DISCLAIMER: I don't own them, you know I don't own them, they know I don't own them so why bother writing this?

SUMMARY: If I love you I can't loose you, if I love you I can't hate you, if I love you then I don't think I can let them kill you.

Darla's POV in the episodes "Quickening" and "Lullaby" from when they go for the ultrasound to Kelly Clarkson's Addicted.

Italic is the song, which I don't own.

Bold is anything from the episodes, which I don't own.

I've had to split this in to two chapters because it was too long, its all the same song and chapter two picks up in the same place chapter one finished.

I never thought I'd be here, never. Not once in my life or my unlife did it ever occur to me that I would be sat in a wheelchair being pushed down a hospital corridor by my childe in the company of humans. It's you I can blame for that. The impossible conception, the miracle child, the parasite I'm harbouring, I'm merely a vessel for you aren't I? Somewhere you can live whilst you grow.

Ever since Angel pointed out that you have a soul I've been able to hear you're heart beating and feel the soul inside me, it's like poison, clouding my thoughts, I can't think straight, I can't do anything. I feel strangely invincible yet vulnerable at the same time, how is that possible? How can I feel like that? Why am I feeling?

You're fault. It's all you're fault.

"How're you feeling?" Angel asks me.

"I haven't had blood in almost a day, and your devil spawn is trying to rip its way out of my body. How do you think I'm feeling?"I snapped irritably.

I had a right to be irritable, it's his fault you're here, his fault you exist. His fault I feel like I'm barely here, I shouldn't be here, I'm dead, you shouldn't be here more, I'm a vampire, but what are you? You're not a vampire, vampire's don't have heartbeats, how're you living in there? How can you possibly survive on the blood I'm drinking, alone?

I need the hunger to stop; it physically aches I'm that hungry. You made me like this.

No matter how much I feed, how much I drink, how many I kill, it doesn't stop, a never-ending agony. I liked pain before this, loved it even, now I would give anything for it to stop.

I want you to go away, to leave me alone, I've tried everything and still you won't leave, I want you to never have been. I want things as they were, before Penn and William, even before Drusilla, before the soul . . . before you.

It would be me and Angelus, Angelus and I, terrorising Europe, hunting every night in the dark alleyways of London, feeling the warm blood gushing out of their veins and down our frozen throats as they fall limp in our arms. Feeding 'til we were full, back when it was perfect, unlife couldn't get any better.

My thoughts are interrupted by Cordelia as she pushed open the double doors we're passing and hisses to us.

"Psst. Paging Doctor Angel"

Angel turns the chair gently, as if he's concerned that he'll hurt me and backs through the door that Cordelia's holding open for us. He pushes the chair over to the bed Wesley's standing by. Wesley looks nervous as we approach, I grin at him.

He doesn't seem fazed, which annoys me slightly, I look at my hands as he turns to Angel.

"I sent Gunn and Fred to find an ultra-sound machine so we can take a look. Inside Darla, that is."

Can't they see I'm not up for this? Vampiric strength I may have but it's fading, I'm so tired.

I hate you, you hear me you little bastard? I hate you!

I'm loosing my mind and it's all your fault, I can't do anything without you knowing what I'm doing.

I kill, and I hear you screaming for them.

I feed, I hear you protest.

I rant and I hear you counter it.

You need to leave, you need to disappear. I'm begging you now, just go away, please! This is too hard; the pain is too much.

Who would want this? Would want to look like this, feel like this, be responsible for a child?

"What is this? A classroom?" Angel gives a glance but I don't look up, I know he wants me too, but I hate him, I hate everyone.

I hate you for being here.

I hate Angel for caring.

I hate Wesley for trying to help.

I hate Cordelia for tasting so nice.

I hate Gunn for watching me like a hawk.

I hate Fred for being so dramatic.

It's like you're a drug.

It's like you're a demon I can't face down,

"Yes. It's is a teaching hospital. How are you feeling, Darla?" Wesley asks me, I don't answer, in fact I can barely hear him.

"Something wrong?" Angel puts a concerned hand on my shoulder, it takes all my self control not to seize his hand in my own.

I don't want to admit it but I have no other choice. I'm scared.

I shouldn't be scared! I'm a master vampire! I've been around for 400 years! I've been through worse than this, I've seen worse than this but it doesn't feel like it right now.

"I think the contractions have stopped." Was that a good thing? Should they have? Have you done what I asked? Are you leaving? Are you gonna make everything right again? Please say you are!

"Is that bad?" Angel looks at Wesley, as do I.

If you can't confirm it then let him, I won't bite him if he does!

Wesley reaches for my stomach, I follow his hands and notice that mine are resting on my swollen abdomen also, I look up though when he pulls back suddenly.

He goes all stiff and then in his strong English accent he asks if I would mind if he touched my stomach.

I roll my eyes, stupid prat, does he really think I'm gonna attack him if I want an answer? Judging by the expression on his face he obviously does.

"I won't bite." I sigh, wait to do that I have to be breathing, why am I breathing? A totally unnecessary exercise for someone who's dead.

"No, but that thing inside might." Cordelia said shortly.

Way to go girl, bring back the wary looks and the frown that's just recently left Angel's face.

I glower at her and follow the watcher's hand as he gently presses down on the underside of my stomach.

"You may have been experiencing something called Braxton-Hicks contractions. They're a form of false labour."

WHAT? False labour? You're kidding me right? This is all some stupid joke, something William came up with, just to annoy me, he got some witch or something to cast a spell whilst I was sleeping! He must have done! None of this is real! I'll wake up in a minute by the fire in our house, I'll have dozed off, Angelus will come back in after having been hunting, I'll tell him what William has done and he'll punish him while I watch! Please! If I believed in God I'd be praying to him now, you're not real! This is just a stupid prank the stupid childe has come up with!

"False?" I echoed, I'm way past ready for this to end now, way past.

"False as in not ready to come out yet."

I'm ready to kill someone, not to feed, just for the pleasure of hearing them scream, tear them limb from limb.

"Well, I'm way past ready. I'd cut it out of me if I could."

It's real.

All real.

You're real.

He's real.

The soul's real.

I could have wept had the doors not opened and Gunn and Fred come in with an ultrasound machine.

It's like I'm stuck,

It's like I'm running from you all the time,

"Here you go, one ultra-sound machine." Gunn cast me a wary look as he passes me to put the machine on the other side of the bed.

"Darla, up on the table, please." Wesley says gently.

I stare at him, then at the bed.

I don't want to do this, I don't want to see you, if I see then it makes it real, it means it's not a joke nor prank, I'm not living with Angelus, William and Dru, I'm here, in LA, in the hospital, nine months pregnant with an impossible baby.

"Don't you wanna see what's inside?" Angel's voice penetrated my rant.

It's soothing, like a lullaby, I want to sleep, I'm tired, so tired . . .

That voice is the one he used on his victims over a century ago. He'd lull them into a false sense of security, then smile that smile, looking never more dazzling than he did then before he'd go for the blow, sinking is fangs into their neck, wrapping his arms round them as they collapsed.

I look down at my stomach, swollen and huge, you're in there, you're listening to every word, reading every thought, feeling every emotion, emotions I shouldn't be feeling at all.

I see out of the corner of my eye Angel move so he's stood next to the wheelchair. He carefully takes my upper arm in a firm grasp and takes my other hand in his, Cordelia holds the chair steady as Wesley puts his hands on my waist, he and Angel ease me to my feet. I don't struggle.

And I know I let,

You have all the power,

I half climb am half lifted onto the bed.

Angel looks concerned as to my lack of protest, I ignore it, this is still so surreal. You'd think that after nine months of having you with me I'd be use to it by now wouldn't you? No, never.

I lean back into the pillows provided and stare at the floor, subconsciously leaning into Angel's hand as he brushes my hair from my face.

I barely notice as Wesley lifts my shirt up and puts gel on my stomach, he said something about it being cold, I don't care, I'm not listening, the sound of you heartbeat drowns out everything else.

He turns on the ultrasound machine and moves the sensor around.

"Well, then. Let's take a look, shall we?" He sounds pseudo happy, as if trying to lighten the mood, needless to say it doesn't work. We're all to worried about what we might see. He notices his joyousness isn't infective so looks at the monitor looking slightly put out, I almost feel sorry for him, almost, "Well, I haven't studied one of these for quite a while."

The screen is blue.

You're blue.

"Isn't that a head?" Angel squints at the screen, his fingers are interlocked with mine, he gives them a reassuring squeeze, despite myself I'm grateful.

You're making me feel! I'm actually caring! It's wrong! This is all wrong, it shouldn't be happening, can't they hear me screaming?

"I think it is. Or is that the head?" Wesley points.

If that thing is you, you have you're father's looks okay? I may not have seen what I look like for a while but I do know that I do not look like that.

Actually, now I think about it you really do look like your daddy. How weird is that? No weirder than you're existence I'm sure.

"Maybe you're both right" Fred pipes up, she's stood at the top of the bed, I can't see her, and I turn my head slightly too look at her along with everyone else "It's not like I'm suggesting it's an evil two-headed thing."

I almost burst out laughing at the look on her face, it was brilliant, she had a point I just guess that no one wanted to admit it, we'd all been too concerned with what you were gonna do, given what Wesley's prophecies had suggested.

There's silence as we turn back to the screen. Wesley moves the sensor around a bit.

"I see it." Cordelia said suddenly, pointing.

I can see you too . . . Fred was wrong! You don't have two heads!

"My little parasite." I whisper, because that's what you are, nothing more than mommy's little parasite.

Not only do you not have two heads but I think you're-

"Oh, my..." Wesley breathes in awe.

I think he's noticed too, I don't think anyone else has though.

"What is it?" Angel asks, worry laces his voice, that voice I'd heard so long ago, so beautiful, so soothing, so . . . hell even his voice shows his dominance over everything! How on earth is that possible? How can he show dominance over me? The one who sired him two and a half centuries ago? I don't know how he does it but he does.

"Its – its human." That sounded so much worse in my head I swear, Angel relaxes slightly, I can feel his fingers fall loose in my hand, I don't let go though and he makes no sign that he intends upon moving them.

"Human as is in humanoid? As in cannibalistic humanoid underground dwellers?" Gunn said, he still sounds edgy.

Wesley glances down at me, then back at Gunn seeing as my face is void of all emotion.

"No - human as in - a boy." He looks at Angel, a smile is slowly crossing his lips.

I look back at the monitor.

It's like the only company I seek,

Is misery all around,

There you are.

My parasite, my demon, my drug.

That's what you are . . . my drug, my reason for still being here . . . what am I saying? This is confusing the hell outta me! You're intruding again.

Leave me alone! Please! Leave me alone and I'll make sure they get rid of you in the least painful way just stop it! I'm a vampire, an evil, blood-sucking creature of the night, I can't deal with this loving crap.

"Boy?" Angel echoes in a whisper looking at Wesley, his eyes wide.

I know he wanted a boy, he's always liked boys, especially when we fed. Said they tasted better than the girls did, I wasn't bothered what I took, so long as it was warm, he always had preferences, mildly picky I'd say. I like younger ones, but then again every vampire did and does, I just never thought that his love of the male children would cross into the desiring of a son.

"A boy. A boy"

Yeah I think we all heard him the first time, you're a boy.

I'm gonna bring another man into the world, another male to destroy everything, to, if you take after your father in this area, impregnate another poor female and force her to bear your child.

Wesley turns to me and I look at him, his voice is soft as if talking to a skittish animal, I think he thinks I'm gonna bite him. "You're carrying a boy."

I roll my eyes and sigh, I swear if he says that again I will bite him, even if it purely to shut him up "Great."

Angel has this dreamy look on his face as he looks at your squirming figure on the monitor; I'm still wondering why on earth you're blue.

"Gonna have a son" he breaths, he looks so happy, over the moon I believe the phrase is, has he paid even the slightest bit of attention to me or to the prophecies? That which is brought from darkness shall bring darkness and all that, a smile creeps across his face "I'm gonna have a son."

"Guys. As fascinating as an ultra-sound image of an unborn child may appear..." Fred spoke again.

She likes staying quiet I noticed, stays out of the way, and when she does speak its either barely audible or she babbles so incessantly someone has to translate.

"Me. A father. To a son. You know what that means?"

I look back at Angel; his eyes are fixed on the screen. Wesley is holding the sensor still now and is watching Angel.

You're human.

How on earth does that work out? A human child, with a heartbeat and a soul is alive and kicking in the womb of a dead creature.

You are the son to two vampires and you're mine.


"We're surrounded by vampires?"

Surrounded by what? Angel starts and looks at her, a goofy smile on his face, God he looks pathetic.

His brow furrows as he tries to explain "No, it's a human bo..." he trails off and looks up where Fred is staring at the teaching galleries above us.

I sit up and look round.

She's right.

There are vampires.

A whole bunch of vampires.

A look of realisation crosses Angel's face "Oh. We are surrounded by vampires." He stands up quickly, releasing my hand as he does so.

Cordelia clears her throat and turns round, as if looking for an exit route "Ahem - so, who has a plan?" She looks at Angel.

"Don't let 'em kill us sounds like a good first step." Gunn centres his weight as we watch a group of vampires, along with their seeming leader emerge from the shadows.

"The miracle child." He says, an ugly leer on his face.

I won't let him get you, ever; you're safe. If anyone's gonna kill you then it sure as hell won't be him.

What's going on? Am I actually feeling compassion towards you? I barely have chance to register it as the other vampires echo him in a whisper

"For his time has come" he and the other vampires get to their knees as they all begin in a slightly unnerving chant "Praise be. Praise be. Praise be."

It's like your a leech,

Sucking the life from me,

I don't actually think they're gonna hurt you, you know? Or any of us, okay maybe they'll hurt the humans but big deal, not like anyone cares, damn, Angel cares but . . .

"Hey, I'm all for being idolised, but - what the hell is going on?"

Cordelia has a point, this worshipping crap is verging fun, well as fun as it can get when you're about half the size of everyone else-what's up with that? -And you look like a whale.

"What do you want?" Angel snaps, he's tensing, expecting a fight.

I however am perfectly calm, I'm unfazed by their demon visages, after all I am one of them, we both are, Angel and I.

"To protect the miracle child." The vampire leader's voice is breathy and low.

Angel half turns to his little gang, he looks at me a second before turning back to the vampires "Protect? Ah, that's good. We're all here for the same thing."

Not all of us! I'm here to get rid of you, protecting you was never on my agenda. It's not like you can't protect yourself, believe me if you couldn't you'd be dead by now.

"DIE!" A ninja lands in the room, shattered glass falls down around him, that was one hell of an entrance.

I jumped slightly as the vampires launch themselves at the sword bearing intruder and begin to feed. Noisily, and messily.

The smell of his blood hits my nostrils, he smells so good, so appetising. I'm hungry, so, so hungry. If I could just-Angel seizes my wrist and keeps me on the table. I pull myself from his grip and glower first at him then the vampire group as they stand up, blood trickling down their chins, just a little bit . . . that's all I want . . . just a li-

"As it has been prophesied - by our great potentate Ul-thar, we vow our lives to protect this - special child."

"You hear that? Our kid. Special."

Yeah I heard him Angel, my hearing is just as good as ever.

How are you special in any other way than that you can make me feel so many strange things at once? Invincible and powerful, useless and needed, murderous and compassionate, hating and loving, it's all here, emotions I haven't felt in a very long time and you're making me feel them.

"Now let us kill the humans so we may use their blood to nourish the mother – and her miracle child."

Now that's more like it!

"Guess I'm getting dinner after all."

Angel doesn't look impressed, Cordelia looks horrified, I'm getting a definite nervous vibe of Wesley, Fred's breathing just got louder and Gunn's heart rate spiked.

Should I care that they're about to be eaten after they just helped me? 'Coz if I am, I don't.

"Darla, you might wanna join the fight." Angel shifts from foot to foot, as Fred ducks behind Gunn and Cordelia puts on her best 'I'm a bitch' face.

Keyword there Angel, might.

"Sorry, darling. I'm gonna have to be Switzerland and sit this one out" I smile sweetly at the horrified look that just crossed his face, before I turn back to the cult leader "Now, you did say you were just gonna kill the humans, right?" I could live, Angel could live I guess . . .

The vampire leaders amber eyes widen "Yes, just the humans. Then we will nourish you, slice you open, wear your entrails as a belt and consume your eyeballs before we worship the miracle child." He takes a few steps forwards.

Okay, I know I'm not usually the type but can I be the first to say ew? That's just disgusting, sure I like blood, live on the stuff, I like to watch the good fight once in a while and the occasional bar brawl if I feel like it. But for some reason, which I'm thinking is you, it's making me feel . . . nauseous? I jump off the table, and as I pull my jacket tighter round myself Angel puts a hand on my shoulder and steers me round him so I'm stood behind him "Okay. I'm in." I said brightly, ignoring the suddenly feeling I've got in my stomach of . . . security? I look up at Angel a second before turning back to the vampires.

"Gunn, you and I can hold them off for as long as we can. The rest of you, get Darla to the car." Angel doesn't look away from the advancing vampire mob but he does step back, his arms out slightly, guiding me backwards along with the rest of the team.

What am I suddenly not here any more? Am I unconscious? I'm fully capable of teaching a few vampires that look like they have little or no experience dealing with opposing vampires.

As the team backs towards the door I'm forced to follow all though my fists are clenched at my sides itching to hit something solid and preferably baby-worshipping vampire shaped. I could torture them a bit first, before I dust them, woah-I'm taking it you don't like that idea? Well tough luck kid mommy's one pissed off vampire, hungry for violence and for blood.

"Oh, I'd rather stay and fight. Show these youngsters a thing or two about real carnage."

Concern and persistence line his voice "That's thoughtful, but, you know, you should go." Is he protecting me? Us?

I frown at him. There is no way I am going to be treated like some invalid I am fully capable of fighting, and holding my own, I'm betting I'm a ten times better than any of his human friends-I have even more experience than he does!

"Charles, do you have an extra dagger I could borrow?"

I don't turn as Fred speaks, keeping my eyes fixed straight ahead, the only thought that crosses my mind apart from the many, many colourful things I could do to these jumped up vamps is what Fred could possibly want a dagger for. She doesn't look like the worlds best fighter in fact she looks like the type to run away screaming.

There's a chink of metal against metal, which I'm assuming is Gunn giving her the desired weapon.

"This okay?" he asks in a hushed a whisper as her original one.


Perfect? Perfect for what? I shake my head and look up at Angel.

"No my count of three. One, two..."

Okay, that girl moves fast! I could have sworn I was stood next to Angel a minute ago, but now I'm held firmly in Fred's arms in a purposeful fashion. She shifts her hold slightly so I'm more comfortable.

"You freaks make one move and I'll slice the miracle kid into triplets." She says, pressing the dagger against my stomach.

I have to bite back a sudden urge to drive my elbow into my stomach, one wrong move and you're gone . . .

It's like I can't breathe,

Without you inside of me,

"It's always the quiet ones." Cordelia mutters, glancing at us.

Quiet ones? This ones practically silent! It's not like I couldn't fight her off if I wanted too but I decide to play along. She won't hurt you, Angel won't let her.

The vampire leader panics "Wait!"

Fred shifts her hold round my neck slightly to make me more comfortable before her head rest on mine as she says in a comforting whisper "They don't know the knife can't hurt the baby."

I can barely contain my laugh as I pull my head away slightly and look her in the eye, sweet girl, just wanted to help, well sorry to bust your bubble honey but "They do now. Vampires have great hearing." It was a good plan, I find myself grudgingly admitting. Until now.

The vampire leader smiles broadly, his pearly white fangs glinting in the over heard light of the room, I pull away from Fred who looks stricken.

I roll my eyes "Here we go."

And as predicted it does go.

I whirl round, landing a punch in the vampire behind me's jaw, Angel takes on two, and Wesley's already fighting hard.

I can't see Fred and Gunn but I'm sure they're fighting as well. Cordelia's swinging punches every which way, landing them in various parts of her assailant's anatomy.

I duck and turn just in time to see Cordelia throw a vampiress into a medical trolley and Wesley bring his arms down hard on a vampire who'd just attempted to jump him's back and legs; he is a good fighter!

I jump to my feet again and throw a vampire away, I looked to Angel who's already fighting the leader almost effortlessly.

I can hear you screaming, you don't like it here, you don't like it all.

This feel nothing like anything I've ever felt before. I love this, the thrill of the battle, the feel of the vampires as they dust at my hand, fighting for my unlife . . . and yet your pain seeps through, you're terrified, you want out.

I want to stay, I want you to suffer like I have, putting up with something you don't want but I can't.

"Everybody out!" Wesley yells as I make a run for the door another vampire tries to top me, I seize him by his shirt and hurl him sideways.

Wesley looks a little surprised at my strength, and he says he's an ex watcher . . .

Fred takes my arm and pushes me out of the door; Gunn, Wesley and Cordelia are quick to follow.

We run down the corridors which are empty.

I looked at Wesley, where's Angel? He has an equally blank look on his face.

Angel points at his car as he comes out of the hospital and into the parking lot.

You love him don't you? That's why I'm loving him? You were crying for him weren't you? You've stopped now he's back.

At some point whilst I was thinking I got pushed into the back seat of the car, Wes;ey on my left with his arm round my shoulders, Gunn on my right whilst the girls and Angel are up front.

I'm pretending not to notice the stake Wesley has at the ready, so I look down at my knees.

"I think we lost them." Gunn twists his seat to look behind us.

I never felt more scared than I did then.

I never thought I'd feel so terrified of a few vampires, of the thought that Angel might have gotten hurt, stupid considering her was only about a minute behind us if that, but because you were scared so was I.

"Anybody hurt?" Angel asks, glancing in his rear view mirror, one eye remained on the road though, we were practically flying down it in our rush to escape.

"Nothing a couple of band aids and a pint of Heathbar crunch can't fix." Cordelia said in a none to successful attempt to lighten the mood.

"I'm good." Wesley shrugs, although his stake remains steadily poised, I can't help but notice it appears to be aimed at you.

Without really paying much attention I move my hands over my swollen abdomen, the caresses that I'm planting there discreetly are calming you.

And I know I let,

You have all the power,


Did someone say something? No? Great I'm hearing things now as well!

"Darla, everything okay?" Angel's taken both eyes of the road and is fixing me with that piercing stare of his.

He looks perfect. Not a fault in sight. I bet you really do look like him.

"Yeah. Fine." My voice sounds so pathetic, but I'm tired . . . so tired, and hungry.

Wesley places a concerned hand on my shoulder "You all right?"

"It's nothing!" I snapped gently.

You breathe.

So I breathe.

You hurt.

So I hurt.

You love.

So I love.

There's a moments silence before Angel alters his hold on the wheel, then glances back in the rear view at me. "It's the kid, isn't it? Seeing him on the monitor."

I look up.

He's right.

I thought I'd seen every sight there was too see, I've seen more of the inside of a human being than most doctors have, but seeing you . . . there, on that screen, blue you may have been but never in my life or my unlife have I seen something so deserving of marvel.

My parasite.

My demon.

My drug.

My son.

I looked at the back of Fred's head then back at Angel as I shake my hair from my eyes as I sniff against the cold air but it also helps to clear my eyes of the tears. "No, I'm just disappointed that the vamp cult didn't kill all of you guys" My voice is breaking, I tried to sound menacing, evil, didn't work, I sounded needy and compassionate "So, where 're we going? I'm famished and we all know how ugly that can get."

"Where are we going?" Fred asks, thank God she did; coz either we would have gone back to the Darla's gone soft conversation or there would have been the worlds most uncomfortable silence.

Angel stiffens, and looks back at the road but every so often looks back at me "Somewhere safe." He said shortly.

"Where's safe? The hotel is definitely out." Cordelia states matter-of-factly.

"How about if we go to..."

"Vegas? Sorry, Gunn, too high profile, but I agree we need to get out of dodge."

Wesley leans forwards slightly, not removing his arm from around my shoulders for which I find myself glad, for some reason I'm getting cold? How the hell do I get cold?


"God! I hate it when you say that word! 'Actually' means that your oversized gi-normous brain thought of something that the rest of us failed to consider, right?"

I tip my head back slightly and lean against his arm.

Then I realise what I'm leaning on and straighten up again.

"Just, other people seem to know a lot more about this kid's importance than we do. The only thing that can help us is back at the hotel" He was speaking to everyone then, even me.

Angel's grip on the wheel tightens as Wesley speaks again, this time it's aimed directly at Angel "We can't protect your child unless we get the scrolls."

His child, my child, our child.

You're our child.

Angel sighs, realising Wesley's right "Okay then. Quick stop."

I drop my gaze again.

I've been everything, seen everything, done everything. I've seen every part there is too see of the human body inside and out. I've travelled the world. I've been a human, I've been a childe, I've been a sire. I've watched acts of hate and of love, pain and compassion, need and desire. I've watched the only people I've ever cared in the slightest about live and die, had my hand in a few, I've seen them change, I've seen them choose.

I've hated so many.

Killed even more.

But one thing I've never, as far as I remember, is loved.

I love you.

And I realise I'm never gonna,

Quit you over time,

Everything I have ever known is no longer there. No longer matters.

I don't want too love you! I can't, I'm evil, if I love you I can't loose you, if I love you I can't hate you, if I love you then I don't think I can let them kill you.

"Why 're we stopping here?" Cordelia's voice slices through the silence that ahs reigned since Angel decided to get Wesley's scrolls for him.

Angel appears to have stopped the car in an alleyway.

"It's only a couple of blocks from the hotel. I'll go the rest of the way on foot." Angel gets out of the car as he's speaking.

As he surveys the building he's stood next too Cordelia slides into the driver's seat, taking the wheel.

"Hey, who said you get to be wheel man?" Gunn objects.

I can't see her face but I know Cordelia just rolled her eyes. She just seems like that kinda girl.

"Who said it had to be a man?" she replies, giving him a sarcastic look.

If I could be bothered I would smirk at the look on Gunn's face.

Angel leans forward onto the car.

"The scrolls?" he said.

I can sense the nervousness that edges his voice.

I'm nervous too.

Well you're nervous.

I'm an uncaring dead bitch who has way better things to do.

Wesley looks up at Angel.

I wish he'd put that damn stake down, or point it somewhere else, preferably not at you or me.

"In the cabinet back in the office."

Angel nods "If I'm not back in five minutes, leave without me." He straightens up and walks round the back of the car, too the other side, looking straight up at the building he's about to climb

Cordelia's eyes follow him "Leave to where?"

Angel's not paying attention top her really, he's sizing up the jump he's about to make, trying to see the best and fastest route to the top "Anywhere. Somewhere safe."

The hotel's not safe, we all know that, he knows that, something is bound to be they're waiting for us. If he goes in there he might not come out again. He needs to know, I need to tell him . . .

"Angel?" I spoke suddenly, he can't go in there not knowing, I don't want him to go in there but I spent enough of my unlife with him to know that if you tell him no to do something he's already set his mind too, he'll do it anyway.

Angel gives me a hopeful look and says softly "Yeah."

His eyes are so captivating. They tell you everything, I can see the pain, the guilt, the loss, everything, everything the soul planted there. Sins of the past are paying their toll on the present. But I see something I didn't expect.

When I looked at him I was expecting resentment, hatred, denial, but I see none of that. I see love.

He loves me. Or you. Or both.

Why? Why love me? I hurt him, I made him, I'm the reason he's got the soul in the first place.

They're all watching me, waiting, expecting me to do something.

I can't.

I can't tell him what you're making me feel.

I can't tell him how scared I am.

How much I love you and him.

I just can't

I avert my gaze and lean back again, resting slightly, unnoticed on Wesley's side-it's really cramped back here, you think with the amount of money Angel has he'd be able to buy a car with space.

Yeah I like the car, and it does look expensive but why not buy one that has room for his friends and a pregnant woman?

"Just get out of here."

I'm pretending not to see the hurt that flashes in his eyes at that point so I, once again, stare firmly at my lap.

I can feel Angel watching me for a second longer before he jumps onto the hood of the car, then up and grabbing the bottom rung of the fire escape ladder before he climbs his way up the rest of the building and out of sight.

There's a lump in my throat. I should have told him.

I'm so scared. So lonely. So . . .

"You okay Darla?" Fred asks gently.

I nod, not making eye contact.

She's sweet, they all are, in their own annoying ways, they're all helping me, well probably they're helping Angel and because I'm carrying the baby I sorta come with the deal but it feels kinda nice to think they care.

"You sure? You want anything? You cold?" Wesley asks.

I shake my hair from my face and flash him a fake smile "I'm a vampire Wes, I don't get cold"

He looks sheepish as he breathes a little "Oh"

It's like I can't breathe,

It's like I can't see anything,

It's taking too long.

I don't know how long he's been gone but it feels like hours, he should have been in and out.

What if he ran in to trouble? What if a demon got him? Or another vampire cult? What if he's dust?

Wesley is sat on the trunk of the car facing Fred who got out shortly after Angel left.

Gunn's just shifted to sit on the side of the passenger door, near Cordelia.

I can smell the tension in the air.

No one will speak.

I can hear their hearts racing but none are racing as fast as yours, it's been years since I've listened to a heartbeat this loud, you're deafening me.

Cordelia starts the car.

"He said five minutes!" Gunn says in earnest.

Cordelia glances back at me then to Gunn again "It's been six and a half." She doesn't wanna leave but she knows that if Angel is back when he said he would be then something's happened.

"This is so typical of him." I say, my poor attempt at humour, all I achieve is sympathetic looks from Gunn and Cordelia and what I'm sure Fred thinks are comforting words but couldn't be further from.

"It probably wouldn't hurt to wait another minute, right? I mean, what's the worst thing that could happen in another minute?" she really is a sweet girl.

Cordelia gives the tiniest nod of her head and runs her fingers through her hair, resting her head on her palm as her elbow rest on the side of the door.

What was that? What are you doing in there? Shit! That hurt, stop it-

I scream.

Long and loud.

Shit this hurts! My God what are you doing in there? Stop it!

"Ask a stupid question..."

Not helping Fred! So not helping! Fuck! will you stop it? That hurts!

Wesley jumps down from his seat on the trunk and leans over the side of the car, his eyes skimming the seat and the floor of the car

"Her water's broken. This is for real"

My water's broken? You're kidding me right? You wanna be born? Here? Now? What are you stupid? This is not the time kiddo! So not the time.

Gunn jumps to his feet outside the car and leans in also, checking for himself.

"There should be a blanket in the trunk." Wesley looks at him, he looks really panicky.

Gunn nods, and unlocks the trunk before running round to it.

See how much trouble you're causing kid?

"What are we gonna do? Deliver the kid right here? Shouldn't we go somewhere?"

Yeah great idea there Cordy, now where we meant to go huh? Angel didn't know that's why we came here to get the scrolls.

Ow! Give it up already!

Wesley's thinking, I know, he wants to take me somewhere – ow! – okay, the first person to try and move me gets bitten got it? This is – ow- agony!

Fred looks nervously up at the fire escape Angel took nearly ten minutes ago "What's keeping Angel?" she shifts from foot to foot nervously.

Angel! Angel come here now! I can't do this, I so cannot do this, he got you here he sure as hell can get you out – give it up – I haven't the faintest idea what's keeping him but it sure better be good because I need him.

Gunn gets the blanket out of the trunk and passes it to Wesley who puts it on the seat next to me and takes my shoulders, easing me round, whispering softly to me. I can barely hear him over my own moans, this is worse than anything I've felt before and it's your entire fault, you're the miracle child who should never have been conceived.

Gunn takes my shoulders as Wesley lifts my feet to the seat, putting the blanket over me as I'm laid down on the back seat.

Angel better get here soon or somebody help him, if he's not already dust then he will be by the time I've finished with him.