Sometimes Goodbye is a Second Chance
Do not own either of the fandoms in this story. As it is a surprise crossover, I will list them at the end. My title this time comes from the lyrics to Second Chance by Shinedown.
Takes place in the Angel episode The Trial. Slightly after Darla finds out she's dying.
Darla wanted to rage. Why had they brought her back as a human? Why did she have to feel this much pain for actions she'd had no control over? Why was she dying a second time from a disease that was supposedly easy to cure in the modern world? It felt like she was being punished three times for crimes she didn't commit.
A man stepped in front of her path. She knew his face, he was one of the humans that worked for Angelus. She hadn't paid attention to what his name was, however.
“Hello, Darla.” he said.
“Are you here to kill me? Put me out of my misery?”
“No.” he replied.
“Why not?” She tried not to beg for death. Men had always liked it when she'd begged. She'd liked it when they had begged in return. But she was dying. And she didn't want to go out the way she knew she would. Perhaps she could convince him to shoot her. She'd been shot before. It hadn't been lethal then, but she knew she could take that much pain if she could avoid the greater pain coming soon. Dying of syphilis had sucked the first time around and she didn't expect it to be much easier this time either.
“I thought perhaps that I would offer you a second chance.”
She scoffed at him. “I'm dying, you fool. What sort of second chance would you offer? Take my confession and save my immortal soul?”
He smiled tightly in reply. “No. I rather thought I'd offer you a cure. Or at least a likely cure. No worse than what you're about to face anyway, I'd wager.”
“I got to see myself in a mirror again and I got to spend an entire day in the sun. That checks off pretty much everything on my ashtray list.” Darla said. “Now, fuck off and let me die in peace.”
“Ashtr-? Oh. Right.” he realized what she meant. “There's more to being human than looking in mirrors and laying in the sun, you know.”
“Maybe if I had 60 years. But I have 6 weeks.”
“And if I could give you that 60 years? Or at least the chance at it?”
“I'm listening.” she tried and failed to stop the pounding in her chest. Squash the faint hope before it took over.
“I'll need a day to procure the ingredients. Meet me in Terman Park at 10 AM.”
She smirked. “Trying to keep Angelus out of this?”
Wesley sat down at the picnic table across from her. “I'm not doing this for you. I'm doing it for Angel. Since you've been brought back, he's been...”
“Distracted.” he corrected. “It's not good for him, which is bad for my life expectancy. The deal is simple. I give you the cure and you disappear. Never to be seen or heard from again.”
She sighed. “How? I have no money. No ID. Nothing.”
He slid a manila envelope over to her. “Here's your new ID, a plane ticket for this afternoon, and $1,000. Which should be enough to get to one of the stashes of money or jewels you have hidden somewhere.”
She tried not to blush that he'd known she'd have something like that, but found it more difficult to do now that she had a pulse again.
“Darla needs to die.” Wesley continued. “If and how she is reborn is up to you.”
At first, Darla hated having her soul back. Feeling guilt, feeling... anything, just plain hurt. But then she'd felt love. And it hurt and it warmed her and it was intoxicating and addictive. She understood now why Angel couldn't get rid of his soul though she tried to help him lose it. And if Angel felt this way about her, then she could understand how it would be distracting. And their history... well to say it was complicated was the overly nice way of putting it. Perhaps a quick break was the best way to do it. She nodded her assent. “I'll be gone by sunset tonight.”
He cast a calculating look at her as if he was trying to read her mind. Soon enough, he handed over a small vial. “I'll not tell you what's in it. The recipe is a secret. Just drink.”
Darla took a whiff. “Blood. Slayer blood.” she'd never forget that most luscious of smells. “You bled the Slayer for this? For me?”
“She knows who it was for and donated the blood willingly.” Wesley insisted. “She's come to believe in second chances.” He didn't mention which
Slayer he'd gotten the blood from as Darla likely didn't know about Faith, nor did she need to. He was about to make another point when she threw back her head and drank the potion down.
She grimaced at the taste. Sweet nectar now turned to ashes in her mouth. She forced herself not to gag.
“I was about to give you another slight warning but I guess it's too late.”
“About the taste?” she half chuckled and half coughed.
“No. Potions made from blood are dark magics, Slayer blood more so than most. It will
cure you, I'm sure of that. However, from now on you'll...” Wesley searched for the right words.
“Be unlucky?” Darla guessed.
“No. It's more that you'll attract dark souls. Except that's not the right word.”
“So, I'll attract evil people?” she wondered.
“No. Dark, not necessarily evil. But attract is the wrong word. What you'll actually do is be more visible to them. You'll stand out. You'll be less noticeable to innocents.”
“So, from now on, if someone ignores me, it's not that they're an asshole...?”
Wesley smirked. “Quite the opposite actually. And I want to add that Dark can
mean evil, just not necessarily.” He took back the vial with the blood residue on it. “For instance, you're plenty noticeable to me.”
“Thank you.” Darla said honestly and gave him her best smile.
“You're welcome.” Wesley nodded and returned the smile. “Now would you like to see who you're about to become?”
“Hopefully, nothing like Darla. I'd like a new name to go with my new lease on life.” she said.
“Then you'll be pleased to know that there isn't even a D anywhere in your first name.” he replied. “And if you don't like the last name, you can always change it or get married.”
“Rita Brandon.” She read off her new driver's license.
“Pleased to meet you, Rita.” Wesley offered his hand.
“And you too. I love the name. Both of them.” Rita said. “And lets see. I'll be traveling to exotic... Florida.”
“It's as far away as I could get you on fake papers. Fakes that would hold up to international travel are too hard to get on short notice.”
“I didn't mean to sound ungrateful.” Rita said quickly. “You've done so much. Too much. Too much to ever repay.”
“Just do your best to live a nice, normal life with the time you've been given and stay away from Angel and anything supernatural. That's part of the reason I chose Miami. There seems to be less supernatural activity there for some reason. So it's unlikely that anyone you knew in a past
life would ever run across you there.”
“Thank you, again.” she leaned across the table and kissed him on the cheek. She slid the envelope into her purse and stood to leave. “If you ever need anything. Anything.”
“I'll be sure to let you know.” Wesley said, with absolutely no intention of ever contacting her.
“Goodbye.” Rita Brandon said and walked away to her new life in Miami. Hopefully a new life with a whole lot less death and terror.
A/N: Terman Park. Is actually in Los Altos, CA and located very near the Henry M. Gunn High School. I've wanted to use the school in a story, just to tie into Charles Gunn some way but this is as close as I've gotten so far.
Disclaimer. I realize the clues are pretty thin. So if you figured it out without reading the disclaimer, I'd love to hear from you. In case you didn't figure it out though, I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Dexter. Julie Benz played both Darla and Rita Morgan (née Brandon and later Bennett). This is my take on how this happened. And also why she ended up with Paul Bennett and Dexter Morgan, both of whom have dark souls.
It's also Julie Benz's birthday today. (5/1/13)