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more Crusilla fic - final chapter

Hey, campers! I'm nervous about this last piece, so be gentle. I'll take concrit (but would prefer it in email, as I'm a wuss today.) For those reading for the first time: not shippy. Character study, character dynamics. Work safe. But Dru is a tricksy one.

So. First part here
Second part here
and

Family - The Ties That Bind
Author: Stoney321, beta'd by Crazydiamondsue
Disclaimer: I don't own, make money, or have dinner with the characters from Joss' playpen. I do have coffee with them, but that's between me and my lord.
Rating: It's clean, but Dru can be scary. Don't read this to three year olds. No squicks.
Summary: Set between Season 3 and 4 of AtS. How Connor filled his time while "searching" for his dad. And who found him.
*~*~*~

Part Three



It was becoming more and more difficult for Connor to slip out of the Hyperion without raising suspicion. Connor expected it would be Gunn who finally caught him at his secret meetings, but Fred saw far more than Gunn ever would. Fortunately, her soft spot for Connor having been lost like she once was went a long way to quelling her suspicions. It was hard for the boy to not be smug with a job accomplished. He would cause a fight, pretend to be upset about the lack of leads on his "father," and storm out of the hotel, barely able to hold in his grin as he walked through the door.

As the summer wore on, he looked Fred in the eye less and less. But he had to see Her. They didn't talk much. Usually, when his sister talked, it made very little sense to him. He didn't understand her songs, or her references to tales peculiar to this world. However, her voice was soothing to him. Even though her lullabies were confusing in their context, the sentiment behind them was not.

Tonight, he sat at her feet in the abandoned shed, his head in her lap, arms loosely circling her ankles. She stroked his fine, brown hair, tickled his face with her long fingernails, and told him tales of Daddy.

"So much evil. Everything he touches becomes evil, doesn't it? Am I evil?" Connor muffled his voice in the folds of her skirt.

"No. Not yet. Oh, he was so wicked, my love. And Daddy always savored his meals. A gentleman with table manners, he was. He always took from the right, and passed on the left. And ladies first... But Mummy- Mummy would have liked you best."

Drusilla walked her fingertips over his skull, then raked his hair back from his face. Connor dug his cheek firmly into her lap. His hands tightened for a brief moment on her thin ankle.

"Mummy would have loved how you were taken from Angelus. How you came back wanting to kill him."

"I... I thought Darla was good when I was born? That she... sacrificed herself."

"That wasn't the real Mummy. But yes, she did. So many sacrifices for you, my Connor. So much upheaval at your birth, at your death."

"Drusilla. I'm right here. I'm not dead."

"You will be. And it will be glorious."

He knew she claimed to see the future. She had said enough truth mixed in with her nursery tales and songs for him to recognize what was - would be, he corrected - true.

"Can you," he broke off, rubbing his eyes on the thin cotton material covering her knee, "do you see how?" A deep breath to steady himself. He was a warrior, after all, and expected to die fighting. "Am I in battle?"

"Yes. You are wrapped in unmade fire, women and children screaming in fear around you. You've killed an innocent. And you don't care."

Drusilla hums, and lays her head on her brother's hair.

"I would never kill an innocent person." He pulls away from her and puts his back against the opposite wall and feels the hateful scowl settle on his face.

"Tsk tsk. Never say never. And one day, you'll deny me three times."

He knew it was another reference to something particular in this world. He sat still, head back against the wall, and reassessed his sister.

"Poor brother. Hanging there with a dagger in your side. You won't have wailing women to wash your feet with oil, nor dry you with their hair. You'll be left to hang with the other sinners and cry out to your father who hast forsaken thee. And you so badly want to make a grand BANG!" Drusilla clapped her hands together and jumped to her feet.

She spun and whirled down into a crouch before Connor. He made fists of his hands at his side. She jabbed a sharp nail into his side.

"I wonder, does it bleed? Tut tut, little dove. I don't want to hurt you. Oh, I want to eat you all up, but you aren't for my dinner, are you?"

She stood and looked down into his face; her eyes knew all of his secrets to come. She held out her hand to him and pulled him to his feet. She put one of his hands about her waist, the other in her hand and stood straight.

"Come, come. Follow me. One, two, three, One, two, three..."

Awkwardly, he began to move, but he was a quick learner and sure of foot. She laughed when she felt him take the lead.

"The little dog laughed to see such a sport, and the dish ran away with the spoon!" She stopped suddenly, shaking her hands to push him back, away from her. Her voice trembled. "No, no. We can't run away, can we? It will be so much worse if I take you, and he'll know. And it isn't for you to come. You must stay here and have your medicine. Besides, winter is almost upon us."

"It's August."

"Yes, my Connor, but he's located Daddy."

*~*~*~*~

They didn't say goodbye. They didn't make plans to meet again; they never did. He would feel the need for her, and he would simply come to her. Or, he would feel her mind slipping and she would become silent, that was his signal to leave. This time, he stood in the doorway longer than usual. He knew he wouldn't be coming back.

"I remember what you wanted me to say. The lines you taught me.

Curly locks, Curly locks, wilt thou be mine?
Thou shalt not wash the dishes, nor yet feed the swine;
But sit on a cushion and sew a fine seam,
And feed upon strawberries, sugar and cream
."

His last vision of Drusilla was her laughing, dancing a small jig with her skirts pulled up slightly in her hands. She giggled and bowed at him, then waggled her fingers in a goodbye.

*~*~*~*~

She doesn't want to hear anymore. She doesn't want to know about her brother. She doesn't want to hear that he will forget her when Daddy plays his lawyer tricks. That he'll not remember his sister, not remember that someone loves him simply because he is himself. He will become a shadow, scented with sunshine and puppies and pink girls bouncing, but never being touched. That one day he'll remember everything and be broken like her. She doesn't want me to See anymore, so to stop my mouth, she covers my eyes with the red ribbon, sets me on her lap, and wraps my silken filaments about her finger and smoothes my white dress. I'm silent. For now.

Comments

( 52 comments — Leave a comment )
leeannaray
May. 11th, 2005 03:07 pm (UTC)
I love this. You fit it into canon brilliantly. I think you've really managed to catch the essence of Drusilla. She needs family. The last bit, with Miss Edith, is beautiful.
stoney321
May. 11th, 2005 03:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you. I wanted this to work within canon, so I appreciate you saying that. I had no idea until this morning when I wrote the last bit, that the intro to each part would turn out to be Miss Edith. Glad that worked.

Phweh. :-D
spikendru
May. 11th, 2005 03:48 pm (UTC)
Wonderful conclusion! Ah, poor Connor; so confused and so broken. I can definitely see that summer of S3 Connor would fit in perfectly with Drusilla! Very creative.
stoney321
May. 11th, 2005 03:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you!! Mmmm to your icon, as well. *pets him*
allegraconbrio
May. 11th, 2005 03:50 pm (UTC)
Dayum. Just gobbled this up in one sitting. And Stoney? I adore how you have captured both Dru and Connor. Dru is one of those characters that will likely endlessly fascinate me. Connor, I have some sympathy for, but really have not ever felt the need to delve into his psyche. You have extrapolated the most fascinating parts of both of them in such an evocative piece of writing. So very wonderful. I am all shuddery and in thrall. Mmmmm.
stoney321
May. 11th, 2005 03:54 pm (UTC)
*buys you a pony*

Dayum, back at you! Thank you so very, very much. I have to admit I didn't feel the Connor love until the Cordy/Connor squick scene. I figured out that he just has NOTHING. He was lied to and cheated and just wants a moment of stillness. My opinion, of course. :-D Thank you for your lovely words!! (And I hope to make you care for Connor a bit more?)
ex_dovil323
May. 11th, 2005 03:55 pm (UTC)
I read this and it played out in my head like a scene on the tv, except, you know, in my head.

Poor Connor. Poor Dru. Angel's like this big broken sun that these equally broken planets spin around. Or he's full of gas and gives people sunburn.

You do brilliant comedy but I love these just as much.
stoney321
May. 11th, 2005 03:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you, L!! I love your idea of the broken sun and his "children" are planets. You *know* what this makes Spike, right? Uranus.

*buys you a pony made of CHOCOLATE and BOOZE*
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somecandytalkin
May. 11th, 2005 04:09 pm (UTC)
Beautiful work....
You perfectly captured them. And there's this sense of haunting, fragileyetstill brutal poetry to Dru. And to the tone of the whole piece....I don't know if I'm making sense. It gives me chills - in a very good, and very real way, like some wonderful gothic horror story.
"Yes. You are wrapped in unmade fire, women and children screaming in fear around you. You've killed an innocent. And you don't care." and
"...So many sacrifices for you, my Connor. So much upheaval at your birth, at your death."
"Drusilla. I'm right here. I'm not dead."
"You will be. And it will be glorious."

*sigh*
stoney321
May. 11th, 2005 05:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, toots. you just summed up what I was going for, and that just makes me as happy as a little giiiiiiirrrrrl.

You *KNOW* I've been re-reading the Yellow Wallpaper to be accurate with her brand of crazy, right?

*pets Dru*
*with a ten foot pole*

My love for you is boundless. *hugs*
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bisi
May. 11th, 2005 04:33 pm (UTC)
Very nice. I've just read the whole thing (three parts) twice.
Love the way it's so tactile, fingers, fingernails, hair, ribbons - i think making the reader really feel somebody's hand in theirs is way more skillful and expressive than most paragraphs of sweaty bonking...
also like the dynamic of opposites, like they are shadows of each other, but it keeps shifting, which of them is dammned and which of them is righteous. Or should that be 'righteous'. Very dense, very poignant, shifting from visual to tactile to dialogue:
'She stroked his fine, brown hair, tickled his face with her long fingernails, and told him tales of Daddy.
"So much evil. Everything he touches becomes evil," ' Like there. Did I say before how this gives the story a sort of internal energy that's satisfying? Because it's like a snapshot, a still moment in the middle of the crazy supernatural soap opera, but it's very dynamic.
Also, I'm not sure I've ever read anything with Drusilla so crazy, that's so empathetic to her.

Saving Annie the Musical for when i'm not so busy. But do I get another virtual night on the town? With gardens, motorbikes and unlimited flirting please.
O, and mother's day was ages ago for us.
stoney321
May. 11th, 2005 05:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you so VERY, VERY much. I have this fear that people "pah" and throw their hands up when I try to write something serious, because of things like Connie: The Musical. But, but, but... I loves them both, and can't help it.

I try to write how I "see" it, I don't know how to write otherwise, and there are so many great fanfic writers out there that are so talented with imagery, symbolism, layers... I finally figured out it was less stressful for me to just put down what's happening in my head instead of trying to compete with the Great Ones (IMO) out there in fic-land.

My goal with this was for Dru to have the crazies die down a bit with Connor in her presence. And she is so broken, and I think so very angry about being broken, and no one to play with her.

*adds you to the list of those getting ponies*
paynbow
May. 11th, 2005 05:24 pm (UTC)
I love it! Your Dru voice is awesome! I like how you work the story into Cannon, and having the narrator Miss Edith? Brilliant! *smooches you* So good!
stoney321
May. 11th, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC)
Yippee!! I'm so glad the Miss Edith/narrator bit worked. *wipes sweat from brow*

I'm the M. Night Shamalan of fanfic! But without the "bad guy" picking the worst planet, given its weakness. Hee!!

*twirls you*
lynnenne
May. 11th, 2005 07:37 pm (UTC)
What a beautiful conclusion to this piece. There was so much imagery in this that I adored. The Christian imagery was especially haunting, and it fits perfectly with Drusilla's background as a novice.

Drusilla walked her fingertips over his skull, then raked his hair back from his face.

That is a perfect Dru move. Very nice detail.

scented with sunshine and puppies and pink girls bouncing

That is an absolutely *gorgeous* turn of phrase. Wonderful job. Thank you for writing this.

On another subject, I found a parody-type fic that you might enjoy. It's called Sunnydale Passions by speakr2customrs. There's one line in particular that just had me howling with laughter. You've inspired a whole new genre!

stoney321
May. 11th, 2005 07:50 pm (UTC)
I've started a genre? *doesn't feel so all alone in da woild*

And thank you, thank you for your comments on this fic. I'm cuddling it to my bewbies in gratitude.

*smooches you all over*
mskakaako
May. 11th, 2005 07:43 pm (UTC)
I loved this last, (but not final-RIGHT??!)chapter. Dru's fingernails tracing Connor's scalp creeps me out, but in that good way. ::nods:: The biblical references were brilliant. Blasphemous, but brilliant...like YOU! Heee! :D
stoney321
May. 11th, 2005 07:52 pm (UTC)
I'm thinking it's the end of this fic. And I *am* blashepmous and brilliant! *makes new business cards*

But... Connor. Jesus. Both sacrificed by their fathers for the good of all... In a way. :-D
inlovewithnight
May. 11th, 2005 07:59 pm (UTC)
Lovely. :) Dru sees it all.
stoney321
May. 11th, 2005 08:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Sam!
(Deleted comment)
stoney321
May. 12th, 2005 06:39 am (UTC)
EEEEEE!! you've made me feel SO GOOD!!! Oh, Anne... *buys you a FLEET of chocolate ponies*

Sometimes I wonder if my allusions and references are lame, or trite, or... well. Thanks. And as the the "wrapped in unmade fire," that's a reference to "Home" where Angel tries to stop Connor from committing suicide, and taking out the whole sports store with him. Oh, that episode BREAKS me.

And Hooray for Miss Edith giving you chills. That was what I was going for - not some comical rug pulling, so I'm glad it worked that way for you.

*hugs you SO HARD*
(Deleted comment)
brandil
May. 12th, 2005 06:58 am (UTC)
Amazing.
stoney321
May. 12th, 2005 07:12 am (UTC)
Thank you!!
violethamster
May. 12th, 2005 07:59 am (UTC)
Really lovely use of language. Dru's dialogue is so gorgeous and poetic, and full of fractured meaning. Love the contrast of real family forgotten in the mindwipe for a family that seems better but their love is really an illusion, and Dru covering Miss Edith's eyes when she can't bear to see anymore.
stoney321
May. 12th, 2005 08:06 am (UTC)
Well she did tell us on Buffy that she is certainly capable of love. I think she aches with the want/need of it. Her own crazy brand of love, yes, but real.

Thanks, Trish.
tabaqui
May. 12th, 2005 06:54 pm (UTC)
Ooh, yes. Lovely, lovely. Drusilla is so wonderful and I love that Connor accepts her as his sister - probably loves her but...
Yeah.

Just brilliant.
*bounce*
stoney321
May. 12th, 2005 08:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you!! I like smooshing two hurt/broken people together.

*bounces, too*
alixtii
May. 12th, 2005 07:32 pm (UTC)
Moving conclusion, with more than a touch of poignancy. Oh, I love Dru so much...
stoney321
May. 12th, 2005 08:11 pm (UTC)
Me too. Like I love watching a Bengal tiger. I want to touch, but... You'd lose your hand. At the very least.

Thank you for taking the time to FB!
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likeadeuce
May. 13th, 2005 02:10 am (UTC)
How did I miss this when it went up? I am saying this a lot lately, I am being a ditz in LJ-land.

Anyhoo. . .This is wonderful. I love that reference to Connor's secret smile, which is eerie canon; I can completely picture the look on his face when he walks away after starting the fight. I love the snippets of nursery rhyme and other things that, of course, seem alien to Connor since he grew up in Qortoth.

and this is utterly random, but I like your Connor so much that I'd love to see you write something about him and Wesley. Not a slash, mind (unless your brain goes that way), but they had few, if any, big moments in canon, esp. considering the way their "fates were intertwined." just a passing thought.
stoney321
May. 13th, 2005 04:59 am (UTC)
My Connor is JOSS' CONNOR, CARRIE. *eyes you* Ha ha! You know, I've had an idea banging around for those two. Lemme think it through. :-D
(Deleted comment)
menomegirl
Dec. 28th, 2005 06:55 am (UTC)
Mmm...I liked this very much. I think you captured Drusilla at her whimsical, brilliant best and Connor in the stage before he got so whiney and ensnared by Cordelia, when he was thinking for himself, and as much as he annoyed me, I liked him when he thought for himself, and it was very rare.

Excellant job.
stoney321
Dec. 28th, 2005 07:31 am (UTC)
Well first off, thanks for coming over to read. And I'm glad you enjoyed it. I think we see Connor in different lights (but then, I'm usually standing alone in a room when I start talking about him, so heee!)

I hated the Cordy/Connor dynamic at first. HAAAATED. But then something struck me about him - he made a comment about Holtz having left him when he was a baby on Quor'toth to teach him how to track, and one time it only took 2 weeks. And I realized how BAD Connor's (stephen) life was - how he had no love, no softness, no consideration, and then fell in love with his character. (wrote about him and Cordy and the reason why they got together, but you surely wouldn't be interested in that, and now I'm just pushing. :D )

Thanks again for your comments and praise.
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elucidate_this
Feb. 28th, 2006 11:08 am (UTC)
all the talking about your fic made me want to re-read the unfinished crusilla snippet. it was one of those pieces that i was always sad was unfinished because i was so enthralled by the first bit.

and lo and behold it turns out it was finished! i don't know how i missed it, but i'm glad i went back and found it because I adore this fic. your drusilla is freaking amazing and the connection between dru and connor is incredibly appealling.

and the last piece with miss edith...fabulous.

delicious.
stoney321
Feb. 28th, 2006 11:13 am (UTC)
unfinished? Yeah, don't know how you missed that, either! :D But I'm so glad you re-read it, this is probably my most favorite thing I've ever written - I sweated blood over this one. Hearing that you thought I did a good job is frickin' ICING.

Thank you SO MUCH. That bad day? Gone. *squishes you sooo tight*
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lettered
Mar. 3rd, 2006 11:00 am (UTC)
Wow. This was...wow. I think I might even like this better than Triptych (sp?)

Your Drusilla voice is perfect, all over the place. Just enough crazy, but also poetical and sense-making. Bravo. The way you describe her movements, too--her head turning and her body following, you capture what makes me fall in love with JL every damn time I see her play Dru. Capturing nuance of movement like that is hard to do, and I really applaud you.

It's funny, because somehow I didn't get it from the title, but I'd never thought of Connor,Drusilla parallels before either, just as I'd never thought about Connor,Fred parallels, until last night, I was lying in bed, and I was working out this Connor fic I want to write, and I was thinking about Triptych (sp?) and then I was like OMG DRUSILLA(, and or /)CONNOR. And lo, you've written it.

I love how you weave all this together--from the opening and closing bits, which seem to me to set up Drusilla story-telling inside her head, to how you use family definitions to give Dru and Connor something that actually feels almost ... normal, which is scary in a way, a kind of friendship/kinship that's so twisted and wrong it's the straightest answer Connor can get. Loved the little dialogue bit about "you really don't have reflections, do you"--because, of course, Connor is a reflection of so much, and they only have to look into his face to see it.

This is achingly beautiful, everything from the deeper meanings to the language you use. I have no con crit to offer. Thanks for this fic.
stoney321
Mar. 3rd, 2006 11:08 am (UTC)
little tear... little bit...

You have NO idea how much that means to me - your kind words. This was one of those stories I ached over, getting it out, trying to say what I needed to say about the two of them. And this is also one of the ones that not a lot of people read - because of Connor? Because people don't trust that I wouldn't slip in a silly joke or something? Never know.

Once I thought of the two of them together, I realized that a HUGE opportunity had been missed by ME, in my opinion. They are both so perfectly broken, so needing of love, and both so dangerous.

Thanks so much, Joy.
darlas_mom
Oct. 20th, 2006 01:50 pm (UTC)
Ohh. Wow. That is so perfect. That--seriously, it is. I love your Dru and I REALLY love your Connor,Dru dynamic. I completely see her being loving with him, and him being gentle with her. And actually, I have never gotten over my disappointment that Connor and Dru never met on the show, and that Spike and Connor never had a proper conversation.

This was lovely. Thank you.
stoney321
Oct. 20th, 2006 09:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm just fit to bursting that you liked this!! To me, it was natural that both of them would seek each other out if they knew about one another - both of them have strong familial instincts.

And seriously - how much do you want a spin off with Connor and Spike (and maybe Faith) and Dru popping in like a twisted Jack-in-the-box? Right there is my dream show. :)

You've left me gobsmacked with your praise, thank you.
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( 52 comments — Leave a comment )

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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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