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Fic: (Crusilla) Family Ties That Bind

In honor of National Fuck It Day I've decided to quit stressing out over this fic and post it. This is the first part, but at this rate, it'll take me forever to finish. I just want it to be purrrrfect. Inspired by 1) a dream where Spike and Dru wanted to turn Sylvia Plath (Dru liked her baby problems, Spike liked her talent) and instead of convincing her, she successfully killed herself. Which pissed off Spike because Ted Hughes put a whammy on his house barring them, and Spike REALLY wanted a taste of the Poet Laureate, and 2) the idea that "Daddy" was inspired from Dru playing with Sylvia's hair and crooning into her ear about Angelus.

I want it to feel like a creepy, Victorian bed-time story that Dru thinks would be comforting. Hmmm. Here goes... Fuck it.

Title: Family - The Ties That Bind
Rating: 'Tis work safe. But keep young children away from Dru. Probably Feral!Connor, too.
Spoilers: Up to the opening ep in Angel, Season 4 - takes place during the summer of Angel's Underwater Sea Adventure.
Thanks to cityphonelines and crazydiamondsue for the beta and ecouragement with this. No one knows Dru like Vinnie, and no one knows me like Sue.



Family - The Ties That Bind

She hated to be alone. Before she was born the priests would warn her about the evil that descended upon her when alone. Her mother - not Grandmother Mother - would worry about the things she said when alone. The things said to her when she was alone. After she was re-born, she wasn't alone again for a very long time. There was Daddy and Grandmother. Daddy had made the alone-time before awful, but then it was better. Daddy liked it when the stars spoke to her. Daddy liked the friends he couldn't see. The alone-voices told her where the screaming and the blood was. Daddy liked the screaming and the blood. And then she had her William - her Spike. And he loved her alone-voices most of all.

And when Daddy became Not Daddy and a Very Bad Daddy he left her. And Grandmother went away, heartbroken over Daddy. But she wasn't alone - she had her Spike. But he became covered in the Slayer to the point where she was alone again, and her heart was broken like Grandmother's and the voices left her alone as well. She tried to make the stars tell her where blood and screaming was, but they didn't speak to her for several years. And when they came back, they told her she would have a baby and that she would have a family again.

The nasty lawyers helped her make her baby. And it was Grandmother but also her baby. She wanted a family again. It was always nice with family. More screaming... more parties... She was so happy to not be alone again. They would kill Angel - who was never to be Daddy again. When they tried to hurt him, he let them have their party - perhaps he could be family again... But no, there was fire and blood and screaming and not the beautiful kind and her baby was angry and wanted to leave her, but she didn't want to be alone again. But then the stars began to sing.

    *~*~*~


The blood was warm and soothing in her mouth. As she drank, the fortune teller's blood gave her stories of what was to come. "My brother is cross with Daddy. Whose is that long white box in the grove, what have they accomplished, why am I cold?"

Drusilla stands, and with delicate hands, dusts off bits of hair and flesh that fell in her lap from her dinner. "Ashes to ashes. Ashes to ashes. Mummy doesn't come for her baby anymore. Brother won't let Daddy punish him for going away."

A whimper from the corner.

Drusilla turns her head, allows her body to follow. With her head down and large eyes on the child in the corner, she moves in and pulls the scarf from its eyes, picks the small body up into her arms rocking and cooing to the frightened toddler.

"So small. Your Daddy didn't save you from me. Would you like a cup of milk?" Drusilla drags her nail along her collarbone and holds the child to the droplets of blood that begin to form. "No? Time for beddy-bye." She spins the child in a circle and giggles. With a snap of her hand, the body slides from her loosened grip to lay with the others.

She holds her long skirt with her blood-red nails and steps over the bodies, eyes trained on the stars in the night sky. "Connor."

    *~*~*~


He looked over the edge of the pier at his reflection. The lights of the dock allowed him to see his face in the water. Seeing his smile was still taking some getting used to. Seeing his face was taking some getting used to. A boat pulled up causing waves to warp his face in the water. His smile wavered. The popping and crackling from bugs landing on the dock lights came to an abrupt stop. Connor was trained to be aware of movements around him, but he didn't have vampires to train with on Quor'toth, and was still adjusting to their lack of breathing. A quick search of the empty beach and scattered skiffs showed he was alone.

My fa-,Angelus warned me of that during our training sessions. Fool, he thought. Taught me every one of his moves. Connor sneered. Dad. He got what he deserved.

"Yes. Daddy never did like to be in small places."

A lilting, feminine voice spoke softly behind him. Connor whirled, drawing two sharp knives from his sleeves, bracing himself in a fighter's stance. The girl giggled and clapped her hands. "Oh, Daddy's taught you, he has." Very gently, as if she was lulling a newborn to sleep, she leaned to one side, then the other. Large eyes connect with Connor's - open, wide, and far from innocent.

"Who are you? I know you are a vampire. Filth."

The girl stops. Hands that were splayed against her thighs draw up to her belly. "Not filth. I'm beautiful. Do you want to make your sister cross?"

Connor's hands wavered. He relaxed his stance for a brief moment, cocked his head, then remembered what she (it) is. "Sister? I have no family"

More giggling. "Daddy's in the well. No welcome, and pillows of stones for dreaming."

Connor took a step back. "You're crazy."

The girl pouted and played with a curl in her dark hair. Connor couldn't help but follow her hand as it twisted and pulled and traced the shiny black of her long, glossy hair. He felt overcome with with heartsickness for her as he looked into her wide eyes. He felt naked under that stare and didn't realize until he almost lost his balance that he had been stretching his chin forward, exposing his neck. Knives in his hands, years of training were forgotten as he blinked and tried to collect himself under her stare.

"Daddy is at the bottom of the ocean. You've had your games."

"Daddy? What are you talking about? How- How did you know about Angelus?"

"No, not Angelus. Not for a very long time. Only forever my poor Angel."

"You say it like there's a difference. A demon is a demon."

"He speaks, but he doesn't know anything, does he? You don't know Angelus. My real daddy. So sad, my Angel. Broken and hungry and lost... and now he is alone and I have you."

The girl moves past Connor with no acknowledgment of his weaponry and stands at the edge, looking down in the water. She waved with the tips of her fingers as a child would say goodbye to an imaginary friend. Connor heard Holtz screaming in his head, push her! Stake her! Cut off her head! but could only stand next to her and look down at the rippling surface of the ocean.

"Huh. You really don't have reflections."

"Oh, we do, little Connor."

They continue to stare down at the surface of the water, one face looking back at them.

"Someone has put a wreath on the sea."

"That's a fishing net."

"Oh."

Connor, when thinking about their meeting later, marveled at how natural it felt for her cool, small hand to take his and lead him away. How he had registered no shock at her knowing his name. Holtz had left this earthly dimension before Angelus had made his masterpiece. Holtz hadn't told Stephen of any other family than Darla. Since his brief time with Sunny, the want for female companionship had become a frenzied need.

They are so soft and fragile looking. But this one is stronger than the others. She is as strong as me. Connor allowed himself to be led away to a building at the edge of the beach. The girl kept humming and lightly tracing her hands up his arms, which caused his heart to race.

"Who are you? I mean, what's your name?"

She looked at him with surprise, her hands drawn up into fists at her breasts. "Drusilla."

*~*~* TBC... Right Here

*the line: "Whose is that... why am I cold?" Is from "The Bee Meeting," by Sylvia Plath.
*the line: "No welcome, and pillows of stones for dreaming" was inspired by the poem, "In Stony Country" by W.S. Merwin.

Comments

( 43 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Apr. 7th, 2005 12:14 pm (UTC)
I lurve you.

Crap. Forgot to add the disclaimer for the poetry bits...

Fixin' it.
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
Apr. 7th, 2005 12:54 pm (UTC)
Well, the more I write (and think) about Connor, the more I am making a universe for him to live in inside my head, so I'll say officially this is after my C/A tritych.

The "wreath on the sea" is also inspired from a poem called "The Fisherman" by WS Merwin:
By motions we have never learned they feed us.
We lay wreaths on the sea when it has drowned them."


Sigh.
mirasol
Apr. 7th, 2005 12:49 pm (UTC)
This gave me a chill right up my spine - and the bit with the toddler was horrendous. Absolutely wonderful.

I especially like the way you're writing Dru - yes, she doesn't live in quite the same world as the rest of us, but she's not a complete nutjob. Really looking forward to more of this.
stoney321
Apr. 7th, 2005 12:56 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Bear. I was reading this morning about a convicted serial killer. They were able to prove he wasn't crazy and put him in for life, instead of him getting off on an insanity plea.

The reason? They showed that although he had "unusual" word choices, that taken out of context look crazy, within context made perfect sense. I'm using that idea for her.

Chills? Really? *bounces* 10Q.
crayonbreakygal
Apr. 7th, 2005 12:56 pm (UTC)
There hasn't been enough of Connor and Drusilla together. Glad you started this. Kind of gave me chills all the way through. Great start.
stoney321
Apr. 7th, 2005 12:57 pm (UTC)
O_O

please tell me where there is more Crusilla. I know of NONE!!!

Thanks, BTW. :-)
inlovewithnight
Apr. 7th, 2005 12:58 pm (UTC)
Before she was born the priests would warn her about the evil that descended upon her when alone.

Right from the beginning. Damn. I do so love Drusilla. And she's going to have a field day with Connor. :) Pretty twisty dark good.

Apologies for incoherence.

::goes back to essay of doom::
stoney321
Apr. 7th, 2005 01:05 pm (UTC)
I love her, too. *moment of silence for dead, long gone show*

Thanks for taking break for me, Sam!!
cityphonelines
Apr. 7th, 2005 01:12 pm (UTC)
Oh my lord! Still lovin' the part I read, love the new, too.

My fa-,Angelus warned me of that during our training sessions. Fool, he thought. Taught me every one of his moves. Connor sneered. Dad. He got what he deserved.

"Yes. Daddy never did like to be in small places."

So perfect for her to respond to the unspoken. Oh and this:
"Huh. You really don't have reflections."

"Oh, we do, little Connor."


Gorgeous.
stoney321
Apr. 7th, 2005 01:31 pm (UTC)
EEE!! I KNEW you would pick up on that trick of Drusilla's.

*sigh*

Thanks, Vinnie.
spikendru
Apr. 7th, 2005 01:39 pm (UTC)
Wonderful voices! I love your Dru. "No, not Angelus. Not for a very long time. Only forever my poor Angel."

"You say it like there's a difference. A demon is a demon."

"He speaks, but he doesn't know anything, does he? You don't know Angelus. My real daddy. So sad, my Angel. Broken and hungry and lost... and now he is alone and I have you."


Wonderful! Can't wait for more.
stoney321
Apr. 7th, 2005 01:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I love love love Dru. Poor little broken doll that she is.

And don't get me started on poor, misunderstood, angry and damaged Connor.

*sigh*
elucidate_this
Apr. 7th, 2005 01:49 pm (UTC)
i *heart* this.
stoney321
Apr. 7th, 2005 01:53 pm (UTC)
I *heart* you!!
violethamster
Apr. 7th, 2005 03:24 pm (UTC)
This is lovely. And what a neat idea, wish I had dreams like that!

"Huh. You really don't have reflections."

"Oh, we do, little Connor."

They continue to stare down at the surface of the water, one face looking back at them.

"Someone has put a wreath on the sea."

"That's a fishing net."

"Oh."


What a gorgeous image this is. Creepy and contemplative and funny. It really grabbed me. I'd never heard the idea of Connor and Dru together until you brought it up, and it just seems meant to be now.
stoney321
Apr. 7th, 2005 07:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, VH, thank you SO much. I really value your thoughts, as I think you have a wonderful mastery of imagery and mood.

I had such a "DUH!" moment when I figured out how much they needed each other.

(Thank you.)
somecandytalkin
Apr. 7th, 2005 03:49 pm (UTC)
More screaming... more parties...
Dang!!!! VH got MY fave part.

But it's all very, very lovely. Lyrical and poetic and dreamy.
Gorgeous imagery.....

I love the pictures you paint. The line about Dru waving, for example, and this:

"So small. Your Daddy didn't save you from me. Would you like a cup of milk?" Drusilla drags her nail along her collarbone and holds the child to the droplets of blood that begin to form. "No? Time for beddy-bye." She spins the child in a circle and giggles. With a snap of her hand, the body slides from her loosened grip to lay with the others.

She holds her long skirt with her blood-red nails and steps over the bodies, eyes trained on the stars in the night sky. "Connor."


WHOA!

and

The girl giggled and clapped her hands. "Oh, Daddy's taught you, he has." Very gently, as if she was lulling a newborn to sleep, she leaned to one side, then the other. Large eyes connect with Connor's - open, wide, and far from innocent.

Hooray for National Fuck It Day!
stoney321
Apr. 7th, 2005 07:11 pm (UTC)
Re: More screaming... more parties...
Thank you, thank you!!

The skirt/nails bit is one of my most vivid mental pictures of her.
tabaqui
Apr. 7th, 2005 05:27 pm (UTC)
Ooh, neat. I like.
Will be looking for more for sure!
:)
stoney321
Apr. 7th, 2005 07:11 pm (UTC)
*boing!*
Thank you!!

*writes more furiously to appease you*
Hee!!
tabaqui
Apr. 7th, 2005 07:48 pm (UTC)
Heeeee.
Yay!!
:)
Oh, and a neat icon, too!
stoney321
Apr. 7th, 2005 09:47 pm (UTC)
Thank you! That was my first attempt at a manip.

I'll toss you back a
:-D
and a
Whee!
mskakaako
Apr. 7th, 2005 06:02 pm (UTC)
Stoney, that was so freakin' good.

I'm under this story's THRALL. Love it.
stoney321
Apr. 7th, 2005 07:12 pm (UTC)
Thrall! Yes, Drusilla is able to draw ANYONE under. Except her Daddy.

Thanks, Kakaako!!
*pinches your hot Asian bum*
lynnenne
Apr. 7th, 2005 08:48 pm (UTC)
You have a good handle on Drusilla's character, and there's some lovely phrasing and imagery here. I thought the opening motif went on a bit too long, and was a bit confusing in places. But overall this is a lovely beginning. If you're looking for a beta for the next parts, I'd be happy to volunteer. :)
stoney321
Apr. 8th, 2005 10:34 am (UTC)
Well, see, I'm going to have to decline your offer for additional beta-ing as the opening motif is *my* favorite bit. And as I (ultimately) write for my own pleasure... I'm glad that the two betas I had for this know my writing style and help keep me on track with characterization, but will let me write things in my own way.

But I do thank you for the compliments and reading!
lynnenne
Apr. 8th, 2005 03:37 pm (UTC)
Oops... I didn't realize you already had a beta. That'll teach me to read the author's notes. *facepalm*
stoney321
Apr. 8th, 2005 04:40 pm (UTC)
Well, I like to think you didn't read the A/N because you wanted to jump right to the story. :-D

It's important to lie to ourselves. At least, I tell myself that. Hee!

But I take from your previous post that you are engaged, which is all I want! *hugs you HARD*
kita0610
Apr. 8th, 2005 04:28 pm (UTC)
Ooh. Do make more!! Please.
stoney321
Apr. 8th, 2005 04:43 pm (UTC)
It's the please that got me.

Will do, am trying...

Off topic: say someone had a baby early, and someone else was going to see that baby a weekend before they had planned, which left that second person with a weekend open to possibly take a trip to see VK on stage in NY...

If they could fly in, see the play, get smashed with a group of girls, then fly home the next day... For which performance would she be buying tickets? You know, hypothetically speaking.

*boingboing*
kita0610
Apr. 8th, 2005 05:10 pm (UTC)
EEE!!! A week from tomorrow, Sat. Night showing.

EE!! Email ros_fod@yahoo.com for all details.

EEEE!!!!
ex_dovil323
Apr. 9th, 2005 08:16 am (UTC)
Damn that was a brilliant Dru voice. I could picture them as clear as day standing there on the beach chatting to each other. You do the crazy talk fantastically. :D
stoney321
Apr. 10th, 2005 02:38 pm (UTC)
It's because I AM CRAZY. O_O

Thanks, dovil. I'm going to have to buy you a round. Or twelve.
beadattitude
Apr. 9th, 2005 10:18 am (UTC)
OOh, brilliant, love. I agree with Dovil, and several others - you do Dru's voice and fractured logic so very well. Can't wait for the next bits
stoney321
Apr. 10th, 2005 02:40 pm (UTC)
"fractured logic"

WHat a lovely phrase! It's so perfect for Dru, IMO. And thank you so much for popping in. I know this has one of Fandom's most reviled characters (Connor) *cries with the injustice* so 10Q, 10Q!!
bisi
Apr. 10th, 2005 01:00 pm (UTC)
Was there a whisper feedback might be appreciated?

Drusilla turns her head, allows her body to follow. That's really beautifully done, and it makes the reader visualise a dreamy movement in slow motion.

She spins the child in a circle and giggles. That was gruesome. I'm trying to remember what I've seen that was like this. - O god yes. A chicken being killed at a ceremony - there was dancing and twirling, and the chicken being twirled until it's neck was broken. *shudders*

It's very evocative. Because you describe just certain visual details (the reflection on the water breaking up, Drusilla's nails on the fabric of her dress) which would be cutaway shots in a film, that builds up the atmosphere in the same way a film does. There's a nice contrast between the dark, comtemplative inner world of the characters, which is in their heads, and these sudden physical details. The story dodges between these inner and outer worlds, and between the characters' present and their memories, and that gives it it's own kind of rythm, dynamism. As for instance:
The girl pouted and played with a curl in her dark hair. Connor couldn't help but follow her hand as it twisted and pulled and traced the shiny black of her long, glossy hair. He felt overcome with with heartsickness for her as he looked into her wide eyes. He felt naked under that stare and didn't realize until he almost lost his balance that he had been stretching his chin forward, exposing his neck. Knives in his hands, years of training were forgotten as he blinked and tried to collect himself under her stare.
As you describe Connor's reaction here, the structure of your writing is demonstrating what he's feeling, a sort of dizzy snapping back to himself.

Dark and dreamy. And dangerous. I suppose they're just gonna have to fuck aren't they? I like the way all of it establishes the conclusion, why he feels this affinity for her; that's a difficult thing to make convincing, and I think you've succeeded.

- I don't know how useful it is to get this kind of feedback? It depends whether you plot things out first, or whether you let things stew until they're ready to come out right. Since I'm a visual person, I hate analysing my work before it's finished because words can change the way a visual thing turns out, and it's a different sort of thinking, so it has different results.....but you asked for feedback....

Sorry for any spelling mistakes! Can't use the spellchecker because then I get hopelessly confused between Brit and American spelling.
stoney321
Apr. 10th, 2005 02:41 pm (UTC)
Holy crap, this may be some of the best feedback in the history of LJ. I... I don't know what to say! You've answered many of my thoughts on "did this work? DId that come across?" and I just want to buy you something sparkly and take you out on the town.

*hugs you HARD*
bisi
Apr. 11th, 2005 12:36 pm (UTC)
Aww
*smooches you*
paynbow
Apr. 11th, 2005 08:53 pm (UTC)
I love it so far! So melancholy. Beautifly written Dru, btw. *smooches*
marsterslady
May. 4th, 2005 09:51 am (UTC)
This was astounding. You have captured Drusilla's voice - no question. I can't wait to read the next part, so .. off I go.
likeadeuce
May. 4th, 2005 09:51 am (UTC)
eeee, you found it for me! I love you!!! This is such a wonderful take on both characters. Dru is HARD to write, and you've done a great job, and I so love your Connor voice. And the way they play off each other. . .I particularly love this exchange:

"Someone has put a wreath on the sea."

"That's a fishing net."

"Oh."

/end

so sorry I missed this the first time around! I go through phases where I don't read much or any fic, and this must have come through then, or in one of my off-the-computer days, b/c otherwise I don't know how I missed it!

*loves on you, goes to read next part*
( 43 comments — Leave a comment )

Tags

Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

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