In their eyes: Drusilla
In their eyes: Drusilla
Disclaimers: No one here is mine, and I can't even claim that's a bad thing.
Spoilers: Oh dear lord. Um. Assume pretty much everything for Buffy and Angel up through the preview for the Angel episode Salvage.
Summary: Drusilla is observed.
Ratings Note: R. Contains content some readers may find disturbing.
Author's Note: One more for Kita's Five Things Challenge. So props to her, and to Basingstoke for inspiring the whole thing. Vignettes arranged in chronological order, from somewhere around S3 Buffy to somewhere post S7 Buffy and S4 Angel.
Acknowledgments: BIG love to the Spike and Jenn for audiencing.
Feedback: Yes, please. email@example.com
Worshipping chaos is not like worshipping other deities. At least, not in this day and age. For one thing, it's a lot more fun. For another thing, it's a sight more... well, chaotic. And it's not like he's a neophyte. By the two-faced god! He's neither pretty enough nor stupid enough for that title. He knows that every god requires sacrifice.
He just hadn't expected... this.
Drusilla has a fledgling vampire in her lap, pale and beautiful and young like a very high class variety of kiddie porn. The child's twin sister is on the bed, very obviously dead. It isn't clear whether or not it's the sort of dead one comes back from, but Ethan suspects... not.
The girl's body has the sort of minor bruising and major wrenching that suggest extreme post-mortem injury. There was a time when he'd smile at having lived a life that gave him knowledge like that. Now, it's just another thing to file away.
Experience is one thing; age is quite another.
And right now, now that he's naked and most sincerely well-fucked on a bare wooden floor in the middle of fuck knows where with the sounds of rioting and, quite possibly, Armageddon just outside the window... well, the point is that he feels a great deal older than he did an hour or so ago.
Then, he was in his flat, taking a long hot shower and preparing for a night in the second tier clubs in London. Loud, hot places, stinking with youth and sex and desperation. Just the sort of thing any aging wizard would like to dig his filthy little claws into.
Now, he's here, pulled through the ever-shifting fabric of chaos itself to be with... its latest darling?
Now that is an interesting thought. He pulls one knee up and settles his chin, figuring that watching Drusilla openly is no more and no less dangerous than attempting to be furtive.
It makes... well, it makes as much sense as anything does, really. Ethan knows from long and amusing experience that attempts to apply logic to his world are almost guaranteed to fail, save for those times when they succeed for no reason whatsoever.
And yet, the thing of it is...
Well, for all of his talk of Janus, for all of his lovely binary statuary, he'd never really considered Chaos as being like the other gods of his knowledge and careful non-acquaintance. That is to say; Ethan is quite dedicated in his worship of chaos. Worshipping Chaos... well, that could be something else entirely.
Could any being, deity or not, truly embody chaos? Even the most scattered mind made patterns, found method, made method if there was none present. Human history stands on the back of reasoned irrationality. The very idea is absurd, almost offensive -- how dare anyone try to usurp chaos!
And yet, and yet.
There are creatures like Drusilla. She's cooing to her boy-child, now, rocking him back and forth and tracing bloody patterns on his face. He has the stillness of the utterly mesmerized, and Ethan thinks he'd be able to smell terror if his talents were more feral in nature.
Her madness is not unique, and the texts suggested she hadn't even been born with it.
And yet. Perhaps there is something...?
No, he knows Drusilla, or knows of her, at least. An accomplished dark witch in her own right, and the simple fact is that nothing more powerful than a hedge magician can survive without extreme levels of control. Not in this world.
Somewhere, perhaps very deep indeed right now, exists a Drusilla that lives in an extraordinarily well-ordered world, even if it is an order that would make sense to no one outside it. No, when you got right down to it, she really was no different than any other powerful lunatic of a vampire witch.
Ethan stands up and stretches, drawing not a whit of attention from the source of his thoughts. He considers looking out the window, but the reflected firelight on the walls... well, he isn't in the mood.
He knocks the corpse off the bed instead, and strips the hopelessly stained and still damp counterpane. The sheets themselves are spotty, but good enough. The mattress is creaky, but more comfortable than the floor.
When he looks up again; Drusilla is looking back, eyes black in the uncertain light, uncommonly wide and as perversely inviting as a tarn in the moonlight. Her mouth is the most colorful thing in the world, an elegant splash of red, a hint of softness.
She looks as though she'd been designed by a sculptor in love.
She looks as though no one had ever bothered bringing her to life.
Ethan smiles and waves.
Drusilla smiles back, wide and pure, and digs her nails in beneath the boy's chin. Blood flows sluggishly in the few seconds before she casually rips his head off, and then there is only dust.
"Whoopsies," says Ethan. "Decide not to keep your toy after all?" He really does hope she doesn't remember to bind him before dawn.
Drusilla wipes her hand on her thigh. "I looked at him and forgot to stop and he fell. Right. In." Her smile this time is sly.
Ethan blinks. "Is that so? Well, I suppose I'll just have to be careful, then." He pats the bed beside him, having one of those quietly vertiginous moments that had become rarer and rarer over the years. The moments said: life isn't supposed to be like this.
Life, however, tended to have an entirely different opinion about that sort of thing.
Drusilla slides onto the bed like something boneless, drags bloody fingers down the length of Ethan's torso and then licks her way up. Stretches across him like a possessive pet and smiles from the general vicinity of a nipple.
She looks sane like that, as normal as any vampire. She feels... shiveringly good. Cool in a cold room, like an invitation to surrender.
"I do hope you're planning on keeping me longer than the boy," he says.
She frowns as if he'd suggested she open the room to the east. "Only ungrateful children disdain the gifts of their betters."
Well. "Of course." Back to that, then, but at least Dru's answer is... reassuring. He rather likes the idea of surviving the night.
There remains the curious question as to why chaos (Chaos?) would choose to reward one of its minions above all others, reward her with a living, breathing human wizard chock full of tricks and toys. (He isn't overestimating his own value in this -- it pays to keep a weather eye on the prices in certain forms of traffic, lest one find oneself in a place where one was worth more dead or imprisoned than alive and free.)
In the end, Drusilla is only one of many, and the choice of her is both baffling and random. There's an odd sort of comfort in that, really, and Ethan takes it as his due.
She slips onto his half-hard cock, unblinking and still with every other part of her. Works him with her cunt until he's hard and shoves her still-bloody fingers into his mouth in obvious reward.
Ethan sucks them and says a silent prayer of renewal; he remains ever degenerate, and ever faithful.
He remains grateful to have a god for whom the sacred is, occasionally, randomly, profane.
And when Dru giggles at nothing at all, he joins her.
As vampires go, Drusilla is... well, she's definitely neat.
Lilah often wondered about the process of becoming a vampire -- if somewhere between death and undeath the person involved simply lost all desire to be housebroken. The messes vampires leave behind are legendary for a reason. And their style... well.
Drusilla, at least, enjoys their shopping trips. Lilah's other experiences with temporary Wolfram and Hart female adoptees has been... mixed in this respect, and she can admit that it's comforting to have a girl she can relate to on at least some levels. For once.
Drusilla gives the best manicures Lilah's ever had, though she's just a bit too rough on her cuticles. Lilah imagines decades of her doing Spike's nails and snorts to herself, earning a not-light-at-all wrist slap from Drusilla and a sly little girl smile.
Her hands are, of course, perfectly steady, moving only when she wants them to move. When she's done, she blows cool, dry breath across her handiwork with perfect seriousness. Spending time with Drusilla has taught Lilah to appreciate the basic humidity of creatures who don't depend on others for their moisture. Still, it gets her nails dry really quite fast, leaving them wine-stained -- just subtle enough -- and shining with illusory moisture.
Drusilla clearly approves of Lilah's brand of high-maintenance beauty, which makes sense. Considering. Lilah clicks her nails on the coffee table once, twice, some small part of her remembering being a little girl who pretended that horses were stampeding. Dozens. Hundreds of them pounding closer and closer in that way horses did, in that way nature did.
Some things were constant, like the tides. That's how she thought of it, then, though she lacked the words. She believed in things. She's older now, but that just means she knows how to make the sound without damaging the manicure. Right?
Drusilla leans in close, conspiratorial as a sorority sister, eyes wider than any adult woman not drugged to the tits should be able to manage. "Thou didst drink the stale of horses, and the gilded puddle beasts would cough at," she whispers, then nods as if her work is done.
Christ. "I really fucking hate when you do that, Drusilla."
Drusilla has nothing to say to that, but then she rarely does after one of her little pronouncements. Lilah has theorists working under her who believe that Drusilla has a line to the powers, but one even more staticky and fucked up than Angel's little vision bitch. What was it the weasel from R&D had said?
Every once in a while, Drusilla will vomit up something True, as if she can't hold in what she's been swallowing anymore.
Vivid little fuck.
Holland... Holland thinks they should keep Drusilla for a while. Holland had massaged her shoulder and oozed fatherly concern at her all while explaining why Lilah was the one, the only one who could be trusted for this phase of their Very Special Project. Veiled hints of promotion, veiled hints of death, and this... this.
Drusilla stares slack-jawed into space, like some ludicrously cynical post-modernist's idea of art.
Lilah has to admit that having a seer under their belt -- under her belt -- would be a coup like nothing short of killing or turning Angel himself. And yet... of what possible use is a vampire who spends more time communing with her own psychosis than anything else?
Lilah sighs. They'd just come back from shopping, and frankly her feet hurt. Conversation would just be peppered with endless disturbing things that may or may not be correct, true, or True. She could always return the favor of the manicure -- Drusilla's own nails are a bit ragged from where she slit some poor bastard's throat -- but frankly, Lilah has never been that keen on doing things in front of the people she knows can do them better.
Best to play to her own talents.
And really, this shouldn't be as much of an issue as it is. Isn't it a good thing to have the Slayer-killing, psychotic vampire who happens to be your roommate quiescent? The truth is, if Lilah were anything like sane, she'd pat Drusilla on the head, tell her goodnight, and lock herself in her bedroom with a bottle of something strong and crude.
And yet... there really is something...
It's frustrating, really. There's a sense in the air of something unfinished, and it's been there ever since she formally invited Drusilla in. It's like a good fuck with no orgasm, or a bad one with an orgasmic afterthought. It nags at Lilah to look around the living room, to see themselves dressed to the nines and surrounded by bags and bags of beautiful things.
And it isn't something as foolish as guilt, or conscience, or whatever that asshole Lindsey had been going through the year before. Lilah made her choices when Lindsey was still a beer-swilling fratboy, or whatever he was before Holland had found him. Lilah regrets nothing.
It's just that there really should be something more to a night like this. Two women of the world, steeped in enough irony to stain them both grey... two beautiful, stylish, classic women, knowledgeable women, and nothing between them but silence and the reek of nail polish.
And never mind the circumstances, no matter how well they do at extenuating. If it all feels just a bit... hollow right now, Lilah thinks she's allowed.
She reaches out, and pushes a lock of Drusilla's long, thick hair behind her ear.
Lilah knows she deserves more than this. It's just a question of when she's going to get it.
They curl around each other like plants, or baby animals, or something else adorable that Willow isn't sure she's supposed to want anymore, or even like. Weren't there rules for this? There were for everything else.
With the whole world so wonderfully dim and greyed beyond her black, black eyes, Willow should not be struck by the cuteness of the world she's living in. But she is.
She supposes she should be more accepting. Isn't that what this has all been about? Her new life, her new love... everything is according to her now, and she's never going to hold herself back. If she likes something because it's cute, so be it.
Willow makes a determined little sound and slips an arm over Drusilla's waist, snuggling close and grinning at the feel of her nipples hardening against the cool, smooth skin of the other woman's back.
Drusilla is unconscious, and dreaming deep. Willow can tell by the way her ankles twist beneath the covers. By the way the rest of her hasn't moved at all during Willow's mild distress. Drusilla is, actually, highly observant about things like that. Something about Willow's emotions jerking at the strings of the air, or the air's strings. Something about magic.
Dru is like... like a dowsing rod for magic, leading them all over the world to the most powerful and least secure, to the men and women who leak magic like busted tires, like melting ice cream just waiting to be licked right up.
And oh, they've done just that. Following ley lines or rambling aimlessly, and tonight they're in a little converted barn somewhere in Indiana. If you'd asked Willow a few years ago if she thought there were witches in Indiana... well, really, she probably would've said something long-winded and awful and pretentious about making assumptions.
She doesn't like to think of the girl she used to be. In her secretest heart of hearts, she thinks that nothing is going to be okay until she can look back more than a year or two without wincing. She doesn't like to think about that, either.
The place they're in is... it feels large, empty without the women who obviously filled it with life and love along with all the bric a brac. Little figurines and wall hangings. Pottery and a million different candles -- only half of them sacred. It feels empty like all the other houses she and Dru have occupied over the past several months, with just that subtle cinnamon hint of dead and mummified flesh to remind her exactly why.
If she felt like it, she could tilt her head just so, and look in the corner where the two old witches have been arranged by Dru.
"There. They're kissing now!"
Willow hadn't pointed out that their lips had peeled back too far for that. She likes it when Dru is happy, when she claps her hands and dances like what Willow imagines children danced like in the olden days.
Dru makes her feel big, and strong, manly and bold in that good, warm way that has nothing to do with disempowering her essential female-ness. Dru loves her for every aspect of her power, and can go from a serious (if confusing) discussion of some important concept of magic to tickling Willow's rib bones in the blink of an eye. Dizzying. Exhilarating.
Dru's hair has a shine that never fades, dimmer only than the glint of her fangs.
Dru fucks her like the demon she is, and mewls like a kitten when it's her turn.
Willow shifts, aware of her body and the wetness of her sex. The way her scent will reach Dru in... minutes? Seconds? She grins and throws a leg over Dru's hip. Grinds against her ass in a move that does practically nothing for her, sexually, but gives her the satisfaction of knowing that she's marking Dru with her scent.
One day, when she's found the perfect rune, the perfect sacred inks and blades, Dru will wear her mark forever.
For now, though... Dru wakes up with something between a growl and a purr. Calls her a dozen slurred pet names and turns in her arms. Nuzzles her and kisses her and tells her what a good and beautiful thing she is, a wonderful girl, the best of all the girls. Willow sighs and arches against her, shivers at the feel of one knife-tipped finger sliding down the center of her spine.
And uses her magic to slap Dru away from her throat when she feels her shift.
It's amazing to watch, really. A moment ago, she had her sweet pale kitten wrapped around her, exotic and sexual and without harm.
Now she's straddling a hissing beast. For a moment, two, nothing human whatsoever shows in those yellow eyes, but the glare gradually softens to a pout, and from there to a human pout.
Willow cocks her head and watches it happen, feels it happen deep inside where her magic responds to Dru's special, special demon. It makes her hum where it counts, and she strokes the ridges and valleys of the demon-face. Smiles a little when Dru licks her palm. It's ticklish, but not enough to pull away.
She loves Dru because she changes, but never too fast for Willow to catch her. She loves Dru because if she slapped her right now, Dru would only make some indefinable animal noise and offer her body up to be despoiled. She loves Dru because she's hers, and not like...
Dru will never leave, never scold and yell and betray because Willow isn't good enough, and Dru is eternal.
Her slap rings out loud in the empty barn.
Dru licks her bloody lip and smiles.
She'd never seen a vampire who'd killed a slayer before. Well, really, that was kind of a big duh, what with most vampires not actively seeking out Slayers.
Near as Faith could tell with one dead Watcher, one fake Watcher, and two terminally pissed-off Watchers -- and damn, but sometimes her track record is just too impressive to be depressed about -- most Slayers got offed by something bigger than vamps. Or just other.
Or they got offed by nothing vamps who get staked almost immediately by the next Slayer down the pike, so nothing got written down. No history. No way to tell. Except for these guys, these 'order of Aurelius,' types. Vampire after vampire making messes for Slayers to clean up, so that even the really harmless-seeming ones can have a Slayer under their belt.
Drusilla. Man. Killed Kendra in the old Sunnyhell library. You couldn't get more on Buffy's turf if you fucked her mother. Reflexive wince of guilt and double-guilt. Dead, so many dead, and so many fuck-ups on her part... no.
She's here to do a job, and no part of that job is fucking around with her head up her ass about all the shit she'd done wrong. She's out of jail now. Wes had fixed that, and then he'd gotten other people to fix that permanently.
She's out. Free.
Which would be great, except for the fact that she'd kinda gotten used to her nice little prison routine. Eat, sleep, fuck her cellmate, Atone with a capital A.
It had been restful, really.
Shit. She can feel Outside getting to her. Like the whole of the sky is pressing down on her skin, even though she's way the hell inside the hotel, and down in the basement besides.
Watching a cage with a doll inside. Or a vampire who looks like a doll. All dressed up like something that should be in a box, only behind plastic, not bars. Something like Faith used to take the clothes off, and rub, and wonder at the hard differences and curvy similarities and -- God, didn't they say Drusilla could fuck with your mind? That that was probably how she'd gotten Kendra?
Great, fine, leave the fuckup Slayer alone with the --
Fuck, shit, fuck.
Faith stands up and kicks her chair across the room, viscerally satisfied by the way it crumples. Less satisfied by the way Drusilla fails to so much as twitch. Just... sits there. Slumped against the wall, glassy eyed and... something.
Some word that meant soft but really meant sexy. Some word Faith doesn't know but wanted to, wanted to tattoo on her skin in another language, so only cool people could read it and understand.
Faith shook herself like a dog and refocused.
Gunn and Connor had found Drusilla while patrolling the apocalyptic fucking mess that was L.A. Connor said she'd smelled like Cordelia -- and what the fuck? She'd never liked the bitch but Jesus fucking Christ -- so instead of taking her down, they'd brought her here.
See if she knew anything. Angelus. Cordy of Death. The Beast. Anything, because wasn't like they had anything. Just a hotel warded against everything Wesley can think of, a scarred, bitter, mean version of Wesley himself, a broke-down Slayer, some Black dude with a serious attitude problem, and a walking piece of kiddie porn who, Faith has to admit, can kick serious ass.
Faith tries not to think about the Connor issue too much. Because that's just... wrong on too many levels. Starting with his existence. And you just didn't fuck a kid you didn't think should exist. You didn't.
There had been another chick, all smart and scrawny and repressed like the Willow Faith remembered -- as opposed to the Willow she knows -- but she was gone now. Dead. Cordy seems to like killing chicks a lot. Repressed fucking dyke bitch and God, Faith is going insane down here. She knows it.
Her, the cage, and the doll. Her, pacing the room like she's the one in the cage. Ha fucking ha. She wishes she'd cut more English classes, because the metaphors are too fucking much.
Boots clicking on the stone and the doll doesn't even move when she punches the bars. Just... slumps.
Looking like someone had tossed her there and forgotten all about her. Just... moved the fuck on with their lives, and never mind whatever got left behind. Never mind how important these things are, that you have to pay attention, because when you don't pay attention, things go wrong.
That's just the way it works.
So. She's here to do a job, and that job requires paying attention, and she's good at that, she's so good at that, she's a good girl, doing a good job --
(Is there something about that sound? The grate of metal on metal? A door that opens?)
And she's going to get her prize. Or at least see her prize.
Because it isn't fucking fair that they always dress the dolls up like that. Real girls don't look like that, and Faith knows she can make them so much prettier. Faith knows she can be that pretty. Faith knows that touching anything that pretty has to be right.
Something touches her throat, lighter than light and somehow not, but the urge to brush it away is nothing to the... the need to keep touching, rubbing, holding, knowing --
But why are the pretty dolls always so hard?
She's not at all what he expected.
That's not entirely true -- Xander had had more than a few Dru and Dru-related encounters over the years, and certainly enough to get an idea of her: Really kind of tall for someone who should've been all malnourished and British-y like Spike, exactly as pale as she should be, and a lunatic. And she is all of that.
But the thing that had stuck in his head the most, over and above the many brushes with death, was the picture Buffy had put in his head all those years ago. Sixteen years old and completely bewildered by the idea of one vampire giving up everything to protect another, and it was all...
They'd been young, then, and the world still written more in primary colors than shades of grey. It had made an impression.
Xander had spent the intervening years with an image in his mind of a vampire whose primary personality trait was a being who needed to be protected -- terrifying in her own right, sure, but not as scary as, say, anybody else in Angel's fucked up little family unit.
But the thing is... he's learning that it's not about fear, and protection is something that's allowed, as opposed to needed. Or even expected. He's learning a lot, really.
Drusilla is stretched out on the bed, toes digging playfully at the pillows until feathers start wafting lazily toward the ceiling. One hand is stretched to the foot of the bed, a bare inch away from where Xander is sitting on the floor. The other is propping her chin. She wears nothing but a brocade corset done in shades of red and black. Every few minutes, she blinks.
The rest of the time she's focused on Xander.
It had been unnerving at first. Every part of him -- even the parts she made -- rebelling at the unending watchfulness. How she can go from distant and clearly deep in a world Xander will never understand to simply there. Instantaneous as any predator and more viscerally sexual.
Drusilla. There's just so much of her, and yeah, Xander gets Spike being pussy whipped. He just wishes he had better words to describe why.
He stole the corset for her one night while out hunting. It had been laced tight around a headless white mannequin, and Xander had honestly felt called by the thing. Of course Drusilla should have this. She needed it now, and how dare he not bring it to her?
She wears the corset when she wants to breathe. That's what she'd said, and Xander is absolutely sure it makes sense to her. Sometimes, it even makes sense to him. What was the point of breathing if there was no pull to it, if you didn't have to work at least a little bit?
That's understandable enough. At least, he thinks it would be for anyone as young as he is. Young enough to remember what it had been like to breathe when it mattered. Xander touches his chest absently, traces scars he has names for and scars he doesn't. 'Careworn,' he hears in his head, and it could be Drusilla's voice. It's a word she'd use, and when they sit like this; when they commune like this, silent and focused, he finds he can believe most anything.
He's getting to know her so well now. How her whole body goes slack in the instant before she lets the demon take over. How her eyes can weep while she smiles. The dresses she likes to wear, and the sound of their hems sweeping the floor when she dances.
He doesn't understand how Spike could've messed this up, but then, that just went to show that he was right to always hate the guy. He understands now. It wasn't his being a vampire that was the problem, it was the fact that he was an ass.
Xander smiles to himself and leans back on his elbows. Was being the operative term.
In a world of Beasts and jailbird Slayers and a darkness that spreads over the world like a great, inky stain... well, in worlds like that, it didn't matter if you chose sides. That's the mistake Buffy made. Well, to be fair, that they all made. He's a man. He can admit where he'd been wrong -- and weak and human besides.
No, in a world like that -- like this, the only thing that mattered was watching your back, and holding on tight to everything you cared about. In that order. If you didn't have room enough in your trunk to shove it in when you had to run, then you damned well better be strong enough to leave it behind. Back then, they were trying to hold on to... God, so many things.
Baby Slayers. High schools. The world.
If he asks Dru, if he fucks her hard enough before they go looking for something human enough to feed on, he knows she'll quote something appropriate. Something about reaches and grasps.
He knows she'll say it just when he's strung out on the pleasure of his cock buried deep in her pussy, or in her ass. God, her tight little ass. She'll wait until just that moment, that one beautiful moment when orgasm becomes inevitable and every sensation is godlike and intense:
The silk of her skin under his palms. The sheets or the mattress or the bare, hard floor beneath his knees. The sweet, sweet grip of her pussy on his cock and her desperately ecstatic cries --
He comes to himself with one hand on his cock and the other wrapped in both of Drusilla's. She's straddling his legs, nibbling his fingers with sharp little teeth and letting the blood run down her chin like purest pornography. The corset pushes her breasts high on her chest and hides nothing at all. It makes something inside him skip and stutter to know he's lost time; it always does, but that doesn't mean he doesn't like it.
Every time he falls, every time he goes just a little bit deeper, he's another step closer to understanding. Or something even deeper and more important than that. The words don't matter, the feeling does.
Long slim thighs and long sharp teeth and there's a path to this, or maybe just a rhythm. Something even better than what he's got with his high right hand. Something that will show him what it really means to have Drusilla as a sire.
There's forever in her eyes, and Xander thinks that's the closest he'll ever get to it in words. An unspoken promise of everything, everywhere, and the power to make it real. Xander strokes himself faster and gasps in a breath, shocked and made instantly helpless by the sudden heightened awareness of everything.
He can taste Drusilla's arousal and the metal shear stink of his blood -- their blood -- mingling and spilling and fuck, who the hell needs metaphor?
None of it matters, because Xander has everything he needs in this brave, new world.
Maybe even a god worth worshipping, at long last.
And when he comes all over her chest and belly, the sight just makes him want more. Need more.
And Xander knows that's as it should be.
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