by Tara Ann Stridh

rated G

Darla and Connor

Darla comforts her son (not in a sex way)

spoilers - Rain of Fire

feedback -

*Characters do not belong to me:(

Connor sat up in bed with a loud gasp. His dreams had always been so vivid - blood and destruction he couldn’t stop, but sometimes they were peaceful; the ones about his mother were always so gentle.

He looked to Cordelia, asleep and tranquil. “Are you going to take it back?” he asked her after they made love. “No,” she said softly, stroking his cheek. He felt more at ease now, his tears gone, but something still unsettled him. Looking out the window he saw that the fire had stopped falling from the sky. He liked to look out the window; he liked the view. The sky was dark and midnight blue; Connor wondered what its quietness meant. He almost wished he were back in Quor-toth where he at least could fight the plagues and demons that threatened survival. He looked at Cordelia again and stared at the raw redness around her neck. He knew he probably couldn’t protect her like he wished he could, but he would try.

He reached for his shirt and put it on, wincing at the pain in his ribs. Connor ignored the nasty bruise and put on his pants. He didn’t want to leave Cordelia, but there was someplace he needed to go.


He stood in the alley searching for an answer. She said it wasn’t his fault, but he stared hard at the disrupted pavement where that thing had broken loose. The place where he was born, where his mother had died for him, but he didn’t understand it. He didn’t understand why and he didn’t understand how a demon could feel love. He also didn’t know much about his mother except for her vampire nature and sacrifice. Connor wondered again what his place in the world was and if this rain of fire was indeed his fault.

“Why did you choose the place I was born?” he said out loud into the silence.

“Tell me what’s wrong, Connor?” the chime-like voice said from behind him.

He turned to face the blonde-haired woman. She was petite and dressed in a red v-neck shirt. Her hair was bright as silk.

“Darla,” he said.

“You know my name. That’s nice,” she said, “but I prefer ‘Mom.’”

“I’ve seen you in my dreams,” he said. “You were beautiful then. You’re beautiful now.”

“Thank you. You’re a sweet boy . . . but so very angry.”

“So what. Are you a ghost?”

“No, not a ghost. I’m just visiting because you need me.”

“Maybe I needed you from the beginning.”

“I’m sorry I couldn’t be there. I’m sorry you had to grow up in that place with Holtz. None of that is what I ever imagined for you.

“Your father, Angel, told me we could raise you together, but I didn’t believe him. Maybe if things had been different we could have. I wanted you so very much to grow up with people who love you, with your father.”

“It doesn’t matter, anymore,” said Connor.

“Of course it matters, my baby. It always matters. Let me hug you, please.”

Connor looked at her and after a moment he stepped forward, letting her embrace him.

Her arms held him tightly and close to her as if she would never let him go.

“I remember when you were a baby inside my belly. You kept me warm.”

“Holtz said you died for me. Why? How can a demon sacrifice anything?”

“I loved you. You gave me a soul and I loved you completely. I still do. I love you more than anything.”

Connor didn’t know why but her arms around him felt right. And he never really had anyone tell him how much they loved him before. It was as if everything was okay and the world wasn’t ending. He began to cry and Darla stroked his hair.

They hugged each other in silence until Connor said, “What do you think of the end of the world?”

“If I was still a vampire I’d say, ‘yippee!’” Then she paused. “Your father doesn’t know what to do. Always a champion, but he doesn’t know what to do next or how to fight this evil.”

Darla wiped the tears from Connor’s ice blue eyes and smiled.

“He needs you. And you need him, even if you don’t think you do. I want you to try and let him be part of your life.”

“Mom,” he said weakly, “I can’t. I sunk him to the bottom of the ocean and he doesn’t think I’m good enough to fight the good fight.”

It felt good and complete that he called her ‘Mom;’ she smiled faintly.

“I know, but he’s not angry anymore, I promise you. I promise you that he loves you and he does have all the faith in the world in you.”

“I don’t want to be so angry but, but I just feel so alone, but I have someone.”

“I know,” she said and sighed. “I know all about Cordy and I just don’t want you to get hurt. I don’t want her taking advantage of you.”

“Mom, she’s not. What we have is special.”

“Yes, I know you think it is,” Darla said, stroking his cheek. “Connor, I just want you to be safe. If I could I’d put you back in my belly and never let you out.”

“The world is ending.”

“And you have to be strong. You already are,” she said. “Connor, I know you want to know what your place is in this big wide world, and you will. I promise you. You just have to be patient.

“I want you to know that your father loves you, even if he’s not really showing it. He doesn’t know how to connect with you. You have to try and connect with him.

“And I love you. I’ll love you always.”

“Is everything going to be okay?” said Connor.

“It may not seem like it is, but it will be. There are going to be tough times, though, and you just have to try and be prepared.”

He looked into his mother’s eyes and watched them sparkle violet-hazel.

“You know what’s coming, don’t you?”

“My darling boy, how I love you. Now close your eyes.”

Darla took his hand and he closed his eyes. Slowly he felt her slip from him. He tried to tighten his grip on her small hand, but she was already gone.

“Mom?” he said, his voice soft, and opened his eyes.

He was alone in the alley and his heart hurt in a good way. Darla was dead because of him, and he cursed himself for not being able to keep her with him now. He knew she was in heaven, though; she’d told him in his dreams. He’d even been there with her. His mother had been visiting in his dreams since he was a baby and he knew she would continue to do so.

Connor didn’t look back at the rubble. Instead he turned around and walked back to the museum where Cordelia was waiting for him. Like his dreams, though, he would keep his mother’s visit to himself.