Bathroom Rituals: Drusilla

by Puca Dentata

Pairing: None
Rating: R
Disclaimer: Joss, WB, and Mutant Enemy are the owners…Dru tells me she ain't mine…and she has ways of making you believe whatever she wants you to.
Summary: "He used to say if you could peek at any man or woman in the privacy of their bathroom alone, gettin' ready to go to bed or gettin' up in the morning—he used to say, then you'd see some queer little things goin' on. Little private weirdo iggies would banjo your eyes." —P.S. Your Cat Is Dead, James Kirkwood

It's morning, but it's night…but it doesn't matter in a dream, thinks Drusilla. There they are one and the same.

She hums to herself and raises one leg from the bathwater. She slides back until it is pointing up to the heavens and her nose is under the water. She wishes she could breathe bubbles with her nose…to scare the water away in a path before her face, like in the story of Jesus and the Sea.

She had once thought it must be a real story and not a tale, but Angel had told her otherwise—and he wouldn't lie, would he?

Dru asks her bath mate this, and splashes water at the girl's face when she does not reply.

Dru sits up and kneels forward to press a kiss to the girl's forehead. Smooths back the tangles of hair twisted into the dark lashes and scraping against unseeing eyes.

Dru reaches up to a plastic shelf mounted on the wall above them to tumble down a bottle of shampoo. She uncaps the bottle and wrinkles her nose at the flowery scent.

"You shouldn't have made me mad, dear. Mummy hates when she is called names. But I forgive you, and now I'll wash your hair for you. Hmmm?"

The girl doesn't answer, and Dru takes it as a yes. So well-behaved now, she is.

Dru prepares to mother the girl, sliding the pliant form around so that the bobbed black hair is pressed against her breasts. Dru leans forward to dangle her hair in the girl's face. To tickle her nose. Her darling loves her, and Dru is happy and all is well and see? All good children get love. The naughty get punishment.

"I shall tell you a story." Dru pauses to wipe away some of the lumpy, thick black eyeliner that has slid down cheeks and begun to harden. "There, all better."

Dru squirts out some of the cool, creamy gel into her palm and drops the bottle over the edge of the tub. She stares at her palm, transfixed. She blushes, for the thick whiteness reminds of her of a face. She tells the face to leave, now isn't the time. Not Proper to interrupt two ladies in their current position. Naughty. Always naughty. Never listened, never really did…only pretended at the game. Dru likes games…but his were unfair, and she could not win because the ride was too fast and the ring just out of her reach. He had made sure of that. Him with his gallant smile and clever hands and smoking words.

Dru shakes her head, and the leaves swirl around the tiled room to settle again. It is always fall now, and the leaves will not let her forget. They follow her in a chain, chanting and rasping until she tries to stomp them. Then they titter and swoop away to regroup.

Sometimes she's at peace with them and wears them in a halo about her head. And Miss Edith hides her face at the awful sound of it, though Dru tells her it will be alright. Alright my Dear, my darling, my sweet. They are just tree-tears. For him. From him.

Dru tries to clear her throat of nonexistence, and momentarily forgets how. She grabs the hair of the girl nestled below her for comfort, but the girl doesn't protest. Good. It is the child's job to accept the whim of the parent. The parent is God, and must be believed, and followed, and upheld in the light of faith. Or murk. It's suddenly so hard to tell…

Dru finally remembers her promise to her lovely, silent child and once again slicks back the damp hair. She notes the eyes are cloudy. Her girly must be getting tired. It has been an eventful day, after all.

"There was once a princess, and her daddy told her this story long ago. Before you were born. Even before Miss Edith was born, and she was aware of the stars when they were still drawings on parchment."

Drusilla shifts in the cooling water, and the girl's head tumbles to the side in an awkward position. A glint catches her eye, caused by bone revealed to the harsh light as the wound on her neck gapes. A mouth. Or even a more disturbing, almost sexual image. Sex. Drusilla doesn't like the sight of the female sex. It's sinful and naughty, and Dru is suddenly furious that the girl would dare to so proudly display it on her neck. Taunting Dru. Misbehaving.

Dru shoves the girl away and stands, causing water to splash over the side of the tub and mingle with the bloody footprints on the patterned floor.

"Dirty! You are wrong! How dare you repeat such secrets! Who told you? Who? Did he? Why were you talking to him!? I shall show you what happens when one's a tattletale…"

Dru leans over and pulls the drain plug out with a pop! and steps from the tub with the girl in tow. Her dark hair is once again in her eyes.

The pink-hued water begins to swirl down, down, down and around. The suction sets the leaves twirling again. Try to hunt down a different dream, they chant, for this girl isn't right. He always makes sure of that. Always thwarts her plans with his mocking and whispers. She can't stand up against God, though. Can she?

The best she can do is follow the once again spinning leaves, and hope they lead her better this time. She suspects they are false prophets, though. But maybe sooner or later they will find her a place she can hide from His gaze. The Father, her father.

So Dru will follow the leaves, and join them in a jerky dance outside in the fall night.

And let them whisper the new destination in her ear when the dream begins anew.

- fin -

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