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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-CenteredbatzulgerFR1387,5154318,42430 Jan 106 Feb 10Yes

Speech of the Dark.

I returned to cleaning and straightening until the maid service that Clement had contracted arrived. I kept my afternoon meeting to myself when he returned from picking up my Slayer from school.

That night, after Miss Emma had gone to sleep, I slipped into black turtleneck, trousers, coat, and boots and drove myself down into the heart of the city. After parking, I began to walk with no clear destination in mind, finally finding myself at the base of the grand cathedral. Peering upwards I saw that the gargoyles wished to chat, so I began ascending to oblige them.

When I had reached the level of the bells, I stopped and peered out over the sleeping populace. There was still the noise of the street, so different yet so familiar to the sounds of my true childhood. Flashing lights and colors from signs hawking patent cures, the murmur of doxies plying their trade, the arguments exploding up to noisy violence and screams, shadowed shapes bent on ill intent slipping from one nook to another.

"Good evening, Dark One, " I knew he was standing concealed by the tower column behind me.

"That's not my name, " his growl seemed puzzled and annoyed, as if he was wondering how he had been noticed in his place of stealth.

"It's not what you call yourself, but it is your name. I can see it written across you in great letters of rage, vengeance, and justice."

"You're a psychic."

"I believed I was blessed by God, then cursed by the Devil. God being the divine creator of us all, and the Devil being my second father, Angelus. He drove me mad by forcing visions upon me. Claiming that my gifts were a curse from Satan and that I was one of the damned. Killing my true mother...my sisters...my uncle. He knew I would continue to see their destroyed spirits when I saw their shattered bodies. No one should bear witness to the deaths of their families."

I saw the turmoil within him, "Dark One, I was to take my Holy Orders the day I was turned. Angelus slew all the Sisters then fed upon me. That is the day that broke me. What day broke you?"

He stepped out into the moonlight clad in his shining black armor. His cloak swirled like smoke, masking and revealing his form in turns.

"What are you?"

"I am simply Drusilla. An evil depraved demon within what remains of the body of a tormented young girl. I am also the memories and madness of that self-same girl that have formed something new, something that can block the demon's...my beast's baser impulses. I am still missing a soul, but I have regained something similar to compassion and conscience."

"Jason said something much like that."

"He is very wise and very strong. As are you. You never act on impulse if a strategy can be made, you would never surrender unless the lives of innocents were at risk, you can never ignore the suffering of the weak, and most importantly, you must see justice done." The fear in my little mouse heart had fled as I began speaking. I knew this all was the truth. I could see clearly into him, and viewed the alley, the shots, the pearls rolling across the ground.

"You suffered a random occurrence of violence by a petty criminal. I had my life methodically and carefully destroyed. Our pasts are so terribly different, but awfully similar in that they changed us, made us more than we could have ever dreamed. I should be moldering away in a London cemetery, laying next to the rotting corpse of me husband and maybe our children and one or two grandchildren. You should be truly living the life of a child of privilege. Both our false faces should be our true ones..."

"You can see my past?" the words exited in a growling hiss.

"Your present is so deeply intertwined, I would have to be struck completely blind to miss it. I can see that you are constantly viewing the world as a battlefield, figuring the most advantageous position for any situation which might suddenly be made manifest. I can see that I scare you, because I can see into your most private truths. The ones that you never allow made public as they might become an exploitable weakness. And I can see so much more as well."

I saw him draw the stake from under his cloak and stepped fully into the moonlight.

"You are ready to train my Slayer then? Ready to take the responsibility that even a demonically possessed madwoman embraced willingly?" He stopped and waited, thinking. The gears in his brain were whizzing by as I stared at him. His mind was like a watchmaker's desk; with clever compartments to store the bits until they were needed. I watched as he took bits out and fiddled with them, trying to create the perfect answer to this situation. He would put two or three together and wind them up and see how they walked or rolled or scuttled. Finally he put all the bits away and closed the compartments.

"Why?"

"Why should you believe me? Because I am seeking justice for my family also."

He nodded then leapt out into the night.

"So, did you hear all of that?"

Miss Emma slipped from her own hiding place behind a gargoyle, "Oh yeah Dru, I think you got under his skin. I can't believe you just told off the Batman."

I smiled, "I did didn't I?" My tiny mouse heart roared with all its might, "Shall we get some lemonade?"

My Slayer smiled and nodded, as we moved off into the warm moonlit night.

The End

You have reached the end of "Croquet Without Hedgehog or Flamingo". This story is complete.

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