TITLE: Fools for Love
AUTHOR: Patricia RD (patricia_rosemary@yahoo.com)
RATING: R
SUMMARY: They deserve a second chance, even if it fails.
DISCLAIMER: Not mine.
DISTRIBUTION: Ask first.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: NOTES: Angel is still called Angelus, because I don't think he had another name then. Written for valancy. Darla Ficathon entry.



"This is nice," Angelus says, his face buried on Darla's hair.

"It is. I've missed you."

"Me too." A tender kiss on her neck. "I'm not going anywhere."

"Good." She smiles. "Tomorrow we shall go hunting. You need nourishment. Real food"

Pause.

"Angelus?"

"Yes, I know." Another kiss. "Tomorrow. now let's sleep."
******************************************


His sleep is plagued with nightmares. Darla sits on a corner of the bed and watches her boy twist and turn, muttering the names of his past victims. Hoiw strange, that he can remember every single one with such detail. sometimes Darla has trouble keeping track. But not Angelus.

Specially after he was given that soul.
*******************************************

Ten minutes after throwing him out of their house in Borsa, remorse and pain had driven Darla to the streets, searching for him. Even thought she sensed him moving farther away, leaving town, she didn't go back home until dawn threatened her unlife. The following night she took Spike and Drusilla to see the gypsies. She mixed evil threats with sweet words, promising the Gypsy man the safety of his family if he gave her what she wanted. And would had done it. She could see it in his eyes.

And Spike came and ruined everything. He paid for it later, as Darla took special pleasure on whipping his back raw. It didn't bring her boy back, but it made her feel just a little bit better.

Then came the long nights, where she lead her family into countless massacres, becoming careless, maybe wondering if Angelus could read the signs.

Of course he could. When they met again in China, he was scared and tired, begging for a second chance. He was the same man even with the soul, he insisted. He needed her. He wanted the whirlwind back.

So did Darla. A kiss sealed their promise of lifetime of evil, together again.
****************************************

Some nigths are almost good. They go out together and look for fresh prey. Darla's picks haven't changed. She likes the sweet ones, families, beautiful girls with innocent eyes and little kids late for supper. Angelus goes for men he finds luring in dark corners with knives carefully hidden under their dirty coats. Darla watches his boy feed and says nothing, even though the fact that he know feeds on murderers and rapists makes her feel sick.

Almost as sick as the look he gives her when she feeds on the innocent ones. He thinks she doesn't notice, but those of his burn her skin like acid. There's so much pain in that look, so much fear, so much

::repulsion::

She can take the murder of evildoers, the rats he feeds on when she's not watching, the guilt he still feels about all of his past sins. Because deep inside she knows he's making an effort. For her. For them. He steals expensive jewelry that he wears proudly. Punishes Spike and Dru when necessary in front of a delighted Darla. He says nothing about how much it hurts to have a soul, wanting his sire to have only the old side of Angelus. He does all this for her and she can make some sacrifices for him as well.

If only he could stop looking at at her like that...
**************************************

"Are you there?" she asks one night as she lies in the safety of his arms. In the absolute darkness she can still make the bedroom and their entwined shapes. She can tell his mind is far away, probably locked in some hellish dimension with every single one of his victims, each one of them pulling him away from Darla.

"What?" He's confused. "I'm here, Darla." His hand on her hair, firm yet tender. "I'm always here."

"No, you aren't."

Pause.

"I was falling asleep."

"Liar. I hear you talk when you asleep." She's pushing it, but she needs to do this.

"I can't... Please, I'm doing my best. This is the only place I want to be." His lips on the top of her head. "With you."

After a few seconds she's cupping his face with her tiny hands and kissing him, a silent beg for more pleasure. Because she wants to believe him so badly and choses to ignore all the warning signs around them. Of course she'll have to deal with everything soon, but not tonight.

The following night, Spike is once again the one who breaks everything apart. This time by doing something right.

Not, Angelus, killing the slayer doesn't make him one of us. It makes him better than you, vermin feeder and savior of the innocents. Because Darla can smell the fear and knows he's lying to her about bodies in the alley. But before she can say anything, Angelus takes everyone away, pretending boredom.

Darla says nothing as the walk among the chaos and destruction. She watches Spike and Dru, celebrating death with a childlike innocence she envies. Then her eyes set on Angelus, quiet and distant, drifting. And she looks at the world around her.

This is home, and once upon a time, she shared it with her Darling Boy. But not anymore. And as much as this kills her, she knows what she must do.
************************************

The family is still there when she comes back to the alley. Father, mother, child and infant cowered in a corner, filled with fear. In a matter of minutes, Darla gives them a reason to be really afraid.

She had planned for a quick death, maybe dragging one of the bodies back to the house as a warning for Angelus. But days of hidden pain and anger are too much to take now. And so she makes their deaths constant agony, sharps and nails ripping flesh apart with animal viciousness. She spares the little one, the baby, only because in her feverish mind a plan is already forming. Something to slap Angelus in the face. The least she can do.

At home, she carefully bathes the babe and dresses him in pretty stolen clothes. Then she waits for Angelus to get back. When he does, the confrontation begins. As they talk, they both realize this is the end. One of them will have to give in and it's a battle that they both will lose. The soul turns out to be stronger thah anything they believed on. So strong, it makes Angelus pick the baby and storm off, leaving Darla alone, staring at a broken window.

Darla doesn't cry, even after having everything cleaned up and retiring to her rooms. She is no fool, and Angelus chose to ignore that and believe he could play by his rules with her. She had to show him she was the strong one and he wouldn't accept that. She's better off without that soulful creature his former childe has become. In the end, as she lays curled in the large bed, still smelling of him, Darla remembers everything they did together. The good and the bad and everything in between. No matter how painful it can be, she keeps her promise.

It's only as she finally falls asleep, that she allows one single tear to fall.

FIN