one wall filled with books, almost to the brim, some lying at the top. There was a futon next to it which obviously served as a reading chair if the book on the seat was any indication.

There was also a sofa shaped much like a half moon in black leather with a comforter wrapped over it in one corner in warm colours. The floor had one big carpet that covered almost the entire floor but while the furniture was sparse, the walls where a different matter. In the window was a home made wind-chime made of coloured glasses that reflected the light from the street. There where several old movie posters strategically placed around the room with some African masks and one or two original oil paintings.

Some he recognized would have been more at home in a museum. As one caught his eyes he stepped up to it and he couldn't hold in his gasp of surprise. This one, this one was one he had done himself over one hundred and fifty years ago. He was amazed at the level of good condition it was in. Apparently Penn had taken good care of it. Turning towards Penn he saw him putting the book from the futon into its place in the book shelves.

Once finished, he turned back to Angel and as he saw what he was standing in front of he most definitely blushed as much as a vampire could.

Choosing not to say anything Angel continued with his exploration of the apartment. Penn's grey eyes followed his every move. A semi-open door led to a bedroom which held more furniture then the living room and kitchen together. As with the living room, the bedroom had a huge carpet.

The room was surprisingly big for the size of the apartment but as Angel looked closer he noticed that it had originally been two smaller rooms until someone had knocked the separating wall down, most likely Penn. There was a huge bed with an intricate wooden head board and a similar one at the end of the bed. There were five pillows some really big other smaller in blue and green tones.

Nighstands stood at either side of the bed, obviously in the same design as the bed. In one corner there was a closet yet again in the same design. Angel found that while the living room and the kitchen had a rather modern feel to it the bed room was rather the opposite. He liked the contrast.

He turned away from that particular room, which, if things went the way he wanted them to go, he would get to know a heck of a lot more closely.

He paused a moment to watch the silent figure standing against the archway to the kitchen before idly resuming his exploration of the modest apartment. To the naked eye one wouldn't have known that something other then a human lived here, a young human male. But still Angel quickly picked up the few signs that could give to the initiated a clue.

The kitchen showed signs of rarely being in use. There were objects that looked ornamental but were in fact weapons partially hidden around the apartment. Then there were the telling signs of the heavy curtains… That was something that Angel could get around by living in an apartment that was underground, though considering – that was perhaps more telling of the occupant of the place then heavy curtains. Mentally shrugging Angel walked over to the sofa as he had by now concluded the inspection of the place.

Perhaps one could think him overly nosy but considering that this was Penn – someone he hadn't seen for so long, it would be naturally for him to be curious of how he lived, of how he had changed.

And he had, there were the obvious changes. The way he dressed – or perhaps more appropriately what he had on, considering the last time Angel saw him he was dressed in the customary sack suit of the late 19th century.

Penn had also his hair cropped much in the same style that he, Angel, had which he momentarily thought was a rather big coincidence – it suited him, it brought forth the strong features in a complimentary way.

Then there were the more subtle physical change. He couldn't be sure now but he thought that Penn had grown out a little – he was more muscled, whatever the cause it gave the impression that he was bigger then he was – or at least how Angel remembered him. What ever had happened to him it seemed that the years had treated him good at least if you didn't look into his eyes. There was a shadow in them that hadn't been there before.

Before everything went to hell in a hand basket.

Angel may be ok with his soul now or as ok he can be and he knew that without it he would never had the friends he had now, and he actually liked what he had managed to accomplish here in L.A. together with them but he still in the quiet of his own bedroom thought that the day of his en-soulment was the worst day of his long life. It was only usurped by the events that sent him to Hell.

There was a quietness over Penn that hadn't been there before. Sure he had never been as exuberant as William but still there was a difference in him now that only one who knew him as well as he did would notice it. The fact that it had been such a long time since they saw each other made the contrast even more noticeable.

He turned to the sofa beside him and sat down his elbows resting on his knees as he watched Penn walk to the kitchen. He couldn't see what he was doing but from the sound of it Penn was retrieving some glasses. Hopefully there would be a drink of some kind.

Taking down two glasses Penn paused momentarily trying to gather himself before he returned to the living room, looking at the glasses in his hands watching the lights fracturing and reflecting within it. He had faced countless opponents and left victoriously, he had faced master vampires that could rival his Great Grand-Sire if not surpass him and yet he was more scared to return to the room holding the one creature that had always managed to….

Shaking his head and calling himself countless ways a fool he striaghtened himself and turned around grabbing the bottle in the open cupboard beside him. Looking at the label he smiled as he knew that his sire would definitely approve of his choice.

Moving to the living room he lent against the archway his eyes falling on the silent figure sitting on the sofa. Tilting his head he observed him. There were some definite changes about Angel – the most obvious was the way he carried himself. Not taking into account what happened earlier this evening there was something really off about him and the need, the urge to understand was almost unbearable for him.

Angel was sitting leaning on his elbows, his eyes on his hands that were fiddling with his cell phone. He seemed lost in his thoughts. There was a sadness about him that confused Penn. What had hit him like a blow to the stomach was the absence of the joy, the laughter that had always been present in those dark eyes.

Yes sometimes that joy had been of the malicious kind, it was hard and sharp like shards of broken glass, but it had always been present in one form or another. It was what drew others to him, like moths to a flame – his passion in everything he did, it was what had made Darla able to walk with her head held high much like a queen at his side even after that incident where she – well technically dumped her own sire for him – it was also in his opinion what made The Master still accept and forgive Angelus back into the fold.

Angelus. He was the epitome of what every vampire strove to be. A name that still held as much power today as it did back in the day which is to say something considering that he had been out of action for the better part of a century. Odd.

He knew that something must have happened due to various reasons. His obvious care for a bunch of humans – yes they had their uses but to treat them as if they were family…. Now that's a whole different game.

He wondered if he had something to do with it. They did have that huge fight, though things seemed to have calmed down a bit the last time they saw each other, his sire even made that promise to meet him in Italy as a compromise for the fact that he couldn't go when he asked him to. He never used to break promises before….

Closing his eyes he shook his head. He wasn't going to jump to conclusion. That way only leads to pain and misunderstanding. He momentarily wondered if Angelus disappearing has something to do with the close guarded secret that Darla and the Master harboured.

Opening his eyes he let them feast on the figure sitting before him seemingly oblivious to his scrutiny. He was beautiful. There was no going around that. His taste in clothes had obviously changed as they were all in muted colours, black or in colours so dark that they seamed black. They were simple but obviously of good quality – that part was the same from how he remembered his sire.

What was most notoriously was the change to his looks – the rich long mane that would reach to his shoulder was gone, in it place it was a hair cut with spikes going every which way styled using some gel of some kind. It didn't look bad but he still missed the long hair. He looked very modern – hard to think that he is actually from another time.

He wasn't as buff as he used to but of what he could see, his muscled were more defined and if the little of what he had heard was true it wasn't so strange – fighting demons is bound to tone you as they are a far better challenge then humans unless you count the slayer – though could she be considered human?

Shaking his head from the strange path his thoughts were going he decided that it was better to move things along.

Hearing a noise Angel looked up and his eyes lit up at the sight. Penn was holding two glasses in one hand and in the other he held what promised to be whiskey. Pushing away the morose thoughts of how in the world he would tell Penn everything that really needed to be said in favor of the golden liquid Angel straightened up.

Unlike William – or Spike as he vehemently demanded to be called these days – there were very few things that Angel could taste. Whiskey was one of the few. Thank the Heavens. His lack of taste buds was however far compensated by the level of his sense of scent and hearing as long as he didn't – well block them off. He guessed every vampire had his or hers quirks.

Mumbling appreciatively as Penn poured them each a glass Angel accepted the glass lifting it to his nose and inhaled. The rich aroma filled his lungs and if things had been a little different he would have moaned. Swivelling the amber liquid around he looked into its depth seemingly like someone looking for answers or a way to find words.

They were now both sitting on each end of the sofa sipping their drinks Penn shifting a bit from time to time. He wanted to break the silence but he didn't know how. Angel knew that he should be the one to break it as it was really him that needed to explain things. A part of him feared the reaction he would get from his eldest childe.

When it came to the matter of his soulful condition he had found that there really weren't any predictable reactions. Darla sure had reacted badly as had well most of them really at least that was what she told him when she kicked him out that second time. William and Drusilla's behaviour had been strange at the best and had confused him more then helped him understand what was going on.

He had been so lost in thought that he almost missed the quiet voice asking the pivotal question and he mentally berated himself for yet again letting things fall on Penn.

"What happened?"

Turning to him Angel took a deep breath and as that didn't seem to give him any courage he swallowed what was left of his whiskey in one go letting its burning sensation soothe him.

"What happened? A lot. God I don't even know where to start."

"I always found the beginning to be a good way to start." Penn said as he looked into his glass swirling the liquid around.

Looking at him Angel noticed the small smile and he gave a sheepish one himself before reaching over and grabbing the bottle pouring himself another glass and missing the stunned look on Penn's face.

If he hadn't thought that yes his sire had changed then that single shy smile sure would have driven the point home as that was an expression he can't ever recall him having before.

Taking another swallow Angel began to tell him of an un-scheduled trip to Romania his sire had dragged him on. Not once did he look at Penn as he ploughed through his story. He wanted to get this part out of the way to see if there was even a remote chance to heal things between them.

Of all the things that could have happened - getting a soul was so far off the charts in Penn's mind that it left him reeling. A feeling began to burn in the pit of his stomach and it took a while for him to recognize it but as it spread and began to fill his being there was no question of what it was.

Rage, un-adulterrated rage, the kind that could burn everything in its way though contrary to what Angel thought as he saw that sentiment rise in those cold hard eyes it wasn't directed at him.

Angel felt himself die inside as he saw Penn began to shake from the force of his feelings.I guess it really was too much to hope for , he thought brokenly. Before he could stand up and remove himself from Penn's life said vampire exploded in a burst of violence and sound leaving Angel momentarily paralyzed.

As a sound, a primitive mixture of a growl and a snarl, burst through the ever loosing battle to control himself, Penn hurled the glass he was holding so hard against the wall that not only did it break into countless shards of glass, spreading a dark stain over the wall as the glass hadn't been empty but it also cracked the plaster, an indent into the wall where the impact had been.

Angel slowly stood up and backed away but an unnatural stillness settled over him as the things Penn was saying finally sunk into his mind. There were several things that Angel realized and which explain so many things that had left him wondering over the years.

Darla never told the truth to his childer. Apart from the Master she was the only one to actually know what had happened to him. She had told him that none of the clan wanted anything to do with him, that they would kill him if they ever saw him… But they never knew…

It was the sudden change in atmosphere, the feeling that danger was imminent that made Penn pause and got him out of the red haze he had fallen into at the deep betrayal he felt towards his Grandsire. Turning around he tried to pin point where the threat was coming from and as his eyes fell on the deathly still figure standing in the middle of the floor he could not help but take a step back.

He had only seen his sire in that mood once and it had scared him more then anything and the level of destruction that had come from it had made even Darla shrink back and tip toed around him.

Angel's eyes were black pits that burned into you with an icy fire. Penn was confused on why Angel was so angry… no, not angry that wasn't an adjective enough to express the level of Angel's rage.

Slowly Penn inched toward the wall not stopping until he felt its solid mass behind his back. He figured it was best to get himself out of harms way.

The sound of breaking glass made Penn jump and looking down he saw that Angel had crushed the glass in his hand. Wearily Penn watched as Angel lifted his hand inspecting the wounds. The blood made his nose twitch as its powerful aroma called out to him.

He couldn't help but exhale when he saw Angel begin to take out the broken shards, a soft tinkling sound filling the otherwise quiet air as each and every one of them hit the floor.

He looked like deer caught in headlights when the sound made Angel's head pivot up and his eyes looked into his. Suddenly the Back Death in Angel's eyes was gone as he reached out for Penn.

If there was anything that could have brought him out of the black state of mind he was in it would have been the smell of fear that was coming off of Penn in rolling waves.

He waited patiently as Penn hesitated to move forward. He understood his hesitation as he well remembered what happened the last time he felt what he had. He wasn't kidding himself, he knew that it still coiled within him like a vicious snake but it was momentarily pushed deep within him. Darla could count herself very lucky that she was already dead…

Opening his hand further making the wounds break and bleed he watched as Penn jerked towards him. The call of the sire was very hard if not impossible to ignore even with a bond as weakened as theirs – which was what gave this situation hope.

Levelling his eyes on Penn, who now stood close to his Sire, he let Penn take his hand. Letting him nuzzle into it he quietly said, "I thought she had told…" breaking off before he lost control Angel centred his attention on the boy before him.

He felt Penn's hand contract against his when he spoke and he lifted his hand and put it behind the back of Penn's neck rubbing soothingly, it wouldn't do for both of them to succumb to the blood-rage. Right now he needed Penn to be calm and that need grounded him.

"I'm gonna kill her." Was Penn's deadly promise.

"Shhhh." Angel hushed at him bringing Penn's head closer so that it rested against his chest. "Kinda a head of you on that."

Surprised Penn looked up, "you…what?"

Nodding Angel said, "Yep, did that already though had I known I would have gone differently about it. She got off too easy."

At Penn's confused expression Angel shrugged, "I kinda haven't told you all there is."

"There is more!"

"Hmm. Though the rest can wait." Angel said as he lent into Penn and rested his head on top of Penn's smelling him under the layer of the mouse he had used to style his hair.

Slowly Penn began to relax and after a short while he snuck his arms around Angel. He may have lost weight from the last time he saw him but he still managed to make Penn feel like he was being swallowed up by his embrace. Safe, home.

"Sire?" Penn's tentative voice reached Angel as he was letting his mere presence soothe him.

Leaning back a bit Angel looked down and gazed into the grey eyes he had never managed to really forget. Letting his hands trail up from where they had been resting on Penn he grabbed the boy's face in between them and lent his forehead against his.

"Hmm, what?" he mumbled.

Penn didn't need to voice the question as it was clear for all to see in his eyes. Where to go from here?

As answer Angel did something that Penn had wanted for a very long time but never really thought he would ever experience again.

Angel kissed him.

TBC….


AN: Coming next – will Angel be able to re-establish the bond they both so desperately want?
What did Cordelia want?
Will Angel regret not taking her call?
And what about Kate?
Will she cause more trouble then Angel is willing to tolerate?
What about the misconception Spike still lives under?
Will Angel explaing things to Spike now?
Do Penn and William get to meet also?

Stay tune for part 3 and you'll find out.

AN#2: As Always this part has been betaed by my wonderful beta Pat. Review please... I'd love to hear from you and what you thought of this little update.