Disclaimer: I own neither Doctor Who nor Buffy.The Lady of the Night, The Master of the Stars
Night is the province of shadows, of whispers and of secrets. The stars gaze down from on high, tiny pinpricks of light in a sea of darkness. They twinkle, knowingly, mockingly. They are privy to all the secrets, pierce all the shadows, but guard their knowledge jealously. Once upon a time, in an old town called Edgewood, a woman waited. Of course, she wasn’t a woman, well not exactly. That is to say, she was certainly a woman but she suffered from a slight case of being dead. It’s not as uncommon as you might think.
The room was richly furnished with plush furniture and ornate wallpaper adorning the walls. The Sullivan’s had been a rich family once. They had fallen on hard times and clung desperately to the last remnants of their wealth. In the end it didn’t matter. They were all dead now. Lucy had brought her new friend, Drusilla, over for dinner; she hadn’t realized that she and her family were on the menu. Lucy sat motionless in the chair, her eyes staring straight ahead, empty. Drusilla smiled and admired her handiwork. Lucy and her husband were positioned like little dolls, with their daughter in between. What a pretty picture they made, like a proper family.
For a moment she felt a pang of bitter sadness. Daddy was all gone away to never never land, taking the nasty Angel beast with him…and Spike, her little Spike. Oh how he’d gleamed in the darkness. Bad wicked evil Spike, but then the naughty Slayer had filled his head with sunshine and daisies, and the nasty spark. A little birdie had whispered in her ear, told her tales of the spark. She’d ripped its little head off. Both her boys had souls now, wriggling like worms beneath the skin, devouring all that glorious darkness. She wonder if you could tear it out of their chests, but all gone now. Faded into ash and dust in her mouth. Gone to join grandmummy down, down, down in the fire, and the flames and the screams. She shivered in delight…oh the screams. She clapped her hands delightedly. “Spare the rod,” she said running a finger down the dead little girl’s cheek. “Spoil the…” but the thought turned sour quickly. She hugged herself tightly. All alone now. A princess without her wicked knight. She smiled softly. All she needed was the night, because that’s when the stars shone.
“Not to worry Mrs. Edith,” she said. “He won’t be late. Can’t be late. All those clocks ticking and tocking in his head. Never stopping, never ever stopping. Hickory dickory dock…” She spun around slowly dancing to a tune only she could hear. Everything was ready, only the guest of honor was missing. She sat on the sofa, surrounded by her dolls. She crossed her legs and sat back to wait. On the mantle the clock slowly ticked away the minutes, and hours. Still she waited patiently. The stars had warned her, he was coming. They whispered wicked, wicked tales to her softly; as if they were afraid he might hear.
Tis the witching time of night, and all was silent. All was still. Even the stars seemed to hold their breath. A shadow fell across Drusilla’s face. She smiled coyly. “The stars told me you were coming,” she said. “The man who would be king.” He wasn’t particularly tall, but somehow he seemed to tower over everything. His eyes were cold, brimming with confidence and a dangerous intelligence. He seemed perfectly human with a hints of grey in his goatee, but as with her, appearances were deceptive. Drusilla shivered in delight. He was everything she had hoped for. He was…effulgent.
“My dear, please allow me to introduce myself,” he smiled. “I am usually referred to as the Master.” His voice wrapped around her mind, murmuring faint promises of destruction. “And you are Drusilla, the last of the Aurelius line.” Her name rolled off his tongue sending a thrill through her. There was a compulsion in his voice the likes of which she had never before heard. It would be so easy to just listen and obey. A tingle of delicious fear ran up her spine. Stand too close to the fire and you might get burnt. She smiled. And that’s where she lived.
She tilted her head listening. “”Hidden in the dark,” she said. “a box of delights…but it’s not my birthday. A wolf in sheep’s clothing. Flesh and bone hide the truth within. Someone isn’t human,” she sang softly. “Pitter pat,” she rose so quickly a human eye would have been hard pressed to follow. “Pitter, pitter, pat. The hearts never stop. Pitter, pitter, pitter, pat. The blood never lies, rushing to and fro. Yours sings of distant lands, and foreign wars, of fire and ice and rage.
You walk on alien worlds where the seas sleep and rivers dream, where there are creatures that others couldn’t even begin to imagine…and you break their necks.” Drusilla clapped her hands and drifted slowly closer to him. “I see what you crave.” She reached out almost tenderly to touch him. His hand snapped up to catch her wrist in a viselike grip. He squeezed and pain ran up her arm. She threw back her head and moaned in pleasure. He regarded her coldly, his eyes seeming to dissect her every thought. Finally he released her. She pouted softly. “Power,” she breathed. “Dominion, knowledge of the secret and forbidden. I see your shadow stretching out across the stars, and I hear the screams of all your victims,” she mewed softly. “Such a pretty fire.”
“You see much,” the Master said. He circled around her slowly. One predator stalking another. “Someone’s been whispering about me behind my back.” He glanced at the Sullivan’s all lined up in a row.
“They tasted like daffodils,” Drusilla said. “Didn’t want to play with me.”
The Master smiled. “How inconsiderate of them.” He turned to face her. “No one ever wants to play with you any more.”
“The stars sing, the mountains grin. Poor little robin’s got a red breast can’t fly away. Won’t sing, won’t eat. Nailed to a tree saying tweet tweet. Can’t you hear it?”
The Master’s eyes twinkled with wicked amusement. “Hear what?”
“The drums,” she said. “the drums from the deep. Thumpety-Thump, thumpety thump. Ticking and tocking and thumpety-thumping.”
For the first time there was a hint of shock, and perhaps of fear in the Master’s eyes. “You can hear them,” he said.
“So can you,” Drusilla said. “Inside buried deep. Over the hills and far come the drums. They only play for you, so far away so very far, but coming closer and closer, the call to war. Thumpety-Thump. Thumpety-Thump. But you won’t answer. No not yet, not time, not nearly time. Not till the clocks roll back and the sky cracks asunder.”
“I chose well,” the Master said at length, his mask firmly back into place. “The Aurelius line is more potent than I believed. You have power, my dear. The power to subjugate and rule, but you are trapped all alone on this miserable planet. Stifled, surrounded by enemies, and memories. What if I could offer you another way?” His eyes trapped her, held her fast. She swayed softly back and forth to the cadence of his voice. He took her hand and gently led her over to the window. She could feel all of time and space burning beneath his skin. She could feel the turn of the Earth, round and round again. It made her giddy. They looked up at the night. “What if you could walk on distant planets, meet exotic alien life forms…and drain them dry.”
She bounced up and down. “May I? May I? May I?” She asked in a singsong voice, deceptively childish.
He brought her hand up to his lips. “Come,” he said. “There’s nothing left for you here. Walk with me across the stars as my…companion.” He smirked at some private joke, his eyes alight with wicked promises, and Drusilla smiled back. High above in the heavens, the stars themselves trembled in delicious fear.The End