May 19th, 2003
Thanks to lckybr
for this beautiful artwork.
HOW DRUSILLA GOT HER SOUL BACK
Disclaimer: I own this story including any original characters. Angel, Buffy, The District and Stargate series do not belong to me... Unfortunately.
*FR-18 (R) rating [selected chapters]* Story contains brief descriptions of rape. These are disturbing (to me at least). Not for those who can't deal with it. Not in any way, shape or form an endorsement of non-consensual sexual activity. Just remember this: the story *is* about Drusilla. OK?When I started this story, I never intended it to take the direction it has. The longer I go, the more uncomfortable I get that it is too controversial, too transgressive. I want to be respectful of tradition, religion and belief. I hope that is clear. I also know that human emotion is a powerful thing, and that it can change the direction of everything, sometimes for the better, sometimes not. I also know that as Spike says, ‘there’s always consequences.’ I guess I’ll figure it out as I go along. Right now, I just hope not to annoy too many people, but if that’s what’s in the cards, I will have to live with it. Writing about creatures of the night is by its nature somewhat transgressive anyway. Sigh. Religion is mentioned.
Italicized or starred quotes are from Buffy the Vampire slayer or Angel.May 19, 2003
The mist shrouded the Washington National Cathedral with a ghostly veil. It was one of those nights where the traffic noises of the city seemed muted and far away. The vampire lurked in the darkness of the cathedral’s lush gardens, drawn once again to the Gothic quiet. She knew that soon, some lonely soul would happen by, whom she could draw in, prey to her net. Ever since the dreams started, Drusilla had been feeling more and more unsettled. Lately she’d left every town she’d been to after a few days until she got to DC. Even Cleveland, Hellmouth aside really had done nothing to quiet the noises inside her head. One year without rest. One year of rootless, disconnected meanderings. She was tired of it.
Something about this place, all the little and not so little evils, the manipulations of power and money made her feel a little less disquiet, if only a little. The Hellmouth in Hyattsville was small, but it just added to the wonderful nastiness. Drusilla giggled to her self delightedly.
Tonight she was feeling even more unsettled than usual. The dream today had been… Horrible. If she didn’t find anything really pure tonight, she would have to look somewhere else. She really needed something powerful to satisfy the yawning hole inside her. She liked it here though. Most of the people she found here were clean. Seldom any diseases, no drugs, often not even any alcohol. So many were young and fit. Some of them were even virgins!
“Mmmm,” Dru made a sound somewhere between a purr and a moan of pleasure.
And pure blood tasted so good. It wasn’t so easy to find unattended toddlers around here, when they went missing, there was just too much fuss. No, this was better. Clean blood, dirty city… Very good indeed.
Every night, over and over the same scene played…. Her lovely William, in darkness, suddenly light exploding from his chest. “We will return… Your soul.”
Every day, she’d erupt screaming awake into the midday quiet. Today’s dream was different, however. This time Spike’s entire being was suffused with light, power and joy. Effulgent. Then everything flooded in blinding light and she fought awake as a drowning swimmer clawing for the surface of the dark room, raggedly gasping for unnecessary breaths.
She became aware of a terrible screaming; then she realized she was the one screaming. She stopped screaming.
“Mmmm.. mmmm… no. No more. No more. No more…”
Dru moaned, reaching over to switch on the light. She was fully awake, but she couldn’t shake the daymare. She felt turned inside out, and her skin felt like it wanted to crawl off her body. The din of the treacherous daytime off in the distance, the room dim and sunlight proof, every doll in her place. Usually she found comfort in them, the heavy mahogany four poster, and the heavy blood red velvet curtains that gave the room the air of times long past. But the vision didn’t leave her this particular morning. Even the dark room seemed to have an eerie brightness to it.
When Dru closed her eyes, she saw the sunny brightness. It was as if the light threatened to close in on her, obliterating her. Fear was not familiar to her -- not her own fear. But a nauseous, sick fear had taken root, splintering and prickling at her head. The discomfort of the year of torturous dreams felt like a pinprick in comparison. Inside Drusilla’s twisted mind, things began to wake up that had been dormant over a century. Bright little things began to call at her, teasing and tinkling at her like shards… Like little remnants of her soul. The visions were different too. Clearer and more linear, but incomprehensible at the same time. There was something missing. Like a piece of darkness missing from the darkness, maybe it was just that the light seemed to be growing. Almost like the coming dawn, she could smell it, and it made her feel colder inside than she could ever remember.
“Miss Edith, what are we going to do? What are we going to do?” she felt herself unraveling. This was beyond any unraveling she had previously experienced. Unlike most vampires, she had never been afraid of death, and as a vampire had little reason to fear much else. For the first time in her un-life, she was beginning to be truly afraid.
Standing in the Gazebo, her hair catching slightly in the wind, she keened softly to herself. Her cold breath made no vapor in the still air as she waited for someone, anyone to come. Maybe she would have to leave here and find some one else. In a city that never really sleeps, there was always somebody to eat. Somebody nice and delicious to make these feelings stop. Her head felt like the lightning inside it was going to make it explode.
Dru muttered, “Must be quiet. They’ll hear you. Mustn’t talk, they’ll hear me.”
The wind rustled the trees. Something out there seemed to be whispering. Are you ready? Are you ready? She kept seeing bright, pretty, glowing William, and his laughter filled her head, etching painfully at something within. Someone was coming. Good.
“Hi there,” Dru said.
She was young. Fresh. Pretty, red hair picked up what little light there was. Very serious looking.
“Nice night isn’t it? I like the fog,” said the young woman.
“Yes,” Drusilla answered automatically.
Yes. This would do. Drusilla waited for the woman to relax. She knew she didn’t look threatening in her long feminine skirt. Even in the dark, a fragile looking female just wasn’t someone that made even another women want to keep their guard up. People came here to be solitary, but sometimes they just wanted to pour out their feelings. Drusilla didn’t mind. It was a distraction, and right now, she needed distractions. Besides, this was not the place to feed. If bodies started turning up here… Well that would not be good now, would it?
“I’m Lynnette. You?”
“Dru,” Oooh, a friendly one. Drusilla thought derisively.
“Like Drew Barrymore? Cool name,” said Lynnette.
“Something like that,” Dru said enigmatically.
“You’re English!” said Lynnette, sounding delighted.
“Yes,” Dru breathed.
“Way cool! I’ve always wanted to go there.”
“Really,” said Dru.
“You don’t talk much do you?”
“I like to listen,” Drusilla said this with a bit of suggestion in her gaze.
The ice was broken… With just a hint of encouragement, Lynette began to talk. Somewhere during the evening, a decision was made to get coffee. An invitation was made. A trap was set.
Just before dawn, Drusilla left Lynnette, comfortably resting on her lovely little lawn chair on the roof top ‘garden’ of her lovely Washington house. This house had whispered to her… That garden had sent soft tendrils of green messages to her. Whoosh, whoosh it had called to her in the wind. The house, the exquisite dark basement, the garden called her. It made
her choose its wiry little owner the first time she’d found herself in this delightful little neighborhood more than a decade ago. Just like the stringy little owner, and all the others since, long before she ever could rise at sundown, Lynnette’s body would be ash.
Such a pretty arrangement. It was worth it, giving them a little taste of her. Giving a little bit of herself back to the wind that was so kind to carry away her naughty little secrets. Just in case some workman should happen upon an adjacent roof during day light hours, Lynnette’s face was covered with a nice straw hat, like a sunbather. It was May in Washington, and it promised to be a beautiful day outside. If she were still here in fall, maybe she would think of something new this year… Maybe a new flower bed… Now… it was time for sleep. May 20, 2003
Grandmother was walking toward her. She was in a park, not unlike nearby Rock Creek Park. She could hear the water. Grandmother was saying something. Drusilla couldn’t make it out, but she could see Darla’s smile. Golden Darla, in a white sundress, bathed impossibly in morning light. Darla was walking toward her, and Dru was just barely covered by the shadows of the trees, and the protective overhang of the building behind her. The light was so bright outside, the ground seemed to be glowing, and Darla was walking, soundlessly toward her. It was a beautiful spring day, the likes of which she had not experienced in many decades, not even from the protection of a building. Drusilla didn’t like the light. It was just too bright.
Darla was laughing now, and saying something again. She wanted to step out of the shadows, to get closer, to hear what Grandmother was saying. She knew it was a dream, even as she was dreaming it, but she just couldn’t make her feet work, couldn’t step out into the dreamscape daylight. Just as the light began to get so bright she could barely see Darla anymore, Dru heard a voice say:
“We’re gonna win.”
In her dream, or was she actually there? Dru saw, as far as the eye could see… an ocean of vampires, vampires that made The Master seem weak and modern in comparison. Their primeval, hideous power called to her… their darkness tantalizing. Just at the edge of her consciousness, she heard a familiar voice saying something about being ready…
Dru gasped as she saw the hordes surge toward her, and she felt inside an answering surge of power. The sword in her hand, felt just right. Suddenly, she wanted to destroy them all. Again, the light was increasing, the roar filling her head, spinning, turning; the intensity of sound, light and the feeling of power surged.
Then she saw him. Her William. He was grinning at her, as a pillar of light lit him from within, the light was blinding; everything was whiting out with brilliance. It was too much. She lashed out, screaming like a banshee. Something exploded, the sound bringing her completely awake in the dark. She heard no one in the room, smelled no one else.
Reaching for her lamp, she found it missing, and lunged instead for its partner on the opposite side, springing to her feet, looking wildly around the room, she saw the lamp from the side table was smashed against the opposite wall, the metal caved in from the force of the impact. Dru picked it up. The heavy metal base was cracked. It looked as though it had been pulverized – or run over by a tank.
Whatever did this was something even she didn’t want to meet. A sense of foreboding gripped her gut. That’s when she heard sirens in the distance. As Dru finished picking up the shards of lamp bits and dumped the last pieces into a trash bag, she heard a loud knocking on the front door followed immediately by the loud chimes of the doorbell. Fuck. Police. She debated ignoring the bell, but immediately contemplated the consequences of having her door broken down and the house searched by police – especially in the middle of the day.
“Yes?” Dru opened the door without stepping into the sunlight, stepping back into the dark interior to allow the two officers to enter.
“Good morning ma’am,” said one of the officers.
They took in her velvet robes, the beautiful foyer and living room.
“We’re sorry to disturb you ma’am. We received calls from several of your neighbors of screams coming from this house. Is everything all right?” he asked.
Genuine concern. Not Sunnydale officers then, it couldn’t have been even 10 minutes.
“I’m perfectly all right, gentlemen,” Dru said respectfully. “I guess I must have had a nightmare,” Best to stick to the truth.
“Must have been some nightmare,” the slender man said sympathetically, but with a hint of suspicion. The houses weren’t that close together in this neighborhood.
“My family was murdered many years ago,” she told them sadly. She knew that would garner their sympathy and hopefully get them to leave.
“I’m sorry,” he said.
Both men looked embarrassed and sympathetic.
“It was a long time ago,” Dru said.
You have no idea how long ago.
“The neighbors thought they heard sounds of a struggle. Are you sure you’re OK?” the other officer asked.
“There’s no one else here, if that’s what you mean,” said Dru.
“You live alone?” the younger, larger man looked around the immaculate room.
“Yes,” she said.
Please leave. The voices in her head were overwhelming enough. She did not want to deal with these people. Eating them wasn’t an option either - too likely to draw more attention.
“So there was no fight then?” he asked, concern obvious.
Man, this is one pale woman. Still pretty, though. He smiled slightly.
“No,” she was sending soothing suggestions to each of the officers as she looked into their eyes. “No fight.”
“No fight,” the big blond Irish American officer said.
“No fight,” the slender golden brown African American officer said.
“We’re sorry to have bothered you,” he said.
“You have good neighbors. They were worried about you,” said the other.
“I have good neighbors,” Dru agreed, putting her hand on the door.
“Well have a good day then.”
“You too,” said Dru.
“It’s bound to be better than those people in that town in California,” quipped the blond officer as he stepped out into the sunlight.
What town in California? Dru wondered as she made her way down into the enormous basement apartment. She felt a chill run down her cold spine. She found herself doing something uncharacteristic. She turned on the television. Before the newscaster confirmed it, she knew that the crater she was looking at was Sunnydale. Before today, the Sunnydale hellmouth had always been there at the edge of her consciousness, a particularly inky clump of spiritual darkness. Now she found she couldn’t feel anything there.
In addition to telling the tale of how the town had collapsed, and the numbers of feared dead, the announcer recited a litany of strange occurrences about Sunnydale.
“Thus ends the tragic tale of the unluckiest town in California,” the blonde announcer concluded melodramatically.
Dru was shaking. Too much. Too much. They did it. The forces of light had closed a Hellmouth. Drusilla shuddered as the earth whispered to her. She felt a divide within, the call of the dark, and a similar call of the light. For the first time since she had been turned, she felt a spark of humanity… and that spark felt the call of the light. She felt the body of the beautiful redhead on the rooftop as she’d never felt any of the others. It was present, heavy, dead. For the first time since she had been turned, she felt a death and it didn’t feel comfortable. There were so many pictures in her head, victims, vampires, and slayers. Darkness she couldn’t sink into, and light that she couldn’t shake. It all threatened to overwhelm her. “I kill your kind,”
she heard herself say to William.
She shuddered.“And I bite yours,”
she heard him say back.
The neck of the wine bottle she was grasping shattered, crushed in her grip. In all her years as a vampire, nothing like that had ever happened before. She knew her strength instinctively. Blood mingled with wine on the kitchen floor, and soaked her velvet robe. She wiped her bloody hand agitatedly against the front of the robe, moaning and muttering to herself.
“No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no…” she whimpered.
She didn’t notice how rapidly the deep, ragged cut on her hand closed… She couldn’t have said why tears flooded her cheeks as she cleaned up another mess caused by new strength she was only beginning to recognize.
She was restless all day, her head full of confusion, her body full of unaccustomed power. The sunset released her from her prison and she was found herself walking, walking further afield than her usual haunts near the cathedral and Cleveland park. The tree-lined streets there whispered to her their familiar, old world comfort. The lights were brighter down here. Dupont Circle. She kept walking, her surroundings unseen. Finally, she found herself on the quiet of the mall. She walked along the reflecting pool chattering madly to herself.
She didn’t notice the two burly men with knives until one grabbed her from behind, and the other pointed a wicked looking blade right in her face. She easily broke the headlock, launching the would-be mugger into the air, to land more than 30 feet away where his body cracked against a tree. Her effortless kick drove the second mugger horizontally into another tree trunk, where his body crumpled around it. Without listening for heartbeats, she knew they were both dead, and Drusilla knew she needed to get away from this very public place. This was not Sunnydale. Here it paid to avoid unwanted attention. She looked around, not sensing or hearing anyone or anything nearby. She was fairly confident no one had seen anything. Walking fast, but not hurriedly, she headed north and west until she felt she was far enough away, and caught a cab from Georgetown. She went straight home. May 21st
Suspected Muggers Found Dead. That was the headline below the fold in the metro section of the paper when she went out the next evening. Fortunately, this was DC and enough other news trumped the murders. Unusually brutal was the description under the headlines. The police seemed to have no theory they were willing to share with the public about how they were killed. It was noted that these two were suspected of many muggings, several rapes and all of the victims had been brutally beaten. At least one of them had been linked to murder. Inconveniently for the powers-that-be, they tended to go after tourists. They would not be mourned. Drusilla found herself surprisingly pleased with the turn of events. Drusilla the mugger slayer had a nice ring to it! She giggled to herself. She was hungry, but found herself strangely reluctant to seek out a potential kill. Perhaps she should see what she could find in the way of a criminal element… Shock rippled through her. Where had that
thought come from. Unfortunately, the more she tried not to think about it, the more she liked the idea. She left the paper on the table, and headed out of the coffee shop. May 30th
She was in a less than savory part of town. This was unusual for Dru. Unlike many vampires who found the chaos of poverty a helpful camouflage for their murderous impulses, Dru usually preferred to travel in some degree of comfort… but she was hungry, and felt drawn to the anonymous, poorly lit streets. She knew that as a solitary white female she didn’t really blend well, although she drew predatory looks, which could be useful in a twisted sort of way. She didn’t admit it to herself, the reason for her change of pattern, but she didn’t think rationally to begin with and she was thinking even less linearly than usual.
Admitting to deeper motivations required a more logical reasoning than she was managing at present. She wasn’t reasoning much at all. The dreams since the ‘big one’ had only grown more frustrating. Instead of the vague, haunting dreams where Spike, and the voice saying, “we will return your soul,”
were flashes, these dreams seemed to document his trials in Technicolor detail. Each new day of dreaming, there seemed to be a new task for William. She saw him suffer in Technicolor, over and over. She felt his screams in side her head.
There was even less rest than before. She had taken to bolting the house at dusk, wandering for miles, mostly in Rock Creek Park, only returning to the safety of the basement barely outrunning sunrise. So far, tonight, she’d scored twice, draining her would be attackers with ease and speed born of power and practice. The last one had been quite rank, but she was finally sufficiently fed.
She smelled fear everywhere here. She could feel desperation and rage radiate from the pavement and loss pour out of the bricks. Hopelessness. Misery. Loneliness. Chaos. And lots of fear. What dragged her out of her languid wandering was the sharp sound of an indrawn breath followed by the unmistakable smell of blood. Small sounds of struggle were coming from the nearby alley, and she launched herself into the alley. The vampires had a young man pinned against a dumpster and were attempting to have themselves a meal. The meal was not cooperating. He’d already bitten the hand that was attempting to muffle his cries, and was kicking and attempting to wriggle out of their vice-like grip.“Save some for me,”
Dru said, loud enough for both vampires to startle and turn in her direction. Lunging in before the vampires could react; she grabbed the young victim by the front of his shabby jacket, pulling him out to their grasp.
“Hey. That’s ours. Go find your own dinner, bitch!”
“My boys. You really don’t want any trouble. Do you now?” Dru said in a soft, hypnotically feminine voice almost breathy in its fragility.
“Run,” Dru jerked the arm of the young would be victim. “Run on home now. There’s bad things out here that want to hurt sweet things like you.”
Her voice dripped with menace. The man peed himself.
“No don’t run. You’re mine,” said the enormous vampire.
The larger vampire attempted to grab the young man, but Drusilla was in his way, clamping her slender fingers around his huge throat. The young man ran.
The smaller vampire attempted to grab Drusilla’s left hand. Drusilla slapped him across the face, and he flew back into the wall, stumbling hard.
“What the hell are you?” This from the larger vampire. The one who was trying, but failing to extricate his throat from Drusilla’s other hand.
Drusilla lifted him off his feet and giggled at him, a slightly insane look in her eyes. What am
I? She thought.
“I’m you’re worst nightmare. Foolish vampire,” Dru swayed slightly as smiled up at him.
“She’s a vampire you shtupid fuck,” The smaller vampire spat out his broken teeth and looked at her with hatred and a trace of fear. Something about her game face reminded him unpleasantly of a snake.
“You sure she ain’t the slayer, man?” The bigger one choked out, his legs pumping uselessly in the air.
“You hear a heartbeat anywhere braintrust? And slayers don’t have teeth like those,” his companion said.
The smaller vampire wiped the blood on his sleeve. His own blood. Just great.
“Well, she ain’t on our side is she?” 'Braintrust' said.
‘Braintrust’ kicked out and his kick caught Dru painfully in the kneecap. She half flung, half dropped him and he landed hard on his ass in a patch of something slippery and disgustingly viscous, sliding several feet. She looked down at him scornfully.
“I’m not on your side. I’m not on your side. No one’s on your side… All alone. All alone. All alone. Heheheheh…”
“You crazy bitch. I’m gonna enjoy tearing you up,” said the big, dumb vampire, clambering to his feet with surprising speed.
The other vampire wasn’t sure about this plan. Something was off with this bitch. He was hungry, half his teeth were gone and his mouth hurt. “T’aint worth it man, let’s get the fuck outta here.”
“Not a chance Vaughn. Stupid vampire thinks she’s some kinda slayer bitch. Gonna teach the stupid bitch a lesson,” said the lumbering vampire.
“I don’t care if she’s a vampire and
a slayer man. Let’s just get the fuck outta here,” the vampire named Vaughn grimaced in pain, his hand feeling his badly swollen jaw. In thirty years as a vampire, he couldn’t remember one blow hurting this much.
Vaughn never noticed the expression on her face change, the flicker of shock that was gone as quickly as it came. He was inching away as he spoke. He was scared of this woman and he really didn’t like the way she just stood there swaying and giggling and licking her fangs. The effect was slightly mesmerizing and very reptilian.
“Ya comin’?” Vaughn took one more look at her and bolted.
The huge vampire took a look at the woman blocking his way out of the alley and launched himself at her, enraged. It was the last thing he ever did. Suddenly she was behind him, breaking his thick neck without effort. She continued the twist until the head went all the way around, pulling slightly, she separated head from body, dusting him instantly.
She looked down at her dress. Dirty, but no blood. Good. Slayer. No slayer. She whimpered slightly. No, Miss Edith. Not the Slayer. No. No. Not the slayer. That’s impossible! She walked. She argued to herself, and passersby gave the dirty, crazy looking white woman a wide berth. She remembered. Little snippets came within her reach, and she tried to shake them out of her head. Impossible. No. Not impossible. But why now? It didn’t make sense. Many slayers had died and lived. She had never been chosen. And
she was dead.
How could such a thing happen? She realized tonight she’d felt a strong urge to protect the young victim. Even stronger than the urge to have him all to herself. She’d wanted to kill the other vampires with an urge that was alien. She’d needed
to stop them. While it was happening, she’d felt suddenly focused. Natural. Saving a human felt natural. It was a warm spring evening, but Drusilla shivered.
Unbidden, she remembered everything with clarity - the pretentious man who had come to see father so many years ago. He had tried to convince father that his youngest daughter had a special calling. She remembered her father had been almost convinced, grateful for someone who claimed to understand and believe his daughter’s visions. That was until the man had promised to give her a good upbringing in the faith of the Queen. Her father had thrown the man out without another word.
“How dare he claim to know my daughter has a calling from God? He isn’t even a Catholic,” her father had ranted.
Father had been absolutely livid. That man couldn’t have been a messenger from God. It was some kind of trick to lead his daughter astray. She never remembered ever seeing father so angry.
“Not my daughter,” he’d continued to rant. “My daughter will not be a warrior for a heathen god. “Never.”
Drusilla remembered her disappointment with a clarity that she had not felt in many years. She was on a train traveling beneath Washington DC, but her mind was miles away in 19th century England.
She was almost 13 years old, and the visions and dreams were already beginning to take their toll. She had tried to keep it a secret, but her sisters had somehow figured it out and told father. She didn’t think father was happy about them. He hadn’t acted at all upset, but he had forbid her to tell anyone else.
The man had said his name was something Wyndam. The reason Drusilla remained in hiding to listen to her father’s conversation was that he had mentioned the gift
of visions. For that reason, she was slightly disappointed when father made the man leave. He was the only person who had ever seemed to think that her visions and dreams were a good thing. He had spoken to her father of the dreams she was having as if they were a natural and expected thing. He turned out to be right about one thing. Her dreams and visions had saved her more than once. Right now, however, it felt as though they were destroying what was left of her.