And we're ending another one... Thanks for reading. Sorry this is a short one to end it.

"Darla," Angelus greeted, his voice a half-growl. He walked past his sire, heading into his bedroom.

"Angelus," she said, her head turning as he moved. When he was out of sight, she followed him.

He continued what he was doing, doing his best to ignore the blonde vampire. He had a feeling Spike and Dru were behind her being here. After their last visit a few days ago... it made sense.

Not that he was happy about it.

Darla watched him for several minutes before crossing the room. She grabbed his arm, having him turn towards her, then she grabbed his face, pulling him closer.

"What the hell do you think you are doing?" he asked, pulling back.

She dug her fingernails into his flesh harder. She stared at him, her face contorting in disgust, before closing her eyes and seemingly smelling him. "Ugh. It's true," she said, pushing him away.

Angelus growled. "What's true? What are you doing here?"

"How can you be stupid?" she asked. She rolled her eyes, walking over to the bed to take a seat on the foot on it.

"Yeah, thanks. Nice talking to you," he muttered.

"You're changing, Angelus."

"I know that. See, first I put on a new pair of pants and then I..."

"Not that, moron," she said. "This girl you've become enchanted with..."

At that, he growled again, but softly, just under his breath. "What are you talking about?"

"Oh, don't play stupid. Spike and Drusilla already warned me you were acting out of character, smelling like love, like some human child."

He turned to look at her, a smirk on his face. "Darla, you know me better than anyone. That doesn't sound like me, now does it? Unless... I have a plan. You know how I love a good show."

She shook her head. "I do know," she agreed. "But that isn't what this is."

He laughed, buttoning his shirt the rest of the way. "Darla, Darla, Darla..."

She stood. "Do you not remember the curse, Angelus?"

"What curse?"

"The one the Kalderash Clan put on your after one of the favorites were left at the mercy of you, lover."

"Gee, Darla, sorry... can't say that I do. You do remember who I am, who you are, who we are? A lot of people have rained down threats and curses against me."

"This is true," she said. "But this one, you should remember..." she told him, then began trying to jog his memory of this particular girl, group of gypsies.

Finally, it clicked. Angelus laughed again. "What, the elders threatening to restore my soul?" he asked.

"Yes."

He raised an eyebrow. "That was back in the early nineteenth century, Darla. Quite some time ago. It didn't work by now, I think I'm good to go."

She shook her head. "They didn't tell you when it was going to happen, lover. Or how." She went on to tell him of the last elder she'd gone after in the murderous run at the rest of them after the torture on the young girl. Of how she was warned he would face the curse one day, when least expecting it. And how this girl he'd suddenly found himself wrapped up in was playing a part in it all.

"You really expect me to believe this?"

"Yes," she replied. "We pissed those people off, Angelus. And at the time I had no idea how powerful they were, but later I learned more and more about them. And I always feared this day would come. And now it has."

"You're talking crazy, Darla."

"Am I? You're not acting like yourself. I don't even have to see it for myself to know that. I made you, I can tell just by looking at you, sensing you. You're not yourself anymore, Angelus."

"I'm not?"

"Why did you not kill this girl?" she asked him, stepping closer to him. "Why are you protecting her?"

He remained silent.

"Are you still feeding? Still hunting?"

Again, silence. The words hit hard. He'd still gone out, but it was rare. The more time he'd spent with Buffy, the less he'd fed. Hell, he'd started taking up on going to the butcher shop just a block away from her apartment so he wouldn't have to.

But this was still an insane idea.

"You have to kill her."

"Yeah. Because somehow she's magically going to put a soul in me. Uh huh."

"Love does powerful things. Mix that in with those Romanian's and there you go."

"Okay," he said after a moment. "Let's say, for argument's sake, this were even true. What's the worse that can happen? I get a soul, big deal," he said with a shrug.

Darla barked out a laugh, shaking her head. "You really don't understand, do you? It's the perfect curse, the perfect punishment, Angelus. You don't even comprehend what this will do to you. You won't exist, not really. I'm sure you'll be somewhere in there... but you won't be running the show. You get your soul back, and the person you used to be is back in charge. That's the punishment to you. And to him, to an almost Liam, he gets the brunt end of it too. He's the person who has to carry the guilt of all the terrible things you have done. But that comes right back around on you, too, Angelus. Because you'll have some whining, weak, prick constantly in your face."

Angelus sighed. "Darla," he smiled her way. "I appreciate the warning, the concern... the... whatever the hell this is. But trust me, I'm not being curse with some humanity, okay?"

OoOoO

Angelus kept trying to shake the words she'd said out of his head as he left his place, crossed town to meet up with Buffy. He sat in a booth as usual and when she closed up he helped her clean up and prepare to go home.

Buffy had commented more than once he kept staring at her oddly, that he wasn't acting like himself. He brushed it off, tried to put Darla's warning out of his head.

"Are you sure you're okay?"

"Yeah," he told her. "Just busy being distracted by the thought of getting you back home," he told her with a wink.

Hell, now that would be a distraction.

Buffy blushed, throwing a towel at him.

OoOoO

Angelus opened the door, looking back to watch Buffy go grab her purse she'd almost left. He only caught onto his sire's presence when she was already on top of him, pushing in out of the way. He screamed out Buffy's name, watching Darla push off of him, vamp face out, getting up to run toward the human girl.

Buffy screamed.

Angelus swung around, grabbing a chair from a nearby table and breaking a leg off of it and racing toward the two women.

"Darla!" he yelled, grabbing at her as she bit into Buffy's neck.

"She has to die, Angelus!"

He wasted no time punching her in the face, letting her fall backwards, pushing her body down onto a table behind and pushing the makeshift stake into her.

Her eyes looked at the wood, then him. "I wanted to save you," she whispered before turning into dust.

Buffy screamed again, then again. He stared at the dust that had been his maker before turning and grabbing Buffy into his arms. "Sssh," he whispered. "It's alright."

Buffy's hand latched into his shirt with all her might and he kissed the middle of her forehead.

Just then, he felt a shock hit him. A second later, there was a glowing.

"A..Angel? What's going on now?" Buffy asked, her eyes wide.

He swallowed. The pain intensified. A flash of memories hit him and he suddenly knew it was true after all. Darla was right.

He started laughing, despite the pain.

Then he screamed.