Characters: Ethan, Drusilla, Dawn
Spoilers: Up to BtVS "A New Man" and VMars "Not Pictured."
Summary: Ethan has flatmates. Chaos ensues.
Disclaimer: Characters created by the shows BtVS and Veronica Mars. No copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: Thanks to ficbitca_bear for the Britpick.
Ethan could hear the water turn off as he sat re-reading God and the State in the living room of what was—for now, at least—his flat. Or, to be precise, one half his flat; if he was not mistaken, his flatmate had just gotten out of the shower.
The now-familiar sound of her lilting voice echoed through the flat as Ethan listened to her sing:
On Christmas Eve I turned the spit,
I burnt my fingers, I feel it yet;
The cock sparrow flew over the table;
The pot began to play with the ladle.
Then, suddenly, there was a pause, and her song changed:
It's Slinky, it's Slinky, for fun it's a wonderful toy!
It's Slinky, it's Slinky, it's fun for a girl and a boy!
She was, Ethan thought with approval, the ideal flatmate for a Chaos mage.
She emerged from the bathroom, a red towel wrapped around her body, and walked into the living room. "That's better," she said. "As clean as a city of glass, just like Daddy likes it."
Drusilla had spent the day painting strange designs on the walls in black paint, and by the end of the exercise had been so covered in paint herself that she had been forced to retreat to the toilet and bathe herself. Now, however, she was once again clean, her wet black hair and pale white skin glistening.
"The crickets are lying in wait," Drusilla said, conversationally. "They fear the redbird."
"That's nice," he answered. "You're going hunting tonight?" Not that he cared, of course, not really. It was a thing to be asked. Enquiring about one's activities—especially when they were activities from which one derived a large degree of pleasure, as Drusilla did from slaughtering people and drinking their blood—was a polite thing to do when living with someone, or so Ethan had been told at some point.
Drusilla nodded. "Mercury is in retrograde," she said, staring up at the flat's ceiling as if she could see the night sky, "and Mars is about to become dominant. Soon."
"Well, go get dressed," suggested Ethan. "Unless you want to hunt in the nude, of course." Which would be perfectly fine with him, after all. Perhaps then he would even volunteer to go with her and watch.
"Ooh, interesting," she said, her face lighting up at the idea. "But not tonight. Tonight, we fade away."
She slipped away and returned in a few moments dressed in a white pair of trainers, black athletic shorts, and a black sports bra. The contemporary outfit, hugging the vampire's curves in a way which was quite satisfactory, seemed out of place for some reason on the 140-year-old vampire, despite the fact that he had seen much older vampires fit quite comfortably in modern dress. Perhaps as a result of her insanity, Dru was still stuck in many ways in the nineteenth century (which made living with her in a twenty-first century flat interesting; Ethan grimaced as he remembered that time with the blender) and so the net effect was of Drusilla as a walking, not-quite-living anachronism.
"Care to come along, love?" Drusilla asked.
Ethan shook his head. "Go along and have fun."
She frowned. "I will do nothing so frivolous," she said at last, as if cross, then smiled, leant over, and gave Ethan a quick kiss to his temple. In another moment she was out the door and into the dark night which hung over the streets of Neptune, California.
Drusilla patrolled the street, searching for her prey. A veritable banquet was laid out before her, but she had to be prudent and search out the right victim or else risk swallowing a golden egg. There was spoiled victuals out there, she knew.
A couple passed her on the street, not even noticing her. They were young, and there was something about them which fascinated her. She considered pouncing upon them, then decided against it, and slipped behind a set of potted ferns to watch them as if from behind an arras. "A rat!" they'd cry…
"That was positively sucktastic," the young boy said.
"Well, the night is still young," his companion pointed out. "We could always go back to your place. No parents to worry about."
"Yeah, Dick's there." Drusilla felt like clapping her hands—the boy was so beautifully twisted, deep within where only Drusilla could see. He was like a monk's pretzel—arms wrapped themselves to be raised in prayer, only to be consumed by the earthly passions of a man's hunger.
"So?" the girl asked. "Dick's always there." She liked the girl. A mind that could navigate a world of noughts and crosses, searching for the rosemary bush that would complete the landscape in her heart.
"Yeah, it's just, you know, I—I don't feel like dealing with him tonight." Liar, liar, pants on fire.
"Well, if we stay in your room, then we won't have to deal with him." Ooh, the girl was wicked. She was thinking wicked thoughts, and she did a wicked thing—leaned towards him, and brought her lips to his. The bloodlust stirred in Drusilla, but she pushed it deeper into herself, where the memories and fears and desires too horrible to contemplate lived. There were too many grand games to be played before she brought the girls' flesh to her lips and drank her blood, before the boy's pain and anger consumed himself in such a spectacular fashion. Oh, how Drusilla wanted to watch!
All things in time. Cherries did not drop from their trees when the moon was new, after all.
"Of course, we still have eight stops left on Pizza Quest '06."
"I—It's just—you know, if—with Dick there—"
Ethan was still reading a few hours later when Drusilla returned, a few stains of blood splattered over her clothing. "Enjoy yourself, love?"
"I shall go change my feathers," she said as she made her way to the bedroom. "I'll return in time."
In time for what? Ethan wondered idly. In time, indeed. All would be revealed in time, he was sure. Or else it wouldn't, in which case he'd probably just forget she had said anything in the first place, which worked out just as well.
He turned back to his book, the thought already halfway forgotten when Drusilla reappeared, this time in a dark-red dressing gown. She sat down next to him on the couch.
They sat there for several moments before Ethan looked up from his book and stared at his vampire companion. "Why do I have the distinct feeling we are waiting for something?"
"Shh," Dru hushed him, even as the doorbell rang. "Well," she said after a beat, "aren't you going to answer it?"
Placing God and the State on the end table, making sure to dogear his page to mark his place, Ethan rose and made his way to the door.
"Hello, Ethan," Dawn Summers said to him, smiling up at him, after he had opened it. "Aren't you going to invite me in?"
She looked different than Ethan had seen her last, taller, more… mature, physically. Not to mention her skin was somewhat paler and her eyes more feral. And her body was covered in strange tattoos that bore a surprising resemblance to the designs Drusilla had painted upon their walls that very afternoon.
He waited for Drusilla to nod, then replied, "Yes, of course, Dawn, come in." That didn't mean the two wouldn't both descend on him immediately and suck him dry, of course, but you had to trust somebody sometime. Why would Drusilla bust him out of an Initiative detention facility and then live with him for several months in what could only be described as comfortable domesticity only to share him as a meal now?
Although for that matter, why did Drusilla do anything she did? There was a method in her madness, her Sight ensured that much, but damned if anyone other than herself had any clue what it could be. He could be dead any moment, he knew, and he actually sort of liked it that way. Kept him on his toes.
Dawn looked at the designs painted on the walls as she entered. "I see you were expecting me," she said. "You even redecorated. I'm flattered."
"So, Miss Summers," he said, looking from the one vampire to the other as Dawn seated herself on the couch next to Drusilla. "What is that you want from us, exactly?"
"I want the same things that the two of you want," she said, pulling something out of her pocket. "Power. And chaos." She let whatever it was she had taken out of her pocket fall out of her hand, although she grasped firmly between her thumb and forefinger a silver chain to which it was attached.
Ethan stared at the amulet hanging in the air and started. Was that—?
"And yes," Dawn broke in, before he could finish the thought. "This is what you think it is."
"The Tessarian Necklace," Ethan noted, impressed. "However did you manage to procure that?"
With a flick of her wrist, Dawn launched the piece of jewelry in the air, and Ethan caught it quickly and examined it. Yes, it was certainly genuine.
"The Council of Watchers was a bit slow in changing a few of their passcodes," Dawn answered. The grin on her face was reminiscent of one he knew well on Drusilla—a predatory, mischievous grin that appeared whenever the vampire was remembering some past mischief or planning some future evil. "It should be able to strengthen Drusilla's astral perception, even allow her to make changes on the astral plane. Her ability to see the future, to control minds—all of these should be enhanced."
"Put it on me, love?" Drusilla asked, rising and turning so her back was facing Ethan.
Ethan unfastened the clasp on the silver chain and wrapped the necklace around her neck. "Are you sure it is wise to give such power to a mad vampire who may not be able to control it?" he asked as he refastened the chain behind Dru's neck.
"Wise?" asked Dawn, with a clearly affected apathy coloring her voice, as she shifted on the couch and leaned back onto the armrest, lounging. "Perhaps not. But chaotic?" Dawn smiled, and gently her features morphed into their demonic visage, a bloodthirsty leer on her face. "Always."
"Well," said Ethan, looking at his new flatmate. A slow smile grew on his lips. "Welcome home, Dawn."
- fin -