Burning Bright

by Doyle


Pairing: Dru/Buffy
Rating: NC-17 (ish)
Summary: Dru gets revenge on Buffy for the damage she's done to her "daddies".
A/N: For the Druficathon. Written for sanda56 who wanted ‘Subtle torture, please. Dru gets revenge on Buffy for the damage she's done to her "daddies"’ with Buffy not coming out on top but not dying either.


She wasn't surprised to feel Spike die, all burnt up from the inside out. He'd tasted of ashes for years.

Something dark had been quickening and growing, sinking hooks deep down into the Earth. Silly human-sheep couldn't feel it, but demons could. Sent them scurrying like rats on a ship, nipping at the passengers' heels as the waters rose. Drusilla had seen the evil thing from time to time, when she was quick and caught it before it could dart away; an army of dead little girls and a cloud of fat, black storm-crows hovering over the world, malevolent and delicious.

She was tired of Rio by then. Oh, she adored the parties and the pretty street-children with no mummies to cry when they didn't come home, but there was no one to play with her and tell her how pretty she looked in the dresses she took from the rich lady tourists. Even Miss Edith had abandoned her, probably run away to the circus again. Drusilla had liked circuses, once, before they made her think of gypsies.

The things that whispered to Drusilla — the clouds, the trees, the tiny hissing spirits in the rocks — told her she had a brother, born to Daddy and Grandmummy and beautifully new, and she was so happy she danced beneath the moon at Ipanema, twirling the fine sand around her like smoke. She would have liked to visit him and find out his name. But the dark thing had its roots in California, and Drusilla hadn't lived more than a century by trotting into danger and climbing into sinking ships.

She took a boat to Europe, staying below decks during the day and feeding on the crew. Easy as anything to enchant this sailor or that, slide her fangs in somewhere that would go unnoticed, drink till the hunger went away and let them go without even a memory or a dream of her. She didn't take enough to kill, because it was too dangerous at sea, too few places to run to. Daddy had taught her, and she didn't want him to be cross with her.

Paris kept her interest for a while. She liked the tower, and the river, and the city reminded her of the war, when Spike had been away and she had fed on wide-eyed boys in grey uniforms. It was easy to feed here if she kept moving, didn't take too many from one place as she had in Prague.

She had a strange dream. The stars told her there had been a mistake and she didn't have a baby brother after all. Drusilla thought it was a naughty trick to play on her. It wasn't long after that, as far as Dru ever thought about time, that she was buried in the neck of a sugar-sweet French girl and she saw it; a shaft of sunlight that pierced the clouds and sent the crows wheeling to earth. Drusilla wrenched her teeth from the girl's jugular and said, "Did you see? William was burning." But the human was limp in her arms, eyes rolled back in her head, and no matter how much Drusilla shook her and coaxed her, she wouldn't reply.

The Slayer was in Italy.

There were lots of Slayer-girls now. Drusilla had passed through many cities on her meandering path down the continent, and the other vampires talked. Not to her, not often — she was strange to them, and she didn't care for their company, anyway — but they talked, and the other things talked to her too. Lots of Slayers to hunt them and hurt them. Wouldn't Spike have a fine time? But Spike was gone, unless he wasn't. Tell-tale-tits among the stars said they saw him walking through walls, and she wished he would make up his mind.

She looked for Darla in Rome, spent weeks waiting before she remembered that Darla had gone away. Still, she kept looking, because Grandmummy sometimes went away forever, but never forever forever. She found girls with blonde hair and sharp eyes, and with every one she was hopeful, but they never looked just right. Even when she peeled away their faces with her fingernails, Darla was never underneath.

The blonde girl in the Castel Sant'Angelo whipped around before Drusilla could even get close to her, one hand going like lightning to her bag and a stake appearing there.

The Slayer was older, her shine tarnished with age and grave-dirt. Golden at the edges, though, where Angel and Spike and her other ghosts hung on her like will-o'-the-wisps.

"Drusilla," she said. The stake had been at heart level. She dropped her arm, uncertainty and something like empathy in her eyes.

Drusilla hummed to herself.

The Slayer — Buffy, silly little name, Spike had called it out once and hadn't even realized — glanced around them at the empty art room. "Do you know?" she asked. "About Spike?"

"Ashes to ashes," Drusilla said. "Was he very pretty as he burned?"

Little chattering teeth spun around the girl's head in an erratic dance and vanished down her back. She was clutching the stake higher again. "Dru, I'm sorry about Spike. But if you don't get out of here right now…"

For a moment, the fractured pieces of the world pulled together. "You'll kill me?" Drusilla said. "I wonder, why haven't you already?"

"I should've." Her voice reverberated off the walls. "I wish I'd killed you long ago."

Drusilla plucked at the thoughts surrounding her. There was one coiled around all the others, and she tugged it from the air. She smiled. "No you don't. But thanks for saying it."

The shock was momentary, but it was there. It was in that unguarded second, when they were staring into one another's eyes, that Dru caught hold of the little stray pieces of the Slayer's mind and said, "Be in me, dearie. Be in me."

Buffy had scars on her neck, overlapping marks that whispered in Daddy and Great-Grandfather's voices when Dru flicked her tongue across them.

The corner she'd found for them was quiet and dark. The tourists upstairs sounded far away, in another country. The marble floor was cool and smooth.

"Oh God," the Slayer moaned, eyes closed, all the better to watch the pretty pictures inside her head. "I missed you so much."

Drusilla didn't bother wondering who she was seeing, who she had missed. Whichever one it was, Angel or Spike, Daddy or William, they had been Drusilla's first.

"Early one morning, just as the sun was rising," she sang to herself, popping open the buttons on Buffy's white silk blouse. White was for purity. All wrong, colours that lied. How could she use a poor maid so? Covered William in her and took him away, turned Angelus into someone unpleasant and new, too busy thinking of her to hurt Drusilla even when she said her nicest please.

Swift slash of her fingers and a line of blood welled up across the warm, tanned skin, papercut slice above the breasts. Drusilla bent and licked the skin clean in one long stroke of her tongue.

Naughty girls who took dollies that didn't belong to them deserved to be sent to bed without supper. The second cut was a little deeper, a little lower. The third crossed the first two. Dru lapped along the triangle she'd carved out and down, raking four parallel lines down to the waistband of her skirt.

Buffy thrashed beneath her. "Don'tstopdon'tstop…"

The skirt was in the way. Drusilla pushed it up past her hips, stroking along her inner thigh in little circles before she found a place she liked and moved closer, her face shifting. She bit down and drank deep, not stopping until she heard the heart begin to flutter and slow. She let her fangs melt away, then, and pulled down the sodden scrap of fabric between the girl's legs.

She tasted exactly like grandmother Darla. How clever of Daddy, Dru thought, to be able to tell the difference between the two.

She dressed her before she left. Didn't do to leave unclothed dolls lying nearly unconscious for anyone to play with.

The pretty cuts and marks she'd made were covered up. Dru brought her fingers to her tongue, tasting Buffy there. Perhaps her lovely work would scar. Wouldn't that be nice? Then she would always have them, forever and ever, reminders of the things she'd stolen from Drusilla.

Some afterthought made her leave the stake, too, laid neatly just beyond the outstretched fingers.

The sunrise was close when she made it to shelter, somewhere she could sleep out the day before she found a boat. She had tasted Darla today, and it made her long for family. Angel's city would be a far better place to look for Darla, and to wait for the real true Angelus to return to them. And Spike would come back, and he'd be terribly pleased to hear there were lots of Slayers for him to hunt, and that she'd left his very favourite still alive for him to kill himself, just as he promised her.

Drusilla danced by herself, but with her eyes closed she imagined her family around her.

They'd come back to her.

Nobody ever stayed away forever.

- fin -


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