Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or Angel. The characters are not mine, I make no profit from them, and am only playing with them for my own amusement.

Warnings: Spoilers for Supernatural Faith ... as for Angel pretty much the entirety of season two since this focuses on Darla after the whole Wolfram and Hart revival thing.

AN: I don't have this episode (Faith) memorized, even though I've watched it enough times on reruns. Still, every time I see it I'm reminded of this idea. So I'm sure there are a few changes besides those I made to fit with my idea. I know Darla was dying of syphilis and Layla of a brain tumor, but I'm thinking AIDS or something like it. Please don't lynch-mob me.

They think she's stupid — these human lackeys of Wolfram and Hart. They know in their heads that she was once the fearsome Darla, one-fourth of the Scourge of Europe, but their hearts disagree with their heads. They scurry around her with fearful looks but talk to her as if she's just another silly human unknowing of their deceitful ways.

She learned long ago, long before even the thought of turning her entered The Master's mind, to use that to her own advantage. And she needs to put all those skills to good use now — before it's too late. She doesn't have much time according to all the doctors and demon specialists they've brought to examine her. She's dying. She knows it; they know it, and they have plans. She's seen them. She's also read the transcripts of their conversations with Drusilla, tangled and rambling as they are.

Drusilla is coming. She would have come anyway, even without Wolfram and Hart contacting her, Darla is sure. Wolfram and Hart have plans for her and Darla dying is not part of them. Besides, they assume she'll be more willing to follow said plans as an evil, murdering vampire. Which is probably at least half true.

The question becomes: to die of a silly human disease she picked up as a human whore (oh the irony!) or die and live again as a vampire.

Oddly enough, there's really no choice.


Having a 'mother' again is certainly different.

Darla's mother died young, though at twenty-six she was considered to be old aged by Colony standards. It left a thirteen-year-old Darla with a father who looked at her as a servant and later as a replacement for his lost wife. It was better to join the whorehouse and be paid and looked kindly upon than to stay in her own home.

It was the beginning of the end for her.

But Anne Rourke was a good woman, if a little embittered about her lot in life. The loss of her husband and daughter in a car crash had left her heartbroken and penniless. The poor woman had been in the car, had clawed her way back from the brink of death only to find her family dead and all their savings wasted on the medical bills of a woman who wished she'd died too.

Darla, now Layla Rourke, was her second chance. Sadly, Layla was dying too. It was Anne's desperation that kept them going to the faith healer night after night. Watching as person after person was 'saved' and Layla was passed over only seemed to fuel Anne's need.

It broke Layla's heart to watch the woman's renewed faith and hope be slowly and painfully chipped away. And oddly, it seemed to renew Layla's own long forgotten faith. She prayed night after night with Anne: prayed for healing, prayed for strength, and silently she prayed for Anne. She was dying, and Layla honestly didn't think even a faith healer could help her at this point, but she prayed that Anne would be alright without her. That the poor woman would have the strength to go on.

And then there was beauty in life again.

Meeting Dean Winchester was like meeting Angel again for the first time. A little of Liam looked out of those eyes. A good man who used drink to hide the pain of a demanding father, who used women to bring a little joy to his life — a man who found none of these helped heal the cracks in his soul.

And instead of wanting to apply pressure to each and every crack just to see what kind of monster she could make, Layla only wanted to heal them.

It was a little like love. Purer and more honest than anything she had ever felt before, as a human or a demon.

And then it ended.

The healing power flowing through her stops, the aches and pains of her illness weigh heavily on her once again, and she knows all over again that she's not forgiven. It doesn't matter that she's human again, that she prays every day asking for forgiveness. Her life was damned from the start, but there was always the choice. She chose the easy way out. She was a common whore and an extraordinary vampire, and now she is forever damned. There will never be any forgiveness for her. She lived like a demon, and she'll die like one.

Strength and an inner determination flows through her as she finally accepts this. For the first time in her life she is okay with the thought of death. Maybe her death will give peace to some of the innocent souls she murdered.

And maybe that's something worth praying for.

AN #2: This is not my glorious return to the world of fanfiction. This is the very first thing I've written in over a year! Yes, a YEAR! Honestly, I think I'm just about all tapped out when it comes to writing. All my focus goes to my blog and my new business, and that leaves my brain far too tired to drag up any ideas for fics — let alone have time to actually sit down and write them. Still, I managed to write this! So maybe there's still hope. I definitely won't be picking up my old stories; they are too in depth and would take far too much research and planning to continue, but maybe I'll be able to write a few quick one-shots here and there. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

You know what might inspire me to write more often? If you would look through my Twisting the Hellmouth challenges [MistressAshley on tthfanfic dot org] and write some stories based on them for me. Yes, I'm shameless, but there are some stories in there that I really want to see done! I've moved on from my purely slashy ways so feel free to ignore the suggested pairings and write any pairing you like. :)