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Croquet Without Hedgehog or Flamingo

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This story is No. 4 in the series "An Ode to a City". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Being the Second Part of our Heroine's Adventures in a Wicked Place

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > Batman > Drusilla-CenteredbatzulgerFR1387,5154318,02830 Jan 106 Feb 10Yes

Cast by Quartet

The next day was involved with writing out thank you and apology notes, and cleaning some bloodstains off of the ballroom floor. Kate had been a tad overzealous apparently.

Miss Emma was in school, Clement was shopping, so I was performing a drudge's labors with mop and bucket. If any of my old acquaintances had seen me I would have been terribly embarrassed, but as they had all been laid to rest at least a century ago, I was not severely concerned on that matter. I had just finished sweeping when the gate buzzer sounded.

"Yes?"

"Lady Dru, it's Bruce Wayne. May I come up?"

"Oh, " my voice failed me at the Dark One's query, "I...Oh yes. Of course." I blindly pressed the gate switch.

"We'll be right there."

We'll? Who else was with him?

Pondering that I rushed upstairs to change my shirt and pants into something more suitable for company than cleaning, and pulled on my gloves. Pulling my hair out of its ponytail, I ran a brush quickly through it to show it who's boss, and still made it downstairs to receive the knock on the front door.

As I reached the door, I felt the Dark One of course and also a presence that caused by beast to whimper in fear. Intrigued by that reaction I swung the door open, and shielded from the sun by heavy oak, waited for my visitors to enter.

The Dark One's friend was a lean man of apparent middle-age with auburn hair parted with a white streak right down the middle. I looked closer and saw time rolling off of him, older then Grandmum or possibly even Great-Grandfather. I also saw a flickering shadow in his center, much like my kind's beast, but far older and vastly more powerful. I knew I was in grave danger, but I put on my bravest of faces, implored my little mouse heart to be strong, and smiled.

"Good afternoon Bruce, I'm so sorry about last night. It was a terrible break in the entertainment. Janus is such a rude sort."

"His name is Two-Face, Lady Dru. Or Harvey Dent. "

"Oh, so that is his true face, depending on random chance to sway his life?"

"Why yes. How did you know?"

"It was obvious by his actions. I may be odd, but I am not a fool."

"I never thought you were. Oh, where are my manners. Lady Drusilla Lune, let me introduce an associate of mine, Professor Jason Blood."

"I'm honored Professor, your stars are strange. Racked in five, points and lines, poetry below."

"I see."

When I heard his voice I knew. He was very old and very powerful. Not quite an Old One, but just below that status.

"It is a pleasure to meet someone who sees the truth with such clarity Lady Drusilla. I believe I met your Grandfather Heinrich some time ago."

The Dark One was startled by that statement. Even though he showed no visible sign, I could see the reaction quite clearly.

"He has passed away Professor, some six years ago."

"I had heard something about that. I'm sorry for your loss."

"Thank you for your concern, but we were never terribly close, " by this time we were in the conservatory and I sat down on the bench in front of my glass armonica. The Dark One sat on one of the close armchairs while the Professor remained standing.

"How is the rest of your family Lady Drusilla?"

"My daddy is well, my Grandmum died this year, " I saw his eyebrow twitch at that, "And I was recently informed that William had passed away. We had drifted apart you see, all of us were not the same as we once were."

"Well that is apparent. I sense you know who I am, " I shyly nodded trembling to my core, "And with your gifts I can guess that you know who Bruce is, " I nodded again and I could see him stiffen like tight spring wire, " So may I formally introduce the pair of you?"

I looked over at the Dark One and though his false face was as visibly bored and serene as usual, his real self was boiling in a queer admixture of anger and curiosity. I nodded my assent, and a moment later the Dark One did as well.

"Bruce Wayne also known as the Batman the protector of Gotham City, may I introduce Drusilla the Mad, formerly one quarter of the Whirlwind. One of the most dangerous vampires the world has ever seen."

"And who are you exactly, immortal?"

"Sir Jason Blood a sorcerer formerly of Arthur's Court."

"Not the shell Professor, the core?"

"My curse, much as your core is yours."

During this exchange, the Dark One had remained seated seemingly oblivious to our chatter. It was obvious to me that he was looking for a sufficiently strong piece of timber to plunge through my chest, or a subtle means to maneuver close enough to smash one of the windows.

"Dark One, if you destroy me, you should realize that you would be taking responsibility for the training of Miss Emma."

He stiffened visibly at that. Whether it was the name or the statement I had no idea, but I had succeeded in provoking some form of reaction.

"What do you mean?" he growled. It was odd hearing his true voice issuing from his false face.

"She is the Slayer."

Blood looked up, "Are you serious?"

"Of course, who would be the best type of individual to train her?"

"What's she talking about Jason?"

"This Miss Emma is apparently a mystic warrior created to destroy the evils that stalk the night. Vampires, zombies, various brutal demons. They're always girls chosen as teenagers by some unknown process. They're gifted with incredible strength, speed and skills in combat. The story is that when one dies another is called."

"That story is true Sir Jason."

"Drusilla are you part of the Council? That's the organization that finds and trains the Slayers when they're called, Bruce."

"Oh no, I stumbled upon her when she was engaged in conflict with that horrible crocodile man. She was losing badly, so I stepped in, rescued her and brought her to a doctor. That she needed training was obvious. That I was only one around that could give it to her was also obvious.

Bruce, Dark One, Batman. I have done horrible awful things. The type of demon that possesses me, expelled my soul and rides my memories in this husk. However I was driven completely mad by my father and this madness has weakened my beast's control significantly. I have found for a fact that it is possible for my soul to be restored to this husk, and my current goal is to accomplish that. You have seen me at night, have you ever seen me harm anyone? Will you destroy one that is seeking redemption?"

"Bruce, she's telling the truth."

Rage clouded the Dark One's face then he rose, "Your actions have supported your statements...so far," he turned on his heel and left.

Blood looked over at me and gave a crooked grin, "Huh, that went well. He won't slay you out of hand, but he will be very suspicious."

"And you, Demon Lord?"

He smiled, "You really are amazing. I have no problem with you, and in fact, I'll see what I can find about reattaching your soul."

After the two were gone, I sat down and began to play the armonica. The future was cloudy and serene.
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