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Just the Place for a Snark (the Bellman Cried)

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This story is No. 8 in the series "An Ode to a City". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Back to Gotham we shall go and a madwoman shall lead the way.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > Batman > Drusilla-CenteredbatzulgerFR15129,48448011,78111 Mar 101 Apr 10Yes

Buzzing of Bees leads to Stinging of Ears

Dru and the rest of the Buffy Universe belong to Joss. Gotham and its residents belong to DC.

I had just finished my weekly session with Harley. As a condition for her continued freedom, the Dark One had instructed her to help me work through my issues and problems. In return he wouldn't snatch her up in his powerful talons and fly away, only to drop her screaming in the mental oubliette that was the secure section at Arkham.

My Slayer was attending college preparatory classes, Clement was out shopping, Cassandra was with Mr. Osbourne as usual, and Harley had just gone down to the training room to work off the frustrations of listening to an almost 200 year old madwoman prattle on for an hour. Thus, on this October afternoon, I was left to my own devices with a pot of tea and my glass armonica in the conservatory.

I was working through my own arrangement of Guns of Brixton, when I heard the gate buzzer. Arising, I moved to the front door and keyed the camera to see who might be visiting, to my surprise it was Dark One in his false face.

After the unpleasantness in May, we had stayed apart from each other as much as possible. We had shared much in that final battle, more than either of us had planned, and my newly minted soul still felt sorrow for what he had suffered through, to go along with the guilt I felt for my past actions.

"Dru, can I come up?"

I stood there flustered for moment before answering, "Of course Bruce," and keying the gate.

He parked his vehicle in front and walked to the door. His unmistakeable presence telegraphing every move. I swung the door open just as he was raising his hand to knock and grinned sheepishly at me. It actually would have looked quite honest if I couldn't see all the calculations that drove his every action.

"Afternoon Dru," he walked in as I stood shielded from the sun by the heavy door and frame.

""Good afternoon Bruce. I was having tea in the conservatory. Would you care to join me?"

"It would be an honor," this statement held great truth in it surprisingly enough, and he followed me through my halls to the necrotempered glass roofed and walled music room. After pouring him a cup of tea, I returned to my armonica and began playing Black Sabbath's 'Country Girl'. The look on Bruce's face was priceless and he almost spit out his mouthful of tea. I laughed at his discomfort and confusion at my choice of music and soon he gave me an honest smile.

"You should know more than most. Never ever trust appearances..."

"Very true Dru. How have you been?"

"Is this the honest question of a friend, or a probe for information by the Dark One?" I received a raised eyebrow in response.

"Drusilla, I know you better than most others do..."

"I can truthfully say the same about you."

"...and I am concerned."

"About what?"



"Yes you and please don't play dumb. It really doesn't become you."

"I'm sorry Bruce. It has, I'm afraid, become part of my outer persona. My armour against the world."

He nodded ruefully, "It is an...occupational hazard," I rose and moved to sit next to him on the settee.

"I know you understand, so what is your real reason to visit a poor old reclusive vampiress?"

"That's the reason. The reclusive part I mean. Your friends Kate and Renee asked me to come by to see why you've been staying at home and begging off all invitations to get together."

I sighed, "Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live without any care or thought of responsibility?"

He shook his head slowly.

"Alright then. Imagine you were brought up in a proper Victorian household, with all the rules and requirements that that entails. Then imagine that in a brief instant, every inhibition you have ever possessed has been stripped away and you realize that no law, mortal, moral, or sacred, binds you anymore. Then after a long period of time those laws are suddenly thrust upon you once again. How would you react to your actions during their absence?"

He stared at me and then put his big warm hand on my tiny mousy shoulder, "Probably no better than you and possibly a whole lot worse. But you have friends who care about you and are concerned. Both Emma and Clem have mentioned it, and of course Harley has kept me posted," the look on his face matched what I saw in him. Genuine concern. I couldn't help myself, I threw my face into his shoulder and began to sob.

Cautiously he put first one, than the other arm around me, and held a foul murderous creature of the night as she rained tears into his expensive suit.
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