title art by Karen v. kennemer
FEEDBACK: I live and breathe for it. Pretty Please?
DISTRIBUTION: Shadows & Dust, Twisting the Hellmouth, anyone else please ask.
SUMMARY: Johnny Smith gets an unexpected visitor late one evening.
SPOILERS: Through the second season of Dead Zone, no spoilers for BtVS or AtS, could be set anytime after season five on BtVS, season two on AtS
RATING: nothing too offensive. Obscure maybe, but not that scary.
SERIES: Salvation I
DISCLAIMER: I don’t own the characters. They belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Fox, WB, UPN and their associates, or Steven King and USA Television.
NOTES: This is really just a short little bit that popped into my head last night. It was a ‘What If?’ situation wherein Johnny Smith meets someone who changes his life forever.
~~~ Salvation ~~~
His salvation came to the door last Thursday. She was no ordinary salvation, not the kind that came with hellfire and brimstone and would you like to buy this bible for $24.99? No, she merely smiled and he knew he was looking at the end.
No one came by anymore, not after he put in the new security system. Johnny Smith was now as unapproachable as a mountain hermit, and doing his best to live up to his reputation as a freak who liked his solitude. So the knock after dark started him, and he answered the door out of bemused curiosity.
And there she was, raven hair tumbling over slender shoulders clad in a sheer dress of palest wine. She held a ragged doll in one hand; the other was loose by her side. For one dreadful moment Johnny thought she wanted him to touch the doll and find a lost child or something, but when he met her eyes he understood how wrong he was. They seemed to melt from blue, to violet, to black as the night sky behind her, and glittered with an inner fire that spoke of time beyond boundaries. He stood silently for a moment, lost, until he finally gathered himself to speak.
“Won’t you come in? It’s awfully late to be out. Can I offer you something to drink?”
Then she smiled, and his whole world tilted. The pale moonlight shone off her teeth, which for some reason looked awfully sharp, as she answered. “Tea would be lovely. I do love a good cup of tea.” Her voice was softly accented, sounding of days long past, colonialism and crumpets. He stepped back to let her pass, noting her delighted smile as she swept past the door sill.
“I’ve not had guests for a few days, but if you want to wait in the study, I’ll bring the tea as soon as the water’s heated.” She smiled again and sat on the indicated chair, cocking her head as if to listen to something far away. He took a moment to notice the way the color of her gown highlighted the pale glow of her skin, far too bare for this time of year in Maine. She seemed content to wait, not offering any mindless prattle of awkward conversation he’d experienced recently with Sarah, nor the subtle press for information that Dana worked in at every opportunity. She sat still, far stiller than any living creature should be able to, and he marveled at the tense peace that settled around her. Her eyes flickered around the room; predator’s eyes he noted with some confusion. Puzzled, he piled the necessary items on the tray and brought them to the low mahogany coffee table.
“I’m sorry, Ma’am, but I didn’t catch why you’re here.”
She smiled again, tilting her head with almost innocently. “That’s because I haven’t said. The stars told me to come, to find the other who sees as I do.”
Johnny’s teacup clattered into his saucer. “Sees? Like you do? You get visions?”
The woman smiled a bit enigmatically. “I do. Dancing through the night like courtesans at the ball. And they told me, that if I found you, all would be right in my world again. They always leave me, the others. But not you. Finally a shining knight for me to keep, till the world turns to dust. Which we shan’t let it.”
“Um, er, right. I’m afraid I don’t know what you’re talking about. I touch things, get visions. But I suppose you already knew that, since you’re here.” He’d never heard of another person with Dead Zone activity before and certainly not anything about balls or dancing or stars. Then again, if a few years ago, someone had told him he’d see the inside of someone’s heart without the aid of medical technology, he’d have laughed.
Again, she smiled that wisp of a smile. “You see, don’t you? What will happen when the world burns in flames?”
He stared at her in shock. “How did you know?”
“Because we must stop that. And I will help you.”
No one, not even Bruce fully believed his visions about Stilson. Hell, even half the time he refused to admit the apocalypse was near. Now this strange woman had obviously sought him out to prevent God only knew what atrocities. He felt as if huge weight was lifted. “What do you need me to do?”
She moved to sit next to him on the couch, though careful never to accidentally touch him. “Miss Edith says I must give you a choice.” She gestured to the doll by the teapot. “If I don’t, you’ll be most cross, and I shan’t have my games.”
Johnny’s brow wrinkled in confusion even as he leaned nearer to smell the faintest whiff of her scent, like wisteria on a cool summer night. “Choice? And you’re talking to your doll?” Ok, so maybe she wasn’t all there. But she believed him, and he believed her, and in the end, that’s all he needed.
“We shall be wicked! You’ll laugh and dance and sing till morning.” She raised one hand to the level of his cheek, the white tips of her blood red nails almost grazing the skin. “All you need to do is ask.”
He nodded faintly, caught up in the shifting colors of her eyes, swirling through the colors of deep dark, the colors of long before dawn. He exhaled and leaned forward, closing his eyes. “You never told me your name…”
As her face shifted into serpentine brow ridges, gleaming fangs, and glowing yellow eyes, she lowered her head to his neck. Before the first burst of pain that sent Johnny to a world of visions he couldn’t begin to comprehend, that sent his soul into screaming agony, she murmured like the breath of a lover, “Drusilla.”
If you enjoyed this, please see the sequel Sticky, to find out how Johnny reacts to his first days as a vampire. This will be an ongoing series. Click below:Sticky