Disclaimer: I don't own any characters you recognize from Joss Whedon's brilliant mind. I just like to borrow them.

Author's Notes: This is just a little Darla POV drabble that I drug up from my hard-drive.

Rated: T

Written: November 19, 2011.

Words: 486


Darla doesn't – can't – trust men. After a couple of hundred of years of being used by them, she knows that with absolute certainty. While being at the Master's beck and call has been infinitely more glamorous than her human life as a whore, it's come with all the same demands. And a couple of new ones.

But when she first sees him, she knows she has to have him, and that scares her. Darla doesn't get close to men. She uses them before they can use her and dumps the bodies afterwards. She's not ashamed of who she is, what she is, but she's not stupid either.

Men can't be trusted.

But when she makes him hers, none of that matters. Oh, it's still there, lurking, under the surface. She still can't trust men. But him...

Him she trusts.

At first, it's because he can't hurt her. Not really. She's his maker and he fears her wrath – as well he should. As she teaches him pains and pleasures beyond his previous imagination, he couldn't hurt her if he wanted to, and he wouldn't dare to try. Well, he wouldn't try anything she wouldn't like.

But then, it changes. He looks at her with such complete devotion, such lust and enthusiasm. And it's more than that he can't hurt her. He wouldn't. He'd follow her to the ends of the earth, her darling boy, just to tie her up and fuck her when he got there... and she'd let him hurt her in only the best ways. He worships her.

At first, Darla thinks that it's just because she has all the power. She made him hers so she can trust that he will always be hers to command and control. Hers to hurt, and not the other way around. But it's more than that. She lets him protect her, and he wants to.

As much as they fight and fuck and bleed for one another, he wants to protect her. He knows who she was with the Master, knows what she was before, and he protects both the monster and the woman. Sometimes, in the midst of all the blood and bodies, when they're exhausted from the fucking and carnage, he pulls her body against his and just holds her. She doesn't always allow it. But just sometimes, Darla lays against his body and lets herself forget, just for a moment. He's trying to erase all those who came before him – all those who thought she was their toy instead of their equal. It almost works.

It's not until he's gone that she realizes she loves him. She trusts him. It terrifies her. She wants to hurt him, to lash out instead. Because when he leaves...

When he leaves, it hurts more than any of the men who took what they wanted from her body and left. He took what he wanted from her heart instead.