Whatever Darla Wants, Darla Gets: Writing Darla Slash
Darla’s main relationships on the show have always been men: she was the Master’s favorite, Angelus’ sire and Lindsey’s obsession. But that doesn’t mean the slash subtext isn’t there. Her ways with women are just as playful, but less obvious.
Let’s take another look at how people sees Darla. She gives men an illusion of dominance that is not quite there. She likes men to take care of her, but she can take the bull by the horns if she has _or wants_ to. She likes using people, but loathes being used (she even sent a memo about it) She always gets what she wants and she doesn’t care how many people must be killed or maimed to get it. To write Darla as a submissive innocent girl is not real, unless there’s some kinky role-playing involved. Sometimes the guys don’t get it, Darla makes them believe it’s a man’s world and all that jazz. She’s the girl you want to take home to look after her, but once there, she’ll break out the whips and chains.
A woman is a (almost) different story. For starters, Darla sees herself as superior, not an equal to anyone. Both men and women are just there to use. She simply used men more often because they had more to offer at the time. But that doesn’t mean she won’t take advantage of a willing to help female as well. When that time comes, Darla will the be the dominant one in 99.98% of the case. It’s all about Darla
A constant in Darla ships, slash or het, is the ‘what’s in it for me’ attitude. She may have ‘loved’ Angelus (But didn‘t mind hitting him and leaving him a burning barn once), and been devoted to the Master (whom she abandoned for Angelus), but Darla rarely if ever doesn’t have hidden motives. If she starts acting sweetly/nicer/helpless towards someone, chances are she wants something. Lilah survived the wine cellar massacre, along with Lindsey, because Darla (Dru was there, granted. But remember, Darla is the dominant one. She makes all the important decisions) still wanted a link to Wolfram and Hart. She cried and gave her best performance to Kate when she wanted Angel to be blamed for her ‘husband’s’ death. She seems thankful of Cordelia’s attentions once she’s pregnant, but that’s only to upset Angel, and later mere hunger. And of course, there’s Drusilla, probably the most obvious slash ship. There’s some playfulness on both sides of the relationship, but in the end, Dru ends up as many others: A means to an end, in this case, Angel.
But who says a girl can’t have some fun? Darla is the kind of character that offers herself very easily (no pun intended) for PWP and one night stands. She might want Angelus in the long run, but that doesn’t mean she won’t look for a nice time somewhere else.
Another great aspect to explore in slashing Darla is the kinkiness factor. The things she could to do to the girls... Just remember her partners might have some limitations, specially if they’re human. And there’s also the conquest factor. Darla could try going after someone that means something to Angel just to see his reaction _Cordelia, Kate, Freed, or even after a Slayer_ Buffy, Faith_ just for the thrills. Of course, this would be playing with fire, but Darla’s no shrinking violet. Still, she also likes to keep herself alive, so keep this in mind when writing Darla/Slayer fic.
Now if you want to write something deep, it will be difficult to make Darla fall for someone. Even if that happens, she’d rather keep it to herself. The only person she admitted to love aloud was Connor, and only after nine months of denial (and sharing a soul with her child). Darla’s idea of love is dark and twisted, mostly favoring her. Whoever she chooses as a new partner, male or female, will have to live under the shadow of Angelus. Very few girls are strong enough to do so. More likely they’ll be by Darla’s side because she wants them to, or will make them believe that.
And of course, the other girl is a key factor in the slashy goodness. Darla likes to play the part. She can be an innocent schoolgirl, a dominant leader, a helpless victim. People sees whatever she wants them to. In order to do that, Darla must know at least a little about the people she’s using. Everyone has different ways of thinking, wishes and needs. Darla toys with all of this. She knows who to strike with fear or a sweet smile, and who should receive sugar or spice, naughty or nice. Know the other character’s strengths and weaknesses and you’ll know Darla’s direction.
In the end, Darla is just about playing, conquering and discarding, having a lot of fun in the process, But who knows? Maybe Darla will meet her match on the less likely of characters. And that’s up to you.