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Marked, Stacked, and Falsely Shuffled

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This story is No. 6 in the series "An Ode to a City". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Being the Third 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-CenteredbatzulgerFR131613,66663315,5957 Feb 1015 Feb 10Yes

And So It Ends.

I awoke firmly secured to a litter. I could still move my head so I peered around to see what I could see. I was in my bedroom and dozing on my dressing tables chair slumped my Slayer.

"Miss Emma!"

She awoke in a flash and was standing next to me. I noticed she had a stake firmly gripped in her hand.

"Dru? Is that you?"

"Who else could it possibly be my dear? Though my head does feel awfully roomy somehow. Have I been taking in boarders?"

She ran over to the door and yelled into the hall, "Dru's back!!! She's awake and she's Dru!!!"

After a moment there were a torrent of footsteps in the hall and entering the room were Clement, Harley, Mister Osbourne and Miss Cassandra.

"Excuse me, I don't mean to seem rude, but what on earth is going on? And almost more importantly, why am I tied down?"

Harley rushed over and hugged me, "Yup, it's Dru all right, I'm not feeling the nasty itchy vibes any more, " with that statement she began unbuckling the straps and releasing me from my confinement. I sat up and immediately felt dizzy, Clement ran out and came back with a piping hot double tapir for me to drink.

"So, I take it we won."

"You did it Dru, " my Slayer sounded so proud, "You, Harley, and Batman kicked his ass, " she then began to explain what had happened.

After I had sent her out to fetch Etrigan, she had arrived at Sir Jason's home to be greeted at the door by the demon lord in question. After delivering my message she felt a twinge in her senses which guided her towards the factory. When she arrived she found the rest of Gotham's guardians in conflict with various reality warped minions and engaged in combat immediately. A short while thereafter Etrigan flew down and began aiding her as well. Then the sounds started erupting from inside the factory and explosions blew out all the windows.

Various persons tried to get inside to assist but the factory was apparently acting like a malignant creature and denied entrance. Eventually the Dark One crashed through a wall and demanded Harley's presence. He grabbed her and managed to make his way back in. At that point the screaming started, and the minions that all were fighting began popping like soap bubbles. Eventually they were all gone and the combatants could finally enter the building. Inside they saw my body engaged in unarmed combat with the Old One and howling like a raging animal. Blue fire was surrounding both of our bodies and leaping into almost a barrier within which our forms were seeming to warp and flow, then I stiffened for a second and yelled out, "This is Deadman, Dru's got him on the ropes. Bats, get Quinn over here!"

The Dark One then moved up with Harley and said something to me which I apparently responded to, then Harley reached out and grabbed my shoulder. I kept fighting the Old One until Harley screamed "Enough!" there was a final burst of blue fire from her scars and Mister Punch's body dropped like a marionette with its strings cut, before crumbling into ash.

I continued screaming and howling and it took the combined efforts of the Dark One, Etrigan, Miss Emma, and the Creeper to restrain me with out destroying me as I was lashing out like a wild thing to any that got near. They bundled me home and my friends and compatriots had kept watch on my restrained body as it snapped and screamed for blood for the last two months. The last week I had remained still as an unanimated corpse and only Miss Emma and Sir Jason could detect that there was till a spark of existence left in my cold immobile body. Then today I had woken up.

After hearing this tale and drinking another fortifying mug of tapir. I sat pondering for a second and then realized I couldn't hear my beast. I poked around in the dark places where it liked to lurk and found it conspicuously absent. Miss Emma and Harley were telling me how glad they were that I was conscious and Dru again, when there was a knock on the door.

Into my room walked the Dark One in his false face and Etrigan in his, "Hello Bruce, Sir Jason. Thank you both for saving my unlife."

Sir Jason smiled, "We should be thanking you Lady Lune."

"That's right Dru, you're the hero now."

"But I can't be a hero. I'm a bloodthirsty madwoman. There are rules about this sort of thing. Probably all written up in a fine copperplate, with some nice steel etched engravings of the saints as illustrations."

"Sorry Dru, you did the heroic thing. Well you and Harley did. Saved Gotham, probably stopped an apocalypse according to Jason."

"And you did it all for unselfish reasons. Up to and including imminent personal destruction. Not a whole lot of ensouled beings can claim that. And you were a soulless vampire at the time, makes it extra-difficult from what I understand, " Sir Jason smiled at me, "So I talked to some colleagues, and they put in a good word with the Powers That Be, and they decided to return something you had stolen from you."

He stepped back from me and spoke a single ancient word. With a hissing rumble a man clad in blue and gold with a curious golden helmet appeared.

"I am Fate. The Lord's of Order wished me to present this to you as reward for services rendered above and beyond your contract for free-will, " In his gloved hand was a diadem of light which he dropped into my open palm. "I cannot return your sanity or your original soul as it was flayed to ruins, but this one should prove sufficient." The diadem slowly melted into my hand and I could feel a flicker of light start burning within me.

"This is a new soul so it must be treated properly. You are a fortunate woman Drusilla. Few demons ever get an opportunity such as this."

I gasped, "Thank you Doctor, I really don't know what to say, may I offer you some tea?" I was stammering at the end.

"Thank you, but no. I will visit again however."

"Any friend of Sir Jason's and Bruce's is always welcome." It sounded trite, but I was still at a severe loss for words. What do you say in response when you are gifted with a new soul?

"I appreciate the courtesy, " with that he vanished.

I looked around at my friends, Miss Emma my Slayer, Clement a loyal friend, Mister Osbourne a former enemy, Harley co-saviour of the world, Miss Cassandra a hero, Sir Jason Blood cursed with a demonic lord's presence, and Mister Bruce Wayne, the Dark One, the Batman, protector and Champion. I thought back over the past year and began to cry.

Harley and Emma moved over thinking I was in pain, and I hugged them both. "Don't worry Miss Emma, Harley dear. These are tears of joy, thank you my friends, thank you all so much!"

And so ended my first year in Gotham.
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