The passion is radiating from Angel in waves – Darla can’t breathe the air is so thick with it. It isn’t as though she particularly needs the oxygen, but it’s the space that she’s craving as she chokes on emotion and moves her hands across her pregnant abdomen. “I can’t have this child, Angel,” she grits out, tearing her eyes away from the spectacular view afforded by the height of the rooftop and the Los Angeles lights. “I can’t.”
He takes a step toward her and she presses her body awkwardly against the edge of the building in a conscious effort to remain out of his reach. Her silhouette against the backdrop of the brilliantly lit sky might easily be the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen – but he keeps the thought to himself lest he encourage her to move so close to the toppling point that he can’t bring her back.
He wants this child. She can feel it. It’s in his voice when he whispers her name, so quietly that even with her enhanced senses she can barely hear it over the Los Angeles traffic that never seems to let up. He repeats her name and she shakes her head.
“Angel, no. I – I can’t have this child, I can’t.”
There is a ripple in her womb and she can feel the child dying inside of her. She’s never loved anything this much – she’s never loved anything, and that makes her doubt that this is real life. Reality’s never hurt this way.
“Darla.” Angel’s voice is broken – a broken record that she’d like to smash to pieces. She remembers the gramophone. Such things don’t exist anymore and she shouldn’t exist anymore either. Miracle is just another word for mistake, and she’s through making those.
“Angel, it’s over.” Words hang between them, unsaid. She doesn’t tell him that she doesn’t love him – is incapable of it. He knows. And they’re all too aware that she’s as likely to murder this child as cradle him to her breast. They know - but Angel persists, repeating her name as though it will break through all of her barriers.
It’s not even her real name and they both know that, too.
He pulls the stake from his pocket hesitantly, drawing it back in a half-hearted motion. Darla shakes her head, a strangled sob escaping her throat as she reaches toward him with an open hand. When her hands are safely wrapped around the wood, she sinks to the ground in an exhausted motion.
Angel sinks to his knees beside her, cupping her face in his hands tenderly. Tears streak her face and he brushes them away carefully with his thumb. “Tell him I’m sorry.” Darla’s voice is broken and Angel can only nod, and in half a breath consent. “Tell him he was the only thing I loved.”
He feels her head tilt as she leans forward to kiss him goodbye – and then suddenly Angel is kissing the dusty air. The night is suddenly silent and he looks about frantically for the infant that Darla must surely have left behind in her wake, but Angel has lost more than his sire tonight.