TITLE: Wasteland
AUTHOR: Vala (vala@wild-youth.com)
FANDOM: Angel
PAIRING: Angel/Darla
RATING: PG-13
SUMMARY: They call it wasteland, baby.
DISCLAIMER: Joss owns, Vala doesn't.
DISTRIBUTION: Probably. Ask.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This was written for Doyle as a backup fic for the Darla ficathon. She requested post-s3 souled!Angel/Darla and I hope this is good enough. *hides* Sorry it's posted late, everything is just really fucked up right now.

*

While he was laying there, at the bottom of the ocean, she came to him in his dreams nearly every night. And nearly every night he woke up, thinking she was actually there. Just like she had almost two years ago. Of course, then, Wolfram and Hart helped her and he wasn't at the bottom of the ocean. But really, those were only minor details. In a way, he felt as if she was there with him. In this box in which he was trapped for possibly the rest of eternity.

Not to be broody or pessimistic or anything. Cordelia and Gunn always told him he should be more opimistic. Of course, he never listened to what they had to say and now he could regret that for the next hundred years or so until he got over it.

Right now he wanted to go back to sleep so he could dream of her again. Being down here with nothing to do would make you admit a lot. He finally admitted to himself that he had loved her, even without a soul. She had made him and he had loved her for it. And he loved her now because she gave him and died for their son. Even if the son she had given him was the bastard that had put him down here in the first place -- he still loved her for it.

Sometimes he felt that it wasn't supposed to end that way for her. Like he knew that her life had ended too early. Before it was supposed to. And now the world, and Angel, was paying for it. The world paid for every little thing gone wrong. Angel paid for everything that was his fault and everything that wasn't. Darla was both.

It was his fault that she had ended up the way she had. He had staked her. And then when Wolfram and Hart brought her back, he obsessed over her and let her get sired by the granddaughter which was twisted in a whole new way. Even for Dru.

And then there was a part that wasn't his fault and yet he still paid for it. She staked herself. Sacrificed her life for her son. She knew what she was doing and she knew she wanted her supernaturally long life to end.

And yet he paid the price willinging. For her.

*

An eternity (or so) and a few dreams later and he knew she was alive again. He could feel her. Her and her soul and he wondered what the hell had happened this time. Was it Wolfram and Hart, was it the earth? He didn't really want to know because then it just ended in badness for both of him. He gets attacked and she gets vamped. Isn't that always how it goes?

He wondered if she could feel him too -- feel his soul. As if they were linked. He prayed to gods he never really believed in that she would save him, her darling boy, despite how he had treated her in the past. It wasn't likely, but he'd heard Cordy praying at night, knowing she was scared, so he'd figured that he had time to test it out. Maybe Darla would get a message from God if he did. The thought amused him and, these days, that was a difficult feat to accomplish.

*

When his box got pulled onto the boat, he knew. He knew she had gotten that message from God he'd mused about. She, the light of his unlife, had saved him.

When the door to the box was finally opened and the mask was pulled off his savior's face, he was disappointed. Just Wesley and Justine -- both son-stealers in their own way. How he loathed them both for each ruining a piece of his life. How he loved them for saving him. How he wanted Wesley to be Darla and for Justine to disappear. Disappear into the wasteland in which she had helped Connor doom him to. It was only fair, afterall.

*

He would find her. He would. He would search every corner of this damned city and then some. But he knew she was here, in the city. He could smell her. He always could. She smelt just like she did two and a half centuries ago with a touch of modern. Yes, modern had a smell. It was crisper than it used to be. The old days had a softer scent to them that he almost missed. Almost. That soft scent always came with a touch of metallic blood and reminded him of so much. Of Angelus. Of Darla. Together. He and Darla, forever young with an infinite amount of blood on their hands. It was sweet, it was free. He had loved it and now he (sometimes) loathed it.

Yes, he would find her. No matter what it took. His sin, his savior. The light of his unlife.

END //